Tom Mallan was the Executive Director of the Church of Scientology of San Diego, from 1974 to 1978. Tom sent me to the Excalibur’s RPF in February of 1974, but despite that he and I were good friends. This page is my memorial for him. I wish, during our many talks, that I had kept much better notes of our conversations, but I had no idea back then just how deeply his passing would affect me. This is, to the best of my recollection and research, the Tom that I knew.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Tom, the youngest of three brothers, went to and graduated from the Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, in Lynchburg, Virginia, class of 1969. I wonder if Tom took it as a badge of honor just how many times the nuns battered his hands with their rulers!
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After graduation Tom entered the U.S. Navy, eventually being assigned to the USS Hanson (DD-832). The Hanson ported in San Diego in December, 1971, which gave the crew plenty of personal time. Sometime from December to the next April, Tom was introduced to Scientology. He most likely was asked if he would like to take a personality test at Carl Barney’s Scientology Coordinated Services (SCS), located at 1052 10th Avenue. He enrolled onto L. Ron Hubbard’s Communication Course (Comm Course) and bought several of Hubbard’s books. When he finished the Communication Course he would have gotten a certificate just like mine.
On April 10, 1972, the Hanson, with Tom as one of its crew, left San Diego on its last WESTPAC, destination Vietnam. On May 4, 1972 the Hanson participated in Operation Freedom Train (later called "Operation Linebacker") and engaged in a series of daring raids on the Haiphong complex. During the Hanson’s second raid, on the night of May 4, 1972, she was hit by an artillery shell which damaged the ship's water purification system. As Tom was a machinist mate, he would have helped with its repair.
From May 4, 1972 to September 18, 1972, a period of 138 days, the Hanson participated in the following engagements -
Hanson's participation north of the DMZ, 4 separate occasions, 42 strikes.
- Operation Linebacker - starting May 4, 1972
- Hanson subjected to over 300 rounds of hostile fire
- Hanson sustained minor damage on two separate occasions from N. Vietnam batteries
- Operation Custom Tailor – May 10, 1972
- Water Borne Logistics Craft Interdiction. September 2 thru 8, October 2 thru 3.
Hanson's participation south of the DMZ, 5 assignments on the gun line.
- Operation Song Thanh (5-72)- May 13, 1972
- Operation Song Thanh (6-72)- May 24, 1972
- Operation Lam Son 72 I – June 29, to July 11, 1972
- Operation Lam Son 72 II – July 11, to July 22, 1972
- Battle for Mộ Đức – September 16 – 18, 1972
After the Hanson’s last engagement its WESTPAC was nearly completed, all that was left was for it to return to San Diego. By this time Tom was already making news in the Scientology world. He had started a study group while in the Navy he called the "Squid Org", which was reported in one of “The Auditors” magazines (see below).
The USS Hanson arrived back in San Diego on November 10, 1972. For its service during its last WESTPAC, each shipmate earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Introduction to Scientology picture gallery[edit | edit source]
Time in Scientology[edit | edit source]
In 1972 there were basically three places you could go to that offered Scientology courses and auditing in the San Diego area. There was the SCS Mission on 10th Avenue, where Tom and I went to, there was the Church of Scientology of La Jolla (founded on April 8, 1971), and J.C. Hughes’ Adams Avenue Mission. I was not privy to the discussions, but towards the end of 1972 there was a rumor at the SCS Mission that the Mission and the La Jolla Church were going to merge. I signed a five year staff contract with the SCS Mission on December 28, 1972, while still in the Navy. I don’t know if Tom had also signed with the Mission.
The rumors were true and on February 9, 1972, Carl Barney’s SCS Mission in San Diego and the Church of Scientology of La Jolla merged and became the first official Church of Scientology of San Diego, located at 1052 10th Avenue. Our speaker for the Grand Opening celebration was the Commanding Officer of Scientology’s Celebrity Centre – Yvonne Gillham Jentzsch. Our course room overflowed with attendees who listened as Yvonne spoke.
In celebration of the event the Sea Org ship, the Excalibur, docked in San Diego’s harbor. One of the ship’s crew was a beautiful lady name Kenda McElvin, whose job it was to recruit Sea Org staff. Both Tom and I signed our billion year Sea Org contracts after being recruited by Kenda during our tour of the Excalibur.
