Ant's Scientology Story Part IX(August 2013 - first complete version of this installment)
This section IX covers my first time in Copenhagen, when I was a member of Scientology Publications Org. It looks like it is best if I divide into two or three sections, the first being how we lived (which varied), the second Pubs Org and its work. The question of Danish legal requirements might be the 3rddivision.
On 14th February 1969 we flew into Copenhagen after nightfall. At that time the airport was smaller and what I remember was a statue cum sculpture type thing. I think it was of three Norse gods, sort of flying round in a circle in the air. In the dark with poor street lighting somewhat terrifying.
We were "housed" in what was called "Hotel Ship Saint Lawrence" in the harbour. It was a paddle steamer, and apparently had gone up and down the St. Lawrence river in North America. I had my own private cabin, with a porthole which looked over the water, where there were lumps of ice floating around.
Warehouse space had been hired for us on a Road called Tolbogade (Customs Road), on the second floor, with outside goods lifts on both side (it was actually two "warehouse apartments")
Nearby, passenger boats went every night to the Danish towns of Århus (Aarhus) and Ålborg (Aalborg), and to Norwegian Oslo (only the Oslo boat sails nightly now).
I can't remember much of the first days, except that as a flock we went through the streets to a Chinese Restaurant for meals, and I marveled at the piles of snow at the edges of the streets - for days on end. Once again Pubs Org had moved, spent a week concentrating solely on that, and the back log was great.
We slept at the Hotelship St. Lawrence for a while and then a large house (we and Danes called a Villa) on the north coast of Sjæland (Zealand) 50 km away, was rented. That meant we had to travel there daily. John Smith, a New Zealander who joined Pubs Org in Edinburgh, while (as far as I can remember) traveling around the world in his minibus, drove the minibus to Denmark and we used that to travel back and fourth. There was a small car, I cannot remember where we got it from. We had more staff to transport that those two vehicles could handle. So a minibus was bought, apparently rather worn out, and I was elected to drive us back and forth. At first we worked normal hours, with Saturday and Sunday free, and I can remember that in the garden of the Villa there were many red currant bushes and (it being by now summer) I can remember eating lots of redcurrants off the bush on a couple of weekends. Working hours in the org became more and more stringent, until we had about 6 hours at the Villa to sleep, including at the weekends. So people slept in the minibus – except for me who drove (I never thought until I write this now, as to why I didn’t suggest that the job be shared!) Thus I only got 6 hours of sleep for a long period – which has a bearing on a factor mentioned in the audio/video about my case at http://www.antology.info/mp3_video.php. This red Minibus which I drove broke down at one point, and out of four gears, I managed to carry out my chauffeur job with only the top two (starting in third gear – sort of "making it go right"). I, not speaking Danish, was delegated to complain to the people we got it from (I had had nothing to do with its procurement). I found that it came from Silkeborg, two islands away, a one hour ferry ride at that time, plus about 200 km by road. I can't remember what happened – guess I was bypassed for incompetence!
It was in the earlier period when we lived at the villa, that I finished my OT IV, which I had started in Edinburgh. It got stopped in Edinburgh because I said I was exterior, and they were not allowed at that time to audit people who were exterior. The degree of exteriorness was not very high (I just heard my bodies voice in front of my body, sometimes) so I now (in Denmark) said I was not exterior, and was allowed to continue to get auditing. By that time, an AO (Advanced Organisation) which had been in Greece, came to Denmark and was at first housed in a country house called Abilund, which was not a great distance from the villa (at Rågeleje). So after I had driven the staff home in the early evening I took the small car (my memory gives me a small grey jeep). And drove the short distance to Abilund. The only thing I remember was that the auditor checked me for when I had gone ”clear”, and found a date long before my official clear date in 1967. That clear occurred during a 25 hour intensive in early 1958 (auditing by ”What part of that incident could you confront” an incident as an African boy in about 1000 AD). An interesting experience for me, a Londoner, was driving back from Abilund through open farm country, and seeing silhouetted on the sky line a horned deer.
