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Tuesday, 19 March 2013 13:54

My 26 years in the Sea Org

Carol Nyburg (Vedder) at Flag

On November 3rd, 1982, I arrived at Flag to join the Sea Organization.  I was met at the front door by none other than Wayne Baumgarten.  That is how long I have known Wayne.  He was, at the time, in charge of all the new recruits.  I arrived with my 1 year old daughter, Nancy.  No one was more excited than me to be at Flag and to be in the SO.  I didn’t care what post I got I just wanted to do my part in helping the Planet be a better place to be.

My main reasons for joining this group besides helping the Planet were I felt I would be better understood and I wanted my daughter to be in a drug free environment.

I lived where all the families and people with children lived.  It was an old Quality Inn Motel.  I had my room and lived there for 20 years.  My children grew up there!  In 1984, I remarried and had a son while in the SO.  I had a car and we drove in to work each day.  We started at 9 am.  We came home for family time every night between 5:30 pm and 8 pm.  These were great times.  There was a pool and Florida gets really hot.  The pool was always filled with staff and kids, plus if you had a car, you could go shopping, go out to eat or just spend time with the kids playing and sometimes I took a little nap.  I always felt great when I went back to post.  It was the ideal break in the day.  Then most of us worked till about midnight.  Course as a young mother, I had to take care of the kids and be up with them in the night and all the things a mother endures.  Our meals were prepared for us.  So I had two meals at the QI and lunch at the Flag Base at this time.  I had a mini kitchen in my room, microwave, toaster oven, coffee pot and I put in little cupboards.  I really made a cute space and it felt like home.  I did everything I could to create a homey and fun environment for my kids.  

I had my car at work, so if I needed things I went and handled at my lunch time, plus I would go shopping after work.  No one was watching my every move.  I was trusted and trustworthy.  After all I was a Flag staff member, regarded as the very top group besides the staff of international management.  I had fun and really enjoyed these days.  If your statistics were up, one could get a liberty every two weeks.  I got them often and really made the most of these times, sometimes taking off on Friday night and going to Orlando to spend Saturday, and be back on post by Sunday morning.  

Carol at home

A couple of times we left on Friday night and went to a little beach side motel that had 2 bedrooms and a kitchen.  I cooked and we watched TV and played on the beach.  It was like a whole vacation wrapped into one day.  

In 1989, things changed and there was no more “family time.”  This was very upsetting to say the least.  For a time, all the kids were transported by bus to the Flag base so we could still see our kids and have dinner together.  The time was shorter, but you could still drive places and go out if you wanted to.  So it wasn’t too bad – still not has good as going home and spending some quality time there with your family.

I mention all this because I want to point out that there were really good times in the ‘80’s, in the Sea Org.  I would like to mention here that the Flag Base stats were up and expanding.  I was running the Flag Hotels at the time.  We had about 250 rooms in the Fort Harrison at that time, the Sandcastle had 88 and we expanded into another motel called the Heart of Clearwater which later became the Yachtsman.  We nearly always had high room occupancy.  People were flocking to Flag to get the tech.  This was before all the major renovations.  

Several years later when the belt (figuratively speaking) kept getting tighter and tighter on staff freedoms, the stats really suffered and it seemed so difficult to get the 100 or so rooms in the Fort Harrison filled as well as the 140 or so at the Sandcastle.  The Yachtsman was much less expensive, and it stayed full all the time.
In 1996, I transferred from my position at the Fort Harrison Front Desk to that of Accommodations Counselor which meant I was responsible for selling accommodations to the public that came there for services.

Meeting David Miscavige

First I must tell a story that happened around 1990.  Mr. David Miscavige came to the Fort Harrison to do an inspection of the hotel.  He had several senior execs with him, one of whom was Mike Rinder.  I didn’t know enough to be frightened or on guard.  I was just myself and I was good at my job, I was good running the FH and taking very good care of my guests there.  Anyway, Mr. Miscavige wanted to inspect the Presidential Suite.  It was about 10 am.  I informed him that the guest in that room, who, by the way, lived there year round and was our highest paying guest, slept till noon and did not like to be disturbed till she called down.  The staff were very tuned into her needs and wants.  Our utmost concern was that she would have privacy when asked for and we would service her to the hilt when requested.  

Well, this did not sit well with Mr. Miscavige.  He told Mr. Rinder to tell me that I had caused “counter intention” in his universe and this was just not done. It was unforgivable. I refused to wake our guest.

Mr. Rinder, under DM’s orders, ordered me removed from post till I had confessed my transgressions by writing down 20 pages of them.  I was really shocked but also I was intimidated and one just did not speak up or speak back to senior execs.  I recall the Commanding Officer of the Flag Land Base at that time, was in charge of ensuring I got this done.  I had no idea what to write.  I just started making up stuff just to get through this.  I mean 20 pages!  How does one determine that.  It was crazy.  Anyway, I got through it and was restored to my post.  

Back to my new post as a Flag Accommodations Counselor.  Well I knew the hotels backwards and forwards and was excellent at giving good service, so picking the best rooms to fit the needs of our guests came easy to me.  I didn’t like asking people for money.  I had to do it because it was my post so I just did it.  I became the top registrar for accommodations.  I stayed on this post till I left in September, 2008.

The shackles tighten

Again, I had fun. I still had my car.  This is significant because by 1999, the staff were no longer allowed to drive our cars into work.  This apparently came down from David Miscavige, reason that there were “too many cars” taking up valuable spaces in the downtown area of Clearwater.  I really don’t know if that was true.  It was sort of plausible, so ok, I started taking the bus.  Then gates went up at the Quality Inn where I lived and a security guard was posted at the gate so you couldn’t just go shopping when you got home. Suddenly, you couldn’t go anywhere.  You could sometimes get an ok if your need warranted it but often you were turned back. When you got a day off, you could take your car out or on Saturday mornings.  Saturday morning was the time allotted to staff members to clean their rooms, wash clothes, etc.  It was a time to just get your personal life in order. Still, all the staff had to attend a roll call at 9 am in the parking lot to ensure all were present except those with an approval for time off.  

Sometimes one’s liberty only consisted of the cleaning time in the morning.  Meaning they could go do something and did not have to report to muster, but needed to be on post by 1 pm.  

Rooms were inspected and one needed to pass inspection.  These inspections got increasingly crazy as we move into the 2000s. “Crazy” meaning all clothes in your closet must be color coordinated and facing a certain direction, drawers very neat.  About once a month we would need to “de-kludge” (get rid of “unnecessary” belongings).

Losing my kids

Mother and daughter, reunited

In 2001, I moved my work location from the Fort Harrison to the Sandcastle.  I loved being there and I continued to excel there.  The public and I had high affinity for each other.  They kept me buoyed up.  In 2004 I got a new office and — wow, on the one hand it seemed like life was pretty good.  

But here is the back story.  My son left in 1998!  He was 14.  I cannot believe now that I just let him go without ME!  He went to live with his father, who had left around 1993.  My thoughts were that he was with one of his parents so this is a good thing.  I just could not conceive of leaving at that time.  My mindset was so fixed on being committed to my post and to the Sea Org. So much so that I let my son leave me.   

My daughter left in 2004.  She grew up at Flag and became a Sea Org member in 1997.  She excelled and moved to high posts.  Then she crashed and burned and did not have very good experiences of her own.  She was supposed to do big ethics program called the Rehabilitation Project Force.  These programs often took 4 or 5 years or more.  I was asked to please convince her to do it.  I could not.  We were crying.  I got to be alone with her and I just told her to do what was in her heart and I would back her up.  I didn’t want her to go the RPF.  At the same time I was devastated that she was being pushed out of my life.  We were very close and her leaving had a huge effect on me. My stats went down for 6 weeks straight – which was unheard of.  I couldn’t stop crying.

Instead of being allowed to apply LRH policy, everything was being driven off course by management. I finally got some auditing to assist me with the loss of my children and this did really help me but of course it didn’t fix the bigger problem that my family was being ripped apart against my will and in violation of what LRH Policy.  I believe that if all the upper level executives had just simply applied LRH policies and technology to the fullest, there would be a lot more happiness in the world and people like Debbie Cook and myself would still be at Flag happy and producing.  This is a very true statement.

