Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Appellate judges fail to do justice for Kyle Brennan

Jonny Jacobsen at Infinite Complacency reports that the appellate judges meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 14 have announced denial of the appeal in Kyle Brennan vs The Church of Scientology a mere two business days after they heard the oral arguments. 

After full review and oral argument, we conclude that... [Lirot] has demonstrated no reversible error in the district court’s order,  said the court. Case dismissed.
Scientology spokeswoman Pat Harney told The Tampa Bay TimesThe ruling of the U. S. District Court in Tampa and the rapid affirmation of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta both confirm what we have said from the beginning — the evidence is overwhelming that the Brennan lawsuit never had any factual or legal basis.
Leaving aside the preliminary details identifying the case, the actual ruling ran to just five lines.
In a response to the ruling, Lirot expressed his frustration that the court had not troubled itself to explain where his arguments had fallen down.
What an incredible disappointment! he wrote.
 We will get no further explanation, no comment, and no articulation of where the arguments I made were inaccurate, insufficient, or wrong.
 I despise those situations where a Court rules against me, but does not articulate any basis to support their decision.
 It does not happen often, but this is clearly the worst example of that hollow practice.
 We can go to the Supreme Court, but that is the equivalent of a lottery ticket, since they take less than 3% of the petitions filed with them.
 A sad day for American justice, or the lack thereof.

Read the whole thing. 

The rotten foundation of the decision of Judge Merryday to dismiss the case, which has now been affirmed by the appellate judges, is the travesty of the investigation into Kyle's death by Clearwater Police Detective Stephen Bohling with his cover up and massive lying about Kyle's diagnosis and every important aspect of the case.

The affair cries out for an independent investigation and re-opening of the case.

With the end of litigation Victoria Britton is completely free to speak. Once the people of America hear her voice we hope there will be a massive outcry to demand such an investigation that justice may be done and Kyle Brennan vindicated.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scientology’s false portrayal of Victoria Britton and her quest for justice for the death of her son Kyle Brennan

The Church of Scientology has attempted to portray Kyle Brennan’s mother, Victoria Britton, in a very negative light. Here is a grieving mother, they say, who in her blind grief is flailing wildly about. She refuses, they say, to believe that her youngest child—Kyle—committed suicide, and is hell-bent on getting her ex-husband Thomas Brennan charged with a crime.

Kyle Brennan died under highly suspicious circumstances on a visit to his Scientologist father Tom Bternnan in Clearwater, Florida, in February 2007. Kyle died as a 20-year-old Enemy of the Church of Scientology.
In 2009 Victoria Britton filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, Brennan, and his confidant and Scientology celebrity, Denise Miscavige Gentile, the twin sister of brutal Scientology leader David Miscavige.

In the suit the Appelees’ Joint Answer states: “Unsatisfied with the conclusions of the Clearwater Police Department, Victoria Britton complained to the FBI, the Florida Attorney General, the Justice Department and the Pinellas County State Attorney’s office insisting that her Scientologist ex-husband be charged with a crime. As a result, Doug Berry of the State Attorney’s Office for the Sixth Judicial Circuit conducted a review of the Clearwater Police Department’s investigation. He also concluded that Kyle’s death was a suicide with no criminal activity.”

What is clear is that Victoria Britton could not, and still cannot, understand (especially after looking closely at the Florida Statutes) the following: How could a father—after denying his  son access to his much-needed psychotropic medication, and then giving this same son access to a loaded .357 Magnum—not be charged with a crime? What kind of place allows people to do this kind of thing, and then walk away scot-free?

The defendants falsely claim that Victoria Britton has repeatedly stated that her son Kyle was murdered. Not only is this untrue, but it was the defendants themselves who first mentioned—in documents—that homicide was possibly the cause of Kyle’s death. In the Answer and Affirmative Defenses of Defendant Thomas Brennan it states: “Kyle Brennan’s death was either a suicide or homicide constituting an intervening act.” [ Doc: 53,page 3 of 4]

Victoria Britton, in the few conversations she had with Detective Stephen Bohling, only wanted to find out the truth and to make sense of the numerous inconsistencies surrounding the death of her son.

As to the Clearwater Police Department’s investigation, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could think that it was thorough or well-handled. When Officer Jonathan Yuen—the first policeman at the crime scene—was asked, for example, to describe his interview with Thomas Brennan, he stated: “A short, short period of time. Anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes, I would say.” [Exhibit 18, Doc. 123, Page 11, Lines 13–14, Page ID 1817]

When asked whether he had further involvement in the investigation, he answered “No.” Asked if he discussed the matter with Detective Bohling, he said “No.” (Exhibit 18, Doc: 123 page ID 1818 page 15 lines 18-24)

So, in other words, the public is supposed to consider it comprehensive and thorough police work when a responding officer interviews the most important person at the crime scene for only 20 minutes, never returns to the crime scene, simply hands over his report to the detective taking over the investigation—a detective who, it must be said, never visits the crime scene—and then destroys the notes of that first important interview?( Exhibit 1, Doc:119 Page ID 1542 Page 9 lines 23-25 Page 10 line 1) ( Exhibit 1, Doc: 119 Page ID 1579 Page 158 lines 17-23) 

Consider that question along with the following information:
  • ·        Brennan’s .357 Magnum was found near Kyle’s body, but the police never found the bullet that killed Kyle. (Exhibit 18 Doc: 123 Page Id 1826 page 48 lines 1-6)
  • ·        They did not find the box of ammunition for the .357. (Exhibit1 Doc: 123 Page ID 1563 page 93 lines 25 Page 94 lines 1-8)
  • ·        And they did not find Kyle’s laptop—it had been removed from the apartment before they arrived. (Exhibit 1 Doc: 123, Page ID 1547 page 31 lines 11-16)
  • ·        Kyle’s fingerprints were nowhere to be found on over 12 separate pieces of evidence at the scene including the weapon and 10 rounds of ammunition. (CWPR SEC: 1 Doc: 170-1 Page 83)
  • ·        Forensic Investigator Jennifer McCabe and Medical Investigator Marti Scholl arrived at the scene shortly after Yuen. McCabe swapped Kyle’s hands for a Gun Shot Residue (GSR) test to see if Kyle had pulled the trigger on the .357, but Bohling later blocked processing of the GSR, and lied to Kyle’s family telling them that the GSR test had not been done. (Exhibit 1 Doc:119 Page ID 1590 page 202 lines 1-9) 

Without fingerprints, without the bullet, and without a GSR test it is impossible to determine whether Kyle’s death was actually a suicide—and yet a suicide is what it was ruled. Without this important evidence it’s also impossible to determine whether Brennan’s .357 was used to kill Kyle.

This we are supposed to consider a well-run police investigation? This is what passes for thorough police work in the state of Florida?

The defendants’ claim that Victoria Britton complaints to the Justice Department and the FBI were because she was unsatisfied with the conclusions of the Clearwater Police Department in charging Thomas Brennan with a crime have been fabricated by the defendants’ .
The truth is that the complaints were filed because of concern that the investigation of her son’s death was not being investigated properly. 

