Memories, 28: No Work for Gentlemen Here

[Recounting, out of chronological sequence, events leading up to the last time I spoke with L. Ron Hubbard and how that episode paralleled an earlier one with my father.]


We were sailing pretty much due West across the Atlantic Ocean, heading for Charleston, South Carolina. That day, we had good weather: sunshine, a stiff but pleasant breeze, relatively gentle seas that rocked us about in friendly fashion. It was October of 1974.

I don’t recall how we became aware that an emergency had arisen. I do recall that Ron and Mary Sue with the then Captain of the ship, the Commodore’s Aides and I assembled on the Prom Deck landing for an impromptu meeting. Ron and Mary Sue stood close together just by the door to his office, Ron closest to it, Mary Sue to his left. The Captain, not tall, but large and imposing, stood close to Mary Sue, just to her left. I was in the doorway to my office facing them from their right. The aides were on the landing surrounding the stair well that led down to the A Deck landing.

As always in such situations, although they were not common, Mary Sue stood by her husband in a deferential frame of mind. She could be strong on her own feet but when, as now, an important decision had to be taken in a hurry and was to be taken by LRH after a consultation, she was quietly close to him, watchful both for where he might want to go (so she could support him) and also for who might be leading the discussion to a place she thought was not in his best interests.

Word had come through from Jane Kember, the D/Guardian WW, who had somehow found a way to radio-telephone the bridge of the Apollo to get through an extremely urgent message warning Mary Sue and Ron that the American authorities had got wind of our planned arrival in Charleston and had a party of officials waiting for us. No question that our plans needed urgent revision. The question we had to contemplate in rather shocked silence was: where do we go?

[I have seen a report that we were five miles out of Charleston when the call came through. My memory is always suspect; even so, I recall nothing of the panic that would have been inevitable had we been in American waters and so close to port. If we had been, the problems facing us would have been wholly different — the chance for escape all but non-existent. But part of our situation in the moment of Jane’s message to us was that we still had the freedom of the open seas and relative certainty that the US had no way of knowing exactly where we were or where we might go. This capacity for unobserved freedom of movement always was a fundamental principle in the Sea Organization’s reason for being. We might note that it’s a fundamental requirement in guerilla warfare also.]

There being no suggestions coming forward, I volunteered that we might tell our agent in Charleston that we’d changed our minds and were making for the Caribbean instead – while actually turning north for Halifax, Nova Scotia. I said it just to get a ball rolling. As soon as I said it, I realized the mistake – it should have been “say we go to Halifax but instead go to the Caribbean”. The mere mention of Halifax brought up pictures of stormy weather, enormous tides, and severe winters. Neither of the Hubbards would have wanted any of that, particularly the winters. Besides, the American government were too close with the Canadians for our comfort. At any rate, I’d said it, and I let the error go. The immediate response that hit wouldn’t have left much chance of correcting it had I wanted to bother to.

No sooner were the words out of my mouth than the Captain gave vent to a loud, brazen, nasal, verbally violent “NAAAAAAAAAH!!!” Meaning of course, that we could expect nothing but nonsense out of that Urquhart, whose place in life was to be put down by real men. And a real man was doing the Hubbards and the crew real service by putting him down right now and taking serious charge of business.

I was taken aback by the verbal violence, as anyone might be, but far more so by the extreme ugliness of the noise itself. One part of my mind was struggling to deal with the fact that this macho male super-self-confident human being had made himself sound just like a randy donkey. But what really shook me was that the fellow had forgotten himself – in his ardour to put me down – in that he had yelled his donkey-screamery right into Mary Sue’s ear, she only inches from his big mouth, and she so devoted to her husband’s wellbeing. At this—what I felt keenly as a real insult to Mary Sue’s dignity, purpose, and intelligence—I stepped back in utter astonishment.

My ears can be outlandishly sensitive to certain kinds of noise. The grating noise the fellow made struck my ears hard and I can suspect that my immediate reaction on behalf of Mary Sue’s sensitivities, she so close to that animal bellow, had more to do with my own. Be that as it may, I stepped back. My assailant continued speaking.

While he spoke, LRH turned his head slightly more in my direction. His eyes were half-closed, head back a bit, looking down his nose, and it was almost as though his nose were sniffing out some faint scent that had wafted in unexpectedly and of no obvious relevance but perhaps of valuable significance, he trying to identify what he’d picked up  and its source. He would come to his conclusion and file it away somewhere in his mind for a useful time.

I knew that my stepping back had alerted him to something. I knew that he had no awareness of my precise sensitivity or of the deep offense I’d taken on behalf of his wife. I knew, therefore, that he was taking stock of my stepping back in the face of the Captain’s onslaught and giving the step back a significance discreditable to me – that I had immediately backed off and shut up in the face of that opposition. I did not care if LRH thought that.

*     *     *     *     *

I’d given up taking much notice of what LRH thought of me after his return to the ship from his hiding-place in New York from 1972 to 1973. Something happened soon after he left for New York in 1973, which I won’t go into now, that reduced his confidence in me. When he came back, he didn’t talk to me about it, he simply re-organized his immediate support by building up his messengers into the Commodore’s Messenger Organization [CMO]. He also promoted Bill Robertson to 2nd Deputy Commodore. Very soon, there were two messengers on duty at a time — and not long after that, four of them. I was out of favour but left in place, and left alone to figure out what I was supposed to be doing now.

I didn’t take this personally; he wanted whatever he wanted done done in a hurry and done his way, and very much more so now he was back on the ship with plans he had formulated while away: we were heading for insistent and overt  dictatorship. As his Personal Communicator, it was theoretically my role to oversee the performance of the recipients of his orders and policies so I could assure him that what he wanted done had been done and how he wanted it done. At the same time, I was responsible for the timely delivery to his desk of (a) the daily traffic [the telexes, despatches, reports, etc., etc., that had accumulated in my in-basket or on my desk during the day (but not needing his immediate attention) and during his and my sleep time, presenting it to him in a way that would ease the work of dealing with it all – it was generally a lot, and also, significantly, (b) urgent traffic he needed to see during the rest of our working day.

To handle the daily traffic, I had to rush to my desk as soon as a Messenger on Duty had woken me up to tell me the Commodore was starting his day. I might have less than an hour to go through a small mountain of paper. If the item I picked up seemed straightforward and clear, not violating existing policy or orders, and making sense, requiring only his initial to approve, it passed. If it didn’t pass, I had three options: to put it aside for my later action; to return it with a brief note requiring corrections, or pointing out a valid reason why it did not need to go to LRH; or to leave my office, to address the issue with the originator. The last action would be to clarify whether the item could be changed for the better quickly or should be reworked for later submission.

I rarely had the time for the last option. I might have time for it after I had put the whole pile of papers into their respective folders for his in-box. There might be time for only a bit of that, depending on how LRH involved me in his responses to what was in his in-basket – he might call me into his office to consult with me on a response and give me a detailed set of instructions; he might call in an Aide or two or three,  to give a briefing, and I would be present for consultation and to take the notes for follow-up.

[My usual practice was to pile the prepared folders on the in-basket on his desk then go to my cabin to wash, shave, shower, and dress; depending on how long LRH’s daily solo session took, I might be back at my desk before he came up to his office or he might already be eating his breakfast with Mary Sue.]

Once the business resulting from the contents of his in-basket was concluded, I had a certain discretion over what I did. My first wish would be to firstly make sure that orders newly issued were begun in good order and second to follow up on orders he had issued the day before or earlier, to make sure that all outstanding matters were proceeding to satisfactory completion. There was one thing that got in my way: he hated it when urgent communications to him sat on my desk or in my in-basket while I was on my rounds, away from my office, chasing up on his orders.

In addition, he often quizzed me on happenings around the boat as regards both marine matters and international management and perhaps shore relations as well. I had to keep in touch with a fair number of people rather nippily. When I went about the ship on these various activities, I put on a grimly determined and focused face so nobody would want to button-hole me as I strode here and there; I just did not have the time to chat. [One time an insistent fellow, newly returned to the ship, did manage to stop me, and, having done it once proved he could do it again and again. But this is a story for another day.]

I tried to explain to LRH that we needed to re-organize my job description since not even I could manage to be somewhere on the ship and in my office at one and the same time, but he waved it off as an unimportant complaint on my part that I should know how to handle without bothering him. I didn’t feel able to discuss with him the fact that he issued many orders and plans to address flaps and opportunities as they hit his desk – so many in fact, that it was impossible to keep up with them all. In addition, the flow of orders sometimes contradicted themselves; worse, they called for resources, usually personnel, that did not exist; in order to  man up one new project, older projects were raided and therefore fell behind or became inoperative. Nightmare.

My best response to the situation I found myself in was to give the random urgent communications higher priority. So I was less and less about the ship chivvying people here and there to do what he had told them to. When he built up the CMO, I could see that he was by-passing me on the matter of getting compliance on what he had ordered or had laid down as policy. He used the messengers also to increase his observation of what was going on and to follow up on indications of possible unsatisfactory performance around the ship. He was hyper-sensitive to such indications (not necessarily a bad thing: he was responsible for a large ship full of people; under not infrequent circumstances it’s fairly easy for ships to sink).

It was up to me to fight back against the by-pass or not. I chose not to. He had made up his mind to by-pass me. What would it have taken to make him change his view? Nobody could possibly know how his capacity for caprice would affect him. Further, I felt firstly that to re-establish myself in his favour I would have to confess my absolute wrongness and go through a convoluted process to get him to favour me again, and secondly, that this process would certainly be humiliating. The humiliation I definitely would not risk. Moreover, a principal of mine was to keep out of office politics; with the build-up of the CMO [which LRH was training up into doing his bullying for him] and with the broadly-perceived diminution of my status with LRH, I had become open to more office politics than before; if I had dedicated myself to restoring myself in LRH’s favour, office politics would have made the work harder if not impossible. Worse than that: had I wanted to curry LRH’s favour, I would have had to curry favour with the messengers also. How was anyone to manage the caprices of the boss along with those of sixteen teenage girls each one with access to his ear and each one anxious for his favour and some of them willing to hit another to get it?

I let LRH take the lead. This was partly my nature, or perhaps more accurately, my nurture: I was the third of three brothers, constantly following and deferring to them as I grew up, and, a relatively orphaned baby due to my mother’s illnesses during which I was separated from the family while being fostered with a stranger. I can’t say I was right or wrong in letting LRH take charge of our relationship. I let him. Since he was in charge, and was not overtly managing me into resumption of our earlier and better relations, I moved into following my own instincts in the new circumstances; he followed his instincts in demoting my status in his eyes but without talking about it. I emulated his example: I demoted him in my estimation; had he raised the question with me I would have told him honestly how I felt so we could sort it out, but since he didn’t ever raise the question, neither did I. I did not hide that I had things I could be saying. On a small number of occasions I made it clear I was not going to cooperate with him: he did not push back.

*     *     *     *     *

We on the Prom Deck landing did in fact decide to make for the Caribbean instead of docking at Charleston. After sailing about the West Indies a bit, we settled in Curacao. Ron and Mary Sue decided they would move us all ashore in the States, and we eventually did. The Hubbards and selected personal staff went to a section of a new and empty apartment complex in Dunedin, Florida. We were not far from Clearwater, where the organizations that had been on the ship were settled in and built up. From Dunedin, Ron carried out his executive and management functions. As his Personal Communicator, I was there with him [but very much out of favour and not involved by LRH in very much of his daily business; he was mostly engaged with MSH and the local Guardian’s Office dealing aggressively with ugly fires in the community, fires he had done much to light and to fan. He dealt with local management issues through his Commodore’s Messengers].

In due course, he had to leave Dunedin quickly to go into hiding from the local Press, who had got word that he was in the neighbourhood. On the point of leaving, he called me into his office. As usual, when he moved away but leaving me behind, he told me to “keep an eye on things.” He was not overtly antagonistic, but he was by no means friendly. He had been clearly distant from me for months. And all that time, I was not understanding how he could be unhappy with me without putting me off the post. Goodness knows I had given him reason enough. I had been waiting for him to tell me to be gone, or to blow up at me angrily, or do whatever he usually did to make trouble for people who’d fallen out of favour (often, on the ship, it was being sent to clean bilges). He did none of these things.

Anyway, here he was, in Dunedin, having to give me some general instructions just as he was leaving, already obviously dissatisfied with me [I could not blame him] and telling me to “keep an eye on things” as though nothing was amiss between us. I nodded to indicate that I understood and had no questions. In truth, I would have liked to ask him: “What are you doing, telling me to keep an eye on things when you have no confidence in me?” However, having no questions for him and not brave enough to confront him, I gave him space and time to continue, open to whatever he might do.

He paused, looked at me balefully, his face solemn, judgmental. A blow was coming.

“You are too much of a gentleman.”

He said no more. I nodded slightly, keeping my eyes on his, waiting for the rest of the scolding. I expected it to take quite a while and perhaps build up into a raging crescendo of complaints. Whatever – at least the air would clear and I’d know where I stood and where I’d be going next. I was not afraid of his wrath. Not that it would ever be enjoyable.

One thing I wanted to avoid was to be dismissed and made a target for Guardian’s Office dirty tricks; it would be hard enough to get work at my age (nearing 40) outside the Scn organization even without the GO spreading tittle-tattle about me and otherwise making life hell. I’d had a glimpse of what they had been doing to Paulette Cooper. [At that particular moment, I was not mindful of how much I knew about LRH and his activities and how dangerous what I knew could be to him if I’d been turned against him – something I was aware of later but had no interest in pursuing. Had I made moves against LRH after leaving the C of S, the Guardian’s Office would have done everything they could to punish me and to discredit me in the eyes of the world in multiple ways so that whatever I said would be discredited because it was me saying it.]

But he spoke no more than that. He ended the meeting silently and I left the room having hardly said one word. What was I to make of “You are too much of a gentleman”?? It was so unexpectedly off-the-wall and weak from such a one as L. Ron Hubbard — he who had so many cards and I so few, and he all of the serious cards, he who had kept his cards so close to his chest and had not challenged me to show mine?

Two thoughts had come to mind when he said it: One was that he was referring to a reply I had put together for him a few days earlier in response to a routine report sent to him by senior Sea Org international management about the latest weekly global organizational statistics (or metrics as they’re often now known as). I knew the kinds of noises he made about these things and I had accordingly composed something for his signature. He changed it to something a lot fiercer. So, it crossed my mind as he spoke to me, that he meant I was too soft and not enough of a bully. I didn’t pursue that as a thought because the second thought came rushing in as I sat, waiting for the rest of an onslaught that wasn’t happening. My instant response to this first thought of mine: “I’ve never been your bully and I’ll never be”.

The second thought was, “With all the things that he can throw at me, this is what he chooses? He could wipe the floor with me with several examples of where I have crossed him both overtly and covertly, but he’s not thinking of them as he makes absolutely clear what he’s been hinting at for months, that I no longer have his confidence? How make sense of this? For all his macho anger, energy, competitiveness, he’s letting me off so lightly? Astonishing!”

There was a third thought underlying all this: I don’t mind a bit if he calls me a “gentleman”. There are worse names. I didn’t know what LRH’s concept of “a gentleman” might be, and I wasn’t terribly interested in whether anyone would consider me a gentleman. As a child, I’d known a man everybody recognized as a gentleman — and in those days, the term had definite social and cultural connotations. That man was my maternal grandfather, a central figure in my upbringing in childhood. I came to love him. It was never an ambition of mine to be exactly like him or to be recognized, as he was, as a “gentleman”. However, it was no shame to me if I carried some of his dignity and integrity to self.

At any rate, later reflection on the incident led me to believe that the probability is that LRH formed this conclusion when I stepped back in the face of that donkey bellow “NAAAH“. In a way, I could see that he was right. Even if he hadn’t known about my anxiety for Mary Sue’s ears, nor had noticed that the man had shouted in her ear, my stepping back in the face of “manly” antagonism instead of immediately attacking back, could have been for him a sign of weakness, the weakness of a man too “gentle-man-ly” to stand up for himself. The sensitivity I showed could not have been “manly”.

If this is what he saw, it would have been a hasty conclusion on LRH’s part, one he might have looked into further before accepting. I was definitely not a bully, and nothing of a warrior, and entirely absent when it came to office in-fighting. But I had shown him defiance. I’d faced him down silently on a couple of issues, eyeball-to-eyeball. I’d overtly sabotaged two pet projects of his. True it was, though, that I found donkeys distressing to work with when they worked and capered out of their usual harness. Hypersensitivity can be a bit of a curse.

At any rate, this was the damp squib with which LRH had at last made clear that he and I were finished as an operating partnership. How or why I’d escaped the whipping with which he usually dismissed a long-time associate, I did not know and still do not. This exchange between us was the last. He indicated that he had finished speaking and I left the room. I did not see him or speak with him again but he did not take action to remove me until 1978, three years later.

Somewhere during the mid-Sixties, I perceived what seemed to be a pattern with LRH: He would either suddenly blow off someone who had been a close associate of long standing, or such a person would blow off, usually suddenly. [Examples I personally witnessed: Jack Horner, Reg Sharpe, Marilyn Routsong.] It seemed that while he could be quick to make and attack enemies, he could not or would not keep a friend. When, in late 1969, he promoted me to be his Personal Communicator, in very friendly fashion: “You have good sense”, I felt that I had graduated into being a close associate (despite my lack of confidence in my judgment). I knew even then that my time for being blown off would come– and would come with little or no warning. This thought was with me night and day while close to him: the axe was likely to fall at any second. I didn’t know how painful he was going to make it, but, knowing him, I expected that he would take care to be extremely wounding. [I soon gave up worrying about it.] By 1974, after I’d defied him a couple of times, I began to think that for some reason he wasn’t going to treat me that way even though I was out of favour and not making any moves to get back into his good graces. I didn’t understand why this should be. I still don’t but won’t pursue the issue.

*     *     *     *     *

Hubbard’s accusation that I was too much of a gentleman has a strange resonance in my life. My father, in high dudgeon with me as a boy of about 17, once said, in characteristically ferocious bad temper: “I will not have my son be more of a gentleman than I am!” I faced him silently then, waiting, as I did later with Hubbard, for his next move. I was poised to absolutely quarrel with my father even to the point of fighting him physically, so deep and strong were the hitherto sleeping family feelings he had clumsily brought into play. In that moment of my waiting, he turned away to his right; I turned away to my right and left the house (I was leaving for a short stay in London, staying with friends and going to concerts). What he had done, clumsily, was to show his resentment at family conflicts – his in-laws looking down on him socially – but in doing so he insulted someone he should have left out of this equation – his deceased wife, my mother.

What was his slight on this woman? She was in fact the daughter of a man who was a gentleman in the old, Victorian sense of the word, applied by them to a man born in a certain stratum of society, educated to a certain standard, and accustomed to the language and manners of other gentlefolk (to their satisfaction as to his belonging with them socially).

There was an additional accomplishment that made my maternal grandfather a “gentleman” – he was of independent means. His means were not abundant and I suspect they were hardly adequate, but nonetheless he had lived a life of no occupation for decades. He was well qualified, with a degree from a German university in pharmacology, and pharmacy was his family’s profession. In those days, pharmacy was one of the professions allowed to gentlemen who wanted or who had to work for a living. But he chose to live on the money coming to him from the family business, using it to finance a life of apparent idleness.

His home was an upper-class abode. He and his second wife (my mother’s mother had died young) retired to a three-bedroom apartment in a small village used by wealthy Clyde merchants for their summer homes. One of the more substantial villas there had been built for not-quite-so-wealthy Clyde merchants; it was what the Americans call a two-family home: one apartment downstairs and another upstairs. My grandparents lived on the upper floor. It had its three bedrooms, two sizable rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom. The kitchen had two nooks off it in which at least one servant would have slept in the days when people had servants. My bedroom, the small one at the front of the house, had a view most people could only dream of.

The home, at the ‘posh’ end of the village, was full of beautiful old furniture and decorations of all kinds. There wasn’t a cupboard or a box or a drawer without fascinating smells of old things, old wood, old glue, old felt, old spices, old books, old and fascinating who-knows-what. My grandfather once pointed to a mantel clock, telling me it was from Tudor times. He said a grand portrait was of my great-great-grandmother. There was a spectacularly show-off piece in the form of a table lamp made in silver, a model of the Nelson Column in London with its four lions. A large and dignified golden-oak dining table with Queen Anne chairs and two large matching sideboards dominated the dining-cum-sitting room. On formal occasions, the lady of the house made the table sparkle with silver and glass and her best china.

When my mother, who was ill, found that raising three boys in the midst of the air-raids that began seriously in 1941 was becoming too much for her, she sent her two older boys to her father and stepmother’s house. She herself remained in South Wales, where my father had moved the family in pursuit of work; but later, ill and obliged to get herself into a sanatorium, she took me to the grandparents too.

I hadn’t seen a great deal of my mother in my previous years, she being prone to sickness and spells in hospital or sanatorium. Life was unsettling for me, dropped off with strange women to be cared for while mother was away, and dropped back again with her whenever she came home. It happened three times for fairly extended periods. So, my life was a bit short on stability. [I have read that ‘studies show’ that when a very young child is separated from its family, even briefly, the child can go into deep mourning.]

Mother died shortly after leaving us. It was six weeks before my fourth birthday. My grandmother, the tyrant of the house, was remorselessly cruel with all three of us boys over announcing our mother’s death. Nonetheless, as my fourth year proceeded, she and my quiet grandfather provided me with the thing I needed most: stability. Grannie, as I knew her, though hard, harsh, stern, and cold, never denied me her lap if I wanted it. I grew to love her, and I soon grew out of needing her lap. Not once did she manifest any evident affection or regard for me. However, she did not stint in doing her duty as surrogate mother in providing for the domestic needs of my brothers and me when they stayed with us. [The eldest, 9 ½ years old than I, and the middle brother, a little more than 7 years older, were mostly away at boarding school.] She was an excellent cook of the old Scottish kind; I didn’t care too much for Scotch broth but her steamed puddings were to die for. As it was wartime, she rarely had much more than bare rations to put on the table, but hunger was never a problem for us.

The domestic stability that my grandparents provided me was in itself an enormous blessing. But the beautiful corner of the world in which they happened to be living was the greater blessing– and I look on it as the best gift my mother could have left me. We were in a small village spread out along the sea but sheltered from open waters by the large island opposite us. My young buddies and I were never a few moments away from the shore, the sea, the hills, with their rocks, ferns, woods, and burns. Gentle hills surrounded us and held us in their kindly embrace. Each hill had its own personality and I came to love each one. In fact, I fell in love with Nature in all the aspects she revealed of herself to me in that quiet little backwater; I have heard others refer to it as “the most beautiful place in the world.” Be that as it may, my grandparents’ upper-class home with its gentlemanly aesthetic, my grandfather’s quiet dignity, my grandmother’s constant, undemanding care, and the glorious Nature of the scene were the formative elements in my years from almost 4 to 7 or 8, when I had to return to my father’s house.

The resulting loss of the domestic aesthetic was not too hard to bear; it was something to know that my father wanted me back with him. However, the loss of the village and its Nature was one I mourned for years, as I’d moved to a pleasant but spectacularly ordinary suburban town. Immediately about the house, Nature consisted of small, neat front gardens and some street trees. Instead of my hills I saw straight rows of respectable semi-detached housing. My heart remained always in my seaside village in the hills, and always will.

Now, although Grannie did nothing whatever to hide her contempt for my father and her impatience with his Glasgow lower-middle-class habits, speech, and dress when he visited – usually at least once a year [his work exempted him from call-up into the armed forces] – she did me no harm as regard my mixed feelings towards him. I could understand that Grannie didn’t like his behaviours and I could see he did nothing to soften the effects they had on her. At bottom, though, I knew Grannie and her ways, and I took no notice of her spite and antagonisms towards him. I respected that never she did say one word to me about him that might have turned me against him. Grannie might well have thought that we were two of a kind, but if so she was principled enough not to make my life with her a hell such as she attempted to make for him in his visits.

When I returned to my father’s house, which had not known a woman’s warmth in some years, of course I noticed the differences in furnishings and everything else but they didn’t bother me a bit. [One thing that did disturb me greatly about the house in Wales (in which I’d been born) was the electric lighting. In the village, there was no electricity and we used oil lamps. Their warm and gentle light was lovely. The electric light was harsh to and on my eyes. However, there was nothing I could do so I didn’t fret about it.]

My relationship with my father descended into conflict rather quickly, although in the first few years after my return we got on fairly well much of the time. My father, Ernest, employed a woman live-in housekeeper to take care of all domestic needs. She had two children of her own who lived with us. This was fine with me. Ernest had lost his own mother early on (when he was 8) in tragically violent circumstances which must have scarred him psychically and terribly so. He’d then had an unhappy relationship with his stepmother. He decided not to risk a repeat of that misery for his own children: hence housekeeper.

Although Ernest was an aggressive Glasgow socialist (supporter of the Labour Party) he had also been an active Theosophist and was still a member of the Theosophical Society. So he had a softer, spiritual side to him even though the male, socialist, dominating sides of his personality came to the fore in his handling of me and perhaps because of me. At any rate, he chose to take on the challenge of being both father and mother to me. One of his great strengths was his ability to organize. He proceeded, as both my father and as my mother, to organize me. Alas, as an able organizer, he never bothered to question his judgements. Alas again, in mothering me, a boy of 7 or 8, he began by mothering the boy that had left him at the age of 3. This ridiculous unreality on the part of my male parent seriously disturbed me; I was finding myself with the strangest of unnecessary problems hard to escape from. This recipe for domestic trouble was compounded when Ernest kept getting very upset because I was not showing gratitude for his exertions and self-sacrifices on my behalf.

In this, Ernest had his own set of mental imbalances and consequent emotional needs. I was bitterly sorry to be causing him upset and bitterly sorry we couldn’t sort it out. In the years that followed, the conflict broke me in spirit, utterly. Ernest, it seems, was beyond breaking.

In 1950, my twelfth year, Ernest had a serious accident on the road home from work. He was in hospital with severe concussion. Thereafter, his temper, always volatile, became ever more nasty and in fact vicious. Nowadays, we’d say that he was abusive. And that the concussion affected the workings of his brain, making the outbreaks of aggression ungovernable whether he wanted it or not.

Our relationship deteriorated into almost constant quarrelling, but what I never held against him in my mind or my heart or my words or action, was his social background. He could of course embarrass me terribly in company (what parent doesn’t embarrass a teenage child?) or in public. But I had no difficulty in accepting him in who he was as a member of the community, one intimate to me. It was his bad behaviour towards me that aroused in me deep resentment. He was a bully and a tyrant, but never in front of others; when any visitor had left the house and we were alone, he had no difficulty in letting his temper run free. Seeing this, what was I to make of Theosophy?

Ernest made reference to my grandfather, his father-in-law, seldom, but it was never without a nasty sneer. He said that his bride’s father had come to the wedding only to make sure that the minister wasn’t a friend of my father’s with his collar on back to front [in those days men wore shirts with separate collars; if put on backwards, the collar could make the wearer look like a minister of religion]. Or Ernest would cast the old man as a profligate, idle money-waster. I couldn’t deny any of this as I didn’t know one way or the other but I never forgot the gentle dignity of that old man and how much it had meant to me as Ernest’s child whom Ernest had had to send away.

So there was an undercurrent of family conflict going on all the time. I missed the aesthetics of the grandparents’ house. The snobbishness of the people who lived in the “better” parts of the anglified Welsh town we lived in could be painful (although I would have died rather than show it). I don’t believe I was a snob, ever, to my father. But he was a reverse snob towards the parents of his wife, and one who could be angrily so. What really “messed with my head” was the terrible contrast between the two principal men in my life so far. My grandfather lived ‘dignity’. In doing so, he never failed to assume that I also had dignity, and he never violated it. My father seemed to have no grasp of the concept of dignity, and he trampled on mine from morning till night (well, it sure felt like it: his presence and his attitudes filled the house).

The undercurrent of conflict had never fully surfaced until that day when he assserted that he would not have his son be more of a gentleman than he. When it eventually did surface, I was suddenly ready to fight him tooth and nail.

What prompted this particular outburst on his behalf was my borrowing some of his clothes without permission for a trip to London. I had no decent clothes at the time. By now, Ernest had given up housekeepers and he sometimes forgot about my clothes. This was not deliberate neglect; he just wasn’t too interested in the subject. I was desperate to get away from him for a while and to get to some concerts and opera. I couldn’t go in those awful clothes. What to do? At the very last moment,  I borrowed some of his better things. I said nothing. When ready to leave the house, I put on my raincoat before saying goodbye to him; we stood facing each other in the hallway. He immediately noticed his own trousers on my lower legs. He froze; he spat out his nastiness.

He saw clearly that I was sensitive about my dress (in common with every teenage boy on the planet). He assumed it was because I wanted to look like a “gentleman” in contrast to what I should look like as his son. In truth, I did not care if I was taken for a gentleman or for a beggar, but I didn’t want to be taken for a beggar-child despised.

Ernest did not contemplate “gentlemanliness” without dragging in Socialist resentments about social inequality and its resulting cruelties (I did not like them either). Nor could he contemplate it without going into his dark places about his in-laws. I was on the point of receiving his accumulated bitternesses about both.

I will not have my son be more of a gentleman than I am!

I heard this growl in some bewilderment; the idea and the passion with which he expressed it yanked me suddenly into a new universe, as it were, strange but demandingly real. And it was an adult universe. I stood in that universe, suddenly a little more adult, suddenly on the edge of a nasty adult fight, looking at him, watching for his next move.

In that brief moment, I adopted a firm and clear position within myself: “You married your wife. You had your children by her. I am as much her son as I am yours. I take pride in being her son and I will not have her put down on account of her parents or of anything else. I, and you, owe her parents enormous gratitude for what they did for us, your sons. If some of their ‘gentleness’ rubbed off on me because I lived with them – you with the serious problem on your hands of three boys with no mother, and in war-time — you’ll just have to live with it because I won’t be denying any piece of that inheritance which is quite naturally mine. If you are not happy and proud that she was your wife while she lived and gave you your three boys, then I, the youngest, am going to get extremely angry with you right now and we will just have to fight it out. We will fight it outNOW.” I was quite relaxed, but quite ready.

It was a surprise to me that I actually had such a clear and firm position about something. Usually, I bumbled along, dodging the difficult bits where I could, enduring them when I couldn’t.

It’s quite probable that as soon as Ernest had delivered his assertion he realized that he had jumped on to shaky ground; if so, he might well have picked up on my readiness to challenge him on deep hurts and energies he did not want explored or even exposed. In his defence, one has to acknowledge that Life had been extremely cruel to him and put him in a position he had no idea of how to deal with. He could not deal with the consequences of his inability or refusal to admit that he was out of his depth. Perhaps having me for a son was the straw that broke the camel’s back. At any rate, he dropped the subject and left me to my own devices. I left the house for London. Not for the first time I had the feeling that my male parent was, in some ways, a fool.

The consequences of Ernest’s inability to accept his failure to be both father and mother were sad ones for both of us; I turned against him because of his behaviour, shutting down my love and support; we both had very painful unfinished business we could never discuss together; I went out from home into the world a broken young male adult impossibly badly brought up. [I had most of the symptoms of what they now call “complex PTSD” except that I was not suicidal: at about 15 years of age I seriously considered the idea of suicide as a way out and discarded it at once.]

Strange then, twenty years or so later, to have “gentlemanliness” thrown in my face again and from such a different direction, in such a different context, and with such different meaning. Although I have been beating about the gentlemanly bushes as it were in this long digression, I have not bothered myself one bit about being a gentleman or not, for many decades. In fact, I recognised that gentleman-liness was no longer to be part of my life as soon as I re-entered my father’s house in Wales.

LRH objected to something in me, and he had every right to object to some of my behaviours towards him and quite right to object to some of my attitudes or habits or whatevers. No human being is easy to live with, and I freely admit that I am less easy than most, though I admit it without pride or satisfaction. Reflecting on my younger years, I see (as all humans can when they reflect on the past) that I was frequently guilty of ignorance, foolishness, selfishness, and other stupidities. I must have been a great trial at times to L. Ron Hubbard [among many others] and acknowledge that it was perhaps out of some great deep generosity of his that he did not hit me as hard as he would normally have done with someone who crossed him. Why I would be the object of such generosity I do not know.

