Galactic Patrol Steps out

ChrisThis article was posted on Mike Rinder’s site yesterday. Since we have published a few of Chris Shelton’s articles (aka Galactic Patrol) we thought it was worth you knowing who he is. 

Chris Shelton, who has posted here as Galactic Patrol for some time, sent me this article for publication.  

It provides an interesting perspective on being a staff member and being in the SO. It may not be everyone’s view, but it certainly aligns with much of what I experienced.  

And I think it is a helpful addition to multiple viewpoints that are expressed here in an effort to make all data available to those who are interested.

I spent my entire adult life as a professional Scientology staff member. I started taking classes when I was 15 and joined staff at the age of 17. I joined the Sea Organization when I was 25 and stayed in until I was 43.

I trained as a Pro Course Supervisor and Word Clearer, Class 0 Auditor and Purification Rundown In-Charge. I also trained as a Data Series Evaluator and Org Manager, amongst many other things. I completed all of The Basics books and lectures after they were released in 2006, as well as the LRH Congresses and a panoply of other lectures and materials (including many issues that public may never see as they were “confidential Sea Org references” concerning management and administration). When it comes to Scientology and Sea Organization policy and tech, I can unequivocally state that I am an expert.

I achieved the state of Clear when I was an org staff member, but that got taken away when I was in the Sea Org. I was sent back down the line to ARC Straightwire and despite all the years I worked full-time on staff and in the Sea Org, if I were to go back now I would be at the very bottom of the Bridge, back at the Purif and Objectives.

I held numerous posts: as an org staff member, I was an Academy and Key to Life Supervisor and Tech Sec. When I went into the Sea Org, I supervised course and auditing delivery across the entire western United States. That lasted for eight years. After I couldn’t take that anymore, I was transferred to AOLA as a Registrar and then was again put into the Tech areas. I even worked briefly at Bridge Publications, making the Basics books. The last four years of my career were spent as a Sea Org missionaire, traveling from org to org recruiting for the Sea Org, recovering people to The Bridge and finally working full time on the Ideal Org campaigns.

My reasons for leaving the Sea Org, and then Scientology altogether, were not really any different from so many others who have recently come out and told their stories. The injustices, the obsession with making money for no exchange of any kind, the corruption at the highest levels of the Sea Organization, the gross and glaring alterations of the technology, the unworkable and untenable programs being forced down on Scientologists for the past 20+ years – all of this and much more.

I’m sorry to say that I contributed to some of this, and I’m not proud of any of it. There were times I treated staff very poorly and ignored their real need for help; I lied to people so they would join staff and the Sea Org and I certainly did my share of yelling during moments of stress. I tried my hardest throughout my Scientology career to be fair, honest and compassionate, and most of the time I succeeded. I’m proud to say that despite the insanity, I kept my cool enough to be well liked in every org I went to and at continental management. I had a reputation for being able to get things done, yet still “maintain ARC”, and I consistently had “upstats”.

Eventually I will get my entire story out. It covers 27 years of dedicated, nose-to-the-grindstone work and that’s a lot of territory. It would take an entire book to detail all of it and maybe someday I’ll write that book, but that is beyond the scope of this article. Instead of trying to summarize that any further, what I want to talk about here is why I stayed with it for so long and why I believe others do too.

It’s a question that is asked often: How do intelligent, rational people get involved in a cult-like environment, and once they see the abuses and outpoints, why do they stay?

Well, the short answer for myself is that I was convinced that what I was doing was bringing real and lasting help to the world. I believed that every person I helped, every program I completed, every person I recruited, made a difference to the world at large.

Not only that, but I believed with every fiber of my being that we Scientologists were the only ones who were making that difference. This is a particularly important point when recruiting and why people stay. Once you believe that Scientology is the most important thing in the whole universe, it’s a very small leap in logic to conclude that nothing else really matters at all.

One goes in to Scientology, and especially onto staff and the Sea Organization, knowing that there are going to be sacrifices. You know that you are not going to have as much time off, or be free to sit around watching TV or movies. You know that while your room and board may be taken care of and you don’t have to worry about dental bills, the exchange for that is your loyalty and your perseverance to achieve Command Intention. You even swear to uphold, forward and carry out Command Intention as a Sea Org member. It becomes a point of personal pride and duty to do so.

