This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on Scientology. For this report, I camped out for a few hours recently on a Thursday morning around Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the Church of Scientology’s West Coast headquarters.
In the world of Scientology and their organizations, everything is about “getting your statistics up” before Thursday at 2:00 PM. That means if you’re a Course Supervisor and had four new students start a course last week, then you had better be sure to have five new students start a course this week. Having five or more new students would be ideal; any number that’s four or less can be trouble. If you’re a Sea Org member and your stats are down, your entire org may wind up in trouble if down statistics have been occurring in your org for a while. Even if your stats are up (while the rest of the org’s stats are down) you could still be in trouble. In Scientology, you’re supposed to reward an up statistic and penalize a down statistic, but that isn’t always the case in Sea Org organizations.
In a Scientology org (whether it’s a Sea Org org or a Scientology Front Group such as Sterling, which used to be called Sterling Management Systems, located in Glendale, California), you’ll find committees and counsels completely devoted to “clearing the planet” for L. Ron Hubbard by 2:00 PM each Thursday. Here’s what Scientology says about “Thursdays” in Modern Management Defined:
The Advisory Council (“AC”) meets every week. In an org, its income and the delivery of its product is AC’s primary business.
In the early 1990’s, I represented Division 3, the Finance Division, at Sterling’s AC; I also wore the hat of its Secretary. We met Thursdays after dinner; our meeting went over the statistics of the company for the week ending Thursday 2:00 PM. AC reviewed divisional requests for funds to be spent for the new week; our recommendations were then forwarded to Sterling’s Executive Council (“EC”), which met after AC.
EXTREME CONDITIONS PACK
When an org falters (that is, when its stats goes down), an “extreme conditions pack” is to be assembled from existing files. The pack contains dispatches, documents, statistics and Thursday reports—any files for the last 30-to-60 days before the point of decline.
The Gross Income of an org is the total amount of actual money received in the org for the week which, statistically, ends at 2:00 PM on Thursdays.
RON’S SPECIAL THURSDAY BULLETIN
Ron’s special bulletin went to all franchise holders, prepared on white paper with red ink.
A Thursday Report is supposed to give the production you accomplished since last Thursday, any org outnesses that you’ve noticed or have corrected. Such a report also contains progress you’ve made in processing and training
I don’t think I ever enjoyed filling out a Thursday Report because oft times nothing really changed and the report seemed redundant.
Photo Caption: Here we have two Scientologists (Sea Org members most likely) wearing the hat of Body Router (“BR”) at the corner of Vermont Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California. In these three photos, we’re standing on Vermont looking south at Sunset; if you turned right at the corner and walked west two blocks, you’d arrive at the PAC Base. The BRs hold in their hands “free” Personality Test tickets (those tickets are blue in color) and the male BR has stopped to talk to the elderly lady holding a cane. I’m not sure if he’s already given the lady a ticket or not, but she is holding something in her hand. Notice that the female BR seems to have no interest in the proceedings; by the second photo, the trio has realized that they’re being photographed. These BRs in particular, especially the female BR, does not having like their pictures taken and flee to another street corner every time I arrive with camera in hand.
Photo Caption: After fleeing my camera, the BRs on are on the northeast corner of Vermont and Sunset, handing out “free” Personality Test tickets to two young Latina mothers pushing their children in strollers. I wonder if the BRs carry “free” tickets in different languages: Spanish is one of the many languages spoken in the neighborhood. Notice the young blonde woman in the upper right-hand corner of the picture: she’s wearing similar clothes worn by a Sea Org (“SO”); she’s writing something on a notepad and may be conducting a survey. The child in the stroller in the center of the picture looks, appropriately enough, doubtful and slightly suspicious of the male BR’s intentions. Behind them is the Vermont/Sunset Red Line Metro Station of the Los Angeles subway system.
¡Si le ofrecen un boleto “libre” para tomar un test de personalidad o ver una película de Dianética, no lo hagas! No poner un pie en cualquier edificio Cienciología. Además, nunca, nunca dar un cienciólogo su nombre, cualquier dirección (de correo electrónico o en el hogar), su número de teléfono o el dinero). ¡Guardaos a vosotros mismos! ¡Evite la Cienciología! (Translation from Spanish, courtesy Google Translate: If you’re offered a “free” ticket to take a Personality Test or see a Dianetics film, don’t! Don’t step foot in any Scientology building. In addition, never, ever give a Scientologist your name, any address (email or home), your phone number or money). Save yourselves! Avoid Scientology!)
