On February 16, 2007, 20-year-old Catholic college student Kyle Brennan from Charlottesville, Viriginia, was discovered dead from a gun shot wound to the head in Clearwater, Florida, under highly suspicious circumstances.
Kyle was visiting his Scientologist father Tom Brennan after a trip of two months that had taken him to visit schools in Iowa, relatives in California, and a vacation in Maui. He was on his way home to Charlottesville and to rest up and visit his father in Clearwater.
Tens of millions still believe that Scientology is some weird but harmlesss space alien cult. Far from it. It is one of the most abusive organizations ever to claim religious legitimacy in the US. It maintains an intelligence agency that carried out the largest known infiltration of the US government in Operation Snow White.
Scientology's leading Jewish critic for the last 40 years is Paulette Cooper. She was subject to the horrendous Operation Freakout designed to drive her to permanent psychosis coupled with a frame up for writing bomb threats which the intelligence agency forged on her stationery. They filed 19 lawsuits against her.
This went on for 15 years. You can read Paulette's account of her terrorization here. Her crime was writing the first book by an investigative reporter exposing Scientology abuses, The Scandal of Scientology.
Hubbard wanted to destroy Paulette. He also wanted to silence book publishers. Very few books were published. until the rise of the remarkable student led Anonymous anti-Scientology movement which arose in January 2008 as a revolt among high school and college students against Scientology's suppression of free speech on "their" internets.
The Anonymous anti-Scientology movement is also known as Project Chanoglogy or Chanology for short. It is quite simply the greatest achievement of the Millennial Generation. They have sustained for four years an international and politically cross-ideological alliance of everyone from stone socialists to Tea Partyes and every shade of political ideology in between. They have caused Scientology to implode and have marked the beginning of its end.
It is to be sharply distinguished from the post-Chanology groups that arose in the wake of the arrest of Julian Assange of Wikileaks in the Fall of 2010. These groups are the ones that get an enormous amount of press because they are basically gangs of cyberthugs and cyberfascists.
They represent the leftist politicization of Anonymous. They have simply co-opted and exploited the symbolic capital created by Chanology subjugating it to New and Old Left ideologies.
Journalists, typically, have concocted the false and defamatory meme that Anonymous is a hacktivist collective. It is false because Chanology has from the outset been committed to non-violence and abiding by the law on and off the internet. It has explicitly disavowed DDoSing and hacking and every form of illegal activity on the internet.
As for being a collective. This is rubbish. Anonymous is a herd of cats that self-organizes, has no leaders, and makes decisions by loose consensus. It is no sort of collective. Anonymous has set thousands free of Scientology and made it safe to criticize it. In the Fall of 2008 Paulette wrote that Anonymous had done more in nine months than she had in 15 years.
Had Kyle Brennan lived just a year longer he would have been an anon for he knew first-hand how Scientology had deformed his father.
Thanks to Anonymous there has been a flood of books. Janet Reitman is only the second journalist after Paulette since 1971 to write a book, and her Inside Scientology is an excellent contemporary account.
Paulette is also a survivor of the Holocaust. Only recently has she discovered the remarkable story of her rescue as a new born infant. Tony Ortega has written it up beautifully in the Village Voice.
Nancy Many is a Catholic who left the Catholic Church to join Scientology. She was an assistant to Hubbard himself, was thrown into a Scientology punishment camp five months pregnant. Scientology's intelligence agency interrogated her for three weeks and drove her to a psychotic break.
She left Scientology and returned to the Catholic Church and is studying to be a pastoral minister. She is the most outspoken Catholic critic of Scientology in the United States. Her excellent book My Billion Year Contract is essential reading.
Tony Ortega is the major source in the US for Scientology news and welcomes additions to his email list for alerts on his new articles. Just email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scientology's true hatred is most apparent in its War on Psychiatry. It aims at nothing less than the destruction of not only psychiatry but all branches of psychology including for example Catholic pastoral counseling psychology, and all the social service professions, and their replacement with Scientology practices.
Scientology is essentially a form of pseudo-psychotherapy known as auditing. Auditors receive no standard professional training. This core practice which may cost as much as $1,000 an hour.
