Over the last couple of months the opportunity has arisen for some lengthy conversations with a few Old Time Scientologists from my past.  Hmmm, I guess if you look at it from their perspective I’m from their past. Either way, they are people who I “knew” very well. That makes them both friends and people whose opinions I value. And, seeing as how two of them are currently either on staff or receiving services I’ll restrict my comments to the two who have left the Church of Scientology.

One of my friends is not a trained auditor. The other is a Class VIII and has a similar history in the Mission network to mine. Each had very different points of view regarding how they felt about the current CofS. But before I get into that I want to mention something that struck me as important from another, much more popular blog by an ex-Scientologist. The post was by a guy named Glenn Samuels and it was on Marty Rathbun’s Moving on Up a Little Higher blog.

I always think of that old TV show The Jeffersons when I see the title of Marty’s blog… you know… “to a deluxe apartment in the sky… moving on up…da-da-da-da… “. Okay, got sidetracked there. Back to the business of no longer being a Scientologist.

So what Glenn discussed in his lengthy entry on the blog were all the instances of out-tech being criminally perpetrated by the current regime running Scientology. I reread the post twice because it’s a little “dense”. Not dumb dense… dense in the sense that there is a lot of information to digest in order to get the gist of what he is saying in his evaluation of the current practices of Scientology.  I kept coming back here, to his number one observation in his bulleted list of outpoints:

1. Thought stopping and filtering what one says due to fear of punishment from session data. Not being able to talk freely, cutting their own communication to the auditor which obliterates the basic reason auditing works.

I gave that item some consideration and eventually concluded that this complaint, while perfectly valid, is not a creation of the David Miscavige and his RTC regime. In fact, as far back as I can recall there have been very clear and precisely defined aspects of Scientology, the “tech”, the organization, the history of L. Ron Hubbard, the Sea Org and more that Scientologists wouldn’t freely talk about.

For example – Did Hubbard actually discover Scientology?

Or how about all the articles and investigative journalism about Hubbard’s fabrications of his military and other history? Or the matter of how exactly it is that Dianetics morphed in Scientology and then morphed into the Church of Scientology.  And why were so many Clears observably not Clear at all. At least in their actions, displays of “case”, wild 2D indiscretions, financial woes, fistfights and tendency to need tons of additional review and rudiment auditing? I haven’t even started on the questions that had to be lingering, unspoken, in the minds of thousands of Scientologists from my era when they met actual OT completions who, for all intents and purposes, were no different than a non-Scientologist who is jacked up on life and feeling good about things in general.

What happened to, you know… THE POWER OF OT’s!!!!!!!!

I’ll guarantee you that if you were on the Class VI course at ASHO in 1969 and you openly questioned the myth of Hubbard’s naval service or mentioned in public that you didn’t quite understand why so many Clears you knew were casey and routinely demonstrated “bank”, you’d have been sent to the MAA for PTS handling.  And even questioning the Church aspect meant you were further indoctrinated into the script about why it’s really a church. Really, really a real church, not just a tax dodge. The script for the addition of “church” in front of Scientology was that we were spiritual counselors and therefore equal to any organized religion. We even have ministers with collars, Sunday Services and can perform legal marriages and the like. Just no praying, God or free tithing. We were the church with a price list and teams of hunter-killer salespeople who could sniff out a structured settlement faster than a squad of J.G. Wenthworth reps, expedite the sale of a house, do laser surgery on a credit application and sense an unmolested 401K in the middle of a financial meltdown.

About the only difference I see between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is that Scientology has existed an additional 30 years or so. Which means there has been the opportunity for thousands of more people to leave it when they came to the end of their money, patience or willingness to keep quiet about their doubts. And now that I’ve used the word “doubt”… go reread the Doubt Formula and see if it’s not really designed to quell curiosity and the questioning of absolute authority.

Okay. So now my two old friends. One left when I did, back in the early 80’s. The other more recently. The difference between the two when I have a conversation with them about Scientology is remarkable. The person who left in the 80’s… the trained auditor… is point blank in stating very clearly that the vast majority of what was accepted then as truth and fact… is pretty much bullshit. The recent blowee (nice word, huh?) is still somewhat under the ether when it comes to Hubbard, the evilness of Miscavige, the idea of a regimented, standard Scientological technical path to whatever the ultimate goal of a thetan is;  total freedom, immortality, reversing the advancement of aging, etc., etc. etc.

