RLSteve’s Scientology Story
Originally submitted in the ESK Forums
When I was thirteen, my aunt was looking for another private school to send my sister and me to. She sent us to a psychiatrist who specialized in interviewing kids and recommending private schools for them. The psychiatrist recommended The Delphian School in Sheridan, Oregon for a summer program.
On March 16, 1995, my aunt, her husband, my sister and I drove down to Sheridan. The next day, we drove up to the school on top of the hill.
Without making this into too long of a story, we were VERY IMPRESSED with the school. I was particularly impressed with the eliteness of it. In the reception area, there were pictures of all the graduates of ’94 and their success stories. We were given a tour of the school by a student dressed impeccably in a suit (it was Friday, dressup day). My aunt and uncle told him, “You’re a perfect example of the kind of product this school produces.”
Before visiting the school, I had been reluctant about attending a summer program anywhere. But after visiting Delphi, I was sold on the idea of going there for high school. My aunt was really excited about me going there as well.
My aunt and I weren’t Scientologists, but apparently, my mom’s side of the family had had a Scientology history. My grandmother had been a Scientologist, and my mom had been interested in it for awhile. I had even taken the children’s comm course at the Seattle Org at age 11 in 1992.
Anyway, Delphi had rekindled my aunt’s interest in Scientology. For the last six years, I had been seeing a counselor every week. Being thirteen years old, I was approaching an age where I was having more problems than I had had as a younger kid. My aunt got in contact with a Scientology friend of hers who was a field auditor and was interested in having me get some auditing instead of seeing the counselor. The field auditor told me about Scientology and about auditing, and I was interested in it. However, after receiving the self-analysis auditing, I found it really BORING and I didn’t want to continue with it.
I attended Delphi in the summer of 1995 and returned for the fall. I felt really honored and privileged to be going there and I wanted to graduate from there.
However, life was stressful for me there. As a school, it was a much bigger environment than what I had been used to (up until this time, I had only gone to tiny private schools with 12-50 kids). At fourteen years old, I was extremely self-conscious. Also, I wasn’t the most focused student. I fell behind target and wound up in Ethics.
I began contemplating suicide. Now, before Delphi, I had once originated having suicidal thoughts, but I was just being over dramatic. I think I was still that way during this instance of suicidal contemplation. Anyway, while in Ethics, the EO told me to write up all my O/W’s. I wrote up every little thing I could think of that had happened in my lifetime. I even mentioned my suicide thoughts.
After the Ethics Officers read my O/W’s, they sent me back home to Seattle the next day. I was extremely heart broken over having been expelled from Delphi, but I was determined to return.
It was then that I decided to take Scientology more seriously. We got in contact with our local Seattle Org. I did my Basic Study Manual, Personal Values & Integrity, and Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life. After finishing the latter, I was informed that my Grandmother was a declared suppressive person because she was a squirrel. I was told that if I wanted auditing, I would have to disconnect from her, and I might even have to disconnect from my mother because she lived next door to my grandmother.
Now, of course, I was not willing to do this. But… the ED told me that if my mother moved away from my grandmother, I wouldn’t have to disconnect from my mother. At the time, there was a lady mooching off my Dad living in the house with him, and my aunt and I didn’t like her. My aunt also had an apartment downstairs at my Dad’s house. My aunt and I decided to use this disconnection policy to our advantage… my mom would move away from my grandmother into my aunt’s apartment in my Dad’s house. We did this to irritate the lady living with my Dad.
I didn’t have a bad relationship with my Grandmother. My aunt didn’t like her because my grandmother had been married to a man who sexually abused all her daughters, including my aunt and my mom. My grandmother and this pedophile had been Scientologists, and this is why my aunt hadn’t liked Scientology before. But… since my grandmother was a declared SP by the Church, it made my aunt feel a lot better about Scientology. I didn’t have a problem with my grandmother because my mom had a good relationship with her despite the abusive childhood she had endured. My grandmother was thrilled that I would be getting auditing, so she wrote in her disconnection letter to the Seattle Org, “I am willing to disconnect from him if that’s what it takes for him to get auditing.” Plus, I was told that I could still see her at family functions and holidays as long as I used good roads, fair weather (Although later, in 1998, my aunt and I were told by ASHO that we couldn’t have any communication with my grandmother whatsoever).
