Where you Look…

Posted: 14th November 2010 by ensifer in Uncategorized

… is where you go.

That’s not Scientology Tech by the way. but then, you probably knew that already. Instead that’s one of the most basic understandings I have about life. But it kinda-sorta sounds like something L. Ron Hubbard might say. I can hear him now…

“Well, I was up in the Van Allen belt the other day… you know… ahhh… just having a look around… you know… ahhh…. and it occurred to me – why doesn’t a thetan see the implant stations, radiation screens and GPM’s that continue to make thetans act stupid and…. ahh… seemingly beyond repair? Ha. Ha. Then… ahem…. as I was observing Mercury rise from behind the sun… which, one ought to understand…. is really no more than a hidden base for the 5th Invader Force… hah, hah, not the sun… you know…. I’m talking about Mercury here! So… as I was saying… I was taking a bit of a thetan-stroll through the nearby planets… ha! Using the Van Allen Belt as my stable point – one wouldn’t want to misplace one’s body while traipsing through the solar system… now would one? Ha! So, why doesn’t a thetan have the sense to see what is right there to see? The answer, you see, is too obvious. It’s because he isn’t….ahhh… looking at it. It’s screened… just like the layers, upon layers of Reactive Mind… ah… goop that screens the thetan from his own endless past… the most simple of things are… screened. Just not there!!! Because… you see…. because thetans no longer have the presence… the attention, the wholeness… to just look!

“And that… that… that is a crying shame. And one easily fixed by just getting the preclear on the cans and going for the rock-slamm—-“

Yeah. Right. You get the point I hope. It’s pretty damned easy to take parts of life experience and jazz them up, throw in some murky-sounding, but impressive, words and come up with a stament that is so close to what the person already knows that they just feel… great about it!

Can't I just have a cognition at home? I mean, do I really have to go there to understand that sometimes things aren't obvious?

Hubbard spent a fair amount of time talking and writing about attention. Pick any level of Scientology, any grade or training course, any “basic” like one of the triangles or scales he rolls out and you’ll see that what he is actually creating is an entire subject, pretty much out of whole cloth, that boils down to the little “axiom” I use in my life.

And I figure that you use it all the time as well. You just may have never vocalized it or given it enough direct thought to parse it into a sentence. Or maybe you have. Hell, I don’t even know you! But I’ll bet you that the idea of going where you are looking isn’t exactly a revelation to you. But suppose I wanted to sell you the idea that I knew something you didn’t… that I, through painstaking research at great personal expense and sacrifice… had unearthed heretofore unearthed truths, around which all of life’s great mysteries could be unraveled.  If I wanted you to buy that “thing” from me then I sure as hell would need to dress it up, add some earrings to it, slap on some lipstick and make it appear as if you were going to transform from your pitiful state of aimless, desperate stuttering through life, headed inexorably to a horrible and tragic end and onto a Bridge that would lift you up and away from the very pits of hell!

Anyone who is already certain they don’t know how to feel better is part of my target market at that point. And there are a ton of folks who don’t actually know how the process of feeling good works. Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard are certainly not the first, the worst or the last who work this angle. It’s as old as human experience.

Like this one crazy woman I was married to during part of the 1990’s. She was an angel-crystal-mantra-fluffy-marijuana-new-ager. I didn’t actually know that when I married her. Mainly because I was looking at something else she possessed… but that’s not uncommon for a man who hits his 40’s and starts casting around for a little excitement in life. Anyway, when the relationship went sour (which is something I can always count on) she was convinced the answers to “us” were to be found in the world of mysticism, crystals, places-of-power and getting in touch with her angels. I say “her angels” because she never actually accused me of having any angels. So, probably out of desperation on my part, I agreed to meet her in Sedona Arizona to talk about us. She wanted to visit some Places of Power with me and also get a reading.

A powerful red rock.

Okay. That’s one of the places we went, there on the left. It’s a known place of power. But to me then, and still to this day, this place will always be firmly etched in my memory as a large red rock in Arizona.

We also got that “reading”. In Sedona there are tons of people who sell special stuff that you can’t get anywhere else. Ahem. The guy who did the reading was pretty good though. He observed us intently, asked just enough seemingly innocuous questions to line all his ducks up, and then laid out a pretty good story. My estranged wife was impressed. I didn’t smirk. Which is saying a lot for my self control. See? Those TR’s in Scientology do have their uses.

Essentially, all the fortune teller did was what any fortune teller or good salesperson does. He asked questions, figured out who the decision-maker was, provided a product that met the needs and wants… while subliminally suggesting the product possessed the features needed… and then said thank you.

I find it difficult to understand why anyone can be fooled by this scam. Scientology, on the other hand, is a little deeper than a card reader sitting on a patio in the desert evening. It’s elaborate. It has millions of spoken and written words that make it up. It’s had charts and graphs and volumes and tools and buildings and so much more appeal than gypsies have. And, if you listen to about a million people who are either currently involved or who have been involved… it works.

I call bullshit. At the same time I say yes, it does work. It depends, like pretty much all human interaction, on the circumstances, the people involved and what people are giving up to attain what they imagine they are going to attain. And, I suppose this might be important, whether there is actually anything being attained.

So, back to my axiom – where you look is where you go.

Wanna know when I learned that little problem-solver? You do? Okay. I learned it when I was about 7 years old and learning to ride a bicycle. You know when you’re a kid and you have a bike and you’re not real good riding it… that you can crash pretty easily? I did that a lot. But crashes I could handle… my real problem was the sidewalks I rode on. Back then, in the 50’s, they didn’t have weed-whackers to edge the lawns. Men went out and bought these edger machines, the kind with a cutting wheel attached to a gear-driven shaft that was powered by a small engine. And they edged their lawns, turning the edge along the sidewalk into little trenches that were between a half inch and an inch wide.

Perfect size to snag a bicycle tire and pitch a 7 year old head first over the handlebars.

Machine of death.

I know they still make these malevolent machines, but I suspect only Suppressive Persons actually use them. The type of men who enjoy sipping on a beer and watching little kids get brain damage from high-siding their bikes.

So anyway, what I was doing was focusing on the thing I feared. I knew it was going to hurt, knew that if I drove my front tire into the trench it would pitch me off. But none of that mattered. In order to avoid the little trench I had to know where they were at! Right??!! Which means I had to look at them in order to avoid them!!! Right!!!??

Finally someone took pity on me and taught me that when you’re driving something you tend to steer that something in the direction you are looking. It may seem pretty basic – and it is – but realize, I was 7 years old. And not a particularly bright 7 years old… more like a Texas 7 years old. if you know what I mean.

Artist's rendering of me at 7 years old. Hubbard called this an engram. I call it dumbness.

The reason I bring all this up is to try and relate to those who believe that Scientology Tech is actually some sort of special knowledge that it really isn’t.

For the most part it’s just a rephrasing of stuff we all pretty much know, or at least understand, but don’t think about when we’re crying, scared, depressed, mortified or otherwise fucked up. It makes sense not because Hubbard was some sort of insightful immortal thetan from the stars… but because we pretty much already know this stuff, we just don’t always use it. Which is also understandable because things can get frantic and confusing from time to time. Mistakes get made, common sense and principle get set aside and before you know it – you’re a mess. Or at least you believe you’re a mess because you feel like a mess. And then along comes this pert young thing handing out fliers for a free personality test and then when you’re getting the results the person (salesperson) says something that seems so right, so on target, so close to what you are thinking… or would be thinking if you’re weren’t being sold something… and there is this *CLICK* in your head and you go, “Woah! That sounds awesome!”

And you know the rest.

I’m not exactly attacking the “tech” of Scientology here. All I’m saying is this – 1) it’s not actually “tech” in the sense that most people understand “tech” and 2) there are no actual revelations in it.  Strip the “tech” of all the nomenclature and crazy acronyms, take all the Scio-Speak out and rephrase it in words that normal people understand and you end up with something along the lines of most popular self-help books of the last 30 or 40 years. Even the auditing session, the engrams, the whole “process” of guided self-introspection isn’t novel, unique or even particularly innovative.

Okay, before I go… last thing – Scientology Tech claims to offer up truths and insights unattainable in other religions or practices. The method used to lay in the belief that these “datums” are special is to dress them up in special language and to insist on special techniques to bring about an understanding (cognition) about the true meaning of these precepts. But when you strip out the Scio-speak you end up exactly where I was the day I learned to look at where I wanted to go rather than where I didn’t want to go. here’s an example – actually, two examples:

What’s true for you is true for you.

Reality is the agreed upon apparancy of existence.

Both these statements are observably false. Reality is NOT something we agree upon. It’s what actually is. Here’s the definition, which is in direct contradiction to Hubbard’s useful tool of a definition:

Reality is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or may be thought to be. In its widest definition, reality includes everything that is and has being, whether or not it is observable or comprehensible.

So what the hell was Hubbard talking about that Scientologists seem to be so agreeable about? That definition above is a direct contradiction to what Hubbard says. That’s because he wasn’t talking about reality, instead he was talking about something entirely different, something totally subjective. Here’s what is an apparency:

On a much broader and more subjective level, private experiences, curiosity, inquiry, and the selectivity involved in personal interpretation of events shapes reality as seen by one and only one individual and hence is called phenomenological.

Oh, I see what he did there. He has people believing that subjective reality is actual reality so long as they believe it to be true and… this is important… others agree that it’s real. Damn! If you could package that up and sell it… shite! There’d be no end to the money you could make. Now, if you throw in the whole “true for you” bit you end up with someone who not only believes some very odd things… but they believe that if you don’t agree with them it’s because you aren’t yet enlightened. Or worse, that you’re living in one reality and they in another. Or that you’re actually the one who doesn’t understand words because you haven’t done a clay demo or read the definition while holding the cans until your needle floated.

Crap. There I go again… using Scientology to try and explain Scientology.

Bottom line is this – the reason people stay in Scientology is that they are not looking to go anywhere else. It’s that simple. Where you look is where you go. Now, if someone could just convince Scientologists to not look at anything except what they are told to look at… well… then you’d have a captive audience and a steady cash flow.

