A scientology school 1988 – 1990

A strange thing happened to me in late 1988. I had a dream, one that is still burned into my memory to this day, and I am not one for remembering dreams.  I won’t go into details, it concerned me being ‘judged’ by a panel of ‘judges’ that did not seem to have a solid form and they told me that I was “not doing what I should do or using my gifts”. It was very unsettling and I thought about this long and hard and came to the conclusion that somehow I needed to get back to “saving the planet” or something. No other explanation made sense, I didn’t feel that there was much I could do in my life as a wife and mother other than what I was already doing and I had no apparent alternative path in sight. I was enjoying my life and felt a guilty pleasure in it versus working on staff so I let the dream take it’s place in background unconsciousness and laughed off the thought of a dream telling me what to do.

I love gardening and worked hard at it growing wonderful food and flowers. One day a few days after the dream my right knee began to swell and hurt, I thought I had sprained it while gardening. It began to get worse and after seeing different doctors and specialists I had an exploratory operation to check on the cartilage. That wasn’t an answer though and my left knee began to swell as well.

Around this time I was approached to help start a scientology school in Melbourne, something that hadn’t ever been accomplished despite many attempts,. It was to be called the Phoenix school (later renamed Yarralinda).  A school appealed to me as I still believed in the “study tech” and I wanted my kids away from the threat of the drug society in public schools. The woman who was doing the set-up was from scientology standards, unacceptable. (A declared PTS Type III in the past, she had been kidnapped and babysat etc but that is another story.) She wanted a school both for her own daughter and for other scientology kids and knew that she faced enormous challenges in ‘making it go right’.  She knew I was more acceptable to the field, so wanted me to be the public face while she worked behind the scenes doing what was needed. She had recruited enough parents with young children to make it viable and now faced the challenge of making the school “legal” per education authority requirements.

So began one of the nightmare periods of my life. It was so bad that even now I am unable to organise memories into any kind of real sequence or make sense of the insanity that ensued. I also don’t want to name names right now as from where I am sitting years later I also know that the parents involved in the massive dramas and betrayals were acting from a view that they were protecting their children and every parent has that right and duty. The fact that those opinions and viewpoints mostly resulted from insane scientology policies is something many of them still need to understand and I hope one day those that are still “in” have that opportunity.

Long story short, this ‘unacceptable’ person doing the set-up became the focus of the parents and hounding her was more important than combined support for the school. It was inevitable per Hubbard policies and something she had anticipated. Within a short time, and within sight of the final steps to having the school accredited, it became a massive, unbelievable drama. The woman who started it finally took off, as she had always planned to do, and as her chosen replacement as Headmistress would not take on the job, it fell to me. (Later I was told that was exactly why I had been recruited, as the fall guy.)

Trying to do the right thing I asked ABLE (or Applied Scholastics, can’t remember which it was then) to become involved in sorting it all out. Represented by Martin Bentley, he sided with one set of parents, as the school was divided down the middle, approximately 5 families on each side.  Martin sided with the “other” set of parents and the original families (including mine) who started the school were kicked out, so I left and I put my children back in a normal public school. And in so many ways that was a tremendous relief.

During this period I had become very ill. What had started as a swollen knee turned into a raging deterioration of all major joints in my body. I saw many different doctors, specialists, chiropractors, naturopaths and no-one could diagnose or help with what was happening. I lost a great deal of weight and had sometimes unbearable pain in my hips particularly, but also knees, ankles, elbows and jaw. About the only thing I could eat was peanut butter sandwiches, and after about 6 months my legs actually started to turn outwards. I carried a little stool to sit on as I could barely walk, suffered fevers and nausea so badly I thought I was dying. Now this was while I was trying to help set up a school! As long as I was there every day, no-one seemed to care, and being a ‘make-it-go-right” sort of person, I just kept on. I remember taking a walk with Martin late one night, to discuss the school situation, in such agony I thought I would fall down in the street. He didn’t seem to notice, though on reflection I am sure he did and it may have been the deciding factor in which set of parents to support. I was obviously “PTS” and therefore not trustworthy.

After leaving the school I had time to try to find out what was wrong, I think that saved my life. I finally found the right specialist and X-rays showed that my hips had turned in their sockets by 20 degrees. Deterioration of the joints at this speed was unheard of, and the fever and raging illness was dangerous; he arranged for immediate hip replacements and medication to arrest the disease. It took a few years of constant medical attention and medication and almost dying in surgery but I finally recovered enough to walk again. It’s an unclassifiable inflammatory arthritis and it took me many, many years to finally accept that it was not due to “something I had pulled in” per scientology but rather genetics.

