My stepping stones™ to total freedom from scientology

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
Original thread here, but I guess I will paste the text in case the old forums goes down or just for convenience. Took me just over a year to get back to this one, so bear with me please.



Part 1:
I'm an 80s kid, my parents moved to California when I was 2. My dad was never a scientologist, while my mom joined in the 70s and later also brought my grandfather into scn. She was on staff before and left as my sis was born.

My parents divorced when I was 4, so I then continued to live with my mom, my older sis and my gramps. We were a middle class, bilingual family of public scientologists, we had a house in Santa Monica. My grandfather thus became the "head of the household". He was certainly a larger-than-life figure. A military veteran, professional diver and amateur musician. Focused, funny, eloquent, yet also a megalomaniac who was used to giving people orders and expect them to be followed. He was able to flatten people with his resolve, quick thinking and pure willpower. Most people he worked with, both inside scientology and outside were afraid of him. So was my mom.

He was a true believer, scientology simply happened to click with his established views. During the war he became convinced that reincarnation is true. He was also an avid SF fan, he knew about Hubbard the writer before he met Hubbard the man and was impressed. Yet at the same time, his personality alone allowed him to remain critical. SCN was simply too small for his ego. Deep down, I think he believed that he was the older brother to the 8th dynamic in his past life.

Strangely enough, it was his big ego that provided me with what I now see as the first stepping stone. For almost every scientologist I knew, DM and the management were holy cows never to be talked badly about. Not so for my gramps, he always knew better.
:biggrin:

His nickname for the management that came from among younger SO members as "the janissaries". His view was that they are making scientology weak, that things went downhill after Hubbard was gone and that scientology needs to be fixed. I vividly remember him using the broken bone analogy: "If it was't set right, it needs to be broken again and then be set right".

My mom did not agree, but she never wrote a kr on him, because she was afraid of him. I dunno if he also told his colleagues or not.

But this was the first stone: "Nobody is above criticism. Poor management reaps a poor harvest"
 

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
Part 2:

Of course, I was home schooled so a lot of kids felt envious. They had to sit in class and listen to "boring stuff", while I would be at home learning "cool stuff" from my gramps, read, or play NES games. I now know my math, english and physics education was piss-poor, but I also realized my geography and history knowledge was far superior to those kids got in public schools. I also learned to read at the age of 4, because my gramps believed in that part of the scn tech ("go read it yourself and then we can talk").

In fact, my first experience with the meter was M1 word clearing. Maybe that's why I was never as enthusiastic in my life about auditing as some other scientologists
;)


Being home-schooled also had the added benefit of my friends often coming to my house straight from school (often their parents were still at work and they rather have their kids stay with me and my gramps than alone at their own houses). This in part meant that I had a lot of friends, coming from all sorts of backgrounds: catholic, evangelical, jewish. I know a lot of ex-scn write in their memories that their family didn't consider scientology, but I did. I think it was precisely because of my friends and how kids see the world.

For us religion was primarily about holidays and ceremonies. We all knew that Robert and Jen don't celebrate halloween, because their parents are born-again-evangelical christians. Christians celebrated xmas, while me and David only "kinda sorta" celebrated it, because we were scientology and jewish respectively. all the kids knew what denomination the other kids belong to and nobody made a big deal out if it, except said holidays.

My mom was rarely around, as she joined staff. I spent far more time with my gramps and my sis than with anyone else in my family. My gramps on the other hand was always around, since he was retired (though a few times he would take up some diver contract, then I'd say with my dad).


My gramps in many ways was a very decent guardian, I looked up to him and so did most other kids. Partially because of his status as a war veteran and pro diver (always had a lot of stories to tell). He was a great fan of electronic music and the house was always filled with the sounds of Isao Tomita, Vangelis, Kitaro, Hikashu or Jean Michel Jarre.

