My story: staff 2004-2011 at Jo'burg and Flag

mich

Patron
Hello! I recently joined ESMB and have been encouraged to post my experiences as a staff member (October 2004 – July 2011) in South Africa. To be honest, I wasn't too keen to do so, as I knew it would take some time and I felt the need to get on with creating a future. But a part of that means dispensing with my past. I started with a general de-kluge (like spring cleaning) of my space, as I really felt weighed down with all the MEST I had collected over the years. It wasn't long before I realised that my inner space needed the same treatement, and so I have decided to tell my tale.

I will do my best to keep the terminology in basic English. I will also do my best to be objective and honest, but remember that I can only speak from my viewpoint, and I don't doubt that others will remember some events differently. I should also warn that I have a problem with remembering, the cause of which should become clear to you as you read, so forgive the lack of details (especially names).

Here goes....


A LITTLE HISTORY...

I will start with my birth into this lifetime, because I can see the links between events that led me to Scientology, and led me out again. I have no problem talking about my life, but I can't be sure my family feel the same, so forgive me if I don't use their names.

I was born on 22 March 1968, in Jo'burg hospital, South Africa, to a mother who fell pregnant at sweet sixteen (and she is still truly sweet) and couldn't confront the fact, until her belly was too big to ignore. My father accepted responsibility, and they married shortly before I arrived.

My Dad was a funny, smart, ambitious guy and the first few years of my life were filled with adventure and admiration. I was a fat little girl who struggled to crawl, but I am told I could talk in sentences by the time I was nine months old. My Dad showed me off a lot, so I had a strong sense of being important. We lived a good life, financially above average, but what did I know or care about money. I was loved, wanted, and spoilt – although my Dad was not one to be crossed. I did as I was told, and took advantage only when I knew I could get away with it.

When I was two my first brother arrived, and a year and a half later my second brother followed. He spent time in hospital with TB-meningitis, and it was considered a miracle that he survived.

My Dad was very involved with the Christian church: he played the organ at services, distributed Gideon Bibles, and as a member of "Youth for Christ" ministeries, helped arrange for Cliff Richard (pop-star in the 70's) to come to South Africa. He was also a pilot and flew for a sky-diving club.

One Easter Sunday, just after my sixth birthday, he flew his 'plane into the ground, and in the blink of an eye my whole life changed. There was suspicion of sabotage (I remember listening to a radio news broadcast about it), but I was too busy trying to get my head around what had happened to my life to worry about the grown-up details.

My father died without a will, or life insurance, and suddenly everything that belonged to us was ours no longer. My mother actually "stole" her bed when we moved from our home. I remember very little from that time – but two events stand out for me. One was a friendly "uncle" telling me that "God must have needed my Dad", the other that "it was up to me" to take care of my family, because I was the strong one.

We moved from place to place, struggling to find our way, depending on my mother's parents to keep us going. I learnt a lot about survival over the next three years ... how empty Coke bottles could be collected for the deposit to buy bread ... how to steal bread when my mother was so ill she couldn't even sit up, and my brothers and I had pink-eye and whooping cough ... how to make glue out of flour so I could do my homework ... how arriving at a school in the middle of the year, with the wrong uniform, could really single you out as a target ... how a bully could make you eat human faeces (I still remember the taste)...

All the while I kept silent about my suffering and just kept going, being the strong one. Then my mother met a man...

Now I have heard many Scientologists over the years talk about SP's, but I gotta tell you I never met any in the church. Sure I met a lot of people who dramatised SP behaviours, both in and out of the Church, but no true-blue SP's. You know how I can tell the difference? Because I've lived with the real-deal, someone who had every single one of the characteristics, every single moment of his life. He was not dramatising, or choosing the winning valence... he was the real thing.

He used my love of my family to control me, to turn me into his personal kiddie-whore, and then he beat them and abused them anyway. The lesson? When you do something bad for the sake of good, you lose. Everytime and without fail. I allowed him to sexually abuse me, to protect my family – that was the agreement – but when you make a deal with the devil......

Now, I know that we have all been led to believe that the ends justifies the means, that the greater good has overall importance. But I can tell you that no amount of wrongs make a right. I couldn't stop him when he started to hurt them. I tried. I would do whatever he asked, stretched further and further to please him. But the kind of man who would do that was not the kind of man who would keep his word.

Should anyone convince you to do anything you disagree with, you have to ask yourself, "If this small wrong is okay to them, how do I know they'll turn away from the bigger wrong?" Answer: they won't. Any small cruelty just leads to further cruelty. I know you know what I'm talking about – no matter where you come from or where you've been, or who you are – this is a universal truth. This experience got me into Scientology, and it also got me out ...but more about that later.

By the time I was twelve I was a mess. Once he destroyed us he let us go, and found a new family to "play with". I chose to go to boarding school for my high school years, as being around my family restimmed me, and me them, severely. The suffering never ended with him gone. We all took turns dramatising his valence, three kids that would explode violently, especially at each other. And as we grew older it got more dangerous.

My youngest brother had the least control. His violent outbursts were going to turn him into a murderer. His first victim would've been his own brother – but the gun misfired. The next time he used the gun, it was on himself, and as much as we loved him we all sighed with relief. My remaining brother and I turned to drugs and alcohol, and in my case, bouts of extreme promiscuity followed by long periods of solitude.

I knew there was something wrong with all of us, but there were no real solutions. My younger brother had psychiatric meds which led him to his suicide (he couldn't live with the fear of losing his temper, but he wasn't living at all when he was on his meds), my other brother just kept rollercoasting through his life ... but I got lucky. I met my husband.

FINDING SCIENTOLOGY

Twelve years later, even my husband couldn't take it anymore. I went from sane to insane at the blink of an eye, and all the time in the world was not helping me heal. I knew I had to get help, help that I trusted, and that wasn't going to be easy. I trusted no-one. Christianity had abandoned me when my father died, so religion was out. Psychiatry chewed my brother up and spat him out, so that was out. And all the talking in the world only gave temporary relief. I knew I was about to lose the love of my husband and my kids for good. I begged the universe to help, and found a book in a second-hand bookstore that finally pointed me in the right direction ... the Evolution of a Science.

To this day I believe this is the best book LRH ever wrote. Possibly because he was writing with the excitement of having discovered something. I only wish he'd stayed honest about it's origin... things would've turned out so differently if he had. But like I said, one small wrong always leads you on to 'bigger and better' evils.

Within two weeks I ran into a Dianetics stand in our local Mall, and from there into Jo'burg Org. I probably gave the staff hell. Firstly, I was dressed in my gardening clothes – a T-shirt and men's pyjama pants, and barefoot. I know I didn't look like much, but I didn't care. When I left the Mall my husband told me the job he was supposed to do had been cancelled, so I made him drive me there immediately. And then I refused to follow "the line," didn't want to tour the panels or do the OCA. I wanted Dianetics auditing and nothing else.

I met my Book 1 auditor, borrowed the money from my mother to pay for an intensive, and the next day went into session. My first session was like most are – acclimatising the mind to a new type of thinking. In the next my auditor knew what I wanted handled so together we tried to hunt that first incident down. We started with an incident I kinda remembered when I was in a bath, my SP daddy on top of me and I was drowning, afraid of dying. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, when he told me to go earlier I was so afraid of looking at the abuse, I went way earlier.