In the deposition   of Stephen Bohling he stated “There was a call to the Justice Department, and I believe the FBI to follow up on, that, you know basically that I was not doing my job and they believed that the case should be turned over to someone else.  (Exhibit 1 Doc:119 Page ID 1551 Page 45 lines 15-22)

“ I only wanted to find out the truth and to make sense of the inconsistencies surrounding the death of my son. Detective Bohling was not interested.” – Victoria Britton.  (Exhibit 11 Doc: 170-11 Page ID 2711)

Monday, September 10, 2012

A reflection on Kyle Brennan as a young Catholic martyr to Scientology's hatred of psychiatry

The priest at the funeral Mass of Kyle Brennan in Charlottesville, Virginia, proclaimed that he had died as a martyr.

Kyle was a 20-year-old Catholic college student who died under highly suspicious circumstances while visiting his father Tom Brennan in Clearwater. Florida, in February 2007. Brennan had returned to the practice of Scientology in 1998 when he and his wife Victoria had separated. He became a staff member of the Scientology “org” (or church) in West Tampa in 2005.

While there he fell under the influence of a Scientology celebrity in Clearwater, Denise Miscavige Gentile, the twin sister of ruthless Scientology leader David Miscavige. Denise became Brennan’s confidant, close friend, and “auditor” or Scientology psychotherapist.

Late on the night of Friday, February 16, Kyle was discovered dead in the apartment of his father’s apartment in downtown Clearwater near the Fort Harrison Hotel, the advanced training center for Scientologists from all over the world.

Kyle had been shot in the head, and his father’s .357 Magnum was lying near his body. There is no evidence that Kyle committed suicide since there was no suicide note, and Kyle’s fingerprints were found nowhere including the revolver and ammunition found at the scene.

The investigating detective failed to process a Gun Shot Residue test, and so there is no evidence that Kyle pulled the trigger on his father’s weapon.

Despite all this the detective declared Kyle’s death a suicide. So suspicious were the circumstances of Kyle’s death that his mother Victoria Britton filed a wrongful death suit, which is reaching the final stage of appeal before a panel of three federal judges in Jacksonville, Florida, on the morning of Friday, September 14.

Kyle and his family are Catholics. When he was 17 he and Victoria visited the Church of St. Michael in Bamberg, Germany. Victoria’s remarkable account reveals that Kyle had committed himself to fight against evil under the banner of St. Michael and his army of angels who carry on the fight against Satan and all the evils of the world. His commitment would eventually require that he risk and lose his life resisting the evils of the Church of Scientology and in particular its hate-driven war for the “Global Obliteration of Psychiatry.”

In January 2006 Kyle was diagnosed as a mild depressive by his psychiatrist in Charlottesville and put on an anti-depressant. When Brennan discovered in June that Kyle was being treated he deceived Kyle into staying with him in August solely for the purpose of fulfilling the demands of Scientology to interfere with Kyle’s treatment and browbeat him into stopping his psychotherapy and medication.

Brennan became vehement telling Kyle that his mother was killing him with psychotherapy and his anti-depressant and that his psychiatrist would betray him and publish his patient records on the internet.
Kyle resisted strenuously saying that only an idiot would believe in L. Ron Hubbard. Kyle overhead Brennan and his Scientologist girl friend saying that Kyle was “an Enemy of the Church of Scientology.” Brennan later threatened him with physical violence, and Kyle fled back home.

In November after Thanksgiving Kyle set out on a two-month journey to visit schools in Iowa and relatives in California. He decided to visit his father in Clearwater on his way home arriving on February 7, 2007.
Brennan and Denise Miscavige resumed their attacks on Kyle, who once more resisted them.

They attempted to persuade Victoria to put Kyle into Scientology’s Narconon Arrowhead drug rehabilitation facility in Oklahoma. Narconon Arrowhead is a house of death where 4 young people ranging from 24 – 28 have died through medical incompetence in the last three years.

The Narconon rehabilitation facility is based exclusively on Scientology teachings, and Brennan and Miscavige hoped to get him there so he would break all connection with his standard psychiatric care.  Their attempt failed when Victoria resolutely rebuffed them.

They were forced to try other tactics and so resistant was Kyle that Brennan was driven to seizing Kyle’s medication and locking it in the trunk of his car the day before Kyle’s suspicious death.
Things got even more suspicious after Kyle’s death. When Brennan returned Kyle’s belongings to Victoria all documents had been deleted from his laptop as well as everything on his Ipod.

There should have been dozens of documents since Kyle was a prolific writer of short stories and a conscientious student who saved everything he wrote.

Kyle was a shrewd investor in gold coins with which he financed his journey. He had most of them amounting to several thousands of dollars when he arrived in Clearwater. When his belongings were returned all of them were missing.

The investigation of his death by the detective over the next two years was a travesty of police work, and it is clear from court documents that the detective, Brennan, and Denise Miscavige lied repeatedly about nearly every important aspect of Kyle’s case including falsifying the diagnosis of his psychiatrist turning him from a mild depressive into a paranoid schizophrenic.

Victoria Britton filed a wrongful death suit against Brennan, Denise Miscavige, her husband Jerry Gentile, and the organization that runs Scientology in Clearwater. A federal judge dismissed the case in December 2011 on very dubious legal grounds. Among other things he evidently did not study the depositions of the defendants. Had he done so the lies and obstruction of justice by the defendants would have been clear.

The final stage of the appeal will play out in the Federal Appeals Court in Jacksonville, Florida, on the morning of September 14 when a panel of three judges will hear final oral arguments in the appeal. They will make their decision known probably after Thanksgiving. [Update: The judges denied the appeal, but justice for Kyle is being sought on other fronts.]

Kyle became a young Catholic martyr resisting the attacks on him by Scientologists merely for being a mildly depressed college student. Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec and Archbishop Robert Rivas in St. Lucia have warned Catholic families about the dangers Scientology poses to Catholic young people. 

Jesuit Fr. John Coleman has described Scientology as a “totalitarian cult.” Fr. Randy Sly at Catholic Online has reported extensively on Scientology and has been attacked by a Scientology spokesman for reporting the truth as a Catholic journalist.

We invite Catholics and other Christians to be in prayer on the morning of September 14 for Victoria and particularly the judges that they may do justice for Kyle Brennan. Catholics in the Jacksonville area are invited to come to the appeals court at 8:00 am on Friday morning to serve as court watchers to manifest to the judges that the death of this young martyr and justice for him is of profound concern not only to Catholics but to all decent people who hunger and thirst for justice.

Update: Victoria Britton will be breaking her silence and speaking out for the first time on a God Discussion radio show on Friday eveningk February 15, which is the eve of the sixth anniversary of Kyler death.

Our announcement is here. God Discussion's announcement Blind Justice? The Brennan Estate v. Church of Scientology (Friday, February 15) provides detailed information on how to listen in and participate in the chat room during the show. 

