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The Escape and The Next Corner

Discussion in 'Life After Scientology' started by Escalus, May 2, 2008.

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  1. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    So two weeks after I send Zinj a little note saying I'm probably going to back off this a bit I find I've been posting more than before. So I am one great big hypocritical sumbitch, that's for sure.

    A recent go around on another thread (which i really have to stop doing) introduced me to the idea that I think I never fully told my tale. But the thing is I really don't think my story "in" is anything as useful as my story "out". I've said before, there are stories here that trump mine all over.

    If you wanted to know about that, though, the best thing to do would be to go to the orgs section and look up FCDC circa 1970. The latter half of that thread is OWNED by my fellow 75ers. or thereabouts.

    I left FCDC (The one on S street) in the middle of December. I had a jacket and a small bag of things but left absolutely everything else in the room at the Braden Arms. It was spooky. I'd decided two days before that I'd had enough of this. Doing Scientology back at Urbana was fun. We had F-U-N. I was determined to have fun at DC as well, and pretty much managed to do that - for the most part - until the 'tough guys" came in.

    Bill Franks was kind of a poser, and after a while he wasn't scary at all. But he was demanding and unreasonable, like you're supposed to be; but all in all I never had a problem with him. I think my biggest nemesis was the LRH Comm Sandy Wilhere. God bless her now as she's going through lots of problems i hear but - jesus my bloody fucking God - I hated that woman. She would always go WAY beyond the tech with me and I had no idea why. But I can't use her as an excuse because I'm the reason I blew.

    Now that I've been able to piece the story together it was Larry Master(s?) who had just come back as a brand new shiny OT-whatever and not a week or two after he returned something was wrong. I've told the story about how Debbie (his martinet redhead wife from Qual) and - I'm pretty sure Jay Armstrong (anyway an EO) were all over him one day because he was either

    A. Sick and could not figure out how that could happen being OT
    B. Convinced the whole thing was shit and then worried about why he might think the whole thing was shit
    C. Just wanted to leave staff and get a real life and couldn't figure out why he felt guilty about what he really wanted
    D. All of the above - or some of the above or
    E. Nothing like that, he was all fucked up for another reason I have no idea about.

    Anyway that caught my eye, but it really just underlined what I'd been (gasp) "thinking" about on my own volition. Touch assists that weren't working, an infection in my foot that wasn't healing and I couldn't get (let alone afford) medicine for, being constantly starving my ass off every day day after day and either living off the 'food machine" next to the letter reg office (eating bad chili or wet sandwiches) and one week I lived on nothing but bread and jam - and when the bread went green I threw the green part out and kept eating. I was several months behind on my rent and the big old guy at the Braden was trying to be nice about it.

    I'm questioning what the hell the C/S is thinking on the routes we are taking in my auditing and the only thing I seemed to be able to excel at was I kept getting fully hatted for everything you could think of. All my big wins were admin.

    Constant headaches, eternally hungry, working 7 days a week.

    One time way way upstairs i saw the tape machines the GO used to tape all the calls - by accident. I found some PC folders in an obscure closet down in the catacombs and told somebody and twenty minutes later people I never seen before were swooping down from the GO and whisking them away.

    I was feeling like i was in the middle of a bad version of some dystopian morality play. I couldn't shake the foreboding and the sense that something was altogether wrong. The F-U-N was G-O-N-E.

    I'd seen people try to route off before. As part of HCO I was sent to "retrieve" blows and sometimes we weren't nice about it. I knew what went on because as DirPer I had access to all kinds of infighting and garbage that was going on while trying to keep my Tech/Admin ratio constantly perfect (there - if that doesn't tell you about my admin training nothing will). Knowing what I knew and seeing what I saw I knew that the only way to get out was quick and surgical. Nobody must know and I would have to be willing to leave a substantial part of my personal stuff behind and probably never see it again.

    I waited for people to come back in from the dinner break, grabbed a clipboard and walked out the front door. Down two buildings to where my room was, I changed my clothes, put whatever I could fit in a small bag, counted my money (8 bucks and change) and sneaked - literally sneaked - down a back stair way to a back exit into the alley behind S street and just kept going north by west. North by west.

    It was December and I was starving and had no money and it was very dark and windy but I hitchhiked from DC to Chicago completely unseen, sleeping one night on the side of the road (I discovered later I was sleeping on an ant hill or something because I woke up infested), getting picked up by a skinny hillbilly in a van who kept hinting about boys doing boys and another ride from a truly scary dude with all his belongings in the back of his car who -after he dropped me off - doubled back and tried to pick me up again. I'm pretty sure he was the type to kill people for fun, so I smiled and waved and lit out of there.

