Much to my embarrassment, I am a former Scientologist. I am currently a member of the Ex-Scientologists' Message Board under the Nic "Royal Prince Xenu".
What follows is a letter sent to ESMB from an anonymous Scientologist defending the "Church": I have added commentary to set some of the facts straight.
Then follows my response on ESMB to that letter writer.
After that is personal history and observations.
An Open letter to Carmel Underwood, Tim Underwood, Kevin & Vickey Mackey, Peta O'brien, Paul Schofield, Dean and Anna Detheridge.
From, An Adelaide Scientologist.
I dont (sic.) see the news much, but the Nick Xenophon parliamentary address with each of your personal upsets aired, did impinge into my world.
You have written to me, by doing this, and here is my response. Not coerced, rehearsed etc, just heartfelt. This letter would have been one of many requested of Scientologists by the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), as is common practice when a "PR Flap" arises. In 1985 when the State Parliament of South Australia attempted to investigate Scientology, I was one of many such letter writers--all such letters are vetted by OSA personnel to make sure that nothing "negative" gets out.
Xenophon is from South Australia, where I live, and I have applauded his cause to reduce Poker machines across the country. To now see him used as a tool and voice of your 'victimisations', (his words) seems very unfair on him, and a distraction to someone I felt I could trust to represent his public fairly.
I had heard that there were a few Scientologists in Sydney who had various individual upsets, and I had heard some of the names; I was not too interested, simply as I thought each would at some point resolve the situation with whatever body was concerned.
I am appalled that you could take your personal situations and use them with such intent in an attempt to endanger the delivery of Scientology. Paul Schofield, who used to proudly wear his 'Scientology Works' T shirt around Sydney. Kevin Mackey who would study well into the night after the course room had closed, Carmel who I remember fondly having a great passion on helping people get drug free.
What the ?????
I dont (sic.) know about you, but I have had gain, my daughter has had gain, loves going on study and thoroughly enjoys getting the data from the basic books. I love these stable datums (sic.), as does she.
To have handled a very bad drug habit in the early years when I started Scientology, and to have progressed mentally and spiritually from far south to now 'not doing too bad at all' – is a win for me. Dont (sic.) even try to invalidate that please.
I have just seen 3 local Scientologists from Adelaide fly to Samoa to assist in the aftermath of the Tsunami – willingly, happily and with help as the motivating force.
And the stories of help received, are truly wonderful; they have changed conditions. When someone completes a Scientology "process" they are expected to write a "Success Story" all of which are proudly displayed throughout any franchise--this is a co-erced "testimonial". Sending "Volunteer Ministers" to the Tsunami region is purely a PR activity.
This is the true face of Scientology – It is where results are seen.
Last week we saw a roll out through my suburbs' letterboxes of the 'beyond blue' program with what we as residents can 'do' to detect and 'handle' our 'depression'. This horrifies me; from the gradual broadening of everyday upsets which now have been placed under the parameters of 'mental illness' to the subsequent marketing of the drugs to 'fix'. Drugs which do have frightening side effects. This I know personally, having family and friends affected adversely. In some sense I agree. Drugs are not an answer for circumstantial depression, but for long term depression brought on by illness, there are many drugs that can be of benefit. The Scientology creed against "drugs" is so severe that even a pain-killer is forbidden.
This is one of the situations that truly needs to be highlighted to our politicians.
It is a crazy old world at times, and we do what we can to fix, but do we really need you to voice your upsets in an attempt to jeopardise the majority of us, who are happy just to get on with it. Not really, it just isnt (sic.) representative. Scientology has tried to play this down by accusing those who have come forward as behaving like ex-spouses. This is true because most people within the organization are suffering from "battered house wife syndrome" and fear the consequence of what could happen if they tried to leave.
In the Management Volumes there are all kinds of recourses if you have observed you have been wronged, from 'Orders, query of' through to Reports, Chaplain's Courts, up to Committees of Evidence and so on, and if not satisfied, you continue until it is resolved. You can even have findings and recommendations published broadly. I can only comment on a "Committee of Evidence". This is an internal Kangaroo Court where the outcome is predetermined before the victim even gets to say his piece.
