This is the story of my leaving scientology, it's been a long road out.
But not having yet told my history in scn perhaps this is going about things in reverse order so I will firstly give a very brief account of my time “in”.
I became a scientologist back in the 80’s during a particularly difficult period in my life. Over the next 8 years I sold everything I had to pay for the “bridge”, I got massively into debt, I joined the SO twice (though never finished the epf), I worked on staff in an Able group for several years, I did some tech training, I did OT levels, I donated massively to the IAS, I visited the Freewinds, I married a scientologist.
Back to the leaving part: I had gone off-lines more than 12 years ago but still considered myself a scientologist to some degree, although less and less as time went on. When it came down to it I was very peeved at my experiences in scientology, the way I had been treated and the debt I had incurred which took me years to pay back. Somehow these feelings of disenchantment just would never seem to go away and really I was just pretending, saying nothing. I never went to events… couldn’t stand them!
I was “recovered” a few times but I took a very cynical view of anyone trying to sell me on the bridge again. In about 1998 I did have an intensive or so of review – they found this intensive in my folder which somehow had been previously unavailable when I had been in dire need of it (or so I thought)! I remember it was the time that the scientologist on-line sites were going up and I had people on at me to put my site up. My answer was: “No I don’t have any wins to write up!”. Then they would come back to me some time later and cheerfully ask me again and I would say the same thing. Thankfully I never did do one. I finished the intensive and went back whence I had come (off-lines).
Like a lot of people I guess my first real step out was reading the internet in 2004. I read some of the major sites and was astounded by what I read. A lot of it I simply could not believe and it took a lot to sink in. I read ARS but it seemed somewhat extreme to me and at some point switched over to Beliefnet which Fluffy had mentioned in a post on ARS (thanks Fluffy!). I avidly read that for a few years until ESMB and then became a lurker here. As well as Fluffy, Alanzo and Vinaire were also posting there then.
It seemed that I would be drifting in limbo indefinitely, not being a scientologist but sort-of pretending that I was, or saying nothing about it. I believe there a lot of current scientologists are in this state. For me this was to change after being visited by 2 SO members in 2004; they somehow persuaded me to go back. You see, it turned out that having got up to OTV, they had not decided I had never been clear after all. This seemed to be the case with a lot of people (in fact every clear I knew!) and many were very very upset. But not me - in fact the opposite. Perhaps this was the reason why I did not feel I had any gains on the bridge. I was slightly dubious, but it was worth giving it a go. I was told that in only 1-2 intensives this could be fixed.
So I whipped out my credit card and paid for 1 intensive, and made preparations for my visit to the AO.