Whatever LRH objected to in me, he didn’t want his feelings or their origins explored or perhaps exposed that afternoon in Dunedin, Florida. In contrast with the earlier similar encounter with my father, I had no urge whatever to attack L. Ron Hubbard. I was already grievously disappointed in what he had become and where he was taking the organisation I had wanted so much to be part of and contribute to. I was deeply saddened at my old friend’s wandering off into the impurities of anger, hatred, resentment. He had become mentally unbalanced, just as my father was—just as I had been and still was (and still am). Both he and Ernest had turned away from what I could have given them had we all been able to communicate our differences and adjust better to each other. As I left home, I turned away from what Ernest had become with no regret but with a feeling of having utterly failed him in his great needs [yes, I know he was the adult, but I did want so very much to help him]. I turned away from what LRH had become with infinite regret for what might have been for him, for the group, for mankind, and, a bit, for me.

The Buddha is said to have said:

Never neglect your work/For another’s/However great his need./Your work is to discover your work/And then with all your heart/ To give yourself to it. [from The Dhammapada as rendered by Thomas Byrom, Shambal Press.]

When I first went to Saint Hill Manor to meet L. Ron Hubbard there, I knew when I shook his hand that here was work for me to do. I gave myself to it with all my heart. In due course I saw that what I thought was my work had not changed but was no longer needed and wanted by the man I most wanted to do my work for. I had gone into my experience with my father, an innocent boy of 7 or 8, ready, as any boy would be, to adore him. Over the years what happened absolutely broke my heart. But that experience enabled me to stand close to L. Ron Hubbard with no danger of heartbreak. I did come to love the best of him, but always with a clear eye as to the liabilities of association with him – and indeed, with anyone. But I could not find within me the power to do the work of holding LRH’s feet to the fire of his own Scientology Ethics.

I’ve spoken of three men who have been the dominating influences in my life. My grandfather gifted me awareness of quiet, kindly dignity; I carried that awareness into my happy relationship with the infinitely loving Nature outside my house. Ernest, my father, was the arm by which the karmic hammer smashed me to bits. Hubbard, as a man and as a source of a technology of mercy, helped me put myself back together again; ironically, he helped me get to the point where I could find and stand on my own feet – but by the time I was becoming independent, he  wanted only  robotic followership. Thanks to him, I, like many others, was able to see and refuse the trap he had created.

Perhaps, though, the most penetrating influence on my life has been my mother – by her absence from it. A sentimental inclination of mine is to take the time I spent with Nature in that Scottish village (as I mentioned before) as a parting gift from my mother to me and my brothers. However, my mother’s absence led me to lead myself into my troubles with my father, just as it led him to lead himself into his troubles with me. It surely contributed to the difficulties LRH had with me and to his disconnection from me.

Nevertheless, my mother’s departure from life threw me into the welcoming arms of Nature who taught perhaps more – and, who knows, perhaps more lovingly — than my mother could have, had she lived and even had she guided both me and my father through my difficult teen years (as mothers tend to do or did). My mother also gave me into the rather impersonal arms of her father, he who taught me something of a gentlemanliness transcending all ideologies of class that I never forgot. Therefore, much of any credit that there might be in my living I assign to my mother; that there is a great deal of credit to be found in my living is by no means a certainty. But responsibility for my many deficiencies would not be hers. Nor my father’s. Nor L. Ron Hubbard’s.

But a more comprehensive truth is that the burdens I brought with me into this lifetime were greater than anyone could expect a “normal” parent to deal with, let alone a mother who was tubercular and dying, or a father himself already cruelly over-burdened. The kharmic blows my father gave me were the last of a series that had begun over a hundred earth years before. I believe that in the “normal” course of events it would have taken me several lifetimes to recover from these batterings if left to my own resources. What Ron gave me out of his own gentleness as a friend and out of the best of his public personas in contributing to my this-lifetime ongoing salvation from insanity exceeds by far anything I’ve received from another within this universe in a similar time frame.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

*       *       *       *       *


4 Replies to “Memories, 28: No Work for Gentlemen Here”

  1. Robin ScottOutstanding, Ken – and I feel privileged to have shared some of this with you, my friend.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Robin. 🙂
  2. Dan KoonKen, I echo Robin’s sentiments. This is a spectacular piece of writing. Thanks for opening your heart and soul.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Dan, for the ack.
      Deep bows to Robin and you.

Comments are closed.


Please Check Sources!


I’m about to discuss a report which contains something I’m said to have stated in 1983 that I, out of my memory, dispute. Since my position is that I didn’t say those words, I can claim that they’re wrongly attributed to me to support bias against LRH and Scientology. In short, to use old terminology, the guy’s dubbing-in and hoping to get away with it. The essence of dub-in is that one is unaware one is doing it, so I’m not trying to accuse anyone of deliberate, knowing falsehood; I can’t deny the possibility that some dub-in here might be my own while I do my best to avoid untruth. The words in question were supposedly said some 36 years ago. Given that currently I can’t always remember why I just brought myself into a particular room, I don’t assert and insist that my recall of what I said or couldn’t have said at any time is undeniably correct and reliable.

The words occur in the following passage which was referenced to me by a friend. It appeared on “facebook”, a world whose fringes I sometimes explore but never live in. For reasons I’ll lay out shortly, the passage took me by surprise. Here it is, an excerpt from a piece by Jon Atack [author of A Piece of Blue Sky, a Hubbard ‘expose’]:

In 1986, I [Jon Atack] spent eleven hours interviewing Brian Rubinek. He was Michael Meisner’s superior, and claimed to have instigated the Washington break-ins that led to FBI raids in 1977. Rubinek had been Hubbard’s personal security man, aboard the Apollo – the only GO [Guardian’s Office] member, except for Mary Sue who was allowed on board.

Rubinek’s script focused on a single idea: Hubbard didn’t know about the activities of B-1 [N.B. “B-1” refers to the part of the GO that gathered information about C of S perceived enemies in order to defeat them]. I took careful notes and asked many questions. At the end of the third evening, when he had told me everything he wanted to say, it came time for me to reveal the interview I’d taped with Ken Urquhart, a month or so earlier.

Ken was Hubbard’s direct deputy from 1970-78 [not accurate, and not taken up here], as I remember, a charming and intelligent man (and, like Rubinek, a believer in the ‘Technology’ of Scientology). When Rubinek confirmed in his death bed deposition that he had been working for Miscavige, I realized that he had zoned out when I told him what Ken told me: One night he overheard Hubbard ask his wife, “How are the Washington break-ins going?”

Let’s take the first paragraph, about Brian Rubinek. To be truthful, I’m not sure which one he was of two Guardian Office [GO] men that worked on the ship together. At any rate, I remember the two men. I wouldn’t know if the man named Brian Rubinek [BR] had anything to do with Michael Meisner or not, and I’ll leave that alone, except for one opinion: My general impression of the two GO men on the ship that I recall was that they were superior middle-management types, neither of them seemingly heavyweight enough to conceive of and push through on their own the extraordinary burglary campaign against some of the most secure offices in the federal government.

That this BR (not to be confused with Bill Robertson) was the only GO person other than MSH allowed on the ship is incorrect. Long before BR and the other fellow he brings to mind were on the ship, an Assistant Guardian in the form of a dark-haired woman in her forties, whose name I don’t remember [Anne Something (perhaps it’s coming back to me)], came on board. She worked out of an office on the A deck. In due course, she and Wally Burgess, a crew member, married. Later, they divorced and she married a fellow GO-member, a diminutive and always cheery ginger-blond fellow whose name may come to me in a moment. Yes…Jimmy Mulligan. Jimmy was also on the ship.

It may be that BR was on board before the dark-haired woman and therefore the only GO person on board other than MSH, but it seems to me that she was on the ship on her own, as it were, working under MSH but with no GO people alongside her or junior to her. One noticed that her work attitude – very focused – seemed to say that she had a lot of important work to handle on her own, more than she could manage in the day. [Not that she was the only example on that ship.]

I’m pretty sure that Anne was the first GO person imported into the ship’s complement. She gave the impression of being highly conscious of the effect her work would have on MSH and her (MSH’s) standing on the ship and with LRH, and on LRH and the rest of the crew. The GO generally had a reputation for competence and efficiency. Anne evidently took seriously the need for her to at least not goof up. I’m not saying the men were any different in their attitude but they were noticeably less uptight

The two GO men of whom BR was one came later than Anne, I’m thinking. Jimmy Mulligan was one of the last new GO people on the ship; he came closer to the time we all left the ship and settled in Clearwater, Florida. I have the idea that he was brought on board to help with the general debarking from the ship. He remained with the ship until she was disposed of altogether, then coming to Clearwater.

In addition, MSH had taken on Fred Hare as a personal assistant. Fred was a long-serving SO Officer. Nobody said anything to me about his status, but I’d doubt he became MSH’s assistant without becoming a GO member too. I believe he was appointed her assistant before other GO people came.

To say that BR was the only GO member allowed on the ship is nonsensical. Not only that, the statement implies that there were GO people who clamoured to get on to the ship but were being held off for some reason. This is not how MSH and the GO operated. LRH and MSH between them would have decided that she needed GO support on board. At once, she and her senior GO staff would have carefully considered who in the GO might qualify and would have approached those individuals confidentially, arranging everything quietly. The idea that MSH had to erect barriers of some kind to ward off GO would-be invaders is beyond silly; it assumes that MSH and the GO lacked maturity. One would have to suspect the out-of-touch assumption is based on observation of everyday mankind at work – along with blindness to the possibility that other and higher standards might be possible. Maybe.

It’s conceivable that BR’s role or roles on the ship included a security function on behalf of LRH, but from what I remember of his movements and actions, any such roles would have been part of functions within the structure of the ship-board GO, and not as a direct personal assignment as Jon seems to imply here, distinct from both the GO and the Personal Office.

Had BR been LRH’s personal security man, the two of them would have worked closely together; they would have conferred frequently together in LRH’s office or perhaps on the Prom Deck outside it. I would have been quite aware of these contacts – had they happened. My office was within feet of LRH’s office door. I saw who went in. Not many did, and never without the order from LRH to enter it; had someone had really urgent business with LRH, he or she would have come to me first and I would have handled it at my discretion. [Only once, as I recall, did a ship’s officer come to me with bad news that he (rightly) felt LRH should have without any delay; I had the Messenger on Duty ask the Commodore if I could speak to him urgently. This alerted him to the fact that bad news might be coming, and he could compose himself in readiness. As it happened, that officer was Wally Burgess, and his business had to do with the death of Susan Meister.]

I do believe there were a few conferences held by LRH in his office on the Prom Deck with GO personnel [he had them more frequently with MSH alone]. I am blank on seeing BR go into LRH’s office alone or the two men confer on the deck, ever. I accept that I might be not-remembering things that suit my biases in LRH’s and Scientology’s favour and require me to make Jon Atack wrong because of his perceived biases contrary to mine. However, my feelings and my recalls are clear as far as they go – clear to me.

Anyone could argue that of course LRH would have kept secret the fact that he had a ‘security man’ and who that man might be. I’d say to rebut this that LRH would have had his personal ‘security man’ operating very close to him on LRH’s own organizational chart, be that chart public or not. When LRH’s personal interests were in play, he did not tolerate organizational distance between himself and his operatives. I saw no sign of such closeness; I saw plenty of closeness with, for example, Vicki Polimeni, whom LRH put on as ‘LRH Accts’, a new position, soon after his return to the ship from New York. Vicki’s work would have been about as important to LRH as his personal security. As he did with MSH, LRH had Vicki work with him not through me, so I was not privy to what money went through his hands or what he did with it.

Furthermore, had LRH been depending on a ‘security man’ he would have briefed me, perhaps not fully, but to set me up to cooperate with the person and to keep out of the way if that relationship got urgently active. He did not brief me at all on BR. LRH was nothing if not thorough about keeping his communication and action lines free and clear. You could say that the security man would have related with LRH through MSH, thus bypassing me. That could be correct, but the man would have been frequently physically close to LRH, and it would have been characteristic of LRH to advise me that the man was to have access to his office unquestioned by me. He didn’t.

Although I was almost always present when LRH had conferences with staff in his office, taking notes and so on, I was never present when MSH was with him. LRH kept GO matters strictly off my plate. If I didn’t need to know I wasn’t made aware. Thus, if I were to be interrogated or cross-examined, I could always honestly say that I didn’t know.

[Later, when I was auditing at Flag in Clearwater, I was called over to Los Angeles suddenly. After I’d arrived, I was called in for a meeting with LRH’s attorney, Earl Cooley. He asked me two questions which I answered briefly but cogently. He swung on his heel and marched out of the room, muttering “We do NOT want YOU in the witness box.” But this had to do with certain corporate structure changes and banking arrangements connected to them in which LRH made use of ship officers and resources, not the GO; written instructions and responses between him and them came through me.]

It shocked me a bit to read in Jon’s account that BR sounded as though he was exaggerating his role and importance and value on this ship. He did have his role, importance, and value but if he was claiming what Jon reports, he was bigging up all three.

On reflection, I could add that BR’s role with regard to LRH’s security might have expanded greatly while LRH was living in Dunedin, near Clearwater, after we all came ashore from the ship. LRH and MSH with their personal staffs were at Dunedin while the rest of the organizations that came off the ship set up in Clearwater. It was from Dunedin that LRH departed hurriedly because the local press had got wind of his presence there [due, reportedly, to his, LRH’s, own big mouth].

In Clearwater, there was a great deal of noise going on because the Mayor of Clearwater took objection to the mysterious outfit that had taken over the big hotel in the town (and its bar). He got a bit wound up over some of the things LRH had directed, notably (as I recall), having armed guards patrolling the building and the grounds. “Why would a religious organization need armed guards?” he grumbled, pushing the point publicly. One might think it a reasonable question, but it wound LRH up and he began a campaign to thoroughly discredit the mayor through dirty tricks he had the GO play. Since local feelings ran high over this public dispute it might well have been given to our BR to take full responsibility for LRH’s personal security in the neighbourhood. However, if this was the case, he did his job mostly out of the Clearwater premises and not out of Dunedin – if he was regularly in Dunedin and in close touch with LRH there, it was well hidden from me.

In conclusion, I am doubtful of the claim that he was LRH’s “personal security man” at any time.

I can accept that BR maintained that LRH knew nothing of GO B-1 activities. He could have been speaking out of loyalty to LRH and to the GO, and, I should think, a similar desire to mine to not get LRH into deeper trouble gratuitously; however, Jon states that BR confessed later (on his deathbed) that at the time of their interview he, BR, was working for Miscavige. This is the nub of Jon’s story: that he put BR into shock with the claim that I had stated that LRH had asked about the break-ins. The nub of my response is: I don’t see how I could have stated this.

[It’s puzzling to think that BR found out in that interview that I had said such a thing; he would have reported it to Miscavige and his minions (since it contradicted the C of S story that LRH knew nothing about Snow White). Had he reported it, why didn’t the C of S do something to confirm that I said it and was talking about it to LRH-exposers? Nobody has ever questioned me on the matter. Nor has the C of S made any attempt that I know of to invalidate me as a source of fact.]

Although I wasn’t present when LRH and MSH spoke together privately and saw no written material between them (except at their discretion), it was obvious always that they were operating closely together. Regularly, he spoke to her quietly in her office, it so small that he was in the passage leaning in over her; I didn’t listen for any words but I could hear the tone of voice. LRH had a particular way of pitching his voice when he was deeply engaged with another on business of great interest to him. I heard that pitch often enough to know that what MSH and the GO were doing was of vital interest to him, regardless of other signs. The two of them could not have hidden this closeness; it was part of their relationship as married couple in charge of the organization for decades, and it was clearly evident in the policy directives that set up the GO in the first place, in 1966.

[The two of them often spoke together as they passed each other, and spoke out normally when they were talking about general business they didn’t need to keep confidential. Many times, LRH would have an impromptu “meeting” outside his office, when he was in conversation with an Aide; as they spoke, the other Aides would gather around, and he would start holding forth about this or that. In these encounters, he was always cheerful and friendly, he doing most of the talking, and everybody enjoying it all. MSH would nearly always join in; if she could have some fun (not at anybody’s great expense) she would, and we would all laugh with her.]

I don’t recall when I became aware that GO people had infiltrated U.S. government offices, and since no GO person on the ship would ever have talked to me about it, I take it that I picked it up from what I’d overheard or from quiet snippets that LRH would have shared with me, as he often did. At any rate, even had I known nothing whatever about Snow White and the break-ins, I would have known that whatever the GO was doing that was of high priority, LRH was at all times completely on top of it.

I was so sure by the later 70’s that LRH was intimately involved with all that the GO was doing, including the government break-ins, that when I, still in Clearwater, received an order from him (in his western hiding-place) – in 1977, I think, shortly after MSH and the others were indicted for the offenses – to cover his ass, it seriously disturbed me. He ordered that I send him a package of all mimeo’d issues he had written that forbade the kind of behaviour MSH and the others were accused of. By that time, I was deeply dissatisfied with the direction in which LRH was leading the organization, and although I wasn’t looking then for any excuses to leave, this mean and disloyal act on his behalf moved me farther away from him. I realized that he had to protect himself from being hauled into court, given the position he had adopted as head of a religious organization in hostile relations with government. Nonetheless, it was unprincipled of him to be so nakedly willing to waste his wife. We might respect him more as leader of that group if he’d had the courage to acknowledge, no matter how much later, that he was as guilty as she.

I can add a further personal note to this passage: LRH’s self-protection from the consequences of his actions in pushing the break-ins, and of hanging his wife out to dry for them, lead to my own assignment to the RPF. Another order that LRH issued at the same time was to his Personal PRO, also working at Clearwater. The order came through me. It ordered her that under no circumstances was there to be any statement to the press from his office about the break-ins and the indictments against MSH and the other GO people involved. This order was a shock to me personally in its indication of the ever-deepening rift with his wife. He was refusing to say that he had any regard for her or to express any personal support. Again, I understood his need to protect himself; nonetheless, I found his action so painful to me personally I forced the LRH Pers PR against her will to write up a statement expressing his (LRH’s) regard and support for MSH, his wife. I had no intention that it would ever be issued. I just wanted it in the file for my own comfort. By remaining on my post, I was obliging myself to continue to appear to support this man or at least not publicly expose my lack of respect; having that piece of paper in the file, in some silly fashion, salved my conscience. [It took me years to separate myself out from whatever bonds held me to the later LRH and the discreditable mob he had made of all of us.]

At any rate, by some fateful means, that PR statement actually made its way to LRH! He was so furious (naturally) that his order had been directly countered (and to his perceived endangerment) that the LRH Pers PR was assigned to the RPF almost at once [to my intense and eternal regret], and I was ordered to a sec-check followed by the RPF assignment.

Now we come to the last paragraph of Jon’s account. This statement of what Jon says I said in our interview in 1983 shook me. For three reasons:

  1. As I said already, I was not looking to incriminate LRH at all, with anybody. Here I was with Jon Atack, an avowed anti-Scientologist (who had asked to speak with me when I was in East Grinstead after I’d left the SO; I was there to visit the local independent auditor in East Grinstead). If I wasn’t looking to testify against Hubbard formally, would I have given Jon ammunition he might have made use of to harm LRH? The claim that I spoke these words about the break-ins just does not ring true.

When I read the passage that I’m quoting from Jon’s facebook report, I emailed Jon to ask if he had a transcript of the tape of our interview; he replied (in friendly fashion – we are not enemies) that he didn’t. He offered to get a copy of the tape to send me but I’m not interested in going that far. Jon did say that what he told BR that I’d said, he’d recounted from memory.

It’s my contention here that Jon’s memory suited his bias; his memory of what I said was shaped by what he had wanted to hear, not by what I said.

If indeed the tape shows that I said those words then I’m extremely wrong. But my other, following, reasons bear weight with me.

  1. When LRH was talking serious GO business with MSH, he took very good care to make sure I was NOT a witness. Aside from very few occasions when he might talk to her about such things at their breakfast, or perhaps in speaking together outside their respective offices, both LRH and MSH were constantly careful that I not know what they were doing or discussing. [On the very few occasions he mentioned something to me about GO business, he did so in a very low voice, leaving me free to say I didn’t hear what he’d said]. I don’t recall ever seeing any written orders or guidance on GO business to MSH from him; strikingly, he was scrupulous about putting his orders in writing to the officers and crews on the ship. Most of what passed between LRH and MSH about GO business was in complete privacy – in his office with the door shut or in their personal quarters, and I guess sometimes at the dinner table, where they would have been careful about what they said in front of the stewarding staff, or about what the Messengers on Duty might overhear.

To say that LRH asked MSH in front of me, “How are the Washington break-ins going” jars so strongly with all that I do recall for sure (admitting that my certainty of recall might exist to serve my own biases) that I have to feel the claim is fabricated. I don’t charge Jon with deliberate falsification; I am aware that we can think ourselves into remembering this or that to suit our own purposes rather than the truth. We, as humans, do it all the time, and I do it too.

3. I had worked rather closely with LRH for some years before the Snow White thing started (and it began before I got wind of it, and that was long before I had any inkling of what it was about). I was accustomed, then, to how he went about supervising work that was of serious importance to him. Obviously, we know that Snow White was extremely significant to him in that he badly wanted to know what the U.S. government had in its files about him and Scientology, and because both the possible advantage and the risk in undertaking the break-ins were enormous.

To tell me, then, that a query of MSH about progress on the highly secret Snow White project took the form of a “How’s it going?” question, again jars profoundly. LRH did not take that kind of approach in finding out what was happening with really serious business. He would start out with a precise, extremely searching question (based on the last exchange he’d had with the person, all details clearly remembered), and he drilled down from there, and as relentlessly as he felt needful, and always rapidly. In this mode, he was not, usually, bullying, just extremely direct and intent on getting all the necessary facts. He did not mess around with sloppy conversational openings unless he was in a good mood, wanting to establish friendly feelings first, and was also relaxed about the subject matter he wanted to broach. It’s what we all expected of him, and we were always as ready for the punchy attitude as we could manage – and we knew that if we could not answer his punchy questions, it was by far better to say so and to undertake to find answers for him quickly, and by far the worse for us to try to fudge. And we never thought of lying to him.

The world has no idea of the type of person LRH was in terms of intellect, stature, energy, purpose (and self-discipline when it suited his purposes) or of sheer size of being. We can’t blame the world for this, or for the fact that the world constantly seeks to see him and describe him in the only world context they know: the regular 20th century macho/weirdo of some character and energy, a guy also assumed to be a liar, cheat, and despot. His work tried to get mankind to expand its consciousness into a context of greater liveliness and happier energy. But mankind would, nor will, have any of it.

I think I have made clear that although I disagree profoundly with what Jon has reported in the passage quoted above –particularly about LRH’s ‘how’s it going’ question – after all these years, I can only state an opinion as to what is right and wrong in his report. Nonetheless, it’s a strongly held opinion. In the absence of proof otherwise, I hold to my version.

*       *       *       *

This is not the first example I have come across in which words have been attributed to me falsely – or, falsely to my mind. In one earlier example, the account was pitifully unconnected with reality. I had never met or heard of the person who reported a conversation between him and me, and never been in the place he said we spoke in. He had me saying things I could never have said or thought of. Yet the report was given value.

Anyone who wants to know truth about LRH and Scientology history needs to be alert to the reality that words can be attributed to me that I never spoke or which I seriously question when I know about them. I have no idea what else I’m supposed to have said that’s available to researchers, and I hope they remember to check their sources. If it happens to me, it can happen to the many others who knew LRH, whether they have put anything into the public domain or not.

That we live in a world of fake “news”, is not fake news. It’s not funny, either.

Sad to say, any accurate description of the breadth and depth of LRH in his best times doing his best work, is far from what can be generally conceived by those who don’t know the best of him. Only the negative (true or not) is believable, being closer to the general tone level. The Church of Scientology doesn’t help with its blatantly false positives, which are easier for the lower-toned to contemplate and ridicule. What is factually positive about LRH and his work is ignored as unreal or denied as impossible. His Tone Scale remains accurate.

[In speaking of LRH in the 1970’s after his stay in New York in 1972-73, it’s inevitable that I should describe behaviour on his part that I couldn’t support. We must note, though, that although he had always been capable of some misbehaviour, his earlier tendency was always to be cheerful, friendly, and supportive in his leadership actions as well as in his personal relationships. The later tendency to what I see as misbehaviour increased gradually and, although it increased, there were always regular and frequent moments of the earlier, higher-toned attitudes. I can say this from my personal experience with him up until we left the ship in 1975. There are various reports from others of pleasant times with him up until his last years.]

How and why he changed in this way can only be a matter for speculation. I have some opinions on the subject and may express them at some other time.]


Memories, 27: The Origins of the RPF

[Relinquishing for now the chronological memoir of times with LRH at Saint Hill Manor. It might resume in the future. This new item is about the RPF and how it started in 1973 when we were on the Apollo.]

How the RPF came to be, and how it was when it began….

After I posted a piece on this blog some months ago about Jesse Prince’s book, a minor rumble took place on “Facebook” about the RPF, encompassing both how horrible the RPF is and how bad I am — since, because I started it, I’m responsible for everything that it has become. Some information was provided on “Facebook” by Janis Gillham Grady– which, truth to tell, she’d got from me in earlier, private e-mails. Janis asserted that “[Ken] swears up and down that…” and, without further attribution, quoted me more-or-less verbatim. I have no issue with being quoted, with or without attribution, but the “swearing up and down” is Janis’ expression, one perhaps induced by my earlier insistence to her on my version of events. Generally, if my account of a happening differs from another’s and I have confidence in my memory, I merely restate mine or let it go. Meanwhile, there is no slightest quarrel with Janis and her choice of words.

When Janis posted her account, I decided to let the sleeping dog lie, partly because I’m tired of telling the story and partly because there didn’t seem to be much to add to what Janis wrote. A suggestion that I publish the story of how the RPF began wouldn’t in itself have moved me to do it, even though I didn’t formally close off the request. But since the “Facebook” fuss there has been a quiet rumble at the back of my mind about the scene that existed at the time the RPF came into being, and what exploration of that scene might tell us and be of interest. At any rate, I’m now putting my impressions of the scene on the record, even if only to get out of my head persistent thoughts about the context then current when I dreamed up the RPF one idle evening, context that will never see the light of day if I don’t write it down. Whether it needs to see the light of day is another question; those who comment freely on the RPF and how it began don’t generally seem to think about any context beyond that of their own impulses.

Scene-setting for the event is that LRH was confining himself to his private cabin on the A-deck of the Apollo, suffering greatly with injuries from his bike crash. The messengers were bearing the brunt of looking after him, and a terrible ordeal it must have been for the young girls. We others of LRH’s personal staff – the Commodore’s Aides, responsible for corporate Scientology affairs, and members of his Personal Office – were peculiarly distant from the agonized victim. Nobody conferred on how to address the fact that our leader was disabled. His powerful presence still dominated all our thoughts – firstly because he declined to let go of his authority, and secondly because he kept his messengers running about among us as he maintained his usual aggressive managerial stance despite the injuries. We on his staff did not get together to work out some particular way to help him. I’d say that we all buckled down and tried our best to handle as much as we possibly could so that he was minimally bothered – this being our normal mode of operation, but now more so.

It was as though we were collectively sighing to ourselves, “Oh, please. We signed on to support an active group leader. He is now playing this game of being an injured hero instead of allowing a doctor to put him right. We are heavily burdened with straightforward work as it is. We are all sleep-deprived. He wants us to get excited because he’s putting us through this drama?” I say “It was as though we were collectively sighing to ourselves…” because nobody discussed the situation with me and I didn’t hear of any others bringing it up between them. We never did speak to each other about how we personally felt about any of LRH’s behavior.

As his Personal Communicator I was directly in the line of fire had LRH chosen to confront us on our apparent lack of concern for him. I expected the hand grenades to land in my lap by way of a messenger or six, but they didn’t come. I waited for his wife, Mary Sue, to light a fire under me on behalf of her husband, but she didn’t. I waited for Diana, his daughter and a distinguished Aide, to make noises at me, but she didn’t. It was as though we all waited for him to get his act together like a good Operating Thetan. Meanwhile, we went about our business with unexpressed sympathy for his plight and withheld embarrassment at how he was not-dealing with it.

He did make one sign of his dissatisfaction with us: He sent one of his messengers to each of his Aides and to say, “The Commodore says his officers are not backing him up!” This in itself didn’t order action, and since the messenger didn’t wait for anybody to say anything in reply, the reprimand was not only ineffective, it showed up a lack of actual authority. It backfired rather spectacularly when the messenger came to Mary Sue, who was the last of the Aides to get it. Sitting in my own office, I heard the messenger’s voice give the message to Mary Sue, followed by the sound of a slap. “Good for you, Mary Sue,” I said to myself. “I wish we all had such bols.” But we were not married to the man.

In this climate of some alienation and frustration on our side and much of the same on LRH’s, a harbour-related upset with us arose in the port where the ship was docked. These “shore flaps” were not uncommon, and rather regularly they landed on LRH’s plate as emergencies for him to directly take care of. This would be either because the flap became so noisy so quickly that it came to his attention before anybody could do much to contain it, or because he heard about it and decided it was much more serious than anyone had been sensible enough to recognize it as. LRH would energetically “handle the hell” out of it; he was extremely sensitive to the fact that a Harbour Master was indeed the Master and could cause any ship terrible trouble, even seize her or order the captain to leave at once.

[LRH was extremely good at handling these flaps, whether they were faux flaps or genuine looming disasters. There seemed to be no bull whose horns he could not grasp if he felt inclined or forced to challenge it. He deserves a lot of respect for it.]

I recall nothing of this particular shore flap except that LRH got it cooled off. Then he ordered the fellow in charge of the ship’s department running the office that dealt with the shore officials and other people to thoroughly examine what had happened, how it had happened, and to propose what he felt necessary to avoid any recurrence. Very shortly thereafter, the report and proposal came to me to forward to LRH. It was part of my work to coordinate all submissions to him and so to lighten his load in dealing with them (98% of his interactions with officers and crew were in writing, excluding messenger runs; the latter were almost invariably verbal).

This submission seemed all right to me so I included it in the daily folder of submissions. The folder came back to me, as usual, after LRH had dealt with it. He had approved the submission to do with the shore flap, and so the actions included in the submission now had the force of authorized orders and had to be carried out.

Now, in examining the situation, the director of the department had found out that the responsible individual who’d failed to carry out a routine duty (leading to the upset in the harbour) excused himself on the basis that he was tired. This information was in the report to LRH. Nobody who signed off on the report took too much notice of this detail. We were all tired all the time; we had to run just to keep in place. We grew extra legs and extra arms to try to avoid a failure that would cause extra work for our leader and bring down his wrath on us. Too bad for us that we couldn’t grow extra brains or create extra hours to sleep in.

Tired was part of our daily life. We woke up to it, worked through it, and went to bed with it. We rarely mentioned it among ourselves, never complained about it. We accepted it as part of life around L. Ron Hubbard on his ship. When we read that this fellow had been extra tired and had failed to take note of exactly what the harbour person had said to him, we all knew exactly what he meant.

LRH, however, took great exception to this excuse of tiredness. He was tired too, but he never moaned about it nor let it stop him doing what he saw as his job – and, as far as he was concerned, he just did not goof, ever. He had a general term for excuse-making of any kind: he called it “case on post”, ‘case’ being the big bag of complaints and excuses, fears, defeats, aches and pains, and all the stuff that one carries around – and hides behind to explain or excuse or justify a failure. Allowing case to interfere with job performance was not acceptable in the Sea Org; all Sea Org members were Sea Org members because they were tough. Sleep deprivation was a mere incidental detail.

