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Stop Following Their Rules!

March 26, 2010

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.

  1. Fellow Traveller permalink
    March 26, 2010 12:24 am

    Not bad even for a motto or philosophy of life!
    Sage advice.

    By the way I love that picture.

  2. March 26, 2010 12:43 am

    Gee, do I take that to mean that if someone sends a copy (or many copies of) Marc Headley’s book or Amy Scobee’s book to someone at the base and that if Kenny Campleman or Danny Dunnagin or Jay Griffin or any security guard doesn’t deliver it to the person then Kenny or Danny or Jay or whoever can be fined and/or imprisoned? You mean to tell me that if a reverse library campaign were initiated and that independent Scientologists or family members of Int Base staff donated to have copies of books or any other such information delivered to every Int Base staff member that those books would have to be delivered to the person who the book was addressed to? Wouldn’t that be interesting. I’d like to propose an informal poll, “Which would you rather see, Danny doing a perp walk or the base dining room utterly silent during meal times while people were reading.”
    Per what you’ve cited here, it would be one or the other.

    • lunamoth. permalink
      March 26, 2010 3:42 am

      This is some delicious mischief you’re cookin’ up here, Joe.

  3. lunamoth. permalink
    March 26, 2010 12:45 am

    Absolutely freakin’ RIGHT!

    I had a few real blowdown moments when I realized that church staff, ethics officers, Dir’s I&R, ED’s of orgs, Flag staff, FSM’s, OT Committee members – nobody associated with the church – had any control or influence over my behavior or actions once I decided I was through with the church of scientology. I am not obligated to read their emails, take their phone calls, listen to their messages on my machine, talk to them when they come to my house, go in for “interviews (of any kind),” account for myself, respond to reports … Screw them, frankly.

  4. March 26, 2010 2:01 am

    “Who cares that a tiny, corrupt religious cult (which is what the C of S has become) has “declared someone Suppressive.””

    Well now that you clarified that point Jeff. I’m in full agreement. The Church has made itself irrelevant either by kismet or design.

    However, those of us still operating in hostile territory in order to avoid OSA’s SMERSH Directorate pretend to “obey” the rules.

    That’s what good spies do 😉

  5. sherrymk permalink
    March 26, 2010 4:28 am

    I actually had my soon-to-be-ex husband’s Scientology attorney, Ron Flate write me an email, after I had sent my husband a personal correspondence, quoting Scientology “religious scripture” about why I could not communicate with my husband! After having a hearty laugh, I got infuriated over the absolute arrogance and wrote the attorney stating the following:

    “As an attorney of the law, that law being the law of the land we live in, not Scientology’s self proclaimed “justice” system, realize that you can no sooner dictate to me whom I may communicate with or whom I may not communicate to any more than my neighbor can.

    There are legal issues, and if we stick to those, as defined by the law for which you have your license, we will be able to come to an amenable agreement I am sure.

    If my husband prefers not to communicate to me, then he can let me know that on his own. If he prefers to communicate thru his attorney, then that is his choice, but be advised that I will not be controlled nor intimidated by Scientology policy or proceedings or Scientologists attempting to define what I can and can not do or say thru some quotes by LRH. These have no bearing on the divorce at hand and are neither contained in any U.S. law books.

    Fortunately, there is still freedom of speech in this country. And for the record, perhaps one of Ron’s greatest quotes is from the Creed of the Church of Scientology. “And we of the church believe: that all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others” I could not agree more with that. ”

    He got the message. As Lunamoth so succinctly put it “Screw them, frankly.”

    • lunamoth permalink
      March 26, 2010 6:17 am

      Wow, Sherry. You have some serious backbone. Serious. Wow.

    • Nicki Davidson permalink
      March 31, 2010 3:01 am

      Jeez….the nerve! I’m rolling on the floor.
      Years ago, when I was still a “devotee”, someone said to me, after I told them that I was a Scientologist….”I have no problem with L. Ron Hubbard’s pho]ilosophy, but those people (Scientologists) are the most arrogant individuals I have ever met!”.
      He was right…it sure caused me to take a look.

  6. Just Me permalink
    March 26, 2010 6:22 am

    Sherry, I’m laughing out loud at the arrogance of your husband’s attorney.

    I’m astonished that anyone who considers him/herself to be an officer of THE COURT (and I don’t mean the MAA’s office!) would put that in writing.

    It would be interesting to see how another lawyer (yours?), much less a judge, would respond to that threat.

    What a putz.

    • pkatz permalink
      March 27, 2010 11:35 am

      Dear Rebecca, I am a Clw area local(Dunedin).
      If you would like to share the names of any businesses declared off-limits by the CofS I will gladly patronize same.

  7. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 26, 2010 6:34 am


    Another good post. The ORDERS envelope every facet of one’s life. You can arrive in Clearwater but you are ordered to not live anywhere near base because it would hurt $$$revenues if you do not live in their accomodations.

    If a Scientologist rents to you, they are sent to the MAA !

    In Clearwater you are not allowed to shop at certain stores, dine in certain places that are “off limits” and these are severely inplace.

    Orders, Orders, Orders, where you stay, where you eat, even your TV viewing can be ordered or forbidden. Not to mention what family member you can or cannot speak to, and even the content of what you can say or not say.

    On a gradient scale you cumulatively accept such control.

    I don’t know of any other “Religion” that carries on like this.

  8. Mat Pesch permalink
    March 26, 2010 11:20 am

    When the church “declares” someone its the church that gets the restrictions and they become the effect point. A few months ago I sat outside a coffee shop in downtown Clearwater to enjoy a coffee.
    It was dinner time and the normal staff routes (to the dining hall) by foot and by bus was past where I was sitting. The problem and confusion that caused for the church was huge. It didn’t cause any problem for me. Funny enough the staff that did walk by me snuck little waves and hellos before OSA
    could get THEIR situation under control.

    The next time you are in Clearwater (and I know many of us will be this summer), utilize the public spaces and sidewalks and watch the “SP” label put you at extreme “cause” and OSA at extreme effect. The church not only actively works to make enemies of its friends, it then assigns them cause.

  9. VaD permalink
    March 26, 2010 11:37 am

    “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.”

    Why not sue them in bulk if they are not delivering?

    Just sayin’

  10. earth mother permalink
    March 26, 2010 2:17 pm

    It was on a gradient scale that I began to disregard such orders as to what I could read or watch. After being hauled into ethics for admitting that I had looked at an Anonymous video on Youtube, I felt suppressed and began to search even more for information that ultimately led me here. Some months ago I was sent a goldenrod paper with the words “must report’ somewhere on it. I shredded it. I never read the whole thing. Even my husband knows that to demand anything of me is asking for non compliance!

    Again, the words of Muse bolster me…”they will not control us”

  11. Megawatt.88008 permalink
    March 26, 2010 3:04 pm

    True freedom rebel. True freedom.

  12. Eleanor Gehrig permalink
    March 26, 2010 3:08 pm

    Sherry, that’s just gross, and I’m glad you didn’t just suck it up.

    Rebel, thank you for this wonderful post. I had this realization a while back, when I was threatened with a declare because I would not: a) submit to a metered interview in ethics or b) turn my child over to the SO thugs. That “they’re not the boss of me” was the most liberating realization I have EVER had.

    I hope many people read this and have a massive change of heart because of it.

    🙂 Ellie

  13. Dora N. permalink
    March 26, 2010 4:09 pm

    Bravo! This post should be on the leaving staff checklist and a postscript on the bottom of every sp declare. How did I ever buy into this?

    Thank you!

  14. March 26, 2010 4:34 pm

    Rebecca-Tribecca (cool nick btw),

    I gotta agree with you. Is that supposed to be some kind of community to aim for? Sounds more like Hussein’s old Iraq than a great society where “the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.”

    Looks like Miscavige wants every dynamic sacrificed except for the Church of Scientology’s dynamic (and his own). That’s NOT the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.

    Long live LRH! Down with Miscavige!

    • Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
      March 26, 2010 9:12 pm

      Thank you Hubbardianen.

      Another CHURCH order is that you are forbidden to visit INTERNET sites….some public who watched the St. Petersburg videos were in heavy Ethics at the MAA and taken off
      OT7 . Many of these public had been Church 30 years or so with significant donations over the decades were hurled off the OT level and lost their
      “OT ELIGIBILITY” for seeing videos of their own Church on the Web !


      You could give FSO more $$$$ buy more BOOKS for Libraries, give IAS $$$$$, give more to Super Power Building AS AMENDS and be forgiven for your BAD BAD venture into reading the Web……and get back on the level !


      • March 27, 2010 3:20 am

        Hey RT,

        Remember scieno-sitter?

        What a joke!

        Yeah they handed me one of those CDs and I put it to practical use…as a coaster 😉

        Besides it doesn’t work on a Mac (should I file a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Mac users?….hmmm…never mind.)

        It seems the more suppress they put on the Internet the more Scientologists want to look!

        I remember those heady days when I was barely studentable because I was up all night reading Veritas or posting under various nicks on ARS. Sure took that warning to heart 🙂

        Anyway, Ron says that part of being OT is freedom to withhold, so I never bothered to mention my extracurricular activities.

        Needless to say I was better informed than those who only got their “information” read agitprop from events.

  15. VaD permalink
    March 26, 2010 7:49 pm

    Hello, everybody!

