TIC Interview with John Carmichael -
President of the New York Church of Scientology

Interview By KIMBERLY KEITH FELICIANO on July 30, 2007

Q: We were introduced to Scientology through your Youth For Human Rights campaign. What is the Church of Scientology doing for human rights?

"The Church of Scientology is a religion that is growing rapidly internationally. Part of that is because it is a special kind of religion. It's not based on the idea that you have to believe things, that people need to be controlled, or that you should be blind to your environment. It's a religion that is based on practical tools people can use to improve their life. We believe in freedom for the individual, and we believe in freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and that those things are necessary for people to find the truth-to be able to see the truth for themselves. So, human rights is something we've been involved in for many, many years."

Scientology NY President - Rev. John Carmichael sitting with TIC Co-Founder Kimberly Keith Feliciano
Scientology's NY President -
Rev. John Carmichael, meeting with TIC’s
Co-Founder Kimberly Keith Feliciano.

(photo by Ray Feliciano)

"We helped put together a group called Youth For Human Rights [Find out what they say are your rights are at YouthForHumanRights.org], which seems to have become an international affair, based on the idea that people need to know what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is. As you probably know, it was written in 1948 by the people who were starting the United Nations. They had just been through World War II and had decided that in order to have mutual respect among people, to end the conflict, to ensure that there wouldn't be the same human rights violations again, that they needed to lay out what the rights were that people had. These thirty rights, or thirty articles, are incorporated into the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…Part of the Universal Declaration was the idea that all the member countries of the UN would agree to these rights and that they would educate their people, their citizens, about these rights, and they would ensure these rights-they would make sure they weren't violated."

"That simply hasn't happened. If you surveyed people in the United States, probably about 96% of people, according to surveys we've started, have no idea that the Universal Declaration even exists. And yet, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a solution to war and conflict. Only through people understanding each other, respecting one another's rights, are we going to be able to bring an end to war… People need to grow up in a culture of human rights and mutual respect."

"So, Youth For Human Rights is a program that we help put together and have helped support…We have a set of human rights public service announcements…They came out originally in fifteen languages. They're being shown all over the world… This is a movement. People are following it… people who are tired of the constant fighting in their countries, and who are using these tools as part of their human rights education. It's their main thing. The government of Mexico has adopted the Youth For Human Rights program as theirs, if you like…We think that human rights education at a grassroots level has got to be it…There's a handbook that was created by Youth For Human Rights, with some educators they we're working with, which gives a curriculum for teaching human rights in schools…Everybody knows, 'Oh yeah, I have human rights.' But you ask them what's in the Universal Declaration, and nobody knows. We toured Europe asking people, 'So, what's in the Universal Declaration?' Government people didn't know, police didn't know, nobody had any idea…So, if people know this, then we have a chance to make human rights a reality, and if we do, then we have a way to really end war."

Q: What is the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights and its affiliation with the Church?

"…Citizen's Commission on Human Rights is something sponsored by the Church of Scientology, and it is specifically designed to monitor and expose human rights violations by psychiatry."

Q: How practical is it to make human rights a reality in countries where abuse is rampant?

"First of all, it has to start early. You look at the Rwandan genocide, and you say, 'Alright, so what are you going to do? You gonna play public service announcements while people are being slaughtered?' Well, you know, these slaughters really got started when one of the radio stations there was talking everyday about how it should happen! How one tribe should kill and get rid of the other tribe, that they're 'cockroaches'…So, there was a failure-maybe there was a failure by the United Nations peace-keeping forces, and there were political forces involved in all of that-but, the thing that kept it going day to day was the radio, and these radio incitements to kill, to destroy, and to hate. Well, what would it have been if that hadn't been there, and instead people were saying, 'We are all brothers.'…If we told people at the same time…'No. All people have rights. All people are real...The only way that we can exist any kind of happiness, is to treat each other properly. So that is how it becomes real, and the media in any country can have huge power."

Q: What is your experience as President of the New York Church of Scientology?

