I’ve been in LA for the last couple of days, visiting old friends and making some new ones. Today I had lunch with a couple of old friends from college. We had a wonderful time talking about the old “gang.” They happen to live in Silverlake, close to the Complex, so after I said goodbye to them I headed over to see what I could see.
The place was a graveyard, of course, but there were some work crews cleaning up and moving things, so I decided to take a walk around and see if I could spot anyone I knew. I was walking up Catalina Street when I saw two young women coming my way, and I stopped in my tracks.
It was Manu (Manuela) Spencer and Sam (Samantha) Pouw.
A bit of backstory: I worked with Manu and Sam for many, many years in CMU. They are both my daughter’s age, and very dear to me. Manu was one of the few people who could think creatively and come up with really clever ideas. Sam was a hard worker and usually cheerful and fun to work with. We went through a lot together. Manu was actually sitting right next to me when David Miscavige jumped across a conference room table and battered me to the ground.
Sam was sent to the RPF, if memory serves, in 2004. Manu was slated for offload from the Sea Org in early 2005, and was actually out at OGH the same time I was. She was desperate to stay in the Sea Org – I wasn’t. She petitioned and petitioned, and finally was granted the supreme privilege of doing the RPF. I left. I haven’t seen either of them in five years.
So here I was walking up Catalina Street, and there were Manu and Sam walking towards me. From their clothing, it looked like they might be in PAC Estates. I stopped in my tracks and said “I don’t believe it.”
For a minute, I thought they might just avert their eyes and walk on, the old “you don’t exist” routine – but no. Manu recognized me first and said “Jeff!” and rushed over. I shook hands with both of them and said how happy I was to see them.
Obviously they hadn’t gotten the memo that I was a major SP. Sometimes the super-paranoid compartmentalized secrecy of the Church can work to one’s advantage. They had no clue.
Manu commented that I’d gained some weight (I was a walking skeleton at the Base) and asked what I was doing now. I said I was living in Portland, Oregon and running my own graphic design business.
At this point, out of the corner of my eye, I could see the Security Guard madly rushing over.
Manu asked me “What are you doing here? Are you down here on services?” I smiled at her and said “you don’t want to go there.” The guard finally reached us and barked out “Manu and Sam, get back to work. You shouldn’t be talking to Jeff.” Oh, yes, he knew who I was. So I told them again how great it was to see them, and we said goodbye, smiles all around.
I had a nice Security escort for the rest of my tour around the Complex.
Interesting, isn’t it? What kind of a Church would prevent people from talking to each other on a city street? Answer – no Church would. But a cult would.
Anyway, for those who know Manu and Sam, they look good and not too stressed. Thank god they are not at the Base.
And a note to OSA and PAC Security – don’t you dare penalize or harass them for stopping to talk with me. That is what normal people do. And if you keep everything super-secret, what the hell do you expect them to do when they see an old friend?
I look forward to the day when all this cult repression finally ends.