Lois Reisdorf's Story
|Lois Reisdorf's Story|
|Name||Lois (Jory) Reisdorf|
|Period||Early SO, At Sea, Florida, California|
|Location||Daytona, Duneden, Clearwater, Int.Base, Rifle, WHQ|
MAKING OF A CHILD SCIENTOLOGIST AND SEA ORG MEMBER[edit | edit source]
I am starting from the beginning of my life and the making of me into a Scientologist and child Sea Org member…….
I would like to state right off the bat that I seriously loved my parents and will never hold this against them. They were great and I had a deep love for them. My Mom, Bronwen Jory passed away from brain cancer in 1997 at the age of 58 and my step-Dad Neville Jory passed away in 2007 at the age of 67 from COPD/Emphysema. This was after more than 30 years working their butts off for Scientology. I was lucky enough to rejoin my family at the age of 22 and spent all the years from that age until their deaths with them and gave them 3 amazing grandsons who they adored. They were the best example of what one would think of as a Scientologist, they truly helped people.
As far back as I can remember, I was Scientologist. I grew up with no drugs and when I was sick or had problems it was always handled with Scientology – touch assists, various processes, Dianetic auditing by my step-Dad. As a child I suffered from migraine headaches and never once had a pain killer and cannot remember ever taking “medicine”. It is still very hard for me to NOT use Scientology words to describe things and only in the last 2 years at the age of 56 do I have to rethink everything I have believed in, all my life. I have read almost every book about Scientology in the last 2 years, but specifically left the book Bare Faced Messiah until last as I honestly could not face what I was to learn about LRH…..it was much easier to read about all the abuse and what had become of the Sea Org (SO) and David Miscavige, than it was for me to read about LRH. Well, I finally finished it and all I can say is that it was shattering to me. I have since read Fair Game and it too was amazing. My personal stories of LRH will follow, and a lot of things finally make sense to me.
I was born in Durban, South Africa in 1960. In apartheid South Africa. My parents were looking for “something” and stumbled upon Scientology. My father, Bryan Lingwood, did not end up becoming a Scientologist, but my mother did. This eventually resulted in their divorce in the mid-1960’s. Life was pretty normal from what little I can remember but it started to radically change in 1965. My Dad was transferred to Johannesburg for his job, and Mom started taking courses at the Johannesburg (Joburg) Org and within months joined staff. This did not sit well with Dad and they started separating in 1966. After their separation Mom was still full-time at the Org, and in order to support three little girls she rented a big house and then sub-let to other Joburg Org staff members so I was surrounded by Scientologists and this included the Starkey’s, Von Pjeil’s, Chisholm’s and many other well-known Scientology families. All of us kids would play together.
I spent many hours at the Joburg Org, and during school holidays from age 6 til 9 would do the children comm courses. Friday nights were spent running around the Joburg Org with a bunch of other kids. We were Scientology kids, used the lingo and had a good understanding of it. I remember doing tone scale drills at six years old in Joubert Park (which was downtown Joburg). The Org was located at 23 Hancock Street in three small houses, right off the park. I still remember the address!
In about 1966 Neville Jory joined the Joburg Org after having just completed his SHSBC at Saint Hill. Mom and him fell in love and soon after got married. In 1968 Neville went to the Apollo and did his Class VIII course with LRH and then returned back to the Joburg Org. By this time Mom and Neville had baby #4 and soon after baby #5. Neville became my beloved step-father. He was a very good Dad to us three girls and treated us as if we were his own. Not once in all my life did I feel that the three of us were any different from the next three kids they had together. (six Kids altogether, last one born in 1975.)
In early 1970, Mom and Neville decided to buy a Franchise (Mission) in Durban, so we all went back to Durban and they started and ran their VERY successful franchise in Durban. I can remember it being a very fun, happy place. This is the place where many other subsequently famous Scientologists got into Scientology i.e. Corbett’s, Southworth’s etc. I could not wait to go to the franchise on Friday nights where I was now doing the adult Communication Course; HQS etc. However, I do remember them being VERY financially strapped ALL the time. I was an avid swimmer, field hockey player and had to always arrange my own lifts to and from my extra curricular activities. They worked all the time. But in South Africa, no matter how poor you were, you could always afford a nanny or two to look after us kids and cook. (During the apartheid era.) That was how they were able to cope with working at the mission full-time and me and my siblings.
It was during this time-period that I got all whiny and upset with my Mom that she was never there. So one day she got hold of me and told me that there was only five years left for the planet, and if she does not do her job by helping to clear the planet, then it’s going to blow-up. This was the turning point for me. At first I was scared out of my mind but then became more responsible with duties at home and with my small siblings, I hardly ever whined again, I could not wait to become an adult like them and help clear the planet. I was fully on board, even though quite scared.
In 1972 at the age of twelve, my Mom and Neville and I signed the Sea Org contract (the other kids were too young to sign). It took them almost a year to turn over the mission to someone and to get things in order for us to join the SO in Copenhagen, Denmark at AOSHEU. It was a very exciting time for me, I could not wait. This was seriously what I thought I was meant to do. One of the biggest things that happened in this prep time – my biological father lost custody of us three girls and Neville adopted us. What my father went through is another story in itself. He lost his kids. To this day, I am the only one he has a loving relationship with. I was twelve, next one was about seven and his youngest daughter was around five.
BTW – this father of mine (Bryan Lingwood), who was never a Scientologist is the only parent still alive today, he is eighty-one years old and is in great physical and mental health and in fact acts as though he is in his sixty’s – just goes to show!
In 1973 we embarked on a ship (yes a cruise! It was cheaper to travel then by ship than by air) called the Europa from Durban, South Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope and up the west coast of Africa through the Mediterranean to Trieste, Italy. It was amazing and the first time I had left South Africa (SA). Growing up in apartheid SA, I had never seen television, there were no TV’s in the whole country! Talk about being in a bubble of Scientology, and then on top of that you are in the bubble of apartheid South Africa – I was so naive it was ridiculous. I had no clue about drugs either.
Our ages were – Me twelve, sister eight, sister six, brother four, baby sister three – traipsing through Europe. We arrived in Copenhagen and all I can say is that I was so disappointed. It was ugly, dreary and cold. Here I had grown up in Africa for goodness sake, most probably had very rarely even worn a jersey.
It got even worse once we were installed into the SO berthing and my siblings were put in the “nursery” it was a dark, cold, damp place in the basement and I am sure moldy. My two youngest siblings had major chest problems and were sick constantly.
I and my two sisters went to an International school and I had a post in the AO when I was not in school, kind of like an expeditor.
I hated it there and I was not happy. Within a couple of months an Apollo recruitment mission arrived and this was my out. I got recruited to be a messenger for LRH and I was ecstatic. I thought this was going to be the best thing since sliced bread; I could be an adult and help save the planet in a big way.
I arrived on the Apollo at thirteen (late 1973) years old at midnight, alone, with no family and no-one I knew. I wore white bobby socks, a bright yellow skirt, red shirt and red buckle shoes. I had never sworn in my life and frankly did not even know what swear words were, I basically knew nothing about sex; had never seen TV; I did not even know about such things as the Vietnam War which was raging during 1973. I think back on all of this and I shudder. What was I getting myself into. To be a messenger for LRH and my life would change forever….
Within a year, my parents and the four kids left the SO and returned to South Africa and LRH gave them special permission to leave and start Missions there. Mom was pregnant with child number six, they had visa problems and Dad had been CO AO and had been busted….so things got hairy for them.
I on the other hand, was now fully ensconced into being an LRH Messenger and life on the Apollo. The first few months were very rough for me; crying every night in my bunk bed. But after a year I was fully on board…..
MY LIFE WITH LRH (1973-1980)[edit | edit source]
Most people perceive things differently. If there is a car accident and there are three witnesses, sometimes all three could see a different color car etc. My stories with LRH are from my perspective and I am very sure other messengers may perceive things differently. These are also stories from the best I can recollect them as a very young, naïve person and from my perspective at the time. Obviously now being middle aged and WAY wiser, I can look back and see how I acted or perceived things through rose colored glasses.
I am also very lucky that my beloved mother, kept every letter I wrote her. I am therefore able to remember things which I may not otherwise been able to, had it not been for the letters. These letters were only given to me in the last few years, I had no idea they had existed. When I first got them I was only able to read one or two of them as it was very disturbing to me to read about how I “was” as a messenger.
When I first arrived on the Apollo as this innocent, naïve child – I was immediately put on the CMO EPF. This entailed cleaning the messenger’s cabins and washing and ironing their clothes (not in washing machines but in buckets). I had one incident when I burnt a blouse, my punishment was to wear a sign in the front and back which stated “I AM AN OVERT PRODUCT PRODUCER”. I remember being completely embarrassed and had to wear it for days until I was out of Doubt or Liability…………..
The first few weeks I cried every night in my bunk in the awful women’s dorm where the bunk-beds were three high. It was a terrible dark, damp, windowless place and reminded me of being in a tomb. The men’s dorm was way worse though….
It seemed to me that pretty much all the people I dealt with seemed to be a bit angry and serious. I thought Scientologists were these amazing beings who had such ARC. Boy was I wrong. Some of the messengers at that time were just not really nice to me either, with their noses stuck up in the air. That was later to change, but it was a hard road. I wanted to leave but where was I going to go if I wanted to leave – my family were in the SO in Europe and quite frankly I could not stand that place either. So one day, I made the decision that I just had to pull up my bootstraps and become a successful messenger and make it. That is exactly what happened.
My first encounter with LRH was when I finally earned myself the status to be “on watch” (meaning I was with LRH to run messages around the ship). However I was a “ghost”. I was assigned to one of the senior messengers and I had to follow her wherever she went and watch what she did. It was called “ghosting”. LRH did not even acknowledge my existence until later on. You were seriously a “ghost”. However, whenever we were not with LRH I was allowed to then ask the senior messenger any questions. This system actually worked well. No amount of studying on how to be a messenger in a course room could have prepared one for the task. After a certain amount of time, you as the “ghost” could then start doing small things, like holding LRH’s ashtray, or lighting his cigarette, or whatever – usually during this time he would then ask who you are and have some sort of comm with you.
But unfortunately for me, LRH had just had his motorcycle accident and had badly hurt his shoulder, so my first encounter was seriously a very upset and in pain person who was yelling at everyone and even the most seasoned messengers were in a state most of the time. It was shocking to me that he was in such a bad mood all the time and yelled. I was scared out of my mind of him. He basically lived in a big red chair with pillows stuffed here and there and he could never get comfortable. This shoulder problem continued to plague him until the last time I saw him, eventually becoming bursitis. The other thing about all this that has fascinated me is that he never asked for touch assist or anything to help the pain, he just endured it.
By the time I was allowed to be a normal messenger he was way better and then things became tolerable. I got over being scared of him and ended up having a pretty good relationship over the next years. I also made friends with my fellow messengers and a few of them are still my best friends today and we consider each other “sisters”. I got over the intimidation I had felt earlier. We were a tight group as we experienced things no other SO members could have ever experienced, being with LRH around the clock and knowing personal details about him. It was extremely important that being a messenger you did not talk about him to others; it was severely ingrained in our heads. Everything was also on a “need to know” basis.
I quickly got through the required courses to be a Senior Messenger and being successful on watch, I became a Senior Messenger in 1975. Our watches consisted of three messengers on duty for six hours, so at the very least we had to have twelve messengers to cover a twenty-four hour period, but we had to have more in case someone got sick etc. so there was an endless amount of “new” messengers. Most of them never made it and would last a few weeks or a few months. It was not a job for the faint at heart and as a result many did not make it. Most of us were females and the only male messengers on the Apollo were David Rossouw (the most successful male messenger) and Marc Yager (who never became a senior messenger). Sure, there were others but they were not around long. Looking back on this, my logical explanation as to why is because females tend to be more service orientated than males, but who knows, maybe there was another reason.
By the way, David Miscavige was never a messenger and not even in the SO during the Apollo years. There is way more to come about him.
MYTHS ABOUT LRH[edit | edit source]
- I never saw him ever take “drugs”. The only time I knew he was on some sort of medication was during his two heart attack recoveries the first one I experienced with him was in 1975 and he recovered from that one at the Hilton hotel in Curacao. The second one was in 1978 while we were in La Quinta and he was making movies. He did take vitamins and cal-mag.
- I never saw him ever drink alcohol.
- He lived very modestly. Only had about eight pairs of pants; shirts etc. His furniture wherever he lived was very modest – well-made and of good quality but nothing over the top. His cars were 2nd hand. He did spend money on camera equipment, music equipment and had a collection of guns and a few musical instruments here and there. One example of his frugality was in La Quinta, California and he was going to have lunch with one of his lawyers (I believe), which was highly unusual and the Household Unit wanted to make lobster, which he had a fit over because it was way too expensive. Just one example.
- I never saw or experienced any sexual anything with him. In fact, he was just the opposite. I have no reason to lie about this. I have come out with all the shit in my life and if there had been anything inappropriate I would say something. Others may have experienced something different, but not me.
- LRH and Mary Sue lived separately. They had connected cabins on the Apollo and in La Quinta they had separate bedrooms in the Cabana, which was separate from his main house. In between their bedrooms was sort of a kitchen area.
- I never saw any scars on his body other than maybe acne or chickenpox scars on his face and I gave him a lot of back-rubs. Nothing whatsoever. This is in reference to his claims of being badly wounded during WWII, (ref. Bare Faced Messiah).
- I never saw him eat like a glutton. He pretty much ate homemade healthy food at that time. I never once saw him go to any fast food joint.
- Even though he was overweight he was more of a muscular type of fat. He had a firm body if that makes sense. He was tall, and a strong build.
- He did type with only a few fingers and he was very fast.
- LRH audited daily and I seriously doubt he did all this to “con” everyone. Maybe he had convinced himself completely after initially “making it up”, I will never know. But from my experience of being with him daily for 7-8 years, he believed completely. Seriously, if one wanted to “con” the world why would you then audit yourself or be audited every single day.
- He was a workaholic. He never “took time off” or “slept in” or went on “vacation”. He was on a mission and worked at it constantly. He averaged about 5-6 hours sleep a night. I once suggested to him that he needed to take a holiday – and all that got me was him being furious that I could even suggest that. He had work to do…….
So now that I got those out of way, here are some stories of times that I experienced with LRH on the Apollo.
APOLLO[edit | edit source]
Maybe towards the end of 1974, I was running a message to someone on the ship. I cannot recall what it was about, but I goofed up the message and got it wrong. LRH was furious and I had to be taken off watch and his orders were for me to give and receive 40 hours of Op Pro By Dup (objectives) – so a total of 80 hours. Once I was done, I could return to watch. I believe it made a difference as I virtually never got another message wrong.
One evening I was on watch and he was at dinner in his dining room. He called me in and told me to go down to the crew dining room and bring up a plate of food. I did that. He then asked me if I would eat it. Yes, I said, and he promptly assigned me a condition of treason due to the fact that he thought the food was atrocious and if I would go ahead and eat it, then I was treasonous because I did not do anything about it. The food on the ship was generally atrocious.
In another incident, I got word from Mary Sue’s Assistant Nikki Merwin, that the Guardian's Office (GO) were after my parents who were at AOSHEU, Dad had become the CO AO (on the Kastelholm ship) and he was in trouble, but also due to them having Visa problems; Mom being pregnant with child number six; Sister, number five, at three years old had been hit by a truck on the dock in Copenhagen (she ended up being okay); and obviously problems with the AO. Apparently the GO were planning on declaring my Dad a Suppressive Person (SP) or something of the sort. I was in a complete state and devastated. A couple hours later I had to be on watch, so went on watch and LRH immediately knew there was something wrong with me. I could not hold myself back, so told him the story while crying (which was something a messenger could NEVER do – i.e. no case on post), but I couldn’t help myself. LRH promptly got more info via another messenger, found out the story and issued orders that the Jory family can be sent back to South Africa to run Missions, he wrote a letter in this regard. I was SO relieved. My handling was that he called for my PC folders and then C/S’ed me for a cleanup.
One day I had a series of messages to the engine room and LRH was furious at the engineers, but I cannot remember why. One of the last messages I had in this string was to slap the Chief Engineer, Dave Murphy, across the face for insubordination to LRH. This is the only time I ever physically hit someone. The one thing I can say is that there was little physical violence on crew. Reading about what David Miscavige has done to his staff, has been very shocking to me as I never experienced anything like that when I was in the SO.
Another incident is one night I was on watch from midnight to 6:00AM, once I was off watch it was time to go to bed. A couple other messengers (who had been on the midnight with me) decided to go onto the sun deck to sleep up there and get suntanned. Sometimes the crew did things like this as it could get extremely hot in the dorms. They would actually sleep in the lifeboats. Anyway, I went up there and fell asleep, but I got completely sunburnt, especially on my face. The next watch I was on, LRH got so mad at me for getting so badly sunburnt (it was pretty bad), and me being a redhead and all. He assigned me a condition of Treason for this.
I did experience the “Rock Festival” in Funchal but I was on liberty that day so was not on the ship when the rocks were thrown at the Apollo by the locals. This is explained very well in the book Fair Game by Steve Cannane. I was one of the crew who was onshore and got to the Hilton Hotel and eventually taken by the pilot boat to the Apollo which was out at anchor. This was an extremely exciting day/night with all the drama going on, to say the least. I had never seen the crew so “uptoned”. We had an all-hands on deck in the middle of the night to load all the produce on board from barges and then sail away with no lights on into the blackness of the night, on our way to the other side of the Atlantic.
We had a great trip across the Atlantic, and in fact had a huge party on-board, I think it was crossing the date line – well that night LRH came down to the party with armfuls of alcohol for all the crew. It was a drunken night of partying to say the least. (But I was still a naïve little girl and did not partake in the drunkenness.) The trip was otherwise uneventful, no bad weather and lots of dolphins.
Things took a big turn when trying to go into Charleston, South Carolina. We were a few miles off the coast and could see the lights of the land in the distance. I was on watch when LRH was on the Bridge when the GO calls started coming in on the radio, that he should not go to the U.S. because the IRS and whoever else were waiting for him on the docks. He was furious and there was a lot of yelling into the radio and between him and Mary Sue. Eventually Mary Sue won and we turned around made headway to Bermuda. He was so pissed.
We then started our way around the Caribbean and Bahamas. It was fun for the crew as the islands were all fascinating and we truly had some fun times on our liberties. We quite often would get two rooms at a local nice hotel (always on the beach) and the guys would stay in one and girls in the other and we would just have a wonderful time taking advantage of the hotel/beach/pools etc. The SO was not all bad in those days and quite frankly, we were all quite young and had mostly regular liberties (every two weeks) and would just have fun after working very hard.