"I was ordained in 1973. I was going to Cornell University and somebody said, 'Hey, have you heard of this book Dianetics?' I hadn't, and then the idea stuck with me and so I got a copy of Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard…I read it, and I said, 'There are answers here. You know this makes sense, this is workable, and this is what I'm looking for.' I found out that I was like most Scientologists in that I wanted to see things for myself and I wanted to found out for myself. Scientology is a broader subject than Dianetics. Dianetics deals with the mind. Scientology deals with wisdom and knowledge in general. So, what he says about the mind and what can be done-that a person can become who he really is-I found out that's true, that's it's being done, and it doesn't take years and years of study, that you can pick up that book and use it…"

Q: What is Dianetics?

"It sort of like Scientology came out of Dianetics. Dianetics was a method L. Ron Hubbard developed to get rid of the negative 'junk', if you like-the things that are attached to a person that keeps him or her from being who they really are. And he had the idea that people should be able to solve their own problems and they should be able to do well. And so, why don't they? Why do they do stupid things to harm themselves and harm other people? And that led him to this business of the 'reactive mind', where it comes from and how to get rid of it. All those things are covered in [the book] Dianetics [see opposite page ad from local Albany Church of Scientology]. If you apply that method that he developed, you can have better relationships, live a happier life, get your self respect back, your respect for other people, and be a fully rational person with free emotions, and just things are much better…Scientology includes 7,500 churches, missions and groups-7,500 in only 57 years-around the world, 163 countries. We have a disaster response network second to none-95,000 Volunteer Ministers who can respond, and that's internationally…"

Q: What is the difference between Dianetics and Psychology?

"Dianetics works. Psychology-if you pick up a psychology textbook, it says, 'Psyche means spirit, but we don't know what a spirit is, and we don't know if there is a spirit, and really we got rid of all that a long time ago.' Well, Dianetics deals with the human mind. Scientology deals with the spirit, and we know something about that. We can help people. Psychology got totally taken over in the 19th century by Wundt and the physiological idea that people are animals like any other animal, and that we can put them in cages, and we can put them in boxes, and that went into Pavlov and to Skinner, and all that idea that man needs to be controlled, and can be controlled. Scientology is the exact opposite of that. We see the individual as spiritual. The individual can be free. We can help the individual free himself and solve his own problems-an entirely different idea… The CIA did mind control experiments-lots and lots of them. There are people who think that highly publicized assassinations took place because of these mind control experiments. They were designed to crush people down to the point where they couldn't think for themselves, where they react to stimulus-response. But that is not the normal state of man. When you force a person down to that level, when you tell someone, 'If you think this thought we will give you a shock,' then you don't free people, and you don't cure anything. People get weirder and weirder. At the very least they get horribly neurotic, and you will not cure anything, you will not increase people abilities. You will just destroy them. Yes, you can torture someone into submission, or you can electroshock a person literally to the point where he cannot remember who he is, and he cannot control his urine, but that is not treatment. That is not help. That is destruction of man, and when you want to do that, you call in the psychiatrist with his electroshock, with his heavy drugs, with his brain operations, and if you think that is too strong of a statement, then you really need to see 'Psychiatry: an Industry of Death' [video/DVD], and see what the data is."

Q: Some say the government did its best to suppress Scientology in its earlier years so people would not know about it. What, and is it happening now?

