MY ESCAPE FROM SCIENTOLOGY
(My testimony/Michael D'Aigle)
THE CONCLUSION/parts 1,2,3 are below
THE NEXT STEPS...
The next part of my journey after exiting Scientology is really in some ways a blur in my mind. Why? Because it took me a while to shake off the terrible effects this experience had on my psyche and emotions. Although I was free of the awful sense of being trapped and enslaved by Scientology, I was not yet a Christian - nor was I free from my sins... Strange as it may seem to some reading this, after all God had done for me in allowing to find the strength to walk away from this devilish nightmare; I had yet to give my life to Jesus Christ - or ask Him to be my personal Savior. I was so engrossed and consumed with just getting free from Scientology - that having a personal relationship with God was sadly not what I was seeking for. Like so many who turn to God in their moment or hour of crisis or personal tragedy; I was seeking God not for a relationship, but for His help in freeing me from my personal dilemma with escaping Scientology. God being ever merciful, He rescued me ever so graciously - but now I was being chased by God to go to the next step. The Holy Spirit is relentless in His persistence and tenacious pursuit of the sinner - and, I'm happy to say He was soon to capture my heart, soul, and entire being with the Good News of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection from the dead!
I moved in with my mother, and was studying the Bible daily and praying and thinking about God much of the time. Although I was now free from my involvement with Scientology - in the back of my mind was this gnawing fear that my contract with Scientology was looming over my head like a dark cloud of impending doom. Really. Sooner or later I figured I would hear from the Org., and there would be a confrontation - a legal reckoning with the lawyers or persons representing Scientology about my signed agreement to be a staff member for a period of five years. That bridge would be crossed months later; but at the time I was focused on simply getting my life back on track - and finding my way in the world as a confused and troubled young man. I was free from Scientology, but now I was drifting from day to day without a real plan or vision for my future...
JESUS AS SAVIOR...
Sometime during my brief stay with my mom, I asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior and to come into my life. He did, and things began to change. I remember kneeling down in my mom's kitchen, and while Billy Graham was giving the altar call, I prayed for Jesus to forgive me of my sins and to change my life. I got up a new person, a new creation; but there was one big problem. I knew nothing about "following Jesus", and even less about letting Jesus Christ be the Lord of my life; and though I was now saved - there were lots of twists and turns up ahead - before I would settle down and become stable and mature in my relationship with the Lord.
After staying at my mom's place for a while, I moved out and into a house with a bunch of stoned out musicians, and once again began my life as a "rock musician" living and breathing a life of excess and endless "jamming" and partying. For me, this was as natural as a fish in water - it seemed I just couldn't shake my affinity for the "wild side" of things - especially when it came to girls, rock-and-roll, and drugs. I knew God had set me free, and that my sins had been forgiven months earlier when I prayed for Jesus to save me; but I had yet to submit to the Lordship of Christ, and I was still doing things my way. The band I was with, LOOSE GOOSE (believe me - we were loose), was doing pretty well and we were now at the point where we were going to meet with a man who could open doors for us as an opening act and more - or so we hoped. Just before we were to have our big "audition/break" with this big shot from the secular music realm , I had an unexpected visit from my sister Bobbi.
JESUS AS LORD...
I hear a knock on the door, it's early in the afternoon - and I'm thinking if I wait long enough they'll go away. I wasn't ready to get up and meet or greet anyone, those days I stayed up late and jammed/partied till the wee hours of the morn, and my brain wasn't ready for an encounter with anyone. The knocking would not stop, so I trudged to the door, and low and behold it's my big sister, Bobbi and she is all aglow from head to toe - she looked radiant, beautiful - she looked like an angel to my tired eyes. After coming in, she began to tell me how she and her husband, Terry were saved, and now serving God and going to church. She shared how her life of drugs and infidelity to her husband, and all the dark things in her life were now gone - over! She told me that her church was having a revival, and that she wanted me to go that night. I told her that even if I wanted to go, our band had an important meeting that evening with an agent and our audition was all set in motion. I remember telling her that the only way I could go is if it was a miracle, because it was too late to cancel our meeting/audition. She left after praying with me, and my heart was racing, and my spirit was stirring - I could sense that in the spirit realm - there was something going on that was beyond me - beyond what I could comprehend or understand... The Holy Spirit was at work behind the scenes setting things in motion that would change me forever.
