to heaven; everyone wants to come here.
I was brought to the room when I first arrived it was in the evening - and I was shown to a room at Fort Harrison. And I went to open the door and I couldn't open the door. And I looked in. And the girl who brought me there who had recruited me for this said the light was broke and we couldn't put the light on. And I kind of squeezed in the door. There was luggage all over the floor. There was literally no room to walk on the floor.
I said, "You have to be kidding.." I said, you know, "This is my room." She said, "Well, I'm very embarrassed. We'll see if we can do something better tomorrow." I said, "I don't feel that I could sleep in here." But there was no other place. So, I climbed over things.--.-I couldn't open my suitcase, I just piled it on something else.
There were ten beds in the room, four bunks on each side and, then, two bunks against another wall. The room was very small, I don't know, twenty feet -- a small room. There was no walking space. The fourth bunk was about this high from the ceiling so that -- and that's where I had climbed up to; there was no ladder.
I stayed there that night. And the next day they
gave me another room which had, I think, eight beds. But this room was a little bit more orderly because the people in it decided amongst themselves that they would take responsibility and keep it clean. So, I stayed there. For the rest of my stay, I stayed in that room.
Anyway, I left there. I went home. And I had to leave my apartment because I didn't have any money at this time and live with somebody until I started working again. And soon after that, I got back in shape and got another apartment.
I didn't have anything to do with Scientology after that actively as a staff member, but I was still a Scientologist.
Then, in 1979, 1 went to another event. This event was promoted as the most spectacular thing that has ever happened in Scientology. So, I went. And there was a speaker there who discussed NED for OTs, called NOTS for short.. He said that Ron Hubbard made a breakthrough that was beyond Your wildest dreams. They had a person who had received some of this auditing. He said that -- he said, "Imagine what you think OT is like, the wildest dreams that you can get of what OT means." And everyone in the audience did it. He said, "It's beyond that."
My expectations of what OT was were very high.
When I came in, I expected to achieve states which I actually didn't during the time before this, and I -- my ration -- I rationalized this by saying, "Well, I came in, I consider, fairly capable to start with." And I thought the next level would come out for me, because Ron Hubbard always said, "I'm working on upper levels." It only went up to eight, but he said that he had eighteen levels above that, but they can't be released yet.
So, I said, "Well, I think other people need this, but I'm -- my levels will come later." So, I thought
-NOTS, this is it. This is the one that he originally said.
I think I was too far away from this before.
Claims were made at this meeting that miracles occurred regularly in sessions, that -- it sounds foolish now. But someone said that a person lost thirty pounds in one session. This is a person who weighed about four hundred pounds, you know, said he lost thirty pounds in one auditing session. They said it was so good that people would open the material and they were so blown out - as Scientologists say - that they could only take five minutes of this auditing at a time because it was too much to handle and so good.
And people were so elated at this meeting that they
said, "It's finally here, the thing we've been waiting for all these years." I decided that this would be my time, after all -- sixteen years or whatever it was, to join the Sea Organization. I decided I would join the Sea Org., and I would make this for the rest of my life I would dedicate to being a NOTS auditor. My two sisters also decided to join the Sea Org.
I went to Los Angeles, signed the papers. My daughter came with-me; she was ten at the time. She joined, also. She stayed in Los Angeles and I came here to Clearwater for training.
The first two weeks of my training were fine. The room situation -- actually, I didn't stay in the rooms at the Fort Harrison. my sisters and myself, we got a room at the Gray Moss Inn, which is across the street. We paid for our own room because we didn't want to live in the dorm.
. . I audited -- this NOTS material was a big breakthrough. I saw the materials and, in fact, it isn't a breakthrough. It's a continuation of 0 -- Section OT 3. It's actually almost the same exact material, which I didn't realize at the time. It's hard to describe. But when you first see it, it looks different. And there's a relief or seeing -- I realized that the big blow out
or this thing that people get is relief, to say, "There is more hope."