Anyway, I got started on my auditing. It was boring for the most part, all those repetitive processes, the questions being asked over and over again. I basically learned the routine, “I need to think up a cognition in order to move on to the next process.” Did auditing help me? All I knew was that it was supposed to be helping me, so I must have been benefitting from it.
I did my Purif and my therapeutic TRs, and then I got started on my Student Hat. i also did my Objectives and my ARC Straightwire and my Grade 0. That summer in 1996 was a pretty awesome summer for me. I think my overall level of happiness and self-esteem really improved when I first got into Scientology. At the end of the summer, my Mom ended up moving back next door to my grandmother. The ED at the Seattle Org said that was fine.
Finally, I visited Delphi in October of 1996 for an interview to let them know how I was doing. They agreed to let me return in January on a provisional program. And when I returned, things were so much better. I was a much more motivated, focused student, I joined the choir, I was in the Spring musical, I even finished writing a novel. And I finished my Form 6 Entry ahead of target! I think the age of 15 was the happiest of my teen years.
Next year, unfortunately, I lost my motivation. I fell back into my old habits of falling behind target and falsely attesting to having made my reading targets. I don’t know why this happened, maybe because I got distracted by all the Piers Anthony books that weren’t on the reading program, maybe it’s because I had a lot more responsibilities on Form 6 that I hadn’t had on the Entry program. Basically, age 16 at Delphi, from 1997-1998, was a very unproductive and depressing year for me.
At the beginning of the 1998/99 school year, when I was 17, past my target date and nowhere near close to finishing Form 6, I was taken to meet with the Dean, and she told me because I had been slacking off in my studies and falling behind target, I was going to be put on Academic Probation, and if I didn’t show improvement, I would be removed from Delphi’s graduation program.
Now, I was under a lot of stress here. I was scared for my future. Finally the Ethics Officer talked with me about my purposes in life, and we agreed that graduating Delphi probably wasn’t a valid purpose for me (since I was only there for the status, for the glory of graduating from from Delphi, for the three fire alarm chimes ringing for me and everybody screaming and clapping for me). I decided that I would drop off of the graduation program and go onto a “special” program and that this would be my last year at Delphi.
During my last year at Delphi, I learned from my Mom that my Grandmother was going to Barstow, CA to work on her “squirrel OT VIII”. In my Elements of Style course, I wrote an autobiography and gave lots of details about my family. I joked with my supervisor about my Grandmother, saying, “Yeah, she’s pretty weird, and to this day, she is working on her squirrel OT VIII!” My supervisor told me that I needed to write a KR on that and give it to him so he could give it to OSA. And that’s what I did.
This KR on my grandmother created a lot of problems. My aunt was kicked off of the Seattle Org’s building committee. She was really upset about that. There was also some bogus report about my Mom going to the Portland Org to buy cans for my Grandmother’s e-meter. While all this was going on, my Mom started going on the Internet and reading “entheta” about the Church.
In August of 1999, (I was finished with Delphi by this point) we flew down to LA to get services at ASHO. We thought we were going to be getting audited up our Bridge. Instead, we found out that we were getting Sec Checked because my grandmother was squirreling, even though we were disconnected from her. My aunt was really upset because the Sec Check cost thousands of dollars. Her attitude was, “If you want to investigate me, fine, but why do I have to pay for it?”
Anyway, we got our sec checks. Going down to the MAA’s office afterwards was really awful. The C/S had written up everything that had come up, including sexual stuff. The whole experience was really upsetting. Afterwards, the C/S gave me a written order to write up all the times I had nattered about Scientology, Scientologists, the tech, etc. I was fed up, so I wrote, “I’ve nattered lots of times, but I don’t feel like writing up each and every individual time.”
I ended up moving down to LA in September of 1999 to go to acting school, live at the CC and get services at ASHO. I started my PTS/SP course at ASHO. In December, I caught the flu. And what did CC do? They kicked me out and sent me to live at the Ramada Hotel on Vermont near ASHO.