It was during this time that we messengers got our new uniforms. Our short white shorts and tie-around the waist white shirts. Many people have asked me why we had these uniforms as if there was some nefarious reason by LRH for this. I seriously don’t know. All I know is that we were now in very hot climates; it was very much the style/fashion in those days and LRH really did like to make an “effect”. He had started going ashore quite a bit doing photography so we were traipsing around the islands taking photos and he had a bevy of young ladies in hot pants following behind him. I guess one could get the wrong idea from that. Mary Sue was not happy at all about this. Years ago I would never have allowed this photo of my butt to be seen by anyone but now I am old enough to not care… Hahaha….
There was a Dutch Navy ship that seemed to follow us from port to port, they were all long haired, good looking men and they were absolutely fascinated by the Apollo due to all the good looking girls aboard. I think back on that and I suppose we were such an unusual sight. But unfortunately for them, they did not get anywhere with the girls, at least that I knew of.
One of the most unusual jobs we had as messengers on the ship was at any time a crewman could find a messenger (who was not on watch) and have that messenger watch and confirm that the crewman killed cockroach nests and the crewman would earn money for doing that, it may have been as high as ten dollars, which was a lot of money in those days! The cockroaches were everywhere on the ship and so to handle that, LRH put this system in. Mostly the men did this right before they had liberty to make extra money – but for us girls (mostly) it was horrible to watch the person do this. Usually the roaches were in cold, damp places, like down in a hold or someplace like that and I remember having to climb over boxes and then watch the person do this. Later he instituted a similar game for crew but this time it was in the desert in California and this time it involved rattlesnakes on our properties.
As a messenger we did everything with LRH. Including, putting him to bed, getting him up in the morning and helping him set-up his auditing sessions, before and after. We helped to dress him. He went on daily walks around the ship out on the deck. The only times there was not a messenger with him was when he and Mary Sue would have their meals in their dining room, but there was always one or two messengers stationed right outside the door. When he was asleep or in session there was always at least one messenger outside his door. I remember being on the midnight watch and often falling asleep outside his bedroom as it was quite warm against the bulkhead and if we were out at sea, the rolling of the ship.
After every “watch of six hours or more” the one group of messengers would “turnover” the watch to the next set of messengers. We would tell them everything that happened during the previous hours. As messengers we also kept log books of every message sent. They were quite heavy green hard covered logs. I am sure all these logs are well kept in archives as they would be a trove of info on what happened on a daily basis with LRH. I specifically remember making doodles in the logs when I was particularly bored. I never thought they would be kept.
He had frequent bouts of anger at one thing or another. This is where it became especially important to be a good messenger and why many did not make it. One had to remain calm under the most extreme anger and as teenagers you really had to have the “confront” to handle this. You also had to come up with solutions fast and furiously or be directly in the line of fire. That is why the Senior Messengers were senior. We were the ones who could handle this and think on our feet the fastest. I truly believe that this training has put me in good stead in my later years in life.
Additionally, when we ran our messages we also had to come up with solutions to whatever the problem was. As a messenger, you could not just report back robotically and this entailed many times, coaxing the correct answer from whomever you were running a message to and/or demanding that they fix the problem – like what is your solution to problem X. It required investigating as well and doing an analysis. All of this was training for our future roles in management. Many a messenger was busted from watches for not doing the above. You could not come back with the response unless you knew it was fixed or there was a solution. It was especially hard for me when the messages being run were about the engine room and/or the bridge – I really felt out of my depth when it came to these areas as I just did not have a clue. But somehow I “faked” my way through it all.
I also had problems when he was on “photo shoots”. In those days you really had to be adept at changing film in a black bag – a bag whereby you put your hands through two holes and then blindly changed the roll of film correctly! Heaven forbid if you could - 1. Not do it fast enough or - 2. Did not close the camera properly or - 3. Put the roll of film in incorrectly. This would have all resulted in a major flap and him being mad as hell.
The biggest problems I remember on the ship were with his personal Household Unit. Mostly with his clothes smelling, but honestly I could never smell any bad smells. This resulted in whoever was on watch, having to now wash all his clothes in buckets. Obviously the laundry person was in deep shit, so we had to do it and bypass them. Sometimes I remember rinsing his clothes about 15-20 times to get out the “smell”. One also had to come up with the “why”. I suppose this is why there were so many Flag Orders on how to clean this or that due to these “smell” problems. Sometimes the “smells” were through air vents and then all the vents had to be cleaned. Those were not nice times. I remember so well LRH’s butler at the time – Rick Sheehey – he was a great guy and tried his best but boy would he get yelled at for not having his clothes in order, or ready, or smelling. I always felt sorry for him.
The really funny thing about him being so sensitive to smells is that in later years when we were in the U.S. and he was in temporary locations (with maybe only ten people maximum and sometimes as little as three other people) – living in some rented apartment, he never had these “smell” problems and really didn’t complain about much. I am not sure who told me this, but the reason he apparently was so sensitive to smells is because he was so OT and therefore had these “body” problems. I just accepted this but honestly, it was just against everything I knew about Scientology – he had constant body problems.
He was a definite hypochondriac.
But on the other hand there were many times he was great. He had a wonderful sense of humor and would often tease us messengers in a fun way. He also cared about us. In ‘75 (before we left the ship) I went on leave to South Africa for a few weeks and when I came back he wanted to see all of my photos of my family and of animals as we had visited a game reserve. Another time, I wore a little medal around my neck (the only piece of jewelry I owned at the time) – it was a bronze medal for a ballroom dancing competition I had been in (when I was a little girl, maybe twelve). He was very interested in it and soon after put on some music and started dancing with me around his office…..I think it was a jive.
To keep his hands and arms in shape, he would put on music in the office and then take a piece of newspaper in each hand and then scrunch it up while jigging around. It was quite funny.
I will end-off this chapter by saying that some of the best years in the SO for me, were on the Apollo. Even though being a messenger was an extremely hard job for a young person, our jobs got much more serious and important after we left the ship. Even though there were hard times, there was a very close “comradeship” amongst all the crew. I know that prior to me going on the Apollo there was overboarding happening and some weird stuff, but things were not too strange when I was there. It was more of an adventure shared by two hundred or so people.
LRH MOVES TO THE U.S. 1975 to end of 1976[edit | edit source]
One of the things that really surprised me while writing this part is everything happened in such a short amount of time. While living it, it seemed to take forever, but now being older…boy it all went so fast. It was just over a year.
I started writing quite prolifically to my mother once we moved to the United States. I had more time due to the circumstances and I wrote all the way from 1975 until the middle of 1981. I have only recently been able to read these letters and the one underlying theme throughout, with every letter, was how much I desperately loved my family and missed them so much. All of these letters were “security checked” so there was no info about where I was (other than Florida), and no “secret” info about LRH, but I alluded to things and was therefore able to remember what was going on at that time. Here are a few quotes from the end of my letters. Reading these letters brought me to tears.
- “If you can’t buy a sewing machine for me, you can buy me some clothes or shoes, my shoes are getting scarce”
- “Mom is there any possible way you could send me some goodies, pantyhose, undies, bras. I’m sort of running out of those”
- “I luv you both so much, and miss you lots & lots & lots.”
- “Sorry I haven’t written for so long. Yes, we are land-based and boy is it great, I mean it is 100x better than any other sea org house or org at all. We have a huge building with a swimming pool, gymnasium, about 300 bedrooms, ballrooms, huge lecture rooms. I mean it is so fantastic, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I have a room with one other messenger, wall to wall carpeting, dressing table etc. etc.….”
- “Anyway, I must sign off now, and go to bed as I am very tired and just got off watch. It is 0600 in the early morning. So goodnight. I love you lots and lots and miss you lots. It’s going to be another year until I see you all. LOTS & LOTS of LOVE, Your Eldest Daughter, Lois”
- “Well Mommy I must go now, and I love you very very very much, please write soon. Tons of Love, Lowie”
- “Well, Mom I have chatted and chatted, but I feel like talking to you lots!! And I love you so much; I have no words to explain it. I feel so close to you, like never before and one day I would love to have you to myself for a day or two and we can talk, miss you tons and love you forever, my love forever, Lowie”
- “Scot, Doranne and Louveigne – Hi my babies (my big babies) – I love and miss all of you so very much and I have a feeling that I may be able to visit you all soon and I can’t wait!!! You are all growing up so fast!!”
- “Thanks so much for the wonderful letter you sent me; it puts me on Cloud 30!!! It really makes me feel like I am with you and that neat stuff.”
- “Would you please send me your phone number, I really would like to call you someday, it would be so nice, as I really miss you Mommy. I just can’t explain the amount of affinity for you.”
DAYTONA BEACH 1975[edit | edit source]
I was not physically with LRH when he left the ship and arrived in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1975. I was already there and met up with him in Daytona. The plan was for the management staff, external communications etc. to be in New York which was called RONY – (Relay Office New York); ship crew to stay with the ship to wherever its destination was and then for all NON-US citizens and those under 16 years of age to go to Daytona. I was in 2 of those categories – underage and non-US – so ended up in Daytona Beach. Not all the messengers were in Daytona, some may have gone to RONY and some with the ship.
The Neptune motel on Daytona Beach was taken over by us and that is where the Daytona crew lived and worked. LRH got an apartment close by. I remember being very excited to arrive in the U.S.. I especially remember the great food (coming from the ship this was a HUGE deal) and for me, who had never seen TV, TV was amazing. I spent most of my time after standing watch, watching TV and especially cartoons…..I was so enthralled and had loved comic books as a kid, so seeing my comic characters come alive was amazing. Can you imagine that someone in 1975 had never seen cartoons on TV…..?
We were at the motel in secret, so we acted like we were tourists, there were no uniforms and for a certain amount of hours during the day, we would be at the pool or the beach and acting like tourists. I actually never again wore an SO uniform other than if I was sent on a Mission, in the years after this. I was with LRH almost all the time and he was in secret locations all of those years. Security was important as we were undercover.
The messengers again stood their normal watches of six hours and maybe nine at times. Now we had fewer messengers so we did not have three on watch at once. When we were off watch we had to be “tourists” but also started to do typing for LRH, this was now the start of our typing and taking dictation from him. This would become important as a messenger as from this time forward we did not have a large amount of people to “run” messages to. I had never learnt how to type in my life, and to this day I type very fast with only a few fingers. Management was never again going to be with LRH it was always going to be far from wherever he was.
The apartment where LRH lived was quite a high building (ten stories) and he had magnificent views of the ocean from his apartment. I loved going there. He would also take daily walks on the beach and would walk right past the motel, yet the crew at the motel was not supposed to know he was so close by……but he would still walk past and I know people saw him. I think he was invigorated to be in the U.S. so there was some excitement about him during this time period.
At one point while we were in Daytona a bunch of outer-Org staff were sent to the motel for “training”, little did they know that LRH would be training them. These were the last lectures he ever gave and it was during this time that he noted that the TR’s and Metering were not good and he started to overhaul things. I was involved whenever these training sessions went on and would help record them. He would get quite angry at times as the tech was not in. From what I remember this was to be the start of the training of Super Power which he had been working on, but due to the out-tech it ended up being an overhaul of the basics of auditing. As a result Super Power went on the back burner, but really went on the back burner until only recently.
CLEARWATER & DUNEDIN 1975-1976[edit | edit source]
LRH and his staff moved to Dunedin, the next town north of Clearwater (they had rented a few apartments) at the time the rest of the crew all moved to the Fort Harrison (FH). One of the first things I remembering happening is that the GO had told LRH that everyone under 16 years of age had to be in school. I was so upset by this because it meant I would no longer be able to stand watch and, I was terrified of going to a U.S. school. I had not been in school for more than 2 years and therefore missed all that time and also our curriculum in South Africa was obviously different.
I spoke to LRH about this and asked him not to send me to school. I was going to turn sixteen in under six months anyway so what was the point……he fully agreed with me, so I got out of having to go to school. The younger CMO staff which included some junior messengers did end up going to school. He told the GO that I was not going to go. I was so relieved.
Christmas 1975 would go down in SO history as the Out-2D Xmas Party – by December most of the crew from the Apollo were now all in one place and people had not seen each other for a few months. Now there were also other staff there, like outer-org students and some public. There was a huge party held in the FH. I remember us messengers all getting ready to go to the party with our fashionable long dresses of the time. It was fun getting ready. We went over to the FH Ballroom and there was music and a lot of dancing and alcohol but it ended up that a lot of out-2D amongst many of the crew and some crew with outer org students and paying public. When LRH found out about this a day or two later there were a lot of people who were in big trouble. I cannot remember if the RPF started up again or if it was a while later, but a number of the SO crew were busted at all levels.
Other than standing watch in Dunedin, some of us also had LRH projects to do with the setting up of the Fort Harrison and at some point, from my letters, I started handling telexes.
Here are some quotes of my letters to my Mom about this era:
Dec 9th, 1975
“Since we moved, Flag is really booming, we have 90 FCCI’s (public) on auditing and about 100 outer org students. Also we just got 42 new recruits all in one day sooooo things are sure rolling.” “LRH let us buy a sewing machine (CMO) and it does all kinds of stitches it really is nice. So we are all sewing.”
Dec. 26th, 1975
“LRH is looking fantastic and he really got some great Xmas presents. We spent 7 hours unwrapping them all.” “Cathy Rubio (eventually to be Rinder) has been ranting and raving as to how well both of you are doing at the Franchise, she is very happy with you, and I am proud and happy for you both because you’re doing what you want to do and are doing it like real staff members.”
Jan 31st, 1976
“Int stats are doing very well and LRH is very pleased. There are a lot of good missions, going to AF, some to the Folo and a few individual orgs.”
Feb 2nd, 1976
“It is 0527 in the morning and I have just finished handling a whole lot of telex admin. I am now in PT so I decided to write. LRH secured about 2 hours ago in a very good mood; he was in such a good mood this evening and was joking a lot.”
Feb 17th, 1976
“Since we have been land based, the FSO has boomed and is “THE” org on the planet, they are making over ½ a million dollars a week!!. The Commodore is so proud of them. We have got about 150-200 paying public”
March 18th, 1976
"Today our first baby is going to be born on the Flag Landbase)!!! Everyone is so excited. The mother went into labor early this morning and should have it in a couple of hours. Peggy Eastman will be having hers in a few days. There are so many preggies, its really great.”
One point I would like to make here and clear up any misunderstanding. LRH never advocated for abortions. As far as I know he never wrote any orders or Flag Orders regarding SO members having abortions. Only what he wrote in DMSMH. I know of one messenger on the ship who had to have an abortion and she made that decision herself, no-one sent her to ethics for handling on this or made her wrong. There were also some couples who left the ship because they decided to keep the baby. Maybe he wrote something before he died when I was not around. If there had been such a “culture” we would not have had the baby boom when we arrived at Flag in the 70’s……..however, I also do know that the cadet org set-up and the way children were treated at all the SO bases in later years, was also very wrong and a real disaster.
Things started to get really hairy in Clearwater (CW), with the local press figuring out who we were (we had a “shore story” when we moved to Clearwater that we were not the Church of Scientology). This was a huge disappointment for LRH. He really did want to settle down in one place (I don’t mean settle to relax, I mean for him to have a stable place) and be able to operate without being found out that he was there. Plans were being made to renovate and set-up the Penthouse in the FH for him and Mary Sue. In addition to that there were other problems i.e. the Paulette Cooper situation. All I really knew about this is that she had written a book and was the “biggest SP in the world”. Her name was bandied about a lot but I cannot remember the details and if I did, I did not understand them. This had obviously already started when we were on the ship. The local press was now also becoming nosy. The pressure was on the GO. When I think about all of this, I am sure the GO were not happy with him coming to the U.S. and settling here, I am pretty sure they would have been happier if he had stayed on the ship, but obviously what he wanted to do, he would do.
LRH had been in pretty good moods through Daytona and now Dunedin, but now all of sudden things were getting “hot” and something happened with a reporter finding out about whom we were. There was an incident about a reporter knocking on a door or managing to get into the FH. Not sure of the details on this but this is when LRH decided to run off to D.C. (early 1976), with Kima and Mike Douglas, Jim Dincalci (Medical Officer) and eventually Gale Reisdorf Irwin. He had no messengers with him during this short period,though David and Claire Rossouw were handling telexes and mail for him at the D.C. Org but were not in the same location. Gale had been part of the Household Unit (and Kima’s junior) and had to bring an air conditioner from Florida to DC (seems like one could have been bought in D.C.). Gail asked LRH while in D.C. if she could be a messenger when they returned and he agreed. More about her in later chapters.
Soon after LRH left Dunedin and relocated to D.C. we continued on with our projects and also got involved with handling his telexes. LRH actually asked us messengers to write letters to him as he missed us. Below are two of the answers he sent to me. Please understand these are not SO#1 letters but actual letters typed by him, there were only three people with him and they certainly were not SO#1. These are personal letters. You may not understand most of what he is saying. But they are to a fifteen year old.
April/May 1976 – In my letters to my Mom I talk about how I was holding the post of Personnel in the CMO Org (HCO), how I was quite good at this! I was in charge of recruitment & training of future messengers. Well, one of the people I recruited into the CMO in 1976 was a young guy named David Miscavige. He had joined the SO and was on the Flag EPF and was going to be on the TTC at Flag to become a trained auditor. He was already an auditor but the plan was for him to train further, if I remember correctly. He is the same age as me, in fact born the same month and year. He was extremely well qualified, correct age, already an auditor which was a huge plus as most messengers were not tech trained and had good character and “spunk”. I remember meeting with him and his dad, Ron Sr. in an office in the FH. I was waiting for them to come in, and had a large Styrofoam cup of coffee, which I put on the floor next to me. They came in and we sat down for the interview. Before I even started talking, Ron Sr. with a big smile on his face indicated to me that my very high heel was now in the cup of coffee….I was so embarrassed. It was just a funny anecdote that I remember. Dave was very excited of the possibility of working with LRH.
So David was routed onto the CMO EPF in Clearwater. I would not see him again until he eventually made it to La Quinta. Of course, there is way more to this story……..soon after this I disappeared from Florida….
