The Michelle Babich story

Michelle Babich was on staff in Joburg Org from 2004 until 2011. She was sent to Flag on two occasions for training. Sometime in 2012 she posted her story online. Some of you will already have read this story but it has never been given a proper South African audience. We tried to get in comm with her to see if there is any update to her story but we have been unable to reach her. If she is reading this, please get in touch through our email or if someone knows how we can reach please let us know. 

In the meantime we are posting her 2012 story here as it is relevant and important. It also ties in nicely with the story on the Life Improvement Centre from yesterday since Michelle worked there from the opening event. This is a person who had every reason to write bitterly yet she treats this story with an enormous amount of fairness.  It is a long read but we feel a worthwhile one.

A LITTLE HISTORY…

I will start with my birth into this lifetime, because I can see the links between events that led me to Scientology, and led me out again. I have no problem talking about my life, but I can’t be sure my family feel the same, so forgive me if I don’t use their names.

I was born on 22 March 1968, in Jo’burg hospital, South Africa, to a mother who fell pregnant at sweet sixteen (and she is still truly sweet) and couldn’t confront the fact, until her belly was too big to ignore. My father accepted responsibility, and they married shortly before I arrived.

My Dad was a funny, smart, ambitious guy and the first few years of my life were filled with adventure and admiration. I was a fat little girl who struggled to crawl, but I am told I could talk in sentences by the time I was nine months old. My Dad showed me off a lot, so I had a strong sense of being important. We lived a good life, financially above average, but what did I know or care about money. I was loved, wanted, and spoilt – although my Dad was not one to be crossed. I did as I was told, and took advantage only when I knew I could get away with it.

When I was two my first brother arrived, and a year and a half later my second brother followed. He spent time in hospital with TB-meningitis, and it was considered a miracle that he survived.

My Dad was very involved with the Christian church: he played the organ at services, distributed Gideon Bibles, and as a member of “Youth for Christ” ministeries, helped arrange for Cliff Richard (pop-star in the 70’s) to come to South Africa. He was also a pilot and flew for a sky-diving club.

One Easter Sunday, just after my sixth birthday, he flew his ‘plane into the ground, and in the blink of an eye my whole life changed. There was suspicion of sabotage (I remember listening to a radio news broadcast about it), but I was too busy trying to get my head around what had happened to my life to worry about the grown-up details.

My father died without a will, or life insurance, and suddenly everything that belonged to us was ours no longer. My mother actually “stole” her bed when we moved from our home. I remember very little from that time – but two events stand out for me. One was a friendly “uncle” telling me that “God must have needed my Dad”, the other that “it was up to me” to take care of my family, because I was the strong one.

We moved from place to place, struggling to find our way, depending on my mother’s parents to keep us going. I learnt a lot about survival over the next three years … how empty Coke bottles could be collected for the deposit to buy bread … how to steal bread when my mother was so ill she couldn’t even sit up, and my brothers and I had pink-eye and whooping cough … how to make glue out of flour so I could do my homework … how arriving at a school in the middle of the year, with the wrong uniform, could really single you out as a target … how a bully could make you eat human faeces (I still remember the taste)…

All the while I kept silent about my suffering and just kept going, being the strong one. Then my mother met a man…

Now I have heard many Scientologists over the years talk about SP’s, but I gotta tell you I never met any in the church. Sure I met a lot of people who dramatised SP behaviours, both in and out of the Church, but no true-blue SP’s. You know how I can tell the difference? Because I’ve lived with the real-deal, someone who had every single one of the characteristics, every single moment of his life. He was not dramatising, or choosing the winning valence… he was the real thing.

He used my love of my family to control me, to turn me into his personal kiddie-whore, and then he beat them and abused them anyway. The lesson? When you do something bad for the sake of good, you lose. Everytime and without fail. I allowed him to sexually abuse me, to protect my family – that was the agreement – but when you make a deal with the devil……

Now, I know that we have all been led to believe that the ends justifies the means, that the greater good has overall importance. But I can tell you that no amount of wrongs make a right. I couldn’t stop him when he started to hurt them. I tried. I would do whatever he asked, stretched further and further to please him. But the kind of man who would do that was not the kind of man who would keep his word.

Should anyone convince you to do anything you disagree with, you have to ask yourself, “If this small wrong is okay to them, how do I know they’ll turn away from the bigger wrong?” Answer: they won’t. Any small cruelty just leads to further cruelty. I know you know what I’m talking about – no matter where you come from or where you’ve been, or who you are – this is a universal truth. This experience got me into Scientology, and it also got me out …but more about that later.

By the time I was twelve I was a mess. Once he destroyed us he let us go, and found a new family to “play with”. I chose to go to boarding school for my high school years, as being around my family restimmed me, and me them, severely. The suffering never ended with him gone. We all took turns dramatising his valence, three kids that would explode violently, especially at each other. And as we grew older it got more dangerous.

My youngest brother had the least control. His violent outbursts were going to turn him into a murderer. His first victim would’ve been his own brother – but the gun misfired. The next time he used the gun, it was on himself, and as much as we loved him we all sighed with relief. My remaining brother and I turned to drugs and alcohol, and in my case, bouts of extreme promiscuity followed by long periods of solitude.

I knew there was something wrong with all of us, but there were no real solutions. My younger brother had psychiatric meds which led him to his suicide (he couldn’t live with the fear of losing his temper, but he wasn’t living at all when he was on his meds), my other brother just kept rollercoasting through his life … but I got lucky. I met my husband.

FINDING SCIENTOLOGY

Twelve years later, even my husband couldn’t take it anymore. I went from sane to insane at the blink of an eye, and all the time in the world was not helping me heal. I knew I had to get help, help that I trusted, and that wasn’t going to be easy. I trusted no-one. Christianity had abandoned me when my father died, so religion was out. Psychiatry chewed my brother up and spat him out, so that was out. And all the talking in the world only gave temporary relief. I knew I was about to lose the love of my husband and my kids for good. I begged the universe to help, and found a book in a second-hand bookstore that finally pointed me in the right direction … the Evolution of a Science.

To this day I believe this is the best book LRH ever wrote. Possibly because he was writing with the excitement of having discovered something. I only wish he’d stayed honest about it’s origin… things would’ve turned out so differently if he had. But like I said, one small wrong always leads you on to ‘bigger and better’ evils.

Within two weeks I ran into a Dianetics stand in our local Mall, and from there into Jo’burg Org. I probably gave the staff hell. Firstly, I was dressed in my gardening clothes – a T-shirt and men’s pyjama pants, and barefoot. I know I didn’t look like much, but I didn’t care. When I left the Mall my husband told me the job he was supposed to do had been cancelled, so I made him drive me there immediately. And then I refused to follow “the line,” didn’t want to tour the panels or do the OCA. I wanted Dianetics auditing and nothing else.