I ran out death after death, and in the process saw life after life. Some I found hard to believe – like why the hell would I be a robot piping gas from a moon, or a little squid thing in an ocean that became someone's smoothie? But at the end of it all, and to this day, I have no fear of death. Now, whether those incidents were real or not, I don't really care. What's real anyway? For me it gave me something I never had, and helped me handle a fear I'd had since my father died when I was six, ... and my grandmother when I was fourteen, ...and my brother ...and my uncle ...and my son ...and my grandfather. Suddenly, all that death, some of them dying in my arms, was okay.

And then I learned what fear is, and I knew I was strong enough to face it, and survive it – spiritually. You see, I knew that staying alive in a body was not necessarily survival. The walking dead are all around you, going through the motions, but frozen into not living, by fear. And I'd found a way out. Dianetics changed everything for me. I'd found freedom from my demons, and I couldn't believe this gem, this diamond, had been around for fifty years...

{Six months later I was cooking dinner. It had been awhile and I'd forgotten that the pot I was using didn't have insulated handles, and when I grabbed it I burnt myself. Naturally I swore. Suddenly my husband was there, apologising for not having fixed it earlier, and my son was standing in the background, watching me, tense and afraid. It hit me like Thor's hammer. I hadn't lost my temper in six months, but my family were still walking on egg shells around me. How well I remembered doing the same with SP daddy....}

Anyway, while I was waiting to go in session a few days later, the PSS asked me what I did with my time. I brushed it off, said I didn't do anything, because I was ashamed that I hadn't been able to hold down a job for over 10 years. The truth was, I was my husband's bookkeeper, grew my own vegetables, and home-schooled my son – at least that was what I was supposed to be doing. I wasn't able to complete any cycle of action at that point in my life. I just barely had enough energy to start, sometimes even get as far as change...

Being wanted was a very powerful pull on me. Remember, I had only just broken free of the pain that had kept me so low-toned that any improvement in tone-level resulted in blinding anger, which pushed my family into fear. I could feel they no longer wanted me. Perhaps, I should've taken some time to readjust, but all the coulda-woulda-shoulda's makes no difference now. I said yes, and within weeks I was on staff.

There many mistakes were made in my recruitment, and I can't blame HCO for my lies, but years later I tried to warn them, again and again, that they were making the same mistake they made with me, to no avail. You see, we were in financial shit. The whys of it are complicated, and I was the cause of many of them, but too proud to admit to it at the time. I'm married in community of property so all my husband's debts are mine, but I altered the truth a little and claimed to be debt free. My pride also accepted the "we don't earn a lot, but you can do courses and sessions without charge" line.

If I'd admitted, even to myself that I really needed an income, it might have helped. Of course, I never for a moment expected to earn less than minimum wage! Imagine my shock when I didn't earn enough to even get to work. In my experience most staff members don't know what they're getting into, and if they were financially secure it would better enable them to have a good experience on staff, and make them less desperate. Maybe then ARC would be more important. Of course, I was told that to increase my income I needed to study, and I did. But that made no difference that I could see. Still my drive to earn more pushed me to study hard, and I was enjoying my new post as a Book1 auditor – for all of about two months.

Then the ED and PES cornered me one day with a proposition. This was my first real taste of a reg cycle – and they soon had me in tears. Basically, the Org had to reach St Hill size in time for the Birthday Event, and they didn't have a Div 6 Sup. Their current sup's certs were about to expire, and based on my study speed I was the only person they had who could get qualified in time.

If joining staff was mistake no.1, then this would prove to be mistake no.2. The tears were a surprise to me then, but now I know I was mourning the loss (again) of my self-determination. Still, I managed to get them to agree to send me to Flag for auditor training. Now, please understand, I had no idea what I was talking about. I'd attended some meeting where I got to hear about the Freewinds and OT and Flag, and when I asked questions I got the "best training and processing org in the world" canned response. I was MU'd up the yin-yang, but I wanted more of the wins I'd had with Book1, and couldn't wait.

FINDING OUT ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY

So by February 2005 I was the new Div 6 (public courses) Supervisor. I enjoyed what I did, but felt constantly undermined by the heavy out-tech attitude I kept running into, especially with the Qual-sec. If I helped a student understand a dictionary definition I was being out-tech. Hell, I felt like any help I gave was out-tech. I searched through my mini and full-hat packs to try and find guidance, but to no avail. All I got was that, per the tech, Div 6 courserooms were not supposed to have clays – but they were on the Div 6 checksheets.

Already I was starting to see more contradictions than I knew how to handle, but not enough references to refer to – or too many – so I couldn't find the one I needed. Another shock for me was the Hat packs themselves. I was hoping for a 'step-by step, point-by-point how to do my job well' manual. Instead there were references that almost had nothing to do with my post – except for one or two lines. Now I view it as an egotistical, "listen to everything I have to say, cause I'm so brilliant ... word for word please, because my word is gospel ... and if you are really smart you'll find what you need to do your post just like I would do it, because you represent me."

Not knowing any better, I thought that the reason it was such a mess was because the org wasn't being run right. The solution was to go to Flag – the Mecca of perfection. Then I would be able to straighten things out, and get the job done right, and protect myself from the invalidation of the help I so loved to give.

Even though I had an agreement with my ED, and I raised my hand at every muster when he asked for volunteers to go to Flag, time went by and I heard nothing. I knew the ED didn't like me. I never felt he was being friendly toward me, or that he saw me as one of the team, and the only attention that ever came my way from him was as a product officer. Interestingly he sure loved many other female staff members. At one point almost all the AC and EC were female, and most were beautiful blondes too.

Anyway, my guess is that Flag had been pushing hard to get more bodies for whatever "evolution " they were running, and finally I got my chance. I was a little nervous about my life history passing muster. Although I'm far from shame-free about my choices, I figured Scientologists would understand the reactive mind and how it would affect my behaviour, and so I laid it all out. It was very difficult for me to remember the details of certain periods of my life because I used a lot of cannabis for many years.

I started taking it to help me with my hay-fever, and found it numbed me enough to prevent many of the angry emotional outbursts. Unfortunately it had a great side-effect – I struggled to remember pretty much anything and everything after that. Unfortunately, that is still the case. Most of the time the data is in there somewhere, but not easy to access. Sometimes I can't find it at all.

Well, Flag read my life history, and after a bit of back and forth, requesting more data, they said I would have to do the Purification Rundown before I would be accepted. The purif was a phenomenon of note. 119 days of reactions before I finally EP'd. Several times they insisted on checking to see if I might have overrun, but I knew I was still handling all the poisons I'd been exposed to. Obviously, thanks in most part to SP daddy, I was tremendously PTS, and therefore sick very often. My allergies, and all the anti-histamines I'd consumed over the years took the longest to run out, but by the end of the Purif I felt like a million bucks.

