Carl Barney and the SCS Missions
A Dianetic Birth
Clear or Not Clear? That is the Q & A.
Some Memorable Events From Scientology Training
The Organizational Structure
The Org Schedule
Never Trust A Scientology Registrar
My Year on Full-Time Staff
Hubbard Ascended and My Mother Died
Affaire Scientologie Style/Recruitment Sea Org
The Phone Bill Fiasco
Justice a la Scientologie
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" --Mark Twain.
The Shrine Auditorium exploded time and again with the roar of 5,000 sets of hands clapping wildly.
The clean-cut, uniformed young man on stage stood there with a smirk on his face, waiting for the sound to die down. Another set of graphs appeared on the giant television screen above his head, depicting yet another set of statistics that were remarkably up over the prior year. The man, a top executive of a controversial Los Angeles church, spoke glowingly about the most recent in a long line of statistics on parade, which precipitated yet another outburst of clapping.
I had worked long enough as a staff member of this "church" to know that this many statistics being up this dramatically simply was not possible. And it was at that point that I realized that the members of the Church of Scientology were being victimized by their own church's public relations techniques. And that realization marked the beginning of the end of nearly 12 years of abuse for me.
This is religion? No, this is Scientology.
CARL BARNEY AND THE SCS MISSIONS
It was near the end of 1977. Elvis had died a few months earlier and I had recently broken up with my boyfriend. I had just turned 23 and was living alone in Glendale, California, not far from my parents. To say the least, I was feeling a little lonely, a little depressed.
One November day, something called an "Oxford Capacity Analysis" arrived in the mail. This "OCA" consisted of 200 questions and instructed the reader to answer all the questions and mail it in right away for a free personality analysis. I nearly threw it away three times, but something piqued my curiosity so I filled it out and mailed it in to a place called the "Dianetics Center" in Pasadena, California.
I had never heard of Dianetics before. Within a day or so of mailing it in, I was contacted by telephone and pressured to come in right away for the free analysis. I couldn't go right away and declined but I was besieged with calls until I finally agreed just to get them to stop bothering me. I figured that I would go in, hear what they had to say and leave. That was Mistake No. 1.
Upon arriving at what I later found out was the Pasadena Mission of the Church of Scientology (though the sign said "DIANETICS"), the free analysis was administered. I was told that the test results indicated that I was in bad shape, couldn't communicate, was critical, not appreciative enough, and the like, mostly negative, bottom-of-the-graph results. I agreed with the "couldn't communicate" part but not much else. The cure for everything was the communication course, so I signed up for the "Personal Communication Workshop" or "PCW" as it was known at that time.
This "workshop" lasted for several weeks (evenings and weekends) and I had to endure sitting in a chair staring at a lady across from me who obviously was enduring the same thing. We talked at breaks and couldn't figure out what it was we were trying to achieve, except to stay awake. It was intensely boring. But I thought the course supervisor was cute, so I stayed and finished the silly course, hoping that maybe something would happen: either I would learn to communicate or I would get a date. Or maybe both.
During the time that I was enrolled on the PCW I had to have a lot of dental work done. I called in to the course supervisor one night and reported that I would not be in that night for class because the dental work had caused a fever and I was taking medication for the pain. The course supervisor said it was not okay for me to miss class and that I must come in immediately. This amazed me. Thinking that he must not have understood what I had just told him, I explained again, in greater detail. He still refused permission to be off course. I said "too bad" and hung up. I was besieged with no less than ten phone calls that evening from the course supervisor demanding that I come in immediately. I refused. Finally I stopped taking the calls.
When I returned to course the next day, I was treated to my first trip to the "ethics" officer. He insisted that I was not really sick because of a tooth infection, but instead was suffering from something called "PTSness". This disease, as I now understand it, is something the Church of Scientology suffers from. It is a curious form of paranoia, wherein anyone who participates in Scientology who contracts an illness is automatically suspected of being connected to a "suppressive person" and, thus, a "potential source of trouble" for the organization. They do not believe in the "germ theory" of illnesses. Of course, if there are no such things as germs, why did vaccinations stop the spread of polio, rubella, mumps, measles, rabies, tetanus, etc.?
I suffered through the ethics "handling" and continued on with the PCW. At its conclusion, Greg Cook,.the Executive Director of the Dianetics Center in Pasadena, California, called me into his office and spoke to me of "a state of beingness" called Clear. I liked what I heard and said I would like to be Clear. He sold me a book called "Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health" ("DMSMH"). I took it home and read the first three chapters before I fell asleep that night. The book described Clear as Greg had explained it to me. Greg was Clear and it sounded like a good thing to become a well and happy human being, have my IQ improved, and so on, plus he seemed to be a satisfied customer himself. However, at the age of 23, I did not understand what peer reviews were and how none of the information presented in DMSMH and other books written by L. Ron Hubbard had ever been peer reviewed or verified in any way as to its validity or efficacy, despite the abundance of the word "scientific" that was peppered throughout the Dianetics book.
The next day, I was routed to the registrar (a Scientology salesman) to get signed up for auditing (which is Dianetics/Scientology counseling that allegedly makes you "clear").
The first counseling step was called "Life Repair." The price tag for "Life Repair" (which for me consisted of approximately 60 hours of counseling) was $6,000. I was making approximately $1,200 per month at that time (in 1978), so $6,000 was a fortune. I told the registrar that I would like to get the auditing, but there was no way I could come up with $6,000. He then proceeded to pressure me into attempting to borrow the money from friends or family. I did not even try, because I knew it would not happen. No one I knew had that kind of money.
When the registrar determined that I could not find the money, he sent me to a different location (in Burbank) to see a fellow by the name of Steve Van Stone. His title was "Financial Consultant." He basically had me fill out a financial statement and told me that he knew of a place where I could borrow the money. I didn't really believe that I would qualify for such a large amount, nor did I want to borrow that kind of money, but the pressure was intense so I went. I still clung to the belief that they would see it was impossible and just give up.
I went to the American Pacific State Bank building (by the 101 and 405 freeways in the Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley area). It was in one of those offices that I met a man named Jim. He represented a company called "Nationwide Acceptance Corporation" ("NAC"). I felt rather uneasy with it all. Jim brought out a loan agreement form which was already mostly filled out, although this was the first time I had ever met him. It was obvious that my "friends" at Scientology had called over my personal information to him. He asked me what I had in the way of collateral. I didn't have much, just some household furnishings. He listed those items on the loan agreement form and had me sign the loan papers. He then presented me with a check for $6,000.
It was all so easy. Too easy. Years later, I found out that NAC was a scam that ousted missionholder Carl Barney had implemented to get customers. Carl was the holder of four Dianetics franchises: Pasadena, Burbank, Valley and Santa Barbara missions, corporately at that time "The Church of Scientology of Los Angeles." His corporate headquarters was in Burbank (on Riverside Drive, a different location than the Burbank mission, which was in the Burbank Mall), and was known as "Scientology Coordinated Services" or "SCS."
SCS monies backed the loans that were run through NAC, which was why it had been so easy to get the loan. If a lendee defaulted, SCS had already paid the bill. I'm not sure of the exact mechanics involved, but a year or so later when Carl Barney was ousted and declared suppressive NAC was shut down quickly. It was a huge embarrassment that was given top priority to sort out and cover up. However, before the NAC scandal was fully closed out, I had to pay off the balance I owed when Scientology staff in charge of the NAC sort out (GO/OSA) was tipped off by my ex-husband about a car accident settlement I was getting (either late 1987 or 1988).
Back to April, 1978. I received my Life Repair auditing, which went okay. My auditor's name was Bruce.Dodds, a skeletal, intensely ascetic man. Unfortunately, the rest of my auditing never went as smooth and I never felt as good about it as I did in the beginning.
After I completed Life Repair counseling, I still had about 8 hours of auditing left over, so I was put onto the next auditing step, called "Objectives." I did not like doing these counseling processes; I thought they were ridiculous. The auditor would point to a table across the tiny auditing room and say: "Look at that bottle." I'd look. He'd say "Thank you ." Then he'd say "Walk over to that bottle." I'd walk over to it, with him at my side and he would say "Thank you. Touch that bottle." I'd comply. He would say: "Thank you. What is its color?" I would say "green." He would say "Thank you. What is its weight?" I'd take a guess. He'd say, "Thank you. What is its temperature?" I'd take a guess. He'd say, "Thank you. Turn around." I'd turn around. He'd say, "Thank you." Then he'd direct my attention to the other side of the room at another table, with another bottle on it and he would repeat the same dialogue ("patter" in Scientologese). After about an hour of this nonsense, I informed the auditor politely that I did not wish to continue this process. He said that we had to continue. I said that I was the customer and that I most certainly did not have to continue. He argued with me how I had to continue. I tried to leave the room. He would not let me. I tried to reason with him that I did not want to waste my extremely expensive auditing time doing stupid things. He still refused to let me leave the auditing room and blocked the door (and all the while the meter was ticking). So I sat down and refused to cooperate. He eventually capitulated and left the room to get advice. Finally, he came back and ended the session and let me go.
My remaining paid-for hours were converted into the "Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course" ("HQS"). I don't remember much about it, except doing more of the same communication drills that I had already done on the PCW and making a pencil out of clay and labeling its component parts. It was boring and my interest in Dianetics and Scientology was beginning to lag.
Before I finished this course, I joined staff at SCS Management Center in Burbank. Someone I knew at the Pasadena Dianetics Center was on staff there and she recruited me, using very strong affinity flows. It is hard to say no to someone who seems to like you so much. You begin to believe that they really are doing things out of a selfless interest in you. It was much later that I finally realized the truth. You cannot leave post without a replacement. And Isela Munoz very much wanted off staff. Enough to misrepresent staff life to me to induce me to join.
SCS Management Center is where the four missions had their centralized administration: accounting, printing, marketing, management, computer center, etc. I became the receptionist/ typist. This is where I met my future husband, Steve.
Carl Barney was the missionholder--the franchise owner of the four missions: His top executives were:
Ike Kezsbom, Technical Manager; Mike Scheer, Operations Manager; Ed Marsh, Marketing Manager; Jerry Watson, Attorney; Liz Sabine, Public Relations, Pam Novath, Treasury Secretary; Richard Scott, Director of Records, Assets & Materiels; Cris Criswell, Personnel Manager; and Steve Sola, Advertising Manager. Terrie Arnold was Carl's "communicator" (assistant, secretary, gopher, etc.). Arleen Valentin (later Dawson) was Ed's communicator (she died sometime in or around the time she was getting NOTs auditing, I believe). Scott Jacobs was Ike's communicator. Scotty was great. He was the epitome of what was good in Scientology. Everyone liked Scotty. Arlene Rich was Cris's communicator. I was the receptionist/typist. There were also two computer programmers. Dave Joseph, was the printer and Steve Van Stone was the financial consultant. This was the "Management Center" for Scientology Coordinated Services ("SCS").
Sometime during that year, I received some student auditing called "Method One Word Clearing." Steve's cousin Dave delivered it as a requirement to complete his course. The alleged end result was "recovery of one's.past education." I still can't do algebra. In fact, I did not recover any past education. Just looked up and "cleared" some words.
After I completed M-1 Word Clearing, I received some "review" auditing (when things aren't going well in your life, you get review auditing to find out what needs to be fixed. It is usually debit invoiced, meaning you get it on credit. It is more expensive than the normally expensive normal auditing). I spent the majority of my auditing "in review." This short span of auditing ended with me being sent to an upper organization (the American Saint Hill Organization or "ASHO") to see if I had attained the state of Clear. According to the master plan of Scientology auditing and training (the "Hubbard Gradation and Classification Chart," a/k/a the "Bridge to Total Freedom"), I should not have been anywhere near ready to get a Clear check.
This Clear check was a new auditing procedure called the "Dianetic Clear Special Intensive" (or "DCSI" for short). It was only a five-hour procedure. It was called "special intensive" because a normal "intensive" of auditing is 12 hours. It resolved with ASHO adjudicating that I was not Clear. I became quite upset with this adjudication considering the sum of money I had paid to receive it. I communicated my upset to the Examiner and after some more DCSI auditing ASHO reversed its prior adjudication and declared that I was, indeed, Clear.
What was really becoming "clear" was that there was something more powerful than "standard tech." That something was called a "dissatisfied customer"!
Steve and I were married on August 19, 1979. Steve attested to Clear three days before and I attested to Clear three days after we were married. We then moved to Santa Barbara because Steve had been posted as the Treasury Secretary Santa Barbara Mission.
