Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Tuesday, 29th May, 2007 08:59:59pm

Name or Alias: Robert Thompson
Training and/or processing level: Grades, NED, Level 0, Course Sup
Org or location: Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: 30 years off and on
Recommended Website - Center for Critical Thinking
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
I had just been discharged from the military and was new in town. I was walking around downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida when I saw the Scientology mission. It looked interesting and I decided to go inside.

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
The people were nice and it seemed to have some answers to questions I had about life.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
Definitely, I saw my family disintegrate due to my mother’s mental illness and my father’s physical illness. I was looking for answers.

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?
Yes, as a staff member there were several areas that did not seem right.

1. I survived on $25 - $50 per week in staff pay.
2. Most staff members receive little or no training or auditing beyond their basic hatting. I had to pay for almost all my training and auditing even as a staff member.
3. Knowledge reports are used to inform on other people. They are basically someone’s bad opinion of another person and may, or may not, have any basis in reality.
4. Statistics are used to judge one’s condition on a weekly basis. If stats are up then no one is on your back. If they are down then you have to get them up and these down stats can quickly lead to Ethics cycles, amends projects, lower conditions, etc.
5. The weekly stat push was often used to hard sell the public. I saw a lot of people separated from their life savings.
6. There were many more experiences on and off staff…


I was able to set aside the bad experiences and continue in Scientology because of the following:

1. I had fantastic gains in my auditing on Life Repair and the Grades. I have to acknowledge that auditing helped me to alleviate many of the problems I had in my life. In particular, it helped me to overcome the grief of losing my parents as a child.
2. The promise of OT powers like being immortal and flying around without a body.
3. Helping other people to become more able and handle life better.
4. I also saw some extraordinary changes in people from training and auditing that clearly demonstrated to me that it can help people improve their lives. In particular, I saw a number of people improve physically and mentally as they progressed up the lower bridge. On the downside, I saw some of these same people request refunds within a few months.


5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
I stayed primarily because I experienced improvement in my life through auditing and training. I also saw other people improve their lives from the tech. I figured that the workability of the technology and the goals of Scientology outweighed the bad stuff.

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 both staff and public. I was mission staff in Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando. I was also staff at the Miami org for a short time.

I was never Sea Org. If I had known more about OSA, formerly the GO, I would not have stayed in Scientology as long as I did. They represent the opposite of my basic beliefs.


7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
Yes, I found out the church had lied to all Scientologists about LRH’s death. We had been told at the 1986 event at Flag that he had voluntarily left his body to continue upper level OT research and that this research had to be done without a body. They said that he was in good health and simply lay down and turned off the body.

I was reasonably happy with my training and auditing in early 2006. It was a bit of a fluke that I happened to look on the internet and found LRH’s death certificate and toxicology report.
I was just curious, nothing more. When I saw that he had died of a stroke that took 6 days to kill him and that he had Vistril, a psyche drug, in his system, I was shocked.

I checked with the Ethics officer and DSA at the Tampa Org and they confirmed that the information on the internet was true.

The question that I asked myself was “Why would the church lie about LRH’s death?” That lead me through many of the critical web sites and I realized while reading this site’s “Through the Door” interviews that the OT levels were a lie. At that moment, the bridge to total freedom collapsed at my feet and lay in ruin. I finally saw my credulity and realized that I had been deceived.


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?
Yes, it definitely needs to be reformed. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is capable of being reformed. For me, finding out about the practices of the OSA was shocking. Most Scientologists are not aware of the lies, treachery, and deception perpetrated by upper church management and the OSA. Their activities are antithetical to the basic tenents of Scientology.

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?
No.

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
The element that this web site provides, and was missing from my
experience, was hearing about others' experiences. It provided a
balance by allowing me to see opposing personal accounts that are not
accessible within the church.
I highly recommend this site to anyone. Thank you for creating it.


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