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Featured scooterstory

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by scooter, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. Happy Days

    Happy Days Silver Meritorious Patron

    Ana was a lot of things but DCO no :no: John was DCO Delivery and Exchange ... Ana was Dir of P 4 ... she was a shocker for breach in confidentiality of PC data... and this is a story for another time... :coolwink:
  2. scooter

    scooter Gold Meritorious Patron

    The Day the Music Died

    For reasons of personal sanity, I'm skipping to the year 2000 and giving you a horror story. This is one of the events of my life that haunt me to this day. I'll fill in the prior years later but I warn you - this is not a nice thing you are about to read. I've written it this morning because I just can't not write it any more. I hope you understand - I've been bawling all morning and the screen is getting blurry again.

    The Day the Music Died

    “A long, long time ago
    I can still remember
    How that music used to make me smile.”

    It was a Sunday morning and I was not feeling well. Again. I didn’t want to go in on post at all. I’d spent the night sleeping on the loungeroom floor on a mattress so that I didn’t wake my wife and new-born son and so that they didn’t wake me. Lauren had come in to cheer me up by sitting on my chest and laughing – something which never failed to cheer both of us up. Caz came in and said that I had to get up as we were all going to go to church service this morning as a family – something her and Lauren had decided on. We were going to do something as a family for a change and I needed to be a part of that!

    We all had breakfast and got dressed etc etc and eventually got into our car and drove to the org. I was late for post but I didn’t care – I was going to have some time with my family on a Sunday for a change. Caz was talking about having a picnic in the park maybe for lunch. It was looking like a typical warm sunny late summer’s day in Sydney.

    I pulled up outside the org and we unloaded the kids. Caz and the kids went inside while I found a parking spot and then made my way there as well. I found them all in the Interneship (a tiny airless room maybe three by five metres in size) in Qual on the second floor – the ED was there and said (quite bitterly) that the babysitting had been moved here because the Senior C/S didn’t want it down in the basement as sometimes the crying of children distracted their parents from the service. So she’d moved it here. She walked out after trying to get Caz to go to church service but Caz said that they needed more babysitters and she was quiet happy to stay there and help. I was nominally on post as the Qual person but there probably wouldn’t be any work to do that morning as most of the staff and public were at church service by order of the ED. So it looked like the four of us were going to get some time together.

    The ED soon re-appeared with one of her sons who had his arm in a cast still from breaking it some weeks before. He didn’t want to be there and tried arguing with her, saying he couldn’t do much as a one-armed babysitter. She overrode his objections and told him he was to replace Caz so she could go to church service. As he was staff (at the age of thirteen or fourteen) he had little choice in the matter so he grudgingly stayed. I’d suggested that the kids be moved somewhere like the nearby waiting area and that be set up safely for the kids as at least they would have more space to run around in. A few grunts was all the reply I got. The ED then took Caz off downstairs to the service.

    So there were three teenagers and I think six kids in this tiny room with few toys and a door that didn’t lock – if you pushed on the door even lightly, it would spring the handle and open. James was quite happy there as were the other five or so kids. Lauren and I were doing stuff in and out of the room – she had been in the org with me before and loved walking around with me or being carried cupped in my arms so she could see where we were going. It was all fun to her.

    I got some work done then needed to go to the toilet. Lauren and I walked to the toilet and back, chatting all the time. When we got back to the Internship room, James was restless and needing a sleep. I told Lauren I would be taking James out to walk him to sleep and she needed to stay with the others while I did that.

    I fed James and then began to walk him around, softly chatting sometimes. He finally fell asleep so I made my way back to the Interneship to see the two girls with several kids in tow walk into the waiting area. No Lauren, no teenage boy. I walked down there to see what was going on and then Lauren came bursting out of the door followed by another toddler with a harassed lad following them. He caught Lauren and turned her back but the other kid got past him. He chased that kid and Lauren headed straight for the stairs again and I called Lauren (quietly – I had my son in my arms and I couldn’t get to her quick enough) but she kept going. The other toddler had started climbing the stairs and the babysitter chased him. Lauren began to walk down the stairs and I hurried across to run down the stairs and grab her but she slipped and tumbled several stairs to lie on the landing crying. I had just began to go down the stairs to get to her when she rolled under the stair rail and fell down onto the stair rail at the ground floor then crashed onto the floor near the org entrance.

