From: email@example.com (Julie Mayo)
Subject: LRH and I
Date: 16 Apr 1996 14:46:29 -0400
For a long time I have felt the need to communicate some of my experiences with L. Ron Hubbard. Bear with me, dear critics, but I am writing this primarily for a.r.s. readers who have been Scientologists.
While I was in Scientology, from 1971-1983, I had what I considered to be the privilege of working directly with LRH. I did the SHSBC in 1971-72 and joined the Sea Organization. I went to the Flagship Apollo (Flag) in 1973 where I met L. Ron Hubbard. I had never really expected to meet L.R.H. personally -- but not only did I meet him, but ended up as his technical aide (Training and Services Aide/CS 4) for several years.
I had gotten interested in Scientology because people told me that it would enlighten me regarding out-of-body experiences, telepathy, and it would answer various questions I had concerning the meaning of life. I also wanted to do my bit concerning helping mankind. I was much more interested in training, rather than receiving auditing, which is why I had done the briefing course. I was fascinated by the "technology" in many ways. First, that there was a subject that sought to improve human abilities, which was codified and laid out into theory and processes. Secondly, that there were all kinds of explanations and instructions on how to do these processes. Thirdly, that when I sat down across from another person and did the processes, the phenomena that were supposed to occur actually did happen most of the time. If a person was upset, I flew the ruds, or maybe did an LIC and the person became happy and the meter F/Ned. Pretty extraordinary stuff. Not everything happened exactly like it was supposed to: people didn't have perfect out-of-body experiences on Op Pro by Dup like was suggested in the tech -- but most people got some type of extroversion. The fact that any of it worked impressed me. The fact that so much of it seemed to do what it was supposed to do so much of the time, seemed miraculous.
The methodology clearly wasn't perfect, as anyone who had done the SHSBC could see. The tech was an ever-changing, evolving process. I spent hundreds of hours listening to LRH discuss the theory and techniques and change his mind about things and try new things. It was exciting. I formed an impression of LRH from listening to all those tapes. He sounded like a man who was very interested in people and in exploring human potential. He almost sounded a bit fatherly, and he was a wonderfully entertaining speaker.
So, when I arrived on the ship in 1973 in Lisbon, I was very curious to see how LRH matched up. The first night I was there I snuck a peak into the "research room" where he was working. To me, his presence seemed to fill the room.
I was not on board for much time before we set sail. We sailed to the Canary Islands, on a trip that was very rough -- strong winds and high seas. Everyone had a sea watch. I realized that, like me, most of us really didn't know what we were doing. People had been "hatted" to some degree on a ship duty like radar, lookout, and so forth, but we really were a bunch of amateurs sailing a big vessel in high seas. Amazing and scary. In the morning, we mustered on deck. The Canary Islands were coming into view and LRH came out on deck. He was smiling, exuberant. His eyes were sparkling. Life seemed to be a great adventure to him. It was very infectious.
I saw aspects of Hubbard I hadn't suspected while listening to all those course lectures. He was extraordinarily adventurous; he expected people to do incredible things, and people responded and did things that they wouldn't have dreamed doing.
I was struck by the fact that when I ran into him on the decks he always gave me a big smile -- the kind of smile that made me happy for the rest of the day. It seemed like he would give people his complete attention. I was surprised at these qualities -- I thought he would have been too busy to pay attention to people and to small details to the degree that he did. On the other hand, he had some bad qualities that were equally unexpected. Sometimes he would lose his temper, and when he did, you would feel it down to the very cells in your bones.
When he was angry, he could be quite mean. He would write an ethics order on someone, condemning them to the galley, or never to be an executive again. Then two weeks later, he would change his mind, and he would appoint that same person to one of the highest positions in Scientology. There were no overboards when I was on the ship, but there were plenty of sleepless nights and conditions were really quite terrible at times. Not that we really noticed much, we were completely occupied day and night.
During the first months of 1974, I worked in external communications and although I saw LRH daily, I never really got to know what it was like to work with him until I was a Tech Programs Chief and then Training and Services Aide. When I was appointed to Tech Programs Chief I did my first eval. It was an "all hands" -- all the programs chiefs were doing evals. At this particular time they were all going straight to LRH for approval via a messenger. I remember doing my eval and sending it to him. A few minutes later I got it back down via a running messenger with a note about something that needed to be changed. I changed it and sent it back up and I got a surprise: a messenger screamed at me "What the H-- !" "You didn't...." I really was quite indignant and insisted that I had too made the requested change and sent it back up to him via the messenger. Two minutes later it was approved. It shocked me that LRH was so explosive, but it was certainly exciting working for him.
He issued lots of "orders" and liked very, very fast action and deadlines. All nighters was more of a routine, than an occasional, in 1974. He was much better tempered in 1975 when we were in the Caribbean. We got lots of sleep, though conditions were so crowded that about 60 of us had to sleep on the sun deck as there were no more bunks.
I was temporary CS 4 in January 1975 and again in the fall. When I was T/CS 4 one of my first "message runs" concerned the Conditional Certificate system. LRH was furious with Ron Shafron, for instituting conditional certs. I had a tape in the office of a briefing on the subject between LRH and Ron Shafron. The tape clearly showed that it was Hubbard who had ordered the conditional cert system, not Shafron, so I was quick to point this out to LRH. I soon learned that this really wasn't the politically acceptable way to deal with him: the usual way was to "PR" him and take the blame yourself. I was disappointed, but not disillusioned. LRH sent me a few mean messages for my obvious blunder, but forgave me by the end of the evening. I also forgave LRH. Hubbard was an extraordinary man, though not perfect. Most people don't accomplish a tenth of what he did. He authored huge amounts of the tech, which mostly produced remarkable results. Hubbard definitely had redeeming qualities, in my estimation.
Speaking of authorship. That was another situation that I had to deal with as CS 4. The truth was that lots of the tech was not authored by Hubbard. In fact, one of the things I did as LRH's technical aide was write bulletins, HCOBs. If it was important, it had to bear LRH's name, because that was the way the religion was set up. I didn't like the system much for several reasons. The first was I thought people should know who actually wrote the bulletins. Secondly, the system was set up that if something went wrong, or if Hubbard wanted to change something, he could save face and blame it on someone else. "The mice have been gnawing at the pillars again... ." I reached a compromise with Hubbard: if I wrote a bulletin, it would be "Assisted by". That didn't always work, though, because if it was an important bulletin, it wouldn't do to have it assisted by someone else.
One of the first orders I got from Hubbard was that I was to cancel everything the last two CS 4s had ever written. It was an impossible task because I would have just canceled out the grade chart. What was clear to me from this order, was that there were a line of fall guys before me. It would be just a matter of time before, I too, would be the "who" and have my work canceled.
As CS 4, I had various projects done and had several people working for me at different times. LRH had written Technical Correction Roundup in 1976 or '77 which called for a great deal of writing and compilation. The Expanded Dianetic project was a particular nightmare -- for many reasons. The first was that a lot of the work that had been done on it originally was by Allan Gilbertson. LRH decided that Allan Gilbertson was a squirrel, so he wanted the EX DN course done again, using only LRH material. (LRH loved the idea that if there was something wrong with the tech, it was because someone else messed it up.) The problem was that Expanded Dianetics really wasn't fully researched to start with, and there were no, or few, successful case histories. I remember getting a nudge from him concerning what was taking the re-write so long. I told him that the project of re-writing the case histories was incomplete. Much to my embarrassment, Hubbard took what I said out of context and wrote an HCOB saying that Training and Services Aide had found the why on Expanded Dianetics-- the case histories hadn't been fully written up. The real problem was Expanded Dianetics wasn't completely researched -- something I believe LRH really didn't want to think about at the time.
Sifting through HCOBs and canceling "out tech" ones or ones written by "other people" was something that went on constantly. The "out tech" HCOBs were then corrected by a project and the HCOBs written by that project would be sifted through a few years later and canceled as out tech. In 1974, there was a project done by Molly and another girl, FMO ___. They were supposed to change bulletins into BTBs that hadn't been written by LRH. But the important ones were all retained as HCOBs whether they were written by Hubbard or not. In compliance to the LRH order to me to cancel everything written by Livingston and Shafron, I had stacks of bulletins put together with their CSWs. The problem was, what to revise them to? I couldn't just cancel important bulletins which described technical processes for no reason. Most of them had been ordered written by LRH, and even though he had ordered them canceled, he would have been furious if they were canceled with no replacement. Finally, I asked Shafron to go through his stack and let me know if he thought anything needed to be revised, which he did graciously. He found a few that he thought needed to be updated so I sent them over to David Mayo to check and if he agreed, up to LRH Pers Comm for approval. Sometimes they went to Hubbard, but mostly LRH didn't look at stuff like that.
It was in December of 1975 that I had one of my more memorable experiences with LRH. This is during the period when we were coming to land. We'd been sailing around the Med in 1974 and the Caribbean in 1975 and the ship was getting crowded. We had the problem of getting kicked out of ports, too, but that is another story. LRH went to Daytona, Florida with most of the Flag crew and "FCCIs", (public), and I went to NYC with about 30 of the management crew. LRH had just done a couple of "international evaluations" and it was our job to keep things going and get the "eval" programs implemented by the outer orgs while the Flag Land Base was being set up. As CS4 I had a couple LRH orders in particular I was supposed to implement, one of which was to switch internships from the qualifications division to the technical division of the service organizations.
As it was an LRH order, I did it with gusto. I remember Kerry Gleason, who was the Commanding Officer of the Flag Bureau at the time, cautioning me about it. He kept saying that I should hold back on it. To me, it would have been sacrilege to do anything but go full speed ahead. It was an LRH order and that meant it had to be done, and right away. Looking back at it, I realize that it had probably been Kerry's idea in the first place.
Well, the international statistics went down around Thanksgiving. They always did around that time of the year but it was "off-policy" to blame anything else but ourselves. "The Why is God" -- is the policy letter. So when we joined the rest of the Flag crew in Clearwater we were in disgrace, we were sent down from NYC by slow bus. On the other hand, the Flag Land Base had been doing really well so everyone else was being praised. Then, the obligatory why-finding began. A who had to be found for the down international statistics.
I was woken up at 2 AM one December 1975 morning by a messenger yelling at me that I had crashed international statistics and to assign myself a lower "ethics" condition for doing so. Furthermore, I was to immediately gather up all the issues I had ever written to send to LRH so that they could be reviewed, and presumably be canceled. Up I got, in a state of panic. I ran over to the Clearwater Building from my dorm in the Fort Harrison, losing a shoe in my haste along the way. I went to mimeo and searched the files, gathering up things I had written. I started sending them "up" to "R". LRH was giving me a really hard time via his messengers -- who were making it quite clear I was in deep trouble. Suddenly, everything changed. I got a soothing message, delivered by Annie Broeker, telling me that the why had been found. I was to read a policy letter in Volume 5 of the OEC. In the late 60's Hubbard had tried to move the internships from Qual to Tech, and it hadn't worked then either. A messenger told me, on the side, that LRH had thought that I had been following an order from Shafron and then realized his error when he saw a copy of the eval written by himself.
LRH was obviously no longer as angry with me, but I still wasn't off the hook on crashing international statistics, so I sat down and assigned myself a condition of "Treason". I figured I was in "Treason" because I hadn't fully worn my hat as CS 4. CS 4 was responsible for rising technical statistics -- I should have "made things go right", somehow. I remembered something Maureen Sarfatti had told me years ago. Mo had said that when she was appointed as "Programs Chief", (first time programs chiefs came into existence), that she and the others had been called into the research room for a conference with LRH. LRH had sat them all down and told them that they were each assigned a "continent" to manage. The world was broken down into sections: Europe, Africa, US, UK and so forth. LRH looked them each in the eye and told them that they were responsible to make sure that their assigned continent was expanding and doing well statistically. He said, "Each one of you have managed planets in the past." A mere continent would be a piece of cake.
I was ashamed that I hadn't managed to keep tech division statistics rising. I was off to a poor start on my CS 4 post. I sent up the Treason Formula to LRH. By now it was New Year's Eve and I would spend the evening doing amends. Surprisingly, I got a response back from LRH almost immediately. He wrote in his own handwriting, "Condition mitigated to Danger. Brush up on pinpointing whys with DSEC." It was a God send. Not only had LRH given me the night off to go to the party -- which I did thoroughly enjoy -- but he told me something. He told me it was OK for me to disagree with him and even change his orders, as long as I had a correct reason for doing so. I took the lesson to heart and for a long time I could almost do no wrong as CS 4. LRH was extremely happy with almost everything I did-- and if I disagreed with him on something, I wrote to him about, with a suggested handling, with which he almost always agreed.
There were lots of things that happened between then and my final departure in 1983. When I did leave Scientology, it was really quite overdue, but I was and still am happy to have had a chance to have known LRH. He was an extraordinary individual. He was incredibly brilliant in some ways, evil (at times) -- and he was always interesting and exciting and, most of the time, fun to work with. Unfortunately, I believe that today's Scientology is memorializing his worst qualities and forgetting about his best qualities. One of his most outstanding characteristics is that he could change, and did, all the time.
When I say evil, I mean things like dirty tricks, harassment, and so forth. Staff members really weren't aware of that side of things -- because it was all done by separate departments like G.O. But there are other things -- like his temper tantrums, and the observable fact he treated people like his slaves. He really should not have been allowed to get away with it.
What I personally most liked about LRH was that he was extraordinarily interested in things -- and would get excited at things that were particularly smart. To this day when I encounter something particularly bright, especially technically, I think about how much Hubbard would have appreciated it. It was fabulous to be able to share things with him, because he would be genuinely fascinated. In this respect, he was completely delightful to work with.
I didn't feel any pang of guilt or disloyalty towards LRH when I left Scientology thirteen years ago. There was no doubt that LRH would have been furious with me because he hated splinter groups. No doubt, I, and others, would have been made "who's" and blamed for anything that went wrong. That was LRH's style. But I knew that if he had been me, he would have left long before I did. He, for one, would have never put up with the treatment that we all did!
When I escaped from Gilman Hot Springs in 1983 I hitched to Hemet and caught a bus ... barely had the correct change, any change, for that matter, and two security guards at my heels.
This was after several months of being falsely imprisoned -- we were under guard and weren't allowed to communicate with the outside world. It had started in August 1982 when I was awoken early by Marc Yager, who was the CO CMO INT, I believe, at the time. He told me that there was a special meeting that I was to come to -- this was the first time that the CO CMO INT had ever offered to ride me on his moped anywhere. He took me to the SNR C/S INT Office where David Miscavige was waiting for me.
Miscavige, who was the boss of ASI (for profit company) and also "Special Project Ops" and Trustee of RTC at the time, told me that I was being assigned to the RPF. I asked him why. He said, "You know why, Miss Natter Box". Miscavige told me I was being assigned to "hard labor". This was the desert and it was August and it was hot.
My job was to dig ditches. I was burning up and exhausted from the mental shock and lack of sleep. Rick Klingler, of the G.O., was at Gilman Hot Springs on the RPF. He was assigned to me as a buddy to make sure that I didn't escape and that I dug ditches.
But, Rick had a heart. He dug the ditches for me while I cooled off with the hose. Even in the worst conditions -- some people have a heart...Thank you, Rick -- wherever you are.
Rick's brother, Gary Klingler, of the Guardian's Office, was one of the people who later harassed and disrupted the AAC. So Vicki Aznaran, who was the President of RTC at the time, testified to in a deposition. But I'm digressing...
I was put on the running program for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for weeks. We weren't even given time to do our laundry. I remember bringing my laundry to the tree and then going to the bathroom. The bathroom had a back door through which I could escape to the laundry room. I had to keep my eye out for Bucky Beaver, though, because he patrolled the area for people who weren't doing what they should be doing. I never knew what Bucky's real name was because we weren't allowed to talk to crew.
Eventually, some of the crew were assigned to the same tree that I was assigned to run around. There was a wonderful German fellow named Rhinehart. He was new at Gilman.
David Miscavige and a couple other people used to ride down on their scooters to watch us running around that tree. It must have been October or November by now because I remember Miscavige wearing a great, long coat and just stand up the hill with a couple others, watching us.
Rhinehart would say, "Here comes the S.S.! I mean, here comes the scooter squad!" So we would run a little faster and try to look smart. I think it was around this time that I started to ask myself, "What am I doing here, anyway?"
Julie Gillespie Mayo