My Story (Just joined ESMB 2/28


Bardo Tulpa
Yes he was Amanda's son. He was my friend. We'd go into the aft chain locker and sing and play guitar (great natural reverb) I still have a tape of us.
BTW Amanda performed with The Apollo Troupe when she was aboard Apollo during that time. She sang with the Country Band (drummer was Capt. Norman Starkey)
Tom R

He molested a friend of mine's daughter, too.

Where was Tony on the Bridge?


Tony Strawn

Yes he was Amanda's son. He was my friend. We'd go into the aft chain locker and sing and play guitar (great natural reverb) I still have a tape of us.
Tom R


Silver Meritorious Patron
Hi Tom, welcome to this board.

Hello Everyone!

Thank you Emma already, for helping me become a member.

My name is Tom Rodriquez, 57, former SO member.
I was the bongo player in "The Apollo Stars" music group.

I did know LRH personally, spoke with him upon occasion (but not even nearly as much as many of you and others)

I first heard of SCN in 1968, became an SO member in 1971 and routed out of the RPF (as properly required) from Flag in 1981. I was still labeled a "suppressive person" along with everybody else on the infamous list. Oh well.

Since then I have not stepped foot in "Flag" nor in any "Church", "Org" or "Mission" (do they still have Missions?)

I haven't since 1981 and don't presently communicate with any Scientologists of any kind (actively involved or EX). No particular or purposeful reason. I have no ill will towards anyone. I just haven't.
I just discovered this ESMB site last night and I look forward to communicating with you NOW!

I would like to start my story by concluding that, in my opinion, I believe that many of the fundamental principles of SCN are truthful, workable principles, IF, and I emphasize again, IF they are factually understood and applied properly. I also believe that most, if not all, of the problems concerning SCN stem - not from SCN itself - but from it's principles and technology being misunderstood and/or improperly applied or worse intentionally misapplied. SCN gets a bad rap.

I like to use the PANCAKE analogy.
You may not and certainly do not have to agree with anything I say here...but if nothing else is achieved by me here you at least now have a great pancake recipe! LOL

To make pancakes successfully you preheat your griddle, take a cup of pancake flour, an egg, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, 3/4" cup milk, mix the ingredients together, pour the mixture onto the griddle, wait until little bubbles appear in the surface of the pancakes, flip them over until they are nice and lightly brown on both sides and serve them with maple syrup (or whatever topping suits your fancy)

Now I don't care who you are on this Earth: newbie to SCN, ex SCN, whether you are pro or con, love it, hate it, had great experiences, lousy experiences or you are somewhere in between, whether you are OT8 or just reading your first SCN book...if you mess up royally with this recipe...such as you forget the egg, put way too much milk, or much worse put no milk at all or you use red wine instead, you will NOT get delicious pancakes and you or your family will not be happy breakfast campers. GET MY POINT?

I still believe that SCN itself works (it's just that some of it's members don't use properly) and again it works only if it is factually understood and applied correctly. And when I use the term SCN I mean stuff like the basics, such as the ARC Triangle, Communication, the Axioms.
TRUTH is TRUTH no matter what label you put on it.
Buddhism, Christianity, Eckenkar, The Bible, SCN. Title doesn't matter. Just the TRUTH does.

I believe that auditing works. All I can say is that I benefited from it. (Overall)Sorry if you didn't, but
don't worry...I had my share of lousy auditing sessions too!

Many of the green policies and red bulletin technolgies of SCN & Dianetics have just simply been misunderstood and misapplied, whether intentionally or unintentionally throughout the past, what is it?59 years or so...and in my opinion that's the underlying problem.

And all the rantings and ravings and fights and disagreements and injustices and entheta and what have you...THAT is NOT SCN. I would not have nor play any part in that ridiculous nonsense.

My Story
(one of the more "less heavy duty" or perhaps enchanting ones you'll hear of.
Everything is true because I am me and I was there and this is how it went for me)
I hope you enjoy it and if you remember me please say hello!

