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Silly SO Memory: Exec vs. Child's Wristwatch

Discussion in 'Staff "War Stories"' started by katzen, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. katzen

    katzen Patron

    This is just a stupid memory from the Sea Org that came to me recently that I thought might be funny to share. Last night I was setting up my new Fitbit, which gives you different options for the clock face. Some are kind of standard digital watch choices, and others display the time/date more creatively. Like the hour in large numbers with the minutes in large numbers below, rather than on the same line. Or the date or seconds are displayed more prominently than the hours or minutes.

    Anyway, that's not that interesting. But as I was considering my choices, I remembered something I had mostly forgotten from when I was in the Sea Org. I joined when I was 12, so this was... years ago, to say the least. I had a watch when I started the EPF, and of course it along with most of my personal positions was ruined by the end of the EPF from constant work washing pots and pans (more accurately: getting sprayed with a powerful sink sprayer incessantly by the teen boys I was supposed to be "in charge" of in this work camp at age 12). My mom got me some new things so I could pass the final course of the EPF, the Personal Grooming Course, which required having things like clean shoes and feminine hygiene products should you be MATURE enough to menstruate. My mom also got me a new watch. It was just a sport style watch, but what was cool about it to me at the time was that the digital display showed the seconds in HUGE numbers and the hour and minutes in much smaller numbers. I probably thought it was neat because... I was 12. It looked different than what I was used to. I also liked it because my mom gave it to me, and I had a very difficult time being away from home.

    For the beginning portion of my SO "career," I was working closely with executives of my org. One lady was so freaking intense and scary that it was comical to me, a child. She was like a cartoon. You know, like the big angry dog or whatever? Well she took major issue with my watch and its ABERRATED digital time display. She repeatedly claimed that it was a sign of aberration and "altered importance," to view seconds as more important than hours or minutes. She would become absolutely FURIOUS over it. Eventually she ordered me not to wear it.

    In honor of that constantly fuming Sea Org exec, I've chosen to have my Fitbit clock face display as "altered importance" as possible.
    cakemaker likes this.
  2. dchoiceisalwaysrs

    dchoiceisalwaysrs Gold Meritorious Patron

    lol, love that post. How did you the conscientious rebel fare in the SO?
  3. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Your Personal Grooming Course had info about feminine hygiene products? Really? What did it say?

    In 1977, mine didn't have anything like that on it, mostly about keeping your dorm neat, bed made, using vinegar and newspaper to clean windows and taking three minute showers to save on water. That one was a bit weird to me, since I'd never been on a ship: turn water on, soap up, turn water off, scrub, turn water back on to rinse.

    Just LRH ship sort of references from Flag Orders. Did yours include the WTH booklet stuff (since it came out later)? Was there something in there about feminine products?

    Then there was a woman who once put a camera in a tampon to spy on the Sea Org...
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  4. katzen

    katzen Patron

    I honestly don't remember! I don't think there was actually information on it, but it was just on a list of required items that needed to be seen and approved before completion of the course. I remember an older woman who did not have tampons or pads with her stuff and when the supervisor asked (I believe that's still who did these odd "check outs" but I could be wrong), she said "I'm lucky!" and it was implied she had gone through menopause already. About a year later this older woman "disappeared" and I remember reading her declare order with a friend and both of us being so worried about what may have happened to her since the order just said she blew or is assumed to have blown because she is missing. We were so upset but weren't allowed to say anything to anyone else of course. We both thought it was weird and scary that an elderly church member could be missing and the best the church did was post a letter defaming her based on an assumption. We worried she was in a hospital somewhere waiting for her people. Or dead. Now I realize/hope she went home to her family.

    One thing I did with tampons in the Sea Org -- since technically I had had my period before joining but it went away on the EPF and through most of my Sea Org career I assume due to malnutrition -- was stick them under lightly running bathroom faucets all over the base :)
  5. katzen

    katzen Patron

    Not great. Lasted a few years but I'm not sure why. I was always arguing with executives and writing KRs on superiors. I assume I only lasted as long as I did because I was a good student and there were plans to use me for various things. I was always trying to push the envelope of what I could say or do before I would get in serious enough trouble to be kicked out. While everyone talks a tough game around there, I'd only ever get assigned conditions and later sec checks about who or what made me think it was okay to behave the way I did. It's strange because I behaved this way from day one, arguing with the person in charge of the EPF. He literally would not allow me to leave the Sea Org. I had several screaming matches with him about it.

