Counterfeit Dreams - Jeff Hawkins's story

Type4_PTS

Diamond Invictus SP
I just noticed this story on ESMB while searching for something else. It's an incredible story I actually read prior to posting on the board in the first place,and it had a huge impact on me. It's long but extremely well written and a great story, very much worth reading.
 

Julie Mayo

Patron
Just finished reading for the second time the last chapter online, and again I cried.
:thankyou:

I read this story a few months ago. It brought back great memories of Jeff on the ship. Jeff is a wonderful person. He is nice, self sacrificing, creative and I'm happy to have known him. Some people weather the storm with all virtues intact. Jeff is one of them.
 

Markus

Silver Meritorious Patron
:bump2: for newbies to read. :)

Thank you for bumping this story - it is so important for people who just left this cult to see that it was not only their own life that was ruined by Hubbards crazy ideas. It can help them to get free from his "Soul Hacking" much sooner.

To the newbies I recommend the essay by Caroline Letkeman about Hubbards "Soul Hacking" : http://www.google.de/url?sa=t&source...w7k2LIKgaNGwYA



Love
Markus
 
Chapter Two - The Canyon

http://counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/2008/04/chapter-two-canyon.html

"Man, wait till you hear about this!"

Jerry, his mop of red hair flying, burst in on my quiet Sunday afternoon.

"Hear about what?’ I asked, looking up from my book. I was lounging in my favorite piece of furniture, an old barber’s chair from the 1920’s that I’d found at an antique store and installed in my living room. It had a padded leather seat and fancy grillwork, and, by pushing a few levers, one could adjust it to a reclining position. I uncoiled myself from the chair.

I’d known Jerry since we were kids. Now I was living with his sister, Dixie, and we let Jerry live in the spare bedroom of our rented house in Sierra Madre Canyon. With Jerry around, life was never dull, and today was no exception.

"Scientology," said Jerry. "I was just over at Doug’s house, and there were a couple of guys up from LA talking about it."

It was the first time I’d ever heard the word.

It was fall, 1967. Fresh out of art school, I was striking out on my own at last, working in LA as a commercial artist and renting a house in The Canyon, a quirky, colorful collection of tiny summer houses tucked up in the foothills about 30 miles northeast of LA. A stream ran through the Canyon in a concrete wash, and it was spanned by wooden footbridges. This was home to a motley collection of artists, intellectuals, and nonconformists, and over the last few years had seen an invasion of long-haired kids – hippies. I enjoyed the freewheeling friendliness of Canyon life.

My mother lived just a few minutes away in suburban Arcadia, and I visited her often. She had been widowed since 1960, and was now all alone as both my brother and sister were away at college.

The Summer of Love had come and gone, and the dream of peace and love had, for me, started to get a bit stale. I was prime draft age, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I was called up and sent to Vietnam.

I was very much involved in the anti-war movement. When Lyndon Johnson came to LA and stayed at the Century Plaza Hotel, I joined about 20,000 others in an anti-war demonstration outside the hotel. We were met by thousands of LA cops, who waded in to the demonstrators, striking anyone they could reach with their clubs. I remember seeing one young girl, she couldn’t have been more than twelve, with blood streaming down her face. Jerry, enraged, had picked up an unopened soda can and was about to launch it at the nearest cop when I grabbed his arm and held him back. More violence wasn’t the answer.

But what was the answer? It wasn’t drugs - I had given them up six months earlier, after a bad acid trip. That was a dead-end street. I was looking for another answer, and weekends like this one would often find me poring over books on yoga, meditation, psychocybernetics, hypnotism, anything I could get my hands on. Like most of the kids in the Canyon, I was looking for something. So Jerry had my attention.

"So what is Scientology?" I asked. "What were they saying about it?"

"They said it’s scientific," Jerry tried to explain. "It’s a sort of scientific way to reach spiritual enlightenment. They said that they had a way to clear away the things that keep you from your potentials."

Jerry’s enthusiasm, as usual, was infectious. We decided to go down to the "Scientology place" in LA the next night and check it out.

The "Org," short for Organization – we would soon get familiar with all the jargon - was down on 9th Street, near McArthur Park, in a big old house. As we entered the lobby, I saw it was packed with people, talking, laughing, smiling. And what amazed me was that they were all ages and types. Old grey haired people talking animatedly with young long-haired kids. The "generation gap" seemed to be suspended.

The Los Angeles Org on 9th Street

The lecture hall was large, and there were about 100 people in the audience. Jerry and I found seats in the back. A young man with dark hair and movie-star good looks came out and introduced himself as Seaton Thomas, and proceeded to give us a lecture about Scientology. He was an electrifying speaker – intense, funny, eloquent. He talked about a part of the mind called the Reactive Mind, which stores up all of the painful things that happen to you, and then throws them back at you at moments of stress, causing you to think and do things you don’t want to – to "not be yourself."

He interrupted the lecture in several places to show a black and white film of the Founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard seemed to be a pleasant guy, humorous and outspoken. He was a colorful character – the lecturer told us he’d been an explorer, a sailor, he’d led expeditions and studied many different races. Of course this was many years before Indiana Jones, but he seemed to have some of that aura of maverick panache. And he seemed to be a bit of an anti-establishment rebel, something that, of course, appealed to me. Everyone referred to him as "Ron."

Seaton ended by describing the State of Clear – what a person would be like without the Reactive Mind – vibrant, sane, intelligent, rational, dynamic. He seemed to fix each one of us with his electric gaze as he concluded the lecture:

"I’m Clear. You can be too."

I was hooked. I headed straight for the bookstore. I bought three of Hubbard’s books, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, The Problems of Work, and Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science. I spent the next weekend reading, plowing through all three books in two days. The next Monday, I was down at the Org again, signing up for the Communications Course, a week long course to teach you how to communicate better. I certainly wanted to do that – I had always considered myself to be shy, awkward around girls, hesitant to speak up in a group. If I could get more confident, that would be great.

The course consisted of "TRs" or Training Regimens, a series of drills, we were told, that were used to train Scientology auditors. The drills were printed on long foolscap pages in red ink, with an impressive heading stating they were "Technical Bulletins." We weren’t just studying someone’s vague theories, no – this was a technology. It was scientific. We drilled and drilled, and I was exhilarated to find myself talking easily to my "twin" (drill partner) – a very pretty girl.

At one point, a feeling of peace came over me, and I seemed to be outside my body. When I told the Supervisor about this I was told that yes, this is a usual experience in Scientology, called "exteriorization." You are not your body, I was told, and as you gain more and more awareness through Scientology, you gain the ability to leave and return to your body at will.

