A have a story to tell and something that I feel is important for you to read. Before you do so however I would very much like you to listen to a song written by songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. The song will no doubt be very familiar to you but I urge you to listen to it in full before you read further. It has been covered many times by several artists and I’ll leave here three versions from which you can choose your preference. Cindi Lauper, Phil Collins or Erland Bratland. But please listen to one of them in full, ideally with your head phones on and the volume at a decent level. And really try to listen to the words. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmfqLOLCNi8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS53zuf_X10 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvaqD3wJb5M A short time ago my girlfriend and I were wondering what to do one Sunday evening and we decided to go and see a movie. As is becoming increasingly common these days there was not a lot to choose from but one film popped out at me. I had recently worked with this particular film’s director and one of the leading actors on separate jobs and they had both struck me as being very intelligent and compassionate men. The film was also based on a very inspirational man and a part of his story that I had not heard too much about as yet. In any event I thought it would be a good film to watch. But I was nervous when we sat down to watch it for some reason and when we left the cinema I found out why. As we walked home my girlfriend looked at me in stunned silence as I wept like a baby. I cried all the way home and for a good half hour after. She very patiently waited for me to calm down and then gently asked me what was wrong. I didn’t understand what was happening to me but I tried to make sense of it by saying that I was just really moved by the story but I knew there was something else going on. I just couldn’t figure it out then. But I have now. The film is called Invictus and it is based on the book Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Changed a Nation by John Carlin. It was made by an extraordinarily talented team of film makers lead by director/producer Clint Eastwood and had Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon playing the lead roles. The film is no doubt very moving. But why was I in such a state for nearly an hour afterwards? To answer this I need to tell you a little bit of my story. I was conceived in 1973 after a Bosun’s party on board the Apollo. We are all aware of the “unwritten” rule that exists today in the Sea Org, which is essentially that if you get pregnant you either get an abortion or you leave with an almighty chain of shame, guilt and debt hanging around your neck. That is now. Imagine what it was like back then when there were only a handful of sea org members working directly under Ron to save the planet. Getting pregnant was one thing but even remotely considering not having an abortion was… well it wasn’t even an option. In the throws of post-party passions the condom split and both my parents knew that my mother might become pregnant. For the next few weeks they didn’t worry too much but when my mother missed her first period she told my dad and from that moment a battle had begun. To the best of my knowledge at this time no couple had left the ship to give birth to their child. Many had left for other reasons and there were of course children aboard the Apollo but no babies and no infants. If they could walk and talk then Ron was happy to have them on board and on post as we all know. The chain locker incident springs to mind but I’ll try not to digress here. So here was my mother, a dedicated follower of Ron and all that he had created. And she had a little human growing inside her that was about to rip her dreams apart and tear her away from the man whom she had vowed to serve for the rest of her life. For her there was only one decision to be made. I had to be gotten rid of. My father was equally dedicated but he had (and still has, thank god) a slightly rebellious streak in him. He wanted to serve Ron but somehow he just couldn’t allow my mother to get rid of me. So the battle ensued between the two of them for the next few months. All the while I slowly grew inside my mother learning my first lesson in life. That lesson was that my very existence was a problem. For my mother, my father and all those around me. Until recently I have behaved in accordance with this lesson and I have been a problem for most, if not all around me. Myself included. But I’ll come back to that in a bit. Obviously my father (and I’d like to think I played a part too) managed to overcome Ron’s and my mother’s desire for useful members of his movement to stay onboard the Apollo. My parents left the ship before my due date and settled into their new roles in one of the many continental organizations that were being established at the time. As I understand it a few others were swayed into making similar decisions and for a short time it became almost acceptable to have children. But that was short lived, as we all now know. Nonetheless I arrived into this world a healthy boy with all my limbs and a relatively healthy mind, brain, etc. But sadly my parents remained in the sea org and as such I was born into a devil’s playground. I remained in that playground for 24 years and I experienced some horrendous things. Many of these experiences have been detailed over the years on this and other forums. I have read most if not all of them and I can tell you now that no matter how you felt when you read them it will never come close to how it felt to actually live those experiences. Those who have been through them know what I mean. But they are just experiences. And we can relive them for the rest of our lives or not. It is our choice. I will tell you one now that has not been told as yet to illustrate my point. At the age of twelve I was posted in the ethics department of an organization that one of my parents was also apart of. My job title was ethics admin. One of the things I did was hand deliver proposals for disciplinary actions that had to be signed off by various executives. These ranged from non-enturbulation orders, comm-evs and of course RPF assignments (which stands for rehabilitation project force, as ominous as it sounds). Some of you might be able to guess were this is heading but for the others I will detail what happened. I came into the office after the morning muster and started sorting out my jobs for the day. There were three of us in the department, The Director of Inspections and Reports (Dir I&R), the Master at Arms (MAA) and myself. I was the first back after the muster. Shortly afterwards my two bosses came into the office carrying a folder. They both looked at me and said they needed to talk to me. They closed