You are not alone - Voices in Unison Project starts today!

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Tru2form

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Post Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:58 am

You are not alone - Voices in Unison Project starts today!

As you may have seen, ESK just launched the first ever Voices in Unison project, which is aimed to help those who've never before told their stories to feel safe doing so.

The tally for Voices in Unison is now up and operational.

Read all about it at www.exscientologykids.com/voicesinunison.html
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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ChaoticPsychotic

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Post Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:22 pm

Are ya counting my story as pledged or received? Sorry I have not added more to it recently. I have been a wee bit distracted. :lol:
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently" - Nietzsche
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Evey_Hammond

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Post Sun Apr 06, 2008 4:40 am

another pledge...

Hello Kendra,
Please add me as a pledge too. I am busy with school for the next month, but I will submit my story by the deadline.
Thanks!
-Evey
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Tru2form

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Post Sun Apr 06, 2008 2:35 pm

Yup! Pledged stories are:

Evey
CP
Someone who I won't mention until they submit

Turned in stories:
Secret until released!
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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Choice

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Post Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:05 pm

Pledge

Hi Kendra -

I'd like to pledge my story as well...
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Tru2form

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Post Wed Apr 09, 2008 7:10 am

WOO HOO! Welcome on board, Choice! Can't WAIT to read it!

Write me personally if you need any help, support or general cheerleading. ;)

Edit: Okay, added you to the count. Whee! That's six, still 15 weeks to go!
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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James McGuigan

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Post Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:35 pm

I just wanted to remind everyone that the first Voices In Union phase will complete on July 31, which is about 6 weeks away.

If anybody has not yet submitted or written up their story and wishes to do so, now would be a good time to do it. You do not need to give your real name and you may ask to have your story removed at any time. Submissions to: viu@exscientologykids.com

PS. Kendra/Astra do you have any updated statistics on how many VIU submissions have been received.


Background Info

In the relatively short time our website has been up, the admins at ESK have received hundreds of letters from ex-Scientologists and ex-Scientology kids who have expressed a desire to tell their story publicly, but have also said they are concerned about the repercussions of coming out alone.

At the same time, we have also received endless emails from non-Scientologists who have said that it was the stories on this site that really opened their eyes, and helped them understand what all the ruckus was about.

ESK decided to launch Voices in Unison as a way to make an even safer environment for people who have never before written publicly about their CoS experience.

Not everyone who has a story can come out and tell it. Some people still have family and friends inside Scientology - family and friends they stand to lose if they speak out. But many can. If there ever was a time, it is now.

How it Works

The Voices in Unison project will run for a trial period of one year, and will be broken into three 4-month periods. During that time, we will be accepting Scientology stories from those who have not previously spoken out.

However, we will not publish those stories immediately on our site. Instead, during each of the 4-month periods, we will keep a publicly-viewable tally on this page of how many stories have been received. No information will be released as to who has submitted stories. We will change the tally each time a new story is submitted, so that the public will be kept up to date on the number of stories received.

At the end of each four months, we will release the stories in a batch, all on the same day, all at the same time. That way, no one person need stand up alone.

The Specifics and the Rules

1) The first Voices in Unison submissions period will start on April 1st, 2008 and will run until July 31, 2008. The next from August 1st, 2008 to November 30, 2008. The last period will be from December 1st, 2008 to March 31, 2009.

2) Story submissions are open to anyone who has not told their Scientology story before. This includes Ex-Scientology kids, and those who got into Scientology later in life.

3) Anonymous submissions are allowed. You do not have to give your real name to participate in Voices in Unison. However, if you prefer to remain anonymous, please provide us with a pseudonym that we can use on the site.

4) Please tell a story. This can be a short story about one particular experience in Scientology, a short essay on why you decided to leave, or this can be the whole story of your life inside. There is no minimum or maximum word limit. But it must be a story.

5) We will not alter the content of your story in any way. We do, however, reserve the right to correct spelling, grammar and punctuation if we notice a mistake.

6) Authors reserve the right to have their stories removed at any time, or edited at any time, for any reason, no questions asked.

7) Please respect the privacy of others when writing your story.


Our Hopes

Over the last two months, something really revolutionary has started to happen - people who have always assumed they would never be able to speak out have ceased being afraid. We know that courage is contagious, and we want to help give others the joy we found in finally shaking off that last little hold the Church of Scientology had over us: silence.

Whether you realize it or not, every new voice and every new story makes a huge, huge impact. For every person that stands up, dozens more start to shake off the fear.

This is not for everyone, and we understand that. Choosing to keep your life to yourself is not an act of cowardice, and we don't mean to imply that that's the case. Sometimes, working things out on your own is just as therapeutic as getting it all out there. Sometimes, because of the Disconnection policy, it's necessary to protect your family. But what we really hope to do is make it OK for people to talk about their past without worrying that they will become targets for slander and defamation.

And whatever has happened in your past, you should know that you are welcome here.

Where to Submit your Story

Submit your story to: viu@exscientologykids.com
Freedom is a choice. Choose to be yourself, choose to speak your truth and do so with compassion. And above all else, choose to be not afraid. If I can't dance, its not my revolution.
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Tru2form

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Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:00 am

Hey Guys! I want to remind everyone that the first Voices In Unison project deadline happens in THREE WEEKS! Get your story in soon!

Those of you that have sent in a story and have not yet recieved a response, I will get to it this week, I promise.
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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Iknowtoomuch

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Post Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:01 am

This is good stuff. The stories will just keep coming.

