It’s the people that matter

Silhouette of ten young women, walking hand in hand.

By Ryan Hogarth

There is a subject that I often find myself talking about when discussing my journey away from the church: Other people.

I have been continually astounded by what can be learned from people in this world. It is populated by clever, caring and amazing individuals. Having said that there is certainly a healthy population of assholes but I have not encountered these in the main.

This was a surprising thing to discover. After 25 years as a Scientology staff member I had an entrenched (fixed) idea about people at large: They were an assemblage of the bumbling, foolish, clueless and devious.

It is not that I didn’t like people or had an aversion to them. Far from it but there was this arrogance of superiority that acted as a barrier to real affinity. I have also discovered that my capacity to understand and empathise with people is greater now than during my entire time within the church. When interacting with people, public, inside the church there was always an agenda. I like to think I had a genuine desire to help but there always seemed an additional motive: To get him or her on course, to show them that Scientology can solve any problem, to get their support for something. Additionally the approach to help was always filtered through Scientology data: They’re down tone, reactive, keyed-in, out of valence. In a number of cases the label was even an excuse to not help as in “he should just get his ethics in”. This, in my observation, was the general view of help.

Outside of that system I have both helped and been healed by other people. After so long in one pattern of thinking I found that there was so much I didn’t know about the world, about business and about how things work in general. The people I have encountered have been generous, knowledgeable and incredibly helpful. I learn more every day and I feel so much gratitude and warmth for the people who freely give of their knowledge.

On the other side of the coin I have been delighted that the knowledge I gained in Scientology has had wonderful value. With an intent to actually improve a situation or help another the solid truths that do exist within the works of Scientology are immensely helpful. The liberation of using these with without an agenda has been personally fulfilling. However it has been the use of this information integrated with knowledge gained from other sources and direct observation of the world that has made the effort to help have some valuable. I make no claims about the data and don’t even have any desire to defend it. It is what I know and what I am comfortable with and I have had the freedom to genuinely discover for myself what is workable and what is not. I freely discard that which doesn’t make sense or does not work according to my observation. I freely adjust and add to the data I have to make improvements, according to my observation. There has also been freedom from nomenclature and the impulsive desire to put neat labels on people and their situations. And lastly being okay with not knowing how to help and seeking the wisdom of others in these situations.

All of this has helped me come to a simple realisation or rather has helped me establish, for myself, a firm truth: Doing well in this world is simple. Be nice and help where you can. With just this as a stable datum I have been able to heal from the betrayal and declare and move forward in a positive fashion and build a strong bond with the family I have left. It has helped us to avoid the easy bitterness that could have come from this situation.

Symbiosis is a beautiful thing. You succeed because others succeed.


62 thoughts on “It’s the people that matter

  1. Thanks Ryan, I can relate to this.

    When I still considered myself a Scientologist, I had this fixed idea that the people in the group were somehow more superior, more ethical and just all-round better than average. But it isn’t true.

    Within the context of the Scientology system, far too many Scientologists are the most colossal jerks I’ve had the bad luck to meet – as you said all too often there seems to be an agenda. Outside the context of the Scientology system, those same folks are usually decent, nice folks. The rest of the world seems to be made up mostly of nice decent folks too – they are not deadbeats, DBs, wogs or any of the other labels the Scientology system puts on them. It’s almost like most folks in the world learned the lessons in kindergarten to play nicely on the playground, and Scientology makes people forget this *while being Scientologists*. Weird, huh?

    I put the bllame for this fair and square on Hubbard’s shoulders – his works are full of this nonsense about how Scientologists are so much better than anyone else. Is it any surprise his followers took this to heart?

    It took me many years to unlearn this BS, I even got fired from jobs a few times before it finally sunk in. Was it worth it? I don’t know – I can’t change the past and undo all my mistakes. I can only realise that the path I took is what got me to this place today, and I can make today better.


  2. Great post Ryan!
    Everything you said is real to me. I don’t call myself a Scientologist anymore but I will say that it is easier to be a better Scientologist now than it was when I was in. I don’t see any reason that I couldn’t be the way I am now inside the cult. What I mean is that I don’t see any good reason why the cult couldn’t have left me alone and let me be. It ultimately would have been better for them if they let people have their own opinions and speak on them. I am sure there are Catholics who speak poorly about the Pope…(?) (not sure) Whether or not that is true I am sure, really, that most groups would do better allowing independent thought and speech. They may not survive it, but if not then they probably didn’t deserve to survive.

