Hello world!

  1. el lobo solitario says:

    That was one OUTSTANDING and truly ENLIGHTENING (in every sense of the word) post! Here is my “cognition”: the word enlightenment means to make less heavy which really was the general mood of the “old days (good old days)” in Scientology.
    It was serious but really light-hearted. Maybe it was partially a function of the 60’s or 70’s mentality but it was more perhaps just the natural way beings behave when actually going UPTONE. I still try to have as much fun as possible.

    As an extreme example, and don’t take this as the norm, but the very first day I arrived in L.A. to do the SHSBC I found myself, that night, at an all Scientologist NUDE party…no lie.

    • ensifer says:

      Ha! You went that nude party? I was there man!

      Okay, maybe not that one. Glad you enjoyed the post. Depending on when you were on the CL VI course we may have been classmates. I did it in 1969.

      David

  2. David,

    Kick ass post! Laughed my ass off on your photo op. David as a black person! Just screamed!
    Completed enjoyed your writing and all photos. You are so right. It was so much fun.

    Yes, I was at the old CC and it was a gas. My twin, Joanne Prather actually disseminated to John Travolta and got him into Scientology. I remember the day well, when he ran into the old CC on 8th street after he had just gotten the Welcome Back Cotter show. He took me for a ride on his motorcycle and we went to Langers, had coffee and talked up a storm. What a nice person. I was actually invited to and went to the private screening of the 1st movie he was ever in, which you really don’t want to know about. Joanne was in it too, when they were filming in Mexico, she had done some assists on John and gotten him very interested in SCN. The movie was terrible, but he did go on to bigger and better roles and so did she!

    One night after course at the old CC on 8th St., he came into the course room (we were on the HSDC)…there were a few of us still in there just talking and hanging out. He decided he was going to entertain us and did an incredibly funny Elivs impersonation. It was hilarious and he was amazing!

    This was before his show started. After his show started and his fame began to escalate, I always looked back to these moments. I remember a conversation I had with one of my friends early on, telling her, how I was so sure, he was going to be a very big star as he was so charismatic, funny and just effortlessly entertaining.

    I was sad later, when Joanne Prather, my former twin, left Scientology as
    I had liked her so much. Always missed communicating to her and kind of hoped to find her but never could, after that. She was a pretty successful actress at the time, having done numerous television shows and a few movies.

    I remember Ray Mitoff was the senior CS, at the old CC and Evon was there. That was Heber’s then wife and what a sweetheart of a person she was. Amazing ability to grant beingness and just an OL any way you wanted to look at it.

    Really great post. Thanks for sharing!

    • ensifer says:

      Great story Penny. Thanks for the response.

      Oh, and CC was on 8th? You’re probably correct so I edited the post so as not to confuse anyone who reads it and then gets all fuzzy-headed when they try and recall things from 40 years ago.

      Okay, now I get to correct you – Heber’s wife was Yvonne…. not Evon.

      🙂

      • Please correct my spelling. You are totally right. Yes, the old CC was on 8th Street. As a matter of fact, I met you at the Denny’s on the corner of 8th and Alvarado! What a fabulous neighborhood that was! Being from Mill Valley, CA, I had never seen a DB* before and a few times, my eyes almost fell out of my head!

        Many memories are coming to mind. I was more of a conceptual Scientologist at that time. Had had some great wins on my first auditing and courses and was really enjoying just getting in comm. Also, was trying to figure out how to survive in the big, wide world and was pretty clueless! Of course, I was allowed, being blond and all. Keep posting David. You’re a talented writer!

        *[degraded being, an old SCN term.]

  3. AnonLover says:

    Lolwut – Keyed in from watching The Exorcist!?!?!? ZOMG i wan to hear that story!!!

  4. trainwreck watcher says:

    Did you ever witness or participate in any of the intimidation practices of Scientology? SP-labeling, Fair Game, disconnection, etc?

    You seem so happy go lucky, but I just want to know if you dealt with any of the crap. And how affected you. Was it no big deal or did it bother you? Or were you really 24/7 sellling product?

