My experience gives some insights of how things were when LRH was around and was even aboard ship on the Apollo in late 1973. The amazing things to me were the ineptness of the Sea Org in carrying out nearly all cycles I was involved in and the terrible waste of potentially valuable manpower.
I had been in the Sea Org for about 2 years at a Pac org in the Treasury Division and was very successful there and was holding down a fairly large area of responsibility and out of nowhere, I was ordered to leave my Org and become staff on the Apollo. I was excited about going "to work with Ron" and felt that destiny was calling me. On the downside, a large hole was left in the staff of my Org which, of course, was eventually filed.
I had assumed that the Apollo was an Org of the elite OT's of the world and would be run totally on policy, especially with LRH on board. I was a Dianetic Completion and Grade IV release at the time so I figured I would be low on the totem pole but I was eager to learn and fit in. I thought that at this top management Org on the planet, there would be high comraderie and almost a feeling of being in an elite brotherhood. Two months of being there thoroughly disabused me of my naive attitude!
From the beginning almost everything went wrong. All cycles, small and large were mishandled. To shorten this story, I will list the outpoints rather than do a narrative of them.
1. Arriving at the Lisbon airport, I called a secrete phone number I had been given and made contact with the Apollo. I was told that a driver would pick me up in about 1 hour but it took over 6 hours for him to show up! It was so deflating being kept waiting for 6 hours in a small room at an airport and then receiving no apology from the driver or anybody else.
2. Routing on I had one suitcase and a box with all my OEC Volumes. I was told that I was to be posted in Treasury and to leave my suitcase down in the berthing area and my box of OEC volumes in Treasury division while I went on my routing form. When I got to Treasury, I thought I would be welcomed eagerly by my fellow staff, since I would probably lighten their work loads a little, but instead I was given the cold shoulder. No one would talk to me and looked annoyed that I was there. Also, I was told there was no desk for me and there was no place to leave my OEC Volumes. I set them on the floor near an unoccupied desk of a guy who was at study and went to do the rounting form. I completed it in a little under 2 hours and went back to Treasury but my box of OEC Volumes was gone. No one there showed any interest in helping me find it and knew nothing about it. They were busy and did not want to be bothered. As it turned out, the Volumes were never found. I looked in the courserooms and the Qual Library and they were gone. Maybe someone threw the box overboard, I would not be surprised. I had paid hundreds of dollars for the entire set of OEC volumes.
3. The Personnel Officer was Maria Starkey, wife of the Captain, Norman. She was perhaps the most evil person I have ever met. She told me I was going to be the new Purchasing Officer and I would be given lists of materials to get price quotes on. She said LRH had recently done an "eval" and found the Apollo was not getting 3 bids on each item, as policy called for, so he had a phone installed on the Apollo and I was the new person who would use this phone to get the price quotes. She said the Org would save lots of money by getting price quotes. I protested that I did not speak Portuguese and Starkey said that was WOG think. As a Sea Org member, I could do any job I was given and she told me it make it go right.
4. When I went back to Treasury Division to begin, I was given no Hat Write Up. I was just told to "START!" I was given a list of items including CO2 gas for fire extinguishers and teakwood. I had 2 years of Spanish in high school and I was sitting there scared and caved in. My entire hat was getting phone quotes for items in Portugal but I spoke no Portuguese. I tried doing some "reach and withdraw" on the telephone and finally made the first call using my high school Spanish and when a live operator came on the line I tried to talk hesitatingly in broken Spanish and she just hung up on me. I complained to an Exec, John Braggin, who sat near me that I should not be posted here. He knew Portuguese and made a call for me and got some quotes. Captain Norman Starkey came by and asked what the problem was and I told him. He said that intention was senior to language and picked up the phone and spoke with great intention to the operator - "Ingles, Ingles".
The operator got someone who spoke English and he gave me the phone and I got more quotes. Starkey left and I picked up the phone and said Ingles, Ingles and the operator hung up on me again. The intention was just not strong enough in me. Anyway, I had my quotes and there was nothing else on my list for now so I went off to try and find my tech volumes.
