Ant's Scientology Story Part VI
London Org in the late 50s (part 2) and ACCs
In Ant's Scientology Story 5, in IVy 104, page 8, we had a change from following my career step by step, and did a survey of the things which were the high point of Scientology life in the 50s: Congresses. So now lets get back to my chronological Scientology history. We left me (IVy 89, Ant's Scientology Story 4) as an HGC auditor (of very poor caliber, I would say).
At a point, there was a vacancy for the Director of the Personal Efficiency Foundation. This was the third delivery department on the Org board (the others being Hubbard Guidance Centre, handling auditing, and the Department of Training). I suppose I was chosen for this post because I had had experience in Dublin. On this post I worked from about midday until about 10 in the evening. Wages were quite tolerable, though we were now on the unit system. I had two courses running under me, the Personal Efficiency course, which was free, and taught things similar to what I had taught in Dublin, and the HAS course (standing for Hubbard Apprentice Scientologist) which on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays practiced the Communication Trs (0 to 4) and after one had done this for a while, on Tuesdays and Thursdays the Upper Indoc Trs (6(a) to 9) were taught. I remember these as very lively courses, up tone and noisy. There was a quarter of an hour break where people had a cup of coffee in a plastic cup from a coffee machine there and chatted and joked. The entrance to 35 was in a not very "upstat" area: HASIs address was 37, and the top two floors of 35 were private dwellings.
I actually do not remember much of what I did. I had some idea of what an executive should do (not practical, but picked up from Ron's writings), so sometimes I sat in the back of the PE course and observed. I felt it was very lifeless the way the South African instructor ran it. Ron had apparently forbidden the use of "teaching by agreement" (lively two way com between the instructor and each individual student) because he considered we could not do it (do it without invalidating and evaluating), and the instructor gave a rather lifeless lecture on the basics, which I noticed was the same lecture each time, by which I mean there was no attempt to reach the reality of each week's audience.
When I came back from Dublin, the Association Secretary, head of the HASI, (HCO was a separate organisation) was still Jack Parkhouse. At a point Jack Parkhouse and his wife Alison, immigrated to South Africa, and a new Association Secretary, John Fudge, was sent from the USA. The name Fudge struck me as funny (peculiar, in England it was the name of a type of toffee). At one point when I was working in shipping, I felt really bad, told Fudge, and he sent Peter Hemery in to me in the shipping department to give me an assist. Peter came in with a small table he put between me and him for his admin, and I felt ARC broken over this (though did not say so) because I consider it broke the communication line between us. Something I had read somewhere was "bad" to put barriers between auditor and preclear.
6th London ACC
Congresses and ACCs took place twice a year at that time. The 6th London ACC was booked for May 1959. At the time they ran what was called an extension course, which was a correspondence course in basic books like DMSMH and Science of Survival. Joan de Veulle was the instructor on that course, but she wanted to take the Sixth London ACC, so I agreed to take her post while she was doing it. This worked alright for the first week as there was an even number of students on the ACC, which there had to be, as a lot of most ACCs was co-auditing. However on the second Monday of the course, an auditor from Greece, Demitri Chronis, turned up and demanded to come on the Advanced Clinical Course ACC. He was a week late, so he was refused. But he would not take no for an answer, and in the end, Nibs Hubbard called me in and asked if I would come on the course (for free) to make the numbers even, explaining that I would not have to audit with Demitri. Nibs made it very clear to Demitri, in my presence, that I was a staff member who did not get a high wage, and would be missing what I normally got. He did this in my presence, and insisted that Demitri pay me £3 a week, which Dimitri faithfully did. I did the Extenson Clourse Director job in the evenings and in the day time I was on the ACC getting audited and auditing experimental processes. The experiment was aimed in the direction of trying out permissive overt withhold to see if it would lead the preclear whole track (I think there has always been in Scientology curiosity over past lives).
The process we ran therefore was something in the direction of:
What might you have done to _____?
What might you have withheld from _____?
