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A Christmas Kernel Conclusion

Spirit Visitor Three

A cold wind woke him. The bullet proof windows don’t open and he confirms they’re shut, sitting up and staring closely. Looking around he tries to determine where the cold wind was coming from. It was coming from the floor, next to the bed. Not one to ever admit fear, he would have told anyone at that moment he was scared. The wind got stronger yet nothing was moving in the room. It was like ice hitting his face. A blast of black smoke shot out of the floor, leaving no mark, and manifested into the form of a thin human in a black shroud that fully covered their face. Iciness emanated from their person.

He thought of a story he heard as a child, A Christmas Carol. With his lack of sleep, coming down with a cold, the card from his dad, he was just mocking up a revisit to his past, that’s all. The scenes not involving him gave that theory pause. There was no time for him to consider it more, as with nary a word said, he took the spirit’s sleeve when the arm was extended to him. The spirit’s iciness went through him into his bones.

Again they were outside the house where his own family was. “I was here earlier.” No response, just a nod towards inside. His father looked visibly aged, the kids were bigger and he realized it was the future.

“I still feel guilt,” his father was saying. “Dad, not only have we told you, but professionals have told you it’s not your fault.” “But as a parent you feel responsible, you can understand that can’t you?” “Yes I can.” His father started to cry and he watched his brother put his arm around him, just as he had put his arm around him when he was a boy having an asthma attack. The grandkids and great grandkids gathered around their grandfather to give him hugs and tell him they loved him. His twin sister came from the dining room to also comfort her father. She looked almost as old as her father and was walking with a cane.

“What happened? What’s going on?” The arm was placed in front of him. He took hold and they were in a building at Gold Base. Several dozen people were in a room. They were dressed in rags and despite what one could see were attempts to clean themselves, were very unkempt. Emaciated, several appeared bed ridden, yet there were no beds. Just make shift ones of some straw, thin blankets and rags. Several of the people were in a corner quietly discussing something. He suddenly became privy their words.

“I want to leave, we can leave, they’re a couple hundred feet away with food, clothes…” The slap was so quick, so sudden, David almost fell over as if he felt it. “We're’ NOT leaving here. We’re here to be punished.” You could tell the slappee wanted to say more but didn’t want to suffer more physical brutality. Someone else spoke up though. “If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t have any food.” “We’ll take their food as long as it’s still sealed, but we won’t take anything else from them.”

The young man who had been slapped, was the very same who had been so excited to see COB open his homemade gifts. He knew freedom was several hundred feet away. Only the ones, such as the older Gold Base member who had curbed his prior enthusiasm, were allowed to get the daily food parcels as too many others had run to them for freedom. Tonight, when everyone slept, he knew he was going to make a break for it. They were out there day and night, offering food, clothing, phones to call home. They dropped pamphlets saying they would help with education, medical needs, getting housing and jobs. He wanted freedom and would get it soon.

The spirit walks David out of the room over to where tents and a camper had been set up. He looked around and saw the gates of Gold Base were open. There were no people aside those in front of them, the base looked deserted. Up on the hills he saw the coyotes starting to gather.

A group of people sat at a table in the camper talking amongst themselves. A woman came in with files and they quieted down to give her their full attention. “Has anyone left today?” Head shakes of ‘no’.
“Does it appear someone might leave?”
“Yes, there is one young man who we can see staring out the door quite often and it appears he’s gauging the space between himself and us.”
“I didn't see anyone outside as security.”
“We’re doing as was suggested and have them stationed out of sight, but they are out there.” “Good, maybe have them walk around every once in awhile in case someone wants to run towards someone.”
“How long are we going to wait? Can’t we just make them leave?”
“You’re new here, the others will fill you in; but if we made them leave it would be much harder on them acclimating to the real world. We’re trying to be helpful to them, to be friendly within a set of boundaries, and we need to understand and respect that they are prisoners of belief. A prison with no bars. The mind’s prison is the most maximum security cell one can enter. Some of those people know nothing else. We’ll stay here to help them as long as it takes. This is a huge humanitarian undertaking we are committed to.”
Someone mumbled “Humanitarian in the true sense.” “STOP! We can’t say those things here, we have to respect their beliefs. But yes, you’re correct.”
“What about the bodies buried around the base?”
“Let me remind everyone about that, if you hear gossip in town that the people buried were victims of murder, please correct that. There is no evidence of that. They are only being removed to be reburied in a proper cemetery, though a congressman has put a bill forward to let the bodies stay where they were buried here. As of now the coroner is waiting until everyone has left before removing them. It was discussed and it might be detrimental to those remaining if they saw their comrades dug up or they might think they are in trouble with the law for that and we’re trying to keep law enforcement agencies away from them as they are most distrustful of them, more so than us.”
“How many are buried here?”
“From interviews of those who have spoken to us, at least 2 dozen people who had been held in buildings died from either old age or illnesses. Since they hadn’t been seen in public so long, they were ordered to bury them here and no one knew they had died.”
“Yeah, the one guy would be around 100 now.”
“People live that long.”
“Not in a shed with slop for food.”

