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My Mother and Scientology: The Story I Never Knew

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From the various websites I have on the subject of Scientology, I end up getting a lot of questions from college students doing research projects on religion. One I got last week, which I answered here, asked about how my family history affected my own quest for knowledge, thus leading me to my religious pursuits.

I answered this student’s question quite thoroughly, but it left me with my own question. How did my mom come upon Scientology?What was in it for her? I asked her if she might write a sentence or two describing such for me. What I got instead was the following, an account that totally made my own religious path make sense.

Her story:

 

I was a teenager during the druggie-hippie days of the late 1960s. Many young people were involved in psychedelic music, free love, and back-to-nature communes plus anti-Vietnam War activities, anti-establishment (anti-Middle Class) and anti-lots of other things. We were pretty dissatisfied with our parents’ lifestyles and very willing to be vocal (noisy and protesty) about it. Add into this an evolving drug culture and you have a tumultuous time to be a teenager.

My parents already had a very confused religious atmosphere going on around my house, as my mother was a staunch New England Congregationalist and my father was a recent French immigrant Roman Catholic.

Then my uncle mentioned to me that he was learning some answers to life and how to live it by reading a book called Dianetics. It was a new religious philosophy, very “out there,” but full of immediately applicable, very doable techniques for self-improvement and ways to improve the society and the environment. This hit a chord with me. I had had friends killed in Vietnam as teenagers and I had friends of friends OD on drugs. I was starved for answers to life.

I read the book. Wow.

It explained some very simple principles to me. It said you are a soul, you don’t have a soul. You have a body and the body dies but you don’t. Wow. That was never explained to me in my confirmation classes. I was always arguing with our minister about the Holy Trinity. I wanted a scientific explanation for it. I wanted to know what happens to people that makes them do bad things. Why do bad things happen to good people? What can I do about all these horrible traits in myself that I hate but seem impossible for me to change? I found that L. Ron Hubbard explains those things in Dianetics in a way that I could understand. And the answers satisfied me.

Now the neatest part about reading Dianetics and finding out it was closely connected to the Scientology religion, was finding that there are groups of people who thought like me. They were not interested in getting stoned as a “solution” to disenchantment with the way things are. They were not revolutionary and combative with society. They were interested in improving people, improving society, handling crime, illiteracy, drug abuse, and most of all ending war. I wanted in. I signed up and started taking courses in this new philosophy, courses in how to communicate with others better, how to get along with people, how to study new subjects more easily and efficiently, and how to help other people with their personal problems.

Now Scientology does not ask that you give up your personal religion. I remained Christian. I still went to church on Sundays but I now had answers to my own questions about human behavior. For me that is the basic purpose of anyone’s religion. It should help them live a life that is personally very fulfilling, give them hopes for the future, and help them deal with the problems of day to day life. My new Scientology religion did that for me.

My parents used to say that one good thing about Scientology was that it got me off drugs. Well it did do that but not in the way you might think. It completely handled the reason that I was interested in trying drugs in the first place. Why would anyone take drugs it they found each day full of hope and excitement? Why would you drink if you had so many interesting things to do that you wanted to be alert and energetic for? Drugs and alcohol just lost all their appeal.

So that’s my story. I raised my two kids using the tenets of Scientology. They turned out to be very bright and happy people, both happily married. I let them choose what religion they wanted to believe and they have both decided the Church of Scientology made the most sense. I am happy to say that I have fulfilled my lifetime dream of helping others and I have done it working both as a nurse and as a full time Scientology counselor.

About Tad Reeves

  • Mike RB

    “Now Scientology does not ask that you give up your personal religion…”

    No, it just states that ALL of the mainstream religions are in fact alien implants and that Jesus & Co. are not actually real. You’re probably not rich enough to have been able to buy your way into the religion that far yet, so I’ll forgive you your ignorance on that particular subject.

    What about Scientology’s stance on homosexuality? I assume you’re aware of the Tone Scale, and where exactly on that scale homosexuality lies? As a Christian though, I doubt you’ll have any problems with Scientology’s bigoted stance on homosexuality. I assume you’ve read Hubbard’s racist material, and of course his thoughts on the genocide of “imperfect” people, including homosexuality? I assume also that you’re aware of the cult’s many criminal convictions, and the criminal convictions of Hubbard for fraud directly relating to Scientology practice? Then there’s disconnection of course, human rights abuses, terrorism, murder, fair game etc. I could go on for hours.

  • Molly Fitz

    Whereas the subject and tools in Scientology can be very helpful, the churches and the official body of Scientology are only interested in your money.
    If you want to try Scientology, do it with one of the independent practitioners who do it by the book.

  • http://www.scientologyparent.com/ Tad

    Molly – I’ll absolutely say that the tools in Scientology can be helpful, as I’m using them daily in life, and especially as a parent. However, I think you’ve been a bit misled regarding Churches of Scientology, as the reverse of what you state is essentially the case. I spent nearly 10 years as a staff member in a Church of Scientology, and can tell you where my intentions were at – and it had nothing to do with money. Same with all of my very good friends there.

    Add that to the fact that the Church allows you to just do free online courses on the core set of Scientology subjects.

  • Jared

    Very cool. Love how it’s very simple. Read a book. Made sense. Tried it out and used it to good results.

  • http://silencednomore.com Media Censorship

    Great article. It’s great to get the viewpoint from actual Scientologists, rather than some reporter trying to stir up controversy. I am for freedom of all religions and beliefs.

    I don’t know how people can criticize subjects they have never even studied and by studied I mean reading the actual works of the subject.

  • Julie

    Well that’s a nice story. This woman found her own path and became happy and fulfilled, without the use of drugs. That’s really great.

  • Willow

    Great article! I like the simplicity of the subject.

  • Shawn

    I’m glad you found fulfillment, but it can be destructive to turn a blind eye to criticism. I did study Scientology and couldn’t find anything helpful that didn’t really have its origins elsewhere – and I found a lot that wasn’t helpful, some that was downright harmful, and a lot more that appeared to stifle independent thought.

  • http://romies-rants.blogspot.com Romie

    Fun and very real story. I appreciate the straight forward story, I am sure my mom has a similar one.

  • http://www.scientologyparent.com/ Tad

    Shawn – definitely agree that one doesn’t want to turn a blind eye to criticism. But at the same time, one should also be careful in accepting at face-value the critical words of those who /specialize/ in full-time criticism.

    That said, I think everyone has the right to inspect any religion or life philosophy and decide whether or not it works for them. I picked up Scientology & find it intensely useful and find that it encourages one to think things through for oneself.

    But I guess that’s one thing that’s nice about this country – is you can have your philosophy of life and I can have mine, and neither of us get smashed by the government for our beliefs. Theoretically.

  • Dejah

    Great article. Thank u for sharing. I apply the technology of Dianetics and have read the book. I can’t even imagine living my life out raising my son without having the information covered in Dianetics.

  • Molly Fitz

    Tad – I gave my opinion based on my own experience so I wasn’t basing it on second hand accounts. The people in the Tech divisions were very nice and, I felt, really wanted to help. The registrars and the management types were horrendous which is why I did not stay.

  • Jon

    The wonderful thing about our society is that people can speak their minds. I have had personal and good result with Scientology. Isn’t that what matters?

  • Austin

    To Shawn And Mike: I think you are basing your views on what you’ve read and not actually seen or observed. As far as Homosexuality the Church really doesn’t care, you can be a Scientologist and be homosexual – Ive seen it dude. The books say what they say – you can only observe it, look at it and discover if its true for you – because in Scientology its not forced down your throat.

    As far as the alien stuff – I think if you look at the Bible, you’ll find more aliens in there than some of the basic materials on Dianetics and Scientology. Jesus comes back from the dead? Whos the alien now??? Virgin Mary was a virgin when she had Jesus…. sounds like some intense reading and full of aliens jk lol! I was born Catholic but for real some of the stuff was hard to grasp was true – in Scientology its logical.

    Ive read some of the books and found it to be quite logical and have used it to become extremely successful in my field of software development so if you’re gonna hate on it read New Slant on Life or Evolution of a Science and then write a review. The media doesn’t know all the facts.

  • Diane

    I also grew up in the 60′s and 70′s. I was watching my friends also OD and my sister’s friends killed in combat. I felt like I could not understand what was going on around me. I started to feel adrift. I actually got very ill and prayed to God to help me find an answer and a purpose or I felt I really find a reason to keep going. Literally that very minute someone walked up to me and showed me the Dianetics book and invited me to a lecture. Sadly I choose to go to the lecture after the surgery I was scheduled for. Had I gone before perhaps my surgery and recovery would have gone much better. But even so I when I went I found my answers. I found a way to help people. I found a new understanding of why people would go to war with one another and how you can bring people together and to come to an understanding without war. I thank God every day for these lessons.

    I also came to understand the Catholic religion much better because of this, what the soul truly is and the things I thought I understood before but was uncertain of became validated. This led me to understand myself and God, what God expects of me and my place in the world a 100 times better.

    And lastly, after studying Scientology for 30 years I have tools to help people. I have watched people change before my very eyes, become more ethical, less stressed, more relaxed. I am grateful for being led to this technology.

  • Scientia

    Hi Tad. I am a Scientologist, I’ve read a number of your articles and you sound like a really top notch bloke. My only beef is that the organisation you support and promote (the CoS) has engaged (and continues to engage) in some truly repulsive acts including the violation of some of the most basic human rights.

    Are you aware of the “Squirrel Busters”? Or “The Hole” at Gold? “Musical chairs?” The history of GAT? Or church-enforced Disconnection? LRH pricing policies? Why COB RTC was kicked off his Class IV Internship? Who C/Sed Lisa McPherson and where they are now? What has been deleted from re-released LRH lectures? Or what is really going on with ex-Captain FSO Debbie Cook?

    If you are open to the teeniest, tiniest possibility that what is reported at events or in Freedom magazine may not be the “whole truth” (absolutes are unobtainable, remember / Logic 6) then I would encourage you to apply LRH Data Series tech and look (not listen), as you may be lacking substantial data. If you have balls of steel and a high confront, check out http://www.friendsoflrh.org, http://www.savescientology.com or http://www.scientology-cult.com (none of these sites contain confidential upper level data btw) and may you flourish and prosper.

    “It is a wise man who, confronted with conflicting data, realizes that he knows at least one thing – that he doesn’t know. Grasping that, he can then take action to find out.” — LRH, HCO PL 11 May 1970, Data Series II, Logic.

  • Bob

    Scientia,

    Who cares what goes on in the church? Who cares what happens in the Catholic church? At the end of the day Scientology is about….. wait for it…. YOU.

    If it can improve your life and make you one bad ass dude then do it. If it can make your relationships better, make you more tolerant, make you HAPPIER then you should do it.

    Who cares about what COB does to the church, at the end of the day im sure hes made a mistake or too here. Does it matter? Not one bit if Scientology continues to flourish and prosper and help you achieve your dreams.

    I know it has for me.

    -Bob

  • choocho

    “I am for freedom of all religions and beliefs.”

    You support the right of Freezone Scientologists to practice Scientology independantly of the corporate Church of Scientology? If that’s the case then why do you guys in the Office of Special Affairs appear to persecute them every chance you get?

  • Kittykat

    Thanks for posting this article – awesome story! And I feel this is a great description of what Scientology is and does for people.

  • Scientia

    Well, I care Bob. Per KSW and the Code of a Scientologist. I don’t want people being harmed in our name. Period. There is a reason why we as a group are widely mocked, our orgs are struggling, that the CoS is attacked in the press or by governments and it has diddly squat to do with “aliens” or “SPs” (ref HCO PL 7 Feb 1965R Keeping Scientology Working). Familiarise yourself with the Data Series and apply it.

    “Logic concerns obtaining answers. And answers depend on data. Unless you can test and establish the truth and value of the data being used, one cannot attain right answers.” — LRH, HCO PL 12 May 1970, Data Series 3, Breakthroughs.

  • Jamie

    Your mom’s story is very similar to my own mother’s story. She got into Scientology around the same time. I was also given a lot of freedom when it came to choosing a religion as a teen, and found that Scientology was it for me.

    Thanks for sharing this story. Makes me miss my own mother, who passed on when I was in my early 20s. She was an amazing mom, and I hope to be as caring and patient a parent to my own kids.

  • Kelly

    Great story Tad. My dad also found Scientology through reading Dianetics. I’m not totally sure my mom’s story. I believe she did a communication course at age 9 or 10. So though I can be considered a third generation Scientologist (I’ll have to ask my grandma for her story some day!), I can say that it wasn’t until I read Dianetics myself that I understood human behavior and really embraced the subjects of Dianetics and Scientology as my own. I wish a lot more people would read the book for themselves. It was very eye-opening and also really calming to finally understand the mechanics behind certain behavior, both in myself and others.

  • randomx

    Google is your friend. Look into Scientology for a few minutes and save yourself a lifetime of poverty and loneliness.

    I mean it. Just google Scientology !!!

  • Amie

    First of all, I would like to say that unless you have taken a course in a standard Scientology courseroom, it is quite rude to write about Scientology being a fraud or anything else. Secondly, it is no concern to anyone why or why not anyone does not complete their Class IV internship, other than of course, the student himself. Anything you read about it is just hearsay. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but to slam what someone believes in their heart and uses daily is just rude.

    Now that I got that out, this was a truely beautiful article and depicts quite clearly why so many have turned to Scientology. They want answers. They need solutions to everyday issues that so many consider “normal”. Most people don’t know that there are answers out there, or that Scientology has those answers and all they have to do is use the tools taught in Scientology to their life. Scientology is simply the application of those answers to life. That’s all it is. And once you see it work in your life, naturally, you want others to have the answers, too. That is simply what Scientology is and this article communicates it perfectly.

    Thank you for sharing this in such a public place!

  • Megan

    Tad, I really liked your article. It was a cool viewpoint of how someone got into Scientology back in the 60s and 70s. I’m glad your mom found something that works for her, and that you and your family are happy with Scientology. I know my life wouldn’t be the same without it, and every day I am grateful for what I have learned from it.

  • Sylvia

    Very nice story and totally real to me as a similarly aged person and experiencing the same thing with Vietnam and anti-establishment protests. It’s nice to see that Dianetics helped her and eventually you.

  • Strat

    Great article Tad. IMO, religion in general is filled with much needless complexity and opinions. Hats off to your mom for having the courage to think outside the box and look for herself.

  • Katherine

    While I’m of a different generation than your mom, her story sounds like mine in a lot of ways. I was not raised in a particular religion or church. As a teenager, I saw my friends searching for answers, hurting and turning to drugs, or joining various churches out of fear of what would happen to them if they didn’t (i.e. being “sent to hell” by a wrathful God). I felt deeply that there was something about all this that did not make sense, and I was looking for answers too. I found a lot of them in a book called A New Slant on Life. That was 15 years ago.

    In my time as a member of the church (including 12 years as a staff member) I’ve never seen anything to support the negative claims a few others have made in their comments. It’s true – Scientology is not for everyone. If that’s the case for you, no problem. I hope you find the answers you are looking for in your life. But there’s no need to go badmouthing a good group of people with good intentions.

  • Alisa

    What a great story! I like how she found the answers she was looking for, found fulfillment and had a stronger understanding of her Christian upbringing.
    She certainly looks very happy and fulfilled in that picture with her adorable grandson.

  • Stephanie

    Nice story. I love what she said about why or how she got off drugs. That’s totally my view of drugs or heavy drinking too! I think religion and anything that gives one a way to improve their life has a lot of value, and she clearly has found a lot of value in Scientology. More power to her!

  • Molly Fitz

    Ted – I agree. The independent Scientology movement is the way to go.

  • Andre Untiedt

    Great story! I know how my mom started in Scientology – through my dad. But I never did find out how my dad came upon it. Whatever – I’m pleased he did.

  • Erica

    What a fabulous story!
    I was also raised in a Scientogist household. I am starting my Dianetics extension course this week and this story was a great way to say ‘START!’. Thanks as usual for your wonderful perspective!

  • Robert

    Loved the article. I too was searching for answers about what life was about and had all the “Why” questions that so many people have about life and living it and how to be happy in a real sense. I read Dianetics and for the first time in my many years’ search I found answers that made sense and were based on observable facts. Just what I was looking for! Happier and happier ever since!

  • David

    What a nice, simple story about someone discovering a fulfilling path in life. It sounds like Scientology did a lot of good for her.

  • Megan

    That’s a great story! Very straightforward and simple, but almost iconic to similar stories I’ve heard from many. I have been in Scientology for about 25 years and can’t imagine where my life would be without it. Factually I doubt I’d even want to know but I consider myself very very fortunate to have found it so early in my life.

  • AmesO

    This is a pure and straight to the point article.

    Tad & his mom have a simple way of communicating; and I know that its quite valuable that they are speaking from the heart, their experience and from the view of allowing others to have something real to relate to