The following message was first sent to the list ivy-subscribers,
a private Internet list available to all who subscribed to the
(on paper) clearing tech magazine, International Viewpoints.
(see http://www.ivymag.org/ or write the editor: email@example.com)
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 00:30:01 EST
Subject: IVySubs: The Sea Org and its ex's
** ivy-subscribers relaying **
Back around March of 1966, one of the major valences operating under the
flag called Phil Spickler was working on the Clearing Course at St. Hill,
located in merrie olde England. Anyway, this valence, that would swear on a
stack of the Pali Canons, or even Judaic-Christian Bibles, or even the Koran
(trying here to be as inclusive as possible) that he was the one and only
true Phil Spickler, did attain the desired result of the Clearing Course and
was now, and perhaps forever, Clear, or possibly even ceased to exist.
Some weeks (not very many) after that, the body called Phil Spickler was
now located back in a small but lovely suburb of Detroit, Michigan, where it
was very busy bringing into existence, with lots of help from my friends,
what was in those days called a Scientology Franchise. But because
franchises, at least in the U.S. of A., were always connected with business
enterprises and not churches, I chose to have my beautiful operation called a
Mission, a Mission of the Church of Scientology. Having done this on my own
determinism, figuring that it would bring a joyous smile of understanding and
acknowledgment to the face of L. Ron Hubbard, who I felt would trust me to do
the right thing to further enhance the public image of the few churches of
Scientology that existed at that time, I was somewhat surprised a few months
later to find that I was in a whole lot of trouble for having done that.
But that's another long tragicomic story for another time, since at this
moment we're going to be talking about the Sea Organization, often shortened
to Sea Org.
Some time in that spring of 1966, I do believe, I got what appeared to be
a personal letter from L. Ron Hubbard, stating that he had had an idea which
he thought would appeal to Clears and OT-type people, which was to start a
group that would use seagoing vessels to both establish an international
Scientology center, as well as bring Scientology by sea to a fair amount of
the peoples of Earth, and also provide a high-toned spirit-of-play game and
adventure for Clear and OT-type people, and would I (me, Phil that is) be
interested in being part of such a game to bring the best of Scientology to
the world at large?
Well, I must say, it sure sounded appealing, and sounded like it was
going to be a light-hearted, fun-filled, high-toned chance to play a bigger
game. At that time, another valence or identity that was certain it was the
one, true, and only Phil Spickler was quite a sailboat-sailing enthusiast,
and was dickering with one of the larger sailboat manufacturing companies to
see if they'd like me and a few other hardy sailors to take one of their
46-foot sailboats safely through an Atlantic Ocean spawned hurricane. But
that's another story.
Mainly, I had just opened my lovely Scientology Mission, and with the
help of Ruth Minshull and others was reaping the tremendous rewards and
pleasures of having a dream come true. By 1968, after having completed the
Class VIII Course at the Advanced Organization in Los Angeles, and going back
to work at the American St. Hill Organization in the same town, I had quite a
bit of information about the Sea Organization, the people in it, and the
interesting and amazing changes that had come over L. Ron Hubbard as he
drifted, so to speak, into the valence of The Commodore.
There was a lot of information in the form of auditing folders of people
aboard the Flagship, with Ron acting as the Case Supervisor, plus I was
encountering in the L.A. area a fair number of people that I had known in
Scientology before the founding of the Sea Organization who had, in the two
years from '66' to '68, joined up, and some of them were now able and willing
to communicate about the experience.
I soon reached the following conclusion: that Ron had gone out of valence
in a big way, or perhaps it would be better to say he went INTO valence in a
bad way. At this point I'd like to add some information about what can and
often does happen to folks when they find themselves commanding some kind of
a floating vessel, whether it be as humble as a rowboat or all the way up to
a super battleship, or on a smaller scale a corvette. In its humorous form,
it's a Sunday sailor who takes the family and friends out for a sail and in
no time at all turns into a screaming, swearing, threatening tyrant, fire
breathing nut who shortly has any number of people saying, "I'll never go to
sea again with that maniac."
The sea is a harsh mistress, and many of us sailors seem to have a time
track that can include both sides of the coin, anything from commanding an
18th century 74-gun ship in His Majesty's Navy, entitled Captain under God,
with every person's life on such a ship under that captain subject to and up
to and including death at the whim of such a captain; or someone may have
been aboard such a ship caught walking along the seashore one day by what was
known as a "press gang," and without so much as a chance to say goodbye to
one's wife and/or children, or do anything, was summarily brought to a
sailing ship and then, with the lash and the curse, forcibly taught to be a
Or perhaps someone might have been a slave, chained to an oar as a
burning trireme sank beneath the waves, drowning all the rowers. Anyway, the
sea has quite a track for some folks, and it's quite possible for this track
to get keyed in, especially when in a position of power in a vessel.