"I think that government suppression has moved to other areas. See, if you look at the 60's and 70's, the government was carrying counter-intelligence programs, and they were running huge programs of mind control, and they had money-you know, all this came out in the 70's [when] the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] exposed these things. But, I think the government is more transparent now than it was…The US government and any other government is not perfect at all. Right now, as you saw in the film, the Church of Scientology had to stand up for its rights. Everybody has to, and the Church of Scientology had to grow up in a time when it wasn't easy to gain your rights. We grew up in a time where there was a Nixon enemy list, and there was an IRS enemies list, and anyone on these lists were ruthlessly harassed and would have been destroyed. If you take a look at those lists, one of the few groups that's still around is the Church of Scientology. The others were destroyed. That's strictly because we fought for our rights, we established our rights. And eventually, in the case of tax exemption, we found people who were descent people and who were willing to look at the facts. And at that point we started going through three billion pages worth of documents to document exactly where the money went to the Church of Scientology. And in the end, there was really no question or any choice that the Church of Scientology was a tax-exempt organization. And then the IRS in doing that has to attest to Scientology, the organization, is in line with the public interest. So, all the wild tales that you might have heard, or that people were trying to yap about before, you know, whatever bizarre stories, everybody got their shot…They didn't have to grant us anything…They heard all the detractors, and they looked at all the documents, and they said, 'You know what? The money in Scientology is used for charitable, religious, and educational purposes. We hereby grant them full tax-exempt status, and their groups-The Citizen's Commission on Human Rights, their education groups, their human rights groups, all of these organizations-are just exactly what they say they are, and they are granted tax exemption… This church has, over the past couple of years, has had to double its staff just to deal with the number of people who want to know about Scientology and who want Scientology services. That's going on all around the world."

Q: Tom Cruise is a celebrity Scientologist whom we'll hear about no matter what, but is there a reason why celebrities and the elite gravitate to it?

"Well, people all around the world of all different kinds are using Scientology. The growth in Scientology can't be ascribed to just a few people. And you are absolutely correct. There is unlikely to be a story in the newspaper about how a mother now organizes her house better, treats her kids better, and has a happier family because she's in Scientology. People who are celebrities do tend to get covered more. You have to hear about everything that they do. But you know, there is something to the fact that Scientology appeals to artists. L. Ron Hubbard was an artist. He was a writer. He helped other fiction writers. He was a world class photographer and poet. He said that a civilization is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamt by artists. He went through a lot of trouble before he passed away to establish programs to help artists, and as a result, artists look to this man…He said that you could destroy a country if you tried to rein in all the artists and tell them what to do. It's typical of dictatorships, that they try to do that, and they destroy the art of the country. So, Scientology definitely appeals to people who think outside the box. And, Scientology does provide something special to people who are under a different kind of pressure than you and I. What about the people who for whom millions of dollars are riding on their opinion or their judgment and so forth?…It also provides an effective way to deal with stresses that are very intense…"

Q: Are Scientology services really so expensive?

"I would say that's just uniformed. We did a survey and we found that Scientology generally donates something around a thousand dollars a year on average to the Church, and that's certainly less than lots of Christians do, or other people who tithe and so forth. No, Scientology has a way of funding itself, and that there's certain things in the church that cost money for which there's a fixed donation required, we don't apologize for that. We think that's a fair way to do things. There are lots of things that are free in the Church of Scientology. You can come in and pick up a copy of 'Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health'. Pick it up at the library for all I care, and use it with someone, and you will produce results that you will not get out of $75,000 worth of psychoanalysis…or come and do a seminar for $35 or something to find out how to better use that book. Do a course on Communication for $100 and it will change your life. Or just come to Sunday service at 11am on Sunday morning and find out about it. There are things for which there are fixed donations, some of them are substantial, and for them I would only say that people do those courses and say they were worth every penny and a thousand times more."

Q: Is it a philosophy merging science and religion?

"Yeah. It's a science in the sense that it's empirical, that you can see that it really works. Not a science in the sense that we are all in white coats and we believe that man is an animal, or that we look at you through a microscope. Empirical, like does it work or does it not work? We can see, you can see, you can find out, and that's what it's about."

Rev. John Carmichael
Rev. John Carmichael

(photo by Kimberly Feliciano)

Q: If Scientology is not exclusive to other religions, how is it it's 'own religion'?

