By Jeff Hawkins
Chapter One: Going Home
I woke up in the dark, the grim reality of my life seeping into my consciousness like a poison. Around me, I could sense the forms huddled on rough-hewn makeshift bunk beds, softly breathing. I could feel the mass of them around me, vaguely see their clothes and towels hanging from the bunks, smell the unwashed bodies.
I couldn’t sit up, as I would hit my head on the bunk close above me, so I slid silently out of bed. The others had their own work schedule, getting up an hour after I did and returning after I was asleep. That was fine with me - I had developed a taste for solitude.
There were six of us sleeping in the tiny room. No closets, just one chair, a desk, and a broken down dresser. I found my jeans and a clean T-shirt where I had left them, neatly folded on top of the dresser, ready for morning. I pulled on thick socks and my big workboots, and found my heavy hooded coat under the bunk bed, where I’d stashed it. I shook it out to dislodge any spiders – what we lacked in storage space we seemed to make up for in insects. I dressed quietly in the dark and went out into the hall and down the creaking staircase. The old house was dark and quiet, except for the squish of my steps as I went down the stairs, still damp from last night’s rainfall. The stairs were cluttered with every bucket and pan I had been able to find, each now full of water, with the ceiling still sporadically dripping.
It was March in the high desert, and the nights were still bitterly cold. Outside, a feeble light was starting to break through the cloud cover. I could see the black tangled silhouettes of trees against the grey dawn, and the long, matted dry grass that surrounded the house. Somewhere, I could hear a few birds starting to wake up.
The house was called Old Gilman House, or “OGH” – a big two-story ramshackle house built in the 1920’s. Decrepit beyond repair, it now served as a detention center for those of us beyond redemption, the “non-persons” slated for “offload” from the Church of Scientology’s Sea Organization. The three or four acre compound surrounding the house was completely surrounded by a razor wire fence, with lights and motion sensors every few feet. Aside from the five buildings on the property, there were several storage trailers. Security cameras and round-the clock guards kept an eye on us to make sure we didn’t try to escape.
The OGH compound was at the northeastern corner of a 200-acre property in San Jacinto, California, known to the locals as “Golden Era Productions,” but known by its staff as the “Int Base” – the international headquarters of the Church of Scientology, where I had worked for the past fifteen years. And now it was my prison.
Karsten, the night Security Guard, was on the porch. He gave me a nod as I came out. A hawk-faced German with short, close-cropped blond hair, Karsten kept watch during the night and handed out the work orders in the morning.
“I found these in your room yesterday,” he said, reaching into a box and producing two magazines, a Newsweek and an Entertainment Weekly, several months old. “Why do you read such trash” he asked me, in his thick German accent. “So you can masturbate to the pictures?” He indicated the photograph of a pretty actress on the cover.
“I like to know what’s going on in the world,” I replied. The outside world I’ll soon be a part of.
“I don’t need to know what’s going on,” he replied. “All I need to know is that it’s bad out there in the wog world and Scientology has the solutions. That’s what L. Ron Hubbard says and that’s all I need to know. People laugh at me because I don’t know who the President of the United States is,” he added. “I don’t need to know that.” He threw the magazines back in the box. “You don’t need this garbage.”
Karsten was in many ways the “ideal” Sea Org worker. He lived in a small room on the OGH compound with a single cot and no visible possessions. He wore the same faded brown Security uniform every day, which he would carefully wash in a broken-down washing machine in a back room of the Gilman House. Every time the machine went on its spin cycle it would shake the old building like a passing freight train. Karsten wasn’t married and seemingly had no interest in women. The only thing I ever saw him read was a folded piece of paper he carried in his pocket with the Scientology Axioms printed on it, which he would pore over for hours, his lips moving slightly as he struggled to memorize them.
Karsten gave me the work order for the day, clearing brush around the perimeter fence, and I left the porch. Around the Old Gilman House were a group of run-down, one-story buildings that served as staff housing. Most of the Base staff lived in Hemet, at an apartment complex rented by the Church. But some senior staff were not allowed to live in town so were required to live on the Base in these houses. Behind one of these was a lean-to shack, crammed with staff luggage and belongings, and, in the back, an old refrigerator, where I found some granola and yogurt, which I ate out of a Styrofoam cup. I washed out the cup and put it back on top of the refrigerator for future use.
Picking up a shovel and rake from the tool shed, I headed for the perimeter fence. I liked to be out and working well before any of the “regular staff” got up. I was, after all, a criminal, an “untouchable.” Weeks ago, early in my incarceration, I had made the mistake of taking a shower in the morning in one of the staff houses, the only house with a shower or bath, and, coming out, ran into a woman who then screamed at me and ordered me to clean the bathroom from top to bottom with alcohol before she would deign to use it. “You are filth!” she screamed in my face.
The encounter left me stinging with shame and humiliation. In the eyes of the other staff I was a degraded criminal. Hubbard said that people only want to leave the Sea Organization because they have crimes, so it was important to prove me a criminal and prove Hubbard right. In my daily Security Checks, I would sit for hours, holding on to the “cans” of the e-meter, while an auditor asked me over and over about what crimes I had, what were my evil acts. It went on and on. I just wanted it to be over, so I confessed to anything – treasonous thoughts, hidden vices, secret hatreds. And all of it was then announced publicly at staff “musters” – more and more proof of my criminality and my unworthiness to be a part of the “elite” Sea Organization.
Once, I would have burned with righteous anger. I would have challenged every accusation, demanded to be heard, demanded justice. But no more. I was done, finished. I felt hollow, emptied out. I had reached the end of the line. After 35 years working for the Church of Scientology, I had become an untouchable, a non-person, a Suppressive Person scheduled for “offload.” You are filth.
So I avoided other staff; lived in my own world, a sort of hurricane’s eye, my calm refuge in the midst of the chaos around me. Now I showered at dinnertime, when no one was around. Mornings, it was straight to work. There, clearing brush, clearing away dead trees, carting away rubbish, I could just be alone, and think.
It wasn’t being kicked out of Scientology into the outside world that frightened me, even though I had no idea where I would go, or what I would do. My greatest fear, my greatest nightmare, was being suddenly called back to duty. It had happened three times before. I had been banished, “offloaded” to a distant work camp, never to return, only to be mysteriously and inexplicably brought back, seemingly because they could not find anyone else to do the work I was skilled at. Three times. Back from exile to the hell of life at the Int Base – the sleepless nights, the threats, the intimidation, the bullying, the beatings, the degradation. The stuff of nightmares.
No more. I wasn’t going back. Not ever.
Late one night, about three in the morning, I had been rousted out of my narrow bunk bed by one of the Security Guards, Matt, who was acting as my “handler.” He took me to a room in the old house for an interview. It was lit by a bare bulb and reeking of mildewed carpet from the leaks in the roof. There were no chairs, so we stood.
“So, how are you doing?” he asked me, in a casual tone that belied his true intent. “Have you made any progress on your Conditions?” The “Conditions” were Hubbard’s coded, rote formulas for dealing with situations in life. During the evenings, I was supposed to be “working on my conditions,” applying the formulas for “Treason” and “Enemy” so I could work back into the group’s good graces. I knew he hadn’t woken me up in the middle of the night to make small talk. I’d been through this before – the inquiries about one’s “progress” meant only one thing – he had been sent by some executive to find out if I was “ready to go back on post.” I think he expected me to be remorseful, chastened, propitiative, ready to go back and serve the cause again.
“I’m not doing any conditions,” I replied.
I might as well have slapped him. He was silent for a moment, absorbing my treasonous statement. “If I was you,” he warned me, “I’d be begging on my knees to be sent to the RPF.”
I’d never been sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force, but I’d worked with them daily during one of my forced exiles from the Base. It was a group of probably 150 to 200 people, all working in the lower reaches of the “Big Blue Building” in Los Angeles, and all dressed in identical grey T-shirts and black jeans. Out of sight of the public Scientologists, they lived and worked in the basement corridors, sleeping in squalid dormitories, packed 20 or 30 to a room. They worked in the wood shop every day, making furniture for the “orgs” – the Scientology Organizations. They received a few dollars a week pocket money, if that, and were not allowed to speak to anyone outside the group. No phone calls, no radios, no magazines, no internet, no contact with the outside world. They never left the building. Some of them, like my friend Caroline, had been there for three years or more. It was a virtual slave colony.
