At the time of my brief involvement in the CoS (1984/85), I was 25 and had been managing my own spare parts manufacturing company for 5 yrs. In 1984 I had 7 employees. I was dealing with everything concerning my company, except engeneering development and mere produtcion. When in the need, I did also the so called 'menial' jobs like making out mailing lists, printing addresses, mailing advertisement etc. All this compelled me to attently observe the others at work, (even a post officer at work!) in order to learn how to optimize my own work, to find out weak points, to copy strong ones etc, to work fast but thoroughly to save enough spare time for my private life, my husband, my personal interests. In a few words, I very much developed my observation and critical senses, in order to get the best from both my professional and private life. This, I think, is the use and usefulness of the critical thought, I mean to find out weak and contradictory points in order to better (and amend) things, to find out positive and strong points so to learn from them or to improve them. Otherwise it isn't critical thought or criticism but steryle polemics.
Moreover, even if I can seem a rational woman, I am instead a very instinctive one, in the sense that other people's body language immediately strikes my instict, and I tend to follow it and try to rationalize it later on. I often followed my instinct in my business and it never betrayed me (up to now, at least). I'm not a highly educated woman, just a commercial high school degree, but I've always been very curious and never stopped to look around in search of something stimulating.
I can say I'm a practical person. I sold my business 2 yrs ago and now I have a shop where I'm working part time. This was just to indroduce myself.
I pointed out several contradictions while a member of the CoS (1984/85), I often questioned but the staff's answers weren't fully satisfactory and always left me the impression they were somehow loaded and prepared, never spontaneus, always so prompt and undoubtful, pre-cooked as we say, and the higher was the staff the lower body language I perceived, and this was (and is) somehow disorienting me, it was making me a bit distrustful and uneasy.
1) Clearing the planet had to be our goal and it was a very urgent matter - if it was so urgent, why courses and auditing were so expensive? I thought that if you make something cheaper and reacheable, more people would join, the final total amount woulnd't change but the final total amount of people will surely increase 1a) We need so much money to keep the whole thing working and to mantain a standard tech - cut the the unnecessary personell (90%, I think), pay them more. If the tech is so perfect and works, and if you are such a genius, you should have found a way to make it work without such an economical effort, it should work by itself. People themselves should be eager to keep it working the way it has to work. If something is so wonderful and useful and urgent, it should be reached by everyone, at once. So many people, for example, elaborate useful scan virus programmes, or other useful stuff for our PC (personal computers, not pre clears *grin*) and put them into the Internet free of charge. I'm not expecting to have it for free, everyone should be rewarded for his job, but everything must have a fair price, too cheap or too high isn't fair. 1b) but this is like a form of investment to improve yourself and enhance your capability to make more money, so it's price is even too low - yes, but what I see now is that I have to pay in advance for a sort of promise, if the urgency to clear the planet is so strong, I should be allowed to pay afterwords, when I've reached the ability and it doesn't represent such an economical efford to me, or at least pay half now and half afterwords...
2) They claimed to be a church, but it was mostly managed as a company. (Stats, different offices etc.). In the same time, staff members were often unskilled, mediocre, fanatic people and surely didn't match both a church or a company expectations. Bureaucracy was worse than our Italian State one. This, in my opinion of self owned company manager, was a waste of money, ability and productiveness. Moreover, the 'tech' was soupposed to enhance people's abilities, but I often had the feeling that those poor staff were worn out after a 12 or more hours long working day.
If they were my employees (I would have fired most of them at once *grin*...) I would leave them more free time to enjoy themselves, thus to enjoy their work the morning after, I would pay them higher wages to make them happier with me and my company.
3) They claimed the 'tech' will enhance our ability and raise our QI. Most people around me, both public and staff, were fanatics and couldn't talk of anything else but CoS. Fanaticism is the anthitesis of intelligence. Curiosity is one of the ingredients of a bright mind, as well as sense of humor, laughing of ourselves, sense of criticism and more, all things that were really lacking in most of the people around me.
4) The first time I saw an executive Sea Org member in my org, rumors were he had come from US aboard of a Concorde airplane, very very expensive at that time. Staff were so proud of this.
People coming back from Flag Clearwater talked of the plush places they saw up there, swimming pools etc. I didn't consider it fair, I mean all this had been payed ALSO with my hardly earned money. I didn't think that the 3 hours gap between a B-747 airliner and a Concorde would make the difference, as well as first or economy class, while it made a big difference in our wallets.
Swimming pools and tennis courts aren't important, and with the same money they could have free trained a lot of people, as there was this urgency to clear the planet.
5) Celebrity Centers. (presumibly payed with our money, then somehow confirmed in the Tabayoyon's affidavit). What do celebrities have more than us? If they want to be followers of a 'church' they have to be as humble as all the others (this probably comes from my catholic conditioning). No need to have Celebrity Centers (which, on the contrary, seemed to fascinate the very intelligent, super QI clear members around me).
