Scientology - Disconnection Hurts

Interviews

Monday, 25th February, 2008 08:05:28pm

Name or Alias: ethercat
How long ago was your disconnection? 10 years
Are you a current member, an ex-member, or never a member?
never a member
Did you disconnect, or did someone disconnect from you?
The other person disconnected.
1. What is (or was) your relationship to the disconnected person?
We had been friends for 23 years. I refer to him as X-Friend now.

2. What were the circumstances surrounding the disconnection?
When he joined scientology, he changed. Quit having time for his friends and family, and started spending all his time at the org. His 'reasoning' (if you could call it that) didn't make sense to me. So I tried to find out what I could about scientology, to find out why he had changed. This was not as easy in the early 90s as it is now. What I found, I didn't like. When I got on the internet in 1994, I found the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology (ARS), and started lurking there.

I tried to talk to him about what I was reading there, which wasn't good; people's homes were being raided by police and their computers seized, all for posting some of the 'scriptures.' People who had been in scientology in the past were telling almost unbelievable stories about the abuses they saw while they were members. I was reading affidavits people had written about their experiences, and court documents as the copyright cases proceeded.

He had statements to counteract all that I was reading, and called the newsgroup 'a pit of mad dogs.' He said that if I could prove these things really happened, that he would go as far up as he had to to get these things addressed. I soon found out that nothing constituted proof to him, not even court documents.

Things became more and more strained between us, but we still hung out together occasionally. I remember asking him about disconnections, did they really happen, and would he would have to disconnect from me? He told me that they happened quite often, but that no matter what might be said about me, that he knew me, and that he wouldn't disconnect from me; that he knew me too well. I didn't know if that would be true, but I didn't know him to lie, so I took him at his word.

After that, the news about Lisa McPherson broke on ARS, and of course, I asked him about it. He had all the answers he had been given, but I was seeing more about it than he was. He didn't believe me, said that the people who were saying these things didn't want to see people get better, that they had a stake in people having problems they couldn't solve.

A mutual friend, Tony, decided he wanted to protest at the Church of Scientology on a day when many people around the world protested, on Dec. 5, 1997. Knowing what I knew about the reactions the 'church' had to critics, I couldn't let him go alone, but I also couldn't protest, out of respect for X-Friend, so I went, but hung back, hidden behind some trees, with a camera, in case things got rough. Things were fine, nothing extreme happened, which we were both relieved about.

Not long after that (about 3 weeks, on Christmas,), I had a rather intimidating visit from X-Friend. He ranted and carried on, pounded on the doorframes, and yelled about Tony picketing, until he was red in the face and spitting (literally). Around 3am, I told him it was time for him to go. I had never been physically frightened of him until that night. He had wanted me to 'handle' Tony, and convince him to quit 'attacking' his 'church.' I had told him that I had neither the power nor the inclination to tell Tony what to think or how to behave.

Tony picketed twice again after that, and some other people joined him. On March 13, Tony picketed for L. Ron Hubbard's birthday, and on March 14, X-Friend disconnected from me.


3. Were you given a choice about disconnecting? Was there anything you could have done to avoid the disconnection? If so, please describe the choice involved or what you could have done. Do you now feel that you made the best decision?
My choice was to 'control Tony' or have X-Friend disconnect, which, to me, was not a real choice. I knew Tony was acting on his true feelings, he was doing what he felt was right and what had to be done. Furthermore, I agreed with what Tony was doing. So yes, I still think I made the best decision.

4. Was a formal disconnection letter sent? If so, what did it say? If not, how was the disconnection communicated?
Yes, I got a formal disconnection letter. I posted the text of it to ARS, so I'll paste it in here.

March 11, 1998

Dear Ann,
As you may know, Tony decided to picket in front of my church again. This puts me in an impossible situation and one that I will not put up with. I have sent him a letter severing our friendship in no uncertain terms.

I have enclosed the information I told you I would give you. I would have sent it earlier, but I didn't think the information was nearly so complete. From our last conversation I understand that you believe much the same things that Tony does in this matter. I would like you to read the material I am giving you and give it at least the same consideration that you gave to the attacks you read on my church.

I cannot and will not put up with the antagonism I have gotten from you directly over this matter and other matters involving my work in my church. I have no use for such upset in my life. Additionally, as long as Tony doesn't change his mind and handle this attack on my church, your connection to Tony connects me with him directly and indirectly. This is impossible for me.

Because of this I am no longer going to contact you. I am not
going to call or write or see you. I hope the materials I am giving you help.

[signature removed]


5. In what way has the disconnection affected your life?
I can't say if my life would have been any different if he had not disconnected; except that I might have had more of a chance to change his mind about scientology. We could have had good times together again. It makes me sad when I think about it.

6. What were your feelings at the time about the disconnection?
I had expected it for a long time, despite what he said about not disconnecting in the early 90s and the early days of his involvement with scientology. I was sad that it happened, and I knew I had been courting it, but I couldn't change my mind and agree to his views on scientology.

7. What are your current feelings about the disconnection?
I regret that I lost his friendship; I regret that I was not smarter about trying to get him to see what I knew then (and know now) to be the truth about scientology. I wish he hadn't done it; and I hope he decides to leave scientology one day. I hope when he does, he will look me up.

8. Has there been an attempt at reconnection? Were there any conditions for reconnecting? If there was an attempt, did you succeed at reconnecting?
About a year after he disconnected, he called me, and told me he had taken the PTS/SP course, and knew better how to deal with my negative feelings about scientology. He said that he had known at the time it wasn't the right thing to do, to disconnect, but that he didn't know any better way to handle it at the time. He said that he would call me in a couple of days, and we would get together.

When he had disconnected, I had no longer felt the need to keep quiet, and had stepped up my critical activities, building websites, picketing, distributing flyers, and posting to ARS. I was skeptical about his reconnecting, but decided I had to give him the chance to mend the friendship.

He didn't call on the scheduled day, so I called him and asked him why he hadn't called. He told me that he had found out that I was still 'attacking the church,' and that he could not be friends again unless I showed 'good faith' and took down my critical websites.

I told him that I couldn't do that; that his 'church' had tried to make many people remove theirs, and that I wouldn't do it. He told me sarcastically, 'Have a nice life,' and that was the last time I heard from him. That was in March of 1999.


9. If you are currently disconnected, would you like to reconnect? Do you believe it is possible, in your particular case? If not, why?
I would like to reconnect, but I feel that as long as he is a member of scientology, that any attempts to reconnect will be suspect. If he should decide to leave the 'church' and contact me, I would welcome him into my life again. I would have to be sure he has actually left, though, and I would guard my feelings, until I was sure of it. He would have to regain my trust, since he has previously abused it by reconnecting only to disconnect again less than a week later, when he couldn't manipulate me. It's sad, but it has to be that way.

Would you like to make any additional comments?
More about my story is in the 'ethercat' section here: http://www.solitarytrees.net/pickets/atlanta/personal/index.htm

Disconnection Story Number: 1
Total Disconnection Stories: 26
Page: 1 [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26]

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