I first heard of SCN while walking through Central Park, NY in summer of 1968.
Some guy was speaking and a crowd was listening. He mentioned where the Church was located so I went there to check it out. My first impression was alot of people scurrying about. I bought my first book. The Fundamentals of Thought. I liked it. But it wasn't until I returned to Puerto Rico and my stepfather started telling me all about about SCN. He was sitting at a restaurant table, sick to his stomach and a Scientologist approached him and asked him "What's the matter?" That lead to my dad being taken to the mission on Ashford Avenue and that is where I too became a Scientologist.

First thing I thought when I was given a tour and saw the pretty girls was "Oooh , maybe I'll get laid!" (Shows you where my head was at)
So between 1968 and 1971 I was a very active particpant.
I learned to audit Dianetics and was becoming quite good at it too!
I remember one afternoon, after auditing one lady, I entered the pent house open area and shouted with extreme confidence "Who's next?" and one great guy named Teddy Ferguson's eyes lit up and he said "Me! "Me! I was a Gung-Ho member, particpated in putting on shows with popular local singers Chucho Avellente (mispelled I'm sure) and Liz Alvarez. I had alot of fun actually... as well as some really miserable times (haven't we all?), particularly one where the Ethics Officer labeled a lower condition on me (can't remember why) but it really f_ _ked up my head for days.
The mission was run by Dick Dorff.
Dick and I got along pretty well. Once he told me though, laughingly,
"We just can't de-abberate you, can we Tommy" <that kinda bothered me though>

Then the mission from Flag came to recruit SO members.
I was elated. I think I actually exteriorized upon my decision to join.
John Fisher recruited me. For some reason my dad and Dick were really upset with me for joining.
To this day, I don't understand why!
(Nothing I ever did could ever please my ol man anyway, the demeaning bastard)

Went straight to FLAG, April 21st, 1971, Morrocco.
"The Commodore welcomes you aboard" a cute LRH messenger said"
First thought was "For sure I'll get laid here!" Still stuck on the 2D (sex)
Well, needless to say FLAG was NOT what I expected!
Life aboard FLAG back then was pretty rough & tough (if you were there you know what I mean)
My first first time studying: I went up to get a checkout. The guy asked me "What does the word (whatever the word was) mean? And faster then the speed of light, before I even uttered a sound he said FLUNK! Comm Lag.
I think that one single incident screwed up me as a student for the rest of my tenure.

You're not going to believe this...but it's true (and I'm not particularly proud of this either) but for the entire 11 years I was a Sea Org member, I only completed one course and attested to it. I don't even know how to explain how that could have come to pass...but it did.
However, as contradictory as this may sound, I had some of my most incredible a student.
Because I looked up words until I was blue in the face and when I finally understood what I was reading, I would experience a tremendous wonderful feeling of elation and happiness and my needle would be floating. I wrote a study success letter to LRH and implied that a person could 'go Clear" as a student and I proposed it as an LRHED (which he truly did read, because he answered it in his own hand-writing and approved it for publication)
How do I know for sure 100% it was his genuine handwriting?
I worked in the Mimeography & Mimeo Files and saw LRH's handwritten HCOPL's and HCOB's and OODs (Orders of the Day) on a daily basis! I was in charge of maintaining his original writings.

I was truly amazed at how LRH could write an entire document, pages and pages long without a single word scratched out or re-written. One perfect stream of thought! Other times the pages were so full of changes he made and scratched out words and re-written words, it was amazing Sue (the head of the dept.) could decipher and type it. I often helped proof-read them and felt privileged to be one of the first to read them.
Once Yvonne Gillham (CCLA) told me she had never seen such a meticulously kept mimeo files.
LRH complemented me on them too.

Jacob's Mountain - The former mimeo files guy allowed a mountain of copies of various policies, bulletins, OODS, Ethics Orders etc accumulate so high, that the Captain , Norman Starkey, accused me (the new post incumbent) half-jokingly of trying to "sink his ship" with that mountain of paper, plus all the new heavy metal file cabinets I got an approved PO for! (that alone was a miracle) Sooooooo I wrote a petition to Ken Urghardt (LRH's Communicator) to dump the mountain overboard in heavily rock weighted thick industrial Hefty Bags...and so we did, one night, in the middle of the ocean. Shame though, there was enough to fill the mimeo files of every major org in that heap.
What a relief! Guess what, I put in for and got approved and industrial PAPER SHREDDER!
Yeah, now THAT was fun. We named it IGOR!

