Hello, my name is Ineke Franssen and I am an ex-scientologist. Here is a little bit about myself:
I was a Scientologist for almost 15 years. I waisted a lot of time and money on Scientology.
When I joined Scientology, I was a happy teenager. I thought I had found a very well-substantiated method to find answers on all kinds of questions about life and human behaviour.
It looked practical and applicable to different situations. I could help others with it. And best of all: It promised spiritual abilities!
Well, 15 years and a lot of "donated" money later I was a very unhappy person. Through Scientology's "spiritual counseling" I gained psychological problems, depressions and phobias. Of course Scientology could help me with that! I only had to buy some more of their "spiritual counseling". Price: $25,000.
I have a son who was partially raised in Scientology. He was thinking of suicide after 3 years of "education" at the Dutch Scientology primary school. He was only 10 when he told me:
"I want to die. I've done only bad things in my life. It's better to be dead".
I was 17 when I started working for the Scientology Organization in Amsterdam. I signed a contract and started working there from 9.00 in the morning 'till 23.00 in the evening and often also at night. I got only $ 150 per month for this. But I didn't mind the low pay because Scientology promised me free courses in exchange for my work.
I wanted to become a professional "auditor", a Scientology therapist who can help other people. In order to become such a therapist, I had to take expensive courses and I didn't have money for that. As long as I worked for Scientology I didn't need to pay for the courses.
I also wanted to reach the state of "Clear" and "Operating Thetan". The state of Clear and the state of Operating Thetan are levels of personal, spiritual development where one regains his or her hidden talents and abilities, according to Scientology.
Step-by-step I would discover the real me and learn what life's all about, they told me. I would become a very happy person, they promised. And I could help others with this too, they said. Oh yes, that was exactly what I wanted!
In order to reach this State of Clear and Operating Thetan, you have to get "auditing"; Scientology's self-manufactured psychotherapy which costs between $ 250 and $ 1000 per hour.
During an "auditing"-session, you have to answer questions about different aspects of your life and you have to disclose your deepest thoughts and most personal feelings about it to the therapist (the auditor). In this way you can solve all kinds of problems and barriers and eventually reach spiritual growth, according to Scientology. You're supposed to feel relieved and happy after such auditing therapy, and indeed I've seen people who were happy and sometimes really euphoric after receiving an auditing session. An auditing session takes place while you are connected to an "E-meter" or "electro-psychometer". Non-scientologists call it a lie detector.
During the first years that I was working for Scientology my outlook on life and the world got determined. I was young and I felt successful. My work was appreciated and I made people happy with the auditing I gave. I made long hours and I had fun with my colleagues at the organization. And slowly I got totally "new" ways of thinking and strange idea's instilled into my mind.
Slowly I began to form a narrow-minded world-view whereby "we", the Scientologists, were the good guys, and "they", the people outside, were the bad ones. We felt far exalted above other people. We had the monopoly of wisdom, we had the responsibility to save the world!
But after two years, the pressure of working for the Scientology organization became too much. I had a baby-son with whom I wanted to spend time and I had financial problems because of the low pay. Besides, I wasn't getting any of the courses Scientology had promised. When I stopped working for the Scientology organization I had to pay them $ 5000 due to contract breakage (the Dutch version of this confidential contract can be found here).
I still believed that reaching the State of Clear and Operating Thetan would make me a happy person. It was all that mattered in life. And the only possible way to reach this was by Scientology. So I paid this $ 5000 and again paid for more courses.
Also, every Scientologist is expected to contribute to the International Association of Scientologists, Scientology's "war chest". As usual they promised lots of benefits being a member of this Association. My own membership and the membership of my son costed $ 7500. Back then, I was so proud to contribute! I thought it was a wonderful organization and I trusted them to do the right thing with my money. If I had known then what I know now...
I went to different Scientology Organizations and took several courses and different kinds of "auditing"-therapy. I kept looking for the happiness and wisdom that Scientology promised me. Every time it costed me thousands of dollars. But it didn't make me a happier person. On the contrary: after getting auditing therapy at Scientology's Advanced Organization Saint Hill in England I got very depressed. I couldn't stop crying. I started getting nightmares, panic attacks and didn't dare to go outdoors anymore. I felt miserable.
I went back to the Scientology Organization in England to complain about what their therapy had done to me. Of course they could help me out! I needed some more auditing-therapy and I only had to pay another $ 25000!
Well, that finished it for me. All these years I had invested all this time, work and money into Scientology only to see that it got me worse! This was not good for me! I was utterly miserable and Scientology only wanted to help me if I would pay. This was not right! I decided to quit Scientology.
It was very hard to give up my aims and dreams; all this time I had believed in Scientology. But after a while I dared to start searching the Internet and found out what Scientology is really all about. The pieces of the puzzle fell into place for me. I came in contact with other people who had similar experiences with Scientology and I found that I was not at all the only one who had been taken advantage of. I read a lot of stories from people who were much more exploited by Scientology than I was.
And I discovered Scientology's Big Secret: The Operating Thetan courses. You're only allowed to do these Operating Thetan courses if you have reached the State of Clear and meet all kinds of qualifications (and pay a lot of money of course). If you get this data to soon, you will become profoundly upset, get pneumonia or die from lack of sleep, according to Scientology....
"Lower Level" Scientologists are scared to death to read the materials from these Operating Thetan courses before they are "ready". Therefore they may only be sold to advanced Scientologists.
The Operating Thetan courses are all about BodyThetans®. BodyThetans are souls of dead people. They come from other planets and they were murdered 75 million years ago by the galactic war lord Xenu. Today, every human body on this planet is infested with these souls. You haven't got one or two, no-no! You've got thousands! Your body is full of these entities and they are the only cause of all trouble. Do you believe it? I don't!
Scientology's secret Operating Thetan courses teach you how to get rid of these souls: by exorcism. Every day, year in year out, the advanced Scientologist has to get in telepathic contact with these entities, and has to induce them to go away. They use different techniques to make the souls leave.
As you can probably imagine, it regularly happens that Scientologists become psychotic and also suicides often occur while people are on these Operating Thetan courses.
Of course Scientology doesn't tell you this. They only tell you the nice parts, the great stories - it is pure and simple propaganda - and how good it is to do Scientology. And like every cult, Scientology does have some workable elements, some good aspects. Otherwise nobody would join. These good things are used to suck people into the deluded world of this cult.
Those who join Scientology are mostly idealistic people with good intentions, people who want to do something worthwhile in life. Often they believe that in Scientology they've found The True Way to achieve their goals and realize their ideals. Once they are part of the Scientology world, they only see what they want to see and close their eyes for the truth:
I did not find my happiness in Scientology. I was mentally, emotionally and financially exploited by it. Scientology taught me one thing though: I now know exactly how a cult works.