“I’m not going to the RPF,” I told Matt “And I’m not going back on post.”
“Then you’ll be offloaded out of the Sea Organization,” he told me. “Out of Scientology. You’ll be declared Suppressive.”
“Fine,” I told him. “Then do it.”
Now, as I methodically cleared the brush around the perimeter fence, I had plenty of time to think about the future. The brush was thick, and I tore it out by the handfuls, piling it up and carting it off to a compost pile. It was important to clear a wide swath next to the fence so the Security Guards on motorcycles – the “Rovers” – would have good visibility and could race along the perimeter to intercept any breach in the fence – in or out. I had to be careful not to set off the motion sensors. Once I had inadvertently touched the fence with a tree branch and soon heard the roar of a motorcycle as the “Rover” came to see what was up.
The mindless work was my sanctuary. I relished my solitary hours. After months of sleepless nights and constant abuse, to just be alone in nature, with no one else around, was calming. I became interested in every detail of my little world. Once, after I’d taken down a small tree that was too near the security fence, I was looking at the cross-section of the trunk and saw that the pattern of rings was beautiful. I took my saw and sliced off a thin section of the trunk and kept it. I still have it to this day.
One day I was weeding one of the garden patches and discovered a nest of baby rabbits. They were so amazing, so small. That night in the dormitory I violated my rule of silence and mentioned the baby rabbits I’d seen. One of my fellow inmates, Darius, became incensed.
“Here we are about to be offloaded from the Sea Organization,” he wailed, “and all you can talk about is baby rabbits?” Darius was desperate not to be offloaded – his father, Greg Wilhere – was a top exec. He spent his evenings writing petitions to be allowed to stay. But I was in a different place. In my mind I was already gone. And other things were important to me now – the cross-section patterns in a tree, a nest of baby rabbits, the wheel of the stars at night, the way the sun bathes the hills in warm light in the morning.
A line from the Janis Joplin Song, “Me and Bobby McGee,” kept going through my mind. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. It was true. I had nothing left to lose. They had taken it all. So there was nothing more they could threaten me with, hold over my head. They no longer had any power over me, and, in an odd way, I was free of them at last.
I looked out across the valley. The OGH compound was on a slight rise, at the bottom of the foothills that rise north of the Base. I could see all the way to the highway that wound down out of Lamb’s Canyon. In the dawn light I could see headlights, and I thought about being out there, driving up that road, going anywhere, anywhere but here. A thought formed in my mind: I want to go home.
But where was home? I had worked for the Church of Scientology for 35 years, since 1968. I had been all over the world – Edinburgh, Copenhagen, North Africa, the Caribbean, Florida. My mother, who lived in Santa Barbara, had passed away in 1999. I had lost contact with my daughter and didn’t know where she was. My brother was my only living relative. And I wouldn’t be able to talk to him, as he was still in Scientology, a “public Scientologist” receiving Scientology services. According to Scientology’s disconnection policy, as a “Suppressive Person,” I was forbidden to talk to him.
And my wife Cathy? She was lost to me forever. She would remain in the Sea Org. She had stood by me through three previous offloads from the Base, believed in me despite constant pressure to leave me. But this time it was too much. I was being offloaded from Scientology, a Suppressive Person. She gave in to the pressure finally and filed for divorce. Or so I was told. One day the Security Guards showed up with the divorce papers, and made me sign them. Maybe she’s been coerced to sign as well. But what else could she do? The last night we spent together, before I was sent out to the OGH compound, we had held hands in the darkness, knowing what was coming, looking at the emptiness ahead, the loneliness. I hadn’t spoken to her since.
I chopped away at the weeds, blinking back tears.
I want to go home.
To view the rest of this book, log onto www.counterfeitdreams.com
TRANSCRIPT: VIDEO 1
Carmel: So, can you give us a brief history? Of what you experienced in Scientology?
Aaron: What happened is uh – I’m 35, I was born in 1974 – and my parents were in Scientology. So I actually did a couple of courses, but really wasn’t involved with Scientology all that much until I was 15. And, when I turned 15, I actually joined on staff, and became a member of the Sea Organisation, just after my 15th birthday.
Aaron: And I stayed there until I was 21, so I did 6 years for them, and then after that I was involved in Scientology again for another year and a half before I finally left them for good. And I haven’t been involved since then.
Carmel: So you were in the Sea Org from when you were 15 until you were 22 or something.
Aaron: That’s correct, yes.
Carmel: So how did that affect you as a young man? I mean, you missed out those, some of those prime years there.
Aaron: It was hard, because I didn’t know what I was missing until afterwards. I, how I dealt with life in there was difficult, because.. I mean as a young man I was trying to, trying to grow, I was trying to go out and find different likes and dislikes. And all of that was crushed, because the only liking you could have was for the purpose of the Sea Org; the only liking you could have was for the music produced by Golden Era Productions, the only books you could read were from L Ron Hubbard, you know, you couldn’t go off and read this or that, you couldn’t listen to radio, you couldn’t read the newspapers, you couldn’t buy magazines, you know, you couldn’t even watch TV.
Aaron: So your whole life was that, and you know as a young man I wanted to, you know, I was growing, you know? I was going through puberty!
Aaron: And… you wouldn’t think it was wrong to want to, to love another human being, you wouldn’t think it was wrong to show emotion or liking towards a woman.
Aaron: And the moment you do that in there, you’re punished! You know, I wanted to experience sex, I wanted to touch a female body. But the moment I did it, I’m dragged into this office by these men that tell you you’re an ape! You’re an ape for masturbating, you’re evil for even having considered the idea of, of, of, of touching this woman outside of marriage, you know? And, you know, I look around me and see the people that are married in this place, and they don’t even get to see their wives, so why would I want that? I just wanted to know what it was like to kiss a woman, and that’s punishable. And then, you know, and I’m forced onto the decks, I’m made to clean and do hard labour to do amends, to repent for it, and I’m held in this office and told read this, this shows that, you know, if you think about ejaculation, if you think about touching a woman, you’re an ape, you’re not in control of your emotions.
Aaron: I mean, I’m a young man, I’m hard-wired! This is what, this is what young men, young women do! And you’re left there with a choice: how do I handle this? How do I resolve not wanting to, to express this desire? So you come up with a solution.
Aaron: And the solution was horrible: I have to stop wanting sex. I have to stop it because, and then when you try to stop wanting it, they take you into an interrogation and the thought of wanting to have sex – well, the thought leads to the action, so therefore don’t even have the thought!
Aaron: So how do you deal with this, how does your mind cope? Well I, I started to comprehend things, I’d get an erection, and I’d think of something like cockroaches, or a horror film, or vampires or anything, something that, uurgh, would make me go like that, so that I could turn it off and let my erection go down. I wore tight pants, tight underwear so that it would crush and cut off the blood there, so that it couldn’t act, so that it couldn’t do what it was supposed to do, which was grow and erect and make me go off and want to have hormones.
Aaron: You know, anything that turned that on, I wanted to turn it off.
Aaron: And, this goes on and on and on. And eventually your mind identifies sex with real pain, because the action results in such pain in the Sea Organisation, in Scientology management, it results in such punishment, that it is evil for you to do this.
Aaron: This is a fundamental dynamic and right of a human being and a desire and, you know, it’s gone, it’s crushed, and while everyone else out there was going through that through their great teenage years and experiencing and finding out true love, I was, I was finding out what it was like to be punished for the thought of it.
Carmel: Yeah. So after you left the Sea Org, say, after you were 22, how did that affect you then? I mean, how did you cope with that after that?
