FROM ORIGINS TO OFFLOAD I first became involved in Scientology around the age of 6 years old in the mid 1960’s. I used to be taken by my parents into the original Jo’burg Org where the likes of Jane Kember and the Hogarths and Beghins used to attend lectures. As I was so young, my memory is a bit vague, but I believe my parents discovered Scientology through the Mission run by Hilda and Jos Jaffe. We used to have fun at the Org and the Mission as kids, running around, making friends, and I am sure, making a complete nuisance of ourselves. We also did a lot of TRs, but I reckon this was a way for the adults to have us supervised so we didn’t run amok! I mean to say, what a fantastic way to have your children looked after, knowing that if they argued, they would be encouraged to sit down in front of each other and resolve their dispute through the use of TRs! In those days the Org was a place of refuge, laughter, fun and camaraderie not experienced anywhere else as the biggest feeling was one of being accepted simply for being You, Self. In those days ethics and Sec. Checks were not even on the agenda, and the people attending were just simply looking for the meaning to life, free of any constraints or bindings. When Jo’burg Org moved, this feeling of “one-ness” and acceptance was retained, and we still had a lot of fun. I know my parents (particularly my mother) made a lot of friends, and we visited fellow Scientologists in their homes frequently, and again, there was always a wonderful bon homie. Life seemed simple then, and I had no feelings of any judgements being made because we were involved in this thing called Scientology. Friends who hadn’t been involved were more questioning and inquisitive. There was a real sense of having discovered something new, intriguing and very exciting. Change was in the air! In 1971, my parents’ relationship broke apart. My father had found someone else, but much more than this, my mother had discovered that my father had been a “plant” in the Org. The Mental Health organisation of South Africa had recruited my father to spy on Scientology. In my mother’s eyes, and obviously in the eyes of the Org, this was a complete and utter betrayal of trust, and there was no going back. Our world came crashing down on us, and my sister and I were packed off to boarding school up in Rhodesia. My mother came too and stayed with some Scientology friends in Salisbury with my little brother. After a while, my mother left us up in Rhodesia and came down to work in Johannesburg. She ended up working for the man who about a year later became my step-father. He too was in Scientology. We had never met him, and one day my mother and he turned up at our boarding school, and put us in sleeping bags in the back of an open topped truck and he drove us to his farm in South Africa. We stayed there for a year (a very, very unhappy year) and continued to attend Jo’burg Org at the weekends. By this time things seemed stricter in the Org, and my step-father took great joy in dishing out ethics in the form of conditions on us children. He had very, very high standards he wanted reached when it came to cleaning things, and I will never forget being punished and having to clear a field of horse and cow manure in the blistering heat because he had insisted that the brass lamp he had had me polishing was still not shiny enough. A lot more happened during this awful year at the farm, but I won’t dwell on it as it is not really relevant to the Scientology story. Suffice it to say, my step-father came home from work one day to my (five months) pregnant mother, took her by the hand from the dining table to her car outside, got into the car where a fellow Scientologist of some rank and standing was sitting in the back, and told my mother they were going to get married and “what are you going to do”? He offered to take the baby, but my mother steadfastly refused. He paid for a one way ticket for my mother, brother, sister and I to fly to the UK. Desperate and distraught, my mother decided to join the Sea Org at Saint Hill. We were met at Heathrow Airport by Bruce Glushakow, who drove us through South London to Stonelands. This was in the days before the M25 was built, but there was a lot less traffic in those days! We arrived at Stonelands, only to be told that there was nowhere for us to sleep. Someone took the decision to put all four of us in another family’s room as they were away. There were no beds in the room, only mattresses on the floor (remember my mother was six months pregnant by now). My only recollection of this time was being a little numb, and awe struck by the immensity of the property. Stonelands was a sad old lady at this time, and in desperate need of some tender loving care. There were no carpets to speak of in the corridors, and cold draughts all over the house. You could see that she used to be splendid, but this splendour was now lost. The ballroom had beautiful wood panelling all around it, but this was now a men’s dormitory. The large, heavy wooden doors were carved, with lovely old brass handles on them. The dining room table in the Officer’s Mess was circa 1500s, and much later, a shrewd Sheila Gaiman came upon it, and had it restored to its former glory. It looked absolutely stunning once it was done, and it was moved away from Stonelands altogether and installed at Saint Hill. There were odd bits of furniture at Stonelands that today would have fetched an enormous price, such as the lovely old book