For 15 years after leaving Scientology, I’d been bumping up against something. I was too frequently at odds with people I thought were doing the same things I was doing – trying to tell the truth about Scientology.
That assumption of mine was wrong. The Anti-Scientology community is not trying to tell the truth about Scientology. They are simply doing whatever they can to discredit Scientology and get people in society to help to destroy it – without regard to the truth.
Any time I’d question an anti-Scientology claim or write about something not within the strict narrative of the Anti-Cult agenda, I would be banned or threatened with banning from whatever venue I was writing in. Any time I stayed within the narrative, I was praised and welcomed into its “highest levels”.
Anti-Scientologists/Anti-Cultists are looking for people to express the most damning narrative against the cult in the most damning way it can be expressed. They want people to develop messaging that will attract other people to their cause and to help them to destroy Scientology – whether that messaging is true or not.
There are real abuses that the Church of Scientology has committed on their own members, and on their critics. But most of the atrocity stories are over-hyped and over-blown. And some are downright false. But you can never state this openly in an anti-Scientology forum. It is simply not tolerated.
For anyone leaving the Church of Scientology, it is extremely important to always seek to live with the truth. After 15 years of experience, I have concluded that you can not seek to live with the truth in a group of Anti-Cultists.
This is why I write this: If you are just leaving the Church of Scientology and want to find out what happened to you while you were in, DO NOT become an “Ex-Scientologist” in a forum run by Anti-Scientologists.
The truth about Scientology is BOTH the good and the bad.
For your own good, and for your own continued and constructive evolution after Scientology, stay out of Internet forums and blogs that can not tolerate BOTH the good and the bad of Scientology to be discussed.
There will be much more about this on my blog in the coming weeks.
48 thoughts on “FOR THOSE LEAVING THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY”
A wise friend of mine, who left the church around the same time as I, related a story of a conversation he’d had with a guy about Scientology.
“So you’re an ex-scientologist, then,” asked the guy.
“Not exactly,” replied my friend.
“Really?” said the guy. “From the way you were talking, I’d say you were definitely an ex-scientologist.”
“Well, it’s like this,” responded my friend. “If you identify yourself first as a Scientologist, and then leave the church and become an ex-scientologist, you’re still a scientologist.”
I agree. You’ve become the opposite side of the same coin. You’ve become the black to the white. You thereby deny yourself the infinite shades of grey that make up life.
well, who is this wise friend and what’s makes him wise? This is a question of ethos. And why should I believe you without proof, or logos?
Gib. It’s about labels and who you have to be to be considered to be [label]. And trying to fit yourself to be [label]. And then learning what others expect of [label] and then modifying your behavior to fit.
If you’re a scientoligist or an ex-scientologist, you’ve handed over to Hubbard to define who or what you are and who or what you can’t be.
“Most of the atrocity stories are over-hyped and overblown”.
I could’ve agreed with the above assertion if you had used the word “some” instead of “most”. Are you stating this as a provable fact or just your opinion? I’m thinking opinion because it cannot be proved that “most” atrocity stories are over-hyped.
Describing them as overhyped or overblown assumes the same attitude that the Church uses. “Never happened, wasn’t like that, and besides we don’t do that any more, ancient history”
Examine this logic:
Just because the church of scientology says something does not make it false.
Just because an anti-scientologist says something does not make it true.
There. What do you think of that reasoning?
Also, just because the Church of Scientology says something does not make it true.
Just because an anti-scientologist says something does not make it false.
There is a great deal of corroboration and verifiable details in most of those accounts. I rarely disbelieve them.
Your point is valid.
I am stating it from having lived it for 15 years as an ex-scientologist and writing and “working with” other ex-scientologists that whole time.
From my study of cognitive behavioral therapy and my study of Buddhism, I learned a disputation process that taught me to examine my thoughts and the stories that I tell myself.
On practicing this I found that the atrocity stories that routinely go around, such as the Lisa McPherson story, become more and more legends than factual accounts. The true story is horrible. But if you step back and look at it in context, there was no actual evil there. There was only well-meaning but total incompetence by blinkered cultists who were trying to make an approach to therapy work which did not work.
The cover up and the “handling” of the story was entirely different. But no charges were filed in what was done to Joan Wood the Pinellas County coroner.
And then of course to see the hype you have to “grant beingness” to scientology and see their interests as legitimate. Which is impossible for an anti-scientologist.
