Young woman says church guard followed her, said he would kill her
by Cheryl Waldrip
Tribune Staff Writer
CLEARWATER - A young Mexican woman came to town thinking she would
receive free classes if she joined Church of Scientology staff.
But last month she told police a tale of deception, overwork and
verbal abuse after fleeing a Scientology security guard who threatened
kill her for breaking her "billion year contract."
Police interviewed the guard, Bill Johnson, whom they identified as
the head of security for the church's service organization.
"He said that at one point he did say something to her about killing
her if she did not leave the country," Detective Tom Miller said in his
The State Attorney's Office is reviewing whether to file charges in
the Sept. 28 incident. The Immigration and Naturalization Service, which
issues visas, also is investigating.
Johnson's lawyer, Paul Johnson of Tampa, who also represents the
church, said his client never chased 22-year-old Naxielly Sofia
When he told her he would kill her, "it was an expression; it was not
a threat," Paul Johnson said.
Police said the guard told them he followed Perez to tell her she
the church money for breaking her contract and that she was violating
"He said he was upset and began calling her obscenities," Miller
Perez could not be located for comment.]
According to police, Perez got into Scientology through a Dianetics
course in Mexico. Police said Perez gave the following account of her
encounters with the church:
She was promised free classes for joining the church's staff. Instead
she was put to work remodeling the former Clearwater Bank building into
Scientology offices, where she injured herself. The report does not
She told police she was repeatedly ridiculed for not working fast
enough, and, though she worked form 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. as a maid at the
Fort Harrison Hotel -- the church's headquarters -- she was often asked
to work more.
After an unrelated medical "attack," Perez left the church and lived
with a Scientology friend. On Sept. 28, the friend wanted to show Fort
Harrison to another friend and brought Perez to watch their children.
Perez said she was spotted by her former supervisor, who called
security. The guard, bill Johnson, began yelling about her owing money
for courses and escorted her outside. He followed her down the
street, calling her vulgar names.
"You're a suppressive," he said, "you denigrated the church, we're
going to kill you! You will be dead!"
Frightened and crying, she ducked into the Clearwater Martial Arts
Academy. The guard attempted to follow her inside, but the business
Brian Anderson of the church's legal affairs office issued a written
statement Wednesday night in response to questions from the Tampa
Tribune. His answers did not address Perez' allegations.
The statement said Perez left the church in June after three months.
Her "religious worker" visa expired in August and she was advised to
return to Mexico.
Subject: Re: Bill Johnson's death threat
From: Joe Harrington <jo...@server.nlbbs.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 22:50:33 -0400 (EDT)
Yea, I remember Bill Johnson when I was at Flag. This sounds like his
When I went thru my basic Sea Org training, I worked in the galley as
2nd cook. Me and another guy cooked three meals a day for 1200 people,
we washed all the dishes! And that is NO shit.
The #1 cook, Jim Kowzwalski, like myself, was a radical dissident. He
DOZENS of KRs on all the questionable financial dealings etc at Flag.
as bad as Diane Richardson. Jim became such a thorn in the side that
tried to set him up. Bill Johnson came to me, knowing I was a former
Intelligence agent in the Coast Guard, and asked me to be his spy to get
some derogatory info on Jim. I told him "most certainly" and advised
Jim slept on the bunk above me and we got up and went to bed at the same
time, 7 days a week. Jim had not had a day off in over a year. Jim was
hardest working, most ethical person I ever met in the Sea Org, and
outside of it too.
To keep it short, they set up Jim and said he had sexually molested a
male youth from the cadet org. They said it occured in a motel in Tampa.
Jim was NEVER off base in over a year. He worked from 0600 to 2200, 8
days a week. But they provided false affidavits and offloaded him very
I hope they get Johnson on this one.
Woman accuses Scientology guard of threat
St. Petersburg Times
Friday October 20, 1995
By Jane Meinhardt
CLEARWATER - A Mexican woman has alleged that the Church of
Scientology's security chief chased her and threatened to kill her
for leaving the church.
