Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch
|Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch|
|Birthday||October 20, 1927|
|Birth info||Yvonne Doreen Harding-Wilson - Toowong, Queensland, Australia|
|Died on||January 23, 1978 (aged 50)|
|Org. Affiliation(s)||Celebrity Center International (founder)|
|Posts||Class VIII, OEC/FEBC|
|Spouse(s)||Peter Gillham (m. 1952-1971)|
Heber Jentzsch (m. 1972-1978)
|Children||Peter (born 1953)|
Terri (born 1954)
Janis (born 1956)
- 1 Lineage
- 2 Early Years (1927 to 1953)
- 3 Yvonne's kindergarten stories
- 4 Scientology in Australia (1953 to 1965)
- 5 Scientology in England (1965 to 1966)
- 6 Sea Org (1966 to founding of Celebrity Centre)
- 7 Scientology's Celebrity Centres (1969 to 1977)
- 8 Picture Gallery - Celebrity Centre
- 9 Commanding Officer of the Public Relations Org (1977)
- 10 Illness and death
- 11 Remembrances of Yvonne
- 12 Yvonne's legacy
- 13 Contributions
- 14 Note from the author
- 15 related articles
- 16 epilogue
- 17 comments
- Yvonne set an excellent example for others and personified the service motto that "A being is only as valuable as he can serve others" - L Ron Hubbard
Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch was a major figure in the Church of Scientology, one of it's most beloved people, and the founder of Celebrity Centres. She devoted practically her whole adult life to the church, but passed away at the early age of 50.
Herein lies the factual biography of the lady affectionately known as Yvonne.
Yvonne Doreen Harding-Wilson was born into a family that had a proud heritage of very important and prominent people of Australia.
George Rogers Harding (December 3, 1838 - August 31, 1895). The only son of an English Vicar. He wrote and published his first book of law in 1860, moved to Brisbane, Queensland in 1866 and rose to the position of Puisne Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland. With his first wife he had fifteen children, twelve of whom survived. His brother-in-law also had a law practice in Brisbane and owned two of the newspapers there. The Harding's were well known for their banquets and entertainments at their expansive home. Prince Albert and Prince George were entertained by the Harding's during their visit to Brisbane in 1881. Family members still have pieces from the 250-piece gold plate dishes that were made just for their visit. Justice Harding published six more law books prior to his death at fifty-six years of age.
Walter Horatio Wilson (July 15, 1839 - February 28, 1902). Solicitor and politician, allowed to practice unconditionally in the Supreme Court from 1866, Minister of Justice for ten years, Postmaster General and later the Minister of Education for Queensland.
George Rogers Harding. Eldest son of Justice Harding. Justice of the Peace for fifty years. Owned one of the first cars in Queensland and the eleventh in Australia.
Walter Charles Harding. Third son of Justice Harding. Law practice for forty five years. Member of the old Toowong Town Council, responsible for the establishment of Anzac Park and the trees that he planted there in memory of the soldiers who fought in World War I.
Walter Frederick Wilson. Son of Walter Horatio Wilson. Judge of the land court and member of the Toowong Shire Council. Married to Ada Ethel Harding-Wilson, fourth child of Justice Harding. Their children were: Ethel Maud, Walter Horatio, Lionel (Yvonne's dad), Arundel Frederick Horatio and Ralph.
Frederick Joseph Docker. He was known to the family as Eric as he was married to Ethel Maud (Lionel's sister). The Docker's were a prominent family in Sydney, Australia. Eric's grandfather was Joseph Docker, who was a surgeon, a politician and a landowner in Sydney. Eric's uncle was Judge Ernest Brougham Docker, who was a district judge. Eric was an author, having published two books, and a noted associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Australia).
Lionel Sandys Harding-Wilson (February 8, 1893 - April 21, 1950). Born in Toowong, the second son of Walter Frederick and Ada Ethel Harding-Wilson. He went to work at the Head Office of the Queensland National Bank Ltd. on February 24, 1913. During World War I, he enlisted in the 1st Australian Division on August 18, 1914 (the very first day that enlistment opened in Brisbane, being one of the "first Anzacs") and served until 1918. He was seriously wounded on May 6, 1917, but healed well enough to go back to work as an officer in the Branch Accountants Department of the Q.N. bank on January 13, 1921. A car engine fell on his chest reopening his old war wound, rendering him an invalid and forcing him to take an early retirement on March 31. 1945. He died at the age of 57 and was cremated.
Lionel Harding-Wilson served his country in the following conflicts;
- Egypt. On September 24, 1914, his unit was shipped to Egypt aboard the Transport A5 S.S. Omrah, arriving December 2 as a member of the 9th Battalion (the 9th was the first one sent onto shore).
- Gallipoli Campaign. April 25, 1915 - withdrawal, December 19/20, 1915. Lionel was one of the first soldiers on shore on April 25, 1915, arriving at 4:30 am at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli.
- France and Flanders. July 23, 1916 - September 3, 1916, Battle of Pozieres. Lionel was wounded on July 23, 1916 and was sent to Brook War Hospital, London, England from July 27, 1916 - October 14, 1916. He rejoined the 9th Battalion Australian Imperial Forces in France on November 17, 1916.
- France. Lionel fought in the following battles in France, November 17, 1916 - May 6, 1917;
- Capture of Ligny-Thilloy. February 25, 1917 - March 2, 1917. On March 24, 1917 Lionel was made a temporary Corporal. (Noted in Lionel's war record: On February 25, Cpl. Wilson was in command of a bombing team, worked down a portion of the enemy's trench and established a bomb-stop while under heavy artillery and machine gun fire)
- German attack on Lagnicourt, April 15, 1917.
- Second Battle of Bullecourt, May 3 - May 17, 1917. During this battle, on May 6, Lionel was seriously wounded with gunshot wounds to the chest. The small bible that he kept in his left chest pocket took most of the bullets and saved his life. He was left for dead on the battle field and not discovered until the bodies were being cleared off of the field. Lionel was promoted to Lance Corporal on May 7, 1917 and ended up at the Edmonton Military Hospital in England on June 7, 1917.
Irene Joyce Wotherspoon (August 23, 1903 - 1980). Born in Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, the second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Wotherspoon. She was a nurse, and very involved, for over twenty five years, with the Red Cross; serving as president of the Toowong branch of the Red Cross in Queensland. On May 8, 1963 she received the International Red Cross Distinguished Service Award. In 1964 she was awarded a five month, around the world tour, meeting people that she knew or helped during her years of service to the Red Cross. During that trip she traveled to; Sacramento, California, Augusta, Georgia, Fort Gordon Red Cross Section, Georgia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, DeKalb, Illinois, Lawton, Oklahoma, New York and the Worlds Fair, London, England, Rome, Carthage and Singapore.
- ^ George Rogers Harding
- ^ http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/wilson-walter-horatio-9146
- ^ http://www.toowong.cemetery.org.au/images/Trails/Toowong%20Identities%20Tour%20Course%20B.pdf
- ^ http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/records/awm28/1/awm28-1-20part1-0118.pdf
Early Years (1927 to 1953)
Yvonne Doreen Harding-Wilson was born October 20, 1927, in Toowong, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, to Lionel Sandys Harding-Wilson and Irene Joyce Wotherspoon. Her father came from a long line of prominent and important people, which was not the case on her mother's side of the family. Yvonne's mother, Miss Wotherspoon had married into high society to which she was neither raised nor accustomed, and it created friction in her family as time wore on. Her grandmother, Mrs. Harding-Wilson, would continually make it a point to impress upon young Yvonne that she was not just a Wilson, but a Harding-Wilson!
The family lived in Toowong, at the corner of Dean and Wool Street which was just across the street from Anzac Park. This area was where most of the Hardings and the Wilsons lived or had lived; notably her grand uncles G.R. Harding and W.C. Harding. When Yvonne was a little over three years old, her sister was born; Margaret Gwendoline Harding-Wilson (b. November 4, 1930, Toowong d. 1986, Toowong). On February 6, 1932, Yvonne was christened at St. Barnabas Angelican Church, Ithaca, which was 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles) from her home. Her Godparents were Uncle Arundell (Lionel's younger brother), Aunt Ethel (Lionel's sister) and Aunt Marj (Lionel's cousin). During Yvonne's youngest years, her closest relationships were with her father, her Aunt Ethel (Lionel's sister), and her grandmother, Ada Harding-Wilson (Lionel's mother). Yvonne's childhood nickname was "EO".
At five years, four months of age, Yvonne was admitted to a hospital to have her tonsils and adenoids removed. Five weeks later, on April 15, 1933, she started school at Leumeah High School and Kindergarten, Toowong, 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) from her home. The Harding-Wilson's had a second home in Redcliffe, a place where the adventurous Yvonne got into her first big misadventure, as evidenced by this entry into her family scrap book - "April 18, 1934. Being now 6 years old took Margaret now 3 years for 4 mile walk along beach at Redcliffe. Mum & Dad had all the town searching for us, result - put to bed!"
Yvonne started her primary school on February 5, 1935, at St. Aidan's Anglican Girls' School, Corinda, which was 7.9 kilometers (4.9 miles) from her home. She was very active in school sports. On April 17, 1937, Yvonne participated in the Eisteddfod at the Church of England in Stanthorpe where she tied for first place in a performance at the piano. In May 1937, during a vacation in Redcliffe, Yvonne sprained her wrist while doing catherine wheels off a boat. Her first major boat trip was on December 17, 1938, when she was a passenger on the SS Canberra, sailing to Sydney where she spent seven weeks visiting several of her aunts. Her scrap book indicated that she loved every minute of the journey! Within a year, both of her grand uncles, G.R. and W.C Harding, passed away.
On September 3, 1939, Yvonne's scrap book noted that Great Britain had declared war on Germany. She and her mother became very involved with supporting the war effort through events that helped raise money for the Comforts Fund. During one event, Yvonne, nearly twelve years old by that time, performed the Snow Dance at a fund raising party held October 13, 1939. In 1940, her uncle, Eric Docker, published his second book and dedicated it to his brother-in-law, Lionel (Yvonne's dad). In May of that year, Yvonne went to Sydney on the "Flying Boat" to visit relatives for two months, and she returned home on the Douglas plane. Yvonne played in her first tennis match on November 25, 1940, and her team, St Aidan's, won 41 games to 36. One month later her Uncle Arundell took her on a motor tour to Sydney and back, a distance of 1848 kilometers (1094 miles), camping out at night along the way.
In early 1941, Yvonne attended school, went to parties and worked at the Red Cross. She even had the opportunity to visit the U.S. Fleet when it came into the Port of Brisbane in March. Her Uncle Ralph, (Lionel's youngest brother) and grandmother, Mrs. Harding-Wilson, took her to see the squadron of U.S. Navy ships, consisting of two cruisers and five destroyers. Afterwards they went to One Tree Hill where they met Rear Admiral John H. Newton (in command of the squadron), Commodore Spencer Louis and Captain Bowman, all of whom autographed her two American flags. These flags are still in the possession of her family. Two days later, her family had the opportunity to get a close up look at the USS Chicago and the USS Portland just before the fleet departed.
Yvonne was very active in school activities and sports. She went on her first hike in July of 1941, was chosen as captain of the netball team on August 23, and later on, the captain of the tennis team as well. On September 30, 1941, Yvonne was confirmed by Archbishop Wand at St. Thomas' Church of England, Toowong. (This was the same church that both the Hardings and Wilsons attended. Mr. Walter H. Wilson (Yvonne's great grandfather) had been its music director, and had donated his organ for their use. It was where Mr. and Mrs. Walter F. Wilson (Yvonne's grandparents) and Yvonne's parents were married, where Yvonne's father and her sister were christened, and where Yvonne and her sister Meg were to be married as well. It was located 1.35 kilometers (.84 miles) from Yvonne's family home). An entry in her scrap book notes that on December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. Her whole family felt the effects of the war. Fifteen days later her Uncle Arundell, as acting Company Sergeant-Major, answered the call-up of garrison reservists. On February 15, 1942, Yvonne's dad had an air raid shelter dug in their back yard in case of a bombing attack by the "Japs". By this time her mother, a nurse, had become very active with the Red Cross and was a co-founder of the First Aide Papier Mache Auxiliary. Due to the shortages caused by the war, this group created many useful articles out of papier mache and shipped them to hospitals in Great Britain. The Auxiliary also sent many other items that were needed: in particular, knitted baby clothes - some made from wool They also sent food. Yvonne's mother supervised a group of thirty-five workers at the first-aid post at Sherwood State School as well as a similar number at the Comforts Fund.
By January, 1944, Yvonne, now over sixteen years old, was a student at the University of Queensland, eventually enrolling in the Brisbane Kindergarten Training College; a branch of the University. On March 31, 1945, after twenty-five years of service with the bank, Yvonne's dad retired. The pain from his WWI wounds finally became too much for him to work. Around Christmas of that year, Yvonne and her sister spent some time at the Docker's (Lionel's sister and brother-in-law) home in Cremorne. Yvonne was becoming more and more independent, and she enjoyed attending many social events. She still lived at home so that she could help her father as best as she could. She was on the St.Aidans' Old Girls dance committee in June, 1946, where over 200 guest were expected to attend, as well as the Kindergarten Students' Ball committee in August.
The highlight of August, 1947, was the United Service Club Annual Ball. Even though the United Service Club had recently moved into the prestigious Montpelier Building, this venue was not large enough for the occasion, and it eventually took place at the Cloudland Ballroom, which in its time was the best ballroom in the Southern Hemisphere. A long list of attending dignitaries included the Governor-General (Mr. McKell) and his wife, Governor (Sir John) Lavarack and Lady Lavarack, Rear-Admiral G.E. Creasy R.N., Rear-Admiral H.B. Farncomb R.A.N., and many other officers of the armed services. About two thousand dancers attended the event! Yvonne was one of the twenty-three attending debutantes. Yvonne's mother, unaccustomed to life in high society, become envious and jealous of her daughter, and she took it out on Yvonne in various ways. After Yvonne's outings, her mom would require her to dust and clean the whole house before she was allowed to go to bed.
During her college years, Yvonne was captain of the women's tennis team. In December, 1947, Yvonne was one of fifteen students who graduated from the Brisbane Kindergarten Training College. Her report card consisted of mostly B's and C's along with a note - "Yvonne has a happy friendly disposition which endears her to children and adults. She shows a deep and sympathetic interest in the children and is alert to their individual needs. She is resourceful in her efforts to make their environment attractive and she enters happily into play with the children". After graduation, Yvonne and her sister went to their relatives in Sydney for a vacation. On Monday, January 26, 1948, Yvonne went to work as the co-director of the Ashgrove Kindergarten, about 5.4 kilometers (3.4 miles) from her home. It was during this time period that Yvonne started writing a kindergarten feature for the Sunday Mail of Brisbane. In all, Yvonne wrote on and off for a period of eleven years; the family still has copies of about three hundred of her children's stories (three of which are displayed below).
On her twenty-first birthday, Yvonne's parents threw her a little dinner party at their home. Afterwards, a friend asked her to go for a walk to the Toowong Progress Hall, where she found fifty of her friends and a surprise birthday party and dance in her honor! That same year Yvonne was at a party where she was the winner of a party game. It consisted of the participants, in turn, pulling a letter out of a hat, and within sixty seconds reciting off as many words as possible that started with that letter. Many new words were created that night, but Yvonne was the clear winner with a record score of forty-five words! In November, 1948, Yvonne attended her first horse race and later on the Melbourne Cup, which, for the first time, included a photo finish. Local newspapers frequently mentioned Yvonne and the events she attended, and that she was always immaculately dressed.
In 1950, the three people that she was closest to passed away: Yvonne's Aunt Ethel (Lionel's sister) in March, her dad on April 21 and then her Grandmother Ada (Lionel's mother) in October. Despite these family tragedies, she kept on with her social activities; teaching, attending parties and tennis matches. Two of her cousins were Australian Tennis Champions! During this time, Yvonne remained very active in setting up events. In 1951, she met her future husband, Peter F. Gillham, at one of her tennis functions. He was a chartered accountant working at R.G. Groom and Company.
Yvonne's mother was not fond of Peter, and even forbade Yvonne from dating him. One day when Peter called to ask Yvonne out, she replied that she could not, and was unwilling to give him a reason. Peter persisted and asked Yvonne what was going on. At that point, her mother took the phone from Yvonne and told Peter to never come to her house again. Enraged, Peter jumped into his car, drove over to Yvonne's home and knocked on the door. He kept banging and banging on the door until Yvonne's mother finally opened the door. She immediately pulled Peter inside and locked the door. Peter was bewildered by this action until he spied Yvonne walking back from the store. There he was, locked inside with Yvonne's mother and Yvonne locked out of the house! Peter pushed Yvonne's mother aside, unbolted the door, went out, and took hold of Yvonne. They jumped into Peter's car and drove off. For a while, Yvonne stayed at the kindergarten. Later on, she moved in with Peter's mother until her own mother regained her sense of propriety. Yvonne's mother eventually realized that Peter and Yvonne were going to get married with or without her permission, and to save face, she sanctioned the marriage.
In May, 1951, the wedding was announced at a party organized by Mrs. G.F Thompson in Toowong for their tennis friends. It was one of many parties held for Yvonne leading up to her marriage. In December, after three years as director of the Ashgrove Kindergarten, Yvonne resigned due to her upcoming wedding. In January, 1952, Yvonne's mother arranged a trousseau party at her home. Finally, on January 19, 1952, Yvonne and Peter were united in happy matrimony at St. Thomas' Church of England, Toowong. They spent their honeymoon at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast of Queensland. Later that year Yvonne considered modeling, even posing for some modeling pictures (see gallery below). The next year, in March, the happy couple welcomed their first child, Peter Jr..
Yvonne's kindergarten stories
The following stories are copyrighted and can only be used by permission from Yvonne's family.
