I thought you were dead man!

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Scientology ~ before the RTC

It’s Friday the 13th! Let’s talk for a bit about people who aren’t dead.

Not my favorite subject by the way, but oddly enough at least two people that I was told were dead apparently are very much alive. Yes, some who I wish were alive ended up not very much alive anymore. That’s another story though, for another day.

First off, hello to Steve Muro.

Steve Muro and his wife with a French accent. 1983-ish in Idaho

The last time I saw Steve he was passing through Idaho and so we had a cook-out. I seem to recall fresh salmon steaks smoked on my Weber in an aromatic cloud of moist alder wood chips. Yum.

Apologies to the lovely lady with him. That was his wife and I don’t remember her name. She did have an accent though and I think she was French-Canadian. Maybe French? Doesn’t matter, it’s all the same to me.

Along the way, as years passed and I spoke with Scientologists from time to time conversations usually migrated away from the impossible task of getting me back onto the Bridge and drifted towards people we knew. About 5 years ago someone told me Steve Muro was dead. I was saddened. Each personality in one’s life leaves a mark that is recognizable anywhere. If you haven’t noticed this about your life then you need to get your goddamn TR’s in! You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the most important thing Scientology provided us with… good friends and companions. As for Steve, when I heard he was dead the “mark” he left with everyone rang in my head – his deep, resonant, echoing laugh. Best. Laugh. Ever.

But then about a month ago, maybe less, I was looking on one the the many ex-Scn sites and came across some video clips of people who attended a cookout in LA. Lo and behold! There was one of Steve. Very much alive, thank you. I do admit he looked like he was pushing 80 though… maybe because he is pushing 80? Probably.

I guess I better apologize to Pat from the old Dallas Center also. Pat was married to Steve when I was a young lad and it’s hard for me to disassociate them in my rusty old train-wreck of a track. Pat already commented here on my blog so I’m doubly pleased to know she’s not dead either.

Another person back from the dead appeared today here on the blog. That being – Steve Surrey.

I was told quite a few years ago Surrey was also dead. Hmmm… notice a pattern here? What’s the deal with Scientologists telling ex-Scn that people they both knew were dead? Did they just not know and thought: What the fuck, if I tell him that guy is dead he won’t go looking for him. The thing about Surrey though is that he probably should be dead. I recall him being on one of Alan Walter’s airplanes that Alan couldn’t actually fly when the oxygen failed and put everyone – including the pilot – into sleep mode. Not sure if it was Surrey or Jay I-forget-his-last-name who stayed awake long enough to alert the pilot.

Either way, glad you’re still with us man.

But when people do drop their bodies (that means ‘die’ if you’re not hip to Scientology lingo) nobody bothers to tell me. So I’m cruising around here on the internet and am probably restimulating all sorts of secondaries by asking questions about the whereabouts of dead people. Here, check this photo out for an example:

Fresno Mission staff 1976 - Not the complete staff. We didn't allow the ugly ones to be in any photos, which apparently set the trend for the current regime at CofS. Miscavige is the only ugly guy allowed in promo these days and I suspect heavy Photoshopping in play.

Three of these people have moved on to the Great Beyond. Well, three I know of. My mother, as I already informed you. She’s to the left of the guy in the blue leisure suit. Then, the guy on the right departed last year. I only found out because I was thinking about heading to his dental practice in Sacramento to get some work done. Nobody bothered to tell me he had left us. That’s Jim Aubrey, for those who care.

Then there’s the guy 3rd from the far right… kind of looks like a doped-up Jesus Christ who just had a corncob rammed up his nether parts. That’s Phil Wieme. Phil later changed his name to Ian X. Lungold. If I was a Wieme I’d have done the name change as well.  He was my long time friend and partner in several ventures. He took off back in the 90’s and became a world-renowned expert on the Mayan Calendar and traveled the US and Canada to warn us all the world ends in 2012. He was even on Art Bell’s late night talk show for people who believe dumb shit. That ought to endear him to some of you 9/11 Truthers out there.

Phil/Ian passed away in Mexico in 2006. Despite his pre-Scientology history of dropping acid in excess of 500 times, he is a great spirit and I’ll always remember him for his beard and guileless acceptance of people’s basic good nature.

You know, nobody even told me Alan Walters had moved on either. That surprises me because of my long association with Alan. I suppose there is an uneasy truce between the people on the “bridge” and those of us who could give a shit about the bridge. We all know and care for many who reside in other camps and perhaps there’s a selective editing process about what we’re willing to tell our cousins in the other army.

In the coming weeks I want to talk and listen some more about how the CofS deals with people who die. It’s pretty clear that LRH’s passing was mishandled, but I’m more interested in offering my perceptions from when I was involved and getting some sort of comparison to contemporary reactions. I don’t think such things are dealt with in a respectful and compassionate manner… that’s just based on my admittedly brief interactions with staff and public over the years… so I’m willing to be proven wrong.

In the interim, enjoy your Friday the 13th… especially if you’re one of those clueless sorts who believes in crap like good and bad luck. If you’re a snide pragmatist like me then I know you’ll enjoy today because this is when we get to taunt the weak.

  1. Victoria says:

    That’s SO strange really. Yesterday I came across a picture and a birthday card from my dear friend and twin at Asho Day.

