Archive for the ‘X-Members’ Category

My name is Steven Mango and I was a parishoner of the exclusive Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood, CA. In the span of four years of devoted membership until my escape in 2012, I became a lifetime member, I donated close to $50,000 to the church, and I was a victim of severe spiritual and emotional abuse inside the walls of the church. I was also a poster boy for the church, appearing in advertisements for the International Association of Scientologists across the Celebrity Centre. My photo also appeared on their The Way To Happiness booklets.

One of the better books by a former Scientologist is “Counterfeit Dreams” by Jefferson Hawkins. Hawkins was responsible for the 1980’s TV volcano ads which put Dianetics back on the bestseller lists.

Hawkins’ book can be read in its entirety on his website, COUNTERFEIT DREAMS: my journey into and out of Scientology.

COUNTERFEIT DREAMS

In Counterfeit Dreams, Hawkins traces his Scientology experience from his first eager fascination with the subject in the late 1960’s to his departure, 35 years later, discarded, vilified and shunned as a “Suppressive Person.”

In Counterfeit Dreams, Hawkins traces his Scientology experience from his first eager fascination with the subject in the late 1960’s to his departure, 35 years later, discarded, vilified and shunned as a “Suppressive Person.”

From the Preface to the hardback edition of Counterfeit Dreams, available August 2010

This was not an easy book to write. For three years following my departure from the Church of Scientology, I was not able to write anything sensible about my experience. Then gradually, the onion layers of indoctrination started to peel off, one by one, and I began to get some distance and perspective.

I began writing my account as a blog, posting it chapter by chapter. I did this to put pressure on myself to continue writing, to finish the narrative. And partly to reach out to others who may have had similar experiences.

I knew that I could never tell part of the story; it had to be the whole story or nothing. When I would try to tell people about the abuses I experienced within the Church of Scientology, they would ask me one thing: why had I stayed so long? And understanding that meant telling the whole thing.

My blog account attracted an audience, and they kept the pressure on me to finish. Some of these were people, like me, who had left Scientology and they found in me a kindred spirit. Others, to my surprise, were people still actively involved in the Church of Scientology. They were shocked by my revelations as to what goes on at the top levels of Scientology, and, after reading my story, they began to re-examine their own involvement with Scientology. Hundreds of people have now left the Church of Scientology as a direct result of reading my story. And every week I get an e-mail or two from people who have newly left.

Once my blog account was completed, my readers and friends encouraged me to expand Counterfeit Dreams to book-length and publish it.

As I often have to explain to people, I am not anti-Scientology. While I am no longer a Scientologist, I have many friends who are and who practice the subject outside the Church. I wish them well. My objection is to the abuses of organized Scientology and it is these that I continue to expose and fight against.

I have also heard from many people who were never involved with the Church of Scientology. For some who have been trapped in an abusive group or relationship, my story resonates. If this book can serve as either a cautionary tale or a message of hope, it will have been worth writing.

Steven Alan Hassan is a licensed mental health counselor who has written extensively on the subject of cults. In 1978 Hassan was one of the first people to develop and perform exit counseling, and is the author of three books on the subject of destructive cults, and what he describes as their use of mind control, thought reform, and the psychology of influence in order to recruit and retain members. Here’s what he has to say about Hawkins’ book.

Hawkins has written a compelling and emotional story that demonstrates how intelligent people can be drawn into and controlled by abusive, authoritarian groups. His new book, Counterfeit Dreams, is a must-read not only for those who have been directly involved with Scientology but also for their family and friends who want to understand it from a 36-year insider at the highest levels. Furthermore, I believe former members of other abusive, totalitarian groups would benefit from reading this valuable book.”
Steven Hassan, author of Releasing the Bonds

Excerpted from "Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape" by Jenna Miscavige.

Excerpted from “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape” by Jenna Miscavige Hill.

