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Saturday, 22 December 2012
Kendra's Scientology Story PDF Print E-mail
Personal Stories - Born into Scientology

Still, I was confused. I knew I liked my incense a hell of a lot more than I liked that course room. My incense never wrote pink sheets. And besides, hadn't Ron researched other religions? Wouldn't he want us to do the same?

I would have laughed it off with my best friend, but my best friend was taking a long holiday at the lovely Mace Kingsley Ranch school, enjoying a delightful medley of hard labor, Scientology indoctrination sessions, and social isolation. Busy as she was scrubbing fence posts in the snow, she was unavailable for comment.

I would have discussed the issue with my parents, but they'd been gone at FLAG on their six-months-check for, ironically, about six months by then.

Again, there's more to these stories, but those things were my main impetus for leaving. I announced I was no longer a Scientologist. A few days later, my private line began to ring off the hook, with the parents of my friends calling me to tell me I was unwelcome at their homes, unwelcome to spend time with their children, and that I would continue to be unwelcome until I was back in good standing with the church. They told me I was a criminal. They told me I was losing my chance at eternity. They told me I totally had poopy pants.

No one was home that night. I cried for hours, and the phone kept ringing.

At the request of my parents, Sea Org members began to appear at the house. They waited in the living room with my parents until I agreed to speak to them. They clustered in little groups around the coffee table, discussing my case while I made a Point™ by playing Rage Against the Machine at full volume from behind the closed door of my room. They came day after day. My parents, who really did believe that I was losing my one shot at eternity by leaving the church, begged me to talk to them.

Everyone I knew, loved and respected insisted that if I really wanted to leave Scientology, I could. No problem. I just had to get a security check (akin to a confessional, but using the e-meter), and submit to a couple other teensy weensy processes. Since Scientology doctrine states that the only reason you'd ever want to leave is if you'd done something wrong, or had hidden "crimes", the Sea Org members insisted that I do this confessional. As long as it was discovered that I had no crimes against the church, I'd be free to go. I was promised it would take no longer than a month.

So every day, for several hours after school, I'd head down to Celebrity Center, into the basement and past the kitchens where the ethics section is. I sat down with my auditor on the e-meter, and she asked me such probing, intellectually stimulating questions as, "Did you ever blow up a planet?", "Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard?" and "How many psychedelic unicorns does it take to change a light bulb?"

Eight months later, the security check wasn't finished, and there was no end in sight. It finally dawned on me that the EP, or "end phenomenon" of the security check was that I would say, "I don't want to leave Scientology any more." I told my auditor that I'd figured this out, but that that simply wasn't going to happen. The sec checks miraculously stopped.

At the time, I thought I'd won some great victory in having the sec checks called off. I thought I'd really made it through the ringer and was out the other side, with Scientology well behind me. Which was a rather silly assumption, in retrospect, as I'd already started working for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR).

See, I wasn't a Scientologist. I knew that much. But my family being what it was, I had been raised on the concept – nay, the Fact – that psychiatry was the ultimate evil in the universe. Scientology itself may have made me uncomfortable for reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on at the time, but a hatred of psychiatry and a fear of psychiatrists was in my blood.

Also, I thought being a super-spy would be pretty rad, and it looked like I had a pretty good shot of getting into the research division, which is where most of the super spying takes place.

In all seriousness, though, I think it's here that we come to the heart of what I believe makes Scientology kids tick. One of the most addictive things about Scientology – and this may or may not go double for those raised in CoS – the constant feeling that you are part of the Universal Struggle. When you are a Scientologist, you are frequently told that you are fighting for the side Light in some vaguely-defined galactic battle for the future. Your fight is bigger than Earth, bigger than the solar system. By applying and spreading LRH tech, you personally are giving the universe real hope. You with me here? L. Ron Hubbard is Yoda, and you and everyone you know is a Luke Skywalker. Simply by existing, by the mere fact that you are Moving Up the Bridge, you are a warrior. You are the last action hero. Losing is not an option! I challenge anyone to look into their heart of hearts and tell me that if they ever found a cause that they considered worthy, as we considered that cause worthy, that they wouldn't join it.

Imagine feeling that big, that important, that powerful every day of your life. And now imagine discovering it was all a lie.

I know a huge problem for a lot of my friends that have left Scientology, is that they realize that they're just average people. There is no great battle against the psychs. In fact, the "psychs", as defined by Scientology, don't actually exist. Many of them, myself included, look and look and look for something to fill that hole, anything – politics, religion, work – and can't find it.

Anyway, my point is that even though I wasn't a Scientologist anymore, I was newly "out". I still felt that driving need to defeat some large and ill-defined enemy. I figured that joining CCHR would be a good way to pursue that purpose. I told myself that I wasn't doing this for Scientology, I was "handling the psychs" so that every religion could be free to flourish. Somehow, though, I knew better than to say that out loud.

And so began my last year in Scientology.

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