Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Monday, 25th September, 2006 08:35:46pm

Name or Alias: Rondroid No More
Training and/or processing level: Clear Class IV Grade IV
Org or location: Sacramento
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: 9 years
Recommended Website - http://
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
Initially, through some high school friends. We had the concepts explained to us and did some light auditing. It was interesting. Then, a few years later through a disseminator working on campus of the college that I attended.

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
I felt lonely and lost and friendless. The people at the mission seemed caring and happy. They also seemed to know the answers, or at least be satisfied that they were on a path to knowledge.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
A basic confusion about what I was put here on earth to do, and what I would do with my life. I was also depressed.

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?
Low sleep and emotional abuse were the main ones. Staff meetings at 2:00 in the morning when you were berated by the mission leader for failing to make your targets. Working on 3 to 4 hours of sleep. (I got in a minor car wreck once due to it.) However, as a daughter of an abusive alcoholic, self-esteem has never been my strong suit, so I figured I deserved the ill treatment.

The owner of our mission, Martin Samuels, opened another mission in Oregon, I believe, and moved up there. He had a gorgeous house built (we were shown pictures), mainly by staff members. I never thought that this was right, that one person could live so well, when the rest of us were in slummy apartments. Only people with family money could afford houses. But, this got justified to me by the “Simon Bolivar” essay that LRH wrote in which he talked about “flowing power” up to those in charge. You needed to make their lives easier so that they could go on to do more great things, and then you would indirectly benefit. If you squabbled about the situation, you were made to have “M9 Word Clearing” on that document, which is reading it outloud, and looking for misunderstood words whenever you stumbled on a sentence.

At one point there was a directive to raise the price of everything that we sold, books and services, by quite a considerable amount. I was puzzled by this because I didn’t understand where the money was going. The books couldn’t cost all that much more to print, right? And the staff members never saw any money from the increased prices for the services. I wondered where all the money was going. I never could rationalize that one away.

Then after this, a woman on staff came into an insurance settlement, and went down to LA to do some advance processing. She came back as OT3, which is pretty high up there, and where you’re supposed to have full control over your life, your environment, and your mental processes. The mission at that time wasn’t doing particularly well financially, and our weekly pay was very low. After she had been back for a couple of weeks, I heard some loud banging in her auditing room after we got paid one Friday. I found out that she was upset by how little she was paid. I was surprised by this; certainly money shouldn’t matter all that much to someone who was in full control of their environment, right? I started to have little twinges right then about the efficacy of the “tech.” But again, it was just chalked up to her being “out-ethics” or not having done something in the level correctly.


5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
I joined staff in 1974, or thereabouts, and in 1976 married another staff member. Once you’re married, you’re pretty much toast, because you can’t talk about your misgivings even with your spouse, and if you quit, you lose your marriage as well as all of your associates and your job. The church works hard to sever ties between you and your family and any friends that you may have on the “outside,” so if you do quit, there’s nowhere to go. And people whom you look up to tell you that this is a “prison planet” and life is literally hell outside of the church, worse yet for people who “blow” the organization.

How many times did I hear that if someone wasn’t a full-on 1,000% dedicated Scientologist, that they were just mere “dilletantes” and the enemy? Plus, for quite some time, I was convinced that Scientology was the way out for humankind, and if I just held on a little longer, I and everyone that I knew would be rewarded. Because of my upbringing, I am all about misplaced loyalty. I had received some gains from my studies and the auditing that I received, and felt that there was more to be attained.

When you are chronically underslept and worried about finances, and being worked 70 to 80 hours a week, you can’t really focus past the immediate needs of your life. That’s a very subtle lever to keep people obedient. Plus, they would always tell you that “eternity” was more important than the here and now.

Another fundamental wedge that the “church” has is the weapon of “missed witholds.” If you got critical of something, that just meant that you had done something bad that others had nearly found out about. So, criticism landed you in “Ethics” where you had to do write-ups of everything bad that you’d ever done, and all the things that you had witheld. These then got stored in your files. I later heard of these being used against people when they quit. Fortunately, my past is pretty clean, so I wasn’t afraid of this backlash, but it never seemed right to do this to people. Some people had significant wrongdoings in their pasts (I was an auditor, so I heard a lot) and this was real leverage to keep them in alignment.