“What’s going on?! You have to talk to me!” The spirit shook his head no at David and grabbed his arm with his icy grip. They were quickly in a press room, where a huge press conference was taking place. Cameras flashing, dozens of microphones on the podium, the seals of the Department of Justice, FBI, and Attorney General prominently displayed.

“If we could continue without interruption, we will have time for some questions then.” The cameras stopped flashing, the room quieted. The man at the podium continued. “As I was saying, we have confirmed that the current leaders of Scientology entered Dubai incognito and the United States has no extradition treaty with Dubai or the United Arab Emirates. We’re still determining how much cash they might have taken with them. All Scientology properties in the United States have been seized by federal agents. The individuals there are being offered support services but it is slow going. We are treating these individuals with care and respect and we must stress that the majority of Scientology members have done nothing wrong. The Attorney General will address, in a bit, possible restitution for Scientology victims after assets have been sold off.

“As we said, before the interruption, the current leaders of Scientology, who are leaders in name only, are wanted by the US Government. As you can see in the hand outs and the screen behind me they are facing over 100+ federal charges each. Laurise Stuckenbrock AKA Laurise Henley-Smith, Ken Moxon, and Dan Sherman, you might have went to a country without an extradition treaty with the United States, but when the money is gone, you’re trapped. Justice will prevail.”

David turns to the spirit, “Where am I? What caused this?” The spirit pointed back to the press conference. Another person was speaking now.

“Mr. Miscavige was discovered by agents in an isolated room. His condition required immediate hospitalization. HIPAA laws must be respected and nothing further will be said on his condition unless he is recovered enough to be arrested or he becomes deceased.”

“Lou betrayed me?! I shouldn't have let her spend time with Moxon! This is all wrong. Everything is wrong. Things must change.” He kept a mumbling dialogue up with himself while the scenes he had seen throughout the night flashed through his head repeatedly. Over and over. The pain, the suffering, the feelings of others overwhelmed him and he buckled under the weight of it all.

“This is my fault. I have to make amends. I understand. I know what L Ron meant. This isn’t a religion that causes comfort, it’s only caused pain and tore families apart while I enriched myself and denied others their rights.” The spirit nodded affirmatively and David felt some of the iciness leave his bones and was overcome with a feeling of warmth. “Thank you, I thank all of you,” as he clutched the spirit’s sleeve. But the spirit was no longer there.

Christmas Morning

He awoke, finding Lou standing over him with a worried look on her face. “LOU!!!” “Sir, it’s going to be okay, I’ve asked Moxon for the medical officer to be brought out of the RPF…” “I’m not sick Lou, I’ve had a major cognition while I slept.” “Sir you hardly slept at all. I helped you back to bed several times, you were half asleep staring out the window holding your dad’s card.” She had it in her hand and he grabbed it from her with such force she almost fell back.

“I’m sorry Lou! I didn’t mean to almost make you fall. I didn’t want you to throw that out.” “Sir he’s a SP.” “No, I’m the SP. Get Moxon and Sherman here but first help me find my suits, I’m gonna call an emergency meeting and we can broadcast it live in all the Orgs and on the internet.” Lou was shocked by what he had said, especially apologizing and calling himself a SP.