Why So Serious? (re-visited)

Posted: 8th November 2010 by ensifer in Scientology ~ before the RTC

I just wanted an excuse to use the image above in my blog. And what better excuse than to have a blog entry about fun in Scientology as opposed to the standard fare of anger, depression, failed purposes, dead OT’s, scheming private eyes, refund cycles and bickering over whether there really is such a thing as a spirit or if the whole subject is just a money-making scheme gone crazy.

So how about I talk about what made being a part of Scientology fun? Up until it wasn’t fun anymore.

From my earliest experiences at the Dallas Center, being a part of a Scientology group was exciting due to the fact that my mother and Red Shea, along with all the adults in the group, loved to party. When I stayed with her (usually holidays and the summer break) it seemed like every week-end was a party week-end. Back yard BBQ parties, indoor parties, costume parties – which they named “Come as your favorite valence” parties – or just hip get-togethers where we all listened to Dave Brubeck on Norm Mehr’s awesome hi-fi set-up and smoked and everyone talked about thetans and implants and intoxicating subjects like out-of-body traveling or what 8-C really meant.

Red Shea in his pirate "valence" at a Dallas Scientology party. Probably about 1962 or so.

That picture there on the left is a fine example of why a young kid might want to hang out with a bunch of crazy weirdos like Scientologists. How cool is that? A pirate! Forget for a moment that pirates didn’t actually wear flip-flops or nice wristwatches… Red looked the part. And he was, after all, a Chief Engineer and certified Master of all Seas who made his real money running massive oil tankers from the Arabian oil fields to the USA.

It’s as if the fun never stopped when you became a part of the Scientology groups I was familiar with. Whether in Dallas or during my time in St. Louis or over at Saint Hill, back in Boston, out in Los Angeles at ASHO, there always seemed to be something happening where people got together… usually involving beer, wine, whiskey and the outside chance of some late night interlude with a comely Scientology lass.

My apologies to anyone offended by me mentioning that in the “Old Scientology” people actually got laid without some humorless ethics officer getting involved. To be really honest… in the Scientology of the 60’s and 70’s we all fucked like rabbits. Which may, in part, explain why so many kids are in the Sea Org… the spawn of the 70s’, so to speak.

Reading about how things are now it appears that sex outside of marriage is either frowned upon or heavily policed by Scientology salespeople and FSM’s to ensure that money that ought to be going to the church isn’t being spent on off-purpose things… like dinner and drinks, or lingerie.

So back to the parties and fun part of being a Scientologist.  I don’t want to give the impression that getting together to drink, smoke, dance and do crazy stuff was the main attraction of Scientology for those of us in the “Baby Boomer” generation. But think about it… Scientology exploded in that 1968-1975 era and the main components were young people in their late teens and early 20’s. Thousands of us. And we actually liked the generation that preceded us into the fray. We enjoyed their company. Another example of old people partying? Here ya go –

Dallas Scientology BBQ. Dolores (my gorgeous mother), Nick Nichols and his then-wife Edie Nichols. Laughing, smoking and having a cold one in the Texas twilight.

I have no idea who the guy in the shirt with the billowy sleeves is, but does it look to you like he has a scarf in his mouth? What’s that all about?

Over in England, at Saint Hill, there was a party every week-end. Actually, there were so many that you had to choose. I went to parties in 300 year-old houses that were haunted or parties where really shitty bands played shitty music in a truly shitty fashion. But it was fun and we smoked and drank warm beer and saw ghosts flitting around in the trees. Then out in Los Angeles it was truly crazy fun. Beach parties, parties in the Hollywood Hills or the old-style Scientology events that didn’t involve a bunch of stone-faced staff members and Sea Org people hell-bent on keeping the riff-raff out while simultaneously ensuring that nobody left without writing a check.

And what about the original Celebrity Center? Any of you people remember that one? It was in a crumbling brick building down on 8th street in LA. Party central! Whether it was Chick Corea or Stanley Clarke performing or everyone chatting up John Travolta – who was just getting known as Vinny Barbarino from his hit TV show – anyone could just walk in, start dancing or talking, hitting on girls (or guys, if you were a girl… or a guy who leaned that way) and just enjoying the hell out of being a part of something as cool as Scientology.

In fact, thinking about Celebrity Center, one of the most memorable performances I have ever been privileged to see was at that old building. One night Heber Jentzsch performed and even though it was 40 years ago I can still see and hear his magnificent performance. For those who never actually met Heber, or didn’t know him before his rise to fame and then ultimate disappearance, Heber has a powerful, powerful voice. As I recall he was one of several Scientologists around LA in that period who had acted in the movie ‘Paint Your Wagon’ and I think he can be seen singing in that movie. So anyway, Heber apparently was a lover of American Traditional songs from the turn of the century…. not this century, the last one. He sung one song that I knew from growing up and he did the best rendition I have ever heard. Even now, writing this, I can hear his incredible voice hitting the plaintive wail of a backwoods hick lamenting the passing of his Ol’ Dog Blue.

Man. Why is that guy not enjoying his life, grand kids on his knee and passing along the richness of his experience to them? Where the hell is Heber?

I actually went and tried to find a version of the song that Heber sung that night that came close to his performance. Even with YouTube and millions upon millions of people singing and videoing and uploading, none of them are within 100 miles of his talent. Well, maybe this recording from about 80 years ago is close, but as the line goes in the song ” Ol’ Blue’s voice was big and round”… it was Heber who had the ‘big and round’ voice. Listen, if you have 3 minutes, to this classic version –

When I finally decided to quit working for other people and open my own Scientology Center the tradition of fun continued. We had plenty of party events at the Center in Fresno, and not just holiday parties. Although we put those on as well. Sure, we were in the business of selling Scientology training, auditing and books, that’s a given. But it’s not as if we were only servicing an emotionally depressed clientele who just wanted to come in and find a way to claw themselves up out of some overwhelming suicidal hole they were dug into. I think one of the reasons we did so well and made good money and produced those all-important ‘stats’ was that we were having a great time. And not just the staff either. Everyone was invited to join in the fun.

So we did our own ‘come as your favorite valence’ parties where people wore costumes, booze was served and prizes awarded for best valence. I never won, being the owner and all, but I do want to share one of my best valences with you:

A typical 70's Mission Holder and his main squeeze.

A typical 70's Mission Holder and his main squeeze.

In addition to seamy costume parties we did talent shows –

That's Bill Wadhams there on the left belting out a Rock n' Roll song. You may remember him from his 80's band 'Animotion', they had a huge MTV hit called "Obsession".

Why should you care one way or the other about fun when there are more important things Scientology is supposed to be doing? Well, because it seems to me there aren’t many things more important  than having fun. I asked at the beginning of this entry ‘why so serious?’… and I really believe that’s a critical question. Sure, some of you out there actually believe that you are engaged in an eternal struggle with evil SP’s and a menacing, destructive, shadowy mind-thing that “keys you in” whenever some random set of events sparks it into gear. And others of you might be all serious and concerned that unless you get to whatever End Phenomena you so urgently believe you need before your “meat body” dies, that you’ll be doomed to starting over again from scratch next lifetime.

Yeah… well… sure. That’s important… -ish. But does it all have to happen like right now? How about the concept that finding a group of people who share your love of exploring the mind but don’t demand that you pony up all your free money, turn your kids over to a maniacal guy in a sailor suit for a billion years and don’t require you to spend endless hours and dollars revealing all the terrible things you’ve done? Which, by the way, they write down and keep in a locked room.

So here’s my question – are you having fun in Scientology? Not the forced fun of going to events and giving standing ovations to the Chairman of the Board while cheering gleefully. But, you know… fun? The rough, sometimes dirty, often ridiculous fun of youth and wildness. More and more…. during my final few years being a professional Scientologist I saw an increasing level of disapproval from the management hierarchy when it came to fun. Whether it was silly orders to not go see ‘The Exorcist”   because you might get keyed in (yes, that really happened in LA) or the assertion that if your kids (or you) played Dungeons & Dragons you could restimulate some of the hidden horrors lurking in your Reactive Mind… waiting to lay you low and hinder your progress up the Bridge. And now ‘good Scientologists’ don’t surf the net without some nanny-bot program protecting you from all the fun that anonymous protesters are having.

Do they let Scientologists surf for porn? Good God! If that had been available in my era I’d probably have had to restrict access for 90% of my staff. Not for me… of course. I have self-control.

I don’t really have a message today for current and ex-Scientologists, just a reminder. If it isn’t easy, if it isn’t fun, then it’s probably not going to end well. That’s true about love. That’s true about finding your vocation. That’s true about friendship. Those things always feel easy… feel light… make you smile from the joy of exerting and building. And if trying to bring those people and moments of value into your life is a grim chore – then you might just be a little too damned serious about the process of being alive.

Have fun.

You People Make Me Crazy!

Posted: 13th October 2010 by ensifer in Uncategorized

By “you people” I mean all you Scientologists and ex-Scientologists.

By “crazy” I mean frustrated and having the near irrepressible desire to grab you around the throat and strangle you until you start making sense!

And I have my friend down in California to thank for reminding me why I am being driven crazy by people who revolve around the Scientology galaxy.

By “friend down in California” I mean my friend Penny. A person who I have known for something approaching 40 years now. And who despite her tenacious and wolverine-like grip on life, creating a future and facing the world open-armed with a smile in her face and glint in her eye… she still somehow manages to assign way too much of the reason for what is actually innate and precious in her own self to the writings, mumblings, random page farts and semi-psychotic military obsession of a SF writer-turned-Guru who has been dead and incinerated for almost 25 years now.

Penny doesn't really look like a wolverine. Unless there is some rare breed of blond wolverines that are collectors of colorful rugs.

So now that you are aware that Scientologists make me crazy and that Penny is one of the legion of crazy-making people, I’ll explain myself…

The basic premise of L. Ron Hubbard’s storyline is that all of us are immortal Thetans. For the uninformed, that means we are spirits who have no beginning and no end. We’ve always been here and always will be here. That wasn’t the story when Hubbard wrote Dianetics though. It came along when he spun Scientology out in the form of Science of Survival. So, just to clarify – everyone here is immortal. Which means that everyone here was here before. Got it? Okay.

