Is the Ex Scientologist Message Board Good for an Ex-Scientologist?

This is from a discussion on Marty’s Blog about ESMB, the Ex Scientologist Message Board. I was a member of ESMB from February 2007 until April 2011. And then a member again for 30 days in October of 2013.

And then a member again by the months-long urging of “Emma”, Michelle Ryan, the owner of ESMB. I was a member again for two months. Emma practically begged me to come back because the regulars there had become a Trump-lovin motorcycle gang, who had completely taken over. She wanted me to come back and she said, more than once “Do your worst!”.

I had a hard time dealing with the groupthink on ESMB, to say the least. The message board, which used to be for Ex-Scientologists to tell their stories, is now something very different for most of the people who post there.

With so many people stuck in the most negative views possible on ESMB, is this a place where an Ex-Scientologist can productively evolve and grow after their experiences in Scientology?

The Oracle | July 7, 2016 at 11:32 am | Reply

Alanzo, the Internet banner for that page says it is for Ex’s. It is not and has not been for some time. That is a complete fraud. There was a “group” decision there, that “Ex”, means “Anti”. And if you have not done a reverse A to E, and stated that everything you thought and did in Scientology, was stupid and unfounded, you do not qualify as an “Ex”. It is an ANTI forum. It has been for a long time. The people are misrepresenting even on the banner. They are so covert, they can’t even admit or be straight up about their own group. Even while hiding on the Internet. So, “Ex”‘s go by there and read the posts, and move on. It is a DETOUR ANT so people very specifically do NOT, “meet up there, share their experiences, and reunite”. It is a repellent.”

This was one of the best softballs I’ve ever been thrown by The Oracle, and it was a very good point: There are many different ways to view one’s experience in Scientology than just a negative or “ANTI” way.

So I took a swing at it.

It felt so good.

Alanzo | July 7, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Reply

The Oracle wrote:

“There was a “group” decision there, that “Ex”, means “Anti”. And if you have not done a reverse A to E, and stated that everything you thought and did in Scientology, was stupid and unfounded, you do not qualify as an “Ex”.

I have to agree with you there, Oracle.

Most of the dead-enders left stranded on ESMB are stuck inside a nasty and fixed set of attitudes about Dianetics, Scientology, and L Ron Hubbard, and just about everything else.

They are stuck in a negative feedback loop of the emotions of disgust and outrage, as they click on the various posts on ESMB and sneer at what they see there.

The overwhelming majority of ESMBers have never fully examined their time in the cult, outside of the agreements of other ESMBers, except to develop the worst possible interpretations of the life they spent as a Scientologist.

The most developed organ on an ESMBer is his bile duct. He uses it every day to splatter his cognitive distortions on to every other poster. He works it out daily by continuing to spray his nasty sauce on to everyone he can. He even bespatters people who don’t post there.

The Ex Scientologist Message Board is no longer the place it was. In early 2007-2008, it was a main place where people who had left the Church of Scientology went to tell their stories so that Scientology could be exposed on the internet. Other media at that time refused to tell the stories of Ex-Scientologists because most media was still too intimidated to report on Scientology.

I think that the ESMB of that time heavily influenced the rise of Anonymous, for example.

Today, the best use of ESMB is as a database: a vault of recorded history of a time before Anonymous, and the time before Marty and Mike left – the 2 guys who used to intimidate the media for the Church. After they blew, Dave had no one to intimidate the media any more.

And that changed the whole landscape forever.

ESMB is a place where history will never be repeated.

And that’s a good thing.


42 thoughts on “Is the Ex Scientologist Message Board Good for an Ex-Scientologist?”

  1. esmb : 15-20 same people over , and over again – with a newbie twice in a month.
    UB : 65 people, but mostly 12 of them with 24/7 shifts in posting cats and story’s about lego , …
    mike R : 20 constant
    Marty : 11 + The oracle – which is 1000 comments.
    Lonestar : baned few times from esmb , but telling a new story now….

    big hello from LRHs Bulgravia.

    • Lots of people have been banned from ESMB. In fact, if you looked at a list of people who have been banned from ESMB it reads like a “Who’s Who?” of Scientology criticism.

      Like an SP declare from the Church of Scientology, being banned from ESMB can be a badge of honor.