The fallout from the school saga continued for some months and the woman who started the school was Comm Evd (a scientology trial) and found guilty of everything under the sun except starting a school! I owe her no favours, but that does not sit well with me and is typical of the scientology “justice system”.

I feel sad that those lovely children I knew back then had to go through the reflected horrors of that time and have their own lives disrupted. I am very glad that my own children survived it ok, though with scars. After leaving the school I found that I had no “friends” anymore, no support or care in any way from any scientologist.

That was my real wake-up call and truly the moment I left scientology. Even though I paid it lip service for another decade and appeared to do the right things, I knew it did not hold the answers for me when basic humanity and compassion were foreign words. So back to my dream – it was in 1989-90 that I began the very slow path of finding my gifts and perhaps doing more of what I ‘should do’ – finding a happier life. I still question the dream’s meaning or wonder if it had any significance at all, yet events since then have led me on a path that does seem more aligned with who I am – I just needed to realise it would never come via scientology.

Family Life 1982 – 1988

Walking away from the scientology organisation in Russell Street, Melbourne is a day I will never forget. The relief was so massive and I felt excited at the immediate future; being a proper mother at last, despite the exhaustion I felt at the time. I was going to be there for my family and not have children as a second priority to whatever disaster scientology was trying to overcome at the time.  This was such a huge decision and required a courage born of desperation.

I can’t remember if we moved out of the shared (scientology staff) house before or after I left, I think it was just before. I can’t even remember what happened to my husband regarding being married to a ‘blown staff member’, somehow we just sank out of sight and out of mind, which is quite unusual. 1982 was the year when management was busily rearranging the Mission Network and goodness knows what else, and was a period where many thousands of people left scientology, so I guess I was just one of the many.

I did get a Freeloader Bill, although I successfully argued that many of the “courses” I was being charged for were not for personal spiritual advancement but rather work related. I’m not sure how I managed that! It ended up only being a few hundred dollars which was paid off over a period of time and thus I once again became a ‘scientologist in good standing’ although an inactive one regarding taking any courses or auditing, I had no intentions of that!

Slowly I felt myself become whole again and not a nervous wreck. Having rest, food and time heals many ills and I had a healthy baby in 1982 and another in 1984, all three babies were wonderful (medically supervised) homebirths. I didn’t really know how to be part of normal society and didn’t understand that there were many organisations and people who were there to help new mothers. The insular attitude of scientologists was still my own…and although I enjoyed motherhood it was also a solitary activity for me. The downside of that was having virtually no support at all, my husband worked very long hours and was almost never there to help with child raising and I didn’t have any real friends until my children went to school. And as he worked night shifts, a lot of these early years were a nightmare of keeping the babies quiet during the day while he slept, an almost impossible task with a lot of ramifications to this day.

After my elder child began school and the other two followed over the next three years, I discovered a whole new world. I became friends with other mothers and instead of finding their conversation trivial and uninteresting as the still ingrained scientologist in me expected (they weren’t trying to save the world were they?) I found wonderful support and unconditional friendship. There was no-one there who was going to report me for disloyal thoughts, or tell me to “get your stats up” or expect impossible physical marathons; they were fellow women who worked through the same mothering issues and understood.

I had a wonderful conversation with two of my kids last night on the subject of education and social morals; they are now successful and capable adults yet it wasn’t always so and I feel that my own internal conflicts about resolving scientology doctrine  about children with what I felt was right caused it’s own problems for them too.

Scientology considers children to be “thetans in small bodies”, in other words adults who need to “regain their (past life) abilities”.  There is a whole book written on this called Child Dianetics and another on ‘The Second Dynamic’. This never sat well with me and I had many internal conflicts on what was the best thing to do in various situations. To me children were just that, children, and deserved to have a happy and carefree childhood. Yet my own indoctrination was the opposite in many ways, and dictated that children be treated as having innate adult understanding!  My husband had a scientology upbringing from a very young age, so when I stepped away from acceptable scientology “handlings” I did so alone.

I negotiated this minefield of conflicting information for many, many years and the most decisive step came in 1988 when I was approached to help start a scientology school.

More stories on children raised in scientiology can be found at Ex Scientology Kids.

 

Recovering

How glad I am that I don’t have to deal with the vast “technology” that scientology has regarding being sick. The weight of blame and guilt it can add, also adds a great deal more stress to the healing process.