    I thought I would just add some “Theta” towards being out of scientology.
    There is SO much there (in the song).
    That’s how we feel after leaving scientology for real (when it doesn’t dictate us what to think and how to act anymore).
    It’s a great feeling by the way! I have a strong feeling of being at cause after unwinding my mind from thought patterns (like, illness = PTS, criticising = withholds, pointing outnesses about CoS (or have friends who are declared) = SP). I’m not into “the control center is Hubbard and his tech” any longer. ANd never will be.

    So, here you go (“in a new unit os time”:) )

    Written by Black

    “Here I go
    Out to sea again
    The sunshine fills my hair
    And dreams hang in the air
    Gulls in the sky
    And in my blue eye
    You know it feels unfair
    There’s magic everywhere

    Look at me standing
    Here on my own again
    Up straight in the sunshine

    No need to run and hide
    It’s a wonderful, wonderful life
    No need to laugh and cry
    It’s a wonderful, wonderful life

    Sun’s in your eyes
    The heat is in your hair
    They seem to hate you
    Because you are there
    And I need a friend
    Oh, oh, I need a friend
    To make me happy
    Not stand here on my own

  16. Marta permalink
    March 26, 2010 8:46 pm

    Now, this is how I like to play! Game on! Say what? Get the f*ck outta here!

  17. VaD permalink
    March 26, 2010 10:00 pm

    I guess it’s a good post for me to start speaking up here.
    Why not? – Sooner or later OSA will get the data. The faster they get it the faster the wheel turns.
    Yes, I’m afraid. I’ve always been afraid of labels and names. Since childhood. Didn’t like it. Up to tears and running away to my mother to calm me down. Well, that’s me. Me who suffered through too much “scientific” labeling and diagnosing – to finally say NO MORE!

    Did you notice how many labels from scientology and scientologists one can get (and by that get inrtoverted)? – SP! PTS! DB! Withholdy! Nattery! 1.1! Abberated! Motivatorish! Crim! Glib! Disaffected??? (Psychotic?! NoCaseGain?! Missed Withhold? – they won’t tell you upfront but they think it to themselves and you FEEL something unkind about you is going on in their minds).
    Diagnoses, is that I call it – since medicos do the same sometimes – if they are not going to cure you. They just give you diagnosis. “Cancer!”

    Great thread to see more of the ways how scientologists label each other and those not happy with them is there:

    There are many “diagnoses ” (labels, names calling) scientologists resort to to get you “back on the rails”.

    Well, I’ve gone through too many “self-diagnoses” with and after being a Scientologist/SO member to have it in my mind any longer. I’m done!

    There’s no power of “LRH’s sacred scriptures” and his followers “telling you the truth” over me. NO MORE!


    My name is Vadim Dolgov. I’m Russian. I am in Moscow, Russia and teach Russians English language.
    (I guess reading up to this point OSA and IJC will hurry to find my affidavit in their files and make me pay to the church $50,000. Well, guys, I’ll tell you what! Eat shit and die! I won’t pay you a cent. Never! Sue me 🙂 )

    Back to the story:
    I was in SO from 1994 tilll 2003. In USA from June 1997. Last half a year in PAC RPF.
    Before RPF was MEAM I/C (who doesn’t know it’s Metropolitan Equipment Aquisition Mission set up by LRH to gt equiment and supplies from Hollywood to Int base).
    On that post I replaced Cleve Carlson (I’m still looking up to him – he’s the greatest person I’ve met in my life) who was removed in I think 2000 when was asked by some executuve about “How was the event” and told honestly what he thought. For two months after that he was on OSA lines under pressure to confess in his crimes… At that tme I took over his post.

    I’ve just recently remembered that I’d asked Andrey Makarov in 1994 (when I was yong EPFer) “What is the difference between Scientology and Communism is they teach the same ideals?” – He gave me “an answer which is “NO answer” (I don’t remember) but I bought it and continued. Now I know why! I was looking for answers!! The answers to such questons as where ARE THE ANSWERS? – Neverending circle.

    Well, here I am.

    I’m not even there – amongst you in US. I’m in Russia.
    But – I’d better be here alone than surrounded by those who don’t see any farther than “Hubbard says…”

    P.S. Sorry for my poor English is so. ;(

    • brendon permalink
      March 27, 2010 6:01 pm


      Your English is great. Welcome and enjoy the fun!

      PS: And thanks for the Black vid. I’ve had that (excellent) album forever.

  18. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 26, 2010 11:40 pm

    Greetings Vad !
    Welcome to you in Russia !

    Cleve Carlson gets OSA grilling to confess his crimes just because he used his constitutional right to say what he thought about an event ?!

    Hubbard himself said all men have an inalienable right to think freely, speak freely….

    These stories reveal the very worst black side of this Church. I think the Church got away with this kind of conduct 20 years ago but do not seem to moving with the technical evolutions of TEXTING, cell phone and Twitter and INTERNET.
    There is more exposure by the day, by the hour. They make enemies and the enemies itsa their story on the WEB because there is no safe terminal within the Org to speak to.

    I am sure you have more stories to tell !

    • VaD permalink
      March 27, 2010 12:00 am

      Cleve doesn’t get any “grilling”.
      I just told my story.
      It’s MY story. It was before.
      Cleve is dong well (unfortunately, i don’t know where and how… Last I heard he was is CLO WUS Qual).

      It’s not a CURRENT situation. It was in the past – many years back.

      • VaD permalink
        March 27, 2010 12:27 am

        I just wanted to say my name. It wasn’t any more than that.
        scientology didn’t bring me harm. It’s just not that “I couldn’t live wthout it”, that’s all.
        Now I live without it in my mind, and my life is fun. And I like the fact that my life is fun.
        Rebecca-Tribecca, please don’t take my words too far.

  19. Mickey permalink
    March 27, 2010 3:26 am

    I’ve observed and mentioned in some previous posts on this or other blogs, that what Jeff writes here about just refusing to follow “their” bad and illegal rules, just saying no, being disobedient with a smile and civility, is a microcosmic pattern of the larger macrocosmic set of events we see unfolding everyday in the world as regards tyrannical orders (laws) vs. the freedom in realizing one is not obligated to follow them if bad or illegal. Tyrants and their attempts to control are never long for this world once their game is seen for what it is. A tyrannical figure’s rise to power and authority may be slow and methodical, but their downfall is far swifter and sure once their overly invasive hidden agendas are revealed broadly to the people most effected.

    Going a bit off topic perhaps, but after reading this piece,, and watching this video, one’s rebel-like instincts should breathe and rise easier as previously false oppressive ideas, rules and orders become clear for what they are not.

    Thanks again Jeff for all your write. Indeed, there exists a good dose of the Jeffersonian spirit in Jeff throughout this piece, when the former posited in 1798, “….that whensoever the General government assumes undelegated powers, it’s acts are unauthoritative, void, & of no force.”

    • lunamoth. permalink
      March 27, 2010 2:28 pm

      Thanks, Mickey. This is a very thoughtful comment, and I agree with you.

      It’s easy to forget that this IS just a microcosm of many, larger games around us. Good to widen our view, expand our horizons, “get some space” occasionally. Good to take the lessons tested and learned on this playing field and apply the truth we derive from them to the bigger games.

      While the spiritual aspect of this game in/out of scientology can make it seem to be much larger than mere politics and economics, in fact the spiritual aspect is present in all arenas of life. One is not a spiritual being only regarding one’s religion or lack of one. One is a spiritual being as a citizen, a member of the human race, a living being on planet earth…

      And you can never go wrong consulting Th. Jefferson (my hero) for an exterior viewpoint.

    • Mickey permalink
      March 27, 2010 3:21 pm

      More parallels. More patterns within patterns. More of the micro occurring analogous to the macrocosm.

      Amazing interview in these two segments with a “Generation X/Yer” young,
      computer-generation mind that verifies what the Indie movement of former CofMers are doing within the larger paradigm of Independent Thinkers of the world breaking free from former misinformation and spiritual bondage. The common thread is recovery of self, realizing the oppression, breaking free and thinking once again about what our lives and those in our respective community should be and where it might evolve.

      For those computer wizards like Thoughtful and Geir Isene and whoever else, you guys have it right as regards utilizing technology and particularly the Internet in forwarding this Indie movement. I think you guys will find checking out what this young man is doing with his fellow intelligent techies might just be able to be utilized in the Internet Indie Scn community, too.

      “Organized knowledge leads to wisdom.” What this guy talks about will save a lot of time in learning and organizing structures using “The Brain” software……at least on the face of it from what he says. Fascinating information. Please pass along to other like minded folk.

      Part 1: (note: actual interview starts about 10 mins in)

      Part 2:

      • March 29, 2010 3:05 am

        Mickey, this was an excellent interview that Joyce Riley did with Paul Verge. Listening to Paul and his descriptions of how using the internet accelerates data collection (old news to many) and then how this new software called web brain software will acclerate even more. Also, his Liberty Bell concept is fantastic! For Sure, listening to what Paul had to say was both encouraging and exciting.

        While, at this point, I don’t totally understand the web brain, I know that it is a very useful tool. I know this the same way I know what hammer out of maybe 50 or so seemingly identical hammers is the best one for me. Gotta trust that intuition. Anyway, I’m going to download the web brain software and start playing with it. I’ll let you know when I construct my first web brain. 🙂

    • March 29, 2010 4:05 am

      “One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul … To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these … are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.” — Clarissa Pinkola Estes

      “The arts of power and its minions are the same in all countries and in all ages. It marks its victim; denounces it; and excites the public odium and the public hatred, to conceal its abuses and encroachments.” — Henry clay


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