This was a very dangerous activity and could have killed people. I disagreed with this activity but it showed the mental state of Hubbard. For me it was absolutely insane. Students and anyone doing wrong were thrown from the front of the ship as you can see it was rather a long way down and could have caused serious injury.
Hubbard later released a new course called the class 8 course. Students started arriving from all over the world to do this new course. But they had no idea what they were letting themselves in for, the penalty for making a mistake was that you would be thrown overboard. The Apollo was a 3,500 ton ferry with a flat bottom and a rubbing stake all around the bottom of the ship and maybe as high as 30 feet from where terrified students would be thrown if they made a mistake.
From our vantage point on our smaller ship we watched students being thrown overboard from a dizzy and dangerous height for mistakes they had made. Some of these students could not swim and a life buoy was put around them making it even more dangerous. If by any chance you hit the rubbing stake you may have been badly injured or even killed. I was never in favor of this practice and thoroughly condemned it.
My future “wife” at that time was thrown overboard and she told me she was absolutely terrified. We were married much later but the captain never sent the papers away so the marriage was never registered, so we were never legally married. I only found this out 7 years later. Pictures of these overboards were even printed in the local press. Around 8 months later we were advised by the Greek Authorities that we were no longer welcome in Greece and were told to leave Corfu, probably in part, due to this vicious and savage practice of throwing people overboard.
We were assigned a new Captain named Stella King and also received a new chief engineer, John O’Keefe with myself as 1st engineer and we set sail for Copenhagen with a staff to set up a new advanced organisation in that country. We docked in Naples and dropped of the staff for the new advanced organisation to be created in Copenhagen and we sailed the next morning for Copenhagen. The trip was mostly uneventful except the hydraulic steering gear burst and we had to weld some pipes together. This resulted because we changed the old rudder and put another bigger rudder on which put more strain on the steering gear. We arrived in Denmark about a week later and docked in Helsingborg and later sailed on to Copenhagen and our mission was to oversee the wellbeing of the new organisations in Copenhagen and Sweden. We did a lot of sailing around, between Malmo in Sweden and Copenhagen. Our chief engineer then left with his wife and I was assigned to that post, but at this time I knew the engines thoroughly.
Our new captain on a voyage to Malmo in Sweden ran the ship aground on the way back to Copenhagen. In the process she holed one of the fuel tanks which caused severe problems in the engine room but I managed to contain the damage however we had to go into dry dock to have the tanks repaired. This was the 2nd time she ran the ship aground. She was recalled to flag but was sent back later. After returning to Stockholm we sailed back to Copenhagen and I was transferred to the Flag Ship which was docked in Madeira, a Portuguese island off the coast of Africa. I met up again with my fiancé who had left the Athena earlier and we were married on the Flag ship by the Captain.. I was then put on the flag internship to further my training as an auditor and in the process auditing many of the staff and crew clearing up their upsets etc. My then wife had 2 children back in South Africa who needed attention and we obtained a leave of absence for a year and came back to South Africa. After a year we went back to Portugal and joined up with flag once again.
LRH was not aboard the flag ship at the time and I was assigned the post of ships programs chief. This post put be in charge of all the ships in the sea organisation including the flag ship of which there were 5 but this was only the running of the ships. There was another organisation on the flag ship which was responsible for scientology around the world. Hubbard left the flag ship as he was ill with lung problems and my first assignment was to check all the air-conditioning units in his living quarters and where he did his writing and have them repaired where necessary. He also suffered from various allergies from certain textiles and I had to check that none of these textiles were in his living and sleeping quarters.
As I was in charge of all the ships an order was received from LRH to have me comm-eved for endangering Scientology in the Western United States. What happened was that there were many of the staffers children at the advanced organisation in Los Angeles where public came to study and receive counselling and the executives of this organisation wanted to send the children to one of the ships during the day to be cared for after schooling. The result was that the ship’s captain and the execs of the LA org started fighting and Hubbard held me responsible. I knew about this situation and ordered all involved to handle it but Hubbard decided to blame me. He ordered a committee of evidence to be held on me and face a charge of sabotaging scientology in the Western United States. I was of course found guilty by the committee because if I was found not guilty Hubbard would have fired the committee and have another convened. I was then put in a lower condition once again but this time I was too angry to do any of the conditions and penalties.
