My trip in and out of the Church of Scientology

by Andy Porter

For 20 years I was an active member of the Church of Scientology, first as a public person taking courses, then as a staff member and finally as an international missionary. My trajectory through the church traces a dual path of increasing awareness and improvement while at the same time trying not to notice the things that were wrong. The problem was that the more aware I became the harder it was to ignore what wasn’t right.

My story is not heroic. I made and accepted excuses for the “bad” parts of the Church. In many cases I perpetrated wrongnesses on others, led witch hunts and used force and threats to get compliance. In the end it was only when I, personally, had been repeatedly betrayed that I was prompted to take action.

Last week I received a call from the local Org ethics officer, informing me that I had been declared a suppressive person. No reason was given, I was not sent, or shown, or even read my SP declare. Such was my ignoble ending of church membership!

The trip started in 1980 in Bellevue, Washington. I had just moved to Washington and was looking for a job when I was stopped by an attractive gal in the street and asked to do a survey. This led to taking the personality test and signing up for the Communications Course.

Back then the course consisted of reading the definitions of basic scientology terms and then doing the Training Routines (TRs). I completed the course in a few weeks and was then signed up for an auditor training package at the mission.

In a few more months I completed the training and became a New Era Dianetics Auditor. I then went over to the local Scientology Org and did my internship and started the next training levels.

Things seemed pretty cool in Scientology, there were lots of young people, like me, and the idealism was up my alley. “To hell with the “authorities” let’s create a better world.” The concept of the reactive mind was very real and as I audited more people I could really see that there was a hope.

Andy at Clear Lake

In June 1981 I joined staff at Bellevue Mission. I was posted in Division 6 and was a body router, basic course supervisor and Div 6 registrar. I was good at doing test evaluations and started giving introductory lectures.

In 1982 the Bellevue Mission went completely off the rails and got into the de-dinging (a whack-o squirrel process), flowing power to those above us (meaning that staff were forced to do favors for those above us) and other Nazi-scientology stuff. We went whole-hog: the mission sold intensives of de-dinging, engaged in group crush-close regging and generally went crazy. I recall graduation events at the local org during this time period. A normal Friday night graduation would take an hour or so. But during the “de-dinging” era they took three hours! This was because you couldn’t stop clapping! No one wanted to be the first person to stop clapping because it would mean that you had some out-ethics…so when a speaker made a mention of how great LRH was we all started clapping, and clapping, and clapping…then we’d start to nervously look sideways at each other, each person secretly wanting to stop clapping, but no one wanting to be the first one to stop. Ah, the good old days…

Anyway, we (Bellevue Mission) languished for three (1982 to 1985) long years after this, and what pulled us out was the beginning of the consulting companies starting up and sending in public. Our old Mission Holder, Mike Chatelain, started to work for David Singer in 1985 (they opened a west coast office near by) and we started to get Chiropractors on lines. I became very active with the other WISE groups, Hollander, Latch and Sterling. I traveled all over the US and signed up their clients for mission services like Life Repair Auditing, some of my favorite time on staff in the US. The mission went from 1 and 2 First Service Starts a week to 10 and 12.

From my view the mid to late 1980’s were the time of greatest expansion of the Church. The Dianetics TV ads were going, there were new covers for the books and generally there was more acceptance of the Church. The future looked bright.

I became the Executive Director of the Mission (1987), did the complete Organization Executive Course, had two missions (Bellevue and Honolulu) and in 1990 found myself as the Executive Director of the Seattle Day Organization (during the Good Will Games).

Being an Org ED was a complete nightmare. The incessant stupid orders and three times daily phone calls, the endless computer generated non-compliance reports, the idiotic emphasis on getting people to the “events” and the complete lack of any effective Div 6 was awful. I found the Org environment much more robotic and stultified than the Mission network. In the missions we were more allowed to think and do what we thought was best to service people. In retrospect it wasn’t that we were actually “allowed” to do more, it was simply that no one could see what we were doing. We would often and with great happiness break the rules to provide unselfish service. I used to make a joke while working at the Org that they were “so standard that they were empty.” (Empty of public, that is)

Seattle Org had moved into a 28,000 sq. ft. building before the GW games ($18,000 a month rent) and since the entire Good Will Games were a complete dud, dissemination wise, the Org was broke.

I tried to route off Org staff (I was in debt up to my eyeballs), I asked for a Committee of Evidence, was denied, blew from LA, then I was told that I was going to get some justice action. While awaiting my beheading I got in comm with Greg Hughes (he was in International Management at the time), who I knew fromSterling, and he helped me escape and come back toSeattle. I routed off Org staff, worked for a few months to pay my debt to the Org and some other debts and went back on staff at Bellevue Mission in 1992.

I was in no hurry to get back on any management line and so became the Course Supervisor for a while. Being the Supervisor was by far the best staff position I ever held. By that time I was OT 5, OEC, KTL,LOC, and had done almost every course at the Org. I completed the Elementary Data Evaluators course, (actually I liked it so much I did it twice) and felt I had a good grasp of the basics by then.

Creating an expanding course room was easy; I discovered that the most vital tool was using ARC. If the students felt that you cared about them, their lives, their problems and were really there to HELP them then they came back. It was always a mystery to me that when I would send new staff for Course Supervisor training, either to Flag or LA that they would come back with some fascist attitude towards their students. They would return with some sort of “standard” fanaticism and order the students to use their demo kit or clear words, not really helping them, or personally caring, just acting like some sort of prison guards. In my view the idea being pushed was that being “standard” meant being tough, rough, rude, almost mean and it shocked me that people thought they could service the public (or other staff!) without loads of ARC. Especially new public.

In 1993 I was asked by SMI to go to Russia for a mission project, I was always interested to see for myself what Russia was really like, so I raised some money and went. I was there two weeks with 4 or 5 other mission holders. When I got on the plane to go back I just wanted to stay. The people there in Moscow and Saint Petersburg (both missions had about 8 staff at that time) were so intent on doing Dianetics and going clear and helping others it was very theta. I got back to my post at Bellevue Mission and decided to move to Russia. It took a while to get replaced and overcome the counter intention to my leaving staff, but in 1995 I moved there.

