From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 3 - November 1991
Captain Bill Robertson
By Flemming Funch, USA
(Captain Bill died the 12th of May 1991).
There are few people who have been involved with auditing or with
Scientology who never heard of Captain Bill. He was one of those real
big names who always appeared at the forefront of what was going on.
Over the years he has been intimately involved with many different
parts of the subject in many different ways. He leaves behind a lot of
friends, and probably also a few opponents here and there.
I am happy to have been a friend of his for the last few years, I
wouldn't want to have missed that. Bill was a very colourful character
and there was always something going on where he was. Always thinking
and acting in a big manner, he wasn't the person to let details get in
Bill entered Scientology in the beginning of the `60s. He did the
Briefing Course on Saint Hill in 1965 and became a staff member there.
He went on to the Sea Organization when it was formed in `67 and was
intimately involved with many of its operations until `81. He became
very successful as a missionaire in many different areas. In Europe he
was probably best known for the year he was the Commanding Officer on
FOLO in Copenhagen. He was in very good favour with Hubbard because of
his continued ability to get things done against impossible odds. Over
a number of years he was captain on the flagship Apollo. LRH awarded
him the rank of Captain, the only person besides Mary Sue at the time
who got that title. He had the exclusive honor of being known widely
from then on as simply "Captain Bill".
The first time I personally saw Bill was in 1980 when I was the Qual
Sec in the Denmark Day org. Everybody in the org was very honored that
a VIP like Captain Bill was going to visit, so the whole place had to
be shiney and ready for a "white glove" inspection. We worked all day
to clean up, and my colleague from the evening shift and I had decided
to overhaul the whole office. We had everything turned upside down
when Bill arrived early for the tour and I was in the middle of
carrying out the trash. He just grinned and shook our hands, but we
were rather embarrassed.
The next year, in `81, his SP declare arrived in my in-basket. It said
that he and a bunch of other Sea Org notables were claiming to be
representatives from the Galactic Patrol professing to be on a mission
to save this planet. The issue was supposed to ridicule the idea, of
course. But, I thought: "Gee! Wow! The Galactic Patrol!?! Of course,
where do I join up"? It didn't say anything in the ethics order about
where to join, so I didn't think much about it before a couple of
I had in the meantime been declared myself and had sort of realized
that something was fishy with the old organization. Various materials
had started circulating, and some of the first materials we ran into
were some many-times copied "Sector Operations Bulletins" written by
Captain Bill. They put the big perspective into a lot of things, and
also provided the kind of revitalized game that many of us had been
looking for. Here was obviously a guy who was willing to do whatever
it took to straighten things out.
In late `83 I got an invitation to an "International OT Committee
Conference" with Bill and others in southern Spain. Without much
hesitation I went there with my family and several other friends from
Copenhagen. We were very impressed with Bill and with the game plan
that he presented at the meeting. And in good style the meeting wasn't
without adventure either. The church had sent in a guy under false
pretense to go crazy and disturb the meeting. The poor guy had hardly
started attacking and abusing one of the other speakers before Bill
shouted "HCO, bring order!" Most ex-staff members recognize this as a
signal to remove a disturbing person from the area. During the course
of about half a minute a bunch of the participants carried a kicking
and screaming RTC operative out and dumped him on the parking lot.
After which the meeting continued as before with hardly a comma
Bill moved from Spain to Germany in 1985 and started concentrating
more on tech. He felt it was needed for the independent field to have
a better quality of tech delivery. What started as a corrective action
gradually developed into a large scale research project to develop and
teach further advanced levels.
Bill developed a series of new advanced levels numbered from OT8 to
OT16 and beyond. he wrote an impressive amount of technical issues,
taped numerous technical briefings, and gave lectures of various
kinds. He also trained about 50 upper level C/Ses and was instrumental
in getting many new centers and delivery terminals started mostly
across Europe. In all this he was unswerving in his dedication to the
basics of Standard Tech and he continously gave LRH credit for making
it all possible.
I myself have had the pleasure on several occasions to spend a few
weeks with Bill doing advanced levels and C/S training courses. Bill
had a certain unique style of running the show. He would zip around on
his motorcycle between centers and students and would spend hours
personally with each student going over technical issues and C/Sing
I miss the many hours I've spent with Bill over a cup of coffee and a
cigarette going over technical points or matters of the world. Talking
with him was always a very rewarding experience and he would happily
go on until everything had been put in place. I have seen him on at
least one occasion when he was with his closest friends spend two
straight days talking non-stop.
I have seen people get the impression from Bill's writings that he
would be hardnosed and inflexible to deal with. No so at all. I have
several times arrived with a long list of challenges and disagreements
for him. To my surprise I found every time that he was willing to talk
about everything and that he already had given it a lot of thought and
had an answer ready. I must admit there are still important technical
points I differ with him on. However, I have never had any reason to
doubt his technical competence and dedication to the truth.
The last few years Bill was living quietly in his secluded mountain
home with his communicator and companion Maria Maloney. He
occasionally travelled around to deliver seminars, but otherwise
concentrated on training of C/Ses and on his music. Bill was an
accomplished musical composer. He had an impressive studio in his home
where he created music with his computer. He produced a total of 19
albums. My favorite is the one with an original tune for each of the
star systems in the old galactic confederation.
Maria will still be working as his communicator and will continue to
distribute his works, including the Sector 9 and Teegeeack books and
the many taped lectures.
Captain Bill will be sorely missed by the many people who knew him
well or who benefitted from his work. I hope he will continue pursuing
his ideals vigorously wherever he is.