My surgery has been successfully completed and while recovering I will get started writing the next part – which funnily enough is about how my medical issues began.

Happy times

 

This story so far perhaps sounds somewhat bleak so I wanted to add that there were happy times as well…of course. However I am writing about how scientology affected my life and how it’s presence shadowed every event and decision in some way. It’s those times that I could, for a moment, step away that were the times of joy.

I decided when I left staff that I would devote at least the next five years to TOTALLY being a mother and I would guard that precious decision with the passion of a mother lioness, which I did. And during that time I allowed that side of myself to come to the fore and had some very happy times. By 1985 I had 3 toddlers/babies under 5 years old and it certainly kept me busy. I wish I could post photos of them, however it is not a good idea to do so at the moment. One day it will be possible.

I will be away from this blog for a few weeks due to surgery and post op care so do check back then.

 

Inside Scientology

I am currently reading the newly released book by Janet Reitman called ‘Inside Scientology’.

This book took 5 years to write and I can see why. Bringing together the extremely complex history and current activities of this organisation is a mammoth task, beautifully done. There are many excellent books now written by ex scientologists, (check my links) and this is not one of them. It gives an outside perspective  that is understandable for both those who have experienced it and those who have not.

I find myself now looking at the whole subject, and in fact my own life in a new way and new pieces of the puzzle clicked into place. I didn’t go out and seek scientology as an answer to my life’s problems, yet I am also part of the story. Reading the chapters that cover the time period I was at Saint Hill I can relate to it in a different way now. I had no idea then that I was part of a (small) social revolution in the field of mental health or of the truth about Hubbard and his background. I also had no idea at the time of how new this all was as it seemed to me, with the hundreds of students at Saint Hill, that it was a long established activity.

Below is the blurb for the book, it’s available at Amazon and other booksellers and I highly recommend it.

INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY
THE STORY OF AMERICA’S MOST SECRETIVE RELIGION

For more than half a century, the Church of Scientology has been America’s most controversial religious movement; known for its appeal to celebrities like Tom Cruise, its requirement that believers pay as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars for salvation, and its storied history of harassing journalists and others through litigation and intimidation, even infiltrating the highest levels of the government to further its goals. It has been called a “cult” and even a “mafia” by its critics; to Scientologists it’s “the fastest growing religion in the world.” But what is Scientology? And what accounts for its remarkable staying power?

Inside Scientology is the unprecedented journalistic history of the Church of Scientology; one of the world’s most mysterious and least understood new religions, claiming millions of followers globally. With riveting detail, Janet Reitman, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, chronicles the Church’s five-decade evolution: from its rise under the quixotic science fiction writer-turned guru L. Ron Hubbard, who founded Scientology in 1954; to its expansion under his successor, David Miscavige, an ambitious young acolyte who helped establish Scientology’s religious bona fides. Taking readers deep inside Scientology’s world, Reitman explores Scientology’s appeal across numerous generations, as it attached itself to pop psychology, New Age spiritualism, the recovery movement, and even modern business consulting. At the same time, Inside Scientology examines the climate of intense, crippling, and largely uncensored control at the heart of the organization, costing members their families, their life savings, their freedom, and in one unforgettable account, their lives.

Based on five years of research, access to confidential documents and hundreds of interviews with current and former Church members and executives, Inside Scientology is a gripping account of how a fringe movement of self-help enthusiasts became a commercially-driven spiritual enterprise, and an examination of the aspirations, avarice, and extremism that lies at the heart of one of America’s most infamous homegrown faiths. It is an utterly compelling work of nonfiction, and the defining work on an elusive community.

1980 – 82 on staff in Melbourne

I was lucky to be allowed to bring my baby to work with me for a short time although it was extremely difficult. There was no running water or facilities and trying to keep him quiet and entertained was almost impossible. Another GO staff member, Joy Allsop, also had her baby there and often there would be two babies crying for attention.  I was allowed to work only ‘day’ hours during those months but then was ordered to be on post for the fulltime schedule, which was 9am – 10.30pm with Sunday afternoon off, and I think that happened to Joy as well. It’s surprising we managed to do that for the time we did.  I had no real support and the stress was so great that my husband blew staff (left without permission) in order for us to survive financially. He was almost expelled from the “church” at this point but managed to sort it out and come back to work part time. I found day care for my infant, something I had never wanted to do, hand him over to a stranger to raise. I still had to cope with a baby ‘on post’ after day care hours were over, and study as well (a staff requirement) and I was desperately unhappy trying to juggle it all. The only times that had been real fun were in the early days when a group of us would go and have pizza and play Pacman once the dreaded ‘Thursday 2pm’ was past for the week, and those days were long gone.