I met my Book 1 auditor, borrowed the money from my mother to pay for an intensive, and the next day went into session. My first session was like most are – acclimatising the mind to a new type of thinking. In the next my auditor knew what I wanted handled so together we tried to hunt that first incident down. We started with an incident I kinda remembered when I was in a bath, my SP daddy on top of me and I was drowning, afraid of dying. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, when he told me to go earlier I was so afraid of looking at the abuse, I went way earlier.

I ran out death after death, and in the process saw life after life. Some I found hard to believe – like why the hell would I be a robot piping gas from a moon, or a little squid thing in an ocean that became someone’s smoothie? But at the end of it all, and to this day, I have no fear of death. Now, whether those incidents were real or not, I don’t really care. What’s real anyway? For me it gave me something I never had, and helped me handle a fear I’d had since my father died when I was six, … and my grandmother when I was fourteen, …and my brother …and my uncle …and my son …and my grandfather. Suddenly, all that death, some of them dying in my arms, was okay.

And then I learned what fear is, and I knew I was strong enough to face it, and survive it – spiritually. You see, I knew that staying alive in a body was not necessarily survival. The walking dead are all around you, going through the motions, but frozen into not living, by fear. And I’d found a way out. Dianetics changed everything for me. I’d found freedom from my demons, and I couldn’t believe this gem, this diamond, had been around for fifty years…

{Six months later I was cooking dinner. It had been awhile and I’d forgotten that the pot I was using didn’t have insulated handles, and when I grabbed it I burnt myself. Naturally I swore. Suddenly my husband was there, apologising for not having fixed it earlier, and my son was standing in the background, watching me, tense and afraid. It hit me like Thor’s hammer. I hadn’t lost my temper in six months, but my family were still walking on egg shells around me. How well I remembered doing the same with SP daddy….}

Anyway, while I was waiting to go in session a few days later, the PSS asked me what I did with my time. I brushed it off, said I didn’t do anything, because I was ashamed that I hadn’t been able to hold down a job for over 10 years. The truth was, I was my husband’s bookkeeper, grew my own vegetables, and home-schooled my son – at least that was what I was supposed to be doing. I wasn’t able to complete any cycle of action at that point in my life. I just barely had enough energy to start, sometimes even get as far as change…

Being wanted was a very powerful pull on me. Remember, I had only just broken free of the pain that had kept me so low-toned that any improvement in tone-level resulted in blinding anger, which pushed my family into fear. I could feel they no longer wanted me. Perhaps, I should’ve taken some time to readjust, but all the coulda-woulda-shoulda’s makes no difference now. I said yes, and within weeks I was on staff.

There many mistakes were made in my recruitment, and I can’t blame HCO for my lies, but years later I tried to warn them, again and again, that they were making the same mistake they made with me, to no avail. You see, we were in financial shit. The whys of it are complicated, and I was the cause of many of them, but too proud to admit to it at the time. I’m married in community of property so all my husband’s debts are mine, but I altered the truth a little and claimed to be debt free. My pride also accepted the “we don’t earn a lot, but you can do courses and sessions without charge” line.

If I’d admitted, even to myself that I really needed an income, it might have helped. Of course, I never for a moment expected to earn less than minimum wage! Imagine my shock when I didn’t earn enough to even get to work. In my experience most staff members don’t know what they’re getting into, and if they were financially secure it would better enable them to have a good experience on staff, and make them less desperate. Maybe then ARC would be more important. Of course, I was told that to increase my income I needed to study, and I did. But that made no difference that I could see. Still my drive to earn more pushed me to study hard, and I was enjoying my new post as a Book1 auditor – for all of about two months.

Then the ED and PES cornered me one day with a proposition. This was my first real taste of a reg cycle – and they soon had me in tears. Basically, the Org had to reach St Hill size in time for the Birthday Event, and they didn’t have a Div 6 Sup. Their current sup’s certs were about to expire, and based on my study speed I was the only person they had who could get qualified in time.

If joining staff was mistake no.1, then this would prove to be mistake no.2. The tears were a surprise to me then, but now I know I was mourning the loss (again) of my self-determination. Still, I managed to get them to agree to send me to Flag for auditor training. Now, please understand, I had no idea what I was talking about. I’d attended some meeting where I got to hear about the Freewinds and OT and Flag, and when I asked questions I got the “best training and processing org in the world” canned response. I was MU’d up the yin-yang, but I wanted more of the wins I’d had with Book1, and couldn’t wait.

FINDING OUT ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY

So by February 2005 I was the new Div 6 (public courses) Supervisor. I enjoyed what I did, but felt constantly undermined by the heavy out-tech attitude I kept running into, especially with the Qual-sec. If I helped a student understand a dictionary definition I was being out-tech. Hell, I felt like any help I gave was out-tech. I searched through my mini and full-hat packs to try and find guidance, but to no avail. All I got was that, per the tech, Div 6 courserooms were not supposed to have clays – but they were on the Div 6 checksheets.

Already I was starting to see more contradictions than I knew how to handle, but not enough references to refer to – or too many – so I couldn’t find the one I needed. Another shock for me was the Hat packs themselves. I was hoping for a ‘step-by step, point-by-point how to do my job well’ manual. Instead there were references that almost had nothing to do with my post – except for one or two lines. Now I view it as an egotistical, “listen to everything I have to say, cause I’m so brilliant … word for word please, because my word is gospel … and if you are really smart you’ll find what you need to do your post just like I would do it, because you represent me.”

Not knowing any better, I thought that the reason it was such a mess was because the org wasn’t being run right. The solution was to go to Flag – the Mecca of perfection. Then I would be able to straighten things out, and get the job done right, and protect myself from the invalidation of the help I so loved to give.

Even though I had an agreement with my ED, and I raised my hand at every muster when he asked for volunteers to go to Flag, time went by and I heard nothing. I knew the ED didn’t like me. I never felt he was being friendly toward me, or that he saw me as one of the team, and the only attention that ever came my way from him was as a product officer. Interestingly he sure loved many other female staff members. At one point almost all the AC and EC were female, and most were beautiful blondes too.

Anyway, my guess is that Flag had been pushing hard to get more bodies for whatever “evolution ” they were running, and finally I got my chance. I was a little nervous about my life history passing muster. Although I’m far from shame-free about my choices, I figured Scientologists would understand the reactive mind and how it would affect my behaviour, and so I laid it all out. It was very difficult for me to remember the details of certain periods of my life because I used a lot of cannabis for many years.

I started taking it to help me with my hay-fever, and found it numbed me enough to prevent many of the angry emotional outbursts. Unfortunately it had a great side-effect – I struggled to remember pretty much anything and everything after that. Unfortunately, that is still the case. Most of the time the data is in there somewhere, but not easy to access. Sometimes I can’t find it at all.

Well, Flag read my life history, and after a bit of back and forth, requesting more data, they said I would have to do the Purification Rundown before I would be accepted. The purif was a phenomenon of note. 119 days of reactions before I finally EP’d. Several times they insisted on checking to see if I might have overrun, but I knew I was still handling all the poisons I’d been exposed to. Obviously, thanks in most part to SP daddy, I was tremendously PTS, and therefore sick very often. My allergies, and all the anti-histamines I’d consumed over the years took the longest to run out, but by the end of the Purif I felt like a million bucks.

