I was in Scientology for two years in the late 1980s, and took a total of 18 courses to become a supervisor, that is, a teacher of Scientology and a minor executive in the Vancouver organization, the Director of Public Services. I had my "training" at ASHO, the American Saint Hill Organization, and ITO, the International Training Organization, both in the large blue Cedars of Lebanon complex Scientology owns in Los Angeles.
Scientology is, as I know it to be based on my experience, an empty organization, devoid of spirituality, cold, and utterly ruthless. I was ordered to disconnect from my family, which I refused to do. I was ordered to stay at my post and work through Christmas, which I also refused to do. I began to see that the organization did not live up to its many promises of improvement of people; I myself was not improved, and neither was anyone else I saw in the organization. I asked Scientology's elite, Operating Thetans, to show to me some of the powers they claimed to have, and they failed miserably at this small task. Most "OTs", as they are called, were elderly, sick, feeble, dying of cancer, wore thick glasses, and were unimpressive to me, mentally, physically, and spiritually. If the top of Scientology's "Bridge to Total Freedom" looked so shabby, there was little hope for myself or anyone else in the organization. In addition, my superiors were, one and all, unremarkable people, given to fits of rage, bouts of depression, and other behaviour that did not fit in with L. Ron Hubbard's claims for his so-called "technology"
and the wunderkind it was meant to produce.
These facts and many other small things which did not fit led to my departure from Scientology, after which I was declared a "suppressive person", ie, someone who won't toe the party line in the cult and submit to command intention with complete obedience to the cult's weltanschauung.
I left Scientology and read voraciously in the library any and all material I could find about the cult, which opened my eyes to the true nature of what I had been involved with. Over a space of five years I recovered from the cult's pernicious influence on my mind.
I kept a journal in which I wrote down influences, such as the paranoid feelings and thoughts almost all Scientologists have about psychiatrists and others in the mental healing profession.
In this journal, I also wrote down typical Scientological thoughts and terminology, and rid my mind of them one by one, removing the semantic basis for culthood. Scientology redefines hundreds of key English words such as "thinking", "critical thought", "reason", "cognition", "perception", "reality", "communication", "open mindedness", "rationality", and many others in such a way as to alter the thinking patterns of its members with a truly Orwellian methodology. In addition, numerous drills are done for long hours that have an effect on the rationality of its members. If these fail, Scientology has arrogated to itself its own penal system, complete with Ethics Officers, Masters at Arms, prison camps (called RPFs, Rehabilitation Project Forces), Courts of Ethics, and Committees of Evidence.
Sleep deprivation and dietary restrictions enhance this controlling effect leading to partially unaware or unconscious people, acting without thinking, fanatical in their obedience, and uniform in their thinking, dress, and behaviour.
In addition to these altered means of thought, Scientology also introduces thousands of neologisms which add to the impact of the semantic disturbance the cult produces in its victim's minds.
These I also tackled in my journal, carefully noting down when I used them, and resolving with each one to never unconsciously use them again. After getting out of Scientology, I had trouble thinking clearly and logically, but this was overcome by the time I discovered the internet in early 1994. I found a list of newsgroups, searched for "scientology", and came across alt.religion.scientology, ars, where I immediately wrote up a short post of what I knew to be the nature of Scientology encouraging other ex-Scientologists to come on and speak their minds, regardless of the harassment that was sure to follow this exercise of free speech. This article, entitled _What is Scientology_, has been reposted many times, translated into German, French and Russian, and has been placed up on the World Wide Web. Ars at that time was a backwater Usenet newsgroup, with only a handful of posts per day and no one on it at that time appeared to be very knowledgable about the subject.
I have continued to post on ars, write faqs (frequently asked questions lists with their answers) for ars, including a booklist, a dictionary, a who's who list, and a general faq), and have contributed more posts to that newsgroup than any other single person. I see it as my civic duty to tell people what Scientology is really like underneath the shiny PR image that the cult carefully maintains. Scientology has been, historically, underreported in the mainstream media due to "libel chill", that is, their efforts to sue and harass anyone with the temerity to write about them or their (now dead) leader, L. Ron Hubbard.
Authors of books on the cult have been uniformly harassed, sued, and attacked for speaking out. Their books have been stolen from libraries, defaced and destroyed. Newspapers have been sued, magazines have been silenced, but the internet cannot be silenced.
I fight Scientology not for personal reasons, but because I see it as the good fight and the right thing to do. I got people into Scientology, people who's lives will never be the same, people who have disconnected from the family and loved ones under Scientology's disgusting disconnection policy. What Scientologists believe, they have a right to. They do *not* have a right to break the law and apply the cult's notorious Far Game law to their critics or ex-members. They do not have the right to lock people up, to forcefully interrogate people, to pry into people's privacy, to break up families and destroy people's minds. They do not have the right to engage in fraud and to impoverish their victims. They do not have the right to lie, and Scientology is a big lie from top to bottom. Many of the people in it are victims of the system themselves, and cannot be blamed for their position. Nevertheless, the world has to know about the cult's true nature and the nature of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who was a con man, a common criminal, a self-confessed drug addict, a virtually pathological liar, a paranoid, a follower of Aleister Crowley, and an abusive personality - abusive to his wives, his children, and his loyal followers.
I will continue to work to expose Scientology, as that will give fair warning to anyone who might get sucked into the organization.
Scientology is socially destructive and disruptive, and is a wholly negative influence on society by its attacks on free speech and human rights, and its assault on the truth with its revisionist leanings. Alt.religion.scientology is the main forum for discussion of this topic and posting of information about Scientology; in addition, there are hundreds of webpages about Scientology. For more of my views about this cult, please see:
Just the FAQs: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~av282/ Scientology in Canada: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/1332/ The Scientology Library: http://www.anthrax.net/cos/library/index.htm ARSCC Photo Gallery: http://www.islandnet.com/~martinh/arscc.htm -- Cogito, ergo sum. FAQs: http://www.ncf.carleton.ca/~av282/ "But regardless how hard the going is for us critics in the face of entrenched evil, as Winston Churchill said once that these are not the dark days, but rather the great days. They are great because the cult is giving each of us an opportunity to find out the depth of our love of freedom." - Grady Ward.