I Stood Tall (My story)

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by StickbyMe, Apr 2, 2012.

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  1. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    We Stand Tall. I just listened to this and almost cried. It's so hard for me to reconcile that part of my life.

    I said a month ago that I was worried about an SP declare. After reading these forums, and hearing your stories, I feel like maybe I can share mine. I don't have enough friends currently in the Church that disconnection is a big fear, and OSA certainly has bigger fish to fry than little old me. So here goes.

    My mother got into Scientology when I was about 13. She progressed up the grades and brought my father and me in as well. I didn't really get it. We were Jewish, and now all of a sudden we were Scientologists. My entire previous experience before that was hearing my father comment once that Travolta was a Christian Scientist. But I talk courses at the NJ Mission and eventually we actually went to Clearwater for about 4 months. I did my Purif while I was down there.

    I actually loved my time in Clearwater. My sister and I went to a Scn school (which meant doing very little all day), swam a lot, I made friends with these two guys who owned a vintage toy store near the FH. I met an Italian girl and fell in love with her, but she went back to Italy before anything could really come of it. But I do remember dancing with her at the FH's New Years party...

    At the end of the four months something happened. I only know my mother's side. She had worked in television since starting in Scientology and her job was strictly technical. But after 4 months of living at the Fort Harrison, we went home, a family of Illegal PCs. No more auditing for any of us.

    We went back to the Mission, and my parents, determined to still achieve total freedom, petitioned in vain to have my mother's status overturned. My sister went to the Ability School and I was sent to Delphi Oregon.

    I had an amazing time at Delphi. The checksheet learning style really fit my own personal style, and I needed the structure of being busy. That said, I'm not sure Delphi loved me. I was in lower conditions a lot, could never pass white glove... There was a penalty points system in which you were allowed 4 points. If you got more than that, you got "restricted" meaning you couldn't partake in activities like dances or trips, couldn't watch TV in the TV lounge, and you had to do MEST work. I spent a lot of time in the scullery. So much so, that I signed up for the work study program, figuring I may as well get paid for it. I learned to get around the restrictions, made friends with a staff member who let me watch TV at her house (and it was REAL TV! Not just videos!) I was in the jazz band, jazz choir, madrigal quartet, played tennis... But I also got in trouble a lot. Delphi has a thing that's like the equivalent of a Comm Ev, and I got a couple of those. I crushed on a few girls, but did not fair well. At the age of 18 I left Delphi and moved to Boston, still not really a Scientologist.
  2. FoTi

    FoTi Crusader

    :welcome2: Welcome Stickbyme. Thanks for joining us.
  3. Idle Morgue

    Idle Morgue Gold Meritorious Patron

    WELCOME!! :happydance: Keep going! WE STAND TALL! No turning back, we found our way! HIP HIP HOORAY!!:happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance::happydance:

    The road to freedom is OUT of the CULT OF SCIENTOLOGY!
  4. TG1

    TG1 Angelic Poster

    Howdy. Enjoy yourself. No galley here. :)

  5. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    In Boston I connected up with the Org, but I hadn't expected too much. I signed up for some kind of course. By now, my parents were completely disaffected. My mother felt like the tech was valid but not really for her anymore (out-KSW) and my dad felt like he'd been robbed. I started volunteering in Div 6 and felt just such a strong purpose. Even though I had never been audited. I petitioned to have my illegal PC status revoked, and somehow I made it happen. Then I joined staff.

    Staff was a trip for sure. I bounced around a bit, spent time living with the family of another staff member... I lived off Little Debbie products for a while. And I was a fucking awesome body router. Too bad for me the org couldn't hold on to new people at all. The obsession about stats was crazy. There was a thing where the PES and PCS decided that if we got on a subway car, gave a 30 second shpiel about Scn and then handed out Dianetics promo, that counted as an Intro Service Completion. (To give background to those who weren't on staff, Intro Services are supposed to take 15 minutes, Stress Tests, Personality Tests, etc, and result in being routed to a reg. You can't just blast a train car full of 40 people with an intro service). I refused to partake in what I knew to be a ridiculous stat push, but I was rebuked for being CI. Our org was even featured in an Int event for having a NISC stat of like 1600/week.

    I quit school while on staff. I hated school. Delphi had been my style. Lectures and homework were new to me.

