Chris Shelton is a former Scientologist and Sea Org member and is now a writer, consultant, podcaster, YouTuber and advocate for critical thinking.
Born and raised in California, Chris grew up in a Scientology household and learned about its principles at a young age. While he was exposed to some children’s courses and materials at a young age, he started formally doing services at 15 years old while still attending high school. Upon graduation, he was recruited to join Scientology staff at the Santa Barbara Church of Scientology. He worked there for eight years and then joined the Sea Organization, Scientology’s elite core group of dedicated and fanatical followers who work 24/7 to forward Scientology’s ends under the leadership of David Miscavige.
Seventeen years later, after a great deal of psychological and physical abuse, Chris left the Sea Org in late 2012. Within a year, having discovered the real truth about Scientology and publicly speaking out against it, Chris was labelled a “suppressive person” by the Church and was disconnected (shunned), losing long-time friends and associates as well as his then-fiance. Chris has been working on educating the public about the dangers of Scientology, and destructive cults in general, ever since while he has been recovering from his own experiences and transitioning back into a normal life. As a cult expert, he has personally helped hundreds of people either recover from destructive cult influence or assist their family and friends in how to best communicate and work with cult members to help get them out from under undue influence.
Chris started a YouTube channel which has over 30,000 subscribers, produces the Sensibly Speaking podcast each week as well as this blog and has produced hundreds of videos laying out the scam of Scientology, educating on critical thinking and interviewing former members of Scientology and other destructive cults, as well as a range of therapists, cult exit counselors, educators and media personalities. Chris has also given talks and presentations around the United States about his experiences and has been featured on numerous podcasts and television shows. He was featured on Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath on A&E and served as a consultant to the show for its first two seasons. He has also written a critical analysis of Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard called Scientology: A to Xenu – An Insider’s Guide to What Scientology is Really All About, available on Amazon in printed form, e-book format and as an audio book.
As part of his road to recovery, Chris discovered skepticism and the whole subject of critical thinking. It was an epiphany for him and a very important step on his road to recovery. No one wants to think that they were duped or made a fool of, and no one wants to think that they could be so easily deceived. Once he started learning about logic and reason, he made it his mission in life to spread this new “gospel” so as to help others in their lives.
The Sensibly Speaking Podcast is a weekly show, posting a new episode each Saturday, covering current events and topics from a skeptical, humanist and critical thinking approach. Join Chris Shelton, the Critical Thinker at Large, as he goes over varied topics from critical thinking to science to talking in detail about hot topics in the news . Tired of just hearing the mainstream media's interpretation of events? Want some sensible talk? Then join me here each Saturday!