case up on the first floor, and my Elizabethan bedstead. I have no idea what happened to this furniture, but I like to think it is being looked after. Although rules later changed to having no television, at the time we moved into Stonelands there was a dedicated television room with some brown moth-eaten sofas and chairs and a green carpet/rug in the centre. On Saturday nights we would sit on the sofas under blankets (it was always so, so cold) and watch television together. I have some happy memories of this time, laughing and joking together with our fellow crew mates, whilst watching programs like the Old Grey Whistle Test, or Clint Eastwood in his Westerns. When Stonelands was sold, she only went for about £350k, a far cry from what she would have been worth had she been looked after and invested in. One could say the same for the staff too as they were worth far more, and never paid for their very full time contribution to spreading the word and work of Scientology. However, everything was to change very soon and an ill wind was on its way… little did I know what was in store for me or my family! Approximately three months after arriving at Stonelands and Saint Hill, I was sent to the Flagship Apollo to train to become a Commodore’s Messenger. I was about to turn twelve years old. By this time, my new little brother had been born, and was just a month old. I had become very attached to him. Arrangements had been made for me to catch the coach to St. Hill where Angela Berthoud would drive me to the airport. I recall sobbing as I waved goodbye to my mother, sister, brother and baby brother as the Coach drew away. To this day I simply cannot understand a parent allowing her 11 year old daughter to be taken away to somewhere completely unknown. This is something my mother has had to come to terms with and we have discussed it at great length, but it is totally indicative of just how brain washed and controlled we all were. As many of you will be aware, the whereabouts of LRH was supposed to be a secret at the time, so my mother didn’t even know what country I was destined for. I remember being sick on the aeroplane (something I had never done before, nor since) sitting next to some huge Portuguese bloke smoking some god-awful European cigarette. Arriving in Lisbon, I was met by a chap called Paul and taken to the dockside. Then there she was, The Apollo. She was absolutely enormous to me, and I stood on the quayside looking up, and up and up at her. Up on the ‘A’ deck, starboard side I noticed a line of young girls, and one small boy with very smart Sea Org uniforms and caps on looking down at this skinny kid, newly arrived from the UK. I began to feel very small, and oh so very, very alone. I wanted to turn heel and run away, but had no idea where I was, nor where or whom to run to? Finally, papers must have been checked and I was given permission to come aboard. Someone who came on board with me was in uniform, and was saluted as they touched on deck. I was taken down below decks to a very cramped dormitory. Dark, dingy and clothes hanging all over the place, we were hard pressed to find my bunk. I was shown to a bunk at the far end of the dorm, and told that this would be my berth. I sat down, numb, confused and desperately, desperately unhappy. I then lay down and sobbed my heart out. Someone must have reported my crying, because Maria Starkey turned up and told me to pull myself together. Between sobs I told her I wanted my mother, and wished to go back to St. Hill. She told me that this would not be possible and that I had to get my ethics in, stop crying and come upstairs as soon as possible. She said this would be “blowing” and that they had my passport anyhow. This was all double-dutch to be anyhow, as I had not yet come to know what the meaning of “blowing” was, I just knew I felt trapped and that there was no way out. Tired and confused, I made my way up on deck to await my fate. Immediately, I was EPFed and put to work on painting a cabin. I was on my own doing this, but the cabin was very near the Snipes Mess. The Snipes were the engineers who worked in the Engine Room, and this Mess came to be a second home for me. This was a place where fun, jokes, camaraderie could be found. I didn’t mind that I ended up being a Snipes Steward for a while, it was great fun in there, and I always looked forward to meal times when such people as toothy grinned Rocky Stump and Dusty Rhodes regaled us with their life stories. When I left Stonelands, I forgot to take my glasses with me and thus struggled to see properly when I was on the Ship. I asked if my mother could send them to me, but was told I would have to write her a letter. I did this, but the letter was returned to me unsent, having been heavily vetted because I had mentioned that LRH was on the ship. I had also committed the crime of telling her that we were in Portugal. The returned letter resembled something from a James Bond Secret Agent file where words were blacked out in heavy black pen. I have no idea what eventually happened to my final letter but I never did get my glasses, so must have compensated somehow. Once I got used to being on the Ship, there were times when we had fun, but they were few and far between. There were other children on the Ship whose parents weren’t with them (apart from Shane Dunleavy and Arthur Hubbard) and we did used to run amok if and when we could. We were not always supervised, and certainly weren’t schooled at all, ever, so