Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Life in a cult (part two)

It's time to write about my cult experience again. I can't believe the great responses I've gotten from friends and family wanting to know more. Here we go...

When I last spoke of my life in a cult I had arrived in Clearwater, Florida to what Scientologist refer to as "Flag, the Mecca of Technical Perfection", The next day I took the elevator downstairs and there was a bustle of construction activity going on in the lobby. I didn't know what to expect or where I was supposed to be so me being me and it being football season I walked outside to grab a paper to check the college scores. I grabbed the sports section while reading I kept a watch out to see if there was anyone I recognized. About 2 hours later I saw the "recruiter" and asked where I needed to be. I was whisked away and taken to the basement area. I was put onto a routing form where I was put onto the Estate Project Force or the "EPF". This is the equivalent of boot camp in the military. It lasts as long as it takes you to get through the Scientology courses. The worksheets say 4 weeks but most people took 2 to 4 months to get through it. Most of my day was spent cleaning rooms where people stayed. I remember trying to dispel thoughts of how degraded the place was and I tried justifying my thoughts about it. I would like to have thought that Scientology had just purchased the building but it was just about 10 years into their ownership. The food purchased seemed 2nd rate also as we would unload the deliveries once a week and I felt like the fruit was bought from stores before it spoiled and was unsellable. I also remember the size of cockroaches, called palmetto bugs, I'd never seen a bug that big. I also remember seeing rats at night.

I took pride as a fully doctrinated kool aid drinker though in the task at hand although I had some issues that were simmering under the surface. I ran from task to task, (when I say ran, I mean physically ran), I made sure that the rooms I cleaned were the cleanest and the toilets sparkled. This got noticed and I was chosen to clean a VIP's room who was staying there for an extended amount of time and quite possibly may have been a wealthy Sea Org member. I remember them having special edition Scientology books that were leather bound, and a platinum emeter(these cost thousands of dollars to purchase). They were from a South American country and Saldiarraga I think was the name. I remember years later of hearing that he died.

This went on for about three weeks and I was totally focused on getting through. I woke up one morning and felt an asthma attack coming on. I was having trouble breathing and was miserable. I eventually convinced them that I needed to go to the hospital. After hours of Scientology assists and no relief I was finally taken to the hospital. I remember that it took me years to pay off that visit to the hospital.

I finally got over my attack and went back to work. Something had shifted in me and I felt that if I wanted to be a real help to Scientology I needed to finish my education. I called my parents and booked a flight home. I had no idea of the flap that I created by doing that. I went and told my supervisor that I had an early morning flight the next day and that I was going home. I remember him looking at me with his mouth wide open and he said you can't do that. I told him that it was all set and paid for. To this day, I don't know how I made it out of there in good standing but somehow I did. The problem was this wasn't the end of my Scientology experience but the beginning.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's been awhile

Hello everyone and sorry it's been awhile since I last blogged. A lot has gone on since my last blog and I hope to get everyone caught up in the stories of my life and what is happening with me. In November I bought a new home in Pittsburgh (new to me, the home was built in 1928) I felt very blessed to get this home as it's fully remodeled and it's actually cheaper than rent.

On November 15, I received news that my father passed away suddenly. This hit me pretty hard and I still find myself wanting to dial his number and share something with him or ask a question only to realize that he's not there. Despite all that, it was an amazing time at the funeral with my siblings. Amazing, and siblings is something I haven't experience in years if not decades. We had a great time together and we were able to laugh, cry, and share many memories we had with our dad and each other. My dad, I'm sure was smiling down on us.

Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went like a whirlwind. I've been the administrator for our travel team and they had quite a few practices and games throughout the holiday season. I've been able to start a few new relationships and I'm always excited to meet new people.

Most of the boys I'm close with play on the Oliver High School basketball team and they've been busy playing games and they are doing pretty well. I've been working my tail off making sure they've been getting their fafsa's done, (federal aid for education) as well filling out college applications. This can be daunting at times as they need their parents to do this with them and their parents aren't always available or around. I did have one of the boys I'm close too just get accepted to Loch Haven University and that was exciting. It's crazy has they are so late in turning in apps. but we're getting them done one at a time.

I've loved being able to share my home with the boys and they consider it their home as well. I do give them ownership and they are pretty good at taking care of things. I do have to remember that they are high school students and sometimes I can be a bit of a nag. (That's because I'm not the cleanest guy and if we don't get it done right away, it might take awhile.) I usually have 4 guys spend Friday through Sunday with me and they go home after church on Sunday. That still amazes me that they would choose to hang out with a straight guy like me who doesn't let them cuss or drink, and I make them clean up after themselves.

I promise to update more frequently and look forward to sharing more stories with you about chadinpittsburgh!