You need a scorecard these days to keep track of who is in and who is out of Scientology Inc in Toronto.
On the 31st of August, 1973, I stepped through the front door of the Toronto org for the very first time. I was introduced to the Public Reg, Judy Breaks. (She later became Judy Light, a Flag reg for some time, I believe.) I began the HQS course that evening. I was on the Bridge to Total Freedom.
On the 31st of August, 2011, exactly 38 years later, I stepped through the front door of the Toronto Org possibly for the last time. I came for a meeting with the Toronto Day Org’s Ethics Officer, David Felske (David is the son of the local, Toronto DSA, a woman named Pat Felske). He showed me the two written official Flag Ethic’s Orders that he had received that morning. I read them both. The first one declared me to be a Suppressive Person. The second one expelled me from the Church. The EO told me I would not be given a copy of either of these two published Ethics Orders. I left the meeting. I left the building.
Thirty-eight years. To the day.
Perhaps now I could get back on the Bridge to Total Freedom as an Independent Scientologist. Has anyone else, reading this, had a similar thought?
Hello! My name is Dave Stokes. I have lived in Toronto all my life. Sixty-one years. The Toronto Org has always been my Org.
My personal Scientology history is:
– I joined staff on three different occasions, completing one 2.5 year contract (’73 thru ’76) and not completing two others (’78 and ’86).
– As a public, I completed three auditor training courses (HSDC, Academy Levels 0-4, and the Sec Checker course). I failed to complete all three internships and therefore I have no auditor experience.
– As a public I made it to Dianetic Case Completion at Toronto Org (2001).
– I went Clear and did my OT 1-5 at AO ANZO in 2002-3.
– I began solo auditing on OT 7 in June, 2004.
– I stopped solo auditing on OT 7 in July, 2005.
– Having a personal computer, I had been a good boy and behaved myself from 1997 to 2009 by viewing only “approved” web sites and not reading any “entheta” anywhere from any source.
– My behaviour changed in August, 2009 when I found out about and listened to all the Truth Rundown videos.
– Thereafter, I had a valence shift and I became a bad boy and misbehaved wickedly from August of 2009 to August of 2011 reading anything and everything I could find about Scientology on the internet and elsewhere.
– I was Comm Ev’ed in the last week of June, 2011.
– I was found guilty of my alleged crimes and high crimes, declared an SP and expelled from the Church, 31 August 2011.
– I am declaring myself to be an Independent Scientologist, Feb. 2012.
What were my high crimes that caused me to become an “overnight” SP, you might wonder?
I looked. I spoke up. (We all did this, is that not the case?)
In late 2009, having committed these two crimes, my Flag D of P (Nancy Hawkins) asked me to stop. I said “No.” In 2010, a Flag MAA (Wella MacDonald) told me to stop. I said “No.” A Flag Tour Qual Consultant (Myron Rapp) ordered me to stop. I said “No.” The FSC for Canada (Arda Froese) encouraged my to stop. I said “No.” In 2011, two OSA agents (Peter Stevenson and John MacPhail) counselled me to stop. (I did not know they were OSA agents at the time. I thought they were concerned fellow Toronto Scientologists just trying to help me in my hour of need. However, the only evidence at my Comm Ev was submitted by Stevenson and MacPhail.) In 2011, the Chairman of my Comm Ev (Susan Sisson) warned me to stop. I said “No.” My ex-wife (27 years of marriage), my son and my daughter begged me to stop. I said “No.”
Perhaps this is not an unfamiliar story to many others?
Since August of 2009, I have tried hard to inform myself of missing data that was unavailable to me as a parishioner of David Miscavige’s church. In no particular order, this data includes:
– Reported physical violence at Int Headquarters on SO staff by SO staff.
– SP declarations on 18 of 54 Class 12 auditors (meaning one-third of all Class 12’s have been declared over the years to be SP’s).
– SP declarations of 38 of 54 original Old Saint Hill staff members (meaning 70% of the original Old Saint Hill staff have been declared over the years to be SP’s).
– The details of David Mayo’s removal from post, his comm ev and subsequent declaration and expulsion.
