"I am a Scientologist. I know now that my true friends are other Scientologists in good standing. I will never harm my group again. I want only to do those things which will contribute to the survival of my group, and therefore, to the survival of the planet. I have delivered a blow to the enemies of the group. I have performed forty-eight hours of amends. I hereby petition to rejoin staff at the L.A. Org."
For two days I had carried my petition from person to person at the Org, begging each person to allow me to rejoin the group. Finally, I had the required signatures. I ran up the stairs to the Ethics office.
"Here you are, sir. I got everyone to sign."
The Ethics Officer took the clipboard from me and glanced through the signatures.
"Very well done," he congratulated me. "I hope you've learned something from this."
"Oh, yes, sir, I have," I said eagerly. "Mostly I learned something about being a part of a group. How you have to work with people and not against them. From now on I want to stay out of trouble. With Ethics, I mean. I'd rather not have to go through all this again."
"Hm," he opened the drawer of his desk and pulled out a manila file. To my surprise, I saw my name on the file label followed by the words "Ethics File." "I see here that this is your first major Ethics offense," he observed, as he flipped through the contents of the file. "And let's hope it's the last. "All right. You can return to your post."
"Great." I bounded up out of my chair. I looked back at him. "Thank you, sir," I said gratefully as I moved toward the door.
"Aren't you forgetting something?" He pointed to my arm.
"Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. I guess I was getting used to it." I walked over and held out my arm as he undid the unsightly rag. "I'm glad to be rid of that."
For the next few months, I worked in the Public Division, selling books on the street and bringing people in for the free lecture or the free personality test. The personality test, I discovered, was just another way of finding the person's ruin. After we graded the test, we would point out the lowest score to the person, getting them to agree that they did need help in this area. Then we would sell them a course or some auditing to remedy the identified deficit. It worked like a charm.
I initiated a program to take the paperback Dianetics books to the campuses of UCLA and USC and to sell them to students. With continued drilling on the Dissem Formula, it wasn't hard at all to get students signed up for the Communication Course. We even started a Scientology group on the campus and had regular meetings. I soon learned to spot the students who would make the best targets: the ones who were alone and looked "down." They were the easiest ones to get into Scientology because they were so hungry for friendship and affiliation.
It was decided that I would remain on staff at the Org instead of Celebrity Center, because the Org was in more desperate need of help. And since the Org and the center were so close, I could always visit the center on my breaks. Because of my success with the "psychiatrist spy caper," I was occasionally summoned back to the G.O. (Guardian's Office) to help out on special projects. Many of these projects were enjoyable, especially the ones which were designed to improve the public image of Scientology in Los Angeles. We had a big Easter egg hunt for local children on the lawn of the Org. Each G.O. project was always given a unique and meaningful name. The Easter egg hunt was known to us as "Operation Bunny Hop."
"Operation Clean Sweep" was a Saturday all hands project to clean up the trash in Alvarado Park. In "Operation Granny," teams of Scientology "ministers" were sent to bring cheer to the elderly in nearby nursing homes. And a project to get Scientologists into the schools to give lectures against drug use was named "Operation Chalk Dust."
The point of all these projects was not so much to clean up the park, improve the life of the elderly, and educate children about drugs as it was to improve the image of Scientology and, whenever possible, get someone new into Scientology. This is, in fact, the actual agenda behind any apparent agenda of a Scientologist. To get new people into Scientology. And to Clear the Planet.
In the 1970's, Scientology, and the Guardian's Office in particular, had two major problems named, respectively, Paulette Cooper and Michael Meisner. Paulette Cooper, in 1971, had written a book critical of Scientology called The Scandal of Scientology. Repeated attempts to silence Cooper, including attempts to frame her by getting her fingerprints on a piece of paper that was later used to send a death threat to Henry Kissinger, and by telephoning the Arab Consulate in New York and saying that Cooper was talking about bombing them, had resulted in only minimal success. A more permanent solution was needed.
