Recruitment and the EPF

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Dr. Donna Shannon
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Recruitment and the EPF

Post by Dr. Donna Shannon » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:25 pm

As I wrote earlier, I got sucked into $cientology in 1995. Over ther years I was badgered into signing several Sea Org contracts, but then a crazy cycle of setting a completely unreal arrival date would ensue, and I would be left feeling like I had committed some "overt" , and go into the self-invalidation thing. I was told to "be OT". I'm sure this is a familiar cycle to many of you.

In 2002 I was brainwashed enough to sell my practice and move to Clearwater to go full time "up the bridge". That fall, they got me going again by telling me that they were buying a small plane and needed a pilot. I thought, THIS is the kind of game I would love! I can "save the planet" etc etc. Well, of course, I wanted that in writing, and it wasn't happening. The terminal involved, who was supposedly quite high on the org board, simply could not understand finance or airplane data. So, again, I dropped it.

In 2003, I met my husband on a $cientology dating website. He is also a pilot, and was and "old" OT VIII. He had been in the SO briefly when he was much younger, so for a while the recruiters left us alone.

In February of 2005, I went in for my "six month check". The recruiter got talking to my husband and he said he had taken LSD. She suggested that he read the "policy" on this and see if he really did take it or not (how rediculous-a person knows if he took LSD or not!), and he thought maybe he didn't after all, so "meter checks" were done. He was then told that he didn't, and we started getting the heavy-duty reg cycle to join again. (He did take LSD) Well, by now, I was pretty heavily indoctrinated, so I decided that I really COULD "confront" joining the SO, despite the many outpoints I had observed as public. I was told that I could take my cats, and that they could be indoor cats, as I didn't want them outside running around. I got a written "CSW" from the Sr. HAS FLB, a little girl named Jasmine, who seemed (at the time) very uptone and into the "spirit of play".

One of my big stops before was the fact that I wasn't allowed to see the berthing. They showed pictures (all lies). Well, with cats, I had to know it would be a liveable solution (for those of you who don't know, I am a feline veterinarian by profession.) I was told I had to arrange for the cats to be somewhere else during the EPF. (After being there, I can assure you, that once you are "caught" you'll never get out to get them.) So, we decided my husband would do the EPF first, then fix up a room for the cats, then he would have them there and I would do the EPF. We set a target date of December 31 of 2005.

More and more lies started coming our way. We were told that we would always have days off together. That every Saturday morning was free time. That all food, vitamins, etc was taken care of, and any medical care or dental care would be paid for by the SO. I was concerned because I had seen SO members disappear and was told that "his wife fot ill". I thought, why would they leave, and where would they go? Wouldn't they be considered valuable members and get the best of care? I was assured that they were getting great care at some "home". We were told that there's an exercise facility at the Hacienda, and there's a pool. Staff gets 3 weeks off a year, you know, to go wherever they want. Etc etc. The recruiter, Brenda, told me the EPF would last 4-5 days.

So, then they started getting the big guns out. The CO, ol' Debbie, came and met with us. She told me that my husband was needed on the TTC before the end of March. This was completely unreal to me. I was actaully getting the flu or something that night, & felt sick, so I was quite rude to her. I told her that I didn't want to be somebody's stat. She said she had plenty of good stats and didn't need us! She called me an "amazon woman". Just wait, Debbie, I'm just getting going!

To make a very long story shorter, I'll just say that Sam Scelza started following Mike around, practically moved into the house. We finally relented, he quit his job, and went into the EPF. His EPF lasted 7 days. We had a lot of debt, and some pretty squirrely handlings were suggested. I got very upset by this whole thing. Of course, I was thrown into session. My "six month check" which usually lasted about 5 days, went on for almost 2 months.

