The death of Alexander Jentzsch

This is the recent story of the death of Alexander Jentzsch, the son of the President of the “church of Scientology”.

Incredibly sad…

From The Village Voice:

 

De La Carriere was not invited to that service because she had been excommunicated by Scientology in 2010 for speaking publicly about Heber’s treatment. (She put on a memorial service of her own on Friday.) As a result of that excommunication — in church-speak she was “declared a suppressive person” — her own son, Alexander, was forced to “disconnect” from her. She had had no contact with him during the last two years of his life, and then was prevented from seeing her son’s body before it was cremated by Alexander’s wife, who is a Scientologist.

Rest in peace Alexander.

Being raised as a scientology child.

Surely the testament to the workability of a belief system/practice/”technology” is the real life consequences.

So looking back over my life now, the effects of 46 years of association with scientology beliefs has resulted in a wasteland of family connections and love. Surely those concepts are an exact opposite outcome to a practice that aims to ‘save the planet’ and make this world a better place? My story is by no means the only one. There are thousands of shattered families like mine, families who never had a chance really.

I was talking to my dad the other day, he is nearly 86 and once an “OT5”, as was my mum. He said, “I am the father of seven and I don’t understand why you can’t all get along.” Oh Dad, how simple is the explanation and how complex are the consequences!

The simple explanation is that love does not come into it. My parents took us all to another country to study scientology and then were too busy to have time for their large family. My siblings were often left to fend for themselves in many ways, as I was. I am sure this is the reason we are scattered all over the world now … we were just not raised to give family bonds any priority. My brother was sent to ‘the ship’ when he was 15, I was sent to the Sea Org in another city when I was 16 and pregnant. We all had to learn to fend for ourselves. My brother says that the Apollo crew became his family, with its loose morals and fierce authoritarian boundaries, and the consequences of that reverberate to this day.

This is the end result of an extended family in scientology – of the 4 children I gave birth to, only two are connected to me now, two have disconnected (one due to scientology and the second for other reasons only he understands). My parents are now elderly, my mother has dementia and my father is battling cancer, despite the decades of devotion to the tech. Because they live with a scientology family member in another state, I have no physical access to them. Yes, I could make a fuss and demand to see them, but they are in a delicate position. My father was discouraged from even being in contact with me by skype! (He is defying that though.) My ex-husband is still a scientologist and also has severe physical problems and of course does not talk to me because I am a critic, and this affects my children. My mother-in-law was also a scientologist until a few years before she passed away. Of my 5 siblings, there is only one who will talk to me on the phone now and then. The belief is that scientology has nothing to do with the disconnected one not talking to me! My grandparents and an aunt and uncle disowned my whole family when I was young, due to my father’s choice to take us to the UK for scientology. I never got to know my grandparents they passed away. And for the same reasons, I don’t know any of my cousins.

It’s a pretty sad state of affairs.

This is what one of my own children said in response to my question on how they felt scientology had affected them, even if they had not actually done any ‘services’:

“My personal thoughts on having it influenced my younger life ….

The words sad, ashamed, embarrassed come to mind! I feel helpless because it’s like one of awful dreams where you are trying to scream at someone but no sounds comes out. Me being the person screaming and the “scientologist” completely oblivious.
I hate having to try and explain it to people, it is all so intricate and like I said before, embarrassing.

I feel like I missed out on having a ‘normal’ childhood. I didn’t realise this for a long time but when I did I felt terribly robbed.

BUT there isn’t much i can do about it now and i completely accept that it wasn’t the parents fault (you and dad) really, because you at least became cluey enough and got the hell out of there before I was old enough to realise what it was all about. Because i can guarantee you that if you were still ‘in’ I would have been the cluey one!

The fact that our other family members are still in, is just, it’s….. depressing and the word embarrassing comes up again, but I feel embarrassed for them, not for me! And it’s a huge feeling of loss really …… the absolute main effect it has had on my life is that I have no family contact out of my immediate family.

