My $aga with the Hubbardites

by Joel

In 1978, I was in the Coast Guard, stationed in northern California. I was
full of the works of Aleister Crowley and lots of LSD. Conditions could not
have been better for my conversion to $cientology.

Hanging out in downtown San Francisco, I was approached by one of the
Church of $cientology's "body routers". He was dressed in a nice suit and
looked like an upper middle class, nice guy. After a short conversation, he
invited me to walk three blocks to the San Francisco mission to take a
"personality test".

The mission was brand new and there were 6 or 8 staff members zipping
about. I was put into a small room to answer the 200 question (some of them
quite puzzling). Then someone read the results of the test and pointed out
several areas of my life that the test indicated, could use improvement. He
assured me that $cientology could help me correct any of the problems
detected and suggested several books and courses. I purchased a copy of
"Fundamentals of Thought" went on about my life.

In 1980, I came back to Atlanta and looked up the local Church of
$cientology. I had not parted on good terms with the Coast Guard (security
clearances and Lsd don't mix) and I was still trying to get my life into
some kind of order. $cientology seemed like as good a bet as anything else
I had come across.

The mission here in Atlanta was much more busy than the one in San
Francisco, they seemed to be doing well for themselves and having a good
time at it. I started the "Communications Course" and found that much of
what I was learning did have a positive impact on my life.

During this time I met Rebecca, my first wife, in the Atlanta mission. We
were married within three months (a $cientology, double ring service) and
our common interest in $cientology became the central focus of both our

Becky soon joined staff as the book store officer at the mission and I
began working for a parade of companies (5 or 6) owned by $cientologist.
Scientology communications drills, combined with the sales techniques used
to train church "registrars" (derived from the book "Big League Sales
Closing Techniques", by Les Dane) made an excellent training course for
door to door sales men. I worked for an Atlanta Company "East Coast
Promotions" selling dry cleaning ticket books and "Georgia Mobile Home Tire
and Axles" buying mobile home tires and axles for resale to a company that
recycled them onto new trailers. Both Companies were scams at heart and
embodied all of the money hungry "ends justify the means" mentality of the
Co$ and many of it's members.

I became an excellent "body router" and "Field Staff Member" myself. I won
lots of training and auditing (mostly group and co-audits). I won my
purification rundown selling Dianetics books in shopping centers and on the
street. I did the Survival Rundown and the end of the endless
interiorization rundown and then attested to Clear.

82 and 83 were bad years for the Church of Scientology. The RTC took
control of the church. They began to send out "Rtc Missions" to all of the
ORGs and Missions, to assure that all of them were practicing "Standard
Tech" as exclusively licensed to them. They billed our local Church 600
dollars an hour for this service until all of the money was gone from all
local cash reserves. Anyone who stood up and tried to stop what was
happening, was declared Suppressive and expelled on the spot. Keep in mind
that the local Mission acted as a franchise, and only paid 10% of it's
income to the Co$ international. In my opinion the actions of the RTC at
the time amounted to out and out theft.

After things had settled down, I got a call from a Sea Org recruiter at
"Flag", asking that I sign a 2 1/2 year contract and come down to
Clearwater to work on a big renovation project. At the time I had a good
job as a restaurant manager, with good benefits, A wife and two kids (one
step) and a baby on the way. I turned the recruiter down flat, as the
expenses for the birth were covered by my insurance.

She called back while I was at work and took a shot at my wife. She offered
to get it in writing, that Flag would cover all of our medical expenses if
we agreed to a 2 and 1/2 year contract (we could not join the Sea Org, as
both of us had taken Lsd). We decided that if she could get it in writing
(there is a specific way to do this in $cientology, called a "continued
staff working" or CSW), we would go ahead and commit to the contract. She
called back the next day with news that she had everything in writing, we
quit our jobs and two days later we were in Clearwater.

We ended up living at the old Quality Inn on hwy 19 where Sea Org families
made their home at Flag. It was in ill repair, squalid and bug ridden. The
room we were given had a concrete floor, with no carpet and no air
conditioning. All 4 (later 5) of my family members slept in this single

Becky began working as a nanny at the QI and I began working on the
renovation of the Fort Harrison Hotel. On this project, we used the RPF
personal as labor and I saw with my own eyes the crazy amounts of force and
punishment used to "help correct" them. Any accident by an RPF member, was
treated as an intentional suppressive act.

We worked 60 to 80 hours per week, for less than 16 dollars of pay. I did
my student hat and all of the staff status courses. An extensive review of
my previous auditing was done and a "Folder Error Summery". I was declared
a natural clear and told that I could not have anyone audit me who was not
OT III, class VIII or better. This virtually assured me of getting no
auditing, as OT auditors for crew were limited and this restriction
prevented me from twinning with another staff member for co-audits.

Of course there never was a valid CSW for the medical expenses and as the
recruiter was upstat, she was exempt from any disciplinary action. It took
us till after the birth to exhaust all of the avenues with in the church
for recourse.

Two weeks after the birth of our son, he fell sick. For four days we tried
to tend to him and had called in the "Flag Medical Liaison". She reassured
us and tried several kinds of fruit juices to stave off the dehydration
that was slowly killing our son from diarrhea and vomiting. Medical care
was never approved and we ended up taking him to the hospital on our own.
He was in the hospital for two weeks with Ivs in his little hands to get
his electrolytes back in balance. It was touch and go, and we almost lost

I routed out of Flag Crew to begin paying the mounting medical bills for
the birth and sickness of my son. I went to work for another $cientologist
in Clearwater. This time it was Janitech, a sort of multi level janitorial
company. Becky and the kids went to Ohio to visit her mother (with the
blessings of Flag, glad to be rid of the scene with the kids). She called
me two weeks later and said that she was not coming back, that I had to
meet her in Atlanta or move to Ohio or get a divorce. I left and they ended
up trying to bill us 16 thousand dollars for our accommodations
(substandard at best) and our training and auditing.

We moved back to Atlanta and were told by the local Church that we could
not do any services in the church, until we paid off the 16 thousand they
said we owed them. Instead I left the Church.

This time I went to work for one of the declared an SPs from the RTC take
over (the old Mission holder in Atlanta), selling stock for the Blinder
Robinson Company. There were five ex-$cientologist working at the local
office of Blinder Robinson. Three of us moved to the Stuart James Company
after about a year.

During this time I continued $cientology auditing with a friend trained by
David Mayo at the Advanced Abilities Center. I did a lot of review
auditing, my Dianetic Clear Special Intensive, OT I and II with him and
felt that I had gotten everything I was going to get from auditing and
moved on to other interest.

My marriage broke up, as $cientolgy had been the our only real mutual
interest. After leaving the church, we found that we had very little in
common, but a bitter experience that we both wanted to put behind us.

5 or 6 years later, I was contacted by an ex-Sea Org member who requested
that I go to Denver and do Idenics (a counseling program having some of
it's roots in $cientology). He said that many ex-$cientologist had found
that Idenics handled the lingering negative aspects of $cientology. I went
out to do Idenics and found that it not only quickly cleaned up the
leftovers of my $cientology auditing and mental programming, but also
handled many of the underlying personal conditions that drew me to
$cientology in the first place. Typically, Idenics takes less than 15
hours, compared to the thousands one can do in $cientology

I feel that many of the things I learned in $cientology are still very
useful, but 80% of the fixed ideas I held as a $cientologist, no longer
hold true for me. $cientology is a powerful set of tools, for good or evil.
I sincerity hope that the Church of $cientology's influence can be
curtailed, but suggest that the subject itself bears a closer look by those
who have a love of spiritual freedom.