My Story: St Louis Org, CLO WUS/ PAC 1990-91

Tom of Helatrobus

Patron Meritorious
Posted this story in 2008. I've been trying to get this posted to the Personal Stories > Sea Org section of exscn.net. But the mods have told me that, for technical reason, I have to try some time later when technical issues with the site are straightened out. Anyhow, I'm going to post it here again.

Since last posting it years ago, I have since talked to some of the characters involved who have clarified some issues and corrected my mistake of misremembering the name of a staff member in St. Louis who I worked with. A character I remembered as "Randy" in my first draft was actually named "Barry."

Summary: I joined staff after reading Dianetics and realizing I didn't have enough money to take courses. There are family problems considering I am living at home and no one in my family is a Scientologist. After seeing the struggles with money and the pressures of working on staff, I was recruited to the Sea Org after a few months. I go the the PAC base in Los Angeles, do the EPF, get assigned to CLO WUS, get married, witness the disaster that is Scientology administration, get separated, see more craziness, decide to leave, escape after routing out is stalled, reintegrate into the wog population thinking I'm better than everyone else and eventually find out that Scientology is all bullshit and I've been an idiot.

I've attached the story as a pdf as it is 55 pages long.

Just finished re-reading and making some edits to the piece. Felt embarrassed by the whole misadventure and even shocked at parts at my naivete. The part about getting kicked out of my aunt's house was just painful, the part about getting stranded at LAX was just cringe-worthy and the part where the Commodore's Messenger was berating a senior citizen staff member was just surreal. No wonder most people can't understand this stuff - I'm not sure I understand it myself. I feel fortunate to have lived though it though. It truly was an experience that was completely off the rails in terms of the experiences of the average person.
 

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Rmack

Van Allen Belt Sunbather
Re: My Story: St Louis Org, CLO WUS/ PAC 1989-1990

Posted this story in 2008. I've been trying to get this posted to the Personal Stories > Sea Org section of exscn.net. But the mods have told me that, for technical reason, I have to try some time later when technical issues with the site are straightened out. Anyhow, I'm going to post it here again.

Since last posting it years ago, I have since talked to some of the characters involved who have clarified some issues and corrected my mistake of misremembering the name of a staff member in St. Louis who I worked with. A character I remembered as "Randy" in my first draft was actually named "Barry."

Summary: I joined staff after reading Dianetics and realizing I didn't have enough money to take courses. There are family problems considering I am living at home and no one in my family is a Scientologist. After seeing the struggles with money and the pressures of working on staff, I was recruited to the Sea Org after a few months. I go the the PAC base in Los Angeles, do the EPF, get assigned to CLO WUS, get married, witness the disaster that is Scientology administration, get separated, see more craziness, decide to leave, escape after routing out is stalled, reintegrate into the wog population thinking I'm better than everyone else and eventually find out that Scientology is all bullshit and I've been an idiot.

I've attached the story as a pdf as it is 55 pages long.

View attachment 10354


My head vibrated back and forth, because that was my story, only told slightly differently.

Omega Mike Golf...
 

Tom of Helatrobus

Patron Meritorious
Re: My Story: St Louis Org, CLO WUS/ PAC 1989-1990

My head vibrated back and forth, because that was my story, only told slightly differently.

Omega Mike Golf...

You mean Oscar Mike Golf? I would be interested in reading your story. Got a link?
 
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Boson Wog Stark

Patron Meritorious
I read your story. It has a dystopian feel, and reminded me of Divergent, or other Orwellian-type movie. However, it was also refreshing, in the way you considered that leaving the Sea Org was an option, and instead of ignoring or excusing the contradictions -- e.g., that Clears are supposed to not wear glasses -- those things built up and had a cumulative effect.

Instead of leaving and going back three times, you did not respond to the pressure to make you stay, or go through months of routing out procedures. They couldn't convince you that by leaving, you were endangering the future of the planet.

You did not ignore or dismiss things you saw that were disturbing, like the 12-year-old chewing out the 60 year old woman. You did not let other people make decisions for you.

I liked your descriptions of talking about Scientology to outsiders, like when you went back to finish high school.

And you read the Behar article. Yeah, why shouldn't that be important, what the wog world thinks about Scientology enough to put it on the cover of Time magazine. Hurray!

