Mission - Elmira, NY 1970s-80s

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by Samuel Hughes, Jan 4, 2009.

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  1. Samuel Hughes

    Samuel Hughes New Member

    Here's an article done by the local paper on Harry Palmer's mission in Elmira, NY (after losing a court case about using Scientology trademarks, he created the company "Star's Edge" to squirrel and re-brand everything as the "Avatar Course" in the late 80s) ...


    Has anyone had any experience with the Elmira Mission or Harry Palmer during those years? A friend of mine is doing some research for a writing project and any testimonials, eye-witnesses, inside information, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
  2. The Clam

    The Clam Patron with Honors

    I worked around Elmira in 1979 for a few months. Didn't do any courses but did a seminar and hung around the mission. That was the time Harry Palmer disconnecting from the COS. The main thing I noticed about the mission was the staff devotion to Palmer. Harry had this guru mock up going on. Remember a few of the staff and public.
  3. DonkeyOT

    DonkeyOT Patron

    Elmira, H Palmer, Avatar

    I did the "avatar" course in Feb 1987. At that time, I believe, it was only a couple of months old.

    As I recall, Harry had broken with scn a couple of years earlier.

    Harry was certainly the "guru" and had a small group of dedicated followers.

    Some of the names I recall: Avra (his wife), Mica (last name?), Susie Sweetland, and Margerie Hoffman whom I had a crush on and who had a falling out with Harry and the group. This information is 20 years old.

  4. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill

    I thought the Elmira mission was the Hobel family. Used to know them.
  5. Samuel Hughes

    Samuel Hughes New Member

    Maybe ...

    Research shows that the mission may have existed in some form before Harry was officially the mission-holder. The early 70s are all sketchy ...

    Someone alse said that Palmer used to give lectures in Scientology circles ... anyone know anything about that?

    A recent claim of his to explain away his Scientology roots was that he was just "dabbling" in Scientology and he only had his name as missionholder because among his friends he was the one chosen. How serious did you have to be to have your own mission? Was it democratic with a real board of directors, or was it a sole authority thing?
  6. dexter gelfand

    dexter gelfand Patron Meritorious

    Hobel and Elmira

    I believe we already spoke about my opening a Scn mission in Elmira expressly to legally shut down Harry Palmer's group, which was doing some very offbeat things that were not from Scientology tech.

    As an aside, "Star's Edge" is a reference from Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, a great Science Fiction work (Much like Palmer's claims to be practicing Scientology:eyeroll: )

    Another aside- I knew Gene Hobel, he was a friend. His mission was entirely separate from Palmer's operation.

  7. exseaorgclocmoflagetc

    exseaorgclocmoflagetc Patron with Honors

    to Samuel Hughes: as a kid being drug around by abusive parents, the primary mission holders, I was pulled to Elmira Mission in the 80's. My parents had just gotten a big windfall of money....and spent it all on that mission......meanwhile I did not have proper shoes and they had holes with a rubber band keeping the soles attached in winter time/zero degrees. An INT guy stepped in and ordered them to buy me shoes...they mocked him and said yes, then they went out and found a $2 pair of junk shoes to satify INT. I think the real reason Dex was sent away from the mission is that he was abusing and neglect some of his kids, so much so that someone called child protective services(considered a big "PR flap", no concern for the kids of course)......the child lied to the investigator and they went untouched and free. and went on to other orgs as good scientologist and high class auditors shelling out life advice and how to life your life.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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