This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on scientology. For today’s blog, I toured the Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the so-called “church” of scientology’s West Coast headquarters, in Los Angeles.
Because of Tony Ortega’s blog for today (“When Anonymous had Scientology in a panic: A new document has us nostalgic for 2008“), I went to Scientology Media Productions (“SMP”), located at 4401 Sunset Blvd., in Los Angeles. The Underground Bunker said that they were still looking for confirmation that SMP had already opened, but only because it had apparently been conducted under a cloud of secrecy. Even though I had gone to SMP to see if it had opened earlier in the week (and it hadn’t), I decided to check it out again. Recently, I spoke to a Sea Org member after she got off a SO bus at SMP, who said that no date had yet been set for the grand opening. I even called ASHO, but they didn’t know when the grand opening would be either. Walking over to SMP would be good exercise, I reasoned. Sure, I’d be walking by, or through PAC Base, but nobody in scientology would bother me at that hour.
I have, for those who don’t yet know, been “Fair Gamed” by scientology. The church of scientology can’t stand critics or people who question what they’re doing. In August 2014, after thirty-seven years, I left scientology for good. But when I began to question their motives and speak out publicly against them, they turned on me. Since then, I’ve been followed. Yesterday, I blocked someone on Facebook who most likely is a scientology “plant,” or spy, and definitely not my friend. Last weekend, scientology called the police on me as I walked around PAC Base taking photographs, which I’ve been doing for about the past year and without incident. Calling the police on me probably has something to do with a little sign that reads, “To my loved one in scientology… call me,” courtesy ex-scientologists Phil and Willie Jones. A few days ago, Janet Weiland, a senior official with scientology (who most likely works for their clandestine operation, the Office of Special Affairs, or “OSA”), tried to pressure the people who own the property where I live to do something about me; she may have even tried to get me kicked out.
There were no Sea Org (“SO”) Security Guards (“SG”) to be found, which isn’t surprising since I arrived at 7:15 AM. At that hour of the morning, public scientologists are nowhere to be found. The few stragglers I found are a few SO members getting up early as others arrive from berthing off PAC Base.
Photo Caption: I arrived at PAC Base almost two hours before the organizations (“orgs”) would be open, and found a parking lot nearly empty, except for a truck. For this picture, I’m standing on L. Ron Hubbard Way (“LRH Way”), near Sunset Blvd. (which is off-camera and behind me). The building behind the truck is the Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”); the buildings in the background face Catalina St. The sign on the truck reads: “Bielski Specialty Services • License # 775499 • License # 53180 • 800-243-5751 • 714-630-2316 • Water Proofing • Sealants • Caulking • Efflorescence Removal • Pain Removal (it should read “Paint Removal”) • Historical & New Masonry Cleaning.”
Photo Caption: I’m standing in the middle of LRH Way, looking south with Sunset Blvd. behind me and Fountain Ave. dead ahead. LA Org is to the right. Workmen are fixing cracks found in the front of the American Saint Hill Organization (“ASHO”), located at 1413 LRH Way, just south of LA Org.
Photo Caption: Now we get a better view of the work being done on ASHO. It’s only 7:15 AM, but the work involves making a considerable amount of noise as they’re using water hoses. I’m sure that scientology and the contractor are following the law as regards when construction can be done in a residential neighborhood, yet I thought the law said that such work can’t be done before 8:00 AM. I could be wrong about that.
Photo Caption: A worker hammers away at a crack in the building.
Photo Caption: A worker wearing a yellow vest applies a high-pressure water hose above ASHO’s sign.
Photo Caption: In this photo, you can see the extent of the work that’s been done so far.
Photo Caption: Behind the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”), located at 1306 LRH Way, is the “Continental Liaison Office (“CLO”) Western United States.” I believe this is Janet Weiland’s address (1308 LRH Way). I photographed the directory from LRH Way, and it reads:
First Floor: CLO Reception • Flag Service Organization Consultant Office • Flag Ship Service Organization Consultant Office • Scientology Missions International (SMI) • World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) • Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) • International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors (I-HELP) • Membership Office • Planetary Dissemination Unit.
Second Floor: Commodore’s Messenger Organization PAC • LRH Comm WUS (“Comm” stands for “Communicator”; “WUS” stands for “Western United States”) • Senior HCO & Senior Qual WUS (“HCO” stands for “Hubbard Communication Office”; “Qual” stands for “Qualifications”) • FLO Representative WUS (“FLO” stands for “Flag Liaison Office”) • Finance Office WUS • Gold Sales and Service Representative Office WUS • Office of Special Affairs WUS • Office of Special Affairs PAC (Hi, Janet!)
Basement Floor: Commanding Officer CLO WUS • CLO WUS Offices • CLO WUS Event Unit • Flag Operation Liaison Offices & Executives.
Photo Caption: All the signs that proclaim “Scientology Media Productions” remain covered.
Photo Caption: This is a shot of the front gate at SMP that I took on May 1, 2016. Nothing happening here, folks, move on.
Photo Caption: At SMP’s front gate, a guard dog appears to be well-rested and even somewhat bored. “Suppressive Person?” the dog may be thinking to himself as he looks at me. Yawn!
Photo Caption: This is a close-up of the black cloth draped over the original white cloth covering a sign at SMP. Notice the metal bar inserted into the bottom of the white cloth in order to anchor it during heavy winds.
When I left SMP, I returned home via LRH Way. There, I met a guy (I’ll call him “Alan”) taking photographs of the work that had been done that morning on the front of ASHO. I asked Alan if he knew anything about the work being done and what it’s for. He told me all about the work, and he appears to be the crew’s supervisor. Basically, they’re fixing the front of the building because cracks have formed. Age and rain have taken their toll on a structure originally built in, if I’m not mistaken, the early 1950’s. Either during inspection before the work or as the work proceeded, caulk had been found in the cracks, which will have to be removed. Caulk had been inserted by earlier workers, perhaps SO members, and then painted over, but caulk does not always solve such problems. Once their work is done, new paint will be applied.
I decided to talk to Alan about scientology. My hopes are that his business will never work for scientology again or, at the very least, he’ll never fall personally for their con.
We talked at length about scientology and I educated Alan on the substandard living conditions that SO members sometimes suffer. We talked about their pay; living conditions; their work schedule; and their diet (or, at times, lack thereof). I let him know how long I had been a member of scientology; how much I got paid ($12.50 a week, if I got paid at all; sometimes, I think, there were half-rations) as a Sea Org member in 1977 (as a new Sea Org member in the Estates Project Force, or “EPF”). I also explained how a scientologist thinks, especially a Sea Org member, letting him know that not only do scientologists consider themselves the “experts” on everything in the world, but that they also consider themselves to be superior than anyone else; that people like Alan and I are often considered “stupid: and “pond scum” by them. I also warned him to never give anyone in scientology his name, address, email address and telephone number, and to never walk into a scientology org with any interest in what they are doing. I also told him that if you’re in the SO and make a mistake, you could be sent to the Rehabilitation Force (“RPF”) for “correction.” I told him about the horror of the RPF that I had seen from the outside, and the fact that they can’t look you in the eyes, that they can’t to you, and they have run everywhere they go. I added that they sometimes work a lot and may get, if they’re lucky, rice and beans for meals. Alan looked quite surprised when I said that I’ve heard of on RPFer being given a toothbrush and forced to clean a dumpster.
Alan went on to say that a Sea Org member named Ken, who lives in Lebanon Hall (Alan even pointed out the building to me), really wanted Alan to check out a book about scientology. I think Ken even offered to take Alan on a tour of the facility. After my warnings, Alan took heed, even adding that he’d have a little fun with Ken by playing along with him, but not falling for his game.
Alan and I also talked about Ron Miscavige’s new book, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me, an expose scientology and his own son, the leader of scientology, David “Let Him Die” Miscavige. When he told me about Ken and his interest in showing Alan that book, Alan said that Ken had done all that that very morning, even before 7:00 AM! I said to Alan, “What do these die-ard Sea Org members do? Roll out of bed, dreaming up ways of fooling people?” We had a good laugh with that. Ken had even told Alan that scientology has courses to help him run his business better. As if, I thought, Alan might not be doing a great job all on his own?
All images (unless noted otherwise) © 2015—2016 Fred G. Haseney. All rights reserved.