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Featured Riverside Mission

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by programmer_guy, Jan 14, 2007.

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  1. Romuva

    Romuva Patron Meritorious

    yeah PG,I always liked Chick Corea.He had really humble beginnings
    growing up in Chelsea,MA.

    It's sad,because I guess he's a pretty nice guy.He's really talented.He works
    very hard at his music it seems.

    Not sure but when he was at the mission I think he had finished
    on John Mclaughlin's Electric Guitarist.Too bad he hadn't John's route.
    He would of been in a nice house in Monte Carlo.Chick certainly had the
    talent.

    Electric Guitarist I liked,Coreas and Mclaughlins work on that was good
    inspiration for me.
     
  2. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    In his book, Bent does not mention staff at the Riverside Mission... BUT I will:
    (This is slightly edited from a post on OCMB many months ago.)

    Bent Corydon & Mary Corydon
    I think that they are both still in Riverside - but separated, not married anymore.

    Diana & Dave Grenier
    These are two people I would like to know about how they did after the missions debacle. Dave was the one to complain about John Travolta going on and on and on too long at a visit at the mission. Ha! Dave, you were right about this. Diane is in the freezone now, according to what Joanie told me.

    Rodney Michaelson
    Rodney was my auditor. Rodney and Joanie are in the Palo Alto area. I liked you two. AFAIK, they are in touch with some former Riverside Mission Staff that I knew... but they are not even in the the freezone... they just went on with their lives.

    Jim Hamre
    I think that he is with the Buenaventura mission to this day.

    Jim Miller
    Jim was DofP and such a likable guy. I would like to know how he did after he blew.

    Steve Rothschild
    I can't imagine Steve ever leaving SCN. I was his roommate for awhile in an apartment in Riverside.

    Joanie Mongello & Bob Mongello
    I remember going into LA with them. Bobby was deputy under Bent.

    Penny Davie
    I saw Penny again in a sheer coincidence meeting in Garden Grove during an anti-tax rally.

    Cynthia "Corky" Hamilton & Tim Shortridge
    I knew Corky in college. I got her into Scientology. Tim ran the credit union for the Riverside Mission. Some many months ago, I finally talked to her again on the phone.

    Joe Yazbeck
    AFAIK, Joe is still "in". Using the green volumes in business and his name comes up in a web search.

    Robin Kaufman & Greg Kaufman
    Robin was a great gal. Greg was one of several persons in the ethics office at my last meeting at the mission. Robin died some years ago. I can only hope that Greg is out now.

    Darcy
    This lady was one of the best auditors at the mission. I remember being in her car when we were both in LA for training.

    Frank Walker
    I think that Frank is now in the SF Bay area still doing the Scientology thing.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2007
  3. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Yes... Bent was always a very "upfront" guy.

    If you want a model of personal integrity... Bent is your guy.

    Although some might complain that he sanctioned regs to reg people for their next services BEFORE they had even completed what they were currently on.
     
  4. Romuva

    Romuva Patron Meritorious

    P.G.,He was caught up in it,most likely.but I wasn't there,obviously.



    Hey ,for me it's just nice to read you and him are out of it.You're good people.
     
  5. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    When you finish that book please start a thread about it and what you thought and felt about it. I would like to read that and, maybe, comment on it.

    Best regards
     
  6. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Joe Yazbeck

    I knew Joe on staff at the Riverside Mission. He became the intro lecturer at the Riverside Mission. He also attested to "keyed-out clear" while I was there. Joe is quite a nice guy and I remember that he was quite a good singer in the band (I played guitar).

    He now promotes the so-called management tech (as found in the green volumes)
    Here is a video of him:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3731539068526408614&q=scientology

    I guess that he may never wake up concerning the truth about Hubbard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2007
  7. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    I'd like to append something about me after I left Scientology. This is a note of encouragement to others.

    As I said, I returned to college to finish my degree.

