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UrqBones

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.]

GENTLEMEN NEITHER  NEEDED NOR WANTED

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.”

*       *       *       *       *

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2019CATEGORIESMEMORIESTAGSAPOLLOCHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGYGOGUARDIAN’S OFFICEKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORMARY SUE HUBBARDMSHSCIENTOLOGYSEA ORG

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.

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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.]

Categories
UrqBones

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

Here is a link to one RPFer’s story (the one that tells of good experiences in the earlier PAC RPF):

http://scientolipedia.org/info/Howard_Dickman#My_stint_on_the_RPFCATEGORIESMEMORIESUNCATEGORIZEDTAGSAPOLLOKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORMARY SUE HUBBARDMSHRPFSCIENTOLOGYSCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONSSEA ORGTHE REHABILITATION PROJECT FORCE

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.

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UrqBones

Old Questions…New Answers? 02

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:

http://www.freezoneearth.org/ivy/bluesky/index.htm

and the IVy website is here: http://home8.inet.tele.dk/ivy/%20

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

and the original of 1990:

For amazon.com, 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.

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2001, 2018CATEGORIESOLD QUESTIONS…NEW ANSWERS?UNCATEGORIZEDTAGSCHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGYKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORSCIENTOLOGYSCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS

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 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:

http://www.freezoneearth.org/ivy/bluesky/index.htm

and the IVy website is here: http://home8.inet.tele.dk/ivy/%20

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

and the original of 1990:

For amazon.com, 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.

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2001, 2018CATEGORIESOLD QUESTIONS…NEW ANSWERS?UNCATEGORIZEDTAGSCHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGYKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORSCIENTOLOGYSCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS

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?

NEW BLOG SECTION:

OLD QUESTIONS…NEW ANSWERS?   01

Introduction

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.

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018CATEGORIESOLD QUESTIONS…NEW ANSWERS?UNCATEGORIZEDTAGSCHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGYKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORSCIENTOLOGYSCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS

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.http://www.freezoneearth.org/ivy/bluesky/index.htmI 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.
      https://plus.google.com/u/0/117899924507123082764

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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.

P1060173
"Mrs. Smith" Auditor's Report, 5 April, 1965
Upper portion of report; lower portion follows below.
P1060175

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.

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UrqBones

Blast from the Past (1991) 23 Jan 2017

My old friend Antony Phillips, known as Ant, has been in touch again recently. He was part of the London organization when I was a regular public person there in the late fifties.

Ant runs, among other things, a book circle on-line to which he sends each week an excerpt out of a basic Scientology book. We are now reading “A Summary of Scientology” by Jack Horner. Comments from readers are taken by Ant and conveyed to the circle each week. In answer to a comment from me, Ant was kind enough to mention this blog of mine to the readers. And he went on to say:

Ken has a lot of experience working closely with Ron and he has had forty years outside of the church to digest and meditate on it. It warms the cockles of my heart to see that he is willing to write up, rather carefully, the results. Once some years ago I asked Ken to write an article on his experience with Ron. This was for a birthday issue of IVyMagazine – Ron’s birthday, although Ron was dead at the time. Ken chose to write about his first experience with Ron where he acted as Ron’s valet and amongst other things helped Ron get up. That in itself is very revealing, and you can read it at the following link: http://articles.ivymag.org/pdf/ivy02.pdf . You scroll down to page 13.

I’m including Ant’s kind words because they’re kind (not to mention true and necessary) and because they introduce and link to the article he mentions, written in 1991. In fact, the link is to the entirety of that issue of the magazine (which is, sadly, no longer in print), and, as he says, you scroll down to read my bit. As Ant has reminded me of this piece and has provided the link, I’m making it available as of possible interest to readers here, with Ant’s permission. The other contributions are informative.

More information about Ant’s escapades is at: http://www.antology.info/index.php  , well worth the exploration, particularly his recountings of history and his reflections thereon.

For the reader circle, please contact  mail10.wdc01.mcdlv.net

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5 Replies to “Blast from the Past (1991) 23 Jan 2017”

  1. Dan KoonNice. I will definitely check it out.Reply
  2. Rodger WrightHi Ken,I’m pleased to see you are well and prospering. Your calm and insightful comments on the earlier days of the movement are very valuable in putting things in perspective.Cheers,
    RodgerReply
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Rodger, and thanks for yours. [Apologies; I’ve known three Roger/Rodger Wrights and am not able to tell which you are.]Reply
      1. .It’s unlikely you knew 3 Rodger Wrights, but you would have known 3 Rodger/Rogers, being Roger Bidell, Roger ?? (S.O.) and myself.You were LRH Comm SH, then LRH Comm WW. I took over from you at WW Tall. American guy who I am told was renowned for looking after his staff. Gloria Ramos, Eliane Giradot and Eva Isaacson worked under me. Wifie at the time Rochelle (is/was Rochelle Eriksen)Have some great stories to tell somewhere, sometime.Cheers – RodgerReply
        1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Rodger, and of course I remember you, and Rochelle. The three names you mention are all familiar; I think that Eva came to the ship but I can’t remember which Scandinavian beauty was she. I should have remembered your very distinguishing ‘d’. Sorry about that. Were you LRH Comm WW when I was HCOESWW, or was that Casey? Hope all well for you. Please tell your stories!Reply

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Here We Go: Looking at Failure and Success. #1

L.Ron Hubbard produced Dianetics and Scientology and the Church of Scientology. As with every single human being, he had success and failure. These articles will consider him both as a success and as a failure. Firstly:

What did L. Ron Hubbard principally fail at?

