My story is nothing special, quite standard, in fact… Like its technology, the journey in scientology is also standard for the majority of the people.
OK, let’s go:
We are in 1978, I live in Lausanne, Switzerland and I am 21 years old. A friend of mine announces me that he will start a very special course in few days and because of this course he has to stop smoking pot for a week. Yes, I know, some people see cannabis as a dangerous drug but remember: it’s 1978 and I’m 21 years old. Furthermore, pot has never been harmful to me and I consider it as less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Anyway, this is not the place for a debate on this subject.
So this friend, let’s call him Steve, tells me that he will stop smoking and I’m very surprised because he’s smoking quite a lot, at least more than me. He says that an organization based in Bern sets up this course, it’s about communication, it will take place in a hotel downtown and will last for a week. He does not add much more details and I don’t ask further questions as I’m not very interested in such a course.
During his one week course, my friend speaks to me about the exercises of the course, the famous TRs. He’s very enthusiastic; asks me to do TR 0 with him, in his room, to see how fantastic it is. I’m not very convinced, but my friend seems so well and happy…
Some days after the completion of his training, Steve starts to speak about dianetics. I’m more interested in this subject than about the TRs. Steve has a book, DMSMH, “you want to read it?” Yes, yes, I’m interested! I take the book, leaf and say “OK, thanks”. “It’s 20 bucks…” What! “Hey, wait a minute; I was thinking that you will lend it to me!” This was the first ignored alarm bell! And I was even not yet in contact with a “real” scientologist. Steve was student at that time and has been convinced by the Bern’s Org that selling books could pay for his bridge.
Anyway, I bought the book from my old friend, a little astonished, and start to read it. And read, and read, and read! I was really fascinated by this book. I realized, later, that only few people had read it and were interested. The majority of the scientologists that I known found it difficult to read and had abandoned after few pages (there are some MUs here, huh?) But I was reading it everywhere: in the train to and from my work, at the lunch break and during the evenings.
During that time, I went for a workshop at the Geneva’s Org. I really enjoyed these two evenings, learn about some basics like ARC triangle and buy a book: Scientology a new slant of life. I had the feeling that I was discovering something new and that I was part of a great group of caring people. Steve and I were interested in parapsychology, were science-fiction fans and were listening jazz-rock music; we were enjoying especially Chick Corea’s music. These facts were amongst major contributors to the fact that scientology was appealing for us.
After a few weeks, Steve told me that he will start a new course (HQS) at the Fribourg’s mission. I’m also interested to do some training but I wonder if I can start directly with the HQS or should I start with the communication course. It’s Saturday and Steve tell me to phone to the Fribourg’s mission and ask them. And I phoned…
On the phone, the guy is very nice and says that there is no problem to start with the HQS since what is covered in the communication course is also part of this more advanced course. When can you come at the mission? “Well… I don’t know, maybe next Saturday?” “You could come tomorrow?” “Hem… It’s Sunday and I have other things to do” (in fact I have nothing special but it’s too quick for me). And guess what? Yes he handles me and I was at the mission on Sunday… (Second ignored alarm bell here!)
At the mission, I speak with the ED who spends few minutes to find a ruin on me (just to be sure!) and pay for my course. I was about to start when the reg told me that I have to do a very short course first, the mini tape course… I explain that I know how to use a tape recorder but needless to say that I have to buy and do this useless course first! It’s cheap and very short but I’m a little angry anyway.
With Steve, we are now both on HQS course; we are going every Saturday and Sunday afternoon to the mission of Fribourg. I like the TRs, we are so happy with these TRs that, for fun, we were continuing TR0-bullbait in the train back home. Imagine the face of the other passengers in the train! I like also the people, staff or public, present at the mission but I dislike the environment. The mission is in a modern building with a strange smells of drugs or vitamins. It’s composed of two distinct flats: one course room and one administrative part where the reception and several offices are located. I dislike also the pictures of LRH everywhere on the walls. And, as an agnostic person, I dislike the cross and the religious side of scientology. The ED tells me that it’s not a religion but an applied religious philosophy. He‘s also adding that the religious varnish is only for tax purpose in USA! Yes, scientology and dianetics were still pseudo sciences at that time, not yet a pseudo religion!
This is at this mission that I see my first OT! Maïna is a woman about 40 years old. If I remember well, she was OT7. The old OT7, wow! I will see somebody who is cause on everything! My God!
Well… She looks so normal! I’m in the course room, watching her (yes, I know, flunk!). She replaces the sup for a short time, scratching her leg (what? Not at cause on her body?) She’s looking for some papers and don’t find them (what? Not a perfect recall? Third ignored alarm bell!) I should have leave at that time.
But I stayed. For twelve years.
This is also with Maïna that I experienced my first serious reg cycle. She wants to sell me some intensive of auditing and I’m a little astonished by the prices. She serves me the usual selling arguments like the freedom has no price, etc. But I’m a little reluctant to buy. I have also a very good argument: If she is cause over the MEST as an OT7, why is she does not show me her abilities? I tell her “just move this mug without your hands and I’ll buy everything!” or “tell me what I’m thinking right now” Her answer is that it would not be real for me, I’m not ready to see an OT in action, I will find plenty of rationale to explain her abilities!! After a while, with the promise that I could ask for a refund at any time (what a bunch of liars!), I agree to buy cheap objective auditing hours for few thousands francs but did not start them right away. I do not remember there were many other reg cycles during this period at Fribourg.
Steve and I continued to go on weekends on the HQS at Fribourg, but with less enthusiasm. The most enjoyable moments were the breaks were we were all going in a nearby coffee shop to drink wonderful strawberry milkshakes (what a win!).
After some months, Steve and I are convoked by the ED. I don’t remember how, but the staffs at the mission have discovered that we are still smoking pot, after the course… It’s like an earthquake for them. We have to stop immediately and do the sweat program. At that time, the purif is not yet available, but the sweat program is quite similar: running, taking a lot of vitamins, eating fat free food, but no sauna.
We agree to stop smoking and to do the sweat program. We were planning three weeks of vacation on a small Greek island, and we decide to do the program during these vacations. So we are, at the airport, our backpacks full of huge bottles of vitamins and calmag (a little nervous to be searched at the Greek customs…).
After a week of real vacation (i.e. smoking and eating nice fat Greek food) we start to run and to take the vitamins. The mission was supposed to send us the instructions for the program at a post office on a nearby island, but we didn’t even try to go at that post office. We are running without preparation, on a sunny Greek island and it is August… We are eating mainly fruits and are hungry… I resist the torture for three days and then decide to stop. It does not matter if I have to wait my next lifetime and have a clean body to be audited! Steve resists one more day and decides to stop also. The only win, if it is one, is that we quit smoking pot. Back in Switzerland, we are no more on course. There is no pressure from the mission to continue our training. There is no harassment, probably because it’s 1979 and it’s a small mission.
To be continued...