The Bare-Faced Messiah Interviews

Interview with Kima Douglas,
Oakland, California, 27 August 1986


Kima Douglas was very much a typical Scientologist during her years in the Church, from 1968 to 1980: she was young, English-speaking, well-educated and totally committed. She was well-qualified to join L. Ron Hubbard's naval élite, the Sea Org, which had been founded in 1967. Her past nursing experience in her home country of Rhodesia was discovered at a time when Hubbard's health was rapidly deteriorating and for seven years, from 1973 to 1980, she became a unique combination of nurse, aide de camp and confidante. When she was interviewed in 1986 by the British journalist and writer for his biography of Hubbard, Bare-Faced Messiah, she had an extraordinary story to tell. The following is a transcript of that interview.

Interview - 27 August 1986

In early 1968, I was painting water colours. I was on a beach in Santa Monica, painting. Some friends came down and said, "We've just been to a lecture on Scientology. It's a phenomenal thing - if they run the wrong process on you it can kill you." It just interested me that there could be such a process so powerful. I am South African. I wanted to find out about it. I had been through two marriages by '68. I am a child of an alcoholic parent, and I was looking for something but didn't know what I was looking for. I went to a lecture at the Beverly Hills franchise and it was really interesting. I started working at the franchise and met Yvonne Gillham. Everyone was dressed in white boiler suits and hard hats to promote the outer space image. The whole thing was like a wild dress up party.

I joined the Sea Org 25 Sept '68. Hana [Eltringham] took over AOLA [Advanced Organisation Los Angeles] in '69, then Tony Dunleavy came out. I met him, fell in love and in August 1970 went to the ship [Apollo] in Madeira.

My expectation was of a psychic person who could look at me and see every evil thing I had ever done in my whole life. I'd been indoctrinated to all the things he could do. There were wild stories that if an atomic bomb in Nevada was about to go off, L. Ron, with the power of his mind, could defuse it. The expectation was that he would be able to see into my head, which both terrified and excited me. And he'd come to save the planet, at the time we were talking about atomic warfare. Who could stop this? I was a complete believer. Doubts were out-ethics, so you sat on them quickly. I had him set up as close to God as anyone could be set up.

Tony met me at the gangway and went up to his office on the sun deck. I was coming up the stairs and Hubbard came out of his office in a white uniform and commodore's hat with two messengers behind him. He said, "Who's this?" He was a jovial, happy, golden man. Tony said this is my wife to be. He shook my hand and was very charming. For me, I had arrived.

There were only 108 people aboard. The ship had gone through the whole Ethics thing, they cleaned, painted and scrubbed the ship. It looked wonderful. It was August 13 1970. I went to work in the kitchen because I could cook. Someone found out I had nursing experience and went into the medical office. I had been there about a month and went over to take over publics in Denmark. I came back and the ship was in Casablanca, Morocco and there was an org there at the time where we were training top management teams. Everything was going fine, then some bloody girl [Susan Meister] shot herself on the ship. She got Peter Gillham's gun and shot herself in the mouth. We were in a port that had disease. LRH called me back to the ship to take over medical office.

We were also messing around at that time with the King of Morocco. It got very weird. Tony & I sent out to Apollo US and I fell in love with another man, Carlos Gusman. I was recalled back to ship. This was out-ethics, tsk, tsk. I was put in a low ethics condition, and painting and cleaning the ship went on for 3-4 months.

We would get messages from LRH every now and then about Carlos.

Jim Dincalci was sent on some Mission and I was moved into the Medical Office, where I came into my own. In Sulfi the wind was blowing against the ship, didn't have enough fenders so Captain Bill [Robertson] had all crew pushing against dock. Also in Sulfi he ordered people over side painting the ship without sunhats, they were going down with sunstroke. I asked Captain Bill to bring them in, but he refused. I ordered them in. There was row Hubbard came up and backed me.

I had 2 years' nurse training at British hospital in Bulawayo - my speciality was labour and delivery.

At that point I established a line with Hubbard. I never put him in jeopardy to risk making him look a fool. I always thought, what would he want in this situation? This was about 73.

