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.]


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.

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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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