Seeing this attempt at excusing a clear lapse of duty that had led to hard work on LRH’s part (he having to do the tired person’s work for him in the cooling-off of the situation caused by said tired person), LRH took up this blaming of tiredness as a matter of “case on post.” This aspect not having been addressed in the proposals for action, LRH inserted an instruction in his own writing. It ordered that a handling be drawn up for all instances of “case on post” throughout the ship – LRH being prone to believing that much of the crew would be goofing off just because he couldn’t be all over the ship at once, cajoling, commanding, or scaring them into being busy. One of his favourite sayings (shared only with confidants, never with the mice) was: “When the cat’s away the mice do play”.

The actions on the submission were each assigned to an individual person or post to complete. The submitter, a relative junior, would never have dreamt of assigning one of the actions on his proposal to a senior, especially not to a Commodore’s Staff person. Well, LRH added in this new action, and he assigned it to a Commodore’s Staff person – me. I saw this, of course, when the submission came back to me from LRH on its return to its originator.

I was fine with the target and with it being assigned to me. No sweat. But of course I noticed that this plan, about to be published for all on the ship to read, would have the department head apparently ordering me (much senior to him) to carry out one of his targets. The mimeo issue of the plan simply showed the LRH-added action without noting that he (LRH) had added it. Not wanting to show that I was sensitive to such an error in protocol, I took it in stride but also took note of it. [The only person on the ship who gave me orders was LRH himself; had Mary Sue given me orders in his absence I would have obeyed them unless I had an objection or alternative that I thought MSH might listen to.]

Despite that minor reservation, I had an immediate idea of what I was going to do to fulfill my assigned action, and I knew it would take a few hours of concentrated working-out and writing. This told me that I’d have to start at once and hope that I’d be left alone long enough to get most of it done or perhaps even all of it. If I’d left it for the next day, or the next “quiet period”, it would never have got done properly. I wouldn’t have wanted LRH chasing me for it even at the best of times, but with his moods being what they were, I was letting no grass grow.

Besides, what I had in mind to do would introduce a pretty radical change into the organizational structure on the ship. Observing how things tended to go in the organization, I felt that the faster one gets a new idea out into group circulation and action the more likely it is to impress and interest; delay in announcement tends to communicate insignificance and unimportance and thus invite delay in implementation.

The Devil, watching over me, kept my desk clear. [He evidently wanted an RPF put in place.] I was able to complete the writing that night. Having finished it, my next action would normally have been to write a cover note to LRH telling him that this was my response to his order and recommending that he approve it for issue to the crew and then full implementation. I would have sent this down to LRH in his next day’s “traffic” folders (the flow of papers into his inbox was called “traffic”).

Now, I knew it was a substantial piece of work, and I felt confident that it was good work. I cast my mind forward to his picking up my proposal from his traffic, wondering what his mood would be when he read it… imagining that he’d be picking holes in it here and there, giving directions for a rewrite – directions that might be not quite clear or might be contrary to the spirit I’d put into the thing. At the same time I was mindful of the slight pride-prick I was feeling of being put in the position of being publicly ordered about by the junior (a fellow I had no quarrel with personally and liked). Moreover, I was aware of part of the intention behind LRH’s addition and its assignment to me – he was lobbing a very hot potato into my hands and saying (in part, at least), “If you think you’re so clever, bud, deal with this for me. Let’s see what you can do. If you fail, I’ll really rub your nose in it.”

I made up my mind: “Right,” I thought to myself. “If you’re so clever as to give the assignment to clever me, and moreover to have a junior appear to be ordering me about, clever me is going to issue his new ship-changing development without your prior approval or even telling you he’s done the work. Then let’s see you rub my nose in that if you want to.”

I sent the piece straight down to the Mimeo Section. It was within my authority to have Mimeo issue items either on behalf of LRH when I could see he didn’t need to be bothered with the work of authorising it, or on my own behalf when I wanted to issue something of my own. [Note: Not once did I ever think of issuing something over LRH’s name off my own bat.] Nonetheless, by rights something this big really should have had his signature on it. He was entitled to hit back.

My big several-page Mimeo issue introducing the Rehabilitation Project Force [RPF] came off the presses and was in all the crew communication baskets in the morning. It created quite a stir –although I was in bed. [We on Commodore’s Staff followed his usual schedule; he worked night hours and slept during the morning and some afternoon hours.]

When I got up to my office that afternoon, the issue was on my desk. I read it and was satisfied that I had followed through on my assignment in no uncertain terms. But didn’t send a copy of the issue to LRH in his traffic folders. Let him find out about it when he finds out about it . . . and let him deal with me as he wants.

Up came a Commodore’s Messenger to me, shortly thereafter. “The Commodore wants to know what this new issue is that everybody is talking about.” Ah, it was likely the messengers on duty told him about the buzz. I handed her a copy of the RPF issue without a word. I waited to see what would hit the fan and how much of it: I had flouted his authority by having the item issued without his prior approval and again by not sending an immediate copy for his perusal. Would he let me get away with it? I waited.

Soon, the same messenger ran back up, put the issue on my desk and said, “Well, that’s very well done!” running off again immediately. I heard no more until late in that same evening when he added to my issue that anyone assigned to the RPF had the right of appeal against the assignment. This would have been understood as part of the general group-wide Ethics system, and I was fine with the addition.

Thus, in this creation of the RPF I had claimed a certain amount of autonomy for myself, and he had gone along with it. In actual fact, I had bypassed him by having shown that I did not go along with the idea of his absolute authority. That he did not immediately pick up on this and restore his position with me was unexpected – it wouldn’t have been simply because he was in pain since he’d been energetically dealing with a lot of business in the preceding weeks. In fact, although I didn’t fully appreciate the significance of it at the time, he had capitulated.

A few days later, however, he radically changed the character of the RPF. One young woman, assigned to the RPF for her “case on post”, had protested noisily and physically. LRH looked into it and decided her protest was groundless. To him her protest was nothing more than her insistence on having case on post. His response to this was to create “the RPF’s RPF” in which to put such rebellious people as this young woman. Any reluctant debutant would be virtually imprisoned in isolation, left to consider the position and come to the correct Sea Org conclusion – to let go of her case on post. I could see how LRH would consider this a good idea.

Obviously, LRH liked the RPF as an addition to the Sea Org system so much he had taken ownership of it. I didn’t like the RPF’s RPF but had no way of countering it without getting myself into trouble for my pains, and it would possibly have resulted in my being put into the RPF’s RPF. That didn’t appeal.

What appealed even less was giving LRH the opportunity to kick me off my post. Although he hadn’t acted on my denial of his authority on the RPF issue, it was likely that something would fester from it. Boils can burst.

I should clarify that he and I were not altogether at loggerheads. We worked closely together most of the time. He could be moody, but while we were on the ship he never crossed swords with me, or yelled at me, or criticised me to my face. He could be friendly and gracious, and was so, almost invariably, in the couple of years we were working together up to 1972 when he left the ship to go to New York. However, after his return to the ship in 1973, I did not support him as before, nor he me. I might argue against something he proposed; he almost invariably disputed it and did what he wanted anyway. He never questioned why when I failed to respond with enthusiasm to something he was doing or advocating or considering. If he had asked, I would have told him. I didn’t force him to bring it out into the open, although I did a few other things (stories for another time) that he really should have taken up with me. It seemed that he accepted my stance, though I didn’t know why he didn’t bring it out into the open, something I wasn’t going to do without his lead. His motorbike accident occurred shortly after his return to the ship and my challenge to his authority was my first open claim to some independence from that authority; his acceptance of the claim remains mysterious to me.

There was one thread in the design of the RPF that I regretted putting into it as soon as it had been issued. I’d been thinking of some of the traditions in the Sea Org of dealing with a rebellious individual, but including a part of the tradition in the design of the RPF resulted later in causing more trouble than good. Specifically, the tradition I thought of was to put the individual into the chain locker, where, according to then current written instructions, the person would be fed by means of a bucket lowered down to him or her, said bucket containing food left over from the crew meals. I had no intention of reviving the hateful chain locker imprisonment but used the bucket procedure into the instructions for setting up the RPF meals, inasmuch as I said the RPF were to be fed on leftovers. I meant it as a sop to the Sea Org die-hards, but there was no real need to pay the die-hards and their opinions any attention.

After my instructions were issued, I made amending this meal guidance something I should do very soon, but I never did get to it. In practice it was never followed on the ship. The Chief Steward, responsible for all catering, somehow got his hands on some RPF members to help him in his vastly-undermanned department. He was so happy to have the help, he made sure the RPF ate just as well as the crew. So I didn’t have an urgent reason to take the time to alter the issue, and the matter slipped into the great Pending Basket in the Sky, I’m sorry to say.

The original RPF issue was set out in a “Flag Order”. (The Sea Org ship that carried the Commodore bore his flag and was therefore known as the “Flagship” or “Flag”.) LRH had several different types of Mimeo issues for different purposes, importances, and audiences. One issue type was the “Flag Order”, which carried instructions and so on for matters to do with the running of the Flagship and all aboard her. Each Flag Order had its consecutive number. The RPF Flag Order was #3434. As far as I can tell, the very first RPF issue has been buried or destroyed; it has been revised many times. There doesn’t seem to be a copy of the first edition of FO3434 outside the Church of Scientology [I’d be happy to have one] – and my original issue has been altered beyond all recognition. As have the intention and the management of the RPF.

The spirit in which the RPF was conceived is as follows: Okay, crew member, your seniors say that you’re not pulling your weight and not taking responsibility for that. And indeed, you’re saying that you have this or that excuse. Excuses are not acceptable: we are going to do something about your giving one. We understand and accept that the pace has been a bit too much for you. We’ll put you in this section of the crew where you will keep up certain basic responsibilities for the good of the ship and the crew, but you’ll also have opportunity to use this Scientology technology called training and auditing. Auditing is intended to help people deal with the reasons they can’t work or do their jobs (among other things). We’ll show you how you can learn some of this technology to audit another RPF member, and we’ll show another RPF member how he or she will audit you. The work we’ll give you to do will take half of your day and will consist mostly of cleaning. You will be given some cleaning to do and you will complete that cleaning so it’s done for the day. Whatever cleaning you start you will complete. Half of the RPF crew will be cleaning while the other half is learning how to audit and doing the auditing. Then the first cleaning crew will shift over to the auditing mode, and the first auditing crew will shift over to cleaning mode. When you have learned to perform your cleaning tasks well and have completed all your auditing requirements in auditing others and in receiving your own auditing sessions, you can apply to “graduate” from the RPF. If you have honestly completed all requirements, you will graduate and return to the crew as a regular member. There are certain disciplinary, logistic, and domesticity guidelines for you to follow.

[It seemed to me, and still does, that the introduction of the RPF’s RPF introduced a note of institutional harshness into this spirit, and that a cleaner and kinder handling of the rebel would have been to simply give him or her the choice to leave altogether. I can accept that my allowing the harshness of “leftovers” to remain in my issue contributed to the eventual degradation of the RPF that has so disgusted so many. But I tend to think that the harshness of the RPF’s RPF concept did more damage to the intended spirit of the RPF.]

Thus the RPF was conceived and then run on the ship and at the Clearwater establishment while I was on post as LRH Personal Communicator. I made sure I was the last person on the list to approve every graduation.

I have evidence that the RPF in the Sea Org PAC [for “Pacific”] region (in and near Los Angeles) had the same decent spirit, at least for a while. Of course, since we were all human and imperfect, there were mistakes and misdeeds within and about the RPF. But on the whole, I’d say the RPF in its original practice, did more good than harm. That some people were harmed in some ways, I have to accept, such as those who had needs beyond what anyone on the ship could take care of. I also believe a lot of moaning is by people who moan anyway.

What drastically changed the management of the RPF — changing it in a context that made it impossible for me to intervene — was the purchase of the “Big Blue” building in Los Angeles (the former hospital) and the need to transform it quickly into premises suitable for Sea Org offices and accommodation. LRH ordered the purchase of the building and its renovation by PAC while he was in hiding in California, and he could only ever want something done in a hurry. The senior Sea Org members in PAC seemed to be delirious with excitement because LRH was operating into their area and made themselves more than ready to get everything done in a great tearing hurry. Impressing the Commodore with one’s ability to force things DONE (“to kick ass”, as they say today) was every loyal Sea Org member’s dream.

[The preceding paragraph has been revised to correct an error. The original version stated that LRH ordered the purchase of the big LA building when he was away from the ship (which would have been in 1972-3, obviously incorrect).]

The Big Blue work required labour and plenty of it. That meant using all the new recruits, but soon the excited PAC officers realized that they could rope in their local RPF. I was not kept abreast of what they were doing at PAC with their RPF. Of course, the Sea Org people there had no reason to put me in the loop, because they were dealing almost directly with LRH, who was in hiding out West somewhere (perhaps in Nevada at that time or in California), and he didn’t need me, in Clearwater, Florida, interfering with anything he wanted done in a hurry in Los Angeles. Nobody who was dealing almost directly with LRH would want anybody else on the line; anyone not put there or called upon by LRH was irrelevant. To intervene in an activity urgent and important to LRH was to ask for inevitable public put-down by him.

Furthermore, the operations of the Sea Org – often Byzantine — required that urgent operations be carried out as “Missions” in which two or more selected SO members were sent on specific and detailed orders from the ship or from a senior office on shore (such as the executive stratum at PAC). These missions were managed only by “Mission Operations”. There were missions at PAC involved in making the renovations happen. If I’d attempted to interfere with missions that had decided to take over the local RPF and use it contrary to my founding guidance, I’d cause a lot of fuss and flap that would have been quickly forwarded on to LRH’s plate (he taking a direct interest in these missions), doing any cause of mine no good whatsoever.

Because the PAC people were dedicating themselves to getting done what LRH wanted done, I had no ground on which to stand with regard to regulating what I did hear about their misuse and abuse of the RPF crews. Clearly, their RPF members were being used as slave-labour and denied their auditing activities– the whole RPF concept had been perverted. I wanted to insist that their RPF follow all rules regarding scheduling, for example. But group politics were against me: any attempt to intervene would have caused a loud chorus of eager complaint to LRH that I was trying to stop them doing what he wanted, which was to get the renovations done as quickly as possible. He was always ready to listen to such complaints; when he received them, he had the tendency to empty his gun and then, maybe, ask some questions.

And misuse and abuse the poor RPF the PAC Sea Org certainly did, without restraint or mercy, without any consideration for human decency. The RPF became a mockery and a denial of its original spirit.

The Sea Organization has a secret motto that one learns only over time: “In joining us you put your sanity in jeopardy.” I’m not a bit surprised that people get righteously shocked at the RPF as it became – I share their indignation. I don’t blame anyone for anyone being unaware of how it began and assuming its current state is totally my responsibility.

I don’t accept that by forming the RPF I directly put anybody’s sanity in jeopardy, although I started something that others changed into sanity-jeopardising misbehaviour. But the degradation of the RPF was part of a movement to change all of the Sea Organization and all of corporate Scientology into sanity-jeopardising misbehaviour — which is also partly my responsibility, but not by any means mine alone. At least I did disconnect from that movement. Thirty-six years ago.

As I’ve said, I did include in my RPF design one element of stupidly harsh Sea Org tradition that would have been better omitted – the serving of leftover food. My bad judgment. On the other hand, the RPF was a major change in Sea Org culture, and, on the whole, I’m satisfied that in its original form it was a constructive contribution to that culture. I regret that the Sea Org could not live with what the RPF was actually meant to be and twisted it into an activity repulsive to all decent people.

But then, so much of what was good in Scientology has the Sea Org seemed to be unable to live with and seems to have twisted into activity repulsive to many decent people. Kenneth G. Urquhart

© 2019


3 Replies to “Memories, 27: The Origins of the RPF”

  1. Robin ScottI was on the Flag RPF from 1977-79. I had huge wins, and met all sorts of fascinating people. One of the most uptone groups I ever belonged to.Some people are going to moan about anything which tries to put their ethics in!I even did the RPF’s RPF twice, and turned that into a positive experience too.“The RPF is what we make it; the RPF is where we make it!”
  2. Rheva Bittelman Spence Mayer Acevedo (HA!!!!)Never have I profusely thanked you (from the bottom of my fat little toes to my then curly head of bleached blond hair) for saving my life. Remember, “PC Rheva Spence is to throw her auditor, Rheva Spence overboard”? Somehow you got me off the hook.Big hug!Rheva
    1. urqbones@gmx.comDarlin’, that particular memory has, I’m sad to say, gone the way of so many.
      However, I’m profoundly grateful to know that I provided someone, and specially you, with some relief and something to remember happily. :))
      God Bless.

Comments are closed.


Responding to a Message

This is the text of an e-mail message received privately at the blog e-mail address. This address forwards to my regular e-mail inbox. The originator sent an earlier message last week, to which I replied at once. It was a simple request to know if I was receiving mail at that address or not. Not receiving any reply, I sent a follow-up. Still no reply.

Today, the sender sent two messages, one to ask why he hadn’t received a reply to his first, and a second which I’ll paste in a moment. It seems that my e-mail forwarding and response system isn’t working. I’ll try to find out why. There has been no other message received at the blog e-mail address,, that I know of. I don’t have any problems dealing with messages sent to me via other addresses that forward to my regular e-mail.

Since I’m not able to reach the originator of the message and since he/she is asking some slightly challenging questions, I’ll paste the message here and give my answers. Anyone familiar with the C of S scene who reads this will know that the questioner is either anti-Scn or is a loyal member. The signature is a set of initials, but since the message began as a private communication I’ll omit any identification. The message is:Well Ken Urquhart,                                   Did you ever complete your RPF assignment ?   and can a person hide forever ?What should I know about you ?First of all, I take it that the greeting is at least challenging if not aggessive. Not that I care, either way.I was assigned to the RPF, yes, and I went there. I was “with” the RPF, I was never IN it, finding that it was too small to contain me. I was removed from RPF activity before I even thought of beginning the process of graduating from it (being in no hurry to get back into the rat-race of ‘normal’ existence as a member of any organization in Clearwater — and I had my private agenda, incomplete, for being with the RPF). They put me on the post of D of P for Interviews in the then-new NOTs HGC, something I was happy to do. Demand for NOTs was high and the need for a second Interviewer urgent.On that post, I got myself a pretty good reputation among the tech staff and among the public clients. I redid all my technical training up to Class I, including interneships, in my study time, and then trained as a NOTs auditor; two years later I had the highest Well Done Auditing Hours [WDAH] in the NOTs HGC for the year.I don’t believe my RPF assignment was ever cancelled or completed. It never entered my mind and seems never to have entered anybody else’s until this query today. With that demonstrated production (you cannot fudge high WDAH at any level, far less on NOTs), doing over 40 WDAH a week, week in, week out), who in his right mind (whether in the C of S or not) would have said that I was so down-stat and out-ethics it was wrong to take me out of the RPF and that I really needed to complete its processes?Can a person hide forever? Any person can consider he/she is hiding, and consider that he/she is hiding ‘forever’. I think we can suppose that the sender of the message is saying that I have never completed my RPF assignment and should go back there to do it. And that by not going back I am hiding, and trying to hide forever, from the RPF experience. Good luck on that one, friend. If you think that you have the right Why for me and my actions and my life, I’d suggest that you redo the Data Series Evaluator Course.As for what this person or any person should know about me: I have no idea, and couldn’t care less what this writer or anyone else knows about me or doesn’t know about me or cares one way or the other about what there is to know about me or not know about me. Dredge up all you want. There is plenty of dirt to dredge but there is only one beingness to whose authority to judge me I bow.*     *     *     *I have published this exchange firstly so I can present the originator with answers to the questions lest he/she assume I am unwilling to reply to a challenge. It’s the only such message received since I opened the blog. I don’t intend to make a habit of pushing entheta; my appetite for taking up challenges of this nature is not large and I won’t assume that anyone reads this blog in order to get a dose of antagonism.As far as I’m aware, in dealing with this enquiry I’ve respected truth, necessity, and kindness. If not, I will apologise and make amends. Should the originator want to take the thread any further, he/she would have to respect them too. Otherwise, I will ignore the communication.I also give notice that I will take up or refuse any future similar message entirely at my own discretion and that any refusal on my part has no bearing on whether I can confront the contents or not.With goodwill towards all–(c) Kenneth Urquhart 2018.CATEGORIESTHIS’N’THATUNCATEGORIZEDTAGSCHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGYKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORRPFSCIENTOLOGYSEA ORG

23 Replies to “Responding to a Message”

  1. Robin ScottFascinating, Ken, and very curious that you should receive this just now, when things are hotting up in the independent field, since we’re all writing and publishing books! Your contact must feel threatened by this activity.The questions are spurious, and didn’t deserve a reply, as simply entheta. It was typically noble and generous of you to provide a response. I think you should identify the originator by their initials.In my extensive experience of the RPF, very few actually graduated. Most were invariably reprieved by an amnesty or a post assignment. So the question is based on an entirely false premise.Please keep us posted, Ken!
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Robin. Will do.
      In my time of some authority over the RPF on the ship, we had regular graduations.
  2. Dan KoonSpoken like the Ken Urquhart I have come to know over these last several years.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comI’ve often wanted to meet him, too. 🙂
      1. Robin ScottNice one, Ken, very witty, my friend!
  3. chuckbeattyx75to03SeaOrgDear Ken, Yes, the “What should I know about you?” is a variation of the withhold or missed withhold question, a clear “sec check” like quesiton implying that something was “missed” in the sec checking or tailor-made Case Supervisor instructions that might have been your “next session” first instruction in your next session from them.I know in the Book of Case remedies and in the related sec checking materials (I was briefly the Sec Checking School co-theory course supervisor in LA in my 1975-2003 Sea Org career, I prided myself on being a course sup, no longer of course), but today I highly appreciate ALL details you write, I for one, read every word of them(My first wife was Ann Halblom old Flag Banking Officer of the late 1975-1978 era, then she was promoted to CS-3, and so forth, and I when I went to meet her when you were still LRH Pers Comm, I absolutely understood your old role as the boss of the old LRH Pers Office and thus you were superior to the CS-Aides in terms of relayer to and from Hubbard, all communication of that late 1970s era ashore in Clearwater, so I highly highly appreciate all details you lay out of all your years, any year, as I was a Flag Course Sup in the Exec College of the Flag Bureaux under Al Baker and read intensely all the 1975-1976 traffic that was relevant to the lives of all the Clearwater Land Base staff who were in staff training in the course rooms in their staff study and the outer org trainees of that snippet of time, 1976-1983).I highly appreciate all details, all moments, you lived.Later, in LA, end of the 1980s, I was the Sec Checker School Theory Course Sup, and poured over the materials, even though the Course Sups are supposed not trained in them.Trained sec checkers know that the ARC Break Auditors are allowed to utter things, well crafted, to stir up their former members’ overts, as the main type of communication allowed. And there is the “Black Dianetics” angle, in that one just for PR reasons stirs up the presumed overts of “enemies” as a PR tactic when the speaker/group hasn’t dug up the actual overts of the outside enemy already.Just nonsense, and thankyou Ken, for YOUR details of your life, as anyone in all the history coming years in the future, will appreciate, if they get to this high level of understanding of the people around Hubbard, to gosh darned appreciate all that you write about your history around Hubbard.Thankyou forever Ken.Chuck Beatty
    one aging old fool dupe to the Hubbard adminsitrative system that kept that Scientology movement going 1975-2003 Sea Org, etc. (I’m a hard core atheist, the thetan/soul to me today is the problem, it’s vanished as a reality in my mind, and thus all of Scientology’s soul-therapy/exorcism is but mind swirling tactics, deceptive and only sometimes fruitful for a person.)Anything your write, is important historically, Ken, to those of use who know, even us hardcore non-believers!!
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Chuck. 🙂
      Different courses for different horses. 🙂
    2. Robin ScottChuck
      Your respect for Ken is admirable and appropriate. I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with him, and I consider him to be a terminal of magnitude – probably we should call him a big being!
      I find his viewpoints on the whole story unique and invaluable, so that I gradually learn to understand better what the hell happened.
      Best to you, my friend
      1. chuckbeattyx75to03Thankyou Robin. I’d read anything you write also, but for sure, Ken is just a huge huge historical intimate of LRH, thus anything Ken writes is always important historically. Probably the hugest alive, Ken is, in terms of the bureaucracy history of Scientology’s most tumultuous years of the late 1970s.I’m so sad other major figures don’t write a bit about their lives in their Hubbard upclose years.The only accurate history is from ex members, and the people around Hubbard, their timeslots, that history, I wish could somehow be gotten.I’ve also dreamed of getting some sort of university funding to interview, and get grants to get the major figures interviewed and funded, and a setup to record all their histories, etc.It’s a DIY history of Scientology at present, at least people can easily write books.
  4. chuckbeattyx75to03SeaOrgKen,
    As the second or first D of P of the NOTs unit, I believe my ex wife, Ann Halblom Beatty, joined that unit later, when you became yourself a NOTs auditor of that unit a short time after, correct?Remember Ann Halblom Beatty (she’d been CS-3 and you’d have also known her as hanging around the tail end of the Apollo years, like 1975, she came from Boston and became in the end of 1975 the Flag FBO, and then by 1978ish she moved up to CS-3 and SOR, Sea Org Reserves held from above, etc, busted herself to the RPF, and into the NOTs unit as D of P herself for a year or so while you were there as NOTs auditor—she respectfully remembered you, she’s still in, I left it all in 2003)?
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Chuck. Those last years in the SO (I left/was kicked out in 1982) I don’t dwell on much. I’m sorry but my memory
      is vague. I have some foggy pictures of Ann as D of P. No memories of her as CS-3 — perhaps she became that after I
      was shipped into the RPF.
  5. chuckbeattyx75-03SeaOrgWhat I’m curious about, for long into the future researchers into the Hubbard administrative bureaucracy history, is your hindsight views of your years intimately around the changes Hubbard made.1) I’ve read some persons opine that in general Hubbard chose major changes based on his subordinates’ reports and suggestions, do you feel that the major administrative changes were just like that, and can you name names of persons you felt made suggestions during the CS-Aides years when you were Pers Comm, and which persons made productive bureaucratic suggestions that did become movement policy?That’s a big one, and might take months to answer. Please use the OEC Volumes or Admin Dictionary’s index of policies and Flag Orders and other Sea Org issue types in the rear of the Admin Dictionary to jog your memory about major productive ideas that others in those years of the second half of the 1970s, when there was that era of a fuller bureaucracy of numerious “CS-Aides” and Flag Bu personnel solving things on their own more than now’s bureaucracy.2) Were any of the CS-Aides or FB execs of particularly noteworthy idea providers in that era that resulted in any of those changes that occurred in the 1975-1982 era?
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Chuck, and thanks for your enthusiastic interest. Thanks so much for the assignment and guidance:“That’s a big one, and might take months to answer. Please use the OEC Volumes or Admin Dictionary’s index of policies and Flag Orders and other Sea Org issue types in the rear of the Admin Dictionary to jog your memory about major productive ideas that others in those years of the second half of the 1970s, when there was that era of a fuller bureaucracy of numerious “CS-Aides” and Flag Bu personnel solving things on their own more than now’s bureaucracy.”I’ll get on to it right away, once you let me know who will be setting up the office to deal with all the admin required. 🙂
      1. Robin ScottLOL!!
      2. chuckbeattyx75to03mainly an admin nerdKen, You were in my mind a giant of the admin history of the movement, and you are alive, and thus, any more detailed hindsights you utter or write, will automatically be important historically.
        I’ve dreamed of outfitting a camper trailer, and drive around and quit interview major figures, and carry along the full sets of volumes, etc, to let important figures in Scn history, read and pour over past writings, and there is just endless stories behind all of the issues LRH wrote, and really, I think unfortunately literally about it all, every word, issue, and the behind the scenes despatches LRH had going on ordering things, particularly in those very tumultuous times when there were large administrative changes going on in the latter half of the 1970s up through the times most of the Apollo vets finally all left the movement. (IN my dream pullalong trailer of LRH refs, I’d also have all of the LRH private despatch orders/traffic, but that’s not publicly available, but you I believe saw almost all of the admin traffic and were relayer to pass it along back and forth to LRH, so your thoughts on all those hundreds, maybe thousands of despatches, locked in your brain cells would be some of the most interesting details, ….)
        Oh well, it’s all possibly just massively inconsequential, sorry.
        Anything you write, I enjoy reading, thanks eternally.
        1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Chuck. If your interest is in what was going on in the late 1970’s, I’m not the person you’re looking for. In 1975, LRH left Florida. I understand that he spent some time in Washington, DC, before settling in California. I remained in Florida (at first in King Arthur’s Court, Dunedin, and then at the Fort Harrison in Clearwater). Whatever importance I had on the post of LRH Pers Comm diminished. I was the last person on the line in Clearwater that handled traffic to LRH (other than GO traffic which never went to him through me, or almost never). Wherever he was in California, he had someone else handling the traffic that went to him and that traffic could come from any organization that he was in touch with.
          And, in that period after he left, I became less and less active in the organization as time went on, disliking more and more what I was witnessing, and not able to figure out a way to leave that would not unduly destabilize others who might not be happy to stay. I didn’t care about who might want to leave or not but I didn’t want my leaving to tip anyone into leaving. If anyone wanted to leave he or she would be better off acting on own determinism without any example from me.
        2. urqbones@gmx.comChuck, thanks for sharing your dream. I think it’s a great idea and I wish it could happen.
          As I just mentioned, I was not really part of the management scene after 1975 — I didn’t want to be.
  6. DaveInteresting mindset of your “challenger”.Sane response.Rock on!
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Dave.Rocking on, rockily. 🙂
    2. Robin ScottGreat comment, Dave!
  7. Scott GordonSuperb and enlightening response.Sets a great example, too.We deal with this a lot.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Scott, and a deep bow. 🙂
  8. OnuIt seems to me that in order to participate in the Church of Scientology as it stands today, as public, staff, exec or sea org, a person is required to accept a position of overwhelm and subjugation to higher authority in order to pursue their ideals.When a person compromises their own understanding and knowingness in order to subjugate themselves to higher authority, albeit in pursuit of a worthy goal, that person places themselves in a position of overwhelm which they then knowingly dramatise in relation to others.The full KUCDEIOF Scale applies with enforcement and inhibition as only two factors within the overall sequence.
    Technical Dictionary
    KUCDEIOF,  know, unknow, curious, desire, enforce, inhibit, none of it, false.  (SH Spec 296, s308C20)
    L. Ron Hubbard
    ———————————–The person always knows in the first place.The difficulty is when we compromise our own knowingness and understanding we end up in a mess and powerless to do anything about it…..…. trapped in circumstances of our own making, by our own choices and decisions.….. until we face the truth of  our own compromises, assume the courage of our own convictions and assume the dignity to act accordingly.

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The Expert Witness: My Life at the Top of Scientology by Jesse Prince [2018]

[This book is available through Amazon.]

In this compelling read, Jesse tells of his experiences in the Scientology universe, from the circumstances of his introduction to the subject, then by way of his rapid climb to the top of the organization’s corporate maze (in the early 80’s), to his unhappy exit (in the late nineties) – followed by aspects of his life thereafter, focusing on the nastiness of the fights he got into with that maze and its leader and his then henchmen.

I’ve read few of the books produced by former members, because I’m not terribly interested in what people have to say about an organization which was already a wreck before I left it in 1982. The writing was on the wall forty years ago as clear as day. Who wants to keep staring at a wall, over and over? One could say that many have walked alongside this particular wall, taking their time to read it, some of them then taking time to tell us what they have been through. “See! See what the writing on the wall, which we did not heed, has wrought!” Nothing wrong with that. If it interests people, it interests them.

None of it, that I know of, has so far made much difference to anything. We have revelations about misbehaviours within the C of S [Church of Scientology] towards its staff and its members, we have revelations about the misbehaviours and insanities of L. Ron Hubbard, and we have almost endless commentary about the endless gossip concerning all these misbehaviours and what they mean.

Jesse’s book, which I have read once and quickly, swims in the same waters but is a different kettle of fish. Jesse, whom I knew slightly in Clearwater, was an independent, never a zealot, never a robot. His heavy-lidded eyes were always his own; although relaxed, he was watchful; although friendly, he was tough; although conscientious, he was not a simple true-believer. He had a ready wit and a ready laugh. His tongue could be sharp without being unkind.