So, Mike finished the EPF, then he had been told he could help me handle the rest of the cycles. So he came back home. We started selling our stuff, you know the drill. I found homes for 2 of my cats that I knew could not deal with living in one room. He was now officially a "Sea Org " member, so he could see the rooms. A "large" room with a porch was vacated for us. Mike told me it was horrible. There were termites, cockroaches, nasty stinking carpet, a hole in the bathroom wall, an old dishwasher that didn't work; a bare light bulb hung in the kitchen. We had permission to fix up the room any way we wanted, at our expense, of course. Another SO member, Sonia Rodriquez, may she rot in hell (she;s there already), who is the "ESTO I/C", had helped recruit me. She asked Mike to tile her room too. So, he busted his butt to tile 2 bedrooms, the bathroom, the kitchen, and part of the common area. He put in a new toilet, bought some light fixtures, got rid of the olf dishwasher, and actually made it look pretty decent. Still had the cockroaches & termites, though. He screened our porch and put in a cat door for my cats. We spent about 2 grand on all this. (For those who don't know, at the Hacienda, 4 married couples share a floor, which has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.)

So, finally, I routed into the EPF, and a few days later he moved the cats into the Hacienda. We took our own furniture as well.

At first, the EPF seemed like a game. I was told to wear a t-shirt and a pair of jeans. I didn't own a pair of sneakers that was comfortable, so I had to go buy some. I was told there were plenty of clothes, and the "uniforms" would be provided. This was another lie. There were no jeans that fit me at all. The shirts were pretty beat up. We got yelled at for having stains on the shirts, but that's what they gave us. At first, I was put into a room with only one other person. This wasn't too bad. I was supposed to be auditing on OT VII. I was told that provisions would be made for me to do that. Guess again! The EPF I/C said that I would have to work it out, that there wasn't a place, or time, etc. I did manage to get a room, but often they would lock it up so I couldn't get in. It was a room in the nasty old staff collge. So downstat! The public gets beautiful courserooms, the staff gets a shithole. After the first week, I pretty much just fell asleep in there when I tried to audit. I had to buy protein bars just to keep from starving. And, of course, there were no vitamins. We had to get out laundry done, somehow, but we we forced to go to bed by a cretain time. But of course, the laundry had to be done. At first we had a guy who did it. Then he left. For a while, another person had to do it. We had to PAY to have our laundry done!!!!!! Not only are you a slave, you PAY to be one!!! The rest of the time, we would have to stay up or get up really early to get our clothes washed. At the QI, just like the Hacienda, there aren't enough machines, so you have to fight over them and wait until there is one. The dog-eat-dog attitude in the SO is unreal. All this, of course, causes sleep deprivation, which is the hallmark of brainwashing organizations.

My roommate "finished" and I had a room to myself. This slipped by for a few days, then I was ordered to move next door, with 5 other women. There were many empty rooms. But, they wanted us to have to fight over a shower and be crowded in together. So, 2 of us had to sleep on the floor, in pull out beds, while there were plenty of rooms available.

So, I finished the courses in 4 days. I fully expected to complete. The EPF I/C would lie to me and say "tomorrow". This went on for a while. I thought, they're fucking with me. Then I would think, they wouldn't do that, would they? But, it was too obvious. The MEST work was usually made up stuff, just to see if we would do it. For example, one day, they sent me and a new Italian recruit, who was going into the TTC, and had probably never done any hard MEST work in her life, to move large pieces of plywood from under the spiral of the parking garage, into a little room just off the entry to the parking garage. There were rats and spiders in there. She would just be in tears but kept on going.

Later I was sent out to Sherwood Gardens to work on the grounds. This actually was fun, as I like doing work on plants. The first few days, the poor little Italian girl, and a girl from England were sent with me. They were both very white and hadn't been in the sun much. I suggested that they use sunscreen but they didn't have any. I made sure we had LOTS of water, and at the time I still believed LRH's bullshit about salt & potassium, so I brought my own & gave it to them. They both got FRIED. The Italian girl was blistered and crying. She had to stay at the QI the next day. The EPF I/C just laughed. He was annoyed, I think, because I didn't get burned, and I love the outdoors. The bad thing when we were there was that we didn't get to go back to eat, they brought food out (sooner or later). It was usually cold nasty eggs with some kind of sausage pieces, or cold pancakes, very soggy (high protein there).

