Kathy Elliott has graced our site with another tale from the early days of her Scientology experience. The wrenching reality adjustment she experienced has been shared by many of us. It was her first taste of cult behavior and she worked her way through it and continued to make her way up the Bridge anyway.
“What do you mean – Scientology has enemies?”
I was completely confused.
How could anything as harmless as Scientology have enemies? Who would want to attack something that helped people find answers to their questions about Life?
I’d been exposed to Scientology for only a few weeks. I was taking the Comm Course at the Honolulu Mission. The year was 1970 and the attitude at the mission was very laid back. The staff all seemed more like hippies than like people who were running a religious organization. The students coming to class in the evenings were a happy bunch, there to have fun learning about this new philosophy/religion.
No one – neither staff nor public – took any of it too seriously. We were all having a good time.
While hanging out at the mission, I’d made many new friends and one of these was a guy named Bob.
Bob was a trained auditor. He’d done the HSDC – the Hubbard Standard Dianetics Course – and, as a graduate of this course, he was qualified to audit metered Dianetics.
In the early days, the Bridge was a lot different than it is today. The HSDC was the first major auditor training course on the grade chart. A student of Scientology learned how to audit Dianetics using a Mark V e-meter before going on to do the Academy Levels where he would learn how to deliver the Grades. And, on the processing side of the grade chart, a PC received audited Dianetics before getting the Grades.
I really admired my new friend, Bob. Here was a guy who could work the magic of Scientology on others, bring them out of the depths of despair and into the sunshine of hope and happiness.
I hung on his every word and believed everything he told me about Scientology. I couldn’t get enough of his stories and his knowledge about the “secret” inner workings of the group I’d become a part of.
And Bob worked it. Looking back, I realize now that he was a really sick person who used his altitude as an auditor to create for himself a false position of power. He imparted information to me as though he were one of the privileged, chosen few who had been given access to this data and that he was conferring some special favor on me by sharing it. Most of it was pure bullshit.
Bob supported himself by driving a taxi and he didn’t make much money. He lived in a “staff house” in Makiki, a poor neighborhood in Honolulu. A “staff house” was usually a multi-bedroom rental unit where org staff members lived, sharing the expenses in order to be able to survive on low staff pay plus whatever income they could scrape together from “moonlighting”.
This staff house was run by a married couple, Bill and Mary.
Bob wanted me to meet Bill and Mary, who were the two of the top Scientologists in Hawaii at that time.
Bill was “old” OT VI and Mary was “old” OT VII. They had done their OT levels at St. Hill, and Mary was supposedly the first person on the planet to solo audit to Clear. They were also trained auditors.
Bill and Mary were on staff at the Hawaii Org, but they weren’t just ordinary staff members. They were members of the elite and mysterious Guardian’s Office, run by Mary Sue Hubbard to protect Scientology. Mary Sue was “the Guardian” of Scientology and, as such, was the head of the network of Assistant Guardians all over the Scientology world.
[From the Admin Dictionary: “Guardian’s Office – They have the guardianship and the defense of Scientology in general. The purpose of that organization is basically protection.” – 7003C15 SO]
Bill was the AG (Assistant Guardian) and Mary was the AGI (Assistant Guardian Information) for the state of Hawaii.
In the process of giving me all this background data on Bill and Mary, Bob had to explain the reason for the creation of the Guardian’s Office. It seemed that Scientology had enemies.
“What do you mean – Scientology has enemies?” I had asked Bob, completed bewildered.
And Bob had proceeded to give me his “inner circle” version of the enemies who were trying to destroy Scientology.
I was at once horrified and fascinated.
And I was vastly impressed with both Bill and Mary even before meeting them.
In my eyes, they were like the heroes and heroines in the Tolkein series, fighting against the Dark Forces of Middle Earth.
I was invited to have dinner with Bill and Mary at the staff house, and Mary and I immediately became close friends. She was an easy-going, comfortable person who talked a lot – and I do mean A LOT. She captivated me with her stories of what it had been like getting trained and receiving auditing at St. Hill when LRH was in residence there.
Bill was more reserved. He was tall, quiet and extremely dignified. He looked like an attorney or a doctor or the CEO of a large corporation. He was obviously a power to be reckoned with.
Once I got to know them, it was easy to see why these two intelligent and dynamic people had become the top opinion leaders of the Hawaii Scientology community.