The explanation of'-- well, I audited many people on this NED for OTs, and they had been OT for ten years, some of them. And the relief was "This is why I was crazy all these years because 3 was never complete. That's why I've been insane all these years." They came in desperation.
Some of the preclears, or people on auditing, said, "If this doesn't work, I don't want to live anymore." They said, "I'm tired of holding up this image of being an OT in Scientology, having illness, having irrational feelings." They came more that "This is the last hope."
I didn't see any miracles when I was auditing here. The people I audited were, as I said, in desperation, wanting it to work. I felt that people who were getting wins -- it was almost like the Emperor's New Clothes, like,.if you didn't get -everyone was saying how wonderful it was. If you didn't say it, there was something wrong with you. Because it says in the technology of OT 3 that if you don't have these body thetans - I.don't know if you've discussed OT 3 - but if you don't have this type of thing, there's something wrong with you and you're really in bad shape. So, people tend to say, "Oh,
yes, I see them, too."
Let me stop; I just want to see -- oh, okay.
So, I was auditing people for a few. weeks, and I felt complete on course. I said, "Well, whatever people are going to get from this, maybe when they finish it, something will happen or miracles will come." I audited successfully on what it was, and I felt ready to go back to Los Angeles.
The course took me two weeks. And I looked on the checksheet, which was with the course material, and it said, "Length of course: two weeks." And I told the Director of Processing who arranged the auditing sessions "I'm ready to go home." She said, "Oh, no, this takes months." I said, "Well, it says on the checksheet two weeks. That's from Ron Hubbard." She said, "Nobody finishes in -two weeks." I said, "Well, Vve done all the requirements.
so that is actually the start of the nightmare at Clearwater. I tried to go home for weeks and weeks. I started to go to this place called Cramming. Cramming is the department in Scientology where you go if you make an error in your auditing. And they supposedly correct you on this.
So, my first -- the start of the downfall was my
first visit to Cramming. I went in at ten o'clock. I was screamed at, I was told I had misunderstood. The Cramming Officer cursed; he-pounded on the table, screamed and. screamed at me. And I looked for the -- I said, "If I have a misunderstood, I'm very willing to find it, but I don't know where it is." He said, "Shut up and sit down and find your misunderstood word."
I was getting very upset at this time, and I ended up staying there till twelve-thirty at night And at the end of the evening, it turned out that I didn't have a misunderstood. And he said, "Well, you came to Cramming for this." And I said, "No, I didn't." He hadn't even read the folder. He was grilling me on this thing that didn't even happen. And as I walked out, he said, "Don't worry, Lori, we'll make a good auditor out of you someday." He was-'a very nasty, upsetting person.
I was sick through the night; I was throwing up. The next day I just felt I couldn't go in; I was very upset about this because I had been doing so well and wanted to go home.
From there I went to Ethics. I said, "Okay, I'll try again." I went back and said, "I'll audit more." For the next few months, anything I did that didn't work, they came up with another. requirement. We had meetings
in the Director of Processing Office every morning; it was called muster. And everyone had to say how many hours they did the day before. There was high, high pressure on producing hours. if you didn't produce five hours of auditing on a person, you were put in a condition, you were sent to Ethics, and you were not given any liberty. Liberty is the time off to see your children or to wash your clothes.
The auditors became frantic at Flag to get these hours. I overheard several conversations. One in particular, where one of the auditors cursed, and she said, "These blankety-blank people with these ten-minute sessions, I'm sick of them getting wins." She said, "I need my hours." And I looked at her and I said, "Well, that's what we're here for to give people wins; they're supposed to -feel better." She said, "But I need my hours." Because if she didn't get the five hours, she couldn't see her baby, because you only got off a few hours a week on Saturday. But if you didn't do your quota, you couldn't see your children.