Aaron: Can you imagine, I’d been doing that for so long – having these images in my mind to turn me off from having sex – that when it actually came time to be with a woman, properly, outside the Church confounds, and have sex –
Aaron: – I had to have the lights off. Not, not for some arousal reason. I had to have the lights off because I had to close my eyes and now I had to have those images in my mind, those horrible images, to have sex because my body over the last 6 years got used to the idea of having the erection and having these mental images of terror and ugly, disgusting things. And the body got, overrode it and said right, I’ll have an erection now when you have these ideas. So when I’m with this woman, I’m not thinking about the woman, I’m not even thinking about other women, I’m thinking about anything else other than sex so that I can now have sex! And if, if you want to talk about dysfunctional, this doesn’t even being to comprehend it. I felt sorry for my wife that I had in Melbourne. I felt sorry for her because she didn’t understand why sex was so hard for us, why emotionally, why touching, why the speaking of the word ‘love’ was just a foreign idea to me.
Aaron: You know? Touching, that’s – you know, my mind goes “Heavy petting, don’t do it!” My mind just jumps to this, you know? “Don’t touch in public.” And in private, don’t do anything. Wait till you go to the bedroom only.
Aaron: We’re talking about a real trial for you mind.
Carmel: Yep. Dear oh dear! Uhm, can you describe what you think that you became, or how you became as a Sea Org member? You’ve spoken to me before about, uhm, yeah, about the fact you feel like that wasn’t you and now you’re trying to find you back.
Aaron: I didn’t know what to do to, to survive, to feel good, I had to do something that resulted in happiness. And, when you’re in an environment that only rewards you, only rewards you when you’ve done what is needed to be done, as opposed to what you think should be done or what is right, after years of that you decide “I’m going to do what I need to in order to get an applaud, I’m going to do what I need to in order to sit down and be in peace.” And often those things unfortunately meant, in my position there in the Church, being always in the Communications Office, always in charge of ethics and morality issues for staff, with such a heavy burden on punishment and making people do what I wanted to do, that’s where I got my enjoyment from. I didn’t, I… I didn’t have friendships like that! My friend could be a friend the next day and then after the next day I’d be penalising them, out of the job, so I had to learn that you didn’t get happiness from friendships. And relationships were a no-no. Where do you get happiness from? Enjoying what you must do. And that’s where I got my happiness from. Right or wrong had nothing to do with it, I didn’t even – those two words did not come into the equation.
Aaron: And unfortunately for the human beings around me, that were very much not treated like human beings, they suffered because of a result of that, because they were dealing with a man here that looked at them like this. And now here I am as an adult, outside of that, and I’m looking around at people. They’re no longer assets, they’re no longer parts of a machine, they demand respect, they want to be treated like a living thing. I’m still trying to get there! I’m sorry, but for 6 years of my life, non-stop, every day: assets, they’re parts of a machine, I must make them work.
Carmel: So you didn’t consider, you didn’t view them as people, with feelings or?
Aaron: No. Well, you can’t… no! Because even the concept of dealing with their feelings or “Am I going to ignore their emotions” didn’t even come into the equation any more! What has that got to do with what I’ve got to do for the Church? I am sorry, I have got to get this product. I have got to get this done. Their consequence of how they felt about it can’t be part of the equation, if, and it can’t be part of my equation. It got to a point where I didn’t lose sleep. If I asked this person to have an abortion, I didn’t lose sleep, I didn’t even think twice after it. My only consideration was “Phew, god! I don’t have to fill that post again with another person because they’re going to abort.” Or, if they did decide that they were going to have the baby, I was going “Christ! I have to hire someone to replace them!” There was no joy, there was no celebration, there was no-
TRANSCRIPT – VIDEO 2
Aaron: – announcement “Hey, Monica Potter’s going to have a baby!” The joy of life, this, there’s no announcement of this.
Aaron: Instead it was “Monica’s betrayed us, and she’s going to leave the organisation and we’re going to have to work harder! Because SHE’S betrayed the trust.” That’s the viewpoint. It was never the word ‘love’ spoken in one single conversation.
Aaron: No, it’s “Do this.” You know, I’d look out on the public Scientologists – at least they had the option to have that!
Aaron: As a staff member, in the Sea Org, there wasn’t that option. You could have a relationship, you could have love. A public Scientologist, he had the joy of getting auditing and this apparent privilege to speak. I had the penalty, I had security checks and an interrogation every two months. That was MY auditing. I mean, something went wrong with a public Scientologist’s auditing, you had a chance to get it corrected. I didn’t, we went off to the cramming office and we were told “In line!”, you know, “Clear up your misunderstood words! You’re out-ethics!” you know?
Aaron: That was my experience. Your experience: you had a win in Scientology, you enjoyed a moment, you can go out to a café and talk to your friends. The moment I had anything out of it, I come out of the auditing session, 5 minutes later I’m back on post: “Right, who am I gonna court marshall today?”
Aaron: Or “Who’s on my list to go off and get?”
Carmel: So what was your post when you were doing this?
Aaron: Most years I spent was over in Los Angeles, there I was the, I was in charge of the, the communications with the establishment division of the Messenger organisation. And the Messenger organisation are those people who are charged with the highest authority in the Church, to basically do what’s ever needed at any time, written or verbal, is not applicable, and enforce that on management. So whereas management were over local management units within continents that were then over the organisations, we were over management, and overrode their decisions or asked them to do whatever was needed. Because often parts of the puzzle didn’t understand why they were doing particular activities. It seemed innocent enough,
Aaron: But only the CMO and RTC were actually in full control of the facts. Why do we need that org over there, that organisation, to do particularly well right now? Why? Well maybe we’ve got a legal case coming up and we need to strengthen the field out there, we need to get that part working.
Aaron: It’s all about the Church. I don’t care, I didn’t care about the individuals involved. It’s just “Can we get it done?” You, you’re a piece of meat. We call, we called staff members ‘coins’, that was the term. When we had a, when we had a person that we could get a position filled with and we would shove them off to Flag, you know, shove them down to Florida, it didn’t MATTER if he had a child there, it didn’t MATTER if he had a wife in Los Angeles. That’s not the point. I can take this guy, I can send him over to the Flag Land Base and I can fix that problem. And then he starts screaming about the fact that he’s away from his family. It’s like “Excuse me, Sea Org policy says you will do anything required of you in the name of the Sea Org” and you will do it. If you don’t… “You’re in ethics conditions, do you have doubts about being a Sea Org member? You, you have doubts?! You’re a Suppressive Person! Do you wanna be declared? We’re gonna have to tell your wife and kids that.” And then you go and separate them off, “Right, communication’s over.” And then you go and talk to the wife “I’m sorry, but your, your, your husband has decided that he’s got doubts in the Sea Org, he’s not willing to perform his duties, and you know, we’ve done a security check on him, and I’m sorry to tell you but he’s actually thought about going out-2D on you, he’s thought about other woman.”
Aaron: “You know, he’s not really in line with the purpose any more, and, sorry to say, but you’re not really part of his equation any more, either. You can do something about this, you can leave him and stay in the Sea Org. You can do this.” And sure enough, she sits down there and goes “Geez, why did he go to the, why did he go to Florida and walk away from me?” And then she takes a look at him, was he a good father? “Oh, I never got to spend time with him anyway. What value is he really as a, as a partner?” Because there IS no value, because you don’t have time to have a relationship. So it’s not hard for that person to go “Alright, I will divorce him.” If you took a look at the statistics of the Sea Org, and every member in it, and how many marriages they had, we’ve got people who’ve been married two, three, four, five times.
Aaron: And this is all from a Church which claims to be able to solve these problems in relationships, and just about every Sea Org member has a history of one or two marriages.
Carmel: So how often did that happen? What you described about, you know, talking to the wife and getting that marriage to be dissolved, how often did that happen?
Aaron: Well quite a lot.
Carmel: That you knew of.
Aaron: Well quite a lot. I mean, let’s understand one thing. When I was over in Los Angeles working there, we had the entire middle management, some 500 staff.
Carmel: This was the late 80s, early 90s, wasn’t it?
Aaron: Uh, the mid 90s.
Carmel: Mid 90s?
