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Saturday, 22 December 2012
My escape from Hubbards' mad cult - John Duignan PDF Print E-mail

Well folks, I hope this serves the function of assisting those thinking of leaving, to actually take this life changing step. It is my story, and I hope it is of interest.

I was on, what can best be described as an infiltration mission, targeting several local government departments in the English Midlands. In the course of this work, I was exposed to new information, normally unavailable to a Sea Org member, books on psychology and sociology, educational journals and real-world statistics. I was also exposed to the huge volume of material available on the internet, often, shocking to me, posted by former lost friends and co-workers from as far afield as Sydney Australia, Los Angeles and Vancouver British Columbia. Some of the most devastating material was provided thanks to Andeas Hedle Lund on Xenu.net.

This, plus the fact that these ‘wogs’ I was working with in governmental, educational and social services, were quite fantastic people with broad minds and good hearts. It all served to gradually break down my twenty odd years of coercive indoctrination. I eventually could no longer lie to myself; I was working for a very bad and dangerous cult. Thus began a complex and carefully planned operation to extract myself from Scientology.

There was a certain degree of deviousness required; I had to make a clean break, I could not be hauled back to Saint Hill, allowing myself to be either ‘reprogrammed’ or demeaned and degraded in the eyes of the many people who liked and respected me for the considerable achievements I had as Sea Org member. Be under no illusion, the main purpose of ‘ethics’ ‘decks’ and the 'RPF' is only to destroy and degrade the target in the eyes of his former compeers, not the rehabilitation of the ‘fallen’. I hoped that my sudden departure would shock dear friends and colleagues into asking questions and perhaps beginning their own exit process.

I arrived back home in July last year after four weeks on the run, pursued by the Senior HAS UK and two security staff. I am now in University, have a beautiful, brilliant and loving fiancé, a modern car and apartment and have made some jolly good money working on helicopter simulators in Denmark and Norway. Most importantly, I have my family back. Life is so much more fulfilling, meaningful and exciting outside of the crazy, sick, paranoid world of Hubbard and Scientology.

This account of my escape is factual, although a lot of details have been blurred or left out to protect some dedicated individuals and organizations that assisted me. I wish to thank them, but for now they must remain anonymous. The account is written in the third person and ‘de Scientologised’ due to it having been used as a short story submission for an anthology of modern Irish writers. It was not accepted, but I will try another time. It has pertinence to this forum, and thus I am leaving it ‘as written’ for your use and entertainment.

It was only last week, watching a freighter unloading grain at the docks. Something in this prosaic maritime image triggered the realization that I was no longer in that cruel tortured place, or subject to their psychotic demands and the relentless, tense, anxiety that could never be escaped, even in sleep. The sensation was physical; it was as if I had suddenly awoken from a nightmare. Indeed sometimes it seems just that, so distorted was the reality of that place.

While I have burned the bridges with my past, there is much that still haunts me.

I have some pictures taken during a brief respite in the madness. Each evokes emotions far deeper than the mere image displays. A grayscale of a European woman, designer glasses, pony tailed, a jeweled stud in her lip, browsing stalls in a busy street market, surrounded by dark skinned people in tunics, veils and turbans; her look is preoccupied and distant, she stands out in sharp contrast to a pretty, chubby Somalian girl with pained eyes looking at the ground. In another a ruffled pigeon stands on a railing, an ancient building, just out of focus, fills the background. Here in a city from a different life, a group of girls stroll, arms linked, along the banks of a canal in the twilight. These I have loaded to my screen saver. I often let it run; turn out the light, allowing poignant memories to wash over me.

He lived a double life for a while; in his sharp business suits and ties, quietly erasing files and contacts from computers, loading a DVD and memory sticks with important information, attending secretive strategy meetings; creating a complex camouflage while placing subtle, and not so subtle warnings around the corridors of the ministry he had so successfully infiltrated. He was painfully aware of what The Organisation was capable of; he had seen too much. He used their techniques of subterfuge and covert intelligence to make good his escape; he would have been an excellent agent.