I remember one time there was a “Garrison Mission” and still being ‘on post’ at 1am with a small, tired and unhappy baby trying to pass a “White Glove inspection”. That meant that every surface had to be totally clean, an almost impossible task in an old building, especially considering the inspection included tops of doors and skirting boards etc. I thought I would never get to go home, though eventually I ‘passed’.

My job at that time was basically as a recruiter for the GO, something I hated. It was extremely hard to find people who met the strict requirements and therefore we had an “Expansion Unit” (XPU for short) where I wrote ‘programs’ for recruits to follow until they were qualified. I loved the interaction with people, however anyone who has recruited staff for scientology will understand the pressure to ‘get that signature on that contract’. Elaine was the real recruiter; she would do whatever it took to get someone to sign up, from screaming matches behind closed doors to being their best friend.

I forgot to mention earlier that her husband Laurie had passed away in the time before the move into the city. This was a devastating loss to not only Elaine, but his many friends. At that point she was recruited for the Sea Organisation (SO), although still fulfilling her post as Assistant Guardian Melbourne. This wonderful lady who had been my friend began to change from that point, and become a true Sea Org member. I was promoted to be her ‘Communicator’, which is basically like a secretary/personal assistant and helping out with typing for Bureau One (Intelligence). There were more and more incidents of Elaine giving someone an “SRA” in her office – Severe Reality Adjustment – during which we became very busy elsewhere and hoped one was never aimed at us.

My baby was starting to get sick more and more often, running fevers and hardly sleeping. I decided I had just had to leave, but was ‘handled’ to stay with reduced hours, i.e. I went home at night. Immediately my son started to sleep and wasn’t so sick. My husband was able to mind him sometimes, and that reduced the pressure on me. One day my toddler pulled a cup of hot tea onto his arm and face while I was distracted, resulting in a 3 day stay in the Hospital Burns unit. I was devastated and became even more highly stressed for his safety and our future. I felt bad about not being a good mother on one hand and on the other knew that my leaving would mean a whole new world of pain.

Yet again I was persuaded to stay, “for the greatest good”. Your life as an individual becomes almost worthless compared to the all encompassing need to be part of “clearing the planet” and the carrot of possibilities for your own spiritual gain that scientology promised us all. If you ‘broke a staff contract’ you would be given a “Freeloader Bill” to pay for any services received and denied the “Bridge” until you did all you had to do to regain ‘good standing’.

It was suddenly decided my past “blow” at Saint Hill made me a ‘security risk’ for the Guardian’s Office. Someone made that decision and it didn’t matter the years of hard work and dedication and hardships I had endured to be a staff member. So I could no longer be Elaine’s Communicator and was made the Project I/C for a huge international event, which took 5 months to organise. I was pregnant again, yet managed to pull it off somehow with great success.

At the end of that marathon I was a physical and emotional wreck and when I started to have false labour pains at about 5 months, my doctor became very concerned and said I had to rest. This was the crunch point and once again I faced the decision between being a mother in the best way I could, or following the path scientology decreed. (That being that I continue to work, no matter the risk to the baby or myself and “make it go right”.) It’s funny how life does that for you, give you another look at an issue and a choice for a different approach to it.

I finally decided that the health of both my son and unborn child –  and myself – was more important than anything else and I had to take a break. Woohoo for a flash of sanity!

I remember the day I told Elaine I was leaving very well, early 1982. I actually only asked for a Leave of Absence until the baby was safely delivered and the result was one of the dreaded SRA’s (Severe Reality Adjustments) from her. I was screamed at and basically reduced to rubble by someone who I had shared a great deal of my life with the past few years, that I had shared a house and ‘family’ life with…. I couldn’t believe that she would do that to me. I know now how naive and unrealistic I was back then but its how I felt. She called me “one of the black hats”, that is “those who leave when things are getting better”, presumably because of their own ‘evil purposes about the expansion of scientology’. I know… I know….unbelievable. In fact it was this concept that made me decide to totally leave. To see my ‘friend’ accuse me of such things, to be so vicious and scathing and treat me as the lowest lowlife you can imagine was more than I could bear. I turned around and walked out of that office and away from scientology staff forever.

Well almost.