It also took me a while to realise that that wasn’t my fault….. as a child you do not have the skills to maintain complicated extended family relationships… this is their job but it was never done.”

Here is a very relevant observation on how scientology children can feel:

“I wonder about the issue of trusting the outside world. By this I mean that the “us and them” mentality. The constant under-current of “we have the best answers, they are just wogs”. The outside world is to be regarded with suspicion – at best with mild contempt, at worst with complete disregard and disdain.

A child cannot integrate in a healthy way into life if they are raised to hold the outside world as either dangerous or inferior.

I saw scientology raised children who held a very condescending attitude to anyone that was not “in” scientology. Yes they were polite, yes they were pleasant but if you stepped back, these youngsters did not trust outsiders to be of any true value.

That extended out leaves the child with limited options as they enter adulthood. University professors are held in contempt; medicos – well let’s not even go there; non-scientologists are to be held as potential trouble sources as “they” don’t have the answers to life (the tech). Therefore the child/young adult makes limiting decisions and often remains well within the confines of the mentally controlling system. They join the SO, they join general staff, they work only for other scientologists – they can’t truly trust the outside world.”

Yes, that is so true. Normal childish emotional responses are frowned upon,  I remember many times that a argument was ended with “You’re just being banky!” This means it is all the reactive mind’s fault (bank) and you have no right to express opinions that go against the status quo. If a child is hurt or ill, the automatic responsibility it put back on them as “pulling it in”, in other words causing it. So you tend to grow up with the weight of the world on small shoulders,  and it is very difficult.
Another profound comment on the thread linked above:

“So the constant message you are getting is “You are not important.” I will meet the bare minimum required to keep you alive but anything else is secondary to what the group needs. “If we can get away from post for your solo in the school concert – great – otherwise stop being such a baby. You’ve blown up planets before. There will be no money there to help you go to university or get married or anything left behind once you die. Scientology has our love. Scientology has our attention. Scientology must always be fed and cared for. “

Please – don’t bring your children up within scientology….

PS – I just want to add a comment that I am not saying my parents didn’t/don’t love us all. They did, they just had blind spots, and unfortunately those huge blind spots caused damage that didn’t have to happen.

A scientology child – Sharone’s story

I watched a video today that is of a speech given at the recent Dublin Conference. The speaker is Sharone Stainforth, and her story is powerful and almost unbelievable. Raised within scientology from the age of 6, she spent 2 years about the scientology’s flagship the Apollo from 1967. The things she experienced and witnessed are a powerful testament to the bizarre and inhuman treatment children can receive within The Sea Organisation.

The fact that this happened decades ago is irrelevant, the same concepts of secrecy and abuse are still practiced and still as hidden.

I feel a special empathy for Sharone, as her life could so easily have been mine. In 1967 my family was scheduled to join the ship as well, as outlined in my story here.  Luckily our family didn’t make it that far, and although our life at Saint Hill in the UK was no bowl of cherries, it was not as bad as hers.

Thankyou for speaking out Sharone!

Break over…

I took a break from writing my story here and now I am ready to continue.

There has been a lot of media about the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes divorce, the future of Suri and exposure of the reality of scientology lately. It reminded me why I started this blog … to try and put in words what it means to be raised within scientology. It is quite a difficult thing to do, as to this day I am still peeling the layers and finding those hidden concepts that warp one’s outlook.

I think that’s why I came to an abrupt halt when my story reached the years of raising my own children, as I had to think of not only the effect on them, both in the past and the present, but also unravel the effects on me.  My family is affected by the long term consequences of scientology on a daily basis and without the support of friends and the Ex Scientologists Message Board,  coming to grips with it would have been an almost impossible task.

More soon!

“The Most Ethical Group on the Planet”

This article written by Jeff Hawkins is one of the best I have read about how scientologists explain “the greatest good”.