That is the attitude set forth by Hubbard, and these are the tools he gave us, if there is perceived to be an injustice.
A public forum, is not such a place. There is only one victory you seek, and that is damage done to a Church, financial stress to its parishioners, who want to support their religion, their right to it, and its defence, and that, in my opinion, has hate as your motivation, not resolution. We don't hate these people. They are as much victims now as we were when we were involved with the "Church".
And on a passionate and personal note. You may think as a result of your public attack that you are targetting someone, some group, some strata or the like, due to your particular and individual experience, however you are not, you are actually targetting me – someone who wants the opportunity of participation in my religion of choice. You have possibly made it a little bit more 'expensive' to be a Scientologist at this time. Thankyou for all this, this I take personally. This is the standard catch cry from Scientology when any form of attack is perceived: The claim to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion (and I can assure you that this "Religion" is far from free--it costs a packet.)
Can we please focus on some actual enemies?
Anyway, that is all, no need for a reply. This is my reply to you.
This is not an attack on you as a person. All exes once believed as you do now.
Yes, for each of us there were gains to be had in the beginning:
- Getting off drugs;
- Literacy (as Carmel stated) and others;
- The emotional fix of an auditing session;
- The buzz of completing the "Comm Course"*, and then forever-after chasing that same buzz just like a drug anyway. * "Communications Course" which uses "Training Routines" (TRs) 0-4 which can induce a hypnotic state in the "student". The alleged objective of TRs is to get a person to take control of communication. It also happens to be good for Registrars, Recruiters, and Book Sellers to give them higher ability in dominating the communication to extract money.
Sadly, as you progress through Scientology, those gains actually get less and less. How many times have you been routed to Ethics because a process didn't "go right"? We all stuck by this because we believed that we were the best chance for Earth's survival.
When the South Australian Parliament wanted to "investigate" Scientology back in 1985, we all piled into cars, buses and whatever else was available to get to Adelaide to "protect our religious freedom". Why? Because we believed. This was seen as so big that Heber Jentzsch, whom I personally met, and other OSA Int big guns turned up as well.
Heber was a gentle, kind and loving man who defended Scientology because he believed, as we all did. After all the work he did for the Church ask yourself one question: "Why is he now locked up in the infamous SP Hall?" SP: Suppressive Person, i.e., a person who disagrees with Scientology. Those incarcerated in this Hall most probably "willingly" stay because, again, they are "battered house wives".
Have you seen the disgusting conditions endured by SO* members, having to slide into bed because the bunks are so tightly stacked that you can't even turn on your side during the night? Have you slept on the floor because you worked so late that you missed the bus back to "barracks"? Have you worked so late that you just started the next day with no sleep at all? * SO = Sea Organization, aka Hubbard's toy navy. A single bedroom would be filled with as many bunks as possible, often triple bunks, sometimes even quadruple. 12 or more people jammed into a single bedroom was not uncommon.
Have you studied three days straight as part of a "stat-push*"? That's seventy-two hours of reading, clay demos*, word clearing, maybe something to eat, but no time for any sleep. Why would one endure this? Because we believed. * stat-push: a frenzied effort to achieve a higher number of "completions" to make the Statistics look better. I really did this massive study undertaking on the basis of a promise that was not filled. * Clay Demonstration, the student was often required to demonstrate physically in plasticene some very abstract ideas, again hypnotising their thought processes.
Have you slaved away for 100 hours in a week to get $20 pay on Friday? We did, because we believed. Have you been "upstat*" enough to earn Saturday Night "Liberties" only to spend all the time fighting with everyone else to get to the washing machine (if there even is one)? *Upstat: Your personal productivity statistic was good. Downstat: Your personal productivity statistic was bad.
Have you been left in charge of over a dozen children from newborn to teenage while their parents were on course or in session? I changed so many nappies, made up so many bottles, dealt with so many adolescents that I decided, "I've done it all. I have no urge to reproduce." And why? Because I believed. I was about 20 when I found myself in this situation, and I am not exaggerating the numbers of children, nor the age-spans.