Wow. Leaving your body. I went to the bookstore again, this time looking for something wilder. I saw a book on the top shelf called A History of Man with a picture of a big spiral galaxy on the cover. "I want that one," I said.

"Er..that’s a very advanced book," the Bookstore Officer said. "Maybe you’d like to start with something more basic?"

"No," I replied, "that’s the one I want." I spent the next few days poring through it. Space Opera. Past Lives. It all seemed so amazing – I was completely electrified. At one point, I felt sick and went to the bathroom and threw up. "Wow," I thought, "if a book can cause that effect on me – it must contain some real meat!"

My girlfriend Dixie was less than enthusiastic about Scientology. She didn’t share my enthusiasm and wanted no part of it. Down at the Org they told me about "Suppressive Persons" or "SPs" who didn’t want people to get better and so would try to stop them from pursuing any betterment activity. Maybe my girlfriend was like that, they suggested – maybe she just didn’t want me to get any better. I began to resent Dixie’s criticisms of Scientology – I felt like she was attacking me personally. We began arguing more and more, and finally it came to a head.

"It’s either me or Scientology," she yelled.

"Well, I’m not going to give up Scientology," I told her. "It’s too important.

That was it – she moved out. A few days later she came with her new boyfriend and got her furniture.

But I was too into my new life to get too hung up in it. Many others from the Canyon were getting involved in Scientology, and we started to hang out together.

One weekend, Jerry and I went hiking with some others from the Canyon, climbing up a ravine in back of the houses. One of the girls who was with us, Linda, had trained as a Scientology auditor. Jerry and I got into a swordfight with a couple of old tree branches, and by the end of it, the branches were in splinters and my right hand was covered in blood from a zillion tiny cuts. Linda took me to the stream, washed my hand in the cold water, and then proceeded to do what she called a "touch assist," touching my hand over and over and telling me to "feel her finger." Well, it was a magical moment, enhanced by the fact that Linda was rather pretty and I was enjoying her company and her touch. When she finished, I looked my hand over and couldn’t see a scratch on it. That impressed me.

"How did you do that?" I asked.

She smiled. "That’s Scientology." I determined that I wanted to be an auditor.

That Christmas, my brother Kimball came home from Arizona State University.

"I’ve got something to tell you about!" he said excitedly.

"No, shut up," I said, I’ve got something to tell you that’s more important!"

We went back and forth like this for a few minutes until we realized we were both talking about the same thing - Scientology. He’d been introduced to it by his girlfriend, Cathy Mullins, who worked at the Tempe Scientology "franchise."

He ended up staying in LA, moved into the house with me and began working at the Scientology Org. They could only pay him a few dollars a week, so I ended up supporting him as I was making decent money as a commercial artist. But I figured that was my contribution to "the cause."

And that’s how we started to look at it. As a cause. In April, Martin Luther King was assassinated, and South Central erupted in violence. The Vietnam War was still raging and I was due to be called up for service any day. The anti-war rallies seemed futile – they weren’t going to change anything. We had to get rid of people’s Reactive Minds! Then they would see that war and violence were wrong, that it was not sane. They would become rational and ethical and sane. This was the answer. We had to Clear the Planet.

My brother and I started auditor training on Academy Level 0, which taught you how to audit someone on the subject of communication. To graduate, I had to find someone to audit, so I found a girl who wanted auditing, and ran the processes on her. I was nervous as hell, and I think she was too. At the end she was thrilled with the results, and I was just as pleased. I was on my way.

I had a new girlfriend, Crystal, a beautiful green-eyed blonde. She was part of the crowd that showed up in the Canyon on weekends, wanting to be part of the hippie life. She would come up from Orange County on weekends, and our time together was intense.

Then, midweek, she showed up at my house in a taxi, which I had to pay for. She said that her parents had put her in a mental institution, and she had escaped by climbing a wall. Of course, I had already been instructed by the Scientologists at the Org on the evils of psychiatry, so her story really got me going. With my newfound confidence, I decided to take the bull by the horns, and I drove her back to her parents house in Orange County – Jeff the auditor on a mission of mercy! I sat and talked with her parents for about an hour and finally convinced them to not send her back to the mental institution, but to allow her to study Scientology. I was amazed at my own pluck – I had saved Crystal!

I told my mom I was going to marry Crystal. She gave me a wry look that seemed to encompass all of my crazy girlfriends and romantic notions. "Just wait a while before you make any decisions like that," she wisely advised. On the subject of Scientology, she was reserved but tolerant. "I don’t know anything about it," she told me, "but if you kids are into it, it must be OK."

Finally, the inevitable happened. I received a letter from my Draft Board ordering me to a pre-induction physical examination. I was being drafted into the army.

I was getting auditing at the time, and this came up in my sessions as what they call a "present time problem." My auditor, an older guy I looked up to, tried to calm me down.

"Look," he said, "a pre-induction physical really isn’t a physical examination at all. They’re trying to see if you’ll fit into a group, if you’re a follower who won’t make trouble" He advised me to do the opposite of everything they asked me to do. "If they tell you to have your form in your right hand, have it in your left. And stay away from the other inductees – be a loner. I guarantee you’ll end up in a psych interview."

Handling the "psych," he told me, was a piece of cake. "Just introduce a ‘comm lag’ – a communication lag – into everything you say. When he asks you a question, wait ten or fifteen seconds, then answer him."

Was it really that simple? I went to the physical exam, shaking with nervousness, and followed his advice. Amazingly, I did end up being interviewed by a shrink, and even more amazingly, walked out with a temporary deferment. I was elated.

But it was only temporary – my auditor advised me to take the "Minister’s Course" and get ordained as soon as possible.

I started volunteering down at the Org what I wasn’t on course. I had started receiving their magazines, which were very poorly designed and laid out. I thought since I was a commercial artist, I could help them to make it look better. I went down one evening and the Dissemination Secretary took me into a back room where there was a drawing board. He pulled out some sheets of photo paper.

"These are the ‘shooting boards’ that we receive from World Wide," he told me. "We just fill in the local information."

Right away I could see that was where the problem was. The "shooting boards" (which was what they called the camera-ready layouts) were very poorly done. I began to think that to really contribute, I would have to go there.

"What’s World Wide?" I asked.

"That’s the world headquarters of Scientology," he explained. "It’s located at Saint Hill Manor in England."

Wow, England, I thought. That would be a cool place to live. I had traveled throughout Europe as a student and had loved England.

Kim and I started talking over the idea, and the more we talked about it, the more we wanted to go. To be at the center of Scientology, to live in England, to be able to do design work for them – that had to be the best of all possible worlds. And to be far away from my draft board. Jerry got excited about the idea, and his friend Zane wanted to come too. It was the future, and it was good.