1978 – 1980 Melbourne


In early 1978 I returned to Australia, although to Melbourne instead of Sydney. I only had my brother as family in Australia, as we had been shunned as a family by other relatives for being scientologists, so I followed him. (Most of the others in the UK returned in a trickle over the years.) There was a period of culture shock for the second time in my life as I readjusted to the open spaces and different way of life in the country of my birth. I didn’t really know where to start or what I wanted from life, starting afresh at 25 years old.

The obvious connections I did have were scientology ones. Being an inherent optimist, I thought that perhaps the insanity I had lived in the UK would not be here in this far away country. I had also grown up in an environment of “them and us” where the only people you could really trust, who would really understand you, were fellow scientologists. So it was one of life’s crossroads and unfortunately I did not travel the unknown roads but returned to the life and belief systems I had been raised in.

As I had blown staff (unauthorised departure meaning I had ‘crimes’) in the UK I was ineligible to join again without a lot of ‘amends’ (making up the damage) to show I was trustworthy. So I started doing volunteer work for Citizens Commission Human Rights (CCHR) and the local organisation.

However this didn’t pay the rent, or in fact pay anything at all. The senior executive of the Guardian’s Office in Melbourne was Elaine Allen and I clicked with her immediately. I also became friends with her husband Laurie Allen and he decided to take me under his wing. He helped me set up a small secretarial business to service small businesses in his building and I began to feel more confidence within myself and hopeful for the future.

The CCHR work was mostly done in a tin shed in the backyard of the Melbourne org, and during the summer months this was hell on earth with temperatures over 40C, and freezing in winter. It was a converted house in Inkerman Rd, Caulfield and there wasn’t much room there at all.  I did admin work for a year and a half and studied my Student Hat while doing secretarial work to survive, gradually doing less for CCHR and more for the GO as a volunteer typist. I remember with great fondness David Griffiths and Judy Bozan who worked tirelessly to ‘expose psychiatric abuses’ with an admirable passion. I didn’t agree that “all psychiatrists” were out to damage mankind, not at all, though I kept that to myself. I did agree that there were abuses, as there are in any system, and that was enough for my doubts to be silenced. In truth I really had not been educated much beyond the scientology approved boundaries.

I met my second husband during this time and we married within months, in October 1979. Scientology was going through the start of it’s “Out 2D” purges. (“2D” is the jargon for “Second Dynamic” and deals with family, children, personal relationships and sex.) What it boiled down to was “if you are having a sexual relationship you have to get married.” Our wedding was one of seven at that time, a wedding almost every weekend for a few months as couples made it legal! Scientology’s external public relations at work again.

My memory is a bit hazy on exact dates here, I know when it was deemed I had done enough “amends” I petitioned to be able to join staff again, and it was okayed, so I finished up my secretarial business and signed a 5 year staff ‘contract’ for the GO in Melbourne.  I became pregnant  and my husband took a second job to support us, he was also working on staff which paid next to nothing. We moved into a large bluestone building in Fitzroy that Elaine Allen rented, it had a lot of bedrooms sublet to selected staff…..her security as a senior executive had to be maintained.

I was happy during that time. Newly married, the anticipation of a child that I could actually raise and be a mother to, part of the ‘elite’ of scientology staff (by virtue of being in the GO) and a nice place to live. We were on the very top floor in an attic room, so the stairs were hard work as my pregnancy progressed, however the people there were like a family and we all had the common goals of scientology and it was a small price to pay.

Elaine and I would go out on Saturday mornings to the markets and plan meals for the coming week, in those early days we did actually often finish work at a reasonable hour and come home to eat. She also allowed to me take naps in the backseats of cars during the last months of pregnancy. Elaine had children herself and was as happy as I was about the baby, a stark contrast to what happened in the Sea Org (though I didn’t know that then).

Elaine Allen, son Shaun and Jose McLaughlin

In March 1980 the Melbourne org was burnt down, which was a tremendous shock. The GO blamed it on ASIO as we were ‘so successful”. I think only the top floors were destroyed and by some chance most of the PC folders were not harmed. The organisation then operated from five different private houses for quite some time, coming together a few times a week for staff meetings. My memory of that time is one of great team spirit and “making things go right” (a favourite scientology catch phrase) against the odds. “Rocky” was our theme – it was us against ASIO and the SPs out there who were trying to take us down! New premises were bought in Russell Street in the city in 1980 and the organisation started it’s new life there.