In all those years I never became an auditor, nor progressed up the bridge very far.
I just didn't, okay. The little auditing I did receive was, as far as I'm concerned (and how I feel is all that matters, right?) overall pretty okay!

My Navigational Post -
We all had to learn a navigational specialty: radar, helmsman, mine was LOOKOUT, high atop the flying bridge! The only higher point was to climb up to the Crow's Nest. (I never did. Chicken I guess)
(hey,It wasn't required anyway) Man, I absolutely LOVED being a Lookout and although I was offered another hat, I wouldn't trade it for nothing else.
Plus I was one of the best on the ship so they let me stay!

Folks, I really don't care whether you are or were a happy Scientologist or SO member or not.
Take a break from all that for a minute. Let me tell you something. Nothing compares to the beauty of seeing a jillion brilliant stars at night in the heavens, while sailing on a calm ocean sea in near pitch black darkness (except for the port and starboard running lights) or the most beautiful of sunsets at dusk and sunrises st dawn, with dolphins leading the vessel (just like in the movie Titanic") and flying fish whizzing by us and sometimes right across the beam.
Or blazing our way through a force 8 storm with waves pounding and pummeling the vessel and spray shooting up right in my face while standing (and sometimes lipping) on that Lookout Tower!
Arrrrrrgh, matey, dem were the days!

We had competitions between the radar and lookouts. Back then radar could spot an approaching vessel as far as 50 miles away. Many times my team spotted them first! Ha Ha!
Pissed the radar guys off.

I had being a Lookout and using the gyroscope compass and searching all 360 degress of the horizon down to a science! 4 guys under me, each with binoculars scanning their 90 degree section , one compass point at a time. We didn't miss a thing. We were responsible for reporting on clouds, wave movements, ships, lights, buoys, flotsam and jetsam and Tom Hanks on a raft (just kidding)

Except, this one time (gulp) We were lost. For real! Lost, in the freaking fog no less.
LRH came up to the bridge screaming "Where is this god damn vessel? (exact words)
Sheeeeeet was I glad I was not the Con of the Watch.
"What are you a bunch of polywogs" LRH screamed. (Now, I felt scared)
I had never heard him scream before like that.

"Please, LRH, don't ask me anything, I thought to myself. LRH held up a short wave radio and turned it slowly until he picked up a radio station rather strongly and, well as you well know, that which you resist you become, so sure enough LRH asks me "Lookout, what is the bearing of this signal?"
Here's my chance to save the day, I think to myself and I reply "223 degrees, Sir! "
"THAT IS NOT RIGHT" LRH said. Man did I feel like a jerk.
Needless to say we got back on course. I didn't know what angle of the radio to take the bearing from. Taking bearings on hand held radios wasn't covered anywhere in the hat write-up!

The Apollo Stars Music Group -
This was my "American Idol" experience.
We're docked in Madiera (where they make Mateus wine) our favorite Christmas port. The town mayor asks this rep from our PR department
"Do you have any musicians on board?" "Sure we do" she says and he invites the musicians to perform Christmas Eve in the town square, THE VERY NEXT NIGHT! Sure we had staff on board who had instruments on board (some never used) and who played with greater or lesser skill.

The Commodore gets wind of what happened and he orders all musicians to the PR lounge. Nine of us show up. We are ordered to get a show together within 24 hours! Only about 4 guys in that room had ever played (jammed) a bit with each other before. I played the bongos.

We frantically asked one another "What songs do you know" "Do you know this song?" Well we stayed up all night and got 4 songs "together" (if you can call it that) We performed on the town square stage and "WE SUCKED!" (so we thought per our own standards) but the local townspeople LOVED IT!
Go figure. So we are asked to come back again for New Years.
Oh yeah! Now we had a week between then and 12/31 and LRH allowed us to rehearse part time, while still being held accountable for our regular post duties. We kept rehearsing the original 4 songs and added a few more, only come 12/31 we perform and we were much better (according to ourselves) and the local townspeople LOVED us even more! LIGHTBULB! LRH Authorizes in a directive that all 9 of us are transferred to being full time musicians.