      • I am banned….. hahahahah,,,,
        also I am banned from UB … I was with Tony since VV days… but after UB become a place for cats and story’s about problem with car , I started posting shit things… it was 2 years ago… heheh,
        Big hello from LRHs Bulgravia.

      • Well hell. Never banned from ESMB, never gotten a goldenrod, although I did finally get Larry Jacobs to tell me I was blacklisted. What’s a girl got to do to get a badge of honor these days?

      • in fact Lonestar was a main reason I was banned.
        I was defending A. Lerma. not because i like what he post, but because he was already banned – and there were whole thread about him – and he could not replay…. me thinks that is crazy.
        Big hello from LRHs Bulgravia.

        • The majority of people who now inhabit ESMB were the same that when in Scientology would KR the hell out of you because you expressed some doubts about the IAS or because you said you thought there was too much regging at the International Events. They were the hardcore, the Stasi members of the Church.

          Now they have switched side but their behaviour is exactly the same.

          Esmb: a social experiment in cognitive dissonance.

          There are few exceptions (Dullodfart and a couple of others).

        • Ah yes Koki….I remember that you and I had quite a few disagreements over the few years we were both on ESMB. I don’t remember us having a fight during the period when Arnie was banned, but I do remember that time period in general. I had taken exception with Arnie because it was discovered that he had sent quite a few members PMs with a list of posters that he figured were probably operatives sent in to cause disruption on ESMB. In fact I was toward the top of his list of troublemakers. Called me a “noisy nic”. Lol… Actually I can now understand why he suspected this of me. I was all too often like a “bull in a china closet”, which I’ve already admitted in other posts recently.

          Before Arnie was banned I was increasingly rough on him. I joined some “dogpiles” against him. I truly regret it because I have a very high regard for Arnie. And truth be told, just a few weeks after he was gone I missed him.

          And you are right, I and others shouldn’t have continued posting about him after he was banned. I think I do now remember that you called us out on it. Good for you. You were right in doing so. We were out of line. Especially me.

  2. yuk, you sound like you wish to smash Hubbards name into history as a good thing. YUK!

    Even he admitted he failed to Sarge. No OT9/10 levels written up on his death, LOL

    Look, when one joins scientology from the vary beginning, they are taught to think scientology is about knowing how to know. And the purpose is to go clear, and then OT. LOL, not one exists.

    But, when you think about it, so you join in, in the beginning with all these glorious goals, why one has to learn HCOB’s and HCOPL’s, those are Hubbard bulletins & polices, can’t separate the two, that is scientology & HCOB/HCOPL.

    I freely admit I’m anti scientology and HCOB’s & HCOPL’s. I’ll stick to learning about real philosophy like plato, aristole, and the group that followed instead of the pretended knowledge of Hubbard.

  3. To answer your question, I think ESMB is a good place to become a part of. They joke around, get serious, argue, make up, etc. It has a wide spectrum of people’s viewpoints from all over the world. Sometimes things are misunderstood as this can happen everywhere at anytime.

    I think J&D’ing the tech is wonderful therapy if you will.

    I don’t mind The Oracle, she says what she says. In my opinion, the oracle is a bit like hubbard using hyperbole to make everything sound so significance and profound. I do not know if you listened to the Oh No, Ross & Carrie podcasts of their adventures into scientology, In one of the beginning podcasts, both realized how scientologists and hubbard made the simplest things so profound, like life changing. I chuckled as it’s true.

    Hey, that was one of hubbards tricks. He’d spend hours on a lecture of communication for example, which we had to pay for, his rabblings on and on to finally learn some little niplet of truth, it was mesmerizing I tell you. And yet after listening to the dude about his great discoveries of communication, why nobody in the group can compare notes or discuss. LOL

  4. ESMB is largely made up of a hard core regular group of folks in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who have been out of the cult for decades. Not just years. Decades. Frankly quite a few of them need to move on and enjoy what little of their life they have left. But, I suppose they are doing that after all. It’s just that they enjoy belittling and making fun of others. Like 12 year olds.

    Not many newbies join ESMB anymore. Those that do don’t stay for long it seems. It’s strange how mostly the never-ins end up staying longer. Or maybe ironic?