    • Tony, I feel the same way about any group allowing independent thought and speech….. They may or may not survive it, but free communication of ideas is the evolution of our planet in general. Witness the fall of the Iron and Bamboo curtains. They were at their height in the 50′s and 60′s when LRH authored Dianetics and Scientology, but only a distant memory today.
      Sure there are holdouts like North Korea and KA drinking Scientologists, but free, unfettered communication is on a steep rise and our planet is evolving because of it…. The new era is: either be transparent or go the way of the Dodo bird.
      Anyway, great comment Tony on Ryan’s very insightful and thought provoking post…

  3. Ryan, what a beautiful post! How wonderful that you are becoming (re)acquainted with your fellow man.

    I wish all of you here at backincomm success in your journey forward into life.

  4. Ryan, welcome to the real world. I spent 22 years in the sea org and worked with your parents and knew them well. I gave my life to Scientology of which most was in the Sea Org. It eventually became just too traumatic for my wife and family including myself that I decided that Scientology was no longer an option. Most of the people I worked with in org’s and in the sea org were great but it seems a few power hungry people got to the top and made life uncomfortable for the rest.

  5. I make no claims about the data and don’t even have any desire to defend it.

    Just damn…….I guess every realization that I (and thousands of others) have ever had about life and livingness through the application of Scientology was just a bunch of misguided, hallucinatory, bullshit, eh?
    Thank you so much for putting the last 40+ years of my life into the trashbin, Ryan.
    Not really. I’m actually more sorry for you. Your screed is a testament to how far off the rails the church has truly gone since I first walked in the door in early ’73. Trust me — it was an experience you probably wouldn’t even recognize as Scientology.
    To ScnAfrica: I told you long ago that you were about to go down the slippery slope with this blog. You’re now well on your way to allowing it to descend into a hater’s hallow. It’s turning into an anti-Scn blog — just like I thought it would.
    I just wonder if you’ll even post this. Probably not.

    • Hi Ronnie.
      “It’s turning into an anti-Scn blog — just like I thought it would.”
      I am interested in what you would have done for such a blog to not go down a slippery slope or what you would consider a better way of getting South African Scientologists back in comm.
      I mean, one can not just ignore what the CoS is doing. I would have thought ScnAfrica is applying the code of honor and at the same time show real personal integrity with this blog.

    • No one is putting you in a trash bin, Ronnie. I hope you’re allowed to freely express your views.
      If the Admin would just let people – with all views – communicate, this could be very good.
      Let angry Scientology cultists be angry Scientology cultists. And let those who’ve moved beyond Scientology also freely communicate.
      Let freedom ring for everyone.

      • Hear, hear, B.V.Orts! You speak sensibly. To my mind, this blog is becoming more real as it allows more and more freedom of opinion and experience to be openly shared. Not to allow this, just makes it feel the same way as it felt in the church whereby you had to always be guarded, where your comm was restricted, so limited that one learnt how to not express one’s opinions and views altogether. Or risk the label of being one who deals in entheta.
        Many of us have find out by now, and felt badly betrayed by what we learnt, that Hubbard was not who he declared himself to be and did nearly everything that he preached to us not to do. To that degree, he was a hypocrite. Whether I like this or not is beside the point. It is what it is.
        That doesn’t mean to say that I don’t use what I’ve learnt that is workable and true for me. I am a better person knowing what I learnt, at least what I studied in the ’90s. |And outside the cult, I’m free to differentiate what is true for me and what is not.
        Hubbard did preach that Scientologists were superior and this impinged in a detrimental way on many a relationship for me. Thank heavens I’m beyond that now. Very few people out here in the real world are not kind, friendly, helpful, empathetic and generous to the extent that many go out of their way to help. And THEY ARE ABLE!
        I never found kindness in the church. If you were in trouble, you were a pariah of some sort. You wouldn’t go into a Church of Scientology if you needed a shoulder to cry on. It was the last place you would go to.
        Yes, Ryan, I identify with all you say. Thanks for the article.

    • Wow, controversial shit, Ronnie.
      A lot of what Ryan wrote wasn’t bad.
      Of course, “I make no claims about the data and don’t even have any desire to defend it.” is on the BS swing of the pendulum. The thing is, it seems to be very hard to keep that pendulum at a fair, true gauge. The relief many experience by leaving the COS, the dropping of false data, idiotic valences etc. is, apparently, pretty major. Then add to that the fact that the last many, many years have been so full of BS in the COS, all of it falsely labelled “Scientology”, people truly have big big wrong ideas.
      How do you propose this could be remedied?

