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A Scientologist heading for suicide — the missing Tayler Tweed Facebook postings

Tayler_Tweed3

 
Two years ago, we told you about Tayler Tweed, a 27-year-old Scientologist who had been working on a career in music and acting under the name Tayler DeBari before she killed herself at the home of some friends in Fullerton, California on January 10, 2014.

We heard from people who knew Tayler that in the months before her death, she had been saying negative things about Scientology on Facebook and talked about leaving it, but she had later been convinced to take those postings down. Her mother, Cathy Tweed, assured us that her daughter’s “upsets” with Scientology were minor…

Cathy, who is a Scientologist herself, denies that her daughter was turning away from the organization. “She had some upsets with the church,” she acknowledges, but she puts it down to Tayler’s anger when an ex-boyfriend began dating someone new. “She made one slight comment and then she retracted it,” Cathy says.

Her daughter was becoming increasingly frustrated with her career options, she adds.

“She couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do with her life. She felt very overwhelmed. She just got so nasty and mean to her friends,” she says. “It didn’t have anything to do with Scientology.”

Cathy Tweed told us that she and Tayler’s half-sister were getting matching memorial tattoos to cope with Tayler killing herself with a handgun. “We were shocked that she did that,” Cathy said. “But I’m at peace with what happened.”

Now, a friend of Tayler’s, Larisa Smith, has supplied us with the Facebook posts which had supposedly been lost, and we authenticated them with another close friend whose supportive responses showed up in some of them. The posts provide a troubling record of Tayler’s unhappiness with Scientology, her inability to get the emotional support she needed, and insensitive responses from some of her fellow Scientologists.

In our 2014 story, we were cautious about the role Tayler’s problems with Scientology might have played in her suicide, saying that it’s depression that usually plays a bigger role in a person’s decision to end their life. But we’re not experts about such things, and this time, we decided it would be better to call on one.

We shared Tayler’s Facebook posts — about two dozen of them made from September to November 2013 — with psychologist Rachel Bernstein, a licensed therapist in Los Angeles who was interviewed recently for the Underground Bunker by Chris Shelton.

“Besides depression, there are many other reasons people turn to suicide, and all of them fit Tayler’s situation,” Rachel tells us. “People commit suicide when…They feel there’s nobody in their family who understands; they’re made to feel there is something inherently wrong, bad, dangerous or permanently flawed about them; they feel isolated and alone; they are told they are a burden; they repeatedly reach out for help through the expression of sadness or frustration only to be shamed about needing that help.”

Rachel looked at Tayler’s postings in detail and sent us this moving explanation of what she saw…

It is clear that she was bright, introspective, and was trying to find her own voice and share what was on her mind and in her heart. She responds so positively on the rare occasions that she gets a supportive response, which just proves how much she was needing that. Most of the time, though, the responses she gets are cruel, sarcastic, judgmental, even being told “STFU.”

She was in pain. Most of her friends were abandoning her because I’m sure they were made to feel like that was their only choice, yet she was continuously reaching out. In response, she got almost no gentleness or kindness.

Things started taking a dark turn in November, and still even after posting things about how she felt she was going insane, an advertisement for Death Becomes Her, posting the number for the suicide lifeline, and telling her friends and family explicitly what she needed (“love and encouragement”), she still didn’t get what she was clearly needing.

Then, in a long post on November 30, she wrote something where she took all the blame and expressed that she was sorry for what she had put everyone else through, and that she was a mean, rude, terrible person. In response, she got 55 likes. That sent chills down my spine when I saw that, because I knew that was like putting nails in her coffin. The likes showed how much people were in support of Tayler saying that she was going to take responsibility for everything, she was the bad seed and was not going to blame anything else or anyone else, even if she was the injured party. That put almost everyone else at ease and they gave her positive reinforcement for saying she would keep her mouth shut. I have no doubt that there were many exceptions to this, but the exceptions were from people who were probably too afraid to post their real feelings about this whole situation. I kept expecting someone to make a comment like, “Why are you apologizing? This isn’t your fault,” and “Why are you saying you put your family through something when you are the one who is suffering so?” And “You are not a mean, rude, and terrible person. You are a wonderful, bright, thoughtful, and talented woman who has the right to be upset about all that happened to her.” But there were no comments of support, no kindness, acceptance, reality testing, unconditional love… Nothing.

Then I read about her memorial. I have never met her mother, but the fact that she said her daughter’s upsets with Scientology had nothing to do with why she took her life makes her sound ridiculous and dissociative, and shows that even after her daughter’s death, she is still not at liberty to speak the truth. What I wanted to hear from her were “normal” parental reactions, i.e. how she was in shock, how it was a tragedy, how she is grieving so terribly that she can barely speak. Instead she and Tayler’s half-sister were getting memorial tattoos to help them cope. That is so strangely disconnected and dissociative. Did either of them try to help Tayler cope? It’s like her family watched her drown and did not pull her out of the water or throw her a rope to grab onto as her head went under, but instead got irritated with her about the way she was drowning and the screaming she was doing while she was struggling because that was bad behavior, and after she became fully submerged, they went and got memorial tattoos to help them feel better.

