A short note from Ant

Short Note Pic

Editor’s Note: We received the following article from Antony Phillips – a pioneering Scientologist from the 50’s who worked in London. He and Rhona Smit got back in comm earlier this year, and after Rhona left, her daughter Shelley maintained the comm line with Antony. He talks of his early days in Scientology and has a special message for us here at back-in-comm.

In February 2014 Rhona Smit contacted me. She knew me from when she was HCO Secretary in London in 1957, and had seen my home page.  I was overjoyed.  I am working on documenting some of the things that happened in the 50s in London, and there are not many live sources around any more. It was also glorious to comm with someone who remembered those times.

We carried on a lively communication via Skype and email, and I anticipated getting up speed when she had got some things sorted out around her.

And then she died in connection with an air trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town. That was a surprise and a shock.

I was thrown out of the “Church” of Scientology 30 years ago, and after a while I lost interest in what was happening in the “Church” (I felt  had done sufficient amends for my part in building up what became a suppressive monstrosity). Since being thrown out in 1983 I have done a bit of auditing, run a magazine for “Free Scientologists”, participated in “Free Scientology” conferences and generally got on with life. I got less interested about what was happening in the “Church”. I have also done some “odd” things like participate in a Class Action Suite (legal thing) against the “Church” (which “fizzled out”).

However, since Rhona contacted me, and I learned a bit about what is going on in South Africa, I got interested again and concerned, and wondered how/if I could help.   Hearing other peoples stories has helped me, so perhaps hearing mine will help you or others reading this blog.  It is possible that I got “thrown out” before some reading this heard the word Scientology (I’m an old grey beard!).

From 1980 to 1982 I participated in some very successful courses, two levels of the Saint Hill Briefing Course, The Professional Product Debug Course,   the first (later cancelled, I understood because Sea Org Members blew after receiving it) Happiness Rundown Course – 1981 check sheet and materials which do not exist so far as present Church records I have seen show.  I was also receiving NOTS auditing (NOTS did not have an OT number at that time), and (coincidentally!) when my money ran out a long and peculiar chain of actions took place where I was required to write up my overts in various places ending up at some thing called Deck Project Force, which was only for staff, and I was not on staff.  Most weird.  But weirdness of various (off policy!) types is not a stranger to most who read this, so no need to go into detail. Except that one day I got routed to an Ethics Office (or was it Master at Arms), who told me I was a Suppressive Person, that I was to leave the org, not talk to any one (I guess she meant any Scientologists) except her, and was to come back to her when I had found my overt.

Uncomfortable – all my friends were Scientologists – I got a tape and a book I had lent to two people back in the post with no sender address. Sort of “rubbing salt in the wounds”.

Now this is the point (I think 🙂 ) In 1957, I had run for six months a weekly Personal Efficiency Course by a special  method. See this link:

http://scientolipedia.org/info/Teaching_by_Agreement.

For about 26 weeks I had a new group of people each week and worked to get them to understand so they could use basic Scientology data (affinity, reality, communication, eight dynamics, create-survive-destroy, Tone Scale) and get them to give examples of using them in life. Since that time, my experience had only confirmed the validity of these things.

In 1983 all my friends were Scientologists, and with a stroke I had lost all my friends (the Ethics Officer telling me I must not talk to any of them, and to my knowledge and they would have received instructions not to contact to me). I was completely in the dark as to why this had happened to me, and what was going on in the so-called “Church” (I had always been doubtful about calling it a “religion”). But the basic data I knew from years of experience was true for me  and I got to work using that data to get a better job (I was working at a poorly paid night job, hoping to make my living teaching business people LRH Admin Tech as a member of WISE – and that chance was apparently gone).

While I was quite confused as to what  happened to the organisation I regarded as the official Scientology body I still had stable data about life which I gained from Scientology and the core of that was things I learned “teaching” the Personal Efficiency Course in 1957. I knew those things worked.

I was lucky.  A friend who I had met on the Briefing Course (he lived with me every three weeks when he got a week’s leave from his medical orderly oil rig job and went on the Briefing Course in Copenhagen) sent me what was called “The Dane Tops Letter”.  I showed it to one fellow, who had also been “declared”.   He looked at it wisely and said “If you send this to anyone, don’t put your address on the envelope” (looking back, I think this was silly advice!).  I sent it anonymously to four or five others, and next day one of them rang me (we had telephones those days, not mobile, and no Internet) and asked if I sent it.  And from that day there was a group of six or so, apart from me still in the “Church”, who met in my flat weekly, and this early group blossomed out to a somewhat richer life than that I had had the previous years.