I was well known at Scientology Missions International (SMI), due to being a mission holder, and headed to LA to visitSMIINTand set up my duties with them before heading to Russia.

By the time I arrived back in Russia (October ’95) to live and work Moscow and St Pete had grown to large booming missions and I was reluctant to go inspect or advise them as I was worried that I would mess them up (and get in trouble). My reasoning was that they had built much larger missions than I ever had, so I didn’t feel that I should be ‘advising” them. I felt like I should be learning from them!

For the first year or so, I went out to outlying cities, Perm, Nizhny Tagil, Nizhny Novgorod, Vladivostock, Novosibirsk and many more places in Russia. I also visited new Dianetics Centers in Belorussia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan and the Ukraine. I had a great time riding the train, staying with families, lecturing and helping to expand missions. Many of these missions had never had a Clear or OT or trained Scientologist come for a visit. My duties were to inspect the mission and help them in any way needed, train staff, observe and help them get in standard tech for servicing public. I went to more than 30 missions while I was there, (1995 to 1999) inspecting, correcting and lecturing.

With out a doubt it was the most fun I ever had in Scientology, nothing before or since compares. I was not around in the 1950’s when DMSMH was released, but have heard the stories, and Russia in the late 90’s seemed just like those stories. The overall excitement was awesome. Moscow and St Pete expanded to over 100 staff each, with huge successful Div 6/s. There were co-audits going on all the time and hundreds of auditors in the missions. The course rooms were filled and the place was buzzing with excited, optimistic people. The missions had very Spartan quarters, sometimes there were 10 auditing “rooms” squeezed into what would be 2 rooms here in the US. But MEST didn’t matter, they had big booming missions, there were tons of students, FSM’s, booksellers, it was all fun and exciting. My purpose in Scientology was revitalized. Somewhat ironically my time there also formed the basis for my waking up and (slowly!) seeing how psychotic things were and eventually leaving the church.

Later, in 1997 I was asked to do projects at Moscow. I recall doing an inspection there and on a Thursday morning was inspecting and noticed that no one was on post. I was like, “Well, where are all the staff?” I was told that they were on study, as they were every morning.

I was about to go pull all the staff off course and lecture them about on Thursday we DON’T study in the morning because that’s when we get the stats up, but caught myself and realized (not for the first time) the insanity of the stat push mentality. I had dozens of other epiphanies while at Moscow and later while at St Pete missions. It started to dawn on me that one major reason for all the expansion in Russia was that they didn’t have the whacko western Sea Org nut jobs there every minute looking over their shoulders, giving them stupid orders.

I was in St Petersburg for the Dianetics (May 9th) Event in 1998. The event was held at a huge auditorium, it held more than 1,000 people. The event started at 2pm, and lasted until 8 at night. There was food, music, performances, cakes, games, balloons, prizes, speeches, and lots of fun. And this was all before the “official” event, where the DVD of the actual May 9th event was played for the public. The place was packed. No one wanted to leave early, or escape. It was night and day different from events back in the US. Can you even imagine an event in the USA where 1,000 people attended? Anyway, I was there in St Pete doing a project for SMI and it so happened that there were several Sea Org Execs there, from LA. They came to the event and were shocked. I was sitting right behind them and could hear them speaking to each other, they were aghast that the event was so long, that there were children singing, that a rock band played, they thought that this was disrespectful to LRH. They didn’t like the games or the prizes or poetry reading…(the Russian people LOVED all of this) The Sea Org Execs all thought this “fun” stuff was off purpose and not okay. The event ended with the showing of a brand new LRH film, “The Evolution of a Science”. I still recall the playing of the movie, to this day…the movie sucked! It was supposed to be for new people, but was all about psychiatry and shock therapy, it was a stupid film for new people. The Russian people were shocked and dismayed by it. Here they were having a fun party and now here is this horrid film, a real turd in the punch bowl! The Sea Org people all tried to look proud of the film, while the Russians made their displeasure known… the general consensus of the brainwashed execs was that the translation of the movie must have been poor…

By this time, after 17 years of being on staff, I had seen and experienced many countless examples of stupidity, injustice and misapplication of any rational management technology, but always wrote it off as some middle management virus. I had this idea that the guys at the top (DM and Int. Mgt.) were super cool, smart, and that they just didn’t know how whacko the middle management nut jobs were. I couldSEEthe out-points but I could not confront what they meant, wasn’t willing to follow the thought to its only logical end.

Another interesting thing was that as I stayed more and more in Moscow and St Pete in 1998 and 1999 advising the missions and lecturing I was always under pressure to study more LRH for lecture material. I read and re read all of the LRH books many times including “History of Man”. And I recall a section in that book where LRH describes a space opera society where the citizens were so indoctrinated that if one of them even had a bad thought that they would immediately turn them selves into the nearest police station.

This really hit me. I had had so many sec checks by then, for OT levels, for this and for that, so many “ethics cycles” (which of course were NOT Ethics cycles, but justice cycles in disguise) that I was stunned. I could plainly see that I was indoctrinated just like LRH described in HOM. This was a horrible idea to me because I “knew” we were freeing people, not enslaving them. Yet I could see that I was behaving like one of these implanted “citizens”. I wondered if it wasn’t just something wrong with me. I couldn’t really come to grips with it, so I just shelved it, and went on.

While I was in Russia I was sent to other countries for projects, I went to India twice to help establish missions, once to Bombay (SMIsent me there, to work with Helmut Flasch), twice to Patiala, I was also sent bySMIto Japan (to work on the Shinto project).