    All for now. Success follows out sojourner after some dips and dipshits. :)
  2. uncle sam

    uncle sam Silver Meritorious Patron

    Thanks for that.

    I,too, am ex fcdc who often traveled to Urbana on org business. Urbana was fun, fcdc for a very short while was fun too. Then the business of scientology intervened and the fun was lost. Eight bucks ain't much buckeroo- well done on getting home safe and sound. For the most part we were all young fun loving people in search for the holy grail. We liked each other- we created a lot of great moments with nothing but our energy. I know that I do not know you, you came to dc as I was in LA or on some trip away from the org [ I specialized in not being in the org= I was the Master at that].
    I enjoy your posts and actually read most of your rather long but well stated thoughts, we do share a strong enmity about the cos. I do hope one day that there would be a reunion of those at fcdc during the early 70's. I would get Gordon Bell to be the host as he was the mostest. Fare thee well Escalus.......
  3. Pliny Younger

    Pliny Younger Patron with Honors


    Not Fun? I thought that was how it was supposed to be. :)

    I did manage to work a bit at the Mass. Ave mission and found that SCN could be fun and that case gain was possible and Oh yeah, they fed me on a regular basis and if you didn't want to be on staff you just routed off and still remained friends to the mission. What an eye opener that was.

    Thanks for the story E. I can see clearly the Church as it was and the Braden Arms (was that its' name?) I think I was only inside it once. I do remember the Old guy who used to be out in front of it.
  4. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    I was luckier than most people leaving Scientology. I didn't have to worry about family members or the closest friends. I was in DC, not Chicago where everybody I knew was, so I don't have a disconnection story or anything heartbreaking like some of the folks here. I got in Scientology, just myself, for my own reasons, and when I got out I did it on my terms. I have no idea how I would have handled it if there was a relative inside. I can't imagine that, but I also couldn't imagine anything else but blowing.

    I arrived back in Chicago in a cold rain after two days and one night. I was lucky enough to catch a business man going from Ohio all the way to the outskirts of Chicago. I got a phone booth (hey - it was 1975, that's what we DID back then) and used my very last dime (that's all it cost) to call home and have somebody pick me up from where I was.

    Then I stood out in the cold rain and waited. I was exceptionally thinner, limping (foot), crazy out of my mind starving, and after using the dime had exactly 1 dollar to my name.

    To this day I mourn a little bit about the stuff I had to leave behind but it's gone as gone, you can be sure. I tried. I had some great books and - since I was a writer even then - left a bunch of manuscripts I'd been working on (more about the writing later). My clothes, the big trunk I came out with, some games, but most of all two paintings I had bought and brought with me. Originals from a small gallery (not too expensive) here in Chicago that's no longer around. I do remember pausing before I left them behind, wondering how to God was I supposed to fit them in this little semi-duffle thing I had. No dice.

    When I got back to my parents' house (there's another reason i was luckier than most) Greg Layton - HCO Big Dude - and a couple other people had already called a couple of times for me. One thing that bothered me IMMEDIATELY was my Mother kind of laughing about one particular call where whoever it was was being very threatening and ordering her to tell him what was going on. She just shrugged it off the way we from Chicago often shrug off idiots that mean nothing to us (we're particularly good at that here), but - I have to tell you - I was PISSED about that. That was Wrong Thing One that Scientology did. I saw wut they did thar.

    Over the next few weeks calls came in every day, mostly from Layton. I was eating like a racehorse and was putting salve on my foot and taking antibiotics or whatever the hell it was and I was a happy guy. I had a job within ten days and I remember the day I got my first paycheck Layton called again and said - because I'd mentioned to him i couldn't stand being paid peanuts while I worked 7 days a week - "I got $40 this week" like his eyebrows were going up and down. (It was 1975 and $40 then was a LOT more than 440 now). And I remember saying "Jesus Greg, I made $40 in eight hours TODAY." And I read him my number right off my check. I have to say - he was speechless (I hear Greg Layton went on to become very rich. I'm glad I played a part in inspiring him to do better for himself, and I feel 100% comfortable saying that's what I did because the way he sounded after I told him what I had in my hand was remarkable).

