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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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  • madame duran

    *reads blog title*
    I have a feeling that today’s story will be a doozy.
    *prepares heart and mind for worst; makes cute baby animals video playlist on YouTube for back up*

    • Graham

      Yep. The title’s enough. I’m saving the text for later, when I’m feeling more robust.

      • Xenu’s son.


    • Newiga

      Kittehs, puppeehs and baby ducks are needed in the Bunker today.

      • Observer

        Observerhund and The Velociraptor right now (I have a weird work setup). They’d never disconnect.

        • MarcabExpat

          Thank you for that. I just want to hug everything right now. Like, walk outside and hug a stranger in the street. Godohgod.

          • Observer
            • MarcabExpat

              What these dogs have, that family couldn’t have.

            • LongtimeLurker

              Argh…that one made me tear up again.

            • Draco

              Your Hunds made me cry. So simple…another dog to love, a human to love and be loved by, food in the tummy and a warm bed or lap (or shoulder) to sleep in.

              And knowing when to give their human some extra love.

            • Observer

              They are far better than we are at identifying what’s important.

        • Newiga

          If you only knew how much I love doggos! 😍 Dachhund are in my Top 5 for sure.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Are you reaching over them to type?

          You’re outta control. : )

          I’m jealous.

    • Observer

      It’s even worse than it sounds.

  • George M. White

    Hubbard was mad and these stories prove it.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      oh, no, he was intelligent and charismatic! (sarcasm overflowing!)… uh, that ugly man in every way inside and out and his ugly teeth and foppish manner and speech! HE REEKS OF WHAT HE WAS in video and even in still photos! like miscavige, how in the world could anyone be in his presence for more then 5 minutes is utterly beyond me, even if i knew NOTHING about them or scientology!

      • Chewkacca

        Sometimes you CAN tell a book by its cover. SNOOURT!

        • Tracy Schmitz

          exactly! just like miscavige! i DEFY ANYONE with a shred of intelligence, common sense and life experience whether knew/know anything about him and scientology or not to watch his 1992 nightline interview with ted koppel and tell me that person DOESN’T ALSO REEK OF WHAT HE REALLY IS! COME ON PEOPLE! no way, no how, does he for a second resemble any religion/church/faith leader of morals, ethics, humility, humbleness, intelligence, holiness and so on and so on!…like i posted earlier, how in the world could ANYONE think hubbard and miscavige are “charismatic or even interesting or whatever is beyond me! likewise wanting to be in a room with them for more then 5 minutes!!…

  • Newiga

    Taking a peek at work. Read the headline and this “Marie’s is one of the more disturbing tales that we’ve heard.”

    I’m gonna cry, aren’t I? T_T

    • Rasha

      Yes. Because it is the cold metal meat grinder of Scientology being a key player in a story of human beings and their natural relationships. Proof that Scientology is indeed about survival, but definitely not they way they define it.

    • Observer

      Multiple boxes of Kleenex.

      • Betty

        I think help will come soon from unexpected sources.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      On a bright note…

      • Eivol Ekdal

        …nope…I got nothing, sorry.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          The only thing I can think to say is that at least the remaining siblings still have each other.

          • Eivol Ekdal

            Thanks Betty.

          • Rasha

            EP of Scientology: “At least we haven’t been completely devastated and destroyed! Some of us are still alive…”

            This is among the worst of stories that I have heard, as a never-in, and it is visceral. I just can’t.

          • MarcabExpat

            And they’re out.

    • MarcabExpat

      *wipes eyes* Just thank god you can. If you were on the Bridge, you’d be out-ethics for being “griefy.”

      • LongtimeLurker

        Wtf? Griefy is a thing?


        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          We never-ins first became aware of the word when Scientology finally released Laura DeCrescenzo’s PC folders to her legal team after a long battle (they claimed priest-penitent confidentiality but had to admit that something like 200 people had access to her folders) and Tony reprinted a letter Laura had written to her parents as a young teen describing the pain of her homesickness as “griefy” – and it literally broke our hearts. Then we learned from many of our exes that this is an actual Scientological term; perfectly fit for purpose, if you ask me.

          • LongtimeLurker

            Thanks A.

            I thought I remembered Laura’s letter, obviously not.

            Also, you just know if they admitted to 200 it was really 500.

            • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

              Good grief, you’re probably right.

        • Draco


          • LongtimeLurker

            Hubbard was just so disdainful of everything, y’know?

        • MarcabExpat

          “Griefy” is an awful, terrible real thing. It’s mentioned in the Laura DeCrescenzo papers. By age 12 she was working horrific SO hours, far from home and never seeing her family. She was continuously getting in trouble for missing them. She was trying her hardest to rid herself of this inappropriate emotion which was interfering with her work effectiveness. She underwent repeated sec checks as a teenager over continuing to miss and be in contact with her mother. At 18 she wrote herself up for the sin of continuing to be “griefy” with regard to not seeing her mom for years.

          • LongtimeLurker

            Missing home at 12 is inappropriate.

            I hate them.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    $cientology, I fucking HATE you.
    That last photo and the 90th birthday story are beyond tragic.
    Hubbard was a vile and evil man and his “Church” is in his image.
    DM is a fitting inheritor of the mantle of darkness.

    To Marie, to Nichola, to Sarah, all my love.
    Enjoy those children.
    Be patient in waiting for your mother.
    We will take this abomination down.

    • salin

      I try/tend not to be profane. But when I got to the part where one who knew (3 days after the suicide) chose a marriage counseling lecture as the Friday night (required) lecture … as I read alone with no one to hear – I blurted out aloud “.. fuckers” – and that was early on in this terribly upsetting article. Your words capture the sentiment perfectly.

      • Marie Bilheimer

        That’s pretty much how I felt at that moment.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      This poor, poor family. I want to scoop them up and somehow make everything better 🙁

    • Rasha

      To me, this is like a kitteh video, with enough spirit to keep me from sinking under the mire of this story of inhumanity…..

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        I needed this right now. One of my favourite videos.

      • Draco

        Wow – that is amazing! And you sent me down a starling rabbit hole 🙂
        This is what I suspect:
        “Starlings have been observed feeding on fermenting over-ripe fruit, which led to the speculation that they might become intoxicated by the alcohol.”

        They are partying hard!!

        • Rasha


          …and for different reasons:

          • Draco

            We have this major sardine runs coming in close to shore on our east coast. Everyone gets in on the act including the humans. They come out with bucket loads of sardines. I sometimes wonder if they know who is also feasting in that water!!

            • LongtimeLurker

              Like…the same giant death sharks we have, right?

            • Draco

              Lots of them and other sharks. Wouldn’t catch me dipping so much as a toe in those waters when the sardines are running.

            • LongtimeLurker


              Of course I’m only just getting over 3+ decades of unreasonable fear of water brought on by seeing Jaws at the age of 13, so what the hell do I know.

            • Rasha

              That’s worth considering, huh? ^_^ I am in awe of how a few simple rules can define and balance a process that is millions of years old. Like family units, mutual care and support, assistance… in other words, things that are NOT Scientology.

        • stillgrace2

          I’m wondering if they are sensitive to electro-magnetic waves and currents. Their movements remind me of the aurora borealis.

      • Graham

        There’s a stretch of moorland near us that’s famous for this. We’ve trekked over there the last three autumns and never seen a thing. The little buggers all sit on the electricity wires taunting us. The murmuration happens some time before dusk but we’ve never got the timing right. It evidently needs some patience.

        • Rasha

          I hope to see a murmuration someday. It must sound awesome. I used to live near a large wetland in Northern Ohio that was home to apparently scrillions of birds, who would all decide to leave on the same Autumn morning… it took all day…. ^_^

  • 0tessa

    Nothing I read about the evils of Scientology Inc doesn’t supprise me anymore. But what supprises me more and more is that government and other officials don’t interfere. That in a western, democratic civil society there is an esoteric group that can abuse and harm young and adult people how and when they see fit.
    The only avantage we have at this time is the internet and TV series like that of Leah Rimini and ex-followers who have the courage to go public. All this will help to bleed Scientology Inc dry. Public opinion is the only resort.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      exactly! i mean didn’t the government raid and destroy david koresh and his compound and his branch davidian cult in waco texas? meanwhile this evil abusive cult has done worldwide harm and u.s. harm to people for DECADES NOW! what’s the difference? waco had arms and threatened to use them and scientology has billions of dollars??…

  • Vault Digger

    It’s stories like these that reinforce why scientology must be radically reformed or just plain shut down, permanently.

  • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

    Scientology life can be crushing on top of its totalitarian PR image at all costs. Being in Scientology is a massive suffocating predicament keeping a person from getting outside saner information to see their lives better and get out of the rigid limitations Scientology imposes on them.

    So much to grieve over.

  • Xenu’s son.

    This story is the norm rather than the exception with Scientology’s second generation.
    Only the combination of the misfortune changes.
    Disconnection,suicides,multiple divorces,child abuse and neglect,sabotaged education,no marketable skills,no driver’s license,cannot acces the Internet,Freeloader debts,more suicides,lousy jobs after leaving the Sea Org,bankrupty,divorces,living in cars, dramatic escapes,interrogation,.
    The usual suspects are all there.
    Is it not time for the Justice department to get involved and send the Ankle Biter to jail where he belongs?

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    Disconnection. Permanent. So sorry.

  • Hamtaro

    A blog post about the only valid statistic of Scientology: # of lives destroyed.

    • Their VLC (valuable lives crushed) Stat is booming!

      • LongtimeLurker

        Straight up and terrible.

  • Jack99

    Heartbreaking. Scientology is what makes scientology look bad.

