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Jillian Schlesinger: How I got into Scientology, and how I got out

ChurchofScientologyBy Tony Ortega

This is happening in Los Angeles, on Fountain Avenue, in an old hospital building painted blue and topped with huge, lit-up letters that read SCIENTOLOGY.

And this is only weeks ago. In 2014. In the center of one of the largest cities in a country that likes to think of itself as one of the freest on earth.

A woman of 29. Already a veteran of years of working 19-hour days for eight dollars a week. With no access to a telephone. Sleeping in a room with 11 other women on a floor of the old hospital with only a single bathroom. She’s never owned a car. She’s never rented her own apartment. She’s never owned a cell phone. She’s never had a credit card.

Except for helping out her family as a child, she’s only ever had one employer: She’s worked for Scientology since she first joined staff at 15.

She cannot watch television. She cannot read the news. She lives in the movie capital of the world but the only time she gets to watch a film is when Tom Cruise has a new one out and she and all of her coworkers are taken in buses to see it so Tom will get good movie sales.

But she’s had enough.

She’s had some job assignments that weren’t the best. There was that endless scanning of documents in a bare cement basement of a building on Hollywood Boulevard, for example. That was drudgery. But this latest assignment was the worst. In order to save money so more of it could be sent “uplines” to Scientology leader David Miscavige, the “Sea Org” had created a construction crew so it wouldn’t have to pay outside contractors.

The woman has never worked construction before. But now, she finds herself stripping fiberglass insulation without protective clothing at one job site. At another, she’s helping repair a ceiling, backbreaking work, at a former hotel on Hollywood Boulevard that has served as dingy ‘berthing’ for Sea Org workers for years.

And that’s where Jillian Schlesinger begins to plan her escape.

 

——

 
One day, on her way to work, Jillian smuggles an empty duffle bag in a Trader Joe’s grocery sack to her workplace and finds a place to hide it. The next day, she carries a couple of articles of clothing. She does the same the next day. And the next, always being careful to hide what she’s doing as she rides in the Scientology bus with the other Sea Org workers.

After a week, she’s filled the duffel bag with her clothes. She sneaks into the building’s ‘galley’ — where there’s a phone — and calls her father. She asks him to drive over and see her, and she gives him the duffel.

In a week, she tells him, meet me at the same place, at the same time.

And over the next seven days, each time she goes to work, she carries a few more personal items from her room at the old hospital and hides them at her construction site at the old inn.

She sees her father again and gives him her personal items. But she admits to him, she’s not ready to leave yet.

In fact, she hasn’t even made up her mind if she’s really going to do it.

He tells her he understands. She has to make up her own mind, he tells her. He can’t force her to make a decision.

So a few more days go by.

And then, on a Wednesday, as she’s heading home with a roommate, she learns that it’s her last day working at the inn. Tomorrow, her work unit will switch to a construction project somewhere at the old hospital complex, where she lives.

She knows instantly that there’s going to be a unique opportunity to make a run for it in the morning. And if she doesn’t take it, she might not have another opportunity for who knows how long.

The next morning, she heads for the bus stop. She knows that no one at the old hospital realizes yet that her job location has changed. They won’t miss her, thinking that she’s still working at the old Inn. But when she arrives there, she knows no one there is expecting her.

So she walks right past it.

She walks to the metro stop, which is nearby. She goes down and buys a ticket — she’s been saving up some money, even on her meager earnings — and takes the subway to Union Station. Then she buys a ticket for an Amtrak train to Orange County. No one stops her.

When she arrives at the station in Santa Ana, she asks to borrow a telephone from the employees there. She doesn’t have one of her own. She calls her father, and he doesn’t answer.

She doesn’t panic. She knows he works nearby. So she takes a cab.

When he sees her, he’s taken by surprise. And he beams. She’s made her own decision. She has left Scientology’s Sea Org. And now both of them, they know, will have to leave the church itself.

They’ve had only a few weeks since then to get used to the idea.

 

——

 
Jillian Schlesinger tells me she began taking Scientology courses at only about 12 years of age. Her parents, John and Paula, had both been Sea Org workers before she was born, but had left the Sea Org and were still “public” Scientologists — meaning they were still members in good standing, but they didn’t work for the church.

Jillian had been born in Los Angeles, but by the time she started classes she was living in Orange County and went to the “org” in Tustin. Even then, at 12, she began to feel the pressure of joining staff or making the ultimate commitment — joining the Sea Org. After helping out as a volunteer with youth groups, at 15, she decided to join the OC org staff.

She was assigned to work for the org’s “Department of Special Affairs.” The DSA was the local version of the Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s notorious intelligence operation and spy wing. Like OSA, the DSA at the org was also responsible for public relations, which is where Jillian worked. She wasn’t allowed to enter the room where the other part of the DSA — the local intelligence hub — did its work.

While she was on staff, she continued to attend school, and she had some thought about becoming a teacher. But like any second-generation Scientologist in her teens, she was under increasing pressure by recruiters to join the Sea Organization.

“They start recruiting you when you’re pretty young. I was asked to be in the Sea Org when I was 13, and throughout the time I was on staff,” she says. “They come to you every day. They write you letters. They come to your house and stay for hours, trying to talk to you into it. It’s very intense.”

 
Jillian_Schlesinger

 
Eventually, she caved. She was 18 when she signed the Sea Org’s billion-year contract and then was recruited to one of the Sea Org’s most exclusive divisions, the Commodore’s Messenger Organization. At that time, she says, one of the CMO’s divisions handled the financial network of the orgs. So for a few years, she was sent to Scientology churches around the state of California, checking on their financial health.

She went to the San Diego org, for example, where the local staff was being paid $20 a week. So while she was there, she made the same.

Her parents, she says, were divorced by then, and they told her they just wanted her to be happy. But her father was concerned about Jillian being recruited to the CMO. It suggested that she was being groomed for some of the most sensitive postings in the organization.

“He didn’t want me to go to Int,” she says — he still had bad memories of Scientology’s International Base near Hemet, where only a few hundred of the most trusted Sea Org members worked. Jillian says her father had “blown from Int” — escaped — and he didn’t want her to go there.

But for now, she was still shuttling between orgs in California, inspecting their finances.

It was 2003, and already, Jillian was beginning to realize that something was wrong.

“We were supposed to do all these campaigns that would bring in all the public,” she says. “Every event was a big new thing we were supposed to do. But it never really did that much.”

Then, after a few more years, Jillian was summoned to Flag.

Scientology’s spiritual headquarters are in Clearwater, Florida and are known as the “Flag Land Base,” or Flag. Jillian spent the next six years there, and, just as her father feared, she was being groomed to end up at Int Base, back in California, and work directly with David Miscavige himself.

But she never got there. Instead, in 2012, she got a completely different, and somewhat baffling, new assignment.

She was sent back to Los Angeles, but to Scientology’s major publishing arm, Bridge Publications.

While at Flag, Jillian had trained to be an auditor — qualified to give Scientology’s particular brand of counseling — and she was told that the workers at Bridge Publications needed the guidance of someone like her. If Bridge was going to raise its stats, its workers needed an auditor who could whip them into shape.

But there was one major problem. When she got there, she was told that Bridge was not technically part of the church but was its own, independent corporate organization. And no auditing could occur there.

“It was very weird,” she says.

“I didn’t have a very good experience there,” she adds. “People have long hours. The staff will go for months without study time. They work very late hours, and it is dangerous when you have the heavy equipment that they run.”

She looked for opportunities to talk with the workers — she couldn’t audit them in the building, but some of them would come to her berthing for the service. At other times she helped out in the making of books, particularly when there was an “all hands” call and a job was being pushed through at fast speed.

When the Golden Age of Technology Phase II was being prepared by Miscavige last year, work at the plant became frantic. There were months of people staying up really late. “It was all people were doing for months and months.”

Then, suddenly, in September last year, she was moved again. This time to the Hollywood Guaranty Building on Hollywood Boulevard at Ivar Ave. The HGB is one of the most important buildings in the Scientology world. On the ground floor is the entrance to the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition, where the Scientology founder is celebrated. But on the upper floors, what tourists don’t see are the offices of some of Scientology’s most powerful executives. It was also the HGB where Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of leader David Miscavige, contemplated throwing herself from a window, one of the more gripping scenes from her recent memoir, Beyond Belief.

But Jillian didn’t get to work in the offices on the upper floors, or in the Life Exhibition. She worked in the basement, scanning documents from files piled in hundreds of milk crates. They were files on thousands of people — “Everyone who had ever done a course. The essays they wrote, for example,” she says.

“It was really boring. We were in this huge basement that had nothing — it was just cement. But sometimes it was better than doing the construction jobs. Some of the girls would rather do the scanning,” she says.

I asked Jillian why she hadn’t married by this point. Sea Org members are known for marrying very young, in part because as singles they get no privacy, sharing same-sex dormitory rooms and sharing bathrooms. A married couple might get their own bedroom in an apartment with several other couples. Because of that, many Sea Org members marry by 17 or 18.

“I had different reasons,” she says. “If you’re going up lines, it was important that you had no relationships. After that, I think because there was a lot of stuff I saw, and I was already having doubts. There wasn’t anyone I could find who was similarly minded.”

By the time she was back in Los Angeles and in her late 20s, she was having serious doubts.

“It was about the conditions. It’s so controlling. It’s frantic. It’s urgent. The stats are never good enough. There’s a feeling that we haven’t worked hard enough or done enough. After a while, you feel like nothing you do is good enough. It’s not a good feeling.

“And they’re into signing a lot more things now. You have to sign a document saying that you don’t have Internet, or gmail, and other things. If you did have email, you had to give them your address and then they cancel it for you,” she says. “And all of your mail gets checked. So if someone sends you a letter or a box, they go through it first. And if they find something in there negative about Scientology, they’ll take it away. That made it hard to talk to my dad.”

But she found a way.

 

——

 
After her escape, it took a few days before anyone at PAC base — the Big Blue headquarters that was the old hospital — figured out that she was missing.

“They called me at my dad’s house, but I missed the call. So I called them. I told them I was willing to come back and sign papers or do some auditing, but I was not willing to stay there. That seemed to throw them off,” she says.

“So a week went by. Then they called and said, read this and that from the ethics book. OK. So I did it. But during that time, I had started to talk to Karen.”

Karen de la Carriere is a former top auditor with the church and a frequent contributor to the Underground Bunker with her videos. She proposed to Jillian that she tell her story on video. Jillian didn’t hesitate.

“The night before the video came out, around midnight, I got an e-mail from the church,” Jillian says. Suddenly, the church sounded more accommodating. It wanted to ship her some things, for example.

I wondered if the church knew she was talking to Karen and filming with her.

“I think it’s possible,” Jillian says.

And since the first video appeared on Sunday, she’s heard nothing further from the church. Not about a “freeloader debt” or a declare order (an excommunication). She assumes all the public attention she’s getting for talking about her defection has spared her the pressuring phone calls and visits from church operatives that often convince other defectors to “route out properly”

If Scientology is leaving her alone, Jililan still has a daunting task in rejoining the modern world.

She’s 30 but she’s never had a driver’s license. She has a bank account, but she rarely had access to it. She has no health insurance. She needs to learn about renting apartments or checking her credit score.

“It’s completely different,” she says. “But the food — it’s way better.”

She’s already getting emotional support not only from her father but other ex-Scientologists, who have been offering their help.

“I think I can hold it together. But I have to say, when I made the videos with Karen I was really nervous,” she says with a laugh.

“There are days when I cry. All of the people you’ve known, your friends you left behind, it’s a big change.”

But she wants to get the word out about what Scientology is going through. That it’s dying, for example.

“I’ve been to orgs all over California, and they’re empty. There are maybe five people there. And some of the fancy course rooms at the Ideal Orgs? They’re being used for storage,” she says.

I asked her what it was like to work in the Sea Org that would surprise people.

“The amount of internal fighting — the yelling. Between seniors and juniors. To me that was just too much. It’s a lot of screaming, a lot of fighting. People aren’t making enough money, they aren’t making enough calls. They’ll pour water on you as punishment,” she says.

“If you go to AOLA [the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles, where wealthy, high-level Scientologists receive special procedures] almost every other week, that org will be in lower conditions — Treason or Liability. People are on shortened meal breaks. Longer schedules.”

I asked about her own case. After being in Scientology so long, how far up “the bridge” was she?

“Not much higher than when I first started,” she says. She did train to be an auditor at Flag, but there was little time for coursework in the Sea Org.

I asked about what had shocked us so much Sunday, her statement in Karen’s video that she had been told that an analysis had been done, and that 2,000 Sea Org workers at Flag were sending $1.5 million a week up lines to David Miscavige. (He was upset that the 2,000 Sea Org workers in the LA area weren’t able to do the same, which motivated the construction unit being created.)

Was this something she was told? Did she get it secondhand, I asked. But she told me that wasn’t the case. She had seen a written order that spelled out the $1.5 million in cash being shipped up to Miscavige.

[Note to the IRS: That was a document in writing spelling out the inurement of Scientology’s leader. No need to thank us for that tip.]

I pointed out to Jillian that it’s really rare for someone to be speaking about their experiences in Scientology so soon. It can take years before a former member has decompressed enough to talk about what they went through.

But here it is, only a few weeks since she took that train to Orange County.

Jillian said kind things about Karen and the other people who have talked to her in recent days. She says the Scientologist in her is shocked to find out that “wogs” (non-Scientologists) are actually so friendly and supportive.

And I had to ask her about L. Ron Hubbard. Many ex-members have quit the church because they’re fed up with Miscavige. But they are still adherents of Hubbard and wish for an earlier time in the church, when they had joined.

