When they took my best friend

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Tru2form

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Post Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:28 pm

When they took my best friend

This one's a tough one to tell. Not because it's hard to think about - not anymore, with such an awesome surrogate family listening - but because the subject of my story is still connected to the CoS, and she isn't participating in this because of family concerns. But I have to tell the story. We'll call her Kris.

Kris was my best friend through most of elementary school, all of middle school and highschool at Delphi LA. We were close. That kind of close that makes an impervious, two-person wall of psycho-deflection. A little bubble of sanity in an insane world. When we both started to veer away from Scientology, my parents blamed her for my disinterest, and her parents blamed me for hers. Go figure.

As we moved further and further from Scientology ideology, and as our similar-minded friends began to leave Delphi, we became each other's life support. She was the only person I could entrust with my secrets, and *know* that she'd keep them, without turning around and reporting on me, and vice versa.

One day they took her. We were supposed to go out on Sunday, and I called and called and called. Her mom told me she was grounded and couldn't come to the phone. Her dad told me she wasn't available. My parents told me nothing at all.

When I finally got through to her kinda-sorta boyfriend, I asked her if he'd seen her that weekend, and he dropped the bomb. "She's not in L.A. anymore. She's at the MK Ranch school. They took her on Saturday."

I think I died in that second. My heart stopped, my vision filmed over, my throat constricted. The MK Ranch was hell for Scientology kids, talked about with disdain and disgust and loathing. Only addicts and juvie kids went there, we thought. And Kris hadn't done anything like that. It was in the middle of New Mexico, totally isolated. Kid's phone calls to their parents were only allowed 10 mintues a week, and they were monitored by staff. Friends couldn't call - and she and I hadn't been separated for more than a week in about 5 or 6 years at that point. There was hard labor, social isolation and intensive auditing. I knew they'd try to brainwash her there.

They had taken her. My parents had known. My teachers had known. Her parents had known. And no one let me say goodbye.

I went completely and utterly off the rails. I cursed my mother. I screamed at my dad. I tried to run out of the house, but mom stopped me. I tore my hair. I cried for days. The kids at Delphi, the ones who knew, laughed at me.

When I showed up back at school on Monday, her things were just as she'd left them Friday at the desk across from mine. Just as I started tearing up, one of the guys in my class spoke up behind me: "I heard they sent her away."

I nodded.

"Yeah," he said, "She deserved it." And he shrugged.

I have never, ever, to this day forgiven him for that. When my heart is big enough to forgive him for that, I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath. If it turns out that guy becomes a Buddhist monk, and brings the next great era of peace to planet earth, I'll still be hard-pressed to forgive him for that.

Another installment later...
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Critical Mass

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Post Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:36 pm

I hope she gets to see, this, hell I hope she gets to hear this from you in person.
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Tru2form

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Post Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:37 pm

She's out of Scn completely, but there are complicated issues involved. Her mom's still in and stuff. Long story.
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ExSciFag

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Post Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:44 pm

I'd love to hear her "ranch" story. She probably was just as torqued as you were at the situation.

Why do Scilons lose their sense of humour? Admittedly I was as much of an LRH junkie as the next, but I always picked other datums to apply...like
"the more desperate the situation, the lighter the solution"....
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ChaoticPsychotic

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Post Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:23 pm

Oh God Kendra! I am so sorry for your loss.

I kinda know how you feel. I lost my best friend at a VERY young age because his parents got declared. I still have heartache over that.
"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently" - Nietzsche
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Clickman

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:39 am

I'm very sorry to hear about your friend!

Tell me more about this "MK Ranch". Who owns and runs this gulag/re-education camp? Is it a Scientology camp? Run by the Sea Org?

This place sounds like a terrible place to send kids/teenagers.

Is it like some sort of privately run "RPF"? Does someone profit from this place?

Where in New Mexico is it?

Sounds like a place that should be stopped!!!
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anonypanda

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:08 am

Is this a place anon could go to, to show them how normal kids are?

Sounds like the freakin' RPF!
Far east Anonymous.

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HailXxxx79

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:05 am

Re: When they took my best friend

This is why I cry every day reading this forum, Kendra... :(

I'm so sorry you had to go through something like that. High school was one of the toughest times in my life, and I can't imagine losing your best friend like that for no reason. There's no reason that should've happened. None.

