This is the story of how Halina Cirillo fell in and out of love with the Church of Scientology.
A bit of background about myself. I was in Scientology for 40 years, on staff in Toronto through most of the 70s. My original post was Director of Processing which I held for 3 years and was then recruited into the Guardian’s Office and held the post of DG PR CAN. As D of P I had 18 auditors in the HGC and our well done auditing hours at that time have never been matched since. I left the GO in disgust in the late 70s after being shown confidential session data about my brother. Then I became a public Scientologist, very active in the Church. I am OT VIII, mid St Hill Special Briefing Course and am IAS “Patron with Honours.” I have been successful enough in my business career to have been able to donate in excess of half a million dollars between the Bridge and other Scientology campaigns.
I resigned from the Church of Scientology on June 1, 2011 while I was still in good standing.
My adventure in Scientology began in the winter of 1971 when I witnessed a startling change in my brother within two months of his becoming a Scientologist. He literally turned his life around. This prompted me to visit the Toronto Org. I threw myself into Scientology wholeheartedly. I observed and experienced Scientology working fantastically well in the 70s but I started to notice things changing in regards to the application of the technology in the late 80s. The biggest change I saw then was that the freedom of how to apply the tech, including personal ethics conditions, was no longer my choice – instead, the Church began to more and more dictate what tech to apply and when and how to apply it.
The following major incidents helped open my eyes as to the real state of affairs in today’s Church of Scientology:
1. In 1989 I was told that three Toronto public Scientology opinion leaders wrote 300 reports about me which, based on what I was told, I considered to be mainly false and misleading. The then CO WISE CAN (Mary Ann Frith) got involved and, based on these false reports, CSWed the International Justice Chief in an attempt to have me declared without a Committee of Evidence. A non enturbulation order was issued on me. When I learned of these reports (none of which were shown to me) I immediately flew to AOSHUK in England to get any necessary handling. I was security checked and plant checked and nothing of significance came up. I did an ethics program and returned to Toronto hoping and expecting this would remedy the situation. Unfortunately, it did not.
In a last ditch effort to handle this insanity I compiled a comprehensive rebuttal document which I forwarded to ED Int requesting a Committee of Evidence at Flag. This was granted. The Committee of Evidence was held in Toronto several years later.
I was ordered to more security checking at Flag and had to do a major, punitive ethics cycle. My Flag auditor doing the security checking was dumbfounded that I had been ordered to do this again. Nevertheless, I completed all the recommendations of the Committee of Evidence. Even after doing all this it took me well over a year to get the non enturbulation order lifted.
The then CO OSA CAN (Janet Laveau) told me years later that these three people intentionally planned a campaign to get me declared. To my knowledge none of these individuals were corrected.
The lesson I learned from this was that my Church, supposedly operating on truth, does not always practice what it preaches
2. When I first began auditing on OTVII in 1994, the required 6 months checks were very short (3-4 days). After the Golden Age of Tech for OTs came out (1996) things changed. I couldn’t understand why security checking became more pronounced the higher I went up the Bridge. I previously never had any objection or resistance to doing appropriate ethics cycles which resulted in release of charge. After 1996 the 6 months checks consisted mainly of security checks laced with a presumption that one was really out ethics. Despite having no real difficulty with my Solo auditing, the continuous security checking brought about a tremendous degree of introversion. I couldn’t count the number of times I red tagged as a result of the security checking.
Part of the introversion was that for some time I thought this was just me, however, I later gradually found out from others on OT VII that they were encountering similar difficulties.
To complete OT VII is a humongous cycle. I finally did so in 2005. Before being allowed on the Freewinds to do OT VIII the Freewinds insisted I had to be security checked at Flag again. This introduction for the first time to the Freewinds didn’t leave me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. It didn’t get warmer and fuzzier. I arrived on the Freewinds expecting that the summit of Scientology service delivery would epitomize the greatest amount of ARC anywhere. Instead, I couldn’t believe the bad control I experienced.
Everything was micro managed to the hilt. For example, I had some difficulty sleeping on the ship and needed to exercise in the evening to be fully sessionable the next day. In the middle of my workout, all sweaty, I was ordered to the HGC and questioned by the Tech Sec why I wasn’t in session at 8 pm. I never felt less free in my whole life and couldn’t wait to finish the service. When I did finish OT VIII the examiner missed my FN and didn’t call it. I was devastated. Later on, she called me back and told me she missed it. I was never so glad to leave.
The lesson learned here was that there is a tremendous dichotomy existing in corporate Scientology today. For example, LRH says communication is the universal solvent but, in my opinion and experience, the Church prohibits free communication in many ways. Corporate Scientology exerts stifling control over its parishioners – by the time one gets on OT VII one’s power of choice has been almost wiped out by the introversion they have brought about.
