Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology’s International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
We were all set to jump into the sauna this week, but Claire Headley had even more to say about the crucial Scientology course we’ve been considering for several weeks now, Potential Trouble Source/Suppressive Person, or PTS/SP.
Before we move on, Claire wanted to tackle even more about the notion of being “declared an SP,” Scientology’s version of excommunication, particularly with the notion that an SP might get back in the good graces of the church through certain steps.
CLAIRE: That’s right. But first, let me cite a few statistics:
L. Ron Hubbard says that two and a half percent of the population are suppressives. And 20 percent are PTS.
I’m no statistician, but there were 1,000 people at the Int Base when I arrived there in 1991. When I escaped in 2005, that number was down to around 600 and further dramatically dwindled after I left and is currently at 200 to 300, to the best of my knowledge.
According to Hubbard’s figures, of those original 1,000 workers, 200 would be PTS, and 25 would be SPs. So how to explain the 700 who have left or escaped?
THE BUNKER: In other words, people are getting labeled these things simply because they’ve fallen out of favor with the church in one way or another, and not for the reasons Hubbard originally defined these conditions.
CLAIRE: And here’s something else to consider. Here’s the definition of “Suppressive Person” from Hubbard’s Introduction to Scientology Ethics:
Suppressive Person — a person who suppresses other people in his vicinity. A suppressive person will goof up or vilify any effort to help anybody and particularly knife with violence anything calculated to make human beings more powerful or more intelligent. The whole rationale of the suppressive person (SP) is built on the belief that if anyone got better, the SP would be for it as the others could overcome him then. He is fighting a battle he once fought and never stopped fighting. He is in an incident. Present time people are mistaken by him for past, long-gone enemies. Therefore, he never really knows what he is fighting in present time, so just fights.
So, according to Hubbard, a suppressive person is one who continues to fight a battle that is no longer taking place, a person who considers everyone out to get him. That’s the idea you have of an SP — at least that was my perspective growing up in Scientology.
And yet here’s the kicker. If you leave Scientology and are declared a suppressive person (as I was), you are told that you must “recant” and do steps “A through E” if you ever want to be “undeclared” and return to good standing as a Scientologist.
Well, I think it’s worth taking a look at what that really means:
Step A. Tells the person or group to stop committing present time overts and to cease all attacks and suppressions so he, she, or they can get a case gain.
So in other words, the only reason I left Scientology is because I’m a bad person?
I’m no longer a Scientologist, and I don’t believe in Scientology anymore. So what does that mean for me? So much for respecting people of all religions. And so much for “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself” — the oft-repeated line that sucked many a person into Scientology to begin with. At the front door, it’s all about acceptance. Clearly, that’s not the case at the back door.
B. Requires a public announcement to the effect that they realize their actions were ignorant and unfounded and stating where possible the influences or motivations which caused them to attempt to suppress or attack Scientology; gets it signed before witnesses and published broadly, particularly to persons directly influenced or formerly associated with the former offender or offenders. The letter should be calculated to expose any conspiracy to suppress Scientology or the preclear or Scientologist if such existed.
And again, we’re back to “the only reason you left Scientology is because you committed crimes and had bad intentions, and to get back into Scientology requires a full confession of said evil motivations.” Seriously?
B1. Requires that all debts owed to Scientology organizations or missions are paid off.
And here’s where it gets fun. So let’s talk specifics. If Marc or I were to ever want to talk to our parents again, these are the steps we’d be required to do. And in our case, we were given “freeloader bills” — that’s the bills for all the training and auditing we received while we were members of the Sea Organization. And the grand total added up to $150,000. You know, after working 15 years and earning $40 a week (if we were lucky), it’s hard to explain what a bill like that does to your head.
B2. May require that, subject to the approval of the International Justice Chief, an amends project suitable and commensurate with the severity and extent of the suppressive acts committed be completed before further A to E steps are undertaken…
And now you get to “make up the damage.”
This is often the step people are doing when they embark on the infamous Facebook policing of Scientologists.
This is also where they use people to spy on other ex-Scientologists. As “amends” and helping to “make up the damage.” Quotes used to delineate Scientology lingo here.
C. Requires training beginning at the lowest level of the Bridge at their expense if executives in charge of training will have the person or the group members.
And then you get to redo all your training. Of course at full price this time.
D. Makes a note of all of the above matters with copies of the statement and files in the ethics files of those concerned.
And we document everything we did on the steps above very thoroughly.
E. Informs the International Justice Chief and forwards a duplicate of the original statements which show signatures.
And of course, the final step is that everything you’ve done on the above steps has to be approved by everyone from International Justice Chief all the way up to the top dogs in the Religious Technology Center, RTC, the governing entity of Scientology.
It is very likely there will be numerous “rejects” and you will have to redo one or more of the above steps at least once if not multiple times.
If you finally make it through these steps, a goldenrod issue will be put out publicly to all Scientologists stating that you have been restored to good standing after completing steps A to E above.
But here’s my point. I find this to be extremely contradictory. A suppressive person is supposedly someone who is fighting Martians over and over (or something). The handling for which, according to Hubbard, is very specifically a “Search and Discovery” where you uncover past suppressives you’ve been connected to.
And yet steps A to E above have nothing to do with that. They are strictly and only related to two things: a. paying a boatload of money to Scientology and b. returning to Scientology. Meanwhile, the only person in Scientology a declared SP can communicate with is the International Justice Chief. In fact, it’s a “High Crime” for a Scientologist to communicate with someone who has been declared a suppressive person.
So how does that factor into Scientology’s statements that disconnection is a choice?
You got it: It’s a bunch of lies in a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to recover some semblance of public acceptance.
THE BUNKER: Claire, you continue to surprise us. Thanks very much for this look at the situation you face as an “SP.” The church has put you in such a lousy position — the only way you’ll see your parents again is through this A to E trap. And so many others are in the same situation. We hear from them all the time.
CLAIRE: I found so many factors in Scientology to be completely at odds, defying all logic.
“Middle class PTSness” was another one of those. This is a form of PTSness defined by Hubbard as:
But what may be overlooked is that persons of the middle class (which is a culture, not an income bracket, to which belong all the puritan hypocritical mores of the cop and the get-a-job-be-a-moderate-plugging-success) frown very terribly on anything that at the least bit tries to make a better world. The middle class wants the world of a job and order and even hypocrisy and cops because they are AFRAID. They hold their narrow views because any other views may disturb their twenty-year house mortgage, the store, the job. So when someone decides to make a better world, they look on him as a direct menace even though the dull middle-class world is a sort of slavery and suicide. It is the middle class that tries the hardest to keep the down-and-outer out and down, who go along with a cop America and hate support of anything not in their class. And nearly every PTS you have will be found one way or another to be PTS to the middle class. As a group, not as individuals, the middle-class parent world suppress anything different.
Growing up in Scientology, it was constantly preached to me that my desire to live a normal life meant that I was PTS to the middle class.
THE BUNKER: So, in other words, your problems in life — or especially in Scientology — were caused by your connection to, or desire to be a part of, that “middle class” that Hubbard defined as such drudges who were focused on their narrow definitions of success.
CLAIRE: You’ve got it. I wanted to live in a normal house not a commune. I wanted to spend time with my mother, not consider her a stranger. I wanted to drive a car, and I wanted to be a teacher. But all of those things meant not being part of the Sea Org and a “dedicated Scientologist.” And that was bad.
Being a Scientologist meant setting aside all desire to live well in life and give every last piece of one’s very soul to Scientology. In the Sea Org, that meant every waking moment. To a public Scientologist, it meant every last penny.
And yet when I was at the International Base in Hemet, a key focus promoted by David Miscavige was “they will know us by our MEST.” MEST being Matter, Energy, Space and Time, the Scientology word for the physical universe.
THE BUNKER: In other words, Hubbard’s notion of “Middle Class PTSness” enforced a loyalty to Scientology that spurned consumerism or material obsessions. But Miscavige was promoting the opposite — that the Sea Org’s success could be measured in how physically attractive its facilities were.
CLAIRE: Starting in 1999, Miscavige started the Ideal Org plan. The problem that needed addressing, supposedly, was that Tom Cruise could not take Steven Spielberg and other celebrities into Scientology organizations because they weren’t up to standard.
And so that program of creating new facilities began.
THE BUNKER: And now everything is about the buildings, whether they’re needed or not. Sounds like Miscavige has a pretty bad case of Middle Class PTSness.
And we feel pretty fully versed in the PTS/SP course, which we now understand is so crucial to a Scientologist’s conditioning. Next week, let’s slip into the sauna.
Scientology’s Odd Geography — Beverly Hills Now in Santa Monica!
On Saturday, we brought you some photos from Angry Gay Pope, who had noted that Scientology had lost another mission in the Los Angeles area — the Beverly Hills mission had closed its doors after limping along for the last couple of years. Previously, he noted, missions in Santa Monica and on Melrose had also closed. But he also pointed out that the church was making assurances that a new spot on the west side would soon open up.
Another of our tipsters has apparently found it — and it’s in Santa Monica, but it’s being called the Beverly Hills mission, which doesn’t make a lot of sense. (This would be a little like opening a Brooklyn mission in Queens, for you east coasters.) Here’s a photo our tipster sent us…
We’re told that this is in the same location as the old Santa Monica mission.
Well, apparently there’s some life left in the old mission network yet. Hurry on over and get your free personality test!
Posted by Tony Ortega on June 4, 2013 at 07:00
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