Another person he was a fan of (and met in person) was Jacques Cousteau. Its funny, but as a kid I was for some time certain that Cousteau was a major figure in scientology. The story goes like this:
My gramps had books with Hubbard's photo on the title page, signed by Hubbard. He also had books by Cousteau, with his autograph (I preferred Coustaeu's books, especially the ones with photos of tropical fish). Also, my gramps would refer to Hubbard as the commodore, while he would refer to Cousteau as "commander" or "captain".
This led my 4 or 5 year old self to assume that a major part of being in the SO consists of actually studying the sea. When my grandfather realized this, he had a laugh and said he should forward this great idea to the actual SO
:biggrin:
. I was just disappointed, that Jacques Cousteau is not a scientologist
:sadsigh:


Thus as a kid I read a lot of books about deep sea diving, oceanography and tropical fish. But another large body of books that I read were old SF. My grandfather had a huge collection of books from Heinlein, Asimov, Lem, Philip K.Dick, down to of course Hubbard himself.

This is perhaps where the second stepping stone comes in. The works of P.K.Dick particular features the theme of the world not being what it appears to be, societies living inside a prison of illusion ("Man in the High Castle").
Asimov's foundation series featured a theme of a "moldy old world" empire falling apart leading to a crisis, while the apocalypse can only be stopped by a group of enlightened scientists who can preserve knowledge, technology and culture.

The in-scn interpretations would be obvious: The wog society is the "moldy empire falling apart", reality itself is the "prison of illusion" and scientology is the "foundation" that can save it.

At the time I did not realize it, but these contemporary SF stories held a different interpretation. One that would fully *click* with me only years later. Scientology was the "prison of illusion" and the "moldy empire" collapsing upon itself. Thus I had the second stone even though it had not fallen into place yet.


Then, one day I was at a friends house on a Saturday, I was 11 years old. Suddenly my sis (older than me) came around and very sternly told me to pack and go with her. This was odd, but it became even more odd when I saw my aunt and her car (she rarely came to see us). We drove to her house, and there was my dad (who was not living with us) and some other relatives. People were crying. Only then did my sis tell me that my grandfather had a stroke and died in the ambulance.
This would be the turning point in my life: No more reading SF novels, playing NES games, listening to Tomita and Michael Jarre. In some sense, my childhood days were now over. I would soon find myself in the AB living a much more scn-heavy life.
 

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
Part 3:

Well, here is where the problem really begins because I can't find a way to write in a straight, continuous fashion without giving away my identity or the identities of people still inside or those out. So from now on, this will be more like a picture gallery, short descriptions of moments frozen in time. Names will be changed or left out.

<snap>

Me and my sister are standing inside the AB.
I do not remember what time of year it is. We have been there for maybe 10 days now and we don't like it obviously. The carpets have mold, it is stuffy, the tiles are broken, wallpaper is peeling off in places and otherwise probably remembers Nixon's presidency. We are stuck with the nannies. AB - "LA's tallest dumpster" in all its glory.
My sister is crying, I'm just angry. This will set the pattern for how we deal with hardship for the rest of our lives. I'm just gonna stay angry.

<snap>

Auditing is fucking boring, I want to go back to my friends. What do people see in this? What do I need to say to have it over with? Do I need to lie? I lie on the meter (I don't even remember what that first lie is about).

Wohooo the meter didn't pick it up! Yay! The woman running the meter must be some sort of loser... or maybe the meter is just not smart enough to catch me? I'll try again later.

One more stepping stone: It is not fullproof till it is foolproof!

<snap>

I'm sitting with Conrad, the German kid, my sis and two other girls.
In my hand I have a pad of those yellow sticky note papers. Looks idiotic in retrospect, but it is all very hush-hush, secret meeting. I hand out the yellow pages with hand drawn symbols - these are membership cards. Nobody is supposed to tell anyone about it, we are a close knit group (We'll grow out of it, it is a phase). Just us against the world.