The nex day, I found out with great joy that LRH had done a new "eval" and had appointed 5 new Programs Chiefs for the Flag Bureaux, which was understaffed, and I was one of them, I was to be be programs chief for CCLA. All 5 of us new appointees were to route onto the Data Evaluators course immediately. The problem was that we needed to have completed the Data Evaluators' Course in order to do "evals" and I had just routed on and would have to go on post totally unhatted until this rather long course was completed. Never fear, I was sure I would start on a low gradient as Programs Chief in training and that my senior would take me under her wing and take the time to hat me and groove me into the post. THIS MADE SENSE, HOW COULD IT BE ANY OTHER WAY? My senior, Sandy Wilhere, was tied with Maria Starkey for the most evil person I ever met. She was hostile to me from the first second. I was told that I was not in training and that I was the Programs Chief for CCLA. I told her I had just routed on to course to learn how to do Evals and this was only my first day of a long course so how could I be expected to do them. She said the usual, a Sea Org member has no case on post and can do any post given him or her. I said that is absurd. I said if that was the case, why did auditors have to go through years of training to be a class 8, why couldn't a new person just go in and do the post of Class 8 auditor. She told me I was nattering and that LRH says a Sea Org member is expected to do any job assigned.
5. I said okay and that I would make it go right but could she please hand me her Hat Write Up. She said that there was no Hat Write Up and for me to just START! I was shocked. I said that this is the Flag Ship, LRH is onbaoard so how is it possible that there is no Hat Write Up, A thru J, for your post. She said there is no hat write up and just START!.
6. I spent nearly 3 days doing my first eval and proudly presented it to Sandy for her inspection. She scanned it for about 15 seconds and then said, "This is just Bullshit." and she tore it up into pieces. I complained that she just scanned the first page, how did she know so quickly that it was no good. She ordered me to cramming and ordered a lot of Method 9 word clearing done on me. Two days later, I fixed the eval and thought I had improved it but this time she only scanned for 7 seconds and this one she threw in the waste basket and then stomped on it violently with her shoes over and over saying that the eval was just crap. Story to be continued .......
Second installment of my story.
The Data Evaluators Course had Mary Sue, Diana, Quentin and Suzette all enrolled on it. It was exciting to hear their names called at roll call and to hear them answer "Here." The course supervisor was a tall guy with blondish hair from New York City, I believe his name was Dave Cohen. The last time I went in to AOLA in 2003, he was on staff there. I consider him to be a fine guy and good staff member.
THE SITUATION WHICH I WAS ASSIGNED TO EVALUATE AS MY FIRST DUTY ON POST - CCLA had been started by Yvonne Gillham (Jentzch) in 1969 based on an LRH program and by 1970 it had grown to 150 staff members and was a growing and active Org. They did have some legitimate Celebrities on their lines almost from the beginning. Two early celebrities were actor Steven Boyd and Candice Bergen, daughter of an extremely well known ventroloquist, and an actress and personality in her own right. Steven Boyd was very big at the time after co starring in the Movie "Ben Hur" with Charleton Heston. Unfortunately for CCLA, Boyd had dropped out just before I arrived in early 1971 and Bergen was on her way out. The other names were Chick Correa, and actress Karen Black, who was making a big splash in Hollywood at the time. There were also actors Geoffry Lewis and Robert F Lyons, Rock groups David Bowie, and Edwin Bear, etc. Behind the scenes there were some very big names such as Director Erniest Lehman and movie exec and acting coach Milton Katsellas. Lehman did not want it publicized that he was a Scientlogist but he came in for auditing on a regular basis. One of the biggest behind the scenes type of celebrities was Flo Barnett, who became David Miscavige's mother-in-law years later. She got the famous star Shelly Winters into the Org to have dinner with the staff and got Anne Francis to do the comm course.
Despite the above list of Celebrities, most of the people on lines were not celebrities and by 1973 CCLA was getting a reputation for being just an upstat Class 4 Org rather than a real Celebrity Centre. If a guy with a good job came in and had money to purchase services, CCLA would enroll him or her with no questions asked. LRH had defined a celebrity as, "someone who excelled in the fields of entertainment, sports, science and busines AND THEIR ENTOURAGES". He was looking for "opinion leaders", people who rank and file people turn to for cues on what was in and what was out in society. The term celebrity was made a little broader by saying that it was someone who was celebrated in his field. If a guy was a successful stockbroker or computer programmer at Boeing or somesuch, the rules were bent a little by Yvonne to enroll him even though he was not really a Celebrity as per LRH's definition. I was taken in under these bent rules and I certainly was not a celebrity in any sense of the word.
