“Losing My Religion” – James McGuigan

Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Stories from Inside Scientology | Comments Off on “Losing My Religion” – James McGuigan

Where it all Began

My parents where both Scientologists since before I was born. My sister and I had a fairly normal upbringing and while Scientology and the teachings of LRH where never forced on us, they where always there in the background and I saw it simply as a normal part of life. My parents had their own woodwork business, and where always hard working. While we were never poor, my parents rarely spent money on luxuries, going out or things beyond the basics, preferring instead to stay in, or simply work.

Their largest complaint about the church was heavy regging, trying to hard sell them into buying more services, getting back on course soon, or though asking that donations be made. An odd side effect of this, was my parents habit of never answering the phone until a message had been left on the answering machine. My parents had worked hard to pre-pay for most of their bridge in advance along with mine and my sisters, and preferred to remain fully self-determined over their own finances and time commitments. While they liked to help the church, they preferred to assist practically though assisting renovations as part of their woodworking business, rather than giving financial donations. By the time I left Scientology, my father had reached OT5, and my mother had spent many years solo-auditing on OT7 but had decided to come off the course for time reasons.

My education has been varied to say the least. After leaving primary school, I spent a year and a half at Latymer upper school, one of the better private schools in London. While I was learning like a sponge there, my parents thought that my education there was dulling me, and I transferred to the newly opened Greenfields London school. It was being run by Hugh and Margaret from the main Greenfields study-tech school in East Grinstead, though there less than two dozen students, with ages ranging from 6 to 14, and I was the oldest by at least a year. While I have some fond memories of my time there, after a year or so, it was becoming clear that they could not really cater for my slightly more advanced educational needs, so with the departure of a couple of other students, they decided that they where better off restricting themselves to just a primary school. I then moved to the local state school, but decided to drop out at 15, with no GSCEs or A-levels. I was simply not learning anything and didn’t want to waste my time doing a year of revision. After dropping out I ended up spending a year full time at St Hill castle.

I had started helping out in the family business since I was 14, as I had managed to teach myself computer aided design, taught my mother how to do them, and worked until I eventually left home at 22. I rarely received any wages, as it was agreed that my wages would go towards helping pay off the family mortgage, but at the same time I was still living at home and had very little need for money.

Personality wise, I am a naturally curious, open-minded geek. Looking at the meyers-briggs scale I identify most with the INTJ type. The IQ tests given to me by the church suggested a result between 142 and 136. My mother bought me a computer for my 5th birthday and have been addicted to them ever since, I learnt to program computers in my teenage years, and when I reached 18, my mother strongly suggested that I get a computer science degree, so I applied to the open university, and over the next four years, I would read the books at home and do regular assignments, while continuing to work for the family business. My social life was fairly non-existent at this point, beyond discussing politics, economics and philosophy via email mailing lists.

My Journey Through Scientology

Growing up, I had done some basic life improvement courses and book one auditing at London org, during various summer holidays. I had quit mainstream school and ended up spending a year studying full time, at St Hill castle.

I remember studying the Life Orientation Course, and while on it, I found a small book on the bookshelf explaining the nature of the fractional reserve monetary system, I borrowed the book and read it at home, but at the end of the course, I felt that I had actually learnt more from that tiny book than in all the months I had spent on the LOC.

Having then worked my way through to the Pro TRs and completing the study section, I started the clay demo auditing. I was not a big fan of clay-demo auditing, though this may have been due to the fact that I had been allowed to overrun for a couple of months on the Key To Life clay demo process – you are not told the EP on clay demo auditing, but simply continue the process until you guess/cognite the answer and communicate it to the auditor. So after a day or so on the first pro-TRs clay demo process, I managed to red-tag on the end-of-session examiner e-meter check.

Red-tags must be cleared up in 24 hours, through the use of a review session by a professional auditor. However at £300 per hour for a session of unknown length, I had no real money of my own at the time, and was not prepared to spend that sort of money on a session even if it was my parents money I would be spending, and that the sheer cost would simply make me feel I had present time problem in session. As the 24th deadline approached nearer, and my answer was simply to come off course and return to handle this situation at a later date. The captain of the org intervened and allowed the review session to go ahead pro-bono. The review session took quite a few hours and went through a long list of questions and included some confessional auditing, followed by the examiner again. I am initially told I got a floating needle, but that the video camera in the examiners room suggests that I didn’t, thus yet another red tag and that I would now need a review of the review. The church said that I would be able to use a block of 12½ hours St Hill auditing my parents still had on account from many years ago, from when the rates where far less.

