The Scientology Free Zone or Freezone practises Scientology and Dianetics without high costs. Free Zone is a term used by several small groups which do Scientology Pseudoscience but are not part of the official Church of Scientology. Most of them are former Church of Scientology members who either left or were kicked out in the "church"'s frequent internal purges, especially since the early 1980s. The Church of Scientology's practice of declaring members "SP" on a whim (suppressive persons, referring to somebody declared persona non grata in the organization and effectively making them non-members) led to the inevitable as many of these people continued to believe in and practice the pseudoscience of Scientology.
The psychological effects are unclear to the author, it's still Scientology and Freezone auditing probably involves telling emotionally charged intimate material to an auditor without training in psychology, the author of this section is slightly unsure as she has never undergone Freezone auditing. The effects on the practitioner’s bank balance are likely to be less serious and the Free Zone can certainly help believers in Scientology escape the heavy financial pressures from official Scientology.
"Free Zone" adherents vary. With many of them there is a belief that L. Ron Hubbard's writings are infallible and they believe the current Church of Scientology has strayed from Hubbard's teachings; hence, "Free Zone" is a form of fundamentalist Scientology. For others their belief is not so fundamentalist, in that they believe Scientology is valid but mix it with other practices, or try to glean what they see is the good from Scientology while discarding some of it. For many the attraction of "Free Zone" Scientology is simply that they recognize the Church of Scientology organization is a money-sucking cult which they wish to steer clear of, but are attracted to Scientology's teachings as opposed to the organization.
Several "Free Zone" websites exist and they have created their own homebrew alternatives to Scientology's "E-Meter" and a body of writings based on Scientology but which fall outside the copyright to the works held by the Church of Scientology. That matters because official Scientology is notoriously litigious toward those who attempt to promote Scientology outside the "Org". The Church of Scientology has their own term for the "Free Zone": "squirrels". Free Zone websites sometimes have a web page design suggestive of 1997 (they run their webites more cheaply than official Scientology) and split their effort between archived self-published "clearing technology" and heavy criticism of the current Co$ leadership - examples here, here, and here.
Outside opinion of the Freezone
The following is from a list of Scientology related definitions at Operation Clambake
Free Zone, (also Freezone); a loose affiliation of people who still believe in some of the ideas of Scientology auditing procedures, but who have left the formal structure of the cult in a type of Scientology Reformation. The Free Zone is a little more liberal than the hard-core Churchies, as they sometimes like to call people still in the cult proper, yet they often still have the trappings of Scientology, for example, the E-Meter, Auditing, the concepts of Ethics, Overts (bad deeds), Conditions, and the use of disparaging terms for outsiders, (Meatballs, Bashers, Wogs, etc.) The cult proper hates these splinterers and labels them "squirrels". Their newsgroup is alt.clearing.technology; they also have their own periodicals, such as the _Free Spirit_ and others. "The "Free Zone" was a term first used by Bill Robertson in the early 80s. Robertson was a fan of LRH and set up a network of organizations that delivered the CofS's upper and lower levels grades, including the Clearing Course, OT levels and NOTs, at a cut-rate." - Joe Harrington. Free Zoner, (also Freezoner); a member of the Free Zone, qv. Opinion is split on whether this term is or is not derogatory. Some people are happy to be called Free Zoners, and apply the term to themselves. Others claim it is derogatory when used by critics, but this may be a confusion with attitudes as expressed in sentences and simple nouns. Does a sentence like "Canadians are politically stupid liberals" make the term "Canadian" a derogatory term? Free Zoners have been called deluded for still adhering to Hubbardian views and holding the vile man in high regard; I do not believe that this can make the term itself derogatory, but others feel differently about it. The term did not arise within the critical arena, which sheds further doubt on the derogatory label hypothesis.
- Scientology Splintering How the Freezone started, University site
- Stamp Out The Squirrels! How the official Scientologists tried to stop them and failed, University site
- A Layman's Guide to the 'FreeZone' The author does not know one way or the other how accurate this site is.
Adapted from RationalWiki and LIberapedia