Michael Meisner was involved in a complicated Scientology plot in the mid '70's to illegally photocopy and steal thousands of government documents from FBI and IRS offices in Washington, D.C. He had been caught by the FBI, however, and although he was back in Scientology custody, he was threatening to turn state's evidence for the FBI and incriminate Scientology in a host of related criminal actions.
I had been given the sensitive task, as a G.O. volunteer, of going through all of Michael Meisner's (supposedly confidential) preclear and ethics folders and locating any information which could now be used to blackmail him. I was told to be particularly alert for information regarding sexual deviance or criminal behavior. I had to circle anything I found in red ink and tab the page.
Because of the project to launder and steal government documents, known in the G.O. as "Operation Snow White," Scientology was involved in a complex court case with the government. (The name "Snow White" had nothing to do with the fairy tale of the same name; the operation was given this name because Hubbard considered that once the "Church" had finished cleaning the files of these agencies, they would be "snow white.")
Scientology had assigned private detectives to investigate the backgrounds of the Justice Department attorneys assigned to the case. My job was to take all the information assembled by the detectives on each attorney, and to summarize this information in a series of reports to be used by Scientology attorneys during litigation. It occurred to me that the reports could also be used for blackmail purposes.
One day, as I was working on the floor, assembling the "time line" (all the events in the life of a person arranged in chronological order) for one particular Justice Department attorney named Raymond Banoun, I was called into the next room for a meeting.
Dick, who was my project leader in the G.O., was leading the meeting. "We have a problem," he said seriously, as he looked around the room at the dozen or so people assembled for the meeting.
"Meisner is threatening to leak this whole project to the FBI. And not only this project but many other G.O. projects that he knows about.
"We can't afford a serious leak of this nature when we are already having major problems with the suppressive government in this country.
"We need a permanent solution to this problem. Does anyone have any suggestions?"
The room was silent. No one said a word.
Finally, someone asked, "Where is Meisner now, sir?"
"We have him in custody," Dick said. After a few seconds he elaborated, "As a matter of fact he is being kept in a motel room not far from here. I believe he has been handcuffed to a bed."
"Do you have a plan?" someone else asked.
"What would you suggest?" Dick challenged the person who had asked the question.
There was no answer, only an awkward and uncomfortable silence.
"Remember," Dick said slowly, his eyes circling the group of us gathered in the room, "Scientology is the only hope for this planet. If we make it, then this planet makes it. If we don't make it, this planet is doomed. Destroyed. Reduced to a pile of atomic rubble.
"And this one man has the potential, if he does what he is threatening to do, to destroy it all. Everything that Hubbard has worked for. Everything that you and I have worked for. This one man has the ability to destroy everything."
"So what can we do?" he looked to us for an answer. "What's the solution? Any ideas?"
"Well, he can't be allowed to escape. You can't let him get to the agency to testify. That's all there is to it." A tall woman in the back of the room spoke up.
"Yeah, right," another one said. "The greatest good for the number of dynamics. That's what Ron says."
A man to my left spoke up. "What you're saying, Dick, is that it's a no-win situation. Either one person goes, or millions of innocent men, women and children go. That's the choice, right? Either way, someone has to lose. Isn't that what you're saying?"
We all looked at Dick.
"I'm afraid you've hit the nail on the head," he replied. "That is precisely what we're faced with."
An older man in the back with an English accent spoke up. "I say you should take him and dump him overboard at sea. With weights. Deep-six the bastard."
"Yeah," someone else joined in, "Get rid of him once and for all."
"Any other suggestions?" Dick looked around the circle of grim faces. No one answered.
"Very well," Dick continued. "What I can tell you is that the situation will be handled by this time tomorrow. We just didn't want any of you to be surprised. If anyone has a problem with this, I expect you to speak up now." Silence.
"All right. There is one other matter. We have a continuing problem with Paulette Cooper. She is continuing her campaign to put an end to Scientology. She is the most deadly Suppressive that we have at the moment. She's a real danger.
"I can tell you that Ron is losing patience with all this. He expects us to handle these things.
"We simply cannot continue to allow one insane person to endanger the survival of everyone else on the planet. She will have to be handled. The job of the Guardian's Office is to get Ethics in on the planet so that Scientology can expand. Handling these situations is simply part of the job.
