What I have found (talking to people about my scientology history) is that people who were never in have very limited to no interest. It's just not a subject they feel is important. They are understanding and sympathetic, but they see it as something from my past that I have left behind, so they don't bring it up or dwell on it. But with people I know who are exes, scientology is often all they want to talk about, which becomes nauseating after a while. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to waste another minute of my life on the subject. But I guess I'm not done with it yet, because I cannot stay away from Clambake.
Professionally, it's a different story. What does one put on a resume when they spent 15 years working for the cult? I finally resolved to put that I was involved with volunteer work, or non-profit work, but that I prefer to discuss the details in an interview. Then if I am asked about it in the interview, I can at least explain the situation a bit and answer any questions they might have. I'd be interested in any advice anyone has on this subject.Then there was the time I was working with a group of artists, and none of them knew I'd been in scientology, and the subject of Tom Cruise broke out and OMG, it was as if I were a fly on the wall, listening to America speak. They seriously yanged on him for several minutes. It was very enlightening. I don't think they'd have done it if they knew I had been a scientologist.
I don't know if this is helpful or not, but I believe Steve Hassan addresses this in Combatting Cult Mind Control - what to do about gaps in your resume that result from being in a cult. I can't remember what he said (yeah, pretty helpful!
) except that he dealt with it. I guess the helpfulness I hope to give is to refer you to the book.
However, Wieber might remember the specifics?
Btw Wieber, I'm so glad that talking about your experience helps you! It makes sense to me that any person would be interested to hear your story, if only because they find you interesting and therefore want to know about your life. But Scientology is - if nothing else - rather interesting and can stimulate some rewarding conversations.
It's telling -- you mentioning having the physical sensations associated with telling about something you aren't "supposed" to be talking about - and reminds me (and I assume this is pretty universal) of the feelings I get when I tell people about stuff in my past which I find either embarrassing or shameful and worry that people will think less of me if they hear the story. It's sad to feel that way -- although maybe it's better than feeling proud and defensive that you're a Scientologist, a la Tommy Davis.