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Disconnection, neglect, and suicide: Scientology, it’s even worse than you think


[Marie Bilheimer]

We first heard from Marie Bilheimer more than a year ago. Like so many other former members of the Church of Scientology, she wanted to communicate with us even though she wasn’t ready to go public with her story.

We understood. Marie’s is one of the more disturbing tales that we’ve heard, and we told her we’d be here when she decided she wanted our readers to hear what she’d been through.

We’re hearing from a lot of people now that Leah Remini is changing the public understanding of Scientology in a big way with her A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath. And one of the people we heard from was Marie. Emboldened by Leah’s show, she’s decided it’s time to come forward.

And we’ll just say, you should brace yourself.

On the morning of Thursday, November 18, 2004, Marie got up early in her room at the Hollywood Inn so she could get to her Sea Org job.

In Scientology’s Sea Org, workers stay in dormitories with numerous men or women to a single room. The only way to get any privacy is to get married. And for that reason, Sea Org workers tend to marry very young. In 2000, when Marie and her husband Aaron were married, she was 16, and he was 17.

After initially sharing an apartment with another married couple, they had moved to their own apartment at the Hollywood Inn, a building on Hollywood Boulevard that had started life in 1922 as the Christie Hotel. It has provided berthing for Sea Org workers for decades, and the building has been through numerous renovations.

In 2004, part of the building was ripped up again, and Marie avoided it as she went down the stairs to catch the van that would take her to her job at the Hollywood Guaranty Building (HGB), a key location that housed some of the most important figures in Scientology.

Marie was just 21, but she had been steadily moving up with promotions in the Sea Org’s complex hierarchy. Aaron had not been doing as well. He’d been demoted, and they’d spent some time apart because of their assignments in different areas. It had frayed their relationship, and they had already been through one round of Scientology marriage counseling.

In a rare bit of good news, Aaron had recently been transferred to the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. And when Marie woke up alone in their bed that morning, she assumed Aaron had been pulling an all-nighter at his new job.

So she walked down the stairs, past the area of new construction, and out of the building to the van.

She only found out later that day that she’d walked right past her husband, who had hanged himself in the area of the building being renovated.

Aaron Poulin’s suicide — as a Sea Org worker, and in a Sea Org facility right in the heart of Los Angeles — somehow didn’t make the Los Angeles Times or any other newspaper. Marie tells us that Scientology worked very hard to keep Aaron’s death a secret so that only a very few people ever heard about it. For years afterward, she would run into people who would ask her how Aaron was doing.

Today she’s 33, she’s remarried, she has a 2-year-old daughter and a seven-month-old son, and she’s no longer a member of the Church of Scientology. But the church still has a heavy influence on her life in what has become a series of disturbing episodes, including the baffling suicide of her first husband.




[Aaron Poulin, left, and Alison Carroll, with her sister Marie behind her]

Marie’s older sister Sarah Symcox, 37, tells us that their mother June first encountered Scientology in Canada, where they were originally from. June Kyle dated a man named Ron Tyrrell, who introduced her to the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. She later married another man, Kirby Carroll, whom she had met at the Edmonton Scientology org, and the Carrolls started having children. Sarah’s sister Alison was the oldest, they also had a brother, Nicholas, and the youngest was Marie.

Sarah remembers that she was nine years old when they decided to move to Los Angeles. By then, June and Kirby had separated, and L.A. beckoned. It was a powerful attractor for any Scientologist who was steadily going up the “Bridge to Total Freedom.”

A record we found in Scientology’s own publications shows that June Carroll became Scientology’s 7,428th “Clear” in the summer of 1978, after the birth of Alison but before Sarah was born in 1979. And that suggests that June had already been heavily involved in Scientology for several years. After going Clear, there were really only a couple of places for a dedicated church member to go even higher on Scientology’s scale of enlightenment, and one of them was in California.

“Mom drove us all down from Canada to Los Angeles. Then she was on course all the time. She also started a few different Scientology schools with different friends at various times,” Sarah says.

One of the friends June Carroll started a school with was Divona Tyrrell, sister to the man she’d dated in Canada who had introduced her to Scientology. Divona was now in Los Angeles too, and she had married a man named Michael Lewis. Michael and Divona had a son, Johnny, who was friends with June’s son Nicholas. Divona Lewis and June Carroll whimsically named their Scientology school “Lewis-Carroll.” It was just one of several that June’s children attended and then later helped run.

Years later, Michael and Divona’s son, Johnny Lewis, would die in a bizarre psychotic rage during which he ripped apart his landlady’s cat, killed his landlady, and then dove or fell off a roof and landed on his head. His death shocked his fans, who had followed him on the hit FX series Sons of Anarchy. But the Carroll children had known Johnny many years before he’d become a television star.

June remarried in Los Angeles to a man named Mike Rees, who had his own lengthy involvement in Scientology. And in 1992, when she started up another new Scientology school, this time in her own home, she combined the family surnames to come up with “Carroll-Rees Academy and Arts,” located in the Silver Lake neighborhood of L.A.

Like her siblings Alison, Nicholas, and Marie, Sarah had grown up in Scientology and by her teens was helping her mother run her Scientology school. And then at 15, she was recruited into Scientology’s inner elite, the Sea Organization.

Sea Org members sign billion-year contracts and work 112-hour weeks for pennies an hour, and they are recruited heavily from the ranks of young children of Scientologists. As Sarah went through the Sea Org’s boot camp, the month long Estates Project Force (EPF), she found the conditions to be brutal. And there was constant pressure to move up the ranks or risk falling back. Sarah even found herself having to do the EPF for a second time.

“I spent my 16th birthday on my re-EPF. They had this bakery on PAC base,” she says, referring to the Pacific Area Command, the complex also known as “Big Blue” that is centered around what was the Cedars of Lebanon hospital on Fountain Avenue that was acquired by Scientology in 1977. “I was working in the bakery, and it was at least 100 degrees in there. I was sweating my butt off and sweeping, and I thought, this isn’t the best way to spend my birthday. I didn’t stay in the Sea Org very long after that.”

After washing out, Sarah was hit with a $7,500 “freeloader’s debt” — which she paid — but her Scientology career was essentially over. She ended up marrying a non-Scientologist, and her friends today are also not church members. She was done with Scientology.

But Sarah’s brief tenure in the Sea Org didn’t keep her sister Marie and her brother from making their own commitments. (Alison wasn’t interested.) Marie joined at 15, Nicholas at 16.

And it was while negotiating her own way through the EPF that Marie met a young man only a few months older than her who had been groomed for the Sea Org since he’d been born.

Aaron Poulin’s parents were in the Sea Org, and he’d been brought up in something called the Cadet Org. He seemed way ahead of her, Marie remembers.

“Before the Sea Org I was a Scientologist by name, but I didn’t really understand it at all. I basically became a Scientologist while on the EPF,” she says. “I was a green little newbie. Aaron had been there pretty much his entire life and he somewhat showed me the ropes.”

Aaron was there to be turned into a second-generation hardass. He had trained as an auditor and he was put into the “Crackerjack Unit,” Marie says.

“He would put people on the meter for ethics actions.” Translation: Aaron was interrogating people with the use of Scientology’s quasi-lie detector, the E-meter, to keep them in line.

It’s one of the more arresting images of Scientology’s secretive inner landscape: Young executives, some in their teens, terrorizing the older recruits by being posted in high positions, or in “ethics,” which was L. Ron Hubbard’s euphemism for “control.”

If Aaron’s job was to enforce discipline, it was his beaming smile that charmed Marie. “He was always goofing around and he loved to dance,” she says.

When they got married on July 16, 2000, Marie had to get permission from her mother because she was still a few months shy of turning 17.

“We flew to Las Vegas, got married, and then flew back the same day,” Marie says.

The same day?

“I think we even worked that same day.”

Well, that was the Sea Org. Later, they had an actual wedding at Elysian Park, near Dodger Stadium.

“I did all the flowers, and made cupcakes,” Marie’s sister Sarah says. “At the last minute, Aaron said he wanted a bachelor party. So we rented a hotel room for him and some of his friends. I’m sure they just sat around and watched television,” she adds with a laugh. “He was always smiling. And he was a dapper dresser. He took a lot of pride in his appearance.

“At the wedding, people from the Sea Org kept cycling in and out because they had to go back on post. No one really had time off to be there. Marie was so busy, she couldn’t make it to any fittings for her dress, and they had to guess at her size.” Sarah remembers trying to explain what the Sea Org was to the dressmaker and why the bride couldn’t come in to get sized. “The dress ended up being a little big and she was swimming in it,” Sarah remembers.

After the wedding, Marie and Aaron moved into a room at PAC base and then to the Hollywood Inn. But Marie’s promotions soon took her to a special unit, the Commodore Messengers Organization International Extension Unit (CMO IXU), which sent her for nine months to Scientology’s “Flag Land Base” in Clearwater, Florida.

Marie says that the time at Flag was a strain on her marriage. She became aware that Aaron — who was now just out of his teen years — had begun making trips to a Hollywood mall at night. When she came home from Flag, she confronted him about things she was hearing. He admitted that he’d spent time with other women. And so they decided to get some Scientology marriage counseling.

We’ve written about Scientology’s brand of marriage counseling before. It consists of an auditor sitting the couple down and then repeatedly asking them just two questions, over and over again. First to one member of the couple, and then the other.

While she held the sensors of the E-meter in her hands, Marie would have been asked, “What have you done to Aaron?” and “What have you withheld from Aaron?” Over and over and over. And then it would be Aaron’s turn.

“That was actually kind of fun. And we decided to stay married,” Marie says.

But adding to their stress was that while Marie’s career was rising, Aaron kept getting into trouble and he was demoted.

We asked Marie why she thought she was doing so well at the same time that he struggled. “I toed the line and always kept my stats up. More out of fear than anything,” she says. “For the most part Aaron was a happy person, but he did have trouble following orders. I just think he was a very young dude.”

She remembers there was an odd incident that makes her wonder if it had more significance than she gave it at the time. “He said I might get a call from the police, and they might say they had arrested Aaron Poulin in San Francisco for resisting arrest. Aaron told me to say they had the wrong guy. And I never followed that up.”

By October 2004, things were souring between them again. “He said he wanted a divorce. Then, in late October, he got home very late and said he had gotten pulled over. It was really foggy out, and he said he’d fallen asleep in the car. He had a ticket and said he had to go to court and he was worried. At this point we weren’t sure whether we were going to stay together.”

On the night of November 17, as his court date neared, Aaron came home briefly to their apartment and told Marie that he had to get back to his post at the Celebrity Center. “It was an all-hands thing about the folders. He was just home to change his clothes,” she remembers. “As he was walking out he said, ‘Today I realized that I do love you and it was just my out-ethics.’

“That was the last I saw him.”

The next morning, November 18, she got up early and made her way past the construction on the 2nd floor of the building and then to her post at the Hollywood Guaranty Building.

“At 10 a.m. or so, I got the call from Kirsten in OSA Int saying she wanted to talk to me,” Marie remembers. Kirsten Caetano is an executive in Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs, which works as part public relations agency, part secret police. “There were ambulances at the Hollywood Inn. I learned that I’d literally walked right past him in the morning.”

We asked Marie if Aaron had left a note. “He did. They didn’t show it to me. But they told me it said, ‘Tell my wife I’m sorry. I love her, and I meant what I said last night.'”

Marie recalls how strange it was to deal with what had happened in the bizarre world of the Scientology Sea Org. “His mother was there. She was posted at the Flag Bureaux at the Flag Liaison Office at the HGB. We walked by each other as if we didn’t see each other, crying. It was so weird.”