He jumps out of bed, almost childlike, trying to find where his clothes were as still Lou stood there stunned. He turns and did not yell as he would have normally. “Come on! Get Moxon and Sherman here; but first please help me find my suits or I’ll just wear yesterdays.” The word echoed within her, “please”. He said “please”. He had also just apologized, said he had a major cognition, called himself a SP, wanted a big meeting and live streaming was bad; but also being polite? She needed to do something quick.

Going around the room with him, trying doors, she suddenly remembered his clothes were kept down the hall and told him that. “Let’s go!” With an enthusiasm she’d never heard in his voice before. The closet was almost the size of his bedroom suite. “I can’t believe I have these many clothes! This isn’t necessary, we’ll have to give these out to anyone here who can fit them. And all those John Lobbs, I can’t believe I was so angry yesterday about not getting four new pair. I’ll get dressed, go get Moxon and Sherman.”

Rushing back to the antechamber for her phone, Lou places urgent requests for Moxon and Sherman to come over STAT but to meet her in the lobby first to confer with her. She goes and tells David that she’s going to go downstairs to let them into the building and he was smiling, whistling and says “Go go go!” Having seen him angry all the time, this total change was very frightening to her.

Downstairs she greets Moxon and Sherman and briefs them on the situation. She explains how David hadn’t had a drink in approximately 3 days, saying he thought he was coming down with something, and had been sleep deprived. Aside from not drinking, nothing was out of the ordinary until last night when he asked her to stay in the antechamber and seemed frightened when he had requested that from her.

Three separate times she had found him in a dazed state in his bedroom during the night, either talking to himself, one time crying and another time he had a smile on his face while standing and staring at the wall. The whole night he had clutched the Christmas card his dad had sent him and she couldn’t remove it from his hand, the grip on it was so tight, until right before he woke up. Moxon and Sherman looked alarmed as she relayed all this. She continued with what had just transpired and they became downright panicked.

“He said he’s a SP and he’s being polite?” Moxon asked. “Yes and he’s happy, he looks like a weight has been lifted from him.” “This isn’t good,” added Sherman. “Let’s go up and see how he is and let’s all agree now we’ll play along with him, don’t disagree with anything he says, and if we think he’s gone Type III, one of us will hold up 3 fingers without him seeing, okay?” asked Moxon. Lou and Sherman agreed.

“What if he is Type III?” Lou asked. “We’ll have to get him on the introspection rundown. It’s the only thing we can do. We can just tell people he’s taking a well deserved rest,” answered Moxon. Nods of agreement and they steeled themselves to go upstairs to what they considered a nightmare and to what David considered an awakening from one.

Upstairs they found him sitting at the desk in his bedroom. He smiled broadly at them telling them to sit down and listen to what he planned to do. They nervously glanced amongst each as they sat. “Lighten up guys! This is the start of a new beginning, I mean a new era!!” And he laughed, a genuine laugh, which chilled them. “There’s so much to do, but I hope you’ll help me get it done.” “Yes Sir,” robotically said. “Stop that Sir shit! Call me David! Titles mean nothing and I don’t deserve any respect.”

He began to read from a list he had written out. His first order of business was to let everyone out of the RPF but he wanted to do that personally so he could apologize to them. Then he wanted them to be able to eat heartedly, phone home, and hopefully help him with his event. Second, he wanted Sherman to help him draft a speech to give at the event to be held later today. They tried to interrupt him and he knew what their interjection would be. “It doesn’t matter if only 3 people are in the audience, we can livestream it and it will be recorded.” In his speech he would declare that Scientology was changing immediately and would work with federal agencies; that he was sorry for any wrongs he had committed; disconnection would stop at that moment; lawsuits would be dropped; and any technology would be offered free of charge. People who had worked for them for receive back wages at least minimum wage plus interest; they’d give refunds, “we have too much cash, what kind of church has over a billion dollars they just sit on? Let’s do some true good!” If he faced criminal charges due to admitting anything, he would accept them. Third, he wanted to go get Shelly and finally for that day, he wanted Shelly and himself to go fly to his dad’s. With a laugh he exclaimed, “Quite a day plan isn’t it?” “Yes Si--David”.

