I asked Mark Fisher, who I knew in the SO, if I could post this on ESMB. (He posted it on Facebook.) He said yes. The Running Program I have been meaning to write up my story regarding the Running Program which will be known to the public in the future apparently as the “Cause Resurgence Rundown” and be part of the huge white elephant building in Clearwater, known as the “Super Power Building”. I was there when L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) was first researching the program and was one of the many people at the time that actually did the Running Program to successful completion and while it may sound crazy in retrospect, I did in fact have some of my biggest wins in Scientology while running around the pole! Here is my story. How it all began In mid 1982, I was transferred to the International Base otherwise known as Golden Era Productions in Gilman Hot Springs, California. The location of this base was completely confidential at the time to everyone. No one in my family or friends in Clearwater, Florida where I had been working knew of the location unless they had been there themselves. LRH was not there at the time and was in hiding at a secure location due to various legal situations that were going on. He had been out of communication for some time with everyone except the few people who were with him. During that time period,the management of Scientology was left to the Senior Executives of the Church. At some point during that year, LRH came back on the line and started communicating again through dispatches asking for reports about what had been going on while he was away. One of the things he began writing to David Mayo about, who was the Senior Case Supervisor International, was what LRH was calling the Running Program. A senior Messenger at the time had gotten into some trouble and the instructions from LRH was to have this person go out and run every day. There wasn’t a pole at the time. They were to just go out and run around the desert property and write up what occurred. Eventually, LRH decided that it was better to have the person run in a circle around a large tree or pole stuck in the ground a certain distance away. The person was to run to exhaustion while keeping their attention on the tree or pole through their peripheral vision. The concept as I recall, was that the tree and the person represented two poles and by running around the tree,mental energy was created just like an electrical generator, which resulted in pictures and incidents on the person’s whole track (history) blowing off and the mental charge disappearing resulting in a resurgence of the cause level of the person. Here is an aerial photograph of the Running Program track at the Int Base taken a few years ago so you get an idea of how the track was supposed to be set up. Later in 1982, David Mayo along with many other Senior Executives were removed from their positions including the existing Executive Director International and many others for perceived crimes against Scientology. The details of which are another story altogether. What happened however was that David Mayo and his closest staff were all removed from their positions and ordered onto the Running Program full time – 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. David Miscavige, who orchestrated the removals at the time, got tremendous pleasure knowing that Mayo and the others were out there in the desert heat (over 110 degrees) running all day around a tree! He made it seem like a punishment, not an actual research rundown that LRH was working on and the Running Program got the stigma of being punishment, not help. There was a huge purge of senior level management people at the time who were deemed to be “plants” and “traitors” to Scientology both in Clearwater and at the International Base. There was also a wholesale clean out of the Golden Era Productions staff in the Movie and Audio areas. Some of the most experienced people in Scientology Management were offloaded and declared Suppressive People. Others were sent tot he Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) – the Scientology prison camp – for correction and retraining. The RPF was located at the time in the Los Angeles area at the Cedars Hospital Complex on Fountain Avenue. So anyone assigned to the RPF, was shipped out to LA. I was in disagreement with the wholesale removal and declaring of many of these Senior Management people and felt that LRH was given incorrect information. This too is a story for another time, but I was considered “disaffected”and subsequently removed from my post at the International base and assigned to the RPF as well in LA in November 1982. One of LRH’s orders at the time, was that anyone from the International Base or Golden Era Productions who went to the RPF would have to complete the Running Program before they could graduate the RPF program and come back to work in good standing. Since so many people had been assigned to the RPF, this gave a huge number of people that the Running Program could be “piloted” on. The Running Program in Hollywood The Running Program pilot was set up originally at a park on Los Feliz Blvd near Griffith Park where there was a huge water fountain. This didn’t last very long as a location for various reasons and instead the Running Program was moved to Griffith Park across the street from the Roosevelt Golf Course in one of the vacant parking lots for the Greek Theater. There was a semi-level piece of dirt ground there where a pole could be put up each day and then taken down and stored. The pole was made of several empty metal oil drums that were welded together to the proper height. The pole would be pushed up each day and taken down each night. Since the program was 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, rain or shine, there were some hours of the day, where the pole had to be lighted so that you could see it and do the program correctly. No problem. A portable generator and a flood light system was put together for that purpose. There were picnic tables in a shaded area under the trees for the short breaks you could take when you got exhausted and