Archive for the ‘Random articles’ Category

Here’s an idea!

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Random articles

I’ve been away from the internet for a few days due to my two oldest children flying into Idaho to visit with me and my awesome dad. They fly out at least once every year and we spend a couple of days eating, enjoying each other and just being a Second Dynamic. This year I had about 8 photo albums from my mother, chock full of pictures my kids had never seen. Some of them my dad hadn’t seen since the early 1950’s.

It was very nice.

So I got to thinking… many of the comments on this new blog of mine – as well as some private emails I’ve had from a few of you – have mentioned how great it is to see older pictures of Scientology folks having fun. It is nice, isn’t it? So I had this idea – why not ask the readers of this blog if they want to share? Now I understand some of you have been anonymous for so long that you’ve become embedded in that state of being when venturing out into the internet ex-Scientologist universe. You already know it’s my belief that remaining anonymous erodes the power of thousands of ex-Scn’s when it comes to forcing change in the Church of Scientology or running Miscavige to ground. So I won’t push those of you in hiding… not that I could anyway. But how about any of you who aren’t concerned about what the RTC thinks about you? Or even if you are concerned maybe you don’t give a shit. That’s my attitude.

I have set up a new email account here:

ensifer@hushmail.com

The idea is that you send me images along with a short blurb or some background about the picture… you know, what year, what Mission or Org, who is in the picture or any other pertinent data. Just give me permission to post the images here on this blog and every time I have a selection I’ll do up a blog post, add your commentary and as readership grows more and more good people out there will have the same return of  the “positive vibes” that most of us pre-RTC people experienced on a daily basis.

You know what else would be cool? Maybe some current photos of you as well. If you’re out there auditing or winning, having fun and connected somehow with other free zone, independent or off-lines Scientologists I’d bet there are plenty of folks who would feel real joy in knowing you’re alive, kicking and winning. Well, if you are winning, that is. I know many of us are now officially old… and with age comes that creeping feeling of being uglified by time. So what? Get your TR’s in and let ‘er rip! I put a pic of me up, replete with nice dark bags under my eyes and ears that seem to have grown to Spock-size over the years. You can too.

My friend Penny Krieger sent me pictures and directed me to her business web site, she wasn’t shy or concerned about how she looked (which is pretty damned good by the way for being 187 years old). Then I saw some videos with Steve Muro, John Raffanello, Trey Lotz and others… all of whom I knew, was friends with or worked with 40 years ago. It was wonderful to see them chatting and laughing and it’s not as if I expected them to look like they did when they were 25.

So let’s do this.

If you don’t see a blog article in the next week or so with pictures from other areas then you’ll know that either nobody understands computers well enough to operate a scanner, nobody had a camera or most people are still in hiding. I understand, I won’t ask for your credit card numbers. I just figured that by sharing the past that was memorable perhaps we can get some more recent Scientologists to see how things ought to be.

Let me know. I’ll be around all week.

Ensifer

Photo Update

Posted: August 9, 2010 in Random articles

I’m still waiting for my new scanner to arrive. Well… actually, I haven’t ordered it yet. But many thanks to my oldest son Marshall. He’s the one that bought me a gift card when I officially turned old in June. In the meantime I took some precious photos to the grocery store camera bar and scanned them onto a CD so I could add some imagery to the words here until I decide what scanner to buy.

I added at least one image to each post and am working up a new article about book sales in the pre-DM days versus book sales in this modern era.

Anyway, I suppose I ought to put a picture in here. How about one of my son, the guy who forked over the birthday cash!  Thanks Marshall!

And he can play it as well.

I’m not going to use this blog to shamelessly promote other internet stuff but Marshall, who did a Comm Course back in about 2001 and loved it, does own an outstanding web site. If you are a music lover, particularly edgy stuff or  just good music you won’t hear on the radio, go here:

http://www.uvumi.com

There are probably 1500 bands and artists there all who have collectively uploaded a few thousand songs and tracks.