I remember one time of his attending to me when he was a Cramming Officer. I, an auditor, was with him to explore some auditing sin I had committed in a recent session. By that time, LRH had ordered that when an auditor was sent to Cramming because of an alleged error in a session, the Cramming Officer had to “fly the rudiments” on the auditor as the first action in the Cramming procedure. “Rudiments” in this context are questions asked about basic upsets or concerns a person might have in the moment; to fly them means to clear up any such issues so they’re no longer distracting the possessor from the main action (correction of auditing errors) about to happen. Each question in the set of rudiments that is taken up is explored until the possessor’s needle floats on the question on the meter; hence the term “fly” – but don’t ask me why it’s “fly” and not some other word.

“Rudiments” include questions about matters which the person whose rudiments [ruds] are being “flown” would rather not bring into the light of day, such as misdeeds or secrets. With this kind of ruds question, if focusing solely on misdeeds or secrets, we used to say we “pull” them rather than fly them, whereas for the whole set of ruds we fly them. It comes to the same thing; again, the usage is obscure and don’t ask me.

So, Jesse is getting ready to fly my ruds so he and I can get into and complete my Cramming thing; this one’s not going to be a long affair. Once a Cramming Order is issued, the auditor has to go to Cramming to get it looked into, with corrective actions undergone as found necessary by the Cramming Officer. The auditor does not return to auditing until cleared by the Cramming Officer after the corrective action. In the office with us is a young Latina woman who is also an auditor and also has a Cramming Order to carry out. She, aggressively anxious to get it all over with so she can get back “in the chair” (that is, in the auditor’s chair delivering auditing to the organization’s customers) is insisting that her ruds be flown. All she is doing in fact is interfering with Jesse’s performance of his job with me so he can get to her.

He tells her politely a couple of times that Yes, he will fly her ruds just as soon as he’s finished with me. She continues her nagging. With a slight edge to his voice, but in total control of his enunciation, and a mischievous glint in his eye, he tells her “All right, my dear! I will pull your rudiments.” She then fell silent and left the room. [Probably not too much of a joke for some, but it tickled me, simple as I am. If any explanation needed: Jesse was telling the young lady that in his eyes, the ruds he’d have to handle with her were going to be – because of her obnoxious attitude – of the misdeed/secret category. Not exactly kind, but she was asking for it.]

Jesse stood out not just because of his dark-brown skin. As in any close-knit community where there is jockeying for promotion, favour, and so on, internal politics can break out in ugly rashes. Many people learned to keep their mouths shut and to cover their rear ends carefully. Anyone with eyes to see saw it. Jesse was one who watched what he said, but you could see he had no fear of expressing himself regardless of the politics. Moreover, he looked as though he could speak his mind eloquently enough to hold his ground and gain respect.

After Jesse left Clearwater, I became aware that he’d quickly gained promotion in the hierarchy over at wherever he had gone. This meant little to me since I was already on my road out of the organization. I wasn’t surprised that he’d been picked out in the newly-dominant management culture, with its emphasis on what would come to be called the kick-ass approach. If that approach appealed to Jesse, he’d fit right in. I left a few months later, having never had ambition of the kick-ass type. In the years that followed, I’d think about Jesse now and then, wondering how he was getting on in that environment, particularly how he might be managing his relationships with his seniors and associates. If he was staying with the program, he would be dancing skilfully, I felt. But I wondered how far he would go with it.  

Through the years, I heard, of course, of his public opposition to his former colleagues and of his connection with Bob Minton. I think we exchanged a brief greeting on some digital platform, but our paths haven’t otherwise met or crossed. [I have never considered brute force to be effective with people like Miscavige, and I have never had any resources with which to deal with him.] When I heard that Jesse had written his book, I looked for it, got it, and read it through in one sitting.

Two immediate comments: Firstly, the book is by a committed representative of the anti-Scientology, anti-C of S, anti-Miscavige, anti-Hubbard industry. By this, I mean the community of people who know with full certainty that because something about Scientology is bad, all of Scientology is bad; because many things about the C of S are bad, everything to do with the C of S is bad; because a lot of what Miscavige is accused of is really bad, he is all bad; and because Hubbard became in some respects insane and evil, the totality of his being and living was and always has been nothing but insane and evil. This is a harsh, filtered, one-eyed view and not one I agree with; I can accept that there was insanity and egregious misbehaviour. Can I ignore what I see was, on the contrary, positive? No way. More on that later.

Secondly, the book is by someone who was part of the topmost management of the C of S corporate conglomerate and, as I’ve pointed out, his own person with his own eyes. He has first-hand experience that he can describe, and he can do it with independent intelligence and insight. Jesse talks of relationships and events at a level unique in what I’ll refer to as the ‘anti industry’. And although you would have to think he regards Miscavige as at best an enemy, and LRH at best a fraudster, his narrative is not loaded with bitterness or hatred, nor with disguised propaganda (that I could see).

With regard to propaganda, Jesse does direct suspicion towards Miscavige in respect of possible forgery of Hubbard’s signature and of possible involvement in the violent death of someone close to him (to Miscavige) whose existence threatened Miscavige’s position at the top of the organization. Jesse also adds fuel to the accusatory fire beloved in the anti industry about possible obfuscation by Miscavige of truth concerning the circumstances of LRH’s passing and of his will.

Concerning propaganda against LRH, Jesse points towards evidence that LRH was an alcoholic but is clearly careful of drawing any certain conclusion on that subject. On the other hand, Jesse allows one of the reviews of his book (included in the Foreword) to state unambiguously that LRH was an alcoholic in terms that are bombastic but not backed up with fact.

Jesse’s observations of LRH’s behaviour and state of mind are of great interest. Just about all that he reports of these I can believe. Without trying to sound all-knowing, he tells me that which I (and others) saw coming when I decided I couldn’t follow LRH on the path he began to take in the mid-70’s. Thus, Jesse’s words ring as very likely true. This being said, it is extremely sad to hear just how far and in what way LRH’s mental and spiritual condition degraded, and to know that he was not well cared for in his last days – notwithstanding the fact that LRH had made for himself the bed he was lying on, and had held close to him the people who accepted the responsibility of caring for him.

[There is some comfort in having an idea of how LRH’s sanity shook as he drew close to the end of his life; the knowledge helps me feel less stupid about how my sanity slipped away as my days within the church drew to their end, and about how long it took me to get myself back on an even keel after returning to the real world. In fact, that process still continues. And I’m grateful that it does.]  

Jesse describes Miscavige’s final humiliation of Mary Sue Hubbard, a ritual sacrifice in which Jesse participated as a witness and Miscavige supporter. To Jesse’s credit he expresses regret about that horrible event and his part in it. Consequently, I for one will not hold his complicity against him, should my doing so or not ever be important. The rest of the mob that Miscavige dragged with him for that ritual can join him in hell forever as far as I’m concerned. Mary Sue was not perfect, but she had been loyal; in no way did she deserve that treatment. In this Miscavige performance in Mary Sue’s own home he bullied her into signing away her rights as widow despite the fact that much of the wealth he was diverting from her hands existed because of her life’s work for the organization – quite apart from anything she was due from LRH’s will or entitled to in the absence of a will, as his widow.

Interesting to note that a factor in Jesse’s initial acceptance of and entry into Scientology had to do with out-of-body experiences [OOB]; he tells us that he mentioned in his first visit to the organization that he had had many OOB experiences and was interested in knowing more about the subject; they assured him he’d come to the right place. It’s interesting because part of Jon Atack’s initial experience [described in his book A Piece of Blue Sky] had to do with the promise of “going exterior”, otherwise known as OOB. Atack’s book (which Jesse recommends) is part of the same anti industry.

An important aspect of the history of the degradation of Scientology is the role played by the part of the organization devoted to getting people to purchase services and to continue to buy them. In 1968, not long after the Sea Organization [“the SO”] began its interference with the international Scientology network of organizations (which the SO had avowedly left to the Scientology World-Wide headquarters at Saint Hill [known as “WW”]), reports began coming into WW, where I was an executive [and not part of the SO], of marked increases in the amounts of money being taken in by far-flung organizations. The SO people involved were insisting on large increases in income from week to week at each org, and in most instances the increases occurred. As a WW executive, I was greatly concerned that we did not know what it was that these organizations were now selling – and therefore promising to deliver. It’s a disgrace on my part that I didn’t pursue this concern; why I didn’t is another story.

I’m digressing from discussion of Jesse’s book here only to give the book some context I think has relevant importance: both Jon Atack and Jesse were attracted into the grip of the Scientology organization by promises of spiritual candy. Whatever else they learned on the path by which they came to find that the candy had a bitter taste, they share the view that they had been misled fraudulently. In view of the promises they were sold on, they are not mistaken, in my opinion. However, in their disillusion they are busy dealing with a set of problems that would never have existed had the staff who sold them the candy been properly and honestly trained and supervised as regards what they were leading people to expect by way of results. The promise of exteriorization was explicitly forbidden in policy LRH wrote himself. In pushing the organizations to ignore that policy, the C of S upper management (in reality, LRH and the SO) created a hornet’s nest of problems for itself. Making the receipt of money more important than the spiritual health of the paying customer is bad enough; taking that money and putting the customer in harm’s way creates the kind of energy that results in the anti industry.

While off on this tack, I should add that just after the death of L. Ron Hubbard there was a time when the Lords Muck-a-Muck of corporate Scientology were agog to have access to the “OT” levels that LRH had left behind. These Lords, according to Jesse (who was one of them), thought that these esoteric, advanced materials could make them masters of the manipulation of matter, energy, space, and time. Evidently, their eyes were greedy for that great prize. In due course, they found that the materials would do no such thing. But the commentator can notice that from the inception of the “OT” levels, the levels have carried with them the implied promise of abilities far beyond the human. Those who went into the OT levels with open eyes could find value in them without expecting anything more than what they could get. Unfortunately, the implied promises spoke loudly to those seeking the fools’ gold of extraordinary powers in order to increase not their abilities to live good lives in good community with family, neighbours, and fellows, but their abilities to bully the totality of family, neighbours, fellows, Planet Earth, and The Universe – and, presumably, all other bullying OT’s too. A moment’s reflection would have shown them that if a number of individuals become free to autonomously change the arrangement of matter, energy, space, and time in which the cosmos holds together, then chaos would quickly result, ending all games, good or unworthy.

In these two ways at least, in promising the candy of OOB and the fools’ gold of cosmic mastery to all who could be tempted to pay for it, the C of S set itself up for the attacks of the bitterly disillusioned against its arrogance and stupidity in making insane promises. Alas, the C of S set up the technology to be tarred with the same brushes. The technology is not perfect but it is too good for what the C of S made of itself. Whatever about that technology is pure remains pure.

Much of what Jesse says we must take at face value. It is worth noting, though, that the main persona in one of Jesse’s stories of his time within the organization does dispute some of Jesse’s stated facts. This is Robin Scott, the British man who, having left the Sea Org, impersonated a Sea Org officer and got his hands on the most advanced and valuable technical materials the organization possessed. Jesse recounts how he got the better of Robin; Robin has a different story. Part of that story, according to Jesse, is the belief that David Mayo wanted and got copies of that precious material. I can dispute this up to a point, in some support of Robin’s position. I was with David Mayo at the time in question (but left shortly thereafter) and can attest that David was not only horrified at the theft but vehemently against anyone connected with him having any copies of that stolen material. David could possibly have changed his mind later, but I doubt it because, in that period, he was defending himself against brutal attacks from Miscavige and Jesse.

Jesse also has remarks about the materials David Mayo wrote up for his own use at his own centre for the level the stolen materials covered. The documents making up the C of S package were originally signed by LRH, whereas it was clear to anyone familiar with the respective styles that some of the issues in that package were transcripts of LRH recordings (of briefings he had given David himself) on the subject, and the rest were mostly written by David either on behalf of LRH or with his approval. I believe that David, after he’d set up his own independent centre, was rewriting in his own words for his own independent use what he had written for LRH to sign for C of S use. Jesse claims that what David wrote is nonsensical and unworthy. All the auditors at David’s centre read his version and found it workable.

Jesse reports this thing and that from intelligence reports he was receiving from C of S spies infiltrated into David Mayo’s group. I’ll believe all of these things once they are fact-checked. I suspect that Jesse likely accepted reports from spies who were saying that which they thought it was good to say and for their masters to hear. It’s a bit late to fact-check these things; nonetheless, I believe that in what Jesse saw with his own eyes, heard with his own ears, and figured out with his own judgment, he is a reliable witness. Do we know that he tells all that he might tell, and all that is relevant? We can never know that about any story.

Jesse can be rightly proud of the prominent position he earned – high in this wealthy organization clutched by dedicated and ruthless dominators. Here, he demonstrated not only his ability to get things done, itself a distinction, but also his presence of mind in manoeuvring the bogs of bullshit necessary to keep the dominators cool and collected – and away from his throat. To what extent do we admire him for these accomplishments, as we’re invited to by their recitation? One’s admiration would have to be tempered by one’s evaluation of his masters.

Admiration is also tempered by mindfulness of the horrible conditions in which ‘ordinary’ members of the SO and of the C of S had to live, and the disgraceful way in which SO children were housed, not educated, and otherwise treated. Jesse’s successes insulated him from those realities and allowed him to enjoy such things as his expensive motorbike, a toy also favoured by Miscavige, and, one could think, purchased and ridden to show him (Jesse) a member of the elite.

Jesse, although, as I say, his own person, evidently hardened himself to some human feelings as he took on difficult projects for his master, Miscavige. For example, he describes how he was given the repulsive task of obtaining from Diana Hubbard something all others had failed to get – her signature on documents resigning her rights over her daughter, Roanne. The documents were required because LRH had decided he wanted Roanne to live close to him, while Diana had moved away. Until Jesse went to see her for the signatures, she had adamantly refused to hand over her daughter.

Jesse did succeed, although we can’t be quite sure how it came about; his story is that he asked Diana for her signatures and she gave them without demur – although not without tears. Jesse does tell us that he felt Diana’s pain as she signed the documents, and he gives us to understand that he did not enjoy what he was doing. Hard to fathom, then, is the coolness with which Jesse relates that shortly after he returned to headquarters and had delivered the signed documents, LRH paid him a reward or bonus of $500 or $700. Jesse is entitled to his own view of his actions. I myself find it hard to understand how he can be so callous about taking the money for separating the mother and her child. He may have his reasons for remembering the money with equanimity, but one can consider it unworthy to do such a deed and then take money for it.

Another personal observation on one minor aspect of Jesse’s story: He refers to a man with whom he worked, a lawyer, a man who deposed me twice. His name was Joe Yanny. Jesse obviously liked and enjoyed this man, calling him a “good person” with a striking sense of humour. As I say, I met Joe Yanny twice, and of course in a quite different context from Jesse’s association with him. Jesse and Yanny were involved in the C of S suit against David Mayo. As a former member of David’s independent group, I was involved, had testimony, and was summoned twice by Yanny for deposition in Miami, where I lived. So I had several hours of questioning from him and had that opportunity to observe him and his behaviour.

Joe Yanny struck me as being a young man on the make (as in ‘ferocious self-promotion’) and highly pleased with himself at his success so far. He did not strike me as fearsome in his treatment of me, although, not unexpectedly, he did look down his nose at me a lot, and quite smoothly, too. In return, I looked down mine at him. I didn’t offer him any pleasantries and would have been offended had he tried to offer me any. His skin shone as though covering layers of butter (although he was quite trim), his dark eyes comfortable and happy in their security. He seemed delighted with his own perfection. The relations between Jesse and this man may have been thoroughly open, honest, and straightforward; my opinion is that it’s likely that Joe covered Jesse with lots of butter.

When Jesse tells us that Joe Yanny was “a good person”, he does so in the context of a story he’s telling about working with Yanny on a case and spending off-duty time with the man. I would like to have known if Jesse considered Yanny a good man for what Yanny did for the C of S in its lawsuits against its perceived enemies, or for – what?

I’m making the point that, as always, another’s story can have holes picked in it, just as my story can have. Self-congratulation is all very well but is an ingredient that requires the greatest degree of judgment in the simmering of one’s soup. What Jesse doesn’t include in his story is that even though Yanny was involved in the success of the C of S suit against David Mayo, the latter eventually won his counter-suit against the C of S – although by that time, Yanny must have been long separated from the C of S pots of gold. In fact, Yanny, despite having received (by report, not verified by me) auditing sessions from the C of S, ended up opposing the C of S and involved in lawsuits against them. And he is on record as saying some extremely harsh things about the C of S and its methods of conducting lawsuits [as can be found on a web search].

Jesse makes it clear that it was not he that ordered and managed the conduct of lawsuits that outraged Yanny (and others); however, one has to wonder how it is that Jesse, in describing them, does not forthrightly condemn the lawsuits for the mischief that they were, or have any considerations now about his earlier support for and use of that conduct.

So, as with every telling of every tale, we need to be alert to the possibility that this or that is missing or that the telling might be biased one way or another. This is by no means a criticism directly aimed at Jesse but a reservation necessary in every reading of any author. As I’ve said, in what Jesse says of what he saw and heard and evaluated by himself, I think we can trust his word; at the same time, though, we have to recognise: firstly that his story seems to involve a serious element of self-congratulation (and lack a serious element of self-reflection); secondly that he does himself no favours as an author in not having someone go over his text. It is a bit staggering that presumably not one of the people who read his text before publication pointed out that the way to spell “days” is not “daze” [as happens twice] or let stand other simple textual errors – such as we all can make and shouldn’t be too proud to have another correct for us. Possibly, somebody did point this out to Jesse and he chose to gloss over them. One could admire that chutzpah while rejecting it as contrary to basic and expected author friendliness towards the reader. The book shows (in my opinion) the need for mature editing in both style and substance.

The anti industry is doing its job well. It focuses attention on the misbehaviours of Miscavige towards staff and members and towards the products of Scientology technology seemingly degraded at his hands. The industry repeatedly calls into question LRH’s integrity and motives, not to mention his sanity. It lumps all this negativity together, be it real or imagined – and builds its own big wall. On that wall it writes large: “Scientology is all bad!” “Hubbard is all bad!” When the world speaks of “Scientology” these days, what it means is the collected misbehaviours of the C of S and its leader – along with the horror and outrage we surely must feel for such evil. Any truth in the technology LRH put together must die.

I have only one disagreement with this message on the anti wall. I do agree that all the bad behaviour is all bad. I agree that the insanity is insane. What I never accept is the message: It was always and ever this way from the very beginning.

Bah. What utter, childish nonsense.

The message is just not true. But the people who have been involved in the organization since the early 80’s – that is, those who were already members and who remained members and those who joined up after that time – and have become disenchanted with it and upset with it assume that all the bad that they know of the organization and of Hubbard is all there is to know about them. They do not recognize the possibility that at some earlier time things were different and better, and that things changed through time, becoming worse and worse – but started from a very much better place than they ever knew.

I can’t and don’t blame people for assuming what they assume; assuming is, it seems, an essential human activity. We are riddled with biases of one kind or another, all of us. It can be difficult to grasp that we don’t know what we don’t know. We shy away from examining our assumptions and the biases we base them on. For example, that LRH changed for the worse over his later years is nothing new or strange for old people. Who is the bigger fool: the one who makes something neither strange nor new a big deal or the one who agrees that it is?

Those who, like me, were around LRH as he changed beyond control failed to help him rethink what he was doing. Thus, we, and I, did our part in helping bring about the conditions which energise this dratted anti industry. The energy creates a thick black curtain over all that took place prior to the culture that has dominated the C of S since the early 80’s (having existed within it, in one manifestation or another, for many years prior). Jesse plays his part in solidifying the curtain. The purity of Scientology as a subject is buried in piles of ordurous mischief.

Jesse tells us that he suffered harshly at the hands of his former masters after he turned against them. He became deathly ill after they made his life a hell for him. We are supposed to assume, I guess – if we are loyal members of the industry – that his illness was a direct result of the harm that Miscavige and his agents did him. We who do not employ ourselves in the industry can keep an open mind on that point, but I’m happy that Jesse had the strength and courage to overcome his extremely serious illness and to produce his book. I’m glad he did that, and I for one thank him for it.

Well worth reading, even if it’s about events that shouldn’t have happened and which can only sadden us. Read with open eyes. Read everything with open eyes.


