From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)
Subject: Re: Answer on some of Bernie's questions
Date: Tue, 23 Sep 1997 21:19:37 GMT
firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter McDermott) wrote in article <B04DC9E096681CE6B0@0.0.0.0> (alt.religion.scientology):
>Speaking of which, I hadn't realized that you were a member of OSA before you left Scientology.
I was in the GO for 1.5 years out of 5. It is an information that is at several place around the net in a story I wrote when I hit the net, and something about of which I spoke several times. What I didn't do is to answer questions that were made in an inquisitive and abusive way, and since no one else asked them until now...
>Can you tell us what it was when you did there?
Is that a sentence?
Anyway, I understand.
I joined the GO because my 2.5 contract with the org ran out and, believe it or not, after six months working in the "wog", I got bored. Not that I didn't have an interesting job, but it didn't have the sense of purpose and intensity I was used to while in the CoS.
I was always interested in the "administrative" side of Scn, not that much in the tech, so I joined the Soco branch as it was called (if I remember correctly), the branch dealing with the social aspects of Scn (Schools, Narconon, Wise, CCHR, etc). This was straight at the GO WW. One of the reason for this was that I had a girlfriend studying in Saint Hill there, and the GO was basically in the same area.
Well, the job wasn't that interesting after all. I was assigned to manage the various schools but this consisted mostly of bureaucratic works (statistical, etc <yawn>). After a while, they needed someone to assemble course materials for the staff, and on common agreement I took up this job, which I kept till the end of my stay. It was a one-man job, from the selection of material up to the actual printing of the packs. For a while, I was also assigned as a night watch in the manor. Of course, I had a kind of job that could be done during this time.
So, that's it. I did warn everybody ahead of time in previous posts that it would be boring and no big spying stories.
>You argue that Scientology is seriously misrepresented by it's critics, and if that's the case, I >suspect that the part of Scientology that arouses most fear and suspicion outside of the Sea Org is OSA. So what sort of things did you do while you were there?
>And how do you feel about your time in OSA today?
Ah, that's a good question.
In view of the fact that I wasn't implicated in anything very spectacular, I feel it more like a rather boring job, actually. The nice thing about the second assignment was that I had my own little house right in the middle of Saint Hill Park. It was very pleasant and, often, I was alone in there, something I like. It meant a lot of freedom and a rather wide access to various (non confidential) information. My night watches in the manor of course gave me access to even more information from the PR branch, etc. I think it helped my way out, because I had a lot of time and access to "critical" information that maybe other persons didn't have. It's all in my (unfinished) story posted around.
All in all, based on my own experience, the gloomy and dark picture of the GO and Sea Org that arises from the anti-cult propaganda is a complete distortion and exaggerations. It seems mostly to be maintained by resentful ex-members who have an axe to grin with the CoS. I think that their obnoxiousness, dishonesty, lack of respect for others, and their illogical thinking is to be seen plainly in this ng for those who have a eyes to see. They are usually the same who want us to believe that the members' allegiance is maintained by hypnosis and "mind-control" and that there isn't anything positive whatsoever to be found in the CoS.
Of course, I wouldn't describe my experience as "great and wonderful" either, but it wasn't fundamentally different than anything else. I wasn't always in my little cabana either, and regularly was working within one of the building of which my section was dependent. The ambiance was good, but of course we were always motivate to "produce". That's the Scn philosophy. There were the stats, etc. The working hours were more or less normal ones, apart from the fact that many would do extra hours. There was *a lot* to do and many would take their job very seriously. We were encouraged to take our daily 2.5 hours free study or co-auditing, and it was then that I did receive actual auditing sessions, from auditors within the GO. I even received actual bonuses in form of credits at the AOSH. I never used them and they are still there. 17 years later I keep receiving letters and urges to use them up, something which I ignore.
Although students and staff from the nearby Saint Hill had no access to Go offices, we could mix freely with them and would participate in many of the Advanced Orgs events and the staff and students social lives. I was living in the nearby East Grinstead town, sometimes living with other GO staff, sometimes with Saint Hill students. We had Sunday off and I think Saturday afternoon, I don't remember for sure, but I remember sharing my free time between going in London to earn some extra money, walking in the frankly beautiful Sussex or in the East Grinstead center, going into books and records shops or having tea in one of the cute coffee shops, and overall going out with other staff and students and sometimes having a real great time.
My questioning about the validity of the CoS didn't come at all from the material conditions or the behavior of the GO staff and hierarchy. I really have nothing to complain on that level (I also didn't expect a five star hotel treatment either). My questioning was almost entirely a philosophical one, and when I reached the point in which I didn't really believed in Scn, I took my things and went back at my parents' place (which, by the way, I got to visit several times during this 1.5 year, even though I had to cross the channel without Eurostar...).
That's of course an oversimplified picture, but I don't want to make it too long. Does this answer satisfy you? Please feel free to ask whatever else you would like to know.
From: Bernie@bernie.cncfamily.com (Bernie)
Subject: Re: Jane Kember? (was Re: Questions for Bernie regular posting needed?)
Date: Fri, 06 Dec 1996 03:23:37 GMT
Ron Newman <email@example.com> wrote:
>I'm certainly not going to presume to speak for Clara or anyone else, but I'd *love* to hear more about Jane Kember. To my knowledge, you're the only one here who has worked with her. What was she like as a person? Was she fun to work for or with?
I didn't see her a lot. The GO WW (at Saint Hill) was divided in "bureaus" (PR, Legal, Finance, B1, Social, internal, and the rest I forgot). Each bureau had its "assistant Guardian" who reported directly to her. We only reported to the assistant Guardian. The bureaus where fairly small in term of staff, so we had a direct and daily contact with the assistant Guardians, but not with Jane Kember.
I was just a little bit more "lucky", since my assistant Guardian was her husband, so sometimes we would see her at parties.
>Did she ever express any doubts to you or anyone else about the legality or morality of her work?
You have to realize that no one in the GO or the COS ever considered that what they did was illegal or immoral. We were at war with those hidden elements of society that we considered as suppressive and we didn't consider doing anything else than what the CIA or the KGB or maybe even the FBI were or maybe still are doing. The mentality wasn't much different than the one of this newsgroup.
In one of these parties, Jane kember displayed at some length her state of mind. I wrote about that in my story. She would blame the English, American, German, psychiatrists, dentists, etc, one after the other as the "worst fucking sp in the world". I don't remember anything else, frankly speaking, out of what she said. I don't think she really said much else.
And that's another point to keep in mind. The number of people who really knew what was going on was very restrained. Covert operation was the responsibility of B1, and even within B1 information was passed only on a "need to know" basis. Even ~National~ GO responsibles were desperate to know what was going on outside their own narrow activities. I don't think they even received full instructions before their mission (not like in Mission Impossible...), and it is also probable that each received only a part of what they had to do and actions from the same plan was split between several persons who didn't know the part of the others (the plans were split in steps, and each or several steps assigned to a person).
>Do you or anyone else have a photo of her?
I don't. She was a real tall woman, mid-long curled hairs, and ~very~ energetic. She was reputed to have a great capacity of work, and of course, like LRH, it was not advisable to be around her if she was in bad mood. Otherwise, I had no particular antipathy nor sympathy for her, she didn't seem to put down people (apart from the SPs of course) and she was rather colorful and interesting to listen to when she spoke (except that she didn't really tell anything of real import. She was half paranoid, as you can imagine).
>I've never seen one in any book or magazine article.
>Where's she living these days, and what is she up to?
Now, seriously, Ron, do you think that ~I~ know? I think I am better off ~not~ to know, BTW :-)
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