The Cheryl S Story
My Year on Full-Time Staff
Steve's brother got married on July 5, 1985. During the reception, while bouncing a 2-year-old on my hip and being dragged around by a 5-year-old, I searched for Steve everywhere to get some assistance with the kids. I couldn't find him anywhere. The last place I looked was on the dance floor. For seven years I had begged Steve to go dancing, but he would always refuse, saying that he did not like to dance. So when I found him on the dance floor with the person in charge of Ethics, I was shocked. When I asked him why he was dancing with her he said the she had asked him and he couldn't be rude and refuse. I asked why it wasn't okay to be rude to her but it was okay to be rude to me, his wife of seven years?" He never answered.
This upset me to no end. One week later, I was involved in a car accident that left me with broken bone in my lower back. (PTS?) I couldn't work for a year. Credit card payments became delinquent. Creditors started calling. And guess who was home to deal with it all? Not Steve. During this period he was working for Bridge Publications, Inc. (a Scientology publishing house) and he would not quit working for Bridge (and the usual low pay) and find a better paying job so that we could pay our credit cards and other financial obligations. The org knew all about it. I told them via Knowledge Reports. But they did not agree that Steve should leave staff just to handle his own finances. Eventually, all our credit card accounts were closed, many of which had been used for Scientology services.
Further, I helped Steve work on the Bridge Publications' audits. While I was there, I observed numerous cases of Dianetics and other Hubbard books with the B. Dalton stickers already on them. I inferred that they had been bought by loyal Scientologists and returned to Bridge to be "recycled."
After that, Steve made remarks to me such as he'd "like me better if I was on staff." Working through marital difficulties with the ethics offer was not exactly a bowl of cherries. Terrie, the ethics officer ("EO") insulted me, and among other things, called me a hag. I blew up at her. (She labeled it a "psychotic break." Scientologists label extreme anger as "psychotic breaks." I think extreme anger is mislabeled on purpose so that Scientology can make out like you are crazy if you get so made you blow up in anger.) She told me that she believed I had diabetes. (I didn't then and to this day still don't-talk about eval1!) She agreed with Steve that I suffered from out-R2 with him. Therefore the solution to our marital problems was for me to join staff so that I would have reality with Steve. So, against my better judgment, I joined staff.
I was posted as the Treasury Secretary. Little did I know what a killer post it was. I had to deal with five different landlords because, at the time, Valley Org was in five different storefronts along Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, California. I came in at the tail end of a prosperous period in Valley Org's existence and it was still living "high on the hog" but consistently not making enough money to meet its financial obligations. Consequently, I was forced to stall the landlords. I also had to try to stave off disaster with the utilities, vendors, post office, etc.
Not long after I was posted as the Treasury Secretary, a Mission3 was fired into the org. The Mission 1st (the one in charge of the team) was a man named Mr. Reed4. Mr. Reed appointed me the Board Finance Officer ("BFO") in addition to my duties as Treasury Secretary. This post was created pursuant to Scientology policy so as to channel all the noise from flapping creditors (landlords, utilities, etc.) to one person, so the rest of the org personnel would not be distracted and could get on with production. The policy specifically stated that the BFO was not to have any other post.
I pointed this out to Mr. Reed but he did not care. There just wasn't anyone else to do the job, so I had to be the BFO and the Treasury Secretary. Treasury is Division 3 of the org which consists of three departments: income (including accounts receivables), disbursements (which includes bill payments and payroll) and records, assets & materiels (which included supplies and financial audits). I had one part time assistant who dealt with the income department (calling people who owed the org money and trying to extract it from them) and helped with payroll, and between the two of us, we had to work miracles. My assistant mentioned to me that she had lost her house because of Scientology registrars.
Needless to say, I was not happy with having to take on the additional duties of BFO, which consumed a lot of time. Plus a different Mission had fired into the org from INCOMM (the Scientology computer org, "International Network of Computer Organized Management") to computerize Treasury. We had to do daily closeouts, both by computer and by the manual system. It made double work and the computer system was full of bugs. Months later it was abandoned. Needless to say, I quickly came to hate being on staff.
When a Mission is in the org, you work nonstop, late into the wee hours of the morning, every day, all weekend. I lost 15 pounds during this particular Mission due to lack of time to eat and the stress of "getting the stats up."
Why didn't I quit if it was so destructive? Well, in Scientology there is a policy which states that "your post is a trust and a crusade." You cannot just resign. You have to find your own replacement first. Even though every Scientology org has a personnel department which is supposed to recruit, it rarely happens. New recruits are usually posted to vacant posts that are more important than yours (obviously since you are still there, it is not a 'situation' yet, which makes it a Catch 22).
I could not find a replacement and I could not quit or I would be declared suppressive and expelled. This put me in an impossible position. Not only did that mean that my husband and children could never communicate with me again (pursuant to Scientology policy), but my mother had entered the hospital for what was to be the last time and I needed time to go visit her every day. She was diabetic and had injured her foot. After extensive antibiotic treatment, it had become gangrenous and her leg below the knee was amputated. After this point, it was discovered she had Cushing's disease. She lost muscle control and eventually went into a coma for a month before dying. But while she was conscious I spent my "enhancement" time visiting with her.
I was given so much grief over losing my enhancement time to visit with this "diseased" person (as Scientology staffers categorized her) and what did it matter, she would pick up a new body and maybe next time around she would get it right and get into Scientology that it made me sick. I disagreed with the Scientological viewpoint and persisted in visiting her. I had to go from Van Nuys to Downey to visit and be back in Sherman Oaks by 12:30 p.m. to be on post. And with the Mission in the org, I did not get off post until sometime between 2:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. every night. I would get 3 or 4 hours of sleep and be back at the hospital to visit the next day. This went on for about four months.
It is no wonder that I literally dropped at the end of a year on staff with chronic mononucleosis. I was intensely ill for six months, literally sleeping 20 hours a day. I never fully recovered from it. The name of the illness changed several times and today is known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). I still wage a weary war with fatigue and neurological anomalies even after 13 years. One of my permanent "keepsakes" from my year on staff.