Monday, April 13th 2015
#108: Welcome to WCS Part 4 
Names, Names, Names
Quote of the Week

Experience is the teacher of all things.

-Julius Ceasar

I Was 'Trending'!
If you've been following me on Twitter (@wcsrevolution) then you know I've been writing a few things on the side.

One of these articles went "global" last week, and was forwarded to major newspapers, networks and even a number of my favorite celebs.

It was very surreal, receiving an email listing my tweet as "trending" that week, above others by JLo, Vogue and MAC cosmetics. Above! Even in the subject line!?

Why, thank you! At one point I just gave up and ran outside and circled the house until I tired into various ANTM poses - with jazz fingers of course.

And though the article has nothing to do with swing, I believe its popularity merits my sharing it with my fans who knew me first and love me no matter what I write.

So here it is:
Beyond 'Going Clear'
A follow-up to the documentary. 

While Going Clear is "going global" for its enormous revelations about Scientology, the real scandal is just how much Going Clear didn't tell you.

Be it time limits, legal limits, or financial limits, the bottom line is that Alex Gibney had a four hour documentary when he made his first cut... and we only saw the 2 hour version. No wonder those of us who already knew Scientology inside and out walked away feeling like it only covered half of the story.

As one expert wrote, when asked if things were "really that bad," they responded,"Oh, it could have been much much worse. Imagine every story, make it twice as scary, and then you'd been just a hair closer to how it actually happened."

And so, in honor of that sentiment, we've decided write for you a series of shocking articles that pick up where Going Clear left off.  A sort of one-stop-shop, if you will, that will introduce you to a myriad of names and references you will hear along the way as you Google yourself into Scientology oblivion. It can be daunting, but these quick articles should get you started on the path to expert with ease and grace.

Are you ready for this? Then let's begin. David Miscavige.

What You Didn't Hear:
David Miscavige

The world may have already known about John Travolta and Tom Cruise, but the cult's current master and commander, David Miscavige, was relatively unknown before the famous documentary aired. 

Before that, there were only two photos of the famous Hollywood maven in the Getty photo archives (compare that to the number of your Grandma Betty, who has 12 photos in there... and a few instagram tags too).

Much of the film's power lay in its unveiling of the mystery tyrant. The film's aftermath included references to Hitler, Stalin and even Bin Laden. It was clear the tirades of David Miscavige rivaled that of the infamous drill sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket, but the difference lies in the details. 

While Hartman toes the line of physical violence, Miscavige threw men twice as tall as him across the room, beat members with chains and put his hands around their throats, choking the life out of them for simple things, like bearing bad news. "Shoot the messenger" might have been coined by Miscavige himself.

One time Miscavige hopped onto the table in the meeting room where a presentation had been given, ran across it and tackled the presenter and beat him so horribly, that the dividing wall broke and destroyed the cubicle next door, knocking the woman in it flat. Everyone saw, but no one spoke. One eventually left. We didn't hear from her though.

What is perhaps more damning? His family.

Meet Jenna Miscavige Hill, David Miscavige's niece. Born into Scientology, Jenna was raised under the cult's supervision and teachings. She began working for Scientology when she was five years old. Yes, I said...


I have two great pieces for you this week. First, I wrote a piece for those of you who did watch Going Clear, the shocking documentary that's being talked about all over the world. I've enjoyed the SNL skits, Funny or Die playoffs and most of all the David Letterman jokes on its behalf. 

This week's left hand column is an article I wrote for those looking for more. I've begun a series that goes deeper - citing the scariest facts Alex Gibney didn't have the time to go into for you.

Now! Back to West Coast Swing! Today's main article is about the last segment in the popular Welcome to WCS! series: Part 4. But perhaps more importantly for those not new to WCS, I have some interesting stories you might relate to... Read on.

Names, Names, Names
Welcome to WCS! Part 4
Part Four Covers How to Have a Positive Experience in the WCS Community

It's here! The final chapter in the Welcome to WCS! series. And my, oh my, is it a good one!

I don't believe I cover anything really unusual in Part 4. I don't believe I said anything I haven't already, but for those who are new to the community, Part 4 should prove invaluable.