Losing my husband

Shortly after my daughter left, there was a project that came to Flag from the Freewinds, the Scientology ship for upper Scientology levels.  The idea was to really prepare the staff for the increasing dangers of hurricanes.  As you will recall 2004 and 2005 were horrific years for hurricanes so it was good to be drilled for safety.  BUT, the belt just got tighter and tighter at this time.  Policy was thrown out the window and we were all made to do special courses and abandon or existing courses – which is totally off policy.  Ok, one course, I could understand if it was really important; but then there was another one and another one and another one!   Plus there were now additional musters and training programs including close order drilling — yes, just like the military.  And we just had to do it.  No one was allowed to question these things. One of the staff leading these drills was a former female officer in the Israel Army.  This scared me because she was so intent that we march and drill like soldiers.

I managed to be excused from a lot of these nutty non-Scientology programs because I was a money maker. It was preferred most times that I stay on post and make more money.  I still can hardly believe that I used to make from $40,000 to $80,000 per week for the Church selling Flag accommodations.  I just still find that hard to believe.  But I did it.

My husband was routed to the RPF in 2005.  Again I was devastated.  We wrote to each other regularly.  You don’t get to see or visit your spouse or family member in the RPF.  He had his kids get birthday and Christmas presents for me.  I loved him and had no intention of divorcing him. I was just waiting for him to get out — but when? No one knew.

Then one day I was pulled in to an office by my senior and told that my husband was leaving the Sea Org. The organization attempted to intervene and interfere in our marriage and had already prepared divorce papers! I was told to just fill them out and sign.  Yet, I knew my husband wouldn’t just up and leave without good reason — leaving his own wife and children were unthinkable to him.  

Still I was not allowed to see him or talk to him.  The day he was to leave, the Chaplain took me out to see him at the RPF area.  He had written up an agreement of our debts and things and I had this chance to respond.  Someone was with us to entire time.  So we really never got to talk privately and really open up to each other about what was happening personally.  Of course, I had been heavily indoctrinated to not leave the SO.  And it wasn’t until several years later that I found out what really happened and why he left.

After a while, I realized that I really wanted to go with him.  I had really wanted to be married to him and it was time for me to go and create a life outside the SO.  I went to the chaplain and told him this and he said he would help.  I then went to my two seniors.  Man, was I reamed out big time.  First berated for even entertaining the idea of leaving. Then he tore my husband apart really berating him in unimaginable fashion.  Then he decided to throw my daughter in and tell me how terrible she was.  I just stood there in shock.  I should have just walked out right then and there.  I at least told him it was not okay to speak like that of my family.  How could he possibly think these words would convince me to want to stay or console me in anyway?  Still, those words did have their effect: I went back to post and remained for another three years.

Frank and I got divorced.  It was more like he had died because normally when people get divorced they can still talk and see each other.  I could not see or talk to him because he was no longer in the SO.  It was really crazy and I did not do well with this whole affair.  

Coping with new rules from the top

carol-nyburgA list of DO’S AND DON’T’S for Flag staff members came into existence sometime around this time — I don’t recall exactly when. And everyone was expected to abide by these rules.  These do’s and don’ts were not covered in any LRH Policy.  We were told that because we were at the top organization of Sea Org members, we had to abide by extra rules and guidelines for security purposes and to protect us as well.  We could no longer walk between buildings around Clearwater, we had to take a Church bus or van provided by the Church for these purposes.  If your production statistics were up, you could go to Starbucks or a local shop for a sandwich.  Eventually, no one was allowed to visit any local restaurants but Starbucks was still okay.  I used to go to the local vitamin shops whenever I could and I tried to sneak food from places.  

I actually tried to get away with as much stuff as I could because I did not agree.  Yet I was still too beaten down to really stand up to the abuses so this was my way of rebelling.  I thought to myself, if I ever get out of here I should write a book called “How to Survive as a Sea Org Member.”  Well, it would be simple — just learn how to lie convincingly and be really clever.  

I believed if I wasn’t bringing harm or doing anything that was bad or in violation of LRH Policy then it was okay — like going to Walgreens at lunch time or dinner.  To sneak up there I had to walk the back streets (which was forbidden) and walk back to work after dinner (also forbidden). I also committed the unpardonable felony of sneaking off to the public library during lunch time to check out audio books — one of my favorite things.

Earlier I mentioned that I did not agree meaning I didn’t agree with all the off-Policy rules and arbitrary stops being put in my way, however, I still was of the mindset that I was there for a higher purpose and so it was all worth the effort even if I was inconvenienced and had to make sacrifices.  I was at Flag and was helping to clear the planet and make the world a better place to live. I really believed this and that my being there made a difference. How could I leave my fellow staff members?  This was always a huge roadblock to leaving.

I continued to believe that someone somewhere would realize how stupid and crazy all these rules were and it would change.  But it kept getting worse.  It never let up at all which is what finally brought me to my senses.

Oh — the library!  This is its own story.  As computers and internet came into being, we as staff members were not allowed to go onto the Internet.  My very first experience going onto the Internet was in October, 2008, after I had left the Sea Org.  More about that later.

Well, there were computers at the library, so the Flag security guards would take turns going to the library to stop any Sea Org members from using the computers.  I realized since leaving staff that access to the Internet meant access to email — a lifeline to the outside world.  Our communication lines were intentionally cut and we were kept in the dark. I had no idea of my rights or of the laws against human trafficking that prohibited people from being able to freely come and go. I had no idea how to access the Internet or even send an email. And of course I couldn’t ask anyone.  I did go to the library often because listening to audio books was an escape for me. I listened during my exercise time, when cleaning my room, on the bus, whenever I could.  It was nearly as good as watching a movie.  

Of course, no one was allowed to have a TV or DVD player.  Nevertheless, I managed to get a little one somewhere.  But a security guard found it during an inspection and took it away.  I got another one and was more careful how I hid it.  I rarely was able to use it, but just knowing I had it was a comfort to me.  Security guards could come into your room and inspect when you weren’t there.  They could and would go through your drawers and closets to see if you had any contraband – meaning anything listed in the DO’S and DON’TS that we were allowed to have.

Another forbidden activity was to have a PO Box.  Well I had gotten one in 1989, before that rule went in.  I actually tried to close it, but I just couldn’t.  It was so convenient and freeing to be able to have mail that was not read by security guards.  The freeing feeling increased as the belt got tighter.  All the mail coming to the base for staff members was gone through first.  All mail was read.  I had credit card bills and I never wanted to be late.  If they had gone through the normal mail lines through security, one never knew how long it might take to get it.  This is a secret that I never divulged the entire time I was there.  It was my little bit of freedom that I cherished. I also had to sneak into the Post Office to get my mail — sometimes very difficult.

In the ‘80s, I received a small inheritance.  I spent it all to help create a better life for me and my children.  I got a car, renovated my room at the QI with a little kitchen and a proper counter and sink.  I had a loft where I slept.  I created a children’s room beneath, then created a living room in the front.  I was on the 2nd floor and overlooked the pool. I thought I was pretty cool: upstairs and downstairs, kitchen, living room and bath!  On Saturday mornings, I would cook breakfast myself and put a little children’s table outside and let the kids eat out there.  We didn’t have much, but we still tried to enjoy life and we were indeed happy together.

Mother and daughter, reunited

My daughter had a son in 2006 while living in California.  I couldn’t manage to get a leave to go see her.  She finally moved back to Clearwater and I finally met my grandson when he was 1 ½ years old.  I managed a full day off and it was wonderful to be reunited with my daughter and to meet my grandson.  Well that was my last full day off until I left in 2008.

There was one security guard at the Sandcastle that really disliked my daughter and he did not want her on the property because she was no longer in the Sea Org.  He didn’t even want me to have any time with her and said that if I did get any time off, I had to get it approved through the ethics office to see her during that time.  Of course I ignored this.  I rarely got any time off, so sometimes I would have her pick me up about 2- 3 am from the Sandcastle — it was not uncommon for me to be working that late.  She would take me to her house.  I would sleep a few hours and see my grandson in the morning, eat together and then she would drive me as close as it was safe and I would go back to post.

Sleep deprivation sets in

Then came a turning point in July 2007.  All the “Basics” were released (fancy and expensive new editions of LRH basic books).  DM had spent the last several years correcting what he claimed were vast outpoints in the original writings.  We were forced to get rid of all our original books and get new ones.  We were strongly encouraged to purchase them using our own money.  But besides that the overall order was to get sets of these new books into the hands of every Scientologist and then find anyone that had ever been a Scientologist and get the basics into their hands also.  Well this was a mammoth undertaking.  All staff — I mean everyone — had daily quotas on sales.