The parts you think of as embarrassing now, like your arrival at the airport, well, you were just a high school kid and naive, and what you expected and what was going on in your mind was all a combination of your life experiences at that time, and what Scientology primed you to expect. Imagine what the people thought who were expecting/promised a ocean-side condo, like the Woodcraft family, and the 5 of them ended up crammed in a small motel room.

Anyway, those parts where you described what you were thinking or expecting, although embarrassing to you now, were my favorite aspects to your story. Many exes, when writing their stories, describe what happen to them, but don't describe what they were thinking, because it is too embarrassing for them now. I always want to know what is going on in the mind of a Scientologist, what they were thinking at the time, what they hoped for, wanted, and expected. Then, what actually happened. You did that well.

Had to laugh at the part about f'n Norman Starkey. You're just lucky you didn't get to polish anything for Tom Cruise, or anybody like that. You may have been stuck in for many years, instead of just a few.

Scientology is not transforming civilization in a glorious way. Instead, they are just sucking in vulnerable people and enslaving them, to get them to sell Scientology, and they do it through deception, selling them a piece of blue sky.

Thanks for telling your story. They're all important.
 
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Rmack

Van Allen Belt Sunbather
I got about half-way through your story tonight, and so far no surprises. I left a few years earlier after observing the same things you did. I won't say blow, they can blow me.

You were a few years later, and their game had deteriorated considerably.

Back in '80 we usually got Sundays off, some pay, free time from after course (8:00?) and time to at least do our laundry.

Once I married a 'CMO' chick, I ate a catered meal every day while ASHO day ate beans and rice. Lettuce on Friday if your stats where up!

It wasn't anything special. Just breakfast, simple lunches, and cafeteria food for dinner, you know?

If you didn't like what was for dinner, the white-coated stewards would go make you a hamburger and fries!

All this while the whole crew, YOUNG OR OLD were being subjected to the 'purification rundown' PILOT!

I was once confronted by this Navy suit while I was drinking some orange juice. I was ready to go on post for another long day for low pay. When he started to give me grief over having a glass of orange juice, something clicked. I just looked at this punk wearing a friggin' Navy dress coat, trying to tell me I was out ethics for having orange juice, I figured something out.

You see, along with Laffy, I was in the Navy one time, too.

Can you say 'Captain Bligh'? Watch 'Mutiny on the Bounty' sometime. No matter what year. Also try 'The Cain Mutiny' with the Hump (Humphrey Bogart).

It's all about bullying. That's why the current head of this cult is the biggest bully. (And the smallest man, by no accident.)
 
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In present time

Gold Meritorious Patron
Great story. I also like the way you included your thoughts, because that is really the meat and potatoes of most stories, since no one is actually allowed to freely communicate in $cn.

Outies are currently SO curious about the innies, especially since GC came out.
Probably not much has changed since your experience in which staff thought all cabbies would know where the horseshoe was.

I love the story abut the freakin' HCOB red e-meter. What a load of shit.
I got out on the 80's, and the move toward Halliburton e-meter cases and paying a thousand extra to get a meter in a special colour were just another nail in the coffin.

I suppose that was just the beginning of the movement to make status the new OT.
And OT was actually never about anything other than status either, but it took me a long time to figure that out.

I am originally from MO. down on the Trail of Tears.
Have you ever been inside that big Masonic building $cn. has now?
I haven't been inside, but the outside is creepy and grand:)
 

Boson Wog Stark

Patron Meritorious
I love the story abut the freakin' HCOB red e-meter. What a load of shit.

I liked that one too. When is it going too far, to make everything about Hubbard (or Miscavige) so sacred, so meaningful, so connected to the all-encompassing whole, a truth which cannot be questioned? Is it taking things too far when packages of Kools are left awaiting his return, and e-meters are issued in the same ink color as whatever, and yet a necktie placed on his bust is sacrilegious.

And you have to pretend that everything that the cult is doing is capturing the attention of the entire planet. Everyone is just on the verge of embracing Scientology, and their buildings are so famous that like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre, you don't need an address to find it.

People are just itching to get a Way to Happiness pamphlet in their hands, or to buy a copy of Dianutty. Or are they really? And if not, how can the planet be cleared? And what will need to happen for that to change. Will Tom Cruise need to find a wife that'll stick? He can't even make his own daughter a clam!