BETA AND ASTRA[edit | edit source]
LRH thereafter moved to Culver City in L.A. from D.C. (this would now be called ASTRA). A few messengers were sent to be with him at ASTRA. It was a few apartments in a larger complex. I was called to L.A. from Clewarwater and became part of BETA. BETA was a secret communication unit for LRH. BETA would receive and send telexes to LRH. This unit was manned with messengers: Janis Gillham, Jill Goodman, and me. We worked in the External Communications office of the U.S. GO. We were “undercover”, no-one was supposed to know who or what we were. A small studio apartment was found for us across the road from the Manor and that is where we lived for maybe a month. Janis and Jill were already there when I arrived. It was weird as none of us had ever lived on our own, ever. I was now sixteen and Janis and Jill were about nineteen/twenty. We had been little girls when we went to the ship and now we had to live by ourselves and also cook our own food etc. One of the things which stuck in my mind is cooking dinner one night for the three of us and burning the steaks on the stove, there was smoke everywhere! I also remember getting the most extreme callouses on my feet due to the high heeled shoes I was wearing. It became very painful, so my handling for this was to take a blade and try and “shave” off the callouses. All that got me was bloody feet and I battled to walk for about a week. Our jobs were to code and send and receive telexes and mail for LRH. Jill was the one who mainly did the mail “drops”, whereby she would meet one of the guys from ASTRA in a parking lot and swap mail packages. Janis and I mainly typed and coded telexes in the U.S. GO Office.
Meanwhile, a communication center was set-up at ASTRA with Gary Reisdorf and Gerri Armstrong and Mike Douglas. Once they were up and running, BETA was disbanded as no longer needed. I was then sent to ASTRA joining the other messengers already with LRH. Janis and Jill returned to Clearwater where Janis later became the CO CMO CW.
At ASTRA we would stand our watches with LRH and also be involved with external comm. We typed and coded telexes. Our codes used an obscure dictionary (which both sides would have) and if the word you wished to use was the thirtieth word down and fifth word across on page one hundred then that word became “100-30-5”. The key to this coding system was to have a very uncommon dictionary in use on both ends. We only coded key words, but even so it was very time consuming and one could spend hours doing this and then typing the telexes. Same thing would be done with the receiving of telexes, decode and then type up for LRH. He was very active on management lines during this time.
One day (around July/Aug of 76) LRH decided he wanted to see “All The Presidents Men”, with Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway and Dustin Hoffman. We got him into some sort of a disguise but the funny thing about his disguises was that he stood out as being a weirdo, with a funny long haired wig and fake mustache. Anyway, we watched it at the Chinese Mann Theater in L.A., right near a bunch of Scientology buildings. He went incognito to not be recognized by Scientologists but he certainly did not look disguised. It was a bit nerve wracking for us who went with him, but he didn’t seem fazed. I got very embarrassed during the love scene of Redford and Dunaway….sitting right next to LRH was like watching it next to your Grandfather.
During the ASTRA period I remember one incident quiet clearly. I was on watch by myself with LRH in his apartment. Kima Douglas had been out driving around, maybe shopping, and she rushed into his apt. in a state and crying because she had witnessed a very bad accident and she was traumatized. LRH had her recount the incident a number of times in a very casual way and then told her he was going to give her a touch assist. I asked if I should leave and he said no, it is fine that I stay. He started the touch assist but his command was: “Look at My Finger” (with Kima’s eyes being closed). Up until that point, it had always been “Feel My Finger”……..I had thoughts going through my head, like what is going on here?? Once he was done, both Kima and I told him that we had never heard of that command; he momentarily had a confused look on his face (very brief) and then said Oh that is because you would give that command to an OT and the other one to someone who was not yet OT. We told him that no HCOB exists where it states that, so immediately he wrote the HCOB on this very thing.
LA QUINTA[edit | edit source]
The purchase of our La Quinta properties (in the desert near Palm Springs) were progressing and we were all looking forward to our new home as it was quite stifling in the few apartments we had in Culver City. I was one of the people who was sent ahead to help set-up the properties.
The houses were: Palms – to be crew eating and berthing; Olives – a beautiful house for more berthing, the CMO office and LRH External Comm, this house had a gorgeous pool with a palm tree in the middle and then LRH house – Rifle. There were also a few other buildings such as the Stables. My task was to help set-up Rifle for LRH. These properties were across the road from the La Quinta Golf Resort – they eventually bought our properties (except for Rifle which was privately owned). They expanded the resort and today it is a beautiful golfing location with all those houses still part of the property. I visited in recent years to look at our old houses. LRH, and then a little while later Mary Sue arrived to their new home and the next two months was one of the best times. Things were quite mellow and LRH was involved in doing various projects: setting up pathways around the properties and getting date and citrus trees growing well. We were all so excited to be there. There were many rattlesnakes around and that was when he instituted that if any crew member could kill a rattlesnake they would make a bonus, which many did.
The messengers were given bicycles as well as the LRH Ext Comm people, so we could easily get from one house to the next. Due to the rattlesnake situation, LRH ordered us to wear real high leather cowboy boots when we were going from one property to the next, that way if there was a snake and it tried to bite, the leather would protect us.
The LRH external Comm Unit was now well staffed and we no longer had to be involved with the coding/typing and sending/receiving of his telexes.
Towards the end of 76, in November — it was a morning — a GO guy, I think it was either Henning Heldt or Duke Snider, just arrived at LRH’s house, which was highly unusual. I think he was the Guardian U.S.. All of a sudden him and Nikki Freeman (Mary Sue’s Assistant) were in our messenger office (which adjoined LRH’s) and they had to go in to see LRH immediately. We tried to stop them as no-one other than MSH or Kima could just walk into his office. They were in a panic. The GO guy went into the office. I was not present but once he left I went in with another messenger and LRH told us that Quentin had been found dead in a car outside of Las Vegas. Possibility was suicide. LRH was furious, swearing at Quentin that he had F.…ed things up and what had he (Quentin) done to him (LRH). (Please note that LRH would hardly ever swear in front of us messengers and definitely did not say the F word in front of us, so that was also shocking to me.). He was not sad and did not cry or have any of those emotions. It was one of the most terrible days for all of us. Quentin had been missing a week or two prior and no-one had known where he was. LRH then went to tell Mary Sue what had happened, no-one was in the room when he told her, but she just wailed and wailed and in fact the wailing lasted what seemed like days and weeks to me. It was so terribly sad and she was truly devastated. It was just one of those “big” things in your life that you will never forget. Quentin was such a lovely guy and I always liked him – and yes, he was obsessed with flying and planes.
MY LIFE WITH LRH – 1977[edit | edit source]
1977 Started off really great with my marriage to Gary.
Gary Reisdorf and I started going together from the time we arrived in La Quinta in 1976 and planned to get married as soon as we could, but due to my age I needed parental approval. We had to wait for quite a few months for that approval from my parents due to the slow lines between the US and South Africa. In the letters to my Mom I constantly asked for them to send the approval papers. I was also describing the wedding, my dress etc. I even drew pictures of what the dress was going to look like. I sewed my own dress on the sewing machine LRH had bought for us messengers. It was quite beautiful and was pretty good sewing for a sixteen year old! I still have it.
In addition to asking my parents for approval to marry me, Gary also had to ask LRH and obviously he got it. I also asked LRH to give me away, but he and Mary Sue decided to stay at home alone and send the evening watch instead. This was the first wedding held in La Quinta. There were only about fifty people at that time, everyone was there. It was a great wedding but I missed having my whole family there. Due to the fact that we were in a secret location they could not come. If I had been at Flag in Clearwater, they would have come without a doubt. I was lucky to have Kima Douglas looking after me as she was able to write to my Mom before and afterwards describing how well it went. These 2 letters from Kima were included in the package of letters my Mom kept. From Kima’s letters I was able to discern that my Mom was distraught at not being able to be at the wedding, especially since I was her eldest daughter.
“Mom, you made me cry when you said you went into grief, you can never not contribute to the wedding. Your beingness and love is very valuable to have. I love you so much, it can’t be said in mere words, and I know you will be here in spirit. I just love you terribly.”
From Kima Douglas to my Mom:
“I fully understand how your feelings are, not being able to be here, I have a 15 year old daughter of my very own and I would hate not to be able to do her wedding when the time comes so please believe I understand but also know that I will do all I can to do your job as much like you as I can.” further she wrote "I am the CO HU (household unit) and am busy but when one of my children get married I make the time. You may not not know it but I am basically house mother for all CMO as I handle all of their medical, make sure they are wearing their woollies on cold days and yell at them for not cleaning behind their ears, all kidding aside the CMO guys are really my special kids and it is very important to me that they are well and happy. I am a reasonable listener and my own growing up was not that far away so I can do and help whenever.”
Kima was exactly that for us messengers. Many times there were situations with LRH being so mad that we could not handle him and we would call her to come and calm him down, she was always good at that.
On the morning of my wedding, Kima had put my hair in curlers and we were getting the Palms home ready for the wedding. A messenger came to the house and told me I had to go and see LRH immediately, I was frantic as I had curlers in my hair, but she told me to just come. When I got to LRH’s house, he took me for a walk around his property of the Rifle house. It was very sweet and he said that first off he cannot give me too much advice as he himself did not have a good success with the 2D. That shook me a bit at the time as I thought he was perfect at everything! But overall his talk was sweet and he told me that he thought Gary was a great, handsome young man and he was happy for us. It was a special time for me.
Arthur Hubbard was one of Gary’s best friends and he was Gary’s best man. Gale and Dede Reisdorf were my 2 bridesmaids.
My letter soon after the wedding:
“We had the most beautiful wedding, my dress came out so well, and it really is very pretty. Gary was in a dinner suit so was Arthur. My two bridesmaids were in the same dress, and made them, themselves. LRH was not able to make it to the wedding, but he and Marysue gave us $100 and a pure silver tray, with two silver goblets, they are so gorgeous and are sure treasures……..”
We were madly in love and still are today – Gary and I are soon to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.
The early part of 1977 was quite smooth and LRH seemed quite content and happy even though Quentin had died just a few months before. There were a couple of incidents that I remember:
The messenger duties were expanded to now include dictation by LRH for all his telexes, dispatches and whatever else. We would carry with us a yellow legal size pad and pens and a small recorder. So even if he went for a walk we had to have these items with us. But mostly he dictated to us in his office. We developed, between us messengers and LRH, a sort of crude form of shorthand, which all of us understood. Even if we had learned shorthand, he would not have understood it. So when he started dictating we would start writing but you also had to remember to turn on the small recorder or else you would be in big shit if you could not keep up. It could be stressful at times. One also had to be fast as he would speak very fast. When we started doing this I was very slow with my handwriting and after a while he just got so mad at me that he took me off watch for a few weeks and had another messenger who had great handwriting teach me and change my handwriting — Clarisse Barnett (Shelly Miscavige’s older sister). Clarisse had beautiful handwriting and was very fast. For weeks I had to start over learning how to write as though I was in kindergarten. My handwriting changed completely, from perfect cursive and small, to very large and a mixture of print and cursive, which is how my handwriting is today. As soon as I was good enough I was back on watch. But honestly it was a very stressful time as LRH would dictate and then when he wanted to see what he had just said, he would grab the pad from me and then read and boy was there hell to pay if he could not read what I had written or had not completed it. Once you had finished taking the dictation we would then go into the messenger office which adjoined LRH’s and we would sit and type, listening to the tape to ensure it was perfect. That was also hard as sometimes you could not even hear what word he used. When you were finished your watch, you could not leave until your dictation had been typed. This included PL’s and HCOB’s as well as dispatches and telexes. We started off with non-electric typewriters but eventually got IBM electrics. Of course carbon copies had to be made. How life has changed with technology. We got good with whiteout too…..
In 1977 the Asian Flu hit the US with a vengeance and it did not spare us at La Quinta. I remember being in “isolation” with a bunch of other messengers with this horrible flu and we would all have high fevers and were hallucinating. It was terrible and we were in “iso” for almost a week. It was bad. I wrote to my Mom about this and said how I had not been sick for so long, “but I found out the SP on my lines and got it handled”. I have no idea what SP I had found. I also wrote about how I was doing a car mechanic course and learning about every part of the car and all of its systems. All I can say is that I still do not know how all parts of a car work. I was about to get my drivers license in La Quinta at sixteen years old. I learned how to drive in a Buick station-wagon, which we called “Beauty” at La Quinta. I finally got the license and one day I remember driving LRH in Beauty around the property and he got so mad at me that he kicked me out of the drivers seat and took over, I was never able to drive him again. I must say that I am a very good driver now, and in later years learnt how to drive a stick shift.
David Miscavige arrived at La Quinta in early 77. He started learning how to be a messenger and was soon “ghosting” senior messengers on watch. However he was soon assigned to be a Traffic Messenger and that involved sitting in the messenger office adjacent to LRH’s office and screening any and all traffic to LRH which mainly included telexes. The traffic messengers would put the traffic in order and take out anything that was not really appropriate. He occasionally stood an actual watch but these were few and far between. He was not a great messenger and would frequently irritate LRH. When he first arrived we all called him “Kid” or “The Kid” and this included LRH. After a period of time of not doing too well as a messenger LRH determined that we all had to stop calling him “Kid” and rather Dave or DM. LRH determined that he was dramatizing the name Kid and acting too much like a kid. As I mentioned before most of the male messengers did not do well as watch messengers, but DM was actually worse and in fact, Pat Broeker who also sometimes stood watch, would irritate LRH quite frequently. At one point, both DM and Pat ended up digging ditches together at a time when we did not have the RPF going. They soon became firm friends.
During early 77, LRH had bad stomach problems (ulcers) and due to this, we organized for a drafting table to be installed in his office and that way he could work standing up and it could tilt. When he was done working/writing he could then sit in his comfortable chair and read, but most of the time he stood up.
In July of 1977 the FBI raid occurred and I cannot recall exactly how we heard about it. I am presuming frantic phone calls and telexes were coming into Mary Sue from the GO. This would have happened on the day of the raids. MSH immediately told LRH and he decided to leave La Quinta.
Here is a brief description from Diana Reisdorf (Dede) who went with LRH along with Claire Rossouw and Pat Broeker. Pat was specifically picked to go due to his prior time in the normal world.
“We left La Quinta when it turned dark in the station wagon Beauty. LRH, Pat, Claire and I. We left La Quinta and headed to San Bernardino to spend the first night. He immediately had Pat go and buy hair color. I don’t recall what Pat and Claire did… I know I went black, and LRH went dark brown. Claire helped him dye his hair and eyebrows and he touched up his chest hair and whatever else in the shower. Claire, I think, also literally put a towel around his head like a bowl and cut his hair. The next morning we loaded up and took off.
So, one of the first priorities when we got to Reno, before instituting the rule of only 2 together at any one time, was to get him in to see a doctor. Pat was off looking for an apartment to rent and Claire and I found an internist in the yellow pages close by. The three of us went directly to the doctor’s office. While Claire and I were speaking with the nurse receptionist, LRH sat in the waiting room holding his stomach and moaning (purposefully dramatizing). We explained that our uncle was in a lot of pain. He had been recently traveling and his wallet had been stolen so he didn’t have any ID. But of course, we had cash. His moaning convinced the nurse to bump him into rotation and he was fairly quickly taken into a waiting room. Claire and I were keeping up the story of the worried nieces when we shortly heard him telling the Doc stories and lots of chortling and laughter. We joked (just us with Pat later) about how stupid we felt with the dramatic entrance and all, and then minutes later he is in there laughing away.
During this time, Pat found a place in Sparks, Nevada. I was told that he and Claire went so far as to get “married” with their fake names and they rented the place as newlyweds. They rented it for the two of them – if asked about seeing others in the unit, they were to say that Claire’s uncle (or sister if that was mentioned) was visiting.
We quickly got into a routine. He woke in the very early morning (4-5 am or so) and had a session, and ate a snack we had prepared the night before. Then back to bed. We weren’t woken for this usually or that I recall. So we’d be up before he was finally up for the day. Claire did most of the cooking, Pat ran all the errands and purchased supplies, etc., and I was his companion for any trips outside the apartment and helped with cleaning, laundry, etc. The place was directly down the line of the air force base. I don’t recall him complaining and we all just got in the habit of stopping conversation whenever jets were overhead…continuing where we had left off when they passed.
There was never any question that without the drama and noise of the Sea Org and Scientology orgs on his lines, he was a different person. Claire and I dusted the place like normal people do; we washed the clothes in the laundry machines with normal soap. Never a smell complaint or problem with dust. Claire even almost burned down the place! She was making French fries and the oil caught fire. Rather than covering it, she tried to carry it out to the balcony while in flames. But when they got to the balcony (we were on the second floor) a bit of flaming oil spilled over the edge and caught the umbrella of the neighbors below on fire. Pat smoothed things over with them but wow…that could have been bad!
The days were spent with him writing right up to dinner. After dinner in the early evening he and I would go for a long walk. Often down to K-Mart to just wander around. But on these walks he often made up songs and would sing. He was actually happy most of the time. Once, on a walk into K-Mart or the grocery store, he was goofing around with me. This was Nevada. Every store had a carpeted, roped area where there were one-armed bandits to entice people to put in a quarter and pull the handle! All these areas had big signs warning that you had to be 21 to play; I was not quite 20. So he decided he’d push me into the carpeted area and then start yelling (jokingly) that I was gambling! Then he’d laugh and laugh hysterically. I actually had many good times during our walks.
After our return, we’d usually watch movies. Since we watched late into the evening, and the neighbors complained about the noise, Pat got us headphones and we’d all plug in to watch. I recall watching a Mel Brooks movie – High Anxiety (or maybe Young Frankenstein) and the 4 of us were laughing so hard and loud…but with the headphones there was no other noise. We were trying to be quiet but just couldn’t.
After the movies we’d do the “retiring” routine. Normally he would sit at the end of the bed, talking and smoking. Pat and Claire at his feet and I was behind giving him a shoulder- and backrub. In the early months, the talk was all about what the hell had gone wrong to get us there. He would always end the conversation that it was all MSH and the GO’s doing…that he didn’t know what they were up to. “Right?” The three of us would often nod but look at each other kind of in surprise. Was he saying this to convince us? To convince himself? Or did he suddenly have no memory of conversations with MSH? Over time I think he worked himself into a belief that he was the innocent victim of all this. But that was usually the case – not his fault.
By October or November (?) he was starting to think about how to get back…he had been writing the Tech films, and had completed RTS (Revolt In The Stars). He needed to communicate again with the GO to find out what was happening post-FBI raid. And he needed to be sure we had enough cash. He was anxious to get RTS being shopped in NY/LA. He also wanted to get word back that the tech films were to be shot upon his return…so by January when we did come back, he wanted a base ready to be able to build sets and shoot the tech films.
He spent a number of dinners teaching Pat about the tricks of traveling incognito. How to change his look at every airport in the restrooms, including cotton in his cheeks. Pat then started the trips back to California to do the drops with the other messengers. Pat was perfect for this – he loved the cloak and dagger stuff.