    This is something I really don't understand. There were people stuck on the EPF who actually wanted to be there but weren't great students, and eventually they were dismissed. Why is the SO so adamant about keeping people around who really don't want to be there? Had I been allowed to leave the first time I calmly suggested it, there's a good chance I would be a practicing (donating -- that's more important) member of the church today.
  6. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    Im sorry, could you explain this line about sticking tampons under bathroom faucets? Does lightly running mean dripping? Did you stick them in the faucets to stop them dripping? I'm perplexed..... What your thought process was here.
  7. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Katzen, I don't understand your post. The course supervisor was asking women if they had tampons? Are you saying that you were issued tampons, or that you had too many of them so stuffed up the bathroom faucets for fun? I don't get it. Most of the SO Members I knew were paid very little so feminine hygiene products were quite an expense out of SO pay.

    What org were you at? Sounds bizarre.
  8. katzen

    katzen Patron

    It's an act of vandalism common in schools. Just makes a mess. I think you overthought this a little.
  9. katzen

    katzen Patron

    It was a part of the course/a step to being deemed ready to complete the EPF to show that you had the items listed as necessary. Things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and yes if you were a woman pads or tampons.

    if you're asking me the point then look I don't know. I guess to make it clear they weren't going to provide these things for you.
  10. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    What a shame it never occurred to you to give or share the things you didn't need with your EPF roommates instead, when they only had a measly $12/week pay to buy all their necessities, including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, razors, hygiene products, clothing and everything else, never mind the occasional unaffordable chocolate bar.

    How bizarre.


    A freshly pasted poster
    Reveals a smile from the pack
    Elephants and acrobats,
    Lions next monkey
    Pele speaks righteous
    Sister Seena says funky
    How bizarre
    How bizarre
    How bizarre
    Ooh baby, (ooh baby)
    It's making me crazy, (it's making me crazy)
    Everytime I look around (I look around)
    Everytime I look around
  11. katzen

    katzen Patron

    I was 12 and trapped in a cult. I'm not going to be the one who feels guilty about tampons! Give me a break here. Lol.
  12. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader


    What org did you say you were at?
  13. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    It's on the checksheet for the Personal Grooming Course, part of Product Zero done on the EPF. The sup has to check the person's "personal grooming kit", as well as their body (haircut, clean teeth, fingernails etc). For women this includes sanitary items like napkins or tampons (in the kit, not in situ). I occasionally had to do this check for students in the HGB who had somehow missed doing the course earlier and had to do it.

    At one time ASI got ordered to do the course. Understand that ASI women were usually impeccably groomed anyway: I think it was just the Dwarf's way to humiliate them for some reason. So there's me with these very senior exec women showing me their nighties and tampons, or in one case explaining why she had to use napkins because of her heavy periods. The hundreds of hours of bullbaiting come in handy at such times.

    I remember one time examining Norman Starkey's feet to check he knew how to cut his toenails properly.

    All part of the job.

  14. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Thanks, Paul. You guys sure did things a lot differently in different parts of the world or at different times.

    When I was on and for a few years afterward, our Dorm Captain checked personal items for the supervisor. I worked in the EPF courseroom as the EPF W/Cer. It was too far from the dorms (Dorms were on an upper floor of Leb Hall and the courseroom was on one of the upper floors of the Main Blg at PAC) and there were too many EPF then for it to be practical to go up and down with personal items or for him to go to the dorms.

    Apologies, Katzen. It all sounded so bizarre to me. We were always sharing razors and toothpaste and things and I had 15 people in my dorm room with bunks three high. There was always someone who didn't have a tampon and needed one. In my dorm, all the girls would resent someone who threw them away rather than help them out and one of them would probably either punch you or write you up if you did. (Hard to say which would be worse.)

  15. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    I seriously had never heard of that as a common practice when I was in school. Of course I didn't hang out with the "cool" chicks. Showing my age....I'll just get off this thread now.

  16. katzen

    katzen Patron

    I was at PAC base. Not going to disclose the specific org besides that it was the dumpiest one.
  17. katzen

    katzen Patron

    i was in a dorm with about 30 people and most of us were too young to menstruate or too old or did not speak English. We definitely didn't share anything. There was however lots of theft of money.
  18. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader


    Different times, different places, different practices.

    If I would have done something like that with the plumbing and gotten caught, I'd have been on one of the worst RPFs in history, for a year. PAC 1977

    I was the EPF W/Cer for a long time after I graduated.
  19. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Thanks! I get the picture now. :yes:

    How times changed! Except the thefts. We had the thefts, too. I had everything I loved that was personal to me stolen, from jewelry pendants to my HS class ring. :sad: I was 16 then.
  20. katzen

    katzen Patron

    Never caught. Did lots of I'm sure RPFable things, but surprisingly considering the cameras and roaming security I rarely was caught. I'd regularly blow from course for hours on end, often off base. I was never caught for this. It was a daily occurance.