If you’ve been watching the Scientology scene for a while, you will have seen your share of Ex Scientologists flip flopping from one viewpoint to another. If you’ve ever wondered why, I hope what I’ve written in this post will give you some insight. This is all just my opinion, however I’ve had first hand experience in this. I flip flopped BADLY for the first 3 or 4 years I was out.
When you are in Scientology, you are given a precious gift – certainty.
It’s really comforting to be totally sure about life and how life works. There are no mysteries within the Scientology bubble. There is an answer for everything. No one says “I don’t know”. Every action of every person on the planet can be explained within the “philosophy” of Scientology. You look around you at these unknowing “wogs” and shake your head in pity at their naivety.
Yes there are hardships in Scientology, even as a public, which progressively get worse as you rise through the ranks to Staffer, then to Sea Orger. What keeps people “in” even when faced with strict disciplinary actions, disconnection etc. is (in my opinion) the total certainty you get as a Scientologist.
When I first left Scientology, I lost everything that was important to me (except my daughter who I never let go of).
I lost my religion & belief system (I believed everything Hubbard said about thetans, the reactive mind, overts & withhold, misunderstood words, ser facs etc).
I lost my purpose in life (I wanted to help mankind “rise above the bank” and I wanted to be Clear & OT and have super dooper powerz)
I lost my career (I was an auditor and a course supervisor).
I lost all my friends (every single person I knew disconnected from me).
I lost my marriage (that happened a bit later but was a direct result of me leaving the CoS).
I was terrified. Leaving Scientology on your own is bloody scary. I had no real life skills having been out of the workforce for 10 years, but I was lucky that I was only in my mid 30s and could start over. I REALLY feel for those who were in longer and got out older than me. It can be almost impossible to find work, let alone meaningful work.
Years went by and I got back what most of what I’d lost. I got a job and found that working in the “wog world” wasn’t bad after all (and not nearly as bad as I’d been told it would be). I had money for the first time in a decade and could actually pay the bills. I reconnected with my family who I’d neglected in my pursuit of a “cleared planet”. I made new friends. I got a new career. I got divorced from my Scio husband and later married a wonderful man. My daughter is doing well and is nearly finished her tertiary studies. Life is good.
I still miss it.
Not the musters. Not the events. Not the regging. Not the Ethics handlings. Not the poverty. Not even the auditing & training, and certainly not clapping a photo of that ugly son-of-a-bitch at every event. I don’t miss the call-in for events, the snitching (writing KRs), the loss of privacy (sec checks), the humiliation of being assigned “treason”.
I miss the community and the shared purpose. I miss “knowing” about life and the freedom that comes with believing I am a “spiritual being”.
Most of all I miss the certainty.
I was certain I was immortal, so spending this lifetime broke and exhausted didn’t matter because I had an infinite amount of lives to live, but possibly ONLY THIS ONE LIFETIME to ensure Scientology grew enough to reach a tipping point which would guarantee “planetary clearing”.
I was certain I knew why people acted the way they did. It was overts or withholds or ser facs or MUs (sorry about the Scn lingo). It was because their case/bank was in control. It was because they had engrams in restimulation.
I was certain that if I did enough training I could become the class of auditor who could “crack any case”.
I was certain I could save people’s lives and their eternities.
I was certain of who I was, what I was meant to be and do and I knew how I was going to do it. I was certain it would all be worth it because I would be raised out of the mud and restored to my former power and this wog world existence of pain, punishment, poverty, war and crime would be gone forever.
I was certain I had control.
I will never get that feeling back.
Because it’s bullshit. All of it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. I’m sure a former heroin addict can admit to missing the feeling of heroin without actually wanting to ever stick a needle in their arm again.
The Science-based reality I live in now – well it sucks to be honest. I’m getting old. My joints are starting to hurt. My hair is going grey. I will die some day and that will be it. No second chances, no reincarnation, no heaven, no hell, nothing. Just dead.
I don’t know how I got here. I don’t now if I’m supposed to be serving a purpose. I don’t know why innocent kids get cancer. I don’t know how to solve the refugee crisis. There is so much I don’t know now. I’m in control of very little.
The supposed best years of my life (23 – 33) were spent in a cult. Those are years I will never get back
I’ll die of cancer or a stroke or a heart attack or something equally as gruesome. I may even go mad and not remember my loved ones faces. No one will remember me once my grand-kids die. Isn’t that fuckin’ cheerful.
Compare that to the Scientology bubble of immortal spirituality where everyone lives again and again, and everyone’s pain can be fixed and we will all be returned to the powerful beings we once were. Aaah it’s all so seductive and comforting and invigorating!
Not every Ex flip-flops. A prime example is Tory Christman. From the day she left until this very day I’ve never seen a hint of regret in her.
Not every Ex flop-flops publicly. I detailed my flip-flopping in this thread on ESMB (warning – long & boring). I’m sure some do their flip-flop dance in private.
I believe (for the most) that the longer you’ve been in and the harder you worked to achieve the aims of Scientology, the more you sacrificed and the higher the value you placed on Scientology, the greater the odds are that you will flip-flop at some stage.
Mike Rinder is a good example of the exception to this “rule”. Mike’s views seemed to have changed slowly over time and I’ve never seen him regress. He spent his entire life in Scientology and rose all the way to the top (almost), yet no flip-flop (or none I’ve seen).
The trigger for the flip-flop:
For me the trigger was not finding a purpose to replace the one I lost. I was desperate to regain a sense of community and belong to a group who sacrificed so much to forward what we thought were the highest aims there could ever be. Of course I was never going to find that unless I joined another cult. I almost did. I went to church to try & find God. He wasn’t there. I looked into squirrel Scientology groups & offshoots in desperation. I read self help books & philosophical mumbo-jumbo but nothing came close. I was miserable. It was like I was itchy, but I couldn’t find the right place to scratch. So when Scientology came knocking on my door to “recover me” I was ripe for the picking.
For some the trigger is family. For others it’s because Scientology was the only thing they ever had in their lives that meant something. For other’s still, it’s the only thing they know HOW to do.
Scientology is HARD to shake. Not everyone can do it. If they could we wouldn’t have indies & freezoners.
My science-based life is finite and quite boring, but at least it’s real. I now find joy in the things I didn’t notice in Scientology, like people, books, trees and flowers, cats and dogs, music and movies. I question everything and enjoy a debate.
I’m not afraid of losing my eternity anymore. What I have is what I have and there is peace in that (for me at least), but not everyone feels the same.
So to the exes who have flip-flopped – I get it.
And to those who roll their eyes at flip-floppers – I hope you have a little more insight now.
Addictions are addictions. It’s probably no more complicated than that.
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