I remember Christmas…we were all getting a little homesick and probably a little stir crazy by then in our little 2-bedroom place. Pat went out and got us presents from LRH and put them under the tree. Besides useful things (I recall getting luggage and a warm coat), he had two rings made for Claire and I. Gold bands with a little baby diamond, ruby and sapphire stone set. He said that we needed to have our first gems ☺
I think by then he had pretty much figured out that he’d only be safe at W if Mary Sue wasn’t there because of the trial, etc. Knowing that we would be going home soon, I feel, he started getting cranky again and got himself sick. I recall he was going [to a doctor’s appointment??] and Pat had gone out to get Beauty out of storage (we never had the car at the apartment the whole time). He was supposed to return, pick up LRH and take him to the appointment. After a half-hour passed, LRH still was standing outside waiting for Pat – he refused to come back in and it was winter! And cold! Pat finally showed up sometime later – the car had flat tires so he came back in a taxi. But in any case, when we did get back to Int, Pat was assigned a condition for almost killing LRH (he said he got pneumonia waiting at the curb) and for not checking on the car frequently enough (if at all??) the 6 months we were there.” Diana Reisdorf
While LRH was gone from La Quinta, MSH took over the running of the place and to be honest, she lightened our schedules for all crew and we had a relatively stress free six months.
One of the first projects we had to do once LRH had left, was to immediately do an all-hands project to go through all LRH documents and redact names etc. So it showed nothing from LRH. We used black markers and even blades (like box cutters) to cut out his name. This project went on for months and after we were done, one night we drove out to another property we owned (but no one was there) – to bury all these documents among the lemon groves. This property was called Silver and I have no idea if it is still owned by CofS. But we did this burying at night.
After a few months, we started receiving packages from LRH and this was the start of the movie script Revolt In The Stars. We got instructions on how to type a script and then parts of the script came every now and again. Some of us messengers were put on the project to type and proofread the script. I enjoyed this time period as obviously the story was good and exciting and science fiction. Earlier in the year we had all seen the great movie Star Wars which as everyone knows, was the greatest movie ever made up until that point. I had not done my OT levels so had no idea that RTS was the OT III story (minus the BT’s). It was extremely detailed and way more detailed than the OT III materials, with real characters. Each time we were done, we could not wait for the next package. Later when LRH came back he worked with his son Arthur on all the renderings of the costumes and everything else. He would describe it all to Arthur who would then do the drawings in color and LRH would make changes or approve them. Again, very detailed. BTW- The loyal officers were in sea org uniforms. He told us that this movie was a “clearing the planet movie as it would key people out”.
LRH had not only written the RTS script but had also been writing Tech Film scripts and he started sending instructions to get ready for filming, this involved a lot of recruitment to La Quinta for this purpose – people who could build sets/do lighting/camera work etc. But to tell you the honest truth, most of these people were Sea Org members and when we started filming pretty much no one knew what to do. Our staff at La Quinta soon swelled to well over a hundred people.
In November of 1977 Gale Reisdorf married Steve Irwin and here is a photo from their wedding. And they too will be celebrating their 40th in 2017.
By December 1977 we received word that LRH was coming back but MSH had to be off the property due to her upcoming court case. It was decided to move her to Beverly Hills. Gary and I were given the project of getting her house ready. So off we went, not having a clue how to set up a house with furniture and everything else. But with lots of cash we managed to buy everything for the house and then set it up for her. We were up straight for 4-5 days cleaning/setting up furniture etc. It was grueling and I remember having to clean each piece of glass on a big chandelier. We spent New Years eve at this house and returned to La Quinta by January 2nd.
Everyone at La Quinta was excited to have LRH back and the fact that we were now going to start filming the tech films. So we now go into 1978 which was another tumultuous year of the forming of Gold and LRH getting very sick and going into a coma…………..
1978[edit | edit source]
1978 was a crazy year, very tumultuous.
LRH arrived back to La Quinta in January of 1978 after Mary Sue had moved to LA to handle her criminal case from the Snow White FBI Investigation.
While he was gone, during the last half of 1977, the messengers and most of the crew on base were preparing for the making of the tech movies. During 78 and 79 we called this the Cine Org; it was not named Gold until later years. Recruitment had been done to get more people for this unit and we messengers had typed the scripts LRH had sent us via mail.
So when he arrived back to La Quinta he got straight into setting this Cine Org up. I cannot explain how stressed everyone was through this time period. Almost no-one had any movie making experience and certainly none of us messengers. He wanted to make the movies his way, so if there were a few people who had some experience, they obviously did not know what they were doing as far as he was concerned. Creating this movie making unit involved establishing people to make sets; costumes; makeup; acting; lighting and then of course the camera work.
LRH bought some fancy video cameras and then studied their manuals when we put him to bed at night. Then the camera people had to train on them. This is where David Miscavige comes in, as he became one of the cameramen along with Terri Gillham.
I was not part of the Cine crew – however, I did act in 2 movies, one was the Tone Scale and I was cast by LRH as Cheerfulness……for this movie, each actor for each tone level had to say “A E I O U” in the tone level you were. I remember sitting on a blanket, dressed all pretty as though I was on a picnic and then say over and over again A E I O U…in a cheerful voice….until I got it right! Ugh it was awful because as time would be ticking by I was NOT feeling cheerful anymore and LRH was just getting madder. On top of that it was in the hot desert sun.
Even though I was not part of the crew I was a watch messenger, so frequently ended up being on watch during shooting time. My job then was to take care of LRH’s needs, cigarettes, ashtray, and water, maybe run a message or two to some of the Cine people or take dictation. But I also had to hold the bullhorn up to his mouth when he was directing. There were many times that I held it up with my arm outstretched towards his mouth, and simultaneously had to hold down the button when he wanted to talk into it – well, for some reason the bullhorn would screech when I depressed the button. LRH would get so mad at me and throw the darn thing on the ground. I hated that bullhorn. I am sure some of you who were there can remember me and the bullhorn..
LRH somewhat enjoyed shooting the movies, but at the same time, it was frustrating for him as he was dealing with people who were not professional and at times just could not get his vision. We did night shoots as well and sometimes were up very late into the night to get the right shots.
It was extremely stressful for everyone and most of the time it seemed as though nothing was satisfactory to LRH. He yelled and screamed constantly. Most of the crew, even if they had been on the Apollo, had never seen him act this way. It was crazy.
His anger and fits did not just stay on the movie set. Doreen Smith Gilham and I were more often than not assigned to the infamous morning watch. Doreen was pretty good at calming LRH down and to a certain extent me too. But this morning watch was the worst thing in the world. He woke up screaming and being angry. It could be because of the way we helped him get dressed, or that his cravat wasn’t tied properly, or his breakfast was not good, or clothes smelling; it could be any trivial thing. Many times we would also elicit Kima Douglas to help us calm him down. From this point on I noticed a big difference with him. Before it had been these sort of outbursts every now and again, but now this was happening every single day and most of the day. Additionally, when Mary Sue was living at the base she would also be a calming person to him but with her now gone to LA, it was just horrible.
One day I remember waiting for the messengers on watch to turn over the watch to me, so I was sitting in the messenger office that adjoined his, waiting for them to come out. I could hear him yelling and screaming……I thought to myself and will never forget it – that I must never forget the year 1978 as it was the worst year ever as a messenger. I was under constant stress and I could not even talk to my husband about it. Nobody. I was scared to go on watch and actually lost quite a bit of weight (and I didn’t need to lose any). I really did not want to be a watch messenger anymore, but what could I do? Nowhere to go and I certainly did not want to end up on the RPF.
During one of his tirades, and I cannot remember what it was about – but he was not only yelling and screaming he was walking from one end of Rifle house to the other, going into the kitchen, offices, the courtyard. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to “handle” whatever it was that was causing this outrage. When it was all over and he had calmed down and was now in his office, I tried to find the other messenger who was supposed to be on watch with me, she had seriously disappeared and I was the only one there. She had not been there from the beginning of the outburst. Well, I found her hiding in the large closet we had in our messenger office. She was scared out of her mind. At the time I was pissed at her but now I realize and see she had every right to do that. She was a junior messenger and had not stood many watches with him before, so I could understand how terrifying it must have been for her.
During this time period David Miscavige virtually never stood a watch. At the most he stood watch as a messenger maybe 3 months in total.
LRH GOES INTO A COMA AND ALMOST DIES – August[edit | edit source]
August 1978, during the hot desert summer with temperatures frequently between 118 and 120 degrees, we were on the set. In those days we had a motorhome on set for him. That way he could eat his lunch or dinner and relax for a little bit. He started feeling sick and did not look good. Kima was there and took his blood pressure and pulse and they were sky high. She immediately took him back to his house at Rifle. The messengers on watch rushed back to the house. Kima tried to get him to go to the doctor but he absolutely refused. He got worse and actually went into a coma. We all thought that he was going to die right then. At this point in the history of Scientology, one has to realize that Mary Sue was not there, but in LA, about to go to jail. There was no higher management set-up, no Watchdog Committee, and the CMO were not running Scientology, only LRH. If one thinks about that now, who knows what would have happened had he died right then. I think Mary Sue would have taken over, even if she was going to go to jail.
LRH had been stressed. Cine was kind of going along, but he was frequently upset about that; he was worried about the GO upheaval and court cases that had begun and he was also concerned the management of Scientology was not really going well due to the movie making……..there was a lot for him to be worried about.
Doreen Gillham was in Los Angeles on a mission, I think it had something to do with Revolt In The Stars movie script – trying to get it sold. I am not 100% sure, but Kima and a few of us older messengers had her find a Scientologist doctor, blindfold him and bring him to Rifle. She found Dr. Denk and he was brought to the house and immediately started treating LRH. Even though he wanted LRH to be in a hospital, he was concerned he would survive the drive, that’s how bad he was. It took a few days to get Denk there and in the meanwhile LRH was in and out of a coma. I only remember him lying on his bed for days, not talking and trying to feed him sort of porridge and I am not sure that he was even able to eat anything.
Once Dr. Denk was there he immediately started to get better, but it took a couple of months before he was able to return to shooting movies again and get onto a normal schedule. During this recovery time, we also had a chiropractor come out — a Dr. Keppler. At the time, I had never heard of a chiropractor before or even what that was. He would come into the office and put bottles of vitamins in LRH’s hands and then he would push down on his arms, and if there was no strength, he would then tell LRH that he was lacking those vitamins or minerals or whatever. My first thought was that this was voodoo and why would LRH believe this when we as Scientologists were not supposed to “mix practices”. Now one can see that chiropractors are part of the Scientology acceptable practices.
Per an interview with Kima, she said LRH had a pulmonary embolism, not a heart attack. I always thought it was a heart attack.
As far as I am concerned and from what I witnessed, Dr. Denk saved LRH’s life and so did Kima Douglas (who had pretty much saved his life on 2 other occasions as well).
We also got David Mayo, who was at Flag as the Senior C/S FSO, to La Quinta. LRH had previously been audited by Paulette Cohen and for some reason she got in trouble and was not his auditor anymore. So now David was the most highly trained auditor/C/S, so we got him there to audit LRH. This was the start of LRH and David working on NOT’s and many other tech breakthroughs which came out in the following couple of years.
DIANETIC CLEAR –SEPTEMBER 1978[edit | edit source]
For some reason, unknown to me, I was receiving Dianetic auditing – I do believe it was the new New Era Dianetcs which he had just worked on, even though I had had a lot of Dianetic auditing from my childhood until 1978. LRH and David Mayo were CS’ing my folders (could have been due to research). I went into this one session and of course, I was supposed to go back, back, back for whatever thing we were handling. I got so sick of this that I seriously had a wobbly in session and started yelling & crying that I was sick and tired of going back to past lifetimes and that I felt that I was just making it all up! I was really performing about this. I actually shocked myself. By the time I got out of session I felt scared. I thought that I was going to be in big trouble and was obviously a “no case gain.” I had no idea what was going to happen and was quite nervous. About a day later I was told I had to go to the examiner and wow – the examiner tells me that I have been declared a Dianetic Clear. First off I had no idea what a Dianetic Clear was, but I was so relieved that I was not in trouble. I wrote the following letter to my Mom:
"Dearest Mommy, Here is the HCOB LRH wrote after my thing, it all happened because of me!! Anyway it explains it all. I think we will have many Clears now. I am on Solo right now and will be on OT 1 shortly."
I then attached the HCOB of 24 September 1978 ISSUE III DIANETIC CLEAR. The first 2 paragraphs as follows:
The state of Clear can be achieved on Dianetics.
I have now determined there is no such thing as Keyed-Out Clear. There is only a Dianetic Clear and he is a Clear.
I was floored but actually felt like a fraud, how could that be that I am now Clear? I also received my Clear bracelet which states that I was the first Dianetic Clear. I have only in recent months told this story of feeling like a fraud to my husband and close family members.
NOTORIOUS LIST ONE R/S (rock slam) ERA[edit | edit source]
The time period from early 78 to late 78, LRH had given orders for the Cine Org; PAC area and Flag to have staff members sec checked on the List One (these are questions about having evil intentions against LRH/MSH/Scientology) and if anyone R/S’ed (rock slam on the e-meter) they had to immediately be sent to the RPF. It was one of the most awful time periods in the SO (at least up to that point). Auditors were misreading the e-meter and were saying a certain needle reaction was an R/S when it was not. Almost 50% of the staff in those SO areas ended up on the RPF. It was a major witch-hunt.
Fortunately for me I did not end up being sec-checked as I had not made any “goofs” to warrant the sec check, but I can tell you that I was scared out of my mind and a nervous wreck, because if you made one slip-up, off to the sec-checker you were sent. Especially when you saw people close to LRH being sent to the RPF.
One day LRH realized that a couple of messengers were missing and when asked where they were, he was told they were on the RPF due to the List One R/S program, he also noticed there were less and less staff in the Cine Org.
He got this checked into and found the problem and then reprieved pretty much everyone.
GANG OF FIVE[edit | edit source]
I have no idea who wrote the Gang of Five account which was posted on the Scientology-Cult.com website but whoever wrote it knew what was going on and I can attest fully to their truthful account and therefore I felt it prudent to re-post a portion of it here applicable to 1978 and will post more as I go through the years.
“In January ’78, LRH returned to La Quinta and got into shooting training films for Scn. While LRH was gone, the messengers were training on various fields of Cine. Dave ended up Deputy/Camera Man and later became Camera Man. While doing this, he was also the Action Chief and would run missions when not shooting films (an evaluation done in the late ‘80s found that though DM bragged about having run a successful Action Bureaux, the eval found that the Action Bureaux in the late ‘80s had a better success rate than Dave did; this eval never got approved as it would have made Dave look bad). He was a decent Mission Ops and there were many missionaries that liked working for him as he seemed to duplicate what his Missionaries were reporting or when they had trouble but he was always very determined to get things done on a “now” type basis.
Mary Sue was always a calming influence on LRH and when she was around him, he was not as moody. However, with her gone to LA, he had major mood swings. Those that had not worked with him for long had a hard time confronting these outbursts. It was during these rough days, though, that Dave Miscavige was around LRH – so he never really experienced what LRH was like when he was not stressed out about his wife and others being tried and jailed.
During the year of ’78, many people including some Messengers were being assigned to the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) as “List One R/Sers” meaning there was supposedly evidence that they harbored an evil purpose toward Scientology. Later the adjudicating criteria turned out to be false.
Anyway, during the shortage of messengers Dave stood a few watches with LRH but the majority of his time was spent behind the camera. He never had the status of being a Senior Messenger of the Watch and in fact did not spend very much time around LRH in his day to day work. Early ‘77 to mid ‘77 as Traffic Messenger, and then Jan ‘78 to end of ‘78, he was mostly on the camera and not doing much in the way of watches with LRH. In ’79 Dave spent little time with LRH as he was “too busy” handling management traffic. So in all honestly, Miscavige did not have much history of seeing how LRH dealt with orgs and missions on a long term. The time Dave did spend with LRH was one of the most tumultuous and upsetting periods of LRH’s life.
In late ‘78, while making training films, we were out on location using a golf course for one of the films. This was at Gilman Hot Springs. It was found that the place was up for sale, so LRH had it purchased with the intention of using it for summer headquarters and using La Quinta properties for winter headquarters — they were only about 90 minutes away from each other. Gilman Hot Springs became the Int/Gold Base outside of Hemet.
It was during this time we had a breach of security with some staff going to the press about the location of LRH, which made LRH very concerned about being served with legal papers.”
Rise of David Miscavige[edit | edit source]
I made an appearance on ABC’s 20/20 on April 29th of this year for their program about Ron Miscavige. Doing this TV show was the first time I was speaking out after almost thirty-five years – it was hard for me to do.
My appearance (in the first ten minutes) was due to the fact that I had a missing link not covered in Ron Miscavige Sr. book RUTHLESS: how did the rise of David Miscavige happen? ABC filmed about twenty minutes of me telling this story, but only two minutes was used on the show.
The “church’s” response to my appearance was something on the order of –“Lois was not there and had in fact been busted by LRH for the International down stats, so therefore she did not know what happened.”
Well, I was there and in fact know the details of what happened. Yes, I was busted to Flag in December 1981 and sent to Flag to clean rooms, AFTER David Miscavige had taken over, in his non-violent coup.
Obviously, his full takeover of complete power happened soon after LRH died in 1986, when he became Chairman of the Board of RTC. I was nowhere near the church at that time and have no information on this other than what I have read in books, but none of it surprises me one bit.
I will remind you that I recruited DM into the CMO in 1976. Wow, in retrospect, what did I do?? I also became friends with DM, we got on well and I will not deny that fact. I liked him, he was funny, a hard worker, but there were brief flashes of what was to come, but I ignored them. I was senior to him as a messenger and on the org board in the CMO – I was Chief Officer CMO Int and we were of equal status on the Watchdog Committee. At no time was he senior to me, until a few months before the end, when all hell started to break loose and I remember feeling as though I was in some kind of alternative universe. Things were happening that were NOT the scientology that I knew, things that I had not experienced in almost ten years of being in the SO and working directly with LRH. Even though it was tough working with LRH, this was WAY worse and now I see how it developed after I left and all the horrors that have happened in the SO and especially at Int/Gold in the ensuing years.
Reading all those horrors (only in the last two years have I known this stuff) of the decades since, I just would never have thought that DM would have gone to such extremes and become such a sociopath.
