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Saturday, 22 December 2012
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My Experiences in Scientology
(MPES) - Part 4 by Michael Pattinson

In 1977 I was sent back from Flag Land Base to Paris to start a 5 year contract. When I got back I was immediately informed that my post would NOT be the one I had trained for but that I would hold an entirely different one. I was put in charge of the "Qualifications Division" which deals with the correction of errors in "The Tech", staff training, Courseroom oversight, training of interns, public arbitration and other matters. I didn't want that job but there was no choice offered.

I worked 7 days a week, from 9 a.m. to about midnight with 1 hour for lunch and one hour for dinner. I lived in the proverbial French "garret", a 10ft by 6ft attic with a sloping roof under the eaves of a local apartment building (5th floor with no elevator). My bed was a top bunk and my work space was underneath. It was amazingly small. I actually painted in there too, but if I wanted to go to the restroom I had to take away the easel to get out of the door.

A day off was more than rare. I think I got 2 or 3 days off in a year, and often when I was "off" at other times a staff member would come to get me (no phone) as I was "needed". I had about 7 staff members in my division, including both A.F. and S. Rosenberg, a couple that would later set-up the Paris "Celebrity Centre" Scientology organization.

So, there I was, an "executive" of a Scientology organization. I did many more functions than other staff members as I was "trained" and they weren't. The occasional revenues from selling a painting (done in rare free moments or a lunch break) supplemented my income, which averaged about 140ff a week (about $35 in 1977-78, which would be about $60 now) helped me to have rent and food, and I also often had to pay for paper and office supplies for my work as none was forthcoming in the weekly "financial planning".

A lot of money was sent "up-lines" every week to Scientology management and book publishing organizations who sent us Hubbard books to sell. Whatever was left was distributed by allocation to the departments, and what was left over from that went to "pay" staff. Sometimes we got almost nothing for a week's work. Management was, however, always paid first as "top priority".

I worked hard, got the best results I could, and felt like I was "helping mankind" by my efforts. I was one of the most highly trained staff members so I was always being asked to do things, night and day. I did anything from correcting staff auditors, keeping the library, giving tech references (there was no tech dictionary or index at the time), doing session exams. to see if the session was ok or not, marriage counselling, dispute handling and other things too. I even made the space nice, at my expense, with a little miniature garden on my desk. I was working more than full time for almost NO pay.

I also had to occasionally help out the Guardian's Office with preparations for the criminal trial against L.Ron Hubbard in France. However, in the end he was convicted, in absentia. The name of the Scientology organization was changed to "Church of the New Faith" (Eglise de La Nouvelle Foi) and we went on, as before, applying Hubbard tech and trying to expand the organization.

In a time of crisis the "Guardian World-Wide" Jane Kember came over as things had gone bad legally, and I found myself being "grilled" by 3 people, including her to see if I were a "security threat" or not. My being gay was considered a risk factor for some reason, even though I was not actively doing anything on that front. I was kept on post and told to protect the "church" by abstinence at all times from any gay encounters.

Months later I spoke to a guy in the street who I was attracted to (but nothing more happened with him). I told my auditor (J.L. Canolle what happened in a confidential auditing session. After that session my folder went to the Case Supervisor. I was then asked to come to see my auditor again. I sat down, he closed the door and told me we had a special interview, which was not confidential, and that I must tell him, all over again, what happened with my 10 second "almost gay but non-existent" encounter in a Paris street, but that this time it was needed for "security purposes". I was furious as that was a violation of my confidentiality, but like a good and loyal staff member I related the incident again. The folder went back to the Case supervisor (J.M. Wargniez).

The next morning I was hauled into the "Ethics Office" and was handed a publication which said that I was "of bad moral character" (gay, and at risk of getting "gayer") and that my certificates were all suspended forthwith. I was more than merely upset of angry. I simply ceased to cooperate. I understood that without any certificates in force I could no longer operate an "E-meter" to do my job (an e-meter is a Scientology-Dianetics electronic device that (possibly) measures changes in electrical resistance in the human body, but it is also affected by movements of the body, mental attitude and sweat on the hands that hold thier electrodes).So I ceased to do my job due to the sanctions against me. I decided to leave staff shortly thereafter as I was not getting anywhere on my supposed "Bridge To Total Freedom" and was clearly not "Clear" yet.