An assessment was done by one of the instructors, and I think it was Dick Halpern who assessed me. I can't remember what items came up, but I do remember that it ran back track - what I might have done and withheld.
In one incident or life in England about 500 years ago, I was apparently a sort of outlaw or tramp, or penniless person, living in the woods with my mate. Another one was more interesting. I was a squire (Lord of the Manor sort of thing) in some village in England, having a reasonable situation, with a largish house, wife and two or three children, and servants. I imagine there was a good deal of land associated with my position, which gave a good income. The house was at one end of the village. At the other end of the village was another much more humble dwelling where my other wife lived with a baby and one or two chickens, in much more humble circumstances. This could have been fine, except that both women were jealous of the other, and both of them plagued me with their jealousy. Apparently I "solved" my problems by deciding that it was my duty to join in the Crusades to fight for my faith. I felt proud of myself! (I suppose third and eighth dynamic being more important than the second, or rather two second dynamics! It took many sessions for these lives to come up and develop.
The ACC being over, I went back to my Director of Personal Efficiency post. We were at that time working on the unit pay system, where different jobs were assigned a different number of units and the unit represented a proportion of the previous week's income. When I took the post of Provisional Director of the PE Department on, Herbie told me that I would get an increase in units if I improved the Personal Efficiency Department. I asked for that increase in units. Herbie refused. I sent a dispatch to Ron (which I still have somewhere, a copy was in an earlier IVy) where Herbie remarked on it that he did not see why I was bothering Ron, and Ron wrote back (on the same piece of paper) that he undersstood and an auditor post was also important. The sequence of events is a little blurred in my mind now.
Private Practice - and helping Ray Kemp
There were no statistics that showed things had improved under me, so it was perfectly logical that Herbie did not raise my units. However, I was not looking logically at it, was unhappy about it, you could say ARC broken, and I left the org staff. I also left teaching the weekend course where there a charming couple, Bert and Elsie Coleman, who lived out at Pinner (an outer London Suburb in the north). We came to an agreement that I would move out to them, and we would start a group together.
I would not say we were very successful. I gave a lecture to the local Rotary association, which resulted in my auditing for perhaps two sessions, the wife (I presume) of one of the members. Elsie somehow got a woman to have an intensive. The woman had had many electric shocks and was (so to speak) very much not there, and Elsie's auditing appeared not to help. It is not a good idea to leave a person unhelped, so I gave a free 25 hour intensive to the woman hoping to save the day - with no result. I know nothing of why the woman had had electric shock. Auditing her was not a pleasant experience.
To keep body and soul together, I got a part-time job at the local Post Office, on condition that I stayed until after the Christmas post. That meant getting up at four o'clock in the morning. I also had an arrangement with Ray Kemp, who lived with his wife Pam and their son nearer in to town, at Golders Green. Ray had a theory that Jews were more interested in their children than others, and Golders Green had a relatively large Jewish population. Ray also had some sort of agreement with Ron to run a research project on what was then called mentally handicapped children. I had a moped (pedal assisted cycle), and after my postal round (which finished about 9.30) I drove in to Golders Green and helped there. Amongst other things Ray had got a woman as a preclear, and somehow I got to audit her, and she had the idea that Ray had promised he would be there when I audited and supervise, and he was not. Good ground for an ARC break, and she was in an ARC break on it when I audited her, with Ray apparently having the idea that he had done nothing wrong. I think at that time there was not a routine method of handling ARC breaks - the rudiments as we now know them came later.
The result of that project with the children was that we found that we improved the children in the day time when we had them, but they went back to their parents, and were treated as if nothing happened so they had lost their gains next day when they came. The conclusion was that to help such children, one would have to put them in an institution where they did not see their parents, and the staff had to all be trained Scientologists.