I was in Moscow Mission from the summer of 1997 until the end of the birthday game in 1998. Moscow Mission won the game that year (for the first time). I still have all their b-day stat graphs from then. They were doing 150 to 200 first service starts a week, 1200 to 1700 NBSTI Raw (Number of Books Sold to New People) a week and the rest of the stats there were commensurate with those Division 6 statistics. As a side note I spoke to the Moscow Org ED in September, 2010. He was in LA for some cycle and called me. His name is Anton and he was the Tech Sec when I was there in 1998. He said that they were getting around 7 first service starts a week at that time.

In March 1998SMIsent my wife and I to Fiji on a mission with Manu Tupou and Jean Harness. We opened a new mission there, recruited staff and sent them to ANZO for training. In the fall of 1998 I was also sent by the IAS to open up a Mission in the country of Burkina Faso, in West Africa.

While I was working as a pioneer, or missionary, I was awarded as a PowerFSMtwice, and as an EliteFSMtwo times, I was in fact never anFSMand never put inFSMslips on anyone while doing this work over seas.

My first award for my activities as a pioneer came in December of 1995. I was at theOTL(Sea Org Base) inMoscowand got a call fromSMIINT. Apparently there were quite a few, 10 to 20 Russian people who were FSMs and had gotten in 100 or more new people to start their first services, and they were all hoping to go to LA for the NY event. But none of them could get visas. Of course, the reason they didn’t get visas was that no one had the foresight to start the visa application process until mid-way through December, and by then it was a “hill 10” to get bodies on stage for the New Years Event.

So,SMItold my wife and me that we should come to LA and get awarded! Of course the people I spoke to atSMI, Beate Gordon and Claire Gaiman knew exactly what we had been doing, they knew we were not FSMs and had not selected anyone in, but no matter, we could come and go on stage, and we didn’t need visas! So, they bought us tickets and had us come, we were provided a place to stay. To us it was like a free (warm weather!) vacation! My wife was awarded as a powerFSMand I was awarded as an eliteFSM.

My system of pay (as worked out by Chief Officer SMIInt) was that I would go to the missions primarily to train and correct staff, and that the project financing would come from lectures. I would give lectures to the public, the mission would charge a small fee for each lecture and I would get half of the money, the mission keeping the other half. So even though I was never an FSMI was on stage. Usually I would arrive to LA a few days before the event and be given a hat of helping push other people living in LA to become power FSMs so there would be more bodies on stage. I have lots of insane stories about all of that. The last event where I was given some award was the 2000 May 9th Dianetics event where I was awarded as a top international pioneer.

As a side note about awards and the sheer insanity of them, one of the Russians I was close to was Vladimir Kiropatnik. He was the original ED of Moscow Mission. I met him when I was first there in 1993. He was a very theta and dedicated guy and worked hard to expand the Mission. In 1997 Vladimir was awarded the IAS Freedom Medal, at the event they portrayed him as the single person who opened up all of Russia to Scientology and saved the country. The PR was so over the top! I know that Vladimir was upset over how they grossly overstated what he had done. Actually this set him up for criticism from others, as many thought that he was the one who made up the lies. I was close to him and I know it was quite a PTP for him. Later when the Executive Director of Saint Petersburg Mission won the same award (Galina Petrovna) they did the same thing. It was the same with anyone and everyone I personally knew, they would over sell, exaggerate and even outright lie about the accomplishments to make them sound incredible. From my direct experience, both Vladimir and Galina definitely deserved the Freedom Medal awards. They are both incredibly hardworking and dedicated people. But the point is, why lie and exaggerate their accomplishments? Just telling the truth would have been perfectly fine. The fact of lying about the accomplishments of these people is illustrative of the entire current church management. Of course nothing beats the absurd lies they made for Tom Cruise when he won his IAS award…I recall it was an award for introducing more than a billion people to Scientology.

As I discovered at a much later time receiving these awards may have been one of the main reasons that I wound up leaving the church.

I returned toRussiain Jan 1999 and I went back to work forSMIdoing the usual. I began to get antsy about going up the bridge and wanted to get on OT 7 so I decided to start working as a WISE consultant. I worked about 7 months as a consultant inSt Petersburg, paid for OT 6, OT 7 and 10 intensives and arrived at Flag in Dec. 1999.

My plan was that I would use one or two intensives on eligibility and set ups and then have lots of intensives left over for future 6-month checks, I would be back out pioneering and be on OT 7!

But what came next was a completely horrible nightmare.

I wound up using 13 intensives of auditing, almost all of it on security checking. I cannot describe in email format how utterly awful it all was. It was unjust, demeaning, stupid, introverting and actually made me feel like I was psychotic. As I look back, I felt a sort of desperate feeling, slightly propitiative, wanting to throw my self at the feet of someone and beg forgiveness. A down tone “need to show that I’m valuable to the group” attitude and underlying this was the basic concept of “I am bad”.

I hated the auditing, but couldn’t complain because you can’t complain while you’re on a sec check unless you want it to take longer. I tried to act happy and get it done. Somehow by some miracle I was able to get my needle to float and get done. Then I pleaded that I was broke and owed money and I was allowed to leave.

This was the first time I was at an Advanced Org as a public person. I spent a lot of time in the MAA office (as a result of all the Knowledge Reports from 9 intensives of security checking). I was appalled at what went on. A day down there included lots of nervous waiting to even get in to see the MAA. Then they would review the KR’s from your sessions and assign you conditions. It was NOT a self-determined action. I tried several times to say that I didn’t think I needed to do ANY conditions for my overts, but was ordered to do so. I pointed out many times that this entire process was NOT an ethics action, but a justice action. But the deal was: Do it our way, or you’ll never get on the OT levels and go free. I saw person after person there in the MAA’s office doing lowers and amends for such stupid things as reading a site on the internet, or looking at “pornography” or masturbating. The idea that was being enforced by the MAA’s was that these actions were severely out-ethics and could bring disrepute to Scientology. I argued that labeling these actions as wrong or in any way out-ethics was itself very wrong and out ethics, as doing so would only drive in a persons anchor points. But all that I accomplished with my arguing these points was the certainty on the part of the MAA that I needed MORE security checking.

