The Cheryl S Story
On February 1, 1991, I "disconnected" from Scientology. It took a long time to emotionally recover from the abuses. The hardest thing to overcome was the initial feeling that the rug had literally been pulled out from under my feet. Everything I had believed in had turned out to be false, and all I had to show were the years I missed watching my children grow up, poor health and no money. But within a year I was in much better financial shape and things were going so much better without Scientology in my life.
Besides my ex-husband, I had retained one friend who was still an active Scientologist. In 1995, she introduced me to a new company, "American Technology Group" (ATG), where a number of Scientologists worked. I bought stock at $3 per share. I introduced another friend, a non-Scientologist, to ATG and she bought in at $3 per share also. A year or so later the share value went up to $16 per share and my friend tried to sell her shares. It turned out that ATG had given her a worthless stock certificate. She tried to get the problem corrected but ATG played the stalling game. It took two weeks before she received a valid certificate from ATG, and by then the price had dropped down to $5 per share. My Scientologist friend made $40,000 off of the sale of her stock. The lesson learned? Disconnection, obviously, must be total.
I did not discover the Internet until July of 1997, so for over six years I was in a vacuum. I never heard much in the press about Scientology. Books critical to Scientology at public libraries had been checked out and were never returned. I had a suspicion as to why. So I just kept my mouth shut and my head low.
In July 1997, I acquired a better computer. As I surfed the Internet, I was astounded to see vast amount of information critical to Scientology flourishing unsuppressed. The information I found there, especially at http://www.xenu.net, helped rid forever the doubts that I had been carrying around that maybe, just maybe, I really was messed up and maybe it was, after all, my fault for every bad thing in the universe.
Part of the healing process came in the form of communicating with other victims or exposing the discrepancies of Dianetics and Scientology by posting to the guestbook at www.xenu.net. If you read this guestbook, you know me as "Clamato," though I did post a few biblical parodies under the pen name of "Scribe Parodiah."
Eight years later, I have finally gotten over my fear of Scientology. It no longer frightens me. The shadows have finally disappeared. My marriage was destroyed, but I have remarried. My kids are almost grown and are doing well. I have returned to my Christian heritage. Life is good. The publication of this story is the next phase in my closure with Scientology.
What was the turning point for me? Looking back, I'd have to say it was in 1985 or 1986, when the OT III data became public knowledge through the court cases. At that time, I looked for reports of mass deaths resulting from the dissemination of the OT III material, but I didn't find any. This made me suspicious, but I parked it in the back of my mind and continued on in Scientology because of the potential of losing my family and the hope that there might be some good to gain.
Prior to "contacting" the OT III data on the Internet, I had heard Hubbard say in his own words in the audiotape, Ron's Journal 67, that if any person contacted the OT III data before he was fully prepared (i.e., finished OT II auditing), that person would die of pneumonia.
So in July, 1997, I ran across the OT III data on the Internet, written in Hubbard's own handwriting (that I was well acquainted with). Recalling the warning in Ron's Journal 67, I felt a little uneasy about reading it. But that little skeptic in me said, "The data is out there. No one died." So I read it. And guess what? I didn't die. Didn't even get bronchitis. Not even the sniffles.
Conclusion? "Ron" lied.
We all wanted that better civilization, the one without war, crime and insanity. Many of us were willing to give everything we had to achieve it. We reached for the stars. But all we got was snake oil1.
Thanks, "Ron." For nothing.