E-meters in the fridge
After Christmas, I left Pinner, and a man named Jim Pembry (who had been on the 6th London ACC) had rented into a basement flat in Swiss Cottage, near Hampstead. A fairly upstat area. I moved in there sharing a room with Derek Field. At this time E-meters were being used, and something called the green and gold e-meter was sold by London Org. This was the first transister meter sold by the HASI in England, after emeters had been abandoned in about 53 (see early editions of Dianetics 55!). However there was no policy stopping others making meters. In fact when meters started being used again, in about 58, the students on course turned up with all sorts of e-meters from the old days (about 1952, before they stopped using e meters). One I can remember was in two parts, one part being a mains transformer (it used valves, not transistors). Jim, apparently had a past in electricity (I think high voltage, perhaps to do with trains). He started making e-meters (transistor e-meters like the green and gold HASI sold). Transistors at that time were very new and not very stable, which is why they had a trim knob, as they would vary with temperature. This was something Jim was very keen on improving, and to test the stability of his meters with temperature changes, he would put them in the refrigerator, and I think the oven.
I think in all of the 50s I was very poor at communication, and quite incapable of talking to others about their getting auditing. I was thus not good at getting preclears. However, one of my students on the Day HPA course when I ran it had a mother who was a bit down-in-the-dumps, and I got her as a preclear. I just ran the standard stuff on her (CCHs probably) and ended off with some open air processes. We ended off with extroversion processes in a local café. However, I got to hear from the daughter that she was pleased with the result. Still at that period I was pretty poor at observing as well as talking to people. Incidentally, someone else who had been on staff at HASI, kicked up a bit of a fuss, saying that he had been promised the preclear, and I had stolen his preclear, which bothered me (the thought of stealing a preclear), but the daughter assured me it was not so.
When I was at Swiss cottage I did run a Scientology group one evening a week, together with a friend, Bevan Preece. It really consisted of a few friends, covered basics, and did not increase in size. I think we ran Tuesdays at his flat near Notting Hill Gate, and on Thursdays at Jim Pembry's flat. I believe Bevan was a friend of Ken Urquhart, and it was there that I made my first acquaintance with Ken.
The time came round for another conference which I attended. As I have mentioned, ACCs were run for the six weeks following a conference, and the conference was the source of students for the ACC. I went to this conference eagerly. I was keen on Scientology and wanted all I could get, but I had no intention of going on the following ACC - no money, no job. However, I changed my mind, partly because there was a special offer. One did not have to pay for this ACC in advance, like one usually did. This, we were told, was because Ron was looking for the worst cases to try his processes out on, and he reckoned to find them among those who could not afford an ACC. I booked for it, with Bevan Preece. It was originally to be called the 7th London ACC. However, Ron had settled into Saint Hill at that time, and I suspect he did not want to travel up to London each day. So we had to travel down to him, and it became the 1st (and only) Saint Hill ACC.
There was a lady, who looked to me rather elderly, who sort of haunted HASI London premises and went to the free or cheap things (like group auditing, tape plays, Bevan playing the Clearing Congress films for free at the HASI every Sunday for a period). She was often among a few people hanging around the reception area. This lady was not accepted for the ACC, I think because she had no auditor qualifications (You had to be HPA or over to come on an ACC - they were for people with auditing experience under their belts). We traveled down to Saint Hill from London every day in a hired bus, and on the first day she was sitting on the bus at the back when the rest of us arrived, and they could not get her off, despite the fact she had no business there. So she got on the ACC that way. We sat in two or three rows to hear Ron lecture, and for some reason we had to sit in alphabetical order of surname. Her surname was Russell, so she had to sit a little behind. She was deaf and made a big fuss about wanting to sit in the front row, but it was made very clear to her that could not be changed just because she had a hearing disability. But she solved that easily. Next day she came down to Saint Hill and said that she had changed her name to Eileen Russell Able. She could now sit in the front and did so for the rest of the LRH lectures.
At this moment I cannot remember who the instructors were. Nibs had vanished off the scene some time previously, and I don't remember the stalwart ACC instructors, Dick and Jan Halpern being there either.