Formation of the Watchdog Committee and RTC[edit | edit source]
In early 1979 LRH bought the property at Gilman Hot Springs just outside Hemet, CA. The plan was for this to be our Summer Headquarters (SHQ is what we called it) and our property in La Quinta, CA which is in the desert, would become the Winter Headquarters (WHQ). We were going to spend 6 months of winter at WHQ and then move into SHQ during summer. However, due to various circumstances the Media/FBI started to figure out who we were in La Quinta (WHQ). LRH started to realize that this was not a good situation but we were still in the middle of shooting movies and he was really not happy and continued to have his bad moods. Sometime in the beginning of 1979 we left WHQ and moved to SHQ, but due to security reasons LRH moved to an apartment complex in Hemet, which for security reason was called “X”.
The CMO were getting more and more involved with management functions before we left WHQ (La Quinta) to go to SHQ (Gilman). By the time we settled in Gilman, the CMO was mostly separated from LRH again (he being at X), he depended on the International CMO being not just his eyes and ears, but to become the overseer of International Management and Production. To take over that function from him. But LRH’s idea was to have the new function not be so obviously tied to his messengers (and therefore him) but to be anonymous, hence the reason the Watchdog Committee was formed.
Dede Reisdorf Voegeding became CO CMO Int and she was the one who was given the task of setting up the CMO’s at Flag, LA and each continent and the set-up of Watchdog Committee.
In early-1979 I was sent on a mission to CMO Clearwater along with Terri Gilham Gamboa. The two of us took over the CMO CW for almost six months. Our job was to get the CMO going there and overseeing the Flag Service Org (FSO) and International Management. It involved recruiting people into the CMO CW etc. Mike Rinder was set to be the new Deputy CO CMO CW (there was only one CO CMO, the head of each continental CMO was titled “Deputy/CO”) and was then sent to Int for training and when he came back to CW, Terri and I would leave and go back home. Some notable names were part of CMO CW at that time – Ron Miscavige Jr; Bitty Miscavige, Bill Dendui, Steve Marlow, Vicki Aznaran, Nettie Allcock, Rosi and Rick Kamman, Sam Licciardi (who married Dave’s twin, Denise), Debbie Cook and assorted others. When Mike Rinder came back to CW, we went home to Gilman.
I had also gone on a mission into the FSO prior, so now that the Watchdog Committee was forming, I was a prime person to be on it.
LRH gave instructions on how WDC was to be formed. Each member would be given either 2 or 3 key areas. Mine were FSO/AOSHEU/AFRICA. There would be a WDC Chairman and a Deputy WDC Chairman and then 10-12 members in total.
We were to study the book “Roberts Rules of Order for Fair and Orderly Meetings”. And that was how our meetings were to run. When stats were received from lower management on a Thursday night, each WDC member would look at their own areas stats and then work out handlings for any downstats, this could involve sending out observation missions, ordering evaluations to be done, or simply just telexing back that their handlings were good, or whatever.
So essentially, we had two jobs and these two jobs were separate – a normal post on the CMO Org board and then being a WDC member.
No-one outside of Int knew who was on the WDC. The CMO on each continent would be responsible for ensuring that WDC business was handled correctly, but the point of it all was to get LRH off the management lines. This was the handling he gave us to move him off the lines and for the Church to be run by WDC.
In addition to being on WDC, David Miscavige became Action Chief and that was his CMO post, to run missions that WDC wanted to send out.
Dede Reisdorf Voegeding, Gale Reisdorf Irwin and I were the only Senior Messengers who were on the WDC. Marc Yager, David Miscavige, Melanie Murray (Tech WDC), Annie Taskett, Donna Robinson were junior messengers. Everyone else at the time had never even been messengers with LRH – John Nelson (never met LRH), Mark Ingber, Liz Ingber and I am sure I am missing one or two others.
All the other messengers were still standing watches with LRH at his apartment called X (in Hemet). Dede, Gale and I stood a watch at X maybe one week total, but LRH decided that we needed to be full-time on WDC and our posts in the CMO. So I never again stood watch with him. The three of us, Dede, Gale and I also never got involved with making movies again either.
Gang of Five Section (See last write up for explanation of “Gang of Five”)[edit | edit source]
“In late ‘78, while making training films, we were out on location using a golf course for one of the films. This was at Gilman Hot Springs. It was found that the place was up for sale, so LRH had it purchased with the intention of using it for summer headquarters and using La Quinta properties for winter headquarters — they were only about 90 minutes away from each other. Gilman Hot Springs became the Int/Gold Base outside of Hemet.
It was during this time we had a breach of security with some staff going to the press about the location of LRH, which made LRH very concerned about being served with legal papers.
In 1979, we moved from WHQ (La Quinta) to Summer Headquarters (now the Int/Gold Base). LRH was living in Hemet at an apartment complex called “X,” so instead of messengers standing 6-hour watches and creating lots of vehicle traffic to the complex, the messengers would stay at the apartments for a week and would replace each other every week. Dave and a few other messengers worked it out that the management traffic required too much of their time and they could not be gone for a week, so the rotation was shared between messengers like Claire Rossouw, Janis Gillham Grady, David Rossouw, Clarisse Barnett, Shelly Barnett. Also, not many messengers enjoyed going to X because LRH was in a very bad mood a lot of the time. Pat and Annie were living permanently at the apartment complex along with Kima and Michael [Douglas] and a few other staff like Lola and Bert Rossouw, David Mayo, etc. The handling of LRH’s management traffic for him was the start of the Watch Dog Committee or “WDC.”
LRH would drive to the base, almost daily to shoot the training films, he also on occasion would meet Mary Sue there – the last time he saw her was at Bonnie View (LRH’s house at the base) where he took photos of her to document how she looked before going to prison and to say goodbye. Whenever they were apart, during the time periods I was with LRH, LRH and Mary Sue made it a point to write each other daily — after he left in Jan 80, I don’t know how often he wrote her. These letters were usually dictated to a messenger at a typewriter.
During the ’79 time period, LRH also spent a lot of time in his audio recording studio set up at the apartments and worked on remixing his lectures and editing them. We would also sometimes go for drives where he would take photos of the scenery or go for walks in strip malls/supermarkets just to get out of the apartment.”
In addition to us running WDC, and having our post in the CMO, we would also handle all traffic to LRH; this included personal letters from Mary Sue to LRH. We had to vet his mail and determine if it was okay to send to LRH. LRH did not want any “entheta” on his lines. This was very hard to do especially the personal letters from MSH to LRH. When handling this traffic we would all sit around a big round desk and go through it all.
One incident I recall is that I was handling a personal letter from MSH. In the letter she asked LRH “what happens if I go to a movie theater, will the BT’s of other people jump onto me?” This was OT III data and I was not yet on OT III, so I asked out loud to everyone else what does she mean? Well, DM jumped in quickly and grabbed the letter out of my hand for him to sort out as he was OT III. I had no idea at the time what that meant. I did not even know it was OT III data until I got onto the level myself about a year later. I never knew what happened to that letter and I have always wondered how he would have answered that… needless to say I never dealt with MSH letters again.
I did see LRH shortly before he left for good in the beginning of 1980. Marc Yager and I were the two WDC members who would go to X on Friday mornings to brief LRH on the weekly stats. Sometimes Dede Reisdorf would go too. Our mornings there would be recorded and when we got back to Int we would play the conversation to the rest of WDC. Since this was the last times that I saw him, he was in a much frailer state than previously and would sit in his chair with a blanket over his knees. He was not a happy chap and definitely seemed troubled.
Early 1980 – I am not clear as to why WDC/CMO moved to Los Angeles (PAC), but talking to others, there were renovations going on at Int and also due to security we needed to be far away from LRH. The main point of setting up the WDC/RTC was to get LRH off management lines. That was the key thing.
During our time in PAC LRH ordered that all of us (most probably about thirty people) had to do the Purif. We had this huge makeshift sauna set-up somewhere in the bowels of the big blue building. It was big enough for all thirty of us to sit in it and we even had a TV and video (on the outside of the sauna area which had very strong plastic as walls) set up so we could watch movies. It actually was a lot of fun doing it with so many people, watching movies and/or reading or just chatting. I also got through my OT levels while in PAC, up to OT III expanded.
While in PAC, the normal watch messengers who were not on management lines, stayed at Gilman and continued to go to X to stand watches. LRH was going from X to Gilman at night to shoot movies, all with very high security; the main crew left at Gilman was the Cine Org, watch messengers and estates crew.
Here is a quote from Kima Douglas in her Interview for Bare Faced Messiah, by Russell Miller about their time in Hemet (X) and why she and Mike left.
“He had his own apartment at the top of the stairs; the external comm was next door. I furnished them and got his gear from Gilman. He seemed quite happy there for a while. We had lot of heavy duty secrecy. Michael was his finance officer and comm officer. He gave Michael a million dollars and told him to make money. Michael turned it into $3m with gold, silver, diamonds, oil and foreign exchange, and stock.
Mike was given a $1,000 bonus. When we left Michael had under his charge about $500,000 worth of diamonds, gold and silver coins in our name at the bank. It may have been $700,000 – there were five bags of gold coins. One night I had a steak thrown at me and he had been hauled over the coals because a stock had gone down. We sat on bed and said, “What are we doing here?” Four months later we left.
We needed to get it back into LRH hands before we got out. We got two big safes to put it in, got the diamonds and stuff out and put them in safes. I was so pleased when we got it back.
At Hemet he used to dress funny and go out funny. We’d draw sideburns – long and brown – on him and his hair was long. He’d wear funny cowboy hats. He’d always have 2-3 little girls with him. He didn’t look like the locals, but he figured that’s how the locals looked. But he never looked ordinary – he had an aura about him, a beingness. A big, powerful man. From far away you wouldn’t see the painted sideburns. He’d wear a cowboy hat and a cowboy shirt. If I could, I’d have dressed him as a nonentity, but he always wanted to wear his hat at an angle, kind of jaunty. He wanted to display a bit of panache. He was very vain – he was fun that way. We drew eyebrows and colored them. The whole idea was to take away the golden red. I would do it before he went out. It was his idea to have sideburns. He didn’t go into shops but would just walk down the main street.
He went to orange groves in the mountains to do shoots. He proved Kodak was screwed. He would get light readings and take thousands of pictures.
He started filming at Gilman and security was unreal – people walking around with guns.
Michael would travel 120 miles a day to go from Hemet to Gilman. There was never direct communication. I left in Jan 1980.”
Notes about the Gang of Five[edit | edit source]
On December 15, 2016, Sinar Parman wrote the following - "Great continuation of the story - many thanks Lois! The gang of 5 was not totally accurate - Bert Rossouw was never at X and Lola came in Jan 80, due to Mike and Kima leaving. Sarge also came at the time to replace Mike. Doug Holmes was also one of the regulars there, aside from Claire."
On December 15, 2016, Janis Gillham Grady wrote the following - "I left X to Australia on leave in December of 1979 and Lola was at X. I will have to check with Bert when he was there, but I definitely remember Lola being in an apartment on the 2nd level on the opposite side of the complex than where LRH's apartment was. DM was only at X at the beginning, he used the excuse of WDC and Action traffic to get out of going on watches a week at a time at X, I know this as I specifically asked him at the time, why he was no longer standing watches at X."
LRH leaves for good[edit | edit source]
In early 1980 LRH left X for good with Annie and Pat Broeker and Steve Pfauth (Sarge). There was much conversation amongst us messengers as to who should go with him, we were all fair game to go – especially the married couples. But it was finally decided that Annie who was not on management lines and in fact lived at X with LRH and Pat had previously gone away with LRH, so knew the deal. But I can tell you that Pat was not a first choice – LRH had reservations about him but he knew he had no choice. At the time we did not know that it was a permanent disappearance, we all thought it would be temporary.
It is important to remember that at this time things were even worse on the legal front, MSH was no longer around as a calming person to LRH and was about to go to jail and nor was Kima Douglas. With Kima & Mike blowing, X now became compromised and knowing LRH like I do, he would have been in a panic and would have become even more paranoid than ever before. Things were becoming out of control.
Mid 1980 – WDC moves back to Gilman from PAC.
All Clear Project[edit | edit source]
LRH was out of communication for a long time and during this time we continued to run International Management, but no-one outside the CMO knew that LRH had disappeared. It was quite scary running management on our own, with no assistance from LRH but we did the best we could. One of the main things we did during the time he was not around was to put a halt to the 5% increase LRH had instituted every month. (Reference LRH ED 522 ED The Solution to Inflation of Sept. 1976) We knew we were taking a big risk in doing this but we had done an international evaluation of all the Orgs and found that the big “Buy Now” campaign which meant the prices were going up every month by 5%, was severely hurting the stats. LRH had instituted this due to inflation being high during 1976. But all of us on WDC, reading the facts of the evaluation knew that it was hurting the international stats. This became one of the main points that would be the downfall of Dede and to a certain extent Gale and myself. However, at the time, every single WDC member had agreed to ending the price increases.
Towards the end of 1980 – when Dede finally started meeting Pat in secret, the instructions were to fire a mission to make it so that LRH could come back and not have to worry about being sued. The first step was to find attorneys who said they could make it happen. The mission was fired under DM (as Action Chief) to start making calls and hopefully setting up interviews. Terri Gillham and Norman Starkey were fired on this mission and law firms were called by asking a list of hypothetical questions until they found an LA firm who said they could pull it off. All of them said you can’t STOP someone from suing someone else but this group had an idea. Essentially it was level after level of corporations each shielding the previous one. Somewhere in there LRH would be protected from anyone trying to pierce the corporate veil. A handful of corporations, with complicated and convoluted structures and an ever increasing list of attorneys on the payroll. This was when the CSI, RTC ASI were set-up.
During this time period and the following months into 1981, Dede as CO CMO INT would have to meet with Pat Broeker secretly in isolated places in the middle of the night. The main focus was on the All Clear Project; LRH was still not back on any kind of management lines during this time. But the places she had to meet him were quite sketchy, so after a while of doing this, she started bringing David Miscavige (to have a male presence) with her for protection. During these meetings DM and Pat started chatting and it seemed as though Pat needed someone to talk to and they had already been friends for the past three years.
During these All Clear Project secret meetings they would also discuss and would argue about how to handle MSH’s removal and the disbanding of the entire GO (whose functions were to be replaced under one of the new corporations being formed). Pat told Dede that he was communicating all their discussions to LRH. Eventually Dede started letting DM meet with Pat directly and that is when they conspired to remove her from post.
During this time DM started getting weird, in that he would have outbursts with foul language, bossy towards his seniors and other messengers. I would say his attitude was becoming “intolerable and outrageous”. There are two instances that stick in my mind, the first being, all of WDC sitting around our big table, each doing their own work, and all of sudden DM jumped up and started getting pissed off. Maybe he was reading a personal letter from MSH to LRH. His words were “I am going to get a f…….wire brush and shove it up her c….” I was absolutely stunned; I could not believe that he was saying that about LRH’s wife. I had never heard anyone have such an outburst.
Another time, Gale and I were outside the WDC office – she ran EU as WDC and I ran AOSHEU as WDC. We were confronted by DM and Norman Starkey and told how Owen Starkey is needed at Int. At that time both EU and AOSHEU were booming and Owen Starkey was a key person in that. He was one of the top regges in the world at the time. Gale and I were adamant that it was not okay to take Owen out of EU, absolutely not. Well DM and Norman, right behind him just started shouting and screaming at us, how off-policy we were whatever, whatever… it was ugly. But they won.
In addition to running the All Clear Project as Action Chief, David Miscavige was running missions on how to dismantle the GO after the debacle of the Snow White Program and the FBI Raid of 1977. His “handlings” for this was to forcibly remove MSH from her post as Controller and for us to disband the GO completely, there was no disagreement that these actions needed to be done but it was the “how” which was in dispute.
The church continuously states that Dede and Gale and I were being too “soft” on MSH in regards to her removal from post as Controller of the GO. Even our general attitude – we did not have the SRA (severe reality adjustment) attitude of DM – BTW – this is a term he coined – SRA.
The point is that the messengers and MSH never had a very good relationship all the way back to the Apollo days. I would say it was an “uneasy” relationship. BUT, we all had the utmost respect for her and the fact that she was LRH’s wife. There was never a question about that. She needed to be removed from her post in the most diplomatic way possible, not the terrible, harsh way DM handled it. I will stand by that forever. We knew the GO had f….up badly and it needed to be disbanded as it HAD committed illegal activities; there is no question about that.
Dede Reisdorf Voegeding was removed from her post as CO CMO Int and put onto heavy mest work in July of 1981. The reasons were the “soft” attitude towards Mary Sue and apparently an out-security situation of giving Omar Garrison (who was doing a biography on LRH) too much info on LRH and his whereabouts – BUT she did not even know where LRH was. In addition to the above, the cancellation of the monthly 5% price increases were cited as a reason. Those sort of price increases were never instituted again as far as I know. Dede knew that if she ever again had any face time with LRH she would have been able to straighten out the “wrong info” he was given about her, but of course that never happened.
Next up…….removal of Gale Irwin as CO CMO INT and myself (within a few months of the above happening). Dede, Gale and I and our husbands all being banished to Flag to do manual labor and following that our SP declares in 1982.
LOIS REISDORF – PART 7 – FINAL[edit | edit source]
In about August 1981 Dede Reisdorf Voegeding had been removed from her position as CO CMO INT and was doing manual labor. This is described in Part 6. Her sister Gale Reisdorf Irwin who had been the deputy CO CMO INT (mainly dealing with “internal” CMO matters), was now made CO, which also included holding the position of Chairman of WDC. Gale did not receive a “hat turnover” for this new position, and was now responsible for all of International Management of Scientology. From August to December of 1982 – the atmosphere at Int (Gold in Hemet, CA) was unbelievable, Gale was feeling very overwhelmed by all her responsibilities. This is the period of time I thought I was living in some alternate universe. The stress level was palpable amongst all of us. I lost a lot of weight as I could not eat; I was just a nervous wreck. David Miscavige (DM) was acting out of control and no-one really knew what was going on.
Gale was finding it incredibly hard to deal with her two posts while also attending secret meetings with Pat Broeker that would go for hours at any hour of the day or night. Usually Gale and DM would drive to a payphone to make the connection and then wait for Pat. They would meet at a fancy restaurant near LAX airport. Pat and DM mainly chatted about nothing important. Gale therefore decided that it was better for her to just focus on church management and for DM to deal with Pat. DM then started going on his own to meet with Pat. This is when things started going downhill for Gale.
As WDC, we started receiving “orders” which were apparently from LRH wanting to know about the International statistics and what was happening in the church. We had no way to know for sure if these orders were coming from LRH or from Pat as there were no signatures, but we assumed they were coming from LRH. Each WDC member then started preparing reports for LRH to read about each sector of the church – for instance – one person would do a report on the stats for Europe, or Africa, or Flag Service Org. Taking into account LRH had had no info on what had been happening for more than a year.