I went home to Seattle for Christmas, but when I returned to LA, there were problems. I still couldn’t stay at the CC, and I was pulled off course and down into Ethics. The MAA told me that the Senior Director of Inspection and Reports wanted me to do lower conditions for “having spread entheta about Scientology.” I didn’t know what he was talking about, but then he showed me that thing where I had written, “I’ve nattered lots of times, but I don’t feel like writing up each and every individual time.” Apparently, I had to do lower conditions for this. Also, I was told that because my Mom was living next door to my Grandmother, I would have to disconnect from her if she didn’t disconnect from my Grandmother.
I went home to Seattle for a week in January of 2000. My aunt and I tried to talk my Mom into disconnecting from my grandmother, but my Mom refused. When I returned to LA, unsuccessful in my attempts to “handle” my mother, and wanting to get out of ethics and back on course, I wrote my mother a disconnection letter. My aunt disconnected from my mother as well.
I did my lower conditions. I did 70 hours of amends that included mopping, vaccuuming, dusting and filing at ASHO and shoveling rubble at HELP.
After I was done with my ethics cycle and back on course, I still wasn’t allowed to stay at the CC. My aunt came down to visit me, and she learned the REAL reason why I wasn’t allowed to stay at the Manor. A report had been circulating that I had slit my wrists years ago (not true), and therefore, because of my past suicidal thoughts, I was too much of a security risk. My aunt got really sick with the flu when she found this out (and she rarely gets sick).
Anyway, because I wasn’t allowed to live at the CC, and because I didn’t like living at the Ramada Hotel, I ended up moving back to Seattle. I decided I’d finish my PTS/SP course at the Seattle Org, and then hopefully, the CC would let me stay at the Manor Hotel once I was finished with my PTS/SP course.
Life was harder back at home. I felt like a total failure because I had dropped out of Delphi, and I felt like I was failing at my acting endeavors because I was back in Seattle. I had no clue what to do with my life. I tried community college. I took my clock hours to get my real estate license. And also, I was still disconnected from my mother, and I didn’t like that. This put a strain on my relationship with my sister as well.
One night in late November, early December of 2000, I got really depressed. I had dropped out of community college, I had failed my real estate license exam three times, and I felt like an utter failure. I felt like auditing was the only thing that could help me. And I was upset over the strained relationship with my sister and being disconnected from my mother. I was angry that my mother and sister weren’t being supportive of my efforts to get better through Scientology.
I found an aspirin bottle and finished it off. There were about 32 pills. I was in a crazy state of mind that night. I was sure that this would be how my life would end, and I would also make a point to my family. But after I took the pills, I decided that I wasn’t ready to die yet. I told my sister what I had done, she woke up our Dad, and he drove me to the emergency room.
I had to get my stomach pumped. It was a very disgusting experience. Afterwards, I was taken to the psychiatric ward to be reviewed by a psychiatrist before I could be discharged from the hospital.
The ED at the Seattle Org told me that because I had made a suicide attempt, I was now a security risk and could not do services at the Seattle Org. I could only do extension courses, and once I could show that I was stable, I could petition to get services again. I also had to sign a document saying that “the Church of Scientology was in no way responsible for my suicide attempt.”
Anyway… I bought extension courses, but I never really worked on them. I was too much of a procrastinator.
Meanwhile, my aunt had finished her PTS/SP course and her Ethics Specialist course at the Seattle Org, and she was ready to fly down to ASHO for some auditing in June of 2001. However, the day before she was supposted to fly down, the MAA at ASHO called her up and told her not to come down because she was PTS. A few days later, the MAA called up my aunt and told her over the phone, “Your mother is a squirrel, so before you can have auditing, you have to disconnect from any relative connected to your mother or get them to disconnect from her.” My aunt got angry and hung up on the MAA.
That was the final straw for me. That evening, I started e-mailing my Mom. We began talking over e-mail, and then I called her up on the phone.
A few days later, my aunt received a goldenrod paper with her PTS Type A declare written on it. My aunt ran to the bathroom and began vomiting when she read it. And my aunt NEVER vomits.
Anyway, to this day, my aunt has not been able to get her Type A declare lifted. But… she is still a Scientologist.
But I’ve basically been out of Scientology since I reconnected with my mother. And over the years, I’ve gone on the Internet and read all the “entheta” that I could ever want to read.
All I can say it is…. it is really horrible how the Church can make its followers so dependent upon it, to the point where they feel helpless without it and that they’d disconnect from loved ones.