Then he got bursitis in his shoulder, I did a quick check on things you can do other than exercise. One thing that helps was injections of vitamin B12. I was giving him daily shots and they were helping and I was giving him limited exercises, he was overweight, having someone commiserate. He got through it and then got a little bit of flu and says it is pneumonia, it was not. We got him through that and so I became a person who could get him through his little sickness. and an affinity was established.

It got to a point where I personally knew he was no more a wonderman and was as human as you and I. He started treating me like messengers, he tell me things pissing him off on ship. I would listen. He'd tell me stories of childhood, he talked about breaking in broncos at the age of 3 - I've ridden and there's no way a 3 year old could even sit on a saddle - he wanted me to believe it. He said, "they made a special saddle for me." I know it could not be true. I made appropriate noises. He told me a story about his horse 3 times and 3 times it was different. Once it was a white horse and once a palamino and once a paint (brown and white). He came from an unhappy home and the more I listened the more I realised that.

He told me a lot about his previous lives, about being Cecil John Rhodes. Having come from Rhodesia I knew Rhodes was gay and wondered why he should associate himself, he who was so morally strict on how disgusting gays were, why he should associate himself with someone who was definitely that way inclined. He was Tamburlaine's wife and told me a story of watching Tamburlaine routed on his last rout, how he had cried and wept. He told me he had been in a disabled space ship that had landed here, before there were animals, because of his ability - he fixed the space craft and took off again. Then there were no trees or anything, just little bits of ocean here and there. He realised its potential and so brought seeds from another planet and started fertilising Planet Earth, a whole group of people under his orders came down here and brought their form of medication in the plants. I didn't see why that couldn't be true, I could see how plants were the first form of medication.

I believed these stories were true for him. He was a good storyteller, he loved it, he would have 2-3 messengers and me sitting on the floor. He was at his best at that point, being a father figure, saving his people, telling them stories about history. It was nice to listen to what he said. He was a genius in his own way, he picked up on things quick, but he was not different from anyone else.

I knew why he had ailments - it was because he was an ordinary man. His story was that enemies were pushing bad energy on him. Saviours had to put up with it. It was coming on so heavily and hard from so any forces.

Mary Sue was ill during the period when he was away in Queens {New York City]. I don't think she'd had sex with her husband for 4-5 years at that time. I was on ship for whole time he was away. I remember the wonderful day of his coming back. People were going past his office, he'd come out and shake hands. I didn't think he was in a good shape. He was very nervous. To me he looked tight, wound up. We took off from Lisbon and went to Las Palmas. Then he took his motorcycle out and came off in an oil slick.

He broke his arm, three ribs and bruised himself to an unbelievable point. He had massive black bruises, he had really damaged himself. He refused to see a doctor. I saw him come back, walking. He went into his room and wouldn't see anyone except messengers and Mary Sue. Next day he saw Jim and then me. He was in his chair. We strapped his arm to him and strapped his ribs. We were in Las Palmas. We went out to sea in a Force 5 [wind]. Strapped to his chair he must have gone through agony. He screamed and hollered and yelled and slept in his chair. It was absolutely ungodly, six weeks of pure hell. Finally Laurel [Sullivan] went into town and found a doctor. She went off in Madeira and found a doctor. He came to the ship and he said what we all knew. In Lisbon we got him off and had him x-rayed but the break had already started to mend. He never went into a cast - it was too late. It took three months to heal. He was revolting to be with - a sick crotchety pissed-off old man at an extreme of antagonism to everything and everyone. His wife was often in tears. He'd scream at top of his lungs, "Get out of here!" Laurel was very good and spent a lot of time with him. Messengers went through hell. I'd go and see him every two days, to check him. He'd throw food physically with his other arm. I'd see plates splat against the bulkhead. When things got really bad I'd go and make him English scrambled eggs and toast with butter and milk and took it up well salted and peppered, I even fed him once.

In Lisbon they gave him pain medication, which he took. He had been on testosterone, different antibiotics. I have never known him take anything like upper or downers or anything else.

As the pain wore away he started being a bit more reasonable and when he got more reasonable I would go in a little bit more. He stayed in his room for this whole period, he never left. He could not lie down, he had to stay in his chair. He should have had his arm put in a cast. He weighed 260 pounds at this time. Sitting up was best thing to do but he didn't get much sleep. To me it was such gross stupidity not to get medical staff to handle it rather than put everyone through such hell. He said they were all fools and would only make him worse. The truth was that he was terrified of doctors.