We formed something called Det Europæiske Informationscenter (DEI – In English, the European Information Centre), where we offered information packs on the “Church” and and Scientology services and terminals outside to addresses we knew of in Scandinavia, and exchanged information with up to 40 people in various parts of the world (all by post, using old fashioned copy machines – Internet and Personal Computers were still dreams in some nerds’ heads).  At that time there came into existence some Free Scientology magazines in English, and there was a demand for something in Danish, and something was set up (Uafhængige SynspunkterIndependent Viewpoints).  Later I started, with help from other parts of the planet, the magazine IVy (short for Independent Viewpoints), which went all the way from create to destroy – fortunately some of the many helpers set all issues up in pdf form at http://articles.ivymag.org/

Now, being rather forced to by meeting Rhona again (thanks to Skype and email) and then suddenly losing her, I begin to wonder: Do the people who came into Scientology after I was thrown out have such a deep understanding of Scientology basics as I had then?  Are those basics part of their (your) stable data?

There is life outside the official Scientology bodies  – the possibility for a rather a rich and varied life, with freedom to join and leave various groups existing and even form and close your own group and little inhibition on free communication (Internet is a marvellous tool, which Ron, despite being a Science Fiction writer, I do not think ever dreamed of).  I wish you, each and everyone reading these words lots more fun and freedom than loyal “Church” members” have.

Smiley

 

Antony Phillips – ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk

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20 thoughts on “A short note from Ant

  1. Hi Anthony. I met you in Dk in early 79 when I started NOTS at the AO.
    I had a meal at your house one night when I was fascinated to see you eating raw vegetables!
    Good to hear news of you.
    I am doing excellently, having been declared last year, but found a new route to freedom.
    Keep up the good work.
    Regards, Rodney Corbett.

  2. Ant’s modesty is one of his many charms.
    He’s published an amazing volume of material for field Scientologists for many many years. All of which helped keep people connected and “in comm” in the days of snail mail, printing, postage, logistics and expenses made it a serious challenge.
    His efforts have been a beacon of light for the those who had been unceremoniously tossed aside by a schizophrenic and sociopathic institution. They are also a great repository of articles, opinions and data that will be useful on into the future.
    And he’s still at it today.
    He learned to create and edit wiki pages. (with minimal whining or complaint) and has created numerous articles and biographies at scientolipedia.org.
    He’s been dedicated to the preservation of our tech and to telling the stories of the great people who built Scientology.
    And I should add, Ant is a delight to know and a wonderful example of the treasure of great people the Scientology movement has been blessed with.

    • Thank you, Dave. I would like to appeal for help on a project I am working on for Scientolipedia (http://scientolipedia.org/info/Main_Page) . A very famous Scientologist in the 50s, Jack Horner, came to South Africa. He wrote a book, published by Scientology in 1956, called Summary of Scientology, and that book was written in South Africa. I have data on his activities in USA and England (including he gave a marvelous set of lectures after he left the “Church”) but South Africa is a total mystery. The book was published in 1956. That is now a long time ago – what you might call near the cradle of Scientology.
      If you can rack your brains a bit, and possibly use search sort of facilities in South Africa, and see if you can find something I would be much appreciated. Help me get “back in com” with Scientologys South African past in this matter!

      All the best, Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

  3. Not to downplay this article in any way, but I have been thinking recently – where is Rhona’s story? I think we all know she was writing her memoirs – that’s probably why she contacted Anthony – and I think it’s time we saw something dammit!

  4. Dear Rodney,
    Congratulations on escaping – and gaining much more freedom! I remember that meal at my place (which others prepared for me). I don’t eat quite so fanatically now, although still not meat (fish though).
    Excuse me not remembering you. There were quite a number of South Africans in Denmark at that time for NOTs auditing. I remember particularly Sydney, who I went weekly to Saunas with for companionship. Any one remember him?
    One of the things I did to “reestablish my relationship to the ordinary world” was to buy some books of that time on “Suppressive Groups”. Surprising to see common points with the “Church” as it became. I wrote an account about my findings. See http://articles.ivymag.org/pdf/ivy01.pdf page 25. Note that the Cult Awareness Network was taken over by the “Church” after it had bankrupted it, using the USA legal system 😦
    Best wishes to you and all other South Africans that manage to come out into the sunlight of real freedom 🙂
    Ant(ony)

  5. Big thanks for creating IVy, Antony. I’ve been reading through the archives, a little at a time, and it contains a lot that can still enlighten those of us who had our heads in the sand during the 80s and 90s.

    And it’s an interesting question as to whether the younger generation of Scientologists have duplicated the stable data that the PE course and Fundamentals of Thought stressed. There have been a lot of altered importances since then with millions of published words that Miscavige insists are all equally and infinitely important. The culture of Scientology changed for the worse, away from those two key words – fun and freedom.

    I had the privilege of seeing the Melbourne Org at the beginning of the 60s, when the local Scientologists were free-thinking young iconoclasts who naturally became heroes to a 10-year-old. And as for far-off Saint Hill, it seemed something like Camelot, where the knights of a new civilization dwelled. The spirit of those days is still there for everyone who wants to claim it. We still need that new civilization, but I think it can only be won by goodwill and a willingness to learn. Plus some fun and freedom along the way.

    • Dear David, Thanks – “key words – fun and freedom.” 🙂 Did you ever come across this one I remember well: If it is not fun it is not Scientology? Also a word that Ron used in the PDC lectures (1954) which I, native English born, had to look up: insouciance.
      You mention “Melbourne Org at the beginning of the 60s”.
      I had a friend, unfortunately dead, who reckoned Ron was at his peak in 1959, and quotes the first Melbourne ACC (November 1959) as the peak. These were aimed at trained auditors and Ron also gave a series in London that year for new professional auditor course students: April and May 1959. I was not on staff at that time, and did not know about them til about ten years ago. Also the PDC tapes from 1964 are good from a more philosophical point of view. They are all available for free and with a certainty that David Miscavige editing hand has not cut anything out – three or four passages where Ron predicted the possibility of things going the way they did have later been cut out. I know you were to young to appreciate those things, but Ron ensured that most of his lectures were recorded, and with modern technology most are available for free if you nose around a bit.
      As for IVy, God knows what drove me to put in all that work (check with him if you are on good terms). It was fun, and I had enormous amount of help from many countries. But in the dark recesses of my mind (I think there are some still left 🙂 ) I had the feeling I was “making amends” for having helped build up the organisation that David Miscavige was able to take over and twist upside down. I later came to feel I had made amends, but carried on while it was still fun. And so many people contributed, also to getting it put up on the net. Reminder: http://articles.ivymag.org/pdfs.html Cpy it to your hard drive (or USB) if you want to.
      Its good to hear from you. All the best,

      Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

  6. Hi Ant, just had to say hello. I guess you and I have been out about the same length of time. On this I think you will agree – every year since I walked away from the C of S my amazement grows as to just how narrow one’s perspective became the longer one remained in the C of S. And this in spite of Scientology’s claim to make the aware more aware. I am sure I will hear more from you in future. . , , .

    • Hi Joe!
      Joe and I were on staff at “the original Saint Hill”. Also when I was on Staff at Pubs Org in Copenhagen (where Pubs Org staff lived for a while on the north coast) I can remember driving over to Abilund, a sort of country manor which Joe and the rest of the AO had fled to when thrown out of Greece. I was getting the old OT IV – they later discovered I was not complete on the old OT III!
      You say: “amazement grows as to just how narrow one’s perspective became “. Yes! Talk about eight (equally important) dynamics. The first Happiness Rundown (1980, November) was aimed at going over (lightly) all eight dynamics. My next project is to document that, which was canceled in Bulletin of 15 January 1984 – and I was told that first version was canceled because too many blew the Sea Org after having it. (Maybe that is a good recommendation for a process!)
      Continued good journey to you Joe,
      Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

  7. Ant,
    .
    You provided a vital service when you started IVy magazine. For all practical purposes, then, there was no Internet. Around the same time, the American publication, Free Spirit, was reaching the end of its run, having begun around 1983. When the Free Spirit ceased publication, IIRC, around the early 1990s, IVy continued.
    .
    Look forward to the next installment of another 20 issues of scanned articles.
    .
    I didn’t always agree with every view expressed in IVy, but there was always a variety of views expressed, and important data presented. I appreciate that you were willing to provide a forum for the expression of many viewpoints.
    .
    Best wishes on all your current and upcoming projects.

    • Many thanks. I knew I did not have any final truth, so I accepted any article that came along (exception, two or three I could not understand!),: I also solicited some articles, including the regular columns. I was aware that the people subscribing mostly had been mildly or strongly brain washed not to think for themselves, so part of my secret hidden purpose was to encourage people to think for themselves. I am sorry the magazine did not continue in some way, but new possibilities open up. and it is my hope that some of the under 80s amongst us will work (together, separately or both) to present viewpoints and news in a relatively sober and thought provoking way. It needs people who are thoroughly stuck on the “persist” part of the cycle of action! In the mean time all the old IVys are up, and give a (rather lopsided) idea of the history of the free Scientology movement. http://articles.ivymag.org/pdfs.html

      Incidentally, there was NO Internet when I started IVy, It took a week for a letter to get to USA and another week to get a reply. We could not even scan in documents that came by post in the beginning – I had to find some one to type them in.

      Thanks for the message – very much. Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

  8. Wow, this is so exciting. Thank you Ant for this article and all your data.

    “I begin to wonder: Do the people who came into Scientology after I was thrown out have such a deep understanding of Scientology basics as I had then? Are those basics part of their (your) stable data?”

    Ant and David Cooke, my answer to this is a big fat sad NO. Although I have not been around for as long as you have I have observed a horribly dwindling trend here. Some of my greatest heroes are old-timers who’ve been around during Ron’s earlier years (fifties to seventies, probably). One of the most saddening things in the CoS is that people no longer have a grasp of those basics, of the data. The younger they get, the worse it is. If I was to estimate a stat fall in Understanding my guess would be: 10 % down with every decade, starting approx in the seventies.

    Most younger people don’t remain Scientologists after leaving the cult. I attribute this fact to the above. They have been so MIStaught and MISaudited (overrun, evaluated, “Scientology is serious, serious, serious”. They got too little of the good stuff.

  9. Meja Deja on August 1, 2014 at 10:47 am said: “Wow, this is so exciting. Thank you Ant for this article and all your data.”
    Yes. If you have, so to speak, been wandering in the wilderness for umpteen years, and suddenly get a glimpse at the promised land (so to speak), it is not that bad. But I suspect there is a fair amount of work to do – but the “promised land” is there.
    Ant wrote: “I begin to wonder: Do the people who came into Scientology after I was thrown out have such a deep understanding of Scientology basics as I had then? Are those basics part of their (your) stable data?”
    Meja Deja on August 1, 2014 at 10:47 am  answered: “Ant and David Cooke, my answer to this is a big fat sad NO. Although I have not been around for as long as you have I have observed a horribly dwindling trend here. Some of my greatest heroes are old-timers who’ve been around during Ron’s earlier years (fifties to seventies, probably). One of the most saddening things in the CoS is that people no longer have a grasp of those basics, of the data. The younger they get, the worse it is. If I was to estimate a stat fall in Understanding my guess would be: 10 % down with every decade, starting approx in the seventies.”
    [Ant, in something like present time replies:] I have thought more over this, and the “answer” (situation) is vastly different for different people. I had to get Reality (etc.) understood about 26 times to different groups (in 1957). It made me look. But it is quite likely that some “deep thinker” has just read Ron’s data once (different books), pondered deeply on it, used it, and got as deep an understanding as I did (or deeper). But note that the current “Authorities” do not encourage looking in the direction of Scientology basics.
    Meja Deja on August 1, 2014 at 10:47 am  wrote: “Most younger people don’t remain Scientologists after leaving the cult. I attribute this fact to the above. They have been so MIStaught and MISaudited (overrun, evaluated, “Scientology is serious, serious, serious”). They got too little of the good stuff.”
    [Ant:] True, sad and true – and they call themselves Ex- Scientologsts with the Ex in very large black letters.
    While pondering on this and the other replies on this thread I came to look at the three “Methods used by Subject to handle others” (best covered in the LRH editions of Science of Survival ( Nullification, Domination and Enhancement). It was obvious to me (from second hand accounts, thank goodness) that the present day “Church” uses only (or to be on the safe side, say mostly) Nullification and Dominatin (which includes punishment). But I wondered about earlier. I thought of my first Scientology org job (Dublin March to September 1957). There was no domination or nulification – I was alone out there ( with two part time subordinates) and I made a mess of it (I got the win of really understanding basics, but the Dublin Org was just as much a financial wreck when I left it as when I joined). But what happened? My senior, Jack Parkhouse (who later went to South Africa) finally found me a replacement (I had held on in “hell” for six months). But not only that, he found me a job I could do in HASI London. No punishment, telling of or anything. After realising that, I also realised that life in the London Org was in many ways similar to other jobs. Set working hours (9.00 to 5.30 five days a week, with an hour for lunch) and a set salary which was paid, like in many other firms at that time with set pay once a week. It was also like that when I first went to work at Saint Hill in England in Aug 1964. 9.30 to 5.30 with an hour for lunch (we got driven in to East Grinstead to buy and eat lunch in a restaurant, like I had done in London). It was only later (about 67) that I was forced to come in in the evenings to study Policy, and the word “Ethics” was heard of and became dominant.
    But I wander. Outside “official” (degraded and turned upside down) Scientology there is a normal world. But people who have been dominated by the modern “Church” for some time, and have associations with those still in, have a way to get back to what you might describe as normal life, let alone the peaks you experience in the normal world, when you know and use the genuine (and understood) Scientology data.
    My heart bleeds for you all (not that that makes any difference, other than to make me need a blood transfusion).
    All the best,
    Ant