needed to drink water and take your vitamins and mineral tablets. These tables were also used or Lunch and Dinner each day. There was a lady who was trained on the LRH dispatches for the program who was the Supervisor. Her job was to sit by the running track and remain silent. If she felt you were taking too much time on a break or were not actively doing the running, she would quietly say to you “Keep Running” or “Continue Running”. There was no talking aloud on the running track. Only quiet talking in the break area. The schedule was 12 hours a day from 9 AM until 9 PM, 7 days a week – rain or shine. You were on the Running Program for as many days as it takes until you had the proper “cognition” or “end phenomenon” that LRH had assigned to the program. It could last for weeks and weeks. At the end of each day, you wrote up a report to the Case Supervisor of what occurred during the day while you were running and any “wins” or “cognitions” you may have had. These were then sent to the Case Supervisor who would acknowledge your wins in writing and tell you to “Keep Running”. This went on until you achieved the desired end phenomenon. The pole would be put up and the runners would run around the pole as fast as they could and for as long as they could to “exhaustion”. You could then walk around the pole until you were recovered enough to start running again. The runners went in one direction around the pole one day and then in the opposite direction the next day to “balance the flows”. Since we were in a public place at Griffith Park, a “shore story” (PR Story) had to be made up in case we were asked by the general public what we were doing there every day. The story was that it was a “Fitness Program”. There were public bathrooms nearby at the Golf Course that we were allowed to use and a snack bar where we could buy snacks if needed. It was at this Golf Course Snack Bar area where we would most often interact with the public. Several famous people played golf there on a routine basis. The highlight for most of us was seeing Alan Ladd Jr almost every day. He had played the “Skipper” on Gilligan’s Island! He was a real nice guy! My First Day on theProgram I was not looking forward to the Running Program since it had such a “punishment” perception attached to it. Everyone had to get a Medical check from a Doctor first to make sure you were physically able to do the program. Once I got my medical clearance, I was driven out to the Running Track in Griffith Park with the rest of the RPFers who were doing the program at the time in the back of a pickup truck and van. We were dropped off, the pole was put up, and the Supervisor showed me where the water, vitamins and minerals were and what the rules for the program were. I was then given the instruction to “Start Running”. I was wearing the required RPF dark blue clothing – t shirt and running shorts – and was wearing some old sneakers I had at the time. I did not have proper running shoes. I started out running like the wind until I was tired and would then walk. I did this for some time. I couldn’t last as long as the people who had been on the program for awhile, but I tried as best I could. At the end of the day and 12 hours of running, we were driven back to the Cedars Complex to shower and go to bed. The RPF space at the time was on the top floor of the old Hospital Building. Since we were all in the RPF, we were not allowed to use the elevators, so had to climb the 8 floors of stairs each night to get back to our rooms! Not fun after all that running! The next day, I woke up and went out to the track and could hardly walk, my feet were so swollen from wearing the wrong type of shoes! I hobbled around the track until Lunch Time when someone took me and some others to a Sporting Goods Store where we could buy the proper running shoes. New Balance were the best. Others like Saucony or Puma at the time. It was worth it to invest all your money in the best running shoes you could buy! The running went on day after day. 7 days, 10 days, 15, days, 20 days. On and on it went. During this time, the runners all became very close to one another. When someone actually completed the program, it was a huge win for everyone. Slowly buy surely, the soreness went away and you start having things happen to you. Mentally you remember things you may have forgotten, or go to places that were stuck in your memory. One guy on the program was a former Vietnam Vet and he was having full on flashbacks of being in Vietnam and hearing helicopters flying in and shooting going on. A side benefit, but not the purpose of the program, was the weight loss and getting in top physical condition. While on the program, a few senior executives who were not assigned to the RPF, were sent to do the program full time with us RPFers as “punishment” by Miscavige. It was on the Running Program where I met Terri Gillham Gamboa, who was one of the original Commodore’s Messengers and had been the Executive Director of Author Services and worked with Miscavige on the legal cases against LRH. She was assigned by Miscavige. I also met and got to be friends with Suzette Hubbard who was assigned to the program. We even celebrated her birthday out at the running track one evening and everyone got cake and ice cream! I remember Super Bowl Sunday in 1983, my favorite NFL team, the Washington Redskins, were playing in the big game against the Miami Dolphins and won their first Super Bowl Championship in Pasadena, while I was running around the pole in Griffith Park not 10 miles away. I never got to see the game, but remember hearing it on radios around the park area, where families were having picnics. When El Nino rains hit Southern California with record rainfall that February,we had to run in the rain. There were no days off. We used plastic trash bags as ponchos with rubber bands around the openings to try and stay dry while we ran. It didn’t work very well! The public people in the park area thought we were crazy. Every night, our running shoes were taken to the huge boiler room at the Cedars Hospital to dry out over night. On Saturday Mornings, we got a break each week and