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My stepping stones™ to total freedom from scientology

Discussion in 'Stories From Inside Scientology' started by Karakorum, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Karakorum

    Karakorum supressively reasonable

    I guess I will make this my story thread. I might change some names to hide the identity of some people.

    Part 1:
    I'm an 80s kid, my parents moved to California when I was 2. My dad was never a scientologist, while my mom joined in the 70s and later also brought my grandfather into scn. She was on staff before and left as my sis was born.

    My parents divorced when I was 4, so I then continued to live with my mom, my older sis and my gramps. We were a middle class, bilingual family of public scientologists, we had a house in Santa Monica. My gradfatehr thus became the "head of the household". He was certainly a larger-than-life figure. A military veteran, professional diver and amateur musician. Focused, funny, eloquent, yet also a megalomaniac who was used to giving people orders and expect them to be followed. He was able to flatten people with his resolve, quick thinking and pure willpower. Most people hw worked with, both inside scientology and outside were afraid of him. So was my mom.

    He was a true believer, scientology simply happened to click with his established views. During the war he became convinced that reincarnation is true. He was also an avid SF fan, he knew about Hubbard the writer before he met Hubbard the man and was impressed. Yet at the same time, his personality alone allowed him to remain critical. SCN was simply too small for his ego. Deep down, I think he believed that he was the older brother to the 8th dynamic in his past life.

    Strangely enough, it was his big ego that provided me with what I now see as the first stepping stone. For almost every scientologist I knew, DM and the management were holy cows never to be talked badly about. Not so for my gramps, he always knew better. :biggrin:
    His nickname for the management that cmae from amongst younger SO members as "the janissaries". His view was that they are making scientology weak, that things went downhill after Hubbard was gone and that scientology needs to be fixed. I vividly remember him using the broken bone analogy: "If it was't set right, it needs to be broken again and then be set right".

    My mom did not agree, but she never wrote a kr on him, because she was afraid of him. I dunno if he also told his colleagues or not.

    But this was the first stone: "Nobody is above criticism. Poor management reaps a poor harvest"

    to be continued...
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  2. Karakorum

    Karakorum supressively reasonable

    Part 2:

    Of course, I was home schooled so a lot of kids felt envious. They had to sit in clas and listen to "boring stuff", while I would be at home learing "cool stuff" from my gramps, read, or play NES games. I now know my math, english and physics education was piss-poor, but I also realized my geography and history knowledge was far superior to those kids got in public schools. I also learned to read at the age of 4, because my gramps believed in that part of the scn tech ("go read it yourself and then we can talk").

    In fact, my first experience with the meter was M1 word clearing. Maybe that's why I was never as ethusiastic in my life about auditing as some otehr scientologists ;)

    Being home-schooled also had the added benefit of my friends often coming to my house straight from school (often their parents were still at work and they rather have their kids stay with me and my gramps than alone at their own houses). This in part meant that I had a lot of friends, coming from all sorts of backgrounds: catholic, evangelical, jewish. I know a lot of ex-scn write in their memories that their family didn't consider scientology, but I did. I think it was precisely because of my friends and how kids see the world.

    For us religion was primarily about holidays and ceremonies. We all knew that Robert and Jen don't celebrate halloween, becuase their parents are born-again-evangelical christians. Christians celebrated xmas, while me and David only "kinda sorta" celebrated it, because we were scientology and jewish respectively. all the kids knew what denomination the other kids belong to and nobody made a big deal out if it, except said holidays.

    My mom was rarely around, as she joined staff. I spent far more time with my gramps and my sis than with anyone else in my family. My gramps on the other hand was always around, since he was retired (though a few times he would take up some diver contract, then I'd say with my dad).

    My gramps in many ways was a very decent guardian, I looked up to him and so did most other kids. Partially because of his status as a war veteran and pro diver (always had a lot of stories to tell). He was a great fan of electronic music and the house was always filled with the sounds of Isao Tomita, Vangelis, Kitaro, Hikashu or Jean Michel Jarre.

    Another person he was a fan of (and met in person) was Jacques Cousteau. Its funny, but as a kid I was for some time cerain that Cousteau was a major figure in scientology. The story goes like this:
    My gramps had books with Hubbard's photo on the title page, signed by Hubbard. He also had books by Cousteau, with his autograph (I preferred Coustaeu's books, especially the ones with photos of tropical fish). Also, my gramps would refer to Hubbard as the commodore, while he would refer to Cousteau as "commander" or "captain".
    This led my 4 or 5 year old self to assume that a major part of being in the SO consists of actually studying the sea. When my grandfather realized this, he had a laugh and said he should forward this great idea to the actual SO :biggrin:. I was just dissapointed that Jacques Cousteau is not a scientologist :sadsigh:

    Thus as a kid I read a lot of books about deep sea diving, oceanography and tropical fish. But another large body of books that I read were old SF. My grandfatehr had a huge collection of books from Heinlein, Asimov, Lem, Philip K.Dick, down to of course Hubbard himself.

    This is perhaps where the second stepping stone comes in. The works of P.K.Dick particular features the theme of the world not being what it apears to be, societies living inside a prison of illusion ("Man in the High Castle").
    Asimov's foundation series featured a theme of a "mouldy old world" empire falling apart leading to a crisis, while the apocalypse can only be stopped by a group of enlightened scientists who can preserve knowledge, technology and culture.

    The in-scn interpretations would be obvious: The wog society is the "mouldy empire falling apart", reality itself is the "prison of illusion" and scientology is the "foundation" that can save it.

    At the time I did not realize it, but these contemporary SF stories held a different interpretation. One that would fully *click* with me only years later. Scientology was the "prison of illusion" and the "mouldy empire" collapsing upon itself. Thus I had the second stone even though it had not fallen into place yet.

    Then, one day I was at a friends house on a Saturday, I was 11 years old. Suddenly my sis (older than me) came around and very strernly told me to pack and go with her. This was odd, but it became even more odd when I saw my aunt and her car (she rarely came to see us). We drove to her house, and there was my dad (who was not living with us) and some other relatives. People were crying. Only then did my sis tell me that my grandfather had a stroke and died in the ambulance.
    This would be the turning point in my life: No more reading SF novels, playing NES games, listening to Tomita and Michael Jarre. In some sense, my childhood days were now over. I would soon find myself in the AB living a much more scn-heavy life.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  3. Karakorum

    Karakorum supressively reasonable

    I'm finding it really hard to get around to writing about my actual time in AB, on staff and in Ethics.

    There's a lot of people whose names I don't want to divulge, often because they are still in and I don't want to cause them any issues. There's also lots of stories which I could share, but some of these were well known in WUS and would give away the identities of the persons involved.

    I know some people here probably already know who I am because of what I already wrote, but that is my problem. Giving out that of other people is a different kettle of fish entirely. So I may in the end get around to writing about the later part of my story, but I will need to put it in much more general and vague terms than I did so far. I'd also need to think about how to phrase things.

    Oh and for those who don't know, I have a disclaimer: I am NOT John McGhee.
  4. Miss Ellie

    Miss Ellie Miss Ellie

    I like the sound of your grandfather. I am glad you had so much time with him. What wonderful memories you made together.
  5. PirateAndBum

    PirateAndBum Gold Meritorious Patron

    This John McGhee?