61 Replies to “The Expert Witness: My Life at the Top of Scientology by Jesse Prince [2018]”

  1. Scott GordonThanks Ken, for a very helpful review and supplement to the reading of Jesse’s book.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Scott. The churning-churning-churning continues….
  2. VINAY K AGARWALAI have come to see LRH for what he was. The sum total of it is that I admire him for his genius. He did decline in his later life, but for me he is defined by his earlier work.I am not a fan of his OT Levels, which are a product of his later years.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Vinay, for reading and for your comment. We are in agreement; I am neutral about the OT Levels. I got a lot out of them myself and accept that for others they have no value.
      1. VINAY K AGARWALAThanks Ken. I find meditation to be superior to OT Levels.
        1. urqbones@gmx.comSuper, Vinay. May meditation bring you all that you cherish most.
          For myself, I find meditation all the more effective for me because of the OT Levels! 🙂
  3. OnuWhat really happened to LRH was he resolved the PTS – Potential Trouble Source case by evaluating disconnection, a breach in the Auditors Code. It is a simple fact of life that if self-determinism, real or imaginary is restored to the PTS person, they reclaim their personal space ftom the source of suppression – real or imaginary. In the case of an imaginary source of suppression the person destroys their life and family, sacrificing tbat which is most dear to their hearts to the alter of Scientology. In the case of a real source of suppression, the actual source or a minion turns up to find out what has occured and in the case of the actual source, what has happened to their prey and most importantly to discover the mechanism and/or source of power employed to wrest their prey from before their very eyes. At this juncture when confronted by the source of suppression the person responsible for the sea change has only one recourse, the Code of Honour. If they have compromised the self-determinism of the PTS by evaluating disconnection, a breach in the Auditors Code, advocating a breach in the Code of Honour, they don’t have a leg to stand on in relation to the actual source of suppression who now has the justifier and motivator to destroy them and acquire their power. This is exactly what happened to LRH. The actual sources of suppression (SPs) turned up on his doorstep in search of his power and he had no defense.LRH was defeated by the Circuit/3rdParty/PTS/RealSP Case.
    He never got to confront and handle the RealSP Case.The promise of exteriorisation and power…….Of course anyone who was actually capable of exteriorisation and remote viewing would have seen exactly what was going on anyway and not gone near the place with a barge pole.As for power…. ‘total power occurs when” . .. a person…. “can selectively confront or not confront anything”.LRH did run rings around the stadium and he jumped the ramparts and handed us the flame.The stuff works.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Onu.In my opinion, LRH as a being and as a producer are both so vast in depth and breadth (of both useful and useless) that categorical judgements seeking to pin down this or that outpoint or pluspoint or this or that Why are not fruitful — although they may (or may not) release some BPC. 🙂The challenge, to my mind, is not in analysis but in the scope of confront of the man and his work that allows for selective confront or not-confront of the whole or of any part of it. I believe that if and when one can confront/not-confront the totality, and can sweep the totality for this or that to focus on (that is, to select what to confront and what to not-confront for the time being) one would understand enough that only the fundamental truth would remain: all untruth/unworthiness would melt away.I do agree that the SP/PTS thing is an unsatisfactory construct. And was and is the source of extremely unwelcome trouble and mischief. Perhaps the greatest error in LRH’s work. But we cannot have perfection in anyone or from anyone. What someone produces that reduces the power of the physical universe must always be balanced by something that maintains it. Now and again the universe slips up and allows someone to reduce its power just a little more than it gets him/her to maintain it.I say we should be thankful for the individual that gets away with that little trick. And yes, let that individual pay for what he/she does that is Q&A as we all have to pay so we all learn better.
      1. OnuYes, Ken. We can never truly know another in all their complexity, depth, simplicity and the vastness of their understanding and knowingness, although we may have glimpses.Thankyou for your kind, balanced and measured response.I do believe that through mutual and collective understanding we can support one another through our respective journeys, even beyond the brink of death, through the afterlife and beyond.As you most eloquently elucidated, selective confront, intelligently applied, results in the restoration of theta and this is one of the great maxims LRH applied and instilled in the fabric of his work. …“What’s true for you is true for you and it’s true for you as you percieve it”I am sure LRH was and still is incredibly aware and astute, particularly concerning the circumstances of his life and the consequences of his choices and decisions, perhaps even more so now he is free of mortal coils and may view the events of his life objectively.In my understanding what we do here to mark and honour the passage of the departed does make a big difference to them and supports them in ending cycle and re-orienting, knowing that they are cared for, understood and loved for whom they simply are.Regarding the Real SP Case, its the TRs, Codes and the application of selective confront to focus on the person, the person who is originating, that seems to make the difference.The rehabilitation of mutual knowingness naturally restores KRC, understanding and ARC resultant in mutual duplication and self-determined action.Control, when exercised to a completed cycle of action per Start-Change-Stop results in Understanding and the restoration of Life.LRH alluded to this when he referred to the rehabilitation of purpose.Sometimes we choose to ‘carry the can’ on our broad shoulders and put our ‘foot in the door to hold it open’ when we don’t actually need to and all we do need to do is to find the higher truth that satisfies all viewpoints presented.Although the physical universe could be said to be founded on the principles of polarity and equilibrium, each person is sole origin and source of their own participation and to the degree that the physical universe has a life and persistence of its own, it is possible to act and live in alignment with the higher truths existence reflects, albeit at this stage perhaps in brief and fleeting moments which when we recignise tbeir essence, grow and expand.I believe that although we do tend to pick up with each other when we meet again from precisely where we left off, the development of mutual understanding, if only at a purely theta level initially, achieved through inner work, paves the way.In my own perspective in this respect we have a duty towards the dead and departed to honour their passage in that it is we who remain and carry the memories forward here in the physical which in this this 1st Dynamic Universe means that what we do here and now, in this time, place and location in the overall scheme of things, impacts throughout existence and the phenomenal, spiritual and divine, if only in some small and simple way.Blessed Be Ken and thankyou for holding this beautiful space.
  4. Peter MoonThank you, Ken. Interesting perspective, as always. Nice hearing your input. I hope you will continue with your narrative.
  5. Robin ScottExcellent, as always, Ken – I haven’t quite finished his book myself, and will respond in detail when I have. Warmest regards, Robin
  6. Robin ScottKen, I have tried twice to post a lengthy reply, my friend, but it doesn’t seem to have arrived here.
    It’s on my FB page, if you want to have a look. Best, Robin
    1. urqbones@gmx.comSorry about that, Robin. I wonder if I’d know how to fix that….
      You’re very welcome to post here a link to your FB post, you know.
  7. DanHi, Ken.
    An excellent review. At one point a few years ago Jesse and I were set up to have me edit his book. Alas, that fell apart as Jesse involved himself in the 2016 election and we never got back together on it. I think the book suffers because of that.
    One minor nit to pick with your review, Diana’s daughter is named Roanne, not Roxanne. She escaped a month after Ron Miscavige and his wife escaped from Gold. Today, Roanne is successfully enjoying life working in Hollywood, as I’ve heard.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Dan, and thanks for the nit-pick and the update. Of course I knew Roanne’s name. Just had a senior moment but in fact life is one long senior moment these days with occasional moments of clarity. Happy to know that Roanne is free from those old baleful influences and is enjoying herself.
      1. urqbones@gmx.comDan, didn’t mean to ignore what you said about the editing. Glad to hear you were on the line and sorry you and Jesse weren’t able to carry it through. It would have made a huge difference, imho.
  8. Robin Scott
  9. Jesse PrinceDear Ken;Thank you for your review of my book. I think it was a fair review and I’m glad you found the story compelling. On the point of the stolen NOT’s material, I just want to add this bit. The Mayo case was brought in Federal court so that Scientology could file a RICO case. In order to succeed in a RICO case (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization) it is necessary to prove a nexus exist between the defendants in the case that involve criminal activity. In this case the nexus connecting the criminal activity that happened in Denmark Copenhagen to the AAC Santa Barbara had to be established for the court and that happened in two ways. The first way was the judge in her chambers examined a true copy of the NOT’s material and a copy of the NOT’s packs offered at the AAC. The judge found the material to be nearly identical when doing a side by side comparison. In some instances the titles were only slightly changed from the original true copies. The judge determined a nexus had been established after studying both copies of the material. The other factor that established the nexus was the document I was able to have Robin Scott sign in his home. That document also established a nexus of criminal activity. For the life of me I can’t even remember what the document even said. That day Scientology won in court and L Ron was happy and that is the true history of that incident. I’m not proud of any of it but I offer it as the history it is so that history doesn’t repeat itself and we learn. Don’t know what you mean by butter and Joe Yanny, I’ll assume that’s an inside joke. Be well Ken and thanks for taking the time to read my book.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comDear Jesse,Thanks for looking over what I had to say about your book. And for going over the NOTs pack thing. I can’t say I know all of the facts of the matter beyond what you have told. You’re hewing to the legal channel, and that’s fair enough; few in the independent field, if any, will accept that the legal interpretations of that time addressed the whole truth of the situation — in other words, on our side we would say that the C of S carried that day by weight of legal (and financial) pressure rather than moral right. However, it’s history, it’s water under the bridge, and I’m happy to leave it at that unless there’s real need to burrow into it.Thank you for offering that history, and all the history that you gave in the book. Thanks also for graciously accepting what I had to say about it. I am quite open to disagreements you might care to discuss privately or publicly.With regard to the butter, I had in mind the expression “to butter up””, and it must be British. Dictionary definition:
      “butter someone up and butter up to someone: to flatter someone; to treat someone especially nicely in hopes of receiving special favors.”Yanny came across to me as someone who was on the look-out for people who would further his career and who would butter them up. He might have been a good friend to you, in fact. If so, I’d take it all back and apologise.All best wishes to you, Jesse, in your recovery, and for all that your heart desires.
  10. marildiKen, thanks for this uniquely insightful review. On the overall subject of Scientology, the tech, LRH, and (as you call it) the “anti industry,” no one has sized it up better. What a breath of fresh air!
    1. urqbones@gmx.comYou read the post and see so much??
      Deep Bow to you, face inscrutable….
  11. Jesse PrinceKen I wanted to thank you for noticing something different about my writing in that it is not written as someone who is bitter or overly opinionated. I tried very hard to stick with the narrative that happened at that time. You are correct, the history and water under the bridge is nothing to drown over today! Thank you for clearing up that butter up term and it perfectly describes Joe. He was all of that and more. We ended up giving him over $100,000.00 as a retainer then promptly invited him for a trip across Europe! He was a character and I think had you two met under different circumstances you would have gotten along okay. I’m not angry at L Ron or anyone else these days, I’m just too old for that now. I’m not bitter about my life in Scn, compared to may other people, I had a great time with many strange and unusual experiences. You correctly noticed I am a disciplined person and I have always methodically studied subject I’ve undertaken, Scientology being one of them. I have more to say so be looking out for another book in the not too distant future old comrade.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comWill be looking forward to the next book, Jesse. 🙂 You’ll always produce a good read (editors can help).
      Got it on Yanny. You might be right about he and I getting on all right — that would be, I think, if we didn’t see too much of each other. Long before I met Joe, I’d spent so much of my life close to Scn and close to LRH. I was picky to begin with, and the way LRH handled me in the earlier years (really kindly) made me tend to distance myself from non-Scns. We lived in a bubble even then. It was often a happier bubble.
      Yes, happy to recognize that you have come through your experiences in mature fashion, without rancour or regret. I could say too that I suffered a lot but in fact neither would I change one damn thing about my experience — other than of course I wish Scn had turned out differently for us all and for Earth.
      Yes, you’re a self-contained warrior in your own right and you’ll fight your own fights your own way. We could do with more of you.
      We’ll be watching out to see what banner you’ll be flying next. 🙂
  12. marildiHere’s my face now: 🙂
  13. Rob WilliamsonHaven’t “seen” you for a while, Urq.Love “hearing” what you have to say.Methinks Jesse being asked, or made to do what he did over the rainbow was entirely out of character for him and if given a choice, he wouldn’t have gone that route. He says this in a way and “why not” as well (he would have been sent to purgatory and eternal freedom ripped from his hands instead).Since you brought up the subject, I wanted to say I have an open mind to anything “good” about what Hubbard did, not open much though. In fact I sway to the “bad” when thinking about it. But one thing I discovered is ignoring Hubbardisms and L Ron entirely, good and bad, renders a free and happy life for me. Life is better without Hubbard. I never would have believed that but then I was a true believer and am not now.Wish you the very best, Ken, as always.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Rob, and thanks for yours.I get what you say. Am not getting how you square “ignoring Hubbardisms and L. Ron entirely, good and bad, renders a free and happy life” for you with what you’re free and happy to say about him in public about his alleged alcoholism, an assertion for which you have sound evidence?Have owed you apologies, Rob, for decades over the comm ev (or was it two of them) that I was put on over you. I absolutely hated and detested all of that and hated myself for not having a way out of it, for you and for me. Sorry about all that. So glad we were both out of it.May your blessings of freedom and happiness long continue!Yours,
  14. OnuYes, Ken. We can never truly know another in all their complexity, depth, simplicity and the vastness of their understanding and knowingness, although we may have glimpses.Thankyou for your kind, balanced and measured response.I do believe that through mutual and collective understanding we can support one another through our respective journeys, even beyond the brink of death, through the afterlife and beyond.As you most eloquently elucidated, selective confront, intelligently applied, results in the restoration of theta and this is one of the great maxims LRH applied and instilled in the fabric of his work. …“What’s true for you is true for you and it’s true for you as you percieve it”I am sure LRH was and still is incredibly aware and astute, particularly concerning the circumstances of his life and the consequences of his choices and decisions, perhaps even more so now he is free of mortal coils and may view the events of his life objectively.In my understanding what we do here to mark and honour the passage of the departed does make a big difference to them and supports them in ending cycle and re-orienting, knowing that they are cared for, understood and loved for whom they simply are.Regarding the Real SP Case, its the TRs, Codes and the application of selective confront to focus on the person, the person who is originating, that seems to make the difference.The rehabilitation of mutual knowingness naturally restores KRC, understanding and ARC resultant in mutual duplication and self-determined action.Control, when exercised to a completed cycle of action per Start-Change-Stop results in Understanding and the restoration of Life.LRH alluded to this when he referred to the rehabilitation of purpose.Sometimes we choose to ‘carry the can’ on our broad shoulders and put our ‘foot in the door to hold it open’ when we don’t actually need to and all we do need to do is to find the higher truth that satisfies all viewpoints presented.Although the physical universe could be said to be founded on the principles of polarity and equilibrium, each person is sole origin and source of their own participation and to the degree that the physical universe has a life and persistence of its own, it is possible to act and live in alignment with the higher truths existence reflects, albeit at this stage perhaps in brief and fleeting moments which when we recignise tbeir essence, grow and expand.I believe that although we do tend to pick up with each other when we meet again from precisely where we left off, the development of mutual understanding, if only at a purely theta level initially, achieved through inner work, paves the way.In my own perspective in this respect we have a duty towards the dead and departed to honour their passage in that it is we who remain and carry the memories forward here in the physical which in this this 1st Dynamic Universe means that what we do here and now, in this time, place and location in the overall scheme of things, impacts throughout existence and the phenomenal, spiritual and divine, if only in some small and simple way.Blessed Be Ken and thankyou for holding this beautiful space.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Onu. “A feast of reason and a flow of soul”, indeed.By and large, I support all you say and applaud the aesthetic with which you express it.I differ in that I don’t have much empathy for the physical universe (but I have strong empathy for Nature). To my mind (as if that were important), its design has flaws so deeply systemic, existence within it tends towards unresolvable problem, and far too easily. One day we will all agree to end it and to start over again to make a universe that works for all. For myself, I have absolutely ended any desire to contribute to any motion that tries to convert the physical universe into something that will work. Fool’s errand, in my opinion.Differ also in empathy for others, including the departed. No hard feelings to anyone. no unwillingness to give a helping or supportive hand but an expectation that each individual will take his or her own steps on his/her own path to his/her own resolution/heaven/desired culmination. To get there, we have to go through lying on the bed each of us has made for self. I can’t lie on another’s bed for him/her. If I can’t persuade another to make a better bed for self, I can’t — maybe that’s part of my own bed-making; if so, I’ll lie accordingly.As for LRH, I’ll tell a little story. On the Monday after the weekend in which his passing was made known, I was in Miami, where I lived then. I was walking outside and wondering where LRH might be now. I became aware at once of what seemed to me to be LRH way out in space, and I reached out with no great intention, just mild interest. Perhaps I could do something to support him, as I had before with other recently departed people. He, or whatever it was out there, turned a beam on me and it was not friendly. In fact, I recognized a pressure on my body that had plagued me on the ship. It occurred to me that I could perhaps clean up some stuff and even get in some ethics, for the sake of old times. Then I decided against it; it seemed more honest that he should learn his hard lessons all by himself, or with such support as he could get and tolerate. The connection ended. Only once thereafter was there what I felt was contact, and it happened years later in a solo session of mine; he, it seems, was in case trouble. I handled it as auditor and I ‘heard’ the thought: “Oh, this is what you do in that situation”, and whoever it was at the other end closed the line. (No “Thank you”!) No other exchange.He will get where he wants to go. 🙂Thanks again, Onu. May your bed be a happy one.
      1. OnuThanks Ken. Yes perhaps we do differ and perhaps this is to be expected when we consider the gradient from agreements through opinions, considerations and postulates to Axiom 1.In my own philosophy each person is unique and as such we each have our own unique wisdom and experience which occaisionally we have the honour and privilege to witness and share with one another.In this sense existence may be regarded as a communication exercise of sorts perhaps with an EP of perfect duplication, total understanding and the vanishment of all mechanical conditions of existence… between people… between us… I have known this on occasion so for me its real.To me LRH is recognisable as a distinct knowingness. I have always found him reachable as such. Perhaps this may be true for others in that each of us has a distinct, albeit personal sense of whom he actually is, in the same sense that we can distinguish any one person from another.It seems to me LRH doesn’t extend his awareness into the 2WC range unless he is actually interested, as one might expect. To me he appears in pretty good shape.At the time of his death and many times since, I have contemplated his circumstances as I am sure many of us have, in an effort to understand them.As we know, when we restore understanding, we restore life and knowingness in action. This would imply that any degree of understanding we restore to an area has a beneficial result.Sometimes simply being present with another and applying the TRs and Codes is enough for us both to arrive at our own understandings and knowingness, silently.…and yet not a single word or communication may pass between us……. until the moment of origination.
    2. VINAY K AGARWALAIn my opinion everything in this universe is connected. There is no 100% discrete particle, or 100% individuality.So collective understanding is the norm, but it does contain inconsistencies, disharmonies and discontinuities of viewpoints. It is the resolution of these that shall lead to better understanding all around. An understanding free of inconsistencies, disharmonies and discontinuities is the true theta.Perception is what it is but it can be distorted by a person’s embedded filters (fixed ideas, biases, prejudices, etc.). So a person may have a distorted personal “truth” according to his filters, and there is nothing great about it.The statement, “What’s true for you is true for you and it’s true for you as you percieve it,” thus reduces to a placebo only.
      1. urqbones@gmx.comIs everything always connected to everything else? Maybe you’re saying that there is always some connection, rather than nothing-but-connection.
        At any rate, I can’t argue with all else that you say, except for the placebo bit. Why categorise it as a ‘placebo’? You can’t start helping a person by making him or her wrong for where he/she is at, from which place he/she would have to start on a journey of recovery. Surely what would help start recovery is granting a little more beingness. An unaware person might be happy with a placebo but if he/she is looking to start recovery, offering only a placebo would be a betrayal. If a truth is not true for me because of a fault in my perception, why not put me on a gradient that helps me recover my true perception?
        1. VINAY K AGARWALAThe statement, “What’s true for you is true for you and it’s true for you as you percieve it,” provides justification that makes a person feel better about himself. It validates a person’s observations that may have been invalidated. If his observations were unaberrated to start with then it is a good thing. But if they were aberrated then the validation of them is not such a good thing.I used the word ‘placebo’ because this statement makes one feel better simply by providing a justification. It does not really provide any improvement.
          1. urqbones@gmx.comAll right. But how do you help the person take the first step to improvement? You have to at least be in arcu with him/her. Dismissing the person with a ‘placebo’ sticks the person with nowhere to go.
          2. VINAY K AGARWALAThere are wonderful books out there, and also programs that one may enroll in. O am currently reading THE UNTETHERED SOUL by Michael A. Singer, and writing exercises based on that material. This is one of many starting points available.
          3. urqbones@gmx.comYes! Lots of excellent resources. At the moment I’m happily exploring Open Focus.
        2. VINAY K AGARWALAurqbones, “If a truth is not true for me because of a fault in my perception, why not put me on a gradient that helps me recover my true perception?”The key law of life is the act of maintaining objective awareness by assuming the universal viewpoint. Activities, such as, meditation and TR0 are excellent starting points if they teach one how to be objective.
          1. urqbones@gmx.comThis is all fine for the people who are fortunate enough to be able to take the first step on to meditation or TR0.
            If the person is not so fortunate, you just give him/her a placebo?
          2. Vinay AgarwalaWould you?I shall recommend mindfulness meditation.
          3. urqbones@gmx.comOf course not. Permit me to point out that your original introduction of the term ‘placebo’ was your origination into the discussion and one I objected to as it implied that both Onu and I were interested in placebos. So I pushed back at you.
          4. VINAY K AGARWALAYou may interpret what I said earlier whatever way you like.But I still consider the statement, “What’s true for you is true for you and it’s true for you as you percieve it,” to be just a feel good offering by LRH. It has no positive value. Instead data on mental filters has value, which was touched upon by LRH in OBNOSIS and Data Series.
          5. urqbones@gmx.comVinay, did you ever put someone in session?
          6. VINAY K AGARWALAMy understanding is that a person puts himself in session. He does so because he is looking for better certainty.The desire to get better comes from the person. If that desire is not there, the auditor can do nothing about it.
          7. urqbones@gmx.comThank you for that, Vinay. Can you tell me now what is your interpretation of “PC + Auditor is greater than PC’s case”?
          8. VINAY K AGARWALAThis is just Q & A. You are not discussing or making a point.
          9. urqbones@gmx.comSez U!
            It seems to me, Vinay, that we have different understandings and viewpoints.
            I propose that we leave it at that.
          10. marildiIn fairness to LRH, the quote about “what is true for you” should be viewed in context:
            Personal Integrity
            L. Ron HubbardWHAT IS TRUE FOR YOU is what you have observed yourself
            And when you lose that you have lost everything.
            What is personal integrity?
            Personal integrity is knowing what you know—
            What you know is what you know—
            And to have the courage to know and say what you have observed.
            And that is integrity
            And there is no other integrity.
            Of course we can talk about honor, truth, all these things,
            These esoteric terms.
            But I think they’d all be covered very well
            If what we really observed was what we observed,
            That we took care to observe what we were observing,
            That we always observed to observe.
            And not necessarily maintaining a skeptical attitude,
            A critical attitude, or an open mind.
            But certainly maintaining sufficient personal integrity
            And sufficient personal belief and confidence in self
            And courage that we can observe what we observe
            And say what we have observed.
            Nothing in Dianetics and Scientology is true for you
            Unless you have observed it
            And it is true according to your observation.
            That is all.
          11. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Marildi. 🙂
  15. Theresa LasterWow. What an incredible review. Ken, your writing style is quite unique. Thank you for taking the time to review Jesse’s book.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Theresa, for the kind words. And thank you for taking the time to read the piece.Deep bow to you.
  16. Karen#1Greetings Ken,
    I enjoyed reading this very much.
    You will remember be as a regular auditor of yours on the Apollo back in the day. (Karen de la Carriere) I also recall our very private review of current LRH and current Sea Org in 1982 at the Fort Harrison when we hung out.
    You were always in your own league Ken and you have indeed a remarkable history.
    I wanted to add a couple of things of historical interest.
    Jesse Prince made his peace with David Mayo before David passed. I hooked them up together.
    I made my peace with David Mayo by falling on my sword with apologies for being the obnoxious “RTC” missionaire on Mission to destroy the AAC. David more than accepted my apology.+++++++++And because the NOTS materials were discussed and their history, I wanted to add ~~~
    For years and years David Mayo was made the WHY of every failed NOTS case. They used disaparagements such as Mayonaisse, Mayo NOTS. etc. Then it progressed to the point where every single failed case was pointed as David Mayo as the who, even long after left, like 20 years later !
    The point is that when Mayo was Senior CS refunds were almost *UNHEARD* of and Miscavology is replete with failed cases and refunds. People go back to repair Ls as much as 10-12 times !
    Anyway a lot of rah rah was made across the boards of how RTC was reviewing and correcting and knocking the mayonnaise out of the NOTS material.
    It was promised for a long time.
    Then the day arrived.
    The new NOTS packs were handed out.
    NOTE: There is no longer ANY signature under a NOTS issue in the new packs. Hubbard’s name is gone.
    So with all the trumpets blowing and the pomp and circumstance of the new glorified era of TRUE NOTS, the packs were distributed to a stunned crew of NOTS auditors. People looked around uncomfortably.
    Was this a joke ?
    EVERY issue was EXACTLY THE SAME WORD FOR WORD AS Mayo NOTS. The binder was different. Signatures were gone, color and font were different but the text was the same.True Story.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Karen, Welcome, and thank you for all you say. Yes, I remember having sessions from you on the ship, and our gossips at Flag. 🙂 [I remember how tickled you were when all we Flag auditors had to turn in videos. Of course there was a lot of chatter among the auditors on the subject. You enjoyed how the Spanish auditors talked about “bideos” and the Germans about “wideos”.] Thanks for the sessions and the laughs. But very sad to think of how your family life was destroyed, terribly.
      I’m happy to hear that you got David and Jesse together to make their peace, and that you made yours with David, too. [Alas, I didn’t but that’s another story, and not a very clear one.] Thanks for that from me, too.
      Thanks also for the True NOTs story! — Lady Fate busy at her work….And she has lots more to do over there.
  17. VirginiaThat was a very interesting review Ken, I enjoyed it.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Virginia. 🙂
  18. Roger BoswarvaKen, This copied below from “The Outer Banks” . . . my question is at the end
    Paul Kawaller As a proud member of the anti industry who entered the world of scientology in 1970 during the crush sell period, I respectfully disagree with Ken.During that time the Ls were being heavily promoted as the gateway to OT abilities by SO missions.Snipped . . . . . . by RogerI worked for Ken when I first came to the Apollo. I could not have asked for a better senior.I am part of the Anti industry because of the personal cost to me and to my friends. The rot in Scientology was from the very beginning.
    · Reply · 2d
    Roger Boswarva
    Roger Boswarva Yes, Urq is one of the truly caring and gentle gentlemen of the universe. He would have been one of the very best seniors to have had because he cares about true help and kindness.He audited one of my iterations of NOTs at FSO in 1980 or ’81.From what I remember on the rumor line out here, it was he who dreamed up the idea of having a REHABILITATION Project Force . . . and as envisioned by him it would have been a project for the Rehab and betterment of the troops . . . but, typical of what the cult had become, it ended up being an Humiliation and Punishment Program.Ken, I’d like to hear from you on the truth or not of the rumor of how the RPF came to be.
    1. Robin ScottI had fantastic wins on the RPF, and reckon that the whole bloody planet could do with it, given the mess it’s currently in!I think you should take full credit for coming up with such a brilliant solution, Ken!
      1. urqbones@gmx.comI do, I do!!
    2. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Roger, and many thanks for yours and for your very kind words. You were always a good friend to me. 🙂
      Firstly, thank you also for the extract from Paul’s comment. I recall him well. I can understand his feelings and his viewpoint. [Many share them. I’d like to say simply that Life is unfair and cruel, and unfair and cruel to everyone equally. There was (and is) terrible cruelty in the Scn world. But Life does not demand that we walk ourselves blindly or otherwise into cruelty, nor put up with it, nor to hang on to its consequent tortures. If we do not learn, we do not live.]
      With regard to the RPF, I’ll tell the story — yet again — and put it on this blog so it will have a secure home and be findable. Thanks for the alert to this possible need.
  19. Dan LockeI’ll only say that I’ve rarely enjoyed a book review so much. Perhaps never.I’ll have to admit that I have read far more book reviews than I have books. Same with reviews of all the arts – more of them than the events themselves!
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Dan.
      Deep bow. 🙂

Comments are closed.


Old Questions…New Answers? 02


Old Answers: First of three IVy Excerpts

In the introduction to this new series which I’m calling “Old Questions..New Answers?”, I undertook to look at some basic questions about how Scientology delivered on some of its basic promises. That post posed the questions and concluded by saying that I had already written on matters relevant to the questions and would follow that first post with a “reprint” of an article published back in the early 2000s, before adding some new material.

I have divided the old article into three excerpts for ease of reading. And I have left the text alone except for relatively unimportant changes. In the first excerpt I have added some brief notes and they are inserted in square brackets and printed in italics in a small font.

In the title of the old article, quoted below, the words “Inside Scientology” reference the name of the first part of the book under review, A Piece of Blue Sky, the 1990 edition; I was using that name as the jumping-off point for my article. I should probably also explain that “IVy on the Wall” was the name of the regular column I wrote for the journal. [I’d wanted to call it “IVy off the Wall” but another’s superior judgment prevailed, sad to say.] And in those years, I lived in the USA, although no longer.

IVy on the Wall

by Ken Urquhart, USA

Outside “Inside Scientology”, Chapter Five in a consideration of A Piece of Blue Sky, the 1990 book by Jon Atack

[First of three excerpts from the Chapter]

WE HAVE SO FAR [that is, in Chapters One to Four of KU’s response to Atack’s book] considered the externals, the Acknowledgments, the Preface, and the essay “What is Scientology?”, which introduce and begin Jon Atack’s book, A Piece of Blue Sky. We come now to Part One of the book, which bears the title: “Inside Scientology, 1974-1983”. It has four chapters headed, respectively: “My Beginnings;” “Saint Hill”; “On to OT”; “The Seeds of Dissent”.

These chapters outline Jon’s introduction to and involvement with the subject and his departure from it. They include fair summaries of Dianetic engram running, of the basic Training Routines (but here the summary betrays misunderstanding of their purpose), and of the OT Levels. In these chapters we also get some of Jon’s experiences with and observations of the people and practices. They are sharply drawn, interesting, and valuable.

In the early days of the organization (or movement, as it was more then), it had an energy and a hope one could personally and freely respond to. I first came into contact with Scientology through a family friend in 1956. Over time the energy and hope became force and franticness. One no longer responded freely and personally either as staff or public; the force and franticness pulled one in or spat one out. The Scientology world had changed completely over the years.

Jon’s Scientology world

The picture Jon paints of the Scientology world he became a loyal member of, starting in 1974, is mostly negative, of course. This is, after all, an exposé. And there is plenty to be negative about. The picture is entirely credible as well as pitiful. Just about everything that Jon says about the Scientology world he experienced rings very true:

  1. Jon went to an official Scientology organization in the North of England to buy training courses so he could get a job at the Birmingham Mission. The registrar at the org was “insistent and belligerent”. And, “he seemed to take an immediate dislike to me”. I have come across such org welcomes myself.
  2. A Saint Hill staff member who lived in the same house as Jon had done OT levels and claimed OT powers – such as being able to pick the winning horse (while living in poverty). Another ate only bananas because he had “heard” that L. Ron Hubbard was researching carbohydrate diets. These are behaviours characteristic of some Scientologists, as I have observed.
  3. Due to a mix-up in court paperwork, Jon received a summons for non-payment of a court fine, a matter apparently easily resolved. He needed the Ethics Officer’s permission to take time off his Saint Hill training course to go take care of it. The Ethics Officer, an “intense and overweight” woman, “wore knee-length boots with her dishevelled Sea Org uniform”. She told him she was removing him from the course because he was a “criminal” and explained that even for a parking ticket she would bar the offender from Scientology courses until it was paid. I remember the person as Jon describes her. I can hear her voice and its tones. I can accept his account of her reaction to his request as authentic.
  4. Quoting Jon: “At Saint Hill, the Ethics Officers were daunting, overworked, and unsmiling. Saint Hill registrars…were a little too sugary and it was obvious they wanted money. The constant and unavoidable discussions with Sea Org recruiters at SH were wearing. Virtually everyone there was too busy trying to save the world to create any genuine friendships.” All this is true.
  5. Jon writes that he had “serious reservations about the increasingly high prices and the incompetence of the organization. I [Jon] simply could not understand how Hubbard’s research into administration had created such a bumbling and autocratic bureaucracy. Although staff worked themselves to a frazzle, they seemed to achieve very little. Then there were the little Hitlers who used their positions to harass anyone who did not fit neatly into their picture of normality.” The monthly price increases were an insanity that LRH originated all by himself. I don’t think LRH had any idea of how bumbling and autocratic was the bureaucracy which infected the organizations; had he been on the site to experience it he would have exploded in fury and shaken everyone up very drastically. Yes, we did work ourselves to a frazzle and usually achieved very little. And Yes, “little Hitler” is a good name for such nuisances, of whom there were far too many. [And a few of them were far from puny.]

This concludes the first of the three excerpts of Chapter Five of the IVy series, “A Consideration of A Piece of Blue Sky”, reprinted here in 2018 on the urqbones blogIn the next excerpt, which begins with the subtitle “LRH Viewed as Source of All”, I attempt an analysis of some of LRH’s less successful modes of management.

*     *     *     *     *

Eleven chapters of this IVy series (there are twelve altogether, with the final chapter yet to be written) are available at:

and the IVy website is here:

The 2013 edition of A Piece of Blue Sky is offered on Amazon UK:

and the original of 1990:

For, the respective links are:

N.B. These links are not ‘affiliate’ links and I will in no way profit from any purchase using them.

“Outside ‘Inside Scientology’” is reproduced by kind permission of the IVy publisher, Antony Phillips. Thank you, Antony.


2 Replies to “Old Questions…New Answers? 02”

  1. Vinay AgarwalaI remember purchasing the book “A Piece of Blue Sky” in the early 90s and reading it. I bought the book very surreptitiously and felt guilty about reading it. But I was undergoing a change of mind then. It was part of sorting mtself out after leaving the Sea Org. At that time I had not left Scientology yet. I was simply keeping my distance from it.Yes, the above quotes describe part of my experience as well of the autocratic managment by Hubbard that was full of arbitraries. The abritraries came from the heavy push by Hubbard. The staff resorted to arbitraries in order to “make it go right” in response to the heavy push.Hubbard was in a great hurry, indeed! I sometimes wonder wat that great hurry was. What was he trying to achieve?He was definitely trying to achieve the broad recognition of Scientology. He definitely achieved that.He was trying hard to make Scientology self-sufficient as an organization, finamcially, of course. He definitely achieved that too.But somewhere along the way, in this scramble of rush, Scientology lost its soul. Was Hubbard aware of this? Probably not. He was too interiorized in has case.That tells me about the toll that LRH took on his research on OT Levels because of his lack of OBNOSIS.
  2. chuckbeattyx75to03“….Over time the energy and hope became force and franticness….”Hope was a powerful factor that followers of any new group provide that fuel themselves, freely, and the new group they get into takes that energy from them.When the members have their hopes bashed up, it’s kind of a big start change stop of people’s hopes, for what that group was claiming to provide.Some people got into and out of Scientology in various times getting what they came for.The bureaucracy Hubbard created, and then the ethics rules and policies just kept adding to the difficulty of being staff and forcing this whole “positive” activity along.Makes me reflect that weren’t you, Ken, in the original David Mayo group, you’re in that video, and I remember in that video several of you Apollo vets (and older timers than that even) reflect on the Mayo group’s atmosphere intentionally dropping all the heavy bureaucracy and ethics.————-The Max Hauri Ron’s Org chapter in Switzerland, likewise, I note dropped that whole ethics bureaucracy crap.I today appreciate all the history of you oldest timers who lived Scientology important history.Everything you write Ken is good for those who try deeply understand their Scientology history.There will be future Scientologists, I think due to new persons who aren’t aware of all the details of life, who will become Scientologists in the future.IT’s good for old Scientologists like you Ken, to tell your important history.

Comments are closed.


Old Questions…New Answers? 03


Old Answers: Second of three IVy Excerpts

In the introduction to this new series which I’m calling “Old Questions..New Answers?”, I undertook to look at some basic questions about how Scientology delivered on some of its basic promises. That post posed the questions and concluded by saying that I had already written on matters relevant to the questions and would follow that first post with a “reprint” of an article published back in the early 2000s, before adding some new material.

I have divided the old article into three excerpts for ease of reading. And I have left the text alone except for relatively unimportant changes, mostly punctuation.

In the title of the old article, quoted below, the words “Inside Scientology” reference the name of the first part of the book under review, A Piece of Blue Sky, the 1990 edition; I was using that name as the jumping-off point for my article. I should probably also explain that “IVy on the Wall” was the name of the regular column I wrote for the journal. [I’d wanted to call it “IVy off the Wall” but another’s superior judgment prevailed, sad to say.] And in those years, I lived in the USA, although no longer.

IVy on the Wall

by Ken Urquhart, USA

Outside “Inside Scientology”, Chapter Five in a consideration of A Piece of Blue Sky, the 1990 book by Jon Atack

[Second of three excerpts from the Chapter]

LRH Viewed as Source of All

Jon was not alone in not understanding how someone whom he accepted as being exceptional, LRH, could create such a bumbling, autocratic bureaucracy. It seems to have been a fairly common delusion that everything any staff member did was at the express instigation of LRH himself, and that LRH was aware of all that was being done all the time. The truth was that he had little awareness of what was being done in his name and that staff had great freedom to impress on others that the source of their bumbling was LRH himself. From my personal experience of LRH in his dealings with subordinates on the ship, and earlier at Saint Hill, I am certain that had he been on the ground and seen for himself what people were doing in his name and claiming that he was responsible for, he would have been unrestrainedly outraged. He would have torn into those bumblers like a tornado; they wouldn’t have known what had hit them. Unfortunately, he didn’t go there and he didn’t do that.

However, the bumbling was not altogether the bumblers’ fault. A great deal of LRH’s “research into administration” was valid and valuable; some of it was nonsense. Likewise, some of his management style was valid and admirable, and some of it was nonsense. The nonsense enabled the bumbling and autocratic bureaucracy; it empowered the little Hitlers; it institutionalized the bureaucracy and the Hitlers; it gave them ammunition for self-protection.

[NB. Lest it appear that I lay all blame on LRH for the way in which his organizations developed – or deformed, one might say – I should clarify here my opinion that the evolution (or deformation) was a cooperative effort. The sanity in what LRH set out to do in itself triggered people. Any nonsense in his behaviour would have triggered further material. The activity triggered people in the environment. Experience tells us that triggered people working closely together usually trigger each other. These crosscurrents and interactions triggered everybody, including LRH; he responded with some sanity and some further nonsense. And so it went, around and around, up and down, in and out, across, over, under, amongst, and through. He coined two words for it later: over-restimulation and cross-restimulation. The presence and influence of these two factors throughout Scientology – and throughout Planet Earth, indeed – affect all manifestations of sanity within Scientology (and over all of Planet Earth) but reduce or alter any underlying sanity only when we agree that they do so. It is a great sadness that people like Jon Atack see something of the sanity within Scientology and then come to agree that the insanity within the subject utterly overrules the sanity.]

Validity vs. Nonsense

I can’t undertake a review here of the policy LRH issued as to what is valid and what is nonsense, and I don’t know that I would be qualified to do that anyway. But as a bumbling insider who had a position both central to but paradoxically mostly external to the nonsense, I have opinions about what was the nonsense in LRH’s management style and how the nonsense helped to pervert what was valid:

  1. LRH seemed to know and trust no other organizational structure than that of the military model – with its rigid verticalities of authority and consequent horizontal infighting over practice and performance. At the top of the structure is the commander-in-chief, whose word is law throughout the structure. The structure owes him instant and exact compliance, without exception. Any disagreement with, or opposition to, or non-compliance with the commander’s word is treasonous.

LRH’s words as commander were many – very many – but not well prioritized. He had a very bad habit of originating one high-priority project after another, so that few could come to completion; the resources allocated to the last urgent handling would soon be ripped off to man up the latest new one. Over the years, a new policy would contradict an older one that would remain in force but perhaps not actively. LRH created volumes of policy that anyone could explore. The bureaucrat could always find in those volumes a line or page or two that supported his/her position and attacked a rival’s; bullying personalities could set themselves up as mirror-image copies of the commander and few would dare to give them the lie. The game in any bureaucracy can become survival within the structure at others’ expense and with minimal expenditure of energy in only the absolutely unavoidable change. The professionals working at the public level, those who knew their jobs and why they were doing them, fought a losing battle with their own side.

The higher up, the more intense this confusion and the infighting which “resolves” it. At the Commodore’s Staff level, close to the commander, the professionals had to do their jobs despite the elbowing for attention and favour, the jealousy, the manipulations and intrigues, the stabs in the back, and the propitiation, of the dedicated courtiers. [Perhaps this phenomenon took place at all levels, in parallel.]

All the same, the core of professionals, the ones who had seen in Scientology something of real value to real life, wanted that real value to reach out into the world. They wanted that for the world’s sake, and they worked very, very hard to bring it about. Had LRH remained true to his earlier intentions, the result of their work would have been a proud and effective, helpful organization.

  1. As he aged, LRH could not tolerate the idea that anyone else could do a good enough job to actually take over from him, despite the obvious fact that he could not go on forever. He overloaded himself in denying others responsible authority to act. He prevented the most able around him from developing into future leaders. He kept his management levels in constant frustration and turmoil. And he ruled them by fear of his wrath. He created incompetence around himself instead of potential leadership. We all got competent as courtiers and bureaucrats.
  2. LRH always knew best, even when the size and scale of the organization removed him from contact with the realities of life in the organizations delivering to the public. The people on the front lines never knew what radical changes would hit them next. They were constantly ordered this way and that as though what they had been doing beforehand was wrong and their fault. He created incompetence in his remote offices and centres.
  3. LRH encouraged staff, despite all the above, to feel that they were part of an elite group with an elite purpose. That the world they dedicated themselves to saving insisted on being uncooperative and ungrateful reinforced their self-perception as elites. It could not occur to them that the world had any right to not want to be saved, or need to be saved, or that they could do nothing to save it without developing real affinity, agreement, communication, and understanding with that world. As “elites”, they scorned any such affinity, agreement, communication, or understanding.
  4. LRH shamelessly and shamefully pushed what he thought were panic buttons to hopefully get people to flood into the orgs to buy lots of services. First it was the Communists, then atomic war, then World War III. With regard to people’s cases, it was the horrors of not getting to OT III and doing it right.
  5. His paranoia has often been remarked on, and sometimes documented. It coloured his view of the world as it related to himself and to the organization he created. He used the Guardian’s Office to protect against his perceived attackers. He gave the GO seniority in the organization, and its activities influenced every aspect of the organization’s life; all staff and public Scientologists were subject to the movements and requirements of the GO. The paranoia and the supremacy of the GO had to be justified by the size and extent of dangers within and without the organization. LRH was at times obsessed with his perceived “opposition” – the SPs, PTSes, R/Sers, and, above all, the associated ogres of government and the psychs. To this extent he reacted with unnecessary force to real barriers, and unnecessarily created many enemies for himself and for Scientology – both within and without.
  6. LRH treated his Sea Org followers as slaves for economic exploitation. He never paid anyone who joined him more than a pittance (exception: some forceful salespeople). From the ’70s he demanded that his people work for money that could not house and feed them decently – let alone their families. For some, this was all part of the exciting game, a proof of an elitism whose rewards would come later. But others became bitter and resentful because it abused them and they knew it.
  7. LRH brought great confusion to the organization’s major product-delivery and income activity – the delivery of Scientology technology. There are arguments today that the technology and its delivery are severely flawed at best. Some say it is all based on LRH’s own case alone and has nothing to do with anyone else’s. Be this as it may, I argue neither for nor against these points: things change; technology good yesterday may not apply today. No matter what the reason, technology that doesn’t help a person is not the right technology for the person, and that’s that. Nonetheless, when someone complains that Scientology didn’t or doesn’t work, we don’t know the truth of the matter until we know what was done, why it didn’t work, and whether it was Scientology or something else.

