This is the twenty-seventh installment of the account of a journey into and out of scientology — written by one of our long-term readers. I hope you enjoy her insights, humor and style.
Lili also provided a glossary of terms.
Through the Bubble – Lili’s Adventures in Scientologyland
This is my quirky recollection of events. Others may remember things differently. Lingo is italicized on the first mention, capitalized after that. I’ve compressed complexities in the cult to simplify your reading pleasure.
Free Auditing, and Apologies from the Cherch
I found this lovely passage online in the Admissions of L Ron Hubbard: “You have never done wrong and need never apologize to anyone…You can be merciless when your will is crossed and you have the right to be merciless.” This lack of apology was a recurring theme in my treatment as a cult member, I mean Scientologist.
Every Scientologist learns that the cherch of Scientology never apologizes. If you’re lucky, you might get one or two “clean-up Sessions” after botched Auditing. It’s more likely that you’ll pay for the “Repair Auditing” and the screw-up will be on you. But all bets are off if we’re talking about big-spender VIP types. If Scientology can do fake auditions, shopping for Tom Cruise’s next acceptable-to-the-cherch girlfriend, they can fer sure bend their rules when it suits them.
My knife in the gut of Scientology is to reveal that I was given free Auditing. Yup. Little old not-VIP me. I didn’t even ask for it. Lorna would have blown a gasket had she known. She’d recently gone to Flag and been advised to climb a hopeless Auditing cliff without the necessary experience. This path led to a cash vortex, flushing away the bit of money she’d come into. While at the Flag Registrar’s office, she’d been convinced to show what an Up-Stat Contributor to Scientology she was by becoming an IAS Alumni or some posh title. That deleted $50,000.00 from her bank balance. And gave her a pin to wear proudly. Unless she got tired of being stopped in hallways and given lectures about Setting a Good Example and being begged for further donations.
When Lorna slunk home, she had completed zero steps on her Bridge to Total Freedom. She didn’t even try to tell me she had Big Wins after that horrible, too-long trip. Oh yeah, and it almost cost her the much-cherished job she had worked so hard to get. It definitely destroyed her seniority and ruined her previous favor.
I was careful not to bring up her recent trip to Flag, when we hung out with Lorna and Deave. I was working, going to the movies, and dodging the Course Room and the Auditing chair. I hoped Lorna wouldn’t write a Knowledge Report on me for the advice I’d given her not to go to Flag for that hopeless program. I could see that she wasn’t ready from a technical standpoint and would spin her wheels and flush her cash. The Registrar ignored the pesky details of Lorna’s unfitness and stoked a fire using her cash for kindling.
I’d decided that I’d never get any Auditing again. I was quite cheered by my decision.
Then one day, my doorbell rang, and two middle-aged smiley Scientology ladies invited themselves into my home. They explained that they were a Sea Org team who traveled the world and “helped” Up-Stat Scientologists who were inactive for one reason or another. The subtext was that I was “important” to the cherch.
I imagine what was really going down was that some paper-pushing Missionaires noted that I’d coughed up some money every few years for Scientology. Many years had passed since I’d coughed up, and I was a prospect. Or an Up-Stat. And maybe they were desperate. The last time I’d been at Flag, I’d noticed a certain lack of bodies in the various public spaces. This was gleefully bragged about. They were now so freaking organized that the waits between sessions were shorter. On that hellish trip to Flag, I’d have to say that was not a plus point.
The elder of the two smiley ladies whipped out an E-Meter, an even bigger smile, and quick as a fox dodges the hounds, had me in Session. I gotta say, this Auditing was some VIP-level shit. It was gentle. I was even allowed to chatter during an Assessment. An Assessment is when you, the PC (pre-clear), shut up while potentially restimulative terms are stated with Intention (loudly or with verbal force). This is done to stimulate a response from your Reactive Mind and, therefore, on the E-Meter. This locates your hot Button, that theoretically, Auditing could “handle.”
Breaking the Assessment Rule
I’d always hated Assessments. I’d mentally check out, and the meter would read me as a dead body. I knew this because I had to Solo-Audit said dead body on OT VII. To get the meter to Read (respond on the E-Meter dial) during some Assessments, I’d talk to myself and tell myself what I just thought of when some Assessment phrase distracted me. I did not share this Successful Action with the Case Supervisor.
Since I didn’t care what the Smiley Ladies thought of me, I just said, “If you want that Assessment to Read, you need to let me tell you when I have a thought. I don’t care if it Reads or not. If I don’t tell you my thought, you’ll get no Reads. Smiley Lady said, “We’ll give that a try.”
In the history of L Ron Hubbard’s 100% Standard rules, this deviation was another parting-of-the-Red-Sea moment.
Smiley Lady located various times Auditing had gone wrong for me and gasp, apologized. She also rooted around to see if I had any incorrect Items. An Item is this uber-important-in-Scientology thing. Once it’s found, the Auditor Indicates your Item to you. The Auditor says, “I’d like to Indicate you were angry about apples.” And apples is your Item.
Present-Time Bingo and Hypnotic Euphoria
Having your Item Indicated to you is supposed to blow Mental Charge. (Upsetting mental energy). If I’d been unhappy and the right thing was Indicated to me, it usually made me feel better. That Indication was supposed to unstick me from the past and transport me into Present Time. But seriously, every freaking step you take in Scientology is supposed to bring you up to Present Time.
Try playing Scientology Bingo by listening to some Scientological Big Wins on YouTube. You’ll hear various versions of Present Time until your Bingo card is full. But suppose you do this as a drinking game. In that case, Present Time becomes irrelevant. You’re having way more fun than the grinning Win-giver with lots of Present-Time awareness and empty pockets. Pass the wine, please.
