Looking to connect with second gen Ex Scientologists

Karakorum

Broke ranks over 10 years ago, never looked back
Obv, Scientology: Fair Game with Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, I've listened to most of the episodes. Yes, sometimes learning about and hearing about all of the fucked up shit a group you were a part of commits, or the ways in which it can emotionally ruin a person can be triggering and difficult. It's all about going slow, take breaks when and if you need to, and also realizing that you are not the group.
It is a very good podcast series, I like it more than the Aftermath perhaps because it is more information and less entertainment than the Aftermath show. I feel it is also more geared towards ex-cult members and less geared towards the general public.

Behind The Bastards from iHeartRadio has a 3 part series on LRH that is hilarious and sometimes hard to listen to (when you realize what a sociopath he is, ughhhh). They don't have a lot of sympathy for the man, understandably. So just be aware they can seem harsh, though I feel it is due
Never listed to that one, but I will now. Wonder what's their take on the old man.

The Gateway: Teal Swan from Gizmodo. I don't know what to say about Teal. I feel this is relevant because these movements (cult-y spiritual movements) are still happening in real time, and the personalities of the people who do this type of thing are worth noting and knowing. As well as their methods of recruitment, and trains of "logic" for why they do what they do. Teal is still active.
I heard interviews with ex-members of her cult, the similarities that strike me are the "magical thinking&new age vibes" common to both her and scn, as well as the fact that the guru is obviously a narcissist.
Granted, Hubbard did not appear to be of entirely sound mind himself, but he still appears less emotionally unhinged than Teal. With Hubbard we all can legitimately ask questions "Was he primarily just a conman, just a true believer or simply insane?"
With Teal I think it is clear that she is primarily insane.

Troublemaker by Leah Remini (I read this in like 3 days. Have I mentioned I love her?)
It is a good book, the issues I have with it are strictly personal - Leah and me just seem to have exactly the opposite personalities and exactly the opposite philosophies of life. So I always find it very hard to relate to her, it is an "ARC issue" if you want to call it that ;)
At the same time, I also find it encouraging to see that two such different people can arrive at the same conclusions based on their experiences within the cult.

To your list of books, I would strongly suggest the following 3:

Janis Grady's: "Commodore's Messenger: A Child Adrift in the Scientology Sea Organization".
Janis describes her life as a kid raised by a scientology family and then being a young teen on the Apollo. She has a very no-nonsense, level-headed approach to it all. Her description of Hubbard to me appears to be the most unbiased of all of them, I think she's exactly the sort of person who can detach from her subjective emotional experiences and describe it in a factual, grounded manner. Amazing book... and also a hard read for me, being ex-SO goon myself.

John Duignan's : "The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert World of the Church of Scientology".
available online for free here (from Internet Archive: Digital Library of Free & Borrowable Books, Movies, Music & Wayback Machine)
This is probably the least known and most underrated of all the great books about Scientology. John joined the SO in the mid 80s and left in the mid 2000s. This is the best book about the "modern SO", he describes some of the things I know from personal experience and I can confirm that he "tells it how it is". He's also a very good writer and even the parts about his pre-SO life read like a breeze and feel like a very good autobiography judged on its own merits.

Marc Headley's Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology
This one is a classic and very rightfully so. Marc was at Gold and describes that side of the corporate structure very well, he has very good memory and brings up details about SO training that I myself forgot about. Also he is the guy who escaped the base on a motorcycle being chased by an scn van that pushed him off the road - that first hand account is amazing itself.
 
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JeansAndRice

Active member
@Karakorum Awesome, awesome. Can't wait to check these books out. And since you're here with recommendations.. what do you recommend for supplementary studies? Things that can inform the experience but aren't about it? I find I can only do so much strictly Scientology research before I burn out.
 

Karakorum

Broke ranks over 10 years ago, never looked back
@Karakorum Awesome, awesome. Can't wait to check these books out. And since you're here with recommendations.. what do you recommend for supplementary studies? Things that can inform the experience but aren't about it? I find I can only do so much strictly Scientology research before I burn out.
Oh expanded stuff. I can offer a lot, just depends how far you want to go. I understand you mean things not directly about cults or scientology?

Then here's the list off the top of my head.s

1. For all SO members and people form management, I'd suggest Richard Evans - "The Third Reich in Power". While I was in I could never understand why being understaffed and overworked, we still found ourselves having areas of responsibility overlap with OSA and why we kept doing the same work twice without realizing FINPO or OSA already did it. Also why you have multiple parallel management structures all doing redundantly the same work.

This book gave me these answers. You probably won't get them anywhere else, neither from Chirs Shelton nor from Mike Rinder. Rich Evans has the depth of analysis of the totalitarian state as an organization, as a structure that helped me connect the dots when it came to scientology's organization.

