I didn't report my possible wrongdoing to Ethics. The incident bothered me for a couple of days; then I forgot about it.
My roommates left to rent a flat in town. One bed was immediately filled by an unhappy-looking man in his early forties who perpetually wore on his sweater the sign I Am On Power Processes. Please Do Not Ask Me Questions, Audit Me, or Discuss My Case With Me.
Bruce Perkins was a short Englishman with heavy ape-like shoulders, sensitive features and thick eyeglasses. He felt he was being taken for a ride at the Hill and was eager to talk to me about it. Bruce had left a soured marriage to give Scientology a try, having saved up the necessary funds during two years work on construction jobs in Africa. After several weeks at the Hill he still hadn't gotten through Power.
Bruce was a Difficult Preclear. He had no rapport with certain of the auditors, and the Hill's practice of changing auditors for no apparent reason kept him ARC-broken, necessitating review sessions at extra cost and further auditor changes, causing further ARC breaks, a Catch-22 catastrophe. Bruce had moved to the manor from a flat in East Grinstead to cut his living expenses. He was nearly out of cash and thinking of selling his car.
Bruce doubted and resented Scientology but still considered it his final hope. Playing the role of helper, I tried to persuade him to brave things through and complete his Power, limiting my encouragement to generalities, because discussing case was an infraction that would put us both in line for Ethics penalty. I was worried that I had let Bruce say too much already, and cut him short whenever he started going into the details of his review sessions. The sign he wore at all times made me jumpy. I was afraid I would forget and ask him a question.
In class one morning my heart took a leap when I realized I'd said the wrong thing at breakfast; I had asked Bruce, "Would you like more coffee?" Surely the question was innocuous, and yet the sign unmistakably forbade asking its bearer any questions. Ron Hubbard must have a specific reason for the injunction. I had erred, and would have to stay more on my guard with Bruce in the future.
One evening when I went up to our room, Bruce was sitting on his bed strumming feebly on a guitar. He told me of his lifelong sorrow at not being able to make music or express himself in any other way. For the next hour he related -- most expressively, I thought -- stories of his life in Africa. Filled with the wonder of exotic places, I was also saddened at how wrong Bruce was about himself. Not only could he transport me to the Dark Continent in a flash; he was also a caring and considerate gentleman. Communications Release that I was supposed to be, I never told him how highly I thought of him.