Aaron: 93, 94, 95,
Aaron: 96. We had around 500 staff, now if you can imagine for a moment possibly having, uh, each staff member being in some serious trouble perhaps twice in a year. That equated to 1000 incidents per year. Over my 3 year period in there, that’s some 3000 incidents. Now, this staff member over here may hear something, but from my position in the Communications Office, we’re the ones dealing with it every day.
Aaron: So I dealt with this quite a lot. How many instances, you asked? I couldn’t even give you a figure, it would be, you are, if we’re going to talk about specific incidents of sitting a guy down about his marriage, or the issue of talking to his family?
Aaron: Then we’re talking hundreds.
Aaron: Some of these young kids, they’re all from around the world. They’ve got no other hope, other than the hope that we give them. They’ve been told to disconnect – their families are asking for them back, they want them back for Christmas!
Aaron: We don’t want them to go away for Christmas, because we know if we send them away, if we allow them to go, there’s a high probability that they’re not gonna want to come back, so don’t let them go in the first place.
Aaron: So what happens is, the family arcs up, goes “Come on, you’re entitled to several weeks leave per annum, come back, have it.” What I would do? Give them a security check, give them an interrogation. “I’m sorry, but you did this wrong. You’re gonna have to do conditions, you’re gonna have to do liability. This could take you several months. We can’t approve your request for leave. Denied.” Then the family starts sending letters: “What are you involved in that you can’t even take time off?” I received a letter – all the communications to the staff from the public are monitored – I receive the communication, and I go “Oh god, they’re gonna get him out.” So I pull the staff member in, put the letter over here. “Excuse me, your family is, uhm, anti-you being here.” And they look down and go “God, I know.” They know it! Of course they’re anti them being here, they haven’t been able to see them in a year or two.
Aaron: And you talk to them and go “Well, what you’re doing here in the Sea Org with Scientology is far more important than your immediate family. Let’s get them on the phone and talk to them,” and you coerce them into talking to them, give them a public relations story “Oh, I, I will come back in a month or two.” Another month or two goes past; they start getting angry, they start making phone calls. You start blocking off those calls and finally you tell the staff member: “You know what? It’s time to disconnect. They’re really against you being here.” And guess what, the staff member goes “You know what, they’re right, cause I talk to them and they just yell and scream at me now, and start criticising Scientology, they must be crazy.” “So, disconnect.” “Ok, disconnect.” “Good.” Fair roads, fair weather, you only write them, write them once a month, talk about how great it is, talk about, tell them you’re having fun. You don’t want to get them upset about you. Eventually, the family line disappears.
Aaron: Then one day, this person wants to think about leaving the Sea Org. How are they supposed to? They’ve got nowhere to go in life. They don’t have bank accounts, they don’t have credit cards. They don’t even know what’s going on out in the world: there’s no newspapers, there’s no television, there’s no magazines. They’re completely dependent upon now the life that you give them.
Aaron: What do you do as a human being? If you even know you’re a human being any more, if that concept is still real to you. You haven’t played sports, you haven’t sat, been to a movie together… you’ve worked, 14 hours a day. You’re a machine now. Machines don’t have the luxury of thinking. Just do, you just do, do, do, do…
Carmel: So tell me, what’s your take on uhm, DM being responsible for this, as opposed to say, LRH and Scientology itself?
Aaron: Oh, it’s good for somebody to point the finger and blame, that one man is in his entirety-
TRANSCRIPT – VIDEO 3
Aaron: – one tyrannical man. Yes, David Miscavige is tyrannical – but I was just the same, I was one of those. There’s no difference between DM and myself, there wasn’t. I would have done everything he did, and I did.
Carmel: And others as well, were the same.
Aaron: And others, they were all created. But where did that creation come from, what makes it ok? Ok? I’ll tell you what does. What you see, what the public out there see is… I mean, Scientology’s policies are criticised. We’ll get together these books, we’ll get together these volumes of policy letters and we’ll show the world these are your policies. I’m, but guess what? We won’t show you what the Sea Organisation runs off: our own separate set of orders from Ron. Our own Flag orders, numbering in the thousands. We have Office of Special Affairs Special Orders. We have special training material for Messengers, special orders only for Messengers. And within the Sea Org, most of the Flag orders are not even known to the very Sea Org members, but they are to management; and then within management, even a smaller group are privy to the other policy letters. These policy letters dictate these actions that they are okay: altercations between staff members ARE acceptable. This is Ron’s words.
Carmel: You mean physical altercations?
Aaron: That’s correct. These words are not heard but, or known by public Scientologists. These are his words saying you can beach a human being, and throw them overboard. This is Ron Hubbard words saying you MAY put a person in the Rehabilitation Project Force and bar all communication with other human beings? That you can be punished for communication, I mean ANY communication, unless prompted and, and instructed to speak.
Aaron: These are policies that say the purpose of the Sea Org has NOTHING to do with Scientology. This is about putting Ethics in on the planet. And it’s about control. These, these policies instruct and guide you on how to take care of an enemy network or group of people that are attacking the Sea Org of Scientology. These are, they are not the same policy letters you see, or a public Scientologist and what you call the “Potential Trouble Source Suppressive Person Rundown Course”. These are far more aggressive than anything you’ve ever imagined. And THAT’S the machine. David Miscavige is just enforcing the policies and following them as a zealot.
Aaron: He’s not making this stuff up – these policies really exist, to do this, to act in that way, to use aggression.
Carmel: So how many others would know about these policies, or these, you know..
Aaron: A number. We mi- I’ll give you an example: I was surprised to hear Marty Rathbun’s departure from the Church.
Aaron: I met Marty Rathbun several times. And was involved with him at the Flag Land Base up in Los Angeles, and I also met him on the ship. And what amazed me is that people like Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder aren’t talking about anything. They don’t even see what the real crime’s here. They’re talking about David Miscavige giving him a slap. I’m sorry, but this happened, this happened throughout the Sea Organisation: Foster Tompkins used to beat staff, DM used to do it. You, they’re not the first people to hit another human being.
Aaron: What, what’s shocked me though, Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder, were involved in having staff members being fed beans and rice for weeks at a time at the Flag Land Base and in the Home Guarantee Building. Denying children nutritional supplements. Mike Rinder in specific allowing young men and boy, and men and woman, to be hired, and how did we fix the ‘educational requirements’? We pay the Scientologists out in Los Angeles to give them a ‘certificate’ that said they had approved educational standards. Yet Mike Rinder and Marty aren’t even looking at these things as crimes. They’re not looking at the fact that we didn’t even provide medical uh provisions for staff. We didn’t have women get Pap smear tests to check for cervical cancer. To check their eyesight. The answer to everything is “We’ll audit you”, but you don’t GET auditing. And there’s Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder talking about “I got slapped by David Miscavige” and that’s their big crime for 20 years. I’m sorry, that’s not the crime. And why aren’t they talking about it? Maybe they don’t even think that what they did was a crime. The only reason they’re talking about David Miscavige slapping is because they felt physical pain. To them that’s a crime. And labelling David Miscavige as the cause of all this: untrue. Marty Rathbun himself has reamed out staff. Marty Rathbun himself has been tyrannical. Mark Ingber has been tyrannical. Marc Yager, a tall, imposing figure and often the head of the Commodore’s Messenger Organisation, a very imposing individual who has walked around the organisations going “Sec check him!” “You’re off post!” “You do this!” “You’re going on mission!” “You’re out ethics!” They’re not even talking about these incidents. David Miscavige had nothing to do with those. And that’s how Marc Yager liked to run his Messenger Organisation, that filtered down through management. I was running around the Hollywood Guarantee Building: “You’re out ethics!” Sorry, we’ve got a policy in the Church that says I can RPF one person at a Flag bureau every week. I don’t need justification, I just need to keep you on your toes. Who’s it gonna be this week? Better not be the down-statistic guy, you could be next. Watch it. Then (sharp breath intake) fear is the dominating factor. Fear gives compliance.