Scientology views all psychiatrists as Enemies of Humanity whose destruction is an urgent task because Scientologists believe that psychiatry is destroying the human race.
Not only are psychiatrists a target but their patients as well. Kyle Brennan was a psychiatric patient and died because he was targeted by his own father as an Enemy of Scientology in collusion with his auditor, Denise Miscavige Gentile (b. 1960), who is the twin sister of David Miscavige, "ecclesiastical leader" of Scientology.
Miscavige has been exposed by the Tampa Bay Times as a brutal leader given to assaulting his executives and staff. It is Miscavige who decreed in 1986 that every pregnant woman executive and middle level manager must abort her child under threat of punishment. See the Tampa Bay Times, No Kids Allowed.
Kyle was diagnosed with moderate depression in January 2006 and put on the anti-depressant Lexapro. He turned 20 in April. Tom and Victoria Brennan had separated and divorced when Kyle was when Kyle was 12. The separation was amicable and phone calls were frequent.
When Kyle's older brother Sean finished his tour of duty in the US Army, he and Kyle spent an extended period of time in 2005 with Tom when he lived in Lehigh Acres in Florida. The following year he moved to Tampa and then to Clearwater, the Scientology Mecca.
When a Scientologist like Tom is in a close personal relationship with a psychiatric patient like Kyle he is forbidden to undergo auditing sessions and Scientology training. His path to Scientology salvation is blocked.
The only remedy would be for Tom to interfere in Kyle's psychiatric therapy and medication and coerce him in to terminating both.
Just by being a psychiatric patient Kyle was an enemy of Scientology. L. Ron Hubbard decreed that the enemies of Scientology may be "tricked, lied to, sued, and destroyed." Tom did just that to Kyle.
In August 2006 he lured Kyle to take a semester off and live with him in Clearwater and offered him a job at $10/hour. It was a trick. There was no job. Tom lured him to Clearwater with the sole purpose of "handling" him as the Scientology term has it. It means reducing opposition to Scientology and its doctrines to zero by whatever means necessary.
He told Kyle that his mother Victoria Britton was killing him with psychiatrists and psychatric medications. He trashed Kyle's desire for education saying all he needed was Scientology.
Kyle resisted. And he resisted from his deepest motivation as a Catholic for his greatest hero was St. Michael the Archangel ,who leads the angels and forces of good against Satan and his evil spirits who propagate evil through spiritually destructive organizations like Scientology.
Kyle was a prolific artist and talented artist and did this lovely drawing of St. Michael pwning Satan.
The Catholic Church has made it unmistakably clear the dangers Scientology poses to Catholic families. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the present head of the powerful Congregation of Bishops made three statements about Scientology when he was the leader of Canadian Catholics. He is frequently mentioned as a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.
Archbishop Robert Rivas denounced Scientology invasion of the island of St. Lucia in his Easter homily in 2010.
One of the tragedies of the death of Kyle Brennan is the neglect of the Catholic Church to include catechesis on the dangers of cults and particularly Scientology in in its education programs for Catholic children and their parents.
Had it been part of his formation as a Catholic he would not have underestimated the viciousness of Scientology and would probably be alive today.
Had his mother and his brothers been educated they never would had let Kyle go to Clearwater in August 2006. In fact, they would not have let Kyle anywhere near Clearwater under almost any circumstances.
Kyle resisted the evil of Scientology imposed on him by Tom Brennan and his auditor Denise Miscavige Gentile. When Tom attempted to "handle" him he vehemently resisted and told him only an idiot would believe in Hubbard. Later Tom threatened him with physical violence, and Kyle fled home in terror.
Tom's attempt to "handle" Kyle was a despicable act of parental abuse, and it left a deep psychic wound. Kyle had being doing fine on his Lexapro and therapy with his psychiatrist for 8 months. Now it addition to his moderate depression he bore the burden of profound parental betrayal and post-traumatic stress.
Kyle began his last days when he arrived in Clearwater on Feb 7, 2007. He died nine days later on the night of Friday, Feb 16, found shot in the head with a bullet from his father's .357 Magnum.
