I Left Scientology as a Teen: Here’s Why I Came Back
I was born into a Scientologist family and took this for granted for most of my life.
As with anyone born into something, whether it’s wealth, dysfunctionality, or just about anything, it was just natural to me. It didn’t occur to me that I was part of what is possibly the youngest and least understood religion on Earth until I became a teen and started to experience life through my own lens.
The first thing I had to learn for myself is that while you can be born into a Scientologist family, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically a Scientologist. That’s because Scientology is an applied religion made up of a vast body of technical and practical information that has to be studied, understood and, finally, applied. The measure of a Scientologist is his ability to make a positive impact in his environment; it is not a status that is granted by association.
Growing up, I saw my parents study and apply Scientology in their daily lives, and while what I learned from them enriched and helped me indirectly, it wasn’t until I began studying Scientology courses myself at about 11 years old that I began to experience my own improvements on a personal level.
For me, spending time studying to better myself, with the belief that one can always improve one’s condition in life, was the norm. At no point growing up did I ever believe that things like depression, shyness or low self-esteem were unsolvable. So even when I dealt with problems of my own, the idea that I could use Scientology to solve what I was dealing with was always there—like an invisible safety blanket I knew I could count on.
It was only when I became an independent adult at the age of 19 that I realized not everyone lived or thought this way. I saw my peers focus on dating, money, traveling and just about everything except for spirituality, so I followed along. As a brand-new adult, I decided to set my Scientology studies aside for a bit, to pursue all these other things. If everyone else was investing all their effort and hopes and dreams into making money so they could travel the world, why shouldn’t I do the same? People who were rich and traveled a lot seemed happy … surely it was the right way to live? But what about all the time in between when they weren’t traveling? I knew better.
I gave the “live life one day at a time and just do what makes you happy” thing a try. By the age of 23, I was utterly miserable and felt like I was trapped in a hamster wheel.
Here’s the thing: most people, regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof, are simply trying to live their lives as best they can and their main goal isn’t achieving a higher spiritual state or level of self-awareness; it’s simply happiness. And that’s totally fine!
Except…happiness is more easily attainable when you have workable knowledge lighting the way. And that’s what Scientology gave me and what I realized I had taken for granted until it went missing: the unshakable belief that I am the master of my universe, that there’s nothing out there I can’t know and that Scientology has the exact tools I needed to help me change my life when I needed to.
In the end, I gave the “live life one day at a time and just do what makes you happy” thing a try. By the age of 23, I was utterly miserable and felt like I was trapped in a hamster wheel. I was headed nowhere fast and not a day went by that I didn’t know it! What was worse was the realization that my peers were just as stuck as I was, only they didn’t particularly believe they could do anything about it.
Now older, I decided to read Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. It just about knocked my socks off. Every page I read was like reading a practical manual on the way my mind worked. I began to put what I learned into action and my life turned around practically overnight. Effortlessly, I began to achieve my goals and quickly had to make new, bigger ones because life became easy, smooth and peaceful. Gone was the frantic anxiety to obtain happiness; it was just there.
It’s been 11 years since I “came back” to Scientology and I’ve never looked back. I’ve replaced day-to-day goals, material aspirations and “ignorant bliss” for an insatiable pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and I’ve never been happier.
So now you know. That’s why I came back.