Marie thought about what pressures Aaron was under — they were all under insane pressure in the Sea Org. But Aaron had been failing, and he didn’t seem to have a place to turn. “His dad by that time was out of the Sea Org. I only met him when we got married. Aaron never mentioned to me that he wanted to leave the Sea Org. He never mentioned that he was suicidal. The only thing I can think of is that he couldn’t keep going and was getting into trouble and he didn’t know where to turn.”

Meanwhile, the Sea Org itself was focused on one thing: Keeping Aaron’s death a secret.

“They called us in as a family to the HGB,” Sarah remembers. “They asked us not to tell anybody. If anyone asked about Aaron, we were told to say he was traveling.”

A service for Aaron did take place, but it was held at June’s house. Even Aaron’s close friends were kept in the dark.

Marie says the Sea Org spread the rumor that Aaron had “blown” — Scientology’s word for going AWOL — and had been declared a suppressive person, Scientology’s version of excommunication.

That cover story apparently worked very well. When we asked former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder what he’d heard about the death, he pointed out that he’d spent much of 2004 locked up in “The Hole,” Scientology leader David Miscavige’s bizarre prison for his top executives. But even so, Rinder said he was stunned to hear that a Sea Org worker had killed himself at the Hollywood Inn that year and that he’d never heard about it. (We found only one reference to Aaron’s death online at all, at a website which collects the many cases of Scientology suicide. But it put his suicide in the “Holiday Inn” and in 2003.)

Twelve years later, Marie still wonders about what motivated Aaron to hang himself. And while we were talking, she referred again to the strange way Aaron had acted about getting a traffic ticket a short time before his death. He had said he had a court date and he seemed worried about it. When she brought it up this time, she mentioned to us that when she had cleaned out their apartment after his death, she had come across the ticket.

“I never looked into it. But I’ll tell you that it said something about prostitution,” she says. She almost apologizes, saying that she never really understood what charges Aaron was facing. She no longer has the ticket.

But we managed to find Aaron Poulin’s criminal charges, and we told Marie that he was facing a count of disorderly conduct and another misdemeanor charge — loitering with intent to commit prostitution. It’s a common charge that police make when they suspect that a prostitute is loitering in a particular spot looking for a customer.

The next day, after Marie had spent some time with that information, she sent us an email.

“It’s been a lot to process and a little difficult getting back into that head space since I’ve worked hard to push it out of my mind for so long,” she said.

“I don’t know if this was a regular occurrence or a one-time thing, and he happened to get caught that one time. I don’t even know what he was really doing….What he was struggling with, I don’t really know. It’s possible he was gay and was unable to express that or he was confused and didn’t really know what he was feeling,” Marie added.

“I wish he would have shared it with me. And if he had, I hope I would have been able to help him.”




[Marie and her brother with the CMO IXU and Flag Landlord’s Office, taken in Los Angeles in 2003.]

“When I did the TRs and Objectives starting out in Scientology, it went pretty rough. And I had review auditing because it wasn’t going well. And during that auditing, I admitted to dressing up in women’s clothing. It was treated as a ‘withhold’ — something I should be ashamed of and that Scientology could cure me of. And that was still in my mind when I joined the Sea Org. I wasn’t hiding it. And when I was graduating my EPF at the Celebrity Centre, it sort of was an issue. They basically had me do a sec check [an interrogation].”

Still then living as a man, Nichola Kyle-Carroll, born Nicholas, was sent to the Pasadena org to work as a “Flag rep,” encouraging Scientologists there to book trips for the expensive upper-level courses at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.

Nichola was twice married to women in the Sea Org, but each time they were assigned to different posts in different cities and didn’t live together. The first marriage only lasted about six months.

“I was very depressed during this time. At one point I even wrote to David Miscavige, saying who I was in a past life, and looking for some kind of help. And right around the time that Aaron took his own life, I was told that I had to leave the Sea Org,” Nichola says. “They said I was never qualified to have been in the Sea Org in the first place and I never should have been in it. Because I was trans and I had ‘gross and glaring outpoints.’ I was ‘low-toned.’ And the fact that I was also telling them on occasion that I was suicidal.”

Right around the time of Aaron Poulin’s 2004 death, Nichola was told to leave. “They pulled me off my job. I had a few people under me at that point, but I couldn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I did a sec check for about a month. Getting off all my ‘crimes’ I had committed. That was a bit rough.”

“Nichola had talked about being trans and about suicide, so they wanted her out of their hair,” Sarah says. “They turned my sibling loose and didn’t tell us that she was suicidal. And at that point, Nick wasn’t identifying to us as a female. I found that really troubling, because she did have one psychotic episode later. Scientology says it’s so great and that it’s saving the planet. But they turned this person out without even telling her family that she was suicidal. That’s troubling to me.”

Meanwhile, Marie was still trying to hold things together after her husband’s suicide. “Only a handful of people even knew about it. I just sat there at my desk, crying. At a certain point, with Kirsten [Caetano], we decided it was best that I leave that post. They said I could go anywhere I wanted. But at that point all of my family was in Los Angeles, so I didn’t want to go anywhere.”

The others in the Sea Org hadn’t been told what happened, so they treated her like any other recruit. “The others treated me like shit. I got put in regular berthing, and then I got written up for abandoning my post.”

Every Saturday, there would be a staff briefing, and a lecture by L. Ron Hubbard would be played. “They decided to play the marriage lecture. I was sitting in the front row. The person who chose the tape that day knew my situation. It was just inappropriate and weird. It was only three days after Aaron’s death. I got up and walked out, in front of 800 people at the base.”

She decided to leave the Sea Org. After a sec check, she “routed out standardly” and was out early in 2005. She was still just 21 years old.

“I moved in with my parents and got a job at a WISE company,” she says, referring to firms that operate as fronts for Scientology through the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) network. She was also hit with a freeloader debt of $160,000, but she didn’t pay any of it.

Two years later, in 2007, Marie met Scott Bilheimer, another second-generation Scientologist. But after they started spending time together, Marie began to move away from Scientology over the next several years. By 2012, she considered herself out of the church, the result of reading “entheta” — negative press — about the organization on the Internet.

In the meantime, Nichola walked through a plate glass window. She describes the 2010 event as an emotional meltdown and it sounds like it might have been a fugue state. She was thinking about Scientology and her family one moment, and the next she woke up in an ambulance and had suffered serious blood loss because of gashes caused by the glass.

“My older sister Alison helped take care of me at that time. And from there I was thinking I can’t ignore these feelings anymore. I talked to a therapist to get permission to get on hormones. That didn’t go over well with my parents,” she says. “They weren’t enthusiastic about that.”

While Nichola was recovering from her injuries and began transitioning to a trans woman, Alison moved back in with her parents. “She was not doing well. She had been fired from a teaching job because she came to work with alcohol on her breath,” Nichola says.

“For years we knew she was having trouble with alcohol, but she had been holding down a job and managing her relationships,” Sarah tells us. “Then she got let go from a couple of jobs because of alcohol. And that made her spiral down even further. She stayed with me for a while. I tried to get her to a therapist. But she wouldn’t have it. I think her problem was more about depression than alcohol anyway. She moved around, staying with friends or family.”

Alison’s situation continued to deteriorate. Three years ago about this time of year, Sarah’s husband decided he needed to do something about Alison’s situation. “My husband’s not a Scientologist. He’s been a great sport about all this the whole time. But he tried to get Alison to the hospital. ‘You need help,’ he told her.” Alison continued to refuse.

“She was pretty much bed-ridden with it by this time,” Nichola says. And Alison was in a second-floor bedroom in the same house where her mother June ran a Scientology school on the ground floor.

Since 1992, June had run the Carroll-Rees Academy and Arts in her own home. And while her daughter deteriorated upstairs, June continued to run classes downstairs.

But that September in 2014, June had made plans to close down her school after 22 years. In the meantime, she was still working diligently at her Scientology courses. On September 20, 2014, she posted a photograph of herself with her newest certificate on her Facebook page.


The certificate June is holding reveals that she had finished the Student Hat, and had learned L. Ron Hubbard’s “study technology.” Usually, this is one of the first courses that a new Scientologist encounters in their church career. But under leader David Miscavige, longtime Scientologists are being pressured to retake beginning courses such as Student Hat. For a veteran educator like June to be holding this certificate, you might imagine a PhD showing off a diploma for redoing an elementary school class. Such is the upside down state of Scientology under Miscavige.

Three days after June posted this photo of herself to Facebook, she made a grim discovery in her own house.

Her daughter Alison had hanged herself.

June’s husband Mike was at Scientology’s headquarters. “Mike was in session at AOLA,” Marie says, referring to the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles, where Scientologists pay for expensive “OT” levels of counseling. “Scott and I actually went there to try to get him, but they wouldn’t disturb him. The police needed to speak with him, and my mom needed his support. But the lady in the Hubbard Guidance Center didn’t care, or she didn’t think it was important.”

Besides dealing with the police, there was another grim problem for the family. Alison had killed herself on a Tuesday during the final week of classes at her mother’s school.

June decided to finish out classes that week before closing the school permanently as she’d planned, and then she and her husband Mike moved out of the house.

“We tried to convince her not to keep it open that last week, but she wouldn’t listen,” Marie says.

“Mom didn’t close the school even for one day, even after finding her daughter hanging upstairs. And we couldn’t talk about it. The whole thing was just surreal,” Sarah says. “She didn’t tell any of her close friends what had happened. She was really sad and devastated, but she put on a good face.”

We asked Sarah if she has thought about whether the family’s involvement in Scientology had anything to do with Alison’s sad experience with alcoholism and her suicide.

“Alison hadn’t been involved in Scientology since she was about eight years old. She worked for Scientology schools, and so she did the Student Hat and the Purif later, for job reasons,” Sarah says, referring to the Purification Rundown, a sauna-and-vitamins regimen that Scientologists are required to submit to.

“But I think that her only support system being Scientologists — her parents were trying to make her deal with her alcoholism by taking vitamins and reading L. Ron Hubbard — was probably a contributing factor. If her family and the people around her weren’t involved in Scientology, she might have been more open to mental health care. She was only 37.”




[Marie and Nichola, circa 2003]

During this week’s episode of Scientology and the Aftermath, Leah Remini attempted to explain to people who have never spent any time in Scientology why it can be so easy to rip apart a Scientology family.

In part, it comes from L. Ron Hubbard’s bizarre ideas about the true, ancient nature of human beings and the intense dedication demanded of Scientologists, as Remini and Mike Rinder pointed out.

LEAH REMINI: The core belief of Scientology is that you are a spiritual being. That you have lived many lives and you will live many lives. So, your mother’s really not your mother — I mean, she’s your mother this lifetime, but you’re going to have many mothers. So they put very little significance on interpersonal relationships between family members, and the same with marriage.

MIKE RINDER: Scientology teaches that you are doing something that is more important, and it is so important and so vital that nothing can distract you from it.

It’s this kind of thinking that allows Scientology to talk parents into abandoning their own children, or the other way around.

By the time of the 2014 suicide of Alison Carroll, the rest of the family was holding together only very uneasily.

Nichola had struggled to find a place for herself in post-Sea Org life. She had skills in 3-D computer design, but she was mocked about her transition at a job in Huntington Beach. She stayed for a while with Sarah in San Francisco and got a food delivery job just to bring in some money. “It was a pretty rough period. I was even staying in my sister Alison’s car for a few weeks.”

But then she got into a house with some friends in Oakland, and earlier this year, she got a job that she describes as the best she’s had in her life. It’s helping her cope with being disconnected from her mother.

“It’s been a long time coming,” she says. Several years ago, Nichola became active at the WhyWeProtest and Ex-Scientology Kids websites, using a pseudonym. She posted a letter about her experiences as a trans woman, addressing it to her family. “I had left a few personal details in there, and somebody figured out it was me.”

Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs contacted June. “She was told it would be an issue for her continuing with Scientology services. So she came to me about it. I told her I believed I should be able to talk about it. I wasn’t wrong to have an issue with the church that hadn’t treated me very well. That went around between us for a couple of years. They had let her do the PTS/SP course, but she couldn’t do the OT levels.,” Nichola says. In other words, June was allowed to finish up another relatively low-level course, but she couldn’t make progress where it really mattered, moving up through the highest and most expensive levels — not as long as she had a daughter posting negative material about the church on such hated websites.

The next incident that brought things to a head occurred on Facebook last year. Nora Crest, a contributor here at the Underground Bunker who has written brilliantly about her own experiences with sexual orientation in Scientology, posted something to her Facebook page that Nichola was impressed by.

“I pushed ‘like’ without really thinking about it,” Nichola says. “And a friend of mine who I grew up with saw that, and she wrote to everyone on my friends list who was a Scientologist and said I was spreading anti-Scientology propaganda. She also wrote a report to the church. I was told I had to unfriend Nora and do some sort of handling about the things I had posted. I said I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to be bullied anymore. I guess at that point I got officially declared, but I never saw a document.”

In August last year, Nichola went to her mother’s house in Los Angeles to pick through some of Alison’s things that her mother was saying she was going to donate. “It was while I was looking through Alison’s things that they told me they weren’t going to speak to me anymore. It was that same day. I was there to go through Alison’s things, and yeah, that’s when my mom told me that I’d been declared and they were disconnecting from me.”

Marie and Sarah refused to disconnect from their sister Nichola. “My mom was getting pressured to deal with Marie too,” she says. (Marie had her own issues with the church, again over minor things like a Facebook post.)

For sticking by their sister, Marie and Sarah were also told by June that she was disconnecting from them.

“Mom disconnected from me officially when I was six months pregnant,” Sarah says. “She’s disconnecting from us just when we’re having her grandchildren. Because Nichola got declared. I’ve always been supportive of my mom and Scientology. I understand that it’s really key to her identity on the planet. When my sister died, I even encouraged her to get help from people at the org. So it was really weird that she was disconnecting from me when I hadn’t said anything negative about Scientology. I don’t think I’m declared. I was just disconnected by my mother because my sister was declared and I stood by her.

“I told her that I didn’t want to lose my mom after losing my sister, and I wanted her to hold my son, but she turned away from us. She’s disconnecting from us because we’re supposedly making Scientology look bad. But she’s making it look far worse.”

Marie says she found out this September that she and her husband had both been declared suppressive persons. “People we knew started jumping ship. It’s been a lot of family and friends who have been dropping their connections to us randomly, here and there.”

And then, last month, there was a showdown, of sorts.

The entire clan, and hundreds of friends, were invited to the 90th birthday party of June’s mother, Kay, to take place in Edmonton.

“When we were booking our tickets and talking to our aunts and uncles, they were asking us, how is this going to work? We really didn’t know,” Nichola says. On the day they were set to fly up, there was only a single flight scheduled from Los Angeles to Edmonton. “And there were my parents, at the check-in counter, just as we were walking up.”

Sarah had her three-month-old son with her. Marie had her daughter and her own six-month-old son.

“They were standing there with their kids, and my parents wouldn’t talk to them. They got on the same plane and still wouldn’t talk to them,” Nichola says.

“She just straight-up ignored us and my baby. She’s never met him. It’s just so bizarre,” Sarah adds.

The party in Edmonton for their grandmother Kay, who had been a popular local teacher, drew hundreds to a large hall. “My mom was literally on the dance floor at the same time as Marie with her little daughter, and they didn’t acknowledge her. They didn’t say anything,” Nichola says.

“It took me three years to get pregnant. And my mom disconnected from me right when I got pregnant, and within a year of my sister dying. I never needed her more than at that moment. But she couldn’t put Scientology aside. Her progress on The Bridge is more important to her than any of us,” Sarah says. “I wrote to her and said, how can you achieve spiritual freedom and devastate your entire family?”

She didn’t get an answer. And neither did we when we called June Rees and left her a detailed message. If she gets back to us, we’ll add whatever she says to this article.


[Nichola (disconnected), Alison (hanged), Aaron (hanged), Marie (disconnected), and Sarah (disconnected)]



Go here to start making your plans.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 9, 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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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  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    A word of acknowledgement: these stories cannot be easy to work on. We appreciate you, Tony.

    • Rasha

      I think that every morning.

  • chukicita

    Here, everyone. Pass it on after you help yourself.
    Then let’s get to work and CALL or write our elected officials.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    This is for anyone STILL IN Scientology, lurking: YOU LEAVE, ESCAPE, THROUGH THE DOOR, WALK AWAY!!

  • Newiga

    What a heart-breaking story yet so important to be told. I’m so sorry for your losses, Marie, Sarah and Nichola. Thank you for sharing your stories.

  • Jeb Burton

    I wrote a letter to the Clearwater mayor asking if he has been watching the Leah series, and how did he feel about our police moonlighting security for what seems to be a criminal organization. Heard back from him today, and yes, he is watching the series. Then some mumbo jumbo about rules and regulations for outside work by city employees. Just glad he’s watching. Well see what happens if anything.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      That’s cool that you heard back from him! Law enforcement officer union’s contracts enable off-duty police to moonlight under certain specified conditions, so the mayor has little to no control over that aspect of things. So, the “mumbo jumbo” that you heard from him is more than likely a description of exactly what those specific conditions and rules governing off-duty police moonlighting are.

      I bet that as mayor of what has now become Scilonville, he keeps a very close track of what the cult is up to locally, while also staying up on a wider basis as well.

      • Jeb Burton

        It probably is a (an doesn’t sound right grammar Nazis) union thing. I just hope other locals contact him. I’m going to write the same letter this weekend to all the city council. Makes me feel like i am doing something.

        • Draco

          Grammar Nazi: “a” is the correct one to use as the U word starts with a “y” sound, as in “you”, not like the sound in the word “Umbrella” then “an” would be correct.
          Grammar lesson over…English – she is one bitch of a language.

          • Jeb Burton

            I always thought if it started with a vowel, except in some cases, oh hell I don’t know.

            • Draco

              Not always…I think they made up the rules as they went along πŸ˜€

            • Rasha

              We, as people, add glissando to the rules.

          • Rasha

            This ^^^_^ Much better than my over-wordy attempt at an explanation. ^_^

            • Draco

              Lol. I love language and all its silliness. Comes from being a rabid reader from a very early age. I couldn’t wait to learn, and once I knew how, I never stopped reading. I cannot imagine my life without many books waiting to be read.

            • Rasha

              From “Watership Down” to “Neuromancer”, there’s nothing like a trip across the language.

          • kemist

            Wait until you meet French πŸ˜›

            Seriously, French is grammar Nazi hell (or heaven). Soooo many complicated rules and exceptions.

            • Draco

              LOL. A Frenchman once told BabyDraco that the French always drop the last letter of a word because they are just too lazy to pronounce the whole thing!
              I thought that was funny.

        • Jenyfurrrrr

          You ARE doing something and it’s very important. Thank you!!! Great idea!

          • Flying High

            We should also be on Pam Bondi as well who needs to wake up and stop delivering Human Rights speeches at the ‘church’ that deals in human trafficking and confiscates the passports of its slaves.

            • Jeb Burton

              I gave up on that bitch.

            • Draco

              I thought she was a clam?

            • MarcabExpat

              I don’ think so, just a collabo.

              (hell yes I’m gonna borrow Vichy slang, it’s totally appropriate here.)

            • Jenyfurrrrr

              YES! This program should be required for any public officials involved. She’s someone who needs to get a LOT of letters from us all!

        • Harpoona Frittata

          Sounds like a good idea to me! You might also attend one of the open city council meetings and voice your concerns live and in person.

          • Jeb Burton

            Let’s not get carried away.

            • Harpoona Frittata

              Haha! Perhaps it’s time to get carried away if you live in Clearwater, before the $cilons carry away the rest of that poor town!

        • MarcabExpat

          It’s worth doing and Harpoon’s idea sounds great too. After all, you live there, you have a right to demand action from your representatives.

    • Frodis73

      Wow, glad he answered and is watching.

      • Flying High

        just happy you are here always adding your strong voice on where it matters. πŸ™‚

    • Jenyfurrrrr

      I’m impressed that you wrote and even more impressed that he wrote back! It’s true that he can’t do anything (extended family in law enforcement that have done their own security work for causes they believe in, so it’s a good rule that CO$ is exploiting) but it took courage for him to respond and let you know that he’s aware and paying attention. Especially since that one “little” email could bring the wrath of this evil cult down on him. But that’s what’s so important about what Leah is doing… she’s shedding light on this all so more and more can take the first steps of courage in hopes that it will enrage enough who ARE in power that it’s time for a reckoning!

    • RK

      Here’s the information about off-duty jobs.
      “Clearwater police officers do not arrange their own “off duty jobs”.
      All job requests are screened and assigned by the Clearwater Police Department.” So there should be some accountability here. How much of the Clearwater police budget relies on fees paid by the Church of Scientology?

    • MarcabExpat

      Great news and thanks for reporting back, Jeb. I’ve about given up on the city ever being useful in this fight.

    • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)


      • I’m angry.

        • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

          I can tell. And I understand you completely.

          scientology – making the world a bitter place.

        • Draco

          It shows. Wow.

  • MostEthicalPimp

    Wow. I went to Carroll-Rees Academy and Arts. So I know everybody but Allison and Aaron. Making this a very emotional read for me. I just want to give everyone of them a big hug and tell them it’s okay. Even June and Mike. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them. I went to a school reunion more then 8 years ago. I couldn’t say anything about my relationship with the Church. Long before that I remember doing a drill with Marie on the meter. I could tell there was this huge sadness in her eyes. However, this was late 2000, early 2001. I miss you ladies. Look me up on

  • Newiga

    What really makes furious is the fact that Scientology worked their fingers to the bone to hide Aaron’s death. He had dedicated his entire young life to the group without even choosing to, being 2nd gen an all. How do they repay his dedication and suffering? By hiding the fact that he had died and telling the people who knew him that he had blown and been declared an SP?

    Absolutely disgusting and immoral. The most ethical group of people on this side of the guh-lax-ie. The champions of human rights. A tax-exempt religion! Scientology, always worse than you think.

    • Newiga

      Way too many Scientology related tears this week. Leah reading Taryn’s letter to Mike. “I wish I had a dad like you Mike.” Today’s story…. Everything. *sigh* Oh the heart-break of it all. Scientology needs to stop.

  • outraged

    omg. When you think you’ve heard the worst….
    I am SO sorry Marie.

    This is for you and your heart.β™‘
    This is for all the Bunker-Rues!! Your hearts, courageous and strong,with laughter and tears.

    One day at a time. One minute at a time. One foot forward, then the next. Keep on Breathing.
    And don’t forget to dance.πŸ’ƒ

  • Jenyfurrrrr

    Marie – I am SO impressed by your courage – not only in telling your story (which is so important) but also for all you’ve gone through, yet you maintained your humanity and caring for others. Girl – your priorities are SPOT ON! Please accept my condolences for the loss of your 1st husband and sister – it broke my heart for you. I am the eldest of 4 kids and though we have tough times like any family, I love them with my everything!

    I know you know this, but to make sure you hear it in those quiet moments, your mom ignoring you, your sister and both of your precious children is WRONG – dead wrong. The fact that you are understanding of her emotional position is pure grace and I hope she wakes up one day and sees the difference in how you treated her vs. her response to you. Your heart is why you’re most certainly an incredible mother – your children are your first responsibility!

