I guess I should get back to telling my story. I have been writing things up about Scientology because I thought it was needed plus I just needed a break. Not to0 sure, I’m ready to keep writing but I will.
I was pretty much blown from Scientology. I say “blown” because I WAS in the middle of course. It was the “How To Get Along With Others” Course (Scientology thinks they have the answer for everything).
I was doing alright for 19yo kid, I guess. I still had the same job I got after I first visited the Scientology Center, I had my car back and my Brother and I were living in our own apartment. He is 2 years younger than me. We were both working and doing alright. I wasn’t getting high, doing drugs or another other nonsense. My next step was to get my phone back on in my new place.
I promise you, within 2 days of getting that phone on, I got my first call and it was from someone at the Scientology Center wanting to talk to me. I really was just going to leave Scientology behind me (at least I think that is what I was going to do).
It was mid-week, he wanted me to come down and talk to him. I didn’t want to because of my work schedule but agreed to talk to him tomorrow on the phone.
Next day, someone called me that I had meet while I was there and he asked if he could come visit me. I gave him permission and my new address. They both showed up, I talked a while with them and they got my agreement to come to the Center the next day.
I don’t have a lot of memories of any this, I’ve been trying to remember the conversations over the last few days and I just can’t remember them. I DO remember my state of mind, how I felt about the world and how I wished I could do something to change it all.
And, I remember trusting in GOD, who or what he/she was, I trusted in. I knew without a shadow of a doubt there was a God up there, I had been putting my trust in him to show me the way (I’m not sure I worded that exactly how it was in my head at that time but I’m trying).
This Scientology thing was put in front of me for a reason, I didn’t feel like I knew what that reason was but I felt there was a reason there and, well, to me, I had to had faith to find out what that reason was. I was scared to go back down to the Church though as I didn’t fully trust it. Was this Satan tempting me or was this God leading me? That’s exactly how I was thinking.
I went down to the Church the next day after work. I thought we were going to be discussing my course but the person I knew (I really don’t want to use names but this person and I ended up having a long history together and he will come up in my story several times) sat me down with someone else and we all three started talking.
He asked me if I heard of the Ship? The Ship? No, what Ship? The Ship to deliver the highest levels of Scientology processes. Oh, Really? tell me more.
This had to be the early part of ’86 so I don’t think the Ship was named yet. This is the first I had ever heard of a ship in Scientology. The highest levels of Scientology had to be delivered away from the chaotic mess we call Society. Hey, that made sense to me as the world is one messed up place. He begins to enlighten me on all this and inform me that he was there to help get this ship manned with staff members.
Well, I’m out. I’m not going off to no ship (and I was thinking to myself “with an organization I’m a little scared of yet having a some faith in at the moment). He didn’t want me to sign up to man the ship.
He proceeded to explain that there were 2 staff at this Center that wanted to go man this Ship but they had to be replaced first before they could go. He wanted me to replace one of them.
Oh, okay. As long as you aren’t trying to get me to run off to go man some ship, we can talk.
There were 2 schedules for staff members:
1. 7-10 Mon-Fri and 9-6 Sat/Sun
2. 9am-10pm Mon-Fri and 9-6 Sat/Sun
I didn’t quite get why there were two schedules but he explained that some of the staff kept their regular jobs and then came to work here afterward. He explained that there was no fee for any courses that I took when I while on staff.
We got into the little details about when staff study, how the staff on schedule 1 above get their study time in (which has to be on at a time outside of the time listed for being on staff. I couldn’t understand how those staff ever get to study.
We also talked about housing for the full time staff (this was furnished by the Center), Meals (also furnished by the Center) and staff pay (this totally depended on how the center did that week but staff aren’t here to get a large paycheck and he focused on the pledge to poverty that was in the contract).
Most of the conversation centered around the reason to be on staff: “The Aims of Scientology”, Getting the Ship manned to deliver the highest levels of Scientology (I hadn’t even ever had an auditing session) and just overall helping people and the planet become a better, safer place.
I’m in! Except I surprised him. He thought he had me agreeing to schedule 1 above but I said, oh hell no. I’m in all the way, I’m on schedule 2. I remember seeing the surprise on his face when I told him I’m in all the way.
I pretty much started right away. I’m not sure if it was the next day or not. It’s hard to remember. This was 33 years ago at this point in my life.
Looking back on all this, I’m sitting here going, “What the F?!?” Here’s why:
My brother and I had JUST gotten that Apartment. I was 19, he was 17. I had just gotten my car back from my parents after my stint with drugs (there were monthly payments due on this car) and I was, I don’t know, 6 to 9 months into my job.
Kind of crazy to desert that and jump on staff full time. It’s very hard for me to rationalize it as I sit here but back then that’s exactly what I did. Looking back on it, I feel like I deserted my brother, leaving him with the full responsibility of the apartment, deserted my parents, leaving them with the responsibility of my car and, also, just completely abandoned my job.
No one tried to talk me into doing any of that. I decided to do all that myself. HOW F’N CRAZY IS THAT!?!
At the same time, no one said, “what a minute, let’s take a look at your responsibilities here before diving in”.
It was my decision though and mine alone. I’m NOT going to hold Scientology accountable for my actions on this.
I just discussed all this with my Brother. I mentioned that I felt like I deserted him back then. He said he NEVER felt that way but he did have a hard time finding a roommate to replace me and did lose the apartment. Amazing he never felt deserted. I think I would have.
We spent last night discussing this time period in our lives, He never became stable, He moved in with some people that were doing drugs and he started using again, he ended up being homeless and wouldn’t move back in with my parents because I wasn’t there. He actually said that ‘because you weren’t there, I wasn’t move back in with them”.
It’s nuts but my brother ended up being institutionalized for about the next 25 years (he got out about 3 years after I left Scientology) but
“No, Danny, you didn’t desert me, I was just trying to find my way too”
(I want to add that I will get to a point where I try to route out staff to help my Brother but NO ONE was going to let me route off, no one!)
Joining staff was my decision and my decision alone. I totally feel that way. It was done in the wrong manner but the decision was mine. It took me 4 years to become comfortable with that decision (which I will end up explaining but the decision was done).
No one tried to talk me out of doing this, not my sister, not my mom, not my dad, not my Fundamental Baptist Preacher Granddad. No one. Not that any of them are to blame for my actions but for some reason I felt like saying that.
And THAT is how I joined staff. Hope I didn’t leave anything out.