Hello. Have I been completely TAKEN FOR A RIDE?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TheBellMare, May 2, 2009.

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  1. TheBellMare

    TheBellMare Patron

    My question is, is there ANY Scientology program that is worth the donation? ANY at all? The Volunteer Ministers? Teaching kids to read better? ANY of it?

    Please pardon me for telling my story first.

    I have been trying to be a Scientologist for about three years now, with several family members as Scientologists, and last year I was persuaded to donate a lot of money (Patron with Honors) to promote their Human Rights work among other things. I have taken a number of public courses up through PTS SP and have been working my way through the Basics, but have not done the first step on the Bridge yet. I like the people in the local org, they are good hearted people. I attended a course on the Ship – it was short, fast paced and kind of intense, and I had a good time snorkeling – and went to Flag in Clearwater Florida for 2 rundowns.

    I was very unhappy at Flag. People were RUNNING down the halls. Trying to acheive some goal. Something is not right here. If this were a business it is obviously a business in trouble. This is a religious retreat?? I was emotionally up and down all over the place, ended up screaming at my auditor, had not a minute to myself, and I was reg’ed for donations and Bridge CONSTANTLY. I was leaned on, pushed, fawned over, wined and dined, feted, awarded, etc. etc, (same treatment I had gotten all year, multiplied by 100) just to get me to donate, to do the SuperPower, to do the Bridge.

    I thought, why should I even want to go up this Bridge? Improve my ability? -- I am already very able. Why should I want to “exteriorize” – for the thrill of it? Go up the Bridge so I can save the world – hmm, that is possible, I do want to help, and have always wanted to help. The IAS had pushed my “help others” button like real pros.

    I made some small book donations, but not the Big One that three OTVIIs spent 7 hours trying to get out of me. I smelled a rat. Here I am in this giant organization, glossy publications all around, a multistory building full of Scientologists, and three people, obviously very high up type people, are spending all this time with a new person. What's the matter with the other people -- all these OT's walking around here surely have the capability to make large sums of money and donate to all these causes -- don't they??

    My “Win” at Flag was I became certain that I could not be intimidated by anyone or anything, not even a giant organization. (Which incidentally, the auditor wrote down as “certain that I cannot be intimidated even by a giant” in my folder, and I thought, “what are you afraid of? I said, "I cannot be intimidated even by a giant ORGANIZATION”.)

    I kept a spreadsheet of the financial aspect of my three years in COS and concluded they were only after me for my wallet.

    I have been variously a Catholic, an atheist, and a Christian (fundamentalist thru New Age type stuff), looking for the answer to How Should We Then Live? I like to read stuff like the Origins of Art and Religion trying to figure out the basic questions. Scientology seemed like a paradigm shift in belief to me, and offered some explanations for a bunch of the basic questions. The suppressive person explanation made some basic sense - Hitler, Stalin and Jeffery Dahmer were all abused children, & so was my mother-in-law -- so maybe that explains she and Hitler were just bad guys, seems like a workable model -- or so I thought.

    I do think Hubbard was a brilliant guy, but all along I kept noticing inconsistencies in the writing, incongruities in public announcements, no documentation of various claims, why do you have to sign this long legal “I-won’t-sue-the-church” form every time you take a course (what are they afraid of?), the past life book was pure bad science fiction, I had the sensation that he was manipulating or laughing at the audience, etc. etc., as I read and listened to the tapes and lectures. I knew there was this Anti-scientologist sentiment but thought, hey, Freedom of Religion, right? So if you’re mad, sue them like the abused altar boys sued the Catholic Church. It was in that category for me.

    My brother and sister-in-law were Sea Org for 30 years (he left last year – and has said very little against Scientology, just said he was ready to do something else with his life), my husband, stepson, daughter-in-law and daughter are all now involved in Scientology. My husband volunteered after Hurricane Katrina with the Scientologists, became convinced that they were the most effective organization, as far as helping people, that he had ever seen. His auditing has cured him of migraine headaches, and the purif improved his health, erasing a lot of long term intestinal health problems. My daughter had a lot of auditing and went from a suicidal pre-teen (early sexual abuse) to a confident, poised and beautiful 18 year old. My brother and sister in law, the ex Sea Org folks, I have to admit seem less mentally and emotionally screwed up than a lot of my other family members. So it seems like Scientology was doing a good thing here and there, on some serious stuff.