Nonetheless, the technology was what it was and the organizations had to deliver it. In the late ’70s, the philosophical and technical underpinnings of the State of Clear, the Excalibur by which Scientology lived or died, started to unravel. Hubbard issued more than one “clarification”, each of which confused the issue further. Now the whole organization was operating over uncertainty as to its own integrity; I don’t think it has ever regained its integrity. In losing its integrity, a group loses its soul.

This concludes the second of the three excerpts of Chapter Five of the IVy series, “A Consideration of A Piece of Blue Sky” (written in 2001), reprinted here in 2018 on the urqbones blogIn the next and last excerpt, which begins with the subtitle “Whose wants are we focusing on?”, I attempt an objective and, I hope, charitable review of some of the brokenness that so disturbed Jon Atack, and just about everybody who has been seriously involved in Scientology.

*     *     *     *     *

Eleven chapters of this IVy series (there are twelve altogether, with the final chapter yet to be written) are available at:

and the IVy website is here:

The 2013 edition of A Piece of Blue Sky is offered on Amazon UK:

and the original of 1990:

For, the respective links are:

N.B. These links are not ‘affiliate’ links and I will in no way profit from any purchase using

“Outside ‘Inside Scientology’” is reproduced by kind permission of the IVy publisher, Antony Phillips. Thank you, Antony.


2 Replies to “Old Questions…New Answers? 03”

  1. Vinay AgarwalaStaff was simply following LRH policy as written under great pressure to raise stats. That policy often changed, and that provided the room for arbitrariness. Arbitrariness in following the policy simply means that the logic underlying the policy was either missing or not very clear. It was not understood by the staff. LRH was supposed to be fully aware of this, else his claim to be OT comes under doubt. The truth is that LRH was simply experimenting with policy. He was forging ahead with a lot of suppositions.It is not a matter of blaming staff or blaming LRH. It is simply a matter of perceiving the IS-NESS. The situation demanded that a big impact be made on the society in a hurry. The result was Scientology as it developed.
  2. Vinay AgarwalaThe military model suited LRH because he was in an experimental mode. Therefore, others had to suffer when things didn’t go right. He himself had to suffer too by constraints put on him by various governments. All the problems came from the tremendous rush of time constraints that he put on himself, and from his trial and error mode of operation.LRH made efforts to consolidate the hard earned knowledge from his trial and error approach, but he did not fully cancel or update the outmoded procedures and policies.For example, he never updated DMSMH. Thus, the training route became unnecessarily long. People had to study all his trials where he did not try to isolate his errors.LRH’s key button was that he wanted to be thought of as right always. He promoted himself in that manner. It was just his nature that he could not admit to be wrong. He never tried to isolate errors in his earlier computations. LRH blamed the environment. The staff members of the orgs copied this trait..

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Old Questions…New Answers? 04


Old Answers: Last of three IVy Excerpts

In the introduction to this new series which I’m calling “Old Friend Questions..New Answers?”, I undertook to look at some basic questions about how Scientology delivered on some of its basic promises. That post posed the questions and concluded by saying that I had already written on matters relevant to the questions and would follow that first post with a “reprint” of an article published back in the early 2000s, before adding some new material.

I have divided the old article into three excerpts for ease of reading. And I have left the text alone except for relatively minor punctuation corrections.

In the title of the old article, quoted below, the words “Inside Scientology” reference the name of the first part of the book under review, A Piece of Blue Sky, the 1990 edition; I was using that name as the jumping-off point for my article. I should probably also explain that “IVy on the Wall” was the name of the regular column I wrote for the journal. [I’d wanted to call it “IVy off the Wall” but another’s superior judgment prevailed, sad to say.] And in those years, I did live in the USA, although no longer.

IVy on the Wall

by Ken Urquhart, USA

Outside “Inside Scientology”, Chapter Five in a consideration of A Piece of Blue Sky, the 1990 book by Jon Atack

[Third of three excerpts from the Chapter]

Whose wants are we focusing on?

It was during the late ’70s and ’80s that Jon Atack entered the quicksand of Scientology as practiced by its organizations as they existed then. In this period, all of the above nonsense factors were raging in full dramatization.

Into this mess came Jon. What did he want? For himself, he says: “What I wanted from Scientology was emotional equilibrium so I could win my girlfriend back, make a successful career in the arts, and concentrate on achieving Enlightenment.”

I don’t see anything wrong or difficult or strange about this. I couldn’t have guaranteed Jon that his ex-girl-friend would agree to be won back. But I could have happily committed to helping him to achieve emotional equilibrium, to make a successful career, and to achieve Enlightenment. So could any practicing Scientologist then who actually practiced Scientology – or does so today. So could have – and would have – L. Ron Hubbard himself if Jon had asked him personally and directly.

We would all have said, or say today, “Sure, Jon, no problem! That’s what we’re here for! This is my fee. When do you want to start?” And we could be doing something for Jon whether using “standard” Scientology or something derived from it or from something else.

The Scientologists Jon involved himself with were too busy being good Scientologists to pay any attention to his real needs and wants. They made him cooperate with their needs and wants. That was their way of pleasing their bosses and the little Hitlers – and what they perceived LRH to be. Everyone leaned on everyone else to produce their “statistics”. Jon was statistics fodder. His actual needs and wants were not important as long as he could be made to subjugate them “for the greatest good of the greatest number”, a nebulous but vital component of Scientology life which manifests itself in “up statistics”.

Who is friend to whom?

Unfortunately, Jon allowed himself to be swept up into the nonsense. LRH’s self-promotion had dazzled him as it has so many. He, Jon, compromised his own integrity enough to achieve disappointment and frustration but not enough to suppress his own feelings in the end. The Scientologists took him up the OT levels unprepared for any of them, and they took him for a lot of his money. It is no surprise he wrote his exposé. In their own ethics terms, they were in Enemy to him and they created an enemy out of him. Worse, having invited him to trust them and then by behaving as enemy to him, they betrayed his trust: this they themselves call Treason.

What might have been…

Jon had felt that, as a therapy, Scientology might have a world-changing impact. So did we all! Even though we didn’t regard it as a “therapy”, I don’t think Jon or we were wrong about its potential.

LRH, and we, all together, forced Scientology to become something other than it really is. Perhaps the Axioms of Scientology are the purest summation of what it really is.

We don’t know what Scientology’s impact would have been had we let Scientology agree with its own axioms.

That we couldn’t let it be what it is was probably inevitable. No single human intelligence could envision and design something as revolutionary as Scientology claimed to be [especially here on Planet Earth] – and made serious attempts to be – without including fatal flaws in the vision and design.

Broken Tools

That a person on Earth, L. Ron Hubbard, conceived of the possibility of such a vision and such a design and did so much to make it a reality in spite of its and his own flaws is in itself a triumph, and a worthy one. He did his best to make it be real and he fell foul of his own imperfections. But he tried. He tried! His trying embraced things he was right to do, and things he should never have tried to do.

He tried, and he failed. He “failed” in that he didn’t fully succeed. But in trying he achieved more than the victims of the failure will be able to understand – for a while. And in failing, he caused a lot of damage.

One day at Saint Hill in 1965, as LRH was C/Sing the first Power Processing sessions and training the Power auditors, he got up from his desk, which was loaded with case folders; he had had a tough day. Some auditors were misbehaving in the chair; some cases were being difficult. At that time, many of the pcs receiving Power were executives from large Scientology organizations. LRH was learning things about the ways in which they regarded themselves and life. I had gone into his office to tell him it was time for his dinner. He seemed tired, almost dispirited. As I helped him on with his jacket, he looked at me wryly, and said quietly, with a little grin, “I am mending the world with broken tools”.

Poor fellow; he could never publicly acknowledge that a part of himself was broken. Broken or not, he was never little or cowardly. His size and his courage lent terrible power to his weakness.

Has anyone come close to opening a door so wide, such as the one LRH opened for us in his strength and courage?

What does it take to heal the wounds he caused in his broken way of opening that door?

*      *      *     *     *     *

Eleven chapters of this IVy series on A Piece of Blue Sky (there are twelve altogether, with the final chapter yet to be written) are available at:

and the IVy website is here:

The 2013 edition of A Piece of Blue Sky is offered on Amazon UK:

and the original of 1990:

For, the respective links are:

“Outside ‘Inside Scientology’” is reproduced by kind permission of the IVy publisher, Antony Phillips. Thank you, Antony.


6 Replies to “Old Questions…New Answers? 04”

  1. Vinay AgarwalaLRH focused on his own wants. Scientology organizations focused on their own wants. Staff members focused on their own survival in the orgs. One may call it “statistics” but it was a self-centered want of LRH defined by him alone. The factor of compassion was missing because of the diffused generality of statistics.LRH’s philosophy is based on self-centeredness of survival. It is attractive in the beginning but it ends in betrayal because no man is an island. Our survival depends on every other person’s survival.The axioms of Scientology may be considered a summation of Scientology. They are based on the self-centeredness of the individual survival. Yes there are other dynamics but they are perceived through the filter of the individual. The concept of “thetan” establishes that filter. Scientology does agree with its own axioms. It is corrupted just as the axioms are corrupted.LRH was a product of the western culture. That culture worships individuality to such a degree that it loses sight of compassion. This is the corporate culture. Scientology became a corporation. The idea of corporation is embedded in Scientology axioms as “individual survival” or “thetan”. This is not so in Buddhism to which Scientology gives credit.But LRH did come up with many tools that are valuable. Those tools can achieve what they were designed to achieve if LRH had not ignored the fundamental of OBNOSIS (observing the obvious). He borrowed that concept from Buddha’s mindfulness (seeing things as they are). He thought he was improving over Buddha, and, therefore, he did not explore this concept fully as he should have.LRH was courageous, but he was somewaht foolish in that courage.
  2. Vinay AgarwalaNOTE: The Scientology “static” has the same logic underlying as the concept of “thetan”. This is an arbitrary reference point on which the edifice of Scientology is constructed. Scientology becomes much more effective when the reference point described below is used.Buddhism used EMPTINESS as its reference point. It defines EMPTINESS as no Birth no Death, no Being no Non-being, no Defilement no Purity, no Increasing no Decreasing. In other words, in emptiness there is complete absence of any phenomena.The viewpoint of emptiness is just that. It is totally fresh. It is completely clean. There are no preconceived notions, no fixed ideas, no bias, etc. In short, the concept of emptiness is not viewed through any filters. It is simply what it is.From a scientific viewpoint, this is the ultimate reference point from which all phenomena is perceived objectively. No other reference point is required to understand emptiness. This is like the zero of a scale from which all values on that scale are measured.A reference point aligns everything that follows, into order. In the absence of a reference point things devolve into confusion. It is common to assume an arbitrary reference point just to avoid the immediate confusion, even when it can’t resolve everything.The Semitic GOD and the Scientology STATIC are arbitrary reference points. They are assumed to resolve the confusion of physical reality. But they cannot resolve the reality they represent. To understand the reality of GOD and/or STATIC a more basic reference point is needed.The ultimate reference point is inherently understood. No further reference point is needed. Emptiness has that property of being inherenly understood because it denotes the absence of all realities. From this reference point it is possible to give an objective meaning to any phenomena. Emptiness itself is not a phenomenon, just like zero is not a value.EMPTINESS is the ultimate reference point from which all phenomena can be understood objectively without any pre-conceived notion..
    1. Vinay AgarwalaBy ultimate reference point I mean THE FUNDAMENTAL STABLE DATUM.
      1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Vinay, for sharing where you are at on the questions you raise and something of where you are coming from.You’re more than welcome to send me a link to your own blog and I’ll be happy to post the link here.You’re also very welcome to post a notice in the Comments here that you have your things to say on subjects raised in the blog and to invite interested readers of this blog to visit yours. Any time.
  3. OB RoyMaking excuses for LRH case dramatisations is exactly that.I remember the couple before they did OTIII and they were an inspiration. Two beautiful beings full of light, sensetive and aware and highly intelligent.Scientology is flawed and its high time people stopped making excuses and confronted the present time reality.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comre Excuses: I guess we’re referring to my answer to Chuck of June 11?
      Am quite lost on the couple you mention, OB. Could you kindly point me to the post/comment/reply that refers to them?
      Your last line: I’d appreciate (a) an ack that I have never maintained that Scn is complete or perfect.
      (b) who it is that is making excuses, specifically (assuming that you must have someone in mind, since you’re stating the very, very (and almost meaningless) obvious — that people should stop making excuses; I’m supposing it’s me.
      (c) by excuses, are you meaning what I said to Chuck on June 11? If so, I’m not paying a lot of attention to your rant until you pay a little more attention to what I actually said. If you’re saying that the reasons I gave for how LRH might have had some confusions about what was going on with himself have nothing to do with what was going on within him, we have to disagree. I don’t speak of them lightly. You might be looking at my saying that we around him could have helped him get and keep his own ethics in. You’re welcome to look on this as making an excuse for his failings but again I disagree. We can look at Hubbard with a little bit of humanity in us, now and then, you know.
      (d) Your telling us what part of the enormity of Existence represents “present time reality” to you so we can get with it.
      I have the feeling that your comment here actually belongs to a comm cycle on another list or blog. The connection with this blog is not clear to me and perhaps I should be sorry I’m so dumb. At any rate, the TR1 is a bit lacking, sad to say.
      Are you having a bad day. my friend?

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Old Questions…New Answers?




In this new section of the urqbones blog I am going to take up some questions concerning the failure of Scientology to deliver on its fundamental promises (which may or may not have been explicitly expressed).

The questions have been put to me by someone I have known for a long time and who is close to me. By way of introduction to his questions I should say that in 1966, when I was either Director of Communications or LRH Communicator SH [“Saint Hill”], I alerted him to the possibility that he could get some auditing for free because of a change in the organization of the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course. Students were required to audit on another person the level they’d just been trained in (the Briefing Course covers several sequential levels) in order to demonstrate their proficiency on the level.

The change was that the students were now required to procure their own people to audit (“preclears”); this required them to look outside the Saint Hill [SH] Scientology community, and they were having to scramble because feelings about Scientology locally were mixed. There was, therefore, a bit of a vacuum for would-be preclears. If my friend wanted some auditing—but, being a young family man, had to have it cheap or free—here was his chance.

He arranged at once to come to SH for a week and went into session just about on arrival: there was no shortage of willing auditors, I having made sure the word got around that this preclear would be available. By 1966, the Bridge had been sorted out into the Grades (and other levels), and the Grades auditing consisted of running only the then-current major process for each Grade. My friend went through all his Grades within his week and went home extremely happy. He refers in the quote below to his “four or five floating needles” that week; the standard tech of the moment was to run whatever you were running to the first floating needle and then end the action off. That basis was enough to produce happy gains for him [and for me and many others, although I loved my Expanded Grades as much as any level I’ve had].

My friend, having the needs of a relatively large family to take care of and his immediate environment not disposed to know and respect Scientology, wasn’t able to pursue the subject further after going back home. His Saint Hill adventure took place over fifty years ago. nonetheless, one can see in what I’ve quoted here (below) from his message to me the warmth and respect with which he still regards his treatment at the hands of the students who so gladly found him so willing. Even though technology still had a lot of development to do, it’s clear that the student auditors of the time held their standards high as regards the handling of people as people, and that they handled my friend in exemplary fashion. One wonders, as old people do, if students and auditors have the same standards today?

This old Release, happy in his memories, raises questions that I’ve had at the back of my mind for a long time as issues I’d need to treat sooner or later. Now that he has shoved them under my nose, so to speak, I might as well drag-and-drop them into my crumbling pre-frontal cortex and start kicking them about.

What he wrote to me is, in part:

I find myself as disappointed as you that Scn has not brought about the change that it could and should have made.  My week’s experience of four or five floating needles gave me a brief but very real feeling of compassion, heart-centredness and clarity/simplicity of mind, the latter a putting of the mind’s 99% junk, not just actual experiential conditioning but all the unrealistic hopes and thoughts – brain chatter – into an unlocked cupboard.  This, I thought, was the essence of Scio and felt that this would be the reward of all adherents and on to a better world.

I don’t know if you went to the ultimate level of Scio but there is no sign to me that anyone has so is there something wrong with the tech? Is there a missing process?  Does it actually put the 99% of mental junk into a cupboard?  As mentioned that cupboard isn’t locked and it is easy to reconnect with any item and return to a former state of mind but one nevertheless remains aware of the serenity.  It seems to me that Scio has not given its adherents the means to hold or recover that serenity.

The questions I see to answer here are:

  1. Could Scientology have given its adherents “real feeling of compassion, heart-centredness, and clarity/simplicity of mind” or (to allow for differences between individuals) some similar kind or range of blessings?
  2. If it could have given all its adherents such blessings, did it?
  3. If not, what might be some reasons why not?
  4. If one agreed that Scientology could give all or some adherents such “serenity” (or similar state), did it fail to give them the means to hold on to or recover it?

I am going to take it, right off the bat, that brief answers to these questions are:

  1. The potential was there; it was not uniformly achieved.
  2. No.
  3. To be considered.
  4. Yes and No. Yes, in that it gave several tools adherents could use to maintain their gains, such as: Ethics and Admin Tech for use out of session, and technical tools for use in session. No, in that whatever platform one considers the Church of Scientology [C of S] to have provided adherents since the early 1980’s, what they have provided doesn’t seem to have been conducive to the maintenance of any kind of serenity. Indeed, I can only believe that serenity for an adherent of the C of S would have to consist firstly of a zealot’s blind bliss in his or her devoted compliance to all C of S domination (in and out of session) and secondly of the possession of unlimited supplies of cash and credit to keep paying for the endless and relentless domination.

I can’t imagine that what I (and so many others) have seen of the C of S’s doings since leaving that fold can bring about real feelings of compassion, heart-centredness, and clarity/simplicity of mind in adherents. But this invites a whole range of questions beyond my immediate interest, let alone access to all relevant facts on which to offer any useful answers. I’ll base what I have to say on my personal and direct observations and experiences up to my departure in November, 1982, and in my subsequent wanderings.

I doubt we’d look for the C of S as it seems to have become to provide such things as compassion, heart-centredness, and clarity of mind, in the first place. Therefore, whatever facts and figures anyone might have on what the C of S does to people, such information is superfluous in this discussion if one considers (as I assuredly do) the Tone Scale to be an adequate gauge of what one can expect from an individual or group. A group’s habitual behaviours and style of communicating place the group on the Tone Scale. Do the behaviours of that group draw our eyes to a place on the Tone Scale at which compassion, heart-centredness, and clarity/simplicity of mind also manifest? Who could possibly and absurdly think so??

As it happens, I already have on record several addresses to these and other questions, in articles I wrote some fifteen years ago for Antony Phillips’ journal International Viewpoints. Some of what I said then is still valid for me with regard to the questions we’re considering. So rather than repeat myself, I am going to follow this post with the text of one article from that journal series. But since my thoughts have developed in the intervening years, I’ll supplement the old material with fresher bones that will simmer and savour as I go.


10 Replies to “Old Questions…New Answers?”

  1. Vinay AgarwalaWhen I look at my experience in Scientology, I had wonderful gains, which I have retained. But I am also quite aware of the insanity that reigned around Hubbard and even emanated from him.LRH was indeed a genius, but his arbitrariness was magnified in the same proportions. Take the example of OT Levels. There are some wonderful ideas there, but what is missing is what Hubbard himself called OBNOSIS elsewhere.As regards compassion, heart-centredness, and clarity of mind, I just wish that it was included in the definition of CLEAR, which I see as follows.“A cleared individual is not absolutely free of flaws, but he is very close to being completely rational. He has a mind in which perceptions continually break down into fine discriminative elements, and get freely associated and assimilated into an orderly mental matrix providing rational solutions.“The cleared individual does not avoid, resist, suppress or deny any thoughts, emotions, and sensations when thinking; and so he perceives things objectively with clarity. He is able to examine and overcome all prejudices, biases and fixations. He is keenly perceptive and knowledgeable and continues to explore new areas of knowledge.“The cleared individual is universal in his outlook. He rises above any idea of self or individuality. He is not subjective, self-centric, or human-centric. There are no conflicts within him. He would not hesitate to sacrifice himself if need be.“The cleared individual can look from the viewpoint of others as well as objectively from the viewpoint of all life and the environment. He continues to expand his understanding of the physical and spiritual aspects of the universe without resorting to superstitions.“The cleared individual is the first to realize his error and correct himself. Whenever he senses resistance or observes some oddity, he follows it up until it is cleared. If he suffers a painful experience, heavy loss, or confusion he is able to sort it out quietly in his mind.“The cleared individual is in good health and has no psychosomatic illnesses. He is purposeful in his demeanor, and graceful in his movements. He is strong and calm even in adversity. In no way is he trying to win or dominate, but he is passionately engaged in bringing order to his environment.“Above all, he is compassionate.”There is the good, the bad, and the ugly in Hubbard and Scientology!
    1. Scott GordonVery nice and very helpful expanded definitions of Clear.Thanks!
  2. Vinay AgarwalaLet me amplify a little bit on what I said about OT Levels and OBNOSIS above.It seems to me that Hubbard was not sure if exteriorization is material or immaterial.Any mystery attached to “exteriorization” would come from not understanding this phenomenon. And any misunderstanding of “exteriorization” can inadvertently create complications with a person trying to interpret his experiences on OT I.Hubbard says on OT I,“A great many phenomena (strange things) can happen while doing these drills if they are done honestly.”This definitely injects trepidation and expectation in the OT process. It thus colors and corrupts one’s ability to simply look.A person’s experience on OT Levels will be messed up to the degree these levels are made mysterious.
    1. chuckbeattyx75to03Vinay,I always thought LRH was quite clear about exteriorization in the “Parts of Man” chapter of “Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought” where he says the optimum position of the thetan is outside and controlling the human body.Additionally, in the “Grand Tour” process in “Creation of Human Ability” book, Hubbard clearly spells out that the preclear is not imagining himself at these far flung locations while being run on the “Grand Tour” process, but that the preclear actually is there (as an exteriorized being).Hubbard additionally in definitions 1 and 3 in the Tech Dicitionary definition of “Operating Thetan” clearly describes being a soul and free of the body entirely, and able to operate without need of a body.Hubbard additionally in the definitions of “Theta Clear” in the same Tech Dictionary also describes out of the body actual continued conscious existence of the thetan, without the body.So, I never ever bought that LRH wished exteriorization to be just what even Hubbard called “exteriorization without visio” or “exteriorization” without 360 visio.Hubbard additionally in the L’s Rundowns promotion, claims when Hubbard was case supervising the L Rundowns he always ensured those preclears he was case supervising one for one achieved out of the body visio experience.So no, I never bought the exteriorization without visio as the “REAL” meaning of Hubbard’s. There’s no case for that by a close complete reading of Hubbard’s writings and lectures.
  3. chuckbeattyx75to03“…One wonders, as old people do, if students and auditors have the
    same standards today?…”Hubbard kept adding auditing technique requirements to the “model session” whole ball of wax, so that by the 70s, the auditors doing the simple auditing process were required to upkeep untold numbers of other little steps.“Model Session” requirements, and Auditor’s Code requirements, and how those requirements were enforced, can wipe out in many trainee auditors their innate counselor demeanor, turn them into wooden rule followers.The factors of what makes a good counselor, I think are those things that “natural auditors” had inherently.And today, since I’m no longer a Scientologist at all, I think the best auditors, the ones who were the Auditors of the Year in the various categories of Auditor of the Year awards that used to be every September each year—it’s really those persons who were auditors of the year caliber innate good people, who infused their auditing with “auditor beingness” (but today outthink all of these Hubbardism categorizations and think it’s massive amount of deflection and pretentiousness on Hubbard’s part that his “auditing” is somehow grander and better than outside world counseling).I in my years placed huge thought into a few key LRH refs, the late 1970s LRH came out with the additional writings that got added to the Hard TRs course, the Auditor Beingness issue, that LRH said their ought be a SECOND TRs Course to polish up the auditor’s “Auditor Beingness” once the auditors were Grade 4 auditors for a while, and they’d audited hundreds or thousands of hours, and now, at this more experienced level of auditing, the auditors were to polish up their auditor beingness.I recall, when this issue came out, it made sense to me. It’s what Class 12 Brian Livingston in effect said to me as I was rightly railing as a Flag Interne auditor in 1976. Brian said, in effect, “Go audit for a couple 3-4 years at an org….” and “…then come back to train on your Internships at Flag…..”The experience of auditing, IF the person is ought there stumbling alone, auditing, for years, and THEN comes does the Hard TRs course (as also in the LRH Tech Film where Dan Koon starred, the auditors were all sloppy and somewhat failing mission auditors and field auditors who just needed some TRs to fix their auditing basics), but even TRs is insufficient.I hate to promote Scientology, in any way, but I can see how Scientology will continue.It will continue to the persistence of the people in history, now and in the future, who stick with their auditor auditing.If they continue auditing, and continue out of their drive and wish to do it, that is number one.Then, they will see which of the key Hubbard ideas (since as practitioners they will be boxed into following Hubbard’s options, and to me, honestly a person who is a decent counselor type of person, I instead would bid them get out of Scientology, go to university, become a legit counselor and counsel people and use your human decency in a more legit and regulated counselor industry of psychology—my hindsight views are for people not be stay Scientology auditors, but instead become legit college educated counselors) principles like “Auditor Beingness” as important points that as experienced auditors they will now understand and grab onto.The training of Hubbard auditors I believe has to include all the Hubbard options, and “Auditor Beingness” and a couple of the keymost points in the Auditor’s Code, and there was another 1976 Hubbard reference about what was the determining factor for why auditing worked, and it was the intention factor of the auditor.If the auditor sincerely and deeply wished for the preclear to achieve gains.Hubbard’s Scientology auditing is based on human decency of the auditor.If the auditor is strongly persistently decent and sincere, then the auditing will work.What Scientology is riding on is human decency that somehow squeaks through all the “Model Session” requirements that Hubbard piled onto auditing over the years.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHi, Chuck, and thanks for your comment. I am not so free as you in embracing other approaches although I don’t close any off just because they’r not Scn.
      Decency is all very well, for sure. However, I don’t see how one can eliminate from any client-practitioner relationship the principle (word it as you wish) “PC + Auditor is greater than the PC’s bank.” If the non-Scn approach adheres to the principle, more power to it. If it doesn’t adhere, then it might be better than nothing or could be worse than nothing. Just imho. Is there any approach anywhere that expresses a value/standard that remotely resembles LRH’s?
      We could say much the same for the definition of ‘”in session”: “Willing to talk to auditor [practitioner] and interested in own case.”
      What about the Auditor’s Code ##1 and 2? Who else has thought of such things?
      On what you’re proposing in your comment here, you find me distinctly Conservative. 🙂
      1. chuckbeattyx75to03Thanks Ken. The Auditor’s Code to me, can somewhat contain the auditor’s lack of innate sincerity and decency, but really I think of the best auditors I’ve ever had. In session with them, they were above normal decent. The late Glenn Samuals, for instance, unbelievably decent person. On his own. I had countless good auditors, some just kept the code in naturally, all the time, in and out of session, and were supportive and smart. Auditing I see has worked on persons who had auditors I myself would not have relished being audited by. The beingness of the auditor, their nature and natural comfortableness and interest, and understanding of what I said, all did have great impact to how I enjoyed their auditing.Ken, I have a question, re the auditor plus pc is greater than the pc’s bank. That formula, to me, seemed a sad unfortunate aspect of Hubbard’s life. He needed someone to talk to, and all his solo NOTs in the end of his life, it strikes me that that formula (pc plus auditor greater than the pc’s bank) if slightly adjusted, just the fact that he needed OT 5 NOTs auditing when he was having his final case trouble there, and he instead was doing a bit of dodging around trying to fix it himself. Did you notice he lacked a terminal in his life, re his case?Me, I’ve kind of thought since he was so deeply into his tech as his only options to deal with his case (OT case included), his own case judged by his own case tech rules, I’m wondering what tech people outside with freer license to share their views, think of Hubbard’s case.I wish Ray Mitoff were here able to discuss what he observed when Ray was with LRH at the end there at Creston.
        1. urqbones@gmx.comYes, Chuck, auditors bring into session parts of their own individual beingness and since no two individuals are the same there are going to be many differences between different auditor presences. And then of course each pc has his or her own individuality. The two individualities may work well together or not. LRH did make allowance for this in C/S Series 1, very first paragraph if I remember aright. In it, he gave the right to the auditor to decline to take on a preclear he/she felt unable to help. And he remarked elsewhere that some auditors don’t do well with old ladies. However, your point is taken. Qualities differ between any two individuals anywhere. It’s part of the woof and warp of living, imho.
          With regard to LRH and his approach to his case, I’m not in a position to assert anything. But I believe he never had a terminal of comparable magnitude at his best levels. We who were close to him could have done more to help him focus on his own personal ethics, probably me more than anyone. He seemed to do well with at least some of his auditors but I don’t think he did himself any favours at all by getting rid of David Mayo.
          I tend to believe that towards the very end of his life, LRH didn’t have much of a clue as to what was happening with himself, but this is entirely opinion on my part. For example, since his time, there has been an explosion of information about the human brain, how it can be affected, and how it can affect the body’s owner (even if the researchers don’t believe in spirituality). LRH was a sick man and was on medication. He had had habits of living that tend towards ill-health of body and brain (e.g., smoking, poor diet, working at night, insufficient exercise, constant high-level stress, among others). Had LRH had this information when he could have improved his body and brain health, we might have a very different picture of Scn today.
  4. chuckbeattyx75to03“….If the outside of the cup be not clean, how shall ye know that the inside be clean? …”Ken, I quote this from the first line of your IVy original article. knew with a name like Scientology, the subject was gonna be a bit of a controversial and challenged off-the-mainstream type of group, when I got in, in 1975.Your quoted quote above, means so much, from different viewpoints.“IVy” itself, “International Viewpoints” and what did the “y” in “IVy” stand for?
    1. urqbones@gmx.comIt’s just a ‘y’ stuck on to the acronym, Chuck. If you say the letters “IV” you get a sound like “ivy”.
      And it avoids getting mixed up with “Intravenous”. That could be helpful. 🙂
      Just my take, perhaps dub-in.
      Antony Phillips, who founded and ran IVy, might have a different story.

Comments are closed.


Memories, 26 Saint Hill, Guest Post


Very happy to share the following addition to our informal Saint Hill history. It comes from a person of distinguished record at Saint Hill who was intimately connected with the Manor for some years after the Hubbards left. I am grateful for the contribution and welcome more. Many thanks to “Dr. Buzzard” for these fascinating recollections.

More Tales from the Manor House 

Over the years, Ken and I occupied some of the same posts, and I later worked under him (he was a great boss!!!). Not too long after Ron and the family left to sea, I took over a post whose duties included management of the Manor house and Ron’s personal staff.

Ken’s Mrs. and Mr. “Smith” were named Gladys and Denny. Denny only showed up a few hours a week and did odd jobs around the place. His accent was indecipherable. Gradually he came in less and less and then eventually not at all. Sometime later, Gladys also faded into the mist and they both retired. Gladys was extremely grateful to Ron for keeping Denny on at full pay even for the few hours he worked. When they retired, they continued to be paid at full pay.

Ken remarked to me that Gladys must have been lonely after the Hubbard family had gone. There was in fact quite a bit of activity in the Manor over the years. Every year, a troop of gypsies used to arrive and clean the windows inside and out. Gladys would keep everything under lock and key except the room they were working in, keeping an eagle eye out for light fingers.

We had a love-hate relationship with the local district fire department. They knew that portions of the Manor house were being used for “business” but turned a bit of a blind eye. However, once a year they wanted to “exercise” in the building. Gladys would lay out runners on the stair carpets to protect it from the firemen’s boots as they charged up the stairs to the roof.