Kyle at the Church of St. Michael in Bamberg:

Interior of the Church of St. Michael:

Kyle's drawing of St. Michael:

Related reading:

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kyle Brennan - Anybody's Child

We are re-posting here a beautiful post by former Scientologist Denise Brennan called "Kyle Brennan - Anybody's Child which has been posted on the major Scientology-critical forums. (Why We Protest - WWP, Reaching For The Tipping Point, Divided By Zero, Ex-Scientologist Message Board - ESMB), and Operation Clambake - OCMB)

Denise accurately describes Kyle as "a lovely, innocent and kindly boy, a gentle nerd who would not hurt a fly." She also points out that Scientology does a great deal of damage to non-Scientologists like Kyle and the recent young victims of its drug rehabilitation front group Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma where four young people have died in the last nine months.

She also points out that there is much we do not know and appeals to anyone and particularly former Scientologists to share any information about the case, the Scientologists involved, and Scientology policies and procedures that could help in getting justice for Kyle. 

She outlines many ways the general public can help and concludes -

As a beautiful Anon said in a protest video in 2008: ”It is time for the Church of Scientology to get out of Love’s way”.

Read the whole thing. 

Most people who read this are already going to know something about Kyle Brennan and his horrible death some five years ago at scientology’s “mecca” in Clearwater, Florida.

Kyle, a lovely, innocent and kindly boy, a gentle nerd who would not hurt a fly, died from a gunshot wound to the head on February 16, 2007.

The circumstances surrounding Kyle’s death are highly suspicious.

Kyle Brennan died at least in part due to the beliefs of scientology and scientologists as his medically prescribed medication was hidden from him with demands that he instead do highly dangerous and unscientific scientology “therapy” such as that done in its front group “Narconon”. 

Scientologists are hardly the only ones in danger of being victims of such quackery. The last year has brought the world tragic news of multiple deaths of innocent people who are not even scientologists who were subjected to highly dangerous practices such as those the scientologists were trying to push onto Kyle as delivered in their front group “Narconon”. 

And worse yet, Kyle’s tragic death shows us that the deadly reach of such practices by organized scientology goes even to our children who 1) are not scientologists AND 2) are not even involved with their front groups.

As what happened with Kyle has shown, all someone has to be is in contact with scientologists that believe in and push such practices to lose their very lives. Thus, Kyle Brennan is indeed “anybody’s child”. 

For five years now organized scientology has done everything it can to ensure that the entire truth surrounding Kyle’s untimely death has been suppressed through use of the police, through use of the courts and otherwise.
They have ensured that they have to date thwarted every attempt by his grieving mother Victoria Britton to find out what happened to her son that she loved so dearly.

Let us end this now!

Before I suggest what we can do about this, I would like to announce a new a blog prepared by a lovely person, Justin Ross. The site is called: “Justice for Kyle Brennan”. 

A link to it is here:

This is the most comprehensive site on the subject of what happened to Kyle Brennan, what led up to it and what has happened with respect to it in the past five+ years.

As of this writing, August 29, 2012, you can see two entries on the blog by Justin. The most current entry logged tonight is an amazing read, a write-up really helping to educate anyone to understand what happened.

The other write-up from a few days ago gives some information about a hearing on the matter in Florida on September 14, 2012.

Very important is the sidebar of links found on this blog. In the event some people do not read the main posting on this blog, I wanted to quote the sidebar that gives these important links:

Documents in the case of Kyle Brennan vs the Church of Scientology have been collected at a Scribd collection of Scientology lawsuits:

Among the most important documents is the Chronology of Victoria Britton, which she compiled from her notes as events unfolded – which can be found at:

Detective Bohling's investigative report (found at: ) is the basis of the Scientology defense and raises important questions of the adequacy of his detective work. In his deposition (which can be found at: ) he admits among other things that he falsified information about Kyle's diagnosis.

The depositions of the Scientology defendants Tom Brennan (found at: ) and Denise Miscavige Gentile (found at: ) contain conflicting alibis and many contradictions in testimony.

Seasoned Flag Organization staff member Lance Marcor has laid out in detail how Scientology ideological demands affected the handling and death of Kyle Brennan as an Enemy of Scientology in the Second Declaration of Lance Marcor. ( found at: )

The history of litigation is complex. Jonny Jacobsen at Infinite Complacency provides an excellent summary. (found at: )

If our police, courts and other government officials will not stand up to scientology on this matter and if scientologists who know the truth refuse to tell it, then let it be us that take a stand and make a difference despite them.

Kyle’s mother Victoria Britten has more than once told me that this is about her beautiful boy and not her. It is about a boy who lost his life, who was innocent and who lost everything that a future he deserved to live would have given him. 

And while I weep with her at her almost unbearable loss, to me it is ALSO about a mother fighting for five years to find out what happened to her child. There is NO closure to be had when scientology and scientologists concerned have done everything in their power to hide the truth from Victoria in the name of their barbaric version of “the greatest good”.

And, without the full truth known Kyle will have died in vain and there will be more of our children similarly lost.

Victoria wants to tell every mother in America and elsewhere what happened here. 

If our governments will not stand up to them than let it be us mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters and all others of good heart take to a stand.

Victoria knows more than anyone on earth about the hearings on this matter over the past five years. Did you know that no media have had Victoria on to tell us what she knows and the results of her exhaustive studies into court filings, police reports, depositions and the like? 

But how can those of us who want to help Victoria help her to do this? And what else might we of little financial or time resources do to make a difference? 

I can think of a few things offhand and write them here to perhaps help get the ball rolling.

No one is my or anyone else’s personal army but I ask that all concerned look at the examples below and see if you can find it in your heart to help in one or more ways or perhaps in some other way that I have not listed. 

(1) One very simply thing is to just familiarize yourself with as much as you can on the attached blog or that information contained in links found on that blog. Be better educated about it and then perhaps talk with friends and family about this. If we do nothing else, at least let us let someone else know about this so that their child is not the next to fall prey to scientology’s dangerous practices and greed. Send anyone interested to know more to that blog for information. Once again the link is:

(2) Keep this alive. Post about Kyle in forums and blogs when you can. Post in comment sections in relevant articles, press, blogs or anywhere else giving links to this blog or any parts that interest you the most.

(3) See this link on the blog giving the time, place and date of the brief oral arguments happening on Sept 14, 2012 in Florida. If you can make it to show your support please do so. Let press or others you know who might be interested know about this as they may wish to attend. Link =

(4) Kyle’s mother Victoria is going to need financial help in order to continue fighting for the truth. There are many legal expenses (even things like costs of transcripts, flights, hotel, meals). And no matter what happens with legal, the fight to get to the truth will go on. We need, for example, to set up Victoria with proper hardware and software in order to be recorded for radio or TV, to do scans, to make copies and to do anything else needed to fight the good fight. In times past there were not public enough requests for help financially as almost none was given. 

Well there are two ways to send her money if you are able and willing to do so, no matter how small:

(a) If you are comfortable with PayPal, her email is :

(b) If you would prefer to send a check, cash or money order, her snail mail address is:

Victoria Britton
c/o Friends of Kyle Brennan
3144 Ridgefield Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22911-7205

(5) This is a special appeal to all public and staff as well as former public and staff who were there in 2007 and who know any details of what happened to Kyle and/or the cover-up of same to please speak out and tell what happened. This includes EX ethics officers at Flag, tech staff at Flag, OSA even up to Mike Rinder who may have been over OSA at the time. For the sake of those this could happen to in the future, for Kyle, for the peace of mind of a grieving mother, for the sake of justice or just for honor’s sake tell what happened. Victoria’s email is above. You can email her directly if you don’t want to go public. But for God’s sake, please tell the truth.

