People do leave Scientology. In fact, there are many times more ex-members than current members. Although Scientology continually warns its members that leaving the cult will destroy their lives, that they will die, go insane, be unable to support or protect themselves, people are at much less risk of these problems outside the cult. Despite the cult's Fair Game attacks, ex-Scientologists discover a world of opportunity, mutual support and rebuilt family relationships. And it was there all the time ... just outside that Exit.
"The one thing about scientologists is that they are there because they think they are buying themselves spiritual freedom, and they are totally committed to the organization and to their goals. It takes an individual a long time after he's left the Church to be able to have the freedom to believe that he's going to be okay without Scientology." Robert Dardano
"There's a part of us in every one of us that wants to do some good for other people, all, right? And they pull on that, and they tug it, and they twist it around and turn it upside down till you don't know which way is up, all right? And that's why you feel like, if you leave, you're going to be condemned forever, okay. That's the way they make you feel. You feel like, if you leave, you're going to be condemned forever. So, you don't want to leave no matter how bad it gets." David Ray
"They give you no positive whatsoever; it's negative. "You're bad, you're terrible, and we're going to try to help you. We're the only ones that can help you. If you try to get help from the outside world, you'll die." David Ray
- "MS. VAN SCHAICK: I couldn't get out.
- MR. BERFIELD: What do you mean you couldn't get out?
- MS. VAN SCHAICK: I was so indoctrinated with the whole group that I mentally couldn't bring myself to getting out. I couldn't get out."
- The Clearwater Commission