I looked around. No one spoke up. Nobody said anything for a long time. Finally, Dick broke the silence. "All right, everyone. Back to work. We're on a tight schedule. Thanks for your time."
I went back to my project in the next room. Something about the meeting bothered me, but I pushed the troublesome thoughts from my mind.
"The greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics," I sighed. If it has to be done, it has to be done. And I tried to forget about the whole thing. Later I heard that Michael Meisner, who had in fact been held prisoner, managed to gain the confidence of his guards and to escape from the motel. He did go to the FBI with his information, information which resulted in an FBI raid on the "Church" of Scientology a month later. As a result of this raid, eleven Scientologists were indicted and imprisoned, including Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue.
Paulette Cooper was never killed. Regarding Paulette, however, there is an interesting and macabre story. Apparently, Paulette had moved, and her cousin, similar to her in appearance, had taken over her apartment. One day a man came to deliver flowers. When the cousin opened the door, he held a gun to her head and cocked it. When, for unknown reasons, it did not fire, he tried to choke her. She was able to scream, and he fled.
Paulette later reached an out-of-court settlement with the "Church."
And so, in this way, the years passed. I continued to work for the organization in a variety of capacities. I learned calligraphy so that I could help with the inscribing of certificates when needed. For a period of time I served as the ARC Break Registrar, which meant that my job was to contact people who were upset with Scientology and offer them free sessions to get them "back on lines". Predictably, I soon burned out from that job, and was transferred to another post where I was put in charge of special events. The only contact I had with my parents was occasional letters from them updating me with family news. My brother's marriage and first child, my other brother's graduation from college and teaching position in Europe, my father's heart surgery, my first brother's second child, his third child, my sister's marriage in Vermont, etc. Some letters I threw away without opening, others I would open and read quickly, not allowing myself to feel any emotion.
One day early in 1979, I received a letter from my father telling me that my grandmother, his mother, had just died. It's just as well, I thought callously. In a session on the PTS/SP "Rundown," I had identified my grandmother as the main Suppressive on my dad's side of the family. Since she was a thoroughly evil person, I reasoned, it was unnecessary to waste any grief on her death.
I received a second letter from my father containing an airline ticket. Would I consider, he wanted to know, coming back to Michigan for my grandmother's funeral? Everyone else in the family would be there.
Something about the idea of a family reunion struck a chord in me. Memories of happy days with my aunts and uncles at the summer cottage shared by our large extended family must have stirred some nearly extinct subconscious feelings. I did a very strange thing.
I arranged to take a long weekend away from my post, using the excuse of my grandmother's funeral. It was permissible to get leave from post for pressing family matters. It was justified as a means of keeping families from becoming openly antagonistic to Scientology.
I made a reservation on a direct flight to Michigan, and arrived at the airport well ahead of the time required to board the plane. I was one of the first people on the plane and I took a seat in the very last row. Sitting there as the other passengers were boarding the plane, I was suddenly seized by an overwhelming panic, a feeling of terror.
The flight attendants were just beginning to close the door to the plane when I called out from the back, "Wait, don't close the door!" I fought my way through the passengers still standing in the aisles to the front of the plane as everyone in the plane watched in stunned silence.
"I have to get off. I'm going to be sick," I told the attendant nearest the door. "Please," I begged. "Let me off the plane."
The attendant looked forward to the captain. He nodded his head. She opened the door and I walked back up the boarding ramp, flooded with relief.
The "wog world" had become for me a place of danger, a sinister world of enemies and suppressives. The hundreds of hours of listening to Hubbard's ravings on the tapes had done their job. I was now a captive of Scientology. I would never again venture out voluntarily into the evil "wog world."
I mailed the ticket back to my father with an apology. "I can't come right now. I can't take time off from my post," I lied. "Just tell everyone I said hello."
A month or so later I received another letter from my father. Perhaps out of guilt I opened it, not throwing it away as I had so many other letters from home.