The history of Scientology includes at least one activity of outstanding success: much of the technology, including the discipline of its application, along with some of the organizing necessary to maintain and deliver it. Accompanying this powerful achievement is a monumental failure: the collapse of the Scientology organization’s unity in the early 1980’s and its continued descent into autocracy, elitism, and isolation. Hubbard was responsible for all of this; he had some people helping him in his errors and some who saw error but were not capable of managing it. He had plenty of people happy to support him in applying the technology correctly; in my opinion, had he steadfastly respected the dedication, trust, and love they gave him, there would have been no gross failure. Hubbard, in fact, could have had much of the world at his feet. For some reason, he preferred having much of the world at his throat.

Hubbard began by creating Dianetics and then Scientology with the intention of helping people live better and happier lives in accordance with who and what they really are; he brought that work to a peak of effectiveness; this achieved, he went on to violate the ethical and other tenets of his own philosophy. In the end, he turned his life’s work over to the organization he’d built up, the collected corporate bodies known generally as The Church of Scientology. Like its parent, that organization seems to have learnt little or nothing from his errors.  Human opinion, where it concerns itself with the man, looks down on everything to do with him, feasting on the worst of his behaviours and of what it hears about the organization he left behind. But is this by any means all there is to L. Ron Hubbard? Does the totality of what he left behind consist only of a bad name and a mistrusted organization? Not at all. He gave the world a gift splendid enough to change life on earth forever. Sadly, he could not set up his offering to prosper and flourish as it thoroughly deserved.

Within this story of momentous achievement and rather sordid failure to follow it through is Hubbard’s missed opportunity of universal significance – missed unless some blessed spark will ignite a review and honest re-evaluation, carrying the best of the man’s work back into its rightful sphere as a source of helpful tools humankind can use. What could humanity use these tools to do? To help people resolve urgent planetary problems and then help them become happier with themselves and in their living of life with each other. “Scientology,” he once said, truthfully, and forgot, fatefully, “is the game in which everybody wins.”

Alas, not only did Hubbard not follow through on what he had done, he disrespected his own philosophy as he aged. His descent into relative irrelevance has tempted many into treating his best work with the same disdain with which they view, or think they view, his unworthy actions. But we humans often assert strongly that what we choose to see of a prominent person’s activity is unacceptable – as if he might be the only human being ever to misbehave; we’re then quick to conclude that everything about the man, his life, and his work is disgusting. Is this always rational? Michelangelo, they say, didn’t take off his boots for months at a time. Notice how immense crowds of people rush away from the Sistine Chapel, from Saint Peter’s, Rome, and from all his other works, disgusted by the footy stink that still pervades them.

Hubbard’s misbehaving went a lot further than the not-washing of feet. He hurt a lot of people by promising to help them resolve their problems but instead giving them other and often greater problems including the pain of humiliation and betrayal. He began the practice of “disconnection” that led to the splitting up of families. He tacitly encouraged or at least allowed the salespeople to promise results they could not deliver, and to pull from customers money they could not afford or might not have. He habitually bullied his staff and his organizations; he imposed what could be described as slave labour on loyal followers. He was addicted as a boss to periods of (as it were) spraying staff with gasoline and then throwing lit matches about; he thus could prove himself the only one able to put out the blaze – which he would blame on the staff. We dismiss Michelangelo’s feet when we open ourselves to the marvels he left us; a sense of proportion makes them trivial.  Hubbard left us some marvelous work but enforced on us his weakness, his self-torture. This we can’t and don’t overlook although we might in time come to learn from his mistakes. He was generous with his mistakes.

Next, we’ll look at what might be of value in what Hubbard produced.CATEGORIESUNCATEGORIZEDTAGSAPOLLOKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORSCIENTOLOGYSEA ORG

49 Replies to “Here We Go: Looking at Failure and Success. #1”

  1. AgnesIt’s my understanding that the Church was taken over and infiltrated by SPs, probably connected to other SPs running this planet. It makes perfect sense to me that they would target those closest to LRH and label them SPs. A thug has not place in an organization devoted to freeing spiritual beings and making them look and see that we have been enslaved. I doubt that the LRH described was actually LRH. He behaves like an SP. He must have been an actor put there to confuse people and destroy the organization. LRH was above the frailties of a body.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comMy goodness, Agnes, that’s a dramatic statement of opinion. I see you know all about LRH and have come to a really balanced conclusion based on direct experience!
      1. Marcel WengerKen,
        Thanks for starting that blog!
        I agree wholeheartedly with most of what you said so far.
        I have however a hard time thinking with what you (and a lot of other insiders for that matter) say about LRH’s “character”.
        Now like Agnes above I don’t know all about him either and certainly can’t form an opinion based on direct experience!
        But it just doesn’t make sense to me that the guy who developed this tech. would at the same time or a little later be such a jerk.
        It is, in my opinion, a glaring out-point! And it would certainly help to unearth the sherman tank, as a lot of people seem to come to the conclusion, that if he was so uncool and ended so sadly, the tech can’t be what they thought it was.
        In my search along those lines I recently came across some out-points that might point in the right direction. Like for instance: how come Ingo Swann was still in Scientology and interviewed by Advance Magazine in 1978, when by that time he had already been working for the CIA at the Rockefeller funded Stanford Research Institute for over 6 years.
        Do you have an explanation for this?
        Thanks
        Marcel
        1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Marcel, and thank you for all you say. About the glaring outpoint you bring up: It’s hard to find a way of saying what I see as a complex set of truths (hard enough to summarize) that doesn’t sound like a cop-out. Let’s first get out of the way the distraction that the conspiracy theorists will always claim that any explanation other than conspiracy is a cop-out. I don’t go for Conspiracy because I don’t have the particular genius that sees chains of conspiracy in every drop of dew on every petal of every rose. [I could say, wickedly and unkindly, that I am not keyed-in to that particular set of implants, and I won’t say that. I didn’t say that.]
          To have a chance to see LRH’s totality (not an easy task) one has to see the totality of the context in which he lived and worked, doing the particular kind of work that he did. Step back from life on Earth for a bit. You can see how conditions are on Earth today. You can have an idea of what conditions were like on Earth when LRH completed his war service (regardless of true or false about his service history). He was not in good condition physically or mentally. He stepped on to the path of bringing about some recovery. He awoke or activated in himself the urge that led him into Dianetics and Scientology. Look at the Axioms of Scientology. What is the message? We get what we want to hear, I suppose. I hear: “You are responsible for your condition, and you can better it by taking responsibility for it, moving on from there. Trust yourself. Grow up.” Get your own idea of what the Axioms of Scn tell us. They go pretty much to the heart of any problem. Remind yourself of the conditions of life when LRH started communicating broadly. Relatively few people heard him and duplicated something. These were the people who thought that growing up (or whatever they heard in LRH’s originations) was good. But 98% or so, heard or understood nothing; a small portion of them heard something of the call towards sanity and responsibility, understood it, and went crazy. They are still crazy, and they have stirred up a lot of negativity against Hubbard and Scn (with help from H and Scn). I’m not going to call these latter crazy people Suppressives because the term has always been questionable and is now nonsensical. My question in answer to your question is: How can you be so surprised that Hubbard went PTS? We must do him justice in acknowledging that he took on an absurdly impossible task and that although in carrying it through he got terribly injured (and we give a nod towards his Flow Zero responsibilities) he carried it through as far as he did. In my opinion, he achieved a mega-miracle. Well, he also created a horrible mess. That’s PTS for you. We can wish him well in his recovery, and be ready to welcome him back when he’s ready to return and put things right. I’m hoping he will, for his sake. But as a person much wiser through learning from his mistakes. And rehabbed as the huge and wonderful character he was/is. He had True and Necessary nailed. They got at him by separating him from his own natural Kindness. Without that kindness, he would never have begun the good work he did. This is my view.
          I have no comment about Ingo Swann, no. No data on it.
          1. Robin ScottExcellent, Ken, thank you, my friend – a fascinating insight!
          2. urqbones@gmx.comThanks, Robin. One could take it further: What could anyone expect when effective Solution is suddenly shoved into the teeth of the Physical Universe’s unwavering dedication to Problem? What are the PU’s slaves going to do??
          3. Vinay AgarwalaIn my humble opinion, the mind has a limitation and that applies to Hubbard’s mind too.Mind has a limit to which it can stand to chaos. Too much chaos will overwhelm any mind. LRH was trying his absolute best to come up with solutions to an overwhelmed mind. He died a hero.I also do not buy the idea of suppressive person that has been overused by the current Church of Scientology. For LRH, SP was a case with too much chaos for which he did not have a solution as yet.For the current Church of Scientology, the number of SPs is growing because it is losing LRH tech rapidly that could have handled many of these cases they are misnaming “SP”.
          4. urqbones@gmx.comAgreeing with all you say here, Vinay. Thanks for your contributions and clarifications.
            Yes, we have learned that we could have done much more to support LRH in his struggles; we should have found a way to get around his insistence on writing the script for his movie, “I am The Only One Who Can”.
            I believe that LRH was right in separating out from those who absolutely refused to cease habits that were destructive to those around them. If you’re breeding first-class greyhounds you don’t fill your kennels with bad-tempered geese. But in dealing harshly with what he called “SP’s” he let down his natural kindness and generosity. By so doing, he let the “SP’s” and their bad habits define and own a part of his beingness. And a part of his group and his technology. We just couldn’t SEE it. Ah, well.
          5. Robin ScottHi KenIt has frequently occurred to me that LRH alone was not solely responsible for what happened with Scientology. All of those who got involved also effected the outcome, of course. We share in that responsibility. And all of those people brought their own particular brand of aberration with them! And religious groups have a habit of ending in madness.What I have always admired about you, my friend, is that you were one of the very first to walk away and try to do something about the situation. That demonstrates integrity and courage.Warmest regards, Robin
          6. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Robin. I do agree that we could have and should have taken responsibility for allowing LRH to get away with his misbehaviours. And yes, the field is well booby-trapped. Must disagree with you — respectfully — about “trying to do something about the situation.” I did walk away, as did so many of us. I kept my own counsel. I joined David Mayo’s group in 1983 but other than those things I was not active in doing something about the c of s situation. I had no faintest idea of what to do, vaguely supposing that the c of s would soon explode or implode through sitting across a theta line. Boy, was that ever a wrong estimation. What I’m hoping to do now is to encourage the re-examination of the core technology. Fingers crossed. Thanks as always for your support, Robin.