2. Kurt Rudolph - Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism. If you want to know where the metaphysical foundations of scientology came from, where the "man is basically good" the "meat-bodies" the "trap" and "degraded beings" came from... read this book. These are very old ideas and very traditional ones. Once you learn what is gnosticism, your view of scientology will be changed forever. The book made me find my own spiritual balance in life after a period of pure materialism and rejection of "all things woo". Hint: I did not become a gnostic.

3. Prof.Robert Hare - "Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us" and "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work". Hare is a clinical psychologist who worked years for the canadian prison system. He really knows what he is talking about. Useful stuff for everyone, especially ex-cult members. Hubbard's notion of "2% of the population are basically broken" was not that far off. Hint: After reading this I became more convinced that Hubbard was not a psychopath, but he was a vindictive narcissist.

4. Get yourself some decent academic books for comparative religious studies. For example Sir James Frazer's - "Golden Bough". Read something about African mythologies, Slavic mythology, Shinto. Its good to get an idea how religious and metaphysical ideas are formed and how they evolve. While there was no single "satori" moment connected with any of these, to me that sort of reading was "mind-stabilizing", helped me find my footing in the long run.

5. Eric Berne "The games people play - The Psychology of Human Relationships". Good all-around psychology book for laymen.
 
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Vumba

Active member
Hello, I’m in my mid twenties and was born into Scientology. I left Scientology at the age of 18, spent my teenage years planning that escape. I’m realizing more and more as I try to do research and connect with others how unusual my experience is. I would love to talk to and connect with other people who were born into the church and left, or even just people within my age range who have left.
As I’m sure you all can imagine, leaving your life behind at 18 is a huge challenge. Coupled with being thrown into the world for the first time, fear of losing contact with family, struggling to find others who have had my experiences. It’s a lot for a young person to go through, and I’m hopeful to find others who share that experience or can relate in some way.
Hi good to see you here. I managed to escape when I was 20. I had been in all my life, but thankfully, of all my family, was the last to leave so didn’t have worries or guilt about leaving anyone behind. It was a very scary time for me as I was going out into the big bad “wog” world as we were told, and I had all the fears associated with having to confront bad things. How are you doing now? ❤
 

onceuponatime

Active member
Welcome, good on you for getting out. You are still young and you did good getting out as early as you did. You'll find that life outside of scientology is really not that hard.

To the book recommendations, obviously Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is a very good read and the HBO documentary based on it is fantastic. While not really books some of the old threads on exscn.net are great reads. I particularly liked the cowboy thread. It rang true to me and gave me a glimpse behind the curtain.
 
Hi good to see you here. I managed to escape when I was 20. I had been in all my life, but thankfully, of all my family, was the last to leave so didn’t have worries or guilt about leaving anyone behind. It was a very scary time for me as I was going out into the big bad “wog” world as we were told, and I had all the fears associated with having to confront bad things. How are you doing now? ❤
I Honestly I wasn’t all that scared in the beginning! For me actually I had felt so wronged in the church/ by my family and sometimes by friends that I had a really rosey view of the outside world, I was a bit too trusting of people I shouldn’t have trusted and a bit too wreckless. I had some idea that the world outside of Scientology would be the exact opposite of the world inside of it. Thats accurate in some ways and in some it’s not. I think it’s interesting how different people’s experiences can be!
I’m doing good I would say! I have a job I really enjoy and I’ve made friends and had experienced things I never would have otherwise. I do struggle with the mental health effects of my time in Scientology, and I do struggle with the potential of losing contact with my family (they know that I don’t participate or want to talk about Scientology, but I’m careful to not publicly critique it) posting here felt like a really big and scary step because of that.
 

onceuponatime

Active member
I Honestly I wasn’t all that scared in the beginning! For me actually I had felt so wronged in the church/ by my family and sometimes by friends that I had a really rosey view of the outside world, I was a bit too trusting of people I shouldn’t have trusted and a bit too wreckless. I had some idea that the world outside of Scientology would be the exact opposite of the world inside of it. Thats accurate in some ways and in some it’s not. I think it’s interesting how different people’s experiences can be!
I’m doing good I would say! I have a job I really enjoy and I’ve made friends and had experienced things I never would have otherwise. I do struggle with the mental health effects of my time in Scientology, and I do struggle with the potential of losing contact with my family (they know that I don’t participate or want to talk about Scientology, but I’m careful to not publicly critique it) posting here felt like a really big and scary step because of that.
I know what you mean. In my experience it's very cathartic to have an outlet where you can voice your opinion/thoughts even if you remain anonymous while doing so. I think your strategy of staying quiet to your family makes sense. There's no need to go public and make a big deal out of it.

I also would recommend therapy, but of course you'll have to keep that hidden from your family which could present problems. It's good to talk with someone, I know from experience.
 

