It was also obvious to her fellow Scientologists that Lisa McPherson had cracked up.
"Out of control," one wrote.
Beginning Nov. 18, 1995, Scientology staffers -- following
Hubbard's regimen for dealing with psychotic members --
kept McPherson isolated in that room 24 hours a day, refusing
to speak to her, trying to force-feed her, plying her with
vitamins and herbal concoctions and injecting her with
sedatives, according to several accounts that are now part
of court records. She furiously resisted: She pounded the
walls, tried to escape, attacked a staffer with a potted
plant. In her delirium, records say, she defecated on herself
and drank her own urine.
Within 17 days, McPherson -- who'd spent most of her adult
life and tens of thousands of dollars as a devotee of Hubbard's
teachings -- would be dead. The once-voluptuous 36-year-old
-- she stood 5 feet 9 and wore a size 12 dress -- lost
an estimated 40 to 50 pounds during the ordeal, dropping
to 108, her bruised body pocked by insect bites and scabs.
She was never seen by a licensed physician during that
time. An autopsy attributed her death to a blood clot that
developed due to "severe dehydration" and "bed rest."
Scientologists 'got in over their heads' Some told prosecutors poor decisions were made in trying to care for the disturbed woman. By THOMAS C. TOBIN St. Petersburg Times, published February 24, 2000 David Houghton told how he filled a large syringe with ground aspirin, liquid Benadryl and orange juice, then worked it along the outside of McPherson's teeth and squirted the mixture behind her tongue. He had help from his fellow Scientologists, who held McPherson's arms and legs. A veteran dentist from Iowa and Ohio, he was not yet licensed in Florida and had no doctor's authorization and no medical history on McPherson. McPherson was limp earlier that day and unable to walk. Her breathing was laboured. Her eyes were fixed and unblinking. Her face was gaunt, a sign of severe dehydration. Minkoff was never told, he said, how violent and delusional she was, or that she had resisted food and liquids. See this site for the logs on Lisa's last days in the care of scientologists: http://www.b-org.demon.nl/scn/deaths/lisa_mcpherson/logs/lisam.htm