In and Out of Scientology
by Peter Forde B.Sc.(open)
For free distribution. Please do not e-mail me (it won't be read)
but any replies made publicly or by surface mail to Peter Forde 54
Underwood Court, Hyde, Cheshire UK SK14 3HX.
1.1 Joining and involvement
1.2 Leaving and disinvolvement
1.3 Miscellaneous notes
A long time ago in my childhood, I became very distressed. A
concerned schoolteacher did many hours of counselling to unburden
me, and that counselling was effective. The teacher would not name
this counselling technique, but hinted at hypnosis and got
frustrated when I didn't recall prenatal or past life traumas. I
saw a Dianetics handbook on his bookshelf but he advised me not to
read it. I later saw some Scientology books and bulletins in his
cupboard, but he forbade me to read them and locked them away
again. He was visiting Saint Hill at the time that Hubbard was
A decade or so later, now a young man, I approached a man in the
street who was holding a clipboard, asking what he was doing. He
invited me to go to such-and-such a building where I could take a
free personality test, and in a spirit of adventure I did so. Once
done, and the evaluation given on the test, a copy of the Dianetics
book was offered for sale, along with a recommended Communication
Course. I realised that these people were involved in that
effective counselling I'd had, and promptly bought book and course.
They were interesting and somewhat fun, but I became suspicious
about finances and the organisation, couldn't get my questions
answered satisfactorily, and left.
That was in 1978, two years later a good friend committed suicide
following divorce by his wife. I had seen trouble coming, others
had urged me frantically to do something for him, but I fumbled and
fudged. Upon hearing the desolate news of his death I resolved to
become acquainted with this therapy skill at least sufficiently to
be able to do psychological first aid, and approached the
Scientology organisation again with this end in mind.
They had me do the Communication Course again, and as soon as
done, while I was blissed out, pulled me onto staff. This was not
truly my choice, and it didn't work out since I was expected to work
long hours for no pay, live on welfare, and suffer my own projects
to be badly disrupted.
I left again, without breaking off entirely. I still had it in
mind to do training, and over the next 2 years the organisation
allowed me to fulfil this objective. I did every cheapish course I
could lay hands on relating to Dianetics, and clocked up about 200
hours in the counsellor's chair, and received another 60 hours
approximately of Dianetics for myself.
This was an unusual thing to happen, since the Scientology attitude
to un-metered Dianetics is that it is obsolete and useful only to
educate newcomers into Hubbard's model of mind-functioning. I thus
became something of an expert.
In early 1983 I moved down to East Grinstead area, intending to
make my way as a self-employed window cleaner and in leisurely
fashion make contact with the UK headquarters of Scientology. Was
very curious to see how a better-established organisation behaved,
since Manchester organisation looked in a perpetual flap. I had
reckoned without their skilful and insistent selling, and before I
knew it had signed a BILLION YEAR contract and enrolled for the Sea
The Sea Organisation is Scientology's equivalent of
a civil service, modelled after the United States Navy with
naval uniforms, naval ranks, and military discipline. After 3
months of basic training, I was put into Division 2 of Advanced
Organisation Saint Hill, and quickly found myself in charge of
several typists and the letter-writing section of the organisation.
Now I could examine at leisure how a better-established organisation
functioned, and quickly decided that the state of perpetual flap is
deliberate, and conditions of work and pay deplorable.
I hadn't gone into the organisation completely blind: was aware
that I might get my thinking too far shut down, thus I made some
guarding mental bear traps to catch Scientology out, and resolved
to leave if any of these were triggered. They were
About 5 months into my Sea Organisation service, all three bear
traps got triggered.
- .. If I ever caught Hubbard lying or doing wrong things he
noisily claimed others were doing, I would leave.
- .. If Scientology went against its promises, and, for example
used counselling procedures for its own gain and not mine, then I
- .. If Scientology were to seek out and try to remove my mental
bear traps, I must leave before they could try.
There was plenty to encourage me to leave in 1983: the
introduction of the "Finance Police", "Finance Dictator" and other
fascistic sounding and looking people. The prices skyrocketed from
60 British pounds per hour to over 120, to 160 per hour, plus VAT of
course. By contrast the Sea Organisation crew were getting
dormitory accommodation, plus average 3-4 pounds per week pocket
money, out of which we were supposed to buy our uniforms and books.
Staff got no holiday pay, no National Insurance or pension
contributions credited, and any training and counselling whilst on
staff was billed such as to be payable if they left (not legally
enforceable though, it would be peony if it were). Additionally, I
was seeing old staff turfed out onto the street, to eke out their
remaining days alone and on state welfare.
- We were given literature to give to clients that stated that
the price rises were to pay the staff decent wages. At the same
time the staff were told that the price rises were to create a
sinking fund to support international headquarters in case of a
collapse of organisations around the planet. Somebody was lying,
somebody high up, and since there was evidence that Hubbard was
closely controlling things I decided that Hubbard himself was
- I was being given 'counselling' in the form of confessionals
done on a lie detector, and these confessionals were fishing for
every embarrassing deed I'd ever done in my life. The
Master-at-Arms warned me that personnel from International
headquarters were right then culling files for blackmailable
information. Out bombed my participation, my production sagged to
zero, and I went into the deepest doubts about the organisation.
- The new "False Purposes Rundown" was introduced.. Could
people persuade me that these purposes and safeguards were evil? I
think yes: they'd have classed the bear traps as "hidden standards",
and my purposes as "squirrel". I doubt that I could have withstood
such odium, and would have conformed. Exeunt one Peter Forde.
In a state of great confusion I sneaked away, came back again 2
weeks later and suffered several days on their brainwashing
"Rehabilitation Project Force" or RPF, then left again, this time
for good. It makes me laugh how, much later on when Scientology
published a Suppressive Person declare on me, they peevishly
grumbled how I kept on leaving! I came back again to pick up
personal effects, and cheerfully chat still with organisation
For those who wonder about the RPF being tantamount to
brainwashing, how about sleep deprivation with 6 hours maximum
allowed, allowed to speak with only 1 person at all (the MAA), 15
minute meal break maximums eating left-over food, usually just rice
or potatoes. Work was petty and grinding; chipping the
crust off cooker parts or painting stones. The attitude was that
you are WRONG, and you must obey all orders instantly and without
question. Counselling was confessionals, rehab work was guilt
trips, and success stories were required that state how good this
This is where the hard part started, and leaving and getting
mentally disentangled proved far more difficult than anticipated in
the early days of my contact with this cult. At time of leaving I
thought reasonably well of staff, and had squarely placed
Scientology's wrongdoings to Hubbard's orders and policies. Thus I
fought to break his conditioning. Am saddened that most ex-members
blame Scientologists for the cult's wrongdoings, hold Hubbard in
reverence, and continue on in the splinter groups.
My deconditioning went in stages:
My 5 months introverted stage was deliberately manufactured by
Ron Hubbard the cult founder. He obviously intended to inhibit
leaving, and damned all who did so by asserting that people leave
only by virtue of their own sins against Scientology. So there I
went wondering what I had done wrong, and was very introverted and
restless. It would have been virtually impossible for me to hold
down any job or shared accommodation in this state, and there was
a need to go into a sort of social quarantine. This stage
ended when I plucked up courage to meet the dissidents of
Scientology, when I discovered to my delight that we are decent
people, not bogeymen, and share the same experiences. Once contact
with dissidents was made, Scientology lost administrative influence
- 5 Months introverted, here I was effectively bound by a
Hubbard-laid guilt trip that states that people only leave because
of their sins and withheld secrets from Scientology.
- Then 25 months in social quarantine whilst researching the
necessary details on the background of Hubbard and Scientology.
- Then 10 minutes deconditioning once I discovered the hypnotic
keys that had mind-enslaved me.
- Then 12 months getting over the stigma of having been a
- Then 13 years on and I am still removing bits and pieces of
6th month to 30th month. I did that Sussex window cleaning
round, and very pleasant it was too. It also served for
social quarantine whilst I sought out counselling, printed the
"Reconnection" magazine for ex-Scientologists, and looked in on the
research effort to find out the background of Hubbard and his
organisation. I did some useful research for myself, by
investigating for aspects of hypnosis that Hubbard had concealed.
30th month, February 1986. I found out about altered states of
consciousness, including the significance of "Present Time", and
with a grasp of Coue's "laws" and observations, it became possible
to scan my decision points within Scientology and knock out the
hypnotic controls. Coue's "laws" and Observations helped spot the
coercive tactics and what was happening, and simply finding my
moments of decision along with the coercion, undid the hypnotic
influence. The process took about 10 minutes, and by the end of
this short session I was quite dramatically freed.
By July 1986 I was in poor morale because feeling trapped in the
window cleaning job, unable to do Open University studies for lack
of space to keep their kit. An accident forced my abandonment of
the round and moving to Manchester. For a year or so I was
terrified about telling people about Scientology, feeling
stigmatized for having been involved. In job interviews I
overcompensated and unknowingly gave employers the impression I was
trying to convert them. Eventually one employer got some feedback
to me, and I started to relax since they evidently know nothing
about this mind-bending money pump.
1995, twelve years after leaving, and I finally plucked up courage
to do a counselling course and discover ordinary psychology. Highly
useful for my rehabilitation.
Scientology's "channelling" has done me a lot of harm.
The main thing that bothered me about this cult wasn't having my
will bound up, because that appeared to be still under my control.
It was my wantingness to look and relate to things outside of
Scientology. Scientology had well and truly caught my imagination.
Even after leaving, even after breaking the conditioning, I remained
unwilling to study psychology courses; was too frightened of severe
internal conflicts, although could read books informally. Yet prior
to joining this cult I had had what can best be described as a
scientific attitude to life: testing everything I heard or was told.
There seemed to be a combination of factors involved in this
What helped in any thinking to look outside were:
- A Hubbard-implanted abhorrence of psychiatry and psychology,
and general xenophobia. Scientology is a culture of slag-off of all
other ways of thinking.
- A feeling of superiority where there was no need to look wider
because Hubbard was ahead of conventional thinking.
- Spellbound by the fascinating thrills and mysteries built into
the Scientology adventure, where ordinary life then looked an
- A trained-in habit of not criticizing that persisted long after
As one who had gone in to learn psychological first-aid it took me
many years to look outside of Dianetics, then be willing to take a
hard look back at Dianetics. Am alarmed to discover that "Dub-in"
(unknowingly invented recalls) is encouraged from the start in
Dianetics. In those passages where Hubbard qualified the tendency
to run "dub-in" as any liability (which he had to do to be
credible), he deflected odium to the alternative terms "lie-factory"
or "garbage". The whole distinction and emphasis of Dianetics
compared to contemporary hypnotherapies involves exaggerating the
importance of chains of memories and image pictures, and past lives,
which thereby facilitate "recalling" imagination. This quite
explicitly prepares the way for later materials, meaning Hubbard's
invented engrams and demonology.
- The way Scientology distances people from its critics where its
open season on anybody declared to be "SP". I kept on asking myself
"Why this strenuous isolation from critics?" "What has Scientology
got to hide?"
- Double standards of conduct for Hubbard and for the rest of the
world. I refused to apply any such double standards and when
Hubbard nattered, I applied Scientology to him looking for hidden
harmful acts by him.. Thus when he nattered about psychiatrists
being only good for bank accounts and fostering dependency, I read
that as a clue. Natter against those who practice hypnotism is a
clue. Strident criticism of those who practice slavery is a clue.
Noisy assertion that his is the truth and the only way out is a
- Coming from a Quaker background I had a completely alternative
definition of "clear" to adopt at choice.. The Quakers test a
leading in conscience to see if it be free of influences like
whimsy, busy-ness or guilt trips, testing for genuine calling. They
meditate on it in silence, and maybe meet with others in a "meeting
for clearness". If after this testing they feel clear to continue
the call to duty, they will talk of "being clear" to do it. This is
a neat, positive, limited definition that undercuts all the
Scientology rigmarole attached to their own highly mobile
definitions for "Clear". It also listens to Hubbards rhetoric
encouraging fighting slavery etc.. Quaker "clearness" engages with
external service activities, Scientology "clearness" seeks to escape
- Prior encounters with the Moonies, and specific warn-off about
Scientology at a college liberal studies class, had flu-shotted me
against mind-enslavement by this cult. I tagged invasions of
privacy, love-bombing, thought-stoppers and induction of strong
emotion as mind-controlling activities. Such warnings were not
sufficient to block my being taken over, but they added context to
ideas being presented, slowed take-up of the ideas, and got me to
shut my mouth and think for myself without discussion.
- I noticed myself thinking that ordinary admin and simple
counselling work better than Hubbard admin and OT stuff, and it was
largely polished advertising and noisy promises that it all works
that were keeping me in. As one example was disconcerted at glowing
praise for Hubbard's "tech" of using old newspapers to clean
- I had specific, useful purposes for being involved: learn
psychological 1st aid and minor self-enhancement activities. I held
these firmly in mind.
- The Scientology philosophy shows no remorse or compassion, is
based upon theta, which in its definition is equivalent to the
satanic "Do what thou wilt shalt be the whole of the law". It has
links with black magick via Hubbard's friendships with Aleister
Crowley and Jack Parsons. I had noticed these things whilst in, and
had also noticed something missing that's present in Christianity.
In a 1952 lecture [5203C04B, 1952 Phoenix lecture 2101],
re-recorded in 1973 on-board the Apollo, Hubbard makes some
startling admissions.. Hes "trying to tell you a fairy tale": his
typewriter "put years and millions of words worth lots on top of
this..": "all sorts of strange things happen when you get near this
incident because its full of lies": he runs dub-in: he "invented
Dianetics" with an intention as he went into it that "was something
quite beyond": the people doing this (OT3) "are going to be
undone": and other profound admissions.
The OT3 trauma is provenly fictitious, (see my paper
Scrutiny of OT3" which gives a closely referenced geological
scrutiny), and yet Hubbard's "standard tech" condemns people as
liars if they don't run Dianetics on his garbage as if it were truth
Nowadays if I find a person in distress I might conceivably sit
them down and have them abreact in hypnotic regression, plainly
describing what I'm doing as hypnosis, and relating it to Freud,
Brown and behavioural psychology. However, such counselling would
not be done with any eagerness. Am too much aware of the dangers of
false memories and dependency to like such counselling. I don't
keep Hubbard books on my shelves. Counselling that I normally give
is non-hypnotic and relates the person to their environment and
their chosen way of life.