ROCK FESTIVAL [in Funchal, Madeira, 7 Oct 1974]. I got smashed in the jaw and broke my jaw. I was with him at the time. He was worried. They threw rocks, then cast off the ropes in a small bay with lots of pleasure yachts. We were adrift and we couldn't get the engines started immediately. There were messages to get the engine started. Captain Bill was trying to get people away from the sides, Mary Sue was in town with some of the crew. One guy had his head opened, 10-12 hit in various places. One guy on the quay took out his penis and wiggled it. Somebody threw a bunch of nuts and bolts and gave him a direct hit.

The Commodore's first message was shout back what they are shouting at us - "Get out CIA". Then a message to get everyone away from the side. I pulled a messenger in yelling her head off and the rock meant for her hit me - I heard the bone go. I ran down to the medical office and got myself bandaged. I put butterfly clips on [Fred] Hare's father's head and bandaids. Finally we got the engine started and we got out the bay area and stayed there to wait for the crew and supplies.

Then we had a storm. We had a raft we used to bring supplies ashore. As the raft went up they'd throw in supplies - we lost two cows and a pig. Throwing boxes of eggs in, up and down. She had gone out with the raft alongside. It would bring out produce.


MONEY. Gold had just done something - dropped horribly at some time - a report came out from Switzerland, they were going to change the tax laws in some way that would affect Scientology reserves and his money. He went crazy, screaming and yelling. I ran upstairs. "Do you know what they're doing? We're going to lose everything. Everything's gone! Gone! Gone!" He was screaming at the top of his voice. The ship was in the Bahamas at this time. I said, "Good, let's move it." He said, "What?" I said, "Move it. Where can we move it? I don't know, Liechtenstein?" Three hours later he called up and said, "You're going to Zurich, then Liechtenstein." He had his plan figured out, "We've got them now!", gleeful. Tony had been talking to me about moving his money to Liechtenstein (he'd bought the gold with an inheritance from his mother). He asked who I wanted to take. I said Michael Douglas. I was told to take the first plane. Mary Sue wanted Fred Hare to go too.

Michael and Fred and I all went to Switzerland with handwritten orders from LRH. We were to take cash, dollars, Swiss francs, marks - take the physical money and move it to Liechtenstein. We were to go to a bank in Zurich and move the money. When we got there we had a problem - we had forgotten which it was. Liechtenstein solved the problem - they accepted a cheque. They took brand new Swiss francs and dollars. We went into a bank vault in Liechtenstein and saw a pile of money. This was in Vaduz. We were shown the piles of money. We didn't see it in Zurich. We took all the serial numbers in Liechtenstein, first and last from each bundle. There was a stack four feet high and 3-4 wide. Big denominations, 100 dollar bills, francs and marks. We were so far out on so many things, incapable of being surprised. I was beyond surprise. We had overreached bounds of ridiculousness with his broken arm, we were way beyond common sense. Three of us went in and there were a lot of bank people sitting there taking down numbers, making sure they had the right amount. That money was sealed, it was our money. We were there about a week and a half. We had some wonderful meals, we had seen that pile of dough. As far as I was concerned, I was working for a bunch of loonies, and I liked a lot of them.

Some of the money was under Hubbard's name, I saw his bundle. Another bundle was under the Church. The Church's was bigger but his was big too. When we saw the money everyone's eyes widened. We were told it was highly confidential. When we got back to the ship we saw him immediately. He wanted us to describe how big the piles were. The list of currency numbers was given to Mary Sue. He was very pleased, he thought he had outdone the Swiss. She was still in Nassau when got back.

A couple of weeks later he told me he was going to sell the ship and go ashore. I was Financial Planning chairman for the ship. The chief engineer wanted a new engine and someone else wanted to bring a printing press aboard. I said no - I knew it was not going to be used much longer.