"Well, it's its own kind of religion even. It is, rather than a religion of beliefs, it is a religion of methods, of technology, if you like, as spiritual technology. How do you change conditions? That's what it's about. In America, in most western countries, we're used to a person is either a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim, and you can't be both of them. But, if you go to the East, people in that part of the world don't have this exclusive nature. And then I'll tell you, there are people who believe that their religion has all the truths, and no one has any other truth. And people like that will not be compatible with Scientology…But, can an evangelical Christian use Scientology methods to rescue a marriage? Absolutely they can, more effectively than they ever dreamed possible. Can a Rabbi use Scientology to rescue a student who is studying the Jewish religion? Absolutely, you can use the study methods to find out what's wrong and to fix it-and that person, that student, will now be able to understand his or her religion better. So, that offer, that ability, that potentiality is always there…Scientology doesn't try to convince you to leave some other religion to become a Scientologist."

Q: Is it true that L. Ron Hubbard is revered as a prophet by Scientologists?

"No-no-no. L. Ron Hubbard is the founder of Scientology. He made it very clear, and you see it everywhere really around here, and that is that something in Scientology is only true if it is true for you…He was a man. He grew up in the American West. He traveled a lot when he was young. He became an explorer. He carried the American Explorer's Club flag three times in separate expeditions. He went and he saw, and he wrote adventure stories… and he didn't live in an ivory tower. He developed these methods, and he said, 'Hey, I have this information for you. Try it. People find out that Scientology works by applying it by the way he wrote it down."

Q: Is Scientology a cult?

"I would say there isn't anything but connotations about that word. There's no meaning to it. Scientology is the most open religion that you could ask for…If you want to talk about a cult, you should talk about psychiatry. There's an organization where you must believe what they say, and if you don't, you must be crazy. And, which uses tools, including electroshock and drugs to overwhelm the individual…The Citizens Commission on Human Rights [CCHR] has a standing offer for many years for any psychiatrist: We'll pay $50,000 to any psychiatrist who is willing to have a course of electroshock. Haha! There has been no takers. You can be sure."

Q: How has the FBI been involved in exposing psychiatry and closing down mental hospitals?

"The details I suggest you find on the CCHR website [www.CCHR.org], and the booklet that goes along with that, because it has to do with the fact that there's so much psychiatric Medicare fraud and so much Insurance fraud perpetrated by psychiatry and psychiatric institutions."

Q: Referencing Hubbard's theory on mental health, what is an 'abberation' and 'engram'?

"People should be able to solve their own problems related to survival. They have an analytical mind, a collection of information that's been stored up for years and years. They can use this information to figure out the answers to their questions. But, there's another part of the mind called the 'reactive mind' which is not something you can think with. It's moments of pain and unconsciousness based on 'engrams' which are impressed upon the individual and his mind. He's not there to think about it [unconscious]…So, when very young he might be hit by a car, lying on the sidewalk, people are going on saying, 'Get back. Stay away from him. Don't touch. Don't move him.' All these words are being recorded in this part of his mind called the 'reactive mind'. Years later, he's tired, his analytical mind is beginning to shut down a little bit. There are some things in the environment which are similar to this other incident, and they will get reactivated or restimulated, if you like. So, all the sudden, for no apparent reason he will be saying, 'Get away from me. I'm tired. I don't want anybody here anymore. Get back. Stay away.' He will come up with ideas why that is. But, really it is the reactive mind dictating to him, telling him what to do, what to think, how to feel, to some degree. This is typical if you saw a person with a post-hypnotic suggestion to do X, Y, and Z. The person who's acting out the suggestion will give you all kinds of reasons why it's logical. But it's not…Dianetics gets rid of that reactive mind and enables the individual to find these moments, confront them, and actually find in many cases the times when he was unconscious and uncover some of this material. Not through hynosis. In hypnosis, a person is made the effect-He receives communication; He receives suggestions. People are too suggestible as it is…Dianetics is the opposite. It unhypnotizes people…A lot of trouble is taken to make sure there aren't any suggestions implanted in this…"

Q: Is it possible to get 'engrams' while conscious and under a lot of stress?

"The reactive mind is based on those incidences of pain and unconsciousness. They have to contain some threat to survival that contains unconsciousness to some degree or another. Added onto those will be times when you experienced a threat of loss or actual loss so that these 'secondary engrams', if you like, connected to the more basic ones, cause you to experience emotions which aren't yours, which seem to be dictated. 'I have no idea why I got so angry. I don't know why I feel so sad. It's like it's not me.' And you start pulling this off and people are like free now."