I worked until the day my baby was born and luckily was granted 5 weeks maternity leave. I had a wonderful homebirth, and it was just in time to be announced at Friday muster. My baby rarely slept more than a few hours at a time and became very ill when he was a few weeks old. I coped as best I could, my mum flew out from the UK for a few weeks which was much appreciated and the other people in the house helped as much as they could.  I returned to work to find there was a big “flap” with everyone in the GO being labelled as “DB shits” (degraded beings) for some obscure reason and having to stay and study a particular policy letter until you ‘passed the checkout’.I remember feeling really sick, holding a newborn baby late into the night and feeling like it was my UK experience all over again. Well actually it was….

More soon.

1971 – 77 Saint Hill

Sunrise

I managed to get a room at Martyn’s Place ( a converted manor house with about 20 bedrooms run by scientologists) and began to rebuild my life. My crazy husband followed me soon after and goodness knows why – I believed everything he told me and decided to try again as he promised to get auditing. However over the next year or so he went totally nuts. He had ‘monsters’ that shadowed him, he would end up cowering in terror in a corner of a room. He shaved his head and threatened suicide many times.

I hadn’t gone back on staff, but he was still a threat to the organisation of scientology, as is anyone or anything that may cast a bad public relations light on them. The Guardians Office became involved of course and I was informed that it had come up in one of his auditing sessions that he had been given ECT when he was a child, (during a school trip to Russia) and that he was a “plant” (someone sent in by suppressive people to infiltrate the organisation)! He had told me about the trip, and looking back on it now it seems crazy that I believed what I was told. I was ordered to “handle it”, and in fact my landlord was also told that he wouldn’t be able to continue in scientology himself if he did not get my husband off the premises. Thankfully he was persuaded to leave peacefully. He was a sad, deluded bloke with problems who was attracted to a ‘religion’ that he thought may have helped him. Anyway, I have never seen or heard from him again, other than swapping divorce papers.

Looking back it’s almost unbelievable how you go along with whatever you are told within the group. I now know it was a matter of self-esteem, of being convinced I was not capable of thinking for myself, or that I had any rights beyond the ones the group allowed me, as long as I did what I was told. There is such a threat of being abandoned to the wicked outside world that you mostly tend to do what you are told, especially when young.

Despite being a good little compliant Scientologist, I didn’t rejoin staff at that time and instead ventured out into the world. I needed to pay my rent and look after myself and being on staff didn’t support that. What an experience, as I had no concept of what it was like to have a normal job. So began an intensive education of myself to be able to interact with what they called “wogs” – the rest of the human race. I managed it reasonably well and found out what it was like to buy myself clothes and THINGS. I met nice people and gradually found that it was ok to be outside the confines of Saint Hill.  I ended up working in the same company as another ex staff, Barbara Vowles, she helped me a lot but sadly was dismissed – I think for speaking out about something. I often wondered what happened to her.

I also did a lot of volunteer work, like Receptionist Saint Hill, while I was suspended between two worlds.

I can’t remember much of these years. Eventually I reached a point where I knew my life was going nowhere in the UK and with the help of my brother, decided to return to Australia in 1977.

My scientology auditing and training:

I had been audited up the grades by a family member and  did NED (New Era Dianetics) auditing and training. Over the years I ended up having my grades single flow, triple flow, quad flow and Expanded. I was given Method I Word Clearing. I hated NED and ended up getting very frustrated and making up space opera events. They read…hey! I didn’t really, in my heart of hearts, ever feel that I gained anything from the auditing, other than minor periods of feeling good for a while. Of course this thought could never be expressed, in ANY way. During a session with a lovely lady I apparently voiced the “Clear cognition” and she went  battled hard for me to be able to attest to it. There was much consultation and disagreement and I remember her banging someone’s desk in her determination that it would not be dismissed. I was allowed to attest to “keyed-out Clear”. This was before everyone and his dog attested to Clear, that came later.

All I knew is that I felt really good, that the thoughts I had told her were simply normal to me, that it was a state of how I had always been and had never put into words. I mean after all, I was supposedly far from the top of the Bridge and was not supposed to feel like this until I had done a whole lot more.

I also was given special processes straight from Hubbard himself, which he was apparently Case Supervising. I was a guinea pig, though happy at the time to do it, feeling very special. I think from what I have read now it was either L10 or L11 (confidential levels), Heavy stuff. I apparently did OK, I didn’t ever hear anything more about it. That auditing stayed with me for a long time, not in a good way. The weight of my whole track “overts” was grim indeed, with no-one to talk to about it, or help me understand. I felt like a very bad person, pretending to be ‘normal.’

Mish mash memories of Saint Hill

Being on Reception and having a woman run in screaming that her husband had just killed himself. I can’t remember who it was or what happened other than her wanting a Guardians Office person to make it right, and her extreme distress.

