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>> Statement: [Page 172]

David Mayo was sent to the RPF.

He was made to run around a pole in the searing desert heat for twelve hours a day, until his teeth fell out.

>> True Information: This false allegation strains credulity of Lawrence Wright's most ardent media supporters. One reviewer remarked about his “sceptical antennas start to twitch. Wright asserts that someone was punished by being ‘made to run around a pole in the desert for 12 hours a day, until his teeth fell out.’ Really? That’s the first thing that happens when you run in circles in the desert all day? I need to know more. How many days are we talking about? Did they let him floss?” (“Eyes Wide Shut ‘Going Clear,’ Lawrence Wright’s Book on Scientology,” by Michael Kinsley, The New York Times, January 17, 2013)

While his reviewer otherwise desplayed his religious intolerance, he at least could see this was another story Mr. Wright copied from earlier publications and relayed as though it were true without the slightest investigation.

The program in question is called the Cause Resurgence Rundown. It comes from L. Ron Hubbard’s research and is designed to improve a person’s abilities to translate thoughts into action.  It is a purely spiritual practice, not punishment.  And while it involves running, the Cause Resurgence Rundown is approached on a gradient (walking, then jog-walking and graduating to running when physically capable). According to eye witnesses in the 1980s, when this individual was doing this spiritual program, he spent a good portion of the time resting in the shade.

One would think the source for this allegation would have been the person himself, if he had claimed this, since an old interview of Mr. Mayo is also cited elsewhere in the book. Yet, that is not the source for this statement.

Instead, Mr. Wright relies on an interview with Bent Corydon, an anti-Scientologist and apostate, who published his own unauthorized biography of L. Ron Hubbard after Mr. Hubbard’s passing. Mr. Corydon has never been on the Church property where this is alleged to have occured and had no personal knowledge of anything that did or did not happen to David Mayo. Where Bent Corydon got his information is not said, however, nearly identical language comes from an Internet rendition of this allegation on an anti-Scientology message board.

The story is false.

This is another instance of Lawrence Wright avoiding direct evidence and relying on incredible allegations from the fringes of the Internet, even though the Church offered fifteen times to fact check the allegations he was relying on.