(Section 6 of Part 4 – My Final Days)
I had some things I wanted to say to the people who were my friends who were wondering what was happening to me. Up to the time I was told I was getting declared, I had kept my agreement that I would not tell anyone what was happening.
But now that I was most likely going to be declared, that was going to change. I still had no intention of telling anyone that I thought COB was a suppressive, I had no intention of listing off all the out-tech and off-policy programs he was running which everyone should have realized were out-tech and off-policy and I did not intend to tell them of the horrid conditions that Sea Org members of the highest levels were being forced to endure.
Maybe I should have told them but I did not.
The relationships that I had developed over the years with many of my students and fellow staff members had always been, and still were, (and still are) very special to me. I didn’t think it was fair for them to just be exposed to the church’s version, written in a declare order, of what kind of person I was and what my intentions were. I felt that they deserved to get some of my own viewpoint and that I deserved to give it to them.
I knew that most of them didn’t already know what was going on with me and that if they would get a letter from me, they would open it, whereas if I waited until after a declare came through they would not, so I started to make a list of the people I was going to send these letters to and work on them.
There was no attempt in these letters to get people to agree with me. There was no attempt to get anyone to leave the church. The most I told them that they would consider negative was that I left the church because of disagreements with management. I did not say what those disagreements were. I told them I was still studying Scientology and I did not leave because of the tech and the philosophy.
Parts of the letters were the same for each person I wrote to. I added at the beginning and the end of each letter a personal note with high reality on the positive experiences we had in our individual relationships with each other. It was respectful and it expressed my appreciation for the good times we had.
I got some good responses. 99% of them were respectful. Most people I got no responses from. A lot of people took me off their Facebook friends list. Some expressed their appreciation for me in return.
I had long conversations with some people. Some of them were trying desperately to convince me that I was making a mistake. I do appreciate very much their concern for my well-being. But do you know what the main problem was? It was that they did not know my side of the story and they didn’t want to know it. They wanted to tell me their viewpoint but they didn’t want to know mine, not because they didn’t care about my viewpoint, but because they thought my viewpoint wasn’t something they were supposed to hear. They had been indoctrinated that they weren’t supposed to know anything about anybody’s claims that were being made against the church because it was dangerous for them to know, they would become PTS and that they could get into ethics trouble and jeopardize their future Bridge.
I wasn’t about to tell anybody anything they did not want to know, but I sure found myself stuck on a one-way flow. Friends would tell me why it was a bad decision to do what I was doing but I couldn’t tell them why I was doing it. I found, after a while, that there was no point discussing it anymore unless the other person was willing to know my side of the story. Not one of them was.
So there was nothing constructive I could say. And it was an unworkable situation for me that I could not debate with them their reasoning as to why my decision to leave was wrong according to them. All I could do was listen to them and think to myself that they didn’t understand the whole story and if they did, they wouldn’t be saying the things they were saying, but that I couldn’t tell them my side of the story.
That was how I was operating then. I wasn’t saying anything about why I was leaving except that I had “disagreements with management”. Nowadays I still don’t go around trying to preach to Scientologists in the church why the management is bad, but if anyone wants to communicate with me without wanting to know my side of the story, I would have to tell them I’m not interested, because I can’t win if they can tell me their viewpoint but I can’t tell them mine.
In the end, what it came down to is that almost none of my friends (or former friends if that is what they want to call themselves in regards to me) could stay connected to me. I had to let them all go, at least for now.
There was one person who accused me of writing those letters just to get on people’s good side and influence them into overlooking the “horrible” thing I was doing to them by leaving the church.
I think I knew that some people might think that. But I also knew that many would know that I was not doing that. The truth is that I just wanted to communicate in an effort to get them to see that I still care about them and that I didn’t just “go off the deep end” by leaving the church after 25 years. I knew that I couldn’t control what people thought about me, but I knew that I could be honest and sincere, and that if people would then cut their comm line with me, or think I did it to manipulate them, it was still better to communicate something than nothing.
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