    Anyway….to be completely forthcoming I was truly one of the worst assholes on ESMB while I was there. No doubt about it. Most of the time I enjoyed joking and degrading in good fun. But all too often I was really rough on some people. I was rough on you for instance during that brief month you “returned”. I was rough at times on Claire as well. In fact when she left I was worried that I was one of the main reasons. Last Fall I had a complete melt down and was devastatingly cruel to Purple Rain. She graciously forgave me after I apologized, even though I didn’t ask for forgiveness because I didn’t think I deserved it. (She is such a sweetheart. I hope she’s doing well these days.)

    I kept leaving ESMB for weeks and even months at a time. Then I’d come back and try it again. Finally I just got sick of it. I got sick of the anal posters most of all. The ones who just have to argue and try to deconstruct everything I and others posted. It just never stops. This insatiable need for some to show you how “right” they are.

    It’s no secret that I have a quick and volatile temper. This past April I just decided that ESMB was not my home anymore. It’s too toxic. Yes, I again admit that I contributed to the toxic environment. But in a way it won’t “let” you be less toxic. Or I just get caught up in it and end up contributing more myself. Alcoholics can’t go to bars. I can’t go to ESMB. I’m a rage-aholic. So I can’t be in places where too many piss me off on a daily basis.

    I’ll give an example of the terrible treatment of a good person until he finally left forever. Panda Termit. I hope he doesn’t mind my using him as an example. Last early Fall when Jim Carrey’s Scientologist girlfriend killed herself, many ESMBers were as usual pontificating with their “insight” as to her being murdered by OSA. Panda posted that maybe out of respect for her family it would be better not to talk like this so soon after her death. Well hell hath no fury like an all-knowing ESMBer being told “what to say or not say”. A few posters got very tough on Panda. The stuff a few were accusing him of was over-the-top. I PM’d him and told him that I understood what he was trying to get across. He told me that he was done. And he never posted again. I almost quit then myself. In hindsight I should’ve. I was in a foul mood after that and then had my meltdown in December.

    Panda was and is a good guy. He was never one of the mean ones. But he caught a lot of hell for daring to disagree with the pack now and then. So many other good ones quit in similar disgust as well.

    Oh well……Maybe I need a good therapist. I am crazy after all. Lol…

    I’m still fond of some folks at ESMB. Ethercat, ITYIWT, and yes even Emma. (I just like her damnit! Lol…) There are more but I’m too lazy to list them all, and I know I’ll miss someone. I just named my top three. (Most of my true favorites have long since quit posting anyway).

    I’m winding down with the whole Ex/Critic/Scilon Watcher scene. There are greater problems both in my life and in the world to focus on than all this shit. I’m tired of the middle school-esque silly drama.

    I think there needs to be a support group for Ex-Ex Scientologists! Lol…

    • Great comment, Lone Star.

      Especially this:

      “I’ll give an example of the terrible treatment of a good person until he finally left forever. Panda Termit. I hope he doesn’t mind my using him as an example. Last early Fall when Jim Carrey’s Scientologist girlfriend killed herself, many ESMBers were as usual pontificating with their “insight” as to her being murdered by OSA. Panda posted that maybe out of respect for her family it would be better not to talk like this so soon after her death. Well hell hath no fury like an all-knowing ESMBer being told “what to say or not say”. A few posters got very tough on Panda. The stuff a few were accusing him of was over-the-top. I PM’d him and told him that I understood what he was trying to get across. He told me that he was done. And he never posted again.

      I did not know this about The Panda.

      Cruelty sucks.

      That’s for sure.


    • Hola!

      Panda is awesome!

      I closed the Claire Swazey acct because of an auto da fe started by Mr. Nobody. My crime was referring to the Going Clear documentary in vagueish fashion on a thread where we were talking about Going Clear. He had kittens, I tell ya. He went apeshit. Then he posted to another thread (where I hadn’t been posting before then) and he and a bunch of ppl like TG1 were posting about what an evil SP I am. That same day, jbwriter (who’d been following me around clicking lol on many of my posts) dug up a locked old old thread and went on an lol clicking fest. That thread was me and Sheila having words. It was old and we’d made up since then. That , combined with the other stuff caused me to spend an entire weekend in tears wishing a truck would hit me.

