Hana Whitfield is such a pleasure to talk to. One of the nicest, kindest people I have had the pleasure of knowing, she is also one of the most interesting. She helped us on The Aftermath, appearing on the episode “The Life and Lies of L. Ron Hubbard” (S2 E 13). Hana joined the Sea Org before it was the Sea Org (it was originally named the Sea Project) in 1967, and went on to Captain various Sea Org ships and bases. We do a deep dive into the early years of the formation of the SO, her recollections of Hubbard, his “Mission Into Time” and much more.
Hana was a highly trained scientologist and OT — the St Hill Special Briefing Course (SHSBC) was the course only available at St Hill, Hubbard’s home in England, that consisted of hundreds of lectures Hubbard had delivered to students there providing the most advanced auditing techniques. He subsequently conducted a course for auditors on the Apollo with the new, most advanced auditing technology that he called the Class VIII Course. You can find his Class VIII lectures on the internet — for many years they were confidential. They are some of the craziest he ever did.
The formation of the Sea Org:
The Avon River (later renamed Athena) in Las Palmas:
Ranks in the Sea Org:
Scientology objects to calling him Captain
The CST decision concerning the Sea Org:
“After carefully examining the record and attempting to understand the nominal corporate structure of Scientology it is apparent to the court that it is something of a deceptis visus. Real control is exercised less formally, but more tangibly, through an unincorporated association, the Sea Organization, more commonly referred to as the Sea Org. This group, in the nature of a fraternity or clan, began with Scientologists who pledged themselves eternally to Scientology and who accompanied LRH in his sea-going spiritual research in the Mediterranean”
Mission Into Time:
Hubbard’s failed effort to locate buried treasure he “recalled” from past lives…
Ron’s Journal 67:
One of the crazier Hubbard lectures where he announces OT III and the formation of the Sea Org.
Sea Org Contract:
Sea Org members pride themselves on being “tough.”
There is no concern over physical violence among SO members in the course of doing their jobs:
You’re expected to do any job in the SO, trained or not:
This podcast was wonderful.
In 1990 I attended an office in Monticito California …bird refuge complex area…that did a training called Avatar.
A woman headed it up , and that woman was Virginia Downsborough.
Until 3 months ago I had no idea Avatar was sort of a sprig off of Scientology.
I did her course for a few months. It was a $3,000.00 course.
About 2 weeks afterI started, her and I were chit chatting outside one day and she told me that she had been on a boat with Ron Hubbard.
I had heard his name before and knew he’d been part of a philosophy or SOMETHING…and didn’t ask any questions. She then said something to the effect that she had thrown away a dumpster of E meters.
Again, I just listened. I didn’t really put anything together as it would be years before I saw AFTERMATH! …Anyways…
She closed the office at the bird refuge area weeks of me starting and we worked out of her home in Monticto.
She was a kind woman, we always had food there to munch on,and i remember there was a hot tub to use. we all wore bathing suits…ethical scene, not weird or sleezy. We could use it whenever we wanted.
I always insisted on Virginia doing my one on one Run downs…or sessions…not sure what they were called, cuz she was the guru of the bunch! The way it went was I would sort of speak of an issue that was bugging and she would listen until the issue basically had no charge on it…Kind of like…”I am NOT that”…kind of a deal. It was like going to therapy in a way.
The thing about Virginia that tripped me out was that she never seemed to get bothered emotionally about ANYTHING!!!
Except when a friend of mine stained her leather chair. That got her feathers ruffled, not bad though.
Well odd how things come around.
I still want to know if scientology is connected to Avatar.
Virginia was good and wanted to help. Anybody know how she exited scientology…did she exit? Was Avatar still part? Mike do you know?
I’m so sorry to tell you this Tee, but I’m afraid she came to a very tragic exit. It was a murder suicide.
Apparently, the reason she loved that leather chair so much was because her son used to sit on it all the time and it came to symbolize some real significance to her.