So, I said, "Well, why don't we have meetings and discuss how many people we're doing?" Let's say, like, if you said, "They did better today," it was - no one wanted to hear this. It was only announced how much money we made
the graph was put there. There was a big announcement that we were -- at that particular week we had done a million dollars in income. 'That occurred several weeks. We were making a million dollars a week at that time.
MR. LeCHER: In Clearwater?
MS. TAVERNA: Right here at Fort Harrison in Clearwater.
We had a graph of money in, and it would be -- they would-show us, and they would say daily, "Ron Hubbard is not happy with the statistics. The hours are down."
When the stats were down - they called them stats for statistics - when the stats were down at the Fort Harrison, the highest staff -- they were-put on rice and beans. They would have this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They were not allowed to eat any other food. When we went to the galley, we would have regular food, but the staff would have rice and beans. And this would stay until the stats went up again.
I started to feel very upset here because I said, "I came here to help people." I thought this was finally, after fifteen years of Scientology, this was going to be the process or the thing that would really do it for people. I felt that I was in, like., an insane asylum. People didn't care about anyone.
If you had money and you were a public person, you were given the royal treatment. But behind the scenes, the auditors, the Commanding officer would make a mockery of public people who brought the money there. They would say things like, "Look at them sitting out there in the sun," you know, very derogatory remarks about the people who were coming there, because they were called dilettantes. Because they weren't in the Sea Org., they weren't dedicated. They were just coming here to receive auditing.
I said, "But these people are paying for the service. These people have worked hard for their money. They have a right to sit here by the pool because they're paying for their services." But the attitude in the Sea Org. is: If you are not in the Sea Org., you are not contributing You're a dilettante. You just want to take care of yourself. You don't care about mankind.
I started to get very, very physically ill at this time. I missed my children. I didn't feel that I was helping anyone. I have never seen a miracle with auditing all the years I've been in. I've seen people get better through reading the technology, through applying practical things in a philosophy.. I have never recommended auditing to people; I've always said, "Get trained, that'll help
you." I never saw the actual purpose for auditing. I thought you could realize the things by reading it.and learning more about life.
MR. LeCHER: What term? Get what, trained?
MS. TAVERNA: Excuse me.
MR. LeCHER: What term did you use? Get what?
MS. TAVERNA: Get trained. In other words, take courses
MR. LeCHER: -0h.
MS. TAVERNA: -- read the material, rather than sit and hold the cans and talk about your case.
MR. LeCHER: I understand.
MS. TAVERNA: I felt-it was more advantageous to be trained and learn the technology and use it on your- self.
Many Scientologists have to run to their auditor because theircase is restimulated and things like this. I didn't feel
that was helping people; it was making them more dependent on this auditing, which is very, very expensive.
People spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Individuals have spent up to two and three hundred thousand dollars on this NOTS auditing. I felt I was betraying these people; I didn't want to audit NOTS anymore. I didn't want to be there.
I said I wanted to route out of the Sea Org., I wanted to go home. The Ethics Officer - his name was Richard Kennedy - he said to me, "We can't let you leave here." I said, "Why?" He said, "Because you're too capable." He said, "You have no Ethics record, you're very well respected, you've trained thousands of people, you're loved very much in Scientology, you're auditing is perfect, you're getting good results. If we let you leave here, people might think there's something wrong with Flag."
I realized at that point that it wasn't going to be easy for me to get out. From then on, I considered I felt that I was a prisoner. No one told me I was a prisoner, but I knew that I wouldn't just walk out the door. In Scientology, you don't just leave. It's embedded over the years that once you're a Scientologist, there's nowhere to go; you just don't leave.
So, I was getting sicker and sicker. I couldn't sleep at night; I was up most of the night. I couldn't eat. I developed -- I got a very bad arthritis attack. My joints became very swollen; my knee got black and blue and swollen. I couldn't walk. One time, I couldn't get out of bed for a week, and they said someone was going to come to give me a session. The person never came.