It should not matter if you are a corporate scientologist who would like to right a wrong, an Indee, an Ex or anyone else. On this matter all of us should be joined at the heart and not have any other agenda but that of truth and justice here.

(6) If you have any contacts with internet media, radio, TV, press, you name it, tell them of this story. Give them a link to the blog and ask them to interview Victoria. With some quick financial help we could have Victoria ready for interviews in days. She has not been able to tell her story to date. Let’s change that. This is a link to some of her own research that might interest concerned media:

I am very sorry for the length of this post. Plus I do not wish to say that anyone must do any or all of the above. But if you want to help, the above are some simple ways to do so.

For Kyle, for a Mother’s love and for great justice!

As a beautiful Anon said in a protest video in 2008: ”It is time for the Church of Scientology to get out of Love’s way”.

Thank you for listening.

Denise Brennan

Friday, September 7, 2012

Kyle Brennan: Names of judges on the Appeals Court panel announced

The Federal Appeals Court in Jacksonville, Florida, has announced the names of the three judges deciding the appeal in the wrongful-death suit of 20-year-old Kyle Brennan, who died under highly suspicious circumstances on the night of Friday, February 16, 2007. They are judges Frank M. Hull of Atlanta, Stanley Marcus of Miami, and Emmett Cox of Mobile. Biographical information is found below.

Judge Frank Hull is a woman, despite her first name. She and Judge Stanley Marcus were appointed by President Clinton, and Judge Emmett Cox by President Reagan. Judges Frank and Marcus were on the Appeals Court panel that struck down the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Judge Hull joined Chief Judge Joel Dubina in writing the opinion and Judge Marcus wrote a dissent.

It would be a travesty of justice for the judges not to grant the appeal. On the basis on the defective police work of Detective Stephen Bohling alone Judge Merryday never should have ordered the Scientology defendants’ motion for summary judgment early last December.
Bohling falsified Kyle’s diagnosis from his psychiatrist Dr. Stephen McNamara, whom he had diagnosed as only mildly depressed.  In his lie-filled investigative report Bohling wrote falsely, “The Doctor confirmed that Kyle Brennan had been exhibiting early signs of Schizophrenia in include paranoia and delusions and that he did prescribe Lexipro [sic] to Brennan.” In his deposition McNamara says that he never talked to anyone in Clearwater.

Oral arguments in the case will be heard in Federal Appeals Court in Jacksonville, Florida, on the morning of Friday, September 14. For further details see our post Kyle Brennan vs the Church of Scientology: Oral arguments in Jacksonville, September 14.

Here is further background information on the judges:

Emmett Ripley Cox:
Born 1935, nominated by President Reagan in 1981 as judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. Acquired senior status in 2000. Spent entire pre-judicial career as a private practice attorney. Wikpedia bioJudgepedia bio

Frank M. Hull:
Despite her first name, Judge Hull is a woman. Born 1948 in Augusta, GA, appointed by President Clinton in 1994 as judge of the US District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. President Clinton nominated her to the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in 1997. Judgepedia bio. Before her judicial career she was in private practice in Atlanta, 1974-1984.
Judge Hull and Judge Stanley Marcus were members of the three-judge 11th Circuit appeals panel that questioned the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The other member was Chief Judge Joel Dubina, appointed by President George H. W. Bush.

In their opinion on the 2-1 decision, Hull and Dubina rejected the individual mandate of the legislation allowing that the rest of the law could remain in effect.  Judge Stanley Marcus disagreed in a dissent. Talking Points Memo has a good article on political background and judicial philosophy of the judges.

Stanley Marcus:
Born 1946 in NY. Joined the 11th Circuit US Appeals Court in 1997 after being nominated by President Clinton. Previously served as judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida after being nominated by President Reagan in 1985.
Marcus served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the United States Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York from 1975 to 1978 before serving as the Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force for the U.S. Department of Justice based in Detroit, Michigan from 1978 to 1979. Marcus was the Chief of the Strike Force from 1980 to 1982 before being nominated by President Ronald Reagan to serve as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida from 1982 to 1985. Judegepedia bio.
As noted above Marcus dissented from the opinion of Judge Hull and Chief Judge Dubina in striking down the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dr. Stephen McNamara on Scientologists' interference with Kyle Brennan's treatment

Scientology's attempt to interfere with the medication of 20-year-old Kyle Brennan led to his death as an Enemy of Scientology in the apartment of his Scientologist father and Scientology staff worker Tom Brennan in Clearwater, Florida, on the night of Friday, February 16, 2007.

Kyle was gentle and talented young artist and writer in his sophomore year of college, who suffered from mild depression and was under under the care of psychiatrist Dr. Stephen McNamara in his home town of Charlottesville, Virginia. 

When Brennan discovered this he tried for seven months to interfere with Kyle's anti-depressant treatment driven by the demands of Scientology's violent hatred of psychiatry and the mental health professions and aided by his "auditor", or Scientology therapist, Denise Miscavige, the twin sister of Scientology leader, David Miscavige

Kyle resisted every attempt, including during the last nine days of his life while he was visiting his father. Five days before his death Tom Brennan and Denise Misavige attempted to convince Kyle's mother Victoria Britton to agree to putting Kyle in Scientology's Narconon Arrowhead drug rehabilitation facility in Oklahoma, but she staunchly rebuffed them. 

Since Kyle's death five people have died at Narconon Arrowhead, four of them young people under the age of 30. The most recent is 20-year-old Stacy Murphy, who died on July 19.

Brennan finally resorted to seizing Kyle's anti-depressant and locking it in the trunk of his car the day before his death or perhaps a day before. 

In the wrongful death-lawsuit filed by Victoria Britton in 2009 , Dr. McNamara was deposed by Scientology lawyers and made the following comment on Brennan's treatment of his son:
"The fact that a parent--and any parent in this room would be able to understand, I think, the--the message here--the fact that a parent would actively, volitionally prevent an approved and proven treatment to benefit one's child's complaint's, suffering or ailment, is inconceivable. "
- Dr. Stephen McNamara 

Scientology is not some harmless Hollywood celebrity cult indulged in by Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Greta Van Susteren.  It kills young people. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The death of 20-year-old Kyle Brennan as an Enemy of the Church of Scientology

When 20-year-old Kyle Brennan stepped into the office of psychiatrist Dr. Stephen McNamara in Charlottesville, Virginia, in early January 2006, he could not have imagined that his life would end just 13 months later as an Enemy of the Church of Scientology.

Kyle died from a gunshot wound to the head on Friday, February 16, 2007. (It has been estimated that his time of death was 11:00 p.m.) Kyle’s body was found in the apartment of his Scientologist father, Tom Brennan, in Clearwater, Florida, the center of the Scientology universe.

Clearwater Police Department Officer Jonathan Yuen arrived at the Brennan apartment shortly after midnight on the morning of Saturday, February 17. Already on the scene, fire department first responders declared Kyle dead at 12:10 am.

