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Saturday, 22 December 2012
25 Years of Scn - TWIN A PDF Print E-mail
Personal Stories - Sea Org
Part 7
Well, hello everyone...sorry for such a long Intermission! I got really occupied over the holidays with school finals and social stuff. Alas, I can't help it if I'm so popular.

Ah yes... the granola at Flag. I actually discovered the "secret stash", the really good granola that was being kept at the Sand Castle where I had to do the CMO EPF/laundry duty. The small CMO CW laundry room had a back door that went right into the Sandcastles galley area, the kitchen area for the restaurant. When I had to do my Clearance Security Checking to go to the Int base in 1983, I spent some time explaining how I had taken the granola at 4 AM or 6AM and some cream and ate it when I wasn't supposed to. It was out of the galley storage area reserved for the "public". I couldn't resist. I guess I wasn't disqualified from Int for stealing granola and cream from the Sand Castle :whistling: Damn, I should have been! Theif! Little did anyone know that I would continue my life of food crime later on up at Int...

I know I was talking about the Sea Org EPF, so I'll pick up there. So, it's December 1982. After cleaning rooms for a while, the EPF started getting larger tasks. One of those tasks was to move the Snr HCO files from one large room into a different large room. Or maybe it was the FSO's files INTO the new SNR HCO space. We set up a human chain and passed boxes between ourselves until they were out of the room and into the other room. I remember that it was hard work, but we made jokes to keep ourselves from getting bored. Some of the jokes made me laugh so hard I almost dropped the box being passed to me. I don't know who started it, it was someone at the head of the line. If the box was really small, then it was the "ethics file" of some saint or angel. If the box was exceptionally large, it was "Mussolini's" ethics file, or "Hitler's" ethics file. If the box was really old and falling apart, it was some Egyptian pharoah's file. We'd pass the box and pass on the comment too. I remember this large black man named Booker T. and a young lady more my age, Camilla, who were on either side of me sharing these jokes and laughs. I felt like I'd connected with these people and I was making friends by working hard and trying to make whatever experience we had together somehow "fun".

I had my first terrible illness around this time. I was cleaning out one of the rooms at the Fort Harrison and I noticed that someone had thrown away an entire package of rick cakes, unopened. I didn't think to look at the expiration date. I didn't think that dried foods had expirations dates. I assumed it had accidentally fallen into the garbage can. I took it out of the garbage can and placed it back on the top of the dresser near by. The next day, it was back in the garbage can. I thought, "oh, this guy does not want them" and I took them. I was hungry as usual, so I opened the bag and I ate one. It tasted like cardboard. I ate a second one to make sure I didn't like it before I threw the rest away.

Later in the night, I got food poisoning. I didn't know at the time what it was, I just knew that I got sick and I figured the rice cake had something to do with it. I was standing at evening muster on top of the FH parking structure. I was at the back of the line at muster and so I took several steps backwards and turned away from the crowd before I started wretching. While I was bent over puking, muster ended and everyone left. I just sat curled up in a ball next to a car so no one would see me. I was embarassed. It was cold and windy up on top of the FH parking structure as usual. I don't remember who told me to go see the MO, but someone must have, because I did actually stand up and, leaning into the wind, walk all the way down the parking structure and over to the CB building from the FH to see the MO. There was a person who had walked me part of the way over to the CB. She had pointed out where the door was and how to get the rest of the way to the MO and left. It might have been Deanne or Camilla. All I had to do was go in the door and turn right to get to the MOs office. I didn't make it to the MO's office. I threw up one more time on the way there, and the wind just blew it back all over me. Then I shat in my pants, I had diarrea and I could not hold it. I really stank. So I was standing outside the CB covered with puke and crap. I was kind of weak and shaking a little. Sweat was running down the side of my head. I'm sure I looked green, because I felt green. The MO's office was right in front of the CO ITOs office at the time (a tall guy who wore his lanyard on his left shoulder and not his right, named Quentin something). I could not make myself walk into the CB building smelling like I did, I didn't want the CO ITO or anyone else to see me like I was, so I just kept walking and I walked all the way back to my dorm at the Heart of Clearwater, otherwise known as the "HOC", third floor. I had a top bunk of a three bunk high bunk bed.