I will keep protesting until the abuses of the Church of Scientology cease.
"These barricades can only hold for so long." -R.E.M.

I will protest the Church of Scientology every month for as long as it takes for it to change.
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Legion1

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:13 am

How old were the both of you when this happened?
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mickwenlock

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:45 am

Kendra,

what a nasty little story. I am constantly amazed how many parallels there are between scientology's attempts to control its members and other totalitarian regimes.

In Germany they had the "Nacht und Nebel" - disappearing into the night and the fog, sent to remote camps. In Vietnam there were re-education camps and in Russia the Gulag.

Using this against "unruly" children? Wow.

I am surprised that this "ranch" has not been sued into oblivion.

Are you and your friend back being friends?

Mick
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
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SaintBastard

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:53 am

The MK ranch no longer exists as there were some serious legal issue with some of the staff. Some of us referred to it as "stupid camp" as they also dealt with kids that were displaying mental health problems. Some kids were sent there for smoking pot, stealing, having SEX etc. Basically they were shipped off for doing what kids do... except for the mental health bit.

The one person I know that was sent there for going batshit crazy, did come back pretty well adjusted but I don't know about anyone else.
The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.

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Tru2form

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:33 am

Yes, SaintBastard is right. The MK Ranch closed. It was run by Mace Kingsley as a camp for out-ethics Scientology kids, and it was located in the middle of nowhere, outside of Reserve, New Mexico. From what I understand, kids that went there were first put in "the cabin", an isolation tent with no heating or amenities away from all the other kids. When they had calmed down, they were allowed to come and participate in the main camp.

So, on with the story:

The next few weeks I had no idea what to do. I tried calling the ranch secretly, but of course they wouldn't let me talk to Kris. I immediately went nuts at school. I refused to study, I refused to participate in sports, I refused to do anything but write, which my awesome teacher thankfully allowed me to do - all I did all day was write letters to Kris.

I wrote her 30 page letters every day. "Morning, Kris, it's me. I just got to school." And then I'd detail out every day, and every thought, so she could be part of my life still. Every night at midnight, I went out to the post office drop box and posted the letter.

After a month, I'd heard no word, and I was a complete mess. Later, I found out what was happening:

The staff of the MK Ranch were getting my letters, opening them and reading them, then throwing them away. They told Kris that I had become a good Scientologist, and that I didn't want to talk to her until she had done the same.

Meanwhile, I was told that she was getting all of my letters, but that she had become a good Scientologist, and didn't want to speak to me until I got my ethics in.

About three months in, I was in total rebellion mode, and I got a letter from her that said: "I've decided that the things we were doing were wrong. You need to get your ethics in."

I almost died. Once again, later it turns out that they'd sat her down at a table and said, "If you don't write this, you're not getting out of here until you're 18." She was 16 and I was 15 at the time.

But of course I didn't know that. I thought they had broken her, and I determined to make it through this on my own.

Once, I pretended to be Kris' mom (I used to do fair voice impersonations) and called the Ranch demanding to talk to her. They said to me, "You've already used up your 10 minutes for the week, sorry," but the lady on staff talked to me for half an hour about how Kris was doing.

I fantasized about stealing the car and going to pick her up, but I couldn't drive, and I knew I'd be caught before I ever made it out there. Besides, where would we go? Her parents wanted her to be there. My parents wouldn't take her.

It was during this time, when she was gone, that some of the staff at Delphi started circulating rumors about me to their kids. Everyone was told not to speak with me until I had gotten my ethics in, so people that I kind of sort of knew, who were my surrogate best friends, suddenly stopped talking to me out of nowhere. I remember standing in the hallway yelling after them while they ignored me.

"John. John! Why is no one listening to me?! Can you hear me?"

I finally cornered one of them in the stairwell and made him tell me what was happening. "I can't be seen speaking to you, it's orders," he whispered, and then he broke away and ran off.

Rumors that were completely false started going around about me. I don't know who started them. They said I was on drugs (I wasn't). They said I was a slut (still a virgin). They said I was whoring myself for cocaine (doesn't deserve comment).

I started going down to the lower field to meditate after school, just to get all this stuff out of my head.