A little while after this we ran further out of money, and gave up the Villa. The floor we occupied at Tolbogade had loads of metal shelves (trade name: Dexion), for our book stocks and the staff slept on those shelves - except the Commanding Officer and her 2D, the Pubs Org Guardian, who slept in what I think was the only office with a door, which was officially Ron's Office. I felt this was close to sacrilege :-)
Things sorted themselves out a little bit financially and we stopped sleeping on the Dexion shelving and we were got normal accommodation. I did not speak Danish at this time, but a Norwegian staff member (name forgotten, he was fair haired) found a room for me to live, with a Fru Thøfner and her husband. It was probably while I was living at Fru Thøfner's that all Pubs Org Staff were put on training. Memory is a bit dim, but we went to DK Org, at Hovedvagtsgade, which was near to Pubs Org. We were on the Standard Dianetics Course, which was a relatively new course, and I continued on that and its internship (at Rosenborggade) after I left staff. Life as an org staff member did included attempts for staff to get training and processing.
Once again I need to admit that I do not have an eidetic memory. I do remember that some of the time the org fed us, and if we got any money it was eight kroner which was the cost of a packet of cigarettes. As I did not smoke I was a rich man among the paupers! At another time we were issued with a little money to feed ourselves individually, and I remember I often bought a small packet of rye bread, which cost one kroner, and a litre of milk, which also cost one kroner. At some time I also bought and made myself porridge. There was a kitchen on one side of the floor we were on. I remember that people did not tidy up, and there was often a fuss about that. I bypassed that squabble by buying a thermos flask and making myself coffee at Fru Thøfner's flat before I came to work.
I had done various things during my time in Pubs Org. I suppose the basic one, was printing, which I established at my earlier time at Saint Hill as Mimeo (duplicating). I continued having a hand in printing, amongst the things I printed in Copenhagen was a rather cheap looking magazine called Expand. It was cheap looking as the ”typesetting” was done on an electric typewriter, with headlines done with Letraset, letters of varius sizes which came on sheets which one pressed out on what were called shooting boards, together with the typewritten material.
Pubs Org acquired IBM typesetting equipment, marvelous for book production. The equipment consisted of two units, a typewriter which produced a magnetic tape, as well as ”hard copy”, the work written on paper . The second unit was sophisticated version of the IBM Golfball typewriter in which the letters of a specific typeface were on a round thing the shape and size of a golfball, which imprinted the correct letters through a typewriter ribbon on paper which was photographed for making printing plates. If you look at an original copy of Scientology 0-8 you will see a book produced that way. You could have a limited number of letters on the golfball (all those on a typewriter keyboard) so when you needed another typeface (italic or bold for example) the golf ball was programmed to stop so the operator could change it, You will also see a result of my work at Pubs Org, Copenhagen, for at one point the man who was typesetting this ”blew” from Pubs Org (left without prior agreement). There was a flap because of this.Scientology 0-8, an important new LRH book, was in jeopardy, so I was asked if I would step in. I did so making an arrangement that suited me well. I had decided to leave Pubs Org when my contract was up and stay in Denmark so I needed to learn Danish. It was summer and a special intensive Danish Course was being run in the mornings. I made the arrangement that in the early morning (catching the first bus) I would work on Scientology 0-8, and then from nine AM to midday I would go to this Danish Course, and after lunch I would come back to Pubs Org at Tolbogade and do printing. John Sanborn was responsible for the book (which in fact is a lot of earlier Scientology data, largely scales, which he had collected). I therefore sent the result of my mornings work to him and he sent me the next thing to be done. I both typed it in on tape, and printed out the tape with the IBM Golfball machine, changing the golfball when bold and italic were needed. The setting up of the tables in the book required the use of the most complicated of the three ”computer programmes” at the operator's disposal.
I also worked for a period in Copenhagen as Letter Registrar which meant that I wrote to Scientology Organisations, and Franchise holders to facilitate their buying Pubs Org products (books, meters, tapes, and insignia).
Also, I vaguely remember that I had the job of Qual Sec (head of the Qualifications Division). Pubs Org had an organisation structure similar to the seven division standard Scientology Organisation Board. Basically Qual was there to correct wrongnesses (outnesses). In fact I can remember very little of what I did, and guess I did not have the post for long. The only thing I can remember was that Qual was also responsible for staff (health and progress in auditing) and John Sanborn became sick while we were living at the Villa. I can remember fussing around him, not knowing what to do to make him better, while he, fairly obviously, wanted me to go away, and let him rest and let nature take its course. He recovered.