Tom Weeks somehow kept part of his rational self enough that he was able to ask that type of question. He also questioned the idea that if Scientology is so successful, then why do Sea Org members have to live with such deprivation. For each of the things he questioned, except maybe the red e-meter, he was willing to give it a short period of time to see how it worked. For example, he probably thought if being deprived financially could help him to be a better person or advance more quickly, then he would accept it. On the other hand, if he had to look forward to being 60 and having a 12-year-old bossing him around, that's not "ideal."

I think one personality type which may get caught up in the cult staff or Sea Org for a longer period of time and mistake it for their destiny is a person who is good at selling Scientology to others. They are able to attract not only the people around them, but complete strangers. They end up mistaking their own talent for selling Scientology, or their new found communication skills, thinking that it means it works, and that clearing the planet is possible.

Everyone claps enthusiastically, like doing that in itself is saving the planet, or knowing how to know.
 
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Tom of Helatrobus

Patron Meritorious
I read your story. It has a dystopian feel, and reminded me of Divergent, or other Orwellian-type movie. However, it was also refreshing, in the way you considered that leaving the Sea Org was an option, and instead of ignoring or excusing the contradictions -- e.g., that Clears are supposed to not wear glasses -- those things built up and had a cumulative effect.

Instead of leaving and going back three times, you did not respond to the pressure to make you stay, or go through months of routing out procedures. They couldn't convince you that by leaving, you were endangering the future of the planet.
Yeah, there was certainly a build up of disappointments which I did try to justify. The Dutch boy can only hold his finger in the dam for so long and he only has two hands. The main reason I left the Sea Org the way I did was that I just don't do well in authoritarian environments. I need some free time to myself. I like to indulge myself every once in a while. Not that I can't get by in an authoritarian environment - I spent four years in the Navy, and a lot of that time was spent as sea, before ending my enlistment honorably. I wasn't the best sailor, but I didn't get in trouble. But in the Navy you get shore leave, liberty, vacation and a paycheck. I remember being at sea in the middle off the night, staring at a radar screen and thinking to myself how much easier this was than the Sea Org. The Sea Org was just suffocating and I could easily see that it was all for nothing.

I liked your descriptions of talking about Scientology to outsiders, like when you went back to finish high school.
That was SO embarrassing, but embarrassment and shame are the flavors of Scientology.

The parts you think of as embarrassing now, like your arrival at the airport, well, you were just a high school kid and naive, and what you expected and what was going on in your mind was all a combination of your life experiences at that time, and what Scientology primed you to expect. Imagine what the people thought who were expecting/promised a ocean-side condo, like the Woodcraft family, and the 5 of them ended up crammed in a small motel room.
I was SO much smarter than the Woodcraft family. Those guys were real idiots. :eyeroll:

Anyway, those parts where you described what you were thinking or expecting, although embarrassing to you now, were my favorite aspects to your story. Many exes, when writing their stories, describe what happen to them, but don't describe what they were thinking, because it is too embarrassing for them now. I always want to know what is going on in the mind of a Scientologist, what they were thinking at the time, what they hoped for, wanted, and expected. Then, what actually happened. You did that well.
I wasn't in that long, so I could remember what the real world was like. I was an introverted, contemplative person. Which is why I was in Scientology instead of doing other teenager things. I bought into the KSW series 1 message but the embarrassing realities of Scientology were difficult to reconcile. I can't give myself too much credit for critical thinking obviously, I guess I had just the right mixture of trust and skepticism to make that part of my life interesting.

Had to laugh at the part about f'n Norman Starkey. You're just lucky you didn't get to polish anything for Tom Cruise, or anybody like that. You may have been stuck in for many years, instead of just a few.
Norm fuckin' Starkey. What a clown. Maybe the biggest loser in the universe. "YOU! - Tell HIM who I am!" Let me thank God I'm not Norm Starkey. When I saw him later, giving a sales pitch to Sea Org members who had no money trying to sell some of LRH's fiction books in a mandatory staff meeting, I knew he was just trying to get a commission. Which was quite a contrast with my expectation of an OT who was supposed to be moving things around with the power of his mind, making huge important business deals involving millions of dollars and getting the president of the United States to shine his shoes. Nope, he's under the florescent lights in the cafeteria at PAC selling books to people with no money and no time to read and doing it all for some spending money.

