She graciously wrote this piece to explain a bit about her new book.
I finally did it! After three long years, I have published a book about growing up as a second generation Scientologist. Because I have so much to say about it and many stories to tell, this is the first of hopefully three books.
Commodore’s Messenger: A Child Adrift in the Scientology Sea Organization covers the years from before I was born, starting around 1953 about how and why my parents, Peter Gillham and Yvonne Gillham-Jentzsch got into Scientology in the first place. It goes onto telling what it was like to grow up in a Scientology Mission, living through the Victorian Government Inquiry, my mother being one of the first declared Suppressive Persons in 1965, the banning of Scientology in Victoria resulting in the family moving to England, and at the age of 11 arriving on the Royal Scotman with my brother and sister — only to find our mother was not there. Instead we were given jobs to work for our keep until she returned from Mission Into Time on the Avon River with L. Ron Hubbard. The book ends in Oct 1970. The second book which is nearing completion will pick up there and follow me through my life on the ship for another 5 years as a Commodore’s Messenger until the Apollo was sold in Oct 1975 and we moved to America.
My main purpose for writing this book was because I got tired of hearing and reading twisted stories of what happened or even stories of things that happened that never did by people who were not there. Having lived on the ship from the age of 11 to 19, it was my home. As a messenger for L. Ron Hubbard, I ran thousands of messages for him to various people around the ship in doing so, I saw, heard and knew a lot about what really happened.
Many who have read what I have written were very impressed with my memory – I cheated. I happened to have been given several years worth of Orders of the Day from the Apollo – the Orders of the Day was like our daily newspaper for what was going on around the ship and L. Ron Hubbard as the Commodore usually wrote a “command” item to the crew informing them of what he had been dealing with. Re-reading these decades later jogged my memory of so many events that writing about it just flowed out. I also had many old friends that sailed the seas with me who helped fill in gaps to perfect some of the stories.
I dedicate this book to my mother and all past and present Sea Org members in hopes they will find the truth they have been looking for.
No matter what is said or claimed about me by the current Church of Scientology, they can only blame Scientology for who I am and what I say, since I was born into Scientology by Scientology parents and raised as a teenager by L. Ron Hubbard himself.
My book is now available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/154720219X/
…and my first interview ever released talking about what life was lilke on the ship can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2JugA-Wphs&t=2s
I include here the start of my first chapter:
“…The only reason brainwashing works the way the commies do it is because they make people do self-criticism. . . but they make them think-think-think-think-think in their heads… Figure-figure harder, figure-figure harder, and they just keep reducing their havingness (taking things away), reducing their havingness, reducing their havingness. . .”
L. Ron Hubbard “Auditing Techniques…”
“STOP!” LAZ COMMANDED, as he grabbed me by the arm.
I shook him off as I ignored his command and kept walking. Laz jumped in front of me and grabbed both my arms to stop me from walking away.
“Get your filthy hands off me!” I shouted back, confronting him directly. Laz refused to let me go.
I shook his hands off me, then slapped him across the face and kept walking. Laz told the guard he had guarding me “Go get six of the biggest men that you can find.” Ignoring them, I made it halfway down the dirt road until the six men surrounded me. I was not allowed to move. Laz ordered them to block me from going anywhere for nearly fifteen minutes while he disappeared.
It didn’t matter if I yelled and screamed. We were in the middle of nowhere in the desert—I knew there was no one around to hear me! There was nowhere for me to run. Maybe the men expected me to kick and scream. I did not.
My intention was to defy them, I felt calm, considering the madness surrounding me. After a lifetime of growing up in Scientology, at age 22, I wanted to leave the Sea Org, the highest echelon of Scientology. I did not want to give up Scientology, as it was a way of life for me and I didn’t know much else. I just refused to be a slave anymore, and didn’t agree with how staff members who worked within the rank and file of Scientology’s Sea Organization were being treated, including me.
When Laz returned, he ordered the six men to escort me to the back of the Ranch House. I could cooperate, or I could resist by screaming or trying to break free from their control—but what good would that have done? There was nowhere to go and no one around to help. I walked with them toward the usual entrance to the staff lounge, and assumed I would be waiting there to see Maria Starkey in her office next door. But once I stepped inside, the door was closed behind me, and locked.
Laz had converted the hall of the Ranch House into a prison, with the doors to the rooms locked from the outside. Laz’s plan all along was to move me into this trap. I was locked inside a hall with a bathroom, and locked off from the rest of the house. This confined space held only a mattress on the floor with two sheets, a pillow, a towel and bar of soap, and the clothes on my back.
I might have been able to climb out of the bathroom window, but where would I go? And my pockets were empty – no money. My brother Peter and my sister Terri shared a car with me, but my keys had already been taken, and the distributor cap had been removed in case I knew how to hot-wire it, which I did not.
I was being held prisoner against my will.
The guards, however, all thought they were helping me by following L. Ron Hubbard’s instructions on dealing with someone having a psychotic break. “Isolate the person wholly with all attendants COMPLETELY muzzled (no speech)” L. Ron Hubbard. However, there is a difference between having a psychotic break and refusing to be unjustly sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force.
Guards stood watch outside the door of my confinement for twenty-four hours a day. They were instructed to not talk to me. They unlocked the door only three times a day to quickly slide in some food and vitamins. They gave me a few pieces of paper and a pen to write down anything I had to say. Besides repeating that I wanted to leave, I had nothing else to say.
My first day of imprisonment, I caught up on my sleep. Sleep was treated as a luxury in the Sea Org, versus a healthy necessity. Since I was a prisoner with no other options, I took advantage of having the privacy and time to luxuriate in a hot bath while I daydreamed of what life might be like in the outside world….”