    The thing that ended up making staff tolerable was Night Watch. The men of the org would pair off and take turns doing night watch. It was pretty normal for the older guys with WOG jobs to pay younger guys to cover it for them. Finally, Paul, the Lead Sup, got all the men together for a meeting where he explained that he felt it would be worth paying money to have somebody cover nightwatch permanently. So I ended up making about $500/week to hang out in the Org and watch movies all night. I'd bring my guitar, listen to lectures... All of a sudden I could afford to quit my moonlight job and work in the org full time. My 21st birthday I didn't even have a single beer because I had to get back to the org for night watch. Just me alone all night with the mice. (BTW, if OSA didn't know who I was before, they sure do now. Hi Gerard!)

    There were a bunch of us on staff who were younger and friends. Mark Boucher and I got along great. There was one time we ate an entire box of granola with half and half (it was all we had) and then spent a round of personality test evaluations holding in our crazy farts. James Ventullo and I worked together a lot even though we weren't friends (and were often romantic rivals for any new female to come into the org). I was on Fdn staff, but I ended up working on the day org too. After a while Day org let me off the hook because I was destroying my body. I remember spending a lot of time eating chunk light tuna, but my purpose was true. The hardest part was the winters. "Darren, it's like 4 degrees outside and the streets are bare." "You don't want to be downstat do you?"

    My parents were well acquainted with disconnection policy, and so they never fought my commitment to the Church. and as a result we stayed close throughout this entire ordeal.

    After a while I signed a Sea Org contract. I wasn't qualified though. I'd taken Ritalin prescribed by a psych at the age of 5. Should have been a done deal. But they decided I could join, and I wanted to. I spent a lot of time trying to recruit a replacement so I could hurry up and go. This was my purpose, dammit! I could do so much to help clear the planet. With my sweet sweet div 6 skills, there would be no stopping us! But it was hard to get a replacement. Even people who wanted to join staff didn't want to be the Dir. Body Routing and everybody knew I was looking for a replacement. Eventually Nick Gambino came on an extraction mission and "found" me a replacement (i.e. recovered a blown staff member and called it a day). The replacement didn't stick but I was long gone. I was on my way to the damn Sea Org!

    Well, not quite yet.
  6. shadow

    shadow Patron with Honors

    Thanks for telling your story...So far, so good.:clap:

    Sounds like your independent streak has served you well. :yes:

    Looking forward to hearing more.
  7. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    OK, so first stop was home. I don't remember what the hold up was on my joining the SO. I think they had a little bit of an issue still with my psych drug history. Somehow, Claire Parz, the Cont Finance Dir, had become my terminal. She was a nasty woman. Anyway, Mr. Parz told me that while they figured it out, she wanted me to go help with the Buffalo renos. Buffalo was really the first of the "Ideal Orgs" but they weren't calling it that. I stayed at the base for a week and then I rode on the train to Buffalo with Elena Davis (I forget her maiden name). She and I were friendly though. I actually remained pretty tight with her and Peter for a while, but more on that later.

    Buffalo was a shitshow. A tiny org in a disgusting little city. And me, who had never done a lick of construction amidst a sea of SO members and other untrained civilians. I roomed with a 16-year-old we all called Muffin Boy (srsly) and the guy who'd originally signed me to a SO contract. My recruiter was in lowers and was doing the Buff renos on his way out the door. We are still friends, so I will not publish his name. There was a guy named Steve who played trumpet... It had it's moments at first. I remember laughing because Andrew Heald (I&R EUS) got really upset because I was playing a Tom Waits album that was enturbulating him. We ate fried baloney sandwiches and my original two week stint turned into 3 months. I called Mr. Parz over and over begging to come home.

    At one point, I was carrying a roll of wall-to-wall carpeting on my shoulder with somebody else. The other guy dropped it and I hurt my neck, an injury I still suffer from.

    I should have wisened up. A lot of the SO members who were there were on their way out. It got really overwhelming. This wasn't what I left Boston and my friends and apartment to do. I didn't leave to do fucking Renos for 3 months. I started hiding in the bathroom and taking long walks through the city. I even tried to do some body routing into the org, but there's no people walking around in Buffalo. Remember too, I wasn't even GETTING Sea Org or staff pay. I would have killed for $40 a week. My recruiter and I would split a can of Top rolling tobacco and that was all that we could afford. Ugh.

    Finally, I called my parents and asked them for a train ticket home. They obliged. Somehow soon after, my petition was approved and I was given permission to start the EPF.
  8. Gottabrain

    Gottabrain Guest

    :hysterical: :hysterical: :hysterical:

    This hasn't changed. COS is still obsessed with stats.

