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Story of an ex-Scientologist

I have just, in two sittings last night and tonight, read the whole online 17 chapter book "Counterfeit Dreams" by Jeff Hawkins about his life within the Scientology cult and how he finally managed to leave.

If you want to read it (and I do recommend it as a "can't stop reading" tale) start here and continue through the chapters where it says "Read the chapters in order:" in the right-hand column.

It was even more interesting to me because I have been to a number of Nikon Owners Group events hosted at Saint Hill Manor near where we live in Sussex, UK. A couple of the members of that club are members of the Church of Scientology. They are lovely people and, luckily, do not 'bible-bash' the church to other togs (photographers). The manor house and grounds are stunning and I have been on the tour of LRH's dark-room and other 'stuff' in the house run by members of the 'church'.

Personally, I do not agree with the 'church' / cult / Scientology and its teachings/brainwashing. I found this passage from Jeff's last non-appendix chapter (writen once he was 'out' and free) to be very revealing / interesting:

With my evenings and weekends free, I had more time to think about what had happened to me. On a whim, I had picked up 1984 by George Orwell and started to read it. I was struck by the parallels between the thought control systems described in the book and my experiences at the Int Base. In the book Orwell describes "doublethink" – the art of believing two contradictory ideas at the same time. I realized that Scientology was full of those. One was told to "think for yourself," for instance, yet in fact everyone knew that no disagreement with Hubbard was allowed. Scientology teaches that the secret to good communication is high affinity (liking) and high reality (agreement). Yet staff are taught to scream at each other and even physically abuse others. Scientology champions "human rights" yet runs an abusive RPF prison system. I had always known these things, but I had justified them, explained them to myself – in other words, I had become adept at doublethink. With that realization, the sense of hypocrisy, the gap between what is preached and what is actually practiced by Scientology, began to grow in my mind.


Thanks to shevek for linking to page/site/book. Sometimes it is good to realise that we are better off than at least one other person in this world when we are feeling ill/down ourselves!

ETA Jeff is in at least one video on YouTube.

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Nat S Ford
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