    As someone w/a mentally ill mom who hasnt always handled that responsibility well – there are deep wounds from that and once you have your own children, you understand it even less BUT through your own relationship w/your children & siblings, it helps those wounds turn into scars that are always there but with less pain. My hope is that you get the childhood experiences you missed through watching your children and knowing nothing will ever separate you! Congrats on having your miracle baby after years of trying and knownthere are many of us out here that send our love and support!
    PS – Re: FredEx’s offer of a mom-figure and bonus Grandma… she’s AMAZING and it’s through the “bonus mom’s” I’ve been blessed to have in my life that so much healing happened!

    • Rasha


    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      My admiration for you continues to grow. ❀️

      • Jenyfurrrrr

        Nola – that means a LOT coming from you! BTW – thought of you & may need to pick your brain soon! My daughter (3.5yo) had her IEP on Friday. She’s the one w/the speech delay but I was noticing some other things and had some add’l assessment done.

        She’s officially diagnosed as mild ASD & starts a special speech & preschool program in Jan. So I’m sure I’ll have questions & need advice as we get further down this road. I’m VERY excited about the preschool program!

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          Always here (well, if I’m not here I’ll be along eventually) if you need anything. You’re doing the right thing starting early on all this. It’s why my son is like he is now. We started his therapy when he was very young. You won’t regret it. Use the IEP, it BELONGS TO YOU, ask all the questions you want, express your fears, cry if you need to. These teachers are trained for this. ; ) And if you’re as lucky as I was you’ll get teachers who understand that this is all new to you and who will be fun and compassionate.

          By the time you’re where I’m at (9th grade for him this year) you’ll have done so many IEP meetings you’ll be doing them over the phone and getting the paperwork sent home to sign. LOL

          Holler at me anytime, I’m happy to tell you anything about what I went through that you’d like to know. I know it feels like a lot right now but trust me, you do have this. This is NOT tougher than you are. ❀️

          • Jenyfurrrrr

            Thanks SO much! It was funny because in the mtg when they reviewed the results, we’d been fairly certain prior that ASD wasn’t going to be the case just based on what they’d said. But when they told us, it was like I’d expected it the whole time… no surprise & total peace about it. You’re spot on – we got an incredible group of people who are fun & SO kind. I’m sure once school & everything starts it’ll hit a bit more, but I’m just so thankful for the resources for her so she can get more language & she’s SO excited about school! Thx for the encouragement – knowing your son started early & how amazingly he’s doing was a huge part of why I think it wasn’t so daunting to hear! Her future is the biggest concern so it was just a relief to know there’s this great program for her to start already. Hugs & thx so much! She starts Jan 9th. Good to know about the IEP too – so far we’ve been offered everything we’d wanted for her – but good reminder that it’s hers/ours! 😘

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              Know this too: If you want another IEP meeting that isn’t a routine one, you can call and schedule one at any time. Also, call them if you need to, they’ll always answer your questions and tell you how she’s doing. Get ready boo…when the language comes, it will come forth like a raging river. πŸ™‚

              It does feel daunting but going along with her program and just treating her as you would any other kid is the way and you’ll learn to work around whatever difficulties she has and it will just become part of normal life. It’s tough at first but just take it a day at a time, before you know it, you’ll be like me today….wanting to leave your smart ass kid on the side of the road for being a sassy-ass. LOL 😘

            • Jenyfurrrrr

              Oooh that’s really good to know – thank you! Yeah the language kicking in FINALLY is something I am so excited for. Her best friend is 4mos older and 6 mos ahead in speech (no ASD but he too has a pronounced delay) and it’s incredible hearing him now!

              Lol her BFF’s mom & I joke about that… “someday we’ll look back and go – ‘remember when we couldn’t wait for them to talk?!'” I’m thankful she’s not my 1st child, as I’d be much more freaked out (my hubby’s having a harder time mostly because of that, I think. My boys were late elem&JR High when we got together). It’s so much better resourced now – can’t imagine all you had to walk through when your son was little! When my older ones were this age they def weren’t this aware or helpful yet out here!

  • Phil Jones

    Scientology, leaving behind a swathe of broken families, death, financial ruin, and tattered lives. There is no low to which they won’t sink. I will be so glad when this abusive organization is gone.

    Edit to add: And let’s not forget sleep deprivation, torture, human trafficking, harrassment, stalking, blackmail, fraud, slave labor, inurement, lying, cheating, bait ‘n switch, and a few I’m sure I’m missing.

  • flyonthewall

    I’d like to see my daughters and grandchildren but if I do I won’t be allowed to pay tens of thousands of dollars to learn how to look up words in the dictionary, you understand

    • Phil Jones

      If you don’t understand then you have an M/U. Look it up. Then restudy the materials. Any counter intention and you will be sent to ethics. Be prepared to pay for sec-checks.

      • Draco

        * Suppresses yawn *

        Please don’t make me study stuff again!!!!

        • Phil Jones

          Number of times over equals mental conditioning, or it might have been certainty. One or the other I think.

          • Draco

            I think it’s number of times over equals inability to think any original thought.

            • Phil Jones

              That sounds right.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Take my money Phil, just promise me, no more Hubbard. πŸ˜‚πŸ™

        • Phil Jones

          Ha! You can keep your money. I’ll gladly toss all Hubbardaphernalia in the trash.

  • nottrue
    • flyonthewall

      O.O She just…’re not

    • Observer

      TMI! TMI!

    • flyonthewall

      all this talk of “the race”, projecting into the future, and heavy penalties/punishments sounds like something a commie-nazi came up with

    • kemist

      She’s not really bright, isn’t she ?

      I have a feeling you could make her utter whatever outrageous / stupid statement you wanted by using the same tricks kids use in kindergarten.

    • Draco

      And here I thought being shocked by something was over for the day.
      Classy lady.
      And what Fly said.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I don’t believe it. JAW and Gemma spend 6 hours per 24 hour period sleeping, 6 hours on course, 11 hours engaged in Twitter wars, and 1 hour a day engaged in essential Monty Python Fanclub admin.

      • kemist

        She does get fucked very good.

        In the head.

        Reading all that Hubbard crap.

      • how did you calculate this?

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Fingers and toes πŸ™‚

    • Liberated

      Typical clam, the more “up the bridge” they go the more crass ,vulgar and disgusting they become.

    • madame duran

      I’m sorry…are we expected to be envious of Gemma? It’s not like JAW is Hugh Jackman. Girl, please. We still have to eat dinner.
      Reminds me of how Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith used to routinely brag about their sex life in public…to the point where people began to suspect their marriage was on the rocks. “She doth protest too much”.

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Well, aren’t you just dripping with class Gemma. Remind me to make sure you get an invite to the next ‘Ladies of Carnival’ Tea. πŸ™„

    • ShevilKat

      Yuck. Just YUCK.

  • sizzle8
  • LeeAnneClark

    My god. I’m…just stunned. Tears. It’s good that Tony said to brace myself…but even that warning can’t prepare you for this. And that last picture…devastating.

    Fuck Scientology.

  • nottrue
  • RK

    Thank you for sharing this. I have a horrible feeling that there are more stories like this out there. I am so grateful that I was able to get out with my family intact. There’s my ex’s side of the family (my children’s aunts, uncles, cousins) that is still heavily involved in Scientology and live less than 20 minutes away, but they were not involved or supportive when I was a Scientologist, so there really was no real change. I have a large, extended family who never hassled me about being in Scientology, but are relieved that I am no longer involved. I discover what I missed as time goes on. It is so weird that family relationships are given such little value. The relationship of mother to child is treated as temporary – just until the Church can take over. Marie – thank you for telling us your story.

  • GrangerFX

    If you were to lay out the bodies next to each other of all the people this evil cult has killed it would look like the Jonestown massacre.

  • flyonthewall

    these are my oldest daughter and youngest son. If June keeps on her current path she’ll never see pics like this of her grandkids. They grow up fast. You OSA peeps watching this site, keep that in mind too. When’s the last time you saw your loved ones? June, get your head out of your ass and see your damn kids and grandkids before it’s too late.

    • Liberated

      Beautiful kids man.❀️

      • flyonthewall

        thnx Lib

    • Jenyfurrrrr

      Exactly Fly! (They’re so gorgeous!) It’s easy for some to read these stories but forget there are human beings behind each & every one. And it’s faces like these that are seen as mere future recruits or a hindrance when in fact they’re a gift AND our future!

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Your son looks like you and your daughter looks like Mrs Fly. They’re scrumptious, Fly πŸ™‚

      • Jenyfurrrrr

        That mischevious smile looks JUST like Daddy and yep, from all the pics pretty Little Miss Fly looks just like mom, esp those gorgeous eyes!

        • Frodis73

          Totally! It’s in the eyes.

      • Observer

        His youngest daughter has his sense of humor

        • Liberated

          You mean the one in the land shark costume? Too funny.

    • Newiga

      Petites flies! Too adorable!

    • Phil Jones

      This made me smile. So cute.

    • Draco

      Your boy looks like you!
      Your kids are gorgeous, Fly. Extra hugs for them tonight.

    • Susan B.


    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Those adorable bunnies look like they’re planning something. Watch your back Fly. Hehehehe!! πŸ˜€

    • iampissed

      So wonderful Fly.

    • gtsix

      Lovely. Good little larvae.

    • Boy that brought to mind this pic of my sister’s kids. Anyone who chooses to miss out on this is soulless.

      • flyonthewall

        That. is a great pic

        • I call it “Brotherly Love”.

    • daisy

      That boy looks like you , devil*s grin. The girl is adorable . They both look like future trouble. So sweet.

      • flyonthewall

        πŸ™‚ thnx daisy

    • Ella Raitch


    • ExCult.Jan


  • Harpoona Frittata

    June is going to wake up one day to discover what so many other $cilons before her have, which is that while she’s been willing to sacrifice all for $cn, the cult will sacrifice nothing for her. Worse still, the cult will blame her for “not making it go right” when she’s out of cash to pay for more services or so old, tired and sick that she’s of no use to them anymore. It’s as predictable as darkness falling at the end of the day. But despite that happening over and over again to folks all around her, and all around the $cn world, she won’t notice it until it’s too late…that is the inevitable and inescapable fate of all True Believer $cilons. Even Elron himself couldn’t escape facing the reality of who he was, what he’d failed to accomplish and his looming death as a mere mortal.

    How is it that a once loving and committed mother could abandon and betray all of her remaining children and do so merely because they no longer shared her religious beliefs? There are as many different answers to that question as there are families who’ve been torn apart by $cn’s policy of coerced disconnection. Yet, despite their superficial dissimilarities, each of those individual stories of families dismembered and destroyed has the same dark and destructive inner core answer: $cn holds each and every True Believer’s “Eternity” hostage, and the price of its ransom is not just the cost of the cherch’s advanced level auditing services, but the sacrifice of their connection to their non-$cilon family members, if ordered to do so by cult officials.

    After June disconnected from her children, her daughter Sarah wrote to ask, “”…how can you achieve spiritual freedom and devastate your entire family?” To everyone who is outside the $cn bubble the answer is screamingly obvious: “You CAN’T achieve spiritual freedom by willfully destroying your family and any “religion” that would require you to do so could never offer a real path to achieve it in the first place!”

    Waking up to that truth is, I’m sure, completely devastating, but the sooner one realizes that, instead of leading to their eternal salvation and ultimate spiritual freedom, Elron’s Way leads to its exact opposite, the better for all concerned. While there’s not much that any of us can directly do to (slap, slap) wake June up, there’s plenty that we can do for all of the many families like theirs. And a big part of that is to speak the truth about what we’ve experienced and have seen others experience at the hands of this cold and uncaring killer cult!

    • Phil Jones

      Well said.

