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Featured A small part of my story

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by Mick Wenlock, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    Late in 1982 I was declared by the Finance Police. One minute, in the Sea Org in Copenhagen, the next out on the street. No money and in a country where I do not speak the language at all well and where the only people I knew were Scientologists and SO members.

    My wife and I had been married for four years at that point. She was still in, we had one son (Sean) who was (and still is) handicapped and my wife's son from her first marriage. Sean was 3, Chris was 7.

    Lacking anything else to do, I made my way back home to England, got myself a job and wrote in requesting the comm ev. After two months - mid January 1983 I got a phone call from FOLO EU telling me that my wife was at Flag (on the RPF as it turns out) and I needed to come and pick up the children.

    At that time, I was determined to get back to the SO, I wanted my comm ev because I felt that I had been unjustly treated. I couldn't very well unload my upset on my family because if I got them upset at Scientology and the Sea Org then how would I be able to get back? I didn't know what was going to happen to my marriage, I was worried about Sean - and to a lesser extent Chris. (Chris' father was in the SO IN Copenhagen at NEP at the time). I was working flat out in a Cold Storage Unit trying to earn money to pay back people who had advanced me the readies to get home. My friends did not understand, at all, what had happened.

    And now this. I got what money I could together and bought a ticket on the ferry from Felixstowe to Gothenberg and a train ticket from Gothenberg to Copenhagen and I set off the next day.

    The ferry left Felixstowe at 5 pm, it was raining, it was dark and it was cold. I had one backpack of clothes and supplies and about one hundred dollars in cash. I had no idea what I was going to do in Copenhagen, I had no idea how I was going to live or where, I had no-one to turn to when I got there. Not a pleasant journey.

    The ferry arrived in Gothenberg in the early morning, I walked along to the railway station and caught the next train to Copenhagen. I don;t remember how long I had to wait for the train but we arrived in Copenhagen at around 7 pm that night.

    I phoned to the FOLO when I arrived to talk to the head nanny (name of Clara) and told her I had just arrived and I would be by to tlak with her in about 10 minutes.

    I walked out of Hovedbanegade and onto Vesterbrogade to walk down to the Nordland. As anyone who has been in Copenhagen in early January at 7pm can tell you, it's cold and windy and dark.

    I walked up to the front door of the Nordland and Clara was there. With two children in tow. She opened the door, ushered Chris out, put two suitcases on the ground and handed me Sean (who had to be carried then, he was not yet walking). And then closed the door.

    Holding Sean in one arm, holding Chris' hand with the other and three large bags, nowhere to go, very little money and it was cold and dark.

    More later.
  2. Alanzo

    Alanzo Bardo Tulpa

    ALLL RIGHT!!!!
  3. Mary

    Mary Patron with Honors


    Your telling the story is very much appreciated and I hope to read more.

    I've got children too and can only imagine what you must have gone through.


  4. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Holy shit, Mick.

    I had no idea that it was like this for you. And I didn't realize Nancy and your children weren't with you when you first left.

    That must have been terrible.

    Just awful.
  5. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)


    So I am out on the street - literally. Trying to figure out how to carry Sean the luggage and hold Chris' hand. Eventually I work it out - backpack, Sean on my shoulders, suitcases in each hand and Chris hanging on to my arm. Slowly we made our way along the street and along past the square and we came to a Hotel. I checked us in, not a bad room (lousy price...) and I got us in there and found out that the boys had not had dinner, they were hungry, wet and tired. Sean had no diapers. So we had to go out again and find a kiosk.

    Over the next couple of days we moved around to ever cheaper places as my cash ran out and my flexible friend approached it's limit. I am really at a loss how to describe those few days. Sean attended a state day center so at least, for those few days his daily routine was uninterrupted but Chris and I had nothing to do, no money to do with with and I could not figure out how to try and get something done. We were staying at a sort of "pension" which was OK but there were the three of us in one small room - the two boys in the bed and me on the floor.

    Finally I was at an end - I had enough for one more night in the pension and then I was borassic. I went to social services in Copenhagen to get some help. If anyone ever tries to tell you that this is easy - take it from me, they have not done it. It was hell. First of all they were trying to understand how we were in the position we were in - I was desperately trying to avoid bringing the word scientology into the conversation. I was trying very very hard to not make the CofS look bad. After three hours I got them to pay our rent at the pension for a week which at least meant I could start looking further ahead than the next morning.

