This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on scientology. I used to report from the Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the so-called “church” of scientology’s West Coast headquarters, in Los Angeles. That is, until their Office of Special Affairs (“OSA”) “Fair Gamed” me. In other words, OSA did everything they could to (1) get me away from their facilities and (2) to shut me up; to shut me down. Today, I report from a relatively safe distance away, some 2,700 miles from Southern California. Before I left (some might say “fled”) Los Angeles, I visited scientology facilities so many times that I accumulated a backlog of blogs. Circumstances beyond my control—such as scientology’s (temporary) Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) against me, issued June 25, 2016—diverted my attention even as an OSA Operative (in my humble opinion) worked diligently to get me kicked out of the transitional home I had called “home” for nearly four years. Starting with Blog #182, I’m playing “catch up.”
This is Blog #183. This previously unpublished blog is a visit I made to PAC Base on March 17, 2016. It took place between two visits I’ve previously blogged about: “Happy Saint David Miscavige Day” (blogged on March 17, 2016), and “Scientology’s Celebrity Centered International” (blogged on March 19, 2016).
Are you one of the “Declared”? That is, has scientology declared you a “Suppressive Person” (“SP”), an enemy of their church? Or are you one of the “Disconnected”? That is, have you been forced to disconnect, scientology’s toxic practice of cutting all ties with an SP forever? Is that SP your mother? father? child? loved one? friend? co-worker? boss? The purpose of this blog is to one day reunite or reconnect the disconnected and declared.
This might be called a “scrapbook” of sorts; not just for myself but, perhaps, for the Sea Org (“SO”) member or public scientologist who manages to escape scientology. The events captured here digitally may not represent current events. Sea Org members so photographed, however, although perhaps not there today, will most likely be at PAC Base tomorrow (unless they’re transferred to a different location). SO members, after all, have signed a Billion Year contract, and pubic scientologists have signed up for the duration.
I joined the Sea Org as a Recruit twice: the first time occurred in the fall of 1977, during the very first, the initial renovation of the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, located on Berendo Street (now L. Ron Hubbard Way), between Fountain Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, in Los Angeles. I spent twenty-one months on the Estates Project Force (“EPF”); at one point, we were two-hundred strong. My study program included:
- Introduction to the Sea Org Course;
- Welcome to the Sea Org Tapes;
- Introduction to Scientology Ethics Course;
- Student Hat;
- Volume Zero of the Organization Executive Course (“OEC”).
I remember my Course Supervisor well: the curvaceous, blond-haired and bespectacled Penny Valenti who would later join the American Saint Hill Organization (“ASHO”) Foundation (she reminded me of actress Barbara Eden, known for her starring role in the mid-1960’s American television show, I Dream of Jeannie). In the late 1970’s, recorded lectures by L. Ron Hubbard (“LRH”) were on reel-to-reel tapes; few, if any, transcripts were available.
Before a Sea Org member can be posted for the very first time, he or she must graduate Product Zero (“Prod 0”). Per Flag Order (“FO”) 3155RA, the training line up for Prod 0 includes the aforementioned courses (although an Introduction to Study Tech meant the Mini Student Hat or Basic Study Manual, not the full Student Hat, which is the course that I did). I also did the Potential Trouble Source and Suppressive Person (“PTS/SP”) Course. With that line up, I would never have been able to complete Prod 0 in the maximum time allowed (two weeks).
When ASHO Day’s Recruiter Linda Thompson (I believe that’s her name) signed me up for the Sea Org in 1977, her presentation, complete with a photo album of ships including The Apollo, led me to believe that the SO still sailed the seven seas. After arriving in Los Angeles from Salt Lake City and being shuttled to what would soon become PAC Base, I had little time to wonder why the Sea Org had become land-locked (and enclosed by barbed wire fences, with the barbed part facing in, so as to keep us from getting out).
In tape transcript 6910C15 (entitled, “The Quality of the Sea Org and What is a Seaman,” of the Welcome to the Sea Org tapes, a lecture given by LRH on October 15, 1969), we get a glimpse of LRH’s vision for his flotilla.
