Saturday, 1st December, 2007 03:07:20pm
Name or Alias:
Been There; The first decade
Training and/or processing level:
Lots of Both
Org or location:
East Coast, Midwest, West Coast
Time involved in the Church of Scientology:
Recommended Website - http://
- 1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of
- A friend of a friend had just read the Dianetics book and was talking to everyone and anyone about Dianetics and Scientology. There was a couple, newly relocated to our midwestern city from St. Hill. They started a dianetic counseling group and I was introduced to them. One was a Class VIII, trained by LRH, the other a Class VI trained at St. Hill and ASHO. Both of these people were impressive, larger than life and full of life. It was easy to listen to what they said and to follow their lead. To this day, although both are now declared, they exemplefy what SCN should be about-HELP, COMPASSION, COMPETENCE, CARING. I did the HAS Course, the original Communication Course. It was the beginning of four decades of involvment with SCN. Under any other circumstances I wouldn't have lasted in SCN but I had such a grounding in the essence of the subject from these two individuals and such real improvement in my friends and myself that it would take the utmost of abuse over decades to turn me away. Even now, I think there is tremendous benefit from SCN but unfortunately the subject as I knew it those many years ago no longer exists. What it has become today, a totalitarian dictatorship and secret police state in the style of Stalinist and Maoist communism, is an organization where spiritual enlightenment, if it takes place, does so almost accidentally.
- 2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
- I was a very troubled young person who was not really succeeding in life. I had just graduated from college and been fired from my first job. A long term relationship had ended badly and I was depressed but didn't know how to improve my life. SCN helped me do that and I feel it saved my life. Today I am a successful professional with a rewarding career, many friends, a loving family, material comfort: circumstances I could not have achieved without applying SCN to my life. However, my survival heavily depended on the guidance I received from the couple who started the DCG and later the Mission and from a wonderful spouse I met in SCN who supported me in many ways as we traveled up the Bridge together. In the absence of that intensive involvement and commitment, I would not have made it. That is what is lacking in SCN today, and has been for many years. Others have expressed it as a focus on stats and money and improving the organization while neglecting, abusing and vilifying the individuals within the organization. If there wasn't, at it's core, something immensely valuable about SCN, NO ONE would stand for or stay around organized SCN.
- 3. Were there problems in your life that you thought
scientology would address?
- I was clinically depressed. I still am, I just cope with it much better than before. Interestingly, SCN didn't really ever relieve my depression. The auditing I did up to clear helped my mental state tremendously, but the OT levels, at least as administered by SCN destabilized me. I just didn't find much value it the advanced levels despite decades and hundreds of thousands of dollars spent.
A very key aspect of benefiting from SCN is learning to audit and then doing lots of co-auditing. I was really fortunate that the Mission I was in emphasized that. By the time I attested to Clear I had audited hundreds of hours on others and made a Clear myself. You hardly see co-audits anymore. Training has just become a grueling ordeal. Every course I ever did, and I did a pile of them, interned auditor, etc. is invalid now. If I wanted to audit now I would have to re-read every SCN book (and I read them all before), relisten to every tape and re-do every course. There is no way I'd do that.
Sorry to go so far afield of the question but SCN helped me, it helped others and it could still help others but actual SCN has been co-opted and no longer exists in a form that leads to enlightenment.
- 4. Did you see, experience, or hear about things that didn't
seem right while you were in the Church of Scientology? What were
they, and what convinced you to set aside your feelings?
- The answer to this question is so long I had to split the answers into decades or risk boring you all with a veritable novel.
My first decade in SCN my biggest problem was the cost. Co-auditing and courses are pretty cheap, but profesiional auiting is expensive. And during the 70's the cost of auiditng and courses went up every month. It put SCN out of the reach of the average person.
Then there was Operation Snow White. As a public I really didn't have much knowledge of what went on at the time and believed the party line that SCN was being persecuted by the IRS, FBI, etc. Only later, thanks to the net, did I learn the facts about what went on. I was surprised that I knew, associated with and considered as friends some of the unindicted co-conspirators. Those people were still 'in' and high-up on the Bridge. That seemed an outpoint.
But the biggest delayed reaction concerned Mary Sue. Here was LRH's wife, on the front-lines with him since the beginning, who took the fall for her husband. And she was imprisoned and then muscled out of SCN and out of her inheritenance and died with no mention from organized SCN. If that is not an example of how SCN treats its own, what is? All SCN should take the sad saga of Mary Sue to heart when contemplating their committment to SCN.