We started selling off or giving away everything we owned, and packing up what little we would need for our new life. I said goodbye to Crystal and we made vague plans for her to join me later. I put together a portfolio of my design work to show the people in England. And by mid-June, 1968, the four of us were boarding a plane at LAX, bound for London.
Chapter Two - The Canyon

http://counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/2008/04/chapter-two-canyon.html

"Man, wait till you hear about this!"

Jerry, his mop of red hair flying, burst in on my quiet Sunday afternoon.

"Hear about what?’ I asked, looking up from my book. I was lounging in my favorite piece of furniture, an old barber’s chair from the 1920’s that I’d found at an antique store and installed in my living room. It had a padded leather seat and fancy grillwork, and, by pushing a few levers, one could adjust it to a reclining position. I uncoiled myself from the chair.

I’d known Jerry since we were kids. Now I was living with his sister, Dixie, and we let Jerry live in the spare bedroom of our rented house in Sierra Madre Canyon. With Jerry around, life was never dull, and today was no exception.

"Scientology," said Jerry. "I was just over at Doug’s house, and there were a couple of guys up from LA talking about it."

It was the first time I’d ever heard the word.

It was fall, 1967. Fresh out of art school, I was striking out on my own at last, working in LA as a commercial artist and renting a house in The Canyon, a quirky, colorful collection of tiny summer houses tucked up in the foothills about 30 miles northeast of LA. A stream ran through the Canyon in a concrete wash, and it was spanned by wooden footbridges. This was home to a motley collection of artists, intellectuals, and nonconformists, and over the last few years had seen an invasion of long-haired kids – hippies. I enjoyed the freewheeling friendliness of Canyon life.

My mother lived just a few minutes away in suburban Arcadia, and I visited her often. She had been widowed since 1960, and was now all alone as both my brother and sister were away at college.

The Summer of Love had come and gone, and the dream of peace and love had, for me, started to get a bit stale. I was prime draft age, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I was called up and sent to Vietnam.

I was very much involved in the anti-war movement. When Lyndon Johnson came to LA and stayed at the Century Plaza Hotel, I joined about 20,000 others in an anti-war demonstration outside the hotel. We were met by thousands of LA cops, who waded in to the demonstrators, striking anyone they could reach with their clubs. I remember seeing one young girl, she couldn’t have been more than twelve, with blood streaming down her face. Jerry, enraged, had picked up an unopened soda can and was about to launch it at the nearest cop when I grabbed his arm and held him back. More violence wasn’t the answer.

But what was the answer? It wasn’t drugs - I had given them up six months earlier, after a bad acid trip. That was a dead-end street. I was looking for another answer, and weekends like this one would often find me poring over books on yoga, meditation, psychocybernetics, hypnotism, anything I could get my hands on. Like most of the kids in the Canyon, I was looking for something. So Jerry had my attention.

"So what is Scientology?" I asked. "What were they saying about it?"

"They said it’s scientific," Jerry tried to explain. "It’s a sort of scientific way to reach spiritual enlightenment. They said that they had a way to clear away the things that keep you from your potentials."

Jerry’s enthusiasm, as usual, was infectious. We decided to go down to the "Scientology place" in LA the next night and check it out.

The "Org," short for Organization – we would soon get familiar with all the jargon - was down on 9th Street, near McArthur Park, in a big old house. As we entered the lobby, I saw it was packed with people, talking, laughing, smiling. And what amazed me was that they were all ages and types. Old grey haired people talking animatedly with young long-haired kids. The "generation gap" seemed to be suspended.

The Los Angeles Org on 9th Street

The lecture hall was large, and there were about 100 people in the audience. Jerry and I found seats in the back. A young man with dark hair and movie-star good looks came out and introduced himself as Seaton Thomas, and proceeded to give us a lecture about Scientology. He was an electrifying speaker – intense, funny, eloquent. He talked about a part of the mind called the Reactive Mind, which stores up all of the painful things that happen to you, and then throws them back at you at moments of stress, causing you to think and do things you don’t want to – to "not be yourself."

He interrupted the lecture in several places to show a black and white film of the Founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. Hubbard seemed to be a pleasant guy, humorous and outspoken. He was a colorful character – the lecturer told us he’d been an explorer, a sailor, he’d led expeditions and studied many different races. Of course this was many years before Indiana Jones, but he seemed to have some of that aura of maverick panache. And he seemed to be a bit of an anti-establishment rebel, something that, of course, appealed to me. Everyone referred to him as "Ron."

Seaton ended by describing the State of Clear – what a person would be like without the Reactive Mind – vibrant, sane, intelligent, rational, dynamic. He seemed to fix each one of us with his electric gaze as he concluded the lecture:

"I’m Clear. You can be too."

I was hooked. I headed straight for the bookstore. I bought three of Hubbard’s books, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, The Problems of Work, and Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science. I spent the next weekend reading, plowing through all three books in two days. The next Monday, I was down at the Org again, signing up for the Communications Course, a week long course to teach you how to communicate better. I certainly wanted to do that – I had always considered myself to be shy, awkward around girls, hesitant to speak up in a group. If I could get more confident, that would be great.

The course consisted of "TRs" or Training Regimens, a series of drills, we were told, that were used to train Scientology auditors. The drills were printed on long foolscap pages in red ink, with an impressive heading stating they were "Technical Bulletins." We weren’t just studying someone’s vague theories, no – this was a technology. It was scientific. We drilled and drilled, and I was exhilarated to find myself talking easily to my "twin" (drill partner) – a very pretty girl.

At one point, a feeling of peace came over me, and I seemed to be outside my body. When I told the Supervisor about this I was told that yes, this is a usual experience in Scientology, called "exteriorization." You are not your body, I was told, and as you gain more and more awareness through Scientology, you gain the ability to leave and return to your body at will.

Wow. Leaving your body. I went to the bookstore again, this time looking for something wilder. I saw a book on the top shelf called A History of Man with a picture of a big spiral galaxy on the cover. "I want that one," I said.

"Er..that’s a very advanced book," the Bookstore Officer said. "Maybe you’d like to start with something more basic?"

"No," I replied, "that’s the one I want." I spent the next few days poring through it. Space Opera. Past Lives. It all seemed so amazing – I was completely electrified. At one point, I felt sick and went to the bathroom and threw up. "Wow," I thought, "if a book can cause that effect on me – it must contain some real meat!"

My girlfriend Dixie was less than enthusiastic about Scientology. She didn’t share my enthusiasm and wanted no part of it. Down at the Org they told me about "Suppressive Persons" or "SPs" who didn’t want people to get better and so would try to stop them from pursuing any betterment activity. Maybe my girlfriend was like that, they suggested – maybe she just didn’t want me to get any better. I began to resent Dixie’s criticisms of Scientology – I felt like she was attacking me personally. We began arguing more and more, and finally it came to a head.