In case you're confused about the cannabis use, and my being accepted on staff, I should explain that I as-ised the allergies in the beginning of 2004. I realised that everytime my husband and I had an argument, within hours or at least the next day, I would get sick. Then I recognised that I wasn't just getting randomly ill, that it was always the same symptoms that I used to get as a kid. And then I realised that I got sick because of SP daddy. After I played connect-the-dots I somehow just knew I would never get sick like that again. And until I went to Flag, I didn't. Now I'm getting ahead of myself.

I completed the Purif mid-December, and soon enough I was set to leave for Flag. I got to spend some time with my husband who pretended he was okay with me leaving, but in actual fact he would've preferred to spend more time with the woman who had finally become more like the woman he fell in love with. He loved Ms Jekyll, and now that Ms Hyde was gone he could finally have the relationship he wanted. But, as often happens with staff members, we drop our lives to share the freedom we found.

I can't blame the org for my actions, but I can blame them for making me feel like I was selfish and evil for wanting time for myself, or my family. No time off, unless you can replace yourself on post, and no public holidays or even Christmas is ridiculous, and I know all you ex'es who are reading this are totally feeling me right now. Remember the first public holiday you got to enjoy, the first Christmas you spent with family? Was it not completely amazing?

I'm digressing again, but this is the one thing I could never find peace with. What made it more difficult in my org is that we have a strong SO presence on staff. The ED, LC, FBO, and one or two other floating posts were covered by SO, and as SO are on duty twenty-four/seven we were expected to be happy to follow suite. Instead of having "meetings" at six when we were officially off-duty, we had to wait until they'd had dinner and meet at seven, or eight, or later. If the ED had to meet with someone, it was probably a reg cycle, and that took precedence. And then the constant events planned for weekends.

It got so bad, with so many day staff working foundation hours, we literally unmocked the foundation org, picking up all their cycles and dominating their public.Occasionally actions were taken to correct the situation, but one tough target from management and all those good intentions disappeared.

But it was still early days for me. As a supervisor, I spent my day in the courseroom, and even Friday's staff meeting was cut short for me. They went on till 9.30am, but I had to start roll-call at 9, so I seldom got to hear the org's stats report. I could have looked at the OIC, but it was placed on the wall in the boardroom in the exec space (a space I never felt welcome in, having more SO than staff) and the times I did see it most of the graph "slots" were empty.

I figured all this confusion would soon be handled when I got to Flag. They would train me right, and then everything would make sense to me. And to some degree that did happen, but not until I got over the shock of being an 'outer-org trainee'.

FLAG THE FIRST TIME...

I arrived at the Coachman after 52 hours of planes and airports and no sleep, so the steps I took on the routing form were a bit of a blur. I did notice that, just like at home, routing forms were not done exactly right. Some of the things I needed to do, like collect a bus-schedule, didn't exist and I found myself feeling confused. I didn't know what to do or when, because I had some data but with plenty of blank spaces between – like reading a passage with key words misunderstood.

I spent a lot of time in HCO (why I will never understand) waiting to get the go-ahead to be on course, while everyone kept pushing me to get it done. We were divided into groups based on our 'continent' – East US, West US, Europe, etc. Sometimes a country would have their own 'cont' if they were large enough, like Italy. I was in AF-ANZO, which was Africa, Austrailia, New Zealand, and the Orient which included Japan and Taiwan.

When I arrived our 'cont I/C (in-charge)' was a fellow South African, and he kept pushing me to get onto course, and at the same time kept pushing another of our group to 'fire'(be sent home). The one lesson I learnt in my two tours to Flag was that you have to push like a maniac to get your TIP (your training program) completed because your org needs you home, and Scientology needs you to service their public ... but they were not going to help you do it any faster.

When you first arrive and when it's time to leave your progress is literally out of your hands (although to say that out loud is to admit that you are being effect and God knows you can never admit that without being viewed as a degraded being). You see, Flag has their public, then there's the Sea Org, and you are just the crud on the bottom of the SO's shoes.

You are not treated as their public, probably because your Org can't afford to pay their exhorbitant fees, so in terms of any kind of priority you don't exist unless you count for someone's stat. Now, course completions count, but OOT's 'fired' don't seem to count as much, or perhaps there's no-one holding the post who would have that as their VFP.(Valuable Final Product)

The extreme 'respect' you have to show, down to drilling how to say "good-morning, Sir" was a bit much, but I was a boarding school child, and knew how to tow the line. Nevertheless, I found myself lost as to what to do, or not to do. The whole idea as far as I can tell was to introvert the hell out of you... and without fail I watched it work on every OOT that arrived.

My training was interesting – sometimes great, sometimes not. I got five ethics chits in about an hour on Pro-TRs for making the same mistake repeatedly, and I have to admit it did increase my necessity level, but also decreased my affinity. In fact, I would have to say the prime goal was to drive a person down the tone-scale, but force them to fake enthusiasm to avoid having more "necessity level help". It didn't take long before I was in "iso" (isolation) with the worst flu I'd had in years.

The supervisors in ProTRs practical treated me as though they really didn't like me, and yet in the theory courseroom next door I was treated well. Then one of the sups got involved in my bull-bait, prompting my twin to use certain types of bull-bait on me, and it was spot-on, as if he had read my life history, or maybe my folder, and knew the details of my life well enough to know what I would react to. I assumed that my life history would be kept confidential, but even if it wasn't I wouldn't have been upset by that – except that these sups acted like they really despised me. I eventually earned their respect, but it left a bad taste in my mouth, as I expected them to have more understanding.

Now, before I get nailed by a thousand objections, let me state very clearly that there were individuals who really helped, who really gave of themselves, and from whom I learnt lessons that will always stand me in good stead. In fact, I would have to say that just about everyone gave some good, unless they were responding to the fear/necessity level 'help' they were receiving too.

But in the early days I didn't know enough to realise I was introverting so strongly that I couldn't see what was in front of me. By the end of my training I'd learnt a lot, but the beginning of the end was already showing. Whenever my natural strength surfaced, I felt rebellious, and then guilty, wondering if I had some serious overts on groups.

After a lot of waiting, with much gnashing of teeth and sadness at leaving the incredible friendships I'd made, I finally made my way home. Of course there were a few things that didn't go according to plan.

Firstly, I was supposed to train as an auditor – that was the original deal – but I landed up doing supervisor training. There were two of us from our org, and we had to decide which would be the Academy sup and which would be Div 6. If I had chosen to be an Academy sup I could've done my ClIV training, but my co-staff member wanted nothing to do with Div 6, and as I was already posted as the Div 6 sup... To be honest, I was relieved. All I wanted was to get home as soon as possible.

Secondly, I had arrived at Flag with promises that an e-meter would follow, and all the training materials were waiting for me. Not true. I had to beg, borrow, and 'steal' from the course admin to get all my training done, and I can't tell you how much time I lost. Also I wasn't fast-flow so almost everything had to be star-rated, and not many students could afford to help me if it meant their checksheet targets wouldn't be met.

Then, when I had already completed my TIP, and was on firing lines, suddenly all supervisors were required to do the Word-clearer course. More delays...