Now enter Scientology and auditing. If a person underwent Dianetics and ran a mess of engrams and secondary incidents during the auditing and yet didn’t exhibit the stated attributes of a “clear”… or an individual who had effectively erased all subconsciously damaging elements of their mind… or in Hubbard’s parlance: erased the Reactive Mind… then one has to ferret out the problem. Why isn’t this  person acting like a Clear when they are no longer able to recall undiscovered painful memories that are ruining them?

Like most problems of this nature the answer is probably simple. As in… maybe there aren’t any more destructive incidents ruining the person? Now that isn’t a good answer because it fails to solve the problem of how to get the person to give you more money. Another answer is required here…hmmmm… OH! I know! How about this – the person isn’t recalling any more engrams and losses because the basic on the chains of engrams and losses isn’t in this lifetime! Now that is a much better answer. Not nearly as simple as the obvious one… but much more appropriate for engineering a world-wide organization of pasty-complected white people wearing quasi-military garb and rushing around the planet buying buildings, remodeling them and taking awesome pictures of the pristine interiors.

Check this out →

No way mere mortals could pay for this... and a hundred more just like it.

So anyway. Penny was having a phone conversation with me a few days ago and it turned into one of the heavy rap sessions. Kind of reminded me of the good old days in the late 60’s when we all used to hang out at Denny’s down by the LA Org and drink coffee, rap, try and get laid and just in general revel in the awesomeness of being immortal. Of course it helped that we were mostly 20 years old, mostly affluent enough to hang out in downtown LA until 3am and, like all 20 year olds… mostly immortal anyway. The only thing missing from the rap session Penny and I had the other evening was the bitter coffee and the french fries with brown gravy on them. Yum.

The conversation boiled down to two basic things.. both of which drive me crazy. Thing #1 was this – “if not for Scientology I would be dead/in jail/a drug addict/axe murderer or some other sort of negative statistic”. Thing #2 was this – “the Scientology tech is what will return me to my previous state of immortal wonderfulness”.

Now what I got out of the conversation is that Penny, like most people well-steeped in the tech, lore and arcane minutia of Scientology, just doesn’t question either of those two items. And that’s not meant as a criticism of you, or my friend, or anyone… it’s merely an observation. Once you hit a tipping point in Scientology immersion you typically no longer question either your immortality or the reality that without Scientology you were clearly going to be fucked.

Neither of those things explains people who don’t believe that stuff and are somehow still successful, happy, creative, wealthy, full of life, fun, skilled and just all sorts of cool.

But Penny is sharp and she turned the tables on me when I began to get somewhat offended that she still attributes her… her… her… awesomeness is the word… she contributes it to Scientology. And I don’t. Not only that, I told her as much. And I have told hundreds of other people the same thing. But she came right at me… like a wolverine… and asked me if I had any whole track recalls. Or if I have ever run a chain that extended into past lives. Or if I had actually ever even had a win in Scientology. She’s good… if I had a Scientology Mission right now I’d put her in as Chief Registrar. I had to answer that yes, I had many successes, revelations and wins while being audited and trained. And yes, during auditing I didn’t hold back and just offered up whatever imagery popped up when asked to find an earlier incident.

The real question, for me anyway, is the question of whether it matters one way or the other if those recalls are real or not. To me it doesn’t make a whit of difference. I honestly never thought about it and to be brutally honest… I never even gave much thought to what came up in my auditing after the session was over. I just wasn’t interested. I still ain’t interested. It didn’t matter to me then and it doesn’t matter to me now. If any auditors or highly trained Case Supervisors are reading this (not likely)  you are, no doubt, writing a program for me at this very minute that will handle my nonchalance when it comes to the matter of past lives or immortal thetans.

I think Penny’s point to me was that Scientology does have value and that being an ex-Scientologist means staying connected to the Scientology Galaxy in one way or another. Maybe I’m splitting hairs here but my take on that is that people who leave Scientology are honor-bound to be skeptical of virtually everything L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote and every word he ever spoke. If his so-called discoveries were real or in anyway unique then it stands to reason that thetans would be popping out of their bodies, stopping terrorists, irrigating crops in the Sudan, extracting drinking water from the oceans, re-freezing Antarctica and just in general making the world a safer place for all 6 billion of us. Well, 6 billion not counting another 200-900 billion body thetans clinging to our naughty bits.

And that brings me to the storyline of us being these down-trodden immortal beings who were tricked and then trapped by vile and evil forces billions of years ago and then dumped unceremoniously into active volcanoes.  How exactly is that possible again? And what about the ‘between lives implants’ that Hubbard told us were the primary reason we don’t have clear, useful knowledge of past lives? Even the most recent one? People have been getting Scientology and Dianetic auditing for 60 years now. Some of you have have thousands upon thousands of hours of this auditing and have attained lofty status on the top of the Bridge. So why no OT abilities? And hey, how come since NASA has sent spacecraft around the moon and Mars and several other planets haven’t we seen images of these implant stations?

Hubbard said they were there. Right?

I just had a thought… they didn’t remove those pages from his books did they? You tell me, I sold all my books on eBay back in the late 90’s when people were still paying good money for them.

Does Scientology actually work?

Hubbard and the tomatoes is my favorite LRH picture of all time. That is Hubbard there on the right isn't it?

Of course it does. That’s the easy answer. But so does taking a walk on a sunny day. Other things that work are learning to read and write or being lucky enough to grow up in a home with two loving parents. From my very simplistic view on life pretty much anything that prods a person to look at something in a new way or to move in a fashion they aren’t used to moving in can have very positive results on their emotional and mental health. Why would auditing be any different?

Hubbard had flashes of brilliance as well. Most of what I consider brilliance doesn’t mean other people not adherents of Scientology don’t understand the brilliant parts… it just means that Hubbard wrote something or spoke about something in a way that dove-tailed nicely with my questions or desire to know. It doesn’t mean he actually “discovered” or “sourced” anything at all. And that speaks again to my point that Scientologists and ex-Scientologists that are still attached to the whole Hubbard-ness of Scientology are long overdue for a bit of reading and study outside the scope of their Scientology books, auditor course packs and official HCO Policy Letters.

Scientology is all about problems

No really, it is. You may think it’s about returning to your glorious state of immortal awesomeness, but it isn’t. The sole valid reason for giving people like Sea Org people actual money and then subjecting yourself to very personal interrogations attached to an electric device would be that you have honestly arrived at a point in your life where you have run out of useful solutions for your problems.  If you just start stripping away all the dross and rhetoric  and the fanciful prose and lengthy diatribes about how fantastic the “tech” is and how you never, ever, not in another 65 billion years, would ever have had that realization… if you strip all that garbage out of your personal storyline you’re going to end up in one place regarding Scientology – it’s a tool that you understood would help you resolve problems.

It’s not magical. Well, maybe to some it is. But that’s just marketing. Compare Scientology to a hammer, okay? If you have nails and you have boards and you’re trying to build a thing-a-ma-bob using a rock to drive the nails into the boards… then you have a problem. You can do it. I know because I’ve done it. Don’t ask… okay? I did and it wasn’t pretty.

But a hammer is just a hammer right?

Sort of. That was my argument to Penny when she proclaimed that without Scientology she very likely would have ended up in some terrible life condition and so forth and so on. What I wanted her to know is that I view her as “senior” to anything L. Ron Hubbard ever wrote or said. To me people are more valid than words… or tech… or bibles or holy edifices or anything created by anyone else.

My view of Scientology “Tech” is that it’s just another bag of tools designed to theoretically solve problems that people would like to resolve. So… would you give $100,000 for a building fund to glorify the guy who built the first hammer? Or would you deify the many books written by one person about hammer-usage that claim to reveal not only the ancient secrets of hammers… but also claim to contain the only true way to properly apply a hammer to a nail?

If you answered yes to that then you are probably pretty fucked up. But you didn’t answer yes because the idea of considering a tool to be in any way “senior” to the person wielding the tool is just silly. Except that’s pretty much exactly what Scientologists do. And many ex-Scientologists as well. At some point along their progression through the labyrinth of attaining that ever-elusive state of OT they hit that tipping point I mentioned earlier. They bought the idea that Scientology really is “the way to immortal freedom”.

So every time the ranks of hammer-users thin out – due largely to people solving problems and then moving on with their lives or perhaps to realizing that hammers only work well on wood and they want to build something out of metal – the command structure of Scientology goes into overdrive and generates new uses for old hammers. Or they gussy up the hammers they’re selling and explain that not only are you people not using the hammers properly, you’re using Squirrel Hammers and you need the new, on-tech, official hammer.

Full OTVII Power Hammer! Don't leave your body without it!

What all this comes down to, for me anyway, is that Scientology was never about becoming immortal, regaining full knowledge of the Whole Track, attaining some idyllic state of OT or anything of the sort. Like most people, I had some problems I was getting hung up on and solving them meant I needed to add some tools to my bag. I guess my answer to Penny about whether or not I ever had any huge wins or ran a past life incident that was “so real” is pretty mundane. Yeah, I had wins. Sure, I looked exactly where the auditor asked me to look and revealed everything I saw. But at no time did I ever consider anything I experienced in Scientology  as being unattainable without Scientology. It worked for me like any tool and when the tool distributor began making demands that I buy tools I didn’t need or want or report to them how I used my tools then the relationship became more about the tool then it did about the user.

By the way… feel free to tell me I’m an idiot or that I failed to clear up some basic M/U’s or that some C/S missed a vital aspect of my case. That’s exactly what the Sea Org recovery people tried to tell me 25 years ago.  I still own the original tools I bought from Hubbard and they work just fine. With some modifications… of course.

Now there’s a question that has been being asked for 50 years or so.  And while there are no easy answers to the question there are technical answers. Technically, in the eyes of the IRS here in America, Scientology is a church.  It’s been that way for about 40 years now. And if you look at all the stationary, the corporate filings, the ministerial garb and promotional materials it appears, on the surface, to function much like what we here in the Western World imagine a church functions like.

Yet if you look at how the organizations operate on a day-to-day basis Scientology is a church only in the loosest sense.