I dig both my friends. other than the fact they’re terrific people, they have a common, shared history that parallels mine and it makes for good conversations that are somehow more satisfying than the daily norm I go through. Yet I still believe that the recent blowee is suffering from years and years and years of deception. Not only incoming deception – where you are lied to by someone. But self-deception. And the more I think about it the less I am mystified about why on Earth anybody who reads the  descriptions of the EP’s of the upper levels would ever give another nickle to a Scientology organization.

Of course it’s easy for me to say. Now. I haven’t been a Scientologist for 28 years. The bloom is definitely off the rose in my case. But it took a while. During the beginning days of the world-wide explosion of the internet us ex and the current Scientologists along with all the Clambake folks and wild asses like Dennis Erlich and probably a respectable number of fat guys with computers sitting in their underwear… we all found each other on Usenet. The forum was alt.religion.scientology and it was extremely popular back in the early and mid 1990’s. I posted there frequently for a couple of years and looking back – because the internet never, ever goes away – it’s clear to me that even 10 years after leaving, I was still defending “the tech”.

Those of you who have extra time or are just morbidly curious can find my offerings under my fake name “wolf tripp”. I am both embarrassed by my unwillingness to just “let go” and at the same time, a little proud that I at least distilled the mesmerization with Hubbard as God away from what I saw as value in the training and auditing Scientology had to offer.

Still, the fact remains, from my several decades of watching Scientology and having family and friends who are active and vocal participants in it, pretty much the entire premise of Scientology being special, or a discovery or anything like a “path to total freedom”, is patent bullshit.  And I say that as a person who has done several thousand hours of auditing, started more than one successful Mission, trained hundreds upon hundreds of people, been directly responsible for a few thousand getting into Scientology and even being considered an Opinion Leader by enough people for me to feel uncomfortable because of the admiration.

Here’s the point where you might ask – if you were here – “David? What about all the case gain and wins I personally got? Are you trying to invalidate those very real effects that the tech had one me?”

And if you were here, I would answer – “Certainly not Bob (or whatever your name is). I got tons of gains and good stuff myself from the training and auditing.”

So what’s the point? Why the hell am I suggesting that Scientology is deceptive? The answer is – “Because it is deceptive.”

The premise, the root, the most foundational pillar that must be accepted in order for anyone to fully “be” a Scientologist is that Scientology is both unique and simultaneously a path towards some distant state of OT immortality that is not available elsewhere. The chances that you, the current or ex-Scientologist reading this blog either currently accepts that reality, or did accept it at one point is probably close to 100%.

Why else did you give those people $100,000? Or 10 or 20 years of your life? To imagine that anyone, me included, would fork over huge sums of money and giant, vital decades of our lives for something that we didn’t absolutely believe was the only thing available is…well… naive. And to just walk away and freely admit that you were not only clipped, but that you were a willing participant in your own clipping is more than even strong, independent egos can easily handle. It’s, as they say, way out-gradient.

But hey! You’re here, reading this. And that means you’re in the process of unbinding yourself from the deceptions that you willingly paid for and that you purposefully lied to yourself about.


Yes. Yes it does. I know that as well as anyone because I committed many acts of tech over the years. Still do, in fact. Going back to that Glenn Samuels article I mentioned earlier, he tells a story about how Hubbard did plenty of auditing without an e-meter and so forth and so on. Which just tells me that often times when you’re involved in a discussion with an insightful and helpful person and when that person has a record of directing communication in certain patterns to achieve certain results (EP)… then you’re being audited. I’ve done it about a jillion times with my children. Or with employees, fellow workers, friends and family.

Good two-way communication that results in one or both people feeling relief and looking at life with a new-found excitement is NOT UNIQUE TO SCIENTOLOGY. Nor did L. Ron Hubbard discover how to communicate effectively. Nor will it make you immortal. And it won’t cause money or acting gigs to drop out of the sky or ancient memories of buried treasure to resurface. But it will give you enough clarity of mind to not miss good events when they appear. Of course it’s still up to you to act upon circumstances.


If you have done any auditor training at all then you have listened to scores or even hundreds of hours of Hubbard lecturing. Through the training up to Class IV and then the SHSBC and then onto the Class VIII course what I remember the most is having those effing headphones on my ears for hundreds of hours. Taking notes, getting check sheets signed and then more and more and more and more taped lectures. That’s what Hubbard did. He talked about whatever direction his thoughts took him and then he wrote tech bulletins and policy letters based on the free association of the lecture.

