I wish this forum could be more active. Other ex-scientology forums don't seem focused on the childhood experience, which has got to be radically different from those who wander into the religion. I'm 28 now. The first half of my life was in Scientology. I soaked up so much of it as a wide-eyed kid, but later felt deeply betrayed by the church, by the contradictions between what the life of a Clear is supposed to be like versus the unabashed self-righteousness and contempt that is so common among the members of the church. I went to middle school at Delphi in Oregon when I was 12-13... I eventually rejected all of it... hit that rebellious age under circumstances where rebellion was warranted. I got idealistic and refused to be involved with Scientology in any way. I refused to keep going to Delphi, but my family refused to let me go to school... so for 3 years I didn't go to school. Given that I didn't know anyone in that tiny town of Sheridan, this meant I was very isolated. My parents were very emotionally detached. I don't know if that is similar to the experience of others? Once my parents exhausted the various assists and other techniques to get me back to scientology, they shut down. At the time it was like they didn't have any emotional intuition outside of the strict one-size-fits-all approach of scientology... I remember the ethics boards... I think we all do.
Anyway, since then I got out and into a 'normal' life. I made up for that lost school time by pursuing advanced degrees... B.S., M.A., and now pursuing a PhD in neuroscience. Neuroscience was a choice that had a lot to do with Scientology, or rather a choice I made in opposition to them. The personality models in Scientology are taught and applied as reliable fact, because of course LRH got everything right (not really). The demonizing of mental health care is inexcusable. I imagined I'd discover how the mind really works by backing my discoveries with physical evidence. Maybe that was the dream of a ex-scientology kid... it sounds like it. I actually had in my head that I'd somehow bring that knowledge to Scientologists and pull them out of their ignorance. I don't know if that would ever be possible, and now Scientology is a distant ghost to me... I haven't interacted with them in a decade. The last time I interacted with them, the ministers that used to be friends with my family were then trying to discourage my Dad from getting treatment for brain cancer. Strange state of affairs.
I remember being at Scientology events when I was a young teen. Just old enough to be crushing on other attendees around my age... or probably a little older. My middle school romantic history was confined to crushing on other scientology kids. Lol.... This is such a stream-of-consciousness ... I'm sleep deprived, but it's interesting to dig up these old experiences. There were a lot of wonderful things about growing up in Scientology. My dad would tell us bedtime stories in which we'd leave our bodies and fly around as thetans in a game state. I also like that I was raised to be ambitious, which may have had to do with the clear-the-world attitude. If I could have chosen the religion I was born into, it definitely would not have been scientology, but such is life. We don't always get control over our circumstances or health... and that's a statement made in radical opposition to the church's damaging teachings that we are always in control and that suffering means we are in the wrong.
That's me in a nutshell. I'm not feeling so emotional about all this right now, but it still affects me a lot. The isolation is incredible... the isolation of living an experience that non-Scientologists can't understand. When it's the first 15 years of a life, it's impossible to leave it all behind, no matter how much I wish I could. Maybe someday I'll get to know other ex-scientology kids. I never had friends in scientology again after pushing it all out of my life. Maybe that's my doing
I live in NYC.. if anyone else on here is also in NYC, and you want to, hit me up. It'll be fun