Inside Scientology/Dianetics, by Robert Kaufman - Next - Previous

An Evening at the Franchise

Done, a thetan can do anything a stage musician can do in the way of moving objects around.

On my last visit to the franchise, we talked late into the night, growing more expansive by the hour. Gerald wanted me to work with him when I returned from England. The opportunities seemed endless. We would set up franchises in Switzerland or on the Mediterranean, or both, and buy land on a Greek island, where we would establish an International Cultural Center. However, we would have to find a better way to present our product than as "Scientology"; we all agreed that "Scientology" was a silly name for anything. We would still have to send ten percent of our take to the Hill if we continued to use Hubbard's material. I asked Gerald what became of all the money sent to the Hill from franchises and orgs. He replied that it was used for Hubbard's research and voluminous mailings, mostly advertisements. Presumably, anything remaining went to Hubbard's private account.

Hubbard stayed on a large yacht -- its location at any given time "somewhere on the Mediterranean" -- one of several vessels that made up the Scientology fleet, and headquarters for the Sea Org, an elite security force whose "crew" was sent on "missions" around the globe to police the various orgs. Aboard his Sea Org yacht, Hubbard was currently at work on Operating Thetan Levels VII and VIII, the culmination of processing, advertised as "Total Freedom and Total Power." Scientologists were very excited about these levels. Upon their completion no ability would be unattainable, even the power to create matter.

We speculated about the spiritual meaning of the Upper Levels. I had never considered "total power" a spiritual goal; Gerald said he never had either. Felicia surmised that Ron Hubbard had a personal hangup on "power," never cleaned up on his own case, which was causing his delay in making the final levels available.

"He's an egomaniac, isn't he?" I asked.

Gerald's face puckered good-naturedly. "I agree with you, sire. But in view of what he's done for the world we can allow him that. I've had a few beers with him and he's actually a very nice guy. In any case, your highness, you'll be an enlightened man when you come back to us. You won't forget your old friends when you're clear, will you? A Clear remembers everything, you know."

"Will I remember how I fell into my unenlightened state?"

"You'll be enlightened -- what more do you want to know? Another thing: Before I was processed I wore eyeglasses an inch thick. On Grade IV I started getting weaker prescriptions and wound up throwing all my bloody specs away. Now I can spot meter reads in the dark and I've been checked out at better than 20/20."

"I had the same experience," Felicia added. "The optometrists in East Grinstead love being near Saint Hill because so many people come in for weaker lenses."

They warned me that Saint Hill was even more of a menagerie than the New York Org. Gerald himself had been involved in bizarre happenings. His wife had declared him suppressive because he was constipated for several days -- illness or irregularity being an invalidation of Scientology -- and her boyfriend had slugged him one evening as he entered his own house. Then, as a penalty, the organization had held him prisoner in the basement of The Castle, a small tower to which Hubbard had connected some training shanties to get around local building restrictions.

"It's really wild over there," Gerald said. "Take a look at this letter I just got. This is from one of my best friends, mind you: `I want you to raise those stats immediately' -- statistics means everything to them -- 'and send me a full report on your operation. If you don't comply you will be declared again.' They really love to throw their weight around."

Gerald particularly warned me not to let anyone talk me into going on staff at the Hill. The organization was, after all, merely Ron's expedient to get his methods into quick effect world-wide. I would best go to England and capture the Golden Fleece without getting involved with this crazy organization. I would have to be rather careful what I said over there. It might be a tough siege, but the prize was worth it. All I had to do was play their game for a while.

Having given me his version of the faults, frailties and absurdities of the organization at Saint Hill, Gerald cautioned that I must "talk myself out of it" afterwards. I duly made an entry in my date book for the following September: "Talk yourself out of it."

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