When I left (1978)I was given a bill for somewhere about $12,000.00 for the "Flag training" I had had while in Florida. It is known as a "freeloader" bill. If you fail to complete your staff contract you were, by Hubbard policy, liable for all courses you got "free" while on staff. Until it was paid in full I could not contact any of my Scientology friends. I was annoyed at the bill, specially seeing the enormous job I had done for a few dollars/francs.

I was, however, utterly RELIEVED to no longer be a staff member, and I remember sighing with relief for 2 or 3 days, quite consciously. I took up my painting again and doubled my space by moving into a second attic next door to mine to use as a studio. It was the stereotype 10ft x 8ft artist's studio with the tiny window with a slanting roof overlooking the rooftops of Paris' left bank. I was free of staff workload but had to pay the bill to the "church".

I painted, re-invested my money in more materials, made a slide-show as a promotional event attraction and worked very very hard. I travelled a lot and sold whatever I could. After a few months I paid off the bill to Scientology and set about "going Clear". I bought auditing at the Paris Org, painted, sold paintings, paid Scientology as a repetitive process through the rest of 1978 and 1979.

I finally got to "Clear" in 1979 but not without huge effort and a lot of money.
One horrible chapter of this was the launching of the "Purification Rundown". Hubbard said that if we wanted to live through the impending World War III, with its radiation and nuclear holocaust we must eliminate radiation from the cells of our bodies by taking large amounts of vitamins, niacin and oil while spending 5hrs a day in a dry sauna. Vitamins were prescribed by a church official (not a doctor) Albert Benhraim. I had to take 10 grams!(40 x 250mg of vitamin B1 a day, 3 to about 10 grams! of Niacin, vast amounts of multi-B vitamins, vitamins C, D, E and a half cup of cold cooking oil (yuk), as well as a quantity of "cal-mag with vinegar", made by mixing calcium carbonate with some magnesium and vinegar in boiling water and drinking it (ugh) when it cooled down.

I had to do this for 3 weeks, thought the doses of B1 were less after 3 or 4 days, and I had a horrible time. The 5hrs of sauna per day were bad enough but the intake of vitamin doses was sickening. I threw up on several occasions, and was even paralyzed for hours in the sauna near the end. It was truly awful but it felt better when I was "done". I felt great when I was off the "rundown" at the end. It had indeed "run me down". My skin was clean and I no longer had to eat nauseous food and vitamins. I was ready to "survive World War III.

I was not disappointed that WW III never occurred but I was when the Hubbard reference to it was quietly removed form the Purification Rundown. Hubbard could NOT have been wrong, according to my brainwashed state. He was the creative-originating "God" of PERFECT Tech, the selfless tireless researcher for the good of all, the new Savior of Mankind, the only real hope for mankind, the flawless genius, the charismatic benefactor of millions, the nuclear scientist-engineer-war hero-family man, the authentic integrity-idol of all Sea Org members, the ideal role model for a new civilization and my hero.


It is shocking but fascinating to read the differences between what was claimed about L. Ron Hubbard and the realities that differed from that so widely.

1. The Purification Rundown, still being delivered today, still uses long hours of sauna, vitamin doses and oil, cal-mag etc. Many have had serious negative consequences. I was lucky to have even survived the doses I was given.

2. Org money went to management and to Hubbard book payments as a priority and staff is no picnic as it only receives the crumbs left after all organizational needs are somewhat met.

3. Being gay, even when only in thought, is incompatible with being on staff, and also with being a Scientologist at all. Hubbard said people who are gay, along with others he hated, are dangerous to society; yet he took my dollars over and over, and over again. So did his bigoted minions.

4. Being on staff is a form of duty-motivated slavery.

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