          7. Robin ScottHi KenGiven who you were at that time , even joining David’s group was a significant gesture and contribution, my friend. I remember seeing you on Shiona Fox-Ness’s video in 1984, and it made a big impression.It is precisely my intention, hopefully before too long, to describe clearly the positive aspects of the core technology. They will be re-examined in time, even if it takes hundreds of years.The irony is that for me the whole package worked incredibly well, including the RPF, but sadly it was spoiled by idiots.All the best, Robin
          8. urqbones@gmx.comI get you, Robin, and thank you. Let’s mention at this point that while I joined an independent centre that another (David Mayo) set up, you went ahead and set up your own!
            Looking forward to your speaking out.
            Alas, the idiots took their cue from a man who had his own Idiot Mode — which we around him Q&A’d with idiotically.
        2. ValkovI think of Hubbard’s dianetics/scientology span as having 2 parts. I’ll use an analogy. First, he looked to find or create a valuable product he could promote and sell. This turned out to be the philosophies and technics of dianetics/scientology.Once he codified the basic philosophy, he worked on developing the technics of it all. This was the ongoing development of the practical “Bridge”.But once he had the basics of this, he turned his attention to the creation of a long-lasting temporal organization for the delivery and preservation of the vgaluable “product(s)” he had developed. This was a whole different kettle of fish. There were many directions he could have gone with this, but he intimated that the org pattern he wanted to use was that of an organization that had lasted for millions of years. He evidently tweaked this in creating his org board, or so he said.Well, things happened and he reacted and made decisions etc. Other people were involved, and we see the result today in the actual form and conduct of the CoS. It could have happened differently, and in fact it did happen differently also. He allowed Bill Robertson go off and try a somewhat different model. Mayo tried a different model. So did “Sarge” Gerbode, and many smaller offshoots. Did Ron forsee and in fact create the dispersal intentionally? In any case, the dispersal of dianetics/scientology ideas and principles into the societies of th eworld is irreversible, although may be not in the way Hubbard hoped for.
          1. urqbones@gmx.comComment from me: I question how you KNOW that this came first: ” First, he looked to find or create a valuable product he could promote and sell.” You are saying that there was nothing within him other than the desire to run a business of some kind?
          2. ValkovNo, I’m not saying that at all. However I do think that he wanted to turn his interests and purposes into something that would also provide him with a means to make a living for himself and his associates. I think that he choose as a “valuable final product” somehthing that could benefit a whole lot of people, maybe even the Dynamics as a whole, speaks volumes about what he had in him for goals and purposes, or incliniations. He could have, after all, chosen to get into the liquor business, or even into manufacturing and selling weapons selling wepons, guns and bombs for example, as a way of making money. Instead, he choose to develop and market ways of improving life that could be generally applied.
          3. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Valkov. I agree that what he produced arose out of his interests and purposes. And of course, he had to make his activity viable. You might be interested to know that he said to me privately one day, in his office on the ship, “People think that I started this work only out of a this-lifetime purpose. I have been working on it for many lifetimes.” Now that is what he said to me, and would have been what he considered to be true, I believe.
          4. ValkovThanks Ken. I can relate. It’s good to hear from someone who actually knew him.And about your second reply, I got that feeling, that he wasn’t much into money until later, from the lectures I listend to. I think he was into having fun developing what he thought was going to be beneficial. Having fun because he felt he could see the light at the end of the tunnel.
          5. urqbones@gmx.comVery good, Valkov. We’re on the same page. I can add to what we’ve already said: When I first went to SH in 1963, he was working on what became the Clearing Course. He told me that he had stepped back from his management role in order to undertake and complete this task. When it was done, in late 1964, he went back into the management lines and found that the SH corporations had fallen into debt. He got the SH organization producing and delivering, with high income regularly, debts cleared. So we could see that while he had developed excellent business sense and skills, and could do the work of getting income, he made it for the organization, not for himself. He was outflowing to the world, principally, with attention only as necessary on inflow, and he understood how necessary the inflow of money is.
          6. urqbones@gmx.comSecond reply from me: I was close enough to LRH for long enough to see for myself that he had very little interest in money for himself — for his first dynamic — until 1973 and later. He did make sure that large amounts of money accumulated but they accumulated in the corporate reserves, not in his pockets. In 1973 he began changing money flows so that substantial amounts were paid to him.
      2. Vinay AgarwalaLOL!
  2. Robin Scott“some blessed spark will ignite a review and honest re-evaluation, carrying the best of the man’s work back into its rightful sphere as a source of helpful tools humankind can use. ”My remaining life’s ambition precisely, Ken! Good to see you validating the pluspoints – exactly what I intend to do in my own book in due course.Best, Robin
    1. urqbones@gmx.comGood luck with your book, Robin! Glad to know you will put your reflections on record too.
    2. Marcel WengerMy remaining life’s ambition precisely, too, Scott!
      Marcel Wenger
    3. chuckbeattyxSeaOrg75-03Robin,
      You are so brainy, I would read anything you’ve written in your decades of thinking and writing on Scientology, just because you are really a smart cookie.(I’ve thought my best future atheist, ex Scientologist [I enjoyed my decades of being sort of an in-house nerd to every line LRH wrote] contribution was to compile the writings of the smartest ex members, and you for sure are one of them.)I’d read your book or essays in a heartbeat.
      1. Robin ScottThanks, Chuck – that’s generous praise from a man like yourself, who has contributed so much over the years to right the wrongs. I respect and admire your courageous actions for a long time now, and remember you well from the FH ballroom in 1976, my friend!Interestingly, I come from a long line of Ministers of Religion, going back three hundred years; plus I had a degree from Oxford in Religious Philosophy, so I was well qualified intellectually to make value judgements about Scientology.All the very best, Robin
  3. Vinay AgarwalaI think much of the world was at Hubbard’s throat because he valued his own survival above everybody else’s. This resulted in his betrayal of many people who trusted him. He used “survival” as the basic principle of existence and focused on it. But the world is really “evolving” and not just “surviving”. Thus “survival” failed him philosophically too.Hubbard failed to evolve.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comWell, Vinay, I’d say he focused on the ‘survival’ of a valence. I’d say that we responded to his best flows and he produced them when IN valence. His shift of valence gave us some by-passed charge. I’m not sure that anyone on this Earth can say that an individual didn’t evolve as he ‘should’ have in a lifetime. Just maybe LRH did a heroic job of evolving as far as he did in the environment he found himself in. Not saying that this is the case. How would you judge that it isn’t? I don’t think you can. So how can you judge him at all in terms of evolving?