Just prior to the DCSI auditing, crazy things were happening at SCS. We were told that Carl Barney had been trying to operate independent of the mother church (Mission Office World Wide in England or colloquially known as "MOWW" ) and one day MOWW put the four missions (SCS collectively) into receivership because allegedly Carl Barney had been playing games with the non-profit corporation by doing unlawful things such as having the non-profit corporation pay for his Lincoln Town Car, a cabin at Big Bear, and his pension, using NAC as a money pool for loans, and such.
Kingsley Wimbush (Mission Holder of the Stevens Creek Mission, later to be declared a suppressive person or "SP" and expelled from the church during the purge of 1982) headed a team sent in to "sort SCS out."
It resembled the Gestapo moving in and taking over. All the staff was ordered to do intensive studying of L. Ron Hubbard ("LRH") policies and it took an incredibly long time to finish. We were watched as if we were prisoners. And we were not allowed to leave until they said we could. It was frightening. I tried to leave but they would not let me. I was forced to endure extremely long hours of studying Hubbard's tedious policies, even while sick. We had to Method 9 Word Clear all the policies. This consisted of teaming up with another person and one person reading to the other. If the reader stumbled while reading, the coach had to spot check the reader on definitions of words until the the misunderstood word ("MU") was found and cleared. This took forever. I have never had the ability to keep late hours. Past 10:00 p.m. I start getting sleepy and disoriented. We were forced to study at least until 3 a.m. When I would assert I was too tired, I would be forced to look harder for the MU, and I was never allowed to leave until I was "granted permission." To leave without permission in Scientology is called "blowing" and can get you into ethics trouble and/or get you declared an SP.
Alison, a non-staff Scientologist friend of mine at the time, had a wedding shower for me a week before Steve and I were married. No one from the mission showed up because of the rigors of being thrown into receivership. Unfortunately, by this time, all my friends (except Alison) were Scientology staff members.
On August 23, 1979, Steve and I moved to Santa Barbara where Steve became the Treasury Secretary.(executive in charge of the mission's finances) of the Santa Barbara Mission. I got a "wog" job doing data entry in the evening for the County. The staff of the Santa Barbara Mission was dirt poor. I was only making $5.35 an hour as a data entry operator working out in the "wog" world, but we were rich comparatively. (Wog is a racist Scientology term which literally means "worthy oriental gentleman" and was defined by Scientology as "a garden-variety humanoid" and used generally to mean someone or something that is non-Scientology).
I was posted as Director of Communications ("Dir Comm") of the Santa Barbara Mission. One of my job duties as Director of Communications was to get the mail to the post office. Even when I became pregnant with our first child I had to carry heavy boxes of bulk mail to the post office up until just a few weeks before the baby was born. There is no mercy if you are pregnant and on staff. You are expected to do your job anyway.
The Santa Barbara Mission was a very old, decrepit hotel at 20 W. De La Guerra Street, just off of State Street. The front portion of the building was used for courses and counseling. In the back part hotel rooms were rented out to staff and public. Steve and I lived in one room, shared a bathroom with our neighbor, and had to endure sharing a cockroach-infested community kitchen with everyone. I hated it there.
A DIANETIC BIRTH
In mid-1980, our first child was born. I commuted to Los Angeles during my first pregnancy because I was told by many different Scientologists, both public and staff, that natural childbirth was the "Dianetically correct" way to have a baby. The mission sold a big, blue picture book authored and self-published by Margaret Martin, entitled "Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth," which depicted hospital births as being cruel and barbaric and home births being dianetically correct and, therefore, superior. Typically, as I was to soon find out, reality was just the opposite.
I retained Lucille Nye Schober, D.C. as a midwife. She was not only listed in the back of the Margaret Martin book but was referred by a Scientology medical clinic as well, which was also listed in the back of the Margaret Martin book.
Late in the pregnancy, Dr. Schober determined that the baby was breech. She consulted with Milos Klvana, M.D., an obstetrician. Dr. Klvana, whom I had never met, called in an x-ray order to Granada Hills Memorial Hospital for me to have an x-ray called a pelvimetry performed. This was to ascertain if my pelvic structure was adequate to have the baby breech.
Dr. Klvana determined that I was structurally okay to have a breech baby at home. I was naive and did not think anything was wrong with this. After all, he was an M.D. and I assumed he knew what he was doing.
The last week of my pregnancy I had Braxton Hicks syndrome (false labor) twice: initially for 24 hours, then 3 days later for 12 hours, then after another 2 or 3 days, actual labor commenced and lasted 16 hours. So my first child had to undergo 52 hours of intense labor.
I was staying with Alison in Granada Hills, a suburb of Los Angeles, and was planning to have the baby at her house (since there was no room in our domicile in Santa Barbara). Alison kept insisting that two "thetans" were bugging her. "Thetan" is Scientologese for a spiritual being, a soul without a body. She said one thetan was a prankster and the other was very serious. Alison had received a lot of auditing and had been adjudicated (determined to be) a "theta perceptic" (someone who can perceive thetans or future events, etc.)
She told me that the "prankster" wanted to "pick up" my baby's body. I wasn't sure whether I believed her stories or not until a strange thing happened. I was in the bathroom at her house one day. I was about to open the door to leave when a toothpaste cap hit the back of the door and bounced off. Alison had cats and I thought one of them was in the bathroom with me. I looked, but no cat. Weird, but I shrugged it off. When I next saw Alison, she laughed and told me that the "prankster" had tossed the cap at me to indicate that he was going to take the baby body. I was still skeptical.
Joe was born at Alison's house on June 6, 1980. Joe presented himself to the world butt first, then legs, and finally head last. The cord was wrapped around his neck three times. His color at birth was a deep, deep purple. It took nearly 20 minutes to get him to breathe by himself. Dr. Klvana alternated giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen. Finally, Dr. Schober put her pinky into his rectum and used an old chiropractic trick, she said, of maneuvering the tailbone to get him to breathe on his own.
Then the argument began between the doctors. Should Joe should be sent to Children's Hospital? They.became embroiled in a heated argument. Finally one of them called a pediatrician. Jay Gordon, M.D., an associate of Hollywood pediatrician Paul Fleiss, M.D., arrived at the house and immediately ordered Joe taken to Children's Hospital. Dr. Gordon was outraged that a known breech baby had been knowingly delivered at home. Hot words were exchanged. I didn't know what the argument was all about at the time but I learned later that to willfully have a known breech baby at home was illegal. Joe should have been delivered in a hospital by Caesarean section.
Steve and his brother, Tom, took newborn Joe to the hospital. An hour after Joe arrived at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, he had a seizure (a result of the birth trauma that deprived his brain of oxygen). He was kept at the hospital for three weeks on intravenous feedings (to prevent intestinal necrosis, a common but very serious problem if oxygen deprived babies are fed by mouth) and Phenobarbital (for the seizures). It was so s ad to see little Joe constantly drugged and crying when the IV needles were inserted into the skin on his head.
Dixie cups were taped over the IV insertion site to keep him from knocking the needle out. This went on for three weeks. His dad went back to the Santa Barbara org the next day. I stayed in Los Angeles and visited Joe every day. I took him out of his incubator (though he was 8-1/2 pounds at birth, he was in an incubator to keep him warm) and sat with him in a rocking chair every day for three hours. (Eighteen years later I go to visit him once a week for his allocated thirty minute visit at jail where he currently is incarcerated due to the problems he received from his birth trauma.) His father still goes to the Scientology org every day and visits him on rare occasions, but is usually "too busy."
The bottom line is: Joe nearly died. Only the swift intervention by a competent and ethical medical doctor saved his life. Joe's "Dianetically correct" birth resulted in learning and other disabilities and problems.
Dianetics has no safeguards or exceptions to its procedures. Those procedures are just mindlessly followed by its adherents. Breech babies are an obvious exception to any "Dianetic" rule. Yet, there is no "exception" in Dianetics protocol.
I learned my lesson, though. Three years later, Joe's little brother was born in a reputable hospital attended by reputable doctors. In 1990, Dr. Klvana was convicted and imprisoned because eight babies had died under his care. Dr. Schober had her chiropractic license revoked in 1993. The Scientology organizations no longer directly sell the Margaret Martin "Pregnancy and Natural Childbirth" picturebook. Sometime in 1982 books on Dianetics and Scientology authored by others than L. Ron Hubbard were banned from being sold in the Scientology organizations. However, this book is still being sold by at least one private business owned by a Scientologist (George's General Store) across the street from the main Scientology complex in Los Angeles. Dr.
Schober's name is still listed as a provider in the back of the book, despite the fact that she is in her 90s and her license has been revoked for six years.
In the name of DIANETICS Joe was subjugated to terrific pain and trauma. What was the point? He could have avoided 52 hours of labor, birth trauma, three weeks of IV's and incubators, and six more weeks of being weaned off of seizure medication if I had had a Caesarean section. The facts of my experience proved to me that just blindly following "Dianetics" technique is dangerous.
After Joe was released from Children's Hospital, he and I rejoined his father in Santa Barbara. The three of us continued to live in one room with a shared bathroom and the cockroach-infested community kitchen for another 9 months.
During the time there, Joe became a very angry baby. He would escape from our room and crawl down the hotel corridor screaming at the top of his lungs when he awoke to an empty room. His father was supposed to keep Joe upstairs with him while he was on post, but usually he just left Joe in our room by himself.
I could not stand the communal style of living, but Steve didn't seem to mind it. He had become involved with Scientology in 1974 and had been living like that for a number of years. He had grown accustomed to his weekly diet of granola, milk, bread, and peanut butter, which was all he was living on when I first met him.
In March of 1981, Steve's five-year staff contract was up and we moved back to Los Angeles. For about six months we rented a room at Alison's house. Being free of staff responsibilities, Steve promised me that he would work a normal day job and make money so that I could return to school and train to become a nurse. He also agreed to not sign another staff contract with Scientology without discussing it with me first.
That agreement lasted a few weeks until one of his friend's from the Valley Org got hold of him. He signed another five-year contract without discussing it with me first. I was very upset by his breach of our agreement, but he unilaterally decided that I did not have the right to be upset. After all, Scientology was more important than my life goals, or his keeping promises. The matter was dropped by him. I never dropped it but knew better than to try to argue with him. Scientology was more important than any goal I could ever have.
Scientology claims it helps you reach your goals. Again, reality was different. As I found out, your "goals" have to be the same as Scientology's goals or in some way benefit Scientology for them to be taken seriously.
Steve went onto the Technical Training Corp ("TTC") which is how the Scientology organizations train their auditors (counselors) and executives. By now the missions had been upgraded to Class IV Orgs, the difference being that missions could offer courses and auditing up through Dianetics, whereas orgs could offer courses and auditing up through Class IV auditor training (and ASHO up to Class VI auditor training and the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, AO could offer all lower training plus the OT levels through OT VII, with Flag being the highest level org. The Freewinds ship was the only place where OT VIII and above are delivered).
Steve was very idealistic and very much wanted to be an auditor. He didn't finish it at this time, being pulled off for a "more important" post, and it took nearly 15 years for him to get back to it.
Around that time (1981), I did the Purification Rundown, which was a tedious routine of five hours a day, consisting of exercise, vitamins, oil and sweating in a sauna. It took about two weeks for me to finish it, though I had heard from some people first-hand that it was taking months for them to complete it. I was thoroughly sick of the Purif and it was exhausting me to the point of debilitation. I had to quit a job because I was not functional. I had had enough, so I "originated" that I was done, and sure enough, I was routed through to the examiner to "attest" that I was done. Another satisfied customer. (And my suspicion confirmed again that a satisfied customer was more important than a real product.) I later learned that if "hours in the box" statistic were down, I probably wouldn't have completed that week. But that week completions ("comps") were needed, so I was allowed to complete and route onto my next step.
That next step was another tedious course called the "Survival Rundown." It was just a rehash of the communication skills and objective processes that I had received back in 1977-1978. I was taken off of this course to receive "professional" auditing. I was told that I could not train until I received more auditing because my "case" was keeping me from training. (And, of course, auditing was much more expensive and the only way to keep the stats up was to sell a lot of it.)
The only things getting in my way of studying Scientology were lack of interest in the subject matter and being exhausted by the insane schedule. (Interesting to note that I had completed nearly two years of college and never had any problems completing studies there! With no effort, I easily received As and Bs. I even completed 11 units of college courses, worked full time and was pregnant with my second child with no problem. The.difference being: I was in control of my schedule and getting enough sleep and eating property and was interested in what I was studying.)
It wasn't until Steve's brother came to California in 1981 that we finally got our very own apartment, after two years of marriage. Tom lived with us for about four years. Those were the best years (and the only years that our family didn't have to put up with a non-family Scientologists renting a room from us).
Steve's tenure on the TTC, as mentioned above, didn't last too long. Since he had been Treasury Secretary at the Santa Barbara Org, he was pulled off to do Valley Org's financial audits when the backlog became a "Hill 10" (a big problem), probably because the org was going to be audited by the IRS). He was paid $200 per week to do them. For Scientology staff, this was phenomenal pay.