  • Sunny

    This story is horrifying. I am so sorry for this family and what they have been through. I only hope that those in this family who are still alive wake up and reconnect with the family that they still have.
    I did not know Aaron directly, but I worked with both of his parents when they were at CC. His dad was a Case Supervisor for a while, and his mom was the Director of Training for a while. Both nice people, but minds clouded by Scientology supposedly being “the only hope for man”.
    Something worth mentioning here is the view and attitude of suicide in Scientology. On a mental level, suicide is considered the ultimate make-wrong. Yes, you read that right. Someone who kills themselves is only trying to make others wrong and make themselves right. Everything about suicide is blamed on the person themselves. There is no other reason searched for in Scn.
    Digging a little more into it, (because I did that mountain of Scientology training and delivered Scn services for years), it is called a service computation. It is something that a person has in their mind that they survive off of. It is an irrational idea that can consume a person and make them make odd decisions in their life (in day to day, not specifically regarding killing themselves). Examples of these computations (which are not necessarily ones that make people kill themselves, but are just examples of what Scn thinks) : “People are idiots”, “Nobody listens to me”, “I am useless”. These things are supposedly running the persons day to day life, and, if not caught and addressed with Scientology counselling, can ruin them.
    I hope and pray that this family eventually has a happy ending.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      You’re always here to help us understand. I’m so thankful for you, Sunny.

    • MarcabExpat

      Sunny, I just really want to say how much I appreciate your postings here. I know people say that a lot, but they’re really important. Thank you for being here. Please keep being here.

    • DoveAlexa

      I wonder if LRH only wrote that ‘make wrong’ drivel up as a responce to Quentin…
      It certainly sounds like projection: write up a new rule to make-wrong the person who made you look wrong.

      • MarcabExpat

        “That stupid fucking kid! That stupid fucking kid! Look what he’s done to me!”

        –LRH, upon learning of his son’s suicide.

        • joan nieman

          That is deplorable. A psychotic man starts a religion and destroys decades of lives. He was a menace and a destroyer and it has the stamp of approval from the IRS. Looking at the big picture we all can see how evil and dangerous this entity is. I choose this very moment to thank Tony for this blog and all he has done to reveal the dark secrets of scientology. I also thank all the people of the bunker, lurkers included for caring about our brothers and sisters who have been affected in some way by this dark and devious organization. The bunker has opened the eyes to a lot of people and it really is quite amazing.

    • Bernie

      Yes, such a high importance was put on these computations! People could get all wound up about the idea of them, hidden away, causing them to act badly.

  • BeezleBobby

    Boy, that last family photo really packs a punch.

  • Jeb Burton

    The most homophobic people on earth. Bastards.

    • Peter

      I suspect the folks in ISIS would more likely hold that title. 🙁

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      Perhaps not the most, but certainly very homophobic.

  • Observer

    More blood on the hands of Lafayette and Miscavige.

    Another deluded fool of a poor excuse for a parent, sacrificing her kids on the altar of something that doesn’t exist.

    More devastated children (though I’m glad they have each other).

    More grandchildren who are free of Lafayette’s Abomination but will still feel its effects.

    I’m heartsick. Thank you for sharing, Marie. I’m so, so sorry.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      and more culpability by his silence is deafening stance public face of it, i’m first and foremost a scientologist, medal winner for being the most dedicated scientologist the leader knows and being his best buddy for 30 years and documented royally unethically, immorally, improperly, inappropriately ass kissed for 30 years cruise!..

  • madge filpot

    Scientology at it’s best. smh

  • ReallyMGM

    Going back a few weeks to Jon Attack. The greatest LRH LIE? That Scientology has all the answers. Obviously, it has very few. So damned sad.

    The only truthful answer is to RUN LIKE HELL.

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Scientology isn’t happy until they get all of you in line or force you out of your own family. This isn’t a religion, it’s a disease.

    Think about this under-the-radars & fence-sitters: If CoS can’t even help those who are happily goose stepping along with the program, are they really “saving the planet?” What happens when it’s your children, or your marriage, or your family, or your life? Walk away today…it is never too late to get out and find freedom. There is support waiting for you out here.

    • Frodis73

      All of this lurkers…think about it, please!!

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        And think about this too please: There ARE ways for you to help this planet and the people on it. You probably got so involved because you wanted to help in some way.

        You can do that and so much more out here, and no one will charge you to do it and no one will tear your family apart if you decide a particular cause is no longer for you. Hell, you can help multiple causes at once. All of whom will be happy to show you where your money goes.

        We need you out here….More than they need you in there!!

        • PickAnotherID

          ^^^ What she said. No one except me had any say in my going to Standing Rock instead of staying warm here in the Bunker. It was MY decision, not some “Senior in charge of postings”. And when I decided to come back, all I heard was, “Have a good trip.”, or “Stay safe on the roads.” No one tried to stop me, or presented a bill for firewood, they just went on with their lives and let me get on with mine. And outside of $cientology, you can too.

          • LongtimeLurker

            ^^^Take note, lurkers.

        • Frodis73

          Very well said!!

          • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

            I just want them all to leave Frodis. Period. I want all the power that Miscavige has to no longer be effective. I want him left alone, ranting to his lawyers (they’ll be getting paid so they’ll still be there) and having zero affect whatsoever. And hopefully some static from the Feds too. ; )

            • Frodis73

              I’m with you!

    • Xenu’s son.

      Warren Buffet said.The energy that is expended fixing a leaking vessel could be best extended going into another boat.Stop lurking start jumping.

  • Dibythesea

    I can’t stop shaking my head.
    THIS F…ing cult!
    THIS IS WHY! When my friends and family ask why I am so involved and invested in this subject, I will direct them to this post (and many others).

    • Tracy Schmitz

      me too, and i direct them to this site and others and youtube channels and the books and documentaries and so on..

    • Xenu’s son.

      I must have read say 1000 stories like this My story from inside scientology had 500 or so last time i checked.Read them all.
      But sometthing in this story is different.
      Leah on tuesday hitit outofthe ballpark and mike rrinder was better than Icould have imagined.
      Why:Professionls involved.
      surprise:Today.Undergroundbunker roseto a newlevel in tune with how we think aboutthins in 2016.
      Observation:As the little ankle biterr gets more stuckin hiss printing presses and walkmens the bitterdefrocked apostates like tony are getting better and better at telling the story in a way people in 2016 can understand and relate to.Called case gain.
      Out of all the articles in the Undergroundbunker this one seems to be the one to send to politicians and people still invested in this subject.

      • Dibythesea

        This story needs to go viral! I don’t have enough followers on Twitter that don’t already read this blog. Maybe Leah will tweet about this

  • Sejanus

    No point in being subtle after reading that…

    Fuck you Cult!

  • dreamcatcher

    I need a drink. a big one.
    *wipes away tears*

    • Newiga

      I have vino tinto en mi casa. Wish you could visit and help me get rid of it.

      • Betty

        Wow as a mother I am having a hard time understanding her thinking. “Grandchildren are God’s reward for getting old’ is true.

  • Meepthorp

    There are MANY more family stories of how scientology systematically destroys lives and rips apart parents, children, siblings and all the rest. I hope more people come forward and expose the truths behind the lies spewed by scientology and its mind-controlled followers.

  • Jeb Burton

    Remember when everybody was worried about the Garcia case? That was the big story back in the day. Seems pretty trivial now. By the way, is he still suing? Who cares.

    • MarcabExpat

      It all matters, Jeb. The reason the Garcia case was important wasn’t about him specifically, it was about setting a legal precedent. If people could successfully sue because their money was fraudulently obtained by Scientology, think about how huge a win that would be in taking down the Cherch. Just think about that. Remember, it’s the money that enables them to keep going and keep destroying people (and their reason for destroying people is to protect the money flow). Make them financially liable, dry up the income, and the whole house of cards falls down. Just think on that.

      • Kim O’Brien

        yeah …they are just SUCH good people . They were still whales just a couple of years ago . Blindly handing over hundreds of thousands of dollars so they could be more important than everyone else . Whoops …no super powers .

        I’m rooting for Laura . The Garcia’s can suck it

        • MarcabExpat

          Welp, I gotta say you did completely miss the point I was making there, but maybe you meant to reply to Jeb, in which case your reply would have more continuity.

    • PickAnotherID

      Last I remember, the Judge sent them back to keep trying to find ‘$cientologists in good standing’ who would be “fair and impartial” arbitors. Like that’s going to happen in our lifetimes.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    When I see “Scientology, it’s even worse than you think” in the headline I know to approach the story with caution because what I’m about to read will be awful. I’m reading this through tears and a sore heart.

    To have deliberately kept the news of poor Aaron’s tragic suicide contained within such a small number of people shows an extraordinary paranoia from Scientology, and speaks of a very guilty conscience. And the horror just continues and builds from there…

    Thank you, Tony, for doing Marie’s, Sarah’s, Alison’s and Nichola’s stories justice; and not just theirs, but all those interwoven lives that were touched by the worst kind of tragedy through their connection with Scientology: Aaron, Johnny and their families. So much death, so much pain. So many lives cut short, wasted at the altar of L.Ron Hubbard.

    Scientology, you are complicit in misery.

    N.B. To hit Maria with a freeloader debt of $160,000 at the age of 21 because her grief forced her to leave the SO compounds Scientology’s evil to a horrifying degree.

    • Kestrel

      It’s sadistic.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Bingo! We have a winner.

        The way Scientology takes advantage of grieving people sounds like something straight out of a textbook about sadists. This is a sick, demented organization.

    • Frodis73

      You are right about the title…when I saw that my heart sank…I said to myself, oh no, if Tony is saying that in the title what the hell am I about to read!?

      • Draco


    • John Prince

      You’re so RIGHT, Andrea! I can only Echo your words. As a never-in, it’s extremly hard to fathom how Somebody could so turn their Back on their own children-siblings-parents in favor of this obvious Lunacy known as scientology (damn it, you made me spell the whole stinking word! )

  • Xenu’s son.

    Wonder if the justice department could do something under RICO?

    • Observer

      I’m sure they can. The real question is “will they?”

      • Xenu’s son.

        Not a lawyer.
        Which RICO charge?
        Which precedent?
        John Q Capitalist for sure would have something smart to say on this.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Scientology has committed roughly 50% of the crimes covered by RICO, imho.

          Including, but not limited to;

          Obstruction of justice
          Criminal copyright infringement
          Money laundering and related offenses (Lurker thinks they probably do this, but has no proof)
          Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country
          Acts of terrorism

          * A pattern of racketeering requires at least two acts of racketeering activity, the last of which must occur within ten years.
          No problem there.