      1. Vinay AgarwalaI do not judge. I simply observed the following:(1) That LRH did not evolve out of his valence he wanted to ‘survive’. He rather got more sucked into it.(2) That LRH did not believe that anybody else could advance the subject of Scientology, so he closed his eyes to all critique good or bad. He even did his best to suppress all criticism till the end of his days.(3) That LRH did not want the philosophy of Scientology to discussed among its adherents. He wanted his philosophy to be accepted without question. Here I am talking about philosophy and not the tech.(4) LRH promoted a closed mind as it was graded positively on tests.(5) The law of Karma applies to everyone. It applied to LRH too.
        .
  4. Stewart WilcoxI remember my first opinion when I wandered into Scientology in the late 60’s, it was that these Scientologists are giant beings, full of spiritual knowlege and power and wanting to help raise their fellow man (me in this instance,) up.
    I haven’t changed my mind about those first Scientologists who helped me out of the hole; they were giants and they did rescue me.
    What happened later after Ron crashed on his motor bike and became the awful thing he is remembered as, does not change what he gave us, and the Freezone will continue his legacy I’m sure. Thanks Ken for witnessing….
    1. urqbones@gmx.comStewart, I had the same kind of jolt in my first experience of Scientology. It was fourteen hours of group auditing over two days. It was like entering a lift and then going off like a rocket. What impressed me most was the auditor presence and session control, and then the effects of the sessions themselves. As I suffered from paralyzing stage fright, I really wanted that presence and ability to control self and hold others’ attention. That was in the old London Org on Fitzroy Street. Yes, the people in the org in those days were immensely enthusiastic and always friendly, full of energy and hope. In those days, the ARCU with and from Ron was palpable, and yes, over the years it lessened greatly. Sad. But there we are…
  5. Andrew SmithKen, do you have an opinion on the alleged OT8 text where Ron says he’s against Jesus? It seems to be consistent with his (also alleged ) admiration of Aleister Crowley. I speculate that he and AC were playing a game of “us against the universe” or “us against big Theta” and the poison that did them both in was the preference for power over love (eg the gasoline story ).As for myself I’m in my 2nd year of solo NOTS with help from Les and is going well. Love to you!
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Andrew, and thanks for yours. 🙂 I don’t pay attention to any of the supposed OT8 materials made available on the internet. LRH never expressed to me any admiration for A.Crowley. Can’t comment on what games AC was playing; LRH’s games weren’t always open but I would agree that after producing his best work he moved over into preferring what he thought was ‘power’ to love, definitely. I have this question in mind to address in some detail later. Delighted to hear you’re happy with your SNOTs and working with Les. 🙂
  6. OnuLife is a game where everyone wins.
    We know this is true so we keep ttrying.“Some blessed spark will ignite a review and honest re-evaluation, carrying the man’s work back into its rightful sphere as a source of helpful tools humanity can use.”The major technical issue as far a I can see, is the non-resolution of VIAS to other determinisms, both outside and within existence.The non-resolution of vias to reference points per:ORIENTATION POINT, 1. that point in relation to which others have location. It is also that point from which the space containing the locations is being created. (COHA, p. 54) 2. a point of reference from which the position of other objects is judged. People are often found still using orientation points from childhood which may be thousands of miles from their present time location. The goal of Scientology is that the thetan be his own principal orientation point, and that he have the ability to use or discard any other point of reference. (COHA Gloss)The non-resolution of vias is the primary problem with the most fundamental process in Scientology which addresses the resolution of FORCE directly at all levels:Date/Locate.Vias on measuring systems should be accepted, as they are, but then taken up and resolved in the session immediately following, as a first priority.It is often found that vias on measuring systems are resolved as vias to winning valences, identities, know-points and knowingnesses at referential locations within space and/or people as pure theta.The consequences of the non-resolution of vias on measuring systems are self evident in the practical problems faced by LRH and Scientology.The secondary problem in Date/Locate is in the Date section which measure from PT to the other location. This is inverted. The persons attention at the moment of ‘blow’ is on the other location.The correct method is to measure from the other location to the PT Location at the tip of the finger by Direction, Distance from…. to PT Location and measure/countdown in complete units to Blow. The force blows at or near the vicinity of the PT Body. All of the persons attention is in PT at the moment of Blow.The consequences of the LRH version are apparent in the obsession with resolution of the whole track, Enities and BTs, all of which are out of PT and resolve as considerations of existence and theta postulates in PT.The tertiary problem with Date/Locate is that whereas both Location and Reach & Withdraw are primary actions of Life, Spotting only addresses Locate and does not resolve the persons ability to Reach & Withdraw.In the context of Date/Locate the function of Reach & Withdraw is resolved by the action of Measurement and Countdown to Blow. Thus it becomes self-evident that the following are essential:a) The resolution of vias on measuring systemsb) Establishing and maintaining a PT reference point at the moment of blowSpotting handles Location only.
    Determinisms impinge upon the ability to Reach & Withdraw.It actually requires a higher degree of confront to firstly spot location to blow and then differentiate distance from…. to PT and resolve the ability to Reach & Withdraw.None of the above can be acheived without the prior resolution of vias as they present themselves.Full application of these principles in a rising scale process which accommodates evolving skills and perceptions results in the rehabilitation of space oer the 8-8008 concept applied to the actual Physical Universe and Spheres of Interest instead of Mental Space.There are other technical areas which could be further inspected and clarified.
    The route in is the resolution of Date / Locate into a simplified and effective precise procedure based upon principles instead of PC and Auditor Realities as per the current version.Date/Locate is the most fundamental process in Scientology for the resolution of force.I am setting up an LRH Working Group based upon the foundation of LRH principles.The first focus is Out-Tech Repair & Correction followed by Service and is based upon Pure LRH.The above principles have proved of particular use in resolving out-tech in both the COS and Independent Field within my limited experience, resultant in the gradient rehabilitation of both ARC and KRC, including the resolution of vias to other determinisms.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Onu. You are most welcome to ‘set out your stall’ (so to speak) here. You will be welcome in the future to make a paper or a detailed piece available to us by linking to it from this blog and by referring us to it. While I’m more than happy that knowledgeable, intelligent, and discerning people examine the body of tech that LRH left us, the specifics of the examination and the resulting material are beyond the scope of this particular blog. And also beyond the scope of my poor wits. 🙂
  7. FranHi Ken,
    Thanks for expressing your views regarding your perceptions, experiences and relationship with LRH. Viewpoints of the event from someone directly on the scene adds some clarity to a very confused event riddle with subjective projection/delusion,robotic brainwashed idealism and down right misinformation.
    Still “on occasion ” sorting out my own pictures of the event.