Picture Gallery - The Early Years
Scientology in Australia (1953 to 1965)
In 1953, the Gillham family was living happily in Brisbane, with Peter still working for R.G. Groom & Company (located in the T&G building at the corner of Albert and Queen Streets, Brisbane). That was the year Yvonne's future was laid out before her, all because of one book! She was given Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health by her friend Mildred, who had been Yvonne's assistant director at the Ashgrove Kindergarten. Once Yvonne read the book she became very excited about Dianetics, even though her husband had no interest in it. That is, until one evening when Mildred showed up at their home and insisted on going over the book with him. After that both Peter and Yvonne formed a group of people who practiced Dianetics, in the evening at their home. On May 10, 1954, L. Ron Hubbard (LRH), who was in Arizona at the time, created a corporation, called the Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI), which was a professional organization of auditors. Peter wrote to Hubbard in August of 1954, asking where he could get more training in the subject. By late 1954, auditor training had been set up in Sydney and Melbourne, so plans were made for the family to move. But their move had to wait, because in November the Gillham family welcomed a daughter, Terri, to their family.
In January, 1955, the Gillham family moved to Sydney where Peter and Yvonne could further their studies in Scientology. For the next six months they stayed with Yvonne's Uncle Eric, who was seventy three years old. The team of Yvonne and Peter quickly became part of a prominent group of Scientologist's, who had opened course rooms and had begun delivering auditing to the general public from one of their offices on Bathhurst Street. Yvonne and Peter did the HPA course from May to July, that year. However, by March, 1956 Peter, who had been having difficulty making enough income to support the family, answered an advertisement for an accountant position in Euroa and moved the family there. He took over the clients of an accountant who operated in Shepparton. In Euroa, Peter started giving lectures on Scientology and advertising in the local paper. In his first week eight people showed up, but by the end of the week there was only one person left (that one person remains today as a friend of the family and has, as of 2012, two children still in the Sea Org). In May, 1956, the Gillhams welcomed another daughter, Janis. By June, Peter was doing so well that he bought out the accountant in Shepparton and owned the business outright. He was very active in the community; for example in July, he was teaching the basic steps of Judo to the boys of the Euroa Youth Club. Towards the end of 1956, the Euroa Free Kindergarten lost its director. They were very happy, after the first of the year, when Yvonne volunteered to fill that position.
Late 1958, the family moved once again, after adopting out three cats that the family had raised. The family moved to Melbourne where Peter started working for Hills Hoist, whose accounting was six months in arrears. When the Gillhams arrived in Melbourne they quickly made friends, one of whom was Wally Burgess. He worked for HASI Melbourne at the time. This organization had registered in Victoria as a foreign company and had practiced and applied Scientology at its location at 157 and 159 Spring Street, Melbourne, since about 1957. On December 13 & 14, 1958, the HASI conducted a Clearing Congress, complete with six hours of color films by L. Ron Hubbard. It was held at the Public Lecture Theater of the University of Melbourne; Yvonne helped with this event.
Peter and Yvonne created The Melbourne College of Personnel Efficiency on February 17, 1959, in which they disseminated and practiced Scientology. During this time both Peter and Yvonne were very active in their community, plus Yvonne had partnered with Mrs. Roger Meadmore in a new wedding planning service. At Hills Hoist, Peter took only two months to catch up all their accounting, all without staying for any overtime, and by mid 1959 had their books in such good order that there wasn't enough work to keep him busy. Peter then opened his own accounting firm, in an office on Collins Street, in the financial district of Melbourne. By this time Peter and Yvonne's Scientology franchise was up and running well. In fact at one lecture Peter had so many people that he had to assign some of the attendees to Yvonne. She hated standing up in front of people and would rather sit around a coffee table with cups of tea to disseminate. This was to be her first time lecturing in front of people, so up she stood and then promptly fainted. Peter had to be called in to bring her back around! Their Scientology franchise had become so successful that Yvonne had to quit the wedding planning business so that she could devote more of her time to Scientology. By November 1959, Yvonne and Peter had their wish for further training come true in a major way. L. Ron Hubbard came to Melbourne and delivered six lectures at the Melbourne Congress on November 7 and 8. He then delivered thirty two lectures from November 9 to November 30, at the 1st Melbourne Advanced Clinical Course.
The next year the family took a vacation to Brisbane in their Holden. On the way back from Brisbane they stopped in to see Uncle Eric for a few days. Eric tried teaching the children the game of billiards. He took to handing out money to them like it was nothing, which Yvonne felt was too much. She had her children give part of the money back to her and then she would sneak it back into Eric's drawer! On June 1st, 1961, the Gillhams moved their Scientology franchise, now known as the Melbourne College of Personal Efficiency, to an imposing house at 39 Riversdale Road, Hawthorn. The house used to be a toll house and a place for travelers to stay during the days of horse and carriages. The house had two huge rooms which were used for the mission class rooms and reception, plus a garage as well as stables in the back. The Gillhams moved there and used the three bedrooms, a game room and a living room for their personal use. The family acquired Snowy (the budgie), a turtle as well as some guinea pigs.
In early May 1962, Peter closed his accounting office so that both he and Yvonne could travel to England for the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course (SHSBC). Hubbard had purchased the Saint Hill Manor in 1959. The Manor became the headquarters for world-wide Scientology. In March 1961, Hubbard created the SHSBC, which was the pinnacle of training in Scientology at that time. Noel Barton was hired to run the Gillham's Scientology franchise while they were in England. The Gillhams took their daughters, Terri (7 years old) and Janis (6 years old), to stay with Peter's parents, Frank and Jean Gillham, in Brisbane so that Peter, Yvonne and Peter Jr. (9 years old) could go to England. Peter's parents, having raised only boys, were delighted to have the girls. Yvonne's mother still had issues with Peter and even more issues with their involvement with Scientology. Her mother even went so far as telling Yvonne that she would be cut out of her will, but Yvonne did not care as Scientology was more important than her mother's money. Despite this the family did stop by Yvonne's mother's house for a visit. In mid-1962 Peter's dad fell ill and had to be hospitalized, at which point Terri and Janis stayed with Yvonne's sister for a few weeks and then with Peter's older brother while Jean cared for her husband. Unfortunately Frank Gillham passed away in August of 1962, while Peter and Yvonne were still in England; the girls then returned to the care of their Grandmother Jean. While his parents were at Saint Hill, Peter Jr. made friends with the Hubbard's children (Peter is pictured playing with Suzette while Ron talks with staff and students at Saint Hill) (Peter Snr. is wearing gray sport coat standing behind LRH).
Right before Christmas 1962, after spending months doing the SHSBC, the Gillhams returned from England and Peter started up a new accounting practice in Melbourne. Shortly afterwards, on December 31, 1962, Uncle Eric passed away, leaving an inheritance to Yvonne and Peter, which was partly used, in April 1963, to purchase their first house at 33 Kingsley Street, Camberwell. The family wanted Peter Jr. to be in the Camberwell school system when he entered high school (7th grade). Part of the inheritance included the furniture, gold plates, and silver serving ware that used to belong to Judge Harding, which then became part of the Gillham household. The Gillhams still had the Melbourne College of Personal Efficiency, even running ads for it in the Age.
Yvonne was very active in the mother/daughter swim races at the Olympic Women's Swim Club while Peter was involved in the men's Olympic Swim Team. Peter and Peter Jr., were an unbeatable team, winning every father and son swim race that the club put on. Now that the family had their own home the children were allowed to have a dog, in addition to the cat, Tibbsy, that they had already adopted. However the first dog, Midget (an Australian Terrier), hated the children and only liked Yvonne! One day, the side gate to the back yard had been left open, and when Midget made her escape, none of children minded at all. Yvonne ran ads looking for Midget to no avail; however someone called and had found Herbie (a Scottish Terrier) with no one claiming him, so Herbie became their new pet. One day Yvonne was walking past a pet store and spied a Cocker Spaniel puppy looking at her. His eyes told her to buy him so she did; right on the spot without even consulting anyone in her family. She told everyone that Herbie needed a friend, even though the two of them, Herbie and Cuddles, didn't get along! As a homemaker Yvonne made Terri and Janis's play clothes and also taught them how to sew on her sewing machine and to knit. Unfortunately for the family, Yvonne's culinary skills needed some improvement. Food was usually burnt, including toast, and she was one for experimenting and adding things not called for in the recipes.
By the end of 1963, dark clouds were beginning to form over Scientology in Australia. The medical profession, in particular the Mental Health Authority, was taking a dim view of Scientology; so much so that an Order in Council created a Board of Inquiry into Scientology on November 27, 1963. The board convened on December 6, 1963, at the Flemington Court House, Flemington, Australia and after certain formalities took place the board reconvened at HASI Melbourne on Spring Street where the contents of thirty five filing cabinets were tendered into evidence. The records were left at the HASI, with the understanding that they would be produced when needed. The next year the inquiry really got down to business. It reconvened on February 17, 1964, in the National Herbarium, Birdwood Avenue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Yvonne and Peter testified before this board of inquiry, often ending up in the newspapers and on TV. At the time Rosemary Stevens worked for the Gillhams as their full time secretary/receptionist and averaged only four pounds per week. On March 13, 1964, Rosemary's mother testified before the board that her daughter's reserves were quickly being depleted due to the low wages. Yvonne's mother did everything that she could to distance herself from all this controversy, which included cutting Yvonne and her family out of her will. After winning an award from the Red Cross, Yvonne's mother left Australia in May 1964, and embarked on a five month, around the world trip.
Meanwhile the inquiry dragged on and on. The board had come to HASI and witnessed several auditing sessions, listened to tapes by Hubbard, read confessional folders, and completed a thorough investigation of the financial affairs of the Scientology organizations in Victoria. The board of inquiry recorded in detail the income of the Melbourne College of Personal Efficiency all the way back to 1958. Initially, the Scientologists welcomed this investigation. But as time wore on, it was evident that the results would not be favorable to them. On November 30, 1964, they formally withdrew from participating in the inquiry. The negative publicity stemming from this inquiry created a substantial curtailment of Scientology; staff were let go and the Academy of Scientology at 2 Coates Lane, Melbourne, was closed. In school the Gillham children were ostracized for being Scientologists, their friends parents telling their children not to play with the Gillhams. Yvonne set up the 8-80 club, with monthly gatherings at different peoples homes, in order to keep the group going. Peter and Yvonne moved their College to 235 Camberwell Road, Hawthorn on December 12, 1964, with ads being placed for their Scientology franchise as late as February 1965.
The final sitting of the Board of Inquiry was held on April 21, 1965. In all; 151 witnesses had been interviewed (100 pro Scientology), 8,920 pages of transcripts had been recorded over the 160 days that the board had been active. Scientologists could sense the oncoming hostile environment in Victoria and some preventative measures were taken. Yvonne stayed in Melbourne with Peter Jr. and Janis while Peter Sr. and Terri took E-meters to Adelaide for safe keeping. LRH told Peter Williams, the ED of the HASI, to request an internal inquiry thinking it would resolve the issues with the government. The inquiry resulted in Yvonne’s declare (kicked out of Scientology). In June, 1965, Yvonne, while getting auditing on R6EW at the HASI, had just come out of session when she was met by the Ethics Officer, HASI Melbourne, who told Yvonne that she was declared. Yvonne was accused of ripping off public (and thus income) from HASI. The responsibility of franchises was to get new people into Scientology, give them basic services and then send them on to the HASI for advanced services. However the team of Yvonne and Peter, both SHSBC graduates, had created such a wonderful environment at their Scientology franchise that their public wanted to stay with them. The HASI, during that time period, is remembered as being dark, dingy, dirty and an unfriendly place to be in. It got to a point where even the public of HASI wanted to go to the Gillhams franchise for their services.
Peter had gotten a second and Yvonne used their white Simca, which had no seat belts, for errands in and around the city. Right after her declare Yvonne was in a hurry to get her children to swimming practice, so to avoid rush hour traffic she took the back streets. However that route just happened to include a big ditch right in the middle of the road, in which Yvonne ended up. Yvonne instinctively threw her arm out and saved Terri, who was in the passenger seat, from hitting her head on the windshield. Yvonne hit the steering wheel with her head, which cracked the plastic on the steering wheel and gave her a huge black eye, and her children in the back seat all hit the roof with their heads. Peter had to hire a tow truck to get the car out of the ditch.
On September 28, 1965, the board submitted the Anderson Report, which contained 173 foolscap pages along with 19 appendices, to the Victorian legislature. The report stated that Scientology was evil and without any worthwhile redeeming features. By that time it was evident that things were going to get ugly for the Scientology community in Victoria, as Victorian Premier Sir Henry Bolte had publicly announced that the Government was duty bound to act on the Board's recommendations.
Having been declared, Yvonne could no longer run their Scientology franchise. None of her public or Scientology friends could talk to her, although most still did. Peter had to move out of their home in order to disconnect from his wife. Yvonne didn't even have any family in Melbourne: they all lived in Brisbane. The declare destroyed her life, as her whole existence centered in and around Scientology. According to HASI, Yvonne was the why for their stats down trending and there was no changing of the declare forthcoming from them. Yvonne's only recourse was to go to Scientology headquarters in England to have it rescinded. On December 9, 1965, she left her children and husband, and headed off to England!
Picture Gallery - Scientology in Australia
- ^ http://www.wiseoldgoat.com/papers-scientology/popup-windows/scn_hasi_contract.html
- ^ a b http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/audit/ar01.html
Scientology in England (1965 to 1966)
During her trip to Saint Hill, Yvonne stopped over in Hong Kong where she bought some gifts for her children; little transistor radios and Chinese silk pajamas. Terri's birthday celebration in November just wasn't the same without her mother. While Yvonne was in England getting her declare lifted, the situation for Scientology in Australia was going from bad to worse! The Victorian legislature's passage of the Psychological Practices Act, 1965 on December 22, 1965, made it a criminal offense to practice Scientology. Less than thirty minutes after the law took effect the police raided the HASI in Melbourne. When they arrived they found two five-gallon dustbins of burning files behind the building, as well as a file that someone had passed through a side window into a waiting car. In all, the authorities seized about four thousand documents, and HASI was ordered to cease and desist the practice of Scientology. Peter and the children attended a huge BBQ, where all the PC folders were at the bottom of the fire, and everyone hung out partying until the last folder was burnt! One person even buried their PC folder in the compost pile in their backyard. Peter rented a station wagon and built a false bottom in it. He hid E-meters and piled camping gear over it so that he could smuggle the meters out of the state to Adelaide.
Christmas that year was celebrated while Yvonne was thousands of miles from home. The children stayed at various people's homes while Peter worked or someone came to the house to cook, clean and to help take care of them, one of whom was Wilma Pouw. At times police actually showed up at Peter's home to check and make sure that no one was practicing Scientology! One day Cuddles, their pet Cocker Spaniel, was run over and passed away. While Yvonne was in England she sent letters, as well as reel to reel tapes with messages to her family. Phone calls from Yvonne were met with many tears on the children's part, even if they were staying with another family, like Bill and Betty Blundell for a week; they missed their mother so much.
In England, Saint Hill was experiencing a tremendous boom in production, and after Yvonne handled her declare she was recruited to be on staff. This helped Yvonne support herself while her family was still in Australia. Towards the later part of March, 1966, Ron Budgeon returned to Melbourne from England with a slide show of pictures, made by LRH, promoting coming to Saint Hill. By that time Yvonne and Peter had decided to move the rest of the family to England, where they could practice Scientology freely. With promises to the children of trampolines, swimming clubs etc., they made plans for moving. In England, Yvonne went about coordinating everything so that not only her children but other families could easily arrive at Saint Hill. For the next two months Peter did everything that he could to enable his children to rejoin their mother in England. Peter borrowed the money for the fares, and took time off work to arrange passage and see to all the other details necessary for his family's six-week sea voyage to England. Guardians, who had to wrap up their lives in Australia, had to be found to accompany the children. Peter arranged for all the judge's furniture, that Yvonne had inherited from her uncle Eric, to be put into shipping crates. Peter's mother came down, from Brisbane and stayed with the family to care for the children and spend time with them before they left. Finally at the end of May 1966, with guardians David and Peppie Kent, the children left for England aboard the ship "Fairsky"; Peter Jr. was thirteen, Terri was eleven and Janis had just turned ten.
On July 5, 1966 the ship pulled into Southampton, England, where Yvonne had arranged to meet them. With nearly 1,500 people disembarking, it took a long time to get off the ship just to wait in another line to go through immigration. The family's cargo, which included tea chests packed with the gold-trimmed dishes and silver servicing ware that had been passed down through the family to Yvonne from her great grandfather, Judge Harding, had been unloaded during the night and was waiting for them at customs. The children expected to see their mother, and searched through the huge crowd of screaming and hugging family members to no avail; they could not find her. Finally, the new arrivals sat, with their luggage, atop of the shipping containers and waited. By the time Yvonne opened the big warehouse door and saw her children, all the other passengers had left . Yvonne had meant to be there before her family got through customs but a flat tire, during her 148 kilometer (93 miles) trip from Saint Hill, delayed her. Everyone piled into Roz Vosper's car and headed back home; Yvonne having made arrangements for the cargo to be delivered the next day. While in England, Yvonne had stayed with Roz and Cyril Vosper. However, due to the arrival of her children, she arranged for a room at a boarding house owned by Cal and Val Wigney. The Gillhams had the front room of the boarding home, which was also the largest room in the house. It was big enough for a large bed for Yvonne, Terri, and Janis, with a roll away bed for Peter Jr. The next day the children got to see Yvonne's newly purchased car, bought with what little money she had saved up from working at Saint Hill. It was big and black, with doors that opened backwards, and had to be hand cranked to start in cold weather. Yvonne introduced her children to everyone, even to a man known as Haskell Cooke, who had a cute little red sports car. When the twelve crates of cargo arrived, all their contents moved in with them, stacked wherever there was room. Eventually a young Danish man finished his courses at Saint Hill and left, freeing up a closet at the top of the stairs, just large enough for Peter Jr.'s bed.
The Gillham family settled into life at 27 St. James's Road, the children making friends with all the kids on the street and in the boarding house. Yvonne and Phoebe Maurer worked in the Monkey Room at Saint Hill, out of which they ran the entire Mission/Franchise network. The room got its name because of the monkeys that Sir Winston Churchill's nephew had painted on all of the walls. LRH had ordered the paintings covered in plastic to protect and preserve them. Yvonne's youngest daughter, Janis, created a job for herself by bringing her mother and Phoebe coffee from the canteen every day after school. Around mid July Yvonne, her children and several hundred other people all loaded up into vans and buses and went to the Heathrow Airport to welcome the arrival of LRH, from Rhodesia. That summer, Yvonne's children quickly became close friends with LRH's children, partly because Peter Jr. had gotten to know them when he was there with his parents in 1962 and because all the children had become pen pals through the years.
