This story that I have been writing in this blog took place in the late nineteen sixties. I have skipped ahead of the last sections that I have written. I want to display an in depth conversation with L Ron Hubbard. Later in this story I become a member of LRH Commodore Staff, CS5-Ethics. Then I worked closely with L Ron Hubbard in his office every day and had hundreds of conversations with him.
Apollo had come in the night before. The murky waters of Algiers harbor were navigated with two small sturdy tugs that nudged Apollo through the harbor to berth where she now lay. It was a beautiful morning when I came out on the forward well deck. The air smelled clean and sea sprayed. The busy harbor held my attention for a few moments then I went and looked over the side to the dock Apollo was tied to, to check the mooring lines. I saw that a door had been opened in the ships side and a gangway inserted from the dock. There were ships crew at the gangway on the dock. There were a dozen men in uniform they carried rifles affixed with long bayonets. One of them ran past the Apollo crew up the gangway into the ship. Then I saw an Algerian officer go past the crew and up into the ship. I immediately started aft toward the gangway entrance. I slid down a ladder running to midship What I saw chilled me, about twenty people were running toward me some turning to portside. Behind them chasing them was the small soldier in khaki with the big gun with a big bayonet attached to it. As he caught up to some people he thrust the gun out to separate three women. Two women ducked and ran while the soldier chased a woman in ships uniform. I stepped in front of her as she ran past and the soldier came up on me. I pushed the wood part of the rifle away. He recovered and lunged at me. This time I threw a wheel kick almost making him lose the rifle, knocking him back.
“Ferme, stop. Je command ferme!” The soldier looked confused. I saw the Algerian officer coming up behind him. He had a pistol in his hand. Our eyes met, his shifted to his man. “Attente” he barked, the man ordered arms and went rigid. To me he said, “Bonjour, vous et un officer de c’est barq? Oui,” I replied. “Passports” he said “Tout passports. He put the pistol into his holster. “Parquoi”? I asked. “Custom, immigration.” It sounded right to me. We smiled at each other. “Votre homme” I questioned? Si’vous plait:, he said, I said, “ca bien, ok” I turned and looked around the deck. A small group of ship people were standing near us. “Would someone run and ask the conning officer to get the ships passports for Algerian customs?.” I was the conning officer of the watch that had brought Apollo into harbor the night before and had just woke up. A smiling girl in ship’s blue came up to me “Sir, I’m your steward today.” I looked at the Algerian officer and said ?Un café?” “Non, non temps” he frowned. I asked for coffee and two chairs. They came with a small table and the officer and I sat down. I had some breakfast coffee, a scone filled with raisins then some people came with the passports. I gave them to the officer. Our eyes met, we were officers, we were doing our duty, we smiled then he said in perfect English “ please come and visit our beautiful ancient city.” “ Merci”. “ Adieu.” He and his man departed with them. I had acted as the ships supercargo who was supposed to deal with port officials. That person was nowhere to be found.
I gazed out over the harbor bright with sunlight, the groups and people who had come out of the ship melting away. Turning toward the promenade deck I saw a person at the top of the stairs signaling with his arms. I ran to the promenade deck. I like to run. I took every opportunity aboard ship that I could to cover ground fast. At the top of the stairs I found a group of senior Sea Org staff, men and women. They were gathered in front of a corridor that I knew led to LRH’s stateroom. “Baron, hi ya doing, Nice job, Hey Baron”, a smile and touch here and there. Greetings. What’s all this then?” I asked. Lt Jill VanS stepped forward. “Baron, no one has seen LRH for several days. We sent a messenger to tell him that Algerian military were on board. He just told the messenger “ok”. “Why don’t you go to his cabin and see him”? said Lt Commander GeorgeG. “Is that what this is all about? This impromptu meeting?.” I said. They coaxed me. “Baron, you should tell him what is going on. He likes you and asks for you.” “All right, all right” I said “ I’ll go there and say hello.” “Good, Thanks, ok” they said.
I went down the corridor. I had never been here before. One didn’t usually knock on L Ron Hubbard’s door. “Come”, he said. I opened the door and went in, The room was completely dark. “B. Berez, welcome, don’t turn the light on.” I stood there in silence for a few moments while my eyes adjusted to the darkness of the stateroom. LRH was laying on his bed his arms behind his head. He was wearing underwear. When he saw that I saw him he said “sit down here,” he motioned and I sat down on the floor my back against his bed. “What’s going on out there. Are we berthed in Port”? “Yes sir, in the harbor. An Algerian officer came aboard for the passports. I gave them to him to post..”