When I got instructed to do an "eval" on why CCLA was becoming a large upstat Class IV Org but not a Celebrity Centre, I felt that I already knew the "why" and already knew how to correct it. I had already thought about this situation long and hard before I arrived at the Apollo and I wrote to Yvonne and told her my observations and how to fix them. At the staff meetings, every Thursday night, all 27 Gross Divisional Statistics (GDS's) were shown to the staff along with their graphs and 3 week and 6 week trends. CCLA had a Division 6 stat called, "New Bodies in the Shop." It had to do with how many new people were in the Org taking a service or participating in an activity for the current week. The word "bodies" was the key to the whole eval as far as I was concerned. Using the word bodies, instead of people or prospects or something more dignified than just bodies tends to belittle the public and non Scientology field. Every class 4 Org as well as the Advanced Orgs and the St. Hill Orgs had this GDS. I do not know where the term came from but it must have been coined by LRH since he gave each division a GDS when he created the Org Board. In some businesses, it might fit well, such as the catering business. If the company knew how many bodies were to be at an event, they would know how much food to cook. For a Celebrity Centre it definitely was not the correct GDS!!
When Sandy gave me the eval to do, I read it and immediately blurted out that I already knew the "Why", To tell her this was a big mistake. She told me my idea was absurd and to just do the eval according to policy and come up with the right why. The first two evals I did I described in my first installment. On the third try, I had been on the course for over a week and tried to apply the tech. No matter how I tried, I could not suppress the concept that if Div 6 was shooting for more and more bodies in the shop on a weekly basis, that is what they were going to get. Why would the number of real Celebrities into the Org increase if none of the GDS's were pushing for more celebrites in the shop? I tried to approach it from another angle in eval form but in the end, I arrived at a similar why as before embellished with some other findings. Sandy exploded after reading about 15 seconds into my third eval and ripped it up in front of my eyes. She sent me to cramming and wrote big reports about me to the cramming officer. After cramming, I wrote a 4th eval wherein I found a completely different why. I thought the 4th eval was terrible myself as it was just a half hearted effort to placate Sandy. She read it, tore it up and assigned me Danger. She said she was going to bypass me and do the eval herself. I eventually read her eval and it was a very complex document, using all the correct terminology and giving a program to correct the situation which consisted of many targets and orders and so forth which I did not think it would have any effect on getting in more Celebrities.
READING THE TELEXES - I was still on the Evaluators Course but was no longer allowed to write Evals so I did the only thing left in my hat which was to read the telexes coming in from all around the world that related to Celebrity Centre L.A..
PTS CITY - Most of the stuff coming in had to do with panics, emergency scenes needing handling and non optimum situations. There was some good news too. Eddie Robin, who was a billiards player and lived at CCLA had won the American Billiard Championship and the news was sent to LRH. It cheered him up and he put something about it in the Orders of the Day, a sort of Ship newsletter. The Class IV Hamburg Org in Germany was doing $50,000 a week.This was very good news. Some people who were going to Germany to audit Dianetics wanted the R3R commands in German. I speak fair German myself but one of the other Programs Chiefs was from Germany and she helped me put the R3R commands into German for them. There was an Scientologist from the early 1950's, Hap Hazard, who was into aeronautics and wrote articles for an Airplane magazine in the 1970's and he got an article published in the Airplane magazines about LRH's barstorming aircraft activities of the early 1930's, including stunt flying and daredevil feats. LRH got very good press from this magazine.
That was about it for the good news. The bad news outnumbered the good news by a wide margin. I will give two examples. Celebrity Centre was only doing about $7,000 per week GI in 1973, the biggest week ever was around $12,000
while there would be low weeks in the $3,500 range. A 1973 dollar was probably about $5 in today's money. One week, just before I left for the Apollo, CCLA sent a two person team to Peter Gillham's Scientology center in Phoenix to sign up new Phoenix public to come to CCLA to do their Academy Level training packages which were $1,000 each. The two person team, a single rock singer and a married Div 6 woman traveled together and they brought back twenty $1,000 training packages worth $20,000 to CCLA in August or September. Added to CCLA's regular income of a little over $5,000, the Org did $25,000 doubling their previous all time high. There was a big party thrown at CCLA to celebrate. Not so fast though, the $20,000 was put up by a business man on the beginning communications course in Phoenix and it was only a loan and he was to be paid back with interest in full within 60 days. When it came time to repay the man his loan, no one in Phoenix knew anything about it and they referred him to CCLA. CCLA was not made aware the money had to be paid back and it was exposed that their 2 person team had an out 2D. CC did not have anywhere near that kind of money so the bill ended up at World Wide headquarters and the man was threatening a lawsuit. A lot of people at CCLA were busted over this fiasco and even Yvonne was assigned some kind of condition. Flag paid the investor off with interest and for the next month, CCLA staff received no pay Base pay (which was only $10 per week). and ate rice and beans and all the CCLA gross income except the barest essentials such as rice, beans, phone, electricity, rent and postage was taken by Flag as repayment. The repurcusions this had on the staff caused very low moral because none of the rank and file staff had anything to do with creating this problem. I guess, they were going along with current think in the Orgs among management, "they just pulled it in" due to earlier out-ethics.
