My name is Robert (Bob) Graham and I was a public member, in good standing with the church of Scientology for over 35 years. I reached the level of OT5 and Class 5 auditor before I left the organization, permanently in 2010. I have not previously spoken about my experiences in the church because my daughter and her family are still “in.” I thought that we could work things out and keep the family unit in place but since my wife I and left, my daughter and her family, including our grandchildren, have all disconnected from us. I believe it is in the best interest, to let everyone know that the disconnection policy is still alive and well in the Church of Scientology.
I got into Scientology around the time of the LA FBI raids, John Travolta’s movie, Saturday Night Fever, and the People magazine article, “The Bizarre Cult of Scientology.” I thought it was a pretty darn weird organization with all this stuff going on but in the end, I accepted the church’s story that it was: “Them against us” and our “religious freedom” was at stake.
Has anything changed since then? Not really. It’s just the same story – different time.
1976 was a time of excitement and opportunity with the tumultuous 60s and early 70s in the rear view mirror. I was young and chasing my dream of having my own business but soon after starting it, life kicked me in the butt. My marriage broke apart and suddenly I was a single father raising a teenage, rebellious daughter while trying to start a new business. I was soon overwhelmed by these challenges which left me stuck in my “ruin” as the COS might say. I walked around in a total funk until an acquaintance told me about Scientology and suggested I buy the book Dianetics and read it. I bought the book and tried to read it, but several weeks later I was forced to admit that I had thrown it away because I found it impossible to comprehend. To me, it was confusing, artificially philosophic and pedantic so I told him, “I think the book is just a bunch of nonsense.” But, not to be deterred, he took me to the old LA org for a lecture by Heber Jentzsch. Heber delivered an excellent lecture on how Diantetics and Scientology were there for all of us to use and apply to handle life’s challenges. I don’t recall the exact content of the presentation, but I do remember being very impressed with his professionalism and ability to communicate. Afterward, I was routed to a reg and promptly sold a comm course. The org staff was all friendly enough, although the process of getting reged in a church seemed a bit odd. But, in the end, I laid out $25 bucks hoping the course would help me fix my “life problems.” The reg said the course would take 3 days to complete so I signed up and off I went to start the next evening. The comm course was delivered to me in an old two story house on 9th street with about 25 other students and it took 5 weeks to graduate. The comm course gave me the ability to be there and communicate, which was exactly what was promised. I was blown away by the end result and it hooked me for wanting to do more Scientology so I purchased the Hubbard Qualified Scientology course for both me and my daughter. The reg told me this course would take 3 – 4 weeks to complete, but I figured that time frame was highly optimistic based on the time it took to do the comm course. But, anyway, we did the course together, and it took 4 months to complete. We had lots of fun doing it together, plus it really did help bring us into better communication. The HQS course was my introduction to the “Keeping Scientology Working” bulletin by L Ron Hubbard which was a very difficult read for me. This was also my indoctrination into HCOBs and LRH being correct 100% of the time and if I didn’t understand something, then I had misunderstood words, too steep a gradient or…..you know the drill. But, it seemed to make sense at the time, so I continued on.
After graduating the course, I felt as though I was part of something much bigger than myself but I had plenty of considerations that Scientology was still pretty weird so I wasn’t letting people know what I was doing at night, when on course. But, something else was taking place that I did not recognize at the time. I started to believe that LRH was more than a mortal man and his philosophy was going to help me figure out my problems with interpersonal relationships and possibly…answer my questions concerning the origin of the universe. At the same time I was forming an arrogant, self centered certainty that I could become superior to others because, as a Scientologist, I could “know” the secrets to life and livingness and those who were not Scientologists were just- mere – “wogs.” And, god forbid those who were opposed to Scientology, as those people were “fair game.” One could lie, trick or do harm to them with no consequence, as long as you didn’t get caught.
