Scientology Crime Syndicate

Sasha: My Experience Leaving Scientology
Date: 21 Apr 1999 20:21:27 -0700

In article <7fluji$9f9$1@nnrp1.dejanews.com>, sashaz@my-dejanews.com says...

Hi All,

This is my first time I've written to this group.

I was born and raised a Scientologist. I went to Scientology schools (Apple School and Delphi Academy). When I was 18, I was in a head on accident on the 210 freeway in LA.

It was awful - in a coma, head trauma, all kinds of broken bones. Well, in my recovery, it was suggested that I go to Australia to do the "Key to Life" course. It was during that experience that I had some life chaning experiences which totally changed my life, and eventually pulled me out of Scientology.

If you are interested, my story is below.

Charlotte L. Kates says:


Thank you so much for your post. It's a wonderful story of a second-generation Scientologist coming in contact with nothing more than the truth, which is, in the end, devastating to involvement in Scientology. It's absolutely true that the illusions of the Scientology world simply cannot stand up when confronted with the plain, simple, unpleasant reality of what Scn is, what CoS is, what LRH was.

I remember last year, heading up to a Scn "Education Conference" at New York Org, in the car with two other Philadelphia Scientologists. One, Trina, had been in for several years; the other, Dave, had been in for decades. Due to his long association with CoS, he knew the truth of certain happenings whose history has since been rewritten or ignored since. Now, before I'd become involved in Scn, I'd seen a bit of criticism of Scientology--I hadn't read it deeply, and I was far too willing to give Scn a chance--but this conversation was the first that confirmed to me that perhaps some of what I'd seen before Scientology might just be true. Dave was an honest Scientologist; from what I knew of him, he wasn't overly fond of adopting the latest PR line or management story. And as Trina sat and wondered about how wonderful it must have been to be a child of LRH, Dave sat back and said that he wondered if it was really that wonderful, and that he wasn't sure LRH was all that great a father, and had we heard that one of his sons had committed suicide? The topic drifted over to Hubbard's family life in general, and to Mary Sue and the GO. Trina asked about Hubbard's wife, and Dave replied that she had gone to jail, and explained the Snow White operation as follows: "Well, we thought the government was spying on us, so we decided to spy back on them, and got caught." Nothing about off-policy, about hidden suppressives, about disobeying LRH; and this in itself made me wonder about the veracity of management's version. Dave was a person who was around for the original event, and his version contrasted sharply with the official one, and so I asked about the official story. Dave replied that *something* had to be done to save Scn from the government, to save LRH from going to jail.

Dave was a man who would never believe that LRH was a liar, a harsh, mean man who made life miserable for those who worked most closely with him. Dave believed in LRH, CoS and the tech. But Dave told the truth about the part of the truth of Scn that he knew, and in doing so, it opened my own eyes much wider as to the truth of what Scientology was. It became apparent that what I might read in _What is Scientology?_ or "International Scientology News", or hear as an explanation for what I'd read on the Internet from the DSA might be not true. That, in effect, Scientology might be lying to me.

And Dave, I'm sure it wasn't the intended effect of that conversation, but on the off chance you ever see it, thanks. You helped get me out.

And Sasha, thank you again for this wonderful post about the power of honesty upon Scientology. I'd also like to ask permission to web this on my web page at http://www.offlines.org/exscns.html -- please let me know!


Sasha's original post left intact below:

Leaving Scientology

I was sitting in this Scientology lounge in Sydney Australia, where I got to meet all sorts of people, from all walks of life, with so many different experiences in Scientology. What most interested me, was my conversations with those who knew L. Ron Hubbard. He was the one who put this whole organization together. I knew, or so I thought, so much about this man. He was born in Montana, this incredibly successful pulp fition science fiction writer, and he created everything that there was to Scientology. His writings and studies and path was, as I knew it, the only reliable path to total freedom. LRH was modest about it though. He didn’t say it was the best way to total freedom, or the quickest; it was, however, the only way currently available. In my upbringing, I did a number of Scientology courses, and I had to listen to hours and hours of LRH talking.

In anycase, there I was in the lounge at the Sydney Org, talking to a few people who knew LRH when he was alive. I used to ask: “So, what was he like?”

“Oh wow, he made you feel so important. He was so efficient, keen to every detail. He always got the job done and made you feel important in being a part of the team.”

I remember asking a few people. I always got a similar basic response: “He knew what he was doing, and it was great to be around him.” It became curious to me, beause he was SO great. Yes, I knew all of this stuff. Christ, I went to Scientology’s version of Sunday School, where we learned of LRH’s life -- what a bore. We’ve all heard how great he is, but isn’t he human? Did he ever have a bad day?

So the perfect man, that’s what my upbringing was based on. My father, and until I was 15, my mother, were indoctrinated in Scientology, and they raised me with the principles brought forth from this incredibly great man. I suppose I was flattered, and considered myself lucky.

I remember being in a course room, and always at the end of a course session we would share wins -- what successes and learnings were gained that evening.

And people would share their bit. Usually somebody always thanked L. Ron Hubbard. This was fair enough, after all, he made this all possible didn’t he? He wrote everything. Afterward, the Supervisor would say, “And now let’s thank Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, who made this all possible.” And everyone stood up and applaud to his picture. I never questioned this before, as this happened every night at the end of a course session. Well, after recently hearing how lucky I was to be led by this GREAT man, I stood there clapping thinking, “he really deserves this appreciation.”

