This was the sort of Space Opera I joined the SO for, one of the most exciting parts of my time in Scientology and, now I look back at it, an early sign of the madness to come.
In January 1974 the UK government announced an international fuel crisis and ordered (I think) all citizens and businesses to only use electricity 3 days a week (with penalties for violation of this order). To me it was like something out of '1984' but I've always lived my life in some kind of fantasy so I enjoyed it - like I enjoyed the long hot laid back summer of 1993, working in the Solarium with views of the swimming pool and the beautiful grounds, with lots of lovely chicks (paying public) strolling, laying and posing in the sunshine wearing see-through tops and hotpants, occasionally topless. Since my post allowed me to go in and out of the Manor, I felt myself involved in some real-life James Bond training centre, with Star Trek overtones!
Anyway, the night the Battle of Britain started I was on Night Watch. As Dir Income for AOSHUK/GOWW I had already done a furious day's scribbling, adding and subtracting at the maximum speed possible for a chainsmoking coffee-loaded ex-hippy of 22.
Brendan Sharkey and I were sitting in the FOLO main area, in the building by Ext. Comm and the Chapel. We had toured the whole grounds hourly with our lanterns and pick-axe handles, checking no-one was hijacking our various tanks of paraffin and oil - concealed around the ground for non-electric heating and light. It was wet fog, so our parkas got wet. As we were checking the doors and windows at the back of the Manor we both noted what seemed a terribly loud humming coming from the basement. Influenced no doubt by all the Asimov and Lensman we had all been reading lately, I/we got to speculating whether Ron was, in fact, a massive Computer! Yeah, I know....you can believe whatever you want to. At that time all the local SO and OTs were having encounters with ghosts and spacecraft on the dark nights walking back to East Grinstead or Stonelands! There was also lots of talking case - especially Inter-Galactic whole track stuff. It was commonly believed that Ron knew us all from the Whole Track, even if we didn't remember ourselves! Truth is, apart from a few sadistic nutters, we were all very beautiful people who really did want to do the best for ourselves, each other and humanity, even to the point of deprivation, injustice and self-sacrifice!
So there's me and Brendan sitting in the FOLO having very funny acid flashbacks together in the dark. Both of us have been totally held up case wise since joining the SO due to being tagged PTS. Somehow this meant you just dropped off auditing lines and made your case gain through hatting or doing conditions formulas on post. Anyway, discussing case, me and Brendan come to speculating that we used to be up there as part of the Commodore's whole track Cosmic Command, but we committed disgraceful acts of Treason, like the ones on all these super-heavy Ethics Orders that we see coming down from Flag. Such great overts that we had lost all our whole track recall and OT telekinetic abilities as a result. Well I'm getting these withholds missed every time I pass the LRH self-portrait on every wall. I'm just wording an honest little petition to the Old Man to pop in the SO#1 box, basically asking him to tell me with his Total Recall what my overts were so I can put them right - and go and re-assume my rightful place as Deputy Source.....lol
By this time we were near the end of our stint on watch - that stage of dosing off with your head propped up - when CLATTER! The double glass doors of the Lower Hall were thrown wide open against the walls. Before we could even grab our clubs and lanterns for 'Who goes there?' there's this American voice like a ship's horn braying 'Get these fucking lights on!'
Brendan and I located the switches and put on the lights for the Management Corridor - knowing this was breaking the Law!
Yeah! The SO was going to start running the Fourth Dynamic Engram and beat all governments - take them over!
Past us strode a huge fair-haired blue-eyed Aryan in immaculate Naval uniform with whites, greatcoat and enormous peaked hat reminiscent of the very best in Nazi German paraphernalia - probably even a metal-capped stick!
He turns to roar at Kathy - the cheerful redhaired Telex Operator manning External Comm - I can't remember her name though she may have been Robin Scott's first wife, but I really secretly fancied her and her cheerful smile - that she's to go down to the Stables and get the CO FOLO (Ron Hopkins?), Flag Rep UK (Art Webb?) and Supercargo FOLO (Linda
The missionaires were Lt. Cmdr Alex Sibersky (rumoured, probably by himself, to win lots of money by using his OT powers to force horses to win races) and his equally vociferous wife Maggie. The mission was called Battle Of Britain (OR LRHED 13UK), They said there were no written Mission Orders, they had been personally briefed by Ron who was operating the mission himself by daily telex. They had carte blanche to do anything they wanted.
I hope I can continue this later...storytelling takes so much longer than I thought.
Lots of fun with the Evening Musters where the skulls and crossbones or union jacks were pinned on upstats/downstats when we marched up front to be booed or clapped. I think John Harvey got slapped straight into Treason for yawning heavily at one point. It was Sibersky who intoduced the experimentation with how far could you push people. He could order the whole crew wakened out of their beds at 2 am - having got home at 1-30 - to be bussed back in to work all night or meet an impossible letters target. Soon, local execs began ordering such unpopular all-hands actions themselves before they found their heads on the chopping line. Lucky were the few SO members actually on OT levels since they had to be sessionable every day. 'Sessionable' came to mean maybe 7 hours sleep - I averaged about 5 to 6 hours between January and May. But hey, the 'altered states' you get into with sleep deprivation - especially when assisted by an idea I think was suggested by Herbie Parkhouse but quickly taken up by Battle Command. We are at War! Those with downstats no longer need to go for meals. Huge pots of beans and rice were wheeled down from Stables to be ladled out by the sheds and eaten at our desks! Conditions assignments were flying around like nobody's business, tremendously exciting goldenrod hitting our in-baskets hourly, people shifting from post to post like rabbits.
