| Dec. 5, 99
GA: Hi, I thought I'd say first and - I wasn't the official biographer. I was the biography researcher for Hubbard. But I wanted to say first, that I am under an injunction in the State of California, in fact I'm a wanted man in the state of California and I am barred by court order from even mentioning the word Scientology. And all of you by being here and listening to me, are in a sense acting in concert with me, which I greatly appreciate, so you're all breaking that injunction as well.
But I wanted to give any Scientologist here who believes that such an injunction, which could prohibit someone from speaking about a religion or his religious experiences, if there's anyone who believes that under any circumstances such an injunction is sensible or sane or legal, please leave now. Thanks for staying. (Audience laughter, applause.)
I thought that I would just cover, from my perspective and my experience some of the events leading up to the takeover of Clearwater, because I was involved with the organization and in a position to observe what was going on for a number of years.
Prior to arrival here and then participated in the takeover of Clearwater and have my own personal relationship - love affair now - with Clearwater and feel somewhat responsible and playing my part in being here.
I think that there were a few factors which led Hubbard to make the decision to come ashore from the ship in 1975 and lodge his big money making operation here in Clearwater.
He was not in particularly good health and had suffered himself, it's claimed a pulmonary embolism, and was hospitalized for a period of time in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles where the ship was at the time.
Also, he had come to realize that his name was a big draw for the group of people called the wealthy Scientologists. There's a rich Scientologists list and those are people, who have in some cases immense amounts of money, and are willing to pay tremendous amounts of money to be close to Hubbard and to obtain what was at that time, was Hubbard personal supervising of their cases - their psychotherapy directed by Hubbard. And people continue to this day to come to the Fort Harrison and to - now they call the mecca of technical perfection - and pay immense amounts of money to obtain this Scientology psychotherapy. So he knew that there was a body of very rich Scientologists out there and the ship was too small to accommodate all of these people which he anticipated and which
indeed did happen, they did arrive here and continue to arrive here to Clearwater.
And another factor was that there was really nowhere in the world to go. And that set of circumstances continued and it's what Scientology is faced with here again in Clearwater - there's no where for them to go, so they have at this point dug in their heels and are not going to be dislodged.
I think that there probably is no way of dislodging them, but I think that they can be forced by public opinion and by legal means to reform. And so that's where my hopes are regarding this organization.
In any case, I came on board the ship in February of 1971. The ship was the Apollo which was the flagship of the Sea Organization of Scientology. Hubbard was on board and there was some 400 of us also on board doing various things, running Scicntology from the ship. I came on board in Tangier, Morocco and we spent, I guess the next year, most of that time in Morocco going up and down the coast from Tangier to Casablanca to Safi and Agadiere. And the only two countries which were then available and open to Hubbard and to the ship and to the Sea Org were Morocco and Portugal. So for the first couple of years on board we moved between those four Moroccan ports and then the Portugese ports of Funchal and Madeira and Lisbon and Setubal.
And Hubbard came up with the idea, just as I was coming on board, of the take over of Morocco. And he'd had a goal for many, many years and had tried in other places, in Rhodesia, South Africa, in the UK, and I suppose in, in the early days of Dianetics, he'd had plans for the take over of the United States.
But we offloaded in early 1971 Hubbard's vehicles from off the ship and we set up a base in Tangier in Morocco and Hubbard also had a villa in Tangier. And the - what was behind this scheme was the idea of selling the e?meter technology to the Moroccan authorities, to the Moroccan military. And indeed we did have a mission to Rabat and were training the Moroccan military in sec checking people within the military that they considered dissidents or security risks and it is my understanding and the historians here can check this out, that as a result of that mission in 1971, that there were 13 Moroccan people executed because of the sec checking program which was initiated from on board the ship. This would be around January 13th or 15th of 1970, 1973.
My first year on board I was the driver of the ship's car and I ferried around people in the port - various ports that were visited. And then the second year and third year and fourth year on board I was the Legal Officer and then the Public Relations Officer and then the Intelligence Officer. So I became very aware, very knowledgeable about port relations and about what was going on, on the ship and
our global relationship with the world through Guard - Guardians Office was run from on board, Mary Sue was on board and all of the, all of the plans which ended up getting the 11 Guardians Office personnel convicted and jailed in 1979 I guess it was, all of that was originated from on board.
