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Featured What to do if you decide to leave Scientology

Discussion in 'Leaving Scientology' started by gomorrhan, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. gomorrhan

    gomorrhan Gold Meritorious Patron

    Hello. This subject is one near and dear to me, because I left abruptly, without any preparation, and made a mess of all my family connections, work connections. Luckily I had some place to go.

    1) DISCUSS IT WITH YOUR SPOUSE, if you have one. You may be surprised that they would understand. You have nothing to fear except the inevitable non-enturbulation order, and eventual declare, and perhaps a slewe of knowledge reports. Don't worry about these, they are inevitably going to occur anyway, or it's best to operate as though you understood this was likely. They will be used against you. If you fail to communicate with your spouse, your family, and your friends, you may regret it later, when you cannot communicate with them any more because they close their doors to you. The only time I wouldn't do this is if you are concerned for your safety or autonomy, in which case get out at your earliest convenience and alert your family outside, or if you don't have any, I think many people (including me) would be willing to put you up in an emergency while you sorted things out. DO NOT FEAR LOSING YOUR FAMILY: it has already happened, if they won't come with you. Instead, realize that you may be able to live freely and happily with some or all of your family if you communicate with them. If you don't, realize they will be encouraged to close ranks against you.

    2) If you work with scientologists, realize that your job will be likely threatened or lost if you leave. Prepare for this. Spiff up your resume. Start shopping it around about a month before you go. Don't worry about what sort of job you'll get, too much. Take something solid that allows you to pay your bills and live independently of any supports in the Church. Consider writing to someone on this forum and asking for their help finding a good job. This is a huge network, and someone here probably knows someone near you that is hiring. It's worth a shot, and people who post here will understand the extremity or difficulties you face.

    3) Realize that you are not the only person ever to have trod the path out of the Church. If you have questions, realize that probably 90% of the people who have ever been involved with Scientology are no longer involved with the Church. You are not alone. I, for one, understand what you are going through. Some here understand even better. I was only on staff two years, very young. Some here have left after 35 years or more involved, with their whole lives revolving around the Church. Don't be shy about asking people what their successful actions were, and what troubles they faced.

    4) If you consider that the Tech is worth keeping, realize that you don't have to stay in the Church to have access to it. I'm not promoting the FreeZone, here, but I do think it's important for people concerned about "loss of Bridge" issues that these issues have been addressed outside the Church. If you don't give a hoot about the Tech, and you just want to be free, don't sweat that last. The FreeZone was incredibly helpful to me when I left the Church. I learned more about scientology through these people than I ever knew in the Church, because the secrets are bared, and the prices people charge are subject to market pressures, unlike in the fiat monopoly in the Church. I then decided I wasn't a scientologist, but not everyone makes that decision, and I respect people who decide that they remain scientologists, although they have left the Church.

    5) DO NOT PAY ANY FREELOADER DEBT. This flows power to an organization undeserving of it. You will need your money in your new life. F/L debts don't hold up in court. The debt is not real. You don't owe the Church anything if you've been working for them. Very likely, they actually didn't deliver the services or training you wanted or needed, anyway, and perhaps inflated the costs of offering you the service. I paid my freeloader debt. I was a damned fool to do so.

    6) KEEP ANY CORRESPONDENCE FROM THE CHURCH. Sometimes they slip up and say stupid things. Sometimes you are facing a divorce, as I was, and the documents that IJC sent me would have been very helpful in establishing a mental cruelty charge and increasing my access to my children, perhaps obtaining full custody instead of losing it. Declares are hard to come by, these days, and the actual physical order that you are declared is quite a collectors item. If you never need that correspondence, great, no harm done. If you do, but have thrown away something because it upset you or you didn't think you'd ever take action on it, you'll kick yourself.