    • Ronnie – seriously? Did you and I not read the same article?
      Did you miss “On the other side of the coin I have been delighted that the knowledge I gained in Scientology has had wonderful value. With an intent to actually improve a situation or help another the solid truths that do exist within the works of Scientology are immensely helpful. The liberation of using these with without an agenda has been personally fulfilling”.
      The fact that Ryan no longer feels the desire to defend SCN does not mean he wouldn’t – he no longer feels blindly obligated to do so. (And especially that part of it which invalidates anyone who is NOT a SCN, which is what his article was about).
      I really don’t know how you took an up-toned article communicating one’s win about how he found that people on the whole are good people (i.e. Man is basically good) – and yet you somehow interpreted this to be anti-Scn, and then damned the back-in-comm blog to boot.
      Wow. Just wow.

      • + 1 Shelley. It was an uptoned article and I’m glad he had the experience of finding his fellow men are worthy of his help and love as he is of theirs. I didn’t think he was Scn or Ron bashing at all. It was that he didn’t feel a blind knee-jerk reaction to defend it any longer. What is so bad about that? He also said he got good wins from the subject.

    • Interesting Ronnie. When reading Ryan’s post, I never got that he was condemning all things Scn – including your personal gains or benefits. Instead, I saw it as a highly personal viewpoint about his own experiences and how it relates to his Scn background.
      I think anyone who has left corporate Scn would agree that one of the major problems they encountered was their intolerance of other viewpoints. Let’s not make the same mistake.
      Myself, I was a 30 year member, and I no longer refer to myself as a Scnist. That does not necessarily make me anti-Scn. I still respect another’s fundamental right to believe in whatever they wish, including Scn. I had gains during my time in Scn. I do not regret being involved in Scn, nor do I regret leaving.
      However, I am “anti-lies”, “anti-deception” and “anti-harm”, whether those lies are told by CoS or LRH, makes no difference to me. To me, it is the lies and deception which taints the subject of Scn. I am against the practice of disconnection because I feel it is harmful; I have experienced this first hand. Does that make me anti-Scn or anti-LRH? Maybe just a little. Should I be banned from this forum because of my views? Dunno, I’m not the moderator.
      And for those complaining about the moderator or moderation policy I have this to say – it’s not your blog. If you don’t like it, start your own blog. It’s real easy. If not, find another blog or learn to live with the one you have.

      • If we belonged to any other religion we would not go around saying to all and sundy, I’m a Christian or belong to the Islamic faith, etc. That has nothing to do with who you are per se or in business dealings.
        We Scientologists or ex-Scientologists seem to feel or have felt it was some kind of badge we had to display. Why?
        Oh, yes, we were brainwashed into believing we were the only ones who could save the planet! Our arrogance…

    • Ronnie, it sounds like you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I didn’t even take anything that Ryan said as derogatory towards Scientology. He just seemed to be saying that he doesn’t have to defend it. Relax Ronnie…deep breaths.

    • Gee, does this sound familiar? Why, yes, it does. Ronnie pulled the same routine over at Marty’s and at Mike’s as opinions began to diversify and move away from absolute pro-Scientology. He no longer posts at either blog because they’re too entheta for him.

      It’s not you, people of Back In Comm. It’s him.

  6. Thanks Ryan. It’s good to see that you have put everything into perspective. I think it can be a long process for some. I have such an internal struggle with the whole thing. On the one hand I’m being censored as I still have family who have decided to stay in the Church. On the other hand it’s hard to stay on the sidelines and not speak out about all the abuses that occur in the Church. It’s clear from your article that it ends well for those that are open and honest with themselves and others around them. I’ve been trying for months now to put this whole ordeal behind me and seem unable to. Trapped between maintaining my own integrity and creating problems for those I love. Just that experience is enough for me to throw everything LRH in the trash can. It’s hard not to. I’m declared by rumour but not on paper so still being harassed by family about how horrible I am for not wanting to do Scientology anymore. It’s a hell that doesn’t end. Here I am against the disconnection policy but considering disconnection from family just to be left alone about it.

  7. Ryan you are 100% on the money there. What we explained away as “understanding Mankind” turned out to be “us” being superior to “them”. What BS.
    I have found many highly intelligent, articulate, well-intentioned people out in the “Wog world” who would put some of those “superior types” to absolute shame. I learn from them daily.