There is, as well, the ethics of “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Unexamined critically, this concept appears to be a truly wonderful idea. If you help others, then you think that, of course, that help is going to be returned to you. If you bring spiritual freedom and eternal survival to others, then of course it will be revisited back upon you. One finds that this is not true at all. The “greatest good” depends on the eye of the beholder and whose “good” is being served. There are people who are more than happy to use the “greatest good” to work someone to the bone and make them feel guilty for not doing even more.

Once the outpoints become so great that a person can’t ignore them, there is still a decision that has to be made about what to do. It was very easy for me to forgive; someone yells or screams or even hits, well, everyone is under a lot of stress and there are intense targets to meet and we’re all on the same team. Right? Win or die in the attempt, isn’t that what we all agreed to?

Plus, after giving years of oneself to a cause, a true esprit is established with your team mates. Even if you don’t like all of them personally, even if you wouldn’t want to sit down and eat with them, they are your brothers-in-arms. To consider leaving them behind would be to court disaster. Who’s going to carry the torch if you fall down or drop it?

Finally, who wants to think that all of those years have been for naught? I didn’t want to just give up, not if there was even a possibility, no matter how slim, that our goals could be achieved and we could “clear the planet.” After all that time and all that work, it would be a complete fail to just walk away. No, better to persist and carry on and keep fighting the fight. Our programs may not have been perfect but they were better than nothing!

Despite all of these reasons, once I started to see the almost insatiable fixation that the IAS regges and upper management seemed to have with regging straight donations, it became clear to me that something was really wrong. Long trusted and well-respected Int Management personnel disappeared from Int events and soon we never heard anything from them at all – it became all Miscavige’s show. The Ideal Orgs were empty despite all the promises of “getting in policy” and “booming like never before.” I saw the stats, the empty course rooms, and the idle auditors. The Ideal Orgs were not expanding after they were opened, and despite all the rhetoric coming from the top, making auditors was something we hadn’t done in any real volume since the early 1990s. It was no longer the Scientology I had joined and it was not the Scientology described in tech and policy.

The final breaking point for me was when I realized that I had spent my life working to make other people happy, and yet I myself was not happy. My marriage had disintegrated after I had spent almost four straight years away from my wife on projects and missions. I had made no Bridge progress as a Sea Org member. And I wasn’t the only one. In all my years, I had seen many Sea Org members grow old and even die in the Sea Org, barely up through a few Grades or maybe Clear. It grated on me that this was allowed to happen.

I was spending all of my time being a martyr for the cause, and it hit me one day that I could spend the rest of my life doing that and no one was going to do anything about it. No one was ever going to stop sending me out on missions. No one was going to take me aside and say, “Hey, Chris, you’ve salvaged hundreds, maybe thousands of people, and you know what? Now it’s your turn. Let’s get you up The Bridge.” It’s all well and good to talk about clearing the planet and salvaging everyone in this sector, but wouldn’t that start with the very people who are supposed to be doing the salvaging? When do they get to partake in all this goodness? When does someone see to it that their needs are fulfilled and they are actually happy? If I had stayed, I’m quite sure I’d still be waiting for answers to those questions.

Now that I’m out of that life and have had time to decompress and get free of the pressure-cooker mentality, my life has changed enormously for the better. The freedom and happiness that Scientologists seek actually does exist. It exists out here in the real world, not inside the RCS bubble. I have experienced more self-determinism, more honesty and integrity and more personal certainty in the past few months since I stepped out of the bubble than in all the previous years combined.

My life is my own. I am happy. I have reconnected with and made real friends who don’t care about me because of my stats, or my product record or because of how much money I can raise. They just like me for who I am. And those are real friends.

I’m hoping that by laying this all out here some of this will indicate to those who are still in, or to those who know people who are still in. Maybe some of this information will convince them to get out of the RCS bubble. None of the reasons I listed for staying with Scientology are valid. None of them are true.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me since I left the RCS behind. The adjustment has been intense and there have been major losses due to the evil RCS disconnection policies, people I called friends for over 20 years. I have lost loved ones I would have died for, but honestly, it was worth it to be free of the RCS forever.

I want that freedom now for everyone still in, so you’ll continue to hear from me and see me around, at least for a little while longer. I hope that if you are reading this and you are still in, that you will join me out here. It really is great.


30 thoughts on “Galactic Patrol Steps out

  1. Hi. Chris. I commend you for your stellar contributions to Scientology and scientologists.
    Being a trained sup and trained auditor I can relate to your description of that abysmal
    Limbo that dedicated staff can get lost in regarding help to get up the bridge. It simply
    Does not happen. In all the millions that the IAS has stashed away somewhere I began
    To ask myself why not one single class V org staff has ever been pushed up to OT
    In spite of the millions in donations. As a wise man once said…”neglect your own and they shall vanish from your reality.” A warm welcome to the independent field my good friend.