Smiley Lady offered me a free Auditing program to “Sort me out.” I wasn’t to tell anyone about receiving this generous gift. Oops. I had to drive to Los Angeles to collect my prize. Like a garage-sale shopper finding a Patagonia zip-up hoodie for twenty-five cents, I was in.
Smiley Lady offered many OT-Level sessions. Getting free Auditing made me less resentful about my past horrid experiences at Flag. I loved having a female Auditor I could understand. She’d give me three to five short Auditing Sessions in a row, and I’d get that nice pop of euphoria. Well, part of that was because of the hypnotic aspect of Auditing. In a Chris Shelton and John Atack video, they lay out how staring eyeballs-to-eyeballs, hearing repetitive commands, and believing the Auditor sees your mind with the E-Meter, can be hypnotic. The video is called: Why Scientology Auditing is Bad For You. They discuss how you can get euphoric from being hypnotized and get addicted to it. So yeah, this nice calm Auditing was giving me the happy juice. Buttering me up for the kill.
That Time I Got Services Without a Routing Form
Every time I drove to Los Angeles for some free Auditing, I dressed like I was about to see one of my high-net-worth clients. The cash-sucking leeches, er Registrars who trawled the Auditing waiting rooms would guess I was a VIP. When approached, I’d cop an attitude and say I was here with a visiting Auditor and not officially “On-Lines.” Yup, in more bonkers news, I had dodged a routing form. That was my condition for going to Los Angeles to receive my free Auditing. Since I hated routing forms, chasing down a bunch of people down I didn’t need to see, for their stupid-ass initials, this was a Big Win.
One day, a few weeks after I started the free Auditing program, our Session dipped into nauseating-subject-matter-town. We took a break, and I was shaken. I sat in the waiting room, disturbed by the content we had stirred up, and not fully handled. At Smiley Lady’s suggestion I was reading L Ron Hubbard’s History of Man book. I’d read some creepy stuff about, well not worth repeating. But some of this revolting crap from the book came up in that icky Session.
I huddled over my History of Man book in the chilled Auditing waiting room, apprehensive about having to stop Auditing mid-Session. We’d been using an unused Auditing room. You know, with the cameras and recording devices. Turns out they needed to surveil a paying chump, er parishioner, so we had to “Take a break.” And give up the room.
I’d gotten only one session that day and sat with my butt spreading for hours. My Auditor was missing. Since we weren’t officially there at the Scientology facility, no one knew where she’d gone. I left a note for her with the Auditing-Room in-charge person and departed.
The fact that the icky-subject written about by L Ron Hubbard had come up in session, when it had never come up before made me wonder if I’d just made it up. I looked back at other bizarro Auditing sessions I’d had over the years when I’d told the Auditor, “I think I just made that up.” The Auditor had always assured me that this content had indeed Read on the Meter. Oh, well if it Read on the E-Meter it must be real.
I stood on the sidewalk flipping my keys in my hand outside the formidable Big Blue Scientology building. I questioned the reality of that disturbing Incident. Like sticking your tongue in the fresh hole where your wisdom tooth used to be, I poked at the subject we’d been Auditing to see if I was ‘okay.’ I was okay. I went from “freaked out” to “I’m chill,” in seconds. The subject matter seemed laughable upon reflection. I just knew I’d read that sticky awful LRH fiction and made up my own past-life fiction. The clarity that I’d made up all the disturbing incidents in my Auditing history flowed over me like melting butter on hot toast.
I thought back on the pleasant Auditing I’d received from Smiley Lady. I’d got my euphoria hits. I’d had my fun dodging the routing form and yakking through my assessments. I’d enjoyed speaking my mind in a non-careful way. It’d been nice. But it hadn’t changed my life.
This observation meshed with my post-OT VII realization that the OT Levels got their juice from secrecy, threats of scary consequences, and being stupidly expensive. And seriously, no Auditing session could ever be as scary as a Reg Cycle when they piled on the fear and loathing to shake my money tree.
Foiling the Registrar
Vegas oddsmakers could have predicted what happened next. Smiley Lady got called away to “handle” a more Up-Stat sucker, er parishioner. The next person to ring my doorbell was a traveling Reg. This person knew all about my “delicate Case (spiritual state) state.” Oh, I thought the contents of my sessions were confidential. Silly me.
Registrars aren’t the only ones who can read Les Dane’s book, Big League Sales Closing Techniques. Yup, I’d even flown to Flag years earlier for the “Hard Sell Seminar.” My hair fluttered in the wind of the Reg’s Intention, and serious “caring about my future” spiel. The Registrar was unsuccessful at piercing my sales-prospect brick-overcoat. I had discovered late in my culty membership that there was a way to foil a Reg Cycle. I’d smile and talk about how great I was doing and how much L Ron Hubbard had improved my existence. The Reg’s claws skittered harmlessly off my happy-camper skin.
Dodging Subpeona’s the Scientology Way
In a bit of ex-Scientology trivia, one of the two Smiley Ladies that traveled the world giving out free Auditing, turned out to be a key figure in a huge Scientology scandal. After seventeen days, isolated in a locked room of the Fort Harrison (the central Flag Land Base Hotel), Scientologist Lisa Mc Pherson died. She died on December 5th, 1995. For all I know, I could have been at Flag for a visit.
When I ditched Scientology, I learned of Lisa’s horrible death. While reading about her day-to-day “care” in the countdown to Lisa’s death by Tony Ortega, I saw a familiar name. It was one of the two traveling Smiley Ladies.
Many of Lisa Mc Pherson’s Sea Org caregivers were mysteriously missing by the time the subpoenas started flying for the court case against the cherch. Well, now I know how they hid one of them.