    Chris, in the meantime, was not doing very well. After the initial excitement of something new and different he was missing his friends, he was bored and on some days, he was hungry. Chris' dad was still in the Sea Org and as I was not Chris' legal guardian I thought maybe a better solution would be for Chris to at least be with his father and be back in his familiar space. I tried phoning the FOLO to try and get Chris back there. I never got any response to any message . I found it very ironic and infuriating that I was knocking my brains out trying to care for Chris with no resources at all while his father and the SO seemed to not give a rats ass. If I sound just a tad pissed off I have good reason.

    One day Chris and I were walking down a street not far from Vesterbrogade and I saw an old friend - Ivan Watson. Ex SO from NEP. He and his daughter Rosie were living in an apartment not far away so we all toodled over there and for the first time in a couple of weeks I was able to relax. Ivan had a friend who he reckoned would be willing to rent out a room to the three of us and, better yet, Nellie Purser (wife of Russ Purser) who was also out of the SO was working at a hotel and could help me land a job.
  6. moontaco

    moontaco Patron with Honors

    Compelling story. I know it's not just a story to you--it's your LIFE--but really, I'm on the edge of my seat. I can't wait to read more.
  7. Pooks


    It's a definite edge of the seater!

    I'm waiting!!!!!!!!!

    :waiting: :waiting:

  8. Snuffy

    Snuffy Patron Meritorious

    Keep it comin', man!!!
  9. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    We sat down in Ivan's apartment drinking tea - even now I find it hard to describe how great it felt to just do something normal. Chris and Rosie played and Ivan and I talked. He phoned his ex Brother in law and that guy agreed to rent a room in his apartment to us. I have not mentioned the guy's name even though he is an "ex" because he still has family in. But I wish I could - he got a lot of s--t from the CofS for doing this, he never flinched. Typical Oz..

    The apartment was on the 5th floor of a building not far from where the old FOLO building on Saxogade had been. No elevator of course and no bath or shower. One small room and not much in the way of furniture either. I got the social services to agree to buy a bed for Sean and for Chris, Ivan lent me a mattress and the "guy" (who I will call "Malc" from here on out) agreed to let us use his cooking utensils for a couple of weeks until I could get some.

    Bear in mind - when I got into Scientology and the Sea Org in 76 I was a single guy, had a good paying job and on the rare weeks where I had run out of food money it was because I had been on the batter too hard and I could live with that. Now I had two kids who needed to eat.

    Nellie Purser called me the next evening and said that here was a job at the hotel she worked at cleaning the rooms. At that time in denmark if you were not Danish then you had to be working 35 hours a week in a FT job in order to keep your visa. Bear that in mind because this point will surface again a bit further on in the narrative.

    I spent the next full day rearranging Sean's transport to the kindergarten, getting Chris squared away back at his school and then went over to the Hotel to talk to the owner and got myself a job. The hotel was on three floors, no elevator. It was about 4 km from where we lived and I had no bus fare.

    I worked out the schedule n my head, get Chris off to school, Sean ready for pick up and off to the CP Kindergarten (Bornehave in Danish) and then a fast walk/trot along the lakes to the hotel just in time to start work at 9 am. Five hours work and trot back to the apartment in time to pick Sean up and whisk him up the stairs.

    In order to make the 35 hour limit this meant I had to work 7 days a week. On Saturday and Sunday I would carry Sean and walk with Chris, I would put them in a room that was being checked out and they would hang out there while I worked - Chris loved it - he got to watch TV!!

    It was an incredibly stressful period. I am not sure if I am telling it well or trying to be sort of offhand about it because I really do not (edit from me) want to relive it very much.

    After a month and a half of this I got a call from Chris' father - Neil Lumsden (a very nice guy BTW). He said he wanted to drop by and just say hi. I thought it a little strange. He dropped by the apartment and told me that my wife, Nancy, has asked him to check up on the boys. Neil was lucky to leave the room in one piece. I was upset beyond belief - "check up"? No-one had given a flying **** about what was going to happen to the kids or to me and now "check up"?? I told Neil to eff off and that, should he feel some paternal urge, he could set up a time for Chris to visit.

    Well ratz, I am going to have to cool off before I continue...
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2007
  10. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    Thank you for caring for your kids. I know it was rough. But you tried so hard to do what was right by them. From being raised in the Sea Org with 1/4 of a parent, beleive me, thank you.
  11. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    I think you're telling it just fine, and, I suspect that all of us have, one way or another, some similar period we can 'dub in' without you getting into it too much. As a single dad who's done the 'international distress' thing, I sure can.