I had long since run out of paid-for counseling and courses. In March of 1983, we moved to Sun Valley, California. In June of 1983, our second child was born. I learned quick. I used a reputable M.D. and delivered Vinnie in a hospital.
I had been sick while pregnant with him, and at the time of his birth did not know I had bronchitis. He was born with an infection and he had to stay in the hospital 10 days while he received intravenous antibiotics. I had to stay in the hospital an extra three days and receive antibiotics too. I cringe to think what would have happened if I had given in to the pressure to have him at home.
During this time, I was running a fever. Scientology has several procedures called "assists" which purportedly help you get well faster.
Steve was an "auditor-in-training" and I asked him for a fever assist. I was in the hospital at this time running a stubborn 102 degree fever. He responded with: "I'd rather be auditing Lu because she's a staff member." He then left, leaving me stunned. I had just delivered our second child but he would rather audit the org nanny than help me get well.
This reaction was the rule rather than the exception when it came to getting any help from him. Yet he had dedicated his life working for Scientology "to help save the world." Well, he hasn't "saved the world" yet, but his family shattered into pieces. How can you save the world when you can't even save your own family?
A comment on assists--the most common assist is a "touch assist". A sick person sits in a chair with his eyes closed and the auditor says "Feel my finger" and the sick person acknowledges that the finger was felt.
This continues, finger alternating left and right sides of the sick person's body on the legs, arms, spine and head.
Personally, I never liked them. I became dizzy sitting for so long with my eyes closed and can't remember an assist every making me feel better. I do remember getting one while in an auditing session. I was in such bad shape I fell asleep for five hours. And the auditor robotically continued, all the while the meter was running.
Actually, I must have acquired quite an endurance skill of holding my body upright in a chair while running a fever or suffering from diarrhea or nausea while someone robotically repeated "Feel my finger."
But, of course, when you have been involved with Scientology long enough, you know better than to say "This sucks!" or "That didn't do anything for me." You will either be sent to expensive review or to ethics or to the word clearer or all three. And if you disagree long enough, you will be declared SP. And that translates into.all Scientologists (who include your family and and most, if not all, of your friends) never being able to speak with you again. So you can see why anyone would be fearful of getting declared. I would have lost my family.
And you see, I loved my family very much. Even crazy, misguided Steve.
In October, 1983, Steve's boss, Russ Loomis, died unexpectedly. He went into surgery for a biopsy and was discovered to be a hemophiliac. He died on the operating table. I was shocked at the news. Russ had been a Scientologist and Steve spewed more of the same Scientological propaganda of "see what happens if you don't move up the bridge and do your OT levels." Steve did not appear very upset by the sudden death of his boss and friend. His reaction to Russ's death was disturbing. There was a dispute over the money left on Russ's account with the church. I heard his wife, Sharon, had trouble getting it refunded.
At the end of October, 1983, we moved from Sun Valley, California to Van Nuys, California. It was a rainy weekend. The house was larger but quite rundown. In the middle of the move, one of our old junk Datsun's gave up the ghost and, with one final gasp, died. We went back and forth moving stuff in our one remaining junk Datsun.
In the early afternoon, in the middle of the move, Jim Nicastro, the Finance Banking Officer (FBO) of Valley Org, showed up at our door. Steve had been "named" to replace Jim. There was some kind of upset occurring at the complex (Scientology's headquarters in Los Angeles, at the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital site). This upset concerned someone trying to back out purchasing a large package of Scientology services which had already been sold.
Steve just up and went with Jim in the middle of the move to help handle the problem. He left me, a 3- year-old child and a 4-month-old baby stranded at the house with no food, no lights or heat (and it was raining), no car, and no diapers for the baby, with half our possessions at the other house, no beds to sleep on, etc. He did not return until well after midnight.
He made no apology for his actions. In his mind it was the only thing he could have done. Families are second class citizens in the "religion" of Scientology.
In November, 1994, I decided to have undergo a tubal ligation. Life was rough in Scientology and it was for that precise reason that I decided against any more children. The tubal ligation was done on an out-patient basis. Steve picked me up on his dinner break and took me home. It was raining and lightning had struck a transformer somewhere and the house was without electricity. Steve left me at home without lights, drugged, with a 5-month- old and a 3-year-old and went back to the org.
During 1984, Steve and I received a lot of "pre-approved" credit card applications in the mail. After we received them, most of those cards were "max'd out" for Scientology services.
CLEAR OR NOT CLEAR? THAT IS THE Q & A.
I was given a "potpourri" of different rundowns, one of which was the Scientology Drug Rundown. This series of auditing questions purportedly removes any spiritual consequences of taking drugs. Since I had never used street drugs, about the only "drugs" to come up and be "handled" were sugar and caffeine. After the rundown was complete, a strange thing happened. Where I used to be relatively judicious in my use of sugar and caffeine, I started binging on them. I dutifully reported this to the C/S but no action was ever taken.
I decided I could not possibly be Clear because of all the problems so I originated that to the Case Supervisor (C/S) and it was officially decided that I was not Clear, and I was given Dianetics. There is a rule that Clears cannot be given Dianetic processing because it doesn't work on them. I was given Dianetics and bogged down horribly. I was given yet another DCSI (Dianetics Clear Special Intensive) and it was determined that I was, in fact, Clear. Why was it so hard to determine whether I was or wasn't, except perhaps that the state of Clear doesn't exist?
During this time, I was also training on the Academy Levels. These are the courses where you train to be a Class IV auditor (meaning you can counsel or "audit" someone up through Grade IV of the Scientology Grade Chart).
I had a hard time with my metering and there were things that I just didn't understand. I was told to just keep going and I would get my questions answered on the Class IV internship that followed the completion of the Level IV course.
Sometimes I was asked to stay up all night to complete my course by Thursday at 2:00 p.m. (when the accounting week ended). This made me angry because by 2:00 a.m., I no longer knew what I was reading or listening to any more, nor did I care. The end of every course of the Academy levels were a blur. And no wonder. The curse of "make it go right" was invoked whenever a stat needed to get pushed up. And if you didn't "make it go right" you got a free fast trip to Ethics to find out your "counterintention" to the forward expansion of Scientology.
SOME MEMORABLE EVENTS FROM SCIENTOLOGY TRAINING
I did the Professional TRs course ("Pro TRs") in about 1983 or 1984. I noticed that when Steve would start to bullbait me, it seemed like the attention of people in the practical room would shift to us. It was something I could feel, rather than see. So when Steve bullbaited me and used material like "How about a hot cock sandwich with come dripping out the sides" to try to get me to break my confront, I remember hearing the whole practical side of the course room going completely, utterly, heart-stoppingly silent. I squelched the fire fighting to flood my face and the extreme humiliation. I did not let my confront break. I could not believe my own husband would say something so outrageous, much less in public, but he just laughed about it. I had no idea he could be so lewd. He said other outrageous things during those bullbaiting session, but that one, for obvious reasons, stuck in my mind. It was soooo degrading. I mean, what respectable man talks to his wife like that? I don't know any respectable man that would. But what I do know is this: Scientology ain't no religion! Not in the context as I have come to understand what a religion is.
I also did the Scientology Minister's Course. This consisted of the usual Scientology course checksheet which included mostly Scientology-related materials. I believe a prerequisite was finishing the Class IV auditor course (but not interning, because I never interned.) The only non-Scientology requirement was reading a thin paperback book entitled "The World's Great Religions" and it was not even required to be "checked out" or any other special study technology applied to it rather than read it and clear up any misunderstood words.
To complete the course, I had to deliver a "sermon". I selected a benign topic, "Affinity, Reality and Communication" and gave a five minute lecture to Academy students after the weekly graduation. Once done, Terrie, the sarcastic Ethics Officer, did a little motion with her hands (making the sign of the cross) and said, in her usual gruff, disgusted manner, "you're ordained." It was rude. It confirmed to me that the minister business was a deception and not taken seriously, and because her rudeness confirmed the unseriousness of the title, I never acted in the capacity as a minister. Nor did I ever see any fellow staff members, or anyone for that matter, deliver sermons or "church" services at Valley Org ever, or any of the other four missions-turned-orgs during the 12 years I was associated with them. I do know that they had people in that capacity at ASHO and AO who wore the black minister shirts, but I believe it was just for show. No one, except possibly new recruits, ever attended. Scientology's gods were then, and remain today, money and power.
When I finally did make it to my Class IV internship, however, the intern supervisor (Paul Roady) was outraged at my questions and demanded to know if I had "false attested" my Academy levels. At this point, I was furious. I had been pushed through all 5 Academy levels (Levels 0-IV-how do you say "zero" in Roman numerals?-never figured out why numbers weren't used instead) obviously just so the org could have their "comp" (course completion). I refused to re-train the Academy levels. (A retrain costs you 50% of the original price paid.) I routed off the internship extremely disillusioned and never went back.
I also received the PTS Rundown. Scientology has this medieval belief that all illness stems from being PTS. They deride the "germ theory" of illness. PTS stands for "potential trouble source" (which means a potential source of trouble for Scientology, and you, the PTS one, must pay beaucoup bucks for this rundown).
A person potentially becomes a source of trouble for Scientology if he is connected to a "suppressive person." A suppressive person, by Scientology's biased definition, is someone who is against betterment of a person in general or Scientology in particular.
So if, for example, your mother tells you that she heard a bad thing on the news about Scientology and that maybe you should investigate it a little before you jump in headfirst, and you subsequently catch a cold, then the ethics officer will "discover" that you are PTS to your suppressive mother.
Now you have to "handle" her (i.e., bring her into agreement with Scientology) or you have to "disconnect" from her (break all communication with her). Nothing stands in the way of Scientology. Not your mother, father, family, friends, no one.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Briefly, a Scientology organization has an organizing chart which is governed by an Executive Director ("ED") at the top of the hierarchy. I am doing this on memory. I believe it is generally correct. (See the Org chart below) Scientology Org Chart Over each division is a secretary (i.e., head of the treasury division is the treasury secretary).
Each division has three departments (i.e., Division 1 has the department of personnel, department of inspections and reports, and the department of communications.
Each department has various sections and units (i.e., ethics is a section of Division 1, Department of Inspections and Reports.
Div 1 is called HCO (Hubbard Communications Office). The senior over Div 1 is called the HAS (Hubbard Area Secretary).
Div 2 is the home of the Bookstore Officer. So is the Registrar and the printer.
Div 4 holds the HGC (Hubbard Guidance Center). Interesting that they call it "processing" rather than counseling or auditing, isn't it?
Div 5 has certs and awards, the examiner (you know, after you complete anything you go to the examiner who checks to make sure your "needle is floating.") Internships are run through Div 5 also. Staff Enhancement is one department of Div 5 where all staff are under the Director of Personnel Enhancement (a/k/a Staff Section Officer).
Div 6 is home to the chaplain, intro films, the "Div 6 courseroom" (the "raw meat" courseroom where.everything is watered down from the Academy standards), etc. Body routing is somewhere in Div 6 too.
The next level are the Executive Secretaries. The Hubbard Executive Secretary ("HES") is in charge of Divisions 7, 1 and 2. The Organizational Executive Secretary ("OES") is in charge of Divisions 3, 4 and 5. The Public Executive Secretary ("PES") is in charge of Divisions 6A, 6B and 6C.
The next level is the Secretaries. Division 7 starts the org board on the left. It has three departments. One department contains the office of the Executive Director. Another is where the OSA representative is located.
Division 1 is headed by the Hubbard Area Secretary (HAS) and is in charge of 3 departments: Communications, Personnel and Ethics. (Each department is headed by a "Director".) Division 2 is headed by the Dissemination Secretary ("Dissem Sec"). Division 3 is headed by the Treasury Secretary ("Treas Sec"), who is in charge of 3 departments: Income, Disbursements and Records, Assets and Materiels ("RAM"). Division 4 is headed by the Technical Secretary ("Tech Sec") who heads 3 departments: Tech Services (headed by the director of tech services ("DTS"), Processing (headed by the director of processing ("D of P") and Training (headed by the director of training ("D of T'). Division 5 is headed by the Qualifications Secretary ("Qual Sec"), who is in charge of 3 departments which include staff enhancement, the examiner, cramming officer, etc. Divisions 6A, 6B and 6C are the public divisions and include public outreach, introductory courses and films, the "OCA" personality analysis administration, the Chaplain, etc.
