When you’ve spent so much of your life supporting & defending all the good you’ve experienced in Scientology and you finally become aware of the people the leaders have harmed, there’s a heartbreak that occurs which, in the case of too many Ex-Scientologists, is not survivable.
You trusted these leaders to uphold the ideals that you sincerely believed Scientology stood for, and upon which you genuinely lived your life. To find out who these people really were makes you cynical & vengeful & very very sad.
Add to this the humiliation you feel for having believed these leaders, and the heartbreak can permeate your whole existence, changing everything you think & feel. Your act of rebellion in originally joining Scientology, in seeing its goodness & its humanity & in helping defend these things against the milquetoast middle class, threatened to change you into a chump – something they always wanted you to be.
So you forgot about who you were when you were a Scientologist & you covered all that over with the blackest of paint. With your broken heart, you vowed to ‘expose’ the abuses you’ve heard about, but never actually saw.
You forget that you never did such things in Scientology, and you never would.
You punish yourself for being ‘naive’. Your self-destruction is cheered on by those whose meanness & cynicism would have been detestable to you. You become cynical & mean too because you’ve convinced yourself that’s what you always should have been, and it was your mistake not to be.
You trust the milquetoast middle class now, with its jingoistic support for brutal wars, its herding and treatment of human beings like cattle & its lemming-like progression off a cliff of simple-minded groupthink.
At least you don’t have to tell people you’re a Scientologist anymore. You can be normal, kind of like one of them now.
What never-ins don’t understand is when they’re looking at an Ex-Scientologist, they’re looking at someone who’s been so heartbroken, so betrayed by the leadership they trusted, that no amount of sympathy, praise, or compassion from a never-in will heal them.
Never-ins can never understand.
What a heartbroken Ex does not understand is that they were never naive. They were never the way their leaders, both then & now, thought of them.
If you were a Scientologist, then you were courageous & inflammably positive & good. And real. You cared about others even above yourself.
You believed in ideals that regularly burned away the corrosion of human fallibility. You repeatedly purified yourself with these ideals, and infused others with their curative hope.
You were never the person that the leaders of Scientology turned out to be.
The antidote for your heartbreak is embracing that.
8 thoughts on “The Heartbreak of an Ex-Scientologist”
Alanzo wrote: “When you’ve spent so much of your life supporting & defending all the good you’ve experienced in Scientology and you finally become aware of the people the leaders have harmed, there’s a heartbreak that occurs which, in the case of too many Ex-Scientologists, is not survivable.”
What is this generality based on? It never applied to me, to any significant extent.
I think the other viewpoint you’ve expressed is much closer to the truth — i.e. that former Scientologists are making a mistake by denying what they gained, and that even the outpoints they experienced (or later learned about) served as valuable lessons.
Just in the first two paragraphs of your posting, you’ve offered 9 assertions for the reader to accept.
I don’t think the 2nd Person wording is working.
Ha! My whole LIFE is an assertion for a reader to accept!
I made an origination, and you give me no acknowledgement?
This is one of the best posts about the personal aftermath of leaving Scientology and all-encompassing faith groups in general, and the second person wording is totally appropriate and effective in getting this across, particularly to those who have never been involved in Scientology for any significant length of time.
When you go into Scientology and decide to stay in for the ride, you are, whether you realize it or not, or even aware of this, agreeing to a fundamental datum of KSW:
“When somebody enrolls, consider he or she has joined up for the duration of the universe
– never permit an ‘open-minded’ approach. If they’re going to quit let them quit fast. If
they enrolled, they’re aboard, and if they’re aboard, they’re here on the same terms as the rest
of us – win or die in the attempt. Never let them be half-minded about being Scientologists.”
As soon as someone like Brian Culkin, who was barely in Scientology a few weeks before being aggressively regged for Flag services (an impossibility today, given that Flag is off-limits to all but the most veteran and fanatical Scientologists), agreed to services beyond the introductory variety (Life Improvement Course, Life Repair auditing, etc), he became subject to the full unrestrained effect of KSW as far as Scientology staffers (including actual auditors themselves!) were concerned and at Flag, they were merciless and relentless in using KSW to coerce and extort him out of tens of thousands of dollars in donations to the IAS, which combined with the money spent on useless and ridiculously expensive services like the Ls (a major violation of protocol as the Ls, given the absurdly high pricing since the Sea Org takeover of international management, were never intended for novice Scientologists) totaled over $350,000 in less than a year.
Culkin went along with all of this because he fell for the Big Lie that Alanzo is talking about here from a second person viewpoint, which is most effective at demonstrating what is going on psychologically and emotionally when a Scientologist is being subjected to a relentless and ceaseless barrage of regging. You don’t give in to this level of regging because you’re an idiot or a loser or a gullible moron. You give in because you really believe you’re helping a group that is helping not only you, but the entire world, the universe even.
It’s a very complex psychological process that almost all never-ins and certain exes attempt to reduce to sheer stupidity and gullibility. This is a false and disingenuous approach, very condescending in a manner similar to that of Scientology fanatics. Jason Beghe talks about all of this in his video and I suggest anyone who doesn’t understand this post watch the Beghe video a few times from beginning to end. And then maybe you’ll get it.
Really enjoyed this insightful post and CC’s comment. And Beghe’s video is where I got my handle. Definitely a must watch.
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