Anonmom’s Scientology Story
I was involved in Scientology for about 4 years over 20 years ago. The last year I was in the Sea Org in LA before I escaped. This is based on my own writings from about a year after I left. The SO is a very intense place and I am still haunted by many bad memories. I want to write about the children raised in Scientology, especially the Sea Org when I was there.
First some background. You probably know this stuff all too well. In Scientology, children fall under the 2nd dynamic. Wogs (non-Scientologists) operate almost entirely in the 1st and 2nd dynamics. The 1st dynamic is the urge toward survival as self. The 2nd dynamic is the urge to survive through sex and children. But there are 6 other dynamics and scientologists believe they are the only ones who can operate in them effectively.
In fact, the first 2 are considered lower which causes a person to neglect themselves, their marriage and of course, their children in favor of forwarding the goals of Scientology.
In my opinion, it is horrible that this supposed church thinks that children and just pooled in with sex and neatly categorized and numbered, but that is exactly what it does. According to L Ron Hubbard, children aren’t really children. Everyone is a thetan (spirit) living in a body. We all have many, many past lives. So children are just thetans which are very old beings currently living in young bodies. Therefore, there is no reason to treat children different than adults, even where punishment is concerned. Scientology is very big on controlling every aspect of your life and punishing you when you don’t have stellar achievements, no matter what your age.
In the fall of 1986, an “executive directive” was written which banned people from having children in the Sea Org. It said that if you had a baby, you would be transferred out of the SO to a Scientology organization somewhere to raise your child. After 6 years if your child wanted to join the SO, he or she could sign a billion year Sea Org contract and the family could come back.
Upon return, the child is then sent to the Cadet Org which is the children’s SO [admin note: The Cadet Org has been disbanded]. This was located one block south of the big blue complex in LA where I worked. All the children in the Cadet Org were Sea Org members and under contract just like everyone else.
There were times when a parent would ask me to pick up their kid for them after work. We were off at midnight at the earliest, so I went to the Cadet Org very late. First you have to walk through a playground, surrounded by a huge cyclone fence, to get inside. The ground was all cement and there were no toys to be seen. Inside the place was smelly and as bare as a prison. All the children were asleep on the hard floor in a large room under very bright lights. Some kids had little cots, but most slept just on a little blanket. No pillows, no carpet, just a blanket.
I told the nanny the name of the little boy I came to pick up and she had a hard time telling which kid was which. I wondered why she didn’t seem to know the kids that she was supposed to be watching. She finally found the boy I came for who said that was his name and I took him to his mom. I just couldn’t believe that those children were sleeping on the floor as every building I saw in the SO was infested with cockroaches. Maybe that is why the lights were blaring.
Once, I accidentally came across a report by a mother on the horrible condition of the cafeteria in the Cadet Org. Children were not allowed in the cafeteria where the adults ate, so the parents had dinner with them in the Cadet Org, if they could get away from work for more than a quick bite. This mother reported that the eating conditions were disgusting and there was yogurt spilled all over floor amongst other things. She said it was in such a bad state many times.
I remember thinking that I was not surprised at all by her complaints. It only confirmed what I had already seen myself.
Upper management was aware of the Cadet Org’s poor condition. They placated parents by telling them that they were looking for a nice ranch out in the country for the kids with horses and all that PR crap. Then the SO parents would be allowed one full day off a week to go and visit their children. But this would probably only happen if their “stats” were up, and only then if they weren’t in a lower condition or had to perform additional tasks such as being a member of a court of ethics, a board of review or a committee of evidence. Basically, it is selfish to put your kids or yourself or your spouse before Scientology which is seen as the greater good. There are, after all, 6 higher dynamics.
The family living conditions were very inadequate in the SO. All of the living quarters for married couples that I saw were just one small room, usually sharing a bathroom. After all, the big blue building used to be a hospital. Children live with the parents in this small room with no privacy whatsoever. At first, I just couldn’t figure out why parents put up with this. I found out they had no other choice. One father told me that they just “make it go right” (gotta love that catch-all phrase!) and sometimes the kids have sleepovers with other kids so they can have some couple time alone.