He turned to put his list down and they took that moment to quickly hold up 3 fingers and nod eagerly in agreement. Jumping up, he asks them to go with him to the RPF. With quick furtive glances, Lou spoke up. “Si-David, I know you want to apologize to them personally but you have so much to do today so why don’t I go to the RPF, pass on your apologies and perhaps you could add that to your speech that they’ll be seeing?” “Yes, yes of course! That’s a great idea, thank you Lou, you always have my best interest in mind.” “Yes David.” “Stop that too! Talk to me like a normal person!” He then embraced her in a bear hug that made her go stiff as a board. He laughed, “this will take some getting use to” and waved her off.

Sitting down with Sherman, Lou briefly conferred with Moxon. “You’re not going to really let them out of the RPF are you?” “No, of course not; but I think perhaps I’ll let out a few so it’ll look like I did.” “Good idea, let out of the ones who we know and can trust.” “What are we going to do?” nodding towards David. “We have to get him somewhere, I think I have a plan.” Turning towards David, “David, do you mind if I accompany Lou to the RPF?” “No my friend, go right ahead, we’re going to work on my speech.” Lou and Moxon leave and he tells her his plan. David and Sherman sit at his desk and work on his speech encompassing everything he wanted to say.

The Plan

When Lou and Moxon return, allegedly from the RPF letting everyone go; they find Sherman alone in the bedroom. David had gone down the hall to get a tux out to wear for the event. They took this opportunity to let Sherman in on Moxon’s plan and he was in full agreement with it. David soon bound into the room with the tux over his arm.

Seeing those three together triggers something in his memory and he tries to remember exactly what it was. He felt it was something bad about them being together talking like that; but having all the paranoia and fear he had lived with for over 30 years lifted, he only saw them as his co-workers and friends now. He was sure it was something he saw last night, but he only had the feelings leftover and just a few images remained.

“We should go over to the studio and get it set up, we can do it from here.” “David, why don’t we do it from Scientology Media Productions? It has newer equipment than Gold and perhaps you could talk to the media afterwards.” “Lou!! What a brilliant idea! Yes, I’d love to talk to the media.” A fit of laughter overcame him. “I bet some reporters would think it’s April Fool’s Day instead of Christmas when we contact them saying I’m willing to be interviewed! Let’s invite them to the event too!” “I’ll get right on that and will notify SMP we’ll be arriving there in several hours.”

A knock on the door and a chef entered with a cart filled with breakfast dishes. “George!! I’m sorry you were sent to the RPF last night. You know you can eat whatever you want and use the phone don’t you?” “Yes Sir, Lou briefed me on the situation.” “Stop calling me Sir.” Not said as a rebuke, but with a twinkling smile in his eyes. “I hope you watch the event this afternoon George.” “I can’t wait for it to happen.” “Good good!” George leaves and David starts picking up the covers from the food asking what Moxon and Sherman want. Both just accept toast and strongly encourage David to eat some of the oatmeal with berries because he’ll need his energy for the event.

Within 30 minutes, David was saying he was tired. Lou had returned and said the SUVs were there to take them to Los Angeles, why didn’t he just lay down in the back of his Range Rover on an air mattress they’d put in for him and get a nap during the ride to rest up for the day? “You’re on fire today Lou!” Again, a bear hug.

“We’ll wake you upon arrival.” “Of course you will,” as he settled onto the air mattress with a faux fur blanket and pillow from his own bed. His tux was hanging from a hook. Inside his current jacket, which they could not convince him to remove, one pocket held his speech and the other his dad’s Christmas card. He fell into a deep sleep before they even left the base.

To ensure they didn’t wake him, the 3 texted between each other while a driver drove to their destination. They finalized plans for the event and made future arrangements.

The Awakening

Approximately 90 minutes later they arrived. He was in such a deep sleep, they carried him into the building and placed him on a bed. The sleeping pills in the oatmeal made him sleep for five hours before they decided to start trying to wake him. Very groggily, he awoke, sitting up and thinking he was at SMP. Lou brought him a glass of water when he said he had cotton mouth.

