If you are in any way critical of scientology (beyond your own thoughts) there is a fair chance you will experience disconnection. A scientologist is not allowed to question, no matter that they feel they are the best people on the planet at communicating. So if a friend or family member speaks out about their experiences in a negative way, they must be shunned, there is no choice. Scientology says that if you leave you will “lose your eternal salvation” and die lonely and in the dark.
Cutting contact with another because they have a different point of view is a form of attempted control and there are many thousands of people who have heard those words “You attacked my religion!” as a reason for another turning their back on you. OK fair enough, if your religion decrees that you must not question or look beyond it’s boundaries of thought, then that is a choice you make. I personally have no problem with people making their choices, following their journey’s path – as long as they don’t harm others in the process.
The trouble is that scientology doesn’t let it go at that. It is certainly not a true religion, it is a corporation in disguise for tax purposes, and it does harm people.
I had my ‘visible’ disconnection in early 2008 not long after I started telling my story on the Ex Scientologists Message Board after many years of being “under the radar”. I was told to stop posting. Well that doesn’t sit well with me and I was not about to be controlled in what I talked about and how, especially as the telling of my story was so life changing and healing. That is a long time ago, and in that time there has been no contact except very briefly on two occasions, one being included in a family text about a death and another a greeting at a wedding, when the person concerned had to pretend “all was well” to maintain the pretence that “we just had an argument”. Yes, that is the ‘public’ excuse for almost a decade of no contact, no answers to letters, emails or gifts.
As much as it broke my heart to lose them, I could live with the choices my family member made, in the hope that one day they would begin to question some of the silent and unacknowledged desperation they live with deep inside. I understand the invisible pressure they suffer, I was once in their shoes. And I would be/am here for them if and when that day happens.
However the next stage began a few years ago, the deliberate plan to make sure that as many as possible of my close and extended family would also disconnect or distance themselves from me, including my children. I have no idea what set this off other than as a possible distraction, the old scapegoat thing. This was my ‘silent’ disconnection.
It was made easier by the fact that I have never really had the chance to get to know my siblings and their families, we lived in different countries or states in Australia. Scientology believes that I am a “suppressive person” because I became a critic and therefore am responsible for anything bad that happens to them (yes!) and that I am a secret wicked criminal. It would be funny if it wasn’t so heartbreaking in reality.
It is easy to spread lies, manipulate emotions and wage a campaign against someone who doesn’t even know it is happening and is never asked about anything or given a chance to speak, if you sincerely believe that you are doing it for “the greatest good”. Normal morality and truth doesn’t even get a look in, it’s like a shutter comes down to form a tunnel vision of the desired outcome. Which is to make someone an outcast and therefore punish them for the crime of speaking, and cover up any wrongs they themselves have done. No lie is too big, no nasty manipulation too great, money is spent maintaining the appearance of being a ‘loving and successful family member’ who must be believed. That is scientology indoctrination.
The period of my life a few years ago when this happened was dreadful and I still find it hard to come to terms with. During this time my ex husband and both my parents died and I had two major surgeries. I had support from only a few brave family members (and many wonderful friends), the rest have not contacted me since then and even blocked me on Facebook without warning or cause. (I don’t care about Facebook, it was the only visible and unnecessary event.) I have since learned the scope of some of the lies that were told and I can only shake my head. Surely someone would at least question or wonder?
It is what it is. Three generations of my four generation scientology family were children brought up within the disabling thought patterns of scientology and I understand that it’s sometimes easier to just keep your head down and go along with the crowd. If the core of a family is shattered by not allowing contact, then it is destroyed. No matter the outward appearance of normality, when you have to be careful of what you say then that internal dissonance has long term effects on an individual, which makes me sad.
My father brought scientology into our lives and in the years before he passed he often told me how proud he was at my courage in speaking out. Dad knew the score and he couldn’t rock the boat, he was still in circumstances where scientology had control. He resisted attempts to get him to disconnect and maintained constant contact anyway, which was also brave of him. Mum was the same. I know my parent’s greatest wish was for the family to be reunited, however faint a hope that seems. However I believe that love is stronger than evil.