Articles

Quitting

In Introductions, Scientology on December 8, 2010 by ryepdx

I would like to point out now that I make a distinction between Scientology and the Church of Scientology. There are “Free Zoners” out there who do not operate under the Church’s authority for one reason or another. Sometimes they are for the very reasons I have listed here. Needless to say, the Church of Scientology is different from the Scientologist belief system and its sects. These Free Zoners are, in the Church’s view, heretical and “suppressive,” but, in my view, a perhaps safer alternative to Miscavige’s machine.

One more thing before I continue: I am not speaking out against Scientologists themselves. As people I think we all ought to get along and whatnot. Most Scientologists are ignorant of the policies and actions of the Church. They are told that all the reports and cases are simply lies told by Suppressive Persons. After having paid at least $33,000 (the price of becoming a Clear as of a few years ago) and having spent hundreds of hours of their lives in the Church’s service, most are more than happy to accept this. Nothing like confirmation bias, right?

You may have already guessed what I came up with regarding my doubts. I read more about Scientology, this time trying specifically to find pro-Scientologist stances on the Fair Game policy and the way Suppressive Persons ought to be treated. I found little about Fair Game aside from the assertion that the policy was repealed in 1968. I did find out that the passage of L. Ron Hubbard’s writings which state that anyone a 2.0 or lower on the tone scale should be “disposed of quietly and without sorrow” is often translated as an injunction to either re-educate or “permanently quarantine” such individuals, rather than killing them.

This discovery created more doubt in my mind as I realized that Scientologist scriptures may be different in practice than they were on paper. I was, to be sure, experiencing massive cognitive dissonance. The people at my work were incredibly nice people. Some of the best people in the world, I would wager. It was hard to reconcile what I knew of them with what I knew of the Church of Scientology. I also stood to gain a lot in a short period of time by working there, making my decision all the harder.

However I could not convince myself. The actions, I reasoned, and not the words of an organization must be the standard by which it is measured. By that standard the Church failed, even if the most conservative stance possible was taken in addressing the claims made by the Church’s detractors. There were too many suspicious deaths, too many claims of abuse, too many defectors at every level corroborating each other’s reports.

Even taking Scientology at its word I could not stomach it. At the very best, the Church of Scientology was espousing concentration camps for gays and lesbians, for they believe those sexual orientations are caused by being a 1.1 on the tone scale. The only way for gays and lesbians to escape such a fate would be for them to feign heterosexuality. (John Travolta, anyone?) This alone is enough for me to withdraw my support, the totalitarian, megalomanic, and genocidal aspirations of the Church aside.

Furthermore, I was fully aware that many Nazis in Hitler’s Germany were completely ignorant of the concentration camps. In fact, the majority of the Nazis were simple, commonplace German folk. They did not walk around scowling all the time, kicking puppies and murdering their mothers. They were people, as kind and flawed as anyone else. They were simply brainwashed. They were lied to. They were willing to believe what they were told. This is, I think, the state of the Church of Scientology.

Realizing this, of course, did little to help my emotional state. It was frustrating and confusing to find out that my friends were caught up in such an organization. I began to wonder if I was blowing it all out of proportion. Is my conscience too sensitive? I wondered. After all, I’m only aiding the Church indirectly. The INC has no official ties to the Church. But I knew that in working for the INC’s success I was working to generate dollars which would without doubt end up in the Church’s coffers, and no small number of dollars either. I knew that the windfall for the Church would likely sit somewhere in the millions.

I turned in my 30 days notice.

To be continued…

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3 Responses to “Quitting”

  1. I think it’s really admirable that you learned more about some of the happenings within the Church of Scientology and made an ethical decision that you couldn’t support them. Great post… I can’t wait to read the next installment!

  2. It’s the same kind of reasoning I’m hesitant to identify myself as a catholic rather than a christian… Churches are founded by human beings, and human beings are corrupt. I admire your conviction!

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