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Scientology ripped apart his family, but this former member explains why he doesn’t fight it

[Dave Stokes and his family, before disconnection]

On January 4, Skip Young wrote for us an account of his attempt to reconnect with the grown daughters who have disconnected from him after he left Scientology. Last week we published one response we received after Skip’s piece, and that was Phil Jones writing about his own attempts to defeat Scientology’s policy and reconnect with his son and daughter. We also received a very different kind of response from another former member of the Church of Scientology. We thought you’d want to see it and respond to it.

I have lived all my life (68 years) in Toronto, Canada. I began my first course in Scientology (HQS) on 31 August 1973. I was declared suppressive and expelled on 31 August 2011. It was 38 years, to the day.

Since my expulsion I have neither spoken to nor heard from my ex wife of 26 years (we were divorced in 2005), my son (now 40), or my daughter (now 37).

That’s 3,048 days.


You can read my 2012 “coming out” story if you care to. Briefly, my Scientology “credentials” include three separate staff contracts (3.5 years in total). I was a Class 4 auditor. I did one year solo auditing OT 7 (abandoned in 2005). I spent $1.1 million (Canadian) on services and donations.

I was a thoroughly indoctrinated Scientologist. And because I was a thoroughly indoctrinated Scientologist, I understood absolutely “the rules.” I understood exactly what “disconnection” meant. I understood precisely what would happen should I be expelled. Disconnection from not only my ex-wife, son, and daughter, but also from my employer, my doctor, my accountant, and all of my friends.

I knew this would happen. I knew the rules, and I accepted them. I lived by these rules. For example, Andy Osvath was a Toronto Scientologist with more than ten years of experience. He was a staff member for more than five years. He was declared and expelled in 1989. He and I had been good friends for more than a decade. We did business together, we golfed together, we got drunk together.

When he was expelled I disconnected from him. For 22 years. I only reconnected with Andy after my own expulsion. I only saw him once before he died in October 2011. I knew the rules. Andy knew the rules. Andy never tried to reconnect with me after his expulsion.

My son is in the Sea Org in Los Angeles. If I tried to connect with him nothing good would happen. Only bad things would happen, and only to him. Nothing bad would happen to me, only him.

He’d be “interviewed” by Ethics. He’d be assigned a lower condition. He’d be sec checked. He’d be watched. He’d be surveilled. He’d be labeled “PTS.” His wife and fellow staff would become “suspicious.” He might be re-assigned or transferred or demoted, and God knows what else — RPF’ed?

My daughter is a public Scientologist. She lives in California. She married a son of a wealthy, high profile Scientology family. If I tried to connect with her nothing good would happen. Only bad things would happen, and only to her. Nothing bad would happen to me, only to her.

She’d be interviewed by ethics. She’d be assigned lowers. She’d be sec checked, watched and surveilled. She’d be labeled PTS. Should things go badly south, she might expect losing her marriage, her baby, her career, her friends, and God knows what else.

My ex wife is a public living in Toronto. She is re-married to a dedicated Scientologist. If I tried to connect with her, I’d threaten everything she has: Her marriage, her house, her finances, her children, her livelihood.

I am a real and present danger to my ex family. For that reason, I keep a very low profile in regards to them.

Are Scientology’s disconnection policies harmful? I say yes. Are Scientology’s disconnection rules evil? Again, yes. Do Scientology’s disconnection policies need to be changed? They do. Should Scientology be pressured to change these policies? They should. Should Scientology be vilified for having these policies? Absolutely.

But will I try to re-connect with my adult children and ex wife? No, I will not, for all the reasons stated above.

I was a cult member for 38 years. I knew the rules. I abided by these rules when I was in. Others abided by these rules when I was in. I don’t insist that others not abide by these rules now that I am out.

Leaving Scientology was the best thing that ever happened to me. But personally, disconnection is a downside I am willing to accept.


— Dave Stokes


Bonus items from our tipsters

More Tampa models!


Meanwhile, at sea…



Source Code

“Putting tickets on the windshield of a car is illegal, according to our own Consititution, which requires personal service. Police get away with it because people don’t want the bother of going down and getting a trial date set. So they send in the amount of an arbitrary fine. This is duress and extortion — so there’s no difference between a criminal and a cop.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 14, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone

“My current view is that MEST in the form of off-planet AI actually creates its own needs and wants (in its advanced forms) in order to accomplish its mission to destroy/entrap theta…. Two people/two things/MEST/theta can be polar opposites and exist in harmony unless they have gone insane. MEST in the form of advanced AI is insane.”


Random Howdy

“The tech is the meaningless musings of a drug- and alcohol-addled madman who was making it up as he went along. You might as well have been playing hide-and-go-seek for 17 years.”


Start making your plans…

Head over to the convention website and meet us in St. Louis!


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] EXCLUSIVE: Scientology tells A&E it has ‘blood on its hands’ for murder in Australia
[TWO years ago] Scientology plans Narconon drug rehab for Ireland, but the locals are not having it
[THREE years ago] The most incredible lie Scientology attorney Monique Yingling told ABC ’20/20′
[FOUR years ago] Oscar snubs Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ despite buzz
[FIVE years ago] Scientology reveals a lot more of its lofty plans for the former KCET studios
[SIX years ago] Being and nothingness: And now we move on to Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Four!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Recon: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,817 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,321 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,841 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 861 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 752 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,059 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,927 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,701 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,475 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,821 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,387 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,306 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,474 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,055 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,316 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,354 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,067 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,592 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,119 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,682 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,822 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,142 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,998 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,117 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,472 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,775 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,881 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,283 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,155 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,738 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,233 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,487 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,596 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 14, 2020 at 07:00

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Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 14 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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