For those of us who were around prior to the official proclamation by L. Ron Hubbard that Scientology would now put on church clothes and start acting like a church the idea of being religious, for us,  had always been an ill-fitting suit. I’m not religious. And for the most part almost none of the thousands of Scientologists I have been acquainted with or the hundreds I have had friendships or working relationships with were religious either. We didn’t pray. We didn’t submit to any God. We didn’t take vows of poverty (unless we joined Org staff or the Sea Org), our functions as staff or Scientologists weren’t reverent or ritualized in the sense that we ever felt the source of our salvation or potential spiritual freedom was bestowed by a supreme being. And so we didn’t honor or bow down to a deity.

But we had to become a church for the simple reason that being anything else would mean the end of Scientology. And the end of auditing.

So Hubbard morphed us.  Arnie Lerma has one of the better web sites out there among the array of anti or ex web sites. His struggle against the RTC version of Scientology is both ethical and emotional. All you have to do is read his story, particularly the bit about how he was treated when it was discovered, via confidential session reports, that he was mere days away from marrying one of Hubbard’s daughters. Here’s Arnie’s location in electronic space:

Lerma’s Net Home

Having been around for a while, Arnie’s site is extensive. There are gems and veins of gold hidden away in the various pages and links he provides. And while it’s not updated daily (or even weekly sometimes), it’s probably the best place to go on the internet for references and exposès on the more nefarious goings ons over the years. He documents clearly the events, years apart, that set the path and then cast it into concrete that Scientology had to be a church rather than a business. Here’s an interesting one, direct from Hubbard’s prolific pen:

Realize that Hubbard wrote these words in 1954,  the same year he incorporated the Church of Scientology of California and one year after he founded the Church of Scientology in New Jersey.


Whatever you, as a past or present Scientologist, may believe about the churchiness of Scientology, it’s plain to see that the founder of  Scientology did not see it as a church. Becoming a church was the solution to two problems:

1. Taxes

2. Auditing

Taxes because, like all businesspeople, Hubbard wanted to keep more of the money his business made for himself. I’m no different. Well, except I never named my retail store or my restaurant a church in order to scam my nation. The auditing thing is a little more subtle. In fact, except for myself and maybe one or two people I’ve known over the years I’ve never had a conversation about how Hubbard used the false identity as a church to retain the right for his students and staff to audit.

Auditing was at risk because even the casual student of the history of Scientology knows that Hubbard’s first pitched battle for legitimacy was with the AMA and the APA. The doctors because, well, because they’re doctors and concerned. The psychiatrists because they took a look at what Hubbard was doing and determined that it was either a scam or not safe in the hands of untrained therapists. The move was on in the early 50’s to shut down Dianetics and require that anyone doing Dianetic therapy had to have a license. Which meant they had to go to college and get a degree. Which meant that the control over whether Dianetics or Scientology could legally be delivered would rest in the hands of the very groups who felt it was either a scam or a threat.

So Hubbard solved it by creating this  →

Alan Walters and Dean Stokes. Holy practitioners of the scriptures of Scientology.

Every time I see that picture of Alan and Dean I crack up. Neither of these two could have been in any way mistaken for actual Men of The Cloth. Yet, according to the C of S, they were. Thinking back to the 70’s, when this photo was taken, we all knew the whole church thing was a load of crap. Alan laughed about it and carried on with his plans of world domination and amassing of money and Dean… well… Dean is just Dean. I never really had a sense of what Dean was all about except that he smoked a whole lot more than I did.

I bought a clerical shirt and white collar and wore it exactly once. When my best friend died and the memorial was held at Celebrity Center in Hollywood I wore the damned thing. I felt like an impostor. And I was.  The whole church-thing was – and is today – a big circus. It’s a show. It’s deceptive. I know it. You do too. You may not admit it, but you know damned well that churches don’t do the things Scientology does. And those that do conduct themselves in the manner the Church of Scientology has eventually end up in the news… and in criminal court.

Hubbard was a smart guy though. He knew a real church had to have a spiritual leader… or recognizable master. And Hubbard was, if anything, not lacking in the ego department. Think about this if you will… why else would there be busts and huge wall-sized pictures of Hubbard in every Org and Mission on the planet? Why is it so, so important that Ron be treated… even in death… like a savior? The only possible reason for building an image of Hubbard as not only the “Source” of Scientology, but as the spiritual deity of it is to create a atmosphere of blind acceptance of anything attributed to him.

Blind obedience.

And now, since the guy has been dead for 25 or so years it’s just a matter of editing his books, changing a few things here and there to suit modern times and much larger financial goals…  and what we have is a written and spoken Bible of Scientology comprised of a score of books and several thousand hours of taped lectures. So we have a bible and we have a cross.

The cross, by the way, has been around since the 50’s and while I do think it’s little more than pretty imagery, Hubbard actually attached some decent significance to it in the description of how it represents the 8 Dynamics of Scientology. The story goes that he was excavating some ruins in Arizona … Spanish I imagine… and discovered the cross in the sandstone.

Yeah. Right. If you’ve ever read Mission into Time then you might just be a wee bit skeptical about this story.  I’m more inclined to go along with the story that credits the cross to the Ordo Templi Orientis. Crowley was a seriously occult dude and Hubbard did, after all, marry the sister-in-law of his American Pope –  Jack Parsons.

None of this stuff… not the lies, not the purposeful creation of a Godlike status for L. Ron Hubbard, not the tax scams or uncomfortable clothes means that practicing Scientology is without merit. Like anything that is unprovable and entirely subjective, Scientology auditing has value that is determined solely by the person willing to pay the money and hold the cans.

What the deception does though is it creates a facade of religious legitimacy that is a very effective shield in modern society. It also spreads the “ether” through malleable groups of people faster than the Bird Flu can rip through a chicken farm.


For the most part, Missions prior to 1982 ignored the whole church facade unless we needed it. So we, as Mission Holders, were effectively… in on the sham. For a couple hundred bucks we filed the non-profit corporate papers with the state. Then we added the cool-looking cross to some stationary… I had regular stationary that said something like ‘Scientology of Fresno” and then official stationary that said “Church of Scientology of Fresno”. The latter I used when corresponding to anyone who gave a shit about appearances in the Orgs and to the State Tax board, the former we used for everything else. We had Sunday Services… sort of. When I knew there was a Sea Org mission coming or we had a wedding scheduled or something we put a Sunday Service on the calendar.

Other than that, we operated as an efficient training and counseling business with the added bonus of not having to mess with taxes. Just write a weekly check to the Mission Office for 10% of the gross income and carry on as if we weren’t actually a church. Which we weren’t… actually a church, I mean. It was deceptive.

Oh, and it also made getting married a lot easier and kept me and my crew of staff and public from feeling out of place in real churches. When I got married in 1977… uh, wait… 1978 (sorry Cindy)… it was easy. I called my friend Allen Kapular who was a fake minister of the fake Church of Scientology, he drove over to my place with his multiple cartons of filtered cigarettes and his portable oxygen tank (I shit you not) and we all went outside and he hitched us up. Didn’t cost me a dime. Except the extra booze I had to buy  for Allen.

Me, the incredibly patient and beautiful Cindy and Allen. The portable oxygen tank was just out of camera range.

Take a look at that picture above. What kind of church has ministers who chain smoke so much that they can’t even put their cigarette down for the freaking wedding photos!!!! And yes, Allen died of lung cancer. But he had a damned good time up to that point.

Your opinion, of course, may differ from mine about whether Scientology is deceiving anyone by pretending to be something it isn’t. In fact, you might be right and I might be wrong. I mean, how many decades does a group of people who think they are a church have to think they are a church until they actually are a church? It’s like acting isn’t it? A good actor “thinks” like the character he or she is portraying. They get into the role. They imagine they are a sniper or a cop or a betrayed wife, a cuckolded husband or a scheming cattle rancher and they soon begin to do less acting and more of the natural things their character would do.  Right?

It makes for great theater.

Over the last couple of months the opportunity has arisen for some lengthy conversations with a few Old Time Scientologists from my past.  Hmmm, I guess if you look at it from their perspective I’m from their past. Either way, they are people who I “knew” very well. That makes them both friends and people whose opinions I value. And, seeing as how two of them are currently either on staff or receiving services I’ll restrict my comments to the two who have left the Church of Scientology.

One of my friends is not a trained auditor. The other is a Class VIII and has a similar history in the Mission network to mine. Each had very different points of view regarding how they felt about the current CofS. But before I get into that I want to mention something that struck me as important from another, much more popular blog by an ex-Scientologist. The post was by a guy named Glenn Samuels and it was on Marty Rathbun’s Moving on Up a Little Higher blog.

I always think of that old TV show The Jeffersons when I see the title of Marty’s blog… you know… “to a deluxe apartment in the sky… moving on up…da-da-da-da… “. Okay, got sidetracked there. Back to the business of no longer being a Scientologist.

So what Glenn discussed in his lengthy entry on the blog were all the instances of out-tech being criminally perpetrated by the current regime running Scientology. I reread the post twice because it’s a little “dense”. Not dumb dense… dense in the sense that there is a lot of information to digest in order to get the gist of what he is saying in his evaluation of the current practices of Scientology.  I kept coming back here, to his number one observation in his bulleted list of outpoints:

1. Thought stopping and filtering what one says due to fear of punishment from session data. Not being able to talk freely, cutting their own communication to the auditor which obliterates the basic reason auditing works.

I gave that item some consideration and eventually concluded that this complaint, while perfectly valid, is not a creation of the David Miscavige and his RTC regime. In fact, as far back as I can recall there have been very clear and precisely defined aspects of Scientology, the “tech”, the organization, the history of L. Ron Hubbard, the Sea Org and more that Scientologists wouldn’t freely talk about.

For example – Did Hubbard actually discover Scientology?

