I am not exactly a new member - I have been lurking on this board for quite a long time. It just hasn't felt like the time for me to introduce myself before now.
The short story: I am an ex-scientologist, female, live on the US west coast. I was in from 1972 to 1983. I was CL IV Org Staff and SO for a total of about 2 -1/2 years of that time, at the end. I attested to Dianetic Clear and was a Dianetics Auditor. I blew/left staff in 1983, when it became clear to me that something was radically wrong with the church management. For a while I was in a deep void over the possible loss of my "only bridge to total freedom." Eventually I moved on, found another practice that filled the void, and followed some other forks in the road of personal evolution.
I didn't think much about Scientology for many years. I was drawn back to thinking about it in 2005, actually by a weird dream I had. I started searching the net, and like you all, found out "everything I didn't know about L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology." I was completely shocked. I have always had a strong interest and desire to help people break whatever shackles hold them and be free (including myself). That interest and desire was what kept me in Scientology for 11 years. I believed in the Aims of Scientology. I was appalled to find out what the Church has been able to get away with, both within its own ranks and in society at large since I left. I knew it was a bad omen when all the old-timers got kicked out. I am very glad that I followed my gut feeling and bailed when I did, although leaving Scientology was not the end of my adventures with brainwashing and mind-control. But that's another story.....
When I started reading on the net in 2005, I discovered OCMB, of course, and periodically read there. From there I got the link to this board. I am not of a mindset, though, where I think anything or anybody is "all evil" or "all good" including LRH and Scientology. Nothing is all so black and white in my world. I haven't wished to argue with anybody or have people throw cyber-tomatoes at me because I do not agree that LRH and Scientology are all evil.
When I post on forums, I do so in the hope that I will post something that will be useful or inspirational to others trying to break free of their shackles, or demons, or BT's or whatever else keeps them from being who they really want to be. For me it isn't just about Scientology, but all suppressive cults who brainwash people into believing that they have "the only way."
This is a really wonderful board, btw. Thank you Emma for creating it as a "kinder, gentler place" where people of differing viewpoints can get along, most of the time, anyway. And thank you all for contributing your diverse viewpoints and experiences I will share some of mine in due time.