Then there was the Mission Holders conference 1982. The Mission I was in at the time split from SCN. I chose not to go with the Mission Holder, which in hind sight was probably a mistake and would have saved me near half a million dollars if I had cut my losses then and there.
I got to see up close and personal the workings of the Int Finance Police. I was at AOLA when the crap hit the fan and innocently went to a public 'briefing' on a few LA area mission holders who were getting Comm Eved. The 'briefing' was in a big room in ASHO's basement. As soon as the room was filled, the doors were locked and some big, goonish-looking guys in black shirts and pants stationed at the doors. In struts Wendell Reynolds in black shirt, tie, pants and (I kid you not) jack boots. The Int Finance Police insignia, looking for all the world like the Nazi 'SS' symbol, prominnent on his collar.
Long story short, we were all told to write up KR's on any 'out-ethics' we knew about including our own. Meter checks all around and if you pass you get to leave. And if you don't, well there was probably a dungeon lower down in ASHO. Hours later when I got out of that room I ran to my apartment on Fountain more frightened than I had ever been in SCN. That began the reign of terror that continues to this day. There were many more incidents revolving around the Mission Holder Conference. The MH at my mission was persecuted and nearly ruined by the RTC. I am glad to say that person has risen from the ashes and today is doing what they do best (helping people) and making a good living at it. I have no contact, having abandoned the MH for the sake of my own thetan skin. But thanks to the net I can look and see what that person is doing now and it is good.
I saw lots of good people persecuted and declared during that time. I decided that SCN was not something I wanted to be too closely connected with. I thought they were reaching too far into people's personal lives. How right I was. And it had only just begun.
I wound up my first decade in SCN with the LRH death event. One January morning my clock radio woke me with an NPR reporter's story about the death of LRH. I was shocked. Both at his death but also at the way I found out, from Carl Castle on NPR, not from the org or an authroized SCN terminal. Later that morning the Challenger blew up and LRH's death dropped from the pages of wog history, an insignificant event in comparison.
A week or so later we were summoned to the local org and shown a video. There for the first time I saw LRH's successors. I don't remember DM at all on that video, but I sure remember Pat Broeker. He had arguably the worst TR's I had ever seen. My thought was, THIS is the guy to whom LRH passed the torch? A comm course graduate has better TR's than this guy.
No worries because shortly thereafter Pat Broeker was out. We won't speculate on how it was he got to be 'in' enough to appear in an international video and months later disappeared from the face of the Earth. History is fraught with such events. Just more of the same human game, so much for OT!
Decades later, thanks to the net and Tilman Hauser's research I learned the back story of what 'may' have happened. Like much of SCN history, the exact truth will probably never be known. But the few facts available present quite a different twist on 'left his body to continue research'.
So that was the first decade. I know what you're thinking, how could I be so stupid as to continue for three more decades and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of hard earned money on a subject that had proven itself to be a far cry from its PR image? If I knew the answer to that, I truly would be an enlightened being!
- 5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of
- Because I loved the philosophy and the way it ordered and organized life. I got better. My friends got better. I was in a dynamic group that truly cared about one another. Those early years were powerful and I coasted on their momentum for three more decades. Later, when I began to be disillusioned I was in too deep. My friends, my family I couldn't abandon them all which is what happens if you choose to leave. But in my second decade in SCN I started distancing myself from the organization.
In order to do advanced courses you have to contribute to SCN. I was a very active volunteer but on pioneer projects that took me far from the orgs where I was on my own with my skills and abilities. I decided not to be on staff again after my last contract was up and began extracting my professional life as far from SCN as possible. I re-established non-SCN family ties I had neglected while focused so intently on SCN and I tried to build a network on non-SCN friends. Although still peripherally involved due to personal ties that I am not willing to sever I consider the current SCN organization antagonistic to my well-being. Thus I strictly limit contact.
- 6. Were you staff or public? If staff, was it at a mission or
an org? Were you ever in the Sea Org or OSA? Which unit? If not on
staff, did you ever volunteer to 'help out'?
- Staff for five years at the Mission level. Mostly public but very active internationally in several pioneer projects.
- 7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a
- Organized SCN became a suppressive group to me. My last year 'on-lines' I did so poorly and felt so bad that I knew I had to get out. I was so out of agreement with the prevailing system that I couldn't continue on the OT Levels. It was too big a withhold. And if I communicated how I really felt the anvil of justice would have crushed me. I would have wound up scrubbing toilets with a tooth brush for years or worse, been declared and lost my family and friends. So I carefully extracted myself for a 'legitimate' reason and then later, as the purges escalated, I was deemed an 'undesireable' anyway. Not declared, but just not the 'right kind of being' for FLAG or the FSSO.
