Hey all, I've been around for awhile, but not an active poster. Recently I was recounting my time in the SO with some coworkers who knew nothing about my past. I realized that the details are getting fuzzy the more time passes. Seems like now is as good a time as any to preserve some of my experiences before I forget them entirely. I found this email I had sent Chris Shelton about 3 years ago and thought I'd post it here now that I'm less concerned about anonymity. I knew Chris growing up and in the SO and reached out to him when he went public. this email spells out my story pretty well. There is a lot of "Scientologese" in it, but I think most of y'all can follow: --Note: even though I'm less concerned with anonymity than before, I still removed names from my email and exact dates. i know that the dots wouldn't be hard to connect for anyone too interested, but I'm not going to do anyone's job for them =) "Hey Chris, It's great to hear back from you! Gosh, where to begin? I think I need to just download. I guess I'd like to share my story if you have the time to read it (no rush--I expect just writing it out for the first time will be cathartic in and of itself). As you know, my sister and I had grown up around Scientology from a very early age. Though we didn't do many services ourselves, we attended events and were constantly exposed to the "saving mankind" message. This has great appeal to a child who wants to see everyone happy and all the world's ills handled. The seed was planted. We moved from Santa Maria to LA in May 1996. I was 11 and [sister] was 13. She was in the middle of teenage rebellious defiance and was actually moved down with my dad a month earlier for shaving her head into a mohawk. We attended the May 9th event and afterward myself, [sister] and my mom all sign SO contracts independent of the others. Dad was not qualified due to previous angel dust usage. So, by the end of the night, all of us were planning on leaving home for the SO. [sister] because it was a way to run away, me because the uniform looked cool and I was going to save the world (even though I knew next to NOTHING about Scientology) and Mom because she was caught up in all the enthusiasm of the GAT release. Dad was crushed. It ended up that me and [sister] joined and Mom stayed out because it would mean divorcing [dad] to join. Dad was still against us joining, but was outnumbered between my mom, the recruiters and his kids. Two weeks in, me and [sister] both realized our mistake. We decided to leave. This was my first brush with the dark side of Scn. At 11, I was brought to the EPF I/C, chewed out and called stupid for following my obviously suppressive sister out. I was shocked, but even that young realized I wanted nothing to do with these people. I got out. If only I had stayed. But I didn't. I did, however, take some courses, do the purif, and get some exposure to the entry level gains experienced by most who do TRs, learn study tech etc. I even joined staff at Pasadena Org where Mom was. In 2 short years I caught the attention of an SO recruiter again (Gavin Potter of child recruiting fame). When he found out is been in the EPF when I was 11, he called up the ED of Pasadena and removed me from staff for being ex-SO. (Even though I had never been past the EPF--still murky waters on whether that makes someone truly ex-SO). Now I was stuck. I wanted to save mankind and felt every last minute was vital to the future of the planet, but my only option for staff was to go back in the SO. So I joined. At 13, I was flying to Clearwater to do the EPF and then on to the Freewinds. However, once I got there, I was told I was too young to go to the Freewinds and was instead going to go to CMO. This wasn't up for debate, I had no choice and had already signed up and been on the EPF at PAC for about a week prior to flying out. This time I lasted a month before deciding I was not in the right place and wanted to go home and finish school ("school" in the SO is a sad joke--as you probably saw for yourself). It took another month to actually get out and home. Despite all this, I still wanted to be in the SO and so I knuckled down and finished high school (from an APS school) in 1999. 7 days before my 14th birthday. I re-joined in 1999. All any recruiter had to do was touch on my desire to help and I was putty. I joined to be a recruiter (that's what I did at Pasadena and liked it). When I graduated the EPF there happened to be a big push to build up the TTC, so that's where I was placed--despite my protests. I finished the TTC in about 9 months and was slated to be the Intern Supervisor. Instead, the Qualifications Secretary was promoted to Chief Officer and I--at 14--with only supervisor training and Staff Status II on the admin side was made the head of a critically under-manned division in a Class VII org. I had an SSO and a Snr C/S. This means I got to hold Intern Sup, Examiner, Cramming Officer (with no idea how to do crams) and even Certs and Awards. I needed help and training, but with constant fires needing to be put out and no help, I never got study time, regularly got less than 5 hours sleep and no chance to accomplish "divisional recruiting" even though "totally within my power" to handle my manning issues. Needless to say, I crashed and burned in a BIG way. Not only that, but it was my first time really feeling like a total failure. And believe me, it was made very clear that all the difficulties I was having were wholly my fault. In February 2000, I blew. I left at night and starting hitch-hiking back toward my old home town on California's Central Coast. I made it to Ojai hitch hiking the night before and walked all the next day before calling my dad to come get me. He confided in me that when he was driving around looking for me, he had half a mind to take me away and we'd go live in Montana or something to hell with everyone else. I should have seen that there was something wrong with him knowing we'd have to completely disappear to be out of the reach of Scn, but even in that state I was too hooked in and convinced that everything bad I felt was all my fault and due to things wrong with me. I came back. I got my first Comm Ev. My certs were suspended pending full retrain (read: cancelled). I was hidden away in CF for a few months while I worked on lower conditions. I really should have left at this time. I didn't though. I completed my conditions and got posted as the Captain's Programs Officer. This was a difficult post to function on after having been a blown staff member only months before. I worked at it and actually did fairly well--relatively speaking. After about 9 months, I was replaced so that I could go back on the TTC and retrain as a supervisor. Midway through retraining my Comm Ev was mysteriously cancelled and my certs reinstated. That this came at the same time the org was under pressure to get more supervisors on post immediately is merely a coincidence I'm sure. I went from being a student on the Pro Metering course to supervising it in the same course period. I would spend the next 5 years as the Lead Pro Metering Supervisor. All told, I would be one of