As I mentioned before, I was pretty successful on my post selling accommodations.  LRH technology of applying the proper condition formula for the condition one was in had always been paramount.  As a registrar, one should and would always do the successful actions that had created affluences – just keep doing that.  It was a great formula for success.  I did this and created affluence sales regularly.  I had my formulas and my actions really down and when I varied these, my success went down.  Sounds pretty simple right?  Well, I had to incorporate book sales into this somehow.  I was a fish out of water when it came to this. Of course, I loved the books and agreed with the premise that everyone should have their own set and I agreed that it was a good idea to recover people who had fallen off and get them the technology.  BUT, how about training a team of experts to do this and just let everyone else do their OWN jobs?  Instead, production crashed because EVERY staff member was pushed off post, off doing the usual, off doing the routine and vital actions of wearing their own hats and doing their own jobs. Everyone had to have a quota.  In addition to this, for the next year till I finally left, I could count on one hand the nights I could get more than 7 hours of sleep.  It was rare to get even 6.  You see, I would usually start my book sales efforts after 10 pm, and frequently be up till 2 am, then it became 3 am and very often I would not go home till 5 am.  Sometimes I would not go home at all.  I found a way to catch a nap on the floor of the bathroom in the Sandcastle Fitness Center.  I would take a coat or a blanket if I could get one and use my purse as a pillow.  It was small so I had to work it just right.  I put something by the door to keep the draft out, turned out the light and fell asleep. I would wake up and wash my face and put new makeup on and walk out – that part was really nice because it just looked like I came in early.  I would go to a local place to have breakfast. Then go back and start all over again.

All staff are supposed to have 2 ½ hours of study time at least 5 days a week.  This was the time to advance our own understanding of Dianetics and Scientology or to receive auditing (spiritual counseling).  Well that was great, but when you do not get enough sleep, it becomes impossible.  It was well known that most staff were barely sleeping, but we still were expected to go to study anyway.  People would be falling asleep literally at their tables.  How much can one duplicate or absorb trying to read that way.  It was really awful.  My senior at the time finally told me that when I was up till 4 or 5 am, he would okay me to sleep in and miss study.  Sleeping this little bit was heavenly.

When I would have an affluence on my stats I would request a day off as per LRH Policy.  Well this would be granted as long as my book quota was also met.  Well this was rarely done.  So I would try to make some agreement to just take the hours of my personal cleaning time or maybe till 2 or 3 pm — anything so I could spend some time with my daughter and grandson.  Like I said, I never had a full 24 hours with my daughter and grandson that entire year from 2007 when she moved back to Clearwater to 2008 when I left.

I should mention here that in 1993, I was awarded a new “status” as Leading Professional Staff member.  This was bestowed by the LRH Personal Publics Relations Officer at Flag. This recognition was based on a writing of LRH stating that those staff members that were qualified due to their performance and production, would have this status.  With it came the stipulation that liberties were never to be denied for that person, and no one except another with that status could assign them a harsh ethics condition.  Well I didn’t dare bring this up.  The atmosphere was too tense and I was in unfamiliar water and really didn’t know where I was going or what was happening.

I still believed in the technology and wanted to believe that senior management had our best interests at heart and that David Miscavige couldn’t possibly know that the Flag staff rarely slept.  How could he want that for his top staff members?  Some of us — my closest friends — wondered what would happen if we wrote this stuff up — we were supposed to write up violations — but who would you send it to?  Local management certainly condoned the abuse.  So where was all this craziness coming from???  No one wanted to believe that it came from the very top.

Debbie Cook vanishes

Sometime in 2007, I noticed that Debbie Cook wasn’t around.  Her apartment appeared to be empty.  I started asking around and there was a buzz going around.  The rumor and buzz was traced back to me.  The senior ethics officer of the Flag base came to see me personally.  However my statistics were up trending, plus I had the rank of Warrant Officer so I was considered trustworthy.  I did not get into trouble, but she took me aside and told me that Debbie was ok but not doing so well right then and it would be better for everyone and the staff morale to just drop it.  “Do not discuss Debbie Cook with anyone” was the message.  I obeyed but never stopped being curious.

During the year of 2007 and 2008, my daughter did manage to drive to the Sandcastle to sometimes bring me a sandwich or just to come by to bring me things that I had difficulty getting out to get.  Well when the security guard found out about this, he would come to my office and slam the door.  I had a glass door so there really wasn’t much privacy plus I was just across from the hotel front desk.  He yelled at me like there was no tomorrow.  I wasn’t afraid of him but I was sure angry, mainly because he seemed to hate my daughter.  A little note here, after I left, he was transferred to another post and was no longer a security guard.  She came on the Base with NO PROBLEM after that, and as he was on another post, he actually tried to be friendly to her.  This was just nuts.

“Boot Camp”

Another really scary thing happened during this time, it was called “Boot Camp.”  This was some kind of nutty ethics program that didn’t start till after you had worked all day.  So at 11 pm a group of us, all registrars like myself from all over the base, not just accommodations counselors but IAS, Freewinds, Planetary Dissemination registrars, too.  There were about 15 to 20 of us.  First we would do exercises.  I was just turning 60 at this time.  This was not an easy ordeal for me.  Then we would do close order drilling.  If you goofed up, you had to drop and do pushups or some such thing.  Then we were taken to a renovation project that was going on at the Base somewhere and made to do some horrible job till about 2 am.  We were then taken to our berthings to sleep and we had to be back in at 8:30 am for more ethics handlings and special reading assignments, then on to post, then boot camp again at 11 pm.  This was my most fearful time in my entire career.  The reason was because it did not follow anything I had ever read about Scientology ethics and I had no idea how it would end or what to do to ensure it would end.  It finally did end.  At the end I had to write up how “beneficial” it was for me and how much “better” I was doing then.  Of course I just did it because I would have done anything to make sure this abuse stopped.

During Boot Camp, if there was any infraction no matter how small, you were called up before the group and the infraction was read out which was in itself humiliating and then you were supposed to do some strenuous exercise in front of everyone.  Me up there was not a pretty sight I can tell you!  This whole entire experience was the most psychotic and terrifying of my entire 26 years as a staff member.  It was this experience that finally convinced me that “I have to get of here!!”

My escape

After my 61st birthday in Sept, 2008 I just looked around and said I am 61, if I don’t leave now I never will.  The organization had broken every promise to allow me to move up the spiritual ladder we call the Bridge. So I could see that another 5 or 10 years could whisk by with no change then I really would be too old to make any changes.  I knew at 61, I could still get a job and make a living.  I had repeatedly told me seniors that I needed to take a leave and really needed their help to make this happen as it was nearly impossible to get replaced.  My mom was 86.  I wanted to get out to see her.  I did manage to see her in 2002 for 3 days and you just cannot imagine what I went through to take that trip.  The amount of duress I went through to make that happen... My husband was supposed to come with me and nearly made it but suddenly they decided he was just too valuable and could not be spared even for 3 days.  It created huge problems with my family.  I kept having to handle that point during my precious 3 days.  It had been 10 years since I had seen my mom!  It was an awful thing and I had regrets that I had not make it happen sooner.

Well now it was 2008, and I thought of nothing else but get home to her house.  I dreamed of her cute little guest house and wonderful it would be to be there and feel safe and free.

I had tried to route out standardly before and did not want to try to fight that opposition.  I knew I wasn’t up for it.  People do it and it can be done but not without a great deal of duress.  I was such a fixture there and made so much money for the Church, it would not be a popular move on my part.  I honestly did not see any other way to do it but just take off.  This way everyone would know I was serious about leaving.  Well this would have to be planned to do it right.  I was careful to not let my daughter know any details or she would be in real trouble.  She knew I was not happy.  You just did not discuss the possibility of leaving because it was deemed a “high crime.” punishable by being declared to be a suppressive person regardless of your production record or all the years you had devoted as a staff member.  So I kept quiet.

I decided on what day I would leave.  Days before, I came in early on the bus and then slipped out and walked a mile to the car rental place that the Church frequently used.  I even got a Church member discount.  I thought that was pretty cool.  I drove it to the downtown parking garage and paid for a month’s parking.  It was only a few days but oh well.  I parked it up a few floors.  I had brought in a small suitcase that day with another one inside of it.  Then each day after that I brought in tote bags with my stuff in it.  I brought as much as I could, but could really only take essentials.  I really had no personal wardrobe to speak of as I was nearly always in uniform and rarely went out anywhere.  Then I would sneak into the garage at lunch time and throw the stuff into the trunk.  This was not easy as the garage was right across from where everyone went to lunch.  I just casually walked around the corner like going to the shops and kept walking till I got to the garage.  I had to be careful not to run into a bus that was going by or a security guard riding a bike or something.  Well, I made it.

Then the day came.  It was a Thursday, September 25th, 2008, which is the last day of our production week.  We had the afternoon, after 2 pm, which was the official end of the production week, to get my weekending actions done and start preparing for the new week.  So I cleaned up my area and jammed anything that was my personal property into my briefcase and purse.  Then just before 7 pm, which was my scheduled dinner time, I called my co-worker and said that I wasn’t feeling well and that I was probably “going to Iso” (short for Isolation which is where sick staff members go when they are ill).  I was told to get better quick so I could back to post.

I had come in early that morning and drove the rental car out of the garage and boldly parked it in front of the Sandcastle on the street facing the park.  At 7 pm, I walked out and got in the car and drove north.  I wanted to go to a small town my first night.  First I stopped at a little restaurant and just ate whatever I wanted and just sat there enjoying myself.  Then I found a Holiday Inn Express and checked in.

I was planning to take a Greyhound bus cross-country.  My sister had been helping me with schedules.  She was great.  Anyway, the next morning a bus was supposed to leave but I needed a bit more time.  Anyway, that day was GREAT.  I went out a bought a proper suitcase and repacked all my stuff. I recall taking my uniform off and leaving it in the garbage!  I checked out, then took myself out to lunch — then on a whim got my hair done and had her do color and everything.  I was having a proper day off!  I took the car to the car rental place and told them I didn’t know how to get to the bus station. They were great and told me to come back just before their closing and she would drive me there.  Sweet!

I decided to go pay for my ticket.  I was all set to do it then I stopped cold and thought what if “they” are checking my card activity.  I really had no idea if it would happen but didn’t want to take that chance as there were several hours before the bus left.  I called my mom and told her she had better pay for it at that end and why it had to be done that way.  

I chose Greyhound for two reasons. One was because I wanted to sit and look out the window and just look at the beautiful scenery and the second was I was certain I would not run into any Scientologist at a Greyhound station.  That just wouldn’t happen.  Wow, what an experience I had with the that subculture.  And believe me the Greyhound bus stations and patrons are really a subculture in this country.  I was fascinated.  But that is for another time.

By Friday afternoon, my pager started going off full time.  I had a pager as we were not allowed cell phones not personal ones anyway.  Some staff had them for work so they could reach more public to reg them for more money.  I have to tell you, my daughter, bless her heart, sneaked a cell phone to me early on and I had to be VERY CAREFUL to not get found out.  That saved me going cross-country on a bus!  My pager continued going off for the next day or so, until I lost it somewhere in Texas.

Ratcheting up the punishment

A registrar is the person on staff that gets the public to sign up for a service and gets them to pay for it.  My job was to be a registrar selling hotel accommodations.  We had the nickname of “regges”.  As mentioned before, I did that, and knew a lot of public from all over the world.  People liked coming to accommodations because I was not regging them for services or the IAS, (International Association of Scientologists) or books or anything else.  The public saw a lot of regges while they were there getting the services.  Then when I was made to have quotas to also sell books and then added to that was a quota to get donations for the IAS as well, well I became just like all the other regges.  I could feel the public looking at me like “Et tu Brute?”  I hated it and didn’t want to do it.  There was all kinds of pressure to do this.  I tried to query these quotas on several occasions to no avail.  There were some nights when a very senior SO member would literally sit in the chair next to my desk while I called all over the world trying to sell Basics.  He would just sit there and watch me.  Because he was in an upper group at the Base, I did not dare chit chat with him or try to query any orders.  There was no way I could leave until he said it was okay.  He eluded on occasion that he was not allowed to eat until our quotas in the accommodations section were met.  He was in charge of our group to ensure we were selling Basics.

There were a couple of times that I went to dinner at my designated dinner time and was met by a security guard asking if I had met my quota for that time period yet.  If the answer was no, I was not allowed to eat. For a time I stopped going to dinner and snuck in food from the canteen.  I always paid for it, but staff members were not allowed to go into the canteen for anything until after 10 or 11 pm.  So I had friends in the kitchens put stuff aside for me.  

One thing a staff member was continually threatened with was being sent to “the bilges”. This is a ship term and that is where it came from.  Staff on the ship did “bilge duty” if they had to handle some ethics situation.  As there were no actual bilges at Flag, ethics officers came up with doing pots or dishes after post for an hour, or cleaning out the garbage room where the dumpster was. When one was working already into the night, it was kind of strange.  You would stop around 11 pm, do your bilges then go back to post.  The most gruesome assignment was to clean out port-o-potties.  There were renovations happening across from the Fort Harrison, so there were port-o-potties. I wonder what the construction workers thought about really clean port-o-potties the next morning.  I did whatever I could to get out of these punishments.  

Various projects were worked up for us to do.  I can tell you another bilge experience:  the Sandcastle Hotel staff that were responsible for keeping the hotel filled especially the penthouses, were regularly sent to do dishes after hours if the penthouses were not filled.  This sometimes included me.  I was called upon to fill those rooms on a daily basis.  I didn’t like to do it because it wasn’t what people were coming to Flag and especially to the Sandcastle for.  

I can tell you that when any senior executive at Flag, not just senior execs from Int, were addressing you, if they yelled at you or gave you some order, the only acceptable answer was “Yes sir!”  If you said anything else, there was no telling what might happen to you.  In the extreme, you could be sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) for such an infraction or at least back to do more bilges or an ethics program.
You could write something up on it later, but it became increasingly difficult to decide what to do with a write-up.  Where would you send it? Who would really read it or listen? You were more likely to be investigated if you queried an executive order.  I know one hotel staff member that questioned our late hours and lack of sleep.  She started looking up LRH references on sleep and that LRH insisted staff get proper sleep.  He stated on more than one occasion that lack of sleep can make a person start acting stupid.  Once in a while in an emergency it was acceptable to lose some sleep — but not on a regular basis.  As a result, she was removed from post and ended up on the RPF mainly for being mutinous — encouraging other staff to question violations of policy regarding abusive sleep deprivation and off-Policy schedules.  We were told we are spiritual beings or thetans and we are not bodies and we can really endure anything.  We could just make things go right not matter what.  

I remember some Thursdays nearly falling asleep at my desk trying to write up my week-ending report.  I remember this because senior officers or security guards would come around to ensure we were doing what we were supposed to be doing.  My junior was found falling asleep at her desk, and she really go in trouble.  I would sometimes slap my face to stay awake.

Leaving on a bus

carol-and-momMy Greyhound bus left very early Saturday, Sept 27th.  We rolled into Sacramento and I finally reached my mother’s house sometime Tuesday morning.  I still had not answered any beeps nor had any contact with anyone from Flag or even my daughter.  Finally I took a call from Michelle, one of my seniors. She convinced me to come back and route out properly.  I knew I had planned to do this because I did not want to jeopardize my relationship with my daughter.  If I didn’t go back, I would have been declared a Suppressive Person and she would be forced to disconnect from me or be declared an SP herself.  Then my son’s father would disconnect from me and if my son stayed in communication with me, well then he couldn’t be in communication with him.  And on and on.  So I went back.

I was housed in a special apartment set aside for “route-outs”.  I actually had a room alone.  This was great because normally you shared a room with several other women if you weren’t married.  I had managed to keep my cell phone – I honestly don’t know how I pulled that off but I did.  It was very important to have that.  I am not talking about any fancy smartphone. Just a phone. I learned how to text and actually taught my 86 year old mother how to do it over the phone so we could stay in communication.  

I had to report each morning at 9 am to get assigned some menial task to do for a few hours or until I got called into the base for my interrogations which are called a “security check.”  This was the procedure.  One must complete a full security check to ensure they leave with a clean slate.  There were always guards at the front gate.  There was no opportunity to leave without special permission.  