    As a part of a grant, which included university work limited to 20 hours per week (while I was finishing my degree in mathematics/computer science), I worked with two post-doctoral researchers in the area of nematology (microscopic worms that can affect plant growth and crop yield). This was a lot of fun for me. I was free to continue my life.

    One researcher was studying the effects of DBCP (now a banned substance like DDT). He did his own computer programs BUT didn't know how to allocate IBM/360 mainframe computer resources to run his stuff. I knew how to do this so I helped him out - not too much work involved in this. (These were the days of Holerith 80 column punched cards. You youngsters that are used to having personal computers are spoiled and have it too good. <snicker>)

    The other researcher was the one I spent most of my hours working for. I summarized her extensive data from soil measurements on nematode population. Surprise! Many years later I was watching an educational channel program on TV and saw her as a part of research in Antartica! There she was in front of the camera telling her part of the program. And I was sitting in my living room watching this lady PHD that I used to work for. The thoughts of nostalgia came flooding into my mind.

    Bottom line: you can get out of Scientology and have an enjoyable life. There is NO dwindling spiral. Life is interesting and we should have some fun with it. There is lots to learn and do.

    Have fun,
    Larry
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  8. mate

    mate Patron Meritorious

    I remember the days of the IBM/360 and Fortran IV and Algol and Cobol. The computer took up the whole floor of a building and had nothing like the speed and memory of today's notebook computer. I also remember knocking my stack of punched cards off my desk accidently and spending hours getting them back in order.:duh:
    David
     
  9. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    If you had punched numbers into the last columns (76-80) THEN you could have used a TAB card sorting machine to put them back into order.

    I also knew how to program an IBM keypunch machine with one of those cards on the drum up on top... to make it skip fields and automatically use the right key selections. It looked like I was going 90 miles per hour when it was actually the machine that was helping me. Another student was amazed... but I tried to explain it to her. No luck. She STILL thought that I was a god. <snicker>

    I had a similar accident. I had punched almost a whole box worth of data and spilled it one day - at the university computing center. But I had had the foresight to number them (punched into the last columns). I used a TAB sorting machine to put them back into order. (Very few students knew how to do this.)

    Ha. I didn't realize that you were that old. :)

    Best regards
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2007
  10. mate

    mate Patron Meritorious

    "young" you mean! :)
    Funny thing you mentioned tabbing the cards. When I told one of the old hands about my accident, he laughed and told me about tabbing and demonstrated it to me. :eyeroll:

    Regards, David.
     
  11. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Shortly after we had left the Riverside Mission a staffer that we knew and liked called me on the phone. She wanted to talk to us in person at our place and I agreed to this. She came to visit us.

    (It's been so many years that I don't remember the conversation except that she was there to get us back and involved.)

    I DO remember one thing - she saw that we had bought a new turn-table to play records on our cheap stereo system. She finally told us that if we had enough money to buy a new turn-table then we had enough money to buy Scientology services. This was ridiculous.

    Before this, while on staff, someone told us the SAME THING when we bought an engagement and wedding ring set from a PAWN SHOP (this was really cheap).

    Did you ever have this experience also?
     
  12. ahhaaa

    ahhaaa New Member

    Hey Programmer Guy:

    Thanks for posting all that info! I was at Riverside from around 1977 - 1979 or so. I got to poking around today wondering what ever happened to all the people I knew, and ran across the message board over at xenu, then here. Saw all your photos of the mission, and knew most of the people you mention. What a blast from the past.

    Not sure if we knew each other, but here's my story. Apologies for the length, but it was a wild three years.

    (I just went back and bolded the names of some of the Riverside staff that I knew.)

    A high school friend brought me in when I was 16, must have been 1977. I remember Joe Yazbeck. Funny seeing his video now. Didn't he have black curly hair back then? I did the basic course, forgot what it was called, basically TRs 0-4, then Life Repair. My dad came in and talked to Jeff Kovak, my registrar, who explained that I was working through some issues from my parent's divorce, which pushed the right button in my dad perhaps, and he ponied up $1600. I remember Jeff smoking cigars. He bought his wife a fur coat. He turned me on to Herman Hesse's "Narcissus and Goldmund".

