“I want to make a story about the successful people in Scientology. Those people who became truly successful as a result of Scientology.”
It was 2005 and I was having a coffee down town with an old school mate of mine that was now a journalist for the national broadcasting corporation of Norway. He looked expectingly at me while I was desperately trying to come up with such people.
I was rummaging my mind while thinking “Crap! I can’t find any 😦 Let me think… let – me – think – – – Damn!“, and then I said “Interesting angle. I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
My friend was serious. He wanted to balance the constant negative press by a surprising angle on Scientology where he would portray the really successful scientologists, of which he apparently thought there were quite a few. I couldn’t think of any in Norway. Or Scandinavia. Or any I personally knew anywhere in the world. Sure, there were some with average success here and there, but no one that stood out as remarkable. None.
I never got back to the guy. Until I left the church in 2009 and told him I had a story for him.
This question about the actual success of Scientology bugged me for quite a while. I wrote a blog post three years ago titled, “Where are the amazing people?“. And the usual discussion ensued including justifications of how that is not a relevant question or what one mean by “amazing” and other nitpicking points. But the main point remains: Scientology does not seem to produce anything out of the ordinary in terms of good life or skills or amazingness.
Today I sat down, took a good hard look at the people I have known in Scientology. I decided to make a list of people I have known well in Scientology and how Scientology has impacted their lives. The first 50 people that popped to my mind, only the people I have known for years and where I could clearly see how Scientology has affected them. They come from all walks of life – from house wives and business people to former drug users and average Joe. I put the names into three categories:
- Scientology had a positive impact on their lives
- Scientology had no significant positive or negative impact on their lives
- Scientology had a negative impact on their lives
I was somewhat surprised when I summarized the results.
I then looked at categories 1 and 3 to sift out those who had life-changing gains from Scientology and those who had life-ruining crashes from Scientology. The result was pretty grim.
A couple of notes about the above:
- Of those that have had awesome improvements in their lives, 80% came into Scientology with a life in ruins
- Of those that had their lives ruined through Scientology, 86% had an average life when they got in
Almost all (90%) of the list of people have lived a somewhat sheltered life on the fringe of the Scientology empire here in the Land of Santa.
From my experience, if you become involved with the Church of Scientology, there are some statistics you should be aware of:
- There is a 20% chance that Scientology will improve your life overall
- There is a 64% chance that Scientology will negatively affect your life
- The chance that Scientology will dramatically improve your life is 10%
- The chance that Scientology will ruin your life is 14%
- You a have 40% greater chance of having your life ruined than dramatically improved
- If your life is not already in shambles, your chance of having your life ruined is much greater than having it greatly improved through Scientology
While I do not know how the statistics are for Scientology delivered outside the Church, I suspect it is better. Simply because one does not have the Nazi regime, the thought police and the incessant craving for your time and money. I would be interested in hearing your own honest statistics, both from people you know having gotten Scientology in the Church and independently.