Once I was asked to come in because the security chief wanted to see me.  I thought, OMG what have I done now.  Well it turns out he wanted me to buy some Basics book packages to help his quota.  He told me that when I blew, he and his staff lost a lot of valuable production time looking for me, so I needed to make this up by buying Basics from him.  He gave me a phone and left me alone for the whole day to make calls to credit cards to raise my limits or call anyone else that I could borrow from.  They later put me in touch with my ex-husband, who himself was still on ethics lines as ex-SO.  Technically, we were not to be in communication.  Well, now we were. They got him to buy a set of Basics for me with the agreement that I would later pay him back.  More debt for me.  

By the time I got home to California, I was about $50,000 in debt.  As a result, I was forced to file bankruptcy in 2009.

After I had completed everything and was awaiting my final okay to leave Flag, my former senior found a way to locate me where I was staying.  He was not supposed to be in contact with me.  No one was except for security personnel.  He got me to come outside and told me I had gotten him in a lot of trouble because I blew and then I went and bought Basics from Security and not from him.  He told me that I owed him and that I needed to buy basics or donate or do something.  He was desperate.  I mean I really had no money.  I didn’t have any before that.  It was just crazy.  I was trying to get out of there.  There was no way that I could come up with anything else. As it was my mom had to pay for my return airfare.  I just wanted to get home and find a job and work out my situation.  I actually didn’t know how bad it was till I got home.  Pretty scary.

I finally got the call that I could leave.  I packed all my bags and then brought them to the security guard just before getting on the van.  He had to search them all to ensure I didn’t have any thing that I shouldn’t have like documents or org property and the like.  I was taken to the airport very early in the morning.  It didn’t matter how long I had to wait for my flight.  They want to take the "route outs" very early when there is the least amount of public traffic so you do not get so noticed.  

One other thing I should mention, when I got back to route out, my senior contacted me and begged me to go back on post.  He said he fully understood now why I left and he really got it and basically all is forgiven.  He promised I would get a Committee of Evidence which is an ethics cycle that one gets for various infractions of the rules.  He told me that he would work it out to let me go back on post and get my charges to be lenient.  Well I don’t think he has that power.  Basically he wanted to sweep my transgressions under the rug as much as possible.  I left on my own to make a statement that I meant business and wasn’t going to be dissuaded.  Of course, I did not do go back on post.  Down to my last day there, my senior’s senior came to see me to see if we could work it out or could I please work it out to at least donate something.  It was just crazy.  Everyone on the Base was crazy with quotas and trying to make them.

A few times above I mentioned sneaking around.  I mention this here because the reason I had to sneak so much was because there were cameras EVERYWHERE.  Even on the walkway to the place we had our meals so getting into that garage was not a simple matter.  There was even a camera fixed on our front door of our berthing.  I didn’t have one in my office and I felt some relief about that, but sometimes seniors would listen in to your phone calls.  This was to ensure you were speaking correctly or that your sales technique was good and accurate and effective.  So you didn’t want to be caught talking about something you shouldn’t be talking about.

I want to add that I have been out now for 3 years.  I still have nightmares about being back there and being coaxed to get back to work.  Various seniors will pop up in different scenarios.  I wake up and look around and know I am ok.

The above is a summary of my 26 year experience at Flag in Clearwater Florida

Carol Nyburg (Vedder)



+2 # Guest 2013-03-19 16:10
Hello Carol!!! Welcome out in freedom!! Thank you so much for your write-up!! I remember you well!! Great you are out now and able to have your live back!!! love Rita
+2 # Guest 2013-03-19 17:59
Hi Rita. I remember you well also. I remember distinctly the first day we met. so glad you remember me too and thank you so much for your good wishes. I am loving my life and very happy. Love, Carol
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 16:23
Wow, that's a hell of a story. I loved the blow sequences, exciting! You probably knew my brother in Law Gene Juss, married to my sister Christine. MReppen
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 18:01
Yes of course. Gene was my senior. I remember you too when Chris would visit with you from time to time. Thank you so much for your acknowledgement.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 16:46
Hi Carol,
Thank you for your intense story. I remember you as my in-ARC reg who let me stay at a friend's place when I came for my Solo NOTs refreshers.
Welcome to the world of free Scientologists who practice Scientology in its original spirit.
Wolfgang Keller
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 18:03
Wow! Thank you, so good to hear from you.
I am so very happy now. My life full and rewarding. Love, Carol
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 16:50
Welcome in the club Carolina!!!! I missed you! Was nice reading your story. Well done!!! Love, Kinga
+2 # Guest 2013-03-19 17:06
I definately remember you from Flag, so happy to see you are out, re-united with your family and are doing well! Such a controlling cult environment all you Sea Org members had to endure. I wish you much happiness and congrats on your leaving the sea org and gaining your freedom back!!
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 17:19
Hi Carol,

Thanks for telling your story. Looking forward to better days.


Forrest Crane
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 18:14
Dr. Dismal Failure. Thousands of such enthusiastic on purpose willing beings beaten down and degraded to the point of hopeless despair. Great if sad story, well written. Glad you are out and free Carol.

Alaska Ronn
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 18:21
I have you Carol since 1984 and you always set a good example of what Scientology is all about. And here you are now, doing the same thing, but bigger and better than ever before, because now you're setting a good example of integrity, courage and honor. Very well done and welcome.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 06:50
Thank you so much. I would love to hear from you on FB so I know who you are. Love, Carol
+3 # Guest 2013-03-19 19:13
Unbelievable and yet totally believable. I cried and cried and cried reading this story. I just shake my head. I was in for 25 years with several stints on staff including up to the time I left.

My husband was on staff for 25 years straight. We knew when the Basics and then Basics/Ideal Org/IAS craziness was going on that it was emanating mostly from Flag via the TOP. I knew, essentially, that my targets were coming directly from COB which is why I started having such disdain for the guy, leading me to voice this to the ED (which led to a serious of events that resulted in my departure).

Back to you....I bring the above facts up only to convey that I TOTALLY know exactly what you were dealing with and in addition, my husband was sent to Flag for what was supposed to be 8 weeks but turned out to be 2 1/4 years, so I know the Flag experience from that angle too.

You are brave and it is admirable that you never let anyone fully destroy all of your freedom. That probably kept you alive and as healthy as you could expect to be under that duress.

Heart warming, indeed, is that you are back with your daughter and grandson. I would love to hear part two of this story.

It's unfortunate that your marriage was tampered with in that way but you strike me as a courageous and resilient woman with lots of life and love ahead.

Thank you for speaking out and telling it like it is and as I read through your accounts I continued to reflect on what it would be like if all those, in our local org, were able to read what you have written. What, then, would they say?

More people need to start sneaking around to find the truth they way that you did.
+2 # Guest 2013-03-20 06:53
Sindy, After I initially responded to you, I found your husbands story. We all have a story and we all need to tell it. Thank you for all your love and support. I do remember him and I wish you the very best for your future. I have had so much love sent my way. What a great place "out here"

Love, Carol
+2 # Guest 2013-03-19 19:14
This is Tony DePhillips. I haven't even read your story yet but I loved seeing you at Flag every time I went. I am now a declared SP too!! Lol!! I would love to get in comm sometime.
I am gong back to your story now...
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 19:46
Carol is one of the most genuine people I ever met on staff. She was always sincerely committed to serving me as a public.

I, too, loved every word of her story. Though filled with oppression, she clearly demonstrates the courage and ingenuity to not just survive but to flourish and prosper.

When push comes to shove, I want her on my team.

Thank you, Carol, and much love to you.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 07:04
Hello and thank you so much! I sure would love to hear from you on FB. would love to know who you are.

Love, Carol
+1 # Thoughtful 2013-03-20 07:17
Hi, sorry — I experimented with turning off the "name" field and it seems to be confusing who is who since everyone becomes "Guest." Anyone who does not want to have their actual name should put their handle instead. - Steve
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 07:05
Thank you for sending me such a great message. I would love for you to contact me on FB so I know who you are.

Love, Carol
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 19:54
I read your story Carol.
They are just NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!
I always loved seeing you at Flag. You were so real and caring and so full of theta. If they pushed you out then I know there is no hope for that organization. Since you are speaking out now, I assume you are a "declared SP" now. I would love to hear the rest of your story sometime and I can tell you mine if you are interested in hearing a "publics" story.
Love, Tony
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 07:06
Thanks, Tony! I sent you an e-mail.

