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Questions You Should be Asking the World Around You

I Found a Good Subreddit Where Ex-Scientologists Share Their Stories

It’s a place where ex-scientologists can share their experiences of being in this cult, and the things that led them to flee from it.  Here’s one story of a person who is searching for her friend.

What I like about this subreddit is that it isn’t loaded with memes. This means that the people here haven’t run out of things to talk about yet.

https://old  .reddit  .com/r/exscientology/

 

A Shot in the dark – looking for any sign that my friend I lost over a decade ago is okay.

I don’t know if this is appropriate for the sub (if not please delete), but I’ve had something heavy on my heart for over 10 years and with this month being the anniversary of when I lost all contact with my friend, I feel like I need to do something to find peace.

*Note – I will not be giving out personal names for privacy reasons but will be mentioning locations, if you think you know this person or their story, please PM me and I will provide more info. I just want to know she is okay.

Over ten years ago, I want to say around ’06 or ’07 (?) is when this all took place. I live in southern Mississippi, where my friend is also from.

I grew up doing local children’s theatre and there was a core group of us that were close friends, doing shows every year. We grew up together. Being in the Bible Belt, of course there is a heavy majority of Christians. It’s everywhere around here. But there was one girl who, unbeknownst to us until much later on in our lives, was a Scientologist by birth. Her family were fairly prominent in this region, mother and father both optometrists and also either helped open or did open themselves, the local Scientology centers down here.

It wasn’t until about junior or senior year of high school when we found out they were Scientologists, we were of course very curious and pestered her for a while with questions about it, but she always brushed it off as it was more her parents thing than her thing, which is fair because that’s how many of us felt about Christianity – it’s our parent’s thing, not ours. After a while, the curiosity died down. That was pretty much the end of it for the time being.

My friend ended up getting a theatre scholarship to a school up in New Jersey, where a few other friends of ours had gone and some were currently attending. She moved up, started her freshman year and by all accounts, was having a great time. She was spending time with old friends, making new friends, getting good roles in shows being produced at the university. We talked a lot, she came home on breaks and would hang out and tell us all about college (she was about a year or two older than me).

Then everything changed over the Christmas break of her freshman year. From what I’ve been able to piece together from our mutual friends and also the adult leaders/our mentors from our theatre group, she went to California with her family for the holiday. I have no idea what happened while they were out there and I don’t want to speculate. All I know is that when winter break was over, she came back to school with two minders from “the church” and withdrew from university. They were at her side 100% of the time, while she packed up her dorm, while she said goodbye to her friends, the only time they really left her was when she went to the bathroom. The overall timing of this took a little over 24 hours. They came, they packed her up, and then she was gone. The reasoning she gave to friends (with the minders present) was that she had decided to go to California to work with Scientology more. And that was the last time I heard from her or about her. Facebook, gone. Myspace, gone. Phone number, changed. No answering texts or calls. (This is all before everyone was all over the internet, so those were about the only digital footprints.)

I’ve heard a lot of different things about where she could have potentially gone. Some say SeaOrg, some say she went to be an actress or assist in the entertainment avenues Scientology produces. I don’t care, I just want to know she’s okay. From the research I’ve done, as of 2020 her parents still lived down here and run the Scientology mission because there was an article in the paper about a protest happening outside of there and he gave a comment. But there is no trace of them anywhere else on the internet as far as social media goes and no trace of their children. I know she had at least one sister and I think two brothers?

I think of her often, especially around this time of the year. The best way I can describe her is if a labrador retriever became a person. She was always so upbeat and funny and sweet. She was talented and a wonderful friend. If any of this sounds familiar to you and you think you know this person, please reach out to me. I just want to know she is okay. I don’t care if she is still with the church or not (would love if she isn’t) but at the end of the day I just want to make sure she is okay. Thank you guys so much.

 

I’m usually one to make harsh criticisms of Reddit subculture, but this one seems to be okay to me.

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This entry was posted on 02/21/2021 by in NA, Religion and tagged , , , , .

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