As expected, a lot of other reasons besides Scientology are given for her suicide, none of which usually lead to suicide. I have never heard of someone committing suicide because their “ex-boyfriend has started to date someone new,” or that they are “frustrated with their career options.” Then her mother says “I’m at peace with what happened.” That’s a very strange comment for a mother to make. How is that possible? There is so much that could have been done, and should have been done. Where is the guilt, remorse, regret? I’m not trying to vilify her mother, as she is being put in this situation where she is supposed to split off her feelings, but the way I am used to parents responding to the suicide death of their child is that they almost always feel a great deal of responsibility, and step up and say, “We can’t help but wonder if we didn’t help her enough and in the way she needed. We don’t know if we’ll be able to ever live with knowing that the possibility exists that we didn’t do everything we could, and we will miss her every day and wonder what her life could have been like if she had gotten the help and support she needed.”

In addition, after reading through all the material, I don’t see any sign that she was mentally ill. Her thoughts were clear, and her reaction to the situation she was in and her reaction to the responses she was getting to her expressions of anger, sadness, and hopelessness were both rational and appropriate. This was a preventable suicide, and there is a high likelihood she could have had a long happy life if she had gotten the help she really needed. Scientology became something that poisoned her. It had also drummed into her that conventional therapy and medication were not a viable option for her, even though she would have been helped greatly by them and would have felt a lot of relief and support. I feel that the combination of that poison, mixed with the fact she could not get real help and was abandoned by many people who she thought loved her while she was simultaneously criticized and kicked while she was down led to her eventual hopelessness and suicide.

Thank you for that very detailed report, Rachel. And now, here is the material in those Facebook postings leading up to Tayler’s long message on November 30, 2013, less than two months before she took her life. We look forward to your thoughts on them.

Sept 6
I am a life-long Scientologist, raised by life-long Scientologist parents, and I have Scientologist siblings that are parishioners, employees, or volunteers for our Church. Please feel free to let me know if you have a problem with that. If you do but are for some reason unwilling to communicate that directly to me, delete yourself from my friends list immediately. Here is a link to my local Church here in Portland, Oregon!

Sept 6
My true Friends do NOT speak negatively and spread their secret/covert hostility about me and our friends behind our backs. They confront us BOLDLY and have the courage to voice their personal opinions directly to us. Feel free to speak up and tell me how you feel!

Sept 10
I have officially been censored! From now on you’ll hear from me nothing other than inappropriately cheery smiles and an entirely waxed enthusiasm, combined insincerely with a forced effort to be accepted by the Portland Suits. It would not be humanly possible to care any less than I do of what you conservative know-it-alls think of MY words, but my parents are angry so, I concede.

Responses: “lol”
“Well, in their defense, Public relations is important; it is after all on your personal org board for a reason… just my two cents”

Oct 23
FREEDOM OF SPEECH. A right I will exercise until the end… Seriously, fuck the motherfuck off with all of your opinions. I DEFINITELY never asked for your input people! I have my own reality, a personal and private perception of it, and this is just one outlet of self-expression.

Responses: “yay! So you are posting just so people can get your comm but cannot respond back… yay for freedom of speech!”

Oct 25
To the Church of Scientology of Portland staff members: Derek Meyer (Fdn FCS), Maxine Stanley-Cannon (PES Fdn), and Elizabeth Dunham (HAS Fdn)… My reports up lines (CJC/IJC/RTC/ED Int) on you three have gone unheard, without written response, and are still unhandled, I am now going public.

 
TweedOct25

 
Oct 25
To every one of my PR-obsessed, terribly fake, fair-weather “friends” that are dropping out of my life like flies… GOOD RIDDANCE!

Oct 25
Give me an enemy, I will take them down. Give me a rule, I’ll bend it ’til it breaks. I do not need the Tweed-Masterson clan to survive and be a successful artist and adult.

[Tayler’s ex-stepfather, Rusty Tweed, married Carol Masterson, and became stepfather to Carol’s actor children, including Danny and Christopher Masterson.]

Oct 25
THIS is what an angry #SecondGeneration #Scientologist looks like…

MarinaDiamonds

Responses: “Stfu and say something nice”

Tayler: “I am having trouble with the Portland Church of Scientology. You, little boy, can FUCK OFF…I already wrote reports to CJC, IJC, RTC, EDI, CCI, VP CSI, and my terminals at CC Int.”

“Cool… So, maybe you shouldn’t spread it all over fb, and keep it on the right lines?… All I am suggesting (and do what you will with it as it’s a suggestion) is to not spread it all over online. If its written up to all of those terminals, it’ll probably get resolved. You don’t need to fuel your argument even more by spreading entheta to people who have nothing to do with it.”

Tayler: “It was written up in January, February, March, June, July, August, September, and October. This is the appropriate justice gradient.”

“Well, I do believe that concludes anything else I have to say.”

Oct 26
I am THIS mad at the Portland Church and completely honest and happy with my communication;

Login: taylerdebari@xxxx.com
Password: xxxxxx

Read away fucktards!

