- I first become acquainted with the Church of Scientology in 2005 through Dianetics. I did the Dianetics course online and then emailed the Dianetics team as to where I could go to know more about Dianetics and Scientology. When I got to the org, I did a personality test, called the Oxford Capacity Analysis (OCA), then I watched a film called Orientation. Afterwards, I was booked in to see a Dianetics Auditor who would give me a free introductory session.
- What initially appealed to me about scientology was that I was already impressed with Dianetics, I had read it in three days and felt that Hubbard had done a lot of good and hard work with his discoveries on the mind and its rehabilitation. At the time, I saw the logic in becoming successful once I was able to handle myself and my environment properly and with strength and confidence.
- There were problems in my life that I thought scientology would address. Yes, I had problems keeping a job, the last one I had before reading Dianetics I left, as I was feeling so depressed one morning that I didn't get out of bed. So, depression was another. I was kind of lacking in confidence when I was on my own. With friends I would put up a bravado as I was the funny one. I wanted to be successful in my life and get my affairs in order without the need to commit suicide afterwards. Strange statement, but I know that's what some people do before they kill themselves, get things in order with family and friends, etc. but I wanted to do it and carry on with life.
- I did experience and hear about things that didn't seem right while I was in the Church of Scientology. The first thing that I can vividly recall that got me very concerned was the first IAS (International Association of Scientologists) meeting I attended at my nearest org, which was Manchester. The women who were running the event were Ginger Smith and Nicole Fordham. I was okay with the presentation, but it was the fund raising at the end of the meeting that began to scare me and I got really angry inside that people were being badgered to “donate” money to what is meant to be a worthy cause. The time went on and I was picked out to donate something and when I said I didn't have any money, my friend at the time who was on staff at the org, interjected and said I was brand new, so Ginger left me alone.
- I did feel hemmed in and felt like I wasn't allowed to leave, then when the time was right, I left or I would have missed my last train. I remember going down stairs to the front door and when a guy saw me, he said that the door was locked and did I need to leave. I said yes and thinking he would try and keep me in, he unlocked and opened the door, to my relief.
- In November 2007 I went to the US Embassy in London to apply for a visa to go the Florida where the Flag Land Base is, so I could train there to be an Auditor. The process to obtain a visa was fraudulent. Here is the main content of a letter & email I sent to various people in charge of immigration and also several radio stations who has been investigating Scientology.
“Dear Sir or madam,
I recently sent an e-mail to the US Embassy (London) and the US and also Border Control on each side regarding information I have from experience regarding [Scientology] church members applications for an R1 (Religious Worker) Visa for UK citizens going to the States.
I have also written to Nathan Baca, KESQ, as well. Here goes:
I must bring to your attention the situation regarding R1 (Religious Worker) visa applications of members of the Church of Scientology based in the UK who have to travel to Clearwater, Florida, U.S. for training at the Flag Land Base. I'm writing from personal experience.
Staff trainees are told to tell the staff at the US Embassy in London, that they are attending 'religious seminars' as part of their training as an 'apprentice minister' for the duration of about a year, and they are given documents from different departments within their own church and the upper exec strata to present to the embassy officials. They are also drilled on what to say in a mock interview.
I was one of these people, I was basically told to lie to the embassy and was to avoid saying that I was going to the US to study, which was in fact the truth. New staff members who have been chosen to train in Florida are told that they will get a longer visa, even be lucky to get one at all, if they say what I mentioned above and NOT say the words 'training', 'study' or 'work'.
The plain truth is that they go to Clearwater to train to work on a post within the church, often passed off as 'pastoral counselling' to the embassy.
There is a training area within Flag called the Hubbard College of Improvement where most of the studying and training is done and they are not officially a minister until most of the way through their training, Level/Class IV Auditor, then they get ordained, as I did. They are in no way a minister before they arrive in the US and in no way a religious worker. They, as I was, are students, plain and simple who study, train, work and live for periods of some years.
I was very nervous that I had to lie to embassy officials in order to get a visa. I was not attending any religious seminars, none whatsoever!
I am no longer a member of the church.
The above is true. “
- I choose to stay in the Church of Scientology because of the friendliness of staff, the auditing I received, and the materials were good. They are very clever people who deceive you with niceties to keep you in. The constant validation, the love thing, in cult studies it has been given the name, “Love Bombing”, so much love and praise that you can't help but like what you're involved in.
- I was public for a couple of years and then I went to a recruitment drive and got on staff to become an auditor, as I was already a trained professional Dianetics auditor as a public my natural progression was to train as a Scientology Auditor. This was at an org.
- I was on the TTC (Technical Training Corps) at Manchester to train up to and including Class V Graduate Auditor, or Grad V for short. I spent most of my time in the course room training on the Training side of the Bridge and processing on the processing side of the Bridge, I did Purif, TR's & Objectives.
- I was sent to Florida to train at the Flag Land Base, or FLAG as it is known, in Clearwater, Florida.
- I have never been in the Sea Org, however, I did sign a contract, but was not qualified to join officially.