On September 22, 1966, Yvonne went Clear. She was Clear #43, having done her solo auditing (most of the time in her car) while her children were either horseback riding, swimming or in other activities. Meanwhile in Australia, Peter Sr. had been busy wrapping up his business affairs, selling their home and helping his fellow Scientologists arrange their move to England. Finally, on September 26, 1966, Peter Sr. arrived in England. While he was happy to see his wife, he was miserable. With everything that had happened - Yvonne's declare, their being separated for so long, plus Haskell Cooke in her life - Yvonne and Peter had decided to separate, but to still remain friends. Haskell was of Mexican descent, rather wild and crazy and seemingly without a care in the world. He loved to pound on any piano or guitar that he could get his hands on.
Peter's focus, however, was on continuing to provide for his whole family. He wanted a place for everyone to live, and rented a house at 6 Hammerhead Road, Ashurst Wood. It was large enough to allow him to take the master room upstairs, for Peter Jr. to have a room of his own, for Terri and Janis to share a third, and for Yvonne and Haskell to live downstairs in the guest room. As he wanted his family to have good transportation, he bought a blue Morris 1100. Peter got a job at Saint Hill and also picked up some accounting and management work for a wealthy Texas man, Elmo Troop. Elmo had a company in England, Troop Rowlands Property Investments. One of their properties was the Apsley Arms; a pub and inn in Dormansland. The family quickly adopted a cat named Tigger who, later on, was joined by another cat named Elsa. The Gillhams enrolled their children onto a children's Dianetics class, which kept them busy when not attending the local school.
Sea Org (1966 to founding of Celebrity Centre)
During November, 1966, Yvonne signed up for a special project in Scientology, not even letting her family know what she had done. Back in August of that year, less than a month after LRH returned from Rhodesia, he had started laying plans for a new secret operation: The Sea Project. He purchased a ship named the Enchanter, a sixty-five foot ketch, and gathered together crew members. LRH wrote the projects first order, Ships Order #1, on August 24, 1966, naming Anton James as mate, John Lawrence as engineer and diver, Ray Thacker as purser and himself as captain. On November 22, 1966, LRH incorporated the Hubbard Explorational Company Ltd, (HEC). Its purpose was to explore the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and waters, lands and buildings in any part of the world and to seek for, survey, examine and test properties of all kinds. LRH also issued an Executive Directive (ED) on November 22, 1966 which created a temporary Central Committee with Yvonne posted as the Committee Communicator. In this ED the Sea Project was named as an approved OT Project. LRH had Saint Hill send him recruits for the Sea Project, but he soon became upset with this first group of people. He felt that Saint Hill was sending him DB's, people that Saint Hill wanted off their staff. LRH wanted a very good crew for the Sea Project so in late November a notice was posted on the reception notice board, at Saint Hill, for volunteers for a special Scientology project. The notice listed the following requirements; nautical experience, a passport, being a SHSBC graduate, a clear, and a staff member with proven upstats. Yvonne met the requirements easily and thus became one of the charter members of this project. The members met in the basement of Saint Hill and practiced such things as knot tying. Once a week they would go to the south coast to a little a sailing boat, which belonged to Virginia Downsborough, and practice seamanship drills - activities that were fun and that taught them how to sail, somewhat.
Meanwhile, Australians were showing up at Saint Hill, many of whom were Yvonne and Peter's public from their Melbourne Scientology franchise. The Gillhams assisted around one hundred Australian families in their relocation to England, as a result of the ban of Scientology in Victoria. Christmas, 1966, was strained for the Gillhams, because Peter and Yvonne had recently become officially separated and neither parent had much money (as Yvonne was working for Saint Hill and Peter had just started working again). Unknown to the children at the time, it was the last Christmas they would ever spend with their mother. Shortly after the creation of the HEC, LRH bought an old rusty North Sea trawler named the Avon River and by March, 1967, Yvonne was at the Victoria Dock in Hull where the Avon River was moored. Yvonne had said her goodbyes to her children and told them she was going off to join the Sea Project by special invitation from Hubbard. Haskell was going with her, and she promised that she would send for her children soon. Eight months after being reunited with their mother, Yvonne was gone again; leaving before her son's fourteenth birthday, the third week of that same month.
In Hull, Yvonne was put to work as crew of the Avon River. Other Sea Project members, that arrived after Yvonne, described the Avon River as listing about 10 degrees, rusted, battered and pushed to her limits by previous owners. Being a fishing boat, the Avon River's decks were covered in about two inches of solid petrified fish oil, all of which had to be scraped off. For several weeks the crew worked long hours during the day, getting the boat ready for use. At night they worked on the seamanship checksheets, and hit their bunks totally exhausted. While doing the docking drills the novice crew snapped mooring lines and rammed the ship up against the concrete dock. On April 3, 1967 John Lawrence, a director of the HEC, published a hat write up containing the Avon River captain's duties. In it he directed the captain of the Avon River to take responsibility to get the ship away to its destination.
In May the Avon River finally left Hull for Las Palmas, where the Enchanter was already under refit for use as a Sea Project training vessel. As the Avon River was no speedboat, her average speed being around 6 knots, the roughly 1,900 nautical mile trip to Las Palmas should have taken about two weeks. However, the novice crew, as yet inexperienced and unsalted, ran into various issues, some of which were of their own making. The first of these were engine room problems that forced the crew to pull into Harwich for repairs. Once back underway, they ran into rough weather, and the crew got their first experience of real seasickness. During their next stop in Falmouth to take on fuel and supplies for the remainder of the long trip south to Las Palmas, the crew spilled black bunker fuel all over the Avon River's deck and into the water. The Falmouth harbor officials intervened and sent out boats and crews to take control and clean up the spill. In their haste to depart Falmouth, the Avon crew failed to pull the anchor chain all the way in to lock the anchor against the hawsepipe, leaving the anchor banging on the ship's hull the rest of day and all of the night until they got it correctly secured. The Avon River's captain, acting on Hubbard's orders, headed west until they reached the specified longitude on which they were to sail south to Las Palmas. Hubbard wanted the crew to stay away from the major shipping lanes until they had more sea experience. A fierce squall arose as the crew crossed the Bay of Biscay, and it tossed the ship around like a cork in a bathtub. After four hours, the seas calmed down to a gentle swell, but more engine trouble required the captain to shut it down, with the ship drifting, in order to fix the problems. The Avon River finally anchored at Las Palmas at the later part of May. Yvonne and a few other brave souls even went for a swim in the harbor water.
Once the Avon River was in Las Palmas, LRH came aboard to visit and give orders for its refit, even while the ship was still in the water. When LRH heard of the incident in the Bay of Biscay he became furious that the captain had not heeded his orders to avoid that area. Some of the crew started work in the engine room, cleaning and installing an automatic oiling system for the triple expansion steam engine. During this time Yvonne was acting as Chief Steward and also as LRH Steward, when Hubbard was visiting. As Chief Steward she was responsible for the needs of the ships company with respect to the serving of food, laying and clearing of tables, berthing, linen, laundry and the cleaning of the common domestic areas of the ship. When Hubbard was around, her job as LRH Steward, was to see to his needs; a position that endeared her to Hubbard. A base office for the project was set up in Las Palmas and a villa named Estrella, about fifteen minutes outside of Las Palmas, was rented for Hubbard's use. Walkie-talkies were used to maintain communication to the different locations, each one with a different channel. The Estrella was assigned channel A, the Avon River channel B, the base office channel C, and the Enchanter channel D. LRH used the base office to coordinate all the work that was being done on the two ships. His first series of orders, for the Sea Project in Las Palmas, were called base orders. LRH disliked the relationship between Yvonne and Haskell, and in his manner did whatever he could to curtail it; Base Order #9 ordered Cooke restricted to the Avon River for a period of ten days.
Base Order #21, dated June 11, 1967, listed eleven different sets of uniforms for the crew, sets that were assigned based on the kind of job the crew member was doing. LRH made three of the crew officers, which set of uniforms included an officer cap. One day one of the officers walked importantly around the repair yard in his new cap, looking somewhat like an ice cream salesman. Some of the crew had Yvonne go up to him and order one vanilla and two strawberry ice creams; which was not met with any amusement on the officer's part! By the third week of June, when Amos Jessup arrived, the Avon River was being hauled onto the ways at Bazan's Shipyard. Yvonne was posted as checksheet and checkout review officer as well as hostess of the Avon River. Her job required her to make sure that the crew had the proper Scientology and seamanship study materials and were actually learning them, plus as hostess she was in charge of all public relations. Amos recalled his first meeting with LRH. Hubbard was inspecting the wood cradle on which the Avon River rested while she was out of the water for her refit. Yvonne had readied a silver tray for him with his favorite diet soda, Tab. Amos, green as grass as a new Sea Project recruit, asked Yvonne if he could carry the tray down the long ladder on the side of the ship to LRH. Yvonne, without hesitation, readily agreed, even though she realized she might be gravely erring in entrusting one of her special duties as Hubbard's Personal Steward to someone she did not even know. Amos loved Yvonne, as she was an endless source of energy, friendliness, compassion and help, a joy to have around. About the only time her energy flagged was during the study periods in the petty officer's mess hall. After a hard day of hard physical labor she'd slip into a deep slumber ten minutes into reading, but when she awoke, she was all full of energy once again. During the refit the crew ate aboard the Avon River. Base Order #76, dated June 30, 1967, appointed Yvonne as a temporary cook.
Yvonne, having missed two of her children's birthdays (Peter Jr. in March and Janis in May), was able to get back to England for a visit sometime in July. Peter Sr. took the children to the airport in London to meet Yvonne as she arrived. Many tears accompanied the event as Yvonne was only able to stay for a few days. Yvonne told her children that she was working it out for them to come and join her, although her children had no idea as to what she was doing or where she was even living. Back in Las Palmas, Base Order #124, dated August 7, 1967, established the ship's meal times at 8 am, 12 noon and 6 pm. The Avon River's hull and superstructure were sand blasted down to bare metal, anodes were replaced, and the ship was repainted. Cooke and Yvonne were still together aboard the Avon River, even though he got pretty drunk at night during the refit. Base Order #134, dated August 9, 1967, noted that Haskell Cooke was AWOL from the Avon River. He had been up in the scaffolding painting the Plimsoll line when he tripped and fell to the ground. Cooke sustained a blow to the head and fractured both his knee and his back. He blew the next day and never returned, eventually going back to Mexico.
On August 12, 1967, LRH issued Flag Order number 1, which created the Sea Organization (Sea Org). In this order he appointed himself as Commodore of the Sea Org and declared that the Avon River was now a flag vessel, the maritime headquarters of the Sea Org fleet. In that order Yvonne was posted as Flag Hostess of the ship. Her duties consisted chiefly of: public relations, interesting the public in the ships activities, and ensuring that good relations were kept with the local officials. That flag order also posted Yvonne as the Commodore's Steward, her duties being to care for the Commodore's quarters, clothes and meals while the Avon River was afloat. It also ordered Yvonne to report to Estrella to carry out her duties. During this time, in Las Palmas, there were occasions when the crew was able to relax with LRH. One night, three crew members visited Hubbard at his villa. LRH asked what they would like to drink. Yvonne, as Hubbard's steward, served them all, and they partied until the wee hours of the morning.
While at Estrella, Ron told Yvonne that she was one of the chosen; a loyal officer. He told her she had been the key person in the failure to make everyone on earth a complete slave. At first she was awed by this statement. But he then told special people had to stick together and made advances towards her. Yvonne was shocked when she realized what his intentions were. She was confused, but also felt guilty because she could not go along with what he was suggesting. He was furious to be spurned, and ordered her demoted to taking care of his laundry, shoes, etc. She told no one what had happened with Hubbard, and quietly accepted the punishment. That summer, when Mary Sue Hubbard came to visit her husband, she found out about Yvonne living at Estrella with LRH, as his steward. She had a fierce blowup with him. After the argument, Mary Sue came to Yvonne and consoled her; saying that despite men's position in life, they were basically all the same. That experience had a lasting effect on Yvonne that she was never able to fully resolve; she felt betrayed, yet she loved him for his accomplishments.
By the middle of August the Sea Org crew was thought to have been trained in seamanship and Sea Org technology. LRH ordered Bill Robertson to create an exam that would test the crews' knowledge. This exam was then given to the Sea Org crew, including Hubbard (who scored at 95%). The results of the mates exam were published in Flag Order #53, dated August 25, 1967. Twenty-five crew members took the exam; Ray Thacker placed second at 79%, Yvonne scored 54.5%. On September 2, 1967, Flag Order #89 placed both Joe Van Staden (third mate) and Bob Smith (medical officer) into a condition of non-existence (the lowest condition at the time) for failing to take effective action when Haskell Cooke fell; which LRH had just discovered. The assignment of this condition was an ethics action, which was designed to allow crew to atone for their mistakes. Crew members in non-existence were not entitled to a berth, ship's uniforms, ship's food, or to mingle with or speak with other crew; they simply did not exist. Additionally, they had to complete their amends project in their own time, between 10:30 pm and 8 am.
By September, the two ships, Enchanter and the Avon River, were nearly ready for full time duty as ships of the Sea Org. Each one had been refitted and cleaned up. On September 13, the Enchanter was sent on a mission to the Mediterranean, but had to stop in Arrecife three days later to repair its propeller shaft. During this time Yvonne was having trouble and was the unhappiest that anyone had ever seen her. Hana Eltringham, one of the Sea Org crew, who had been delivering telexes and packages to LRH and picking up his replies and orders, was finally able to get Yvonne to open up about what was bothering her. She was deeply troubled because of the advances from LRH, her loss of Haskell Cooke and finally the fact that her children were still in England. From the beginning of her time in the Sea Project, Yvonne had continually begged LRH for her children to join her. Hubbard kept promising that her children could join her in a few months, but more and more time kept going by and still LRH said, not now, soon. Yvonne swore her friend to secrecy about Hubbard's advances toward her; no one was to ever know, especially her children. LRH had Yvonne investigated by issuing Flag Order #183, dated September 28, 1967, which ordered the Master at Arms to find out why she was not performing her duties. Two days later, as a result of the investigation, LRH issued Flag Order #201 (see a copy of the order in the picture gallery below), which placed Yvonne in a state of non-existence and reduced her to the rank of swamper, the lowest position in the Sea Org. Yvonne's amends project consisted of chipping and repainting an old steam radiator. She was in despair as there was no way in the world she could remove all the old paint from inside the radiator ribs. Someone told her to take the radiator to the top of the stairwell leading down to the officers' quarters and clatter the front of the radiator with a large file. After a few minutes of CLACK-CLACK-CLACK-CLACK, one of the officers screamed "Yvonne, Go to bed"! Flag Order #206, dated October 2, 1967, reprimanded Yvonne for giving Mary Sue Hubbard a false report concerning moving of gear from Estrella, as well as failing to apply the Non-Existence formula. She was ordered to chip all hatches, working each morning before 8 a.m.On October 10, 1967, Flag Order #232, gave every Sea Org member an amnesty if they wanted to resign. motto of the Sea Org was "WE COME BACK".
By this time a Sea Org member was already in Glasgow, Scotland buying another ship, the 300-foot Royal Scotsman, which was then delivered to Southampton. LRH ordered the Avon River to sail to Gibraltar, make arrangements for the arrival of the newly purchased ship, and then await its arrival. On November 8, 1967, Flag Order #277 appointed Yvonne as the deputy Commodore's steward, based on the Avon River. The Avon River left Las Palmas and headed to Gibraltar. After the ship docked, about ten crew members, nicknamed "the Delivery Crew", flew to Southampton with Hubbard to get the Royal Scotsman ready for the cruise to Gibraltar. However, the British Board of Trade required the ship to meet the British SOLAS (Safety of Life At Sea), which it did not, before they would permit the ship to depart, thus delaying the planned departure day. While all of this was going on Yvonne managed to get back to England to see her children, if only for a week. She was busy making arrangements for her children to join her in the Sea Org. With the purchase of a larger ship, children would now be allowed to be with their parents. Yvonne took advantage of the little time that she had with her children; taking them to Hastings Castle and the Tower of London, something she had promised to do when they first arrived in England, but never did.
In order to get the Royal Scotsman cleared to leave England, all without the necessary documentation, LRH sent Hana Eltringham on a mission back to Las Palmas. Once there, Hana had the Sea Org's Las Palmas based lawyer accompany her to Sierra Leone where they re-registered the ship under the Sierra Leonese flag. The people in Sierra Leone had misspelt the name of the ship to Royal Scotman, which LRH felt was a bonus in getting around the British regulations. Finally, on November 28, 1967, the ship left England; cleared to sail to Brest, France. However, LRH never intended for the ship to arrive in Brest. Instead he sailed the ship straight for Gibraltar in order to join up with the Avon River. The British, furious that Hubbard had defied them, sent this information to the English government in Gibraltar. When the Royal Scotman arrived near Gibraltar they were refused entry into the port, all this in spite of the fact that the ship was being bashed about in a terrible storm and was operating under her emergency steering. The only choice left to LRH was to continue cruising on into the Mediterranean, in the hopes of finding a port that would allow them in. The Royal Scotman finally anchored off of Ibiza where John O'Keefe was rowed ashore with orders from LRH to head to Gibraltar. O'Keefe was ordered to take command of the Avon River as captain and sail it to Cagliari, Sardinia. With supplies running very low, the Royal Scotman finally anchored off of Monte Carlo where they resupplied the ship. The Royal Scotman then sailed to Cagliari, where the Avon River was to join them. On December 11, 1967 the Avon River, with Yvonne aboard, left the port of Gibraltar, despite the fact that other boats were heading into the port, due to a storm brewing in the Mediterranean.
For some reason O'Keefe headed the Avon River northward between Valencia and Majorca, where they encountered a fierce storm. Blake Huffam was in the engine room during this storm. The storm got so violent that at times he was thrown from one side of the engine room to the other, a distance of some forty feet! Yvonne had come down the stairs of the engine room and had remained seated, on the bottom step, helping Blake stay focused and somewhat calm, and all the while listening to all that Blake was worried about. With twenty eight people aboard, Blake was the person responsible for keeping the engines running. With Yvonne sitting there in the engine room, Blake eventually calmed down and set about tending to the engine, the generator, the boiler, the rudder, the hydraulics, essentially everything that was keeping the ship under power. The main line in the hydraulic steering system started leaking because of the constant pounding of the ship by the stormy seas. Blake knew that if he were to tighten the line too much it could break and the ship's steering would be lost. He had to use two buckets to catch the hydraulic fluid and as the reservoir was on the bridge, every thirty minutes he had to take a bucket up there and refill the tank. This was dangerous as it had to be done in between the six to eight foot waves that were sweeping across the deck. One wave swept the life raft off the poop deck. On the bridge Fred Payer had his foot braced against the window to keep it from being smashed in. When the main compass on the bridge went out, Yvonne and one other crew member had to relay the reading from the gyro compass in the tween deck area. Twenty-two hours into the violent storm the boiler had used up all of its fresh water; they had not completely filled the tanks before heading out. Blake had no choice but to open the seacock and use salt water in the boiler.
For two days they fought this awful storm. Seeking shelter from the storm, the Avon River headed to Ibiza. Finally they reached the lee side of Ibiza and were able to pull into a port for respite. This cruise is noted as the scariest sea passage in the history of the Sea Org. O'Keefe's telexed message to LRH told the tale - "This was a rough, tough one...". From there the Avon River headed towards Cagliari, but before it reached the port LRH sent lifeboat number eight (the only lifeboat on the Royal Scotman that had a motor) out to meet them. The Avon River looked beaten and bruised with pieces of it missing. Craig Lipsitz and Fred Payer looked like they hadn't slept for a week, Yvonne though tired, was smiling and quite expressive in her account of the event. Hubbard was furious that O'Keefe had not come directly to Cagliari and that by going off course he had nearly wrecked the Avon River and its crew. O'Keefe was replaced and the Avon River sent to Valencia, Spain for refit. A few days later the Royal Scotman sailed to Valencia where they joined up with the Avon River and the Enchanter.
By December 23, 1967, LRH was already planning new missions for the Avon River and the Enchanter. The Avon River was ordered to repair the damage from the storm and be ready to sail by January 5, 1968. Yvonne was still posted as the assistant Commodores Steward aboard the Avon River. Flag Order #331, dated December 27, 1967, established the Advanced Org (AO) aboard the Royal Scotman, the only place where the most advanced Scientology training and processing was available. The Avon River was still not ready to sail when Flag Order #352, dated January 6, 1968, was issued. That order removed John O'Keefe and Roger Buckeridge from the Avon River and transferred them to the Royal Scotman for a Committee of Evidence; the ethics action for sailing into that bad storm. The mission was further delayed by Flag Order #404, dated January 22, 1968. This delay was due to the request by Hank Laarhuis who, as the Avon River's purser, had not completed his mission at Worldwide. Finally on January 28, 1968, the Avon River and the Enchanter sailed out on the Whole Track mission. The Enchanter had a crew of four people. The Avon River's crew consisted of; LRH as the captain, his daughter Diana (all of 15 years old), Yvonne and thirty seven other people. This mission was designed to explore LRH's whole track memories and track them down to the present time locations, especially those memories that might include the recovery of long lost loot of one kind or another. The LRH book "Mission into Time", published in 1973, describes this Whole Track mission.
On January 31, 1968, just three days after the Avon River left, Yvonne's three children, Peter Jr., Terri and Janis, arrived at the Royal Scotman in Valencia, Spain. They had been out of school since mid December. They were so excited at the thought of leaving England for Spain, that during their remaining cold nights in England, with nothing much to do (they didn't have a TV), Terri and Janis pulled out the Legos and built what they thought would be their new home in Spain. The children knew they would be leaving near the end of January; but they thought that they'd only be there for a short period of time and that they'd be living on land, having a normal type life. They certainly had no idea that they would be living on a ship for the next eight years of their lives! Yvonne had told her children that their bikes and games could be shipped later, which, as it turned out, was not possible. Despite Yvonne's constant efforts to get her children to join her in the Sea Org, they were very surprised to find out that they were not the first children allowed on the Royal Scotman. In addition to Hubbard's children, numerous others had been there since November. With Yvonne away on the cruise and their father still in England, the children were in a new environment without parental supervision. Peter Jr. was fourteen years old, Terri was thirteen and Janis was eleven. The children were taken to the Director of Personnel and assigned posts, Peter Jr. went to the main galley as pot washer and Terri and Janis were assigned to the steward's galley as dishwashers. Just three young children, with no schooling available, they were put to work from eight am to midnight and told to get the job done. After a while Janis was assigned to the Department of Communications. Part of her job required her to go into town to relay the ships telexes to WW, which meant that she had to either walk or take a cab to a pay phone. Janis would normally be gone from the ship for thirty to sixty minutes. After a few days someone finally realized how dangerous it was that an eleven year old girl was traveling on her own in a foreign country, and a dictatorship at that. Janis was replaced and made a full time watch messenger for LRH.
Meanwhile Yvonne and the rest of the Whole Track crew were off exploring the coastlines of Sardinia, Sicily and Italy. At numerous inlets and headlands, LRH would have the crew study a large clay demo and listen to a briefing of his whole track recollections. A crew would then go ashore in small boats and scramble around the headland or the coastal hills looking for evidence of things he remembered, allowing for the centuries that had since passed. One of the places they investigated was surrounded by barbed wire, out of bounds to the public and guarded by armed Italian guards. LRH sent an attractive female crew member and an Italian speaking crew member, armed with a couple of cartons of cigarettes, to visit the guards. It didn't take long to lure the guards into the guard hut and distract them while a couple of the crew jumped the fence and carried out their mission. In some areas the crew used an electronic scope called an M-Scope, made by Fisher or a T-scope to try and find buried metallic objects or hidden voids. The correlations that the missions came up with were enough to satisfy LRH that he had been right in his recollections. The Enchanter was ordered back to Valencia and the Avon River then explored parts of Tunisia. On March 6, 1968, the Avon River arrived back in Valencia. Flag Order #478, dated that same day, commended both crews, forty three people in total, for their service on the mission; Yvonne was one of seventeen who were highly commended.
Finally after eight months apart, Yvonne and her children were reunited, but only for a few hours. Yvonne gave them a tour of the Avon River, which included showing them her solo auditing room - the broom closet. Peter Jr. requested to be transferred to the Avon River as an assistant communicator for HCO in order to be with his mother; however the girls were too young to be allowed to live on the Avon River, so they remained on the Royal Scotman. While the Avon River was in port Yvonne would grab each chance she got, out of her busy work schedule, to either join her girls for lunch on the Royal Scotman or they to visit her on the Avon River. On March 13, 1968, a US Navy ship was coming into port which required that the Royal Scotman move from the main dock. During the move the Royal Scotman backed into the outer harbor wall and damaged both propellers, which resulted in LRH ordering a Comm Ev on those who were responsible for the incident. Flag Order #520, dated March 18, 1968, issued the findings of the Comm Ev; Yvonne was the Committee secretary. Four crew members were demoted from their posts and their ranks and placed into the condition of non-existence. The Comm Ev, which was done on one’s own time, meant that there was less time available for Yvonne to spend with her children, sometimes it was just a few minutes she would grab to see them.
Flag Order #540, dated March 22, 1968, promoted Yvonne to the Sea Org rank of Lieutenant (provisional), due to her good work on post. In addition to the hitting of the wall there were numerous other mistakes which occurred aboard the Royal Scotman. When LRH discovered them he issued Flag Order #546, dated March 23, 1968, which listed all of the goofs. In this order LRH assigned the Royal Scotman the condition of liability, a first for any ship of the Sea Org. All allowances were stopped, no one was allowed to go ashore unless it was vital ships business, and a large dirty gray rag was tied around the funnel of the ship. The Advanced Org was then transferred to the Residencia Reycar in Alicante, Spain (179 kilometers or 111 miles away). The move by the AO was to be only temporary, lasting until a permanent location could be obtained. Flag Order #563, dated March 25, 1968, ordered that a mission be sent out to find a permanent home for an Advanced Org. Hana Eltringham and Peggy Bankston were sent to Guernsey, and Scilly Isles, which were found to be unsuitable; while Yvonne was sent to check out Edinburgh. Less than three weeks since rejoining with her children, off she went again.
Peter Gillham Sr. arrived from England on March 23, 1968, as crew of the Royal Scotman, joining both of his daughters. Candy Chaleff, a recent graduate of the SHSBC, had also arrived as a new crew member of the ship. One of her jobs was the tutor of all the children that were on the ship, except for children of the Hubbard's. On March 30, 1968, LRH issued Flag Order #576 which ordered the Royal Scotman on a training cruise, now known as the Liability Cruise. The crew was ordered to enter and anchor in every anchorage feasible on the eastern coast of Spain. They were to practice anchoring, up-anchoring, maneuvering and coastal navigation. As the propellers were still damaged they were ordered to not exceed nine knots when cruising. One day about forty crew members, manning three non-motorized life boats, embarked on a life boat drill. Each boat had a mission: draw a picture of the coast of Spain, get a sample rock from the bay, and a sample rock from the shore. The only person that was allowed off of the boats was the one getting the rock from the shore. Due to the combination of windy conditions and the tides coming in, the boats were being driven towards the rocks, and only by rowing like mad did they manage to make it to a sandy beach. Spain, at that time, was under the rule of dictator Franco; so the crew, including Peter Sr., Terri and Janis Gillham, had entered the country illegally. Armed guards of the Guarda Civil arrived shortly and arrested all of the crew. None of them had any ID on them and most only had pocket change. Candy Chaleff was the only crew member that knew a little Spanish. The crew was loaded into open bed trucks, transported to a nearby fishing village where they were loaded into a fishing boat. The skipper, of the boat, tried to take them back to the ship but, as there was a storm coming in, the seas were too rough to get close enough for anyone to cross to the Royal Scotman. That night the crew slept on the tile floor, or with their heads on the tables, of an open air restaurant, guarded by the Guarda Civil. The next morning buses showed up and the crew was taken back to their lifeboats, which had become beached during the night when the tide went out. The boats had to be dug out and drug back to the water where they headed back to the ship, tired and hungry.
On April 7, 1968, Flag Order #595 assigned Yvonne as Chief Steward of the Avon River, joining her son, Peter Jr., who was now fifteen years old. The ship, with LRH aboard, sailed to Alicante, but was not allowed to dock. LRH then had the ship sail to Marseille, France. Along the way the ship encountered rough seas, yet Peter Jr. remained on his job at the helm of the ship. In Marseille, LRH went ashore and took up residence in a villa in Cassis. By this time Yvonne was getting proficient at doing missions for the Sea Org, so shortly after arriving in Marseille she was dispatched off on another mission to Edinburgh to help set up what would become the Advanced Org United Kingdom (AO UK).
On April 25, 1968, the Liability Cruise ended when the Royal Scotman arrived back in Valencia. The ship went into dry dock to repair the damaged propellers (see picture to the left). Flag Order #631, dated April 25, 1968, appointed Peter Gillham Sr. as Flag Banking Officer. Yvonne rejoined the Royal Scotman as ordered by Flag Order #685, dated May 8, 1968. This order assigned Yvonne the task of creating and running a Mission School, in which Sea Org members were taught how to undertake and execute a Sea Org mission, a task that Yvonne proved she could competently handle. Amos Jessup had this to say about Yvonne as a Missionaire; "I had the wonderful opportunity to travel with her on a mission to evaluate the potential of a couple of cities as bases in Corsica, which succeeded solely because of her creative instincts in assembling the various bits of data we had collected. She really was a gem to work with, a breath of fresh air and good cheer in all but the very worst of situations." Yvonne's daughters were very excited to see her, after being separated for nearly six weeks. Candy Chaleff had been Terri and Janis's tutor, and pretty much the only person that paid any attention to them. The girls took Candy to Yvonne's small private cabin and introduced them to each other. Flag Order #702, dated May 8, 1968, contained a program for the Royal Scotman, and in that order LRH was already thinking of creating a new and special course as a kick off for AO Edinburgh; the Class VIII Course.
Since the early days of June 1967, the Avon River had always been the Flag Ship. Around the middle of May 1968, LRH transferred over to the Royal Scotman, which then became the Flag Ship for the Sea Org. It was a much larger ship, capable of easily carrying over three hundred people. Peter Gillham Jr. transferred over to the Royal Scotman and was assigned to the deck crew; Janis Gillham was already the Director of Communications. The night after LRH moved aboard Janis and Quentin Hubbard were told to run messages for the Commodore, which garnered them the title of the Commodore's Messengers. Many young crew members came and went as Commodore's Messengers, one of whom was Julie Blundell, who Yvonne had known as a small child in Melbourne, and Sharone Stainforth, who lasted longer than most. The Commodore's Messengers were assigned six hour watches, seven days a week. This was a job that Janis would hold for the next eleven years!
Flag Order #731, dated May 16, 1968, described the qualifications for receiving the Naval Dirk of the Sea Org. The Sea Org member had to have taken part in a Sea Org mission, which had attained the condition of affluence, and who was mission ready; qualifications that Yvonne easily met. Ron awarded Yvonne with a Sea Org dirk, on the poop deck of the Royal Scotman, in May 1968, for her work as a Sea Org missionaire. The dirk was a beautiful knife with an OT symbol on its handle. Less than three weeks after joining with her children, Yvonne was sent to AO Edinburgh as its temporary commanding officer. During her time there production soared. By June a new and very important mission had been created for which Yvonne was to report back to the Royal Scotman for a briefing. But first she dropped by Saint Hill, where her family possessions had been stored, only to find that they had been broken into (One of the reasons that there exists so few pictures and mementos of Yvonne's early life). The big pieces of furniture were moved to Saint Hill for safe keeping. As of the mid 1980's, some of them were still in use at the Pavilion. Flag Mission Order #13, dated June 6, 1968, created the mission known as "Mission International Books". The purpose of that mission was to go around the world, to every Scientology org, armed with a checksheet and fully prepared data, and rigorously teach the entire staff how to get books into bookstores. Doreen Casey had already been successful in getting Scientology books placed in three bookstores in the United Kingdom and Yvonne was ordered to assist Doreen with this large mission. The two of them did not forget May Sue Hubbard's (MSH) birthday on June 17, 1968. They sent her some stockings, which prompted a nice reply from her (see a copy of the letter in the picture gallery). That June, several of Yvonne's family members had some major changes occur in their lives. Peter Gillham Sr. left the Royal Scotman and did Scientology lecture tours in Ireland and Wales; he was never to return to the Royal Scotman. Sharone Stainforth left for Denmark and Terri Gillham, who had been working in the engine room, took her place as a Commodore's Messenger. Peter Gillham Jr. was assigned to the engine room as fourth engineer.
On July 25, 1968, Kenneth Robinson, Minister for Health, United Kingdom, introduced into the House of Commons a ban on the immigration of foreign Scientologists. This law stated that foreign Scientologists who were studying Scientology could not return to the UK if they were to leave the country. Furthermore, people from outside of the UK would no longer be admitted into the country to study Scientology. Because of these bans the upper part of the Bridge, delivered only at Saint Hill and AO UK, was shut off to thousands of Scientologists around the world. LRH put the wheels in motion to establish new advanced orgs around the world. The most critical of all places was the United States with Los Angeles chosen as the home of the new Advanced Org Los Angeles (AOLA). Similarly, the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO) also had to be created.
When Yvonne and Doreen arrived in Los Angeles, during the book tour, they met with the staff of the LA Org, where they taught them how to get Scientology books consigned into area bookstores. Yvonne suggested that a new post be created at that Org, Mission International Books In/Charge. That position would be responsible for getting books into bookstores in southern California, the area from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Yvonne even personally trained someone to fill this position: Harold, who was taking a break from college and was a non-contracted staff member of LA Org. He agreed to do three things; to follow up on the actions that Yvonne and Doreen had put into place: to go to the bookstores in southern California area and get orders for consignments of books: and to then find a replacement for himself. By August, Yvonne and Doreen were at the Seattle Org where they worked with Dorothy Broaded on her erroneous Scientology declare. Yvonne and Doreen published Ethics Order #117, dated August 12, 1968, (Seattle) which cancelled Dorothy's declare and her condition of enemy. Later that August, Bill Robertson and the American Scientology students who were in the UK at the time, were sent to Los Angeles where they opened up AOLA.
By the end of August Yvonne and Doreen had completed their book mission and were back on the Royal Scotman. According to LRH and MSH the mission had been an enormous success; for example; in southern California, Harold had orders for thousands of books. It was on that tour that Doreen and Yvonne had made contact and met with the original publisher/distributor of Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health, who then agreed to publish that book in paperback form. It was also on this mission that the two ladies found out which celebrities had done Scientology services. During the tour it was pretty obvious to Yvonne and Doreen that the tech was out pretty much everywhere they went. When they got back to the ship and reported the issue, of the out tech, to the executives in charge, they were told in no uncertain terms to say nothing of this to LRH. However that night, while they were having a celebratory dinner with Ron, Mary Sue and the top aides, LRH looked straight at Doreen and Yvonne and asked about the tech in the field. Doreen's statement, as best as she could remember some forty four years later, was "there is no question that you and the tech are very much loved. It would however appear that it is not implemented as well as it could be, judging by some lack of wins that they should have had." LRH took it well and asked what should be done to correct this situation, which resulted in the idea that all the top auditors, from their respective areas be brought to Flag for further training. This idea would eventually result in the creation of the Class VIII Course. Hubbard awarded both Yvonne and Doreen Kha-Khan status for their successful mission.
However, before the Class VIII course could be put together, LRH had to complete one more Whole Track mission. On September 4, 1968 the Royal Scotman docked in Corfu, Greece, where it joined up with the Avon River and the Enchanter. Flag Order #1296, dated September 5, 1968, posted the crew of the Avon River for the second Whole Track mission. Yvonne was posted as the Supercargo and Peter Jr. as Chief Engineer. Peter Jr. thought it was ridiculous and complete lunacy for him to be made Chief Engineer at fifteen and a half years old. An age exception was made for Janis to be on the cruise as the Commodore's Messenger. This cruise started on the seventh of September and lasted two weeks, much shorter than the first Whole Track mission. The crew explored the islands north of Corfu.