          * NOTE – one of the most successful applications of the RICO laws is to indict individuals for actions against witnesses and victims in retaliation for cooperating with law enforcement.

          Scientology’s specialty.


          1 – RICO suits have been filed against Catholic dioceses, using anti-racketeering laws to prosecute highers-up for abuses committed by those under their authority.

          2 – the Michael Milken case. After Milken was indicted for racketeering and fraud relating to insider trading his employer, Drexel Burnham Lambert, was threatened with RICO charges under the legal doctrine that corporations are responsible for employees’ crimes.

          They only avoided charges by plea-bargaining.

          3 – Pro-life activists

          RICO laws were cited in a suit brought by the National Organization for Women seeking damages against pro-life activists who physically blocked access to abortion clinics.

          The Court found that a RICO enterprise does not need an economic motive. therefore the Pro-Life Action Network qualified as a RICO enterprise.

          4 – Defendants were indicted on RICO charges for assisting the health care provider AccessHealthSource to obtain lucrative contracts with govt departments in Texas;

          “through bribery of and kickbacks to elected officials, extortion under color of authority, fraudulent schemes and artifices, false pretenses, promises and representations and deprivation of the right of citizens to the honest services of their elected local officials”.

          That quote could be about Scientology

          5 – Art Cohen vs. Donald J. Trump. A 2013 class action suit accused Donald Trump of misrepresenting Trump University “to make tens of millions of dollars” but delivering “neither Donald Trump nor a university.”

          Exactly like Scientology doesn’t deliver anything.

          • Xenu’s son.

            Wow Longtime.Here you might have found the fix to all this stuff that is making our blood boil.And you get one upvote

            • LongtimeLurker

              Well, I’m not saying anything people don’t know, and also unfortunately I can’t make it happen.

              I mainly put that information there in case people wanted some facts to argue things on social media or IRL.

              Hopefully it didn’t come across as me being a smart-ass.

              Which wasn’t my intent.

              (Also, I’m not John P. In fact I think our opinions probably differ on everything except Scientology.)

    • LongtimeLurker

      It’s absolutely RICO. No doubt.

  • Xenu’s son.

    I can’t get that last family photo out of my head.It’s haunting me.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      You’re right. That last photo, with the smiling faces, the serene lake and gorgeous mountains behind, juxtaposed against the caption beneath it, is one of the worst things I’ve seen here.

      • Xenu’s son.

        Sorry I am still trying to get that photo out of my head.It is getting more solid after over 2 hours.
        In reading the comments on the forum I am reading a tone that I have never read before.
        Seems I am not the only one walking around with some blown fuses.

  • MarcabExpat

    Oh god.

  • Peter

    One of the saddest scio stories I’ve ever read. 🙁

    • MarcabExpat

      And that’s saying a lot.

  • Narapoid

    Oh my, to choose not see your remaining children and bouncing grand babies over that bullshit sci-fi story is so horrible, that words escape me.

    For June the future is the hoo hah at best, and horror if she snaps out of it for the squandered precious time with those who really matter. The kids didn’t have a choice in being around Scientology, but their children will NOT be.

    That is why this damned thing is dying, but not nearly fast enough.

  • FredEX2

    So many tears reading this. Can’t even post anything else right now. Maybe I can put into words something more…later.

    I’m so sorry Marie,…for so many losses in your young life, too much for most to bear. I wish I could hug you. But somehow that doesn’t seem to be enough. ❤️

  • Graham

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

    Heart-breaking. I have no words.

  • Len Zinberg

    Scientology is beyond indecent.
    There are no words.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      it’s a beautiful religion! i wouldn’t be where i am without it!” per… i don’t know, haven’t seen, haven’t read, haven’t heard, haven’t experienced ANYTHING bad personally (gee, i wonder why?) or otherwise! nope, nada, zilch, nothing! i occassionally when i’m not playing make believe 24/7 hear some “rumblings” but it’s just noise to me,,, i’m sure it’s just noise and the 1,2,3 people who are talking (yes, it’s only a couple of people!) are lying and bad people anyway…..

  • Panopea Abrupta

    I wish June could read Bare Faced Messiah.
    I wish she could learn the truth about the fraud
    for which she has lost her self and her family.

    Lord Hubris said he was a hero,
    Bombing subs – there were zero.
    With his injuries ethereal
    And discharges venereal,
    He said he’d make the planet clear-o

    Bought some boats on Parson’s dime,
    He married thrice – bigamy’s a crime.
    With chutzpah elephantine
    And his scam quite byzantine,
    Somehow he never did do time

    When things got hot, he took to sea
    Across the waves, on his crime spree
    Locker, death, overboarding –
    Gaily on, obscenely hoarding,
    Falsely promising to make them free

    Paranoid, he ordered Snow White
    And spying deep into the night
    His plot came tumbling down
    And ElRon once again left town
    Abandoning his jailed wife, in fright

    At a Creston ranch in his caravan
    Alone, insane, this crazy man –
    Obese, unkempt and ill –
    Dr. Denk’s needle and pill
    Did his mad ravings barely ban

    Family trumps everything.
    Thank Xenu there are children in this heart-wrenching story
    who will be raised out.

  • Kim O’Brien

    oh my god . i just …..i am floored . I am so so sorry . This is just insanity . I have been reading about all of this for years and years …and for some reason i am crying my eyes out about this family .

    fuck you scientology . you are an asshole

  • Silence of the Clams

    Not to dismiss all of the incredible reporting you do Tony, but this poor woman’s story sounds so much like a re-run of hundreds of other stories we’ve heard with this evil cult. Every time I see a pic of these Sea Org people in their fake Navy uniforms I am caught between laughing at how ridiculous they look and angry that we humans havent evolved enough to shed the notion you have to believe in the unbelievable to explain the unexplainable.

    I sincerely hope Leah’s efforts with her show bear fruit with those inside, those yet recruited and perhaps most importantly, those in law enforcement. Would someone in government please grow a pair of balls and do something about these jerk offs?

    • Tracy Schmitz

      great post.. “to believe in the unbelievable to explain the unexplainable” and yes, your last sentences hit the nail on the head! someone?! anyone?!…

    • Xenu’s son.

      Well said.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    If Scientology is the “one great hope for mankind”, how do they explain how very afraid they are of anyone or anything that doesn’t fit precisely in to the small conformity cage they have erected around themselves? They are scared of their own shadows, and the victims are those non-conformers who they first convince are aberrations, then shun when they have removed all other support networks. They take you, they break you, they discard you.

    • Kim O’Brien

      hey man …i am a firm believer that the tech works when you apply it correctly
      all religions have their own form of ” disconnection ”
      Leah is just describing her OWN experience …does not mean that scientology does not work

      something like that maybe ? ugh .

      • Princess Squishy

        I know they say that, but so many do not have anything like Disconnection. I think Catholics have excommunication but I think they are relatively lax on their shunning, and Jehovah Witnesses has Disfellowshipping which requires shunning of the person disfellowshipped, and I don’t know about any other religions other than my own which is Seventh Day Adventists (though I’m not actively going to church), and I’ve never heard anything about any kind of shunning. We probably have people that are removed from our membership numbers but those people are still able to come to church and we are still allowed to interact with them.

        • Kim O’Brien

          i actually called my dioceses to see if i could get excommunicated . no luck

          • Princess Squishy

            It’s pretty hard to get yourself removed from the SDA member lists too. They want to keep you on their lists so they can count your in their membership. They’ll let you transfer your membership to a different Adventist church if you want, but otherwise they’ll count you forever practically. I moved out of Michigan 8.5 years ago and I’m still on the list for the Michigan church. They contacted me a year or two ago so they could update my address in their address book.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      This status/LRH quote was posted on Scientology London’s Facebook page earlier this year. The hypocrisy disgusts me. F5

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Hey LondonCoS, I’m guessing you won’t let Derek or Nora on the premises to “explain” it to them will you?

        You can float all the hot air you please but you wither in the face of truth…..every time.

        • PickAnotherID

          You changed your avi! Cute bow.

          • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

            Me and Blue Dog are tolerating Christmas for those we love this year. 😀

            • Draco

              The christmas spirit eludes me too. That’s why I am hiding in a sock.

      • LongtimeLurker

        It feeds on regulating the private lives of members. It grows fat and hateful on regulating private lives.

        And whenever posted that goddam knows it, too.


      • PickAnotherID

        El Rum left off, “P.S. I lie a lot.”, at the end.

      • BosonStark

        Hubbard made good money, especially in the early years of Dianutty, by convincing gay people that homosexuality was, like leukemia etc., an engram. Hundreds of gays flocked to the cult for the cure, even if it wasn’t explicit in their literature. It was all the answers to overcoming that weak father and overbearing mother, which made them gay in the first place, they thought. The switch of feelings was always supposed to take place at the next level or a higher level. How could you still be gay if you were able to leave your physical body at will?

        “Full tolerance,” meaning LRH encouraged gay people to dump their life savings on trying to get rid of their homosexuality, and raise their tone level.

        Of course, today, it’s just known for providing beards for rich celebrities, and a high rate of driving gays to suicide or away from their families.

      • Draco

        I think my eyes just rolled to the back of my head.
        And what happens when that gay person starts reading dianetics or science of survival? In BLACK AND WHITE hubbard will tell them they are perverts, 1.1 and never to be trusted. In fact they should calmly be disposed of without sorrow or regret.
        Their lies are so fucking stupid, it hurts!

      • Phil McKraken

        Let’s break that down just a bit…

        It HAS NEVER BEEN any part of my plans to regulate … the private lives …

        Therefore all FORMER RULES … (etc) relating to to sexual activities … ARE CANCELLED.

        Would you buy a used toothbrush from this guy? If it has never been part of his plans, then how did it happen? You can’t just let a person who is asking for your money and your trust say something so utterly and obviously contradictory and not get a further explanation. Let’s try this on for size: “I didn’t intend to pry open your cash box with a crowbar and steal the contents, because that’s just not the kind of thing I want to be associated with. So, in all magnanimity, I am cancelling theft as official policy (but not really).”

