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 Perspectives