    That's a shame, StickbyMe. You missed out on some wonderful worldly education that could have landed you a great career that you'd enjoy. If study tek was actually so great, you would have had an easy time studying anything, anytime, anywhere.

    You've posted this part of your story on ESMB before. Is there some reason you've restarted here under a different name?

    I remember that thread and it's probably still around.
  9. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    There was a short break in between Buff and EPF, but not much of one. We were a ragtag bunch on the EPF. There was an angry Eastern European girl named Bella, a deaf old nutjob named Jerry (who was returning to the SO after having routed off 20 years earlier... idiot). And you know who else was there? Muffin boy! Jerry and I were the only ones with staff experience and he was literally insane. Batshit. We were also the only ones to finish the EPF. We took turns being the EPF I/C, conducting little musters, drilling, studying. During that time a friend of mine who had been in for years had a cigarette on the roof. She confided in me that she knew our mutual friend Thomas was planning on leaving, following his wife's example. It felt weird to me that somebody would even want to leave, but before I could really find out more, she realized the impropriety of talking to an EPFer about such things.

    When I became a full fledged SO member I was so happy. It was a group that I had been working to join for almost 2 years. I had gotten to know a lot of them before, and they were happy to have me. I connected up with the other musicians there quickly, and I made a group of friends that I really cherished. By now Claire Parz was gone (I think RPFed), and I was called into a meeting with the new CFD and the CO Billy Lindstein. They explained that there was an effort to man up the finance bureau and they wanted me to be a part of that. They knew my purpose lied in Div 6 so they weren't going to force me. This is rare. You don't get to choose your post. They explained that an FBO actually has a tremendous connection to the promotion of an org and that I would have to work closely with Div 6's. My expertise would be appreciated. How could I say no to them? I didn't much care for Billy, but the CFD (I wish I could remember her name) was a really nice woman. I respected her and still do. So SURE! I said, sign me up. I'm a FBO.

    There were about 8 of us FBOs. Jerry I were the only real new recruits, the others all seasoned SO members who had been pulled from other posts. We spent months M9ing the Finance Series. The camaraderie was amazing. I haven't ever really felt that since then. Just like all Scientologists new they were the answer to ending human misery, we knew WE were the answer to ending org insolvency.

    During this time I kept in close touch with my family. They were only a short bus ride from the city, so they'd come in and have breakfast with me on Saturday mornings. I took as many libs days as I could. I had a cell-phone my parents paid for and an iPod (NOBODY else had these things.) I even had my own internet computer in the berthings.

    There was music too. Billy Lindstein gave me his classical guitar (still my favorite one to play), and I had a couple of my own too. Jodie Olsen, FR CLO EUS, and I put on a concert for the staff. During Christmas one year, Kelly Honka and I walked around the base singing Christmas carols. I used to go to the empty courseroom at night and just sing and play because nobody except the QM could hear me. Then I got fired out to Phila Org to be their FBO.

    I am not proud to say I couldn't cut the mustard as an FBO. My stats were fine. Normal by Class V org standards. But the big problem was that I didn't know how to fill up my day. I stopped wearing my uniform and walked all over town. I tried to show the Div 6 how to operate, but they were more interested in doing things the way they wanted (ineffective) and not the way I wanted. I couldn't do it, so I begged the CFD to bring me home. Then came what I consider to be my favorite time in the Sea Org.
  10. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    I don't think that was me. I just joined a month ago.
  11. hey!

    life takes somethin' an you give a strong impression of having what it takes
  12. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    Now for my favorite time. I went back to the base and did my lower conditions. Nobody really cared. Philly hadn't had an FBO before I got there and they didn't have one now. So I got out of lowers and then they had to figure out what to do with me. I spent a lot of time helping the div 6 at the NY Org, I went on a recruitment project back to Boston Org with Peter and Elena Davis (completely oblivious to the resentment they felt about my leaving unreplaced). Then the VM Cavalcade was launched. Somehow it fell partially under the purview of the Finance Bureau (probably the D/FBO MORE section) and I was assigned to it. It was me, Gena Sudz (whose husband had been recently declared) and a 3rd person who I completely cannot remember. Weird. I remember the day our yellow VM truck was supposed to come. I woke up at 5AM and stood in CLO reception until it came at almost noon. I was not going to be ANYwhere else when that truck came.