Slowly he notices there are four people in the room. “Shelly?” She stepped forward. Looking older than he had last seen her; but the same pride in her bearing. Her CMO necklace was around her neck and he saw her wedding band on her finger. He remembered the image of her sitting at the desk in her room at CST. He tried to get up quickly but found himself wobbly, almost as if he was drunk. “Why can’t I stand up steadily?” “You must be very tired.” “Yeah, I must be.” He shakily made his way to Shelly and took her hands, telling her he was sorry for all he had done to her.

When she looked away from him, he accepted it as something he had to deal with. He had hurt her badly and for so many years; but something didn’t seem right. He was so groggy and he tried to remember why Lou with Moxon and Sherman was bad. The grogginess couldn’t dampen the lightness of heart he felt. “Shelly look at me, you’re going to go with me onstage at SMP when I make this speech and the world will see…” “David, I can’t…” “Shelly,” Moxon started to caution, and she became quiet.

David plopped down on the bed putting his head between his hands. “Would you like a drink?” “Stop trying to push scotch on me Lou!” Immediately, he apologized for his shortness. His head felt funny, groggy. He kept trying to remember something. Moxon raised 3 fingers to Shelly and she shook her head affirmatively. “David why don’t you lay down for awhile longer?” “Shelly, no, we need to find you something nice to wear, get your hair done and go deliver my speech.”

Silence. Or perhaps he didn’t hear anything around him as he held his head in his hands rubbing his temples. He was trying to remember something. Then he saw it, the vision of the press conference. Lou, Moxon, and Sherman had taken over the church somehow and they had said he had been found in a room and had to be hospitalized. With a rapidity that startled everyone, he jumped up. With his unsteadiness from the sleeping pills he practically fell into a large man he didn’t recognize.

Lou, Moxon, Sherman, and Shelly were on the other side of a room that only had a bed in it. There was no other furniture. The mirror had been removed and the windows boarded over. There were security cameras in the ceiling corners of the room. “Where am I? What are you doing? Is this…? You’re going to give me an introspection rundown? You can’t do this! I have to give this speech today to change the church!” Not a word was spoken, just a unison of heads shaking no. The man who had caught him, tried to remove his jacket and he wouldn’t let him. In the struggle his dad’s Christmas card fell out and the speech. Lou reached for the Christmas card and he tackled her to get it. Clutching it in both hands, he apologized for tackling her, and pleaded with her to let Shelly and him go make the speech. Lou got up from the floor, shook her head no and walked out of the room.

Sherman had picked up the speech from the floor and held it out for David. He only wanted to clutch his dad’s Christmas card. Sherman and Moxon both left the room, as David watched in shock. Shelly and the man remained, he assumed he was a guard of some kind. “Shelly please help me. I know I don’t deserve your help but I’ve changed and want you by my side.” Looking towards the guard, who gave her a nod of yes, Shelly spoke her final words to him.

“We’re trying to help you. We will follow the tech exactly as you would want us too.” “NO! I don’t need an Introspection Rundown, I’ve changed that’s all!!!” She turned to leave with one last glance back. A crumbled heap on the floor clutching a Christmas card from his dad. The guard ensured everything in the room was secured and took up position outside. Only the strongest guards would be assigned to watch duty due to David’s previous workout regimen.

The guard could hear David’s sobs through the steel door. Those watching on the close circuit cameras could see him looking at his dad’s Christmas card as he sobbed.

The Takeover

After leaving David, the four quickly conferred and tried to determine what had made him go Type III. They couldn’t believe it was just a Christmas card from his dad. Since she was of lower rank, Shelly deferred to the others, and immediately complied when she was ordered to return to her duties and act as if nothing had just happened. It was the only life she knew. Type III or not, she would continue to strive to properly serve her husband and perpetuate L Ron’s works.

In the SUV that was now en route to Los Angeles, Lou, Moxon, and Sherman discussed when to make their announcement. The merits of that day, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve were considered. They determined that making the announcement sooner rather than later would be the best thing to do. Sherman started to write the speech while Lou called SMP to inform them that a broadcast would be recorded in 2 hours that would need to be immediately emanated to Orgs around the world.

