Jim Faust has left the Church of Scientology: "My Descent into FanatIcism and the Hard Climb Out"

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by CommunicatorIC, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Jim Faust has left the Church of Scientology: "My Descent into FanatIcism and the Hard Climb Out."


    Jim Faust Scientology Service Completions


    ESMB: Jim Faust - My Descent into FanatIcism and the Hard Climb Out

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    Part 1--Intro, joining Sea Org, and Postulate Checks

    My name is Jim Faust. I was a dedicated Scientologist, sometimes extremely so, for nearly 27 years, taking my first service when I was 21 years of age in 1970.

    In the interest of brevity, I may use terms in this write-up that are unfamiliar to the uninitiated, but hopefully you can get more info by googling them. If not, my email address is at the end, and I'll gladly try to clarify anything herein.

    If you are initiated, and I take time to explain terms or concepts that might be incomprehensible to never-ins, please forgive the digressions.

    I begin this write up as I was joining Sea Org. The critical 3.5 years from the summer of 67 till spring 1971 when I got sucked gradually but inexorably into the maelstrom of Scientology bear more reflection, analysis, and description. One day I hope to add this "prequel" to the story below.

    1971-1978 The Sea Org Years

    I joined the Sea Org as a very inexperienced Scientologist about 10 months after I started my first course; I had received very little auditing or training as an auditor prior to signing my infamous billion year contract.

    To be honest, I don't recall very clearly my thought processes the first time I joined, in spring of 1971. I remember a touring group of six or seven registrars (salespeople) came to the local org where I was doing services to give briefings and sell services at the upper level orgs ("churches") in LA. Something about their swagger, their air of being part of an elite, seemed very alluring and adventurous to me. I decided to fly back to Los Angeles with them and become part of Scientology's top management group. I don't recall any recruitment pitch being directed specifically toward me. In retrospect, it all seems very impromptu, impulsive, and even thoughtless. I was making a decision that changed the course of my life, with not much more reflection and in-depth inquiry than one would invest into ordering dinner. The responsibility for what happened afterwards rests on no one but me.

    I spent a little less than 6 years (in two stints with 20 months between them) in the Sea Org (SO) in the 70s, all of it in the LA (Pac) area. I served at USLO, Hubbard Executive Institute, ASHO Day, the Excalibur, CC Phoenix (on mission from Excal), Pac Estates Org, FOLO WUS, and the Pac Rehabiilitation Project Force (RPF). A few episodes stand out in my memory.

    A) Postulate Checks--Fantasy Money

    Soon after being sworn in, I was pointed to a chair in the attic of the USLO (United States Liaison Office) building on Beacon Street, and given a phone and a stack of bounced "postulate" checks that had been "regged" by the voracious teams of "hot prospect registrars" for ASHO, AOLA, and USLO, one of which I had accompanied back to LA. I was told by my new senior to use whatever forms of persuasion, or failing that, threat of ethics action (punishment), to get the public (in the structure of the Chuch, "public" means Scientologists not on staff, from complete beginners up to near professionals who help staff sign up other public--broadly speaking, the customers) Scientologists who had written the nsf checks to make them good.

    As I started calling parishioners to accomplish this task, I was shocked to hear from one person after another that they had explained to the registrar in the hard-sell session that they had no money to make advanced payment for the service being sold. In each case, the "reg" would reply that they should signify their "postulate" (Scientologese for a directed thought or decision about the future) that they were soon going to somehow acquire this money needed for the step on their "Bridge" by writing a "postulate check" for the cost of the service or package of services in question . Consistently, those I contacted told me that they had been promised by their registrar(s) that these checks would be held by the reg until the person being regged succeeded in their postulate and actually had the required money in their bank account, and would only be deposited at that time.

    Unbeknownst to the public, the registrars were at the same time under orders from their seniors to immediately turn all these worthless checks in and write them up as a sale and a valid statistic for production accomplished that week. The registrars and their seniors, the org execs, decided to let the Flag Banking Officers (one of whose jobs it was per LRH policy to collect bounced checks) handle the task off making them good!

    I never knew who came up with this idea (though I surmised it was the Continental Captain Alex Sibersky or one of the small group of his cronies), as it was already being practiced by the tour that brought me back to LA with them. Soon after it started in 1971, however, the "stats" at all the LA Orgs went astronomically high. I'm talking "straight up and vertical." All the registrars were treated as heroes; they were awarded liberty, bonuses, and if lucky, even promotions. The Commanding Officers of the organizations got congratulatory telexes from Flag on achieving their "highest ever" statistics. The party was on!