They told me they had just bought Sherwood Gardens. It was full of drug dealers, gays, losers of all types, and in very bad shape. I recently found out they have owned it for years. I saw drug deals going down. They said that the leases hadn't expired, or they would throw those people out. All lies.

Then I found out I wouln't really be able to drive my car without "car school". a very suppressive course full of things that are hard for most people to understand. In it LRH tells you how to wash a car- like he knows!! But of course, we all just buy it. I, by then, just wanted to get through it, because I was GOING to be able to drive. I finished it pretty fast. They try to tell you you can't do it until you finish soem other very long bullshit courses like "FLB Basic Hat". I said bullshit, I'm doing this.

During this EPF period, I hardly saw my husband. I was there for 3 weeks, but it seemd like eternity. I was jerked around unbelieveably. I kept asking the EPF I/C why I wasn't allowed to finish. He told me all kinds of lies. Once he told me I " wasn't third dynamically oriented". Sam Scelza came in one night, late, and told me that it was a problem to bring the cats. I blew up. I said, then get me the hell out of here! So later, sweet little Sonia came and told me that I just had all the wrong reactions to be a Sea Org member- I should have said, "how can we as a group solve this?" Her suggestion was to pretend I was giving her half my cats. So I "agreed" to this. After the first 5-6 days in the EPF, I knew it was mind-fuck. But, realize, I was there, a prisoner, BEING mind-fucked. The EPF I/C would tell me my completion was on the line, he would know at 8 PM. 8 PM would come & go. I'd ask him and he would yell at me. This went on & on. Finally one day I just lost it. I stood about 2 inches from his face and just screamed back at him. I told him that I didn't believe that LRH wanted a bunch of pansy slaves for SO members (how wrong I was!). I was afraid that if I left, I'd never see my husband or my cats again, so I figured, grit your teeth, get through it now matter what, and then resolve it.

One time a "fitness board" was scheduled so I could finish. The EPF I/C didn't show up with the folders. Again, intentional. So, it had to be rescheduled for the next week. I was furious.

The day finally came that I was "allowed" to go to the Hacienda. My car battery was dead. I found someone to jump it for me. Then, the security guard would not let me out. I had to go back and get a written note to allow me to drive my own car!!!

So, I got there. My husband was in isolation for a cold (but-clears don't GET colds, do they???). My cats' litterboxes were filthy, as he hadn't been there for a day or 2. Ol' Sonia had promised to take care of them. It was a mess in there! Mike wasn't given time to unpack our stuff. So I spent my "day off" that I got for finishing the EPF, cleaning the room.

I'll continue later.

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Post by PTS » Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:52 pm

I find your stories to be compelling and sad at the same time.
You have truly been put through the mill.
I am sure it will take some time for you to get over your ordeal. Good luck with that.

Two questions.
Why would you lump drug dealers, gays, and losers of all types into one category?
Are you still in such a scientological mindset that you feel prejudiced toward certain groups?

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Post by Dr. Donna Shannon » Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:26 pm

I'm not "lumping" anyone into categories, simply telling you what was there. Also had some very old poor people, handicapped, ill, but NOT people who were doing well, as they should have been if in contact with "the tech" of $cientology.

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Post by Sunshine » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:25 pm

Well, the EPF is exactly for break in. You have to comply with everything that they say. You are fit only if you obey - sort of brainwashing.
I've heard similar stories.
They promise anything you request, just to have you in, once you are there, then everything changes.
It is a farse to get people in. As you said about the fried Italian girl in the sun, they do not care if they are hurting people, or not.
It is the most insane thing I've seen in my life.