In order to have a ship. LRH reasons, you have to have a crew; without one, the ship won’t be yours for long. Okay, I understand that, but the Sea Org is no longer on ships. SO members, even today, believe that they have to “keep putting the ship there,” that LA Org, ASHO and AOLA are all floating cities or platforms; that each org has got to be kept shipshape. With scientology’s disgust for mankind in general, it’s not hard to see that from a SO member’s perspective, “wog” society—the world around any scientology facility anywhere on Planet Earth—is “Old Man Sea,” a disaster just waiting to happen, especially at the hands of an untrained Sea Org member.
Have you ever noticed that SO members rarely smile? The SO operates on the idea that while they’re often times in calm water, waves sometimes kick up. An untrained staff member is a careless crew member, and life on the open sea can easily turn into a tempest. Do you see the image that’s being painted here? That life for a SO member is “sink or swim”; that it’s “do or die.”
A scientologist is a rigidly focused individual, bent on “clearing” the planet. A scientologist is, in more ways than one, living in a bubble world with the understanding that everything (and LRH means everything) outside that protected environment is chaos. A protester at PAC Base, waving a sign is, to a SO member, weather kicking up. When two protesters show up on LRH Way, that’s when the ship starts to toss and turn; man, those waves really start to move. Protesters to PAC Base Security is bilge water sloshing with ferocity; a protester carrying a “Call Me” sign risks Big Blue going to pieces. A “Call Me” sign is the chaotic world outside of scientology bringing order into what LRH wants a scientologist to see: complete and utter chaos. Just a single wave in that ocean—a scientologist reading a “Call Me” sign—can, in the mind of a SO executive, the PAC Base Security Chief or a grunt at OSA—become a horrible crash.
A protest at PAC Base is a storm to scientology, and can become a total catastrophe if not properly handled. A protest at PAC Base is, in the mind of a SO member, a departure from what LRH says is “reality.” A SO member is trained to adopt an operating attitude. So, when a PAC Security Guard sees a protester, the guard automatically thinks, “What is the consequence of this matter?” That’s when security calls in OSA, an organization designed to remove distractions from the environment. OSA sees a protester as a dirty rag plugging the ship’s bilge line. Solution? Get that rag out of there!
A Sea Org Organization, whether it be ASHO, Flag or the International Base in Hemet, operates on the going word that if they’re going to survive, “nobody must let the team down.” This is much more than just survival; this is serious! With the goals of scientology at stake (protect the “technology” of scientology; clear the planet; get “ethics in” on the society), the stakes are high: the wog world is Old Man Sea, the hungriest fellow you ever did see. A Sea Org “ship” that sinks becomes another statistic for the dead men in Davy Jones’s locker. How very gruesome life must be to a Sea Org member! It’s no surprise that a SO member’s request for time away to attend a family event becomes an instant threat to the very survival of an org, a potential hole in the ship, and, often times, simply can’t be allowed.
The standards by which a SO member is held are astronomical. The Sea Org needs permanent shore leave now.
Photo #1 Caption: Two SO members walk along the east side of LRH Way. Sunset Boulevard is behind them; ahead of them is the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (“AOLA”). To the left and off camera is the Los Angeles Organization (“LA Org”).
Photo #2 Caption: Two Sea Org members, engaged in a conversation, stroll past ASHO. They walk in a southerly direction on LRH Way; ahead of them: the Pacific Grill & Barbecue (“PGB”).
Photo #3 Caption: Sea Org members converse at the front steps of ASHO on LRH Way. The well-dressed SO member facing the camera may be named Lawrence; I can barely make out the words, “Central Files Officer” on his name tag. The person he is talking to is a PAC Security Guard straddling a bicycle. His shoulder patch proclaims: “Private Security,” and “PAC Security.”
Photo #4 Caption: A SO member walks in a northerly direction on LRH Way; AOLA is to the left. Behind him is Fountain Avenue and, on the other side of that street, is The Fountain, a residence for out-of-town scientologists who have traveled to PAC Base for training and/or processing. This picture did not catch this young man with his mouth open: this is how he presents himself to the world. The white van, turning left onto Fountain Ave., is most likely owned by scientology, and shuttles SO members to and from various scientology orgs, including Scientology Media Productions (“SMP”). SMP, incidentally, is about ten blocks away from PAC Base.
