Delphian school and the rest of my life


New member
I am David

. Very Long, no way to TLDR
Yes, Scientology has their own Hogwarts of sorts. I went there in the mid 90's. I first attended a summer program and left New Jersey for Oregon on July 3rd 1994.

I don't know if there's anyone else on this board who has had a very screwed up life since attending the school but i'd love to chat with you. Im writing this as a push from my psychological team to try and talk this stuff out. My hands are shaking while i'm typing.

Let me make one thing clear. I am NOT blaming everything bad in my life on the school. I AM airing out everything that happened to me from the time I got on the plane to the time I left for good just about a year later. There were many other factors in my life that led to my current psychiatric state which is severely depressed with multiple suicide attempts. My father had a drug problem and there was severe negligence in my childhood. I experienced my first bout with mental illness in 1998, two years after I had left the school.

My father became a scientologist after hearing about the church from a patient of his. He was a dentist in New Jersey who was doing very well for himself. I suppose the patient also told him there was a school where you could send your children. A boarding school in Sheridan, Oregon. The school sat atop a hill and was a former monastery. I remember him asking me if I wanted to try it for the summer. The vision I had of a boarding school was definitely not what I experienced. I thought it would be an escape from my already chaotic childhood. I imagined a place where I could start over, the kids wouldn't know me, nobody would make fun of me. I could be anyone I wanted.

I decided to go. I got on a plane from Newark, NJ to Portland Oregon. That morning I was so nervous i threw up the airport eggs in the bathroom of the plane during takeoff and the flight attendants were banging on the door telling me I had to get back to my seat. I was truly alone for the first time in my life on a plane headed thousands of miles away. I crossed over in Denver and when I got to Portland a man with other children and a van were there to pick me up. I remember trying to talk to the other kids about their experiences there. None of them talked very much and seemed to not understand the way I talked to them or the things I spoke about. They had all been going to the school for numerous summer programs or for the full year.

When I arrived at the school I put my bags in a room that used to be a Christian church of some sorts. The pews were piled high with luggage from all the other students. A girl came to greet me and immediately took me to a large empty room with fold out tables aligned perfectly with each other through the room. There was not a speck of dust to be found anywhere. The girl hooked me up to a device that resembled a meter from Ghostbusters and took some reading of me. Her explanation made no sense to me and that was my very first clue that something was not right.

It was just about time for dinner and I remember being taken down to the cafeteria. On the menu was "Larry's lemon chicken and rice". It wasn't that bad, typical cafeteria food. I figured the rest of the menu would be decent and I couldn't be more wrong. One day very frequently they had something callled "Cream cheese buffet". It is what it sounds like it would be, large blocks of cream cheese melted in steam pans to a soupy consistency with bread rolls and jelly. That was it and that was a meal one day of the week.

The people at the school, the staff and the regular students were generally condescending to outsiders (people who were brought up in the public school system). For some reason they were openly mean and over critical. I couldn't understand this. Everything was different, it was unbearably strict, to the level of failure for individual dust particles and ethical perfection.

The learning methods are the first shock to the system. The first thing that happens is I was evaluated for my reading and writing level. My handwriting wasn't that bad but to them it was awful. My reading level was at about a third grade (i was in 11th grade or their equivalent). To their credit, I did do a lot of reading and brought up my reading level significantly. I won't deny that. There are no instructors, only supervisors. You do your own learning. You have things called courses. You do one course at a time (algebra, literature, geometry, etc etc etc). Then you are tested on each thing and expected to get a very high grade (which isn't very bad I suppose). You do not proceed until you absorb 100 percent of the information in a course. If you score too low on a test you have to redo the course. If you come close to 100 percent, the examiner will touch up on what you missed. At that point they will determine you have learned the course to 100 percent. There were some people there that were 17, 18, 19, years old that were on 6th grade courses. You would keep going and your parents would keep paying. The school was expensive, at the time roughly 35,000 dollars a year.

Their three methods of learning were overcoming obstacles such as misunderstood words, lack of mass, and too steep a gradient. if you misunderstood a word in any of the reading there was no way you could understand ANY of the material past the point of the word. Distracted and talking to another student , "RETURN TO STUDY!!!!"

example: The dog jumped over the fence. if you misunderstood jumped, the information to follow could not be absorbed and the rest of the book/coursework would be worthless. They said misunderstanding a word caused tiredness, disinterest, even nausea. If a supervisor witnessed you yawning, they would tell you to look up what word(s) you misunderstood. If another student saw you yawning, they would inform the supervisor. You couldn't be disinterested in a subject, you just misunderstood it. Yawning during little house on the prairie? It's not because of disinterest, it's the word. If you rejected the supervisors claim, you were sent to ethics. More on that later.

