Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Thursday, 16th May, 2002 03:53:18pm

Name or Alias: StayFree
Training and/or processing level: Class IV/OT IV
Org or location: N/A
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: 14 years
Recommended Website - Clambake
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
A friend of a band called The Incredible String Band gave me the book 'Dianetics: The Evolution of a Science' and told me about the Scientology Communications Course

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
It sounded like it could help me with being more extrovert, to help me feel more at ease and communicate more easily with people. Also I totally loved the Incredible String Band who were into it.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
Feelings of lonelieness, inhibitions, shyness, inability to be at ease and communicate.

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?
The first thing that struck an off note was probably the Scientology anti-psychiatry newspaper called 'Freedom'. I was used to trying to reason things out with my intellect. I had realised that people who ranted angrily couldn't be trusted. Also, those who talked in generalities seemed like imbeciles to me. So the mad raving rhetoric of 'Freedom' struck me as out of place in the Scientology which otherwise seemed to be intent on reasoning things out and being even-handed. Hubbard's writing seemed to emphasise this, that you should look to the heart of things and see what the truth was. It seemed logical and reasoning. 'Freedom' looked like the product of numbskulls to me. I couldn't see how these things could lie side by side. How did I set aside these feelings? Well, I didn't, not completely - although I stayed very committed to Scientology for almost a decade and a half I didn't totally lose my reason and ability to retain my own inner view of things.

5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
I had become convinced by the logic of what Hubbard had written. Looking back, I accepted much that was terribly simplistic because I was young enough to believe living could be solved, that there could be simple solutions to life. It seemed to me that the past must affect the present - I felt that in my own life. But looking back I see these stresses and strains as a natural part of growing up - not something that could or should be eliminated - far from it.

I wanted to believe there was some philosophy that could make the world a better place. I had become very idealistic in the late Sixties and I was still in that frame of mind that the world could be made a better place and that I and everyone else could become happier, healthier, more ethical and more able.


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 at different times. I worked in an Org for two periods of two years. I was never in OSA or the Sea Org.

7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
Yes, after 14 years I was faced with a very emotional situation and the trauma of it showed me that I was no better for all the 14 years of Scientology. I found that all those years hadn't helped at all in confronting or handling this situation.

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 certainly does. It isn't helping itself at all, it only creates more and more problems for itself. If it had the courage to be open and to allow its members to come and go as they wished that would be a start. It's attack on its critics is mindless and totally self-defeating. These and other practices caused me to lose all respect for Scientology. I knew many of the people who were attacked by the church. I had worked alongside them as we gave everything for Scientology. I recognised that the actions of the church were based on childish pettyness and spite. There was very little reasoning there. In fact they had come to hate people who reasoned it seemed to me - all they wanted was blind obedience. How people who were being taught blind obedience were supposed to reach the heights of freedom is a bit of a mystery, wouldn't you say?

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?
I would not rejoin Scientology because I believe the corruption of its ideas runs right to its heart. I no longer consider Hubbard to have been a man of intellect and insight - rather that he was incredibly crass and shallow and had such a huge ego he was entirely unaware of this.

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
Scientology will never become a major power, mostly because the seeds of its own destruction are laid in at its bedrock. Hubbard and his paranoia have ensured that Scientology will be feared by the majority of intelligent people. Not only feared, they will be shunned as the simple-minded and brutal product of a man who let his own grandiose ideas blind him to the great hurt he was perpetuating on vulnerable victims and seekers alike.

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