    I brought my girlfriend in, but she wasn't buying it, so hooked up with girlfriend "b", brought her in, dumped girlfriend "a" (broke her heart, she was sweet, too bad). Girflriend "B" was totally into it, quit her job, and joined staff. She was hot, so they assigned her to disseminate out in the shopping malls and get guys in for the personality tests. I helped her pack her things into my pickup truck and move out of home. Her father was an Air Force Colonel and was pissed at me. She was done with high school, I wasn't. I left home anyway, and took a house with her down on Linden St. in Riverside where we rented a room to Glen Chang, and we all worked on staff. I worked down in the course area for Cathy Steiner, and took Student Hat, as I recall. I then worked down in the ethics area under Todd Carter. I think that was him. I remember he blew. Smoked pot. Then came back for a little while, then blew again. I think. It was a long time ago. In Bent's book he says Todd was a witness for the Riverside Sheriff's office.

    My friends and family were wigged that I'd just left high school to join staff. I was a minor. My mom finally initiated legal action against the Church to compel me back home. It was a big deal. There were depositions, the whole shebang. Finally some woman from the Guardian's office in LA came back and told me to stop being an idiot and go back home, I was a minor.

    Since my family had threatened to sue the church I was a PTS Type III, and I was out. Which was a bummer, because I wanted to be in, didn't want to face a lifetime of ostracism, and I was totally in love with this woman who was on staff.

    I moved back home. My mom cried when I returned. I finished high school. I then moved back to Riverside, wormed my way back on staff, past the PST Type III stuff, and hooked back up with my girlfriend. One thing Bent doesn't really cover fully in his book is the extent of the loan falsifications that were going on around that time. I remember at one point I was assigned to take calls from the loan officers at the banks and confirm phony employment / income data on the loan apps. It was rampant. I had a little office adjacent to Tech Services and around the corner from Hamre's Registrar office on the top floor.

    My girlfriend got pregnant and terminated the pregnancy. I believe this occurred with a number of the girls on staff, because Mary Corydon sat them down and had a talk with them. I don't know the details, but I believe the gist of it was that the girls on staff shouldn't be getting pregnant and having abortions (made sense), and if they were serious they should be getting married. I remember sitting in my pickup truck on Linden avenue outside our apartment late one night when my girlfriend related this to me. Then she said "I've been thinking about it and I think we should get married." I considered that for about 10 seconds, and said "OK." I was 17.

    I ran the Tech Services department under Cathy Steiner for a while. I was also close to Jim Hamre. By that time my girlfriend was working as the nanny / assistant for Bobby Mondello, so I spent a lot of time over there. We broke up once, then got back together. I remember the remodel at his house, and that he was really into the Steve Miller Band.

    I remember tons of old files up on the top floor at the Mission where we would dig through old files and write letters to people to get them back in. Hundreds of letters. I remember going to treasury to get paid for the week, and walking away with, like, $22 or something. So on weekends we would go out and pull tires from under mobile homes out in the Mojave desert and bring them back to the factory in Hemet to make enough money to make ends meet, so we could afford to work those 12-14 hour days the remainder of the week. You could make $500 in a day if you found a good mobile home park. We'd ignore the "No Soliciting" signs, and when we struck pay dirt, would load up my pickup truck with tires, stringing them over the hood and cab when the bed was full. You'd come back filthy from rooting around in the crawl space under those mobile homes, in all the dirt, bushes, dryer lint, and black widows. I remember Jeff Kovak, or his assistant sitting on the stairs at the Mission on Friday nights, lending cash out to people so they could go pull tires at 10% interest for a weekend. I remember the cafeteria, and nailing a bunch of wood paneling up in the gym, the old swimming pool, and the band room out back, and the old telex machine in the basement, and Mark Lutovsky in finance. I don't think the Corydons ever got rich. They drew maybe $800/week each, maybe $1000. The Registrars like Hamry and Kovak would pull in $400, $800 on a good week. As I recall 10% went back to the mother Church. Many of the staff worked for peanuts. Their choice. Scientology wasn't like other churches, where you have a minister or two, and a secretary. There were tons of people on staff. The cost structure was more like a college. I don't know what happened at other levels of the church, but at the Mission level no one was getting rich, and the numbers seemed to add up from what I saw. Weird stuff happened, but people generally believed in what they were doing.