3. In early 2000 while on OT VII I wrote to RTC requesting help with a cycle inToronto. I was not satisfied with the way RTC handled the matter so I wrote to Executive Director International (Guillaume Lesevre) about it and I was subsequently dead filed by RTC. I learned of this on my next 6 months check from an irate Flag MAA who assigned me a lower condition for questioning RTC and I had to do a major ethics cycle.
The lesson learned here was RTC won’t allow you to question them – if you do, you get dead filed.
4. I was involved in an ongoing business dispute with my now ex partner (an OT VIII). I decided to end the partnership and in late 2006 I proposed a 50/50 split which would have been a win/win arrangement. He refused outright. I tried for the next 18 months to resolve this directly between us. This whole incident should have been a simple and easily resolved business partnership dispute. It is the practice in Scientology that Scientologists are expected to use the services of WISE to get business disputes resolved rather than using the courts of law. The involvement of WISE starting in 2008, and subsequently that of the Church, turned it into an incredibly arduous, punitive and costly cycle for me in particular. In the Summer of 2008 my ex partner was on the Freewinds and, soon after returning, he advised me that the Freewinds MAA Samantha told him “to take control of the company and be at cause”.
Because of a legal gag order I am unable to go into all the details of what took place. I can say that a WISE mediation was held in Fall 2008. The WISE mediator ordered me to continue operating in partnership with my ex partner. Believe it or not I reluctantly accepted this ruling but, within six months, things predictably fell apart. WISE were unable to get anything resolved. The Church now stepped up their participation considerably. The WISE mediator arranged a meeting between himself, myself and the CO OSA CAN in her office and CO OSA interrogated me in a very unfriendly fashion about this whole situation. She also asked me to lend money to my ex partner for a full WISE Dispute Resolution assuring me that he would pay me back. The whole cycle had become insane and it was now perfectly clear to me that justice would not be forthcoming from the WISE mediation, so I informed CO OSA that I would be suing my ex partner.
I then filed suit. Two days after he was served (March 2009) we again agreed to attempt WISE mediation. The mediation resulted in us splitting the files on a 50/50 basis (what I originally proposed in 2006) and each of us operated our business separately. The WISE INT Enforcement Officer agreed that if I withdrew the suit there would be no further action or repercussions against me by WISE or the Church.
That turned out to be false – within two weeks Samantha, Freewinds MAA, ordered me to report immediately to the Freewinds for security checking under threat of a non enturbulation order and a declare. I had little choice but to do so. Once the security check took place I was flabbergasted to discover that a good part of it concerned disagreements with management rather than the business dispute. I was told by the MAA and the D of P how they salvaged my life and how grateful I should be to give donations to the IAS and the Book campaigns for all they had done for me. This cycle cost me about $90,000. My ex partner was never forced to undergo such punitive measures to my knowledge.
Problems arose with the mediated settlement in the spring of 2011 and the WISE mediator failed to take steps necessary to remedy it. I resigned from the Church on June 1, 2011 and again sued my ex partner on June 3, 2011. The legal matter was finally settled in January 2012.
Lessons learned from this were that the Church, in my opinion and based on experience, lies about not getting involved in business matters of its parishioners, and that neither WISE nor the Church properly follow their own Justice policies.
I have experienced many great wins and life changing cognitions in Scientology. But I have also realized that I have been the recipient of numerous and continuing subtle but destructive forms of indoctrination which combined into a highly effective form of mind control. The net effect of this is a being with reduced self determinism with less control over his/her own life, and who blindly follows any and all direction coming from the Church.
It is well known that the only way to truly control people is to lie to them. I have observed that the Church of Scientology is engaging in the use of lies on a wholesale basis for the purposes of controlling their parishioners. I can’t believe now that I bought the Church line that it is unethical to read anything except LRH or to engage in activities other than those directly supporting Scientology (as stated by the Freewinds C/S). I was truly shocked to recognize the diabolical mixture of good and evil that today’s Church of Scientology consists of.
I now understand why a self determined being such as myself would be so receptive to mind control practices as to blindly follow non survival and unjustifiable Church orders and mistreatment. It is incredible to me now how long it took me to really wake up from my super-indoctrinated and somnambulistic state.
I can no longer be part of the Church of Scientology. I now consider myself to be an Independent Scientologist. My life has never been happier nor more stress free than since I left the Church.
If you wish to communicate with me directly my secure email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to thank Marty for his courage and for all he does to provide such a helpful and enlightening forum. I also wish to say how much I appreciate the contributions of Mike and all the other incredible beings active on this blog.