“I’m in between,” Jillian says. “I think there are some things I gained in Scientology. I don’t hate it. But I’m just starting all over now,” she said.

“I tell people, I’m between religions.”

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on March 26, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer

 

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  • Captain Howdy

    Look out Sea Org…You’ll be next!

    “All Men In North Korea Are Now Reportedly Required to Get the Same Haircut as Kim Jong Un”

    http://time.com/38409/north-korea-kim-jong-un-haircut/

    • 1subgenius

      If I had hair I would so do that.
      Maybe, a wig.
      I have two. An Andy Warhol, and a Joey Ramone.
      They come in very handy.

      • Missionary Kid

        That’s why your avatar has a hat?

        • 1subgenius

          No, Hank had hair.
          A hank of hair.

          • Missionary Kid

            Yuk yuk. A hank of hair and a piece of bone?

            • Robert Eckert

              To whom he gave a pan, a comb, and perhaps a cat.

      • Troy MacGyver SP

        Gabba Gabba hey!

    • 1subgenius

      In this thread: fun.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Haircuts won’t matter where the Sales Ogres are going next … now that even Russia might have visa’s pulled, there’s only one new frontier for the vultures to invade and close…

      http://i.imgur.com/eXKRPN1l.jpg

      • Robert Eckert

        It’s nice and warm out there in the Van Allen Belt! An unimpeachable Source told us so.

  • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

    Alexa update for Mar. 26: *refresh for images*

    Tony: US rank #18,410 ā€“ down 503 from yesterday. (Average rank last 3 months: 16,144)
    Scientology: US rank #38,228 ā€“ up 1,246 from yesterday. (Average rank last 3 months: 40,128)

    Difference: 19,818 ā€“ 1,749 less than yesterday. (Average difference last 3 months: 23,984)

    Clicks from India ā€“ 3,4% today.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      Thank you.

  • Missionary Kid

    O.K., think about this. If $1.5 million per week is being produced by 2000 sea org workers, that means that on average, each one is producing $750 for Davy.

    That has to be money that includes sales of courses, materials, and, I would imagine, money that they pounded out of publics for ideal orgs, and other bullshit.

    I would imagine that also includes money coming in from whales that are regged, etc. It would explain why the person John P. talked to got 52 calls. The org (and hence the sea org) was probably placed on a lower condition. Maybe that $750/person doesn’t include the whales.

    Since Co$ lies to clams all the time, it would be interesting to see what the actual figures are for Flag. They could well have made up that figure to bait the L.A. crowd.

    Another thing, money could be going uplines, and all of it designated for dm, but he can claim that his name is simply on the check because he’s the administrator, just like you make your tax bill out to the county tax collector by name.

    I don’t doubt what she saw, but more information is needed, or a closer examination of what she saw, and the various interpretations

    • Missionary Kid

      Oops, I accidentally hit “Post.”
      …and the various interpretations of how the money trail could be viewed.

      • Once_Born

        My friend is an expert at playing car insurance companies off against each other.

        He calls company A and gets a quote. Then he call company B. Whatever they quote him, he tells them the quote he got from A was lower. If B then reduces their quote, he goes back to A… and so on.

        It’s likely that Miscavige is playing internal Sea Org factions off against each other in a similar way.

        • Mooser

          “It’s likely that Miscavige playing internal factions off against each other in a similar way.”

          “Internal factions” in Scientology? Well, let’s hope so.

    • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

      “Money from Flag” includes everything from payments for services, hotel stays, IAS donos, Book Sales, etc.

      From the way the transport of money was worded, it sounds like a briefcase of cash with the words (for david miscavige) on it. He can claim whatever he wants, but there’s no longer a “Board of Trustees” running Scientology. It’s Miscavige. And Miscavige alone is reaping all the financial benefit from those organizations. He sleeps on a nice cushy bed, with a private gym, several cars, and can even commission the construction of a car for a friend. Everyone else lives in dormitories and the hole.

      There’s not much interpreting to be done.

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        Sadly, when it comes to religious exemptions, there is a LOT of wiggle room.

        • Missionary Kid

          Was it Cefalo Dollar that they finally nailed for inurement? I know it was one of the televangelists. Even then, they often claim that items were given to them personally as a “love offering.”

          • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

            Why are people’s names so fitting, so often.

            • Missionary Kid

              Wrong evangelist, but still one of the people hawking the prosperity gospel B.S.

          • Douglas D. Douglas

            Don’t get me started on “parsonages.” A beach house or second home in Palm Springs is NOT a parsonage.

            • Missionary Kid

              Like the Bakkers had, with an air conditioned dog house.

      • Missionary Kid

        The proof is going to need to be iron clad. Follow the money.

        • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

          I’m not sure why you’re playing the hardcore skeptic right now. There’s plenty of ironclad evidence (Tom Cruise’s car).

          Also, for better or worse, lack of evidence makes just as good a case in tax situations as does evidence. That’s why if you itemize you have to keep your receipts for three years. The IRS is also extremely wary of “invisible money”.

          • Missionary Kid

            I agree with you. The problem is, IMO, that the IRS is probably gun shy of Co$. They don’t realize that that vicious dog is rapidly losing its teeth, and can’t do what it did after Davy took over.

            The IRS wants its case handed to it on a platter. I’m playing skeptic because I think that their old reputation still has legs. It’s only Sir Ray Jeffries and people like him who will provide a path for them, but it will take years, IMO.

            There’s also too many televangelists who’ve been getting away with doing the same thing for too long.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              If it’s any consolation, almost an entire generation of human beings have come and gone (25 years) since the IRS settlement in 1994. So there’s soon to be a whole fresh breed of agents there at the IRS, who are not jaded by former run-ins with Scientology.

            • Missionary Kid

              That’s a very good point. There is, however, the institutional inertia to consider their tax exempt status as a done deal. I hope that attitude changes.

            • ze moo

              $cientology has a bully complex that is ingrained. Lroon made all his minions ‘big beings’ who only had to make it ‘go right’ and they could get anything they wanted.

              The IRS has always tried to put the fear of themselves into everything they do. But like most entrenched bureaucracies, they are more like Larry, Moe and Curley (3 stooges) meet the accounting world. They do have to take notice of some things, if they had real proof of wrongdoing or of violations of the 93 agreement, they would have to at least start an investigation.

              The Woodward/Garcia suits may be that straw that broke the camels back. Nothing Jill has said (so far) should cause an automatic investigation of the clampire, but one can hope. I am torn between Jill getting a suitcase full of money to start a new life, and her talking to the IRS about some financial shinnanagins that the clampre has committed.

            • Missionary Kid

              I hope the Woodward/Garcia suits do it, and many more. If When Woodward wins, he’s gonna end up with a lot of clients.

  • http://www.cosvm.com/ Volunteer Ministers

    It also sounds like Jillian was privy to a great deal of financial information which prosecutors, the IRS CID, and the U. S. Treasury would be interested in hearing about. Even the names of off-shore banks and “pet names” of accounts can be useful to prosecutors.

  • Sunny Sands

    This is a pic of the Flag building today. Where are all the cars? Construction activity still going on at the Coachman Building.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      Ahem.

      Big Beings don’t need no stinking CARS. They just alter MEST and appear (poof!) wherever they need to be.

      I am sure that the Super Power Building is teeming with Super Powered OTs who come and go like all those witches ‘n wizards in the Harry Potter movies. They walk through walls, slide up chimneys, and flush themselves down toilets.

      Pretty sure at least one of those is an accurate description, anyway.

    • Jimmy3

      That truck says “INDUSTRIAL COATINGS & WATERPROOFING”. This may be a clue! But of what? Very suspicious.

      • Eclipse-girl

        Coatings for the flat roof?

      • Snippy_X

        They are pretending the basement is leaking. They’ll say they went to retrieve items for the discovery process in a few recent lawsuits and found all the documents were moldy and water damaged.

        • Narapoid

          That is terribly cynical! They wouldn’t do anything like THAT…. šŸ˜‰

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Well, it’s for the flood of new meat and customers demanding for their scientology fix, silly. Didn’t you word clear the transcript from Miscavige’s brilliant speech?

      • aquaclara

        Could be the painter – most do interior and exterior work of all sorts. If we could see the name on the truck door, we could look them up.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          No wait… I got it. That’s Miscavige up there sealing up all the LEAKS! (insert evil laugh)

        • Mark

          All I can make out is “Something Construction” and what’s likely their phone number. (Pixels too big, no matter how you tweak it – oh, if only CSI-tech were real!)

    • Mark

      That first picture makes me go all Walter de la Mare: “Is there anybody there?” said the Traveller…

      The two people on the cherry-picker appear to be wearing protective gear – face-masks and gauntlets, which probably means they’re spraying something noxious on the window-frames – a combined rot-treatment/fungicide/waterproofing; cheaper than proper repairs.

  • Drat

    ā€œI tell people, Iā€™m between religions.ā€

    I love that answer :)

    • Mooser

      I don’t. I have never, in my life, met a person who quickly inquired about my religion who wanted to do me any good.
      Anybody wants to inquire about my religion, first they need to tell me exactly what each answer (Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, FSM) would mean to them, what conclusion about me they will draw from it. Then maybe we can talk, if I haven’t punched them by then.
      When people ask you about what your religion is, the only thing they are establishing is the power to make you tell them and the start of a process in which you are made to conform to their prejudices.
      No person of good will asks you what your religion is, that is almost entirely axiomatic.
      I wouldn’t answer “I’m between religions” I answer, “who the fuck wants to know, and why, exactly”?
      And I am proud to say that I have never, ever, asked a person’s religion in my life. I draw my conclusions from how they act.
      But of course, everybody must do as they think best.

      • Mooser

        Which is not to say, that I, just like everybody else, don’t believe in The Rupture.

      • Mooser

        Ah, sort of a cheap trick, that. I always get up-votes if I tell people to do what they think best.

      • Missionary Kid

        I used to say agnostic, now I just say atheist if someone asks. Whatever discussion they want to enter into is at their risk. I’m willing to have a discussion, but if some poor sod wants to try to “save” me, I usually know more about Christianity, it’s history, and the interpretations of the bible than they do.

        Their biggest barrier is that Jesus actually said very little. Everything written by Paul, etc., was all a part of “revelation.” The Gospels themselves were written down after the Epistles, and were a part of an oral tradition. I can go on and on that way.

        Anyone can believe anything they want. Whatever gets you through the night is fine with me, but don’t try to “prove” to me something that is taken on faith. My faith is just different. My faith is that there is no god. I learned quite a long time ago that there are plenty of very moral, principled people who do not believe in the bible.

      • Drat

        An interesting response. Are Americans really this touchy about religion?

        • Missionary Kid

          Unlike Britain and the other former colonies, we don’t have a state religion to provide the inoculation against the absolutism that fundamentalist Christians like to espouse.

          Perhaps if I had been brought up an Anglican, or raised in an environment more tolerant, I would not have questioned the beliefs I was raised in so thoroughly.

          • Drat

            What I found interesting was how I perceived the question and how others may perceive it. It never crossed my mind that it could be construed as an attack, the beginnings of judgementalism or the start of a religious war. That was confusing.

            I personally do not see how being raised an Anglican would stop one from questioning one’s beliefs. Britain isn’t exactly known for religious extremism, at least not in recent decades.

            • Missionary Kid

              The U.S. has gone through a series of revivals over the years. IMO, not having a state church, which is pretty much pro forma, has been a stabilizing influence. When you’ve gotten religions pounded into you like I did (more like surrounded by and intense level of it), being an Anglican seems very tame and calming.

              It’s my view that the Church of England is just there. It isn’t out to proselytize with the fervor of a street preacher, dragging people in.

              We’ve had waves of religious fervor as well as immigration that at different times have spawned the Mormons, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and individual religious leaders like Aimee Semple McPherson, as well as the woman who founded the Christian Scientists, etc, etc, etc. All interpret the bible in their own peculiar way.

              The fire and brimstone that encompasses one’s thoughts as a fundamentalist is quite similar, IMO, to the fear that the Clams have of even thinking like a wog. You’re told that not to follow the true path, whatever that is, will lead you to eternal damnation.

              The zealots left Britain and came here to colonize the new world. To have a national government, it was necessary to keep the different religious sects out by not allowing an official religion.

              This is a huge country in comparison to Britain. It’s nearly as far from L.A. to Maine as from Maine to London. We’ve also had different religious groups that settled or stayed in different areas and dominated them. The Southern Baptists in the rural South and the Mormons in the areas surrounding Utah are examples.

            • Mooser

              Oh for God’s freakin sake, Missionary kid, I’m Jewish! We’ve had a small part in the life of America, too, but never mind that.
              Man, you astound me. I have no idea what it would be like to lose my parent’s God but retain their prejudices. I hope I never find out.

            • Robert Eckert

              What, exactly, are you attacking MK about? You are making less sense than usual today.

            • Missionary Kid

              As a Jewish friend of mine puts it, a lot of effort is spent in trying to say, “My god is more powerful than your god.”

              I’m old enough to note all of the fundamentalist fervor for Israel, and all the talk of Judeo-Christian history, and unity between the two faiths, when 60, years ago, the only reason to have anything to do with the Judaism was to try to convert its members, or to use it as a basis to prove to ourselves that Christianity was a natural progression from Judaism.

              I never saw or heard the “Christ Killers” label applied to Jews in the atmosphere I grew up in. We were taught that they were god’s chosen people, and it was implied that they were misguided. That label seemed to come from the ill informed Catholics.