    If you ever get around to using it in a novel, you should probably plump it up :)

  12. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    One thing to be said for the regimen - I was losing weight fast (and as anyone who knows me could attest - I can always stand to lose a few pounds). By the end of this period I weighed less than I did when I was 14 years old. Which would have been really great except I could not afford to buy new clothes...

    But everything during this period was just so damned hard. I had to walk everywhere and that meant I had to carry Sean because I had no stroller. He spent that whole summer on my shoulders. When we went shopping early Saturday morning in the local discount supermarket I would have Sean on my shoulders, 5 or 6 plastic bags in my hands and the walk up to the apartment was like scaling the North Face of the Eiger.

    Because we lacked even the basic utensils that most families have we had to constantly do without a basic while I bought a pan or a spatula, glasses, plates and so on. It was like trying to run in molasses. When you only have one pan to cook in it takes forever to make dinners, when you have to make dinner, take the boys down to the public baths so they can get showered and cleaned after the day, bring them back to the apartment and get them into bed it just plain wears you down.

    Add to that the fact that, apart from bacon eggs and fried bread, I am the compleat lousy cook..

    I had not been able to talk to my wife since I got declared in November. I found out that she had gone to Flag for a "few days" and had been RPFed there, I had no idea how she was doing how she felt about everything. Turns out, of course, that she had been going through the same sort of mental anguish - while trying to graduate the RPF...

    Anyway - in the middle of this Chris, Sean and I started to sort of muddle through. Every night I told Chris stories, long involved fairy tales involving him and Sean, magic bears King Arthur etc. Once I figured out how to actually budget the food and we had gained a little traction it got to be a bit better - some of the summer evenings were fun. Though I think Chris probably has a very strange view of English History... lol.

    At the same time Sean started to show some real curiosity and learned how to pull himself up in his playpen and eventually how to climb out.

    I guess the best highlight was Chris' birthday. His birthday is June 23rd. If you are Scandinavian that date really means something - Sankt Hans Aften. It is a huge day and evening in the Tivoli Gardens. Chris birthday was a Thursday that year. We all spent the day at Tivoli, I had put some money aside and we just pigged out, Chris got to go on the rides, we got to snack and at closing time there was the most awesome fireworks display (as there is every year). It was just great. I think that was proably the night we laughed the most during that period until Nancy made it back.
  13. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Oh my god, Mick.

    I had no idea.

    I'm so sorry.
  14. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    It's OK lulu, thank you for the gentle thoughts. I want to show why it can be as hard as hell to get out of the SO, for a lot of us it was and is not just a question of walking out, calling someone and getting a few days or weeks of breathing room to get sort of set. (not that there is anything easy about that either of course).

    This is just the *First* time I was declared. What makes the story even worse is that we went back in.

    It all happened again 6 years later
  15. Voltaire's Child

    Voltaire's Child Fool on the Hill


    Very touching and fascinating account. Not everyone could have dealt with all that.

    You are obviously a courageous and conscientious person.
    DagwoodGum likes this.
  16. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Oh My GOD!!!
  17. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    Mick - have you ever seen the movie called "Pan's Labrynth"? It so much reminds me of being raised in the SO and what it's like.

    The movie itself is incredible. It is about the only movie that I would say was perfectly made. I mean perfectly. It is so well directed. Oh my god.

    And the story is BEAUTIFUL. About a little girl during World War II and her living in that world, and also her own fantasy world. Just an amazing story.

    I could see it a million times and then see it again. Only a few movies I feel that strongly about.


    Your struggle is amazing. And that you went back in? I am curious when you get to that part, if you can elaborate on what made you want to return. Did you at all feel that you could not make it in the WOG world? Or did you consider Scn the ONLY salvation for man?
  18. Emma

    Emma Con te partirĂ² Administrator

    Jeez Mick. I thought I had it rough. You make me realise I had it very easy.

    Please keep telling your story.
  19. pomfritz

    pomfritz Patron with Honors

    Thanks for sharing this Mick. I can barely imagine how I would have coped in the same situation. I gotta go, I'm not thinking very nice thoughts of mankind's best friend right now.
  20. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist


    I KNEW from my readings of 1st posts I read from you that you are a "stand up" kinda guy and pretty tough. This just confirms what I originally thought about you and what respect I have had for you (i.e. nothing has changed in this regard).

    Please continue with the story if you please. :)

    Best regards,
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2007