    After my determination that the Co$ was just after me for my wallet, I have cooled quite a bit. I have stopped receiving these fawning phone calls, because I have a tendency to be very blunt with the reg.:angry:

    Then I happened to go to the internet, just 3 weeks ago. (Why not before this, you ask? I trusted my husband and I want to be with him. Why dig up a lot of dirt if the Church is doing a good thing for him? And my ex Sea Org brother seemed OK – even mentally healthy - tho we did not see him very much for 28 years – he was a Class 4 Auditor and only ARC Straightwire, not OT.)

    But then I happened to go to the internet. Yeesh. You have got to be kidding me. This is the bridge -- OTIII the Xenu stuff? The volcano stuff? You want to make up some story about a volcano and thetans and crap that’s okay, but I have a MS in geology -- I found the http://www.xenu.net/archive/OTIII-scholar/ reference that states there was no volcanism 75 MMYrs ago in Las Palmas and the other volcano sites claimed in OTIII. That author had done a good job referencing his analysis and he was correct. So what is this OTIII crap, just crazy? or supposed to be some kind of a metaphor? I also thought, well, OK if you want to believe we landed here on a meteor and God looks like something out of Aliens III, go ahead, but I don’t like my Gods to look stupid. Give me a golden calf any day. (Lots of Christians believe that Christ ascended into heaven, hey, in my opinion maybe Jesus stepped behind the curtain, did a bit of sleight of hand, and somebody else – maybe the Apostle Paul’s buddies -- killed all the ones who asked questions, so that now only one story gets handed down. Christ's message about how to live is the heavy stuff, not the "ascended into heaven" bit.) So OT III. This is supposed to be the goal to believe in, the vaunted Wall of Fire? Give me a !@#$% break. I called my brother and sister-in-law and they said they knew nothing about it and I wasn't supposed to read ahead in the sacred texts because I would get ill. You may be delighted to know that - to date - I have not caught even a touch of the swine flu from "reading the sacred texts".

    And then I happened to go to the internet. Lisa Mcpherson. Oh my God. A list of 227 deaths, including 64 suicides. Lawsuits. Human rights abuses. Forced abortions. Criminal behavior. And documents. Documents documents documents. Records. Facts. Statistics. All negative. All negative. The documented fact that LRH's own family is a complete shambles. A complete, complete failure as a family. "Set a good example"??? per the Way to Happiness????? Oh my God.

    And then I happened to go to the internet and saw the Jason Beghe interview. Ahaaa. This is a guy saying that very core of Scientology is destructive. The very core. They sell it as an increase in ability, an increase in happiness in your life, this is all great stuff, go up the bridge and help save mankind. Sounds great. But if the very core of it is destructive. . . .and it is all only a scam for power and control. . . . That makes this a whole new ball of wax.

    How very, very, very clever. . . .

    So. At the church, they say, "you can't believe what you see on the internet." Hmmm. . . Jason sounded like he was telling the truth – he sort of had the ring of truth, you know what I mean? So did Mark Headley. The inconsistencies I had noticed all fell into place. I checked to see whether Russell Miller (Barefaced Messiah) had been successfully sued for libel. Did not find any evidence that he had been. (Is that correct?) So Miller must have been documenting the truth. And Jon Atack (Piece of Blue Sky) any successful libel lawsuits by COS against him?

    (Incidentally, my admiration for Jason Beghe, Mark Headley and Tory Christman is off the charts. Cojones, cojones grandes. Quite amazing.)

    Mental Fascism? The reactive mind and all that jazz just a method to control? The Emeter as Control Mechanism? The organizational structure designed only to lead you in to control you. . . . And that if you DO go up the bridge, you get more and more fucked up and more and more indoctrinated. . . . And that there is a higher incidence of cancer at OT7 and OT8? (what is the documentation on that?) Well. That’s different.

    Kind of like the Catholic Church; Your Reward Is In Heaven so that Justifies your Shit life in this Hellhole on Earth, This Vale of Tears. And by the way, buy these Plenary Indulgences to reduce your time in Purgatory. And the Inquisition. . . .and the Crusades. . . and the whole set of f#%#d up Latin American countries that were screwed up by the Catholic Church social system of control. . . .