  • I remember Aaron from my time in the Sea Org. He was very charming. This happened only 4 months after I had been kicked out of the Sea Org for being gay. In fact, I was contemplating taking my own life as well around this time. How heart wrenching. I can’t even begin to fathom the horror that this family has been through. I am happy for all of you that are no longer in Scientology. My parents have disconnected from me as well, and my sister gave birth to my nephew about a year ago and I still have never met him.

    I want every member of this family to know that you have a friend in me. If you ever need someone to commiserate with, please contact me. I’ve got nothing but love for all of you.

    • Draco

      I thought of you too while I was reading this today. Just too many heartbreaks.

    • FredEX2

      Derek. My heart hurts. I never knew your story and I’m so sorry that you’ve ever been hurt by these people and this organization. I ❀️ You ((hugs))

    • MarcabExpat

      I was wondering if you might weigh in today, Derek. How overjoyed I am that you found a different way out than Aaron did. You’re so full of life now and realizing your potential. He should have had the same chance.

      I am very sure that the comments and articles you have posted to date must have saved at least one other young life. Possibly more. You may never even know how many you’ve helped.

      • Stories like this tear me to shreds. Every bone in my body wishes I could go back in time and save that young man. We were both quietly suffering through similar pain and there but for the grace of god go I. The same with their sister. I could have been there for her 2 years ago. Every life lost is a life too much. I truly wish I could save everyone.

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      You are a remarkable, compassionate man Derek. ❀️

    • Kim O’Brien

      i love you

      • I love you too :-*

    • Marie Bilheimer

      Forgive me Derek, but I don’t remember you. Or maybe you only knew Aaron. I’m so glad you found a way out. Thank you for the love. Right back at you.

      • ExCult.Jan

        Hugs. Just hugs.

    • ExCult.Jan

      Remember to delete your address. *Coughassoon cough aspossiblecough”

      • It’s okay. I keep that e-mail account as a secondary one specifically for sharing like that. Thanks for your concern though!

        • ExCult.Jan

          ‘Cept gmail is not secure.

          • AFAIK, it’s relatively secure with two-step verification. Which I have on all my Google and Yahoo accounts. I say “relatively”, because I don’t think there is such a thing as “completely secure”.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    $cientology: the “family” that preys together

    $cientology: Paradise Lashed

    $cientology: Gullible’s Travels

    $cientology: Harry, Potty and the Stoned Fill O’ Sophistry

    Was it Snow White who put the dwarf in charge of $cientology?

    Concerning JAW, $cientology:
    Ask not for whom the bell-end trolls
    He trolls for thee

  • PTS

    Earlier on, I read today’s post and then I went back to work. However, I carried on thinking, during work, that there must be another side to this story. What I mean is, June’s side to the story which, of course, is scientology’s side to the story. Anyway, as I worked away and thought about this all afternoon (I live in Europe) and in spite of being a scientologist for many years, I just couldn’t think of any valid reason why a mother would not question her belief in front of a situation like this. I know all about the eternity thing but really, how can eternity be compromised by disconnecting from one’s own family? Eternity is eternity, by definition. It doesn’t depend on disconnection.
    So, anyway, I came up with a complete blank.
    There is nothing that can justify the situation that June’s children are experiencing.

    • madame duran

      I can’t fathom how empty June’s life must be for her to willfully toss her family aside in favour of getting validation from a framed certificate or a cult “status”. This is beyond denial or emotional detachment. Her conscience is in a state of coma.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “I just couldn’t think of any valid reason why a mother would not
      question her belief in front of a situation like this. I know all about
      the eternity thing but really, how can eternity be compromised by
      disconnecting from one’s own family? Eternity is eternity, by
      definition. It doesn’t depend on disconnection.”

      I think that you’ve just captured the core basis of a kind of cognitive dissonance that just can’t be dispelled, but instead, just continues to build in a person to head-exploding levels.

      What kind of ultimate spiritual freedom is it that can only be obtained by abandoning and betraying your family? Correct answer: NO KIND OF SPIRITUAL FREEDOM! What kind of a true religion orders its members to disconnect from their family members? Correct answer: No religion worth belonging to…in fact, not a religion at all!

      Hopefully, what is obvious to all who aren’t Kool-Aid guzzling, cult sheeple will dawn on June before time runs out for her.

    • Marie Bilheimer

      I don’t blame her. I wish she could see clearly and if she ever does I’d happily accept her back into our lives. I am sad for her more than anything, she lost all of us too.

  • Jimmy3

    I thought Canadian Scientologists were too polite to disconnect?

    • Newiga


      • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)

        I see what you did there.

    • kemist

      We do the same things as you guys, you know.

      We just apologize afterwards.

      Well TBH, we’re not that polite in Quebec. We’re known as the place other Canadians get wasted in a soon as they reach 18. Quebecers laugh at them because generally we first get drunk around 10 or 12.

  • Dave Reams

    It, Scientology, just keeps getting more sickening and heart breaking.

  • Sibs

    Gotta love that whole hypocrisy of how so many people become $cientologists because they hope it will enable them to help other people and save the world, but let’s hide and avert our eyes when people are seriously depressed or going through really bad shit.

    Sorry if I’ve offended anyone. I’m just so pissed off right now after reading this post.

    • chukicita

      It’s almost like let’s not just look away, but step away and pretend we don’t know them. Because Scientology only purports to ‘help the able become more able’ and does NOTHING for people in need except marginalize, criminalize, and/or disconnect from them.

      How that’s supposed to save the planet, I’ll never understand.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      Oh, don’t be! We’re in the midst of re-living some extremely traumatic and utterly senseless deaths and assorted other tragedies that have occurred over years, courtesy of $cn. Getting good and pissed about it is a very real and congruent emotion to experience in the face of all that.

      Over the years there’s just been so many $cn-related tragedies that have come to light and many of them were either covered up completely at the time of their occurrence or purposefully spun in an attempt to minimize $cn’s culpability. It’s good to remember the dead and be reminded of what’s at stake if the cult isn’t stopped from doing more of the same.

  • Susan B.

    Thank you Tony for all that you do to uncover the truth about CO$. Tragic stuff. {{{{{{UB Hugs}}}}}}

  • Out and about

    How could this entity not only disrespet and harass the living, but sully the dead spreading rumors that he ,”blew” and got “declared”! I broke down and cried my heart out. The least ethical group on the planet!

    • Frodis73

      Yes, that really got to me too that they lied about it…and pretended he was traveling. WTF???

    • madame duran

      Makes me ill to think that the fabricated news of Aaron “blowing” would’ve likely been met with disgust/scorn by his Sea Org peers (“How dare he leave his post and abandon our cause! Traitor!!”). Even in death, he wasn’t afforded any positive acknowledgment. For the few who knew the truth about his suicide, they weren’t given an opportunity to grieve openly but had to go about the day like nothing serious happened. Sick, sick organization.

      • Out and about

        Tom Cruise is telling the world how beautiful his religion is. I grieve for these people that have known the truth and suffered because of the sick twisted mind of Hubbard. Smoke and mirrors Tom. It’s all an illusion.

  • Draco

    Going to bed…night night Bunkerues.
    Love and hugs all round xxx

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Sweet dreams. 😘

    • Rasha

      Dragon Dreamz!!!!!

    • Newiga

      <3 little dragon! xxoo

    • April

      Try not to singe your pillow again when you snore.

  • HillieOnTheBeach

    β€œMy mom was literally on the dance floor at the same time as Marie with
    her little daughter, and they didn’t acknowledge her. They didn’t say
    anything,” Nichola says.

    June dear, if scientology was the uncontested spiritual answer to everything, this petty, spiteful behavior would be way, way beneath you.

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    Ok, so I have to re-phrase this old comment on scientology: “Scientology is not only worse than you think, it is worse than you can imagine.”

    I think this is really more accurate:

    “Scientology is not only more fucked-up than you think, it is more fucked-up than your worst nightmares.”

    My heart goes out to this family, and to all the people harmed by scientology. The wreckage caused by scientology is so pervasive, the costs to health and sanity so high, it should by shunned by all peoples and be stripped of all immunity and tax exemptions.

    There is no good reason it should continue to exist at all.

  • Gawd, those are sad stories. It reminds me of the day at Int when bigwig Scn attorney Kendrick Moxon’s daughter Stacey killed herself by climbing into an open electrical vault and letting go. They found her fried beyond belief. That evening there was an all base muster and Dave Bloomberg got up in front of the entire base and told us the story that Stacey was an animal lover who had seen a squirrel crawl down into the vault to rescue it and slipped. Funny that he never mentioned the “good-bye cruel world” note she left. That’s enough bad news for today. But there was a lot more in the forgettable year of 2000.

    • flyonthewall

      was the squirrel part of the cover story meant as some kind of sick inside joke? Seems like they could of picked a lot of animals for her to supposedly chase but they picked squirrel

      • chukicita

        We kinda thought that at the time it happened. Like it was some kind of code or someone’s unconscious cry for help.

    • chukicita

      Oh, wow.

      That same day Stacey died, there were a few people outside the base protesting the recent (needless) death of Ashlee Shaner, a non-Scientologist who was decapitated by a front loader she didn’t see in the dark crossing the road as she drove by. They didn’t know another death, of the Moxon girl, had occurred at the time.

      Here’s a report from one who was there that day, and how Scientology, Inc. responded:

      rom: (Shy David
      Subject: Scientologist electrocuted
      Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 01:48:20 GMT
      Organization: Worldwide Church of http://WWW.XENU.NET
      cc: Claire Vitucci
      cc: James Nash

      At the time the woman was electrocuted to death at Scientology’s Nazi Theme Park (“Golden Era Studios”), I was outside picketing with another protester. We had gone to the compound to protest the easily-avoidable death of Ashlee Shaner. I suppose that while us protesters were at Ms. Shaner’s street-side memorial making prayer feathers to leave in her memory, the electrocuted woman was being killed.

      This saddens me very much.

      When our prayer feathers were done (Ashlee, I think, would approve even though as far as I know she was not Hopi), my friend and I picked up our protest signs and walked up and down the street to protest the organization.

      A nice, well-dressed, friendly guy who called himself “Ken” came out to “handle” us. I assume this is the “Ken Hoden” you mentioned in your article. While the electrocuted woman’s body was still twitching, he was sent out side to draw us away from the studio’s entrance. He showed no sign of being unhappy, nor any sign of feeling “very bad for [the dead woman’s] family and her husband.” He was happy and friendly, as if no death had just occured. But perhaps this was a different Ken and that this Ken knew nothing about the recent death: if that is the case, he is of course to be held blameless for showing no sign of grief over the death.

      He was then paged on his pager, and when he read the message he said that he “has a meeting to go to.” All smooth as silk. His TR-L was “in,” as a Scientologist would say.

      A new “handler” was sent out to keep us away from the entrance to the Studio. We saw quite clearly that they were working very hard to keep us from the entrance, but at the time we did not know why. I told my friend, while the new handler listened in dismay, that I was going to “go see what it is they are trying to keep us from seeing.” I walked up the road a bit, just to see this handler’s reaction: imagine being told you need a root canal job done of five teeth, and there’s anaesthesia enough for one tooth— maybe two— but not all five. You will then imagine how this woman looked.

      She told us she was “Public Relations.” I told her she was OSA (Office of Special Affairs, i.e., “Guardians Office”, i.e., “Department Twenty”). It’s all the same thing: this is the department that is supposed to predict public relations disasters and prevent them; if they cannot, they are then supposed to “handle” PR problems. Look up “Operation ‘Snow White'” and “Operation ‘Freakout'” for two examples of that this Scientology department’s work is. Er, I mean “was.”

