The story of one apostate

CatholicBy Is that clear enough?

One individual who, as recently as nine months ago was on staff at one South African org, is today happily volunteering full time for a Catholic mission near Pretoria. This person has held executive and technical positions in orgs, is an OT, a trained auditor, and claims she is having the time of her life in her new-found faith of Catholicism.

This article is not written by her, nor did she give any direct input to it – nor would she approve its being written. It is my personal cogitations as someone close to her – my own musings on what might drive a trained Scientologist to such a path, for she is far from being the only one. I personally know of another ex-executive who has recently found contentment in Catholicism, and many others who readily admit to all along having attended mass (and synagogue, for that matter).

Before looking at why our ex staff member might find such solace that the org could not even remotely approach, a rapid-fire history lesson is called for. Scientology in its relatively brief 60 year history (this year is that anniversary) presents a highly condensed parallel of the Catholic Church’s own 2,000-year history: it (like Scn) completely squirreled its tech to suit the Roman Empire pagan population (okay, Miscavige hasn’t exactly done THAT); it destroyed all competing sects and dogmas quite brutally in Europe at least (the only exception being the Irish Celtic Church, but nobody defeats the Irish!); it launched the Crusades (IAS’ crusade against the psychs ring a bell?); it suppressed its public with the Spanish Inquisition, burning heretics at the stake (makes expulsion seem utterly mild); both are fantastically rich; it split as a result of the protestant Reformation (which Scientology is going through right now).

More recently, it has also experienced a depth of bad publicity due to widespread allegations of sexual abuse by priests, much like Scientology for mostly different reasons. But that is where the similarities end – because the Catholic Church has emerged from its crisis stronger than ever and according to population surveys is attracting new converts due to its culture of transparency, compassion and the new Pope’s earthy charisma. Congregations attending my local Catholic Church spill out the door. This is from my personal observation – just as only four people in my local org’s course room (over a weekend!) has been my own personal observation.

That aside, after numerous discussions with our ex-staff member I have compiled a report on the fundamental differences between working for the org and for a Catholic mission that prompted her decision:

  • There’s no Sandra de Beer (frankly, the list could end right there).
  • She earns even less pay at the mission (in fact, nothing) but receives three solid and highly nutritious meals a day and fairly luxurious accommodation.
  • She works about 4-6 hours a day, which leaves her enough time to still do some of the personal work admin as well as doing tele-sales for her brother-in-law’s business, for which she earns 10% commission (and that alone has earned her more than a couple of years’ pay on staff).
  • Love is in the air. Think that’s a joke? When does ‘love’ ever get mentioned in Scientology? Never. Instead we get ‘out-ethics’, ‘criminal exchange’, ‘CICS’, ‘DB’ and a host of other endearments. Catholics feel love for God and for their fellow man.
  • The word that most frequently passes her lips in describing the Catholic faith is ‘compassion’. Many people don’t realise that a person who all at once leaves staff, Scientology and much of their family is akin to an abused and traumatised spouse – THEY NEED COMPASSION, and it is not to be found in the Church of Scientology, It is to be found elsewhere, including Independent Scientology.
  • She did once fall into a condition of treason, and the handling she got was more compassion and a mild rebuke. Not threats of expulsion, disconnection from all family and friends and the end of her hopes of eternity.
  • She can come and go as she pleases. Having a family, there are frequent calls for her to return home and no stop is placed on that. They appreciate the volunteer work she is doing and frequently validate her. In contrast, while the org always ‘promised’ she could have time off for family vacations (etc), in practice so much stress (CI) was placed on her request that the final ‘CSW OK’ was usually only given literally moments before the rest of the family left on vacation. Unsurprisingly, they ceased including her in holiday plans.
  • Rather than working with illiterates sleepwalking through a PE course they couldn’t understand because English isn’t their language – in other words, it’s just a stat – she works with people who go to the mission on a religious retreat. That means they may care just as little for the religious dogma, but they actually want to be there and are having a ball because it’s a holiday.
  • Scientology no longer offers spiritual guidance (rather financial ‘out-guidance’). Other churches such as the Catholics do.
  • They also have fundraisers! Oh yes, it’s a once a year dinner and ball that costs R180/head.
  • The mission gets the ultimate accolade – charitable funding from Lotto. Scientology doesn’t, and I wonder why?
  • No musters, no Command Teams, no constantly changed hats and all-hands, no incessant lying, no make-wrong – you name it, what we’re used to in Scientology simply isn’t there. And while the Catholic Church may have invented Excommunication, it’s a fear so remote that people cannot even begin to understand the angst it inspires in Scientologists.

