The story of Sasha Zbitnoff

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by MarkWI, Oct 8, 2007.

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  1. MarkWI

    MarkWI Patron Meritorious

    The following is a post appeared on ARS the 3 of october. I just loved it. :thumbsup:

    Thank you Sasha for telling your story. :clap:

  2. SarahNW

    SarahNW Patron

    I read Sasha's letters to and from someone named Paula, which are posted online at the link above. I don't know either of them, but I've heard Sasha's name before. I just want to say that I'm completely blown away by how Sasha handled the whole situation. He is understanding, patient, and thoughtful of others' beliefs.

    I have read dozens, if not hundreds of personal accounts of those who left, and while I agreed with most of them, they all contained something that made me think "Well, this guy's right, but from a Scientologist's perspective, that's an SP thing to do". (This is not meant as an insult to anyone who left - I fall into this category as well and I think it's almost impossible to leave without validating a Scientologists perception of an "SP". Bear with me.) This account is the first that really made me think, as I can't find a single moment in which Sasha acted badly, or gave anyone a valid reason to think he was an SP. Yes, he yelled at one of his friends at one point, but I think there's only so much ridiculousness someone can take. I yelled at everyone a good deal more than that. ;)

    I used to wonder if I'd handled my situation with a little more patience and a little less raging around if I'd have been able to salvage my personal relationships. But I see now that when you're challenged to make a choice between Scientology and disconnection, there's only one "acceptable" answer as far as the cult is concerned, which is "Oh please, let me come in for some handling, I was wrong." Yeech.

    Thank you, Sasha. I hope your life is full of happiness, warmth and joy.
  3. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    Does anyone know how to get a hold of Sasha? Curious. I wonder if her is still friends with Robert Klien, who is an old mutual friend....
  4. MarkWI

    MarkWI Patron Meritorious

  5. AppleDelphi

    AppleDelphi New Member

    I know Robert Cline still.
    Who is this?
  6. SchwimmelPuckel

    SchwimmelPuckel Genuine Meatball

    ^^^ I alerted Bea to this.. :)

    Wecome to ESMB Sasha!

  7. AppleDelphi

    AppleDelphi New Member

    Thank you for the kind analysis of my story. It played such a vital role in who I came to be. Now Scientology is but a memory, but the process of leaving certainly played a significant role in who I've come to be. Thanks for the thoughtful review.
  8. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Belated thanks to MarkWI for reporting my 2007 'analysis'.....

    Hi Sasha, Mary McConnell here. So nice to hear from you on ESMB!. I hope you, Helen and the kids are well.

    It was 7 years ago that I wrote that post about your Letters To A Scientologist on ARS. Your story is one of the most important ever written and put on the internet. It really made a mark on me, just as I know it has helped so many others understand what it was like to be a 2nd Gen scientologist and how you were able to rise above it all, leave and create a better life which you might not have ever had if things had gone differently.

    I know good things came of this for you and your family and that you have moved on (deservedly so!). However, Your Letters to a Scientologist are preserved forever at the Internet Archived and can be found here for those who have not read them of Contents.htm

    I am glad to see that you have continued on your journey and are enjoying a real life without Scientology. Thanks for stopping by. :thumbsup:

    ( Formerly Out_Of_The_Dark )
  9. Boson Wog Stark

    Boson Wog Stark Patron Meritorious

    I read Sasha's letters, using Mary's link (post above), which seemed to be the only one that worked for me. In spite of being a little heavy on the semicolon, they are beautifully written. He tells his story and expresses what was going on in his head well.

    As a never-in, one of the most striking things about Sasha's correspondence to me, and one of the things which is true in Scientology, in general, is that for many Scientologists, a Scientologist's care and concern for friends, classmates and family seems to revolve around how they stand with the Church. The primacy of how active in Scientology they are, how much their spending on classes and processing, what a person thinks about the Church (in a positive way), stands above all else, including how a person is feeling, their health, what they are doing, and what they are thinking, especially when that thinking has something to do with doubting any aspect of Scientology, which in Sasha's case, was the church in which he grew up.

    All roads lead to,"How do you stand with Scientology?" as if that's all that matters. If there's a little doubt in there, the remedy is an $8,000 course package. All doubt must be wiped or processed out. It's not something a friend can talk about with you; it's something you must pay for professionally. It doesn't matter if you're dying of cancer, get married and have a family, or win a Nobel Prize, all that matters is that you still buy into L. Ron and the cult, and KSW.

