IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY, STATE OF FLORIDA
GENERAL CIVIL DIVISION
ESTATE OF LISA MCPHERSON, by and through the Personal Representative, DELL LIEBREICH,
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FLAG SERVICE ORGANIZATION, JANIS JOHNSON, ALAIN KARTUZINSKI, and DAVID HOUGHTON, D.D.S.,
AND RELATED COUNTERCLAIMS.
Case No. 00‑5682‑CI‑11
AFFIDAVIT OF BENNETTA SLAUGHTER
I, Bennetta Slaughter, being first duly sworn, hereby depose and say:
1. I am over the age of 18. I make the following statements of my own personal knowledge, and if called to testify as to these matters, I could and would do so competently.
2. I first met Lisa McPherson in 1985 at the Church of Scientology in Dallas. We were both pursuing training in our religion's scriptures. Lisa was my very dear friend, factually more like family than a friend to me. Additionally over the ten years I knew Lisa she also worked for me at three different companies. When I met Lisa she was
already a member of the Church and had been for some time. She also worked for the Church part time and her chosen position was the dissemination of information about our religion to others, seeking new members.
3. Lisa and I became very close rapidly, finding in each other that magical quality of kindred spirits and kinship that most people search for and never find in their lives. We shared our hopes and dreams, helped each other in good times and bad and saw each other practically every day. We did training together at the Church, worked on church community projects together, spent holidays and birthdays together as well as sharing our close personal relationship.
4. Lisa was loved by and spent much time with both my mother and my father, was extraordinary friends with my sister‑in‑law and my brother, was the godmother to my youngest daughter and was a close friend and confidante to my older adopted daughter. She spent time with my children, nurturing them and helping them through their childhood and teenage woes. She participated in their religious instruction and participated in helping them to practice their religion. She gave my youngest daughter basic Scientology counseling and ethics assistance.
5. Lisa's mother told me that I took such good care of Lisa that I was more her mother than she was. Lisa listed me as "next of kin" in her admission papers to Morton Plant Hospital. On another Morton Plant form I was the only person Lisa identified to be contacted in case of an emergency.
6. Lisa was very dedicated to her religion both in practicing it herself and in
the use and application of its social reform programs. She gave freely and joyously of her time, energy and finances to see that the aims of her church were realized. She pursued courses and auditing with vigor and enthusiasm. Lisa credited her religion with saving her life both physically and spiritually. Prior to becoming a Scientologist she used drugs and alcohol and tended to pursue abusive relationships. She shared with me that her life prior to Scientology was fraught with trauma, abuse, degradation and depression. In fact, her first husband was killed in a drug‑related fight and she has stated to me that but for the miracles of Scientology she considered she would have been no better off.
7. Lisa loved her church and was instrumental in our company's move from Dallas, Texas to Clearwater. She wanted to be close to the Flag Service Organization so that she could pursue the higher religious services offered at this church. She wanted the same thing for her friends as it was important to her that her friends were active in the church. Lisa was consistently highly active in the pursuit of either Scientology counseling or training. In fact, in the entire time I knew Lisa there were very few days that she wasn't involved in one or the other.
8. She devoted much of her time to a committee, which helped other Scientologists take their next service in the church and was proud of her accomplishments in that regard. She was also an active member of the Citizen's Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which has as its mission cleaning up the field of mental health by exposing and handling psychiatric abuses and practices. She spearheaded an initiative among our employees whereby they could have their
contributions to CCHR deducted from their payroll. Lisa donated to CCHR via this method every pay period.
9. Lisa was active in the propagation of our religion, taking great pride in introducing new people to it. She was constantly introducing people to our religion, whether clients, acquaintances and even strangers. She was always the first to offer help or assistance in applying the principles and practices of our religion to the betterment of both friends and strangers. Once she helped a man who had gotten into a minor accident, by giving him a Scientology assist. They got into a long conversation and she introduced him to Scientology. He was not from this area but later made a special trip back just because he wanted to know more and have Lisa show him around Flag.
