Join us today as we continue our multi-part series on Scientology with Chris Shelton – Critical Thinker. Chris is a former Scientologist and Sea Org member and is now a writer, consultant podcaster, YouTuber and advocate for critical thinking.

In today’s episode of Mormon Stories Podcast we talk with Chris Shelton about the complexities of leaving Scientology, and how he became an ex-Scientology activist.


All of our interviews with Chris may be found here:


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:


Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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  1. John Crane November 9, 2019 at 11:54 am - Reply

    WOG stands for “Wise Old Gentleman”. Supposedly an old Chinese expression, referring to people who weren’t in Scientology because thought they were too wise to be taught.

    Mormons refer to non-Mormons as “Gentiles”. But, they forget that Joseph Smith in D&C Section 109 said that the Mormon church was “identified with the Gentiles”.

  2. Delena Haywood November 12, 2019 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    I loved every single hour listing to this podcast with Chris Shelton. I’ve also watched all the Leah Remini episodes of Scientology and the Aftermath because apparently I can’t get enough. I had a friend that moved her family to Clearwater, FL years ago because her sister got her into Scientology and it breaks my heart that all of her 6 children are now part of this. I’ve not heard one word from her since, and we were very close, so close that we even built houses next door to each other so that goes to show you how immediately they shut the “outside” world off! Chris tells this story so in depth that it was honestly hard for me to turn it off, I could have listened to hours more :) It makes my heart happy that Chris was able to get out and finally start to live his life because coming from the other side of our religious tradition… life sure is amazing on the other side!

  3. John Crane November 12, 2019 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    It’s great to see you two guy get together and see the energy, the synergism and the commonality.

    I was a lifelong Mormon who joined Scientology in my late 30’s because they promised me that they could cure me from being gay, they promised to cure it or make it so that it was “no longer a problem”. I was a member of the public, never a staff member, and only in the missions, and a little bit in the Seattle org. I went Clear doing Class II Auditing. Scientologists will know that that means. Class II auditing is a level of auditing that deals with overts (harmful acts) you may have committed. I discovered that my major harmful act was invalidating myself and my abilities throughout my life. I lay this squarely at the feet of Mormonism, not my parents since they were inactive and non-members, at on the church. Scientology helped me take responsibility for my life. With that newfound responsibility, I walked away from both Mormonism and Scientology, and I take full responsibility for my former life.

    Scientology didn’t cure me from being gay, but being gay is no longer a problem, so that problem is solved. Since I learned to take responsibility, I solved it myself. I don’t see it as a mistake, a liability, a handicap, or a reason for special treatment, other than equal treatment under the law. It’s just what I happen to be. I have been in a marriage/relationship for 34 years. Incidentally, back in the 80’s Scientology was a totally different organization that it is now. They were not homophobic back then. At least I never experienced it, and I felt safe being out to everybody.

    Both cults carry with them the seeds of their own destruction, but both cults also carry with them the seeds of your liberation. Both cults teach the principle of a never-ending search for truth, and the value of knowledge, not mere belief. That’s what attracted me to Scientology in the first place. That, and the fact they Scientology could actually show you how to demonstrate for yourself that you are a spiritual being. But, I got what I wanted out of Scientology, and I wrung all the truth I was going to get out of Mormonism, so I walked away from both of them. I don’t need or want any support or sympathy.

    Scientology should have taught you how to deal with suppressive people and organizations, and Mormonism should have taught you how to discern truth. I used the two in combination like a pair of scissors. Scientology helped me get out of Mormonism and Mormonism helped me get out of Scientology.

    Like Chris, who was excellent, by the way, I have an aversion to groups of any kind — particularly religious groups. On Leah’s show, you saw people getting out of Scientology with no education and no tools to equip them to deal with the real world. Chris is a wonderful example of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and making something of yourself.

    Another thing Mormonism and Scientology have in common are what the Mormons would call “remnant groups”. They are people who hold fast to the fundamental philosophy and revelations of Joseph Smith and practice their religion in their own groups. Denver Snuffer and his followers are one example. There are others. There are similar offshoot groups in Scientology. They were experienced Scientology auditors who left or got kicked out and pursue their own research, which they claim is a continuation of Hubbard’s research. Scientology actively hunts these groups down and harasses them, so they are very difficult to find, so they only exist underground. Just like many Mormon remnant people who remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the Mormon church.

    Both organizations have had an indelible impact on my thinking, for bad and good. I mentioned the unrelenting search for truth and knowledge — through revelation as a Mormon, and by thinking and intention and applying the technology as a Scientologist. Mormonism has a tendency to ruin your self-image, and Scientology tends to make a person cold and unsympathetic. Sympathy is anathema to a Scientologist. As a Mormon, I’m supposed to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. Scientology teaches me there is a fine line between help and harm. Something you need to watch.

    All in all, both philosophies helped me a lot, but I more or less now define myself as a person with a high sense of personal ethics and personal responsibility. This was a hard-fought battle for me. (When I came out of this bigger closet, I was automatically out of the smaller closet.) And, I will never again submit my free agency or my ability to think and know for myself to another man. To know what you know is the definition of integrity, and knowing what you know is a principle I learned from both Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard.

    I am a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, and have covenanted with Him to be His servant and disciple, come what may. He employs no gate-keeper, and I will not follow any gate-keeper. I can offer my all to Him, because I know I am actually responsible for the “all” that I offer. And I offer it of my own free will and choice because I am an free agent and I know I am free to act for myself. Nobody holds a mortgage on my life.

  4. red-ite episode 700 November 18, 2019 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    I had some Scientologists hit me up hard in the late 80’s I was reading through the book Dianetics where I came across a paragraph that said the pain women feel in childbirth was a learned endime and was passed on through generation by what a mother tells her daughter and also is ingrained in the genes because it is so deeply believed. I showed this to fellow who was pushing me, I was insistent that he either give me a good argument why this is true or to get honest with himself and leave the Scientology. I don’t know what happened to him but I was totally done with Scientology. Remi’s documentary was great Listened to the Author of “Going Clear” on book tv. That is quite a punch to find all those endless classes and auditing were not so necessary. I think what Going Clear means should be more announced up front so that people will see the fraud at the first look at Scientology
    Thanks for the thorough coverage on the development, history, and inner-workings could have added stories of people who lost their life savings like Remi’s mother and the damage this “church” has had on people

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