Here is a small excerpt:

And one has to penalize downstats, right? So how do you do that? Well, throw them overboard or into a lake, have them run laps around a building, put them on “beans and rice,” have them work through the night. Assign them to the RPF. That’s the “greatest good,” right?

Donating money to Scientology strengthens the Church, therefore that’s “in-ethics.” Refusing to donate your money to the Church does not benefit the Church. So it’s “out ethics.” Buying up real estate with parishioner money is “good for the Church.”

And if someone tries to expose the abuse? Well, they are creating “bad PR” for the Church. That’s not the “greatest good.” So those people are SP. And how are you supposed to handle an SP? By any means necessary. After all, didn’t LRH say “One treats a real Suppressive Person pretty rough” (HCO PL 5 April 65 Handling the Suppressive Person) – a quote Miscavige loves to repeat.

So of course, ganging up on someone and screaming at them is for the “greater good.” Disconnecting people from their families is for the “greater good.” Making their pc folders public is for the “greater good.”

And when all this “goodness” gets exposed, how do you handle the Church’s resulting “bad PR”? Well, of course, you lie. You lie to protect the Church. You tell “acceptable truths.” There’s no violence. There’s no disconnection. There’s no abuse. That’s also for the “greatest good”.

Read the whole article here:  Leaving Scientology

Why I oppose Scientology

This brilliant essay is written by my friend Paul Schofield.

To read more of Paul’s story go here – CIFS

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Why do I oppose Scientology?

It’s something I spent the better part of 30 years supporting in every way that I felt I could. I did 80 courses on the subject and received a lot of Scientology counselling in that time as well.

I was a staff member for over twenty years and later worked for Narconon (Scientology’s drug rehab organization) intermittently from 2002 to 2008. I did some work with Applied Scholastics (the Scientology organization dedicated to getting Scientology’s Study Technology into the schools systems) and was on the Board for the local Applied Scholastics school for roughly a year.

I trained at the self-professed “Mecca” of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida for over a year and trained twice at the International Training Organization of Scientology in Los Angeles. My expenses were paid for during my time there. I was twice flown to LA in my time at Narconon for briefings and training. I was an ordained Scientology minister who was recognized by the state of NSW in Australia as a religious marriage celebrant and performed quite a number of weddings for Scientologists in that capacity. I was one of a very people awarded the certificate of Professor of Scientology – I gained mine in 1989 after completing many courses.

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it because in the vast majority of time I worked for the “Church” or any of its “social betterment” organizations that the pay was a pittance? Never enough to feed me, let alone raise a family or buy a house? Even when I worked for a wage at one Narconon, the pay was minimal. At the other Narconons I have worked for, the pay was dependant on how much money was gotten in for that week – at one time, I went for five weeks and received no pay at all because little or no money had come in in those weeks. I have been longer periods than that working for the “Church” for no money at all. Most of the time, a pay of more than $50 was a “good” week.

But I knew what the pay was before I started and agreed to these conditions even though I thought the pay would increase rapidly (and had been told this.) The decision to suffer these conditions was mine and mine alone – I could’ve left any time I felt like it. Although I was convinced I would have to pay back many thousands of dollars for training and counselling received while on a staff contract. But this also was something I’d agreed with when I started (even tho’ it’s not legally binding on me, as I recently found out.)

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it because the focus of all the activities of this “Church” now seem to me to be totally aimed at collecting money?

No – while I feel like a fool for having supported such an organization, the world is full of such organizations and they’re not necessarily something to be attacked. Even if the current leader of the “Church” spends millions on houses, cars, motorbikes, holidays etc. for himself while many of those doing 80 or 90 hour weeks for the self-same “Church” earn $5 or $10 dollars allowance plus basic food and clothing each week. They do it voluntarily for the most part. Just like I did. I feel for them, but it is their choice to stay there.

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it because of the cover-up of the Founder’s past, turning his life into a total myth of enormous scope?