And so back to L. Ron Hubbard, who, reports indicated, had become a
shouting, screaming, frothing at the mouth, maniac, dealing out punishments
without any recourse to judgment, and instituting a reign of fear and terror
among his seagoing subordinates. Also, the Sea Organization had taken on
much of the character of Adolph Hitler's S.S., a group dedicated unto death
to assist der Fuhrer in fixing up Planet Earth, a group with unquestioning
loyalty and obedience, a group who provided all the necessary terms and ideas
for what later became the Code of Honor in Scientology.
Starting with the notion of signing up for a billion years, the path
toward becoming an instrument of LRH's wrath and revenge was begun: a
paramilitary group, used to dominate, overwhelm, and terrorize non-Sea
Organizations -- people who arrived in uniform and took their Sea Org dirk or
dagger, not dissimilar to the S.S. dirk or dagger, and jammed it into a wall,
which had an announcement that the dagger went through saying something like
"There's out-tech present here! Everyone connected with it is in a condition
of Doubt or lower" and so forth. This of course was the fullest and logical
extension of KSW, with its ferocious tigers and its fiat to "stamp out" and
to "hammer out" and to "close doors on" and you name it.
As Ron said in "Keeping Scientology Working," people should become like
tigers if they wish to survive, and even the tigers have a tough time. Well,
first off, I don't think being in the valence of a tiger, namely a solitary,
man- and animal-eating rapacious carnivore, with the ability to swim, is
somehow useful in the promotion and delivery of Dianetics and Scientology.
Besides, humankind found out quite a long time ago, after the history of the
terrible and awesome saber-toothed tiger, that it was frightfully easy even
for dumb, unaudited, untrained, un-KSW people, to bring tigers practically to
the extinction point that they now enjoy. If you really, really wanted to
pick a valence for long-term survival and the successful overcoming of all
threats to survival, I think you'd enjoy agreeing with me that that would be
the valence of a cockroach, rather than a tiger.
Yes, the cockroach isn't quite as flashy and as fearsome and as scary as
a tiger, but they've been around, so they tell me, for millions of years, and
are quite successfully planning to continue for millions more, barring
certain possibilities that would make it difficult for any living thing to
live on Planet Earth. I have, on several occasions, witnessed, in church
organizations, numerous members of the staff scurrying around much like
cockroaches do upon the arrival of one of the horribly unfriendly Sea Org
missions that used to go out in the name of L. Ron Hubbard. Some of these
missions were led by one of Ron's most fearsome tigers of all time, sort of
the Reinhardt Heidrich of Scientology, whose name, both on board the Flagship
as well as in the outer orgs, struck terror in the hearts of the staff of
cockroaches, none other than that friendly old gentleman Otto Roos. Ah well
-- then, fortunately, is not now.
Anyhow, I think that to successfully use and disseminate Scientology, it
really isn't necessary to assume the valence of the tiger or the cockroach,
or an S.S. Ubersturmbahnfuhrer, or a Commodore, or any other
nuthouse-appearing oddity. It actually and successfully can be done by
Scientologists that appear to be, and actually are, human beings.
So I think that anyone who was suggesting that people take on the
attributes of a tiger toward the purpose of improving the dissemination or
application of Scientology would be off their rocker -- nuts -- and seriously
in need of having their NOTs case, their case of identities, valences, and
all the other things that pop up and come to rest in and around human beings,
extensively handled before being allowed to lead others in the sane
accomplishment of a pan-determined purpose.
The Sea Organization eventually did have its purpose stated by Mr.
Hubbard, or should I say the Commodore, which was, namely, to bring ethics to
Planet Earth. Well, anyone familiar with the Sea Org and the condition of
ethics starting with its founder down to its run-of-the-mill slaves would
find it very difficult to imagine such a group bringing ethics to anyone or
anything, let alone a planet full of people, unless by "ethics," a subject
well worth taking a long and historic view about, unless you mean by "ethics"
using pain, punishment, threats, injustice, and the heavy-handed forms of
treatment that L. Ron Hubbard once decried being used by the military and
psychiatrists and other repressive groups.
Well, as you can see, I've been carried away and have much more to say on
this subject than any amanuensis should be called upon to inscribe in one
sitting. Therefore, this report shall be continued in the not-too-distant
future. I'd like to mention that I knew, rather well, many of the people
that helped Ron first form and staff up the Sea Organization, and some years
later re- encountered a fair number of them, some of whom even came to work
with me when I had a mission in this-here part of California. Ex-Sea Org
members I have found in general to be very interesting people -- in fact, at
different times I have thought of writing a book just about this category of
folk, and their stories of how they originally came to be in the Sea
Organization, and how and why they eventually parted from it, and what life
after the Sea Org is like for some of them. One of the titles for my book
was _They Are More to be Pitied than Censured_, but that's 'way too
soft-hearted and is lacking in humor.
But so long for now, and anchors aweigh, until we meet again for Part 2
of this epic.
Originations, comments, to the list, send to firstname.lastname@example.org