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.

Today we will be focusing on:

  • Chris’ life as a Scientologist, including his time as a member of the elite Sea Org.
  • The events that led to Chris leaving Scientology

As always, we will be exploring the similarities and differences between Scientology and Mormonism.


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. Chad Potts October 29, 2019 at 7:32 am - Reply

    Funny he jumps from one cult to another….

  2. Adam October 29, 2019 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Great job Chris and John. I have enjoyed all of these so very much. It has been extremely entertaining to laugh along with you Chris, as you have laughed at yourself, in regards to the complete nonsense you were once so committed to and believed in. Coming out of mormonism, I feel the exact same way. There are sooooooooo many parallels and thoughts I could relate so much to!! Thank you!

  3. cl_rand October 29, 2019 at 10:15 am - Reply

    These conversations have been absolutely fascinating. The parallels are astonishing. Chris’s personal experience within the cult sound horrific. It’s hard for me to imagine how a person, who goes through such an experience for so many years, can maintain enough of their own psyche to finally escape and arrive at a mentally healthy place in life. I look forward to hearing how he managed to do this.

    Sometimes the long format John employs can feel like overkill but he usually gets it about right. Then every once in awhile a subject comes along that simply can’t be fully explored any other way. As I realized the end of episode 1198 was nearing the end I began to worry that we weren’t going to cover what happened with Chris in his post Scientology years. Thanks for not stopping it there John and Chris! The checks in the mail :-)

  4. EDiL13 October 29, 2019 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Wow. Another epic series of interviews, and this one was both fascinating and horrifying. I got a kick out of how John kept apologizing for interrupting and drawing parallels with the religion formerly known as Mormonism :), and how Chris kept telling him that it was ok and that he liked it.

    Back around 2007-2008, give or take a couple of years, I was taking classes at UAA (University of Alaska Anchorage), and an anti-Scientology group calling themselves “Anonymous” (if I remember correctly) came on campus and passed out flyers and I think had a meeting or two that I didn’t attend, although I read some of their literature. Ever heard of them?

  5. Terry October 29, 2019 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    RPF Prison for THREE years? I had no idea something like this even existed. How did you ever get out of there with your sanity in check?? If I had to pin point the moment that finally allowed my common sense to overcome my desire to believe in Mormonism, it was just a few months ago while I was listening to a very irreverent, but hysterical, podcast that put it all in perspective. I, like so many others, had just kept putting my questions on the shelf, and when I heard all my shelf items being laid out all at once I realized just how truly ridiculous it all sounded and how much we were being asked to swallow. YOUR story makes Mormonism sound reasonable! Hah! Thank you Chris for sharing your story, and thank you John for all you do!

  6. Terri November 2, 2019 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Thank You John for providing this forum for others to share their stories.This is such important work. Chris, Thank you for sharing your story here. It is really fascinating and disturbing to hear about your experience in Scientology. I appreciate your knowledge and vulnerability. Did you say that you are writing a book? If not, you should definitely wrote a memoir about your life in Scientology. You too are doing great work.! Truth and Transparency are important . Thank you!

  7. John Crane November 8, 2019 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Lord Dunsany tells one of the most wonderful stories about a monastery which was scheduled to fall one day. This monastery was up on a high hill. A rumor and a legend had gone forward for many centuries that on a certain day the monastery would fall. Finally, the day came and one of the peasants in the valley walked up to the monastery and walked in the front gate.

    He was quite astonished to find no guards on duty because the guards were back in a courtyard weeping because that day the monastery was scheduled to fall … And he walked on into an inner sanctum sanctorum, sanctorum plus and finally came down unguarded corridors to the largest central room of the entire place, where the mystery of all mysteries of all mysteries was kept.

    And there at the far side of the room it was obvious that the mystery was behind these huge black curtains. He walked over and he looked at the curtains and thought, “Well, it’s a very adventurous thing to do,” but the monastery was scheduled to fall that day, so he ventured to do it. He reached up and pulled the curtains down, and there was nothing there. And the monastery fell that day.

  8. Cory Jorgensen November 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    Wow! The RPF! Just can’t believe this is happening in the U.S. Thanks for sharing your story.

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