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Your story is a ripper scooter. You write about the Aussie bush in a way only an Aussie can. From Henry Lawson to RM Williams, there is an empathy for the space, the silence, the dust and the bloody flies that only a bushie knows, feels down to the bone. It's good to have another bushie on the board. Oh, and you can write a good yarn too.

Disclaimer; This post was brought to you by a lover of the out back and in a small way by "Cougar" bourbon whisky


Wonderful story scooter. Your descriptions are crystal clear and I can see your bike ride and the outback easily in my mind. Talking of playing with your neice, it's amazing the stuff we take for granted in this life isn't it. And it's not until we are switched off from life while in the cult and get out again (if we're lucky) that we begin to realize how important the small things really are, or what we would have thought of as small things before. Like you said, just sitting on the veranda listening to birds and watching the sky, beautiful.

Facinating stuff and I'm looking forward to more... :drama:



I'm enjoying your story Scoots, and especially cause I have so much reality on who and what you're talking about.

When I come back to this thread and read a little more, I keep having a giggle about the fact that I used to use the fact that you walked around the org in 'bare feet', to my advantage. I said to many who tried to convert me into the middle class mock up - 'If that Fdn guy doesn't have to wear shoes, and he's been here longer than I have, then I don't have to wear a bra." It wasn't long before I was wearing a bra and you were wearing shoes, but I don't know who submitted first.

We had affinity for eachother from the onset (even though we didn't have a real lot to do with eachother back then), and probably because we had similar tracks. Even though we were in different orgs, your presence in the org (and who and what you were) gave me much support and confidence, cause in those very early days you were the only one who I could truly identify with. I will always love ya for that! :)

Looking forward to more of your story. :)


Gold Meritorious Patron
:D I was still getting away with no shoes up 'til '87 - then I went to Flag.

But thanks everyone for the feedback - more is on the way


Gold Meritorious Patron


Gold Meritorious Patron
Here's the next bit:

I walked in with my piece of paper saying I was now Course Admin and the Director of Training looked a bit guilty. The Course Sup was pleased to see me and told me one of my priorities was keeping people out of the Academy. I didn’t know what he meant until I’d been there a day or two and was amazed at the number of people who “just popped in” to look at the students. Mostly registrars and recruiters looking for “prospects” but it seemed like half the org was anxious to see what was happening behind the closed doors.

To handle this, I began to put up a list of who was in the Academy every night. It soon became something which got updated constantly to keep the rest of the org “informed.” I still had trouble with people coming in and began to get quite ferocious when someone just “happened” to “pop in.” Any reputation I had as a nice person soon vanished. I was told that I was stopping the org from surviving as “we” needed the students’ money and “we” needed them to join staff too. The only staff member who really backed me up was Allen the Course Sup.

But the students LOVED it even if the reg.s and recruiters didn’t. Students could now continue to study during breaks and after course without anyone coming to interrupt them as the Course Admin was a pitbull at the doorway. It helped being six foot tall and fairly rough-looking. I had even some of the exec.s rattled and thinking twice before entering.

I also began getting the other functions of the job done – which made life easier for everyone, including me. The job had long been neglected and, although I wasn’t the greatest worker and I hated being in the area, I did the best I could. I also studied up the policies related to my job and began getting in lots of those as well. I figured if I had to be there, at least I’d make it as pleasant as I could until I got someone else to take it over and I could go back to my “real job” in Qual.

Some of the students in the academy were from Narconon, scientology’s drug rehab organization. A Narconon had just been set up in Sydney in a house in the eastern suburbs and I really liked the idea of working in such a place. I tried to see if I could transfer to it but got a knock-back – I’d figured with my drug history I’d be the perfect staff member for them. It soon moved to Queensland and then folded altogether but many years later I got to work in Narconon when it re-opened in Sydney.

When I first arrived back I ‘d been told there was this brand-new “Rundown” from Hubbard called the Happiness Rundown and everyone spoke of this as miracle-producing. I was told in hushed terms that Stevie Wonder was doing it and it had been known to turn blind people into being able to see. This was the first of what I came to see as “magic bullets” – Scientology services that would magically fix up everything else that Scientology hadn’t been able to fix up previously.

Another of the Division One guys who’d been booted out of Div One due to not completing the Sweat Program was now the printer. He told me that he and some others had had the realization that Scientology had been hiding and that they needed to let people know that Scientology was here! And one of the things was putting a volcano on the org awning and having smoke and lights etc.. This involved someone actually sitting inside this thing and letting off smoke/dry ice – I spent several hours doing this after post one Saturday night. It got noticed, but usually the comments were of disbelief or scorn.

