Archive for July, 2010

Leaving scientology took me  three years.

Training in scientology for me was near impossible. I say impossible because as someone who was determined to do it “right” leaving behind no be-deviling misunderstood words, no glibly understood material, no unmastered drills, and my favorite bugaboo “no doubts or reservations”, I didn’t make much progress.  And I was a difficult task master to satisfy.  But whatcha gonna do when the whole agonizing future of every man, woman and child, not to mention my own self is hanging in the balance of the success or failure of this subject being broadly applied… first here on planet earth, then the next planet and the next and the next.  So goes the dream laid out by L. Ron Hubbard.

Twenty-two years into this movement and I was still a disaster as a student of it.  I’d studied Level O three times.  That alone would make me an expert in the field of communication according to Hubbard.  But I wasn’t.  I felt more like the star of an old Woody Allen movie.  It wasn’t that I didn’t learn anything or get anything out of it…. I just was what I was.  And I wanted effortless ease and competence.   That’s what the man said.  My experience in study was looking up word after word which would often put me to sleep which according to the required study methodology meant there was no doubt more words I’d passed I didn’t understand.  And then the drills.  One of the most famous being TRO where you are supposed to sit in front of another person with eye contact and just be there without any wiggles, winks or blinks (later explained as no unnatural blinks).  My conclusion after many hours of dedication to this activity as if I were a  zen monk seeking enlightenment was that it wasn’t possible.   Or maybe after I was some higher level of attainment in scientology’s ascending hierarchy I could do it.  At this point I was already OT5, having done the famous OT3 wall of fire and supposedly “free from overwhelm”, and I was Clear which I would have thought would have rendered me clear headed and sane.

When the Key to Life Course came out I jumped on it. The answer to study difficulties was here.  What it is, is a well illustrated study of basic English done  in a unique way along with a fascinating process using clay figures representing your own problems.  After almost a year on it I was kicked off… and I don’t blame them. With a partner I’d gone over all the small words of English (of, for, at, as, etc)  making examples of each of their senses and most of the grammar giving me a fresh grasp of the language and communication.   But I was getting pretty fried on the  oral reading of the material to your partner that required he stop you if you made any unnatural glitches or pauses in the reading whereupon you had to find and look up some misunderstood word you surely had passed.  I now had to do the PTS/SP course about anti social personalities and how to deal with them and become a class 4 auditor before continuing. I made it through the PTS/SP course…. the hardest part being listening to the melodramatic “Can We Be Friends” tape. Would I send that to someone to make friends or heal a rift on the subject of scientology…. not a chance.

I persisted all the way through to become Class 3 auditor over a few years. Did I say full time…though to full time students who were on staff I must have looked like a dilettante.  Perhaps my biggest lesson was learning the art of patience and letting things unfold. It wasn’t like I didn’t have a clue about auditing as I’d years before audited dianetics for a short while at AOLA for paying clients. I was just compelled to do it “right”. Not that I really did but it was my rationale and what I was “trying” to do.

As I was completing Level 3 I ran into  Bare-Faced Messiah…. an unauthorized bio of LRH. While my jaw dropped at some of the heretofore unknown facts about the man all in all my impression was the guy was human just like me. I wanted to talk to my fellow scientologists about this L. Ron Hubbard but knew it wouldn’t fly.

Even Sisyphus deserves a break.

Summer 1994.  One of my sisters had a construction project to do. I am a licensed building contractor. So I headed for Northern California and got involved in building a covered arena for horse riding.

My sister in the meantime had gone a bit new age and had some channeling tapes. I was curious as I’d heard about this phenomenon but knew nothing about it. So with the superior sense that what they had to say couldn’t possibly compare to scientology’s wisdom I began listening to them as I drove back and forth from the jobsite.

What the channeled beings said was kind of simple stuff but really resonnated. In fact, I thought it was so right on that  surely some OT8s who had exited their bodies must be involved…. such was my faith in the scientology mythos. What these beings known as the Pleiadians shared was love yourself, don’t bother with teachers who don’t come from love, you are a sovereign being, how could infinite creation only supply one person with all the answers (and not the rest of us), and the one that had me stumped for a while: you are it.

A crack was open for me to look at my devotion to scientology. I had been hoping Hubbard, the tech and the organization would do what it took to turn me into a god. I’d been doing my best to follow the rules so I could get the golden reward of OTness (access to the innate power of spirit) and open the way for others.  Now I was beginning to see I was denying my own self and my own power and that wasn’t gonna work no more…. thank god!

Saying “I love you”

After following a suggestion to look in the mirror every day and say “I love you” I had this  shift and felt filled with love…. for self and everyone. I was amazed and delighted how interesting and beautiful people were… even those non-scientologist, “who weren’t even trying”.  I was alive with creativity and produced many projects that I could have barely conceived of before.

Next I was questioning who had the right to tell me what I could read or who I could talk to. When I got online I looked at all that was said about scientology at the time. Gulped twice then  read so-called versions of OT 8 and 9 that were supposed to be highly confidential and possibly harmful to those not ready.  Later I freely talked to a psychiatrist… deemed congenitally evil in the scientology world…  only to find he was just a fellow traveler. (I’d once turned down a construction project handed to me by an architect because the client was  a psychiatrist.)

In 1996 I had reason to travel to Southern California at the time of Ron’s Birthday… the most revered celebration in the church. I went to the event. Found I could not participate in all the obligatory standing ovations… just couldn’t do it…. so I hung out in the hall and talked to others out there.

By then I knew I was cooked as a scientologist though I didn’t quite admit it. A year later I confirmed it by writing letters to some people I knew. The hardest part was letting go of the two fold belief I’d developed: 1) that there was a route to total freedom I could follow and 2) that if I didn’t do it or “we” didn’t succeed  there’d be a heap of trouble. Pain and unconsciousness forever is one version scientology hell.   So convinced was I it took a lot of courage to go beyond. Also there was losing the camaraderie of the community and the star high ideal of doing nothing less than bringing back to rights the entirety of creation.

Spiritual beings having a human experience

I still love the idea that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And to my friends who still consider themselves scientologists or love the tech, if it is helping you and others pay me no mind.  Having found my own way I love you more than ever….. doesn’t mean I’m any more sane though.  To put my leaving experience in a scientology context I would say it was akin to a super duper OT level and stepping off the bridge to freedom was for me like stepping across the bridge to freedom.

Helpful along the way as I transitioned out of my fixed beliefs were family members such as my ex-almost-wife Robin who made her presence felt, listened but didn’t try to tell me how to think and my son Sasha who loves me way more than I deserve 😉  Plus I spent a few years very close to nature at a farm/resort run by another sister and her husband in a remote part of Northern California.  There is nothing like nature to help you find out who you are.

Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field.  I’ll meet you there.



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