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Visiting Friends

September 7, 2010

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.

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28 Comments
  1. TRUTH permalink
    September 7, 2010 6:49 am

    Jeff, Thank you for sharing this with us. Thank you for communicating with Sam and Manu. I bet you made their day.
    The day will soon come when Sam and Manu will also be free from the cult. You will see your old friends and celebrate your freedom outside the cult as a group.

  2. Marta permalink
    September 7, 2010 1:46 pm

    “I look forward to the day when all this cult repression finally ends.”

    Ditto that.

  3. Joe Howard permalink
    September 7, 2010 3:31 pm

    Wow, two of my favorites, Sam and Manu. I miss Manu’s cheerful, sometimes over the top creativity and Sam’s steadfastness and her combination of supermodel looks (Dutch people sure are tall) and comic book superhero beingness. I hope they are happy and doing well. The one thing that made my last few years in the S.O. bearable were all the great people I became friends with in CMU and these were two of them. Thanks for bringing back some fond memories, Jeff.

    • dutchanon permalink
      September 7, 2010 6:13 pm

      Could anyone please confirm Sam is Dutch? I noted hers and Karin’s last name sound Dutch, but I couldn’t Google their nationality. Thanks, a Dutch anon.

      • Joe Howard permalink
        September 7, 2010 11:24 pm

        Absolutely, Sam is Dutch. Like I said, she is t-a-l-l, which is one dead giveaway!
        Her brother is Anthony Pouw and her half sister is Marion Pouw, currently one of the three stooges along with Hansueli Stahli and Mike Sutter failing at–er, I mean working at recovering ex-Int base staff into the fold.

      • Julieann permalink
        September 8, 2010 7:31 pm

        Yes she is Dutch and I can know cause she is my little sister.

      • Julieann permalink
        September 8, 2010 7:34 pm

        Sorry, but I didn’t see Jeffs reply.
        Marion is not her half sister but her older sister.
        Sam has another brother en 2 olders sisters in Holland and I am one of them.

      • dutchanon permalink
        September 9, 2010 4:59 pm

        Dear Julieann, since you’re posting on this forum, I suppose it’s not possible for you to be in touch with your little sis. I really hope she and Marion will see the light one of these days and you and your family will be reunited. Good luck – Dutchanon.

      • Julieann permalink
        September 9, 2010 6:23 pm

        Dutchanon

        Unfortunally it is not possible to get in touch with Samantha,Marion or Anthony.
        They broke with us over 14 years ago and we have never given up our hopes for them to get out but I am realistic and know it will be very hard for all of them.

        Sorry for my english as it has been a while that I wrote or have spoken it.

      • Shelly permalink
        September 24, 2010 2:11 am

        Julieann,
        I am happy to run into you here. I realize I’m very late in responding to this, and hope you see it. I worked with Marion for many years in RTC. She was one of my closest friends. I also knew Sam, although not nearly as well. There is a day I will never forget. Marion and I were doing hard labor – we had both done something that DM didn’t like so we were off digging trenches or something. Coincidentally, on the same day her husband Bill and her sister Sam both blew. It was pretty unreal and Marion was completely devastated to say the least. Sam did not get very far and came back right away. I don’t think Bill ever came back that time, so they divorced. This was her soul mate. I felt so bad for her.

        I pray one day they will break free. I believe with all my heart that it hurts Marion very much to be disconnected from her family, although she is never allowed to show it. And then her own sister-in-law (Karin) goes global in insisting there is no such thing as disconnection.

        I would love the opportunity to see Marion again, but I have a strong feeling that her “mission” will never be sent in my direction.

        Best wishes to you and your family,
        Shelly (a different one, not DM’s missing wife)

  4. Cool Observer permalink
    September 7, 2010 4:28 pm

    “I look forward to the day when all this cult repression finally ends.”

    Just look at what’s happening in Australia. A perfect storm is brewing, and soon “The Land of the Free” ,which once spread freedom and democracy around the globe, will be the only territory where a totalitarian cult can make a mockery of the aforementioned values…at the cost of the tax payer. Maybe that will shame some politicians into action.

    Or maybe Jeff sends free copies of Counterfeit Dreams to the all senators – to remind them that they’re serving the people, including those who were deceived and joined a hostile cult.

  5. lunamoth permalink
    September 7, 2010 5:32 pm

    Cool Observer, you bring up an interesting point.

    Jeff, have you considered sending copies of your book to government and police officials in the area surrounding Int Base? Ideally, they would all buy their own copies! But if not, both Counterfeit Dreams and Blown For Good give a lot of insight into the crimes being committed under their jurisdiction. Or do they already have all that information in their files?

    lunamoth

    • Bert permalink
      September 8, 2010 2:12 am

      Lunamoth – I wouldn’t assume they had the information in their files, or even that they would read it if they did. Getting the book to them is a great idea. Make a list of people to get the book, and then have a bake sale, enlist your neighbors, get people to sponsor book “gifts”… whatever it takes… get the book to those people. I’m taking this type of small, local action with a handful of people to starve the local org of new recruits, and ultimately to shut it down. Together we can make Scientology an unpleasant memory.

      • lunamoth permalink
        September 8, 2010 4:57 pm

        Good idea, Bert.

  6. Sinar permalink
    September 7, 2010 6:27 pm

    Jeff,
    What a coincidence! I also knew them very well – Manu and Sam are very nice and good looking, aside from being totally good people. What a total waste of their creativity for the last 5 years!