Q: Hubbard referred to homosexuality in his Dianetics book. What is the Church's stance?

"That's 1950, and as the subject expanded it became clearer that people aren't their bodies. Each individual is a spirit and that's not male or female…The key things to know is that one, we don't discriminate, everybody's welcome. That's absolutely the situation. If somebody has a situation in their life and they don't like it, then they can fix it. You see, I said Scientology is not about belief. It's not about dictating to people what they have to do. It's enabling people to be free in solving their own problems, finding solutions to be who they are."

Q: Also referred to in the Dianetics book, what does Scientology say about abortion?

"Once again, we're not try to dictate what our parishioners do. We would certainly urge people, any woman who is considering abortion, to think about it very seriously. We don't take it lightly. We just encourage people to look at it seriously and to weigh the situation according to their individual circumstances. Hubbard speaks extensively about abortion in Dianetics because during that time a lot of people came up with these attempted abortions [remembered through 'auditing' service], and we forget how traumatic the whole situation was in the 50's."

Q: What is Scientology's view of the death penalty?

"The Church is not political. When you start talking about these things, they start getting political very rapidly. But L. Ron Hubbard said, and I wish I had the exact quote, he says, for society to take a man who has grown up and sought his way in the world, for all the world arrayed against him, with all the difficulties that there are, to then, for the government to take his life in the name of justice, is just not fair. It's revenge. That is clearly the situation, and for the government to take that right is not proper."

Q: What do you think is the biggest misconception about Scientology?

"That it's difficult to find out about it. People think that there's something maybe mysterious about it, when actually it is the most open, biggest most open 'secret' there has ever been - and that's why it's growing so fast. When reporters come here, I say, 'Well, first thing, we can get rid of the secretive business.' Ha! Ya know? Because if you don't get anything else, you can see that it's not secretive. We put books in libraries to explain what we are…We are helping people get off drugs; we are helping kids stay off drugs; we are educating people about human rights; we are teaching kids to study; we're rehabilitating criminals in prisons so they become contributing members of society."

Q: Speaking of, how does Scientology propose to reform the prison system?

"There's a program called Criminon, and these things are covered in 'What is Scientology'. L. Ron Hubbard pointed out [in the book] that people in prison, that criminals, at some point have been convinced that they are bad, that they are animals, and that they can't be trusted. Having done that, they are thrown in prison and they are further convinced. Furthermore, a do-gooder who says, 'No, I know you're a good person,' is obviously a chump. So, what can be done? It's been a problem for many years, and you talk to people in the prison system, and they mostly say, 'Reform is impossible. We can punish 'em, or we can take 'em out of society and out of the general population.' It's hugely expensive, and it is totally inhumane, and it doesn't work. It doesn't make things safer, either."

Q: How does the Criminon program rehabilitate criminals?

"And here's how: There is a common sense moral code called 'The Way to Happiness' that L. Ron Hubbard wrote. It's not based on any religion. It's based on common sense and survival. This book has twenty precepts in it, from simple ones like take care of yourself, be worthy of trust, do not steal, do not murder, do only things to others that you would have them do to you-a version of the Golden Rule-be industrious, help and honor children, help and honor your parents. Not because God will punish you, but because if you do these things, you will survive better, and the people around you will survive better. So, this book is just tremendously effective, and a program has grown up called Criminon, which teaches this as the basic part of its program. People read this book-hard criminals. A friend of mine, Greg Capazorio, is from South Africa, and he started taking this into the South African penal system. I mean, you couldn't get into some of these jails without having killed a couple people. He would say, 'Alright, this is the course, and we're learning this stuff.' And people learned, and as they learned the precepts, they just started applying them…Just all the sudden they started developing a moral outlook on life. And they said, 'Ya know, I'm not a beast. I'm not bad. I am responsible for my actions. There are things that I can do to help others survive and help my own survival, and that's what I choose to do…Ya know, if you treat them as an animal, they will say, 'I knew it.' And that's what happens. It's not a secret that the prisons are schools for criminals. Nobody's even fooled!"

