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Jason Barclay’s Sea Org Adventure: A Fresh Scientology Escapee Details Abuse

Jason_BarclayOver the last several years, Scientology has been rocked by the revelations of former members describing what it’s like to work in the church’s “Sea Org” and at its secretive bases. Invariably, the church responds by saying that information revealed by ex-members is dated and no longer reflects what life is like in the church’s employ.

But now, we have dramatic new testimony from a young man who was working as a Sea Org member just six months ago — and Jason Barclay’s account reflects the same kind of hardships, and extortion, and human misery that so many others have told.

Working with Karen de la Carriere for her new YouTube channel, Barclay is featured in three short videos that we are fortunate enough to debut for you today. We also spoke with Barclay, and we’ll intersperse what we learned with these moving video segments.

Jason first went public on Mike Rinder’s blog on March 21 with a lengthy and technical description of his time in the Sea Org. Here, he tells filmmaker Angry Gay Pope about joining the Sea Org at 13 years old…



Speaking to the Underground Bunker yesterday, Barclay told us that he actually signed his first billion-year Sea Org contract even earlier.

He was four years old.

“I was standing on a stage. I don’t know if they were serious, but my mom ran up and grabbed me away,” he says with a laugh.

Barclay had been born in Culver City, California and was around Scientology his entire life. After his short experience in the Sea Org at 13, he says he spent the next several years as “a poor Scientologist.” His mother was going through upper-level training at Flag — in Clearwater, Florida — and that led to privations. She had reached OT VII — which Scientologists often refer to as being “on the level” — when Scientology leader David Miscavige released the “Golden Age of Tech,” revising some of L. Ron Hubbard’s material so that some members had to redo expensive levels.

[Video #2: Jason, 13, leaves the Sea Org….]

“We owned a house at this time, and were making payments fine. Then Flag called and made my mom take a loan on the house. It was a loan for improving the house, but they had her spend it on redoing OT VI. She was caught, and we ended up losing the house. And she wasn’t even able to stay on the level,” he says.

At 17, Barclay became a journeyman electrician, taking a bus to a jobsite for up to four hours a day. Then, between 19 and 22, he found success as an extra in Hollywood. Because he could appear under 18, he says, he was able to turn it into a lucrative gig — up to about $3,000 a month.

At 22, he joined with a group of other Hollywood hopefuls to create a film group that produced several episodes of live-action anime for the Internet. The group was made up of about 40 Scientologists.

“It was really brutal work. And it kind of prepared me for the Sea Org,” he says.

At 27, he joined the Sea Org again, and this time was assigned to the LA Org at the headquarters complex on Sunset Boulevard. Barclay was soon in charge of maintaining the building — but on a tiny budget.

“I would only get about $400 a week for all maintenance, including toilet paper. If anything was wrong with the building — a scratch or a scuff — some executive would come up to me and tear my face off,” he says.

For two and a half years, he worked a shift from about noon to one in the morning, getting paid about $20 a week out of the $50 he was supposed to be paid — the rest was held back by the church so “gifts” could be bought for the entire org. After 1 am, he would work other shifts at the complex until about 5 or 6 in the morning so he could earn another $10 per week.

It was demoralizing work, he says. When he ran out of his budget, he found himself paying from his own meager pay to replace light bulbs at the org.

At one point, he got so depressed about his situation, he stood on the roof of the building, and thought about throwing himself off of it.

Instead, he began to plot how he would leave.

[Video #3: Jason on the Sea Org in 2011/2012…]

His mother was already disillusioned, and had told her son that she was contemplating asking the church for a refund — a treasonous act that would have got her kicked out of the church, and would have forced her son to “disconnect” from her.

Now, he told her, ask for that refund.

He told her to pick him up that night at 1:30 in the morning — and to be exactly on time. When his shift ended at 1 am, he went straight home to his 1st floor room in the Big Blue horseshoe, and began putting his few belongings into a sack. He had just realized that he needed to camouflage what he was doing by putting some laundry on top of his things when his senior officer happened to stop by and shone a flashlight at his bag. He had just put the clothes on it, and the officer went on with his rounds.

“I couldn’t just walk straight to the LA Org with what looked like all my stuff in a bag. So I went to the laundry instead. And by luck I had left some rags there to be cleaned earlier. So I picked those up and went to the LA Org, then dropped everything off in a utility office,” he says.

Every move he made was being watched on cameras, he says, and if he did anything unusual, security would be on him in minutes.

He checked with his mother, and she said she’d be on time. So he put the bag on a dolly and went into the basement with it, where he knew there were no cameras.

Then he waited until he knew the amount of time it would take to walk to the curb would put him there at 1:30 exactly. Then he began walking.

He pushed the bag on the dolly, and arrived just as his mother was pulling up. Now, it would have been obvious to the cameras that something unusual was going on. He knew they had only a minute or two before security would show up.

He tossed the bag into the car and left the dolly on the sidewalk.

“Shouldn’t you take the dolly back?” his mother asked.

“Are you nuts?” he replied.

They drove away.

In the ensuing days, the church made several attempts to talk him into returning, but it hasn’t worked.

“Today, I’m just trying to figure out more ways of speaking out. Of helping people with information. I’m feeling better, and I’m writing a book,” he says.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 19, 2013 at 07:00

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