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Saturday, 22 December 2012
Corfu PDF Print E-mail
Hubbard's attitude to the crew had begun to change. He became more controlling. heavier ethics punishments, more degrading work for them to do, a ban on casual relationships (it never stopped it happening), a more driven targeting for all the orgs and an increase in our own undercover programs.

The telex traffic between MSH and Jane Kember, Guardian, was obviously being monitored. A series of disinformation telexes used to be transmitted back and forth. In the title numbering sequence, if the letter "X" appeared, then it was a spoof message designed to mislead those monitoring our traffic. Missions were sent out with clear criminal intent. The justification was always that it was for the greatest good of the greatest number and that we were dealing with SP groups, so our cause was just. One of these missions was to break into the WHO Headquarters in Switzerland and copy any documents pertaining to Scn. I will not name the missionaires. (See thread; Crimes we have committed). All of this behaviour was a preamble to the subsequent Operation Snow White episodes.

Hubbard became more and more vicious with the staff, there were people put in the chain locker, people sent up the mast for hours, heavy liability conditions, comev's and a sadistic approach to punishment. Hubbard used to record the overboard ceremonies on his cine camera which was set up on a tripod on the aft A deck. His face became contorted with glee as people went over the side.

His behaviour was becoming more and more polarised. One minute he would be all charm and smiles and instantly switch into fury and hatred.
Yet at night time we could sit and talk for hours. He was very perceptive and could tell if you were not being totally open with him. Then he would smile and punish you hard. It was during these talks that Hubbard opened up about his long term plans. He wanted to return to the USA. That was where the Scn boom was taking place. The ship was being prepared for the Atlantic crossing and being a flat bottomed vessel, needed the calmest of seas to go across.

He had somewhat resigned himself to the failure of AO Greece. He wanted to get away from the watching eyes, particularly the British interest in the boat and what we were doing.

The other matter that upset him was his son, Quinten. Hubbard's eldest son ought, in his mind, be the one who took after him. His previous son, Nibs had turned against him after being a loyal supporter for many years. Quinten was a gentle soul. completely fixated on all aspects of flying, was not very tall, rather skinny. He took very much after his mother, not Hubbard. Quinten was a dreamer. He was well liked by the crew, yet never seemed to fit in anywhere. He didn't have a girlfriend ( he was still a young teenager) and was allowed to simply "do his thing". I think Hubbard was hugely disappointed in the way Quinten was turning out. I never saw Hubbard ever display any affection toward Quinten. Diana, on the other hand, held a senior post and was very much a part of the overall scheme of things. I am sure Hubbard selected John Horwich as a suitor for Diana and facilitated their getting together.

Financial Planning

Each week the Div Heads would sit down in the B Deck Lounge and the FP would take place. We had a fixed amount of $5,000 to cover everything. Our weekly requirements far exceeded this sum, so we developed strategies. If I simply turned up with requirements for about $300, this would invariably get cut down. So, I would bring a whole sheaf of proposed purchase orders, possibly $12-15,000. Some of the Div Heads simply did not get the picture. They ALWAYS got cut down to zilch. The starting total would be around $35,000, mostly packed with BS PO's. As the round of cuts started, so I would drop some of my (unnecessary) PO's, providing others also made cuts as well. Qual and Div 6 were the usual losers. They would start out asking for two filing cabinets, this got cut to one, then a half of one, then a quarter and finally we would tell them there was no chance, so drop it.

We needed essential supplies. Hubbard set a FP sum and was simply not interested in how the budget got spread. You could not use the excuse that there was no funds to get the job done, if you failed (thus non complying with his order) you got busted. It was a tough time.

However, being the Deck Force, we had our own cunning plan (as Baldric would say). In the hold we had a lot of surplus junk, - we had brought a lot of doors, hatches etc down from Hull on the Avon, which were not used in the Las Palmas refit. So, I got the Patras brothers to find me a local scrap dealer. He came on board, inspected the stuff, agreed a price (in cash!) and we hoisted the stuff over onto the back of his truck.

Some stooge told the Finance Aide what was going on and she came running after us, just as we were heading for the dock entrance. She demanded the money. What money? We all looked so innocent. While the guys were delaying her, two of the "deckies" got away and spent the money on the essential stuff we needed. We did give her the receipts though. My reward was being thrown overboard.

The Naming Ceremony

As part of the ongoing PR offensive, Hubbard decided to turn the renaming ceremony into a big event. This being a special event, we put in for quite a large budget of materials and this was approved without question.

The ship had been moved up into the corner of the dock, so the dais for the VIP's would be head-on. The bottle would swing on two ropes and strike the bow, which was about 6 inches wide. We had an Aussie, Bill, who was a carpenter. He built the platform where Diana would stand and cut the string to release the bottle.

What really pissed us off was the continual stream of CS Aides and Commodore's Messengers coming down to demand to know if everything was going according to plan. They wanted assurances that the bottle would hit the bow AND break.

So, we decided to wind them up. Up in the bowhead we would slightly shorten one string and lengthen the other. Then at the "test" run, the bottle would swing.... and MISS! This really got them worried. They would rush back, write up their report and inform Hubbard about the failed test

Next test we rigged it so it would miss on the other side. Again they were almost ill with anxiety. We kept this up until late one evening before the actual event Hubbard came along alone, which was quite unusual. He stood on the dais and smiled. "You have been winding them up deliberately, haven't you?" I did my usual "What?, Who? Me?", Bill turned away shaking with laughter. Hubbard smiled, nodded and said "You are a right pair of bastards", laughed and walked away.

