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


Patron Meritorious
Wow, you are some powerful writer.

I read up to Scn showing up and then scanned a bit further. Will read more, later.

Your story resonates with me. I also had an abusive childhood though with only a bit of sexual content, thank goodness.

When I got into Scn I was very fucked up and suicidal. I got through that and became a better person. Much better. How much credit should I give to Scn? IDK. Did Scn save my life? Perhaps, IDK. But I do know that Scn was a big part of the path I took to who I am today and I am pretty pleased, given who I was. So I owe a certain degree of loyalty to LRH and Scn. And I am kinda like, all about loyalty.

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

Thanks for posting this video. It is excellent. :thumbsup:

I've always found David in his various remarks to be quite sensible and reassuring of the efficacy of reason and good will. Whereas Hubbard was quite entertaining to hear, it was as much for his frequently ridiculous over-statement as for anything meaningful in what he had to say. It was as though he was speaking out of an incessant need to be the focus of attention regardless of whether what he had to say made sense or was simple bombast for the benefit of his listeners.

In contrast, David Mayo never speaks except to a reasoned purpose. As a result in his recorded speeches I find that David has always proved to be enlightening both in the thoughts expressed as well as in his manner of expression. Altogether that is an admirable quality to find in a public speaker.

Mark A. Baker

Rene Descartes

Gold Meritorious Patron


long story: but I read it all


Sorry to hear that you were put through the ringer there but I am glad about one thing for you and that is that at the end of the story you and your husband appear to still be together.

On a bright side of things Scientology was not able to destroy your family.

I tip my hat to your husband for having the love to have stuck through this all with you.

Go give him a hug for me.

Okay wait, I don't mean give him a hug "for me".

What I mean is go give him a hug and tell him I said that you should give him a hug, a real big one.



I stopped reading at "I will start with my birth into this lifetime,..."

...And miss out on all the gory stuff??? :biggrin: Sorry - I know it seems to drag the story out a bit, but it helps to explain why I got in and stuck around for so long. My bet is that a lot of people out there are hurting and that's why they look for something like Scientology...


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.


Thanks! Not too long on the writing and editing - it's what I do for a living now, so I get quite a lot of practice. It was worth it - a good way to end a chapter and make room for new beginnings. :happydance:



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

Damn, Commander! You just got me all mushy and squishy inside... and I liked it. Thank you for the compliment - especially on the writing, as it's something I love to do and hope I'm good at. I also hope that others will take the chance to do the same. I really believe if we all knew each other that well, it would damn difficult to judge anyone harshly, and a lot easier to like 'em. And the truth shall set you free...:coolwink:


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. :)



Thanks TG1 - sorry about the length (and I tried to keep it short...) A friend once told me I should write about my life, until she got to know the whole story... then she told me to forget it - that no-one would believe it. Truth be told, I never wanted my life to be boring (it's not) and I always wanted to truly understand others (lots of experience gives you that gift), so it's all as I wanted it to be - no-one else to blame. I guess I'm hoping that my honesty will encourage others to do the same, and at least give them hope that you can survive anything and still have a smile on your face and love in your heart. :thumbsup:


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.


Thanks, freethinker, and I love your quotes. Believe it or not, I've heard worse stories, but then again, I think people confide in me because they know I'll understand. :yes:


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

I read each one of them.

Thanks, mich.


Wow! That's short story length - I had no idea I was so productive! Thanks - that's the "best said" compliment I've had :coolwink:


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

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

Exactly! :thumbsup:That's why I started from "the beginning" - there are tons of people like me who search for healing, and can empathize and so want to help others who have been chewed up by the steel teeth of the trap. Scientology was supposed to be that for me, and I wanted it so bad that I let myself look away from the bad stuff, or blame it on that individual's case, in the hope that I really found an answer. I hoped that my story would show that.

Thanks for the Mayo video - unfortunately I don't have a sound card on this computer, but I will make a plan to see it soon.


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.

Thanks! Yes - it was a nice de-kluge of the soul. It made me take a look, remember the good and the bad, and then lay it down and walk on. I'm so grateful to have a forum to do just that, and get these wonderful acks that somehow heal those hurts.:happydance:

Arthur Dent

Silver Meritorious Patron
Thanks for your story, Mich!
Good account of how it goes for outer org trainees!
Hopefully, others will be inspored to run the other way!
Thanks for sharing the story of your childhood and family.
That must have been tough to tell. It was a heck of a lot
to survive but survive it you did! And now you've survived
the cult as well. I hope the next chapter of your life is filled
with peace, health, good friends and close family.
Glad you landed here!


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.

