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Saturday, 22 December 2012
Alanzo's Story PDF Print E-mail
It was a typical Friday for me. I had been out at the bars all night and I snuck in at about 2:30am. Everyone was asleep. Excellent.

I turned on the TV in the kitchen and opened the refrigerator: One of my mom's famous meatloafs displayed herself right back at me. As I took it out and placed it on the counter, I heard footsteps coming down the stairs and a throat clearing that sent the alarm waves out that my father was approaching.

Shit! I'm fucked up as hell and I have to apply my Scientology course to my dad now! Oh God. Not now! I'm starting to get a stomach ache. I went over the things in my mind I needed to apply: Grant Beingness, no evaluation or invalidation, don't take up any entheta...OK.

There he is. I cut a slice of meat loaf and put the rest away in the refrigerator, being careful to re-cover it like I'm supposed to. My dad sits down at the kitchen table and starts watching TV.

My father was born in the South in the 1920's. He lived in Birmingham, Alabama when Martin Luther King first began the civil rights movement there. My father was a staunch Reagan Man. I was a member of the Communist Party.

I say hello and sit down with him.

I dig into the meat loaf. It was sooo good. Plus, it gave me something to do instead of having to talk to him. There was some kind of news show on TV. A documentary or something. I could not believe it at the time, but it just so happened to be a documentary on the Civil rights movement, and yep, there's a picture of Martin Luther King on the screen.

My father looked at me. "There's that nigger." he said.

I looked down at my plate and took the next big bite of my meatloaf.

"I said...There's that NIGGER!"

My head was starting to hurt now, along with my stomach. I looked up.

"Have you tried this meatloaf? It's excellent."

"Yes I have. It is good.... Where were you, tonight?"

"Went down to JJ's Saloon, saw Brad and Kelly."

"Partyin' again?"

"Yes. I had a good time. Jimmy Kerrick says hi."

"Oh. He's an all right kid."

"Yeah, he is."

Then, my dad got up from the table and went back upstairs to bed.

I dropped my fork. I couldn't believe that I had made it through that! My stomach hurt and my head was splitting, but I had successfully gotten through something I never was able to do before.

There was a phone in my old bedroom that had a broken ringer. For years, I had always listened to the phone in the other room to tell when someone was calling, and I have no idea why, but the next morning I got up to see if I could fix it.

I had shut the door to be able to work in peace. My dad was home and I was avoiding him to make sure that my "win" from the night earlier lasted.

I got out a philips screw driver and took the cover off the phone. I could NOT believe it - as soon as I had done this, he came into my room.

"What are you doing?"

"I'm fixing my phone."

"Here, let me see that." He literally grabbed the screwdriver out of my hand.

I looked at him.

Then I looked down at the phone and said, "It's that wire right there. It needs to go over underneath that screw." He tried to pull it over. I said, "Here. I'll hold it and you screw it in."

He did.

"Call Mr. Boeh and have him call us to see if it worked."

I did, and when Mr. Boeh called back, my phone rang. I jumped for joy.

My dad was looking at me. "What's that course you're doing?"


"It's good. I think it's good for you." Then he walked out.

I collapsed on my bed. I HAD JUST FIXED A PHONE WITH MY DAD!

This was a miracle. This was something that was really really bothering me - my relationship with my father - and I applied Scientology and it worked!

I cried for two hours.

My next course was the HQS Course.

Now, this HQS course was not the one they deliver today. The HQS course I took had TRs, Upper Indoc TRs, and you co-audited most of the Objectives on it. It had Self Analysis lists and student hatting. It was $500. I was so blown out from my Ups and Downs in Life Course, I was easily convinced to take out a loan to buy it.

For this course, I needed a twin. When I showed up for my first day, he was there. He was a kid my age, a star gymnast, it turned out, on the U of I gymnastics team, Charles Lakes.

Charles had read Dianetics and had actually audited someone else. I was very impressed by this. Connie said that he was a very good auditor. I immediately felt the need to finish the Dianetics book and audit someone else, too, just to make sure that I was not lagging. And anyway, if Charles was a good auditor, I was going to be an even better one.

We were perfect twins for each other. Charles was from Southern California, and was one of the first black gymnasts in the country. He NOT a straight-arrow jock by any means. We both believed that Scientology was the most vital thing in our lives. We had many very similar viewpoints and interests.

The course took us 9 months to get through. At the end of it, I was a Scientologist. And Charles was one of my best friends. I had quit smoking pot, and all drugs, and had stopped partying so much. I had gotten another job as a salesman and was making more money. I was much more stable and in control of my life. I was a lot happier.

But before I had fully completed the HQS course, I was told that I needed to have some auditing on the cans. I was told that I needed a "Life Repair" and that could only be delivered by the mission in Peoria, IL because they had 3 very highly trained auditors there, George Seidler, his son, Andy and Andy's wife, Cyndi.

The mission in Peoria was much bigger than the mission in Champaign. The Peoria mission was in a 6,000 square foot storefront on Main street. It had a huge bookstore, a huge courseroom, a full qual area, 10 auditing rooms, an examiner's booth, HCO, Executive offices, and even a sauna in the back.

