All of them, those in power, and those who want the power, would pamper us, if we agreed to overlook their crookedness by wilfully restricting our activities.
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By Michael Pattinson
Pattinson's Experiences with Scientology - Part 1
Part 3, 1975 and later
The whole crew and the most recently arrived "public" (Hubbard term for clients of his organizations) all went by coach from Daytona Beach over to Clearwater late in 1975.
We arrived at the old Jack Tar Hotel on S. Ft Harrison Avenue and were assembled to be briefed on rooms, facilities etc. I the rooms there were the normal beds, drapes, shag carpets,...but no TVs. Roaches were a huge problem, as was their sheer size... awful things. The hotel was clean-ish but was in relatively old condition. One day I heard a crash in my bathroom and the ceiling had fallen in and a nest of roaches with it... appalling. I survived the room, however, even with no bathroom ceiling. Rusty old pipes were a very common sight.
The place was, however, a far better size and layout than the Neptune Motel, which was small in comparison.
Right from the start we were briefed with great emphasis on the following:
When the "cover" was blown by the local press and Mayor Cazares we got a note from Ron that said "look at these wogs; they get a person's "withhold (secret) off, and then kick him when he is down!" The "United Churches" game was up and Scientology's fake facade was revealed. We left it up the Guardian's Office to handle the resulting "flap" (chaos created by Scientology but blamed on wogs).
My training was intensive and we were all studying up on the 11th floor above the ballroom. I did my daily training routines with Quentin Hubbard, as were both British and got on very well. I would try to bullbait him in the required communication drills but it was difficult to make him crack up or laugh. He looked mostly depressed and "regrettably present". I used to ask him about Ron and being the son of the "Source" of Scientology but he was not very open about it and I got a very definite impression that he wished he wasn't. He seemed to take that aspect of his life as a liability as it gave him such a hard standard to measure up to. When he bullbaited me it was usually with airplane sounds! I did crack up sometimes as he was funny with the bi-plane impressions and pilot faces etc... We became very good friends in the time that followed. he also like my artwork (I had some photos of it). I also became good friends with Arthur Hubbard, the artist, and we spoke on many occasions. I was intending to publish a book on art and include Hubbard's Art Series in it. I had a contract with L. Ron Hubbard (secured via a senior Exec Rick Merwin) and Arthur made a cartoon "Tone Scale" of emotions to be part of the book. Unfortunately, due to staff work schedules and lack of funds it never got published.
I became good friends with Diana Hubbard, and Suzette too. They all knew me on a close first name basis and were specially interested in me as an artist. I never met Mary Sue Hubbard, or ever saw her at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater. Ron was also never seen there.
One day we sensed an awful atmosphere, and there was a huge buzz of tension. We were taken individually to a closed personal briefing. I was told Quentin had "dropped his body" in unspecified circumstances and "did I need auditing to deal with the upset?" There was a message from Ron that "life goes on beyond death" and that Quentin had gone on, and we must get on with clearing the planet. I was emotionally upset as he was a close friend, but I "felt" somehow he was OK spiritually... It was a huge shock, however.
The last time I saw Quentin was in the "new" internship room on the ground floor by the pool. He was depressed and in despair. I tried to cheer him up but to no avail. It seemed he had been, once again, "busted" by his Dad down from a Class 12 auditor to "retrain" from the bottom. All his hard-earned certificates had been cancelled and he was a "nobody" among the Sea Org crew of auditors. This had, apparently happened before. I think it drove him over the edge. He looked awful and crushed. I didn't see him again after that. It was, I believe, just a few weeks later that the news came that he was dead. Quentin was a very nice person, a sweet soul, with good intentions and a kind personality. I liked him a lot and missed his playfulness.
My own training went on, with some difficulty, as I felt out of my depth in the Class 12 internship with auditors who were leagues and parsecs ahead of me. It was also a "Sea Org" (forcefully dedicated military-navy-style focus, fear, steely-resolve and harsh verbal discipline atmosphere). Brian Livingston was the Supervisor, Jeff Walker the appallingly heavy-handed and anti-social Senior Cramming (corrections) Officer, Dennis Erlich was the junior Cramming Officer and was truly horrible. Anger and resentment was the underlying tone of the Flag internships. It didn't suit my personality at all. David Mayo was the senior Case Supervisor. Ray Mithoff was the Flag senior Case Supervisor. It was a close knit group of fanatical devotees tied together by frayed nerves.
David Miscavige was, when I saw him, a tiny and wiry "Commodore's Messenger" (Hubbard had made himself a Commodore of the Sea Org) who was officious and obnoxious like a mini tin-pot teen tyrant who had gotten out of hand and needed to be spanked by his Mom. He had the same grating-rasping voice as his Dad (Ron) and brother Ronny. It was used to violate the sensitive eardrums of the "recipients" of his messages and his ire. He would stride in like he was a teenage "God Almighty" and cuss out Brian Livingston, many years his senior. It was "Command Intention" (Ron's intention) that his messengers were to be treated as if it was actually him (Ron) present, so the messengers (even the cute girly ones like Tonya Burden) could act like Hubbard and be as ornery as they liked without consequences. I was not in the Sea Org and found the brutality of verbal abuse, foul swearwords in over-abundance, in-your-face confrontationalism hard to see, hard to take. The Class 12s were, however, very kind to me and showed compassion. They were among the nicest people I ever met in Scientology. I still don't know how they survived the abuses they were subject to. It was shocking to see them cussed at loudly, pulled here and there like some naughty child yanked by an angry parent and humiliated in front of the group for the slightest session mistake. Some of them did, however, confide in me, and tell me their feelings, tears and all, in the rare social moments we had at a local cafe or shopping mall. I could see they were utterly dedicated to saving humanity and thoroughly believed that Scientology was mankind's only hope now or ever. I also came to believe that at the time. I was also subjected to tirades of hurricane force anger and typhoons of verbal abuse by Jeff Walker who scared me, and everyone else, to death. We were all EXPECTED to be FLAWLESS. However, we were human, and that led to frequent upsets, crises, collapses and struggles all round. I will pass, in this telling of my story, on the numerous upsets, panic attacks, challenges, crises, depressions, etc, etc, etc, I went through in my giving and taking of training and auditing at Flag Land Base. Too painful to go into, frankly. The only "comfort" was we "knew" we were saving the planet from utter ruin. We had to take the abuse, in our indoctrinated state of mind, to "get the job done for Ron", who was counting on us all.
One of the most shocking but frequent occurrences was a staff member suddenly being marched off by Gestapo-like uniformed people and taken to the basement where they were forced to live in squalor and humiliation. They were not allowed to speak to any one who was not in the "Rehabilitation Project Force" (RPF), had to wear dark blue overalls, run EVERYWHERE, clean the grounds of the hotel for most of the day, and study 5 hrs a day too. My former high-classed fun friend looked like broken white-faced ghouls, and I was not even supposed to say hi to them! That was truly a point of severe "disconnect" between me and the Sea Org at the time. They were literally outcasts and slaves, right in the U.S.A. Hidden but there, total slaves supposedly on a "Bridge to Total Freedom".
There were often "crises" the group had, all openly and fully blamed on the local mayor and Clearwater Sun newspaper. It was unsettling but we went on with our jobs regardless. I was having a hard time being flawless, (it was ruthlessly EXPECTED of me, with NO EXCUSES!) and my auditing was not perfect no matter how hard I tried. I think I was burned out trying to keep up with "Olympic" Class 12s whereas I was really a little league trainee. I got so utterly stressed-out I paid for auditing, used up my savings, paid monies into "Religious Research Foundation" (I was carefully informed in the registrars' office that R.R.F. was to get money for "Ron's personal research use", and "we are arranging to give Ron the total of about $80 million cash he wants") and got auditing. I had some "wins" at certain moments but then would collapse back. I tried and tried but it was no use. By the end of 1976 I was stressed out and took a short vacation to New York (in Florida clothes in a New York winter,...ouch) and had a mildly gay old time, so to speak. I was When I got back I had to have a "security check" (Flag and Sea Org were, and still are, paranoid to a very high degree about security) and I was discovered to have had a "gayer" time than I was allowed, ... lol). I had to be "removed from training", sent home "to get my past-life drug abuse handled". I had never taken any drugs in my life except rare times of medication for illness, yet I was supposed to have vast amounts of unhandled drug abuse residues in my soul from former bodies I had lived in in past lives! I was very upset (as in STEAMINGLY FURIOUS), had to completely drop out of training, write silly advertisement-promotional letters all day every day for 3 months, help out here and there with chores to earn my food and lodging, and basically be a failure while Paris org earned enough cash (it took 4 months) to send me home.
During that time I also heard that none of the Class 12 auditors had ever gotten actual certificates for the levels they had attained, so I used my artistic-calligraphic skills to make over 200 certs for them in all. They were all sent up to Ron for signature and were delivered to the Class 12s, who were happy to get them. I even secretly made one "Hubbard Class XII Auditor" certificate for Quentin, just to have it actually BE, but didn't send it up for signature, then later quietly destroyed it. I felt he deserved more than even a little gesture like that, but that was all I could do.
By Spring 1977 I had enough of being an outcast and broke down in tears. Lisa Gerber (now Rentschler), one of the Class 12 auditors calmed me down in the garden and I felt a bit better. Soon afterwards I was sent home to Paris to take the post of "Keeper of the Tech" as I had done a considerable amount of training but not all I was originally programmed to do.
WHAT I SAW AND WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT THIS TIME LATER:
1. Whatever the advertised "flawlessness" of Flag auditing may be advertised to be it is NOT NOT NOT flawless. It is delivered by human beings who are good, even great, but are not perfect. I have seen the frequent and gigantic imperfections of Flag auditing over many years and it is a regrettable but true fact that many costly and upsetting mistakes occur daily at Flag.
2. Quentin Hubbard died in mysterious circumstances which do not rule out murder, as far as I know. He was found near death in his car by Las Vegas airport (again with the planes!!) with the exhaust pipe connected in to the interior air supply. He, apparently, died in the hospital. Other sources are better qualified than me to give rulings on exactly what happened with all of that.
3. Hubbard was Commodore of his own "navy" but as his ship Apollo was sold in 1975-76 it was a dry-land navy. The Sea Organization was on land. All the Sea Org officers and crew, however, wore the uniforms, gold braid and trappings for official events every year. Hubbard was hidden from his navy and was in hiding from the law. While I was there at Flag the trial of the Scientology executives was taking place, all unknown to us. It was kept secret from us. We did not even hear about the sentencings.
4. David Miscavige was fully in "Ron's valence" (taking on someone else's personality and forgetting your own self) while being a Ron Hubbard messenger. I don't think he ever went back to being himself ever since. Poor little man.
5. I was appalled at the brutality of existence as a "Sea Org member" at Flag. I saw a heck of a lot, knew most of the senior people personally, observed the "bustings", the tirades of psychotic hate, the heartless smashing of devoted staff members into subjugated silent robots when Ron sent them to the hotel basement purgatory called the "R.P.F.", the forced submission of kind but un-flawless people, the hideously dirty and crowded berthing, the punishments of rice-and-beans diet for lowered production stats,... and Flag was NOT what it was advertised to be, either "The Friendliest Place in the Whole World" (excuse me while I run to throw up), or "The Mecca of Technical Perfection" (I saw virtually NOTHING "perfect" at Flag) at about $800 an hour for Flag auditing. The glossy facade hides a roaches nest of false promises, hidden costs, imperfect delivery, hidden distress, poverty of staff, public with vast upsets and broken dreams.