    I believe we’ve lost her too. The real shock was she went only months after I drifted away to the shadows of the blue buildings. Her husband would reveal no details at all. Of course she was on her OT levels… lost a lot of friends during that time. I still don’t know WTF. I must be lucky I was too broke to move on up that time.

    She got the levels for xmas and she was so excited:/

    I haven’t found almost anyone really from the past. Except TL and we were both tickled about that. It was so wonderful to see him alive and kicking and getting into as much trouble as ever;)

    That’s a rowdy lookin’ bunch you got there in that photo, haha.

    • ensifer says:

      Victoria ~

      It wasn’t until fairly recently that I realized connecting with people I had worked and played with made sense. I chose those guys and they chose me…so to speak. For years almost everyone on the internet was anonymous, making connection even more difficult. When I decided – with considerable pushing from Penny Krieger – to do this blog my number one choice was to be clear about who I am. No mystery. Which hopefully opens the lines for others to say hi.

      It’s nice that you and TL reconnected. From his comments here and on other sites I’ve read he seems like a good person to be in comm with. Hope you find more!


  2. Raindog says:

    Wow glad to hear Steve Surrey is alive and kicking.

    “You know I realize my life has got no guarantee.”


  3. Dave Adams says:

    You mentioned how “scientology” deals with people who die, I think Mary Sue Hubbards passing in secret is a telling event. Many Scientologists do not know she died of breast cancer in 2002 at the relatively young age of 71.

    And Rons passing, turned into a PR event, and power grab, with many questions unanswered. Marty Rathbun has been hinting lately that he has some further information about that.

    I think we swung the pendulum of the culture of scientology to far in the direction of eschewing “human” feelings, rather than using it to better cope, we tried to pretend we were immune?

    Good that you are finding people alive!

    • Just Me says:


      Well, I’m not dead yet.

      I’d love to not die. I wouldn’t mind getting by with spare parts. Getting restarted every time is a huge hassle.

      Seventy, eighty, ninety years just doesn’t seem like long enough.

      I spent the first half of my life learning stuff. And the second half unlearning it. But I’m still not nearly smart enough.

      Just Me

      • ensifer says:

        //Seventy, eighty, ninety years just doesn’t seem like long enough.//

        I’m not so sure. I’m 60 and I could use a few new parts. Another 20 years and I’ll probably be thinking “let’s start fresh”

    • ensifer says:

      Dave ~

      Believe it or not, dying wasn’t a concern when I was involved. It was rare. Mostly the people were my age, slightly younger or slightly older. I left the CofS when I was 32 and among the total number of Scientologists dying was pretty rare.

      Not so much now. And I’m not seeing the CofS dealing with it well.

  4. Kingair350 says:

    “Each personality in one’s life leaves a mark that is recognizable anywhere. If you haven’t noticed this about your life then you need to get your goddamn TR’s in! You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the most important thing Scientology provided us with… good friends and companions.”

    The above resonated in my heart like 100 Shinto temple bells. Strip away everything else and that’s what’s left. And that’s all that matters. God, I am so glad that someone said that. David, you totally Grock!!!

    The cutain came down on friendships the morning I was having breakfast by myself in the Sandcastle, just observing 2 old timers wistfully reminiscing, the glow between them warm as a campfire. Suddenly this creature materializes beside their table in the form of a 14 year Isreali
    sabra. “Stop talking – you’re wanted in the HGC – now!”

    The above incident played out several other times in minor variations while I was there. That ended my life, my real life with the CofS. Hell, DM could have walked up and head butted me on the nose with less effect than what I witnessed.

    Yes, it truly was about friendships and I owe Scientology for that.

    Dave, you need to rename your blog The ARC Straightwire Site. It’s good stuff for us ol’ fuckers who ain’t dead…yet.

    • ensifer says:

      Kingair ~

      I saw bits and pieces of that at Flag. My attitude was pretty much one of not responding to BS. The kids who were the runners and messengers weren’t to blame… as we know… they were pretty much a product of their environment.

      Last time I was at Flag was 1981 and it was still somewhat relaxing.

      Thanks for the kind words… and for coming back for more.


  5. Just thought I would jump in here. Hey, Steve, remember when Tina Shaperio asked you to audit me when you were on the BC? I also heard from someone about 6 years ago, that you had moved onto your next life. Well done on being ALIVE! Tina and Jack both left SCN, many years ago. Good to know, you are well and thank your for the free student auditing, back in the day!

    David’s blog is very cool. He know’s how to communicate, for sure and I’m thrilled he has created this spot.
    There are many people from the past that I would like to know about or hear that they are OK. Anyone out there with the initials, JF? Would love to say hi.

    Victoria and TL. I have seen your posts and enjoyed. Warmest ARC to you both. TL, we are on the same page on 911. Spend a year reading about that and wow…talk about TA. Lost in the abyss.

  6. Tara says:

    Nice post. We do come back in various and sometimes sundry ways. mwahahaha What’s odd is to come back and see people you used to know who don’t know you anymore. ARC is ultimate and I appreciate you appreciating people. They could be me.

  7. Pat Buie says:

    David, I have been in contact with Steve, lately. He is hear in omaha and took me to lunch the other day. We had a nice visit. He said he would like to get in touch with you. His e-mail is stevenmuro#gmail.com. Why don’t you surprise him. Love, Pat

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