"It’s either me or Scientology," she yelled.

"Well, I’m not going to give up Scientology," I told her. "It’s too important.

That was it – she moved out. A few days later she came with her new boyfriend and got her furniture.

But I was too into my new life to get too hung up in it. Many others from the Canyon were getting involved in Scientology, and we started to hang out together.

One weekend, Jerry and I went hiking with some others from the Canyon, climbing up a ravine in back of the houses. One of the girls who was with us, Linda, had trained as a Scientology auditor. Jerry and I got into a swordfight with a couple of old tree branches, and by the end of it, the branches were in splinters and my right hand was covered in blood from a zillion tiny cuts. Linda took me to the stream, washed my hand in the cold water, and then proceeded to do what she called a "touch assist," touching my hand over and over and telling me to "feel her finger." Well, it was a magical moment, enhanced by the fact that Linda was rather pretty and I was enjoying her company and her touch. When she finished, I looked my hand over and couldn’t see a scratch on it. That impressed me.

"How did you do that?" I asked.

She smiled. "That’s Scientology." I determined that I wanted to be an auditor.

That Christmas, my brother Kimball came home from Arizona State University.

"I’ve got something to tell you about!" he said excitedly.

"No, shut up," I said, I’ve got something to tell you that’s more important!"

We went back and forth like this for a few minutes until we realized we were both talking about the same thing - Scientology. He’d been introduced to it by his girlfriend, Cathy Mullins, who worked at the Tempe Scientology "franchise."

He ended up staying in LA, moved into the house with me and began working at the Scientology Org. They could only pay him a few dollars a week, so I ended up supporting him as I was making decent money as a commercial artist. But I figured that was my contribution to "the cause."

And that’s how we started to look at it. As a cause. In April, Martin Luther King was assassinated, and South Central erupted in violence. The Vietnam War was still raging and I was due to be called up for service any day. The anti-war rallies seemed futile – they weren’t going to change anything. We had to get rid of people’s Reactive Minds! Then they would see that war and violence were wrong, that it was not sane. They would become rational and ethical and sane. This was the answer. We had to Clear the Planet.

My brother and I started auditor training on Academy Level 0, which taught you how to audit someone on the subject of communication. To graduate, I had to find someone to audit, so I found a girl who wanted auditing, and ran the processes on her. I was nervous as hell, and I think she was too. At the end she was thrilled with the results, and I was just as pleased. I was on my way.

I had a new girlfriend, Crystal, a beautiful green-eyed blonde. She was part of the crowd that showed up in the Canyon on weekends, wanting to be part of the hippie life. She would come up from Orange County on weekends, and our time together was intense.

Then, midweek, she showed up at my house in a taxi, which I had to pay for. She said that her parents had put her in a mental institution, and she had escaped by climbing a wall. Of course, I had already been instructed by the Scientologists at the Org on the evils of psychiatry, so her story really got me going. With my newfound confidence, I decided to take the bull by the horns, and I drove her back to her parents house in Orange County – Jeff the auditor on a mission of mercy! I sat and talked with her parents for about an hour and finally convinced them to not send her back to the mental institution, but to allow her to study Scientology. I was amazed at my own pluck – I had saved Crystal!

I told my mom I was going to marry Crystal. She gave me a wry look that seemed to encompass all of my crazy girlfriends and romantic notions. "Just wait a while before you make any decisions like that," she wisely advised. On the subject of Scientology, she was reserved but tolerant. "I don’t know anything about it," she told me, "but if you kids are into it, it must be OK."

Finally, the inevitable happened. I received a letter from my Draft Board ordering me to a pre-induction physical examination. I was being drafted into the army.

I was getting auditing at the time, and this came up in my sessions as what they call a "present time problem." My auditor, an older guy I looked up to, tried to calm me down.

"Look," he said, "a pre-induction physical really isn’t a physical examination at all. They’re trying to see if you’ll fit into a group, if you’re a follower who won’t make trouble" He advised me to do the opposite of everything they asked me to do. "If they tell you to have your form in your right hand, have it in your left. And stay away from the other inductees – be a loner. I guarantee you’ll end up in a psych interview."

Handling the "psych," he told me, was a piece of cake. "Just introduce a ‘comm lag’ – a communication lag – into everything you say. When he asks you a question, wait ten or fifteen seconds, then answer him."

Was it really that simple? I went to the physical exam, shaking with nervousness, and followed his advice. Amazingly, I did end up being interviewed by a shrink, and even more amazingly, walked out with a temporary deferment. I was elated.

But it was only temporary – my auditor advised me to take the "Minister’s Course" and get ordained as soon as possible.

I started volunteering down at the Org what I wasn’t on course. I had started receiving their magazines, which were very poorly designed and laid out. I thought since I was a commercial artist, I could help them to make it look better. I went down one evening and the Dissemination Secretary took me into a back room where there was a drawing board. He pulled out some sheets of photo paper.

"These are the ‘shooting boards’ that we receive from World Wide," he told me. "We just fill in the local information."

Right away I could see that was where the problem was. The "shooting boards" (which was what they called the camera-ready layouts) were very poorly done. I began to think that to really contribute, I would have to go there.

"What’s World Wide?" I asked.

"That’s the world headquarters of Scientology," he explained. "It’s located at Saint Hill Manor in England."

Wow, England, I thought. That would be a cool place to live. I had traveled throughout Europe as a student and had loved England.

Kim and I started talking over the idea, and the more we talked about it, the more we wanted to go. To be at the center of Scientology, to live in England, to be able to do design work for them – that had to be the best of all possible worlds. And to be far away from my draft board. Jerry got excited about the idea, and his friend Zane wanted to come too. It was the future, and it was good.

We started selling off or giving away everything we owned, and packing up what little we would need for our new life. I said goodbye to Crystal and we made vague plans for her to join me later. I put together a portfolio of my design work to show the people in England. And by mid-June, 1968, the four of us were boarding a plane at LAX, bound for London.
I asked Jeff if I could post his amazing story here. It's from his website : http://counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/2008/04/chapter-one-going-home.html

His experience is vast and I feel the more people that read it, the better. See his site for the photos that go with the story too. The chapters are long, apologies for the scrollers and I will update as new chapters are published. Thankyou Jeff! :)

Grab a coffee and settle in for a good read....
_______________

Chapter One - Going Home


I woke up in the dark, the grim reality of my life seeping into my consciousness like a poison. Around me, I could sense the forms huddled on rough-hewn makeshift bunk beds, softly breathing. I could feel the mass of them around me, vaguely see their clothes and towels hanging from the bunks, smell the unwashed bodies.