    Wow. If the Catholic Church could change history – and fuck it all up so badly. . . and if Islam just slams women behind a veil and leaves them there for centuries. . . and if Scientology aims for us to be only pawns, paying through the nose for some mysterious and potentially destructive Bridge, while they take over freedom of thought, freedom to know, freedom itself. . . .

    So, my question is, is there ANY Scientology program that is worth the donation? ANY at all? The Volunteer Ministers? Teaching kids to read better? ANY of it?

    At this point - early in my research to be sure - I have not found clear unbiased documentation that any of these social programs are workable, and actually provide assistance to the audience for which they are intended. Is there any? Any salvageable benefit. At all.

    Or have I been completely Taken for A Ride.

    (All Hell Hath No Fury. . . .)

    If your documented answer is NO Salvageable Benefit, then

    Count me in. Like I said, I have always wanted to help.
  2. Mystic

    Mystic Banned


    Hi TheBellMar

    Welcome to ESMB. I did the cult for 35 years, did the entire so-called "Bridge" and was a highly acclaimed auditor. And yes, there is nothing of value in the entire cult that I can find. Well, there is one major lesson: You get to find out what Spirit is NOT though claimed to be.
  3. Tim Skog

    Tim Skog Silver Meritorious Patron

    Yes BellMare, most of us were taken for a ride at the amusement park of scientology. Welcome to ESMB.
  4. bobthesp

    bobthesp Patron with Honors

    Welcome TheBellMare! Great to have you here!

    No time to really ponder your question, but I think there is a lot to be said for the Success Through Communication Course. That's all I can think of at the moment.
  5. Boojuum

    Boojuum Silver Meritorious Patron

    The church opened my eyes to a lot of mental and organizational ideas which I felt were usable and effective in leading a better life. As the years rolled on, I didn't notice that I had abandoned all my own personal interests. I'd become an indoctrinated zealot, convinced of my own rightfulness and righteousness. I was completed convinced that I was saving the world from insanity. Eventually, all the inconsistencies piled up to the point where I dared to read controversial books in the same vein as you. I am very much out and am not going back. The books tell the story in detail. The internet is loaded with true stories that will give you a clear picture of what the cofs is about.

    I don't think there's a simple answer to, "Was I completely duped." That's why many of us still hang out on this board, trying to make sense of all the good we felt and saw while connected to the CofS. In my case, parts of the CofS experience was wonderful. Some of the wins in auditing were simply terrific; some of the friends I had were fantastic; the energy level in the orgs could be sensational. But I left and my life is much, much better than it ever could have been if I had stayed in. I was cheated by the church. I was lied to by the church. I was hypnotised into believing a lot of crap. I GAVE years of my life to the support of a man who showed virtually no appreciation for my efforts. I was conned.

    Your participation in the church is an irony. You will need to sort out the good with the bad. I think the church abuses people physically and emotionally. Many public are truly conned out of whatever money they have or can get access to. Many of the staff are saintly but have bought into an organization that will stop at nothing in its effort to expand and make money--for the sanity of this sector of the universe. If you show any weakness toward either donating your time or money, that weakness will be exploited.

    The longer you participate in the CofS, the harder it is to get out.

    My answer to your original question is that there are some pieces of the Church that are good but the price is very, very, very high and not worth it--at least to me.

    Welcome to the board!
  6. HappyGirl

    HappyGirl Gold Meritorious Patron

    :welcome: TheBellMare! You described pretty much what I did and how I felt on my "road out." Jason Beghe was a major influence in getting me to see how mind f---ked I was. I share the same sentiments as everyone else that has responded to this thread thus far.

    I was very amused that your auditor edited what you actually said! :eyeroll: What a hoot. I can see there's a lot of integrity left in the organization these days! :melodramatic:

    I'm glad you're here, and am looking forward to hearing more from you. :)
  7. Wisened One

    Wisened One Crusader

    :welcome2: ESMB, TheBellMare!

    Yeah, we were all taken for one HELL of a Ride, huh? AND we were even enjoyin' it! (for a while). :eyeroll:

    And WOW what a first post, I found myself almost yellin' 'Hell, YEAH' to every other sentence in your story!

