Stop Following Their Rules!
That’s one of the most basic pieces of advice that I give to people who are leaving the Church of Scientology, and it is one, frankly, that a lot of former members have difficulty thinking with. I had difficulty thinking with it when I first left.
The simplicity is this: If you have decided to leave the Church of Scientology, then you are no longer bound by the rules of the Church of Scientology. You do not have to follow their rules. You do not have to do anything they tell you that you “must” do.
A friend of mine, as he was leaving the Sea Org, was told by an executive, “You are being declared Suppressive. And you cannot live in Los Angeles, you’ll have to locate somewhere else.” The Church didn’t want this person “infecting” the LA field. My friend informed the executive, “Dude, when you declare me Suppressive, you’ve just lost all your leverage. I’m no longer a member of your Church and you can’t dictate where I live. I’ll live wherever I want to.”
Many people would have simply acquiesced and done what the Church told them to do. But understand, once you’ve decided to leave the Church, they have no more say in your life or your decisions. They have no business telling you what to do. You are out of their control at the moment you decide to leave.
The Church knows this. If they’ve learned one thing over the past few years, it’s that once they’ve declared a person, they lose their leverage over that person. Their rules become meaningless.
In fact, even the “SP declare” itself is meaningless outside the Church of Scientology. Who cares that a tiny, corrupt religious cult (which is what the C of S has become) has “declared someone Suppressive.” Really, who cares? You can still practice Scientology if you want. You can even get auditing outside the Church. Or not. But as to the world in general, no one cares what labels the Church of Scientology hands out.
The Church knows all this. That’s why you see all these efforts to recover people, cancel declares, reduce freeloader debts. They want to regain that lost leverage, that lost control. If you’re out of their church, if you’re declared, they can no longer dictate what you can and cannot do.
Let me give you an example. Disconnection. The Church can forbid their members talking to a “Suppressive Person.” But they cannot tell the declared person who they can and cannot talk to. The person who has left the Church can talk to whoever they want to. That’s why I tell people, if you have family or friends inside the Church, go ahead and communicate to them. Send them letters. Send them birthday or holiday cards and gifts. If you see them on the street, say hi. Call them on the phone. If they choose not to communicate back, that’s their business. But you don’t have to disconnect from them.
In fact, if you send a letter or a package to a person on staff or in the Sea Org, the Church has to deliver it to them, by Federal law. That’s right. The reference is the US Code, Title 18, Section 1702: “Obstruction of correspondence,” which reads:
“Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package out of any post office or any authorized depository for mail matter, or from any letter or mail carrier, or which has been in any post office or authorized depository, or in the custody of any letter or mail carrier, before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to obstruct the correspondence, or to pry into the business or secrets of another, or opens, secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
They can be fined or imprisoned under Federal law if they fail to deliver your letters or packages.
The other thing I tell people is do not sign anything that the Church tells you that you “have to sign” in order to leave or get your money back or anything else. No, you do not have to sign anything. If they present you with a document to sign, ask for a copy to take with you and tell them that you’ll have to check it with your lawyer. My guess is that they’ll drop it.
Believe me, they don’t want any of their “legal agreements” checked over by a lawyer. Normally, a legal agreement, such as the ones they ask you to sign, involves a “quid pro quo” – they get something, and you get something. In Scientology contracts, waivers or agreements, the Church gets ALL the advantages, you get NONE. So why sign?
And don’t agree to any “Freeloader” debt. Such “debts” are illegal and unenforceable. Again, if they try to tell you that you have a Freeloader Debt, ask for a copy so that you can go over it with your lawyer.
You can probably think of other examples. But the key thing to think with is, if you are leaving the Church of Scientology, they CANNOT tell you what to do, what to sign, or who you can or cannot talk to. So stop obeying them.
And you can either take that as my signature or as a statement.