I finally got out of bed and I walked a few blocks over to where the bank building is; I don't the name of that street. It took me about twenty-five minutes to walk there because my leg was so swollen. When I got there, Richard Kennedy humiliated me. I'm very sensitive about this; I'm trying not to get emotional. He said that -- he called me a cripple. And he said, "Look who's here," you know, "Lori Taverna." He said, "Boy, if you didn't get here soon, we were going to send an ambulance over with a wheelchair to take the cripple here."
So, again, I said, "I would like to go home." At this point, I said, "It's not -- it's not the Sea Org. It's not you, it's me. I'm not equipped for the Sea Org." My case -- I would say anything at this point to go home. I felt that I was starting to -- I felt as if I was going insane. I had no touch with the -- no contact with the outside world. We were not allowed to talk about Flag to anyone, phone calls. We were instructed not to mention anything about the Flag Land Base to anyone outside of Flag.
MR. LeCHER: Amazing. I'm just talking to myself. it's amazing what you're saying.
MS. TAVERNA: Yeah.
So, at this point, I cried a lot, I was sick a lot,
and I went back and forth to training. I'd try again.
At times I'd get very upset and say, "Well, no matter how bad it is, I have to stay here because I can't just leave because I'll be betraying Ron Hubbard." I felt that Ron had done so much for mankind - at this time I felt this way - that -- "Look what he's gone through. I know these people here are insane, but Ron isn't here. And if he only' knew what was going on, he would help."
I wrote him long letters. I don't know if he got them or not.
One time it got particularly bad. When I went back, and even-though I was sick, I tried to do it again. And they said, "Well, we want a tape recording of your session," which was a requirement to check your TRs, which was your-- communication. I did the tape. It was passed by my supervisor on the first tape. It went to the case supervisor, which was Jeff Walker. He brought up a technicality which had nothing to do with the TRs. There was always another technicality why I couldn't go home.
And I realized that no matter what I did, they would never say I graduated. They didn't know what to do with me at this point. So, I was disintegrating
physically and mentally, and I couldn't -- I was no longer able to audit people.
So, one day I was at the Gray Moss Inn -- and I hadn't slept for about three nights. I slept in the same clothes -- or I was wearing the same clothes. I didn't know where I was. Day and night appeared the same to me. And I just -- my sisters, also. My sisters were also living with me at the Gray Moss. They had gone in to do their auditing or whatever they were doing.
And I just walked out of the Gray Moss, and I walked down Fort Harrison Avenue and I got in a cab and I went to the airport. And I had an American Express card, and I flew to New York. I -- what they call in Scientology, blow.
I just couldn't bear it. I felt that if I didn't leave at that point, I would physically die; I couldn't live anymore. And I don't remember going home; I was in a daze. I know I hid at the airport; I was in fear of my life. I wasn't sure what people were capable of, but I had heard a lot of stories about things that were done to people. And we have a policy in Scientology of handling a blown student, that you are to physically restrain them.
So, I just got to the airport and I got on the
plane. I think I just hid -- I found a corner and just sat there for three or four hours. It was a long time because I didn't know when the flights were or -- I wanted to get away from them.
I got on the plane. And I had called from a telephone booth a friend of mine in New York, and I just said, "Be at the airport.", I cried all the way home on the plane; I couldn't see, my eyes were swollen. I was, I guess, in a delirious state.
When I got off the plane, through a blur, I saw uniforms, which was the Sea Org. uniform. Obviously, they had telexed, which they do, "Lori Taverna blew Flag," and they were waiting for me in New York.
I was too weak to walk, and my friend came over and held me up. I felt that I was going to faint, and I said to him, "Tell them to go away." And my friend aided me by keeping these people away from me. They were part of the New York branch of the Sea Organization; they liaisoned with Clearwater, with Flag here.
So, he successfully told them -- kept them away from me, and he took me home. I was too weak to speak to him or tell him what happened. I just rested without talking. And I slept. And then, the next morning, the whole thing -- I realized what I did. I said, "I left
Flag." It was, like, terrifying to me that I did this. It was such a crime; it was such a terrible, harmful thing that I had done. And I said, "I have to go back."