            • Jimmy3

              “That label seemed to come from the ill informed Catholics.”
              Can you please phrase statements like this more clearly? Do you mean a certain few ill informed individuals that happen to be Catholic, or do you mean that in the broader sense, that the well over 1 billion people who are or have been Catholic are ill informed? I was baptized and confirmed Catholic, and we were never taught to look down on Jews for any reason whatsoever. In the Apostle’s Creed that every Catholic learns and recites, no matter the translation or variation, it is always that Jesus suffered and died at the hands of Pontius Pilate. He was a Roman, not a Jew. Maybe some Catholics hold some resentment towards Jews, but please don’t make it seem like that’s a standard among Catholics.

            • kemist

              I wasn’t raised with this idea, and neither were my parents or grand parents.

              Frankly, the first time I was exposed to this was via the whole Mel Gibson craziness, whose version of catholicism seems to include only him and his dad.

            • Robert Eckert

              The Sedevacantists are not that small a splinter sect. There are probably a lot more of them than of Scientologists.

            • Sherbet

              Same here, kemist. I never heard any resentment aimed at Jews for any reason, not for the Crucifixion or anything.

            • Missionary Kid

              I have a Jewish friend, my age, who went into the hospital to have his tonsils out as a kid around Christmas. All the other kids wanted desperately to get out in time for Christmas. When they found out he was Jewish, they called him a Christ Killer. Early 1950s Milwaukee.

              I believe Robert Eckert is right. A lot changed with Vatican II. Mel Gibson’s father didn’t like it.

              Another thing that Christians don’t usually know is that during the Crusades, not only were Muslims killed, but also Jews, and eventually the Eastern Orthodox Christians.

              The Inquisition was not only to root out the Moors, but also the Jews who had nominally converted to Christianity and were still practicing Judaism.

            • Robert Eckert

              You grew up post Vatican II. Before then, yes it was part of the standard Catholic education that the Jews asked for the blood of Jesus to be on all their heads.

            • Jimmy3

              Sure, but I personally know many people with a pre-1960s Catholic education, and I’ve never known any of them to think of or speak of Jewish people in that way. There isn’t a hint of anti-Semitism about them. The only reason I objected to that line (and I acknowledge and appreciate that MK corrected it) is because no one can accurately assume such a vast generalization of Catholics. It is a group of different-minded people that makes up roughly 1/7th of the entire human population.

              I am a Catholic. But I think very differently than every other Catholic. And guess what? I’m a pro-choice no-good librul and fully support marriage equality for anyone and everyone. I even voted for Obama twice! And I bet if you asked a Catholic from Kenya about any topic, he would have an entirely different view than I.

            • Robert Eckert

              I think there tended to be more anti-Semitism where there weren’t any actual Jewish kids in the neighborhood– or in cities where everybody had separate neighborhoods and some version of Jets/Sharks turf-fighting.

            • Missionary Kid

              I should have made it clearer. I meant the ill-informed of the Catholics. It was, as far as I know, not a part of the general teachings, but I agree with Robert Eckert that there were a substantial amount of Catholics that had that attitude.

            • Kim O’Brien

              so many stories …so little time LOL .

            • Missionary Kid

              Damn, I misquoted Frank. What he really said was, “My imaginary friend is more powerful than your imaginary friend.”

              I’ve also tried to correct “ill informed Catholics” to more accurately read “Catholics who are ill informed.”

              Both the Protestants and Catholics have a long history killing each other, as well as attacking those they deem apostate. When one is the aggrieved group, the memory of the persecution is passed on from generation to generation.

              I can still remember in grammar school, Jimmy Doherty, a Catholic kid, sneering that the only reason that Martin Luther left the Catholic Church was because he wanted to get married. He’d gotten that straight from his priest. Of course, it was a vast oversimplification and distortion, probably for the benefit of a kid.

              As Protestants, our implicit attitude was that Catholics could do anything during the week, as long as they went to confession, and from my Catholic friends, they’d had it implied that Protestants could do anything as long as we went to church on Sunday.

              Now, as a geezer atheist, I look at doctrinal disputes like that as interesting internecine conflicts.

              I was riding in a car alone today, and I ended up listening closely to some radio fundamentalist preacher holding forth on divorce. His interpretation of scriptures was, to me, an interesting mix of Old and New Testament scriptures, scrambled with modern, common sense advice, explaining his non-biblical reasoning as “god wouldn’t want you to…” terms. He totally ignored the passages of the bible that command stoning for those who commit adultery.

              I find that similar to the people who quote lrh, as if he’s perfectly accurate, ignoring the absolute assholery and inaccuracy of most of his other pronouncements. They, and the preacher both use what they can and ignore the rest.

            • Robert Eckert

              To add even more perspective: LA to Maine, or Maine to London, is about the same distance as London to Baghdad.

            • Missionary Kid

              Thanks.

            • Drat

              Oh, I know the US is big. I’ve had the fortune to travel some of it by road.

              Europe seems more pragmatic, at least presently. I have a sense that any extensively advocated religion will end up being a problem here.

              Having gone to an Anglican school, I’d say they do their fair share of preaching but yes, nothing like hardcore cults scraping the bottom of the membership barrel.

            • Missionary Kid

              Yup, the pragmatism is missing. The whole fight against evolution, global warming, and other matters of science is IMO, part and parcel of the ignorance fostered by sheer faith, instead of pragmatism. After all, isn’t Charles Darwin buried in an Anglican church?

            • Drat

              One might as well fight against the sun.

              But what does Darwin’s burial site have to do with anything (nowadays)?

            • Missionary Kid

              If this were the U.S., he would never be allowed to be buried in many churches, or, if he was, he’d be disenterred. His theory was deemed to be antithetical to the bible by many Christians.

              Remember the Scopes Trial? Fictionalized as Inherit the Wind, it is a prime example of the beliefs of many fundamentalist Christians. They have made it an article of faith that evolution is anti-Christian because what the bible said about creation is the literal truth to them.

            • Drat

              Gosh, some people really take this religion thing dead seriously.

              These people are amazing. Why do they still drive cars and eat vaccinated meat?

            • Missionary Kid

              Well, you’ve got the Amish who don’t drive cars, but the whole vaccination thing is probably only really practiced among the Christian Scientists.

              The number of people who doubt evolution in the U.S. is about equal those who believe in it. That’s a scary thought.

            • Drat

              Scary indeed. I’ve recently been wondering if we’ll end up with an incongruously deeply religious high-tech society in a few short decades.

            • Missionary Kid

              The whole home-schooling movement leaves some smart people very ignorant of the scientific method. Unfortunately, it’s large here in the U.S.

            • Drat

              Wow. That could have serious internal socioeconomic implications/repercussions in 20-30 years time.

            • D.Y.G.

              Imagine a whole generation of kids who were never socialized with their peers.

            • Missionary Kid

              They socialize, but with their church friends. Their parents are afraid of the problems with public schools. It’s like the Hubbard schools. It keeps them away.

            • Drat

              Does it point to a deeper issue in the schooling system or a crisis of trust between the public and public services?

            • Missionary Kid

              Both. The conservatives have, as their mantra, that public education is failing, and that vouchers are the only way to go. I could go on and on about the complexity of the issue.

            • Drat

              It probably could fill another blog like the bunker. Interesting. Conservatives need voters who think within certain boundaries?

            • Missionary Kid

              Yup.

            • D.Y.G.

              One could argue they live in a cocoon, and never interact with people who are different.

            • Missionary Kid

              To a certain extent. They usually function O.K. in society, but they look at the people who believe differently as the unwashed, IMO.

            • Drat

              “Wogs.”

            • Missionary Kid

              It’s the same attitude, but I only use that term for non-$cientologists. Otherwise, it’s too pejorative for me. When dealing with clams, I wear the term proudly.

            • Drat

              I know. I only through it out to illustrate the similiarities in thinking, if not in extremism.

            • Missionary Kid

              Sorry, I was being prissy. I’m very careful about the use of wog, because I’ve been around enough Brits and colonials (I went to King George V school for kindergarten and got kicked up to the first form in Hong Kong) My mom, before she was a nurse, was a school teacher. I was home schooled, but with a regular correspondence course, so I was ahead of other 5 year olds.

              It’s the “My culture is superior to your culture” shit for both of them.

            • Drat

              I don’t use the word at all outside of blogs. It helps to live in two worlds at once. You realise it isn’t an endearing term.

            • Missionary Kid

              Yes, I know, it’s a racist, denigrating term that used to be used for non-whites by the Brits and colonials. I don’t use it anywhere else, either. Since lrh, with all of his hubris, adopted the racist attitudes of the African colonists, (not all were that way), he chose to use it for the $cientology equivalent of Muggles, but with a much more negative and hostile connotation.

              Since I hate everything he sood for, I wear it proudly here.

            • Drat

              Clinical depression and social awkwardness on the rise?

            • Missionary Kid

              Not necessarily. There are often play groups and outings that they participate with other home schooled kids.

            • Drat

              I went to Anglican school, came home to the Sea Org berthing and played cadet org with my “peers”. It’s not enough. You need the interaction with other ideas.

            • Missionary Kid

              Yup, It takes a lot more socialization. The home schooled kids are not that isolated. They also have controlled access to the internet. They also work at jobs that put them in contact with people with different backgrounds. It’s not the sea org.

            • Drat

              It’s just a bigger small bubble.

              When I grew up, mobile phones were something you drove around in a truck šŸ˜‰

            • Missionary Kid

              When I grew up, mobile phones were basically radios that went through operators, and everyone else could hear your business. (I’m 69, and wasn’t even aware of car phones until the ’60s). I had been involved with ham radio, so I was aware of that end of communication.) Having a radio dispatched vehicle on commercial frequencies was a big deal, and advertised if a company had them.

            • Drat

              A bit like having a company jet these days? Like Global Capitalism HQ? :)

            • Missionary Kid

              Yup. There was a TV show, Vega$, where the private eye actually had a car phone. 1978-81. High tech, big deal. He had to go through an operator.

            • D.Y.G.

              That remains to be seen as time goes on. Some point to social anxiety as a key issue.

            • Missionary Kid

              They usually get a good education in the basics. It’s history and science where I see weaknesses.

            • Drat

              Well, I met a young guy from Romania recently who told me that dragons died in the great flood. So it’s not isolated.

            • Robert Eckert

              It started to take off 20-30 years ago, so it is having the serious internal repercussions starting now.

            • aquaclara

              Well, only 2.9% of the student population in the US are home-schooled, and for all sorts of reasons. The ones I know do it for reasons other than religion (one athlete with a wacky schedule, one peanut allergy, one disabled child, and several who just love the idea that their way is better than in a public school). One of them is probably right; she lives in an area that’s culturally strong, but a bit well, not really all that safe.

              Personally, I found helping with homework more than enough fun. Thank heavens for teachers who do this every day so I don’t have to!

            • Missionary Kid

              There’s a bunch in California. I’m willing to bet that the percentage is higher here.

            • aquaclara

              Oh, probably. In some mom circles, it’s considered normal. You know, so you can get your kid into Princeton. And parts of the south do see more for religious reasons.
              My one friend thought it was trendy and hip. She is a follower of many trends, against vaccines and lives in a well-off town where they still don’t want fluoride in their water. We don’t have much in common since kids. I thought she was nuts.

            • Missionary Kid

              Yeah, it gets the people who only read the headlines or urban legends. It’s all the other kids that got vaccinations that protect hers.

              Yes, you can get your kid into Princeton, but they’ve got to be exceptional. It’s rare.

            • Missionary Kid

              In many parts of the South, the majority of the population is Baptist or even Methodist, and there are many religious academies.

            • D.Y.G.

              I live near the Amish. They ride in cars driven by other people. šŸ˜‰

            • Missionary Kid

              How strict they are about their rules depends on the different Amish communities. Some have more to do with the the “English” than others.

              Some of them stay in contact with children who have left, but most shun them.

            • D.Y.G.

              Here they’re pretty liberal, I suppose. None have electricity in their homes but often they obtain permission to have it in barns, especially if they have dairy cattle. They use natural gas lighting in homes, and battery powered gadgets. There’s a community telephone in a shed for emergencies.

              I fail to see the logic sometimes, but I respect them as a people. They work very hard.

            • Kim O’Brien

              tell that to that stupid bitch Jenny McCarthy .Playboy centerfolds who have fake tits and botox are now viewed as”the opposing view “when it comes to vaccinating your children . Voila …a measles outbreak .

            • Missionary Kid

              I was thinking along religious lines. McCarthy is just flat out ignorant, and her big mouth is dangerous. She’s addicted to woo woo and magical thinking.

              She has modified her stance on vaccines, saying that they should be spaced out, but even that has not been proven to have any relationship to autism. Apparently, she’s learned to STFU on the View, because she hasn’t set off alarms as far as I know.

            • Eclipse-girl

              Mormons (not that I like them) settled in Utah after being chased out of various others parts of the country.
              They arrived there, and found with the indigenous people and thought they would be left alone.

            • Missionary Kid

              They also had the theology that the Indians were a lost tribe of Israel, didn’t they?

            • Eclipse-girl

              I believe that was tribes of native americans that were never “related” to the existing indigenous people.

            • Robert Eckert

              No, they believed that the existing indigenous people were all related to the “fallen” Lamanites.

            • Eclipse-girl

              TY for the correction. I never delved deeply into that rabbit hole.
              I knew about them because I grew up in Upstate NY

              I find it interesting that after years of evangelicals stating that Mormons weren’t Christians, Billy Graham went and changed his mind about two weeks before the Nov 20102 elections.

        • D.Y.G.

          Sometimes, yes. It depends on context. As Mooser noted above, I think many of us would question the motives of a virtual stranger who asked personal questions about what religion we follow.