    We launched the Cavalcade in Harlem with pretty good results. We didn't know how to set up the tent at all. I figured it out, cuz I'm awesome like that. It was a huuuge job, but my function within our little 3-person org allowed me a lot of freedom. I'd sleep in the tent to make sure nobody messed with it at night, and while there I'd get Blockbuster videos and play on the internet using the Cavalcade laptop (wish I'd just searched Scientology once). When it would rain, the roof would sag and we'd push the water off with folding chairs. One night me and a public stayed up all night doing that. After catching up on sleep, I'd make my way to the tent, bringing food with me. I'm pretty good with money management, and so any project I was on ate well. Sometimes I'd sleep through breakfast on the base and Mason Wells would be like "Well, you can eat raw oats with milk." Do not eat raw oats with milk people! You will have to lock yourself in the toilet. I know now what giving birth feels like.

    The people in Harlem loved the campaign. One security guard at the building we were outside of figured out how to do Touch Assists by just watching us, and we gave him a VM jacket to wear. After Harlem came Battery Park, then Coney Island. I loved Coney Island. I'd take The Road to Freedom out of the tape deck and put on Fishbone and people would come a-running. We made friends with some guys who ran a little grill and one day they hooked us up with one of the best meals I ate in the SO: Lamb, grilled corn, watermelon... It rained some of the time in Coney Island and we just used to hang out in our little tent and enjoy life. Gena and I bonded a lot.

    Then we went to Boston. A little time in Boston Common followed by a week at the Brockton Fair. That was literally the best week of my time on staff! Fireworks every night, carnival food, rides. I had my birthday there and Gena got a sixpack and a cheesecake to celebrate. But my fun times were ending. The finance bureau had a place for me. If they had left me on the Cavalcade, I might honestly still be doing it to this day. I mean, THIS was why i joined staff.
  13. Gottabrain

    Gottabrain Guest

    Okay. Then some other person who had nightwatch duty at Boston or DC had a similar experience. Sounds plausible.

    And WELCOME. Please continue your story. Sorry for the interruption.

  14. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    So I got fired out to DCF to be their FBO. Keep in mind, DCD had a non-SO FBO, Phyllis Aden, who had been doing it for like 25 years. I actually knew her sons at Delphi. And I had the same fucking problem I had in Philly. I just didn't know how to fill my day. I'd hang out in my office and play solitaire. Not only was I not busy, but I was expected to be on post full-time when my org was only there on the nights and weekends. I got paid about $200 per week, somehow we'd arranged it so that I could get paid enough to live on.

    During the time all this was happening, Jenny Lowe had become the FBO EUS, and so she was now my senior in between me and the CFD. We had trained as FBOs together and I knew her well. I begged her to take me back. I didn't know what I was doing. I was lost. My purpose was pretty much gone and I was supposed to be the elite but I couldn't hold a candle to this Class V org staff member I shared an office with. Nobody at the org had any awareness of this. They thought I was a good FBO. I went to the Krispy Kreme in Dupont Circle a lot. I looked for apartments (I had been living with Phyllis and not loving it). This would lead me on full day excursions to College Park and Silver Springs and Alexandria. I still had my cell phone, so I would walk around town making phone calls.

    If it sounds like I didn't care about the post, that's wrong. I cared a lot. And I felt myself spinning out of control. I begged Jenny to bring me home. But NY Org renos were going on. I was not a priority. In the meantime I also spent a lot of time recruiting this girl Ivette who I had a big crush on, and she liked me back. But you can't speak of these things. She was based out of NY, and I had gone on multiple recruit cycles to go see her in Jersey City. I would stay up all night talking to Ivette on the phone, and we kind of both knew that when she eventually joined, we would be an item. This IS the most effective way to get a 2D when you're on a small base like CLO EUS.

    I had a friend I knew from the internet, a blogger. She and I started talking on the phone and eventually had phone sex. We would trade naked pictures. I think she lived in Austin. It might not sound exciting to you, but you get conditioned to think of even masturbating as being an overt, and after a couple years of that, any sexual contact is good.

    When I felt like I had spun as far as I could spin, I called up Jenny and told her I'd gone out 2D. Even then she was too busy for me to come home. Really? But eventually I got called back. I knew I was routing out.

    To be honest I probably could have not routed out. As out-2D goes, phone sex is pretty minor, and Scientology policy does not expressly forbid masturbation, despite people's misunderstandings to the contrary. I spent a couple of weeks doing MEST work and helping with the Renos, but I knew I had to leave and here's why.