we found fun becoming little delinquents, and some more so than others. I was once put to work in the Ethics area where Stuart Moreau was Ethics Officer. I was given a very, very large mountain of Knowledge Report filing to do, and not being able to see properly, and not being able to confront filing it all, I simply shredded it. From what I have come to learn since, it would appear that I did a lot of people a favour!! One person I will always remember with great fondness was someone called Jesus Jesse Riveira. He was responsible for the tuck shop, which was open a couple of times a day, and he would sell tuna fish sandwiches and Snicker bars. I never, ever had any money so occasionally he would sneak me a Snicker or sandwich. He was always laughing and joking and I liked his company mostly because he was kind to me. LRH’s kids, especially Arthur and Suzette seemed to have quite a spoiled life. I know sweet gentle, kind hearted Quentin was auditing, but the younger two did appear to have more fun. I recall Arthur having a cabin full of comics and I was desperate to be able to share in them, but couldn’t. I remember him laughing his head off because he lit his farts!! There was another time too, where Mary Sue had purchased a new puppy, and because this puppy had been sedated during his journey to the Ship, an order came down from LRH that everyone on board had to be quiet whilst the puppy slept through and came out of his stupor in case he picked up any engrams on the way back! There were a lot of nice people on the Ship, so precious moments snatched with them were really valuable to me; memories such as a lovely kind lady who played the song “Summertime” on her tape player to me and encouraged me to sing along with her. Alan Voss was also kind to me, and once rescued me from a fight between the Captain and another crew member. I think I remember who it was but as I am not 100 per cent sure won’t mention his name. The Captain and this crew member were screaming abuse at each other and throwing punches. I could not abide violence, and despite only being 12 years old, ran into the middle of the fight and tried to prise them apart. The resulting punch to my face put an end to the fight, but Alan Voss was the person who pulled me out of it and tended to my wound. At times, I got very, very sea sick, and the advice to anyone feeling sea sick like this was to sit on the Poop Deck or a deck somewhere and look out at the Horizon. These moments became cathartic for me and I often saw things like a storm in the distance whose beauty took your breath away. There were also moments where we were at sea, in the middle of the night, and I would take a walk around the decks, and then go up to sit by the Stack of the ship watching the glorious stars and the Milky Way. This was my way of feeling free again, and helped me to feel less trapped. I recall too, that there was an eclipse one day when we were at sea, and the ocean turned a beautiful honey coloured yellow and dolphins rode the crest of the waves as the Ship cut forward. These snatched moments are frozen in time for me, and still today if I recall them I am filled with a sweet softness of being. I had to grow up very, very fast and had my first cigarette on the Ship, but it was bad PR to smoke above decks as we were children, so we were only allowed to smoke below. On the 25th April, 1974 we were docked at Port when the Portuguese Coup occurred. I, along with other crew members was so scared because the Portuguese people on the Quayside were throwing rocks at the ship and us, and tanks were trained on the ship. Rebels had seized control of Portugal and we were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and under suspicion because no-one really knew who or what we were. The PR story had been that LRH was there to study ancient civilisations, but we had been coming and going into Port along that coast line for a long time, so the locals were suspicious. I also learned to change flags like the Ensign, and to climb the Crows nest. I learned how to caulk decks and to scrub them!! I learned what hawsers and cleats were; in fact there was a member of staff on board who had lost a finger or two from a hawser in his grasp. I learned how ships were taken into Port by tug boats. I learned how stores were loaded on board whilst out at anchor; I learned to say hello to the wizened, sun dried Portuguese fisherman on the quayside, and shook their leathery hands. I learned how to work in a galley and serve the Officers (even if I did serve cockroaches to the Captain on the underside of his eggs as I hadn’t notice the roach in the frying pan)! I recall the scuttling noise the roaches used to make when you turned the lights on in a cabin and they ran away from the light. This happened again at the Flag Land Base in Florida much later on when I walked into the toilet one day and turned the light on. Ugh….!! I learned to paint the side of the ship with red lead whilst seated on a bosun’s chair. I remember someone playing a trick on my about my MU about the saying “use elblow grease” and spending about half an hour looking for elbow grease before someone put me right. I remember once having to wash LRH’s breakfast dishes, and a Messenger coming back three times to make sure I washed a pot again, and again and again until LRH’s standards of cleanliness would be met. I learned harsh emotional and life lessons too. For instance, I had to serve food to staff who were put into quarantine because