Aaron: Willingness doesn’t. LRH talks about using affinity to obtain compliance… only for a public Scientologist! Look into the policy letters and it’s rife, the Sea Org’s policy letters are rife with aggression, and command, and discipline for even misaddressing a senior officer. And sometimes in the mind of a person probably viewing this video, it would be hard to reconcile the two different human beings I’m talking about: L. Ron Hubbard the founder, L. Ron Hubbard the dictator and Commodore of the Sea Organisation. But the two people are the same. And people may be listening to this, who have been in the Sea Org, know this is true and thought that it was the exception that they were treated like that.
Aaron: It’s not the exception, it’s the rule. And the higher you go up, the worse it gets. The problem is, you can’t disagree.
Aaron: Because if you disagree, even mentally, you’ll get a security check and one of the question will be: “Have you thought?” So now it becomes wrong to even have a thought. So if you can’t do, you can’t think, you can’t compute now. So now you have to turn off that part of your mind that even thinks. Because you can’t afford to think: is it right or wrong what my senior just did?
Carmel: Yep. So tell me, when uhm, uhm, when these Sea Org people say the HGB building, you know, whatever, they were getting the beans and rice and weren’t getting medical attention and things, what was the scene for the guys in the upper management? Guys like Marc Yager, Guillaume Lesevre, Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder? What, what was the scene for them?
Aaron: Lavish! Uhm, I’ll give you an example.
Aaron: Lavish. Spending.
Aaron: For them, uh, I’ll give you an example. About three times a year David Miscavige, Marty Rathbun included, uh… Guillaume Lesevre, the Executive Director International, various members of the Watchdog Committee, would all come down to Florida. We had for them special apartments built at the Hacienda Gardens that were just gorgeous! Spanish marble, layered throughout, luxurious kitchens, gymnasiums for them with the latest equipment. We, I, I arranged a purchase of one piece of gym equipment at a cost of almost ten thousand US dollars. And you know what they did with it? Ronny Miscavige got up on it and did his little trick of hanging by his toes. This is David Miscavige’s brother.
Aaron: That’s how amusing the instrument was to him. It was a toy. And then we would take cash funds and we would allocate vast amounts of money to the Grand, uh, Pontiac Grand Am so they could drive around in luxury, I’d arrange drivers if they wanted drivers to drive them around while everyone walked or got on a packed bus. Uh, their diets were special. They had special nutritional requirements so we would buy wheatgrass and wheatgrass juices and fine coffees from France coffee houses and crackers from Switzerland. You know, you’d have to make this shit up almost to believe it. And, but this, this was their budget. And then we would take that huge amount of cash and it would be exhausted, and then we would justify the expense through falsification of some kind of a record or receipt that we could get from a public Scientologist or something, and that was declared the usage of the moneys.
Aaron: But we’re talking thousands of dollars here. The average Sea Org member got less paid to him in one year than what one executive would have just spent on his luxuries in a week. And this is how they lived. Uh, I got a ten dollar Sea Org shirt. Marty Rathbun, David Miscavige –
TRANSCRIPT – VIDEO 4
Aaron: – they got 150 US dollars – back in 1992 – 120, 150 US dollars for a hand-made, Egyptian cotton shirt. And WE were made to hand-wash them for THEM, because we couldn’t, you, put it in a machine. That one shirt that he got was worth more than all the uniforms I would get in two years.
Carmel: Yep. But you had a senior position too, you were, what was your?
Aaron: Oh, I took luxuries. I mean, after they left the base, I always made sure there was enough good food left over for me and some of MY people in the Messenger Organisation, too. I mean, we ate like kings as well, so we liked them coming down. Because, after they left, who gets the spoils of war? We do… you know. We go, went off and finished off that big shopping that we did. It was so ‘tragic’ for us if the executives had to leave early, because all that great food and stuff… I mean, we DREAMED about food like this! You get what you’re eating in the Sea Org. We put them on beans and rice at the Flag Land Base to teach them a lesson, I mean I’m not talking beans and rice, I’m talking beans and rice for breakfast, lunch AND dinner, ok?
Aaron: And they try to go off to the canteen to buy food – we post security guards to prevent them from buying other food, because otherwise the punishment wasn’t being enforced,
Aaron: understood by the staff member.
Carmel: Right. So were you guys on beans and rice at the same time?
Aaron: Y’know, actually sometimes we were, yeah.
Carmel: But sometimes you weren’t?
Aaron: Nah, sometimes we got away with it, yeah… because technically we weren’t part of the Flag Land Base. We were “Messengers”. And, over in Los Angeles as well, uhm, we’d find ways to get around it. I mean, the Messengers are a power unto their own, they’re a law unto themselves. They’re not answerable to anybody. If we really wanted to get around something, we could do that.
Aaron: I mean, the idea is we looked at management like chalk and cheese. Management and Scientologists are the scum that we have to deal with, and frankly any bullshit that they give us is an inconvenience to us, you know? We’re the Messengers, we’re authorised by policy to do anything we want. You can’t stop us, there’s nothing you can do… so everything that went wrong with management was looked at not as a responsibility but as a “Oh god, here we go again, gotta fix this”, you know. And… I look at a staff list, I see names. I don’t see humans, I see names. I don’t look, I don’t look at a person’s file and see a human being that has horrible experiences as a child or what happened to them. I look and go “Christ. Is he going to fall apart if I put him on that post?” My consideration isn’t to fix him, my consideration is: can I use him?
Aaron: Is he good enough for what I want, is he robust enough? Does he turn off enough so that he can put up with this position I’m going to give him? Care of staff members… I’m sorry, we have an ethics office. We don’t have a chaplain. There IS nobody to go grieve to. You grieve to the ethics officer. I was the ethics officer. And the solution is always the same: “You did something wrong. You’re the cause of your demise and you’re wasting. My. Time. Get. Out.” And then after that if he still misbehaves “Christ, ok, we’ll give him a Committee of Evidence. We’ll give him a Declare.” These are extremes, to go declaring a person is an extreme action, you’re cutting him all of from everybody he knows.
Aaron: And what concerns me is that we’ve got people out there, uh, who have had positions similar to mine, within the Sea Organisation, within the Church, such as Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, and I’m not understanding why they keep coming forward with these statements that “I’m a victim”. They were the aggressors!
Aaron: Everyone’s a victim, if you really want to go down to that level, we’re all victims, you know. But, hang on, we’re talking about thousands of people world wide and the stories coming out from all levels and apparently no-one’s doing it, it’s just all a magic trick. I’m sorry, but Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder are totally responsible, they stood by and watched while they instructed their HCO communications officers to do these things to their own staff, to deny them liberties, to deny them days off. This is not a crime? Basic fundamental human rights in a civilised society say: you get medical treatment, you have the right to work some certain hours, you should enjoy life, you should do other activities. And Mike Rinder, as the commanding officer of the Office of Special Affairs, DENIED these rights to his staff. Marty Rathbun, as the Inspector General for Ethics, just stood by while the technology was changed and gave his big rubber stamp.
Carmel: Technology changed?
Aaron: Yeah, there was a project set up years ago in Scientology to change it because it was realised that Ron Hubbard had said some pretty far-out things.
Aaron: Was coming under scrutiny, the book all about radiation contained clear falsehoods. A lot of his books did. They had to be fixed to make Scientology credible. So, slowly change the policy letters; L. Ron Hubbard becomes a trademark, not a human being.
Carmel: So who was in charge of that project then?
Aaron: Don’t know who was in charge of that project. It was a general fundamental agreement, but Marty Rathbun himself, as the Inspector General for Technology, signed off on these things. He stood by and allowed this to actually go. My Messenger Organisation that I was part of had the office of the Senior Case Supervisor International.
