The 1st Red Flag
What was the first "red flag" that you saw upon entering an org, or the very first weird thing that you noticed that you let go or ignored?
Mine was watching a video of a supposed marital counseling "session", and noticing that the couple in the video were really real actors. I commented on that to my then boss and DSM, not knowing how to express how weird I thought that was.
Later that evening I was walking by the auditing rooms and saw a label on the door that said "confessional". And when I commented on that, she said to the org staff that I was being "keyed in" because of my Catholic background as a child.:melodramatic:
I should've been a lot more critical than I was at the time.
One of my very first red flags was meeting an OT VIII who wore glasses and her hubby was suffering some major health issues (think he was a non-scn tho, but still..why couldn't she 'heal' him?).
Idk: For three hundred + grand and all the hard work SO/Staff go thru, just didn't see the benefits around me worth all that...but that was when I was a brand newbie, so...course it was flagrantly explained away....:eyeroll:
Then that same ribbon of scenarios, people and events wove in and out of my view until eventually hubby saw all this too and we blew (left without permission, secretly).
My first red flag may seem a little petty but nevertheless, it was THE first red flag. It was when an SO member put her handbag on the desk and I saw it was really tatty and practically falling apart. I remembered thinking at the time how strange it was that she couldn't afford to get a new one. :confused2:
My first red flag was the pretentious images of LRH-- the ubiquitous bronze bust, and especially that dumb black-and-white photo of him wearing an ascot and holding a big, fluffy ostrich plume pen in his hand. (I searched a bit, but didn't find it on the net.)
the first reg flag for me was when i learned what an OT was and compared that definition to my fsm (who was OT4) and finding GLARING outpoints..
this woman was constantly keyed in, constantly upset about something, constantly pointing the finger, very critical, didn't have enough common sense to fill an acorn and couldn't figure out simple things... to name a few!
"how can this woman be OT??????"
when i brought it up at the org, i was told that "a clear still has their basic personality, so if she was a bitch before, she's still a bitch" and also told that well "she probably had quickie auditing and didn't get the full ep of the grades"
i believed it.. until i realized i never met a single true OT.
I saw a never-ending stream of outpoints right from the first day I walked into a Church.
Bugged-eyed staff applying weird versions of TR0.
Robotic use of study tech by supervisors in courserooms.
The OTVII who couldn't confront talking in front of people.
Sea Org missions coming into orgs and doing really STUPID actions.
Seeing senior staff yelling and screaming at junior staff.
But, for me, I truly took the view that I would treat it all as an experiment. Based on past earlier experiences, I had noticed that people are a random bunch no matter where they are. I saw crazy behavior EVERYWHERE so I had no real need to have it not also exist in the Church of Scientology.
Despite what I saw in others, I took what I could get out of it all, interpreted as I chose in alignment with other related data, and learned early to PR THEM. I learned very quickly to tell them what they wanted to hear, so that I wouldn't be screwed with. For whatever reason I could comfortably exist with disagreements of my own, and contradictions within LRH data and with Church behavior, BUT I simply saw it as people doing what people do. For me, I was going to get out of it what I WANTED to get out of it, DESPITE all of them. I know a few people still active in the Church who truly see the organization as insane, BUT who want what they believe the Church possesses (Road to Freedom) so badly, that they, in their own way, also intend to get out of it what they can, DESPITE the Church organization and flaws in Hubbard and his writings.
I did, for the most part. But, I was constantly evaluating and picking and choosing all the while, never really falling into a mentality of "it is all true". I never had affinity for the "mission" aspect of it all, and I saw much of the Church's actions as quite extreme. Interestingly, or strangely, even when in the Sea Org for a few years, I NEVER considered or called myself a "Scientologist". To me, looking around, too much of the behavior was NOT at all what I found acceptable or admirable in others. I could never comfortably wear the label of a "Scientologist". Too corny. Too contrived. Too enforced.
I am glad that I went through it all. I very much enjoyed all the auditing I ever received (many hundreds of hours from Life Repair up through OT3). I spent many many hours reading, studying and contemplating LRH data on the heavier spiritual realm, all the while aligning and comparing it with various "other practices" I was familiar with.
But, the BEST benefit by far was getting to experience up close and personal just how severely brain-washed people can get. I value what I learned from observing lunacy in daily action, with seemingly "normal" and "intelligent" people being reduced to robots through their agreement with Hubbard's belief system. I have a MUCH better understanding of people, what motivates them, and what strange things they can do when under the influence of manipulative ideas and especially a manipulative organization.
More red flags?