    Every time I went back to base, I was so happy to be home. But I watched as the people I cared about most gradually fell off. Each time the base was a little smaller, a little sadder. Like there had always been two kinds of people there. There were the ones who had a crazy look in their eye and couldn't have a conversation about anything that wasn't source. Like the time I had to make an out of order sign for the bathroom and I thought it would be cute to write "Out of Commish" on it. Szepi Tatrei yelled at me for being unprofessional and out-ethics for this. She was one of the crazy eyes.

    The other kind of person were the real ones. Just a bunch of crazy kids trying their hardest to do something good for the world and trying to have fun, despite being fed slop, sleeping not enough and having nobody to talk to about their problems. These were the ones who didn't last...

    When I hear people talk about how all Scientologists are out to cheat you or that this is what the Sea Org does, I think of those people. We fought hard for all of you. And every time we saw an SP declare with the name of somebody we knew on it, we cried. We tried our best to reconcile the tech we were given with the results we weren't getting. How could it be that Brad, CMO Staff member and Buffalo Renos I/C could have been an SP all along? How could Thomas, who was so fun all the time, how could he abandon us and our cause?

    We worked futilely thinking we would get our reward and instead we were rewarded with the lonely feeling of watching people we loved disappear with an order never to speak to them again.

    Coming: Epilogue.
  15. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Deliciously subversive :)
  16. StickbyMe

    StickbyMe Patron with Honors

    When I came out of the SO I was determined to still be involved in the Church. I was going to pay my meager freeloader debt (when you don't get any auditing while on staff it's easy!) and get up the Bridge. But I didn't. I volunteered a little, went to events, hip hip the hoorays. Eventually I wound up back in Boston and offered to assist the FBO with some stuff, but I didn't do it.

    As time went on I found my identity again, but the specter of Scientology loomed over my head. The box of books I couldn't stand to throw away, the fear of seeing that South Park episode... Whenever somebody joked about Scientology, the hairs on the back of my neck would bristle. Now none of my friends mention the time I left for a few years to join the Sea Org. It's forgotten.

    My ex didn't know that I was in Scn unti she did a little research of her own (she was a snooper). She was very jealous and had wondered why Vanessa Lamb called me 10 times a day to pay my freeloader debt. I wanted to tell her, just as I want to tell my current girlfriend, but the worse the Church's PR is, the less I want people to know that I was, not just involved, but a die-hard freedom fighter. That I stood on the corner of Newbury St and Darthmouth for 2 years holding Orientation tickets. That I walked around for 6 months in a bright yellow jacket with a cross on it. When I tell people, they'll only see that I was misguided enough to join a cult... They're not going to see how much I loved that religion and how heartbroken I was to feel like I had transgressed against it.

    It took me a long time to figure out who i was after leaving, and I still haven't found a purpose that was as strong as the Sea Org was for me. Maybe I won't ever.

    There was an apartment the CLO rented where I lived for a bit with 8 other guys. The building had a rooftop deck shared amongst all the apartments. My friend Nick and I would just sit up there playing guitars with the WOGs who were our neighbors and I would think how lucky they were to have people like us trying to save them. It's kind of hard to follow that, you know?

    So that's the end. Not as long as some other people's, certainly none of the horrible stuff we hear from the long timers. But I hope it was entertaining and I hope it presented an aspect of the Scientology experience that maybe people aren't used to reading.
  17. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

    I like it... a lot!!! :thumbsup:
  18. scooter

    scooter Gold Meritorious Patron

    Me too!!!!:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
  19. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Thanks so much for writing that.

    I think your story is full of reality and in fact many others out there will identify with it. I was young when I joined and I remember that unique comradeship and excitement at 'helping save the planet'. I also remember the dashed hopes and the disappointment when it finally hits home that all is not as we thought.

    The loss of innocence and the exploitation of the young is horrendous to me now.

    I don't think you should be ashamed of those dreams, it was an (apparently) noble purpose. Just the wrong vehicle.

    And your thread title is great!
  20. Lone Star

    Lone Star Crusader

    Thanks so much for sharing your story StickbyMe. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and was moved by it. I was especially moved by what I've highlighted above. I think we all needed to read something like that after having to endure a horrible, nasty, troll engineered thread titled "All Scientologists are Psychopaths". All Scientologists are human who for the most part try to do their best. Founder psychopathic? Yes! But most of the people are not. Anyway, sorry to bring that nasty topic in, it's just been on my mind a lot today. Your story is really in a sense healing. Thanks again for posting and sharing it! :thumbsup:

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