      So- in my verbose way I’m letting ya know it wasn’t you.

      ESMB has been very helpful to young scared ppl trying to leave staff. That was awesome. But they drove away several ppl who had a foot out the door and I think that’s weird.

  5. ESMB used to be a place of safety for all EX’s where insightful cult exit conversations were cherished and discussed, now it’s a place of self-aggrandizing narcissistic-like shallowness for the emotionally retarded.

  6. OK. Now ESMB has gone too far.

    Someone has run over an armadillo, defaced the corpse by placing a beer bottle in its hands, taken a picture of this hate crime, and driven off. Then they posted it on ESMB in this thread.

    When will it end?

    This is the work of “Cakemaker”, probably the most mysterious man on the Internet.

  7. Well, ESMB is great for many. Some ppl have gotten true help there. That’s huge. And for those in the status quo over there, they’re enjoying it, it’s fine. Happy for ’em. But for some ppl there who got treated as described in earlier blog posts-no, not so much. So now they are getting some pushback, as we say in business. Isn’t that to be expected?

  8. I get that they don’t like it. Ok, soooo…anybody feeling that way can come here and respond if they’re inclined. If not, then, well, it’s just gossip- just like we’re doing. (You gotta know it’s true, right? We’re totally gossiping about them.) Given how many ESMB threads with multiple participants I’ve seen really taking apart some poar bastid…blog posts like this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    • No. It shouldn’t come as a surprise. I think blog posts like this need to happen much more often.

      Too few people speak up about it.

  9. Another breaking development:

    HelluvaHoax!, the ESMBer who considers himself a clown, has just weighed-in:

    “It’s good to see that Alanzo is getting in good two-way-com with high-toned OT and being of comparable magnitude, The Oracle.

    Using the Freedom of Information Act, I was able to go online and download some additional helpful data from his FBI file. . .”

    Then he posts a graphic from L Ron Hubbard’s FBI file and says it’s MY FBI FILE! Isn’t that gut-bustingly funny!

    L Ron Hubbard's FBI File!

    Of all the responses a person could choose about the issues raised here, this is what HelluvaHoax! chooses to go with – calling me crazy.

    Are these the people who are good for an Ex-Scientologist to hang around with, to get advice from, and to learn new perspectives from while they are dealing with post Scientology issues in their life?

    Maybe HelluvaHoax! would treat someone else differently than he’s treating me in this scenario. Probably so. And he can be very funny and even provide insightful satire on Scn every once in a while.

    But he’s being given a chance to address an important subject.

    And he doesn’t.

    Because he can’t. He’s stuck in a viewpoint regarding Scientology that is the most negative and useless interpretation possible. And he acts like a clown through the use of it.

    Is this kind of clown, who can only denigrate and degrade as his form of humor, good for an Ex-Scientologist?

      • Oh for sure. And what’s going on over there right now is pretty funny.

        It’s just like the old days – idiotic stupidity in a crowd of gleeful fuckwits.

        I’ve been there. It’s intoxicating.

        I’m waiting for the Aussie Contigent to roll out of bed in a couple of hours. Things should really start popping then.

    • What are some of the calling cards of a scientologists per hubbard’s scientology? Always attack, never defend and utterly ruin your enemies. Black and white all or nothing mentalities. Disagree with any of the more prolific cult of personality posters at ESMB and what happens? Your character, morals, and mental stability are immediately called into question, then smeared. Attack, ruin, rinse and repeat. Basic scientology 101.

      Not exactly what I would call friendly, much less an enlightened out of scientology mindset. The people there turn on each other just as much as they do towards strangers like a fish tank full of piranhas then congratulate themselves for being awesome people. It’s not a healthy place anymore.

  10. Yah, I saw the thread, 2 things come to mind: They don’t like being trashed on some other venue. Well, it’s a dose of their own medicine. A couple of those commenting about this blog topic have done an awful lot of that themselves.Now it’s happening to them. The other thing is they don’t want to hear about or import drama but they are importing the drama and are bumping that thread while saying let’s don’t.

    • Geir Isene once remarked: Never criticize a critic, they can’t take it.

      If you’ll notice the tactics being used there are to shame me personally as “jealous of all the traffic and membership numbers that ESMB has” and even Emma has wheeled herself out to characterize me as an old boyfriend who is stalking her.