After completing these courses I went on to buy life repair from a field auditor. At first, it went great and I had some blow out wins, but it soon bogged after several intensives and I was routed to ASHO for “repair” auditing. By this time Scientology had moved to their “new” complex in LA and it was my first experience where the total focus of staff was to, “Get the damn money!” After a very long, exhausting reg cycle I wrote a check for $9,000 just to get them off my back, but I had no money in the bank. Now, it’s interesting because I told the reg that the check was no good, but he said, to write it anyway because by the time it cleared the bank, things would “go right” for me to cover it. He said, “Just make a postulate that the check will be good. Be OT about it!” Hell I didn’t have clue what he was talking about…”postulate”… “OT about it?” Needless to say, it didn’t go right and the check bounced. Now, remember, although $9,000 doesn’t seem like that much now, in 1978 it was like $36,000 in today’s money. After the check bounced, I received daily demands from the regs to make the check good but there was no way I could cover it. They even came to my place of business and demanded money but it was like trying to get blood out of a turnip as far as I was concerned. In the end I went down to ASHO to tell them there was no way I could come up with that kind of money. Furthermore, I felt they should take some responsibility for the check bouncing because I had told them up front that it was no good. That went over like a lead balloon and I quickly found myself at the MAA who told me, in no uncertain terms, “You will be declared a suppressive person and denied any further services unless you make that check good!” I believe he assigned me a condition of treason and after doing several of the steps, I figured this was going to be a losing battle. Not wanting to be thrown out of the church, I was going to have to figure out how to cover the check. One possibility was a settlement coming due to me several months up the road but that money was already committed to pay off credit cards for my previous auditing. On one hand I needed to make good on my promise to the banks and pay my obligations but on the other hand I needed to cover the bad check or be thrown out of my new “religion.” I remember it was a HUGE present time problem for me and my decision would have ramifications for years to come. What a “nuts” deal this was but for whatever reason I went along with the craziness because I didn’t want to be rejected and loose the possibility of “going clear.” It took a few months for the settlement to come in but when it did I made good on the check. As far as the credit card debts, I did what I had to do to cover my ass in the short term but at one point, American Express seized $15,000 in my business account. This, in turn, left me cash strapped for months while I dug myself out of the hole.
Anyway, I took the funds down to ASHO figuring the MAA would take the 9 grand and send me on my way…but that’s way too simple.
After talking to me for a couple of minutes he sent me over to the Guardian’s Offices office to pick up my “clearance” to do further services. At that time the GOs office was just across the street from ASHO, in the AO building. I was told to go to the 3rd floor, find the GOs office, knock on the door, VERY LIGHTLY, and then wait. So off I went and after stomping around in the half dark, cold, cement hallways, I finally found a door in the corner of the building with a scotch taped sign on the door that read, “Guardians Office.” I knocked on the door very lightly and waited. No answer. I knocked again. Nothing. After waiting a few minutes with no response, I went back to ASHO and told the MAA no one would answer the door. He said, “Damn, I forgot to call them and let them know you were coming. They don’t answer the door unless it’s prearranged.” The MAA forgetting to call was like most things to come Scientology…done half assed and unprofessional. But, anyway, I figured I better get that damn clearance, so back I went. This time I barely got my little knock done when somebody yanked the door open a crack and angrily demanded, “Who are You and What do You Want?” This guy was intense and it scared the crap out of me since the whole thing was so clandestine. The guy further barked, “You’re not supposed to be up here!” He started to slam the door in my face, before I even had a chance to say anything, when another person came up behind him and shoved a note through the partially open door, to me. Scribbled on a half sheet of paper was; “Robert Graham has clearance from the GOs office to continue with services.” I took it and scrambled down the hall and out the door as fast as I could go, thinking, “They must be hiding dead bodies in there!”
With that completed, the bad check cycle, which had begun months earlier was done and I routed into ASHO.
The repair auditing at ASHO bounced along until I finally used up all the hours and completed. Once done, and as I was doing the routing form, I remember thinking,”At last, this mess is over and I can continue going up the bridge to “clear.” Today, I find it very odd that I wasn’t outraged, having spent $9,000 on something that….was practically worthless. But maybe that speaks volumes on how I felt about my self worth, at the time.
After ASHO, I transferred to the Santa Barbara org where I trained up through Class V, reasoning that if I got trained as an auditor then I should be able to sort out why auditing wasn’t going so well for me, while other folks would rave on and on about the fabulous wins they were having. Part of my problem with auditing, was that I always felt the process was amateurish and unprofessional. Like the time I was in session receiving “The way to happiness” auditing and it bogged. My auditor, pulled out a correction list and after going through it several times with no good result, glared at me and asked, “What the hell is wrong with you?” Or, another auditor who was so disheveled and had such body odor that I couldn’t concentrate on anything other than his stench, let alone “my case.” Or, the time I was on OTV and my auditor, having been up all night, fell asleep while waiting for me to answer the question. He, then pleaded with me to not tell the examiner, explaining that the AOLA Sea Org staff got no sleep the night before because they were kept up all night trying to finish a project. The project didn’t get done in time for him to catch any sleep and then he was told to “make it go right” and go audit as usual. The poor guy was in his 60s and he just couldn’t do it. I really felt bad for him and sure didn’t have the heart to rat him out, so I just kept his little secret to myself.