One of the girls will go on to be a very big scientology exec. I wonder if she ever admitted that as a kid she was inside a secret heretical society? Oh yes, it was a heresy, no doubt about it. We knew the truth - "Hubbard left because this planet is doomed and he won't come back". I'm the leader of the group, Conrad is my next in command.

I've just started my own cult-within-a-cult. A doomsday cult too. I'm probably 11.5 or 12 years old now.

<snap>

I'm standing in the corridor and arguing with Jeff, a guard.
It is probably past midnight and the workers in the workshop on the other side of the road turned on some noisy machine, some polishing machine or hydraulic grinder. It is making a whole lot of machine noise and it woke me and other people up. I'm telling Jeff to go make them stop, he isn't doing that. I walk past him towards the window that goes out to that direction, Jeff is walking behind me saying something, but I don't listen. I stick my head outside the window, it's a hot night probably summer. I yell as loud as I can: "Shut that down! Shut that motherfucker down, people are trying to sleep here!"

Nothing happens, Jeff stopped talking. I yell again: "Yo! shut that fucker off!!!".

Silence. Jeff just stands there amazed with some weird twinkle of respect in the corner of his eye for this kid that just shouted the mean workshop workers down. I feel proud - They did what I told them to do!

I'm cause over life!!!

That is yet another stepping stone. Sometimes you have to be loud and mean and do what everyone else around would like to do, but are too afraid.

<snap>

We have locked ourselves in the room. I don't remember what we were even supposed to be doing, but we have some "shore story". We are french kissing and feeling one another up. We are what... 13? Something like that. Out 2-D and proud!

In all my years inside scientology I have never, ever, ever mentioned this one in any of the numerous sec-checks. Nothing, nobody ever caught me.
Even when I will be an enforcer myself, I will always remember this stepping stone: The system is not airtight, far from it. Some will never be detected, someone is always bound to fall through the cracks.
 
Last edited:

Chuck J.

Ambassador Plenipotentiary from Bupwupistan
"LA's tallest dumpster" in all its glory."

Was that the dump on Hollywood Blvd. ? I've been there one time back in the day. Perfect description.
 

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
"LA's tallest dumpster" in all its glory."

Was that the dump on Hollywood Blvd. ? I've been there one time back in the day. Perfect description.
Its the pile of crap on Fountain.
 

Barile

Member
I do appreciate you telling your story, bitter sweet and all. I won't use the term "Dick Head", denoting a fan of Philip K. Dick, but that impressed me to no end. You might like this if you've never seen it
It contains snippets from my first boss, Paul Williams and some nice antecdotes that jog memories for me. Now that was a great sci-fi author.
See the difference?
 

Chuck J.

Ambassador Plenipotentiary from Bupwupistan
Its the pile of crap on Fountain.
Ok.
I thought you were referring to that hotel / crew / family housing slum on Hollywood Blvd.
 

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
Ok.
I thought you were referring to that hotel / crew / family housing slum on Hollywood Blvd.
Nah, the AB is that place between Sunset and Fountain, just walking distance from PAC.
 

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
Part 4:

<snap>


Eggs and bread for breakfast. Yay. Amazing. So cool. Hip. Hip. Hip. Hurr... hurr durr.



Sid and Jen are arguing because one took too much butter. Really, seriously that's what you guys are concerned with? Let me think... god I can't hear my thoughts over the sound of your natter! Stop your bitching!!!

Sid! Jen! Do you want to get in trouble?! Do you want me to write a KR?! Do you want me to fetch the nannies?! Do you want to get the same punishment that you got for asking about your mother?!

Silence. They have not seen their mom in months.

Damn, I said too much.


Jen is out of scientology, because her dad came and took her away. I later found out that there was a lawsuit over custody and her dad won. I have not found any trace of Sid, don't know if he is in or out.

<snap>

It is late afternoon and I'm cleaning some floors with Conrad and Sid. I'm sure we are all thinking "why do we need to clean so completely a place that already has mold and fungi?" Spit and polish, hardy har har har.