We all got off the ship and flew to Orlando with LRH. I don't know what passport he used. We moved to a high rise apartment building in Daytona for 3 months, overlooking the sea. The routine was to get up, handle comm[unications], do some writing, take a walk, have supper, watch movie on TV. Mary Sue and Nicky were there. When he went out we disguised him a bit, maybe stuck a moustache on him with a funny hat. He was pretty up, things were pretty calm. He moved to Dunedin, but every time you moved him there was a great palaver - ten suitcases and 500 boxes taken secretly at night.

We went shopping one day and came back to a great hoo-hah. "I can smell kapok, someone has brought kapok in!" It stops animals eating telephone poles. The telephone man had been there that afternoon, parked outside his bathroom window. Everyone was running back and forwards. Everyone calmed down when the "why" had been found. Sometimes I lied to find a "why". It will all be over when why was found. "My food is terrible, find out what's wrong!" I would say the pot had not been cleaned much.

In Dunedin we had new, small apartments. LRH and Mary Sue lived in one, each had an office in another. Three more were for the crew. His kitchen - no food was ever cooked where he slept - was in another. I was CO HU - Commanding Officer Household Unit. It was all about saving your ass, being able to talk faster than anyone else and having your own power lines tucked in to the old man.

Now, the man could be brilliant and he had charisma, I could see it. My attitude towards him at this point was one of sorrow because I realised something very intrinsic had not grown up in this man. His fibs about his early childhood, his refusal to acknowledge his second wife or the child of that marriage. He felt he needed people around him who would protect him.

For instance, Sara and Alexis. He told me she lied outright, "Everyone could see [Alexis] wasn't my child."

Dunedin was fine until some reporter came knocking at a door. We came back and found the HU packed. LRH was agitated like I had not seen him agitated for years. "We're leaving right now. Who do you want to take with you?"

We took his Cadillac and went to Orlando. Michael, me and Hubbard, Michael driving. We got to a hotel, perhaps the Great Western. He sent Michael out to telephone Mary Sue. She had moved her office. Michael came back and told him and he broke down and wept. It was unreal. This was in his hotel room. Tears were pouring out his eyes. We didn't know what hell was happening. "If she's moved her office, it means someones come there. It means the whole thing's broken down. Don't you see? Don't you understand this?" Michael went out and called again to ask why she had moved. It looked like he was going to have a heart attack right there. She said she was more comfortable [elsewhere]. Michael relayed the message and he went to bed. We had adjoining rooms. She had just moved office from one apartment to another.

Next morning he said, "We have to leave immediately. We have to get a new car." Michael went off with cash to buy a new car. We had about $25,000 with us. He gave Michael $5,000 to get a car. He found us a cocoa-brown Chevrolet hatchback big enough for all our suitcases. He had five, we had one between us. We left his Cadillac behind. We had checked into the hotel in false names - he was supposed to be my father.

We started the trip to NY and leaving Florida was the most horrendous thing we had done. He sat in back and every police car we saw he screamed, "There they are! They're after us!" We kept turning off highways and freeways, stopped continually, had to leave the main road as soon as we saw a police car. We stopped in some real hokey places.

We were on the road 3-4 days. He kept saying, "We've got to go to NY!" The closer we got it got blacker and blacker and blacker. I knew he had a propensity to flu, air and all that shit. He was smoking cigarettes like mad in the back - he'd go through three packs a day, smoke each one half way and throw it out. We arrived in NY and I persuaded him to turn back to go to Washington. By this time he was like a child, "Whatever you want." One time he got out of the car, he started beating the top of the car. I said, "Sir, get back in the car. Everything's all right." He was hyperventilating a lot. Panting for breath. It was scary, really scary. We drove into Queens, where he had stayed before, and turned round. An aeroplane went over throwing out shit, I pointed to it and said, "Sir, I'm not going to do this to you. There's no way you re going to stay here." He just said, "Do whatever you have to do" so we went back down to [Washington] DC and put him in a hotel and went out to look for a place. The hotel was on the Capital Beltway.

I found a brownstone very close to the org, 5 or 10 blocks from the org. I rented it for $1300 a month. I brought in messengers, Jim Dincalci, and a couple of others. Happening concurrently at this time - unknown to us - was the beginning of [Operation] "Snow White". A man was in DC going through files and taking stuff out. How much did LRH know? He got daily reports and letters from MSH [Mary Sue Hubbard]. He knew everything. I read one of the letters from Mary Sue, a report he gave me to read. The report I saw was when they caught him and started giving evidence. It was bullshit that he never knew. Up to that point they had not considered him dangerous and not critical.