Lastly, my org had almost six months to prepare for my return, having been notified several times of my pending release. So on Thursday morning my firing CSW was approved and, of course, I was supposed to be outta there before two. All went well – except my org didn't have the money for my ticket. I was dropped off at the airport and had to wait to be paged to the courtesy 'phone so that Flag's Org Officer could give me my flight details.

I felt like a cold-war spy, holding my breath until the plane left the runway before I could breathe again. My husband had figured it out, got his mom to lend us the money, which we never got back from the org. When my mother-in-law fell ill, friendly public lent me the money to pay her back and I still owe them three-quarters of that debt.

Once at home I spent almost two months trying to get my husband's bookkeeping up to date. What was supposed to be a four month period, six months at best, had turned into16 months, and after being apart for so long all I wanted was to be with my family. I had almost zero desire to return to the org, but eventually I owned up to my responsibilities, and the threat of the dreaded "free-loader" bill.

A FLAG TRAINED TERMINAL...

I went straight back into the Div 6 courseroom, and this time I knew better so I did better. There were a few changes that I made that I knew would make all the difference. I pushed harder for dictionaries, and when I couldn't get them, I got public to help. I insisted that no more Method- seven wordclearing would be done in my course room. Most of our "off-the-street" public are what I call parrot-illiterates. They can read, if reading means making the sounds the letters on the page say to make, but they can't understand the meaning of the words.

I insisted that we only do Method-nine, thereby hoping to at least help those people learn how to learn. Even then I was fighting an uphill battle. I was watching my word-clearer help a student with Method-nine, and realised the sentences he was making were senseless. I finally figured out the problem. Almost all the words he used in his own sentences were MU's!

I tried to get a policy enforced that said if they haven't read a book.... but that would blow our 'starts' and 'bodies in the shop' stats to hell. Of course, my 'completions' stat didn't look so good, and the 're-sign' stat was almost non-existent. I found out that most of our starts, which were for VM courses, were being "sponsored". At about five dollars per course it wasn't difficult to find someone to pay for a stranger's course. Even our reges would pay for courses to keep the stats up.

Also, many of my students had heard that you could get a job at the CofS – all you had to do was pay for one course. After that I would have to sup them through the basic courses they would need before they could do their Staff Status courses. In a country that has an unemployment rate of nearly 50%, where 'varsity graduates can't find work cleaning toilets, we were very popular. So I would be busy as hell, struggling to help all these semi-literate students become staff members, but my stats were terrible because I couldn't count them - as staff they weren't paid completions.

I was pulling my hair out, trying to find a way to "make Scientologists" or recover "real" students, when I got the call to return to Flag. The rules had changed again. It seems the new Div 6 release required that I be able to audit, so I had to return for my ClIV training.

In a strange way I was glad. I'd had some experience, and needed help finding solutions for the problems I was having, or at least a way to get the policies I'd found enforced. I was tech-trained, but admin was not something I understood. I figured I would be able to get the Flag-trained sups to help me do my job better. At least that's what I told myself...

The truth behind the "greater good" lie I was trying to swallow? I was crashing and burning, and couldn't confront it anymore. Across all dynamics I was in a mess. The Basics had been released shortly after I got home, so I was spending all my time studying, and completely ignoring my family. My husband had to go it alone, without my help, and I didn't want to know how bad our financial situation was because I felt like I could do nothing about it. Staff pay would improve sometimes, never to a minimum wage standard, but it would always settle to just as bad as before.

When I first left for Flag we had 120 staff-members, when I got back we were down to 60, and not expanding faster than we were losing staff because of the pay. I was supposed to be able to turn things around, but nothing I did seemed to work. I KR'd and communicated as much as I could – considering I was suping all day, and basically out of comm with the rest of the org – but I never even got an acknowledgement, never mind some actual help. When I first got back, most of the staff were wary of me too, like they expected that I would make trouble, so I felt any comm wasn't really wanted. The only support I felt I had were from other OOTs.

So I ran, back to a place I never wanted to return to, and yet a place that felt safe. I realise now that having your life, every minute of it, under someone else's control means you don't have to be responsible for your own actions. Plus, I could claim that what I was doing was for the greater good, so who could get on my case for being irresponsible? I was being responsible for a whole planet! Yeah...right.

FLAG AGAIN...

So, I returned, this time with an e-meter I borrowed from a public who needed the meter silver cert'd as exchange. When I arrived I got some good advice from a friend, but I was too stupid and trusting to take it – my first mistake of many. Instead of getting my fast-flow status, I signed up to replace two close friends who were done with their Div 6 Apprenticeship, and needed to move on.

It didn't take long for me to realise the same stat push I'd experienced at home was happening at Flag, and under the control of the "blue shirts". What a rude awakening! I have to say that I would experience very high ethics levels from two CMO terminals I had the fortune to deal with – and they were brothers. But it seemed to me the higher you go in the CofS structure, the more the demands you have to meet, the tougher it gets to keep your integrity – especially when keeping it threatens your survival.

Of course, there is something else to consider... All our Orgs run on stats, and at Flag some areas, like the HGC, run on hourly stats. Now I've used the Conditions and the formulas extensively and there's one idea that always struck me as untenable. Normal has to be uptrending, but there's a ceiling – always – that cannot be passed. Now I do realise that part of Div 6 has to do with duplicating yourself, like franchising, but you don't get to count that as your stat.

Let me be more precise. As a Sup I have a limit of twenty students at a time, so I can 'franchise' to another sup, but eventually I'm gonna run out of space, and then I'll have to open another courseroom. The moment I do that I can't count the stats in that courseroom as my own – so eventually, no matter what you do, the only way to be upstat is to go downstat first. I have no idea how Ron worked this out, or if he borrowed the data from a different source, but I do know that Conditions backed by punishment will never be a workable system.

Anyway, I started asking questions, trying to figure out how the stats could've been accurate, and when I gave up on that I tried to figure out how to accurately show the actual production. This might sound ridiculous, but I think anyone would be suspicious of having 70, 80, even 120 recoveries per week, and yet no-one was. I tried to get "blown" properly defined, so that I could have a definition for "recovered", but before I was ready to write up my results, it all exploded in my face.

It's difficult to understand, I know, but I was so busy just manning my post, I never had time to look for the references I would need. In case that sounds like BS let me describe my normal day. I would wake up at 6.45, shower and dress and be on the seven o'clock bus. I'd head for the Galley for breakfast and two cups of coffee, and then make it in time for muster at eight. By eight-thirty I was in the course admin office, waiting for my printout of all the "blown" students.

I'd spend the day calling students or driving around with volunteers tracking students down to get them back in the course room. Most days I never had time to go back for lunch, so I'd just skip it. By about 9pm I would head back to the Coachman, and then spend the next three hours going from courseroom to courseroom trying to get the sups to give me the data on who had come back on course, and what handling they'd had.

Unfortunately, as part of the apprenticeship the other sups also had to have a record of recovery, so instead of helping me get accurate stats, they felt like I was trying to steal their stats. To be honest, it never made sense to me either, to include their recoveries in my stats, but all that was wanted were upstat numbers.