          • Drat

            Well, we are total strangers to Jilian and yet here we are reading (relatively) personal details about her life. I figured she would present an enigma to most people who have never met someone who lived in this world and yet apart from it.

          • Mooser

            “As Mooser noted above, I think many of us would question the motives of a virtual stranger”

            Would you question the motives of a boss who asked it? A teacher (and not in Sunday School)? A policeman? A judge, when a case was being heard?
            “What religion are you”

            “——-, of course!”

            “Okay, get in the boxcar, get out of town, go to the end of the line, I’ll see you in heaven, I’ll see you in hell, oh really, that’s nice!”

            • Missionary Kid

              The question gets asked by the died in the wool fundamentalist Christians all the time. I grew up in it, and it was, for the more strident, a chance to “witness” their faith.

            • Mooser

              Anotherwords, to tell me that without their Christian blandishments, I was going to hell when I died, and was an inferior person while I lived, without the benefits of the Sacrament. Hell, you ought to know better than I. I don’t know, I could take exception to somebody telling me that.

            • Missionary Kid

              It may not have been done directly, but it was, IMO, a much milder form of a person patting you on the back, looking for an opening to put the knife in among the most strident.

        • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

          I think Mooser was referring to in general context. As I said, in the context of discussing your former affiliation with a cult, it’s a common question.

          • Drat

            Precisely. Hence my confusion.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Don’t be confused. He’s expressing well placed concern for Jillian. Not to be too trusting of people who question her religious beliefs too soon in conversation.

            • Drat

              That’s why I loved her answer.

            • Mooser

              “I’m between reilgions” says this pretty girl, brightly, and the answer is “Well, in that case let me tell you about mine! It has all the answers, we’ll talk about it over dinner”

            • Drat

              Thanks, but I’m transitioning to uncertainty right now. Incidentally, can I interest you in some MLM products?

            • Missionary Kid

              That’s exactly how the evangelistic Christians do it.

            • Drat

              Maybe I’m naive, but I figured she’s been around hard sell regges long enough to smell one a mile off.

            • Missionary Kid

              I should hope so. As someone else pointed out, there were a certain amount of JWs who later became Clams. After all, TC attended a Catholic seminary high school, didn’t he?

            • Drat

              TC is a celebrity, different kettle of fish.

              Scn regges belong in a dictionary definition of hard sell, along with the mafia who offer you your own life or that of your daughter, and the priests who promise salvation in return for certain… favours.

              I give Jilian enough credit. She’ll see those people before they’ve even realised she might be a prospect.

            • Missionary Kid

              I agree. She’ll be wary, but if you’ll notice the phrase “between religions” got some people worried. I’m not one of them.

            • Drat

              Aaaahhhhh! Now I get it. I read it like I would have meant it: a Scientology “no-answer” meant to soothe the asker’s apparent concern of my lack of affiliation while not obligating myself to any one course.

              Thanks for clarifying!

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Watching the movie “Hocus Pocus” is about as religious as I get these days.

        • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

          Also, I don’t think Mooser is American. I think he is Norwegian? I can’t remember.

          • Drat

            Like I said.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Yeah…I probably should have gone at that with a more solid answer: Mooser is not American. Where he is from, I am unsure.

            • Drat

              Well, note to self: refrain from discussing religion, even (or especially) on a Scientology-related blog. It is a fruitless but aggravating topic.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              It can be if not properly handled, like a hot, cast-iron pan. If you use gloves and take it slow you can get into a good conversation. If you start praising Jesus or declaring all religions evil, you’ll quickly start a flame war in either direction. You also have to be willing to entertain opposing viewpoints as delicately as harmonizing ones, even if they aren’t so delicately expressed.

              Most of all, ex-Scientologists are justifiably skeptical of religion and religious conversation as a group. Having been former cult members, we can sometimes be embarrassed at what we were fooled into believing. When you start heavy with religion you can quickly find yourself surrounded by defensive comments because you’re reminding people of that embarrassment.

            • Drat

              Yes, as an ex-scn I find that incredibly hard to deal with. It’s like people are waiting for a reason to jump on you, not really because of anything you said. Like they are professionally irate or something.

            • aquaclara

              These are valuable comments. I think you might also get religion questions now, as people take a read from your response to figure out if they like you, or have anything in common with you, or even if they think you’re nuts..

              For example, if one answered with yet another cult name or something that appears to them to be particularly odd/unusual/freaky, that person might just think they are dealing with someone who is attracted only to the woo. (and there are friends for woo-seekers, too).

              If one had an over-the-top emotional meltdown with a relative stranger, that stranger might feel very awkward, or worse, the need to “religiously save” the person. If it’s with a friend, well, they are friends, so it’s different.

              Drawing the distinction between a cult and a religion probably helps people understand better, too.

            • Mooser

              “Where he is from, I am unsure.”

              Oh my God, I didn’t know the Washington State Secession movement had got as far as that! What about my Obamacare?

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Honestly, I thought you said you were from a different country. Otherwise I would think you’d have invited me over for dinner by now.

            • Jimmy3

              He’s always said he was from the great Pacific Northwest, afaik. I’ve always assumed he only lives there because he likes meese so much.

            • Mooser

              I am especially adapted for wet, semi-rural environments in moderate climates. That’s how nature made me. I’m a suburban animal.

            • Mooser

              If I haven’t yet, as I should have, I do now. If you come up this way let me know, I could come to Seattle.if you’re in town for a, who knows, conference, seminar, or training. You never know.

            • lucille austero

              The Cascadia secessionists :)

            • D.Y.G.

              This has been a highly entertaining exchange, you Norwegian liberal atheist. Thanks for the chuckle. šŸ˜€

          • Mooser

            Uh,-uh All Norwegian people keep saying is that “A Moose bit my sister” I know nothing about it.

            • ze moo

              My sister lives in Oslo (actual Norway) she has had moose in her backyard, though she keeps her distance has never been bitten by one.

          • Mooser

            Derek, I’m only going to say this once, so get it right! I can tell, by the cut of your tie, that you’re an American, and so am I! Hi there! Howdy! How-do-ye-do! And while we’re on the subject, how’s the old wazzoo?

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Are you really? I thought you said you were not at some point. I never know if you’re being facetious or not.

            • Mooser

              “Are you really? I thought you said you were not at some point. I never know if you’re being facetious or not.”

              Look I don’t want to end up like poor Nathan Hale! As I told the woman from the paper -recycling drive: “My one regret is that I have only one Life to give for my country”

            • ze moo

              Firesign Theater is only for old hippies and devotees of radio drama. You old hippie….

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGTY_jTZ-Zo

            • Jon Hendry

              “Firesign Theater is only for old hippies and devotees of radio drama.”

              And one Scientology sympathizer. (Phil Proctor)

        • aquaclara

          Generally, I don’t think so. But religion got tied to politics, and made it more sensitive, in my opinion. Red state/blue state color wars kicked up in some media, at times emerging as hate wars. One side applies flat, dated stereotypes and applies them to the other share of the map; the other side does the same thing. Both are bad, and underestimate the tremendous variety of beliefs that exist, blend and hopefully enliven the US.

          • Drat

            Yes, here in Europe it seems like the US if filled with irrational fundamentalists, right up into scientific and political circles, but I suspect this is just a biased picture our media like to convey, and that it does not reflect reality.

            I often wonder what Europe looks like to American minds, but reading assorted US media outlets gives me the idea that not much attention is given to us, let alone “the rest of the world”.

            Edit: apparently, a map of European prejudices was made recently, each country labelling all the others with their main prejudice. Really funny, actually. I wonder if religions could do a similar map one day – but I’m afraid they lack any sense of humour.

            • Robert Eckert

              The irrational fundamentalists got seriously politically active around the start of the Reagan administration, and while they are thin on the ground except in certain states (largely but not exclusively in the south) they have exerted an inordinate amount of influence, sparking a tremendous backlash against religion of any kind.

            • Drat

              One wonders if they are themselves some sort of well-funded (political) cult.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Oi. Don’t even get me started on political cults.

            • Drat

              LOL!

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Let us make this simple. Here are two images that explain it all

              How Europe Sees America

              http://siri.bloggnorge.com/files/2011/12/how-europe-views-the-us.png

              How the US sees Europe

              http://the-american-catholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/europe-by-usa.jpg

            • aquaclara

              lol….

            • Drat

              Nailed it! LOL.

              I’d like to live in Sodom. Nice grachten.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              And I actually belong there.

            • Drat

              What’s keeping you? They even have coffee shops… :)

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              I ought to think about moving to Europe. It just pains me to think about how difficult it would be to visit my family here in the states. I was thinking of maybe starting out by moving to Toronto one of these days.

            • Drat

              Do you mean extended family? Yes, the distance does make regular visits unfeasible. One plans and wants to go, but it almost never happens. Hell, I live (in US terms) literally around the corner from Sodom and I haven’t been there since 2005 or 2006 (some rave party, I forget the year).

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Yeah, mostly, but I also have family in LA, who are not blood related, but I still consider them family. And assuming my brother/sister/mom were to ever leave the cult, I might want to see them once in a while.

            • Drat

              That’s cool (your chosen family). I think social networks – the real deal, not the virtual stuff – are more important than location. If you can get both together, all the better. Me, I’d like Berlin or London, or lately Amsterdam.

            • Mooser

              Derek, I have two words for you: See Attle! That is the hippest, coolest place to be, and the economy isn’t bad either. It’s the “place y’ought’a be” as Jed Clampett’s relatives told him.

            • Jon Hendry

              Try Montreal, then you get the foreign language too. (Though most everyone speaks English)

            • D.Y.G.

              True, true

            • aquaclara

              Soccer teams and the accompanying ESPN coverage has helped draw some attention to Europe. A royal wedding -quite lovely, too. Canada is close by, so they benefit from baseball and hockey coverage. U2 played on Jimmy Fallon and SNL recently. And we had St Patrick’s Day.

              hmmm. I think that’s about it for mainstream coverage. Oh, wait, I think Apple’s mommy and daddy are getting a deeevorce. That will be featured since we all know they live in London.

              Outside of Europe, there is a missing plane drawing huge attention to Malaysia, China and Australian.

            • Drat

              It certainly keeps the general attention off economy woes in China.

            • D.Y.G.

              There are a lot of irrational fundamentalists. It’s true. One of our political parties courted religious extremists as their voting “base” and they are a very loud, and sadly powerful, voice in this country. Don’t give up on us, though. The majority of us really are more moderate.

            • Drat

              We have our own share, nationalists. I guess it’s just part of a healthy society.

            • D.Y.G.

              It’s healthy if you can maintain polite, reasoned discourse. That is often not the case here.

            • Mooser

              Yes, it’s alright if our entire Constitutional system goes to hell, and besides contending with money interest being above the law, we can have certain religions above the law too, or below, depending, I would imagine, on your relationship with the Saviour. Gosh, all we’ve got to do is start legislating by race, and never once, will we have not maintained a polite, reasoned discourse.
              Would you like to tell me what the calm, polite, reasoned discourse is in response to “God says you as a ——–(fill it in for yourself) are inferior, and not entitled to the protection of the law. Got a nice polite response to that?

            • Mooser

              “I guess it’s just part of a healthy society.”

              Heck, we’re so healthy here, getting Americans to stab themselves in the back and kick themselves in the ass in a national sport! Mostly, these days, they’ve given that up for shooting each other while cleaning their guns.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              I try to not be ignorant and think of Europe as separate countries, each very different than the other.

              The same goes for the US. Each state is like a little country, and each one is very different from the one next to it. Within those countries are the cities, each with their own flavor, and within those cities each neighborhood is different. There is no such thing as “American Culture” in the US. We are a huge melting pot of cultures and political spectra. Probably most of what you view as “American Culture” is a combination of the ‘heartland’, right-wing, religious nuts and New York City, since those are the two loudest groups of people in the nation.

            • Robert Eckert

              Don’t forget Hollywood, which is professionally noisy.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Yeah but I don’t think it’s considered in the “image” of America that other countries envision. NYC and Red-white-and-blue-blooded Christians seems to be more pervasive. Just like everyone in America has been hearing about the crazy crack-smoking Canadian politicians.

            • aquaclara

              From NY, the big picture view is more like this: the country is the East Coast (GOOD!) and the Left Coast (THOSE DAMN HOLLYWOODY TYPES), and drops off the south as a rounding error. Other than Florida, where you go for vacation or to see Grandmom. Or the Mouse.
              Funny how views are formed from whence we stand!

            • Bury_The_Nuts

              “Funny how views are formed from whence we stand!”

              Those poor (237) people in North Dakota…………
              :-)

              But so true………….

            • aquaclara

              The stereotypes are truly awful, aren’t they? Better when we can laugh about them.

            • Drat

              All that, and Hollywood.

              Hollywood is one of the US most effective good will (propaganda) machines. It may not be conveying reality, but it sells image.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Well that’s a relief. I had thought otherwise.

            • Mooser

              “Well that’s a relief. I had thought otherwise.”

              You and me both, Derek. My entire romantic, even my erotic attitudes were forged by the hammering heels of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Real life wasn’t like that, and it’s disappointed me ever since.

            • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

              Hollywood is so far from reality that they can’t even get the geography of Hollywood right in most movies, let alone anything else.

            • Drat

              It’s why British and French movies can be so depressing.

            • Mooser

              “but it sells image.”

              To Americans, anyway. I have a funny feeling the rest of the world might not see them the same as we do.

            • Drat

              Yes, the latest version of “Americans Save the World” does wear thin.

            • Mooser

              “We are a huge melting pot of cultures and political spectra.”