Once this cruise was over LRH put together the Class VIII course. On September 24, 1968, LRH gave the first Class VIII lecture to students on the course aboard the Royal Scotman in Corfu; Yvonne was one of those first thirty five students. The students wore bright green boiler suits, open toed brown sandals, and a rope around their neck when they received a Very Well Done, from LRH, on an auditing session that they had completed. The course was a grueling one. From 7:30 am to well past midnight students were expected to study and audit. They were expected to deliver perfect sessions. The penalty for goofing was known as "Overboarding" as defined in Flag Order #1479, dated October 16, 1968. In the morning the students lined up on the deck of the Royal Scotman and those who had flubbed were thrown overboard into the dirty water of the harbor. Yvonne was no exception to this procedure. On October 17, 1968, all thirty five new Class VIII's were returned to their respective orgs; Yvonne was sent to AOLA, which was located at 835 South Westlake Avenue in Los Angeles. She brought with her the service silverware and gold plates along with some of the smaller furniture items of her great grandfather, which were then stored in the basement of FOLO on Beacon Street.
The Royal Scotman was renamed the Apollo while docked in Corfu, Greece, November 17, 1968. The ship was more commonly referred to as Flag.
At AOLA Yvonne was the highest trained auditor, which meant that she both audited and C/Sed, putting in very long hours every day. In November AOLA moved to 916 South Westlake Avenue. By December Yvonne was the Commanding Officer (CO) of AOLA, filling in for Bill Robertson who had been called back to Flag. Yvonne even took time out of her busy schedule to perform a marriage on December 28, and December 29, 1968. As CO She felt that the Gross Income (GI) of AOLA would increase if they were open 24/7, a change she implemented which ultimately failed. On January 12, 1969, Yvonne was the guest speaker when the Pacific Coast Sea Org ship Bluefin was commissioned (see newsletter in the picture gallery). Three days later, on January 15, 1969, Yvonne was on a local TV news program on KTTV. The fifteen minute program featured three Scientology Orgs in the LA area, and Yvonne was one of the people who were interviewed. Bill Robertson returned to AOLA sometime after the first of the year, which allowed Yvonne to devote more of her time to auditing and C/Sing. However, Yvonne had a certain concept in her mind - a Scientology church especially for celebrities.
Picture Gallery - The Sea Org
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. Welcome to the Sea Org Course, Sea Organization Product Zero, Glossary. Church of Scientology, 1990
- ^ http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/bfm/bfm16.htm
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. Celebrity Magazine, 1978
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. Ships Org Book, no volume number, PDF file
- ^ Correspondence from Hana Eltringham Whitfield, 2012.
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. Flag Order #1, August 12, 1967. A swamper is "one who cleans up" and the rank is below deckhand.
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. Modern Management Technology Defined, Church of Scientology of California, Publications Organization, United Sates, 1976. "Worldwide is the corporation the owns and controls Scientology Organizations, currently under the advices of the Sea Org."
- ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_in_the_United_Kingdom
Scientology's Celebrity Centres (1969 to 1977)
Yvonne Doreen Gillham had landed in the right spot at the right time. Scientology was expanding and here she was, right next to Hollywood, with its movie stars, producers, musicians; all sorts of celebrities. Yvonne, having been raised in a high society environment, felt right at home amongst the movers and shakers of the entertainment business. She loved music, Broadway and the movies, and when she had the time she would watch Rogers and Hammerstein movies, show tunes or musical movies. Yvonne had already been catering to special people and celebrities, during her time at AOLA. She lent her personal touch to seeing that certain people were booked into the various Orgs, at specific times, with a little more care to the details. At AOLA she had started keeping separate files for celebrities, some from the book mission and some that she had contacted after coming to Los Angeles. Yvonne felt that there should be a Scientology church where celebrities could gather, at their leisure, and obtain Scientology services.
On March 18, 1969, Hana Eltringham and thirteen other Sea Org members left the Apollo and arrived at AOLA, with the mission to effectively replace the top administrative personnel of the Org. Bill Robertson and the other executives were assigned to work aboard the Sea Org ship, the Neptune, based in Long Beach, California. With her close friend now running AOLA, Yvonne felt comfortable enough to hatch her plan. She wrote to LRH and outlined her idea. Hubbard gave the original briefing that set everything in motion and called in Diana Hubbard, who was CS-6 at the time, to oversee the operation. The orders named the mission "The Booking Office". This name was reminiscent of the old style ticket booth at a movie theater or Broadway show - the sort of place where you bought a seat to watch the show, not just any seat but one specifically reserved just for each celebrity. That was what Yvonne wanted with her new project, a special place reserved just for you. Hana Eltringham received the first set of printed "Booking Office" orders in the mail from LRH. In that packet there was a letter from Hubbard to Hana, which stated that a center be set up for celebrities and that the project be kept confidential. He asked that the project be given priority and for her to personally keep an eye on the operation. Hana was excited for Yvonne, as it was exactly what she was suited and talented to do. The first set of orders consisted of the taking of various surveys. One survey was designed to find out what people thought of a center for celebrities; a place that was dedicated to their specific needs and wants, not just auditing and training, but other issues as well. Another survey contained questions such as; what kind of building such a center should be housed in, where it should be, what its name should be. Yvonne was involved in all of these early actions and she was the one who named the new church - "Celebrity Centre" (CC), using the British spelling of "center".
The second set of Mission Orders (MO's) arrived on Easter, April 6, 1969. Marylou DeVries (along with her daughter, Lauren) arrived from the Apollo, orders in hand, and gave them to Yvonne. The MO's included a copy of the new org's org board, posting for key personnel, the procurement of Sea Org uniforms for Yvonne and her officers and so on. First, Fred Payer helped Yvonne get through an ethics condition. Then a small office was set up in the OT Liaison (OTL) building at 835 South Westlake Avenue, the original building that first housed AOLA. From then on Yvonne lived and worked out of the OTL; she was briefed on all the mission's papers, letters and MO's. She began looking for a building while selecting key personnel and staff for the project. A large space at the OTL was set up to act as a mini course room, where her new staff trained on Scientology and Sea Org basic materials. All of the staff had to be briefed on the MO's and do them in clay demo's. Some of the new recruits were sent to the two Long Beach based Sea Org ships, the Neptune and the Aries, to do their AB (Able-Bodied Seaman) checksheet. Yvonne was busy gathering together her celebrities and booking them into the various orgs for their services, all with that personal touch of hers. Hana saw to it that Yvonne and her crew were properly hatted and that everything which was needed for the project, was procured.
By the middle of April a temporary building for the "Booking Office" was rented near the Los Angeles Farmers Market. The Booking Office, located at 8227 Blackburn, consisted of three rooms, was inexpensive and was a good space for public. It was used as a staging place, no auditing or training was held there. It was just a temporary site while they looked for a permanent location. The crowd that Yvonne was gathering, or that were naturally drawn to her, were a varied group, a potpourri of interesting and successful people. Right from the start Ingo Swann, the painter, and his partner were there. People wanted to be with Yvonne, and to be a part of what she was doing; she had incredible magnetism. It was extremely natural and easy for Yvonne to communicate, and people were often mesmerized. Her style was so natural and charismatic that she made each person feel like they were her best friend, and she made every person (almost without exception) feel like they were absolutely needed. By June 16, 1969, Yvonne had the project up and running, reporting to Hubbard about the musical group People! playing before fifteen thousand concert goers (see the picture to the right). Yvonne was still an officer of the Sea Org and as such continued doing missions. When she was in New York, on a book mission, she talked Amanda Ambrose into coming to CC to help it get better established.
Finally, in July, a permanent location, which contained 8,164 square feet of space, was obtained; a thirty-eight year old empty supermarket located at 1809 West 8th Street. Frank Dunn was instrumental in finding and making arrangements for this location, but Yvonne had to go in and sign the papers with the landlords, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Freistadt. Yvonne showed up, all ready to get more concessions for the lease, and met with Mr. Freistadt in his upstairs office. The rent was supposed to be twelve hundred dollars a month, but when Yvonne, with her incomparable charm, told him that they were a church and all they could afford was eight hundred dollars, he agreed. When Mr. Freistadt was later asked why he agreed to Yvonne's wishes, his response was - "You know Yvonne don't you? Well then you know the way she is, nobody can say no to Yvonne!" By July 4, Yvonne had made the move from the OTL building to the one on 8th Street. The move was announced in the OTL LA Orders of the Day (OODs) of July 4, 1969 (see a copy of the OODs in the picture section). Marylou DeVries helped Yvonne set up CC and saw the constant demand on Yvonne's time. Part of Marylou's job, to free up as much of Yvonne's time as possible, was complicated by the fact that Yvonne loved giving personal attention to each and every person. There was an intense push to get the place ready for her celebrity public. Many years later one staff member remembered only the exhaustion that came from working long hours to fix the building up for the dedication ceremony. Yvonne moved her belongings into the place; a cabinet, an ornament shelf, a coffee table and a sitting bench. She had found that most of the silver serving ware had been stolen, but she still had what was left of the gold plates that had not been broken from all the moving. Yvonne's magnetism naturally drew in many creative and artistic people who wanted to help her. These volunteers helped her create her vision of what CC should be. They painted, got big rectangular carpet samples and cut them into puzzle pieces to make the floor covering, found or created displays for books, and found the chairs for the meeting area. Yvonne had promotional material, with news of what CC was all about, sent out to all of the Scientology Orgs and franchises. Posters were created that announced CC, a place that Hubbard established just for celebrities, and for people to contact Yvonne. While all of this was occurring more and more people started drifting in, eagerly awaiting the grand opening of Celebrity Centre. Yvonne had also been very busy working with her celebrity public. In CC's first Orders of the Day, published July 11, 1969 (see a copy of it the picture gallery), she reported that the gung-ho rock group Sound Foundation opened at the Factory on July 10, The Power Formula was recording a record and People were playing in San Jose. On July 13, CC put on a lecture at 8:30 pm followed with entertainment by Dick Glass and on July 14, they hosted a lecture by Peter Gillham.
The dedication of Celebrity Centre occurred at 7:00 pm, July 15, 1969. The staff, volunteers and celebrities (Yvonne mentioned many of them by name; Bob Holloway, Frank Dunn, Carl Hellstrom, Margaret George and Lillian Miles) had beautifully decorated the main entrance and lobby area, and the rooms beyond. Toward the back of the building a large room had tables full of food, soft drinks, and champagne. CC was packed full of people; it was standing room only. The celebrities that were there included: Karen Black, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Ingo Swann, a doctor from New Mexico who was working with Ingo, as well as other artists and singers. Bob Thomas and Artie Maren, US GO, and Mary Maren were there. Some of the FOLO staff who attended were: Mike and Jean Smith, Al Boughton, Kima Dunleavy Douglas, Jan Barthol, Guy Eltringham, Susan Swift, Allan Long (captain of two Sea Org ships), Stuart Moreau, and Margo Clark. Staff from AOLA and ASHO who attended included David and Judy Ziff, Ira Chaleff, and Fred Payer. Ray and Pam Kemp put on a fashion show. Yvonne spoke for about fifteen minutes, giving thanks to L. Ron Hubbard and dedicating Celebrity Centre to him and to all the artists who would be coming through its doors in the future. She spoke about Ron's concern that artists be taken care of, that they have a place where they could express themselves freely, and grow, and how important they were to society and the world as a whole. She then read from an LRH article about creation and artists. Hana Eltringham was next to speak, and she welcomed Yvonne, on behalf of LRH, to her new position. She told the crowd that LRH had appointed Yvonne with specific orders to provide a safe space for celebrities, from all occupations, where they could reach their full potential and attain their dreams. Yvonne had been chosen because of her love of people, her desire to help, and that she was the perfect person for the job. Hana read from notes that Yvonne had prepared for her and read from the MO's some of the areas that CC should put its attention on - musicians, painters, singers, dancers, designers etc. John McMaster spoke. Yvonne came back up and introduced her executive staff and division heads. She wanted every celebrity to know who they were, and if she was not available, to feel free to talk to them. Yvonne and Hana then declared Celebrity Centre open for business as they cut the huge red ribbon that had been strung across the front of the building. A band started playing, and the champagne started to flow. Yvonne, a hazel eyed 5 foot 5 1/2 inch tall brunette, had accomplished her objective!
Yvonne had set up CC a lot like the way she had run her Melbourne franchise. She had created her franchise to be a community; a place for people to gather - NOT like minded people, just people, different kinds of people, mankind! It was always a soft sell - we are not going away tomorrow, we don't need you to sign up today, and we will be here when you need us. It sought lasting relationships, not a hit and run. In Australia, Yvonne had made everything a game, made it fun, and she set about doing the same thing at CC. She held socials, parties, dances, workshops, meetings, Sunday services and was constantly brainstorming with everyone for ideas on how to draw more people into her doors. At first the building was mostly a big open space. Then, booths were set up. They were varied; for example there was a calligraphy booth, a candle making booth, tie-die and many others. A coffee maker appeared and a booth was created for making coffee. Eventually it added snacks. This era, inside of CC, was short lived as the theater evolution started. There was the Friday night "Poetry by Candlelight" where Chris Many played his music. Two men, Tom Solari and Clark Carr, performed a variety of entertaining routines. Geoffrey Lewis would tell his stories to the music of Geoff Levin, or CC might hold a wild dance party. The first play that was put on was Cinderella.
Yvonne procured a piano. Amanda Ambrose would perform her amazing songs, and Mario Feninger would perform in the big space. Ingo Swann put on an art show and displayed his paintings all over CC. Many people brought their talents through the doors of Celebrity Centre. Introductory services; auditing up to Expanded Grade IV and training to Class IV, were delivered in order to keep the doors open. Yvonne performed a marriage on August 18, 1969, and then started to spread her vision of Celebrity Centre. Individuals were mesmerized by Yvonne's energy. She encouraged and empowered them to start groups in their areas to further the expansion: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Phoenix and New York would begin this way.
The first of such was San Francisco. Julianne Warner, a CC staff member, went to San Francisco and rented a three story Victorian House, which was owned by a local Scientologist, at 2676 California Street. She quickly mirrored the activities at Celebrity Centre Los Angeles (CCLA). Celebrity Centre San Francisco (CCSF) hosted Poetry by Candlelight events every Friday. They featured local artists, and drew upon the talent from CCLA, who would frequently fly up to perform. Mario Fenninger performed to several hundred people, Heber Jentzsch performed to a standing room only crowd with a rendition of "Old Blue", complete with a howling dog outside, Amanda Ambrose was a big draw with her fabulous singing, and Julie Eiger with her "magic flute" was a favorite. The Grateful Dead even showed up and did a set. CCSF also delivered classes in photography, macramé, candle making and other artistic endeavors. Basic Scientology courses were taught; the Communication Course, the HQS Course and the HSDC.
Yvonne was a great orchestral leader who continually put people together. Each week she would have people come in for the Opinion Leaders Meeting. Those who attended included Robert Lyons, Tom Solari, Geoffrey Lewis, Geoff Levin, Robb Levin, Frank Dunn, and Clark Carr. Yvonne would go around the room, one person at a time, and ask "what do you need help with" and people would answer her. Then she would ask "what could you help us with" and people would answer her. Those attendees made new connections which resulted in doing projects with one another, including things which helped each other's careers. These meetings also fostered bright ideas to help CC. Richard Royce remarked to Yvonne that he would like to create CC's own Improv group as he had been a student of The Committee prior to Scientology. Yvonne's response was her usual one - "Of course dear!" One project consisted of a group of people going out to Griffith Park on the weekend and performing group processing with bullhorns.
By 1970 CCLA was outgrowing its staff. Yvonne held a big rally to enlist additional staff and Richard Royce was the first to sign on as a five year contracted staff member. Candy Swanson (Chaleff) had begun her leave of absence from the Sea Org and became CC's celebrity auditor, being paid directly from her pc's. Yvonne would recruit people by offering them space in CC for their projects; one such was Dargi who was a photographer. She gave him the space under the stairs to the left of the entrance. He set up a photo studio and darkroom, did his projects and helped CC whenever they wanted photos of something. The Committee performed on CC's stage which drew in more Celebrities. Heber Jentzsch would sing his dog song and participate in the Key Out Players skits. Jentzsch had gotten Frank Dunn into Scientology after they met on the set of Paint Your Wagon. Candy had been dating Heber, but when she started dating Frank she introduced Heber to Yvonne and the two couples became fast friends. Yvonne wanted a unique sign for the front of CC. She supplied the wording for the sign and had Ed Berwick create and affix it near the front door (see a picture of it in the picture gallery). On May 9, 1970, CC held an all day celebration for the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health. The celebration started at ten in the morning and ran until midnight, and featured such acts as the Lamonte Johnson jazz trio, the Great American Entertainment Show and Mario Feninger. Arts and craft workshops were put on throughout the day. Yvonne and Heber began going around the country giving events about Scientology. Heber would sing, Yvonne would conduct group processing and they would both lecture about Scientology. Yvonne spent the year running CC and traveling, yet still had time to perform marriages, performing one in October and three in a row in December.
Celebrity Centre started out as a "special project" with Diana overseeing it. LRH defined special project as - "there's a lot of trial and error in developing a program. That's why any new program should be only a "special project" for a while, off the org main lines, really, under special management. If a "special project" starts to show up well in finance (and only in finance), then one should include it "in" with its new staff as an org standard project." For one and a half years CC had operated as a special project. That was to change in January, 1971. LRH awoke to the fact that CC had not come under international management.Quoting LRH, from the Flag Executive Briefing Course (FEBC) tape #8 of January 24, 1971:
"Now there’s a terribly funny story about this. Diana of course has as C/S 6, a special programs section. And early on we didn’t know much about how this artistic idea of Celebrity Centre would go. A very short time ago, after it’s been going for all this length of time, I say, ”You know, it’s funny. I understand Celebrity Centre now has quite an establishment there, and it’s got about ten or twelve orgs. And it’s branching out, and it’s got now ten or twelve of these, and they seem to have quite a bit of income, and we seem to have people involved with this, and so on. Who’s got this around here? I mean it doesn’t seem to be our account.” Diana says, ”I have.” She’s been sitting there as Promotions, busy managing this whole network, and she and Yvonne Gillham apparently just running with the ball and so on. That’s the other mistake, they never turned it over to management. Here’s this expanding network of orgs suddenly emerging, growing up and mushrooming all over the place here and so forth. She’s been doing it quite competently, and Yvonne has been doing it quite competently. Establishing new centers, everything’s going along fine. It’s still running in special programs. So if something is successful in special programs, it will force itself on your attention. Yeah, I just suddenly realized it didn’t have the main line of command and control. Its reports didn’t come in through the channels anyone expected its reports. Not that we weren’t paying attention to it, not that we didn’t appreciate it, we thought it was great, but I’d never, it never had an aides meeting on Celebrity Centres or anything like this. I just woke up, all this machinery of control is missing. Who had it? Special programs."After LRH's discovery, CC was saddled with more staff in the form of a Flag Rep, a Finance Banking Officer and a Programs Chief.
