Scientology has changed considerably since I started in the 1960s. Current church goers may not believe this, but Scientology was fun. We laughed a lot. The buzz words, “If it wasn’t fun, it wasn’t Scientology,” were true. Another slogan was, “Seriousness equals mass.” It has become very “massy” and sad place these days. It is an out tech group where a lot of people are dying and getting ill. It is led by a mean spirited off policy leader and bunch that see families and finances come to ruin.
I began at the LA Org. It was led by old Dianeticists and Scientologists who knew LRH personally. They were actually at the Philadelphia Doctorate Course, the Phoenix Lectures and the briefing course with LRH. They were on all on a first name basis with him and were good emissaries for the church and the state of clear. It was also made up of ex-hippies who believed in peace and love. It was a close knit group. They believed in ARC, especially Affinity. It was a friendly place; people would hang out at the org because they felt loved and had a sense of belonging. Over the years orgs have changed; they are glum, aggressive, and can be punishing and abusive in nature, not to mention fairly empty.
I surveyed prominent independent Scientologists to find out what they thought changed. How did this fun and compassionate activity turn into a serious totalitarian church?
There were five distinct changes noted:
- The advent of ethics conditions in 1965
- The Sea Org missions starting in 1968
- The FEBCs returning from the Flagship in 1970-01
- The RPF in 1973
- LRH’s seclusion around 1982 and Miscavige’s control of Scientology
There is nothing inherently wrong with ethical codes or formulas to improve one’s life. The contemplation of optimum survival is a prose-like statement and ideal in nature. But ethics as practiced demoralized a lot of people. LRH’s butler was shocked one day in 1965 when he was assigned a condition unfairly; he says that it all changed for him then. One ex-senior messenger who grew up in the church at St. Hill says, “Then LRH returns from being kicked out of South Africa* and is enforcing lower conditions-parents were not getting home to their families and had to remain at St. Hill to do amends, they weren’t allowed to shower and shave, etc. Staff was wearing grey rags and the morale was shot.” That along with knowledge reports created an unsafe environment. Children reporting on parents, friends writing up friends made it seem like we were working in a communistic society. ( *The former-senior CS Apollo felt that when LRH was kicked out of Rhodesia and South Africa he was never the same.)
One independent Scientologist who was an Apollo trained FEBC ethics specialist says that the ethic’s numbers just don’t add up. Two 1/2 percent out of 100 are a Suppressive Person plus anyone who blows is also an SP, 20% are PTS, only 1 out of 18 are not a degraded being, you can be PTS to the middle class, homosexuals are all covertly hostile, psychiatrists, psychologists, FBI and government agents, jokers and degraders, and gamblers are all psychotic. Do the math. It just doesn’t add up. It doesn’t leave many people you would want to hang out with. If read that information without using reason and logic, like the leader of Scientology does, you end up distrusting people and wasting them. You live a friendless, loveless life where it is justifiable to beat and degrade others, cut ties with your family, and end up befriending a fellow hater like Louis Farrakhan.
For the most part the Apollo was fun and a spirited place to live and work. In a lot of ways the group transcended to family. On the other hand, when a crew member was sent out on mission the beingness (i.e. character) adopted was rough and often brutal. I don’t know who started it, but it was copied by one and all. Missionaires demoralized staff with cruelty and enforced threats to get their targets done, especially money targets. When I was a young auditor I remember being scared by missionaires who demanded hours and policed the LA HGC like we were criminals. Militaristic scary figures intimidated and punished to get their orders done. They left a wake of fear and blunted purpose. A lot of auditors and the above mentioned old friends of LRH left after the first missions were sent from Flag. Ironically, once the missionaire took off the uniform he or she would return to being civil and kind.
A former Flag Land Base and Int staff member cites the change in Scientology and its purpose to money becoming more important than anything else. For the most part, missions were sent when the income was down in an org or continent. The sea org missionaires were to “put ethics in on the planet,” instead they became money stat pushers. The way the targets and purpose was carried out lost what Scientology and even the sea org was originally about.
In the early 1970s the key org execs from around the world were sent to the Apollo to do the Flag Executive Briefing Course. Besides policy training, most of them received the Ls which were experimental at the time. A lot of them came back powerful without stability. They acted just like missionaires, screaming, yelling, and bullying to get their targets done. But they didn’t leave after a week or two, they were there on post. The org became about stats, not help and camaraderie. To top it off, the FEBC’s worldwide reported income stats were false. A lot of dedicated Scientologists left staff, but still remained in the church until the tech went out. (See my article on the blog home page, “Tech Matters.”) The orgs were no longer fun.
In 1973 LRH was speeding along on his motorcycle and crashed. He broke his wrist and some ribs and was miserable for months. He rarely moved from one chair in his Apollo office and was in a horrible state. One ex-messenger says, “I often wondered about LRHs temper and if other people were like that in the real world.” He became convinced that may of the crew had “CI,” counter intention to him. He had his personal communicator write Flag Order 3434, the Rehabilitation Project Force. A lot has been said about it, but basically it was for those deemed “untouchable” and considered an enemy. In early 1974 he began sending one crew member to the RPF every day. They were quarantined in the lower hold, couldn’t speak to the crew, ate leftovers, and slept on pee stained mattresses. They were considered psychotic and not to be trusted until run on evil purposes on expanded Dianetics. Some of the original RPFers were his personal stewards, messengers, personal aides, top auditors, and his son, Quentin. It set up a climate of fear and the ship was no longer fun.
The current leader sends people to the RPF and to the “hole” (a prison-like confinement at Int headquarters) at his whim. There are no longer ethics gradients in the upper echelons of Scientology. It is much worse than LRH could have ever dreamed of. Originally the RPF took about 6 months to finish, now it can take as many years or more.
As I mentioned in an article last February the most crippling change began when LRH went into seclusion and Miscavige and the Broekers took over Scientology’s comm lines. (http://markrathbun. wordpress.com /2010/02/28/a-new-old-school-declaration-of-independence/) LRH went into hiding around 1982 because there were warrants out for him to appear in court. He moved to a small ranch in Creston near San Luis Obispo, Ca. and was never seen in public again. At that time and thereafter there has been a lot of controversy about what he knew and what he didn’t know and what he wrote and what he didn’t. The comm lines became unclear and radical. Talented and loyal staff was declared, made to run around a tree as some sort of twisted rehabilitation, the RPF seemed mild in comparison. David Mayo and many of those personally tech trained by LRH were rounded up and cast off along with the prominent execs and senior messengers who had turned Scientology into a world religion. It was an ugly time and Scientology has never been the same. LRH died and now Scientology has gone mean.
With the ushering in of the Golden Age of Tech and the ushering out of Standard Tech the technology became neither “fun” nor workable. The tech hierarchy trained by LRH which had been protected in the past was devastated; most of them don’t audit anymore either in or out of the church. Per one ex-Flag trained Class 6, the current leaders don’t know the tech. She says that they are delusional by thinking it works the way it is run these days. But they still try to sell it. There is a mass exodus of Scientologists leaving because the tech does not work the way it is delivered in the church. The “Us versus Them” scenario now exists within the church itself for anyone who says the tech does not work or doesn’t pretend it does.
Where did the love go?
Those surveyed said it all. Ethics went severe and cruel; money motivation replaced true compassion. Without compassion and love help cannot exist.
Returning to freedom means leaving mean and turning to caring love and compassion.