In case you’re confused about the cannabis use, and my being accepted on staff, I should explain that I as-ised the allergies in the beginning of 2004. I realised that everytime my husband and I had an argument, within hours or at least the next day, I would get sick. Then I recognised that I wasn’t just getting randomly ill, that it was always the same symptoms that I used to get as a kid. And then I realised that I got sick because of SP daddy. After I played connect-the-dots I somehow just knew I would never get sick like that again. And until I went to Flag, I didn’t. Now I’m getting ahead of myself.

I completed the Purif mid-December, and soon enough I was set to leave for Flag. I got to spend some time with my husband who pretended he was okay with me leaving, but in actual fact he would’ve preferred to spend more time with the woman who had finally become more like the woman he fell in love with. He loved Ms Jekyll, and now that Ms Hyde was gone he could finally have the relationship he wanted. But, as often happens with staff members, we drop our lives to share the freedom we found.

I can’t blame the org for my actions, but I can blame them for making me feel like I was selfish and evil for wanting time for myself, or my family. No time off, unless you can replace yourself on post, and no public holidays or even Christmas is ridiculous, and I know all you ex’es who are reading this are totally feeling me right now. Remember the first public holiday you got to enjoy, the first Christmas you spent with family? Was it not completely amazing?

I’m digressing again, but this is the one thing I could never find peace with. What made it more difficult in my org is that we have a strong SO presence on staff. The ED, LC, FBO, and one or two other floating posts were covered by SO, and as SO are on duty twenty-four/seven we were expected to be happy to follow suite. Instead of having “meetings” at six when we were officially off-duty, we had to wait until they’d had dinner and meet at seven, or eight, or later. If the ED had to meet with someone, it was probably a reg cycle, and that took precedence. And then the constant events planned for weekends.

It got so bad, with so many day staff working foundation hours, we literally unmocked the foundation org, picking up all their cycles and dominating their public.Occasionally actions were taken to correct the situation, but one tough target from management and all those good intentions disappeared.

But it was still early days for me. As a supervisor, I spent my day in the courseroom, and even Friday’s staff meeting was cut short for me. They went on till 9.30am, but I had to start roll-call at 9, so I seldom got to hear the org’s stats report. I could have looked at the OIC, but it was placed on the wall in the boardroom in the exec space (a space I never felt welcome in, having more SO than staff) and the times I did see it most of the graph “slots” were empty.

I figured all this confusion would soon be handled when I got to Flag. They would train me right, and then everything would make sense to me. And to some degree that did happen, but not until I got over the shock of being an ‘outer-org trainee’.

FLAG THE FIRST TIME…

I arrived at the Coachman after 52 hours of planes and airports and no sleep, so the steps I took on the routing form were a bit of a blur. I did notice that, just like at home, routing forms were not done exactly right. Some of the things I needed to do, like collect a bus-schedule, didn’t exist and I found myself feeling confused. I didn’t know what to do or when, because I had some data but with plenty of blank spaces between – like reading a passage with key words misunderstood.

I spent a lot of time in HCO (why I will never understand) waiting to get the go-ahead to be on course, while everyone kept pushing me to get it done. We were divided into groups based on our ‘continent’ – East US, West US, Europe, etc. Sometimes a country would have their own ‘cont’ if they were large enough, like Italy. I was in AF-ANZO, which was Africa, Austrailia, New Zealand, and the Orient which included Japan and Taiwan.

When I arrived our ‘cont I/C (in-charge)’ was a fellow South African, and he kept pushing me to get onto course, and at the same time kept pushing another of our group to ‘fire'(be sent home). The one lesson I learnt in my two tours to Flag was that you have to push like a maniac to get your TIP (your training program) completed because your org needs you home, and Scientology needs you to service their public … but they were not going to help you do it any faster.

When you first arrive and when it’s time to leave your progress is literally out of your hands (although to say that out loud is to admit that you are being effect and God knows you can never admit that without being viewed as a degraded being). You see, Flag has their public, then there’s the Sea Org, and you are just the crud on the bottom of the SO’s shoes.

You are not treated as their public, probably because your Org can’t afford to pay their exhorbitant fees, so in terms of any kind of priority you don’t exist unless you count for someone’s stat. Now, course completions count, but OOT’s ‘fired’ don’t seem to count as much, or perhaps there’s no-one holding the post who would have that as their VFP.(Valuable Final Product)

The extreme ‘respect’ you have to show, down to drilling how to say “good-morning, Sir” was a bit much, but I was a boarding school child, and knew how to tow the line. Nevertheless, I found myself lost as to what to do, or not to do. The whole idea as far as I can tell was to introvert the hell out of you… and without fail I watched it work on every OOT that arrived.

My training was interesting – sometimes great, sometimes not. I got five ethics chits in about an hour on Pro-TRs for making the same mistake repeatedly, and I have to admit it did increase my necessity level, but also decreased my affinity. In fact, I would have to say the prime goal was to drive a person down the tone-scale, but force them to fake enthusiasm to avoid having more “necessity level help”. It didn’t take long before I was in “iso” (isolation) with the worst flu I’d had in years.

The supervisors in ProTRs practical treated me as though they really didn’t like me, and yet in the theory courseroom next door I was treated well. Then one of the sups got involved in my bull-bait, prompting my twin to use certain types of bull-bait on me, and it was spot-on, as if he had read my life history, or maybe my folder, and knew the details of my life well enough to know what I would react to. I assumed that my life history would be kept confidential, but even if it wasn’t I wouldn’t have been upset by that – except that these sups acted like they really despised me. I eventually earned their respect, but it left a bad taste in my mouth, as I expected them to have more understanding.

Now, before I get nailed by a thousand objections, let me state very clearly that there were individuals who really helped, who really gave of themselves, and from whom I learnt lessons that will always stand me in good stead. In fact, I would have to say that just about everyone gave some good, unless they were responding to the fear/necessity level ‘help’ they were receiving too.

But in the early days I didn’t know enough to realise I was introverting so strongly that I couldn’t see what was in front of me. By the end of my training I’d learnt a lot, but the beginning of the end was already showing. Whenever my natural strength surfaced, I felt rebellious, and then guilty, wondering if I had some serious overts on groups.

After a lot of waiting, with much gnashing of teeth and sadness at leaving the incredible friendships I’d made, I finally made my way home. Of course there were a few things that didn’t go according to plan.

Firstly, I was supposed to train as an auditor – that was the original deal – but I landed up doing supervisor training. There were two of us from our org, and we had to decide which would be the Academy sup and which would be Div 6. If I had chosen to be an Academy sup I could’ve done my ClIV training, but my co-staff member wanted nothing to do with Div 6, and as I was already posted as the Div 6 sup… To be honest, I was relieved. All I wanted was to get home as soon as possible.