This early period (say from near Pubs Org's start in Jan 1968) was marked by the emphasis on book covers. Basically (daft though it might sound now) Hubbard had the idea that we could ”restimulate” people into buying his books and Scientology, by presenting them with pictures based on supposed whole track incidents. I think when still at Saint Hill, we heard rumours of this and Ron made a taped talk only for Pubs Org staff about the project, which unfortunately I didn't hear. The first of these pictures seems rather innocent. It was possibly a picture of a dog (a terrier with its tail partly docked), or else it was the sad old man. We put it on more than one book, and there was apparently an outcry from ”above”. No, there was a different picture for each book. Thus we got the weird set of pictures (poorly, or not, related to the contents of the book) which were the front of the dust jacket of most Scientology books for some years. It could be an idea for some one to put these pictures up on Internet. They were made (all or most of them) by Richard Gorman. He was awarded the status of power for them, and by weird ”Scientologist” thinking it was decided that he should be promoted, because (Scientologist interpretation of what Ron wrote) when one was in power one should go to a more powerful post, meaning one higher on the org bard. So he, basically an artist, became an executive, which he was not suited for, and which I believe he was very unhappy with.
One of the ”jobs” I hated was what was known as ”all hands”. The idea was that if some one was badly behind on their job, all the rest of the staff should pile in and help. I remember it happening once with accounts. The whole staff, perhaps about twenty, piled in and tried to do their best. It was often done, probably throughout Scientology, with mailings. The whole staff got together and stuffed material in envelopes and set address labels on. In that case it could be referred to as a stuffing party. It was a sort of jolly, chummy, affair, which most staff seemed to regard as a pleasant break from their own work. However, I, consciensously trying to keep up with an overloaded post, hated them, especially as they could be things I did not know how to do, and spend most time fumbling.
I was on the second of two 2½ year contracts and nearing the end. I was in a foriegn country. At that time the big thing in ones mind (at least the mind of a typical Scientologist) was getting one's next level, and I was no exception. If I went back to England I figured I would get a job in London, and have to travel frequently to Saint Hill (East Grinstead). If I stayed in Copenhagen, well, by that time the AOSH, the senior org delivering auditing (which had come to Denmark later than Pubs Org, starting out in the country) was now in Copenhagen. So Denmark seemed to be the place, and I rather preferred it to England. I considered it necessary to learn the language of the land you lived in (based on data on ARC), and considered it would take about a year to learn Danish, a great under estimate.
I let it be known that I intended to leave staff when my contract was up. At that time there was great emphasis on one not being able to leave a post until one had a replacement. There was also a strong reality that it was the responsibility of the person who wanted to leave to get a replacement for him/herself. The Commanding Officer of Pubs (or Executive Director, the terms were interchangeable and Pubs was not at that time a Sea Org org) was Joan McNocher, and she took it upon herself to get a replacement, who I duly trained up. I was very thankful to her for doing that.
Round about this point I got a rather surprising invitation from Evelyn Webster Parsons, a Sea Org member, to come and have supper on the Sea Org Ship (Athena, I think). I accepted, and found out that I was being recruited for the Sea Org. Amongst other things she told me that as I had worked in Service Orgs, and Pubs Org, well, the only place left for me now to work was the Sea Org. I was surprised by that opinion, and regarded it as astonishingly unreal.
The printing machine which I had, much earlier when working for Saint Hill Org, recommended Saint Hill to buy. was a Gestetner and we got our supplies from Gestetner. Gestetner had an agent in Copenhagen. I was in communication with the manager there, and he promised to get a job for me. I told him when my contract was up, but he seemed to take a long time getting the job he had promised. So I looked in the vacancy columns of a paper, and found a job with a small printing firm, Neckelmann Offset. The firm consisted of the owner and a foreman, and about 5 workers, and it was here I had my only contact with narcotics, for in the coffee break I sat amongst the other workers, separate from the owner and foreman. To my surprise (perhaps more shock) they passed a pipe around and asked me if I wanted a puff. I declined, and wondered what I should do. Drugs were terrible in my world! I remembered a bit of Scientology policy everyone else may have forgotten, to the effect that when you had bad news for an executive you did not burst into his office and give the news verbally, but you wrote it down on a piece of paper and placed the piece on his desk. I wrote a brief note (in English) telling him the ”dreadful” news, placed it on Hr. Neckelmann's desk. I got called in, and asked if it was true, and was told he would handle it without involving me. Next time I went in for coffee break the others were agog with the fact that the boss had smelled hash from his office!