    I worked under Jim Schwartzel in the Ethics department for a while, and remember some of the wild stuff that occasionally happened there. I remember one older guy with a hot young wife who didn't want her in there. He had money. Yelling, locked doors, it got ugly. I think Jim Scwartzel left staff, because after a while I was running the Ethics Department. I think I was 18. I remember when I was running Tech Services, Glen Chang worked for me (and rented a room in my house). He taught me how to cook Chinese rice, and had these two ceramic cobras we would look at while listening to Chick Corea and Return to Forever. Heh. I remember shopping at the grocery store for food and buying lots of rice, pinto beans, bread, peanut butter, and milk, because they were cheap and you could live all week on them.

    One day Glen Chang's father died, and he had to fly to Hawaii. I gave him shit about going and not coming back, believe it or not, and he told me, rightly, to go to hell. When he got there he decided to stay to help his family. I gave him shit about it ("blowing" Scientology and all). I felt bad about that for a long time afterward. I remember Cathy Steiner telling me to lighten up, his family needed him. Some people did display common sense. I remember writing letters to LRH, and having to stand up and clap after meetings. Always felt weird about that. Also every Saturday night having that Saturday Night Live skit show. Those were cool. I forget who did those, but one of those guys got into trouble for creating a radio ad over in San Bernardino impersonating the voice of John Travolta to get people into Riverside for personality tests. I remember people on RPF knocking down walls in the building across the street and cleaning bricks.

    I remember my girlfriend screwing around with another staff member, driving around all night to try to find them, showing up at his house at, like, 4 am, his wife opening the door with their baby in her arms, saying she didn't know where he was either. Then they both went to Ethics. I was like "OK, cool, you worked through 'Doubt', i'm good with that," and we got married a few months later, at the Mission Inn. Cathy Steiner performed a very nice ceremony.

    My wife wanted to go to Montreal for our honeymoon, so my father flew us there first class and put us up in a great hotel for a week. After three days my wife had to check in with Barney Ammons, who ran the dissemination group. They needed her back immediately because "stats were down". I wasn't to happy, she was insistent, so we cut our honeymoon short, and returned the next day. My parents wondered what the hell went wrong. I didn't tell them. I remember something similar with my brother's wedding in San Diego. My wife couldn't attend. She had to work that day to get people in for personality tests. I was unhappy about it, but I accepted her decision.

    I worked for Bill Butler as his... I forget what they called it. Communicator? I ran his office affairs, and also took care of his house, which meant laundry (I remember washing his wife's underwear, which for me was kind of gross), staining furniture, and driving his Porsche. Did you know LRH had a policy on the proper way to wash a car?

    Then the police raid came, on account of the fraudulent loan apps. I remember driving boxes of stuff out of the building. Everyone was in a panic. It was in the papers. People from LA Guardian's Office came in and took over to clean up the mess. I think the Mission had about 800k in reserves at that time. The fraudulent loans were paid off with that money, as I recall. I didn't know Bent or Mary well. What little I did know of Bent, he seemed like a nice guy. He talks about some of this in his book. But the true nature of what was going on with the registrars and the loan mess, I'm not so sure he really explains that fully, as I remember it.

