Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Sunday, 22nd June, 2008 10:34:37am

Name or Alias: Been There;The Second Decade
Training and/or processing level: Up There on Both
Org or location: East Coast, WestCoast, Midwest
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: Four decades
Recommended Website - EX-SCN Message Board
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
Please see my first posting of Dec 1, 2007, currently #212 on Ethercat. Since that time, the Anonymous movement has gone viral and the critic landscape has changed dramatically. First and foremost, huge props to Anonymous, you have no idea how you have liberated us 'old timers' who suffered in silence for many years. We have regained our voices and more and more are speaking out every day. Our environment is getting safer as more of us tell our stories and discover our common experience.

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
See my interview of December 1, 2007.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
See my interview of December 1, 2007

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?
Here is where I will relate my experiences in my second decade in the Church. Most of that decade I spent 'out' rather than 'in'. But the few years I was active were very intense and disturbing.

Completing the 'old' OT VII was beyond traumatic. As an aside, isn't it interesting that the HCOB/PL Tech Degrades has fallen by the wayside as DM has repudiated the 'old' tech, the 'old' Bridge and the 'old', wrongly trained, screw-up auditors? But I digress.

I was a work-horse Solo auditor and did OT VII earnestly. I had wins. I felt like I completed the level. I knew the tech inside out. While I was on the level, Jeff Walker (I thik he was Deputy Snr. CS Int then, not sure of his post at the time) came to Flag and made all the Solo auditors on VII take a test in Qual on the materials. I was one of a handful that passed, I think with a 98%. As an aside: Where the hell is Jeff Walker now? I think he's declared, but not sure. So many tech personal have gone down in flames since the 80's. What I find interesting, and sometihing for those out there who are tech trained to ponder, why is Richard Reiss (currently Snr. CS at Flag) one of the few tech terminals in all of SCN who came up through the lines in the 70's and 80's still left standing and on-post? Just something to think about. But I digress again.

Anyway, I arrived at FLAG thinking I would attest to VII. Oh how wrong I was. Not only did I recieve nearly six intensives (a $7000/intensive, do the math) of auditing to 'verify' I was complete, but I was subject to all manner of invalidation, suspected of being PDH'ed becasue of some past history pre-SCN, made to do a PDH check, and heavily, heavily recruited for the SO. When I refused to join on the first recruitment round I was ordered to sec-checks. Finally nearly a month after arriving at FLAG I was allowed to attest. By then I didn't care. I was broken and broke and just wanted to get the hell out of FLAG and never come back. But you can not imagine what I would have been subjected to if I declined to attest or flunked any of the dog-and-pony show involved with an OT VII attest. So, drawing on my previous training in high-school and college drama classes, I gave a performance and prepared to get the hell out of Dodge.

But wait. There was more to come. A second recruitment cycle for the SO. I thought I threaded through that one more skillfully than the first. Wrong. As I was leaving to catch my plane home I received a phone call. I was forbidden to leave FLAG and ordered to Review for what I had said to the recruiter. More money spent on more worthless auditing to benefit who? Me? Certainly not. Auditing to benfit FLAG and make FLAG feel alright about me. Yep, auditing for the organization. That is what FLAG auditing had become. Prove to us that you're okay. Prove to us you are worthy of SCN. Prove to us that you are not a raving, psycho SP or a seething out-ethics criminal. Because THAT is what WE think you are and it's up to you and your checkbook to prove us wrong and vindicate yourself in our eyes.

Unbelievably I got through that and routed out AGAIN. I went to my apartment, turned off the phone and lay on the bed until the next day when my plane left Tampa. I did not come back for 3 1/2 years. But alas, I did come back.

That 3 1/2 years I spent doing the Levels and auditing and CSing in an org in the Midwest. Because you see, I still believed (and still do believe) SCN had value. PC's improved, I had wins, they had wins, I was revitalized and ready to give it a go again. I was going to do an internship at FLAG.

Now, that was probably one of the stupidest ideas I ever had. I wasn't there two days and was made to run around FLAG in the rain with the rest of the interns because intership stats were down. I knew I had to get out of there, but you don't just leave FLAG. Once there, even though public, you are trapped. If you blow, you get declared and my whole life, family, etc. was tied up with SCN. Luckily the new Clay Table Pro-TR's came out, followed by KTL and LOC. No problem now, off the internship and into the Academy.

I loved Clay Table. It is an 'old', 'lost' technology and for me it was miraculous. I had such a resurgence as a being on those courses. All the inval, eval and horror of the OT VII cycle was gone. I felt ready to do OT VIII. Oh no, I had just jumped off the cliff again. The Bridge has a lot of pitfalls and I had just fallen head-first into one of the biggest-the Freewinds.