Aaron: Rubber stamped: change it, change it, change it! I mean, all these books and things that have come out, and, and all the technology has been changed, what you’re a-, being asked to believe here is that Ron Hubbard himself had that Saint Hill special briefing course, which included all materials on Scientology, himself was a squirrel! His own technology, that he delivered to, personally supervised to people, thousands! Was all wrong! And somehow, he didn’t even look at his own dictionary. He didn’t even look at his own policy letters. Yet he was teaching it for years. This is the epitome of utter ridiculousness. That at the start of every course in Scientology, and in the Sea Org, there is “Keeping Scientology Working”, which says “any alteration to the tech”. But David Miscavige and people like Marty Rathbun said: “Oh, but, you know, we found a new document that says that Ron Hubbard really meant this.” Well, where’s the document? And when finally people asked on OT levels, saying “Excuse me, but did Ron really say this?” it took them about a decade to finally come out with a handwritten L. Ron Hubbard pages. Did they really come from Ron? Why did it take ten years to get them out?
Aaron: Takes a long time to, to write somebody’s handwriting. If you’re good enough.
Carmel: Yep. So tell me, uhm, what did, what was your procedure, or how, how were, uhm, critics handled? how were critics, critics viewed, uhm, like threats to the Church? What was your procedure on handling them or dealing with them?
Aaron: There’s a specific procedure. The procedure is: when you’ve got this critic, he’s gotten the information from somewhere, to come and attack. Where did he get that information from? And once you identified the source of that, and it’s always a human being, ok, find out a way to discredit them. Now people talk about, uhm, on the Internet and on boards and in books that Scientology, uhm, or not Scientology but the management of Scientology, uhm, manipulate information. Well, here’s the big shock to everyone out there who’s looking at this: is that thing you call a pr- priest petinent privileged file is not privileged. True, the auditor, per- person auditing you and the case supervisor above that auditor are probably never going to discuss those details. Most of them are very good like that, they wouldn’t violate that sacred trust. The trust is only entrusted to them. I can still, as a Messenger, walk into the folder room and grab anyone’s PC file, and read it. And that’s exactly what I did. I can look in their file and see: “right, this person has admitted when he was seven year olds to having a dog lick his genitals, he’s admitted to having sex with a woman that was legally underage. Oh, I’ve got this boy now!” Now, how do I get that information out of this file into the public domain? There’s several solutions to it. First solution is: I can get him to admit it. What, how on earth would you do that? You approach them and you sit them down and you say “Look… uhm, we’re gonna put you through a security check, ok? This is just to clear up everything, make everything in order, and then we’re gonna, we’re gonna clear you and give you a new post! Ok?” And the guy goes “Ooh, cool!” You sit him down, security check questions, tick tick tick tick. He sits down – he’s not under auditing session any more – and the auditor says, still an auditor but not doing an auditing session: “So, have you had, ever had –
TRANSCRIPT – VIDEO 5
Aaron: – sex with someone who’s underaged?” And the guy thinks “Oh, well yeah, you know the answer to that” and the auditor goes “No, we know, but we’re just doing this to, you have to answer the question so it’s still a security check for your qualifications” and the guy goes “Yeah, I have, and I did this blah blah, but you know about that.” And I go: “Thank you VERY much! Gotcha.” We’ve got it now, now we’re entitled legally to put that out in the public domain because we’re “morally conscious” of society’s needs to know these things.
Carmel: And so how many people knew about this, wh- where you’re working? How many people were aware of this? Everybody in CMO or…
Aaron: I would say the top, the commanding officers of CMO know, the deputy commanding officers know, and the HCO area secretaries know. The other staff to a mild extent, I mean they were familiar because they would often see the end results of, of a smear campaign against a staff member. And it’s quite horrible for a staff member, he’s gone and admitted to all these things in his life, and then he, he gets out of line and you decide to do a Committee of Evidence and now you splatter all these personal details on a Committee of Evidence and it’s on the staff noticeboard. And the guy feels that big (show of tiny space between fingers). You’re talking about his perverted sexual behaviour, oh my god! You’ve just, you’ve DESTROYED this guy’s reputation to the very people he works with every day. Of course he’s going to bow down and be a dog to you now.
Carmel: And what about those that don’t bow down? What happened, what did you do to them, what did you do to them? The ones that kept fighting or the ones that kept –
Aaron: Naah, they were troublesome. We had, I mean, people that didn’t comply were just annoying… I’m like, you know, just “Ugh, another one that’s got a free mind. Christ. Why question it, what- it’s not gonna change anything. If they keep questioning it, we got the, we got the Rehabilitation Project Force, we’ve got the, the penal colony we can put you in. That, the threat of that alone: enough, is enough to terrify people. To not do it. To sit back and go “Well ok, ok, I’ll, I’ll, alright, yeah, ok, it was out ethics for me to say that, ok.” Because the fear, the idea that you could go into that environment is horrible now. If they were beyond even that – you’re talking about a very free-minded person – the only other solution is: kick ‘em out. And once they’re out of the Sea Org, you gotta cut them off from Scientology. How do you do that? You enforce an order that reinforce throughout Los Angeles that if you were an ex-Scientologist: one, you could never be a staff member of another organisation.
Carmel: You mean an ex-Sea Org member?
Aaron: Yeah, you could never be a staff member of, uh, normal Scientology organisation. AND, if you joined up to a Scientology-run business, you had to sign a paper that said “I do intend to rejoin the Sea Org at one day.” And then you’d have to pay your Freeloader bill first and foremost from the Sea Org. I mean, you’re trapped. You’re just caught. Now, you’ve got guys in there for five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten years – they don’t KNOW anybody else in life other than Scientologists or Sea Org members.
Aaron: You put them out on the street, they got nowhere to go. The fear of that alone is enough to keep you in there.
Carmel: So what about these crazy interrogations?
Aaron: There are no ‘crazy interrogations’.
Carmel: Nah, I mean the, the things that you referred to as a ‘brain fry’.
Aaron: Ah, ok. Uhm. This is interesting. Uh, you’ve got a, a procedure in the Sea Org called “rollback” and it’s an informal interview that can be done with another person. It’s not auditing, it’s not a security check… but you have free reign of terror over what questions you can ask a person. Which means you don’t have to follow the Auditor’s Code.
Carmel: Who, who put out this issue on “rollback”?
Aaron: Ron Hubbard.
Carmel: Ok, yep, carry on.
Aaron: And you can sit there with a person, and ask them any question per se, on the fly, ask them anything. Talk them. But they’re holding the e-meter cans, you’re reading the meter and talking to them. So you’re justified in asking anything. Guy says to you “Oh, yeah, I, I heard that Scientology was, was a, was money laundering.” “Where did you hear that?” “Oh, from Desmond Harris.” “Oh, who’s Desmond Harris? (writing motion)” “Oh, he’s this guy I know.” “Oh, did he, is he a Scientologist? Would he know anything? Why do you listen to this guy?” The guy goes “Well cause he’s a friend.” “What made him a friend if he’s not helping you in Scientology?” And just, and the aberration goes right from there on and can increase to anything. There’s nothing you can’t be asked for in those interviews. The end goal of the interview? A guy walking out of it who no longer complains. That’s the end goal. And hopefully he hates the source of information he got it from in the first place. So enough to disconnect from it. And now you’ve really got him, now he’s really with you. Rollback is one of the most evil techniques – I’ve read the HCO, uh, bulletins on it, and they’re very selective people that can read these. I don’t know why I was privy to them, I shouldn’t have been, I didn’t have the training for it. But this is just nasty stuff. Ron Hubbard’s talking about how to confuse a human being, and take that confusion and get it directed towards another target! Anything to get you off Scientology track attack. It, here’s an, here’s an example: the IRS case. The Sea Org campaign launch was showing the number of human rights violations by the IRS: beating up this person, biolating the law on this person, some deaths involved, right? You recall those?
Carmel: Yep, yep yep yep.
Aaron: The moment the IRS gave us our little ‘Tax-Free’ stamp, that’s it, we left them alone. And I asked a, a long term Scientologist, uh, Director of Special Affairs, I said uh “Did we fix what happened with the IRS?” and he said “Yeah, we got our tax-free status.” I said “No no, I didn’t mean that. I mean did they stop hurting people?” And he goes “What?” I said “Our, our whole campaign for year was about the IRS hurting people. Did they stop it? Did we find out if they stopped doing it?” “Why would we be, we just got our tax-exempt status.” Yeah, don’t you see the point? We were never in it to correct their out-ethics, we were only ever in it to get out stamp. Once we got the stamp we walked away from them and they could do whatever they wanted, we didn’t care any more. Did you kill the guy? I don’t give a shit any more, who cares, we got a tax-exempt status. If that’s not the epitome of uh, uh, of hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.