The circumstances surrounding Kyle’s death are highly suspicious. Kyle was found on the floor of his father’s bedroom, not his. In Kyle’s bedroom, the bedding was stripped from the bed. His bags were packed even though, according to his father, he wasn’t planning on traveling anytime soon.

Tom Brennan’s .357 Magnum was found near Kyle’s body, but Forensic
Specialist Jennifer McCabe did not find the bullet that killed Kyle.

The police did not find the box of ammunition for the .357, which they allege was used to kill Kyle. And they did not find Kyle’s laptop—it had been removed from the apartment before they arrived. Kyle’s fingerprints were nowhere to be found on over 14 separate pieces of evidence at the scene including the weapon and 10 rounds of ammunition.

Tom Brennan had moved from Lehigh Acres near Ft. Myers about 140 miles down the Florida Gulf Coast from Clearwater, and became a staff member of the West Tampa Scientology org in 2005. (“Org” is short for “organization” and refers to a local center where Scientologists undergo training.)

Within a few months he fell under the spell of a Scientology celebrity in Clearwater—Denise Miscavige Gentile, the twin sister of Scientology leader David Miscavige. In May 2006 she became Brennan’s Scientology “auditor” or Scientology psychotherapist.

On February 16, 2007, Brennan was working selling Scientology literature at the Florida State Fair in Tampa. He later told police that he arrived home, found Kyle dead, and—instead of immediately dialing 911—called Denise Miscavige Gentile first to ask her what to do. (The 911 call went out just after midnight.)

The police report states that Brennan returned home “near midnight,” but Brennan—since the death of his only son—has told various stories of that evening, stories with differing timelines.

He first told Kyle’s family in Charlottesville that he got home at 10:30 after having dinner with some friends. This version, of course, puts him in his apartment at the time of Kyle’s death. Brennan later changed his time of arrival to 11:20.

Denise’s husband Jerry Gentile—in a report dated the day after Kyle’s death to the international headquarters in Los Angeles of Scientology’s intelligence agency, the Office of Special Affairs (OSA)—says that he and Denise both went to Tom’s apartment. Later they would lie under oath and say that only Jerry went, arriving shortly after Officer Yuen was at the scene.

Around 3:00 p.m. that afternoon (Saturday, February 17), Clearwater Police Department Detective Stephen Bohling began his investigation. The police did not seal off Brennan’s apartment to wait for his inspection. He never went to the apartment to investigate the scene personally.

Forensic Investigator Jennifer McCabe and Medical Investigator Marti Scholl had arrived at the scene shortly 20 – 30 minutes after Jonathan Yuen. McCabe swabbed Kyle’s hands for a Gun Shot Residue (GSR) test to see if Kyle had pulled the trigger on the weapon that killed him. Bohling later blocked processing of the GSR, and lied to Kyle’s family telling them that the GSR test had not been done.

Without fingerprints, without the bullet, and without a GSR test it is impossible to determine whether Kyle’s death was a suicide or a homicide. Without this evidence it’s also impossible to determine whether Brennan’s .357 was used to kill Kyle.

In violent deaths such as Kyle’ - deaths featuring a suspicious lack of evidence - Florida statutes demand that the police investigation consider the possibility of homicide. But Detective Bohling ignored statutory requirements and declared Kyle’s suspicious death a suicide.

Bohling based his determination of suicide on the finding of Marti Scholl. She, however, said that she had declared Kyle’s death a suicide because she had been informed that there was a suicide note [by the police]. Detective Bohling, under oath, later stated that there was no suicide note.

Kyle’s mother Victoria Britton, his step-father Rick Britton, and his older brother Scott, could not get straight answers from either Brennan or Detective Bohling to the most basic questions about what had happened to Kyle.

No one from the police department called Victoria to inform her, as next of kin, that Kyle had died, nor did they request her permission to perform an autopsy.

The family’s suspicions deepened when Brennan returned Kyle’s laptop and they discovered that all of Kyle’s documents—everything—had been deleted. Kyle was a prolific writer and a conscientious student. He saved everything he wrote.

Bohling continued to stonewall Kyle’s family for the next year and a half. He kept the investigation open. Victoria had to appeal to elected officials to get Bohling to close the investigation before the expiration of the statute of limitations two years after Kyle’s death.

In February 2009, Victoria Britton—as the executor of the Estate of Kyle Brennan—filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in federal court in Florida. The suit names as defendants Tom Brennan, Denise Miscavige Gentile and Jerry Gentile, the Church of Scientology, and Flag (the organization that runs Scientology in Clearwater).

In December 2011, US Federal Court Judge Stephen Merryday dismissed the case and granted the Scientology defendants’ motion for summary judgment. Victoria’s lawyer Luke Lirot filed an appeal in February 2012.

In a comment on Merryday’s dismissal and Lirot’s appeal, lawyer Scott Pilutik writes:

The essence of Lirot's argument is that Judge Merryday wrongly usurped the jury's role in deciding matters of fact at the summary judgment stage; a judge may only decide matters of law in a motion for summary judgment, and Merryday exceeded his authority at this stage by deciding matters of witness credibility and rejecting the jury's role in plausibly inferring the defendants' liability from the evidence presented. … In other words, Merryday conducted the full trial in his head, rather than letting the jury decide whether, for instance, Lance Marcor's testimony was credible. 

Final oral arguments before a panel of three federal judges will be heard in the Appeals Court in Jacksonville, Florida, on the morning of Friday, September 14. The judges’ decision is expected to be announced sometime after Thanksgiving.

How Kyle Brennan became an Enemy of Scientology

Though the public—thanks to Tom Cruise’s rants—is somewhat aware of Scientology’s opposition to psychiatry, very few realize the depths of destructive hatred Scientologists bear towards psychiatry and psychiatric patients.

For the new millennium, Denise’s brother David Miscavige set down the following as a prime objective for all Scientologists: “the total eradication of psychiatry in all its forms.” He added, “Let’s get rid of psychiatry, and let’s bring Scientology to every man, woman and child on this planet.”

Scientology doesn’t want to simply reform psychiatry. It wants to destroy psychiatry and the mental health professions, and replace them with indoctrination into Scientology and the organization’s own brand of psychotherapy called “auditing.”

Scientology’s hatred of psychiatry is extreme and vicious. Scientologists believe that psychiatrists caused the Holocaust, 9/11 and the killings at Columbine. They believe there is an epidemic of psychiatrists raping their patients. They believe psychiatric medications are pure poison.

Kyle was diagnosed by Dr. McNamara with only mild depression and social anxiety, conditions not uncommon in college students. He prescribed him the anti-depressant Lexapro and continued therapy with him. Kyle talked with Dr. McNamara by phone and gave him permission to discuss anything with his parents. Dr. McNamara met with Kyle—to see how he was doing on the medication—every three months.

Kyle was functioning effectively with therapy and medication. He continued his studies as a second-semester freshman at Piedmont Virginia Community College where he studied art and took humanities courses. He continued to write short stories, reflections, and poetry—all of which he saved on his laptop. He particularly enjoyed writing horror stories. Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King were his literary mentors.