In the meantime, I’ll be back later tonight or tomorrow with a new story

Despite my goal of using this blog to expound on the differences in Scientology before the appearance of the RTC, it occurred to me that there is one thing about the ex-Scn community online that seems, to me, to give more power and energy to the organization that is the cause of dissent in the first place. So until I get my scanner working and can wow all 12 of you with pictures of the old days, I’ll talk about that thing.

And what is that thing? It’s the concept of being anonymous.

Back in the 90’s one of the most active sites on the internet was a Usenet group titled alt.religion.scientology. I was a Usenet junkie for the primary reason that I used some of the other groups to buy, trade and sell collectibles in a market that I had some knowledge about. I stumbled on ARS – the acronym for the group – purely by accident.  I was sucked right in.  At the time the main personality on ARS was a very vocal, very arrogant and very abrasive ex-LA Org auditor named Dennis Erlich. I knew Dennis from my time in Los Angeles in the 70’s. I never felt a connection to him,  I don’t know his heart, so to speak. My description of him may be inaccurate. Probably not, but I felt the need to throw out the possibility I’m wrong just in case someone reading this thinks Dennis is the nicest guy on the planet.

On ARS almost everybody was anonymous. Erlich and a few others used their real names and while I found Erlich to be pretty much an asshole, I respected the fact that he had not one shred of fear for the RTC or it’s legions of lawyers. When I decided to begin posting I adopted a false identity as well. My mother and brother were my primary motivation for hiding behind a userid. They were still doing courses and so forth and I couldn’t think of a single reason to disrupt their life by being open about who I am. I guess it was the right decision at the time… for them. But I still always felt a bit dirty for expressing my opinions while hiding like a little girl behind the skirts of anonymous userids.

When I decided to start this blog I absolutely knew I would not hide who I am. I lost interest in ARS by 1996 or so and besides, the World Wide Web along with it’s graphical interface came along and now we don’t need those clumsy embedded threads of yore to have a coherent conversation. Plus, we have pictures now! See ->

Who, me? I got nuthin' to hide! No really!!!

So why are you anonymous? What are you afraid of? Spam? A bevy of satanic attorneys descending on you armed with subpoenas?  A team of covert operatives kidnapping you in the night and dragging you back to the dungeon in the desert? Hell, looking back at the 90’s and ARS, it was stupid of me to be anonymous then. What exactly did I imagine I was protecting my mother and brother from to begin with? Scientology? Or the RTC? Bullshit. It makes no sense if you think about it. If I’m so smart and insightful that I saw trouble, suppression and downright criminality when I first laid eyes on the RTC then doesn’t it make sense that the only real way to protect my family in Scientology was to enlighten them? To aid them in getting as far away from the criminals as possible?

Of course it makes sense, now, to not hide. Whatever imagined damage I deluded myself into thinking I might do becomes moot when people die or when you realize they have disdain for you because of a personal choice regarding spiritual enlightenment. Anonymous, when it comes to the supposed goal of stopping Miscavige, is little more than being a chickenshit and not having the conviction that underlies the words. Your opinion may differ, but that’s how I see it. Back 15 years ago I was having nothing more than a little fun posting on ARS and remaining anonymous. I wasn’t protecting anybody. When my mother passed away she had recently paid thousands of dollars to Flag and had actually been audited at AOLA in the last year or so of her life. All this despite being seriously physically ill, weighing barely 100 pounds and needing a Sea Org cadet to assist her in painstakingly walking from her crappy little room at the complex to the useless auditing sessions she had been hard sold.

I protected my mother from nothing. Certainly not from David Miscavige, the iron-grip of the Sea Org and the criminal nature of his vision for extracting tens of millions of dollars yearly from the veins of those who are convinced they’ll be trapped as thetans unless they fork over the cash. When she knew that she would never get better, many months before she died, she allowed my brother to “borrow” her advanced payments at Flag. What a sham.

Anonymous is a trick, people.