    7) If you feel the Church defrauded you or abused you, consider suing them. While you may feel that Scientology always wins every case, take it from me, and others here, that this is not only not true, its completely false. They lose cases quite frequently, although many times settlements are obtained instead of court victories. If they told you you'd be able to levitate an ashtray, and you did the drills and paid your fees, and you can't levitate an ashtray, I'd say they both lied to you and took your money from you. Generalize that to any claims of Dianetics or Scientology services that were used to sell you on exorbitantly priced services that almost never deliver what was promised. You have a right to hold them accountable for this. This last I reserve for the feisty. It requires a willingness to fight, a little bit of resourcefulness getting lawyered up, but it is a tremendous moral victory if you do win, and lays stronger and stronger precedents with each person to do so. However, realize that the Church is structured to be a bit of a tar baby. They exist to fight with enemies real or imagined. The reason I encourage people to fight them, now (if they want to), although I've advocated against it in the past, is that critical mass has been achieved. The Church is overwhelmed fighting on more fronts than they can manage, and losing on all of them. Now is a time when you can pile on without much concern about their nasty tactics, as the people willing to employ them are getting caught on camera and put on youtube now, and what was once cloak and dagger is now just another chance to put the abuse on record.

    I hope some of the above will be helpful to someone considering leaving. I stand by my words, by the way. My hope for this thread is that people will ONLY post responses of what they are willing to do to help people considering leaving. For myself, I will be willing to talk on the phone, email, and potentially take a single person in. If you have a college degree, I can help you get a job. If you don't, I can help you get on your feet with internet and phone access, food and lodging, temporarily, while you figure it out.
  2. cinamingrl

    cinamingrl Patron Meritorious


    Hm well I wish I had known you while I was leaving years ago.

    For me the best and most successful thing I did was to find a real paying job, the 2nd best thing I found the hardest to do, was to ignore all of them. Because it seemed that every time I had contact with any of the staff, that I got fiercely upset and could only think of what i wanted to do in order to get revenge on all of them. This wasted a little bit of my time and energy I think.

    I am on O.C Calif, and I would be willing to talk to anybody who is wanting to get out. I even have some contacts at shelters who would help people with a place to stay and food and help in finding a job. They can send me a pm.

    And yes! DO NOT PAY ANY FREELOADER DEBT. IF you do, you will regret giving them that money and it's money you can use to get back on your own feet. And that is exactly what they don't want you to do.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2008
  3. klidov

    klidov Silver Meritorious Patron

    Excellent post, Kevin.

    I hope anyone that is thinking about leaving reads this. Or keeps this for family members still in.

    I am so sorry you had to learn the hard way. Maybe your experience(s) can help someone else.

  4. Cat's Squirrel

    Cat's Squirrel Gold Meritorious Patron

    Good post Kevin, in fact I think Emma should sticky it to use as a reference guide for current Church members who are thinking of leaving.
  5. sandygirl

    sandygirl Silver Meritorious Patron

    Excellent post Kevin. I wish I had read this when I left. However, at the time I felt like I "was the only one" who had doubts about the cult.

    I just have one small addition.......

    buy a BIG dog!!!!!
  6. free1996

    free1996 Patron with Honors

    Find yourself, passion, talents,life.

    Completly disconnect from Scientology, after a few years it gets easier to have a day without it even entering your mind. Get rid of all books,tapes, etc, even if it cost you an arm and leg.Stop using the lango. Think what you want not what you think "they" say.
    If you can find and afford a therpist to talk to...I found one that not only listen but sat down with me to talk about solutions to fix my life.
    Go to college!!!!!! Try to get financial aid or some kind of savings for this. Even if it's one or two classes a semester. Sooner or later you will finish.I grew up thinking I was pretty enough that I would "be taken care of" so I didn't go to school. It took a failed marrige and two kids of my own to know that I'm the only one who can "set my life" in the direction I wanted. Trust me, my ex was willing to look the other way if I would just be the perfect little wife....I was a robot too long for Scientology...not doing it again.
    Get a job, get your own place, find your own passion, set realistic goals. Try to make your own life even if it's little by little.Move out of your parents house. Stop blaming others, stop being a victim.
    Dont get married just so you feel wanted or loved. The brainwashing effect of Scientology is to strip all self esteem you have. It strips you making self decisions, it strips you of having emotions or empathy. That is why alot of the marriages in the Sea Org ended because they went in with the "idea" not making compromises or really even knowing the other person outside of Scientology.
  7. klidov

    klidov Silver Meritorious Patron

    I agree.