No. I was rather upset when I found that this man who I’d been led to believe had been a dynamo achiever of huge goals was actually neurotic and unstable. His war history bore no resemblance to facts. He manufactured so much of his history he must’ve known he would eventually be found out. Either that or he was delusional. Yet I enjoyed my time studying his writings and listening to his recorded lectures and found much that I felt was useful in them. If a man wants to invent his past that is his business, not mine. It is only what the man achieves that I am interested in, and I felt then that he achieved much. Even if his achievements didn’t result in the universally workable technology he claimed. And I now know that much of his major “breakthroughs” were actually the work of others.

So – is it because his “technology” is flawed and doesn’t do what he said it would? That his many claims for his mental therapy is little more than blatant lying and every simple independent test conducted on this proves this so? That no-one out of all his adherents have ever achieved even a small part of the claimed benefits of the promised superhuman?

No. There are some benefits to be had, even if they aren’t the overall goal of a new improved human being as stated often in Scientology literature. In fact, I think it largely depends on the person. I know several people who have spent a lot of time and money receiving Scientology services and they are still the crooks or fools or connivers or bullies that they’ve always been. Maybe now a bit better at it. And the nice people are still nice, if now broke. And I believe the benefits could be gotten a lot easier (and a lot cheaper) in other practices available to the average person. But it wasn’t all bad and I did learn some valuable life lessons from my time as a Scientologist

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

Is it the widespread (but constantly officially denied) practice of disconnection? Where an adult with children will be told by a fourteen year old staff member to leave their spouse or be unable to continue with their Scientology services? Told that if they stay with someone who is critical of Scientology in any way they risk their own immortal future? And that of everybody else because it may impact on the whole scheme of things?

No, although I have lost several friends to this very practice recently. One is a staff member who believes that he is trained in the basic secrets of human behaviour and instructs others in how to counsel people with Scientology. He works his forty hours plus for the “Church’ and also works another job just to get by. He informed me that he could not communicate with me until I “handled” my “problems” with the “Church” that he had read about on the staff noticeboard. This was a communication I never received from the “Church” so I know not what it is that I need to handle, nor do I think the “Church” will tell me any time soon. But, to my friend, the fact of an official announcement on a noticeboard on my apparent wrongdoing is enough to abandon our friendship. Without once consulting me for my side of the tale. Because he believes sincerely I have “gone over to the Dark Side.”

Another is a friend who knows of my disagreements and has disconnected also because of the few I have voiced to him. He is a man who is risking bankruptcy yet continues to donate money he hasn’t made to the “Church” because he sincerely believes it is the best thing for him to do – the greatest good for the greatest number. His children have mostly signed billion year contracts and do the expected 80 to 90 hour week of the Sea Org (the paramilitary arm of Scientology that perform all of the upper management functions.) He urges his fellow Scientologists to follow his example and give freely of both time and money. He owns neither car nor house. He has nothing set aside for his retirement yet he has earned probably millions and given it to the “Church” over the years.

When I spoke frankly to him of what I saw were the dishonesties of this “Church” he told me he would get someone to get me the true data on this and turned the whole matter over to the “Church” for official handling and has not communicated to me since, nor do I expect him to. For once a person in Scientology is officially labelled as some sort of enemy in any way, none who wish to “remain in good standing” with the “Church” may communicate with the now-enemy.

Even when I mentioned I had doubts about Scientology to my wife, her reply was that I needed to “handle” this or I would never see her nor our children again. She then rang the “Church” for advice on what to do to “help” me.

I have no problem with any of the above people’s actions as it’s what I would have done in the same position as a dedicated Scientologist. It certainly isn’t totally the fault of the people who are doing what they thought was best for me as well as them. And there are other religious and non-religious groups that practice disconnection, although probably not to the same lengths as Scientology goes in its “official” pronouncements to its members.

So – why do I oppose Scientology

Is it because of the reported human rights abuses? The reported unjust imprisonments and coerced abortions?