Aaron: How inhumane can you get? We’re gonna drop the- we were, we were helping these people to fight the IRS and the moment we got the IRS stamp we dumped them! You’re on your own now, so- we can’t help you, IRS is on our side now. See ya later, bye bye, we’ve just destroyed your life. We made you write that confession in the paper on the IRS. We made you go public with it, we told you we were going to help you. Byye bye.
Carmel: Oh, so that was part of the strategy. It wasn’t just, say, the blackmail of the people that had control of the IRS, but also you used other-
Aaron: We used their victims.
Carmel: Yeah, got it.
Aaron: And once they were there, left out hanging out to dry, the Church just walked away from them. Cause we got what we wanted, we got that, we got that tax-exempt status.
Aaron: And that’s the mentality of the Sea Organisation. How do we get it? It’s not just one man. And it’s not all of them. I mean, you’ve got this guy, he’s a Sea Org member, he’s working in central files. He’s filing, he’s writing letters – he’s doing his little part for king and country. He doesn’t understand that he’s just another part of this… machine, that is geared towards production at all costs. The moment anything interrupts that production, it’s extracted like a bad tooth. Staff members, all Sea Org members that are leave, are left, L. Ron Hubbard told us to call them “degraded beings”. Now, people like Marty and Mike and many of these executives out there were the very people on TV telling you how great it all was. And how all these people are, are, are dickheads. And Liars.
Carmel: Yep. Yep.
Aaron: And now they’re out. What does it tell you? Not only did they not buy it, they don’t want to buy it any more. They know what they did. They helped create that, and they should be sorry for it. And they should do something about it. And standing in front of a camera saying “David Miscavige slapped me on the wrist” – it’s not a confession of what you did, Marty Rathbun, sitting on that ship.
Carmel: What do you mean, sitting on the ship?
Aaron: Eating, eating, eating a fuck- eating five-star meals on a ship by a five-star French chef? In the Caribbean? Oh, you poor soul! I feel so sorry for you that you get your own private cabin, while the other Sea Org members are stacked three high in rooms small enough for one human being, and we stack ‘em nine high in there. And you want ME to feel sorry for YOU because you got slapped? You, you deserve that and a lot more, pal, you know. Because by the end of the day, you were happy to just accept your lot. You thought you had some inalienable right to be better than the other human beings. And you’re not talking about that, Mr. Rathbun. You’re not talking about the fact that you had a private steward, that came to your table and grovelled and asked you what you wanted to eat, and got it for you. You’re not talking about the fact that you had chauffeurs. These are luxuries, even for regular human beings. And the regular Sea Org member looks upon you as a god. And you abused your privilege. You know, these guys give up fourteen hours of their life every day and go sometimes for years without a single day off, and they take one step, one foot wrong and, and they’re treated like garbage. And then if they dare leave, they’re called a ‘degraded being’ by Ron Hubbard himself. He told us to call them ‘degraded beings’.
TRANSCRIPT – VIDEO 6
Aaron: Ron, who said if you join the Sea Org, you are one of the greatest people in the universe. And then after you join, he says you leave, you dare leave, you’re a degraded being. How do you reconcile that? How are you supposed to leave? You don’t, you’re not told THAT when you join the Sea Org, “oh, by the way, if you leave, you’re going to be labeled a degraded being”. Not by ME, by Ron Hubbard!.
Aaron: “You’re a degraded being!” Call ME a degraded human? How, how DARE you? I gave my life to you people. I THOUGHT I was doing the right thing. I THOUGHT I was saving mankind based off of the premise that YOU presented to me. And you sold me a lie. And then I went around selling that lie knowing it was a lie. And that’s the difference between a victim and an aggressor, and these people that are the aggressors, like me, that DID ask you to abort, DID ask you to walk away from your wife, your children, put your child in a cadet organisation and thumped them full of scientology for thirteen years, and then when I thought the picking was right, I’d take them out and put them in the Messenger Organisation and put them through a bunch of drills that told them how to get compliance. I didn’t give them sex education. I didn’t teach them the history of Earth. I didn’t teach them literature or the fine works of Shakespeare or Frank Herbert or Orson Welles. I didn’t get them to read Moby Dick, nooo I got them to read “Mission Earth” which is full of perverted sexual acts. And then I go and tell them “CAN’T have perversion, don’t listen to your brain, don’t listen to your instincts. Don’t have friends – if you have friends you might have to comm-ev them one day”. So, what do you do? Don’t have friends. You have the facade of friendship in the Sea Org. Because at the end of the day you can know these guys and then all of a sudden, you’re in trouble boom! and they don’t want to know you. Is that a friendship? What kind of family is that?
Aaron: Y’know, and then you get these dysfunctional people walking away from the Sea Org and people say well, you’re crazy. (Laughs) I’m sorry, but who’s the crazy one? Me for being there, or for you for not helping me to stop it?
Carmel: So these kids that you got for the CMO, that you recruited for CMO, um, how old were they when you recruited them?
Aaron: Typically thirteen, fourteen. You didn’t like them too much older than that.
Aaron: Because they started to develop their own instincts. At fifteen, the guy’s fully into thinking about sex, women, going out, drinking, um, perhaps even, dare I say it, listening to music. Well, at thirteen you can cut them off on that because this is where he starts to develop what is pleasure to him. This is as he starts to take the shape of a young man or a young woman.
Aaron: That’s the perfect time to get them. What’s pleasure? Pleasure is getting compliance. Pleasure is having people do what you tell them. Pleasure is being rewarded for an up statistic. You, you’re literally taking their instincts and you, you, you’re actually changing the way their brain works. You do this long enough, it’s the Pavlov dog.
Aaron: K? Ring the bell, he knows it’s dinnertime. In the Sea Org, ring the bell, you know you’re going to get comm-ev’d. You know what to do – comply, comply, comply, comply. And the irony is that the prison’s just up here in your mind. It’s the same prison though for a civilian going along on a road, driving at 60 kilometres an hour, he has a choice: do I dare go to 80 kilometres an hour? Well, he can if he wants to, but how would you like to be in a place that knew EVERY time you drove at 80 kilometres an hour? You couldn’t get away with it once. How would you feel then? As a, as a civilian, here in society, imagine if your government or council knew every thought you had. Every time, they put a black box on car and every time you drove over the speed limit, gave you a ticket, gave you a ticket, gave you a ticket. And knew every time that you had too much to drink and charge you with intoxication, even if you’re in your own house – welcome to the world of the Sea Org. If you let it go on, that’s the world you’re looking at. Come in for your weekly sec-check. ‘You drank too much, you were sick – ethics condition.’ That’s the world you’re going to get. Orson Welles “1984″ take a back step, this is something even greater than that. We’re talking about not only controlling your actions, we’ve taken it back to the step of not only controlling your thoughts, but we’ve taken it back to preventing you from being able to generate that thought. That’s a terrifying world.
Aaron: If you dare let the Sea Org expand, anybody stands by and lets it get to that point, you have no one to blame but yourself, for something that will make communism look like a, like Bob’s sideshow. We are talking about ultimate control. I can line up 100 Sea Org members and ask them a question and I’ll get an identical answer, ’cause that’s what they’re told to think.