Finally, two phrases were repeated so often that they totally got engrained: “What turns it on will turn it off” and “The way out is the way through.” If you were feeling stressed and unhappy about being on staff and being put through what you were put through, well, eventually it will stop having that effect and you will become a better person for the experience. If you stop in the middle of the “process,” then you will be stuck with all of that and it will never go away.


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 on staff from 1974 to 1983, first at a mission. Then the mission merged with a Level IV org in the same city, and we automatically became staff of the org. I was never in the Sea Org (thank hevvuns) but I did attend training at the Flag Land Base in 1976.

That’s when I heard about the RPF – the “Rehabilitation Project Force.” That was another threat used to keep you in line. But we were told that the people who were assigned to it had done some seriously bad things against the church… and how were we to know any better?


7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
It was odd how that came about. It was in 1983 and I was pregnant with my second child. Some of our friends had left the church, and were telling us about things that they had discovered about the church that weren’t at all flattering. This was when there were instances of the church using peoples’ secrets obtained in counselling sessions to discredit them when they left. I was appalled by that when I found out. This was also when the Guardian’s Office (a branch of the church dedicated to protecting its interests) had broken into government headquarters and stolen documentation. The old maxim of the “Greater Good,” that is, by protecting Scientology they were protecting the planet, was beginning to wear a little thin. A woman that my husband and I were friends with, Christie Losh, worked for the Guardian’s Office in Sacramento. She knew somehow that we had been in contact with these people and invited us into her office for a little chat. My husband wouldn’t back down, and finally said, “What can you tell us about the illegal activities of the church?” She got up, escorted us out of a back door of the org building, closed the door behind us, and there we stood, amazed. We were suddenly free. Of course, we were branded “Suppressive Persons” by the church, but nothing much happened to us after that, since we just got involved in our lives.

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?
It needs to be honest about LRH’s life, and about where the money truly goes. It needs to treat its staff members compassionately, allowing them to work 40-hour weeks and still have time for their families. It needs to understand that families can belong to all sorts of religious beliefs, and still respect each other. It needs to follow its own precepts and codes in how it treats its staff and public. And it needs to not treat people differently who have a lot of money. It’s funny, the church regarded people with lots of money as “up-stats,” implying that they had obviously done a lot right in their lives to have so much. This then implied that the rest of us had a lot of misdeeds or failures because we weren’t wealthy as well, so we “pulled in” worse treatment.

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?
Never never never never never. I’d never rejoin that church nor join any other religion on this planet. Religions are created by men, and there is no one walking this planet who’s any more capable of steering the course of my life, and instructing me in how to live, than I am. I have no idea if there is a “God” who honestly gives a f**k about those of us down here; and it’s fruitless to ponder the question. We’ll all find out for sure when we die. Right now, I’m focused on being kind, helping others when I can, and planning for my retirement. Just for the record, I have raised two daughters to adulthood, both college graduates, neither of whom got pregnant, took drugs, got in legal trouble, or acquired STDs, and both of whom have good, steady jobs. We are all very close. Neither of them is involved in any mainstream church, either, and somehow they’ve managed to find their ways so far.

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
Twenty-three years later, I still have nightmares. I still remember when I went to my first “wog” class after quitting the church and having my second child, how I felt that I was from another planet. I had no idea what the people were talking about, or how to behave around “normal” people. It took me years to re-enter American culture.

But once I did, life became great. I am so happy now. I have two wonderful daughters, a great husband (recently remarried), good health, and a thriving career. I don’t have to continually look inward and “confront” my past and my errors and my misdeeds. I can look outward and ahead. My decisions are my own, and no one judges me. And my friends are true friends, not friends who will turn away when I abandon a religious system.

That I spent so much time in Scientology humiliates me. But, after reading “The Bare-Faced Messiah,” I’ve come to realize that I was manipulated by manipulation masters, and I’m almost starting to forgive myself for being such a gullible fool.


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