Or how about all the articles and investigative journalism about Hubbard’s fabrications of his military and other history? Or the matter of how exactly it is that Dianetics morphed in Scientology and then morphed into the Church of Scientology.  And why were so many Clears observably not Clear at all. At least in their actions, displays of “case”, wild 2D indiscretions, financial woes, fistfights and tendency to need tons of additional review and rudiment auditing? I haven’t even started on the questions that had to be lingering, unspoken, in the minds of thousands of Scientologists from my era when they met actual OT completions who, for all intents and purposes, were no different than a non-Scientologist who is jacked up on life and feeling good about things in general.

What happened to, you know… THE POWER OF OT’s!!!!!!!!

I’ll guarantee you that if you were on the Class VI course at ASHO in 1969 and you openly questioned the myth of Hubbard’s naval service or mentioned in public that you didn’t quite understand why so many Clears you knew were casey and routinely demonstrated “bank”, you’d have been sent to the MAA for PTS handling.  And even questioning the Church aspect meant you were further indoctrinated into the script about why it’s really a church. Really, really a real church, not just a tax dodge. The script for the addition of “church” in front of Scientology was that we were spiritual counselors and therefore equal to any organized religion. We even have ministers with collars, Sunday Services and can perform legal marriages and the like. Just no praying, God or free tithing. We were the church with a price list and teams of hunter-killer salespeople who could sniff out a structured settlement faster than a squad of J.G. Wenthworth reps, expedite the sale of a house, do laser surgery on a credit application and sense an unmolested 401K in the middle of a financial meltdown.

About the only difference I see between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is that Scientology has existed an additional 30 years or so. Which means there has been the opportunity for thousands of more people to leave it when they came to the end of their money, patience or willingness to keep quiet about their doubts. And now that I’ve used the word “doubt”… go reread the Doubt Formula and see if it’s not really designed to quell curiosity and the questioning of absolute authority.

Okay. So now my two old friends. One left when I did, back in the early 80’s. The other more recently. The difference between the two when I have a conversation with them about Scientology is remarkable. The person who left in the 80’s… the trained auditor… is point blank in stating very clearly that the vast majority of what was accepted then as truth and fact… is pretty much bullshit. The recent blowee (nice word, huh?) is still somewhat under the ether when it comes to Hubbard, the evilness of Miscavige, the idea of a regimented, standard Scientological technical path to whatever the ultimate goal of a thetan is;  total freedom, immortality, reversing the advancement of aging, etc., etc. etc.

I dig both my friends. other than the fact they’re terrific people, they have a common, shared history that parallels mine and it makes for good conversations that are somehow more satisfying than the daily norm I go through. Yet I still believe that the recent blowee is suffering from years and years and years of deception. Not only incoming deception – where you are lied to by someone. But self-deception. And the more I think about it the less I am mystified about why on Earth anybody who reads the  descriptions of the EP’s of the upper levels would ever give another nickle to a Scientology organization.

Of course it’s easy for me to say. Now. I haven’t been a Scientologist for 28 years. The bloom is definitely off the rose in my case. But it took a while. During the beginning days of the world-wide explosion of the internet us ex and the current Scientologists along with all the Clambake folks and wild asses like Dennis Erlich and probably a respectable number of fat guys with computers sitting in their underwear… we all found each other on Usenet. The forum was alt.religion.scientology and it was extremely popular back in the early and mid 1990’s. I posted there frequently for a couple of years and looking back – because the internet never, ever goes away – it’s clear to me that even 10 years after leaving, I was still defending “the tech”.

Those of you who have extra time or are just morbidly curious can find my offerings under my fake name “wolf tripp”. I am both embarrassed by my unwillingness to just “let go” and at the same time, a little proud that I at least distilled the mesmerization with Hubbard as God away from what I saw as value in the training and auditing Scientology had to offer.

Still, the fact remains, from my several decades of watching Scientology and having family and friends who are active and vocal participants in it, pretty much the entire premise of Scientology being special, or a discovery or anything like a “path to total freedom”, is patent bullshit.  And I say that as a person who has done several thousand hours of auditing, started more than one successful Mission, trained hundreds upon hundreds of people, been directly responsible for a few thousand getting into Scientology and even being considered an Opinion Leader by enough people for me to feel uncomfortable because of the admiration.

Here’s the point where you might ask – if you were here – “David? What about all the case gain and wins I personally got? Are you trying to invalidate those very real effects that the tech had one me?”

And if you were here, I would answer – “Certainly not Bob (or whatever your name is). I got tons of gains and good stuff myself from the training and auditing.”

So what’s the point? Why the hell am I suggesting that Scientology is deceptive? The answer is – “Because it is deceptive.”

The premise, the root, the most foundational pillar that must be accepted in order for anyone to fully “be” a Scientologist is that Scientology is both unique and simultaneously a path towards some distant state of OT immortality that is not available elsewhere. The chances that you, the current or ex-Scientologist reading this blog either currently accepts that reality, or did accept it at one point is probably close to 100%.

Why else did you give those people $100,000? Or 10 or 20 years of your life? To imagine that anyone, me included, would fork over huge sums of money and giant, vital decades of our lives for something that we didn’t absolutely believe was the only thing available is…well… naive. And to just walk away and freely admit that you were not only clipped, but that you were a willing participant in your own clipping is more than even strong, independent egos can easily handle. It’s, as they say, way out-gradient.

But hey! You’re here, reading this. And that means you’re in the process of unbinding yourself from the deceptions that you willingly paid for and that you purposefully lied to yourself about.


Yes. Yes it does. I know that as well as anyone because I committed many acts of tech over the years. Still do, in fact. Going back to that Glenn Samuels article I mentioned earlier, he tells a story about how Hubbard did plenty of auditing without an e-meter and so forth and so on. Which just tells me that often times when you’re involved in a discussion with an insightful and helpful person and when that person has a record of directing communication in certain patterns to achieve certain results (EP)… then you’re being audited. I’ve done it about a jillion times with my children. Or with employees, fellow workers, friends and family.

Good two-way communication that results in one or both people feeling relief and looking at life with a new-found excitement is NOT UNIQUE TO SCIENTOLOGY. Nor did L. Ron Hubbard discover how to communicate effectively. Nor will it make you immortal. And it won’t cause money or acting gigs to drop out of the sky or ancient memories of buried treasure to resurface. But it will give you enough clarity of mind to not miss good events when they appear. Of course it’s still up to you to act upon circumstances.


If you have done any auditor training at all then you have listened to scores or even hundreds of hours of Hubbard lecturing. Through the training up to Class IV and then the SHSBC and then onto the Class VIII course what I remember the most is having those effing headphones on my ears for hundreds of hours. Taking notes, getting check sheets signed and then more and more and more and more taped lectures. That’s what Hubbard did. He talked about whatever direction his thoughts took him and then he wrote tech bulletins and policy letters based on the free association of the lecture.

And he was damned good at it as well. Not to mention, the guy wrote like a demon! The very definition of prolific.

So there I was, sitting in the classroom listening to one of the huge check list of SHSBC tapes and Hubbard started droning on about repetitive processing. It’s been over 40 years so how about I paraphrase what he said on this one tape? In essence he declared that anything done in a repetitive fashion that had some sort of orderly design to it is capable of producing a positive result on a preclear.

Anything? Well, that’s what he said. Anything. So, if for example, you were depressed and unhappy and couldn’t get laid and hated your job – I could, as an auditor – have you come over to my house every day for 2 hours. During that time we could walk through a park, a mall and then a quiet neighborhood and if I asked you at the beginning of the walk to tell me what was on your mind, and we did that every day for two weeks… you’d probably make case gain.

All I would have to do is understand that we needed to to the same thing every day – go the same route – and that I needed to merely prod you a bit when required, make subtle acknowledgments that I heard what you said, and not offer my opinion about anything you brought up. I once made a joke about this – admittedly in bad taste – that most preclears were so ready for change and wanting to get better that you could probably charge them $50 and hour and instruct them to stand on their head in the shower stall, turn the water on and masturbate… and most of them would float the needle at the examiner.

Yeah, ridiculous, I know. But Hubbard said as much. Okay, not the shower and uhhh… other part… but the principle is the same. What he apparently understood was that the words and patterns, while important, weren’t the real reason people seemed to become happier in Scientology. It was the fact that someone was paying attention to them and directing their words, patterns and attention. And the deception is that Scientology has the means to ascend to some exalted state of being that isn’t available elsewhere.

Speaking of exalted states…


Some years ago a reg from Flag was out here in Idaho beating the bush for money and he called me up. I cheerfully accepted his invitation for a lunch date and we spent a pleasant couple of hours together. He wanted to recover me. I was curious about what, if anything, had changed in the several years that Miscavige had been running the show. When he attempted to run a must/have – can’t/have on me regarding my immortal thetan and relative level of success or meaningful contribution to ‘the planet’ he brought up a bunch of celebrities and quite a few successful Scientologists that he knew I had associated with or knew.  These guys often do their homework.

The gist of his pitch was that the successful people I knew, who were still involved, were successful because they were Scientologists. Of course, that’s exactly what just about every Scientologist says… when they’re winning. Before they get pissed off and blow. Of course they attribute success to Scientology. That’s what they’re doing! What else would they attribute it to?

Well, if a person isn’t a Scientologist and is rich, successful, happy, contributing meaningful things to his or her fellow humans, creating beautiful art or music, winning awards, being admired and just living a dream… then how the hell does Scientology explain that? Or how does Christianity or Islam or any “faith” explain the simple, observable fact that plenty of folks do quite well and are happier than a pig in mud… and they aren’t being guilted into forking over massive amounts of cash.

How do you explain Bill Gates?

My Flag guy had no choice but to fall back on the same damned trick that the first shamans used to get out of real work and attain power over others… he assured me that immortality – the real kind, the OT kind – was just not available anywhere but in the Scientology Bridge. What he wanted me to believe, because he certainly did, was that we live in a world where despite clear evidence to the contrary, Scientology is the only subject capable of taking a spirit from degradation to immortal freedom. And to think… a mere twenty years before that day I probably would have accepted that deception. Because I wanted it to be so.