To backtrack a bit – earlier in 1980 DM experienced a very bad asthma attack, so serious that he had to go to the hospital. We were all very concerned about him at the time, it was bad. When he came out of the hospital he told Gale and Paul Grady (who was holding the position of Medical Officer for the CMO) that he had this realization that “Power is assumed”. At the time they thought nothing of this, maybe a result of medication… but this would later become very significant to future events.
Gale had effectively turned over her only “comm line” to LRH via Pat. This was the perfect opportunity for DM to fully take over. That is why it is so important for Pat Broeker to come forward and spill the beans on this time and his relationship with DM. If LRH’s ONLY way to get any sort of communication about the church was from these two, who knows what was told to LRH. It would be so easy to tell lies about the people who had been the closest to LRH – Mary Sue and all his messengers — and paint them in the worst light. On top of that, LRH not doing well physically and was in a paranoid state in “hiding.” When one looks back on this, it was the perfect opportunity for a psychopath to take over. LRH no longer trusted those who had been the closest to him, in fact, he came to think we were trying to ruin Scientology. Yet all of us had been kids when we joined, we had been born into Scientology and had Scientology parents, we were totally dedicated and loyal to LRH. None of us had any “outside influences”, we lived in a bubble.
Due to the fact that DM was now answerable to nobody, and began ordering people around and acting as though he was running things, Gale asked David Mayo (Snr CS International) to sec-check DM. DM refused and in fact tackled Gale and pushed her into filing cabinets. She knew immediately that her conclusions about what was going on were correct. She immediately tried to set-up a meeting with Pat Broeker, but this involved going to a certain pay phone booth in Riverside. She got in a car and went. But as she got to the phone booth, DM and his “gang” arrived and took a tire iron and destroyed the pay phone. They got Gale into the windowless van. There were six people, loyal to DM, and they accused her of mutiny and repeatedly berated her all the way back to Int.
When they arrived back they stripped her of her job, accused her of mutiny and she was put on manual labor, while awaiting a committee of evidence (like a trial).
Why would DM be so paranoid about what Gale might say to Pat? And why would he be so violently opposed to having a sec check if he was not hiding something? When I look back on this period, now, it becomes quite clear that he feared that his lies to LRH via Pat would be disclosed. He had helped make LRH even more paranoid. If one analyzes this it become quite clear that he had been led to believe that MSH and the messengers not with Miscavige were betraying him! Communication from LRH after this time period became increasingly paranoid with a lot of discussion about “outside influences”. As though those closest to LRH were being influenced by outside forces??!!
Gale and I were separately comm-eved and found guilty of all charges even though she pled not guilty to all charges. When the committee told her that she was guilty she stormed out of the office yelling that they can all go f… themselves. Her and her husband Steve Irwin wanted to leave the Sea Org immediately. I was removed from my position as Chief Officer CMO Int and my WDC post. Gale, Dede and I were told we were being sent to Flag in Clearwater to scrub floors as “Public Cleaners.” Gale and Steve wanted to leave but Gary and I talked them out of it.
We now had to pack up our lives and get to Clearwater, but the added thing was that our husbands were being sent with us. Dede and Peter Voegeding, Gale and Steve Irwin and Gary & I had to drive ourselves from Gilman Hot Springs, CA to Clearwater, Florida. As a family we had a little car which Gary’s dad had given to his three kids. We also had a JAR TRAN truck with all our belongings, our small car and then lo and behold, we were being sent with a guard as well . This was Wick Allcock who had to follow us and make sure we did not “run”. I wish we had just blown at this point, it would have been so easy, but no, we were being good little SO members…….
We arrived in CW between Xmas and New Year’s Eve in December of 1981. I remember pulling into the parking lot of the West Coast Building where the CMO CW was, and seeing all the faces looking out the windows. The “crims” had arrived to scrub floors.
The six of us were sent to the Fort Harrison where we had the lovely job of “clearing out” the FH garage. We got busy working on this and after a couple of weeks; our husbands were put onto actual jobs in the hotel. It was now just the three girls working our asses off cleaning out the garage and also working on cleaning out huge freezers. Dede had previously gotten a truck driver’s license, so we had to truck garbage out of the FH garage to the big municipal dump. With Dede driving the truck we would go to the dump and then haul everything out of the truck. It must have been quite a sight for the men at the dump to see three young girls hauling garbage out of a truck. On the way back to the FH we would stop and buy an ice-cream. We actually had a pretty fun time and it sure was more palatable than dealing with the tension back at Int.
We lived at the Grey Moss Inn (we called it the Grey Mass Inn) which was across the road from the FH and it was still being run as an old-age home. The church rented the top floor as crew berthing. It was an old, rotten, building filled with old, dying people. Ugghhh it was disgusting and full of cockroaches. This building was eventually bought by the church, torn down and is now where the Super Power building stands.
Within about a month or so of being at Flag, we were ordered to apologize to all the FSO crew for “what we had done to their Org.” At the time we had no idea what we had apparently done to them, but now we stood up in front of all the crew and gave this apology speech. Dede and Gale refused to talk, so I did the talking. I am sure some old-timers from that time period will remember this. Because I had spent quite a bit of time in CW on mission, a lot of the crew and even some public knew me, but did not know Gale & Dede (other than if they had known them on the Apollo). It was one of the most humiliating experiences in all my years in the SO.
Later the three of us were assigned as maids at the hotel, waitresses in the restaurant, dishwashers etc.
In the spring of 1982 Gale & Dede were ordered on a plane to LA, to report to the PAC base. At the time we thought that maybe this was a good thing and that LRH realized that he made a mistake with us. But no, it was only to get worse for them. But one clue is that they had a guard with them, Karl Whitcher. They were immediately housed in a large shower/bathroom under 24 hour guard (in the big blue building) and they went through gang bang sec-checking — being yelled at continuously and questioned whether or not they were working for the CIA/FBI or whoever! They were guarded by new recruits who always ended up liking Dede & Gale, because they are actually very nice people. The “guards” had to be changed constantly as they would become too “friendly” towards them. At the time they both smoked and would take a couple of drags and then put out the cigarette to save it as they had no money to buy any. This was the start of what was to become something “normal” in the SO, BUT for them, they had never experienced anything so disgusting in the 10-11 years they had spent in the SO, none of us had.
Gale & Dede were told they were beneath the RPF and weren’t allowed study time and were not paid anything. They worked from early morning till eleven at night doing physical labor.
Gale, immediately upon arrival in LA saw what was happening and called her husband Steve and told him she wanted to route out. He agreed and started the routing form at CW and she “started” it in LA. For her it took three months of nothing happening. She tried to prevent being declared by leaving “correctly.” Then after many group sec checks and repeated visits from DM and his henchmen asking if they had thought of any more O/Ws or crimes, they were awoken in the middle of the night and handed their declare orders. Steve had successfully routed out of CW and happened to be in LA when the Declares were issued so they packed whatever belongings they had and drove to his parents’ house in San Diego.
One has to understand that at the time, being declared an SP was the absolute worst thing that could happen. I had never known ONE person who was declared an SP. They were the first in the “new era”.
Dede’s husband Peter was still at the Fort Harrison and had not left, so she moved to Clearwater to wait for him to finish “routing out.” But he never left and they ended up getting divorced. While she was living in Clearwater, near the Fort Harrison, Peter, Gary and I would occasionally make clandestine visits to her.
The SP Declare orders on Gale and Dede were issued to all of Scientology . When I read them, I actually threw up as I was so disgusted. There was mention of Dede working for the CIA even. It was just horrific and included her case data. I had never experienced or seen such horrific ethics actions taken and on top of that such lies. Dede joined the SO at thirteen and her parents had been in Scientology before she was born. It was just ridiculous what the declare order said.
However, I do realize that people experienced way worse than this in the decades to come, so when you look at it from that viewpoint, what we went through was nothing compared to others. But the point is, we were the first.
After Gale & Dede left for LA, I continued to work as a maid and as a waitress in the Hourglass restaurant. Gary had his post in Div 3 of the Public Estates Org and he was the Maître D of the Hourglass during meals. We were fortunate enough and well-liked by the chef, that instead of eating rice and beans like the rest of the crew, we ate the restaurant food… Hahaha….
I was a good maid and waitress, my stats were really up and Laurie Englehart was the CO of the estate org. She really thought I was a gem in her org. I was promoted to Maids in Charge and the stats kept on going up. I wrote in a letter that I was in power.
I turned 22 in April of 1982 and luckily for me, my Mom was at Flag receiving auditing and I was able to spend my twenty-second birthday with her.
One night in the summer of 1982 Gary and I were told to report to the CO CMO CW in a different building. While we were walking over there I was pretty sure that because I was being “good”, had high stats, was on the Key to Life course and just generally doing well, that I was going to be called back to Int. To my surprise when I went into the CO’s office there was a pregnant Laurie Englehart crying (she was the CO of the hotel), my heart sunk. The CO CMO told me that I had been declared an SP but instead of being kicked out immediately, I would be able to go onto the RPF and work through my A-E steps and could stay in the SO but the caveat was that I could NEVER be an executive ever again, I was basically always going to be scrubbing floors, or I could leave. The declare order said something on the order of me being a Nazi – in the sense that I carried out orders even though I knew they were wrong… WTF!!! It was such bullshit.
I chose to leave; this was the moment I realized I had been betrayed. I had dedicated my life to LRH and Scientology from the time I was thirteen years old and this was how it was going to end. With nothing! BUT, my WHOLE family was involved in Scientology. I had two sisters at Int; my parents were now running the Joburg North Org in South Africa; my younger siblings were still kids but they were in Scientology and my husband was not in trouble and was being very successful on his post at Flag. But there was NO way I was going to continue this charade. I was done. I got through my leaving security check and the routing form and actually completed my steps A and B while on the RPF to leave. This only took about a week.
Gary organized for me to go to his parents in Texas while I waited for him. I called my mother from a pay phone to South Africa and told her with lots of tears flowing, what had happened. She must have been shocked to her core. But, she told me to come home to SA; they would arrange a ticket for me. But I decided to go to Texas to wait for Gary. It took a couple of months for Gary to get free and he then joined me in Texas. We got small jobs and lived with his parents.
My Mom was still trying to get me to come to SA, so in February of 1983 Gary and I left the US and went to South Africa. We were now both declared and my family were all in and running the biggest Org in South Africa. We lived with them for a few months while we got ourselves jobs and started working on our A-E steps. I have kept a folder all this time of all the letters that I wrote to the Int Justice Chief (IJC) asking for a comm-ev, but it was never approved. I was told I had to do the A-E steps first. I kept copies of all my A-E steps, and even have a policy letter in the file. I have not looked at this folder in more than thirty years so luckily I have it and it has helped me remember all that went on.
I received approval from IJC to go into the Org to do Step D which is to start doing Scientology courses. My bill had also been paid (Step C) – so I was almost done with my A-E steps and still living with my parents. I was doing everything with the approval of IJC. I have his approval letters. I then got all my A-E steps done and submitted the whole package to the Int Justice Chief and then this telex came down the lines from Marc Yager who was now the CO CMO Int. But during this time-period and prior, disconnection had been cancelled (in 1968) so it was “understood” by most Scientologists at the time if someone was declared and you were still connected to them, the worst thing that happened is that you could not get any further training or auditing until the SP person was handled and done with their A-E. But remember, SP Declares was something that was NOT standard operating procedure.
AFTER the above telex from Marc Yager, the A-E the policy was changed to include a major amends projects. HCO PL 23 December 1965RA Revised and Reissued 10 September 1983 ETHICS – SUPPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS. In this PL, Steps B (1) and B (2) were added which explains debts to be paid back and submits an amends project to IJC.
After this telex, I told my Mom and Dad that Gary and I were going to leave and not talk to them until we got our A-E approved. I could NOT allow my mother to disconnect, so we did it. We left their house and found a furnished apartment/hotel type place in Hillbrow, South Africa and stayed there for a month or two while we did our “extra” amends.
We got everything submitted to the IJC and waited. But during this time I got pregnant with my first son and my Mom couldn’t stand not seeing me, so we got back in comm while waiting for the approval. By this time we had ourselves a more permanent place to live.
The whole time this was going on, from the moment I had the original comm-ev back at Int, I knew that what I was being accused of was false. So even while in the middle of doing my A-E I wrote a letter to IJC asking for a Board of Review on my Declare, here is what I wrote:
“I then sent a CSW to RTC for a Board of Review on my declare as I did not feel it was right. It was very vague and full of generalities; it was stale-dated justice as it was done 6 months after I was busted and I understand one of the main reasons I was even busted was because I supposedly was responsible for the whole bust of CO FSO, and all the Div 6 Regges in 1980. This is not true as I was on leave (vacation) at the time and when I left on vacation an observation mission had been sent to the FSO, then Julie Caetano did an evaluation and Annie Taskett went on the handling mission to remove all the execs. I came back when the handling missions were already in progress and was in protest of the whole thing and was sent to ethics and cramming for having the wrong viewpoint.” The answer from IJC was that it was off-policy for me to have a Board of Review and to get through my A-E steps.
It was obvious to me that “they” had to come up with some excuse to get rid of me from Int and all they could come up with was a false accusation of something I did not even do.
It took until 1986 for my A-E to finally be accepted, after doing a MAJOR amends project.
But we had already started our new (back in 83) lives not knowing how to even write a check, but with the help from my family we got ourselves into normal life. I must say that it took me at least 3-4 years before I was able to feel comfortable in the normal world. It took me a long time to get to the point whereby I did not use Scientology terms and to accept being in the world. It was hard. I had lived in the ultimate bubble for most of my life.
But we did acclimatize and became successful and had MANY non-Scientology friends, who are to this day still very close friends. I never spoke of being involved in Scientology and none of these friends who I have known for close on thirty years, knew I had been involved in Scientology until this year! Gary started a computer business which was successful and I ran a swimming school from our home which was also successful, I also did the accounting for the business.
We had a great life in SA. I had my family who I had not been with for close on ten years, I was watching my younger siblings grow into adults; we had great friends; we spent time in game reserves and had great adventures. I had my three sons and they had a great life and I kept them away from Scientology. This was never a problem for my family, they did their thing and we did ours. Once Gary and I were talked into going to an event which was the release of the Tech Films – we ended up walking out in the middle of it as we were so embarrassed at the quality.
Obviously every now and again my Mom or one of my sisters would tell me some news about what was happening in Scientology, but most of the time I did not care or even want to hear about it. They kept things from me and I was happy about that. We just really did not talk about it.
In 1996 my Mom came to me and was very worried about my Dad. This was the one time she talked to me about something to do with Scientology with something her and my Dad were concerned about. She told me about the new Golden Age of Tech and that all auditors had to retrain and my Dad was the top Class VIII (trained by LRH directly) and now he had to redo everything! I thought it was ridiculous and my Dad never did redo everything until the day he died in 2007. Even though they were now running a little mission, he was still the highest trained C/S in Africa and his expertise was needed by the Orgs. From what I have heard since, my parents were under a lot of scrutiny by the SO but there is no way they could ever get rid of them due to their tech training and being such opinion leaders in AF.
In 1997 my beautiful mother got sick; having epileptic-like fits and within a week was diagnosed with Stage 5 brain cancer. It was the biggest shock of my life and within a week she was dead. She was 58 years old and through thick and thin, she had never abandoned me. But it was also the final nail in the coffin for me as far as Scientology was concerned. How could this happen to someone who was so good, who had dedicated her life to Scientology and worked relentlessly? I was devastated. The higher church in the U.S. put out an issue regarding my mother saying that she had made the decision to drop her body – god that made me so pissed as I knew she did not want to die. After the memorial, I talked to my Dad and told him that I thought this was such BS- how could they say that? He agreed with me.
Dad suffered from COPD/Emphysema for many years and eventually gave up his fight in 2007 when he died.
Both of my parents were at OT V level.
In 1998, Gary and I decided to leave South Africa as we felt for the future of the kids; they would have a better life in the U.S.. Crime in SA was increasing and because Gary was American it was easy for us to leave and start over. The boys had “Born Abroad American Birth Certs” so it was no problem.
We arrived in San Diego in the summer of 1998 with our three sons (ages 14, 10 and 8) and three big suitcases and a few boxes. No jobs. We lived with Gale and Steve for about a month, travelled with the boys around the U.S. visiting various family members and got ourselves into a rental home.
Our life in San Diego has been great. I am a Realtor and Gary is a Mortgage Broker, we have given our three sons a good, happy life here. We were fortunate to have Gale and Dede living here and so have always had family. Even though they were still declared SP and we were not, it never stopped us from being a family. We never again set foot into an Org. Scientology was out of our lives completely. Again, we made lots of friends and none of them knew of our past. We made trips back to SA to visit family and a few came here to visit with us. We continued being in great comm with my family in SA. My Dad, Neville, even visited us here in 2000 and spent a Thanksgiving at Gale’s house with Dede in attendance – he did not give a shit whether someone was declared an SP or not.
My kids grew up hearing all the stories of us being kicked out; about DM; about LRH but this was not something that was a big deal in our house. Some things we told them were good stories and some stories were about the bad stuff.
The boys had normal lives, played soccer, competed in surfing competitions, and had normal friends, normal schools and generally a very good life in San Diego. They had also experienced the wonders of Africa as we frequently went back.
In about 2005 my oldest son Brett who by now 21 years old, had a girlfriend, Jessie Boyd, and we were very happy for him as she was an exceptional girl. They really seemed like a match made in heaven. They had met at a party. After about six months of them being together, Brett came home and said he had something very important to tell me – Jessie had told him that her parents were Scientologists! I just about fell to the floor, I could not believe it, how could this happen? We knew not a single Scientologist in San Diego. Thankfully, Ron & Lisa Boyd were not active Scientologist's and even though they had friends who were still in, they also had some friends who were declared. Both of us were basically in the same situation. Inactive.
The biggest problem I had was that I was connected to the “Reisdorf family” who were declared SP’s and then the “Jory family in SA” who were very much in Scientology, running a mission and one sister who was still at Gold. We really did walk a fine line for more than thirty years, a balancing act. With my sisters it was tough but we made it work. I had two families who I loved dearly, but on the opposite sides of the spectrum, with us in the middle.
Brett and Jessie got married in November of 2009. My family could not make it to the wedding as it was too expensive for all of them to come over, so I decided to have a second wedding in SA, at my expense, so they could be involved. We then organized for the second wedding to be held in December and we all went to SA including Jessie’s parents. It was a fantastic wedding. It was wonderful to celebrate with my whole family. We also had a tremendous Xmas Lunch, which is this photo below:
This was the start of the end for us. This was the last time I saw all my siblings, their spouses and all my numerous nieces and nephews. In fact, I went back in 2015 and none of them would see me, even though I had not been declared yet.
