The story of Sasha Zbitnoff

MarkWI

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

Newsgroup: alt.religion.scientology
From: Out_Of_The_Dark
Date: Wed, 03 Oct 2007 08:51:16 -0700

Subject: A 2nd Generation Scientologist Questions Scientology & is Forced to Disconnect. Truth Helps Him Connect With Life, Love and Family

Some articles by former members about why they left scientology stand
out more than others. One such is the excellent series of letters and
comments by Sasha Zbitnoff about his leaving scientology, entitled:
Letters to a Scientologist (tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/34w5lw )
http://www.helenandsasha.com/letters_to_a_scientologist-Table of Contents.htm

Sasha is a second generation scientologist child of 2 now former
scientologists. His story is unique but I think, very telling. When
Sasha became of age, he began to question the 'beliefs' of
Scientology. His is a sad example of the effects and consequences of
being forced to go along with disconnection policy in order to live
with the peace of mind that comes with having gotten your questions
about Scientology & L Ron Hubbard answered, even if it's by default.


He was able to leave Scientology because he Scientology could not
quelch the normal developmental stage of questioning authority that
this teenager and so many like him go through as they evolve into
adulthood. By natural desire, he was able to examine and inspect his
own thoughts against what he was being told or what he was being
instructed to think, by Scientology and scientologists. What is
equally interesting is that the principle of truth was the main
driving force, the foundation really, that helped him examine
Scientology against the world.
If you look read through his page, you will see this unfold. On his
About Me pages, you will see a truely bright man who is living out his
priority of creating a life of true substance that is fueled by
integrity and love - NOT BY SCIENTOLOGY. You can see it in the pics of
him with his wife, children and family. This is a person who respected
his parents and chose to accept their beliefs as members of the church
of scientology WITHOUT QUESTION until he was of age to natrually
examine just what he's been involved in his whole life.


What he found was that his mother was already disaffected about
Scientology, but hiding ther feelings from everyone in the church
because she did not want to disconnect from her son. She feared her
leaving would cause her son too many problems. There is some mention
of his father Max, and how things were before and after Sasha
left.Overall, Sasha's story about his life at the end days of his time
in scientology is a good read on what the 2nd generation
scientologists are faced with, without the luxury of free choice.


I don't know about you but I am of a generation where we were
vulnerable to suggestion while in pursuit of knowing more of why we
here on this earth. We wanted to be seduced by something that enabled
us to be so much more than what we were and scientology was sold as
the spiritual way. Of course, that was during the days when
scientology was pretending to be a church while we were still being
educated that scientology was really a 'religious philosophy'.


It was difficult for me to realize, after I left, that I'd been so
self absorbed when it came to thr nrrds of others outide of
scientology. My family and wog friends, especially. I am grateful I
had them there for me after I left, even though I was the one who'd
originally disconnected from some of them because of our differing
beliefs. Relationships can in many instances be restored where both
parties are willing to try because the foundation of love and decency
has not been completely severed. Love is the basis for so much good
in this world, it's all things NOT scientology when you think about
it. Scientology is about communication necessary to control.
Love is communicating by freewill uncompromised by doctrine or
propaganda.


Most importantly, forgiveness is a commodity that scientology refuses
to use and employ in the wog world, reserving it only for those in
confessionals deemed higher toned and above 2.0.


Disconnection policy is akin to lower level developmental stage in
adapting to social & interpersonal situations. It reminds me of a
childish approach to friendship where disconnection is saying "If you
don't like what I say, I will just cut you off and go to the next
classmate to play with."


Hubbard seems to have been a spiteful one for such retribution to have
permeated his doctrine.
Through training courses, he managed to get members to agree that his
policy is more important than people. Disconnecting us from the
concept of love is how he did it. Love became stats. Money love.
Greed = love. Broken families =discardable love. Thank goodness there
are many wogs who know that forgiveness is a fundamental desire in
mankind.


Letters to a Scientologist By:Sasha Zbitnoff
http://tinyurl.com/34w5lw
http://www.helenandsasha.com/letters_to_a_scientologist-Table of Contents.htm

Thank you Sasha for telling your story. :clap:

M
 

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.
 

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....
 

AppleDelphi

New Member
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:

M

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.
 

AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
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.

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
https://web.archive.org/web/2007061...ters_to_a_scientologist-Table 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:

Mary
( Formerly Out_Of_The_Dark )
 

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?
 
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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 https://web.archive.org/web/2005050...om:80/ltrs_to_a_scientologist-The 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
http://alley.ethercat.com/cgi-bin/door/door.cgi?275

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.
 
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.

Mimsey
 
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