Daily Archives: April 16, 2011

The King of the Squirrels

With all the talk of squirrels this past week, let us focus for a moment on the undisputed King of Squirrels, David Miscavige.

Since he is also the indisputable “Ecclesiastical Leader” of the “churches of Scientology” let us be very clear about the basis for anointing him with this King of the Squirrels title.   The earlier beginning to my having even gotten into this terrain, was a controversial comment of mine to the effect that folk promoting their skype auditing, and long-distance internet NOTs supervision was, in my view, squirrel. That evaluation was predicated on the idea that the interposition of mest forms of electronics between a pre clear and an auditor is a grotesque perversion of the original formula that makes auditing work:

Auditor plus pre clear is greater than bank.


And that opens the door for any number of complexities to enter into the magical simplicity of the Basic Auditor Comm Series HCOBs and the several SHSBC lectures that go with them.

First let us define “squirrel” in the Scientology vernacular:

Squirreling (going off into weird practices or altering Scientology) only comes about from noncomprehension.  Usually the noncomprehension is not of Scientology but some earlier contact with an offbeat humanoid practice which in its turn was not understood.  When people can’t get results from what they think is standard practice, they can be counted upon to squirrel to some degree.

–         LRH, Keeping Scientology Working

After returning to Flag from the ship from my relatively unhindered eighteen month auditing and training sabbatical in the summer of 1995, I was assigned by Miscavige to the RTC Rep Office at Flag.  He told me that I was to begin at the bottom of the RTC org board, as my sabbatical was my own RPF for having blown in 93. In retrospect I think he wanted all influential public see me running about Flag with an “RTC Trainee” tag and my single, slim Ensign bars on each shoulder. I was to answer to the Class VIII RTC Rep Angie Trent and communicate to no one else above her on the command channel, most particularly not him.

That was fine by me, because frankly the end phenomena of my ship program was that I had no designs for any altitude or status, I just wanted to apply the tech, and the last person I wanted to be connected to directly was David Miscavige.

I worked mostly on TRs and Metering with the dozens of outer org trainees who were there, ran a program to retread Class XIIs on their TRs and Metering, and handled various VIP cases directly whom the tech hierarchy at Flag (as supervised by Snr CS INT) had failed to handle.

I was pretty much let alone to get on with it as completion stats and L’s HGC stats were steadily rising where I roamed.

However, at the end of each day the Rep office personnel would gather in the Green Room of the FH auditorium to write up our sections of the RTC Rep’s daily report to Miscavige.  It was the Rep’s report, and a great deal of it consisted of what I was producing in the course rooms (outer org, and staff Class XII course room).   Most days, I’d write up my report while Angie and Rikki Jensen (who had zero tech training) would review TRs and Metering videos.  Each day they were frantic to get several on the airport run to Miscavige, who had to give final passes.  They were between a rock and a hard spot.  They had a vicious daily demand for more. Yet the more they sent the more abusive, confusing rejects they would receive from Miscavige – all interlaced with the most vicious arbitrary opinions.  I was at ground zero of the end of simple TRs and metering, and the beginning of the era of mass confusion and endless TRs and Metering Courses.

While writing my reports I could not help but hear Angie and Rikki discuss rejects of students I had debugged in the course rooms.  I attempted to interject my view, and oft times defense or advocation for a particular student’s video.  Each time Angie cut me off saying that Miscavige had given her explicit orders that I not be allowed to participate on the video pass line in any way, shape, manner or form (which was consistent with Miscvige’s orders to me).

I wound up spending considerable time in the course rooms attempting to console students trying to reconcile their arbitrary rejects without outright disrespecting the RTC Reps and by extension Miscavige. I took on sort of a tricky, covert Chaplain hat while trying to maintain some semblance of the hard-as-chrome-steel persona Miscavige demanded of all of us.

At the end of each day I would heard Angie and Rikki arguing for several minutes on whether a metering video read was “instant” or “latent” or “prior.”   These arguments were interlaced with innumerable “COB saids”.  The definition of “instant read” departed further and further from the simplicity that LRH defined it with:



…Additionally, when looking for reads while clearing commands or when the preclear is originating items, the auditor must note only those reads which occur at the exact moment the pc ends his statement of the item or command.