Can you honestly imagine how Paul Schofield must feel about his daughter falling down the steps of Sydney Org*? Can you imagine how the person who was supposed to be watching her must feel even to this day? Why was it covered up? We had to protect the Church at all costs--because this was Man's Salvation. I had already left before this occurred, so I only know of it through Paul's postings on ESMB--you must realize that he lost TWO young daughters to this negligence, one falling down the stairs and the other being poisoned. * Org = Organization.
Why did I leave? Because I had a massive bill that was going "legal", and I couldn't very well say in Court that the org didn't pay enough for me to deal with this bill. I was still protecting Scientology, because I believed.
Once I was out in the "wog*" workforce (where they tell you to go home at 5pm), I didn't know what to do with all that "extra" time. Why didn't I go back? Because having "blown" I was no longer "qualified" to pursue my goals of getting into CSI. I wanted to go to Flag, Gold, Incomm, Saint Hill, because I believed. * Hubbard coined the term WOG as Westernized Oriental Gentleman to indicate non-Scientologists. In the same way that a "true" WOG was not yet properly informed of "Western" cultural behavior so a "wog" was not Scientology-educated. In the time that I was there, it was quite often used in a derogatory way.
"Unfortunately", because I was no longer protected by the heavily censored "open communication" of the Church, I became exposed to "entheta*" that when I checked, turned out to be true. I found out about Hubbard's comment about making millions by starting a religion. I found out that his "doctorate" was from a Diploma Mill. * Entheta is any information that disrupts the programmed Scientology Emotional Belief System. When the Internet arrived, all Scientologists had to have a special "Net Nanny" installed on their computers to block any site that may actually tell the truth about Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard.
I started hearing about significant alterations to Policy and Tech under the reign of David Miscavage. Why the development of co-erced abortions? To stop the allegations of child abuse by getting rid of children.
Yes, we all believed, as you do now. The difference is we woke up from the nightmare and for the most part had to "salvage" ourselves alone. There was no Internet--we had to go it alone, cut off from people we cared about and left floundering in the gutter. When you've been all used up, that's where you'll be dumped too.
Why do I now hide behind the pseudonym of "Royal Prince Xenu"? Because I have seen the harassment of individuals to keep them silent. Despite Dr Harry Bailey of Chelmsford Hospital being charged over the unhygienic practices surrounding "Deep Sleep Therapy", it was OSA's continued attacks that drove him to committing suicide.
Personal Commentary and Experience
Scientologese is a language in itself, made of acronyms and abbreviations and other invented words. Where possible I have elaborated on some of the terminology, but please excuse any lapses.
After a very rough upbringing and being indoctrinated as a Jehovah's Witness, Scientology was an escape. I read the Dianetics Book aka DMSMH or Book One, and despite the fact that it rambled all over the place and never actually gave a complete "auditing" scenario, I become a competent auditor. Normally the course "Essentials of Dianetics" (EOD) went from 1 - 8, because of my demonstrated competence, I only had to do EOD 8 to "qualify".
The process begins by getting "raw meat" from the streets. Unsuspecting new staffers are assigned as Body Routers, who attempt to interview people in the street, and after engaging them in conversation physically walk them into the org for a "free personality test". This test is called the "Oxford Capacity Analysis", although it has nothing to do with Oxford University. It is a shoddy test designed to give bad results.
Once these results have been tabulated and graphed, the "raw meat" is taken to a Registrar. The Registrar then points out just how badly that person's life is going, seeks to find their "ruin", i.e., a highly traumatic event in his life that is "holding him back from fulfilling his true capabilities, and only Dianetics/Scientology can fix this."
The "ruin" information is passed onto the Dianetic Auditor, and in my experience was often found to be wrong. I had one "patient" who knew his ruin in the first place. He had been homosexually raped and then stabbed in a public toilet. He had seen 13 different psychiatrists with no result, so he paid $50 for a five-hour Dianetic session. In 2 1/2 hours I had handled his trauma and he was so "high" on his "win" that we were unable to continue. He did not come back to complete the session, but wrote me a thank you letter after he had finished his holiday in Sydney. So, in the right hands, some of the material in Book One can be very valuable. Most of my pcs* did gain an emotional improvement relating to something in their past. If you get something "big" out, they feel absolutely blown away afterward. This is the hook. Now your pc should want more and more auditing to get that same "blown away" feeling.
