Can’t Say’s Scientology Story
I’ve never really spoken about my time in the Church. Only my family and one of two close friends know I was a Scientologist, and that I was married. I don’t tell people, because frankly, it sounds too weird to talk about.
I’ve never spoken about it out of fear of retribution, fear of hurting those I admire who are still in the CoS, and the fact that I still believe in the effects of overts and natter and the fact that I really don’t think Im a bad person and therefore don’t want to act like and SP. I don’t think Ive been declared as yet, and really don’t want to be – because Im not one, and it would hurt like mad that people could think such a thing when they knew me so well.
Having said that though, Ive been out of the church for over 5 years, and despite silent phone numbers and several house moves, they keep trying to find me. Im sick of it, Ive had enough, I don’t want to be harassed anymore. Perhaps telling my story will put them off.
My high school boyfriend was in a scientology family, and I did a course with him while I was at my first year of university. Everyone was nice, warm, caring and I liked the place.
I was recruited onto the TTC when I was 18. It was obvious at the time that I was only being recruited because they wanted to use me as leverage to recruit my boyfriend – I was openly told that in the interview – and then potentially his family could be recruited too. I didn’t mind, I thought they were doing this for a noble cause.
I trained up to Class IV internship GAT auditor but never get much auditing myself – I was too PTS. I suffer from migraines, and was therefore not suitable to audit. The fact that my mother was schizophrenic and heavily opposed to the church was a huge problem.
I got married to my boyfriend because it was expected. I remember an IAS speaker asking us when we were planning to get married when I was still 18… I was shocked at how normal he thought that was. After being in the Church for a year, I thought it was normal too. Funny how your perceptions change.
Most of the problems I had with people in the church centered around the problem of my SP mother. Now I still agree that the woman is nuts. She is a terrible mother and I try not to have any contact with her. However, many incidents occurred (including my mother-in-law being instructed by senior staff to try to make my mother go completely insane. She tried, and of course made matters worse.) and a lot of it was to try to get my mother to sign an affidavit that she wouldn’t sue the church.
In the end, I said “hey – standard tech is to disconnect from the SP. So that is what I will do.” Well, everyone went off the deep end. You cant do that, she might sue us!! Well, it’s the correct thing to do, and Ill never get audited if I don’t. Too bad, the reputation of the church in the media is more important than you following policy or getting up the bridge missy.
There are lots of double standards in the church, and policy can be used to justify almost anything. You can natter all you like about public that are “difficult” to get money out of, or a fellow staff member if they are in ethics, and that isn’t considered an overt. Seemed wrong to me.
Some things are done that were downright horrid. Its quite acceptable to keep someone in a room inside the org overnight while you try to convince them to join staff, and not let them leave. I joined staff because I thought I could help people. I didn’t realise it meant years of working 7 nights a week, hardly ever allowed to take time off to see family and friends, working for free most of the time and being expected to coerce others into doing the same. All staff I knew were broke. That was one motivating factor for more staff – the more you have the more income, therefore we might actually get paid!!! Great trick, that. And if you DID have money, there was always an IAS event that would convince you to hand it over. Everyone I knew that joined staff with money didn’t have it for long.
When I got pregnant I suffered from a lot of bleeding and was ordered by a doctor to have bed rest and no work. I was so stressed and I had no family or friend support (they had all drifted away). Ill never forget the phone call where a senior staff member rang to tell me I should be at the org auditing and it shouldn’t matter if the baby dies – doing my duty was more important. I was even threatened with a CommEv. I stuck to my guns and stayed home, despite the harassment. When the baby did eventually die, she rang to tell me I shouldn’t blame myself, and to get back in the org immediately. Too bad that I was still very ill.
When I was punched in the face by my husband during an argument (when I was pregnant), I was sent to ethics to have my overts pulled and nearly lost it when the auditor said I had to have done something to MAKE him hit me. It was my fault apparently – my husband worked in the ethics department. When he wanted to go to Flag for training later, he and the ED asked me very pointedly “are you SURE it wasn’t just a slap? You know, you may just have exaggerated a bit?” I replied “sure, just a slap. Whatever you think”. I figured if he wanted to lie, he could. Who cares. At that point I was sick of being ethics bait and was happy to avoid any conflict.
“Face-ripping” is another wonderful thing done to staff. I’ve had it done to me twice. Both for writing a Knowledge Report about senior staff (so much for the policy regarding Knowledge Reports). I was accused of being an SP during the first face-ripping by a guy who later was found to be stealing thousands from patrons. The second one was by the ED, with my husband helping him by guarding the door so I couldn’t leave. Conveniently this was done during the staff meeting occurring in the next room. Presumably to warn other staff not to criticise senior staff either. That’s when I realised the group I was in was not a healthy place to be. It finally dawned on me. The only people who do this kind of stuff to another person were “suppressive”. By staying I was committing an “overt of omission” – I would make it ok for this to be done to another, by making it look as though it works. By going, perhaps the higher administration would come under scrutiny from higher up in the chain. I didn’t really know that this was the same shit done in every damn CoS, and was worse in the SO. However, I haven’t been declared as far as I know, so perhaps someone realises I’m not evil.
After 3 years, I had had enough. I was simply a cash cow, auditing people instead of getting my training finished. Money is more important than making sure people get the quality they think they are paying for. It was frustrating and it felt unethical. Every time I opened my mouth I was sent to ethics. I was so stressed I was having migraines constantly (and expected to audit through them, even throwing up), I was sick all the time, I was so thin I couldn’t recognise myself in the mirror. I made it clear I was not happy and I needed help. None happened. Everyone firmly believed in the policy that an auditor just gets shoved back in to work, it doesn’t matter whats wrong with them.
One day I left a note for my husband and packed my bags. I left, and it broke my heart – not leaving the bastard, but to leave when I felt I owed the public I was supposed to help, and the staff that were my friends. I didn’t turn up to the church that night, and the people I was supposed to audit began asking questions. Everyone was absolutely furious.
I have been back twice over the past 5 years, out of a feeling of guilt, to do ethics. The public I knew were lovely and were simply glad to see me and glad to see I was trying to get “back on track”. Most of the staff hated me, and I mean full-on HATED me. I decided I was happier, healthier and could still help people without being in such a nasty environment. The ones who didn’t hate me were too scared to be very friendly. They had all been told I was an SP, a real boogy-man. I realised that as much as I loved helping people and still thought the technology would work, I would never be trusted, I would forever be ethics-bait, and the problems in the Church were the same as they had ever been. The public may have problems with being ripped off, but staff can really suffer.
I still feel really sad about the whole thing, but since I left I got divorced, have finished a degree, have a successful career, have wonderful relationships with my family and friends. I rarely have migraines anymore, I’m very healthy and achieving so much. I feel really happy with my life, and there is no way I will give all that up to go back.
If you are still in the Church and you are happy there – great. It would be nice if you can make sure policy isn’t being used as an excuse for verbal or mental abuse. There is no excuse for that behaviour, I don’t care how it is justified. Stand up for your own integrity and be willing to stand by your guns if you think something is wrong. What Ive been through is nothing compared to others. I’m sorry I wasn’t strong enough to stay in the church and fix things from the inside.