would have to sit around for a few hours because our parking lot space was reserved by another group of people who had been coming there for years. Who were they? Mexican Bullfighters who would practice on our dirt parking lot! Someone would hold a set of bull horns over their head and act like the bull while everyone else took turns practicing their bull fighter moves! They were hilarious! One of them would always yell out“Zumbalay!” whenever the bull went by him. Since it was the winter months of January and February when I was on the program, the Greek Theater was closed so didn’t have many events scheduled. But a few times, the place was used and the parking areas around our track would fill up. We also had our share of homeless people who lived in the park who would walk by talking to themselves! Wins for me on theProgram Slowly but surely, I personally began having things happen to me. Not only did the running get easier and easier, but I started having things pop into my mind that I would have to look at and think about. Some of them very emotional. I would sometimes experience real feelings of grief, lose and then joy. Physically, I had to run through various aches and pains that were more psychosomatic, than real pains or injuries. After awhile, I began having experiences of being able to look at people and know what they were thinking and were going to say. I then started having major déjà vu experiences that were completely real to me. One time, I had a very vivid dream while I was sleeping about something that was going to happen. I could clearly see who the people were that were interacting with me and what they were saying and who would be arriving in the area of the building while this was taking place. One of the people in my dream was on the Running Program with me, so I decided to test my dream. I told this person about my dream and what was going to happen and who was going to be there and what they were going to say. I didn’t know when it was going to be, but I wanted them to know about it before hand so that they could be a witness to the fact that I told them about it before it actually happened. Sure enough a few days later, the exact situation and people that were in my dream actually happened. I knew exactly what each person was going to say. The witness I had told the story to before was there to. We both looked at each other and had big smiles on our faces! I can’t explain why it happened, but it did. It was the closest I had ever gotten to an “OT ability” in all my years of Scientology processing and moving up the Bridge at that time. The End of the Program Towards the end of the Running Program, I began to exteriorize from my body and was floating above it while I was running. Nothing affected me. I was running at a swift pace, but not physically getting tired. My feet felt like they were not touching the ground. I could have run like that forever it felt like! During these experiences, we would be sent off by the Supervisor to “enjoy your win!” For me, this meant hiking up from our parking lot to the famous Griffith Park Observatory that overlooked Los Angeles and was featured in that famous movie “Rebel without a Cause” starring James Dean. I felt that I had reached the End Phenomenon of the program at that point and sure enough my Case Supervisor the next day told me my folder had been sent to the Senior C/S International’s Office at the Int Base for review. Any completions on the program had to be verified by their office. The folder was sent on day 32. Until I heard back, I had to continue running every day, 12 hours a day, until the review was done. This went on and on and on and I literally “overran” the process! It wasn’t until day 51 that we heard back that I had completed the Running Program officially and was allowed to attest to completion and write a success story. After the Program I weighed myself and I had lost 28 pounds and was the lightest I had been since early High School. I was in great shape and wanted to continue running daily, if only for a short period each day. Life and work interceded and this lasted for about a week before I had stopped running altogether. I completed the program in March 1983 – just over 30 years ago as I write this! It was difficult and uncomfortable, but it wasn’t punishment at all I realized. I had some of my biggest wins and gains when I was on the Running Program. 30 years later, I can’t explain it but something in that program worked for me. A couple of years ago, while in Los Angeles, I decided to drive by the location where we had done the Running Program in Griffith Park. It was still there, but had changed in many ways. A public bathroom was built on one portion of the lot and a concrete drainage canal was built across the lot. No way the program could be run on that lot now. Some of the trees were still there and others were gone. Then I recognized a familiar site through the trees to an adjacent lot 50 yards away! There were the Bullfighters again practicing their bull fighting moves some 28 years later! Some things never change I guess!! It turns out that LRH believed in the Running Program too. When someone who was a long time Sea Org member was nearing death, LRH ordered that the C/S at the time have the person given the direction that after body death, to go find a star out in the universe and run around it for awhile before coming back. Then just recently reading Lawrence Wright’s book about LRH and Scientology, I learned that Steve (Sarge) Pfauth told him a story about LRH shortly before he died said to Steve that LRH had already picked out a star for himself to circle after death. Was LRH right about the Running Program? Did he go off to run around a star somewhere? We will never know for sure. But what I know and remember was the tremendous feeling of exhilaration I felt towards the end of the Running Program. Was it what some have told me was a “Runner’s High” from the endorphines generated by running? I don’t know for sure. But I sure believed what was happening to me at the time and haven’t been able to duplicate that tremendous feeling since in the 30 years that have now passed.