      Anything to avoid the very relevant and, I believe, important points being made by me and others here and elsewhere about what needs to be improved on ESMB.

      The thing is that Ethercat is not Emma, nor is she BunnySkull (thank God). And I believe that she is very much in agreement with me on a lot of things. I think she just needs a little more support and things can get better there pretty fast for more Ex-Scientologists.


  11. Scientology is a dark subject, and dwelling in it too log can be corrosive to your soul. That’s all the more reason to have very tight moderation policies that make the space as constructive as possible.

    One guy who has remained constructive after Scientology is Geir Isene. That guy taught me a lot about my own “bitter period” as a critic of Scientology.

    There can be people on a message board who offer a more constructive way. ESMB is filled with hurt people. And hurt people hurt people.

    People who have healed can help that.

    I used to think that the last kool-aide stand on the road leading out of Scientology was realizing that LRH was the source of all the abuse found there.

    That’s not right. The last kool aide stand leading out of Scientology is coming to terms with Scientology, what it meant to you when you were involved, and how you can use what you learned there to move on constructively and productively in your own life.

    • Great last paragraph. Reminds me of “if you gaze too long into the abyss the abyss gazes back at you”

      • Another great point from philosophy, Eileen.

        You are such a great contributor in any discussion group on Scientology.

        We’re lucky to have you around.


  12. BREAKING!!

    Communicator IC has just linked to this post on ESMB, and already the aptly named “BunnySkull” has weighed-in with the ESMB party line containing the worst possible interpretation of Scientology:

    “Yes, the terrible ESMB makes people confront the TRUTH about the CoS. How awful we don’t want to see former member waste more time and money in sci-fi con artists evil mind control trap.’

    “There are indie groups out there (MS2) that allow people to continue to live in the Hubbard delusion bubble if they want to.’

    “Coddling an ex-scientologist by encouraging continuing belief in Hubbard’s lies and tech is akin to alcoholic seeking treatment and telling them that as long as they only drink beer and wine, but avoid hard liquor, they will be fine.”

    She seems proud of her cognitive distortions, doesn’t she? And get a load of her zeal to enforce them on others using the Ex Scientologist Message Board.

    Thus proving every word I wrote about ESMB in my post.

    Amazing, isn’t it?


  13. dude, it’s a message board not a blog.

    I posted a few comments on Marty’s blog, some were not allowed thru, some were snipped, some were not allowed thru. Why?

    ESMB allows all comments, messages, to go thru providing they are not AD HOM.

    Me thinks people do not understand that tool in literature or rhetoric or writing or logic called Ad Hom, used in arguments, not to be confused with being critical thinking. Ad Hom is a logical tool to use or abuse, if one knows the meaning of it, really knowing the meaning of it. Those that do not know the meaning of it are at a disadvantage.

    Hubbard called Ad Hom fair game and purposely did so to protect his name and his brain child called dianetics & scientology.

    But, whatever, still no clears or OT’s and even Hubbard admitted he failed as Marty revealed in his book.

    • ESMB has improved in the last few years with Ethercat as the main board manager.

      In 2013, while Emma was still managing the board, personal attacks and character assassinations were routine on the Ex-Scientologist Message Board, even though rules, written by Emma, clearly stated that ad hom would not be allowed. I asked her why she was not applying her own rules regarding adhom on the board and, because she was personally at war with so many people at that time, she answered, “Why should I?”

      ESMB can be a better place for Exes. But the board rules must be applied swiftly and unapologetically by a majority of posters there for that to happen again.

      Posters like the aptly named “BunnySkull”, who have nothing but negativity and nastiness to other people to contribute, who routinely go off the topic of the thread to attack other people personally, should be corralled and muzzled until they get some of their own humanity back.

      This kind of off-topic nastiness is very common on message boards of all kinds. It is not unique to message boards on the topic of Scientology or Ex-Scientology. I know a person who frequents a message board about the America Civil War. Things get quite contentious there, as you can imagine. If you think Scientology has volital issues, think of all the volitility involved in a subject like that: Race, Slavery, Family members who have died, War-ravaged regions of the country. But everyone at the Civil War Message Board knows to keep things on topic and very civil, and to never engage in personal attacks of any kind. And the way they know to do that is because they have been taught through very tight board management that nothing else will be allowed by the moderators. And so they don’t even try.

