Well over a decade ago, my wife and I stepped over the thresh hold of the Church of Scientology of St. Louis. We both signed two and a half year contracts, and had the pleasure of working with some of the most forthright and honorable people we've ever met. Still, there was a significant disconnect between the stated aims of the Church, and the corporate climate we found ourselves in.
Although we never experienced the kind of abuse that is coming to light now, we certainly experienced the collateral effects of that abuse. Hateful, screaming phone calls from "up lines" in Los Angeles; insane, micro-managing programs sent down from on high; and the incessant interference from stridently zealous Sea Org missionaires revealed an organization not run on high affinity, communication and reality, but rather a brutal, top-down, command and control tyranny.
There is a lot of good in the study of Scientology, a lot of useful tools -- particularly at the lower end of the Bridge. There are many good people who genuinely want to help others and make this a better world.
Unfortunately, that technology and those people are beholden to a leader and a culture completely inconsistent with the stated aims. As such, we cannot in good conscience continue to align ourselves, even tacitly, with such an organization.
I would apologize to any of our friends currently in the church, but I'm not sorry for the impact this may have on you. I hope it upsets you enough that you decide to look for yourself, and apply your own personal integrity to the existing scene. Outpoints abound and you're not the only one who sees them. Look, don't listen.
For more information, I highly recommend both of Jeff Hawkins' blogs: His personal memoirs of thirty-five years in the sea org at Counterfeit Dreams, and his current commentary at Leaving Scientology. His story is compelling and very well written. If you're in the church and sensitive to such things, be advised that he does touch on the confidential materials.
And of course, you can always contact me if you have any questions: andrewmoore_[insert at sign here]hotmail.com.