How to Leave the Church of Scientology

You have no doubt read a lot about how hard it is to leave the Church of Scientology.

Well, first, you need to know that leaving the Church of Scientology is not the same thing as leaving Scientology. You really cannot “leave Scientology,” any more than you can “leave Mathematics” or “leave Music.” Scientology is a subject, and as such, you have learned it and can elect to apply it or not, just as you can elect to add or subtract or not, or elect to play music or not. You need no license to learn and apply Scientology. Or not. Scientology, as a subject, just is. I know people who “left Scientology” years and years ago, who still use some of the terminology – mainly because it describes certain things so well.

But leaving the Church of Scientology is different. This is the set of organizations that claim to own, protect, and be the only official way to practice or learn the subject of Scientology.

As it turns out, that is not true. It may own the trademarks, but it does not own the subject. There are a lot of Scientologists out there who are practicing (and delivering) Scientology auditing and training, or just plain using it in their own lives who have not been to an official “org” in years.

Before I get to the question at hand – perhaps you may wonder, if the Church is the only place I can safely go up the Bridge, I can’t leave the Church! If I do, then goodbye OT levels! Goodbye future! I’ll be in the hands of squirrels, or worse, wogs!

Well, as it turns out, your fears, while legitimately felt, are truly unfounded. In fact, face it: when was the last time you had real case gain in the Church? When was the last time you had a win on course? Doing the Basics are you? Great! You can read books anywhere. The Basics is not a grade chart action. Are you clear? Not Clear? Clear again? Well, which is it? Did all the auditing you got in the Church go for naught, because after all the Dianetics, all the other actions, even OT levels, you are all of a sudden not Clear? How about your training? Were you forced to retrain because you didn’t do GAT courses? Isn’t that odd? Were LRH’s courses squirrel? Of course not!

When was the last ethics cycle you had? How was it? When was the last time you were asked to donate to an “Ideal Org” or the IAS in lieu of donating for your next grade chart action? Perhaps you were “asked to donate” to get to your next “status” level of the IAS before being invited to your next OT level?

Is this really okay with you?

Do you know how much quality has left the official Church of Scientology over the last several years? Do you know that if you really are in need of real auditing, you can get it? Any time? From people who are real Scientologists?

In actual fact, the squirrels you are afraid of are in the Church of Scientology itself! It is squirrel to force you to do hours and hours of HCO Sec Checks before any OT level. It is squirrel for staff members to be in the RPF for years. It is squirrel to do “fund raising” for an org rather then selling and delivering Scientology services. It is squirrel to extort money from you for IAS contributions before you can do any next level. If you are unsure of this, I invite you to read Marty Rathbun’s blog for proof of this squirreldom. I will be adding examples here from time to time, as well.

So, how do you leave this crazy Church? How can you do it without your life turning upside down and all hell breaking loose? How can you do it without jeopardizing your future bridge or your connections to friends and family?

Well, if you are not on staff or actively on a course, the answer is…

Just don’t go. Stop doing it.

Don’t give any more money to the IAS. No more for courses, no more for “Ideal Orgs.” Just stop the money flow. If you are asked, say you don’t have it. If you have been involved with the Church for a while, that is no lie, that’s for sure.

Don’t show up to events. Just stop going. Don’t say you’re not going – just don’t go.

When you get calls after hours, tell the caller not to call after 6pm – you have to work. Tell them to make a note of it in the CF file. If members of the church call anyway, tell them that you forbid them to call after a set time, and if they still continue to call, tell them that since they refuse to abide by a simple rule to not call after hours, tell them they cannot call at all. Tell them to email you instead, or send regular mail. This will take some time, as from my experience, Church members seem to think they can call you whenever they want, for any reason. How many calls have you gotten at 10pm? 11pm? This is not okay, and it is not unrealistic to ask not to be called incessantly. Tell them that you are glad to get emails, glad to get mail – just tell them “telephones are psychotic” – i.e. quote policy – and ask for their requests in writing. This will be the hardest part of the process, but it is not that hard – fair roads, fair weather, and be firm. Remember that the person calling has probably been taken off post or off course to call after hours, so you are really doing them a favor as well.

As mentioned, this will take a few months.

If you are on course, finish it, and then do as above.

The result: you will be a non-declared Scientologist who is no longer actively supporting the Church of Scientology.

If you are on staff – well, if you want to leave, really do some soul searching as to why, think about (and perhaps write up on your own) your OWs so you stay clean about it (keep the copy, though – the squirrel ethics in the Church orgs misuse this data) and then if you can’t do it anymore, leave. You will survive, and there are lots of friends out here to help. In fact, you will do far better than you think you will.

But for public, this is the way to go. Then, once you are “off the radar,” so to speak, you can go the next step and become an Independent. But that is a topic for another day.

If you are more adventurous, you could start writing KRs on outnesses and send them to RTC, and you could publicly tell Mr. David Miscavige to go to hell. Those are two ways, and I can applaud them. But, if you just want to leave, just leave!

Your Scientologist friends await you.

Let me know what you think, and if you have successfully left the Church of Scientology – please comment and share your skills!

12 thoughts on “How to Leave the Church of Scientology

  1. Karen B


    What a wonderful article! Your writing is so easy to understand…I feel like we have known each other for a long time and are just sharing a thought!

    You have offered some very good advice. I came out publicly a while ago and there are two things that I’d like to share.

    1) Coming out publicly does not necessarily mean that you become a target for OSA unless you have held a position which gave you knowledge that others would like to be kept secret, like those who were at INT base. For most people, nothing bad happens because you decide to go public. If you have familial or work ties connected to the church this may require more planning on your part but even this is not an obstacle. My father is currently on lines but I have not disconnected from him.