Q: There is a particular Hubbard compound that supposedly has symbols and crop circles seen from the air, and why not open it us to reporters to end the controversy?

"I don't know whether reporters have asked to see it. I know that it is no secret…Let's just say there are some scary people who are going to get nuclear weapons very soon. The situation is unstable in the world, and we're doing our part, and there are a lot of other people working to stabilize it. Some of them are working with bombs, though, and I don't think that's going to do much good. He said, 'This is an important subject. It should be preserved, even if there is an atomic war. So, what do we do? Well, let's take the books and we'll put 'em on stainless steel plates, or titanium plates or whatever, and we'll put 'em under a mountain. So, if there is a war, they'll still be there…It's called the Preservation of the Tech Project… People make donations for it, and it's just done very thoroughly because that's the way we do things. And the 'crop-circle' thing, that's preposterous. People, hahaha! I know what you're talking about. I saw that piece. Get out! Ha! It's a symbol, ya know…It's a building with an underground storage vault, and of course it says something on the top. Doesn't the dots on buildings say something on the top?…There's no crop circle."

Q: What would Scientology propose as a solution to the crisis in family court and child protection?

"Like the Hippocratic Oath, it starts, first, 'Do no harm.' We would say, and we have received many reports, and Freedom Magazine ['Investigative reporting in the Public interest'] did a whole story on this. Many reports about families being broken up, on the say-so of psychologists or psychiatrists, and people being forced to take drugs, young people especially. So, it's really an area ripe with abuse. Ripe and rife with abuse. So, we would say, 'Get the psychologists and the psychiatrists out of the system. Ya know, psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate than anybody. The rate reported of sexual abuse by psychotherapists is way over the top. To have these people then be in charge in making decisions just doesn't make sense. There are a lot of people who-ordinary people, trained social workers, for instance-have a better chance of seeing what is actually going on in a family situation than a psychiatrist or psychologist. Years ago, the American Psychological Association put in a brief in a major court case saying that psychology and psychiatry are not able to predict violence. So, why should they be the experts in this situation? Why should they be making the big bucks off childcare and splitting up families? That's really the worst thing about it, that their fraud is preventing workable methods from being applied. Scientology itself, the Church doesn't have a particular program in that area, and only the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights is sometimes involved in situations like this where psychologists and psychiatrists are alleging that they're experts when they're not."

Q: A device used in Scientology called the "E-meter" is said to measure one's spirit, or 'thetan' body. How is the spiritual body measured?

"The spirit is spirit, but the mind has actual physical existence. It's very slight, but it has actual physical existence-it has mass, it has energy, and will effect a meter. It's not a complicated meter, but it's a very sensitive meter. It's a 'Wheatstone bridge', amplified and corrected so that it compensates for the other bits. There are instantaneous changes that take place as a result of mental changes, and you can see those on the meter. And if anybody wanted to see one, they're on the streets here in New York [City]. We have stress tests, because when somebody has stress associated with a subject, it will read on the meter, and we can help them find what's bugging 'em."

Q: What other programs do you have besides self-help to help people get involved in the community?

"This is our 'hidden' agenda: [reading 'The Aims of Scientology'] - 'A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.' It's not just good intentions. You'll see that we're making progress."

Q: Looking at your logo, what do the triangles represent?

"It represents two triangles. Affinity, Reality, and Communication [lower triangle]-the three together make up understanding. It's a basic principle in Scientology. The upper triangle is Knowledge, Responsibility and Control, which similarly all fit together. When you have knowledge of something, then you can control it, and you are also responsible for it. So, those are the two triangles of Scientology. They represent some of the basic wisdom." [The 'S' stands for Scientology.]

Q: What is 'Auditing' exactly?