And he was damned good at it as well. Not to mention, the guy wrote like a demon! The very definition of prolific.

So there I was, sitting in the classroom listening to one of the huge check list of SHSBC tapes and Hubbard started droning on about repetitive processing. It’s been over 40 years so how about I paraphrase what he said on this one tape? In essence he declared that anything done in a repetitive fashion that had some sort of orderly design to it is capable of producing a positive result on a preclear.

Anything? Well, that’s what he said. Anything. So, if for example, you were depressed and unhappy and couldn’t get laid and hated your job – I could, as an auditor – have you come over to my house every day for 2 hours. During that time we could walk through a park, a mall and then a quiet neighborhood and if I asked you at the beginning of the walk to tell me what was on your mind, and we did that every day for two weeks… you’d probably make case gain.

All I would have to do is understand that we needed to to the same thing every day – go the same route – and that I needed to merely prod you a bit when required, make subtle acknowledgments that I heard what you said, and not offer my opinion about anything you brought up. I once made a joke about this – admittedly in bad taste – that most preclears were so ready for change and wanting to get better that you could probably charge them $50 and hour and instruct them to stand on their head in the shower stall, turn the water on and masturbate… and most of them would float the needle at the examiner.

Yeah, ridiculous, I know. But Hubbard said as much. Okay, not the shower and uhhh… other part… but the principle is the same. What he apparently understood was that the words and patterns, while important, weren’t the real reason people seemed to become happier in Scientology. It was the fact that someone was paying attention to them and directing their words, patterns and attention. And the deception is that Scientology has the means to ascend to some exalted state of being that isn’t available elsewhere.

Speaking of exalted states…


Some years ago a reg from Flag was out here in Idaho beating the bush for money and he called me up. I cheerfully accepted his invitation for a lunch date and we spent a pleasant couple of hours together. He wanted to recover me. I was curious about what, if anything, had changed in the several years that Miscavige had been running the show. When he attempted to run a must/have – can’t/have on me regarding my immortal thetan and relative level of success or meaningful contribution to ‘the planet’ he brought up a bunch of celebrities and quite a few successful Scientologists that he knew I had associated with or knew.  These guys often do their homework.

The gist of his pitch was that the successful people I knew, who were still involved, were successful because they were Scientologists. Of course, that’s exactly what just about every Scientologist says… when they’re winning. Before they get pissed off and blow. Of course they attribute success to Scientology. That’s what they’re doing! What else would they attribute it to?

Well, if a person isn’t a Scientologist and is rich, successful, happy, contributing meaningful things to his or her fellow humans, creating beautiful art or music, winning awards, being admired and just living a dream… then how the hell does Scientology explain that? Or how does Christianity or Islam or any “faith” explain the simple, observable fact that plenty of folks do quite well and are happier than a pig in mud… and they aren’t being guilted into forking over massive amounts of cash.

How do you explain Bill Gates?

My Flag guy had no choice but to fall back on the same damned trick that the first shamans used to get out of real work and attain power over others… he assured me that immortality – the real kind, the OT kind – was just not available anywhere but in the Scientology Bridge. What he wanted me to believe, because he certainly did, was that we live in a world where despite clear evidence to the contrary, Scientology is the only subject capable of taking a spirit from degradation to immortal freedom. And to think… a mere twenty years before that day I probably would have accepted that deception. Because I wanted it to be so.

Now, in 2010, we know quite a bit about how deceptive Scientology has become. Also, if one is willing to confront it, how deception has always been the glue which sticks thetans to Scientology. So when Glenn Samuels, who I sort of know and respect, says that is one of the trademarks of the current out-tech regime… the hampering of free, unfettered communication… what he isn’t saying is that this has always been the case with Scientology. In fact, it’s pretty much always been the case with any organized religion. That’s how religion – and I still don’t accept that Scientology is a religion in the strict sense – has always controlled it’s flocks. Threat and deception. Take God’s name in vain? Extra tithe and some penance. How is that any different than being ordered to Review to get additional Sec Checks and then having to work your way through some laborious and Kafkaesque ethics cycle?