              We have a Constitution, and the authority of States to violate it, and be their own little countries, was pretty clearly delineated by the time the Civil War was over for a while.
              No, there probably isn’t any American culture, but there damn well better be the Constitution and equality under law. And separation between Churches and State.You and I both depend very much on that.

            • Troy MacGyver SP
            • Mooser

              “Yes, here in Europe it seems like the US if filled with irrational fundamentalists,”

              US media would love other peoples, countries, to think that. After all, tolerance is so goddam dull!

        • Eclipse-girl

          some are, some aren’t

      • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

        But in the course of conversation regarding your former association with a cult, “What is your religion, now?” Is a common question. It’s one I have had to field many times in the context of conversation about my former affiliation with Scientology. I just say, “I’m not religious.”

        • Mooser

          “What is your religion, now?” Is a common question”

          There’s a lot of really dumb, tactless people out there, aren’t there, ready to equate Scientology with traditional religions.

          • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

            Unfortunately, talking about Scientology involves a lot of reminding people that it is not a religion, it’s a cult. Which is why I am quick to use the word.

            • Drat

              I guess I probably shouldn’t even breathe a word of what Richard Dawkins says to that…

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Hey you can go the “all religions are cults” route, but you cannot have a successful or fruitful conversation if you espouse extremist ideologies because there’s no conversation to be had.

            • Drat

              True. I really regret even commenting on Jilian’s skillful manoeuvrer, but I’ll let this long off-topic discussion be a lesson to me.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              I don’t. Now i know you are an ex-Scientologist. I didn’t know that before.

            • Drat

              Ah. I’ve been commenting here a while but I don’t think our paths have crossed.

              After going back over the discussion, I can get an inkling of just why it is so hard to address the subject of religion in the US, period. If it is such a touchy, volatile explosive topic, it is not quite so surprising that no regulatory steps have been taken in recent years.

            • Missionary Kid

              The religious lobby is strong, and, in recent years, they tried to make themselves appear stronger than they actually were. Politicians bent to their proclamations, but now realize that most of that was a mirage.

              The religious right has also realized that it was used in past elections.

            • Drat

              Used? By whom and in what way?

            • Robert Eckert

              A lot of politicians get elected by making noises against abortion or gay marriage, although once they are in office their energy is all directed at tax breaks for the wealthy and subsidies for particular corporations.

            • Mooser

              The point of all that is to break, anywhere, and in anyway they can, the equality-under-law which is finally, grudgingly, being extended to all Americans. If they can break that principle anywhere, they can go where they want, back to slavery and genocide.. And they can be as glibertarian as they want, once you make discrimination legal, or make laws because “God just said so, in response to this situation”, that’s where you are headed.

            • Missionary Kid

              By Bush Jr. especially.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Well the US Constitution forbids it (dispensing with questions about how dated the Constitution might be), so it cannot be done anyway. Religions are not recognized in the US. Literally any group of people or individual can claim the existence of and practice of a religion. As long as no one is earning a profit from the religion, then the religion is entitled to 501(c)(3) non-profit status under tax law, which makes it tax exempt.

              If a religion is not asking for tax exemption the government is not allowed to say “you cannot be a religion”. If they are asking for tax exemption, they can say “you are profiting from said religion, so no you cannot have tax exemption.” But they cannot say that the group is not a religion.

              The Supreme Court has even upheld animal sacrifice in the name of religion in recent years, as long as done humanely.

            • Drat

              Amazing. But I guess we’d stare in awe at Chinese regulations and practices that they would take for granted. It’s a good thing the world is diverse, even if we don’t always understand or agree with it.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Religious freedom is a sacred right in the US, which is why it was part of the 1st amendment to the US Constitution and considered a part of, “Freedom of expression.”

            • Drat

              Yes, Monique’s case is making that much abundantly clear. This is also exactly what I don’t understand – the use of religious freedom to wilfully destroy others. The hypocrisy is blinding.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Well it’s not unheard of. The Puritans came to the Americas so they could practice their religion harder. The UK was just too “free” for them to enforce their beliefs super hard.

              The Amish have huge communities and many people, including me, would consider them a cult. I hate they way they treat their kids but it is a protected practice.

              I agree with you, it’s very hypocritical and our society has evolved beyond such primitive practices, but the legal system has yet to catch up in the US. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scientology ended up being destined to play a huge role in that “catching up” process.

            • Drat

              The situation might give the government an opening to ensure religious freedom does not receive undue recognition over other constitutional and human rights, true. That could be a major benefit.

              Edit: But, you see, this is another aspect that has me so confused. Religious freedom is anchored in your constitution, rigorously secured against any encroachment, and yet people appear to be way more touchy, sensitive and insecure about it than here. It doesn’t add up.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              There is a slow but ongoing shift in the landscape of American jurisprudence and politics where the rights of individuals are starting to take precedence in some situations over the rights of the majority of society. We are way behind Europe in that respect, and for god’s sake there is a huge swath of people who are still into the idea that “majority rules”. But we’ll get there, eventually, to that happy balance.

            • Drat

              I find the marriage equality campaigns and resultant acts pretty impressive, glad about that.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              I agree, but also find it ridiculous that we’d have to campaign for any kind of “equality” in the year 2014.

            • Drat

              Me too, but the same “sanctity of marriage between a man and a women” arguments are heard here. And remember the anti-gay Parisian protests, if you heard about them over there. It’s still the 1950’s for some people.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Here in the US marriage between the state and religion is forbidden by the US Constitution, meaning that as much as it is required to defend the religious freedom for individual citizens, the US is also required to keep religion out of governance and law (i guess that really goes hand-in-hand if you think about it). Since there’s no valid legal argument to require marriage to be a solely heterosexual privilege, the government can’t endorse that argument.

              I didn’t see the anti-gay protests in Paris, but then again we have enough anti and pro just about anything protests here to keep our news busy.

            • Drat
            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              I guess I should not be surprised considering the proximity of France to the Holy See.

            • Drat

              Given that they until recently prided themselves on separation of church and state, even to the point of prohibiting placing a crucifix in a classroom or wearing burkas, yes, it is surprising.

            • Missionary Kid

              My rant about the sanctity of marriage is that the church had nothing to do with marriage for something like 1300 years, and even then, it was only formalized for the wealthy.

              Jesus never performed a marriage ceremony. When a minister says, “By the power vested in me,” he’s talking about the state, which allows him to perform the civil ceremony. In many countries, you can get married in a church, but you have to go to the local official to make it legal. Not in the U.S. Even then, the papers must be filed with the authorities.

              Somebody correct me, but as far as the law is concerned in the U.S., a marriage is a part of a contract.

            • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

              Separation of church and state demands that the government cannot let church values influence the issuance of marriage certificates. Hence all of the recent pro-marriage equality rulings.

            • Drat

              Well, there are marriage contracts, which I assume can only be concluded under law to be valid.

            • Missionary Kid

              That’s true, but the actual marriage is treated as a contract under the law. Unless there is a separate contract properly drawn up, the laws that cover marriage are a matter of both common law and legislation. (Property, etc.)

            • Drat

              I see what you mean. Yes, that would put the government on shaky ground to side with religions purely on a majority interest basis.

            • Robert Eckert

              The case Derek is referring to, City of Hialeah vs. Church of Santeria, is an important one. The Supreme Court ruled that the Santerians (from Latin America, worship “saints” who are thinly disguised deities from voodoo or African religions) could be required to comply with “generally applicable” statutes requiring that animals be butchered in humane and sanitary manners, but that Hialeah had enacted ordinances specially crafted to target Santeria out of hostility to their religious beliefs, although the Santerians had not run afoul of any of the previously-existing regulations, and this the City was not allowed to do.

            • Drat

              Thank you. I guess the legal maze as a whole is darker and deeper than Scientology can ever hope to be.

            • Jon Hendry

              I think the US courts are most willing to smack down a religious group (or “religious group”) when the case involves sex or drugs.

              I know ritual drug use by Native Americans is sometimes permitted, but I think some people have tried that and the court hasn’t bought their defense. And I think there’s been at least one case of a brothel claiming to be a religious thing, and failing.

          • Jon Hendry

            I bet a lot of people assume there was a conversion experience involved in leaving Scientology, rather than a “fuck all this shit” experience.

      • 1subgenius

        Oh yeah, the reasons/purposes for asking almost any question are usually more significant than the answer.
        It irritates me when someone goes into detail in answering a question of mine, because usually I’m only asking as a foundation question to go somewhere with it.
        (Eg. Have you ever been to NYC?….And they go on and on with their experiences there, when I was only looking for a yes or no, because I had a point I was going to make about it.)

      • kemist

        Depends.

        I’ve been asked several times what my religion was, and only once (well except for the poor sods who waste their sundays going door to door) by someone whose aim was, erm, spreading his version of ‘the good news’.

        Perhaps it’s because most of my friends are Indians, people who are especially sensitive to living in harmony in a widely divergent religious milieu and tend to view attempts at conversion in a very bad light, no matter who is doing it. The question in their case is aimed at knowing what food they can serve you (some hindu castes as well as jains are vegetarian, muslims won’t eat pork, ect.).

        When you’ve spent most of your childhood in between your hindu/muslim parents and a christian boarding school whose priest/nun staff spent their days pushing their particular creed on children in very crude and sometimes cruel ways (my friend was told, at 8 years old, that her sick mother would be healed of terminal cancer if her family became christian…), it tires you of proselytism of all flavors very quickly.

        The person who asked me was an evangelical Indian convert living in the US. My answer was ‘catholic’, the answer I always use with people who proselytise. That typically ends the conversation faster than explaining that you’re an atheist and that no, you’re not seeking any type of ‘salvation’.

        • Missionary Kid

          Good move.

          Sometimes, when someone asks, I just tell them that my parents were missionaries, and let them assume what they will. The halo effect is strong with those people.

      • richelieu jr

        The same might be said for asking one’s age…

        It is just a frame of reference to hang around someone so you can say “My, she’s advanced for her age!” or “He looks good, for_____3 or “She better hurry if she wants kids..” or etc…etc…

        (fun fact: I was recently in China where I was asked several times how much I weighed. Apparently, it is not impolite to ask near strangers this question, from what I was told. Perhaps someone here knows more about this?)

        • Still_On_Your_Side

          Some countries view weight in an entirely different way than the US. In China, I believe extra weight is considered a sign of prosperity and good health. In North Korea, the police have been known to arrest someone if they have a little extra weight. This is because food is scarce and the police believe that anyone who is even slightly heavy may either be a spy from South Korea or someone involved in the black market.

    • Sarah James

      Jillian’s Dad was smart to wait and let her figure it out for her self. That was difficult but wise. You can’t reason with a scientoligist. Once they connect the dots it’s over in a flash until then they are owned by David Miscavige, LRH and cult.

      • Narapoid

        He has probably been waiting YEARS for this. Wonderful

      • Gabbyone

        ABC has a new show called Mind Games and they had an episode called “Pet Rock” and in it the girl who became involved in a cult was given the choice by her parents, and she left the cult. The psychology of all of the people involved was quite interesting and is available at ABC’s website.

    • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

      I agree and whod’a’thunk’it that such a simple comment would spark such an interesting conversation.

  • aquaclara

    Tony’s typing fingers must be worn out by now – just look at the tsunami of reporting Tony’s delivered on a platter to us and to the Little Miss over the last two weeks or so.

    Legal stuff:
    -A new judge for Laura, then the cult’s response, followed by another new judge. This one played a good role in the Wollersheim case, which has to be good news.
    -Vance files a beautifully-written lawsuit, and I learned that he is a master of contracts and Scilon ethics, while making us laugh, too.
    -Ryan Hamilton files 2 new lawsuits, plus we see a response on one more.
    -Monique ‘s Anti-slap is denied, to loud whoops of excitement
    -Leslie Hyman writes a masterful response in Monique’s case

    Real Estate:
    -A surprise snapshot of the Valley Org minus a sign…could this be a sign?
    -A land sale in France is stopped by smart people who don’t want a certain cult as neighbors

    Families and Disconnection/Families and Reconnection:
    -Jillian’s story and videos are a bright note
    -Sara Goldberg’s story of being forced to choose, very sad
    -Joe Childs’ TBT FRONT PAGE coverage
    -Heartbreaking disconnection stories

    Great Guests:
    -Karen and J Swift
    -Bruce
    -Jonny
    -Jon

    Funny stuff:
    -e-meter gadgets for sale (LEAK)
    -secret video from the files of LRH (LEAK)
    – LRH’s birthday
    -Sunday Funnies
    -Fleecing of the Whales pics

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Thank you! I was thinking there needs to be a list. It’s like a flood in here.

      Miscavige predicted a flood. I guess this answers my question if he still gambles. When he rolled the dice on Laura though and that judge came up Wollersheim, that had to bring the house down. I’m still shaking my head in disbelief on that one …. and cheer.

    • Narapoid

      I had to catch my breath as I read that sucker! Tony’s bringing it, and with great style.

    • Mooser

      Only one quibble, just a teeny-tiny one. Whales don’t get fleeced. No, they get flensed!

    • Eclipse-girl

      Aqua,
      last week, I went through the Bunker archives and have dates for the major articles on the major cases.

      I can provide dates for major articles (headline articles) that Tony O wrote for the following cases
      European Court Cases (all lumped together)
      Laura DeCrescenzo
      The Garcia’s Fraud case
      Monique Rathbun
      Vance Woodward was added yesterday.

      • aquaclara

        That is terrific. That had to take a lot of time!

        • Eclipse-girl

          I made the editorial decision to not include the small updates that Tony O will write at the end of the major article.
          Otherwise I would have had to scan every article written for The Bunker, and that was overwhelming for me.