I’d moved into a house on the North Shore of Sydney with a bunch of Scientologists. It was the only place available and it was hard to get to if you had no wheels, and my bike had blown up so it was parked in the back shed never to run again. There were a number of Foundation staff there and the lady who had rented the place had been on staff for ages – her name was Joy.

We all used to get a lift home with Joy most nights from the org and one of my fellow staff members called Howard used to get up to mischief whenever possible. I’d gotten my old job back at the oldest area of Sydney called the Rocks. It involved walking around in an old redcoat soldier’s outfit giving out promo for the local pancake parlour. Howard was a few inches taller than me but even skinnier so he (just) fitted into the outfit as well so I got him doing the occasional day for me.

He had a Honda 90 motorbike and he’d give me a lift in to work some mornings – it must’ve looked weird to see the two of us on this tiny bike travelling the freeway over the Harbour Bridge. His bike died too so we were both stuck using buses or Joy as our transport as neither of us could afford the repairs. Especially as we ate most of what we had left over from rent. Many was the night we’d eat a loaf of bread between us when we got home from the org.

I found out one night Joy could barely see but she refused to get glasses. Yet she still drove through Sydney traffic. So we hatched a plan where I’d go park her car for her and go get it after post and everyone would pile into the car leaving Joy to get in the passenger’s side door only. It worked and I became the unofficial house driver for quite a while.

Joy had begun to cook meals for the weekend staff and public and would slave over them every Friday and Saturday night. How she did the hours she did I’ll never know, as she also worked full-time during the day at another job. But her weekend meals served in the dining area were a major treat – she charged only a small amount and all us growing boys dined like kings on her cooking. There were a few mishaps tho’ – we were all heading to the org one Sunday when Joy realized she’d left some of her food on the front fence in her hurry to get going, so back we went. It was still there thankfully and she retrieved it and we weren’t too late for post.

I’d been getting Objectives auditing in the org and had run out of money now for any more – I’d used up all my savings from working on the farm. It had been a weird experience being constantly told to touch walls or give someone my hand over and over but it apparently was all for my own benefit, especially as I had a very heavy drug case. I did feel a bit more in present time, which was what Objectives were supposed to achieve. But I still apparently had a lot more Objective processes to go through.

Another “magic bullet” had suddenly appeared. Objectives had now been put together as the “Survival Rundown” and literally everybody who hadn’t done them all were now doing them on a co-audit basis in the Academy. Most of the day Staff spent their nights and weekends in the Academy running these processes on each other and I had someone offer to do mine for me so I jumped at the chance. I got them finished up by taking some time off work and managing to stretch my limited money out enough to cover me – staff pay was still as good as non-existent as even getting ten dollars a week then was a rarity.

I moved into a house in Devonshire Street that had been a Scientology house for some time. It was about twenty minutes walk to the org and had a tiny backyard overshadowed by local factories and offices. I started by living in the attic, where I couldn’t stand up straight due to the low sloping roof, and later moved into one of the downstairs rooms. Howard also moved in a few weeks after me and together we continued our mischief-making.

It was a fun place to be as everyone there had the same goals and we often went out to see bands together at one of the many local pubs. One night about seven of us had gone to see a band and someone threatened one of the smaller guys in our house and Howard and another tall guy from the house suddenly turned up next to our mate. The antagonist backed down rapidly.

I bought some Australian orchids at the local markets and put them in the tree in our backyard and they grew well. We also had a banana palm that had tiny sweet bananas in summer, if you could keep the birds from them. I spent a bit of time trying to turn this tiny space into a green oasis.

There were some amazing bits of wildlife around the area – there was often a flock of White Cockatoos that would come around shrieking and squarking in the mornings and generally creating havoc. They would rip up metal gutters for something to do when they were bored, which was a lot of the time. One of the offices had a large metal roof with totally clogged gutters that were full of swamp reeds and even had a pair of plovers nesting on it – it was strange to hear them call late at night amongst the usual city noises of cars and trains etc. It was also the only bits of my usual life in the open spaces that I had left now.

The “dad” in our house was Colin Gow – he was a bit older than the rest of us and was a senior executive in the Day org. he got the rent off us every week for when our landlord came around and kept us all in line as much as he could. He died way too young of cancer, brought on by neglect of his health when he was move to South Africa as a member of the Sea Org.

