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Comments from Scientologists

From: Butch Berry
Subject: Scientology experience

My experience was a good one.

I took a personality test and they told me I was to come to the office to get the results. They explained it and it sounded interesting. They offered a communication course. It sounded interesting so I took it. I had no problems with the staff and learned some useful information.

They asked if I would like to work there. I was interested and started immediately. I went through a process called Purification where they give you a combination of niacin and vitamins and you run for 30 minutes, work up a sweat and get the toxins up to the skin. I would then go into the sauna for a couple of hours and sweat out the toxins. It was cleansing and I felt great afterwards. As I worked for them, they were very nice to me and I had no problems.

A recruiter from the World Headquarters in Florida came to my Purification place and recruited me and told me it would be a promotion to work at the headquarters and an honor. I had to leave immediately and say goodbye to all my friends and relatives and convince my dad to say it was ok. I was 19, but it's what I wanted to do. I was trying to find myself and how the mind/world worked.

The recruiter found someone else to foot the plane ticket and I didn't have to pay anything. She told me that I would have a place to live and be given food in exchange for working for them and I would take classes at night and also get processing to help me get to higher levels of awareness. It sounded good to me and I left.

Once I got to florida, I found that it was run like an army camp. We lived at a hotel. About 10-15 of us in a room. In the morning we would have roll call, some exercise, and went to work at the Hotel doing maid duties. In the afternoon, I would get some processing and then at night we would get education. It was very challenging and fun and I felt like I was bettering myself. We had one night off a week to do what we liked and were given $25 a week for entertainment. I was supplied decent food and accomodations. After about a couple of weeks, we graduated from the boot camp and could decide what group we wanted to be with. I decided I wanted to go to the Ship Org. This is where they have a ship like "the love boat" and where the highest level OT8 was being taught. Of course to people who had thousands of $$$ to spend on that course. Every level costs more. And supposedly at the highest level you could make things move and be a completely "Operating Thetan." Full control of your mind. Sounded exciting. They paid for me to take a plane from Clearwater, Fl to Miami. And from there I boarded the ship and took off for the Carribean.

On the ship, I had no time to do my clothes or any entertaining things. I would just wake up, do work on the ship, and then study at night. Same thing everyday. I got tired of it and asked to be returned back to Clearwater. They didn't like it, but did it and paid for my trip back.

I wasn't getting much help when I got back and I was getting a little homesick. I asked my parents to send me money to get home and they did. I told my supervisor that I was leaving and he said ok. I got on a bus and I came home.

The only thing Scientologists told me I couldn't do then was to start going to another Scientology branch anywhere else since I left them. And that has been fine with me.

I had a good experience. I valued the information and met some nice people along the way and decided that it wasn't for me in the end.

I don't think people hear my type of stories and I don't know why. Maybe because it's suppressed or nobody ever feels like writing anything good. People just like to complain about stuff. And yes, I'm sure many people had bad experiences as well. I'm just here to tell my story and that it wasn't bad.

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