Friends Long Past – Two


Most of the people I knew in Scientology back then have been gone from the picture for some time.

Many were older at the time and the passage of fifty years is enough to remove them from this plane. Others are probably still around but no longer involved in Scientology.

Ray Kemp ran the Tustin franchise. He was a friend of our family. Ken and Julia Salmen ran the LA Org at the time and they, too, were great friends.

Bill Banka was an old-timer even then as was Gibby Niehus, Scott Paige, Pem and Roz Wall, Fred and Melissa Payer, Ron and Connie Broadbent… so many more I don’t think I can remember them all much less list them all.

And so many of these people were ushered out of the Church about the same time that my parents were excommunicated.

Some went on to found ex-Scientology groups, some simply faded away.

Yet all of them will be sorely missed from the completion of the mission to save the world.

Even if now the mission is to save the world from Scientology…

…and David Miscavige’s reign of terror.


Friends Long Past

asho new

This is the New ASHO Building – I cannot locate an image of the older one on Temple Street

Having spent so much time in the Church of Scientology, I got to know a lot of the people at a lot of the different orgs and centers.

When I worked at A.S.H.O. I was in the Public Divisions and got to help organize several different “congresses” – their annual get-togethers to celebrate the accomplishments of the year passed.

Once, on a Saturday, my boss and his boss, the Public Exec Sec, were both gone for the day as was the Captain of the org (it was operated by the Sea Org* by that time) when a call came in from the Church in Mexico City.

The call was routed to me as I was the senior Public Division person in the building and, as such (as it turned out) I was also the temporary Head of the Church of Scientology for the Western Hemisphere.

The fact surprised the heck out of me (and I think they have changed it since then, thank goodness!) but I was given a problem to solve. I gave them my take on what to do and they asked for a telex confirmation of the order – yes, this was long before email, fax, or any of those things.

On Monday morning, the Public Exec Sec was upset that I had “usurped” her authority but in the midst of her reaming me out, the Captain came in and gave me a letter: a hand-written commendation for taking charge in a situation “above my pay grade” and making everything go right.

He then ordered her to his office.

The shouting could be heard throughout the building.

And she was wearing a gray rag tied around her arm for a couple of days.

As you can imagine, things got really tense in that department after that and the Captain very graciously transferred me to a less hostile division.

Scientology may have the answers in a lot of areas but even back then the organization was home to several rather psychotic managers.

* – explaining what the Sea Org is would take pages and can be easily searched online. Basically it was the elite arm of Scientology dedicated to “clearing” (i.e. saving) the planet.