the doors to the other offices so that it was just the three of us and they sat down in front of me. I started to panic that I had done something wrong. But the look on their faces was not one of anger, it was more one of worry mixed in with a determinism that they had to solve a problem. They told me that there was another CSW (proposal) that I needed to push through (get approved). Oh okay I thought. That isn’t so bad. But then they said: “You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to though” I was struggling to understand all this now and they could tell that they needed to explain themselves. The Dir I&R looked at me and handed me the proposal (CSW). I took it from her and opened the folder. My stomach nearly imploded and my eyes started to well up instantly. It took all the strength I could muster not to let them see my reaction. Inside the folder was a proposal to send my father to the RPF. I stared at it for what felt like an hour but in reality was about 5 seconds. I blinked my eyes to try and get rid of the tears that were desperate to run free. I looked up at my two bosses. They looked at me. They could see I was struggling but then the programming kicked in. Now, before I go on, those of you who have worked in an org or been a sea org member have heard this phrase a millenium times. So many times that I’m sure it has little if any meaning to you anymore but I want to remind you of the phrase before I tell you what they said. That phrase is; Case on post. Think about those words for a second. Remember if you can the first time you were told it with a severe enough force that you were literally shocked out of your skin and you suddenly became “tone 40” and then got on with whatever it was that you were required to be doing. With that in mind here is what they said. And it was said in the most surreal version of “tone 40 intention” I have had the displeasure of experiencing. Oh and don’t forget I was 12 years old at this moment. This is what I was told. “You do not have to do this but if you don’t you will be assigned a condition of liability for not performing the duties of your post. We have a planet to clear and we cannot afford to have case on post no matter the reason if we are to achieve our goals this lifetime. So it’s up to you. I suggest you knock off the… …case… …on… …post… …and wear your hat” At that moment, those words, that phrase, “case on post” was branded upon me such that I would live buy it for the rest of my life in one way or another. A part of me died then, a good part. And it was replaced by an evil that I am only now able to understand. I sat there and listened. I looked down at the folder and saw both the 24 hr time machine stamp and the rush/handroute stamp. Something clicked inside me and I stood up with the folder and said I would push it through before I secured that evening. The tears were gone and I was filled with a sense of missionary zealoutry that as I write this makes my stomach churn. But off I went and I did indeed get it pushed through all the terminals (executives) that needed to approve it. Until the last one. It was the commanding officer of the base and as I stood in front of her at about 2am that night I started to crack. As she stood in front of me reading the CSW (the proposal) my body started to shake, my legs became weak and my face started twitching. She looked up at me and tilted her head slightly with a quizical look. I desperately tried to control my body. I clenched my fists, tightened the muscles in my legs and gritted my teeth behind the best neutral expression I could manage. She looked down at the folder, then back at me and then back to the folder again. Suddenly her expression changed. She looked at me and said “This is your father isn’t it” It was too much. I broke down there and then in front of the most senior person on the base. I simply lost it. The tears came flooding down my face as I desperately tried to breath. After several minutes I managed to calm down and she said that she would have her communicator take care of this, that I was not to worry about it anymore and that I should go back to berthing and get some sleep. I apologized profusely, thanked her and then went to catch a lift back to berthing. But guess were I lived? Yep… I lived with my dad. Most of the kids stayed in a dorm but my dad had previously pulled in a few favours and arranged it so that I could live in the same apartment as him. So I didn’t go to my berthing that night. I found somewhere to sleep on the base. And I didn’t sleep very well. The next morning I went to the mess hall for breakfast and of course my father was there. He had no idea what was about to happen to him and I tried to avoid bumping into him but being the loving, dotting dad that he was (that is not being sarcastic either, he is a good man) he found me and asked why I didn’t come home last night. I just cried in front of him. I told him I didn’t want him to go to the RPF and that I knew he hadn’t done anything wrong and that I was so sorry for what I had done and, and, and… He simply held me close and told me not to worry and that everything would be okay. He promised he would still see me no matter what happened and that if he did end up on the RPF he would be off it before I could say tea tray (that is a joke we shared and still do, it comes from me sticking my bottom lip out when I was sulking, he used to say that it was very kind of me to put out a tea tray for him to rest his cup on because my bottom lip came out so far. It made me laugh when I was little and it still does today). We only had a few minutes before we had to go to muster but somehow he managed to make me feel better and I knew that everything would be okay. Of course at the morning muster there was the announcement that my father had been assigned to the RPF and he was escorted away. But I was not upset at that point. Somehow I knew he would be okay and I would be too. And as he was lead away he looked back and gave me a little smile. He did end up coming off the RPF shortly after that but was assigned to it again and again over subsequent years. Sadly I lost touch with him as I moved up the ranks and ended up being posted at a higher org for the remainder of my time in the devil’s playground. We are now both out of the sea org and are very close again so there is a happy ending to that story. There were many more equally shocking experiences that I would endure after this before I finally left. Some were far worse than the above. But as I mentioned I have shared this story with you simply to illustrate a point. All the experiences we have been through are both very personal and painful beyond measure for each of us. But. And this is a big but. They were just experiences. No more no less. They do not define us. They do not make us who we are. They may affect our behaviour from that point