  8. I wish the Admin of this blog would decide whether it’s going to be a warmed over version of Milestone Two, or a place where real communication can occur.
    It’s cruel to create the impression that there’s freedom and tolerance for views on this blog, and then censor those who participate based on that supposed freedom and tolerance for views.
    This last article looks promising, but is it just “lip service” with the censors working overtime in the background?

      • Frankly, you’ve been consistently inconsistent.
        My advice to you is: Err on the side of freedom.
        FREEDOM. Try it, you’ll like it.
        And it will get more people out of corporate Scientology than the censored format that’s super sensitive to any perceived slight at LRH or the Tech.
        Modify your moderation policy: choose greater freedom.

      • We have made the point on several occasions and we make it again. This platform is primarily intended for the questioning Scientologist. Our moderation policy intends to preserve that. Many other platforms have the freedom you seek.

      • scnafrica,
        Many of your best articles have been written by people who no longer regard themselves as Scientologists.
        One can know Scientology, through and through, and have audited thousands of hours, and be very experienced and knowledgeable about Scientology, yet also have “graduated” from Scientology.
        Not allowing those people to post comments makes no sense.

      • Scnafrica allows non Scientologists to post and comment. They have a specific public here that they are trying to stay in communication with and help educate on a gradient. I really don’t get how you don’t see this.

      • Hi Tony DePhillips,
        I do see it.
        There are people nudging the Admin towards greater censorship.
        Some of us occasionally nudge towards less censorship.

      • BV Orts, you said
        “One can know Scientology, through and through, and have audited thousands of hours, and be very experienced and knowledgeable about Scientology, yet also have “graduated” from Scientology”

        Just for my own interest, what is there beyond the axioms of Dianetics and Scientology that you can graduate to? What is there that surpasses whats in the PDCs? Here is a link to the axioms to refresh your memory, if need be.

        I have a lazy streak, if the jobs been done, I see no reason to go and do it again.
        But I would be interested to know what tech you have developed or found, in brief format, that graduates beyond those axioms as delineated by LRH and the counseling methods that are derived from them?

        Dont get me wrong, I am happy for you, if you are happy with the path you have chosen, but if you have graduated, why are you still here?

      • HI 4a,
        You write, regarding Scientology, and the topic of graduating from Scientology: “I’ve a lazy streak, if the job’s done I see no reason to go and do it again.”
        It’s natural, when one studies a subject thoroughly, to be able to step outside that subject and take a wider view.

      • Thanks BV< but that is what I am trying to find out. What is that "wider view"? and the other thing I dont understand about people who have "graduated" is their continual connection to blogs associated with the subject of Scientology. I would have thought they would be off discussing whatever they have graduated to, with others who have also graduated! Why is that connection continued?

      • Hi 4a,
        Connection is a good thing not a bad thing.
        There is no single wider view. Each “graduate” has his or her own wider view.
        Be well.

  9. Your a classic Ryan and one of the best people I have met, it is ovious people will like and help you, as I have said in the past good lyrics man good lyrics,

    as for moderation policy having been said before, the only slippery hill is leting these nice talking , snakes into your world,

    there comes a time when one should say Fuck off in a very exited loud voice.

    I have an idea let you ask all bloggers to create a post and answer and write about it as 8 different people all on ones lonesome , some cognitions would be had , LRH wrote in many pen names.

    What do you recon?

    • “Nice talking snakes.” You mean “SPs,” 1.1s.” ?
      Don’t let those “nice talking snakes” “into your world,” you say.
      Labeling people as “SPs,” and then disconnecting from them.
      Why? Because they have an opinion you don’t like.
      Sounds familiar.

  10. Ryan, Great post.
    I too stopped calling myself a Scientologist.
    It’s not about “trashing” your past in Scientology. It’s about graduating from it… I did 35 years in Scientology 1970 to 2005, including SO, Ad Courses up to 2005, etc… and so by 2005 I figured it’s probably time to either graduate from Scientology or continue to be a Miscavige “thought” Lackey in total betrayal to all that I understood Scientology to be…
    Scientology itself has graduated into what it has become. Sure, Miscavige is at the top, but he and it are what Scientology has become. It’s an is-ness. Can you honestly support that group? If not, then it’s time to move on. Scientology is not changing for the better and you are not going to change it for the better, as the hundreds of execs in the “Hole” can attest to…
    Take what was good of Scientology and leave what was bad. If you can’t do that and instead you have to either hate it or continue to toe the line for Miscavige’s variety of Scientology, then you have not graduated. You need more study. But now all the information is available to you on the internet.
    To be clear, I do “blame” Miscavige for being a sociopath in charge of Scientology. (LRH and the former managers of Scientology were not, for the most part, sociopaths. DM is a sociopath, that’s why he created the “Hole”, etc….)
    Anyway, on graduation day, Scientology is just an is-ness. Take the good and leave the bad. It’s a part of life. Not life itself.