Photo Caption: A dapper young man hands a “free” Personlaity ticket to a passerby. The BR is from the Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”). In the first photo, by the way, notice the female BR who stands to the left of the male BR, between him and his prey. On the “Bridge to Total Freedom,” LA Org is the first step, the place where new people to Scientology begin moving up the Bridge. This passerby doesn’t seem to be very interested in the ticket, however; perhaps he’s noticed the initials on the BR’s gloves: “IAS,” which stands for the International Association of Scientologists. In order to move up the Bridge, you have to be an IAS member.
In the old days (before LRH’s death), a Scientologist could look up to other Scientologists who have moved up the Bridge, and the level of auditing and/or training reached. Now, with David “Let Him Die” Miscavige at the helm of this “church,” your status with IAS is the key draw. Such a status represents only the amount of money you’ve thrown (away) at IAS, and does not represent at all all actual steps on the Bridge to Total Freedom. Don’t forget: the moment you run out of money is the moment Scientology will drop you like a hot potato.
Photo Caption: In this photo, we see BRs hauling fresh prey to LA Org for indoctrination into the “church” of scientology. Here we observe the female BR as she love bombs her victim. Scientology is, in many ways, a narcissistic venture in that once corralled, a person new to scientology will be “love bombed” (Scientology’s attempt to influence a new recruit by lavish demonstrations of affection and attention) by virtually every SO member. Ashleey M. of San Francisco, who LA Org tried to indoctrinate, had this to say to Yelp of her 2015 experience with Scientology:
“Don’t go!!! I’m not usually a person who writes reviews, but I am a person that tends to have a hard time saying ‘no’ to people who shove ‘free tickets’ in my hand for a free showing. My family and I were basically pushed into the place and my dad was smart enough to stay behind. They brought us into the building and I admit it looked super fancy and stuff but I think it was like they were trying too hard. We got ushered into this small theater where we watched a 20-minute video on what looked like a big mumbo jumbo sciency video on the magnificent ways we can better ourselves and our lives and whatever by purchasing the book and etc. After the video some other lady came in awkwardly asking us questions about if we learned something from the video and blah blah and I tried to answer the questions quickly so that we could leave quicker and not get guilt tripped into buying anything. They asked questions about where my mom was from and tried to sound all-knowing and super high class but honestly it just wasn’t working and so we tried packing up our bags to make it obvious we wanted to leave and we did so, with the lady reluctantly letting us leave empty-handed. It was honestly a big waste of time and don’t feel bad about rejecting those people. They give off a really creepy vibe. Their eyes follow you everywhere and in the small theater, I felt like they had cameras watching our reactions to the film.”
Photo Caption: In this photo, a PAC Base Security Guard (“SG”) arrives on his steed (that is, his bicycle); here, I’m facing east with PAC Base behind me one block away, and the intersection of Vermont and Sunset ahead of me two blocks. With phone in hand, the SG no doubt radios back to his office that he has the suspect (Yours Truly) in sight and that he has secured the area. He is, however, not on PAC Base property, and sped by on his bicycle (swerving in and out of pedestrian traffic; some are working people, some are on a break, others are going to work or an appointment). In the second picture, it appears that someone with a walker hopes to avoid colliding with the SG (you can just barely make out the walking device, but not the person guiding it). As I tried to take more pictures of this most unhappy SG, he fled by bicycling around the corner, and headed south along New Hampshire Avenue (a street that runs parallel to LRH Way).
Photo Caption: Welcome to the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles! The white hanging sign reads: “Open House—All are Welcome. Casa Abierta—Todos son Bienvenidos.” The free-standing sign posted on the sidewalk reads: “Church of Scientology of Los Angeles. Take Your Free Personality Test Here. All are Welcome.” In this photo, I’m at the corner of LRH Way and Sunset Blvd., looking west at Scientology’s parking lot.
Photo Caption: This is LA Org, at 4810 Sunset Blvd; there are two entrances to the building; the main entrance is on LRH Way; this one is from their parking lot. This is the SG and his faithful steed (bicycle); to his left, the BR continues love bombing the unsuspecting prey that she and her male accomplice have managed to drag back to their lair.
Photo Caption: What does this SG have in his mouth? What Emotional Tone (or Tone Level) would you say he’s at? He doesn’t look very happy and never changed his demeanor once as he watched my every movement like a hawk. He looks foreign-born; I wonder if he has been brought to America from Eastern Europe as one of Scientology’s slaves. The poor guy has signed a Billion Year Contract, most likely works eight days a week, forty-eight hours a day, and for just pennies per hour. If his org’s statistics are down at 2:00 PM, he may very well be eating rice and beans for dinner.
