The author has requested to remain anonymous.
Classical music plays outside of a lucrative business on one of the busiest streets in my city, but I’ve never seen anyone go in. Maybe it’s because this is the only place around that attempts to lure you in this way. Intrigued, I decided to go in. As I stepped closer to the door, a sudden rush of doubt fell over me. I felt squirmy and began to second-guess myself on opening the door. I told myself, “This is a totally normal thing that a lot of people do.” Trying not to pass judgement, I opened the door and stepped into my local Scientology organization.
Recently, the church has been under high scrutiny because of the HBO documentary, Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief, and various other accounts from countless ex-Scientologists, family members and researchers. What the church calls secret or confidential information from the religion’s founder, renowned science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, has been “leaked” (more like revealed) to the internet over the past couple decades with more outrageous accusations than the church can try to suppress. Personal accounts of mental abuse, physical abuse, tiring work hours and tasks, tax evasion, fraud, death threats, alleged disappearances, court proceedings and countless other testimonies have Americans on the edge of their seats as they see what the “secret” religion of Scientology is all about. Since watching the documentary the day it aired, I have wanted nothing more than to visit the “org” (local branch) as a potential member. More so, you could say I became obsessed with the idea. Knowing nobody would go with me, I had no choice but to head in solo.