10. Lisa was anti‑psychiatry, anti‑medicine, and anti‑medical treatment. The only medical doctor I know that Lisa saw in the last several years of her life was a gynecologist and it was not for the purpose of curing an infirmity.
11. Lisa had every reason to believe that her friends in the Church were the only ones who would understand and have the integrity and understanding to respect her wishes, which she memorialized by her signature when she signed out "Against Medical Advice" from Morton Plant Hospital; and thus not return her to the hospital no matter what the circumstances. I am not guessing or speculating as to Lisa McPherson's wishes and intentions. I lived and worked and participated in our religion with her for a decade prior to her passing. Lisa's beliefs and intentions were not murky or gray ‑she expressed them proudly and overtly.
12. Psychiatric treatment is anathema to my religious beliefs. It can cause spiritual harm that carries beyond a single lifetime. We do not believe "mental illness" exists. It is a psychiatric creation designed to justify the field of medicine encroaching on the field of religion in denial of the spirit.
13. If I were severely troubled by a spiritual condition, such as a psychotic state, I would put my life into the hands of my Case Supervisor and trust he would apply only Scientology to bring me out of that condition. If I began a Scientology Rundown, such as the Introspection Rundown or any other Scientology procedure, I would fully trust my C/S to see me through that to completion, no matter the circumstances. There are three fundamental laws in Scientology that virtually any Scientologist at any level of training or auditing understands ‑ a) "what turns it on, turns it off'; b) "get the pc through it"; and c) "the way out is the way through." That means once you begin a Scientology process of any kind on a parishioner, regardless of the emotional or even physical difficulties that parishioner may encounter, a Scientologist is bound to not stop in the middle of something that may be difficult to confront, but to complete the process and permanently resolve the situation or condition. The very essence of Scientology's religious procedures are to help an individual to fully confront incidents that have caused great physical and emotional distress and once they are fully viewed for what they are, all discomforts and disabilities, both spiritual and physical, that accompany such incidents vanish ‑ including their subconscious lingering effects that otherwise make persons less active, able, and spiritually aware. In my religion, it is expected, and common, for
physical somatics, aches, pains, and severe emotional distress to manifest themselves when one addresses spiritual travail. I have many times re‑experienced incidents wherein I literally felt I was dying. In each instance my auditor guided me through the Scientology process to the end result of vanished travail and resurgent and increased perceptions, intelligence and spiritual well being.
14. I know that Lisa felt the same way about these matters as I have just described. She was vehemently opposed to psychiatry and also opposed to using medicine or physicians. She was dedicated to using Scientology in her life to resolve any problem ‑ spiritual or physical in nature.
15. Lisa also donated a major part of her income to Church efforts. She felt it was necessary and proper to do so for the betterment of herself and for the advancement of the goals of the Church and her own future ‑ in this life and in lifetimes to come. I feel the same way. I have made very substantial donations to my Church to further my own religious goals and practices, and to help to establish Flag and the International religious activities Flag supports. Both of these purposes are extremely important to me, and it is most upsetting that my donations could be used for purposes different than that for which they were voluntarily given.
16. Lisa would be horrified at what is being done in her name by her aunt, from whom she was estranged. Lisa worked to improve conditions of those she lived with and loved utilizing the abilities she gained through the pursuit and practice of her religion. She would never condone the use of her name, or her death to attack her religion, her
fellow parishioners, or Church staff. She never expressed anything but love and gratitude to the staff members of the church. She would be appalled that they were being attacked
for helping her in her time of travail.
I declare under the penalties of perjury of the laws of the State of Florida and the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct.
STATE OF MISSOURI
COUNTY OF ST. LOUIS )
The foregoing instrument was sworn to and subscribed before me this 18th day of November 2002 by Bennetta Slaughter, who is personally known to me or who has driver's license as identification.
Notary Public ‑ Notary Seal
STATE OF MISSOURI
St. Louis County
My Commission Expires: April 18, 2004