    Next - Freeloader Debt and Flag still wants me.
  5. Wisened One

    Wisened One Crusader

    Jeeezus Christ....The SHIT we've all gone through to ESCAPE....:no:

    Me and Hubby were starving too, and me, being all of 93 lbs (down to 88 while on Staff!) :yes: Starving was extremely unhealthy for me, but I survived it. :grouch:
  6. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    One thing you should know is that I represented a loss of 2 people to DC, not just 1. I kept this part till now to make a point. I had recruited a guy I knew back in Chicago to come out and join staff. I shared all my early "Wow Man's!" with him when I was going "in" and he took some stuff at a mission that used to exist by Southern Illinois University and experienced the same stuff I did. We'd been in touch through the time I was at DC and he was getting ready to come out there - literally already had the plane tickets and the flight # - when he got a call from me and I said "Don't come" right from a phone right there in the org.

    Yep. I knew it was recorded but I figured I had a window of opportunity before they heard it. Maybe an hour. I remember as DirPer getting a call once from some guy who started to ask questions about somebody who used to be on staff and I told him a few things but when the questions got weird and I ended the call. An hour later the GO guy comes down raving at me not to answer personal questions over the phone to ANYBODY. At the time I'm like - "wow, how did HE know that?" But later i saw how. And it wasn't the OT powers he had like he explained it was. PAH HAHAHA.

    So I figured i had an hour. I told my buddy (who I was later Best Man for when he got married) "Don't come" and "I'll explain later" and that was it. I shot right out the gun. I was a pretty "determined blow."

    ANYway - the nature of the calls changed when I got a job. Now they were looking for me to pay off my Freeloader debt because, hell man, they improved me just SO fuckin much I OWED them, baby.

    And I told them to take a hike. Andrea Letterese - a reg - kept calling me and I kept telling her to bug off. Finally, after she actually equivocated a couple of times (and if you knew her you knew THAT was a rarity in and of itself) and said "OK pay X amount and I'll just leave you alone and your ethics will still be in." And you know what? I sent it. It was a fraction of what they wanted to charge me and the week before I sent the full amount of what I owed the guy at the Braden arms because I pay my debts and had money out the ying/yang all of a sudden. So I sent them a check and said "good bye" and - guess what - all my "friends" at FCDC suddenly weren't on my phone any more.



    I had a brief period of destimulating. The same buddy I just "saved" from doing something stupid had bought an old truck from the 40's and was trying to renovate it. I managed to find a local tavern I made into a regular haunt (the kind of place where the customers pitch in to buy the bartender a gift for Christmas), I got laid here and there, I ate like a champ, my folks co-signed a loan so I could get a car, and - lo and behold - the guy who got me into Scientology in the first place (Jon Fox - who btw had BLOWN from FCDC months before I left, the monkey) was showing up with some REAL good dope. We were crushing the blocks of hash, mixing them into the weed and making joints out of THAT mixture. When we weren't spreading the opium oil on the cigarettes - or did I get that from his brother..... I can't remember.... anyway life was pretty good.

    That's when the mail started coming in from Clearwater and L.A. "PUT YOUR LIFE IN POWER!" or somesuch.

    How the fuck was I not declared? How the hell did I end up on lines to places I never been?

    And why was I still somewhat interested???

    NEXT: War. And I Win.
  7. Wisened One

    Wisened One Crusader

  8. WrongPlaceRightTime

    WrongPlaceRightTime Patron Meritorious

    Escal- Thank you for sharing. I remember that building so well. To my child eyes it was enormous and a labrynth. It is strange to look back and think that there was a bunch of shady stuff going on there and I enjoyed my innocence and ignorance as a happy kid. Totally bizarre. I am glad you were able to wake up an GTFO of there. Your tale of escape is enlightening.
  9. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    In 1975 when you blew staff there was no such thing as ESMB. Most of the people in Anonymous weren't even born yet. And, shit, Tory Christmas (I JOKE!) wouldn't be out for another 25 years.

    (I shall now engage in a bit of egomaniacism; I discovered Scientology was a scam after I finished Life Repair. SOME people had to go all the way to OT8 before it finally dawned on them it was bullshit).

    I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

    OK... (ahem)

    Thankfully there is a support system for people who blow out here now. And I have no doubt that comparing the experiences of people who were in for 10, 15, 20, 20+ years to myself - who was public for 2 years and staff for just 1 - will show a VERY big difference in the mental baggage. I have no doubts about that.

    But that didn't mean there weren't moments after I left that I didn't go from
    "I really miss the camaraderie"
    "fuck those people, talking to my Mom that way"
    "None of this makes sense. These people don't know ANYTHING about Conditions!"
    "Everything I learned in Scientology is shit"
    and then back to
    "Wow - nobody ever acknowledges you when you TALK out here!"