– The “instant SP declarations” of many veteran mission holders in 1982.
– The treatment of Mary Sue Hubbard and the non-announcement of her death in 2002 and therefore no subsequent celebration of her life.
– The details of the editing of LRH’s written and spoken words after the fact of his death.
– The details of the re-introduction of disconnection policy in 1982.
– The fact of the continuing promise of Super Power “next year”.
– The details of the non existence of the New World Corps and Universe Corps.
– The details of LRH’s death.
– The details of changes made to LRH’s will the day before he died.
– The details surrounding Lisa MacPherson’s death.
– Pat and Annie Broeker’s disappearance from public view in 1987.
Apparently International Management considers the staff and public of a Class 5 Org to be of such a low order as to be unable to correctly confront and evaluate such data. For the record, I object.
The only Class 5 Org that I have reality on is Toronto. Thirty-eight years is enough time to become familiar with the workings of the Toronto Org. I have done no services at any other lower Org. In those 38 years I have observed the following key Org stats that have entered a completely non viable range (= condition of Non-Existence):
– Auditors made (= Non-E).
– Releases made (= Non-E).
– Clears made (= Non-E).
– New public starts (= Non-E).
– Staff Pay (= Non-E).
The Toronto Org has managed to stay alive only because two stats have not yet slipped into Non-Existence:
– Gross Income (= Danger).
– Number of Staff (= Danger).
As well, over the years continual emergencies arise in Toronto like:
– Unpaid property taxes resulting in threats of being locked out.
– Unpaid heating bills resulting in the heat being turned off (it’s Canada!).
– No air conditioning (= unbearably hot auditing rooms and course rooms).
– Plumbing failures resulting in degraded bathroom facilities.
– Wasted money due to incompetent local management decisions (like $180,000 wasted on purchasing significantly unusable architectural plans for the new “Ideal Org” reno’s).
– And no toilet paper!
The Org actually is a smelly near-corpse that should have died years ago. But people of good will keep it going. Dedicated, long suffering staff members perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation every Thursday somewhere around two o’clock.
The basic history of this Org is straightforward. Its heydays were the 1970’s. That 10 year period produced several thousand public and several hundred staff (as Jim Logan will attest to). I was one of them. As was Jim. And many of us are still around. Myself and Jim included. And Paul Staffer.
There was a gradual decline over the last thirty years. Now, in 2012, there is a core group of about 200 Toronto Scientologists. This group is made up of 30 year or 40 year veteran Scientologists and their offspring. About 30 are on Toronto staff. The rest make up the bulk of Toronto’s public. There are about 35 active OT 7’s and 8’s. There are about 15 staff and field auditors who actually audit others on grade chart actions.
This core group over the years has been abused. They’ve been knocked around. They’ve been through building fires and police raids and government trials and bad press and stupid ED’s and psychotic CO’s and staff rip-offs and suppressive quotas and wrong whys and weird evals and unrealistic promises and no heat and no toilet paper and no fun.
And still some of them are here. Bedraggled. Bruised. But breathing.
In my opinion, these Toronto Scientologists only need three uninterrupted hours of truthful information regarding the world-wide Scientology scene to have a cognition. Given that cog, I am convinced they’d soon renounce current management and join the independent field. But … it won’t happen. It won’t happen for a very good reason. The threat of disconnection.
These +30 year, +35 year, and +40 year Toronto Scientologists have their day-to-day routines, their families, their livelihoods, their friends, their associates solidly intermingled. It’s almost incestuous. Disconnection would cause any veteran Toronto Scientologist to lose everything and everybody he or she needs or values.
I know. It happened to me. It has been six months since I was declared. In that time, my ex wife has not spoken to me. My son has not spoken to me. My daughter has not spoken to me. My best friends have not spoken to me. My employer has not spoken to me. My doctor has not spoken to me. My accountant has not spoken to me.
Luckily, my personal motto is: “Be willing to experience anything.”