One day mine will be known!
"Everybody has a right to believe what they want to believe. But I don't believe that anybody has a right to trick anybody, to hurt anybody, to harm some body, for their own purposes." - Jason Beghe
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kevinhog

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Post Sat Aug 30, 2008 1:03 am

I'll pledge my story for the next go round....when is the next deadline?
Apparently the TRUTH is on a need to know basis, Apparently I do not need to know....
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Tru2form

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Post Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:46 am

Huzzah! November 30th is the next deadline.

Can't wait to read it!
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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Walker.

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Post Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:43 pm

Will anything ever be done with the stories besides just posting them? Also will there be threads set up to respond to individual stories, or just a general response?
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our bodies floating down the muddy river
-Radiohead
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Tru2form

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Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 7:42 am

Well, posting the stories is pretty revolutionary in itself, I think, but a couple of people have mentioned compiling the stories into a book at some point. We very well may do so when the full VIU run is over. But I'd have to talk to each individual involved and get approval, etc. That would be quite a process.

Did you have any ideas for other things we could do with them (pending, of course, participant approval)?

If there's a story you'd like to discuss, you're welcome to start a thread about it. If for some reason you're uncomfortable starting a thread yourself (like it's your own story, and you don't want to let everyone know that), PM me and I'll start one.

-K
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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Walker.

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Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:03 pm

I don't have any ideas yet, but i'll be thinking about it.
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our bodies floating down the muddy river
-Radiohead
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Walker.

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Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:00 pm

Ok i came up with two ideas, check em out:

1. Network these stories to other websites. Instead of just having a link to this site on other ex scn websites, you should post the entire voices in unison pages (when they come out) onto other websites. As in, coordinate with their webmasters so that you can create a whole new page on their site that contains the kid's stories. Then you might say "well then what's the point of our website then?" Well obviously include a link to the site here along with the stories. The bottom line is, we need these stories to be heard. This way, more people will find this site and more people will read the stories. This will also increase the population and activity of our threads here, and thus awareness about Scientology experience. The point of this is to create awareness about this budding cause and also to get those stories out as best as we can.

2. Here's the main idea though. As strange as it may sound, the main people who need to read these stories right now are members of anon. I know how they get pumped about Scientology stuff and reading these stories will be really inspirational to them. Anon's often hand out pamphlets with info or various things with info in them. Include some of these stories in the pamphlets! This would be a great way of communicating Scientology to people who don't know anything about it. These stories should be a hallmark of the movement, and their information should be included in every protest if possible. This is a great way to get the message out.

I have more ideas as to the specifics, tell me what you think.
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our bodies floating down the muddy river
-Radiohead
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doubleVee

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Post Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:57 pm

You'd have to get new permission from the storytellers, however. And I think some of us are a bit touchy about where our words go and how they are presented.

I know that this being the internet, it's not exactly under our control anymore, but I for one want to make sure my story stays exactly as I wrote it and in the right context. Dunno if that makes sense, but that's how I feel. Personally I wouldn't mind putting something together for a flyer or whatever, but it would have to be done by me. I don't want other people editing it or taking parts out, ya know? Some of my story I wouldn't want to see as an excerpt, only as part of the whole. Other parts would work ok for that.

Otherwise, not a bad idea.
Somebody has to speak for these people.... no more running. I aim to misbehave.... If you can't do something smart, do something right. (Serenity)
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Tru2form

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Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:43 am

1. Love the idea. We've got a few websites we could network this to, the only thing holding us back really is having the time as admins to contact people and follow up. I've got a big move coming up pretty soon, but I do mean to get cracking on some site stuff (upgrades, networking, etc.) in a few months. As doubleVee said, I'd have to get permission first.

2. You know, when the Anon thing started, they were using tons of quotes from the stories to make videos, pamphlets - they had ESK quotes on a ton of stuff. They still poke around on here when they have a protest and need some stuff. Most of them read the stories a while ago, but they do come back when they need to quote. I think this is done as much as it ever will be.
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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Tru2form

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Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:45 am

Oh, one other thing about networking with other sites (if you have any ideas on this, do let me know) - I think we'd have to stick with general cult survivor sites, because usually the deal with other cult-specific sites is that we trade data - I post their stories here, they post ours there. But I really don't want to make ESK a general anti-cult page. I just dont have the time, resources, or knowledge for that.

Any ideas on which sites would be willing to post stories, but not require a data trade?
Us rabbits? DO something? - Wind in the Willows
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Walker.

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Post Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:57 am

Cool cool. But what i am referring too is getting (if we dont have it already) like a whole pamphlet put together for anons to hand out to people who have no idea wtf is going on. And if we already have it, to put entire ESK stories in there. We should just pick two or three that we feel represent the gammit of emotional experience fo da kids. Though i dont know if there are any "positive" stories, i dont think we should include those if there are, too confusing. Obviously though we dont want to appear biased, so nothing wrong with putting stories in there that carry positive Scn views.
And this just feels like spinning plates
Our bodies floating down the muddy river
-Radiohead
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doubleVee

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Post Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:53 am

Walker. wrote:But what i am referring too is getting (if we dont have it already) like a whole pamphlet put together for anons to hand out to people who have no idea wtf is going on. And if we already have it, to put entire ESK stories in there. We should just pick two or three that we feel represent the gammit of emotional experience fo da kids.


That's not a bad plan. Especially if we make it look nice, and easily readable. It might be very effective. I'd be willing to work on such a thing. We'd have to decide what goes in and what doesn't... Kendra?
Somebody has to speak for these people.... no more running. I aim to misbehave.... If you can't do something smart, do something right. (Serenity)
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