The police didn't find the bullet. There were no fingerprints anywhere. There was no suicide note. Three notes were found. None of them are in Kyle's handwriting.
There are many other such evidences that suggest that Kyle did not commit suicide, but was the victim of a homicide in which were involved at minimum, Tom, Denise, and her husband Jerry.
The detective despite all this declared Kyle's death a run of the mill adolescent suicide with no possibility of homicide. He went on to write a report in which he deliberately falsified Kyle's diagnosis from moderate depression to paranoid schizophrenia.
He falsified the reports of every person Kyle interacted with on his two-month journey to support this falsified diagnosis. All of this to support the thesis that Kyle was crazy and Scientology bore no role in his death. In short, the probable homicide was covered up.
Victoria Britton filed a wrongful death suit which is now on appeal and will be heard in Atlanta over the coming months. The history of the case is complex, and I refer the reader to the excellent article on the appeal by the superb Jonny Jacobsen at Infinite Complacency.
His last week in Clearwater Tom and Denise attempted to "handle" Kyle to stop him taking his Lexapro on no fewer the four occasions. Kyle resisted them all. On the day before his death Tom seized his medication and locked it in the trunk of his car. The next night he was found shot through the head.
In Catholic tradition those are considered to be saints who die as martyrs for the faith like the seven Cistercian monks of Tibhirine in Algeria, whose story is told in the beautiful film Of Gods and Men.
This young man was by all measures a martyr and because a martyr, a saint. In the final days of his sufferings and passion he descended into the abyss of dark powers, like Jesus alone, cut off, and accompanied at an aching distance by a sorrowing mother.
Illumined by the power and beauty of St. Michael’s Church in Bamberg Kyle said of another totalitarian regime:
Kyle didn’t stay silent. He spoke up. What kind of people indeed would send a young man such as this to his death?
Kyle’s mother Victoria Britton has created a moving site in memory of Kyle. You can read stories about him and see his pictures. This is my favorite. His friend Katie Rudd remembers him as “a sweet-faced boy with a shy smile.”
Kyle’s favorite hymn was the Ave Maria as set by the Austrian Catholic composer Frantz Schubert. “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”
This is the prayer our Catholic mothers and fathers taught us as children. It is in the heart, mind, soul, and affections of every Catholic. Every Catholic composer wants to compose an Ave Maria before he dies. It is the prayer we say most often in our need, which is like always.
In memory of Kyle and for his mom Victoria I am posting this video of Celine Dion singing the Ave Maria. I like Celine’s version best of all because first, I totally love Celine.
Second, Kyle was part French Canadian because his maternal grandmother is from Montreal.
Third, Celine Dion is a French-Canadian Catholic from Quebec where David Love and Anonymous are pwning Narconon and where Cardinal Ouellet made his momentous statements warning Catholics about Scientology.
The hymn is mainly known in its Latin version. However, the original text Frantz Schubert set was a prayer to Mary by Walter Scott.
Here Celine sings a version with part of the Latin Ave Maria and verses from Scott. You can read background and full texts. here. I have placed Celine’s lyrics below the video.
Warning: Your monitor may go blurry watching this video.
Oh, listen to a maiden’s prayer
For thou canst hear amid the wild.
T’is thou, t’is thou canst save amid despair.
We slumber safely till the morrow,
Though we’ve by man outcast reviled,
Oh, maiden, see a maiden’s sorrow,
Oh, mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria, gratia plena!
Maria, gratia plena,
Maria, gratia plena,
Ave, Ave!!! Dominus, Dominus tecum.
The murky cavern’s air so heavy
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled
Oh, maiden, hear a maiden pleading!
Oh, mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria, Ave Maria!
Hail Mary! The Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
And blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now at at the hour of our death.
Victoria Britton is engaged in a difficult legal legal struggle with the wrongful death suit she has filed since there are so few lawyers willing to take cases involving the Church of Scientology.
Please keep her in your prayers. You can find her contact information here to let her know of your support and that you are praying for her.
By the prayers of the Mother of God, St. Michael and the Angelic Warriors, and all the saints of heaven may justice be done for God's beloved son, Kyle Brennan.