    • ensifer says:

      @trainwreck

      Good questions. The answer is no, I didn’t. Most of the “crap” either happened around the time I left (and since) or it happened in various Sea Org outfits. Except for a stint working at Saint Hill in 1968 and then ASHO late that year and for part of 1969 my only other experience working at an Org was as an auditor in Las Vegas… I worked part time at the Org there for a few months as a Qual auditor.

      During my two or three months on board the Apollo in early 1968 I was aware that there was some weird stuff happening on the ship but truthfully, the paying customers were shielded pretty well from the abuse.

      The “field”, or the Missions, were a different universe. No contracts to speak of, even the most basic jobs received minimum or higher pay, nobody was “housed” in any staff housing and when I paid for a staff member’s training at a higher Org it was a vote of confidence in them – and them me – that I trusted them to return and continue working for me.

      It was happy go lucky because I was all about making money, producing results and running a business. I ignored the BS that I heard about and when it arrived at my level of operation I left.

      Ensifer

  5. trainwreck watcher says:

    I know you could sell ice to Eskimos, but did you ever feel any guilt in selling snake oil?

    • ensifer says:

      Snake oil? Come back in the future and I’ll write about what I think of “Scientology Tech” and why what I was selling and producing wasn’t even similar to what most casual observers of Scientology think of when they think of the ‘Tech”.

  6. Kingair350 says:

    I was so much a part of that life/time period you so eloquently describe, David. Up to my ears in cruising CC Friday nights, hoping to score and, due to the times, often did.
    Being on course was a complete delight and fun; all my twins were cool, intelligent, witty and led pretty interesting lives – you couldn’t miss on getting a ‘dud’ twin. And the course supervisors; they were far more than the sups we have today (excluding those fun loving saints in Solo Practical at the Sandcastle) Who could forget Cathy Moore…or Albert Ribissi. I’d have bought a course on frog dissection to be under their wings.

    There were simply so many characters, thugs, general rough trade, and really talented people inhabiting the course rooms or HGCs at any one time. And yes, the tone was so high. Yvonne was so many things to so many people. Her help and love was immeasurable. But she could grab you by the ear and twist it until you promised to give up on your latest out-ethics trip. Then it was like it never happened. She saved my own sorry ass big time.

    We were, as they say of the WW II generation, “the greatest generation”. And we’re fast passing into history, along with our sense of fun, life, importances or lack of them. You are our best chronicler, Dave. I love reading the comments as much as your great stories and especially photos. Jesus, how many do you have?

    There is just too much deadness, lifelessness, lost joy, lost fun-seeking, at least in the current official scene. Too many uneducated, really stupid, knuckle-dragging trolls being recruited (read Orcs) to raise the tone. Soon, maybe right now, we’ll have the Land of Mordor from top to bottom.

    Thanks for keeping ‘our scene’ alive, and putting things in a more humane perspective. We were the best that ever were.

  7. G Allen says:

    You understand!

    Look, I’ve never been into Scientology, but I do realize a couple of things about it that most people seem to miss. It really can help people *but any form of counselling can do that too.* It also has (as a form of counselling) a right to exist, indeed; nobody can stop it from existing. Hubbard was a writer of fiction who made up Scientology in the same way he made up his stories. He didn’t need to do any research (and he didn’t) because he applied a bunch of common sense stuff he knew about from experience, then fibbed about how he “discovered” things nobody had ever thought of before. Baa! The freaking classical societies of Greece knew about this stuff, so did just about everyone else. They didn’t call them “thetons” but the intent was the same. Hubbard stuck a Science Fiction valence on a bunch of well known idea and sold this hokum to people, he violated a trust there and I can’t forgive him for that. I can forgive people for falling for it, (I almost did.) I can forgive people for calling it a religion (if they think it is, it’s no skin off of my teeth.) However I cannot forgive people from trying to force me to think it’s a religion too. I don’t think it’s very religious and probably never will.

    I suppose what I’m saying is, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head and I congratulate you. If it’s not fun it’s not working. “Fun” is an emotion which helps us understand that an action is of a benefit to us. If it’s not fun, there is something wrong. If you can make it fun again, you will save your organisation. However it must be fun (or at least harmless) to the people on the outside or they will destroy it. That happed long ago too.