The landlord was a funny old guy – his name was Hector and he was obviously gay (which I didn’t have a problem with) but he’d time his visits for Saturday morning when we all rushing to get either to the org or to work and we would all be rushing around near-naked as there was only one shower for the whole household and it was a first in, best dressed system. There’d been various attempts to get Hector to come around at other times but he always had reasons why this was the ONLY time he could collect the rent.

I’d gotten my bicycle back from my dad and was using it to get around Sydney. Being young, I was usually running late and so became very good at dodging traffic at top speed through the streets of the city. My job in the Rocks gave me enough money to live on and it meant I could get some study in as well. I used to race down there every morning on my bike, have a shower and get into my uniform and spend my five hours walking around getting my picture taken with lots of tourists and then changing and going to the org for the rest of the day until around 11 then going home.

It also gave me a good dose of reality on what was happening in the real world outside of Scientology. I got sick of schoolkids tugging on my beard asking if it was real and asking me where my gun was if I was a real soldier so I bought a bunch of water pistols from a nearby shop and would squirt them if they started giving me a hard time. I spent hours having water fights with visiting bands of kids while their teachers sat and watched.

I got to know all the local shopkeepers well and many of the local residents as well. Most knew I was a Scientologist and decided I was a harmless eccentric young fool. One of the local buskers became a firm friend. He’d turn up still so drunk he’d begin playing his guitar horribly out of tune. I’d quietly “borrow” it from, tune it up and give it back then walk off again. I got my picture taken by lots of local magazines and even got my thirty seconds of fame when a local TV kids show turned up one day when I was playing cricket in my uniform with some local schoolkids.

There was something called the Continental Technical Training Corps set up in Sydney, or Cont TTC for short. It was basically people from all over the “Continental Area” – then just Australia and New Zealand – coming to Sydney day org to do Scientology technical training, like auditing or course supervision skills. It meant there were a lot of people who needed someone to audit so I put my hand up as a guinea pig.

The first thing I received was a “Joburg.” This was a “confessional” – a whole bunch of questions asking things like “have you ever had sex with someone of another race or colour?” or “have you ever been involved in diamond smuggling?” I don’t remember the exact questions but there were about one hundred of them and, if the e-meter said there was something on the question, then you had to answer. The auditor was supposed to get you to confess all these sorts of things. Stuff like petty theft, masturbation, telling lies and so on all the way through to murder and arson. I kept having auditors change on me – one day I came in for a session only to find my auditor had “blown” Sydney completely and I wouldn’t be getting any more sessions from her. Eventually I got through it all and I felt quite good after it – it certainly mad me feel a lot cleaner and my past was definitely no longer a close-kept secret. I mean, I’d had to tell six different people over the time I was doing it a lot of my not-so-laudable actions.

Then I got to do an action on the Bridge called “ARC Straightwire” – it had a lot of “recall: auditing and it gets one to look at all the nice things in the past. It ended when you realized that things could only get better from here on – something I finally thought after a month or two doing this a few hours most days.

Then I got to do the much-lauded “Happiness Rundown.” The first two auditors I had were so-so but the last one was a guy called Martin Bentley who was a highly trained auditor who’d been auditing for years and it was amazing to have such a professional sitting there talking to me. We had a lot of fun and I had some amazing realizations about my life in those sessions.

My parents were now living in a place called Cobar, a mining town about 700k.s northwest of Sydney. There are no mature trees within about 50 k.s of the town as they were all cut down for the original copper smelter, so the landscape is one of scrubby bush with rocky outcrops. I got some time off and hitchhiked out to visit them and found myself in the real world again.

My Dad was the Baptist pastor there and he knew quite a few of the locals by the time I found someone willing to do my job for me for a small sum of money. One of dad’s parishioners had a 6,000 plus acre farm out of town and I went out to his place helping out – which mostly meant shooting rabbits, wild pigs and any other unwanted creatures. It was strange to be a Scientologist (as I now very firmly considered myself to be) talking to people who’d never even heard of it. At least in Sydney most people had seen some media reports of it and had an opinion.

Cobar is a mining town and had some amazing characters and stories. One of the guys we’d go shooting with named Larry worked in the mines and his usual method of hunting feral pigs involved chasing them on a motorbike until the pig was almost too tired to run any more, then dropping the bike and chasing the pig with a bayonet. The trick apparently was you chased them to the point you could run as fast as they could but not to the point where they’d just turn and charge you. I never really had the urge to try it myself.