  11. Great revelation, Ryan. I totally agree with what you say about the authoritarian behaviour. I think it is more of a robotic behavior. I think the church has taught us to invalidate. That is definitely not Ron’s teachings. It really feels great to hear those kind of revelations indeed. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Nice thoughts Ryan. I have had similar realizations.
    As for the moderation policy, and speaking from considerable experience, it is sometimes tough to determine what is and isn’t helpful to appear in the comments if your intent is to reach an audience that still consider themselves Scientologists. One one side of the scale, even the clubbed seals would very likely read this blog if you simply followed the party line, writing articles about the brilliance of Miscavige and the wonders of GAG II and the Ideal Orgs program and especially the massive impact the IAS is having on the world. On the other hand, you would not even have people who consider themselves “former Scientologists” reading this if all it contained was name-calling and denigration of everything Hubbard or scientology. So, there is a place on the gradient scale between those two extremes. And that place is completely arbitrary, as you have no real certainty about what is “too far” and what is not “far enough.” There is a forum that Lana Mitchell created (Milestone Two) where people who feel scientology has the only answers can gather and exchange their views. I think it is valuable in showing that you can have scientology outside the corporate church without the money grubbing. It doesn’t do much to expose the truth about what is going on in the church and thus I think your blog has more value in helping people understand their doubt and worries are not ONLY them (which is what the church tries to convince anyone who begins to wonder).
    My blog has probably gone further towards everyone’s views being shared (as long as they are not abusive and I don’t get tired of trying to correct whatever clearly false information is being said), and I don’t know if it is good or bad with respect to trying to reach those still in the church or on the fence or under the radar — or even those who may be motivated to do something to further expose and remedy the abuses that occur within corporate scientology. I tend to feel that if someone is incapable of reading and accepting or rejecting someone else’s comments or views without being personally offended, they probably shouldn’t be anywhere near the internet. Their life is going to be one long series of hurtful experiences. But that is simply my view. I DO think everyone is entitled to their views and I no longer hold firm to the concept that if those views are not 100% aligned to LRH they are wrong. It is not a model that I have found workable in life. I did that for 35 years in the Sea Org and I believe many of my decisions were very flawed because of it.
    But all that being said — I think this blog provides a great service. You are doing it your way, you know your public and I check it every day and find your insights into what is going on in the orgs in South Africa to be interesting, useful and entertaining. So keep up the good work.
    And remember, no matter where you are on the gradient scale of censoring comments, you will ALWAYS have people who want to tell you that you have it wrong. To those people I say, start your own blog and do it your way. Absolutely nothing is stopping you.
    Keep up the great work.

    • Your comment is so true for me Mike. And fantastic work Ryan and Back in Comm. I too check this blog every day! Thank you for your time.

    • I agree completely Mike. You do a great job with your blog. I felt that I somehow was considered as going too far with my exposure of the Church and so was not very welcome here on the South African blog, but that may just be me taking certain comments made about me too personally. Regardless, I check in here all the time and often agree with what is stated here.

      About a month ago I was going to write an article almost exactly like what Ryan posted here today, as I’ve experienced the EXACT same reality adjustments since I’ve left the Church behind me. I think this is one of the best articles I’ve seen here yet and am thankful to Ryan for articulating these changes so clearly.

      • Hi Chris, I’m glad you’re still around.
        I wouldn’t take some comments personally. Unfortunately, there are still some who won’t or cannot confront much in the way of the real truth of things.

    • Ryan’s post is awesome and holds very true for me. Mike, your input is enlightening and may help readers understand the moderator’s dilemma.
      Ronnie: I think you missed the boat or perhaps the whole dock.
      Maybe read it again with a clearer mind.
      Scientology has some great tech and data, but there is also a lot of good out of the church when one finally decompressed enough to be able to see it. I believe Ryan is at that point in his path out.

  13. An interesting and valid point of view. I too have dismantled my auto-defend-mechanism. There are many good people in this world at least 80% if the tech is to be believed. I have my own experience and observations and no longer blindly follow but stand by personal integrity which I accept to be a part of others too. I recognised in the org that management’s antagonistic behaviour included twisted truths to suit their antagonism per the tech. I use the tech that works for me. It has once again become a journey of self-determinism and personal discovery – that’s how I started Scn – now liberated through this blog.