So the next day I do a series of sessions to a review of the review. But after getting yet another red tag somewhere along the line, someone decides that its not a auditing issue but rather an ethics issue, so I get sent to the ethics officer. I write up some overts and withholds, get told to read a bunch of LRH references but ethics couldn’t really find anything significant that was out, so I jumped through the hoops and got pinballed between ethics and review a couple of times but nothing was resolved. For the most part I end up coming in every day waiting in the course room and helping out other students on the St Hill Special Briefing Course. After about two months of this, I’ve picked up lots of little bits of LRH tech from the SHSBC, but have pretty much lost track of whats happening with my case, how anything they are doing relates in any way to my clay demo auditing or my Pro TRs course. I feel that I am simply jumping through hoops and following standard procedure like a good Scientologist. I remember thinking that I had landed in a bureaucratic catch-22, where there actually nothing wrong with my case in the first place, but neither ethics or review could sign me off until they actually found something that didn’t exist.

So I decided to try and route off course, firstly by following the official routing out procedure, but quickly realised that unless you are happy about the services you have received and have specific plans as to when you will come back for your next course, you will never receive an official sign off, so I decided to blow (ie leave unofficially). As far as I am aware, St Hill org is still losing 5000 student points a week due to my un-handled red tag.

There is one aspect of the confessional auditing and sec-checks that I have picked up on and learnt to integrate into my own life. They taught me the skill of being able to open up my deepest thoughts, feelings, secrets, overts and withholds. To face fear of being 100% open an honest with yourself, even with painful and embarrassing things, and confront being equally honest with an external person, regardless of what they may think afterwards. It has allowed me to be both very open and honest with myself and at the same time equally honest with another person, even if they don’t happen to be on the other end of an e-meter.

Gazing into the Abyss

During the summer that the heatwave struck England, I was given a first hand perspective on the introspection run-down. A local teenage Scientologist girl had suddenly started to act strangely and went missing, only to be found wandering on the streets by the police. The church recommended that she be placed on the introspection rundown, as their was concern that she might possibly be taken into mental custody.

A porta-cabin was rented and placed in a secluded area on my parents farm, and used as a place for her to stay. Her mother also moved into the other room in the porta-cabin, and was her main watcher, this is normally discouraged, but permitted here for practical reasons. Other local Scientologists would volunteer to add themselves to the rota of watchers so that would usually be at least two people to act as watchers. For my own part, the summer heatwave meant it was too hot to work inside on my computer, so I would often spend all day out there, sitting outside, drinking tea, chatting and helping out as needed. While usually the introspection rundown is supposed to complete in a few weeks, in this case it lasted about 3 months.

The girl, I forget her name, spent most of the day locked in her room, with a mattress, a bedsheet and very little else. She she was hungry or needed to go to the bathroom, she would be brought food or allowed out, but she had to be supervised at all times in silence to ensure she didn’t play up or try to escape. For a while, she was allowed to take a walk twice a day around the fields but this was later discontinued due to a C/S recommendation and the fear that by placing her in an uncontrolled environment could potentially encounter something that might re-stimulate her.

The environment is muzzled, so you are not allowed to speak in her presence. Its a weird at first, but you are told that this is how the tech says to do it, and I was not really in a position to question it though you do get used to it. The underlying concept of the introspection rundown is to give the psychotic person a safe, quiet place free from all sources of enturbulation so they get their own head together.

It is strange how quickly someone subject to a muzzled state and locked in a room for most of the day can become a non-person, especially if you did not know them previously. Her mother ensured that there was always someone there as a watcher and that she was well fed and taken care of.

I tried. My interpretation of providing non-enturbulation, was to exert as little direct control on her as possible, to guide rather than force, and to project basic human kindness at all times.