they either had an infectious disease/virus or bug or who were under “baby watch” for having gone Type 3. One instance really stand out in my mind… a girl had contracted crabs (and I had no idea what crabs were, not how you contracted them, but someone told me). She was put into quarantine whilst the M.O. treated her and I had to pass food to her by putting it on the floor in the corridor outside her cabin, and then she in turn would return the empty plate. The funny thing about these cabins is that they ran next door on the same corridor as the PR room where press and local dignitaries would be wined and dined. I wonder if Jim Din would remember the time I was washing up in the galley, and I spied a wine bottle with liquid in it on the side of the sink. Thinking it was wine, I took a huge sniff of it, and keeled over. It was Ammonia! Jim Din was the M.O. at the time, and he literally held me upside down over the side of the ship to get the blood running back to my head. We used to use Ammonia on the ship to clean things like sinks and urinals. Health and Safety… pah! We used to have to wash and check every lettuce leaf with gentian violet to make sure it was clean. As LRH was so fastidious about every single mote of dust even, cleanliness was high on the agenda of the galleys, and any stomach bug would have resulted in a loss of performance, so it was important to LRH that we had high standards of hygiene, especially in the galleys. However, he was too obsessed with cleanliness, and every crease in his shirts had to be ironed to perfection, every floor polished so you could see your face. I recall having to polish the floor just outside his office and I was trembling as he was only a few feet away and his door was open. He didn’t acknowledge my presence at all, and I remember Tony Dunleavy in an office behind me and LRH in front and I felt just like Cinderella, on all fours polishing the floor. Then out of blue, for no reason that I could see, LRH lost the plot and stood up, wiped everything off his desk with one long sweep, thumped the table and roared. And I mean ROARED. I jumped out of my skin… never ever in my life then, or since have I ever felt such rage. Truly, truly terrifying, especially to a small 12 year old. I scuttled away as fast as my legs could carry me. I never did find out why he was so angry, but quite often if he had these tantrums, some poor C/S below decks would be punished in one way or another. However, there were many more “grown ups” who scared the hell out of me, and talked to me like I was a piece of shit on their shoe. People like Norman and Maria Starkey, Kerry Gleason, Dede Reisdorf, Doreen……., There were members of the crew who were members of the Clique Elite. These were so called “Officers” who made it their business to become one of the “in crowd” with the Commodore’s Messengers, or LRH himself. People such as Jill and Kerry Gleason, Kima and Tony Dunleavy, Capt. Bill, Gerry Armstrong, Norman and Maria Starkey, Bill Franks, The Siberskys. I can see now, that is a lot of cases this was probably a survival mechanism. I had seen a person thrown over the side of the ship on LRH’s orders for some transgression or another, and this terrified me. LRH stood up on his deck, with his messengers either side of him, watching the scene unfold. This was enough to scare the wits out of anyone, so I never, ever did open my mouth again to complain, I just put up with my lot. However, what I did begin to do would lead to the next phase in my life. I was scared of the Commodore’s Messengers, and knew by now that I was not going to be one because I had wanted to leave the ship, so I had immediately signed my ostracisation warrant. They seemed to take great delight, (and with such relish) in handing out LRH’s orders. It was extraordinary how much power these kids had because we were to view them as being LRH himself. What they said was supposed to be coming directly out of LRH’s mouth. This led to abuses already highlighted by other people in their own accounts. I will never forget the images of them cow towing to him, actually holding his ashray for him when he smoked his cigarettes. When he gave them an order to relate, they had to know it verbatim, and would run from A to B to deliver it; they also had to relate the responses back to LRH verbatim, but I also remember them barking orders to us as though coming from LRH, but by this stage they really believed they had power and were abusing it. Arriving on the ship, I had very little in the way of clothes or shoes, and after about three months had completely run out of sanitary ware. A kind person or two allowed me to have some of theirs, but in the end I started pinching it. I pinched a pair of trousers from someone in the dorm, and some sanitary ware from another. As a result I was put to work cleaning out punkerlouvres. Now if anyone has seen these, we had to crawl through them and dust them out. This was very, very dirty work and not without its dangers either. Unfortunately, around this time LRH devised the Rehabiliation Project Force (RPF). In addition, he devised the RPF’s RPF. Due to the fact I still wanted to leave and had become a little delinquent, I was of no use to them, and was so very obviously not eligible to become a Commodore’s Messenger (thank the Lord), that short of off-loading me, I was perfect fodder for an RPF guinea pig. I was therefore one of the first RPFers (whoopee). As I still wished to leave, and didn’t appear to be reforming, I