–         LRH – HCOB 5 August 1978, INSTANT READS

One day I lost my composure and told Angie and Rikki in no uncertain terms words to the following effect:

Will you please look at how insane this situation is?  You two sit here and debate dozens of individual reads for minutes on end each, day in and day out.   You pull out rulers against a video screen and flunk a guy because he wrote “Small Fall” instead of “Fall” because you think it was 1/16th of an inch off.   Worse, what was yesterday defined as an instant read, is today called “latent” or “prior.” Think about this. Imagine yourself in session, with you two sitting over your shoulder second guessing every read. Is an auditor afforded the opportunity to say to the pc, “hold on a few minutes, I want to get a second opinion”, walk off and discuss it like you two do with someone else whether a given read is instant, latent or prior?   Hell, why do you think LRH introduced the idea of checking for “false, protest, etc”  Don’t you know that if you take up an uncharged item the TA will immediately start rising and there are remedies for that?  This entire RTC handling on TRs and  metering is taking training away from establishing certainty and instead introducting utter indecision and arbitrary. You’ve knocked the hat off of every Flag exec, Training and Qual terminal. Complexity and Confronting period, that is what is wrong with metering supervision and you are introducing it in spades.


That last reference was to HCO PL Complexity and Confronting:


Reversing this:





The response to my outburst was red face, embarrassed silence.  In that culture there was no other possible response because to acknowledge would be to acknowledge where the bony finger was pointing, the King of Squirrels.  To fight would encourage an issuance of more discussion of the King of Squirrel’s arbitraries.

We all returned to our business but tensions increased between us.  As weeks went on all manner of unusual solutions arose to satisfy crams issued to students with their RTC rejects.  People were nitpicking every word LRH ever said about instant reads.  They were fighting over one LRH comment over another.  It was a tragic trainwreck of semantics and literalness.  And students, Flag Supervisors, and executives and the Reps themselves became increasingly confused.

The next thing I see is a Golden Era Productions, super high-tech video playback machine installed in the RTC Rep office at the Fort Harrison.  Angie and Rikki began doing their video reviews behind the closed door of that little office. When I asked about it, Angie told me that COB had come up with a breakthrough on “instant reads”.  He sent them that fancy video player because they could slow it down to incredibly slow speed and definitively determine whether a read was instant or not.

In practice it confused matters even more.   The reps were working in one electronic universe, the supervisors and students in another entirely.   The reps would sometimes invite a Flag exec, Supervisor or Qual terminal over to the ivory tower to demonstrate how they were right by showing them a disputed video on Miscavige’s secret, doomsday machine. That was necessary as some Flag executives began to protest heavily – though necessarily covertly – to the increasing confusion surrounding TRs and Metering. They would leave the magic technological wonder as confused as when they arrived for reality adjustment.

When I was able to elbow my way into their little enclave over Angie’s efforts to keep me out, I saw that indeed doomsday machine it was.  The sound was slowed down with the picture and greatly amplified.  The instant the words of the major thought ended was virtually impossible to divine as it blended in with the amplified ambient noise.

I even found an LRH lecture where he stated during the SHSBC era that about the most idiotic thing someone could do is to create some high tech film playback system to debate the issue of instant reads. 

I gave that to Angie and went about my business.

As my disagreements with Angie (representing Miscavige) became more intense and less suppressed, suddenly the Lisa McPherson matter hit like an atomic weapon that wiped out that chapter from my life and the lives of many others. To understand how that became the latest prior confusion knocking me further out of valence, you can google “marty rathbun videos tampabay.com” and watch me talk of where that lead me, Miscavige and the church.

Now, I’ve got a pc arriving today and need to do some work in preparation for that, so cannot write more at this time.  Hopefully, I’ve provided enough information to clear at least some fog from the swamp of arbitraries many have suffered from during the ensuring fifteen years. I am not done with this.  I am going to present some documentary evidence that the quagmire I describe above became far more thick and inescapable over the years that followed.