Is her new allegiance strange to her family? Not at all, her husband (an OT himself, and apparently still “in”) completely supports her decision. The Catholic Church has changed enormously – something the RCS has signally failed to do. If anything, it is Catholics and others who have gained the ability to ‘think for themselves’ while in-the-bubble Scientologists remain rigidly glued to their fixed ideas.

What people find in Catholicism is humility and an honest willingness to debate how the Church and its doctrines fit into the modern world. Nobody purports to hold the truth about anything – unlike Scientologists who too often are walking ser facs. This essay isn’t meant to encourage people to become Catholics – but for all of us to see that if they can do it so can we. Change is never too late.

Maybe we can still recover the spirit of LRH.

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30 thoughts on “The story of one apostate

  1. Beautifully said. I aplaud you for this post. It has become very clear that most people still in think that all people in the free zone have joined Rons Org, whilst some have, others are finding their spirituality in different ways. I for one have not yet decided. I for one tend to favour the buddist approach and am looking into that. But at the end of the day, we have freedom of choice. We can look and are not compelled to just sit there and listen. I am so glad your friend found a place where she finds her spirituality is satisfied. May she florish and prosper.

  2. Very well written and interesting article.
    It highlights how little compassion, understanding and love their is in the cofs and once one has left the church and receives this elsewhere it.
    The ‘outside world’ provides more arc for their fellow beings than inside the church, interesting isnt it.

  3. Aaah! Love it! My entire family are devoted Christians. When somehow I got my mom and dad to an event one time as it was being promoted as being for Div 6 public. COB was kind enough to openly talk about past lives at this event. The end result was quite an upset with my parents and yet again another PTS handling. My parent’s main objection was actually this…they didn’t experience “love” or “affinity” there. Just cold blooded calculation. How does one handle such an objection…one can’t because it’s true. I was also a devoted Christian and used to spend about 2 hours a day studying the bible, reflecting and praying. My entire purpose for getting into Scientology was becoming more like Jesus as the Bible states should be one’s purpose. I looked elsewhere as there wasn’t any practical way set out in the bible of how to achieve this, I expect that there use to be but was altered and lost by the Catholic Church. So I found Scientology, started smoking and swearing like a Sailor which wasn’t exactly helping the situation with my family. Anyway I loved this write up and Christianity is a subject very close to my heart. I do still believe that it is possible to reach that goal of becoming an OT as Jesus was and I do think going up the bridge is going in a direction which would aid this purpose. Thank you for this, this really moved me…

  4. I love this article and it’s so well written. I love the humour, too, and had a few laughs, eg, “There’s no Sandra de Beer (frankly, the list could end right there).” This is so funny.

    It is comforting to know that it can only get better from here – outside there!

    A friend and I, when feeling the harsh realities of life, felt there was nowhere we could go for some kindness and agreed that our church was not IT.

    As for gratitude, the only time gratitude for my contributions was expressed to me was when someone was trying to get me to do something which they suspected I wasn’t going to be willing to do and needed soft soaping first. It wasn’t sincere.

    I love the variety and diversity of this blog. It’s got so that I look at the blog every morning to see what today’s surprise is going to be.

  5. Like Joleen, I’m undecided about my immediate spiritual future. It won’t be via any other religion, though I do love the Buddhist teachings. Later, when the dust has settled somewhat, I will explore training and auditing being offered by the Independents in South Africa.