When the time came, he laid a decoy trail leading to his family back in Ireland. He fired off an explosive email to the director of operations at HQ, and then erased his Google mail account. Within a day operatives were shadowing his parent’s cottage and making enquiries at the homes of relatives scattered throughout his hometown. He had his mobile re-chipped and changed the number every week, his new email provider allowed him to stay in contact with the people he needed to assist him. He hid out, under an assumed name, joining a Unitarian Church, even though he was an atheist, and lived for a while in a damp and dilapidated motel in a truck stop adjoining the railway. The train allowed him anonymous mobility among the massed commuters while he went about building a new life, whilst hiding in broad daylight.

All the pieces were in place now, but this final step would have to be executed with care and caution, his escape route being the busy Railtrack station in the city centre. Michael’s career in The Organisation was more or less a parallel of his own, though lacking the international dimension; he had none-the-less a similar degree of training, and even worked on the same project in country for a time. Marriage and the office job had to some degree dulled the edges of his once sharp skills; he had fallen into a discernable routine.

The Pret-a-Manger was situated next to Selfridges, adjacent to the escalators leading up from the street. He had shaved his three-week old beard, donned his familiar wraparound shades, and dressed in a grey suit, due to hot weather, sans jacket. He positioned himself so that he could spot Michael entering from below. Waiting until he was a quarter of the way up and well wedged between the throngs of lunchtime traffic, before he made his move.

It is almost a primordial instinct; you always know when you are being stared at, and Michael copped on very quickly indeed. He watched him, with a tinge of a smile, as the cognitive process took its course; the far away preoccupied gaze, then an instant of confused agitation to clocking the source of danger some fifty feet above. Due to the crowds and recent security scares, Michael could not take any drastic or sudden action like jumping the barrier, so he kept his eyes fixed on his quarry while ascending. They were for a moment right next to each other as he descended; Michael too shocked and confused to say anything. It was a perfect set up.
Wrap around shades are a very useful tool for people in this situation, using peripheral vision, you can see in reflection what is behind you. Michael’s white shirt was immediately recognizable exiting the glass doors onto the street. Keeping his purser in range as he crossed to the concourse, he surreptitiously donned his black jacket as he ducked in among the crowds and crossed to northbound platform three.

He estimated that he had a maximum of eight hours before The Organization recalled its teams from Ireland and began a dragnet operation in the city. There was a lot to get done in that time. He sent one last garbled text message to a contact and then dumped the still active mobile in a skip. Friends in the close nit Muslim community got him a taxi, and his Irish link booked the flight. A long nerve-wracking delay in Dublin, waiting for the Aer Arann Turbo-prop, was spent keeping a very low profile while scanning the heaving crowds of tourists, business people and trans-channel shoppers, looking for any sign of recognition, senses alert for searching eyes that lingered on people just that bit too long. He was tense and exhausted when he arrived late that night, in Cork.

I am not sure that I know that person anymore; he was a synthetic personality designed for the job at hand and discarded once the threat had receded. I still have his shades, his suits and ties hang unused in a closet. I am not sure that I could have escaped as myself; I created him as the vehicle to accomplish that specific outcome. At my core I am artist, not a covert agent, and yet he was a distillation of everything I had been taught, thousands of hours studying the words of the 'Guru' and the harsh demands and rantings of his successor. We all had been covertly trained in espionage technique, it was part of basic indoctrination, and I put this to effective use as I penetrated a governmental body and began a deniable deep cover operation to subvert The Ministry to the ends demanded by my superiors.

It is ironic that the more successful my infiltration, the more enthralled I was by The Ministries’ humble Liberal Democratic philosophy, even the most powerful ministers were subservient to democratic will, and took the title Public Servant very seriously. In sharp contrast to the soulless dictatorial hierarchy I worked for, run, as it was by a violent, obsessed lunatic surrounded by sycophants pandering to his every whim, out of fear, not respect or love.

Reading books essential to democracy, Hobbs and Locke, and many psychological and sociological studies, my understanding of local government grew. I came to develop an increasing respect for the system, and in a cathartic moment, knew that I could not endure living with myself were I to suborn it to the harsh, cultism of The Organization.

I am in safe place now, and the long process of unraveling deeply ingrained indoctrination and thought patterns takes its painful course. I passed my entrance exams was accepted to University, and am rapidly adjusting to its life style.

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