I'm not going to be posting for awhile, but when I get back I look forward to reading everyone's stories and continuing to educate and free myself. Thanks to all who've read and commented on my story--the human connection is great! Here's the next installment:
Bruce Harris, the chiropractor I went to with my bad jaw , was an awesome healer and a cool guy--and he looked like Gregory Hines.
Sooner or later, it had to happen. He asked me if I'd like to try Dianetics. I asked him what it had done for him. He said, "Well, some stuff that used to bother me just doesn't bother me anymore." I just thought this was a great answer. If he'd used any hyperbole, I would have bolted--maybe he knew that. Going over this story is raising curtain after curtain in my mind. I had never considered before ESMB how orchestrated every moment of my trip through the Tunnel of $cientology might have been--it didn't seem "staged" at the time.
Quicker than you can say "fresh meat" I was at his apartment getting Dianetic auditing from his wife. Woah-hoah, what do you know, since I'd already been indoctrinated into metaphysical belief by my mother, I was prepped and ready! Out popped a big pastlife trauma and then I had to be routed to a mission for some serious services. Dianetics could just not handle the magnitude of my case--was I intrigued?
Did I "bite" just because someone was finally taking my "past-life" fantasies for real, with respect and validation? I was willing to "look into this," so right away an appointment was set up with Gary Fishman, a mission-holder.
I walked into a little office space on Hillhurst on an April morning to find Gary glugging Emergent-C, his feet up on the desk, looking--pardon the expression--hungover. He said he been working late the night before. At the time, I had no idea the hours that staff worked or the abuse--ahem, motivation --they received. This is very hush-hush around public, I assume. I did know that my niece's mom--let's call her BJ--hardly ever got time off. I got a lot closer to BJ toward the end of her life, but I still don't know what all she went through in the SO. She was a True Believer and a stoic til the day she died. She had a Scientology funeral--and is due back in the SO about 16 more years now. (Dear BJ, please go AWOL! ) I found out after her death how much she and I had had in common for 30 years, but had never shared with each other when it might have helped.
When Gary found out I was a teacher he started enthusing about LRH's amazing "literary output" He hit a wall right then, because as timid as I've presented myself as (and can be) I also have a tough, stubborn side. Not even to be social could I pretend to like that dreck. Gary had to move on, and he did, to my "ruin." He had heavy going with this, too, because I didn't have drug or alcohol problems and I professed not to be that upset that I was in my mid-30s and not married. I now think that my true ruin my whole life has been being such an obedient little girl, but at the time I guess we figured out my ruin was being depressed.
I mean, I didn't have anything to be depressed about did I--bad job, bad relationship, bad family environment, lies on lies?--so surely I should be more joyful. And I COULD be, with Scientology! I bought the introductory course.
I started course that evening. I love to study and will study anything.
Patrice was my Course Sup and I was the only student in the tiny course room. Patrice is Gary's wife and an ex-American Ballet dancer. She was nice and never proved to be anything else. But this needs to be understood--she and Gary were on staff, but They Had Their Own Money, lots of it, just like the celebrities they lived near in their castle in the Hollywood Hills. So, I have a hard time picturing anyone screaming at them or making them wear a dirty rag. At the time they were servicing me, they were buying major OT services, donating, etc. The mission may have been like a hobby for them. I have no idea. Patrice shepherded me through about a year of my auditing and I'm sure that had a lot to do with it being a good experience. Stuff happened (how not?), but it always got fixed.
Meanwhile, my grandmother who was 102 died. She left each of her grandchildren about 30K. I had never expected this, and it is odd that the money came when I was in Scientology. Just a coincidence, I suppose. At the time I figured that as a religious person herself, she'd approve of my investing in my "immortal soul."
When my brother found out I had bought a whole bunch of intensives and was "on the bridge," he called and was very agitated. He asked to talk to me privately--which he had never done--he didn't even talk to me when I was at his house. So I met him and he was in his usual 'shaking with rage' mode :crazy: that made me so nervous; he said all this stuff about the Church wanting money, getting people in debt, and some other stuff about the "wall of fire" and "facing the tiger." In other words, he was telling me not to get auditing. This was the guy who worshipped LRH and all his works.
To jump ahead a few months, I went on with the auditing and became a different person-- I don't know why I recovered self-confidence--there are many ways to explain it, I guess. I've got some ideas but I won't air them here. It was fun, too, to do courses and find things that I thought made sense--like that covert hostility is between anger and fear. I guess one could figure that out that a backstabber wants to hurt you but is afraid of direct confrontation, but 1.1 is nice shorthand.
Something that sticks in my mind was when Gary used the word "wog. " I objected and explained the racist origin of the term. He totally denied it, refused to look at a dictionary that gave etymology, and refused to accept my certainty. So, I practiced "ignosis" and forged ahead. After all, I already knew from Doris and my brother that you had to be selectively blind to be in Scientology.