Love, Carol
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 19:55
Hi Carol, I'm so glad you're out of that mess and that you had the intelligence to manuever your way way out. I hope you were able to preserve your family comm lines despite this public admonishment of the squirrel behaviour of DM & company. I feel sorry for those still stuck with no way out and continuing to endure this gross off policy misery. Your telling of how good it was at one time and the dichotomy of what it turned into is very revealing of the psychopath Miscavige. You are right if that had not happened many people would potentially still be there. Wish you the best in your future endeavors!
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 19:58
One more thing, we may say "kool-aid drinkers" in a derogatory way, let's not forget that there are so many like Carol stuck in that misery but not really knowing how to navigate their way out and that they are people with a big heart to help.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 20:10
Wow!!! I read your whole write up and I am so happy that you wrote up everything that had happened to you at Flag. Your story would make and incredibly interesting movie with everything that went on in this modern age.

Thank you Carol.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-19 23:33
Hi Carol,
Holy kamoley!! You look wonderful. We had some times together at the QI. I remember those family times well. They were good times. I had to laugh when reading your announcement about the "little sneaky transgressions". We should write the handbook on how to survive and maintain one's sanity. It's how I survived as well. Our little silent disagreements made it our world --not theirs. Would love to see you. You can email me at .
Love to you, Linda
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 01:08
Wow Carol, thanks for sharing your story. When I was last at Flag, it was getting heavy for the public and I knew then that the staff would have been getting it 10x worse. And such decent people too! Enjoy the rest of your life, you deserve it!!
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 03:16
Holy cow, Carol, your story really communicates. I wonder what Karen Pouw would have to say about that! Congratulations on beginning the next chapter of your life. I knew Frank from the (in)famous Pro TRs Pilot back in 1979. He impressed me as a very fine, dedicated person and I hope you two are still able to be in comm. All the best to you.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 04:51
Carol dear. I've spent the past hour reading your story in full and am responding teary eyed. Your reputation, Carol, preceded you well before I ever came to Flag. In the late 80's the Scandinavian public and FSMs spoke of "Carol" at Flag in such a manner I thought she must be a Goddes. I confirmed that for me later on. I can relate to much of your story, including getting to know Frank in the RPF, hope he is doing well. Loved the small but significant fact that you got a church discount for the car which you rented to escape !! Hated the images of enforced sleep deprivation, LOVED the suspense of Grayhound bus experience, LOVED the witty ways you developed to stay sane in that insane culture of having military taking over. Your lovely daughter has own family, amazing, and you were able to reunite with your own Mom is absolutely fantastic. I salute you all. This has made me very happy.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 05:25
Hello there my former SO recruiter!! and Friend forever. Wow, Nancy still looks the same.
I am glad that you are out and I hope all of our old friends are out, or are getting out soon. Love ya, call me.
+1 # Zana Zeches 2013-03-20 07:48
PS-I forgot you were my Senior for the most part while I was in the SO.(After Jim Wavell) Although I was a renegade and didn't take to well to the idea of having someone to answer to.I laughed mostly(where appropriate) while reading your story. It is so you!! I can see you going to get your hair done, eating, the sub-culture of the bus station thoughts running through your head reminding me of the times we've spent together talking and laughing. I hope we can meet up soon and spend some real time doing things that are fun.
+1 # Guest 2013-03-20 05:32
Thank you so much for your courage and strength. Big hugs to you.
+1 # PepsiCat 2013-03-20 10:06
If you routed out properly were you still declared? I'm just wondering because surely this story will get you declared. Why now? I'm not challenging you - in fact, I admire your courage to speak out. I'm just wondering if something occurred that made you say, "That's it."
+2 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-20 17:01
Hi, No I did not get declared at that time. I routed out standardly so I would not get declared. I got declared later and was never told why. I wrote a 2nd part and sent it to Steve Hall. I think he will publish it soon.
Thank you for all your love! Carol
+1 # Joe Hanson 2013-03-20 10:27
What a nightmare!! I'm so glad you're out and I hope that your story will help others make up their minds to leave Scientology or become aware of what is going on. I feel so sorry for all the nice people who are trapped and abused in David Miscavige's horrible cult of terror.
+1 # Richard kaminski 2013-03-20 13:34
Decency and honesty pour out of every line of your story, Carol. I'm glad you're free.
Richard Kaminski
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-20 17:02
Richard! Thank you so much. So glad to hear from you.

Love, Carol
+2 # Been There 2013-03-20 16:10
Great story Carol. You are everything that a Sea Org member should be: caring, good sense of humor, full dynamics (esp. the first and second not just the third), dedicated but not fanatic, and able to think for yourself and not be a robot taking orders. Those were great years in the later 70's up to about 1986. I was a public only but the nature of my profession and my pioneer activities allowed me access to the QI, Hacienda and to Flag staff. I knew so many on such a familiar basis and loved and respected you all.

And then the prison bars came down. Even up to 1996 I still had unlimited access to the staff and staff quarters, but then the fence and gates went up around the QI and the Hacienda, then no cars for staff and then no staff contact with "The Others" aka Flag public aka "external influences". I was forbidden to have any personal contact with Flag staff; business only as a student or PC and that was it.

Interesting to hear you talk about this from the staff side. You can see Miscavige's insanity smeared all over the activites you describe such as "Boot Camp" and the horrendous "Basics evolution". I could see the crazy from my side of it and your viewpoint helps the pieces fall into place.

I knew about Khashogghi's wife, but I didn't realize she lived at the FH. That is so fucking ironic. Remember in about the mid-80's how what a Flag public did for a living became of great concern to the CS and MAA. People were taken off OT VII because their profession was considered out-ethics. One OT designed nuclear systems for Trident submarines and he was given immense grief about that. Another was a teacher and "public education is suppressive so you can't be a school teacher and be on the OT levels". Or you design furniture and that is "off-purpose". These are REAL examples and there are scores more.

And here is a Flag WHALE like Lamia Khashoggi who's money came from one of the BIGGEST arms dealers in the WORLD. A man responsible for the death of destruction of whole populations in places like the Congo, Somalia, Rawanda and Yugoslavia and FLAG can hardly stop drooling over his money. Fucking hypocrites. People are doing conditions for being a school teacher and Lamia Khashoggi is living at the FH on her husband's BLOOD MONEY.

The lid is going to blow off this whole situation with Miscavige very soon. There is just too much evil, too many lies and too much insanity. Pretty soon witnesses, with evidence, will come forward and reveal what's been going on behind the scenes. It won't be hearsay, something many of us both staff and public were privy to, it will be facts with documents. This guy and his cronies are and have been committing real crimes and I think they are starting to sweat bullets as more and more staff and in-the-know public speak out.

Imagine the day when Matt Feshbach or Craig Jensen or John Travolta or even Tom Cruise get fed up and start dishing the dirt on all the Miscavige's inurement. Or the day Heber or Yager escape and go public and tell where the bodies are buried. And what about Shelly Miscavige. She probably has some tales to tell; that is if she's not already dead and buried in the desert somewhere.

Thanks for adding your log to the fire that hopefully quite soon will consume David Miscavige.
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 22:29
Hello. I loved what you wrote and I sure would like to know who you are. I have an idea, but not sure. Thanks for writing. I hope you contact me on FB. Love, Carol
+1 # Patrick 2013-03-23 19:28
Quoting Been There:

The lid is going to blow off this whole situation with Miscavige very soon. There is just too much evil, too many lies and too much insanity. Pretty soon witnesses, with evidence, will come forward and reveal what's been going on behind the scenes. It won't be hearsay, something many of us both staff and public were privy to, it will be facts with documents. This guy and his cronies are and have been committing real crimes and I think they are starting to sweat bullets as more and more staff and in-the-know public speak out.

I thnk the tipping point has already been reached. Look at all the books published in the last 6-8 months : Janet Reitman's "inside scientology" jeff Hawkings's "counterfeit dreams", Marc headley's "blown for good", Jenna Miscavige's "beyond belief", Amyy scobee 's "abuse at the top, and i forget some. The clock is ticking, the dwarf should escape and hide well if he doesn't want to get it up his ass by Booba his future cellmate.

That said, LRH designed the sea org, the rpf, the fair game policy, the "handle or disconnect", the tone scale where compassion is actually a bad thing. THings are worse now, but Miscavige made them WORSE. LRH made them bad...

