My Story - Exscnchild

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.

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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.

Note that plenty of time was dedicated to me having scientology "processing" but little time or energy was devoted to ensuring that I was either doing well in school or doing my homework from school. Indeed, at about six years old I was left to organise everything in my life - making my lunch for school, getting myself up in the morning and to school and getting myself home again. Remember children are just "thetans in small bodies" according to Hubbard and my parents took this, like everything else he wrote, literally. So at six I was considered to be able to manage all aspects of my life, despite the very obvious fact that I was not able to do this at all. As a consequence I bathed once a week at most, I didn't ever have lunch for school, I doubt I brushed my teeth more than once every six months and I was consistently late for school. At one point I had huge infected sores all up my arm and they would discharge blood and puss fairly often.

At some point the school I went to figured that something bad was happening and they contacted my parents about the lack care I received. Somehow the cult's local management got wind of this and I was placed with another scientology family for some months. In this time I was put on the scientology "purification rundown", which involved a daily regime which included taking vast doses of dietary supplements, weird concoctions of minerals drinking a mug of vegetable oil every day and sitting in a sauna for five or six hours. There's plenty of research to show that this "rundown" does not help a person's health at all, and is likely damaging due to the overly large amounts of vitamins taken.

When I was eight or nine we somehow ended up living in the local "narcanon" house, which was a huge old building. A bunch of scientologists were living there along with the public drug addicts which "narcanon" is supposed to help. I have quite fond memories of living here due to the size of the building and the fact that I was often left alone for days on end. There were other people around, but my parents were off doing what ever they were doing so I had no real supervision. The freedom was wonderful! I'd take my sleeping bag and a lamp and a book and camp out all over the place, behind couches, in old closets, a couple of times in the out buildings. But there were times I was the only person there with the public drug addicts, and in hindsight I realised that I barely escaped being sexually abused on a couple of occasions.

The break from scientology first happened in my mind when I was ten. It was quite simple - I learnt to fool the "e-meter". By holding a particular image in my mind I could cause the "e-meter" to go into "floating needle" mode. This allowed me to start to manipulate the "sessions", mostly by ending them earlier so I could have more free time after school.

Soon after this my parents decided that the cult was "out ethics" and this eventually resulted in them being "declared SPs". They ran their own covert operation for a couple of years getting copies of Hubbard's books and transcribing his lecture tapes. They became "squirrels" and started a mini cult of their own, which eventually became the "Freezone" in that city. This was the second major break for me and where I was very lucky, with this building on the fact that I could manipulate the "auditing" a real crack of reality was getting through to me. If this hadn't happened then most likely the direction of my life would have ended up very different, and I can see that I would have likely ended up in the "Sea Org", simply because I wouldn't have known what else to do with my life.

My parents continued to put me scientology processing which generally I was quite happy with as it was the only time I received anything like positive attention from them. I also found this was the only time I could speak freely and wouldn't suffer retaliation because of anything I said.

The crack of reality continued to grow, partially because of my friends and me getting involved in activities which stimulated me mentally and encouraged free thinking. As this happened my sense of wanting to be free from the abuse and from my parents attempting to control every moment of my life grew. After a number of serious run ins, my parents refused to let me go to school and I was made to do physical labour for eight to ten hours a day on their farm. Any suggestion of rebellion or disagreement was met with physical force, much greater than previously. I suppose this was my own personal "RPF", and in retrospect I can only guess that my parents took their inspiration for this "handling" from the formation of the real "RPF".

Through a friend I managed to get in contact with the social services and the result of this was that the social services decided to visit my parents and try to talk things out with them. The fall out from this was worse than I'd imagined - I couldn't walk properly for a week. My parents told me that I was "in treason", but that they were proud of me for taking my punishment so well.

Still I was not quite at breaking point and it took one more serious beating for me to finally leave. I left home in my mid-teens with a book, a hair brush, and three pairs of underwear all in a plastic bag. I went to social services and told them I was not going back. Social services examined and photographed my injuries and contacted my parents.

Seeing my parents back down to social services was an incredibly powerful moment for me. They threatened to "go to the papers" if they could not take me home. The social services people said "do that then - and we will take you to court for custody and you will lose because we have physical evidence of abuse". A few minutes later my parents were signing papers to "voluntarily" allow social services to take custody of me. This remains one of the happiest days of my life. Of course later they said that that this was all planned and done on purpose to teach me to be independent and able to "stand on my own two feet". This is something you will encounter constantly with scientologist - fact are altered or viewed in such a way to make them appear to be in control and you will find that this behaviour is consistent with many people suffering from delusional disorders. The fact that scientologists commonly exhibit such behaviour is worth bearing in mind when either dealing with them.