I was on the OT 6 meter drills when I left and knew I would never return. I felt that there was something definitely wrong with the auditing, but also had some idea that it was me that was nuts. I knew I liked helping people and so just wanted to go back and get busy.

From there things were a bit unsettled. I had planned to go back to Russia but was denied a visa. I discovered later that I had been blacklisted by the Russian FSB (state security agency) along with several other foreigners who had been invited to Russia by Scientology, like Malcolm McClintock, Lynn Irons and others. So, I was not allowed to return. I wound up moving to Nice, France for 6 months in late 2000, then on to Pavlodar, Kazakhstan where I worked as a WISE consultant for 9 months, then on to Copenhagen for 8 months. All the time trying to get back toRussia.

The more I was on WISE lines I noticed that things went worse for me. It seemed that as long as I was basically volunteering my time (as a Mission or Org staff member or full time pioneer) to help expand missions I was alright. I was still looked down on as I wasn’t Sea Org, but sort of barely accepted. Having been staff many years I was familiar with the pecking order, and understood how it all worked.

But now that I was mostly working in the WISE sector I was considered more of a public and less of a staff member. I could sense a change. I started to feel like a farm animal, people were eye-balling me for what they could get from me, could I be an income cycle, could I be student points, could I donate money to IAS? I was ordered to events, to ethics interviews, ordered to be on course. As a WISE consultant here were quotas for the number of our clients that were sent into a local Org orMissionfor services. There was a tacit threat over my head; if I didn’t comply with the above requirements then I would be in danger of losing my license and ability to deliver WISE courses and consulting.

I wanted to get out of consulting and I wound up going to the NYC area in 2001 (where I am from originally) to work. I had two jobs; one wasCOOof a company in NJ with several interesting patents we were trying to get going. As that company was getting just started I needed more pay and started to work as a consultant again in the WISE sector.

In 2002 I got an 11 page KR written on me by Walter Kotric (CO CLO EU). He accused me of every crime under the sun and said that I was never allowed back on his continent. I sent back a more or less fuck you response and asked for a Committee of Evidence. Nothing happened. Every product I had achieved was attacked.

One might think it strange that a person who was routinely honored by Int. Management each year would be attacked. But in truth the awardees on stage at the Int Events had routinely had their production stats puffed up (NOT by the person, but by the management terminals!) to look stellar. There was no real recognition from Int Management of having DONE anything really good, we were all just statistics, bodies gotten on stage, part of the PR for the church.

Interestingly I had heard from 2 people, Barb Wiseman (a pioneer in Russia in the early 1990’s) and Malcolm McClintock (he ran the Sea Org Base in Moscow in early 2000) that Walter Kotric HATED any Scientologists who went Pioneering “on his Continent”. Barbara told me that Walter went out of his way to attack her when she was awarded as a Power FSM for her work there in 1993, an award that she NEVER asked for.

In April of 2003 I received a phone call and ordered by WISE International to report to LA. No reason, just come,NOW. I arrived and met two other Russian Pioneers there, Bud Reichle and Lynn Irons. We went to the Scientology Headquarters on Hollywood Boulevard and met with some high up woman in OSA (Judith?) and a guy by the name of Dan Brown. They explained that we were all called there because of our involvement in Russia. They told us that currently there was trouble in Russia and that the plan was to do ethics cycles on us three, sort of to destimulate the area from afar. I was shown some reference from the Suppressed Person Rundown. The idea was that if we three did an ethics cycle, related to tour work inRussia, the result would be a bettering of the overall conditions of Scientology inRussia. It was sort of like: Currently Scientology in Russia is under attack, and if you three write up your overts and come clean then the conditions over there will improve.

As I began to get in comm., the report written on me by Walter Kotric came up, and then a cycle fromKazakhstan.

I had visited Kazakhstan several times in the late 1990’s and at that time met a local scientologist named Bolat Agzamovich. Bolat was working in the oil industry, but had later gotten into politics and had become the deputy governor of his region.

In late 2000 while I was still in Nice, France, I was personally invited to move to Pavlodar, Kazakhstan by the CO WISE CIS, Vladmir Kiropatnik. Bolat had been the deputy governor of his region for sometime; he had communication lines with the leaders of industry all over the country. The idea was that I would move there, work with Bolat, establish a WISE presence, consulting these businesses and maybe start aHubbardCollege.

Bolat had been donating HUGE sums of money to the church to aid expansion. He had donated hundreds of thousand of dollars to start a whole pile of Missions, Narconons, Applied Scholastics groups all acrossKazakhstan. He was quite famous for this.

I saw the annual IAS Event in October of 2000. There was direct mention of expansion of Scientology inKazakhstan, specifically mentioning the opening of the many new groups and also a report that the President of Kazakhstan had officially welcomed Scientology to the country!

This sounded like what I was waiting for and I packed up and moved there in December, 2000. When I actually arrived inPavlodar, Bolat was inCopenhagenfor auditing, he arrived home a week later and announced that he had decided to quit his government post! This was a surprise!

He took over a transportation (tram) company owned by the state and I went to work for him. I worked with him in the Tram company and we had a blast, it was a huge success.

As a side note after my arrival in Kazakhstan I excitedly asked the staff and public about the report that President Nazarbayev had proclaimed an official welcome to Scientology. Well, none of the people there had heard such a thing. I had several people directly contact the government to query this, and we discovered that this reported acknowledgement of Scientology had never taken place.

While I was there I heard some allegations that Bolat had accepted bribes while he had been deputy governor. I was close to him and asked him a few times about this and he said no, he didn’t, so I left it alone. I left Pavlodar in the summer of 2000 and moved to Copenhagen.

What had precipitated being ordered to Los Angeles was that Bolat had been to Copenhagen some time in 2001/2002 and confessed in some sec check that he had in factALLof the money he had donated to the church, forALLthe mission starter packages and Narconons, applied scholastics, etc, all of it, was money he had received as payments for his services while deputy governor. From what I could understand, Bolat finally relented and confessed that all the money he donated to the church came from the bribes he received while Deputy Governor.