Kyle was looking forward to his future, and discussed with Dr. McNamara his desire to take a trip to visit schools he could transfer to after his sophomore year. He was eager to travel on his own for the first time in his life.

His life was working well until June of 2006 when he received a fateful invitation from Brennan to come and live with him in Clearwater, Florida, for a semester.

The Church of Scientology: “Suppressive Persons,” “Handling,” and “Disconnection”

Scientologists live with a Doomsday worldview. They believe that all of human civilization has passed the stage of no return and is hurtling towards decay and disaster because psychiatrists control not only the mental health professions but all societal institutions, worldwide.

In this bleak outlook, Scientologists believe themselves under constant attack by persons and institutions seeking, at every turn, to suppress and thwart Scientology’s efforts for “planetary salvage.”

They believe these “Suppressive Persons” (or SPs) are everywhere, including within the Church of Scientology itself. For this reason the Church’s intelligence and security agency—the Office of Special Affairs (OSA)—is ever on the alert for internal sabotage by SPs.

OSA carries out frequent security checks and interrogations to ensure their members’ loyalty to L. Ron Hubbard (the Church of Scientology’s founder) and David Miscavige (its current leader).

To Scientologists, SPs are not merely ideological enemies of their Church. Their very being is capable of contaminating a Scientologist, causing him to make errors, have accidents, and become sick.

It doesn’t take much to become an SP. A grandmother who expresses unhappiness about her granddaughter becoming a Scientologist, for example, would be considered an SP.

Strict Scientology procedures demand that a Scientologist “handle or disconnect” from an SP. “Handling,” in Scientology jargon, means “removing counter-intention from the environment and removing other-intention.”

In English, this means reducing opposition to L. Ron Hubbard—and his teachings—to zero, and then turning the subject’s interest away from everything else in order to focus on Hubbard, Scientology, and the interests of the Church of Scientology. If a Scientologist fails at “handling” an SP, he is then required to “disconnect”—that is, permanently break off all communication.

There are families in which loving mothers have not seen or heard from their children in five, ten, and in one case thirty-five years. Because of Scientology, these children were forced to disconnect. To these Scientology-controlled offspring their mothers are virtually dead.

If a Scientologist fails to disconnect he faces a severe penalty: he is forbidden from being audited or taking courses, and his progress in Scientology is blocked.

Tom Brennan tricks Kyle and lies to him

When Brennan first learned, in June 2006, that Kyle was a psychiatric patient, he was faced with the requirement to “handle” him. Denise Miscavige Gentile had just become his auditor, and he could not continue his therapy with her unless he handled his son or disconnected from him.

Hubbard had written what’s called a “fair game” policy for the handling of SPs. According to the founder, SPs may be “tricked, lied to, sued, or destroyed.” In true Scientology fashion, Brennan proceeded to lie to Kyle, trick him, and eventually to destroy him.

Knowing of Kyle’s plans to transfer out of Charlottesville to an out-of-state college, Brennan invited Kyle to live with him in Clearwater for a semester. Denise employed Tom as a handyman for six of her rental properties and referred him to a realty company that soon became a major client.

Brennan promised Kyle that he would have a comfortable place to stay, and a $15-an-hour job working for him in his handyman business. He also promised he would show Kyle around the campus of the University of South Florida to see if he wanted to transfer there.

Kyle was overjoyed. Victoria gave her consent, but told Brennan not to interfere with Kyle’s Lexapro regimen. She wanted to make sure that Kyle continued taking it.

Kyle arrived on August 15, 2006, and spent the next three weeks in the exclusive company of Denise’s circle of Scientologists. (This included Wendy Jill Borden—a second-generation Scientologist from New York taking advanced training in Florida—who Denise had introduced to Brennan. They married shortly after Kyle’s visit.)

Immediately after arriving, Kyle learned that there was no comfortable place to stay. Instead he had to sleep on a sofa in what he called “a Scientology flop house” on Habana Avenue in Tampa near the West Tampa Scientology Org where Tom worked. There was no job.

Kyle later told his family that he was duped by Brennan. Brennan had lured Kyle to Clearwater for the sole purpose of handling him. (This had begun in June. Since that time, back in Charlottesville, Kyle and Victoria had been inundated with a steady stream of Scientology anti-psychiatry propaganda.)

Tom soon moved from Habana Avenue into a two-bedroom apartment at 323 Cleveland Street. Kyle stayed in one bedroom while Brennan and Wendy occupied the other. (It was in this latter bedroom—Brennan’s bedroom—that Kyle’s body was found six months later during his second visit to Clearwater.)

Downtown Clearwater is Scientology-occupied territory. Brennan’s apartment building is located near the corner of Cleveland St. and Ft. Harrison Avenue. The Coachman Building—where Denise, Wendy, and Tom Brennan took their Scientology training—is located on another corner.

A block further south on Fort Harrison Avenue stands the Fort Harrison Hotel, where well-heeled Scientologists from all over the world receive their high-priced auditing and training in a resort atmosphere. The entire Clearwater operation is run by the Flag Organization, where Denise training as a student auditor.

The first attempt to “handle” Kyle

Kyle—who thought of Scientologists as damaged people—was subjected to handling the entire three weeks he was in Clearwater. There was no $15-an-hour job. Instead, Brennan and Wendy pressured him to take Scientology’s bogus personality test. From this they hoped to leverage Kyle into taking courses and studying Scientology.

Kyle resisted these efforts. One day—after witnessing Brennan hawking Scientology literature at a local mall—Kyle called Victoria saying, “Mom, tell me I am not sharing DNA with this dude! He is making an ass of himself!”

Oblivious, Brennan continued his attempt at handling his son. This led to a heated argument on September 5 that resulted in Kyle fleeing Clearwater in terror on September 7. In this quarrel, Brennan told Kyle that he was wasting his time with college and that Scientology was all he needed to succeed in life.

Brennan said that Victoria was destroying him with Dr. McNamara and his medication, and that McNamara would eventually publish Kyle’s patient records on the Internet.

Kyle fought back saying that only an idiot would believe in anything L. Ron Hubbard had to say. After retreating to his room, Kyle overheard Brennan and Wendy discussing him. They referred to Kyle as an SP and an Enemy of the Church of Scientology.

Exhausted, Kyle laid down for a nap. Brennan entered his room and stood next to the bed, holding a heavy piece of office equipment over Kyle’s head. Startled awake—and seeing heavy object hovering above him—he was terrified. He called Victoria to get him home to Charlottesville immediately.

Hurricane Ernesto was threatening the Florida Gulf Coast so Victoria was unable to book a flight the following day. Kyle flew home instead on September 7. For his last two nights in the apartment, Kyle put furniture against his door to protect himself from Brennan. When he left he did not say goodbye.

Kyle plans for his journey

When Kyle returned home to Charlottesville, he told his family what had happened, saying, “You have no idea of what Scientology has done to my father.”

Victoria had hastily re-enrolled him in his junior college, and Kyle returned to his normal life. He continued to write with his usual assiduousness, worked hard on two art classes, and took meticulous notes for his online Sociology class.