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Post by daisy » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:29 pm

Dr Shannon,

I find no problem with anything you wrote.

For somone never in the SO, your stories answer a lot of questions for me. One thing I do know, the SO recruiters will say anything for their stat. They lied repeatedly to my son and daughter when they were trying to recruit them. My daughter at the time was 11 years old.

I'm sharing your stories with my husband too. Please continue.

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Post by no_8c_now » Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:53 pm

4-5 days on the EPF? If I recall correctly, there are about 5 courses you have to do and checksheet time is greater than that?

Lemme see if I can recall what had to be done,

Basic Study Course (if no St Hat)
Welcome to the SO tapes (Hubbard shows off his knowledge of ship terms)
Ethics course (killer for most people, esp *rate on Simon Bolivar PL)
Grooming course
I know there was 1 or 2 others but can't think of them.

I was a quick student and it took me about 3 weeks which was about what was expected. I knew many who took months to get through. More often than not these were the cadet kids who had a lifetime of LRH tech shoved down ther throats, the public kids usually got through much quicker. So when I hear those say how great Study Tech is, they've got to see these ex-cadets on course, bogged, falling asleep, clueless about life in general, history, world events. Big eye-opener for me.

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Post by Dr. Donna Shannon » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:07 pm

That's still pretty much the course lineup. I had done Ethics Specialist and lots of "OT Hatting" so I finished them in 4 days, as well as doing my work and "auditing". I wanted out of there pretty bad. I hated being treated like a piece of shit and doing "close order drilling". I saw no point in that. I was led to believe that once through the EPF, it got better. Well, that was another lie. I honestly thought there would be no more "Left FACE!!" "Right FACE!!" BS- If I'd wanted that I'd joi9n the military. Where does that fit into a religion?

Also, please realize that I'm not looking for sympathy here. I have recovered far better than most. I saw right away, what I saw. I never looked back. I do not yearn to be "back on the level". Although it was a horrible experience, I'm so glad that it did wake me up. Otherwise, I might still be trying to "audit BTs" out of myself!!! I just want to show it like it is. Many others have endured 1000 times worse than what I did. Maybe my stories will give them the courage to help themselves, or to prevent similar things from happening.

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Post by Whitedove » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:27 pm

Dr. Donna Shannon wrote:
Also, please realize that I'm not looking for sympathy here. I have recovered far better than most. I saw right away, what I saw. I never looked back. I do not yearn to be "back on the level". Although it was a horrible experience, I'm so glad that it did wake me up. Otherwise, I might still be trying to "audit BTs" out of myself!!! I just want to show it like it is. Many others have endured 1000 times worse than what I did. Maybe my stories will give them the courage to help themselves, or to prevent similar things from happening.
First I dont see you are looking for sympathy. If someone said something to make you feel that way, they are off track.
Looking for support is OK! It does help to share our stories (those that write them and those that read them) so I dont see it as something negative. On the contrary!
Please, continue to speak out as you do.
As I said before I can relate often to what you say and also the nightmare thread I love because I am not the only one going through that kind of dreams (more like nightmares) I would say and it makes others see what $cientology do to a person.
When many people say similar stories, its not a one person exageration or 'dramatisation' (if some may think that) but that there is actually something really wrong there.


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Post by jax » Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:38 pm

Hello again Dr. Shannon,

Your stories are very important.
They are the truth!
I hope anyone who is thinking that something is wrong with them for wanting to leave will realize that they aren't wrong for wanting decent living conditions & the very basic creature comforts in life. You know, like good food (& enough of it) & a proper amount of sleep every night.

I did see the berthing in LA one time. I wasn't suppose to, but the genius in the SO who was showing it to my friend apparently didn't realize that I wasn't there to stay for an extended period of time so I got to go too.

