This is not the story of how I was raised in Scientology and ultimately got out, but this broadly sums up many of my beliefs and experiences along the way. Reading ex-Scientologist messages boards like this helped me start to break my mental bonds, and I felt it was about time I contributed something that would have helped me when I was finally brave enough to see what people were saying online. What kept me in The fear of losing my Scientology friends and family to disconnection The love I felt for the good people I know in Scientology The fear of losing my job at a Scientologist owned company The fear of Ethics coming down on me with interrogations, intimidation tactics, sec checks, lower conditions, non-enturb orders, comm evs, SP declares, etc. The fear of being “dead agented” to my friends and family by my former church if I spoke out Fearing how everyone I knew will regard me with disgust as a DB living a "wog life" if I leave Scientology The fear of “But what if I’m wrong and Scientology is right?” The fear of “losing my eternity” if I accept that this may just be the one life I get The pain of losing the money spent on courses and auditing The pain of admitting to all the time and energy wasted in Scientology The pain of failing to get a real education because I gave it up to pursue Scientology Wanting to help others and the world at large and believing Scientology gave me the tools to do that Being taught Scientology by my parents and others who I love and trust had only good intentions for me Being hung up on the “wins” I had in Scientology or working with Scientologists Being attacked by people who did not understand my beliefs and wanting to double down to prove them wrong The decades of being indoctrinated to only think in Scientology terms and filter the world through a lens of Scientology beliefs That Scientology can all seem to "work" as long as you do not try too hard to see behind the curtain The times “tech” worked that I could not explain any other way The times the tech did not work but I was told I was doing it wrong The phobia of “entheta” and “SPs” saying anything critical about Scientology Being discouraged from reading news, following politics, or caring about the "wog world" The belief all “Church attackers” were in an evil conspiracy to suppress mankind The idea that critics and squirrels only get louder when we are “winning” The mental trap that the only reason for leaving or criticizing is one’s own “crimes” The fear that sharing my doubts with anyone would get me reported The thought stopping I did to try to keep these dangerous ideas out of my mind Believing I could "create my emotions" and that I should will myself to be "up tone" when I had doubts or problems The self-doubt of how I be could right that Scientology is bad when I know so many smart Scientologists Not knowing so many had already gotten out and were living good, happy lives The desperate need to feel that sense of certainty and purpose Scientology can give The disdain for the “wog world” I was taught to hold for everyday people and their goals The distrust in governments, colleges, scientists, doctors, therapists, etc. that was instilled in me that kept me from being exposed to information that would crack my belief system Not wanting to feel like you could be so stupid as to believe in all this nonsense Not believing LRH could produce such as sheer mass of writings and lectures and develop so many processes and organizations without it holding some truth or value Not seeing a small truth can be used to build a bigger lie that traps you Not understanding how many relatively harmless beliefs could add up to a destructive system of mind control Not understanding how good people can believe they are doing the right thing but be trapped in a system that makes them abuse others and even themselves Believing that LRH was a good man who discovered a way to help all of us What got me out Realizing that doubt is not bad, and that it can lead to seeking truth, even when that means discarding closely held beliefs along the way That if I really believe Scientology gives me the ability to discern truth from lies, confront what I fear, and freely communicate about anything, that includes hearing what critics and ex-members have to say without prejudicing myself to assume they are lying criminals Reading and listening to the stories of ex-Scientologists who were not the frothing mad SPs I was told to fear, but that were clearly good people who had been abused Seeing that critics often had an even greater understanding of Scientology's beliefs than I did, and could explain its pitfalls and mental traps Coming to believe that a good religion cannot be based on lies and dominate its followers with fear Seeing how "certainty" is a dangerous drug that can give you complete conviction even when you are wrong Even truth as an ideal is dangerous to claim ownership of, since we can arrive at what feels like truth through faulty logic, unconscious biases, and nonsense beliefs Seeing the contradiction between being taught to follow Personal Integrity and only believe in truths I have observed as true, but also that any time you disagree with LRH you are wrong and the thumb screws will be tightened until you agree with the tech That not everything in life has been figured out, and what LRH says is certainly not the only way, and in fact many others have recommended even better solutions That people can and should leave when they are being abused and tricked, and they are not “blowing” because of “crimes.” Joining the Sea Org and seeing firsthand how "the tech" creates organizational insanity and a culture of fear, paranoia, and brutality That I cannot follow a religion that cares about its PR more than higher ideals like truth, justice, and compassion Discovering that LRH had wives and children he abused and neglected that were omitted from his life story Discovering that LRH lied about his military record and his war injuries which form the basis of the Dianetics story Reading a real LRH biography and learning the truth about the countless other lies he told about his life Feeling that what LRH said often lacked a timeless quality I would expect of a true religion, such as his fear of communism, homosexuals, taxes, etc. That I was trying to force facts to fit into Scientology’s framework, instead of seeing if Scientology lined up with the facts Wondering why the states of Clear and OT are defined as so amazing with beyond super human powers, but downplayed whenever I met a Clear or OT who did not live up to those claims Wondering why no one with supposed whole track recall of advanced galactic civilizations has ever recreated any of that technology and made a fortune on it That LRH is not right when he contradicts science just because he dismisses all other “authorities” and “experts” without much more than a hand wave Learning about how other cults and pseudosciences work and being forced to resolve the cognitive dissonance of seeing their parallels in Scientology Learning about skepticism and critical thinking, but being confused to see Scientology and Dianetics listed as quackery alongside 100 other things I agreed were nonsense Specifically, reading Carl Sagan, James Randi, and Michael Shermer and seeing that even though they criticized Scientology, they did not meet any of the supposed antisocial personality traits Learning about cognitive dissonance, the sunk cost fallacy, and other ways we trick ourselves That science and technology has advanced in ways LRH never predicted and that contradict his claims about the universe Finding that many psychologists and psychiatrists are good people doing valuable work that respects the autonomy and spirituality of the people they treat That statistics have nothing to do with personal ethics, and that stats cannot go up forever Admitting that not everything in Scientology is harmful, but most of the good comes from the kind people who got into it because they wanted to make a better world Realizing that the "wins" you have in Scientology do not excuse its many abuses and lies Further, that many "wins" are not what you are lead to believe, but rather states of hypnotic euphoria or simply being happy someone took the time to talk about your problems with you and help you think about things in a new way Finding out that most of Scientology is copied from other religions and philosophers, but usually altered or corrupted Seeing “wog” people and organizations succeeding despite applying zero LRH tech or even doing the complete opposite Discovering how OSA attacks perceived enemies and former Scientologists, especially the use of pc folders in blackmail and smear campaigns Seeing evidence OSA did this to people I knew who had left Scientology Admitting that, while the outside world is not perfect, it has a lot of good in it too Seeing that what is wrong with the world is not being fixed by Scientologists Learning that all cults try to replace their members’ true identities with a cult identity that is modeled on the founder (though this is often a fabrication itself) That the quirks in Scientology beliefs are there because they are an institutionalized expressions of LRH’s personal idiosyncrasies, fears, insecurities, desires, etc., not some deeper spiritual truth Meeting non-Scientologists who were supposedly boogeymen like atheists, LGBT, psychs, etc. and finding they were good and smart people too, not the 1.1 DB SP rock slammers I was told to expect I have left out the specifics of my story, but I hope these points express some of the process I went through as I deconstructed my mental prison. If you want me to go in depth on any of these points, or would like to read what others have written about them, just let me know and I would be happy to share what I can.