This came out right around the Reed Slatkin Ponzi scheme scandal, and so there was a real hornet’s nest over this. I thought it was all a hoot, and I asked if the church was going to refund all the money so Bolat could give it back. My two interrogators failed to see the humor in any of this. .

I was surprised by all this and I pointed out that if anyone cared to look at any facts like dates of when he took the “bribes”, the dates in my passport, etc, it was easy to see that I was never physically IN Kazakhstan when Bolat “took the bribes” but no matter. Logic had no merit. I asked how I could have stopped him from taking bribes if I wasn’t in the country. I was told that I “should have known” and done something. I felt trapped. If I wanted to keep consulting and making money, I had to do it. My choices were to walk out of Scientology right then, or just bend over and do it.

So I did. I fudged my way through it and told everyone what they wanted to hear. I prayed my needle would float at the right time and that no one would suspect that I fucking hated them and that I was on my way out.

I went back to New Jersey in a state of shock. All my stable datum’s busted. From my experiences as a Mission Holder and Org ED with the admin tech I could see that its “use” was making things worse world wide, not better. From my last trip to Flag I could see that the tech was not working. And that it was in fact being used to control people. From my travels I knew that all the hype and PR reported by management was utter bullshit. And now it was crystal clear that the application of ethics and justice tech was beyond gone.

When I got back home I talked my wife into moving with me to Washington State. Just leaving and moving was in itself a form of escape. I felt like I was escaping from a prison, I didn’t let anyone know where I was going. After 24 years of having to report where I was to someone in the church, I was free (sort of).

For many years, from 2000 to 2004 I spoke to no one about my doubts and disagreements. During those years I knew things were bad and I wanted out, but dared not communicate about it. From 2004 until 2008 I had one friend who was ahead of me on the path out who listened as I itsa-ed and to whom I could speak freely. I communicated my feelings, doubts, self invalidations and slowly the fog lifted. I was so indoctrinated with the idea that I must have my own overts and that to have pulled in this bad shit I must have somehow caused it. But as I destimulated I could reason better and evaluate what I had seen. The overall stats of Scientology are down, and have been for a long time. As stats are the measure, then the management must be bad. I personally saw many lies from management about how great things were when they weren’t. I realized that things were bad. I realized that my stable datum that the guys at the top were smart and cool must be way off.

When I lived inRussiaI once heard an Old Russian proverb: “The fish rots from the head.” Of course that datum lined up with all my observations. The bad shit wasn’t a mistake, it was planned. The middle management guys weren’t just nut cases; they were just pushing down the line the shit that came from the top. That datum really aligned so well with what I had personally seen that I knew it must be the truth.

In 2009 I saw the blog “Counterfeit Dreams” by Jeff Hawkins. I read the whole thing. It blew so much charge for me, reading the details of what happened behind the scenes, getting a real view of what things were like. Jeff is such a great writer and what he describes has real impact. It never made any sense to me, why were the DMSMH question ads ended, why was there no new effective ad campaign, how could leadership be so stupid and not see that without a great marketing plan the church would start cannibalizing the public?

Once the held-down 7’s were handled and I could really LOOK it was easy to see WHY Scientology had horrible PR and WHY it was contracting.

I am more than slightly embarrassed that it took me so long to wake the fuck up!!!

Scientology is supposed to be about LOOKING and evaluating for oneself, becoming more causative, it’s about COMMUNICATION, helping others and building a better world.

But the current “church” is all about NOT looking, NOT communicating; now it’s about not THINKING! A current church member is told what to think, what to say, who they can and cannot communicate with. Its NOT about self-determinism, it’s about being a robot.

The current “church” is really like an insane doctor cutting out the “cancerous” body parts to get rid of illness. Those Scientologists who dare to think for themselves are purged, expelled, declared suppressive.

But the church has taken this to a new level of insanity: now it’s the cancer running the church seeking to amputate, cut out, expel, the healthy tissue!  Soon there will be nothing and no one left in the corporate church of scientology besides cancer tissue!

Last weeks phone conversation and news of being declared a suppressive person came as no surprise.  It was more like the final process of a grade in auditing, you come to the end and someone asks you “Would you like others to have the gains that you now have?”

And my answer is, Yes! I am happy for what I got out of Scientology and I am very happy to be free from the madness of what Corporate Scientology has beccome.

One of the steps I took to rehabilitate the wins I had with the tech was going in session. I found a great auditor, out here in the Independent Field and (with trepidations) signed up to get a review. Part of the auditing program was to handle any by-passed charge I had related to past auditing I received in the corporate church. I recall the question: “Were you audited while you were under stress?” I laughed and cried and swore my head off answering that question! Was I audited while under stress????? HA!!!! When wasn’t I under stress? Let’s see: there’s the stress of paying the money (or rather borrowing it and worrying about being able to re-pay it) there’s the stress of worrying what will happen when you’re sent to see the Ethics Officer; the stress of losing your post, or not being allowed to take the next step on the Bridge, the worry of being expelled if you disagree. I was worried before I even went to Flag for auditing: scrutinizing my every action wondering if “it would come up” on my sec check and get me sent to the Ethics Officer!!! I realized that ALL of my auditing in recent years in the “church” was all done over heavy stress. I was PTS to the Church!!! Needless to say, handling this was a HUGE relief.

Now my life is full of fun and creation. I have taken back up my dual passions of backpacking and photography. I have a fantastic wife and we have a seven year old son. Life is good.

And some day I hope to head back out on the dissemination trail…


Andy Porter
Independent Scientologist

Some of Andy's recent work

321 responses to “My trip in and out of the Church of Scientology

  1. I just wanted to pause for a moment and thank EVERYONE for all of your heart-felt welcomes and comments…You are ALL some Bad-Ass Motherfuckers (meant in the most positive way) in my book and I love each and every one of you!!!

