Dan Garvin's story
In and out of Scientology
Dan Garvin at the Amazing Meeting Jan/Feb, 2003. © 2003 Phil Plait, used with permission
From: "Dan Garvin" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Hasta la vista, baby! Message-ID: <Gg7_7.3015$mR2.email@example.com> Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002 19:57:32 -0600 NNTP-Posting-Host: 184.108.40.206 NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 06 Jan 2002 19:57:58 CST This didn't show up after I first sent it, so I'm trying again: [Posting also to OC message board] Hello, everybody. My name's Dan Garvin. In July of 2001, I left the Sea Org, just two months shy of qualifying for my solid gold 25-year ring. That's right, I broke my contract when I still had 999,999,975 years left to serve. I went through the "security check" and other red tape they call "standardly routing out," in order to avoid being declared a Suppressive Person (which would have forced my wife and all Scn relatives and friends to disconnect from me and possibly subjected me to Fair Game treatment). It took a little under three months (I started in April). Because of stuff I had to sign in order to not be declared, there's a lot I can't say, at least not yet. (No free legal advice, please, thanks--I'll get it all resolved in due time.) Within a few weeks I decided I was also through with Scientology. I'm not going to explain all the terminology or insider concepts in what follows. It would take too long. If you're new around here, you'll have to study up a bit to follow it. If you're a regular, you won't have any trouble. If you're generally Scn-savvy but still don't get something, let me know and I'll try to clarify it. For nearly all of the 25 years, plus a couple years pre-SO, I was a 100% true-believer dedicated Scientologist. I joined the SO the day before my 19th birthday. I spent much of my EPF (SO basic training) renovating the newly-acquired Cedars of Lebanon former hospital, now the PAC Base in LA. After that I spent the next 7 1/2 years at Flag, in the FB (Flag Bureaux: COS international management that is not International Management--go figure). Then, in LA, after a short stint as an evaluator (woo-hoo!), I worked in OSA for about ten years. >:-[ In 1995, after getting caught up in a bizarre and vicious purge, I was banished in disgrace from OSA. Allowed to choose the org of my exile, I picked PAC Renovations (aka SIPRO, and now Construction Branch CLO WUS). In 1997, I was musical-chaired into ASHO Day. After a few weeks, I requested to route out of the SO, for pre-existing reasons unrelated to the transfer. This caused me to be transferred back to PAC Renos. After a month or so, I withdrew my request to leave (on my own, no "handling" or pressure). PAC Renos is where I stayed until I actually did leave the SO last summer. Before I got involved in Scn, I was a very good student (when I cared enough to bother with it). I was interested in scientific and technological subjects, as well as mystical and spiritual stuff, which I already had accepted long before Scn found me. The moment I heard, from trusted relatives, that Scn could promise godlike OT abilities through a proven, 100% effective routine, I was hooked. The only services I paid for as a public Scn, before joining the SO, were the Basic Study Manual and the Comm Course (which in that instance was closer to Pro TRs than to today's STCC or any basic TRs course). The BSM was no great shakes, but, being apparently non-religious, harmless study-training, it was the only thing my parents would sign off on. I was still a minor. It got me into an org and talking to real Scientologists, and that was what I wanted. Meanwhile, I read nearly all of Hubbard's books and fitted the new "knowledge" and technology into the worldview I already held. If this was even partly true, if it could deliver even some of what it claimed, man, I was IN! And the people I talked to spoke as if those results were a commonplace and Scientology was crawling with real OTs with magical abilities. I forgot to ask any of them to demonstrate those abilities. After I was 18, I got onto the Comm Course. That experience, along with the material I had to read as part of the course--some truth, with the occasional unsubstantiated miracle claim thrown in--really did change my life, and I would say for the better despite the unintended consequences. I have to respectfully disagree with some critics who call the TRs hypnotic. Perhaps they could be for some. They were not for me. I agree instead with Bent Corydon, who in LRH: Messiah or Madman calls the lower levels of Scn the cheese in the mousetrap. Because of the impressive actual changes, I failed to question the promises of things I had not "yet" experienced (and never would, nor would anyone else, ever), nor the credibility of Hubbard, nor the statements of the eager, enthusiastic, friendly, sincere Scientologists I spoke with. I was young, and far more gullible than I knew. By the time I understood more, it was almost too late. By now I was convinced that Scientology held the secrets to salvation for mankind. That being the case, the only sensible thing to do was to Clear the Planet. It had far too many stupid and messed-up people on it for me to be comfortable. Along came the Sea Org--this was exactly what I'd been looking for. I was IN. Nobody recruited me. I went and found a recruiter and had to shut him up from his spiel, to get him to let me sign the billion-year contract. From that point forward, I wore invisible, theta bifocals. The lenses I saw Scientology through were rose colored; everything looked great, no matter its true nature. I saw the rest of the world through shit-colored lenses, exactly as it was portrayed in all the writings of L. Ron Hubbard and his other minions. I enthusiastically embraced the whole Scn and SO indoctrination, and interpreted everything I encountered through the filter of Scn "philosophy." Every new fact, after being digested in this manner, reinforced what had gone before. You see, Scientologists don't lose their intelligence or their ability to reason. They reason, some very intelligently and logically indeed, from the basic premises and claims of Scientology. Once you accept those, the rest is inevitable. They do it by tricking you into believing it's "true for you." They don't even know they're tricking you; as far as they're concerned, they're helping you arrive at the Truth, your own Truth, the real Truth that everyone will eventually discover--if all Scientologists work hard enough, quick enough. Whether Hubbard had his tongue in his cheek while inventing all this is a subject for debate, and may never be known for sure. His head was too far up his ass for anyone to see his (facial) cheek. With my mindset as it was, most of my time in the SO, up till the 1995 purge, was not unpleasant. In fact, most of the time I was happy as a clam, and yes, the pun is intended. (Hubbard said in Science of Survival that puns are favored by 1.1's, so Scientologists take secret, guilty pleasure in them, and chastise each other for it. Sort of like sex in some other religions, but not half as much fun.) SO members, the ones who lasted, were the tough, proud few who sneered at hardship, deprivation, and even injustice. Although we never let the public in on the secret, we despised the selfish weaklings who wouldn't toss their own billion years into the pot, and most especially the ones who joined the SO and then quit. They were letting their shipmates down, and we had such a monumental job to do and so little time to do it before the wog world committed suicide. At this point I would like to thank all those involved in the aforementioned "bizarre and vicious purge." I can't say more at this point, but you know who you are, if you're among the few allowed on the internet. What did you do to earn my gratitude? You showed me the the dark side of Scientology's best and brightest, in a way that even my rose-colored glasses couldn't obscure. You brought me within sight of the dimly lit hallway that leads to Tory's famous door. If not for that, I might still be there, clammier than ever. My time in PAC Renovations was therapeutic. When you're making or renovating buildings, you're dealing with reality, the kind that isn't defined as "agreement" as in Scientology, but genuine structures that fall down or equipment that doesn't work, if they're not made according to wog principles. Also, later on, I spent a lot of time driving, doing purchasing for the renos. Eventually, I got bored with music and discovered talk radio, and then books on tape. I was starting to view the outside world in ways that were not in the Hubbardian script. I still viewed the SO and Scientology world the "right" way, but holes in my mental armor were letting in cold air, and I was getting uncomfortable. Clams: you probably should add talk radio to the internet and television on your list of banned input for SO members. Concurrently with all this and at first not related to it, I had another reason for becoming disaffected with and eventually disinfected from the Sea Org. Years earlier, I had conceived plans that would, automatically and with relatively little effort, bring about a snowballing expansion of Scientology that would sweep the globe and result in actual planetary Clearing within just a few years. For a long time, I kept low-key about it. After all, the big cheeses (no offense to El Queso) in Scientology were the smartest guys in the world; they knew what they were doing and were doing the best possible things in the best of all possible worlds, and I was but a lowly grunt with relatively little training and no OT levels. What did I know? After my descent from the glory of OSA, I started considering the possibility that maybe I knew, well, just a little bit more about just a few thangs, than just a few of my bodacious bosses. I started getting respectfully pushy about my super-duper plans to save civilization. I started privately copping an attitude. I'm not sure if it's possible to privately cop a 'tude, outside Scientology, but it sure is, inside the SO. Forbidden thoughts were something to get worried about. They could come up in a sec check. And believe me, if you're a loyal Scientologist who believes e-meters are infallible, boy, sec checking works--on you. And if I allowed myself to be disaffected with our fearless, fearsome leaders and it got caught, as it surely would, that would for sure nix any chance of my great plans being accepted. Still, it was hard to ignore the fact that these plans were things Hubbard said to do, and the geniuses at Int Management, RTC, and so forth should have already been doing them without my having to beg them to. And beg I did. Nothing was beneath me if it ended in the salvation of our endangered little mudball of a miserable planet. Not even the disgrace of leaving the Sea Org, as you're about to see. There I was--getting increasingly frustrated with what appeared to be resistance, at the top, to what would actually bring peace, sanity, and civilization to all Earth, in a Scientology world of Cleared homo novis. The only way these plans could fail would be if they weren't done (or if the whole set of Scn premises they were based on was a stinking, rotten pile of hammered dogshit, but I was nowhere near that thought yet). It was so obvious to me, I couldn't figure out how the brilliant minds at the top could remain oblivious to it even when I was shoving it their faces. Be that as it may, I willingly shouldered the burden of my knowledge and determined that, whatever the cost, I would see it done. By 1997, when my last hope of internal acceptance died, I knew I had to go outside the SO to be free to create this awesome gift I would give to Scientology. I said so, and reluctantly started the process of leaving. My lingering reluctance, and my still-strong faith in the Ultimate Truth of every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Ron, were my undoing. After a month, in a brief, friendly conversation, I was successfully convinced by an MAA (SO Ethics Officer) that I hadn't used all the tools of "the tech" to get my ideas accepted. I needed to apply the PR Series and the Marketing Series, for starters. It wasn't until much later that I realized he was telling me, without meaning to, that the big dogs at the top would not respond to a well-reasoned, sensible suggestion backed up by obvious (to a Scientologist) facts, even when it meant the entire and immediate success of all their plans. No, they had to be persuaded to respond emotionally, with PR and Marketing. How putrid. How typical. How true. So, I tucked my tail between my legs and determined to do more, and better, to get the mental giants in command to be able to see the truth and value of my offerings. I wasn't much good with PR and Marketing, but it just meant I'd have to [spend several more years to] learn those parts of Standard Technology. Time passed. Shit happened. My enthusiasm flagged, my disaffection grew. I gradually lost my conviction that I was the lame idiot who couldn't sell a terrific idea to sensible people, and that only left ... the people in charge of my world, who were looking less and less sensible, the more I dealt directly with them. That, of course, led to other issues, like, if these people are the best that "the tech" can produce, something is awfully wrong, somewhere. Such was the strength of my conviction that I still managed to think in terms of using the glorious and immaculate technology of Scientology to save the world--but despite the inexplicable incompetence of some of its leaders. They'd be forced to acknowledge the truth once I brought home the goods. Only results mattered. The end justified the means. (Not the Scientology org version: "The end of the week justifies the means.") I starting thinking again that I might have to leave the SO to accomplish the SO's goals. An awful thought, but Scn and the SO life taught us to be able to confront anything. Of course if I left I'd be out in the cold for years, till I'd paid the freeloader debt I'd earned by contributing 22, 23, then 24 years of my life, at hard labor, to the SO. I didn't want to go, or plan to, but just in case, I started listening to all the LRH tapes I could, from the Qual Library, while driving my truck and doing purchasing. If the worst happened, I could use the tech in those to take care of my own case till I could get back onto org services. And if I stayed, well, it was vital information that would vastly improve my life anyway. Except it wasn't. In my recalcitrant frame of mind, I was no longer glossing over or explaining away all the inconsistencies, self-contradictions, and outright horseshit in the material I was listening to. Where I could accept it, I did, but some things were just too outrageous, even for me. Those things are not the things that make most people go, "Huh???" at Scientology, or fall into fits of hysterical laughter. I had no problem swallowing whole track, space opera, clams and sloths and photon converters, oh my!, all that. What stuck in my throat were the logical and factual impossibilities concerning the immediate world: How he'd seen it mathematically "proven" that the brain could only hold 3 months' worth of memories (math, my ass: Hubbard couldn't even add water), despite its 10^21 "neurones" (which would require a head at least ten feet in diameter to contain); how the speed of light was not fixed or unsurpassable, but varied measurably with the frequency (a fact no one else has noticed in over a century of constant experimental and practical use of this figure); how absolutely nothing, but nothing, except overts and withholds could ever cause anyone to leave any group, especially one as spiffy as the Sea Org (yet they leave by the dozen, despite the superb administration of Golden Age of Tech confessional procedure, which roots out and thoroughly handles overts and withholds); and so on, and so on, and so on. If there is any concept central to Scientology, and known to all Scientologists, it is that of "Keeping Scientology Working." Fundamental to that concept is that "the technology" of Scientology is 100% workable, and infallible, and if it ever seems not to work or be correct, the fault is in the misapplication or misunderstanding of it, not in the tech itself. Failure in any way to fiercely uphold each and every point of Keeping Scientology Working (he lists 10) ranks with the worst crimes possible in Scientology, including murder, mayhem, and publicly resigning, as I'm doing here. Point #3 is "Knowing [the technology] is correct." This was a problem. "The technology" included every word L. Ron Hubbered ever scribbled or blathered, except where and as he himself corrected it in a later writing or speech (after all, it was a new and developing science--as long as he was the only "scientist" involved). Well, these were claims that stood. They were, absolutely, "the tech." But they were bullshit, no matter what anyone said. They could not be, yet they had to be. And that is the beginning of how a mind pulled itself back from far past the brink and thousands of feet down. One pinhole pops the whole balloon; I had several. More led to more, and within a few months I was thinking things like, "Gee, you know, I've never actually experienced any 'theta' phenomena that couldn't be explained as coincidence or wishful thinking," and, "Matter of fact, I've never actually seen anybody else do anything 'OT' that couldn't be explained the same way." This increased my discomfort. Everybody around me still took it for granted that all this OT business was as obvious and ordinary as the sun rising at morning. I couldn't talk about it to anybody: I knew I wouldn't be re-convinced without real proof, and doubts equalled severe out-ethics, and trying to convince others of my rightness constituted interfering with their KSW and could earn me an SP declare. And I had the unwelcome suspicion I'd only learn that there really was no proof, that if this stuff really existed, it'd be shown off at every chance. My dissatisfaction at not being allowed to save the world with my Big Ideas slowly reshaped itself into an unwillingness to devote the rest of my life, which might well be considerably shorter than a billion years, to a technology that might just be entirely specious. One thing was certain: Things were not going to remain as they were. After dancing all around it, I finally faced up to the necessity of leaving the Sea Org, and I knew that this time it would be for real. I got my ducks, what few ducks I had left, in a row, and made my announcement. If I'd known then what I know now, of course I'd have simply blown and let them declare me. But I didn't, and couldn't. I had a wife; I hoped I might get her to leave the SO with me, but she'd never consider it if I were an SP. More than that, I hoped against hope that I was overlooking something, that there really was a top to the Bridge, that I still had a chance of being OT and flying around without my body and zapping planets and stars and living forever, you know, stuff like that. I wanted to be damn sure before I shut the door on that. It didn't take me long. I started by looking on the web for any signs of real and verifiable OT powers. That went nowhere, fast. Up to the point I was actually gone, I had never looked at any of the Scientology websites, pro or con, or a.r.s. That was part of the self-policing that any hard-core Scientologist does; premature exposure to the OT III and above materials might kill me or make me horribly ill and seriously mess up my "case"; it would damn sure get me in a world of hurt with the Ethics people, as would reading any "entheta" information. However, once I was safely out the door and out from under the unimaginable oppression that I only noticed when it was gone, I continued up my own "bridge to rationality." For instance, if the OT III materials were so deadly, where were all the bodies? Really, where were they? Where were the epidemics of pneumonia with each new illicit publication? Why weren't those pesky critics dying off on their own, why did OSA have to bother with them? Could it be that (the possibly still awesome but now definitely suspect) Hubbard had made yet another mistake? I decided to see. So I took the red pill (Matrix fans, please explain this to your uninitiated friends). I went to www.xenu.net and searched out the Seeecrut Scrrrriptures. There they were, and in LRH's own handwriting. Hmmm. Nothing too outlandish here, sounds about like what I've been reading and hearing since I was nearly raw meat. Is this what the furor was over? It didn't answer any questions for me, except that I didn't seem to be dying from reading it or anything. It was neither more nor less likely to be true than the rest of the space opera stuff Hubbard put out for 35 years in the name of scientific research. Would I have to go on wandering around with a lit lantern in the daytime? Fortunately, no. I soon came upon Peter Forde's article, "A Scientific Scrutiny of OT 3." He points out what I at first overlooked: Hubbard got too specific on this one. Forde patiently and painstakingly documents the age of each of the volcanoes listed by name in the OT III materials. And what do you know? Most of them didn't exist 75 million years ago, when they were supposedly serving as sites in which to H-bomb those trillions of unhappy galactic citizens into BTs. I cross-checked his references!) AND there are no leftover traces of the explosions. AND there are no traces of the hundreds of billions of humans who inhabited Earth before the great catastrophe. I had reached my limit. Some things just can't be explained away. This was the Big Secret I'd spent more than half my life defending, supporting, striving toward, hoping for. This was what waited for me from OT III to the very top of the Bridge. No. This was why there are no goddamn OTs. This was not too weird to be believed--that was normal for Scn, who cared about that? No, it was just plain impossible. The motherfucker was either lying or completely wacko. I didn't care which. I was gone, done with that. After that I read a whole lot more entheta, and gave it a whole lot more credit than I ever could have done as a Scientologist. That doesn't mean I believe every random gripe or claim: you don't have to be a Scientologist to be a liar, although it helps. I formed a very different picture of my former religion. Yes, I do call it a religion, albeit a very strange one. Calling it a religion is not complimentary, however. It merely acknowledges what Scientologists admit when they want special treatment, privileges, and protections from governments, as opposed to money from new suckers: that it is NOT scientific, that it does NOT get results, that it is based only on BELIEFS that cannot be proven and must not be tested, that it has no concrete value and merely fills a "spiritual" [emotional] need in its parishioners. That the beliefs are weird beyond imagining is irrelevant. That they're dead wrong is irrelevant. That the official church is evil and deceptive and disgusting is irrelevant. Lots of respectable religions have that in their past. That some of the practices of Scientology may be harmful is irrelevant. So is snake handling, but it's religious, all right. Scientology's a religion. If you want to say it's also a cult, you won't get any disagreement from me there. If you want to say it's a bizarre, destructive, loathsome religion unlike any religion you're familiar with, I'll give you that, too. They want to have it both ways: the reconciliation of Science and Religion. Well, they're religious, in a rather unsavory way, but calling Scientology scientific could not be further from the truth. Of course all Hubbard's claims of introducing scientific method to the humanities were pure hogwash. He didn't know scientific method from the Palmer method, and he thought "control group" meant something you do. I've communicated my conclusions to several Scientologists, including my former wife from the Sea Org (she immediately divorced me when I routed out of the SO, and before I left Scientology itself), and, under one or more pseudonyms, several defenders on a.r.s. Of course, not one ever could or would reply to the salient arguments, because those points are indefensible. I could not have successfully argued those points myself, at my most committed, and I was a pretty clever arguer. What now? Well, I'm living life, my own life, really for the first time ever, since kids rarely have lives entirely their own and SO members never do. It's great. I love it. It's like being a brand new high school graduate, only with more belly and less hair. The world is my clam, I mean oyster. I'm having fun, I got myself a real job, and I can't complain. Much. I wouldn't say I've been permanently harmed by Scientology, if you don't count the 25 years hornswoggled out of me, the loss of my otherwise devoted wife, disconnection by relatives and friends, a complete lack of any job experience or training worth anything to anybody, and probably a couple other adversities I may have forgot to mention. You know, the usual stuff. What do I think about losing my lifelong dream of infinite godlike powers? How about, "Good riddance to bad lunacy!"? Without the rose-and-shit bifocals, reality is just swell, thank you very much. I should add that, in their own pathetic way, my astonished and disbelieving fellow SO members treated me with what passes in Scientology for decency and respect while I was routing out. I was never physically restrained, badgered, or yelled at. I got plenty of sleep. I ate reasonably well. I was never coerced into working, although sometimes I did do some light work, just to be nice. I even kept on getting the same miserable SO allowance I'd been getting before. If I hadn't been leaving town and declined their help, they would have insisted on making sure I had a job and a place to live, before cutting me loose. On the negative side, I was watched 24 hours a day, and I was expected to remain on the Scn property unless I had approval to go out, which usually required some special reason. My sec checking proceeded at an average of one hour a day (less than 12 1/2 per week is "out tech"), and didn't start till a week and a half after I requested to leave. I knew (and was told) I would be declared SP, if I left without undergoing the whole routine. I knew what being SP would entail, including losing my wife (whom I lost anyway merely by quitting the SO), friends, and some relatives, and the very real possibility of fair game treatment despite all their claims to the contrary. I knew that part of the routine I needed to comply with to keep from getting declared SP was to sign documents stating that I was under no duress or threat, giving up my right of free speech concerning all Scn entities and any right to litigate against them. That, for them, is apparently pretty good behavior on their part. A big improvement. Maybe they're learning. So why am I now doing what should get me declared SP, after going through all that effort to avoid it? Well, it needs to be done. I want my position and reasoning known; it's unlikely to reach or affect any hard-core Scientologists, but I feel obligated to offer it in case there are any who may on the verge of thinking freely. More realistically, if I can get the truth to minds not yet lost to reality, I may help prevent their loss. I do this for entirely selfish reasons, in the objectivist sense: I'm emphatically not an altruist, but I recognize the potential worth of any human to me, and if by sharing knowledge I can increase that worth or prevent its loss, then I have gained. What about the other concerns? My wife and ex-friends were all SO and lost to me anyway; ex-SO members are mainly despised by SO members, who are forbidden to maintain contact with them. The relatives--well, that remains their choice and responsibility, not mine. As for Fair Game: (1) I may not be important enough to bother with; professional harassment isn't free, you know, and OSA clampower is severely limited; (2) they may be hoping to keep me relatively quiet; what I could say about them might not be devastating, but it would certainly be embarrassing; and (3) hey, give them the benefit of the doubt: maybe fair game really is being curtailed; they certainly haven't directly messed with me yet, even after I revealed that I was no friend and made a direct appeal to my ex-wife to get the hell out of Scn and offered to help her; maybe they'll keep it that way. What about it, OSA? You leave me alone, and I won't have any harassment to report. Sound fair? I won't lie about you. OK, boys and girls. Thanks for staying with me. My work keeps me on the road nearly all the time, and I don't have a way to get to USENET while I'm on a wireless connection, so I may not see your replies before they expire. Unlike the usual NG practice, if you have something you really want to say to me, do feel free to e-mail me as a cc to your NG post, because I may never see it otherwise. (I don't promise to respond to everything.) If I manage to get reliable remote USENET access, I'll announce it on the NG. I've been lurking and occasionally posting since last Fall, so I'm pretty familiar with the scenery and the actors. You're a terrific crowd--mostly--and I wish I had enough hours to read everything and reply to everything I cared to. Take care, all, and happy new year. Dan Garvin aka Rip Van Winkle: I went hunting one day, encountered some strange characters playing a strange game, drank their brew, fell asleep, woke up 20 years later.
From: "Dan Garvin" <dang_357AT@skyenetDOT.com> Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Update -- College, Security, Cameras Message-ID: <mMbf9.1661$kX4.firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2002 21:19:05 -0400 NNTP-Posting-Host: 220.127.116.11 NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 20:19:14 CDT Hello, friends. I haven't posted anything in a while, and not much even before that. There's a reason for this. I've been busy. I've been getting ready to go to college. I started a week and a half ago. I'm a full-time student now, a physics major. I will probably change to a double major in a little while, the other being math. This is my first time in college, at age 44. Want to know the first thing that impressed me, when I arrived for my first class? The lack of security cameras. I had to chuckle to myself. All those times we had to tell outsiders the "acceptable truth" that the huge, uniformed security force and the ubiquitous video cameras on the PAC Sea Org base were for everyone's safety in that high-crime area. Yeah, right. Of course, it really is a high-crime area. That's how "acceptable truths" work. But that's not why they need cameras monitoring deep inside their buildings, constantly watched, constantly recording. That's not why security guards come round every week and run through a checklist with every Sea Org member on the base. Were your stats up last week? Let me see your graph. Let me see your daily graph for the new week. Is your in-basket backlogged? Office neat and clean? Papers and files in order, everything there that should be, including your "hat" (job) training materials? Uniform clean and pressed? Been attending study daily? Got a weekly battle plan? Let me see your ethics condition write-up for the week. Any modems inside or attached to the computers here (which could be used to access the Internet)? Hmmm. Stats down. A few out-points here on the checklist. Need to investigate you a little more closely . . . . Then there's Friday night. Everybody to the Continental Training Org. Get in line. Wait. Wait some more. When it's finally your turn, sit down across from one of several security guards and other trained personnel, pick up the cans, and get your weekly "meter check." Hmmm. Needle wasn't clean. Write up your overts and withholds and get a new meter check on your writeup. This time, your needle has to "float." So don't even think of holding anything back. Don't make us waste a trained security check auditor finding out your crimes. Confess everything now, and it'll go easier for you. Fail to come clean, and we'll double the penalty when we find out what you're hiding. And we will find out. That's the "safe environment" provided by the security forces attached to each base: Safe from questions; safe from dissention; safe from anyone learning the truth; safe from anyone escaping undetected; safe from critical thinking. After a while, you get used to it. You know you're being watched nearly all the time. You know you'll be getting a meter check at the end of the week. You simply don't do or think things that are likely to get you in trouble. Or, if you're a bit slow, you do get caught, you do your ethics conditions, degrade yourself into some sort of epiphany, lose a bunch of those precious sleep hours "making amends," and finally are permitted to beg all your co-workers (even your own subordinates) to allow you to be part of "their" group again: the ethical, hardworking, honest, and "on-Source" (doctrinaire) ones. I was so used to it that, a year after leaving, I found the absence of cameras inside this similar building noteworthy, and even a little unsettling. Were there really none? Could they be using hidden ones? Whoa -- Dan! Reality check. This is a college. People come and go as they please. You can skip a day, and nobody will come knocking on your door. You can be lazy and fail, or work hard and pass. Nobody will try to make you do anything. You can quit entirely and nobody will care much. You can even get most of your money back, up till the cutoff date, and then turn around and have lunch right in their cafeteria, and buy more courses the next day -- or not -- no guard will escort you off the premises and tell you not to return. Friends, it is good to be free. I'm attending a small community college near where I live. The credits will transfer to a four-year school for my bachelor's degree(s), and after that I'm hoping to get into one of the universities noted for their physics departments, to do my graduate and eventually doctoral work. I can't even start physics till I've had two semesters of calculus, so Calc I is one of my classes. The rest are general education requirements. But are they drudgery? Look at my schedule: - Fundamentals of public speaking. And what do you know, I've got to give a public talk on Scientology at the end of January. - Psychology 101. After twenty-seven years in Scientology, where psychologists and psychiatrists are responsible for all the ills of mankind and the universe itself -- I'm getting The Rest Of The Story. L. Ron Hubbard talked about applying scientific methodology to the humanities; good luck finding the least shred of evidence that he ever once actually did so, or permitted anyone else to. In Psych 101, we're taught scientific methodology first thing, and we're already using it. In the humanities. - Philosophy 101. Three guesses which self-styled philosopher didn't even rate a listing in the index. Three more guesses as to why not. We've already covered the logical fallacies -- those techniques of argument so favored by Scientologists. I've told the instructor my background, and we can both see we're going to have a tremendously fun time in this class. - Freshman English II. This is a writing class. Well, if I'm going to be writing about Scientology -- and other things -- now and then, I might as well learn what I'm doing. - Intro to Computer Info Systems. As much as I taught myself about computers while in the Sea Org, it was all skewed toward Sea Org and OSA purposes and ignored what's common knowledge in the business world. I could make you a database that will show which SPs are connected to which other SPs, but I couldn't do a PowerPoint presentation. Education is so incredibly valuable, so important to the preservation of freedom, and so easy to get. It's no wonder Scientology registrars and recruiters hate it so much, and work so hard to keep young people from going to college, and to get them out if they're already in. Warmest regards to you all, Dan -- "...trying to snatch folly from the minds of those who have been victimized by it is often rather like trying to snatch a bone from a dog." -Isaac Asimov
From: "Dan Garvin" <NOdangSPAM_357@skyenet.net> Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Fear is Thicker than Blood Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 00:01:28 -0400 Message-ID: <email@example.com> I have to report a sad but unsurprising event. When I left Scientology, in 2001, before I said anything publicly, I wrote to my Scientologist brother explaining that I was no longer a Scientologist and why. I spoke with him at length a number of times on the phone after that, and while he still believes Scientology is mostly right and very valuable, he told me that he did not intend to disconnect from me. He had been contacted and even visited by Senior HCO PAC concerning his SP brother (me), but he has not been active on Scientology org lines for many years, and has always harbored misgivings about management, the Sea Org, and so on, and I think even about parts of the tech. We had always been very close, even if we didn't talk to each other or see each other that much. We had a lot in common, in and especially out of Scientology. I was the one who introduced him to Scientology, and he was the one who went straight into it and told me how great it was. He helped me join the Sea Org, back in 1976. He's thirteen years old than I am, and when I was a teenager I thought he knew pretty much everything. Then, when I was a Sea Org member and he wasn't, it was his turn to brag about me. He lives in LA, so when Management moved to LA from Clearwater in 1984, we actually started talking to each other every so often and doing things together sometimes on my days off or at Christmas. So when I was out, I told him I respected his choice and beliefs, and he already knew mine, and that was fine with both of us. In May, 2002, when I revisited LA, I spoke with him again, but did not visit him. He even came up with excuses for not disconnecting from me, to fend off the Senior I&R. He did this because I am his brother. I told him I had taken part in a picket recently, and some of what I had learned of the corrupt practices that COS constantly engages in, including at least one lie I knew they had told about me, in case they tried to blacken my name in his mind. He thanked me for the warning, and things were fine. I thought. Months later, he told me someone from the Church had given him a number they wanted me to call. Of course, I know their numbers and addresses, and they know mine and can contact me any time they want, but I told him I'd call. I did, and the person I was supposed to talk to was not there, and I left a message, then told my brother what had happened. He was very glad I had tried to call -- it apparently discharged him of some responsibility he felt bound by. We spent the rest of the long phone call talking, as we usually did, about things that have nothing to do with Scientology. Nobody from COS returned my call and I did not attempt to call them again. However, in May of this year, I got the following letter from him: "Dear Dan, "I wanted to keep our comm line alive until I got you the information you needed. Since the phone call didn't work, please write to Church of Scientology Continental Justice Chief 1308 L. Ron Hubbard Way Los Angeles, CA 90027 and let them know you are ready to start