I have a friend who was in the Sea Org and got pregnant with what would be her second child. There had been an edict put out by the Executive Director International of the Church in the mid eighties that forbade Sea Org members having children as children had become too much of a drain on resources. Should anyone become pregnant they would be sent away from their home in the Sea Org to a “small struggling” Church and raise the child then return to the Sea Org once the child themselves were of the age to join up as well. Her first child was born before this edict came into force.

My friend was seen by a number of senior executives who tried to get her to abort the child, as both her and her husband were highly trained counsellors and their services brought in a lot of money for their “church.” She refused, citing the Founder’s first book on the subject of the mind where he stated flatly that only an insane person would want to abort a child for any other reason than the possible death of the mother should the pregnancy continue. Her husband divorced her to remain in the Sea Org and she was sent to another “Church” where she basically had to fend for herself, with her two children. The pay at that “Church” was abysmal and she had to clothe, feed and house herself and her family by working another job as well as working at her new “Church” for at least forty hours a week.

To be fair to her husband, he first joined “Church” staff at the age of fifteen. A couple of years later, he joined the Sea Org with his mother (a single parent) and she was expelled from the “Church” soon after. He was soon assigned to the “Rehabilitation Project Force” where he was made to spend months running around a track in southern California as part of his program. He told me he wore out five pairs of running shoes doing this “therapy’” running from morning until after dark every day for that entire time. He was still a teenager, with no contact allowed with either of his parents, nor indeed with anyone outside of the project. He could not speak to anyone unless they spoke to him first. He needed to be cleansed of his “evil purposes” so that he would be a fit and proper sea Org Member in the future.

When he graduated, he became a counsellor for the Sea Org and was renowned for his dedication to his work. He won several annual awards for the most hours done over the year period, averaging well over forty hours every week, seven days a week, year in and year out. His seniors even publicly joked that they didn’t allow him out for meals any more, just pushed the food under his door and let him out after ten every night when he had finished for the day.

I know of many other horror stories, including several personal tragedies. But for each and every one of these cases, there has always been the complicity of the victim themselves who has agreed to this – most could have walked away if they so wished.

So – why do I oppose Scientology?

A fundamental belief of Scientology is that everybody is an immortal spiritual being who has been around for eternity and has been kicking around this universe for trillions of years. And once we all were gods, with powers of creating and destroying universes all by ourselves just by thinking about doing it. But now here we are, stuck on a minor planet at the rear end of this universe and we can’t even cure headaches properly. Why?

Because we’ve all sinned against each other and so limited our powers down and down to the point where now we are so close to total extinction that only a miracle will save us. And that miracle is Scientology.

Scientology is the product of its Founder and he alone (per the official Scientology biography) came up with all of the Scientology miracles. And the greatest sin any Scientologist can do is alter the sacred technology of Scientology that the Founder left his faithful.

And it is a broad collection of technology.

From how to save a marraige to how to look after cut flowers. From communication to espionage. From counselling to creating artistic masterpieces. From running an expanding, prosperous business to how to drive a car.

Every Scientologist is constantly exhorted to emulate the Founder and “Do what Ron would do.” Live life by the exact dictates that Hubbard laid down as that is the only way out of The Trap that is this universe. The only way to reverse the Dwindling Spiral we all are apparently on that, if not “handled,” will result in the ultimate degradation of all that is good and true. The only way out is to be like Source, the Founder, Mankind’s Greatest Friend.

In effect, to become a copy of the Founder and do what he would do throughout all areas of your life.

Those who train to be counsellors listen to tape recordings of his counselling sessions and work hard to emulate him. Those who work on staff are told to ask themselves “What would Ron do?” if they are in a situation they can’t solve. Those who study Scientology are told that their disagreements are a result of them not fully understanding what Source is saying. Source is infallible. Scientology works if applied exactly. If it fails it is in the application of it, not the original technology.