There were about seven of us on a small four-wheeled-drive truck out shooting one night when Larry decided to teach us a new way of getting rabbits. The theory was if you put a shot just above the rabbit’s head, it would freeze and you could then run over and pick it up and wring its neck. No messy bullet holes. As the guy who owned the property often sold them to keep himself afloat it seemed like a great idea. So we tried it out.

The first five or so rabbits we did this to went like clockwork. I was in the back working the spotlight and would give the roof a thump when I had a rabbit, Larry would get out, take aim and fire, the rabbit would freeze in the spot and all the other guys would race to see who was the first to get the rabbit. The only catch was the rabbit had to be no more than about thirty metres away or it may come to its senses before you got to it and take off.

Then we got one that unfroze just as the first guy got to it. He chased it and dived at it and just caught it only to have someone else running the other way into the spotlight kick at it and the rabbit got away. Someone else had seen some kangaroos and gone off chasing them. Someone else thought they had the rabbit cornered only to run into one of the other guys and they both fell over and the rabbit got away. Even Larry by now had leant the gun against the door and gone off chasing the rabbit. Through and over bushes, over fallen logs, around and around in circles. The rabbit would run, freeze, run freeze – always just getting away from the chasers.

I kept the spot on this rabbit for ages – probably about three minutes. My only companion on the truck was an old sheepdog who was quivering with frustration about watching this rabbit constantly escape this clumsy humans. I looked down at him and said “Get him, Bull” and he took off and did just that, quickly ending the poor rabbit’s misery with a snap and shake that broke its neck instantly.

And since I’d given the dog an order, his owner told me to take him out and work sheep with him the next day – that lasted three commands and then the dog went and sat in the shade of the truck and refused to move for me, so I had to do it all myself. Taught me not to tell someone else’s dog what to do.

My time there was all too short and soon I had to head back to Sydney and the org. At least I had some fresh-cooked rabbit to take back with me that I lived off for the next week or so.

Even my method of hitchhiking had become scientologized – if a few cars went past me without stopping I’d brush my hair or do something to make myself look more presentable. It worked – it took me about nine hours to get back to Sydney, not much longer than if I’d driven all the way non-stop myself in my own car. Keeping statistics on everything had become a part of my life, as had constantly trying to better them.


Gold Meritorious Patron
OK FoTi I have time on my hands so here's some more:

It was around this time that water pistols had found their way into the day-to-day life at the org. At first it was just two of the Foundation auditors playing around late at night but it soon spread through the ranks. Suddenly there was the “Royal Pistoleers” and I forget the name of their opposition but it became decidedly unsafe to be around, unless you didn’t mind getting wet. I had to try to hide when I left the Academy to do some parts of my job if I didn’t want a soaking and I once was “rescued” by the Director of Training after being chased into the Men’s toilets by two of the pistoleers. She was definitely not amused. Eventually both EDs issued a ban on water pistols, but not before I got some revenge. Paul Schobel, later a high exec in the Scientology Management, had gotten me a few times so I ambushed him one night with four water pistols just as he was sitting down with a folder that he had to protect. It was sweet to watch the expression on his face knowing he couldn’t do anything other than get wet.

We still were able to have parties. Adam and the Ants were a big thing and I had access to a coat just like he wore – I wore a redcoat as a pretend soldier every day – so we did a mime of their big hit at the Christmas party. It went down so well we got called back for an encore. There was also a hysterically funny Star Wars skit I was part of – I missed a lot of the humour as I’d never watched the show myself but the audience lapped it all up. And there was the “resident” band that would set up and play at every “event.” I sometimes got up and played with them myself, as did anyone else who had at least some talent (and the few who had none but thought they did.) In my idle hours walking around the Rocks while “working,” I’d taught myself to play the mouth organ and one of the students had played it for ages and used to give me tips on how to play. We’d occasionally “jam” in the men’s toilets near the Academy which had those wonderful tiled walls that sounded just like a pub. I remember doing my best Mick Jagger vocal imitation as a counterpoint to a buxom lass doing the Keith Richards vocal in “Honky Tonk Women” as it was getting close to midnight one New Years Eve. Went down surprisingly well, or maybe it was just the punters were mostly slightly lubricated – a far cry from today’s “events.”

There were lots of harebrained schemes to make money among the staff as most of us survived doing casual jobs like delivering phone books a few times a year or doing cleaning jobs. Some of the boys in our house decided they’d burn scientology symbols into planks of wood and sell them to other Scientologists as a way of making money. It fell through, although I still have the wood saw that they bought and then left behind when they moved out If you are reading this guys and you want it back, feel free to contact me! It’s a bit blunt but could be sharpened.