    While this may be how some Christians function, particularly some in fundamentalist groups, it is is NOT how most Christians function. And even in the fundamentalist groups, the path one might be directed toward if one's faith is faltering, would usually be prayer, free counseling or participation in something relatively low cost.

    One of the most mind-blowing aspects of it all is that Hubbard read what he wanted to read. Hubbard dabbled in the occult and sex rituals. Why are clams only supposed to read, study and follow only Ron? Why aren't they allowed to explore other avenues of philosophy and thinking? Do they honestly think no one else came up with anything of value, no one else thought or did things which are worth reading about?

    What saddens me about Sasha's story is that he had three things working in his favor, to help him find his way out of the cult, which a lot of other clams don't have. His mother was disenfranchised, therefore more receptive to his doubts. He was in a head-on collision and in a coma for a week. (That is the kind of experience which can really shift your reality.) And he then went off to college to study philosophy, the latter which is comprised not only of learning about the ideas of the great philosophers, of which Hubbard was not one, but of learning to ask questions, and usually the big, important questions.

    It makes me sad because a lot of cult kids won't have that. I'm hoping the Internet will outweigh all those things for the modern clam kid.

    Sasha also had the intelligence to use what he learned in Scientology, including many of Hubbard's own arguments, to bolster his conviction that there is a major contradiction in the robotic control Scientologists seem to want to exert over each other, what you should be buying into, with their absurd notion of superiority, with the main idea of "what is true for you is what is true." The process of waking up and recovering from Scientology invariably involves questioning these contradictions, recognizing the bait (total freedom) and switch (prison of belief), and the fear which is used to control and string a person along.

    And, again, if Hubbard explored all these different areas, why shouldn't the Scientologist also do that, and learn to question the status quo, including the ideas in Scientology and the real life of Hubbard. What happens when you find out what was true for you, because it was taught to you by the Church, conflicts will well-documented historical facts.

    Relating Hubbard's power to manipulate and control to that of a school friend, and the way Sasha overcame that when the friend threatened to ruin him, I think is also a lesson in how to deal with Scientologists. They need to be told that attempting to be so certain about everything Hubbard said is a little nuts, and puts people in the position to be easily manipulated, for the purposes of extracting money. They need to be confronted boldly with the challenge that Scientology is way too expensive to even clear Clearwater, let alone the planet, and that so much of it leads back to dumping extraordinary amounts of money. This is money that the vast majority of people do not have.

    Sure, it's fun to think anything is possible with the tech, and that's it's magical, and that the planet will soon be clear, but how from reality is that. And where is Shelly?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2014
  10. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Update Bump

    2012 Video Sasha Zbitnoff ex 2nd gen. Scientologist and Steve Hassan 11-12
  11. Demented Hubbatd

    Demented Hubbatd Patron with Honors

    Welcome to the board. You're a brave person, Sasha!
  12. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    Maxim "Mox" Zbitnoff, Sasha Zbitnoff's father, passed away yesterday. You may have to be logged into Facebook to access Maxim's profile at the hyperlinked name.

    Sasha wrote a beautiful tribute to him on Facebook. I thought it should be noted here because, although Sasha and his father, were long since reconnected by the time his Letter were first published on his and his wife's old site ( now archived here Letters.htm ) some might have forgotten that fact due to all that Sasha wrote in the letters.

    Sasha was a 2nd Gen ex-Scn, raised by parents who were scientologists but are no longer in. This is encouraging for those hopeful for such an outcome for their own loved ones

    Some facts about Maxim 'Mox" Z:

    Maxim’s 7th September, 2009 Through The Door Exit Interview

    Ex-Scientologist story #106, Biggest “Win” was leaving.

    ( excerpting the above interview...)

    [..] What did Max think of his time in Scientology?

    Some of the biggest wins I had were leaving the church and realizing that there was no one, no technology that would ‘save’ me or deliver me to some elevated state other what I am.[..]

    Condolences to Mox Z's family and friends.
  13. Mimsey Borogrove

    Mimsey Borogrove Crusader

    It is truly sad you find out people you knew as scientologists had left Scientology's orbit until they have passed and you can no longer chat with them. I knew Max, so I am very sorry to find out he passed.

  14. AnonyMary

    AnonyMary Formerly Fooled - Finally Free

    :sorry: for your loss, Mimsey.