It was horrible!
There were 3 bunk beds stacked 4 high. This was in a room barely suitable for 2 people, let alone 12!
The mattresses had dark blue plastic looking covers on them, some beds had a sheet halfway falling off of them, some were bare with a pillow on them. There was one window with broken blinds on it & a fan in the window. There were, I think, 6 tiny chests of drawers stacked 2 high in between the bunks. There were clothes & stuff hanging from the bunk bed frames because there wasn't anyplace else to hang things up.
We were led down the hall to a bathroom with 2 sinks, 2 showers & 2 toilet stalls. I don't know how many people were suppose to share this facility. I hate to imagine what it must be like in the morning & evenings with everyone trying to 'shit, shower & shave' at the same time.

We were informed that all meals were taken at the mess hall (we weren't given a tour of that so I don't know what it was like). I heard that you had to get there early to get anything close to decent & if you were late the leftovers were pretty nasty--if there were any. I didn't see this first hand however.

I don't doubt for a minute that the church was evasive & lied to you about the living conditions. They know very well that nobody would ever consider joining if the sub-standard conditions that they pass off as normal are revealed too early in the recruiting process.
Hell, the SO member who showed me & my friend around wouldn't answer any questions we asked about the berthing beforehand. We were told--quite curtly--why don't we just wait & see the rooms for ourselves?

Well, we saw & guess what? My friend made other living arrangements while completing the tech program.

There are more points to your post that I would like to comment on, but I have to get some work done first.
Keep the posts coming Dr. Shannon, you are really putting the glaring spotlight on the thing called SO & Scientology!!
Take care.

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Post by Dr. Donna Shannon » Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:05 pm

Just a couple more incidents I want to touch on before continuing with my story. My roommate at first was a long-time SO member. I was confused. WHY would she be in the EPF? She told me it was a case of "underutilization of personnel" or some vague thing like that. That she just wasn't on the right post, or something. I didn't quite buy it, but what did I know? She "finished" (after several months of being there) just after I got there, and was re-posted- in the laundry (dry cleaners) at the Hacienda. While there she hadn't been able to see her husband- they were both posted in the AO. I thought that was odd.

Anyway, about a week or so after I got there, some more "new" EPFers showed up. One of them was Tommy Davis, from CC Int. He told me he had been the VP at CC Int. I didn't know any better than to ask questions (after all, isn't Grade O supposed to make you able and willing to communicate?), so I asked what he was doing in the EPF at FLAG. He said he "got busted". I persisted in my questioning, and he said that he had "fucked up on Tom Cruise's lines", but wouldn't say any more than that. He told me he had been in the SO since he was 16 or 17 (I'd guess him at 30-32 years old now). I thought this was a rotten way to treat someone that loyal. I asked him what his intentions were, and he said he was going to do whatever it took to go back on his post, as that was what he wanted to do in life. He sounded like a robot, almost, when he said it. This also started putting some cracks in the armor, as doubt crept in for me.

Tommy was a hard-working, really nice kid. He was raked over the coals. He was forced to stay up until 2 AM scrubbing out dumpsters while RTC watched. He had to get up at 6 AM and do our laundry. He was told "You'd BETTER be sessionable!" (WTF???) He was taken into "session" for FPRD, to "pull his overts and withholds". He was dragged out in front of the rest of us by his hair, by RTC, who told us that he had spread lies about being an important staff member, and that we shouldn't believe him.

For a few days Tommy was put into my "unit" (work group) at the Sherwood Gardens Apartments. He busted his butt, was a great worker, and a nice guy. The EPF I/C pulled me aside and told me to "make sure I gave him the worst and hardest jobs" and tried to get me to say that he was a slacker. I said, no, he's a great worker.

A couple of times Tommy asked me to borrow some money. I had brought plenty of cash, and was smart enough not to give it to the EPF I/C, as you are told to do. I had no problem lending him some if he needed it. I had actually forgotten all about it, but after he got out of the EPF and was being allowed to follow the VP at the AO around, he paid me back.