There was on late-night staff meeting for all the Academy and qual guys and a few other people. Apparently we ere all suppose to be trained up as course supervisors as we all had jobs that had something to do with students so we all had to start. Every night after the courseroom finished and the public students went home, us “lucky” staff members filed in and did some more work on our course Supervisor course.

There was one really odd staff meeting around this time that I still can’t comprehend. We were gathered together and told that the mortgage for the building had been sold to an Australian financial institute by Int Management as it was going to cost less in the long term. The people who told us this were fellow staff members who’d obviously been “thoroughly briefed” on why this was a good idea. It later led to the org almost being lost totally.

I came into the Academy one afternoon to do some study to find that Billy the Lead Course Sup for Day had disappeared – I asked one of the other sup.s what had happened to him and he told me he’d had to go back to New Zealand because his wife had gone nuts after having a baby and had insisted on leaving. Billy was affected by this and had gone to try to get her back, or so I was told. It was another of life in Scientology’s little mysteries that I’d learnt not to question too closely.


Gold Meritorious Patron
The next installment

One Year Early – 1983

We were all told to go to the Academy after post and wait as there was a very important meeting about to occur. In marched maybe five Sea Organization members and sat at a table at the front. One got up and introduced himself and said what he was going to be doing in the recent future. Then I think Pat Bloomberg got up and said that she was the Commanding Officer of the SO in Sydney and she was going to be doing blah blah blah – this was confusing me as I already knew these people and their jobs so what was this all about? Then this tall Yank stood up and introduced himself as Matt Henderson (he did give his rank and some other titles – I missed them) and said that we were all out-Ethics and ethics needed to go in NOW and we should all write up our overts and withholds and get them in. I thought great, let’s do it. I’d not long finished a Joburg and was pretty clean so I happily wrote up whatever I could think of that I’d done – I took it as a chance to come clean so we could all start afresh. I mean, that’s what the guy said. Silly, silly me – it was the start of the nightmare. By the time Matt Henderson finished with the place, over 3/4s of the staff had left and the place was a sad shadow of what it had been before.

One of the first results of this was the course supervisor was taken off post for “out-Ethics” and he then left Scientology altogether. The stats in the academy crashed and that just didn’t make sense, so I was ordered to work out what had happened to the stats and correct them. After a few hours of going over the book with all the students study points in week after week I worked out that the sup had been adding a few thousand points to some students one week then doing the same for a few others the next week and then a few others the next week and so on. He’d taken over from Allen when Al’s staff contract had ended and been a “stunning success” because the student points just kept going up. Now they were reported as over double what they actually were. Funnily enough, I seemed to be the only person who was genuinely peeved at him for lying like that.

The next thing that happened was over half a dozen of the staff were to be given Courts of Ethics for out-Ethics behaviour they’d confessed in their write-ups. This caused some major upheavals in the group. From what I could gather, things were even worse in the day org with a lot f their staff being ordered off post by the new Napoleon.

Then I found out I was to be given a Comm Ev and then it had to be re-held because some of the people on it were now being given Justice actions so new members had to be gotten. One was the late Trevor Myers, who later became husband of Jan Eastgate. He asked me if I just wanted to be declared so that I could get out of the place. I was stunned. I’d come clean and I knew there were others with far worse things they’d done that they weren’t saying, yet I’d been picked out as the “head on the pike” because I was honest. The Comm Ev eventually disappeared into the ether never to be heard of again. I tried several times at later dates to find out what had happened to it and eventually gave up. Meanwhile, the horrors continued for the staff and the SO crew.

We used to have staff musters sitting around as a casual get-together on the ground floor of the building at the start of every night. Now we had to have them on the top floor of the building and line up standing in the divisions we worked in, while Henderson stood at the front and ranted and raved about getting rid of SPs and downstats. Often we had them after work hours and sometimes even had them called in the middle of the night for some particular “emergency.” One night it was so bad someone behind me literally pissed themselves – I think it was a young kid called Jeff who’d recently completed the Narconon rehab program and then joined staff with his wife. He left not long after and his wife disappeared to Int Management courtesy of Henderson – that happened to quite a few women on our staff. They left their husbands at Henderson’s say-so and went up to Int Management, never to return.

Many people were just kicked out on the spot by this guy. One of my housemates was last seen walking to the train station with his bags, crying. He’d been verbally declared by Henderson that morning and had to leave everything just like that. The CLO (Continental Liason Office – the Management org run by SO people who controlled all the Continental activities) just down the road had more day and Foundation staff members walking around it pushing brooms or cleaning walls than were actually in the org producing. Yet if you were one of those still on post producing, you still had to get your stats up without all these other staff to help.

