David Ebenezer Miscavige got home late that Christmas Eve. He walked past the ragged children eating their meager dinner of rice and beans, and past the half-naked people in the RPF, finally reaching his home.
After dinner he went to bed, tired from his long day of counting money and balancing accounts for the Church.
A sharp rattling clanking sound awoke him. At the foot of the bed, to his astonishment, stood a man. A fat man, with a growth on his forehead, and long grey hair that had once been red. Chains wrapped around his body with something attached to them on the ends, and the figure was semi-transparent. David knew the man, knew him well.
"L. Ron, is that you?" he asked in a quavering voice.
"Oh, yes - it's me, David," the figure moaned, and rattled the chains as he moved closer.
"You're dead ... I mean, you've dropped the body! Why are you still wearing it? And what are those chains and the boxes on them?"
L. Ron held up one of the chains, and David could see now that the boxes were e-meters!
"I wear the Tech I forged in life!" L. Ron whined. "I've been sent to warn you to change your ways!"
"You mean ... I have to keep Christmas in my heart?" David asked hopefully.
"Nope, I'm afraid it's not going to be that easy," L. Ron replied. "Hey, let me sit down, okay?"
David moved over as the figure sat on the bed.
"Enough of this melodrama," L. Ron said. "These e-meters are heavy!"
"What's going on?" David demanded.
"It's like this; You-Know-Who wants you to shut down CoS, refund everyone's money and repent."
"You mean ... God? You told us God was an implant from bad movies ..."
"Yeah, yeah - I know," L. Ron said wearily. "There's just the possibility I might have been wrong about a few things. I prefer to call You-Know-Who the Big Thetan, or Big T for short. Let me tell you how the afterlife has been for me."
"First off, I'm not coming back. That whole reincarnation thing is a lie. If anybody shows up and says they're me in the future you'll know it's not so. They'd have to be an even bigger con man than I was to pull it off, in any case."
"Second, you can imagine how surprised I was to see St. Peter and the gates after I died. I tried to audit Peter and explained he was only a Preclear, but he wasn't amused. He said I was in the wrong place, pulled a lever, and ... well, let's just say I'm somewhere a bit warmer."
"Hell?" David squeaked.
"Hmm," L. Ron considered, "you could call it Hell. Except for the fire and brimstone it kind of reminds me of FLAG HQ on a bad day, with everybody running around and screaming. Well, the Demons ..."
"DEMONS?" David squealed.
"Yes, don't interrupt. The Demons keep laughing and calling me Xenu, and they like to carry me up in the air and drop me in the Lake of Fire - they call it their version of Overboarding. Sometimes they sic me with rolled up copies of Auditor magazine and say things like, 'By the time we get done with you, Hubbard, you'll learn the real meaning of "raw meat".'"
"Now, the Devil was VERY pleased with me, said I'd been a good helper when I was alive. Said he had to open a little wing just for the souls I deceived. Then he put me in with the souls I'd deceived. They like to bite me while saying, 'Dianetics, Clear, Thetan, OT'. They take big chunks out of me, see?"
He turned so his back was visible, and his ribs could be seen through a deep wound. Various tooth marks and gaping holes could be seen.
David quietly lost his dinner on the other side of the bed.
"I was sent here to warn you, David. You were like a son to me."
"But you have children, L. Ron," David said queasily.
"You know the only child I ever cared about was CoS," L. Ron said. "You'll have to find a new career. Maybe you could repent and convert, become a televangelist!"
"Wait just a minute!" David said suddenly. "How do I know you're really here? I could be dreaming this!"
To his amazement a tear rolled down the figure's cheek.
"I TOLD Big T you were too brainwashed to believe me! You second generationer's are completely ensnared - you wouldn't know how to get out if you wanted to! I'm so proud. Tell you what, I'll be waiting in He ... in the warm place for you. I'm sure the Demons will have something nice planned."
And the figure disappeared. David rubbed his eyes and shook his head.
"What a dream! Must be some kind of recurring cluster, or ... That's it! A whole new level on the Bridge! Wait till I go back to work ..."