In the Scientology Publications world, Ken Delderfield and his wife Rosemary had arrived with orders from Ron to make Policy Letters and Bulletins into books. This was a very large job – when I had worked in Mimeo Saint Hill (around '65) there had been about 3,000 pages of these issues (the stencils for which I had to get into order) and Ron had continued writing since then. It was expected that this would be done in the framework of Pubs Org but (as I heard the story) Ken Delderfield and the then Commanding Officer of Pubs Org could not come to an agreement for that. However an agreement was made that a company, Athena Publications be formed, given space on Pubs Org premises and use of the IBM equipment I had used for making Scientology 0-8. I applied to them for a temporary job which I got. Ken started with Policy Letters (The Green Volumes) and when it was done he was informed that the Bulletins (Red Volumes) should have been done first. Rosemary Delderfield was a very fast typist (she had worked for me in Mimeo, Saint Hill) and she typed Policy Letters, and I printed them out on the IBM golfball machine. We proof read them together, me reading out from the original and her checking the copy. She was very hot on this, checking when there was any doubt (typists had typed new stencils sometimes, when stencils were worn or lost, and made mistakes). In certain cases she could not resolve a conflict from the material at hand, so she sent the question to LRH's personal Secretary, who had access to the Archives (containing the often handwritten originals by Ron of his Bulletins and Policy letters). Knowing from this and earlier occasions how meticulous and dedicated the Scientologists who worked on giving out Ron's work were, I did get a bit annoyed (in about 2006) by the Miscavige accusation that people in the early days had willfully changed what Ron produced.
Incidentally, although I only worked a short time on this project in Athena Publications (working on Volume 0) my name is mentioned (bottom of first left hand page) in the first edition of Volume VII.
After a relatively short time in Athena Publications, my contact at Gestetner found me a very good job, printing, mostly insurance forms, for an insurance company. Thus began forty years of Non Scientology staff existence, ten years still sort of in the ”Church” and thirty years as a ”FriScientologist”.
We came to Denmark legally, but as tourists. This was before Great Britain and Denmark joined the Common Market (now called the European Union, EU). We did not have work permits. The regulations were that a foreign national had to have a work permit to work in Denmark, and that one had to apply for a work permit from outside the country. We had been ordered to be outside of Great Britain (with all our books) within 24 hours, and that did not give time for applying for work permits. And we had started working at high pressure! Strangers in a strange land, we got enormous support from Scientologists, most notably some staff members from DK Org. There were two Scientology organisations here at the time; DK (Denmark) and Copenhagen. This did not effect me much, except as one of the people working (and to some extent, living) illegally in Denmark.
When we were sleeping on the book shelves in the org, we were apparently registered as living at fictive addresses (kindly donated by Scientologists) and I remember, as a result of this, going with another staff member to what was apparently a Town Hall, at the suburb of Holte, and being interviewed in English by a very puzzled official who could not understand how we lived on such a low wage. There was another interview by a police official at Hillerød, apparently when we lived at the villa, who was also puzzled by our low wages, and presumably as a result of this I was issued with a Danish identity card and number. At some point I got a work permit, which had to be renewed every year until Britain and Denmark both entered the Common Market. The condition for renewal was that no Dane could be found to fill the job. When I had left the org, I found that possibility of being thrown out (refused a work permit) at short notice, a little unpleasant.
As background data, it cold be noted that we came to Denmark at the end of a period when Denmark had been very short of unskilled labour, and was eagerly accepting workers from abroad, notably Turkey and Pakistan. Some times wives and families came, but the wives did not bother to learn Danish as they expected to go home, but few families actually returned. The attitude to unskilled workers entering the country is different now, with some fear of foreigners destroying Danish Culture, we having to accept some refugees, and the only people really welcome are those with skills Danes do not have and their families, here short term. So I was lucky to get accepted ”for good”. Of course nowadays any Europen Citizen has the right to live and work here.
That is the end of that installment. The next installment concerns my time working for the insurance company and doing various things to help Scientology.