This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on scientology. At lunch time, on May 11, 2016, I conducted a tour of the Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the so-called “church” of scientology’s West Coast headquarters, in Los Angeles. As a result, I learned that an event is being planned along L. Ron Hubbard Way (“LRH Way”). In addition, security at PAC Base has tightened up even more (at least for me, that is). In today’s lead photo, that’s Otto “Odo” Huber, who I believe is head of PAC Base Security. I took that photo of Otto as he straddled a bicycle behind a gate just north of the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”).
Photo Caption: The scientology sign at the northwest corner of Sunset Blvd. and LRH Way reads: “Open House—All are Welcome,” and, in Spanish: “Casa Abierta—Todos son Bienvenidos.” I don’t think so!
Photo Caption: After this Sea Org (“SO”) Security Guard (“SG”) called into his office that I’ve arrived on LRH Way, I wave at him. He waves back and becomes my escort as I walk south. The SG followed me, on bike, only as far south as the American Saint Hill Organization (“ASHO”).
Photo Caption: Three brand new SO members wash the front windows of Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”). New SO members first work on the Estates Project Force (“EPF”) before they’re posted to an org (that is, given a job, something to pass away the next billion years). Did someone warn these EPFers of my arrival? Because they soon packed up their cleaning supplies and scrammed, much like every other group of EPFers I’ve encountered. Perhaps the guy wearing the baseball cap, walking innocently south along the sidewalk, spoke to them. It’s been brought to my attention that in a photo I posted in an earlier blog, I captured a plain clothes OSA operative. The guy in this photo may be such an undercover agent.
Photo Caption: As I approached ASHO, I noticed event equipment on the road. I checked LA Org’s event calendar, but didn’t find an event big enough to warrant such equipment. Twenty minutes later, a truck arrived on Catalina St., its bed loaded with rental equipment.
Photo Caption: Here’s more event equipment on LRH Way. To the left is either a public scientologist or SO member ascending a set of stairs from either ASHO or LA Org to the sidewalk.
Photo Caption: I found more event equipment the closer I got to the Fountain Ave. end of LRH Way. As I approached AOLA (infamous for two recent lockdowns, the result of “call me” drive-bys), I found tighter security.
Photo Caption: To the right, you can see half of a stage that’s been set up on the grassy area between the sidewalk and the ramp between the Main Bldg. and ASHO. In the center of the picture is a stand to provide overhead lighting. To the left of the stage are extra tables and chairs.
Photo Caption: A frame has been erected over the Pacific Grill & Barbecue. The Main Bldg. sits behind those enjoying a meal or a cup of coffee. The last time an event this big took place, with little or no notice, happened, I believe, when “The Fountain” and “The Bronson” opened, apartment homes for out-of-town scientologists and staff members visiting Los Angeles for training and auditing (spiritual counseling). I suspect that PAC Base may be gearing to open, under secrecy and stealth, Scientology Media Productions (“SMP”), located at 4401 Sunset Blvd. If not, then Tory Magoo may be right: perhaps we’ve shamed scientology into throwing a birthday bash for its little sister, dianetics. Oh, one thing about dianetics. I walked by a gaggle of Body Routers (“BRs”) at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Vermont Ave., where at least two, if not three new BRs were being hatted by seasoned BR professionals. In the hands of three BRs were plenty of “free” Personality Test tickets, but only a smidgen of “free” dianetics film tickets. Those red dianetics tickets were notably missing, as if dianetics is finally being weaned off scientology’s teats.
Photo Caption: More overhead lighting has been setup across the street from the Pacific Grill. Behind the car in the foreground, further down LRH Way and closer to Fountain Ave., a rental truck has been unloaded and more event equipment sits on the street waiting for SO and EPFers to haul it away. Note that male EPFers handled the laborious while while female EPFers washed LA Org’s windows.
Photo Caption: Lighting, beautiful lighting! In the background, to the left, is the Main Bldg; to the right, Lebanon Hall.
Photo Caption: More lighting still. Deck the LRH halls with boughs of folly, Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha. Tis the reason for us to be jolly, Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha.
Photo Caption: More event equipment, like a giant erector set, awaits setup.