And congrats on your escape Carol. I'm still stunned even after having read hundreds of those stories...
+1 # bazooka mouse 2013-03-20 17:37
Frank Vedder was a great supe in the old SFO Day academy.
What ever happened to him?
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 08:18
Hello! Unfortunately, he is living in CW and trying to get back onto Solo Nots. He is newly married to another person on OTVII. He son is still in SO at the SC. His daughter is out and living a fun life, but still onlines. Did you know Judy? She is OT VIII and now very ill and near death. Very sad tale there!
+1 # bazooka mouse 2013-03-21 09:23
I did know Judy, though not closely.
Thanks for the update and sorry to hear about her.
Wonderful that you escaped!
+1 # J Michael 2013-03-20 20:31
The higher ups like DM act like aliens in V or a twilight zone episode. I still do not understand what use they have for their large piles of money, makes me wonder if they are the aliens from "Arrival" building some superweapon in the jungle. Someone figure this out please, people with this kind of drive for money and whose stated reasons for doing it are obviously made-up, are usually doing more with it than hoarding. Spooky stuff.
+1 # Mat Pesch 2013-03-20 22:49
Hello Carol!!!!
Glad to hear you made it out. I hope we can get together and talk at some point.
I've been out for 8 years and still have the nightmares (daily)that you mention, as does my wife Amy. Amazing.
+1 # Dan Koon 2013-03-21 00:52
Mat, I still have dreams but they have shifted over time, from being back at the Base and needing to blow again to DM berating me for something to me berating DM for something to me actually beating the crap out of DM to now DM being made to confess his crimes. Talk about case gain! My advice is keep dreaming!
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 08:21
Yes, those dreams for me really vary. I keep being tried to be pulled into a reg cycle. I have to come and fix it.
+1 # Obnosis 2013-03-24 02:53
That is so awesome Dan! I used to have pretty much just one nightmare and that would be being in the SO again and being hung up in doubt about it or wanting to leave and not being able to. I'm happy to say, I haven't had that dream in a while now.
+1 # Anonymous Ex-SO 2013-03-21 09:06
Hey, thank you for sharing your story. I was only in for a few years. Thankfully my significant other and I blew together. Based on what I had read in similar accounts, I knew they'd try to tear us apart if either one of us tried to speak up or if we tried to route out separately. Reading your story reminds me of why I left in the first place and makes me thankful for my freedom.
+1 # Belen 2013-03-21 09:21
Carol, I'm so happy you got out and are enjoying what life has still to offer ...for the nightmares, I still have them from time to time..but no worries, enjoy and be happy,we are better prepared for life than many people, so live life!! and look forward there is a lot to be happy for...
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 18:23
I am very much enjoying job and thankful for the training I have had as it as prepared me to confront life and work well (and get paid for it!)I am embracing life and just confronting whatever is there each day and really truly enjoying myself. So glad to be in comm with you!
+1 # Laura Ann 2013-03-21 12:46
Mike and I are so glad you are out and reunited with at least some of your family. I remember you well. You were always a bright spot for Mike and I when we came to Flag. I knew things were not what they should be but, I never imagined it was so bad and it seems so much worst after my last time there in 2005. It is unbelievable how CRAZY it has become with David Miscavige at the helm. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just know that it has and will help those who are still trapped by the lies. Truth is hard to swallow sometimes but, always the way. We love you, Carol! Laura and Mike Wilson
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 18:26
So good to hear from both of you. I remember trying to reach you back then and kept wondering what had happened to you. I missed you too. Now I know and I am happy for the both of you too. How wonderful to be able to connect back up with all my friends from an earlier time. Thank you. Love, Carol
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 19:01
Hello to you both. I loved it when you would come to my office. I really missed you when you disappeared. Now I know where people were going. Glad to hear you are both doing well and happy. I am definitely enjoying life and living every day! Good full days. That story really freed me up. I had not realized how solid and cowed I was till I wrote it. My life fully turned around that day. It was like night and day. Love you both, Carol
+1 # Laura Ann 2013-03-22 01:43
That's wonderful, Carol! I'm glad we are in the same place, now. :)
+1 # david 2013-03-21 19:25
Hi Carol,

I came to see you several times during the winter of 2005 while I was at flag and I needed a few extra weeks and you were a pleasure to see...I think I remember cookies as well. Maybe you remember me...I own a bakery in Philadelphia. In was recently declared...which was bewildering since I had always been a good member of the church. I was declared basically for disagreeing with the direction of the church and definitely with the suicidal idea of putting a massively expensive ideal org here in Phila. Anyhow thanks for writing your story and good luck with everything. If you're ever around Phila we make the best croissants this side of Paris (Julia Child said so...really!) David Braverman
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-21 22:33
Hi David. Of course, I remember you. So very glad to meet up with you again. That is amazing about Julia Child. That would be worth a trip there. And when I get there, you bet I will stop by. Looking forward to staying comm. Thanks for writing. Love, carol
+1 # Been There 2013-03-22 06:30
David I was doing some studies at Drexel and stayed in a nice hotel just a block from the Philly Org. I walked by the org several times a day and I never saw a single person IN the org (those big glass windows face right on to street level) and I never saw anyone go in and out. There was a little, pathetic card table opened out on the sidewalk with a few scraggly pamphlets and fliers but it was so completely and utterly dead even in the very high traffic area. There are businesses, huge medical complexes, big tourist attractions all within a few blocks and nothing, no activity and no sign of even a staff member in the building.

I wish I had known you had a bakery there. I would have bought some of your great croissants. I love Philly. it is truly a great city. Sorry to be incognito but spouse and family still involved and I'm not going to lose my religion, my life's investment AND my family to this grasping organization.
+1 # david braverman 2013-03-23 07:55
HI Been There...wish I knew who you are but I understand. I have no family in Scientology so I guess I'm lucky. Yeah, the org in Phila is staffed and attended by pretty much the same small but hardy group that has been there for decades. At least that was the case as of 3 0r 4 years ago which is the last time I was in the building. I was part of the ideal org fundraising back then. I contributed almost a hundred grand myself, sort of suspending my intuitive knowledge that spending millions to purchase and renovate a 13 story building on Chestnut street was not going to substantially change attendance and would bankrupt the org. The existing 2-story building was mostly empty. We did purchase the new building about 5 years ago for 8 million and it's still not occupied while the valiant remaining field continues to attempt to raise money...I still get the emails. I truly wish them luck..they're all old friends and wonderful people...it's just a shame. I guessing the building is not worth more than 4 or 5 million in today's market. If they ever do get it renovated and they move in I envision staff doing call-in from their running cars in January just to stay warm.