* pc="pre-clear", the aim of auditing to make a person "clear" of past trauma and have full life recall--no true Clear has ever been produced.
This is the purpose of Registrars: to extract money. These people all did the "Hard Sell Course", as did I, where you won't allow the public to say "no". We all fervently believed that we were doing the right thing and that it was in the best interests of any public to get him started on the Scientology "Bridge". I was never involved with sales, so I have no first-hand experience of "regging" someone, but as a very young staff member an attempt was made to reg me into buying the Bridge. I had no income apart from the dole, a bill of $100 was something very big to me, and having someone trying to talk me into borrowing $300,000.00 just wasn't going to happen but, for other people it did happen. Reges would help them in the loan application and lying was not uncommon. It was also common to "escort" someone to the bank or ATM and back again to make sure he didn't "escape".
I repeat that I was never selling, I was delivering the service paid for. To this day, I believe that with the tools I had at the time I did deliver what was promised to the best of my ability. However there were also some ridiculous disasters. To be "sessionable" for Dianetics or Scientology processing, it was important that the pc had slept properly the night before, consumed no alcohol in the last 24 hours and ingested no drugs in the last six weeks. I would be called in to audit someone to discover that he had smoked dope the previous weekend, or was soussed the night before. When I complained that this pc was not "sessionable", I would be told "He's paid his money! Audit!" Invariably these sessions were failures and I got into a war with the Public Registrar over being sent unsessionable pcs along with pcs who spoke insufficient English.
The next bizarre procedure was: upon completing a session the pc would be escorted to the "examiner" to make sure that the pc was happy with what had happened. This would usually be someone's first exposure to the e-meter. Imagine a person who has just been taken back through past trauma and grief suddenly sitting in front of someone else, having a pair of aerosol cans with wires attached stuffed into his hands. Of course, the natural reaction was, WTF? It was my habit while escorting the pc to the examiner to explain what was going to happen to reduce the WTF? reaction. Upon being told "Your needle is floating," which means that the session was "successful", the person would then have paper and pen thrust at him, "Would you like to write a Success Story?" Most people at this stage are still quite modest and were actually embarrassed by the question, but as long as they wrote "I felt good," that was OK. These forced testimonials were pinned up all over to show how "good" Scientology was. The pc would then be escorted back to the Public Registrar to be sold more books, sessions, courses etc..
My first course was the "Communications (comm) Course". This involved Training Routines, or drills in how to originate a communication naturally, how to properly acknowledge someone, how to handle a diversion etc., all of which was so simple and common-sense but seemingly amazing. And this is where the "programming mentality" starts.
TR OT-0: Two people sit opposite each other with eyes closed until they are comfortable "being there". If someone starts to dope off, the coach "flunks" the student, and they start again. The end result of this drill for me, was to literally see the person opposite me through a "mystical" tunnel, and my "twin" in the exercise reported the same thing.
TR-0 Confront. Two people sit opposite each other with eyes open until they are are comfortable "being there", without flinching, blinking*, or doping off. *I raised holy-hell over the idea of not being allowed to blink and sought clarity on whether or not the body's natural blink to stop the eyes from drying out was permitted. I was then shown a bulletin called "Blinkless TRs" which clarified that the natural blink was permitted, but "excessive" blinking was a sign that one was not confronting properly. There was also a course called Pro-TRs where these drills were done for hours at a time, and I did hear of people who had sat three hours without being allowed any natural blinking.
TR-0 Bullbait. You sit there while your coach hurls abuse, jokes, obscenities and any other distraction to provoke a response. If you react, it's a "flunk" and you have to start again. This was actually fun for me.
TR-1 Origination. The student is required to locate spoken sentences in a book like "Alice in Wonderland" and speak them to his coach as though they were his own words. Note the word "like". According to the bulletin any book would have done (maybe even "War and Peace"), but in every "Academy" there is a copy of "Alice in Wonderland", and it is the only book permitted to be used.
TR-2 Acknowledgement. The coach originates lines to the student who must acknowledge them as understood. The acknowledgement must be believable.
TR-3 Question and Answer. Student asks a question like "Do birds fly?" or "Do fish swim?" Coach may answer with anything. Student then repeats the question until he gets a "yes" or "no". Again, note the word "like". Never once in the Academy did you hear someone doing this drill with his own made up question. Those two examples were all that were ever permitted.
The robotizing process has begun. Only Ron's words are real. The outside world is wrong.
As a staff member, dealing with Sea Org personnel, I discovered just how "important" rank was. I naturally by-passed rank and was on a first name basis with the top execs in Australia at the time, although it was very common for a senior to be yelling abuse at a junior in order "to get production up". Having rebelled against the abuse in my family, I wouldn't take this $%^& from anyone. Those who did try it, got it back. This proved beneficial for me because, apart from two or three other staff, I maintained equal communication with all personnel, staff or Sea Org. That aside, I was still a witness to abuse being hurled at staff from upper execs on a regular basis. Abso-fragging-lutely everyone learned to swear inside the org.
I don't know what it is about me but, no matter what group I join, I seem to rise to a fairly high profile (not necessarily liked, but high-profile just the same). Before Scientology I was already an avid Science Fiction fan (although I had never heard of Hubbard) having watched "Dr Who", "Star Trek" (this list could go on into really obscure material as well). I was a member of several SF fan groups, and when attending conventions, I had to get used to people coming up to me already "knowing" me when I had no clue as to who they were. Perhaps this personality trait is what "equalized" my relationships with higher ranking personnel.
At this time there were two branches of the SO (Sea Organization) in Sydney: The Continental Liaison Office (management) located near Taylor Square and the Advanced Org (AO) housed on the 3rd floor of the Sydney Public Org. The AO was where the "confidential" OT materials were delivered. Whilst I was never exposed to the contents of any OT materials, because I had such good dealings with both branches, I was often privy to personal information and other "confidential" material including the contents of Auditing and Ethics folders. I have never breached those confidences.
There were times when I did extra work at the CLO and was therefore "entitled" to eat with the staff. This would be personally embarrassing, because I was not SO, and I would feel out of place. Whilst many have complained about the quality of the food, I generally found it to be "satisfactory", certainly when compared to what I could afford to eat at home on staff wages.
I did see the "creche" at Rosebay where Sea Org children were supposed to be looked after by a "nanny". It was an appalling melee of underfed, undisciplined children who were running amuck. This was in the main building that served as "barracks" for SO members. I did not see any of the other accommodations in that building--I believe it is was a rented Hotel. There were some SO staff housed in a rundown hovel in Redfern and that was truly disgusting. When you hear stories about bunks stacked three and/or four levels high to fit the absolute maximum number of people into a room, they are not jokes or exaggeration.
I know very little about the finances within the Sydney org, except that I know a certain amount was paid to the CLO for "management services rendered", and that the CLO would pay an amount to the International Level for the same reason. More money was flushed "uplines" than was paid to the staff.
As mentioned above in my response to the anonymous Adelaide Scientologist, I did find myself solely in charge of approximately a dozen children simultaneously. The youngest was only six weeks old, the eldest about 13.
Ethics, or "Internal Police", was a big issue. I did not know it at the time but, I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since four years of age. So getting out of bed and into the org on time was a really big problem for me. Regardless of the fact that I was doing really well on my post and highly regarded by the majority of the staff, I was constantly harassed by the Ethics Officer about being late. Although start time was "officially" 9am, everyone was expected to arrive by 8.20 for "muster" where the roll would be taken just like we were little School Kids. It didn't matter that one had worked back until 2am. There was even a $2 late fee deducted from the week's "pay" for each day that a person was late. When your total pay amounts to about $10, that doesn't leave much! In the end, there was a mutual stand-off between myself and the Ethics Officer.
I was personally targeted over a faulty piece of equipment that had nothing to do with me. I had not been involved in the hire, set-up or testing of the equipment, I was just asked at the last minute to operate it. Because of the malfunction, I was assigned a "lower condition" and was expected to make amends for something that had never involved me in the first place. This "assignment of a lower condition" was posted all over the org. When I protested and stated my case the matter was quietly dropped but there was never the equal broadcast of the retraction.
There were also "Committees of Evidence" (CommEvs). A CommEv is basically a Kangaroo Court where the outcome is decided before the Ethics victim even enters the room. The "findings" of this CommEv are also posted widely all over the org.
This sort of situation was even worse for an SO member who could be assigned to the RPF (Rehabilitation Projects Force). RPFers are gutter-trash. The don't get one of those triple or quad bunks, they get the cupboard under the stairs to sleep. They are over-worked, expected to RUN everywhere, and are used as slave-labor. If there's anything left after the main SO meals, they may get something to eat. Again, they endure this because Ron is right. They believe this, as I did. The horror-stories coming out of the u.s. regarding the RPF far exceed anything I observed in Sydney.
The Confessional: This is a supposed Ethics action to clear oneself from the burden of guilt over past acts. I do not remember how many sessions this took, but it went on for quite some time, where I gave up every piece of information about sexual experimentation, masturbation, maybe I was gay, stealing biscuits as a kid--you name it, it went on file. In all fairness, if that file stays closed and "confidential" as promised, then the process is a great "blow away", but having seen and heard such information being revealed about others means I have no faith in that "confidentiality".
OSA: The Office of Special Affairs. Whenever there is an attack on "Scientology as a whole", OSA organizes individuals to write letters of complaint about threatening one's "religious freedom", and often trying to divert attention by flooding the investigating agency with other "spam" material. I was involved in this in Adelaide in 1985. We all converged on Adelaide en masse, held a massive demonstration outside the South Australian Parliament, and started running around with a "Petition" getting anyone we could find to sign it in the name of "Freedom of Speech and Religion". OSA is the "replacement" of the old "Guardians Office" that was allegedly disbanded after the "Operation Snow White" affair which saw Mary-Sue Hubbard jailed on her husband's behalf. All that really changed was the name. At the behest of someone else, I made a fake telephone call pretending to be from Telecom to elicit information--I don't believe that the information gained ever resulted in anything useful, but the fact is that all firm believers are prepared to do whatever it takes to "make things go right". Scientology comes first, even your personal life is put on hold.
I was hospitalized for three days, and not one person came to visit. Not one! The day after I was released from hospital, I was back on post. There was an SO member who had an urn of boiling water fall on him, and his legs and feet were severely burned. He was to be seen hobbling around in bandaged feet still working.
Although never being exposed to the OT materials, the "Xenu story" was a sort of open secret that got around anyway (except that I never heard the name Xenu). We all knew about people being blown up with nuclear bombs inside volcanoes however many million years ago. Again, being an SF fan, this was just the right place for me! You can imagine my surprise after hearing so many people attest to OT3 that "you'll never guess what the wall of fire is," to discover it was this very same story but the only thing new that you learned was the name of the evil overlord "Xenu".
It is extremely important to realize that rank and file members of the Church of Scientology genuinely believe in what they are doing. They are here to save the planet, they are mankind's last hope. In their fervent belief that they are right and nobody else can do it, they honestly believe in what they are doing.
If Senator Xenophon's proposed Senate Inquiry into the Church of Scientology, does go ahead (which I sincerely urge every democratically elected representative to support), be aware that these fervent believers under the guidance of OSA will deluge you with complaints about attacking "religious freedom" and "freedom of speech". Any inquiry will be flooded with spam material about these exes who have dared to speak out, which is why I choose to use a pseudonym. They will also feed deliberately false or fictional material in an attempt to derail such an inquiry.
The "Church" has already likened these complaints to the whining of an embittered ex-spouse. When you encounter someone who has escaped an abusive marriage, the first question asked is, "Why didn't you just leave?" The answer is usually, "Well he only beats me up some of the time, otherwise he does love me."
Battered House-Wife Syndrome is what keeps Scientologists in Scientology!
Hubbard famously said: "Honest men have rights too." It's a pity he turned out to be a liar and swindler.
I have carefully used "he" or "they" throughout in order to protect people (including myself). I know that a copy of this document will somehow end up in the hands of OSA personnel, and they will likely search all their files to try and work out my identity. To those OSA personnel, I state openly now: When you illegally raid the RTA database to match my name with a vehicle registration, look for Rego Plates that start with "RPX". Should someone representing the Church's interests turn up on my doorstep, I reserve the right to audit him with process R2-45.
"Royal Prince Xenu"