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.