“Post; do you have an accounting background”? Not really sir, I have read some accounting books and have started several small businesses.” “ I’m interested in specialties of ships personnel, he said, then: “ What’s the harbor look like”? “ From our berth we can see a section of the harbor going back through the city to some small mountains. There is something unusual that we haven’t seen in harbors before. On the hills about a thousand yards apart are two huge pictures of Marx and Engel’s, about fifty feet high and 20 feet across.” “I suppose that you have read about them” “Yes sir, I have read that they started Communism and the political part that came to be called Marxist Leninism that runs Russia and the Soviet Union. “Well, we take people as they are and I expect the same from them.” “Yes sir.” “Mr. Berez, I want you to go into Algiers, take a good look, get the feel of the place Take who ever you want to, set it up any way that you want to.” “All right sir” “Not right at this moment, later today.”
“Ok sir” “I know that you had the watch last night when we came in. I was up late too. Have you eaten yet?” “No sir.” “Good” he said, “ Let’s have some breakfast or lunch” With that he rang a small bell on a handle. The door opened almost instantly, a steward came inside and left the door open a crack so some light came into the room. She smiled when she saw me. “We’re going to have some lunch or breakfast. I think that I will have
breakfast. Baron, what’ll you have?” I will have breakfast” The steward said “ The cook has some Canadian bacon, English muffins and can poach an egg.” “Ah, I said, it sounds like he could make some eggs benedict. That’s what I’ll have.” “What’s eggs benedict?” said LRH. “It is as she described, Canadian bacon, poached egg on toasted English muffin with a light , slightly tangy sauce.” “What’s in the sauce”? “Oh, a little mayonnaise some egg white, some spices. It’s good.” “ Good, we will have that, two eggs benedict each. Anything else? He looked at me. “How about some diced potatoes and coffee.” “I’ll have a coke cola.” LRH said. The steward turned and left the room closing the door. It was dark again. There was silence. I savored it.
It seemed just a few minutes and the steward was back with our food on a tray. LRH had a little table that pulled out from the wall and he ate there with a blanket over his legs. I had the tray with my food and coffee on my lap. It was fine and the food was delicious. I said so. LRH agreed, complimenting his chef, an Indian from Bombay. When we were finished he ordered “Stack the dishes on the tray and put it outside the door. They will take it away.” I did and he helped, stacking his plate on the tray. When I came back in I closed the door. “That’s right, come over and sit down.” Again the room was in darkness. My eyes had adjusted so that I was no longer blind. LRH said as a command: “Look around here and tell me what you could have”? I laughed, “I could have anything here.” He chuckled, “Of course you can.” Then he asked “Who’s here”? “You’re here, I’m here” I said. “Good” he said. There was a few moments of silence. “So where are you now on the auditing part of the bridge”? “ I did OT4 with a Qualifications auditor some weeks ago.”
“Yes, I saw that,” he said. “Then a messenger brought me another part in your handwriting. I did it in two sessions.” (I am going to leave out those sessions and the commands). “Are you ready to do OT5” he asked? “Yes sir” I said enthusiastically. “Good.” There was silence. “ UP the pole’ he said loudly. Startled, I said “what” “Go up the pole! Up, up!” I shot up from the floor, my legs exploding, propelling my body into the air. This was pre Michael Jordan but after Nijinsky. I hung there, legs dangling.
in space. Seconds passed. Then I let go. My feet returned to the floor. “Good” he said. “Sit down.” I sat on the floor again my back against the bed. “What happened,” he asked? “I hung up in the air then I just let go” “Good boy,” he said. He reached over a patted me on my shoulder several times and said” You can always do that.” Then he got up walked over to the wall and turned the light on. He went to a small desk against another wall and took a large green envelope from a pile and handed it to me. “Here is OT 5. I have OT6 also. When you are finished your sessions turn it into my office for the C/S.” LRH was my case supervisor from Clearing Course on. I thanked him. Not just an acknowledgement but a thank you from the bottom of my heart. He thanked me right back. Then he said: “Good hunting on your mission into Algiers.” He opened the door. I stepped out, the door closing behind me. There was no one in the corridor. I walked out onto the deck and into the sunlight. I felt huge, expanding, full of joy. There was no one in sight. I took the envelope with the OT materials to my cabin and locked them away in my briefcase. Then I called for a messenger to send me the Officer of the Watch. I had another adventure to fulfill.
It would seem Baron Berez is nearly as good at telling yarns as L. Ron Hubbard.
Goodbye, Mr. Berez. You who used ethics most wrongly were found with a huge tin of marijuana to be the most out-ethics person aboard.
B. Berez, you were the longest aboard in all the out ethics days of the old RSM.
We can blow some charge on that.
So goodbye Mr. Berez. I trust you will soon go up in smoke.