But, back to my story, after several years of going in circles with my auditing, LRH released the bulletin on natural clear. I thought this was the answer to the challenges I had been having ever since my blow out wins on Life Repair. After reading it over carefully I attested to natural clear, then routed onto OT1 – 2 and eventually, eagerly started OT3. I should have run for the door when I read the OT3 material, but after questioning it, I quickly learned that questioning these radical LRH materials was going result in a long and expensive side trip where the result would likely be, finding out there was something wrong with me, not the materials. I didn’t want to be the “only one” who questioned the OT3 story so I chose to hope that it would all get sorted out as I progressed through the level. Furthermore, I was concerned that it was “just me” who thought this was a poorly written science fiction story and I surely didn’t want anyone else to know I wasn’t “getting” the tech.
My twin, (another student you are paired with to do courses in Scientology) was a rather timid girl and the OT3 course supervisor was Harold Simms, who by the way, acted like a lunatic much of the time. One day she shyly questioned the OT3 materials and Ol’ Harold as we called him, went type 3 (psychotic behavior) on her, screaming in a rage about her not confronting the “Wall of Fire.” He screamed and cussed at her until she was bent over on the table sobbing away, completely terrified by his rage. I finally Intervened and said to Harold “That’s enough! (Of your bullying) What’s going on?” After that, He calmed down and we continued on with course like nothing happened. Nowhere in business or social gatherings would someone like “Ol Harold” be tolerated, but because we were on a confidential course, where even a mention of the agenda would get you into heavy ethics trouble, none of us wrote it up or even dared to try and see that he was fixed. I recall thinking to myself, “I guess they put a lunatic in the course room to test, if we could confront the “Wall of Fire.” (Another name for OT3) I really did think this was the case, since he had been the OT3 supervisor for years and his “crazy” reputation preceded him!
Kirstie Alley was on OT3 at the same time and I would word clear her occasionally on the materials. I remember the first time I met her, Harold took me aside and explained that she was an actress who was inclined to “show off” instead of confronting the materials. He told me, “Be aware of it and keep her under control otherwise she goes “on stage” and becomes very difficult to work with.” He seemed to be intimating that she was a bit psycho and I didn’t totally understand where he was coming from, but I got the gist of it. Actually the word clearing went OK with just a few spastic outbursts from her, but I couldn’t help but think, “Good god, what is she doing on OT3? This girl is dingy!” Only later did I see her on Cheers and recognize who she was. But, anyway, I muddled my way through OT3 and went on up to do OT4 and finally OT5.
On OT5, Kirstie and I met again and shared the same auditor but this time they shuffled us between AOLA and Celebrity Center to receive auditing, depending on which place was convenient for her. On the other hand, I always needed to make a lot of things “go right” each day for me to leave the business and drive to LA for my session. Since Kirstie and I had the same auditor, she was always accommodated by getting into session first and I always followed her in the lineup. Consequently, after driving 60 miles, sometimes, I would not even get a session because she was delayed, ran long or was too busy acting goofy to make it go right. I didn’t understand why we weren’t being treated as equals, but now I realize they were accommodating Kirstie to keep her in the “bubble.” One time, after not getting in session for several days, I mentioned to the D of P that I wanted to be treated fairly in the line-up. My comment was quickly met with, “You need to write up your OWs!” That was always a quick way to shut somebody up.
I finished OT5 after burning through 5 intensives and got very little, if any actual gain from the level. It was just too weird for me, but I finally attested to completion, if only to stop spending anymore of the tens of thousands of dollars it had already cost, with no end in sight. Then, a few years later, all of us who had previously finished OT5 were told we needed to re-do it because some SP had deleted several steps on the level so the full ability wasn’t achieved. Wouldn’t you think I would have enough sense to kick this BS to the curb and be done with it? Nope, not me! If nothing else I was persistent and wanted to get to the bottom of why auditing didn’t work for me so I laid down another $40k and did it again. By this time I was experiencing severe back pain from the stress of it all so after the 2nd time through the CS finally gave me the R-factor that I needed to get on to OT6 and 7 to handle “my case.” To complete, I gave some win, but in actuality there was no result other than getting the reges off my back for a short time because I was fully paid up though OT7.