We would muster at midnight, and god help us if we were down-stat. The "blue-shirt" in charge of us would give us hell, and there were several "bilges" and other motivational exercises allocated. My favourite night was when she called us a bunch of but-fuckers. No-one had ever used that insult on me before. and I appreciated it's originality.

Then it was off to the call-in centre, trying to get people who had bought the basics but weren't on course to start the extension courses. Of course, we went through that list of names quickly, and then you were cold-calling anyone who was recorded in the CF that was still awake somewhere in the world. If we made our quota we could catch the last van to the berthing at about 2.30am, and hopefully be in bed 15 minutes later. If not well you just worked through the night, got the first bus to the berthing at about 6, showered and changed, and straight back to the base. Some nights you had to do washing, so you'd get less than the four hours anyway. Like I said, not much time to find a reference.

So back to the blow up ... before I knew what hit me I had a non-enturbulation order, was assigned to dishwashing in the galley, and put into a sec-check after months of getting four hours of sleep, and still expected to keep the same hours. It didn't seem to matter that I was exhausted – not for the sec-check anyway. (Can anyone say out-tech?)

After they couldn't find any overts on the sec-check that weren't part and parcel of the Power I was supposed to maintain, I was moved sideways - helping course admin, and extension course marking. I stayed busy, kept my stats up, and then out of the blue I was told by the LRH Host to sign on to Level 0.

Naturally, I never "completed" my Div 6 apprenticeship, and no-one communicated any data to me. By then I was just relieved to get out from under, so I never asked. My expression said it all, but the LRH Host wasn't volunteering any info, and I wouldn't have known what question to ask. I did notice that the MAAs (Ethics Officers) that were responsible for our area disappeared, and I never found out where they went or what happened to them.

I struggled through the levels, star-rating almost every reference, until my auditing sup insisted I do my Method 1, after I'd completed Level 1. I finished the co-audit course and was almost ready to start auditing when I find out I was 'out-int'. So I got onto the waiting list for GrV auditors looking for pc's, and moved onto Level two. I finally completed the Int Rundown in the middle of my ClIV internship, needing to take two days off to do so in the middle of my 40 hour week. I attested, got cramming okay, went to cramming, audited nine and a half hours the first day, ten forty five the next and eleven fifteen on the last day to. At four in the morning I did my video, and I was done.

I spent the next few weeks being butchered by bad auditing with three different auditors, but completed my sec-check. Unfortunately, I was needed to help someone else finish their internship so, I got extra questions. The auditor ran ruds after a seven-minute break and ended session on five open reads, and because he had to find something to run he asked me an unqualified open question that spun me right into the middle of SP daddy's abuse "What don't you want me to know about you?" No time, or place limiter – and my needle reads.

I explained that I didn't want him to know about this because I can't trust him to audit me on this sensative subject, but he just keeps pushing for an overt, and I've got nowhere to go except into the bowels of hell. Eventually the sups pulled him off me, give me time to settle, and found me a GrdV, FPRD, HSSC auditor to help me get through it, but I could see that even she can't handle the things I'm remembering. Our last session together was 8 hours of black, totally occluded, with the needle reading like a metronome.

My PTPs at home didn't make it any easier, but essentially I just wasn't ready to confront that part of my life. Funnily enough I managed to confront some of the most frightening and painful days, but I couldn't remember the first time. I could get to the door of the bedroom... and then all black. Later, a good friend audited me and we approached the same incident, but from a different angle, and I found the thing I couldn't confront – my agreement to withhold, to keep his secret, avoid more trouble. It was my own weakness, my own agreement that things should be withheld, my own karmic guilty conscience, my mutual out-ruds with that psychopath that did me in.

I managed to get through to the second set of end-ruds, and just jammed up on the second-last one. My family needed me home, and I knew we were going nowhere, so I went to the MAA and told him I was leaving. After the 8 hour session with no result he let me go. This time I refused to pay for my own ticket, and again, although my Org had several months notice, when the time came there was no money. I had spent 20 months at Flag, gone through hell, worked like a demon in hotels and the galley to pay for my board and lodging, and I wasn't going to let a little thing like no ticket get in my way. With the help of a Jo'burg public, I got the ticket out of my org, and I flew home.

HARD TO SWALLOW...

Obviously I'm only brushing the surface of my experience, but I thought I should mention a few occurences of which I will only bring up one example, to give you an idea of what I experienced.


On work-study.... during the Apprenticeship we were excused as we were delivering services to paying public, but once I started the Levels I had to do my thirty-five hours a week. If there was one thing I excelled at it was workstudy. I delivered exchange in abundance, and even handled the SeaOrg Day celebrations without a hitch. It was that experience that taught me what some SO members actually went through as a matter of course. I never had any direct comm, or witnessed anything definite, but I became "one of the guys" and as such I would overhear snippets. Naturally I knew I would have to face a sec-check so I avoided knowing too much, and never asked a question, but it was impossible not to notice anything.

For example, during the Fort Harison renovations, half of the work-study students volunteered to go on full time for a couple of weeks, leaving the rest of us to carry the load, but the SO guys had to do their post and still work on the Fort Harrison. Most of them didn't get any sleep for several days at a time. When one of them – a terminal in Qual – had an accident, he became a cook in the galley, probably because someone "that PTS" couldn't be on Qual lines. But is it really PTSness to fall asleep out of pure exhaustion?

I had to drop one of my pc's because she couldn't get enough sleep to get through objectives. At first I assumed the process was biting, but it didn't take long to realise that she would dope off as soon as she sat still on CCH's. I remembered what it was like, how much I had struggled to stay awake, how many SO staff I saw nodding off at their computers, or on study.


I heard the screaming in the call-centres to push for results, the warnings that if anyone else was caught using public's credit cards to make sales without the public's knowledge, there would be hell to pay. I was shocked that anyone would go that far, to actually steal, but at the same time I understood. Flag had an IAS target, five million dollars, and somehow they made it. But within days there was another target. SO was exhausted but still they kept going, and when they couldn't there was a blue-shirt or black-shirt screaming insults and threats to keep them at it.


There were the OOTs who were blown, but we never knew the truth, the real why, and were discouraged from asking. Then there were all the SO staff that disappeared, or suddenly appeared on RPF, and again we had no idea why.


At one of our staff meetings we were separated into two groups: those who were on target, meeting checksheet times, and those who weren't. I was in the group who was way behind, because I wasn't fast-flow. There were many others like me, including most of the foreign language students and even those who had been persuaded to help "Ideal Org"students. (They had to be done with their training in time for their new Org's launch, and needed help to get through their ProTR's and Metering – both courses that normally required a twin, and so took longer unless you received a one-way help flow.)

We were told that we were holding the stats down intentionally, and therefore were basically suppresive, that the rest of the group rejected us, that we were degraded beings obviously overloaded with overts, trying to destroy Scientology. Way to build a team, huh?



I was on Level two when the lead sup insisted I complete my course before Thursday at two, as she had put me on the completions list. I told her it wasn't possible, even if I could organise someone to help me with all my star-rates there just wasn't enough time. After course that evening she cornered me again, with the Deputy Captain, and told him how "CI" I was being, how destructive my attitude was, and then started yelling about the non-enturbulation order I had, and that as far as she was concerned, I was violating it. Interestingly, I never felt embarrased by her outburst becasue I knew all the students knew what it was like to be pushed so hard, and I was proud that I would not "quickie" my training.