- The reasons why I had left the Church of Scientology are several. I had not been happy in the Church for a long time and had a major problem with the wages that one got as a staff member, sometimes I would get £3, sometimes I would get £110 pounds, all this for a 55+ hour week. This insecure way of earning money was grinding me down, I was not looking after myself, I smelt bad, my hair was matted, I was behind in rent from three flats/apartments I had previously lived in and left without notice. I then lived with other Scientologists which was uncomfortable.
- During my time at Flag, I had seen more than enough. It was like something from a US Marine based film, like Full Metal Jacket. All the Navy style uniforms that the personnel wore. Don't get me wrong, there were some mega hot totty/ladies in the Sea Org out there, but I was helpless to chat them up as it was forbidden under pain of being declared SP and off-loaded/sent back to your org, disgraced. The Chief Ethics Officer for the Outer Org Trainees, a guy called Matteo, was an absolute shit, what a bastard! He used to make us do press-ups every morning 'close order drilling' such as “Left face, right face, about turn, at ease, half-right face”, etc. if we were out of sync, more press ups for everyone, including, girls, and men and women who were in their in 50's and 60's.
- I ended up with a fever of a 103.7 F, borderline brain-frying fever. I was sent to ISO (quarantine for sick trainees). I was in there for 19 days and pissed off the execs as it looked bad on Scientology. While I was in there, I considered suicide by swallowing some very poisonous chemical called Virex, which we used to fumigate the ISO men's bedroom of anything bacterial or viral. When it's diluted, its okay to a point, but I wanted to drink a sachet of the neat stuff which would have finished me in minutes, however, I thought of my family and friends too much. I really didn't think that I would ever get out of Flag. I wrote a letter to the Ethics Office, and to my surprise, they had already planned my departure, basically, they were going to offload me anyway....result!!!
- Let me tell you, once I had my offload finalised, ticket bought, and got back to the motels, I was happier than Scrooge on Christmas morning.
- That was short lived the nearer to Manchester I got, upon my entry into Manchester, I was feeling very jet lagged and worried, yet relieved to be back in Manchester.
- I stayed at a Scientologists house and slept for a full day, I was struggling to want to go back into the org, but did anyway.
- Upon my arrival at the org, I was greeted with smiles and “how are you's”. Apart from a couple of execs who had looks like fire. I still went through the motions of a returning ethics interview on the meter. Then got on with being back on staff, which was always strained.
- It came up in another ethics interview I had with a Sea Org Missionaire that I had financial irregularities, or debts, in laymen's terms. So the handling was to look for work outside the org. Yes!, I said to myself, I can get off of staff and earn money.
- I must bring to your attention at this point, that I in fact, had very little debts, not the £19,000 that I made out to the org. More like £1,900. I found work and loved every minute of it, I came into the org when they needed me for meaningless tasks as part of my ethics handling.
- I became intrigued by the protests that were occurring outside the org. I went online and communicated with an anonymous member and began to really open my eyes to what was really going on in Scientology.
- The first time I'd heard about the protests was while I was at Flag, from November 2007 to July 2008. I remember the day very well.
- We were all mustered into the dining hall in the Clearwater Building and the Deputy Captain of the Outer Org Trainees, Mr. Jason Hemphill (nice surname), informed us that we were going to be eating our meals in the Coachman building as there were going to be protesters outside the building and nobody was allowed to leave. I did begin to get a little scared, as per the usual Scientology way of making a mountain out of a molehill due to their inept skills at trying to frighten one out of one's mind, as well as body.
- For Scientologists at that time, it became very inconvenient as students were not getting fed properly and people were not sessionable to receive any auditing as they could not eat proper food. So, the protesting was working!
- I never really saw any protesters properly until I returned from Flag and Manchester Anons protested every month. I felt a little intimidated by the GF(guy falks) masks, however, I was beginning to see the light once I had gone online and seen exactly how big and worldwide the protests actually were and the impact they were having.
- Whenever there was information in the org that the protest was happening, all the staff and public were told not to speak to any of them or take any literature. The police also got involved, not that anything ever happened, they liased between the protesters and org staff, mainly the DSA and HES, sometimes the ED. I remember being given a box file with loads of data in it about Fair Gaming being wrong and it having been stopped ages ago, stuff on Lisa Macphearson about how wrong all the 'Black PR' is, basically trying to dead agent all the stuff that Scientology is scared about people knowing is fact.
- My involvement in communicating with people from Anonymous was what got me suspended from the org and totally opened my eyes to the sinister, money-grabbing, brainwashing cult that is Scientology.
- Okay, I need you to take this in very carefully. At the org, they had an Ethics Amnesty, you wrote down your Overts and Witholds to a point where you felt good, attested to it on the meter, then went on your way, as it was an “Amnesty”, forgive and forget.
- Not in my case.......When they saw that I had been communicating with Anonymous, I was approached in reception by the Executive Director, who presented me with a Court of Ethics Summons on yellow (goldenrod) paper. I confirmed that this was true and I was suspended for four weeks. I thought this was an Amnesty, weird huh?
- That was the point that I said to myself, “Fuck this!”. And tried to avoid the org like the plague. I was ordered in to have a Security Check (Sec Check) and left during it.
- I asked my dad to buy me a coach ticket to their house, much to their relief that I was coming out of Scientology for good. I planned my escape from the Scientology household I was living in, and then get on the coach and that, as they say, is that!!!