I couldn’t sit up, as I would hit my head on the bunk close above me, so I slid silently out of bed. The others had their own work schedule, getting up an hour after I did and returning after I was asleep. That was fine with me - I had developed a taste for solitude.

There were six of us sleeping in the tiny room. No closets, just one chair, a desk, and a broken down dresser. I found my jeans and a clean T-shirt where I had left them, neatly folded on top of the dresser, ready for morning. I pulled on thick socks and my big workboots, and found my heavy hooded coat under the bunk bed, where I’d stashed it. I shook it out to dislodge any spiders - what we lacked in storage space we seemed to make up for in insects. I dressed quietly in the dark and went out into the hall and down the creaking staircase. The old house was dark and quiet, except for the squish of my steps as I went down the stairs, still damp from last night’s rainfall. The stairs were cluttered with every bucket and pan I had been able to find, each now full of water, with the ceiling still sporadically dripping.

It was March in the high desert, and the nights were still bitterly cold. Outside, a feeble light was starting to break through the cloud cover. I could see the black tangled silhouettes of trees against the grey dawn, and the long, matted dry grass that surrounded the house. Somewhere, I could hear a few birds starting to wake up.

The house was called Old Gilman House, or “OGH” - a big two-story ramshackle house built in the 1920’s. Decrepit beyond repair, it now served as a detention center for those of us beyond redemption, the “non-persons” slated for “offload” from the Church of Scientology’s Sea Organization. The three or four acre compound surrounding the house was completely surrounded by a razor wire fence, with lights and motion sensors every few feet. Aside from the five buildings on the property, there were several storage trailers. Security cameras and round-the clock guards kept an eye on us to make sure we didn’t try to escape.

The OGH compound was at the northeastern corner of a 200-acre property in San Jacinto, California, known to the locals as “Golden Era Productions,” but known by its staff as the “Int Base” – the international headquarters of the Church of Scientology, where I had worked for the past fifteen years. And now it was my prison.

Karsten, the night Security Guard, was on the porch. He gave me a nod as I came out. A hawk-faced German with short, close-cropped blond hair, Karsten kept watch during the night and handed out the work orders in the morning.

“I found these in your room yesterday,” he said, reaching into a box and producing two magazines, a Newsweek and an Entertainment Weekly, several months old. “Why do you read such trash” he asked me, in his thick German accent. “So you can masturbate to the pictures?” He indicated the photograph of a pretty actress on the cover.

“I like to know what’s going on in the world,” I replied. The outside world I’ll soon be a part of.

“I don’t need to know what’s going on,” he replied. “All I need to know is that it’s bad out there in the wog world and Scientology has the solutions. That’s what L. Ron Hubbard says and that’s all I need to know. People laugh at me because I don’t know who the President of the United States is,” he added. “I don’t need to know that.” He threw the magazines back in the box. “You don’t need this garbage.”

Karsten was in many ways the “ideal” Sea Org worker. He lived in a small room on the OGH compound with a single cot and no visible possessions. He wore the same faded brown Security uniform every day, which he would carefully wash in a broken-down washing machine in a back room of the Gilman House. Every time the machine went on its spin cycle it would shake the old building like a passing freight train. Karsten wasn’t married and seemingly had no interest in women. The only thing I ever saw him read was a folded piece of paper he carried in his pocket with the Scientology Axioms printed on it, which he would pore over for hours, his lips moving slightly as he struggled to memorize them.

Karsten gave me the work order for the day, clearing brush around the perimeter fence, and I left the porch. Around the Old Gilman House were a group of run-down, one-story buildings that served as staff housing. Most of the Base staff lived in Hemet, at an apartment complex rented by the Church. But some senior staff were not allowed to live in town so were required to live on the Base in these houses. Behind one of these was a lean-to shack, crammed with staff luggage and belongings, and, in the back, an old refrigerator, where I found some granola and yogurt, which I ate out of a Styrofoam cup. I washed out the cup and put it back on top of the refrigerator for future use.

Picking up a shovel and rake from the tool shed, I headed for the perimeter fence. I liked to be out and working well before any of the “regular staff” got up. I was, after all, a criminal, an “untouchable.” Weeks ago, early in my incarceration, I had made the mistake of taking a shower in the morning in one of the staff houses, the only house with a shower or bath, and, coming out, ran into a woman who then screamed at me and ordered me to clean the bathroom from top to bottom with alcohol before she would deign to use it. “You are filth!” she screamed in my face.

The encounter left me stinging with shame and humiliation. In the eyes of the other staff I was a degraded criminal. Hubbard said that people only want to leave the Sea Organization because they have crimes, so it was important to prove me a criminal and prove Hubbard right. In my daily Security Checks, I would sit for hours, holding on to the “cans” of the e-meter, while an auditor asked me over and over about what crimes I had, what were my evil acts. It went on and on. I just wanted it to be over, so I confessed to anything – treasonous thoughts, hidden vices, secret hatreds. And all of it was then announced publicly at staff “musters” – more and more proof of my criminality and my unworthiness to be a part of the “elite” Sea Organization.

Once, I would have burned with righteous anger. I would have challenged every accusation, demanded to be heard, demanded justice. But no more. I was done, finished. I felt hollow, emptied out. I had reached the end of the line. After 35 years working for the Church of Scientology, I had become an untouchable, a non-person, a Suppressive Person scheduled for “offload.” You are filth.

So I avoided other staff; lived in my own world, a sort of hurricane’s eye, my calm refuge in the midst of the chaos around me. Now I showered at dinnertime, when no one was around. Mornings, it was straight to work. There, clearing brush, clearing away dead trees, carting away rubbish, I could just be alone, and think.

It wasn’t being kicked out of Scientology into the outside world that frightened me, even though I had no idea where I would go, or what I would do. My greatest fear, my greatest nightmare, was being suddenly called back to duty. It had happened three times before. I had been banished, “offloaded” to a distant work camp, never to return, only to be mysteriously and inexplicably brought back, seemingly because they could not find anyone else to do the work I was skilled at. Three times. Back from exile to the hell of life at the Int Base – the sleepless nights, the threats, the intimidation, the bullying, the beatings, the degradation. The stuff of nightmares.

No more. I wasn’t going back. Not ever.

Late one night, about three in the morning, I had been rousted out of my narrow bunk bed by one of the Security Guards, Matt, who was acting as my “handler.” He took me to a room in the old house for an interview. It was lit by a bare bulb and reeking of mildewed carpet from the leaks in the roof. There were no chairs, so we stood.