Anonymous reduces the power of those who hide. People who have things they are embarrassed about remain anonymous. People who lack conviction are anonymous. Spies are anonymous. You know, if I was Miscavige I’d be laughing at the fact that the huge presence of Independent sites and attack sites hasn’t really stopped  anything.  So, I fucked up. I ought to have worked harder to get my mother and brother to understand why I no longer wanted to have anything to do with the CofS.

I recall one lengthy conversation I had with Wally, back when the LA Times printed the OT3 information and made Xenu and body thetans public knowledge. Wally is a good little soldier and refused to “look”. I laughed at him. I asked him how many reports he’d read of spontaneous combustion happening after people read the article? Was there a plague or sudden onset of mass insanity in the streets? He refused to accept what I was trying to tell him – that perhaps the OT3 materials weren’t really harmful. That maybe, just maybe, the whole idea of secrecy wasn’t about protecting us fragile thetans from Xenu, BT’s and insanity… maybe it was secret because it was more attractive that way. The influence that a reg has in selling OT levels is greatly aided by the notion that they are so powerful and dangerous that they must remain secret.

Utter crap.

I’m a Class VIII auditor. I’ve done OT3, NOTS, some L’s and a couple thousand hours of other auditing on my “case”. There is absolutely nothing dangerous or harmful about anything on any of those levels. On the other hand, there are quite a few things which might cause embarrassment for some. Like the concept of spaceships parked in orbit dumping compressed packages of thetans into volcanoes which had just been nuked. Now that… that is something that deserves to be covered up. Otherwise you could end up like Tom Cruise,  sheepishly explaining it away or dishonestly suggesting it’s a case of what’s true for you is true for you. All on national television.

This –

Could end up making you do this –

I received a phone call yesterday evening from a friend and former co-worker of mine. She is someone I first met in 1969 in LA. Though we haven’t actually spoken to one another for probably 20 years, in my mind when I think about her  I think “friend”. She said she had read this blog and tracked my number down via a mutual acquaintance. She called to offer her condolences about my mother passing away.  So why haven’t we spoken for 20 years? I dunno… because she is still on lines and I’m not? At least I think she’s on lines. But she read the blog. She knows enough of the same people I know to understand 100% that I am not even close to being anything but a Scientologist who has a long-term disaffection with the people who run Scientology.

See? That’s what we have now. People who are in Scientology can only talk to people who are no longer in Scientology under the condition on anonymity.  Maybe not so much for my friend who called me last night, she isn’t the type to be easily ordered about regarding who she can and cannot talk to. But definitely for quite a few of the folks who post on the dozens of popular Independent sites. Seems to me this just makes Miscavige more powerful.

The flip side to this anonymous culture on the Net are the outspoken people like this guy Marty Rathbun,  or Arnie Lerma and a host of others who are perfectly fine with people knowing exactly who they are and where they stand. While I may look at folks like Rathbun with a certain level of distrust, I can’t fault the guy one bit for being open, honest and apologetic about his transgressions. I’m not going to sit in judgment on him, or any ex-SO people who, for all intents and purposes allowed and even facilitated the crimes Miscavige committed that everyone is so pissed off about. It’s not my place to forgive or determine value of another human being. So my trust is a bit thin, but it is strengthened by the fact that most of these ex-SO guys who committed these crimes and are now using the Internet to fight against their former boss are not anonymous. They are open and clear about who they are. That’s strong stuff.

Which makes me wonder… how much stronger would the effort to rid Scientology of it’s criminals be if the internet was full of people who weren’t hiding their identities? How many of you are there? A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand? Not that I’m suggesting the Independent Field ought to organize and throw the bums out. Too often that’s a case of “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss”. On the other hand, what would you anonymous souls do if Miscavige was tossed out? Would you suddenly feel that it was safe to be known? Would you flood the Orgs and start buying services? Would you finally join the Sea Org?

I don’t think so. Miscavige is a bad actor, that’s for sure. But is he also convenient? Someone want to tell me what you think is going to happen when his time is up and he blows or is jailed? I’m curious.