[From video while on tour of Church:] "One of the fundamental principles of Scientology is that a person can improve his condition only if he is allowed to find his own truths about himself. In Scientology, this is accomplished through 'auditing'. Auditing is the process of asking specifically worded questions designed to help you find and handle areas of distress. This is done with an Auditor, meaning 'one who listens'. An auditor does not offer solutions or advice. They are trained to listen, and to help you locate those experiences that need to be addressed. But some experiences are so deeply embedded within the mind, they are not easily recalled. The auditor helps you pinpoint these with the aid of an E-meter. When you think of something that has upset or stress connected to it, this shows up on the meter. Your attention can now be directed to that thought. With each auditing session, things that are holding you back in life are located and handled, replaced with greater happiness and sanity. Do you recall a day when you were younger, when you awoke to find bright due sparkling on the grass, the leaves? To find the golden sun, bright, upon a happy world? Do you recall how beautiful and fine it once was? What if life could be that fine again? With auditing, it can be."

Q: What does it mean to be called a 'Clear'?

"A 'Clear' is a person without a 'reactive mind'."

Q: What is the Purification Program?

"This is a program that gets toxins out of the body. It's a multi mega vitamin regimin, including high doses of Niacin, and a lot of other vitamins to balance them. It seems to mobilize the toxins when they're stored in the fatty tissues of the body. Then they get out and they get in the blood and then the person sweats for two to five hours a day every day when they exercise. If you have questions about workability, I'll tell you that about 700 firefighters and first responders have gone through the program, and they all say that it saved their life. There's some back and forth about it, naturally, because this flies directly into the face of a multibillion-dollar industry of maintaining sickness. Every day you read about people dying from what they absorbed from the World Trade Center. We do this program here [at the Church] so people can progress spiritually. The program downtown, separate from the Church, is the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Program, so that the firefighters and the policemen who were down at Ground Zero can live normal lives. It's more medical down there where it's supervised, and there's been medical research and so forth done."

Q: What is Narconon?

"We have the world's largest anti-drug program to keep people off drugs. We have a huge and very, very effective network that can get people off drugs-once they are on drugs if they wanna get off-a program that has, per government studies, one in Spain and one in Sweden, that has a success rate between 70- 80%, which is just huge. But it's that good. There are now two hundred centers and groups around the world. This [Church] is a large training facility for Narconon which has 75% success rate, way high, way high. In fact, when I talk to people who are in this industry, you give them the government reports from the other countries, and that's all they need."

Q: What's your advice for those diagnosed with severe mental illness?

"To really deal with people who are out of touch with reality, and really can't cope to that degree, you need a whole facility. There's a lot that can be done for people who are really having difficulty coping, but you need a place. We found generally, that if people out of control, say 'crazy', generally have something physically wrong with them. The first thing you need to do is get them some rest-they need to sleep because they get to a point where they don't sleep. And they don't eat. Get good nutrition, get some sleep, and then, there has to be a safe place for them to be. You can't just have them running out into traffic. That's not going to work. That requires a whole bunch of arrangements. What are you going to do with people who are likely to hurt themselves? As it is now, there aren't any places that are really asylums. Ya know, an 'asylum' is a place where you're supposed to be able to go to be safe. A mental institution certainly isn't a place like that. Then you would need to get a searching medical exam…Every once in a while we have somebody that we need to help, and we find that person has some undiagnosed disease or some broken bone that's caused pain for years and years, and they are just suppressing the pain. Or, thyroid problems, all sorts of things. You don't find it right off. Necessary X-rays, necessary blood tests, you need to find something physically wrong-not a chemical imbalance in the brain, but something physically wrong…But, we're not set up to deal with that. We don't have a place to do that."

Audio clips

Audio clips from The Informed Constituent July 30, 2007 interview with John Carmichael, the President of the New York Church of Scientology.

  • Voice 1 - Kimberly Feliciano
  • Voice 2 - John Carmichael
  • Voice 3 - Ray Feliciano

The publishing of this interview is for informative purposes only, and does not represent an endorsement of Scientology by the FBA or TIC. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinion or endorsement of the TIC staff.