“So, how are you doing?” he asked me, in a casual tone that belied his true intent. “Have you made any progress on your Conditions?” The “Conditions” were Hubbard’s coded, rote formulas for dealing with situations in life. During the evenings, I was supposed to be “working on my conditions,” applying the formulas for “Treason” and “Enemy” so I could work back into the group’s good graces. I knew he hadn’t woken me up in the middle of the night to make small talk. I’d been through this before – the inquiries about one’s “progress” meant only one thing - he had been sent by some executive to find out if I was “ready to go back on post.” I think he expected me to be remorseful, chastened, propitiative, ready to go back and serve the cause again.

“I’m not doing any conditions,” I replied.

I might as well have slapped him. He was silent for a moment, absorbing my treasonous statement. “If I was you,” he warned me, “I’d be begging on my knees to be sent to the RPF.”

I’d never been sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force, but I’d worked with them daily during one of my forced exiles from the Base. It was a group of probably 150 to 200 people, all working in the lower reaches of the “Big Blue Building” in Los Angeles, and all dressed in identical grey T-shirts and black jeans. Out of sight of the public Scientologists, they lived and worked in the basement corridors, sleeping in squalid dormitories, packed 20 or 30 to a room. They worked in the wood shop every day, making furniture for the “orgs” – the Scientology Organizations. They received a few dollars a week pocket money, if that, and were not allowed to speak to anyone outside the group. No phone calls, no radios, no magazines, no internet, no contact with the outside world. They never left the building. Some of them, like my friend Caroline, had been there for three years or more. It was a virtual slave colony.

“I’m not going to the RPF,” I told Matt “And I’m not going back on post.”

“Then you’ll be offloaded out of the Sea Organization,” he told me. “Out of Scientology. You’ll be declared Suppressive.”

“Fine,” I told him. “Then do it.”

Now, as I methodically cleared the brush around the perimeter fence, I had plenty of time to think about the future. The brush was thick, and I tore it out by the handfuls, piling it up and carting it off to a compost pile. It was important to clear a wide swath next to the fence so the Security Guards on motorcycles - the “Rovers” - would have good visibility and could race along the perimeter to intercept any breach in the fence – in or out. I had to be careful not to set off the motion sensors. Once I had inadvertently touched the fence with a tree branch and soon heard the roar of a motorcycle as the “Rover” came to see what was up.

The mindless work was my sanctuary. I relished my solitary hours. After months of sleepless nights and constant abuse, to just be alone in nature, with no one else around, was calming. I became interested in every detail of my little world. Once, after I’d taken down a small tree that was too near the security fence, I was looking at the cross-section of the trunk and saw that the pattern of rings was beautiful. I took my saw and sliced off a thin section of the trunk and kept it. I still have it to this day.

One day I was weeding one of the garden patches and discovered a nest of baby rabbits. They were so amazing, so small. That night in the dormitory I violated my rule of silence and mentioned the baby rabbits I’d seen. One of my fellow inmates, Darius, became incensed.

“Here we are about to be offloaded from the Sea Organization," he wailed, "and all you can talk about is baby rabbits?” Darius was desperate not to be offloaded – his father, Greg Wilhere – was a top exec. He spent his evenings writing petitions to be allowed to stay. But I was in a different place. In my mind I was already gone. And other things were important to me now – the cross-section patterns in a tree, a nest of baby rabbits, the wheel of the stars at night, the way the sun bathes the hills in warm light in the morning.

A line from the Janis Joplin Song, “Me and Bobby McGee,” kept going through my mind. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. It was true. I had nothing left to lose. They had taken it all. So there was nothing more they could threaten me with, hold over my head. They no longer had any power over me, and, in an odd way, I was free of them at last.

I looked out across the valley. The OGH compound was on a slight rise, at the bottom of the foothills that rise north of the Base. I could see all the way to the highway that wound down out of Lamb’s Canyon. In the dawn light I could see headlights, and I thought about being out there, driving up that road, going anywhere, anywhere but here. A thought formed in my mind: I want to go home.

But where was home? I had worked for the Church of Scientology for 35 years, since 1968. I had been all over the world – Edinburgh, Copenhagen, North Africa, the Caribbean, Florida. My mother, who lived in Santa Barbara, had passed away in 1999. I had lost contact with my daughter and didn’t know where she was. My brother was my only living relative. And I wouldn’t be able to talk to him, as he was still in Scientology, a “public Scientologist” receiving Scientology services. According to Scientology’s disconnection policy, as a “Suppressive Person,” I was forbidden to talk to him.

And my wife Cathy? She was lost to me forever. She would remain in the Sea Org. She had stood by me through three previous offloads from the Base, believed in me despite constant pressure to leave me. But this time it was too much. I was being offloaded from Scientology, a Suppressive Person. She gave in to the pressure finally and filed for divorce. Or so I was told. One day the Security Guards showed up with the divorce papers, and made me sign them. Maybe she’s been coerced to sign as well. But what else could she do? The last night we spent together, before I was sent out to the OGH compound, we had held hands in the darkness, knowing what was coming, looking at the emptiness ahead, the loneliness. I hadn’t spoken to her since.

I chopped away at the weeds, blinking back tears.

I want to go home.
 

IWantOffThisTrain

Eternal Optimist
I don't know how many times I have read Jeff's story but I do know it's been far too long since I have read it. I get mad, I laugh and I cry when I read it and oddly my emotional response seems to be different each time I read it but the one constant is the feeling of hope that washes over me at the end. By leaving Scientology he found something greater, he holds out hope and a hand for those still in.

This really should be mandatory reading for anyone dealing with a cult, cos or whatever.
 

Dotey OT

Cyclops Duck of the North - BEWARE
I ordered the book and paid for it back on April 22, but haven't heard a word. I have emailed to the email given and haven't heard a word, several times. I tried calling the number given and it is not the number for Hawkeye Publishing. Before I go to the trouble of disputing the payment with Paypal, does anyone have a suggestion on how I can handle this?
 

Gib

Crusader
I ordered the book and paid for it back on April 22, but haven't heard a word. I have emailed to the email given and haven't heard a word, several times. I tried calling the number given and it is not the number for Hawkeye Publishing. Before I go to the trouble of disputing the payment with Paypal, does anyone have a suggestion on how I can handle this?
depends on who you ordered thru, was it Amazon or directly from Jefferson Hawkins website, which is not "Hawkeye Publishing"?

This is Jefferson's website:

http://counterfeitdreams.com/
 

Jenyfurrr

Patron
This thread needs another bumping ... it's a brilliantly written ex-staff story that really tells it like it is (by Jeff Hawkins).

I had started to read this back when I first starting reading here and some other places in 2013. It was compelling but still so surreal. Seeing you bump the thread reminded me how I’d always wanted to go back and reread after understanding more. Wow - this is truly one of THE books everyone should read! Def going to buy 2 copies... one for me then one to loan or give away, BOTH to show continued support. Have a feeling I’ll be replacing that 2nd one fairly often, as this is great!
 