One day, a visitor to her sessions sat on that chair and broke it and the poor dear just went out of her mind and murdered him. It was terribly gruesome and I won’t describe how it happened because I don’t want to distress you.
But it would be best to just wish her farewell and forget her. I’m very sorry to bring you such tragic news.
But as the seers say, “You have to be careful what you wish for” and “It is what it is.”
She didn’t have a son dimwit!!!
Virginia would not hurt a fly!
PS…no such thing as a murder suicide…!
Afraid not! She had no son, and gave my friend the chair that very same day!
Jokester you are!
John Doe says
I remember in the 80s when David Miscavige, who like Hubbard, considered himself a film making professional, personally drilled the Shoot Crew Chief at Golden Era Productions on how to set up a shot.
It was nothing but non-stop screaming and intimidation and then that Shoot Crew Chief subsequently carried that misery forward.
It is not the way it is done.
If Miscavige were a 1st Assistant Director (the real term for a Shoot Crew Chief) and tried to run a crew with his “professional” method, he’d be fired in under 15 minutes and before he got to his car to leave, the Teamsters would have a little chat with him.
Bryon Eckert says
Ecclesiastical Swirlies! I didn’t know about that one.
O/T. People Magazine: Laura Prepon on Motherhood, Sharing Her Truth and Her Decision to Leave Scientology
“If motherhood has taught me anything so far, it’s that something can work out for a period of time and then you move on,” the mom of two tells PEOPLE
August 17, 2021 11:00 AM
* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *
Another change, one that occurred several years ago but that she’s never shared until now, is that she is no longer a Scientologist.
“I’m no longer practicing Scientology,” says Prepon. “I’ve always been very open-minded, even since I was a child. I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I’ve prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I’ve studied Chinese meridian theory. I haven’t practiced Scientology in close to five years and it’s no longer part of my life.”
These days she finds solace in meditation, which she does with her husband, who has never practiced Scientology. “We meditate daily and I’m really liking it,” she says, “because it’s something that helps me to hear my own voice and it’s something we can do together.”
* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
Memorialized with a screenshot on ESMBR at:
Geoff Levin says
Thanks for the good news about Laura Prepon.
O/T. VIDEO — Today’s Christian Television Network: Scientology – Is it a Cult? (Answer: Yes).
* * * * * BEGIN INTRODUCTION * * * * *
Is Scientology a Religion or Is Scientology a Cult?
Pastor Lori Porter asks our panel of pastors, Is Scientology a Cult? How does it affect their members? What is Scientology and how does it relate to Christianity? Is Scientology a religion? Hear their responses inspired by scripture and what the Bible says in regards to answering this question!
Watch Ask the Pastor on the TCT Network – Today’s Christian Television. A panel of pastors on “Ask the Pastor” will answer your personal questions about the Bible or the Christian path! Watch this famous Christian TV show live on YouTube every weekday at 4pm ET!
* * * * * END INTRODUCTION * * * * *
Hana Whitfield, Thank you for sharing in this interview. It is a classic which should be preserved and listened to often. Your insight into Hubbard is deep and profound.
Jere Lull says
Hana was the most OT scientologists I ever met, a joy to work under, and the ONLY sea org member who got things done without raging fits and dire threats. She “forced” me to balance work and the rest of my life needs/wants which kept me from completely collapsing years before I finally did.
Chuck Beatty says
Hubbard’s final state of mind, his “create, survive, destroy”. “start, change, stop” cycle of action of his own life, and dismal despairing end of his life, I wish were more realistically written up.
“Going Clear….” book gives a bit of the Hubbard end of life.
But it ought be written seriously better and filled out, someday.
I wish we had his final case folders, and that Pat Broeker would be coaxed to add some details.
Ray Mithoff I wish would get out and talk also.
Then for some serious writer to absorb all the material and more realistically do Hubbard’s bio and his dismal end.
Geoff Levin says
Yes, I think a clear detailed story about Hubbards end of days would give closure to a lot of people.