Being locked in a tent after ‘The Battle of Britain’ event where no-one was allowed to leave until they had signed up for their next level. The angry queue of people waiting to get out that door!

The secrecy.

Things that had to be done yesterday.

The drama of flaps to be handled.

Not having anything you had produced with blood sweat and tears taken into account or remembered beyond the time it happened.

Being so very tired, and often hungry.

Being stressed about finding a lift into East Grinstead as it was an awfully long walk. I was once stopped by the police walking down that road, a young female late at night. They gave me a lift. Most of the time you waited in the car park until someone took you home, or close by. I remember the crowding of many more students into cars than was safe, especially when it was snowing. Getting a lift with a US celebrity in his wonderful Lotus, what a trip that was!

A Billion Years Distilled

This is a poem my brother wrote some years ago about life in the Sea Org.

——————————-

I’ve stood my tallest, strong and keen
sharp navy blues on white unpressed
gilded with such pride of meagre rank
still thrilling inside grim-faced mask
all individual, part of elite group.
I am the team
I work flat out
I run, don’t walk
I know the score.
(This life grand Yvonne’s softly eyes endorsed
This adventure David’s manic glint engaged).

I’ve walked the gangplank, up to Flag
a bridge to total freedom? no,
to something better: duty, care
penultimate, right next to Source
where action is, and bellys young and fired.
to graduate
to make my mark
to give my all
to save the world.
(Surprise! my greeting is a Terri laugh,
precursor to a thousand smiles
Surprise! they’re just a hundred guys like me
with taste for action — vive la vie!)

I’ve met the Old Man, Commodore
(an LRH who fancied to be HRH)
my guru, chief, raison d’être
strong, inspiring, our own Thor
and only sometimes showing feet of clay.
He chatted, navigation stars
he yelled, a flub-catch leaving port
he messengered, all wee winged feet
he wrote, prolix! (but always fun in OODs)
(Oh Lafayette you weren’t exempt,
great power overpowers *all* egos
Oh David young Hermes indeed
fly close, fly high – wax melts, take heed!)

I’ve weathered fiercest ocean storms
a hurricane close to the rocks
“one more degree of list and she *will* keel”
grip-riding drenching high bow waves,
my ship my surfboard, I’m The King!
Hear rigging’s scream
feel dancing bolt (hung from a string)
see faces white
taste waves, my God the waves!
(Poor ‘Frank The Bucket’ – desparate!
and extra food for us who don’t turn green
Poor children of our legend be
those Sea Org members without sea).

I’ve worn a uniform with pride
‘on mission’ like Blues Brothers but
by orders of some lesser Gods
My ethics in, my confront high,
they’d look away but up their game when Sea Org came to town.
Get those stats up!
get back on-tech!
get regging, quick!
get off your ass!
(But Doreen did that knife-in-wall trick really work?
and Jill why did down stats return
and why were bridges all so burned?)

I’ve loved intensely, sardine style
when stress entreats and close feels like affinity
Too-easy touch can seem like need, and havingness means gettingness
We practiced well at kidding selves, were righteous stars like Hollywood
so honour waned, and family. The smorgasbord awaits.
Is she with him?
is he off lines?
is “flows” 2D?
is family and a life just wog-world dreams?
(No wasn’t scared of your Dad hon
but yes I knew he’d think me low
No I’ll never listen to Hey April
without heart-clutch about mischievous green eyes.)

I’ve done my time in serfdom, slaved in boiler-suited RPF
some higher up thought low of me, gold buttons making goldenrod
or dirty needle? dirty hands!
so here’s some hell – go janitor and rehabilitate!
Some MEST got rehabbed but not me, I know how POWs feel:
you fake Yes SIR through bitter sweat, and only cry at night.
No, I see rust!
no, no time off!
no case on post!
No! CSW is not OK.
(Ah irony of destiny
mete balance and such just deserts
Ah them that lightly “banish!” said
will soon enough be banish-ed).

I’ve stopped and thought, looked at my life, evaluated stats
Examined tech not Chinese style or ‘knowing’ it correct
In doubt looked at polarities, deciding paths to take
So walked down gangplank tenuous, goodbye?
but leaving friends, not enemies, ’cause now I understand.
Me? I’m just a graduate.
me? I’ve made my mark.
me? I gave my all (and more besides)
me? my world is everyone’s, not some’s (the ‘able’ rich).
(Father was it my fault that my life went thus so long?
well no but yes, we made it all go right
Father was there one thing I should now do different?
what if?…who cares, or possibly could know?)

