Following is a report from our Special Correspondent in Western Africa.
My Story by ‘Emeke Amanze
My adventure in Scientology began in January 2002 when I came across a Dianetics flier. Within hours of receiving the flier, I located Lagos, Nigeria msn, bought DMSMH, and read it. It made a lot of sense, and I became a frequent visitor to the msn.
In August 2004, I joined staff at the msn. I was the only staff, so I wore the hat of PES. My duties were primarily to disseminate Dianetics by distributing promos, and selling Book one to raw public. I also doubled as the receptionist and handled clerical cycles.
Learning about the mind, spirit, and life in general holds a particular attraction for me, and my reasons for joining staff were to get tech training, processing, and then start helping others in return. Together with a handful of Lagos public Scientologists, the MH and I put in a lot of effort to disseminate Scientology using Dianetics as an entry point. We organised Dn seminars, LRH Birthday events, MV events, and delivered VM courses.
Lagos msn was the only msn in West Africa, and our goal was to build up a delivery team, and start serving the public in Nigeria, and the English speaking public in the region. As with all pioneering ventures, we ran into a lot of obstacles, the major of which were: recruiting trainees, raising funds to pay for training in a CL V Org abroad (We chose Jo’burg Org because of proximity, and economic reasons), and handling the ever difficult visa cycle. These counter-efforts persisted, and despite a lot of perseverance on my part, in March 2006, after three years on staff, I left and started preparing to go to college.
Between 2007 and 2011, I successfully completed my college cycle at the University of Lagos, all the while applying all I learnt from Scn, especially Study Tech.
Now, coming to the present time; and to the main theme of my story. Sometime in March this year, after about a 7-year hiatus from Scn, I had a comm cycle with another Scientologist. Our discussion was about getting back together to revive the msn. At a point in the conversation, I originated that there was apparently something wrong with the leadership of Scn as a movement, and that I felt that it was the major reason for our lack of progress, and failure to expand.
Let me also add that, as per earlier indoctrination, I had religiously avoided looking at anti-Scn data, either on the internet, or any source. Despite this precaution, my doubts, question marks, and confusions grew steadily. I just couldn’t say what it was. I dealt with my distress by shrugging them off, and trying to see things in a positive light.
A few days after, I decided to “research” Scn online. It was mind-blowing! First, I stumbled on the BBC Panorama Documentaries featuring some ex-Sea org members. I recognised Mike Rinder from the old Scn mags I used to read at the msn. Next, I arrived at his blog- Something Can be Done About it. Not knowing what to expect, I carefully read the blog’s four Important Articles: 31 Factors by Marty Rathbun; Debbie Cook’s New Year’s Email; A Letter from Garcia; and DROR Centre Independence.
It was then it “hit me”. In the space of a few days I clearly REALIZED the source of my earlier doubts and confusions. And as I continued to LOOK, my tone level began to rise. From boredom to anger. And then to enthusiasm. It’s just like what I learnt in Dn. I mean, it was like running an engram. You feel the doubts, pains, and confusions, but you are unable to pinpoint the exact source, because it exists outside the scope of your awareness. Then the auditor helps you locate and confront the engram. Then, all of a sudden, you KNOW. And with that KNOWING comes relief.
Thanks to my decision to observe for myself, I now know inter alia why Scn is not expanding anywhere in the world. In Nigeria, the most populous black nation, with a population of over 162.5 million people, we can only boast of a handful of Scientologists (only a few of this few have been able to do any major Bridge actions). There are no tech trained terminals. To put it in clear terms: “Scientology is non-existent in my country.”
Thanks to the internet, and to the courage and integrity of Independent Scientologists, all the abuses, malfeasance, embarrassing outpoints and outright treachery have now been exposed for all to see. I need not harp on them. I believe that there is ample evidence that these allegations are true. I find it curious that the CoScn leadership’s only reaction to these allegations (apart from denying them) has been to recruit an army of PI’s and goon squads to harass, intimidate and discredit their critics. All these they’ve done to the point of comical absurdity.
Also, the fact that some exiting Sea Org members have been offered cash payments (hush money) to keep mum about their experiences while on staff is a clear indication that something fishy is going on.
In view of the foregoing, I now consider myself an Independent Scientologist, and all I hope for is that the downward trend be reversed, and the technologies of Dianetics and Scientology will be preserved and made available to all genuine “seekers” (not just the rich and powerful). And that those Scientologists who are still trapped behind the “Orwellian Iron Curtain” will take a cue from history and begin to realise that “Comrade Napoleon is not always right!”