    But then again there are the dozens and dozens of other old friends now doing menial work, hidden in the guts of the blue complex who have not gotten tired of the Kool aid taste. It’s definitely good that at least they’re not directly at the bloody trenches of the Int Base – which is totally PRed Hollywood style as the “worker’s paradise” of glitzy, latest high tech equipment and shiny buildings and recreation facilities.

  7. Karen#1 permalink
    September 7, 2010 8:45 pm

    Of all the people walking along the street, of all the Sea Org members there, lo and behold it was long term friends of yours in CMU ……..!

    In that quick moment of time it isn’t always easy to think of EXACTLY what you say, but I wish you had said “I got beat up by David Miscavige one too many times….”

    I am guessing they even saw the assault and battery.
    Some folk have such a high tolerance of abuse.
    I don’t
    Jeff it was super cool to have our own special time together.

  8. Paul (Scooter) Schofield permalink
    September 7, 2010 9:52 pm

    I hope you are one of the last people to experience that, Jeff. The day is coming soon when these tactics by Scientology will no longer be tolerated anywhere.

    What we will have now in Oz will ensure that sort of behaviour from “Security” will attract soooooo much attention from the authorities that this cult will be jumped on immediately and hard.

    The days of intimidation and Fair Game are over here – I hope what we’ve been able to do here will soon spread to the entire planet.

    I fielded so many phone calls from an incredibly diverse range of people after this report was released – all very happy with what we’ve achieved here. The sense of freedom I got from them was amazing.

    It’s a beautiful morning here in Australia – I hope this sunshine gets to your house real soon. 🙂

    • lunamoth permalink
      September 7, 2010 10:54 pm

      Paul

      A friend, also an ex, sent me the link to the Inquiry’s findings this morning – FANTASTIC!! The Australian government has dealt dm’s church a major body blow, and you especially must feel finally that someone over there get’s it.

      I have great admiration for all the whistleblowers who stood up and told their stories. You must feel very especially proud to be an Aussie right now. You are leading the way!

      lunamoth

  9. Tony DePhillips permalink
    September 7, 2010 11:22 pm

    Hi Jeff,

    Yes it is a sick cult that prevents people from communicating. As been said many times, if the cult practiced what it preached its members should be able to “confront”and “think for themselves” but this is just lip service given. It must have been cool just doing a reach and withdrawl from the area and fun watching security panic…

  10. Anonymous permalink
    September 8, 2010 7:04 am

    Hey Jeff, just a question. Would you consider carrying some sort of small business card with a contact number, so that in future situations like this you would be able to discreetly hand them to a Sea Org member on the inside?

    I’m asking because part of the reason many of them don’t leave is the fear of not having someone to trust on the “outside”. You never know who might take you up on the offer.

    Wish you all the best.

    • Jeff permalink*
      September 8, 2010 4:05 pm

      It’s funny, but in a situation like this you always later think of all the things you should have said or done at the time. The French call it l’esprit de l’escalier, “staircase wit,” all those perfect words and phrases that come to you far too late to be any use. But you do the best you can at the moment. Thanks for the suggestion – good idea.

  11. Maria permalink
    September 8, 2010 12:52 pm

    Here is a link to and article about the Australian Senate Inquiry results, with a link to a PDF with the full report:

    http://www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news/2010/09/senate-inquiry-recommends-charity-commission

    • lunamoth permalink
      September 8, 2010 4:58 pm

      Thanks, Maria. I should have done that. Obviously posting while impaired (early, no coffee).

      • Karen#1 permalink
        September 8, 2010 9:29 pm

        Lunamoth ~~

        I am trying to get hold of you ~~ Jeff will connect us further.
        Did you see this on Australian TV ?

        Highly recommended viewing to all

      • lunamoth permalink
        September 8, 2010 10:33 pm

        Yes, Karen, thanks. I did see it!

        Jeff has all my contact info. Look forward to hearing from you.

        L

        Lunamoth

  12. Aeolus permalink
    September 8, 2010 2:10 pm

    It’s ironic. The Church no longer posts declares because of the embarrassing quantity, and Sea Org staff are cut off from the Internet and most media and therefore would have no way of knowing that Jeff was now the Enemy. It gave me a chuckle though to picture that security guard rushing over to protect these two women as if Jeff was a typhoid carrier, because I’ve met him (Jeff, not the security guard) and he really is one of the good guys, as kind and thoughtful as they come.

    By the way, Sam’s brother Anthony is now out of the Sea Org, but apparently still a member.

  13. Independent Scientologist permalink
    September 9, 2010 10:44 am

    I knew it was time to leave the church after my elig cycle at AO started to go sour merely because my wife had voiced some concerns to me about the Ideal Org campaign and Golden Age of Tech. How dare she!

    I will never again belong to any formal religion that wants to tell me what I can and cannot look at, what I can and cannot read, who I can and cannot talk to, what I can and cannot THINK. Even if that religion believes that it holds my eternity in its hands and tells me so (what a dramatization of the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages)!

    Talking to independents – about Scientology or about anything – is such a breath of fresh air compared to the stilted conversations one is permitted to have inside the church.

    Ron Matlock
    independent_scientologist@hotmail.com

  14. Mat Pesch permalink
    September 12, 2010 3:33 pm

    A key part of any cult is information control.

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