          • Mooser

            Thanks for collecting all those article titles. It makes me think maybe that my wager that 2014 would be Scientology’s last as a viable organization isn’t so crazy. It’ll take years to sort out the mess, but I think this year will see them out as any kind of organized power.

            • Eclipse-girl

              I am old school and I have done it with paper and pencil.

              I do think this year will have major happenings.
              We only understand history after we have lived it

      • aquaclara

        The legal stuff is important. I will start keeping track of the reporting dates on these four new Narconon suits -they are all this year, plus any new reports on previous ones. When the previous NN cases come up again, Tony will have a link to the old article imbedded.
        That was a big job.

    • GalacticGreg

      Eugene O’Neil wrote, “Men forget.”

      And it’s ultimately true. Unless you point out just how much has been reported in the past couple weeks, most would just not be aware of it; people forget.

      Thank you for reminding.!!

  • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

    For anyone with further questions about construction, asbestos, fiberglass, etc. with regards to PAC Base, Michael Leonard Tilse is the man when it comes to questions like that. He seems to know the base inside and out because he spent a lot of time working on it.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      and the thousands of RPF crew over the years.

      We know every inch!

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Red-X time again

    Staturday’s coming

    Make sure the phones aren’t ringing
    for our favourite little criminal enterprise

    https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/taking-down-co-on-craigslist-co-ads-on-craigslist.113779/page-66#post-2439059

    ty Baby

  • TDA1541A

    Scientolog: A fly trap for people

  • Xique

    “There are days that I cry, all the people you’ve known, all the friends you left behind. It’s a big change.”
    She’s a sweet one, I’ll say that. Thank you Jillian for opening up to all of us like you have done. It’s a very emotional time I am sure.

  • Lawrence deRoe

    For Jillian:
    Very well done for anything you have done so far — inside and outside of the Sea Organization.
    As a former member, I can sympathize with you — possibly having dreams about SCN and/or the Sea Org for months; at times having the feeling that it is unreal to be outside the Sea Org; at some odd moment suddenly wondering if one did the right thing; and so on.
    However being outside the Sea Organization is wonderful. Personally, within less of a year after leaving the Sea Org, I not only made a ton more money (no big deal :) ), but actually helped a lot more people for REAL through my freelance occupation – and that without any Scientology services. And I really mean REAL help. And, isn’t that WHY we all joined, at one point or another, to HELP?!
    Deciding on what’s right about Scientology — I can’t tell; but about the Sea Organization or the entire Church Management as it is being run since D.M. is on the helm — that I can tell for sure – it is not only crazy and unreal; it is destructive to very many people, and to Scientology itself — a FAR more, by a huge degree, than when LRH was at the helm. (From that statement you can tell, I was an old-timer.)

    I wish you good luck for your future — flourish and prosper!

  • Bury_The_Nuts

    Freaking Wow! Late to the party.

    Tony, I gotta tell ya,…you really made Jillian’s story leap right off the page and slap a person upside the head!

    And this….

    [Note to the IRS: That was a document in writing spelling out the inurement of Scientology’s leader. No need to thank us for that tip.]

    Oh yeah! Ahem………..IRS!

    The fucking entire Country called. We want OUR money back!!!

    • Sarah James

      +1

    • SvenBoogie

      Sadly, I’m not aware of even the slightest sign that the IRS is so much as remotely considering the idea of revisiting the cult’s tax status…

  • Simon Hodges

    Enjoy your freedom Jililan.

    • http://askanex.wordpress.com/ Derek

      I thought you were Luanne, the Scientology troll that peruses the internet. Her icon is a purple eyeball. You can imagine my momentary facial reaction at a Scientology troll saying “Enjoy your freedom.”

      • richelieu jr

        Oh gods, that Luanne.. If I had a dime for ever time I’ve had ot a-tangle with her and her so-called ‘research (i.e. pre-determined conclusion, looking for the slightest hint of proof..)

        Creationism is settled science compared to that loony’s ‘facts’…

  • IBBy

    I’ve read this post several times today. I keep coming back to it and rereading, letting the words sink in. I’m not sure what I can add comment wise, but welcome to the rest of the world Jilian. Your story is compelling, and I thank you for sharing it so freely

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      And whatever you do, Jillian………..please stay in the Wog world.

      (It is SO MUCH safer).

      Defy any and all efforts to suck you back in!

      Two words: Daniel Montalvo

      JUST SAY NO!!!……
      …OMG………..I have turned into Sugar Plum Fairy!!!

      • Captain Howdy

        “.I have turned into Sugar Plum Fairy!!!”

        Aaaaaaaaggghhh!!!

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        There can be only one! Just Say No is Nancy Reagan. oh god! Bring our Bury back!

        • Bury_The_Nuts

          So true!

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Can’t find the post of who asked about the Hollywood bldg: “When this eight-story Georgian Revival building opened in 1922, it was considered Hollywood’s first skyscraper. Each of the 100 rooms had
    steam heat and individual bathrooms. It was owned by Haldane H. Christie and designed by noted architect Arthur R. Kelly.” Kelly was architect for Playboy at the time. The Christie was the first skyscraper, by LA standards, and its first luxury hotel. This pic is from 1958 and shows a “Hunt and Grill” Room. That must be have been what closed the sale. Too funny.

    http://i.imgur.com/qKX5MA7l.jpg

    • Missionary Kid

      If it was built in 1922, it had plenty of asbestos. I’m the one who asked. Wait a minute. Playboy was not around until the ’50s.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist
  • Richard Lloyd-Roberts

    As stated by Theholedoesnot exist Jillian didnt leave she escaped. I did the exact same thing in 2002. You are not allowed to leave PAC Base. Its even worse when your brother in law is the top security guard at the base.

    In late 2002 I decided with my wife that we were done. I had been in the So for two years and I was more that miserable. The scenes that Jillian describe have been in place for years. Its just worse now. My wife and I one saturday got into my car and drove to Santa Barbera. We called her father and said we were out. He was declared so we had been forced to disconnect from him two years prior. He was up to visit us within 4 hours from San Diego. It was emotional for my then wife.

    It took the Sea Org one muster to figure out we were gone. By evening that Saturday my phone was on fire. Come back, we can help. We didn’t. After a few days we answered the phone to my brother in law and he persuaded us to return and route out properly. So we gingerly tried to get back in the building unseen. In case anyone doesn’t know PAC base is like the FBI building, covered in cameras. The minute I parked security were all over us.

    Long story short we were taken off post and suffered a month of interrogation and sec checks and ethics actions to try to get us to stay and see the light. I was told that my wife was the trouble and an SP and we should divorce. She was told the same. I guess they figured we wouldn’t talk to each other.

    I rented a storage unit down the street and day after day I took our stuff by car to the unit. I had devised a route that had no cameras and times when everyone was on post and managed to clear out our room (married couples had rooms then). It was like escape from Colditz. I was put on the dishes and my wife wouldn’t leave the room.

    She was really done!

    Leaving the SO is the worst thing you can do as a Scientologist. The other staff degrade you, Scientology public see you as scum. LRH even wrote a Flag order stating that people who abandoned groups like the SO are degraded beings. You are branded as an enemy and treasonous. It took me over 4 years to destimulate and actually feel like I was worthy of anything. For her to come forward like this is very unusual and a strong indicator that all is not well in the COS. Her actions are commendable.

    • SvenBoogie

      I think I can safely say I speak for all of us when I say thank you for sharing your story.

      • Richard Lloyd-Roberts

        Mine is old now. Jillian having just left is the focus here. I just wanted to validate her and emphasize how tough it was then and now I know its got to be 20 times worse.

    • Eclipse-girl

      TY for sharing.
      I am glad you and your wife escaped and had some support.
      I am glad you have had time to heal.

      • Richard Lloyd-Roberts

        Thanks. That’s ex wife now. The stress of leaving created a gap that never healed. We stayed friends but that’s one more Scientology point for killing a marriage.

        • Eclipse-girl

          That is a shame. It means something that you have remained friends.

          Yours was not the only marriage destroyed by scientology, but that is not very comforting.

          (((HUGS)))

          You are free from the thought control of scientology

        • Narapoid

          Thank you for sharing

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      I am so sorry for what you went through. I am overjoyed to hear your story though.

      You all are giving hope to so many families and friends out here worried and not sure what to do and waiting and waiting. I agree with your conclusions too.

      Yes, it’s horrible to have the very people you considered family to turn on you on a dime, that you are a piece of useless crap and it’s an sp world on the outside and you’re not going to make it. Nice send off!

      I don’t think Jillian has had enough time to even begin to peel off any layers. She’s just catching up on sleep! Thank you so much for speaking up and sharing this. It’s important. And no, it’s not that old!

      • Richard Lloyd-Roberts

        Thanks. I love that she mentioned the food was better on the outside. OMG the food was so crap in the sea org I couldn’t even put it into words. She’s going to be lost and recovering for a while. It sounds like her dad is a pillar of strength though. I moved to Vegas to escape the madness for a while. My ex father in law put us up. You are right on about foreign nationals being trafficked. This is an area that I would like to see exposed. Human trafficking is a horrible crime. If it hadn’t been for my inlaws I would have been homeless as I am from the UK. They give you $500 when you route out. $0 if you blow.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          I’ll bet our propriertor is on it (foreign nationals). It’s pretty desperate when you have to rely on people that don’t have internetz or education to feed your machines. Hey, scientology owes me $500 (and more).

          I think ICE is the most direct organization that would be interested in recent documentation and evidence. I’m not up on what clout they have and if the current laws have any teeth, but there are others that know this stuff. Ask over at ESMB.

          • Troy MacGyver SP

            I’ve mentioned this before but here it goes again. My relative was underage in the Sea arg on his way to the RPF they called crying and was going to call back to figure out away to get them out. They didn’t call! We called The FBI and they took a report but never called us back. Finally,we called,The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Suddenly two FBI agents called and seemed to be on the case for awhile.They(two investigators) interviewed us for an hour over the phone. Promising to get to it after the holiday’s we kept playing phone tag. Although,I left 4 message’s and,”Chuck”, never called back. They wanted us to fly to LA which we were amenable to. Now that my relative is 18 they can’t do much. So if you have a young relative this is a gateway into the system but ride their ass.

    • PRenaud

      Incredible story Richard, thank you for sharing.

    • richelieu jr

      Scilons may see you as scum, Richard, but you are heroes in my book…

      “It was like escape from Colditz.”

      Are you saying you built an airplane in secret to escape? Now THAT, I’d like to see! šŸ˜‰

      • Richard Lloyd-Roberts

        Not exactly and airplane, more like a tunnel. :) Get the picture of me walking round the block with dirt in my trousers !!!

        I have to tell you though now looking back on it in a new light it was a nightmare. I cannot imagine what is going on at INT Base. There is a level of manipulation and guilt tripping that the man on the street will never understand. Here’s the really messed up part, I volunteered for that crap. Yes I was actually excited to join. Come into the cookie house its nice in here!

        What Miscabbage doesn’t understand is the level of hatred and resentment that he is building up around him. At some point the wrong person is going to go off on him and its game over. I hope he’s ready.

    • Still_On_Your_Side

      Robert, no wonder Miscavige is freaked the hell out by the Internet. In 2002, OSA/Miscavige believed the story would end with you-that you wouldn’t even tell your wife about the lies and abuses. Fast forward 12 years, within three weeks, millions of people globally are reading the story (or will read it shortly) of Jillian’s escape and the current horrendous abuses inside the church.

      Story after story after story, all with similar fact patterns about abuse, loss of family and escape. When (if ever) will Miscavige understand that no one believes his crazy stories about how all of the hundreds of escapees are lying, and the church has millions of members. Not one.

    • aegerprimo

      You are a hero Richard, and your wife is a heroine.

    • http://www.tingleff.org/jensting/muslinger/ Jens TINGLEFF

      ” It took me over 4 years to destimulate and actually feel like I was worthy of anything.” feeling unworthy comes from the mind-fuck / conditioning perpetrated by the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology. They were wrong all along, and you finally made yourself right. Good stuff šŸ˜€

  • nottrue

    Jillian thank you for sharing your story.I am sure it will help many people……..

  • SvenBoogie

    Among the many things I’d love to do given the ever so plausible scenario of finding a genie in a bottle and having unlimited resources or something, create an organization that provided comprehensive resources for people escaping the cult. Housing, no/minimal cost ACTUAL therapy/counseling, legal defense if needed, etc etc. Imagine how many people would leave if they knew for a fact there was a group that was there at the gate waiting to fully protect and support them through the process.

    • Mooser

      “Among the many things I’d love to do given the ever so plausible scenario of finding a genie in a bottle…”

      Oh, finding a bottle with a genie is not that hard. Finding a bottle with the young Barabra Eden inside, that can get difficult.

      • Jimmy3

        A man can only dream…

      • SvenBoogie

        While this sounds like a good find in theory, I once saw a series of short documentaries that showed she tends to mostly mess up your life, albeit in mildly comical ways, rather than, well, the stuff we’re all thinking.

      • Observer

        Found one!

  • And I don’t rent cars!