After I left I found out that he is Ann Archer's son! What a truly sad thing, to sacrifice your kids to the SO!! What a position it puts them in. And such a waste of a great guy. I sure hope he gets out.

More and more SO members who had been there for a long time started appearing in the EPF. There were some really great people that I enjoyed working with. One thing I see now is that in order to survive such treatment, you have to have a sense of humor and develop a "spirit of play"- BUT REALLY, YOU'RE JUST LYING TO YOURSELF.

Another kid, Serrio, who was Swiss, had been in the SO for years-since he was 11 or something. He was maybe 19 or 20 years old. A really smart kid, or could have been- was in CMO and did "something terrible" that he would not tell me about. I bet he would have some great stories, if he ever escapes.

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Post by SCIE-NO-MO- » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:40 pm

Dr. Donna, your account is absolutely fascinating. Keep going. Having been there, done that I know that everything you say is a true depiction of the culture that is the SO. I hope to God that Ann Archer and her husband gets informed about what their son is going through because they will probably not hear it from him. He will tell them that SO life is fantastic and clearing the planet is the greatest game in the universe blah blah blah.

By the way, in an earlier post you mentioned that Trina Kjeldsen had lung cancer. She passed away a couple of months ago at around age 52. Like a lot of the people you mention in your posts she was an exceptionally nice person. There are an unbelievable lot of nice people in Scientology. Let's keep helping them finding their way out.

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Post by lulu_belle » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:23 pm

One of the major reason that I absolutely despise Tom Cruise is because of the hell that Sea Org staff have been put through because of him.

I remeber when Kathy Garcia, reg at Celebrity Centre Int, was on the RPF for god knows how long because she had said the wrong thing to Tom Cruise.

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Post by SCIE-NO-MO- » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:23 pm

lulu_belle, I agree 100%. And there is no way in the world he can be oblivious to what's going on which means that he is in agreement with it. What a scumbag. How convenient also for him to apologize "fullheartedly" to Brooke Shields right before she's scheduled to go on the Jay Leno show. A "fullhearted" apology would be given without the implication that she should bring it up on national TV. Do you think that the Jay Leno producers were alerted by MTP's (short for Mr. Tiny Pants as Natty P so endearingly calls TC) people to ask Brooke about the Tom Cruise affair? What a scumbag.

Sorry for taking your thread onto another direction Dr. Donna. I just had to rant. Please continue about your experiences.

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Post by pitbull » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:49 pm

Yes, the sea org suck. Staff sucks too.

I just cannot understand for one second what would motivate someone
to sign up for sea or when its so clear and obvious that they are not forthcoming and up front about what the leadership and managmement is up to.

That's the first thing anyone should ask about. What are the real goals.

What are the plans?

What ACTUALLY am I supporting?

I'm most fascinated by the mind set of those who would just sign up
based on the presented "ideals" of a cleared planet and freedom.

Even the basic concept of the "DOUBT FORUMLA" mandates that one compare stats and what one is aligning themselves to.

Of course they don't answer questions, and there is no real comm with the leaders, so this is impossible.

So it only means that those who join have some kind of belif and faith scientology.

If that doesn't make it a legitimate "religion", I don't know what else does.

I'm glad you finally figured out that they were snookering you all along.
There's an old saying: when the going gets tough - pit bulls call a Scientologist."
-David Miscavige- 8 October, 1993

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Post by Dr. Donna Shannon » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:34 am

I certainly don't agree that $cientology is a religion. It's a con game. So if people get sucked into it because they believe the lies, that makes it a "religion"??

I don't despise Tom Cruise. I think he's been led down the garden path, just like we all were, only even more so. I know that right before I joined the SO, I would not have believed the stories I am writing now. Or at least, would have had my doubts. I would be surpised if he had any inkling of how the staff is treated. Perhaps he will wake up and see that they are playing him like a tune!

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