I cleaned myself up in the bathroom, stayed in the bathroom for another hour near the toilet and then I retreated to my top bunk and I curled up and slept. I slept in such a way that someone looking up to my bunk from the floor would not see me. I slept off and on all night and the next day. I had chills and fever and more barf and more poo. It was horrible. So I was missing for a day and a half. Someone had reported me "blown" so when I showed up on Monday morning all bright eyed and bushy tailed, I got thoroughly questioned about why I had not shown up at the MOs office and why no one knew where I was.

I got put on another "routing form". It was different than my new staff member routing form, it was not all typed up. Pat Breha just wrote down who I was supposed to see. I had to see the MO on the routing form even though I was not sick anymore. I told her I was supposed to see her when I was sick but I was embarassed and she seemed understanding. She said that going off to get rest was the right thing to do, but I should have told somebody. I was then sent to see the EPF Master at Arms. I don't remember who it was, I think that Pat Breha was holding it from above. He talked to me and then sent me to the word clearer. Now this is where it kind of gets weird... right before I threw up and got sick (after cleaning rooms, but before evening muster), I had listened to a tape play in the FH auditorium with a bunch of other staff called "the Role of Earth". It was an LRH tape that was impossible to understand. It talked about the "fifth invader force" and aliens and other stuff. The quality of the tape was horrible, the worst I'd ever heard. The word clearer had me clear the word "Fifth Invader force" which is what I'd heard before I gave up trying to make sense out of the tape. Then my routing form was done. I had been sick and "blew" because of my MUs??? I mean that was the impression I got, that the interviews and stuff I got as part of my "routing form" for being sick was to find out if anything spiritual existed to be behind my illness. Lo and Behold, I had an MU!

And I thought it was just a bad rice cake. Silly me!

At the end of December I requested some time to visit my mother in Santa Clara. I needed to get the rest of my personal belongings from my apartment in Santa Clara and visit my family. It was OKd! All I had to do was write up my overts and witholds and get a meter check before I left. So I wrote down how I took the rice cake out of the room at the FH and sometimes change off the counters so I could buy snacks before study time at night, otherwise, I'd fall asleep. I was addicted to the Apple Oatmeal cookies available through the vending machine at the CB, right outside the courseroom. Well, I got my meter check and then I went to visit my Mom! She paid for my plane ticket. How the heck did she manage that, I will never know.

When I arrived, it felt so great to be home. My motorcycle was still there and I was able to start it right up. I gave my sister a ride and we went over to visit my friend RB. I tried to give my sister motorcycle lessons, she wanted to learn how to ride one. Co seemed more interested in me than ever before. I got the feeling that maybe she had missed me.

Gary Ward, one of Bill Ward's sons, came over to say Hi. Oh, shoot, I almost forgot, I did have my little brother with me! How could I forget that. We both were doing "well" on our SO EPF and got OK to visit home over the Christmas season. I told Gary we had joined the "Sea Org" and i thought he would know what it was since his dad, Bill was a Scientologist. Gary said he didn't even know what it was. That made me feel a little bit confused, but Gary didn't seem worried or anything about it, so I didn't really question him more or talk to him more about what he thought about the Sea Organization.

Gary had joined the army earlier, before my brother and I had joined the SO. He had some wild stories about how he had been stationed in Germany for a bit and how he'd take his guitar to some local pubs and told people he was "Van Halen's brother" and drew a big crowd. I thought it was funny. Plus, apparently Gary could drink plenty of beer in Germany even though he was not 21 yet and he thought that was excellent. I showed Gary my step-fathers porcelain beer mug (called a "stein" I think) from Germany. It had a watermark (is that the right word? It's an imprint in the porcelain) on the bottom of a naked women and when you drink all your bear, you can see it. Gary thought this mug was great. I think my step-father had been through Germany too when he was a soldier.