    2) Going public does allow one to fully be free of any withhold phenomenon associated with the church. When I made my announcement, I actually felt the charge blow and my space got very clean and bright. I didn’t know that I’d been sitting on a withhold, until it was gone.

    There are many wonderful, dedicated Scientologists out here in the field. It has been a resurgence of theta for me. Each person who leaves the church has to do so on their own accord. There is a bit of a process one naturally goes through as one is moving up the tone scale and becoming more free. It is normal and over time you will establish your own certainty again regarding the subject of Scientology.

    1. Grasshopper Post author

      Good advice, Karen. In my case, I am more concerned about family than myself. We’re pretty tied into the community. It is a real shame that we’re in this situation, but it won’t be long. I have definitely reconnected with friends who have left – didn’t even know some of them had left!

      I wrote this post, though, to defuse the subject. It is easy to get caught up in the madness and constant “you must confirm for the event” and “you need to donate to the IAS or become a ‘Humanitarian’ level Ideal Org donator.” The words and titles used are amazing to me. Money is a funny thing. It really occurs to me that in Mr. David Miscavige’s church, your value is how many dollars you have, and virtually nothing else. The problem with this is that dollars are not a good measure of true value. Sure, people can get rich supplying a truly great service that the market needs, and so do well by doing good. But, if you look at it, companies with rich leadership still have middle-class or working-class employees. Are they really less valuable as beings because they don’t own the company they work for? And, there are things that really are valuable spiritually, and truly humanitarian, that will not get you rich, like being a teacher or working at a non-profit.

      DM has made the church a lower-toned mockery of truly upscale attitudes. To think that you are really helping humanity by donating to the IAS rather than just going and feeding people is ludicrous. Even if I were to just donate money, I would donate to an organization that is transparent as to where their money goes.

      1. Karen B

        Yes, I do agree with the concept of quietly withdrawing ones support if one can’t openly do so.

        Because I have been declared, I don’t have much comm to those who are still in but I did find out through the various blogs and forums that some people I worked with have also left and I also found out my ex husband left as well. This only confirmed my belief that the church is dead as he was on staff in one way or another for the past 30 years and was about as loyal as they get.

  2. Tara

    “Sure, people can get rich supplying a truly great service that the market needs, and so do well by doing good. But, if you look at it, companies with rich leadership still have middle-class or working-class employees.”
    What an excellent point. Have you ever seen anyone person become wealthy alone?

    1. Grasshopper Post author

      No, I haven’t. The best people bring their people along with them. Bill Gates is one of the richest people in the world, but he shared the joy – I know a few “Microsoft Millionaires.”

      I was looking at price lists and packages the other day. It costs more to go up the bridge than it does to get a Harvard education. By that very fact alone, the CofM makes Scientology exclusionary. So much for “clearing the planet!”

      1. Tara

        Damn! More than Harvard?! Well, that will be one big factor pushing new people to Independent Auditors…the prices. 🙂

        1. Grasshopper Post author

          Yes – and actually, one thing that surprises me about the independent movement is how little prices are mentioned. It could be because what I could call the “core” blogs (at least core to me) are people who are ex-SO, who definitely had their own very interesting journeys, but were not public and did not have to face a looming Amex payment because you were talked into paying for the next level by Thursday at 2.

          A very key factor as to why I did not do NOTS was the price. I was on preps, and we blew all the prep money on a very unnecessary sec check. I co-audited my way all the way up to Clear, and only had to actually pay for auditing very few times in my life. I was in my late-20s looking at well over $10,000 for OT V, and that was a good chunk of my yearly income. A big shock after over a thousand hours of co-auditing or student auditing.

          I remember the party ASHO had when the they started the 5% per month routine in, I think, October 1976. The prices went up 5% per month for years – until 1983 or thereabouts. The prices were relatively low in 1976, but still formidable, but it does not take long for prices to get outrageously high when you increase them at 80% per year! I understand LRH’s intention behind it, and my thought was that it would go on for maybe a year (it was an LRH ED, which are supposedly in effect for a year), but the prices kept on going up!

          You want a very good reason why the boom in the ’70s just stopped? 5% per month.

          1. Tara

            My guess is prices are not mentioned because it’s still such a gray area as far as enterprise and CofM and how the two should mix. I know many say don’t worry, don’t be afraid to audit/train people, but when you publish a price list it hits the corporate level. That’s how I feel anyway. The last thing on earth I want is the nasty SPs coming down on me or my family and I don’t know of a legal precedent that says yes, you can legally audit separate from CofM. So until there’s such a thing, I doubt you’ll see published prices in the Inde field.

            1. Grasshopper Post author

              Tara – I meant prices that the church publishes, not Indies. In other words, I am surprised that the independents don’t push the Church’s prices as a reason for corruption.

              1. Tara

                Oh…duh on me! We could push it. I haven’t seen a price list in ages but somebody’s bound to have one.

          2. Tara

            That’s interesting re. prices. I came in 1987 so they were already high. But I joined staff right after HDA, which I think was around $200 maybe. It’s hard to judge myself as a “new” person because I was a last lifetimer and went straight to the mission the first time I read LRH again this time around.
            I did get trained through Grad V C/S through the mission. And did all my Grades with field auditors hired through the mission (I was the OES, DofP, etc. so I set it up.) 🙂

            1. Grasshopper Post author

              So you took a similar route to me. I was one of the lone people who actually finished their drug rundown in the ’70s, pre “End of Endless Drug Rundown” and so I was a hot commodity for student auditors. No one was on their grades – everyone was mid Drug Rundown. Of course, most of the people who I knew were ex-hippies who had taken whole pharmacies of drugs before coming into Scientology. Co-auditing or student auditing is the way to go.


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