I tried. I really tried to convince myself I could keep doing this, but I can't. ESMB will be closed to new registrations and new posts on September 30th at 12pm AEST. The board will remain live and searchable for as long as I'm able to use a keyboard (hopefully at least another 25 years), but it will be in an archival state only. Thanks everyone for being a part of history. It's been a wild ride for the last 12.5 years. We were there to hear the amazing and tragic stories of many first time posters. We saw the rise of anonymous in 2008 and mass global protests. We saw and celebrated the Australian senate hearings in 2009/2010. We watched Marty Rathbun then Mike Rinder blow Scientology and begin to speak out around the same time, something we never saw coming, or even thought possible. We watched Tony Ortega take a stand against Scientology in the Village Voice, then later The Underground Bunker. We've seen movies, books, documentaries, Emmy winning TV shows all showcasing the cruelty of Scientology. We've watched major celebrities blow. We've seen the rise of YouTube channels, Facebook groups and blogs. I'd like to think that ESMB played a small part in creating the environment to allow these things to occur. In the beginning ESMB gave people a chance to tell their stories in a welcoming platform that hadn't existed previously. We've heard stories that hadn't been told before, from men and women who were there with Hubbard right from the start. Who could forget the stories from Alan Walter and Dart Smohen? Who will ever forget reading the stories as they emerged from Bea Kiddo, Alanzo, Scooter, Kevin & Vicky Mackey, Free To Shine, Mick Wenlock, Sallydance, Denise Brennan, Good Twin, Carmel, the list goes on and on. There have been good times and bad. Wars and marriages (at least 4 I know of), fun times and the grief of losing beloved friends. Real relationships were forged and lifetime friends/enemies made. We've had it all. I spent the entirety of my 40s in a failed marriage and as the owner of ESMB. Both of those things need to end so I can move forward with the next stage of my life. I have not done this alone. I'd especially like to thank Ethercat and Mick for bearing so much of the strain when I couldn't. Also the moderators who helped out tremendously when the post count got so high I couldn't manage on my own. They may not want to be named but you know who you are. The donors who kept it afloat. The posters who have stuck around with me from the very early days and welcomed all subsequent newcomers. Everyone who has ever posted to ESMB has contributed in some way to this community. Thank you - all of you. Next steps: Make sure you have the contact details of your friends. Private messages will be purged after September 30th in case we ever get hacked. I wish there was a way to download them but there isn't. If there is a particular conversation you want to keep, then just go to the conversation, right mouse click and "save as" webpage complete. It won't look as pretty but it will be saved in html format and you can still browse the page. Probably the easiest thing to do is to delete the conversations that you don't need, and then save the rest. Please spread the word to others that if they want to save their messages they need to do so before the deadline. Join groups, get involved with blogs or reclaim some spare time. On September 30th the board will be closed for a few hours while I change the settings to prevent new posts and new registrations. ESMB members will still be able to login to ESMB to read the members section. Someone start a new message board. A new installation of XenForo costs $160 USD and hosting can be had for $10 a month. A new board will have a small database so will fit on cheap hosting. Call it "Friends of ESMB" or something. I will gladly help someone set it up and would even pay for it myself if necessary. It's not that hard to set up - really. The hard part is running it. I think that's about it. This is a selfish decision and I know it. I know I will be upsetting a lot of people and I'm sorry, but I think it's time for me now. I'm sure there will be questions so let's get them asked and answered.