Noone could be totally independent in your sense, unless he lives on his own in an isolated island. But I believe that you are not, otherwise, how can you get access to the internet? In this sense, you are also "controlled" by some people in the society?
What distinguish here and some (may not all) churches is that we have no power here to force people to always be ex-christian. On the other hand, the churches would force people to not to leave.