The basic order of events was interest in Rav Shick's ideas which appealed to me because it was the closest thing I saw to the Litvak path that just seemed to add some other important principles. It did not occur to me the problem of what is called "fly paper" where the fly smelling something of beauty and wonder lands on the fly paper but then can't get up again. Some refer to it as a "consciousness trap" = a way to capture people's mind.
So the real first step away from Torah was in my own faulty decision making process. I did decide to go to Israel mainly based on Navardok's idea when there is a command in the Torah to do something then by definition it is possible. You do not look at if it is possible and then decide whether to do it or not. But I did not do much learning Gemara in Israel and when I decided to take a break from the problems in Israel and got home to Los Angeles the people that supposedly are there to learn Torah made it their job to destroy my family. Thanks a lot.
So as William James put it, "The difference has to make a difference." So for me the charlatans made my own desire to learn Torah much less since I saw they could learn Torah and still be evil. Still that is more of a question on the way people that are using Torah to make a living can get away with their fraud and no one is the wiser rather than a question on the Torah which in any case they are not listening to. But it also shows how a general rule is fulfilled. Once one walks away from Torah, then he can't get back and even the supposed supporters of Torah join together to keep him away.
So I today I try to learn Torah as best I can. What is Torah in this context? That is the Oral, Written Torah, and Musar. [I include the Rambam's idea of adding to this also Physics and Metaphysics for many reasons. Part because of the Rambam, another reason is my parents and the basic Torah with Dersch Eretz approach. But I do regret not just sitting and learning Gemara when I had the chance. A far as I can see if one accepts just to sit and learn Torah and not budge, then מעבירים ממנו עול מלכות ועול דרך ארץ the yoke of government and the way of the world are removed from him.]
I can not be a advocate of just sitting and learning Torah since I failed in that test, but I can honestly say that if one chooses Torah at all cost, the Torah will stand by him and he will never regret it.
Normally I would say the best thing is to sit and learn the Avi Ezri of Rav Shach straight. The thing is that in spite of its amazing clarity still I think a certain familiarity with the actual Gemaras that he bring are sometimes necessary. Sometimes on the other hand he brings all the necessary information right in the page. There are times I realize that without having the Gemara in front of me, it is not always clear what he means.
It might be possible I imagine to restart the whole Narvardok thing with the combination of Trust in God plus learning Torah. That I would think is a good thing. But I also imagine it would have to be every person on his own. You cant really depend in others in this endeavor.
The biggest obstacle to Torah is the phony evil disgusting people that pretend to keep Torah and are really demons from the Dark Side sent on earth to keep people from Torah by their pretense of keeping it will in fact doing everything they can to destroy it.