On the day of the ceremony the entire crew were assembled in watches along the side of the dock. Ron Pook, Malcolm, Chief Engineer, and myself stood at the front. A velvet cloth, (weighted down with one of the Engine Room's crowbars we had acquired) covered the name. Des Popham hid in the bow with an axe to cut the name cloth and a spare bottle to smash if the real one didn't break.

All the local VIP's were assembled, I could feel Hubbard's eyes fixed on me. Diana stepped up, cut the string and the bottle swung. I swear to God that the bottle exploded about 3 inches in front of the bow! Down came the cloth, straight into the harbour and the ship was named. It was a runaway success. There was a cocktail party on board and Hubbard was completely radiant. He was so pleased with the way it had all gone I am sure he would have drunk his own bathwater!

After all the guests had gone he said "Well, I didn't think for one second that it would work". (Thanks, Ron!). He assigned the ship a condition of Action Affluence. We were really on a roll. It was like a HUGE ascension experience. The trouble is that it always results in a "Crash and burn".

As Christmas approached, Hubbard was getting more and more frustrated. Despite his PR efforts, he was not making the inroads into the Corfu society and administration he desired. In hindsight, I am sure that the British Consulate and their Intelligence agents were setting up the blocks. There was a Greek Navy vessel in the dock and they were forever keeping an eye on us. Mind you, we got along very well with them. One night they invited a group of us to come on board for a meal. They had caught an octopus and whilst we were eating (it) they described how they rub it on the dock to get the tendons to relax. Poor Joan Robertson, she almost passed out at hearing this.

We invited them back to the ship for a meal. It was a great evening. One of the Greek Officers had a table, fully laid for four people lifted up. He placed a leg into the pit of his stomach and held the table by gripping the corner with his teeth. Then he started to slowly spin around and around. It was amazing. nothing fell from the table, no glasses fell over. At the end his buddies simply lifted the table off him and back on the floor.

The atmosphere on the ship was changing. Hubbard was becoming very dichotomous. On one side he was friendly, outgoing and perceptive, on the other intolerant, vicious, domineering and increasingly more and more upset. Overboard ceremonies were filmed on a daily basis, punishments more harsh, people being put in the chain locker, yet we carried on in Action Affluence.

On one occasion he got upset over a construction delay. I wrote to him and told him it was not the deck force's fault. He wrote a reply; " If my crew let me down the way your crew lets you down, they would be in Treason, not Affluence". This is about guys who had given him 110% of effort.

We had a great Christmas party that year. Hubbard gave $500 to the kitty and Bill Howey and myself set off to town to buy the booze. We went to the Vassilaki Brewery where we sampled a very large number of items and returned in the back of one of their trucks with all the booze we had bought. Hubbard expressed his displeasure at us for the state we were in.

He tried one last attempt at a PR exercise, arranging for gifts to a local orphanage. It went down well, being Christmas, but in PR value it was a bust. As the New Year approached, it was clear that changes were about to happen. Hubbard had stepped up the covert missions, telex traffic(including fake messages) were flying back and forth, Hubbard was becoming more and more paranoid about being spied on by the Greeks and the British. His demands for jobs to be completed got louder and he descended into black moods most of the time.

As the New Year arrived, the ship and crew were put into Danger Condition. He called me to his office and started shouting and screaming at me. Something snapped. I shouted back at him. I told him he had no reason to be upset with me, we had done our projects on time and within budget. As with most bullies and cowards, if you stand up to them they back down. He did so with me. He respected me for standing up to him, but I knew my days on the ship were numbered.

I was transferred to the Missionaire Unit and within 48 hours sent on mission to the UK. That was the end of my time on the ship. Early January 1969 Felice and myself left the ship to head for the AO in Edinburgh. Plans for departure from Corfu were well advanced and I understand they left soon after. The plan was to travel along the North African Coast and wait around Morocco until the good weather came so they could cross the Atlantic.

I saw the Granada program that was filmed in North Africa. Why Hubbard did it I don't know. He knew that it would be a hatchet job, yet still did it.

What shocked me the most was seeing the crew in the film. They looked beaten and cowed, undernourished, all the sparkle had gone out of them. I guess it had become a very unhappy place to be.

In the UK we had a good time. We had fun, we created a great group spirit and enjoyed life. Our move from Edinburgh to St Hill was quickly done and we settled into life in E.G. This, again, was a springboard for making some great games and organising lots of travel. We were well away from the life of the ship, only to by occasionally inconvenienced by missions arriving. Even these we survived. That is what a thetan does.

This concludes the story of the early days of the Sea Project and the Sea Org. There will be a small handful of people left in the cult who went through this. They have probably had the spark driven out of them and are now existing in their twilight years, waiting for the inevitable offload.

I was fortunate in being one of the very youngest members of these events. Many who I shared these experiences with have since gone. I do not think any of the later SO members have even the remotest idea what we did and what we achieved. Almost none of them have any experience of being on a ship. They have no concept of the dangers that lay there.

The Sea Org of today is a mirror of previous fanatical groups that brainwash their captive members into a false group belief system.

If only they had any idea how it was and the things we did. There might be some pride in the uniforms they wear.

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