Life is So Much Better Since I Left Scientology
Scientology used to be fun—at least back in the day when I got involved. Everyone was young and looking to hook up. We’d go dancing at clubs after course. People threw parties in cheap rentals on the weekends. We’d get naked and sit in hot tubs under the stars— and if we didn’t have to be on course the next day, we’d drink wine and beer.
After a while, so many people were getting married, my significant other and I talked about budgeting money for wedding presents. The OT Levels were pie in the sky, the local Mission was far from ideal but always full, and eventually, we got married, too. A few years later, people started having babies. We may have been poor but times were good.
Things Began to Change
Despite the comradery, I rarely enjoyed “being on course.” Which in regular English means studying in a Scientology course room. I didn’t like feeling guilty for not having fully cleared every definition of every misunderstood words. I hated wasting time clay demoing concepts that I already understood. I hated having to memorize—verbatim—lists and scales which I was sure to forget a week later. I hated having to keep student points and mark a graph. I didn’t like “putting in the time.”
I liked going to events until David Miscavige got involved and turned them into something that looked as if they’d been produced in Stepford. I hated the introductions with all the false stats; I seethed inwardly at all the lies; the over-rehearsed, false-tone-level-delivery made me want to snicker and leave. Standing up and clapping for LRH at the end of events was always an ordeal. Toward the end of my time inside the church, I stopped going to them altogether.
Going to the Org became a duty—something I had to do; something I had to suffer through if I wanted to handle what was ruining my life. Going on course was “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” Taking a vacation was the Bank talking. Life wasn’t a bed of roses and all good things came with a price. Cliché after cliché. Anything to get me to do next action.
Friends, Buddies, and Mates
I liked seeing my friends in the beginning. I liked belonging to a group. I liked the parties. I liked the weddings. I liked that we had the “tech.” What I didn’t like was not being able to talk about Scientology. I didn’t like having to tiptoe around the tech for fear of spreading “verbal data.” I wanted friends with whom I could really communicate. With whom I could talk about not only the Bridge and my own case, but the blatant mismanagement happening up lines and the declining state of my local Org and Scientology.
Communication and New Friends
I wanted friends with whom I could talk about the OT Levels and not feel as if I’d committed an overt by dropping BT bombs. “Body thetan” were two words a Scientologist in good standing never said out loud—not to himself, not to his significant other, not to anyone. Discussing The Wall of Fire was a surefire way to get declared. My first course in Scientology, The Communications Course, had also been my favorite and I wanted to apply what I’d learned. I wanted to talk freely with anyone on any subject.
Now that I’m out, I communicate more than I ever did while I was in.
I have friends who like to go out on the weekends and play instead of spending Sunday afternoons doing Student Hat for the third time. I have friends who don’t feel guilty about spending two dimes on a nice dinner instead of contributing toward an “Ideal Org.” I have friends who have creative outlets other than sorting papers in Central Files on the weekends. I have friends who agree with me that our president is not an “upstat.” I have friends who watch Aftermath with me after dinner over a nice bottle of wine. I have friends with whom I can joke without feeling like I’m a degraded being. And just so you know, none of my friends with whom I’ve talked about the OT Levels have dropped dead or developed incurable diseases.
I don’t have to withhold putting my European vacation pictures on Facebook for fear I’ll appear as some kind of dilettante. As if I’d committed some kind of crime by not spending the money on my Bridge, the IAS, a glamorous new building, or another batch of Way to Happiness booklets.
I even have friends now who are involved in “other practices!” Two therapist buddies practice psychology; one is a local politician; another just became a rabbi; a number of my friends meditate and attend Yoga classes several times a week. The horror! And yes, I even have friends who occasionally dabble in illicit drugs. Curse you, Alice B. Toklas!
Life is so much richer without looking through Scientology-tinted lenses.
Despite the process, I appreciated how much of the tech and policy added stability and foundation to an unstable life. I wanted to improve. I wanted to get better. I wanted the answers to life.
Ninety percent—probably more—of my wins in Scientology came from the training side of the Bridge. I would often—unconsciously or not— integrate what I’d studied into my life so that by the time I went in session, I’d already confronted many of the incidents while I was on course that were supposedly the cause of my troubles.
It was as if while studying the Levels, I realized how I was responsible for my condition, not some other person, so that by the time I got in session, I’d already addressed the issue, had the cogs, and had made the decisions. But that was just me.
So there existed this dichotomy: I liked learning things that I could apply to my life but I didn’t like being on course and having to put up with “ethics,” and all the organizational and bureaucratic bullshit. I wanted to pick and choose what I wanted to study. I didn’t want to write up my overts and withholds for the hundredth time. I didn’t want to have to “decide who my friends were,” again. I didn’t want to do the Basics and have to read every LRH book, cover to cover, in chronological order. I didn’t want to attend another bogus event. I didn’t want to raise funds for an “ideal” org.
I wanted to sit down with a live human being and discuss what I’d just studied. Screw writing an essay or moving around a bunch of paper clips. I wanted to analyze and dissect and talk about LRH’s bulletins and policy letters with friends and colleagues. I wanted to sort out the truth from the fiction, what was real from what was not. But of course, this kind of behavior is strictly forbidden in Scientology.
The OT Levels
I’ve always been a science fiction fan. And so, I really wanted to like OT 3 and the “Wall of Fire.” I wanted to believe I’d been shipped to Earth in a DC 8, baked in a volcano, implanted, and shoved into a meat body. And that Earth was a prison planet! Full of dissidents! I wanted to believe there was more to me and life than mere skin and bones. And yet…
Looking at the same old incidents, day after day, relying on the e-meter to tell me if what I was looking at was real wore on me as the months and years flew by. Had all these incidents actually been implanted in my mind millions of years ago? Or was I making this all up? Had all this really happened? One hundred percent certainty? Not in my head.
According to my spouse, OT 7 was even worse. I could only imagine having to “handle” thousands of disembodied spirits clinging to my body, day after day, month after month, year after year by a process called “Listing and Nulling,” all the while, relying once again on the e-meter to tell if something was handled or needed further action. I am so glad I never made it to this level!
When I was in Scientology, most of the more important decisions in my life had to be made with regards to my ascendency up the Bridge to Total Freedom. Every decision had to be completely ethical and aligned with my all my dynamics. Financial choices had to be assessed in relation to paying for my next service.
Would a particular job align with going up the Bridge? Did it pay enough and allow for time-off to fly to Flag every six months? Would going on vacation be an overt? Were having kids this lifetime an extravagance? Was investing in real estate a crime? Was spending the weekend with relatives instead of going on course an overt? Would dipping into the equity on my home to help pay for a new, “ideal” org be the right thing to do?
Life is so much better now without having to consider Scientology and going up the Bridge in my decision-making process. I’m done with assigning myself the correct condition. I’m done with writing Admin Scales to maximize future income. I’m done with setting targets and keeping track of stats. I’m done with weekly battle plans. And I’m done with feeling inferior to those Scientology “friends” higher up the Bridge.
Life is fuller when one can talk with anyone about anything without repercussions—without being tethered to a cult. I love being “open minded.” I pride myself on being “reasonable.” Life is much more fun and fulfilling now that I’m out of the Church of Scientology.
Still not Declared,