Although many nights, I toss and turn in dreams of upset, my face still widens with smiles and chuckles when I turn my thoughts to the humorous.
Leaving Vancouver, British Columbia at twelve degrees above zero and landing in the Montreal North pole climate with no coat was not funny at the time, but thinking back, I laugh. And thus began my Narconon experience.
With snow up to my family jewels, clouds of frozen breath expelling in front of me, I wondered if I was still in Canada – – did I land in Siberia?
Two hours later, I was gulping a vinegar based concoction with calcium and magnesium, not usually my choice of drinks, but down the hatch it went. “Here, take these drug bombs”, someone said, as I was passed the assortment. Drug bombs? The last thing I needed was anything resembling drugs, but down they went. Then onto an inflatable couch where some Narconon staff began to touch me with their fingers; watch where you put those probers, I thought – – it was all very foreign. Occasionally I would roll off onto the floor or a cute little cat would jump up for some petting touches.
Two days later I was taken from my pre-indoctrination hide-a-way over to the Narconon compound. The absurd was about to be experienced.
After leaving the withdrawal unit, I spent a lot of time in the dining room mingling with other inmates. Although there were many with tears of despair, there was many times of sore stomach laughter. One morning, this young lady came in to make her tea as usual. She reached for the sugar, then belched out, “Who the *F_ _ k* moved the sugar basket; I almost put *F _ _ king* porridge in my tea. I’ve been reaching into the same basket for 100 days now for my sugar and someone switched the baskets. It must be that new girl”, her voice echoed above all.
Then down the stairs into “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” scene. One would have to see and experience the absurd behaviour to fully grasp the incredible practices before them. People yelling- – “Ashtray stand up – – you look at that wall.” People sitting across from each other yelling obscenities at the other while the victim remained frozen. Another was crawling around on the floor during an auditing session, looking lost and oblivious to his actions.
We would gather out on the sundeck after the pseudoscience sessions of scientology and joke about when the L. Ron Hubbard spaceship would arrive to save us.
Of course, I being a happy go lucky Irishman; I usually unwittingly created laughter for the bunch of us. Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict and through all the horrors, humor lightened my burdens, inspired hope, connected me to others, and kept me grounded, focused, and alert.
David Edgar Love