6) Standard tech (repeated ad nauseam). It had to be standard, we weren't suppose to give verbal tech, just to read (and buy and pay for) and duplicate. That's the only way to keep a standard tech. But Flag processing was much more expensive beacause (the answer I was given) Flag staff are the best. So, is it standard tech or is it not? If that's better, this means it isn't standardized at all. So, what are you selling me, at a high cost however? What am I paying for? Half standard? The answer is in the bulletin or policy letter, read it. And have it checked maybe at the e-meter, and make an answer like this waste maybe a whole day in defining words, make a demo, etc, a whole day of your spare time or work holidays. No need to question again, take your doubts or questioning for yourself if you don't want to waste time.
7) Commissions to FSMs. Does anyone else make proselitism for a PROFIT? You do proselitism because your belief is strong and you believe in what you do, not because you are financially rewarded. Is it a church - religiuos technology or is it a business? Why does my hard earned money go to pay a 10% (or whatever it was) to someone else who as well has to pay a percentage etc.? Why not simply lower all the services of that 10%?
Moreover, that lacking of body language in higher staff, especially Sea Org members, gave me the impression of fakeness. What did have they enhanced? Communication? The speech isn't the only way to communicate we have. They all were so much stereotyped, and my instinct was at work. The first (and actually last) time I went to the 'big org' in Milan, I had a 'cog' on the way:
I was on the subway, and as close we got to my exit station, as crowded the train became of people in various navy uniforms. They were all looking the same, no smile, no movements, very serious faces. Sea Org members. I was looking at them wandering if I was also looking the same, and I was somehow scared.
I always loved travelling, I first left at the age of 16, I am now 38 and I travelled everywhere in the world. I'm particularly fond of South East Asia, (which I widely visited) its traditions, culture, people etc.For that summer 1984, I had planned my second trip to India, and I was very excited.
My first trip had been very upsetting. After what I had learnt and been trained about confronting etc., I was sure I would be able to better confront and accept the harsh life conditions of that country. When my planned trip reached the staff's ears, I was asked to give it up, as it surely wasn't worth a higher CoS level, they even offered to have my airplane ticket cancelled and the money turned at once on a course. I was very surprised, as I thought they would compliment me or something, while they were somehow evaluing and invalidating me and my choices, something that we were tought never to be done. I left and enjoyed my trip very much.
When I was on the Purif Rundown, I informed the stuff that the following week I would miss a couple of nights because the TV was goint to broadcast an important music festival which I loved, and I hadn't a VCR. God save us! The purif RD is much more important, what is a music event compared to it? I stayed home nevertheless.
Are these two examples of 'abilities enhancement' , 'brilliant personality' and the bla bla, when they ask me to give up my personal interests, that's what make one's life worth to be lived?
When I was on the purif, I had to share the tiny sauna with two other scienos. Everytime I voiced out my thoughts I was accused of verbal tech, out tech, out ethics, and every other subject but their wins, how beautiful it was etc. wasn't rising their interest. After awhile I got so tired of being so monothematic that I developed a sort of repulsion towards them, and I could hardly stand to share the room with them. So I decided it was time to attain the EP and it actually worked. FN. VGI. I can't say I had much benefit from the purif (I had great benefit from the so called Life Repair Rundown instead, if someone could tell me why), except for a beautiful spotless silky skin.
So, why did I go on if everything was so awful? Because the basic courses I was taking were very interesting, workable, useful and easy to learn and to be practiced. I decided not to mess up with the people and the group, just study my stuff, take the good and throw the rest. My husband was studying the Academy levels at that time, he was impressed and somehow convinced me to buy them myself. And I did. I left the CoS in late 1985, after an argument at the Org in Milan. I was sent there from my org in Verona (Cl. IV) to do some auditing I don't remember what. When I started my processing I immediately realized it wasn't the one I was there (and payed) for.
I tried to explain this to the auditor for at least 40 (payed for) min. after which I left the session. I was furious. The senior in charge agreed about the mistake and told me those 40 minutes were not to be debited, but they had to handle my anger at once, and that wasn't free, as they weren't responsible for my 'reactive mind'. I had one more 'cog', I realized I was surrounded by uncapable, untrustable and irresponsable people, who only cared of my wallet. I left the org and never went back. I had already payed down for the whole Academy, and they tried several times to have me back (last time was at Christmas 1996 - 4 months ago - before discovering ars etc.). A man called me from Milan saying they had to close the cycle. I answered MY cycle was already closed, and that was THEIR problem. I could only suggest to write me a cheque for the amount, a very easy and speed way to close it. They disagreed. I used my best T40 to say them not to call me again. If they needed to contact me they had to write (their business to find my address...). Nevertheless they kept calling for a week or so, until I told them they were harassing me and if they dared to disturb me again I would have called my lawyer. The calls stopped. Since I left CoS I moved and changed my telephone number. I never gave them the new one. I wanted to know WHERE they found it, or who gave it to them. They didn't answer. I never asked my money back for two reasons: 1) I knew the only way was sueing them, and in Italy civil litigations last for decades. 10/15 years aren't unusual. 2) I considered myself responsible for the loss, I mean I had been so stupid and I thought that loss was to be considered as a warning for the future.