MADRID. Kima [Douglas] and a girl called Jill went to the Gold Coast in Africa to register three corporations, RRF, one was the "Snow White" project to straighten up and clean all Scientology's dirty washing. Fred Hare was in charge. I had to incorporate these companies. We arrived in Madrid. We went to the apartment. We had an OTC mailing office in Madrid and I was given mail to take back to the ship. Next morning at the airport I was arrested. I was taken into the back office where 15 boxes of mail were that they had taken off the aircraft. I was taken to prison, kept in solitary confinement and interrogated for two days. I was there for 7 days.


I knew about Snow White on the ship.

The communist coup in Portugal was the reason we left Portugal. I was out getting medication when a bullet went whizzing by. We were trying to get visas and paperwork to get out.

WASHINGTON DC. The essence of a report from Mary Sue was they had caught this man who had been getting all this great information for us from the tax files. This obviously was not the first report. He [Ron] was very agitated and said, "What am I going to do about this?" and showed me the report.

He would go for daily walks in Washington to local park where they train FBI agents. He had camera with a lens that could shoot sideways. He went out and started taking pics of FBI agents in the park. He came back and told Kima this. She though it was madness in the extreme. When he went out he drew in long sideboards with a make up stick. He pulled his hair under a cap. He looked like an unkempt old man, but he thought he looked wonderful. He told me in Hollywood he used to dress up with curtains on head, dressed up as a swami when he was running around LA.

I was sent on a mission to look at a beautiful farm in Santa Barbara - a beautiful place called Dos Pueblos, it was $4m. We should have bought it. It had its own beach. It had been owned by Esso Oil. He thought it was too expensive and we started looking in Palm Springs.

We came out to LA to an overland venue. I flew with him from Washington to LA, first class, under assumed names. He watched a movie about hang gliders, people saving someone in Greece. He loved it. He was quite relaxed. We moved into apartments - we had about 6 or 7, close together.

The GO [Guardian's Office] bought the Palms and the property next door at La Quinta. He and I drove down in a red Cadillac convertible; he was driving with a jaunty little cap on - he loved it - to look at the property. The place down the road was called the Rifle house and was bought for him. He didn't like the big house on the first property. We bought Rifle for $180,000 in 75/76. Moving down there took a lot of doing.

MISSING RIFLES AND GUNS. LRH had an Uzi machine gun, a couple of .303s, a couple of .22s, a silver plated Luger, four cowboy six-shooters and two very small hand guns. Somehow they got left in the Dunedin apartment after we moved out. The GO tried to prove that I left them there knowingly. All the guns had been illegally imported into the country - some were not registered, some were registered to LRH. He started wavering then, wondering if I was really on his side.

Whenever there was a meal that didn't go well, "Someone is trying to poison me! Find the culprit!" I would go off and "find" the culprit. He began to waver. He was always suspicious and changing the guard.

On the move to La Quinta, he drove himself, with the trucks carrying the boxes travelling at different times and routes, not to draw attention. Rifle was his house, Olive Tree Ranch was the comm centre where messengers lived, and the Palms was where the rest of us lived. Now it's a part of a hotel, the pool has been made into a tennis court. The pool had an island with a palm tree on it. It was a nice place but we had far too many people there. We ended up with 120 people in one 4 bed house, a 4 bed cottage. The house was all offices - the dormitories were in a date packing plant at back where people slept in horrendous disarray.

