Monday, October 15, 2012

Preface

Preface

I have been asked many times to write a book about my experiences and understanding of the religious practices and principles of Dianetics and Scientology.

At 6 years old I was put into a class to study the religion of Scientology. They have different books which you read that serve to teach you how to absorb the religion properly. They essentially modify a child's thought process to make it easier to absorb the religious philosophies and practices laid out by the leader L. Ron Hubbard. The same courses exist for adults.


This was after my father had become involved in a group called WISE which is short for World Institute of Scientology Enterprises. They are a front group which teaches business owners the business management principles that were laid out by Hubbard so they can use them in their own business.

After we had been in Scientology for a while and I had done children's courses I was enrolled in a course, when I was around 12 or 13 years old called the "Personal Efficiency Course". As with everything in Scientology it sounded awesome on the outside. It was promoted as a course to improve your proficiency in your personal life.

However I became indoctrinated in a little spoken about side of Scientology known as "Ethics". Scientology believes the source of all your problems is essentially bad things you have done that you have failed to confess. In Dianetics you are introduced to the idea that the reactive mind is the source of all your problems, but this is not true in Scientology.

Scientology is confession heavy. They document every confession that you make. Virtually every session inside a large organization is video taped through hidden cameras and microphones. They promote it as the "look-in" system so that someone can check in on you to make sure that you are doing the procedures correctly.

Towards the end of my course I had to do what is called an "O/W Write-Up". This is basically a confessional where you write down bad things you have done and you give them to someone to read. In my case it was the person in charge of my training called a "Supervisor". In Scientology bad things you have done are called "overts" and things you have kept secret are called "withholds". This can be any secret, not just a naughty one.

So here I am 12 or 13 years old and I have to confess my sins to some guy I hardly know by writing them down on a piece of paper. Most of them I would not be ashamed to admit today, but as a child in a religious household, you can imagine how embarrassed I was. These things would be revealed to my parents!

Luckily I dodged the real issue at hand which was that I was gay. I can't imagine how much that would have ruined me had it come out at that age. I spent most of my preteen life hiding it from people. Until I was about 18 years old. Scientology is inherently homophobic.

My homosexuality eventually resulted in me being kicked out of the Church's "elite corps" of workers known as the Sea Org. I ended up having an affair with a roommate and we were caught late one night by another one of our roommates. I was 17 years old, a few months from being 18. I was dragged into their "ethics" department because the roommate that had caught us had written a report on the incident.

I was eventually pressured into confessing to my perceived crimes against the Sea Org in front of an Ethics Officer, which is the Church of Scientology equivalent to a police officer. At this time I was in Florida and my home was in Los Angeles. So I was sent back to Los Angeles, made to endure more confessionals and eventually kicked out of the Sea Org by a committee of people.


They left in my hand a paper recommending Scientology counseling that was promised to cure my gayness and return me to a normal straight life so I may one day rejoin their elite group.


Later on, because of my disagreements with the Church and my inability to keep my mouth shut I was eventually "shunned" or disconnected from my immediate family which consists of my Father, Mother, Brother and Sister. I regret the conditions in which this happened and I miss my family dearly. My Father challenged my integrity for posting anonymously which inspired me to go public with my story on The Village Voice blog "Runnin' Scared".


I have no interest in ever reconciling with the Church. As long as my parents are Scientologists the Church will stand between us and I will never have a relationship with them like I did when I was a child. 


My inspiration to write this story has come from the therapeutic nature of sharing my experiences and from others who have pushed me during my time commenting on The Village Voice blog "Runnin' Scared". It also comes from the hope that one day my parents may read my story and see things from my point of view instead of just the point of view that the Church of Scientology has given them.


This story will be filled with my hopes and regrets, laughs and tears, highs and lows, ups and downs. I can only hope that it will be as enjoyable for you to read it as it is for me to tell it. I will try to keep the events a sequential as possible.

I also suffer from some lost memories. In time I have regained some. Should this happen during the course of telling this story I will go back and make the necessary updates.

-- Derek Bloch

In Memory of Brenda Singer -- my late aunt
I love you and I miss you.