Secondly, I had arrived at Flag with promises that an e-meter would follow, and all the training materials were waiting for me. Not true. I had to beg, borrow, and ‘steal’ from the course admin to get all my training done, and I can’t tell you how much time I lost. Also I wasn’t fast-flow so almost everything had to be star-rated, and not many students could afford to help me if it meant their checksheet targets wouldn’t be met.

Then, when I had already completed my TIP, and was on firing lines, suddenly all supervisors were required to do the Word-clearer course. More delays…

Lastly, my org had almost six months to prepare for my return, having been notified several times of my pending release. So on Thursday morning my firing CSW was approved and, of course, I was supposed to be outta there before two. All went well – except my org didn’t have the money for my ticket. I was dropped off at the airport and had to wait to be paged to the courtesy ‘phone so that Flag’s Org Officer could give me my flight details.

I felt like a cold-war spy, holding my breath until the plane left the runway before I could breathe again. My husband had figured it out, got his mom to lend us the money, which we never got back from the org. When my mother-in-law fell ill, friendly public lent me the money to pay her back and I still owe them three-quarters of that debt.

Once at home I spent almost two months trying to get my husband’s bookkeeping up to date. What was supposed to be a four month period, six months at best, had turned into16 months, and after being apart for so long all I wanted was to be with my family. I had almost zero desire to return to the org, but eventually I owned up to my responsibilities, and the threat of the dreaded “free-loader” bill.

A FLAG TRAINED TERMINAL…

I went straight back into the Div 6 courseroom, and this time I knew better so I did better. There were a few changes that I made that I knew would make all the difference. I pushed harder for dictionaries, and when I couldn’t get them, I got public to help. I insisted that no more Method- seven wordclearing would be done in my course room. Most of our “off-the-street” public are what I call parrot-illiterates. They can read, if reading means making the sounds the letters on the page say to make, but they can’t understand the meaning of the words.

I insisted that we only do Method-nine, thereby hoping to at least help those people learn how to learn. Even then I was fighting an uphill battle. I was watching my word-clearer help a student with Method-nine, and realised the sentences he was making were senseless. I finally figured out the problem. Almost all the words he used in his own sentences were MU’s!

I tried to get a policy enforced that said if they haven’t read a book…. but that would blow our ‘starts’ and ‘bodies in the shop’ stats to hell. Of course, my ‘completions’ stat didn’t look so good, and the ‘re-sign’ stat was almost non-existent. I found out that most of our starts, which were for VM courses, were being “sponsored”. At about five dollars per course it wasn’t difficult to find someone to pay for a stranger’s course. Even our reges would pay for courses to keep the stats up.

Also, many of my students had heard that you could get a job at the CofS – all you had to do was pay for one course. After that I would have to sup them through the basic courses they would need before they could do their Staff Status courses. In a country that has an unemployment rate of nearly 50%, where ‘varsity graduates can’t find work cleaning toilets, we were very popular. So I would be busy as hell, struggling to help all these semi-literate students become staff members, but my stats were terrible because I couldn’t count them – as staff they weren’t paid completions.

I was pulling my hair out, trying to find a way to “make Scientologists” or recover “real” students, when I got the call to return to Flag. The rules had changed again. It seems the new Div 6 release required that I be able to audit, so I had to return for my ClIV training.

In a strange way I was glad. I’d had some experience, and needed help finding solutions for the problems I was having, or at least a way to get the policies I’d found enforced. I was tech-trained, but admin was not something I understood. I figured I would be able to get the Flag-trained sups to help me do my job better. At least that’s what I told myself…

The truth behind the “greater good” lie I was trying to swallow? I was crashing and burning, and couldn’t confront it anymore. Across all dynamics I was in a mess. The Basics had been released shortly after I got home, so I was spending all my time studying, and completely ignoring my family. My husband had to go it alone, without my help, and I didn’t want to know how bad our financial situation was because I felt like I could do nothing about it. Staff pay would improve sometimes, never to a minimum wage standard, but it would always settle to just as bad as before.

When I first left for Flag we had 120 staff-members, when I got back we were down to 60, and not expanding faster than we were losing staff because of the pay. I was supposed to be able to turn things around, but nothing I did seemed to work. I KR’d and communicated as much as I could – considering I was suping all day, and basically out of comm with the rest of the org – but I never even got an acknowledgement, never mind some actual help. When I first got back, most of the staff were wary of me too, like they expected that I would make trouble, so I felt any comm wasn’t really wanted. The only support I felt I had were from other OOTs.

So I ran, back to a place I never wanted to return to, and yet a place that felt safe. I realise now that having your life, every minute of it, under someone else’s control means you don’t have to be responsible for your own actions. Plus, I could claim that what I was doing was for the greater good, so who could get on my case for being irresponsible? I was being responsible for a whole planet! Yeah…right.

FLAG AGAIN…

So, I returned, this time with an e-meter I borrowed from a public who needed the meter silver cert’d as exchange. When I arrived I got some good advice from a friend, but I was too stupid and trusting to take it – my first mistake of many. Instead of getting my fast-flow status, I signed up to replace two close friends who were done with their Div 6 Apprenticeship, and needed to move on.

It didn’t take long for me to realise the same stat push I’d experienced at home was happening at Flag, and under the control of the “blue shirts”. What a rude awakening! I have to say that I would experience very high ethics levels from two CMO terminals I had the fortune to deal with – and they were brothers. But it seemed to me the higher you go in the CofS structure, the more the demands you have to meet, the tougher it gets to keep your integrity – especially when keeping it threatens your survival.

Of course, there is something else to consider… All our Orgs run on stats, and at Flag some areas, like the HGC, run on hourly stats. Now I’ve used the Conditions and the formulas extensively and there’s one idea that always struck me as untenable. Normal has to be uptrending, but there’s a ceiling – always – that cannot be passed. Now I do realise that part of Div 6 has to do with duplicating yourself, like franchising, but you don’t get to count that as your stat.

Let me be more precise. As a Sup I have a limit of twenty students at a time, so I can ‘franchise’ to another sup, but eventually I’m gonna run out of space, and then I’ll have to open another courseroom. The moment I do that I can’t count the stats in that courseroom as my own – so eventually, no matter what you do, the only way to be upstat is to go downstat first. I have no idea how Ron worked this out, or if he borrowed the data from a different source, but I do know that Conditions backed by punishment will never be a workable system.

Anyway, I started asking questions, trying to figure out how the stats could’ve been accurate, and when I gave up on that I tried to figure out how to accurately show the actual production. This might sound ridiculous, but I think anyone would be suspicious of having 70, 80, even 120 recoveries per week, and yet no-one was. I tried to get “blown” properly defined, so that I could have a definition for “recovered”, but before I was ready to write up my results, it all exploded in my face.

It’s difficult to understand, I know, but I was so busy just manning my post, I never had time to look for the references I would need. In case that sounds like BS let me describe my normal day. I would wake up at 6.45, shower and dress and be on the seven o’clock bus. I’d head for the Galley for breakfast and two cups of coffee, and then make it in time for muster at eight. By eight-thirty I was in the course admin office, waiting for my printout of all the “blown” students.