My little brother and I wanted to play our version of cops and robbers. It was kind of a rainy day, but we liked to play outside anyway. Our game was this: We'd have one person hold the remote to a remote control truck, a toy that my brother had, and the other person would have the truck. The person with the truck would go and hide somewhere and the person with the remote, the detective, would use the lights on the remote to know when they were getting close to finding the hiding person. The lights showed if the truck was in range or not. Plus, the truck was on and if the detective needed a clue, he could push the accelerator on the remote and listen for the tell tale signs of the truck's wheels spinning.

My brother took the roll of the cop/detective and Gary and I hid. I had the truck. Gary and I picked the lock of a storage shed of one of the neighboring apartments and hid inside it. Gary said he was bored. I turned the wheels of the truck off so my brother couldn't make them run. Gary seemed a little sad, something had happened to his brother Keith Ward. Keith had had a big traffic accident and was paralyzed and in a wheel chair and was really depressed. I didn't know what to say. Gary asked if I wanted to smoke a joint. He said it was "really good stuff" he'd gotten over in Amsterdam. I said "sure" and so we lit up. I just took one puff. I didn't really notice anything besides that I felt kind of light headed. But then my brother finally found us and he was so mad, and all I did was laugh at him. I think he started to cry. My bro was mad because I had turned the wheels of the truck off, which was cheating. He could have found me sooner because he came near us several times. And then the batteries went dead on the remote and my brother really felt that we had not played fairly. I didn't mean to upset my brother. Gary and I just laughed at him. I'm sure my brother had no clue what was going on. I didn't really either. Everything was funny to me, even my little brother crying.... so strange.

The gravity of my situation had not really hit me. I spent the weekend with my mom, my step dad, Gary Ward, Co, my brother and I visited my best friend RB. I kind of took them all for granted, that they were there, that this was my "home". I never once thought for a moment that someday I would not have this home, that someday my little apartment with the green carpet would be too expensive for my mom to keep renting with her disability checks. That I'd only see my Mom's plastic Christmas Tree one time again (my step dad thought it was wrong to chop down trees for Christmas, so we bought an expensive plastic tree that we unfolded and set up every year. It was worth it tho, it lasted for years and years) I never once thought that my joining the Sea Org would be a permanent life changing decision. It hadn't hit me, it just had not. I was kind of thinking of the whole Sea Org experience as some kind of summer camp outing.

I'm almost sure that my brother thought of it like that too. We never suspected that we'd be denied visiting time with our family for many years, that this weekend would be the last we'd see of our Mom until 1987. That we'd essentially been kidnapped. This short allowed visit kind of just put a smoke screen over that fact, that we'd been taken from our Mom, our Step Dad and put to work slaving away for long hours in Clearwater, studying a bunch of bullshit Flag Orders and Welcome to the Sea Org tapes about how we were somehow now responsible for saving the world. About how we were the chosen few who were going to salvage this sector of the Universe!

Well, at the end of that long weekend, I put some of my personal things in a box that I wanted to bring to Clearwater with me. My large stuffed Moose that I'd found in a dumpster and I'd cleaned up and sewed little heart shaped buttons on him for eyes. I also had my Schwinn unicycle which was really hard to pack into the box. I had to unscrew the pedals. I had my CO2 cartridge pellet gun. It was a small handgun. It looked like a real gun. I'd never get that on a plane nowadays! I had my favorite pair of chamo fatigue army pants and my oil paint set. I got an oil painting of the ocean I had done into the box. I got my brown sleeping bag into the box too. Bringing all these things with me made me miss home less and I was kind of happier. But like I said earlier, I wasn't that sad because it didn't really hit me that I was leaving home!

My Mom wanted to know what to do with my motorcycle, since she wasn't really allowed to keep it in the parking structure anymore. The apartment manager had complained, she only had one car space alotted and could not take up more space with the motorcycle. I made a big decision. I signed over the pink slip to my Mom and told her she could sell it and keep the money to pay her back for our plane tickets. I was sad about that, but I really couldn't continue to burden my Mom with looking after my motorcycle. I told her to make sure she told any potential buyer that the back wheel wasn't well "balanced" and it wobbled on the freeway. It was a safety issue. The bike ran exceptionally well otherwise, but wasn't really suited to high speed highway usage. Apparently my honesty about the back wheel got my Mom more money for the motorcycle. A potential buyer said he'd test rid the motorcycle and it was just like I'd said, worked great except the back wheel wobbled and so he paid 200.00 for it instead of the $100.00 my Mom was asking. She sent me the extra $100.00 later on and I bought a pair of black Dan Post cowboy boots, that I still own today!

