Please Check Sources!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


*       *       *       *


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

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

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

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


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

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

© Kenneth G. Urquhart 2019




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):

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

[This book is available through Amazon.]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Bah. What utter, childish nonsense.

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

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

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


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

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

© Kenneth G. Urquhart 2018


Old Questions…New Answers? 04


Old Answers: Last of three IVy Excerpts


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

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

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


IVy on the Wall

by Ken Urquhart, USA

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


[Third of three excerpts from the Chapter]

Whose wants are we focusing on?

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

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

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

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

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

Who is friend to whom?

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

What might have been…

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

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

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

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

Broken Tools

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

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

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

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

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

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


*      *      *     *     *     *


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

and the IVy website is here:

The 2013 edition of A Piece of Blue Sky is offered on Amazon UK:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

and the original of 1990:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

For, the respective links are:

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

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

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2001, 2018


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 blog. In the next and last excerpt, which begins with the subtitle “Whose wants are we focusing on?”, I attempt an objective and, I hope, charitable review of some of the brokenness that so disturbed Jon Atack, and just about everybody who has been seriously involved in Scientology.


*     *     *     *     *


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

and the IVy website is here:

The 2013 edition of A Piece of Blue Sky is offered on Amazon UK:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

and the original of 1990:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

For, the respective links are:

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

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

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2001, 2018

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 blog. In the next excerpt, which begins with the subtitle “LRH Viewed as Source of All”, I attempt an analysis of some of LRH’s less successful modes of management.


*     *     *     *     *


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

and the IVy website is here:

The 2013 edition of A Piece of Blue Sky is offered on Amazon UK:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

and the original of 1990:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

For, the respective links are:

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

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

© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2001, 2018

Old Questions…New Answers?





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

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

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

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

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

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

What he wrote to me is, in part:


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

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


The questions I see to answer here are:

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


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

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

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

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


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


© Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018

Memories, 26 Saint Hill, Guest Post

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


More Tales from the Manor House 

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


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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


Stories from Ron’s secretary Irene:


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


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


Other stories from around the Manor:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

© Dr. Buzzard, 2018


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


Memories, 25 SH Episodes: Bed-Making, Appendix

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


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


This record shows up discrepancies, such as:

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


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

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

(c) Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018.

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

[Chapter Seven, Episode One, (II)]

The Bed-Making Situation: E-Meter Required!

Part Two of Two


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

(c) Kenneth G. Urquhart, 2018