I’d spend the day calling students or driving around with volunteers tracking students down to get them back in the course room. Most days I never had time to go back for lunch, so I’d just skip it. By about 9pm I would head back to the Coachman, and then spend the next three hours going from courseroom to courseroom trying to get the sups to give me the data on who had come back on course, and what handling they’d had.

Unfortunately, as part of the apprenticeship the other sups also had to have a record of recovery, so instead of helping me get accurate stats, they felt like I was trying to steal their stats. To be honest, it never made sense to me either, to include their recoveries in my stats, but all that was wanted were upstat numbers.

We would muster at midnight, and god help us if we were down-stat. The “blue-shirt” in charge of us would give us hell, and there were several “bilges” and other motivational exercises allocated. My favourite night was when she called us a bunch of but-fuckers. No-one had ever used that insult on me before. and I appreciated it’s originality.

Then it was off to the call-in centre, trying to get people who had bought the basics but weren’t on course to start the extension courses. Of course, we went through that list of names quickly, and then you were cold-calling anyone who was recorded in the CF that was still awake somewhere in the world. If we made our quota we could catch the last van to the berthing at about 2.30am, and hopefully be in bed 15 minutes later. If not well you just worked through the night, got the first bus to the berthing at about 6, showered and changed, and straight back to the base. Some nights you had to do washing, so you’d get less than the four hours anyway. Like I said, not much time to find a reference.

So back to the blow up … before I knew what hit me I had a non-enturbulation order, was assigned to dishwashing in the galley, and put into a sec-check after months of getting four hours of sleep, and still expected to keep the same hours. It didn’t seem to matter that I was exhausted – not for the sec-check anyway. (Can anyone say out-tech?)

After they couldn’t find any overts on the sec-check that weren’t part and parcel of the Power I was supposed to maintain, I was moved sideways – helping course admin, and extension course marking. I stayed busy, kept my stats up, and then out of the blue I was told by the LRH Host to sign on to Level 0.

Naturally, I never “completed” my Div 6 apprenticeship, and no-one communicated any data to me. By then I was just relieved to get out from under, so I never asked. My expression said it all, but the LRH Host wasn’t volunteering any info, and I wouldn’t have known what question to ask. I did notice that the MAAs (Ethics Officers) that were responsible for our area disappeared, and I never found out where they went or what happened to them.

I struggled through the levels, star-rating almost every reference, until my auditing sup insisted I do my Method 1, after I’d completed Level 1. I finished the co-audit course and was almost ready to start auditing when I find out I was ‘out-int’. So I got onto the waiting list for GrV auditors looking for pc’s, and moved onto Level two. I finally completed the Int Rundown in the middle of my ClIV internship, needing to take two days off to do so in the middle of my 40 hour week. I attested, got cramming okay, went to cramming, audited nine and a half hours the first day, ten forty five the next and eleven fifteen on the last day to. At four in the morning I did my video, and I was done.

I spent the next few weeks being butchered by bad auditing with three different auditors, but completed my sec-check. Unfortunately, I was needed to help someone else finish their internship so, I got extra questions. The auditor ran ruds after a seven-minute break and ended session on five open reads, and because he had to find something to run he asked me an unqualified open question that spun me right into the middle of SP daddy’s abuse “What don’t you want me to know about you?” No time, or place limiter – and my needle reads.

I explained that I didn’t want him to know about this because I can’t trust him to audit me on this sensative subject, but he just keeps pushing for an overt, and I’ve got nowhere to go except into the bowels of hell. Eventually the sups pulled him off me, give me time to settle, and found me a GrdV, FPRD, HSSC auditor to help me get through it, but I could see that even she can’t handle the things I’m remembering. Our last session together was 8 hours of black, totally occluded, with the needle reading like a metronome.

My PTPs at home didn’t make it any easier, but essentially I just wasn’t ready to confront that part of my life. Funnily enough I managed to confront some of the most frightening and painful days, but I couldn’t remember the first time. I could get to the door of the bedroom… and then all black. Later, a good friend audited me and we approached the same incident, but from a different angle, and I found the thing I couldn’t confront – my agreement to withhold, to keep his secret, avoid more trouble. It was my own weakness, my own agreement that things should be withheld, my own karmic guilty conscience, my mutual out-ruds with that psychopath that did me in.

I managed to get through to the second set of end-ruds, and just jammed up on the second-last one. My family needed me home, and I knew we were going nowhere, so I went to the MAA and told him I was leaving. After the 8 hour session with no result he let me go. This time I refused to pay for my own ticket, and again, although my Org had several months notice, when the time came there was no money. I had spent 20 months at Flag, gone through hell, worked like a demon in hotels and the galley to pay for my board and lodging, and I wasn’t going to let a little thing like no ticket get in my way. With the help of a Jo’burg public, I got the ticket out of my org, and I flew home.

HARD TO SWALLOW…

Obviously I’m only brushing the surface of my experience, but I thought I should mention a few occurences of which I will only bring up one example, to give you an idea of what I experienced.

On work-study…. during the Apprenticeship we were excused as we were delivering services to paying public, but once I started the Levels I had to do my thirty-five hours a week. If there was one thing I excelled at it was workstudy. I delivered exchange in abundance, and even handled the SeaOrg Day celebrations without a hitch. It was that experience that taught me what some SO members actually went through as a matter of course. I never had any direct comm, or witnessed anything definite, but I became “one of the guys” and as such I would overhear snippets. Naturally I knew I would have to face a sec-check so I avoided knowing too much, and never asked a question, but it was impossible not to notice anything.

For example, during the Fort Harison renovations, half of the work-study students volunteered to go on full time for a couple of weeks, leaving the rest of us to carry the load, but the SO guys had to do their post and still work on the Fort Harrison. Most of them didn’t get any sleep for several days at a time. When one of them – a terminal in Qual – had an accident, he became a cook in the galley, probably because someone “that PTS” couldn’t be on Qual lines. But is it really PTSness to fall asleep out of pure exhaustion?

I had to drop one of my pc’s because she couldn’t get enough sleep to get through objectives. At first I assumed the process was biting, but it didn’t take long to realise that she would dope off as soon as she sat still on CCH’s. I remembered what it was like, how much I had struggled to stay awake, how many SO staff I saw nodding off at their computers, or on study.

I heard the screaming in the call-centres to push for results, the warnings that if anyone else was caught using public’s credit cards to make sales without the public’s knowledge, there would be hell to pay. I was shocked that anyone would go that far, to actually steal, but at the same time I understood. Flag had an IAS target, five million dollars, and somehow they made it. But within days there was another target. SO was exhausted but still they kept going, and when they couldn’t there was a blue-shirt or black-shirt screaming insults and threats to keep them at it.

There were the OOTs who were blown, but we never knew the truth, the real why, and were discouraged from asking. Then there were all the SO staff that disappeared, or suddenly appeared on RPF, and again we had no idea why.