        Yes, Hubbard was a charlatan. but at some point, you have to wonder if the people who read and swallow this slop care one bit if their beliefs are true. Hubbard is calling himself a liar in plain sight, and they just can’t see it.

        Has anyone watched Westworld in HBO? The hosts (robots) are programmed to simply not see things that would be disturbing to their machine psyches, due to interrupting the narrative loops within which they exist. For instance, if a host finds a photograph of a woman standing in Times Square, they would not see anything — it would look blank. That’s the kind of programming that goes into making a Scientologist.

      • ze moo

        Lron, not the first lying liar who lies, but one of the ‘best’ ones.

      • J. Swift

        Look at the Cult trying to prove that Hubbard was progressive and ahead of his time. What BS. This is the same hypocrisy as when the Cult shows photos of Hubbard with his Black house servants in Rhodesia. The Cult spins it like Hubbard was enlightened because his household staff was Black. But look at what Hubbard wrote in such a racist and condescending way about a Black man named Jamble, one of his household staff:

        For instance, my boy Jamble … I used to tell him “yes, I know Jamble — you’re a good boy even though you do drink and smoke dacca and gamble — that has nothing to do with me, you’re still a good boy” and you know he came way up tone arm. I noticed he drank less and I think he stopped smoking dacca entirely but he didn’t stop gambling because Master used to give him a pound to go out to the race track and lose.

        …tremendous labour supply in the Bantu, the Mshombe, the Matabele, these people are very hard-working people and under proper direction are quite productive. … and here is this perfectly valid labour supply — the African, who at this time is not being well utilised at all; … –L. Ron Hubbard, Conference with the Guardian, 18 July 1966

        …But they served with great enthusiasm. Those people sure can work. The African sure can work. That’s one thing nobody has ever quite noticed about them. They are very hard-working people. –L. Ron Hubbard, “About Rhodesia”, lecture given on 19 July 1966

        Hubbard created sec checks and life history forms that invasively demand Scientologists to list every act of masturbation, every sexual experience, and every thought one was having during orgasm.

        LGBT people are not welcome in Scn unless they engage in self-hatred, stay closeted, and endure the incredible homophobia and transphobia of Scientology. A Scientology OT once told me in 2005, and he was very much in the Church, how disgusting and 1.1 gay men having sex was and how gay men were degraded beings. He could not accept the reality that two men could truly love each other and want to be married and spend their lives together as a couple. All this idiot could see was the sex and his own Scientology bias against it.

        Scientology lies about everything.

  • Graham

    Scientology’s been the punch-line to a joke for some time now. When is it going to be the effective focus of righteous anger?

    I’m re-posting this link to an article on how to get a message across to your Congressman/woman:

    Some points from the article:

    Writing a letter to [your Congressman/woman’s] district office (state) is better than sending an email or writing a letter to DC.

    The most effective thing is to actually CALL THEM ON THE PHONE. At their district (State) office. They [ie a staffer] have to talk to you there.

    If you want to talk to your rep, show up at town hall meetings. Get a huge group that they can’t ignore. Pack that place and ask questions. We held town halls consistently that fewer than 50 people showed up for. And it was always the same people. So, shake it up.

    If you run an advocacy group, invite local staffers to show up to your events. Let them talk to people you work with and set up meetings. [Sounds like it would be a good idea to take the time to cultivate a named staffer at your representative’s State office].

    • Kim O’Brien

      none of that matters when mothers just dump their families . I will write my rep about things that they can actually make a difference on. Not this .

      • Xenu’s son.

        If we had someone like Nick Xenophon in Australia it would make a difference.
        It is with efforts like yours that we hopefully eventually will get one.

      • MadisonAgain

        Actually, it would help if it caused an investigation into Scientology abuses and non-profit status violations. If the FBI showed up at Flag,vCelebrity Center, Big Blue, Hemet, and etc. it would make a huge fucking difference. Small steps lead to big actions.

        • Kim O’Brien

          i disagree . the FBI would show up and everyone there would lie their asses off and say everything was great . Tax exemption has zero to do with the way this woman is treating her family ….and taking it away would do nothing IMO . She wants super powers and knowing her grandchildren is just not important to her at all .

  • BosonStark

    Scientology is a cult, but its money and structure give it added institutional powers over kids who are unfortunate enough to be raised in it, especially those with extra hurdles, like being L, G, T or B. I’m saying the Scientology schools and rules, and policies all make it seem like an established institution for those who grow up in it and enter something like the Sea Org.

    My mother went crazy for Jay-zus, while I was still trapped at home in high school, but I wasn’t drawn into indentured slavery, sec-checking, and the rest of a trap like Scientology. I had the advantage of being raised Catholic and was able to see how fucked up that group is, starting when I was a five or six years old. No one in authority was able to give a straight answer which made sense.

    So, when reading the Bible for myself and seeing that it was a mess and lacked credibility, I had even more questions. The Bible is written by people of the time, and includes genocide approved and encouraged by God (Old Testament), fear-mongering about Hell (New Testament), nonsensical ideas that existed 2000+ years ago, ideas about sacrificing animals, people, and crops to please the creator, and I was able to extricate myself from the matrix.

    If God is so omniscient, it might have been helpful if he slipped something in his Word about the germ theory of disease, for example? Would that be too much to ask? I also think making people in His image is another stunningly stupid concept, and very shallow and narcissistic of humans to think that up. So Christianity didn’t have any scientific authority, or nuclear physicists like L. Ron Hubbard to back it up.

    The big advantage over most sects of Christianity over Scientology is that it allows doubt, questioning and in this century, you can usually leave it behind without major consequences like disconnection from your parents.

    • Germ theory: There is “cleanliness is next to godliness”, but God should have included a FAQ with that.

      • BosonStark

        Examine the following passages in the Bible: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

        It was noticed that some of the disciples were not washing their hands before eating, as was customary as part of Jewish ritual. Hand washing was a Jewish ritual and non-Jews and Jews alike hadn’t made the connection between it and disease. Dirt was dirty, and cleanliness was part of spiritual purity. Disease was demonic possession, according to early Christians, and Christians for hundreds of years after.

        So when asked about the disciples not washing their hands, Jesus said something to the effect that it not being important to wash, because it was what came out of your mouth that is more important, what you speak.

  • Jeb Burton

    The e-meter should be renamed the you’re fucking lying to me meter. Sounds like it takes a really special kind of asshole to be an auditor.

    • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

      What do you know about being an auditor Jeb? Forget the meter. DM has highly discouraged this activity and successfully too.

  • SarahDB

    No words today, pass the kleenex

    • PickAnotherID

      I’ll bet if you could get at their books you’d find they’re mixing the ‘Montessori Preschool’ money into the ASS pot.

      • They should be sending 4-10% of gross income up the bridge for license fees, and well as various other tricks for extracting money. Like having staff redo basic courses like Student Hat, or buying books and materials from Delphian School aka Heron Books.

        I haven’t looked carefully at the 990s to see where they say the money is going.

  • TheMirrorThetan

    This is why.
    How many more deaths. How much more incredible pain and heartbreak do people have to go through before the US government gets off their rich, fat, privileged, useless, selfish arseholes and DO something.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      only in america, where freedom of religion (and the 2nd amendment) trumps EVERYTHING even laws, legality and common sense and morality…..sometimes i wish we were a dictatorship or monarchy, then perhaps something would be done and would have been done decades ago!..

      • LongtimeLurker

        I wish (don’t wish) that were true.

        If the US shut it down tomorrow, it would still exist in the UK, large swathes of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa etc.

        Having said that, if the US lead the way, it might make it easier for everyone else to do what’s right.

        • Graham

          “it would still exist in the UK”. Not really. A couple of thousand with minimal prospect of gaining new recruits. A country as cynical as this, where many people are mildly embarrassed to even admit they are a main-stream Christian, is not fertile ground for a nutty cult.

          • LongtimeLurker

            Australia has that or fewer, I’d say, but personally I’d be concerned if there were only 10 left on the planet.

            Because they’d still be trying to suck people in and they’d still be denying past crimes and they’d still be hurting the weak and each other.

        • Tracy Schmitz

          personally (what do i know though!) i think if the i.r.s. puled the plug on their tax exemption and cruise left it denounced it and spoke out publicly against it, it would one heck of a domino effect…

          • LongtimeLurker


            Even just the IRS thing would be enough to make them freak out, regroup, footbullet and just generally screw up.

            As well as eating into the profits of course.

  • Simi Valley

    Typical macabre story of the death and destruction that $ickentology leaves in its wake.

    • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

      So true Simi!

  • PickAnotherID

    Mornin’ Bunker Bugs. And here I was, foolishly hoping for an, “IRS to Investigate $cientology Because of ‘Aftermath'” headline my first morning back. Not sure if there’s enough kittehs and puppies on the net for todays stories. Only good thing is my rage has finally gotten the chill out of my bones.

    • Draco

      Nice to have you back 🙂
      Yeah – pretty horrible story to come back to…

  • Frodis73

    Holy fucking shit. Why am I shocked? No, I am not shocked…I am disgusted.
    Tony-I just love, love, love these long stories you occasionally are able to get into btw.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    Perhaps it’s a good idea to post suicide prevention contact details; anyone Googling “suicide” today may very well end up on this page. Here in the UK that would be the Samaritans.

    Crisis line numbers:

    116 123 (UK)
    116 123 (ROI)

    PS. If anyone needs to talk I would be glad to listen and help if I can. Just send me a message on an old comment.

    • VickiStubing

      In the US:

      Suicide Prevention Lifeline

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Thanks so much, Vicki.

    • Princess Squishy

      Also this is the Trevor Project Suicide Line (for LGBTQ youth and young adults): 866-488-7386
      “The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.”
      And if you want to text: “Text “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available on Thursdays and Fridays between 4:00pm – 8:00pm EST/1:00pm – 5:00pm PT”

      At this page there is also info for how to instant message chat with them

  • FredEX2

    Dear Marie,

    You have been thru enough hurtful experiences that would drop a football team to their knees. And here you are with your precious light still shining.