    Haven’t vaguely approached the enormous task of sorting out the “Tech”. Some probably workable, some very workable , and some probably a fair amount of “Bunk”.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Fran. I agree: there is a huge job of sorting-out to do. One of LRH’s legacies is the need to do this work. To be fair, he was aware that it had to be done although he didn’t do it or get it done. We will have to hope that there will be enough people with the abilities, skills, wisdom, and integrity to do the work and to do it well — and in good time. How they will do that without the kind of training we’ve had up to now (in the best kind of academies and course-rooms) I just don’t know.
      1. Vinay AgarwalaI do not think that LRH provided much training for the ‘Source’ Hat. He pretty much kept it to himself. Even though he was widely read he did not encourage others to read widely.I do not think that anyone will find this kind of training “in the best kind of academies and course-rooms.” One simply has to be widely read.Sorry to be critical. I assure you I will let you know of my withholds in this area when I find them. Haha!
        .
        1. urqbones@gmx.comWell, Vinay, I don’t see homo sapiens having much reality on what the TRs really are without a lot of help from people who have received good training on them — as one example. Am not particularly concerned, myself, about new and better tech. Am concerned about the simple tech that people can use in their everyday lives to help make things better in everyday life. I don’t regard you as critical. I note that you are, so far, emphasizing the negative. I doubt we will find anyone with time enough to pull YOUR withholds. I am not volunteering. 🙂
  8. Vinay AgarwalaKen, you have that British (or, Scottish) sense of humor that simply keeps the tea spilling in my hand.Keep it up! 🙂
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Vinay. Glad to hear you’re scalding your hand. You keep that up, now. 🙂
  9. hadleyDear ken
    I enjoyed reading your blog some nice views written there .
    I have myself had a great experience in the earlier days of LR H and wouldn’t ever forget it . I am grateful to have had been there and working there and along side yourself Ken.
    I certainly agree LRH is not responsible for the state of the church it is today . His developments as written under him when alive was had produced great results . The working relationship and operations at St Hill was very nice , with good communication agmonst those that were with him at St Hill and with staff and generally it was all very positive people liked working there , The whole objective was training , auditing and promoting with the objective to enhance and make the able more able and improve one self .
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Hadley, and thank you for visiting and for your kind words. I am so glad you have your happy memories. 🙂 I’m sorry to say that I don’t agree with your view that LRH is not responsible for the state of the c of s today. I observed him change as he aged (directly, between the years 1969 — 1975, and remotely thereafter) from the LRH we had known at SH. He grew more and more autocratic. He put in place and kept in place the people who took over command of the organization even before he died. He did not leave in place a structure that could have upheld the basic technology, ethics, and admin so many of us signed up for, in vain.
  10. OnuThanks for your acknowledgement, Ken. I shall take up your suggestion on any further similar comments. 😊On the subject of TRs amongst the general population I would say that having met and interacted with many types of people from differing walks of life, my opinion differs.Many people naturally have excellent TRs and communication skills plus a great deal of common sense. These are a combination of prescence and experience. Such persons may not be particularly interested in following a specific philosophy or dogma but nevertheless have a profound impact upon the people around them simply because of whom they are and the way they conduct themselves.I don’t hold with the LRH views on the condition of humanity and consider them somewhat primitive, archaic and born of his particular culture and background. I think most persons, namely the bulk of humanity, excepting those who accept LRH as a higher authority, would be inclined to agree with me. LRH forgot too easily that we are all human beings walking on the same ground facing the same problems, each in our own way.Each person is unique.
    We can all learn from each other.
    Frankly I am often amazed by the depth of understanding and the sheer ability and willingness to confront, participate and experience demonstrated by simple everyday people in everyday life.
    The basic truths of life are here to be found by everyone.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThanks for this, Onu, and for accepting the term.
      I don’t disagree with you on your point. There are many able people doing wonderful things entirely separate of Scn theory and practice. This doesn’t invalidate Scn. What I’m having difficulty with is that all these decent, hardworking, responsible, and able people are so willing to have their lives structured and spoiled by fellow human beings who are not so ethical as they, not so decent, hardworking for the few, not responsible for the many, and able in causing mischief. What’s going on with these decent people that they put up with the mischief and the nonsense??
  11. OnuThe SP preys upon the gullibility of the PTS without whose sanction they could not exist here.Resolving this does take accepting people as they actually are.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Onu. I hear all that you say. Would that all could hear it. How many have the ears to hear it with?Let me echo you with these lines from the Isha Upanishad, one of my most favourite passages:They who see all creatures in themselves, and themselves in all creatures, know no fear.
      They who see all creatures in themselves, and themselves in all creatures, know no grief.
      How can the multiplicity of life delude the one that sees Life’s unity?
      Full text here: https://www.bmcm.org/inspiration/passages/inner-ruler/
  12. OnuWithout Love, which is reflected within the confines of existence as Affinity and translated into ARC, Affinity, Reality and Communication – derived from and resultant in Understanding, we could not exist here.Yet we have freedom of choice.The person who has chosen love of light, good, life and constructive intent as their way of being cannot comprehend the person who has chosen love of dark, evil, death and destructive intent as their way of being.The only saving grace is that the power of destruction, death, evil and darkness in a negative sense, derives from Love. Once this has been recognised by the PTS they are free and naturally distance themselves from the source of the SP Phenomena.
    No evaluation of disconnection is necessary.In turn, the SP when they present themselves to find out what is going on with their prey and why the PTS is no longer under their control, with correct application of the TRs and Codes plus the distinction per the Code of Honour that Understanding does not necessarily imply agreement -be true to oneself -the SP is sessionable.The purpose, morals, ethics and sense of integrity of the SP is the antithesis of the PTS. Yet it also derives from Love.
    The pure unmotivated act that results in the assumption of beingness. For the SP this is simply love of darkness, evil, death and destructive intent. A choice.When the SP recognises that all their power derives from Love they are inexorably tranformed from within and over a period of time become invaluable contributing members of their families and communities with the full assumption of responsibility for redress of harm done, by choice.The PTS assumes the SP has the same purpose, morals, ethics and sense of integrity as their own whereas in truth it is the complete antithesis. Believing this to be true, that the SP is basically good, the PTS compromises, accepts the inversions, reversals and sacrifices and adopts the substituted stable data of the SP as their own, which the PTS then justifies by right/wrong assignments and assumptions and as a result generates a cyclic pattern of negation and unresolved problems to solve. Trapped by their own choices.Life in the physical universe is hard.
    Everything is made manifest.
  13. Scott GordonVery much enjoying these notes sharing your viewpoint and bits of history.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Scott. And thank you for visiting. Hope we’ll see you again.