I spent some time in government care. I met many people whose stories remain with me, and their stories were the start of my recovery. There are a lot of messed up people out there, not just scientology. My foster parents were extremely good and loving despite not having any idea of how to deal with someone with my experiences, and I still have regular contact with them.

After leaving government care there were times in my late teens and early twenties when I really hit the bottom. Times when I lay on the floor for a week, unable to move, not drinking not eating, unable to shift my mind from the broken state it was in. There were times I sat on the floor, knife in hand, blood coming from my arm, desperately willing myself to cut deeper to bring some kind of end to my pain. I was committed to psychiatric care twice. For my whole life I had been taught to suppress and control my emotions, had no way of relating to the normal world, and I was paying the price. I had no coping mechanisms, I didn't know how to properly engage with people on an emotional level. This is the true result of scientology and scientology processing - broken people. Both the "Freezone" and scientology will tell you this is because of "out tech", which is jargon for scientology processing being done somehow wrong. In the paranoid delusional world of Hubbard all negative results of scientology processing are "out tech". There are no positive examples of scientology processing I've ever seen which couldn't be achieved more effectively with normal counselling or psychotherapy.

I got in to university as an adult student on the basis of passing an aptitude test. Studying in the real world of university was both a relief and something I couldn't cope with due to trying to cope with my mental and emotional state. Many people helped me in this time, in both small and large ways. The mental health community is largely comprised of people who have an awesome sense of caring, are well trained and deal with incredibly difficult things on a daily basis. THESE are the people who are able help, they're not evil, they're not part of a conspiracy and they are amazingly dedicated. The turning point for me came in the days after I made a serious suicide attempt. I was off my tree for a week afterwards due to the cocktail of drugs and booze I'd had, but something about the experience allowed me to start to calm internally and start to focus on something. Granted I was still a mess but I had finally gained some kind of will to survive - never the less I can't really recommend suicide attempts as a recovery mechanism!

I move countries, changed my name, experienced life, had lots of sex. Sex I can recommend as a recovery mechanism, and while me didn't always experience it in an enhancing way, it helped me to gain a sense of intimacy and comfort with people I'd not had before. I still had a lot of issues to deal with and I spent a long time on anti-depressants, simply learning to live, learning to cope and learning to be myself. After a number of years I weaned myself off the medication and have lived for almost a decade without it; medication has its place and gave me the mental breathing space to truly recover from the damage that scientology had done to me.

The real kicker about the whole scientology cult is that in one of Hubbard's lectures he describes how to control and imprison people: first you draw the curtains around them twenty feet away and you put the bars behind the curtains. Then you move the curtains in, little by little so as they don't notice. As you do this you move the bars closer too. Eventually the curtains are a foot away and so are the bars. That's how you control and imprison people. Think about it for a moment. He TOLD people how he was controlling them. The truth about scientology is right there, a bare faced declaration of what he was doing to people and what scientology continues to do to people. They're slowly immersed in the scientology culture and their ability to discern truth from lies is removed. This is what you are dealing with when you talk to a scientologist - someone who has no ability to think outside of the cage that they are in - indeed, they don't even know that they are in a cage. The good news is that once they see that they are in a cage, they can start to become free again; the cage only exists within their mind.

True there are some people in the cult who are physically restrained, such as the people in the RPF and those who have been caught in circumstances like Lisa McPherson’s. It's sad to say that if you simply released those people today they would still be caught in the cage. That said, returning to a normal life is quite achievable; if I did it on my own, anyone can do it. So don't give up hope for those who are inside, if you have loved ones, friends, family, know that there is a way out and that one day they will be free.

Life is good and life goes on. - Master Splinter

I love life, there's so much good, so many wonderful things to experience. In many ways my childhood made me the person that I am; curious, determined, and I hope caring and loving. I have my faults, don't get me wrong, but I do my best to be a good person. I've done things I'm not proud of, mostly in the throes of recovery, but I take responsibility for them, learn from them and move on. Taking responsibility is not something you will find in scientology. Freedom is not something you will find in scientology. I don't blame my parents, and I don't blame any of the individuals in scientology, they are victims just as much as I am. What they need is help to see the truth about the lies which they are caught in.

Yours,

A scientology child

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