So the road back to Total Freedom as an individual is through totally prostrating oneself before the identity of the Founder and seeking to become Him as only He ever did anything that resolved this Downward Spiral. All one’s efforts in all those endless past lives just added to the degradation of themselves so the individual has no idea of what it takes to be free, only the Founder knows. And only by following his Closely Taped Path will anyone ever be free. All other religions, all other practices (especially the evil ones of Psychiatry and Psychology) lead to further degradation of one as a spiritual being. The world outside of Scientology is a scary place, full of evil people who wish to destroy Scientology, The Only Hope For Mankind. Because, if Scientology ever succeeded, these evil people would have their sins exposed.

And those who aren’t inherently evil are poor duped fools living miserable lives who badly need Scientology brought home to them. They don’t rush for Scientology because they can’t see the freedom it offers because they are so trapped in this universe. They have to be shown what a terrible state they are in and slowly brought to the realization that their only salvation is Scientology.

So the Road to Total Freedom requires becoming a clone of the Founder, as He is the only person to have ever worked out how to be free. All everyone else ever did was create less freedom.

A Scientology world would never allow a Gandhi, a Beethoven, a Buddha, an Edison. a Michelangelo, a Mandela, a Tolstoy, a Dickens – it would be a world where everybody is devoted to the goal of Scientology in which everything else had no place. Time and time again I heard people told that their goals were nothing compared to the goal of Scientology and to follow their own goals was “out-Ethics” – the Scientology equivalent of sinful. Many was the time this happened to me – I abandoned pursuing my own goals until Scientology was achieving its own. Which of course never happened. And will never happen, because it offers no real freedom but just a dull hypnotic state where one thinks one has become cause again but actually is having a harder time coping than the average person.

Scientology promises immortal and invincible individuality: instead, it swallows the individual whole and regurgitates them as the perfect soldier who will follow any orders because their Founder has all the answers and His teachings are the only thing worthwhile in this (or any other) universe because they are supposedly the way back to the state of Immortal and Invincible Individuality.

That’s why I oppose Scientology.

Paul “Scooter” Schofield

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This video just been uploaded from the CIFS Conference Canberra recently where Paul tells his heartbreaking story.

Freedom of choice to ‘disconnect’ in scientology

The following article describes the “freedom of choice” a scientologist faces when disconnection from family members is on the table. Very well stated!

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Yes, it IS a personal choice.

Just as it would be a personal choice if a man were standing with a gun against your child’s head, and said, “give me all of your money or I will pull the trigger”. Of course, you will hand over the money to save your child’s life, and while it IS A CHOICE, it is a pretty “heavily enforced” choice and has little “wiggle room”.

The same is true in Scientology. The choice is based on THIS outcome. Either disconnect from this person or YOU will also be 1) summarily declared and then 2) forcibly disconnected from all YOUR friends and relatives. Also, once you are declared you will 3) LOSE your “chance at eternal freedom”.

One must accept the absurd notion that Scientology can and does provide this “eternal freedom”, but we ARE dealing with True Believers here. The normal card-carrying Scientologist BELIEVES that the Church of Scientology holds the ONLY valid path to this freedom, and thus a THREAT of taking this away causes them REAL PAIN and SUFFERING (granted this is largely in their imagination).

So, the notion that it is a “free choice” is absurd. The card-carrying Scientologist is FORCED into disconnection OR ELSE. Or else what?

1. Be declared yourself and then be disconnected from all your friends and family.

2. Lose your chance at “eternal freedom” (a thing most members consider VERY VALUABLE).

The “easy simple choice” is an illusion, in that it is not at all of the same degree of insignificance such as on deciding whether or not to go to a movie tonight. This “choice” of “disconnecting” or not involves SEVERE repercussions, just like the guy holding the gun against your child’s head and demanding your money.