In March, 1971, Yvonne returned to the Apollo for the FEBC, the highest level of administrative training in Scientology. In the OODs, dated March 22, 1971, Yvonne posted that she was looking for items that had been left in her cabin, in 1968, but were missing. These included an officer's uniform and Jap coat, her Dirk and belt, which had been personally awarded to her by LRH. Yvonne's daughters were able to spend some time with their mother. They even got wind that Yvonne was dating Heber. Peter Jr.'s work schedule, in the engine room, did not permit him to spend very much time with his mother. On May 9, 1971, Yvonne graduated from the FEBC and returned to CCLA. Shortly afterwards, Yvonne decided it was necessary to upgrade the facilities for CCLA. Many celebrities balked at bringing their friends to the neighborhood and the facility, which was anything but posh. The building had previously been rented to an occult group, and pentagram markings and other ceremonial vestiges were hastily covered up with carpet scraps, retrieved from dumpsters, glued to the floor. Bathrooms were almost nonexistent for the volume of staff and students. The ceiling of the registration office was covered in twelve by twelve cardboard egg flats, and explained as an "intended arty effect". Plants were acquired for the executive office, and every effort was made to make the building look and feel special. Yvonne continually told staff to create, create, create. "Make it go right" was more than a Flag Order; it was the primary operating mantra. Even though every effort had been made to make the 8th Street facility look "arty", the celebrities were insistent; a new space was needed.
A mansion, located on nearly one acre of land at 2400 Inverness Avenue, was rented for CC. The place was in an area of luxury homes in the Los Feliz neighborhood, near the Griffith Observatory. Yvonne took the initiative and, all without informing Flag management, moved CC. Everything was moved in after courses on a Friday night. This included archives for all the PC folders and central files, and about sixty five staff members. Berthing for staff was in the basement and the attic. The rest of the mansion housed course rooms, auditing rooms, a large kitchen for staff, and a formal dining room. The piano was placed in the large living room. It was during this time, August 1971, Yvonne and Peter officially divorced. She had the diamond removed from her beautiful engagement ring and reset into a custom designed setting. The ring bore the letters ARC around the diamond. The move to the mansion created more problems than it solved. The area was zoned for single family residences. Neighbors complained to the City Council, and a city inspector was sent to check things out. Yvonne found out about this inspection, and devised a plan to put on a show. They would pretend that they were just a group of interested individuals meeting regularly to discuss art. She had the more "conventional people" (older, dressed in suits and ties, shorter hair) sitting in the living room discussing art when the inspector showed up. He observed this scene, stayed for about thirty minutes, and left. The amount of traffic in and out of the mansion was not able to be hidden, they were ordered to move.
CCLA moved back to 8th street. The staff moved into the newly purchased, ten thousand square feet, white Art Nouveau Gothic Revival house at the northwest corner of 9th and Lake Street. This location was less than half mile from CCLA. It housed CC's staff berthing, crew dining in the basement, a good portion of the Qualifications Division and the C/Ses. Yvonne occupied a room on the second floor. Staff scrambled to stake out their berthing areas, some living in the attic with sheets separating married couples, shooing pigeons away routinely. The "carriage house" provided additional berthing, which would double during the day as auditing spaces. A pool table was placed in the front entryway of the main hose, used by Sea Org staff member, and billiards professional, Eddie Robins. Many staff grumbled that he was allowed to "play pool" during his two and a half hour personal enhancement time, rather than study like the rest of the staff. Yvonne insisted this was his most important function, and ensured that no one cross ordered his practice.
The stats of CCLA fell, and the reports got back to Flag and Ron. In the OODs of October, LRH wrote that "CC had moved (without Flag approval), to a mansion, moved back, lost its students in the shuffle and crashed its stats. Telexes are out, action is standing by". CCLA did get their production back up after their ill fated move, and settled back into their previous routine. The push for moving to a bettered delivery quarters silenced for several more years. By November CCLA had added a new venture - Axioms Productions, Inc., a Scientology distribution company. Their Articles of Incorporation were filed on November 2, 1971, with an address of 1832 West 8th Street, Los Angeles. One of their first projects was a record album titled "My Philosophy", which contained three tracks of LRH's writings narrated by Yvonne. The album was produced by Dale Benson with background music provided by Buddy Prima. (To listen to the digital recordings, see the box to the right).
Early 1972, CC’s expansion was reined in as a result of orders from upper management. The staff from CC’s in San Francisco, Phoenix, and Las Vegas were "ordered in" to CCLA under the guise of further training. CC San Francisco was ordered to close the mission, transfer all students and PCs to the San Francisco Org and report to CCLA. Many of those who were ordered in were then retained, and reposted as staff of CCLA.
Those who were very close to Yvonne knew that she was nearsighted. When people hailed her from a distance she would frequently ask whoever was close, who it was. If she didn't know, she would just engage in a general greeting until aware of who they were. Yvonne would not wear glasses, as she felt this be against the principles of Scientology and make the technology look bad. She had a pair of sunglasses with "black out" lenses, with little pinholes, that were told to improve one’s eyesight. She would wear these on her walk to and from the org when she was by herself.
Yvonne hated LA traffic, and even though her staff had saved up and had given her a little motor scooter to drive back and forth between CC and the berthing at Lake Street, she would not use it. She ended up loaning it to Joyce Myers. There was always staff willing to take her where ever she needed to go and Heber also had a car. Yvonne never did get a U.S. drivers license as there was no need. Plus she would not have passed her driver’s license test as she would not have consented to the wearing of glasses. Yvonne made every effort to get around the org. She openly communicated to everyone she met, and made them feel like she was investing her energy in their dreams, and was rooting for their highest purposes. Having such a beautiful, non judgmental, giving person made her staff feel like their chances were that much better. People would then want to update her, and sent a lot of very open heartfelt communication. This would travel on the orgs communication system, and was called "the daily report line." She never wanted to ignore anyone's communication, and would stay up late at night answering these. She would go with no sleep to answer these letters. If for some reason she was "shooed" out of CCLA by some caring person who insisted she get some sleep, she would then sit in the walk in closet in her bedroom, and continue answering them.
By 1972, the Sea Org ship, the Excalibur, was functioning as a training vessel based out of San Pedro, California. Yvonne realized its value and had been sending her staff to the ship. Flag Order #3183-1, dated May 11, 1972, described a pilot training program that Alan Long, captain of the Excalibur, had put together. He had supervised the training of seven CC staff members, who had successfully gone through it, and reported the results to Hubbard. Ron was so pleased with this program that he wrote in the Flag Order, that this program must be done on the Apollo. Yvonne and Heber had been touring as a couple for the past two years. In that time they had done approximately thirty-five radio shows, about twenty-five television shows and over three hundred lectures and concerts. The couple did events in prisons, homes for the aged and mental hospitals, such as the Bellevue Hospital.
On Sunday, May 28, 1972, Yvonne and Heber Jentzsch were married at Celebrity Centre by Hana Eltringham. This was a marriage of two highly driven Scientologists. The wedding was a big production with artists performing, Heber sang "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of LA Mancha" and Chris Many performed his music. Yvonne's children were still stationed on the Apollo and were not able to be at her wedding. Her staff, whose pay at the time was ten dollars per week, and CC public all chipped in and gave the newlyweds a wedding present which consisted of an all expense paid trip to Tahiti. It was to be a seven-day trip, but three days into it they were back in LA. After only one day in Tahiti Yvonne had felt restless and could not think of anything else but getting back to her post at CC, so she talked Heber in cutting the honeymoon short!
In September of 1972, Scientology planned a major event at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles. Both Quentin and Diana Hubbard were booked as guest speakers. Mary Sue Hubbard took her daughter, Diana, to Zurich to get several gowns for the event. The Apollo crew had moved ashore in Tangiers, Morocco around this time. The event took place on September 16, 1972, with about five thousand Scientologists (fifteen hundred of which were new to Scientology) attending. Yvonne wore a dress with images of seagulls on it, most likely inspired by the best seller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book that was very popular with Scientologists. She had all of her staff working at the event as it was packed with people. Diana delivered "A Talk on the World and Scientology, Yesterday and Today" and Quentin gave the talk "Change for the Better". Later in the evening he also gave a live auditing demonstration while using an Azimuth Alignment Meter (see a picture of it in the picture gallery). Entertainment for the event was provided by Chic Corea, Back Pocket, Edward Bear, Jimmy Spheeris, Amanda Ambrose, Mario Fenninger and the Brazilian group "Airto and Fingers". Pictures of the event can be found in the picture gallery. By December Celebrity Centre had outgrown their building and additional offices were acquired, next door, at 1833 West 8th street.
In December, 1972, Yvonne recorded another record. It was one more production from Axioms Productions, Inc., issued by the authority of the Assistant Guardian of CCLA, Heber Jentzsch. Yvonne liked the Golden Dawn and wanted to read it for the record (see the box to the right). This record was produced by Dick Glass, also known as the Eloquent Elephant (see his picture to the right). Dick was the Distribution Secretary for Axioms Productions as well as having recorded several of his own musical albums. On Sunday, February 4, 1973, Yvonne's son, Peter Jr. and Doreen Smith were married by Reverend Peter Gillham (his father) at Celebrity Centre. This was Peter Jr.'s first leave of absence from the Apollo since 1968 and it was five weeks long. They had traveled to LA so that they could be married at CC with his parents attending; however Peter's sisters were unable to leave the ship and did not attend the wedding. Peter did get to spend some time with his mother. The day they all went to Disneyland, Yvonne had brought the contents of her in-basket and spent most of the time sitting on a bench working. On February 9, 1973, Yvonne was the headliner for the grand opening of the Church of Scientology of San Diego, which was located at 1052 10th Avenue. The notice was reported in Auditor #86 (see the notice in the picture gallery below). On February 24, 1973, the Key-Out Players headlined an event put on by the San Francisco Org.
In May, 1973, Yvonne's daughters took their first leave, from the Apollo, and flew to the United States. They visited their father in Phoenix first before flying into Mexico to visit with their mother, who was on tour. Yvonne was a frequent Scientology lecturer in Mexico and was well known there. Yvonne continued touring and lecturing about Scientology; while in Chicago, she even stayed with the mother of one her staff members. The mother wasn't crazy about Scientology, but she loved Yvonne.
Celebrity Centre was outgrowing its location on 8th street, plus it was attracting the attention of city inspectors. The putting on of events inside of CC was an issue as all sorts of electrical wiring for spotlights and sound equipment were run, uncovered, throughout the ceiling, none of which was inspected or permitted by the city. When an event occurred, up to one hundred twenty five chairs were placed in tight rows inside a room that only had one exit. Inspectors from the city cited CC for building code violations, one of which was operating a concession stand without a license. Yvonne knew that to continue expansion, and to fulfill the goals and purposes of what LRH envisioned, she would need to get into a more upstat, and bigger facility, in a more accepted part of town. Yvonne, along with a missionaire, searched for a new location for CCLA, which resulted in Scientology purchasing the Chateau Elysee. Staff was excited about the prospect of working in such a resplendent building; some even had their offices picked out. However the Guardian's Office (GO) had more clout and appropriated the location for themselves. The building became known to Scientologists as the Manor. As CC was a church, the city inspectors were friendly and worked with them while Yvonne and CCLA Management labored to resolve the deficiencies.
In December of 1973, International Scientology Management issued a birthday game for LRH's upcoming birthday. The game consisted of increasing stats by five times; which meant, for example, an auditor putting in thirty hours of Well Done Auditing Hours per week was expected, for the game, to deliver one hundred and fifty hours in a week. CCLA staff had to always have a "we can do anything" attitude, and sleeping was in no way going to get in the way; or as Yvonne used to say, "sleep fast." Flag Personnel Order #1003, dated March 13, 1974, awarded Yvonne the status of Kha-Kahn for contributing to the five times expansion of CC; her second such award from LRH. In April 1974, Peter Gillham Sr. funded a trip for his son and daughter-in-law. They came from the Apollo to his Scientology mission in Phoenix on a recruiting mission. Yvonne flew out and spent a full two days with the couple, this time with no in-basket contents! She even went horseback riding with her children.
On June 14, 1974, Yvonne and five other Scientologists embarked on a ten day lecture tour in Mexico. The first stop was at the Hotel Camino Real in Mexico City where over one thousand people attended. Four major newspapers and national TV covered the event. A three page interview with Yvonne came out in the magazine KENA, and she appeared on the Manolo Fabrica Show. During the tour Yvonne met with the Secretariat of Gobernacion, the Secretary of Education, and the Director of Economics at the National Polytechnic Educational Institute. The group toured the cities of Tampico, Tlalnepantla de Baz, Iguala and Acapulco. The purpose of the trip was to promote Narconon and L. Ron Hubbard's study tech (see pictures of this trip in the picture gallery). One of those who toured with Yvonne remembered an incident that occurred at the Polytechnic Institute - As they were being escorted around the facility the official opened a door to a huge computer room and was called away. Yvonne had her helper stand near the door as she ventured in and proceeded to tap away on the computer looking for any information that they might have on LRH, Scientology or Dianetics. After what seemed an eternity the helper finally verbalized an exasperated "Yvonne", to which she exited the room smiling just seconds before the official reappeared. Yvonne had toured Mexico many times; she was a treasure to the Scientologists in Mexico and a very good friend with Sergio Lan (Executive Director of the Org de Dianetica in Mexico City). On this occasion, however, Bob Thomas in the Guardians Office decided to assert his authority, and assigned Yvonne Treason for failing to write up a CSW, despite her stellar results. This was not only a slight on Yvonne, but Heber, who was the Guardian for CC. This angered Yvonne as well as Heber. Word got back to the Guardians Office that Heber and Yvonne had talked about this, and Bob Thomas used this opportunity to punish Yvonne, and remove Heber from his post as Assistant Guardian for CC. Heber was put on full time training, which took over two years to complete. This was indicative of the brewing conflict between the Sea Organization and the Guardians Office at that time.
In 1974, LRH produced a record featuring the Apollo Stars, a band that he had formed aboard the Apollo. Yvonne hosted the U.S. premier of the record, Power of Source, at CC on July 17, 1974, at 11:00 pm. As many people were expected to show up, and to avoid any possible repercussions from city inspectors, the event was held outside. A superb sound system was set up and over two hundred and fifty people attended (see the article in the picture gallery).
Flag Order #3484, dated August 1, 1974, written by Diana Hubbard Horwich, formally stated the definition of celebrity and the purpose of Celebrity Centre. It reads - "The exact purpose of Celebrity Centre is: TO HELP LRH SELL AND DELIVER HIGH STANDARD DIANETICS AND SCIENTOLOGY SERVICES TO CELEBRITIES AND THUS CONVERT EARTH'S TOP STRATA OF BEINGS INTO SCIENTOLOGISTS. "CELEBRITY" is defined by Base Order 7 US by LRH as: ANY PERSON IMPORTANT IN HIS FIELD OR AN OPINION LEADER OR HIS ENTOURAGE, BUSINESS ASSOCIATES, FAMILY OR FRIENDS WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE ARTS, SPORTS AND MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNMENT." Yvonne made no distinction as to whom she disseminated Scientology, something that the GO had major problems with. They preferred to have vetted the celebrities before anyone else approached them about Scientology. Yvonne would have none of that; which to the GO's way of thinking, she was an uncontrollable entity. The U.S. GO planted their spies, posing as Yvonne's messengers, into her office. Every day these children reported everything that Yvonne did or whom she conversed with. What finally pushed the Guardians Office over the edge was an event that occurred in October, 1974. When Richard Nixon fell ill with phlebitis at his home in San Clemente, California, Yvonne announced to her staff that she was going to contact Nixon directly and offer to give him touch assists to help him get better. What makes this situation so inflammatory was the fact that in April, 1960, Ron wrote an HCOB wherein he expressly stated that Nixon must be prevented, at all costs, from becoming president (document in the picture gallery). All of those issues motivated the GO to create programs which were designed to either control or get rid of Yvonne.
On Sunday, January 19, 1975, Yvonne ordained fifteen new Scientology ministers in Los Angeles. She performed a Naming and Recognition Ceremony for the daughter of two Scientologists, at the Manor, on February 8, 1975. That spring CC had a really good production week which prompted Yvonne to show her appreciation to three of her female staff members. During that time period, staff pay was sometimes as high as ten dollars per week. If the staff smoked, drank coffee or needed simple things like shampoo their pay ran out quite quickly! The ladies decided to go to a store a few blocks from CC which sold odds and ends. There was a display of thigh high suede leather boots, made in Mexico. Yvonne treated everyone, including herself, to a pair of them. That summer Yvonne developed a foot infection caused by the abrasion from the wearing of those same boots. She was too busy working to pay much attention to the infection until it developed into blood poisoning. For four or five days she did not come out of her room, even though many people dropped by to check on her. Heber was very concerned for her but was afraid to take her to a doctor as she might get PDHed. The Flag Rep at CC took Yvonne's PC folders to the C/S at CC and AO but they refused to do anything for her. A Class IV found her nearly comatose and gave her touch assists. Finally LRH ordered her to the ship for case cleanup and medical attention.
|My Philosophy, record album|
|My Philosophy||Length: 7:14|
|What Is Greatness||Length: 6:46.85|
|The Factors||Length: 9:55.73|
|The Golden Dawn, 45 record|
|The Golden Dawn||Length: 4:54.78|
|The Aims of Scientology||Length: 3:50.27|
By 1975 Celebrity Centre was bursting at the seams. It was the largest single Scientology Organization in the world with over one hundred and forty staff and the largest student body anywhere. Marshall Goldblatt located a new location at 1551 North La Brea in Los Angeles. Even though the new location was in a seedy section of La Brea, as prostitutes could been seen in the vicinity, it was a step up from the old location. The old building was very close to MacArthur Park, which at the time was known for its homeless, drug addicts and downtrodden residents; a concern for the celebrities that came to CC. To facilitate the move, an all hands was called; members of the EPF, the RPF and CC staff all assisted. By mid October, 1975, Celebrity Centre was in its new location. Yvonne wanted so much to acknowledge those who helped make the move go smoothly. She promised that everyone who helped a steak and lobster dinner - quite a rare treat for a Sea Org member on a $10 a week or less stipend. And, it is somewhat noteworthy that this did not transpire. Those that should have been supporting her, and doing everything they could to help and protect her just couldn't make the grade and "push through" this unusual request past the "powers that be"; Yvonne was never able to get FP (financial planning) approval for funds for the dinner.