They really cared about Scientology and they really believed that it was the answer to all of Man’s ills. They were dedicated to ensuring that Scientology was protected and safe in the state of Hawaii. As far as I was concerned, they could do no wrong.
As staff members, they received token pay from the Hawaii Org. They had turned their home into a staff house, taking in four borders, in order to make the monthly rent payment. Bill had an early morning paper route but had been unable to find any other way to supplement his income. Mary had two young sons and was a stay-at-home mom when she wasn’t on post at the org. She wasn’t bringing in any income other than the pittance she received from the org.
While it made no sense to me that two OTs couldn’t solve the everyday problems of making ends meet, I only admired them more for apparently giving up a normal and comfortable life so that they could serve the greater good of Scientology.
Then Bill was sent to St. Hill for further training. As the AG Hawaii, he held the post of AGF (Assistant Guardian Finance) from above. He had never been hatted for this post, so he was packed off to St. Hill to be trained on all the finance policies.
A young woman named Jocelyn was appointed as the Acting Assistant Guardian, to hold Bill’s post in his absence.
Jocelyn was thin and angular. She wore long, black, flowing dresses and literally looked like a young witch. She never smiled, and you could feel the ice in her heart from a hundred yards away. She stalked around the org, looking for “bad” people doing “bad” things – a trait that many of the current OSA staff members exhibit.
While Bill was away in England, Mary had a hard time of it, trying to keep things from falling apart on the home front.
Eventually Bill completed his training and returned to Hawaii. Unfortunately, in their enthusiasm over being reunited after the long separation, they got a little careless and Mary became “hapai” (Hawaiian for “pregnant”.)
The financial pressure on Bill was reaching a breaking point. Something had to be done.
Bill took a leave of absence from his post as AG so that he could handle his family’s desperate financial needs. Jocelyn again became the Acting AG.
While casting about looking for a way to generate income, Bill got a brilliant idea. With all the financial policy training under his belt, he realized that he had something of value that he could exchange with the world. He started a business hatting others on how to understand and apply the financial principles he had just learned.
Back in those days, there was no such thing as WISE (or if there was, none of us were aware of it in Hawaii). “Selling” Scientology admin procedures was something new. In fact, Bill may have been one of the first to do it.
I thought it was a fantastic idea, and I became one of his first customers.
I paid him several hundred dollars, and he showed me how to do an FP and how to handle my finances so that I would have reserves, get out of debt and just generally understand and handle money better.
By this time, I had done everything I could do at the mission. I started getting some auditing at the Hawaii Org and became “org public”. I had no clue that I now “belonged” to the org.
Shortly after Bill started his new business, Jocelyn discovered what he was doing.
Bill hadn’t felt that he had to hide his new business from her. It was just that he was so busy desperately bailing water out of his sinking boat that he hadn’t had time to discuss things with her. And he never thought she would give a rat’s ass what he was doing as long as he handled his situation and got back on post.
So he was flabberghasted when Jocelyn called a Committee of Evidence on him.
This was the first time I’d heard about this kind of ethics and justice action within the church.
It was very confusing to me that Bill couldn’t use what he’d learned in Scientology to help others and make some money for himself in the process.
I soon discovered that Bill was in really serious trouble. I didn’t understand why.
As far as I was concerned Bill was a good guy, he really cared about Scientology and he really cared about helping others with it.
To me, this Committee of Evidence thing seemed like something straight out of Nazi Germany. Suddenly Scientology didn’t seem so warm and fuzzy anymore.
Then it was discovered that I had gone to Bill as a customer and had paid money for financial advice.
I was called before the Committee of Evidence and questioned. Why had I gone to Bill for this service? Why hadn’t I gone to the org for this advice? Didn’t I know that I was “org public” and had to come to the org for all my Scientology services?
I was completely confused. As far as I knew, the org wasn’t offering financial training or advice. And what difference did it make where I got the help? The Gestapo-like questioning truly alarmed and terrified me.
The Committee of Evidence found Bill guilty of his “crimes”, and he was stopped from delivering his services. He had some sort of ethics program to complete and until he had done this, he was no longer in good standing with the org.
Jocelyn became the official AG for the Hawaii Org. Too late, Bill and Mary realized that Jocelyn had just pulled off a coup. Now she was in power and no one could touch her since no one in Hawaii had authority over her. All of her orders came directly from Mary Sue who was thousands of miles away in England.