    My own beautiful funny much beloved daughter with whom I used to be close, has disconnected from me, and I’ve missed her so terribly. I’m also at the age where many Mothers become Grandmothers,…and I would love to have that opportunity someday.

    I am in need of a daughter…and would love a couple of cute little grandchildren to spoil. Although I can never take the place of your own Mom, if you need a motherly-type surrogate or just a friend…I am here. In spite of what Scientology says about family being a distraction and having little importance in our lives… that could not be farther from the truth. Our bonds with family and friends matter so much. I am sad that you are alone at a time you need a mother the most. Tony has my contact info. If you ever feel lonely, or just want to talk…I think you’d be surprised how many of us would be there for you. This includes me too. I have many hugs and am here if you ever need someone to listen. ❤️


    • MissCandle

      You are a kind person. I hope Marie takes you up on your offer. A surrogate mom is still a mom.

    • Missionary Kid

      Bless you FredEX2. There are times in our lives that we all need family, or can act as family. While it isn’t exactly the same as one’s biological family, sometimes it can function as such and provide the needed nurturing and support that may be lacking. It can be a rewarding experience for both the needy and the provider.

      It has hit me at different times that the Bunker is a sort of extended electronic family. I’ve got some people in my life that I love and have adopted because of the Bunker. Bless all of you who are a part of the extended Bunker family.

      • Rasha

        BFF – Bunker Fam Foreveh.

      • MarcabExpat

        Ditto. When I went to Clearwater it felt like a family reunion.

      • FredEX2


      • Jeb Burton

        Even the bad uncles?

        • MadisonAgain

          Dont give up on trying to redeem yourself. An apology for being a twit would help.

    • MarcabExpat

      You are the best, FredEX2.

    • LongtimeLurker

      I’ve got…something…in my big, manly eye.


      • Draco

        Oh puh-leeze!
        That big manly eye of yours got blown out of the water forever ago!
        You’rs a marshmallow, and we all know it.

        • LongtimeLurker


          • Draco

            The Observerhunds got to me too…

            • LongtimeLurker


      • April

        It’s those ninjas chopping onions at my house again.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Hate those guys.

    • aquaclara

      I hope Marie and Sarah take you up on this….what a lovely offer.

    • April

      Awww, hugs to you FredEX2.

    • daisy

      xoxoxoxo you are something.

      • FredEX2

        … 😘 …

    • Marie Bilheimer

      I might just take you up on that! It was hard to speak out, but the outpour of support it definitely helping. Thank you.

      • FredEX2

        Marie, I sincerely mean it. Should you need me, or just want to talk…I’m here, and only a phone call away! ❤️

  • PickAnotherID

    Just noticed, today is: (f5)

    The world’s looking at you Miscavige. And not just today with ‘Aftermath’ on your case.

  • Xenu’s son.

    The suicide rate amongst staff,ex staff and young beginning Scientologist must be about 10 times higher than you would expect for that age group.A rough guess would be that there are 10.000 staff or recently ex staff left.
    Expected suicide rate for them would be 4 per 10.000.
    If you read this a factor 5 to 10 higher than normal.
    And 90% of the suicides can be reasonbly be traced to the Scientology system.

    • Xenu’s son.

      As a guess bankrupty rate of people in Scientology must be about 10 times higher.
      Logical if you keep on putting IAS statusses on a credit card because you know that you with the new status will make more money.
      Usually your income goes down because your job is this stupid thing you only do to make money.
      People with that attitude usually see their performence and income go down.
      EP of IAS.Bankrupty.(good example Ritchy Acunto)

      • Xenu’s son.

        Divorce rates of people going up the bridge I guess double.Easy because the reason it is not happening is aha you guessed it your spouse.Be brave:Disconnect!

    • Mockingbird

      A stat that is rapidly rising in Scientology. Proof of its true results.

  • LongtimeLurker

    RIP for all the dead.

    Prayers and thoughts for all the disconnected.

  • RandomSP

    Wow, that story has a lot of moving parts. I think I need a flow chart.

    PS, one of my “In” friends called me yesterday to tell me he had watched the Leah Remini show 🙂

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      What did he think?

      • RandomSP

        Chip chip chip away. He is a major apologist and has always denied my telling him that Miscavige is an evil S.O.B. but he might be coming around.

        • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

          Actually watching Leah’s show is a huge step in the right direction.

  • MarcabExpat

    CLICK THE HEART, people. The world needs to see this.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Totally forgot.

      Thank you.

      • MarcabExpat

        I blame how weird it feels to click a “Love” symbol because of something you totally hate.

        • LongtimeLurker

          Yeah. Maybe I blocked it out.

    • Princess Squishy

      I need this reminder almost every day. Some days I remember to do it all by myself like a grown up, but those are rare

  • Aaron Smith-Levin

    It’s incredible that Marie has come forward with this story. I was in the Sea Org at PAC when Aaron committed suicide. All I knew of Aaron is that he was a good-looking guy who had a reputation for always being in trouble, but was married to someone at CMO IXU, which was kind of a big deal, because CMO IXU is as close as you can get to Int Management without actually being promoted to Int. CMO IXU is the CMO unit that supervises middle managment. Aaron was just a low-level staff member at AOLA, one of the local service orgs.

    I remember when people started asking where Aaron had gone. The security guards would literally say,
    “What do you mean? I don’t know. He’s around. Aaron’s not missing”, like literally twilight zone shit. You’re supposed to think you’re nuts for thinking Aaron’s missing.

    Then later on, when I was working for Kurt Feshbach, I hired a guy who had just left the Sea Org after spending over 10 years as a security guard outside the ASI building on Hollywood Blvd. His name was Bart Zacks. Really good guy. Bart also lived at the Hollywood Inn. One day Bart tells me the story of how he (Bart) found Aaron Poulin hanging from the rafters at the HI, and he’d left a note, so it wasn’t an accident.

    I could not fucking believe it; that someone I knew, someone I had been in the Sea Org with, had taken his own life years earlier, and that it had been 100% successfully covered up.

    Because of learning this…that the Church would cover up a death even of someone who was IN GOOD STANDING and was IN THE SEA ORG, and cover it up from PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY WERE ALSO IN GOOD STANDING and WERE HIS FRIENDS…this was part of what drove me to secretly message Karen de la Carriere when I found out her son Alex had died. I thought, “They’re not going to fucking tell her…”.

    Not only did the Church not tell her; they actively conducted an investigation to find out WHO DID.

    Man, this shit is crazy. Thank you Marie for telling your story today. It all helps.

    • Dibythesea

      Wow Aaron, I didn’t know/remember that it was you who told Karen about her son. That was so brave!

      • ExCult.Jan

        …brave, and humane and caring and compassionate.

        • richelieu jr

          Wait! I know this one, Alex! “What is: Three adjectives that could never describe a True Scilon, and which that Fat Asshat and Bilious Blowhard Hubbard could look up In A million dictionaries MU-ing till the Cows come Clear, but could never truly understand?”

    • Mockingbird

      In Scientology you don’t matter, your feelings don’t matter, it’s a cult and you are only a slave to live and die to serve Hubbard originally and now Miscavige. Slaves don’t have rights.

      • Aaron Smith-Levin

        “The group is all and the individual is nothing” might as well be the slogan for Scientology.

        • Draco

          It is. It’s just worded a bit differently:
          “The greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics”. One person and their little 1st or 2nd dynamic don’t weigh much against that.

        • Mockingbird

          All for Miscavige and Miscavige only for Miscavige !

        • Mockingbird

          Once a group denies the value, worth and dignity of people it’s abusive and destructive. It can do this to its own members or outsiders. It can do it to women, men, children, religious, racial or ethnic minorities. It can do it to people based on wealth or sexual identity. Any choice to dispense with the existence of people or put doctrine over person as Robert Jay Lifton described is totalistic and violates human rights up to the right to live.

    • Chee Chalker

      DId they find out it was you who told Karen (that is, if you were he first one to tell her)?

      • Aaron Smith-Levin

        They never found out until I publicly disclosed it on either this blog or a video.

        Daniel, the former Chief Public MAA at Flag, really was quite incompetent at his job. So is Tera in OSA Flag.

        • Chee Chalker

          You’re a good egg Aaron!
          As for those Co$ bastards…..there is a special place in Hell for people who destroy families.

          • FredEX2

            They’ve been known to destroy the families of those they target who aren’t even Scientologists too….Many years ago when they thought the Mayor of Clearwater, …Gabe Cezares, was in the way of CoS’s take over of Clearwater…they made up rumors that he was married to another woman and even manufactured other stories and fake ‘evidence’ that looked pretty real…and somehow managed to cause doubt and upset with his son and wife…let alone his colleagues & public. Their whisper campaigns worked well to harm his relationships with his family and supporters. They harmed his reputation and did everything to get him out of office if they couldn’t control him by other tactics…and most of it was based on complete lies.

            Of course there’s the case of Paulette Cooper…they even found a way to get pages of her diary expressing youthful angst and arranged for it to be seen by her parents…to hurt them and attempt to discredit Paulette to her own parents…and of course they ‘befriended her…while at the same time trying to destroy her & her real friendships thru making up false whispers and suggestions that she was crazy or a criminal who sent them a ‘bomb threat’…by manufacturing this fake ‘evidence’ on a piece of stationary with her fingerprints on it.

            There are other families that OSA & their volunteers have deliberately split apart thru ‘befriending’ family members & friends of a target and influencing them with lies and whispers of ‘crimes’ or ‘craziness’ etc…( the usual hideous evil stuff they say )…in order to get them to distance or outright convince them to disconnect from the target in order to isolate them from those that they love and count on for support. ~Like the family of a little mother who wrote a law about ‘Putting Kids First’…for instance….

            Such a ‘Beautiful’…just really beautiful…’religion’

            • Chee Chalker

              I wished they had included the story about how they wanted Nick Lister to seduce Mike’s wife. (In the Aftermath program about Mike)

              There is just no low they won’t stoop to

            • FredEX2

              I know, that is SO sick & disgusting. Glad Mike & Christie saw thru it!