Photo Caption: The Virgin Mother Mary statue by Michelangelo (the “Pieta”) has been studied and visited by millions of people. One of Scientology’s neighbors, who lives across the street from LA Org, displays a Marian artwork, effectively bringing Christian nostalgia and history to Scientology’s front door.
Scientology claims to be a religion you can join and still maintain the faith you already have (whether that be Christianity, Buddhism, etc.), but that won’t be the case when you reach Scientology’s “secret” and sacred Operating Thetan (“OT”) Levels. By the time a Scientologist completes OT 3, they will have been forced to drop any belief in anything other than Lord Xenu, the space alien that presides over Scientology’s dark and turbulent past; Jesus Christ, as L. Ron Hubbard has pointed out to his most faithful followers (that is, those who have forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time they’ve reached their OT Levels), never existed.
I couldn’t imagine being a SO member, perhaps formerly Catholic, and seeing the statue of Mary overseeing my daily activities along LRH Way. I’m sure the Virgin Mary statue is quite a conversational piece along LRH Way. The home owner, incidentally, first installed a fence in her attempt to block out the comings and goings along LRH Way. One day, however, a big rectangular piece of that fence disappeared and, as if She had descended from Heaven, stood a Mary figurine, inviting petitions and prayers of the Blessed Mother into every Scientology household. The red rosary beads accent the Mary figurine most beautifully.
Photo Caption: In this picture (the first of two), I’m walking on the east side of LRH Way, making my way south toward the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”) and the corner of Fountain Ave. and LRH Way. Here, I’ve snapped pictures of two female SO members dressed in blue. Behind them are three employees from nearby Children’s Hospital out for a morning walk. Neither SO member looks particularly happy, and the one on the right no doubt wonders what the photographer is up to.
In the past, whenever I approached PAC Base with camera in hand, the SGs would warn SO members to avoid me at all costs, some times telling them that I had been declared a “Suppressive Person” (SG Otto “Odo” Huber once said he had seen such a written declaration). Recently, however, I’ve been allowed to roam quite freely in Scientology’s playground, provided, of course, that I do not stray from the “tour” (that is, as long as I don’t step onto or touch their property).
Photo Caption: As the employees from Children’s Hospital approached me, camera in hand, they couldn’t help but smile as they realized that their image had been captured multiple times. In this, the second of two such photos, both SO members eye me rather suspiciously, with the SO member on the left not particularly happy with my activities.
Photo Caption: In this series of three side-by-side photos, I’ve apparently caught this well-fed SG (straddling his bicycle) by surprise. In the first picture, his attention is focused on the security camera (perhaps it had recently not detected the presence of ex-Scientologists, anti-Scientologists and, well, just people in general). In the second picture, he’s realized that I’ve been dutifully snapping photos of him. In the third photo, he anxiously radios his office, declaring, perhaps, “Danger! Intruder alert!”
Photo Caption: It’s Thursday before 2:00 PM, and SO recruiters worldwide are trying to lasso new recruits. I took this photo along LRH Way, facing west at an entrance to Lebanon Hall (the building between the American Saint Hill Organization, or “ASHO,” and PAC Base’s Main Bldg., the one with the gargantuan “Scientology” sign on top of it). Here we see two individuals: the guy on the left is obviously a SO member, possibly a staff recruiter. The girl may very well be someone he’s been trying to get for a while to join the SO. She has that look about her in which she’s trying to patiently explain, yet again, why it’s more important for her to raise her family than risk losing them somewhere down the road if and when she joins staff. In the second photo, notice the look on the guy’s face, as if he’s thinking, “Oh boy, I’ve heard all of these excuses before.”
Photo Caption: I suspect that the lady on the left in this series of three photos side-by-side may be a staff member from an outer org, meaning she’s not a SO member but, rather, a staff member from, perhaps, Pasadena Org who has signed a two-and-a-half- or a five-year contract. Here, I’m standing on LRH Way, facing west, with the ramp from ASHO to the Main Bldg. behind the people pictured. They are apparently discussing a course; the lady on the left holds a course pack; she might be sharing her “wins” from being on course. Or she may be a registrar (Scientology’s version of a salesperson) trying to sell such a course to the other person (lest we forget that’s it’s “Thursday before 2:00 PM” in this photograph). “Buy, buy, buy,” is the mindset of a dutiful and obedient Scientologist; “Sell, sell, sell,” is the mindset of a good up statistic (“upstat”) registrar.