Jere Lull says
Yeah, it’d be great to fill in his last days a bit more, though we already have clear indications that he realized that he’d ultimately failed. It’d be nice to know what that failure was, but it was clear he never got to rule the world or enslave ALL women; he racked up a pretty high score, though. I’m pretty sure he didn’t regret never delivering a Book 1 clear as that bit of hyperbole was obviously part of his bait to enslave everyone.
Tubby was a master of, “Do as I say, not as I do.”
x Team Xenu says
For sure. Imagine overboarding Hubbard when he admitted to Sarge that he wasn’t coming back to earth, and that he’d failed.
He was in Treason at the end of his life to his Scientology subject, per the final pages of “Going Clear…” book.
Jere Lull says
He’s STILL in TREASON or confusion and will be until he returns to take responsibility for his misdeeds. I don’t CARE if he’s spinny from going ’round some star at light speed or above.
I find it strange that LRH not only condones but approves and actively encourages the losing of one’s temper in order to “get his job done”.
I have a small business highly dependent upon my ability to control people and get the best out of them.
I’ve long found that losing one’s temper, screaming and yelling and other histrionics in order to make my point and get something done is not only ineffective but downright harmful and a losing game.
I found that acknowledgement and praise are usually effective; criticism and make wrong almost never. Once they understand policy and their jobs, not helicoptering over them but being there if they need you: frequent light acknowledgements of what they do right, gentle corrections when necessary but always in a respectful tone and tempered with what they’ve done right and/or what were their intentions to do it right even though they didn’t, work wonders. Tone is important too.
Disrespect and make fools of people who work for and with you at your peril! Oh, they’ll defer to you. They’ll be nice. You sign their checks, after all. They have to be nice to you. But do they really respect you? Not necessarily. Deference doesn’t equate to respect.
Being in charge of people and getting them to do their best work requires self control. Splatter like an egg on concrete in front of them once too often and they will lose respect for you, and resent you, and once that happens, whoa, watch out.
In my first real job I worked in an organization wherein we were controlled and made to work by fear of being screamed at and insulted and humiliated. I’ve never forgotten that experience.
I can’t deal with people that way. I have my own management style. Seems to work 🙂
Loosing my Religion says
Aqua. Sure that what you do works very well. There is respect for others.
In the SO I was constantly hearing people screaming and threatning others 24h a day. The only results were futher ethics and people wanting to leave. No other real results except ‘half dones’ and ‘overt products’. Nothing that could last.
OMG. Horrible. I’m so sorry, Loosing. I was always a public, never staff of SO, but early on I worked in a large firm and with a management style exactly as you describe the SO – screams, threats, continual criticism and make-wrong. Many of my co-workers were chronically ill with one thing or another but they drove themselves out of fear. I never got sick but I dreaded going to work and the only reason I didn’t quit right away was because there was someone , my immediate superior, who, sadistically WANTED me to quit and I didn’t want to give her the satisfaction, especially since in those days I wasn’t particularly trained for anything else.
Anyway I lasted there for 2 years and then left and went on to better situations, better bosses and more money. I suppose I should be grateful for the experience of working in that first place because it did teach me how NOT to deal with people.
Writing this I’m getting an anxiety stomach from just remembering. My God, what it must have been like for you!
I’m so sorry.
Loosing my Religion says
Aqua. I am sure what you have experienced in that firm made you to understand was the wrong way to deal with people. These kind of companies dont last much.
My experience in the SO was made easier by the fact I was coming from a rural small boring town where people time to time had real fights outside the bar.
Those guys screaming in the SO were looking more like chickens trying to do an egg.
Thanks for the laugh, Loosing! Everyone is very funny tonite!
Jere Lull says
I worked a while for a guy whose motivational poster was “The floggings will continue until morale improves.”🤣 Anything good that occurred in that company was DESPITE his actions.
I’ve heard that expression. Its supposed to be tongue in cheek.
Unless he was joking – and from what you’ve shared he was not – he did not deserve to be in charge of other peoples’ work lives and livelihoods. There are plenty of them out there, like him. Its scary.