CURACAO. The ship had arrived in Curacao. The Commodore was out taking photographs. Mary Sue called me and said, "The Commodore looks dreadful, come up." I walked in and thought, "Shit, he's dying!" He was grey, his pulse erratic. I told him he was having a heart attack and I was taking him into hospital. I said I was calling an ambulance. He said he forbid it. I said I don't care. He had embolisms in the ambulance. The doctors were very worried when he arrived, they thought there was not much hope. They put him on an anticoagulant and he started to get better. I did everything - nursing him, got him into a private room, brought him food from the ship. I ferried every meal there for 3 weeks; the hospital was 10 miles away. He had hot and cold boxes. The messengers ate hospital food. 3 messengers sat outside his room 24 hours a day. He sat on the edge of his bed and said, "You disobeyed me". I said, "Yes, I did, and I'll do it every time your life is in danger." He said it wasn't that bad. I said, "I'm not going to argue with you. Ask the doctor." The doctor told him he was 2-3 hours from death. He was supposed to be on anticoagulant pills for the rest of his life, but he stopped taking them in LA.

LA QUINTA. We started filming in the desert in temperatures from 118 to 122. We had a motor home but we could not run it during filming - the sound messed up the filming. In 78/79, probably 78, he started getting real grumpy.

QUENTIN'S DEATH. I walked into his office at La Quinta at Rifle and took breakfast into him. He saw messengers running about outside, and asked what was going on. I tried to distract him, then Nicky and a GO person went in and told him. The death report said there was sperm in the anal canal and he had died of asphyxiation of carbon monoxide. He took it reasonably well, didn't cry, didn't get emotional. He threw the death report at me and said, "Read that!" He went in and told Mary Sue and she screamed. She screamed for ten minutes, keening. He was her favourite son. It kept going - I couldn't believe she had that much in her lungs. It was horrendous. The only time I had really seen her cry before was when Vixie her Corgi dog died and I gave it mouth to mouth resuscitation to try and revive it. LRH came back and said, "She took it very badly." He was furious, really angry that Quentin had done it. The sperm in the anus didn't help much. Next time I saw the medical report there was no mention of sperm. I saw it about two months later. I saw another death certificate that said, "scar on the heart, death from unknown causes". I always thought he was homosexual. He was trying to get out of the Church.

This kid was a miserable, miserable boy. He was good at the tech. His father crucified him - had him com-eved [tried in a Scientology court], thrown in the RPF [forced labour], declared out-tech [heretical]. He was not a boy with a manly demeanour. He was a little kid out of his depth. He knew he could never compete with his father. He was in a no win situation. Hubbard put him into isolation after a suicide attempt, then put in the RPF.

LA QUINTA. I did not go on all the shoots, only some of them. This was after Quentin's death. I was watching the old man out there struggling to breath. His weight was down to 180. I was watching him wheezing, struggling for breath, flecks around his mouth. He said, "I don't feel well." I took him home, his blood pressure was 230/140. Pulse was extremely erratic. This was back at Rifle. I said I've got to get you to hospital. He gripped my arm and said, "This time, NO!"

We'd just come through the FBI raid [in 1977] and things were hot. I knew he was dying. I didn't know whether to give him any pills. I explained it to him and he said "If I die, bury me in the date field." I gave him an overdose of pills because that's what they had done in Curacao. For 48 hours I didn't leave his side except to go outside for a few minutes to stay awake. He went into a coma. I had live electric wires ready. I watched him come into his body and go out of his body. I had my hand on the telephone so many times to call an ambulance, it wasn't true.

I called Do [Doreen Smith, one of Hubbard's teenage 'messengers'] in LA and said, "Get me a doctor, make sure he's a Scientologist, put him in a blindfold and bring him here. You've got 12 hours." 50 hours into this mess, Dr. [Eugene] Denk arrived with a rented electrocardiogram. He took over after saying, "You're mad, absolutely mad!" I slept for 24 hours, but when I came back, he was beginning to recover.

A month later he got kidney infection and we put him on antibiotics. I gave him a test, found another bacterium and Jim and I got put into the RPF for finding another bacterium.

The Orange County franchise started a war with the church. We saw people with cameras around the winter HQ, taking pictures. He told me to go and find another property. I had bought two other properties meantime, Orange and Lemon Farm, and 20 acres of land with crews' quarters on. I went out and found property through a realtor, and told him I was Kima Churchill from Rhodesia and was looking for a prop to accommodate a lot of people coming out of Africa. I found a bankrupt property at Gilman [Hot Springs], went to court and bid on it and bought it for $1.7m. I had been authorised to go to $1.3m. I told Hubbard at La Quinta; he went mad but I knew a builder would buy it at same price.