At one of our staff meetings we were separated into two groups: those who were on target, meeting checksheet times, and those who weren’t. I was in the group who was way behind, because I wasn’t fast-flow. There were many others like me, including most of the foreign language students and even those who had been persuaded to help “Ideal Org”students. (They had to be done with their training in time for their new Org’s launch, and needed help to get through their ProTR’s and Metering – both courses that normally required a twin, and so took longer unless you received a one-way help flow.)

We were told that we were holding the stats down intentionally, and therefore were basically suppresive, that the rest of the group rejected us, that we were degraded beings obviously overloaded with overts, trying to destroy Scientology. Way to build a team, huh?

I was on Level two when the lead sup insisted I complete my course before Thursday at two, as she had put me on the completions list. I told her it wasn’t possible, even if I could organise someone to help me with all my star-rates there just wasn’t enough time. After course that evening she cornered me again, with the Deputy Captain, and told him how “CI” I was being, how destructive my attitude was, and then started yelling about the non-enturbulation order I had, and that as far as she was concerned, I was violating it. Interestingly, I never felt embarrased by her outburst becasue I knew all the students knew what it was like to be pushed so hard, and I was proud that I would not “quickie” my training.

A “good” student, who had already fired back to her Org, was suddenly back, and doing bilges. She told me she had fired as a GrV auditor, but when the time came to audit public in her org, she made a mess of it because she didn’t know her tech well enough. She admitted she was more focused on getting done in checksheet time, than having certainty on the tech.

One of the younger staff members from Jo’burg was sharing a berthing with me, and at two in the morning we hear banging on the door, waking all eight of us up, only to find it’s SO recriuters come to collect this young girl. She hadn’t agreed to sign a contract yet, and I knew she wasn’t very keen, but too afraid to just say no. She left with them, and I wrote it up to the LRH Host the next day.

I didn’t take long for her to find me to tell me all was well and she was really glad she’d decided to join … but a few months later she was diagnosed with some type of epilepsy, and was sent home. When I got back she was nowhere to be seen. I’m in comm with her again, but I can’t describe the fear I felt at what was happening to her, knowing how her parents would feel, and having doubts myself about what was good in Scientology.

SIDELINED…

So I went home, disillusioned and worn-out. When my mother saw me two weeks later her expression told me how bad I still looked. My husband reminded me how much worse it was when I first got back, but I felt so great to be home that I didn’t notice anything else. I was more determined than ever to do right by him. I knew I had to get his books up to date and get the taxes done, but as usual the Org’s needs were more urgent.

They were opening the test centre soon and needed me back. I agreed to a date, and made sure I returned as per my promise, even though I hadn’t completed the cycles I needed to. My driver’s licence had expired, and I hadn’t submitted our taxes, but at the same time I was broke and figured I would need an income, and the sooner the better.

I was expecting to be able to use the training and experience I had gained in my org, but within days I got the news – I was to go to the test centre. I was so surprised, because I knew it would remove me from the main business of the Org, and I felt I could do more to recover public, and build the staff compliment if I was there. The test centre would attract a lot of new public, but most were impoverished students, on government subsidised bursuaries, with zero income to spend on courses.Every staff member I’d spoken to assumed I would be the one to stay as my training was more appropriate to the Orgs needs, but the ED “wanted the best at the test centre”… or was that just PR?

While SO worked their butts off to get the building ready on time, and recruit staff, I had to get them hatted and ready to deliver. From the word go it was a disaster with a brave face, as things normally are when temporary “fixes” become permanent.

At first we did well to keep it all together, and we managed to deliver, but the mistakes started to add up (like undercharging for our courses). Three months later I was called to go back to Flag for the new Div 6 release, but the American Embassey refused to give me a Visa. I’d spent three of the last five years in the States, and to them that meant I was interested in living there. How could I explain how much I wanted to stay at home, and why should I? I didn’t want to go. Luckily I was not the only one. Flag solved the problem by sending us two sups and a C/S, and so began our training at an SO base near Jo’burg. At least I could call my husband everyday, and we were only apart for about a month.

By the time I returned to the test centre the rot had already set in. Our stats weren’t terrible in the beginning, but in the two weeks before I returned they’d crashed. I tried to get them up again but by then we’d started losing the little staff we had and before I knew it I was back in the same old situation. Reports were ignored, I had no comm lines (telephones were one of those things that hadn’t got organised by the time we opened, and I spent all my pay on my cell account until I couldn’t afford even that).

Soon enough I lost my ride to the test centre from the org, when the last two staff members who had cars left. Then I couldn’t afford to travel to the Org first, so I caught a train straight to the test centre. We were down to just two staff members, myself and one of my recruits. We’d also lost our security guards when we couldn’t pay for them. Our panels weren’t working and the computers were frozen, and only one of our film rooms operated, with small computer speakers for sound….

By now I was hanging on by the skin of my teeth, but it just got worse. I fell pregnant (something I didn’t want to have happen) twice, and miscarried twice. I reported it to the C/S and thanks to a very good friend and excellent auditor I got to go in session. Those sessions saved me in more ways than I can say. I started to face up to the responsibilties I’d been running from ever since I was six, when I couldn’t even be responsible for my own grief.

Then I started to think about the Org, Flag, and the church as a whole. But still I couldn’t think of leaving. A good friend suggested I take some time to handle my financial situation and I responded like a good little brain-washed staff member should – I jumped down her throat.

Then on a day when I was alone in the test centre I was attacked, and by an ex-staff member too. I was batterred and bruised, with a couple of cracked ribs and a huge lump on the head after he kicked me down a flight of stone stairs. I survived, and of course my folder had to go to the C/S.

I went back in session to do a PTS handling, and realised I was PTS to myself, that I had created the situation Iwas experiencing because I needed a “good” excuse to leave staff. Being pregnant didn’t work because I really didn’t want another child (my son is 21), so instead I put my life in danger. Hell, if I hurt myself bad enough, maybe I wouldn’t be able to sup again – and that would be a good excuse to quit.

This is the degree to which I could not confront the simple truth. But I was learning….

However, it was ‘suggested’ to me that I couldn’t be PTS to myself, and so I needed a correction list while my auditor was corrected too. At first I just fell into my old ways. I’d accept it, just get through it, and then go back to those wonderful sessions with my auditor. But my persistent F/Ns dried up, until I could barely squeeze a little one out.

Before I completed the correction we had the re-launch of our Org. We had a fancy new three-floor Div 6, with fabulous panels, and Italian-made uniforms…. but not a single supervisor for any one of our new courserooms, our pay was too low to cover the dry-cleaning … and then the last straw arrived. Some fancy uniform stood on the stage and told us how great we are, and how successful the new Ideal Org strategy is, and how we are spearheading the change with our fabulous test centre….

I felt sick, and sad. I got out of there as soon as I could. I couldn’t deal with the enturbulation I felt, I tried to shut it out but I couldn’t. I had used the conditions in November 2011 to help me figure out what to do next, but I got hung up in Doubt. I knew I needed to do something so I went back to the doubt formula. To my surprise it was easy. The stats were lies, the events were all rumour and bias, and I knew I could no longer support an organisation that thought it was okay for it’s staff to starve while millions were being “raised” without exchange, for buildings.

I submitted my condition, returned my uniform and walked out.

MORE HARD TO SWALLOW…

My husband was reg’ed several times to buy the basics, but we could never afford it. While I was away the Dissem Sec called him and told him that he had purchased the basics on our behalf on his personal credit card, but as he was moving he wanted my husband to collect them now, and he could pay it off as and when he could afford it. The truth was that he had bought several sets of the Basics on his credit card to meet a target, and as he paid a promotion price for them he figured he would be able to sell them later on, and even make a profit. We weren’t the only ones he pulled that little scam on. I was angry because by the time I got home my husband had already paid him thousands, even though we never agreed to by the Basics, and he continued to hound us for the money, knowing we couldn’t afford it.

My husband was reg’ed by SO staff who would arrange to meet with him under false pretenses, or try to visit him at home. When I asked him what they would say, he explained how they would insist that he should help to put in his exchange, and used terminology as though he was an OT. My husband had done the purif with me, and nothing else – not a single course, book , or session – because we really couldn’t afford it. He owed them nothing, but they kept pushing until he literally gave them our grocery money, so they would leave.

We would raise funds for specific renovations and repairs, meet our target, and then a few months later we were asking our public for more money for the same thing. I’m sure some of the promises made weren’t kept (we had a debit-order system whereby you would agree to having a monthly deduction from your account, but the company who arranged it would forward the total to the Church. We would raise a lot of money that way, but then have to raise it again when the debit orders “bounced”), or sometimes the amounts needed were under-estimated, but surely not to the tune of millions. Where did all the money go?

One of our more recent events was to acknowledge our staff. Depending on the length of service, staff were awarded with rings. I attended the event, only to find out that I had been forgotten. What made it worse was justifying it to the other staff members who asked me why I wasn’t on stage with them. I wanted to say, “How the hell would I know?” but I would never hang anyone out to dry like that, even though I knew who organised the event – but then so did they.

We spent a fortune on fund-raising for the IAS and Ideal Orgs, but we were constantly running out of money for paper, printer ink, phone airtime, and other basic supplies. When I followed policy and demanded that a percentage of what my courseroom earned be spent on dictionaries or clay, my comm was ignored.

I sent several comms to “higher” management terminals, but never got an ack, never mind an actual response. It did however get me noticed as a trouble-maker. Unfortunately, I can’t prove it.

I learnt that the SO1 line wasn’t as sacrosanct as I thought it was. Apparently the comms were read, probably by the LC office, and then they were supposed to handle the complaint and attach a write-up of the handling to the comm and send it up-lines. Of course there’s no way to know whether all the comms were handled, or if they just disappeared…

When the test centre was opened it was supposed to comply with a specific list per the Ideal Org plan, but these things were not completed in time for the opening. I could understand and accept that, but I couldn’t understand why once the test centre was open it was considered a fait accompli, and the list was never completed. I also never understood why certain purchases, like dictionaries, were made without consulting the supervisors. I had too few dictionaries for my courseroom, and the ones I did have were too advanced for my students, which made them useless.

I struggled to come to terms with the fact that when we achieved a target we would be rewarded with a dinner at a restaurant, or an outing of some kind, when most of us would’ve preferred the money instead, until I realised that the terminals making those decisions were mostly SO and for them a day or night off was more valuable than the money.

There were several instances of upset public, of people that just stopped coming to the Org, but I never found out why. Being posted nearly 30 kilometres away meant I was out of the loop. But I do know that our numbers have dwindled ever since we started demanding more money without any exchange. I guess it speaks for itself…

Most important of all my disagreements would be the complete lack of application of the ARC triangle. It was a tool to be used to get something out of someone, but not a tool to assist all of us in developing our relationships as a group or as a religion. To me that would be analogous to a priest teaching us to pray, but never doing so himself. I often wondered how different things would be if we actually practised what we were so fond of preaching…

THAT’S ALL FOLKS…

There’s a lot more to the story, but the details bore me. I guess I’m just sick of looking back, when the future contains all the possibilities. The past can enlighten you, if you’re prepared to be brutally honest, but the sole purpose of looking at the past is enabling us to create a better future, and that’s where my focus lies. I will continue to clean up my life, complete all my unfinished cycles, and prepare for the future I have begun to create.

You need to know that if it wasn’t for the love and friendship I found in the FSO and FLB staff, I never would have stuck it out as long as I did. Despite the craziness, there was a lot more amazingness balancing it out. My faith in humanity still holds firm, because I found a lot more good than bad, even in the worst examples in the Church.

My experience has taught me that any compromise of one’s integrity or truth leads to degradation of one’s ability to maintain that integrity. In other words, once the ‘whole’ loses a piece of itself, no matter how small, it is no longer whole. I did just that throughout my life, and thanks to Scientology I have learnt how to correct that mistake, and I needed to get out of the Church as part of that correction.

I hope that, if you find yourself in the same boat, you will be able to do the same. I hereby close the door on a time of stupidity, but I walk away with good friends and lessons learnt, and as a better person than I was when I first walked through the doorway. And that’s not bad…

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23 thoughts on “The Michelle Babich story

  1. Wow! what a story!!! I am so glad you are OK now and have improved your life to the extent tht you have. There’s a reference somewhere, and I know this is verbal, but I remember reading something LRH wrote somewhere that any tech is better than no tech at all! There are many independents who are moving up the bridge and doing so well. Look out for them Michelle, these are the people who simply dissapeared!

  2. A more brutally honest account of someone who went through her journey in corporate Scientology you may not find! Michelle I salute you. You went looking for your soul and grew in the experience, a worthy game despite many ups n downs. I’m very glad to have worked with you, helped you and be inspired by you! Your family time is made all the sweeter in the aftermath. Love, your friend.

  3. Oh Michelle. I remember you right from the very beginning!
    Your story had me tears, laughter but overall I felt really really embarrased for all the times the CofS failed you.
    I wish you well, much success and hope that you get to read this.

  4. I’m so glad you got out 🙂 The good ones always do.

    You were always one of the kindest people on staff and you added sanity to an otherwise insane and brutal environment.

    Good on you for leaving and speaking your mind!

  5. Michelle- your story was very “even keel”. There are a number of wonderful people still in who are undoubtedly going through the same or similar ordeal. It is the few (2,5%) who have ruined it.

    VVVVWD Michelle – not only for persisting and fighting the odds for the sake of others, but coming out at the other end being able to say you came out a better person. That speaks volumes of the person you are.

  6. What an incredible story – I couldn’t stop reading!

    To go through what Michelle has gone through and still be sane is testament to how strong one can really be.

    I really think we can all learn something from her.