Was this some ethics thing and we are making amends? I don't remember.

There is some sense of urgency, but I don't care much at this point. I guess we are all at 0.94 on the tone scale right now. Anachronic music mixes with this scene I have stored in my memory.

🎵 Welcome to our house on Fountain Avenue! 🎵
🎵 See how we polish and we shine? 🎵
🎵 We rearrange and realign 🎵
🎵 Everything is balanced and serene 🎵
🎵 Like chaos never happens 🎵
🎵 if it’s never seen 🎵

<snap>

The Purif IC is a middle aged guy with a mustache and a hairdo that remind me of a 1970s disco dancer. Ah, here's my daily dose of pills! It always reminded me of gramps telling us about the time they would get malaria pills during the war and how some guys got sick after they only pretended to take them.

I guess I don't want to be like those sad saps, so I take all my pills dutifully. Off to the small sauna, I'm there with several adults as my sis took the purif last year. There is this woman from the south who keeps saying "y'all" and the other one who just keeps telling us how many different drugs she took in her life and how Hubbard saved her life. To this day I have no idea if she meant it literally or just figuratively.

I don't want to sit next to them and I sure as heck don't want my legs touching their legs. 4 more hours and all this lemon smell! I just move away from the coals, away from these people, close my eyes and let my mind wander. At one point I imagine that I really took a malaria pill and I'm on a hot stuffy transport ship, somewhere in the south pacific going to fight against the Japanese.

<snap>

I'm on the floor and blood is running from my nose. I just got a fight with a dude living here and he got me with a really good punch. I think I passed out of a second there. My first true moment of "pain and unconsciousness", all in a Scientology facility too!

<snap>

I'm standing in the corridor and watching Nancy, one of the nannies, who is crying. She's going to be given a non-enturbulation order, be declared PTS and transferred out to some failing mission in the sticks. Nancy will become little more than a footnote in a folder.

Just a month or so later I'll be on staff at an org. Neither me nor Nancy will be in the AB. Nobody will remember that we were standing here in this corridor with Nancy crying and me holding back a few tears of my own.

And yet, that folder will nevertheless remain. Clears may forget, but folders last forever.

Years later I will found out what happened to Nancy. This all happened because she wrote a KR against a certain senior guy. Years later there will be an inv case on him which will discover that this guy was pocketing money from public scientologists. He will be kicked out and declared.

Years later that case will be assigned to the same kid, who is just now watching Nancy cry.

Fate has a sense of humor at times.

<snap>

next stop: being on staff
 
Last edited:

Operating DB

3 feet behind my butt
What does AB stand for? I thought I knew all the scio acronyms but this one I can't figure out.

BTW I'm enjoying the stories.
 
Last edited:

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
What does AB stand for? I thought I knew all the scio acronyms but this one I can't figure out.

BTW I'm enjoying the stories.
Anthony building. Using photo from Ortega's site:
 
Last edited:

Karakorum

The most just, the most merciful, the most ethical
Part 5: "Maybe it was me that recruited you."

<snap>

I am sitting at an org in front of a telephone.
This is my first task for the church! I feel a tad nervous, but determined.

My job is to call one by one the numbers on the list they gave me... and then reg them for all sorts of things? Really? Am I qualified? Does anyone think that giving this teen a "by the phone" registrar task is a good idea?

I don't know these people, I do not even know what courses they have already completed. The people on the list are all those who have not been very eager to do anything, most will tell me that they have not done any services in months or years and don't plan to.

Yeah, all the low-hanging fruit are left for the "real regges" to pick and profit from. Mission impossible is left for the newcomer. :eyeroll:

So... there I go!

