I just finished “Troublemaker” and I find myself inundated with thoughts and emotions. I am a longtime fangirl, but this isn’t that kind of letter. I should preface this whole thing by telling you my one single encounter with a Scientologist. And let me preface that by saying I am not here to defend nor deny, praise or defame the church of Scientology. Back to my one and only personal encounter. I wrote a blog a few years ago, and amidst all my ramblings and quips, I said something like this, “I look at relationships and sex the same way I look at pregnancies. Intimacy needs to be nurtured and tended to. I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, as long as it’s healthy.” A few days passed and I received an email from an acquaintance, a friend of a friend. This person thought it a good idea to tell me the error of my ways while condescendingly inviting me to explore Scientology as I could “most definitely be cured.” What the fuck ever. I politely declined the invitation, and by politely I mean I told this person to fuck off and worry about real issues that exist out in the world, bisexuals not being a prime demographic for concern, fucking flip floppers. Assholeism as it turns out, is not so easily curable.
I am the type of broad that likes to educate herself on subjects before passing judgement, so I did just that after receiving that email. Prior to that, all I knew about Scientology was that it made you jump on couches and damn the drugs that very literally saved both my life as well as the life of my mother, who faced post partum depression. Now I never read anything about this Xenu fella or his intergalactic dramatics, but I did research some of the concepts presented by LRH and even read some of his material. I don’t understand Scientology in my brain, but I do understand how a promise of certain things in our world is an alluring ideology. So I get how Scientology exists and has subscribers.
As I read through your book, I felt sad for people, I felt angry for people and I felt ignorant to many things. I can’t imagine families having to disconnect from loved ones. In my family, we might get angry with each other, say fuck you and disconnect emotionally, but it is of our own volition and it is of that same volition that we come back together when we get our heads out of our own asses.
It appeared to me that the promises of the church, of healing mankind was being contradicted left and right. After reading your book, I watched “Going Clear” and I was pissed off again. I am cognizant of the fact that documentaries tend to present one opinion or another, but I saw this Miscavige mother fella talking about first amendment rights and how those rights applied to the church. The hypocrisy of this boils my blood because those who publicly leave the church are persecuted for exercising those same rights, which are just as much theirs as they are the church.
Any fuckin way, the detail I have left out here is that I recently became homeless and got laid off from work. I read your book on my phone and watched that documentary on my phone, at night in my car. In the stillness of the night, I am on high alert and scared of my surroundings so dont sleep much, i read. While reading “Troublemaker” I would stop and marinate on some of the things you spoke about and my loopy, sleep deprived brain would wander. The self reflection you so bravely articulate made me self doubt my choices and wonder how easily I might be attracted to Scientology. Maybe I deserve some tough regime and structure. I quickly would snap out of it because fuck that bullshit, I’ll say what I want, when I want and I’ll talk to whomever I want. But in those moments I suddenly understood what it must be like to get swept away by the church. It was no longer just a setup to a joke about Tom Cruise or its cult like appearance. It became real to me.
I was raised Catholic and as an adult I questioned things and was not attacked for doing so. I currently practice no religion which leaves me feeling a bit lost and outcast, with no foundation for any faith. The Christians and Catholics that have surrounded me my whole life all subscribe to organizations that generally and broadly discriminate me based on nothing but my sexuality. The LGBT community often singles me out for not quite being all the way what they think I should be and the hetero majority assumes I’m going through a phase but am secretly straight. I don’t belong anywhere and someone in my position could so easily get seduced by an organization that outwardly wants to change the world, make you better and part of a family, a brother/sisterhood.
I think it is so brave of you to share with us your journey. I think the church served you some great purpose and did in fact contribute to the beautiful woman you are. That said, that does not justify the pain it equally caused you and your family and the families of so many. The sweet is never as sweet without the bitter, as they say.
What I found so incredibly raw and courageous about your book was the fact that you spoke so candidly about Angelo and the situation you two found yourself in. The support that must have garnered from him, the difficulty he must have battled to face that in front of the world is baffling. Not that I condone or condemn the situation, what I appreciate though, is the truth and the vulnerability that accompanies that. Brava my darling, you are a wonder.
Now onto the real reason I am writing this, technically there’s two reasons. Reason numero uno, I would like to go to Disneyland with you, no seriously, let’s fuckin go. And reason number two, it seems Shannon did not take you up on your offer to get her some tits for her birthday. I volunteer as tribute to take that boob job off your hands. My birthday isn’t until March but I’m sure there’s pre op procedures involved that can occupy my time until then. But let’s go to Disneyland first, I don’t want to risk popping a tit or something.
On the serious though, I saw so much of myself in your book, circumstances aside of course. And while you don’t know me, let me tell you, I didn’t like what I saw. I am one fucked up and sometimes cunty individual. I needed to confront the things about myself that I just don’t like, and your words helped me to start processing the dynamics in my life that aren’t working to anybody’s benefit. For that I selfishly say thank you for writing me a book. From one fucking Troublemaker to another.