Lack of mass: this one makes sense, if you are trying to learn about installing a home theater system without one in front of you it will be difficult.

too steep a gradient: too hard. Trying to read David copperfield in 3rd grade.

The students , despite the high cost were required to keep the grounds clean. There was no janitorial or grounds staff. We did all the cleaning including the dishes for hundreds of students every day. So at 35k per student a year, the lack of school staff for maintenance made them very rich. The profit margins are huge especially considering the students learn on their own. If you were late to "school" even by a millisecond, you got points. You got points for any unethical behavior and you'd sacrifice your weekend activities to wash dishes or do some other undesirable chore while the other kids enjoyed themselves. Your room was to be perfect. There were to be no wrinkles in your sheets, no dust on anything. This was the requirement for your cleaning chores as well (toilets, showers, etc etc). Someone splatter diarrhea all over the toilet and you had toilets? You'd better be able to eat off it when you're done. Oh yeah and make sure every shit particle is off the brush too.

In the middle of all this, you're exposed to everything else scientology. There are pictures of L Ron Hubbard everywhere and you were to keep them clean. You would witness the scientologist supervisors talk about their different heirarchies, Thetans, etc. I didn't know anything about this as a 16 year old kid from New Jersey. I didn't know that one scientologist had a way of being "above"? another through some type of auditing. The kids would brag about their dad (who was a staff member of some sort) being at some immortal level and the other kids dad was only at pope level or whatever the hell it is. The written letters and notes always ended with "ARC" Affinity, Reality, Communications. Didn't want to talk to a douchebag student? You were out of Comm and were referred to ethics to figure out what happened between you and this student. You were forced to like everybody and if didn't, it was because of an "overt". An act committed against the student. You were not allowed to just dislike someone. Still didn't like them after the ethics re-education? you were to do coursework and figure out what you did to this student. STILL didn't like them? Points were added and your ass was washing dishes.

The ethics system required ratting. If you witnessed anything bad, at all, you were to rat out your fellow student or the punishment would be equal for you if said student was caught. There were some punishments like doing coursework on ethics, being kept out of sports, or other activities. Having any sexual contact was grounds for immediate dismissal. Unwillingness to conform in any way repeatedly was grounds for dismissal. Sometimes you would be confined to nothing but ethics courses to re-educate yourself on what is expected of you.

So i went for the summer program and to get my dads approval, I decided to stay for the whole year. It was the worst mistake of my life. I was never the same after that. That experience along with everything else in my life broke me. I do not know how to communicate with people. I misread people and parts of scientology-esque ethical requirements sneak out in my behavior and cause me great great problems. I am massively confused religiously for obvious reasons. They do not believe in God, or a God but an intergalactic ruler or something of the sorts. I cannot figure out what I believe from one moment to the next. I've tried to kill myself multiple times and im sitting here writing this to you guys with one bad hand. I'm recovering from my last suicide attempt where i nearly bled to death. I severed 3 tendons in my left hand and after two months of physical therapy, can just make a fist, today. Again, i'm not blaming my life entirely or to a specific degree on the school or my own/parents decision to send me. I'm airing it all out, hopefully for someone out there to let them know that some of us fall through the cracks and the school/scientology just might be a/the conduit to our inner destruction.

This was so hard. I've never talked about this with anyone to THIS extent

Lee #28

Well-known member
Thanks TheDave678.

I too have had and still have severe mental - spiritual - physical .... problems that started after I left the Cult..... ( I was in for 27 years...)

Don't have much to say about how to combat the problems....

Talk it out here......if you like. Lots of former members here.

I was never at Delphi....Just Orgs.

Welcome to ESMB2.

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Well-known member
Welcome and thanks for sharing your story. Scientology "study tech" is quite bad and the constant implication that you can have no other problems other than a misunderstood word can devolve into mental torture if used repeatedly and mindlessly. I know exactly what you mean - later on I went through scientology auditing and "training routines" that are described by some mental professionals as "brainwashing" or hypnosis.
Trust me, I found these "brainwashing" activities far less abusive than the study tech.

I'm sad to hear your dad had a drug problem. Scientology claims they know how to resolve drug problems, but it is just a case of "different bottle, same snake oil inside".