the single most effective Pro Metering Sups in the history of Scn to date. Despite that, I was under constant justice actions for the number of overdue students on the course. There were also numerous evolutions to cull through all roll sheets from the beginning of the GAT to find any and all blown students (including people who, on a weekend schedule, missed one weekend due to something unforeseen. They counted as blown for that week) and retroactively correct the student points graph to show a cumulative -3000 for every student, every week they were missing. This included students with severe medical conditions who had to take LOAs, but we're disapproved because they were overdue. They still needed to go and get treatment, but I got to count them as blown because they weren't authorized to leave. Since we all know that someone with cancer really just had MUs on course and needed to be recovered and completed! Side note: I always HATED the stat of student points. It was useless if it was up if completions weren't up as well, but I would be crucified if it was down. Couple that with the all-night stat corrections for blown students and I really lost any love I might ever have had for that meaningless stat. I also got married during my time as Pro Metering Sup. We had worked together at ASHOF before she moved to the IAS office. I loved her deeply. She was (and still is) a much better believer than I was. At the time we got married (2002) I was already getting pretty disillusioned with the whole SO experience. The only reason I stayed as long as I did was because I didn't want to leave her. I knew she would never leave the SO, even though we could never talk about it. Even after being sexually harassed and assaulted by her superior in the IAS, she was dedicated to the mission through and through. I tried to keep going and persevere for her sake. Finally, around February 2005 I devised a plan to get out without the months of being ostracized that goes with being "on decks" while you try and route out correctly. I figured I could get labelled as a list one R/Ser and get kicked out without having to really DO anything that would hurt my wife or the org. I figured if she cared enough about me, it would give her a way to follow me out while saving face. It worked. I simply simulated an R/S in my next ethics interview (a regular occurrence for me) and waited for the results. Unfortunately, the person doing my interview happened to be a good friend and rather than see me get shot really went to bat for me and demanded I get Expanded Dianetics (the handling for L1 R/Sers--as I'm sure you know). I feel bad for that because in his mind he really cared about me and seeing that I got help. I know he later found out I'd simulated the R/Ses and must have been hurt that I would do that. I don't know, because I've never had a chance to speak with him since. Anyway, after the Comm Ev that followed this fiasco, I was given the option of doing the RPF or leaving. I still wanted to hold on to my marriage, and by now knew she wouldn't leave the SO to be with me, so I opted for the RPF. after all, I figured that maybe it was all my fault that I disagreed with so much that I saw around me. Maybe this would help. I was on the RPF for just over a year. In that time, my twin and I both completed up through the 4th dynamic FPRD and could really have graduated soon. We both held high posts in the RPF (he was D/Bo and I was both the Section 3 I/C and later RPF's RPF MAA). Things looked good. I don't recall exactly what happened, but there was some issue that my twin got in trouble for and had to do "handlings". This effectively killed all our forward progress on the program. Now we were reviewing all the previous auditing, doing lower conditions, and spinning our wheels. My twin sometimes wouldn't shave and since he had already completed his 1st dynamic FPRD, clearly (and based on NO other evidence) I had committed out-tech on him. And if his 1st dynamic was bad, all the rest of our auditing must have been off the rails too. We spun like this for about 2 months before I threw in the towel. They made sure that I got divorced from my wife. I got to say goodbye to her (in a room full of people carefully censoring anything I might say) but still couldn't tell her what I felt, that she should come too or anything else--for fear of getting declared (a regular threat in the RPF as I imagine you had a chance to see as well). So I got out. Finally. It was March 2006 and I was a free man. I reconnected with family who I rarely saw during my SO days, got a job and bought a motorcycle. Dad and I now spent weekends riding around the "twisties" in the mountains and bonding like never before. I couldn't believe how much happier I was with distance between me and the org. I was still of the mindset that I believed in the tech, just disagreed with how people in the SO and elsewhere used (or didn't use) it. I still considered myself a Scientologist. That was my life up to leaving. Since leaving it has gotten much better. Recently, I shed the fear of looking at what others are saying on the Internet. I am opening my eyes. The breaking point for me was truly this re-packaging of the GAT for a second time. It was the biggest slap in the face is ever felt. In one event, I was effectively told that all the sacrifices I'd made through 5 years supervising the Metering Course were for nothing. Every one of my hundreds of graduates had to redo it. I might as well have never been there. I gave some of my best years to Scientology, years I will never get back. I sacrificed time with my father and family that should have been some of my closest years believing I was forwarding the "greater good" and it'd all be worth it someday. Well, my father is gone now. I don't get to make up the lost time because it ran out. No amount of Scientology stopped liver cancer from taking my dad from me. Ironically, if my parents weren't so deeply distrusting of medical professionals, we could have probably caught it with screenings before it was too late. Opening my eyes to everything out here about Scn has been very educational. I've gone from neutral to solidly against having anything to do with them ever again. My son will NEVER get drawn in the way I was. Thank you Chris. Your videos are a big part of this decision. I think you are probably one of the single most effective critics out there. I can only hope to see more from you. Your style of intelligent, rational discussion does more to spread the word than anything else I know. Thank you. I actually have a question you may wish to address in your next Q&A video if you are still doing them (please use an anonymous handle for me if you do): since you were in the SO more recently than myself, do you have any knowledge as to what the SO is doing for medical coverage of its members? I remember many times having to use state sponsored care (since our poverty-level income qualified us) when I was in, but with Obamacare has that changed, or do they have some kind of "religious exemption" for that as well? Thanks again for being there. You are doing great work. I look forward to hearing from you."