Some typical replies I remember from the top of my head:
- "What? Why the heck are you calling me at this hour?! Goddamit, let me sleep!" (real call I remember this one vividly, it was about 6.30 AM or so)
- "Can't you guys get a hint?! I already told you to go jump in a lake"
- "No, I already did that course. I already did that other one too. Twice."
- "We all did that and no we don't have any new family members who would take it."
- "Yeah well, why don't you go bug someone else".
- "What? After 20 years?!"
- "I'm sorry, but me and my parents are practicing wiccans."
- ... numerous times when people just disconnected at the first hint it was scn calling.

By the end of the day I had a success rate of maybe 1 thing sold per every 100 calls made. People praised my output, but certainly abhorred my lack of results. I lasted maybe a week or so before they kicked me out. Looking back at it today, I realize I was set up to fail.
<snap>

I guess it is time to introduce a very important person in my life: my superior during my first real post on staff. She will be the most negative and toxic person I have enountered in my scn career, including the SO. Trust me, I've met quite a bit of shitty or just overworked stressed and angry people over the years. None was so thoroughly toxic as she was.
I was thinking of just posting her real name, but that'd be like kicking her when she's down (she is still in if I understand correctly.

So, with no further waste of time: Let me introduce Eris.


I'm a recruiter now! Body routing... I guess they really decided I'm an idiot.

I will report to Eris. The funny thing is, she made a positive impression on me at first. Little did I know...

Eris is a short, slim woman in her early 30s with grey eyes, a pale complexion and black hair which nevertheless are always dyed light blond (you could tell by the roots). She admittedly is a quite handsome woman, but even in a staff uniform there is always a bit of a "trashy" vibe about her.

Eris smokes, but does not drink. She has a tiny kid somewhere that I've never seen. She is best pals with a high ranking female at the org which probably is why they keep her around for so long. She is a very, very fervent believer in postulates and "making it go right". If stats are low it is always, always, always because you have the wrong approach or are not confident, not think "happy thoughts" enough. Its always your fault and it is always just something you convinced yourself you can't do.

Eris has the annoying tendency to treat everyone as furniture. As crude, troublesome, unwieldy furniture. Eris decided I will act as a chair on which she could stand on to grab things beyond her reach.
That's what I was to her: a chair.


<snap>

This is the end of the 90s in the greater LA area. People are talking about columbine and the Matrix and about making money. Do you think body routing stats are amazing? Heck no.

So Eris is always angry because we are keeping her stats down. Not enough bodies in the org. All because we can't make good enough postulates to make recruiting happen. "Just make it go right!" says Eris, the Magical-thinker-in-charge.

Things are not good, so she will shout at us pretty much all the time. She never uses cuss words, but she will nevertheless put everyone down and insult everyone without them. Calling us "children", "babies", "outpoint makers", "quitters", "pikers", "wannabie recruiters", "do-nothings", "how do you ever expect to do anything with your lives if you can't even do this!?", "They taught you nothing"... it is a million statements like that. Each sounds pretty benign written down. But once you experience it day-by-day they cease to be.

It was also something about the way she would say these things. she had some personal skill in saying the dumbest things in a way that would touch a nerve with people. She could always get a rise out of anyone. She'd be an amazing internet troll I guess.

It was also my first real long term post as a "scientology adult". I had nothing to compare with, so there were times when I really felt there must be something wrong with me and that I'm probably a loser. Why else would I end up as a recruiter?
The one thing that kept me in touch with reality was that other people's stats were also low and Eris herself was not infrequently in trouble or doing lowers because we couldn't push stats to a decent level.

Regardless, Eris made me hate every single day there. I dreaded going to the org or even getting up.

I was getting close to walking out on the whole thing because I though that all of scn looks like this. Yet remember, for a 2nd gen scientologists the church is not a prison of belief, it is a prison of necessity. I had no place to go, no job, no roof over my head or food except what I would get from the org and people connected to it. So I then ended up working 7 days in and out for the org. Money was tight, rent was a problem.

<snap>

I'm standing outside the org.
I'm body routing together with Camilla. Camilla is the most attractive girl in the org, at this time she is 15? 16 maybe? Guys are literally crossing over from the other side of the street to talk with her. The problem is that none of them want to go inside the org, they just want to chat her up, get her number or just leer at her.