George Seidler was the Mission Holder. He was, at that time, a "New OT 7" and a Class 8 auditor. George's office walls were filled with all his certificates in Scientology. In my first meeting with him, I gazed at all of them on his wall. The first Cert I saw was "Hubbard Dianetic Auditor" dated June of 1950, signed by L. Ron Hubbard. George had, in fact, been one of the first auditors on the planet, had worked directly with Ron in the early days, and had been running this mission in Peoria, IL since 1954.

Another cert on his wall was "CLEARED THETA CLEAR". I had just read "A History of Man" recently, as well as "Scientology 8-80".

I was in awe.

George is a short man, a little shorter than me, even. At that time he was in his late fifties and gray. He always had a smile on his face, with his eyes half closed. He looked like Yoda.

Andy, his son, was also a Class 8 auditor and C/S. He'd been in Scientology since the late 1960's, having grown up in Scientology. Andy was a great guy, always happy, always laughing. Always helping. Cyndi, Andy's wife, was from LA. She was a Class 6 auditor. She was very sweet. They were all the most helpful and the most welcoming people I had ever met.

These were the people who were going to do my Life Repair.

I was beginning to get the idea that Scientology was the way out for me. I had begun to feel that my life was going absolutely nowhere, as, up to that time, I had been living it mostly from the top of a bar stool. My prospects for life were looking very thin to me, and I was not happy with the way things were going. In fact, I was very very depressed.

When I look back on it now, from this perspective, I can say that Scientology saved my life. And these people - Connie, Charles, George, Andy, Cyndi and others, saved it.

Or else, I let them save it.

Scientologists in the Midwest are very few and far between.

Even though the Champaign Mission had probably 20,000 names in their central files, they were mostly names of college students who had temporarily lived in the area and moved away when they graduated. And yet L Ron Hubbard's "GROSS INCOME, SENIOR DATUM" said that it was the number of names in central files, and the number of letters and mailings sent to those names that DETERMINED the gross income of an org. So Cary Goulston, the CO SMI EUS would SCREAM on the phone to get the Mission Holder and staff to send mailings EVERY WEEK to their central files. When all the thousands of returns would come back, he would just SCREAM for more. Because Gross Income Senior Datum said what it said.

A later mission holder would be Comm Eved for burning the Champaign Mission's central files. I've spoken to him about it since, and I believe that it was probably the most sensible thing that could have been done. He had to go down for it. But at least he spared the future staff of all that Gross Income going down the toity from applying L Ron Hubbard's GROSS INCOME SENIOR DATUM.

When I was on course at the Champaign Mission in the mid-1980's, there were two part time staff there - Connie Penner, the Mission Holder, and Zach Widip, the auditor/course supervisor. In the year or so that I was a regular public there, I met probably 10 other people who would self-identify as a Scientologist.

Because there are so few Scientologists in the Midwest, they have a lot to live up to if they are ever going to get any new people. They have to live up to Midwestern ideals and standards: They can't ever be arrogant or elitist, they can't charge a lot of money, they can't be too intrusive into others' lives, and they have to believe reasonable things - not whacked-out wierdo shit - ever. So you can see why Scientology has a hard time in the Midwestern United States.

As a result, missions had to be pretty reasonable places on the plains of Illinois in the 1980's if they were ever going to get and keep anybody. And for a kid like me, who needed more discipline and a greater purpose, and fewer drugs and less alcohol, they were a haven for the new life I was creating for my self.

I was on the Quad one day and the U of I and I looked over and saw Connie Penner, the sweetest woman ever, standing there by herself, handing out fliers to a passing stream of students. Her TRs were IN, and she handed each flyer out to each individual thetan with INTENTION. She got about 1 in 5 people to take one. A few, about 1 in 40, would tell her to "fuck off".

As I stood there, I saw that she cared a lot for these people. Why else would she be doing this? I walked up to her and said hello. She was glad to see me: She finally had an excuse to pack up and leave. Connie was an OT 3, the only one in Champaign at the time, and she would frequently talk to me about being an OT 3. I was very impressed by it. As we were walking away, she looked at the kids in the Quad and said "After what's been done to these people, they deserve something better. I won't stop until they get it."

She was completely sincere. I couldn't really figure out what she meant by "what had been done to these people" but I knew it was bad because Connie had told me so, and she was OT 3.

I began to think that my life would be better if I had a purpose, too. I had audited a lot of people on my HQS course and it really seemed to help them. This gave me a huge kick. And it had made me much less nasty and selfish. Sardonic satire was no longer my favorite sense of humor. I enjoyed optimistic themes in movies. I was even starting to admire Ronald Reagan.

Deep down I had always believed that I was a secret genius, and that maybe this was what I was always meant to do - to save the world. As if some higher voice was leading me to it, I began to think that maybe Scientology was the way I was always supposed to fulfill this glorious destiny of mine. After all, Ron had said that Auditors were thetans who had lately arrived on the planet, and because they were less degraded than others who had been here longer than they had, they were more aware. Maybe Ron was describing me. Maybe Scientologists were my True Group of Secret Geniuses.