So, my bakery is called Lebus and if you make it back to Drexel for a visit get in touch with me...we make lots more than just croissants! David
+1 # Daniel 2013-03-23 07:11
Does anybody know: Are Annette and Doug still on post at FH accommodations?
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-23 08:24
As far as I know, they are both stillat Flag in accommos. I had heard that Annette went on a shortened schedule for health reasons. Of course, I have no way of knowing now, for certain, who is in accommodations at this moment.
+1 # Daniel 2013-03-23 08:49
Thanks! Have you any idea what happened to Per Almquist, the nice reg?
+1 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-23 10:37
No idea.
+1 # Jane Doe 2013-03-23 13:13
Carol, Welcome out! I remember you well. You were "the nice reg with chocolate chip cookies." You seemed real to me and not starey-eyed robotic like many of the "gung ho" staff were. But I also am confused on this one thing: if you routed out standardly, no SP declare. But now that you published your story, that would be an SP declare, and you sd later you were declared and don't know why? What is sad. Even the late great Hy Levy never got to read his declare. What about your kids and ex? Did they all disconnect from you? What about your husband that Flag made you divorce? did you locate him and can you get back with him? Your story is a cliff hanger worthy of your writing a book!
+2 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-23 13:53
Hello Jane Doe, I would love for you to contact me on FB so I know who you are. Yes those cookies were great. Of course, I never ate any!!! NOT!!! Here is the sequence: Nov, 2008, I am complete on my Routing Out Routing Form and return to California.I had been comm ev'd for blowing and was threatened with being declared at that time. I had actually reunited with Frank, my Ex-hubby while on my routing form because Security regged him to buy a set of Basics for me but I had to agree to pay him back. That was the first time we had been in comm since our divorce. Very strange indeed. I plan to see him when I left but was told NO NO NO because I could be declared. They didn't want me to see my daughter either. But I did have her come to see me for my first Christmas in years. Frank and I never got back together because he wanted to get back on lines and I knew I never wanted to return to Flag. It would never work. I only got declared a few months ago. I have no idea why. I had been quiet and hadn't done anything different than I had been doing. They just r-factored my daughter that I was declared, and she disconnected from me. Boom. I still to this day do not what prompted this. So here I am, I have reason to sit still and be quiet. I wanted to stand up and be counted. I would like to write a book. I have so much more to tell. I am making notes as I go along and will eventuallyput it all together. Thanks for writing and glad you liked the cookies! Love, Carol
+2 # Friends from the good ole days 2013-03-23 23:25
Hi Carol, I am so glad to know where you are and how you are. I have been thinking about you for years. Even though my last trip to Flag was my LAST - You were not there and I asked about you continually and received no answers - as usual. Yes, all the theta, wonderful Staff like you, from that era are gone or turned into Zombies - My last trip was so miserable I have not returned. The tech is out; the staff are mean and totally make wrong and I no longer feel LRH's presence there. Also, who can afford to continually pay for the endless Security Checks required. I remember the days I would go there to get cleaned up with them - Now they are no more than Gestapo-like Inquistions. I always left feeling worse than when I went - so I no longer go. I'm afraid to say my name as I still have family in this 'CULT" so just know you are so warming appreciated and loved by so many of us. One day I will have the nerve to come out. Best wishes for a free life.
+2 # Carol Nyburg 2013-03-24 08:31
Thanks so much for writing to me. I loved hearing what you have to say. Would be great if you send me a message on FB. I would love to know who you are. I know what it was like in 2008, I can only imagine what it must be like now. I hope you can be free soon and your family cognites soon. Love, Carol
+2 # M.A.R.I.E.L.L.A 2013-03-24 01:24
I remember Carol very well.
I am very happy to know you are out and enjoying your freedom.
Love to you and your family!
+2 # Carol Nyburg 2013-03-24 08:33
Hi to you. Thanks for your well wishes and the same back to you. I can honestly say I am happier than I have every been. Love, Carol
+3 # Gayle Smith 2013-03-25 16:42
Hi Carol,

It's good to see you moved away from what is a twisted version of the path we thought we were on in Scientology.

I remember you oh so well as a very wonderful, cheerful and professional woman greeting me and everyone else upon our arrival to Flag. You and Eileen Clark were two of the most memorable good first impressions for me when I got to Flag. What set you apart was that you smiled and took care to help everyone with anything that came in to your zone of control.

I'm so glad to know you're out.

Gayle Smith
to help you remember me,
former OOT
Snr C/S Philadelphia Org
mother of those cute twin boys
+2 # carol Nyburg 2013-03-26 14:13
Hello Gayle. That you so much for all you said. I do appreicate that very much. I will also be sure to pass your comments onto Eileen Clark. And, Of course I remember you! So great to be meeting back up with old friends that I thought I would never see or hear from again. Love to you,
+2 # Gayle Smith 2013-03-29 09:07
It is interesting to me to see who it is that I met during my career who are out now. I don't believe in coincidences. I know how much we had in common on different levels as we produced our fair share of products toward our mutual goals. I'm finding that the awakenings of many of those who have left in these recent years and their reasons for leaving is a distillation of people to a finer group of people who more closely define the actual group of people I thought I'd been a part of. People I actually knew on my Scn timetrack who made impressions on me now out has made me pay a lot more attention to the impressions people make on me now and why that might be so. It's been a new lesson in paying attention to what is in front of me and not overlooking the importance of what I see, feel and perceive. Comm lines are treasures to care for and NOT take for granted. So your a gem Carol. I knew it when I met you and it's validating for me somehow to know you knew you had to separate yourself from the road you were on at FSO in order to maintain your integrity. We'll see you again Carol.
+2 # Angela 2013-03-29 08:12

I just read your story and it gave me hope for the other SO members still enduring the abuse. I think the majority of SO members are very well intended people and it must be like living in hell or purgatory, waiting for it all to get better somehow.

Anyway, I am very glad you got out and wish you a very happy life.

I pray/postulate for those still in that they too experience the same relief as you.

+3 # The Oracle 2013-03-30 02:51
It's a damn shame when it's easier to be a street whore and ditch a pimp, than it is to get out of the slavery at the Church of Scientology. It's a damn shame when a street whore has more freedom and benefits than a Sea Org member. My new name for David Miscavige is "Iceberg Grimm". He really is the world's most famous and successful pimp.
+2 # david braverman 2013-03-31 12:12
I was reading this blog and I saw the message from Gayle Smith. Gayle, I read your comments with great interest. It's always interesting to hear from people from one's past. I knew you had woken up and were out...in fact I once tried to email you but the address was wrong. I remember how you helped me through a rough time i was having about 10 years ago when you were on post at Philly org. We sat in the qual library and I itsa'd for at least an hour (on several occasions). I hope all is well with you...I assume it is. Since I'm of lines I am keeping my money and I bought a re-built 1914 Steinway baby grand and I'm re-learning to play after 35 years being on course and running my bakery. ARC, David
+2 # gayle aka TroubleShooter 2013-06-13 06:34
Oh my god David! I just saw this response. You have no idea how this just made my day and how it will for a dear mutual friend of ours Don Cramer!!!! He's out too. We've talked about trying to reach you so many times! please email me at I can't WAIT to talk to you David. My my my my my. Wonderful David on the return to your love of music.
+2 # Vic Krohn 2013-04-06 06:01
What a compelling story.

It is great to finally be back in touch.

Vicki sends her best.

Love, as always, Vic Krohn
+2 # joseph stanley 2013-04-27 12:59
I am so glad to see you are out. You were such a positive force while I was in the SO and while growing up at the FH. I was the FH Cashier before I had enough and blew.

Flourish and Prosper!

+2 # carol Nyburg 2013-04-27 13:14
Hi! Of course I remember you and your brother. I would love to connect with you on Face Book. Please look me up. You both were always so much fun.
+2 # madonna 2013-05-01 11:04
Now that you're out I suggest you read George Orwell's 1984.

Yes, cameras everywhere !!! Cameras with AUDIO pickup. And no, it's not to ensure you are "talking properly to customers".

It's to MONITOR and CONTROLL you.
+2 # Ex SO 2013-05-28 19:21
I just found your blog. I am not American (sorry for my english) but I also used to be a SO member for 1,5 years. I just left 2 month ago. Life is not so easy when you don't have anyone who can help outside but I hope I can do it as well as you did. Best Regards,
An ex SO member
+2 # Carol Nyburg 2013-06-02 22:52
Hi, thanks for writing. I am sure you will succeed. One does when they disconnect from suppression as you and I have done. My best wishes to you! Love, Carol
+2 # ex-public 2013-07-15 16:05
Carol, wonderful to hear you are doing well. We missed you. I always wondered where all the staff went when they disappeared. We were told, "they went uplines".

This has been a revelation to me. I never knew there was any option besides the COS. I had given up on going back to Flag, as I knew I could not get through a sec check since I was convinced that Miscavidge was bad news for all of us.

Thank you all for sharing these stories. No need to repeat what's been said all over. I'm still in the closet as I don't know how my kids would take it. Recently got divorced and my ex-wife still believes in Santa Claus. I'd like to set her free also, so I have to plan how I do this next step.

Stay happy.
# Carol Nyburg 2013-07-15 22:49
Hello to you. Thank you so much for sending me your great message. I would love to converse with you. You can send me a message on FB which is private. I so understand being "in the closet". I was for quite a while till I could not stand it any longer. Love, Carol
+1 # Samia Tawk 2013-08-15 13:05
Hi there Carol ,
I was at flag in the years of 1991-1994 and lived there on base I was working for the person who was occupying the presidential suite at the time and you were an absolute delight to everyone around and extremely helpful to us we were considered VIP and I still have a picture of you and your kids I am so sorry for what you endured I always thought that staff there were bad treated and felt sorry for their children take care and god bless !
+1 # Carol Nyburg 2013-08-15 16:31
Samia, WOW! I am so glad to hear from you. I love you to pieces!!! Do you remember Bobby Stanley? He remembers you and asked me to say hello. He is thrilled that you contacted me. Can't tell you how excited Iam to hear from you Love, Carol

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Massive Ponzi Scheme

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