I recently caused quite a stir in my org when I refused to subject myself to an HCO confessional. Although I was asking to leave staff, I contended that I was not undergoing any justice action, and therefore doing an HCO confessional was inappropriate. [Ref: HCOB – CONFESSIONAL PROCEDURE] In fact, the HCO PL – LEAVING AND LEAVES, which is the policy that dictates that a staff requesting to leave should get a confessional, does not specifically state that it should be an HCO confessional.
The specific point that makes a difference between a regular confessional and an HCO confessional is whether or not the information disclosed is reported to HCO and can be acted on by the Ethics Officer. Normally, divulging the secrets of a confessional would be against point number 22 of the Auditor’s Code. It would also be a violation of the common law called “confessional privilege” and the basic human right against “self-incrimination.” In actuality, making a person answer questions in this nature would be more appropriately called an “interrogation” not a confession. [See “HCO Security Checks”]
I therefore told the C/S and my Auditor (who is a Class VI on OT VII) that I would be happy to do a regular confessional that is governed by the Auditor’s Code, that I would be happy to answer any questions and divulge whatever “secrets” I might have as long as they were protected by the normal privilege afforded such confessions. Indeed, I have nothing to hide.
I didn’t think that that was an unreasonable request. Of course, they had no reality at all on why I was refusing. They kept trying to explain to my how this is just the way that things are done, how it is all about me “coming clean” and then working with the Ethics Officer to “handle” whatever comes up. Their whole approach was that this was just something that I would have to get through if I wanted to continue as a staff member or even as a Scientologist.
Of course, I continued to refuse as was my right. I assumed that if they ultimately had my best interests in mind, they would allow me as the preclear to get what I wanted. However, what I was told instead was that if I refused the HCO confessional that I would be comm ev’ed and most likely get declared.
I was incredulous! I know this is nothing compared to the “group confessionals” that others have been subjected to; however, I was still struck with how crazy things have become in the Church today. It’s sad to see how the help of true Scientology has been degraded into such a betrayal of trust.