  8. cinamingrl

    cinamingrl Patron Meritorious


    This sounds so true, this is just like I think. I actually did a lot of what you wrote. I had to stop blaming. And I stopped using the jargon too. I got into college and had to get some serious counseling and get a life. I am not a victim but for so long I felt like I was. I had no self esteem left for so long. REally, I thought I didn't need it. I had to get it back and it's a long hard road. Still I have to work at it every day. Because I find there is a fine line between being assertive and being outright aggressive. It's been hard to find that place of assertiveness to keep my boundaries that were destroyed by the cult experience. It's still something I have to work at every day. But I got back my goals and dreams I lost.
  9. Wisened One

    Wisened One Crusader

    Wow, GREAT post, Kevin! I tried to start something like this, but you've articulated it SO much better:)

    Take that post to heart, everyone who leaves (or is thinking of leaving). Print it out and refer to it often...I sure wish we had this when we had would've saved us THOUSANDS of dollars of routing off expenses and our total we'd paid to my FL debt, to say the least! :duh:
  10. Carmel

    Carmel Crusader

    ANZO people

    Hey Kevin,

    Good advice. I hope people take it on board and also realize that while taking the leap may be hard (and slightly rocky for a period), the sun sure shines when ya land on ya feet!

    To those in ANZO - feel free to pm or email Feral or myself, if you are wanting support, and maybe we can direct you to someone in your area.

    Ceedia :)
  11. KnightVision

    KnightVision Gold Meritorious Patron

    Yes, quite excellent!!:thumbsup: :thumbsup:
  12. Emma

    Emma Con te partirĂ² Administrator

    Stickied :)
  13. free1996

    free1996 Patron with Honors

    Be very careful the friends or mates you have as when you get out of Scientology..your still trying to find people like you instead of people that are not. You will attract people that "need help" as that is what we did for people in. You want stable people in your life.
    I understand the aggressiviness as my sister (Int robot) would come and visit her wog family and she would be so rude and aggressive. Or let's say if you had a problem and you were tying to figure a solution..she would jump right in and start bossing you around and insulting the whole time. My mom and her feel that because I have the "tech" that I should use it and that I'm "suppressive" because I don't and won't. Being around them made me feel anxious instead of calm, unsure of myself and so forth. It took me years to not be effected by them. In my own life, I have empathy for people that are tying to make a better life as I try everyday too. But there are alot of idoits out there that will never be happy or ever do something for themselves. You know alot about people and their behaviours as we were trained to do that and it can become frustrating the things people do. Just breathe, things change every five mins.
  14. Wisened One

    Wisened One Crusader

    Soooo very well-said, thank you! :thumbsup:

  15. cinamingrl

    cinamingrl Patron Meritorious


    Yes I do tend to be a "rescuer" and a "reformist". Someone said that was my personality type. I am always trying to rescue people, when I myself needs rescuing or a better life.
  16. uniquemand

    uniquemand Unbeliever


    This holiday time, believe it or not, some scientologists who are on the fence will be actually visiting their families, and might get online and check this out. Hope it reaches someone who needs to hear this.
  17. Lohan2008

    Lohan2008 Gold Meritorious Patron


    On Rally day (2nd Saturday) dont forget that CofS surrounds itself with police presence, that may be the best time to tell authorities that you are being held against your will, and just walk straight out of building....

    *make sure you have somewhere safe to go to.

    just an idea
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  18. Stephanie

    Stephanie Patron with Honors

  19. EP - Ethics Particle

    EP - Ethics Particle Gold Meritorious Patron

    What indicated!

    Another "bump" and a little bit of a story...

    Today I heard from an old dear friend of 20 years who has been on the scio path seriously...until recently.

    Back around September, we spoke on the phone which we usually do a couple of times a year.

    I simply said "you need to know that I'm out and you need to get out too." Beyond that I said very little except social conversation. I did forward a link to ESMB and have occasionally sent a link that I thought would be kinda fun and not too negative.

    He and one of his scn friends have both recently "waked up" and gone into the familar binge of reading and looking at everything they can get their hands on. Says he's really, really EP'd and totally "keyed out". Nice, huh?

    "Nuff said" - let's take a group win.

    IMHO we got the correct EP! :coolwink:

  20. Pixie

    Pixie Crusader

    I remember you telling this story EP and at the time it wasn't clear whether he'd actually wake up or not. This is wonderful news and I have no doubt that you helped him to a great degree also. For sure this is excellent news! :thumbsup: