Funeral for a friend – Griffee Blythe

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I had the great privilege of attending a family memorial acknowledgment of the life of long-time former Snr CS AOLA Griffee Blythe over the Fourth of July weekend.

Griffee passed away on June 28, 2008.

She had left the Sea Org in 2004.

Her last several years on staff and in life were tortuous spiritually for her.

With the advent of the GAT, Miscavige had it ruthlessly implemented in A.O.’s and SH’s through his RTC Representative NW. As Inspector General from 1998 through 2004 I regretfully forwarded that campaign.

The RTC reps learned from Miscavige to treat senior technical terminals with a particularly cruel sort of disdain and invalidation. In LA the reps’ favorite target was Griffee, since she was the most senior and well know tech terminal in the PAC area, and because she was resistive to GAT’s dehumanization of the auditing process. She was blamed for all failed or resistive cases in the PAC area – though years later after very expensive RTC supervised reviews the great majority of them were either worse or blown off completely.

For many years Griffee was known as the last port of call in PAC. If all else failed, staff and public alike knew that Griffee would always be there for them. She exuded a friendliness that is hard to describe. I recall having to go upbraid her for something or other once. I got myself all worked up and stormed into her office. She looked up from her folders with an infectious smile that stopped me in my tracks, unmocked my ridges. She literally disarmed me with her presence. Within minutes she had me laughing.

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That is the Griffee I knew. Since speaking with many members of her family and staff and public who knew her I have come to recognize that is the Griffee that most people knew.

Perhaps having realized that and wrestling with my own involvement in the invalidation of her and everything she stood and lived for, made her funeral such a touching experience.

Griffee’s daughter Tish organized the farewell event. The evening of our arrival Tish showed the twenty invited family members and friends a special video presentation Tish had produced herself. With only music and still shots Tish managed to capture Griffee’s spirit of play and purpose of helping remarkably well. After seeing the presentation I was impressed by how well Tish knew and appreciated her mother even though she had not been afforded the opportunity to spend much time with her until the last year of Griffee’s life.

Soon that presentation will be available to all Griffee’s friends on You Tube.

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In the late afternoon of July 4 the group hiked to a granite promentory in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It was the spot where Griffee’s mother and father had their ashes spread after they passed away years earlier.

We walked trails through an eery and unusually thick fog. It was actually the underbelly of a low lying cloud bank that made the mist lighten and thicken as it slowly bobbed between the ground and forty to fifty feet above us.

When we reached the appointed spot, a large outcropping of granite boulders, Tish walked to the edge of the rock cliff with Griffee’s brothers and sisters. No words were spoken. Mickey Blythe emptied an urn containing Griffee’s ashes over the cliff. Within seconds an updraft lifted the ashes into a small cloud that rose above the cliff. Simultanously the cloud bank above descended below the tree line and at about Tish’s eye level, and ten feet in front of her, the ashes and the cloud mixed in a subtle dance – the ashes absorbed by the cloud. When all the ash was consumed, the cloud began to lift again above the tree line.

I felt that same disarming, peaceful and playful presence I had experienced when years earlier Griffee had, with only a look, turned my pent up antagonism into mirth.

My wife described a similar feeling as did others who attended.

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Friends can rest assured that the spirit of Griffee is alive and well.

May she know that she is not forgotten.

May she continue to fly in peace.

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18 responses to “Funeral for a friend – Griffee Blythe

  1. Concerned Citizen

    I knew and loved her.

  2. I was an AOLA staff member for many years.

    Griffee was exactly as you described her.

    Funny, sweet, smart. Light. She was someone you always felt you could talk to.

    I have to say, she seemed to change during the last few years I knew her.

    When she was being “groomed” by DM.

    The “hard and mean” stuff started to occur.

    Google her name on ARS.

    You’ll read a lot of nasty stuff about her when she went through her valence shift.

    But that’s not the Griffee I’ll always remember.

    I loved her.

  3. Thanks, Marty – it’s uplifting to know that the good people are still loved and cherished despite the Reign of Terror that tried to destroy them.

    There were many similarly treated here in ANZO – Peter Sparshott and Dot Bolstad are two who come to mind immediately. Pat and Harry Bloomberg as well. All were well-loved and their services were packed with their friends.

    For David Miscavige – I doubt you will be as well thought of when you do pass on.

  4. Just realize the amout of people she personally help with his knowledge and aplication!

    The first photo tells us all.

    I believe that there is no human being that, at least once in his life, hasn´t done someting bad or invalidative to other in the name of “the greatest good”.
    This story you share to us takes me to re-evaluate the importance of the patience and get a real product by an ARC-KRC approach; one that doesn´t harm but inspires to do all to achieve a goal.
    However I know that in Miscavology Tecnology Center patience is not allowed.
    Everything is “now, straight up and vertical”.
    Thanks for sharing.
    The world surely is a little bit better because of Grifee.

  5. Thank you for this Marty.

  6. A very touching story. I take it you wrote it Marty? Is that very young girl Griffee? How old was she then?

  7. Thanks for being there for us Griffee. I look forward to you once again gracing us with your joyful mirth. It will be better this time…..I promise.

  8. As with all of the Blythes, Griffy was special. I worked with her in PAC when she was Snr C/S AOLA and she was a Gem to deal with.

    When I found out she was gone in 2004 I was disturbed. I had no idea she passed away. I have a loss…

  9. Thanks for sharing this with us Marty.

    I did an internship under Griffie back in the ’80’s and I remember her with great fondness ( which is unusual since I do not remember any of my other intern supes in the same way) because she had so damn much ARC!

    It was infectious!

    Instead of getting all heavy and serious about a cram we’d both laugh and say it was “Miller Time!” which happened to be the name of the Cram Off 🙂

    I’m really sad to see her go because I’ll miss her.

    Again thank you for sharing this with us, Marty.

  10. “I had the great privilege of attending a family memorial….over the Fourth of July weekend.

    Griffee passed away on June 28, 2008.”

    Marty, don’t you mean 2009? Surely the memorial would not have been a year later.

    What a beautiful telling you did. Even though I never knew Griffee while she lived, after finishing what you shared of this experience, I felt I did….we all are better off having friends like her.

    She looks rather young to have gone so soon, too. Wondering if her passing was precipitated from her “tortuous” latter days trying to implement DM’s off-beat ideas and never recovered after leaving in 2004?

  11. May I ask on what she died and why she left the SO?

  12. Thanks Marty. What you, and all of us are doing, will go a long way to mend a broken heart.
    By the way, did her sister Bitty, Ronnie Miscavige’s wife, attend the service?

  13. I understand.

  14. Griffee was always a ray of sunshine in clouds of darkness. I am so very glad that she had some years of freedom and at least one year free with her daughter. Many Blessings

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