An org's accounting weeks starts at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday and runs until 2:00 p.m. the following Thursday. At 2:00 p.m. on Thursdays, stats are collected for the week, ethics conditions are started, battle plans are written and turned into seniors. The Advisory Council convenes on Thursday nights. The "Ad Council" or "AC" is composed of divisional secretaries: HAS, Dissem, Treas, Tech, Qual and the three Public Secretaries. The AC works out the finances with the money from the week that just closed and prepares a battle plan ("BP") for the coming week. The BPs are basically work outs on who to reg (sell) in the coming week, who gets named to "comp" (complete) their courses, auditing, etc. This information is then handed over to the Executive Council for approval. The "Exec Council" or "EC" is composed of the ED and the three Exec Secs:
HES, OES and PES.
The AC figures out what bills will be paid. It is a tough job, as there are usually many more bills than money. The Scientology financial policies state that the payroll allocation for Scientology organization staff members is 30% of the weekly corrected gross income (CGI). CGI is the gross income [GI] minus things like bounced checks and the amount of last week's booksales equal the CGI. Then 30% of the CGI is allocated for payroll. This 30% allocation is conditional, however, because if the other 60% of the income is not enough to cover all the mandatory bills an organization has to pay (mandatory internal scientology bills like film lease payments [which is 8% of all monies paid for training in a week], 14% to organizational promotion, management payments, payments to help finance the quarterly events at the Shrine Auditorium, payments to upper orgs for staff training, etc.), things which have to be paid before an org can pay its own rent, utilities, buy supplies, staff payroll, etc., then there is very little, if any, payroll. Normally, a new recruit is NEVER informed of this reality.
So assuming that there is some money for payroll, staff on fixed pay like the nannies, someone doing a special project (like Steve and the audits), a freelance auditor or two, would be paid first, and then the remaining payroll amount would be divided amongst the rest of the staff, depending upon how many units you were allowed and that week's value of the unit, plus or minus amounts due to your personal statistic (explained below). A "unit" was a number calculated by your position within the organization. So a low level staff member would make fewer units than an executive.
If the org makes no money, then there is no payroll that week. A no or low pay week is NEVER made up in the future. And upper orgs or management never lend it to a lower org or allow an org to skip or reduce its payments to upper management. Staff are always paid in cash, a puzzling practice considering the security risk of transporting, large sums of case from the bank to the org. Occasionally, though, the org had a good week (exception to the rule, though). So here is an all too typical scenario:
$20,000 Gross Income (GI) for last week - 1,500 Bounced Check (BC) for the current week + 500 Bounced Check Collected (BCC) from prior week - 4,000 Booksales from last week (because 100% of all monies from booksales are reinvested in bookstocks) = $14,000 Corrected Gross Income (CGI) - 2,100 Promotion (14% of CGI).- 400 Money Paid for Training (mandatory 8% of all monies paid for training that week [assuming $ 5,000 for this example]) - 2,000 Management bill - 1,500 Quarterly Shrine event (weekly breakdown of a quarterly expense) - 4,500 Payroll (30% of the CGI) - 800 Payment to upper org for staff training = $2,700 Monies available to pay other bills such as:
Rent $10,000 ($2,500 per week) Phone 2,000 ($500 per week) Gas 500 ($125 per week) Electric 1,500 ($375 per week) Supplies ??? (including toilet paper, paper towels, admin. supplies, etc.)
Payroll???? (and if any money for payroll, fixed pay comes off the top before regular staff get paid as explained above) Etc.
So you see what happens to payroll, since it is the only things that can be cut from the FP (Financial Planning). Staff don't get paid or are paid inadequately. Now, multiply this scenario by week after week and you will see why the org doesn't pay its rent on time and usually has to get an eviction notice nearly every month before it is forced to declare a "State of Emergency," "Hill 10", and "All Hands" actions to scrape up the rent. In a State of Emergency, there are no privileges and all staff must work continuously until the "Hill 10" is handled.
And God help you if your stats are down!) Steve's average pay (when he was the Flag Banking Officer, a top executive level position in the FBO network (a network that is autonomous of the org hierarchy, that is equal in status with the org's Executive Director, with the exception that the FBO can tell the ED what to do, not vice versa) averaged approximately $150 per week. And this was for working 60+ hours per week, IF the org made enough money to actually have a payroll that week!
And payroll wasn't the only thing cut. Too many times, there wasn't enough money to buy toilet paper.
You either brought your own or suffered. Many times, staff and public would bring back "extra" napkins from Taco Bell down the street. Or some staff might pay for it out of their own pocket because it was so embarrassing to have customers asking where the T.P. was and have to tell them there was none (again and again).
The above figures were done from memory. They may not be 100% accurate, but they are accurate enough to show how insane it is to work in an org when it doesn't make enough money (which is typical), how underpaid (or not paid at all) staff can be. And when an org doesn't make enough money, what happens then?
THE ORG SCHEDULE
The "standard" full-time staff schedule is 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (or later) Monday through Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. This constitutes a minimum of 60 hours per week working.
(From 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, full time staff are supposed to be on "enhancement."
This is in addition to the 60+ hours spent working on post. The "enhancement" (either on course learning Scientology or getting Scientology counseling) is considered the "benefit" they get for working on staff: free or discounted training or auditing. Of course, there are various factors which can prevent you from getting this "benefit" such as illness, having to moonlight to make enough money to pay your rent, your post statistics being down, ethics "handlings," sleeping late after working all night in an all-hands project, etc.
Of course, like your pay and your eligibility to receive the "benefits," this basic schedule is open to variation. Scientology guarantees nothing. Your pay is governed by your personal statistics: the quantity of work you produced this week compared to your last week's production ("stats"). If your stats are up over last week, you get a little bonus. If your stats are down from last week, you lose some pay. If your stats are normal (slightly more than last week), then you neither win nor lose. (And Scientology claims it is the only game in town where no one loses. HA! I have seen many dedicated, hardworking staff members lose week after week.)
Of course, if there is no pay, or very little, the bonus game is just a wicked tease. But there is no doubt in my mind that upper management never suffers like org and mission staff members suffer. I have seen the opulent offices that upper management has. They spare no expense. Nor mercy towards its dedicated staff.
Back to the schedule. Typical Hill 10: the org rent needs to be paid or the org will be evicted. So what happens? The org executives impose an "all hands" schedule, which means working into the wee hours of the weeknight and all day and all evening on Saturdays and Sundays. (And please note, you are still expected to be on time the next day and be "studentable" or "sessionable", i.e., have enough sleep and proper nutrition for your "enhancement"--it is a no-win situation.) So you can go from a "minimum" full-time schedule of 60 hours a week (plus 12-1/2 hours of enhancement time) to in excess of 70 hours a week (plus 12-1/2 hours of enhancement time or lose enhancement tim e altogether).
And to further the degradation of the staff's physical, mental, and spiritual welfare, the "all-hands" schedule usually coincides with "no pay" or "low pay" periods, because the all-hands schedule is needed to "out create" the "Hill 10." So when a full-time staff member needs to go out into the "wog" world the most to make money to pay his own rent, he is imprisoned by an impossible schedule. And if he "blows" (an unauthorized leave, i.e., you have to get permission to not be at the org when scheduled, and permission is usually never granted, especially during a Hill 10), he can be declared a suppressive person and expelled from the "church." So for all you public Scientologists that may read this, that is why you are sometimes called at 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., etc. (in addition to the normal 3 or 4 calls per day) to come in for services. They are desperate.
And if you don't comply with the schedule? You are threatened with (what is euphemistically called) "ethics" and further non-compliances can result in a suppressive person declare. An "SP Declare" is a formal expulsion (excommunication) from Scientology. Considering this "church" has deceived its devoted members into believing that it holds the keys to spiritual freedom, an "SP Declare" is a very powerful tool employed by the "church" to get total, unquestioning loyalty.
NEVER TRUST A SCIENTOLOGY REGISTRAR
In about August of 1985, a registrar at ASHO, by the name of Frank Benjamin, encouraged me to take a stock option loan on my stock in the amount of $15,000. I did not want to, but I eventually capitulated because of the intense pressure. At that time, I was having panic attacks. Grace Huber was the Valley Org Ethics Officer at the time and she told me the panic attacks were the "nervous hysteria" precipitated by going past misunderstood words. I was literally in a panic by the panic attacks, a fact heavily preyed on by Mr. Benjamin.
So he extracted the money from me.
ASHO also gave me a technical estimate of 25 hours of auditing on OT Preparations. The first 25 hours went okay, but then something went wrong and the OT prep auditing turned into well over 125 hours just trying to fix it. Every penny of that $15,000 was put into this auditing. When I ran out of paid time and they saw they could get no more money from me, I was dropped. I was just abandoned, sicker than when I started and very unhappy.
MY YEAR ON FULL-TIME STAFF
Steve's brother got married on July 5, 1985. During the reception, while bouncing a 2-year-old on my hip and being dragged around by a 5-year-old, I searched for Steve everywhere to get some assistance with the kids.
I couldn't find him anywhere. The last place I looked was on the dance floor. For seven years I had begged Steve to go dancing, but he would always refuse, saying that he did not like to dance. So when I found him on the dance floor with the person in charge of Ethics, I was shocked. When I asked him why he was dancing with her he said the she had asked him and he couldn't be rude and refuse. I asked why it wasn't okay to be rude to her but it was okay to be rude to me, his wife of seven years?" He never answered.
This upset me to no end. One week later, I was involved in a car accident that left me with broken bone in my lower back. (PTS?) I couldn't work for a year. Credit card payments became delinquent. Creditors started calling. And guess who was home to deal with it all? Not Steve. During this period he was working for Bridge Publications, Inc. (a Scientology publishing house) and he would not quit working for Bridge (and the usual low pay) and find a better paying job so that we could pay our credit cards and other financial obligations. The org knew all about it. I told them via Knowledge Reports. But they did not agree that Steve should leave staff just to handle his own finances. Eventually, all our credit card accounts were closed, many of which had been used for Scientology services.
Further, I helped Steve work on the Bridge Publications' audits. While I was there, I observed numerous cases of Dianetics and other Hubbard books with the B. Dalton stickers already on them. I inferred that they had been bought by loyal Scientologists and returned to Bridge to be "recycled."
After that, Steve made remarks to me such as he'd "like me better if I was on staff." Working through marital difficulties with the ethics offer was not exactly a bowl of cherries. Terrie, the ethics officer ("EO") insulted me, and among other things, called me a hag. I blew up at her. (She labeled it a "psychotic break."
Scientologists label extreme anger as "psychotic breaks." I think extreme anger is mislabeled on purpose so that Scientology can make out like you are crazy if you get so made you blow up in anger.) She told me that she believed I had diabetes. (I didn't then and to this day still don't-talk about eval!) She agreed with Steve that I suffered from out-R2 with him. Therefore the solution to our marital problems was for me to join staff so that I would have reality with Steve. So, against my better judgment, I joined staff.
I was posted as the Treasury Secretary. Little did I know what a killer post it was. I had to deal with five different landlords because, at the time, Valley Org was in five different storefronts along Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, California. I came in at the tail end of a prosperous period in Valley Org's existence and it was still living "high on the hog" but consistently not making enough money to meet its financial obligations.
Consequently, I was forced to stall the landlords. I also had to try to stave off disaster with the utilities, vendors, post office, etc.
Not long after I was posted as the Treasury Secretary, a Mission was fired into the org. The Mission 1st (the one in charge of the team) was a man named Mr. Reed. Mr. Reed appointed me the Board Finance Officer ("BFO") in addition to my duties as Treasury Secretary. This post was created pursuant to Scientology policy so as to channel all the noise from flapping creditors (landlords, utilities, etc.) to one person, so the rest of the org personnel would not be distracted and could get on with production. The policy specifically stated that the BFO was not to have any other post.
I pointed this out to Mr. Reed but he did not care. There just wasn't anyone else to do the job, so I had to be the BFO and the Treasury Secretary. Treasury is Division 3 of the org which consists of three departments: income (including accounts receivables), disbursements (which includes bill payments and payroll) and records, assets & materiels (which included supplies and financial audits). I had one part time assistant who dealt with the income department (calling people who owed the org money and trying to extract it from them) and helped with payroll, and between the two of us, we had to work miracles. My assistant mentioned to me that she had lost her house because of Scientology registrars.
Needless to say, I was not happy with having to take on the additional duties of BFO, which consumed a lot of time. Plus a different Mission had fired into the org from INCOMM (the Scientology computer org, "International Network of Computer Organized Management") to computerize Treasury. We had to do daily closeouts, both by computer and by the manual system. It made double work and the computer system was full of bugs. Months later it was abandoned. Needless to say, I quickly came to hate being on staff.
When a Mission is in the org, you work nonstop, late into the wee hours of the morning, every day, all weekend. I lost 15 pounds during this particular Mission due to lack of time to eat and the stress of "getting the stats up."
