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Recent high-profile defectors

These four longtime Scientologists say they left the church because the behavior of top management was at odds with the teachings of the church. They say they still believe in Scientology.

JAck airey, 67

Joined Scientology: 1975

Left Scientology: 2009

After leaving: He wrote a "knowledge report" critical of the church and sent it to 12 Scientologists he knows, and he says 11 won't talk to him anymore.

"In October, I'd had enough, I'd read enough. I realized this whole church had been totally taken over by some mad people. They had really screwed it up.''

Geir Isene, 43

Joined Scientology: 1984

Left the church: 2009

After leaving: About 25 Scientologist friends have "disconnected" from him, cutting all communication, he says. Before that, however, some indicated they agreed with his reasons for leaving.

"I am not leaving Scientology, only the church. . . . The present management is not practicing its teachings."

Mary Jo Leavitt, 51

Joined Scientology: 1983

Left the church: 2009

After leaving: A friend from the church's Office of Special Affairs visited and asked how she could ever attack Scientology. After that, Leavitt said, about 25 friends and associates in Scientology were told about the Internet post she wrote, declaring she left the church. Many of them have cut communication with her, some still talk to her secretly, one has refused to disconnect.

"The curtain is beginning to open. There is the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. (The church) is beginning to show its true copper in terms of what it really is. … It isn't the glitzy video advertisement."

Sherry Katz, 58

Joined Scientology: 1973

Left the church: 2009

After leaving: A fellow Scientologist approached her friends in the Los Angeles area, plus those on Facebook, and urged them to disconnect from her, Katz says. Some friends complied and no longer speak to her; others said they supported her but couldn't do so publicly because of problems it would cause in their lives.

"I wish people would open their eyes a little bit more and take a look at what has been said by people who have been right there. … I want the criminal and human rights abuses that are prevalent within the church to stop."

Recent high-profile defectors 12/30/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 9:40pm]
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