    By that time I'd bought a 3 BR house in Riverside, and was living there with my wife and three other people. Bob Parcell (I think), his wife, and Glen Chang (before he left for Hawaii). I'd bought th house from some Scientologist (public), in a deal arranged by Hamre, I think. They used the proceeds for some services, I imagine, but I don't know. We'd all work from around 9 or 10 to 11 pm or so, come home, and watch Twilight Zone while eating dinner. Then up at 8 and back to work. I remember all the other houses on the street had neat yards, but our grass was two feet high. I never had time to mow it. When our septic tank overflowed, I couldn't afford to get it pumped much less replaced. I dug a 10 ft deep trench out to the street and hooked out house into the public sewer, but never paid the city for that. I couldn't afford it. When the engine on my pickup truck died, I rebuilt it in my garage in my spare time (heh). Never having done it before, there were a couple of nuts left over, but it ran. I had no money. I remember thinking if I could only make $12,000 / year someday I would be on easy street. But I made about $35 a week. I kept trying to save money. I tried to keep a small savings account at Crocker Bank down at the end of University Ave. but could never manage to save anything.

    After the police raid the Corydons were out, and as I recall there was a power struggle at Riverside. I remember Cathy Steiner and Bill Butler being at odds, and some kind of brouhaha over that. It got ugly. Church ethics policies were used to assert control and knock people out. Later when I read about the machinations within the Chinese Cultural Revolution or Stalinist Russia, it reminded me of that same vibe. Bill was upset with me for not standing up for him, as I recall, but I don't remember the details of what he was accused of or what transpired. I believe Cathy ran the Riverside Mission after that. I don't know what happened to Bill. He was a good guy.

    I remember sitting on some Committee of Evidence in LA. We would meet at some guy's apartment day after day. It had this weird smell. He kept spraying Binaca in his mouth. I remember that, but I have no recollection of what the Committee of Evidence was for.

    I would at times have doubts about what I was doing. "What if this is the wrong direction for me?" The idea of leaving was a lot of confront, because by then I was married to a Scientologist, and most of the people I was friends with at that time were Scientologists, and I had invested myself deeply in it, on a practical, emotional, and spiritual level. I suspect many people involved in a religion at times have that unsettling feeling of "What if this isn't right?" I thought about what I really wanted to do with my life. I was 20. I decided to remain a Scientologist, but that my family was important, myfriends were important, and my future was important. Ultimately it needed to be a means to an end for me, not an end in itself. I wanted to become an artist, go to college, something. I decided to leave staff, did so on good terms, and continued auditing and courses, since those were the things I had found beneficial.

    My wife wasn't happy. She wanted to be with someone 100% committed to the cause, which to her meant on staff. She decided to divorce, refused counseling, and hooked up with her boss, Barnie Ammons, who at that same time left his wife Sue for her. Sue was a sweet woman, from what I could tell, and they had an infant child. I was heartbroken. I helped my wife move her things. I still have our divorce agreement. It was written by hand on the back of a Scientology personality test sheet. I agreed to pay her $2500 so she could buy a vending machine.

    I guess what goes around comes around. I remember dumping my first very nice girlfriend because she wasn't into Scientology. Notice how I got dumped for a similar reason.

    I was still living in Riverside when Carol, I forget her last name was killed on a motorcycle. She had a husband. Some friends from the Church performed the grave side services. Tom Steiner maybe? No one had ever done a funeral before, and it seemed one knew what to do. The ceremony was awkward and just lasted a few minutes. The girl's family was dismayed.

    I remember driving up to the mountains the day after I left staff, to go skiing with a friend. It was snowing. I felt I had been freed from prison. Everything was beautiful. Not that I disliked the Church or was angry, I just felt free. My life was my own once again. I moved to the mountains up by Lake Arrowhead. I lived in a small cabin and did carpentry and painting. I had alienated many of my friends. My siblings, cousins, and others were happy to see me again. I hiked with my brother, learned to fly gliders with my other brother, and traveled to Africa with my father, which I never could have done if I had been staff. I come from a large Italian/Irish family, and family ties are important. I continued taking classes at Riverside in the evenings. Back in my own life, my hands would shake whenever the subject of Scientology came up.

    Sue Ammons came up to the mountains once, she was single by then, with a child, and I took her into the forest and gathered a truckload of mistletoe for so she could sell it and make money for Christmas. I heard my ex and Barnie got married in her parent's Jacuzzi. I worked, applied to college, and got accepted.