    In real life, however, within a few hours after each Thursday at 2 pm, the end of the Scn stat week, the FBOs wrote checks back to the orgs for a portion of the income they had "made" for their "Financial Planning Allocations" to cover pay, food, bills, and promotion. The Banking Officers then sent the balance of the org income "made" on to Flag. Parishioners' "postulate" checks (which were often 90% or more of the income reported!) soon bounced en masse, FBO's FP allocation checks bounced, org's checks to creditors bounced, Flag checks bounced, and numerous banks in the LA area started closing Scientology accounts in response to the cascades of rubber checks!

    It was a flap of gargantuan proportions, with FBOs on one side and execs and registrars on the other firing off reports to Flag each blaming the other. Into this scene, I innocently and blithely walked, full of good intentions and the naive idea that I had arrived near the top of enlightened worldwide Scn management and was going to play an important role in "clearing the planet.". When I heard the stories of the public, the brief script I had been given to convince them to make their checks good proved completely inadequate. I don't recall ever collecting on even one check! I was an abject failure at my first SO post.

    As a footnote, just last week I saw a post on the internet that LRH had named me during this time as the person responsible for the whole "postulate check" fiasco! This would seem preposterous, but after years of seeing many people singled out as being responsible for a flap or adverse condition, I can't completely dismiss it.

    I could have saved myself 26 more years of hilarity and similar nonsense if I had walked out the door right then, never to return, but I was too good-natured and gullible to look on this "postulate check" era as anything except an outlier, an isolated instance of deviation from LRH policy. Additionally, I felt guilty that I had not proved sufficiently competent to somehow "make it go right" singlehandedly and handle this mess.

    To be continued in Part 2

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    * * * * * BEGIN QUOTATION * * * * *

    part 2

    B) My Highest Exec Post Ever

    Fast forward a little more than four years to late 1975. I have just been promoted to Commanding Officer Pac Estates. This makes me in charge of all the buildings in the LA area, about a year before the "Big Blue" era. The individual buildings for AOLA, LA Org, CCLA, and the new Estates Org uare spread out east of McArthur Park. ASHO is miles away on Temple St. The main berthing for Sea Org members is in the Hollywood Inn up on Hollywood Blvd. Estates is also responsible for feeding all the staff, and each org has its own galley, some in the org, some in separate buildings. The children of Sea Org members, hundreds of them, are housed, fed, supervised, and "schooled" in their own "Cadet Org" building miles away, and I'm also posted over them. The vehicles to transport the staff and handle other motor pool needs are also under me. Additionally. the Estates Org runs the Estates Project Force, where new Sea Org members receive their basic training 5 hours a day and perform manual labor on the buildings and grounds, as well as the Rehabilitation Project Force, the gulag for failed and busted SO members trying to train and audit themselves through a program to clean themselves up while doing hard labor in very harsh conditions.

    The various orgs traditionally worked under very restricted budgets and constant shortages of staff provided for food, transport, building upgrades, staff training, and childcare functions. These "staff welfare" functions were often considered by financial planning committees to be very low priority when compared to promotional mailings or magazines, which according to Church doctrine are sure to result in increased income. Only the greenest staff, untrained and often young, old, or generally undesirable in some way or other, are assigned to work in these estates areas.

    Up until less than a year before this, each org was separately responsible for its own berthing, building maintenance, and galley, but after the training ship Excalibur was sold in 1975, it was decided by management to create an Estates Org and to move all these orphaned, spread out, understaffed, underfunded, and dilapidated facilities and poorly functioning installations into a new Pac Estates Org. However, significant infusions or money or staff to upgrade them were not part of the program at that time. They were moved in their own miserable cluster under the LRH Comm WUS, Toby Young. This was supposed to give them a powerful champion to keep them from being such a woeful caboose trailing behind all other screaming needs. It wasn't enough.

    A few months after this reorganization, the first CO Estates got reposted, and I was selected to be his replacement! It was a staggering and daunting task to make this mess function at all from one week to another, while dealing with putting out 3 meals a day at 5 or 6 different locations, unscheduled health inspections at the galleys and the Cadet Org, vehicle breakdowns, emergency building repairs, and orgs often refusing to pay anything or severely reducing the allocations for their food, childcare, or the cost of training their EPF or RPF members.

    I was completely overwhelmed by the enormity of it. Yet according to Sea Org tradition, I was 100% responsible for the condition of all of it from the first day I assumed my new post, with no excuses possible. I was expected once again to make it go right, and I don't think the idea of refusing this post ever occurred to me, though I hadn't the faintest idea of how to go about making these long-standing situations and conditions radically improve.

    Within a few months of me receiving this "promotion" LRH did an "evaluation" of the estates mess in the Pac area and fired a very high level mission run by Wayne Marple in to again completely reorganize and "terminately handle" the mess that was Pac Estates . This reorganization eventually resulted in the expenditure of millions to purchase the Complex and the current CCLA building to remedy the unworkable concatenation of facilities that had previously been my job to make function.