A "good" student, who had already fired back to her Org, was suddenly back, and doing bilges. She told me she had fired as a GrV auditor, but when the time came to audit public in her org, she made a mess of it because she didn't know her tech well enough. She admitted she was more focused on getting done in checksheet time, than having certainty on the tech.


One of the younger staff members from Jo'burg was sharing a berthing with me, and at two in the morning we hear banging on the door, waking all eight of us up, only to find it's SO recriuters come to collect this young girl. She hadn't agreed to sign a contract yet, and I knew she wasn't very keen, but too afraid to just say no. She left with them, and I wrote it up to the LRH Host the next day.

I didn't take long for her to find me to tell me all was well and she was really glad she'd decided to join ... but a few months later she was diagnosed with some type of epilepsy, and was sent home. When I got back she was nowhere to be seen. I'm in comm with her again, but I can't describe the fear I felt at what was happening to her, knowing how her parents would feel, and having doubts myself about what was good in Scientology.



SIDELINED...

So I went home, disillusioned and worn-out. When my mother saw me two weeks later her expression told me how bad I still looked. My husband reminded me how much worse it was when I first got back, but I felt so great to be home that I didn't notice anything else. I was more determined than ever to do right by him. I knew I had to get his books up to date and get the taxes done, but as usual the Org's needs were more urgent.

They were opening the test centre soon and needed me back. I agreed to a date, and made sure I returned as per my promise, even though I hadn't completed the cycles I needed to. My driver's licence had expired, and I hadn't submitted our taxes, but at the same time I was broke and figured I would need an income, and the sooner the better.

I was expecting to be able to use the training and experience I had gained in my org, but within days I got the news – I was to go to the test centre. I was so surprised, because I knew it would remove me from the main business of the Org, and I felt I could do more to recover public, and build the staff compliment if I was there. The test centre would attract a lot of new public, but most were impoverished students, on government subsidised bursuaries, with zero income to spend on courses.Every staff member I'd spoken to assumed I would be the one to stay as my training was more appropriate to the Orgs needs, but the ED "wanted the best at the test centre"... or was that just PR?

While SO worked their butts off to get the building ready on time, and recruit staff, I had to get them hatted and ready to deliver. From the word go it was a disaster with a brave face, as things normally are when temporary "fixes" become permanent.

At first we did well to keep it all together, and we managed to deliver, but the mistakes started to add up (like undercharging for our courses). Three months later I was called to go back to Flag for the new Div 6 release, but the American Embassey refused to give me a Visa. I'd spent three of the last five years in the States, and to them that meant I was interested in living there. How could I explain how much I wanted to stay at home, and why should I? I didn't want to go. Luckily I was not the only one. Flag solved the problem by sending us two sups and a C/S, and so began our training at an SO base near Jo'burg. At least I could call my husband everyday, and we were only apart for about a month.

By the time I returned to the test centre the rot had already set in. Our stats weren't terrible in the beginning, but in the two weeks before I returned they'd crashed. I tried to get them up again but by then we'd started losing the little staff we had and before I knew it I was back in the same old situation. Reports were ignored, I had no comm lines (telephones were one of those things that hadn't got organised by the time we opened, and I spent all my pay on my cell account until I couldn't afford even that).

Soon enough I lost my ride to the test centre from the org, when the last two staff members who had cars left. Then I couldn't afford to travel to the Org first, so I caught a train straight to the test centre. We were down to just two staff members, myself and one of my recruits. We'd also lost our security guards when we couldn't pay for them. Our panels weren't working and the computers were frozen, and only one of our film rooms operated, with small computer speakers for sound....

By now I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth, but it just got worse. I fell pregnant (something I didn't want to have happen) twice, and miscarried twice. I reported it to the C/S and thanks to a very good friend and excellent auditor I got to go in session. Those sessions saved me in more ways than I can say. I started to face up to the responsibilties I'd been running from ever since I was six, when I couldn't even be responsible for my own grief.

Then I started to think about the Org, Flag, and the church as a whole. But still I couldn't think of leaving. A good friend suggested I take some time to handle my financial situation and I responded like a good little brain-washed staff member should – I jumped down her throat.

Then on a day when I was alone in the test centre I was attacked, and by an ex-staff member too. I was batterred and bruised, with a couple of cracked ribs and a huge lump on the head after he kicked me down a flight of stone stairs. I survived, and of course my folder had to go to the C/S.

I went back in session to do a PTS handling, and realised I was PTS to myself, that I had created the situation Iwas experiencing because I needed a "good" excuse to leave staff. Being pregnant didn't work because I really didn't want another child (my son is 21), so instead I put my life in danger. Hell, if I hurt myself bad enough, maybe I wouldn't be able to sup again – and that would be a good excuse to quit.

This is the degree to which I could not confront the simple truth. But I was learning....

However, it was 'suggested' to me that I couldn't be PTS to myself, and so I needed a correction list while my auditor was corrected too. At first I just fell into my old ways. I'd accept it, just get through it, and then go back to those wonderful sessions with my auditor. But my persistent F/Ns dried up, until I could barely squeeze a little one out.

Before I completed the correction we had the re-launch of our Org. We had a fancy new three-floor Div 6, with fabulous panels, and Italian-made uniforms.... but not a single supervisor for any one of our new courserooms, our pay was too low to cover the dry-cleaning ... and then the last straw arrived. Some fancy uniform stood on the stage and told us how great we are, and how successful the new Ideal Org strategy is, and how we are spearheading the change with our fabulous test centre....

I felt sick, and sad. I got out of there as soon as I could. I couldn't deal with the enturbulation I felt, I tried to shut it out but I couldn't. I had used the conditions in November 2011 to help me figure out what to do next, but I got hung up in Doubt. I knew I needed to do something so I went back to the doubt formula. To my surprise it was easy. The stats were lies, the events were all rumour and bias, and I knew I could no longer support an organisation that thought it was okay for it's staff to starve while millions were being "raised" without exchange, for buildings.

I submitted my condition, returned my uniform and walked out.



MORE HARD TO SWALLOW...

My husband was reg'ed several times to buy the basics, but we could never afford it. While I was away the Dissem Sec called him and told him that he had purchased the basics on our behalf on his personal credit card, but as he was moving he wanted my husband to collect them now, and he could pay it off as and when he could afford it. The truth was that he had bought several sets of the Basics on his credit card to meet a target, and as he paid a promotion price for them he figured he would be able to sell them later on, and even make a profit. We weren't the only ones he pulled that little scam on. I was angry because by the time I got home my husband had already paid him thousands, even though we never agreed to by the Basics, and he continued to hound us for the money, knowing we couldn't afford it.


My husband was reg'ed by SO staff who would arrange to meet with him under false pretenses, or try to visit him at home. When I asked him what they would say, he explained how they would insist that he should help to put in his exchange, and used terminology as though he was an OT. My husband had done the purif with me, and nothing else – not a single course, book , or session – because we really couldn't afford it. He owed them nothing, but they kept pushing until he literally gave them our grocery money, so they would leave.