Vumba

Active member
I Honestly I wasn’t all that scared in the beginning! For me actually I had felt so wronged in the church/ by my family and sometimes by friends that I had a really rosey view of the outside world, I was a bit too trusting of people I shouldn’t have trusted and a bit too wreckless. I had some idea that the world outside of Scientology would be the exact opposite of the world inside of it. Thats accurate in some ways and in some it’s not. I think it’s interesting how different people’s experiences can be!
I’m doing good I would say! I have a job I really enjoy and I’ve made friends and had experienced things I never would have otherwise. I do struggle with the mental health effects of my time in Scientology, and I do struggle with the potential of losing contact with my family (they know that I don’t participate or want to talk about Scientology, but I’m careful to not publicly critique it) posting here felt like a really big and scary step because of that.
I hope you go from strength to strength and always around if you ever need a listening ear x
 

FCDC Staffer-75

New member
Hello, I’m in my mid twenties and was born into Scientology. I left Scientology at the age of 18, spent my teenage years planning that escape. I’m realizing more and more as I try to do research and connect with others how unusual my experience is. I would love to talk to and connect with other people who were born into the church and left, or even just people within my age range who have left.
As I’m sure you all can imagine, leaving your life behind at 18 is a huge challenge. Coupled with being thrown into the world for the first time, fear of losing contact with family, struggling to find others who have had my experiences. It’s a lot for a young person to go through, and I’m hopeful to find others who share that experience or can relate in some way.
Dear Young Friend, Good Evening. I First went to Work on Staff When I was 15 Years old. At first , it was just a Summer Job, I Worked in Division 6 at The Founding Church in Washington, D.C. for that Summer. What I Really liked was the Sense of Common Purpose and the Friendliness of the Staff Members. There was a Sense of Mission and Long Term Goals of Making Life Better for All of Humanity. After that Summer, I Left Scientology for Two Years, Went back to High School and Lived a Normal W.O.G. Life ( I Came to Realize that Some of LRH'S Language was Both Racist and Homophobic ). I Have Mixed Feelings About Hubbard after having Many Years to Review My Experiences as a Scientologist. You almost had to be there to Understand the Dedication of Most of My Fellow Staffers and Their Willingness to Work for Slave Wages and Live in Deplorable Conditions. I Don't Believe that We were Masochists or Fools but rather Naive, Hopeful Young People Trying to Realize the Words Printed on" The Aims of Scientology" .
I Returned in 1975 and Worked in Several Different Departments , Eventually obtaining Staff Status II. I Think that One of the Most Important Distinction to Understand is the Difference Between Staff and Public Persons. Unfortunately, The Church Veered Off its Purported Mission of " Clearing the Planet" instead Church Management began to Promote Celebrity Members like Tom Cruise and John Travalta because They Could Afford Large Blocks of Auditing Services. I am Oversimplifying some of My History but I am Trying to Provide a Thumbnail of the Formative Parts of My Life. We were NOT Evil People Trying to Create Scientology Prisons and the Like But Some Upper Management Sea Org, Flag Staf, The Guardians Office went Rogue or were Following LRH's Vendetta Against What He Considered Sanely or Not Government Harassment or Railing Against the Mental Health Profession. There was so much Going on at the Same Time if was Difficult to Foresee the Focus of The Church becoming Profits, Bigger Hotels, etc and Celebrity Importance While Most Staff Members Remained Dedicated to " Clearing the Planet" to End Wars, Eliminate Crime from Society and Create a Race of Space-born Travelers and Explorers. If Anyone would like to Hear More I Would be Honored to Communicate with You
 

Karakorum

Broke ranks over 10 years ago, never looked back
@Strawberry

For 2nd gen, you can get in contact with Chris Shelton who is a 2nd gen and is now an ex-Scientologist.
[email protected]

He also has a call-in program/show on Sundays for many topics (not just 2nd gen items).
He is. Though he is a pretty unusual kind of 2nd gen scientologist. His mom was doing scientology, but he did absolutely no scientology himself as a kid. He then went to the org as a teen to use it as as self-help vehicle for his romantic problems and got recruited.

So in some ways his story is more similar to that of 1st gen members, who go through the recruitment process as adults. Which does not make him any worse or better than any of us, just something I noticed.
 

Vumba

Active member
I Honestly I wasn’t all that scared in the beginning! For me actually I had felt so wronged in the church/ by my family and sometimes by friends that I had a really rosey view of the outside world, I was a bit too trusting of people I shouldn’t have trusted and a bit too wreckless. I had some idea that the world outside of Scientology would be the exact opposite of the world inside of it. Thats accurate in some ways and in some it’s not. I think it’s interesting how different people’s experiences can be!
I’m doing good I would say! I have a job I really enjoy and I’ve made friends and had experienced things I never would have otherwise. I do struggle with the mental health effects of my time in Scientology, and I do struggle with the potential of losing contact with my family (they know that I don’t participate or want to talk about Scientology, but I’m careful to not publicly critique it) posting here felt like a really big and scary step because of that.
Yes I can understand that feeling. Well done for honouring you! ❤👍
 
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