What I know is
we can come back
or not – now power comes from self
the past has passed
abandon self to love,
and dance and learn
hang tough take care
each moment built your life’s net wealth
so drink your Sea Org buddies’ health
our new quest life right here!

DWJ August 2006

DWJ Sea Org

Life in Scotland 1970, an interlude

Scotland
My new husband and I went to Scotland to start anew, blessed with the courage of the young (he was only a couple of years older than me.) I had absolutely no idea of what I was headed into and was trusting that it would certainly be better than the life I had left behind. I was 17 years old and with so much having happened within the last couple of years I also hoped that I could somehow learn about and begin a ‘normal’ life.

I had visited Edinburgh in 1969 when I had joined the SO. I didn’t get to see much of the city though, as you can imagine. I remember grey…grey … and cobblestone streets. The buildings are grey, the roads are grey. And of course the skies. I wish now I had been able to really see more.

Life in a small Scottish village north of Glasgow was a tremendous culture shock. It was a beautiful place. The village was crowded around the end of the loch, wee houses with boats out front, and surrounded by the mountains. Picture postcard beautiful, with snow showing almost all year round on their peaks. The first thing that struck me was the cold. Oh my God, it was cold to a young Aussie! I wore multiple layers and suffered badly and was told scornfully by the locals the only way to be comfortable was to acclimatise.

My mother-in-law didn’t like me at all and we were living with her in a tiny council flat.
Somehow we got by. I learned to shop in the tiny local grocery. We ate lots of canned goods and instant meals as I didn’t know how to cook, and she refused to other than a family meal now and then. But when she did cook it was glorious! Lots of haggis and turnips and mash, I loved it.

The only heating in the tiny hoose was a wood fire that also heated the water tank above it. So no hot water most of the day. When I washed clothes and hung them outside they tended to freeze solid in the winter. This was amazing to me and I’d go around knocking on them.

I wanted to fit in, I had no intention of going back to East Grinstead, but it was almost impossible. I started having bad headaches and went to the local doctor. Within an hour my mother-in-law asked me if I was pregnant (and didn’t look pleased at the prospect). Apparently I had been seen by some of the locals walking away from the surgery with a green form (diet sheet) that was usually handed out to pregnant ladies! Word spread fast in that place, the curtains twitched whenever I went out. It’s funny looking back on it now.

I loved to roam the local hills above the village. The views were so breathtaking, I can remember them still, and the smell of truly fresh air. I remember going on a picnic once, a great outdoor event on another close by loch. Terrific food, good company and a million bloody European wasps. It didn’t seem to bother anyone that they were crawling all over the food.

Every afternoon at 4pm we had to go to my husband’s grandparent’s house for High Tea. This was very ritualised, with a precise number of cakes and tea. I liked them, they were very down to earth and only saw their grandson starting life with a new wife, unlike his mother. Then dinner was 8-9pm and that was a full meal.

There was a local Mission in Helensburgh, not too far away run by Sheena and Hunter Robinson. We went there a few times with the intention of working towards getting back on lines, but I don’t remember much about it and nothing came of it.

The funniest thing about my life in Scotland was that I started to mimic the accent.
“Och away wi’ya, ya daft wee hen” etc. It became so pronounced that towards the end of my time there my mother couldn’t understand me on the phone. I can still translate Billy Connolly quite well.

Life there didn’t suit me, and I soon found my husband was as crazy as you could imagine. I mean really, really nuts. He would fly into rages and have “invisible” stalkers. His mother hated me, this blonde bimbo from Australia who had taken her son. It was not fun.

I had left Scientology, left my family, left everything I had known. The relief I had felt at leaving behind the insanity started to recede in importance as I wondered what my life would become where I was. Isolated way up north, not in the country of my birth, I wanted to be with my family. But my family were in Scientology and I had fled it…..

Eventually I couldn’t take it as my husband was starting to become more and more crazy and violent in his actions, so I knew I had to get out or my life was in danger. I told him I was leaving and he threw all my clothes down the stairs and was so angry he broke off a piece of the stair railing and came after me with it. I stayed locked in a room and the next morning went to the local train station and sat there until the train came.

I travelled from one end of the country to the other and it was, for me, a terrifying experience. However I was befriended by a solider on his way back to London. I didn’t trust him at first, I was so scared  but he bought me lunch, chatted quietly and calmed my fears. When the train reached London he found a cab for me back to East Grinstead and waved goodbye. I have never forgotten him, and thank him for looking after me.