The conditions under which women gave birth back then were no better. I heard moms brag that they worked right up to when the baby was born. One mom said that she had her baby right in her room with no doctor or anything. But she did have an OT with her. Scientologists don’t believe in using any kinds of drugs. They avoid hospitals and wog doctors. There were Scientology doctors, but the SO did not pay for any medical or dental bills. But the parents couldn’t afford to pay, an SO member only made $30.00 a week back then. I doubt it’s much higher now.
While in the SO, I befriended a boy who seemed kind of lost. I knew him through friends where he worked, which was a different office than mine. He joined the SO with his parent’s permission at the age of 14. He worked hard, just like the rest of us. I asked him if he went to school. He said “no”, but he tried to keep it quiet so that management wouldn’t find out and make him go. But I knew it was no secret, there really are no secrets in Scientology.
Upper management did like to train kids from the Cadet Org to become what is called Commodore’s Messengers. They were some of the nastiest people that I have ever met. They would seek out ways to really abuse people verbally, mentally, emotionally and even physically, all in the name of “keeping Scientology working”. They were always yelling and screaming at people and calling them names. We were all in total fear of them as they ranked higher than us though most looked to me to be younger than 18. They had, what was called, “ethics presence”. Looking back, what else could they know? They were trained to act that way and were being manipulated just like the rest of us.
One day a messenger took that 14 year old boy in a room alone and proudly told him that he was going to become a Commodore’s Messenger. He told him like it was the biggest and best thing that could ever happen to him. He was mortified. He told the messenger that his parents were going to join the SO in Florida and he wanted to transfer to there to be with them. The messenger was furious and blasted his wrath on him yelling and belittling him. Said that his gross out-ethics was going to get handled, but he still refused to join.
I saw him afterwards and he was very shaken and kind of hysterical. He told me the whole story and asked me in tears if I thought he was out-ethics because he wanted to work in the SO in Florida with his parents rather than join the messengers. I told him that I didn’t think that he was out-ethics. I didn’t know how to help him; I had people yelling at me all the time too. Two weeks later, I ran away. I still think about the fate of that kid from over 20 years ago. I hope he and his family got out of that cult and lives freely as I do now.
As for one girl messenger who used to yell and scream at me and many others, she asked me to help her during study time one day. She needed me to coach her while she method 9ed something Hubbard wrote (it was ALWAYS something Hubbard wrote). With m9 you have to read something out loud flawlessly before you can pass. As she tried I was shocked to discover that she couldn’t read the simplest of words. Basically, she was almost completely illiterate. She seemed very ashamed and I found myself feeling sorry for her.
Scientology is all about reading, since Hubbard was a writer. But they didn’t care enough to give this girl a basic education and she was probably raised in this supposed church most or all of her life. She had to somehow learn to read all on her own. What kind of a chance do you have with a life like that? My heart goes out to people like her who finally leave for whatever reason and somehow make it when they were so used by Scientology and left with nothing.
I was in the Sea Org during the 80s when there was a transition from SO members who were discouraged not to, but still had babies before the 1986 executive directive banning children. The ED stated that if you had a baby in the SO, the parents were transferred out. Only after your child was older and signed a billion year contract themselves would the family be allowed to return.
Parents who got pregnant after the ED ban were being shipped out to orgs back then. The office I worked in “handled” this. But I observed that they were the worst orgs that were one step from being closed from lack of staff. I asked how these unproductive orgs could still be open, when they were so downstat. I was told that Scientology never closes orgs under any circumstances. I could see that by sending the new parents to these orgs, it was a way to further punish them for getting pregnant and going through with the pregnancy.
One couple that I knew who were both very valuable SO members and who’s only fault was wanting to keep their baby, where being shipped to the Kansas City org. That org was in very bad shape. There was only one person left on staff trying to keep the doors open. He even left as soon as they arrived. How was this young couple soon having a baby supposed to make a living out of this? I heard it said that since they were SO members, they shouldn’t have had a baby so they pulled all this in and they just had to make it go right. In other words screw them and screw them good, I was starting to see.
Before the ED was issued, some SO members did have babies. They were put in the nursery, which was nearby, but I don’t know where it was located. This was where they had the barley water babies. Hubbard claimed that it was very nutritional, even better than breast milk or formula. It was the water left from boiling barley with added sweeteners, like corn syrup. He claimed that he saved his premature newborn son only because he took him away from the hospital and doctors and fed him barley water.
