From: Gerry Armstrong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The glory of making it go right (was: One
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 09:28:39 +0200
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Reading Warrior's recent comments about Sea Org pay cuts, and being
reminded by Michael Douglas' death of the Apollo poker games, I dug
this up from my ten thousand unposted posts archive and updated it.
On Sat, 03 Apr 1999 10:59:29 GMT, email@example.com (Tilman
>I had a conversation with Martin Ottmann yesterday and we talked about
>my Clearwater vacation. (He doesn't read ars very often, as he doesn't
>have the time). He told me that the One Stoppe Shoppe is frequently used
>by FSO staff to make copies, and that it is usually packed full of such
>people. I asked: don't they have Copy-machines? No. They do not have
>any, at least not in the department where he worked. The result is that
>the staff has to go out to the One Stoppe Shoppe and *pay* for the
>copies themselves, from their tiny pay. The situation is so bad that
>staff sometimes don't even get approval for office material (e.g. a new
>typewriter cartridge), so again, some pay it from their own money.
That condition was very common during my whole Sea Org period. It was
"making it go right."
In addition, many people were kept in debt to the org as a result of
fines for often ridiculous "infractions," and had their, as you say,
tiny pay, halved or even docked completely. The RPFers, of course, had
their pay slashed to 1/4. I can imagine an RPF "trustee" (the RPF
Purchaser -- a hat I wore for some time in Clearwater) on his weekly
purchasing run taking all the photocopying that the other inmates
needed into the One Stoppe Shoppe. And who doesn't, from time to time
in this age, need photocopies, even if he's in prison?
There was a year -- 1971 -- when I was the driver of the Flagship's
car and in charge of all the ship's boats and motor vehicles. I'd have
to buy petrol, do what I could to maintain the boats, mopeds and car,
get parts, paint or permits, drive people everywhere, and get taxis
when there were too many to drive. Each week I'd submit my F[inancial]
P[lanning] request in a number of categories to the FP Committee.
Whatever was approved I would pick up in cash from Disbursements. At
the end of the week, I was supposed to turn in my receipts and
accounting for my post expenditures.
It was always customary, often by Hubbard himself during many periods,
to slash FPs, so something always got cut out of just about everything
but Hubbard's Kools supply. Because FPs always got chopped, everyone
always padded their FP submissions to survive the expected butchery.
Things to be purchased on LRH Orders, of course, never got cut. Those
came, as attorneys say about their fees, off the top. It's a perk of
But no matter how clever I was in my C[ompleted] S[taff] W[ork]
submissions for FP there was never enough to do the job. So I got
further and further behind, using gas money for taxis, repair money
for gas, getting new money to cover old expenses, and not always
getting or able to get receipts. Of course I couldn't turn in taxi
receipts for paint I should have bought, or gas receipts from August
for a disbursement in November. So I juggled my accounts as I could
and spent my own pay to keep doing my job providing transportation to
Hubbard and the Flagship operation.
Back in the '70s on the Apollo, crew pay was $10.00 per week. Out of
that came toothpaste and that sort of stuff, cigarettes if you smoked,
a change of clothing and change of food, entertainment, and even
postage. I know that there were a number of crew who had money or
other sources of income, but I didn't. Whatever cash I brought with me
was rapidly gone, just doing my job. I had to be reasonably
presentable because I was off the ship every day driving people all
over the Moroccan and Portugese port cities wherever the ship went, so
had to buy the odd piece of clothing from time to time. And, of
course, I was in trouble off and on for one thing or another, so had
even my slave wages docked some weeks.
This was also the beginning of the great Sea Org exhaustion for me.
Missions being fired, missions returning, the PRs, legal, the various
purchasers, the Household Unit, the MO, the Hubbard family, people
going here and there any time of day or night, all depended on me to
"make it go right." I worked ridiculous hours, and stayed -- because
was driving the car -- dangerously tired. I got one day of "libs" my
first year on board. I postulate that every job or post, not only
dictatorships, has its perks, and mine was being the only driver of
the ship's car even on that libs day. It was a beautiful day, to which
I know I've confessed in all sorts of sec checks, that I spent,
dangerously tired or not, with a beautful woman on a beautiful hilltop
drinking Madeira on the beautiful island with the same name.
Once a year, on Christmas or New Year's I recall, there was a big Flag
poker game. It wasn't big because of the stakes, since, as I
mentioned, most of us only got $10.00 a week. It was big because it
went all day and all night and was the only action of its kind all
year. Usually five or six players sat in at any one time, and perhaps
another ten drifted in for as many hands as they had time or cash for.
The crew was divided into two watches, Port and Starboard, so on any
one day only half the crew had libs. Nevertheless, because the game
went around the clock, crew from the duty watch could still find a few
minutes or hours for poker if they were players. I think it was
usually five card stud, but it was a dealer's choice table so we
played other games too.
The most devoted players I remember were Fred Hare of Snow White
and Mike Douglas.
I was never much of a gambler, which makes me extremely lucky. I'd
played poker, however, since I was a kid with guys I grew up with in
Chilliwack, B.C., and I'd played in logging camps after dropping out
of high school. I knew a tight beat a flush, and that both usually
win a pot.
I couldn't have had much of a stake because, by this first big
Flagship game for me, I was $400 behind in my transport accounting
and always broke. I may have had $10 'cause I just got paid. But I got
very fortunate very early, and stayed fortunate all through the night.
I had an amazing run of cards, and when the game wrapped up I walked
away with $400. And that fortune -- forty weeks pay -- was just enough
for me to turn in all my accounting, get me out debt to the org, save
me from a frightful ethics hit, and keep me slaving it right for
My big win, and suddenly excellent accounts, also made it possible for
me to move fairly smoothly in early 1972 from Boats & Transport to the
Port Captain's Office. Over the next year, as the Ship's Rep, again I
had a shore job, again I had FP trouble, again I had to buy all sorts
of stuff to do my job and make it go right, and again I got $400
behind in my accounting. And again there was another big Apollo poker
game, and again I walked away the only big winner, with another $400
to again straighten out my accounting, again escape becoming ethics
bait, and again keep on making it go right on post.
I believe that was the last poker I ever played. I think I missed the
big game the next year because I was romancing the CO CMO. The
following year I survived, and was even able to go on leave for a
couple of weeks, from big wins in the Flagship Cockroach Derby. In
1977 Hubbard came out with his HCO Bulletin "The Gambler," which, I
was told, he wrote in honor of one of the guys who had helped me out
so handsomely in the big games, Wayne Marple.
>I consider this most disgusting, both of the FSO and of the One Stoppe
>Shoppe. The folks get paid almost nothing, and must use this small money
>to pay for their work resources; and the One Stoppe Shoppe even
>*profits* from this.
>Tilman Hausherr [KoX, SP4]
> Resistance is futile. You will be enturbulated. Xenu always prevails.
>Find broken links on your web site:
>Annoy scientology by buying books:
© Gerry Armstrong