    And the support group we had in the 70's was... just what I said. You try to pick up where you left off and jump back into it. It wasn't terribly difficult because of my time in, but I can't say it was perfectly "clean" either. The problem was this was supposed to be my college years. Thus everybody I knew in my wider circle was gone at school, and I started to pick up the old murmur about "well you know what happened to him, he went off and joined Scientology... pssst psssst psssst." You see an old friend and it's like you've grown a third or fourth ear or something.

    the only answer was to make new friends. I had a job and there was a beer-drinking poker club. I latched on to that. A couple guys from work would come over on Sundays and we'd watch football. I tried to get myself introduced to women they knew here and there. that kind of thing. just - you know - pick yourself up by the collar, march over to the lake and throw your damn self in. OK - now swim.

    It was the hard way but it worked.

    And yet....... I'm still getting mail. What's more people from L.A. and Clearwater are calling my parents' house and trying to get me to buy courses. It's freaking my Mom out because I had just moved out and she didn't want to give them my number and she was like fighting with them all the time about it.

    I called them and said to quit it, I wasn't interested. They kept calling. I called and said stop sending me the mail - and MAN I was getting five / six fliers a DAY all with the No Postage Required box in the corner.

    It was a torrent of crap. Every day. EVERY day, and nobody is taking "no" for an answer and - i have to tell you - if it wasn't for that, I might have kept the LRH books I still had in my possession and looked into it from time to time. But all of a sudden my sister and my cousin are telling me that THEY'RE getting calls from the church! Ah-HAH! I sold my sister and my cousin copies of Dianetics YEARS ago - my first year as a public. And there was a big push on to contact EVERYBODY whose name was on the rolls.

    As has been said here by someone else - my gast was pretty well flabbered.

    I called and raved out. Didn't work. I sent letters telling them to leave me and my family alone. Didn't work. Finally I hit in an idea (luckily my sister changed her number and my cousin moved so he was out from under their watchful gaze)... I had ALL these no Postage Required things on hand. So I decided to USE them.

    I must have returned over 150 separate NPR mailings - each one containing a personalized message from moi - over the course of the next few weeks. Finally I gathered a few dozen more and just returned them as they were.

    My mother changed HER number. And it just so happened that I was over visiting my folks (my dad had suffered a heart attack and would die in just a few days from another heart attack) when the mailman arrived and rang the bell with a CERTIFIED LETTER from Scientology.

    Which I refused.

    And never heard from them again... until 30 years later.

    (Moar to come)
  10. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    It had been easy for me to pick up and leave my home and go to DC because I had already done something like it once. One thing you don't know about me up to now was that I tried out for Second City and did some acting in Chicago right out of high school. I was accepted at the Goodman School of drama but we couldn't afford it, turned out, so I just went to auditions and started getting parts.

    This was before 1975. People working in town in those days were folks like John Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Gilda Radner, John Malkovich and Joe Mantegna were getting going, John Mahoney was around here and there. I didn't make it into Second City. They took some guy named Murray instead. True story.

    But before '75 I was in a touring company. We did shows in seventeen states in six months. So just packing up and leaving home was no big deal. That was what i did. Didn't matter I was only 21. I was a paid actor at 19 for Christ's sake.

    And I dropped everything because I got the Scientology bug up my ass. well - you know - Scientology will make you a better actor! Yeah, yeah THAT'S it!

    I took a semester of Writing at Columbia Chicago back when it was on Ohio st. Harry Mark Petrakis and a few other people were teaching there at the time. Well... you know..... Scientology will make you a better WRITER TOO!!! Yeah...

    What I hadn't counted on was the time I gave up I should have been developing my life with because I believed taking a small detour into Scientology would help me do the things I loved and was good at- even better.

    let me give you that again-

    I believed taking a small detour into Scientology would make me a better writer and actor.

    Now you see wut THEY did thar. :unsure:

    I suppose I could have tried to get started again. I hadn't been out all that long. I never socialized with anybody from that scene but somebody might remember me. I'll just go back and try out some more. get my time back. I think I can still do it, etc. etc.

    Problem was the time I gave Scientology was gone. And I did that. Nobody else. It wasn't Scientology's fault and it wasn't anybody I knew from Scientology who was to blame. I was the guy who decided to take the detour.

    I got myself into this, I have to get myself out of this.

    then my dad died, and a few months later I discovered I was going to be somebody's dad myself.

    Time to get a real job. Dreams deferred, dude. have a beer & shut up.

    NEXT: I condense many decades into a few lines & then Daddy gets his groove.
  11. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    A short interlude just to keep up your interest. Not sure if I'll be able to update tonight or what, but we like to keep them begging for more.