We moved out of La Quinta which we had bought for $l.3m and we sold the lot for $4.8m. I made $900 as bonus; my pay was $17 a week.

BANK TRIP. We went to Zurich first. It was more cash than 3 of us could carry, we thought it was too dangerous. Then we asked the bank to do it. We had some problems with numbering. We had to use new money with the first and last figures of each bundle. The instructions was to take the money from Zurich and take in to Luxembourg [should be Liechtenstein]. He wanted money in the vault, physically there.

The money was on wooden slats and the guys were still taking the numbers when we went down there. Fred and Michael checked lists to make sure that the numbers corresponded.

There was an incident in 72 when LRH's folders were brought in. Otto [Roos] sent off for all his folders to find out if there was some incorrect list run on LRH which was creating problems. I think all he had was flu. He was a hypochondriac, the slightest cold was pneumonia. Otto came up with some funny stuff, I don't know what it was, and messengers were running back and forth. He got some info that was not what LRH wanted about. He had a peculiar thing of not throwing anything away. Otto got into serious trouble. If you run a list on somebody you find things upsetting you.


Everything is recorded in folders, meter readings et cetera. You can check for wrong items. As the tech progressed a lot of info became known only afterwards. You might have missed items. The idea of pulling all folders was sensible. He found "discreditable reads". He might have had reading on a withhold. A really discreditable read was a "rock-slam" - the needle goes wild.

LA QUINTA: I was an actress in one movie, my husband did lots of running about desert in black shawl. His demeanour was irritated, mostly. He enjoyed what he did out there, but frustrated. The make-up was constantly running off with sweat, the costumes sets were never right. He wanted to make movies that were going to take over Hollywood. They were really terrible. We were shooting every day.

I would get him up at about 7.30-8, when he woke. It would take him half an hour to dress and wash. He would go through a few shirts every morning, first few would smell. I would go through an act to get him to put on his shirt, pretending first few stank and then finding perfect one. He'd walk from the cottage to the main house, sometimes walking round the pool 2 or 3 times. Breakfast would take another half hour. He would start with cereal, fruit, eggs, bacon, a hash brown, usually with Mary Sue, or if she was not there, with one of the messengers. Then he'd go through the comm in his office. He would be on the set in the day; she'd get back by about 1030 [in the evening]. On location we would have the motor home ready to drive him to wherever he was. Lunch was taken out to him. He was followed by cars with messengers. The crew would be out waiting for him. They would do scenes over and over again before he was satisfied. He would have lunch in motor home at 1230, might have little lie down while they were trying to get it right. Some days it would end up fine well done everybody, often also there were tantrums storming off - "I'll be here tomorrow and you better have that straight!"

He would finish the comm back at Rifle. After the FBI raid Mary Sue was told to take all her GO stuff and get out, which she did. She went to LA. In evening he might write to Mary Sue.

He was saying to me that he never knew anything about it, and that Mary Sue was getting him into trouble. I realised the whole thing was going to be dumped on her. Then, when we went to the summer HQ at Gilman Hot Springs, letters were coming from Mary Sue with lot of bad news and he didn't want to hear about it. Messengers would re-write Mary Sue's letters, they would take out the bad news and give him letters with only good news.

Towards end of the time at La Quinta there was lot of security. He always took a big guy from HCO [Hubbard Communications Office] with him. People watched the perimeters on guard. There were two watchmen at night.

I arranged meetings with Mary Sue, basically for their birthdays and the children's birthdays and Labor Day. The meetings were at his house at Gilman. Mary Sue would arrive at the hotel at Riverside. I would pick her up and take her by a roundabout route to the summer HQ. They would have supper there. On Arthur's birthday they had bought him a little Toyota motor home. The gifts were extravagant to an extreme. On Suzette's birthday at La Quinta she had a Firebird [car]. I don't think Mary Sue ever came back to La Quinta.

Hemet was super highly confidential. They always met at Gilman, which was SHQ for us.

LEAVING LA QUINTA. When Kemp's franchise had their war with the GO and their people were sneaking around taking photographs. They were trying to photograph LRH. That meant all the enemies knew where we were. Michael and I and LRH split. We had a big white truck with a bed in the back. Michael was driving, LRH was in the back with me in the front. Over the mountains, up hairpins, very fast. He's in the back saying, "We've got to go faster, got to get out of here! I'm going to be sick!"

