Ex-Scientologist story #266, Fear and Loathing in Sutton: a black coffin on the streets.

John Mclean was the third mate on the ship “Apollo;” this was one of the ships in Hubbard’s bathtub navy that sailed the ocean blue in search of money.  Money that he hauled aboard in great amounts.  This was in the years before the Sea Org gave up standing before the mast and became dry-land sailors.  More than this his whole family were staunch Scientologist.  Like many others over the years they saw through the charade and quit.  There are a number of articles that speak to the Mcleans leaving Scientology but here is an older one.  This is from “The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March, 1974.  Excerpts are from their five-part series.

Secluded for more than six years from inquisitive critics and followers alike, Hubbard and his top lieutenants cruise between Portuguese and Moroccan ports on a ship called “Apollo,” which is the flagship of a fleet Hubbard has named the Sea Organization.

The Sea Org – as Scientologists call it – is Hubbard’s elite corps of workers and officers who sign a symbolic “billion-year contract” when they join. Membership is not restricted to service on the ships.

Hubbard declines to appear publicly to answer questions about his organization. . .

Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be to start his own religion.”

Lafayette Ronald Hubbard tossed off this remark at a lecture in Newark N.J., in 1949. At the time Hubbard was 38 years old, a prolific science fiction writer advising science fiction buffs on the tricks of his trade. The audience laughed.

Hubbard and church leaders contend that he has resigned from the church’s directorship, but that resignation seems to have made little difference. In a “policy letter” dated Sept. 1, 1966, the matter was ambiguously worded. Hubbard said that he was “resigning the title of executive director” and was being given the title of “Founder” instead. In his statement, Hubbard said that his services had been voluntary for some time but that church organizations had owed him “considerable outstanding sums” and should pay up.

Hubbard’s authority in the church is unchallenged. He keeps in constant communication, sending a steady stream of directives, orders and policy letters to the organizations, and the units report to him weekly. And Scientology messages made available to the Past-Dispatch show that he receives money from the church – lots of it.

After the 1968 difficulties in England, Hubbard made himself commodore over a fleet of four ships and headed toward the warm Mediterranean. He declines to give any interviews and has been secluded for more than six years from the press, critics and followers.

The Sea Organization is Scientology‘s aristocracy. Hubbard’s daughter, Diana, lieutenant commander, says that the Sea Organization is “the most powerful organization in the world.

Details of the Sea Organization operations and rumors of Hubbard’s opulent life aboard the ship have been difficult to document because of tight security maintained by Scientology. In recent months, however, a former member of the Sea Organization, John McLean of Toronto, Canada, has provided the first inside account of Scientology‘s shipboard life. McLean, 21 years old, was third mate on the Apollo when he quit in disillusionment.

“After I became third mate and began getting confidential data, I realized the Church of Scientology is power and money-hungry,” he told the Post-Dispatch in a lengthy interview.

“Third mate is in charge of personnel placement, internal communication and ethics, or discipline, of everyone on board. I was in direct communication with Hubbard,” he said.

McLean says that there are 300 crew members and “they are compelled to do things by fear. I was scared of getting kicked off my job, or transferred to a lousy post, or made to do amends (punishment) projects. Fear is very, very strong. Hubbard wrote a book about it. He’s almost a master of fear.”

McLean describes Hubbard as about 65 years old, short and fat, weighing about 250 pounds. He has no teeth and is often sick. He is given to wild mood swings. “Hubbard has the best of everything possible aboard a ship,” McLean said. “He has cars, three motorcycles, a stereo system, the best food and clothing, a cook, a valet and a private suite of rooms.” His wife Mary Sue and some of his children, Diana and her husband, John Horwich; Quentin, 19; Suzette, 17, and Arthur, 13, live on the Apollo.

McLean had been in Scientology only a few months when he was recruited for the Sea Organization – an honor for a Scientologist. It is the family equivalent to a Catholic son joining the priesthood. McLean’s mother was a staff member and an ordained minister at the Toronto Church of Scientology. She recruited another son, Bruce, and his wife, Dawn, for the Toronto staff. Her husband, Eric, a former Royal Canadian Air Force officer, began taking Scientology courses. The family has since left Scientology.

John McLean was an honor student in grade 13 at Sutton West, Ontario, near Toronto. He dropped out of high school to join the Sea Organization. McLean boarded the flagship Apollo at Tangier, Morocco, on Feb. 19, 1971. He rose quickly to third mate in May 1972, and left the ship Nov. 9, 1972.

The Sea Organization, McLean said, has a fleet of four ships: The Apollo. The Athena, which sails near Copenhagen, and the Bolivar and Excalibur, both sailing near the west coast of the United States.

During the time McLean was on board, the Apollo sailed in a triangular circuit starting at Tangier, then to Casablanca, Safi and Agadir, all in Morocco, to the island of Madeira and on to Lisbon and Faro, Portugal.

The Apollo doesn’t practice Scientology openly, McLean said. It has a cover organization, Operation and Transport Corporation, Ltd., a company registered in Panama. OTC Ltd. is supposed to train people from affiliated organizations in business management.

“It’s really everyone from the individual Scientology organizations that comes to the ship to train in Scientology technology,” McLean said. “No one but Scientologists are to live aboard. But officials in the Moroccan and Portuguese governments believe the ship is a management training company.

“One of my jobs was keeping tight security. When some official came aboard there was a clean ship drill. Anything on the walls to do with Scientology was taken down, books and papers were hidden and various packs written for the occasion were brought out. These packs deal with business management. A new person on board was not allowed to go ashore until he passed a test about the cover story, so he couldn’t give away the fact we were Scientologists. Crew members were not supposed to talk or have anything to do with Scientology while ashore.”

“For nine months after I left the ship, I didn’t work. Emotionally, I was not stable enough to do anything but try to stop Scientology from attacking my family. I was under a doctor’s care and on tranquilizers.

“Now,” he said, “I’m better. I’m off the tranquilizers. But my life is still not back to normal. I’m still being harassed. My family is being sued for $1,000,000 for a television program we did about Scientology. I expect more trouble.”

For months McLean’s family has been a target of Scientologists. The family’s home was picketed twice by the Toronto Church of Scientology. The church held a funeral for the “lost souls” of the Eric McLean family. Scientology pallbearers carried a black coffin through the streets of Sutton.

For the full story here is the link:  http://jimlittle66.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/cos-stl-1974/

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Published in: on August 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

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