    The end of this won't make sense to you - the comment in the black directs blog readers to an embedded cartoon. just black that out...

  12. Emma

    Emma Con te partirĂ² Administrator

    Great story Escalus, you write very well!

    Love the video!
  13. Escalus

    Escalus Patron Meritorious

    I got married in 1978, 3 years after leaving DC, to as woman who has no background in Scientology in ant way, shape or form. This last April we celebrated our 30th anniversary. We don't have a "berthing" facility. We live in a house.

    We've raised two daughters who were not sheltered or kept from expanding their minds and opinions about anything. Neither of them thinks Scientology has anything for them, mostly because - in the eternal wisdom of youth - they look at middle-aged Scientologists and find them looking a bit withered, acting a bit selfish, being too bookish, too much of a bunch of know-it-alls, and, frankly, not presenting anything physically, mentally or spiritually positive to the world. They don't see Scientologists as anything but mostly crazy old people who have nothing they can use.

    And they didn't know I was a Scientologist until about 6 or 7 years ago. So, no, I haven't done a thing to prejudice their opinions. They looked at Scientologists and came up with that all on their own.

    I used to tell people I was in DC because I had a job there. People in my life now, outside of my family, mostly have no idea I was a staff member in a cult. They have no idea I was a Scientologist. I hid it. I never admitted it, and I always "couched" my terminology whenever the subject went to what I did in the mid-70's.

    That's because for the longest time I was embarrassed to admit that I was part of it. I am not proud of the time I spent as a Scientologist. I take full responsibility for choosing it and for walking away from it. So I have no one to blame but myself. But I am painfully aware that it came into my life when I least needed to take that detour. And I have been working to get back into myself for quite some time.

    It was having to work for a living and raising two daughters, and being a Mr. Mom when my wife went back to school to be a graduated nurse, and just doing Dad/family stuff that kept me from aiming to get back to where I was, artistically and personally - not Scientology. Scientology was a detour, but my family is a positive part of my life I wouldn't trade for anything.

    So it wasn't until 1985 that I started to "get my groove" back, and little by little some short stories, mini-fiction and poetry began to be accepted by small, independent magazines, and college reviews. It was a validation that I needed, and I took it as far as I could, per the genre I had placed myself in; surrealism, dada, quirky, magic realism, whatever you want to call it. The short stuff was making it into print, but the larger works - novel length - weren't interesting anyone.

    From 1993 to 2006 I worked at a job that took all that out of the picture again. Except this time instead of taking that out of my hands and giving me nothing in return, I started a job that proved to be exceptionally lucrative. I concentrated on finally building solid resources for my family. We were given our first grand-daughter (Emma) and she is the delight of my life.

    In 2006, though, I scaled my work life down and took a job with far less stress. Our finances are secure, we have enough, I want to keep working but not as full-out anymore. So I took a lower-paying job with a smaller company and returned to my writing.

    This time only larger stuff. No short material. We're going in. I finished one book early this year and it is making the rounds. A second book is currently over 20,000 words and going strong.

    But here we go..... a WEEK after I sent my first manuscript out, Scientology found me again.

    Just when I'm getting going.

    Just like before.
  14. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    Not quite; this time you know where it goes and they're crumbling at the core.

    I'm looking forward to the novel and any stories you come up with here.

  15. Kathy (ImOut)

    Kathy (ImOut) Gold Meritorious Patron

    What an awesome posting/story telling.

    Let me know when your book hits the shelf - as in printed and ready for sale. I like the way you write.
  16. Pliny Younger

    Pliny Younger Patron with Honors

    Go E Go

    Great story! Good luck with your books. Can't wait till they get published.
  17. Tom of Helatrobus

    Tom of Helatrobus Patron Meritorious

    Yes! Yes! Exactly. Thank you!

    Love the story so far.
  18. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Fantastic mate! :thumbsup:

    The benefit of hindsight is the wisdom to choose different paths when we come to a fork in the road. :coolwink:
  19. Neo

    Neo Silver Meritorious Patron

    I feel that I have benefited greatly from reading your posts. Whilst I don't always agree with what you have to say, it has helped me look at why I do think a particular way. So, thank you, especially for sharing your story.

    I would love to hear more about your novel. When it gets released. Keep us informed.


  20. Pixie

    Pixie Crusader

    Amazing story Escalus, enjoyed reading it. Pixie and Dixie? Well I know who Pixie is, but it appears I've lost 'Dixie', if you find him, can you tell him I'm still looking for him please? Thanks.. great stuff.. :)