I've been researching Scientology from the inside as an active "parishioner" on and off for the past few years, having thus far trained and audited up to Grade II. I've kept a daily journal of my observations and experiences, and while I've collected a massive amount of very interesting and original material, I still haven't much that I'd say would provide much insight into daily life in the Sea Org. I've been regged constantly to join the SO and so far I've been able to resist the temptation to go through with it all the way - I have done the application (along with meter check and OCA/IQ/Aptitude/Leadership tests) a few times during this time and was able to pass, but I avoided signing the contract and routing into the EPF since covertly researching Scientology as a public is obviously very different and less risky than doing that as an SO member.
I'm not worried about the meter checks, since the meter never seems to catch me when I lie (about having done drugs, for example, or having worked as a journalist), and I'm not even worried about the background check since they've had my SS# on file and I know for a fact they've pulled my records (only once, the second time I filled out an application). Getting caught doesn't seem to be that big of a deal, since it'd likely just result in being thrown out and declared an SP. What does worry me is making mistakes that would prevent me from getting promoted into those SO orgs where the major problems and abuses are carried out. Ideally this would mean working at Int Base, but this seems highly unlikely and almost impossible at this point.
Has any journalist or writer investigated the SO from within within the last 10 or 20 years (as a member) that would provide some help in this? Any thoughts on outlining a strategy or words of advice?
You mean as an undercover journalist, going up against an organization whose intelligence has been likened to that of the CIA or greater, you didn't have a better plan in place before going in than to give them your actual SS#?
I hope you have back-up. Have you checked the various laws in regards to impersonating on private property, taking video, audio, etc? Hey, I'm all for undercover work but it seems that would require one to be lawyered up to the likes of a huge network news outlet. If you're for real, I don't mean to discourage you, only to ask the obvious questions.
In addition, if you think that there is ANY privacy in the SO, even with those who are in outer orgs, you are sorely mistaken. No way. The most "free" are the fundraisers/registrars as out of necessity they must be accessible to the public however, the numbers get changed often because SPs like us blow and have their phone numbers on speed dial. Phones also get switched a lot and before I left, text messaging was canceled and forbidden. The only people allowed to text were OSA staff.
These guys may seem free to use all their technology while off their bases but they get pulled into sec checking like every 4 to 6 weeks. When they do get back to the base, everything is gone through, all the brief cases, cell phones, laptops, etc.
How do I know this? Well, as I have already reported here, an SO member (when I was out of the room) went through all the photos on my cell phone and then confronted me about having a naked picture of my husband on my phone. I was so pissed. He then told me that there is no privacy in the SO, every nook and cranny is invaded and so that is why he thought it was okay to do that to me as a Class V org staff member.