Inside the envelope was a certified check made out to me in the amount of twenty thousand dollars. "Enclosed is your inheritance from your grandmother," I read in my father's scrawling script. I was stunned. I stared at the check in disbelief. Then a wonderful idea took form in my mind: the OT levels. This money would be my passage to the realm of OT. I did a dance of joy in front of my startled co-workers.
Later I learned that my parents had reasoned that perhaps, with the money to make a fresh start, I would return home. They greatly underestimated, as many parents do, the power of the mind control and hypnosis ritualistically enforced over the years by the continual repetition of TR's, drills, auditing, propaganda, and the dynamics of group reinforcement in Scientology.
I quickly wrote up a CSW ("Completed Staff Work"), a petition to my seniors asking for a leave of absence from my post to do the OT levels. I was quite sure the petition would be approved, especially when it became known that I had received a substantial inheritance.
I was right. Within a week I was sitting in a chair at the desk of the Registrar at the AO (Advanced Org).
I had always been awed by the hushed air of excitement at the AO. I thought of the many times I had come into this building to deliver messages or courier packages, always dreaming of the day when I would be here "for real," for my "upper levels." And now it was really going to happen. On the way back to the Registrar's Office I glanced at the "pre-OT's" sitting quietly in the lobby, waiting for the C/S for their next session.
What did they know, I wondered. Did some of them actually know the mysterious secret of OT 3? It was well known in Scientology that on this third upper level, Hubbard revealed the great secret of "this sector of the universe" which would explain, we were told, all human behavior in the world today. The thought that I, too, would soon learn this secret was almost impossible to comprehend. Once I was through "the wall of fire," the name given by Hubbard to this dangerous and esoteric level, I would become a "thetan exterior," free from any type of overwhelm for the indefinite and infinite future, and able to travel at will outside my body. From there, the possibilities were endless.
"So, you are ready to do the OT levels, yes?" the Registrar, who had a Spanish accent, asked as he pulled out his desk drawer and retrieved a folder.
"Yes," I replied, too excited to talk.
"Very good, very good indeed," he smiled at me.
"Now the last level that you have done is your Grade 4, am I correct?" he looked through my advanced payment folder. I had made regular small payments through the years into my "AP" (Advanced Payment) account at the AO. I was surprised to find out that my credit now stood at more than two thousand dollars.
"So, first you need to do your `Power,'" he said as he started to write on a pad of paper on his desk, "which because you are on staff is half price. That will be six hundred dollars." He wrote down the amount.
I watched as the column of numbers started to take form on his pad. "And your `Solo,' which will train you to become a Solo auditor in preparation for the OT levels," he continued, "also six hundred dollars."
"And, of course, you want to go Clear, right?" he looked at me expectantly.
I nodded. "Of course."
"OK. Clear. Eight hundred dollars."
I thought of the speeches I had heard at Clear Night. Soon I would be making a speech of my own. I shivered at the thought.
"Well, that exhausts your AP account. Now, you have received how much from your grandmother's estate?" He looked at me.
I took the check from my shirt pocket. I carefully straightened it out and laid it on the desk, facing him.
"So. Twenty thousand dollars. Well, that should get you right on up the chart, I would think." He didn't seem very impressed by the check. "He probably gets a dozen checks like this every day," I thought, somewhat disappointed by his lack of enthusiasm.
"All right, let's do some figuring." He took out his calculator and started adding and subtracting figures as I watched.
"OT 1. That's a short level. You'll probably be able to do it in a day. Three hundred twenty dollars." He punched the number into his calculator. "OT 2. Five hundred.
"And OT 3. Right?" He looked at me for confirmation.
"Right," I answered, determined to match his stoic approach to the whole thing. I tried to act like spending twenty thousand dollars was something I did every day.
"OK. Three thousand dollars. That's a big level. As you know," he looked up at me, grinning conspiratorially. I grinned back, feeling like I had just pulled the fabled sword from the stone.
"Now, as for the rest," he kept writing on his pad, "you'll need to have something on account in case you need a review. And the balance you will probably want to leave on account for your remaining levels. Assuming, of course, that you plan to continue on up The Bridge." He picked up the check and examined it closely.