  2. Andy – the details of your story are phenomenal — as is your photography! Wow!

  3. Phil de Fontenay

    Excellent write-up Andy, thank you! :)
    I remember Sue McClintock going to Russia when I was an auditor in Sydney Org. I seem to recall she had to leave Russia quickly before she got locked up. The days when she was in the CLO in the floors above the org there were face-rippings every day ~lol We had to explain to our pcs that it was probably some crazy person on the street :)


    Phil de Fontenay

    • Unfortunately her behavior in Russia was picked up by many of the SO staff there in Moscow…new staff are very impressionable!
      And her (current or past) husband Malcolm, was one the kindest and most pan-determined execs I ever met…
      Were you there when Kim Porter was the ED of the Org?

  4. Andy:

    What an amazing story! Really stunning, Really know about the outpoints gradually adding up until there are too many to ignore and piecing together the pieces of the puzzle..

    It was fascinating to read details on the boom in Russia in the 1990’s. The current Church is a fool, to put it mildly, to put out someone with your ability to go into a new area and help it expand.

    Welcome out “officially” and thanks again for hosting the party.

  5. Why are the FBI/MI5 so slow to act on the reported abuses of the RCS?

    UK Security Forces (MI5) and their Focus of Efforts seem to be accidentally spilling out thanks to Libya documents.
    It is becoming more & more apparent that they are willing to act as Political/& Financial enablers, putting these above true Welfare & Security issues.
    Willing to assist in abuses, torture etc, if there was some Political or Financial mileage in it!

    “Secret documents reveal MI5 agents betrayed Libyan dissidents to Gaddafi spies in London rendezvous just 700 yards from Harrods” UK MAIL article 22 April 2012

    “MI5 report challenges views on terrorism in Britain Exclusive: Sophisticated analysis says there is no single pathway to violent extremism” Guardian UK 20 Aug 2008

    Interesting paragraph from MI5 Report detailed above –

    “Virtual environments provide a useful platform for any kind of real-life extremist (as is now widely accepted) but it is the formation of groups within virtual spaces that then spill-out into real-space that could become a significant feature of the 21st century security picture. This is happening with, ‘Project Chanology’ a group that was formed virtually with some elements of the Anonymous movement in order to disrupt the Church of Scientology. While Project Chanology (WhyWeProtest Website) began as a series of cyber actions directed at Scientology’s website, it is now organizing legal protests of Scientology buildings. A shift from the virtual to the real”

    Clearly the Security Services were more ‘interested’ in Anonymous’s activities than the abuses of the RCS!!

  6. Dear Andy

    Thank you for this absolutely fantastic write up!
    I’m writing this before reading the comments, still laughing and crying on: Have you ever been audited under stress?
    I’ll do my best to circulate it widely and get others to have similar gains to yours!

    I have found what you say about Russia very interesting too. I had never really believed any of the “good news” about it, since I was intimately convinced nothing good could possibly happen after 82 .(Even when Marty talked about expansion in the eighties, I didn’t really believe it! )
    So it makes me wrong, but then the truth always helps!
    It also increases understanding as to why some of the Ex.-S.O.-Indies hung in there so long.

    • Hey UR,
      Thank you and glad it blew some charge.
      The thing (okay, one of the things) that’s so degraded about the current church is that it has become ANOTHER betrayal.
      The LAST thing this place needs is more of that…

  7. miscavigeisscaredofsam

    Welcome out (and in) Andy and thank you for your story :)
    Great to have you as a new friend.

  8. Andy,
    Sorry I am so late — but I wanted to say thank you.
    We never met, but I knew of you and your work for years. From the early 90’s when I was involved with SMI and WISE, your name was synonymous with pioneer expansion.
    I welcome you with open arms into the Indi community. We could not have a better Div 6 man in the house. And I agree with you on so many counts about the fact that RCS has turned Scientology into a police state. Gone is affinity. Gone is help. Gone is the purpose of training and auditing.
    Thanks for putting your journey into words and communicating it to the world! All my love to you and your wife.

  9. Hi Andy – Wow- I was spellbound by your tale. Thank you for sharing it. I was always aware that the Corporate Scientology grossly exaggerates all their “blow out accomplishments” but it has now progressed to all time low to just lying about everything they do.

  10. Hi Andy – Wow I was spellbound by your tale. Thank you for sharing it. While I was aware that Corporate Scientology grossly exaggerates all its over the top accomplishments , it is now very obvious, that it has progressed to an all time low by lying about everything they do.

  11. Hi Andy, What a great thing to have your arrival among us! Much of what you wrote about I had personal experience with from another direction. While incarcerated at the Int base, I had the revolting job of working on those event videos. I made no bones about letting everyone know that I despised every minute of it from the day I was thrust into that position (by DM) in May 1997, until the day I routed out of the Sea Org in March 2004. I made it known I felt the videos and the events as a whole were off purpose and had no redeeming value. I made it known that DM’s brand of videos (commonly called “brag and boast” in the advertising world, a synonym for “stinking bad”) were not in the proper character of Scientology at all. But since DM personally choose me for that post no one else would dare let me off. I was trapped within a trap and after 1998 I was not allowed to leave the Int base (DM’s order); I had to be there at all times in case DM wanted a conference with me. In the end, I realized the only way to get off that post was to leave the Sea Org entirely and that also meant leaving my wife (who was by that time a brainwashed, mindless DM-bot), all my friends, and the only life I’d known for 20 years).

    I worked on the Galina and Vladimir IAS Winner videos with Diana Hubbard and Danny Sherman toward the end of my career as a captive brain at the Int base. However by that time, I was contributing almost nothing to the effort: no amount of blackmail, duress, threats or punishment could force me to write another Miscavige video; I had seen behind the curtain. The entire activity did not compute. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an excellent writer. But how does one excel as the author of suppression? For every video, Miscavige had reams and reams of insane, conflicting, and ultimately suppressive orders on how to write each one that guaranteed the final product would be suppressive — meaning anti-Scientology. These orders were in the form of past rejects and transcripts from meetings with Miscavige.

    A few years earlier, in 2000, I collected up all of DM’s orders for every script, put them in binders in an effort to study and make sense out of them. There were more than 35 different types of videos that we wrote routinely, each with reams of orders specific to that kind of video. Altogether, Miscavige’s orders for how to write each type of video comprised a staggering 12 linear feet of shelving! Added to that were all the scripts Miscavige had approved in the past, which he demanded we refer to as references. That added a few more feet of paper.

    Maybe one day I’ll use my scriptwriting skills to write a movie about scriptwriting for DM, I’d call it, “Cultural Spinning for Make Glorious Reputation of Leader Miscavige.” We lived a Borat movie.

    Suppressive personalities hide in chaos, and nowhere is that more true than the Int base where invalidation, personal attacks, condemnations, assault, battery, ethics and justice actions rain down with such ferocity, against sleep-deprived staff, with weekly meter checks looking for any dirty needle (negative thoughts), plus constant sec checking and public confessions and surprise inspections, for key people, only the toughest of the tough could weather the hurricane without getting blown away.

    With Galina’s and Vladimir’s videos I remember specifically being concerned that they were going to upset the field by falsely setting up the award winner as THE person who did everything — thereby invalidating all the others who had helped. I spoke about this to Diana, but we could do nothing about it.

    The arbitrary rules Miscavige had established for those videos were as unbending and unyielding as he was. You either wrote by his rules, or you walked away… from everything. Which in the end, is what I did. Like you and every Independent Scientologist.

    The videos were products of suppression. So of course they were themselves suppressive.

    Once again, welcome.

    • These days every time I read a story like yours Thoughtful I think how many more are there who are driven to the extreme step of leaving everything behind after 5, 10. 20 or more years. And how many more are there that suffer silently or in total denial because they’re understandably unable to face what surely must be a yawning abyss without any sign of a safety net.

      Those who make the leap must surely have big cojonas yet what impresses me more is how many go on to thrive in the life outside.

      One hopes with so many ex corporate scientologists of all flavors those that remain might catch a glimpse of a safety net and be encouraged to take that leap.

      This is why.

    • Steve,
      Thank you for the warm welcome!!

      From my view, when I was “out front” spreading the word of Scientology, reading about your experiences in marketing at the Int base clear up SO many confusions! It always blows charge for me to read about your exploits!
      Its one thing to lie when the truth won’t work, but to lie when the truth is perfectly acceptable???
      But now it all makes sense: DM is insane.

      On a more important note: Where do I go to get my name added to the Indie 500 list?

      • Hi Andy! For the Indie 500 list, just send to me at Include case level, training level, years on staff (if any), awards and recognitions. All of which helps to demonstrate it is the cream of the crop who are leaving the Cult of Miscavige.

    • My god, Thoughtful!
      In my mind there is one thing that’s worse than forced confession, eating garbage and sleeping in a ant infested place, and that’s being forced to make or contribute to artwork one hates!

    • Hey Steve, I am SO GLAD that you are out!! What a powerhouse! In some way, your unkillability just brought a great big smile to my face. DM is so way out of his league!

  12. Just wanted to say that the Andy Porter here isn’t the same as the one in the science fiction field. Andy or Andrew I. Porter:

  13. YEE HAW!!! What a wild story! WELCOME, WELCOME,WELCOME! We need your dissemination abilities! You are obviously a stellar stat maker! Thank you for taking the time to tell your tale of how you came to be an INDIE. Hope to meet you at the Indie Party.

    Much love,
    Catherine von Ach
    Austin, Texas

  14. Hi Andy, I was in SMI toward the end of the eighties. As I was the Dist Sec (over expansion) every week I had to compile a a good news briefing re expansion in the mission network. The routing was as follows: Dist Sec Smi Int to CO Smi Int to WDC SMI to WDC Chairman to COB RTC. By the time it got through WDC SMI whatever I had originally written had been heavily doctored to make it seem even better than it was. We often got rejects from wdc because what we had written was not good enough and we were ordered to leave out bad parts and to pour the coal on good parts. After a reject CO SMI INT would doctor the news quite strongly, then WDC SMI would doctor some more. By the time it went up the lines, the news was (or at least appeared) 10X what it had been. Already toward the end of the 80’s, in upper middle management, we were all trying to please the Great Leader as we were in terror of being reprimanded or sent to the RPF.

    I don’t know if the same would apply to Wise and the other sectors, I just remember that in 2004 my wise consulting company had to appear in the new year’s event and so I was ordered by Wise Int to send to LA some footage of my company and its seminars. I was already disaffected back then and I wanted to avoid all the exposure (and the aggrandizment of the news that would follow), so I sent up some crappy videos instead hoping they would just file them away and forget me and my company. Instead after a couple of months I got an ethics mission… ;-)

    Glad you are out and safe. I hope someday both Claire and Beate will cognite too.


    • Hi Paolo,
      I remember you! You spoke at several Mission Holder Conferences…glad you made your escape! I just got an email from another long-time SMI person who also made it free…
      Nice to meet you again, outside of the joint!

  15. Andy sorry for the earlier mindstrings on my part, Hell of a way to burst onto the scene. Excellent tought-envoking write up.

    You’re a trooper


  16. Are you the Andy in Smurf’s vids ? You were in for a really long time.

    If you ever want a bunk in the Netherlands you ca craSH AT MY PLACE


  17. Theo Sismanides

    Hi Andy, thanks for the extensive and comprehensive story you gave us about your track in Scientology.

    Amazingly Admin Tech as you said is used in Corporate Scientology to destroy.

    I am in Greece. Since you are a pioneer of Scientology opening up many countries and since you have held executive posts in the organization I do believe one day we will meet. I think with Standard Admin we can expand the Tech.

    Welcome to the Indies!

    • Theo!
      Glad to hear from you. Years ago I read your post about your experiences in Copenhagen, and you have since been one of my heroes!

      • Theo Sismanides

        Hmmm… Aaaandy…. You read my post years ago? So you have been a naughty boy for some time now… hahaha.

        I am honored to be with you now in the same team.

        You have amazing speed and quality of communication, lots of action, too. What better friend and ally could I ask for?

        Yes my experiences have been true and truth is going to prevail. The translations issue is not just an Ethics issue anymore. It becomes AGAIN a Tech issue and an Issue for the Clearing of the Planet, as LRH intented it to be in the first place.

        We now have our own team and with the Tech we can perform miracles.

        Thanks a lot!

  18. Andy,
    Firstly, welcome “out”, and congrats on a stellar career. I prefer to say that we here are the ones that are “in”, and that the Church itself has moved “out”.

    Second, you worked with my brother in Russia for several years, so I would really like to have some live comm with you. I think we even spoke by phone once or twice back in the late nineties. Please send me an email to “axiomatic @” so we can hook up.

    All the best,

  19. one of those who see

    Hi Andy !!! thank you for your report. So well done!! Sorry I’m late getting here. Was really busy the last few days and wanted to read every word. So many important points. And thank you for your honesty. What an amazing being you are. All that dissemination in all those countries. Welcome to freedom! Scientology can be and can accomplish what we first thought of it. We weren’t wrong. The Church went wrong.

    • Hey One of Those,
      I guess I am One of Those now myself! Happy to be away from the darkness and dancing in the sunlight!
      Yes, the church went VERY wrong…
      Thank you!

  20. Thank you. That was my point. SP declare nowadays mean you are SP to DM (not Scientology, but twisted to mean the same) and his considerations (not HCO PL’s or HCOB’s) of what needs to be done, as there is no International Management, and there is no Board of which he is Chairman of the Board.

    Has DM ever stated WE the Board decided WE need New Golden Age of Tech???????? And who is “WE” of the Board?

  21. HannibalTheFirst

    Andy, that was a great write up and so helpful to understand what went on in Russia. Great observations. In these DM events I always had the feeling getting bullshitted beyond recognition. Glad to hear my feelings were spot on.

  22. This is truly an amazing story – not only of what someone can achieve under such chaotic and difficult circumstances, but the realisations also along the way. How long did we all not look at what we saw was happening, and try to achieve what we now realise was impossible.
    Having been at FLAG in 2002 and almost being psychotic myself, for not following my intuition – not sleeping, being red tagged at the examiner and then dreading to go after a session – looking back at it now, how insane was that!! A lot of what you have said here Andy about waiting so long, I duplicate completely. – the more aware I became, the more outpoints I saw. I could see OT’s not doing well and on withholds, and realized, I was becoming like that too. I was lying to myself. The amount of people who sacrificed so much and gave their all, and then some, is so outrageous. Your story is inspirational and makes me want to get back to doing something again – Dianetics preferably – anyone in New Zealand here doing remarkable things in the independent world??
    What you accomplished, the interesting life in Russia and other parts of the world in an exciting pioneering capacity and personal realisations along the way make this story so memorable Andy.

  23. Very well stated, Richard! I love the succinct way you described this activity of declaring non SP’s! Yes, it does create confusion, which seems to be the cretin’s main objective in life.

  24. I think if we were to boil down the core message that such an inspiring article by Andy brings is:

    “Never give up”

    It appears that each of us who were once actively involved in scientology either as a Sea Org member, mission or org staff member or active public at SOME point felt —

    I’m going to die IF I don’t live this insanity …

    I know I did. Then as we gather our thoughts, shake ourselves off like injured athletes …

    We come back. And know — NOW, I’ll never give up …

    until each one of my friends still captured and in prison WAKES UP.

    These words from a chant I love inspire me:

    “Be cheerful in the morning, kind in the afternoon, and inspired in the evening.”


    • Opps — hopefully obvious typo:

      I’m going to die IF I don’t LEAVE (not live, as incorrectly typed) this insanity

  25. Andy Porter, wow man! Excellent write-up! I want to ack you for your TRUE dedication to and expansion of LRH. You brought it! For real!
    Best wishes to you, your wife and your son! It’s all good.

  26. eljeffetheboss

    Andy – Thank you for your story. I know that this is just a tip of the iceberg as a man with your experience has many tales to tell. I have known you since 1983 and I have always considered you a powerhouse here in the Pacific NW (even when you were in Russia you were talked about with admiration here). I am truly glad you are out from under the Suppression of the Corporate Church and are breathing the air of freedom!

  27. Andy, great vivid and real write-up! I want to Thank You for everything you did in Russia in particular, as I was born into a Russian family and have a “Russian Heart”; although I have never been to that country, I feel some bond with those people over there.

    Good to see you posting here!

  28. Hello Andy,
    I believe we met in 1993 in Moscow, in OTL where I worked as a Course Sup, there were also Bertha and Veronica running the org. I am glad to share with you the reality on expansion in Russia. Totally different atmosphere, ah? Do you think to get in comm with independent movement in Russia, or is a country still close for you to visit? We could also had met in Saint Petersburg too, that’s my city. I was one of the 5 Book One auditors who formed the group that grew into the St. Pet mission. Galina was one of us.
    Congratulations on breaking free from suppression! :)

  29. Hello my name is Dianna Tracy such a powerful spell caster that deliver me of a diabetes and also bring my ex back that left me since one year ago, I am saying a big thanks to him Dr idialu because he save my life. I had a diabetes since over one year I went to the hospital the Dr treat me both their was know cure, people told me that the sickness is spiritual sickness I was confuse in life I don’t know what to do my ex also left me and broke my heart each day I cry and cry I was miserable in life I don’t know what to do until my cousin introduce me to this powerful spell caster called Dr idialu I email him through I told him all my problem, he told me what to do, before three days it was a greatest surprises to me I was deliver of my diabetes and my ex that left me since one year come to me and started begging saying that I should forgive him it was a dream to me that is why I am share my testimony to every body in the forum. advice if you had any kind of problem or difficulties disturbing you in life you have to contact him is only the solution to your problem.once again a very big thanks to him.`

  30. Pingback: Proč se církev bojí internetu | independent beings

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