While she would occasionally play up and be mischievous, like try to flush a roll of toilet paper down the loo, or block the sink up and allow it to overflow. She was still at heart a good natured and playful girl. It was interesting to watch her take a sheet and wrap it around herself in interesting ways and who would freely think outside of the box.

At the end of one evening walk around the fields, I was bringing her back to her room with another watcher. She started acting up a little, and avoiding being directed back to the cabin. The other watcher with me, interpreted this as her simply dramatizing her bank, so he snapped into auditor mode, resolute in not giving her reactive mind an inch. He grabbed her forcefully by the arm and marched her back to the cabin. I stood there not quite sure what to do, I wanted to say something and tell him to just let go of her, but felt silenced by the muzzled rule and not in a position to argue about the the correct way to apply the tech with someone who had done far more training than me. When she got back to her room, she managed to bite him, which to my mind was a perfectly sane response to his actions. She did seem less calm and more enturbulated for the next few days. As for that watcher, he did not get invited back and I was asked to write a report for the ethics department on that event.

Towards the end of the summer, my own work meant I could spend less and less time hanging out, but eventually the C/S signified that the introspection process was complete, and that she could return home with her parents. I cannot really place judgement on the success of the rundown, as I as did not know her beforehand and did not have any contact with her afterwards.

Crossing the Line

During my studies at St Hill, there was almost constant Sea Org and staff recruitment, with random Sea Org members being given recruitment targets, asking you if you where doing enough for the planet’s future, what was the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics, asking you what your reservations where and systematically trying to handle them and otherwise making you feel guilty about not signing up. My sister had joined previously, then left and subsequently re-joined. At one point I even put my name to the billion year Sea Org contract, I walked home with a smile on my face that day, but by the morning I had realised that I would last just six months in the Sea Org, by which time one of two things would have happened; either I would have been forced to conform, which would be unacceptable to me spiritually, or that I would refuse to conform, which would be unacceptable to the Sea Org. So I wrote a letter to my recruiter apologizing for having wasting his time.

Skip forward some time, maybe a year or more later, there is a Sea Org mission to try and clear up any ARC breaks that local Scientologists might have, which includes getting people to have free ARC break sessions and also routing them through the ethics office to clear up any “out ethics”, write up any overts and withholds, and potentially route them back on course. Well I got pulled in, and the ethics officer started focusing on the fact that I had viewed various anti-scientology websites (originally for the purpose of reporting them), that I had not been trained to deal with anti-Scientology materials, and that I had some it had given me some lingering doubts and critical thoughts on the subject of Scientology.

I decided to try a little thought experiment, to internalise the ethics officers suggestions and embrace the party line. I would not read any anti-Scientology material and I would not even think anything critical of Scientology. I tend not to do things half-heatedly, so after only two weeks of this mindset, I noticed myself developing small psychological problems and I was not at ease with myself. The whole process of deliberately withholding myself from certain information was creating a block in my free flow of thoughts and creating a form of charge or a series of unresolved can’t-have/must-have dichotomies that would not simply as-is.

When I eventually told the ethics officer that I was no longer going to withhold myself from anti-Scientology information, I was given an e-metered security check session or two and shortly after that was declared a Potential Trouble Source type J for being “open minded”. While I don’t tell anyone at the time, including my parents, the only real effect of this was that I would not be allowed to go back onto course until I had resolved this ethics issue (and of course my outstanding red tag) so it didn’t really bother me. I knew that it would simply be one extra thing for me to handle when I next decided to go back on course.

However I remember an interesting conversation with one of the Sea Org members on that mission. I had told him I thought it was important to search for answers on my own, and he replied that before he joined Scientology he was quite like me, and that the one thing he missed from having joined the Sea Org was that of searching for his own answers. Looking back, this is the core point that lead me to leaving Scientology, my quest to find my own answers on my own terms.

The Separation of Powers

The next major change came when my parents decided to divorce, I was 19 at the time. While the thought of it had never crossed my mind before, it strangely came as no surprise. Things started off well, my mother moved out after several weeks, but they continued to work together for a time. Slowly they started to argue more and more until one day even the police had to be called out. For the next two years I continued to work for my dad and attempted to mediate between them regarding a financial settlement on the marital home, the business and buy-to-let properties they owned. I attempted to do this without placing judgement or blame on either side, but instead through trying to get each party to understand the reality of the other side. Suffice it to say that even after two years it was an intractable problem, with two distinct and incompatible realities on the situation and solution and it highlighted the fact that despite being OTs, that my parents where still very human.