      This PR woman then claimed that her knee was recently operated on, and that she wanted us to stand with her well down the street from the Studio’s entrance and “talk.” She was still trying very hard to keep us from picketing where we could see the coronor’s wagon come and take the latest dead woman off their hands.

      Yet a third “handler” came out to handle us: that’s three PR people sent out just to prevent two lonely picketers from seeing what we were not “supposed” to see.

      Ken invited us two picketers out for “breakfast” and said that he would pay: he was THAT MUCH concerned about getting us away from the place. When he left, the PR woman then asked us if we wanted to go have “brunch.” She too tried very hard to get us to leave so we would not see what we were not supposed to see.

      A camera crew from Casper News came along and filmed us picketers with our handlers. The film crew told us that there had been “an accident up the road” and that rung a loud bell in my mind: that’s what they did not want us to see! You should have seen the PR woman’s face when the film crew showed up: she gave a very tiny noise, like that of a kitten being strangled. She then went to go “handle” the film crew.

      [NOTE to a.r.s.: Scientology Inc. appears to have lied to government agency involved in this: from the first 911 call! Sheeeish. The film crew was there to find the “auto accident” that had not actually occured.]

      Her speach to the film crew, by the way, was 100% TR-L (Scientology speak for “Training Routine: Lying” which one may read on the Internet). It was identicle, word-for-word PR that OSA gives to every news media. That made me laugh, but it also made me feel sorry for her. She seemed so unable to have a single thought of her own: it was like watching and listening to a computer reel off a pre-programed speach and set of behaviors. I felt so sad seeing her act like this: like an automation.

      By the way: only the woman showed any sign of stress or worry. The two men were happy, and joked with us. The woman seemed to be under extremely great stress: like she was carrying a very heavy load.

      more here:

      • “Scientology’s Nazi Theme Park”… you gotta be kidding me!

        • chukicita

          David has a colorful way with words, but he’s darn accurate at reporting events.

          • ahh sorry… just had to read it a couple of times :-/

      • ze moo

        Bad Ronbot, bad Ronbot!

      • Thanks for remembering about this.

        • chukicita

          It’s a feeling I don’t have a word for. It’s like a time-shiver.

          At the time this happened and barb and David and Keith posted about it on a.r.s., it was stunning to watch the Scn PR machine in action. After a few false starts, they settled on a shore story that had precious few facts. Everyone knew that we weren’t getting the whole story, and it was almost comical, if it hadn’t been so creepy and sad.

          At the time we wondered about how long it would take before someone blew who was inside and would someday talk about what was going on the other side of the razor wire at that time. We knew it was only a matter of time.

          Tick freaking tock.

      • Robert Eckert

        That’s dagobarbz, who sometimes posts here

        • chukicita

          Yep. She was there that day. But it is Shy David who posted that.

          • Robert Eckert

            Thanks for the exactitude

            • chukicita

              It doesn’t happen often. πŸ˜€

  • flyonthewall

    Hey! We missed Jim Morrison’s b-day yesterday. Sorry Jim.

    • Stephanie Loving

      Thanks Fly. I’ll never forget listening to “The End” over and over at age 11. My brother (older by 4 years) turned me on to it all. Hendrix, Doors and more.

  • Observer

    This story has depleted me of any joie de vivre I may once have had. I’m going to go kill video game things.

    • Frodis73

      That will definitely burn off some righteous anger!!

      • Rasha


    • OOkpik

      That’s what I’m doing. Fallout 4.

      • Rasha

        I’m a Portal fan, myself, but when I need to vent, it’s Quake 3.

        • OOkpik

          Portal’s great. Haven’t tried Quake 3 yet.

    • Baby

      Watching any movie.. I don’t even care which one.. My mind can’t handle the pain of these stories.

  • Narapoid

    This cult turns human beings into glass robots who think they are gods.

  • Frodis73

    Uh oh…there has been a disturbance in the Force…

    • iswydt and completely unrelated – have you read this one, yet?

      That’s exactly what it’s like to debate a creationist, or scientologist, or a moon landing denier, or an anti-vaxxer.

      In America, the Constitution may give these people the right to speak their bilge in public, but it doesn’t require that I have to respect it.

      • Frodis73

        Lol! Good catch! I did read that…he has mentioned scientology a couple other times so far too…he definitely has their number!

  • Jeb Burton

    When I reported earlier that the Clearwater mayor responded to my e-mail that he in fact has been watching Leah’s series, one responder said that may bring down the rath of the cult on him. I’m sure as evil as the cult is, they would never fair game a Clearwater mayor. Again.

  • Jgg2012

    I think that Scientology would argue that these people were troubled long before they joined Scientology (although, if they were raised in the Church, that’s tougher to argue). This is who cults go after: people who are vulnerable, confused, looking for an answer to a problem, etc. and then, when their life falls apart. they say “oh, we had nothing to do with that”. If their life improved, however, it was because of Scientology.

    • Jeb Burton

      As much shit as i have gotten for saying the people who join as adults are gullible, I think you are right on. I am sure many had the best intentions, were at a vulnerable part of their life. Doesn’t make it right what some have done.

      • Jgg2012

        Note that I said vulnerable: they were gullible at the time. That is not to say that they are gullible dupes in general, any more than they are stupid, mentally ill or uneducated. Anyone can be gullible if there is an incentive to believe it.

        • Jeb Burton

          I read some of Dianetics when I was in my early 20’s, I thought what a bunch of crap as did most people. I think they were a little dupey. Maybe it was my skeptical nature, I was raised a Christian and knew at age 12 I didn’t believe in Jesus or the Bible.

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    My heart goes out to Marie and her siblings.
    Lawrence Wright said something like, the longer you stay in the CO$, the more like L. Ron Hubbard you become. As a parent, Hubbard is known for abandoning his own children and even driving one to suicide. June Rees is just following in his footsteps. Thank you LRH πŸ™

  • Rasha

    Okay, Bunks. Rasha gotsa go prep for a long overnight drive. I wish today was another “look at the kooky Scientology catalog and goings-on!” day, but I am truly glad that Tony – and seriously, ALL the others who are climbing out of the trenches – is making clear and stark the real, personal, visceral, and devastating effect that Hubbard’s creation is having on Human Lives.

    To Scientology, one more silenced voice is one less threat to their existence. They just don’t get that those lives were each a song in so many other lives. What will you do, Davey? Tell us to stop remembering? These were – and are – family. And our family extends beyond what your “tech” can control.

    I’m off to drive 11 hours to visit my siblings. We’re gonna party. Yep. We’re gonna laugh, disagree, reminisce, eat, argue, gift… and every hug will last forever. And. Not. One. Single. Knowledge. Report. Hey, OSA, my family sends a great big Middle Finger. Merry Implant. (Everyone else reading this for them: Run! We have enough party for all of y’all!)

    Bunks – Love ya. Hold my spot on the sofa.

    • Kimmy3

      Does Rasha always speak in 3rd person? Tell her to drive safely!

      • Rasha

        Often, yes. ^_^ It’s just a thing I do.

        • Rasha

          …and I will, thank you!!!!!

          • daisy

            Safe travels, Happy holidays and bring back stories .

        • jayla197145

          Rasha, I do that a lot too (speak in the 3rd person). Safe travels & have fun!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

          • Rasha

            VERY HUGZ!!!!!!!!

            • jayla197145

              Much love to you!! XO

      • LongtimeLurker

        Rasha has a special dispensation.

        Lurker occasionally get the anger or exciteness and forget good human talk!

        Many forget Lurker is only visitor to your planet.


        Oops…just saw Supper’s comment below. Oh well, too late.

    • Ann B Watson

      Safe travels and I love your quote above.πŸ’—

    • chukicita

      I’m holding the spot next to me til you get back. I so love what you just posted! Safe trip.

      • Rasha

        Thanks, Chukeh!! ^_^

    • Baby

      Rashie.. Have fun! Drive carefully and Party Hardy.. Merry Christmas ( I am NOT politically correct) love baby

      • Rasha

        Will do… Rasha celebrates every available holiday. πŸ˜‰

    • L. Wrong Hubturd

      Safe travels. Hope you’re going south.

  • Nat-leficent
    • Rasha

      KITTEHS!!! Om nom nom nom nom!!!!!

    • Rasha

      Yes, I would be right on the floor with them.

    • Baby

      Oh Nat.. what a cute baby boy you have.. I remember when you got him. He looks spoiled rotten..good..
      Aunt Kiki is cracking me up too.. hahahhaha

      • Nat-leficent

        She is my dad’s dog and she lubs Tyrion XD
        ETA: He is very spoiled and very fat!

        • Baby

          Hahahhaha.. He’s a doll.. I love that they are buddies..

    • L. Wrong Hubturd

      His face looks like “Oh gosh Mom, another picture?” Thanks for my avi, Nat.

    • Newiga


  • grundoon

    CMO IXU, the top level of Scientology officialdom outside Int Base – their orders must be obeyed…

    … are children, age 9-12.

    A few appear to be 13-16. Just a few look older.

    Any adults, I’m guessing, are from the Landlord Office rather than CMO.

    • Rasha

      Some faces say, Yes!, and other are… not so much. There are always traces of questions… How many have proven fruitful?

    • Baby

      When I look at this picture all I see are my Grand Children.. and their hopes and dreams.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      There’s something quite perverse and, it would seem, intentionally humiliating about placing kids and very young adults in positions of real power within the Sea Orgy command hierarchy. Elron began the practice and lil davey the terrible appears to have carried it on.

      Perhaps it’s especially important for complete mind control to be 100% standardly effective to indoctrinate kids at such a young age, just as lil davey was himself. Deprive them of a childhood, a real education and close ties with their parents and siblings, then deprive them of sleep, fill them with the fear of punishment for trivial infractions and pump them up with glorious space opera myths and all that’s really missing there are the weapons in order to turn them into child soldiers…ill beyond words!

  • Baby

    Such a Heartbreaking post. So painful to read..I can only imagine how the family feels.

    Leah you have enough Stories to keep your series going forever. Tragic, just fuckin Tragic.

    • Nat-leficent

      Hi, BABY!

      • Baby

        Hi sweetheart..

  • nottrue
    • madame duran

      I was thinking to nominate Kirstie but DM is a good choice.

    • Rasha

      …have they simply abandoned her to her stupid twitter account and moved on?

    • LongtimeLurker

      Get her to the buuuuurrrrrn ward.

  • PerpetualOutflow

    What an incredibly sad story today. Read it this morning and haven’t been able to shake the image of a mother purposely estranged from her daughter getting on a plane with that daughter and the grandchild she has never met and…ignoring them. Or being on the same dance floor with them and coldly pretending they aren’t there. What does $cientology do to otherwise good people to make them act in such heinous ways? Seems to me that the “tech” systematically fosters very undesirable traits (think greed, arrogance, deceit) in those who submit to it, which in turn lead to the reprehensible behavior so many $cilons display. I know we like to say around here that it’s about their behavior, not what they believe. And yet it seems the two are inextricably linked. It’s like $cientology actually tries to foster the opposite of virtue in people.

    To illustrate, I thought about the $cientologists I have known the best over the years. Although I liked them and at the time considered them to be friends, I realize now that they all had a number of key traits in common, all of which were likely fostered by certain teachings of the clampire. Here’s what I mean:

    1) Arrogant, haughty, selfish: Fostered by derisively referring to non-$cieno’s as WOGs, by telling telling would be clears and OTs that “You are a more able being,” “You are more aware,” and “$cientologists are the ONLY ones who can help mankind.” Also encouraged by hierarchy in clam culture that treats celebrities and whales differently and confers a special social status and gaudy awards on those who can donate large sums of money.