Now, in 2010, we know quite a bit about how deceptive Scientology has become. Also, if one is willing to confront it, how deception has always been the glue which sticks thetans to Scientology. So when Glenn Samuels, who I sort of know and respect, says that is one of the trademarks of the current out-tech regime… the hampering of free, unfettered communication… what he isn’t saying is that this has always been the case with Scientology. In fact, it’s pretty much always been the case with any organized religion. That’s how religion – and I still don’t accept that Scientology is a religion in the strict sense – has always controlled it’s flocks. Threat and deception. Take God’s name in vain? Extra tithe and some penance. How is that any different than being ordered to Review to get additional Sec Checks and then having to work your way through some laborious and Kafkaesque ethics cycle?

It isn’t any different. It’s all about controlling you and your communication and it always has been about that. Oh sure, back in the 60’s and 70’s things were new and fresh enough that the deception was more a background murmur. Whereas today the deception is overbearing and rigorously enforced and, if people like Marty Rathbun can be believed, it will be enforced by cadres of private eyes and undercover agents coming at you hammer & nail bent on squelching you and your right to communicate.

By the way… one of the friends I talked to recently called me from Flag. About a year or two back we had several lengthy conversations where he was definitely ‘on the edge’ regarding what Scientology had to offer him at this point. He’s a successful man who earns plenty and has an overall nice life and the undercurrent of his communication was that the direction of the current management of CofS was very, very troubling to him. But not now. He’s back on the path. I found it particularly meaningful that he specifically mentioned that he was doing great at Flag because he’d had a bunch of witholds pulled.

Ain’t that interesting? I’ll tell you all what I think of that in the future… after I do some posts about where Scientology actually came from and the real reason it’s a church.

Thanks for reading. Sorry about not adding any pictures. I’ll remedy that soon.

If size matters then Scientology has a small dick

Posted: 12th September 2010 by ensifer in Random articles

Been offline for a while. Now I’m not.

So let’s talk about penis size. Okay?

One of the more frequent discussions I come across in the universe of Scientology dissidents is the subject of bogus claims to the number of actual Scientologists. The common theme here in the real world is that while the CofS claims hundreds of thousands or perhaps 8 or 10 million souls collected, the truth is the actual number of paying customers is dismally small.

The customary tone of ex-Scientologists when commenting on Scientology PR or effectiveness seems (to me anyway) to be a mixture of whining, victimization, Miscavige-hate-syndrome and calls to arms for donning masks based on Guy Fawkes and prancing about in the sunlight being anonymous. Blended in there among the cacophony of carping and bitching are the occasional sensible voices that suggest that there is value to be had from Hubbard’s plagiarisms so long as you don’t get involved with the ethics, FSMs, building fundraisers or zombie infections that the organization can produce. So with both camps declaring the other is full of shit, who really knows the size?

What does this have to do with penis size, you ask? Well, a lot. I will firmly agree with the internet assessments that actual paying customers in Scientology probably number no more than maybe 100K… 200K tops. And I’m including newbies on the Comm Course – or whatever it’s called these days. So if Scientology has failed to infect the public at large with it’s wonderfulness as a religion then why all the big buildings? Why are there continual missions being “fired off” to browbeat the slavish and other-intended OTs into coughing up hundreds of thousands of bucks to buy and remodel these edifices to OT-ness around the planet.

I think it’s because Scientology has failed in doing the religion thing. People out there just routinely don’t give a shit one way or the other what Scientology is offering and they damned sure don’t see L. Ron Hubbard as some sort of elevated spiritual master. For better or worse, life on planet Earth isn’t about salvation. Outside the scope of radical Islam (where it’s about either being a Muslim or being decapitated) people across the globe simply want to get laid, live somewhere nice, see some cool movies,  play their XBox, root for their college football team, go camping, maybe get married and put down roots so they can fulfill their genetic obligation to replicate themselves. Whatever we are… spiritual, totally meat or some hybrid combination… comfort, success and much of the available joy is obtained through buying shit and showing it off as proof you’re capable.

That last bit is the most important part of my rant here this evening… buying shit and showing it off.

One of the effects this tie to material things has… primarily on men, so you women are cool for now… is that men “prove” their prowess through displaying what they’ve won in battle. A man’s worth has to be seen to be measured. Accumulating things is evidence that you don’t want to fuck with the guy who has more things than you do.  And in that entire weird brew of conquering, acquiring and displaying is the issue that men have when it comes to dick size. Whatever we say publicly, we all know that a big dick gets talked about. Yeah, yeah, it’s how you use it, etc., etc. But c’mon, the truth is that men fear dicks bigger than theirs. And women, who may enjoy the security and comfort provided by a small-penised male, will still buy Harlequin romance novels, giggle with their friends over so-and-so who has a major league unit or even stray from time to time. If the opportunity arises and they are sure they won’t get caught.

Which leaves us with the need to get big things and show them off as a surrogate for having a dick that does not inspire awe. Certainly buying up and remodeling hundreds of buildings that will, for the most part, sit empty, is a clue that somebody up there in the higher echelon of Scientology is struggling with a 4″ pecker. Where I grew up… out in West Texas… we had sayings for this affectation. Like – “All hat, no cattle”. To describe the cowboy who isn’t, but dresses like one. We knew that the bigger the buckle: the smaller the unit.

You folks who hate movie star Scientologists will aprreciate this one. of course, he does have his own private airline-sized jet and a runway at his house. But hey! No cattle.

The few guys I knew who actually won dinner-plate size buckles either put them in a drawer or pawned them so other guys with no credibility or talent could buy them and wear them to the two-stepping competition.

Seeing as about 80% of the Scientology promo pieces I get in the mail are intended to inspire me to fork over cash for this whole ‘Ideal Org” thing that Miscavige has created – and seeing as how I pretty much know for a certainty that they couldn’t fill even 20% of the seats in these places – then I have to assume that Miscavige is using Ideal Orgs as replacement therapy for his feeling of inferiority owing to the fact he has a needle-dick.

Doesn’t this whole Ideal Orgs thing smack of Field of Dreams? You know, the movie where Kostner built a baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield and, magically, both players and fans appeared to rejoice in the ecstasy that is baseball, fandom, crappy hot dogs and expensive beer all in the sweltering summer humidity of Iowa in June. Sheesh. What a load of crap.

After leaving Scientology I spent a number of years selling automobiles. The same syndrome works there as it does in the Ideal Orgs situation. I mean, think about it… is there any other possible explanation for anyone purchasing a Hummer other than that they are making up for having a swizzle stick sized penis when all the world knows it takes a .44 magnum to do the job?

"Hey ladies. Wanna check out my Hummer? What, no, no really, forget what my ex-wife says, I'm totally at least average. For a white guy, that is."

Seeing as how I sold Mercedes, Range Rover and yes, even Hummers over the years I saw more than my share of David Miscavige types dropping $50K or $100K for instant penis enlargement.

I’m not going to suggest that owning a nice building, whether for a Scientology Org or any business, isn’t a fine idea. It is. The Missions I owned or ran all eventually outgrew their available space. Notice I said – outgrew? That’s because usually it’s better to spend money on things that actually produce new income or new customers than on things that serve no real purpose other than to make the owner feel better about himself… or herself. We can all probably agree that when we were in Scientology it was pretty cool when our local Mission or Org actually achieved enough affluence to either expand or improve the space. The Dallas Scientology Center in 1965 was in a house on Mockingbird Lane in town. It was fine so long as no single evening produced more than perhaps 20 people attending class. And there was room for two auditors. The house was nice enough, but when the Center got more successful they had to acquire larger quarters. It wasn’t about ego, or feelings of inferiority, it was about need. A need spawned by success.

I see this acquisition and beautification of large structures in Scientology being totally, 100% about ego and feelings of inferiority. No way do those Orgs actually need that much room. No way. Some have even suggested that the Evil Doctor Miscavige has created an elaborate scheme whereby he actually owns the buildings through a series of covert corporations and surreptitious legal maneuvers.  Hey, could be. I have no idea. Nor do I care. He doesn’t have any of my money and if he has some of yours you probably feel pretty foolish about now, huh?

Oh, almost forgot – here’s a hilarious link crediting Scientology with a ton more adherents than it likely has:


These guys give the CofS 500,000 people. Yeah, right. If they actually had 500,000 people then the stunning images of all the new Orgs in the mailers I get would have people in the images instead of empty rooms full of new furniture and tasteful wood flooring.

Anyway, what got me started on this whole thing today was a new promo piece that was in my PO Box. It invited me to Flag to attend the raising of a 175 foot tall Scientology cross above (I guess) the Flag Land Base. Holy shit! 175 feet is one tall motherfucking cross. The promo details that it will be raised in three parts… ala the ARC Triangle I reckon… and that there will be hot dogs, music and pony rides. Wait! Did I say pony rides? Yes, yes I did. Scientology, the religion that is here to save the planet from itself as well as the evil of psychiatry and threat of re-insertion into a volcano, is having pony rides at Flag.

I dunno about you, but I suspect this whole thing is an elaborate scheme to entice rich OT’s to fly to Flag with their children. Then they’ll lure the kids onto the ponies while reg teams block off the visiting OT parents and they’ll refuse to give the kids back until a check is written. That, by the way, is how I was first introduced to the RTC back in 82. We were told that in order to leave the room where the Mission holders were being held captive we’d have to either write a check or sign a promissory note that we’d send the money along as soon as we got home.

I went for the promissory note. If you wonder why just ask any ex-wife of mine what area of life I have the most integrity issues on.

If you ever want to see little Emily or Javier again I suggest you make a contribution. Oh, and by the way? They asked about joining the Sea Org.

All in all, I guess more than anything I’m amazed that modern day Scientologists fall for this crap. It’s very hard for me to imagine what the frame of mind is that allows people to even talk to you when all they are after is your cash. It’s not even as if you’re going to get anything for contributing to this Ideal Org scam. Are people… other than Sea Org people… actually convinced that the right thing to do is hand over $100,000 to David Miscavige so he can buy a building in Duluth and feature it in a promo mailer? I don’t get it.