We would raise funds for specific renovations and repairs, meet our target, and then a few months later we were asking our public for more money for the same thing. I'm sure some of the promises made weren't kept (we had a debit-order system whereby you would agree to having a monthly deduction from your account, but the company who arranged it would forward the total to the Church. We would raise a lot of money that way, but then have to raise it again when the debit orders "bounced"), or sometimes the amounts needed were under-estimated, but surely not to the tune of millions. Where did all the money go?

One of our more recent events was to acknowledge our staff. Depending on the length of service, staff were awarded with rings. I attended the event, only to find out that I had been forgotten. What made it worse was justifying it to the other staff members who asked me why I wasn't on stage with them. I wanted to say, "How the hell would I know?" but I would never hang anyone out to dry like that, even though I knew who organised the event - but then so did they.


We spent a fortune on fund-raising for the IAS and Ideal Orgs, but we were constantly running out of money for paper, printer ink, phone airtime, and other basic supplies. When I followed policy and demanded that a percentage of what my courseroom earned be spent on dictionaries or clay, my comm was ignored.


I sent several comms to "higher" management terminals, but never got an ack, never mind an actual response. It did however get me noticed as a trouble-maker. Unfortunately, I can't prove it.


I learnt that the SO1 line wasn't as sacrosanct as I thought it was. Apparently the comms were read, probably by the LC office, and then they were supposed to handle the complaint and attach a write-up of the handling to the comm and send it up-lines. Of course there's no way to know whether all the comms were handled, or if they just disappeared...


When the test centre was opened it was supposed to comply with a specific list per the Ideal Org plan, but these things were not completed in time for the opening. I could understand and accept that, but I couldn't understand why once the test centre was open it was considered a fait accompli, and the list was never completed. I also never understood why certain purchases, like dictionaries, were made without consulting the supervisors. I had too few dictionaries for my courseroom, and the ones I did have were too advanced for my students, which made them useless.


I struggled to come to terms with the fact that when we achieved a target we would be rewarded with a dinner at a restaurant, or an outing of some kind, when most of us would've preferred the money instead, until I realised that the terminals making those decisions were mostly SO and for them a day or night off was more valuable than the money.

There were several instances of upset public, of people that just stopped coming to the Org, but I never found out why. Being posted nearly 30 kilometres away meant I was out of the loop. But I do know that our numbers have dwindled ever since we started demanding more money without any exchange. I guess it speaks for itself...

Most important of all my disagreements would be the complete lack of application of the ARC triangle. It was a tool to be used to get something out of someone, but not a tool to assist all of us in developing our relationships as a group or as a religion. To me that would be analogous to a priest teaching us to pray, but never doing so himself. I often wondered how different things would be if we actually practised what we were so fond of preaching...


THAT'S ALL FOLKS...


There's a lot more to the story, but the details bore me. I guess I'm just sick of looking back, when the future contains all the possibilities. The past can enlighten you, if you're prepared to be brutally honest, but the sole purpose of looking at the past is enabling us to create a better future, and that's where my focus lies. I will continue to clean up my life, complete all my unfinished cycles, and prepare for the future I have begun to create.

You need to know that if it wasn't for the love and friendship I found in the FSO and FLB staff, I never would have stuck it out as long as I did. Despite the craziness, there was a lot more amazingness balancing it out. My faith in humanity still holds firm, because I found a lot more good than bad, even in the worst examples in the Church.

My experience has taught me that any compromise of one's integrity or truth leads to degradation of one's ability to maintain that integrity. In other words, once the 'whole' loses a piece of itself, no matter how small, it is no longer whole. I did just that throughout my life, and thanks to Scientology I have learnt how to correct that mistake, and I needed to get out of the Church as part of that correction.

I hope that, if you find yourself in the same boat, you will be able to do the same. I hereby close the door on a time of stupidity, but I walk away with good friends and lessons learnt, and as a better person than I was when I first walked through the doorway. And that's not bad...
 

elwood

Patron with Honors
Hello! I recently joined ESMB and have been encouraged to post my experiences as a staff member (October 2004 – July 2011) in South Africa. To be honest, I wasn't too keen to do so, as I knew it would take some time and I felt the need to get on with creating a future. But a part of that means dispensing with my past. I started with a general de-kluge (like spring cleaning) of my space, as I really felt weighed down with all the MEST I had collected over the years. It wasn't long before I realised that my inner space needed the same treatement, and so I have decided to tell my tale.

<SNIPPED QUOTED POST FOR BREVITY MOD 2>

And that's not bad...
I stopped reading at "I will start with my birth into this lifetime,..."
 
Last edited by a moderator:

smartone

My Own Boss
Welcome Mich! Thank you for your interesting story and I'm sure you will enjoy your freedom now :coolwink:
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
I read the whole thing. That's quite a story, Mich. It must have taken you ages to proofread and edit it, quite apart from the time to originally write it.

Paul
 
mich!

thank you so much for your story...

you touch my heart, your childhood moistens my eyes, it is so good to read of your courage and perserverance, to see you write so clearly honestly and well.

you surely have the prayers and good wishes of many people here

may you be well and prosper and know warm quiet days punctuated with moments of bouyant laughter and know you are always welcome here
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Good God Almighty!

Mich, that is an exceedingly long story. I'm so sorry about the stupidities and crimes committed against you when you were a child. That is a horrific story.

But the realizations you had as a child about the futility of negotiating with an SP / psychotic / child-rapist like your stepfather were smart. Likewise, what you said at the end, "... any compromise of one's integrity or truth leads to degradation of one's ability to maintain that integrity ...." is forever-true.

Mich, here's to your being true to yourself from here on out.

And welcome to ESMB. :)

:cheers:

TG1
 

Terril park

Sponsor
I hope that, if you find yourself in the same boat, you will be able to do the same. I hereby close the door on a time of stupidity, but I walk away with good friends and lessons learnt, and as a better person than I was when I first walked through the doorway. And that's not bad...

Powerfully and beautifully written. Among all the stories written here yours
stands out.
 

freethinker

Sponsor
Your story is captivating mich. At the same time it is bewildering that someone could go through all that, and I'm only up to Flag the First Time.

As Paul pointed out, it is well written.

:welcome:
 

Outethicsofficer

Silver Meritorious Patron
Hi Mich
Thank you for your post...what a hell of a journey!

If they truly practiced what they preached then...well this forum might not exist.

Do well Mich.

James
 

Happy Days

Silver Meritorious Patron
Thank you Mich so much for sharing your story. It certainly impacted on me from beginning to end.

I recalled the madness of the SO and Orgs at these times and it was certainly designed to keep you in the CoS control.

I look back now and go 'where the hell were we?' to put up with all that freakish controlling mechanisms with wax enthusiastic demeanor while the whole scene was driving you to despair, proverty, fear and having that goddamn awful feeling of being trapped and no where to go ... cause they have stuff on you and they have your family and friends as a means to keeping you in matrix ....

Cultish behaviour in all facets with a good lashing of brainwashing to boot is all I can say.
 