I was hesitant at first, but our truly talented and great sax player William Potter, convinced me otherwise (Thank you Billy if you ever read this. I have you to thank for that)
"Do you want to remain Mimeo Files I/C or be a full time musician, Bill asked me? A no brainer.
We reahearsed morning, noon and night, under the leadership Of Capt. Bill Robertson
(himself a clarinet player) We taught each other songs from the Beatles, Chicago..the whole gamut from Jazz to Rock to Broadway Show Tunes to the Wizard of Oz song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"
Capt. Bill started it with a clarinet solo and I was "special sound effects man" and I emulated the sound of thunder with a piece of sheet metal.
Many staff resented that we got to be musicians while THEY had to perform their regular staff member duties, but something magical happened. LRH hardly ever came out of his quaeters and office, but due to the band and LRH's interest, LRH came out and sat with us out in the open and everybody aboard could see him...and everybody LOVED that. We soon became well loved by all.

Our first album "The Power of Source" was met with a variety of varying reactions world-wide...
that's okay...because how you view art, whether music, paintings or sculpture is all a matter of personal opinion anyway. We weren't that good yet.

You need to know that we became a very professionally tight band with an incredible repetroire,
most of which NONE of you have ever heard!
We were on TV, radio, parades, played in small and huge stadiums alike and with local bands in every port we traveled to such as the Kingston Jamaica Police band. We had inter-cultural exchange programs where local artisans came aboard and entertained the crew in exchange for our playing for the local folk. Together with LRH we developed a sound called "Star Sound" which was a very primitive, repetitive beat, with short abrupt notes and long notes ( no sweet stuff) which LRH insisted that we adopt as our Musical Standard Tech, never to be deviated from. The only problem with this, in my opinion , was that we would play our original music in many ports and although we were received quite well, it was a disappointment for many listeners, who hoped for something more recognizeable that was popular and current on the radio waves. So somebody came up with the idea of introducing Star Sound to our audiences firstly as what it WAS NOT.
I was the MC, because I spoke English and Spanish and I would say.
Folks this is our own sound called Star Sound, but first let us show you what it is NOT. It is not ROCK (and we'd play a few bars of Rock) It is not Jazz (and we'd play a bit of Jazz) It is not this, that or the other. Everybody loved hearing what it "was not" well as our own Star Sound as well.
Our opening theme song was the track from "Where Eagles Dare" which we duplicated exactly. We had a 10th player then, Russ Meadows on the cello.

We recorded another entire album and man we were tight and HOT!
But unfortunately, it never made it's way onto vinyl. I don't know why.
I wish I had those master tapes. You would have really loved us!

Why we didn't tour the Orgs and Missions
Once one of us asks LRH (LRH was at this point our personal Music Director), I think it may have been Wayne Marple (trumpet) or Luten Taylor (trombone) "Why haven't we been sent out on a "mission" to tour all the Orgs and Missions. LRH's reply was (and I quote) "Because you (the band) never sent me a CSW!" I still hear those words ringing in my ear.
What a bunch of dopes we were.
*CSW = Completed Staff Work or in other words an official, formal request in writing.
Look, you have to appreciate that the man (LRH) can't do and wouldn't do everything for everybody" Where would the accountability be? So it was our own stupid lack of vision.

However, we were so successful in raising the reputation of The Apollo Ship wherever we went, as far as Public Relations goes. We all got promoted to higher ranks. I made Midshipman.
We we welcome any port...until the god damn LIES about us being the "CIA" started surfacing and being spread. Down the drain went our repute and welcomeability (is that a word?)

Clearwater -
We ended up there in 1975 and although we continued to perform on the land base at special events with chick Corea and Stanley Clarke and others, the band didn't perform for anyone outside ever again.
I went back to being PC Folders I/C (I had a great talent for organizing and keeping things organized) to being a Tech Page, rounding up public pc's for their auditing sessions.

Celebrities -
It was fun seeing Karen Black and Priscilla Presley and meeting John Travolta (when he was still in Welcome back Kotter) and other celebs. Once Priscilla came to Flag with her then boyfriend
(can't recall name, Michael maybe.). Once I saw him after an auditing session and he appeared to me to be really BI (bad Indicators) so I rushed a note to one of the senior C/S's, Jeff Walker about what I just saw and Jeff came to me later on and commended me for my astute observation.

Like I said earlier, I didn't meet with LRH one on one as much as others who did, but I do have a few special fond memories.