    I raced back to the two teenage girls (obliviously chatting in the waiting area) and thrust James at them then hurtled down the stairs probably six at a time. I got there and knelt over Lauren and she tried to lift her arms up for a cuddle – I could see her shoulders move with the effort. It was the last movement she would ever make. I knelt and hugged her as gently as I could.

    Church service had just ended and Caz came out and saw us and thought we were playing. I told her Lauren had just fallen and then Andrew, the Senior C/S came out and I pushed him to Lauren and told him to start giving her assists. Someone had already called the ambulance. Caz was shocked but still quite pumped from the church service and was telling me that we could always make Lauren another body if this one didn’t recover. She hugged me then someone else came and took her away to run an assist or some such on her.

    I left. I ran up the stairs and back to Qual, screaming that they’d killed my daughter. I threw myself on the ground and punched the floor several times. Two Sea Org girls walked in and I yelled at them too. Then I went to get my son.

    The ED was there with the two teenage girls telling them to keep calm and it would all get sorted out. I grabbed James and ran back down the stairs with him. Someone took him off me and I ran outside looking for the ambulance. There was someone trying to calm me down but I brushed them off. Some guy at the front of the org was making snide comments about Scientology and I was about to start throwing punches at him. I screamed at him that my daughter had just had an accident and I’d take him apart if he didn’t shut up – he apologized and walked off, wishing me the best.

    The ambulance came and took Lauren away and I think Andrew went with her, giving her assists. Someone got me into a car and we followed to the hospital. When we got there Andrew greeted us and showed us where the hospital staff had Lauren on a bed and were frantically working on her. The nightmare of sitting around waiting for news began.

    We were put in a waiting area and told we would have a room where the three of us could stay while Lauren was being treated. This was courtesy of the Ronald Macdonald Foundation. Caz, Andrew and myself were sitting quietly outside the theatre and I told them what had happened. Caz said to me that I’d probably have to take the blame for all of this. Andrew looked shocked but I just said I’d already figured that – if the real story got out the Church would be in the shit and we’d cop it for the PR flap we’d “caused.” I prepared myself for the inevitable disdain from our families – I would rather have that than the huge headlines I could see that the “enemies of scientology” would make out of this. I had little hope that Lauren would live, although I frantically told everyone around me I did. I didn’t want a Coroner’s Inquest as that would also mean the Church would be investigated. I wanted an internal church invest and those who’d done this “handled” by the Church in return for me publicly taking the blame as much as I could.

    At some time later a young doctor came out to tell us what had happened and she was in tears as she explained that Lauren had massive brain damage and probably wouldn’t live. The medical team had operated unsuccessfully to try to relieve the massive pressure build-up in her skull caused by the internal bleeding but the pressure just kept going up. She was alive in theory only, heart kept going by machinery. She looked just like she was sleeping, lying on the bed with the white pillow framing her gorgeous red hair around her pretty face.

    Caz and I opted to keep Lauren on life support rather than not give her the faint chance of survival and Andrew kept up the assists – having him there kept me just on the right side of sane. I can never thank him enough for the tireless effort he put in over the those two days of hell.

    Our families had been notified (I can’t remember if I called mine or not) and they began arriving. Many of our friends came and two people from DSA arrived and stayed with us around the clock. As neither were friends, I asked one why he was there. He told me he was a trained nurse and he’d help answer any questions I had about the medical treatment. Our families avoided them like the plague.

    James was just a month old and had gone very quiet since this whole nightmare had begun. He seemed like he was doing his best to just eat and sleep so that his Mum and Dad had one less thing to worry about. He had suddenly become even more precious to me.

    My family all arrived and I tried foolishly to put on the best side of it and say that there was still a chance Lauren would pull through. I knew that if she did, she would be a vegetable and I really didn’t know how I’d cope with that. My friends the Mackeys had just found out their daughter had brain damage and they were having a hard time with that – I had seen them suffer and I felt deeply for them. Vicky Mackey had come to visit us and stayed for a while in the hospital.

    My Dad stayed in Canberra at the time – he was old and frail and hadn’t recovered from my Mum’s death six months earlier. I’d asked my sister who lived nearby to not bring him up to the hospital if possible as I didn’t want to stress him further.

