If you need a reminder of how journalism can be totally fascinating and wonderful, do take a peek – well, technically, it’s incredibly rich and lengthy – at the St. Pete Times‘s special report on Scientology (h/t Graeme Wood, who is also worth reading).

Furthermore, do also read Tori Marlan’s 2002 Reader cover story Death of a Scientologist; it’s really good.

Greg said he shouldn’t have been on the advanced levels. “This was actually told to me in early 1981,” he wrote, “but I continued pursuing these levels through the ’80s and ’90s, against church policy. (Anyone who has had psychiatric counseling and/or psychiatric drugs, as I had had at college, is not supposed to be able to receive any auditing, let alone the advanced levels at Flag.)”

Barnes put Greg in touch with other high-level defectors. One had spent seven years trying to get through OT7. She says Greg wasn’t coping well. “He was having dark thoughts about himself and felt he was covered with BTs,” she says. “He felt he couldn’t get rid of them.”