    These past three days, thanks to Jillian, Tony, and Karen, our attention and outrage has been focused on the Sea Org and its horrendous living and working conditions which reminded me that I stumbled on a series of odd youtube videos last week that seemed to have been taken covertly at Flagg and deep within the secretive world of the Sea Org. I got “distracted” by Tony’s fast breaking stories and never returned to the channel to finish looking at all the videos. I plan on doing that this evening or tomorrow but I thought I’d post the link now since the subject matter might be of great interest to some folks here. These were only posted a month ago and if I’m correct about the identity of the channel owner and the source of these videos, I’m afraid they’ll be forced to disappear. Here’s the link to the YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzrodvWnv8WFuQXxR_QpLIg/videos

    And here are the links to two stories written by Tony last year about the woman who infiltrated the Sea Org at Flagg in 2013 and was caught by OSA. I believe, without further research on my part, that these are her videos. I could be wrong but some of them suspiciously look like they could have been taken using the infamous tampon spy camera “tech” we all joked about for so long. Links:
    http://tonyortega.org/2013/06/13/yuliya-keaton-tells-us-why-she-infiltrated-scientologys-sea-org/
    http://tonyortega.org/2013/06/10/scientology-goes-after-critics-with-legal-threat-letters-following-strange-infiltration/

    As I mentioned, I could be wrong about the identity of the channel’s owner but the videos themselves are fascinating in that they reveal some of the secretive inner world of Sea Org training, meetings, and living conditions.

    I don’t know if this type of documentation would be admissible in a court of law. I’ll let others far more knowledgeable about this sort of thng decide.

    Photo of YouTube channel owner:

    • Miss Tia

      I’m on that channel now and am making copies of the videos…..if they disappear—let me know and i will reupload them to youtube!!! you’re probably right they’ll be removed…..i dunno who you think the uploader is—-i am reading quick while i make copies……but i hope they are safe!!

    • Captain Howdy

      Thanks. Cars. I had no idea that Yuliya Keaton had that many inside the sea org vids. I’m going to check them out later.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        Check out the Capt ASHOF with Div 6…listening now. Did I say these people have gone mad? I was being to optimistic. Scary, cackling like a witch loon that is in charge of these tweens and teenagers lives. Frightening stuff. She’s telling them there’s no reason they can’t control their natural reactions. Behavior is nothing more than what has happened to you, probably by your parents. oh crap.

    • Just Dee

      ETA: Wrong video. The one I listened to was talking about signing people on staff, then their children, then their family

      The first 25 seconds of this video is very disturbing.
      Thanks Cars – I’ll listen to some more tomorrow. It will just get me wired up tonight.

    • Miss Tia

      ‘k, one is taking awhile to d/l….i see who you think it is and yeah, on one of the videos they comment to someone and confirm…also say nothing OSA can do now….well, i hope not….

    • outraged

      Some of those videos are so depressing. The conditions, the rules, if you were never in it is very hard to imagine what happens. Now I can.

      Can they be posted here on this blog so more people see them?

      • And I don’t rent cars!

        I suppose I could post them a few at a time but these were mired in legal, OSA, and other controversies at the Tony wrote his two stories about her and the consequences of her actions. I wouldn’t post more than what I already have without discussing it with Tony first and I got his advice about it. For more background info, read the comments under Tony’s two posts that I linked to above.

        And you might want to look at the EXSCN site for other background information about this whole situation. You can read the large thread here at Ex-
        Scientologists Message Board http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?31980-Please-read-and-share-but-do-not-reply-here
        She posted under the username “thefiredragon” in this thread and others. There’s was a very long discussion on this thread about her infiltration that you might find interesting and might also help explain my reluctance.

        My point in posting the channel link earlier was for people to see the relatively current living and working conditions that Sea Org members, like Jillian, live under. The videos were taken at the Clearwater base and not in LA where Jillian was. Nevertheless, it gives you a sense of what it’s like.

        • outraged

          It sure does. :-{
          I cannot watch anymore right now. I find myself getting depressed. I’ll watch the rest in the sun of the day, instead of at night.

          Scientology = American Horror Story

      • Douglas D. Douglas

        EPF= Estates Project Force. This is the program of study/training that all Sea Org members must go through before they can be sent off to clear the planet.

        Our own Derek wrote a good description here:
        http://dbloch7986.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-estates-project-force.html

        • outraged

          Thank you!!

    • richelieu jr

      This is definitely Julia’s stuff.. I’ve seen some of it before…

      It had to surface sooner or later, it was inevitable with so many copies out there…

      I would just like to take a second to say, that even though ti is dramatic to see some of what we have heard about, that there is little to no new information here, and nobody should be inspired to take the same ludicrous chances she did…

      I want to see this organization go down as much as anyone here, but these people are desperate, and getting more so do not put your life, liberty, financial freedom or mental well-being at risk just so we know what the shower rules are, or how nutty some of the speakers sound…

      • Just Dee

        Hearing it and then really hearing it – shocked me a little. I am not easily shocked, I am old & raised 3 girls. This is surprising

      • And I don’t rent cars!

        Oh yes, I agree with you – most emphatically. I’m am so glad you took the time to add this warning Cardinal. Thanks so much!

      • Troy MacGyver SP

        GREAT INDIE FILM. Julia’s Tampon Cam.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    And just a little bit of information on what trauma, shock and acute distress disorder is, the symptoms, and what to do and who to see for help, here’s two snapshots so you can understand this has Nothing to do with going past misunderstoods, crimes from eleventy billion years ago, or raving SP’s around every corner:

    http://psychcentral.com/disorders/acute-stress-disorder-symptoms/

    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/emotional_psychological_trauma.htm

    • GalacticGreg

      2 excellent resource, Exist. Really good.

  • outraged

    Oh my gosh. What a inspiring depressing story. You have so much courage Jillian. To leave basically your whole family behind, your whole world behind. But you trusted your gut and your instincts. You are an amazing woman to be indoctrinated into this Cult but yet retain your own thoughts and your own beliefs about what is right and true and honest and real.

    They take your mail, they make you work in dangerous jobs, they don’t care what you think, and you cannot just leave, you have to escape. Sounds like China, like Nazi Germany. You were a hostage to an org. commanded by a sociopath.

    I am sure everyone is saying this but – take care. take your time. relax, breathe, one day at a time. You have escaped one of the most dangerous cults in the world. And then you told your story. You are a heroine Jillian.

  • Miss Tia

    should have posted this earlier…..spring allergies affecting me and been busy cross stitching! šŸ˜€ a page i made with places to contact about some of things jillian has revealed and has gotten us riled up!!! http://misstia.com/dosomething.html need to add a few more places/people, but there’s plenty to start with…..i got some letters in the mail today for the places that didn’t have email/contact pages….

    • aegerprimo

      WOW! Do you want me to start a thread about this at ESMB and WWP?

      • Miss Tia

        if that would help spread the word at all! i think i got an account at ESMB? i don’t believe i’ve ever posted there…..would posting this on WWP help?

        • aegerprimo

          You have posted at ESMB, and I still await you to accept my friend request. LOL.

          Here you are
          http://www.forum.exscn.net/member.php?13373512-misstia

          ETA: I hear ya about the seasonal allergies. Oh wait, I cannot hear you because my ear canals are stuff with phlegm, and so is my nose, and my throat. Claritan works for me, but it takes a few days to take hold.

          • Miss Tia

            Ah, well I can’t even see the link you posted because it didn’t save my password automatically and I’ll be darned if I can remember it. I requested to reset it, but I haven’t gotten that email in a timely fashion. Maybe by the time I get up tomorrow that email will have arrived? Yeah, I do vaguely recall setting up such an account now, they asked a question, yeah, okay. But ESMB/OCMB I don’t really go too. I am on WWP.

            Would it help posting that link around? If so, please do!!

            Claritan use to work for me but then it went OTC and wasn’t covered by insurance and I couldn’t afford it. Even with claritan I was still getting steroid shots though. It’s the only thing that will truly help me survive spring (and then I get another in fall for ragweed season). In a few weeks I’ll be on 3 benadryl every 4 hours, using a couple different inhalers, I have singular RX, albuterol pills, and I take homeopathic tree pollen drops and sinus pills—my dr. is a D.O. and knows about those. And I will STILL be a mess—but I will be a functional mess thanks to the steroid shot! :) Though in May when my locust trees start to bud i’ll be back at the dr. for a pred pack! I have allergy induced asthma too. I don’t get that phlegmy anymore—when I did, I took water pills which cleared up my ears really well. I get bad post nasal drip (Oh yeah I’ve been on about every nasal spray ever too, to no avail) and I have severe allergic reactions. WHEE!!!!! But hey, IT IS SPRING!!! :) A few weeks of discomfort and YEAH!!!

            Though I really need to be able to do yard work this year before things bud/grow out!! Couldn’t last year I was so sick with allergies.

            • aegerprimo

              Hey, I will post it at the forums if you like. I think the more you get this out there, the better. Why not? That is what the forums are for, and for people to comment. Who knows what comments and info people have. Email me at aegerprimo AT hushmail DOT com

            • Miss Tia

              just got up! absolutely! post it around! :) I’ll email ya….

    • http://xenutv.com/blog Super Power Wog

      You are amazing Miss Tia. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. i will post on FB and send email to the Fam.

      • Miss Tia

        thanks for posting it on FB!! much appreciated it!! the more people who contact places THE BETTER!!!

  • SvenBoogie

    I don’t think I want to actually know the answer, but I do wonder just how much DM is worth by now. The sad reality is, at a certain level of wealth, you become almost legally bulletproof. It isn’t hard to imagine he’s getting there.

    • Baby

      Ain’t know way in hell you are going to get this figure Sven.. NO Way…

      • SvenBoogie

        I know, like I said, I’d probably just feel worse if I knew the answer anyway.

    • Captain Howdy

      Well, LRH supposedly had at least 500 million stashed away when died, and I would have to guess that D.M got his hands on that. So there’s a start.

      • SvenBoogie

        All tax free of course because murrkuh.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      Too many people over the years have thought they could insulate themselves with money. LRH died in hiding and on the run. Madoff is in prison. Capone went to jail for tax evasion.

      Miscavige should keep looking over his shoulder.

      • SvenBoogie

        I’d love to agree, but logically I’m afraid I can’t. LRH died in hiding in large part because of his own delusions and paranoia. There are a number of factors as to why Madoff actually faced punishment, but among them, many of his victims were also wealthy, high profile people with connections.

        Going after DM in any significant way would essentially require the government to be willing to admit that it has made, and continued to make, a huge mistake in it’s treatment of the cult all these years. Admitting failure/guilt is not something governments are ever eager to do.

        • Jon Hendry

          Also, Madoff made concrete promises of what the customers would get for their money.

          Scientology’s promises are all nebulous bullshit, not hard dollar returns.

      • Captain Howdy

        Saddam and Gaddafi had access to many billions. Lot of good it did them.

        • And I don’t rent cars!

          And speaking of Saddam, the image below is one of my fantasies of the day they catch Miscavige. And I hope he is as dirty, unkempt, and still clutching his loot of dirty money as Saddam was when they found him in a “hole” of his own making.

    • Eclipse-girl

      I recommend that you join the readers /lurkers / commenters at http://www.johnpcapitalist.com/

      It is one of the questions that is pondered

    • Silence of the Clams

      A lot of despots have believed their wealth could save them and though it’s not often enough, we’ve seen them fall. I think what Davey suffers from now is the ‘god’ complex. Legally, the positions and arguments of the cherch smack of a maniacal egotist hell bent on ‘winning the battle’ and not ‘winning the war’.

      Money goes fast when you are in a position of weakness, attempting to defend the indefensible.

  • aegerprimo

    STOP $cientology’s FRAUDULENT Advertising!

    Join the RED-X team and flag the ads with a RED-X.
    In other words, click “prohibited” at the top of the ads to change them to “flagged”

    https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/taking-down-co-on-craigslist-co-ads-on-craigslist.113779/page-66#post-2439059

    .

    • aegerprimo

      Not sure how to do it fast and easy? Check out this YouTube video.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbterDh1AkU

      • Baby

        Domination.. Perfect

    • SvenBoogie

      I miss when CL actually had categories you could mark things with.

      • aegerprimo

        Change happens. The Pierrot and other Anons and WWP are on top of it, always reworking how to search for the Co$ ads.

    • aquaclara

      Love your artwork! Flagging again now…..

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Just wanted to end off with a funny anecdote. If you’ve been married any length of time you’ve probably experienced hearing your other half tell the same certain stories over and over. Well my hubby had one about how pissed off he was that his father wouldn’t allow him to sign up for duty on the Apollo ship. He honestly thought all these years that he had missed this great adventure of all time and with old man Hubbard himself no less. He was heavily recruited for the gig, I think by Peter Cook, though not certain. They were working him hard. His dad wouldn’t budge.

    So when I first saw the Apollo Thread over at ESMB, I almost died laughing, even reading some of the most shocking, lurid posts from those who were there. But after I finally got him to sit down and just read the first 20 pages… he stood up from the computer, white as a ghost, and never ever complained about it again. His dad was not a nice person, but even he had a conscience.

    • Baby

      OH My Gawwwwwwwwd… Tell Mr Hole he dodged a bullet.. damn.. Good story Hole!

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        I think he scurried off mumbling something just like that! He was Freaked Out.

    • aegerprimo

      WOW! That is not funny, but it is funny.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        I only laugh when he’s not in the room:)

    • Ruby

      Father knows best.

  • Jonathan Cummings

    Jillian, You are a brave young woman. Thank you for having the courage to tell your story as it will inspire and help others escape this ghastly cult. Things can only get better because now you are truly free!

  • Lurkness

    Here is a a photo that could be used as a flyer in the LA area.

    • aegerprimo

      Excellent. I wonder how this can be combined with the
      1-866-X-SeaOrg help number?
      And if it should be?

      • Lurkness

        As a flyer, why not front and back?

    • Jon Hendry

      It would definitely be good to do something like this but specifically mentioning Scientology. People trafficked by Scientology might get it in their head that Scientology is somehow allowed to do it, being a “church”.