In - I'm trying to put the chronology together in my mind and it's going back a few years. In 19 - in the fall of 1972 the ship sailed from Tangier to Lisbon and there was a group of people who stayed ashore. Hubbard, the messengers, and this mission which was the e-meter mission into Rabat, the Moroccan military. And - pardon me, I have brain lock. Um, well now, (Laughs).
Anyway, in - the ship went into dry dock in Lisbon in 197 - in the fall of '72 and then in December Hubbard arrived, he flew up from Tangier, landed in Lisbon and then flew on to Queens and there was a series of events, world events which were happening at that time which precipitated his move.
The first was that he got thrown out of Morocco, as did the rest of the people and they arrived by ferry probably a week after Hubbard's arrival. Hubbard then flew to Queens, New York and stayed there for the better part of a year. That's where Snow White was written. Also he was convicted or charged at this time in absentia with fraud in France. So Hubbard was fleeing in my, from what I knew, during my relationship with him, from 1972 all the way up to his death in 1986.
So the - all the people from Morocco arrived on, back on the ship. Hubbard disappeared and went into hiding in Queens, and when he arrived back on board, this was the end of 1973, that's when he began the RPF. He was in a, an extremely foul mood for many, many months and it was out of that foul mood that the RPF, the thing which we all know, the Scientology prison system began.
In - in 19 - in the Spring of 1974 there was a revolution in Portugal and the perception of the local people was that we were a CIA vessel which made a lot sense because it was clear that we were something different from what we claimed to be. Which was exactly what happened when they came into Clearwater. During the whole time that I was on board the ship we were not Scientology, we were Operation and Transport Corporation Limited, a Panamanian business management company. You can see that 400 people, all foreigners, all keeping this cover, this shore story in place is indicative of the level of control, the level of brainwashing, the level of conspiracy that this organization is able to achieve. They achieved exactly the same thing when they came here into Clearwater being United Churches of Florida.
After the - the revolution and the - that precipitated a number of attacks on the ship and this led up to, in the fall of 1974, probably what is the first picket against
Scientology when a group of the local people in Funchal Madeira protested outside the ship and threw the organization's vehicles into the water, and threw the lines off the dock and the ship had to go out to anchor. And we at that point lost Portugal. Earlier we had lost Spain, earlier we had lost Morocco - that was in my experience at that time.
Having nowhere else in the world to go, Hubbard decided to bring the ship across the Atlantic and land in the Caribbean and I was flow ahead to set up a port for the vessel in Bermuda. And so I went to Bermuda and into the Bahamas and arranged all the necessary things for the ship to come in. Again, we were Operation and Transport Corporation Limited of Panama. We arrived in, in Bermuda and Hubbard got the idea at that time of bringing the ship into Charleston, South Carolina. And we got just outside the 12 mile limit and there was a radio message from the Guardians Office saying that - that the IRS was waiting for Hubbard on the dock. Don't bring the ship in. So Hubbard sent back a message saying that the ship was limping up to Halifax and then we turned and went south and into the Bahamas. And we stayed in the Carribean for about the next year until the decision vas made to land at some base, which was going to be - missions, there was a couple of missions sent from the ship which ultimately ended up in Clearwater and the purchase of the Fort Harrison and the Clearwater Bank building.
The crew was divided into two sections. The first were the non- foreign or the non-US nationals and the other - the US nationals and the US people were all sent to the Fort Harrison. The non-US people, who were all here illegally, having gone in by different routes from the Caribbean, but flying through Venezuela or flying - flying through a number of different routes to arrive finally in Daytona Beach. And that was - Daytona Beach was the beginning of the Flag Land Base because that's where he was able to begin to bring the rich Scientologists to get the Flag auditing supervised by L. Ron Hubbard. And from, from Daytona Beach, Hubbard was in Daytona Beach at the time, I was there at the time and there was probably a hundred of us, he wrote - every day there were mission orders which were written and missions fired from Hubbard, sent down here to Clearwater to, handle the buildings, to renovate the buildings, and to handle the entheta, to handle the mayor, to handle the media, this was an assault which was launched from Daytona Beach.