  14. After about 10 years of not doing anything in the CoS (yet still considering that I would return when I made enough money), I married a wonderful woman. A Christian woman. While I’ve never considered myself a Christian, I loved going to church with her and listening to a pastor that she enjoyed, because his heart was SO devoted to just helping people. It was such a strong purpose in him that you could not avoid seeing it.
    His name is Steve Schell. And I want to share what a beautiful example of Christianity this man is. Because hearing his sermons and seeing what his church was gave me my original cog that something was REALLY wrong in the Church of Scientology. While I had definitely seen things that I didn’t like, I had never really had some of the deeply traumatic experiences that others had had in the CoS. It seems that most of the Indies are still deeply affected by some personally experienced event which lead to their exodus. And I understand completely what they’ve gone through and empathize with them.
    Based on my own experience, I feel the best way to help people out of the cult isn’t to attack the cult. I feel the best way to help them let go of it is to show them something so good that they can’t help but see the outpoints and can’t help but look at whether what they’ve been conditioned into is right.
    Today, my wife was listening to one of Steve Schell’s sermons and it caused me to reminisce on that moment where she’d said, “I know you want to continue with Scientology. But isn’t there anyone else who can help you do this? I know there are things you don’t like about that organization.” And I remembered that it had been seeing Steve Schell’s church that had caused me to write a letter to the CoS two years earlier telling them that I’d like to see a change in culture of the CoS.
    I found that different culture at FreeZone Elma. Pat and Ray Krenik are a breath of fresh air to someone who’s been breathing the dank dirty air of the cult for so long. I want to encourage all of the new groups and individual auditors out there to remember, we are helping people. And a safe and caring environment is what helps them the most. Let’s create that loving atmosphere with an intense focus on HELP as a contrast to the pressure cooker of the cult. And when people look outside, leaving will be as easy as a taking a breath.
    You can find Steve’s sermon here:

  15. Good thoughts Ryan. There are “good” and “bad” people in all walks of life. Most have a bit of both in them, and again I would say most tip the scales on the “good” side. We are all on a journey of personal discovery. I am disappointed (but no longer surprised) to hear how those who are still “in” are condescending about the general public. They don’t know that they don’t know, they don’t know what there is to know – they are unable to have data to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. They have become “uncause” – which is precisely how a sociopath would have his “troops” behave. Its too sad really.
    Enjoy the journey Ryan – may it just get better and better for you and your family.

  16. I like very much what you wrote, Ryan.
    The superiority complex is interwoven into the subject of Scn, IMO, especially in the elitist Sea Org. I came to the conclusion, that it is simply BLACKPRING the human race as such! (- an instilled/implanted ‘us vs them’)
    This is also visible in the escalating thinking in terms of statuses and forced devotion to the hierarchy (SO and ‘command intention’) in the cult. STATUS is everything and cumulating these days in the ludicrous statuses of ‘Humanitarians’ (an impudence regarding the real humanitarians in the world) and ‘New Civilization Builders’.

  17. I agree. Ronnie got up on the wrong side of bed. Clearly. Ronnie, take Tony’s advice. Chill. Take a walk. Then read the article once again.
    Here’s my take:
    Ryan knows some Scientology and uses it and it is useful and he experiences great wins and realizations with it. He uses it to understand and help others. He appreciates others more. Enjoys more affinity for others and life. He does this within the context of his reality and staff and SO experience, and familial disconnections. He comes out of this a nice guy, still.
    Ronnie. You dive in and trash him. Just like that. You don’t like that he enjoys others?
    Ryan also sees the writings and deeds of others and learns from this. He aligns what he already knows of Scientology with what he experiences now. He sees more. He lives more tolerantly. Does not label and judge others.
    He also sees contradictions and data that does not fit, datum for datum. He loses what he does not need and uses what he does. He does not specify what this is.
    How about “The Church believes in freedom of expression and communication” (paraphrased). The Church also says, “Criticize management and you are toast” (seriously paraphrased). These are contradictions Ronnie. I believe you know them too. I assume this is what he meant.
    “ARC is life” and “Disconnection is okay”.
    “OT 8 includes resolution of whole track amnesia” versus “Not one success story attesting to this”…….just saying………
    If Ryan enjoys others, he enjoys their wins, and of course your wins as well. Yeah?
    Be tolerant Ronnie. Be kind Ronnie. Be a good example Ronnie.
    Ryan finds he mellows with others and learns from others outside of Scientology and uses that data as well. All to the effect of being good with others, and helping them and himself.
    LRH created some amazing auditing technology to help others. Many use this exactly as he suggested. They create, in turn, people who do better in life. Others take what they can from green-on-white and use it to their benefit. Others walk away. This is all good.
    Policy says do not fund-raise. COS does. Policy says do not get buildings first. COS does. They are fervent LRH followers, in their minds. People see this and leave. In various ways. Withdrawing allegiance to management. Leaving the subject. Trying to close it all down. Taking what they can to help themselves and others.
    It is an eclectic mix of fascinating gradients and variables.
    We see it in this blog, in Tony’s, in Mikes, in Possible Helpful Advice and ESMB and so on.
    This blog is mild by comparison to some. But it encourages us to look and think and realign decades of possibly wrongful think. It puts into sharp relief, the current doings of the church.
    It helps those looking.
    Thanks Ryan. My take, above, is not necessarily yours, but my take nevertheless.

