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Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

Scientology Shoop of the Year – from Tony Ortega of the Village Voice

Scientology Shoop of the Year: A Civilization Without Insanity??

When you try to leave the cult, this is what you may experience.

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​ This one won’t win any contests for image manipulation. But it’s the totality of the message that really has an impact, and our readers seem to be in agreement. With more than twice as many votes as any other entry, this image really seemed to put into perspective the insanity of the Squirrel Busters episode.

In April, this was the scene former Scientology executive Marty Rathbun saw on his front porch: several church members wearing matching T-shirts, with cameras strapped to their heads, trying to intimidate him about his “squirreling.” That’s the word the church uses for unsanctioned counseling.

That’s the word the church uses for unsanctioned counseling, one of the things Rathbun does that church leader David Miscavige apparently finds threatening. The goon squad spent the next five months outside Rathbun’s house, watching Rathbun and his wife Monique, following them whenever they went into town or to eat at restaurants, and generally tried to make their lives “a living hell.” Instead, it brought the church loads of bad publicity and a lot of howling laughter. Were the Squirrel Busters really so blind to how ridiculous they came off?

Now, more than a month after they finally left the Rathbuns in peace, I know I’m not the only one looking back at the Year of the Squirrel Busters with at least a little nostalgia and sadness. For a time, anyway, these church members in a golf cart, patrolling a cul-de-sac in a small Texas town, provided some of the best Scientology watching in years.

Tomorrow we continue to look back at 2011 with the readers poll finale — Scientology Story of the Year. This one was a squeaker, so make sure to come back to see which big news story edged out a win!
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications.

Read more at: Village Voice


– David St Lawrence

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