Scientology will try to “spin” the act of disconnection as a “personal choice” that it does not “force on members”, but the sad and sorry outcome is guaranteed if you “refuse” to make the “proper choice”. This is just more of Scientology doing what it does so commonly – Scientology redefines and misrepresents things in an attempt to trick people into agreeing with it.

Just as it really isn’t much of a “choice” whether to hand over your money to a thief holding a gun against your child’s head, it also is not much of a “choice” when one “decides” to “willingly disconnect” from some person to avoid the always resultant 1) declare, 2) disconnection, and 3) lose “of the Bridge” for YOU if and when you choose otherwise.

Free choice, free personal decision? My ass.

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By Gadfly on Ex scientologists Message Board

Finally Releasing the Bonds

I ran into a brick wall on the telling of my story. That is because the next period covers 20 years of marriage to a scientologist and the raising of my children within scientology doctrine. As circumstances are at the moment, with some family members still in and one very ill, I don’t wish to leave them open to any reprisals because of my words. And sadly that is a very real possibility.

I can talk about my own point of view though, and how I finally emerged from the “Truman Show”.

After finally finding proper medical treatment and rehabilitation, and putting my children back into the normal public school system, I had quite a few years of what seemed to be a ‘normal’ life. Well, except for my husband having a serious affair in what he told me later was “an attempt to find a replacement as I thought you were going to die.” Or words to that effect, but I won’t go there.

I didn’t have a lot of contact with the organisation other than occasional obligatory attendance at “events” and giving in to the odd attempt to find “why I had fallen off the Bridge”. Saying we had no money (true) usually did the trick and we were left alone for a while.  I felt totally trapped within the system, (mostly because of my family and the threat of disconnection) even though I wasn’t a real part of it and I think there are many thousands of people out there who feel the same way. The last time I was ever in an org was around 1998 (though I am hazy with dates) when I flew to Sydney Advanced Organisation in some latest “free clean-up”. I still had a teeny tiny thought that perhaps IF the ‘right item” could be found, it would all fall back into place and my doubts would disappear. They didn’t.

By 2000 I had left my husband and was divorced. I had discovered the internet but was still too afraid to read anything critical of scientology. This is one of the hardest pieces of indoctrination to break, the reading of “entheta”. (It’s easier to ignore criticism than examine the opposite point of view.) Instead I studied astrology, which gave me a new viewpoint on the cycles of life and I began the very slow process of examining the concepts that I had been brought up with. I was still getting many phone calls trying to get me back in and even the odd visit, despite me saying I was into “other practices”! The more I came to understand how limited my critical thinking had been, the more confidence I began to find in myself. Around 2002 I read “What is Expected of You as a Life Long Scientologist” and then I started some serious self de-programming.

The last ever visit I had was probably around 2003 when two Sea Org guys came unannounced one afternoon. I was in a good mood that day, so I let them in. We did have a fascinating conversation and I told them exactly what my experience had been and what I thought now. One of them said “you do know stuff don’t you?” and I have never forgotten that comment or the look on his face. I was pretty sure he was close to blowing and I hope he did. In fact he even asked me to run his astrology chart, (the other SO gal was very unimpressed) and I wondered how that would be explained on his next “sec check“.

I started reading critical articles online, starting with Jon Atack’s “A Piece of Blue Sky” as I had known Jon at Saint Hill and his words resonated with my own experiences. Then I read Operation Clambake’s many stories and articles and the more I read, the more I wanted to know. I spent many, many, many hours online, reading everything I could find. Finally in 2006 I found “Scientology -Through the Door” and found the courage for the first time to put my own critical thoughts in the public arena. It was a huge breakthrough for me, and although I did it anonymously I was still scared that somehow it would be traced back to me.

Having started to talk, even in a small way I found it very difficult to really explain my life to people who had no understanding of the subject. A friend finally said “you need to find some ex scientologists to talk to!”  – so I Googled “Ex scientologist” and discovered the Ex Scientologist Message Board.