I made a decision that day that the Bridge to Total Freedom would be the new stable datum in my life. And going up it, and helping others to go up it, would be my life's central purpose.

I signed a 2.5 year contract with the Champaign Mission. But I couldn't join right away, I had debts and money troubles to handle first. My dad was attacking again, and I was attacking back, and so it had been precisely and scientifically determined that I was PTS Type A. It was thought to be very important to get that handled first. The best place for that was Peoria.

So I went to the Peoria Mission for a "Search & Discovery" and some handlings by George & Andy Seidler - the smiling cornfed Class 8's of the Midwestern Plains.

When I got to Peoria, the first thing they did was route me onto the Introduction to Scientology Ethics Course. To this day, what I learned on this course has helped me more than anything I have ever learned in Scientology.

Scientology taught me a fundamental truth here that I will never forget: If you remain ethical, you will be happy. If you do not remain ethical, you will not. This literally changed my life. I was certainly ripe for the change. But truly, along with the auditing I received - mostly on Overts and Withholds - the world was no longer the same for me.

I encountered my first big overt on Life Repair. Andy and I were in session, and he had uncovered an overt I committed when I was younger. He asked for an earlier, similar overt and I didn't see anything. He asked again, and still nothing was there. He said, "That. What was that?"

I saw a white scarf.

Andy had instantly become the biggest asshole I had ever met. I fucking hated him. I told him that there was nothing there and that he should shut up and just fucking back off.

He laughed. And then, looking down at his meter, he asked again. "What was that?"

"OK, it's a fucking scarf, so what?"

"All right. Tell me more about the scarf...."

The scarf was a little white doily scarf, like the ones you see on the heads of Mennonites, or even Amish women today. There were Indians around. We were in the woods. And these Puritan people were killing Indians and being very unfair to them. Totally hypocritical. I was really, really mad at them.

So I raped the Mayor's wife. And they castrated me and let me bleed to death in the stocks in the middle of the town square.

After running this incident, which had a LOT of charge, my eyes were WIDE. I felt horrible for having talked to Andy the way I did. He just laughed and said it was okay, a normal thing when you are being asked to confront something like that.

After that session, I was changed even more. I drove back home in a daze from Peoria that night and went to the local bar. (It was a Friday Night, after all) I sat down next to a childhood friend, ordered a beer, turned to him and said, "I raped the Puritan Mayor's wife in the 1600's and they castrated me and let me bleed to death in the town square."

He stood, picked up his beer, and walked away.

I didn't really even notice. I was still thinking about it, playing it over and over in my mind. It seemed very real to me. More real than the bar I was in. And it made so much sense, emotionally, to me and to the inner attitudes I'd lived with inside all my life.

More and more of my old friends would walk away from me, just like that, over the next few months.

It was the time when the first big national TV advertising was going on for Dianetics. I had a Honda Civic and I had plastered two Dianetic bumper stickers on the back of it. I had Dianetics books in my car. I was auditing my family, and anyone else who would sit still long enough. I was trying to get all my friends to quit drinking and smoking pot and snorting coke and to do Dianetics instead.

I remember walking into our local bar one afternoon. As I approached the door, I heard laughing and talking, and recognized many of the voices. I saw a lot of my friends cars in the parking lot. When I walked in, the whole place went silent. Nobody looked at me.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a room and everyone has been talking about you?

Just then, a friend walked in the door behind me and yelled, "Hey! The I just saw the Dianetics Mobile - is Alanzo in here?"

Everyone bust out laughing. They thought that was real funny.

I didn't. I was beginning to think it was unethical to make fun of Dianetics, and of the people who were busting their guts out to Clear Planet Earth.

Even my mother had begun to notice changes in me. We were sitting around the living room with my family one day, and she said, "Look! Look at that!" I looked up and she was pointing at me. Everyone was looking at me. "See that?' she said, "He's smiling!" She was very happy seeing that I wasn't so sullen (and hungover) all the time.

My mother would read Edgar Cayce in the 1960's and other spiritualist writings. She would talk about it a lot when she was drinking. I wanted to get her in and so I told her that I was getting very, very interested in Scientology, spending more and more time there. (I knew this worried her a little because she had heard bad things about it.) So, knowing that she was my mother, and knowing how much she worries, I told her one day "I don't know - I'm your son and I'm getting more and more involved in Scientology. You should probably check it out. It might be a cult."

She was in the next day. She routed onto the Success Through Communications Course. She loved it. She paid for auditing and pretty much became a Scientologist after that. I audited both of my sisters. My nearest sister came in and began taking courses. I even got my dad to come in and take a course. I got my whole family in. The mission loved me.

And things were much much better in my family as a result. We were quite a dysfunctional family, all fighting a lot, never eating together, slinging hurtful declarations at each other. It wasn't just me and my father. I wanted to use Scientology to fix my family. And it was true, after we began to look at Scientology, things got to be pretty good. At Thanksgiving, my sister even made a toast, holding her glass up and saying "I'm thankful for Alanzo, and his bringing Scientology into the family."

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