"I guess," I said uncertainly. "How much will I have left?"
"Well, after OT 3, that should leave you about sixteen thousand dollars. Enough to do whatever is C/Sed for you after OT 3. That will give the C/S something to work with.
"And you," he said to me confidingly, "are about to begin on the adventure of a lifetime. Are you ready?"
"Yeah. I'm ready. I've been waiting for this for ten years," I replied. "When can I start?"
"Well, you can start by first signing this check," he turned the check over and handed me a pen. "And then, we're going to get you scheduled for your Ethics Clearance right away. Maybe even today." He reached for the check I had just signed.
"You'll never regret this," he clapped me on the shoulder. "You have just traded this money," he held up the check, "for the secrets of the universe. Not a bad exchange."
"Wait," I said suspiciously. "What is an Ethics Clearance?" He had just thrown me a curve.
"Oh, it's just routine. Everyone going onto the OT levels has to be cleared by Ethics. Just to make sure you have no outstanding Ethics cycles."
"But I haven't had any trouble with Ethics for years," I protested.
"It's just a routine check," he said soothingly. "Look. The OT levels are powerful stuff. If someone tried to do them with out-ethics, they could get into a lot of trouble. Maybe even die. Really, it's for your own good."
All right, I decided. I'll go along with the program. No Ethics Officer is going to stand between me and OT 3.
Soon I was sitting opposite the AO Ethics Officer. I handed him my Power Routing Form.
"Going up the Bridge?" he was pleasant but businesslike.
"Very well done." He turned on his meter.
"Now we're going to do a couple of Security checks. Just routine, to make sure everything is clean before you go onto your OT levels." He pulled some plain white 8 1/2 by 14 inch paper from his drawer and tested his pen. "I'm going to ask you a series of questions. You don't have to answer them. The meter will pick up any reaction you might have to an item. If I get a read, I'll ask you for your considerations. OK?"
"Sure," I replied.
"First, I'm going to ask a few null questions to determine your reaction pattern. Ready?"
"Ready," I replied, feeling like an astronaut in a space capsule waiting for the launch.
"We will now begin.
"Are you sitting in a chair?" he looked at me.
I didn't answer. He adjusted the meter. "Are you on the moon?" Pause.
"Have you ever drunk water?"
"Am I an elephant?"
"Are you a table?"
"Good." He looked over at me. "You're reading just fine. Now we'll begin the process." I relaxed.
"Have you ever lived or worked under an assumed name?" No read. "That's clean," he said.
"Are you here for a different purpose than you say?" No read. "That's clean."
"Have you ever done any shoplifting?" "That reads," he looked up at me. "Do you have any considerations on that?"
"Yeah," I thought back. "Yeah, when I was in college. I stole some cigarettes a couple of times from a drug store. And some other things. Pantyhose. Maybe twice. I was just being rebellious. Actually I felt guilty afterward and mailed the store some money."
"OK, that's clean," he said, adjusting the meter.
"Have you ever been blackmailed?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever been in prison?" "That's clean."
"Are you guilty of anything?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever embezzled money?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever been court martialed?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever had anything to do with pornography?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever peddled dope?" "That reads. What about that, have you ever peddled dope?" He looked up.
"Well, not exactly. But I had a boyfriend once who sold marijuana and sometimes people would give me money to give to him. So I didn't really, but I was involved. That's all." I waited for him to clear the question.
"Have you ever raped anyone or been raped?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever practiced homosexuality?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever had intercourse with a member of your family?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever had anything to do with Communism or been a Communist?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever practiced sex with children?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever taken money for giving anyone sexual intercourse?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever killed or crippled animals for pleasure?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever committed a misdemeanor?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever committed a felony?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever done anything your mother would be ashamed to find out?" "That reads." He looked up at me.
"I'm not sure what it is. I've certainly done things she wouldn't be happy about if she knew about them." I hesitated.
"Like what?" he prodded.
"Well, like the affair I had in college. She didn't know about that. And I used to smoke marijuana before I got into Scientology."