We returned to South Africa shortly after and took over the running of the local sea org mission in South Africa responsible for the running of all the Scientology org’s on the continent. However I was still very angry and took a leave of absence and found a job and started making some money for a change. In all my time in scientology and the sea organisation pay was virtually non-existent except when on the flag ship who received money from all the organisations around the world. My wife at that time and I split and it was only then that I discovered we were never married. I worked for a while and started earning money for a change but I was begged to come back and if I did not they would have declared me suppressive. I returned but I was already declared a “FREELOADER” and had to pay my freeloader bill which I did.
So once again I experienced disgusting food and no or little pay. I got over my anger and settled down. I was appointed chief officer and did what chief officers did. A while later, the commanding officer and her husband were transferred by their request to the Flag Ship and we received a new CO by the name of Norman Starkey. He was on a leave of absence from flag and when that leave was up he returned and took over the reins of our little outfit. Earlier when I was on the flag ship holding the post of ships programs chief, he was the captain of the flag ship and my junior but now my senior. This guy was a screaming shouting type of a character and I considered him quite insane. The 2 of us fought continuously and at one stage I landed up in the old hillbrow hospital with ulceration of the stomach. I overcame that and returned and he was later recalled to the flag ship. We received a new CO and a while later I was asked to run the Johannesburg Continental Org as it was not doing well and I ran that for a few months. During this period I also married again to my current wife. My previous wife died of cancer in 1994.
I was later removed from the position of CO Johannesburg without any reason given and returned to the continental headquarters. But this removal upset me and my wife and I decided to leave, this was in 1980. My wife also gave birth to my daughter Natalie in 1979. So I got a job in my profession once again and started earning money and for the time being moved in with my wife’s parents until such time as we could get a place of our own. I then started my own business doing graphic arts for the printing industry and things were going OK then in January of 1986 Hubbard died. I was quite shocked and later attended an event in Johannesburg for a memorial service.
About a month went past and I received a telephone call from Dave Engelhard and Sue Price who were senior personnel at the newly established Flag Land Base which was situated in the newly purchased Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater in Pinellas County, Florida USA. They wanted me to return with my wife and children as they needed my expertise as they wished to purchase a new ship. My wife and I discussed the possibility of returning but we were not keen. We received quite a few call from America over the next few days and were persuaded to return. This was a bad mistake however we closed the business and sold the machinery and my car and purchased flights the 5 of us and flew over to Clearwater USA. We were given a nice welcome and I was appointed to a position in the newly formed ship org. There were maybe around 15 of us. My wife was appointed as a registrar.
I was asked to go and see the owner of the ship who was based in Florida so I flew down to Florida and had an interview with the owner, seemed to be a wealthy businessman and we made a deal. Asking price was US$12M and we did a deal. He said he liked the look of our bank account which was sent to him earlier which was an offshore bank account in Europe. I did not see that account. He then gave me permission to inspect the ship which was docked in a port close to Clearwater. So myself and a colleague and myself visited the ship which I inspected and gave my approval. It was a nice ship! Then some time later Engelhard was not happy with me for some reason or the other which was not explained to me and he took me outside and he started roughing me up but not hitting me. I exploded and nearly attacked him as in my younger years I trained as a boxer but I refrained but warned him that if he tried that again I would break his neck. This really upset me.
My wife was also not happy with what she was doing in that as a registrar her job was to call people and register them and get them to pay for services. She had to phone people from around the world and work from after breakfast at 9:00 am until 10:00 pm. After that she was made to baby sit for another registrar until 2 or 3 in the morning. The baby was brought to our living quarters and none of us got a proper nights sleep. This carried on until one night I told this other registrar that we will no longer do this. She reported me to ethics for endangering her job. In addition to this we got our little 5 year old girl in a school but the 2 boys now aged 11 and 13 were not in school and my wife was not very happy about this. So my wife phoned her parents and asked them to purchase tickets for us in South Africa as we were coming home. They purchased tickets for us which we collected and one morning early we left and flew home to South Africa. My wife’s parents were not very happy with me. At this time at the age of 46 I decided that I had enough and would resign from scientology for good. But I owed my wife’s parents a lot of money for the 5 airline tickets they paid for. My family and I were now penniless and homeless and in debt. So I went to see a lawyer and asked him to send them a lawyers letter at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater demanding that they refund me for the airline tickets we purchased. They refunded the money without any problem whatsoever and I settled my debt with my father in law and purchased a small vehicle to get to work and back and lived with my parents in law until we could get our own place.