Patron with Honors
The Village Voice has obtained an audiotape secretly recorded in December 2009 at a meeting between Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis and a man named Shane Clark. The purpose of the meeting: Clark was facing the prospect of being declared a "suppressive person" by the Church of Scientology, carrying with it the prospect of Clark being "disconnected" by his entire family, who are all Scientologists.
Just a year earlier, in May, 2008, Davis had appeared on CNN and claimed that the policy of "disconnection" does not exist. But in the audiotape he speaks openly about it, saying at one point, "It is what works. It is what safeguards the church."
Since that meeting, Clark, 30, has indeed been "declared" by the church, and his family -- his parents, his brother and his sister -- have all disconnected from him, cutting him out of their lives entirely.
Clark's crime? He was employed by a man named Marc Headley, a former Scientologist who defected in 2005 and subsequently became an outspoken critic of the organization.