    • Excellent video! What I should like to know more about, Chris and Karen, is: It is really true that ownership of these Ideal Orgs is transferred to the Int Landlord? Who actually owns these orgs? The local guys or Int?

      • I understand that the property titles are transferred to ownership by CSI. I’ve heard that Ideal Orgs have to pay rent to CSI but I don’t think that’s true as I never saw such a thing being enforced in the orgs I was involved in. Rent was not one of the bills they had to pay. They had enough trouble handling the utilities and keeping up with the bare necessities to keep the place clean.

  2. When I was in, I could never understand, in our quest to clear the planet, why that didn’t start with ourselves first, our kids, families and friends. There was always this nebulous “planet” to clear, weren’t those closest to us a part of that planet too. It wasn’t LRHs idea for us to indulge in self-abnegation.

    • It’s my opinion that “Clear the Planet” is a suppressive target.
      1) It is vague and poorly defined
      2) No way to measure actual progress towards this target
      3) It is an unobtainable target, thus setting everyone up for a loss
      4) No one, including LRH, has delineated exactly how this is to be done
      A much better, achievable target would be:
      Scientology can help YOU play the Game of Life better.
      It would be up to the individual to determine how he would measure this (e.g. financial improvement, job promotion, saved marriage, kids doing well, fancy car, etc.)
      “Clear the Planet” smacks of cult fanaticism and only has real meaning within the cult, not to the general public.

      • Sorry Statpush I should have made myself clearer. I believe Clearing the Planet is achievable.
        Turn new people into auditors fast, per LRH academy checksheets, let them go Clear themselves then their family and friends, the ones who want to, have it spread out from there. I dont think putting new people onto high postings without any knowledge or experience of the auditing route is the way to go.
        I believe that “Clearing the Planet” begins with ones own dynamics otherwise it can be a nebulous thing. I also believe that in an org that is running well, a staffs own dynamics are something that will be considered and catered for.

      • While I agree that “clearing starts at home”, I do not think that Planetary Clearing is a possibility. To do so would require marshalling virtually all the resources of mankind, re-purposing all government facilities, hospitals, educational institutions, all charitable organizations, all nations of the world, united in this common cause. Ain’t gonna happen.
        The world population has gone from 1 billion in 1925 to 7 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach 11 billion by the end of this century. The task to train enough auditors to audit this volume of beings is so astronomical it boggles the mind. Even if you were to attempt a small fraction of this amount, the numbers are overwhelming; even considering tipping points. You would need a SH org on virtually every street corner. I’ve been on staff, have worked in Div 6 and have run HGCs, I understand something about the administration of Clearing.
        My point is, why place an unreal target as the goal for the group, when you could have easily made a realistic, doable target that anyone involved in Scn can experience. I think Scn as a movement would have gained more traction and would have gained public acceptance without the cult-minded “Clear the Planet”.
        As it stands today, the general public perception of Scn and Scnists is that they are a bit wacko. And they are (I’ve been involved for 30 years and am OT). So, lets just put things in perspective – there are good things in Scn which many. many individuals could benefit from. So, why go out-reality with this planetary clearing business? Any critical minded potential recruit and assess that and conclude Scnists are bonkers.
        Anyway…end of rant

      • 3) It is an unobtainable target, thus setting everyone up for a loss

        It is unobtainable in it’s current form, meaning the way the church is currently run anyway. And if it is any example of what its future holds, we’ll all be bankrupting each other for money to raise stats — a cleared third-world in extreme poverty and under extreme duress. Sorry, I cannot in good conscience support this, as it’s just about the worst evil imaginable.
        Secondly, a make-believe obnoxious regimented religious mafioso running a planet … we already had something similar to that 65 years ago in Russia and Germany, didn’t work too well. No public would tolerate that except in the most repressive regimes. Thought for comfort … at least gas-chambering would likely no longer be in vogue and you’ll merely be disconnected from your friends and family. Considering how those who have spoken out have been attacked and ruined, I wouldn’t bet on it.
        As much as I would like to see everyone experience the benefits of going Clear and OT, that agency that is it’s license and trademark holder, the CO$, needs to be continually kept in check on the internet, the media and by Gov’ts. It’s the organization itself in it’s current application and form which undermines the very same goal it seeks to achieve — planet-wide clearing. And should that ever be achieved, it will be because of affordable and serviceable grassroots movements.
        In the last 20 years the CO$ has accomplished little else other than minor expansions and contractions from time to time surviving primarily by cannibalizing it’s own members. It has nowhere to go.