After nine years of operating off of ships, the Sea Org came ashore in Florida during the winter of 1975. On December 2, 1975, Scientology purchased the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida, which became the headquarters for the Church of Scientology. The new location was named the Flag Land Base (FLB). By December 23, 1975, Sea Org members had completed the Move-in Mission, and all of Yvonne's children were now on the same continent as she was. In January, 1976, her daughter, Janis, was sent on a tech mission to CCLA. She roomed with Yvonne, rode to CC and had all of her meals with her mother. After Janis returned to Florida, CC's stats went into affluence. Six weeks later the stats faltered, prompting LRH to order Janis to handle the situation. She telexed her mother and had her get back to doing the mission actions, which resulted in affluent stats once again. On March 13, 1976, Flag hosted LRH's birthday. Yvonne, along with a number of celebrities, flew in for the event. Janis got to go along with her mother to pick up Karen Black at her cabana, for the event. Yvonne's family was all together for the first time since 1968, and they all went horseback riding (see picture in the picture gallery). In April, 1976, Peter Jr. and Doreen took a vacation to Los Angeles; someone had needed a car taken from Florida to California so Peter jumped at the chance. Doreen flew back to Florida while Peter spent some time with his mother. He visited with her, in her office, two or three times for an hour or two while she was working. She would occasionally fall asleep, while talking to Peter, due to the fact that she was only getting about three hours of sleep a night. Peter then drove his father's Mustang back to Florida, not knowing that it would be the last time he would ever see his mother.
Once the Flag Land Base was established there was a great need for additional public to fill the much larger facility. For the registrars of Flag, Celebrity Centre was a target rich environment, and one they took full advantage of. Yvonne had worked very hard to help her public and it was very painful for her to watch as they were regged away to Flag, yet she never openly opposed what was happening. Despite this Yvonne worked tirelessly at promoting Scientology. She was the guest speaker at a meeting of the Los Angeles Legal Secretaries Association on April 5, 1976. The meeting was held at Edna Earle's Fog Cutter Restaurant, 1635 N La Brea. In August, 1976, the GO put on a five day International Conference for World Peace and Social Reform. The Anaheim Convention Center was booked for the conference, as over ten thousand Scientologists were expected to attend the event. This was a major undertaking for the Church, with many important guest speakers and entertainers on the program (for more information about the event, see the three documents in the picture gallery ). Behind the scenes there was a power struggle going on: the Guardian's Office in the United States held the Sea Org in contempt. When Jane Kember (Guardian World Wide) arrived prior to the event, most of the people who had been working on the project were replaced with people from the GO. Despite the fact that Jane and Yvonne had twinned together on the SHSBC, in 1962, she was not supportive of Yvonne nor friendly towards her. When Jane visited CC and saw Yvonne's office, complete with beautiful plants, celebrity photos and nice furniture everywhere, she was not impressed, and later told other GO executives that she was disgusted with what she had seen. She felt that it was the biggest theetie-weetie, dilettante office in Scientology and was determined to get rid of Yvonne. Despite this situation, Yvonne hosted the "Presentations on the Theme" at 1:00 pm, Thursday, August 26, 1976. Many prominent Scientologists gave talks about how they applied Scientology towards the improvement of world conditions. While the event was successful, the GO was already in the process of slowly but surely working to remove Yvonne from her position at CC. They cut her FP to prevent her outreach and did whatever they could to derail her. Yvonne even had to use the Daily Report Line, though her daughters, to get any direct communication to LRH. She knew that even Diana Hubbard could not stand up to the GO.
In early 1977 Yvonne participated in the first ever OT Symposium, in which a panel of OT's discussed clearing the planet. Heber Jentzsch moderated the discussion with Chick Corea, Ingo Swann, Bonnie Bishop and Yvonne. At the end of February Yvonne was excited about the possibility of CC moving into the Manor. However, after that month LRH ordered Harriet Foster to do an eval on CC. The GO made sure to interject negative things about Yvonne, which ultimately resulted in her being removed from CC and sent to Flag for a cleanup. When Yvonne and her executive staff heard that she had been removed, they came very close to a mutiny. Someone brought some alcohol to her office, and for about an hour or so they drank up a storm and had a raucous mutiny celebration. Yvonne's daughter, Janis, was at Flag when Yvonne arrived. Janis had her mother sit down with Harriet and go over the eval, which contained the negative reports from the GO. But it was all for naught as they had successfully caused Yvonne to be removed from CC.
Picture Gallery - Celebrity Centre
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. Modern Management Technology Defined, Church of Scientology of California, Publications Organization, United Sates, 1976.
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. The Auditor, Worldwide 85, 1973.
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. The Auditor, Worldwide 103, 1974.
- ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=_rcMAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Sl8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=3740%2C1577623
Commanding Officer of the Public Relations Org (1977)
Yvonne quietly accepted her dismissal and assignment to lower conditions. As part of her amends project she cleaned the pool at Flag during her personal time, the early morning hours. Several people watched as she skimmed trash off of the pool and as she worked her way around the pool, with a long poled brush, cleaning its sides. Yvonne was ordered to review for case cleanup and then routed onto the PRO (public relations officer) Course. This course taught Yvonne all about public relations, as delineated in HCO PL 18 November 1970 II. This policy letter described the role of a public relations person as "the interpretation of top management policy to the different public's of the company - to advise top management so that policy if lacking can be set - to make the company, its actions or products known, accepted and understood by the different public's - and to assist the company to exist in a favorable operating climate so that it can expand, prosper and be viable." Yvonne wrote to her son on March 23rd and told him "I'm doing the PRO Course and I'm thrilled..." Each evening that Yvonne was at Flag, she and Janis would hang out together and sometimes watch Elvis Presley movies. She wrote to son again on April 9th and told him "I've finished the courses on my apprenticeship with Liz - boy is she great. I'm learning lots." Liz Gablehouse was Hubbard's personal Public Relations Officer. Janis was sent out on a mission the last part of April, it was to be the last time she saw her mother.
All of this training was due to LRH wanting to create a special pilot, which when completed could be exported to other continents. Yvonne wrote to her son on May 13th and told him "Did you know I'm going back to start a PR Org - it's still confidential." On June 13, 1977, in Flag Personnel Order #2815, Hubbard officially appointed Yvonne as the Commanding Officer of the Public Relations Org West US. In June, 1977, Yvonne returned to LA where she took up an office on the ground floor of the Manor, which held, in the top floors, the GO. What a change for her, going from the head of CC, with a staff of over 140, to an office and an assistant; Spanky Pinion. Yet she forged on, in the Sea Org tradition of "Make it go right!". Her stress level was extremely high due to the fact that she was tasked to create a new Org without any financial assistance. Many a day she would quietly cry and apologize for the continual struggle. But she forged on working twenty hour days and sometimes days on end, a habit formed while creating CCLA. To keep herself going she would eat foods which contained high levels of refined sugar for that instant boost. Yvonne began complaining of headaches. She felt that the GO had some kind of tracking or other kinds of beams on her, or into her space, which were causing her the headaches.
One of her first actions in her new post was to create a checksheet for celebrities. She had noted that celebrities were reluctant to talk to the media about Scientology for fear of saying something wrong. In order to correct that situation Yvonne created a checksheet which would train a person on how to present Scientology to the media and also further their career. This checksheet was published June 24, 1977. (A portion of the checksheet can be seen in the picture gallery below).
Earlier in the year, (February 1, 1977), Scientology had purchased the 8.42 acre, 9 building complex of the former Cedars of Lebanon hospital complex. After many months of renovation the first Scientology Church to move into it was the Los Angeles Org. Auditor's Day, September 25, 1977, was selected for the grand opening. Nancy Helgeson, CO of the LA Org (Foundation) wanted an event to mark the first Church into the complex, but the Deputy Guardian of PAC, David Butterworth, wanted to wait until all the Orgs had moved in. Nancy turned to Yvonne for help, who somehow managed to convince John Travolta to fly in for the event. The grand piano from the Manor was used for the event, despite the CO of the Manor's refusal of its usage. Major celebrities, Scientology executives, representatives from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce were on hand and tons of balloons were released. Among those who helped cut the ribbon were Cathy Lee Crosby, Yvonne, Micky McMeel, Michael Lembeck, Chamber of Commerce representative, Diana (Kidwell Hill) Wood (ED LA Day Org), Stanley Clarke, Chamber of Commerce representative, Michael Roberts, Nancy Helgeson, John Longenecker, J.C. Hughes and Lynette Dalton. (An article and a picture from the event can be seen in the picture gallery below). The event was a huge success due to Yvonne pushing it through. Years later Nancy remarked "Doing things with Yvonne in your back pocket gave you immunity to what normally would have had you walking the plank!"
By September, Yvonne had built the PRO Org up to her and four staff - Spanky Pinion, Jim Cougar, Susie Newman and Michael Titmus. But the strain was starting to show. She was losing more of her vision, she relied more heavily on recognizing people's voices, she had some trouble talking and at times her words were scrambled. During 1977 Yvonne and Hana Eltrignham had exchanged letters or notes to each other which contained such things as "I am fine, how are you, much love and hugs." Yvonne was known for her lengthy letters, but her letters to Hana got progressively shorter throughout the year. She wrote that she was tired, losing weight and having headaches, all unusual for her. The last letter that Hana received from Yvonne was but a few lines long.
On October 9, 1977, Spanky gave birth to a daughter and Yvonne made time to see Spanky and hold her baby. Yvonne wanted desperately to go to Flag, the Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, where she could get the upper-level auditing which she thought could cure her, but was told there wasn't money for that. Spanky was so insistent about getting Yvonne to Flag that she went to extraordinary lengths, which only accomplished her assignment to the RPF.
Instead of getting the help that she needed Yvonne and Heber were assigned to make a tour of various missions and Orgs in Mexico. The night before they were to depart, Yvonne and Heber had dinner at Mickey McMeel's restaurant, "Managers". During the dinner Yvonne commented to Heber that she was feeling like she was drugged or something and that she was having trouble with her left side. The next day they left on what was to be Yvonne's last tour.
Picture Gallery - Public Relations Org
Illness and death
Yvonne's 50th birthday occurred on October 20, 1977. It was also the day when she was afflicted with what appeared to be a stroke, while touring Mexico conducting Scientology engagements. Heber put her on a plane to Los Angeles and continued on with the tour. Yvonne was picked up at the airport and taken to her room at the Wilcox (the five story Scientology staff building at 1596 Wilcox Avenue in Los Angeles). Yvonne's room was on the third floor all the way to the end of the hall. It was the only apartment in the building, which included a kitchen, living room and one bedroom. Despite the fact Yvonne was not able to speak normally, she was being audited by Ray Mithoff, C/Sed by the C/S International and everything overseen by Annie Broker. Between the three of them they had unilaterally decided not to tell Yvonne’s children about her condition. Yvonne managed to send, as a late gift for Janis’s 21st birthday, a leather hand crafted suitcase that she had bought in Mexico along with an incoherent letter. When Janis questioned Annie about her mother, Annie replied that Yvonne had been sick and Janis should delay her leave until her mother was well. When the C/S International returned to the International Base from having been in Los Angeles with Yvonne, Janis asked her how her mother was doing. Despite all those inconsistencies Paulette, not knowing that Annie had broken her agreement to not tell Yvonne’s children of her illness, still maintained that Yvonne was fine.
During this time period, the atmosphere in the Sea Org was very hard core. It was the culture of the Sea Org to not care for their ill - they were downstat and just got in the way, production was always more important. The Sea Org was "saving the planet" and it was considered "off purpose" and "off production" to assist the sick, even if it was family. No one was about to tell Yvonne’s children just how sick she really was. At the time, Terri was the Commanding Officer of CMO PAC, stationed at the Scientology blue building at 4829 Fountain Avenue in LA, and no one would even tell her.
Out of the blue Terri got an anonymous phone call, a female voice said, “Your mother is very ill and nobody is going to tell you”, and then hung up. Terri was alarmed and shocked by the call. She raced over to the Wilcox and found Yvonne’s door wide open with her mother lying in bed delirious, almost unconscious, moaning, and squirming. There was nobody around, no staff, no Medical Officer, no auditor, nobody. It was like the Twilight Zone, very gloomy and strange. Terri knew if she were to disrupt everyone in the family by making a big deal over her mother’s condition, it would prevent even her from helping her mother. She had to take charge and act before she was stopped and sent back to post. She immediately called an ambulance and got Yvonne to a hospital where they performed numerous tests. She was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctor said it was the size of a grapefruit and was surprised that Yvonne could still function at all.
Yvonne was a long time dedicated, loyal Scientologist and Sea Org member, and Terri had expected that her mother would get priority attention and treatment. Yet the attitude was that Yvonne was dev-t to the producing staff members and nobody could come off post to help her. Terri knew she needed outside help, so she called her Dad, who was a long time nutritionist. He told her to immediately put Yvonne on fresh vegetable juices to help shrink the tumor. Terri did that for several weeks until Yvonne was finally called to Flag for auditing.
Shortly afterwards Terri followed her mother to Flag where she was able to insure Yvonne continued on the critically important juice diet. Yvonne improved noticeably while she was on this diet, speaking more clearly and moving around so much better. Everything was going well until Terri was ordered back to International Headquarters to prepare for a photo shoot with LRH. He would be returning and they needed Terri on the camera as there was no one else who could do it. It made no sense to Terri that anything could be more important than looking after her very ill mother. Despite querying the order, she was ordered to return to post and turn over the juicing and care of her mother to the Flag Medical Officer, Ginny Hoff and the CO CMO Clearwater, Barbara Harris. Terri wrote her mother’s diet up in great detail and turned it over to Ginny and Barbara, making sure they promised to continue the proven program Yvonne was on.
On November 27, Yvonne, in spite of her deteriorating health, performed a christening for the niece of Glenn Samuels. Glenn had no idea Yvonne was so ill; she appeared shaky, but radiant and beautiful. She had hidden her illness very well. When Glenn later found out just how sick she had been, he felt badly that he had asked her to do the ceremony. He felt that the giving person that she was, Yvonne had put her own pain and suffering aside to make his family very happy that day.
Yvonne spent time at Flag with her close friend Hana Eltringham. In 2013, Hana recalled their time together - “She told me that Hubbard ordered her back to Flag, in Florida, for auditing to ease her transition, meaning death. The LRH program deals extensively with the considerations, feelings and factors related to the condition, while helping the person complete cycles of actions, incomplete communications, as incomplete cycles would of course tend to hang the person up in physical suffering. She had difficulty finding words she wanted to use, and lost track of what she was saying. A few times when we were together, she cried over it. She also could not keep her balance while walking. She said she had a brain tumor, and was dying; thinking auditing would fix the condition. I could not believe it. It started with an out of balance feeling which she assigned to lack of sleep. Had she seen a doctor earlier, the tumor could have been removed. We both cried. I knew auditing did not resolve everything, but I was shocked...”
Alan Walter also helped Yvonne while she was at Flag. As they sat by the pool, he would run out the sessions that she got. He had her visualize where she wanted to be next lifetime; she wanted to be on the west coast.
LRH had ordered Yvonne to do an “end of cycle” on her hats so that someone else could successfully take over her post after she dropped her body. Harold (the person, who in 1968, Yvonne had assigned the Los Angles Mission Books in Charge) was at Flag when Yvonne arrived. He could tell she was sick, but he had no idea of her terminal condition. She sat down with Harold and told him LRH had directed her to go through Flag personnel folders in order to find a replacement for her as Director of the PR Org. Harold and Ron Anderson were her selections. At the end of their conversation, Yvonne placed her hand on Harold’s cheek and told him “You are such a dear Harold, I love you”. When he later heard of her passing, he became very upset as he wished he had known about her grave condition.
Shortly after Terri left for LA, Yvonne was back on normal food again; red meat, dairy products, but no more fresh juicing. None of the diet and juicing that Terri had implemented had been maintained. Nobody monitored her like they promised, nobody really cared; production and one’s own post and keeping the stats up was the only priority anybody was to worry about. On December 20th, Yvonne was seen by Doctor E. L. Stewart at the Morton F. Plant Hospital, where he reconfirmed the diagnosis of the Doctor in Los Angeles.
The night before the Christmas Event at Flag Yvonne came into Patrick and Christine Gualtieri’s room. She sat on the edge of their bed and asked Patrick to PLEASE take over the event. She was concerned she would forget words or forget what she was doing. It was then that Christine knew for sure just how ill Yvonne really was. However, Yvonne rallied her reserve to carry out an obligation to do the New Year’s event at CC in Toronto. This was to be her last Scientology event.
