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My Story - Exscnchild PDF Print E-mail

Names are altered. Identifying places, dates and time spans are altered. This aside it is all truth. Those who have dealt with scientology or are aware of the "fair game" policy will understand the need for this obscurity.

11th February 2008

Dear friends,

It is time for me to speak and to share my story. I have waited for many years and honestly I doubted whether I would ever write this. But recent events have prompted me to commit my story to text in hope of helping people understanding just how damaging scientology can be and showing by example that a good life after scientology is possible.

There are many who have suffered far more at the hands of the cult than me and I am writing this both for them and for those who have not yet escaped. To those who have already spoken, shared their stories, and endured harassment for doing so, I give my thanks and gratitude; your words have on many occasions carried me through dark moments. In many ways my battle has mostly been within my own mind; trying to become normal, to live a normal and happy life after the most abnormal childhood you could imagine - that of a scientologist. For the most part, I have succeeded, I am very happily settled with a beautiful lady and I have a job I enjoy. Oddly enough my parents congratulate themselves on my independence and success in life, but the truth is that I have succeeded despite their actions and despite scientology. I was very lucky not to be caught within a so-called scientology school, the "Sea org". There are plenty who did however and I salute you who also made it out as your journey to freedom was doubtless far more difficult than mine.

My greatest blessing in life is that I avoided becoming a scientologist as an adult, through sheer luck and stubbornness. Had circumstances been just a little different I could easily have become another victim of the cult of scientology, either as a mindless slave caught in the "org" (or "Freezone") or a burnt out drug addled wreck. I came very close to all three.

I know there are other second generation scientologists who made it out, I don't know you, but I know you are out there and I hope one day to share a beer or three with you. We are a unique group and are in a unique position to facilitate understanding of and help with the erosion of scientology.

For those of you who have not ever been in scientology I hope that this letter will serve to give some insight and understanding about how insidious and evil scientology can be. Once a person is caught up in the cult or has been raised in the cult, it affects every aspect of their life. Nothing outside the cult has any value (except money of course) and anything outside is looked down upon or despised. The whole jargon and language of the cult is arranged around this belief system. Those outside are termed either "wogs" or "raw meat" - being potential recruits.

For second (and later) generation scientologists this is particularly insidious as their whole understanding of the world is based in scientology. It took me the best part of fifteen years to finally understand the world as a normal person and be able to relate to people in a normal manner. I still struggle at times, but I have generally become well adjusted. I absolutely cannot stress enough the damage scientology does to children, not only in terms of blatant abuse or neglect, which is very common in scientology families, but real lasting mental damage which leaves them unable to relate to the world at large in a rational and sane manner. I know - I experienced it and this is my story.

I have to make it clear here, my story is not a one off case; many children of scientologists experienced far worse things than I did. For every scientologist family you see, you are looking at a tragedy of some kind. A broken home, years of good life lost to the cult, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt, houses sold to pay for scientology courses, family heirlooms and jewellery sold, children abandoned, neglected or abused. All that you read here and on the internet and in exposé books barely scratches the surface; many stories will never be told.

As I was an unplanned child I was, according to my parents, offered a choice a few days after being born. The choice was to stay with them and be a scientolgist, or be put up for adoption. I was told to "smile if I wanted to stay or don't smile if I wanted to go". I was less than a week old when this deal was offered to me. Apparently I smiled, thus indicating my willingness to become another slave to scientology. Let us suppose for a moment that a child less than a week old is capable of understanding speech and has the mental faculty to understand such an offer - if this was true then what child less than a week old would choose to be cast out of their family and given to strangers to raise? Absolutely none would be the correct answer there.

My parents related this tale to me many times as I was growing up, usually when I was not being the mindless drone they wanted and not "contributing" to the cause of scientology. Psychologically this was to turn the responsibility of the situation on to me rather than take responsibility themselves. It's very likely they still do not understand their unconscious motivation with regards to this.

There is a moderate chance that my parents will read this as they are now practising scientology within the "Freezone", and their opinion is doubtless that they have done nothing wrong in their raising of me. The facts speak for themselves and you'll have to make up your mind about on this. They did however honestly and deeply believe that they were doing the right and "ethical" thing for me and as such I don't blame them for their actions, they were simply doing the best that they could at the time. I do however pity them that they could see these actions as somehow morally correct.

It's worth noting that my parents were very intelligent people, some of the brightest I have ever known, and I've been lucky to meet some very bright people indeed. They could have risen to the top of what ever field they'd chosen, physics, maths, journalism, business, anything you like to consider. I count myself fortunate to have a fraction of their intelligence. With this in mind it's hard to credit how they became involved in the first place; I suppose like a lot of people in those days they were looking for something and believed they'd found it in scientology. For those who are looking for something bigger than themselves, scientology is incredibly seductive. All sorts of promises are made about the good that can be done, the goal of "clearing the planet", bringing order and ending discrimination. But when all is said and done, it's all a lie, perpetuated by people who have been brainwashed by the cult. I suspect that the people in charge of the cult now actually believe it and I also suspect that Hubbard ended up believing it himself in the end.

It's difficult to understand from the outside how people could believe some of the things that scientologists believe (you know the things I'm talking about, and if you don't then it's all on Wikipedia or
www.xenu.net). As adults we find it impossible to believe blatantly untrue things without gradual indoctrination and immersion in a different and susceptible state of mind. The cult's indoctrination practise is well documented and understood both by those who have seen it from the outside and those who have experienced it and managed to regain their sanity.

Children are unable to distinguish fantasy from reality in the same way as adults are and as a child you instinctively trust and believe anything that your parents tell you. If your parents tell you that bad children go to hell and good children go to heaven it is believed. If parents tell their children that there is no god it is believed. If a parent tells their child that they (the parent) are from "galactic core" and have been sent to Earth, which is a prison planet, on a spiritual mission to save everyone then it is believed by the child - and that is what I grew up believing. It is particularly problematic as the parent believes it and says it with conviction and lives their life as if it was true.

From my birth to around three years old I was left with government run foster homes on multiple occasions as the time needed for caring for a child was detracting from my parents "mission". I don't remember any of this, it was related to me later by my grandparents, who when they found out where I was, came and bought me home. At one point my parents had an adoption family arranged and I apparently spent some time with them; a couple of times I came home bruised, and my parents decided this was not appropriate and ended the arrangement. Considering what happened over the next ten years or so I can only conclude that they felt that they were the only ones who had the right to physically abuse me. Starting at around four or five I experienced fairly regular beatings; my parents seemed unable to "handle" me in any other way as normal scientology "handling" didn't work. On reflection I'm afraid the answer was fairly simple, and that was that I was crying out for attention. If a child can't get positive attention they start to seek negative attention, and it is fairly easy for a child to fall into a pattern where they want attention and the only way to get it is to provoke a negative reaction. There are a few moments which particularly stand out; once I was screaming so much as I was being hit that a builder working next door came to find out what was happening. I've no idea what he was told but he was fobbed off with some lame comment. Another was, after being given some money to buy some cheese for myself to eat before an "auditing session" and having been asked about it I told them I'd bought a particular brand which happened to be processed cheese, which resulted in a massive punch and a scream "don't ever buy that f--king marcabian crap again". Nb. Check out "marcab" on Google if you don't know what it means.

When I was six I was started on scientology "auditing" which is the practise of scientology counselling - I use the term counselling with hesitation as it is not accurate. "Auditing" is in reality an active hypnotic experience with prompts by the "auditor" to lead to a desired mental experience. A lot of people come away from the experience feeling like they've gained something mentally or have had a "win" of some sort. Even if you can get free or low cost "auditing" from those outside the organised cult, I would strongly suggest the more traditional methods of dealing with life's difficulties - friends, relaxation techniques, education, or counselling from a qualified professional. Generally these come without the kind of baggage and strange beliefs which can alienate you from the rest of society. Personally I have had great success with psychotherapy, and without the help of these dedicated professionals I would likely not have made it so far into my life to write this account.

Soon after starting "auditing" I was put on the "communication course". This involves many hours sitting doing scientology "training routines" or "TRs"; the first of which is to sit staring at another person until they decide you are "out TR" and they call "flunk". "Out TR" includes excessive blinking, breaking of eye contact, fidgeting, scratching an itch or any other normal spontaneous behaviour or just because the other person feels like calling a "flunk". This practise can often continue for hours. Later "TRs" include sitting while the other person screams, shouts abuse, makes jokes, physically threatens or actually carries out minor physical abuse such as pushing, grabbing an arm or around throat; the subject is taught to not react in any way except that proscribed by scientology indoctrination, which is generally something along the lines of "I'll repeat the question, do fish swim?". You can imagine the damage this causes to a child's developing social ability at that age - I learnt not to react to anything, teasing, jokes, conversation, and normal childhood playing. I became somewhat of a social pariah at school, I was definitely the weird kid. Three decades on and I still occasionally have problems reacting to social situations in a natural way, particularly when I am tired or stressed. Most of the time I am pretty good any my reactions are actually genuine and spontaneous for the most part, but people who spend any length of time around me do see at times that I can be a cold fish. I have particular trouble picking up on ordinary social cues which most people instinctively understand.

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