Previous to all this, In 1984 I married a non Scientologist who was open to learn about the subject. Sharon struggled with Scientology right from the beginning, but continued doing courses and receiving auditing on and off for years. Then, in 1991, after major surgery, she developed health issues that mimicked postpartum symptoms with severe body pains. To make a very long story short, she had countless hours of auditing and repairs, trying to handle her “PTS situation” to no avail. She received auditing at AOLA, Celebrity Center, Santa Barbara, Ventura and she even went half way across the country to a mission in Louisiana, each one promising they had the “why” on what was wrong. We were desperate to find out why she was not doing well, so each time we would drink the cool aid and buy services at these Orgs and Missions hoping that they could deliver the “tech” correctly in hopes she would recover and be well again. In retrospect, it seems the staff at these orgs was totally focused on “getting the money” and didn’t really believe there was “standard tech.” I say that because each church would take our money and tell us, “Only, they had the 100% correct tech to handle her condition.” But, In fact, each time she would just get worse. There is a whole other story here that I won’t go into at this time, but after she left Scientology a friend recommended she go to a doctor that specialized in bio identical hormones. After a few weeks of balancing her hormones, Sharon magically became a “well and happy human being” once again. Recently, she told me that before we made the decision to leave Scientology…and all their “cures,” she thought she was going to die. She felt for her own survival, she had to get away from it and find a doctor that knew how to diagnose her condition. She was 100% right and the “tech” almost did her in. Worse yet, every time the “tech” didn’t work, various terminals within Scientology would tell me, that she was “no case gain” and/or PTS, at best. I am sorry to say that Sharon did not get the support from me that she deserved, but that is all behind us now that we are out of the craziness of it all.
On my route to “Total Freedom” there were also expensive side trips like the one which my wife and I were reged to go to the ship in 2004. The reges painted the picture of a Freewinds cruise as a wonderful 2 week vacation where one could relax, tour the Caribbean, take Freewinds specific courses and receive auditing in an atmosphere of total safety and comfort. We were suckers for this pitch because the previous year we had taken a Royal Caribbean cruise and loved it. Well, let’s just say that those who sold us on this Freewinds cruise didn’t know what they were talking about or they were intentionally lying their asses off because this cruise was anything but relaxing and/or fun. After shelling out the money for the “cruise” we arrived at the ship to discover that this was only the beginning of a much larger and more expensive reg cycle. Upon boarding the ship, all of our Identification and passports were taken and locked up for “safe keeping.” At first I objected having our identification removed because it made no sense but finally we acquiesced and handed it over, once informed it was LRH “policy.” I believe that removing one’s identification is actually done so there is no escape, even when the ship is in port. Without an ID and passport we were effectively prisoners and we weren’t going anywhere without permission. We were trapped on that damned ship with no way off!
Once we were far out to sea, I was given the R factor that I had been CSd to do a more advanced course than the one I previously purchased which was thousands of dollars extra. Then, once the reges found out I had reserves, I was fair game and every other day was body routed to reges to buy auditing hours, more courses, food, berthing upgrades, IAS donations, etc. – etc. – etc. I felt there was no choice but do as we were told and try to hold off the IAS bastards from taking all of our money plus any available credit on credit cards. We were also told that our courses would take 5 days full time, but we were there for 5 weeks at their mercy, doing courses from 9 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week. The alternative was to be sent to ethics and/or sec checked until “God knows when.” Besides, it was made perfectly clear that we would NOT be leaving the ship until we had successfully completed our “programs.” On Friday nights, just when we thought we could relax and enjoy a few hours to ourselves, staff would come to our cabin and beat on the doors until we answered. Then, we were marched off to the auditorium to partake of Friday night completions, announcements and Scientology PR while all the exits were guarded by staff so no one could leave.
