Randy Kretchmar, Carol Brookes and Mary Ann Ahmad were the Office of Special Affairs at the Chicago Org at that time.
The Cult Awareness Network had not been infiltrated, taken over and destroyed by OSA yet. They were still the Church of Scientology’s number 1 enemy, like the Anonymous movement, or Marty Rathbun is now. Based in Chicago, CAN was having a nationwide conference in Bollingbrook, an outlying suburb.
As the Exec Dir of the Peoria Mission, I was recruited to drive up to the conference and check in at the hotel, to stay there as a guest, and to act as an asset for OSA during that weekend.
It was my first real undercover work. I was very excited that my whole track purpose as an espionage agent, which I had uncovered through all the False Purpose Rundown auditing I was getting, was finally being utilized.
I slinked into the lobby of the Lincolnshire Resort Hotel and scanned its inhabitants. In a group of chairs and couches in the middle of the lobby, which everyone must pass by to get to the front desk, sat Randy Kretchmar, big as you please, reading a copy of Robert Jay Lifton’s Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing” in China. He was right there, where everyone could see him.
“See?” I thought.” Right there is proof that Scientologists are not brainwashed. If he can read the Deprogrammer’s Bible, and still remain a Scientologist… well what else do you need to know?”
Scientology was different. It was above all these other religions. We were not only fighting our own enemies, but we were fighting the enemies of all religions, and the enemies of all Mankind.
I walked by the lounge couches. Randy’s eyes met mine. We did not wave.
I saw Margaret Singer standing off to the side of the front desk, talking to some people in a group. You could identify the CAN Conference attendees by the big yellow name tags they were wearing. Most looked like couples in their forties, maybe parents of the children who had sought refuge in their chosen, but possibly unconventional, religious pursuits. Looking very unlike drunken Shriners or Aircraft salesmen, I was surrounded by people whose sole purpose was to get others to leave their chosen religions.
As a staunch member of the Church of Scientology, I was in the esophagus of the beast itself, heading in.
I checked in, got the key to my room and walked over to the elevators. As I stood waiting for the next one to arrive, a group of very pretty 20-something girls came up and stood next to me. They were talking amongst themselves. When the elevator doors opened, I got on first and acted like I was holding the door for them as they boarded. I was smiling.
As the doors were about to close, we all heard, “Hold that!” and I quickly shot my hand out to stop them. It was Stephen Hassan. Slim, well built, 6 feet tall, holding a briefcase and dressed in a shirt and tie. He jumped on and settled himself right into the middle of the girls. Standing next to the floor buttons, I let the doors shut, my rising blood pressure making my temples vibrate. Stephen reached by me, brushing against my shirt, and punched his floor.
I’m reeling, but still undetected. “I am standing in an elevator with one of the biggest SP deprogrammers in the world. If this was 1930, in Germany, and I was right next to Adolph Hitler, I could have taken an action that would have saved the planet from WWII. Well it’s 1987, and I’m in an elevator in Bollingbrook, IL…”
One of the girls almost squealed. “Are you Stephen Hassan?”
“Yes I am.”
I was right. It’s him.
The other girls gathered closer to him.
“I’ve read ‘Combatting Cult Mind Control’. I wanted to thank you for that. It’s been so helpful to me and my family. So are you here for the conference?”
“Yes. Are you here for that, too?”
“Yes. My brother joined a cult a few years ago and my parents haven’t been able to reach him.”
“Well, hopefully we’ll have some things that you can do.”
Invisible black clouds were forming in front of my forehead. “Yeah, like kidnap people and torture them until they finally denounce their chosen religion” I thought. I had read what he had done to a kid in Iowa, how he had held him there against his will as he worked him over for days at a time until the kid finally cracked. This was a conference where all the biggest deprogrammers were the stars, and everyone else was fawning all over them.
The door opened to my floor. I jutted out of the elevator and into the far end of the hallway, taking my first breath in minutes.
“My God that was fucking disgusting! Her brother has every fucking right to pursue any religion he wants. These people are EVIL. Fuck!”
I got into my room and immediately called Carol Brooks at command central, as instructed. I was told to walk around the hotel and to get oriented. “Take note of what you see but don’t contact anyone else you recognize. We need you as eyes and ears this weekend, so be available.”