Gib

Crusader
Jeff Hawkins website has [email protected]. He responded by email, still no book but I'm hopeful.

Anything that you do know that is correct? LOL!
ok, sorry, just trying to help. I read his book online for free many years ago before he decided to monetize it. I already know the truth about Hubbard, dianetics and scientology so I myself have no reason to buy any books.

The truth is found here on ESMB. Bluntly, no clears or OT's.
 
Chapter 12 continued.....

The expansion plans for the Base were massive. One of my earliest "Renos" jobs was working as part of a team to make a scale model of what the Base was going to look like when finished. We worked from topographical maps and architectural blueprints for accuracy, and ended up with a model about four by six feet. It looked amazing – there were to be buildings for Gold, RTC and CMO International, a big manor house for LRH (for his return!), a film lab, four apartment buildings for staff, access tunnels under the road, and a huge sound stage shaped like a Scottish castle!

MCI, the staff cafeteria, was already under renovation, and so for a few months we ate our meals on the south lawn under a big, windy tent. The crunch of sand in our food became a familiar sensation.

The first new building was to be a big three-story office building on the south side to house the Gold administrative areas and manufacturing facilities – E-Meter manufacturing, audio reproduction (Hubbard’s lectures on cassette), and shipping. Soon we saw the foundations appear and the huge building started to take shape.

Despite the grueling schedule, Nancy and I still managed to get a bit of time off now and then – a "liberty" every second week if our "stats were up." Nancy’s family sent her money to buy a car, and with that and a trade in of the Honda, we managed to get a Mazda RX-7, a car we loved. When we managed to get a day off, it was fun to bomb around in our little sports car. We explored Idyllwild, a mountain resort town in the nearby San Jacinto mountains, and went shopping in Palm Springs.

Every Sunday morning, we had until noon to clean our apartment, do laundry, and do some shopping in Hemet – usually at the Wal-Mart. This Sunday morning personal cleaning time was called "CSP," an acronym for "Clean Ship Program," after the original program on the Apollo that had instituted the weekly cleaning time. We had a phone in our apartment and I’d call Mom every Sunday morning.

Nancy worked in the Marketing Execution area, and was responsible for executing the Scientology Campaign that we had devised in LA. The Dianetics Campaign was being run by Caroline Mustard. We weren’t doing car racing anymore, but Bill wasn’t done with sports sponsorships yet. He had hatched a scheme for Dianetics to sponsor Ted Turner’s 1990 Goodwill Games. The Goodwill Games had been devised by Turner in response to the politics and boycotts surrounding the 1980 and 1984 Olympics. The first Goodwill Games had been held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1986, and Turner had scheduled the second for the summer of 1990. Through our Media Director, Jan Gildersleeve, a sponsorship was arranged.

A new Sea Org recruit was brought in to supervise the effort, Gabrielle Allen. Gab was an attractive lady who had attained the highest OT Level, OT VIII, as a Scientology public. She had been part of the effort to get Dianetics released in both Russia and China, and was seen as something of a PR whiz. Recruiting Gabrielle was considered a feather in CMU’s cap. She began extensive preparations to make the most of the Dianetics sponsorship.

Bill didn’t wait around to see this sponsorship come to fruition. In early 1990, he "blew" – the Sea Org term for someone who just up and leaves – jumps the fence. Ronnie Miscavige, Marketing Executive International and Bill’s senior, called me to his office and said I would have to take over as CO CMU.

I had no burning desire to do so. Having seen and experienced the mindset of the Base, I knew that I would be right in the epicenter of the top-heavy micromanagement. But Ronnie informed me that Bill had been "recovered," which means they had located him and brought him back to the Base. Ronnie said he wanted to put Bill back on as CO CMU, but not until he was "cleaned up." Bill had been assigned to menial work – "mest work" it was called, from the Scientology acronym for matter-energy-space-time. He was put on maintenance of the grounds. It was expected that his cleanup might take a year, and Ronnie asked me to hold the post until then. I reluctantly agreed.

Bill had gotten off easy. Anyone else would have been assigned to the Rehabilitation Project Force, the RPF, but Bill was a favorite of the Miscaviges. He was given an easy second chance. I began to see that the application of discipline on the Base had everything to do with whether or not you were in David Miscavige’s good or bad books.

There was no question as to who was running the Base and, by extension, international Scientology. Miscavige presided at management meetings, issued a constant stream of orders, and roamed the Base with an entourage of executives, barking out commands. His only erstwhile rival, Pat Broeker, had mysteriously disappeared several years earlier, and was never spoken of. Following Hubbard’s death, we had assumed that the Broekers would be taking over Scientology. After all, an issue had appeared, supposedly written by Hubbard just before his death, naming Pat and Annie Broeker "Loyal Officers" and, seemingly, his heirs apparent. But in April of 1988, Miscavige had suddenly and mysteriously cancelled the issue, saying it had been forged by Broeker and hadn’t been written by Hubbard after all. No replacement issue from Hubbard was forthcoming to clarify succession – and Miscavige assumed control. Pat Broeker was never seen again. Annie Broeker, now using her maiden name, Tidman, resurfaced, quiet and chastened. She took over as the CO of the "Commodore’s Messenger Org Gold," a special unit of the CMO that supervised Golden Era Productions.

As CO CMU, frequent meetings became part of my routine. Some were presided over by Miscavige, others were not. A key meeting was called "ICC," or International Coordinating Committee. It was composed of the senior execs of CMO International, known as the "Watchdog Committee," and the Senior Executive Strata under ED Int. Too often, these just became a series of demands for things needed from CMU. I would leave each meeting with a long list of things needed by each executive, and knowing there was no way I could get it all done with the existing staff. We had grown slightly, to about 30 people, but were still far short of the 54 we had in LA. And we were doing about ten times the work.

My least favorite meeting, however, was the Int Base Financial Planning Committee, which was to me like going for a three-hour root canal. I hated finance, long meetings and internal politics, and this was a heady dose of all three. It was attended by the heads of various Base Units who relied on Sea Org Collections for funding. Sea Org Collections worked like this: every Scientology Organization in the world would send the bulk of their local income to their Continental Office, keeping only enough to barely cover their weekly operating expenses. The Continental Office then forwarded the funds to the International Finance Office. The bulk of that money went directly into Sea Org Reserves and was untouchable by mere mortals. A portion of it came to the Int Base FP Committee to support the Base organizations. Golden Era Productions was expected to make its own way through the sale of Hubbard’s taped lectures and E-Meters, but all the other units vied for a portion of this SO Collections amount. The main two contenders were Central Marketing and the Office of Special Affairs. OSA was the reincarnation of the old Guardian’s Office, responsible for public relations, legal, and some shadowy intelligence and covert operations functions. They came every week with huge demands for funds for attorneys and private investigators. We were getting maybe $500,000 a week to the Int FP, and OSA’s demands would often take most of that. When it came to a showdown, OSA simply claimed their expenses were "vital to the survival of the Church." End of discussion.