Why didn't I quit if it was so destructive? Well, in Scientology there is a policy which states that "your post is a trust and a crusade." You cannot just resign. You have to find your own replacement first. Even though every Scientology org has a personnel department which is supposed to recruit, it rarely happens. New recruits are usually posted to vacant posts that are more important than yours (obviously since you are still there, it is not a 'situation' yet, which makes it a Catch 22).
I could not find a replacement and I could not quit or I would be declared suppressive and expelled. This put me in an impossible position. Not only did that mean that my husband and children could never communicate with me again (pursuant to Scientology policy), but my mother had entered the hospital for what was to be the last time and I needed time to go visit her every day. She was diabetic and had injured her foot.
After extensive antibiotic treatment, it had become gangrenous and her leg below the knee was amputated. After this point, it was discovered she had Cushing's disease. She lost muscle control and eventually went into a coma for a month before dying. But while she was conscious I spent my "enhancement" time visiting with her.
I was given so much grief over losing my enhancement time to visit with this "diseased" person (as Scientology staffers categorized her) and what did it matter, she would pick up a new body and maybe next time around she would get it right and get into Scientology that it made me sick. I disagreed with the Scientological viewpoint and persisted in visiting her. I had to go from Van Nuys to Downey to visit and be back in Sherman Oaks by 12:30 p.m. to be on post. And with the Mission in the org, I did not get off post until sometime between 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. every night. I would get 3 or 4 hours of sleep and be back at the hospital to visit the next day. This went on for about four months.
It is no wonder that I literally dropped at the end of a year on staff with chronic mononucleosis. I was intensely ill for six months, literally sleeping 20 hours a day. I never fully recovered from it. The name of the illness changed several times and today is known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). I still wage a weary war with fatigue and neurological anomalies even after 13 years. One of my permanent "keepsakes" from my year on staff.
1. Eval stands for evaluation; Inval stands for invalidation. These are two things that are forbidden in the context.of Scientology counseling. You do not evaluate for the preclear nor invalidate their "wins and gains." 2. Out reality basically means not being in agreement. 3. A Mission is a team of Sea Org missionaires that are sent to an org when the stats are down 4. All Sea Org ("SO") personnel are addressed as "Mr." whether male or female. Mr. Reed was a man.
The following is a list of things I observed while on staff. They are not in any particular order:
One of the top executives of Valley Org was Colleen Rice. She had a very serious medical problem, possibly multiple sclerosis. Sometimes she was in such tremendous pain she had to crawl on her hands and knees. One time she was in such a position when she called me from her office to come and help her. She could not get time off to deal with her medical problem and the usual "PTSness" was ascribed to it. When her stats went down, it was leaked that she had been a prostitute and the man she was married to had been her pimp.
Whether this was true or not is unknown. But the fact is that this information was allegedly gleaned from her confidential counseling folders.
Another staff member was Nancy Stansbury, who was posted as a registrar. At one point in time, she had been looking white as a sheet for quite a while and was obviously extremely ill. When I was acting as the temporary ethics officer she came to visit me. She told me that the Executive Director (ED) had been following her everywhere she went. I was doubtful. She appeared to be very anxious and told me how sick she was. We were doing a metered interview which necessitated an "In Session" sign being placed on the door. Despite this sign (which means "Do Not Disturb under penalty of heavy ethics"), the E.D. threw open the door and harassed her. I told him to close the door. He stood in the door staring at me and I held my position. He finally reluctantly did so. Nancy said "See?" I saw.
A number of marriages came unglued just in the year I was on staff. That is where mine started to unravel. Lu and John Robertsons' marriage blew apart, and so did Lori and Paul Redmond's. It was becoming commonplace to see a woman with three married last names: Linda Cain Dobbe Goodman Kloeffler; Joyce Martin Cook Rogers Sola; Lu Ann ___ Hayes Robertson _____. And Scientology says it has the technology to keep marriages together. Hubbard himself had three wives and was married to two of them at the same time.
I attempted to recover former Treasury secretary Karyn Merrill. She had married some guy posted as the Flag Rep Valley Org whose name escapes me. They blew together. She refused to come back because of the abuses.
I knew Kelly Donahue from before I married Steve. He had been married to Nicki, a hairstylist who did my hair for my wedding. Kelly became a paraplegic due to a brain aneurysm and Nicki dumped him. Personnel at the Valley Org promised him a cure but he had to follow Hubbard's policy and get off disability so he could get auditing to "handle" his condition. I was acting as a temporary ethics officer and Kelly asked me what to do.
I told him to stay on social security. There was no way auditing was going to cure him. At best, it would make him "feel better" about his condition. Kelly was disappointed in my advice because he was really pinning his hopes on a cure. But I think he realized I was speaking the truth.
Kelly had a seizure when he was at the org one day and the E.D. "handled" him in the bathroom. No one was allowed to call 911 because it would create a flap, an out-PR (out public relations) situation for the org. I never saw Kelly after that so I do not know what happened to him.
The Key To Life (KTL) course was coming out in 1985/1986. Personnel were recruited from Valley Org to form a team so Valley Org could deliver KTL, as it had to have its own special courseroom. These staff had.to go to the International Training School (ITS) to train to deliver KTL. One of the staff was named Cecilia Origel Roldan. She attempted suicide while training at ITS.
I knew Arleen Dawson since 1978. A most wonderful person. What Scientologists call a "theta" person.
I believe she was on NOTs auditing (OT IV and up). The story is she suddenly had a very severe sore throat.
She called her husband, Chuck, and he said he would take her to the doctor when he got home from work. When he got home, he found her lying dead on the floor.
When I was on staff I complained about the smoke. Many staff smoked and the ventilation was poor. I notified everyone that I was allergic to smoke. Colleen Rice told me that "Ron said 'if you can't handle one thing, then get two of them.'" So on that [bad] advice, I started smoking. Within a few weeks I developed a cyst in my sinus cavity. I spent two weeks on medicine designed to shrink the cyst and pain medication. The doctor told me that if the medicine didn't shrink the cyst that they would have to surgically remove it, which would have resulted in a surgical scar on my face.
I complained of a return of electrical sensations down my head and back that I had suffered from ten years earlier. I was told by a staff at the org (I forget who, an auditor I think) that it was an "implant in restimulation." Years later demyelination was detected in my brain which could have been the cause of the electrical sensations and a potential serious health condition which the "implant" explanation could have masked.
A different E.D. at Valley Org told us one time during a staff meeting that "upper management considers Valley Org a LARGE org." This floored me. At the time, Valley Org had a handful of full-time staff and about 20 part time staff.
Also during staff meetings, on several occasions, I saw boxes of recycled Dianetics books with B.Dalton stickers on them. Staff were encouraged to go out to B. Dalton's and buy Dianetics by the caseful and "give away to friends" to "help push Ron's books onto the bestseller lists." If Hubbard was truly a bestselling author, why did we have to "help"?
A Valley Org public person, Joe Modica, went to Flag. When he came back he said the service was just as bad as at every other org he had ever been at. He said that "Flag Results" was a myth.
Valley Org had nannies to watch the kids of staff so their parents could be on past. One nanny was an alcoholic. When my kids were with her several things happened. Joe went down the street and set fire to a palm tree, and Vinnie (who was 2-1/2 to 3 years old at the time) was found wandering around by himself at a strip mall at a busy intersection up the street from the nanny's house. This same nanny moved a homeless drug addict into her home who was always hanging around when the kids were there.
My ex-sister-in-law, Jennifer, was a nanny. One time she broke her leg and was casted from toe to hip.
Her senior dumped 20 kids on her and told her she had to be on post whether her leg was broken or not.
I had an org nanny at my house. Joe hated her so bad that when I left one night he broke a window as he tried to open it in a panic when he saw that I was leaving. I researched the laws of home day care operations and informed Valley execs (including the DSA) of the illegality of the nanny situation multiple times (via Things That Shouldn't Be Reports"), providing state laws on daycare homes. The information was ignored every time.
My ex-brother-in-law, Tom, was trying to route off staff. Steve came over and screamed at Jennifer in her backyard that she was a suppressive person, she was trying to take Tom off staff, etc. He called her by her.maiden name to emphasize that he did not consider her part of the family.
My son, Joe, signed a billion year contract with the Sea Org when he was maybe 10 years old. His father gave the "parental consent." I knew nothing of it, even though we have joint custody of Joe. Despite the SO recruiter knowing that Joe was learning disabled and could not read well enough to pass basic training, Joe was inducted into SO. Joe was routed in just prior to 2:00 p.m. to count as a statistic for the week, and he was routed out that night because he couldn't read.
When I received the $50,000 settlement from the bad car accident I had, ASHO registrars were tipped off by my own husband and were all over my attorney, Duane Stroh, to extract the money to buy my packages before Mr. Stroh was legally authorized to release the money so they could get the money in "before Thursday at 2:00 p.m."
After ASHO had taken so much of my money, and the fact that I was not working and the bills were piling up, we were in dire straights financially. To pay the rent one month, I had Steve "sell" me an e-meter at ASHO which was debited from money I had on account at ASHO so he could get the commission and we could pay the rent.
Steve was in charge of the money that was set aside to meet payroll and other taxes at the org. However, if a financial Hill 10 occurred at the org, the money was "borrowed" and put back later. Since Steve was in charge of the petty cash account, he would also borrow money from it to float us til payday.
Every quarter Scientology has a big sales event, usually at the Shrine Auditorium, as described in the prologue. Every org has to "volunteer" several staff to help run this event. Usually it was the "downstat" staff that were "volunteered."
We lived in a rundown old house and drove rundown old Datsun 510 wagons while we were on staff.
The grass in the front yard grew to be 3-feet tall. There was never enough money to pay bills. I had to go back to work.
My ex-brother-in-law Tom fulfilled his five-year contract. There is a policy that says that you cannot leave a post until you have a replacement. Tom's contract was up for six months and he still did not have a replacement, so he walked. He was harassed and told he was "blown" and that he'd be declared. He moved about 50 miles away from the org for a year or so, then he suddenly moved to the East Coast. I infer that he has left Scientology quietly.
Since Steve was the FBO, he worked closely with the registrars. Sometimes he would use our credit cards were used to loan money to others to buy their services before Thursday at 2:00 p.m. and then we were paid back and we would pay off the credit card. One time we loaned Chris Nulph $4,000 and something happened. Chris became very upset and almost didn't pay us back.
Staff were always cannibalized to buy books. You could offer any excuse but the Bookstore Officer would always have a solution. Can't afford it today. Put it on your credit card and pay it next month. My card is max'd out. Fine, write a check. Forgot my checkbook. Okay, we have Counter checks. I don't have my checking account number memorized. That's okay, we can go to Treasury and look up an old invoice with the number on it. Do it and die. Don't do it and you can go to Ethics.
I broke my wrist. The doctor told me it would take three months to heal and, consequently, I would be.off work for three months. An ASHO registrar told me that my wrist would heal faster if I bought two intensives (25 hours) of auditing and, therefore, would lose less income by being able to go back to work sooner.
I charged the two intensives ($4,000-$5,000) on the American Express card. My wrist did not heal any faster than the three months that the doctor had said. Of course, the American Express card came due long before I returned to work and I couldn't pay the bill.
Scientology has a policy that you cannot be late to post, course, session, nothing. If you are, you get sent to Ethics. The threat of ethics is enough to make one break every speed law there is to make it on time. My ex- drove like a maniac when he was late. It was interesting to note that for anything outside of Scientology, my ex- could never be on time. Also when he was on post, he would promise to be home by a certain time and he never made it and usually didn't call at all, and if he did, it was hours beyond the time he was supposed to have been home.
Staff work all holidays. No exceptions.
I knew a number of staff whose teeth literally rotted until they fell out. Either they didn't have any money for dental work or they ignored it as a "body thing."
One day at a staff meeting the E.D. told the staff that he had had a "cognition" while auditing OT III. He said that the room turned a blue color and he realized that L. Ron Hubbard was "god."
When I was post as the SSO, Terrie, the EO, came by and inspected my statistics. My graphs were hanging on the wall and were good. The current week was slightly down, but I was on a 6-week affluence trend, which was good. She called my stats "turtle dung." As the saying goes: "Scientology is the only game where everybody wins." Ho-ho-ho.
"Make it go right." "When the rules get in the way, to hell with the rules." "If his stats are up he can commit murder." Staff heard these slogans so many times that it became ingrained that no matter what, even if you have to break rules and even murder, you do whatever you have to in order to ensure that your stats are up.
The E.D. went on witchhunts (those with "other fish to fry") seeking out the "suppressives" that were keeping Valley Org's statistics down. One night, he confronted Paul Redmond and threw him out of the courseroom. I had to do metered security checks in the courseroom. Salem Witch Hunts revisited.