Scientology is not transforming civilization in a glorious way. Instead, they are just sucking in vulnerable people and enslaving them, to get them to sell Scientology, and they do it through deception, selling them a piece of blue sky.

Thanks for telling your story. They're all important.
Yeah. A lot of smart people in there who's lives are being wasted and Norm Starkey too. I've had the privilege of being on both sides of the fence. Scientologists are good people, but ex-Scientologists are better people and happier too.
 
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Tom of Helatrobus

Patron Meritorious
Great story. I also like the way you included your thoughts, because that is really the meat and potatoes of most stories, since no one is actually allowed to freely communicate in $cn.
Yeah, the internal dialogue makes the story. I wrote it at a time when I was trying to make sense of the whole experience, so the thoughts had to be there, otherwise it was just a chronological of stupid things I did with no motivation behind them.

Outies are currently SO curious about the innies, especially since GC came out.
Probably not much has changed since your experience in which staff thought all cabbies would know where the horseshoe was.

I love the story abut the freakin' HCOB red e-meter. What a load of shit.
I got out on the 80's, and the move toward Halliburton e-meter cases and paying a thousand extra to get a meter in a special colour were just another nail in the coffin.
Yeah, the meter is now RED!
:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
Why the hell are you clapping for that? :unsure:

I suppose that was just the beginning of the movement to make status the new OT.
And OT was actually never about anything other than status either, but it took me a long time to figure that out.

I am originally from MO. down on the Trail of Tears.
Have you ever been inside that big Masonic building $cn. has now?
I haven't been inside, but the outside is creepy and grand:)

I haven't been in the new St. Louis org. I imagine it as vast and empty and sad and costly in terms of utilities. I stopped by the old building a few years ago and peeked inside the window. It seemed like a haunted and silent industrial space.
 

Boson Wog Stark

Patron Meritorious
The main reason I left the Sea Org the way I did was that I just don't do well in authoritarian environments. I need some free time to myself. I like to indulge myself every once in a while.

Had I been swept into Scientology, instead of knowing no one who was in it, and thinking Dianutty was an overpriced piece of crap at $8 and not worth looking for in the library (after reading through several pages in the bookstore), I probably would have gone straight into the Sea Org, thinking it was a way to afford courses, and that being on the save-the-planet team would be terrific.

I don't think I would have lasted a week. That was how long I lasted in a summer job once, where the pay was low, hours long, and labor too hard and unrewarding. And I don't like authoritarian environments either. The authoritarianism wasn't the problem with my summer job but everything else was.

Re the Sea Org or a clam staff position, I have a strong aversion to selling, even if it's selling something I myself like.

When I read the part about you landing in LAX and not knowing the address, I thought, "Who would ever do such a stupid thing?" I did, for one. Mine was even worse. Many years ago, I arrived in a 3rd world country from Europe in a similar situation. I was not on a espionage mission or joining a cult, but instead supposed to begin my most exciting job ever(!) with a well-known international organization. I had all my shots and visa and all that.

I was supposed to be met by a company rep, assuming he had the arrival time of my flight, which had been coordinated through their international headquarters in Europe. All I had was the name of his hotel, along with my contract from their international headquarters. When I arrived, the rep was not there. Through a fluke, I had only $20, because my money, except for $20 U.S dollars, was in a currency which was not exchangeable.

The $20 was just enough for a bus ticket for the 500 mile trip to where a person at the U.S. embassy thought my company rep "might" be, and I had three dollars for food for the next 24 hours. That was only the beginning of the adventure. This was long before credit cards were common, and I had been just poor enough, that my life savings was in the equivalent of a few hundred dollars of cash when I landed this job.

Instead of indentured into slavery, eventually I did make it, and was whisked into semi-luxury, and a job I still dream about to this day. It wasn't big on money, but big on excitement and adventure. And, no, it had nothing to do with Colombian drug cartels, the CIA, the Red Cross, the Peace Corps, the military or anything that exciting, noble or dangerous. It was funny, but after that initial mess administratively, the company functioned well in complex situations and environments.

In your case, the lack of a confetti-strewn arrival celebration, or anyone even being there, as well as a confederation of taxi drivers trying to figure out where Scientology was, just foreshadowed what was to come.
 
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