“The future casts its shadow before it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
One of my most rewarding work experiences was with the Police Athletic League (PAL) attached to the Wallingford, Connecticut, police department. Located between New Haven and Hartford, Wallingford is a New England town that was built up around industry and heavy manufacturing. The town center remained picturesque enough with its sprinkling of stately colonial-era homes, but the town’s perimeter—which once featured farmlands and pristine orchards—was now cluttered with car dealerships and fast food joints.
The Police Athletic League was designed to create and improve relationships between police officers and children at risk. Participants in the program, it was thought, were more likely to praise the character of the police force and less likely to engage in crime. Most of the activities offered to the children, many of whom were from disadvantaged backgrounds, revolved around sports such as basketball, baseball, and boxing.
For me, the newest addition to the PAL, it was my job to introduce my young charges to the program’s non-competitive element: the world of art and all its mediums. At PAL I was absolutely in my element—teaching art to youngsters while helping to strengthen police-community relations.
And that’s where I was first introduced to a behind-the-scenes aspect of law enforcement. Police officers—whether beat cops or seasoned detectives—are consummate storytellers. They like to talk. I assumed at the time that talking shop was just a way for them to let go of all the stress that comes with the long hours, risk-filled situations, and little pay. They had my respect. I listened and learned: I found it fascinating.
Nine years later—when I had three small children of my own—I reconnected with my interest in detective work by studying criminology at the college level. I had no desire to join the police force, the work being too gritty and dangerous for my liking, so I never used the knowledge I’d attained.
What I couldn’t foresee at the time was that one day I’d have to use these skills to investigate the death of my own child.
While unraveling the lies surrounding my son’s mysterious death, I discovered the dark and dangerous underworld of the ultra-secretive and litigious Church of Scientology. I experienced first-hand how this organization hides behind the U.S. Constitution’s precious First Amendment—all the while viciously attacking anyone it perceives as an enemy. Ironically, Kyle now rests in the morning shadows of Monticello, home of the founding father whose writings helped define religious freedom in the United States.
My hope is that you’ll follow me as I share posts about my quest to uncover the truth, achieve justice, and restore the dignity stolen from my 20-year-old son.
Deposition excerpts of Victoria Britton
Scientology Attorney Lee Fugate