Yvonne spent time at Flag with a close family friend since their meeting, before the Sea Org, at St Hill. In 2013, this person recalled their time together in two e-mails to Yvonne’s children – “You may not really want my write-up because much of it is very sad reflections from your mother about deserting you children for the 3rd dynamic and the old man. She was so torn and KNEW that she had made wrong decisions in leaving you all. She wrongly figured that she had "pulled in" this brain tumor and had pulled in not having you all there by her side for this reason. I told her boldly that that was utter balderdash and that the ONLY reason was that you all didn't know, or you WOULD be there, and that she knew only too well how the SO and GO worked not to mention LRH and MSH! She was shocked yet relieved and delighted at my viewpoint and acknowledged that it was not even humane treatment whatsoever to deny her to see her children in this time of need, and also to deny you all the most basic of human rights! She tried to say that her health would come around, but at some point, she finally admitted that that would probably not be the case. Your mother's main concerns once we got the litany of "hats, connections, ad nauseam" behind us was on YOU three and your future, and your survival. Your mother knew that she had tried her hardest to do the right thing for a group whom she genuinely thought was a positive influence on humanity, but she also knew that she had not been fairly dealt with, in fact, had been duped and tricked into doing her jobs at the expense of neglecting you three. She talked of trying in vain to rectify this situation with you three and to get back with you all, and she was intentionally kept apart from you....which she DID realize at the end was quite intentional! She said many prayers with me for you three and made me promise to make sure that you all would never be handled the same way that she was. So the point is, she had the epiphany before her death about her scene and I'm sure was SO relieved that Tezzi made it to CW before her final hour. She KNEW that you all - all three of you- wanted to be there with her, and that the fact that you were not was NOT because of not trying, but because of willful undermining of you.”
From that point on Yvonne’s health deteriorated. Hana recalled Yvonne’s final days, “She was in continual pain, but refused painkillers so that she could receive auditing. One day she cried and blamed herself for the terrible overt of dying and deserting Hubbard. On another, she was philosophical about dying, and said she was phasing out of life, and no one should grieve. I knew that Yvonne was nearing her death, and through auditing, she had discharged any fear or trauma of it. Over the next few weeks, Yvonne's condition deteriorated rapidly. One day when we were outside in the Fort Harrison courtyard garden, she spoke with great difficulty, and went unconscious several times for short periods. It took us a long time to get up the stairs from the garden to the building lobby, even with my help, because she could no longer coordinate her leg movements.”
Early January, 1978, the C/S International called Peter and Janis into her office and told them LRH wanted to tell them what was going on with their mother. The C/S told them Yvonne was sick but LRH was personally C/Sing her files, she was getting better and she was being well taken care of; so there was nothing to worry about.
Meanwhile, Terri received a nice letter from Yvonne, written by someone else, about how well she was doing – a good roads, fair weather letter. When she had last left Yvonne, she had been able to write her own letters. Terri was immediately suspicious that this was Yvonne’s way of telling her daughter that something was very wrong. Terri had to make a very tough decision to not tell her brother and sister she was immediately departing for Clearwater because she knew that Yvonne was not doing well. Terri could not tell anyone since that was the only way she would not be stopped. Somehow, she borrowed money for the air fare and booked her flight.
The minute Terri arrived in Tampa, she called her mother’s room, somehow feeling a sense of urgency and that time was of the essence. Yvonne answered the phone in a slurred voice. Terri said, “Mum, it’s me, it’s Terri, I’m at the Tampa airport, I’m on my way. I will be there in a half an hour, I am on my way, I will see you very soon.” Yvonne slurred Terri’s name, “Tezzie” (she had always called her Tezzie since she was a young child), “so glad it’s you Tezzie, so glad it’s you.” That’s all Yvonne could say, it broke Terri’s heart to hear her mother like this; she knew at that point Yvonne was in very serious trouble. Terri jumped into a taxi, arrived at the Fort Harrison Hotel, and ran up to her mother’s room.
The scene was a déjà vu of the scenario in Los Angeles just a couple of months earlier. Yvonne was lying in the bed in a delusional state, almost like a coma, and there was not a soul around. No Medical Officer, no auditor, no husband, not one person was with her. It took a while for Yvonne to even realize that her daughter had made it to her side. Then she hugged Terri and just kept slurring “Tezzie”, over and over again. They hugged each other for a long, long time and then Terri let her lay back down. Once again she called for an ambulance and rushed her mother to the nearest hospital. Terri called her dad in Los Angeles (who had just returned from Australia that day) and he immediately flew to Clearwater, arriving at the hospital even before Heber, who was in Clearwater on post somewhere. Heber arrived shortly after her dad and from that point on, he and Terri took turns staying with Yvonne and sleeping in the chair next to her bed. There wasn’t much else they could do for her. At one point Yvonne rallied, sat up briefly and wished everyone well. Her last vestige of inner strength having been exhausted, Yvonne laid back down and never again regained consciousness.
On Monday, January 23, 1978, at 2:10 pm, Yvonne Doreen Jentzsch passed away at the Morton F. Plant Hospital. By her side were Terri, Heber, Peter and his girlfriend Kay Gonsoulin. They had been told to “let her go” and not to hang on to her as she had made her decision. Peter L and Janis were at WHQ, La Quinta when their mother passed away. They were told later that day, after a telex came in from David Mayo. It explained to Janis why the watch, which her mother had given her, had stopped earlier that day.
LRH had written an order to get Yvonne's children into session and audit out the loss. Janis was taken into session by Rich Cohen the night her mother passed away. Paulette was the person who told Peter that his mother had died; he was devastated and shocked. After the shock of the news had passed, Peter became very angry! It became clear to him that a number of people had known the truth about how sick his mother had been but had intentionally kept it from him and Janis. He had been lied to about a life and death situation regarding his mother, just so he would stay unaffected and continue working.
The Church regarded Yvonne’s passing as a large public relations situation and plans were hastily put together to handle the fallout. Diana Hubbard assigned Patrick Gualtieri and Nancy Foster (Many) the mission to get out to Los Angeles and beat the “rumor line” of Yvonne’s passing. They were to report to Jon Horwich the results of their mission. Pat and Nancy were to make sure no public was to hear of Yvonne’s passing outside of the comfort and privacy of an auditing room. Heber was a big part of the briefing for the mission and that is where the "PR line” was put together. The "shore story" (what the locals were told, i.e. lie) was in essence as follows: “Yvonne never stopped working, she would often work late into the night, day after day, always busy doing things. When her body began to fall apart, she had a choice, stop working and tend to her physical body, or continue to work at full speed till she burned the body out. You know how she was; stopping would have been unheard of for her." Pat and Nancy were pressed for time as they were to fly out very early the next day, even though the mission orders, that they had been given, were still incomplete. When Pat came into their room, Christine knew Yvonne had passed away as Pat looked so very sad. They told Yvonne stories to cheer each other up before Pat and Nancy left on the 11:00 red eye flight to Los Angeles.
When Pat and Nancy arrived in Los Angeles it was early morning on Tuesday, January 24. At breakfast, both were wondering, "OK, now what do we do?" They agreed that they wanted people to be able to get a session, but "How"? Nancy could feel that Yvonne was right there with them. She felt Yvonne pop into her head and reply "The Field auditors". They immediately put their plan into action. First they had to brief Ray Mithoff, who would be the C/S for the mission. Chris Many was the Commanding Officer of CCLA, so he was second one to be briefed. Nancy already knew most of the field auditors, so she and Pat had a meeting with them at CCLA, and they were told outright of Yvonne’s passing. They then asked the field auditors if they would volunteer to audit, which of course they did. Ray Mithoff would then get the PC folders and C/S's ready. Nancy or Pat would meet a person in one of the auditing rooms, tell them the story of Yvonne’s passing, and they would then swap places with an auditor. They saved those that they thought would be most upset for last. The more sessions people got, the less the people after them needed time in session, until some didn't even require a session. Staff from CCLA and some staff from other orgs were treated in a similar manner. The CO at LA Org (Foundation) was taken in to an auditing room, given the information that Yvonne had passed away, and then had her rudiments run. She was informed Yvonne had paid for this action out of her own money. Pat and Nancy were amazed by how Yvonne had planted all these seeds, during her lifetime, and people had come out of nowhere to help others. People were so kind to each other; they would just refer people to Pat and Nancy.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that Peter Sr. was able to help his children, Peter and Janis, arrange for the flight to Florida with Kay helping with the expense of the tickets. It was late Tuesday night before they arrived together at the Palm Springs airport for a red eye flight to Florida, arriving early Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, Pat and Nancy held a memorial service with the staff of CCLA. LRH had sent them a telex to read to the staff and in it he wanted CC to be a memorial to Yvonne. After the telex was read, Pat and Nancy asked the staff to let Yvonne know it was okay to move on and that they loved her. After the memorial, Pat, Nancy and Chris all went back to Chris’ office where they noticed his clock had stopped working at about the same time as CCLA’s staff had said their goodbyes to Yvonne.
At Flag, no one seemed to know much at all about what was going on, except Lizzie Gablehouse, the LRH PR Officer who took care of Yvonne’s children. As Janis walked around Flag seeing old friends, people were thrilled to see her but had no clue as to why she was there. Wednesday night, Janis went out dancing with Stanley Clark and others, and they just thought she was on leave for a few days. Janis held up really well and was thankful that no one had asked her how she was doing - if they had asked that question she would have immediately broken down. Yvonne’s children had been instructed not to tell anyone of Yvonne’s passing as a mission had been assigned to do that.
On Thursday, January 26, 1978, Yvonne’s family gathered in the family waiting room at the Moss Fort Harrison Chapel, in Clearwater. Janis had not seen her mother since April, 1977 and Peter had not seen her since April, 1976. Now here they both were, sitting together at the crematorium with only the urn of Yvonne’s ashes as the last memory of their mother. At 1:30 pm, a small memorial service was held, with the Reverend Tony Dunleavy officiating. A small group of mostly family gathered for a small service. Those who attended were – Heber, Peter Sr. and his girlfriend Kay, Peter Jr. and his wife Doreen, Terri and her husband Gerry, Janis, David Mayo, Ken Urquhart, Liz Gablehouse, Patrick and Christine Gualtieri. During the service Heber spoke about his wife. After the ceremony, Heber laid out Yvonne’s jewelry for her children to divide between them. He kept their wedding rings, which had matched Scientology symbols on them. Peter Jr. picked out her squash-blossom necklace, Terri picked out her Clear bracelet and ARC ring. Janis picked out her turquoise ring and smoky amethyst ring. Heber kept her ashes with the intent that he would scatter them in the Clearwater Bay, which had been Yvonne’s wish.
There was very little “to-do” over her passing; someone organized all this and the family had absolutely no say in it other than to attend. No one except her family was informed about her death. No announcement was made about her funeral service. Neither LRH nor MSH came in for the services; LRH was in La Quinta and MSH was in Los Angeles. Afterwards Yvonne’s close friends at the Fort Harrison received a short briefing, and were told that Yvonne had “happily dropped her body”, was in good case shape to pick up the next one, and as this was a happy occasion, there was to be no grieving. Those most affected were given auditing sessions. Yvonne’s children knew they were to be away from their post the minimum amount of time, as usually no one would get time off for something like that. There was no time to waste on things like this; that was always made very clear.
On Friday the Gillham family spent the day at Disney World, capping the evening off with a dinner at a nice restaurant on the beach, south of Clearwater. Then the children were off on another redeye, back to their posts in California. Later, Terri was sent in for auditing. She wished they were able to just talk about it, but everything had to be discussed only in session with an auditor. No one talked to them about their mother’s passing, and no one was ever allowed to discuss the details of what had happened. She knew her mother should not have died and that she didn't get care when she needed it. Here was someone who gave their life to Scientology and yet, in her final hour when she needed help, she was treated like she was dev-t.
On January 30, 1978, LRH wrote Flag Conditions Order #5043. That was his message about Yvonne’s passing. In it he applauded Yvonne's achievements and granted her a leave of absence for twenty-one years until she rejoined the Sea Organization in her next life. (See a copy of the letter below)
The last thing that Pat and Nancy had to do was put on a grand memorial for Yvonne with all her celebrity friends. The Sheraton Universal City Hotel at 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, in Universal, was booked for the event. This hotel was known as the “Hotel of the Stars”. All of the celebrities had been each personally briefed prior to the event. There were some staff there, but the service wasn't for them. Heber gave a speech and the guests all waited in line to say how sorry they were about Yvonne’s passing. John Travolta attended but came in late and was sequestered from most of the guests. Noticeably absent were members of Yvonne’s family. Pat and Nancy spoke about Yvonne’s children and why they weren't in attendance. They had expected them and were upset they were not there. This was the memorial service they needed to be at; it was a beautiful and moving send off for Yvonne. Heber told Patrick and Nancy "Don't worry they are being cared for". In actual fact they were never invited nor told about this event. It wasn’t until the research for this biography (2013) that Yvonne’s children found out about this memorial; they had been in California at the time and could have easily attended.
Pat then went to Mexico where he put on a similar event, while Nancy returned to Flag. In every instance, it was the people who loved Yvonne that made the services so special. As Yvonne’s children were Sea Org staff members, they were expected to go right back to work.
During the course of the research for Yvonne’s bio, her family reflected back about their mother. Terri summed it up - “Mum was always so loyal to LRH and Scientology that she put her heart and soul into it and sleep became unimportant to her as she constantly strived to help LRH and Scientology achieve major goals of disseminating Scientology to celebs and others. She truly believed in the cause and made it her life mission with no other priorities and no other life; this was her life to the point where it eventually killed her. Approximately 24 years after her death a close friend who was there with her before she died said that before I arrived back in Clearwater from LA, that Yvonne had told her she felt terrible about being separated from her kids and that if they came to her now it meant that they forgave her for that. I am so glad that I made it that day, to be by her side before she passed away, so that she knew we forgave her, of course, and that we loved her so very, very much. She was a very special person who cared about others far more than herself and gave her life completely to helping make a better world.”
Remembrances of Yvonne
During the research for Yvonne's biography, February, 2012 to April, 2013, many people, who personally knew Yvonne, contributed excellent stories about her. However, some of those stories could not be properly integrated into Yvonne's life story. In order to properly preserve Yvonne's personality, it was decided to create a separate page just for personal anecdotes about her. Click here to access that special page - Remembrances of Yvonne
|Celebrity Centres established by Yvonne|
|Celebrity Centres Worldwide|
|CC International||Hollywood, California, United States|
|CC Baton Rouge||Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States|
|CC Boulder||Boulder, Colorado, United States|
|CC El Paso||El Paso, Texas, United States|
|CC Las Vegas||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|CC Lewisburg||Lewisburg, West Virginia, United States|
|CC Maine||Lubec, Main, United States|
|CC Mountainview||Mountain View, California, United States|
|CC New York||New York, New York, United States|
|CC Phoenix||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|CC San Antonio||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|CC San Francisco||San Francisco, California, United States|
|CC Santa Fe||Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States|
|CC Steamboat Springs||Steamboat Springs, Colorado, United States|
|CC Washington, D.C.||Washington D.C., United States|
|CC Melbourne||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|CC Mexico||Col. Roma, Mexico 7DF, Mexico|
|CC Sweden||191 61 Sollentuna, Sweden|
|CC Toronto||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
Three and a half years after Yvonne's passing, Scientology held an event to raise funds to renovate the Manor so that CCLA could relocate there. This had been Yvonne's dream location for Celebrity Centre and Scientology pulled out all the stops to create a great event. It was a celebrity auction named "Charities of the Stars" held at the Hollywood Palladium, 6:30 pm, August 22, 1981. Celebrity donated items were auctioned off, with the proceeds going to the celebrities designated charity. Proceeds from the ticket sales were used for renovating the Manor prior to CCLA moving in. (Images of a promotional piece can be seen in the picture gallery).
By October, 1981, CCLA occupied the Manor, where as of 2013 it still resides. LRH telexed that a "Yvonne Jentzsch Memorial Theater" be created at CCLA. A room, just off of the main lobby, was set up as a memorial for Yvonne. This was a place where visitors could go and feel comfortable in her space. Many people brought remembrances for her room; rare pictures of her and LRH, awards and plaques from around the world that Yvonne had been awarded. There was a board where keys to various cities, which had been awarded to Yvonne, hung. (see one in the picture gallery below)
In 1984, Celebrity Centre International dedicated most of its Celebrity magazine to Yvonne (see images of it below).
Yvonne loaned some of her inheritance to Scientology. The pieces of furniture that came from her great grandfather, Judge George Rogers Harding, still reside, as of the late 80's, at Saint Hill and Celebrity Centre International. Should you chance to visit the Pavilion at Saint Hill, look for a large dining room table, complete with chairs, and three buffet cabinets. At CC Int look for a coffee table, a bench and an ornament stand. As of 2013, her memorial and any traces of Yvonne, at CC International, no longer exist. Its been so long since Yvonne was with us that the staff at these locations might not even know that these items belong to her and her family, or even know who she was. Maybe you can remind them!
There were many people who were consulted for information about this biography. There were so many great things written about Yvonne, but one person summed her up the best. Captain Scott Mayer wrote the following -
"Yvonne, the actual founder of Scientology's "Celebrity Center" was one of the most loving, peaceful, gentle, spiritually aware, person I have ever known in my life. Her character alone, spoke volumes of what an enlightened mind was capable of manifesting in the form of unconditional love and compassion for the human race. Her instant acknowledgement of the beingness of the person approaching her with a communication seemed to me to be the epitome of what Hubbard was described in the matters covered in the basic communications course. A person just knew that if they could duplicate Yvonne's manner in dealing with people that they would have mastered the art of communication."
Picture Gallery - Yvonne's legacy
- ^ Hubbard, L. Ron. The Volunteer Minister's Handbook, Church of Scientology of California, Publications Organization, United Sates, 1976. Hubbard, L. Ron. The Auditor, Worldwide 110, Volume 12, April 1975.
- Material for this biography was collected from known documents and from first hand accounts from those who knew Yvonne. If you care to add information for this bio please contact Howard Dickman or email us: email@example.com.
- On November 28, 1930, Lionel Harding-Wilson started a family scrap book for Yvonne. A great deal of information about her early life was gathered from this family heirloom.
The job of editing the chapters, up to and including the Sea Org chapter of Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch's biography, was performed by one of her best friends - Hana Eltringham Whitfield. I am eternally grateful for her diligent work on those important sections not only due to her wonderful skills as an editor, but because she was a witness to some of the events in those years. Thank you, Hana.
- Remembrances of Yvonne
- The Factors
- The Golden Dawn
- My Philosophy
- What Is Greatness
- The Aims of Scientology
- Joe Van Staden - Birth of the Sea Org, Pt. 1
- Ships of the Sea Organization, 1967 to 1975
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