As part of my Staff Status 0 training I was required to copy the Church’s Org Board. These were the postings during March of 1973. Tom was posted in Division Two, under Dee Johnson and I in Division Six, under Sue Gallagher. On April 6, 1973 the San Diego Org published a list of staff with Tom still listed in Division Two. During this time period a picture was taken of the staff of the San Diego Org. I was on Base, still in the Navy at this time.
Tom had some issues with the San Diego Org so somehow he managed to get himself transferred as staff on the Excalibur. Part of Tom's Sea Org training consisted on the Product Zero course, which introduced him to the Sea Org. At one time he held the MAA post, where he did 10 August’s on crew which were sick or messing up on post, (see the 10 August HCOB below). Bill Yaude, the Excalibur’s C/S, took a look at Tom’s 10 August write-ups and issued him a cramming order with thirty-three mistakes noted. Tom went to Maxine Cockran in the course room and asked for all the clay that she had. He spent three full days clay demoing everything on the HCOB. After that he got so good at doing 10 Augusts that both AOLA and AO sent them their tough cases. In the spring of 1972 the San Diego Org rented a larger location at 926 C Street and abandoned the location on 10th Avenue.
Don Crom, one of Tom’s former shipmates, and part of the “Squid Org”, was discharged from the Navy in November of 1973 and after a brief visit home, he reported to the San Diego Org as staff. Even though he was in the Navy, he was still listed as staff on that April, 1973, staff list. Meanwhile Tom, still on the Excalibur, had decided that he was going to marry Dee Johnson, staff at the San Diego Org. Tom, again, somehow managed to arrange a trade, Don Crom to replace Tom on the ship and Tom to become staff at the San Diego Org.
In late December, 1973, an LRH ED had come out that implemented a game for LRH's birthday the next year. Staff was expected to 5X (times) their December 27 stats. Can you imagine an auditor putting in forty hours of Well Done Auditing Hours per week, now having to produce two hundred hours! In January we worked hard at 5Xing our production. I still remember quite well trying to body route new people into the Org at 2:00 in the morning, I never did meet that target. In the midst of this Tom showed up at the Org with the Sea Org mentality of – Make it Go Right! He did not care for the way Don Jennings, our ED, was running the show. Somehow he managed to get Don to step aside and he took over as ED. The first thing Tom did was climb onto the top of the Church and hang a black flag off of its roof. That night he held a staff meeting and let all of us know, in no uncertain terms, that the flag would remain there until we got the Org in tip top shape – Tom had arrived!
The birthday game ended late January or early February, 1974. Shortly afterward International Management, happy over the success of the 5X game, issued a new game wherein we were now to 7X our stats. Pity the poor auditor who had just put in two hundred hours of Well Done Auditing Hours, now expected to put in fourteen hundred hours in a week! When news of the 7X game hit our Org I realized the futility of the target, I had had enough. I marched right into Tom Mallan's office and told him in no uncertain terms that there was no way I was going to do the 7X program. He thought for a moment and replied that he would be sending me to the RPF on the Excalibur. He explained that I would get five hours a day in study or auditing as part of the program. As Org staff we were lucky to get even two and a half hours of study and very little staff auditing, I immediately jumped at the edict and off I went.
After my graduation from the RPF on February 13, 1975, I had just enough bus money to get me to Oceanside, from there I tried to hitchhike to the Org. As no one picked me up it was past 11:00 pm when I walked into the San Diego Org. The basement had been transformed into a beautiful place; offices, a Qual area, a C/S office and six auditing rooms. As I was not yet tired I scanned some of the completed PC folders. This is when I made the drastic mistake of writing up all of the errors that Len Romans (the Org’s C/S) had missed. The next day Tom put Len in Qual and I as the C/S, despite the fact that I had no permanent certs or had not even done any of the Level courses!
By this time Tom was married to Dee who was also carrying his child. However some time later she miscarried, which shook Tom to his very core. I remember him being very despondent about it, yet still with the Sea Org attitude – Make it Go Right. Privately he dealt with his emotions.
On September 27, 1975, Tom married Mark and Marilyn Pisani in the course room of the San Diego Org. Mark was our Treasury Secretary and Marilyn our Director of Processing. We had a full house for the ceremony.
During 1976 some money (I never found out how much) came up missing at the Org. Tom ordered our technical division to get all of staff into session and sec check them in order to find out who had stolen the funds. I recall finding lots of out 2D (sexual activity), staff who were too poor to eat, staff working a second job in order to support themselves and not getting enough sleep, but no culprit. I know we were not allowed to get any of the GO (Guardians Office) staff into session, yet it was Tom’s wife, Dee (a guardians office staff member), who had taken the money. I never found out how she was caught. I know it was a big surprise to Tom. After that incident and coupled with Dee having lost his child, Tom's marriage ended.
Tom was not above being sent to cramming! His name was on the list of people who were to report to cramming.
I remember one time when Tom came into my C/S office, before 2 pm on Thursday, and asked that I graduate Greg Farley from the Dianetics Internship. During this time period no one, and I mean no one, ever got a Very Well Done (VWD) on their auditing unless everything was exactly correct. If the auditor placed the order of papers wrong, stapled instead of paper clipped, the best they could hope for was a Well Done (WD). When Tom asked me to graduate Greg, who was still making silly minor mistakes, I looked straight at Tom and said – make him perfect! Tom left without a fuss and Greg graduated a few weeks later.
Sometime during the summer of 1976 Tom was summoned to Flag for ethics handling. When he got there no one knew what to do with him so he ended up working in the kitchen. Tom told me this is where he learned how to crack four eggs all at the same time. He did finish what he was sent to Flag for and returned back to the San Diego Org.
The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology were published in August of 1976. The San Diego Org was going to put on an event for the introduction of the set and as I was the C/S Tom gave me the job of presenting them. I had not prepared a long talk as had not even laid eyes on them. They were late getting to the Org and Tom kept motioning me to stretch out my talk until the Red Volumes actually showed up. I really stumbled on until they finally arrived.
One note about Tom's preferred appearance. He thought he looked much like General Ambrose Burnside. I know he mentioned that, but I don't remember if Tom thought he might have been the General in a past life or if he was just an admirer of him. I don't have a picture of Tom when he was shaven like the General, but at the time Tom had an uncanny resemblance to him.
In November of 1976 most of the staff at the San Diego Org lined up outside of our building for a picture. This picture was used for a promo piece that we sent out to people in our central files. You can see Tom standing to the very left, right behind me. That same month LRH sent us his "Ron's Journal #28", it was a personalized message from him to staff at the San Diego Org. After hours we all gathered in the academy and listened to his tape. (To listen to our tape, use the player to the right). Tom is the ED that Ron refers to at 4:40 on the tape.
|RJ 28 Special for San Diego|
On March 27, 1977, Tom was the coach of the San Diego Org’s baseball team that played the Adams Avenue Mission team. When we won Larry (Adams Avenue ED) was forced to wear a streaker outfit. Look, he is smiling! Most of the people around him are from the Org and not the mission, I wonder why. Tom wrote an Executive Directive (ED) about the game and the cheerleaders. We had a second baseball game on April 3, 1977, which we also won. Tom told me later that he got in trouble from higher up Scientology administrators for the names we used for our teams and cheerleaders.
On June 5, 1977, Steve and Donna Curry’s were married, an event most of the Org staff and area Scientologists attended.
On August 7, 1977, Suzette Hubbard came to town! She held an event at the El Cortez hotel and the next day she recruited for the Sea Org at our church. Later that night Tom took her out to see the movie Star Wars, she had not yet seen it. She was blown away by it.
My contract with the San Diego Org ran out on December 28, 1977. I used an approved routing off staff routing form and most likely Tom had to sign it. In 1978 I moved to Oklahoma and practically put Scientology behind me.
I do know that, before I left, Tom was seeing one of the San Diego Org's staff auditors - Claudia Morelli, whom he married in 1978. Tom had served as the San Diego Org’s ED from 1974. In 1978 he was comm eved and removed from post. He used to have a framed 8 x 10 copy of a famous picture called "Sit on it” in his office that was lost when he was comm eved (along with everything else including most of, in his words, "my Thetan").
Tom then went to work at a Scientology mission in and around San Diego. For two years Tom and Claudia tried and tried to have a baby. Their dreams finally came through when their daughter, Corinne, was born on October 1, 1980, in San Diego.
On Tom Mallan’s Facebook page (Sang Lee) he noted that his birthday was June 1, 1983. I believe that was when Tom escaped from the clutches of Scientology. By that time he had divorced Claudia, whom he had been cheating on with a lady that he had met in 1974, Carol, and had given up working at the Scientology Mission. This was also the last year he had any contact, for nearly twenty-eight years, with his only child. Tom and Carol married but never had children together.