When I first started posting I used to shake, stomach churning and spilling tears all over the place as piece after piece of my life began to fall into new contexts. It was distressing, exhilarating and totally obsessive! At last I had the freedom to speak, to debate, to think and my life totally changed. My first attempt at telling my story was full of jargon, as I hadn’t learnt to totally speak normally yet, and I think I cried on and off for weeks doing that. It felt like so much pain and emotion was finally finding a way out, to be seen and let go of.

The freedom to speak, to be, to think and to disagree…..I became Free To Shine.

A friend once said that what released her from the bonds of scientology was doing a ‘correction list’ on the item “Opinions you can’t say”. She realised “What am I doing in a group that promises me freedom and I’m not allowed to state my opinion?”.

For those who are ‘keeping quiet’ or don’t know what to do, there is a way to release the bonds and that is simply to allow yourself the freedom to really look. Not the kind of “freedom” scientology promises, but real freedom without “must and must not”.

And it changes your life.

(ps – To the old friend who sent me a cryptic message via a search, please do contact me. It’s really, really ok and I will respect your anonimity.)

Negative attitudes and ‘waiting’ in scientology

Some thoughts that come to mind reflecting on scientology concepts.

1. Negative attitudes

I’ve noticed this particularly in long time ex Sea Org or staff – the attitude that you must not discuss things in detail when challenging events or issues raise their heads. It’s ok to relay what happened in a ‘debrief’ kind of way, but not to experience the emotions that are normal when something awful has happened, like being angry or crying beyond a certain limit. It’s that limit that interests me.

I suppose this is an obvious result of not being able to share normal emotions within scientology and having to ‘wait for a session’ to let it all out etc and it is one of those insidious concepts that can influence normal human interactions without one being aware of it. I have found there can be an almost desperate attempt to ‘make it all positive’ very quickly, a ‘get over it/suck it up’ thing.

Besides the obvious scientology concept of “make it go right’ or you have “pulled in” disaster, it seems to me that a lot of this can be also traced back to the need to be seen to be successful, no matter what is really going on beneath the surface. “Good roads” once practiced is a powerful thought stopper. Is it that once you show compassion for another’s suffering, the door is opened to admit that there are things in one’s own life that really need compassion too? A sign of failure?

There is nothing wrong with being positive and seeking the lessons and wisdoms that can come with such experiences. However there is something wrong with a blanket attitude of “don’t be negative” because that assigns that experience a certain distain and worthlessness, instead of understanding.

I have learned through a lot of experience with many different people that compassion and real interest are incredibly powerful healing tools, if one is prepared to use them. It was a native American medicine woman who first opened my eyes to this many years ago and taught me how to be still and let the wind blow through me to empty the bad energy to make way for the good. To do that you need to see and experience those negatives for what they are and this is true whether it be in yourself or another.

2. “Wait is Enemy”

I can’t remember which policy this comes from, but it was said to me the other day and it reminded me of how often it was used.

I think that concept is another major thought stopper, a powerful kick in the behind for when someone wavered. I see scientologists who plough through any obstacle no matter the consequences, to make something happen NOW. Again it’s the “make it go right” attitude, no matter the costs. If you are not seen to be doing, then your value as a ‘being’ is diminished. The “speed of particle flow and power” thing comes to mind, something that was drilled into us, so your concept of your own ‘power’ is challenged if you wait a bit.

One of the hardest lessons I learned, and still learn, is about patience. Coming out of a drama ridden and chaotic family and scientology life, it was the wisdom of a few marvellous people who trod the road beside me for a while that taught me (and still do) about the need for stillness and the consequent ability to “let go”. If we don’t ‘wait’ for both emotions and events to take their course, then how can they ever be seen for what they are? If you don’t allow time then you short circuit life, and the challenges come back at you in another way to repeat and repeat what you need to become aware of.

“Wait” is not enemy. Only to the scientology mindset which values the future over the present.