    I was taken to the AO for a session on the Monday but I hadn’t slept so there was nothing they could do – I suspect it was to get me out of the hospital as much as anything else. I was already getting looks from Sea Org execs at the AO that told me I was in for big ethics trouble for having caused a huge problem for the Church – I was even more determined to make sure it didn’t.

    Andrew had been doing assists on Lauren and one of the C/Ses at the AO had been C/Sing them. He came and told me very early Tuesday morning that he’d been given instructions to tell Lauren that she didn’t need to hang onto her body and that it would be quite alright if she let go of it and died. He said she wanted to say goodbye to us and we should sit with her. Caz went and sat with her first for a while and then I went in and held her hand and sat next to her, watching as her vital signs slowly stopped. I was there when her tiny heart beat for the last time. The nurse came in and gently took me out so they could do whatever they do with a dead body. The curtains were closed around her bed and I never saw her again. She was only fifteen months old when she died.

    We fled Sydney. Went home and got the dog that our beautiful neighbours had been caring for and drove to my sister Margie’s farm, a long way away from everything. I’d entrusted Andrew with the funeral details and told him what Caz and I wanted. It was to be held in the AO and I was hoping that it could be turned into a good PR thing for Scientology – see how the Church have rallied around us and helped us out? See what a great place and a great bunch of people they are? I wasn’t thinking of myself at all – I dunno if that was a good or a bad thing at the time but it did mean the grief didn’t overwhelm me like it threatened to a lot.

    I had several long phone calls with Andrew and had lined up the music for the service and asked for a good sound system to be put in place and for some eulogies to be prepared by our friends who’d known Lauren well. Andrew commented worryingly about “drilling a Tone 40 service” but I didn’t pick up on the remark.

    What was left of our family had long walks around the farm and along the nearby billabong. Beethoven the dog was visibly missing Lauren. James was too. There was a big emptiness there for all of us. She was with us in spirit but that wasn’t the same. My sister and her husband were fantastic support in those dark days, as was the rest of our families.

    All too soon we had to go back for the funeral. We’d had to have the funeral three days after she died and Caz’s sister was getting married on the Saturday and we felt that we had to get the sadness of the funeral over and done with so that her wedding wasn’t totally affected by having to have a funeral after it.

    On the Friday we all arrived for the service at the AO and I dropped James and Caz off and went and parked the car. I walked into the AO to be told by the teenage boy at the reception desk that Beethoven wasn’t allowed, orders of the CO. It would upset the “wogs” was the reason I was given. I walked out livid and wasn’t going to come back in but our friend Errol appeared and took Beethoven off with him to his house. I dunno if he were told to do this but I was bitter – Errol had lived with us for months and knew Lauren (and Beethoven) very well and should’ve been there for the funeral, but he insisted so I relented.

    The ED appeared looking sour – I gathered she wasn’t happy about what was happening and I tried to talk to her. I couldn’t understand why anyone would turn up to a funeral in a mood like that.

    The ground floor of the AO was packed with our friends and relatives and a lot of Scientologists I barely knew – obviously there had been some sort of order go out to get as many people in for this as possible. I was trying to keep upbeat about the whole thing – to be blunt, I was totally nuts for doing it. I had the idea that if I just stayed happy then everything would turn out just fine in the end, Lauren would come back to us as another baby and life would go on. Scientology wouldn’t get into trouble, I wouldn’t get into trouble with scientology and it would all come out right. I was hoping the funeral would allow all the non-scientologists to grieve but then be uplifted by the end. I’d organized a friend (a pro classical pianist) to play the Mozart variations of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on an electric piano as that song had been Lauren’s favourite. I had hoped that the mess hall where the service was to be held had been set up tastefully.

    My eldest sister Robyn had organized for two recent photos of Lauren to be framed and placed in prominent positions in the service. I saw one when I walked in with my Dad but it was almost hidden by something else. We sat up the front and waited for the service to begin.

    The music started but it was on a portable CD player. I couldn’t believe it. It was a hauntingly beautiful piece of Vivaldi music performed by the late Bobby MacFerrin (of “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” fame) and Yo Yo Ma on cello that was being butchered on a crap system. To make matters worse, it was mis-started then, when it ended, someone played half of it again before cutting it off because the minister was now ready to begin.