  6. My former roots ~~ The Catholic Church.
    I wrote this the day before I exited the “Church” of Scientology in 2010 and today’s blog made me want to post it again.
    I had been warned by an OSA INT staff member that friendship with Marty and Mike was “irrevocable”. It was the final warning.
    I decided to re-visit the Catholic Church in downtown Los Angeles. I just wanted peace and quiet ~~ a place to contemplate and meditate and think about things.
    I had already made my decision ~~ I had seen enough in the Church ~~ and I was not going to cut my communications with. I mused about the caution “IRREVOCABLE…”…
    I had much to contemplate. I was exiting a life and Church I had contributed to for 35 years….
    I drove downtown to the heart of Los Angeles to a magnificent Cathedral ~~ Our Lady of Angels. Yes it was posh, marble, a flawless piece of architecture, inside though were humble Mexicans huddled together, and others~the rank and file of life displaying no opulence ~~ all happy to find solace and comfort in this magnificent structure.
    I wandered in as Tourist, but I had a strange sense of returning home. I recalled my childhood and attending mass, the comforting sounds, the sense of communion.
    Unlike the Sea Organization this Catholic Church was a safe Space
    An Organ was playing, I wandered down one flight down to the Mausoleum. In front of me was a crypt of the actor Gregory Peck. OLD Hollywood. More memories.
    My eyes gazed at the plaque with the legend
    The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Mausoleum is the only structure in the world where the opportunity for interment in a site of such religious significance is available to all – not just a “privileged few”.
    I am doing mental comparisons. My mind is computing. “Not just a privileged few”
    I am doing a Confusion Formula inadvertently
    I am comparing WHERE I AM TO WHERE I WAS CHURCH -WISE.
    I sat down in a wooden pew to think.
    I found I could think in logical sequences without *NOISE* in my head
    I gazed along the main corridor, and saw the sixteen large stained glass windows along the north and south hallways, A lot of vibrant earth tones ~~ red, yellow, brown, orange and rust. Light also enters the Cathedral and devotional chapels by way of large, slanted shafts. I love great lighting effects.
    There was no frenzy, yelling, bullying, sentencing to the Gulags, threatening, punching, abusive and vulgar language ~~ none of that ever occurred or would ever occur ~~ in this place of sanctuary.
    I wandered by the religious figures and the little chapel offshoots.
    No one is asking me for money. No one is insisting I buy the latest release ~~ no one is trying to route me to some Reg for my next IAS status !
    I contemplated more and more how the frantic rhythm and insatiable urge for a rising Thursday 2pm stat took everything profound and beautiful away from my “Church”.
    How could this happen ? How could my former husband Heber Jentzsch be in a lockdown in SP Hole for years and years unable to see his son but 11 times in 15 years ? I thought about many things.
    I passed a Collection Box and wilfully deposited a generous donation.
    The traditional Catholic Hymn AVE MARIA was now playing. It is emotional music. I am on a journey, a journey with consequences to my actions.
    For no reason at all, I knelt down and wept.

    • OMG Karen – this entire article and your comment above – just brought tears to my eyes. I am weeping for those who needed compassion. For those who believe they would ‘loose their eternity…’ For my sweet daughter who’s life was so irrevocably changed by her 18 year long odyssey in the cruel world of $cientology. COMPASSION is a strange concept to those who have no idea of eternity and a spiritual journey. THANK you for sharing thiss.

      • Thank you Jane.
        I feel tremendous empathy on the story of your daughter.
        Bright Blessings and Blue Skies.

    • Hi Karen,

      “For no reason at all, I knelt down and wept.” Beautiful and moving words. This reminded me of some really tough times in the Sea Org where all I wanted was to find a big, beautiful, old cathedral where I could just sit and soak up the atmosphere and the silence. And I never was a Catholic! 🙂

      I think that people got into scn for different reasons. I was really looking for spiritual enlightenment, happiness and a sense of calm and peace. Oh boy…that did not work out! After I left I found that I could find this place within myself. I also feel I am on my own journey and so is everyone on earth. I am now free to think and look at whatever I want. I do not need a group to tell me what my next step is. That is my decision alone.

      I wish you the very best on your journey, Karen. You have had some REALLY hard parts to deal with along the way. May love and light accompany you where ever you go. ❤

      • Yes Draco.
        We are on our own journeys but this time we have our power back.
        We are no subjugated dominated little cogs in a wheel.
        I let my power of choice be taken away in every facet of my life.
        Never again. *****huggggggs*****

  7. Beautiful post… and magnificient story Karen!!!
    I discovered compassion for one’s fellowman with a friend working in an psychiatric hospital… I “had” solutions for poor insanes but no love, as he had “only” his compassion but was warming every day the heart of many!!! The lesson has been hard to understand.
    My job leads me in different places, but the ones I prefer are old churches built in X th, XI or XII th century.
    The “ancients” knew where the place (the location) offers energies which can be “canalised” to lead to spiritual elevation (what you find in all old cult places). And there, even more when their energy is opened up, you can feel calm, confidence, silence around and within you… and you become a little bit more of yourself, allowed and prompted to take some altitude…
    I think many religions are fundamentally of good inspiration; only the deviances introduced by the “men” (like DM nowadays) lead to fanatism and decline.
    “God” (the one you chose) bless you all….!!!!
    It’s wonderful that the friend of “Is that clear enough ?” can continue to contribuate and apply her good will in a friendly place. Excellent solution to recover.
    Someone on this blog included a link where I could have news about my old auditor Mylène (thanks again!!!): before her death, she was working with handicapped.
    I think the most terrible after leaving the CoS (even more for the staff) is to feel useless and with no spiritual aim…

