Hey there, lovely reader! Today I’m writing about my first few months on staff at the Mountain View mission. It was a complete love fest, I’ll tell you. The more I read about “love bombing” by cults, the more I see how well it worked on me.
My first “post” (job) at the mission would be as the “field control director”. That meant I was in charge of getting scientologists to bring new people into the mission for services. Ummm, I’d been in scientology for only a few months and they were putting me in charge of getting in new people? Yup.
Here came the Love Bombs:
“We’re so lucky to have you!” BOOM!
“You’re so smart and outgoing, you’re a natural.” BOOM!
“We couldn’t have chosen anyone better for the job.” BOOM!
“We have so much faith in you that we’re sending you for two weeks of free training at the highest level technical organization in the world!” BA-BOOM!
They made me feel like I was the greatest thing that ever happened to them, sort of like Mighty Mouse swooping in to save the day. Flattery, flattery, flattery!
So off I went to Clearwater, where I was going to be trained at—gasp—FLAG, the most important scientology organization in the world. Little did I know that 19 years later, this is where I’d make my escape.
Mike, the mission holder, had accumulated a lot of free training and accommodations at flag (no, I won’t capitalize that name either) because he’d sent a ton of people there for upper-level services. Remember how I told you about the field staff member program in my last blog post? All organizations have it, and the higher the organization, the more money you spend for services and accommodations, so the more money and awards go to the person who got you there, your field staff member. It’s a pretty cutthroat business, as I would soon find out.
My Training Begins: Cue More Love Bombs!
The mission paid for my flight, and when I arrived at the Tampa airport I was greeted by a friendly young man wearing a polo shirt with the “flag” logo on it. “Welcome, Anne! We’re so happy to have you here!” BOOM!
I got in the van and was taken to the Fort Harrison Hotel, where I’d be staying for the next two weeks. It looked like any other nice hotel to me, but a bit more ornate since it was an older building. I got to the front desk, where they took my luggage and brought me up to my room. All of my meals were paid for, so all I had to do was go to my training every day.
NOTE: This is how a PUBLIC scientologist is treated at flag. When you’re on staff there, it’s a whole other ballgame. You’ll read about that much, much later, but I’m sure you get the idea already.
Once I settled in, I headed down to the restaurant for a lovely meal, then back up to my room to relax for the evening. I watched a bit of TV then went to bed, thinking, “Wow, these scientologists are so nice! I’ve never been treated this well in all my life!” BOOM!
The next morning I started on my training. I don’t remember the first course I did, but I remember the first thing I read, since it’s the first thing EVERYONE reads on EVERY course in scientology: “KEEPING SCIENTOLOGY WORKING.”
This is a policy letter written by l. ron hubbard, where he lays out the importance of learning and applying scientology exactly as it’s written, with no deviation, no questions, no other ideas. I’ve probably read it about 1,000 times, as has any long-term scientologist.
Here are a few excerpts, so you get the idea:
“With what we know now, there is no student we enroll who cannot be properly trained. As an Instructor, one should be very alert to slow progress and should turn the sluggards inside out personally.”
“If you can’t graduate them with their good sense appealed to and wisdom shining, graduate them in such a state of shock they’ll have nightmares if they contemplate squirreling.” (“Squirreling” in scientologese means altering “standard” scientology.)
“When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe—never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach. If they’re going to quit let them quit fast. If they enrolled, they’re aboard, and if they’re aboard, they’re here on the same terms as the rest of us—win or die in the attempt.”
“The proper instruction attitude is, ‘You’re here so you’re a Scientologist. Now we’re going to make you into an expert auditor no matter what happens. We’d rather have you dead than incapable.'”
Whew! That’s a few words of a LONG policy that you read at the beginning of every course you take in scientology. Talk about some serious indoctrination, right? You know that idea that scientology is supposed to help you achieve spiritual freedom? Not sure how that gets accomplished when you aren’t free to question any aspect of anything that l. ron hubbard ever wrote. Just sayin’.
Another fascinating part of every course period was that when we were done for the day, the course supervisor would make a few announcements, then we’d all get up and give three cheers for l. ron hubbard.
The first time this happened, I was a bit taken aback: We’re standing up, facing a picture of ron, and saying “Hip hip hooray?” Yes indeedy. After a while, it just seemed normal. And it happens all the time, at every scientology gathering. ALL. THE. TIME.
Student of the week? Little old ME?
My training went well, and I got through the courses with no problem. I learned all about how scientology organizations work, and that I’d be working in division 6, or the public division. My purpose was to drive in new people to scientology, so we could achieve the aims of scientology:
“A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.”
Cool, man! This sounded perfect for me! I’d always wanted to save the world! Now I was going to be able to do just that!
At the end of the week, there was a graduation, held in the auditorium, where all the students on course would gather and celebrate the graduates. Imagine a room filled with about 1,000 people, all hyped up on scientology. To the right of the stage was a HUGE picture of l. ron hubbard.
As the graduates were announced, they’d all come on stage to receive their certificates. There was a lot of loud cheering and applause for every one of them. Then they announced the Student of the Week: Me.
The whole place erupted in cheers as I walked up to get my certificate. I felt like the most important person in the world.
There were a few more announcements, then we all stood up, faced the huge picture above the stage, and gave three cheers to ron. “Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray!”
My indoctrination was complete.
Now it was up to me to indoctrinate others.
But you’ll have to wait for next time for that.