    And I agree, about Tory, Mark, Astra, Marc, Jason, Jenna, etc. all havin' cajones grande! :hifive: They all were instrumental in gettin' us out, too!

    Look forward to hearin' more from ya! :yes:

  8. Leon

    Leon Gold Meritorious Patron

    Just to give some balance here - I had a wonderful ride in Scientology - many don't believe me but it is true. I was out on the far fringe in Africa and we had very little Sea Org crap affecting us. We just got on with it and used the best of Scientology to the best effect for all of us.

    Later - in the late seventies and early eighties, I saw the game changing and realised it was time for me to leave. So I did. But "proper" Scientology - which Veda will tell you is not Scientolgy at all - is wonderfully worthwhile.
  9. Alanzo

    Alanzo Banned

    I understand this viewpoint.

    I started out in the Midwest US, mostly under a mission holder who had become a follower of L Ron Hubbard in 1950.

    In the early 1980's, when I got in, LRH's Sea Org was not powerful enough to reach in with too much insanity. I got in, and stayed in originally, on the ideals which first attracted me.

    But as all of LRH's Command Intention through SO ED's and "Exec Strata" and Navy Knockoff Bullshit from the mid1960's onward began to manifest itself through the Sea Org and into SMI, my little area of the cornfields became invaded, and I moved to LA.

    Los Angeles was like jumping from the frying pan into the fire: Scientology in LA was the craziest corruption of my ideals, and the ideals that I thought Scientology was built upon, ever.

    It took me ten years to see that.

    When I finally did, I got out.

    Welcome to ESMB, TBM.
    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  10. Been Done Had

    Been Done Had Patron with Honors

    Hi and Welcome!:happydance:

    Very much enjoyed your post. Keep em coming!
  11. speedbrake

    speedbrake Patron


    I really enjoyed your post! Jason's video did it for me too;)) He is awesome!!! It's really amazing but we were all taken for an ugly ride...Don't knock yourself, it just happened, now it's over;)):thumbsup:
  12. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free

    I'm reading a hardcover of Bare Faced Messiah for the first time, rather than bits on the net. Even in the first part of the book you can see how Hubbard's imagination, paranoia and straight out lies are the theme that he masterminded into "the tech" and the cult. Very, very clever...and yes, we were taken for a ride. The bits that seem to work are also a mish-mash of other practices, re-named with new jargon. There are simpler ways to get the apparent gains. :)
  13. scooter

    scooter Gold Meritorious Patron

    :welcome: BellMare - loved your post - it had me cheering.

    Yes I've found some of what I gathered in my thirty years "in" useful - but definitely not worth the price I paid for it.

    Some of the stuff (like some of the study stuff, some of the basic auditing stuff and even some of the narconon materials) are quite valuable and do create miracles sometimes.

    But there isn't the consistency of result that I was led to believe - and that was the greatest mindf#!k of all.

    As a trained C/S, Crammo and Course Sup I always took MY blame out on me for not getting the results - when in some cases they were never there to be had in the first place (narconon is a classic example of this - currently boasting 75% succes rate when in reality it's definitely less than 50% and in some centres as low as 5 or 10%)

    It's not all a con - there's just enough truth and goodness there to keep you stuck to the trap.
  14. Kha Khan

    Kha Khan Patron Meritorious

    I'm not sure prior posters have answered your precise question. As I understand the above, your precise question is not whether Scientology has any ideas or theories that have any benefit at all. (Like many Exes, I think some of the very basic, non-OT, non-Implantology "tech" has some value. However, it is not worth the cost not only in money, but primarily in deception, coercion, non-falsifiability and, quite frankly, losing your soul and becoming that which you hate.)

    As I understand it, your precise question is whether any of the purported COS social benefit programs "are workable, and actually provide assistance to the audience for which they are intended. Is there any? Any salvageable benefit. At all."

    I can't give you a "documented answer." I would, however, suggest a number of things.

    First, regarding documentation, I would say that at least the initial burden of proof is on the purportedly charitable organization -- be it Scientology, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, etc. Most if not all reputable charitable and social organizations can provide information regarding their costs, expenses, and benefits provided. They are audited. They can tell you the percentage of donations spent on expenses, the number of meals served, people housed, etc. Further, there are websites that rate charities:

    Charity Navigator

    The American Institute of Philanthropy

    Charity Guide

    You will notice that none of the Scientology related charities provide the information necessary to be rated, or even mentioned.

