This is my introduction. I first got involved with Scientology for two reasons; I'd been heavily influenced by Landmark Education as a teenager and wanted to know more about how it worked and what its origin was, and because my thesis / research project is a mixture of psychology and comparative religion. Eventually the two paths just converged.
My experience has mostly been a lot of reading, both of official materials and critical essays, personal stories and free zone materials as well. I've gotten a lot out of doing certain kinds of solo processing, and basically studying how processing "is" compared to other transformational products on the market. I also at one point got up close and personal with an org, spent a very tiny amount of time on staff, developed a relationship with a staff member, and saw the quite frightening reality of ethics and security checking as it applies to people who don't toe the line.
Frankly I'm glad that I chose to stay on the periphery, because although there are many things I admire and cherish about Hubbard's work, a lot of the people I met who were on staff scared the heck out of me. The rubbery attitude, the bizarre double-standards (eg no drugs, but ciggies NO PROBLEM), and just the gaping lack of sincere empathy or self-awareness.
Nowadays I potter around with my lefty e-meter, maintain a small shelf of collector's items like copies of my favourite LRH books, and continue to hone my thesis which basically debunks the spiritual aspect of Scientology and recasts processing in a more mainstream psychological context.
My intention in being here is to be with other people who value parts of tech application and training, are curious about the mind, and have some certainty that CofS is really not for them (either any more, or ever ever).
I'm hoping that I can be of some value. A lot of my research work has involved finding scientific validation and studies that independently reinforce what Hubbard was saying. And actually there's quite a lot of that. I'm also interested in offering up thoughts about how Scientology concepts and language has filtered into mainstream thinking, and getting some feedback on that from others.
Thanks so much to the publishers of this board, it's been a big help to me lately.