    • “It was obvious to me (from second hand accounts, thank goodness) that the present day “Church” uses only (or to be on the safe side, say mostly) Nullification and Dominatin (which includes punishment).”
      I’ve never thought of it that way, but now that you mention it, yes, it is true. You telling of Dublin and Saint Hill is very interesting and informative to me, and probably many others here too I imagine. Too good to hear how things were different then!
      Blessings to you

      • Dear Meja Deja , Many thanks for your note – I think the three methods “used by subject to handle others” are of extreme importance. Your letter got me to ponder quite a bit.
        Ron once said that the last thing you run out in Scientology is Scientology itself, and I sometimes wonder if I am nearing that state, for some things from Scientology I consider extremely important (like the three different tone levels associated with method used by subject to handle others, Science of Survival, at least in preMiscavige issues). Other thing, like details of what is or isn’t standard tech, make me yawn.
        Rather unusually, all though I have worked both in London (50’s) and Saint Hill England (60s) when Ron was around, I have had very little face to face contact with him. I think once in London, and three times at Saint Hill. I was shy and withdrawn, and the last thing I would do was to waste the great man, Ron’s, time. I have noticed that many writing about Ron (perhaps just those that suit “the party line”) describe the enormous charisma he emanated. While I respect others subjective experience I never experienced that.
        One thing I think many forget (perhaps because of the invalidatory way “Ron was a Science Fiction writer” has been used critically) is that during the time of the depression, he earned his living writing various types of fiction. I understand there was pretty little social security and unemployment benefit at that time and much poverty and money shortage. Many people had very little money, and watched every penny. It was the time of the song that went: “Once I built a railroad, now its done; Buddy, can you spare a dime?”. Yet Ron was able to persuade publishers (experiencing themselves a hard time) to accept and pay for his various types of fiction. He got experience the hard way in finding people’s reality level. That experience he used in promoting Scientology. When I was at Saint Hill he gave lectures. Despite nearly always being late starting the Hall was packed. Every one wanted to hear him. There was an expectation that something good was coming. My experience was that, although I attended them all, I always failed to follow the thread of the thread of the hour and a half long lectures – one way flow (compare my little article on Teaching by Agreement! http://scientolipedia.org/info/Teaching_by_Agreement). Listening at home after I left the Church, following a transcript, I have since found real gems in what he said! My main point is there became an atmosphere of admiring Ron (whether one understood him or not), and that allowed him to get away with some questionable things, which later, less adept followers have imitated.
        There! Just of the top of my head. Hope it gives a viewpoint which helps some out of the mess that Scientology has become.
        All the best,

        Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

      • My Dear Meja Deja , Many thanks for your note – I think the three methods “used by subject to handle others” are of extreme importance. Your letter got me to ponder quite a bit.
        Ron once said that the last thing you run out in Scientology is Scientology itself, and I sometimes wonder if I am nearing that state, for some things from Scientology I consider extremely important (like the three different tone levels associated with method used by subject to handle others, Science of Survival, at least in preMiscavige issues). Other thing, like details of what is or isn’t standard tech, make me yawn.
        Rather unusually, all though I have worked both in London (50’s) and Saint Hill England (60s) when Ron was around, I have had very little face to face contact with him. I think once in London, and three times at Saint Hill. I was shy and withdrawn, and the last thing I would do was to waste the great man, Ron’s, time. I have noticed that many writing about Ron (perhaps just those that suit “the party line”) describe the enormous charisma he emanated. While I respect others subjective experience I never experienced that.
        One thing I think many forget (perhaps because of the invalidatory way “Ron was a Science Fiction writer” has been used critically) is that during the time of the depression, he earned his living writing various types of fiction.
        To be continued

      • Continued answering Meja Deja:
        I understand there was pretty little social security and unemployment benefit at that time and much poverty and money shortage. Many people had very little money, and watched every penny. It was the time of the song that went: “Once I built a railroad, now its done; Buddy, can you spare a dime?”. Yet Ron was able to persuade publishers (experiencing themselves a hard time) to accept and pay for his various types of fiction. He got experience the hard way in finding people’s reality level. That experience he used in promoting Scientology. When I was at Saint Hill he gave lectures. Despite nearly always being late starting the Hall was packed. Every one wanted to hear him. There was an expectation that something good was coming. My experience was that, although I attended them all, I always failed to follow the thread of the thread of the hour and a half long lectures – one way flow (compare my little article on Teaching by Agreement! http://scientolipedia.org/info/Teaching_by_Agreement). Listening at home after I left the Church, following a transcript, I have since found real gems in what he said! My main point is there became an atmosphere of admiring Ron (whether one understood him or not), and that allowed him to get away with some questionable things, which later, less adept followers have imitated.
        There! Just of the top of my head. Hope it gives a viewpoint which helps some out of the mess that Scientology has become.
        All the best,

        Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

  10. Continued answering Meja Deja: [ref Ron making a living in the 30’s)
    I understand there was pretty little social security and unemployment benefit at that time and much poverty and money shortage. Many people had very little money, and watched every penny. It was the time of the song that went: “Once I built a railroad, now its done; Buddy, can you spare a dime?”. Yet Ron was able to persuade publishers (experiencing themselves a hard time) to accept and pay for his various types of fiction. He got experience the hard way in finding people’s reality level. That experience he used in promoting Scientology. When I was at Saint Hill he gave lectures. Despite nearly always being late starting the Hall was packed. Every one wanted to hear him. There was an expectation that something good was coming. My experience was that, although I attended them all, I always failed to follow the thread of the thread of the hour and a half long lectures – one way flow (compare my little article on Teaching by Agreement! http://scientolipedia.org/info/Teaching_by_Agreement). Listening at home after I left the Church, following a transcript, I have since found real gems in what he said! My main point is there became an atmosphere of admiring Ron (whether one understood him or not), and that allowed him to get away with some questionable things, which later, less adept followers have imitated.
    There! Just of the top of my head. Hope it gives a viewpoint which helps some out of the mess that Scientology has become.
    All the best,

    Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

  11. Continued answering Meja Deja: [Ref Ron earnng a living in the 30’s]
    I understand there was pretty little social security and unemployment benefit at that time and much poverty and money shortage. Many people had very little money, and watched every penny. It was the time of the song that went: “Once I built a railroad, now its done; Buddy, can you spare a dime?”. Yet Ron was able to persuade publishers (experiencing themselves a hard time) to accept and pay for his various types of fiction. He got experience the hard way in finding people’s reality level. That experience he used in promoting Scientology. When I was at Saint Hill he gave lectures. Despite nearly always being late starting the Hall was packed. Every one wanted to hear him. There was an expectation that something good was coming. My experience was that, although I attended them all, I always failed to follow the thread of the thread of the hour and a half long lectures – one way flow (compare my little article on Teaching by Agreement! http://scientolipedia.org/info/Teaching_by_Agreement). Listening at home after I left the Church, following a transcript, I have since found real gems in what he said! My main point is there became an atmosphere of admiring Ron (whether one understood him or not), and that allowed him to get away with some questionable things, which later, less adept followers have imitated.
    There! Just of the top of my head. Hope it gives a viewpoint which helps some out of the mess that Scientology has become.
    All the best,

    Ant (ant.phillips@post8.tele.dk)

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