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Where Are All My Friends?

Discussion in 'Leaving Scientology' started by Voodoo, May 21, 2019.

  1. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    I came into Scientology in 1973 at the age of 19. I resigned from the church in 2012 at the age of 58. During my nearly forty years with cult I made a lot of friends and acquaintances. There were also many coworkers who I have fond memories of.

    Since regaining my independence from the church I've reconnected with a small number of people I knew during my cult days, but I can literally count them on one hand. Now, I know there's been an ongoing and accelerated exodus of staff and public out of the church since Debbie Cook's infamous email burst upon the scene, so it figures that lots of my friends and associates have left, too.

    I have to wonder, though, where are they?

    I'm well traveled on the Indie and ex-Scn message boards and websites, so I should have spotted plenty by now, but no. Even "The Big List" at WWP contains only a handful of names of people I know personally.

    What's the deal? Are my old friends just too scared to come out and play, or what?

    Have any of you experienced the same thing?
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    DagwoodGum likes this.
  2. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    I've found quite a few by searching on Fecesbook. I'm guessing they're either still scared of the cult attacking them, or else don't want their current friends/associates to know of their prior association with such a weird criminal cult. Many people on ESMB have spoken of the courage needed to post openly at the start.

    Mick Wenlock likes this.
  3. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    Yeah, I'm on Farcebook too, but haven't found any old friends who are speaking out or posting to ex-cult groups. You'd think in the six years since Debbie posted her email, they would have gotten up the courage to come into the light.

    Maybe I'm braver than I knew.
    JustSheila, tesseract and Dulloldfart like this.
  4. guanoloco

    guanoloco As-Wased

    Maybe they're embarrassed. I would think Remini's show would help many find a voice but maybe not.
  5. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    I've found nearly all the people who originally were in Scientology with me are out now and over the years, I've found them or they've found me. :grouphug:

    They were more open and active on the Internet a few years ago than now, though, and most of us have lost touch since. Many did not come forward openly, but most did.
  6. Karakorum

    Karakorum supressively reasonable

    You know what Voodoo, I am having that exact experience now. I knew I would not find everyone, but I thought: "ok, maybe 20%? Come on, someone had to get out, right?"

    But no, so far not a single person.

    I mean I went to the stat page of and found some people who must be in, because they keep doing courses in 2016, 2017, 2018 and so on. Other people are nowhere to be found online, fakebook, linedin, goldenline all came up blanks.

    I mena I even found vids online of a girl that I think I had an investigation on years ago, but nobody from my service circle. Everyone is either still in, or disappeared.

    Obviously people coming from my old post will be less willing to come out and talk in the open than a regular parishoner, or a guy who made marketing vids or something. But the 0% result... no that is not what I was expecting.

    I guess there's not much else to do, save quote a medieval French poet:

    Les maux ne savent pas seuls venir;
    Tout ce m'était à advenir
    S'est advenu.
    Que sont mes amis devenus
    Que j'avais de si près tenus
    Et tant aimés ?
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  7. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    I'm happy for you. Your friends obviously rock, which also says something about you. :rock:
  8. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    I would suspect they're more frightened than embarrassed. The threat of excommunication (disconnection) is a powerful tool.

    I agree with you about Leah's show. It actually has given some people the courage to speak out - just not any of my old friends.
  9. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    Thanks! At different times and places, people went through different experiences and responded differently. It was good to see so many out and the chain-letter effect of coming forward at a time when Anonymous was so huge.

    I don't know what the "go-button" will be for your friends, but apparently you are unique amongst them in some admirable ways. You're not shy to speak your mind and state the truth, that's for sure. :)

    We like that here.
    Jenyfurrr likes this.
  10. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    My impression has been that the vast majority of people who leave Scientology just go on with their lives and leave Scientology behind them.