But, I have to give credit where credit is due. The food on the ship was fantastic. They have some excellent chefs on staff but sometimes I wondered if the crew was eating rice and beans because some of them looked quite pallid and gaunt, along with their over the top, militaristic attitude. In hind sight, maybe they were just hungry! This cruise was the polar opposite of the one we took a year earlier on the Royal Caribbean! There was one time, where I found myself on a short break from course so off I went to the workout room for some exercise, but within 10 minutes, a staff member came in and demanded to know why I wasn’t on course or in session. I explained that I was on a break and getting some badly needed exercise that I hoped would help me sleep at night. She then, proceeded to berate me for being out ethics and told me that I should be contributing to the motion of “clearing the planet,” not being the effect of my body and wasting time exercising. Now, I understood why the exercise room, filed with workout machines, was always empty! In hindsight, I doubt if this were a chance meeting since virtually nothing is left to chance on that ship. My best guess is that there was a reality adjustment intended for me but whatever it was, it missed the mark and only made me think these people on this ship are nuts!
The Freewinds cruise turned into a stressful, month-long ordeal, but it gave us some insight into what it must be like for Sea Org members. I cannot fathom living where every moment of one’s life is planned, structured and lived for the purpose of “clearing the planet.” They all have to know, deep down, it’s nonsense. I wonder how many of those who join the Sea Org, originally sign up because of some personal need for absolute, structure in their lives, then get trapped with no way out. I simply don’t know or understand why someone would desire that life style. But on the positive side, for me, the Freewinds experience started the process of questioning the fact that if all these lies need to be told to get people to do services, then maybe… there was something awfully wrong with the whole damn thing.
But I wasn’t quite done drinking the cool aid, yet.
The final straw came when I went to Flag to do my OT7 preps. Let’s just say the cycle went horribly bad. I was quickly given an R-factor that I should go back home and to expect a “program” that I would need to complete before continuing up the “bridge to total freedom.” I left in mystery as to exactly what was going on but went home and waited and waited, then waited some more for my program to arrive. Finally, after repeated phone calls and Emails, I received a program that required me to do the PTS/SP course before continuing. It seemed to indicate that it was something I might need to do, so I started the course and proceeded through it. Several months later, just as I was about the finish the course, the Org Ethics Officer asked to speak with me. She told me they had received a message from FLAG that I should not be doing courses in the Santa Barbara Org and my only terminal was the FLAG MAA. The Ethics Officer and I were both confused so she asked to see, in writing, the program I had received from FLAG. After reading it, she said, “This is really weird because you’re on the course that FLAG ordered and I don’t see a problem. But, I will query it.” The next day she called me at home and nervously told me that she was sorry, but the order from FLAG stood as written and she would have to enforce it until I got it cleared up.
I, then contacted the FLAG MAA and was given an R-Factor that I had been sent the “wrong program” previously. She further said that I could expect my new program, by FED-X in a couple of days. There was no explanation, no apology…nothing other than, “You got the wrong program.” But, I had the gut feeling something was amiss behind the scenes. After a month with no communication, I again, contacted the MAA at FLAG who explained that my folder was being further reviewed and to expect it in the next few days. After another month with no communication or instructions, I contacted her and again was told that I should be receiving my “new” program any day. I was about to say, “The hell with it” when it finally arrived, several weeks later. The “new” program stated;
1) All my certs and certificates were cancelled
2) Buy the SHSBC tapes, books, course packs and materials and get checked out on them
3) I don’t recall the rest of the program but I believe there were 6 or more steps on it
My god, none of this indicated as correct. I was totally overwhelmed! It was lost on me as to what policy this followed and why the gradient was so overwhelmingly steep. I called and asked to speak with someone in charge about my situation and was transferred to an MAA. She seemed to show some empathy by sheepishly saying, “I shouldn’t be telling you this, but ever since the Lisa McPherson thing happened and now with the aftermath (whatever that meant) everyone on the Base is on edge.” But that’s as far as the communication went before she begged off and ended the communication. It made no sense what my cycle had to do with Lisa McPherson! I tried to query the “new program” further up the lines, hoping to gain a better understanding or get an explanation of what the hell was going on but there was never any reply other than “Start the program.” My gut feeling was that my folder was mixed up with someone else’s’ data but I couldn’t figure out how to get past the stops. I walked around in a fog for months, trying to do the program but not understanding what the hell was going on. Slowly but surely I became dismayed, disillusioned and bitter about my whole Scientology experience. How could everything be so screwed up if Scientology was 100% correct and FLAG was the Mecca of technical perfection?