Kyle was an investor—he was smart about money and conservative in his spending. He continued to invest in gold and silver coins. He had around $8,000 in savings and coins.

Brennan’s vicious attempts at handling Kyle had come as a shock. In order to interfere with Kyle’s therapy and medication, Brennan had deceived and betrayed him. Back at home, Kyle asked Victoria to assure him that she would never do anything to harm him. His ability to trust Brennan had been shattered. This had shaken his ability to trust his family as well.

Over the next two months Kyle decided that he needed to get away on his own. Getting away would give him the opportunity to look at other schools. Kyle talked this over with Dr. McNamara.

The Ivy Gardens fire

Tom Brennan and Victoria had separated in 1998 when Kyle was twelve. They later divorced. After the separation, Brennan started over in Scientology and had to retake the basic courses.

He would have needed auditing to sort through his issues with his family and his return to Scientology.

Brennan had first read L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics—the book that launched Scientology in 1950—when he was 19 years old. As Scientology’s fundamental textbook, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health established auditing as Hubbard’s replacement for standard psychotherapy.

In his early twenties Brennan had worked in Miami as a chef, and had been a member of the Miami org for two years.

Starting over would have been expensive. Brennan frequently drove the 120 miles up to the Washington, DC, Founding Church to undergo his re-indoctrination. He even persuaded Kyle to visit the org when he was 16 years old. Kyle didn’t like it.

While they were together, Victoria and Tom Brennan had jointly run a lucrative family catering business called Breton’s. After the separation, Victoria withdrew from operational and legal involvement. In lieu of alimony she was to receive her regular salary, and share of the profits, in order to support Kyle until he was 18.

Sometime after their separation, Brennan started embezzling money from the company. Alerted to the embezzlements by the firm’s accountant, Victoria went to the company office and checked the financial records. Tom responded by moving the business papers to his apartment in the nearby Ivy Gardens complex.

In early April of 2000, Brennan tossed a lit cigarette into a wastepaper basket in his apartment. The resulting fire gutted the apartment and destroyed the Breton’s business papers. It also destroyed the apartments occupied by three University of Virginia first-year law students and rendered eight people homeless.

Kyle’s oldest brother Scott, who was 25 at the time, lived in an apartment in a different part of the complex. He had done clerical work on the papers in Brennan’s Ivy Gardens apartment, and had been disturbed to see evidence of Brennan’s wrongdoing.

Hearing the fire trucks, Scott came running. He was sickened when he realized the fire had started in Brennan’s apartment. Finding Tom Brennan in the crowd of onlookers, Scott asked him what was going on. Brennan crushed out a cigarette underfoot and walked off without saying anything.

Ivy Gardens sued Brennan. The fire was declared accidental—even though it was determined that it had originated in Brennan’s wastepaper basket—and the claims were settled through the insurance company. 

Kyle was in high school—he was 14-years-old—when he learned about Brennan’s embezzling and the Ivy Gardens fire. Both of these took place while Tom Brennan was furthering his commitment to Scientology.

Preparations for the journey

Kyle had more than enough in savings and gold and silver coins to finance his journey. One thing remained: he had to lay in a supply of Lexapro.

Knowing that Victoria was going to refill his prescription on the day after Thanksgiving—amid the throng of Black Friday shoppers—Kyle cleverly went to a different pharmacy and also refilled the prescription. He now had a two-month supply of his medication.

And so Kyle set out on his journey the Friday after Thanksgiving. He departed without telling anyone where he was going or what he was doing.

Kyle spent the next two months working through the cognitive complexities of family trust and their dense emotions. When he resolved these issues he felt regret at the anguish he had inflicted on his family, particularly on his mother. (All of this Kyle later expressed to Victoria’s brother—Gary Robinson of Ft. Myers, Florida—in a two-and-one-half hour phone conversation.)

Iowa and California

Detective Bohling and the Scientology lawyers defamed Kyle repeatedly after his death. The lawyers described Kyle on his cross-country trip as “wandering aimlessly about.”

This is completely false, however, as Kyle had carefully planned his journey. His plan was to visit schools in Iowa—he evidently liked that part of the country because the crime rate is low—and then take in the San Diego, California, area where Tom Brennan’s sisters lived.

Kyle flew from Charlottesville to Waterloo, Iowa. There were colleges in the area that interested him. He established himself in a motel for the month of December.

He was friendly as he usually was, and chatted with the motel desk clerk about visiting schools and weighing alternatives for education and work. Kyle continued to work on his online Sociology course and completed it before Christmas.

Worried about Kyle mainly because he was traveling with a considerable amount of cash and valuable coins, Victoria located him three days after he left. (Studying the search history on the family computer, it was quickly discovered that Kyle had frequently googled schools in the Waterloo area. Calls to the motels near Hawkeye Community College proved successful.)

Over the phone she told Kyle that the family was not angry at him and that they loved him. He could take all the time he needed to think things through. Victoria also told him to buy a cell phone and have the bills sent home to Charlottesville. (When they arrived, the family was thus able to see where Kyle had been. From these bills it was later learned that Kyle had called numerous FBI offices.)

Jeff Attwood: A compassionate FBI agent

In early January Kyle left Waterloo and traveled to Des Moines. He walked into the local office of the FBI and met with Special Agent Jeff Attwood. Kyle talked about Tom Brennan’s crimes. He also related the struggles he was going through—sorting things out on his own—and that he needed some help. Attwood gave him the name of a local facility.

When Agent Attwood asked for contact information, Kyle gave him the Charlottesville number. He told Attwood that if something should happen to him the agent should call Victoria and his brother Sean. Kyle said they were the people closest to him.

Attwood recognized that Kyle Brennan was no ordinary runaway. He phoned Victoria and told her that Kyle—who he described as well-spoken with good manners—was a little rumpled, but basically okay. Had he thought Kyle was in some sort of psychological crisis he would have never let him leave his office.

San Diego: Aunt Carrie’s fight with Brennan about psychiatry

Kyle had long wanted to visit California. He spoke with his father, and Brennan arranged for him to stay with his sister, Carrie Brennan Farrell, and her husband, Jeff Ferrell, in San Diego. Kyle barely knew them—he hadn’t seen them since he was twelve.

As in Iowa, Kyle talked about his options for the future, and Carrie wrote down for him the number of a Coast Guard recruiter. He also talked about the psychologically rough time he was going through, and how much the Lexapro helped him. Carrie gave him the name of a local therapist.

Carrie talked to Brennan and told him of her concern that Kyle get competent professional help. Naturally, this phone conversation brought out Brennan’s ludicrous Scientology-based dogma. They had the biggest fight of their lives as Brennan went into an all-out anti-psychiatry hate rant.


Kyle called his uncle, Gary Robinson—a man Kyle respected and trusted—when he was in San Diego. Gary suggested that Kyle vacation in Maui to take in the beaches and check out the girls.

Kyle thought this was a great idea and booked a flight to Maui. It was the height of the season, and Kyle was as reluctant as ever to spend money unnecessarily. He spent just one night in a hotel and then went to Wal-Mart and bought a tent and camping gear so he could camp out on the beach. The receipts from these purchases Kyle diligently saved.