  18. I see a very healthy back and forth going on here on this blog. Strong opinions are being expressed, others are reading them, and all are thinking for themselves.

    Freedom is happening here.

    Keep up the great work.

    From your masthead:

    All men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.


  19. Thanks Ryan for the great article. Very much enjoyed it, and appreciate it.
    It’s not a “wog” world at all, but a wonderful world.
    And each day is a joyous miracle.
    Look forward to hearing from you again.

  20. I for one Ryan think it was a great article.
    Agree Tony did get out of the wrong side of the bed!
    I know for a fact Sea Org members running the Church had the
    attitude them and Us (Us referring to the public).
    They actually forgot they were there to Service the public and
    yes it is true had a SUPERIOR attitude and any counter intention
    was coming from out ethics public who are not on purpose.
    Any one who was not a Scientologist was not to be associated with.
    Well I have a number of Christian friends who I love to be with.
    I have family who are not Scientologists who I love to be with.
    On my travels I have met some amazing caring, helpful and very able
    people who grant me beingness, lots of ARC and they love to
    communicate and have fun!
    Decent honest people with NO hidden agendas they just want to be
    When I was in the Church I soon learnt just because a Staff member
    said so or a Sea Org member said so or because you were a
    Scientologist I had to automatically trust you – Not TRUE!
    Real Trust in the Church has usually ended up as Betrayal!
    NONE of my friends outside the Church have EVER betrayed me!
    My REAL friends who have left the Church have NEVER betrayed me!
    Love the Blog.

  21. The Unique thing about a thetan ~~ a spirit in a human body is that each has a unique viewpoint and unique voice, as unique as his own DNA and fingerprint. As you progress in the Sea Org, almost all free will is taken away.
    When you wake up, what you wear, how long you work, whether you can ever get a day off, who you can communicate or not communicate with, whether you can own or not own cell phone, tv, computer etc etc etc is other determined where just about every power of choice is taken away, so that the Sea Org members are clustered into a Homogeneous, uniformed BLOB. There is no growth or spirituality contrary to their propaganda. There is more and more obedience and slavery and more and more robotism,
    But this has trickled out into Scientology public. What you can say, who you friend, who you must disconnect from and unfriend, what events you MUST attend, what you must do most of the day…on course, or in session becomes more and more enforced.
    The real identity theft that occurs in Scientology Inc is robbing of one’s personal identity. It is culture identity theft.
    But actually it is the uniqueness of identity and ability to create and have a voice that can actually enrich a group or a culture.
    Being willing to hear and see the bigger picture from multiple viewpoints increases knowledge.
    Inability to see other viewpoints without blowing one’s cool shows how such folk become more and more radicalized
    Suffocating free speech, clamping down on anything that is not praise for Scientology technology speaks more of the people attacking than the message they carry.
    They do not embarrass Ryan or the blog.
    They embarrass themselves.