I closed my eyes and tried to think. "I had a party in our house once when my parents were both away. And some relationships I've had in Scientology. She probably wouldn't approve. That's about all." I yawned.
He asked the question again. "That's clean."
"Have you ever practiced sex with animals?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever murdered anyone?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever stolen anything from a Scientology organization?" "That's clean."
"Do you know any Communists personally?" "That's clean."
He asked many other questions. An hour and a half had gone by, I noticed, looking at the clock.
"Is there much more?" I asked.
"No, we're almost finished with this check," he answered. "Just try to be patient." He continued with his questions.
"Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about Scientologists?" "That reads. What about it?" He looked up.
"Yeah, the Ethics officer at the Org. And a couple of people on staff. I did have some unkind thoughts. But doesn't everybody?"
He checked the question again. "I still get a read," he persisted. "What do you think it could be?"
"Well, I had an unkind thought about Diana Hubbard once. I didn't like her piano playing. And at Christmas I thought it was pretty stingy of Hubbard to just send us some cheese. And sometimes I resented that the execs at the Org made so much more money than I did." I thought some more. "Once I refused to eat the food at the Org. I had unkind thoughts about the cook. And I had unkind thoughts about another girl on staff who was going with someone I had a crush on. I had unkind thoughts about him, too. That's about all I can think of."
"I'll check the question again," he said. He reread the question. "That's clean."
"What unkind thoughts have you had while I was doing this check?" "That reads," he said. "Anything?"
"No, I just don't like this check. I'm not sure why you have to ask all these things just for me to do the OT levels," I complained.
"OK," he acknowledged.
"Are you upset about this Security Check?" "That reads. Are you upset?"
"No, not really. It's just that I didn't know about it and I had thought maybe I could start Power today. So I was a little upset, but not really." He asked the question again.
"OK, that's clean."
"All right. That's the end of this check. We have one more check to do but we'll do it after lunch. OK?"
"Fine." I got up and stretched. I wasn't really hungry so I decided to just take a walk. It was a beautiful fall day with almost no smog, a rarity in L.A.
After lunch, we resumed the session.
"OK, now we're going to do the Whole Track Sec Check. Do you know what that means?"
"Well," I guessed, "whole track is all your past lives so this must be a sec check of your past lives."
"Good," he answered. "We'll begin.
"Have you ever enslaved a population?"
I blinked. "What?" I asked incredulously.
"I'll repeat the question," he said with no reaction. "Have you ever enslaved a population?"
I didn't say anything.
"Have you ever ordered, or yourself committed, genocide?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever annihilated a population?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever upset an ecology?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever practiced terrorism?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever bred bodies for degrading purposes?" "That's clean."
"Did you come to Earth for evil purposes?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever made a planet, or nation, radioactive?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever caused a planet to disappear?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever torn out someone's tongue?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever blinded anyone?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever smothered a baby?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever participated in a sexual relationship between a doll body and a human body?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever made love to a dead body?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever tortured another with electrical, or electronic devices?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever been a professional executioner?" "Clean."
"A brutal jailer?" "Clean."
"A corrupt judge?" "Clean."
"An ungrateful child?" "Clean."
"A wicked mother?" "Clean."
"A bad father?" "Clean."
"An abortionist?" "Clean."
"Have you ever abandoned your sick, or dead, to the enemy?" "That's clean."
"Have you ever failed to rescue your leader?" "That's clean."
After over three hundred such questions, we finished the check.
"Clean as a whistle," commented the Ethics Officer. "You're ready to start your Power. Good luck," he said as he initialed my Power Routing Form.
I got up. "Well, I feel better," I told him. He looked up.
"I guess I never knew there were so many things I didn't do," I reflected. "Sort of makes me feel good."
I walked out of his office, glad to be finished with the strange questions. Conditioned as I was to the bizarre and the unusual from my very first day in Scientology, I dismissed the events of the day as just another step forward on the Yellow Brick Road to Total Freedom.
I felt like clicking my heels.
Soon I would be in Oz!