Beginner's Guide to the Freezone
"The Freezone" (or "Free Zone" or "FZ") is a term covering the loose association of persons who choose to practise what L. Ron Hubbard ("LRH") called "Scientology" ("Scn") outside of The Church of Scientology ("CofS").
"Scientology" is a registered trademark, originally owned by LRH, and now owned by the CofS. Freezoners cannot legally state that they sell and deliver "Scientology" services, as only those entities licensed by the CofS may do that. This is a source of annoyance to many FZers, but it is not really a big problem.
The FZ is a loose association of individuals. Each individual has his own viewpoint and his own ideas about things. There is no such thing as the "official FZ" viewpoint. There are various small groups and organizations within the FZ. Some individuals belong to one or more of these groups. Sometimes the leader of one of these groups may try to present his personal views as those of "The Freezone". This is a personal conceit. Many FZers may share those views, but many will not.
This page you are reading right now, for instance, is provided by an individual FZer on his main FZ website (Paul Adams, www.fzglobal.org). I will mostly try to present a balanced view of things, but again, this is the view of one person. Some FZers may agree with what I say, and some may not. Welcome to the world of free choice! In the CofS you get the CofS's view of things and if you want to do Scn in the CofS you play by their rules. If you don't like their rules, goodbye.
The CofS and most FZers do not see eye to eye. The general FZ attitude to a new person wondering if they should do Scn in the CofS or in the FZ is, "Check out the CofS and check out the FZ and make a choice based on what you find. If you start out in the FZ and want to then go into the CofS we won't have a problem with it, but they might." On the other hand, the CofS does not even tell its members that the FZ exists! If a CofS member does somehow find out about the FZ and tells other CofS members about it, and that he would like to try services there, he is very likely to get kicked out of the CofS and his communication lines to other CofS members more or less permanently cut (the CofS practice of "Disconnection"). The general FZ assumption is that the CofS is primarily concerned about losing income. Usually FZers would charge about a tenth the amount for counselling services that could be considered comparable, without all the hassle that accompanies getting services in the CofS.
This is not going to turn into a rant about the CofS. It is easy enough to find reams of criticism via Google.
There is no one central FZ organization, with branches all over the world. There are various individuals and groups, with various interconnections. There isn't even a central information point. There are various online forums and sources of information. If you don't like this page, check out Google. Try various search terms, including at the beginning at least "Freezone" and "Scientology".
There are a few online groups of use to those interested in the FZ. The best are these Yahoo Groups: "FreezoneOrg", mostly for experienced FZers; "FZ101", mostly for new FZers; "FZAOInt", mostly for experienced FZers. If you want to meet up with others FZers of various shapes and sizes, these are a good place to start. You can join more than one at a time. If you want to meet other FZers near to you, post a message saying you live in such and such a town, anyone want to contact you? Note that the CofS monitors these groups, and if you use your real name and are an existing CofS member they are likely to contact you and make you an offer along the lines of "Leave this group at once or we will kick you out of the CofS". If you don't have such a pre-existing relationship with the CofS, unless you actively and visibly and broadly promote that you deliver SCIENTOLOGY®-brand services it is very unlikely they will even contact you, let alone hassle you.
If you are completely new to Scn and are wondering what all the fuss is about, it is best to actually DO some Scn and see for yourself. You are welcome to go into a CofS place and do an introductory service. I don't recommend it, but if there is no alternative it probably won't kill you. Take some cash along, but no check book and no credit cards. They are extremely good at parting you from your money. By "doing" a Scn service, I mean getting your feet wet. Don't just sit around and chat about auditing, or read forever about it on the Internet for example, but DO some auditing. Probably any FZer who sells and delivers auditing would be willing to give you a free introductory session so you can see for yourself what it is all about.
There isn't a centralized directory of FZers who deliver auditing and training. Some are listed in a wiki about Scn, Scienowiki, at www.scienowiki.org. In October 2005, this included all the FZ individuals and groups who openly promoted their services on the Internet, as well as all the CofS churches (but not missions) and individual Church members promoting services. At that time, I couldn't find one single individual CofS auditor promoting his services on the Internet, which is interesting.
Up to this point I haven't said anything controversial. Most FZers would go along with what I have written so far, but not the rest. At this point we leave the mainstream FZ, so to speak.
I have created an online experience that is similar to an auditing session. Purists in the FZ, which on the whole is very conservative, throw up their hands in horror and want nothing to do with it as it is theoretically offensive to them. I take a more pragmatic view, that it is valuable and provides a free service to people, a way of getting auditing for nothing, in the convenience of one's own home, at any time. There are three versions. The most basic is The Yawn Machine at www.yawnmachine.com, with a link to the other two at the end of that page. The Yawn Machine is derived from Scn principles, but it would be inaccurate to call it Scn and the form is much looser than in a proper session. The other two are recognizable as Scn-based and are more formal, although not exactly the same as anything generally practised.
Despite its simplicity, The Yawn Machine is very powerful. I am currently using it myself daily in preference to older methods.
So if you want to get your feet wet, for free, without leaving home, you are welcome to try it out. You can then tell other FZers what you experienced, and they will probably be horrified that you tried it and tell you so, and you might begin to wonder if you have slipped through some space-time warp into the rigid CofS!
Copyright ©2006 by Paul Adams. All Rights Reserved.