Well, we said our goodbyes and I got onto a plane out of the San Jose airport headed for Clearwater once again, with my little brother in toe. I told my sister to come and visit me. She said she would. We were flying away again...This time it was different. It was if we both had made some decision to stay in the Sea Org longer. We'd made some connections and friends, or so we thought, and we were interested in these new people, interested in the group dynamic that was evolving around us.

As far as "Scientology" was concerned, we were fairly clueless about it as a religious concept. We'd been exposed to the Basic Study Manual (the old red book with the white circle in the middle) the Sea Org "Basics" --- the Welcome to the Sea Org tapes, some Flag Orders, an old Intro to Scientology Ethics book (I remember the edition I first read still had wearing a black rag on one's arm as being part of the condition of Liability) I might have helped on some "Admin TRs", and that was about it. I don't really know what was religious about all that.

I had seen some Sea Org executives in action, organizing large amounts of EPFers and getting us to operate as a team and getting tasks around the FH and CB done. I wanted to become like that. I assumed that "Scientology" would help me grow up and do adult things such as being a leader and I had some hopes for this.

I really liked the "Environmental Control" policy letter. I wish I had that policy letter now to re-read it. I still consider that trying to DO something about things that one doesn't like to improve them is better than merely complaining. You know, pitching in and helping, rather than just finger pointing and yapping. (Hmm, maybe CCHR should try that?) I carried this misconception from my Sea Org EPF onwards that all I had to do in the Sea Org was to work my way up the ranks, become more influential and then I could make the changes I felt were needed to be made. I had this delusion that I could make Scientology be what I wanted it to be, and all I had to do was work hard, help out, study hard and learn more and life would get better --That the condition of Scientology and it's buildings were MY responsibility too and if I complained, I might as well just complain to myself.

This policy letter and other basic Sea Org references kind of gave me a false sense of ownership really. I remember thinking, Wow, all these buildings are mine? All these people are my team? This is my game too?
This was exciting to a kid who'd always dreamed of living in a large home with a pool like the one I had when I was two. And of course I'd dreamt of being popular and having lots of friends! Well now I had all that, The FH was certainly a large home with a pool! And I thought it was my HOME now!

Upon my return to the Fort Harrison, I had to go see the SO EPF MAA. The job was being held by my friend Camilla. She did a meter check on me after returning from my weekend off which I passed. She then told me that because I had stolen change out of the FCCI's rooms earlier, before I'd gone to visit my family, I had to apply ethics conditions for this. She helped me figure out my condition. We assigned me Treason.

I made it through this somehow. The worst part of it wasn't really having to own up to snitching change out of the rooms I was cleaning once in a while, that wasn't that hard to do. The people's whose rooms I was cleaning were from Steven's Creek! and they didn't care. They knew me, they would have given me the change if I'd asked. But being forced to go to study without being able to buy Apple Oatmeal cookies on the break, was a nightmare. I just would fall asleep instantly after break was over. Having been a weight lifter in high school, my lean muscle collection burned calories 100 miles per hour. If I didn't eat a snack, my blood sugar just crashed down to unconsciousness. I barely finished my SO EPF in time. I got labelled with a "study bug" for my propensity to fall asleep after the 9:30 break, which kind of went into my personelle folder, but other than that, I had lots of commends for my hard work.

I felt like I'd made a good connection with those at the ITO that I'd been supervised by, Chuck Beatty, Anton and his wife, another Asian guy -- named Gary I think. They'd all been really helpful towards me to help me get through my courses before my one month probation was up. I finally graduated the SO EPF and I went back to work for CMO CW.

OK folks, that's as much as I can put in on this part. We are now up to January 1983 in my story. Stay tuned for more details... did I ever get into trouble for smoking Pot on my Christmas off? Did I ever resolve my "study bug"? Keep checking for more installments, and now a word from my sponser...I don't have a sponser. I'm just writing this for the heck of it.

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