Sibersky got the letters out stat up and tried to get publicity for the Battle by having all staff (and paying public roped in as FSMS) write letters to the editors of national newspapers from a long list supplied, pointing out how much Scientology could help relieve current social, political or personal problems. We were told to individualise it, in our own words, so it was not a form letter, include some of our personal wins and gains. I mentioned quite honestly that it seemed to me Scientology was leading me to experience high states of awareness and happiness previously experienced only on psychedelics LSD and Cannabis (Marijuana) but without the roller-coaster effects and confusion produced by the latter. I honestly thought "this is what got me into Scientology, the guy's teaching me how to be an all-powerful being who can create his own universes by postulate". Anyway Sibersky's seen it before posting. Even though I've met all my Exec Series 7 quotas and sub-quotas, my Letters Out target's been met and my in-basket is empty, whump, I'm in TREASON. To the very best most valuable group in the universe, the only chance for all these suffering billions in the wog world - who we despise but contradictorily want to save! So, for amends, instead of even the usual short sleep, I'm out in the rain, wind and mud, helping to erect this enormous Marquee in the centre of the field that is now occupied by the Castle. It was like a Nazi production. We're all running around groggy, working as hard as we can, suffering indigestion and office pollution from the farty beans, self-flagellating with this guilt that we're still just not good enough - reinforced at the nightly screaming Chinese School on
LRH ED 13 UK - as I recall "WE'RE GOING UP WHILE THE WORLD'S GOING DOWN. YOU TURN THIS GOVERNMENT ACTION INTO A BOOM FOR US. UTILISE THE PUBLIC'S FREE TIME BY DRIVING THEM IN FOR TRAINING. BOOKS MAKE BOOMS. LOVE=RON" I don't know if I was alone, but this constant repetition of the phrase "Love equals Ron" conjured up an image of The Founder as some vast infinite all-knowing Supreme Being = the Source of all LOVE in this Universe. I thought Scientology was a way to uncover the enormously superhuman being that lay within each of us but that as we got more and more OT we would eventually lose individuality and splash into the great one being, the God of Love....which I thought fitted the then definition of OT8 : Total Cause over Life, Thought, Matter, Energy and Space on all Dynamics. So I imagined a snowball acceleration of this group of beings who could live, operate and affect worldly events without a body, all I suppose ultimately sharing the same soul or mind.
All that stuff just poured out.(Nonsense isn't it?) I got into Scientology because it promised to help me overcome my terrible shyness of women!
Hey, soon as I finally got some real auditing wins, on Grade Zero with Trudy Chamberlin, after I had to get off the withhold that I masturbated with the assistance of two photo magazines, which I found under a hedge as I was jogging on the first Purification Rundown (LSD, Years After They Have Come Off), wearing dustbin liners under my clothes since we hadn't any access to sweatsuits on the RPF. Retrospectively I see it was the first time in my life I ever told a woman, even in a roundabout way, that I found her sexually attractive, and I got masses of gain from it! Had to get off the earlier similar that one day when I was new to the Sea Org and Trudy was a gorgeous big-hipped sex-bomb who used to run excitedly up and down the drive with FSM Commission forms, I got off the Stonelands bus one night desperate for a pee. I run into the little loo beside the dining room and there's Trudy in fully exposed disarray having a pee herself. Not really my O/W, I see now, as the lock was on the inside of the door.
Just one more tidbit: later on in the Battle the Book Brigade were trying to force the Boom by forcing the booksales stat up by any means. Wealthy Scientologists were made to pay for full sets of LRH works in Public Libraries - while FSMs were going round libraries making requests for them! Disaffected old-timers with unused advance payments in their accounts, were encouraged to give up on ideas of ever being repaid and instead convert the credit into books. When staff pay was at it's lowest nearly the whole crew was cruising around seeing who they could sell books to - since that 2% bonus was never cut off FP. Anyway some bright spark organised an event at London's Rainbow Theatre (same place Bob Marley was launched a few years later) with Scientology musicians Chick Corea, the remnants of David Bowie's band and the popular Incredible String Band (who had helped lead myself and brother Alistair into Scn). The bright idea was that everyone who attended would find a free paperback copy of Dianetics under their seats, the Booksales stats would look great (even if it was just millionaire Lillian Collins who paid for them). Then these happy music fans, all the more happy since the gig was free, would go off and share the irresistible mysteries of DMSMH with friends, family and flatmates and there you go...crowds of folk rushing in to fill up our courserooms!
The event in the tent was great, like the Nuremberg Rally on a small scale. We're under strict orders with extreme consequences for non-compliance : "No-one gets out of this tent till they've seen the Registrar, the Bookstore Officer and the Recruiter."
It was Sibersky's mission - and I don't know whether it really was run by Ron - that brought the unreasonableness into Saint Hill, so we could allow ourselves to be abused in the name of getting stats up. After he had taught it to us the first night hammering his fist into his palm and banging the desk, he would ask us "Take a lump of coal and apply a lot of heat and pressure, HEAT AND PRESSURE! What do you get?"
We'd chant back "A Diamond!" then we'd all go running to apply heat and pressure to our immediate juniors. Truth is, I believe, if you apply a lot of heat and pressure to a lump of coal you get a pile of coal dust!
More anon, maybe.