Richard Reiss, long-time Senior C/S Flag Service Organization has recently left his physical body. He reportedly lost a bout with cancer. Richard died at the age of 66 on March 4, 2011. He died at the Brookside Hospice House in Palm Harbor Florida. Seventeen days after his death, less than a quarter of Flag staff, and handful of public gathered for a church of Scientology memorial service.
I believe Richard deserves to have the world know about some extraordinary things about his life. Things that David Miscavige will not only not ever let be known, but as you shall see below he will likely spend more pretty pennies trying to silence.
Richard was a giant intellectually.
Richard, though many never had a chance to see it, had quite a theta endowment.
I don’t know how many people got to see Richard relaxed and being himself. I was fortunate to have been one of them. Richard, you see, as the Snr Technical terminal at the Mecca of Technical Perfection was under a tremendous, continual pressure to abandon his integrity to forward the suppressive whims of David Miscavige. In fact, in one of his last public appearances he was forced to announce the “breakthrough” in Objectives, that every Scientologist needed them (wherever they might be on the Bridge) and up to 125 hours of them to boot. In my opinion that was the last straw for Richard Reiss.
In early 96, Richard and I were assigned to “qual check” the Golden Age of Tech” drills that were being produced by LRH Technical Comps Unit at the direction of David Miscavige. Richard and I spent weeks together, sitting across a meter and reads simulator in the Qual Division Gold, Scientology Inc’s Headquarters doing just that.
Richard had been pretty much rotting for months at Gold under the auspices of some kind of “Correction Program”. I think he had been sent there mid 95 shortly after Miscavige had pushed him aside to bypass to write Lisa McPherson’s long, rambling Clear r-factor – and then continued to supervise suppressive programs like Expanded Dianetics and Power Processes after that fact, driving her to insanity and ultimately to death.
Richard was happy to be finally assigned to something he thought was meaningful.
Richard was one of the most analytically gifted individuals I have ever met. To most I think he came across so analytical as to lack esprit vital. That combined with the fact he was under the constant strain of lesser minds of RTC children relaying micro managed and generally suppressive tech orders to him from Miscavige. And yes, I was an integral part of that apparatus, and I wish I could have apologized to Richard and make it up to him before his untimely death.
But, I was lucky for a while. I worked alone with Richard for a good period of time where I didn’t have to walk the suppressive walk. In our little Gold staff auditing room, for many hours day after day, while we worked in privacy he couldn’t help but let his hair down. Many a time I got him to crack a smile, and sometimes laugh – and sometimes even line charge while we tried to make sense of the plus, minus shunt computer logic being implemented with a tech the founder of which once said, “the only way the technology can be lost is if you become a slave to procedure. There is no substitute for understanding.”
Richard and I would test the draft drills and attempt to correct them. Richard would run through the drill with me and we’d get to a “what do you do?” spot, and I’d answer something like, “well that depends. There are about four or five avenues I could explore depending on a number of factors not covered in the linear scenario just given.” Richard would suppress a smirk. Then I’d launch on a soliloquy on those four or five possible avenues, until Richard couldn’t handle it any more and he’d crack up. Richard would then put his straight face on again and slowly, but surely, cite a punch list of LRH references validating my contentions.
And Richard had a wicked, wry sense of humor of his own, with which he caused an occasional belly laugh for me.
I have told elsewhere on this blog what happened with those drills – a great percentage of our corrections were never made, and a higher percentage of the drills never made it to Richard and I before the RTC bots snatched them up under the orders of Miscavige to “make it for the event” (May 9 event 1996).
I tended to have a more practical understanding of the tech – having been assigned to unsnarl many a case Richard and the rest of the tech hierarchy “screwed up” under the stifling, blanket arbitraries enforced by Miscavige. I sensed Richard got a kick out of seeing me do so. He clearly wished that he could operate the way I was allowed to. Later that decade I would sometimes call Richard for a tech reference because the man could cite me chapter and verse for any principal I threw at him.
By now some of you may be wondering about the title of this post, Richard Reiss Kha Khan.
Well, I was assigned Kha Khan status by Miscavige for having been in his words the “guy who got us tax exemption.” Here is what LRH said about the title of Kha Khan that Miscavige based it upon:
In an ancient army a particularly brave deed was recognized by an award of the title of Kha-Khan. It was not a rank. The person remained what he was, BUT he was entitled to be forgiven the death penalty ten times in case in the future he did anything wrong. That was a Kha-Khan.
Admittedly, Miscavige – as is his wont – dished it to me for manipulative, calculating, and insincere reasons. Namely to entice me to return from New Orleans a month after tax exemption was obtained in 1993. (Incidentally, if anyone is having trouble tracking with this, I suggest you watch the 3 and one half hours of video taped interviews with me at http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/rathbun.shtml . I just don’t have time to recount all of the context, and it would tend to divert from the man of the moment, Richard).
I tell the following story to explain why I have eschewed the distinction and on my own origination award it, instead, to Richard Reiss.
Miscavige and I first spoke to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service in the late summer/early Fall of 1991. By the end of the year we were deeply into negotiations with a team headed by the D/Commissioner for Exempt Organizations of the IRS. We pretty much commuted to D.C. – a couple times a month for the next year, preparing and bringing boxes and boxes of documentation to answer all of the questions the IRS had. By the Fall of 1992 Miscavige was becoming extremely impatient with the process. He used every carrot and stick method he knew to overwhelm the D/Commissioner to grant exemption.
We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to gather intelligence to flank all of this. We even received information from credible sources from the White House. And by near the end of the 1992 we were hearing that Papa Bush himself – exercising his trademark indecision – was concerned about the effect granting exemption to the Church of Scientology would have on his re-election hopes.
And so, the stalemate continued for another year. Nine months into the Clinton administration in fact.
There was not a single thing we provided the IRS during the year 1993 that was the make-break point of exemption entitlement.
Yet, lo and behold, in September 1993 – several months into the tenure of a Clinton appointed IRS Commissioner – the IRS Scientology team started swapping settlement drafts. In the first week of October we received tax exemption.
Fast forward a couple years.
Scientologist celebrity Ann Archer took a White House tour. To her surprise she was pulled aside and lead to the Oval Office. Moments later President Bill Clinton appeared for a very rare one on one meet and greet.
Ann thanked Clinton for his administration having granted tax exemption to her church.
Clinton told Archer a little story as to why he considered it was the right thing to do. Clinton said that in the sixties when he was pursuing his Rhodes scholarship at Oxford, he hung with a fraternity of Yale University graduates. He said that a couple of the members of that franternity were Scientologists. He said he never forgot how kind and spiritual they both were. He knew then and there – by the beingnesses and conduct of those Scientologists – that Scientology was a spriritual activity and that “Scientologists were good people.”
President Bill Clinton did not mention names. But, I’ll tell you straight-up, Richard Reiss was one of those Scientologist Yale graduate, Rhodes scholars who met Bill Clinton during those days in the sixties.
Richard never spoke to Clinton since Oxford.
Richard didn’t know him well enough to do so.
But, Richard didn’t have to.
Richard left his mark by simply being himself around some amiable genius from Arkansas.
And that is why I say Richard Reiss is Kha Khan.
And I hope Richard that you find yourself a healthy, strong body with some parents who recognize a beautiful being and mind when you join their family. Or not if you’d prefer to do something else.
Whatever you choose to do, remember, it is entirely up to you.