Once it was LRH's birthday and I made and sent him a birthday card which contained two specially created stars with what I deemed to be theta dust (okay, okay, stop laughing) apart from each other, but with a line connnecting them together. One star said "YOU" and the other said "ME" and I was thrilled to see that my card...thats right, MY CARD, was the ONE and ONLY card standing upright on his office desk, which you could see through the starboard side deck port hole.
That made me feel very special!

The other is one afternoon LRH was telling the band all about different musical scales.
He was saying stuff that continuously went right over my head.
Of course all the band are just looking at LRH and smiling.
I raised my hand and LRH said "Yes, Tom?" and I said "Sir, I don't understand a single thing you're talking about!" The other band members look at me in shock.
LRH gets up, walks right up to me and whispers right in my ear
"If Diogenes* was looking for an honest man...he would have found YOU"

Diogenes - "The Cynic" (BC, c412-323)
It was said of Diogenes that throughout his life he "searched with a lantern in the daylight for an honest man." And though Diogenes apparently did not find an honest man, he had, in the process, "exposed the vanity and selfishness of man." (Chambers.)

Well I consider that to be the highest compliment ever paid me by what I consider to be one of the greatest men that walked this Earth.
I never "worshipped or idolized" LRH in the derogatory (as if he were a GOD) way some claim others did...I simply admired LRH for his vast accommplishments for being one single person.

How and Why I Left the Sea Org at Flag
I think I hold the Sea Org record for "blowing" and "coming back" least 6 times.
My grandmother lived in Clearwater, FL (I moved her there) and I was one of the few staff who had a car. I was quite skilled at blowing and seeking refuge at grandma's. Once I blew to NYC and lived with my mom (1979) but a Commodore's Messenger persuaded me to "come back" and I did so totally of my own volition and I felt equally as elated as my original decision to join the SO back in 1971.
I hoped that the messenger would become my girlfriend upon my return. See my problem???

Well Jeff Walker, saw to it that I became a tech page again and I met (and fell in love with) a girl named Claudia from Munich Org. Now there was a strict policy that it was totally taboo for staff and public to get involved in any sort of 2D relationship. But...I was also successfully recruiting her to become a Flag Auditor. Well guess where I end up? Yep, the notorious RPF. No regrets.
I'd do it all over again (fall in love with Claudia that is)

Now listen, I don't know what you've heard about or may have personally experienced or been subjected to in your RPF, but at Flag as an RPF member... our group had alot of fun!
We worked the night shift, had great sit down meals with candles (I was one of the chefs) we got to clean and paint and do stuff and had study time. We'd tell jokes at night when we went to bed.
It wasn't anything like some of the horror stories I've heard about at RPF's elsewhere or terrible treatment staff endured after I left.
We would have RPF sports events like who dared to dive into the trash bin head first. Okay, perhaps it sounds awful to you...those bins were chock full of whatever you can imagine, but hey, we were considered to be the lowest of the lowest, so trash bin diving was appropriate fun for us LOL.

Around 1981, the you know what hit the fan and things at Flag got real ugly and entheta.
You've already heard about all of this or personally experienced it first hand, so I won't devote (waste) much time writing about it.
All I knew and felt was, this is not right and I don't like it so I'm outta here.
I routed out as per the proper and acceptable procedure.
Nonetheless, I was declared an SP at some point thereafter.

My experience may not have been as incredible (in a good or bad way) as other SO members, but everybody is unique and each of our experiences differ as widely as their are colors in the spectrum.

In retrospect, I would have done it all over again. I have no regrets whatsoever. I've have heard such incredible lies and fabrications about certain people , including LRH which are simply untrue, because I was there and knew these people. Either that or I was or am one heck of a naive idiot.
Yet some of the stories you have heard or read about are true. Pretty complicated mess.

I too would have preferred certain outcomes to be different in my own experience, but things were what they were and what they were made or allowed to be. I'm just glad that I was never involved in any of the truly heavy duty unpleasant stuff that went down.

All I know is and believe in is, bottom line, is that YOU are ultimately responsible for who you are, where you are and what condition you are in. It's easy to blame others.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my 11 years with you.
I know it was a long story to read, but if you read it in it's entirety...thank you.
Anyone is welcome to respond to my story.