All of which meant less and less funding for the Dianetics Campaign. It was down to half of its earlier budget, with most of that going to promotion for the upcoming Goodwill Games, rather than for what I considered standard promotional actions. Even our TV ads were centered on the Goodwill Games. We had filmed an ad with an Olympic gymnast, Charles Lakes, who was a Scientologist, and had started airing that, promoting the book and the sponsorship. But sales continued to plummet. Much as I might have liked to get out of that sponsorship and back to mainline bookselling, we were committed.

In the middle of 1990, I flew up to Seattle for the opening of the Goodwill Games. Gabrielle had been up there for a week with a team of PRs preparing for the events. When I saw how big the event was, and how little visibility there really was for Dianetics on the ground, I was shocked. Dianetics was almost invisible except for a few banners dwarfed by the venues and by other advertising. We had some receptions for key people from the publishing industry – at one of them, John Travolta showed up to sign autographs. But overall it seemed that Dianetics was just another little voice shouting for attention amidst hundreds of advertisers – including some of the very biggest. How were these sports sponsorships ever supposed to sell books?

Meanwhile, the demand was on to develop more "raw public" campaigns. With Hubbard’s book about the Purification Rundown, Clear Body, Clear Mind, being reissued, Miscavige also wanted to be able to announce to the Scientology public (at an event, of course) that there was going to be a big public campaign for the book. We were given the task of creating it. I had a new CMU staff member, Janadair Swanson, assigned as the "Purification Product Manager." I walked her through the creation of the campaign, and we made a television ad for the book. I was still fascinated with computer graphics, and I had an ad made showing a transparent human body morphing into a river and back into a body, showing how the body got polluted with toxins and clean again.

We had a break in that Kirstie Alley agreed to be the spokesperson for the campaign. She liked the Purification Rundown as she had been helped by it. She was starring in "Cheers" and was at the height of her popularity.

Somehow, Janadair misunderstood how Kirstie’s image was to be used. She produced a poster with Kirstie’s face on it, promoting the book, and this went out to the bookstores for the launch. However, when Kirstie saw one in a bookstore, she blew up, claiming that she never approved a poster. Before I knew it, this "flap" had reached Miscavige, and Janadair was hauled off to the RPF. An error like this should have merited some minor discipline, but Janadair was not liked by Miscavige. And there I was, with a new campaign launched, a tiny budget, and no Marketing Manager to run it.

To cope with the campaign and get it going, I took the researcher who had worked on the campaign, Linda Sukkestad, and put her on as Purification Marketing Manager. Linda was one of my original staff from the Strategic Book Marketing Unit. While not brilliant creatively, she was a reliable hard worker.

Within a few weeks, she too was assigned to the RPF on some minor infraction. I objected to Ronnie, but he said there was nothing he could do.

This was too much for me. How could I run a unit when key staff could just be arbitrarily assigned to the RPF on any pretext? And why was it that anyone attempting to run the Purification Campaign was suddenly railroaded into the RPF? How could someone like Dendiu blow the Base and just get a slap on the wrist, while other staff would have the book thrown at them for a minor infraction? It made no sense, and the more I tried to make sense of it, the crazier I got. And there was no one I could talk to about it – any objection would be deemed to be "natter" and would end me up in a Security Check. I ended up losing it completely, screaming and yelling uncontrollably at an RTC staff member who happened to visit my office at the wrong time.

By the time Dendiu was deemed to be "handled" sufficiently to resume post, I was a train wreck. I was tired of fighting to salvage these campaigns that no one else seemed to have the slightest interest in. I was sick of the craziness, the politics, the endless meetings and visits from Programs Operators.

Bill was re-appointed to the CO CMU post, and Ronnie thanked me for doing a good job holding the post in his absence. Bill, however, was not so generous. The minute he reappeared on the scene, the denigration started again. The plummeting Dianetics stats were all because of my inept management. I was a failure. Of course I felt, at that moment, like an utter failure myself, and that didn’t help. I retreated into a shell, wanting nothing more to do with running CMU. Bill could have it.

Coincident with Bill’s return, it was decided that CMU would become a part of Golden Era Productions. In other words, we were going to the bottom of the food chain. When Bill announced the move to CMU staff, there was silence. It didn’t take a genius to see it for what it was – a slap in the face.

The southside office building had been completed, and, in a demonstration of typical Sea Org naming brilliance, was now known as "Building 36." It contained all of the Gold executives, Treasury, the "Hubbard Communications Office (Communications, Personnel and Ethics functions), as well as manufacturing areas for E-Meters and tape duplication.
The earlier plan was for CMU to occupy a floor of the planned Senior Executive Strata building, but with this change, it was decided to put CMU on the third floor of Building 36, a windowless attic space currently occupied by stock shelves. Plans were started to clean out and renovate the place.

There was no question that CMU was being downgraded as a function, squeezed into another organization’s structure, and shunted off to an out-of-the-way attic space. I didn’t know why this was happening, I just knew that it was.

Why did I stay? Many years later, after I had left Scientology, I would ask myself that question. Why did I carry on despite the denigration, the politics, the craziness? But leaving was never an option in my mind. The overall mission, the overall purpose of Scientology that I was dedicated to always loomed largest in my mind. The daily craziness, the long hours, the abuse, all seemed like temporary distractions, minor bumps and potholes in the larger freeway of Scientology’s mission. There had always been abusive, cruel people in Scientology – Doreen Casey, Kerry Gleeson and others. They had faded away. I had endured. Call it stubbornness, bullheadedness, tenacity. I was determined to carry on and achieve the aims of Scientology as I saw them, despite any bastards that got in my way. If I was beaten down, so what? I would lick my wounds for a while and then get up again. I would prevail, and the ultimate mission of Scientology would prevail – a world without insanity, war and crime. We were looking at the sanity and happiness of future generations. Wasn’t that worth a few privations and late nights? Wasn’t that worth a few hard knocks?

So I stayed. "It can’t get any worse," I reasoned.

I would soon find out how wrong that statement was.
It sounds like your sense of ideals in general, and in the ideals of Scientology in particular were very, very strong Jeff! Some of the people who you worked with seemed to have helped you keep your faith. Was your idea something like "the more Scientology succeeds, the less the "a*****es in the organization would need to be a*****es?
 
Top