    Andrew was there in his ministers garb standing at the front with an almost smile on his face. He welcomed everybody and then read the Scientology funeral service and closed the service. All over and done with in a few minutes. No music to end with, no eulogies, no funeral as far as I and our families were concerned. The Scientologists mostly disappeared straight after the service and only a few close friends and the DSA/OSA people stayed around. One offered my sister Margie an assist to “help” and she lividly turned him down. My friend the pianist had been shunted off to one corner of the AO well away from the service and had the volume turned down to below the decibels an average conversation reaches. He’d been ordered to do that so as not to remind the “wogs” of sad things.

    Andrew had been expressedly told to do (and drilled into doing) the service as briefly and cheerfully as possible so that “we didn’t have a lot of griefy wogs around the AO” – direct quote apparently from the CO AOAH ANZO at the time. I now had to cop the criticism from my family of what had happened and try to defend something I totally didn’t know about beforehand and didn’t agree with. Foolishly I didn’t tell anyone about my thoughts for many years.

    Food of sorts had been provided and the DSA lady who’d been at the hospital with us bragged how she managed to get the org to pay for the food even tho’ none of them wanted to. She’d rightly pointed out that there’d be relatives travelling long distances to this and the least that could be done was to give them decent food. It was the only thing good that seemed to happen that day.

    Our relatives left feeling like they were gypped – I don’t blame them. One of my nieces wanted me to go to her “engagement” party that night where her and her boyfriend were secretly going to be married – I’d have loved to but I just wasn’t up to it. We had Caz’ sister’s wedding the next day to get to as well and I had been running on little sleep and food all week and now this disaster of a funeral to cope with.

    We had our own personal service for Lauren. In the afternoon her body was delivered to the crematorium and I carried her tiny white coffin into the chapel while Caz played “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” on the chapel organ with one finger as James sat on her lap. It was just the three us as her coffin was rolled away to be burnt. Ashes to ashes. It made me feel better that at least we’d been able to do that much properly for her.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  3. Blue Spirit

    Blue Spirit Silver Meritorious Patron

    Breaks My Heart

    I'm very sad Scooter. :bigcry:

    I must ask, did she stay around to get a new body from your wife ?
  4. Good twin

    Good twin Floater

    Oh dear, Scoots. What heartbreak.........
  5. Nightingale

    Nightingale Patron with Honors

    Bless you. . . All I can do is cry for you, and believe me I am doing that. I'm so sorry.
  6. Ladybird

    Ladybird Silver Meritorious Patron

    Oh Scooter! There is nothing I could possibly do or say except I am so incredibly sorry this happened to you and your family and your dear little daughter...I have been listening to Vivaldi and Mozart versions of her song, but this one is my favorite:
  7. Feral

    Feral Rogue male

    Mate, I don't know what to say. I remember that terrible day and it still hurts. I was so sad for you guys.

    Vicky went to see you and I stayed to mind Courtney, I was trying to deliver her therapy, more than once I sat on the floor with her and cried.

    I couldn't believe this had happened to my friend's.
  8. ElenaP

    ElenaP Patron


    Dear Scoooter, I was checking all these days for the next part of your life story, and .... I am left with no words. I feel for you. I am sure it must be hard to speak about this....

    In a way I can relate..I get soo mad at me sometimes, when I think that I always felt compelled to suppress my human emotions for Scientology. It is sickening how much unhuman I was showing to be when someone would pass away. My father was so hurt when one of his parents died because after the funeral, I was singing and putting some loud music at home. I dont recall this but my father sure did and mentioned it later on.

    Yes, while in, I let scientology create an emotionless cold monster of me, while criticizing the wog to be misemotioned.. What an idiocy!:duh:

    I am truly sorry for your loss Scooter.
  9. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    So sorry Scoots.

    In some way you qualify for hero status, but can't
    right now figure which way.
  10. EP - Ethics Particle

    EP - Ethics Particle Gold Meritorious Patron

    Were I there in the flesh, right now...

    ...I would hug you all very tightly and for a long time.

  11. uncle sam

    uncle sam Silver Meritorious Patron


    I am so sorry-may the universe grace you and your family.
  12. degraded being

    degraded being Sponsor

  13. Carmel

    Carmel Crusader

  14. Carmel

    Carmel Crusader

  15. Mrs Pattycake

    Mrs Pattycake Patron with Honors

    let yourself grieve

    Dearest Scooter ,

    What a shocking event ... and to make things even worse ... the disgusting treatment of you and your family by those you held as friends, your fellow Scientologists.

