Why are ex-members poor sources of true information on Scientology?

Ex-members, called apostates, are an acknowledged phenomenon with known, predictable patterns, as documented by sociologists and religious scholars. To quote just one, Bryan Wilson, Ph.D. of Oxford University in the United Kingdom:

“The apostate is generally in need of self-justification. He seeks to reconstruct his own past, to excuse his former affiliations, and to blame those who were formerly his closest associates. Not uncommonly the apostate learnt to rehearse an “atrocity story” to explain how, by manipulation, trickery, coercion, or deceit, he was induced to join or remain within an organization that he now forswears and condemns. Apostates, sensationalized by the press, have sometimes sought to make a profit from accounts of their experiences in stories sold to newspapers….”

“Academics have come to recognize the ‘atrocity story’ as a distinctive genre of the apostate and have even come to regard it as a recognizable category of phenomena.”

This happens with other groups as well and even in marriages or broken friendships. The one who leaves sometimes goes a long way to explain how bad the relationship was or tries to justify that he abandoned his friends. This is a social mechanism and sometimes quite fantastic to listen to, but not a good measure to find the truth.
Some former members might complain about “bad experiences” they had or claim to have had. So, obviously they decided not to do something about it and left the organization. Maybe it was not the right thing for them. Just as most other religious organizations Scientology does not hold members who do not want to be members. Scientology practices do not work properly if done under pressure or false premises. So who wants to go, should leave or help to remedy perceived wrongs. Ex-members who try to make a living as “experts” on the faith they abandoned are clearly not neutral and not a good source for anything related.

An unbeatable way to find out something about Scientology is to go to a local church or mission and look around, get a tour and get informed. You can also go to a library and get a Scientology book. A pretty comprehensive book is one called “What is Scientology?” which tells about the Scientology belief and the organization structure (the book is also online since more than 10 years here).

There are also 18 basic books of L. Ron Hubbard in which he describes his findings and works in chronological order. Last but not least there are plenty of websites with free books or excerpts of Scientology material which the Church has put out over the last years. If you are more interested what the Church of Scientology, the organization, does and supports, you should have a look at the Church’s website.

Bryan Wilson: Apostates and New Religious Movements
Kliever: The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements
What is Scientology? Book online
Scientology Handbook online


  1. The only place a Scientologist belongs is in the labor division of a concentration camp. Only then could they serve a purpose to somebody.

    • I was fascinated to find out that the new DSM V (Psychiatry’s bible) lists trolling as a psychosis. Ironic really, since psychs readily admit to paying people to post anti-Scientology trolls. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. LOL

  2. Okay, obviously we miscommunicated. So I will be more clear. Despite your initial claim (“Louanne never said that, btw. SMH”), Louanne did indeed call Leah Remini a coward, and said that she sucks.

    Do YOU think that Leah Remini is a coward, and that she sucks?

  3. okay, obviously we miscommunicated. So I will be more clear. Despite your initial claim (“Louanne never said that, btw. SMH”), Louanne did indeed call Leah Remini a coward, and said that she sucks. Do you agree with Louanne on that?

  4. What about the Catholics, BD? Read the studies. I’m sure you’re intellectual enough to apply the data to any religion as the study does.
    Think for yourself.

  5. is this in response to the most recent celebrity defection and criticism from scientology? I understand that Leah Remini has recently left and is very vocal about her experiences.

    I’m curious- what about all the catholics that left the church amid the sex abuse scandal? is there criticism invalid because they no longer wanted to be associated with what they were seeing?

  6. read them, pat. Please tell me what you read that answers my question.

    do you agree with louanne, that Leah Remini is a coward?

  7. Here you are again, the person that keeps asking someone else to think for you. You didn’t read the studies, and if you’d really read Louanne’s posts you wouldn’t have asked this. Quit trolling.

    Louanne never said that, btw. SMH

  8. Ah, yes. And here YOU are again- the person that seems to think that asking a question on a site that says “ask a question” is the same as asking someone to think for you.

    I read the studies. If YOU had, you’d know that my question is not answered by the studies- or rather the opinion of the couple of authors. Of course, I don’t think that even you are so dim as to pretend that the experiences of ALL “apostates” can be so easily dismissed- especially when thousands of them are telling a similar story. But, then again, I doubt that you’ve looked at the list of thousands of ex-members and listened to their similar stories.

    I also forgot about your track record for reading comprehension. My mistake, I’ll be more clear. You see, after the latest celebrity left scientology (Leah Remini), louanne posted of apostates, “I personally think these people SUCK. Too wimpy to sort out their grievances – if they are no made up to begin with – and too much of a coward to address their personal issues.” She is painting all apostates with a very broad brush, but there you have it. So Louanne DID say that- do you agree, or is asking if you agree asking you to think for me?

  9. No, I don’t agree.

  10. Okay; I truly respect your position, and have to agree with your assessment.

    What about Louanne’s comment do you disagree with, or the entirety?

  11. I don’t agree with you. I agree with L

  12. That’s quite a reversal from the previous conversation, in which I outlined what Louanne said and asked if you agreed with it, to which you responded that you didn’t agree. Specifically:

    me: (After quoting what Louanne said) “She is painting all apostates with a very broad brush, but there you have it. So Louanne DID say that- do you agree, or is asking if you agree asking you to think for me?”
    you: “No, I don’t agree”

    But I guess you meant to say, “Yes, I do agree?”

    So you’re saying that you agree with Louanne that Leah Remini sucks, is wimpy and a coward?

  13. What I didn’t agree with was your summary because you misunderstood what I was disagreeing with. It’s that simple. This recent post was to clarify what was being disagreed with. Now you can disagree with me about what I meant when I said what I disagreed with and we can have fun with “you said” or we can drop this as a silly round of “change what Pat said to mean something else…”

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