I will start this phase of my story by stating unequivocally that I will NEVER set foot on the Freewinds again. Reagrdless of the fact that it will likely be scuttled as too riddled with blue asbestos to even be worth scrapping. If it was afloat and stayed afloat I would still never, never go back.

I arrived to the Freewinds full of hope and anticipation. As soon as they confiscated my passport, my doubts about the wisdom of my action began. Being on the Freewinds is VERY expensive. And furthermore, there is no where to run, no where to hide. And they have your passport. Prisoner comes close to describing how I felt, but a prisoner that had to pay for imprisonment.

It appeared very likely, after a month of Review, Sec-checks, Ethics and intensive regging that I was not going to be 'invited' to do OT VIII anyway. All my wins from KTL/LOC were gone to the four winds, blown away like dust. I felt like the scum of the earth and could barely crawl up to the deck to view the spectacular coastline of S. America. That is the only pleasant memory of my journey; that beautiful, rugged coastline. Revived by that sight I went below decks and prepared to leave only to be called to a small room with the D of P who handed me my invitation to OT VIII. I stared at it unbeleiving. This organization had spent one month telling me how bad I was and auditing me into the ground. Nothing about that last month would have led me to believe I was eligible for OT VIII. My comm lag and my tone level pertutbed the D Of P. He coldly said 'if you don't want it then I'll take it back'. I was supposed to be 'rave' smiling, over-joyed that I, a lowly speck of dust, was honored by the most able organization on the planet to be admitted to their sanctum sanctorum. He just couldn't understand why I wasn't responding 'appropriately'. Thank God for all those acting classes, because I turned it on and delivered a passable performance and got to keep my invitation.

I will say that I loved OT VIII because I loved the tech and I loved Solo auditing and I was finally allowed to do what I had come to the Freewiinds to do. It is not the heavy-weight level it is so heavily promoted to be by SCN. But it was good, not hard to audit and I had some wins doing it. Luckily, my expectations for auditing were never very pumped up in my whole SCN experience; I was just there to do it and to get what I got. I didn't have to become a megawatt OT, I was just there to see what was there.

So auditng OT VIII took all of two weeks. It was what came after that finished me. When I routed onto the Freewinds there was an 'OT Hatting' course I was really interested in taking and I signed up for that. You see, you are never allowed to just be a PC. You are made, forced really, to be on training too. Most people get around this by taking a little Div VI course that is cheap and doesn't take much time. But I was on a major course. But guess what. ANOTHER major course was REQUIRED of all OT VIII students, Anatomy of Cause. That is a mega, mega course. And all OT VIII's were REQUIRED to take the FSM course. AND I was REQUIRED by the MAA to retread the KSW Tech course (because of course I was so out-tech and so disagreed with things-that's what I get for honestly communicating). So that left me with FOUR courses to complete before I was allowed to leave the Freewinds. Consider I am trapped on a ship in the Caribbean with accomomodations at $2000/week and with regs crawling everywhere and if I make one false move, have one bad indicator, or say one thing that someone doesn't like I could be thrown in ethics, or Review, or whatever. And furthermore, I have to pass a sec-check before leaving the Freewinds and a meter check where I have to FN so there's no option in my mind of falsifying the course checksheets just to get out of there. I spent the next month from morning to night in the courseroom. I studied as soon as the courseroom opened, through lunch and dinner and late into the night. I ate in the canteen and never went to the dining room. Too time consuming and I didn't want to talk to anyone in case I said something they took the wrong way and wrote a KR on me. I didn't see daylight or smell salt air for a month. I never left the ship. I don't recall any of what I studied on those four courses. I just read, listened to tapes, did clay demos and drills like a robot so I could attest I had done them honestly.

David Light, the relentless ship reg, pursued me ceasely trying to sell me a $4000 OT VIII braclet. I became afraid that he would write a KR on me if I didn't relent and finally I did just to get him to leave me alone. I never wore that braclet and I plan to pawn it off for the gold someday when I need the money.

As an aside, David Light ended up with severe cardiac disease, had surgery at some hospital in the Caribbean and was dumped on land and into the Planetary Dissem org at FLAG being to unfit to sail the seven seas anymore. Not that I wish him ill, but his 'hard-heartedness' was more than metaphorical apparently. A more unpleasant man I have seldom met. But I digress.

Finally the day came when I finished all the REQUIRED courses. I was ready to route out. I went in the OT VIII course room to say good-by to the supervisor, the beloved Alice. I swiped my security card and went in. A look of shock greeted me. What are you doing here? How did you get in? I swiped my card, all innocence. Well, apparently when you finish OT VIII that card is supposed to be inactivated. Mine wasn't. Instant out-security and I am suspect inspite of their oversight. Well, I needed to have a sec-check the next day of course. Can't assume I'm innocent, I am after all an untrustworthy public. That night I did not sleep. I was in a miasma of fear. What if I didn't pass the sec-check? What if they knew how I felt? What if I never got off this accursed ship?