            • richelieu jr

              Best possible ending, for me? Mike and his Wife both sleep wit the guy, and they start a very public menage a trois together, Ina glass house they call Miscavige made me do it.

              Hell, I bet we could get a reality series free lit on that sentence alone… What do you say, Mr amd Mrs Rinder? And you to, potential boy toy?

            • LeeAnneClark

              I’ve been a Scientology-watcher and have participated on and off in the Bunker (and previously VV) for years. But I don’t think I’ve ever really explained my meager connection, and why I’ve always been so interested.

              When I was in college back in the late 70’s, I had a boyfriend who dabbled for about a millisecond in Scientology. I think he might have taken one course, maybe gotten audited a couple of times – but he very quickly realized it was a bunch of batshit-crazy bunkum and dropped out.

              Almost immediately he began experiencing bizarre harassment. It started with just a constant barrage of phone calls from members trying to get him back in…moved on to members waiting for him outside of his dorm room, and on and on. I was with him a few times when weird people would walk up to him in a bar or restaurant and start haranguing him…at first trying to love-bomb him, then getting progressively more aggressive. He did everything he could to make it clear he wanted nothing to do with them, but they wouldn’t leave him alone.

              Then came the phone calls to his family members. His parents, his brother, his GRANDparents…all received phone calls from people telling them that Brian was in trouble, and they were the only ones who could help him. They made up a bunch of bizarre stories about his behavior to try to get his family to believe he was going through some kind of psychotic break or something, and he absolutely had to come back in to be ministered to by them or he was going to do something terrible to himself or others. It really scared the piss out of his Grandma, and caused a lot of tension in the family.

              Finally he decided the only way he was going to get them to leave him alone was to do something very public, to send the strongest message possible. As an assignment for one of his college courses he had to do a presentation about a controversial topic. He picked Scientology! Keep in mind, this was back in 1979 and there wasn’t much information about it out there, but he did some serious digging and managed to come up with a really impressive presentation that completely skewered the “church”, showing it to be a nutty cult and LRH to be a lying whack job. He also recorded a few of their more ominous phone calls to his parents, and included those as part of his presentation. I wish I could remember all he had in it, but it was so long ago. I just remember thinking that if anyone who saw his presentation might have had a passing interest in exploring Scientology before, this would scare them away for sure!

              Somehow the church found out he was intending on doing this. On the day of his presentation there were several of them waiting for him outside of his classroom. They tried to prevent him from entering, then tried to block everyone else’s access to the room, then tried to disrupt his presentation – all to no avail. He got through it. (And got an A to boot!)

              They stopped bothering him, and stopped calling his family. Which at the time seemed logical to us – once they realized there was zero chance they were going to get him back in the fold, it made sense they would stop trying. But after I learned more about them and how they are compelled to destroy their enemies, I’ve often wondered why they didn’t go after him even harder! How did he escape their destruction so easily? His presentation was seen by dozens if not hundreds of potential fresh meat, and was widely talked about on the campus for weeks afterwards…he was even asked to give it again at a couple of different campus clubs. They left him alone.

              Still, to this day he occasionally gets flyers and stuff in the mail from them, even after multiple moves.

            • FredEX2

              That’s a very interesting story. I’m glad you shared it here. Back in 1979 they didn’t have global high speed internet and the social media connections we do now. My best guess as to why they seemed to have abruptly left him alone after waging their harrassment on him previously is that they didn’t think his comments about them would go anywhere or do much, or they thought he’d eventually quit…or they stopped bc it became obvious that their harrassment was causing him to speak out more, and make things worse. They assess the amount of influence a person may have as well. Perhaps they decided to focus their harrassment elsewhere, or decided he didn’t have enough money anyway. I don’t know why but evidently they decided he wasn’t a threat. Or the Grandparents and his other family & friends told them off and they may have decided that they had handled the problem and he’d gotten the message. Hard to know. Good on him for seeing the truth of the cult before he got too involved. Smart to leave so soon! I’m sure when he looks back on it all he’s glad he didn’t get sucked in completely.

              I just wanted to add that in 1979, LRH was still alive and decisions on who was of concern to them may have been measured differently. I DO think that after Miscavige took over that he runs an even more vicious criminal organization. IMHO it’s gone from very very bad to unspeakably worse under the ‘leadership’ of Miscavige. ( no I’m not an independent Scientologist )

            • LeeAnneClark

              Yeah, hard to say why they stopped. As a never-in, even though I’ve got a way better grasp of SCN than most never-ins, it’s still hard for me to put my head inside the mind of a clam.

              Although it definitely wasn’t due to lack of money – if anything, that’s probably why they fought so hard to get him back. His family was quite wealthy, I’m sure the Regs were salivating. It could very well be that they realized continuing to push him was going to make him speak out more. I don’t think it’s because they thought his influence was minimal – he was well known around campus, and his presentation got a LOT of attention. He ended up giving it to various campus clubs and organizations over the next few weeks. I remember telling him I thought he should stop giving it! I was terrified of them. But he was pissed, and would not be silenced. Had they continued to harangue him, he may very well have gone to the media with it. So in the end their leaving him alone probably did limit his impact.

              I do like to think that he stopped at least a few impressionable college students from heading down that path. 🙂

              Yes he is definitely glad he backed away…although truth be told, he was never the kind to get sucked in anyway. He didn’t fit the profile — he was popular, self-assured, not emotionally vulnerable so not really affected by the love-bombing, not much of a “seeker” type, no real spiritual needs (he’s a long-time atheist). He only explored it at all because he had a childhood friend who jumped in thinking the idea of out-of-body experiences was cool, and he too dropped out at the same time (and was subjected to similar tactics).

            • richelieu jr

              I seriously doubt it was because they realized he would only speak more. LRH specifically forbid this, so even f they realized, The still had to ouch back, save direct intervention by Hubbard or the mishappen Philly Imp.

            • LeeAnneClark

              I have to agree, and it remains a mystery. At the time it made sense to us – we didn’t know much about how they operated. In a normal world, once someone has so publicly displayed that a) he has no interest in your church, and b) if you keep bugging him he’s going to keep speaking out publicly against you, then the rational thing to do is to leave the dude alone.

              But this is Scientology, and “rational” doesn’t play into it. Now that I know more about how it works and what their policies are, I realize that what Brian did should have resulted in even MORE harassment, since he turned himself into a full-on enemy! They should have set out to destroy him. But they didn’t. Maybe they had bigger fish to fry at the time and he was small potatoes…who knows. But I realize now that he’s lucky they didn’t go after him with claws out.

            • mikecrosby

              Sounds like your long ago boyfriend was quite strong and secure in his convictions. And at such a young age. Seems like a hell of a guy.

            • FredEX2

              Mike, The fella I was referring to wasn’t my boyfriend, 😊 ~I was answering the question the poster above me asked about her college boyfriend being harassed by Scientology. But yes, he does sound like a strong guy!

        • richelieu jr

          What? Incompetent SeaOrg members? But that is Unpossible!

    • aquaclara

      Just want to echo your last line, since it packs a punch.

      And thank you for telling your stories. It has to help.

      • oknow

        I second that!

    • Observer

      You’re proof that Scientology can’t drill all of the humanity out of people – not all people, at least. You give me hope for the still-ins.

      • All of the warm, compassionate, funny, intelligent people who were in the cult give me hope. Some of my favorite people are exes. Even if all I do is stand by and cheer them on, they have made my life a richer experience. In this story, with plenty of grief to go around between the surviving sisters, my heart also goes out to June, whose heart is wrapped in barbed wire and fear.

        • Observer

          I will be able to feel more for her when she stops harming her children. Speaking from experience, the betrayal of a child by a parent is almost insurmountably devastating. I don’t wish harm on June or any Scientologist, nor do I feel she deserves the life she has now (and which she could not have envisioned when she joined)–I want them all to get out and reclaim their lives. But in cases like this, I can only identify with the kids.

          • Draco

            Yes. I consider myself to be quite compassionate, but I’m having a hard time with this one. Even if I REALLY believed in scn, I would think “OK. So I’m out this lifetime, but I’m going with the kids and I’ll pick it up next lifetime again.”

            • Harpoona Frittata

              Yes, but you see, from a True Believer’s perspective it’s not just their own immediate lifetime chance to achieve their personal spiritual freedom, but all of humankind’s chance of “getting out of the trap,” that hangs in the balance!

              Elron was extremely effective in preying on folks’ strong desire to help others, and once you became convinced that Elron’s Way was The One True Path, and that what everyone in $cn did here and now in this lifetime would determine whether others would go free or lose that chance for the next untold millions of years…well, all that overheated rhetoric and those supposedly dire circumstances just served to make it all the more dramatic and momentous for us all.

              That is in no way an excuse or valid justification for doing what June and so many others like her have done, but it does serve to provide an understanding of how folks like her come to make those kinds of monumentally disastrous mistakes.

            • mikecrosby

              When I was heavily involved in Christianity, I believed all truth came from the bible. And it was the sole arbiter of truth. Much like what you say Harpoona about the CoS.

              But how easily under the light of reason, truth and logical thinking, all the bullshit can so easily wash away. Because, even while I was indoctrinated, I was never totally sold. Maybe that’s just me, and someone in June’s case, decades. Hardcore how she has treated her children and grandchildren. Can only hope she one day realizes what she’s done.

            • If you really believed in $ that door to the choice you would have made would not be there. June doesn’t see that choice. Worse is some gal who keep trying to word-clear commentors on Mikes blog. Poor lost soul. Knows it all too.

            • Ann B Watson

              I had to giggle at that gal on Mike’s.Getting giddy in my elder years.Cece I think you are so strong a survivor.❤️ you always.

            • thetastic

              This brought tears to my eyes.

          • Understandable.

        • richelieu jr

          To this day I remain a bit perplexed that exes seem so ouch lore even tempered and level headed about what happened to them than I am. Also more intelligent.

    • Jenyfurrrrr

      Aaron, Obs said it best… but I want to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart. That you reached out to Karen (heartbreaking how they devalue the life of someone and the love others have for that person!) and all you’ve done since is a testimony to your character!