R2-45

Silver Meritorious Patron
The word-processor tells me that there were 11,341 words, and 59,850 characters.


I read each one of them.



Thanks, mich.




:)
 

dchoiceisalwaysrs

Gold Meritorious Patron
Hi Mich

I really want to thank you for writing and posting this illuminating story. Very well written. :thumbsup:

To me it shows where the 'strength' of the Cult of Scientology comes from. It comes from dynamic individuals who have a dream and try to build it with a system that is composed of con man's narcissistic 'Philosophy' interwoven with insights from it's past participants. It entices, hoodwinks and usurps so many peoples' good will and lifes, far to often diminishing, sidetracking and destroying its participants and their families and associates.

As regards the more recent years in Scientology I feel your story is an important part of the 'Mosaic' as our dear afaceinthecrowd would say.

Strongly related to your story I find this video of David Mayo mostly appropriate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lT8TKo_s69o&feature=related

I am glad you have laid your past down,. May your future be bright.:happydance:
 

Infinite

Troublesome Internet Fringe Dweller
Hello! I recently joined ESMB and have been encouraged to post my experiences as a staff member (October 2004 – July 2011) in South Africa. To be honest, I wasn't too keen to do so, as I knew it would take some time and I felt the need to get on with creating a future. But a part of that means dispensing with my past. I started with a general de-kluge (like spring cleaning) of my space, as I really felt weighed down with all the MEST I had collected over the years. It wasn't long before I realised that my inner space needed the same treatement, and so I have decided to tell my tale . . . <snip for brevity> . . . I hope that, if you find yourself in the same boat, you will be able to do the same. I hereby close the door on a time of stupidity, but I walk away with good friends and lessons learnt, and as a better person than I was when I first walked through the doorway. And that's not bad...

Thank you for your story. From this wog's perspective, it provides a remarkable, first-hand glimpse at the inner workings of the Scientology "machine".
 

FoTi

Crusader
Wow! That's an amazing story, Mich.

I read the whole thing. Whew!

Thanks so much for sharing. You're a good writer.

Glad you finally made it out of the Co$.

Here's to your future being a lot brighter than your past. :cheers2:
 
Hello! I recently joined ESMB and have been encouraged to post my experiences as a staff member (October 2004 – July 2011) in South Africa. To be honest, I wasn't too keen to do so, as I knew it would take some time and I felt the need to get on with creating a future. But a part of that means dispensing with my past. I started with a general de-kluge (like spring cleaning) of my space, as I really felt weighed down with all the MEST I had collected over the years. It wasn't long before I realised that my inner space needed the same treatement, and so I have decided to tell my tale.


<SNIPPED QUOTED POST FOR BREVITY MOD 2>

And that's not bad...
WOW! What an incredible story. You are very courageous having written it, and I could certainly feel that you must have gone through a lot of different emotions getting it all typed down... very well done. I hope that you experience tremendous relief from this. I felt so many emotions and similarities while reading it. My story is a bit different, but it entailed training onboard the Apollo in 1971 with LRH during the OEC/FEBC where I received the fantastic L's auditing while he was developing them... the most fantastic auditing I have ever had; the wins were beyond belief! Then again did the OEC/FEBC at the Flag Land Base in 1982. I witnessed the RTC take-over of the Church where I and many other OOTs knew that this was a hostile coup. Well, things have certainly changed for me since that era. I suspect your many forthcoming changes will sometimes be scarey, but, believe me... you will come to a freedom in your heart about Scn and the future, and will be able to clearly make decisions that will expand your dynamics and your survival. Best of luck to you. And please post some more.
 
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Leon

Gold Meritorious Patron
Do you know what shines through all of this, Mich? Your own indomitable strength and dedication to your own betterment. No matter the shit thrown at you it seems very clear that your own underlying truth has always been your strength.

I salute you for that. Superbly well done.

I knew Joburg Org back in the seventies when I was on staff in CT. What a different place that was. Today the insanity of the Sea Org has abandoned all restraint and is rampantly destructive of all Scientology. So sad.
 

lurkanon

Patron with Honors
Thank you so much for posting this beautifully written, honest account. It is good to heard a story from someone in South Africa, as there are very, very few stories from that region. I hope your story will encourage others to tell their stories as well.

Writing it all up is an excellent way to "purge it all out", in order to be able to move forward, so congratulations on doing so!

Great respect and admiration to you for your courage in writing about the sad parts of your childhood, as well.

It is also very interesting to hear about the reality of the new training centre - after all the hype and promotion. Also, your story evidences the fact that the average South African public does not have the literacy skills to even understand what is taught - it is way "out gradient", and inappropraite for the realities of South Africa, and the high unemployment rate is a very real factor.

I have one question, if you would not mind answering if you can, about the much publicised new "AO" that was supposed to open in 2010, in time for the World Cup, at Kyalami Castle. Do you have any more information about that? It has not opened yet - what happened?

Interesting too, another person who went to Flag for training around the same time as you, from Cape Town, was also refused a Visa by the US Embassy last year, as the last time he was there, he stayed at Flag for 4 years, and overstayed the time given to him on his Visa, so he can never enter the US again.

He also went up to Johannesburg for training with the people they flew out after the US Embassy clamped down.

Thank you again, heartily, for your courage, honesty, and for writing up this very valuable and important story.

- LA
 

lkwdblds

Crusader
Hi Mich, I readed your whole story. It was interesting to see how things were in the 90's and 2000's as compared to when I was there in the 70's. I loved what you said about trying to make deals with an SP such as your stepfather. The conclusions which you came up with seem very valid to me and match my own experience.

Ditto for the points you made about giving up a portion of yourself, the idea of compromising at any cost to get out of a jam. The David Mayo video closely backs the conclusions which you arrived at.

Your story, like so many others, once again shines the spotlight on LRH's Management Tech. The more stories such as yours which I read, plus the input from my own experience, show LRH Management Tech to be extremely flawed.

That tech succeeds 100% of the time in creating chaos and not rewarding the most ethical staff and biggest producers. All people working in that system end up nervous wrecks, being overworked while receiving very little exchange. They are always on the verge of collapse because of being overworked, undernourished, underfed and not getting enough sleep. They are micromanaged, rarely by people wiser than themselves, and the are lied to routinely. The are allowed no time off, no contact with the outside world and no personal interests or hobbies.

The stat system, though having some wisdom in theory, in practices makes monsters out of people who are continously doing crazy things to get their stats up while they ignore situations which need handling but which do not have stats attached to them.

As you so astutely point out in closing your bio, there are gains which can be made there but those gains are not because of LRH Management Tech but rather, in spite of it. The main gain to be had is surviving through a living hell of insanity and illogic and getting through it and out of it, still alive and still with some personal integrity left within you. When one achieves that, as you did, one can look back and reflect on themselves and see that they are not wimps and not incompetent. In effect, they survived a "Devil's Island" type situation and they proved to themselves that they have strength and ability and that they are valuable people.

You are such a person and I would like to acknowledge you for being one and for wiriting your story to help others so that they don't have to repeat what you went through.
Lakey
 
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