Scientology - Through the Door

Interviews

Wednesday, 20th August, 2003 02:30:02am

Name or Alias: Esjay
Training and/or processing level: N/A
Org or location: NYC/CCLA
Time involved in the Church of Scientology: 1970-1976
Recommended Website - N/A
1. How did you first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology?
Bought DMSMH at a bus station in NYC.

2. What initially appealed to you about scientology?
I had just turned 16 years old, was very depressed, searching for answers. I had broken with the religion I was brought up in and was impressed by the 'scientific' emphasis - and yet felt there were 'answers' to my spiritual questions.

3. Were there problems in your life that you thought scientology would address?
At the time I found Scientology I was very depressed. I was very shy and unsure of myself and I latched on to the promise of learning to communicate effectively. They had sure found my ruin, and convinced me very quickly that they had the answer. In fact, I was so depressed and after taking the personality analysis so convinced that Scientology might help that when my parents refused to allow me to take a course I attempted suicide. My parents then, not knowing what else to do, signed permission for me to take courses.

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?
Many, many things - an early example:
When I was 17 I was persuaded to leave home and join staff in NYC. My first 'paycheck' for a week's work was $1.75. This should have sent a warning to me - but I was young and naive.
I saw many, many more things later when I was in the Sea Org - but I tended to not blame Scientology or the church, instead blaming individuals who were 'out tech,' 'out ethics,' etc.


5. Why did you choose to stay in the Church of Scientology?
By the time I saw problems I had become convinced that what we were doing was saving the world, and I was willing to put up with any hardship to do it (Young, idealistic, naive, altruistic).

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'?
Staff in NYC (non-contracted) 2 months
Sea Org - Excalibur and Celebrity Center - 2.5 years


7. Why did you leave the Church of Scientology? Was there a "final straw"?
I could not accept the harsh punishments (RPF, etc.) that I saw friends and fellow Sea Org members having to go through whom I considered to be hard working and ethical people. I was shocked by the change in a friend who returned to staff from the RPF. I felt like she had 'lost herself' and seeing as this was a time when many SO were sent there - I was not going to wait around for that to happen to me.

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?
All of them.

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.

10. Any additional comments you would like to make?
I just sent my daughter off to college - I sat down with her and had a long discussion about Scientology and cults in general. This is just as important to talk to kids about as drugs/sex, etc. -- BEFORE they get preyed upon.

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