Leaving the Sea Org?


New Member
A friend of mine comes from a family of Scientologists (but is not actually one herself), apparently one of her family members was in the Sea Org and left but remained a devoted Scientologist. I didn’t ask for details as she is embarrassed about her family’s beliefs but it did make me curious.

Does this happen often? I’ve only ever heard of people either leaving the Sea Org and quitting the entire religion (or being declared) or leaving the Sea Org to start a family (which is not what happened with my friend’s family member).

I had no idea that people could leave and still remain in good standing with the church. What would be an acceptable reason for the Sea Org to allow a person to leave? Or even ask a person to leave but still allow them to be part of Scientology? This seems very out of character for Scientology.


Gold Meritorious Patron
Yes, it has happened a lot. Don't know about recent times. If you aren't in serious trouble (i.e. Declared Suppressive) you complete the routing out form and leave. You are usually assigned a lower condition and have a "freeloader debt" but you wouldn't be declared. Work through the conditions and pay your debt and you're back in good standing.

Of course, if you are declared suppressive and kicked out, that's different.


Gold Meritorious Patron
The Sea Org has "Fitness Boards". Sometimes these are conducted as a matter of routine but I think more often they are triggered by some issue with a staff member. Members are made to route out for health problems, high debts, low productivity, causing PR problems, legal problems, being connected to people who can cause PR or legal problems. Often disqualifying things are overlooked during the recruitment process which may have been missed or given a pass which are discovered or become a serious problem later. Or, for guys, we now know that you can confess to having sexual fantasies about Miscavige for a quick release. I've seen people FBed for basically being old. They may call it something like low or overt product maker but that's just Scientologese for cutting their losses.

They prefer to keep ex-SO as active paying Scientologists who don't complain about their experience and continue to be asset stripped. Quite frankly, it can take about three years or more to decompress after routing out of the SO and people tend to linger in a zone where they don't comprehend what the hell happened to them organizationally while they continue to respect the teachings and LRH.

They continue to pursue ex-SO to get them on lines somewhere, volunteering, paying their freeloader debt, working on a re-entry program or lower conditions, working as an FSM, etc. The longer someone is left alone the more likely they are to realize how insane it all was so they don't want to give people the space to do that.

I estimate that we lost about 20% of staff every year. If you count the people who route out before finishing the EPF the percentage is probably higher. That's a lot of people and they don't want to waste those assets or turn them into SPs if they don't have to.


Oh, a wise guy,eh?
I was in the Sea Org. I just took off and never went back. I was told decades later that I was still "in good standing". Just a ploy to sink their pincers into my finances, no doubt.

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Patron with Honors
How it's supposed to go: leaving the Sea Org or staff without authorization is called "blowing" and is a suppressive act and is supposed to result in you being declared a suppressive person which means no other Scientologist in good standing can communicate. Other suppressive acts include publicly departing Scientology, so this should result in the same thing.

In practice, so many people do these things that they just don't declare everyone. The threat of declare is just held over your head to keep you from leaving. Declares are more often to occur if the person leaving is a high profile executive, causes a huge problem by leaving, goes to the press, writes a book, does interviews, etc.

If a Sea Org / staff member blows and doesn't cause any big problems, it's better to try to "recover" them, get them to pay off a big freeloader debt and then proceed to get them paying more money for the rest of their lives.