My youngest son, Craig, had paid for an airline ticket to go to Australia/NZ on a surfing trip, after the wedding in SA. So when we left to go home in January of 2010, Craig stayed behind in SA but was going to leave on his big trip in a couple of weeks directly from there. We were happy for him. He had worked hard to save the money for this dream trip. He is an exceptional surfer. He was nieteen years old. After two weeks, we got a phone call from him stating that he had decided to cancel his surfing trip and rather stay in SA for the six months and be with the family in SA. Gary and I were not really happy about it, but he was old enough to make that decision.
Well, as fate would have it, Craig got involved in Scientology through my family in SA. In fact, at the end of the six months, we got a long email from him explaining that he had signed a contract with the mission to work for them and to live in SA. Gary and I hit the roof and ordered him home. First off, we did not move from SA just for the fun of it, there was a good reason for it. We did not want him living there and we living here. And thirdly he had college to finish and to get his life going. We knew what it meant that he had signed the contract. We managed to get him back to the U.S. and the contract cancelled.
I regret now that I did not emphatically lay out what I really thought of DM and the way the church was being run at that time in 2010. But to be honest I had not even gone on the Internet and did not know what had transpired after we left.
However, once Craig got back here to San Diego, our relationship had changed. He had become a Scientologist and got himself to the San Diego Org and was taking courses there while continuing with a restaurant job and doing community college. But we had our son back and that was a big relief to me. He was living at home and we thought we could still manage with him being in Scientology.
Meanwhile our second son, Brandon, started having mental issues in late 2010 into 2011 and even though we were not really “Scientologists” at the time, we were still vehemently against psychiatry and would never have thought of going that route with him. He ended up going to SA where my family got him being “handled” by a Scientology Group (I did not want him on Org lines). He ended up receiving a form of the “Introspection Rundown” in SA. By December of 2011 he returned to San Diego in worse shape. Soon after this he had a burst appendix and was in the hospital.
I then got the local Org involved and they helped me get him into somewhat better shape by me doing certain light processes on him. He recovered.
After Brandon got better he himself got involved in the local San Diego Org in early 2012. So now I had two sons involved with Scientology. At this point I still had not gone online or heard anything about recent things in the Church. But I was worried as we were still all in comm with the Reisdorf family and the Jory family. I just had a big sinking feeling that the thin ice we were walking on was going to break.
In the summer of 2012, Gary and I were ordered to go into the San Diego Org for a “handling”. This was the start of even more BS… we had not once stepped foot into this Org, but we went. One of my sisters was at the Advanced Org in Sydney trying to get onto the OT Levels. She was being sec checked and sure enough it all came out that Gary and I were not on lines, that we were in comm with two big SP’s – Gale & Dede; my oldest son Brett’s in-laws were also NOT on lines and were in comm with declared SP’s. It was an extensive list of “crimes” — all relating to whom we spoke.
One interesting fact that happened with our meeting with the Org’s Ethics Officer – she showed us a policy letter, which is NOT in the OEC volumes and I had never heard of before. In fact, it was written by LRH supposedly but Watchdog Committee as well. This policy was dated 1983 (after we had originally left) – it stated that if you have a declared SP – all connections this SP has, has to be severed. Gary and I were shocked to read this policy and obviously we were not allowed to make a copy of it and we cannot remember the name of it, but it certainly was not in any published OEC vols. Gary asked the EO this question – “So if I was working for a company, and I find out that one of my co-workers actually knows my sister Dede, by coincidence, does that mean I have to leave that company due to him knowing her?” “Oh yes”, says the EO to Gary. We were gob smacked.
It then made sense to us what had happened all those years back – if you have an SP then all of his or her connections have to be gotten rid of as well. I.E – Mary Sue, Dede, Gale, Laurel Watson – and all their connections. BUT the kicker is this – that policy letter is not in any OEC volumes, it is not in the most recent PTS/SP Pack, it has been kept hidden. I even brought this up later to the MAA at AOLA and the members of our Committee of Evidence and ALL of them denied that that policy existed!!
Gary and I were told that we had to disconnect from Dede and Gale and all their connections, including Gale’s kids and all other non-Scientology family members (we are talking about approx. fifty family members).
We now had two of our kids involved in Scientology and my whole family. But we were very close to the Reisdorf family and to Gale and Steve’s kids who were also close with our kids. This was 2012 and things were now going to get even worse. A real Aftermath.
The “Aftermath” of our story will be aired on A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and The Aftermath. Stay tuned.
REISDORF FAMILY AFTERMATH – Disconnection[edit | edit source]
This is the story of the last 4-5 years of the subtle coercion and lengths the church will go to, to enforce disconnection of families and friends. I will say it felt like mental torture and being put in a situation of making a Sophie’s Choice between your children. I will also liken it to the term “gaslighting” which perfectly explains how I felt during this time period. (Gaslighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity).
It also shows that the church absolutely lies that disconnection is not enforced. This was reinforced by the lawyer Monique Yingling, a spokesperson for the church who was on the 20/20 episode which just aired on ABC last Friday night – she stated that a person is ONLY declared if they speak out against the church. This is an ABSOLUTE LIE. My story will show you that it is a lie.
CRAIG[edit | edit source]
Craig is my youngest son, he is now 26. He is a very affectionate person and was especially to me. As a child he was attached to my skirt. He was part of a very loving family.
Being the youngest of three boys, he always had to keep up with his two older brothers, but he was in there with them. He is an artist, he loves music and had that connection to Gary (my husband), he loved the old 60’s and 70’s music and knew all the words.
I have videos of him singing with Gary. He is an exceptional surfer, just like his two older brothers, and a great soccer player. He is an exceptional human being. Anyone who knows him knows this. As an example – In January of 2014 our beloved dog Jonty was fourteen years old and he was very ill and we made the decision to put him down. Craig was working at his restaurant job and got to our house at 11PM, he laid outside on the cold concrete with Jonty (who was wrapped up) and stayed with him for three hours. The next morning we put Jonty down. This is the type of person Craig is. A few months later we got our lovely puppy Misty, and Craig was the one who named him. It is so heartbreaking to experience the change in him and how he now hates us. I am crying just writing this……….the loss is just unimaginable. This is the story of how I tried to save my family.
Craig wrote two beautiful letters to Gary and I in 2012. He was a very affectionate child and it shows through these letters, here are some excerpts. This is in such sharp contrast to the final email we got from him in 2015. How does someone lose their love for their parents so quickly?
DISCONNECTION[edit | edit source]
In 2010 when my youngest returned from his six months in South Africa, he had become a Scientologist by living with my sisters (explained in Part 7). One of the things he had to immediately do while still in South Africa was send this letter of disconnection to my sister-in-law Dede Reisdorf due to her having been declared a suppressive person in 1982.
We lived from this time on wards in a state of precariousness. When he returned Craig started going to the local Scientology organization but we were still seeing our declared family members (including Dede). Even though we had family gatherings where suppressive person (SP) “evil” family members were present, even though Craig was there he would not communicate with them. It was awkward and weird. I felt as though I was walking on egg shells.
Then things changed in 2012 (as described in Part 7) – we got called into the local San Diego org and told to disconnect from the Reisdorf family members or lose our son and my family in South Africa.
It took us about four weeks to get up our courage to figure out how we were going to handle this. We had to write disconnection letters to Dede and Gale (Gary’s sisters) but we did not send them, instead we met them privately and told them the situation. We made a pact between Gary and I that we would continue to see them secretly and told them so. Our family relationship between us and them deteriorated due to this. No more Thanksgivings together. No more family Christmas. No more celebration of birthdays together for any of us, which included our kids and their cousins.
Please note: Our oldest son Brett was NOT a Scientologist nor was his wife Jessie. Jessie’s parents had been Scientologists but were not active and they were in touch with current Scientologists and people who were declared – same boat as us, but they were off-the-radar so to speak.
We thought that that would be the end of it. We had our kids in our life and secretly still saw our SP family members.
But oh no, that was not good enough. In Aug 2012 someone in my family forwarded me (by mistake) the following email from my sister who is in the Sea Org at GOLD (near Hemet, CA). It was sent to all my other siblings. There are six children total in my family.
- > Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2012 17:19:31 -0700
- > > Subject: Lois and Gary
- > > Dearest Lou,
- > > You probably received the signed document form Lois and Gary.
- > > I have alerted Dione about this and now need to alert you and Dor.
- > > It is still not completely okay as there are still bad connections. Including Brett as he is still connected to the other family members in addition to others!
- > > The MAA at Int is working with me on this and it is being addressed as we speak – but the R Factor is that there cannot be any connections until word has been gotten from me or from OSA.
- > > You should know that Cathy True from OSA Flag plans to get with you and D to give you all the data and the exact plan and handling. She is the Clearances IC at OSA FLAG. You could try and reach her if she hasn’t gotten a hold of you already. The person working with me is Marion Pouw and Cathy will know about this.
- > > Please let me know that you are all tracking on this.
- > > Love you, Geray
- > > PS. Just so you know, if Lois and Gary fully cooperate, their lives will change forever – so there is an exact handling – I was just briefed on it. And Craig will be used to help get the remainder of the connections handled as he is obviously really trying to push this through and this is pretty obvious by all terminals at my end.
As you can see in this email, it is not “good enough” that we had disconnected from Dede and Gale but our oldest son Brett (not a Scientologist) and his wife Jessie also have “connections” and these all need to be “handled.”
An interesting note at the bottom is how Craig is “helping” them. I confronted Craig about this and he denied he knew anything about this. I believe he was unwittingly giving them info and data about us after being told that “this will really help your parents”. This will become even more evident later.
I was then called and told that my son Brett and daughter-in-law Jessie had too many connections on Facebook. I was to tell them to unfriend these people. I did not even know who these people were! It was ridiculous. Jessie refused to do so. How can you tell a non-Scientologist that it is not okay to be friends with someone who is deemed an SP? This is where the policy letter I described in Part 7 that exists but is not in any library available to the average Scientologist. “Once you have an SP identified, you then get rid of all of their connections” My son Brett actually closed down his Facebook page and only in the last few weeks has he restarted it. Rather than “unfriend” these people it was easier for him to just close it down.
Gary and I were then ordered to report to the Advanced Organization Los Angeles (AOLA). We were told that the local org in SD was too low for our “handling” and therefore had to go to LA. This is something we were now going to do on a regular basis for the next two years. Anyone who knows LA traffic understands what a pain in the ass it is to drive from SD to LA. We hated it for that reason alone, but of course there were many other reasons.
It was the first time we had set foot in a Sea Org church in thirty years. The MAA (police) started interrogating us, separately, as to who and what our connections were. It was a real mind f….k. They call this type of interrogation a “roll back”. I had never experienced this in my entire life in Scientology, nor had Gary.
We did not even know what the acronym C.O.B stood for; Gary would ask “What is COB?” (Saying it like you would say corn-on-the cob). It means Chairman of the Board for RTC (Religious Technology Corp) and is how everyone refers to David Miscavige or DM. We of course knew who he was, but did not know this new “title”.
After these interrogations we were then told that we had a choice, either get a comm-ev (committee of evidence, like a trial) or receive sec-checking which we must pay for. Sec-checking is another form of interrogation and more intense. If we opted for the comm-ev, she tells us, we would most probably be declared SP, there was pretty much 100% chance that was going to happen. We freaked out and opted for the sec-checking instead because to be declared a Suppressive Person (S.P.) we would for sure lose Craig and Brandon to Scientology’s disconnection policies. We thought we could squeak thru the sec-checks.
Gary and I HAD NEVER bad-mouthed Scientology to my Scientology family OR anyone who was still in Scientology; we had never even gone on the internet to read about the anti-stuff; we had never read an anti-book; we had not spoken out publicly; we had done nothing. In fact, Scientology was so far removed from our minds that in the beginning of all of this drama, we did not remember things from thirty years ago. We believed that we could be uninvolved with the church and still keep the peace with all of our family.
We then went to LA and had the dreaded sec-checks and got through them. Maybe about twenty-five hours each.
It seems as though everything we did took forever to get approval on things. This was another thing I had never experienced in the church prior. Ethics actions were always done fast, but this just took months and months and I got to the point that things must be going up to the highest levels of the church. There were no other explanations. The MAA at AOLA could never tell me either. It was so frustrating.
So now all of my family in South Africa were STILL not allowed to talk to me or any of us, on this end, they did not even talk to our two sons who were now working for the local San Diego church! Even though Gary and I were going regularly to LA and chatting with other Scientologists or staff in the SO. I had one email exchange with one of my sister’s about this, which follows below, because she did not understand it either. I constantly brought this up to the MAA but she never had an answer. This was her last answer to me:
- “Dear Lowie,
- I am going to lay out one more time all the facts.
- 1. Lou was told when she was routing onto OT 7 by OSA Flag that she should not re-establish communication with you just yet, as OSA checks were still being done.
- 2. She was re-told this at her last refresher by both her MAA and OSA Flag. I should have repeated this in my last email to you which I see is causing much misduplication.
- 3. Geray has been told by her MAA and her OSA terminal that the comm line still has to remain disconnected for all of us. By not saying this in my last email I here too caused a misduplication. Geray is not a 3rd Party.
- Continue with your ethics handling and do the sec check as this is very good. You will now have the opportunity to handle this completely. I know this as I have been through this exact same route. I see you forward your information to Dor so I hope you can correct her misconceptions too.
- Please just do what is needed and we will be in comm with you soon, but for now please do not respond to my email and let’s leave it at that as I am finding your emails too enturbulating.”
In mid-2014, our son Craig was now going to be put in a position over HCO (Hubbard Communications Office) in the local SD Org. At the time I thought this was very bizarre as he was “new” to Scientology and one does not just get a job this high in an Org so quickly. In order for him to be on this post, he needed to go to LA for training and sec-checking for about a month. The local Org could not pay for his accommodation, so we paid for it with the promise from the Org that they would pay me back – never happened!
This was Craig’s first sec-check and he just spilled his guts on things we had told him through his life as a little boy, and who we were really connected with – not sure who but we think he told them he thought that maybe we were still in communication with Gale and Dede and possibly others. Oh boy, so now this was all coming out and Craig ended up not being qualified for the job. But I thought at the time, I wonder if that was done on purpose – to get him sec checked, to find out what was “really” going on with us??
I believe he had to write up knowledge reports on us and then it happened: we were now being comm-eved. Even though we were told this would not happen. This is like being prosecuted except you are not represented and pretty much have no say. We were charged with heinous high crimes in the world of Scientology.
This also took forever… like a year to get this done!
In the middle of this comm-ev, in August of 2014, our niece was getting married. This is a daughter of Gale, Gary’s sister. She is a non-Scientologist. We decided we were going despite everything. Our son Brandon who was on staff at the org also decided to go! We kept it a secret from Craig to avoid putting him in a difficult situation. But lo and behold, someone in the wedding posted a photo on Facebook with Brandon in it and the cat was out of the bag. I was pretty sure the comm-ev would declare us SP’s. At the wedding were not only Dede and Gale and the entire Reisdorf family but also Janis & Paul Grady and Terri and Fernando Gamboa (declared SP’s). Boy, now we were in real trouble.
When we had our last meeting with the comm-ev, we were told that Ron and Lisa Boyd (Jessie’s parents) had been declared SP’s – these are our daughter-in-law’s parents! They were declared because they had refused to disconnect from some of their friends who were declared and also because Lisa had sent a PERSONAL letter to a few of her friends, back in 1986, that she was no longer going to do any Scientology. This letter was obviously found in her old ethics file. At this point I honestly thought and felt that there was a concerted effort to actually intentionally destroy my family. Now Brett and Jessie were connected to her parents who were declared SP. BTW – The Boyd’s were NEVER contacted by the church, not one attempt, they were just declared like that.
I begged the com-ev committee members’ not to declare us. And surprisingly they did not.
One of the recommendations was more sec-checking!! Ugghhhhh…. We had just spent months doing this and now more. We paid for more. I know, I know. Ridiculous and we should have just walked away, we wanted to, believe me. BUT, our sons were at stake. I wanted to show my sons and my family that we were doing EVERYTHING we could to keep the family together and to not lose them.
My family was still not talking to me through all of this.
Craig had found a lady at the local church in San Diego and they fell in love. They got engaged and she ALSO had parents who were in Scientology. It was just getting more and more complicated. Because Craig had donated so much money to Scientology on his credit cards, mainly for books/tapes/courses AND donations for the building in San Diego he had trouble putting down a deposit for a rental apartment etc. We helped him with the deposit twice. He then had problems paying for food – I put him on one of my smaller credit cards which I never used and he used it for food and gas, he would make the monthly payments. He worked at the local Org and worked in a high-end restaurant to make ends meet. His fiancé did not seem to have any steady job and he was getting himself into more and more debt and financial strain.
Gary and I then started going back to LA for more sec-checking. It was brutal. The stupid e-meter would read on things that were crazy and it got to the point that I was getting more and more upset in session, then the auditor would have to handle my upset on the fact that things are reading when they shouldn’t and I was getting more and more worried I would lose my sons, so that had to be handled. I started making things up. I had never done that in all my years of previous auditing. When I went to the examiner after a session, I would force myself to have a floating needle by thinking of nice things in my life or some odd thing. Meanwhile, we would have to pay for more hours, as hours were wasted handling my “upsets” – it was like a never ending problem. I then began worrying about the amount of money I was paying. At one point we finished the session, all was good, had an F/N (floating needle on the e-meter) at the examiner and we were ready to go back to San Diego late one night, and then NO, the C/S determined that something had read on the list of questions and I was told that NO WAY CAN I LEAVE Oh god, I thought I was in hell. It meant they had to take me in again, and I had to pay more. I thought I was going mad. I actually had to stay overnight in LA. Because I was by myself this time, Gary wanted me in a more safe place, (as the part of LA that the complex is in is kind of a dodgy area) so the org organized for me to go to the Manor Hotel which they run, but they were supposedly fully booked and ONLY had the big suite available – boy did that cost me a lot of money just in itself.
We also did not know that the church actually video records all auditing sessions, including sec-checks.
The biggest thing the MAA and the comm-ev pushed on me was the fact that I was “reasonable” – In the thirty years I had stayed away from the church, I did NOT report things to the church that were not okay – i.e. someone gossiping about something that was going on in Scientology whether in SA or San Diego. I constantly had to reread policies about “reasonableness” and how suppressive that was. I was told I should have written up knowledge reports and the fact that I didn’t made me just as culpable as the person who said or did it, whatever it was. I had NEVER written a Knowledge Report in my life while in the SO. Not once! I had never endured such BS in that time. Keeping Scientology Working (KSW) was another policy letter pushed down my throat. But again, maybe I had read KSW once while I was in the Sea Org. I just could not believe what the church had become. I was becoming more and more agitated and pissed off.