Oct 26
Hey ladies, I am a size 0, xs, shoe size 7; getting rid of #stuff… Who wants it?

Oct 26
Like a ghost, I will be GONE! 01 January 2014

Oct 26
17 years of torture. I am done! #teamTayTay #WOLFpack

Oct 26
Death; I am coming for you! XIII/XI/MMXIII

Oct 27
I think that the Church of Scientology International should take the Millions of dollars my family has donated since 1965 and pay their Sea Organization staff a back-pay of minimum wage for every single hour worked. Yep!

Oct 27
Man… This must be what it feels like to be a gay Scientologist #CENSORSHIP #teamTayTay #WOLFpack

Oct 28
Defying the rules of your family’s religion is a truly great way to weed out the TRUE friends from the Fair-Weather ones.

Responses: “Depends on the rules. :)”
Tayler: “Go away.”

Nov 19
Tayler posts an image of a bill from her visit to a naturapath’s office, showing a total of $476.

“I am lucky [I guess] to have wealthy parents that love to waste money only to be told that they are right,” she writes.

Nov 20
Tayler posts an image of a letter she’s received from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, which indicates that she had submitted some kind of complaint about its services. The sheriff’s office replies that it is investigating.

Nov 20
I think a Friday, particularly Dec 13, 2013, is a perfect D.o.D! No interest in MMXIV

Nov 21
This may be a cry for help — but your condescending advice is neither welcome nor heard.

Responses: “Deaf or daft?”

Nov 24
I think I may be going insane… [Several images. One of them is the title card for the 1992 movie, Death Becomes Her.]

Nov 25
I don’t think I have “Bipolar I” or need Lithium… I think I need to a) Ride on a motorcycle, b) Get laid regularly, and c) Shoot guns often. #rockSTARproblems

Responses: “Sounds fun I’m with you!”

Nov 27
LA {right middle finger} #Tattoo [Image: Business card that lists a suicide hotline.]

 
TweedFBx

 
Nov 27
LA {right middle finger} #Tattoo [Image: Business card for an attorney’s office]

Nov 28
Happy FuxGiving, the day in which we give none of the fucks.

Nov 29
I am 99.99 percent sure I should be locked in a straight-jacket and padded cell and be studied by mental health therapists.

Nov 30
OK… Here it goes… I hope everyone gets this! I love everyone here and have been going through some serious issues (as you can tell!) I have used Facebook as a way to take out my anger on some of you folks… and here it goes: “I am Truly Sorry… I really am.”

I hope everyone here can truly forgive me. I know that the first stop of fixing things in my life and the people around me is to realize that I have a problem. (No guys, it isn’t drugs, so get that out of your minds.)

My basic problem is… “here it goes” No one’s business. And this is what I have learned in the Facebook world. I have to stop airing my personal details about beliefs and family and get back to the basics…

I am not a Facebook post. My life and the frustrating things I am going through are for me to work out. I am very angry and I need to learn how to cope and deal with it… on my own.

What do I need from all of you?

Everything. Love, encouragement. I need that emotional support. I would love it if you, just drop by to say hey or “love ya, hope all is well.”

I want to end this and say that everyone here means the world to me. I really do love you all. I love my mom, my brothers, my stepdad.

I am sorry for the hell I have put them through. This is so hard.

Please bear with me here. So I have to take a break from being a mean, rude, terrible person. I have to go find a little light out there in the big bad world.

I will be better and get better, I hope to return and set an example of what “just being plain happy is.”

So I will see everyone here soon. Just takin a little break off here so I can center myself.

With love, Tay

(55 likes)

Dec 20
Tayler posts a meme showing an Oscar Wilde quote…

OscarWilde

 
On January 10, 2014, while visiting friends in Fullerton, Tayler Tweed found a revolver in the house and shot herself in the head with it.

 
Tayler_Tweed

 
UPDATE: As seen in the comments, Tayler left a telling “review” of the Portland Scientology org at Yelp in February 2013…

 
TweedPortland

 
Also, we heard from a former Scientologist who forwarded to us a message she received in November 2013 from Tayler’s mother, Cathy Tweed.

We texted a copy of the message to Cathy, and called her, hoping to get her thoughts on the message. If she gets back to us, we’ll let you know.

Here’s what she wrote on November 1, 2013…

 
CathyTweedFB2

 
——————–

Chris Shelton on Scientology’s media tactics

Chris tells us his new video is about Scientology’s plan for its new media center, as well as how it goes after critics.

 

 
Also, Chris sent us this notice about an upcoming event:

“This Sunday, May 1st, Jamie DeWolf and I will be at the Center for Inquiry in Los Angeles to talk about Scientology and my book, Scientology: A to Xenu – An Insider’s Guide to What Scientology is Really All About. The event will start at 11 am and go until 12:30 pm, and I will be doing a book reading and be available for book signings after. There is a fee of $8 to attend which defrays the cost to CFI for hosting it (none of that money is going to Jamie or me). Everyone is invited and we hope that you will be able to make it.”

 
——————–

HowdyConBanner

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 28, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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