(Another? Gee, thanks Leah.) So I've been lurking here for several weeks. I honestly am not sure why a never-in such as myself would find this all so interesting, but I do. I have no experience with scientology. I remember seeing the "volcano" ads selling the Dianetics book back in the mid/late 80s. I also remember a step-brother of mine (we're the same age) reading Battlefield Earth. I don't believe at the time I had ever heard the name scientology. The only LRH I have ever read is the Fear novella. Don't recall anything in particular about it. I was raised in a churchgoing but not (it didn't seem to me) particularly "serious about religion" Catholic family. By that I mean that I went to church weekly, did catechism, became an altar boy and "all that", but other than "praying over supper" I don't recall a lot of particular discussions where religion was involved. My memory for specifics have never been great, so perhaps I've just forgotten most of it! :wink2: In any case, I grew out of it and have not been in a church since I was 18 or 19 (other than a couple of family weddings). I don't even call myself atheist or even agnostic; more that I've never felt the need for any particular faith at all. I do find that all religions to be wacky, and even what one might call "atheistic evangelism" turns me off. All that being said, I'm always fascinated to learn things about them. My mother has long been a "searcher" of new-age type faiths. She was raised Catholic, of course, but after she divorced my father in the early 70s she certainly felt adrift and went looking for her ideal faith group. I know she looked at Baha'i for a while. She was somewhat deep in to some "psychic" stuff (I don't know what "type" in particular), and to this day she is convinced that she is "psychic" (whatever that means; she can't read my mind!). For the last ten years or so she has been part of a "Science of Mind" (Religious Science; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Science) church. The name is a bit to close to scientology for my comfort, but from what I can tell they are not related (correct me if I am wrong!!!). In fact I know that she did look in to scientology at one point and was turned off by their method and never joined. Thank goodness! As for Science of Mind, it seems wacky to me, but as far as I can tell is pretty harmless as far as it can be. She buys things occasionally, and donates monthly, but no more than $50 a month as far as I know. They do have "talks" that seem to cost more than I would hope (anywhere from $20 to $100), but nothing in the realm of $cn $$$! (If anyone knows anything more about this group I would be very interested to learn.) My father remarried fairly soon to a woman who grew up in a somewhat more religious family. If I recall correctly (remember my comment about my memory) her parents actually were raised in Christian Science, but they (and their parents!) were out by the time my father married in, and they were by then in a more mainstream Protestant denomination. (Can't recall which one). So it was my step-mother that was the most religious person in my immediate family. (I lived with my dad and step-mom from age seven to 18.) A bit contrary to what I said earlier, my step-mom was indeed more into religion than the rest of us. Not particularly Catholic ever; more what she was raised as, though going to Catholic church with us every Sunday. She watched the 700 Club (ugh! talk about brainwashing!) every morning. Now that I think about it it might have been that show that turned me off religion more that any other one thing. She was never my favorite person (step-parent, you know), though we get along well enough now as long as we avoid religious (or political) discussions. I never felt my dad was "particularly religious" when I was growing up, but as he's gotten older he's at least more "personally religious", even if he isn't deeply involved with anything religious outside of his family. More to my surprise has been how my step-siblings and brother have gotten "more religious" as time has gone on. My step-sister (five years older than me) actually did the whole "religious home schooling" for her children for I'm pretty sure their entire education. I never saw that coming. That being said, I don't feel that she's ever gone to the "crazy side" of religion, which is where I would generally think that home-school et al comes from. The fact is she has a wonderful family, and again as long as religious discussion is avoided I admire them all immensely. My same age step-brother has gone a bit off the edge in right-wing political thinking (he's a "gun-nut"). Not sure how much religion plays in to that. He was always the "bad boy" type when we were growing up, so him going all conservative has never made sense to me. But I can't ask him without it turning in to "a thing"... I do sometimes have to skim over my step-sisters aunt's (her father's sister, who is almost the same age as her) Facebook posts, such as one I just saw "My GOD Is An Awesome GOD AMEN; We want Christian fields. If you're a Christian, add me." Bleh. Anyway, its "interesting" the way my family "went". My sister (two years younger than me) and I are both non-religious and on the "left" side of politics (her more that I; I'm slightly left-center). My mother is "religious" to the degree I've discussed above, but on the "left" as well. Everyone else (father, brother (11 months my junior), step-mother, step-siblings) is religious and definitely to the conservative side of politics. So when religion or politics are the topic of the day around that group I try to find somewhere else to be! (I did forget my half-brother, 14 years younger than me, who has no interest in religion or politics at all as far as I can tell. Prefers to play video games and pretty much nothing else. And he's 33 years old!). So, back to scientology. I don't know when I became particularly aware of it. Definitely sometime in the 90s. Watched the South Park episode when it came out and found it to be "enjoyable and enlightening" . Saw the Going Clear movie. Discovered the Leah Remini series by happenstance when I noted it as "recommended" on my OnDemand TV screen the week episode one aired. Knowing her from King of Queens, and being "interested" to some degree in scientology, I had to check it out. I was impressed with the debut and have watched each episode. And of course that caused google searches, and here I am. This group of people you have here is quite fascinating. And from all I've learned about the cult I am just amazed a how upbeat all of you exes are! It seems like you have all gone through so much, and yet you are now out and very optimistic about life and your future. It's really quite wonderful!! I am looking to read some of the books that are out there about scientology and LRH. So far I finished Troublemaker in two days earlier this week, and I'm now half way through Ruthless. Leah's book was really quite awesome. In many ways even better than her series. Ruthless seems pretty good, though I am gathering Ron still seems to have some faith in the teachings, if not the cult, which honestly confuses me... Anyway, where should I go next? I am really interested in learning about LRH and why/how the heck he created this whole mess. The only other non-LRH written book I could find at the local library was Going Clear, and since I already saw the movie I think I'll wait to read that one until "later". I had to "think hard" about what user name to use here. This is the best I could come up with.