I think of it now -- I know it must sound insane,
but I felt that I I still can't -- I said, "I can't
do this to Ron Hubbard." To know that a NOTS auditor
blew Flag w as the highest crime and the biggest betrayal that I could ever, ever do.
So, I got on the next plane and I came back to Clearwater. Before I did, I went to the New York Organization and I said, "You don't have to look-for me or come bring me back. I'm going back on my own free will." I wrote a long letter to Ron Hubbard. I told him everything that was occurring; I said that I hadn't been able to leave Flag. "I feel I've done all the requirements."
I arrived back in Clearwater -- do you want me to continue talking?
. MR. LeCHER: No -- yes. I'm just looking at the time. We should break for lunch soon and we should question you after lunch.
Why don't we go till twelve-thirty and, then, we can break for lunch and come back around two -
MS. TAVERNA: okay.
MR. LeCHER: -- and you can finish and, then, we
can ask you some questions.
MR. CALDERBANK: How long will it take, do you think, to finish your story?
MS. TAVERNA: It won't be very long, because the last thing I've done in Scientology is this what I'm
telling you now, when I stayed at Flag
MR. LeCHER: We'll go the latest till twelvethirty.
MS. TAVERNA: Okay.
MR. LeCHER: If you can finish in that time, I'd appreciate it. Then, we'll ask you questions and you can reiterate after lunch.
MS. TAVERNA: So,- I will actually finish everything I have to say by twelve-thirty and
MR. LeCHER: If you can.
MS. TAVERNA: All right.
MR. LeCHER: If you -- I'd like to have you back after lunch anyway so we can ask you a few questions.
MS. TAVtRNA: Okay, fine.
MR. LeCHER: If you can't finish, save it for later.
MS. TAVERNA: Okay.
So; I came back. When I came back, I was treated as a Blown Student. I was -- I had to do Ethics conditions; I had to make amends. I had to do physical
labor to make up far my crime. I had to get -- do all this and, when it was completed, I had to have people sign that I was allowed back into the group. I did all of this.
I went back. I said I would do anything, I would do retraining. I went back and did my training again. There were no misunderstoods found., I went back to auditing people. The same thing happened: finishing, not being able to go home.
Again, I went down again. I got very sick again. The times that I was physically ill at the Fort Harrison one time in particular was when the arthritis really flared up. I was sitting, waiting to see the Ethics Officer, and the Commanding Officer, Bill Franks, came by and screamed very loudly, "What are you doing here? Why aren't you auditing?" I said, "Because I'm sick." He said, "What kind of sick?" He said, "Maybe cleaning toilets will fix that."
And I was put on cleaning toilets for the afternoon and doing physical work. I was then put on work doing -putting paper clips through binders when my fingers -I couldn't bend my fingers from the arthritis. And I don't know if it was intentional, but I burst into tears because I couldn't bend my fingers to do the work that
they gave me.
I was put in the kitchen, in the galley, to wash pots, in the laundry room, all types of physical labor during times that I was ill. This was to make amends for whatever -- or I don't know.
One particular time, I was -- I went back to my training and I was trying very hard. Even though I was couldn't sleep and couldn't eat, I was, like, going through my training, saying, "Im going to do it this time no matter what. I'm not going to let them stop me."
I was holding some folders, auditing folders, and all of a sudden I felt that I was starting to faint or something was happening, My left side started to go numb and I started -- my hands went into a spasm. I felt that I was getting a heart attack, and the left side of my face started to feel paralyzed. I tried to stay calm, and I walked I don't know if I told the person in charge. You're not allowed to go anywhere without informing your senior or your supervisor.
I think I slowly walked to the Medical Officer. The Fort Harrison had a Medical officer who handled any ill person. You go on what's called a routing form, and the first person you see is the Medical Officer.. So, I walked into his office and I tried to speak very slowly.