  7. Wow!! Quite a story Michelle. A few things struck me about it.
    1. You are a brave person.
    2. You are very literate and a patient writer.
    3. In my opinion you should just try and handle your own life now. (you probably know this 🙂 )
    4. The scene at Flag was pure chaos. I have been to Flag many times and most of my problems with Scientology started there. In my opinion a chaotic environment is created by a merchant of chaos. If these areas were being lead by rational people then wouldn’t the scene be rational? Especially lead by the group that claims they have the tech to “save the planet”?

  8. This may be the most riveting, revealing, and brutally honest account I’ve ever read of life inside the RCS. It’s a testament of immense personal strength, and also of the ever-worsening insanity of an organization that seems bent on self-destruction.

    Throughout this story, we hear of people mysteriously disappearing: staff, public, and SO, from Flag, from the org, from the Life Improvement Centre. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the corporate church is dying — and that the death-spiral is happening more quickly than most people think.

    The loss of someone like Michelle can never be made good. But the gain to her family and to the community at large is immeasurable.

  9. Heart-wrenching. Michelle, you deserve a medal of bravery. I can corroborate these accounts as I was witness to it all unfolding. The auditor she speaks of who tried to help her happens to be the self-same one under non-enturb order today. It was Sandra and Albert de Beer who were only too happy to waste Michelle. She needed help, and they betrayed her. As they did so many others.

  10. That’s an incredible story. Thank you, Michelle, for writing it, and thank you backincomm for posting it. It is honest, clean, wise and inspiring.

    I learned several vital things. Thanks again!

  11. My wonderful Book 1 Auditor called me up today. “Hey Michy, you’re famous,” says he, and tells me my story has made it onto the ‘getting back in comm’ page. A few hours later I get an sms from him reminding me to take a look. Now I have to admit I almost put it at the bottom of my very long to-do list, but I always listen a little harder when the advice comes from a friend, and I am so glad I did. To all those who commented, thank you for the wonderful ack! When I find a way through the crazy-busy days I call my life, I hope to reply to each of you personally.

    As you know, I have no problem being identified as me. I have no reason to be psuedononymous as I followed the Tech to the letter, and it led me out of Miscarriage’s CofS. It’s been three years since I told my tale, and it what an incredible time it has been. I have allowed myself to be myself, warts and all, and I am proud of every last wart. Scientology taught me this one incredible truth – I AM, and no-one else IS, so why would I want to destroy an original? You too are YOU, and no-one else IS, and the only way to destroy that would be to deny it.”To thine own self be true”, for what other self could you be true to? I mention this to encourage anyone who is introverting into doubt to be honest about where you are in your journey, and simply ask yourself, “Am I being me?” Do what you know to be your choice. If you are happy with your decisions, let no other voice speak for you.

    I don’t want this to sound like a call to follow me, or those who have made the same choice to leave the CofS. I’m simply asking that you don’t waste too much of your life ignoring yourSELF. Of course you can use up some time to learn what it’s like – nothing wrong with a little experience – but don’t forget to listen to the YOU that knows what it knows, and acknowledge YOU with the choices you make. I don’t regret a single moment, even the mistakes, and wherever your choices lead you, live it fully and well, and neither will you.

    My work beckons, and I must answer the call before I can get some sleep. A shout-out for the wonderful beings responsible for putting this together – I promise to find the time (it can be my xmas pressie) to take a tour and catch up with all the ex-scns. Thanks for giving us a home-grown platform to meet and greet once again! Much admiration and appreciation… xoxo Mich

    • Wow, Michelle.

      What an amazing story and an amazing person you are! Thanks for sharing this. Yet, I’m sure you are not alone and that many others have experienced similarly, the exact same brutality and cruelty as bestowed on you. We may not hear from them but they will identify with you.

      One of the points you made was about ARC and how it was used selectively (1.1, of course). I couldn’t agree more. How come we have this wonderful tech yet with each other, and the public are guilty of it too with each other, the people are judgemental, hostile, hold whispering campaigns and make wrong on a scale that I’ve never experienced before in any other group. If you’ve been found ‘guilty’ of something even twenty years ago, lo and behold, someone will bring it into PT to use against you when it’s suitable and even though said situation handled to EP years ago!

      I have decided I didn’t want to belong to a group of people who do this to one another. When visiting an org, instead of ARC one can find many cold shoulders. It amuses me no end that a staff member, even a public, who has known you for twenty years and who’s standing two feet away from you, doesn’t ‘see’ you to greet you and will even walk past you without ‘seeing’ you as though you are invisible! The politics!

  12. wow pure clarity of words and thought, mich we are looking for you, I was on purif with her she used to read books like kids pop m and m s . Every best to you , and as one great man is said far well and we love you we do cheers Michelle and rip madiba both legends xx

  13. Michelle thank you for sharing your story. As you know it was you and Rob that took my hand and guided me out of the turmoil, best decision I ever made. You were the one person at the org who took me under your wing when I was brand new and ripe for the crush regging!

    You truly are an inspiration to me and many others and I wish you success, love and happiness.

    xxx

  14. At least the nightmare is over. Wow, what a story.

    I still find it amazing of what it takes for someone to finally say, ok, that’s it, I’m out of here. It took a lot for me to do it. I wish you the best Michele.

  15. That was a riveting horror story.

    The TTCers I saw here in LA looked like they were going through hell. One miserable person after another, being hassled or stopped for one ridiculous change of plans after another, not getting enough sleep and being treated terribly by the SO staff there to get them through??? And don’t forget to bill the org that sent them for anything and everything. It made no sense. But until reading this I had no no no no idea how really bad it was.

    It’s all about the $$ and the joy of human slavery, not helping anyone

  16. What an incredible write-up! Your experience was a true testament to what an amazingly strong, decent being you are! I was deeply moved by your story, and through it I saw the valor of your spirit and integrity, which is simply awe-insipiring! Thank you for sharing your story. You have truly inspired me. Myself and many others here in the U.S.A. hear your story and message loud and clear, even though we are thousands of miles away on the other side of the world. I sincerely hope I would have a chance to meet you in person one day, and would like to wish you all the best in your future endeavor.

  17. After reading Michelle’s amazing story and the lovely responses it got me looking (not thinking, lols). People always talk about human rights, womans rights, childrens rights right? Well how about THETAN rights? I believe they take priority over all others and here they are:

    1.Right to your own sanity

    2.Right to leave a Game

    3.Right to make or choose (or not) your OWN GAME to play.

    Now why I think the above is very relevant is observing how the corporate church VIOLATES the above continously, blatantly and completely!! Try leaving the church and all mayhem breaks loose, its not ok to leave the game, no way! The last thing they want is an independant free thinking group playing their own game! The church became the ultimate trap because it purposely violated the RIGHTS of a THETAN. Michelles story highlights the above violations!

  18. Pingback: The Michelle Babich story | Ex-Scientologists Ireland

  19. Pingback: Storm clouds gathering – Idle Orgs Africa | Scientologists back in comm

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