I’m a troublemaker. I figure that’s how I ended up on this planet in the first place. I have a big mouth and I can’t leave well enough alone. At least, that’s what my parents always told me. As I’ve said before, I’ve been off the Bridge for about 24 years because of a massive freeloader debt. That’s why I’m not going through the usual “decompression” that a lot of people new to the Independent Field go through. My view of the Church has been from long distance, and I was never someone in the lofty heights of the Church to begin with. So apparently I missed a lot of the lunacy that’s taken place in the last quarter century. I’m just now catching up on the full story.
Incidentally, I’d like to comment briefly on being a “troublemaker”. A friend of mine recently asked me how some people manage to get through the craziness in the Church without going through the crap I went through years ago when I was actively on staff. I’d never quite thought about the exact question he asked before. But he and I had a mutual friend who fit that description. The guy was very laid back, and as far as I know, he sailed through his whole time in the Church, including his OT levels, with little more than a sniff from anyone. Thinking about that guy and how he and I were different, it occurred to me that there must be people who at some point postulated that they’d get through to the end of the Bridge (and life) without a hassle. That postulate would then inform everything they did, and how others perceived them. They wouldn’t likely see crazy stuff happening, so they couldn’t report it or object. And others would simply perceive these people as incidental particles on org lines. Their postulate would also cause them to be overly reasonable about a lot of things which couldn’t be ignored. In other words, someone completely different from me.
Anyway, I’m one of those guys with a thick ethics folder. I’ve been on staff several times, and in each case, I’ve ended up getting thrashed by Ethics. And when I say thrashed I’m not kidding. I’ve been comm-eved, declared, expelled, non-enturbulation ordered. You name it. And this goes way back to the mid-70s, before David Miscavige had much to do with upper management. One of my biggest problems was that I would complain about stuff which was wrong. Stat pushes. Unusual solutions. Stupidly avoidable hill 10s. Stuff like that. I’ve got virtually no tech training, but plenty of admin training. So I don’t have a lot of questions about how orgs and the admin tech should function. I can completely see that, where an org knows and follows LRH policy tightly, it results in exactly what LRH describes in the policy Ideal Orgs.
But as I say, I’ve been off the Bridge and effectively out of touch with orgs for about a quarter of a century. I do get the magazines from Celebrity Centre, Flag and AOLA. Plus the magazines that issue after every major event in Scientology. So I have managed to keep a sort of finger on the “pulse” of Scientology. Over the last several years, my wife (also an admin person) and I have noticed several trends that have disturbed us:
- Descriptions of new org quarters or Ideal Org quarters where the furnishings and such are described in terms that mark them as excessively expensive. Italian marbles for the entryways. Lavish carpets and floor coverings. Lots of stuff like that. There is policy against this sort of thing. LRH wanted orgs which are clean, functional and in good repair. He really didn’t care much about how lavish the furnishings were.
- Regging people for purposes other than the purchase of books and org services, and doing so in such a way as to massively push their self-importance buttons. There’s policy against this, too. LRH’s viewpoint was that you regged people for books and services, and thereby financed an org’s expansion. No other way.
- The gradual disappearance of upper echelon executives from the public eye, always replaced by one guy: David Miscavige. Not off policy, but simply a data point. Omitted executives. If you’re going to talk about Church birthday game stats, it ought to be ED Int talking about it. If you’re going to talk about the WISE sector, the person talking about it ought to be WDC WISE. Plus, RTC was never supposed to be a front-and-center org on the command lines of Scientology. It exists to fulfill a specific back-lines purpose, not be the face of the Church at every event. Incorrectly included org.
- A lot of technical releases long after the death of LRH. Not necessarily off policy, but suspicious. And when you consider the timing, definitely an example of added time.
- The agonizingly slow construction and build-out of the Super Power building at Flag. This rundown was supposedly piloted in the late 70s and was critical to planetary clearing. Yet it waited thirty years before being delivered broadly because it needed a special building? If that’s so, how did it ever get piloted in the first place? This sounded a whole lot like it had been stopped or blocked by someone(s) inside the Church to prevent its release. Plus, considering the relentless regging which was going on for it, it should have been completed years ago. Again, added time.
- Reading through magazines and looking at success stories, there was a final very disturbing trend. People were thanking David Miscavige right along with LRH, or thanking David Miscavige alone. This was clearly a “cult of personality” at work. But more importantly, there was too close an identification of Miscavige with LRH. These two things don’t belong at the same level. They are not of the same magnitude at all. No matter what David Miscavige has done or accomplished, no matter how massive it is, it does not in any way compare with the contribution of LRH to the PC or student. This is altered importance on a massive scale. Again, not off policy, but very troubling.