    Looking back on it now it was all so obviously about the retaining of the Church's PR. There was no real thought about how you and Caz were coping - only what effect this would have on the Church.

    I apoplogise for my lack of compassion at this time , I know I was there but not nearly enough ! I was so enmeshed in my own grief and upset about Courtney.

    Scientology does not have the tech to handle grief despite its promise otherwise. I spent many many years on solo nots"handling" my grief by assessing ARC X's. When that did not work I'd assess L1Cs, the Solo Nots Repair List, ARCX's of long duration, suppressed, invalidated etc. I even had "special " C/Sed handlings, PTS handlings, and then MWH pulling and ethics handlings and you know what ... I still felt grief about my daughter !!!

    After leaving Scientology I started to get depressed, it was not about leaving but about all the "what if's" ... what if I had never done Scientology ...

    I went to see my naturapath. Her limited view of Scientology was very helpful to me. She pointed out that Scientology mostly addresses what we are thinking, what is happening mentally - it does not address our emotions, what we feel - she clearly had these as two separate things.

    I could relate to this after my many thousands of attempts to handle grief by assessing ARC X and indicating - with the EP being feeling slightly less griefy !
    It did not work for something as major as this.

    She advised me to go home , create a safe private space, with music that touched the mood and breathe deeply and get in touch with my feelings and let myself fully express them, right there and then. Be angry, be sad, be whatever.

    I realised that I did not, during my time in Scientology, get to travel through the normal passage from grief through to acceptance as my emotions were always so suppressed. Some how it was bad to have human emotion and reaction, one had to be above 2.0.

    I am working through this now.
    I hope with all my heart that you are able to do that now too .

    Your mate - Vick:bigcry:
  16. Surrounding you with Love

    Scooter dearest, I am so sorry for the loss of your darling daughter. It was a senseless, tragic accident, one that should never have happened, but the kind that often does happen so quickly with energetic toddlers moving in the blink of an eye. The people you trusted to watch her let you down. The people in charge that day were unthinking and irresponsible in the way that child care was set up, and by leaving the teens in charge to babysit.

    Whatever you and your family did in the moment, and during those dark days and weeks following to survive and handle your grief was all right. Don't hurt yourself now over your actions then.

    Your church, your org and your group let you down in the worst ways possible, Scoot, but we won't let you down, we're surrounding you with love, and lifting you and your family up into the light in our thoughts and keeping Lauren's memory safe forever in our hearts. I will never forget her. I'm glad you can write about it. I'm very proud of you for doing so, rather than keeping it hidden.

    Praying for peace for you about this, and for everyone else who has lost their beloved child.

    With Much Love from SweetnessandLight
  17. Mystic

    Mystic Crusader

    Scooter, you just won my heart.
  18. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    Scooter I must admit I was dreading reading this part of your story. It is just the most awful thing that a parent could contemplate, especially anyone who was a parent on staff. I had near misses with one of my babies and thankfully the worst that happened was 3 days with him in the Burns Unit after pulling a cup of tea over his head while he played around my desk late one night. It could have been so much worse, and your story made me cry. :bigcry:

    The most dreadful part of your story is the callous, unfeeling, blinkered and INSANE lack of support and understanding. Priorities are just so WRONG when natural grief and distress is viewed as something to be avoided and hidden and you are turned into someone who must be 'blamed' for what happened.

    Bless you and yours and I hope that by writing your story so beautifully that it helps a little in lessening the pain. There is nothing wrong with crying and crying until the last tear has made it's journey from it's hidden place. I know this is not something that just goes away, it's something you live with and possibly heal from in unexpected ways.

    I won't forget Lauren either, though I never met her. I send you and yours love.

  19. Panda Termint

    Panda Termint Cabal Of One

    Thank you, Paul.
    Thank you for having the courage to tell this story.
    I truly hope that the telling of it is as healing for you and Caz as it is for your many friends.
    Thank you. :flowers:
  20. _brian

    _brian WogRevert


    I pray that you will find solace with the telling of this heartbreaking experience and that the hurt will somehow be replaced with greater love and memories after the tears end.

    Be well Brother, and best wishes for your family.