He had seen people snooping round while he was out for a walk with a messenger and came back and said, "We're getting out now." It was about 9 in the evening when he left. We slept in a motel in the mountains that night. The next day we went down to Hemet lake and found a really seedy motel down there on the lake. We stayed there for a month. In the meantime I was scouring for a place where we could go in Hemet. I found a brand new building off Florida Street. I rented 5 apartments to start with. We finally ended up with 7 or 8. He couldn't keep his space small, he wanted gear and people brought in. His photography gear was in 40 boxes. Tape gear's 16 boxes.

He had his own apartment at the top of the stairs, the external comm was next door. I furnished them and got in his gear from Gilman. He seemed quite happy there for a while. We had lot of heavy duty secrecy. Michael was his finance officer and comm officer. He gave Michael a million dollars and told him to make money. Michael turned it into $3m with gold, silver, diamonds, oil and foreign exchange, and stock.

He was given a $1,000 bonus. When we left Michael had under his charge about $500,000 worth of diamonds, gold and silver coins in our name at the bank. It may have been $700,000 - there were five bags of gold coins. One night I had a steak thrown at me and he had been hauled over the coals because a stock had gone down. We sat on bed and said, "What are we doing here?" Four months later we left.

We needed to get it back into his hands before we got out. We got two big safes to put it in, got the diamonds and stuff out and put them in safes. I was so pleased when we got it back.

At Hemet he used to dress funny and go out funny. We'd draw sideburns - long and brown - on him and his hair was long. He'd wear funny cowboy hats. He'd always have 2-3 little girls with him. He didn't look like the locals, but he figured that's how the locals looked. But he never looked ordinary - he had an aura about him, a beingness. A big powerful man. From far away you wouldn't see the painted sideburns. He'd wear a cowboy hat and a cowboy shirt. If I could, I'd have dressed him as a nonentity, but he always wanted to wear his hat at an angle, kind of jaunty. He wanted to display a bit of panache. He was very vain - he was fun that way. We drew eyebrows and coloured them. The whole idea was to take away the golden red. I would do it before he went out. It was his idea to have sideburns. He didn't go into shops but would just walk down the main street. One messenger would walk with him and a couple went behind. They were little girls in white shorts. There was never any sexual link. Never touching, nothing. There might have been a little voyeurism, he liked them in their white tops and shorts. Budding pubescent girls in tight, tight jeans. I think it was just, if anything, slight voyeurism. but no innuendoes at all, nothing.

He went to orange groves in the mountains to do shoots. He proved Kodak was screwed. He would get light readings and take thousands of pictures.

He started filming at Gilman and security was unreal - people walking around with guns.

Michael would travel 120 miles a day to go from Hemet to Gilman. There was never direct communication. I left in Jan 1980.

The chain locker on the ship was large, lit during the day through the hole where the chain went through. There was a bucket for a toilet. I know children were put in there and kept overnight.

I saw him physically violent twice. He slapped a boy who answered him back and slapped him across the face with an open hand, and knocked him off his feet.

One time before that we were in Azores - 1973/4 - and we had gale force winds. We were in the lee of an island going up and down and could not get into port. It was an unbelievable storm. We're going up and down. I remember being woken up by messengers running up and down - I slept under the Commodore's office - and heard the pounding of feet. I looked out of the porthole and saw we were being blown against the island. I heard the old man shouting. I got dressed so quickly I was still doing up buttons when I got to the bridge. He had punched the man on helm and he pulled on the helm and he turned the ship. The stern scraped the rocks - we were that close. We had eight watches, some knew what they were doing, some didn't. After he turned the ship round I took over the helm as we got out. He stood there with his hand on my shoulder, watching what I was doing, quietly talking. The guy he had hit was out on one of the wings. LRH said to the Quartermaster, "Bring him in." He said, "I'm sorry, but it was necessary." The helmsman said, "Yes sir, I know." He stood there with me until the new watch took over. Everyone knew LRH was on bridge, everything's fine.


Last updated 8 Jan 1997