As for a last straw, no, more like a last bale of straw. Not the 45 pound, square ones a kick-bailer makes. I am talking the 1500 pound round bales you need a special tractor to lift. I saw and expereinced so much I almost can't believe I toughed things out as long as I did. That alone is a testament to the value of genuine SCN, that I took all that CRAP for so long.
I will say there were a couple factors that were hard to overlook. Lisa McPherson was one. I had an insider track on what went down and the errors, screw-ups and cover-ups on that cycle were almost unbelievable. I don't think the truth will ever be known but the only thing that saved FLAG's ass was the medical examiner on the case was MORE incompetent than FLAG. A properly done autopsy would have been incontrovertibly incriminating.
Another 'incident' was the Reed Slatkine debacle. I had a bit of insider track on that one too, although I wasn't an investor. I just wasn't wealthy enough to invest with him, but, more to the point, I never would have. Anyone with a gram of financial accumen would not give millions of dollars to a guy who provided no accounting of where your millions were. Honestly, the guy did not issue regular statements to his 'clients' and if asked for a statement would provide, while not quite handwritten, a 'statement' equally as amatuerish. Reed was a HUGE red flag that all involved from FLAG on down chose to ignore because of the tons of money pouring into the church from Reeds 'clients'. He was the golden boy of FLAG for years and his 'clients' were the smartestest, abelest, bestest SCN's there were. Until the crap hit the fan. Then SCN quickly washed their hands of Reed and anyone involved in his little pyramid scheme, winners and losers alike were dragged through the ethics knot-hole. People lost everythig. People were off the Bridge for years because they were a 'security risk' due to their involvement with Reed. Let's just conveniently ignore the fact of who profited from and encouraged Reed's activities.
The Digital Lightwave fiasco was more evidence of how very 'not OT' OTs were. The person responsible for the company's near ruin was the sister of David Miscavaige. As a company executive, she decided that it was okay to commit fraud in order to boost the company's balance sheet. Whoops, that's against the law. And some bozo in the company reported it to the FLAG MAA instead of the going through proper channels in the 'wog' world'. The whole mess is on the internet for those interested in a case study of why SCN should concentrate on spiritual enlightenment and stay out of the business world. Long story short, the stock tanked and investors lost a ton of money.
And then there's the Internet. I had distanced myself from SCN for over two years before I started surfing the net. And I only stumbled on the anti-SCN movement by accident when I went to a site to write a letter in defense of John Travolta's movie, Battlefiled Earth. Somehow I ended up on an anti-site and-HOLY CRAP-what was all this? After that, how could I go back?
There is an unbelievable amount of hate and sheer crap on the net, but there is an awful lot of very damning evidence too.
So I guess the net was the final straw. But I'd already accumulated that round bale before hand.
- 8. Do you think the Church of Scientology needs to change some
of its practices? If so, what should be changed? How did those
practices affect your life?
- Of course.
Disconnection and breaking up families. More on this later.
Regging for money as the primary SCN activity. Try delivering SCN courses and auiditng and see what happens. More on this later.
Ideal Orgs and the regging of huge sums from the public for expensive, posh real estate. What would happen if the public spent that money on courses and auditing instead? Perhaps the orignal goals of SCN would be achieved. More on this later.
This will probably be the real thing that ruins SCN. These huge, gaudy buildings are very expensive to maintain and operate. What happens when oil is $ 200 a barrel and its too expensive to heat 60,000 square feet of 'ideal org'? Stay tuned.
Quit doing stupid stuff that destroys SCN PR: Lisa Mcpherson, Reed Slatkin, Digital Lightwave, the circus that is Tom Cruise.
Stop worrying about what psychiatry is doing and clean up your own house. Deliver SCN courses and auditing and quit fighting with psychiatry. The world does not need more images of violence and hatred and more groups trying to destroy other groups. Read your own policy about 'the bogeyman that will destroy us...'
Treat staff with respect and honor, especially thouse that have given their lives to SCN.
Treat your public like they are valuable and important to you.
Get rid of OSA. It's been said before, I'll say it too, SCN is making its own enemies by the way it treats its own people. Paranoia is a horrible affliction. Cure it with SCN and if it can't be cured dispose of the perpetrators quietly and without sorrow.
- 9. If the items you listed in the previous question were
changed, would you consider rejoining or staying in the Church of
Scientology? If so, why?
- Yes. The SCN I knew and practiced in my early years in SCN helped me and helped others. It is a subject capable of helping people. Is it the ONLY subject that can help people. No. But it does help some people, not all. Like anything, the wild variable is the individual.
- 10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
- Maybe in later editions.