    Many years ago on OCMB, I saw/communicated briefly with 4 ex-staffers that I knew.
    They posted a few times then stopped.
    One of them asked me "Why are you still interested in this topic?"
    Operating DB likes this.
  11. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    My impression of those leaving Scientology is that most 'leave' in stages. First comes the separating of oneself from the criminality and abusive excesses of the cult. Secondly comes the public announcement or acknowledgement of that fact (or not). Then comes the longish period of involving oneself in conversations with fellow ex-members and reading books et cetera about the cult and its founder.

    Along the way, a person often peels off the enforced realities of the group, layer by layer. Some keep peeling until they've shed every vestige of Scn from their minds and lives, while others continue to cling to various aspects of the philosophy. Some move on to explore different disciplines altogether, while others choose to explore closely related or derivative practices.

    For myself, once I was up to speed on the crimes of Miscavige and church management, I felt I was duty bound to stand up in public and renounce the church, which I did, in my published resignation letter of 2012. I'm not posting the link here for obvious reasons, but it's still up. My name is also listed on WWP's Big List.

    Even if my old friends don't have the courage to do what I did, I would think at least a handful would have seen my public resignation, and would have contacted me privately, but no.
  12. Karakorum

    Karakorum supressively reasonable

    For me it was something in between.

    The first stage was in the first few months, when I was stateside with a family member that everyone knew I'd go to. So Obviously I was trying to piece my life together, while at the same time having visitations of members alternating between badgering me and trying to convince me to urgently come back. Its like they couldn't choose between one or the other, felt like the church structure itself had a bipolar moment of cognitive dissonance mirroring my dissonance.

    The second stage made me cut my ties entirely, move to another country, go on with life and not look back. I got rid of the lingo, the mannierisms, or thinking about the task excel file.
    For the past years, I have made a conscious attempt not to read anything about scn nor follow the news. I of course had thought about my involvement, but have not followed news or the ex-community at all (I only found Remini's interview and that was only because I like J.Rogan).
    Last month, I still wasn't even aware that Theroux made a film nor that Karen or Aaron defected. Nothing.

    The third phase is I guess now. I'm cautiously looking back, reading things, watching YT vids of former members. I have no idea what triggered this.
  13. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    How long have you been out?
  14. This is NOT OK !!!!

    This is NOT OK !!!! Gold Meritorious Patron

    Welcome here - we've been J & D'ing non-stop since - well I don't remember how long, but it's been a blast.

    I've heard from a few friends since leaving, but it's still disappointing to have not heard from more.

    Hang around for a while and tell some stories!
    Enthetan likes this.
  15. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    Thanks.It really is a disappointment not to see more of the people I knew out here.

    I'm leaking out bits and pieces of my forty years with the cult, here and there. Although I publicly resigned in 2012, I've maintained a fairly low profile online, and have no interest in being on the cult's radar at this time - thus my pseudonym.

    As time goes on I'll probably feel more and more comfortable about linking my true identity to this account.
    Enthetan likes this.
  16. Karakorum

    Karakorum supressively reasonable

    Over 10 years. Though I don't feel like disclosing the exact dates in public.
  17. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    I hear ya. I have no interest in my workplace getting harassing calls from Sci-bots. I'm content to be a "man of mystery" to those who scan the site. Honestly, most people here would not recognize my name anyway.
  18. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    Okay, thanks. I only asked to get a sense of where you might be on the stages of leaving Scn. I've been out for six, myself.
  19. Voodoo

    Voodoo Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow

    Same here. I was a lowly, mostly fringe public, during most of my time with the cult. My name won't even go down as a footnote in Scn history.

    Still doesn't mean I'm willing for some OSAbot to make me their special project.
  20. Cherub

    Cherub Back from the Dead

    Probably the same thing which triggered me, to post something, after not doing so for 12 years. I have not found any either, btw. Three of my old buds are dead, though. I think I could have saved one of them's life at the time, but I was too chickenshit, worrying if the guy was a plant or something. So now there is no record of my past in COS, but ya never know :) I do feel the urge to reconnect though. I think it will be a good thing.

    The Cherub
    Enthetan likes this.