© 1991 Steven Fishman
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On the 6th of September, 1979, Kevin Bein, the Deputy Guardian of Miami, summoned me into his office. The night before, I had run off some copies of policy letters on the mimeograph machine, and they had come out slightly dark, and I thought I was going to be thrown into the Ethics Condition of Emergency for having done that.
"I have orders here from B-1 to dispatch you to Flag at once", he said sternly.
"I'll do the copying over again", I promised, trying to get out of what I perceived to be a severe punishment. "Who is B-1?"
"B-1 is the Intelligence Bureaux of the Flag Land Base", he explained. "You will have to word clear all that. But in the meantime, you are to report there to debrief the Lieutenant Commander Deputy Guardian."
"Debrief him on what, my sex life with Jaime?", I replied curiously.
"Keep your TRs in, Fishman!", he warned. "It seems everyone on the Base is interested in seeing a demonstration on "Bingoing."
"Bingoing?", I asked, quite surprised, "It's real easy, Kevin. Just tell them to circle some numbers on the business reply cards in the trade magazines. There's nothing to it. Why do they want me to go all the way to Clearwater for that when --"
"You have your orders", Kevin interrupted. "You leave tomorrow. I've already copied your G. O. Admin Folder and had it couriered to Flag today. Do you need any supplies for the debriefing?"
"Tomorrow?", I asked, completely in shock. "I can't leave tomorrow. I have to open up the shoe store! There's a salesman sick and --"
"My advice is to start driving at 3:00 A.M., since you don't want to run into traffic on Highway 60", he suggested, ignoring my protest.
"I can't leave just like that!", I replied in astonishment. "What do I tell Jaime, or my father, or --"
"I have no time for Q&A", Kevin commented. Q&A literally means "Question and Answer", but is loosely translated to mean "hesitation" or "indecisiveness."
"You're a G. O. Agent now, so you'd better learn how to handle your wog terminals. You are to report to the Deputy Staff Guardian's Office on the mezzanine of the Fort Harrison at 900 hours, so eat a good breakfast first in case you have to be Security Checked."
"What does eating breakfast have to do with a Security Check?", I asked.
"If you don't eat, sometimes the E-Meter will give you a false read."
"Kevin, what's so hard about circling a few numbers in a dumb magazine?", I implored. "You could tell them how to do it over the phone!"
I wasn't making any progress with my attempts at logic. Kevin slammed a piece of blue paper into my hand.
"Either report with these orders to the Lieutenant Commander Deputy Guardian Flag, or take them upstairs to the Ethics Officer", he squawked with his ultimatum shot from the hip.
It was so awe-inspiring when Kevin spoke to me like that. He made me realize that Guardians of the Tech had a tougher standard of beingness, and so the last thing I wanted was to be a wimp and not do what I was told.
I decided not to wait until three o'clock in the morning to start out on the five hour drive from Fort Lauderdale to Clearwater. I went home, packed an overnight bag, and left right away, putting a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door to my room, just for the sake of appearances, in case Jaime needed me to wash the cats or something.
Everything was so perfectly sensible at Flag. The Sea Org was Ron's elite naval base on land. Sea Org staff members were impeccably neat, and consequently they reminded me a lot of my kitchen cabinets before I met Jaime. It was such a pleasure to be in the safest, most distraction-free environment in the world, if you could avoid tripping over the survey takers and their clipboards.
Midshipman Bitty Blythe, a very respectable British staff member who had undoubtedly buried her sex life in camphor twenty years before, showed me the Flag Bookstore. The only book that was not written by L. Ron Hubbard was the Webster's Dictionary, and even that was suspect. Even though the Bookstore was a tiny, windowless cubicle in an unpretentious part of the lower lobby of the Fort Harrison, I knew that my dream and goal in life would be to work in a place just like that. The thought of being around so much Source Data got my juices flowing, and I was so "keyed out", or euphoric, that I felt I could simply go out of my skull with the joy of being there.
Refreshed and awake, I presented my Orders at the Deputy Staff Guardian's Office, which was located in the breezeway, next to the damp corridor that led to the parking garage of the Fort Harrison. An aide of the Commodore's Messenger Organization escorted me through two sets of doors into the back entrance of a room with a huge table, reminiscent of a real estate attorney's conference room where mortgage closings take place. Although the large oak furniture was very old, and accordingly could have used a fresh coat of Pledge, the stately ornamental chairs with hand carved lion's heads on the armrests gave rise to a nearly medieval atmosphere in this quaint carnival known as the "Guardian's Briefing Room."
On the wall there was a portrait of the semi-beautiful Commodore Staff Guardian, Mary Sue Hubbard. Although regimentally elegant, I had pictured her as being a lot taller than she was. Can you imagine what an honor it must have been for Mary Sue to sleep with Ron? Surely she must be the envy of all the female but nevertheless civilized world.
Five immaculately dressed men in their late twenties wearing black Sea Org Guardian Management Uniforms with Mediterranean blue lanyards marched in as if they had been rehearsing their entrance since last Hanukkah. The first one motioned for me to stand up, and after I jumped to my feet, Lieutenant Commander Deputy Guardian Lyman Spurlock came charging in. I didn't know whether to salute, or to call him "Your Majesty", so I waited for Lyman to make the first move. He motioned us all to be seated with his eyebrows. Tall, thin and with facial features that reminded me of a Dick Tracy cartoon, Deputy Spurlock began to speak very slowly, creating the impression that each word he uttered was worth a lot of money.
"So we have G. O. Agent In Training Steve Fishman from the Miami Org here", he said, not bothering to introduce me to anyone else. "You have all read Ken Urquhart's CSW on his meeting with Fishman on 9 May AD29 regarding "Bingoing", which Fishman will now do a debriefing on. Before we begin, are there any out-rudiments that have to be handled?"
I raised my hand, much to everyone's surprise and chagrin.
"What's wrong, Fishman?", Lyman barked, as if to indicate that his request for unhandled rudiments, such as present time problems and ARC breaks, was merely a rhetorical formality.
"You are giving me misunderstood words", I answered fiercely, not showing how much in terror I was in front of such a pack of overwhelming executives. "What's a "CSW" and what's "AD29" mean?"
"Get him a dictionary!", Lyman screamed to a messenger in the back of the room who was taking notes. "No, cancel that order! There's no time. A "CSW" is a Completed Staff Work Report. AD29 means 29 years After Dianetics, which was 1950. You do know that Dianetics was written in 1950, don't you? 1979 and AD29 are synonymous, and I want you to get both of these definitions word cleared and demoed in clay immediately after the debriefing. Grethel, see to it!", he yelled at his messenger. "How long are you in Scientology?", he quizzed suspiciously.
"Since March", I said.
"He's in for six months", a voice echoed, unhappy with my answer as I stated it.
"Fishman, when you're in, you're in the for the duration of this universe. Count on that. And write up a CSW on this debriefing after we're done, so you can get some "mass" on what a CSW is. Grethel! See to it! Now, are there any other out-rudiments?"
I couldn't help thinking that this guy was a real psychopath. Here was Lyman, screaming and giving orders all over the place, as if he were God's boss. The only thing that kept going through my mind was, "How the hell could I ever get to be as good as him at all this?"
For the next hour, I described in vivid detail how any dedicated Scientologist could spend at least one hour a day in the periodicals section of their local library, and within that time frame, circle at least one thousand responses on business reply cards of industry trade journals, which would bombard the enemies of the Church with an onslaught of unwanted junk mail.
I suggested that college and university libraries are the best source of these magazines, since they have a larger selection, and it is very important to be sure that the material or subject matter selected to be sent out to our suppressive targets be both boring and annoying.
"Our enemies will have to go through thousands upon thousands of unwanted advertising junk, just to be able to find their telephone or electric bills", I revealed. "They'll be forced to confront the fact that they have done something so vehemently wrong in the physical universe, that somebody hates them enough to never let them ever forget it."
I continued by saying that the initiative has an added benefit of a domino effect, because once on the mailing lists of these advertisers, their names are sold to other companies, and our enemies wind up being canvassed by the new sources for their own promotional and marketing programs.
"Furthermore", I argued, "circling these request cards is very positive and beneficial to certain businesses, such as the printing industry, since they are providing the raw materials for advertising the products of these companies who are being represented by the circled numbers.
Finally, I demonstrated how Bingoing was a patriotic act that should be undertaken by every American citizen, since the added revenue for the Post Office would boost the economy from out of its current slump. If the Postmaster General knew that a force for planetary survival and happiness such as Scientology was actively using a campaign like Bingoing to increase postal revenues, we could later be in a secure bargaining position to prevail upon them to demand that the more suppressive agencies of the Federal Government, such as the IRS, the FDA and the FBI stop attacking us, or we will threaten to stop sending out the business reply cards altogether.
Nevertheless, I urged my students to save the price of the outgoing stamps by making sure that the response or "Bingo" cards were shown to be postage paid by the magazines. About twenty percent of the trade journals required a stamp, and I reminded them that it is much more efficient to avoid spending money on our enemies unless no other choice was available, since that was tantamount to "rewarding a downstat." That viewpoint generated some wild applause on the part of Lyman, so the other five shadows took up his cue and clapped as well.
I then spent a few minutes on the need for circling the numbers carefully, since an unreadable selection might cause the entire card to be bounced, in which case the magazine might return the card to the enemy listed on the name and address portion, thereby tipping him off that someone was Bingoing him. I used the favored example of mailing loads of junk mail to psychiatrists. I told those getting hatted to always use the prefix "Mr." instead of "Dr.", because any additional nuances of insult would greatly add to the impact of harassment. Because the standard user of these trade journals were companies that wanted to buy technical products relating to a specific product or service like plumbing or packaging, in the space marked "Company Name", one would have to invent, or mock up a corporate entity relevant not to the aberrations or peculiarities of our enemy, but rather to the industry or the subject matter of the magazine, in order to avoid the Bingo card being rejected by the publisher.
For example, if the journal from which the Bingo card was selected was called "Mortuary Management Magazine", which is actually one of my special favorites; and the psychiatrist's name was Dr. Willie Wundt, you might want to show the "Company Name" as Leipzig Memorial Gardens and Crematoria, Inc., instead of any reference to Wundt's criminal mental health clinic, his professorship of applied Pavlovian philosophy, or whatever the fuck he did for a living.
A bingo card from "Design Engineering" could easily accommodate the company name of "Somatics, Incorporated", which actually is the name of the manufacturer of Electric Shock Therapy machines.
"Thus, you tailor the company name to the magazine's product or service, not that of the enemy", I summarized.
Another caveat which I gave the Guardian brass, was not to "overcircle." Some magazines had a maximum number of items they would process, such as twenty-five or fifty. Furthermore, I warned my "class" to always check the expiration date of the business reply card, since most magazines allowed requests up to a period of four to six months from the publication date. That being the case, it was pointless to search out old issues of magazines to use for this purpose. The requests would not be honored, as they would be "stale-dated." I explained that this was due to the reason that the magazine was not interested in supporting any old advertisers who had not renewed their contracts for business reply card advertising.
Since time was a primary factor in speeding up production, I made the suggestion that in the case of a major enemy, such as an anti- Scientology attorney, expert witness or madly evil-purposed psych, it might pay to invest four or five dollars to make up a rubber stamp, since that would permit you to multiply your stats by five, since you could send out at least five times the amount of Bingo cards if you no longer had to waste time in filling them out by hand. Furthermore, it was better for security reasons, since it would be advisable not to have your handwriting on the Bingo card if the harassment was done on a very intense level and the enemy found out who was doing it through some "flub" or downstat.
"What level would you consider "intense?", asked the L. Ron Hubbard Guardian Communicator World Wide, who was seated the second from the left.
"That condition would occur when the enemy was receiving no less than ten thousand letters per day", I clarified.
"And how could that be accomplished?", Lyman interjected.
"Quite easily", I answered. "Send a team of ten Guardians to a library for an hour a day on their own free time if they are "gung-ho" on it."
"That's the problem, Fishman", Lyman quickly stated. "We could spare some basic Sea Training recruits for an hour per day on those days that they have some enhancement time coming, since none of this is allowed to interfere with their regular posts or duties. But I can tell you right now that it is not practical to dispatch teams of our people to wog libraries, because just transporting them back and forth would take several hours. We don't have that luxury of time here at Flag. I'm afraid none of this can be done without putting the whole Org in Liability."
"Wrong!", I exclaimed, amazed at myself for invalidating this fierce leader. "That can be effectively handled by applying for free magazine subscriptions for these trade journals yourselves. Have them sent to Flag Archives, or the Bookstore, and then just distribute them to the Agents in charge of getting the job done. You simply have to make one trip to the library and tear out subscription request cards to all of the publications that you need. Once you start receiving the magazines in the mail, your name will be sold to other mailing lists who will solicit you to subscribe to competitive magazines, all free of charge, of course."
"This is brilliant!", Lyman shouted. "The G. O. can use this! I say we act on it. Is it done?"
"Done!", they all shouted in unison.
"Very well done indeed!", swooned Lyman in heaps of praise. "Now get those words you missed during rudiments fully cleared and "clay tabled", write up a CSW and a Success Story, and meet us at the Hubbard Guidance Center Cramming Office at 1300 hours."
"When?" I asked.
"One o'clock P.M. is 1300 hours", two people shouted together.
"So there's more that we need to do?", I asked.
"I should say so!", Lyman grumbled. "You are going to drill all of us on this. Plus I am ordering some other terminals to attend. We're going to Bingo some SPs to the tune of five thousand letters this afternoon! You don't just give us theory without a "practical." If you're going to hat us, then you don't have us wear half a hat. Without the drill, we might misduplicate something!" As I left the Briefing Room, I couldn't believe how much of a big deal they were all making out of circling numbers in magazines. Of course, I had to admit to myself that I was very thorough, and my pointers on the stamps, the company names, "overcircling", and expiration dates were extremely vital and helpful. And quite truly, Bingoing is a fabulously undetectable way to drive someone very nuts. But such craving for detail I had never seen before! Imagine if I had to debrief them on how to wipe their asses? We would probably have to have a "practical" drill on that too.
Speaking of digestion, the meals at the Hour Glass Restaurant at the Fort Harrison Hotel were always exceptional. Everything was done to Ron's taste and specification. Although it made no difference, the rest of us liked it too. Judging from his weight, L. Ron Hubbard liked to eat well. And why not? You can't create Tech on an empty stomach.
The atmosphere, despite the fact that the Hour Glass was long overdue for a renovation, was of very high quality. The waiters looked every bit as continental and homosexual as their finest five star counterparts in New York. And in Scientology restaurants, you don't have to tip them either! Tipping is a medieval wog custom.
Instead, you get a questionnaire, with survey entries about the quality of the food, ambience and service. It is your duty and obligation as a customer to fill out the survey ethically after each meal, and provide a rating from one to ten, with one the lowest and ten the highest, just like in the film with Bo Derek. Advancements and promotions for posts within Flag Crew, which is responsible for providing food service within Scientology retreats, are made solely based upon these surveys. It is such a better system, when you think about it. In fact, it would be a real good idea for you to write your Congressman right now, and demand that a law be passed providing that surveys must replace tipping in all American restaurants. It would probably not be too unreasonable to apply the law to every taxi driver also.
The afternoon meeting in the Hubbard Guidance Center had about twenty attendees, including the same group of hustlers from the morning. The Cramming Office was very much a course room setting in every detail, but with many more desks and tables than I had ever seen at the Miami Org. There were little rooms off to the side for interviews and examinations, and everyone who was not involved in our own cycle stayed very busy at looking occupied. A franticness permeated the room, which was deliberately kept at least eight or nine degrees too cold, in order to prevent people from becoming lazy or falling asleep.
A messenger brought in fifteen trade magazines which were both current and recent. They still had the mailing labels of Hillsboro Community College on them, so the journals must have been stolen from the library there. A fresh supply of crisp, thin markers were still in their original wrappers, and had been brought up by a cute young messenger named Prissie. She was busy placing the pens laterally subjacent to each magazine that she had poised as close to the center of each desk as you can get.
"That was the girl I should have married", I thought. "Someone who knew that neatness really counts above all else."
It was so wonderful to be supervising the drill of these remarkable thetans. In one room, I had the most ardent protectors and safeguarders of Scientology technology in the world, and here was I, an asshole shoe salesman, teaching them something! I did not deserve such a lucky break. All I could think of was that if I had died that very minute, at least now my whole life would have been worthwhile.
In the next hour, I personally supervised the circling of over five thousand business reply card responses to all of our major enemies in the field and on the planet! There was the squirrel attorney Michael Flynn of Boston, who was responsible for a savage attack on the Church. He had the colossal gall to represent a girl who had asked for a refund from Scientology, after she wrote a glowing Success Story which highly praised her own "wins" in auditing. Imagine an ingrate like that? No, how could you. It is too reprehensible.
We also flooded the letter boxes of several suppressive City of Clearwater Commissioners who had tried to interfere with Flag's expansion and destiny. But the most fun we all had was in sending a deluge of mail to the most notorious psychiatrists in the world. One that comes to mind is the homicidal maniac Jolly West, the personal shrink of the insane heiress and bank robber Patty Hearst. This madman Dr. West had once injected and killed a poor, helpless elephant with LSD, just for the cruelty of pure sport. Isn't that horrible? That son of a bitch bastard definitely needed a larger mailbox when we got through with him, that's for damn sure!
The practical section of my Bingo Briefing went so well that on the same evening, the Awards Secretary of the Guardian's Office of the Flag Land Base sent a courier up to my room to present me with a Certificate with my name printed on it, bearing the inscription "Very Highly Commended for service to the Guardian's Office." I was so touched by this beautiful gesture that I cried for two hours from happiness, unable to even swallow a glass of water. It was so good to be loved and admired. My craving for that was far deeper than you could ever know.