Excerpted from “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape”

In comparison to other Scientology churches, things for all the celebrities at the Los Angeles Celebrity Centre were over-the-top in terms of elegance and privacy, starting with their own separate double-gated entrance on the corner of Franklin and Bronson Avenues, and a special area in the underground parking garage that was monitored by security. Celebrities entered through the President’s Office, which had its own lobby, Purif delivery area, and private office space. Upstairs were two auditing rooms and a private course room to be used solely by celebrities and other people of importance, such as big donors to the Church.
Scientology defined celebrities as anyone influential, so it could be well-recognized names like Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but it could also be someone like Craig Jensen, CEO of Condusiv Technologies, and Scientology’s biggest donor, or Izzy Chait, a prominent Beverly Hills art dealer. The security for the celebrities was very tight but deliberately inconspicuous, so that a big celebrity could literally be on services and most people at the Centre would never know he was there.
Read more at Salon.

From Glosslip.com

Most people haven’t heard of Marc Headley. He’s not a celebrity, but he has met Tom Cruise. In fact, Tom audited Marc during his Scientology training courses at Gold Base. Tom may not remember Marc, but he’ll know him soon enough.

Marc Headley is a former Scientologist who worked at the Hemet, California desert compound called Gold Base. For 15 years, Marc worked long hours at the 500 acre guarded facility, also referred to as Int Base, or International Base. Marc was a member of the Church’s paramilitary group called Sea Organzation, or Sea Org. Sea Org members are recruited from within the organization’s ranks of poorly paid workers and volunteers, they are made to sign a “billion year contract” and are often forced to live away from family and friends doing the type of manual labor typically reserved for slaves, inmates of illegal immigrants.

Marc has written a book titled “Blown For Good” [along with his web site of the same name], detailing his experiences inside the cult and what has happened to him since he left in 2005.

First person: I escaped Scientology after 22 years

The beliefs of the Church of Scientology might sound like something from a science fiction book but The Complex reveals that the Church s growing power base is a shocking reality.

The beliefs of the Church of Scientology might sound like something from a science fiction book but The Complex reveals that the Church s growing power base is a shocking reality.

Mine was an uneasy childhood. My father was schizophrenic and had bouts of manic depression. He and my mother both died when I was 10 years old, and my siblings and I moved from Scotland to Ireland, to live with my mother’s relatives.

As a teenager, I started to find the idea of an all-encompassing God and protector alluring, and in 1984, moved to a small village in Germany. Here, I discovered Scientology. I was in a bad way one afternoon, walking the streets of Stuttgart, when a young lady approached me: “Do you have a good memory?” she asked. I agreed to join her at the local Scientology centre, to find out.

The centre was filled with friendly, efficient people. It all seemed very official and scientific. I took tests which revealed I needed counselling, or “auditing”. I found the “science” aspect very seductive, and quickly became involved in the group.

After two weeks, I was taken with the teachings of [Scientology’s founder] L Ron Hubbard. He was my guru, and I started to see less of my girlfriend and friends.

There’s a disturbing pattern in the stories of escapees … wonder what that might mean? Perhaps they are all part of a massive global conspiracy to bring down a legitimate religion? Or maybe there really is something to the claim that Scientology is a destructive cult. It’s certainly worth a 2nd look before jumping on board. For a deeper study of John’s experience, check out his book, The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert World of the Church of Scientology.

Jeff Hawkins’ moving story about his journey into, and out of, the world’s most heinous and flagitious false religion … Scientology.

I spent 35 years working for the Church of Scientology, all over the world, and at all echelons, including the top level at the Scientology International Base in Hemet, California. This blog contains my story. It has taken a while to write, but it is now complete. I left Scientology three years ago and have no further connection to corporate Scientology. I am currently active in exposing their lies and abuses, and in providing whatever help I can to individuals and families who have been harmed by Scientology.

A former member speaks …

Within the Church of Scientology, you are taught that Scientology is the one and only solution to all mankind’s problems, and during this narrow window of opportunity in mankind’s history it is possible to “clear the planet” (ie give everybody auditing) and save humanity from itself. Most other goals pale in comparison and anything that detracts from Scientology, or its expansion is in essence a mortal sin against humanity. This belief is strong enough to get people sign up the Sea Organization [wikipedia.org] (LRH’s private navy) on a billion year contract (ie you are in for the long haul… and not just this lifetime) (more…)