    Years later, around 1984 or 1985, I contacted a few people I could get hold of, just to reconnect and say hello. These were people I'd spent many hours with and had thought of as friends. I remember calling Jim Schwartzel. His family ran a garage door opener business and he went back to that after leaving staff. He had been a good friend. He was very leery about talking to me. I was just calling to say hello, and wondered what he was so afraid of. I got hold of my ex-wife. She was living in Bakersfield, having split with Barnie Ammons, with a new husband and kids. I called Cathy Steiner and we caught up. She seemed of the opinion that if I was not actively pursuing Scientology, I must be doing drugs, or failing in life. I wasn't doing drugs, but was pulling straight As on a scholarship in graduate school at MIT. Maybe not the answer she expected. I always liked her, and still did. I hadn't really rejected Scientology, I liked the auditing and courses. But I had decided to pursue my goals, to prioritize my family or friends, and to go out and live my life. The organization and the press it was getting didnt' thrill me. I'd had some difficult experiences, and some positive ones. I remembered a lot of people from Riverside fondly.

    I haven't heard from or spoken to anyone from Riverside since. I ran across your photos on this board, and I thought "cool!" Just wanted to introduce myself and relate my own history with Riverside.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  13. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Then we never met. I left in Spring 1976 to return to U. C. Riverside to complete my degree.

    Yes he did. We are all middle-aged now.

    It was called the Comm Course. (I had been a supervisor on that course for awhile.)

    The only wife that I knew that Jeff had, for a short while, was Darcy. Darcy was an auditor and, I think, also a C/S sometimes. I liked Darcy. She was in training in L.A. when I was doing the HPCSC at ASHO. (I'm pretty sure that they did not stay together for too long.)

    I know exactly where Linden street is.

    I know who Cathy and Tom Steiner are. I understand that they took over after Bent Corydon was deposed of the mission that he and Mary had built. This had lots to do with the Mission Holder's Conference that you can read about in Bent's book.

    Divorce is rampant in Scientology. It happened quite often.

    I know EXACTLY what that feels like. Welcome to the club.

    If I remember correctly, Jim was one of the Div6 staff that were sent to Flag for hard TRs.

    I am glad to hear that.

    Quite an accomplishment. I heard that MIT is tough, like Cal Tech.

    Cool. I just hope that you are not still thinking that there is much validity to the Church of Scientology.

    Best regards,
    Larry
     
  14. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    You brought up even more names than I responded to.
    I'll make some more comments later.

    Thanks for posting.
     
  15. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Didn't Todd play guitar and sing? If this is the same Todd that I remember... he sang at my wedding.

    More tomorrow...
     
  16. ahhaaa

    ahhaaa New Member

    The Comm course, that's right. Yes, Darcy was Jeff's wife when I knew him. I remember how thrilled she was with her new fur coat. I believe Todd did play guitar. I'd forgotten about that. Lots of musicians in Riverside. Tom and Cathy Steiner were musicians as well, as I recall.
     
  17. ahhaaa

    ahhaaa New Member

    Hey Larry:

    I'm new here, so I imgaine much of this has been discussed in depth. (Would appreciate a pointer to any good threads.) I look forward to reading your and other's thoughts.

    I thought auditing (the lower levels that I experienced) rocked.
    • The approach of finding a problematic incident -- of a particular type -- and traversing backward to earlier, similar incidents in a non-evaluative way until the person comes to their own relaization, to me, it spot on. Better than what you find in the typical shrink's office.
    • Galvanic skin response (the basic e-meter technology) was simple but in my experience actually worked.
    • The approach to study was good. Scientology got me off drugs as a kid, and afterwards I got straight As in college, much of which I credit to the study techniques.
    • ARC, KRC, honesty, integrity, those things rock.
    The organization was a different matter.

    I thought the Corydons were good people, and presented Scientology a positive light. They were a big reason why Riverside was so successful. There were some flies in that ointment (registrar techniques, for example).

    I imagine others felt more damaged by their experiences. I respect that. One has to come to one's own decisions about how much to blame an organization, or other people, versus one's own choices. I was young and naive, but I still made my own choices. In some ways I contributed to the hurtful Scientology experiences of others (Glen Chang, in my story above, for example). I must acknowledge that.

    Scientology becomes all-consuming for many. For all those artists and musicians I knew at Riverside, none of them (that I know of) achieved professional success in their art. It was the reason many joined, but they became too busy working on staff, getting others in, who then brough others in. A black hole effect.

    Sceintology tended to have a corrosive effect on families and friendships. Families were upset in response. Look at my wife. Cut our honeymoon short, didn't attend my brother's wedding. I saw a lot of that. Perhaps if Scientologists prioritized being more committed, involved family members, and the ratio of Scientologists who set aside life goals (rather than pursued them) was different, family and friends might see Scientology differently. Changing the world starts in your own backyard.

    I stopped wanting to be involved in an organization I didn't feel proud of. The interactions I observed were, at times, inhumane and stupid. At other times compassionate and sensible, but there were too many of the former, and it's those people tend to remember, understandably so. The press and reputation were in most cases horrible. Scientologists tended to view this in a paranoid, combative manner, rather than looking within to understand why.

    I never experienced the science fictiony upper levels. One one hand, most traditional religions have difficult to believe myths, but seem less odd because we are accustomed to their myths. We cut them slack because their beliefs and practices are old. Old or not, truth is truth, and I'm not involved in them either for the same reasons. For a new religion originating in moderm times it seems doubly odd. I enjoyed Hubbard's emphasis on Buddhism. I cringe whenever I read about Xenu or see someone in a Sea Org uniform.

    Last night I watched http://www.xenutv.com/int/secretlives.htm. Very interesting. It saddened me to see much of the material on Hubbard. I have to admit that much of the criticism of him is probably true. I enjoyed the historical footage and interviews with his associates, who I perceived as intelligent, articulate and credible. I guess I feel similarly to many of those people about Scientology. It's an hour well-spent.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2007
  18. freet43

    freet43 Patron with Honors

    Glad to hear your story, and welcome.

    Although I was never at Riverside, I had a somewhat similar experience with another CA mission during those same years. During the birthday games, we had a friendly rivalry going with Bent Corydon's group.

    It's been a while since I thought of the loan business - our mission created it's own Credit Union - FFCU (Freedom Federal Credit Union) - any Scn. could get loans - no lying on apps needed, since the CU made it's own rules....-but the CU did go under, as it was loaning out money to people who had little means to pay it back. I was out by then, so don't know the details. I had gotten my grandfather to deposit his life savings into the CU, and luckily he did get his money back when the CU folded.

    I also left in 79, for similar personal reasons and on fairly friendly terms, went back to College, found gainful employment, etc, so it was interesting to hear your story.

    I'd been totally out and disconnected since then, but recently started thinking about the tech. The CO$ organization has seemed to go further and further south, so I definitely don't want to get involved with the Church again - but the tech, well, I'm looking at it again. And the old-timers, I do feel a connection there that is lacking with those that had not been in before.

    I'd love to hear more.

    And, do you at all credit your experience with Scn, study tech, etc as helping with your success in college?

    M.
     
  19. freet43

    freet43 Patron with Honors

    hehe. See you just answered 1 of my questions as I was asking it :)
     
  20. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    ahhaaa,

    Awhile back I checked on books on Scientology at the U. C. Riverside library. I found a number of Scientology books that were apparently donated to that library. The names of the donors were written inside each book:

    Cassandra Jarman
    Carol Pineda
    Angelyn Arcaro
    Daniel Romanow
    Ella Van Loon
    Sam Lombard

    All of the dates on the books as per the former owners were 1979-1981.
    Cassandra Jarman was the person who had donated the most books.

    Did you know any of these people? Just curious.