Scientology Recovery Program
[When using the word “scientology” below, I am referring to the version of scientology practiced by the church of scientology (CofS) and its affiliated organizations. The operating procedures and ethical standards of independent scientologists / freezone scientologists differ significantly from the CofS.]
resigning from the Scientology Sea
Organization in 1979 I studied deprogramming,
various cults, and exposés on Scientology and then began developing a program
to assist with my recovery. Gradually, through further study and
efforts to heal my life, it evolved into the form shown below. I am
not sharing it with the intention that other former
I was raised lovingly by non-scientology parents and was not introduced to scientology until the age of 23. I did not experience the degradation of working with Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige or being on the RPF.
In applying the following guidelines I did not work on them sequentially (finish one, then start the next) but often focused on several steps simultaneously. At times, I maintained a table that summarized the current status of various steps and listed ideas for further progress.
1. Compare the condition of your life now with how you were doing before your involvement with Scientology. Break it down into categories. Use scientology’s eight dynamics if that appeals to you or use other categories such as health, job satisfaction, relationships, material and financial abundance, etc. Also note whether you lost any abilities that you had prior to becoming involved with Scientology.
2. Describe what you would consider to be a full recovery from
your experiences with the
To equal and surpass my pre-Scientology levels
of prosperity and contentment
3. Learn the truth about L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige, and their church. Compare any PR lies you learned while in Scientology with the facts.
4. Do your best to disconnect from the
5. Fully release yourself from the compulsion to agree with or obey scientology policy and tech. Be able to comfortably ignore and revise scientology policy and tech.
6. Study the characteristics of cults and cult leaders (cult recovery book list). Compare the church of scientology to other cults.
7. Accelerate your recovery by learning how former cult members were able to heal their lives (including members of other cults, not just former Scientologists).
8. Selectively use Scientology concepts to enhance your success. This became easier for me after realizing that when using a scientology concept, I wasn’t necessarily using an idea from Hubbard. Many of the ideas published under his name came directly from other church members with Hubbard taking the credit. Example: David Mayo Affidavit, paragraphs 10 and 11. Alan Walter claimed that Hubbard plagiarized study tech from scientologists Charles and Ava Berner.
9. Repair any of your relationships damaged by your exposure to Scientology.
10. Write a detailed description of your experiences in Scientology and share it with other people. Also share your experiences verbally.
11. Maintain a personal
collection of any Scientology materials that still appeal to you (without
giving financial support to the
12. Understand how you were susceptible to being recruited and deceived by the church of scientology. Were you recruited by someone using the four steps from the Dissemination Drill policy letter? If so, what “ruins” did you name? What goals or desires did you believe scientology might be able to help you with?
13. Do what you consider to be
your fair share to educate the public regarding Scientology; help other former
14. Provide yourself with
strong support networks. Check out the various discussion forums
available to ex-Scientologists: Operation
Clambake Message Board, Ex
Scientologist Message Board, and Ex Scientology
15. Learn from Alan
Walter. He had more experience helping former Scientologists than
anybody else. Examples of posts of his to review: 1) Ex
Scientologist Member Board (topic Making
sense of the madness you have escaped from! and 2) Operation
Clambake Message Board (topic Rebuilding
Your Life, username use8).
16. Acknowledge the identities you
took on as a CofS member. Understand
how the church culture was structured to negate people’s pre-scientology
identities and substitute controllable, exploitable ones (Brainwashing and Thought Control in Scientology
-- The Road to Rondroid). My
primary identity as a Sea Org member was a Hubbard robot. Claim
healthy, self-chosen identities and roles.
I was unaware of scientology until I was an adult. Leah Remini, Jenna Miscavige Hill and Sunny Pereira were all raised by scientology parents and have publicly shared their church-related experiences:
· Leah wrote Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, describing her more than 30 years in scientology and why she left.
· Sunny described her church experiences through posts
at Ex Scientology Member Board (pdf compilation of her posts: Devoted to the Cult: An Orphan WithParents). She
describes sea org abortion policies in this interview. I
knew Sunny when she was 5 or 6 years old. She was living at the
Being able to lie effectively is considered a virtue in some scientology organizations, including upper level management. Giving false testimony in court is considered justified if it will help protect the CofS or harm critics of scientology. TR-L is a scientology training exercise that has been used to develop the ability to lie convincingly. You can find many examples of pro-CofS lies by comparing church spokesperson’s public statements with what they say after leaving the cult and are no longer pressured to lie.
“The greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics”
This is Hubbard’s variation of a concept associated with utilitarianism. Related quotes by Jeremy Bentham, founder of utilitarianism:
· It is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.
· The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.
Hubbard’s version was convenient for manipulating people into violating standards of decency. The “greatest good” rationale was used to encourage staff members to accept lack of time off, low pay, and lack of companionship on the grounds that self-deprivation and family deprivation was more than balanced by the good the individual was accomplishing by helping the CofS and all of mankind.
Overts and Amends
The CofS takes the concepts of confessional and restitution for wrongdoing to ridiculous extremes. Yet, there can be value and peace of mind in admitting to oneself incidents when one acted in violation of your personal values and then following up with action to make up for any harm done. This is not a healthy process when a person accepts the CofS definitions of what is and is not a harmful act.
Examples of actions that former members may have felt were ethical while under the influence of the CofS:
· Encouraging people to go into debt to purchase CofS auditing or training
· Using physical force to prevent people from leaving the sea org
· Harming critics of scientology
· Neglecting one’s personal health
· Denying oneself and others companionship and family closeness
· Pressuring pregnant staff members to have an abortion
Pete Griffiths: “I got people into Scientology, I regret this. I must do something to make amends.”
few former members of the
If the activities and background of Hubbard and his church had been truthfully represented to me, I would not have spent large sums of money on auditing or provided three years of labor for a salary averaging about $12 per week.
Examples of willful misrepresentation:
1. What I was told and read: Hubbard did not receive the income generated by his "church".
Reality: Hubbard controlled Scientology finances. Money was funneled into offshore accounts controlled by him.
2. What I was told and read: CofS is an ethical humanitarian group.
Reality: Scientology's Guardian's Office harassed critics and former members (Paulette Cooper, for example) under Hubbard's orders. Church members ran an illegal spy operation against the IRS with Hubbard’s knowledge.
3. What I was told and read: Personal information that a Scientologist reveals during auditing sessions is confidential.
Reality: Scientology executives ordered staff members to examine preclear folders to obtain information that could be used for blackmail.
4. What I read: Various lies about Hubbard's background as given in Scientology books that I studied in the 1970's.
Reality: “The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile.” (Judge Paul Breckenridge, from his 1984 decision on Church of Scientology of California v. Gerald Armstrong)
Additional Recommended Publications and Links
· Leaving Scientology by Jefferson Hawkins
· Captive Hearts, Captive Minds by Madeleine Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich. One of the best books available on understanding cults and the recovery process. Includes comments by former Sea Org member Hana Whitfield. (Dr. Lalich’s website)
· The ESMB Posts. Free pdf file of Alan Walter’s posts to Ex Scientologist Member Board compiled by Paul Adams. Alan assisted thousands of ex-CofS members with their recovery. Very helpful in developing a more thorough understanding of Hubbard and the history of the CofS.
· The Underground Bunker. Tony Ortega’s web site
A summary of my experiences as a scientologist in the 1970’s.
last modified: March 2018