It isn’t any different. It’s all about controlling you and your communication and it always has been about that. Oh sure, back in the 60’s and 70’s things were new and fresh enough that the deception was more a background murmur. Whereas today the deception is overbearing and rigorously enforced and, if people like Marty Rathbun can be believed, it will be enforced by cadres of private eyes and undercover agents coming at you hammer & nail bent on squelching you and your right to communicate.

By the way… one of the friends I talked to recently called me from Flag. About a year or two back we had several lengthy conversations where he was definitely ‘on the edge’ regarding what Scientology had to offer him at this point. He’s a successful man who earns plenty and has an overall nice life and the undercurrent of his communication was that the direction of the current management of CofS was very, very troubling to him. But not now. He’s back on the path. I found it particularly meaningful that he specifically mentioned that he was doing great at Flag because he’d had a bunch of witholds pulled.

Ain’t that interesting? I’ll tell you all what I think of that in the future… after I do some posts about where Scientology actually came from and the real reason it’s a church.

Thanks for reading. Sorry about not adding any pictures. I’ll remedy that soon.

  1. routeplanner says:

    I think thats called nailing your colours to the mast! I personally found the tech greatly beneficial but I appreciate your viewpoint.

  2. ensifer says:

    Heh! I haven’t heard that one for quite a few years. Thanks for the smile.

    Like you, I got many fine results from auditing and training. Of course I’m not suggesting that using Scientology ‘tech’ is meaningless… just that Scientology is a deceptive organization that conditions it’s members to stop looking and to curtail communication that doesn’t align with the storyline.

    Submitting to the rules of conduct that specifically address questioning the sources and originality of the tech is a sure-fire way to keep people under control and to keep the cash flow streaming in. So I guess I nailed my flag to the ‘mizzen after the RTC appeared in San Francisco and started attacking the Mission network.

  3. Dilettante says:

    What is discouraging about the doctrine is that any independent thought or examination of the information is forbidden. Certainly forbidden on the internet, with former members, the media and EVEN inside the confines of the group! It is a unique situation to be confronted with but all too common among members. To query a policy or bulleton is very expensive as in “review” “word clearing” and all other manners of shutting you up. I have come to understand my integrity amounts to much more than their attempts to handle me. Much of my experience in auditing and training are still valuable-worth every penny. The lessons I’ve learned about ignoring my instincts-PRICELESS. I do cherish the irony of the phrase “look, don’t listen”, as if Davinci’s very hand carefully concealed it into one of the masterpieces.

    • ensifer says:

      Nicely said Dilettante. Particularly about your instincts.

      For the last 10 years leading up to my departure from the CofS I read virtually every book that wasn’t supposed to be read… and there were books we were warned to not read. None of it really described the people I worked with and cared about but I knew much of it was true. Still, knowing that motorcycles are dangerous doesn’t eliminate the exhilaration of riding one very fast. So each of us reconciles our knowledge of the perils of an activity against the potential gain of that activity. Right?

      So I stayed involved because I knew that in my zone-of-control bad shit was not happening. Then, when it came knocking at my door in the form of the RTC, I walked away.

      Yeah, independent thought is anathema to control-cults… but the smart people know how to keep a withhold a withhold.

  4. Just Me says:

    Nice piece, Ensifer. You are a smart mouth!

    Recently, as you may have seen, Geir Isene put up a post on his blog about what events and factors inspired him to leave the church. And, being Geir, he rated them on an 11-point scale. He then invited folks to say what inspired them to leave.

    Which brings me to your post, Ensifer.

    I said it was the PDC that made me leave the church. I learned really well on that course how to disagree. Which was appropriate, I guess, because by that point I’d learned really well how to agree.

    I honestly don’t know how anybody who really got the PDC would stick around where they didn’t want to hang. Hell, creative processing alone — do, don’t, will, won’t, toss it over your shoulder, in the toilet, etc. — would teach you to look for the doors and windows just to keep your game up.

    Frankly, if the church were smart they’d stop offering the PDC, at least the version I did.

    The main thing is when you start to disagree everything gets a lot less serious. And Lord knows this world needs a lot more less serious.

    But … but … agree and disagree, taken together, make both so pleasurable. Unlike you, I’ve not been in the Scientological blogosphere even a year yet. It’s been a chance to watch (and experience) how ‘must agree’ and ‘must disagree’ play up on the stage. Either one — stultifying!

    OK. Done now. Thanks for the microphone.

    Just Me