On the roof, the Manor had a large water tank (the object of the firemen’s interest) and there was another one in the kitchen ceiling. The water pressure was so low in that part of the country that the tanks filled as they could at any hours they could and then the house supply was fed from them. The supply pressure was really bad in the summertime and must have been terrible during the later English droughts.

For congresses and open days, I used to conduct guided tours of the entrance hall, Ron’s office, the Winter Garden and a couple of upstairs rooms. Gladys always watching from the wings.

There were also visitors to the Manor for the house staff to manage. Mary Sue made at least two visits that I knew of. Sea Org missions, starting from the very first one that treated Reg Sharpe (one of most prominent figures in Scientology at the time) in such an abominable manner and alienated possibly Ron’s only real, personal friend. Story aside: At the time I first arrived in Saint Hill, there was only one telex machine, and it was situated in, of all places, the reception area. Telexes were left lying around on a desk on the presumption that people couldn’t read upside down. I thought for years everyone could do that…and there was a telex from Mary Sue begging Reg to come back to the fold.

Gladys and Irene, Ron’s personal secretary, provided a kindness to my wife (of 50 years next year!) when she was pregnant. Due to complications, she couldn’t be left alone at home and ended up spending the last 8 weeks of her term flat on her back in bed in the hospital. Prior to that, she had to come in to work with me. She was not on staff but worked in the solarium sorting out the mess with the mimeo files that Pubs Org had left when they fled England for Scotland. (The laws of England do not automatically apply in Scotland and there was a real threat that we would be banned. Same reason for the first AO being located in Scotland.) The staff ladies took my wife under their wing and arranged for her to have her afternoon nap up in one of the empty bedrooms.

When the OT Liaison (OTL) office to interface Saint Hill with the Sea Org operations was established, they were housed in the Manor as well. This required a cook and some additional staff. Ron’s cook John Henry (who has been mentioned by Ken) came back to the Manor for a while after he left the ship. But he became famous for getting drunk on the cooking brandy and chasing someone out of the kitchen waving a meat cleaver. There were a couple of other cooks that I recall, an elderly lady whose name escapes me and a wonderful New Zealand girl, Margaret.

Stories from Ron’s secretary Irene:

The chair in Ron’s office was tied by rope to the desk so that no one could sit in it. Ron didn’t like anyone sitting at his desk and could tell instantly if this had occurred. He also complained that he could never get a hot bath because the pipes in the house were so rusty. In the bathroom off the main stairs (the ‘secret door’), there were bottles of Vichy water. The high iron content in the local tap water made Ron nauseous.

When Ron first moved to East Grinstead, he bought the big petrol station/garage that was in the centre of town. It was supposed to pay for the running of Saint Hill. Irene says she doesn’t know what the problem was but he sold it because it was not making a profit. He also bought another manor house in the area that had had a fire and was derelict. That was eventually sold off as well.

Other stories from around the Manor:

There was a horse and stable on the grounds (not to be confused with The Stables, which was housing for some of the Saint Hill staff). Diana had a pony that got left behind when the Hubbards went on board the first Sea Org ship at Southampton. A local girl looked after it for years at no pay, just for the pleasure of it. Diana eventually gave her the horse.

Fishermen used to come and ask to fish in the lake. They thought there must be some pretty big fish in there because it hadn’t been fished for years. The Org used to refuse them until I had the idea to charge them a pound and issue them with a Saint Hill fishing certificate.

There was a sewage plant on the estate, and the final destination for the effluent after-treatment was the lake. It then flowed into a local stream. The stream would sometimes fail sanitation tests until additional work on the outlet had been done. Ron used to receive nasty letters from the surrounding farmers about the fact that he didn’t participate in the regional drainage plan committee. Regarding Ken’s story of the next-door farmer’s access through a gate by the lake, I saw all the correspondence. LRH’s strategy (of a type often repeated elsewhere) was to deny that any access agreement existed (it obviously did).

One time, a horse was witnessed running into the lake, putting its head underwater, and drowning. The vet’s thought was that it got a wasp up its nose. One of the OTL ‘seamen’ had access to some scuba gear and pulled it out.

The electrical wiring in the place was a mess. If a fuse ever blew, it could take weeks to find it. A staff member with electrical experience was employed to sort it out. As I recall it took him nine months to trace and label all the wiring and fuses. He got a commendation from Ron.

Up in the back corner of the estate was a small house hidden behind hedges that the local council didn’t know about. The OTL took over the building without asking anyone (as was generally the case with the SO) and used it for training. The Saint Hill Choir then also took to using it. Between them, they decided it was too dark inside, so they cut down all the rhododendrons that hid the building. Big fight with me! Luckily, the local council didn’t notice.

The Manor staff and LRH’s personal secretary and librarian (Anne) were notionally part of and paid by the Worldwide Org. That was fine until students were blocked from entering the UK and gross income fell out the bottom. Then staff wages dropped via the conditions policies. All the Manor staff were about to depart due to lack of pay. I sent an urgent request and Ron hived them off as being his personal staff (Herbie was not amused!)

In the basement were two large safes that were under my care. They mainly held the corporate seals for all the orgs. However, one locked drawer always intrigued me. With the help of a large screwdriver I got it open. Inside were 16 hallmarked, sterling-silver ear bracelets. I wrote and asked about them, and Ron said to sell them (???). From what I was able to find out, the best I could determine was that they had been intended for the first Clearing Course (which wasn’t successful).

Then there was the time the Intelligence Office at Worldwide got told there were hidden passages in the Manor house. I had to take Mo Budlong over every inch of the place, including donning overalls and crawling under the house. In the rear courtyard, there was a set of steps leading down into a small room that would have been used as the “cool room” for meat, milk, etc. In the back of the room was an access hole to the area under the house floorboards. We had a great time – “boys own.”

There are some other stories worth recording, about other subjects from those times, but for now I hope these bits may add to Ken’s memories of his very much more personal relationships.

© Dr. Buzzard, 2018

[A little more information about “The Stables”: This was a collection of farm buildings including the farmhouse. It must have been the ‘home farm’ of the original Saint Hill estate, as well as providing stabling for the Maharaja’s polo ponies. It’s the farm that LRH was prevented from buying. Some time after LRH left Saint Hill, Reg Sharpe, whom Dr. Buzzard refers to, who still lived near the Manor (and just across the road from the farm) and whom LRH had treated badly, as Dr. B. recounts, shrewdly bought the farm. Knowing Reg, I’m sure he bought it partly because it put him one up on LRH and the SO (not that Reg was bitter, he just liked to be smart in taking opportunities he fancied). At any rate, later on again, the SO desperately needed property close to SH and of course Reg was happy to sell the farm to them for a good return on his investment. The farm was used for staff accommodation and, I believe, for staff catering. – ku]POSTED ON

Memories, 25 SH Episodes: Bed-Making, Appendix

Here, for possible interest, are photos of the report I sent LRH on the withhold-pulling along with the “session report.” Below the images is some discussion of discrepancies between what I’ve written and what the images show.

"Mrs. Smith" Auditor's Report, 5 April, 1965
Upper portion of report; lower portion follows below.

This record shows up discrepancies, such as:

  1. I wrote in the last post that Mrs. Smith and I were not in session. If I formally started a session, I’ve forgotten it. The dominating memory is that it was a rather breathless affair–the sooner got through the better–and not a formal session.
  2. I wrote that I used the Murder Routine. It isn’t mentioned in the documents here. I am sure I used it, if briefly, as I remember Mrs. Smith’s face when I suggested some crime to her, and wondering if I’d clumsily overdone it. I don’t recall having any reason at all to exclude the fact from the report to LRH.
  3. I started off with a different process than the cleaning of withholds since, as a matter of fact, I wasn’t trained yet to take up withholds.
  4. I should have asked LRH for written instructions suitable for my level of training. I didn’t. One tended to do things off-the-cuff in those days. Later on, he would have reprimanded me for not having the written instructions.
  5. In an earlier post, I said that soon after I went to SH in 1963, he promoted me to Household Officer. Yet in this memo to him dated April 1964, I’m writing him from the Butler position. I must have misremembered when the promotion took place.
  6. In another earlier post, I told how LRH had invited me to call him “Ron” soon after my arrival at SH, but again, here I am in April 1964, still addressing him as “Dr. Hubbard.” My memory isn’t trustworthy as regards times, date, and figures.
  7. In the second part of this Episode, I wrote that Mrs. Smith made off as soon as we had finished, but the report I made at the time says that she hung around and was chatty! The report has to take precedence.
  8. I’ve said that Mrs. Smith pronounced it “Sinee-ology”. The 1965 report says it was “Sinology” that she said. Better take the report as the accurate account.
  9. The biggest discrepancy of all is that neither LRH nor I followed up on the action; as long as I was in the Household, Mrs. Smith had no other auditing, and no briefing on what “Sinology” was all about. This is bad and sad.

Apologies for textual discrepancies. Will be mindful of the tendency in future.

[How I come to still possess these and some other items that passed between LRH and me is in itself an interesting little story about LRH and the Sea Org and me, for future telling.]

(c) Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018.POSTED ON

Memories, 24 The Bed-Making Situation: Meter Required! (II)

[Chapter Seven, Episode One, (II)]

The Bed-Making Situation: E-Meter Required!

Part Two of Two

The story told here begins with LRH’s mysterious decision that he needed another place to sleep. In the crush of activity nearly always present around him, the reason for this change whizzed by me. A single bed (U.S.: twin bed) was set up for him on the top floor of the Manor. However, he continued to use his bedroom for his morning ritual of chocolate, Kools, conversation, and toilet.

He was not happy with the way Mrs. Smith was making up his new bed. He had told her, he said to me after a few days of the new arrangement, how he wanted it. The next day, he told me she was still getting it wrong. But he didn’t say any more about it and he changed the subject, thus not putting me directly on to the matter. So I left him to it. One more day, and he was getting cross with Mrs. Smith. It was something to do with how she tucked in the bedclothes or didn’t tuck them in; LRH wasn’t making it easy for me to follow what was going on. If he wanted to deal with Mrs. Smith himself, fine with me. If he wanted me to deal with Mrs. Smith on the question, he had only to tell me, fair and square.

In characteristically masterful fashion, he took action to end his dilemma. He told me, fair and square, and what he told me took me by surprise. One would have expected him to show me what he wanted on his bed and require me to pass this on to Mrs. Smith and make sure that she got it. No. L. Ron Hubbard, in this instance, wasn’t doing anything fair and square. “She has withholds”, he pronounced. “You are doing your auditor training. Get your meter and pull them.” I had no answer for this and went off in some dread of how this caper could turn out, but not thinking of shirking the task, much as I’d have liked to.

I knew Mrs. Smith would not like it one bit, and I was right. She saw me coming with my meter and the cans, and she set off in the opposite direction. I followed her and in due course trapped her in a bathroom, I nearest its door. I made her take the cans and I started in on her. She had no faintest idea of what I wanted but was thoroughly scared, cheerfulness obviously ineffective. I insisted on knowing what it was that she was not telling Dr. Hubbard. She, understanding at last what we were after, insisted she had no secrets from him whatever.

All trained auditors and some people who’ve received auditing know about the Murder Routine. This routine is Plan B when the person subjected to questioning declines to cooperate with the auditor who is asking for things not being talked about. When required by the rules governing auditing to get whatever the recipient of the auditing is withholding, the auditor is under orders to persuade the recipient to divulge the information (for the recipient’s own sake), but in a manner that preserves the recipient’s self-respect.  [When the auditor does the work of helping the recipient clean up withholds well, the recipient experiences much relief. In fact, it is work of high mercy.]

Having asked our recipient to reveal a secret, and not getting the truth, the auditor uses the Murder Routine to get around the recipient’s reluctance to speak out. In this routine, the auditor suggests to the person that he or she is actually hiding a terrible crime (such as murder—hence the routine’s name). The “victim” is thoroughly relieved to be able to deny any such dreadful thing, and in a little while begins to see that rather than be suspected of felonies, he or she had better spit out whatever petty thing which sits there not being talked about.

So it was with Mrs. Smith. She was utterly astonished by the awful deeds I was suggesting she might be hiding. The routine did its job, and she spat it out. Since she and I were not “in session” (had we been, I’d be bound by the Auditor’s Code not to reveal what she told me), and since she is long gone, and since it is hardly a historical turning point, I will report her Big Secret.

“I don’t know what this Sinee-ology is all about,” she wailed in her country-woman accent, her fearful false teeth flashing pitifully. Along with that little speech came a movement downwards on the meter’s controls and a needle response which told me I had got all I would get for the moment. Satisfied, I allowed Mrs. Smith to make her escape.

Also relieved that I had a little substance with which to respond to my orders, I sent a report to LRH at once, describing how the action had gone. He returned this report to me with the notation: “You’re an auditor!” That was good of him in a way, but it didn’t have much impact on me or my assessment of myself as an auditor. The whole thing was surreal, and I felt I’d actually done Mrs. Smith a real disservice by suddenly yanking her into the Scientology world without warning in the face of her long-established and hitherto agreed-upon position on the other side of the room from us Scientologists.

Whether Mrs. Smith was now able to make her master’s bed as he wished, I never knew. I heard not one word more on the matter. Whether Mrs. Smith’s not knowing what this Sinee-ology was all about prevented her from making LRH’s bed to his satisfaction is, I take it, a moot point. My personal opinion is that in their conversations about the bed, she was so busy not pissing her pants in nervousness he could well have taken her confusion and corresponding fumbling of her sentences under his irritated gaze as some kind of obstinate obstruction due to “withholds.” Not able to look him directly in the face, she could appear to not want to face him at all. What she didn’t want to face was a big man bullying her.

Not long after, LRH went back to sleeping in his regular bedroom.

LRH was never slow to believe that a subordinate had hidden intentions to thwart or prevent his great work, and he could blind himself to the subordinate’s actual feelings, both in his initial evaluation of the perceived “opposition” and in the consequent treatment of the supposedly erring staff member.

It’s a regret, as I look back, that I didn’t intervene earlier to help Mrs. Smith sort out what our boss really wanted so she could provide it without further fuss. I was at fault in keeping my distance, and to that degree I let her down when she deserved better. It wouldn’t be the last time I forewent the opportunity to stand up to LRH on behalf of an associate, although there were times that I did take that stand.

It’s part of the unhappy history of L. Ron Hubbard and of his Church that so few of us around him had the good sense to speak out to him when he needed it most. We didn’t speak out to him about the culture he nurtured silently in his group as he aged–‘silently’ because he had directed us otherwise in his published materials.

In the culture he came to prefer around him in the Sea Organization [SO] and which we in the SO came to accept out of admiration for his so-evident brilliance, we came to agree that we should be wary of speaking out to him of all people. Brave was the executive that spilled his or her heart to contradict L. Ron Hubbard.

We silenced our hearts and our consciences in buying into his SO culture; how easily we could have changed things had we simply asked him to explain why never questioning his judgement was so smart. Being able to ask such questions is one of the desirable results of Scientology auditing and training. Had we questioned his judgement we might have had less Sea Organization but we would have had more Scientology: we’d have been focusing on what was kind, true, and necessary to Life rather than to what LRH had become.

(c) Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018POSTED ON

Memories, 23     Saint Hill Episodes: The Bed-Making Situation (I)

[Chapter Seven]

Saint Hill Episodes: The Bed-Making Situation

Part One of Two

A local woman acted as the Hubbard’s housekeeper. She had been with them for years, since long before I joined them, well established in her position in the household and in her close relationship with Mary Sue. I believe she was in considerable awe of “Dr. Hubbard”, as he was then formally known. Anybody might be in awe of such a formidable mountain of a personality around whom the winds could roar and the storms would blow.

I’ll call her “Mrs. Smith”, which is not her real name, because I don’t want to feel that I’m invading her privacy. She is long gone and although anyone is free to write about another, I don’t have a good reason to glue the memory of her to the notoriety assigned by many to her employers. She deserves to be left in peace. At the same time, she is part of a story showing how her employer dealt with an episode that reveals more about him than about her.

The duties of this housekeeper, Mrs. Smith, consisted mostly of doing the daily maid-work in the house; she also did the shopping for the kitchen and for anything Mary Sue might need her to get locally. She handled her accounts directly with Mary Sue. Another local woman came to the Manor a couple of days a week to see to the laundry; this woman reported to Mrs. Smith, and together they managed the Hubbards’ laundry needs.

Mrs. Smith was definitely a local person. She looked to me to have been a farmer’s daughter, brought up in the farmhouse. She might have been a farm labourer’s daughter, for all I know, but she carried herself with an assertiveness and alertness that showed she had no reservations about where she had come from and felt unquestionably entitled to her fair share of respect within her circle. I had no idea of her history and didn’t ask her about it, but I never questioned my assumption that she was altogether a countrywoman, quite distinct from a townswoman.

Mrs. Smith was small of stature, not thin, but solid and tending to wiriness. She strode purposefully, always. On duty, she wore a dark-blue polyester or nylon house coat, sensible shoes, stockings, and a remarkably—even aggressively—plain white blouse buttoned to the neck. Her hair was of an ordinary, dull-grey colour, clean and tidy, combed but never seen attentively dressed. One didn’t come across her with a hat except for the practical needs of rain or cold. For rain she wore a plain plastic pleated hood tied under her chin, and for the cold, a woollen cap.

Her face was round. Its striking feature, to my eyes, was the jutting lower jaw with its masterful chin and decidedly firm set of mouth. So straight was the mouth that it’s hard to recall her lips. They tightly and tautly shut out any sign of softness or tenderness, although, aside from her fond friendship with Mary Sue and her cheery relations with the children (and with most people around her), I was never in a position to see her in intimate moments.

I think most people, knowing her and her quiet, gentle old husband, a slow, stooping, elderly fellow, a labourer in the Saint Hill estate department, would take it that in their domesticity the wife wore the trousers with iron fists, and that any tenderness he might get he would have to earn and would win only after hard work. Neither of them looked as though he did that work too often. One could believe, though, that once she had established her tyranny and was allowed to maintain it, she would generally exercise it in kindly fashion.

She did not give the impression of being a bully, just of being a naturally dominating woman wise enough to pick boundaries according to her resources and her aims. Her aims seem to prefer a minimum of avoidable friction. At work in the Manor and, I would certainly suppose, in association with the other women in her life, she would cooperate cheerfully enough; once she had grasped what was needed from her she would set about producing it, needing no prodding. She would assuredly have definite opinions about what might be going on amongst her outside women associates, but Mrs. Smith would keep her considerations to herself whilst in their friendly company, perhaps having plenty to say to a confidante, later. I always assumed she had plenty to say away from the Manor about me and about my performance as her immediate superior but didn’t bother myself too much about it. She was not a gossip.

The other striking feature in her face was its look of constant alertness. She was seemingly very careful to evaluate her position in the interchange of the moment. It was important to her to see what was coming and to know whether what was coming was to be good or bad for her. This in itself can be important to all of us from time to time; constant alertness to possibilities and consequences are part of life. For Mrs. Smith, it was as though a large and heavy hand was permanently raised in front of her, a hand that had been hitting her too hard until she’d learned how to put on the act that pacified its owner. And in the script I’m writing for her (with no basis but my own subjective impressions), that act consisted of adopting some suitable immediate cheeriness for the purpose of transforming the gathering storm into something sunnier—so the hand would relax. But Mrs. Smith lived forever in the shadow of that hand.

Thus, behind her cheery alertness was a vulnerability to which, for some reason, I found myself sensitive. I wanted not to invade it. I respected the courage with which this human being had found her way to keep a threat at bay, a process that fulfilled and affirmed her self-respect.  Further, it succeeded in limiting the damage threatened by the older person to herself and to himself (it felt like a heavy male hand) and to the family. She had learned to face a demon and had borne the cost to her peace of mind.

One of the saddest aspects of human existence can be the ignorance of the abusive adult as to the depth and range of disturbance brought to the totality of the life of the abused child. And one of the most serious aspects, too:


All of this detail about Mrs. Smith is partly a tribute to her and partly to introduce the episode of the Situation involving her good self and the bed and the e-meter (the last wielded by me). Before proceeding with this episode I need to add to the detail some particulars of how she and I related personally.

I had come to the Manor already a committed Scientologist to whom L. Ron Hubbard was Supreme Leader in every way. As a Scientologist I was extremely privileged by my closeness to Ron (as he was universally known in those days within the group), and conscious of my privilege. Mrs. Smith was in the Manor entirely as a non-Scientologist; her presence and her work in the Manor had nothing to do with Scientology at all. As far as she was concerned, her employers’ involvement with that group was incidental. She was in awe of Dr. Hubbard and devoted to Mrs. Hubbard as people, not as Scientologists, let alone as the two seniormost Scientologists of all.

The work for herself and for her husband must have been a boon to her at their ages. It provided good money, perhaps to supplement their state pensions (she looked quite old enough to be getting one, and he certainly was) and to add to whatever nest-egg Mrs. Smith was sitting on. She was not about to throw away such a great blessing.

The difference between us, I have to confess, encouraged me to put myself on one level in the household, relative to the Hubbards, and Mrs Smith on quite a lower level. To tell the awful truth, I allowed myself to tolerate Mrs. Smith. I tolerated her because she did her best to do a good job and in doing so she satisfied our employers. There was no need for me to intervene in any aspect of her performance. Could I have been more grateful and acknowledging of her than I was? Most certainly. Could I have gone out of my way to be constantly socially pleasant, as Mary Sue could do? Yes, but I didn’t, although I was never unpleasant to her that I can recall. All the same, I did stoutly maintain a distance that could not have been pleasing to her. She must have seen that I did not relish personal closeness, even though I felt I was as supportive to her in her job as she herself called on me to be.

I held a distance from Mrs. Smith partly because she was so far away from me in terms of Scientology. She was a non-believer, deliberately ignoring the subject and purpose of her employers’ existence. I didn’t look down on her for this but she put herself on the other side of the room, so to speak. It wasn’t my place to persuade her over to our side of the room; if she made no move, neither would I.

There were other dissonances between us. Mrs. Smith had a rather shrill voice which she could throw at one with a fair bit of energy, as though enforcing the cheerfulness she considered a necessary part of living. Unfortunately, the shrillness, the volume, and the “cheerful” energy hit over-sensitive nerves in my ears that were uncomfortable with the impact. I could usually manage a polite face but I could not encourage conversation past a certain point. I just didn’t have it in me.

There was a certain aesthetic about the Hubbards themselves and about their lovely home. It appealed to me greatly. Had Mrs. Smith gone about her duties without talking to me, and talking quietly to others in my hearing, she would not have interfered with what I valued about the aesthetics. Alas, she pointed up that the Hubbards’ giving her an important place in their home had encouraged her in her belief in noisy and insistent good cheer. She made herself look and sound a bit vulgar. Well, quite vulgar. I was snobbish enough to notice it, and to notice it much too often. After a while, I began to blanket out Mrs. Smith’s cheerful but grating noise.

And so, to some degree, I blanketed out my responsibility to offer Mrs. Smith help with any difficulty she might have in serving our master to the best of her ability, and for her own peace of mind and satisfaction as well as for his. I’ll show in the next post, in which Mrs. Smith gets on the wrong side of The Boss, how in the end he got me involved with her—not with any good sense I might have, but with my e-meter.

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018POSTED ON

Memories, 22 The Boss, Part Four

[Chapter Six]

The Boss: Depths and Perspectives

Part Four   —   Adult Reality, Childish Hardball

The cook that came to work for the Hubbards at Saint Hill one week after I arrived there had to leave within a couple of months because her mother’s health had deteriorated. This quiet, modest, reliable young woman, no stranger to consistent work, had proved herself a decided asset in the household and a major pillar of support for me as I went about establishing myself in my new position as butler to L. Ron Hubbard, once able to leave the kitchen entirely to her. Mary Sue had appreciated her warmly. We knew we would miss her, but thoroughly supported her as a daughter. I don’t know that she was outstanding as a cook, or highly trained as one, but she was obviously equal to all the ordinary demands that were made on her by a family that did not look for more than rather ordinary meals. The cleanliness and tidiness of her kitchen were exemplary. There were no complaints against her. That Mary Sue was personally happy with her showed that her work was well received.

We had a succession of cooks over the next several months, none of whom lasted very long, and I believe (memory not being too clear) that most of them left of their own accord. A couple were temporary, in any case. After our third or so replacement, I was about to look for another when LRH gave me an interesting instruction: “Ask them if they like eating.” I supposed he’d had some food on his plate that made him wonder what the provider’s intention might be.

Most of the applicants came to us through a London agency. I used the agency because I didn’t have time to go looking or advertising, since the cooking for the household devolved back on to me if there was no cook in the kitchen. I had, or felt I had, to keep all of my other duties going as well as I could despite being tied to the stove and the meal schedule, so a day off to go cook-hunting on my own was not feasible.

The house was not over-generous in its wages. Whoever had got hold of that first cook had struck gold. It took us just more than a year to find as good a cook, as hard-working, and one as able to fit in with the working environment in that kitchen.

Thus, being in between cooks was not a happy time for me. Each new one seemed to be nervous about coming, nervous about staying, and soon eager to go. I had to hire the least-unlikely of the lot so as not to let backlogs in my own work build up. I’d start the new cook and get back to my own duties feeling that here was another one not going to last very long. In the end, John Henry came to us and came to my rescue. An older man from St. Helena, he managed his situation in the Saint Hill kitchen with great aplomb, and soon fell under MSH’s potent spell, she being by nature a thoroughly charming woman when relaxed. If encouraged by a welcoming response she would throw over the new acquaintance a happy cloak of cheery bonhomie. John Henry came to adore her and later followed the Hubbards to the big Scientology ship where he continued to serve them for at least a couple of years until he retired to sail back to his remote island home.

At the Manor, John Henry would spend his weekly day off in London, as I had when I first went to Saint Hill. One day, I happened to read the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph (not a regular habit of mine) and my eye fell on a small paragraph. In those days, in the sixties, the practice of homosexuality was still a crime. Men who cruised public places looking for male partners were arrested when caught by the police. The papers would report such arrests briefly and refer to the ‘crime’ as “soliciting” or “importuning.” This particular paragraph reported that a John Henry had been arrested for soliciting in a public lavatory and it happened on our John Henry’s day off.

There was no mention of Saint Hill in the paper, much to my relief. I couldn’t know if it was in fact our John Henry but was quite prepared to ask him about the report, should LRH advise or require it. John Henry had already given me an idea that he had some sort of connection with that orientation by virtue of some (harmless) stories that he had told me and the manner in which he had told them. These were stories of others he had known, and he spoke of them in homosexual relationships. The subject had some fascination for him but I couldn’t say that he’d ever gone farther than fascination. The report said not a word about what had actually happened to bring about the arrest. [There had been another recent story about an elderly senior cleric in the Church of England who’d been arrested on the same charge. The poor unsuspecting and innocent old fellow had a nervous tic that the zealous undercover policeman had completely misunderstood as he prowled that public lavatory.]

Of course, I reported this “John Henry” development to LRH at once, who appeared not concerned. He gave me no startling instructions, a little to my surprise, given how unsympathetic towards homosexuality he’d shown himself to be in one of his books [Science of Survival]. As John Henry had settled down in our kitchen, was performing very well, and had become one of the household, I was very all right with not losing him. There seemed to be no need to induce great concern over the two young boys in the family, Quentin and Arthur. Neither of them spent any time in the kitchen nor had made friends with John Henry, nor had he shown signs of wanting to closely befriend them (or anyone else, for that matter; his happiness in MSH was a given). This state of affairs between him and the two boys continued as before. Moreover, John Henry’s demeanour in the house had never given any indication of hidden intentions towards any part of the family.

[And that’s as far as that story goes. This little detour into cookery-procurement and into John Henry (with which I’ve entertained myself), has taken me well ahead of the tale I’m about to relate. It’s by way of explaining why I was so disappointed in LRH’s telling me, long before John Henry, to give the then-current cook a month’s wages in lieu of letting the man, newly employed, work out the notice he had given me the day before. This little scene, in which Hubbard tore off one of his veils, follows now. ]

Several weeks after the unhappy brush over the unlocked back door of the Manor and my supposedly bad thoughts about a possible invasion of the children’s quarters, I had again to quickly replace a cook. The cook in question was an older man who had come to us for a month’s trial from the London agency only a week before. His bona fides were fine. One could easily be taken aback by the way he presented himself. He was slightly swarthy, stocky and powerfully built, with a slight stoop. The abundant hair on his head and his bushy eyebrows were almost demonically black (but you wouldn’t think to look at him that he was a man who would think of dyeing his hair). He had a heavy black beard but did not shave closely. Unhappinesses had taken over his eyes and mouth, brooding there as though ready to erupt in sudden violent protest. The master of the house did not come into the kitchen to meet him but he may well have seen him or heard the children’s or their mother’s impressions of him.

But the reality I found in working with this new cook was that he was a sweet, gentle, dignified old man regardless of his unusually ruffian, pirate-like appearance. His work was all right but he, not being happy at the Manor, soon gave notice. I immediately informed LRH and told him I would get a new person in. The following day, LRH told me it would be better to give the man his month’s wages and to let him go at once. I reeled, not happy to have the cooking to do again, and so soon, along with the stress of recruiting yet another new cook.

LRH noticed my reservation, of course, and he proceeded to enlighten me as to his reasons—in his own way of enlightening. He said he had his concerns about the man, remarking that said concerns entailed something difficult for most people to confront. I took that to mean that since I didn’t know what he was talking about, I was the “most people” having difficulty in confronting whatever it was that LRH hadn’t yet made clear, for the reasons that he was not only so brilliantly clever to think about it but also so good in confronting such dreadful possibilities. Also understood was that dumb me didn’t know what was going on. Dumb me could see, nonetheless, that he wanted to get on with the enlightenment: his vastly superior understanding of the state of affairs demanded that he make himself, at last, understandable, no matter the cost to me.

“It’s the children”, he explained heavily, and with just a suspicion of quiet triumph.

Again, he shocked me to my core, and for the second time over this same subject, but this time completely reversing the reality of our previous roles. In the prior instance, I’d brought something to his attention he was not minded to take seriously in that moment. Evidently, though, the question had buzzed about in his mind; he’d recognized that a point had been made (the possibility of an attack on his children), the making of which had put him on the back foot.

His solution to this unwelcome stance, I assumed, was to take over the whole thing as being of his own initiation rather than admit that another (me) had prompted him into self-examination and adjustment of view. Yet I was that other and I’d forgotten nothing, particularly that accusation to the executives that I’d somehow willed harm on the children. The unwillingness of the new and nasty-looking cook to stay, and the chance that he was harbouring some resentment about the family, gave the master the perfect chance to put me on my back foot with a bit of my own medicine. He could imply that since I hadn’t thought the nice old man capable of horrible crime, the possibility was something I was not able to confront.

But in actual fact, what was not easy to confront here was the perceived petty sleight of mind with which the Boss, a man highly respected by Scientologists all over the world for personal integrity and empathic acumen, had persuaded himself that he could now turn the tables on me to his own imagined advantage. At the same time, he blanked out from his awareness (normally so keen) that since I was party to the first encounter on the matter I could easily figure out what he was doing. I understood clearly. I was speechless. And very angry with him.

I bowed my head slightly to acknowledge my understanding of his instructions and went my way, accepting what would be of no use to resist, and to reflect on how I would deal with this insight into one of L. Ron Hubbard’s trouble-making thought patterns. I gave the cook his wages and off he went. Back to the stove went I.

The volte-face on my boss’s part of delivering a slap in my face when he might have given the slap to himself, was my first clear indication of how dangerous association with L. Ron Hubbard could be and of how thin the ice around him. Accordingly, I developed a thought process of my own that helped me navigate my relationship with him…

Take care; take nothing for granted; watch both his steps and your own; by no means ever give him reason to suppose you’re trying to trip him up—not that you’d want to but if he got that idea into his head, no knowing what he’d do; he is evidently familiar with that mode of behaviour. When he’s operating on vanity, reason is absent. [There, but for the grace of God, go we all.]

For sure an unpleasant development, it didn’t push me to consider either having a go at challenging his vanity (a non-starter, really, always) or leaving him. Although I was more watchful around him, my respect for the better side of him and for his work remained. If he as demi-god had a human side, well, he had a human side. No surprise there; the unpleasant surprises were firstly in how low, relatively, he allowed himself to stoop in human-ness, and, secondly, in how easily he persuaded himself that I wouldn’t have eyes with which to see what he was doing so openly to me and to himself.

