Ant's Scientology Story Part II
Early London Years
October 2013, I recently found the items you see to your right (mouse over for description, click to enlarge), and I can't find a word in My Scientology Story of the six months I was at Surbiton and tried very unsuccessfully to start a practice. I have rectified this, and you will find it further down - for the moment so it is easier to find, I have inset it.
THIS IS NOT primarily a story of sweetness and light. Life has it's negative sides and these are reflected in my Scientology story, which starts in 1954.
Scientology came to England around 1952. At that time my mother had been having some psychiatric treatment, and my father had been told they could not do any more for her (She was, I believe, an out-patient at the Maudsley Hospital in London, and had received insulin shock treatment). My father was not too satisfied with that, I understood, and searched around for something else. What he found was Dianetics, and my mother went to a Dianetic field auditor (I understood that the Scientology org of that time would not accept her as she had had insulin shock treatment).
When I was home from work one time I came across a duplicated booklet (part of what is now Creation of Human Ability) where it talked about mocking up universes. My father had never given me religious guidance, but a few years earlier I had become "Christianised", and was shocked at the idea. I mentioned it to my father, and he somehow reassured me with the idea that it was only in "imagination" (that it was not the work of Satan, sort of thing).
I worked in Norwich, England, for four weeks as holiday relief to an optician. As I was walking one evening in the streets, looking around, orienting myself, a boy passed me walking in the opposite direction, and I had the impulse to grab at his genitals, which I had great difficulty in resisting. (This compulsion, cancer in the penis later, and a load of other things form a much larger story, which does not fit in here [hear the audio at http://www.antology.info/mp3_video.php]). Also, in my work as a very junior optician, I had the job of ordering glasses from another optician's prescription, and too many times I ordered .25 when the optician had written .75 and had got a severe warning about it - I would get the sack if it happened again.
I took these two problems to my father at Easter when I was home for the holiday. He gave me an auditing session, using a very early meter.The incident he found and tried to run was when I was about 8 years old and a neighbouring boy, playing outside our kitchen with me suddenly put his hand up my trouser leg, and pulled my penis. My father came out to find out why I screamed, but not having a word for penis in my vocabulary I could not tell him. In the end my father went indoors again left, and found out about it ten years later as an auditor!
First professional auditing
This happened over Easter. My father recommended me to a field auditor, Dennis O'Connel (husband of the woman who audited my mother). Every Thursday I came to London from Cambridge to attend an Opticians course, and in the evenings I went to Maida Vale, London, where my auditor lived and had his practice. We audited in the basement.
Sessions were about 2 hours long, and I think I paid £1 an hour. We ran opening procedure by
8C and Elementary Straightwire. There were two things I remember about those sessions. One was that he asked me fairly frequently how it was going or something similar, and my reply was always "I am fed up", to which he would ask me if I was in apathy or boredom.
That happened frequently, and I was always stumped as I could not see any difference between apathy and boredom. On Elementary Straightwire we used commands, "Tell me something you would not mind remembering" and "Tell me something you would not mind forgetting" alternately, and I remember having a terribly long comm lag on the second command. My consideration was that I had such a bad memory that there was nothing I would not mind forgetting. The auditor patiently waited, repeating the question as necessary and the wait seemed to go on for eternity. In the end I came to the conclusion that it was alright to forget something, as I could possibly remember it again later.
In 1955 there came a point when my auditor decided it was time I got some training. (Was this because he had got tired of such an apathetic preclear?) I had got a job in the London suburbs close to my parents and was living at home again. Accordingly I enrolled in the Academy of Scientology, at Notting Hill Gate on the Evening HPA (Hubbard Professional Auditor) Course. This was run three evenings a week and was supposed to last six months. The day course was run five days a week and lasted eight weeks.
There was no checksheet, that was something that came later. Dennis Stephens was the Director of Training, but we never saw him - day staff went home in the evenings.
Our instructor was Ron Jephcott.
We, as a class, listened to an LRH tape lecture every evening. One problem was what was called doping off, meaning going to sleep during the tape. There was a datum around that running a flow too long would cause dope off, so some of the people who went to sleep got the bright idea of sitting with their back to the tape recorder, so that the flow of Ron's words came in the opposite direction, thus "reversing the flow".
I suppose at all times in Scientology some have been unthinking in applying principles of auditing to everyday life (something that can sometimes be done in a limited way with good results). What I remember was an occasion when some one asked "What is the time?" and got the answer "What do you think the time is?" Thus he was not evaluating, an auditor code break, in telling the person the time.
We got group auditing, and one of the girls on course recorded the sessions and did them at home, feeling unwilling to do a process in public.
