By Travers Harris
In 1980 my wife Corrie gave birth to our baby daughter. I had just completed a mission as Commanding Officer Johannesburg Org so we decided to take a leave of absence. In 1986 I received a phone call from the flag land base in Clearwater that they needed me to report for duty as they wished to purchase a new ship and they needed my expertise due to my past experience. I was reluctant to go but then received further calls from Dave Engelhard including Sue Price who was the CMO missionaire at the ship project and they begged me to come over. I told them we had 3 children to care for and it would be difficult for us. Sue promised me that they would help take care of the children and we would not be separated.
So we gave in and purchased tickets and flew over to Flag where we were cordially met at the airport by Dave Engelhard. I knew Dave from Flag where I was ships programs chief. It was late at night so we were taken to a small rather dilapidated little flatlet where we spent the next week. There were no beds only matrices but we made do. My daughter was 5 and we put her in a public school but the boys went to True School, a Scientology school. Corrie was not very happy about this. Then Corrie who was a reg at FOLO was put on as a flag reg and worked from 9am to 10 pm. Then she was made to babysit from 10pm until 2am sometimes 3am for another reg who worked a later shift. She was dead tired and could not care for our children properly. Then the elder boy was taken out of the true school and transferred to the CMO.
I was then told I must fly down to Miami and see the owner of the ship and negotiate with him. There were no mission orders which was what had to happen while I was still on the Flag Ship but just told to go. I asked for my flight ticket and money for food and they stared at me with a big Ohhh. So they called the FBO and she went and fetched money from treasury, no purchase order nothing, totally off policy. So I got the money purchased my ticket and flew to Miami and negotiated with the owner for 12M dollars. The next day I went to Tampa Bay met the captain and inspected the ship and I approved the purchase.
Then Corrie was getting into trouble for wearing make-up and perfume and the other girls were looking at her as if she was crazy for wearing it. Then I was attacked by Dave Engelhard and it became rather not very nice to put it mildly. I was going to be separated from my family and go on the ship. Corrie was not getting enough sleep, the 2 boys were not getting their education and it was just not a place for a family so we decided to leave. My wife phoned her father and asked him to purchase tickets for us to return to South Africa. One morning early, after receiving our flight tickets we left and flew back to South Africa.
I then went to see a lawyer and got him to write a threatening letter to Sue Price to pay us back the money we spent on the air fares which they did. After a couple of weeks I was phoned by Anne Hogarth and told to collect my cheque for $6,500.00 and I was declared suppressive. I spent 22 years with the movement and today at the age of 73 I am still paying for my involvement with that outfit.