I have been married for the past 24 years. I have two children , a daughter 19 (a former herion addict now doing extremely well) and a son 12 (an amazing soccer player)
I am a sales professional as well as a professional wedding videographer and editor.
I enjoy reading any work that contains truth and wisdom because neither require a religious nor philosophical title to be true. One of my favorite books is "As A Man Thinketh" by James Allen

I just try to be the best person, neighbor, father, husband, salesperson and wedding professional I can be. Just be the best you can be at whatever it is you do so. To hell with all the crap.
Focus on the positive and appreciate the good things you have in life.

Tom Rodriguez

I must say you were a very lucky guy!
I disagree on some points of your theory about Scientology but it was fun to read your story.
In my opinion only the very lucky persons can get away without damage from this "Church". Please respect the stories of all the abused people in the RPFs all arround the world it all happened and is still happening - not because the beings involved were so stupid but because there are many writings in Scientology which are causing this abuses and crimes.
If you read a bit more on this board you may find out that there is a great amount of evil in Hubbards writings - if you are interested which writings I'm talking about just let me know - I'll send you the references.

To tell my mother that she has to buy auditing for 180000 DM in 1984 because if she did not she will get seriously ill or will die was a crime for example. In fact she was bankrupt after this! And I told the registrars that she will be bankrupt if she spends so much money.
My brother was suffering and finally died in the age of 45 in the Sea Org - with his MS he had to suffer many years in different RPFs - Scientology claims to be abel to cure severe illness - and as far as I observed this is one of the biggest lies - and this is very dangerous.
I was a lucky guy like you because I once was very deeply involved in Scientology too - but when I found some strange anti democratic Scientology writings applied on me and realized that as a staff member I will never be able to found a family and live my life as I wanted to I dicided to leave. Looking back at this time in the 1980ies I have to say - I was lucky that everytime I was in danger to get to deep involved somebody helped me to find out - once my Mission even helped me to blow from the EPF. My brother wasn't so lucky and in my opinion it was not his fault at all - I'm sure that without Hubbards writings he would still be alive!
This is a very short version of my story within and with my family involved in Scientology for over 30 years now.

This is just what I observed - it is great that you were so lucky too!




Patron with Honors
Tommy was a friend from SCN PR in the late 60's. Is anyone in contact with him in PT?

Re the "We just can't deabberate you, can we Tommy?" crack: This is truly one of those you just had to be there stories. The man who said that, Dick Dorff, was one powerful thetan. Good, mixed with well-hidden evil, a fantastic comm cycle, incredible (and real) arc, he had a penchant for evaluation and comm cycle additives rolled into a huge physical presence (six foot six maybe 275#, a huge head with a wide smile laughing eyes and a guffaw that could probably be heard blocks away from his rooftop mission in San Juan.) He could have been a giant in the SCN Missions network if he'd wanted to be.

And in my very first session, after pulling a mwh that sent me exterior and must have caused a full dial fn he asked me "Are you looking at the meter through my eyes?"
Me: "What?"
Dorff: "Are you looking at the meter through my eyes?"
Examiner Don Franks: "RU exterior?"
Me: "No" VBIs

Dick, we all loved you but you were a FUCKING SQUIRELL.
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I would like to start my story by concluding that, in my opinion, I believe that many of the fundamental principles of SCN are truthful, workable principles, IF, and I emphasize again, IF they are factually understood and applied properly. I also believe that most, if not all, of the problems concerning SCN stem - not from SCN itself - but from it's principles and technology being misunderstood and/or improperly applied or worse intentionally misapplied. SCN gets a bad rap.

I used to think that myself. And that thinking kept me involved thinking when I go up the bridge I will be able to correct this. :hysterical:

I too thought I would be a SuperMan. :roflmao:

Let's see, we got study tech, KTL/LOC, soon Super Power.

In the meantime DM has found the lost tech, has everybody running around spotting spots and touching walls, rewrites the books, has everybody buy them again, revambs the Bridge so all auditors have to become Pro Meter manipulators dating things from 1 trillion years ago, has everybody empty their banks accounts for buying new buildings, falsifies stats, etc etc.

Yep, people just can't apply the tech. :yes:

What's that little line - we have achieved uniformly workable technology -