How I got into Scientology, and how I was lied to for the 8 years
in which I was a member of the Sea Org.
I have been involved with many churches in my lifetime.
When I was young I was blessed in the Central Christian Church. My father
and mother were active members there. They were married in that church. My
paternal grandparents were also members there and were quite active, having
established a ministerial scholarship. My father sang in the choir there until
his untimely death at the young age of 22.
After my father's death, my mother eventually remarried a man in the
US Air Force, and we moved to New England. There I was raised in the
Congregational Church in a small town with a population of about 2000 people.
I was active in the church, singing in the choir. I also belonged to the
youth group called the Christian Youth Fellowship. I also attended Sunday
In the 60s I went to live with my grandfather for a couple of years. During
that time I attended the Methodist Church, again actively participating in
In 1967 I was to move again, this time back to the town where I had been
born. As a teenager I began to explore other religious beliefs, starting
with Unitarianism. Then the Tao. Then Buddhism.
While there was much truth and wisdom to be gained from my association
with, and study of all religious beliefs, I remained a Christian in practice.
It was during the late 60s that I had my first contact with Scientology. I
believed wrongly that a person could continue to be a Christian and to
practice Scientology. After all, I had never been lied to before by any
organization calling itself a church. So when the registrar at the Class IV
Org told me I could continue to worship as a Christian and be a Scientologist
I took him at his word. I was told that there was no conflict between
Scientology and Christianity -- that the two beliefs were compatible. In fact
I was told that a person could be *both* a Scientologist and a Christian
at the same time, since Scientology was an "applied religious philosophy"
and the study of "knowing how to know" things, whether it was our relation
with the Creator, our origins, our destination after physical death, etc.
In other words, Scientology held itself out (through the Executive
Director, the Public Officer, the Course Supervisor, the Registrar and
others whom I had contact with) to be 100% compatible with *any* religion.
Well, it has been 30 years now since I first began my study of Scientology.
I will admit that I was very skeptical at first, and that during the first
6 years after the time I first heard about Scientology, I was not very
actively or seriously studying the subject.
In 1973 I signed a staff contract at the local Class IV Org. I worked
evenings and weekends as a Foundation (nighttime and weekends) staff
member. I had a day job that I was not going to give up since I was worried
about how much my pay would be as a staff member of Scientology. My worries
turned out to be well-founded.
I will never forget how astonished and disbelieving I was when payday
came after my first week as a staff member. I had worked approximately 48
hours my first week. My pay was $7.00... Granted, I was a newbie with much
to learn; but then I was earning about $120 - $150 per week managing a
restaurant for my day job which I put in an average of 40 - 50 hrs/wk.
At only $3.00 per hour, my day job wasn't making me rich either, but at
least I was able to work my schedule around my classes at the University,
and food was available to me at what it cost the restaurant owner. So I
In 1975 I joined the Sea Organization of the "Church" of Scientology.
That turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life.
I didn't realize it at the time of signing my contract, but the Sea Org
Recruiter (Steve Grant) from ASHO Day had lied to me about every aspect
of the Sea Organization's living conditions.
1) He lied about the facilities for child care (at that time referred to as
the Cadet Org). I was told that there was a day care facility to look after
my child, and that upon my arrival in ASHO, my child would be placed in this
day care center while I worked. Upon my arrival to the Sea Org in LA, I
discovered that the Cadet Org (on Melrose Avenue at that time) was absolutely
filthy. It was understaffed. Many babies (infants and toddlers) wandered
around in the lobby, apparently under the care of the *receptionist*!! I
was disgusted. This "day care" facility was obviously in violation of health
codes. What I saw was utter neglect, filth and stench. Several babies were
crawling on the tiled floor. They were filthy and in need of having their
diapers changed. And at the time that I walked into the building and into the
lobby, there was *no one* even there to keep their eyes on the children.
2) He lied about pay and bonuses that I would receive, saying that base
pay was not all we received, but that we would get bonuses for good production.
Bonuses were all but non-existent. Oh I do recall getting a $2.50 "bonus" once!
What the recruiter (and everyone else) failed to tell me was that there would
be *many* weeks that we would receive NO pay.
3) He lied to me about the food we would be served, and he even stated that
every "mess" had its own "Steward" to serve us. The food was actually very
bland and boring most of the time. We had no posted "Steward" for our mess.
In reality the "Stewards" were the members of the "mess" we were assigned to.
We all held the job of "Steward" on a rotational basis, for one week at a time.
4) He lied about time off from post. I had been told I would be given time
to pursue my interests in music, that I would be given weekends off, and that
nighttimes were my own time when I wasn't on course. In reality, staff
never got more than one day per week off. Usually it was half of a Saturday,
every other week. When we were not on post we were ordered onto study or
auditing ("enhancement time").
5) He lied about how much time I would be allowed to spend with my child.
During the first two years in the Sea Org, I wasn't even allowed to live
with my kid. Since his mother wasn't allowed to join the Sea Org, my child
was not allowed to be in the Cadet Org. (My wife wasn't on staff since
*after* signing a Sea Org contract and driving 1400 miles to LA, she was told
she had a "psych history".
6) He lied about berthing conditions. Since my wife was not allowed in the
Sea Org, I had to live in a dorm at the 7th floor of the Hollywood Inn (at
6724 Hollywood Blvd) with 8 other guys crammed in one room with only one
bathroom facility that we all shared. We all slept in bunk beds stacked 3-high.
My wife and son lived miles away on N. Robinson Ave. in a house that they
shared with Ray Peck (ASHO Fdn staff) and Ruthie Weissberg and her son David.
(Ruthie was ASHO Day staff.)
The room I lived in was small and smelly. It was basically a place to
sleep. I kind of felt like I had a slot on a shelf to park my weary bones
before reporting back to duty a few hours later.
There is so much more that I could say, but the point I wanted to make
is that the only church that ever lied to me was the "church" of Scientology.
And that I was lied to over and over and over again through the almost 8
years I was a Sea Org member. This post only deals with a few of the initial
lies I was told in order to dupe me into signing a Sea Org contract.
Warrior - Sunshine disinfects