That paragraph that I wrote alone makes me a traitor. And so yeah, you have to walk on the wild side and recognize that we share the planet with scientologists who have every right to exist and to work in their own self interests.
They do not have a right to break the law.
And so when I really examined these atrocity stories with that kind of viewpoint, I came to the conclusion that it was “most”. Not all, and not “some”.
Anti-scientologists are not out to be accurate and fair to all sides in their telling of atrocity stories. They tell these stories to recruit resources and allies in the effort to “take down scientology”.
Because that is their effort, they can not afford to be truthful and fair to all sides. If they were, their recruitment efforts would fail.
Okay….you have came to a conclusion that “most” stories of atrocities are over-hyped. It is still not a provable fact. It is your opinion. You initial post comes across as though it is a fact. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “Based on my observation I have concluded that most stories of atrocities are over-hyped.”
Yes, it is my opinion. My answer to you laid out a part of the process I used to come to that opinion.
It would be a good exercise to list out all the atrocity stories that get told over and over by anti-Scientologists and examine them for their truthfulness and accuracy.
That process may prove me totally wrong, and find that in fact every single atrocity story ever told by Ex-Scientologists is exactly factual and totally fair in its interpretations of the facts of the events.
Maybe we can do that here.
Hay – it’s better than an “ESMB Thread”!
you might want to change the word “anti-Scientolgists” to ex-scientolgists.
There is a difference. Anti could mean lots of things, whereas Ex means a former member.
Hark! The middle path? It is a very lonely road. Unless of course, you are good company to yourself.
More like the straight path.
I like the middle path, even employed it before scientology, I’m defining middle path in the sense of being friendly with people whether we agree or not.
I’m very comfortable with myself, always have been, I’m not sure why others are not. Although thru scientology I thought I was not. False promise I say. Thank god I left that mindset.
I actually have traveled across the USA on a motorcycle, from one end to the other, not in one trip but from two trips from the midwest, the cornfields, one trip to the east, one trip to the west. Saw both ocean sides.
All by lonesome. A Walkabout you might say.
I’ve been on the middle path ever since I left CofS. This generated some criticism but worked out best in the long run.
When it comes to the CofS I don’t employ middle path, there is a difference.
The Hubbard and CofS do not employ the middle path.
It seems to me that most people who’ve been in and out of the cult did not suffer an actual atrocity. That word describes something very extreme and even violent. I certainly did not suffer an atrocity. But I was also not in the Sea Org, which is where an atrocity is most likely to occur. Also, the closer in proximity that you are to David Miscavige the higher the possibility that you may suffer one. Most rank and file members who go to their local org and perhaps a trip or two to Flag will not suffer what can be accurately described as an atrocity. I think the number one negative affect of being in the cult is financial hardship and disaster. That is something that is quite common for obvious reasons.
On ESMB most former members of the cult share their stories of massive debt, home loss, disconnection, lost years in productivity due to going “up the bridge”, suffering a negative effect from processing, extreme asshole staff members, etc… It’s the former SO members who tend to have the tales of atrocities. I never had the impression that any of them exaggerated. But that’s only my impression. The Lisa McPherson story is different in that it was litigated in the public eye and it was a very sad story. Yes many wanted to make it into a murder case, which it wasn’t. It was a case of negligent homicide caused by applying the tech standardly.
“. It was a case of negligent homicide caused by applying the tech standardly.”
“share their stories of massive debt, home loss, disconnection, lost years in productivity due to going “up the bridge”, ”
All of which they did willingly, which may be the hardest part for people to face. Of course, did it ever occur to anyone that those things would be worth it IF scientology was what it said it was?
It’s that IF that was the killer.
I personally doubt that it was “caused by applying the tech standardly”. This is because I do believe that David Miscavige in particular does not and never has “applied tech standardly”. This is no exception. As lone star stated, the closer people were to Miscavige, the more likely they were to suffer “atrocities”. This is just my opinion. I have not investigated the Introspection Rundown, but I have read contrary accounts of its standard application, in which the people receiving it were pleased with it. So I question that int was applied “standardly” to Lisa. Or whether it was even the correct C/S for her, given it was Miscavige who C/Sed it.
It would be interesting to gather information from exes about what they wish they had known when they left. What was most helpful, least helpful, what do they wish they had known, if they could give one piece of advice what would it be?
I’d have liked to know about the meanness to members, the abuses and the broken promises.