When Victoria discovered Kyle had gone to Maui she got the Maui police to look for him. The police reported back that he was in good shape. Kyle’s eyes were clear, they said. He was calm and talkative and had no fear of the police. Kyle told them that he wanted to call his mother but his cell phone battery had run out.

On February 5, 2007, Kyle was assaulted by someone trying to steal his backpack. He immediately called 911 and filed a report. He also called the Clearwater Police Department to let them know he was coming to Clearwater and them to bre informed in case anything should happen to him while he was there.

The importance of Gary Robinson

The assault caused Kyle to rethink his plans. The bouncing around had now turned into something of an ordeal. Kyle decided he was tired of traveling. He wanted to go home and get back to school.

He decided to visit Tom Brennan in Clearwater on his way home to Charlottesville. Over the phone Brennan agreed, and Kyle bought his ticket.

Unfortunately, Kyle missed his flight. Needing a friendly voice to talk to, Kyle called his uncle Gary and spoke with him for two and a half hours.

During this call, Kyle expressed his regret at the anguish his journey had caused his family, particularly Victoria. He spoke at length about his plans for the future.

He told Gary he still had all of his gold coins with him. (When, after Kyle’s death, Brennan shipped Kyle’s belongings to his home in Charlottesville, all of the gold coins were missing.)

Most importantly, Kyle told Gary he was taking Lexapro every day. He explained that on his journey he had been spacing out the doses because he was afraid of running out. Gary assured him he that he need not worry because he could get all the refills he needed now that he was on his way home.

Kyle continued taking the Lexapro every day until Tom Brennan seized it from him and locked it in the trunk of his BMW 318i the day before Kyle’s death or perhaps a day earlier.

The second handling and Kyle’s death

Kyle arrived in Clearwater late on the night of Wednesday, February 7, 2007. He died nine days later on the night of Friday, February 16. Kyle had returned to the apartment where Tom Brennan and Wendy had tried to “handle” him for being an SP and an Enemy of Scientology. Kyle was back in the room where Brennan had terrorized him six months earlier.

Brennan and Denise attempted to handle Kyle throughout this second visit to Clearwater. Pressure was mounting on them from Scientology officials to handle Kyle once and for all since they had failed the previous August.

From Brennan’s apartment Kyle called Ivy Gardens in Charlottesville, and continued to call FBI offices. When Brennan discovered this—on February 13, three days before Kyle’s death—he confronted Kyle and demanded to know what he was doing. Kyle refused to tell him.

By Wednesday, February 14, Tom Brennan was frantic because now he was in grave trouble. Kyle’s contacting the FBI constituted a serious threat to Brennan, Denise Miscavige, and the Church of Scientology itself. This was far more serious than Kyle’s use of Lexapro.

Kyle was now a double threat. Kyle’s psychiatric treatment, and use of a psychotropic drug, made him an obvious SP, an Enemy of Scientology. But Kyle’s whistle blowing to the FBI—and the uncertainty over what exactly Kyle told the federal agents—must have infuriated his Scientology-obsessed father. (Later it was learned, through the Flag documents demanded by the court, that Tom Brennan—that week—had been ordered officially to “handle” his son, Kyle Brennan.)

Questions marks

This important case is now approaching its final stages. In Jacksonville, Florida, on September 14, Luke Lirot—the attorney for the Estate of Kyle Brennan—will argue an appeal before a three-judge federal panel. Journalists and the public are encouraged to attend. We hope the oral arguments will spark more media and public interest.

On the fifth anniversary of Kyle’s death the God Discussion website interviewed Lirot regarding the case for an hour and a half on its Thursday night radio show. In the interview, Lirot stated that the scene of Kyle’s death, and Detective Bohling’s investigation and police report raise many question marks.

Here are but a few: the fairly obvious evidence tampering that took place after Kyle’s death (these are felonies); the entanglement of Denise Miscavige Gentile and the lying done to cover up her involvement (felonies when told under oath); Detective Bohling’s relationship with Scientology’s intelligence agency, his Scientology-biased investigation and mendacious police report (more felonies).

This massive lying has a single purpose: to isolate Denise Miscavige from any connection with Kyle’s death and to do so by defaming Kyle Brennan posthumously as a deteriorating, delusional paranoid schizophrenic instead of the mildly depressed 20-year-old college student he was, struggling with the trauma inflicted by his father on him as an Enemy of Scientology.

These are the subject of Part Two of our series The death of 20-year-old Kyle Brennan as an Enemy of the Church of Scientology: Detective Bohling covers up Kyle Brennan’s death for Denise Miscavige.

Help get justice for Kyle Brennan!

Victoria Britton has taken on the arrogance and power of Scientology to find out the truth about Kyle’s death so that no mother will ever have to suffer the loss of another child to Scientology.

Luke Lirot is representing Kyle’s estate pro bono, but there have many costs she must bear herself including filing fees and depositions.

You can help get justice for Kyle by supporting her with messages of encouragement and by sending her money to help pay for costs of this important case.

You can contact her and donate by PayPal using her email address:

Or you can write her and mail a check to:

Victoria Britton
c/o Friends of Kyle Britton
3144 Ridgefield Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Thank you for your generosity.

- Justin Ross



Court filings and especially depositions form the primary source for the narrative of Kyle’s targeting as an Enemy of Scientology and his suspicious death. These are found at Scientology Lawsuits: Kyle Brennan

Foremost in importance is Victoria Britton’s Chronology written from her notes. They provide crucial background on Kyle, Brennan’s attack on him for being a psychiatric patient, the Ivy Gardens fire, and his final journey.

The Second Declaration of Lance Marcor provides detailed explanation of strict Scientology procedures that Tom Brennan and Denise Miscavige had to comply with under penalty of punishment. Marcor is a former Flag Organization executive with 18 years of experience managing Flag personnel.

Detective Stephen Bohling’s investigative report forms the faulty foundation of Brennan and Denise Miscavige’s defense against their involvement in Kyle’s death. Bohling falsifies Dr. McNamara’s diagnosis of Kyle, accommodates the Scientology defendants and lawyers at every turn, and lies repeatedly about critical events. Bohling’s lies are exposed in his deposition.

The depositions of Tom Brennan and Denise Miscavige Gentile reveal essential lies told about the purchase of ammunition for Tom’s .357 Magnum, the time of Kyle’s death, and Scientology’s role in his death.

The quote from David Miscavige commanding the “total elimination of psychiatry in all its forms” is found in Katharine Mieszkowski’s Scientology’s War on Psychiatry and at Scientology and Psychiatry.

For further reading Wikipedia articles are a good resource. Scientology is so controversial that articles give a balanced presentation with a wealth of links to sources.

To understand Kyle’s being targeted as an Enemy of Scientology as a psychiatric patient the following are useful: The doctrine on Suppressive Persons and Potential Trouble Sources; Scientology and Psychiatry; Hubbard’s infamous Fair Game policy to which Kyle was subjected; and the workings of Scientology’s intelligence agency, the Office of Special Affairs.

Jonny Jacobsen at InfiniteComplacency has an excellent summary of the convoluted history of the wrongful death suit.