Former members of Scientology are issued a declaration that they are a Suppressive Person (an SP Declare). This means that Scientologists are not to associate with them. If their family remains in Scientology, they will probably receive a "disconnection letter", ending all communication formally. Business associates and friends are also urged to sever their relationships. The member can be fired if he or she works at a Scientologist-owned company, such as a World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) member.
Former members who speak out against the treatment they received in Scientology can expect attacks from Scientology's Office of Special Affairs (OSA). OSA hires private investigators or recruits staff members to attack former members. Admissions made to fellow Scientologists during mandatory confessional periods are used to discredit the former member to the courts, prospective employers, friends and neighbors. Members are told that confessions are confidential, and are taken with a crude lie detector, called an "E-Meter". The attempts to discredit critics and former members are called "Dead Agenting". Sometimes, illegal activities the former member carried out on orders from Scientology are used against them in the Dead Agent process.
Other private investigator tactics are to steal bank or phone records, frame the individual with drugs or sexual encounters, damage personal property, or falsely accuse them of theft, adultery or other crimes. Former members are called "apostates" to the media, and those who speak up against Scientology are accused of selling their testimony and of extorting money from the group.
What does your Scientology contact say about former members? What about the confidentiality of members' confessions? What does it say about Scientology that it produces so many vocal critics among its membership?