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.
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