Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Sea Org continued.......

I already mentioned Amos Jessup as being one of my favorite people aboard the Apollo and here is an excerpt of his interview for Bare Faced messiah.

Canaries, among them Amos Jessup, a philosophy major from Connecticut. The son of a senior editor on Life magazine, Jessup had gone to Saint Hill in 1966, while he was studying in Oxford, to try and get his young brother out of Scientology and instead had become converted himself. 'I was soon convinced', he said, 'that instead of being some dangerous cult it was an important advance in philosophy.
'I was clear by the spring of '67 and when I heard that LRH was looking for personnel for a communications vessel I immediately volunteered and was sent to Las Palmas. We were all given a "shore story" so that no one would know that we were Scientologists; we were told to say that we were working for the Hubbard Explorational Company on archaeological research.
'On the day we arrived, the Avon River was being hauled up on the slips. She looked like what she was - an old, worn-out, oil-soaked, rust-flaked steam trawler. Our job was to give her a complete overhaul. We sand-blasted her from stem to stern, painted her, put bunks in what had been the rope locker, converted the liver oil boiling room into additional accommodation, put decks in the cargo holds to make space for offices. LRH designed a number of improvements - a larger rudder and a system of lifts to hoist small boats aboard.'[7]
Hubbard would show up every couple of days to check on the progress of the work, but it was never going ahead fast enough and more sea project members were constantly being flown in to Las Palmas to join the work-force. Hana Eltringham, a former nurse from South Africa, arrived in August. 'At first sight the ship looked terrible, all streaked with rust,' she said. 'You had to climb a long, shaky ladder to get up on to the deck and as I got over the side I could see everything was covered in sand from the sand-blasting and then were people sleeping on the sand, obviously exhausted.
'Nevertheless, it was a tremendous thrill to be there. It was a great honour to be invited to join the sea project; we were an elite, like the Marine Corps. All of us were true and tried Scientologists, highly motivated, and to me it was high adventure.'
After working as a deck hand for a couple of weeks, Hana was promoted to ethics officer. 'My job was to run round making sure the crew weren't goofing. I felt I was responsible for catching errors before he did because he would get very upset - he would literally scream and shout - if something was not being done right. I was mostly scared of him in those days.
'One afternoon I was standing on the deck with a clipboard waiting for him to come on board and I knew something was wrong because I saw his face start to contort when he was still 15 or 20 yards away, walking towards the slips. As he came up to the ship he started
7. Interview with Amos Jessup, San Diego, July 1986


shouting, filling his lungs and bellowing "What are they doing? Why are they doing that?" and pointing to the side of the ship. He came up the ladder still screaming in a kind of frenzy. I didn't know what was the matter and he told me to look over the side of the ship. I stuck my head over to see what the hell he was screaming about. The painters who were putting white paint on the hull were using old rollers and the paint had a kind of furry coat on it from the rollers. He'd seen that from many yards away. It was extraordinary. I was awed.'[8]
Such incidents inevitably led to the offenders being assigned a 'lower condition', the penalties for which were by then routinely formalized. The least serious was 'emergency' followed by 'liability', in which hapless state the miscreant forfeited pay, was confined to 'org premises' and had to wear the infamous dirty grey rag on one arm. In a condition of 'treason', all uniforms and insignia were removed and the rag was replaced by a black mark on the left check. In 'doubt', the offender was fined, barred from the org and could not be communicated with. Lastly came the dreaded 'enemy' - 'May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.'
Even though Hubbard had 'resigned' as president of the Church of Scientology, the flow of edicts continued uninterrupted and he reminded Scientologists of the penalties for lower conditions in a policy letter dictated at the Villa Estrella in Las Palmas. He also found time to record a taped lecture in which he warned of a world-wide conspiracy to destroy Scientology. The resourceful Mary Sue had apparently traced the conspiracy to the very highest levels, to a cabal of international bankers and newspaper barons sufficiently powerful to control many heads of state, among them the British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson.
While Hubbard was fulminating against international conspiracies and bellowing at his amateur work-force as they struggled to prepare the Avon River for sea, good news arrived from a 'mission' in Britain (tasks undertaken on Hubbard's behalf were always aggrandized as 'missions'). For many months two senior Scientologists, Joe van Staden and Ron Pook, had been scouring European ports for a big ship, something like a cruise liner, which could be used as the Sea Org's flagship. In September, they reported by telex that they had found, laid up in Aberdeen, just the ship that Ron was looking for. She was the Royal Scotsman, a 3280-ton motor vessel built in 1936 and most recently in service as a cattle ferry on the Irish Channel crossing. Despite her age, she was in good condition and could probably be bought, von Staden and Pook thought, for not much more than £60,000. To Hubbard, the money was insignificant; Saint Hill alone was taking in around £40,000 a week in fees. He immediately
8. Interview with Hana Eltringham, Los Angeles, March 1986

The same Amos Jesssup that is named as having spent time in the RPF on the Excalibur, read my post as same;

In mid 1971, in my office on A Deck, I heard a strange, sharp sound. It was traced to the aft bridge cabins where the senior Ship's Officers berthed, and specifically to that of Chief Officer Amos Jessup. Susan was found, shot, lying on the bunk in Amos' cabin. I helped Mary Sue Hubbard, who was in charge of the GO, to investigate the death. Mary Sue checked the aft bridge cabin where Susan died. I checked Susan's bunk below decks and her possessions, but found nothing amiss. Mary Sue had already removed Susan's letters, note books and other personal effects. I arranged for someone to send Susan's clothes to her family. We interviewed Amos Jessup, who was visibly upset and shaking on and off. He blamed himself, as Susan wanted a committed relationship and he didn't. Susan was in the cabin alone after he went to work. He didn't see her alive again. He had no idea she was suicidal.

 We interviewed a deck hand who was working on A deck port side, aft of the bridge cabin, when the shot occurred. He reported the sound and located Amos. We interviewed Susan's superior, the ship's medical officer and several other people. They all said Susan was emotionally unstable. Mary Sue wrote a report for the Moroccan police.

Although I had long gone by the time this happened to Susan meister, I feel strongly that this is a unsettled mystery and would like to know what happened to this woman, as I am sure her family would also.

It is interesting to note that in Hana's afidavit, it is said that Susan was emotionally unstable. From my time on the Apollo which wasn't that long previously, I would state that most people were unstable on board that ship.They were not necessarily so when they got there, but by the time L. Ron Hubbard's methods of 'tech' and 'ethics' were instilled upon them, they certainly were afterwards.

This is what Ken UrQuhart has to say about it:

I was involved unknowingly in Susan Meister's situation. A week or so before her death, she had written to LRH asking his permission for her to leave the ship and return home. At that time, his policy on such was to refuse (it varied). I composed a reply to this effect and included it in his mail for signature. He signed it. He was considerably put out when I reminded him of this - he had signed the reply without reading it or its original request (and this was not unusual practice for him - I should have known better). From then on, I put a warning note on any similar reply composed for him to sign... I will always deeply regret that her cry came through me, and I chose to adhere to the current policy rather than to hear her, listen to her, and help her in compassion and good sense.

 If Scientology's sea org organization didn't hold such command over people's lives, by policies written by L. Ron Hubbard such tradgedys would never have happened.

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