Doug Sprinkle says
I listened to Ron’s journal 67 again. I’ve heard it before and it’s always entertaining. He says that he became quite popular in Africa and appeared on television shows. Has anyone ever verified if that really happened?
It was investigated.
Wikipedia quotes as following “In 1971, the SABC was finally allowed to introduce a television service.”
That was the earliest broadcast as there were no UHF/VHF broadcast attenas before then. Perhaps he mixed up Confederacies or Galactic wars.
Doug Sprinkle says
That’s very interesting, thanks
Loosing my Religion says
Doug. I remember about an interview with a tv from Gibiltar. But it wasn’t a good PR event for him. The tv demonstrated he was a liar and hiding money in Switzerland.
Popular in Africa? That’s a huge generalization Hubbard is making there!
Africa is a vast continent containing 54 countries. In which of them and with whom, i.e. with what demographics within those countries was he “popular” I wonder.
All I know from some of his lectures is that he visited Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Was Hubbard well liked and popular there? Of course, he would say he was.
He likely also visited Johannesburg, South Africa in that he named a Sec Checking process after it. Was he popular there? If so, were they pro or anti apartheid? Enquiring minds want to know.
I read also that he crashed his motorcycle in Morocco, breaking a a couple of ribs.
Ok, that’s 3 countries in Africa I know of that Hubbard visited.
Jere Lull says
“Popular in Africa?”
It’s superb and very much appreciated that you put the various references and evidence on your blog (and also with the red-rimmed emphasises) corresponding to these podcasts/interviews and in this succinct way.
Jere Lull says
The first time I read “Mission into time, I felt so sad for Hubbard, failing so catastrophically as he evidently did. He didn’t even work very hard to spin the failures into something better. He must have been seriously depressed.
O/T. VIDEO: Out Of The Blank #882 – Stefani A Hutchison (Blogger & Anti-Scientology)
* * * BEGIN INTRODUCTION * * *
Stefani is a blogger and vocal Anti-Scientologist, using her blog to help spread the horrors of this cult she explains and breakdown a lot of what people hear or see about in news. Hearing many experiences and having a few herself you can peal back the layers of this cult and start to notice the weird or strange things that occur.
* * * END INTRODUCTION * * *
Jere Lull says
It’s sad that at one time, I thought that rambling somewhat incoherent RJ 67 was the height of clarity and conciseness. I remembered a couple of the bell-ringers over the ensuing 50 years, but they (surprise, surprise) turned out to be false prophecies (profit-cies), there solely to get us to focus on our scn studies even harder than we already were, bringing even MORE money in to his coffers. He already was making more than even HE could fritter away, ffs!
This morning, brooding on things I’ve done wrong in my life: I’m a dismal failure.
Then, visiting this website: I’m a complete winner: I never joined scientology; never had to sit and listen to this evil, lying P.O.S. run off at the mouth, or read his drivel. So, yeah, I did some things right! Thanks, Hana, and thanks, Mike.
Mike Rinder says
Hana L. Whitfield says
Well done to you! You certainly did that one right. On the other hand, Mike, Leah, and thousands of former Scientologists also did something right; they got into an abusive cult, discovered they made a mistake, and got right out again and in the process learned how not to get conned again!
Hana, in patting myself on the back for never joining, I didn’t mean to denigrate the efforts of Leah, Mike, yourself and all the other heroic exes who got out and now work hard to expose this horrible cult. I especially feel for those, like Mike, who were raised in scientology and had no choice as children. I can’t imagine having to live with the pain of disconnection, as so many of them do.
My own ruin: drugs and alcohol. I did many things that I can’t undo, hurt a lot of people. I once traveled across the U.S. to join the Children of God cult to clean up, but fortunately got way laid and never made it. This is all decades in the past now. Having a wife who’s also “in recovery” has been a big help. I’m a fair jazz trumpet player (like Ron Miscavige, R.I.P.), and get a lot of joy from that. I may whine a bit in my dotage, but my life these days is pretty good. Sorry for going into “true confessions” mode here; I just felt like it this morning.