    • I could never understand, in our quest to clear the planet, why that didn’t start with ourselves first, our kids, families and friends.
      Good point, Cotch.
      The primary goal should always have been to clear the local staff and public. Just keeping attention on that goal, and focusing group efforts to help everyone in the local field to attain their goals in Scientology, would have achieved much, much more than pushing the nebulous 4th Dynamic goal of ‘clearing the planet’.
      As we’ve seen for decades now, church management has its dynamics inverted, and forces their staff and public to do likewise, resulting for enormous losses for everyone concerned.

  3. Chris, your post is one of the best I’ve read as it’s hit the nail on the head. This is exactly how it is. You see the flaws but there is this bigger picture and, as Cotch says, this nebulous planet to clear.
    We’re made to believe that we’re it and that without us and Scientology, the planet doesn’t stand a chance. My god! What a trap this is. One can be much more tolerant of the koolaiders in the light of how you’ve put it to us here.
    As social personalities, our innate goodness and kindness is played upon and our willingness to help create a better world and to stop the suffering, the wars, the insanity. The biggest insanity of it all is this trap that we’ve all fallen prey to. We were the insane ones!
    I believe there will be very few people who cannot relate to every word you’ve said. It’s meant a lot to me as it is what I couldn’t quite express in the same orderly way.
    Thank you very much for this post and your other sane inputs. I’m so glad that you’ve found happiness and light.

  4. Wow! what an article! Thank you for sharing Chris. It is so true. Once out, you can enjoy the wins and case gain you made inside where you could only hold onto these until the next reg cycle. Now they are yours for the picking.

  5. Hi Chris
    I read your write up on Mike Rinder’s blog and I am so
    pleased it is now here for everyone to read.
    Really well written and it would be great if other actual
    Sea Org members or ex Sea Org members communicate
    the Truth – for me Ex Sea Org members are true HERO’S !
    they do not only have to have the balls to confront rooting
    out of the Sea Org or in some cases escape – they also
    have to face the real world and most of them with nothing
    and I mean nothing not money – no job and sometimes no
    family and friends because of their disagreements –
    family and friends disconnect – then some have to move
    cities away so the Church cannot get their clutches on them!
    So please if you hear of an Ex Sea Org member who needs
    help please give some assistance to re-a-just to life outside
    the bubble and get back on to their real purpose of helping
    LRH through the Independent field.
    Thank you for sharing your story Chris.

  6. Hi Chris, thank you for sharing your story here (brief version of)! The more one reads, the more one sees. Isn’t it amazing how similar our respective stories are, in terms of what we have suffered through and put up with? While each of us thought, this was only happening to ourselves – amazing! Thanks again! All the best to you!

  7. Hey thanks everyone in South Africa for reading this and for your kind words and support. I really appreciate it. Believe it or not, I have worked closely with two SO members who are in South Africa now and I feel for them and for you guys and what you are having to experience down there. If anyone would like to contact me directly for any reason, my email is

  8. Fantastic Chris. I hope you do get that book out. Every one that has been written so far tells a story, and certainly each one has made an impact on me. Welcome to freedom!

  9. Hi Chris. I got touched by your story and must say I was a bit impressed to see how long time you were just fighting on despite all troubles you ran into. I am not originally from
    South Africa but works here now. I have not been on lines for many years but was recommended by a friend of mine from Scandinavia to check into this blog. I am quite amazed how many postings there are, and will start going through them as I have not followed so closely what has happened inside and outside the church for some time, I basically just put it aside, but it looks there are some exciting developments going on, so will be interesting reading.

  10. Hey Chris AKA GP
    I welcomed you over at Mike’s blog and so I figured I’d do the same here as well.
    Always enjoyed reading your posts and comments.
    BTW where’d you get the GP handle from?
    Was it from Cappy Bill’s 9th Galactic Patrol
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
    Always thought Bill was cool though a little out there.
    You know like me sometimes

    • I like the idea of the Lensmen, that’s where the idea originated. I’d never heard of Captain Bill and his weird song until after I took the moniker and then it was too late to change it. I’m hoping not too people will associate me with Captain Bill. He said some odd things.

