This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on scientology. Today, I’m reporting from the Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the so-called “church” of scientology’s West Coast headquarters, located on L. Ron Hubbard Way (“LRH Way”). I went to PAC Base to conduct an experiment suggested by a fellow Bunkerite at Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker (“Tonight, Cathy Schenkelberg takes her Scientology cans to the Hollywood Fringe,” June 10, 2016).
The plan involved making a small set of index cards with a few lines from the beginning of Operating Thetan (“OT”) Level III material written on them.
In 1980, former scientologist Larry Wollersheim sued scientology; at the court trial, exhibits that detailed OT III were introduced as exhibits. As a result, scientology’s tales of a Galactic Confederation Overlord named Xenu and alien invasions of long, long ago entered the public domain. As explained in HBO’s award-winning documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief:
“When you get to the upper levels of Scientology, the creation myth is explained to you. The story is that 75 million years ago, people lived in a world very much like the world of America in the 1950s. People, at that particular time and space, were walking around in clothes which looked very remarkably like the clothes they wear in this very minute. And the cars they drove looked exactly the same, and they walked down streets that looked like these streets. It was a very similar world and similar problems, one of which was overpopulation.
“They had elected a fellow by the name of Xenu to the supreme ruler. There was a tyrannical overlord of the galactic confederacy named Xenu. In order to resolve this problem of overpopulation, he called people in, ostensibly for tax audits, and had them frozen with injections of glycol to their heart. Boxed them up in boxes, threw ’em into space planes–DC-8 airplane is the exact copy of the space plane of that day. They were flown to the prison planet, Teegeeack–it’s actually the planet Earth– and these frozen bodies were then dropped into volcanoes.”
If you’ve seen recent videos that I’ve taken of PAC Base, you’ll know that when I’ve shown up at there for any reason, so does Sea Org (“SO”) PAC Security Guard Odo G. Huber, with Everio (his camcorder). Odo says nothing; all he does is film me.
When I returned to PAC Base in order to conduct this experiment, however, I didn’t carry a protest sign. Instead, I brought a Sony camera hung from my neck and a backpack; strapped to the backpack: a mini-camcorder.
00:01: Here I’m walking eastward along Sunset Blvd., as I normally do, on an approach to LRH Way. To my right, and off-camera, I notice a SG on a bicycle radio in to his headquarters the fact that I’ve arrived.
00:19: Through an MP3 Player, I’m listening to extended versions of music from the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, music that’s loud enough to drown out almost anything anyone says to me. Such a tool is most effective when I encounter scientologists antagonistic to life outside of scientology’s bubble world. Here, I’m approaching LRH Way. Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center is to my left (it’s to that side of Sunset Blvd. that protesters were banished during scientology’s recent “Flag World Tour” event). In front of me is a sign that reads: “Church of scientology of Los Angeles. Take your free Personality Test.” The street sign reads: “1400 L. Ron Hubbard Way.”
00:32: I’m now walking south along LRH Way. Ahead of me and to my right, is the Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”).
00:41: Ahead of me is a SG and a SO member, who had been walking north along LRH Way, in my direction. Soon, following a short conversation with the SG, the SO member will double back and avoid me. You may notice my arm; perhaps I’ve adjusted the camera around my neck. The mini-camcorder, incidentally, is firmly attached to the left shoulder strap of my backpack, so you’re seeing the world as would Four Feet Thirteen, scientology’s fearless dictator, David “Let Him Die” Miscavige.
00:54: As I approach the SG and SO member, they leave. Notice how quiet and devoid of people the neighborhood is. This small stretch of road sits in the middle of a booming metropolis which is home to millions of people. Where are they?
01:14: The female SO member is met by another person and enters LA Org.
01:18: Notice the street sign which reads: “No parking any time.” On the right is a sign that marks an entrance to LA Org.
01:38: Here you’ll notice my arms as I retrieving my camera. Why? Because PAC Security Guard Odo has arrived, exactly on schedule. You might not be able to see him in the video.
01:54: Here I raise my camera and begin taking pictures of Odo, marking his approach.
Photo Caption: Like clockwork, PAC Security Guard Odo G. Huber exits Lebanon Hall (off-camera), and walks along LRH Way toward me. In this composite of four consecutive pictures, note his complete determination and focus is only on me. Notice Everio, his JVC camcorder; it’s in his right hand and strapped to his wrist.
Photo Caption: I have stopped at this location on purpose. Since this is not a formal protest, and only a test, I decided not to stand outside the Pacific Grill & Barbecue (“PGB”), or across the street from the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”), located at 1306 LRH Way. I didn’t want to be in a public area; the people you see in these composite photos are at PGB or coming and going from the American Saint Hill Organization (“ASHO”), located at 1413 LRH Way. In this composite, notice the last picture as Odo offers me a smile. With that, he’ll raise his camera and will begin filming me.
02:35: Here I stop taking pictures and put my camera away as Odo approaches.
02:45: Odo arrives, raises his camera and begins filming me.
02:46: I raise the first index card on which I’ve written the first sentence from OT III. Now we begin a most unique dance. Odo no longer wants to shoot film of me; instead, he wants to avoid filming the index cards, which I flash for a moment before proceeding to the next card. Odo moves here, then there, toward me, away from me, close-up on the cards, anything to avoid capturing a message of material once secret but now widely available courtesy public domain.
02:50: Here I notice a change in Odo’s demeanor, as if he’s challenged, amused or even impressed by my actions.
02:57: As a small plane flies overhead, Odo darts to the left in an attempt to not let me flash the next index card at his camera. Next, as a plane would move to one side in order to avoid hitting a bird, Odo’s camera descends. With each step, however, I’m with him. It’s a perfect tango; a dance of the intellect.
03:11: Amused by the activity, I begin chuckling. “You know what this is,” I state, referring to the index cards. I laugh and declare, “This is f*cking great!” Then I say, “Odo, you’re like… you’re a gem. You’re… you’re ‘Bunker’ material extraordinaire! You really are!” Between our rapid arm movements, do I detect a smile from Odo?
03:29: Flustered by the festivities, I drop an index card. “Aw,” I say, “darn, I dropped card #7.” I retrieve it, adding, “That was already done. Okay. Here’s #8. Or is it #9?”
03:46: I ask Odo, “Last one?”
03:52: I say, “And now, for Xenu!”
03:56: I tell Odo, “Thank you.” My mission is complete. As I return the way I came, Odo continues to follow me, filming me instead of the index cards, as I’ve put them away. I say, “Bye,” adding, “did you notice how I got you to come to me?”
04:09: As I turn the mini-camcorder off, I say “Thank you” to Odo again. (End of video.)
All images (unless noted otherwise) © 2015—2016 Fred G. Haseney. All rights reserved.