steps A - E. "Let's delay any further comm exchange until these steps are completed. I am looking forward to hearing from you. "Love, Tom" For those new to the scene, that last paragraph is a "disconnection," meaning my brother will not speak to me or have anything more to do with me until I am back in good standing with the Church of Scientology -- which means forever, for the rest of our lives. Now, it's clear he was forced to write this letter. It is not at all the way he talks, and he barely ever writes letters at all, and certainly wouldn't hand-write one, as he did this, if he could use his computer. The envelope was postmarked not where he lives but in Hollywood, where the COS is, eleven days after the date he put on the letter itself. It was written on legal-sized paper, which is rarely used for letters but which is very common in Scientology and Sea Org orgs. Obviously, Senior HCO sat him down, gave him some paper, and said, "Write!" And write he did. And they held on to it after he left, most likely shuffling it through the bureaucracy so everybody could approve it before they actually mailed it out for him. So what had happened? He hadn't seemed afraid of anything they might do to him -- he didn't think he'd ever move again on the Bridge "this lifetime" and didn't have any money anyway. He was already Old OT VII, so as far as he was concerned his case was in good enough shape -- all this combined to make him relatively immune to pressure or threats. Yet he disconnected. I phoned him up and said I thought you said you weren't going to do this. He said that was before the pressure from the Church. I said what pressure? And then it popped out. His wife. His wife is at the bottom of the Bridge and not very experienced as a Scientologist. Even though he's given up on making any more progress in Scientology himself, he's convinced that it's very important to get his wife up to a point where she will be OK case-wise by the time she dies. Then, I suppose, they can start over with new bodies and new lives and meet up again and both go the rest of the way up the Bridge together in serene OT bliss. Because, as he told me, "This stuff lasts more than one lifetime." This call was brief -- he said I needed to contact COS and do my A-E steps, and I said it wasn't going to happen, and he said then he had to end the call and hung up on me. It is the last communication I have had from him. She can't get any auditing, if he remains connected with me. It doesn't matter that I have no direct connection with her anyway, and if she believes in it and wants to get auditing, I say fine, go ahead. I wouldn't have bothered her. That doesn't matter, because she is the leverage COS needed to force my brother to disown me. They are not interested in following their own so-called technology or policy concerning Suppressives and PTSes. They are interested in getting even with me, in their mean and petty way, for leaving and for speaking out about them, and especially for picketing one of their events. That's their message -- one of their many messages, in many forms: You speak up, you lose your family. We don't care what they think -- we will find the leverage. But that's not all. A cult has to have demons. There must be an explanation for all their incompetence, ineffectiveness, and brutality. For some, it was the Jews, or the Communists, or the counterrevolutionaries. For Scientology, it's the Suppressive Persons. And if the SPs won't attack, they have to be goaded into attacking, so they can be fought and so the followers can be kept in line with the fear of what will happen if they don't contribute enough (or work hard enough) and the SPs get the upper hand. This "disconnection" action, and COS's subsequent refusal to relent (I gave them a chance -- I always do -- it's my way), were intended and designed to enrage me and draw me into a battle with them so they can point to me and say, "See? We told you we're being persecuted!" But I don't persecute. I do something far more dangerous, in their eyes. I tell the truth. And I shall be telling more of the truth, in more places and more frequently. Dan Garvin
This is rather significant. One of the definitions L. Ron Hubbard gave for a Suppressive Person is "those who are destructively antisocial." Keep in mind that such a declare is put in every "church" of Scientology to warn the faithful flock not to contact or do business with Dan Garvin. It is only fair that someone is given the opportunity to answer such defamatory allegations.
The rules of disconnection are not negotiable, and if a scientologists doesn't disavow from Dan then he becomes a Suppressive Person, thus this is not merely like a disbarment from a golf-club, this is meant as the social and financial ruin of persons declared SP.
Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin (HCOB) of 10 September 1983 is very clear on this:
If for one thing, I think we can agree that Mr. Garvin is not terrified at all, rather it is the other way around. Scientology is terrified for the knowledge he gained in the cult and the truth he tells. Scientology forced his family member to discontinue any contact, and not the other way around.
WHEN DISCONNECTION IS USED
An Ethics Officer can encounter a situation where someone is factually connected to a suppressive person, in present time. This is a person whose normal operating basis is one of making others smaller, less able, less powerful. He does not want anyone to get better, at all.
In truth, an SP is absolutely, completely terrified of anyone becoming more powerful.
In such an instance the PTS isn't going to get anywhere trying to "handle" the person. The answer is to sever the connection.
It is difficult for us who have never been a scientologist to phatom the impact and terror Scientology hopes to gain by declaring people Suppressive. Former member Ken Rose wrote about that in an essay titled "The Demons of Freedom":
The world we woke up to this morning is not one which is dominated by scientology. But it is one in which people have, indeed, become reluctant to exercise the freedom of speech on the subject of scientology. Among those who are most reluctant are former members. For they know the church's actual position on this freedom. They know that declared SP's do, indeed, become Fair Game (meaning that they can be lied to, cheated, embarassed, attacked or even destroyed by other scientologists).
But some of them speak out regardless. And one of them is Dan. Onwards to the declare. Note: This document is reproduced under the news reporting provision for "fair use" in the US Copyright Act..