Finally, I sought out a friend who had been on OT7 for several years and asked if she could give me some advice on how to handle my situation. We sat down together and after I explained what was going on, she told me with a steadfast gaze, “Don’t fight it, just do what they say. Believe me when I tell you—something similar happened to me — and it is nearly impossible to straighten out, once it comes down the line!” I was stunned! Here I was talking to someone at the top of the bridge and she is advising me to be total effect. This is cause over life? This is the end product of Scientology? This is Total freedom? No way! Not!
I decided right then and there that I was DONE with Scientology but now the challenge came in trying to leave the church without creating a huge upset with my daughter.
You see, my daughter, the out of control teenager, grew up to be a responsible adult who married into another Scientology family. We were business partners for 25 years and built a successful electronics business while we both did “the bridge.” She was just starting OT7 when I began the process of leaving Scientology. After more than 30 years, my wife and I had decided to quit and close the door behind us. We wanted to be left alone and just leave the church, but that was not to be. To punish me for what I was doing, my daughter left the business in the most destructive way she could. She was coached by the church, into forming a coup with 5 other employees who all quit and disconnected at the same time. One morning, I came into work and found a disconnection letter on my desk with the majority of management and sales crew… gone! With most of my sales staff missing, it was nearly impossible to run the business with any semblance of customer service but I struggled along for several months while trying to rebuild the staff and management. But, without my daughter and business partner, my heart was just not in it any longer so I found someone to buy the business at a “fire sale” price and that was the end of the line for one of the most successful, small businesses of its kind, in the Country.
A few months later, someone up the lines must have changed their minds because my daughter contacted me and said she wanted to repair our relationship and was sorry for what had happened. It was pretty confusing after going through the hell of disconnection, the family break-up and selling the business, but I also wanted it to be different because we had always been so close before all this took place. At the time, I thought it was about repairing the family, but in hindsight, I speculate that the church was leading from behind and at some point became concerned about the money I had on account. I say this because part of the family repair was a settlement which included me signing over all the unused money we had on account for her family, to use as they pleased and the church was spared the indignity of a rather large refund cycle. But after we kissed and made up, I found that we were being monitored about things we had said that could be construed as anti-Scientology. We discovered this after Sharon posted that she had “given testimony” on Facebook. The Scientologists mistakenly, thought Sharon had given legal testimony in court against Scientology so my daughter was sent in to interrogate us. She wanted to know to “WHOM” and “WHAT” Sharon gave testimony about. We explained that the testimony was simply a short statement made at a friend’s church about coming back to the Christian religion. Our communication became heated as we discussed the miscommunication and soon it came out that I had also attended a church and someone in the congregation had asked what faith I came from. I replied, “Scientology.” After telling her what I had said, she became very upset and asked me if I knew; “Publicly disavowing Scientology was grounds to have me declared!” I told her I had simply answered a question that was posed to me, but it made no difference. She had “policy” to back it up and both of us had stepped over the line. Oh well, so much for the church being paranoid!
Then, to make matters worse, Sharon went on to label LRH as a douche bag on Facebook, just for the fun of it. I wish Scientologists could see the humor in it all — but that’s probably not to be. Even after these things happened, we would still go to lunch from time to time, but I could tell my daughter was bothered by something, but she wasn’t going to tell me about it. “Good roads and good weather” was the usual substance of our conversations, but none-the- less, I valued the fact that we had a relationship, even if limited. Also, during this period of connection she told me that she did not want to disconnect, and hoped that “things” could be “handled.” But if not, she would say, “I might have to decide, on my own determinism, to disconnect,” I would tell her that I hoped that didn’t happen but I knew something was going on, behind the scene…but she wasn’t about to tell me. My guess is that she was struggling, caught between the church saying she needed to disconnect verses her not wanting to do it.
It took 4 years, after we left the church to get the demands for us to come in for handling, phone calls, personal interventions and mail from the various orgs to…stop! At one point a FLAG MAA called me and emphatically apologized for what had occurred when I went to FLAG for services. She further said that it was an error in programming and if I would just come in and talk to them, everything could be set right. Somehow, this didn’t ring true with me so I told her in no uncertain terms that I was done with Scientology and why I was done, but the calls, requests and personal interventions kept coming. We finally accomplished getting the church off our backs by making communication from them so painful that the staff would retreat and reconsider whether communicating to us was worth it. We also sent all their junk mail back “return to sender” with notes to not contact us again under threat of litigation. We both knew the consequences of leaving the church this way, but the alternative would be submitting to “meetings,“ OW write-ups, lower conditions and endless sec checking. Disconnection, if it came to that, was the price we were willing to pay for our freedom.