We also audited each other. This was before more modern things like Trs and rudiments were used. I remember once auditing a preclear and he went exterior. At that point we were supposed to run Route One (see Creation of Human Ability). I had an uncertain stab at it, but the preclear became more and more uncertain (probably in tune with his auditor!) that he was exterior, and it ended in a loss.
At the end of 1955, when my six months course was up, it was found out that six months in the evening was not the same as eight weeks on the day course, so the course was lengthened to 1 year in the evenings. This did not suit me at all, so, rather daringly, I dropped my job and went on to the day course, where some of the time I was partner to Pam Kemp. At that time Ray Kemp's mother Liz Williams died and I was invited to her funeral. I was not used to funerals, and this one was held at the crematorium, and at ne point the coffin rolled into the furnace. The Service was written by Ron, and is in the Church of Scientology book of ceremonies.
Outdoors, walking around, processes became popular at that time, and I remember walking around London with Pam doing "What part of that [indicated object] would you be willing to not-know?" (process called "Waterloo Station, or "Union Station").
And in fact I remember little else of the HPA course, and do not feel I got much from it. To get a certificate we had to pass an exam, which involved answering a number of questions (the yes or no type answer, I believe one of them was "Can you lie?") and write down with full punctuation all (then) 50 Scientology Axioms. Learning to that degree of perfection all the axioms was hard work, but probably did me a lot of good.
Notting Hill Gate & Tottenham Court Road
HASI London (HASI = Hubbard Association of Scientologists Interrnational) in 1955 was housed on the first floor of a building in Notting Hill Gate, a western inner suburb of London. It was a run down building, and we understood that the policy was to use cheap buildings, renting the premises, in order to save up money for buying a better building. The building we were in was scheduled to be demolished, and therefore the rent was low. It had probably been a residential flat. One room, where I audited as a student was over a butchers shop, and you could smell that when you sat there. Shortly afterwards the organisation bought and moved to premises at Fitzroy Street, near Tottenham Court Road, nearer the centre of London. We were in numbers 35 and 37, two single fronted buildings in a terrace. There was a basement and three stories, the upper two stories (three rooms on each, in 37 Fitzroy St.) being used for auditing
In 1956 I did get a couple of 25 hour intensives, which did not seem to make much difference to my case. One was from a HASI staff auditor and one from a field auditor, Ray Kemp, who tried out some exteriorisation processes. One of them was for me to say to my body "Hello X". That is to say keep repeating it to my body with my eyes shut. While doing this I became aware of hearing my voice in front of and somewhat below me (in my head). In actual fact I must have been above and a little behind my head, listening to my voice with some sort of "thetan ears". While novel it did not seem to help me much, though. When I get a key out or feel good I again hear my (body's) voice in front of and below me.
My own private practice
[October 2013 - The following (inset) was not in the original I wrote for the magazine International Viewpoints (IVy) and I have just discovered the omission. Wonder why I forgot it completely! Could not be because I was wildly not-issing a failure .
When I was on the HPA course (first level course making you a Professional Auditor) we were led to believe that when finished, we could earn money by setting up a practice. I can remember there was even verbal data that if we had a client who demanded his/her money back HASI London would cover the expense. They did provide us with a little help, in the form of the leaflets pictured above, which one could overprint with name, etc. I had given up my job to train full time for the last four weeks of my HPA course. I borrowed (if I remember rightly) £500 from my insurance company (the security was a life insurance policy, I paid 7% interest) and I rented a furnished flat in a relatively prosperous outer suburb of London, Surbiton, in the South West. Moved in there - and very little happened. I got the things you see above printed or overprinted, and put the recommended advertisements in the local newspaper. One was in the direction of "subjects wanted for a research project in" some illness like rheumatism (if some one came, you cured them, and sold them more auditing, really a little unethical!) I don't think I got any answers, and no one came to the Group Processing I advertised. I did get one preclear come (from some distance away) but I don't think I was able to do anything for him. The HASI London had a request for an assist regarding someone who lived further out even (Epsom direction). I had what was called then a moped, pedal assisted bicycle, and went out there. I was told it was a lady who had had electric shock, and that electric shock people were difficult to audit , and might have difficulty with ordinary objective processes, so I was told to point out some small object (like a nail in the wall) and tell her to imagine it was larger. I did this and she told me "I can't". I did not know what to do. The woman was very dispersed, had a small baby she was incapable of handling properly, and the husband was there in a sort of state of desperation, and there was a heavy air of desolation around the place.
