I just wanted to remind everyone that the first Voices In Union phase will complete on July 31, which is about 6 weeks away.
If anybody has not yet submitted or written up their story and wishes to do so, now would be a good time to do it. You do not need to give your real name and you may ask to have your story removed at any time. Submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
PS. Kendra/Astra do you have any updated statistics on how many VIU submissions have been received.
In the relatively short time our website has been up, the admins at ESK have received hundreds of letters from ex-Scientologists and ex-Scientology kids who have expressed a desire to tell their story publicly, but have also said they are concerned about the repercussions of coming out alone.
At the same time, we have also received endless emails from non-Scientologists who have said that it was the stories on this site that really opened their eyes, and helped them understand what all the ruckus was about.
ESK decided to launch Voices in Unison as a way to make an even safer environment for people who have never before written publicly about their CoS experience.
Not everyone who has a story can come out and tell it. Some people still have family and friends inside Scientology - family and friends they stand to lose if they speak out. But many can. If there ever was a time, it is now.
How it Works
The Voices in Unison project will run for a trial period of one year, and will be broken into three 4-month periods. During that time, we will be accepting Scientology stories from those who have not previously spoken out.
However, we will not publish those stories immediately on our site. Instead, during each of the 4-month periods, we will keep a publicly-viewable tally on this page of how many stories have been received. No information will be released as to who has submitted stories. We will change the tally each time a new story is submitted, so that the public will be kept up to date on the number of stories received.
At the end of each four months, we will release the stories in a batch, all on the same day, all at the same time. That way, no one person need stand up alone.
The Specifics and the Rules
1) The first Voices in Unison submissions period will start on April 1st, 2008 and will run until July 31, 2008. The next from August 1st, 2008 to November 30, 2008. The last period will be from December 1st, 2008 to March 31, 2009.
2) Story submissions are open to anyone who has not told their Scientology story before. This includes Ex-Scientology kids, and those who got into Scientology later in life.
3) Anonymous submissions are allowed. You do not have to give your real name to participate in Voices in Unison. However, if you prefer to remain anonymous, please provide us with a pseudonym that we can use on the site.
4) Please tell a story. This can be a short story about one particular experience in Scientology, a short essay on why you decided to leave, or this can be the whole story of your life inside. There is no minimum or maximum word limit. But it must be a story.
5) We will not alter the content of your story in any way. We do, however, reserve the right to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation if we notice a mistake.
6) Authors reserve the right to have their stories removed at any time, or edited at any time, for any reason, no questions asked.
7) Please respect the privacy of others when writing your story.
Over the last two months, something really revolutionary has started to happen - people who have always assumed they would never be able to speak out have ceased being afraid. We know that courage is contagious, and we want to help give others the joy we found in finally shaking off that last little hold the Church of Scientology had over us: silence.
Whether you realize it or not, every new voice and every new story makes a huge, huge impact. For every person that stands up, dozens more start to shake off the fear.
This is not for everyone, and we understand that. Choosing to keep your life to yourself is not an act of cowardice, and we don't mean to imply that that's the case. Sometimes, working things out on your own is just as therapeutic as getting it all out there. Sometimes, because of the Disconnection policy, it's necessary to protect your family. But what we really hope to do is make it OK for people to talk about their past without worrying that they will become targets for slander and defamation.
And whatever has happened in your past, you should know that you are welcome here.
Where to Submit your Story
Submit your story to: email@example.com
Freedom is a choice. Choose to be yourself, choose to speak your truth and do so with compassion. And above all else, choose to be not afraid. If I can't dance, its not my revolution.