    2) Greedy, money-hungry: Fostered by telling $cienos that “The only crime in the West is to be insolvent,” and pricing courses and auditing in the stratosphere so that only those with large amounts of money can afford them. Encouraged by a culture that worships whales and celebrities as superior spiritual beings.

    3) Deceitful, untrustworthy, dishonest: Fostered by teaching that every action should be judged by “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” Directly encouraged by telling students of $cientology that it is ethical to trick, lie to, sue or destroy perceived enemies of the “Church.” Making it a stipulation that in order to get back into good standing with the “Church,” one must “strike an effective blow” against an enemy of the Church.

    4) Fearful, insecure: Fostered by a culture that encourages snitching on family, friends, and co-workers via written “knowledge reports,” by the threat of interrogations known as “sec-checks,” by the possibility of being sent to the prison detail known as the “RPF,” and by videotaping and writing down of all things said in auditing sessions.

    5) Unfeeling, callous, mean: Fostered by practice of the “TRs” or training routines to ensure clams don’t react to any emotional triggers. Also encouraged by telling them not to “dramatize” or display “HE&R,”or admonishing them that there is “no case on post.” Helped along by telling them they have had lots of families over the centuries and will have many more, that children are just thetans in smaller bodies, that the homeless and otherwise needy are “degraded beings” who are undeserving of the help of a $cientologist.

    6) Unthinking, uncritical, blind: Fostered by making it a “crime” to “look,” by telling $cientologists they are not allowed to read or listen to anything critical of $cientology or they will wind up in a costly ethics cycle. Encouraged by telling them that Ron has taped the way out…all they have to do is follow it all the way up the Bridge and not listen to their “reactive mind.” Also helped along by the redefining of key words.

    7) Humorless: Fostered by swiftly punishing any “joking and degrading” and interpreting nearly every joke as an instance of “J&Ding.”

    8) Desperate, rash and poor decision-making: Fostered by sleep deprivation and by the artificial creation of stark, unpleasant, and artificially “urgent” choices, e.g. your family member or your eternal life.

    I’m not a psychologist. Tell me why I’m wrong in thinking that $cientologists’ beliefs are directly leading to their unethical and reprehensible behavior…the kind of behavior that June exhibited in heartlessly ignoring her daughters and granddaughter and instead cling to a worthless Student Hat completion certificate.

    • Great assessment.

      • PerpetualOutflow

        I sound like I’m so judgemental, but that’s not where I’m coming from. I now realize why the $cienos I’m thinking of acted so surprised and, well, strangely, when I would continually inquire about their well being, the 2Ds they were pining after, their hopes and dreams. They must have thought I was from Mars.

        • You don’t sound judgemental, rather objective.

          • PerpetualOutflow

            I sure didn’t “congnite” on these traits then. Saw “out points” that I thought were harmless eccentricities or oddities, but I somehow missed the pattern and the cause.

            • iampissed

              Very well written.

            • iampissed

              I take it you were an “in”. When you were in and “thought were harmless eccentricities ”
              Did you make a knowledge report or just let it slide, because it was just odd?
              Never In here so I’m trying to wrap my head around something

            • PerpetualOutflow

              I thought KRs were only used in the most egregious of circumstances, if at all. I mean, who can contemplate writing up a friend or family member? I wouldn’t have considered it in a million years unless I had seen something egregiously unethical or illegal. And if it was the latter, I would have gone to the police instead.

            • iampissed

              That is why you didn’t go down the rabbit hole….IMO.
              THANK YOU again

            • PerpetualOutflow

              I should clarify something else. $cientologists consider anyone who takes the most introductory of courses to be “in” even though that person knows virtually nothing about $cientology and certainly hasn’t made any decision to “join” it. That is one of many reasons why their stats are so inflated.

            • iampissed

              Thanks for the reply…I was thinking that maybe your being able to let it slide.
              Was the humanity that gets some out. Sounds like you were not in to long.
              Or not in at all a lot like I’m not a Mormon but they still show up at my door.
              Thank you again for the reply.

    • Kim O’Brien

      bingo. to me …the beliefs are the abuses ..and the abuses are the beliefs . they cannot be separated . when ppl say ” hey …they can believe what they want , i just want the abuses to stop ” ..i go ” huh ? ”

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “Tell me why I’m wrong in thinking that $cientologists’ beliefs are
      directly leading to their unethical and reprehensible behavior…”

      I would never do that; you’re spot on and have captured the personality traits of a True Believer $cilon to a “T”.

      You didn’t close the circle there, though, so please allow me: Stay in long enough and drink enough of the Kool-Aid and you become just like Elron, narcissistic and sociopathic – with all of the negative personality traits that you’ve listed prominently displayed for all to see. That is, except by themselves and those exactly like them,

      • PerpetualOutflow

        Yes of course, b/c the Admiral is the Author and the Source!

    • Baby
      • PerpetualOutflow

        That is the best orchestra EVAH!

        • Baby

          For you the world darlin! xo

          • daisy

            Sweet Baby so nice to see you.

    • kemist

      It could be that…

      Or it could be a consequence of the cult setting.

      Studies in psychology have demonstrated that the personalities of cult members tend to converge towards one specific type, that of the cult leader (that’s called “cloning”). When they leave, a person recovers their actual, real personality. This phenomenon is not observed in members of mainstream religions, independant of their belief.

      The beliefs, of course, come from the leader, and can help promote cloning. However, I’m not sure the beliefs alone can achieve this – you need the pressure of the cult’s totalitarian milieu for that.

  • Hugs to Marie, Nichola and Sarah.

  • What’sup

    Been super busy in RL so i haven’t had the chance to get to the comments much. I hope ya’ll are doing well.

    Great piece today Tony. Scientology is so fucking fucked.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Hey, it’s the What’sup monster!

  • OOkpik

    We’re on fire again today.
    Only 3 more Recommended hearts for an even 400.
    Yay, Tony and Team.

  • Flying High

    I think we all are impinging upon Kirstie. The Bunker and Hurricane Leah process is biting.

    • daisy

      You shouldn*t be able to sleep EVER. More proof you lack a conscience.

      • Flying High

        Love it and Thanks Daisy!

    • daisy

      Why not sheet rock , you do horrible things to everyone around you.

      • Liberated

        Horrible things…does she mean eat it?

        • daisy

          Hard to say with Krusty , maybe she meant sheet cake.

    • Baby

      STFU .. Do you know how stupid you sound?

    • LongtimeLurker

      And Scream Queens getting axed, which must have seemed like her chance for a big return to … something …

  • Baby

    O/T I got this fabulous Idea to Paint coconuts and sell them during the holidays.. So I gathered a bunch of Coconuts..( about 25) .. and Put a table in my office.. and laid them all out..

    and doing this.. I had ants..and little spiders everywhere.. ugh.. So I put them on the porch while I worked with just one at a time .. The bottom of the coconut is soft and filled with like sawdust ( I don’t know what you call it..) and shit was crawling out of it..( Mack sprayed something in it.. didn’t work)

    So I sealed the bottom really good with Duck Tape. and painted over it.. and put it outside to dry from the varnish.. and I’ll be damned.. When it is said and done.. The ants are still crawling over my poor Santa.. Hahahhahaha..

    So PPPPPPffffffft forget my project. I found a company that sells hollow coconuts..Maybe next year.. but I wanted to make them with Coconuts from my island.. sigh..

    So this is hanging outside and I giggle every time I see the ants.. hahahhaha love baby f5

    • Baby

      Twice? damn disq

    • daisy

      I*d buy that.

      • Baby

        Daisy! You are so sweet..Awwwwwww

    • L. Wrong Hubturd

      Love it, Baby. Gives me a good smile before bedtime. Thanks darlin’!

      • Baby

        Hi boo… SMILE..

        After today’s post I’m not much up for smiling.. sigh

        • L. Wrong Hubturd

          Yeah, it’s a rough one.

    • MarcabExpat

      Glad to see you, young lady. Ya been missed.
      [edited because this keyboard is evil]

      • Baby

        Thanks Marc.. I miss all of you too.. decided I better get a Real Life going.. but am always around somewhere..

    • EmmaDaoust
      • Baby

        That is funny and I swear to God Emma if I sing this all day I will haunt you on Christmas Eve.. ” Ghosts of Santa Coconuts!” xo ha

        • EmmaDaoust

          Well if you get tired of that one, you can sing along with those ants.

          • Baby

            Awww how cute Em.. thanks..ha

    • JJ

      Solution, sell them as decorator ant habitats!

      • Baby

        Awwwww perfect! Now I’m out of the mood..haha

    • That’s our Behbeh! Puttin’ the ANT back in sANTa!

      • Baby

        OMG Artoo.. THAT is Brilliant.. I wish I would have thought of it! xo

    • Wilson!

      • Baby

        hahahaha Hi RM

  • Disqus options improvement on mobile.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Wait…what now?

      Are you saying there’s an app?

      • Android phone. I see new icons/options.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Oooooh. Thanks! Will go look. : )

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    This is from what I remember of my own scientology-created worldview during my years in scientology and the sea org. It has to do with suicide and how a scientologist can come to view it. It is not necessarily the view of other scientologists, but it may help to possibly understand how so many scientologists wind up being suicides.

    I had suicidal ideation for a long time. Most notably for many of the years I was in scientology as a member and supposedly being helped by scientology. I have not attempted to kill myself since I was 7 or 8 years old, but at various times I thought about it. And I fit it into the picture Hubbard painted about people and spirits and past lives.

    The idea that there are past lives we have all lived before has much more impact on scientologists than non-scientologists realize.

    Scientologists sometimes spend thousands of hours trying (and supposedly succeeding) to recall their past lives and what they did in them. Usually it is only the bad things you did that you recall, because only the bad things supposedly still affect your current life.

    But even without much scientology auditing, it is firmly part of the doctrine that everybody in scientology knows and pretty much has as a deep belief.

    I mean, really really a firm foundational belief that they lived before and as the inescapable consequence of that, we all will live future lives. The scientologist believes without much thought, that this present life is a brief blip in an unimaginably long past of other lives before now.

    I felt it strongly. I invested a lot of thought in it and in auditing I searched my supposed memory of past lives for all those things I had done to myself or to others in those earlier lives. So I could take responsibility and make up for it. And I looked forward to much better lives in the future, made possible by scientology.

    Past lives, future lives. What arrises from that calculation, that spiritual arithmetic is that you always have an out. You no longer believe that death is the end. You do not have to imagine not being, to not exist. Instead, death is the start of a do-over.

    When you are faced with an epic fuck-up, a total disaster in your current life, well, there is always the next one. Why suffer through the consequences and pain and sorrow you are living through now, when a new start is just beyond the grave. To be fair, other religions have this problem too. So they prohibit suicide. Otherwise, as someone observed, the moment you were saved you would off yourself to Heaven.

    But there is nothing in scientology that would send you to hell for killing yourself. No, there is almost no downside other than the grief of friends and family. Or who is going to tidy up after the mess. As a scientologist you can rely on your scientologist family members and friends getting some special auditing to “run-out” their grief. And after all, isn’t grief just the upset from their own past deaths being restimulated?

    It was very tempting, when my life got rough, to contemplate killing myself. I could start over. I could find a better family to be born into. I could pick better genetics. Maybe I could be Tom Cruise’s next child, or someone else with a lot of money, so I could afford scientology.

    The sea org motto is “We come back.” That is a powerful hope and underneath that, a kind of comfort. No fuck-up lasts for eternity. In just a short time you can be back in a family and going up the bridge.

    This mind-set is a direct consequence of Hubbard’s mind-fuck. So I am saddened when a scientologist commits suicide, but not surprised when they take that way out. It’s a direct consequence of the beliefs.

    I was almost to that point so many times. And but for the grace of big Pharma, I’d be going there still.

