When I was introduced to Scientology in 1964 it was called The Hubbard Association of Scientologists. I attended an introductory lecture and later did some of the basic courses. I was very impressed and later signed up for The Hubbard Professional Auditors Course all at my own expense. At the time I thought there was nothing like it in the Western World. It was about the philosophy of spirituality, of love and of friendship. I was so impressed with the information that when I was asked to join staff by the head of the organisation, Alison Parkhouse at that time, I joined without any hesitation and signed a contract for 2 ˝ years.
Much to the disgust of family and friends I gave up my profession and worked for a few cents a week. The course room was packed with students learning about Hubbard’s philosophy and really having a ball. From around 1964 Hubbard introduced his ethics policies, and that was the beginning of the demise of Scientology although I did not realize it at the time. There were many policies he wrote about ethics and the ethics conditions and the formulas on how to get yourself out of these conditions.
Maybe there is some truth in what he wrote but my experience with it was nothing short of abuse especially when put into the hands of uncaring people. I visited Scientology Organisations in many parts of the world and I found none who liked these policies especially their formulas and penalties. Often parents had to disconnect from their children and children had to disconnect from their parents if they were declared suppressive, this was of course complete insanity. This also was indicative of Hubbard's mental status. Organisations I visited were Malmo, Gothenburg, Stockholm in Sweden, and Copenhagen in Denmark. Then there were Lubeck in Germany, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria in South Africa and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. My own experience was that it was degrading. Often when a senior executive was angry with an individual he or she would put you in a lowered condition to suit their own egos.
Hubbard became quite fanatical about his philosophy at the time and ordered the executives of organisations around the world to lengthen the evening training classes from 3 to 5 evenings per week and weekend courses to run the entire weekend. He wrote a short article called “5 YEARS” IN WHICH HE STATED THE WORLD ONLY HAD 5 YEARS LEFT BEFORE NUCLEAR WAR WAS DECLARED BY THE SOVIET UNION AND THE UNITED STATES AND THAT SCIENTOLOGY WAS THE ONLY HELP FOR THE WORLD. Students were forced to attend courses 5 evenings per week which upset them as they say they had no family time left. There were some quite distinguished people, people in good positions in the work place, who could not always attend course or their counselling sessions.
And then an “ethics officer” was appointed to staff according to the new policies Hubbard had written and all hell broke loose. He started applying the ethics procedures to staff and public. Staff members were declared suppressive and kicked out and those who could not attend class 5 nights per week or attend their counselling sessions were declared suppressive. My best friend at the time who I had brought into Scientology recently got married and was on honeymoon, he was declared because he was unable to attend class. The results were that the course room started emptying out and the once friendly public became hostile. This affected the income of the organisation and my pay dropped to virtually nothing. I became the only technical person in the organisation able to deliver services to the public which made it very stressful for me. The organisation could no longer afford the lovely premises they were in and they had to find alternate cheaper premises. My family was very upset with me as they had to support me. This all happened at the Cape Town Organization around 1965 - 66. Even the press started getting hostile with bad articles. I became extremely unhappy with this ethics rubbish. When my contract expired in 1966 I left Cape Town organisation and found a job in my profession in the printing industry to earn some money.
I was still very interested in the philosophy of Scientology and when I was informed of the newly formed Sea Organisation I joined it in 1968 at the Advanced Organisation in Alicante Spain. I thought that this ethics nonsense would be discontinued or not abused as much as it was in Cape Town because I thought I was going to a higher level organisation, BUT OH MY GOODNESS, WAS I WRONG. The first 3 months of my new career in the sea organization at the advanced organization in Alicante, Spain was absolutely brilliant. Lots of friendly students from around the world, and the staff were amazing and friendly. The commanding officer, a South African was quite level headed and social and did not mess around with this ethics stuff. This was however short lived as instructions from Hubbard were to close that organization down and open a new advanced organization in Edinburgh, Scotland as we were informed the authorities in Spain were about to raid us, I never knew the reason. I was assigned the task of getting all the students, of which there were around a hundred, transferred to Edinburgh which I arranged flights for. I hired a car and drove all the course materials to Edinburgh with the help of a colleague.
On my return from Edinburgh I was assigned as a crew member on the Station Ship Avon River (later renamed the Athena) a small steam boat weighing around 500 tons. I arrived on the boat fairly late and after filling in all the papers required of a crew member on a ship I got to bed at around 3 AM. Later that morning at around 5:15 AM I was awakened by a 15 year old kid named Peter Gilham who informed me that I was scheduled to take the next quarter master watch. I had no idea what this was about but he gave me a briefing of what was required and showed me around the ship. I was still very groggy as I was still exhausted from the previous day and as I did not have enough sleep. I was quite astounded when being shown around the decks as there were young girls, must have been around 15 to 17, chipping the rust off the decks and themselves more than half asleep and battling to stay awake. It occurred to me that this ethics “stuff” has not gone away I was absolutely disgusted. I was then given a broken pair of old overalls to put on and at 6:00 AM started my Quarter Master watch.
At 9:00 AM that morning a beautiful girl named Nicki Freidman came up to me and assigned me a condition of NON-EXISTENCE FOR WEARING AN OLD PAIR OF OVERALLS while on quarter master watch and ordered me to report to the Master at Arms (Ethics Officer on dry land).
So I was assigned the task of painting the bridge of the ship for the next 24 hours and was not permitted to eat with the crew. After performing my penalty I went to bed and slept until the next morning. The next day I was assigned to the engine room as a greaser, which had the task of oiling and greasing the machinery. I had no experience of steam ships but started learning fast as I had quite a lot of knowlege about motor car engines. It was a few days as we prepared the ship to sail and we received orders to sail to an unknown destination. We set sail for Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa and then were told our next port of call would be Bizerte in Tunisia North Africa. During this trip we had tremendous problems with the engine and the rings of the 1st high pressure piston disintegrated. We had other problems with heat but we eventually arrived in Bizerte and we were all exhausted.
The captain in the meantime assigned the engine room a condition of doubt with its penalties and we had to work to repair the broken piston for the next 72 hours without sleep and were not permitted to leave the engine room. We were not permitted to bathe either. We became filthy dirty and absolutely exhausted. The Flag Ship Royal Scotman, later named the Apollo was due to arrive in Bizerte later with the commodore L Ron Hubbard aboard. Hubbard eventually arrived on his much larger ship with his crew and when he heard about our experience in the engine room, he recalled our chief engineer to his ship to face a committee of evidence with a charge of “CRIMINAL NEGLECT TO THE ENGINES OF THE FLOTILLA”. I was then assigned the post of Chief Engineer by the captain. The next day the Commodore sent a messenger over to me to ask me “when will I have the engine ready as he needed us to sail urgently”. I was still totally ignorant of the workings of the engine as it was partially dismantled so I informed the messenger to tell Hubbard that “we could probably sail in a couple of days if he sent me someone who knows what was going on”. So he returned the chief back to us and we fixed the engines and set sail for Corfu Greece.
After our arrival in Corfu the Flag Ship was already there and we docked close to her. There was a lot going on and we were going to build a university of Scientology on the island which would be the headquarters for Scientology world-wide. This would have brought a lot of money to the small poor island. But it was not to be.