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Life after Scientology: The post-Sea Org baby boom

SeaOrg2Yesterday, we mentioned that there’s been something of a baby boom among former Scientology officials who left the church in a small wave in the last several years.

We thought we’d follow up on that by pointing out that leaving the Church of Scientology appears to be very beneficial for the people who accomplish it.

Not that it’s easy. Marc Headley explained in his escape narrative Blown for Good that one of the ways the church controls ‘Sea Org’ workers — who sign billion-year contracts and work for pennies an hour — is by convincing them that if they leave the quasi-naval organization, they’d soon perish in a cruel outside world, bereft of skills or money. Fear of that outside world, or of being ‘disconnected’ by family members who remain in the church, can keep a person from leaving, or convince them to return even if they manage to get away.

Marc and his wife Claire struggled to get away from Scientology, where they were prevented from starting a family. Things outside haven’t been so easy either — they sued Scientology and lost, and then were asked by the church to spy for Scientology to help pay off what they owed in attorneys’ fees. (They told the church to go fish.)

Ultimately, though, the Headleys have showed that life outside Scientology can be pretty liberating. And as for starting a family? They’ve been making up for lost time.



Steve Hall is another former Scientology official who has started a family as he’s recharged his life. Here he is with his daughter Alexandra…


We’ve been meaning to mention that Hall recently started a new business venture with another former church member, Haydn James, who was featured last year on Rock Center.

Hall and James have teamed up to create an online platform that looks pretty impressive to us. We asked Steve what it was about.

“Haydn’s expertise has been in managing dental practices. So he wrote a book to help dentists succeed. My bag as you know is marketing. Between us, we have what dentists are missing. They go to school and learn how to fix teeth, but they do not learn management nor marketing hence they normally struggle,” he told us. “So the idea was to team up and provide those services. We wrote books, typeset and designed them, then created a couple of courses, a tutorial library containing non-vital, but helpful information, and put together a new system of consulting like nothing previously on the market.”

We wish Steve and Haydn the best of luck.

Also fueling the ex-Scientology baby boom is John Brousseau, who we wrote about extensively at the Village Voice. JB had one of the most fascinating careers in the church — he was L. Ron Hubbard’s personal driver, he was David Miscavige’s brother-in-law, and he worked in Tom Cruise’s household. Now that he’s out, he’s making up for lost time. He and Mareka Backus (who was featured in one of John Sweeney’s documentaries) recently had their second child. In this photo, JB is with their first, daughter Isabelle…


Former top Scientology official Marty Rathbun’s life after Scientology has been turned upside down by the lawsuit his wife, Monique, filed against the church, but also by their baby boy, Billy…


Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder married former church member Christie Collbran (who was featured in the New York Times), and they’re raising their son Jack (pictured) and Christie’s son Shane…


Like most of the others, Tiziano Lugli and his wife, the actress Jamie Sorrentini, are raising their daughter while they’ve had to deal with other parts of their families “disconnecting” from them for leaving the church. Tiziano hasn’t seen his brother Flavio, a Sea Org worker, in years. Jamie’s father has never seen his granddaughter, Veda…


Another person who has suffered the worst effects of ‘disconnection’ is Lori Hodgson. We’ve written about her ordeal numerous times, including her multiple trips to Texas to try and convince her son and daughter, Jeremy and Jessica, that she wants a relationship with them, whether or not they stay in the church. At one point, Jeremy had a serious motorcycle accident, and Lori had to force her way into a hospital to see him.

Now, it’s happened again. Late last night, Lori posted this photo at Facebook, saying that she’d learned Jeremy had had another serious motorcycle accident, and that she was desperate to find out more…


Hey, Jeremy, looks like you have about as much business on a bike as you do telling your mother she has to get right with Scientology before you’ll talk to her.

Maybe it’s time you bought a clue, young man.

Jenna Miscavige Hill turned her experiences as the niece of Scientology’s leader into a widely-publicized and well-reviewed memoir, Beyond Belief. She and Dallas Hill live in the San Diego area and have two young children…


Not everyone who has left Scientology is starting a new family, of course. And some of them remain quiet about leaving. But a few, like former Class XII auditor Karen de la Carriere, make a lot of noise. We’ve been hosting a lot of her videos here at the Bunker, some of which featured recent Sea Org defector Jillian Schlesinger. Those videos in turn got the attention of filmmaker Louis Theroux, who is making a feature-length documentary about Scientology and spent considerable time recently filming at Karen’s Los Feliz house…


And when it comes to people leaving Scientology, we’ll always be partial to the epic story of Tory Christman’s unique way of defecting. More than a decade later, Tory continues to help others understand the Scientology mindset through her videos. Her thousand-kilowatt demeanor remains the best evidence that there’s life after Hubbard.



Posted by Tony Ortega on May 27, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer


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