So, if you’re a Scientologist and want some real charities to help,  send me an email at ensifer@hushmail.com and I’ll give you a list of my favorites. In the meantime, seeing as how this is 9/11 and the date that we all (and Americans in particular) ought to think about when it comes to recognizing how ugly “religion” can get when it seeks power I’ll link a video of a charity that I’d like to see you send money to rather than to Miscavige’s sham:

A final thought for any who knew me back in the pre-1982 Scientology era – yes, I did have some nice things…

This car has nothing whatsoever to do with my penis size. Really. I mean it. Nothing. Nada.

If I'm PTS it's your fault!

Posted: 28th August 2010 by ensifer in Scientology ~ before the RTC

One of the curious side-effects of too much Scientology theory and not enough forward motion in life is the tendency for some Scientologists – not you, of course, I mean them – to just stop moving forward with time and get all hung up trying to figure out what caused some incidental phenomena. Deciding you are PTS, or a Potential Trouble Source as a cause for a temporary event like getting ill is a common way to freeze yourself in time while the rest of the world clips by you at freeway speeds.

Having just recovered from two days of bed time due to a 24 hour flu bug I thought I might share with you the first time this particular bug lodged in my gut and knocked me on my ass. And yeah, my 24 hour flu bugs often last for 48-72 hours. I need the extra sleep so I like to drag them out just a bit by playing the “I’m sick” card.

In early 1968 I finished up my R6 at St. Hill. We were told that in order to proceed to the Clearing Course we had to go to a secret location somewhere in the Mediterranean. Since this was over 40 years ago I have no idea where I came up with the money for the plane trip. Maybe someone lent it to me? More likely they just bought me a ticket because I was broke. Whatever the case, if you’re person who paid my way to Spain… thanks.

Six of us flew down to Valencia. Yeah, we knew were we were going, apparently it was tough keeping a secret location really and truly secret unless you were willing to pay for the airfare of the people who were headed to that secret place. We were told to buy tickets to Valencia and keep our destination a secret. I’ll tell you right now, I was looking forward to heading to Spain. The winter of 1967-68 in England was brutal. From what I overheard listening to actual English people talk was that it was the most brutal winter ever. Or at least for many decades. I was constantly cold and so any chance to head to a warmer clime was an added bonus for me.

So we left gray old England, rose above the clouds to the first sun I’d seen in a couple of months and then descended into the gray clouds covering the Spanish coast. Hooray.

My memory gets a bit sketchy here as well, but I seem to recall a couple of people in dusty naval uniforms with grayish-white blouses that had dirty collars meeting us at customs. They were in some sort of small vehicle and so instructed us to get a cab to the port. So we did. Then we walked for quite a ways and came upon a black and gray vessel that had the correct name: The Royal Scotsman.

Faces peered over the edge at us, we walked up the gangplank and went through lines. Again, everything was grayed out… at least that’s how I recall it. My personal stateroom wasn’t gray though. It was beige… with yellow tones. Not bad for a closet. I had to audit, sleep, brush teeth and change clothes in the tiny little space. There was a fold-down table top that dropped over the sink and the bed folded down from the outer bulkhead. A single light burned overhead and while it wasn’t emitting gray light, it was pretty dim… sort of beige-yellowy-gray. Here’s what we saw when we boarded:

The Royal Scotsman. Launched in 1936. The first Sea Org home.

I was on board for maybe two days when I got slammed by some sort of intestinal virus. When I say “slammed” I really, really mean slammed. Hit hard. Flattened. Run over. Creamed. Rendered unconscious. One minute I was fine, enjoying the view of gray ships in gray water with a low gray ceiling of threatening clouds and surrounded by gray-faced Sea org members scurrying around in what seemed to be endless gray circles… and the next minute I was sicker than a dog, moving in and out of consciousness and being sick from all orifices in a 4×6 closet. Thank God for portholes! I recall awakening several times and just pitching whatever foul things I was wearing or using out the porthole.

I was down for the count over a 2 day period. Then it took me a day to recover. Partly I spent my recovery day cleaning up my closet and slipping out to the common shower several times to douse myself in clean water. There was some rule about only 30 seconds of hot water for “guests”, but I said “Fuck ’em” and ran as much as I wanted. Sea Org people weren’t allowed any hot water anyway, so there was plenty for me.

So here’s the good part…

Not once did anyone ever ask where I was. Nobody knocked on my cabin door. I was officially on the Clearing Course and so was required to audit daily and then turn my folder in for C/S’ing every night.  None of which occurred. To this day I have no idea what the folks in charge were doing or thinking regarding my absence. To say that being on the Flagship in early ’68 was a bit creepy is somewhat of an understatement. It was real creepy. Somewhere during my stay LRH either left for or returned from the fabled Mission Into Time journey on that little sloop that was faithfully followed by the slightly larger trawler that carried whatever Hubbard felt he needed if he came across Xenu’s secret prison. Perhaps the reason I wasn’t missed is that more important events were transpiring that eclipsed something as mundane as a paying public doing the Clearing Course… which just happened to be the whole reason many of us were in Scientology to begin with.

The two other Sea org vessels. I bagged this from one of the CofS sites so it will remain until somebody threatens me. Then I suppose I'll start Googling in earnest and fine images they don't own.

What does all this have to do with being PTS, you ask?

Nothing really. In reality I hadn’t thought about being on the Flagship or my illness until I got sick the other day. The “bug” just reminded me of something… it had a particular harmonic to it that was similar to another point in my life and since I had nothing to do but sleep, turn up the electric blanket and introspect, I ran down the only other time such a feeling had knocked me flat.

I don’t recall any particular assignment of causation when a Scientologist got sick until sometime after the Sea Org was fully established as the dominant policy-making Org in Scientology. Before PTS=ill surfaced there was PTS as a condition that had distinct sources and a clear effect on an individual’s ability to make and retain case gain. People got colds, flu, head aches and other assorted things all the time and were never diagnosed one way or the other. hell, it’s possible that some CMO twerp came to my stateroom, opened the door, wrinkled their nose and then reported back to the C/S that “he’s sicker than a dog” and they just left me alone.

When I finally recovered I simply started auditing again and suffering through the unbelievably bad food the galley served to paying customers. And here I want to comment on one thing… where the hell did the idea for scrambling up some eggs with some tomato chunks and then baking them in a pie pan come from? What a godawful thing that was to both behold and consume. And I did consume the food. We were, after all, on a ship and it’s not as if I could just pop off and go to McDonald’s for something tasty and healthy.

When Fred Hare laughed at me for making faces about the food I asked him what was so funny. He pointed out that except for officers like him, the crew didn’t eat nearly as well as the Public did. Ouch. At that point I’d have felt sympathy for the Sea Org people except for the fact that I knew each of them had willingly signed up for the experience. The smart ones like Fred remained Officers or left the ship to do Sea Org business out in the field, where people still had a life and access to clean sheets and decent food. Alan Walters comes to mind as one of the folks who somehow remained a Sea Org member when it was convenient and a non-SO person when it suited him. I think it was really because he felt the uniform was stupid-looking.

Your opinion on that may differ from mine.

Anyway, I just want you to understand that many of you are obviously Suppressive Persons or you wouldn’t be reading this blog or any of the dozens of other suppressive blogs and web sites. And, since you are most likely suppressive, and we all know that SP’s make innocent people sick… I most likely got sick because I’m connected to you…even if it’s a tenuous, electronic connection.

But I got better. Despite your best efforts to suppress me. Thank you.

Here's an idea!

Posted: 24th August 2010 by ensifer in Random articles

I’ve been away from the internet for a few days due to my two oldest children flying into Idaho to visit with me and my awesome dad. They fly out at least once every year and we spend a couple of days eating, enjoying each other and just being a Second Dynamic. This year I had about 8 photo albums from my mother, chock full of pictures my kids had never seen. Some of them my dad hadn’t seen since the early 1950’s.

It was very nice.

So I got to thinking… many of the comments on this new blog of mine – as well as some private emails I’ve had from a few of you – have mentioned how great it is to see older pictures of Scientology folks having fun. It is nice, isn’t it? So I had this idea – why not ask the readers of this blog if they want to share? Now I understand some of you have been anonymous for so long that you’ve become embedded in that state of being when venturing out into the internet ex-Scientologist universe. You already know it’s my belief that remaining anonymous erodes the power of thousands of ex-Scn’s when it comes to forcing change in the Church of Scientology or running Miscavige to ground. So I won’t push those of you in hiding… not that I could anyway. But how about any of you who aren’t concerned about what the RTC thinks about you? Or even if you are concerned maybe you don’t give a shit. That’s my attitude.

I have set up a new email account here:


The idea is that you send me images along with a short blurb or some background about the picture… you know, what year, what Mission or Org, who is in the picture or any other pertinent data. Just give me permission to post the images here on this blog and every time I have a selection I’ll do up a blog post, add your commentary and as readership grows more and more good people out there will have the same return of  the “positive vibes” that most of us pre-RTC people experienced on a daily basis.

You know what else would be cool? Maybe some current photos of you as well. If you’re out there auditing or winning, having fun and connected somehow with other free zone, independent or off-lines Scientologists I’d bet there are plenty of folks who would feel real joy in knowing you’re alive, kicking and winning. Well, if you are winning, that is. I know many of us are now officially old… and with age comes that creeping feeling of being uglified by time. So what? Get your TR’s in and let ‘er rip! I put a pic of me up, replete with nice dark bags under my eyes and ears that seem to have grown to Spock-size over the years. You can too.

My friend Penny Krieger sent me pictures and directed me to her business web site, she wasn’t shy or concerned about how she looked (which is pretty damned good by the way for being 187 years old). Then I saw some videos with Steve Muro, John Raffanello, Trey Lotz and others… all of whom I knew, was friends with or worked with 40 years ago. It was wonderful to see them chatting and laughing and it’s not as if I expected them to look like they did when they were 25.

So let’s do this.

If you don’t see a blog article in the next week or so with pictures from other areas then you’ll know that either nobody understands computers well enough to operate a scanner, nobody had a camera or most people are still in hiding. I understand, I won’t ask for your credit card numbers. I just figured that by sharing the past that was memorable perhaps we can get some more recent Scientologists to see how things ought to be.

Let me know. I’ll be around all week.


Why so serious?