After some time, my mother had moved to San Francisco and remarried another Scientologist. She had decided that the only way to resolve this stand-off was to go through the law courts and have a legal adjudication, a viewpoint I now see as totally correct. Around the same time, my father had managed to create another intractable dispute with a neighbour over a narrow strip of farm land on the boundary of their properties that also resulted in a law suit. My father started the PTS/SP course, on how to handle suppression, by reading the books and listening to the tapes at home, and increasingly in touch with his Sea Org friends who where presumably giving him lots of advise. He believed that both these disputes where being caused not simply because that in both cases there where two distinct and incompatible realities, or that my father was being stubborn and fighting every little point on the principal of it, but rather that both my mother and his neighbour where both attempting to suppress him. Towards the end, the church sent a Sea Org member to try and discuss the issue with my mother over the phone, but they quickly give up after realising that it was simply an intractable problem.

My attempts at mediation continued, but my father became increasingly concerned about the process, wanting to know in detail about every communication I had with my mother and eventually asked me to only communicate with my mother through email and to forward him copies of all her emails. I was still living at home at the time, I complied with his request, though I did tell my mother about this but it only led to more strained communication between me and my mother. After some months of this, I started to think more about why I was allowing myself to be non-self determined over my own communication lines, and decided that I should be free to talk to my own mother over the phone, and decided not to discuss this decision with my father beforehand. Though my father soon found out, and while he could not stop me, he did express his disappointment that I had broken our “agreement”.

Through the Looking Glass

The EP of Grade 0 is the /”ability to to communicate freely with anyone on any subject”/. While I have not done grade 0, I decided to embrace this state of mind for myself. I realised that only I could be the final arbiter of my own truth, and could not rely on anyone or any group to pre-judge, or pre-filter my information or communication lines for me, not my father and not even the Church of Scientology. In the words of Voltaire, /”I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”./

The church had instilled in a thought pattern that I had internalized. The first part is the dichotomy whereby the Scientology and the church are absolute “good”, the one true salvation for all mankind, and thus anything that detracts from “good” must be “evil”. Thus from that it follows that if someone is doing one “evil” then he must also be doing other “evils”. The problem with this logic, is that there is no such thing as an absolute “good” or “evil”. It is also based on the Scientology policy of “attack but never defend” and this rebuttal is a form of “dead agent-ing” as an attempt to discredit the speaker. However it seems fairly rare for the Church to to respond to specific points raised by any criticism, even if the criticism is well founded or an attempt to highlight genuine problems within the Church so that it may reform itself and thus correct them. The group personification of a control freak, who must micro-manage everything, that considers any resistance to control or any disagreements or alternative viewpoints to be nothing short of a personal attack.

As an avid internet user, I would occasionally come across links about Scientology. While I was not actively seeking it out, I was also determined to fully confront my own taboos on the subject and to treat it in the same manner I would treat any information on any other technical subject. I created my own rule on the subject, if I encountered a link on the subject of Scientology and I noticed that I had any charge or considerations against viewing it, I would deliberately click on the link and read the page behind it.

I still cast a very sceptical eye on anything I read that was critical of the church or Scientology. I was willing to read and understand their point of view, but kept in mind that there was a high probability that they had been given misinformation and/or potentially lying or misrepresenting the facts. This was until I read Gene Zimmer’s Alteration of Scientology Materials Report regarding the altered definition of the second dynamic. Compare these two book quotes:

/”THE SECOND DYNAMIC – is the urge toward existence as a sexual or bisexual activity. This dynamic actually has two divisions. Second Dynamic (a) is the sexual act itself and the Second Dynamic (b) is the family unit, including the rearing of children. This can be called the SEX DYNAMIC.” (Fundamentals of Thought, Chapter Four)/