A few minutes later, the phone rang. Our keyboardist called and said he had slammed his hand with a car door, and wouldn't be able to do the audition. Not being deterred, the band decided that we could still do the audition with the remaining members of the band. A few minutes after that, a call came that the agent had cancelled our audition for that night and now my evening was free and cleared for me to go the revival at my sister's church. I called her, and with a sense that something important was about to happen - I told Bobbi - "things have changed, I'm going to be able to go with you tonight to the revival" I went to church that night, and when the time came to surrender your life to Christ, to give yourself wholly to God - I went forward and knelt down at the altar. My sister says I prayed for probably 2 hours, and all I remember is that there was a raging battle in my soul going on. God told me clearly two things: First, I had to forgive my father for putting me out into the street at the age of 17 to fend for myself, which I had not forgiven him for. Secondly, the Lord told me that I had to give up my idol / Rock music and leave it behind forever. When I rose to my feet, there must have been 40 to 50 people who were still there praying for me.
That night, I was set free, really free in the deepest parts of my being - God was showing me that there were things in my heart, in my life that had to be repented of - given to Him if I was to be truly free - really a Christian following Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of my life. From that night on, I have never looked back. I quit the band immediately, left my life of drugs, illicit sex, and involvement with secular music and moved in with my sister and brother-in-law, and began to attend church and bible studies regularly. I helped open the 1st Christian coffeehouse in Flint/THE LIGHTROOM, with an amazing couple, Rich and Mary Gletzner; and was singing and sharing my testimony on the street, in churches, and wherever God opened a door. It was at this time of my life, sometime in 1973 during the early days of the Jesus Movement that swept across America that the shadow of Scientology once again fell over my life unexpected and with little warning...
THE FINAL CONFRONTATION...
As one of the directors of The Lightroom, it was my regular task to go down to the coffeehouse and open it up, and oversee it's daily operation. That was having local Christian artists sing and minister in the evenings, send out people to hand out tracts and witness on the streets and in the parks; and to counsel/pray, and teach new believers the bible and also to answer the phone as needed. On an ordinary day at the coffeehouse, two men entered the Coffeehouse and were looking for me. They came in looking like the mafia(I'm not kidding - trench coats and dressed up). They told me that they were there to take me back to Detroit, and that I was under contract; and that I wasn't legally able to just walk away like I had done, and that they were there to escort me back to the Org in Detroit. I was ready for them, and told those there with me to begin to pray for me, and then I turned my attention to two men who were very intimidating ready to escort me out to their vehicle and back to Detroit.
I explained to them that I was now a Christian, and that I wasn't going anywhere with them. With our eyes locked on each other, and standing face to face in this tense game of "who's going to blink"; I began to tell them how I had forged my father's signature on the contract(which was true), and that under the laws of the state of Michigan - that contract wasn't legally binding. They stared at me in disbelief, in silence and with puzzled expressions on their faces; then left as quickly as they had come into the building. That day, that afternoon - I knew in my heart that my long battle with the evil and sinister demons of Scientology was over. The joy, the relief and glorious peace that flooded my entire being after they left cannot be put into words. To anyone who has been directly or indirectly involved with a cult, leaving isn't always the "end" of the struggle or battle; as they will often tell you. Jesus set me free, and though you may think - this could never happen to me, I pray and hope you're right. But, it could happen to someone you love, someone you would never think would "fall for something like that"... think again. The devil has more snares/traps, and devices to take unwitting souls to hell than you can imagine. That is his game - taking souls to hell, and he is very good at it.
FINAL THOUGHTS... The good news is that Jesus Christ is stronger than the devil, and all the demons in hell put together! The battle was won at Calvary, and sealed forever when Jesus Christ rose triumphant over death through His glorious resurrection from the grave. If you have a family member, relative, or friend, or even foe; who has become entangled in a cult, or counterfeit religion or philosophy that you know is trapped or unable to free themselves. First, pray for them, and pray earnestly and with compassion, and that will begin the work of freeing them. Love them unconditionally, and don't, I repeat don't try to scold them or ridicule them into leaving... It doesn't work that way. Give them a bible, give them testimonies of people like myself who've come out of false teachings, and cults; and above all -
BE THERE FOR THEM. Don't abandon them in their hour of darkness and despair. Pray for them and with them, and listen to them. God can use you to be the person to lead them to Jesus Christ, to the One who can set them free forever. I pray that you will share my testimony with others as you are led. May God use my testimony to set others free from the lies and cunning fables that have blinded the hearts and minds of millions today.
Blessings to all/Michael D'Aigle
Scripture References: COL.2:13-15, 2 CO.4:4,1 CO.15:1-4,
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
1 Timothy 4:4 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I love God, people, and all of God's creation. For me there is always something or someone to write about...