A few days later I was called into the org to see the ethics officer.
The young girl holding this post, Mandy, was very sweet, kind, caring and friendly. I liked her a lot.
We squeezed into the ethics interview room – a space so small that you couldn’t swing a mouse in there, let alone a cat.
Mandy got right to the point. I was going to have to choose between the org and Bill.
I was completely taken aback. I didn’t want to stop coming to the org, and I didn’t want to stop being friends with Bill and Mary. There was no way I was going to make a choice between the two, and I saw absolutely no reason why I should!
“I can’t choose between the org and Bill! I might as well just drive my car off the Pali!”
The Pali is a famous cliff face on the island of Oahu with a sheer drop of over a thousand feet. Driving one’s car over the Pali would, of course, be fatal.
Naturally, I had no intention of driving off the Pali. I was simply using this gross exaggeration to make a point. It was my way of communicating how I felt about the choice I’d just been given.
Mandy obviously didn’t know how to handle my origination. I guess she had expected me to quietly agree to dump my friends like last week’s stinky garbage.
“I have to go talk to someone,” she told me nervously. “Go and wait in reception.”
I went and sat in reception. For a while I was entertained by the receptionist who was collecting money for toilet paper from all of us who were waiting there.
Mandy finally came to get me. We returned to the tiny ethics interview room.
Mandy was no longer nice. She had two bright pink spots on her cheeks and she didn’t look happy at all. Her attitude toward me had changed completely. All my instincts told me that she had been talking to someone who had put her through the wringer and that it had been a pretty horrible experience for her. It was like she’d had a “meet Jesus” talk with someone.
She told me stiffly that because I “had threatened to drive off the Pali”, I was being declared PTS Type III, and that if I wanted to receive any more services from the org, I would have to sign a suicide release.
I was dumbfounded. What had happened that had caused Mandy to change so drastically? Then it dawned on me. I knew where Mandy had gone and who she had talked to – she’d been to see the icy witch, Jocelyn.
By having me declared PTS Type III, Jocelyn was effectively discrediting me in the eyes of every Scientologist in Hawaii who would read the “goldenrod” when it was issued and distributed.
I would be viewed as “insane” and no one would want to listen to my viewpoint about what I had witnessed regarding the unfair treatment of Bill. They would believe Jocelyn. After all, she held the lofty post of AG Hawaii.
This was my “punishment” for standing up for Bill.
I left the org in shock and disbelief, completely humiliated, afraid to look anyone in the eye. I vowed I’d never return and that I’d never talk to anyone at the org ever again.
Jocelyn had won. She’d gotten rid of Bill and she’d gotten rid of the only person who had taken a stand in his behalf.
Jocelyn had effectively removed everyone in her way.
And she’d done it using LRH’s tech.
On the surface of it, she was “right”. She was apparently backed up by LRH himself.
There was no way to fight back.
Because I’d been declared PTS Type III by such a high authority in Scientology, I started to question my own sanity and I actually began to believe that I WAS crazy.
I’d been zapped by the Wicked Witch of the West. Burnt to a crisp. A mere cinder.
Out in the real world, Bill and Mary laughed it off.
Bill got a good job and Mary had healthy baby boy.
They flourished and prospered.
They advised me to get on with my life and forget about Jocelyn.
At first this was difficult. I believed unquestioningly that I had been determined “insane” by someone who knew the tech and that therefore I must be “insane”. This datum was in serious conflict with the fact that I was a successful systems analyst for one of the biggest companies in Hawaii – something I couldn’t possibly be if I were truly PTS Type III. Trying to resolve these two conflicting data made my head spin.
Eventually, I followed Bill and Mary’s example. I went to work day after day where my co-workers all treated me like I was a normal person. No one there thought I was insane.
Life was fun again – just like it had been before I’d been zapped by the Wicked Witch of the West.
Months later, we got the word. Jocelyn had continued to suppress all the “bad” people on staff and in the field, and she had finally gone too far. When enough negative reports had piled up against her, she had been officially declared an SP, removed from post and routed out of the org, never to harm anyone in the church again.
All the people that Jocelyn had shot down came out of hiding and calmly continued to make progress up the Bridge like nothing had happened.
This was my first lesson in how the power of Scientology, in the wrong hands, can be used to really mess people up.
And I learned that you don’t have to go along with it. You’re only messed up if you believe you’re messed up.
That is just as true today as it was 45 years ago!
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