      • FredEX2


    • J. Swift

      It was early afternoon on July 5, 2012 here in Los Feliz. Karen was on Facebook when an instant message popped up. The message was from Aaron Smith-Levin, a very kind and brave man we did not know at the time. The message shockingly said that Alexander’s wife had told Aaron that her husband Alexander had died. We would later learn that Aaron had been a good friend of Alexander’s.

      “This can’t be right,” Karen said to me as she read the Facebook private message from a person whose name we did not recognize. “This message says Alexander is dead. I wonder if this person means Heber.”

      Heber Jentzsch is Alexander’s father and has been the President of the Church of Scientology International since 1982. Born in 1935, Heber was then seventy-eight years old and was being held captive in the infamous Scientology religious prison called the SP Hole.

      Given Heber’s age and confinement under stressful conditions, Karen and I initially assumed that perhaps Heber had died. Karen PM’d Aaron back and asked him to confirm.

      We were of course seriously concerned in either case. Aaron wrote back to confirm that Alexander had indeed died at the home of his in-laws here in Los Angeles.

      Aaron was still in the Church of Scientology and was “under the radar.” What this term “under the radar” refers to is a person who will not publicly leave the Church of Scientology for fear of reprisals and retaliation from the Church. Thus, such people stay under the radar and work to expose the Church by anonymously leaking sensitive and potentially damaged inside information to journalists, critics, and former members of Scientology. This leaked information is intended to be published online and broadcast widely.

      Karen immediately called her dear friend Mike Rinder who had once headed Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs. Mike and Karen had served together aboard L. Ron Hubbard’s “flagship” the Apollo when it plied the waters of the Mediterranean and have known each other since the early 1970’s.

      Mike Rinder had left the Church in 2007 and had begun very publicly speaking out against Church leader David Miscavige in 2008. This had placed Mike squarely in the gunsights of Scientology’s “no expenses spared” Fair Game machine.

      Mike Rinder called the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. After his call, Mike had the sad and solemn duty to call Karen and confirm to her that Alexander, her only child, had indeed passed away. Thus began a series of events that would change our lives forever and prove to the world, once again, the utter depravity and cruelty of the Church of Scientology.

      Karen was devastated as the reality that her only son was dead hit her. This is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. I was shocked by the news.

      Due to Scientology’s malicious doctrine of Disconnection, Alexander’s father Heber would not call Karen to tell her that their son had died. No official from the Church of Scientology called. Alexander’s wife Andrea Jentzsch and her parents — all Scientologists — also lacked the basic human decency to call Karen and inform her of her son’s death…

      Thank you for your decency and compassion Aaron. I know it was a very big risk for you at the time.

      • Draco

        I cannot fathom that depth of cruelty and callousness. And probably also the fear of repercussions by the church if they were caught communicating with an “SP”. It is all just too horrible.

      • J. Swift

        It was September 26, 2012. Alexander had died less than three months ago. Sometime in the dark of night in Los Feliz just a few blocks from our home, actor Johnny Lewis, a 29 year old second generation Scientologist, broke into the hillside home of his former landlady, ransacked the place, and then murdered his 81 year old former landlady and killed her cat. Johnny killed his landlady by strangulation and blunt force trauma.

        Lewis then made his way in the night onto the roof of this his landlady’s hillside home. He either accidentally walked off the roof in the darkness, or he jumped, and plunged a long way to his death. It was truly horrific and stunned the community.

        After this happened, a local long-time Los Angeles Scientologist in his seventies (whose name I will withhold for now), sent out an e-mail to his Scientology friends that asked, “What is happening to our children?”

        This jaw-droppingly stupid question showed just how uncomprehending so many Scientology parents can be. If you raise your children in Scientology’s system of psychological brutality;
        ruin their childhood by taking it away from them; force them into the Sea Org at an early age; or expect them to work from a young age to “keep in their exchange” for the roof over their head and the food on the table, why then these kids will have all kinds of problems as they struggle to find their way in the world. Even the children of wealthy Scientologists have problems because money guarantees nothing when a kid has been raised inside a Cult.

        Johnny Lewis’ OT parents tried to make sense of what happened to their son and were unusually frank about the problems their son experienced in the last year of his life. I felt their pain. Johnny’s life ended tragically and he killed a woman. No one understands what really happened that dark night in Los Feliz. Why did Johnny snap in a homicidal rage and kill an elderly woman who was 52 years his senior?

        What we do know is that Johnny had suffered a bad head injury in a motorcycle accident one year before his death. Lewis began to have serious psychological problems thereafter. He was also using drugs and alcohol and did some time in jail for assault with a deadly weapon after a nasty bar fight in which he struck two men in the head with a glass bottle. IMO, Johnny Lewis was a young man who clearly needed psychiatric help but that option was off the table due to Scientology.

        • J. Swift

          Marie: Having to keep your husband’s suicide a secret had to have been unbearable. I can see why you had to get up from your chair and walk out of the Sea Org in order to keep your sanity. My heart goes out to you.

      • Ann B Watson

        Thank you for this post.I love & admire Karen deeply.She is a cherished spirit.💛

      • I wonder if the COS even told Heber about Alexander’s death?

        • J. Swift

          Wayne, OSA told Heber that Alexander died. We don’t know the details. What we do know is that after Karen chartered a ship and announced a memorial at sea for Alexander, the Church was shamed into holding a service for Alexander at the Celebrity Centre. Heber appeared at that service and, of course, Pam Lancaster of CCI made it clear that Karen was not welcome. The Church had Stan Gerson send out a letter to Scientologists that sugar-coated Alexander’s death. Stan was probably lied to by OSA about what really happened.

          This photo of Heber with Stan and Phillipa Gerson at the CCI service was posted by Tony when he was at the VV. To the best of my knowledge, this is the last known public photo of Heber:

          • Thanks for the answer Jeff. There’s been so much happening since I started following Scientology that I’d forgotten Tony posting the picture.

            I really hope Heber is being well treated. His treatment, and the treatment by the other prisoners in the Hole should see Miscavige charged with kidnapping and serving the rest of his life in maximum security.

          • richelieu jr

            He looks pretty well-nourished for an elderly denizen of the Hole.

            Where is his Pie Face?

            Perhaps he has been feeding upon the infinite pile of bullshit he spewed about Scientology wanting to be left alone by the aggressive Psychiatrists who were ‘obsessed with Scientology” and “would not stop attacking” it, whereas the Scientolgists simply wished “to be left alone”?

      • richelieu jr

        Karen can take some measure of solace in the fact that she has helped birth the end of the destructive cult that consumed much of her life and all of her only sons…

        I, for one, have not forgotten.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      “Not only did the Church not tell her; they actively conducted an investigation to find out WHO DID.”

      And I bet they sweated more than a few of his friends and co-workers on that one too!

      Imagine the kind of cognitive dissonance it must take to not only deprive a mother of notification of her son’s death, but to launch an internal investigation to find out who committed the serious “crime” of merely passing on that information to her!

      Nothing says “depraved, psychotic criminal cult” like doing that kinda stuff!

    • Surfer Joe

      Two words that don’t appear enough in connection with this type of behavior, which is policy coming from the top: HATE and INDECENCY. To try to keep a mother from learning of her son’s death, you have to lack the most basic human decency, and you have to be full of seething HATE. To seek revenge on someone who simply showed this humanity to a grieving mother- ANY grieving mother- is unhinged, brutal, depraved. That is not hyperbole, it is the appropriate description.

      Someone has been able to breed these sicknesses into an organization, to make it systemic, to infect thousands of human beings with these terrible afflictions, without even having met most of them.

      “The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.” – Shakespeare

      • PerpetualOutflow

        You are so right Surfer Joe. $cientology teachings systematically breed this depraved behavior.

    • Baby

      You are a sweet compassionate man Aaron. Thank you for letting Karen know.

    • John Prince

      This shit is INDEED Crazy ..and needs to be stomped out in the Name of Decentcy and Sanity ..thank YOU for your Contribution , maybe other sea-orger’s who have a Brain that still works will follow your lead!

    • Interestest

      I am new to this. Blogging. I have this desire to express my distaste for American politics in 2016, my fear for the future of my children due to the politics, my complete intrigue and sadness for those Americans that can truly follow scientology, and my embarrassment for not completely understanding the language of the country that I want to respect so very much. True, lots of heavy things wanting to express, albeit just touching on a few, but my first to express on the Internet.

      I learn. I want to learn. I always want to learn more. I want people to learn. I want people to learn more. I want America to always to be inspired to learn. I want America to inspire people to learn. I want Americans to inspire people to learn.

      This is not the appropriate place to express my newly founded desire to express. I understand. That being said, it is a place to start. Scientology is not where I could ever imagine myself or my loved ones to listen, express or believe. I understand that being clear is something everyone wants to attain; clear is probably a wonderful place. Clear cannot be about money, commitment to something always unattainable, or a self righteous desire to be a narcissistic perfect person with zero respect for mankind or imperfection.

      I do not want to participate or support a portion of America that is capable of judging a person simply due to their expression not to support a way of thinking that judges anyone other than those that have the exact same beliefs. Shame on those that think that way. What is America but for freedom of thought. Scientology, believe. Believe what you believe. Just do not harm or judge others for not “buying” into what you believe.

      It is a rant. It is a start. I do so very much hope someone encourages me, including myself, to speak soon and again. It is refreshing.

      Haters will hate. Always a pleasure.

      Interested yet quite timid (for now)

    • richelieu jr

      Thank you so much for this, and doff all you testimony, Aaron, as well as (hopefully it goes without saying) being the only person in the CoS who knew about poor Karen’s son who had the simple humanity (not to mention the stones) to let a mother know of her terrible loss, anonymously, or not.

      My dream remains a South African-style Truth Commission, where leniency and amnesty are expected changed for frank discussions and confessions, stories of the Truth of the scam and its costs so that the victims (those still living, at least) and their loved ones, as well as the perpetrators themselves, can face the reality of what happened and hopefully find some solace and heal.

