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Comedienne Cathy Schenkelberg on Scientology after over a decade in the COS

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#1 Rhythm



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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:40 PM




Sometimes after going through shit the action of posting things is immediate gratification, and it costs nothing.
And after many years I spent in Scientology, "cheap" is my new religion. Look, it won't bring back my daughter's college fund or my house, but keeping my water and lights on became a little more important than blowing aliens off my body.

I spent over 10 years in a cult afraid to touch myself let alone a guy.

After well over a decade in Scientology and almost 5 years afraid to say anything, which is another story, I am finally speaking out and quotes on Facebook. Well it's very cheap and a quick way to say "fuck you", but in words that are kind and warm with a condescending undertone.
I asked myself, "Is posting quotes a better form of therapy than Scientology?"

Scientology saw me coming a mile away: cute twenty-something girl wants to help others, successful, funny, gregarious. Shit, they took the funny right out of me like a lobotomy. I became so careful, afraid to be too loud, too boisterous, too funny.
You see, for a minimal price Scientology helps you become more "you". It's funny because the further I got in the less "me" I became.
They had this campaign slogan in Scientology: "Think for yourself" which was a lie actually controlling you to think like they want you to think. Hey, if things are repeated enough people start believing it. I believed L.Ron Hubbard was Buddha.
Scientology hated the media yet they did exactly what the media does, and it worked. People were selling houses, stocks, liquidating funds and taking out loans beyond their means. I know, I was one of them. Making an average of $350,000 a year and struggling to make my house payments?

More people than I care to count have said, "How could you be so stupid?" and guess what? My response is "Well, I'm not cheap."

One of the biggest mistakes aside from getting into Scientology was loaning money to Scientologists. I learned the hard way, although I will say I was an exception to the rule. I was not cheap, I was very generous - look I'm not bragging, I just was. - with my time, with my knowledge, with my money.
I was a friggin' target for Scientology's love-bombing. It was like I had a big "Sucker!" written on my forehead. And don't get me wrong, I got in for the right reasons. You guys, I had been interviewing for the Peace Corps when I met a Scientologist that said, "If you want to help mankind then this is the group for you."
Help mankind? Why yes, I'm in! Where do I sign up? Are we farming, building houses?
We're opening churches and calling them Orgs so people can flood in to go free.
What? Ugh.

Anyway back to cheap. My first course was $35, second was $75, third was around $150, and then the dreaded, "You need to clean toxins from your body." $1500. And let me say that twelve and a half hours of therapy managed its way up to $7800 but you do get a discount when you buy a package. So you get this idea that it's a bargain to go free in Scientology.

I remember being in a room unable to leave. Exhausted, new mom, single mom, 2AM in the morning. I finally handed them over $40,000. I just needed to sleep. Stupid yeah! But don't judge me unless you've been there. I didn't want to seem cheap. I was a successful actress for Christ's sake.

I remember at one point three to four years into my tenure thinking, "Oh my god, this would be a tough group to get out of."
I should've joined the Peace Corps it would've been cheaper.

I still get sad, I get so sad. I get so angry sometimes that I didn't leave the church sooner, that I didn't follow my gut when they talked about turning thetans into volcanoes. I didn't research, read or listen to anything negative about the church because you would get charged more money.
I regret believing them when they told me I could still be an actress next lifetime, but the most important thing to a saner planet was getting up the bridge to total freedom.

I regret that I disclosed my equity line of credit on my houses, my daughter's college fund, my stocks. I regret this deeper, because the deeper and deeper I get in, the more and more I felt trapped, and money was the only way out.
I would never be called cheap, until I didn't have any more money. Gone. All of it. And trust me, that was my way out.
In Scientology if you aren't producing more money there's a name for that, and let me just tell you my name was on a list.

Posting quotes does not lessen the deep regret I feel for moving from Chicago to L.A. at the top of my career, because the church said to move away from your daughter's father because he was a so-called "Suppressive Person." He was not a Scientologist and that did not go over well with the church. So looking at all the money and all the time I pissed away, taking my daughter from her father upsets me the most.

Hey look, I know I was brainwashed or mind controlled or whatever you want to call it, but I'm done pretending. I'm done defending. I'm done being stupid.
I'm cheap bitches, and guess what? I'm now, NOW, finally richer than I've ever been! Richer in laughter and more real honest friends and a beautiful daughter who loves her dad, because I didn't let the church dictate who we love, who we accept, who we listen to, research or read about.

So there's this quote I found, "It wasn't a waste of time if you learned something." Well guess what. It was a waste of time, but I did learn that almost a million dollars is a lot of money I will never get back and yes, I can't believe it added up to that amount either.
I may cut coupons, eat at home, shop at thrift stores, but it is a much sweeter life than Scientology ever sold me. And the fact that I was labeled a suppressive person? Oh, I'd wear it like a badge of honor.

I didn't lose my daughter to the cult like so many people who'd lost their children, grandchildren, siblings. And weighing the $983,000 I spent over the years in Scientology and being out, I would say I got off pretty cheap.

It was like I paid my own ransom.

The time I wasted I'm living double that life now. I'm not afraid and I will not apologize for expressing and exposing my truth anymore, and that my friends is not cheap. That's priceless.
Thank you.

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