Angie’s Scientology Story
My name is Angie and this is my account of my schooling in a Scientologist household. My reading problem was not addressed in the beginning and I think that played a major role in me being so behind in school all my life.
I was born into a Scientologist family. I can remember from a very young age having trouble reading and comprehending very basic phonics. But learning disabilities don’t exist in the eyes of Scientologists and I must have had MUs (misunderstood words) on the words from the books I was reading, like cat and bat and hat. I cannot remember one instance where my problem was dealt with. I was enrolled in a Scientology based school out west from the start. The school was founded by a revered Scientologist in my city and my parents both knew her. As I grew up, I wasn’t too aware of my lack of reading ability because it didn’t seem I had a set curriculum, and I spent most of my days doing art projects and P.E.
A while down the road it became apparent I was behind my peers (Scientologists and non) in school. I soon became hyper aware, if you will, of my faulty reading capabilities and flat out refused to read with anyone but my teacher present. From a very early age I was behind, usually 1-2 whole grades. I remember being schooled over each and every summer with my mom to try and get me caught up. But it never worked. I dreaded yearly summers at my grandma’s and aunt’s homes because they would ask me about school, and sometimes even try quizzing me on things I should have known, but didn’t because the school I attended never bothered teaching me. They would ask me what grade I was in and I’d have to quickly do the math to figure out which I was supposed to be in for my age. My grandmother had no problem questioning her 8-year-old granddaughter’s intelligence and schooling right in front of her.
I can recall being made to feel like I was better than “wog” (non-Scientologist) kids who went to public school, because they were being fed a bunch of false data, being forced by the psychs to take pills and not having the knowledge of study tech, so in turn their education was worthless. When in reality my wog friends would talk about subjects and ideas I had never even heard, while we were all in the same grade.
My school day consisted of a LOT of creative writing for the points. A LOT of spelling and math drills. Kids would do the damn math drill sheets over and over just to get points. I never had lessons that the whole school followed. I did my own work from checksheets provided and a lot of reading books that I had already read over and over again… for the points. I never really got any in-depth science or history education, granted, I only made it through the eighth grade.
Throughout the years the school went through many changes. When I was around 15 the school changed their policy making it so students couldn’t be forced to study something they didn’t want to. They thought if someone was forced then the information would be forgotten and not really absorbed and learned. I was already behind and at this time I used this policy as an excuse to get out of things I just thought would take too long to finish (having grown up in the lifestyle I did, I was never really made to do anything. I could get out of anything by saying LRH said you can’t force someone to study something against their will) and with that put the long checksheets off until I absolutely had to do them to move forward to another grade. This was another reason I was behind in school, because I’d wait until the last few weeks on school to start something that could take 1-2 months to complete.
By the time summer was over and I should have been starting a new grade, I hadn’t yet completed lengthy checksheets from the previous school year. Since the school didn’t have a set schedule for lessons and subjects, you could literally write short stories all day, call it creative writing and no one would say a word about it.
When I was 15 I was in what was considered the 8th grade. I was two years behind and extremely depressed. I felt completely helpless and hopeless. How was I going to catch up? Three months over the summer wasn’t enough time. I became suicidal and cut myself for over a year. My parents thought I was doing this for attention and ignored it or just told me to stop. I was so ashamed over the fact I was so far behind in school, I was too embarrassed to talk about it with anyone I knew.
I truly thought I was stupid in every sense of the word, though thinking about it now, it was how my early years in school were handled that screwed me over big time. By the time I was 16 I was in a lot of trouble. I was constantly in the EOs office because I was always being written up for some reason or another, but I was just acting out my frustration and desperation because of the terrible state my school life was in. I had pretty much given up at this point. Throughout my time at this one particular school I was threatened to be kicked out more times than I can count and I was suspended countless days.
Finally the school had had enough and, without officially saying it, kicked me out by recommending I be sent to a reformative / boarding school in the Midwest. I had just turned 17 and left the school back home where I was just starting the 9th grade.
At this boarding school I was taught the basics in Study Tech, which I already knew. I was told this wasn’t a Scientology based school, because by this time I was not a follower, even though the director of the school was OT III and several of the staff members made weekly trips into town to go to the Org there.
I was at this school for 9 months and by the time I got back home, just two months shy of my 18th birthday, I was no closer to graduating on time. In those few months before May (graduation time) my parents really pressured me into doing whatever it took to get my diploma. I don’t know if you’ve done the math yet, but I had just started the 9th grade a year earlier and now I was expected to graduate on time? I think my parents were just trying to save face. Anyway, I went back to the school I was unofficially kicked out off and took some tests to see where I stood. It turns out I knew the minimum of math and English to pass and get a diploma in the state I’m from. All I had to do was read a few mandatory books from the state and I was good to go. Too easy, right? Right.
I don’t consider myself a real graduate. Was I even registered with the state as a graduate? If so, how did they prove I had completed everything I was supposed to complete? I live my life with this lie.
For so long I felt like I was some lucky uber-educated person who was so far better than kids in public schools when I was really just an 18-year-old with an 8th grade education.
I honestly feel like proper schooling was robbed from me because of the school I went to. I had asked several times as a kid to be sent to public school, but Scientologist adults around me filled my head with rhetoric and lies. They told me if I acted up even a little, a psych would come into the classroom and take me to the nurse’s office to prescribe me some horrible medication and I would be forced to take it.
I went to a school with fewer than 50 students and grew up with not much in the social skills department. To this day I will not read in front of people. Even though I am a perfectly able reader, I still have a lot of “charge” on the subject because of what I feel was the mishandling of my problem from an early age.