Well days past, and I constantly thought of how GREAT this man was, and I finally had to start asking, “how do I know he’s this great?” I had this hypothetical idea come up to test his greatness. It went something like this:

Let’s suppose LRH were still alive. Now, let’s suppose some incredibly evil errorist invaded LRH’s home, ransacked his house, got through all the lines, and put a gun to his head. The terrorist says: “You’ve got two choices, you can let me kill you, or you can find 5 people to die for you -- which do you choose?”

At first it seemed simple. If this man is SO great, he’d take his own life. He is a greater being than any other on this planet, and he could take this death better than anyone else. From outside his body, he could be more effective.

For the time being, my curiosity was satiated. Days went by, and the hypothetical situation remained in my head. There was no way for me to know the answer to this hypothectical situation, but there was something compelling about it. I accepted that LRH was great, so it worked. However, let’s let’s look at this another way. Granting that LRH doesn’t have an evil bone in his body, how easy would it be for him to get the other 5 to die for him?

That’s a new question. What was shocking for me to realize, was actually it wouldn’t be hard for him to get these 5 people at all. As a matter of fact, I believe my own fatehr would have volunteered. If LRH simply asked, in a kind and gentle way, that he needed 5 people to die, so he could continue with his work, people would come in droves. Hell, there are people who have didicated the next billion years of their existence to this man’s organization.

This didn’t say anything about the sort of man LRH was, but it does say something about the organization he created, and the people who follow it. Some people in Scientology would put LRH and Scientology above themselves. And so the question began: How do I feel about being a part of an organization that condones this. I believe my life is rather valuable, and it would be pretty hard for me to put another’s life above mine, especially someone I had never met.

When I got back to the States, I decided to stay with my God-Mother, June Cline. June used to work with LRH, and she had left Scientology by this time.

It was perfect. One morning we went out for breakfast. These questions of LRH were bothering me, so I asked: “What was Ron like?”

“Oh, you don’t want to ask me.”

“No, I do. I want to know what this man is like.”

“If you want to get your answer, you should ask someone in the church.”

Actually, I don’t remember the conversation, but what I do remember, is that it took a long time to get her to answer my question. Finally, she said, “I thought he was a jerk. He knew what he wanted, and he did what ever it took to get it, at any expense. He had no care for the people, he just wanted to get what he wanted. I didn’t like him very much.”

TRUTH!! I finally hit somebody’s honest view of the man. He’s human, and thank God. With this I could be happy, and go back to Scientology with some truth that only I knew.

From there though, she had openned my eyes to a slew of things he had done, that concurred with him being SUCH a jerk. He stole millions of dollars from the church, he kid-napped his own daughter, he let his wife go to prison, and he lied all the way to get there.

So began my journey out of the church.

Later that year, I went to a Scientology event. New Year’s or something, and for the first time I noticed that I was already an outsider. I wasn’t so crazy about LRH, and everybody else thought he was the greatest thing that ever happened. It was hard for me to enjoy the process.

I told my Dad, when I next saw him at some family reunion in Ukiah. He supported my questioning, but I don’t think he was so comfortable with the amount of questioning I was doing.

By Scientology terms, I began to think of myself in the condition of “Doubt.” For conditions, that’s pretty low, and nobody really likes to be there. I think the toughtest part of being in this condition, was telling my Scientology friends, my only friends. By saying I’m in doubt with Scientology, is like saying, I’m in doubt with having you as a friend. My friends didn’t take it so well. One of my best friends, Michael Coleman, wrote me a letter of disconnection, as I was no longer a safe person to talk to. My father told me that he didn’t know if he and I should carry the father/son relationship we had. He chose the Church, at this time, over me. My friend Chris Currier called me up, and wanted me to say where I stood with Scientology. He said he wanted to hear it from the “horse’s mouth.” Basically, I told him that I was on my way out of the church. He said, that he was disappointed to hear it, and said he was disconnecting from me. With some slight rage inside me, I told him that Scientology would never “Clear the planet.” When he asked why, I said “because there would always be someone like me around.” He called me an asshole, and that was the last we spoke.

Later on, I ran into one of my high school class mates, Alison Prigle. She asked me about where I stood, as she said she had read several reports on me.

I told her honestly of the books I had read, and the questions I was asking.

I told her I didn’t expect her to disconnect, but I was prepared, as several friends had already made that choice. She started to cry. She didn’t want to disconnect from me. The first human experience I got in the process of leaving Scientology. That took some time for me to figure out. Everyone else responded almost robotically, but not Alison. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep in touch.

A couple years ago (about 6 years after I left) I got a call from Michael Coleman, who told me of a reunion that Delphi was having for its graduates. I had always felt bad about Chris, so I asked how everyone was doing, including Chris. Michael, in a surprised voice said, “you didn’t hear?” Chris had died a year earlier of bone concer. I didn’t get to make my peace with Chris. I didn’t even get to say good-bye, or to know that he had died. I wasn’t worth the effort I suppose. What a shocker, and what a life to live.

I went to the High School reunion. Everyone was nice. Nonody asked about my status. Life goes on.

So, that’s my quick story. One day I’d like to write the whole damn thing out. Since then I’ve gone through all kinds of experiences.

Thanks, Sasha

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Charlotte L. Kates CLKates@aol.com
OFFLINESonline: Freedom from Scientology

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