      Ethercat has done a lot to improve the adhom against other members since Emma receded into the background of ESMB. Now it’s a matter of keeping things on-topic and constructive. Posters like BunnySkull are the opposite of that.

      • Yah, she’s an improvement. But I wonder where she was when Mr. Nobody was screaming about how I’d committed the crime of the century cuz I wrote about Going Clear (documentary- not the book) without quoting anybody then he and a bunch of ppl go to some other thread (where I hadn’t been posting) and start posting about how awful I am. Like out of the blue. Saw no moderation there.

        • Yes. The moderation has to be swift, consistent to all members, and very unapologetic.

          That’s never been a feature of ESMB, although Ethercat has gotten it closer than anyone else.

  14. I was a member of ESMB. And clambake. I’ve never “unmembered” myself from either board but have only posted less than 20 posts at ESMB IIRC (and I am not willing to be bothered with going there to see if that is a correct figure) in the 5 years since I signed up. There is an entire thread on ESMB devoted to trashing me for something I wrote on OCMB, which I’ve since deleted. I am, according to the piranhas at ESMB, a liar, psychotic, making it all up, etc.

    The reception I received at ESMB, even though I didn’t once post about my experiences in scientology on their board, caused me to quit posting on both boards permanently and quit posting anywhere for over 2 years due to the way the jackals there ripped apart my attempt to describe my scientology experience. I have not ever posted what happened to me in scientology due to ESMB.

    One member, an admin to boot, went so far as to post links to mugshots of someone with a name similar to mine as well as expose personal information about how to find my family. I had to go so far as to consult an attorney and let all the admins know that if this person did not stop stalking me and my family, I would ensure a civil lawsuit would go against the entire board.

    When I started posting on Facebook 2 years later, about an unrelated topic, I was accused of “exporting the drama to another board”. So, yeah, IMHO, ESMB is the worst thing that could have ever happened to this ex scientologist hands down. I would recommend that any ex who wants to heal stay as far away as possible from this board.

    • Didn’t know this about you, Valerie.

      I’m really sorry it happened.

      I’ve seen a lot of Ex-Scientologists treated like you described you were treated on ESMB. There have been times when I protested very strongly about this kind of treatment of Exes when I was a member there. And it’s the reason I got myself perma-banned from there, quite loudly and proudly:


      Thanks for coming here and telling your story.


    • That’s awful. Mugshots? WTF!! Do you wanna share your ESMB posting nick? Only if you want to, of course.

  15. It’s gone the way of many forums. If one does not conform to the way most others are thinking, it doesn’t matter how much one pickets, speaks out, helps other critics out- there will still be some real harsh times. I’ve known two or three newbies- not OSA- who were already questioning Scn, were critical of it, but they tripped some kind of radar and got hammered so badly that they felt hounded off the forum. I know several Freezoners who, no matter how much they criticized CofS and Hubbard and picketed and other things, were still treated very rudely with ad homs flying all over the place.

    It’s not enough to be an ex member there. It’s not enough to be critical of the cult there. It should be, though. And the owner publicly criticizes people (well, ok, me anyway)for things not even anywhere in the ROCs, like being a “fencesitter” and posting style. This, of course, gives forum regulars a cue that it’s ok to say whatever they want to the person. I don’t see why anyone should care if someone likes to try to analyze WHY Scn and Hubbard are so messed up? So what if they don’t like the posting style. There is no rule of conduct as to how one is to phrase things, as long as there’s no slurs or rudeness or quoting big long articles and stuff like that. That seems petty to me. But I’ve proven that it’s those particular people’s biases. I haven’t posted there under my own name in a very long time and that’s exactly when I stopped getting the flames, tantrums and scapegoating. So it’s not always what you say it’s who you are…

    • Yeah back in the days when Emma had her Flying Sea Monkey Unit, ESMB was way worse for Ex-Scientologists.

      If you were a member of ESMB then, you were expected to be a member of Emma’s Attack Squad, and she directed your flight path to attack whomever she felt needed attacking for her own self-interests.

      It’s very good for Ex-Scientologists that that old dynamic has dissipated a little there.

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