You said it! I went to CT about two years ago, and it was so refreshing to see an Org run by real people, with jobs, and lives, and kids, and wives... I'd forgotten that Org staff were allowed to have those things. I really loved CT and trained at Flag with many of their staff - I hope they will all find their way out....

Thanks for the compliment, and you're spot on (when I was first asked what I want to change about myself I said "change nothing - just be better at it). I came out of this improved and wiser, and now it's on to the next step...


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

Thank you for the wonderful compliments! Yes - I do feel lighter and brighter!!

Sorry, Kyalami was one of those things that got left out when I realised my story was becoming a novel. We worked like demons, begged, borrowed and probably stole to raise half of what we needed, so the very generous DM could persuade the IAS to fund the other half.... and then we spent the next few years paying thousands of big bucks (my guess about $6500 per night) renting their hall for our events!! How'd ya like them apples? Good scam, huh? I went many a week without pay so we could afford those events... As far as I know the place belongs to us, but is still operating as a hotel....? Another one of those things no-one really wants to talk about, and when it comes up, we get told that the staff are at Flag at this very moment, in training, for our wonderful Advanced Org (I met one of them while I was at Flag - she's the Saint Hill SHSBC-Sup now)

You really duplicated the education (or rather, lack thereof) situation in South Africa. I wish you could watch the news here - there's some kind of student rioting or demonstrating almost every week. Poverty and illiteracy go hand-in-hand and create a catch 22 - you can't get out of one without handling the other, but at the same time one keeps the other in place. My plan was to push Dianetics, as most black South-Africans have experienced or been exposed to violence of some kind (and yes I really mean most - I've given enough Book1 sessions to know that very few people have not), and they respond really well to Dianetics, but alas no Book1 auditor on staff.

The other trainee from CT... Matt or Keith? Is he still in?


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.

Thanks, Lakey. You didn't miss a thing! It would be very pleasing to me if someone who needed help as much as I did, learnt that their need could become the very weakness that would blind them to seeing the truth - not just in Scientology, but in life. I can look back and truly be grateful for the experience, having walked away with more than I arrived with, and still making new friends because of it! And it's good to be able to face life with a list of 'wants' instead of overwhelming 'need'.

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Thankyou so, so much...:thankyou:

One thing I would watch is any tendency to blame yourself, to bring it all back to you for not making right decisions and so on. Scientology reinforces that concept to a huge degree and makes finding the "lynch pin" of issues that much harder to find... as it can be easy to say "well if only I had done blah" or "I got sick to stop something happening" and miss the deeper ones (which in my experience tend to be about loving yourself). I'm sure you are aware of this, I'm commenting for others to read as well. :)

You have much courage. :thumbsup:


Wow, you are some powerful writer.

I read up to Scn showing up and then scanned a bit further. Will read more, later.

Your story resonates with me. I also had an abusive childhood though with only a bit of sexual content, thank goodness.

When I got into Scn I was very fucked up and suicidal. I got through that and became a better person. Much better. How much credit should I give to Scn? IDK. Did Scn save my life? Perhaps, IDK. But I do know that Scn was a big part of the path I took to who I am today and I am pretty pleased, given who I was. So I owe a certain degree of loyalty to LRH and Scn. And I am kinda like, all about loyalty.


I know what you mean, and at first it was confusing for me. I figure I owe my loyalty to those people and their moments of care and help (sometimes a person would help me the one day and hurt me the next), but I don't owe a system anything! I know ('cause I've been looking) that a lot of what Ron came up with was 'borrowed' from other people and systems, and I owe them and him thanks for that. But it was the support of those who really cared, that gave me the strength and belief that I could "come right", and I believe there's more room for improvement, and more people who can help. I'm just gonna be a little more careful about finding them....:thumbsup:

Semper Phi

Patron with Honors
Oh Mich, my wonderful friend. God, I wish I could fly all the way to Africa to give you a big hug. But this will have to do for now... :bighug:

Needless to say, your story brought back a LOT of memories of what you and I endured at Flag, together and separately. I remember many of the events and situations you described.

And you folks reading it: she isn't exaggerating what it is like to be an OOT at Flag. There are some people who do manage to fly through and seem to have a good time there, but for many of us it was confusing, introverting, frustrating, infuriating, and just plain hard, with little decent exchange.

Thanks be to all the good forces in the universe that provided good friends to help us get through it! (And to loan each other their emeters as session spares during their auditing internships...)

Flowers for you, my sweet friend, for being so brave and telling us your story so beautifully.

:heartflower: :heartflower: :heartflower: :heartflower: :heartflower: :heartflower: