To anyone who thinks they might look into Scientology, you might want to know a bit more about what you can expect.
I'm not talking about what services you might take or what you might learn, I'm talking about how your life will change when you step onto their "Bridge to Total Freedom".
When you become a Scientologist, you will be inundated with "communication" from the church.
This is the very first result of contacting the Church of Scientology. Once they have your name, your address, your phone number and your email address, you will never again be at peace.
Actually, you don't have to be a Scientologist at this point. This happens immediately, once they have your contact information.
They will hound you for money. They will pester you to come in "for service". They will badger you to buy the latest book set, lecture set or whatever. They will remind you of the next big Miscavige Event™ and "confirm you" -- at least a dozen times. If they believe you have enough money (or enough borrowing power), they will show up at your doorstep, unannounced, and won't leave without a check.
You will get their junk mail and their email spam as well. They will call you late at night, especially Wednesday night (because their week ends on Thursday and they must get their "stats" up).
You should know that getting them to stop all this is virtually impossible. You can ask, but it won't do you much good. People have changed their phone numbers and even moved to a different city, and the Church of Scientology has tracked them down and continued their deluge.
When you become a Scientologist, you will lose all your privacy.
And I do mean all.
The Church of Scientology will insist that you tell them everything: Who do you talk to? What do they say about L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscavige and Scientology? What do you read? Where do you go on the Internet? What do you say and think about Hubbard, Miscavige and Scientology.
The church will demand to know all about your finances. Do you have any credit cards? How much do you owe? What is your credit limit? Do you own your own home, and how much equity do you have? Exactly what do you spend your money on, and why? Do you have savings? Do you have investments? Do you have any rich relatives?
They will want to know about your job or business. They will want to know how you spend your free time.
When you get auditing (counselling/confessional), they will work very hard to uncover every "bad" thing you've ever done: Every time you hurt someone, every time you did something you'd rather never mention again, everything you wish no one would ever find out about. They keep careful notes. Often they video your sessions using carefully hidden cameras. This information about you will be kept permanently.
They will insist on knowing everything about you.
When you become a Scientologist, you will become isolated.
You should know that Scientologists are not allowed to read certain things, look at certain things, talk to certain people, and that this list of restricted items can be quite extensive.
You will learn, as a Scientologist, that the only safe people to be connected with are other Scientologists. You will learn that the only safe source for information is the Church of Scientology. You will, eventually, accept these connections as your only connections -- because they are safe and allowed.
Undoubtedly, like most Scientologists, you will eventually avoid newspapers, radio and TV news and the Internet.
Most of your non-Scientology family and friends will learn to keep quiet about what they know about Scientology. They will learn that you, as a Scientologist, get very upset when certain facts are discussed. They will learn to avoid the subject and be very polite when deflecting your attempts to get them into the church.
When you become a Scientologist, you will give up control of your life.
You will be expected to buy everything they offer for sale -- every book, every lecture set, every course, every step up The Bridge. Even after you have bought everything, you're not done. The books, lectures and courses are regularly being altered by Miscavige and, when that happens, you will be expected to buy everything all over again. The pressure to do this will be intense. There are reports of gangs of Scientologists being sent to the houses of any Scientologists who haven't bought the latest -- to ensure they do so.
You will be expected to use up all your available credit -- max out your credit cards, take out a second/third mortgage, cut all other spending -- so that you can adequately donate to the Church of Scientology's many, many "campaigns". There's the Ideal Org Campaign, the Library Donation Campaign, the various IAS (International Association of Scientologists) campaigns, the SuperPower building, CCHR (Citizens Commission on Human Rights), the Way to Happiness Campaign and who knows how many others.
You will be expected to be on course, in session or volunteering for the church at every available free moment. Goodbye hobbies. Goodbye vacations. Goodbye holidays, "hanging with friends" and quiet evenings at home. If you aren't busy every available free moment with Scientology-related activities expect intense pressure from the church until you are.
Worse, if the Church of Scientology finds out that any of your friends or family have said anything at all negative about Scientology, Hubbard or Miscavige, even if absolutely true, you will be required to disconnect from them. Yes, you will be required to disconnect from any of them, including your own children, your parents, your wife or husband! Whether you want to or not. Even if you don't find their comments upsetting at all.
The church says such disconnections are "voluntary". Well, if you don't do exactly what they demand, you will be declared an enemy of the church. There will be punishments. "Disconnection is voluntary," yeah, sure. If a "choice" comes with draconian penalties for the wrong choice, that isn't voluntary.
Anyone thinking of looking into Scientology needs to know what they are getting into. If you start believing in Scientology, your life, as you know and enjoy it today, will be gone.