    • FredEX2

      Michael, The information and explanation of these fundamental Scientology beliefs is so helpful and makes it clearer how a Scientologist might think differently about life & death. I’m glad you made it thru those years when you contemplated ending things as that is a permanent solution to temporary problems…Im glad you are here on the Bunker member too. I look forward to the things you share. Thank you for telling a bit of your story too.

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        Thanks. I hope that my experience can mean something, somehow help bring about the end of this awful mind corruption. Scientology needs to be ended.

    • I am glad you are alive.

    • LongtimeLurker

      God Michael, 7 or 8? I’m so sorry.

      And Xenu bless Big Pharma!

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        I’m unsure what set me off then, but nowadays I tend to think both my parents were sociopaths. Or at the very least narcissists. I was not happy. That helped set me up for a *solution.*

        Thanks for your compassion.

        • LongtimeLurker

          I wish I could do something more concrete Michael.

          For you, for everyone.

          I’ll add you to the list of people I want to buy a drink for.

    • daisy

      Thank you for the insight . I am so sorry you had it so rough. I am glad you are out

    • Kitz

      You got one earlier tonight, but *Hugs* again. Even though you’ve shared parts of your story with me before, it breaks my heart to hear them each time. And angry…. So very, very angry for kid you and what you went through. I’m glad you are still here my dear friend. <3

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        Hugs back at ya. I’m glad I’m here still, too. Thanks so much for your friendship.

    • Draco

      “The idea that there are past lives we have all lived before has much more impact on scientologists than non-scientologists realize.”

      So true. I remember the day I decided I was done with scientology. The enormity of the decades wasted really hit me hard. Three decades of my life wasted – literally the best years of my life when all my big decisions in life had been based on a lie.
      I thought – Thank God this is just one lifetime. Hopefully next lifetime I’ll do better. Then that ugly thought crept in…what if this is it? What if there is no next lifetime?
      That was hard…

      • Michael Leonard Tilse

        Yea. That’s a hard one to face… What if we just…end? Then all that crap, all that putting in the best years of my life, dedicating it to scientology, was just stolen. That is what makes me feel raped. They fed me Hubbard’s roofies and fucked my soul.

        And one of the reasons you let them steal it, inside, is that you BELIEVE you will have endless future lives, much much better than this one if you just sacrifice this one. That seems to be a no brainer: One life now in exchange for eternity as a god? Who wouldn’t bet on that?

        That drained me. I think that only in the past few years I have started to really face my mortality. That I will end. No heaven, no hell, no future lives. That the chance arrangement of atoms and molecules that is me will break down into randomness and the starstuff of which I am formed will take some other form. There will be no more thought, no more me. All that is left will be what I leave behind, be it words or art or memories, some other chance arrangements of atoms, eventually likewise scattered.

  • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

    This story…I got nothing. Just…Fucking. Heartbreaking.

  • Jimmy3

    Can tomorrow’s article just be about cute Scientology puppies?

    • daisy Mine has a problem we could discus. She claims I drove her to drinking.

      • Jimmy3

        Scientology can help her with that. By taking all her beer money.

        • daisy

          She also has a porn addiction

          • Jimmy3

            Someone told me I have a porn addiction and need help. I was like, listen nosy lady, you don’t own this Walmart. This isn’t your check-out line.

            • JJ

              Dude, what kind of porn could you POSSIBLY find in a WALMART check out? US weekly articles on Tom Cruise, National Geographic wonders of nature, matches, lighters, gum, Nuttela go packs, baseball cards (a high theft item I am told) small toys, pen packs, candy bars, impulse size bags of Doritos, packs of playing cards? That has got to be some creative fetish. Oh hand warmers…?

            • Jimmy3

              My phone is very smart and finds it for me.

            • JJ

              Didn’t think of that. my phone is…attached to a wall in the house…AND it can stay there!

            • Jimmy3

              See I can’t watch porn near a wall. Creeps me out.

            • JJ

              Man, I got nuthin….

            • iampissed

              You can…there is some manufacturer that is making a flexible screen held up by magnets.

            • Nat-leficent

              Never underestimate J3’s porn finding abilities XD

            • daisy

              Thanks, I woke up my mother falling off the chair laughing . She has not slept in a week. She will have delusions . I will have to send her to the hospital. They will decide I should be in a special home myself and send us both away. I will have to take medicine . Medicine makes me choke . My life as I know it would be ruined ,all because you have to tell your little jokes. Oh nevermind she is sleeping again.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Look at her tummy!

    • JJ

      Golden Age of Puppy Tech?

    • iampissed
      • iampissed

        It is so’s a chiweenie.

      • LongtimeLurker


        I could fit that in my mouth!

        Not that I would…

        • iampissed

          No it would be to much….but it’s close. We got to dog sit for about an hour half.

          • LongtimeLurker

            I’m jealous.

            I saw two different pugs today, IRL.

            I need another dog(s) in my life.

            My biological clock is losing its mind.

      • iampissed


      • Puppies and paisley pillows. And a spectacular Christmas sweater.

      • MarcabExpat

        Omigod that is a serious amount of personality wedged into that tiny ball of fuzz there.

  • Kim O’Brien

    totally OT …but i just watched the movie ‘ Dancer ” …and this man just might make me believe in the human race again. If one of us can do THIS …maybe there is hope . Srsly …watch it . Baryshnikov , Nureyev , and now Polunin. Transcendence . ( refresh )

    • JJ

      They have that thing Michael Jordan has, that floating ability where they look like the gravity of the earth has less hold on them.

    • Frodis73

      Thanks for the heads up on this one Kim!

    • Vaquera

      Serious respect. Ability beyond definition. Kudos for the share, Kim.

      • Kim O’Brien

        his story is amazing …totally worth the rent . you would love it i think

        • Vaquera

          Will def check it out tomorrow.
          I’m not one who gets verplink at the drop of a hat, but the physicality of that piece brought me to the edge. Pure energy.

        • Qbird

          Another excellent rental, a documentary: A Ballerina’s Tale
          about Misty Copeland.

          • Kim O’Brien

            thank you !

        • Snippy_X

          Ok Kim, it’s after midnight a day later. Watched a bunch of his vids. Very nice, thx!
          Here is the silly parody.

      • LongtimeLurker

        Where you been?

        Nice avatar.

    • Chee Chalker


    • outraged

      He’s a lovely dancer and the song is amazing. But somehow, the combination seems forced.
      Maybe it’s because this video was when I first heard Take Me To Church. It has images that cannot be let go of easily. Very intense, real. Raw. Like Life. I can’t separate the two.

      My friends were killed for who they love.

    • What’s up with the sock in the pants tech? Nice ass!

      • Todd Tomorrow

        Sock in pants?

      • MarcabExpat

        … it’s called a dance cup. Srsly?

        • lol ahh. Now i understand.

          • MarcabExpat

            *snerk* glad to be of service, my friend πŸ™‚

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Such a sad song. I love it but tear up every time I hear it. How gay people are treated in Russia is beyond cruel.

    • burythenuts


  • Jack99

    Not puppies, but Laurel and Hardy singing Harvest Moon

  • FOTF2012

    That is one of the most heartbreaking series of events I have ever read.

    Am so sorry those folks went through all that with such tragic and probably avoidable, horrible results, and for others who have dealt with such awful effects as well. We may never know how many lives have been lost due to Scientology, but here is one list:

    Thank you for sharing the story.

  • Looking at that sad woman clutching her certificate, I’m reminded of the attitude of Scientologists at Saint Hill Manor when I joined a protest outside, during the IAS ‘event’.

    People were doing banal things (like pointing a video camera at you) while evidently investing it with great significance. To an outsider, they were just standing stock still, staring, and holding a camera. It was a curious sight, but little more. In their imaginations, however, they were confronting suppression, saving the planet and performing all kinds of dramatic feats.

    There’s the same disconnect between her ridiculous certificate for having ‘achieved’ her worthless ‘student hat’ and the great significance she seems to invest in it. It’s like a grown man boasting that they can tie his own shoelaces.

    For this she, and her family, have neglected each other, been alienated from each other, deprived themselves of such potential for fulfilment and, for some, life itself.

    That image will live with me now, whenever anyone dismisses Scientology as a bizarre eccentricity. The actual practice is banal, and pointless and arguably funny. However, the consequences, as we have seen today, can be profoundly tragic.

    • Graham

      “The actual practice is banal, and pointless and arguably funny. However, the consequences, as we have seen today, can be profoundly tragic.”

      In the general public perception Scientology seems to be seen as a joke religion. It would be tragic if it continues to be seen solely as a joke. Hopefully someday the laughter at the bizarre beliefs will change into anger at the vile actions and someone somewhere will be pressurised into doing something about it (America, where is your Xenophon?).

      Sadly the world seems to be falling apart at the moment. Americans pre-occupied with protecting themselves against the worst excesses of the Trump clan may have little time or energy to spare for putting Scientology in its place.

      • FredEX2

        Very good points well said.

  • Dave Reams

    Stanley Kubrick’s wife Christiane talks about losing her daugher to Scientology:
    ‘she was hugely loved. And now I’ve lost her.” She pauses. “You know that? I used to keep all this a secret as I was hoping it would go away. But now I’ve lost hope. So. She’s gone.”‘

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Even Zombie Hamster, has better teeth than LRH! Hehe

  • But we knew this:
    “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency…”

    Rump’s tweet in 10, 9, 8…..

  • Todd Tomorrow

    A Sea Arghh member forced to work as a prostitute so they can buy toilet paper and cigarettes or possibly save some money so he and his wife could blow. Just so fucking sad.

  • dilladop

    I am a never-in mother and grandmother who bonded with, nursed, and raised my three girls without help from their father. I have always wondered if the Scientology method of dealing with parenting and children makes it easier for some of these types of people to disconnect because they were never connected in the first place. I know this isn’t true of all Scientology parents because we see the lengths some will go to when their children do the disconnecting. It’s just unbelievably sad that this happens. I treasure my children and their families. They are my best friends.

  • Jonathan Cummings

    I have read so many disturbing stories caused by Scientology’s disgusting disconnection policy, but this one is so heart wrenching. Two suicides, one perhaps because of the church and their hatred of Homosexuals, another because they do not believe in therapy of any kind. Then the church further shows their LGBT fear by kicking out the poor trans girl. This mother cannot let go of the dream/delusion Scientology offers. She must have so much pain locked away. She has no contact with any of her offspring? I am so glad Leah is getting great ratings with her show on A&E. I hope they do a season 2. There are plenty more stories to tell. As a side note, Nora rocks!

  • John Prince

    ..Well isn’t THAT a heartwarming Holiday tale of Family loyalty and good cheer to get your jingle bells jingeling ?ΒΏ exactly the kind of thing they should be broadcasting on SMP ,don’t you think? Since the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of scientology (barf!)I’m beaming ALL of my Super-DOOPER-fucking-kick-ass-Wog XXVII Powers to Everyone who is suffering from this so-called “disconnection”, You KNOW Blood is thicker than water ..NEVER GIVE UP! !! Please let Ms.Remini showcase this story in her Series to help tighten the noose around captain pissypants’ scrawny neck! TROUBLEMAKERS UNITE ..the End is NEAR

  • Jason Barclay

    Oh my god I know you guys!

    THats insane!

    This is Jason barclay and I went to that school with my twin Melissa for a few years till I was kicked out for trying to help, Carl?, get off of drugs and bring him to the church without telling Mike and June when nearly all of the kids knew.

    I’m so sorry for all of your losses, thank you so much for your story! By coming out like this you’re helping to get their ethics in over time and make a difference against them.

    Like how PAC base was forced to stop ‘the crazy things’ against the rpf due to ‘outside pr’

    If you ever need someone to talk to look me up!

  • Kaarli Makela