20 Mar 2001
MY RECENT DINNER WITH KAREN BLACK
(A true story of tragedy and recently being surrounded by Flag 'OT's)
The last person I expected to have dinner with this past month was with actress/scientologist Karen Black, as I'm 16 years out of scientology and am not an agent/producer/director in motion pictures for such an event to even be possible. At least in the normal sense of professional or otherwise 'normal' introductions.
The event which brought Karen and I together was based on a recent tragedy. This story might sound like a Rod Serling script version of; [Zorrosblade 'walking into the twilight zone of scientology after 16 years'], and for me it indeed was just that. I felt trepidation in posting this before on ars because the situation of tragedy which I'm referring to had to do with the funeral of a friend of mine who I first met in high school over 30 years ago, who later became involved with scientology around the same time I did, circa; 1977. I'll refrain from divulging his name out of deep respect for this friend who saw himself as an enthusiastic scientologist up til the end of his life.
He died from pancreatic cancer at age 48 which mastisized throughout his entire body.
He 'completed' OT 3 and some NOT's as well as doing 'L's' auditing at Flag these past years. He knew my critic position on scientology for some years where we spoke very infrequently after a conversation run-in about scientology. Don't tell me scientology doesn't break long friendships. There's an example which needn't have happened if LRH 'ethics' wasn't in force.
Here's where my recent scientology 'twilight zone' convergence begins with regards my friend who passed away and subsequent meeting with Karen Black;
About 3 days after my friends death my step-father died at age 88. I called my closest friend, (never a scientologist), who was also the best friend of the cancer victim friend I've described. I spoke to him in trying to console his emotional devastation that it was apropos my step-father died now because in Nordic myth, it is always good to have a 'dog' lead the way for a dead soldier into Valhalla. [This tells you how much I liked my step-father]. I don't know whether this myth is true scandinavian history lore, but I felt it was right to state at the moment to bolster my friends feelings. My friend loved the story.
He said that our friend who died of cancer deserved to have such a 'dog' lead his way into forever. [Maybe 'Sten', 'Andreas Heldal-Lund' or someone in the know could round out this myth story if it's really scandinavian in origin]. I really don't know. This myth story is a vague memory. Anyway, as my friend wished immediate cremation of his remains there was no traditional casket funeral. His family decided to have a 'remembrance' meeting at my Mothers golf/bridge club where she plays weekly bridge. I arrived at the club in the evening and as I walked through the front door, there was a sign on a bulletin board proclaiming my step-fathers death as he was a member of the club as well; (I thought at that moment of the 'dog' leading the way).
I knew before arriving that evening that a scientology 'minister' would be performing LRH's 'good-bye' funeral ceremony. I was enraged but out of respect for my friends wishes I kept that rage on *not seen very-low flame*. As I walked up to the door for the ceremony I first saw an old scientology girl friend of mine I hadn't seen in over 16 years. [She was tremendous in bed way back when]. She was handing out 'Yamicas' for men entering the service; (a traditional Jewish head covering). She smiled at me and of course I looked at her like, "remember me?". She looked through me like I was empty space with that scientology programmed 'TR-0' phoney smile gaze. When I saw that gaze which I thought I would never see again, my blood pressure reached new heights. I simply took the 'Yamica' and walked in.
The ceremony started with a Jewish Rabbi who delivered a less than boring speech with the energy level of a couch potato. I was angry at this but always remained cool. A woman sat next to me who used to be my departed friends old girlfriend who is still a scientologist. She asked me where I was "On Lines". I changed the subject in some fashion.
After the Rabbi spoke, the scientology 'minister' went up to the podium. I closed my eyes as he did where I said to myself in my mind, "Please god, get me through this crap without my exploding in rage". The 'minister' just read the LRH funeral 'service' as is with not extemporaneous chit-chat about my friend. I was thankful for that. I was worried beforehand that if the 'minister' started talking about "what a good scientologist" my friend was, that I might dart out of the service in utter rage. He didn't do this. After listening to this LRH funeral 'service' I realized that the 'LRH' service script was nothing but bad poetic nonsense zig-zagged in the realm of 'spiritual' double-talk. My other friend who's not a scientologist had the same take exactly after the service.
Now to Karen Black;
After the service it's an old Jewish tradition after funeral services are over to have cold-cut meats and food in general for the funeral attendees. I was SO hungry I converged on the cold-cut platters and piled Hugh amounts of food on my plate. After doing so I looked around the room and saw MANY faces I use to see at Flag 20 years ago! I picked a large round table that had the least amount of people in it who I didn't know. Thats the way I wanted it. I sat down and began devouring the food with my eyes about 6 inches from the plate. That hungry!
As my concentration was fixed solely on the food I didn't recognize that the table was beginning to fill up with people, and guess who those people were? You guessed it, scientologists I remembered from Flag over 20 years ago! I decided not to initiate any conversation whatsoever but the old Flag 'OT' faces looked at me like; "Where have you been"? They surrounded and spoke to me as if 20 years ago was only YESTERDAY!
With the implied 'OT' look on their faces of, "Of course your still one of US!!!". As I was trying to figure out some verbal strategy to negotiate this situation I looked to my left 2 chairs down and noticed Karen Black munching away at some food. Looked like cole-slaw. I found myself a few moments later involved in a conversation with Karen Black as she would squint her eyes on my points made. Don't ask me what those points were.
My mouth was on it's own unconscious over-drive to survive the moment. The woman to my right who has been a BIG money siphon at Flag for many years started talking to me about Flag where I looked at her son who was standing behind her. To me, he looked like a Mob 'crew' member of the 'Sopranos' HBO series. I stopped her questions by blurting out, "Do you know your son looks like an Italian 'Made' guy?" I even told her son. He just gave me that glazed 'OT' smile where his Mother eventually agreed in the resemblance.
The twilight Zone for me in this chance meeting was that in my farthest thoughts I figured I would EVER have dinner with these people again. Didn't want to. And here I was out of respect for my dead friend in doing just that. Their body language at the table was "Your one of us"----"Your one of us".
As I was leaving the room when it was over, this scientologist kept haranguing me with the question of; "How did I make my Money?" I told him point blank that was no-ones business where he kept persisting with the question and asked me where I was on 'the bridge'. I looked at him about 12 inches away from his eyes and directly told him, "I did hundreds of hours of Solo-Nots and it's bull shit. No big deal". His 'friendly' TR-0 smile turned to, "he's one of them" cult frowns where he walked away immediately.
I want to end this by giving a very personal note on my high school friend who passed away.
I heard that just before he died in the hospital he awoke from a coma and blurted out as his last words, "FUCK! Why did you bring me back? I was almost there". Those were his last words. I'm only hopeful that when it's my time to go into yonder, that my friends insight in that last moments comment will lead me to what he now knows for real.
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