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UrqBones

Some more illustrious career information

There was no keel-hauling on the ship; she was docked in Corfu. I didn’t meet with LRH for a week or two. There was no indication that I was in his bad books, as the telex made me imagine. When I did bump into him, he welcomed me warmly. At once the old friendship glow came to life. Up till then I hadn’t settled with myself if I would stay or go back to Britain. Reservations about remaining on board receded and soon my continued presence signaled that I was all right with being one of the crew.

He shortly made me “LRH Communicator Apollo” [his representative in the sub-group of people responsible for operating the ship Apollo as a ship and running Scientology services for the crew] but in late 1969 he created the position of “LRH Personal Communicator” and put me on it. As such, I was a principal executive aide; after 1973, I began to feel unable to follow LRH on the path he was taking. Even so, I remained on the post until 1978,  when I had the pleasure of going to the Rehabilitation Project Force (“RPF”) at the new Scn HQ in Clearwater, Florida. In those days the RPF did a lot of good. I know that for a fact because I designed and set it up on the ship in order for it to do good. And it did me good when I went through it. Later, others changed it and thus achieved for it a gloriously bad reputation. From the RPF I went into the department at Clearwater that delivered the most advanced levels of Scientology to the public.

In that same period, I made it known that I was reviewing what I would do with the rest of my life. The authorities already knew me as one not too keen on remaining with the group that had changed so much from what I had originally given my loyalty to. Subsequently, in 1982, my seniors and betters kicked me out on to the street in Clearwater nastily [a goon spat in my face] and noisily. I’d thought to slip out of the door quietly so as not to disturb the equanimity of anyone okay with staying and for whom I’d been a comrade. I felt that people should make up their own minds and not be swayed by my action. Proud recipient of two Suppressive Person Declares, both rubbish. No ambition to return; they got tired of asking me to go “back on the team.”

