Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Monday, 1st October, 2012 12:39:39am

Name or Alias: John Dries
Training and/or processing level: ot 4 class 5
Org or location: Old ccla till '78, then public, worked at Delphi Or
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: 1970--1995
Recommended Website - n/a
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
Girlfriend's roommate was an FSM. Did comm course at San Francisco Org.

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
Friendly people, the simplicity of the reactive mind theory, pleasant trance states achieved in trs, the promise of restoring the abilities as a 'thetan,' the idea of really being able to help others toward happiness and freedom.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
Yes. Relations with people, especially women, shyness, depression, lack of focus, lack of persistence, anxiety, lack of direction.

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?
At first I was so enamored and excited at the promise of scientology, that I saw only positives: friendly, glowing, encouraging young people, tales of ot phenomena, the constant barrage of 'wins' in published success stories and spoken testimonials, the supportive applause, the enthusiasm, the periods of euphoria I experienced doing trs and in some early auditing.

After the honeymoon wore off, I noticed things all over the place and almost daily that didn't seem right: A class 8 lecturer trying to explain what the 'review' department did couldn't do so. A guy who had had his 'grades' telling me 'it didn't work.' Execs yelling at staff. Nobody really seemed to be clear or OT that I could see. People didn't seem that capable and the org seemed disorganized. Constant cross ordering when I was on staff. My 'gains' would never last long. The general poverty, disorganization, upset disarray did not really seem consistent with having therapies that could greatly increase intelligence, health, sanity and happiness.

I really think several factors were at play that made me set aside my feelings. One, in scientology you are constantly under some sort of CONTROL. You're in session following an auditor's commands. You're on course following a checksheet. You're on a 'routing form following its steps. Without knowing it you become OBEDIENT. You attend musters in which people give only 'wins,' not problems. You applaud the wins at first because it's polite, but you're also being trained in the habit of only validating and never questioning scientology. In fact you can't discuss your case except with the auditor of the examiner. All you can do is give wins. If you have problems with the 'tech' it's misunderstood words, out ethics or maybe you're an SP.

I don't think ANYTHING really convinced me to set aside my feelings. I think I had just by degree become blindly LOYAL to the cult and the loyalty overrode reason and stopped thought because critical thought would have been disloyal and would have threatened all the things the cult had given me: a welcoming group, great hope for the future, focus, direction. Of course I could have gotten those things elsewhere, but I had bought into the idea that scientology was the only possible source of those things, just because it was repeated so often often that the cult was the only group that could undo the trap we were in.

It was mind control, but I must say it was control of a WEAK mind. I had not been educated in logic or critical thinking. Or in how people can be manipulated by such things as flattery, incremental commitment, reflexive consistency, repetition, social proof, peer pressure, group censorship, threat of ostracism, etc. A little education would have saved me from decades of subservient hell.


5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
This may be difficult to understand, but I don't think I 'chose' one way or the other. I became LOYAL and then could not cross the line into disloyalty. The loyalty, wrong and misguided though it was, was very powerful. As I say, it overrode reason and squelched thought that might lead to disproving hubbard's assertions about scientology. It was a form of insanity rather than a choice.

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'?
In s.o. from 70 through 79. Mostly at CCLA. Public after that, though I was on staff at Delphi Oregon for a couple years in the mid-80s. Volunteered a few times. Also was on staff for about a year at Mace Kingsley ranch 'school' in New Mexico. I was brought in to set up a real school there, and I actually more or less did so. But it was short lived. Eventually the director and senior execs realized that I was terribly off source, actually teaching subjects and not really emphasizing scientolgy and I was politely required to go to flag and do the 'Keeping Scientology Working' Course, some sort of ethics handling, sec checks and an ot 5 review. (I'll go into detail on this perhaps elsewhere.) I refused to attest to ot5 and flag didn't seem to mind as I had no money anyway. I returned to the ranch to get my stuff and leave and found that the classrooms I had set up were dismantled and most of the kids had been put in lower conditions and sent out into the wilderness to be tortured with ethics. Shortly after this I left the cult.

7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
Failure and ostracism at M.K. Ranch. It became clear that many highly trained and audited scns were too stupid, incompetent and dishonest to run an honest enterprise. They were taking in lots of money and delivering almost nothing. When I tried to fix it I was 'off source.' My revulsion finally overcame my loyalty. There were lots of straws before that though.

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?
Well, I would start by admitting publicly that scientology is an empty fraud. Somebody suggested selling off assets and giving the money to the poor. Good idea. But maybe I'd use the money for counselling for exes especially young ones and for scholarships for young ex scns to go to college.

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?
n/a

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
Yes. The cult is still ruining lives. In LA I see young s.o. members around the complex and other places. Keep doing all you can to expose scientology.

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