The case has been referred to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's
Office; no charge has been filed. A statement from a Scientology
spokesman said the security guard has been suspended during a
The police investigation began Sept. 28 after Naxilly Sofia
Perez-Morales, 22, called 911 about 7 p.m. from the Post Office on
According to a report by Clearwater Detective Tom Miller,
Perez-Morales complained that she had been threatened by a
Scientology security guard, but she was initially afraid to speak
to detectives because church members told her police worked "hand
in hand" with them. The report's cover sheet indicated that
Perez-Morales, who could not be reached Thursday, did not wish to
Miller's report described her as shaken. She told detectives she
was recruited as a church member by a friend in Mexico and that she
moved to Clearwater, Scientology 's international spiritual
headquarters. But she said she had been harassed continuously since
she broke what she called her "billion-year" contract with the
She told Miller that a Scientology security guard had said to her,
"You're a suppressive, you denigrated the church. We're going to
kill you! You will be dead!"
Church spokesman Brian Anderson said Thursday that the police
report was inaccurate and illegally "leaked" to the media.
In a written statement, he said Perez-Morales had been a
Scientologist for 1 1/2 years before coming to Clearwater. She left
the church in June after working there about three months. Anderson
said she misrepresented facts, which disqualified her as a member.
"When the working relationship of Ms. Perez-Morales was terminated,
the church was very concerned that she return to Mexico and not
make false representations about her immigration status as she had
only been legally in the country based on her working for the
church," the statement said.
He said she completed five courses while on a training program.
Perez-Morales said that instead of the free classes she was
promised, she was put to work renovating the old Clearwater Bank
building and was injured. She told Miller she was belittled by
other church members for her work pace and asked to work longer
than 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. in maid service at the Fort Harrison Hotel,
according to the police report.
Anderson said he could find no record that Perez-Morales was
injured while at the church. Members work about eight hours a day
and study 2 1/2 hours a day, he said.
"It is church policy and done on the basis of a prior written
agreement that persons who terminate their staff relationship with
the church are to pay for the training they received free of charge
while a staff member," his statement said.
Perez-Morales said she decided to quit after having some kind of
temporarily disabling medical problem. She stayed in Clearwater,
but moved often because of conflicts with church members, according
to Miller's report.
On Sept. 28, Perez-Morales went to the Fort Harrison Hotel to watch
the children of a friend. A former supervisor saw Perez-Morales and
A security guard identified by police as Bill Johnson, 44, yelled
at her about owing money to the church and escorted her out of the
building. She alleged that Johnson followed her, called her obscene
names, told her she was in the United States illegally and
Frightened, Perez-Morales ran into a martial arts school at
Cleveland Street and Garden Avenue. Jim Bridgeforth, owner of
Clearwater Martial Arts, said a Hispanic woman who was crying came
into his school.
"She said somebody was following her," Bridgeforth said Thursday.
"She asked if she could stay and sat down with some of the
Concerned about protecting the children in his class, he went
outside and saw a man in a uniform. The man left after speaking
briefly with Bridgeforth.
"He looked like a security guard," Bridgeforth said. "He said
something about her trespassing. He never came in. It all took
place in about 30 seconds."
After Johnson left, Perez-Morales called police from the post
Johnson told detectives he was recently made head of the church's
security. According to the church's statement, Johnson was security
chief "on a temporary basis."
Miller's report stated that Johnson said he was angry at
Perez-Morales for leaving the church after she got a visa as a
student of Scientology. He also said she was talking to other
Scientologists about leaving the church.
Johnson said he followed Perez-Morales to tell her she owed the
church money. The report said he admitted calling her obscene
When detectives asked Johnson if he ever threatened her, he said he
did say something "about killing her if she did not leave the
country," the report said.
Tampa lawyer Paul B. Johnson, who represents the church and
Johnson, said church records show Perez-Morales had a religious
worker's visa that expired Aug. 21. He said it is the church's
practice to advise people who have left the church that they have
to return home.
The lawyer said his client did not chase Perez-Morales or yell
obscenities, but did say something about killing her.
"It was just an expression, not a threat," the attorney said.
"Admittedly, it was inappropriate, but it was not a crime. He had
no intent to hurt her. He was exasperated with her. The whole thing
has been blown out of proportion."
ARC = As-Ising the Real Co$,