I did pass, completed my routing out form and the next day I would be free. My plane was set to leave Aruba at 2 in the afternoon, but I wanted off that ship ASAP. As soon as day broke, I collected my passport and called a taxi. I was at the airport by 9 in the morning. I developed a crushing pain. I bought some aspirin and took them (A sin for which I'd had to do conditions while on the Freewinds AND sign an affidavit agreeing not to take pain medication again. Yeah, I should have told them I'll guarantee to you not to take aspirin when you can guarantee to me I won't have pain). I sat in the hot, humid, nosiy crowded Arubua airport in pain and felt better than I had in months.

As soon as I got back to Flag, I routed off the internship and out of FLAG. I just didn't care, I lied and said I had to get home. True in a way, I'd been gone over a year between the internship, KTL/LOC and the Freewinds. I didn't look back or come back for almost six years.

I went about my life, had a grandchild, got a master's degree, worked, lived and didn't think about SCN much.


5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
Now, having done a lot of reading, (thanks Weiber from OCMB for all the great references on brainwashing and cults) I think I was brainwashed. I was certainly solidly into the SCN meileu, even when I was off FLAG lines I was still training, auditing, CSing and voluntering. My family was solidly SCN. There was no way out unless I wanted to give up my entire life and start over. And I beleived that my eternity was screwed if I didn't make it to OT.

So some brainwashing, some aculturation, some fear, a foundation of actual wins and gains, constant pressure from SCN to stay in and active. It's complicated.


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'?
Public.

I was a big-time volunteer. But by my second decade in SCN the only way I would 'contribute' is if I could be as far off org lines and organized SCN lines as possible. Fortunately I did projects that took me to remote areas where I met many interesting people and had great, if challenging, experiences that made me a better, stronger person. I am very grateful I did those projects no matter the sacrifice of cost and time away from my family.

I stopped auditing and CSing after my trip to the Freewinds though.


7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
See my December 1, 2007 interview.

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?
See my December 1, 2007 interview.

And thank you again Anonymous for bringing practices like disconnection and fair-game to light.


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?
I would like to audit and CS again, but not in the current Church.

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
I am commenting here on a phenomena I have observed. SCN wants ALL of you. Not just your money, not just your time, not just your kids, not just your MEST, ALL of you, every last bit, tangible and intangible down to the briefest flicker of life. It is a jealous organization and will begrudge you everything it cannot have: a vacation, another child, a successful business, nice clothes, an expensive car, invovlement in any activity not related to SCN. IT wants it ALL, EVERYTHING, ALL THAT IS YOU AND YOUR DYNAMICS. It wants total obedience, total acceptance, unquestioning loyality, ultimate sacrifice. And if you resist, you will be destroyed by any means possible.

If you are a Star Trek fan you may recall the Borg, a race of human/alien/machine that traveled through space assimilating all races and cultures in their path. If I didn't know better I'd say an ex-SCN came up with the idea for the Borg as a metaphor for SCN, because that is almost exactly what it is like. 'Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.'

The ultimate poster child for this phenomena is Tom Cruise. Here was a renowned, world famous actor who was a SCN and wasn't afraid to say so. He went about his business creating fantastic PR for the Church as his star rose higher and higher. His PR was masterfully managed by Pat Kingsley. People could look at this accomplished, successful actor with immpecable manners and a spirit of generousity, married to a beautiful and accomplished actress (Kidman) with two lovely adopted children. No blemish on his career or in his personal life. A straight shooter with good moral values and highly respected in the entertainment industry as a hard-working professional. People would join SCN just because the respected and adored Tom Cruise was a member. What more could SCN want?

Oh, a LOT more. Because you see, they did not have it ALL. Tom was quietly low-key about SCN. Yes I am a SCN. It has helped me, check it out. THAT was not enough.

How SCN managed to convince him to ditch every successful action that built his career and let his incompetent sister, as a puppet for DM, run his PR is a total mystery. Under the guidance of DM and SCN, Tom destroyed his career, unmocked his family with Kidman and became a laughing-stock in the process generating enormous quantities of negative PR for SCN and spawning what was to become the Anonymous movement and the viral explosion of anti-SCN material on the Net and in popular culture. It was a tour-de-force and utterly successful from a SCN-critic's point of view. In a few short years Tom Cruise did what the critic movement had been unable to do for almost fifty years.

That, on a much smaller and less visible scale is what it is like for every SCN as they go higher and higher on the Bridge and I have seen a similar scenario played out over and over again. I would still be a devoted member if I hadn't had a similar operation run on me.

Tom Cruise is still hanging in there and hanging on maybe for the sake of his family who are in, maybe for reasons best known to him. It is hard to leave SCN even in the face of blatant abuse as is obvious in my case. What I've realted above is just the second decade. There are two more to go.


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