I was “promoted” by this guy to Director of Training just before a holiday weekend and told to get the stats up – when everyone was about to have a holiday. I failed miserably and had to go see him, expecting to be declared SP and never see my friends again. I walked into the CLO expecting to be at best a quivering wreck before I saw daylight again. Instead he just told me to go back and be Course Admin again. There was no method to this guy’s madness at all.

Nobody went home on time any more – 2 am became “early.” One auditor stayed in session all night til 5am to get her stats up – she wasn’t sent to ethics for that as at least she was trying per Henderson. I couldn’t work during the day any more as I wouldn’t get enough sleep if I did – I had a little bit left in my bank account and tried to string it out as long as I could. Some of my friends weren’t getting home for days on end as they weren’t being allowed to leave until they got their stats up. And some of them had kids. They had to “handle” their stats before they were allowed to leave.

One day I came to the org to be told I was now the course supervisor as all the other course supervisors had either been dismissed or were pushing brooms around the CLO. I hadn’t even finished the Course Supervisor’s course so I didn’t know much about it but I was it .

A few days later I was told I was also Course Sup for the Day Org as well – I managed to keep that up for about a week and a half then slept in one day. Surprisingly to me, no-one attacked me about it but just got another staff member (even more untrained than me) to run the Day courseroom instead. Unsuprisingly, the number of students on course went down, despite all the threats and bluster. The stats continued to go down and more people were sacrificed. At least while I was running the courseroom no-one yelled at me – that happened to everyone else in the org. And often. It was Hubbard policy that courserooms were to be kept free of upsetting the students so any crap that I got was after hours and I learnt to make myself appear very busy handling students until well after course officially finished.

One Saturday two of my students were having such a good time doing Objectives on each other that they couldn’t stop laughing. When they went to the Examiner after course finished, she decided they were “red-tags” because one had very red eyes and looked a bit like he’d been crying. They came back to see me while I was talking to several other students and I didn’t know there was a problem. I found out after they had left for the day and then all hell broke loose.

If someone was left with a red-tag for over a day, all of the stats were “lost” for that day as a penalty. The problem was this: the guy who’d been red-tagged was going to the football to see his beloved Bulldogs play on the Sunday afternoon. I tried calling him but no answer so I left several messages. I expected him to get back to me Sunday morning.

Sunday lunchtime came and everyone started to panic. Henderson now knew about this and my head (along with several others) was looking less than secure on my shoulders. I was ordered to drive out to this guy’s house and find him and bring him straight in. So I borrowed someone’s car and went to find him. No go. I drove around, called the org several times, waited some more and then the twenty-four hours were up so I returned to the org. Panic reigned and I slipped out as quietly as I could.

I began to do “amends” early on the Monday afternoon and then sheepishly went on post. Someone “handled” the red-tag by asking the guy how he felt about his session and he said it was one of the best he’d ever had. So the red-tag was cancelled. The Examiner copped it big-time and a lot of people breathed easier for the day. The amount of wasted time and effort that this created was unbelievable but it was typical of how panicked we all were at the time. It was better to stay back and hide for several hours until 3am rather than leave usual time or a bit late if you hadn’t done something you just couldn’t have done but were ordered to, like get fifteen new people into the org at 11pm on a Monday night! Or get the student points stat up when it was 30,000 down and all the students were going home because it was after 10pm. It was terror-driven insanity and had nothing to do with actually doing work. It was all about stats.

One Sunday afternoon we were all called to a special staff muster and told to go out into the streets and sell a Dianetics book – or else. Non-compliance with this will not be accepted. I think we were given an hour to do it in. We all snuck back in well after the given time expecting to be declared and expelled. No-one had been able to do it. Instead, Henderson was pleased that we’d all tried and said that at least Sydney knew we were here, and told us all to go back to work.

Many were the staff put onto scrubbing walls as punishment – I once walked into Qual to see no less than five staff all scrubbing different sections of the walls, each with bucket and cloths. It just didn’t make sense. Somehow I never copped any of that – I guess when you’re the last available Course Sup you have some immunity.

A few months into Henderson’s reign of terror we were given a taste of what Scientology events would be in the future. A large expensive venue was hired, all sorts of expensive props were bought or made for it and most of the staff were taken off their posts to drill what they’d be doing at the event. It was here that I first saw the RPF (Repair Project Force – a Gulag for SO members who were “downstat.” They had to call everyone “Sir,” not speak unless spoke to and had to endure all sorts of degradations and punishments. And they looked hunted.) The RPF were given the worst of the jobs to do and Henderson treated them like they were dog-shit, when he bothered to notice them at all.

Henderson was shitting himself trying to make this event go right. A number of Int Management types were coming down for – I remember the Int Finance Dictator (?) Wendell Reynolds and the Commanding Officer for the CMO, Mark Yaeger were there and I think a few others. They all had heaps of medals on their navy-style uniforms which I thought looked ridiculous, but I kept my thoughts strictly to myself. No more free communication from me – it had gotten me into severe trouble these last few months.

It was at this event that one of my mates, a big Lebanese guy called Tony who played pro football was with me afterwards when we ran into Henderson. I half-expected a mouthful, but Henderson was his social best and I looked at him closely for the first time since he’d arrived. He was a nervous wreck, bags under the eyes and quite haggard. When he found out Tony was a surf lifesaver, he told Tony in a loud voice “If I ever needed saving, you would the sort of lifesaver I’d want to come and rescue me.” I don’t know why, but that two minutes or so has stuck with me vividly from that day to this. It was the first time I saw the sad scared young man who’d left such a trail of destruction behind him, not the beribboned demi-god he tried to portray.

Mark Yaeger told the audience at the event that one of the pictures shown up on the big screen at the back of the stage of a young kid in sailor’s outfit was a young Matt Henderson back on the ship when he was one of Hubbard’s communicators. So how the hell could someone so messed up have worked directly with Hubbard? It bugged me for a long time. Henderson had bragged about only getting four hours sleep a night and punishing his body but not giving into it when it started demanding food or sleep. This wasn’t sane behaviour at all. But apparently it was expected that we all do this too to bring off clearing the planet.

One of the girls on staff told me she’d been in a lift with the “brass” after the event and had chatted to them and found them all surprisingly pleasant. I didn’t doubt her, but I couldn’t quite make the picture fit with what I’d seen of their representatives in the last few months.

Stories began to filter through about how this person or that one had gone over to the “squirrels” (people who practice the not-officially-recognized version of Scientology as upheld by the “Church”) and how bad each of these individuals were. A lot had been auditors or course supervisors or word-clearers – people who’d trained well in the Tech. Others were senior executives or long-time well-respected public. There’d been no organized group like this before Henderson had come to “handle” the squirrels – his actions actually created the very thing he’d supposedly come to handle.

Many had left after being busted off post by Henderson for reasons unknown and now were having all sorts of stories told about them. One was a guy who’d been living with us at Devonshire Street. It was now being said of him that he was gay and promiscuously so – well at least now I knew why he’d leave the org before us and come home well after we’d all got home, and why he was usually smiling then when he didn’t smile much in the org. There was a large public toilet block just down the road so I presumed that’s where he went most nights. And why he always wanted to walk home by himself.

Another had left the RPF with the girl who he’d been working with who was married to someone else – oh the horror. And he’d apparently been playing footsies under the table with her all the time he was auditing her – I mean, if this were all confidential data from their auditing sessions, why was it now being thrown around like confetti at a wedding?

Eventually the day came when I turned up at the Org to be told Henderson had left. Relief was the general feeling. The Foundation org had lost over half its staff but the Day org was now down to a quarter of what it had been a few short months before. Neither org ever regained those glory days. There were no more parties, no more fun at work – it was all deadly serious for most and we were a very changed group of people. Somehow we’d survived. Innocence was lost forever.

At the time and for a long time afterwards, I and my friends who’d managed to live through this told each other it was just Matt Henderson who’d done this and obviously Hubbard and those in Management didn’t know the insanities this guy had inflicted on us. When I was told by another survivor in the 90s that Matt had finally been declared, I cheered. Many others had the same reaction. I worked out after I left Scientology that Matt was just doing what he, as a boy, had seen Hubbard doing on the ship when he was being one of Hubbard’s messengers. But that was after I’d read a lot of reports from people who’d actually worked with Hubbard over many years, particularly in the late 60s through to the late 70s. Hubbard was an arbitrary tyrant at best. But at this time I regarded Hubbard as a god, although I would never have been able to see that.


Gold Meritorious Patron
Interesting how your story crossed paths with Billy's story. Enjoyed the water pistols. Continue. :drama:

Mrs Pattycake

Patron with Honors
Great story scoot - it certainly fills in the blanks for me .