Aaron: “Does scientology work?” “Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.” “Have you had wins?” “Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes.” “What do you think about psychiatry?” “Bad bad bad bad bad bad bad.” “What do you think about heavy petting before marriage?” “No no no no no no no no no.” Clones. They do have personalities down there somewhere, but personality requires a means of expression. If you take that away – “Sorry, that’s not an L. Ron Hubbard photo on your wall, replace it. Where did you get that quote from? Ah, from this book on this… replace with L. Ron Hubbard.” You’re going to get not just, not just going to get robots – ok, robots is a, is a mild thing – you’re going to get something worse. A human being that still computes, but will only compute on what it’s told to. That’s worse than a robot because a robot is, has predefined parameters. But you’re getting a free-thinking robot. That’s terrifying. You want the world to be like the Sea Org? You don’t think it’s going to expand? Guess what? That’s not what they think. Because within this society there is a certain individual that you can get – he was always the high school bully, he still wants to be the bully. And when you hire him and you recruit him, like I did – I loved them – make them a bully. Give him, “Hey, don’t be dominated, dominate.” Tyrone Webb – small little kid, laughed at, had a big head on his shoulders, literally a big head for his body, laughed at – “Get even, be a Messenger, tell them what to do, they’ll scare, they’ll be scared!” – and guess what? He loved it. Little Tyrone Webb, I trained him up. And there he goes and now he’s there doing the same thing to human beings.
Aaron: Yelling, screaming, intimidation. Why? Is he an evil kid? No. It’s just that I took away the parts that allowed him to be free and I augmented that little trait there, that poor, poor little kid, he had that little thing about him, about being dominated and he didn’t like it, so I gave him the solution. I said, “If you’re dominated, dominate others.” And the Sea Org will continue to grow and win if you allow this horrendous policy to exist that can train people to be like this – these human beings. Because when you talk to a Sea Org member and you ask them “Are you happy being in the Sea Org?” and he says “Yes I am”, try to understand something, he MEANS that, he IS happy. Ok? He IS…
Aaron: …because that’s the way he’s programmed. If you put a dog into a kennel this big, and that’s all the dog knows, it learns to become happy with that environment. This is why we have human rights – acceptable standards of living. The Sea Org takes these children that have already been in the Sea Org, they already live in bunks at the age of three years old, this is what they are used to. They’re used to not seeing family, they’re used to not – you’re not giving them something different, you’re giving them the same and then when this kid grows up and becomes like David Miscavige, leader of the Sea Org, and you say to them “oh it’s inhumane to live in a bunk.” “No, it’s not!” He wouldn’t know what it was like not to.
Aaron: So, if that’s the way you want the world to go just let the Sea Org grow. Do nothing, sit back. Let Scientologists – how many affidavits are out there? How many people are screaming? Y’know? Yes, I believe in religious freedom, I believe this guy has a right to be a Muslim, I believe this guy has a right to be a Catholic, but this is not what we’re talking about here. I’m talking about their actions. I’m sick and tired of the Church of Scientology International putting forward their creed, going “This is what we write”, but it’s not what we do.
Aaron: Y’know? Here’s the difference; a Catholic priest rapes a child, the church itself finds this disturbing and DOES want that priest to be punished, they DO. They don’t want their priests to rape!
TRANSCRIPT – VIDEO 7
Aaron: The difference in the Sea Org is that they DO want that priest to imprison your mind. We DO want control and compliance. We DO want you to go to this penal colony. We DO want to assign you conditions. We DO want to put a head on a pike each week and RPF somebody and hurt them. We DO – this is our policy. And they’re lying because the church the Catholic church says “this is the bible”, it’s HAPPY if you preach the bible. But in Scientology, the creed, you may NOT apply the creed, and you may not apply the tech when you’re a member of the Sea Org. You cannot because the policies clearly contradict everything that Scientology stands for. And THAT is a fraud. It’s a lie. And the fact that you can have these people do this to other human beings and not consider consequence, like I did, is proof enough that there’s something intrinsically and wrong and the systemic creation of the organisation in the first place.
Carmel: Got it.
Aaron: How could I do these things? How could I ask a woman to kill an unborn baby? How could I take this woman and send her away from her child and send her to Europe for two years and not allow any phone calls back to their family? How did I take all these people in the whole (Home?) Guarantee Building and tell them family time is canceled because you’re a down statistic? This is the very church that preaches family values? That breathes, that talks about creation of a great society? Oh, I’m sorry, you must be, you must be talking about something else ’cause I haven’t seen it. And every Sea Org member I, I know a great idea right now – get every Sea Org member in the world right now to do an affidavit about how they feel about it, go check on them in ten years. I guarantee you 80% of them will have left and have been declared.
Aaron: I guarantee it. I’ll stake my life on it. I was one of those. Cause I would have fought you ’til the hell come home. I disconnected even from my own family to be the best messenger I could be. I sent my own brother to the rehabilitation force, into the penal colony for having thoughts and for having touched a woman. Now, if that’s not a monster then please tell me what is?
Carmel: Got it. Hey thanks matey.
Aaron: Thanks for listening. Not a lot of people do.
Carmel: Nope. Good to have the info.
Aaron: I’d like some other people to come forward. I’d like some other people that were in positions similar to mine to admit that we just weren’t victims, we did things. We did ask for those things to be done to other staff and we did them.
Carmel: Got it.
Aaron: And be responsible for their actions. Even if it means admitting that they were monsters. Because deep down none of us were. We thought we were doing something right.
Carmel: And you were a part of that machine.
Carmel: Created by the machine.
Aaron: I was created by the machine and then I went off to create more. And I’m really sorry to those people that I got in there and I created them. Because I’ve run into a couple, and this is after I’d left, and I’m saddened to see how they’ve turned out as human beings. Because there’s almost nothing human left in them. It’s just almost nothing there, just compliance and it’s like a 24-hour police officer with no, with no heart. And, stay there too long and I don’t know how, I still haven’t been rehabilitated – I still have trouble, I still have nightmares, I still think about things that happened there. I have dreams of being dominated and dominating. And I still have that switch in my mind I can turn off and I want it to go. I don’t like being like that.
Aaron: Y’know I want my emotions to be real. It’s really hard to have real emotions when they are forbidden for six years.
Carmel: Yeah, especially at that time. When you were so young, fifteen to twenty-two or something…
Aaron: Those were my formative years as a human being. It’s where, it’s where humans find out what they want to do in life and go off and explore and start careers. But, my career was to hurt you. And I enjoyed it. And I’m sickened that I did. But back then I wasn’t, but now it’s really hard to reconcile that other human being I see in my dreams or sometimes coming out in an argument or a debate with some other person. He just jumps out there and I’ll look at him going uh ‘Aaron how could you look at yourself and think of yourself as two people – you’re clearly the same person.’ The question I’ve got for myself is ‘am I a good person that went bad or was I always just a bad bastard that just was given the chance to be even worse?’ Which one is it? And if I’m even asking myself the question then I need help. And I’m not the only one out there having that same question. Y’know? Marty and Mike, Tom DeVocht – I know we had good times in the Sea Org. I worked with these people, we had great times, we had fun. But take a step back and look at what you did. You created an atmosphere of fear and loathing and, and family separations and you destroyed all family values and, and all those things that make us human, that got us to this great part of life that we know – artistic, singing, loving, dancing, music – all these things that make us human we, we, we stripped them from people around us and we made it ok to be less than human. I need, I need those people to come forward and talk and admit that it’s ok to talk about it. It’s not ok you ever did it, nothing will ever make it ok, pal – sorry, nothing ever will. If you can’t live with that then I suggest you reflect on yourself and ask yourself ‘what is a human being? What is a conscience? And what is morality, really?’
Aaron: There’s an answer there. You might not, you might have, you might have a, a couple of tears shed when you find out you shouldn’t have done these things. And you’ll have an even bigger tear when you find out that you enjoyed it. And you might look at yourself and want to kill yourself for it. And end your life because of what you put other people through. You don’t have to do that, you just have to stop it being done to others now. So step forward, talk. If you lose your, if you’re a scientologist and you’re in good standing, and you have the potential to lose them, understand one thing: the Sea Org is promising heaven, when in reality we’re all going to hell according to them. And all of your mates will be there. If you have to disconnect now, to make your stand and be heard, then do it. One day, down the road, your friends will come and join you ’cause we’re all on the same side of the fence – it’s just someone else telling you that we’re not.
Carmel: Got it. Hey mate, thanks for your honesty.
Aaron: Alright, thank you.