1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
I was a second generation Scientologist and was sent to a school that used the Study Tech. I started basic courses in Study Tech from the age of about 7 upwards. My first course at a CofS was probably when I was about 9 years old.
2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
The people I knew were generally nice and kind, and I had sort of been led to believe that everyone else outside of that was less ethical and more inconsiderate to others, and that the school systems were bad, had a lot of drug-taking students and the exam procedures were suppressive.
3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
I thought it was the answer to every problem in life, although I was never over-enthusiastically on course full-time or anything. I just thought it was supposed to be man’s only hope, but I think this was due to what I had been told as I hadn’t had much of my own experience.
4. Did you see, experience, or hear about things that didn’t seem right while you were in the Church of Scientology? What were they, and what convinced you to set aside your feelings?
I never liked being called in, because they had this technique of organising your plans for you to do what they wanted you to do, without getting your willingness. That was very irritating. I also found [the] persistently regging and recruiting exhausting and repetitive, and very forceful. I also thought they sent too much mail out too.
But I’d think these things, never really felt OK about saying them till they were extreme, as to criticize (especially the only hope for mankind) was that would supposedly reflect badly on my own actions, as I had been taught.
Other things include long work hours for young people, including some underage I believe. Bad quality food for staff members, only allowed time off to buy toiletries if your study stats were up.. ridiculous things like that.
I also never quite understood why people who left were not allowed to say they were leaving/had left. I felt that finding the disappearance of a fellow worker/buddy was more distressing than whatever reason LRH had concocted up for not allowing people to speak about leaving (something to do with enturbulation?)
5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
Well, as a good person you’re more likely to forgive people for things, especially your religion. You always let them off, make excuses, laugh it off etc. But when it gets weird, or just unfair that’s another matter…
Other than that, I had kind of not been on lines for a long time so I guess my realisation about the true goings on had been delayed until I had experienced outside life and saw that many of the actions bestowed upon myself and others [were] actually not normal and not acceptable, even from your religion (or especially from your religion actually).
6. Were you staff or public? If staff, was it at a mission or an org? Were you ever in the Sea Org or OSA? Which unit? If not on staff, did you ever volunteer to ‘help out’?
I was mainly public, but I dabbled in working for them. It was at an Org, I was never in the Sea Org but I saw some goings on. I also helped the volunteer ministers on occasion, or just helped out at the Org.
7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a “final straw”?
There were a few straws piling up, but as I said, I didn’t quite realise their full significance till I spoke to a few non-Scientologists a long time later. It’s hard when you know near to nothing else.
8. Do you think the Church of Scientology needs to change some of its practices? If so, what should be changed? How did those practices affect your life?
I think they should lower the prices of courses because they evidently spend way too much on promo than necessary (in fact when you over do it, it becomes a nuisance rather than a communication, and thus renders itself ineffective – come to think of it they should continue these things!…)
I also think they should allow criticism of it, as they continuously shoot themselves in the foot by trying to suppress it. But my reasons for saying this are not for the CofS’s benefit, rather the people unfair[ly] lied about, harassed and disconnected from family.
9. If the items you listed in the previous question were changed, would you consider rejoining or staying in the Church of Scientology? If so, why?
The answer is no, because one can find enlightenment in the diversity of life’s experiences and philosophies that come free, not from one ‘source’ that is always right without question (…’or you’ll be sent to ethics’).
10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
If anyone is considering ‘finding out for yourself’, please read various stories of people’s experiences. They are writing them to warn of you of the possibilities of doing so, they are thinking of you and you would be wise to listen to facts and proven accounts about CofS rather than ‘going in and finding out for yourself’, because the CofS’s figures and profiles about their founder are proven to be grossly exaggerated (lies basically). Please think twice about joining ‘the only hope for mankind’ by finding out as much as you can first.