Robert Vaughn Young
It is with great sadness that I have learned of the death of Robert Vaughn Young. He died early Sunday afternoon June 15, 2003 after a long illness. His son had just been visiting with him and his beloved companion Caren was at his side. I am told he was resting peacefully and comfortably when he passed on.
Vaughn was one of the most wonderful people that I have had the honor to know. He had a master's degree in Philosophy and was teaching at University of California Davis when he became involved with Scientology in the early 1970s. He became one of Scientology's highest ranking public relations officers and he was one of L. Ron Hubbard's archivists. He has described his Scientology experiences on many occasions. There are his own writings, his own testimony and those who have written about him. To access some of this writing and testimony search his name on Google groups.
In the late 1980s Vaughn "escaped" from Scientology with his then wife Stacy Brooks. He was one of the highest level executives to have ever defected from the church. In 1993 Vaughn and Stacy agreed to testify as expert witnesses in litigation then being handled by Dan Leipold, Esq. and myself. The rest of that story is also history.
More recently Robert has been involved with pioneering a website resource and community group for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. His wonderful work and that legacy can be viewed at: http://www.phoenix5.org/
Robert Vaughn Young made a major contribution to Hubbard's Church, at least until he learned the truth about L. Ron Hubbard and his past. Robert revealed much of this truth after he escaped from the cult. He leaves behind a mountain of knowledge about the dark side of Scientology and its sordid history.
I feel honored and privileged to have been a friend of Vaughn. He was a man of courage to his very last breath. In my experience, he was a person of the highest integrity and honesty, and in every thing he did and said. He was highly intelligent, charming, articulate, literate and loyal. I shall miss and mourn him. He was one of the best. A true hero to me and to many.
By Henry David Thoreau.
Why should we be in such haste to succeed,
and in such desperate enterprises?
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
Perhaps because he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music he hears,
However measured or far away.
|DEATH IS NOTHING
By Henry Scott Holland.
Death is nothing at all:
I have just slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name;
Speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put no difference in your tone;
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as you always laughed,
At little jokes we shared together.
Play, smile, think of me.
Let my name be the household name it always was.
Let it be spoken without an effort,
Without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
Life means all that it ever meant:
It is the same as it ever was;
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
What is death but a passage of life?
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you,
For an interval,
Somewhere very near,
Just around the corner,
All is well.
By G. K. Chesterton
Is there not pardon for the brave
And broad releases above
Who lost their heads for liberty
Or lost their hearts for love?
Or is the wise man wise indeed
Whom larger thoughts keep whole,
Who sees life equal like a chart,
Makes strong to play the saner part,
And keeps his head and keeps his heart
And only loses his soul?
Graham E. Berry
FROM ROBERT'S BELOVED CAREN, HIS WIFE AND COMPANION:
To all who knew and loved Robert --
Many of you know me through Robert Young's writings on http://www.phoenix5.org . I am the "my Caren" he often refers to. I am his wife.
Robert is fond of analogies. If he can explain something with a good analogy then he figures he's got it nailed down. One of his essays explains his Climbing Mt. Everest analogy. I remember when he first came up with it the week after half a dozen books about climbing Everest arrived from amazon.com.
He told me stories about teams that climbed the mountain and what they carried and the struggle and difficulties. One thing that stands out in my mind is how he described that as climbers get higher and the air becomes thinner you get to the point where you take four steps for every one breath. And as you approach the summit it becomes one step for every four breaths.
That is where Robert has been for the last few weeks. One step for every four breaths.
Robert died at 1:10 p.m on Sunday, June 15, 2003 reaching the summit of his Mt. Everest. It was a couple of hours after his son, who spent the night with him, left to return to California. I was at his side, holding Robert's hand in mine. He was in no pain, resting calmly and peacefully until his last breath.
Robert will be cremated in accordance with his wishes, and his ashes will be scattered over water. Robert loved Vashon Island and Puget Sound and had fond memories of the sailing scene around San Diego. There will be a memorial service the date is yet to be determined.
Robert asked that in lieu of flowers or other memorials, tax deductible donations be made to Phoenix5 so that the work can continue. There are instructions as to how to support Phoenix5 at http://www.phoenix5.org/Phoenix5/support.html. I will continue to maintain the Phoenix5 website in accordance with Robert's wishes as I have computer expertise to do so.
Robert found fulfillment and joy in helping all those in the prostate cancer community. My life and I'm sure many others' are richer because of his life and his work. He leaves a legacy of immeasurable value for all those who come after him, not just in the form of the Phoenix5 website but by his example of living and loving and working and laughing--appreciating every day as a precious gift. Robert will certainly be missed the world over.
I want to thank the many of you who have written to me in these past weeks while Robert was ill. There were so many heart warming emails that I wasn't able to respond to them all personally. Please know that Phoenix5.org will continue on as Robert's legacy to his family and friends.
Please cross-post so that all who are concerned about Robert are informed that he reached the summit.
Caren Cohen Young
4007 Taylor Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45209