I clearly remember also reading in this story written by Hubbard that it was better than breast milk because there were few Guernsey-type mothers. He said most breast fed babies were just starving for more food that their mothers could not naturally provide. I don’t know why he was down on formula, probably because it was more expensive than barley water or because formula is based on scientific research, not Scientology which is supposed to be the answer for everything. I think it was all just part of Hubbard’s solution to separate babies from their mothers to get her back to work and away from the baby as soon as possible.
One of the nannies who worked in the nursery was in the dorm room where I stayed for my first 3 months before a space could be found for my husband and I. PAC (the big blue LA building) is in an old hospital. So I was in a small hospital room filled with 4 bunk beds, 3 levels high, yes, that was 12 women in this tiny room. I was in the middle and the nanny was in the top of our bunk. To be honest, she was probably a typical example of an SO nanny. She had mild retardation (definitely a management reject). I asked her if the babies were fed the barley water like I had read. She said, oh yes, they make a lot of barley water for them. She was kindly but clearly overworked and overwhelmed by the nursery. She worked very long hours on little sleep just like the rest of us and was quite burned out.
I felt sorry for the babies being away from their parents about 15 hours or more a day and to be raised like that.
Another example of child separation from parents I witnessed. I noticed that the SO member that recruited me had a small daughter age 2 or 3. I would see him with her in the morning or late at night, but I never saw the mother. When I finally had the chance, I asked him about his daughter and where her mom was. He said very matter-of-factly that she was in the RPF so she wasn’t allowed to stay with them. I was pretty shocked by this but he just seemed to shrug it off. When she was out of the RPF someday, she would come back and stay with them. She would have been in the same building, but she wasn’t even allowed to be with or even see her husband and little girl.
The RPFed SO members had to stay in the RPF dorms away from the other berthing and it could take several years to get out. It still haunts me how adorable that little girl was and how sad that her mother was taken away though she was still working and living in the same building. So inhumane.
Sometime after I got out of Scientology, I realized that something specific had snapped inside of me that made me realize that all of the inhumane things I was witnessing were not justified by Scientology goals having the greater good. All of the abuses that went on were worth it, you simply had to have that mindset to make it in the SO. The lack of sleep, the yelling and degrading, the horrible living conditions, the long hours with no days off, earning only $30 a week, being separated from family who didn’t want you there and every awful thing that happened that you normally would never have stood for, it was all worth it if Scientology prevailed to save the planet. Every scientologist is indoctrinated that the ends justifies the means. That is why we put up with so much that that is wrong.
Tory Christman, who used to work in OSA, says that scientologists “flip it”. When something pops up that goes against their beliefs or morals, they flip it down so they can ignore it. When you can’t flip it anymore, it will lead to your wanting to leave.
Here’s my unflippable story: about 2 weeks before I left, I was sitting at my desk working on my computer like I so very often did. There was a person in my office whose job it was to handle the SO parents who got pregnant. She came storming into the office in a furious rage with a group of other people I worked with. Someone else had gotten pregnant and she was trying to handle it. What made her so mad was that the woman was actually glad that she was pregnant and she even wanted to have the baby. In fact, she was even trying to get pregnant! She and her husband were happy about it!
I realized that not a lot of SO members were being routed out to have babies when there was a pregnancy; they were being coerced to the point of being forced to have an abortion. That was her real job, to convince people to abort their babies and route out the parents when she failed. I wondered how many women who were married were forced into an abortion when they normally would choose to have their baby.
I soon talked with a co-worker about it (they probably saw that I needed to be handled though I tried not to get involved). She had been married and in the SO for several years and she had an abortion and thought others should too. She said it was simply off-purpose for a Sea Org member to have a baby. But the cruelty of the situation really hit me.
From that point on, I knew that Scientology didn’t care about anyone. They were just using people like slaves for their own personal gain. It’s a good thing for me I wasn’t routed right into a sec check and forced to have this same mindset.
Anything and I do mean anything that a person considers to have any importance, besides Scientology is considered “other fish to fry”. It is probably difficult for someone who has never been involved in a cult mindset to understand this. Giving attention to your children is definitely in the “other fish” category. The bottom line is that properly raising children by giving them all of the time and energy necessary is “off policy” in the so-called church of Scientology. Yet they have done so much PR to sell themselves as being pro-family. Believe me, nothing is further from the truth.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have many stories of my Scientology experiences as do so many others. It really feels good to write it down and put it up on the internet.