  22. One point on that feeling of ‘superiority’ is that it actually attracts a lot of people to scn. I know it did in my case. I came in not from any ruin, I had some early (and definitely life-improving) wins and ended up staying as long as I did because scn persuaded me we were superior to everyone else and I believed that. I liked the official confirmation of something I’d always suspected, which was that I was superior to most people (and certainly superior to anyone not of my race, nationality, level of education, gender, religious affiliation and shoe size).
    As a fairly high achiever in my young days imagine my horror as I progressed relatively rapidly up the Bridge (both sides) only to discover mere, common ‘wogs’ doing better in life than me. WTF? Then I began actually looking at other OTs and those products of the top of the Bridge (I wasn’t really up to looking at myself yet) and one for one they too seemed to be doing worse or at least no better than others of my experience. Initially, a lot of justifications came up – as I’ve heard others say: “I’m not into MEST. I’m on a spiritual journey and it’s not to be compared.”
    One day I did finally look at myself and finally realised that the ‘superiority’ I craved was no superiority at all and never had been (it was really just an out-of-comm aloofness and arrogance I put on, in other words a valence), and despite great wins I’d probably only crept up to a normal operating condition in life. That ‘superiority’ is nothing but a ser fac and one never inspected in my grade 4.
    Having blown that ser fac (through personal inspection, you’ll note, not auditing) I too find I can get on much better with the riff raff!

  23. I never thought I was superior. I was more ready to service others, very humbly.
    Listen, understand, and even on a coffee shop style, i would audit people to key out their charge. Scientology is a tool to help, and when you do, you feel good.
    I was never touched by the statu business. Actually I never liked it, and there I actually felt superior to those robotics idiots. Yes I felt superior I was even treated of “know best” when I tried to work out some why. When I studied the data series, I felt superior. And I confess, those I felt inferior were my fellow scientologist, blinds and obeying to “command intention”. It is not possible to be “superior” while following “COB”. Those who are superior are actual auditors who can release people. And that to some degree could have been the idea of LRH, but I never saw it expressed as a service fac.
    The little robots of COB are as superior as members of the communist party under Stalin.
    The Church is a democratic/fascist system, but mostly communist, everyone is equal to everyone (except for the money) abilities or actual superiority is not validated. Any good and gifted auditor is doomed to be sooner or later declared SP.
    The CoS wants to have stupide people, inferior in fact.
    But forget the sweet and light that the wogs are so sweet. That is the viewpoint of COB. He wants the “ideal orgs” cleared up of actual scientologists to fill it in with good innocents middle class citizens. The work of COB is to unhanced “homo sapiensness”.
    When we have the tech conceptually and can use it, let me tell you, we are superior. And LRH was a superior person and to have this idea doesnt make you a churchist, just the opposite.
    I might have an anti-homo sapiens service fac…

  24. Scientology Africa, why are you not letting Ronnie Bell speak? You are letting B.V.Orts speak (a lot of it) but not Ronnie? I don’t understand

      • ScnAfrica –

        I believe that Ronnie Bell’s opinions are important, as well, and I think it’s great that you welcome all opinions – even ones in the current minority like Ronnie’s appears to be right now.

        Maybe one day, in the marketplace of ideas, if Ronnie can apply good reasoning and use sound arguments, his opinion will no longer be in the minority. This is the value of the freedom of speech: All viewpoints are allowed, all viewpoints are inspected and evaluated on their merits, and the best ones win the day.

        This is how we advance and grow.

        It has always been thus for the human species.

        But there is such a thing as the “Tyranny of the Majority” – especially on the Internet – and the rights of minority opinion holders must be kept in mind. So I hope that those who disagree with the minority remain civil and stick to the issues, and do not attack minority opinion holders personally.

        It’s intimidating enough, and requires real courage, to express a minority opinion. If the best viewpoints are to be cultivated, those in the minority must be protected from personal attacks and other unfair impediments to speaking their minds.

        It’s great to see all that is happening here.

        Thanks for your Scientologists Back in Comm blog.

        I think you are doing very important work for those affected by Scientology.


  25. I assume most of the folks who post here are fairly recently out of the Cof$. With much love, I would like to say that there is way, WAY too much scientology jargon used here.
    Do yourself a BIG favor for your new life and drop the “is nesses” and the “ser facs” and the “valances”. You will do much better in your new lifestyle without these phrases.
    I know this may be an unpopular post, but somebody needs to post this information because in the long run, it will HELP you, not hurt you.
    Best wishes.

  26. Dear Ryan, your post comes from the heart and is so true!
    All my years in Scn I was an outsider. More in the outside world than in. I had an exterior viewpoint on the people inside Scn. I saw exactly what you described. I tried to tell them that Scn is not a religion, not a cult, only a toolbox that you use in life. Without all the additives. But I myself had sinned from time to time with labeling people (the thing Scn raved against when psychs did it, but merely replaced the nomenclature for labeling…). So your post was like a gush of fresh breeze to me. So true! And your big heart shows through. I could feel it. Thanks.

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