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. 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.