on. But they do not change who that person is inside each of us. This concept has been around for a long time. Long before you and I were born, long before L. Ron Hubbard was born and indeed probably as far back as the begginning of time. But I have only just understood it for the first time very recently. It’s enormous power is in it’s utter simplicity. But back to my original question. Why did I cry like a baby for an hour after watching a movie? A good movie but nonetheless it was just a movie. I would recommend you watch Invictus if you have not already but what struck me was that a man who had been held in captivity for 27 years, all the while being abused both mentally and physically, could emerge from this experience to behave with such complete, unconditional and endearing compassion and wisdom. When I left after 24 years I felt nothing but bursting rage, passionate anger and pure vindictiveness for everything that I had been put through. I blamed my parents, Hubbard and yes, David Miscavige amongst many others. I won’t share with you the horrendous thoughts I had about what I would have liked to do to them but… well they weren’t pleasant. The phrase “I wouldn’t piss on them if they were on fire” comes to mind. I never acted out any of these thoughts of course but they burned away inside me for many years, ten years in fact. And although I managed to carve out a new life for myself all the while I found myself reacting to events unfolding in front of me as if I was still back there in the sea org being oppressed and abused in the manor I was. And I’ll tell you now I have had a rougher journey since leaving the sea org than I had in it. Up until now. What I have come to understand is that my parents, Hubbard, DM and many others were not to blame. They were and still are guilty but they are not to blame and there is a huge difference between the two. A huge difference. When I left I was very much the devil’s child inside my head. I was full of pain, anguish, guilt, shame, hate, anger, etc, etc. I lived in this state for ten years. There were of course moments when these monsters were overcome and I have had many happy moments, but these were the exception not the rule. As I sit here typing this I am no longer the devil’s child. He is gone. And what remains is me. Just me. I now know why Nelson Mandela behaved in the manner he did. I know why I behaved the way I did. And I know why I cried so much after that movie. It was because I wanted so desperately to not let my dark side rule my life in the same way Nelson Mandela was able to. It is an extraodinaryly euphoric feeling to know that never again will I be controlled by my experiences and the effect they had on me. I’m not just telling you or myself this. I know it. I feel it. It is simply a fact. How I came to this point in my life is very personal to me and I cannot detail it here and now for you but I would like you to know that if you have struggled since leaving the sea org, or scientology or are suffering from any of the experiences you encountered that it is possible to relieve yourself of the pain and whatever else you may be feeling right now. There is a universal truth that is both within you and me that cannot be denied and once you discover it you will be fine. Better than fine. You will know that no one and no thing can ever take it from you. And all that you do from that moment forward will be good. A simple word good, much over and under used but it’s simplicity is beautiful. No religion can give you this. No drug. No therapist. All of these may help fulfill a need at various points in your life but the peace and wisdom you want and deserve is within you now. As you read this it is there. I’m not entirely sure what I will do to help the solve the problem that we all face here and now. That problem being the evil that exists within the church of scientology and all that it affects in the world. But I do know that whatever I do it will come from the right place. A place of compassion and wisdom that cannot be hurt by anything that is thrown at me. Much has been done to date and much more will be done. I will do my part and I know all of you will do yours when you are ready. Many have already done more than they needed to and I know why they have. Many have done some good and some bad in their efforts to make things right and I know why they have behaved in the manor they have. In the end we will overcome our experiences and we will bring light to the darkness that we have experienced. I know this now and I hope you do to and if not that you will discover this as soon as you can for yourself. Before I go I would like to thank all of you on this message board as you have all helped me in various ways on my journey. In particular a big thank you goes out to Emma. I would also like to thank exstaffWPB who indvertantly started a chain events for me a few weeks ago that lead me to the place I am now. I would like to leave you with a poem written in 1875 by the english poet William Ernest. It is called Invictus. And it was the poem that Nelson Mandela read to himself throughout his captivity. Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gait, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. I bid you all a good and fair well. And I wish you Godspeed in the hopes that the best of your todays will be the worst of your tomorrows. All my love, Life in Blue (A devil’s child no more) If what I have written here has touched you in any way and you are curious as to how I have come to be in the place I am now I would like to say that I did not do it on my own. Though what I experienced is nothing new it was the way that it was laid out for me to experience that has given me the peace I now have. You too can experience this but you will have to find your own path to it. It is out there though. So have faith and know that if you really want it you too will find it. And no, it has nothing to do with religion, another cult, a psychiatrist, a drug or anything remotely like any of these. There is a book out there that will explain it though. I won't tell you the title but I will tell you that the man who started what has become mine and many others salvation was a very simple man. A tailor in fact. And there is a four letter word in the title of the book that was missing from our lives whilst we experienced scientology in all it's various incarnations. I'll leave you to figure out what that word was. Ultimately though it is simply a way to discover yourself. Your true self. The journey is different for everyone. And when it is over you go back to your own life just as it was before. But when I came home I knew that my search was over and my journey was only just beginning. I found my true colours and they are beautiful. And yours are too. I know this. And, if you have not done so already, I hope you discover this as soon as you can.