“I have been around the church since I was like 2 or 3 years old. When I was about 16 I disappeared for about 4 or 5 years and during that time Istarted experimenting with drugs. I began to live a rather rebellious lifestyle, to the point of neglecting my family, siblings and anything else that truly mattered. I found so many ways to justify my actions.
“Once I found a group that I thought I could substitute for religion and family I took it to a whole new level. With drinking binges that were of mythic proportions, smoking weed and talking about our trips (experiences on mushrooms and LSD) became a almost a ritual. I was to the point where I was preaching about Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Bob Marley and The Grateful Deal being prophets and my idols. I was living in a composite reality. Dreadlocks, a harmonica, a guitar, bongos and a case of beer was really all that mattered.
“Once I was introduced to Schwagstock (a four day camping festival in honor to The Grateful Dead and the 60′s counter culture movement/rainbow family) I was hooked. I had spent over $5,000 in four summers on drugs, tie-dye T-shirts and concert tickets. It was a place where thousands of people could come together to camp and party for a care-free weekend. It was, in my eyes, “Utopia”. Peace, anti-war, anti-government and freedom was what is was all about. We thought it could last forever.
“Then my friend Marty was shot and killed trying to defend himself from a car jacking in East St. Louis. He was going to pick up beer at like 2am. This was one of the worst times for me, it was rock bottom. It was the first funeral I had ever been to and I witnessed so many people at their most vulnerable/emotional states. He was one of the best guys I ever knew.
“While Marty’s death lead to an excuse for some people to drown in their sorrows by using heavier and harder drugs, it was a wake up call for me. About a week later some people from the church contacted me. I joined staff a few weeks later and got myself on a course. At that point, I still had a drug and alcohol problem but knew I needed to make some drastic changes.
“I am so thankful and grateful for LRH. I took Scientology for granted for my teen years and now I’m here 100%. LRH has helped me get most of myself back. The world can be a pretty crazy place with all the crazy minds running around. But Scientology is a beautiful thing. I’ve changed a lot over the past 5 years. I now plan on making up any damages to the people around me who I love and care about that I could have prevented hurting by using Scientology when I was younger.
“Thank you to LRH and all the hard working Scientologists that have helped me turn my life around through the years. Thank you for the example that you set for me. I no longer feel guilty about my past. Doing the Purification Program has changed my life. I do not bottle up my feelings anymore. I can now look at a plant or tree or listen to a good folk song without feeling like I’m in the woods having an LSD flashback.
“It’s time to get the show on the road. My wins I have had getting my life back on track are out of this world and I am so happy to be a member of this amazing group. ”