There are names we all know, but there are also names we have forgotten. And there are a whole bunch of names that are never mentioned but deserve recognition because they do teach real WCS when it is rather rare to find these days.


For example...


I took a vacation last month and found myself in a remote part of the country, dance-wise. But lo-and-behold! There was a WCS dance in town. How did we find it?


We went to a ballroom dance at an Elks Lodge or something like that - where the floors are wonderfully wooden - floating high up so that our knees don't hurt. We love those places. But as we were leaving, a man came up to stop us at the door.


It turned out he was the 'promoter' so to speak. He organized the dances. A one man show in a small community. He had a slightly icky feeling though. Nice on the outside, polite, stood tall, retirement age - but there was just that touch of... arrogance? Whatever it was, we stopped and listened anyhow.


"Are you guys westies?"




"NOOOOOO!!! Westie!?!? WESTIE!?!?!?! Who taught you such language???? ----BAH! I've NEVER been a "westie," don't WANNA be a "westie," and ain't nevah gonna BE a "westie" neither!!!!" And I just walked out the door. Nick had that proud grin on his face as he followed me out.


Cut back to reality. We tried to politely smile and play dumb. "What's that?" I said, tilting my head in fake interest, and looked down at the flyer he was holding up. And there he had it: a list of WCS nights.


Normally this would have thrilled us. But we didn't have a great feeling about it. #1: He said "westie," which is only a term used by cult members. Only the brainwashed or deniers of reality use a derogatory term to describe themselves with pride. And #2. he had that "ick" feeling on him.


I now knew with almost 99% percent surety that it was that misogynistic quality men in the WCS cult have. And even though he danced WCS and his students danced WCS, you could tell - it's not because they wanted to.


You see, we did go - we tried one of the WCS nights. Though the entire room would stop and watch whenever we danced, the crowd was always torn at the end: should we clap? or should we shame them? Because it wasn't quite what they thought anyone was "supposed" to do nowadays. But they couldn't help themselves when it came to stealing moves ;)


Because even though they didn't have any All-Star Westies to show off Abstract Improvisation on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in their area, they had been touched by the cult and were an extension of it.


Not surprisingly, the man's wife was scared to talk over him in conversations, literally wincing and flinching - flinching! - when he'd dart her a glance while we talked with them. Despite her younger age. Despite her best efforts to steer clear of his toes. Despite all of her deference...


It was there.


I've seen it before. They were the shell of a marriage that once was. They'd traveled together, danced together, built the community together, but when they went to a WCS convention... and took with one of the many misogynistic Nissies who lead and teach Abstract Improvisation... it was over.


The seed was planted. Oh, the soil must have been fertile. Had it not, they would have left and never danced WCS again. Or at least never attend a convention again.


But not him. He took the bait. And she did not argue, and has never felt safe since, despite her best efforts to put on a smile.


The place reeked of addiction - but not that of drugs - just the addiction to names and that secret "power" of knowing they're better than others. 


Because just like Scientologists, Westies don't consider themselves equal to any other dance, any other community, any other species. And it broke that place, when we entered their dance floor, to still say "no, we aren't westies" and danced with freedom, joy and equality.


So we never attended their WCS dance again and happily stuck to their other offerings. We never spoke of why or how - never mentioned a thing. We simply smiled and nodded and danced.


My point? The cult reaches much farther than you would think. The sticky-sweet powder clutches on to a weak man's ego and twists it upwards. Women with soft spots bend evermore to their will and before you know it, a once healthy community devolves into a sad one - where people are disappointed they only dance real WCS, and not that "new stuff."


They don't know what it feels like on the other end of that Abstract pole, and I don't think they'd like it at all, but they don't feel the freedom to enjoy pure WCS, and that is death indeed.


So Part 4 is dedicated to those deciding between the two worlds - who have picked but don't know how to go about living their decision out. 


Dancing is joy incarnate, is it not? And Part 4, names or not, aims at giving one the tools to do just that: be happy, be free and dance.




Bestselling Books by Katherine!