This is true. Tony Ortega has a word for people who tell the truth about Scientology in a way which DOESN’T help bring it down – “carrying water for the cult”.
I’d thought he was smarter than that. I’d have to see the context.
“Anyone who advocates a more objective, intelligent discussion on Scientology is quickly labelled and treated as an enemy by ASC members. Even outsiders simply reporting newsworthy facts. For example, Ortega ragged on TMZ chief Harvey Levin for months because his outlet reported the fact of the prosecution of a man who made death threats against Scientology’s leader. Ortega publically denounced Levin for “carrying water” for Scientology. Apparently in the head of the ASC’s daily anti-scientology meme creator, the only good Scientologist is a dead one. ”
As it turns out, social scientists have studied this aspect of apostate groups, not just in anti-scientologists but in many anti-cult groups.
What Marty is saying here is real.
In particular, there is a book by 2 sociologists, David G. Bromley and Anson B. Shupe, Jr. titled “Strange Gods” which covers some of this.aspect as well as others. It was published in 1981 by Beacon Press and is still very timely today. Maybe even more so.
Shupe is a guy that Tony Ortega and his science officer, Chris Shelton, have labeled a “shill”.
So I am afraid that their credibility has been shattered.
That is Marty’s take, and it is part of his anti-Ortega rant. TMZ has a very odd history with how they report on Scientology. I have wondered whether Levin is an ex.
I love a good anti-Ortega rant.
Preferably with a stale cracker and some goat cheese.
We have noticed that about you…
Other than dismissing it as “part of his anti-Ortega rant”, is there anything in the quote you specifically disagree with? Or does your hero-worship of Ortega prevent you from identifying anything like that?
Once again I must defend Eileen s honor here. I called her a “Tony Ortega lap dog” but it was just in jest because she is absolutely not Tony Ortega’s lap dog. Nor does she worship him as a hero.
She may light a candle to him on holy days but I think that’s about it.
She is a very independent thinker. And a huge resource. So just because she may agree with him in this area doesn’t mean she does in every other area.
Plus, she might be an OSA agent so we don’t want to piss her off.
About Ortega, You best be kidding!
Interesting that you would wonder if I was OSA. What about my communication would make you think that.?
I am absolutely kidding, all the way up and down. You are the absolute last person to ever be OSA. That’s why I thought it was funny.
And I thought it was funny because you thought I was OSA until I said that I could not reconcile all these Nazi youth in Scientology with a “Bridge to Total Freedom”.
The more I read about the anti-cult movement from the point of view of social science, which has been studying this hard for almost 40 years, the more I think all of this is very funny.
Really. It’s hard for me to take any of this seriously any more.
I’ve never thought you were OSA. I wouldn’t have spent time and genuine energy communicating on this site. I have seen people suggest that about you, but it also seems to be the thing to say when they dont agree with someone.
Nazi youth vs Bridge??? No recollection of this.
You last line is the best one, I second that emotion! Maybe you are moving on to your ex-ex-ex-Scientology phase!
I saw an anti-cult warrior on the internet say that cults don’t have to be religions. He said that there are cults based on diets and exercise programs.
In the past the absurdity of that statement would just swoosh right over my head. But now all I could do was laugh. I could not even be bothered to ask him for the names of these cults that were based on a diet and an exercise program.
Virginia – Somewhere on another topic you posted a link to your blog. I sidetracked onto “The Connection Between Scientology and Synanon” Great stuff! I just spent an hour playing in that rabbit hole – laughter There were so many New Age cults going on back then that if scn hadn’t snagged me, another one would have.
I went to an event years ago-a joint one in NYC- put on by Shannon and CofS. It was about their claims of being unjustly attacked.
Oops-that should say Synanon
You know that Shannon, she is a troublemaker! 😉
Good post Al. Of course the ASC will and do say vehemently that they ARE telling the “truth about scientology”.
Using words like “most” to describe ex scientologists as liars does not sit well with me as that is an extreme generality. So far I have not found that to be the case so if you are going to make statements like that, then prove it with examples. I am an ex scientologist who still uses the tech but am also against the current leadership and squirreled tech. And I can totally understand those who were harmed by the cofs being anti…..
Hi Rob –
Welcome to alanzo’s blog!
I had to reread my post to find where I said that most ex scientologists were liars. And after rereading it – sure enough – I didn’t.
I didn’t write that and I don’t think that, either.
Were you referring to someone else?
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