Photo Caption: When I arrived at the AOLA end of LRH Way, the earlier SG who had been my escort was replaced by Otto. From the east side of the street, I shot this photo of a mixture of scientologists, both public and SO, at Pacific Grill. The last few pictures, in fact, were taken with Otto standing right behind me, as close as he could get, so he could peek into the view finder of my Sony camera. He’s never gotten this close to me before. I didn’t even know that he had been doing this until I backed up, and the backpack I had over my shoulders bumped into him. Talk about what the Angry Gay Pope (“AGP”) might call a “close call”! It’s my understanding that Otto had, perhaps, enticed or invited AGP to dance with him, so-to-speak, and now AGP is unable to visit LRH Way for three years. “Otto,” I declared, “since you don’t have the Angry Gay Pope to play with, I hope you’re not thinking of replacing him with me. If that is your thought, then all the responsibility for your actions will fall on your shoulders.” I didn’t, however, hear his response. It’s part of my job as Photojournalist in or around PAC Base to always wear headphones and listen to the likes of Billy Idol, Def Leppard, Madonna and Muse as loudly as possible so as to drown out scientology Security Guard dribble.
Photo Caption: This is Security Guard Otto Huber, in full security gear, ready to defend the Operating Thetan (“OT”) Levels from all attacks. In the distance, wearing dark blue pants and light blue shirts, are the male EPFers who had been unloading event equipment from a truck moments before. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present scientology’s “future”! Only after I got home and processed today’s photos did I realize that I can no longer consider Otto my friend. Just look at his eyes in both pictures. He has the look of a hunter. Only your post’s statistic says that I’m your enemy, Otto. Step aside, leave the SO, and be my friend.
Photo Caption: I shot this photo from the south end of LRH Way. AOLA is to my right; a security camera can be seen over the sidewalk but, other than that, this scene could be in the middle of an English countryside, far from the maddening crowd of scientology. Notice the tall, young woman in the picture, because she’s noticed me. She’s thinking to herself, perhaps, there’s that man taking photos of us again. I wonder who he is? Why is he doing this? Do you, reader, recognize her? Perhaps she’s your daughter, wife, ex-wife, granddaughter, niece, ex-boss or coworker who left you for scientology. “Disconnection,” in scientology terms, is divorce to the extreme.
Photo Caption: Do you recognize any of the staff sitting outside the west side of Lebanon Hall, overlooking Catalina St. and having a smoke?
Photo Caption: Behind this group of Sea Org members are a set of stairs that lead up to the west entrance to Lebanon Hall. The sidewalk on which they stand leads to Catalina St. I’ve taken this photo from across the street just as the smiling guy on the right has noticed me. A message to the SO member on the left, dressed in blue with dark hair: you’re too young to smoke.
Photo Caption: Mmm, an after-lunch cigarette and a cup of coffee. Yum! Hey, this guy’s too good-looking to smoke, too. Don’t light that! (In 1998, as I sat at an outdoor cafe enjoying a cup of coffee and a cigarette, I noticed a bus as it pulled up to a bus stop. The door opened, and a little man in his eighties got off the bus and made a beeline to my table, where he declared, “You’re too good-looking to smoke,” and left. I’ll never forget that selfless statement. I’ve been cigarette-free for sixteen of the seventeen years since that encounter.)
Photo Caption: There’s a Flag Land Base truck in the parking lot behind ASHO and LA Org (notice a SG bicycling by). Perhaps the Flag World Tour has rolled into town.
As I walked north along Catalina St., winding down from today’s festivities, I happened upon a young woman who must live in the neighborhood, walking her dog. I saw her and her pet recently when Phil and Willie arrived to celebrate dianetics 66th birthday with a number of “call me” drive-bys that kept scientology dancing in their boots for most of the day. So, I greeted the woman and she remembered me (as I had attempted the last time I saw her to give her a “call me” handout). Today, I told her that I had been in scientology for 37-years, two of those in the Sea Org, and how I now oppose what they’re doing and report about it online. Then, Otto bicycled up to join us. The woman said “You two must know each other.” Otto smiled. I replied, “Yes, Otto knows my name and that I used to be in his church, but he probably knows me more for my ‘notoriety.'” As Otto continued to smile (what more could you expect a Sea Org Security Guard to do in such mixed company), I closed with this: “You are my friend, and will always be my friend, Otto, but I’m not happy with the lies and rumors your department has circulated about me.”
All images (unless noted otherwise) © 2015—2016 Fred G. Haseney. All rights reserved.