      • http://xenutv.com/blog Super Power Wog

        That is a wonderful idea JH. I thought I was reading a poster for getting out of the Sea Org but then I realized it was for human trafficking….SMH….how similar they are indeed.

  • aegerprimo

    The last Sunday Funnies here at the Bunker – remember the Aussie ad with Paul as “Mr. Fantastic”?

    http://tonyortega.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/action-shot-paul06.jpg

    Grey Wolf as posted more at his blog – “World Cult Watch.”

    http://worldcultwatch.org/scientology-wins-around-the-world/

    • And I don’t rent cars!

      Since the cult is so quick to sue others for copyright and trademark infringements [like just they did recently to the S. African blog owner(s)], who are the owners and holders of the rights to the individual superheroes named in these flyers and to the word “Superhero” itself? And why aren’t they suing RTC, CSI, CST, or any one of the many acronyms in the alphabet soup that is in the cult’s corporate organizational chart? Looks like a little research and another letter writing campaign is in order. Hmmm…

      Thanks for the link and for the reminder about the (unauthorized?) use of the superhero word and concept. It’s just might be worth checking into. I’m sure another little lawsuit can’t help but hurt a little more.

      • aegerprimo

        The cult needs a lot more tasting of their own medicine.

    • Baby

      Damn it Aeger..Another blog to be obsessed about! My house OMG.. Send help please..

  • Captain Howdy

    Off topic, but root beer and vodka is actually pretty good.

    • Sherbet

      You’re our favorite nut.

      • Captain Howdy

        I’m not nuts, Sherb..I’m just ahead of the curve.

    • Jimmy3

      How is this off topic? Where the hell am I?

    • TXCowgirl

      So is Crown and Fresca.

    • Sandy

      ….

    • aegerprimo

      Mixing liquor with soda is GAG in my book. Neat or on the rocks.

      • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0

        Don’t knock it till you try it — with a spicy craft root beer, it can’t be beat

      • Artoo45

        A lovely Islay single malt needs nothing but an icy water back.

    • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0

      My best friend and I would mix vanilla flavored vodka and rootbeer and call them “rootbeer floats” — sooo good!

      • Baby

        Yummy Nat.

    • Baby

      I just had a Vodka and Diet Coke.. Put too much Vodka in it.. ( Dayam)

      After I finished it I thought.. ” I could have just added more Diet Coke..” But why mess with a good buzz

      • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0

        “But why mess with a good buzz”
        Lol. So true.

      • Troy MacGyver SP

        Baby,
        I’m worried about you hittin’ the sauce lately. Are you sure you’re not developing a habit, Sweety? I started w/ a few dozen beers at college parties and soon it blossomed to living off,black and tans. I’ve been sober for a decade but it can sneak up on you and the terrible twos are not a time to start. I’m just sayin’..

        • Baby

          Awww You are so sweet.. Congrats on your sobriety..

          Nah.. I’m Just experimenting with the Mango Margs lately.. and tried the Vodka and coke.. ( ugh) Alcohol has never been my drug of choice..Food has!

          I would take Pie any day over any drink! xoo

    • Jo

      Root beer? Sounds familiar to creamola foam, I hated it.

    • aurora50

      Once, back in the 60’s, all my roommate and I had on hand was vodka and prune juice…

      I suppose, in retrospect, that Worf would have approved!

  • aurora50

    Links for contacting your elected officials with this story:

    http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

  • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0

    OT but does anyone know where I can get good video recording software for windows? This laptop doesn’t have anything preloaded and I’m afraid of downloading the free ones online

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Some more information would be good. Like, are you recording what is on your screen? Or recording your webcam?

      http://sourceforge.net/ is a good source. I don’t have problems with stuff on their site.

      • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0

        both

        • Michael Leonard Tilse

          Hm. I don’t know what to suggest. I mostly use a mac. It seems the windows world is full of virus laden freeware and I am not familiar with the current professional options. I’ve used adobe premier elements to import video from an video cam and edit it.

          Maybe someone else here can help?

    • Jimmy3

      I used to use Fraps quite often. I would recommend it, but on a quick look it seems that the free version now allows only 30 second captures and puts in a watermark. That must be new, I recall having a full free copy of it some years ago and it didn’t have those restrictions.

    • AintMizBahavin

      buy a cam like logitech and record your videos you can use nch software named wavepad to edit the videos. i use it for my djing and videos actually nch has a whole package of software that you can use to do just about everything…. just google wavepad or type in nch software their good ive used them for years and have no complaints neither do other people i recommended it to

  • RMycroft

    There must be 50 ways to leave the Sea Org…

    You just fade down the hill, Jill, and get yourself free!

    • Jimmy3

      You gotta have a plan, Stan.
      Before you hop on the bus, Gus.

    • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0
      • Jimmy3

        Flight of the Conchords fan? Present.

        • http://scientoonery.tumblr.com/ Natalia 2.0

          I’ve seen every episode at least 30 times. I am Mel.

          • Charlotte

            I quote The Conchords daily. It’s never not apropos.

    • JackTheGiantKiller

      Hell ya!

  • Jillian

    I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who watched my video and read Tony’s story on me. I have been emotionally moved and impacted with all the kind thoughts and compassion that you have shown me. I truly didn’t expect it at all!! It is very hard when you leave the church and have had the idea that “wogs are bad, stupid, not to be trusted”, but I have found that to be the exact opposite. So, I just wanted to say thank you!

    I am happy to make new friends, especially to anyone who has family in the SO and are wondering about them. If I can help give you answers I would be glad to.

    Love, Jillian

    • Kim O’Brien

      you go girl :) ….you are amazing and i am SO glad that you are here !!

    • Artoo45

      Thank you for your courage and honesty. Be as kind to yourself as you can, you have no idea what you’ve been through. And never forget that you have lots of aunts and uncles in the bunker rooting for you!

    • Pierrot

      Thank you for speaking out.
      You are a very brave person.
      We wish you all the best in your new live.

    • DodoTheLaser

      You are very welcome, Jillian!
      Thank you for your bravery!
      It will only get better.
      We love you too.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      So good to hear from you directly. Please feel free to come here any time– or to stay away, as you wish. Right now you need to do what’s best for you.

      I hope you will be able to get in touch with Derek. I know he is always hoping for news about his brother.
      http://dbloch7986.blogspot.com/

    • Frodis73

      You are so brave & we are all so happy for you. Take care of yourself and you will find that there are so many great people out there who are ready to help you with anything. Welcome to your freedom!

    • Missionary Kid

      Welcome to the Bunker. May all your days be better than every previous one. It took courage to do what you did.

      Now you’ve got your freedom, and the difficult task is to decide which of all the options you now have that you are going to exercise. I believe that at times it will be overwhelming. Enjoy your freedom, and take your time.

      Derek Bloch, ex sea org, posted earlier to you that he is looking for information about his brother, who’s still in the sea org, and he thinks he may still be in L.A. I believe this is his email address: dmanunderground@gmail.com

      Derek said that he’d drive for 14 hours from Texas where he now lives to California to pick his brother up. Derek has made a tremendous amount of progress, both intellectually and psychologically after he was abused and he left.

      At first, the bunkaroos, as I call this community, were protective of him. He no longer needs protection because he’s found his voice. His parents and the rest of his immediate family disconnected from him, but he’s reestablished relations with his non-$cion relatives who are quite supportive and loving towards him.

      • DodoTheLaser

        Jillian and Derek are friends on FB now.

        • Missionary Kid

          Thanks. I’m behind the curve tonight. I’m fighting a cold & cough, so I’m not functioning too well.

          • DodoTheLaser

            You are not behind the curve. And feel better soon!

            • Missionary Kid

              Thanks.

              I “posulate” that I will, and am taking a lot of fluids and aspirin, with an occasional dose of Robitussen to stop the cough.

            • DodoTheLaser

              Welcome. Also consider plenty of rest and garlic.

    • Missionary Kid

      Oops, Douglas D. Douglas has another email address for Derek Bloch.

      • Lurkness

        No D3 gave link to his blog. You were correct on his email being:
        dmanunderground@gmail.com

        • Missionary Kid

          Thanks.

          It turns out that they’re already Facebook friends, as Dodo the Laser just let me know. I’m fighting a cold right now, so I’m a bit dense.

          • Lurkness

            Feel better!!! Hope our paths cross again soon. Take care.

            • Missionary Kid

              Thank you.

              O.T., on a program recently about how the brain looks for patterns and tries to make them familiar, the original negative from the supposed picture of Nessie was shown. (Your avatar is the popular, cropped picture.) Seen that way, it definitely loses its appearance as any lake monster.

          • Sibs

            Me too. And insomnia.

            • DodoTheLaser

              Feel better soon, Sibs!

            • Missionary Kid

              Get well soon. I’ve been napping and dosing with a few medicines and lots of fluids at different times.

              I’ll probably be up at 4:00 am to read the latest on the Bunker.

            • Sibs

              Yuuup, pretty much. I freaked my mom out a few days ago because I called her at 3:45am my time, and I’d been up all night (granted I was very depressed and traumatized because a major character on a TV show I love got killed in a very sudden, dramatic, well-written and realistic way), and I reassured her that it was all good because I could just talk to her for 15 minutes and then check the Bunker and then go to bed.

            • Missionary Kid

              Ahh, are you ready to join BA, Bunkaroos Anonymous?
              I’m Missionary Kid, and I’m a Bunker addict.

            • DodoTheLaser

              The only reason I am here is because Big Pharma pays me a lot.

            • Missionary Kid

              :-)

            • Douglas D. Douglas

              Hey– where’s MY check…???

          • Jenny Daniels

            Please get well soon!

    • Lurkness

      Thank you!!! And all the best on your adjustment to the real world. You will do great. Remember to think positive, have fun and smile!

      PS Impressed with your fast use of the internet–and a disqus account already. Impressive!!!

    • Truthiwant

      Thanks, Jillian, for telling your story.
      I remember the day that I started to find out the truth about Scientology. It was a shock, but I began to feel good inside as I read about all the lies. It was as if a ton weight was being lifted off me. I was never in the Sea Org, but all the same, I realized that my mind had been controlled by Scientology. It’s so good to be free!

      • DodoTheLaser

        “I was never in the Sea Org, but all the same, I realized that my mind
        had been controlled by Scientology. It’s so good to be free!”

        So true. Same here.

    • Sibs

      Jillian! You’re amazing! I think we would all understand if you needed to take some time to rest, but the fact that you are choosing to speak out says that you are very brave. And you have a generous heart for reaching out the way you just have – there are many Bunkeroos who have family they have heard no news about for years.

      If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask. In fact, if you get on again in the morning, you’ll run into TheHoleDoesNotExist (aka THDNE, or Thidney). If you sort the comments on this page by “Best” you’ll see the open offer she gave you.

    • 0tessa

      Dear Jillian,
      You are a very clever girl. As you were able to make your way out of the prison of Scientology, you will also be very able to make your way in your new world.
      I wish you all the best.

      • DodoTheLaser

        When I was in, I was taught that any scientologist will prosper in a “wog” society.
        They were right, but I think they meant ex-scientologist, because it’s hard not to
        prosper outside of that deceiving, oppressive “religion”.

    • Graham

      Jillian, people around the world are wishing you well- in my case from here in England.

    • Narapoid

      Thank you so much for sharing! Those who have watched Scientology from outside have always had a tender spot and concern for Sea-Org members. Your story has brought tears of joy to me and many others, of that I have no doubt.

      You are special, Icherish you for your bravery and fortitude. Welcome to the party!

    • TDA1541A
    • Qbird

      Jillian – are you in a safe place now?

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  • Exterrier

    Wow, is she ever impressive! This is fascinating to have someone so freshly out. There may be a pretty effective “Underground Railroad” scene happening now. And big applause for Karen!

  • https://whyweprotest.net/community/threads/january-25th-dublin-ireland-post-game.116500/#post-2413167 InterestedinCrazy

    My first article read after weeks and maybe months away. I’ve had a lot of quite serious personal things going on and I had to attend to them.

    I’m so happy to read people like Jillian are coming out sooner and more openly; recent news is a lot more relevant and rare!

    Best wishes to all of the Bunkerheads and Tony O., too! Lots to catch up on so I’ll be busy busy this weekend!

  • the insurgent

    my heart goes out to you and youre family. stay strong. and thankyou for all your insight into this insideious cult.

  • Sydjazz

    Good luck jillian. Wow well she said it scientology is dying. Amazing

  • Cinderella

    WOW. This woman is so brave. So smart. I am so proud of her. Every one of the S.O need to get out of this places now. Scientology is human slavery. It is not total freedom.

  • Jory

    Thank you, Jillian!

  • BostonFred

    The irony is that under a different name and outside the church at a lower price and with lower commitment, all love it.

  • http://deirdre.net/ Deirdre Saoirse Moen

    There was a Paula who was Sea Org staff at Tustin in the late 80s named Paula. She was the Flag rep. Schlesinger wasn’t her surname back then. Just seems too coincidental. Anyone know?

  • Tanuka Basu

    Jillian this is Tanuka. Don’t know if you remember me from Vista Verde but I have looked for you for years. I’d research to see if I could find out what happened to you and nothing would come up. I’d ask people if they knew you should they say anything about the Timberwolves. I thought I was crazy as you seemed to just vanish one day and I was so torn to lose my best friend into thin air. I’m amazed that I found this thought year since it’s been here. You were a dear friend and I have always remembered you. If you see this and want to contact me, I’m here. Always your friend.

    • StudentOfLife

      If you have not gotten ahold of her yet and wish to still, simply contact Karen De La Carriere. Her email is easily found.