GOOD NEWS TURNS TO BAD AND THE FINAL BOMB THAT ENDS MY STINT AS PROGRAMS CHIEF - Flo Barnett actually brought movie icon Rock Hudson into the Center. He was having personal problems and she found his ruin and got him to agree to an auditing demonstration session. Also, a Scientologist living in Santa Barbara, Cal. knew Jane Russel, an enormously famous Hollywood sex symbol of the 1940's and 1950's and sold her a Dianetics book. Yvonne, in her exuberance, telexed an exageration that Jane Russel was reading Dianetics and Rock Hudson was in session. LRH reacted very positively and wanted to send support from Flag to make sure that these stars received "kid gloves" treatment". Alas, before LRH could react, a class 6 auditor took Rock Hudson in session over a "present time problem" having to do with his car being parked at a meter on the street with only 45 minutes left on the timer. The auditor, Carmine, took him in and even though Hudson had a small win and F/N, Carmine decided to keep going for a major win which was against the orders of his CS. Rock Hudson blew session to handle the parking meter, had bad indicators and never returned and Jane Russel, though paying $3 or $4 for her book, never actually had any interest in reading it.
The bomb that finished me off was that Building Inspectors from the City of Los Angeles visited the Celebrity Centre at 1809 W. 8th St and cited the building which was putting on nightly shows and serving food and refreshments as unlicensed to serve food and not equipped to put on shows where over a hundred people attended each night. The electrical wiring did not meet code and the building was deemed a fire trap. The officials were friendly and helpful but they gave Celebrity Centre a limited amount of time to get the proper licensing and bring the building up to code or to vacate. Immediately, there was a huge panic and it ended up on my desk. I talked to my friend Al Bouton, a great guy, who was Estates Programs Chief. He was already working on solutions and was investigating different buildings where the Org could move to. It had already been decided that it would cost too much to bring W. 8th St. to code. I sent some telexes to Yvonne telling her that we were working on getting the Org a new building and she would be hearing from us son. She was in a panic, sending telexes daily requesting help. Remember, I had never even been given a basic hat write up so I had no chart showing the flow lines of my post. I had no hat training on the structure of World WIde Management and who to contact there. Anyway, LRH's messenger came to my berthing a couple of nights later and told me I was removed from post and that I was to stay up 24 hours and work on sorting files in the hold of the ship. I SAW HERE THAT THE "LITTLE GUY" OR "MINOR PLAYER" which was personified by me, or in the case of Celebrity Centre, the whole rank and file staff being denied their pay over something they had absolutely no knowledge of were TAKING THE FALL for oversights instigated by upper level management and the leadership.
A FALSE ACCUSATION MADE BY LRH HIMSELF TO ME - After I was removed from post, an LRH messenger came to my berthing area with a message from the Commodore. The messenger said that the Commodore knew about the funds I had embezzled from CCLA Treasury and I was not to go to sleep but to stay up all night sorting folders in the hold of the ship. I protested to the messenger, saying I gave CCLA all my money and never took a penny from them except my pay. The messenger said in a questioning voice, "You did not embezzle CCLA money?" I said absolutely not !! The messenger left and returned about 5 minutes later. She said, "The Commodore says that you have lied before about crimes you have committed but this time you are not going to get away with it.." I told her to tell the Commodore I would work out of my lower condition on the EPF and would be back as a contributing staff member. She left and did not return.
MAJOR CHANGE IN MY THOUGHT PATTERN - I believed that LRH knew everything and could read minds. I knew also that I was 100% scrupulously honest at CCLA and never took a penny. I had new information now that LRH was not infallible. I still greatly admired him and was reverent toward him but I knew for sure something that few staff members have experienced directly. LRH did not automatically know everything and could be wrong on serious matters. As my career in Scientology progressed, this tidbit of knowledge made me stronger and helped me to think more clearly when the chips were down.
My next installment will be on my stint on the EPF but I am going to end off for now...........