Thursday, May 27, 2010

Preface

From the Preface to the hardback edition of Counterfeit Dreams, available August 2010

This was not an easy book to write. For three years following my departure from the Church of Scientology, I was not able to write anything sensible about my experience. Then gradually, the onion layers of indoctrination started to peel off, one by one, and I began to get some distance and perspective.

I began writing my account as a blog, posting it chapter by chapter. I did this to put pressure on myself to continue writing, to finish the narrative. And partly to reach out to others who may have had similar experiences.

I knew that I could never tell part of the story; it had to be the whole story or nothing. When I would try to tell people about the abuses I experienced within the Church of Scientology, they would ask me one thing: why had I stayed so long? And understanding that meant telling the whole thing.

My blog account attracted an audience, and they kept the pressure on me to finish. Some of these were people, like me, who had left Scientology and they found in me a kindred spirit. Others, to my surprise, were people still actively involved in the Church of Scientology. They were shocked by my revelations as to what goes on at the top levels of Scientology, and, after reading my story, they began to re-examine their own involvement with Scientology. Hundreds of people have now left the Church of Scientology as a direct result of reading my story. And every week I get an e-mail or two from people who have newly left.

Once my blog account was completed, my readers and friends encouraged me to expand Counterfeit Dreams to book-length and publish it.

As I often have to explain to people, I am not anti-Scientology. While I am no longer a Scientologist, I have many friends who are and who practice the subject outside the Church. I wish them well. My objection is to the abuses of organized Scientology and it is these that I continue to expose and fight against.

I have also heard from many people who were never involved with the Church of Scientology. For some who have been trapped in an abusive group or relationship, my story resonates. If this book can serve as either a cautionary tale or a message of hope, it will have been worth writing.

6 comments:

Chris said...

You're a very good writter :)

Betsy said...

To all who read this account: I too was in for many, many years, lived at this base, knew Jeff, and many of the same people he will talk about in this account. I went through my own hellish nightmare there. What is written on this blog is the best account of what life was really like on the inside that I have ever read. If you want to know the actual truth of what goes on behind that razor wire fence, here is where you will learn. Hats off to you Jeff and a heartfelt thank you for having the guts and and the talent to tell it like it is in a clear, accurate manner to all who want hear.

Formerly Fooled said...

Jeff, thank you so much for writing what happened and doing it in such a professional manner. It's pure joy seeing the media pick up on your story and help address the ongoing humnan rights issues Sea Org members endure.

Best wishes,
Mary McConnell

Margaret said...

Jeff,

I was on staff at a Class V org during the 80s, when DMSMH re-hit the NY Times best seller list. I had no idea how it was done, but was in awe of it. Now, having read your story, I understand that it was you (and your team) who achieved that, and I am beyond mortified how Miscavige treated you, and so many, after that.

You were a true hero in Scientology, and I just want to say Thank You for everything you did.

Margaret

Axiom142 said...

I‘ve just finished reading this - long after I should have done. Perhaps I was unwilling to face the insanity of what happened to you (and others), but I’m glad I did. Your story, from the excited beginnings in the late 60s to the totalitarian madness of the mid ‘noughties’, perfectly chronicles the major events in Scientology over the past 40 years and shows how it all went so horribly wrong.

Jeff, thank you so much for having the courage to face this insanity again and write it down so that we may know the truth. Your words will reverberate throughout the world, their truth cannot be denied. Because of what you and other people of courage and good conscience have done, the days of this abusive cult are numbered. The darkness that has been wrought cannot survive much longer in the uncompromising sunshine of Truth.

The physical abuses are pretty bad, but to my mind they pale into insignificance compared to the true evil of what Miscavige has done – the mental and spiritual enslavement of his victims. The CoS is more akin to Stalinist Russia or Nazi Germany now than a church.

I can’t imagine what is was like for you to leave the Sea Org after 35 years and have to start a new life with almost nothing -it was hard enough for me and I was only in for 18months! I am so glad that you have made a new life for yourself and reconnected with your family and friends. You have set an example of how the human spirit can endure and triumph over adversity. I hope that one day everyone who remains trapped in this insidious and evil cult can follow you on the real path to Freedom.

P. Henry said...

Hey Jeff, In late November of 09' I finally hit the internet and began to LOOK. It was not long before I found your blog and began to read your most incredible story. I join the many others who have posted throughout your account in giving you accolades in abundance. You are a excellent writer. Your story was a real page scroller!

While I was reading your story (chapter a day) I was also reading Captain Bill's 1982 debreif. It was interesting to see the overlap on a couple of occasions and it helped to expand the point of view.

Jeff, you have had a wonderful adventure, pulled off incredible feats and produced products of immense value. Indeed, your products and I have crossed paths more than once. I recall being in a Dalton bookstore sometime in 84' in Fort Smith, AR. I was looking for the latest release of of the Mission Earth series. They didn't have it but the girl helping me took me to a shelf where there were many copies of DMSMH. She picked one out and said, "We sure are selling a lot of this book by L. Ron Hubbard." That was your product Jeff! I was so impressed by it that I wrote a success story and mailed it to Bridge Pubs. It ended up being published in a copy of IMPACT and read at a muster at FSO (a friend was there and told me about it).

As a side note: I moved to Portland in 76' and that's where I first met LRH in a bookstore. You again. :)
You can read my story about that here:

http://scnstories.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-book

Thanks Jeff for all that you have done and all that you are doing. Perhaps we'll meet someday.

P. Henry