/”The SECOND DYNAMIC is CREATIVITY. Creativity is making things for the future and the second dynamic includes any creativity. The second dynamic contains the family unit and the rearing of children as well as anything that can be categorized as a family unit. It also incidentally includes sex as a mechanism to compel future survival.” (Introduction to Scientology Ethics – 1998 edition, Life Orientation Course Book)/

Over the next 230 pages of his report, Gene Zimmer systematically goes through all the published LRH materials, listing every quote LRH ever made on the subject of the second dynamic, and how they all align with the definition given in the first quote about sex and family, and that no other known LRH reference aligns with the second quote. At first I thought he was making the whole thing up, another bit of internet misinformation, but I realised that this was one issue that I could validate definitively and independently and without reference to anyone else’s point of view. So I grabbed a copy of the new Introduction to Scientology Ethics book and low and behold, it contained that altered definition. I went back to my old LOC course book, and the new quote was there too. If the original definition was really squirrelled from LRH’s intended words, how comes he didn’t notice such a major outpoint on a basic definition during all his time alive. If the new quote has no other LRH source, it must be squirrelled.

While I had previously method 9’ed the whole of the LOC course book, it had never previously occurred to me that that definition given was so different from the “sex and family” version I had always known previously, all my attention had been on making sure I didn’t stumble whilst reading it allowed and thus be forced to find my misunderstood word.

I read about many other alterations to LRH tech, but then found another example that I could definitively confirm for myself. Someone had said that on the old Philadelphia Doctorate Course at the end of tape 20 LRH says:

/” Did you ever read poor old George Orwell’s 1984? Yes,yes, that’s wonderful. That would be— could be the palest imagined shadow of what a world would be like under the rule of the secret use of Scientology with no remedy in existence.”/,

But that this quote had been removed from newer CD version. Coincidentally, my father happened to have a copy at home of both the old PDC tapes and new CD edition. So I looked up the quote at the end of tape 20, found it, then found the same section of the speech on the CD edition, and my heart was racing at this point, I found that it was simply not there. I double checked, looked backwards and forwards a bit, but the only thing after was the start of the next lecture. I felt a little stunned, the first major crack in my current reality tunnel had formed. I didn’t yet realise the full implications of what I had just seen and proved to myself, and was still a little scared as to what it might all mean. I still believed fully in Scientology and the church, but deep down I knew that I could no un-see what I just seen, and I would not be able to go back to the way I used to see things.

When Gene Zimmer wrote his report, he was OT3 and an active Sea Org member. He sent a copy to all the senior church terminals, including David Miscavige. Nobody responded to acknowledge the content of the report, nor provide counter-evidence that it was indeed a valid LRH quote. He was instead labelled as an enemy and the report itself was used as evidence against him before his suppressive person declare.

Losing My Religion

My parents divorce continued through the courts. I had moved out of my parents house and into one of their un-rented buy-to-let houses with my then girlfriend. I continued to do some work for my father and worked towards finishing my computer science degree with the Open University. I had little or no contact with the Church or members of the Sea Org during this time, though my father would occasionally mention that my mother might get excommunicated and that I would need to think about my choices should that happen.

I realized that the absolute spiritual freedom that Scientology promises cannot be attained without the /”inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others”/. That the higher level gains promised by the Church, would be worth nothing if they required sacrificing underlying and basic freedoms.

I continued to research other aspects of Scientology that are not openly acknowledged by the church, whilst at the same time trying to integrate my realization about the altered LRH materials into a self-consistent world view along with all my previous beliefs. My mind was fully of questions, if a senior stable datum, such as the integrity of RTC was potentially wrong, then of all the other beliefs or assumptions that I held, could they be wrong also.

At the last big event I attended at St Hill, it seemed a little strange as I could at least partially see aspects of it as just propaganda. Though one explicit thing did strike me, it was a brief example of how society had fallen and in danger of being overrun by the psychs, because the Dali Lama had written his latest book, the “Art of Happiness” in conjunction with a psychiatrist. At this time I was reminded of a story about the Dali Lama, a scientist friend of his asked him what he would do if it could be scientifically proved that reincarnation did not exist. The Dali Lama replied that he would spread the word that people should stop believing in it, but then replied “how would you prove it”.