I was in pieces after this ending to what had been my life. A number of friends helped me get back on my feet and to them I’m forever grateful. In 1983, I went to David Mayo’s new independent centre in Santa Barbara, California; there I worked for several months before setting out on my own practice as a travelling auditor. This I did for many years, along with some projects here and there, mostly within the US. The idea that I would return to Scotland, where I’d lived for some happy years in childhood, was always at the back of my mind for “when I get old.”. A few years ago I found myself living again in Scotland, and having to acknowledge, with some surprise, that I had indeed become “old”. It’s good to take a break from having to keep telling people how to spell and pronounce my name. Thank you, Scotland. Also very happy to be close again to my big brother, Alastair. He always knows how to keep me in line.

I have retired from auditing but enjoy doing Book One, a very basic level. Now I have this blog to develop.

[Thanks to a friend, I corrected the date I went to David Mayo’s centre in Santa Barbara. It was in 1983, not 1984 as I first stated.]

Next, I’ll state what I think I’m doing with the blog.CATEGORIESREFLECTIONS ON SCIENTOLOGY AND L. RON HUBBARDTAGSAPOLLOKEN URQUHARTKENNETH G. URQUHARTL.RON HUBBARDLRHLRH PERS COMMLRH PERSONAL COMMUNICATORSCIENTOLOGYSEA ORG

17 Replies to “Some more illustrious career information”

  1. JudiHi Ken,
    So glad to see you and to read about your experiences with LRH.. not to mention the revealed fact of your designing the RPF. I can’t say that I will ever consider that a healthy endeavor. Personal introspection, good communication, community service perhaps if there have indeed been actual wrongs committed.. but never the RPF. But then, I was just an observer of those assigned.. and it wasn’t a pleasant experience watching you all. I hurt for each and every one of you..not from a “staff” pov.. but as a fellow human being.I also left in 1982..escaped actually and had my own series of ups and downs… we have spoken briefly via email since. And I never did send you that biz card holder.. in purples and greens. :0(I have moved to Florida, about 2 hours south of CW…and I love it here…love the sand and the palms and the clean air. Don’t think I could do England again with the cold and the rain and there’s nobody left there for me now anyway.I look forward to reading more of your blog as it unfolds.Lottsa Love,
    JL
    1. urqbones@gmx.comThank you, Judi, for joining us. Great to know you are happy in Cockroach County. :))
      Well, you have your bias about the RPF too. Not to worry. We won’t send you there. Yet.
  2. Vinay AgarwalaKen, I was on the very first RPF on the ship when the whole Programs Bureau was unloaded into it. I think that experience lasted a few weeks only. It was a shocking experience but not brutal.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comGood, Vinay. It was not meant to be brutal. Sorry about the shock, though. It was designed for a certain result and to not waste time getting it. That was within the context of the Sea Org, not of ‘normal’ life.
      1. Vinay AgarwalaKen, I am curious to know about the key input from LRH that gave a purpose for RPF and defined its boundaries. Thanks.
        1. urqbones@gmx.comVinay, this is a story I’ve yet to tell on this blog. But I can tell you that the only key input he had in the drawing up of the original RPF Flag Order was the simple order to me “to handle ‘case on post’ amongst the crew. He mentioned no boundaries. After the original issue, he made some additions, such as the RPF’s RPF. And I’m glad I can say I didn’t do that. Whole story later.
          1. Vinay AgarwalaThanks for the data. 🙂
    2. chuckbeattyxSeaOrg75-03Vinay,
      How important it’d be for you to detail your experiences of the first RPF, for posterity, Vinay, if you can stand to write a chapter or paper in detail, the more details the better.
      1. urqbones@gmx.comYeah, Vinay. Let it all hang out. 🙂 Would you present the RPF experience as a cruel violation of human rights?
  3. OnuThe glow of freindship amongst kindred spirits transcends the limitations of time and space and establishes whom we really are together.Thankyou Ken.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comYessir. “Water always finds its own level.” In other words, it takes a rogue to recognize another. 🙂
  4. SpikeHello Ken – I appreciate the tone of this blog. I have a feeling there is much more to come. I have also been ‘out’ since 1982. It is no coincidence that many others chose to leave in that year. My attention has come back to this subject since the Aftermath series on TV, and rediscovering where people are and what’s been going on is truly an eye-opener.
    1. urqbones@gmx.comHello, Spike, welcome, and thanks for the visit and the encouragement. 🙂I must get on with the next couple of posts.
  5. chuckbeattyxSeaOrg75-03“…. I’d thought to slip out of the door quietly so as not to disturb the equanimity of anyone okay with staying and for whom I’d been a comrade. ….”That is such a perfect statement of a common feeling that ex staff are forced to make. Sublimating their feelings, so as not to “disturb the equanimity of anyone okay with staying….”Your way with words, and voicing the sentiments that participants on the highest staff rungs feel each generation who rise up and then wish to get out, is perfect.I thought doing the RPF was the honorable way to let the group see me as a “failure” and allow me to slip back to regular life.This must be also the feelings of ex nuns and ex monks who leave their lifetime “vows” of allegiance to their “church” group.It must just be a human psychological logical reaction.I so enjoy your writings.
  6. Linda McGinleyDan Koon steered me to your blog, Urq. Very nice. I am interested to hear what you have to say!
  7. Rheva Bittelman AcevedoDearest Ken:You’re missed.Big hug,
    Rheva
    1. urqbones@gmx.comDearest Rheva,Thank you!
      Alas, with your arms, a hug doesn’t go too far these days. :((
      Nonetheless, I could do with a Shrimp hug.
      Thanks for visiting!
      Hope to see you again.Love to you,
      Ken

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