Posted: 18th August 2010 by ensifer in Scientology ~ before the RTC

It’s possible I’m wrong… but… the general impression I have of what it’s like to be a Scientologist now is unlike what it was like to be a Scientologist before 1982. It’s simple stuff…

Everybody used to smile. All the time. No really, except for the times when smiling and laughing were inappropriate the one thing I saw most for 21 years was people in and around Missions and Orgs smiling. And if they weren’t smiling they were laughing. Or at least walking around with a look of contentment or perhaps expectation on their faces.

The other day I spent about an hour reminiscing on the phone with a fellow who I’ve known since about 1970. He pretty much followed the same path as I did professionally. Got trained. Became a Cl VIII, did a boatload of auditing, worked around the US at various Centers and such. Even became a Mission holder. The last time we physically saw each other was in October of 1982 at the San Francisco Hilton. He’s a smart guy because he took one look at the new regime and did what I did. Walked away.

So during the conversation he says to me – “If it isn’t fun, it isn’t Scientology.”

I’ll admit, I haven’t been in many Orgs or Missions since 1982. But, I have been around Scientologists and you know what? They are a pretty serious bunch of people. Forget the glossy magazines and pictures of beaming Public holding up OT certificates for the camera. I was the Div 6 boss at ASHO back in 1969 and I know what a success “stat” is. I also know that people completing something, a level or training cycle are generally happy. What I’m talking about is the general attitude or tone. Even those people who I’ve known for decades and are still on lines are more serious and concerned than they should be.

So it was pointed out to me that the whole “Clear The Planet” goal has fallen by the wayside and the current leadership has now morphed the goal into something a lot less distinct. I’ve looked over some of the magazines and promo pieces I get daily in the mail and I can see that. Is it now about buying buildings? Or fighting off government malice? Or suppressing evil on the internet? I’m confused. Maybe that’s why people on lines are so serious.  30 years ago you got into Scientology because you wanted to be a happier and more able person. You bought some time in the chair or a training course and, for the most part, you became more able and thus… happier.


People who can do shit and have a reasonable degree of personal ethics about the shit they do are generally happy and smiley. Whereas, if you are already reasonably affluent and your primary contact with Scientology is an endless procession of auditing cycles to repair, prepare or augment your “case” so you can do some freakish OT section without total theta death… then I can see why you might be a just a bit grim.

Add to that the constant and unrelenting demands that these barracuda SO teams have on your cash. You must pay for buildings and Ideal Orgs and the make-wrong that goes on in those reg sessions is not something that generates a beaming smile. I know what those teams (missions) are like. They came to my Mission in California frequently and they were not happy people. They had a stat to get and that stat was to leave with money I controlled and people I got into Scientology. That was it… they either got my money and my staff or public, or they failed. And the Sea Org has never been compassionate about it’s members failing.

If you worked for me, worked with me, were audited by me or just knew me then you probably understood that everything for me was about having a great time and winning. I believe most professional Scientologists back then had similar goals… to make a good living, get laid as often as possible, buy some decent things to wear, drive, eat and sleep in and spread as much of the joy of just “being there” as they could. Yeah, the whole Infinite Being thing was there, but it’s not as if that sells a lot of intensives or Comm Courses. People just wanted to feel better and live a less stressful life.

I had my own way of dealing with the relentless Sea Org missions that were fired off to get my cash. I typically had the receptionist bring them into my office when they first arrived. I set the tone of what their visit would be like. Here’s a picture of how I set the tone:

"Now then... what was it you boys wanted?"

The SO Reg Teams weren’t exactly my enemies… not on a personal level, but they were the foreshadowing of what Scientology was going to become in the 80’s and 90’s. They were serious people who had serious problems and they were going to be in serious trouble if they couldn’t get people like me to understand that all this fun we were having was contrary to LRH purpose lines and we’d better get serious ourselves out there in the field or some serious shit was going to happen that would have a serious impact on our lives, our futures and our immortal thetan-thingies.

Any of you guys reading this who were tasked with getting money from me can probably verify that the picture above is a fair representation of the tone I tried to set for your visits. But it was also fun for the staff and, for the most part, fun for the Sea Org flunkies. Along the way I was actually accused of having too much fun from time to time. As far back as when I was on the SHSBC the small percentage of  “serious Scientologists” – future Sea Org members – wrote a considerable number of Knowledge reports on me. Primarily for violating the “joking & degrading” clause of some HCO PL Hubbard penned. I read that PL and despite the fact that I admitted to being the guy who taped a sign on Joey Allessandrini’s back that said “I’m a Pud”… while we were on the Class VIII course… I still contend that having fun is not exactly the same as degrading someone or something. Joey smiled, and retaliated. Even the supervisor couldn’t keep a straight face.

It’s not as if getting better at stuff requires seriousness… does it?

I guess it does now. And despite all the pomp and circumstance, the gorgeous buildings, the imagery of the vastly competent saviors of humanity, led by David Miscavige, the one thing I do understand is that the whole thing has become way too serious to be effective. If it’s not fun, it’s not Scientology.

Oh, I almost forget. Recently a picture has surfaced of Miscavige taking over the Missions in 1982. I thought I’d pass it along to you all…

I thought you were dead man!

Posted: 13th August 2010 by ensifer in Scientology ~ before the RTC

It’s Friday the 13th! Let’s talk for a bit about people who aren’t dead.

Not my favorite subject by the way, but oddly enough at least two people that I was told were dead apparently are very much alive. Yes, some who I wish were alive ended up not very much alive anymore. That’s another story though, for another day.

First off, hello to Steve Muro.

Steve Muro and his wife with a French accent. 1983-ish in Idaho

The last time I saw Steve he was passing through Idaho and so we had a cook-out. I seem to recall fresh salmon steaks smoked on my Weber in an aromatic cloud of moist alder wood chips. Yum.

Apologies to the lovely lady with him. That was his wife and I don’t remember her name. She did have an accent though and I think she was French-Canadian. Maybe French? Doesn’t matter, it’s all the same to me.

Along the way, as years passed and I spoke with Scientologists from time to time conversations usually migrated away from the impossible task of getting me back onto the Bridge and drifted towards people we knew. About 5 years ago someone told me Steve Muro was dead. I was saddened. Each personality in one’s life leaves a mark that is recognizable anywhere. If you haven’t noticed this about your life then you need to get your goddamn TR’s in! You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the most important thing Scientology provided us with… good friends and companions. As for Steve, when I heard he was dead the “mark” he left with everyone rang in my head – his deep, resonant, echoing laugh. Best. Laugh. Ever.

But then about a month ago, maybe less, I was looking on one the the many ex-Scn sites and came across some video clips of people who attended a cookout in LA. Lo and behold! There was one of Steve. Very much alive, thank you. I do admit he looked like he was pushing 80 though… maybe because he is pushing 80? Probably.

I guess I better apologize to Pat from the old Dallas Center also. Pat was married to Steve when I was a young lad and it’s hard for me to disassociate them in my rusty old train-wreck of a track. Pat already commented here on my blog so I’m doubly pleased to know she’s not dead either.

Another person back from the dead appeared today here on the blog. That being – Steve Surrey.

I was told quite a few years ago Surrey was also dead. Hmmm… notice a pattern here? What’s the deal with Scientologists telling ex-Scn that people they both knew were dead? Did they just not know and thought: What the fuck, if I tell him that guy is dead he won’t go looking for him. The thing about Surrey though is that he probably should be dead. I recall him being on one of Alan Walter’s airplanes that Alan couldn’t actually fly when the oxygen failed and put everyone – including the pilot – into sleep mode. Not sure if it was Surrey or Jay I-forget-his-last-name who stayed awake long enough to alert the pilot.

Either way, glad you’re still with us man.

But when people do drop their bodies (that means ‘die’ if you’re not hip to Scientology lingo) nobody bothers to tell me. So I’m cruising around here on the internet and am probably restimulating all sorts of secondaries by asking questions about the whereabouts of dead people. Here, check this photo out for an example:

Fresno Mission staff 1976 - Not the complete staff. We didn't allow the ugly ones to be in any photos, which apparently set the trend for the current regime at CofS. Miscavige is the only ugly guy allowed in promo these days and I suspect heavy Photoshopping in play.

Three of these people have moved on to the Great Beyond. Well, three I know of. My mother, as I already informed you. She’s to the left of the guy in the blue leisure suit. Then, the guy on the right departed last year. I only found out because I was thinking about heading to his dental practice in Sacramento to get some work done. Nobody bothered to tell me he had left us. That’s Jim Aubrey, for those who care.

Then there’s the guy 3rd from the far right… kind of looks like a doped-up Jesus Christ who just had a corncob rammed up his nether parts. That’s Phil Wieme. Phil later changed his name to Ian X. Lungold. If I was a Wieme I’d have done the name change as well.  He was my long time friend and partner in several ventures. He took off back in the 90’s and became a world-renowned expert on the Mayan Calendar and traveled the US and Canada to warn us all the world ends in 2012. He was even on Art Bell’s late night talk show for people who believe dumb shit. That ought to endear him to some of you 9/11 Truthers out there.

Phil/Ian passed away in Mexico in 2006. Despite his pre-Scientology history of dropping acid in excess of 500 times, he is a great spirit and I’ll always remember him for his beard and guileless acceptance of people’s basic good nature.

You know, nobody even told me Alan Walters had moved on either. That surprises me because of my long association with Alan. I suppose there is an uneasy truce between the people on the “bridge” and those of us who could give a shit about the bridge. We all know and care for many who reside in other camps and perhaps there’s a selective editing process about what we’re willing to tell our cousins in the other army.

In the coming weeks I want to talk and listen some more about how the CofS deals with people who die. It’s pretty clear that LRH’s passing was mishandled, but I’m more interested in offering my perceptions from when I was involved and getting some sort of comparison to contemporary reactions. I don’t think such things are dealt with in a respectful and compassionate manner… that’s just based on my admittedly brief interactions with staff and public over the years… so I’m willing to be proven wrong.

In the interim, enjoy your Friday the 13th… especially if you’re one of those clueless sorts who believes in crap like good and bad luck. If you’re a snide pragmatist like me then I know you’ll enjoy today because this is when we get to taunt the weak.