Is Scientology a suppressive, mind-altering cult? In my opinion, and based on my experience, YES. But in the spirit of looking for the positive from any situation, here are a few ways Scientology has helped me in life.
A bit of background: I got into Scientology in my 20s, quickly rose to International Management, and remained in for almost 20 years until I escaped in the middle of the night. That’s a story for another time and I promise you’ll read about it.
I have plenty of experience with Scientology, and plenty of experience with what happens when you leave. This post isn’t about that. It’s about what I’ve learned from the experience, and how it’s helped me in my life today. So here goes:
I WORK HARD, AND FAST. Thanks to nearly 20 years of 20-hour workdays, I can do a large amount of work at an unimaginably fast pace.
As an example, I was recently given an editing assignment from a new client, for a 180-page presentation, which was due in four days. I had planned to get it done over a three-day period, but when I sat down at the computer it was like muscle memory: 12 hours and a couple of breaks later, I was done.
I was used to this fast pace of working from my years of being the senior editor over all Scientology magazines. It was a long day, yes, but this time I got paid for my efforts. How novel!
I’M INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL. “Gratitude” is a word that’s so overused it’s almost trite, yet it’s important to feel grateful for what we have. And brother, do I feel grateful.
11 years ago I had nothing—no bank account, no money, no job, no friends, no home, no car. I did have my family, which is the main reason I got through the first few years of pain, nightmares and self-doubt after my escape.
But I pushed myself, I rarely gave in to self-pity, and I made a new life. Today, I have a wonderful, loving husband, a comfortable home with my fur babies (two dogs and two cats), a great freelance writing life, a growing wine collection, many wonderful vacations, and the best friends a person could ask for.
It’s all pretty amazing when I reflect on it. And I’m proud because I DID THIS. I escaped the cult mindset and got on with my life.
I SEE PEOPLE FOR WHO THEY ARE. I know the difference between a friend and an enemy, and have no patience for the latter.
After years of mental and physical abuse, I know what that abuse looks and feels like, and I refuse to accept it. I won’t allow anyone to tell me I’m not good enough—including myself.
As a result, I’ve developed the strongest friendships I’ve ever had, as well as reconnecting with dear friends from my younger years whom I had unceremoniously dumped when I entered the cult.
My friends, new and old, are here for me despite my Scientology background, and that says a lot about their character. I love them all.
LIFE IS BRAND-NEW. I feel like I’m just starting out in life, which is a great way to feel when you’re nearing 60.
My career trajectory was interrupted at 28 when I dove headfirst into Scientology, so in many ways I feel like I’m starting again from that time period. That’s why I feel so young: I have the mindset of someone in their 30s, looking for every new opportunity and learning new things every day.
So many people are “winding down” at this time of their life but for me, things are just beginning. I feel excitement when I think about the future and all the things I’ll accomplish. It’s a great way to feel.
These are just a few ways that Scientology has helped me in life. Would I want anyone else to go through what I went through? Hell no. But am I stronger for it? Hell yes!