In the Sea Org, if your stats are down or you get into trouble, you are assigned to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). RPFers must address everyone as "sir," must run everywhere, can only sleep 6 hours per night max, only get beans and rice to eat, are dirty, and wear black with black armbands. I saw this around the Hollywood "complex" all the time.
I paid thousands of dollars for courses, whether as a public person or by reason of signing staff debit invoices and subsequent freeloader debts. Nearly all courses need you to twin with someone. It was so rare that I ever had a competent twin. Sometimes my twin was a kid.
When Steve was appointed corporate Secretary/Treasurer I observed him sign an undated Resignation as Officer form before he was allowed to assume the title.
My then-husband Steve told me, during the time that my mother was dying, that he would take me out in the desert and shoot me if I became [diseased] like my mother. It was not a gesture of compassion, such as.euthanasia. It was said with contempt.
Scientology executives at Valley Org commented numerous times that all the landlords and other people owed money by the org were "SPs".
Interestingly, when dissatisfied customers requested their money back they, too, became "SPs." They were put on a "routing form" and literally had to "run the gauntlet" to get their money back. They were sent to just about every post in the org to "route out" and were usually treated with contempt. Most people didn't finish. They just never came back. Which, apparently, was the intention of the routing form in the first place.
It was told by several executives at Valley Org that former Valley Org staff member Randy Goodman molested his daughter Serenity.
Terrie, the Ethics Officer, had been on staff a very long time. When the SCS missions finally got sorted out corporately, old time staff were awarded OT levels. So Terrie was awarded OT III. Not long after her completing OT III it was "disclosed" by Terrie that she had worked in a mental hospital, and therefore was not, nor had ever been, qualified for HCO or staff. She routed off staff very quickly. The questions raised were (1) how had she made it through OT III with a withhold of that magnitude (as the policy was very well known), and (2) did she concoct the story to get herself off staff without a replacement because the OT III level proved to her the ridiculousness of Scientology?
HUBBARD ASCENDED AND MY MOTHER DIED
On January 24, 1986, about three weeks before my mother's death, all Scientologists were ordered to the Hollywood Palladium for an "emergency briefing." We had no clue what this "emergency" consisted of, but staff were ordered to attend. There was so much "brass" (Sea Org personnel in full dress uniforms) that the place was buzzing with excitement. Something really big was coming down.
It was announced that L. Ron Hubbard had moved on to the next OT level, the one where his body had become an impediment and he had to discard it. Steve thought this was great. I felt betrayed. This is the great "it?" You go up the Bridge just so you can die?
There was a huge picture of Hubbard and everyone stood and applauded, literally for 15 or 20 minutes non-stop. I stood there, not applauding, wondering what they were applauding. Were they glad he was gone? I sure was.
A week or so later, as I was going to visit my mom at the hospital, Steve casually asked if it was okay if he went to lunch with another staff member (the same girl he had been dancing with at his brother's wedding).
The incident at Tom and Jennifer's wedding forgotten, I said okay. I didn't see any harm in it.
Not too much later, since I was now at the org every day, I noticed a peculiar thing. Every time I needed to talk to Steve (who was the Finance Banking Officer [FBO], a position that interacted frequently with the Treasury Secretary), I found him in that girl's office. (She was the Public Executive Secretary [PES] and her post was not one that needed a lot of interaction with the FBO.)
On February 12, 1986, my mom died. No fanfare. My dad called me around 6:00 a.m. and said the hospital had just notified him. We went to view her at County General Hospital five hours later.
Despite her death, I had to report to post and was sent to Ethics for being late. This was not an isolated event. There was a woman who blew course to be with a dying parent and upon her return she was put in lower conditions. I know, because I had to read her liability write up (explained below). I now believe this practice is used to break any emotional ties you have with anyone so that your complete loyalty will be with Scientology only.
AFFAIRE SCIENTOLOGIE STYLE/RECRUITMENT SEA ORG STYLE
After work one spring night in 1986, the girl, Steve and I were the last to the leave the org, around midnight. We said goodnight to each other, got into our respective cars, and drove home.
On my way home, I remembered something I needed to discuss with Steve so when I got home, I waited up for him for two hours. When he finally did arrive, my first question was "Where have you been?" He casually told me that he and the girl had gone out for tea. Since he did not mention it and we all had left at the same time, obviously their date was a prearranged secret. Steve tried to shrug it off by saying, "well, you would have been asleep anyway, so what does it matter?" It mattered a lot. I personally think you have to be able to trust the person you are married to.
The next day, I wrote a Knowledge Report (KR) on this whole situation. A KR is a report written when you have knowledge of some situation that does not conform to Scientology policy. The "grits hit the fan" the same day the girl was transferring from the Public Executive Secretary (PES) post to the Hubbard Executive Secretary (HES) post. The HES was the executive secretary senior to the divisional secretary (the "HAS") who was senior to the departmental directors in charge of personnel, communications, and ethics of the org. If there is no HAS then the HES (executive secretary) is responsible for every job duty of every post in every division, in every department, in every unit and in every section below her that is unmanned.
One of the tools of ethics are "conditions." In Scientology, all production is measured by statistics. The slant of the line on your statistical graph determines which condition applies. These conditions are named from lowest to highest: nonexistence, danger, emergency, normal, affluence, and power. Each condition has certain steps which you have to follow to ensure your production will rise to the next higher condition.
Conditions below nonexistence are personal conditions which are assigned for various reasons such as a person's long-term low production, violation of church policy, etc. These conditions are named (from lowest to highest): confusion, treason, doubt, enemy, and liability.
At the liability level, one has to do "amends" (usually physical, degrading work, like scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush) and then the person has to petition the group to be allowed to rejoin the group. (This means until liability is complete, you are not "part of the group" and therefore, fair game, though usually you are just scorned and treated like dirt; in the Sea Org you are only allowed to eat beans and rice.) So a person in liability does the formula steps, one of which is "deliver an effective blow to the enemy of the group you have been pretending to be part of despite personal danger," writes down what it was that got him into liability, what action was done for each step of the liability formula, what amends were performed, and asks for permission to rejoin the group. Then he has to take it to each person in the group, who must read the petition (can be a very humiliating experience) and then signs either yes or no as to whether he can rejoin the group. A majority of signatures have to be in the "yes" column or else the person must redo the liability formula again and again until s/he gets a majority of "yes's."
At this point, I was very upset with both "the girl" and Steve. I asked the ED to keep them out of my work space. She agreed, but her husband, the Qual Sec, overrode her. I finally became so upset I left the org without permission. To leave without permission is considered "blowing," an ethics offense.
So the end result of this situation was that the girl volunteered to do liability (she volunteered because if.she hadn't she probably would have gotten a lower condition). I was assigned liability for blowing. And Steve voluntarily did danger. (As he later laughed, two women were definitely a dangerous situation.)
After all this, Steve and I were having pizza at a restaurant near the complex in L.A. He casually asked me if he could have permission to continue to see "the girl." I dumped the pizza in his lap and walked out in disgust. Let him find his own ride home from the complex.
So, two of the main executives of the Valley Org of the Church of Sintology were having what appeared to be a clandestine affair, and one of them was the newly appointed head of ethics!
I had a metered interview with the Ethics Officer (EO) and my husband came up as my "item." This meant that he was "suppressing" me and, thus, I was "PTS" to him. Scientology has several different methods to "de-PTS" a person. Education by the EO is one way. A PTS interview done on the E-meter is another. If that doesn't work, you are sold (or staff debited) an expensive PTS/SP course which "educates" one into the "mechanics" of PTSness and SPness. If these don't work, then your SP is not "in present time" so you have to get the PTS Rundown (an expensive auditing action) to locate the "past life suppressive person" that someone in present time is restimulating. And if you have a real live suppressive in present time who just won't leave you alone you get the SP Rundown (another expensive auditing action) which allegedly has the "magical" effect of making the SP reach out to you to make up.
I had all of the above actions and yet persisted to be ill (flus, colds, urinary tract infections, etc.) The only "SP" I had in my life was my husband and "the girl." But an upstanding staff member can never be labeled suppressive. So when he came up as the "item" (the SP) in a metered ethics interview, this information was told by the Ethics Officer to her senior, the HAS ("the girl"), who started giving Steve the cold shoulder (and upset him terribly) and Steve came to me and told me that I was wrong and to go back to ethics and "get it right." (or else!) So much for the confidentiality of a session! The meter in a "metered interview" is the Hubbard E-Meter, an instrument that has been described as a crude lie detector. I found it to be easily manipulatable.
THE PHONE BILL FIASCO
The following month (5/86), the org finally moved into one large building in North Hollywood. We were helped by a Scientologist by the name of Phil. The ED Valley had sent me "downtown" (to the Scientology complex in Hollywood) to get the move approved. The Sea Org member in charge of such approvals did not approve of the move to the North Hollywood location because of a variety of reasons but somehow the Valley Org ended up moving there anyway.
It was a horrible building, at 10335 Magnolia Boulevard, formerly a film development laboratory. The counseling rooms were so tiny they were almost useless. There were no windows and only a front door and two back doors.
I was the person in charge of getting the phones turned on. The org was supposed to have moved 3 months earlier, but because of different reasons, the move was delayed. Not long after we moved in, the 3- month-old phone bill went "red" (i.e., the red colored notice that gives a drop dead deadline to pay up or be disconnected). I knew the day it was due and relying on past dealings with the phone company, I knew that we had until 5:00 p.m. that day to get the money to the phone company.
As explained above, the org has a weekly bookkeeping cycle. The weekly deadline is Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. On Thursday nights, the Advisory Council (AC) has to determine how to allocate the weekly income.
These meeting were always smoky and if I said anything about the smoke, I was generally ignored or told to "stop nattering." (Natter=a British term redefined by Hubbard to mean a symptom of having overts (bad deeds committed by the natterer).) Did this mean I had overts on cigarettes? Oh well, since Scientologists generally don't read the news (because Scientology tells them it is bad and reporters are "merchants of chaos," I guess they haven't heard that second hand smoke kills.)
There was the usual gossip over org-related things. This particular AC meeting I had to skip because I had become ill. (I had unknowingly contracted chronic mononucleosis but kept going for more months before I collapsed.) I did, however, submit all required paperwork for the week, including the purchase order to pay the phone bill, but, as usual, there was not enough money to pay the phone bill that week, along with other things.
At this time, the org's finances were in a "financial dictatorship." Steve's boss, the FBO WUS (Finance Banking Officer, Western United States), held Valley Org's checkbook and the weekly allocation and any rushes had to be approved by that person. (If there wasn't enough money to pay a bill the prior week and it became due before the next weekly financial planning (F.P.) session, the money had to be made by the org and then a check "rushed." Which meant I had to drive "downtown" to get the purchase order approved and the check cut.
So at approximately 12:10 p.m. on that fateful day, I was leaving the org to go downtown to rush a check through to pay the phone bill. "The girl" was holding the receptionist post at that time. (As mentioned above, as senior over that post if no one else was available, she had to cover it, and Valley Org was severely undermanned during those days.) As I left, she handed me a phone message which she had taken around 9:30 a.m. that morning which stated that a phone company representative had called and said that the check had to be delivered to their office by noon.
I became angry with "the girl" because she had not informed me. She said, "you're not usually here during.the morning." This was no defense because my senior, the OES (Organization Executive Secretary) was routinely there in the mornings and, if I wasn't' there, the message should have been given to the OES. Anyone with any common sense would not park a message like that. But we weren't dealing with common sense here.
I immediately got on the phone to the phone company but the contact person had already gone to lunch.
I raced downtown, moved a few mountains, and got the check approved and cut, and raced it to the phone company... but I was too late. The phone company had already disconnected the phones and would not be able to get them back on until the next day. (Personally, I think the phone company changed its tactics because it was sick and tired of having to jump through hoops to get its money.)
The lesson I learned, however, is that if you want to stop Scientology dead in their tracks, turn off their phones. All the call-in personnel had to go to pay phones to conduct their business (with their own money) and that day's stats crashed.
So I was in trouble. BIG trouble. However, I didn't blow. I just went on about my business and showed up to the next AC meeting. "The girl" had the chutzpah to snidely comment: "Well, at least she didn't run." I bit my tongue because she was an Exec Sec, but I was beginning to wonder when anyone was going to figure out that maybe she was an SP.
The org's phones were out for less than 24 hours but this was a horrible crime. The whole mindset was "the Treasury Secretary is responsible for paying the bills." However, the registrars are the people responsible for making the money. How can anyone expect any Treasury Secretary to get the bills paid if the money isn't there? My statistics were based on bills being paid and there wasn't much I could do to control my statistic unless I went out and "regged," but regging was not my job. And believe me, I had plenty of my own work to do. So for all the weeks the registrars did not bring in any money, I could not get bills paid so, therefore, my stats were down, and there was nothing I could do about it. So, no matter how hard I worked, I was always "downstat." And "Ron" said Scientology is a game where everyone wins. I think not!
