My involvement with scientology is not as involved or painful to hear as a lot of others on this site. I do, however, feel that my story reinforces what everyone else has said... that Scientology is a cult.
I decided to take a few courses and do the purif in my last year of law school. I had just had a bad breakup, my family was in a rough spot because my brother was diagnosed with a serious illness (mental), and I was up for trying anyhting new that would distract me from these realities.
I tried it because I wanted to see what it was about for myself. In all honesty, everyone was really nice to me, and I thought it was interesting.
However, when I realized that the purif was too much for me to handle, I decided to stop doing it. THey hounded me trying to figure out why, wouldnt respect my decision to quit it because I was worried about my health, etc. In addition, school starteed getting really intense, so I had to stop doing the courses... which they were not happy about.
Instead of just respecting my decision to take time off, they called me EVERY DAY, sent me mail (still do), despite me asking politely several times to stop. They couldn't understand that perhaps I wanted to do well in school instead of spending more time at the church.
I don't think I would be as upset with them if they had just respected my wishes. However, since they continuously hound me to buy more books, take more courses, etc., and completely ignore every effort I have made to clearly show I am no longer interested, I am furious, annoyed, and would like to make it clear to the world that this IS a cult.
They only want your money. They don't take no for an answer. THey basically try to wear you down until you give in.
I am on this board because I want to show others that they arer not alone, even if they didn't grow up in scientology, it doesn't mean they still weren't taken advantage of and harassed.
Anyhow, I am glad that I finally got my head on straight and joined this board. I am waiting for my bar results right now, and my main goal is to help bring them down once I pass the bar. (mostly because I do not think they qulify for the tax exemption. Did you know there was a lawsuit about this, and it was found that LRH embezzled money from the church, used church funds for himself, etc? He was a criminal).
If there are any legal concerns regarding protests or ANYTHING, please let me know and I will help as much as I can. i want to get involved in getting the message out about them and how they take advantage of people in vulnerable positions...
I am glad to be a part of the community and look forward to getting involved if I can.