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Author Topic: The Fixer posts his story on ESMB  (Read 3447 times)
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« on: February 26, 2011, 08:24:10 PM »

Thanks for posting this The fixer. Hope you share more of your experiences.
I know all of the people you mention. Actually I`m one of them.

                  Not a big story, but it's mine

Hi to all.

I'll start off by saying that my experience with staff was only short as it goes and most of the people I worked with seemed to be quite decent towards me.

My story starts about 1976 with a mate of mine, Eddie Hamilton. We lived at Mangere, a suburb of Auckland.

I'll leave out the part(s) that, I think, made me vulnerable to being a cult prime candidate for now. I'll get to all that at a later stage.

We were at work one day stoned on pot as usual, staring at a line of ants and philosophising about what it would be like to be an ant - typical of the usual mindless drivel stoners go on about (funny how those things stick in your memory), when Eddie asked me if I had read Dianetics. I was 19 - 20 then. We had been asking all sorts of questions about life and philosophy and I was ready to seriously think about giving up the weed and whatever else as I was really beginning to notice how steeply my downward spiral of life was descending.

I was on the edge of trying out heroin, but the idea spooked me and made me think about a few things. I started to consider survival. I made the decision to quit and went cold turkey. Took about 3 months to reach the point to be able to move forward from drugs and stopped considering myself to be their prisoner. Then I started to read Dianetics and began to get interested in the whole concept.

Eddie invited me one later day to come with him to Auckland Org - at night, so it was Foundation, I guess. It all seemed innocent and friendly enough and the people were welcoming. I met the Div 6 front girl, Karyn Rodgers. I liked her, she was so warm and friendly (we eventually became very good friends) and vivacious, like she was so full of confidence and life.

It wasn't long before we signed up for the communications course, which at the time was a lot of fun. I never took too much overly seriously and I sensed the Sup, Bob Howie, was getting a little watchful of me and kept putting me back on track. Eddie was much more focused and serious about it all. A couple of old friends (Lance Hoskins and Jimmy Chung) popped up during the course and started just after me. Eventually, I completed the course and began to think of what to do next. Like I said it was fun and became even more so with the arrival of those two, as they were a great comedy team.

Jimmy checked out of scio after that I think and Lance went on to SO for quite some time and got out some years ago.

My folks were a bit concerned about me getting involved with this lot. Dad gave me a manilla folder full of clippings and info about "zap". From memory, I think this was a Christchurch based splinter group based upon Scientology which seemed to have some disturbing attitudes. One that stuck in my mind was a guy in the group they interviewed who said that he would rather kick someone in the gutter than help him.

Feeling a bit concerned myself, I handed this dossier to Bob (the course sup) and asked him if he knew anything about this lot. He took it away (I assume to HCO or the GO) and that was all that was said about it. Naturally, I never saw it again. Looking back, if I had been much further into the system, I assume the reaction from the church would have been very different in a negative sense.

What most of us old hands would know is this was before the says of computers and internet. There was very little knowledge passing around about the cult. I had never heard of it until Eddie told me. So I had never heard of the negative press about it. I wasn't into reading the newspapers then, which was basically the only source of current information. The radio and TV with current affairs shows didn't have anything to say that I could recall. All I knew was to beware of the Hare Krishnas, the moonies, the Orange people (if my timeframe is right) and the punk rockers!

After I passed that course I signed up for the HQS. This was a different ballgame set in a courseroom where the attitude was much more serious and focused.
I started to think "F**k, I'm back in a classroom again, complete with a teacher". But the teacher doesn't teach. He just watches. All I had to do was to read the handouts, listen to some tapes and do the occasional clay demo. I am partially deaf (since I was 3) and the quickest way to lose me is to get the teacher to drone on. This was a far better environment for me to learn in. I moved at my own pace and absorbed the handouts. If only high school was like this, my grades would have been off the scale!

Ron's tapes were a bit of a challenge though. He could be quite coherent, but every now and again he'd mumble out some meaningless drivel which I couldn't quite hear or interpret. This meant hours trying to understand what the f**k he just said, trying to get help from the sup who refused to tell me what was said because it would have been verbal tech. After I finally managed to figure it, it was usually just drivel which had little or no meaning to the lecture at hand.

All that time wasted on total bullshit that could have been avoided by someone just telling me what that word or phrase was he said. Or by staying on track and not saying anything that didn't matter.

It does seem to be taking me a while to write all this and I guess I need to keep popping back occasionally to fill in other things that were happening as well. Hope I'm not boring you all here.

The fixer.
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 08:36:59 PM »

                     Just to update you on the people you mention from those days.

Eddie Hamilton..... Still a scio along with his wife Vivian. Neither have been seen at a scio event for years. Neither have their kids.

Bob Howie.......  He and his wife Erika are out. None of their kids got involved.
They now follow Buddha.

Karyn Rogers ( Borland, Smitts.) Out. Severely shell shocked from her experiences
in the cult and the devastating  effect the cult had on her family.
Two of her sons, Daniel and Nicholas, were recruited into the S.O. for a while.
Both blew. As far as I know all of Karyn`s siblings are all out as well.

Lance Hoskins. He escaped from Scientology in 2000 after going on line and reading all the horror stories posted by people he knew. He has been on TV
and radio warning others not to get involved in the cult.

Jimmy Chung died of cancer in November 1986.

Linda Blinko got out of Scio around 1982.
She lives and works on Auckland`s North Shore.

Give me a name... I`ll give you an update.
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2011, 06:57:58 AM »

This is great reading The Fixer.  Hope you Post more.  :0)
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 01:26:55 PM »

   copy paste from ESMB

I'll try and squeeze a bit more in before the missus gets jealous of this

Anyways, before we finished the comms course, Eddie and I would end up at my place getting a cup of tea and discussing org management. God we were full of bull and shit like any other 20 year old male (some things never change, do they?).

If my memory serves me correctly Vicky Dickey was the ED then and in our infinite wisdom we thought we could do a better job. Hahahaha...... if only we knew. Turns out that poor old Vicky was having some serious trouble of her own and being new to the cult we had no idea. What we did know that her kid she dragged in sometimes was a totally undisciplined little shit. At the time we thought it was good scientology child rearing. But something didn't sit right.

Eventually Vicky was deposed and eventually Gwen Keon took over the post. This was about the time that I left the cult. I sort of knew Gwen from high school and I sort of liked her. She didn't know I existed, I think. I have recently been in communication with her and discovered that she doesn't live very far away from me even though we both moved to anther country. She no longer wants any involvement with the cult. She is also an OK person.


Whilst doing the HQS course I approached the staff leadership- I think it was Julie Lowry who was in charge of the HCO (foundation) and asked if they wanted staff. I was fired up about the church by then and really wanted to get involved. Not only that, it was also because everyone I liked was on staff (except Eddie Hamilton) and this was a way to get the time to be in contact, etc.

This is the first organised (hah!) mob that just accepted me that weren't druggies or bikies or some outlaw fringe group.They seemed to accept who I was not who I should be. Or so I thought at the time.

Auckland Foundation, although it was a dedicated group, they were pretty laid back at times and there were some right nice people there at the time.

Anyway Julie got back to me and asked if I wanted to be the director of Div 2. Director? Man that puffed up my chest feathers... only 21 and now a director. I felt sooo important. Didn't matter that I was the only one in that Division, the title was what counted. Obviously, I had a bit of an ego. So now I could attend the directors' meetings and help to initiate action and progress.

There was also a bit of a twist in this. My immediate supervisor was also my subordinate, the registrar. This was one Doug Casement. For the record we got along OK and I did look up to him as he did give me guidance and not a lot of crap. To be honest, the attitude I had, I deserved some of the crap I did get. He was also experienced in management levels, being the advertising manager for NZ yachting and boating magazine as his day job. Hope I got the mag title right.

I remember some drunk dudes one night arrived on our floor in the elevator and started getting noisy like typical drunks. Doug just stepped in and put them back in without a word and sent them back to the ground floor, totally in control. There was no shouting or yelling, just quiet effective action. I was impressed.

The gloss of the fancy title soon wore off. My main job was letter writing. It was also one of my stats. Julie was great though - man I had a crush on her. She was a real woman with character and strength. I thought she was quite pretty too. But she was also married and therefore, off limits. She was mum to everyone there and she had many others helping me with the letter writing. For the most part, letters were all hand written, as I didn't have any typing speed. Couldn't do a form letter as we only had a mimeograph for copy printing. Too obvious.

My other hat was producing the "Foundation" magazine. Every month I had to get 750 copies of this magazine printed and out to the world. This was also another stat.

For those of you who know nothing about producing a magazine, it involves formulating:
1) 16 pages (minimum) of ideas
2) making up a 'shooting board'. This is the basic magazine using cuts pasted to a paper board and 'Letraset' writing. Ever tried to write a paragraph with Letraset? That's a career in itself. Then everything was submitted to my supervisor and the GO for aprroval to print. Sometimes my sense of humour in the mag was met with a stink eye and an instruction to change it...
3) going to the plate maker and get the shooting boards turned into film printing plates. Each colour has its own shooting board and printing plate.
4)Organizing inks and paper. Each mag used 3700 paper sheets. Beause the printing process was so temperamental, each print run used a minimum of 4000 sheets.
5) printing. For those interested, we had a Multilith 1250 offset printing press. Since I had zero experience as a printer, poor old Wally, the day printer, had to teach me the printing process. All Wally had to do was print the day mag, others did the rest. I was very good at leaving black handprints all over the walls, lol. Jeez that ink got everywhere......I wasn't in Wally's fan club after I left, as he had to clean it all up.
6) Collating, folding and mail wrapping and then sending them out. An old guy called Bill used to work the addressograph which stamped envelopes or magazine mailing wrappers with names and addresses. The machine was next to my desk and Bill & used to chat a bit. He was an OK guy.

I used to get help from the others with part (6). The rest was totally up to me.

Printing could be a real bitch. The machine was quite temperamental and took a lot of sweat to set it up. the paper and print drum had to be perfectly aligned or it all looked like crap. This was all manually set by trial and error. Set then print once. Easier said than done. It was critical timing to stop things. Correct settings. Print again. it could take several attempts to get it right. If it was multi-colour, each page had to be re-run for the next colour. This was after half an hour of cleaning all the black ink out and setting up the next colour. Wally would drop his wad (please excuse the printer's talk here) if I left the machine dirty afterwards.

Then the bloody machine would feed half a dozen sheets of paper into it at once and jam up. Then the other 500 sheets would continue to feed in behind it. This would create a huge mess. I usually only just had enough paper to use with very little allowance. I think the greenies would be appalled to hear how many trees got wasted. But looking back, I guess the whole mag was wasted trees, really.

All part of the fun. But I usually had a time issue because the paper didn't come until 2 days before the mag was due or we ran out of ink, usually because the funds didn't come through soon enough. But I guess that's all a typical org story.

Despite the pressure there, I actually enjoyed doing the mag. It was a sharp learning curve, but I found it very rewarding. I also quickly discovered that the org desn't have much of a sense of humour and I'd better behave. I love doing hands on stuff. It is my forte.

Oops, busted by the missus! I'll have to sign off for now. Till later guys....
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 01:28:29 PM »

I must admit I'm a little overwhelmed by everyone's friendly responses. Thank you all. And thanks for your support.

Thought I'd try and squeeze a little more in before my flight.

Every week all the Div heads would meet in the HCO and discuss the stats and submit our battle (action) plans for the week ahead. Julie Lowry would chair the meetings.

Normally these were serious meetings and at times, I was a little out of my depth due to inexperience with age and life. But to their credit, most of the other guys (particularly Karyn) were supportive and offered the benefit of their experiences. From the other stories I have read, we were really a great bunch of people and made a good team.

One meeting sticks in my memory. We had all just been going throught the usual yada yada during a particularly serious meeting when it all went silent and everyone stared off into space for a spell. I think I was the first to come back to present time. Then Julie came back to life, blinked a couple of times and quipped:

"Meanwhile back at the ranch, Tonto disguised as a door, got his knob shot off...."

Well, that was it. The whole meeting went into uproar and . We must have roared for a good 5 minutes. And kept getting giggling fits for ages after that. Julie effectively de stressed the whole scene then with a masterful stroke without even trying. We had a better week then.

It just goes to show that it takes the right kind of personality to get results out of people. Aggressive dickheads may achieve results, but usually just over the line and no more. I have often found that encouraging and supportive leadership achieve far better results than aggressive fools. The latter type usually end up having to sweat more for it as they have to do more themselves to the detriment of their own stats, which ends up making them worse.

The last paragraph was intended as a bit of a dig at current SO staffers.

But I ramble here.

All this activity for an average $5-7 a week.

I partly joined staff because I was informed that staff could get free? (memory?) auditing. I really had no money to pay for much at all. Money and I had a certain relationship. Donovan put it into words with his song "Catch the Wind". For those who don't know it, the chorus line is "Ah but I may as well try and catch the wind". So it was the cheap or free way, or not at all.

All the time and effort there, I got less than 1 hour's auditing. I forget exactly what type of session it was.

Not long after I joined staff, Eddie signed up for SO. Eddie had been becoming increasingly more distant and we didn't see much of each other or hang out anymore, so I thought I'd follow my mate's example and decided to do the same. There was a SO delegation there at the time and I went up to a guy Albert (can't remember his last name) and asked him to signed me up.

After I did that, and walked out, I thought - "F**k me, I hope I've done the right thing here..."

I was keen and motivated to be part of the whole scene. But something was nagging at me. It was great to find a group that accepted me, but it was only a few of them and not on a path of personal destruction (or so I thought). But something wasn't right.

What I have since come to realise was that I joined the group to be with friends. I had very few friends left after being through the drug scene and even fewer once I joined the cult. But I found a new bunch to be with. This was my new drug. I joined the hype with them. In the end I was simply going through the motions in order just to belong with everyone I wanted to be with.

I still just did not have the courage to be me for myself. This was me again on another runaway train looking for a place to derail and crash.

Have to get ready to leave now, more later.

Self reminder: Ed's mates.

The fixer.

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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2011, 09:48:16 AM »

Thanks Ned, will do so soon.....
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