This is going nowhere. Yeah we are creating a lot of attention, but its not going towards the org. These guys are just wasting our time I separate from her, walk to the other side of the street so as to get away from the horny-guy-magnet and catch some real potential recruits.

I start to focus on elderly women and middle aged guys. Exactly the demographics they told me not to go for. My logic is: if nobody went for them, chances are I will connect to an "untapped vein". Moreover the general lack of results of the whole org made me think their advice is worthless and I should do something else because whatever they suggest is not working.

I soon distill a specific group that I realize gets good results "old hippies" both male and female. Then I found another group: edgy looking girls in their 20s and 30s, especially those that have an artsy vibe, have tattoos or carry an instrument. Third group: anyone looking like an "upstat surfer".

So this will be my strategy: work alone, focus on specific weird groups, do things nobody else does. Be a bit wacky, do not play all the cards at once. Sign people up for various things straight from the street, not just the comm course.

<snap>

Suddenly, I'm being handled because I do not do things in a standard way.
They say my recruits look downstat. Eris is glowing.

<snap>

Suddenly, I'm being praised because my stats are up and my I'm way on top of all recruiters. These downstat looking recruits of mine all turned out to have ruins and problems that need fixing and they are falling for the whole thing. I'm being told that I need to teach others my methods (yeah the ED was desperate enough to just get more recruits at the cost of being a bit less standard in our approach. Bless her black heart!). Eris is angry as hell, but can't touch me because my stats are up.

Another stepping stone: Being upstat means being free. Being free means having the ability to do things in a flexible, smart, individualistic way that in turn allows me to be upstat. A reverse catch 22. Something is wrong with this system.

<snap>

I went with the others over my strategy.
Yet parroting me doesn't work for anyone, none of them are able to implement my way of doing things. Apparently, I am the only one that can make it work.

Eris is furious, because she is convinced I'm doing it on purpose. Her scientology-induced "one-size-fits-all" mindset cannot grasp that fact that people are different and everyone should play to their strengths.

<snap>

I'm very ill.
I'm vomiting and I have a very high fever. My landlord calls the doctor, I'm off the lines for a week or so. Eris gets me in real trouble because of this, I'm sent to ethics, I get PTS handling... which just take a lot of my time. Time I'm not out recruiting people.

Once I'm back, Eris pulls me into a room and really lets me have it verbally. Turns out her stats crashed bad and she missed out on some opportunity because of that.

That's when it dawns on me.

I do not remember the exact words I used, but the gist of it was:
"Hey Eris baby, you know what? We are joined at the hip now it seems. My stats are now your stats. Without a steady flow of my recruits you are gone. You need me more than I need you. Whenever you get me in trouble, you are getting yourself in trouble. Whatever hurts me will end up hurting you even more. So Eris, get ready to become best friends forever." :D

I think she realized that what I just said is true. It really shook her up, because at that point she was more than happy to attack me in any way she could. Now the hubbardian system itself would force her to stop her attacks.

Certainly, that was one of my top "feels good" moments in my scn career. Yay, I'm finally cause over Eris! :D


<snap>

I'm lying on the sidewalk. I was out recruiting, when someone approached me from the back and whacked me really hard on the head I've had violent reactions from people before, mostly evangelical Christians, but this is the first time I've been knocked out. I'm just came around, literally a moment of pain an unconsciousness.
There's people that came out of the org asking what happened. Someone even suggests I should take the rest of the day off. Even Eris is concerned.

"Nah, its ok. I'm not gonna let that bastard win. He didn't like me being there, so that's exactly what I'm gonna continue doing. Screw him!"

... That's not the first time I react this way. Whenever someone tries to violently or forcefully turn me against the organization or prevent me from doing my job, I will just do it twice as hard.
 
Last edited:
Top