Photo Caption: In this series of three side-by-side pictures, I’m on LRH Way, facing west and looking across the street at an entrance to Lebanon Hall (which holds SO berthing, an auditorium and cafeteria). In the second photo, notice the guy in the background: he’s the probable SO recruiter from an earlier photo. The tall, painfully thin individual pictured here is, no doubt, a dedicated SO member. Notice in the third picture the SO emblem emblazoned on his belt buckle; his tie, pager and name plate; above the plate is a pin which most likely denotes “IAS.”
The SO is Scientology’s fraternal religious order, made up of their most dedicated staff members. It’s a paramilitary, lifetime-after-lifetime commitment to LRH’s teachings, dedicated to “clearing the planet” and getting “ethics in” on this sector of the universe.
Photo Caption: In this series of three side-by-side photos, we see a SO member in full “Thursday Before 2:00 PM” mode. In the first picture, she has just exited AOLA, and God forbid anyone standing in her way. I served in the SO for twenty-one months during the renovations of PAC Base. My first day in the SO took place during an all-nighter in order to ready LA Org for her grand opening. I worked from start to finish on the renovations of ASHO, and attended her grand opening. During the renovations of AOLA, I served food to the staff of PAC Base which grew in size with every org’s grand opening. There can be something oddly unsettling about a Scientologist, let alone a Sea Org staff member, who has something, post- or job-wise to get done before Thursday at 2:00 PM. LRH made “clearing the planet” and “saving mankind” such a serious venture that Scientologists have adopted permanent long faces. Sometimes heartless attitudes come with those sad faces, something that I know all too well the reality of.
Photo Caption: This series of two side-by-side photos involves three SO members as they cross LRH Way from the Main Bldg., through AOLA’s parking lot, to one of a number of organizations, including the Continental Liaison Office Western United States. Notice in the second picture how the guy strains to see what I’m doing; there’s some serious interest there. The three of them appear quite disinterested in the first photo. By the second picture, however, the guy surreptitiously sneaks a peak at me.
Photo Caption: These two photos represent my SG escorts for the day. Each and every time I walked by a SG, I made sure I gave a pleasant, “Hello, Security”; to almost every Sea Org member I walked by, I offered a pleasant, “Happy Thursday Before 2:00 PM!” The SG in the first picture is on LRH Way, in front of Pacifica Cafe, and faces south toward Fountain Ave. The SG in the second picture continues to chew on something, whether that is something actually in his mouth or heavy on his mind. He is on the same side of the street as the other SG, only half a block north, in front of ASHO.
Photo Caption: This smiling individual is one of the few non-SO Scientologists that I saw during the few hours I spent around PAC Base. She sits alone at Pacifica Cafe, across the street from AOLA. Few people, Scientology public or staff, were at the Cafe that morning.
Photo Caption: In these two side-by-side photos, I’ve captured two Sea Org members as they walk south along Catalina Street, between Sunset Blvd. and Fountain Ave. I take many pictures so that people visiting this website may find loved ones they haven’t seen or heard from in years. Do you know these young ladies? They are someone’s daughters, granddaughters or nieces; perhaps you worked with them. They might be an ex-wife, girlfriend or the mother a child hasn’t seen for years.
Photo Caption: In the next two sets of photos, we follow two students on course (I believe they’re on the Survival Rundown). In this first picture of three side- by-side photos, we watch a SO member (the guy dressed in black and holding the type of clipboard) coaching a public Scientologist (the guy wearing the red coat). For this photo, I’m in front of AOLA watching the students at the corner of LRH Way and Fountain Ave.
It is my understanding that certain auditing processes already done (and complete with no need whatsoever to do them again) are now being redone, again and again, ad nauseam, on the Sunshine Rundown. In L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology, a person is meant to do, successfully, one auditing process once and only once; to continue a process past its desired end is to risk making the person sick.
I know from personal experience what “overrunning” a process can do: I completed the Purification Program (“Purif”) in May 1980; I actually participated in the Purif before LRH had completed his research. On Day Seven, I actually finished the Purif, but because not all of LRH’s test results were in, the Case Supervisor had me continue. In the world of Scientology, the time between when a process is actually finished and when a person overruns it by continuing needlessly is terra incognita. By Day Twenty-One, I could barely stand up and had to be physically helped from the elevator to the Medical Officer’s lounge in order to have my “overrun” corrected.