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology Subject: Finally -- I'm Somebody! From: "Dan Garvin" <NOdangSPAM_357@skyenet.net> Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 00:19:01 -0500 Uncork the champagne! It took a long time and some doing, but I finally got my SP declare! I guess it's true what they say, that a thing doesn't seem so valuable if you don't have to work for it. Here it is: =============== CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY WESTERN UNITED STATES SENIOR HCO PAC ETHICS ORDER 1688 24 MARCH 2002 ALL ORGS ALL MISSIONS SUPPRESSIVE PERSON DECLARE DAN GARVIN Dan Garvin, former staff member from Los Angeles, is hereby declared a Suppressive Person. In July 2001, Dan left staff professing that he considered himself a Scientologist and intended to continue in the Scientology religion. Shortly after leaving, Dan began writing entheta letters to Scientologists in good standing in an attempt to spread black PR on the Church and to dissuade them from continuing in the Scientology religion. Since this time, as shown by his Actions [sic], Dan has refused to apply standard ethics technology to himself to handle the matter. Dan has publicly departed from the Church in his continued attempt to dissuade people from Scientology by spreading lies and black PR. In reality, he has only been pretending to be a Scientologist. He made virtually no progress on The Bridge in over 20 years and despite many attempts by fellow staff members to help him with his out-ethics he has made virtually no change. Through his continuous overt acts he has barred himself from making any case gain. Dan has committed the following suppressive acts: 1. PRONOUNCING SCIENTOLOGISTS GUILTY OF THE PRACTICE OF STANDARD SCIENTOLOGY. 2. PUBLIC DISAVOWAL OF SCIENTOLOGY OR SCIENTOLOGISTS IN GOOD STANDING WITH SCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS. 3. ENGAGING IN MALICIOUS RUMOR MONGERING TO DESTROY THE AUTHORITY OR REPUTE OF HIGHER OFFICERS OR LEADING NAMES OF SCIENTOLOGY OR TO "SAFEGUARD" A POSITION. 4. PUBLIC STATEMENTS AGAINST SCIENTOLOGY OR SCIENTOLOGISTS BUT NOT TO COMMITTEES OF EVIDENCE DULY CONVENED. 5. CALCULATED EFFORTS TO DISRUPT CHURCH SERVICES OR THE FLOW OF PUBLIC UP THE BRIDGE THROUGH THE CHURCHES. 6. VIOLATION OR NEGLECT OF ANY OF THE TEN POINTS OF KEEPING SCIENTOLOGY WORKING. Any certificates or awards Dan may have been issued are hereby canceled. Any trademark licenses or membership agreements he may have signed are also canceled and he may not use the marks in any manner whatsoever [sic] It is hoped that Dan will come to his senses and recant. Should this occur, he is to do the steps A to E as covered in HCO PL 7 Mar. 1965RB SUPPRESSIVE ACTS, SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS. His only Scientology terminal is the International ]ustice Chief via the Continental Justice Chief. ALEX DUVALL SECURITY HANDLING ENFORCEMENT OFFICER PAC AUTHORIZED BY LRH COMM CLO WUS FOR CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY WESTERN UNITED STATES APPROVED BY INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE CHIEF IJC:CSWUS:LCCLO:AD:ad HCO, SCIENTOLOGY and THE BRIDGE are trademarks and service marks owned by Religious Technology Center and are used with its permission. SCIENTOLOGIST is a collective membership mark designating members of the affiliated churches and missions of Scientology. Printed in U.S.A. Unpublished work: (c) 2002 CSWUS. All Rights Reserved. =============== One of the remarkable characteristics of a Church of Scientology apparatchik is the compulsion to lie even when no lie is necessary, when the unembellished truth would have been adequate to the purpose. Compulsive lying is a trait ordinarily associated with a certain mental instability, but these are people who, outside office hours, would seem pretty normal. I knew Alex; he knew me. Even accounting for the possibility that some of the lies were fed to him by others, he knows that at least some of what he wrote here is false. High Crimes 2, 4, 5, and 6 are quite true and are, by themselves, sufficient reason to declare me an SP and blacken my name for all eternity among believers. 1 and 3 are false, as are several of the particulars in the preliminary paragraphs. Had the lies been omitted, this already zing-less SP declare would have had no less zing and been just as damning. Why lie? I did enjoy this last paragraph, even though it's entirely untrue: "In reality, he has only been pretending to be a Scientologist. He made virtually no progress on The Bridge in over 20 years and despite many attempts by fellow staff members to help him with his out-ethics he has made virtually no change. Through his continuous overt acts he has barred himself from making any case gain." 1) OK, so suppose I really was only pretending. How come in over 20 years all the king's ethics officers and all the king's sec checkers couldn't put two and a half percent together and figure this out? How come my ethics files contained plenty of commendations, relatively few negative reports, and almost no justice actions against me? 2) When did the State of Clear become "virtually no progress on The Bridge"? If that's the case, then the great majority of the staff in the CLO are no-case-gain SPs, because they're not even Clear. 3) What continuous overt acts? The only ones even implied in the rest of this issue are ones I committed, or supposedly committed, *after* I left the Sea Org. Is Alex saying I'm so powerful and OT that I can change the past, so that all those times in the past, when I got case gain, simply didn't happen? Doesn't he realize that's dangerous? Hasn't he seen The Butterfly Effect? I realize the movie hadn't come out when he wrote my declare, but he could have gone into the future and watched it, or watched it now and gone back into the past and fixed the SP Declare so I wouldn't have such dangerous OT powers. 4) But, supposing I really had been committing continuous overt acts, and supposing that, despite all those purported attempts by fellow staff members to set me straight, I actually had made virtually no change -- how come nobody did anything to stop me in all those years? In that entire time, I was never assigned to the RPF, and only one Committee of Evidence was ever held against me (one other one was called but was cancelled because I was upstat). According to the HCO Policy Letter entitled "Knowledge Reports" and other issues, anyone who knew of an offense but failed to report or handle the offender is just as culpable as the actual perpetrator. Either that's an indictment of several hundred Sea Org members ranging from the bottom to the very top of Scientology, making them all just as guilty as I, or -- perhaps those mysterious 20 years' worth of unspecified continuous overt acts never really happened, and that's the reason nobody ever "helped" me with them. Anyway, despite the lies, the errors, and the long delay, I'm extremely proud to finally have my SP Declare. I'm going to have it made into a wallet-sized laminated card, so I can show it to people. I'm thinking of also having it mounted and framed for my wall. Beaming, -- Dan Garvin Sea Org member for 25 years Free for 2 years Proud SP "Wasn't the S.O. much gentler than a wog prison system where you would be exposed to large quantities of insanity and suppression, and butt-fucking?" -- Phil Chitester, Church of Scientology defender