And to add insult to injury, "the girl's" carelessness created the whole flap. I believe she was trying to get me declared so Steve would have to divorce me. No other motive made any sense. For her to not route that very important phone message was tantamount to "not wearing her hat" as receptionist. And to not wear your hat (do your job) is a crime. But she got away with it! And I was crucified for something I was not guilty of.
Somewhere in this time period, it was "the girl's" birthday. There was a party for her somewhere and Steve was going to it. I objected to his going (for obvious reasons), but he basically blew me off and left with Joe (who was about 6 years old at the time). This threw me into a helpless rage and I threw some bookcases over I was so incensed. Anger just kept building over the outrageous actions that I could not do anything about. Talk about being the "effect" of all of this. Of course, he was chasing "the girl," obviously forgetting that he had once told me that "love was a reactive mind thing." Of course, he was Clear, therefore, he didn't have a reactive mind.
While I was "downtown" one day, a Sea Org personnel recruiter by the name of Francisco Sanz Polo tried to recruit me. I didn't know he was a recruiter and he offered to show me the LRH Library which was currently at CLO (Continental Liasion Office) at the Los Angeles complex. Once inside he locked the door. I asked why he had to do that and he said "security." We toured the library and then he tried to get me to sign a Sea Org "billion year contract." I did not want to. He persisted. I still did not want to. After an hour or more I told him I really had to leave because I had a doctor appointment. He still would not let me leave. He kept trying to get me to sign. Finally, I signed. But as I was signing I said something like "You know I am only signing this.so I can leave. I have no intention of joining the Sea Org." He just laughed and told me I could work it out in ethics. I just laughed back and told him to go, well, you know.
One day not long after the phone bill incident, the person who had helped Valley Org move from Sherman Oaks to North Hollywood (Phil) called and spoke with me. He told me that it was important for him to contact the FBO WUS and he didn't happen to have the number with him and could I provide him with it. I did. I had no idea that this person was in hot water with the finance office, so I unwittingly gave him the number.
This was the straw that broke the camel's back. My name was already mud over the phone fiasco. The order came down to "comm ev" me.
JUSTICE A LA SCIENTOLOGIE
A Committee of Evidence ("Comm Ev") is part of the Scientology "justice" system. It is a severe ethics action. You do something wrong according to Scientological standards (or someone just doesn't like you), and this is what happens: first, a Bill of Particulars is drawn up. This is a list of the charges against you. Per policy, you are supposed to see the Bill of Particulars prior to the Comm Ev hearing. Second, you meet with the Committee. This is supposed to be done rather rapidly (within a week or so). The committee reads the ethics reports that were written on you and they ask you questions. You have an opportunity to prevent rebuttal evidence. Then they decide if you are guilty or not and recommend any penalties including, if necessary, declaring you a suppressive person and expelling your from the church. (Of course, ethics reports are hearsay evidence, not signed under penalty of perjury, and the writers of the reports do not testify under oath at the hearing either. So Scientology's definition of "evidence" is extremely loose.
My Comm Ev went like this: I was told I was being Comm Ev'd. (That term strikes terror into the heart of any Scientologist--kind of like being told you are going to Orwell's Room 101.) I was never shown the Bill of Particulars. I was "under Comm Ev" for several months (sort of like having your head under a guillotine for several months, it wears on you). When I was finally informed of the hearing, I had to go downtown. It was done in the basement of ASHO. There were three low rank Sea Org personnel comprising my Committee. (It appears a Sea Org janitor has a higher rank than an Org Treasury Secretary.) I informed them that I had not been shown the Bill of Particulars so, therefore, I was not prepared for the hearing. One of the Committee members handed me the Bill and I skimmed it quickly. They did not want to have to reschedule the hearing so it went forward, even though I had not been afforded an opportunity to prepare my defense.
I told them what had happened (as I described it above). (I was being Comm Ev'd for the phone bill fiasco, yet the precipitating event was my giving out the finance office's phone number to Phil. That wasn't even mentioned on the Bill of Particulars.)
I was asked what responsibility I had in the matter. I said I would only accept 50% responsibility (why should I have taken any? It was "the girl's" fault, 100%) because (a) it was not my job to make the org make money (that was the FBO's and the registrar's job), and (b) but for "the girl's" carelessness in not wearing the receptionist hat, the bill could have been paid on time.
They did not like my answer. I was supposed to say that I was 100% responsible so it would make their job easier. (Scientology says you are responsible for your condition so, therefore, if someone messes up or doesn't like you, you are still responsible.) If I had taken 100% responsibility it would have made their job easier because it had become apparent that the Committee had already been told what to recommend, because not one Committee member would consider anything I had to say.
So my "sentence" was that I had to pay the telephone company's reconnect fee of over $1,000 and it was recommended that I be removed from the Treasury Secretary post because I was "PTS." PTS means Potential Trouble Source (a potential source of trouble to Scientology). It means you are connected to a Suppressive Person (a person who does not want you to improve and tries to suppress you.) If I was PTS, guess who I was PTS to!
But I was ecstatic. I hated that post with a passion. And I did not have to find a replacement first. I was.free! So the ethics officer, upon reading the recommendations later said in a very disgusted voice, "Get out of here." It was her job to "de-PTS" me. And since I was being removed from post because I was "PTS" she should have, but she didn't bother. So I was dropped. At least until they needed me again. Justice in Scientology is a vehicle to intimidate and harass. It is obviously not applied impartially or according to any kind of standard.
The following month I was diagnosed as having "chronic mononucleosis" (or Epstein-Barr virus"). I was extremely ill for six months. I was awake for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. I could hardly move when I was awake. This lasted for six months. Nearly 13 years later, I still haven't fully recovered.
Towards the end of this illness, "the girl" showed up at my door. The org, she said, needed a Staff Section Officer. This position was in charge of the Department of Personnel Enhancement, in the Qualification Division. (As the HAS, "the girl" had to do personnel recruitment if there wasn't anyone posted as the recruiter.) The girl assured me not once, but many times, that I could do this post on a 3-night-a-week schedule.
(I was, unfortunately, still under contract, you see, so I felt obligated to finish the contract or else be labeled a "freeloader" and have to pay a substantial bill for all training and counseling I had received "free" while under staff contract.) I verified with her several times that the post was nothing more than 3 nights per week and explained to her that healthwise I could not handle any more than that. She assured me multiple times that the 3- night-a-week schedule was perfectly fine. So I agreed to do it.
That schedule lasted all of two weeks. Then "the girl" turned into a dragon and told me that I was full time. I was utterly shocked because she knew I was in no condition to pull a full-time schedule. (I had to work full time during the day to make money to pay the rent because Steve didn't bring much money home.) She told me that I was now full time and if I did not comply I would be sent to ethics. The cycle started again.
I was upset and disagreed and she then proceeded to lie to the ethics officer and the Qual Sec. She also called me "1.1" (a derogatory designation in Scientology which means 1.1 on Hubbard's emotional tone scale, an emotional tone level of "covert hostility.") This blew my mind. If anyone was being 1.1, it was the her! (And still, all those "trained" staff in the org could not see this!) Of course, the EO and Qual Sec sided with "the girl" and I was ordered to be on post full time.
Then I found out that there was a policy which said there has to be a full-time SSO on post or the ED loses all his statistics for every day there isn't one. At that point, I realized that "the girl" had known all along and had lied shamelessly to get someone posted and lying to me was a hell of a lot easier than facing the ED. My health was not near as important as "the girl's" butt. It was Nazi-like during those days. It was during that particular ED's regime that the phrase "I just got my face ripped off" became a frequent saying (and practice). I can understand what made her so ruthless. But it was my health she was endangering.
I coped with being the SSO for about 8 months. Steve told me to stop whining. So I stopped talking to him about it altogether and suffered in silence. The last 5 months were spent working a full-time day job and being the SSO nights and weekends. One time, when I relapsed EBV and was running a fever, "the girl" came to my home and stood on my porch and screamed as loud as she could that if I did not "get my ass into the org and on post, she would have me declared a suppressive person." I became angry and told her that she needed to word clear the staff contract because staff were entitled to 2 days off with pay per month for sick leave upon presentation of a doctor's note. She left without me and wrote a KR on me.
At one point the org nanny, Lu Robertson, contracted hepatitis. I was ordered to go audit her. I protested because of the contagiousness of the disease. I was told "you won't get sick if you're not PTS." I still protested. And, of course, the threat of an SP declare was pulled out of someone's back pocket and waved in my.face. So I went. Lu told me that she had been told that she did not need to seek medical help. She just needed to be "de-PTSed." I told her that she did need to seek medical help. I do not know if she ever did or not.
I kept on being the SSO as long as I could but I finally collapsed from exhaustion. (Interesting to note, I have always been an "above average" employee at all of my non-Scientology jobs, getting excellent reviews and raises every year, so I don't take the trouble I had on staff as any indication of my abilities or true worth, in case you were wondering.)
After being off post for awhile, I was reeled back in and posted as the FESer (FES stands for "Folder Error Summary" and an FESer is a person with auditor training who goes through counseling folders looking for errors). I didn't last very long at this. First, I had trained through Class IV but had never done an internship so therefore my certificates were expired. Many of the auditing actions in these particular counseling folders were Class V and VI techniques that I had never trained for. Consequently, I was very slow at it. The public person was being charged the same high rate of hundreds of dollars per hour as he would have paid for counseling for my services. He became upset at how long it was taking me (and the resulting cost) and I didn't blame him one bit. Then my senior, the Director of Processing ("D of P") decided to refer the heat and lobbed the disgruntled customer into my court. I tried to explain to him why it took me so long but what could I say really? That they put a totally unqualified person on a post who did the best she could under the circumstances and that he was charged "professional" rates for this? It was fraud, pure and simple.
Also, while on this post I was ordered to cull a former registrar's (Eric Ahlroth) PC folders to find all damaging information I could find on him because he was going to be declared SP. One of his "crimes" was taking aspirin for his persisting headaches for which Scientology would not allow him to seek medical assistance. They kept diagnosing the headaches as "out-int" (an unflat interiorization rundown, correctable by more auditing, so Scientology case supervisor said).
It think it was during this time period (1986-1987) that a project was conducted wherein all PC folders had to be stamped "Priest-Penitent Confidential." I worked on the project. There were hundreds of dusty, musty PC folders that had to be stamped. PC folders are just legal size manila folders that contain the worksheets made by the auditor during a preclear's (PC) auditing (counseling) session.
Somewhere in this time period, another Mission came to the org. The Mission 1st was a Mr.
Yaravslavsky. Steve and I had just completed ethics conditions on the "2D" (second dynamic, the premise being all life has the urge to survive and that there are 8 dynamics involved, survival for self [1st dynamic or 1D], survival through sex and family [2D], survival through groups [3D] and so on) and one of the handlings for our marital woes was that we would have a date on Saturday nights without fail. (Too much staff, not enough family life was playing havoc with our marriage.)
So, of course, a few weeks after this handling was implemented, in rolls another Mission. Steve came home and informed me that a Mission had just been fired into the org and that he had to go back to post, but he was taking Joe with him to use as an excuse to leave. About an hour later, the ED called and wanted to know if Steve had left yet. I told her he had gone back to the org an hour ago and she said he had already arrived, but he was on his way back home to drop off Joe, who was getting in the way.
So Steve walked in the door a few minutes later with a bunch of flowers and asked if I wanted to go to the movies. I told him forget it, the ED had called and I knew he had to go back. I didn't think it was worth getting declared over. Steve got mad and a fight ensued wherein he turned over the kitchen table (and busted the calculator that was on it). The fight kept on and finally got physical. I ended up with a scratched cornea. I burst.into tears and he just walked out and went to post.
The next day I was "summoned" before the Mission 1st. Mr. Yaravslavsky inquired as to what happened the night before. I told him. Steve was there. The Mission 1st looked at me with extreme disgust and said "I don't know what condition you're in, but if I ever hear of you putting CI (counter intention) on a staff member's lines again, I'll personally see you declared." He then looked at Steve and said, "You're in treason."
You see, Steve had lied to the Mission 1st (to save his butt) and had told him that I had put CI on his [Steve's] lines.
I walked out choking back tears. CI? You have got to be kidding. I was the one who had to told Steve to go back to post when he was going to blow! How much more of this backwards bullshit could I take?
I went to see the temporary ethics officer and told her that I was not going to risk my upper bridge for Steve. She laughed and agreed with me that he wasn't worth it.