As I started to systematically question and re-validate each one in present time, each my previous beliefs and assumptions. But for each belief I questioned, I quickly found that several other beliefs and assumptions where dependant upon it, that until I had validated the first, I could no longer trust the second. Like a house of cards, my stable datums crumbled. I was not sure what to believe on the subject of anything. There is almost a feeling associated with this state of mind. My reality tunnel had been shattered and I entered the dark night of the soul.

I decided that I could no longer trust LRH as a primary source of information. It was not a case that I believed everything he said was a lie, but rather that until I independently validated each idea, though either my own experience or independent sources I could not rely on it. I was going to have to figure everything out again and rebuild my reality tunnel, my principals and moral code from the very basics of first principals.

As I looked for sources of inspiration, I noticed an interesting correlation between the Richard Stallman’s four basic freedoms for software to be defined as free:

/- Freedom 0: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose. /

/- Freedom 1: The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. /

/- Freedom 2: The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbour. /

/- Freedom 3: The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. /

And the matters of RTC concern, which are all considered crimes or high crimes within the church:

/”Unauthorized use of the materials of Dianetics and Scientology”/ and /”Holding, using, copying, printing, publishing or reproducing in any manner, confidential materials of Dianetics and Scientology without the express permission of RTC.”/ (Freedom 0)

/”Any attempted or accomplished change or squirreling of the technology of Scientology Ethics, Tech or Administration as listed in LRH books, bulletins, policies and writings.”/ and /”Developing and/or using squirrel processes and checksheets.” /(Freedom 1)

/”Issuing alter-ised Scientology technical data or information or instructional or admin procedures, calling it Scientology or calling it something else to confuse or deceive people as to the true source, beliefs and practices of Scientology.”/ and /”Any violation of LRH copyrights, including any manner of reproduction, publishing or selling without the express permission of L. Ron Hubbard Library.”/ (Freedom 2)

/”Organizing splinter groups to diverge from Scientology practices, still calling it Scientology or calling it something else, or using Scientology data to distract people from standard Scientology.”/ (Freedom 3)

I realized that for Scientology to be a workable technology for me, one that I could actually use and adapt to me needs, then the restrictions and limitations imposed by KSW would simply make Scientology an unworkable technology for me. While I have never had any interaction with the Freezone outside of viewing their websites, it struck me that their ideas and decentralized organizational structure described a far more ideal scene for how the church should be run.

Though at this point all my thoughts where still in my head, I was still coming to terms with confronting the indoctrinated taboo that it was wrong to discuss or even think critical information about Scientology. However it was far more of a philosophical journey than an emotional one. I wrote down some of my thoughts as essays, and letters I might post online, but kept them hidden and never clicked send. At most I once or twice talked briefly with my non-Scientologist girlfriend, but all she could really do was listen as I got my own thoughts straightened out.

I had nothing specifically to fear, but it was very unnerving experience, I was no one I felt who could understand nor anyone within Scientology I could trust to confide in, though equally I had nobody on my case attempting to evaluate or even interrupt my thought process. I spent most of my time alone with only my computer and thoughts for company. I was not depressed, just simply confused. It allowed for a lot of deep introspection and soul searching. It took a long time, but I slowly I started to become more certain of my own beliefs, of what I felt was true and of what I no longer accepted. I started to confront directly my taboos on free through and free speech in regards discussing Scientology, questioning the reasons behind them and my own self-determinism as to whether I would allow myself to be bound by a moral code not of my choosing.

Even after achieving this realization, it would still take me another two years or so to reach the point where I could openly and freely discuss the subject of Scientology and my experiences with anybody I had met, and had now other considerations on the subject other than that of freely speaking my own truth. My mother has also said that it has taken her a similar time to be able to start opening up and being able to think and talk on the subject.

The Final Straw

The court made its final adjudication in the divorce, a 50-50 split, which my father thought was grossly unfair and yet another sign of world trying to suppress him, but to which my mother though was completely fair.

