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John A. Duignan

Former Irish scientologist, left after 20 years.
Author of The Complex: An Insider Exposes The Covert World Of Scientology (2008).
Also known as "johnAchovie" at Ex Scientologist Message Board.
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Orato (January 2008): "Scientology's Fanatical Military" by John Duignan

In discussing my experiences with Steve, memories were stirred up and, of course, one in particular came to mind: a rather horrific account of a girl I knew quite well. [...]

Because of her desire to leave the only organization capable of salvaging the people of Earth, Alice was assigned to an even harsher regime called the RPF's RPF, this being an even grimmer version of the program she was already on.

Twelve months later, and being subjected to a course of intensive interrogations, re-indoctrination, sleep deprivation, filthy, heavy and demeaning work details and snubbed by former comrades on a daily basis, she was still there. She saw little hope of an end to the process, no way to escape the regime, and in a black fit of despair, decided to kill herself.

One afternoon, I had just driven back the Crowborough camp; I saw an ambulance and people in a tizzy and running around. I was told by a white-faced college that Alice had ran out of the RPF indoctrination room, gone to the workshop, found a tin of paint thinner, swallowed it then climbed up on top of the gym roof, a fifteen-foot high structure surrounded by concrete. She jumped. [...]

The Literary and Historical Society - University College Dublin (November 2007)

Scientology is a set of beliefs developed by L Ron Hubbard in the 1950s. Since then, the Church of Scientology has been beset by controversy. Some refer to it as a cult, or commercial operation. Others see it as a religion entitled to equal status with other beliefs.

The Scientology Debate will be held in Theatre P of the Arts Block, at 7pm on Wednesday the 14th November


3rd Opp - John Duignan


Andreas Heldal-Lund's Photos (2007): "Scientology debate in Dublin"

The students were very interested in John's experiences from the cult, including the weapons training they had given him. What kind of "church" is this?

Dialogue Ireland (2007): "‘The mind benders': Brainwashing, influence and undue influence" (PDF)

John grew up in Carrigaline, Co Cork. As a young man he was recruited into Scientology in Stuttgart, Germany. He was further recruited into Scientology’s fanatical militant inner core, the Sea Organisation where he spent twenty years. He finally exited with some considerable difficulty in June 2006 after evading their internal security police force he made it back to home to Ireland. He has been rebuilding his life ever since and as part of his recovery is planning to study Philosophy and Sociology at UCC.

Orato (September 2007): "I Escaped Scientology" by John Duignan

There are moments in life, coincidences, which have the potential to utterly change the direction and meaning of your existence. Of these I have had several; they have all marked me in various ways, but none more so than that fateful late afternoon in Stuttgart, Germany, when an attractive and rather aggressive young woman blocked my path and accosted me with the interrogative; "Do you have a good memory"?

This story aims to serve a dual function: Enlighten those who may be susceptible to seduction by mind and life control cults and to provide a sense of hope for those who may be so entrapped. A tertiary purpose is to encourage the reader to seek wisdom and direction from the vast array of knowledge available at our finger tips - thanks in part to Google and ultra-fast broadband, you can read incisive works on psychoanalytical and sociological thought by Fromm and Jung, Russell's seminal 'Analysis of mind' lectures to the philosophic revolutionary ideas of the enlightenment.

It is among these that you will find true wisdom and real answers to the questions and uncertainties that have driven so many into the gaping maw of deceptive pseudo religion.

To the informed, Scientology evokes a visceral revulsion, and with good reason. Cruise, the empty headed fanatic, stirring up collective nausea on national TV, personifies the true core value of Scientology to the man in the street. Lisa McPherson's emaciated corpse, the true facts of her agonizing demise hidden under a cloud of Church generated obfuscation. 'The exhibition of death', a C-grade horror movie set, toured around the world by the Church in a vain attempt to obliterate two hundred years worth of neuropsychiatric and psychological research and insight.


It was a terrifying experience to walk out into the real world, with nothing to show for my slavish devotion to the cult. Twenty years of sixteen-hour days and seven-day weeks takes its toll. I had nothing to show for myself, just the clothes on my back, I was unknown to any social services and was in a country that was not my own, this and facing up to the lies and distortions that had been drummed into me over the years was difficult.


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