    Soon after beginning the mission, Marple ordered me removed from the CO post. I was assigned to do work in treasury on accounts backlogs, and a few months later received a "committee of evidence." In it, I heard that LRH had said some less than flattering things about me in his "eval". I asked to read this so I could understand what his characterizations were and try to defend myself but was told it was confidential. After a "trial" the results of which seemed preordained to one and all I was eventually assigned to the RPF. I was very shaken and ashamed to hear that I had been personally singled out, maybe even by LRH, as being responsible for the mess of the buildings, childcare, food and so forth. I spent my first few days in the RPF with a high fever and unable to move from my bunk. I actually accepted this as being my just recompense for failing somehow to make it all work. It was one of the lowest points of my life.

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    Jim is adding to his story and also responding to questions on ESMB.
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  2. Also this ESMB thread:

    Jim Faust - Been out for 18 years, but only now going public

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    Hey ESMB! I've never been part of a message board before, so please be gentle with me!

    Tory is my friend and suggested I post my departure announcement here. I'm also working on a much more detailed story of my way into Scn and my eventual quiet exit in 1997 that I will eventually finish.

    Just to get started, here is the announcement. I hope I can manage the mist rudimentary actions like replying and stuff.

    Public Announcement

    Jim Faust

    I was in Scientology for 27 years, 6 years of that time as a Sea Org member in the LA area. I was posted at USLO, ASHOD, The Excalibur, Pac Estates, FOLOWUS, and the Pac RPF. I routed out of the SO from the RPF in 1978.

    For the next 19 years, I was a public Scn, sometimes very dedicated, sometimes experiencing misgivings and disagreements, most of which I was able to push out of my mind fairly successfully. I gradually did my OT levels up to OTVII, which I audited on for over 4 years.

    I did not experience a lot of gains on the OT levels. The amount of cognitive dissonance I experienced worsened the closer I got to the top of the Grade Chart, with the gains I was told I would attain "later on" proving completely elusive. I could no longer banish my discomfort with the Church as efficiently I had been able to in earlier, more zealous years.

    I had unreasonably harsh and abusive handlings at Flag in 1997 in my sessions and also in ethics. I left with my my certainty that Scientology was working for me more shaken than ever.

    I returned home and for the first time decided to view on the Internet the materials we had been told never to examine. I had never read critical press or books, and up till mid-1997 knew only the Scientology and LRH version of the story. I had never met LRH and only knew him through Church books, magazines, issues, and tapes.

    I spent three weeks reading everything I could find on the Internet from ex-members, biographers, government enquiries, Hubbard's military records, and the personal accounts of numerous people who had worked directly or had close personal relationships with him.
    What I read filled me with shock, dismay, anger, and a dawning realization that I had been lied to and conned. I came to the conclusion that I had given 27 years to an individual and group that had done a great deal of harm.

    I sent my OTVII materials back to Flag and stopped all activity in Scientology at that point. I started a new life in a new area, made new friends, started a new business, in an effort to build a life free of the influence of Scientology. I have been much more successful, calm, and happier as a result.

    I stopped short of publicly announcing my departure from the cult. I just wanted peace and quiet.

    Eighteen years have passed. I have stayed well-informed of developments inside the group through lots more books, documentaries, inside accounts of high-ranking departed members, YouTube channels, and blogs.

    I will never go back. I have three children who all are in the SO and have disconnected with me due to my departure and disagreements. I am sorry about that and can only hope that they will through their own personal experience come to perceive the true nature and modus operandi of the cult and emerge from the mindset created by the incessant spin, propaganda, and confusing and false doctrines created by Hubbard and distilled by Miscavige.

    It is clear that the Internet has created access to information that was never anticipated by Hubbard and that his techniques of suppressing criticism and controlling what his adherents know are no longer adequate to keep members isolated and under full control. The Church is shrinking and focusing on holding on to its deep-pocketed. "whales." But even though it is in decline worldwide, it has a lot of money and can afford numerous lawyers to protect it from suits for fraud, human rights abuses, refusal to repay unused fees, etc.

    I believe that the world would be a far better place without authoritarian, fundamentalist, and fanatical groups such as Scientology. I do not use the teachings of Scientology except as they align with my own experience and observation, and have no interest in adhering to any organized system of beliefs except those I have developed for myself. I believe that the overall effect of Scientology on me was deleterious and am still trying to recover fully from the false ideas and doctrines with which I was indoctrinated very effectively while under the sway of this group.

    I am writing a more detailed account of my experiences in Scientology and my painful process of coming to my senses, and I will try to make it available online should anyone be interested.

    I am available for comments or questions by email at, or right here.

    * * * * * END QUOTATION * * * * *
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