The first thing that strikes you when you start reading Kendra Wiseman's Story is the style. This is a five stars pure literacy style, and no wonder, since Kendra is a writer. The piece is worth reading for the sheer form of it. The second thing is Kendra's sense of proportion. Unlike the typical apostate story, this one is right on the tone, without grandiose exaggerations yet strong enough to get her exasperation and frustrations across. The 3rd and last thing is the content. If you ever reach the last page of this rather long story, you'll be crying hopelessly your guts out as I did. In other words, it is a Masterpiece, worth any prize, if it were.
This does not necessarily mean I condone the ex-scientologykids web site. I have not read enough of it as yet so I reserve my opinion.
- I webbed the text below on March 7, 2008. It is now a bit outdated because
on March 10, Kendra posted the news that
parents wrote to her and that they are talking again for the first time
in years. I have no idea whether that text helped in anything but it does
not matter. In anyway that's a great news, and a very refreshing one in the
past context of constant conflict between Scientology and its critics. I am
so happy :-)) I leave the text here for historic and philosophic purpose.
I know that Scientologists sometimes read my web site because my criticism of Scientology is reasonable and most of all because I take a stand against critics' abuses and exaggerations. In the very unlikely event Kendra's family read this, or that a Scientologist who knows them points them to this page, I have this to say.
Please reconnect with your daughter. I know you think that she is the one who disconnected, because she "chose her camp", but she didn't. She did not chose to disconnect from you. That she chose to associate with people you think are dangerous is not a choice to disconnect from you. Even the fact that she now decided to go public and speaks against Scientology. It's her choice to avail of her own freedom of association and her freedom to express what she holds as true. She does not ask you to quit Scientology if you want to maintain your relation with her. In the same way, you should allow her freedom of choice without it affecting your relation to the point it makes of your own daughter an enemy, or someone you fear because you think she is under the influence of dangerous people. On the contrary, if she is under the influence of dangerous people, then this is one more reason why you should keep contact with her.
I invite you to reconsider your perception of Scientology critics. Think for yourself. Don't just buy into what the CoS tells you. I have personally taken a stand against critics for the last ten years. My web site is full of assertions that critics are cultists in their own rights, that they exaggerate, create myths, exploit unfortunate death, and generally encourage discrimination, phobia, and mass hysteria. While this is true, at least for a fair amount of them, I have at the same time always maintained that critics are not criminals. They are not bad people. They do not attack Scientology because they have crimes or because they fear Scientology will expose their overts. They do it because they sincerely believe they are fighting for the good of Mankind and they do it because they read of things they feel are not right. They often get carried away in their zeal, and they do indeed ugly things at times, and sometimes they may look like awful people, but remember they are human beings like you and me, and like you and me they are good people who do what they do because they think it is the right thing to do. Please don't brush them away as criminals and ill-intended people because someone told you they are, and because it may look that way from all the ugliness that comes out through the Internet or otherwise.
You may think critics are themselves under the spell of others who are the ones who have crimes and are afraid of Scientology because it will expose them. You may think that critics may be good people but deluded and exploited by these evil individuals. But who are these individuals? This is merely an idea. They are nowhere to be seen, and the reason they are not to be seen is not because they are so clever they can totally hide, they are not to be seen because they simply don't exist. Don't believe an assumption, a say-so, that you cannot see for yourself, that may or not be true, and that simply may be a justification.
If all this is true, then why are people building up myths, and why do they do ugly things? As I said, at the basis, it's because they are good people and they believe in what they do and they believe they have a good cause. I have been saying the same things about Scientologists and about Scientology leaders for years. You can read through my web sites and through my ARS posts. I have always maintained that even Scientology leaders, that are painted as evil exploiters by critics, do whatever they do because they are sincere believers themselves, and that this in fact much better explains whatever critics blame them about than demonizing then. The same holds true for critics. Demonizing critics is not going to bring an understanding of the situation, it is only going to drift things further apart in perpetual conflict and war. Taking a stand against wrong things they do and demonizing them as criminals is not the same thing. One of the reasons critics engage in exaggerations and myth is because they want to get a reaction from the public. I recently received the following email from one of the anons:
This of course is one of the factors. There are others. It's a complex phenomenon. Simply explaining it away as them being criminals or under the spell of invisible criminals pulling the strings is simplistic and wrong. Taking radical actions that, I am sure, hurt yourself as much as it hurts your daughter, on the basis of such an explanation is wrong. You do not need to listen to critics if you don't want you, you do not need to quit Scientology, but draw the line at an important juncture. Don't penalize your daughter, don't penalize yourself, because you buy into a simplistic and demonizing explanation of why critics do what they do. It may be true or not, but for this possibility, it is not worth severing out your own flesh and blood. Kendra does not want to disconnect from you. She does not want to convince you to quit Scientology. She obviously loves you, she obviously loves her family and she should not be put in a position where she has to make a choice between her family and having to repress her own gut feeling about something she feels deeply about. She may be wrong, but cutting her off if even more wrong. She is not the one making this choice. She chose not to be shut up, but this does not mean she chose to cut off her family.
The CoS may be the one to force you to cut all ties with her. I would invite you to think very systematically, very cautiously, and very deeply about this. I myself had to make a similar choice. When I quit Scientology, I did not know if what I did was right or wrong. I maintain that nobody knows for sure what the final outcome of Scientology is. It may or not lead to "Total Freedom". But what I knew for sure is that this Total Freedom was not worth having if it came at a price I was not ready to pay, and I am not speaking about money. I am speaking about my own integrity. I do not want such a Total Freedom if it means being dependent, if it means acting out of fear, for my eternity or otherwise. Personally I do not believe that eternity is earned by following one or another path. I believe it is earned through life by the choice we make and to what extend we follow the impelling of our soul (or "us as a soul" if you prefer). Nobody has the right to take our eternity into hostage, and to dictate to us on that basis what we should do or not, especially not when it comes at odd with what our own soul, our own heart, is trying to tell us. Whether following one path is right or wrong can be discussed, but there are limits. When this path is telling us to hurt others, to hurt ourselves, for ideas that may or not be true, based on the demonization of our fellow humans and at the cost of shutting our own inner ears to what our soul is urging us to do, then we should realize that there may be something wrong with that path. This is the limit we should not allow ourselves to step over.
If the CoS is forcing you to make that choice, don't do it. Don't make that choice. Tell them that you are a long time faithful and committed Scientologist, that you want to stay in the movement and continue in Scientology, but that you aren't going to disconnect from your own daughter. If they are the one to expel you for this reason, then it is not a choice you made yourself, and, believe me or not, you just made a quantum leap towards your own eternity, and towards the real goals of Scientology as they should be.
This is what I have to say. You may never read or know about this message. Or you may read it and disagree with it, but because I have taken a stand against critics in the past, and because of that my web site is read by at least some Scientologists that would not read other critical web sites, and because I feel that this is a subject and circumstances that are beyond our ideological differences, I just had to make it, whatever others may think of it.
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