At school, I’d read about the Earl of Strafford, a man of high principle (but, like so many men of that kind, also heavy-handed and partisan, making powerful enemies for himself), who had supported Charles I in the latter’s deadly struggles with the English Parliament (for domination and money) prior to the English Civil War in the mid-1600s. Strafford was executed at the insistence of his enemies in Parliament in one of their moves against the King. The warrant for his execution had to be signed by Charles, and Charles signed it; he’s said to have stated, as he reluctantly did so (having personally promised the Earl that he would come to no harm), that the Earl’s fate was happier than his own. In his turn, Strafford is said to have grimly declared, on receiving the news that the King had signed the warrant, “Put not your trust in Princes.” For some reason, that injunction struck a chord within me when I first read it as a boy. I felt I knew what it meant. Twelve years later, as a young man, I suddenly had a deeper and clearer understanding of the adult reality of the position: Around L. Ron Hubbard, my head, figuratively speaking, would be no safer than Strafford’s.

It was a lesson I never forgot throughout my years close to Hubbard, even though, as the months went by, his treatment of me at Saint Hill was, on the whole, without question remarkably friendly, cheerful, and kind. He looked after me, in fact, so generously, as one human to another, that to this day, I remember his Saint Hill persona fondly and with great gratitude. This, I believe, was part of his basic and true nature.

End of Chapter Six, Part Four, The Rending of a Veil

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018POSTED ON

Memories, 21 The Boss, Part Three

[Chapter Six]

The Boss: Depths and Perspectives

Part Three   —   Knockings of Elbow

We had a few other moments of subdued asperity, the Boss and I. He mentioned one afternoon (his morning, that is) that he wasn’t sure why a point he’d been trying to make in a lecture was not easily understood by the public who went into the organizations to listen to his lectures. I made the big mistake of cleverly and helpfully telling him that I’d found some of the lectures hard to follow because of the big words or technical terms, and sometimes because of his pronunciation. On one taped lecture, for example, I’d had to listen to it several times before I became aware he wasn’t referring to an unidentified Major Somebody; he was saying the word ‘measure’ as though it were ‘mayzhure.’

Boy, did he bristle. “I don’t need anyone telling me I don’t know how to communicate“, he growled aggressively. I backed down, apologizing. Mary Sue came into the room and I was pretty sure she was about to get an earful about how clumsy I’d been. Was I worried about what he might say to my detriment to his wife? Not a bit. I did worry about a lot of things, but not about what was completely beyond my control.

One afternoon breakfast, during the time LRH was busying himself with producing a brochure to impress possible students from around the world with how wonderful things were in and about SH and the locality, he told me that he was going to photograph my bedroom as a sample of the accommodations available in houses in and around East Grinstead (the neighbouring town) for people travelling to Saint Hill to study. So I made sure my room was at least tidy and clean, bed made. The following day, the first thing I heard from him as I handed him his hot chocolate was, “Man, all those wrinkles in your bed that I had to straighten out!” I said nothing, waiting to see how serious he was; as he didn’t follow up on the complaining, I wasn’t caring about wrinkles on my bed. If he wanted to play maid in his butler’s room, he could go ahead.

A while after that, he came down with bronchitis. After having his hot chocolate (and smoking, despite the bronchitis) he’d go back to bed. I had to make up his bed while he drank his chocolate as he didn’t usually have breakfast during any of his infrequent bouts of illness, and he’d get back into his bed after the chocolate. He was not at all chatty.

On these sick days, since I was making his bed, I made very, very sure there was not one single wrinkle anywhere near that bed, and I made bed at high speed. One time, he became impatient while I worked at it. I was smoothing out those sheets and those blankets like anything, regardless. “You are not making me wrong, are you?” he asked in querulous tone, looking vaguely over his shoulder. We both understood he was referring to his having had a jab at me over the wrinkles in my own bed.

Happening to have completed the job at just that precise moment, I could cheerfully assure him that his bed was ready, leaving it to him to press his question if he wanted to. He seemed pacified by the news. Having thus shaken off the new jab, I made my exit, not being further needed in the room at the moment. [Had he faced me as he asked the question, I would have taken it seriously and faced him as I answered. The answer would have been “No, Sir.”]

Another day he really blew up at me, and quite rightly, after he’d told me that he wanted the barber in from East Grinstead the next afternoon. I was to phone the barber and make the appointment. He didn’t tell me that there was any importance attached to the task, and I forgot all about it until late the next morning. I went running around to try to find the chauffeur to see if I could bribe him to drive into East Grinstead and kidnap the barber. I could not find the man and swore at him enough to put his ears on fire. When LRH called—early—for his hot chocolate I took it up and waited, in some dread, for the terrible question. I did not want to say I’d let him down. He asked. I chattered and stammered about not being able to find the chauffeur in time. LRH accepted this in silence. He’d wanted the haircut because he needed one, for that day he was planning to make a film about his recent research. He went ahead and made the film. It was the first of the films he made for the Clearing Course training.

After he was finished with the filming, he called for me and blasted me angrily, not for forgetting but for trying to put the blame onto the chauffeur. I could only accept. Later, he came and apologized for blowing up at me, and he spoke with a friendly smile so I knew I was all right with him. But I didn’t have the courage or the integrity to apologize to him for failing to carry out the assigned task and then for not owning up to my failure.

On one evening, at dinner, he was unhappy with something or other about the food. I tried to deal with it as best I could but he would not cheer up. I was at a loss. I cleared the table and took it out of the room on the way back to the kitchen. A little distracted, I mismanaged the manoeuvre through the door. It was a French door, and one opened one half of the door. Holding a tray loaded with dishes, one had to open the narrow door, balancing the tray on one hand, put the right foot through the doorway, slide through and pull the door with the left foot, turn around, catch the closing door with the free hand and pull it quietly to. It had never been a problem.

This particular time,I lost my rhythm and missed the handle of the closing door causing it to shut with a loud bang. I turned around in horror at the impression of inexcusable bad temper I must surely have caused. As I turned, I saw that both LRH and Mary Sue jumped a bit in their seats. I looked him in the face. I knew that if I went back into the room, even if to apologize, he would most likely blow up at me, so I tried to make my face say “I did not mean to do that”, and went my way. Nobody said anything about it. I thought he must have seen that it was an accident on my part and reassured Mary Sue about it. I hoped so. You never knew.

We had an interesting and revealing exchange, after I’d been at the Manor a few months. Part of my duty was to go outside the Manor to lock the doors to some of the offices and classrooms LRH had built on the Manor grounds—this would be at ten in the evening, when staff had gone home. Why this duty was mine to do I didn’t know, but he told me to, so I did it. I hated doing it when the evenings drew dark. At least two desperately unhappy people lay buried deep in the ground at the farthest and darkest end of my little evening route. Their misery was overwhelming and scaringly real; it seemed as though they’d died in cruel circumstances and been buried without proper ceremony. There was nothing I could do for them. I’d come back to the Manor, carefully not running, and lock its back door. This ended my day.

One evening, when I locked the back door, after ten at night, it occurred to me that the door, left open during the evening for staff to come in and out if they wanted to work late in the Manor offices, was unsupervised from the time the kitchen closed after the evening meal until I locked it at about ten p.m. What I saw as darkly strange about this was that just inside that door was the staircase running up to the first floor (U.S. second floor) rooms where the children slept. Between their rooms and the nearest adult (their mother in her office) were a door, a short staircase, another door, and a short corridor. Any staff working in the Manor in the evening would be in the basement or in rooms a distance away on the ground floor. I couldn’t help being aware that if some nut were to wander into the grounds, try the door, get in, decide to explore that staircase, he could do unimaginable damage before help would arrive. I didn’t want to live with this unlikely but open possibility, or to have anything of the sort happen to the children, or to have such a terrible thing on my conscience.

The next day, I mentioned this to LRH, the father. He dismissed it as not important, and didn’t seem too pleased that I’d considered the possibility that harm might come to the children. That evening, he was not in his office at dinner time. I went looking, and found him in one of the ground-floor offices, holding forth to the staff who had gathered about him.

I heard his voice from the corridor and pushed open the door. As I entered, I heard the end of what he was saying: “Now, who would have a postulate like that?” [In Scientology jargon, a ‘postulate’ is a concept, an idea, of something one wants to have or make happen in real life; one might ‘postulate’ [the verb] a parking space in a busy street; one might have a ‘postulate’ to achieve this or that accomplishment in life’’] The accusing complaint in his voice, heard so often over the hot chocolate, sounded ominous.

From the way his audience turned in unison and looked down their noses at me, I knew that he’d been complaining about my concern for the children’s security in their beds. His implication was clear: only a degraded person could entertain the idea that terrible harm could come to his innocent children by way of the staircase to their bedrooms near the open back door. Taken aback but holding myself together despite the disgust of the corporate bigwigs paying court to the Boss, I calmly told him his dinner was ready, turned, and left the room and the noble noses. Nothing more was said about it. I felt sad that he would think it all right to behave that way towards anyone, but also aware that I was a long way farther from perfect than he. He had been so good to all of us; I, and the world, owed him a lot of leeway.

I was still unhappy about the security arrangement. Being calmly assured as a parent that nothing bad would happen is one thing; tempting Fate another. I tried locking the door early but it enraged the staff who wanted to come in, and those leaving would not bother to lock the door behind them. Without LRH’s authority behind me, I had no power over the office staff.

In any case, better to keep the thought to myself rather than let it loose around the neighbourhood. Who knew what kind of roaming character the roaming idea might attach itself to. As things turned out, no harm of that sort ever came to the children. One could say that the postulates in LRH’s and MSH’s fond and alert parenting  kept them safe.

I gradually stopped concerning myself about that back door, cooperating, as you might say, with the parents’ protective postulates. Yet, I’d have been happier to have locked it after dinner or to have someone watching it until it was locked for the night.

We shouldn’t judge the Hubbards as parents too harshly in this circumstance. Things were quite different in those days: we didn’t normally consider protecting children around the clock. In fact, not many years before that, the whole time I lived with my grandparents in a village in Scotland, the outer door to the house was left open day and night. It was once shut but not locked, for a few days, while my aunt’s dog was in heat. [The dog serenading her made a perfect pest of himself to me because I carried her scent. I wasn’t much bigger than he was and I had to keep fighting him off. He even came to school with me, to my enormous embarrassment.]

We children ran about the village, the hills, and rowed about on the water perfectly freely, and nobody bothered about anyone doing us harm. Later, in my early teens, in suburban South Wales, I heard of a nearby adult misbehaving with youngsters; the man was sent to jail and the matter was handled very quietly, no warnings issued to me. We neighbourhood children, always happy to gossip, ignored the business as not relevant to us, the abused boys being from other parts. We didn’t know what had happened to them and hearing no news of them had no reason to believe they’d come to serious harm. We shrugged, and we went on with lives from which the idea of shocking abuse at the hands of adults was totally absent. Well, “absent” aside from the abuse we might be subject to within the family—sometimes so familiar as to be considered normal.

Ron and Mary Sue came out of a similar culture. They assumed that their home was completely safe because it was theirs just as we in the village saw no reason to lock our outer doors. Today, we put a lot of energy into safeguarding our children from abuse by disturbed people and we can be sure that were Ron and Mary Sue to be parenting today, access through that back door would be strictly monitored.

End of Chapter Six, Part Three, Knockings of Elbow

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018POSTED ON

Memories, 20 The Boss, Part Two

[Chapter Six]

The Boss: Depths and Perspectives

Part Two   —   Conversations, Important and Otherwise

No details come to mind of the one-sided conversations we had in those early days. They included: his views on current English politics (Harold Wilson was the Labour Prime Minister) about which LRH was not overly impressed; stories from his younger years; stories from what he said were his past lives, mostly in ‘space opera’ context; new technology he was developing; affairs in and around SH to do with the organization or with the estate and the neighbours. He did not speak too much about my job or about the household, although he would suggest that I do this or that; frequently his suggestions were to do things that I’d already decided to do that day but hadn’t started yet and so his suggestions would irritate me slightly. I could let him know I was on to it already, once or twice, but to repeatedly tell him “Yes, this action is in hand,” though true and perhaps commendable, would be hard to bring off. Constant prompts for approbation can only irritate.

Politics not being of great interest to me, his opinions on the subject, not too frequently expressed, went in one ear and out the other. I noticed that his stories of his youth, not numerous, had to do with how impressed with him were the matrons who gave parties at which his good manners shone. I was neither impressed nor unimpressed, although he did demonstrate impeccable manners, always.

The tales from his energetic activities in space ships, in which he seemed to enjoy being something of a buccaneer, likewise left me indifferent. Space opera didn’t excite me, and I didn’t relate with his stories, which seemed to me to belong in a comic. It became evident after a while, though, that a repeated element of his space stories was that he was constantly frustrated from going back, after a death, to pick up the treasure he had gathered and hidden away in that former life with the intention of using the money in the next life. He did not dwell on the matter but repeated it often enough for it to stand out as a pattern in his stories and therefore an indicator of something important to him.

Early on, I could see that he was very ready to criticize members of the Saint Hill staff. Exasperated with one particular man, he ranted each morning for several days in a row how much trouble the man was causing. I wondered why the big boss was so busy complaining to me, who could do nothing, but not telling me how busy he was in getting the alleged troublemaker turned around, fixed, and with the program. If not upset with one person, he might grumble about this one’s mistake or that fellow’s idiocy. He moaned more about the men than the women. He had all the tools and authority he needed to put things right so he didn’t have to complain, but I did not dare say so.

He did not think too much of the man who bought the farm that had been part of the Saint Hill estate when the latter was put on the market and then broken up. I gathered that when LRH bought the Manor he tried to buy the whole estate but was outbid or out-manoeuvred. The farmer had a right of way to drive his cattle across the park in front of the Manor (that is, on the lake side). LRH did not enjoy this. He found out, or imagined, that he had a right of way through the farmer’s yard. One day, he dressed himself up as a sort of outdoorsy fellow, including a large black floppy hat, and drove his tractor (used for mowing the lawns) through the farmyard. What good this did him I didn’t know, but he had a lot less to say about the farmer after that.

He told me quite a lot about what he was discovering in the research he was performing on himself, with regard to what he called the Reactive Mind and how it is made up at its roots. This research culminated in the Clearing Course, an outstandingly important development in its day. These exchanges about the basic Reactive Mind I found really interesting and I felt it a huge privilege to be listening to what he shared with me confidentially about such an advanced part of the technology.

Now, material from his earlier steps on this same road towards the roots of the Reactive Mind had been published and was taught in its own class on the Saint Hill Briefing Course. I’d become friendly with the woman who supervised this class. I made myself rather obtrusively and officiously important to her by doing her the great favour of passing on to her LRH’s latest developments as he gave them to me in confidence. She, as a result, became confused and I supposed she queried LRH in some distress as to what she was supposed to be teaching or not teaching in her class.

LRH said nothing to me, but of course he had to act. He was never slow to act when he had to, and his action usually nailed whatever was going on that he wanted started, stopped or changed. One morning an internal office issue LRH had put out overnight came to my in-basket. It was titled “The Hidden Data Line.” I knew at once that I was the one being nailed, and why. The issue emphasized that the only way he made known to technical staff new material that they were to use and apply were the familiar ones of lectures, books, films, or published bulletins with his by-line issued through a secretarial office under his sole control. Instant was my decision to zip my lips from there on out. I said nothing to the woman I’d confused, nor to the boss I’d bothered (and I figured he’d probably been complaining about me to somebody or other for a good while).

Some months later, he was mystified because somebody on staff had been talking about something he (LRH) had mentioned to another in confidence. It may have been something he’d also mentioned to me briefly in his bedroom. He told me one morning that this matter had been spoken about in the offices downstairs. I saw the question coming and dealt with it immediately. “I’m very careful about what I say downstairs,” I asserted with some faint asperity, as though I didn’t need to be told twice on this particular sin. “I know you are,” came the answer. I understood that he had watched out for how I would respond to the “Hidden Data Line” issue, and had confirmed for himself that I’d toed that line. He said no more about the confidentiality breach of the moment.

End of Part 2 of Chapter Six, The Boss: Depths and PerspectivesPOSTED ON

Memories: 19 The Boss, Part One

Chapter Six

The Boss: Depths and Perspectives

Part One   —   The Bathroom

In terms of time and sequence of events, I’ve got ahead of my LRH story in giving a picture of Mary Sue and how she and I developed our relationship. As I didn’t interact with her nearly as much as with LRH, the depth of my relationship with her of course didn’t go as far as it did with him—not that he and I went any further than easy friendship cultivated through private and personal daily intercourse. But Mary Sue was a highly important part of my daily life in the Manor and although she and I hardly ever had a serious conversation, I think I saw enough of her to justify painting a portrait of some little depth, such as it is and as far as it goes. Mary Sue Hubbard stands without question as a heavyweight player in her own right. Accordingly, I’ve devoted a couple of chapters to her and in doing so said most of what I want to say about her as part of the Saint Hill scene I was in.

Paying this respect to Mary Sue also serves to set the scene for what I’m about to attempt regarding how LRH and I developed our relationship; earlier, in leading up to this, my general story, I made a point of Mary Sue’s initial apparent antagonism to my presence in the Manor. I think the question raised by that circumstance deserves an answer which I hope the chapters about Mary Sue have provided. Another advantage of placing these chapters where they are is that they establish for the reader clarity in a crucial background factor in the composition of my place in the household and in LRH’s life: she, with her devotion to her husband, was happy enough with my performance that she never (to my knowledge and best recall) seriously interfered with it. No rebuke or reprimand from her came my way.

What I’ve related about Mary Sue spanned many months. Now I’ll continue my portrait of L. Ron Hubbard as I knew him at Saint Hill—again a portrait such as it is and as far as it goes. In order to start it properly, according to my own ideas, I’ll go back in time to my beginnings at Saint Hill and to my first day at work after the introductory week of being mostly the cook and little else.

The new cook’s arrival at the end of my first week at Saint Hill completely changed my daily routine with L. Ron Hubbard. Going up to his bedroom with his ‘morning’ cup of hot chocolate in the afternoon of that first day of the new cook’s presence, I expected to put it on his table and to leave the room as I had each day so far. The boss had another idea. As soon as I entered the room he, in his white button-up nightshirt with bright orange piping, sat down at the little table between foot of four-poster bed and fireplace and started to talk to me, and to smoke his Kools. Thus began a daily ritual that enriched me enormously because of how he treated me.

A little surprised at the unexpected chattiness, I paid attention. As his servant, I couldn’t have done anything else, of course, but he wasn’t addressing me as a servant. He was talking to me as to another and entirely equal human being and with personal interest and acute attention. I recall not one word of that exchange but clearly remember the respect that he good-naturedly showed me, the cheerful interest in me and my responses, the absence of any boastful or pretentious manner, of affectation or ostentation, of snobbery or pomp. I had never imagined a male leadership person so brimming with confident, energetic, cheerful life—and so relaxed with who and what he was as a leader.

He was taking steps to make a friendly person-to-person relationship possible; I could not but happily respond, waiting to see where his initiative would take us and how I would view that. In fact, his relaxed openness was a revelation and a delight. Within fifteen minutes or so it took us to a place that I could have anticipated but had entirely omitted in my expectations about my duties. I understood and accepted that I was to be his valet—in connection with his clothes. Had I thought much about it, I might have remembered that a valet is a close body-servant and as such has duties in the bathroom. Having left myself unprepared, then, for what we were to do after his hot chocolate, his Kools and his chat with me, he surprised me again by making no break at all in the flow of his monologue (for such it mostly was) as he got up from the table and moved to the bathroom, still talking pleasantly.

Unsure of myself, unable to leave because he was speaking, definitely not thinking of following him, but definitely bound to stay with his kindly address, having to figure out what I should do…Deciding to let him take the lead, walking over to where I could see him in the long narrow bathroom, simply to let him know I was listening and otherwise attentive (though feeling rather out of my depth)…I stood, motionless.

My hesitation in following him into his bathroom made clear to the master that his new valet was unsure of his position, not being used to it. So the master ran his bath for himself while continuing to speak. The supposed valet stood respectfully by at a distance while the master did bathing duties for himself. This faux valet, standing by, kindly allowed the boss to see to his own valeting needs and to carry on his monologue until he was ready to stop.

Finished with his bath, Dr. Hubbard turned to shave at the sink, concluding his remarks with a smile, releasing me to go back downstairs to bring up the breakfast to this same bedroom, where he and Mary Sue would take the meal. I left the room and went to the kitchen, still a bit dazed by the vision of the large pink body soaping and splashing itself intimately in front of me as though it was the most natural accompaniment in the world to one’s words.

Maybe LRH had perceived that an invisible door kept me from moving into his bathroom while he went through his morning operations; he knew that one word would require me to enter and to do the usual things like run the bath, perhaps scrub his back, hold his towel and whatever else a valet would do. Instead, he never once mentioned the possibility that I might shift my feet from the floor by his bathroom door into the bathroom itself. Throughout the days in the eighteen months I was in attendance on him in his bedroom on his awakening, he not once, as I recall, changed the routine: chocolate and chat, chat continuing while he bathed himself, I standing by in interested and attentive idleness. Had this last bothered him he would have changed it in an instant, and I would have followed his wishes, consulting then with myself as to what it would have meant to me to do those bathroom duties, and then perhaps deciding that I didn’t want to do them. The question didn’t arise.

Over these eighteen months he was only on a couple of occasions anything less than completely friendly when we were together in his bedroom as he prepared to begin his day, I always attentive in his presence, but otherwise always idle—as if it had become the most natural thing in the world.

End of Part One of

Chapter Six, The Boss: Depths and Perspectives

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2017POSTED ON

Memories, 18 : Statement

Memories  18


In these Memories, I am recounting incidents experienced in L. Ron Hubbard’s proximity, as well as some perceptions, observations, and reflections. Inevitably, something of what I say will seem perhaps unkind towards the people I talk about. Inevitably, some will ask the relevant question, “Were you so perfect and blameless?” Of course, the answer is Not at all.

With regard to my own weaknesses and failures, which I admit are no fewer and no less gross than others’, I will portray a few when they are relevant to my purpose—which is to show that L. Ron Hubbard had his better and best sides as well as his less creditable characteristics, in the [probably forlorn] hope that a fairly rounded picture will enable some readers unfamiliar with his best work to grant firstly that he was human and secondly that he had extraordinary gifts worth exploring and their products worth using. For example, I’ll relate how I messed up something and how LRH handled it, to show how he handled it and thereby add another detail to my picture of who and what he was.

I try to follow the example of Anthony Trollope, the English novelist of the 19th Century, contemporaneous with Dickens (my taste preferring the former’s work).  Trollope’s auto-biography is noteworthy both in its brevity and in its reticence about the author’s inner life, either positive or negative. The moral and ethical struggles he must have suffered through are not even hinted at. But this last is not the example I want to follow: it is more a matter of what Trollope acknowledges about putting one’s personal recollections before the public that I agree with. In the very first paragraph of his “An Autobiography” he writes:

That I, or any man, should tell everything of himself, I hold to be impossible. Who could endure to own the doing of a mean thing? Who is there that has done none? But this I protest:—that nothing that I say shall be untrue. I will set down naught in malice; nor will I give to myself, or others, honour which I do not believe to have been fairly won.

Now, I am aware that over the course of my years in Scientology (not to mention all my other years) I have at times exercised stupidly bad judgment in my actions and inactions. Some of these things I recall and cringe from, painfully. As I say, I will state these things plainly when doing so helps my purpose here. That I don’t mention a misdeed or failure of mine does not mean that I am hiding it. However, should these Memories come to the attention of a certain public, I expect that there will be many quick to point out that Urquhart did this and Urquhart didn’t do that. Some of it will be true and some of it untrue and also either important or unimportant. That’s to say, important or unimportant in the grander scheme of things: although injuries can be hugely significant to us in our own hearts and minds, who would want to deny the truth of any accusation honestly made?

Some years have passed since I left off tending to feel regret or shame for having adversely affected others, particularly LRH, MSH, other Scientologists, my father, my family, some non- Scientology close friends, and others. Without discounting any damage I’ve done I’ve mellowed into being easier on self. A mature viewpoint is that we all make mistakes on each other; we all learn from both being jostled by others and from our barging into others’ spaces and lives. I believe that Life is above all a learning and growing experience and not a lot else. So, whatever happens to us and by us is what we need to experience in order to learn what we need to learn and mature. We learn at each other’s expense. Life sets you up to hurtle me out of my comfortable misconceptions. She lines me up to shake you out of yours. Neither of us have any notion of her purposes. The important thing is that we learn. Refusing to learn is a great sin, in my view. If it is a sin, failing to learn from one’s own misdeeds against Life must be the greatest sin of all. Regardless, in these Memories what I have learnt from my misdeeds is secondary to the major purpose of portraying LRH as I knew him and as truthfully and as kindly as I can.

Yes, I can complain that that Hubbard did or didn’t do this or that to or for me. My life contains some of the wreckage he left behind him. He ended our relationship with a disgusting gesture that invites me to hate him. I don’t because I can’t. What he did regarding me that was not right (that is, was not necessary, truthful, or kind) doesn’t matter a bit. What matters is what he did right for all, and there’s so much rightness in what he gave us that I will be eternally grateful to him for it and will honour him for it forever.

Additional to the voices of those who have history that can point to this deficiency or that on my part might be the wrath of those who know nothing of LRH but allow themselves the certainty that he was the Devil’s eldest son. They stand ready to vomit their venom on anyone giving LRH credit or honour. Yet further, should the Church of Scientology or any of the associated corporate forms conceive that what I have to say represents some kind of threat to their so-perfect version of L. Ron Hubbard, their Founder, I would expect these masters of Communication and of Public Relations to enthusiastically bury themselves in their own brain diarrhoea. Let it be.

I can’t hope that those who would choose to criticise me would say and do that which is always necessary, true, and kind. But so what? How I sleep at night is entirely up to me; if how I respond to untruth and unkindness from others during the day is not kind, true, and necessary, I lie awake… And right then I have to get busy at what is necessary, true, and kind for me so I can sleep better in one sense and be more awake in another.

To sum up: I am not speaking out in order to make me look “good” at others’ expense nor to make anyone look all “bad”. I am not hiding how “bad” I have been, but there is a limit to how much I put myself down. Regardless of what I intend to convey and think I’m conveying, the poet T. S. Eliot truthfully wrote: “More is said than is spoken” in that what we say and how we say it tell things about us that we’re unaware of and don’t know that we’re revealing. Let it be so, always, and may we always have ears to hear with, eyes to see with, and the sense to be asking questions about the human—and therefore imperfect—processes of hearing, seeing, and understanding. They who want to improve these processes can find an abundance of effective tools in the basics of Scientology.

In putting together the theory and practice of Scientology (as distinct from his behaviour and the behaviour of the Church of Scientology), L. Ron Hubbard revealed great truths about himself: the depth of his understanding of Life and the strength of his desire to help us all live as productively, happily, and cooperatively as we could want to.

In his own living, LRH made the mistake of misestimating what it would take from him and his organization to persuade mankind to recognize and accept the help he had to offer. This led him into making a fool of himself publicly. In making that mistake and in misbehaving, he tells a lot about himself. We could learn from what his misbehaviour tells us about him, about his work, and about Life. I can tell what my eyes saw and what my ears heard, my eyes and ears capable of only so much and no more, and out of my individual and therefore limited understanding. Please bear in mind that my perceptions and understandings are as liable to error and omission as anyone’s and my mental equipment just as open to the usual biases.

And, I, inevitably, as open to the usual consequences:

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.

Speak or act with an impure mind

And trouble will follow you

As the wheel follows the ox that draws the car.

We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

Speak or act with a pure mind

And happiness will follow you

As your shadow, unshakable.

–The opening lines of

The Dhammapada, The Sayings of The Buddha,

As rendered by Thomas Byrom, Shambala Press

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2017POSTED ON

Memories, 17 : The Pillar of Strength, Part Four

Memories  17

The Pillar of Strength

Part Four of four

LRH would regularly chat with me over his morning hot chocolate. He didn’t talk too much about the family but now and again he would say something about what Mary Sue had done, recently or in the past. Every time he said something of this nature he spoke with affection and obvious respect for her abilities. Although he didn’t specifically acknowledge a debt to her it was obvious that he admired her, was proud of her, and appreciated her greatly as his partner and closest supporter.

A clear instance of his admiration occurred when one of the senior executives at the Saint Hill organization (which helped LRH manage the international network) went away on his annual vacation. While he was away, Mary Sue, who was covering his duties, found quite the skeleton in his files. LRH, telling me one morning about this discovery on her part, explained that a few years before, he (LRH) had bought a local garage as a corporate investment. The absent executive was responsible for the performance of the garage’s manager. During the period of this extra duty for Mary Sue, I’d had occasion for once to go looking for her to let her know that her dinner was ready, and I found her in the office of the man who was on vacation. She was kneeling on the floor, in the middle, contemplating a series of what looked like invoices spread around her in orderly lines and rows. She was obviously deep in thought, but I had to call her attention to the time. She answered quietly, and rose slowly.

The rest of the story LRH was telling me that morning over his chocolate, was that Mary Sue had noticed a discrepancy in some figures in the garage reports and had tracked it down. He said or implied that this kind of work had been her forte in the oil business before she came into Scientology and before they married, and that she had been outstanding at investigating fraud—although he didn’t say that the executive whose figures she was examining was guilty of fraud. However, he did say that she had found out that the garage manager, supposedly under the supervision of the vacationing executive, had defrauded its customers. The manager had been buying cheap grade petrol or gas and selling it as an expensive grade. “What do you think that did to his profits?” he quizzed me. “It doubled them,” I quickly and probably incorrectly replied. LRH didn’t pull me up on that but went on to tell me that they were getting out of the garage business. The executive came back from his vacation to resume his duties and caring for his family, only to find that he was found guilty of failing at his job by not noticing the manager’s dishonesty and letting it continue to the possible detriment of LRH’s good name in business. They fired the executive.

The implication with each mention of MSH over the months was that LRH knew he could not have got as far as he did without her. Indeed, he had shown his feelings about her publicly over several years in materials he had put out to the membership. What she produced during her workdays I didn’t see. What I did see of the way they related with each other personally, and of the way she applied herself to her work and dedicated herself to his, told me that their closeness was genuine and that the respect she was held in by her husband and by the general Scientology community was well earned. Yet I never saw her seem to use that respect for her personal advantage. She did it all for Ron and for her children and for Scientology.

Mary Sue had an engaging lopsided grin, with attractively irregular teeth, and really twinkly eyes when having fun. She was open to light-hearted exchanges unless burdened at the moment by job worries; at these times she could be ferocious in word and speech whether in demanding action or in excoriating error. She would be particularly upset by staff failures that seriously troubled her husband in his work.

In conversation about business, she’d listen intently and seriously when the context called for it, but when she responded her face would wear a purposeful look of wanting to make her point by sticking to the facts and stating them as simply as possible. She had two habits in conversation, one verbal, one physical. The verbal habit was to introduce her remarks with “The thing is, is that…” She had this habit for as long as I was close enough to her to hear her speak. The physical habit was to put her hands up to the ball of hair above her forehead, cup it in her hands, and shift it slightly in one direction or another as though it made an important bit of difference. As with all her motions, it was clean, graceful, unselfconscious. It contrasted a little curiously with the heavy responsibilities of her position in the hierarchy and with the respect she was given by its members.

The two gestures, verbal and physical, were Mary Sue’s signals—as much to herself as to the others—that she was about to speak; speaking from her position required her to be clear, precise, and accurate, a responsibility she never took lightly. If she needed time to gather her thoughts, the two gestures gave her more than enough. Nobody around LRH was more on the ball for his sake than she: very few could catch her napping, she gathered no moss, and was too sharp to fall for the occasional rash attempt to pull the wool.

Her husband knew it, having had her support by his side over many years. We all knew it, and we, like him, respected and cherished her for it.

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