I was then - when the crew moved into the Fort Harrison, Hubbard's personal, staff I guess, Hubbard's personal staff moved to Dunedin and he had an apartment complex in Dunedin, King Arthur's Court. And Hubbard was there from the beginning of December into, I think it was February of 1976, at which point his cover was blown. I think it was his barber or his tailor who came to Dunedin and then leaked to the press that Hubbard was out there and Hubbard, in the middle of
the night packed up his Cadillac and moved to Washington, DC where he stayed until he handed in California in about May of 1976. And then stayed in California for the rest of his life, first setting up a base in Macinta California and then moving to Gilman Hot Springs where the organization still has one of its major bases. I was sent from Dunedin out to Culver City to set up a staging area and to set up an external communications bureau for Hubbard and for the Guardians Office, for Mary Sue and the Controllers office. And it was out there that I got in a fight with Mary Sue Hubbard's communicator, Nicky Murwen and was for a brief period of time locked up in the Guardians Office on Hubbard's orders and then sent here to Clearwater to become the founding father of the Clearwater RPF. And I spent the next 17 months doing the RPF. Many of those months I ran the RPF, I was the RPF Bosun so I am able to tell - speak from a great deal of experience about the RPF and about what still goes on in the RPF here in Clearwater.
After the RPF, I was here for a brief period of time and then transferred to Los Angeles and then to the Lacinta base where I was again assigned to the RPF. I returned to Clearwater briefly in 1978 when my mother-in-law, Yvonne Gillam died here in Clearwater, in Scientology's care. And then the next time, I left the organization in the end of 1981 and I've talked about that many times, I won't go into it here, I know I'm using up way more time than I should, but I was back again in the Spring of 1982 at the time of the Clearwater hearings. I think it was in April or May of 1982 and that's when I began my relationship with attorney Mike Flynn, who was conducting the famous Clearwater hearings. I didn't testify at the Clearwater hearings, but I was here during that period of time. And then I returned in 1983, this time to testify at the request of the Clearwater City Police and also the Ontario Provincial Police who had raided the organization in Toronto. And I returned, the next time that I returned I think was 1998 for the picket last year, and I had the privilege of testifying for a day in the Lisa McPherson case, in a deposition. And now I'm back again, one more time in Clearwater for this picket in 1999 and I'm proud to be on the advisory board of the Lisa McPherson Trust and proud to be participating in attempting to right the injustices which have been perpetrated against her and against many people by the Scientology organization.
Male voice: Are there any questions out there? A couple of questions, please? Yes?
Female voice: [...] RPF?
GA: The RPF is Scientology's prison system. It is a, like a gulag. People can be assigned arbitrarily for virtually any infraction. I was assigned one time for swearing, even though Scientology curses all the time, but you just don't swear at the wrong person. And the other time I was sent for joking. It is considered a crime to joke about Scientology, to joke about Hubbard. And even though I was not joking, Hubbard considered that I was, so I was assigned for that. The RPF - the first RPF that I did - before I was assigned to the RPF, I was 17, 20 - 17 dollars and 20 cents a week. Those were standard wages at that time. Upon RPF assignment that's cut to a fourth, so you get 4 dollars and 30 cents a week. You must wear a black boiler suit, you must run everywhere, you may not speak unless spoken to. You may not approach any normal crew member. You're considered a second-class citizen, you are considered a criminal, you are considered evil. You must undergo hours and hours of interrogation about you're crimes, your critical thoughts, you must - you work, you're given a maximum of 7 hours sleep from lights out to lights on. You eat after the rest of the crew has eaten - whatever's left. It is an experience which is meant to break someone's will, it degrading and is psychologically damaging.
Male voice: Sometimes I agree with you that the hope of the future being to try to reform. The organization to be saying things about what [...]happened.
Male voice: Is Scientology less destructive [...]
GA: There are a couple of - couple of areas which I think are very easy for Scientology and would make a world of difference.
The first is, I - I would make it an offense to hold anyone against his will. And so I would make it necessary that Scientology never detain anyone who wants to leave at any time, under any circumstances.
And the second one has to do with basic American freedom of speech. And I would make it illegal - I would - to prohibit anyone from communicating anything about his experiences in Scientology, his knowledge of Scientology.
I would make those - those contracts which Scientology forces its members to sign - non disclosure bonds - I would have those declared illegal. I think that my circumstances, my legal situation, makes that possible.
Male voice: Just as a follow-up - so is it possible that David Miscavige or some individual at the top would just agree that the system is changed?
GA; Yep. It is completely within his power. I know that there is - that there is the
idea that by policy cannot change, but it's completely arbitrary. They can change in an instant. In fact my view of what makes a Scientologist a Scientologist is the obedience to orders. And so all - one order from David Miscavige could completely change the face of Scientology and it's our job, in my opinion, to make that happen.
Male voice: I'd like to - would you stay around a little bit -
Male voice: - and answer questions after we're over and I'll make sure - Thank you Gerry.