Time in Scientology picture gallery[edit | edit source]
Life after Scientology[edit | edit source]
In 1984, Tom decided, after hearing that one of his Scientology friends dog had been poisoned, possibly by the Guardians Office, that he and Carol should move to Hawaii, which they did. He was also under the impression that he might also become a target of the Guardians Office policy of fair game. He wanted to disappear from anything to do with the Church of Scientology.
Tom held many menial jobs, including working as a bar tender, until 1988 when he started work at a sewage treatment plant near the Ko’olau Range on Oahu. In 1993 they rented a house on Lumahai Place, in the Hawaii Kai area, just across from Hanauma Bay. Early in 2001 Tom started work at the Kahe power plant on Oahu, putting in twelve hour shifts. During the summer of 2001, Carol’s brother came to live with them for a short while, eventually moving back to the States.
By September of 2011 Tom was working as the plant manager of the power plant. He told me that he had sat down with all the fat books about the plant and used the study tech, that he learned in Scientology, in order to understand the makeup of the Kahe power plant, the largest in the Hawaiian Islands. When 9/11 occurred he heard it on the radio on the way to work and he had to tell the gate attendant to “LOCK THIS GATE DOWN AND DON’T LET ANYBODY IN WITHOUT A BADGE!”.
About that same time the neighborhood was having a problem with mail theft. One day their water was shut off due to the bill not being paid. This prompted them to consider moving to the big island and getting off the grid, which they finally did in 2005. Carol found an old four bedroom house on three acres which they named – “God’s Palm”. It was just what they wanted, a home “On the dark side of the moon” as Tom put it. Tom had to commute to Oahu for work at the plant.
Unfortunately one of the downsides to living on the big island is vog (volcanic fog) which contains oxides of sulfur. This can be deleterious to human health. Carol eventually became sick due to living with the vog.
In October of 2010 Tom’s daughter, Corrine, began in earnest to find her father, something she had tried to do since she was sixteen. She spent the next six weeks on the Internet, morning and night, to no avail. After searching for an additional three months she contacted her friend, Dan Locke, who after a week of searching finally found Tom. Corinne and Tom first talked, after nearly twenty-eight years, on February 4, 2011.
Carol passed away in June of 2011, and eight days later Corinne and her daughter arrived in Hawaii for a visit with her father. She found her father to be “an odd man but has a good heart once you get past his weirdness”. After three months Corinne decided living in Hawaii was not for her and unsuspectingly fled home to California.
Dan Locke also helped me get back in touch with Tom. Tom and I e-mailed for the first time on November 22, 2011. I had informed him of my article about my time in Scientology and on November 29, 2011, this was his reply -
“Bravo Howard! Sorry to have taken so long to respond. I read every word of your article. Bravo! Your account was one of the truest I have read. Yes there were some rough times, but there were times of absolute grandeur! The tech worked. Period. I am like a voice crying in the wilderness with a message of "No!" we were not mindless victims of brainwashing. We weren't victims of anything. We rocked! Thank you for telling the truth of those glory days. I too still profit from what I learned in those days. I run operations at a 650 megawatt power plant. And I use all that I learned there so many years ago. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I knew many of the folks you named. Peeter Alvett. Nate Hayes, so many... . Thanks again Howard. Glad you have done so well. "WE COME BACK" –Tom”
Tom’s daughter had twin boys on May 27, 2012. In the summer of 2013 Tom came to Los Angeles for a seminar, during which time he had a chance to visit his daughter, his granddaughter and twin grandsons. Corinne described their time together -
“As far as that visit, I can tell you that my twin boys were less than a year old. Dylan, my heart baby, and him had an instant connection. Dylan was generally shy with new people but he and my dad were like "in comm" for extended periods of time during our meeting. Dylan wouldn't take his eyes off him. Wanted to sit next to him. And smiled. They didn't talk out loud much but they were totally in comm. It was crazy. Never seen anything like it.”
Tom published his book on January 7, 2014. This is what he posted on the Kindle site –
"Important Note: This book has NO vampires, nor is it in any way connected with the popular books/movies of that Name. This is a true story. It is a rather irreverent (and I hope humorous) retelling of events that took place between 1984 and the present. It starts with two silly dogs, two real people and one wondrous baby bird. It is a story of tears and laughter, drug addiction and Death, reincarnation, time travel and sewage treatment. In retrospect, as I write this description, I am just beginning to realize that it is about Life... from the stinky, ugly parts to the most sublime. It takes place in Hawaii. The magical land I have been privileged to inhabit for the last thirty years. I hope you can catch a glimpse of its beauty through my eyes and allow me to leave you with my greatest lesson learned, “If you can’t laugh at life, you’re doing it wrong.””