By March 2015, Gary and I had done ALL the steps on the comm-ev recommendations. A stupid amends project at the local San Diego church where we worked on their Central Files for one hundred hours. We now put our whole package together for approval by whoever the person was that gave final approval to proclaim we had completed all the steps required by the comm-ev and could be cleared to live a normal life again. We waited and waited for MONTHS, no word….
By this time Craig and his fiancé had moved to Burbank, near LA and no longer lived in San Diego. Once again we helped them with their deposit and he was still using and paying our credit card we let him use, but he still had huge credit card debt. He started working for a Scientology company; David Morse and Associates (a claims adjuster company). This worried me even worse – now he was working for ex-GO (Guardian Office) people – Duke Snider and Henning Heldt who were part of the Snow White group who went to jail for the FBI raid in 1977. I knew of them very well. I actually could not believe they were still in Scientology. But yes they were, very much so.
In early 2015 Craig went to the MAA at AOLA and wanted to read the findings and recommendations of our committee of evidence. He obviously was not happy with what was found and wrote up 4-5 pages of knowledge report on Gary and me. The MAA called us and told us about this. I asked her to send me the KR’s; she had Craig send them to us. I reminded her there is a policy letter that exists that the accused should be provided with a copy. At this point we did not even know Craig was the one who wrote us up. But I received the KR’s and was horrified. He gave accounts of how I told him AS A LITTLE BOY – stories of LRH – how he had a heart attack – true; Quentin committed suicide….true etc. etc Gary and I wrote up “rebuttals” to his KR’s as he did get things wrong in them, obviously he did not remember things correctly told to him as a child.
The last time I saw Craig was on my birthday in April 2015. He did not stay long. I kept emailing him and left voicemail's afterwards as I knew something was up, proposing that Gary and I would like to meet him in a neutral place in Orange County so we can talk and clear things up. I used Scientology terms and LRH quotes to tell him we need to sort this out — that communication will handle everything… It was heartbreaking. He then after quite a while sent us the following email:
- Hi Mom and Dad,
- You’ve asked me a few times why I haven’t been in communication with you. To be honest, it is because I am not in agreement with how you have treated me or my Fiancee.
- I have my goals and ambitions which I have made clear to both of you, which you have been discouraging of. There are also some viewpoints you have expressed about my group that I don’t agree with; I have asked you to resolve these, but you have not. I have my goals that I am pursuing and I don’t see that our intentions are aligned right now.
- I hope you continue to work with the terminals you are working with, so you can fully resolve things for yourself.
All we have ever done is support Craig and we even went over the top to do that.
Shortly thereafter Brett (my non-Scientology son), made a trip up to Glendale where Craig and his fiancé were living. He showed up unannounced in the hopes to change Craig’s mind – here is his story about that:
“I drove up to LA early one morning. The idea was to surprise Craig with some coffee and donuts really early on a Sunday morning knowing he and his girlfriend would be sleeping in. I prepared myself with a few focused breaths in my car and headed for his door having no idea how he or his girlfriend would react. Finally, Craig came to the door and let me in and almost immediately, his girlfriend left with some excuse. No doubt she bailed to save her own ass from having to tell her ethics officer she spoke to a Potential Trouble Source. I could care less and was elated to be in the presence of my dear brother Craig. Once we made eye contact and connected it was like nothing had ever happened between us. I really enjoyed the next two hours with Craig. We caught up on each other’s surfing stories mostly and all the news from the surf world. Anyway, my point here is that we are two brothers who obviously love each other more than anything in the world and here he is about to disconnect from me and my family with not even a blink of an eye. This more than anything shows how powerful of a force mind-control is. I mean, we grew up in South Africa as wild boys in an equally wild terrain where once we even chased a troop of Vervet monkeys who stole some food and around the corner they went running away from us… where my brother Brandon and I stopped, and Craig kept chasing the monkeys around the corner by himself. Not before long the monkeys realized that the littlest human was all that was left chasing them so they turned a fast 180 and came back for Craig. Well that was something… seeing this terrified little freckle faced boy about to be murdered by a troop of monkeys! He survived and somehow all three of us survived our upbringing in SA which is something that made us who we were when we all arrived in California with nothing but our brothers to back us up.
The final 45 min. of this visit at his home was spent talking about Scientology. I purposefully came across as a more naive person to the inner workings of Scientology than what I actually was (by then I had read Going Clear, Combatting Cult Mind Control and Beyond Belief) I kept saying how confused I was with how my wife’s family is a connection to him when neither I nor Jessie were ever even a Scientologist. It made no sense to be throwing away a wonderful relationship over something so easily fixed. I would say to him that there must be an error with how they are coming up with this and if he talked to the right person I’m sure they’ll see that this isn’t really a connection issue in the first place. Of course I knew how the church are and I could tell that his ignorance was literally making him deaf to any truth I would have to say.
He even told me that I can’t believe everything I read on the internet but I countered with why would people waste their time lying about a church continuously year after year, person after person? I finally understood that no matter what I said he would nod and smile but his mind was made up. Funny enough he even claimed of a Mike Rinder (but was then confused on which SP exactly and changed his answer to a Marty Rathbun) who was known to have been coercing with Nazis? This was all incredibly sad to hear including the inflated numbers of Scientologists in the world he believed in and the growth of the fastest growing religion in the world. He was on a mission to free himself of life’s sufferings and to him there was only one path that led to that salvation and it was Scientology. I closed the visitation with comparing my life so far to his. We talked about marriage, about our education and about our business goals. This gave me an opportunity to show off some of my more exciting design projects with other portfolio material allowing him to see what living an honest, creative life in the real world could be. He walked me to my car and we looked at each other’s surfboards for a few minutes and had a final goodbye hug. He even felt the need to clear up an upset we had from years prior to perhaps allow for there to be no regrets with his decision to disconnect. I drove away hoping that one day even if it’s in a decade from now, that some of the seeds I planted that day would start to grow and allow for his true self to see the corrupt belief he’s involved with.”
The final meeting we had with the MAA was in about August of 2015. I asked her what she thought of the KR’s and our rebuttals, her response was disgust that it was all just enturbulating (upsetting) and BAD PR. I also brought up the subject of Craig disconnecting from us, her reply was simply, he has the right to make that determination. She knew Brett had visited Craig and thought the whole thing was disgusting, that we need to “handle” Brett.
I then had a planned trip to South Africa for two weeks to see my non-Scientology biological father who was about to turn 80. I wanted to also see my brother who had somewhat stayed in communication with me through WhatsApp (he is not on staff at any org or my sister’s mission). He was going through a divorce and an ongoing battle for custody of his small kids. As the oldest child in the family I wanted to see him and help him in this difficult time. I asked permission to do this. By the time I got to SA I still had not heard from the MAA and planned to see my bro at the end of the trip, I waited and waited. I then received this email from the MAA.
- You do not have okay to see your brother, Scott. I want to ensure you know this. You need to complete your handlings that you and Gary are mid before this is to occur.
But as I waited at the airport in Johannesburg, I sent my brother a WhatsApp anyway and said, I am here at the airport about to go home, I have hours to wait. I will be at a certain coffee shop, please come by (he lives close to the airport)… He never came.
We had one last phone conversation with the MAA shortly after I got home. Someone had not approved our comm-ev recommendation completion package (which had been sent eight months prior) because “Step 1 was incomplete.”
I asked her what she meant? We had disconnected from the declared SP’s in our life. NO, she responded, your oldest son Brett and daughter-in-law Jessie are still connected to SP’s and they need to be “handled”. Now what were we supposed to do? Tell these non-Scientologists that they had to disconnect from Jessie’s parents; disconnect from the Reisdorf side of the family; that they had to disconnect from Jessie’s god father who was declared? It went on and on. I kept bringing up “How can we do this, it is BAD PR for the church?” She then said in a very condescending voice “If you knew your neighbor was looking at child pornography on his computer what would you do?” Of course we said we would turn him into the police and have nothing to ever do with the person again. She was trying to tell us that the crime of a person being connected to a suppressive persons is as bad as being involved in child pornography. That was when I knew it was really over for us. I as a parent, was NOT going to disconnect from one of my children.
The whole charade of the last few years really came down to the fact that Brett & Jessie were connected to too many SP’s and that THEY had to disconnect or else we would be declared.
We now had no connection to my Scientology family in SA; we had “somewhat” of a relationship with the Reisdorf family, but believe me, the non-Scientologists in that family were getting pissed off and rightly so. And now we were being told we also had to sever any relationship with the Boyd’s. Our family was dwindling to nothing.
The last nail in our coffin, at the end of 2015 was when we went to a dinner at Jessie’s parents (the Boyd’s) who had invited Ronnie Miscavige Jr., Bitty and their daughter Jenna Miscavige and her husband Dallas (they knew Ronnie back in the early 70’s). We had never met Jenna and had just recently finished reading her book – yes by this time we had started going on the internet and reading books. We had had enough and knew that we were going to be declared. The Boyd’s live in a quiet neighborhood in a cul-de-sac. We got there, parked and as we got out of the car, two large vehicles did a fast circle in the cul-de-sac. We knew they were PI’s, obviously following Ron Jr and Jenna. They then knew we were seeing all of these SP’s.
SCRAMBLE TO SAVE BRANDON[edit | edit source]
We knew that out of our two sons that were now in Scientology, Brandon was the one we could get out.
He kept telling us that there was no way he would disconnect from us. But he was still working at the local org, living at home, working on a new business he was trying to get started and he was on the “Survival Rundown.” This involved hours and hours of objective auditing which one does with a twin (partner) as opposed to an auditor. It does not involve the e-meter. This was “new” (re-released) “technology” and right from the beginning I knew this was bogus, altered tech. EVERY Scientologist, even if they were at the top of the bridge, had to redo this. Prior to this, objective auditing was maybe a maximum of fifty hours for each side – giving and receiving, but Brandon was on this for going on two years, every single day. He figures it was about one thousand hours in total. Sometimes he would tell me about the processes and boy did it sound fishy to me. I was already thinking that the whole book redo’s and the new “Golden Age of Tech II” was also a bunch of BS. I was completely in doubt about everything.
We had tried to be very good from a Scientology point-of-view and not tell Brandon about all the BS we went through in our efforts to keep the family together. He obviously knew we were being sec checked and had had a comm-ev etc. But he always felt that we could go higher, to RTC (Religious Technology Center) and it would all be corrected. He knew it was wrong what was being done to us and every time he asked someone in the org, he was told to write it up to RTC. But I knew it was fruitless.
He found a non-Scientology girlfriend, who was great and we knew this would also help get him out. He was moving further and further away from Scientology.
On January 5th 2016 we received an email from the Continental Justice Chief that we had been declared suppressive persons.
Brandon got called into the local San Diego org and was basically told that he had to disconnect from us and that the family in South Africa and Craig were ready to help him and be there for him and will be his family. He told them to F….. Off and walked out of the org.
To put it lightly, I was relieved to have him. The thought of losing two of my sons was too much for me to take.
However, he was in quite a state himself. He still believed in the tech and unbeknownst to us, he had been pressured to give money to build an “LRH Hall” in Clearwater, Fl. He had no money and his credit cards were maxed out. A scheme was worked out whereby two rich Scientologists would donate $60,000 in his name, but then he would have to make the payments back to them. He was now being pressured by these two people to pay them the money back, and he was becoming frantic. We had no clue.
All of his Scientology friends unfriended him from Facebook, he lost fifty friends overnight.
Most important of all, he had lost his brother, Craig.
By April, he was in a spin – the debt and pressure to pay; his business falling apart; he just lost his religion and his brother.
On top of this we were now freely talking about our anti-Scientology stance to him and I was about to appear on the ABC 20/20 show which aired on April 29th – Ruthless.
He had a mental breakdown and he left the house at midnight (we did not know, we were sleeping) and returned around 430 am.
He needed psychiatric help and has since received this and is now doing great. He still sees his Dr. and is now off any meds.
That was seriously the worst day of my life. I was in a literal panic. As many people who know me, I am usually a calm and collected person, but this was just the worst situation we had experienced in my life. Even though I was now firmly anti Scientology and especially against the current organization, I was still against psychiatry and I suppose that was the last thing about Scientology I lost. As a Scientologist or anyone associated with Scientology, going to a mental hospital is the absolutely worst thing ever. It was so ingrained in me from birth.
The church has cameras and security guards around their properties, so they immediately had the license plate number (registered to me) and had him on camera throwing a hammer through the window of the Los Angeles (LA) Org. They acted swiftly. The church knew I was going to be on 20/20 so this was just the perfect thing landed in their lap. Lois Reisdorf’ s son just threw a hammer through our window. Boy I am sure they were cheering.
ABC 20/20 were very good to us as the church called them immediately. ABC were worried about us, but I decided to go through with my appearance despite what had just happened with Brandon.
We followed through with the psychiatric handling of Brandon. But on the day he was to be released from the hospital, he walked out and was immediately arrested by the LAPD. They drove him to LA in handcuffs. We were once again devastated. He spent three nights in the LA jail which was horrific for him, and was WAY worse than the psych hospital. We got him out on bail.
Now he was being prosecuted in LA and the detectives who came to see Gary and I as part of their investigation, told us point blank that the church were going for blood on Brandon. The church pressured the prosecutor to go for the full extent of the law, including calling it a hate crime.
We spent most of 2016 trying to deal with Brandon’s prosecution – paying to get him out on bail which was set at $50,000; he had no job; paying for lawyers; paying for his fines. Going back up to LA for his various court hearings……on and on it went. It has been a nightmare. Kendrick Moxon was the lawyer from the church side and it was hard to sit across from him waiting to go into the courtroom.
At one hearing, the church showed up with seven witnesses, the judge had a fit and the next time there were only two. Another hearing the church tried to say that Brandon had gone to the Orange County Church (after this incident) and then asked for a Temporary Restraining Order against Brandon, but it was a blatant lie, he never went close to another church. He does have TROs on him to this day.
- Editor's note -
- On January 10, 2017, Leah Remini's "Scientology and the Aftermath - Enemies of the Church", session 1 episode 7, aired on the A&E channel.
- From time marker 13:26 to 13:50 Gary Reisdorf had this to say about how the Church of Scientology went after his son for throwing a hammer through one of their windows:
- "And they don't care about his mental health. A normal church, you would think, let's say its a Methodist, they would probably gonna pray for and say, you know, just pay us back. We understand you're having a tough time we, we love you. You know, you're, that, that, that's how they would be. These, these guys are, are ruthless and they could care less about a persons state, if you're not part of their, their team."
Gary and I have never allowed violence and all three of our sons have been good guys and not done anything like this, but Brandon was not mentally stable. He did it in the middle of the night, there was no-one around when he did it.
Of course the church put out a nasty website on me and Brandon. The website makes it out as though I have produced a violent child. It is a horrible nasty site. He was finally charged with a felony vandalism charge which the judge (who had so much sympathy for him) wants him to work down to a misdemeanor within eighteen months. He currently is having the probation and community service transferred down to San Diego, this takes time and will be done by February 2017. So by February he will no longer have to report to probation in LA, but in SD and then he can do his one hundred hours of community service in SD.
He is working on a new business now, he has learned his lesson and is in a much better place mentally and is in fact better than he has been for a number years. He has had his family at his side throughout this, we are helping him get on his feet and the good thing is he is firmly out of the church and completely out of the mindset of Scientology.
CLOSING[edit | edit source]
As a family we are doing much better after the trauma of the last five years. Even though we are under financial stress, we are all even closer than we were before. We are close to our Reisdorf and Boyd families and all the families and people we know who now know our full story and have been so supportive. We have great friends and family and we are eternally grateful to them.
Gary and I have a lot of regrets; we should have instilled in our kids way earlier that we were not and did not want to be involved in Scientology. It should have been made clear from the beginning. We should have sought out help for our son Brandon way sooner. But I cannot undo the past and all I can do is rejoice in the fact that I have the most amazing family, friends and my life.
I am very sad for my son Craig, who now has NO family in the U.S.. He is on his own with his fiancé. BUT, he knows our door is always open and we hope to see him in the near future. We love him dearly.
We have a lot to look forward to. Our son Brett and his wife Jessie are in the process of adopting a very special grandson and the possibility of the child’s sibling who is newborn. We have that to look forward to.
Brett has started a Facebook page called “Surfing Against Scientology” and we are now setting up a lovely website to our missing son called www.CraigReisdorfWithLove.com – we will post letters to him with love and post some of his great artwork and photos of him surfing. My wish is that one day he will read our letters to him on this website.
Also, we are now able to have a great relationship with Gary’s family and Jessie’s family (Boyd’s) and celebrate Christmas and birthdays together again.
Special thanks go to Mike Rinder who has been stalwart in his support of us and a great friend and of course allowing me to tell my stories, then and of course to the great Leah Remini who is such a lovely person and has such big balls, we love her for what she is doing, she is a force to be reckoned with. Thanks to A&E for doing the series, I hope they get an Emmy for their hard work and continue on with the series. Thanks Alex Weresow, you did a great job on this series (Producer of the series).
Cheers to a drama-free 2017 for us!
Update on Brandon's situation with Scientology[edit | edit source]
On January 24, 2017, Lois posted this on Facebook:
"Today my son's (Brandon) probation officer called him to say that the church lawyer, Kendall Moxon, called the probation officer to tell them how upset the church was that Brandon went on TV (A&E Aftermath) & spoke about his criminal case and that he shouldn't be doing this! Hahaha........there was NO gag order on Brandon and he has freedom of speech. They are obviously trying to mess with him and get him unsettled, well, it's not working. My son is strong and they will not rattle him. ALL they want is for him to screw up and get put in jail. They will NOT win on this, that will not happen. My son is courageous for speaking out and telling the world what the church did to him. The world is watching............another footbullet. Why don't they act like a real church.......and actually help........"
Note to Lois' story[edit | edit source]
Lois originally published her stories on Mike Rinder's blog - http://www.mikerindersblog.org/
- Chapter 1 was published on November 8, 2016.
- Chapter 2 was published on November 12, 2016.
- Chapter 3 was published on November 19, 2016.
- Chapter 4 was published on November 28, 2016.
- Chapter 5 was published on December 4, 2016.
- Chapter 6 was published on December 15, 2016.
- Chapter 7 was published on January 2, 2017.
- Chapter 8 was published on January 12, 2017
This edited version has been published with the permission and cooperation of the author.