The subject of the ACC turned out to be havingness and confront, with the idea (which I have not really come across since) that one should run alternately havingness and confront processes. There were loads of each type of process, and a method using can squeeze on the e-meter to find which worked best. Looking in the red volumes you will find the many different havingness and confront processes we tried. We sat in what was called the Monkey Room. On the wall were painted many scenes with monkeys dressed as humans doing things humans do, young and old. As we spent quite a time traveling back and forth daily by bus, and got home in good time, the time spent on course was not so much.
Television Hire Service and supervised co-audit
About this time I got a job. A friend of mine, Alfred McConochie, ran a little shop in Clapham (south west suburbs of London) where he obtained old television sets and hired them out - also we sold small electrical things. He offered me a job there, and I thought the idea was that I would handle the business, while he went on the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, which was new at the time, and "all the rage". I moved down to Clapham, getting a reasonable room to live in on the edge of Clapham Common (large flat grass area).
Alf let me use the room above the shop as an auditing room, and I did audit one preclear there, the only person who I ever bought into Scientology, and who left me enough money when she died to allow me to buy computer things for IVy when I lost my job and thereby lost the use of that firm's computer things. It was at this period that I went up to London HASI in the evenings to the co-audit I described on pages 46 and 47 of IVy 89[!!!ERROR: IVy does not have 46 pages :-( ] (see http://articles.ivymag.org/pdfs.html). Those were invigorating evenings.
One thing I remember (to my shame) about that time was that I had the idea that I was relieving Alf so he could go and take the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course. He showed no signs of doing this, and I got sort of grumpy and ARC broken about his not doing so - but I guess my communication level was so low that I never got round to telling him. Communication is the universal solvent, but it is wise to take the cap off the solvent tube and use a bit of it! (Scientology only works if you use it!)
I suppose I am one of those people - I have run across others - who have a sort of compulsion to be on Scientology staff (I think I have run that compulsion out, by the way). Saint Hill was in action as Ron's home, the headquarters of Scientology, and the home of the Briefing Course. It was a target for keen Scientologists (Bevan went to Australia to earn the money to come on the newly started Briefing Course). One day when I was up at HASI for the co-audit, I saw a notice in the hall that there was a vacancy on the staff at Saint Hill Manor. Wow! I applied at once, had an interview by the then book manager Edgar Watson. I remember Edgar had a walking stick, a very friendly person, and later somehow got thrown out, and started with another person something called Amprinistics, which Ron was not pleased about. I believe Edgar audited privately, and amongst his preclears was Ken Urquhart, for whom he got the job of (as I understood it) Ron's Butler (see his story in IVy 2 http://articles.ivymag.org/issues/issue2.html), so Ken was on staff before me. I do not know if there were other applicants to the job I applied for, but I got the job, earning £10 a week, which was £2 more than I was earning for more hours a week in a shop in the London Suburbs. (Saint Hill was not on the Unit wage system, and never was to my knowledge.)
My Scientology story was by no means over!
A little postscript
I told earlier of my six months in Dublin where the organisation was in very bad shape, and I cried out for a replacement for me every time I sent my weekly reports to Jack Parkhouse and Ron. Although I did get some (apparently ineffectual) auditing in two intensives when I was there, the period was never looked at in auditing afterwards. That is to say until some months ago, when I was run on what was called R3X (extended form of Dianetics, incident running). That was a surprise. I realised two things which astonished me. The first was that Jack Parkhouse had hired me while I had absolutely no qualifications to do anything I was expected to do some hundreds of miles away from any help. I did have an idea of the theory of how you did teaching by agreement, and in six months, managed to refine that work to something quite satisfactory. But I had absolutely no management experience, or idea how to take an organisation that was more or less on the rocks and turn it round to a success. I also had no experience in handling juniors of whom I had two very faithful people. The other things I realised was my complete lack of curiosity, which was noticeable when I came back to London. I worked at HASI, which had direct control and contact with Dublin, but I never so much as thought of inquiring how things were going, and I have no idea whether the organisation finally folded up under Darrel Sykes, or under someone who followed him.
So next installment deals with my second time at a (relatively for that time) large Scientology organisation.
[ This was written in 2009 for the Magazine IVy 105]