During this period we were told in a PAB, I think, of a scheme, putting an advertisement in the local newspaper "I will talk to you about anything to anyone", where when you got some one asking you to handle a communication problem for him/her, you did so, and explained that auditing would increase their communication ability, or help them handle the sort of problems they had. However it said you had to be a minister in order to do it, probably to comply with USA law, but I did not think of that. So I worked on being a minister, and this required a rather large number of hours of processing on the process "Waterloo Station". I made an arrangement with an auditor, Barry Fairburn, who lived in Watford (north west London) to co-audit on this, and traveled up there on my moped. I don't think it did me any good. In fact, it was a "not know" process and I think it knocked my havingness down pretty heavily. I do remember doing it once with Barry at Waterloo Station (central London) and going through a tunnel there, I got the before mentioned phenomena of hearing my (body's) voice in front of me.
When the six months was up, I had no more money to pay continued rent. I got a job as an optician (with a man who was a crook - the National Health Service came out, and he ordered us to give old people who came for reading glasses, distance glasses for them also, charge the NHS but never supply them - I did so - ethics rather low).
During the early years of Scientology Ron held Congresses. They were usually done every six months, either in Washington or London, and tapes of the live conference were played at the other town (Ron spent about half his time in each city).
They were great affairs, and highlights of the Scientology calendar. As far as I remember they were either held in the Royal Festival Hall (a smaller room, not the main Concert Hall but fairly large - I think the Radiation Congress was held there) or the Commonwealth Hall (or was it called Empire Hall then?). Earlier conferences were for four days, but when I got into Scientology they were weekend affairs, Saturday and Sunday, nearly always with Ron giving all the lectures, and often also giving an hour's group auditing session. Normally Ron gave a six week Advanced Clinical Course (ACC) after each congress, and the congresses were recruiting grounds for ACCs.
I went to one Congress in London in October 1956, and was very impressed by one lecture Ron made, which concerned the teaching of the Personal Efficiency Course. Looking back I can't imagine being enthusiastic about any thing, but somehow the principles of teaching by agreement impressed me. It was real to me.
Dummy auditing drills
At the end of 1956, HASI had moved to Fitzroy Street, near Tottenham Court Road. Two nice old buildings. I was out of work at the time and there was an announcement of a new experimental course which Ron was having run. I enrolled on it. It was concerned with what he called Dummy Auditing and aimed at improving an auditors ability to communicate with the preclear.
It was the first appearance of what later became Training drills (Trs). The instructor (this was before the time of supervisors) was Rosina Mann, and on the course were about eight other people, among them Mary Sue Hubbard and her friend, Peggy Conway. Each day of the week we did a different drill. Monday was "dear Alice" (reading a phrase from the book "Alice in Wonderland" to the coach, or dummy preclear), Tuesday was acknowledging such phrases from the coach, Wednesday was repeating a dummy auditing question (we used either "Do birds fly?"or "Do fish swim?"), Thursday was handling comments or origination from the coach while we asked those questions and Friday was doing Dummy Auditing and we ran a real process on the preclear as practice in putting the four previous drills together.
Those who have been through the mill will recognise these as Trs 1 to 4, see the Tr 5 which is missing nowadays, and wonder where Tr 0 is. Tr 0 came later (by about six months) As the tech was developing!
Getting a Scientology job
I was unemployed at the beginning of 1956. I found a way of filling in my time. I painted the stairs at 37 Fitzroy Street.
The office of the Association Secretary (shortened to Assoc. Sec. the head of HASI London, there was also an HCO, Hubbard Communications Office) was at the foot of the stairs.. During these years I had wanted to be a Scientology staff member, but there were no vacancies. One day I was painting the stairs, the Assoc. Sec, Jack Parkhouse called me into his office.
He asked me if I would take the job of Director of the American College of Personal Efficiency in Dublin Ireland. Apparently the man who had accepted the job, Barry Fairburn, had changed his mind because he did not want to leave his girl friend. This sounded a completely overwhelming and impossible task. However I had recently gone through a sort of Christian period, where the idea of God calling people to the priesthood was extant, and despite feeling totally incapable for the job, I thought to myself: "If Jack Parkhouse thinks I can do it and who am I to doubt him?"
An odd little quirk to this was that Jack said when I went to Dublin, I should call myself Doctor Phillips, In Scientology Orgs at that time, all important people were called Doctor (Dr.). I was not too happy about this, I contacted the HCO about it, and the HCO Sec (Rhona Swinburn) at the time sent me a sheet of paper with L Ron Hubbard printed at the top, with the type written message "I have pleasure in informing you that the conferring body is hereby awarding you with the degree of PH.D. for your services in the research of the American College. Wishing you every success with the operation. Best regards, L. Ron Hubbard by Rs". I wanted something to show people if any body asked me to prove I was a Dr. No one did ask me, and staff and customers referred to me respectfully as Doctor Phillips, while I was in Dublin.
You could say three birds were killed with one stone. I had got a job, which I was having difficulty getting, I was going to run "Teaching by agreement" and I had got on to Scientology staff.
Read the next installment to find out how successful I was.