  11. Thanks for the article Chris. You and I worked in similar circles for a while – though we never worked in the same org.
    I spent 17 years on staff (Sea Org) — and had similar experiences to you and all others who have done the same. The straw that broke the camels back for me, after many injustices, off-policy and out-tech situations, was the point where I was prevented from seeing my mother for a few hours (who had traveled across the world to see me for an afternoon). The penny finally dropped that this organization, that I had been unquestionably supporting, was no longer practicing or using the basic philosophy of Scientology and had become something else.
    I had been so immersed in the operations and activities, I had lost sight of the fact that the organization that I was working for and giving power to, was actually working against the religion that I loved.
    It was not just a cognition that I could not see the forest for the trees. It was that I realized that I had been convinced I was in a forest and planting seedlings daily, and instead, behind me, was a trail of clear-cut forest, with the church’s chain saws on full and sawdust spewing out as what was built was cut down.
    LRH states that what you resist – you become. And it is so true. The corrupt Church of Scientology has been resisting and fighting the bank, and has now become it. Certainly the Int base become the reactive mind back in the late 90′s — courtesy of DM and those that implement his every order.
    The C of S no longer practices or applies basic Scientology principles detailed in tech and policy. And the fundamental principles that make Scientology what it is (such as communication, affinity, reality, understanding, caring, compassion, exchange, and much more) are no more part of a staff member or Sea Org member’s life. Heck — how can an organization that has the technology to free man, not apply it to assist its own staff??
    The exact point at which a person recognizes that the corrupt management and perversion of the Church of Scientology, and the body of work are entirely two different things, provides relief — and case gain is then possible. The confusion, the contradictions, the injustices, the swindles and lies. All of it falls away when you spot the source of the problem.
    Life outside the corrupt church control is wonderful. With large networks of caring friends and family — with tech available and people moving up The Bridge.
    I have described it in the past as “moving into the sunshine” and it is that. There are more details at MS2′s website (
    All the best Chris. Good to hear that life is going well for you.

    • Good points you brought up Lana M. and I can fully understand your upsets and decisions. Obviously human rights has to be observed for everybody, also staff!

  12. Thanks you Chris for making your viewpoint clear and for speaking up. I remember you from the KTL training. You lasted a lot longer than me, but I can confirm that I and many more shared the reasons we hang in there as long as we do/did.

  13. Thank you Chris – excellent write up. You could have not left at a better time. If you go to Tony Ortega’s blog, you can read the new Staff Contract where it actually states “you are giving up your right to free speech” AND $25,000 fine if you speak against the Church or any staff etc…
    Can anyone really believe that “We of the Church believe that human beings have the right to think freely, speak freely and practice any religion they choose” goes to…
    You agree to give up your Constitutional right (in America) to be free!
    What an oxymoron!! We believe in human rights – for everyone else but our members!
    Gee – I wonder what the Church of Scientology wants to hide and keep secret!! Read the new Staff contract and be prepared to have your mind. blown.
    A moronic Church – should be called the Moronic Temple of Oxymoron’s!
    Definition of oxymoron:
    [ òksee máw ròn ]
    expression with contradictory words: a phrase in which two words of contradictory meaning are used together for special effect, e.g. “wise fool” or “legal murder”
    Write a book Chris!! I would love to hear the whole story and so would many others. It will help you and others that read it – perhaps go free out of this cult trap!

  14. Oh yes the new contract is another can of
    worms – when you are new and stars in your eyes
    you never read the whole contract word for word
    you trust the Church, The most ethical Church on the
    Then as an experienced staff member you resign because
    now you are blinded by the light and do not read it word for
    It is the most horrendous trap!
    They have used the law to justify their own overts.
    I am speechless!

  15. “and it would be great if other actual Sea Org members or ex Sea Org members communicate
    the Truth”

    But current Sea Org members would not be allowed to have internet access to be able to post anything, anywhere, is that not correct?

    I have read the things Galactic Patrol has written at the exscientologymessageboard site. And there is another former Sea Org member there named “Cowboy” who has posted his true story of being a Sea Org member from age 12 and serving in CMO directly under L. Ron Hubbard. He was aboard the Apollo and also there when they came to Florida. Very interesting stories of L. Ron Hubbard and his family members also.

    These are interesting and apparently truthful stories posted by people who are no longer part of the Church of Scientology. There is Truth out there. You just have to seek it out.

    Please do not be afraid of being a Seeker of Truth.

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