Upon arrival, Moxon ordered changes to the stage, including finding a taller podium. Changes were made to the speech and Sea Org members were bussed in to fill the seats in the studio. They were given orders to look at the corner of the stage, out of the camera range, and when an ‘applause’ sign was held up, they were to applaud. They had to make it sound good, this was amazing news and if they had to film it again, they would dock the costs from their pay.

Moxon had put on a tuxedo and Lou had put on her uniform. They took center stage at the podium and Sherman stood to the left of them. In a performance that would put any of his courtroom appearances to shame, Moxon announced to the crowd that that morning the Chairman of the Board had decided to go into seclusion and devote himself to ensuring that OTIX and OTX were nothing short of perfect before they were released. The audience whooped and cheered.

Shushing the cheering after basking in it for a few moments, Moxon continued with the speech. He explained that COB had left himself, Lou, and Sherman in charge of the church, as just not one person could replace COB. The sign to applaud was held up and more cheers from the audience.

“Scientology is not going to change with different leadership. COB gave each of us, to show that we three are equal in leadership, the title of Presidential Officer of Scientology. Myself and my co-POS’ will ensure everything COB has done is continued while he researches the new OT levels.” More cheers and whoops from the crowd.

“We ask every Scientologist watching this, to help us in this new era, by making a tax free donation to the church before the end of the year. To assist with COB’s research, we have created the new COB Research Annuity Portfolio. Grant Cardone has started the fund off with a generous donation of $1 million. Let’s get it to $25 million by New Year’s Eve!” He concluded and they left the stage.

“That went well.” “Will they buy it?” “Who cares, they can’t do anything anyway.” They all laughed. “In a few years, we can release some shit, say it’s OTIX and OTX, and say he’s working on testing OTXI and OTXII.” More laughter. “What if he eventually dies though?” A sudden solemnity fell over them. Lou punctured it a few seconds later, “If he dies, he dies!” They broke into uncontrollable laughter. “Him going Type III is the best Christmas gift ever!”

The Acceptance

Later that evening, in the room devoid of everything but the bed, a guard enters bringing David a glass of Cal-Mag, some vitamins and a protein shake. Meekly, David asks if the drinks are drugged and the guard shakes his head no. He thanks him and takes the vitamins and starts to drink the Cal-Mag. The guard stands and watches him, as he still sits on the floor where he had been since everyone had left. His dad’s Christmas card was still in his other hand.

With a heavy sigh he asks if he can have a change of clothes and the guard nods and heads towards the door, reaching outside for a duffel bag. David starts to change his clothes, setting his dad’s Christmas card on the bed, zealously guarding it from being taken from him. He didn’t know that it had been discussed that they would let him keep it. Even if he knew, he might not have trusted them. He had been packed a new pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt to wear. He hadn’t owned clothes like that in over 30 years. The simplicity of it gave him some comfort. As soon as he was dressed, he grabbed the card again, as if it was a piece of gold bullion. The guard gathered his dirty clothes and David went to help him, thanking him for his help, saying he knew he was doing his job. The guard nodded and pointed towards the bed.

“Yes, I should sleep. Thank you. I don’t want to cause you problems. I’ll go to bed, thank you.” Getting into bed, still clutching the Christmas card, the guard looked at him one more time then left the room. Laying there, David tried to get a grasp on everything that had happened in the past 24 hours and it was too overwhelming. He wanted to change, but he was now a prisoner of belief. Sheer mental and emotional exhaustion sent him to sleep, even with the lights on in the room.

As if a flashlight was shone in his eyes, he was awakened with a start. Those watching on the closed circuit, only saw him suddenly jump up in the bed shortly after he had fell asleep. They saw nothing else. Standing in front of him though, he saw a woman he could recognize but he couldn’t think of her name right away. Then he remembered her name. It was Lisa McPherson. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry Lisa.” She smiled at him benevolently. “It’s okay David, this time I’m going to case supervise you.”

His screams carried through the cold California mountain air for miles. Some people thought it was just coyotes howling.


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