  8. Lovely article and beautiful replies from everyone.
    When I decided that I was finished with the C of S, I recovered my compassion instantly. It just happened. My 2D recognised the change in me immediately.
    I tried to explain this occurrence many time, to no avail. Then one day I realised that I am totally free from the suppression of the SO and staff.
    We can all move a little further up the bridge to total freedom by leaving the church. Then we are free to choose whatever we wish! The power of choice cannot be executed if you ‘re in the ‘church ‘
    Good luck to you all

    • Perfectly stated… Your remark makes me realize that even if I have been “disaffected” for years, my thoughts were like emprisoned within some limits induced by the church. Somewhat I had to show “conform” to what was imposed by the behavior of the staff… even in other environments…!! Incredible.
      Just for fun: in the 90′s it was very strange and amusing to see some french scientologists and staffs speaking French with a nasal and american pronunciation!!!! and this was spreading around… Valence !!! winning valence!! they seemed to me like aliens. Very amusing!!!

  9. I sorry but this load of drivell is just that any pro psych is a horses arse , and catholic lovley , the point is the Scientology has not done enuff to take the psychic out. Is that clear enuff

  10. Let me write that again, a ref to the church of sci attacking the psychics as a like of, the ias has not done enuff to handle the psychics , that is a horses arse statment , hope that is clear enuff,

  11. This blog certainly makes you go up and down the
    Tone Scale from sadness when some of the things I read
    touch my heart and yes even tears!
    Anger at some of the disgusting actions that have been
    reported.
    And lots of laughter at some of the amazing wit!

    So pleased to be part of these lovely comm lines
    and sharing with each other and showing duplication
    with understanding and Compassion and high ARC. xxx

  12. In front of me was a crypt of the actor Gregory Peck. OLD Hollywood. Karen, Gregory Peck was the most honorable artist of the actor’s trade and now rests in a church he could call his own. Your piece here is incredibly honorable and sings praises to all of us who honor compassion. Thank you! Like Jane White, this brought tears to my eyes to share in your thoughts.

  13. Infact scn Africa I am disapointed in you that you would let any ref to taking out psychics as being the same as catholic battle for power , u have for the first time not moderated at a point you should of. Do you feel like a horses ass

  14. I knew several Class V staff who left Scientology and joined different faith. Based on my observations, they had all sort of post-based ethics trouble, stat pressures, impossible orders, threats of B of Is … and they snapped … overwhelmed, and just went up and left and announced that fact publicly. No declares, nothing, in fact it’s one way of leaving CO$ without getting disconnected.
    A reg is supposed to care for the person in front of them. I have never seen anything other than frantic must-have-your-cash-now duress. Exactly where is caring when event doors get locked?

    My parent’s main objection was actually this…they didn’t experience “love” or “affinity” there. Just cold blooded calculation.

    Yup, that’s money talking.

    • A reg is supposed to care for the person in front of them. I have never seen anything other than frantic must-have-your-cash-now duress.
      Formost, if you got into Scientology any time after the early 80s, then you might not believe me when I tell you that, there was a time when most regges really did care about the person in front of them.
      Some of the regges I knew in my early days, were some of the coolest people you could hang out with in the org. Why? Because it was their job to share your dreams, and to help you look for ways to achieve them.
      And the solutions weren’t always money based. In those days, the regges actually used real Scientology to help people overcome the physical universe obstacles they were faced with.
      Funny thing about someone with that sort of focus. They usually wind up bringing in lots more money than those who wear vampire teeth. The old regges also used to get lots of re-signs because those same people came back for more of the good stuff their reg helped them get in the first place.
      this is true,
      Ronnie Bell

      • You’re right, Ronny. It’s about caring for your customer, solving his problem with the solution you have on offer. If that’s how you approach it, it’ll work every time and your income will take care of itself. I was in sales for over three decades. It’s how it works.
        People quickly pick up when you’re sincere and when you’re not.

      • Hey Ronnie.
        Yes, I’ve heard about it, but never seen it. A reg in my post 80s days was someone to avoid, and it got far worse as time went on. When the IAS started to come around circa 1985, the frenzies got worse and worse … 500lbs in annual junk mail, dozens of calls from one Scn front end or another, unannounced home visits, locked event door, deceptions and hype, false promises, acceptable truths, ad infinitum. And now reging for one real estate or renovation project after the other. With these going-ons over the last 30 years its rather hard to imagine it could once have been different.

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