Because I had a good income and no family to spend it on, I was able to buy each course or set of intensives in Scientology relatively easily. I put some of it on credit cards, but since I'd never spent on myself before, I thought I could afford it. One time I got kind of upset when I was regged for about 5K of stuff and then the whole Mission--I was invited--went out to a Beverly Hills restaurant and Gary ran up what must have been a thousand dollar tab! Now I realize he could have paid for it out of his own pocket, and probably did, but at the time I felt like I'd hemorhaged money and now others were drinking my blood! I'd never been in a restaurant that lavish, though, and I liked it--again, being around non-fearful, good-humored people was just really building up my own confidence. I was ready to believe that money is just energy and readily available if you're "uptone."
As time went on, the road got rockier, but it happened very gradually.
At first, as paying public, I was subjected to heavy regging, but not much ethics trouble. Three things stand out that seem quite different from what staff and SO people experienced: one, 'they' treated me with kiddy gloves in "ethics" cycles--I was never told I was in any condition nor was it insisted that I do anything but talk to an eithics officer and I don't remember them doing anything but chatting; two, after the infamous personality test and i.q. test, they told me I was quite high on both three, they didn't bug me to overdo the time on course--again, I was working fulltime and they must have figured that if they pushed too hard, I'd be outta there.
There was one time when I was getting auditing at the mission that I started feeling very agitated and disturbed. Immediately, Patrice and Charmayne got me in session at some odd hours on the weekend. I felt better, but still my needle was stuck, so Nancy audited me every chance she got over about a week. I won't go into details, but when the "thing" resolved, I have to admit I felt better and was less fearful around people at work, for example. :highfive:
Even with all the best treatment, though, my case bogged down at some point and I started cycles at AOLA and then LAOrg. That started to bother me; I didn't like the "vibe" at LAOrg, and since I'm one of those who are hyper-alert to conflict and "read" people's emotion (nothing spooky, I'd had to develop those skills in my crappy family) I probably was picking up on the intense stress among the staff there. It was during this time of my folders being endlessly reviewed and being on and off the meter that I really started to be wary of Scientology again. All the pressure to buy things, the uptight attitude on course (they seemed almost annoyed that I breezed through course after course and never had MUs) and the worried whispering over my folders started to turn me off to the process.
A funny thing: I found a Rolex in the dirt in the parking lot of the org and took it to the receptionist. She refused to keep it and took my telephone number. That night I got a phone call from a staff member who breathlessly asked me to bring her the watch at the org--I thought that was a bit much, so she said she'd come to my apartment. I didn't know if she'd traveled astrally or what, but she was in Eagle Rock from Hollywood in about ten minutes! WTF? Had she thought I'd leave my telephone number and then pawn her Rolex while she was driving up there?? Now I realize from what I've learned on ESMB that she couldn't afford the time off-post and maybe her senior even punished her for the "overt" of losing her watch --poor thing.
When my case got moving again, I had great sessions (I don't remember specifics, but I'd go in and handle stuff and then with the needle floating I'd come out feeling higher than a kite) . The way this backfired as far as the reg was concerned was that I just wanted to go out in the world and enjoy feeling good for the first time in 30 years. Like that one staffer posted about some girl he saw come in a repressed mouse and turn into a radiant woman, I was really happy and free, but the org just used it to "alloy my affinity". Sorry I don't remember the name of that poster--let me know if you read this, because I loved how you put that.
Meanwhile, Doris and the kids were not thriving, but they were doing okay. The kids went to college. My brother worked by himself and didn't have to interact with anyone he didn't want to--which seemed to suit him. Doris and I had not been as close, though, since I'd stopped contributing to the rent on the house and got my own place; in general, I'd say she was no longer close to anyone except my brother. The kids seemed to have pulled well away; her boys spent much more time with her 'wog' husband than with her. After I became active in CoS she seemed to get re-interested in being onlines. She joined the Toastmasters' group that met at the Manor. Around this time she tried to recruit her boss at the corporation where she worked and that soured the whole work situation for her; I'd seen her do this before and it always bit her in the backside. I would never have told anyone at my job that I was a Scientologist.
My "improvement" had other effects on Doris; one night she wanted to spend the night at my place because she and my brother were fighting. I think she was asserting herself against his total control of her life. She could never bring herself, though, to confide in a "pc" like me, though, or--totally apart from Scientology--to overcome her own will to be powerful and better than other people. So, she wouldn't talk to me about all her problems with her hubby, my sibling. The next day he showed up at my place angry. He was berating me and--with the confidence I'd gotten lately--I was not intimidated. He raised his hand to hit me (he'd been doing that since my childhood --the last time when I was 18) and I said "Yeah, go ahead. My dad beat me and you beat me and, guess what, that's probably why I was with a lover who beat me." This stopped him dead--it was amazing. A look came over his face and, truth to tell, he never again treated me with exactly the same contempt and intimidation--with one sentence I'd backed him off for good.
Next time: I bring my ex- into Scientology or "it seemed like such a good idea at the time"