    Thus, I think the COS has failed to satisfy its initial burden of proof, and that the absence of evidence of beneficial charitable effect is evidence of absence of beneficial charitable effect.

    Secondly, Scientology doctrine dictates that none of the purported social benefits groups are even intended to help others, but are instead intended to help the reputation of the COS and bring in new people. The doctrine of exchange and the obsession with not rewarding down statistics mean that the Church is fundamentally opposed to the concept of "charity." Add in Ron's derogatory comments about Degraded Beings (DBs) and it is difficult to take COS social benefit programs seriously.

    Thirdly, think what else you could do with the money. The last I checked, Patron With Honors requires a total of $100,000 in donations. Do you have any idea what other charities could do with that money? How many people could be fed? How many children could be sponsored?

    I laud your charitable purpose, and you are yet another example of the fact that the COS attracts some of the most idealistic, well intentioned people. But seriously, contributing to COS front organizations does no good, and actually promotes harm. (Have you seen CCHR literature?) Your money could do so much good somewhere else.
  15. xseaorguk

    xseaorguk Patron Meritorious

    Also enjoyed reaading your post.
    I am an ex Sea Org member, was involved in the cult for 30 yrs.
    The only thing I really got anything out of was my first course, the old communication course.
    I enjoyed the purification Rndwn as a 19 yr old, but had few toxins to get rid of, but felt fitter and cleaner afterward.

    As you said in your post, I was also amazed at how I had been lied to and deceived about Hubbards family and REAL life history.

    Look forward to your future postings....:happydance:
  16. NeXTep

    NeXTep Patron with Honors


    Welcome to the board!

    Don't think you will get all your answers cleared up here, but you may be directed in the right direction. The more you read the more confused you'll be so use some discernment and listen to your inner voice too.

    This said, I was 15 actively in Scientology and then 8 more in the FZ to do the OT levels and I must say it was a ride I would not want to have missed in any case. As in anything here in this game, where there is light there is shadow too. However nowadays in the CofS it seems that shadows are growing bigger than light. And the lights in Scn are fading away at a fast rate.

    So I had my wins and losses as anyone else in CofS/FZ and I see you had them too. Don't invalidate them, they got you there where you are now!

    The important thing in life for whatever belief system you indulge into, one day you must grow beyond that and find your own path. Any and all belief systems are only traps and you will have to grow out of them on your own. The end result is actually the freedom from belief systems and religions altogether.

    In any case if you look upon your involvement in Scientology only as negative you are setting yourself up for a loss. So don't judge yourself for having been there and take credit for the fact that you have grown beyond the need of it and keep looking around for the next step in your evolution. It is there waiting for you.
  17. Good twin

    Good twin Floater

    Welcome TBM.

    Anything of value? :no:

    Taken for a ride? :yes:
  18. EP - Ethics Particle

    EP - Ethics Particle Gold Meritorious Patron

    Glad you found us!

    GT's answer is good - I'll just add this: if you like to :run:eek:n one of these :treadmill:with regges to keep ya motivated and add interest to the game :shark: then Scientology may be for ya! :melodramatic: :coolwink:

  19. Pooks


    You were taken for a ride.

    Glad you're here talking with us.


  20. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    There are things of value in Scientology. If you think about it, there would have to be for so many good-hearted people to be involved with it for decades despite the downside of brutal money-grubbing and so forth.

    Do the pros outweigh the cons? Generally, it would seem not, although it is not an easy call. For one thing, the "what would my life have been like if..." routine by its very nature is not particularly valid. For example, your family members seem to have benefited while being involved with Scn. Was that benefit because of Scn or because of some other factors? Would similar benefits have occurred without that involvement with Scn?

    Personally I found lots of benefit in the auditing and training. I was in the Sea Org for 23 years, at Saint Hill and in LA, mostly at the International Training Organization. I don't regret my time spent there. How different would my life have been without all that? Who knows?

    The CofS sucks bigtime. Some of Scn is very useful, but it is not necessarily easy to find the workable bits.


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