tl:dr just a relatively innocuous non-scilon punter who's found a home here and has a friend stuck in the cult. I see that I have managed to accumulate my second star without infraction so, I suppose, I'm a kinda regular here now. I've kept an eye on the board and done a fair amount of lurking but only really started contributing in the last month or so. My natural home is WWP and related Anon sites but I'm not really an Anon because I forgive. My style is forceful and I will use inflammatory rhetoric, devil's advocacy, all manner of sophistry, and outlandish tall tales to stir the pot and keep things lively. My favourite tool is humour but I see that I have much to learn from the many masters here. I'm a bit of a shit stirrer but will back down in the face of superior logic, join in any piss-taking, and am more than happy to change my opinion when confronted with evidence that I am wrong. I like changing my opinion. I'm still not down with the protocol here - its just so alien to what I've been used to in the channels and the lovey-dovey hug-box stuff creeps me out a bit - but I'm trying. In short, I would much rather have a full-on flat-out screaming row with all cards on the table and the air cleared. And then moving on. Its the Celtic way. For me, the best sex is make-up sex. I don't hold grudges and I prefer to consider a person's pattern of contribution rather than isolated posts when making my mind up about how to relate to them. Having said that, I have come to realise that Scientology is serious business. There's plenty of lolz and opportunity for shit stirring for sure, but there are also some seriously damaged people here and what they need is gentleness, room to disgorge the garbage, and, at least initially, unequivocal acceptance. I've been guilty of being too harsh on occasion and have been rightly slapped down for it. My new modus operandi when I sense someone is vulnerable is to say nothing unless I genuinely have something positive or light hearted to say. I expect the regulars to keep me to it. My only direct, personal contact with Scientology was in the early 1980's when my partner-at-the-time and I were lured in off the street for one of those interminable stress tests. We were lead into this large, ramshackle office which had a convivial buzz about it with plenty of people hustling and bustling about the place with smiles on their face and intent in their step. We were separated and led to different parts of the office for our test which just seemed to go on for ages. For some reason I looked over at my partner and noticed that there was some sort of hassle going on. She gave me the "lets get the hell outta here" look so I stood up and walked over. The Scilon I was with got all agitated and told me not to interfere, that what ever was going on was okay etc etc. Turns out that my partner's Scilon had made some sort of sleazy sexual innuendo which had pissed her right off. Suddenly the convivial air in the office chilled, the hustle-bustle ceased and a couple of people moved as if to block our exit. This moment lasted only a few seconds and the Scilons at the door backed down pretty quick but it is something I will never forget. Over the years since then I haven't much thought about it but then, out of the blue, I got this odd email from an old friend. About ten years ago when I was going through a particularly horrid time, I was in the UK and met up with my friend who also was going through a hard time. We probably should have remained friends but eventually fell into bed and had this on-again off-again fling for about a year. I managed to get my shit together, saw the relationship wasn't going anywhere and worked hard to salvage a friendship from it because I did/do still love her as a friend. We stayed in touch, lots of contact initially but gradually dwindling down to just Christmas/Birthday cards and eventually nothing much of anything. Then, on March 20 2009, I got an email. She had joined Scientology, was having all sorts of wonderful insights, had friends close to where I lived and would I be interested in learning more about it. Fuck no. And I told her. I also hit the internets and my picture of Scientology as being weird-but-harmless was quickly shattered. The more I learned, the more concerned I became and, foolish as it was, began bombarding my friend with links and news and facts and all manner of information. Next thing I know, her email has changed and she is using anonymous accounts and pleading with me to stop but, at the same time, making these "how do you know these things are true" and "what have I done" sort of comments. The last email I had was about a month ago and, reading between the lines, it looks like she's getting ready to jump. There's a marriage, kids and a business involved so there's any number of possible complications and computations to be worked through. I have friends and family not too far from where she lives and have told her that there are resources available for when the time comes. So, there you go, that's my story. What started as an odd encounter with a bunch of weirdos thirty years ago has become something deeply personal that I think and worry about every day. Of course, I have a full life away from keyboard. I'm happily married - no kids unfortunately - and am part of a large and happy, pleasantly oddball extended family, I live in the suburbs, work in the logistics section of one of them "evil foreign-owned multinationals" while gliding as disgracefully as possible into middle age. In the faint hope that you've managed to get this far into my wall of text, feel free to PM is there's anything else you would like to know.