And so the years went by. Since I live in the area of Flag, periodic articles would come out in the St. Petersburg Times, a newspaper singly devoted to the destruction of Scientology. My wife would read these articles with skepticism, and I avoided them. Who was this Rathbun guy? Who was this Rinder guy? For all I knew their claims (and others), though remarkably similar, could have been orchestrated by some ex-Scientologists cabal, people who just wanted to hurt the Church.
At one point, I had a friend come out to Flag for some auditing, and I heard back from his wife that he had been hassled by the staff at Flag for not wanting to go to events. Another red flag, that. Back when I went to events, I wasn’t fond of them either.. Stand up and clap. Sit down and wait for the next point where you had to stand up and clap again. Sit down and wait…. Argh.
Most recently I had a friend that I hadn’t talked to for about 25 years, that I decided to seek out. We had been roommates years before, and I wondered what he was up to. So I looked him up on the internet and found him on MySpace. I contacted him and we were both very glad to hear from each other again. But at some point, he told me that I might not want to talk to him because he was kinda on the outs with the Church. That there might be repercussions from the Church for communicating with him. I basically told him that we were still friends, regardless of what the Church thought about it, and that the Church didn’t get to dictate who my friends were.
I should stop here again and explain. Like I said, I’ve been through the justice ringer with the Church of Scientology. Lots of injustice. I don’t really hold a grudge against the Church for this stuff. I understand why it has happened. It’s not right, but I understand why it happened. I also understand what part of it I’m responsible for. But it also means that it’s hard for the Church to scare me. I know when I do and don’t have policy on my side, and so it’s hard to intimidate me, since I normally do have policy on my side. I’m also not scared of belligerent Ethics Officers. I’ve dealt with them before. Same answer. You’re an Ethics Officer and you want to rant at me, you can. But at the end of the day, I’ve got policy on my side. So theoretically, I can still come out a winner. (Maybe not, in the current climate.)
So back to my friend that I hadn’t seen in years. Turns out he was a lot more than on the outs with the Church. He was part of the Independent Field. So pretty soon, he’s sending me copies of people’s Church-disconnection Doubt formulas (which I picked apart) and links to entries to Independent Field blog posts. The gist was that the Church had gone psycho, etc. Of course, that wasn’t how I remembered the Church as a whole. And I was doubtful. Lots of people have hated the Church for a long time. I could see them banding together to bring it down. Not really news to me.
One thing I did know. I had disagreements (as detailed above). And if I ever walked into Flag for a session, eventually someone was going to fly my ruds, and find out that I had disagreements. And they would inevitably try to hit me. And I’d have to fight my way out of it, using LRH policy. I had pretty much accepted that fact. I figured maybe if I went to LA for auditing, they might be a little less unbending about it. Maybe.
Then two things happened. One, I found out someone in the Church had changed the definition of a floating needle in such a way as to ensure overruns and such. The evidence was pretty conclusive this had actually happened (I was skeptical at first). At that point, I realized that I could never walk into a Church of Scientology and get Standard Tech again. Two, my friend reported to me that he had finished OT III in the field and felt great about it. When he had first explained to me that he was getting auditing in the field, I hoped he would get Standard Tech instead of getting wrapped around a pole with some goofy squirrel tech. But no, he was sure the Tech was right and he made it through.
So all at once, a door closed and another one opened. No more Standard Tech from orgs, but you could get Standard Tech in the field. My wife and I had been off the Bridge for twenty-four years, but we could now look forward to getting back on the Bridge in a lot less time, with a lot less hassle and a lot less money than we ever dreamed of.
In short, decision made. It was the Independent Field for us. We’re still working through all the consequences of being part of the Independent Field instead of the Church of Scientology. But our course is now clear.
Of course, don’t think for a moment that I don’t lament the loss the Church of Scientology to squirrels. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The Church was supposed to go on for the next millenium or whatever, clearing this planet and making bright, shiny new auditors. And eventually, the job would be done and we’d all go off to Target Two, the way LRH envisioned it. And don’t think I don’t wonder how this all happened. How it all went so wrong while I wasn’t looking. And maybe some day I’ll figure all that out. But for now, I’m “racing dynamic one” to get up the Bridge, and glad I’m not going to have to spend thousands of dollars for sec checks to convince me I shouldn’t have disagreements with the Church.
Maybe you’ve had some of the same thoughts, doubts and disagreements I/we had. Then this blog is hopefully the place for you. Start here. Then find someone in the field who can help you get further up the Bridge (training or auditing). If you need help, feel free to contact me. I’m not very well connected at this point, but I’ll do everything I can to help. And I’ll keep your personal information private, if you prefer.