was then put on the RPF’s RPF. Being on the RPF meant having to wear black boiler suits, black arm bands, working strenuously doing labour around the ship all day, and studying in the lower hold at nights. It also meant not eating until the rest of the crew had eaten and cleaning up after them. We were also not allowed to speak to any crew member unless spoken to by them first. However, there was no reforming me, I wanted to go back to my mother and family. Another time, a dear man called Bruce had fallen headlong in love with a girl called Nancy who worked in Mimeo. Nancy was also a sister of one of the Commodore’s messengers so what happened as the story unfolded would definitely have got back to LRH fast. Bruce’s affections were not returned, and this unrequited love (and I am sure the conditions we were living under at the time) led to him having a nervous breakdown. As many ex and current Scientologists will know, when a Scientologist suffered what was known as a Type 3 breakdown, they were put on “baby watch”. This was where a round the clock babysitting service was put into place, so that the person was never, ever left on their own for their own safety until they had been handled. Bruce was locked up in a cabin in the Forward Well Deck. At this time, I had been RPFd, RPFd, and was locked up in the chain locker of the ship for three days on the order of LRH via Hannah Eltringham. I could hear Bruce ranting and raving upstairs, and at one point when someone was escorting me to the toilet, Bruce peed through the keyhole. I heard his screams and he ripped up a mattress with is bare hands and his teeth. He pulled wood panelling off the walls of the cabin, and in the end there was nothing left in there. I heard all of this going on, but all I could do was absorb it for what it was. I had nothing left; I was drained, numb, a shell of my former self. I had lost everything about me. If you had pinched me, punched me, thrown me on the floor I would not have cared anymore. I was spent. Find my ruin…. hah…… LRH had ruined me by breaking down all my defences, my energy, my very being. After three days locked up in the chain locker, terrified that the anchor would be lowered with me sitting on the cold, iron smelling, wet shackles would take me with them, I was released into imprisonment in the laundry room to await offload, finally !! Robin Scott flew back with me to St. Hill where I had to petition LRH for permission to rejoin my mother in the S.O. I hoped and yearned for some sort of normality, and to a certain extent I got it as I had my family back. But “family back” meant having a Family Day once a year, and snatching the off few minutes during dinner time before having to go back to work again. Never, ever again, until we left Scientology altogether did we spend valuable, loving and fruitful time together as a family. When I returned to the UK, I went back to school again. I had missed out a whole year of schooling. When I left the UK to go to the Ship I attended a local primary school in East Grinstead for a month, but by the time I got back to the UK, I was old enough to attend senior school, but the other kids had a years’ experience on me. Couple this with being bullied for being a “Scino who worships baked bean cans” made me more determined than ever that I would not be a victim again. Nothing could be as bad as what I had just done through, so I put up with it with a strength and resilience I know today I can be very proud of. I did develop some psychological problems such as not being able to swallow properly, and I was always the last to finish my school dinners (our one main nutritious meal of the day by the way). Only now, as an adult have I come to read articles about this anxiety disorder, and I can directly relate it to my treatment on the Ship. I also had very painful periods around this time, and was not allowed to take painkillers, only the dreaded CalMag. In the end, I guess we all dealt with things in our own way, and luckily my way was to stay alive and to survive. I recall LRH having coined a song whilst I was on the Apollo, and I have never forgotten it because in some ways it epitomises how he treated so many people who would not conform with utter disdain. It goes something like this and I apologise if I don’t get it exactly verbatim:- “WHO CARES ABOUT THE FATE OF THE JERK WHO CAME TOO LATE IF HE WILL DRINK CYANIDE HE SHOULD NOT EXPECT TO THRIVE WITH TRIGGER FINGER CURLED MAN SET OUT TO SHOOT THE WORLD BUT INSTEAD HE SHOT HIMSELF SO LET’S LEAVE HIM ON THE SHELF FOR HIS WORLD WAS GOING DOWN, DOWN down to die LORD SAID I…. WE’RE GOING UP WHILE THE WORLD GOES DOWN WE WEAR A SMILE WHILE THE WORLD WEARS A FROWN WHILE OTHERS ALL DIE WE ARE VERY ALIVE SO WHY NOT JOIN UP AND SURVIVE” Nevertheless I had to learn to cope somehow, but I did find it very hard to fit in again, as I had effectively become a “young adult” and the children at Stonelands were still children. I refused to go to bed when I was told to, and ended up working at St. Hill stuffing envelopes in the evenings instead. I worked on Reception in the school holidays and certainly witnessed the Registrars such as Peter Morgan, Julie (or was it Rufus) Price and Hazel Grafton be put through the wringer for not closing enough deals, and being set huge targets. I saw them under circumstances of enormous pressure, and many a time a member of public would come in having re-mortgaged their house, sold their car, cashed in their insurance policies.