I arrived on the scene a few years after Henderson ( as you know ) and like you say the place never recovered. I'd hear the odd story of the boom days - but it could never be duplicated - the staff had been broken - it was all too serious - stats were king - there were too many chiefs and not enough indians - it was never fun ...

Do you remember one time we won the birthday game and as a reward we were all going to have the afternoon off and go on a picnic . We had worked hard for weeks for the chance of half a day off and it was all organised. Then about 10 am on the big day out an order came down lines - we all had to read about 10 issues before we could go home ! The picnic was cancelled instantly ! And the org went into a flat spin as all the staff got rounded up and enough mimoed copies of all these policies were found. Then we all sat around in Div 2 gloomily reading instead of picnicing and playing cricket and other fun stuff !!!.

I was devastated that the ED did not handle it and give her team the reward that we had all worked so hard for :duh: being upstat was not rewarded - it was the beginning of the end for me and I had been on staff less than a year at that stage !:bigcry:


Good writing

Good story Scooter!!!!! Thanks for writing it. :thankyou: :kiss:

You're a good story teller. :goodjob: :yes:

More, please. :drama: :drama:


Patron with Honors
Scooter wrote:
>I still had trouble with people coming in and began to get quite ferocious when someone just “happened” to “pop in.” Any reputation I had as a nice person soon vanished. I was told that I was stopping the org from surviving as “we” needed the students’ money and “we” needed them to join staff too. The only staff member who really backed me up was Allen the Course Sup.

But the students LOVED it even if the reg.s and recruiters didn’t. Students could now continue to study during breaks and after course without anyone coming to interrupt them as the Course Admin was a pitbull at the doorway. It helped being six foot tall and fairly rough-looking. I had even some of the exec.s rattled and thinking twice before entering.<

I am the Crse Sup he mentions. I ran a tough, pretty much on policy academy, and Scoot was a HUGE help to keep the &^%$#@! execs and regs off the students backs. I firmly believed the students had paid good money to learn how to be an auditor, and by God I was going to help then achieve that goal with as little interference as possible.

The execs didn't like me much either...

REgards, Allen


Patron Meritorious
It is always so wonderful to see reconnections being made here! You and Scoot were right- let the students BE students!

Such a simple concept yet so nearly impossible. Yeesh!


Scooter wrote:
>I still had trouble with people coming in and began to get quite ferocious when someone just “happened” to “pop in.” Any reputation I had as a nice person soon vanished. I was told that I was stopping the org from surviving as “we” needed the students’ money and “we” needed them to join staff too. The only staff member who really backed me up was Allen the Course Sup.

But the students LOVED it even if the reg.s and recruiters didn’t. Students could now continue to study during breaks and after course without anyone coming to interrupt them as the Course Admin was a pitbull at the doorway. It helped being six foot tall and fairly rough-looking. I had even some of the exec.s rattled and thinking twice before entering.<

I am the Crse Sup he mentions. I ran a tough, pretty much on policy academy, and Scoot was a HUGE help to keep the &^%$#@! execs and regs off the students backs. I firmly believed the students had paid good money to learn how to be an auditor, and by God I was going to help then achieve that goal with as little interference as possible.

The execs didn't like me much either...

REgards, Allen

Hey Allen,

Welcome to the board mate! :D I'm giggling away and smiling big time about the number of the old Sydney crew (as in staff not SO), that are landing here on this board after all these years!

How bloody good is that, eh??? :happydance:

A big huge cheers, Mister! :thumbsup:


Hey Scoots, I've been truckin' with your story. Entertaining on the one hand, and all sorts of memories and emotions on the other - but all good! :thumbsup:

Re the account of the Henderson mission (which I read earlier today) - crikey dick, it was a tough one for all! I'm still trying to get my account of it all, in type. I have kept going back to it, but then I've left it - it's a tough one to get out of the box! While reading your account of it, I laughed about it a bit - then laughed a lot at one point! Most of us survived at least, but many scars are left. How bizzare that whole time was.

Thanks, and well done on sharing it! :)

Panda Termint

Cabal Of One
I am the Crse Sup he mentions. I ran a tough, pretty much on policy academy, and Scoot was a HUGE help to keep the &^%$#@! execs and regs off the students backs. I firmly believed the students had paid good money to learn how to be an auditor, and by God I was going to help then achieve that goal with as little interference as possible.

The execs didn't like me much either...

REgards, Allen

Hi Allen,
Welcome to ESMB, it's great to see you here! :happydance:
Cheers, Panda