I am truly enjoying my state of “being disconnected from”. Maybe I should go to the examiner and attest to something! (Joke.) If somebody, anybody, disconnects from me given my beingness, then, it’s his loss and my gain. Being a bad boy is bring back fond memories. A plus point! Might it be the same with you?
And I have long prepared for this disconnection. I figured it was going to happen sooner or later.
In 2005, I left Flag without permission, without routing out, without my confidential materials, and without saying goodbye. Flag was pissed! I had been on the level for 13 months. I then simply stopped auditing on OT 7. I had had enough. I had seen enough. I knew something was wrong. Very wrong. But in 2005 it was only a vague knowingness. I thought it was me! I thought I must have fucked up. Again. You know, more overts. More withholds. More mis-understoods. But I was not going to let anyone touch me. Handle me. Convince me. Re-hab me. Sec check me. In my mind I was going to withdraw (Theta/MEST theory) and think things through for a while. On my own.
So I lied to people. I lied to all the people who tried to get me to resume my auditing. And from 2005 to 2011 that was close to probably thirty different people. I lied to them all. I made excuses. I made vague promises to continue sometime in the future. In other words, I stalled for time. And peace. Admittedly, I was still concerned about what life would be like after declare and disconnection.
Then in 2009 I watched all the videos of “The Truth Rundown” and began reading Marty’s blog. I became a lurker. And for the next two years I did some pretty serious research on the internet. The main question that I personally wanted answered was: “What would cause a long-time SO member to actually leave the Church after so many years of dedication, persistence and loyalty?” I reasoned that the answers to that question would reveal the big outpoints. Perhaps even the biggest outpoint in all of Scientology. I read so many personal stories of ex-SO members that I lost count. I read all the posts. All the comments. All the books. Watched all the videos. I got all the data I could.
And the answers were revealing. The outpoints became obvious. To me.
I then knew why I had stopped my solo auditing. It was no longer vague. It was concrete. The pieces of the puzzle all fit. It all made sense. But it had taken me a total of five years. And didn’t Marty say that he decompressed for four years? Others have given similar time periods to get over the shock or whatever they needed to get over.
So for 5 years I had been preparing for my inevitable declare and disconnection. It still shook me.
The Toronto Scientologists, with their lives so intimately connected with everything Scientological, are not so prepared. And that’s why it is going to be so difficult for many of them to leave. For many, almost impossible. Inconceivable.
The fear factor is huge. Is this similar in other orgs?
The heartening thing is that seven +25 year Toronto Scientologists, all OT’s, contacted me after I had been declared. They acted independently of each other, of course. It took courage. I thanked them individually for that. The conversations were not too long, just long enough. Danger hung in the air palpably. Each wished me luck. Each voiced fears. Thoughts. Considerations. And each expressed his or her own wish that the PT insanity would soon end. Peacefully. With no blood (metaphorically). But each, in his or her own way, acknowledged that being disconnected was not an option available to them. He or she would avoid SP declaration and disconnection at all costs. I did not press the point. I ended by saying that I’d be in touch if anything really exciting happened. Not one of these seven people told me not to get back in touch.
So … I think the following statement is exciting:
“ I, David Stokes, of Toronto, Canada, (not Boise, Idaho) declare that I am now an Independent Scientologist.”
So, I’ll be shortly getting back in touch with these seven Toronto OT’s and giving them this exciting news. And Debbie Cook’s email. More excitement! We’ll see what happens.
Also, I invite any lurking Toronto Scientologist or any other Scientologist, veteran or neophyte, who wishes to communicate with me, on any subject whatsoever, Scientology or otherwise, local or worldwide, to email me. My secure email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who have known me well over the years know that I pride myself on my discretion. Any comm given to me I treat as inviolable. Sacred!
My secret plan is to facilitate a mass Toronto Scientologist declaration of Independence. Twenty-five OT’s sounds about right. Twenty-five Independent Beings announcing together that “the chains are off”, “we are at cause, not effect” and “we think for ourselves”. Perhaps unrealistic but a plan nonetheless. Again, a secret plan. So mum’s the word, please.
I wish you well,
Dave (a.k.a. Toronto Public)