In the end, my daughter made the decision to re-disconnect. She and all of her family, including our grandchildren have disconnected once again and refused any further communication. Hopefully, one day, we can once again have a father-daughter relationship and enjoy our grandchildren but I have to accept the fact – that – will only come about when the church is forced to change it’s destructive policies on disconnection – or – my daughter becomes disillusioned with it all, and leaves. To that end, I share my story.
It would seem to be such a simple solution for the “church” to say to all of us who left or want to leave, “I get it. It didn’t work for you so let’s part ways and get on with life.” But with this organization, if there are 10 ways to handle situations correctly and 1 way to do it incorrectly, it seems they will choose the one wrong way, every time. To me, they seem to function a bit like a definition of insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Once I was out and knew there was no going back, I started researching on the internet and found that we are not the “only ones” who were disillusioned with this “Science of the mind.” I will give the subject of Scientology the benefit of the doubt, that it has limited workability but there is no actual science behind it at all, so it’s not a mystery as to why it doesn’t work for everyone 100% of the time and why so many have become disillusioned and left the church.
If you want to make a lie – stick – build it on some basic truths that the person can buy into. When one starts receiving auditing or basic courses at the beginning of Scientology, there are some basic truths to be discovered. These truths have been around, in one form or another, for a long time and LRH did a fantastic job collecting and organizing these things. But, once a person discovers these “truths” in Scientology, they can trap a person. Why? Because when one arrives at the upper levels, one tends to believe, because some of the basics were true, that the science fiction nonsense, on these upper levels must also be true. But at some point, we all have to take responsibility for ourselves and stop taking part in the “Truman Show.” With Scientology one can get so invested with time, money, prestige or whatever that it is very difficult to confront what it actually is.
For me, my “ruin” was handled by living life and winning more than loosing. I also came to an understanding that I could live life and be quite happy without Scientology. Opportunities have appeared almost like magic and those things that were difficult and creating stress are now out of my life. Leaving Scientology was not easy. In fact, it was the most difficult things that I have ever done, but like Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Stronger” says, “What doesn’t kill you – makes you stronger!”
Thank God for those who continue to be brave enough to speak out about the church. The first person that I personally knew, who spoke out publicly, was my good friend, Lisa Halverson back in the 1990s on the Larry King show. I wish I still had contact with her and could say, “Thank You!” But, I feel sorry for those who still cling to the hope that LRH was anything other than a man who created a philosophy that he was able to pawn off as a religion while amassing an incredible amount of money and power. I believe his driving force was, attempting to understand his own mind. To that end, he became a victim of his own endless exploration into his mind. I also think that the more one does Scientology – the more one becomes – like the mind of L Ron Hubbard because after all, that is what most of his writings were really all about. He was desperately attempting to interpret his own mind. His research into the mind of man was actually, LRH looking at his own thoughts and imagination, writing them down and issuing them as HCOBs and HCO PLs and calling himself – “Source.”
To those who are questioning, I recommend a lot of research. Start by reading some books. “Going Clear, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief” by Lawrence Wright is an excellent choice. As yet, I have not read Marty Rathbun’s books only because I prefer audio books, but from the reviews they are very good and informative. Get on the internet and research everything. Check out Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder’s blogs. These guys were at the top echelon of Scientology management for many years and publish a steady wealth of information about the true nature of the Church of Scientology and its current management. Read the good, the bad and the ugly, then sort it out for yourself as to what is true and who to believe. The truth will cut through like a sharp knife in butter. You’re going to run across the OT3 stuff while on the internet. Nothing bad is going to happen and rest assured that you won’t get phenomena and die after you read it. You see, in his infinite wisdom, Hubbard warned that anyone who read these materials, but was not prepared to receive it, would die of phenomena. To date, thousands if not millions, have read the OT3 materials on the internet and I have not heard of any phenomena plague threatening the human population. The true story about LRH and Scientology will unfold, I promise.