I couldn't talk to anyone except some of my Scientology friends who were no longer at Delphi, but most importantly, I made friends with some non-Scientology kids from another school. They kept me going.

One day, she came back on probation. I got a phone call that she was back, and she was allowed to come see me at CCHR where I was volunteering. I took one look at her, and she took one look at me, and we hugged. They let us go out and have lunch together, warning us not to do anything wrong, and that we only had an hour to see each other.

"So..." I said.

"So..." she said.

And we looked at each other, and everything went right back to the way it was, as if she'd never been gone.

Over the next few months, we saw each other all the time, but she was always scared they would send her back. Her parents threatened to do so if she screwed up again, though I'm not really sure what "screwed up" means, because she hadn't really done anything in the first place other than start refusing to go on course, and wearing black lipstick.

Listen up, Scientology: Love conquers all.
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RLSteve

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:39 am

Delphi LA sounds like a HORRIBLE environment! Are you serious that the faculty were spreading rumors about you? And other kids weren't supposed to be seen with you?

The Church of Scientology without a doubt is the BIGGEST THIRD PARTY I have ever encountered.
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Clickman

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:15 pm

Does anyone know if this "MK Ranch" was a Scientology run camp? Was Mace Kingsley a Sea Org Member or Scientologist?

How did he promote this children's RPF to other people?

The fact that this camp no longer exists, doesn't mean that there aren't more of them set up elsewhere.

Does anyone have any more information on this? I am searching the internet.
If it's not fun and doesn't make you happy, DON'T DO IT !!!

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Clickman

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:22 pm

PS Kendra,

Thank you for sharing this heart breaking story. I appreciate your sharing it with us.

This MK ranch has gotten me all riled up.

It is one thing for an ADULT who has joined the Sea Org and agrees to go into the RPF because he is a true believer. He actually has rights and can leave if he wants to. Some do and some don't. But they are adults and can make that choice.

It is an entirely more serious thing in my opinion that a child can be sent to such a camp and because they are minors, and signed over by their parents, I imagine, they have NO RIGHT to leave if they want.

This is like being assigned to a Mental Institution against your will or sent to a Nazi Concentration Camp.

Another reason to protest on March 15th!!
If it's not fun and doesn't make you happy, DON'T DO IT !!!

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Tru2form

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:25 pm

Yes, it was Scientology run. Edit: The kids had to get auditing and do courses there.

Carol Kingsley and Debbie Mace used to set up a bunch of schools. I went to the non-gulag version of the Mace Kingsley school a long time ago, when I was 5-6-7 years old.

It was promoted as a way to "handle" very out-ethics kids.

There are no more MK Ranches, but there may be an alternative - I've never heard of anything, though. Let us know what you find online.
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SaintBastard

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Post Wed Mar 12, 2008 5:05 pm

As near as I can tell the MK ranch was such an epic fail that nobody has tried to set up anything like it. There is the Mohave Academy which moved out of the California desert and into the Datl mountains... not all that far from where the MK ranch used to be, but they only accept kids that are "good" so that they can be educated away from the enturbulation of city life.
The power to destroy a thing is the absolute control over it.

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mickwenlock

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Post Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:14 am

Kendra,

I hope you dont mind but I wanted to ask you how you felt about this MK ranch place when you were a kid. Was it terrifying or just scary? Was it just one more thing that you (and other kids) had to find a way round? Was there a point where you suddenly felt like a Stranger in a Strange Land?
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Tru2form

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Post Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:52 am

mickwenlock wrote:Kendra,

I hope you dont mind but I wanted to ask you how you felt about this MK ranch place when you were a kid. Was it terrifying or just scary? Was it just one more thing that you (and other kids) had to find a way round? Was there a point where you suddenly felt like a Stranger in a Strange Land?


Well, I didn't go there myself, but we looked at it like the Scientology version of juvenile hall. Getting sent there meant you were "off the map".
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Magoo

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Post Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:14 am

Kendra..........

PHEW! Hi .....What a story. I'm so sorry you have had to live
through such manipulative, creepy things. You are a very strong
person---and bless you for sharing this story.

I"m sure there are *many* others reading it, either going, "Yup--me too"
or after reading it, understanding just a little more what happened to them.

My love to you :wink: :rockon:

Tory/Magoo~~
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