Within Scientology, Ex-Scientologists and those who leave Scientology are painted as evil individuals who have crimes. It is a high crime in Scientology to “publicly leave” the organization. Leaving quietly / leaving at all is bad enough, but to tell any Scientologist you are leaving is a serious offense. Because they can’t tell anyone they are leaving, many times, people who leave just kinda disappear. Their not-so-close friends and acquaintances don’t know what happened to them.
It is also considered wrong to “spread entheta”, which means “to pass on bad news”, so the people who do know what happened to them are usually reluctant to say anything about it. In fact, many of the more wide-spread problems in Scientology are very effectively kept under wraps simply because no one wants to spread entheta.
Another Scientology doctrine states that the only reason someone would want to leave a good group is because they themselves have committed crimes against that group. Because Scientologists feel that Scientology is a good group, anyone who chooses to leave is presumed to have committed “overts” (sins) against Scientology.
Are people who leave Scientology really bad people? Are they miserable, unhappy folk? Do they leave because they have crimes? What about the people who are kicked out?
Well, there are thousands of people who have left Scientology, or have been kicked out. ESK feels that it’s impossible to generalize about a group of people that big. Among the people who left or kicked out, there surely were some bad seeds, and there are documented cases of the church throwing people out for very good reasons, such as sexual abuse.
However, not all people who commit crimes are thrown out, and not all people who leave have committed crimes. In fact, most of them haven’t. Some people just don’t fit in. Some people just don’t agree. And some people just want a different life. And a lot of them are very happy, up-beat folk.
Many Scientology kids are uncomfortable talking about, or sometimes even thinking about, people who left. Leaving seems so alien, so strange, dangerous and wrong, that the mere fact that someone left may be considered proof of wrongdoing.
We wish that we could convince every Scientologist that leaving doesn’t necessarily make someone a monster, but ultimately, each person should be left to make their own decisions and form their own opinions about others. At ESK, we think that open, honest communication about each person’s reasons for joining *and* leaving Scientology is a good idea.
Discrediting Ex-Scientologists and Scientology Critics
Scientology has a long and glorious history of denying that any abuse exists in the church. As most of the people who are speaking out about Scientology abuses are ex-Scientologists, Scientology spokespeople have devised a few standard ways to discredit and malign them. Join us as we dissect the party line.
Standard Scientology Response: Most of these supposed ‘abuse’ stories come from people who ‘choose to remain anonymous’. That’s because those stories are made up by evil people who want to destroy Scientology.
ESK Says: Yoo hoo! Excuse me, CoS? Please stop telling us we don’t exist. It’s really weird to watch you guys go on TV and insist that we are just figments of some evil mastermind’s imagination. Seriously, cut it out.
Many people choose to remain anonymous because although they would love nothing better to give out their names, they still have family and friends who are members of Scientology. These people know that if they openly speak out, you will require their loved ones to disconnect from them.
Standard Scientology Response: Why would you ever listen to a former member of anything? That person left! What do they know?
ESK Says: Wait, so you’re saying that a person has to be currently suffering abuse in order to be qualified to talk about abuse? So no one should discuss or criticize events in their past, only their present? So if I was molested as a child, and I wanted to tell my story, I’d have to go find someone to molest me now? Dude. That makes no sense.
Standard Scientology Response: That person is a child molester / drug addict / criminal / psychopath / crazy person / religious bigot! Why listen to them?
ESK says: I’m sure you’ll understand if we take your accusations with a grain of salt. After all, you’ve slandered a lot of perfectly nice people in the past.
Let us take, for example, lawyer Graham Berry, who defended some people against you in court. In response to him doing his job, you gathered a squad of people together and papered his neighborhood with fliers calling him a child molester. Oh yeah, and that time you called Bob Minton a religious bigot. And there were those fliers about Barbara Graham accusing her of being a drunk anti-American. And that journalist you called a pedophile in 2006. And Mark Bunker, who you labeled a liar and a bigot. And Stacy Brooks – there’s that religious bigotry again. Or when you handed out pictures of Gerry Armstrong, calling him a big weirdo. Or Jeff Jacobsen, again with the bigotry.
Seriously, guys, there’s lots of other words for “bigot”. There’s Extremist, Fanatic, Sectarian, Philistine, Maniac, and Jingoist. Oh, and Dogmatist. That one’s pretty cool. You guys should spice it up a little.
But anyway, it turns out very little, if any of that stuff was true. You guys are meanie heads.
UPDATE: We are now all “Bitter Apostates”
Standard Scientology Response: They’re all lying.
ESK says: Not to be a big baby about it or anything, but, uh, prove it.
Go on. Open up your doors and prove it. Let us see where the Sea Org sleeps, let us see the food, let us spend a few weeks with your staff, let us evaluate the educational system. It’s hard to take people on their word these days, so a little transparency couldn’t hurt, huh?