One day my father popped found to show me some of the court papers and excerpts from my mothers committee of evidence tribunal, so that I would be able to “make my own mind up” on how suppressive my mother really was. /”Bringing civil suit against any Scientology organization or Scientologist, including the non-payment of bills or failure to refund, without first calling the matter to the attention of the International Justice Chief and receiving a reply.”./* *My mother claimed that she had kept the IJC informed of her actions and decisions at all times, and they had not taken much action on the case. Whilst reading the rest of the selected pages I was given, I almost wanted to laugh at what sounded like a bunch of trumped up and self-referential charges. In reading between the lines, my mothers underlying crime was that she had refused to toe the line, that when push came to shove she would ultimately do her own thing that follow the instructions of the church.

My sister, phoned me to say that she would no longer be able to speak to me again, because I was still in contact with my mother. It was a sad thing to hear, especially as my sister was almost in tears on the subject and could hear her sobbing on the other end of the phone. While she did not say it explicitly, it seemed obvious that didn’t really want to disconnect from me, but because she is in the Sea Org, she felt that she had no other choice.

I also received a phone call from my non-Scientologist uncle Gerry, my fathers brother, who told me that my father had asked him to cut all communication with me, at least for the time being, due to this situation, and that my father had in essence threatened him with disconnection over this.

On the subject of civil-disobedience Martin Luther King once wrote /”I would agree with Saint Augustine that ‘An unjust law is no law at all.’… One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly… and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law.” /

Deep down I had already made my mind up that I would not disconnect from my mother, and that I would remained self-determined over my own communication lines regardless of the consequences. I accepted that I may eventually get excommunicated myself, though as of yet I have not yet been, but that it did not matter. Scientology in its current form could not offer me what I needed on my own spiritual path, and that I would seek my own truth and my own path in my own way.

In regards to being disconnected from my father, sister and uncle, it is strangely one of these things I have just grown to accept with little emotion or attachment. I have made my choices and accept the consequences, with a willingness to simply move on from a previous stage in my life.

Leaving Home

The court had ordered the buy-to-let house my girlfriend and I where living in, to be put on sale,. He let us know a day before we where due to leave for a two week holiday in France, and told us that we would have to move out soon. My girlfriend panicked, afraid my father would clear out the house whilst we where away. So as a “safety measure”, she convinced me to change the locks on the house. This didn’t go down too well with my father, because when we returned, we found that my father had acquired the new key that we had left with a friend of ours, and proceeded to change the locks again to ensure we where locked out.

My father had offered to let me move back in with him, but I knew deep down that if I accepted that offer it would mean making uneasy compromises with myself and that it would be a long time before I would ever be able to move out again.

We smashed a window and broke into our own home and again fit a new set of locks. I contacted my father to let him know what I had done and then waited. Not quite sure what he was going to do or what was going to happen next, but I was fairly determined to stay in the house. Several hours pass and it is now dark, there is a knock on the door from the police. They ask a few questions, they see the broken window and even go as far as to place me under arrest with handcuffs behind my back. I am given a choice, either hand over the keys to the house, and I would be allowed to take a few possessions and leave the house, or be forcefully evicted and spend a night in the cells. I feel no fear, but just don’t see how dragging this on will achieve anything in the long run, so I hand over the keys, take a few things, and get in the car with my girlfriend. After spending one night in a hotel, the next few months where spent living on the living-room floor of a friend of my girlfriend.

This pattern of instant upheaval with little or no notice that it is about to happen, as to reoccurred somewhat frequently in my life since then. But I have adapted to it, realised that there is no real security in life, for anybody, but rather than worry about it, it is best to simply take your chances and simply deal with whatever life throws at you as it happens. Being forced outside of your comfort zone and into a crisis point, forces you to grow and evolve a being and if it does not crush you, makes you into a stronger person.

Part of the court ruling was that I was supposed to receive some financial compensation for all the unpaid wages I should have received working for the family business over the previous 7 years. We arranged to meet up at a pub, and my father was accompanied by a friend/Scientology watcher. He told me of his intentions to join the Sea Org at some point, and I told him openly and honestly as to why I had not disconnected from my mother, the situation regarding breaking back into the house and my reasons for leaving the church. We discussed the issue of the money owed to me, and he wrote me a cheque for £25,000 to fulfil his obligations, but that was the last time that I spoke to him.

James McGuigan