A new ED was named to replace the old one. Luckily, I didn't have to interact with him too much because I was working on a special project under the FBO's jurisdiction (establishing the org's addresso [name and address] system on computer). I also think he would not have treated me the way he was treating other staff because Steve (who was the FBO and his peer) was the one person in the org who could (and did) bust him for his abusive ways. Staff were screamed at mercilessly when the stats were down. The ED went on witchhunts searching for "SP's" that were keeping the org's stats down. (Any idiot could see it was the ED's screaming that was driving people away!) This was the era where someone getting the face "ripped off" was a common saying and occurrence. Consequently, many staff started blowing. And it wasn't just the staff. The ED's abusive behavior scared public away too. One night, there was a Michael Lewis event and the ED's screaming could be heard in the lecture and was a major distraction. Michael Lewis, a popular lecturer, was extremely distressed over this. He wanted to know who the "psycho" was that was screaming. Because he was considered a Scientology celebrity, he never saw any of the dark side of Scientology.
At the end of 1987, Steve and I filed for bankruptcy. Yes, a Scientology executive, whose life's crusade was to make the org make money, make more money, could not even manage his own money (really, it was the lack thereof). It was also interesting to note that our personal finances paralleled the org's finances closely.
Just in the nick of time, an accident settlement came through from my car accident of 1985. We didn't go through with the bankruptcy and it was dismissed. I used the money to pay off credit cards and the balance of my NAC loan.
In March of 1990, I was at the org when I suddenly started having intense pain in my abdomen. I told the Case Supervisor ("C/S, person who supervises auditing sessions from an "ivory tower") who happened to be walking by and she gave me a heating pad. I lay on the heating pad, unsure what to do. As the pain worsened, I asked someone walking by to call 911. I was told that wasn't necessary, all I needed was a touch assist.
The pain was becoming unbearable so I limped through the org looking for someone to take me to the emergency room (which was only 5-7 minutes down the road). It was morning and not a lot of people were there.
I found the Director of Technical Services (DTS, Mike Kravitz) and begged him to take me to the hospital as the pain was becoming frightening. He obviously didn't want to but he finally agreed. But I had to wait for him to finish some "important" post cycles..About 15 minutes later, barely able to walk, we left. He took me to the hospital and dropped me off in the parking lot and left quickly. I was barely able to make it to the emergency room door. Once in, a nurse quickly put me in a wheelchair and started the admitting process. I slipped out of the wheelchair and lay on the floor, unable to sit up any more. An ER nurse walked by and did a double take seeing me laying on the floor in the waiting room. She demanded a table be brought (never had I heard such incredible TONE 40 and she probably doesn't even know what Tone 40 is) and in under 60 seconds I was on a bed being wheeled into a room. I was given Demerol, which did not stop the pain. I was given Morphine, which dulled the pain, but did not stop it.
Soon after, I was wheeled into the operating room. Above my swimming consciousness were the concerned faces of doctors and nurses as they prep'd me for surgery. The surgeon came in and spoke to me in soothing tones, but I could see the same worry in his eyes too. Then the gas mask went on. The surgeon asked me to count backwards from ten. I remember making it to 9 and the lights went out.
I woke up to a nurse shaking me, calling my name loudly. "Cheryl. Wake up! Cheryl! WAKE UP!" I woke up groggily. "Hnuh?" Then she said: "You're fine. You're fine." I mumbled "Good" and went back to sleep.
When I was conscious again, I was told that they had removed an ovarian cyst (benign) larger than life itself (actually, the size of a cantaloupe) and that it had torsioned (twisted). My right ovary was literally on the left side of my body. I was shown pictures of it. It was quite impressive! Nurses stopped by my room wanting to see the mother of the "alien baby."
The surgeon stopped by. He told me that if I had waited much longer to get to the hospital, the cyst could have ruptured and I would have died. He asked if I was married. I said yes. He asked where my husband was. I said I didn't know. Steve was at ITO (International Training Org) on the Flag Executive Briefing Course (FEBC) and unreachable, as usual. But I didn't know how to explain that to the doctor. He looked at me with a mixture of puzzlement and pity. I have no recollection of Steve visiting me in the hospital.
If I had maintained routine gyn checkups, this cyst would not have gotten to crisis proportions.
However, having been indoctrinated by Scientology into believing that "medicos" were bad, I had not maintained routine checkups and, thus, a life threatening emergency erupted.
Around this time, I told Steve either he had to get a normal daytime job and help support the family or I would be forced to leave him because his making no money and letting me support the whole family was very out-exchange. He arrogantly told me that I was in no shape to be issuing an ultimatum. He was right, at that time.
I thought about it long and hard. I requested marriage counseling. I was mid-auditing action and unless I could come up with a lot of money to complete it and then pay for the marriage counseling, then I could not get the "marriage counseling." I saw the Chaplains at AOLA and ASHO. I was informed by Mike Howzer, Chaplain AOLA, that since Steve was a staff member, it would be an uphill battle to pull him away from being full-time staff, and I would be viewed as the bad guy. He was compassionate, but that was the reality of the situation.
Nothing changed. No help was forthcoming from Scientology. I reviewed my past history and determined that if I stayed with Steve and stayed in Scientology, there was a good chance that I would be dead at an early age, the way things were going. I decided I had to get away from both..Seven or eight months later I did leave Steve, and Scientology. On the night of February 1, 1991, a Friday, I moved out. I had given notice at my day job and it had been my last day there. I was starting a new job on Monday. I had already leased an apartment and was moving in that night. Steve had no knowledge of any of this. I was cutting all ties with him and Scientology. I had no intention of giving him or Scientology the chance of coming after me and hard selling or harassing me into coming back.
But there was a fly in the ointment. Steve had picked the kids up from school that day and Joe had gone to spend the night at a new friend's house, and I didn't know where this new friend lived. I couldn't wait. My brother was helping me move and was not available the next day. If I moved out my furniture Friday night and stayed, then Steve would know. So I had to go Friday night. My intention had been to leave with both the kids, but I ended up leaving with only Vinnie. For three days Joe called my dad, asking where I was. I was afraid to break my silence for fear of Steve and Scientology finding out where I was, but in the end, I went back and retrieved Joe. And, of course, Steve would not release Joe to me until he found out where I had moved to.
But I told Steve that if he gave out my address and/or phone number to Scientology, I would move again and he would never see me or the kids again. As far as I know, he never did. And as far as I know, he has never written a KR that I had said that either. (If he had written a KR, the policy was that he had to give me a copy of it, and I never got a copy.)
It is interesting to note that he started working a day job the next business day after I left him, and to this day is still working a day job. But he wouldn't work a day job to keep our marriage from falling apart.
The day after I left him, I went back to the his house when I knew he was at the org and left him a week's groceries so he wouldn't starve.
Soon after I left him, his car was stolen when he parked it in the degraded neighborhood by the Scientology management building in Hollywood. We had just received a tax return of $648. Since he had only paid $14 in taxes that year because of his being on staff, I felt that the tax return was really mine and I could have kept it. However, I gave the entire $648 to him so he could put a down payment on a friend's truck so he could get to work.
Just prior to our divorce being finalized, I tried to put our marriage back together for the sake of the kids, but Steve refused to unless I remained a Scientologist in good standing. I could not return to Scientology because I no longer believed it was what it claimed to be. So our divorce was allowed to became final in September of 1991.
At the time I was trying to put the marriage back together, Steve mentioned that if I didn't come back, he already had someone at the org he was interested in. Steve's new girlfriend was a brand new "raw meat" Scientologist, 17 years his junior. At that time, Joe was living with his dad. When the girlfriend moved in, Joe quickly became a persona non grata. He was 11 years old and left home alone at night so Steve could pursue Scientology. It scared him to be left alone and it was during these lonely nights that he started making up voices for his teddy bears so he had someone to talk to. I was outraged when I found out this was going on, so in early 1993 Joe moved back in with me.
As noted earlier, Joe's birth tragedy was solely the result of heavy "Dianetic" influence. At the time of his birth, considering the trauma of oxygen deprivation to his brain that he had undergone, Dr. Gordon informed us that Joe would suffer from learning disabilities and "other" problems. He didn't elaborate and I think we were.too naive to ask.
But Joe seemed normal enough until he was about five years old. Then the problems began. He seemed to have a problem with respecting other people' property. If he liked it he took it. Of course, most little kids have that problem, but they outgrow it. But Joe didn't. It got worse.
Then the behavior problems started. Out of consideration for his feelings, I will not recount more than the bad temper tantrums, fights, lying and such. But there were many more problems, some of which we are still dealing with.
From preschool through fifth grade, Joe attended Scientology schools in the Los Angeles area: Pinecrest Academy, Punkin Preschool, Mace-Kingsley, Ability Plus. Every one of these schools expelled him for "out ethics" and "misunderstood words" They could not handle him at all. This is the L. Ron Hubbard technology that is purportedly going to "clear" the planet of "war, crime and insanity." But it couldn't even diagnose a learning disabled kid, nor could it even offer any kind of solution or referral. Remember, Dianetics purportedly deals with the mind. So why couldn't Joe's mind be fixed? Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that many of the "teachers" were just mothers with no teacher training whatsoever.
Recently, I went to the Valley Org to pick up one of the kids. I met someone I knew there. I said hello to him. He looked at me blankly and mumbled, "I'm so tired" and shuffled past me. I don't think he even knew who I was. In the years I've been gone nothing has changed. If fact, it looks like it has gotten worse.
On February 1, 1991, I "disconnected" from Scientology. It took a long time to emotionally recover from the abuses. The hardest thing to overcome was the initial feeling that the rug had literally been pulled out from under my feet. Everything I had believed in had turned out to be false, and all I had to show were the years I missed watching my children grow up, poor health and no money. But within a year I was in much better financial shape and things were going so much better without Scientology in my life.
Besides my ex-husband, I had retained one friend who was still an active Scientologist. In 1995, she introduced me to a new company, "American Technology Group" (ATG), where a number of Scientologists worked. I bought stock at $3 per share. I introduced another friend, a non-Scientologist, to ATG and she bought in at $3 per share also. A year or so later the share value went up to $16 per share and my friend tried to sell her shares. It turned out that ATG had given her a worthless stock certificate. She tried to get the problem corrected but ATG played the stalling game. It took two weeks before she received a valid certificate from ATG, and by then the price had dropped down to $5 per share. My Scientologist friend made $40,000 off of the sale of her stock. The lesson learned? Disconnection, obviously, must be total.
I did not discover the Internet until July of 1997, so for over six years I was in a vacuum. I never heard much in the press about Scientology. Books critical to Scientology at public libraries had been checked out and were never returned. I had a suspicion as to why. So I just kept my mouth shut and my head low.
In July 1997, I acquired a better computer. As I surfed the Internet, I was astounded to see vast amount of information critical to Scientology flourishing unsuppressed. The information I found there, especially at http://www.xenu.net, helped rid forever the doubts that I had been carrying around that maybe, just maybe, I really was messed up and maybe it was, after all, my fault for every bad thing in the universe.
Part of the healing process came in the form of communicating with other victims or exposing the discrepancies of Dianetics and Scientology by posting to the guestbook at www.xenu.net. If you read this guestbook, you know me as "Clamato," though I did post a few biblical parodies under the pen name of "Scribe Parodiah."
Eight years later, I have finally gotten over my fear of Scientology. It no longer frightens me. The shadows have finally disappeared. My marriage was destroyed, but I have remarried. My kids are almost grown and are doing well. I have returned to my Christian heritage. Life is good. The publication of this story is the next phase in my closure with Scientology.
What was the turning point for me? Looking back, I'd have to say it was in 1985 or 1986 , when the OT III data became public knowledge through the court cases. At that time, I looked for reports of mass deaths resulting from the dissemination of the OT III material, but I didn't find any. This made me suspicious, but I parked it in the back of my mind and continued on in Scientology because of the potential of losing my family and the hope that there might be some good to gain.
Prior to "contacting" the OT III data on the Internet, I had heard Hubbard say in his own words in the audiotape, Ron's Journal 67, that if any person contacted the OT III data before he was fully prepared (i.e., finished OT II auditing), that person would die of pneumonia..So in July, 1997, I ran across the OT III data on the Internet, written in Hubbard's own handwriting (that I was well acquainted with). Recalling the warning in Ron's Journal 67, I felt a little uneasy about reading it. But that little skeptic in me said, "The data is out there. No one died." So I read it. And guess what? I didn't die.
Didn't even get bronchitis. Not even the sniffles.
Conclusion? "Ron" lied.
We all wanted that better civilization, the one without war, crime and insanity. Many of us were willing to give everything we had to achieve it. We reached for the stars. But all we got was snake oil.
Thanks, "Ron." For nothing.
1. Snake oil means "any of various liquids sold as medicine (as by a traveling medicine show) but medically worthless. In other words, it is a fraudulent product (just like scientology).