The SO #1 line and the illusion that was created for decades that “Ron” was in fact communicating with people from all over the world.
It was a great public relations move to have people believe they were communicating with “Source”, but it was a lie. It was also the source of valuable for information (intelligence).
I assure you that though this letter is signed “Ron” and is on his letterhead, it was absolutely NOT seen, written, signed or anything else’d by him. In 1980 he was in seclusion out of fear that that US Government was going to arrest him and turn him into an indicted co-conspirator, and that civil litigants were going to drag him into deposition (the same fights to prevent his deposition were being waged then on his behalf as those being waged today on Miscavige’s behalf). A letter from the staff in Miami did NOT get to “Ron.” He was not in touch with the most senior people in the church, let alone the staff in Miami.
It is somewhat ironic that this is in Miami because that is where Alethiea Taylor is from. She was “LRH Personal Secretary” on the Apollo, and oversaw the “SO #1 Unit” (she has long since left the Sea Org — her husband Luten was the trombone player in the Apollo Stars). The SO #1 Unit handled all mail to LRH, corresponded with his family in his name and provided him with summaries of “situations” based on “sour SO #1’s.”
From when I was on the Apollo in 1973 until his death, LRH did NOT comply with his own policy: Standing Order No. I “All mail addressed to me shall be received by me.” At some point on the Apollo I think he may have seen some of the letters that came in along with the replies that were being proposed to go out from SO #1 people, and he received weekly reports showing the total number of letters in and percentage of “sour” letters. The “sour” letters stat was turned over to management to evaluate “bad” orgs. But from very early on this was at best a sleight of hand — he “received” the letters because they went to a unit designed by him to handle them; and at worst it was a lie — the fake letters with his signature on them signed or stamped by someone else, it could just as easily have been set up to send responses to people from a secretary “on behalf of Ron.”
The SO #1 unit had specific direction how to handle all incoming mail — acknowledge people and keep it “good roads, good weather”, tell them how much they were appreciated, if appropriate give them a quote from some reference and if there was a real problem tell them that someone had been directed to “look into it.”
Anyone who got a “letter from Ron” after 1973 (I cannot speak to it before that date as I was not there, but suspect it was the same for many years previously) it was NOT written by LRH. It was written and signed by a secretarial pool.
This is not hard to understand. Orgs PROMOTED “write to Ron” and there were hundreds of letters a week. If he DID read and respond to them there would have been no time to do anything else. Politicians and leaders of large organizations cannot handle all their mail, but it is very unusual for them to not indicate that someone else is responding on their behalf. And especially when scientologists are supposed to take the word of LRH as source. A written document from Ron is an almost holy document, and I am sure there are people out there who still cherish their “SO#1 letters” as “my letter from Ron.” ASI took this some steps further in later years, selling “LRH signed books” that were NOT signed by him.
But in this day and age to put an #SO 1 letter on a promo piece and pretend it is “from Ron” is really ridiculous.
After LRH died, the “SO #1” Unit was turned over to “ED Int” and it became “You can write to ED Int”. The same personnel that had done “Ron Letters” now did “Guillaume letters” and in fact when Guillaume ended up in the Hole, Rae Chase and her secretarial “SO #1” unit handled incoming MANAGEMENT communications (from CO’s of Conts and ILO and orgs) to maintain the illusion that he was “still on post.” They did the same for communications that came in to the “Exec Ints” (as there was not a SINGLE ONE ON POST even though “LRH promised” that he had established the “international executive strata” so all staff could write to them for advice about their specialty).
Someone just sent this to me. Note the date. He died on 24 January. It would NOT surprise me if there are “SO 1” letters AFTER 24 January 1986 as nobody informed the people in the SO #1 Unit right away.