Photo #5 Caption: In this photo, we see a SO member sitting at a table at PBG (“Music Every Day at Dinner,” their outdoor menu proclaims), sometimes referred to as “the Canteen,” enjoying a sandwich and beverage. In 1980, I served in the SO, on the Estates Project Force (“EPF”), at ASHO Day; the female SO member (the person sitting on the left) used to be, I believe, on staff at ASHO Foundation (and may still be). Here, she may be enjoying a PGB “Classic”: 1/3rd lb. grilled organic beef, brioche bun, tomato, lettuce pickles, $6.00. Have it your way!
Photo #6 Caption: Here’s a parking lot, primarily for SO members, on the east side of Catalina St., across the street from the horseshoe-shaped entrance to PAC Base (an entrance limited to SO members or their guests). The wall outside the parking lot is newly-painted (the color of blue, of course; the “Big Blue” lives up to its name). As I approached this location, I saw a handful of EPFers working in the area. A PAC Security Guard, however, alerted them to my presence, and soon, they high-tailed it out of there.
Photo #7 Caption: As mentioned in the last photo, EPFers fled when I arrived, but not before I snapped this photo of a handsome, Tom Cruise look-alike. Attention, Central Casting!
Photo #8 Caption: For a while, PAC Security Guard Jason True and I played “cat-and-mouse”: every time I tried to take his photo, he hid behind something. In this photo, taken along Catalina St., we see a PAC Base Security Dog on a leash—but no Jason. The black containers, incidentally, originally held the newly-planted trees.
Photo #9 Caption: Finally, PAC Security Guard Jason True!
Photo #10 Caption: For a while, I stood on Sunset Blvd., between LRH Way (to my left) and Catalina St. (to my right), snapping multiple photos of a group of SO member outside an entrance to LA Org. Here they pose and smile big for the camera.
Photo #11 Caption: Here, a SO member (as mentioned in the last photo) waves at the camera. Behind her and to the left, exiting LA Org, is a non-scientologist on a tour of that facility. I saw him earlier that day (see Blog #182, photo #14). Here, he still carries a “free” ticket for an Oxford Capacity Analysis (“OCA”) Personality Test, which means that by the time I took this photo, he had not yet been subject to that test (otherwise, he would have an OCA Packet in his hand). This also means that he has not yet surrendered his name, address, phone number and email address to the person escorting him on this tour. Careful, citizen! The cult of scientology will take you for everything you have, including the shirt off your back.
Photo #12 Caption: I captured these two people deep in conversation outside AOLA. The male SO member stands at the northeast corner of Fountain Avenue and LRH Way. The woman is most likely a public scientologist, perhaps visiting from another state. As the light changed, they embraced each other and departed.
Photo #13 Caption: In this photo taken along Fountain Ave., seated in a shady area between LRH Way and Catalina St., we find a male SO member and a public scientologist. They are on the Survival Rundown: he’s the “coach” (notice that he’s holding the traditional white clipboard and blue pen) and she’s the “student” or Pre-Clear (“PC”).
Photo #14 Caption: Spotted in the background of the last picture are these SO members. It’s lunch time and they’re enjoying some quiet time in the shade along Fountain Avenue (he’s also mid-cigarette). Behind them are the front steps to the Main Building.
Photo #15 Caption: As ex-scientologists Phil and Willie Jones might say to their adult children, Emily and Mike, still trapped in the Sea Org: “To my loved one in scientology… call me.”
(Copyright, John Church Co.)
Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,
From His lighthouse evermore;
But to us He gives the keeping
Of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seamen
You may rescue, you may save.
Dark the night of sin has settled,
Loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing,
For the lights along the shore.
Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
Some poor sailor tempest tost,
Trying new to make the harbor,
In the darkness may be lost. 
All images (unless noted otherwise) © 2015—2017 Fred G. Haseney. All rights reserved.
 “Lower Lights.” A Prayer Book for the Public and Private Use of Our Soldiers and Sailors (Philadelphia, Bishop White Prayer Book Society, 1917), page 176.