The guy in the red coat might be suffering from iron-poor blood; he’s whitish, thin, and appears to be leaning against the wall for support (I am, however, not a doctor). He is, however, touching the wall, perhaps feeling the wall, as directed by his coach’s commands.
Photo Caption: In this, the second photo of three side-by-side pictures, I’m now standing across the street as the Survival Rundown’s coach instructs/commands his twin in front of AOLA. I know that the Survival Rundown and Super Power are two different auditing processes (and that Super Power is delivered only in Clearwater, Florida), but I swear the guy in the red jacket looks like he’s about to run endless circles around that tree.
Psychology Today defines ENS as “Empty Nest Syndrome,” a feeling of depression, grief or sadness by caregivers and parents after their children come of age and leave home, sometimes occurring when a child goes off to college or gets married. In Scientology, however, “ENS” is a military term; the non-Sea Org definition for it means a commissioned officer of the lowest rank in Coast Guard and Navy, a ranking above chief warrant officer and below lieutenant (thanks to Wikipedia for that definition).
From Flag Order 236, part of the “Ship’s Org Book, dated October, 13, 1967, LRH writes, “Ranks and ratings are earned by competence and are permanent… The designations are naval, as wholly in keeping with yachts which are viewed as men-o-war governments and always pass at once into naval service when a war is declared. Thus ranks and ratings of a naval type are proper to the Sea Org… One wears his rank or rating on his uniform.” Why, you might ask, does it sound like the Sea Org is at war with the world? Because clearing the planet is such serious business. Scientology’s purpose, after all, is to take over the world. From LRH’s “Keeping Scientology Working, we get a glimpse how serious LRH wanted Scientologists to be: “The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology.”
The Class XII Auditors Course is Sea Org-only course. A Class XII auditor is flawless. Karen De La Carriere is an LRH-trained Class XII Auditor (and Class XII Case Supervisor).
Photo Caption: The next three photos concern one man, working by himself under the “Church of Scientology Los Angeles” sign which faces Sunset Blvd. In the first photo, you get a glimpse of the gentleman as he earnestly works on tending to the sign. I took the second photo as I got closer to him.
Photo Caption: By the time I took the second photo and as I clicked away grabbing a few more pictures, I wondered how much longer it might take before the guy noticed
me. What I really wanted was a close-up of the Sea Org emblem on his t-shirt because I had trouble reading it as he worked crouched over. Below that emblem are the
words “PAC Base,” which means that this Scientologist is a Sea Member assigned to PAC Base.
In the past, a SG would stop any communication between a SO member and myself. Today, however, all communications lines were open. He politely asked me, “Why are you taking my picture?” I answered, “Because someone, somewhere, out there [with that, I motioned with my left hand to indicate a space or area outside of PAC Base] misses you.” My admiration for the guy skyrocketed when he replied, in all sincere honesty, “Good answer.”
As I’ve written before, because of Scientology’s toxic “disconnection” policy, maybe you know this man and haven’t seen him for days, weeks, months, years, or even decades. I’ve helped a Scientologist find the daughter who was forced to disconnect from her, and I’m -helping another Scientologist locate her son.
Photo Caption: I found a blank, Spanish-language IAS Membership Card on LRH Way. The front side reads: “International Association of Scientologists. IAS. Afiliado por seis meses gratis.” (Translation from Spanish: “Free member for six months.”) I fear not being able to aptly warn the world about Scientology because of language barriers; I might need to translate my reports into Spanish (or Russian) more often.
Photo Caption: This is the reverse side of the IAS Membership Card I found on LRH Way. It reads: “Las Metas De Scientology: ‘Una civilizacion sin demencia, sin criminals y sin guerra, donde el capaz pueda prosperar y los seres honestos puedan tener derechos, y en donde el hombre sea libre para elevarse a mayores alturas.’—L. Ron Hubbard. Nombre; Fecha de emision; Organizacion; Firma.” (Translation from Spanish: “The goals of Scientology : ‘A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.’ Name; Date of issue; Organization; Firm.”)
Photo Caption: While Scientology runs amok “clearing the planet” and “saving mankind” from extinction, they are not confronting one of a Body Router’s by-products: discarded “free” Personality Test and Dianetics Film tickets. What you see in these two photos represents trash produced by LA Org’s Body Routers; trash, that is, properly disposed. In the short time I circled PAC Base on this Thursday morning, I took photographs of fifty-nine pieces of Scientology’s trash not properly disposed of.