Watching a reg convince a public to take a second mortgage on a house, that both the reg and the public KNEW full well that he couldn't afford.
Watching the Captain of the FSO false report stats, and have him scream at me for bringing it to his attention.
Watching staff commit unbelievable unusual solutions to "get the stats up" for Ron's Birthday. What a funny thing to watch!
Reading Paulette Cooper's book, while active, and discovering how "my Church" lied and set her up in a contrived crime that she DID NOT commit! Bad Church!
I realized that it was ME involving myself so fully in it all that gave me my good results. I remember sitting in the PDC courseroom, where I would get continually reprimanded by the Supervisor for spending so MUCH TIME doing self-originated drills and demos. I would look around and notice other people on the same course flying through the pages, and almost NEVER smiling. For me, I was laughing, grinning, and joyously extracting every nugget I could from the materials. Granted, I may have read into it more than was there, BUT it did act as a tool or vehicle for me to look at things in certain new and different ways (which I agree with and still do today).
Believe it or not, but I went exterior more than a few times studying in that courseroom. I actually got blown out so much a few times, that I went to the examiner, had a dial wide F/N or floating T/A, and took the day off to just "BE". But then, I was always DOING things with my mind, with each sentence after sentence as I studied. I was making up drills, and even auditing actions as I read the stuff, and did them right there in the courseroom. I remember taking ideas, and then looking at how it applied on each dynamic, past, present and future for self and others. I was doing WAY MORE than just checksheet actions. The Church never liked my tendency to apply data outside the boundaries of the "Standard Bridge". Like I said, I liked to "experiment"! I did a great deal of that, and maybe that is partially why I so much enjoyed my particpation with the earlier LRH data and auditing.
For example, with auditing, I early on made a decision to locate the EARLIEST, and most HEAVILY CHARGED incident possible when running dianetics. I did that for MONTHS. But, really, how many preclears take such a view? Most are an EFFECT of the auditing.
But, the organization was always a major bundle of flaws to me. Right from the start. And, Hubbard's personality and tendency to make shit up always struck me as "interesting", of course, knowing that I could never talk about that in the nutty Scientology-controlled environment. I knew what I observed as true, and I had no burning need for others to understand what was obvious to me regarding the many various outpoints. It got to a point though where putting up with the insanity of the standard Scientology life was NO LONGER acceptable, no matter what I could get from various aspects of the tech. Plus, once getting to OT3, the rest of it from there to OT7 never attracted me much. I liked the meat and potatoes of the early 1950s lectures, and the early books (Creation of Human Ability, Phoenix Lectures). Most of the rest was "added, inapplicable and unnecessary" as far as I was concerned. And, once learning what OSA did on a routine basis made it impossible for me to support such a bunch of manipulative tyrants.
There are always an abundance of Red Flags in dealing with Scientology as a participant. What I find more interesting is WHY each person refused to see what was often so clear, and WHY each person denied/suppressed these observations. Peer pressure? Desiring the carrot on the stick (spiritual freedom)? Basic dullness and stupidity? Laziness? Unwillingness to upset others? Ego gratification (I am part of the RIGHT team; I am part of the WINNING team)? Organizational force, pressure and control?
It was when my ED asked me what I 'wanted' from Scientology. She asked this as if I was straight off the street, not someone who'd been onlines there for 14 years.
I felt insulted. But then she invited me back..for an 'Interview'. Turn out this was a sec check and totally off-policy. It was at the dawn of the new Ideal Org campaign and heralded my exit. Since then I've heard of staff turning up at the hmes of public and leaving all the basics books on their doorsteps with a note reading'you need to pay for these in the Org tomorrow.' Nice.:thumbsup:
For me it was the first day I walked in and the guy that they had me talk to -- don't remember his title (I'm forgetting my lingo -- Yay!)-- gave me the OCA , had a dirty ashtray on his desk. I remember being really bugged by the fact that a dianeticist was a smoker, and subsequently the fact that most of the staff members smoked like chimneys. Just didn't seem very "theta" to me, and not the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics. It's amazing what you can overlook when you want something to be true.
My first red flag was when I was being asked by the body router to follow him. I expressed that I couldn't as I was actually meeting a friend (which was true) but he still pressed on. Then finally as I was following him, he ignored any more questions I had with a strange silence (and walking so fast, almost scrambling) - you could see he was just trying to get me in there - and then everything would be alright LOL.
Then of course when I got there I found that my friend was sitting there doing the OCA - she'd obviously been thwarted from keeping her appointment too.
So yeah, first red flag - willing to engage in unethical behaviour 'for the greatest good' right off the bat.