In November of 2015, my wife and I took Don Crom, one of Tom's good friends and a former member of the "Squid Org", to dinner. As we were leaving the restaurant I asked my wife to take a picture of Don and I saluting our friend, Tom Mallan. The next day I posted the picture to Tom's Facebook page along with the message - "Don and I salute you as we are your friends!", to which he replied - "Back at ya Guys! LOL! =T".
On March 30, 2016 I received the following message from a friend of Tom and mine –
“Hi Howard, Just got off the phone with Tom Mallan. You need to call him before 10am his time (Hawaii) which is 1pm your time in California. Last month he had a bad heart attack but aside from that he is very sick with terminal cancer and multiple sclerosis. I am not sure if he has the strength to talk more than a half hour or so. Call him in the am after he is rested. Dr says he only has 2 to 3 months to live now.”
I called Tom on April 1, 2016. We were on the phone for nearly an hour. He told me that on February 25, 2016, he was outside of his CPA’s office and passed out. When he came to he was throwing up. He kept throwing up and was taken to a hospital where they determined that he had had a heart attack. They found a mass in one of his lungs, even though he had quit smoking sixteen years ago. They also found that his cancer has metastasized to his brain and he now had stage four brain cancer. He told me he would be 65 on June 25, 2016. He also said he would call me on his birthday, which he never did nor would he answer his phone.
The news that Tom’s condition was terminal shook me to my very core. However, I was put at ease when Tom told me, during our last conversation, that because of what he had learned in Scientology he knew he was a spiritual being and he was not dying, just his body was.
Tom spent the last part of his life as a patient at the Oceanside Hawaii Assisted Living Center in Hau’ula, Hawaii. His daughter had Tom’s case worker read a letter from her and he actually smiled and said “that’s nice”. On November 27, 2016, his daughter posted the following on her Facebook site –
“Last night my crazy, sarcastic, hilarious, brilliant father passed away after a very long, drawn out fight with MS and cancer. Earlier this year he was given 3 months to live. He surpassed every "deadline" (pun intended Cuz he'd want it that way) that the doctors gave him. Honestly I think he did it on purpose to prove them all wrong. Last week the doctors shrugged and said "we really have no idea how long he has. He's proven us wrong at every turn" and I'm willing to bet he was waiting for that. He had the last say. He didn't die on their terms. He, in keeping with his M.O, did so on his own terms. I had been sending his best friend videos that he could listen to while his friend visited since phone calls weren't really an option. He finally knew his only child, He was able to meet all of his grandkids. He heard them say "I love you grandpa" recently. He heard me say it the day before he passed. I do wish i could have said good bye. My father and I have one hell of a story together as well as individually and it's true what they say... just one more "I love you"... Just one more story. One more laugh.. There will be none except those in my memory. I'm not very familiar with death of this caliber. I wasn't raised to feel emotions like this. So it's all very confusing and scary (and maybe even fascinating). But I know he left this earth with peace in his heart. Something he didn't have very much of during his life. At least he left with it. He was a veteran, an ex-cult survivor, a conspiracy theorist, an animal lover, an incredible story teller, a whacko, a joker, a true force to be reckoned with. I will never forget you Dial wide Dan Locke for helping me find him after 16 years of looking. I will forever be thankful that I was able to know my father because of you. It makes me feel peaceful to know that I helped him close his last chapter in well-deserved peace after a lifetime of internal struggle. I will miss him. I already do.”
Tom was my friend and I miss him. We were there together when the Church of Scientology of San Diego came into being. He came back and placed the Church on the map. I credit Tom as being the father of the San Diego Org. Years ago, a person who knew Tom when he was on the Excalibur had this to say about him, which I consider apropos for the end of this memorial for Thomas Joseph Mallan -
“Sounds just like Tom to decide to RPF someone. Were you already SO in SD when he was ED? If so, that is probably how he CSW'd and did it. As an ED, he really didn't have the authority - but he had a way of just assuming an altitude, look you in the face and get ready to charge hell with a bucket of water and no ice.”