      It is the equivalent of Havign a serial killer show where tine bodies are buried, even though it won’t bring them back or add a day to his sentence. There is something to be said about knowing 2hat happened and where the proverbial (and real) bodies are buried.

      Those, like you, and Mike, and Tony, and Jonny, and* our own J Swift and JP, do yeoman work in collecting these stories amd making them available to anyone interested.

      I fear this is the closest we may get, and I, for one, am grateful to you all.

      *(and even Marty from time to time.)

  • LongtimeLurker
    • PickAnotherID

      Too bad the USofA hasn’t picked up on that.

      • LongtimeLurker


  • Ivan Mapother

    When David Miscavige said Tom Cruise was the most dedicated Scientologist he knew, he obviously never met June Rees.

    • MarcabExpat

      Right? Tom Cruise merely kicked out his niece and only 2 of his 3 wives (and two girlfriends). Oh and his youngest daughter. But, think of all the gains he got from it! Nobody wins like a Big Being.

    • April

      I’m sure that statement pissed off more than a few sea orgres. I can’t imagine slaving away 24/7 for decades in inhumane conditions for pennies and a “higher purpose,” and then be told that a floof like TC is the “most dedicated.”

      • MarcabExpat

        Yeah several of them who are out now have actually said that it did.

      • Draco

        A LOT of them found it shocking that he could say that.

  • Mockingbird

    Good disconnection and suicide filled morning Bunkeroos.

    This is the Scientology experience I know. I feel disgusted at the callous and downright evil treatment people in Scientology and related to Scientologists get in situations involving personal issues like sexual identity and coping with loss of loved ones. Scientology has a terrible history regarding bereavement and tearing apart families via disconnection.

    I as many people know knew Jeremy Perkins and his family for many years and several other Scientologists who died including Marie Bolt and time after time the Scientology cult has only one priority when Scientologists die – limiting the public relations fallout. That is it. No concern for grieving parents or husbands or wives or children. Many times staff are expected to just keep right on working as if nothing happened and to get their stats up.

    Public are encouraged to close ranks and act like nothing unusual happened and they are of course happy because Scientology has no case on post – meaning negative emotions are only to be expressed when you are paying several hundred or thousand dollars per hour for Scientology auditing. Then magically as you pour a fortune into David Miscavige’s pockets you are allowed to express unpleasant feelings. How compassionate and understanding of him.

    I feel the same emotions from years ago when I on several occasions found out about the Perkins family tragedy and several other Scientologists’ deaths coming back in reading the horrific and heartbreaking stories of tragedy we have here today.

    It feels like the Scientology I was in and there is a kind of surreal numbness and confusion you wander around in as you are kept too busy to process what happened and it’s a total contradiction that Scientology was supposed to make you and everyone involved experts on human beings and behavior but it left you totally unprepared to predict suicide or murder and to express your feelings on it and certainly to heal or recover or make sense of it all.

    I feel terrible for the family members involved, for their terrible loss, for the way Scientology treated and treats them and for the horrible reality of disconnection taking from them perhaps their most valuable and cherished part of their lives in their families.

    When people get obsessed with celebrities in Scientology or only care about Tom Cruise and who he is dating or if there is a rumor about John Travolta being gay that isn’t anything that is relevant to me.

    If Scientology was just a kooky cult of a few dozen rich people getting bowling trophies and Nancy Cartwright thinking she is buying godhood for twenty or thirty million dollars then I wouldn’t waste my time learning, talking or writing about it.

    That is not the Scientology I know. Today’s post is.

    It’s people who practically lose their families while in because Sea Org members and staff often work so much they never see their families and even public usually get more and more pressure to devote every waking second to Scientology.

    Then if you leave or like a Facebook post or comment in the black and white us versus them world of a cult you get disconnected from and lose everyone. And if people die you don’t get any help with that unless you have money to burn, then you can pay to talk but not get competent or even safe help.

    I remember times when people would wander around the org in a kind of daze and the bizarre double think of everyone feeling completely lost and alone but still spewing the Scientology doctrine that it made them cause and gave them a deep and profound understanding of life when clearly they didn’t have a clue what happened or what they were doing after experiencing it.

    • MarcabExpat

      A thousand upvotes if I could. That’s why I’m loving Leah’s series — it focuses on not the high-profile stuff but life on the ground for the everyday people, the heartbreak behind closed doors.

      • Mockingbird

        Thanks. I have had to take a long time slogging through a lot to get to where I can honestly say things like this. The layers of lies Hubbard piles on with the doctrine are a formidable challenge in themselves, then reframing reality is a long gradual process and throwing off the habits from Scientology indoctrination and participation with the social support reinforcement is a lot of work too. Then sorting out all the parts of the Scientology experience into what really happened and how one really feels about it after all the denial and dissociation that goes into being a Scientologist is a long road to go.

        The “you got conned, we were lied to case closed ! Get over it already !” Folks don’t get it. Sometimes they never get it and frankly never recover from Scientology ever either too.

        • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

          That’s the real pity, not ever recovering.

          • Mockingbird

            Yeah. It has been hard for me to accept in people that are difficult after leaving Scientology.

            Some exes claim to have learned it all or have never been fooled or done anything bad and frankly are very arrogant, narcissistic and even support fascism. It’s not the majority by far but still disturbing.

            • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

              I do know what you mean and I feel the same. Some never-ins know more than ex’s. But some that are as you described above, yes disturbing, a shame. Hoping time and info may help them heal.

    • skiesareblue

      Numbness and confusion. Well put.

    • Glen

      Thank you for this post, MB. I really think you add so much to the commentary here and it is amazing how much you have learned and processed in your autodidactic journey. You provide a lot of documentation and theoretical underpinnings. Smart, good guy you are. But when you write like this, from personal experience, is where I am most moved.

      • Mockingbird


    • Staci

      Absolutely. The Cruise and Cartwright angles can be used to get those
      with no background interested but the real tragedies must be told. I became
      interested in it from a general curiosity about cults (Jonestown, Waco & a small nameless
      cult my dad was in as a young adult) and am horrified by all the human rights violations happening
      right now in the CoS. The insidious evil this organization inflicts on its members and detractors
      must be stopped.

  • Gerard Plourde

    Scientology denies the importance of family, debases people struggling with issues of their sexual orientation or gender identity, impedes access to real treatment for those with mental health issues or substance abuse problems and declares “suppressive” anyone who questions them.

    I can think of no group more deserving of the title “suppressive” than Scientology itself.

  • PickAnotherID

    Hey Miscavige! Sit on this and rotate, it will be good practice for the day you meet ‘Bubba’ in the slam: (f5)$/THE-WALKING-DEAD-NEGAN-LUCILLE-BARBWIRE-BAT-PROP-_1.jpg

    Tick, tock…

    • April

      Is that Lucille?!? Put her back before Negan finds out you have it!

      • PickAnotherID


        • April

          Negan, a villain character in Walking Dead has a bat like that. And uses it with horrifying results. He named it Lucille.

          • PickAnotherID

            Oh. I generally don’t watch zombie shows or movies. They remind me too much of the Clearwater memorial picket, when the bussed in $cientology mob was walking around the police station chanting, “Sid Klein, what are your crimes?”

            • April

              I’ve never seen a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire outside of the TWD comics and tv show. Maybe I’ve lived a sheltered life.

            • PickAnotherID

              Check out some of the nastier wrestling acts.

            • Mrs. V.

              I thought the exact same thing – I wouldn’t think it was anything but Lucille.

            • LongtimeLurker


              It’s Australia’s national flower.

            • Princess Squishy


            • daisy

              That was todays belly laugh.

            • LongtimeLurker

              I’m glad someone liked it. I thought it was pretty good. ; )

          • kemist

            Charlene’s little sister.

          • Princess Squishy

            I did not get the reference at all because I don’t watch TWD (I don’t watch horror movies, etc or anything extremely gory). Before I read your explanation I thought it was just a really random joke and I thought it was hilarious. It’s still funny, just in a different way now.

  • Missionary Kid

    This story makes me glad that I pointed two strangers to Leah’s series yesterday. Both had heard rumblings about it, but didn’t really know how much about it. One liked Leah and was interested in what she had to reveal, and the other was someone who had studied different religions in college. I found that I was able to talk to them without their eyes glazing over because I didn’t have to explain everything in the tangled web of horror that Co$ weaves.

    Scientologists tell you to “read a book”. I now tell people to “watch some shows”. I don’t have to lie to someone or tell them “acceptable truths” to tell them about $cientology like $cientology does about itself.

    • MarcabExpat

      Right you are. It’s never been easier to help another person get informed. I was able to prevent one person from joining by bombarding her with video testimonials from people like the Woodcrafts and Jim Beebe.

  • Scientology is a machine that runs on money, blood and stats. It has no pity or compassion, and the people that are its parts are only there to do their function, then be replaced when they wear out or break. Many of those people are well-meaning, some are villains, but they all have their position in the machine, and if any of them get out of place, they will be caught in the gears and destroyed.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      Blood, Stats and Fears. The eldritch tune to which scientology dances.

  • SarahDB

    Thank goodness for Regraded Being to lighten the mood a bit!

    Edited to add: Go Leah!

    • MarcabExpat

      RB gets pretty dark itself sometimes. Glad it’s not about suicide today.

      • SarahDB

        me too!

    • PickAnotherID

      It’s light on the surface, but the subtext is pretty telling about how out of touch with anything not coming from $cientology most believers are.

  • Draco

    I am sorry – but how does a mother disconnect from 3 children? ALL her living children?
    It’s not as though some were in and some were out and she had to make a choice of which ones to disconnect from. Then you could at least say the church forced her to disconnect from SOME of them, whichever way she went.
    I was pretty indoctrinated myself when I was in, but I always knew, and said out loud, that if they declared a child of mine, there was no way I would or could disconnect. I really don’t understand this mother’s mind.
    I am so glad I am done with this thing. And the cover-ups! To say someone had blown when they had died…how fucking demented is that?

    I think if Leah had the strength and will to do another series, she would never run out of material. I am so glad that what she is doing now is bringing out more and more of the truth.

    It really is worse than we think. And we think it is about as bad as it gets.

    • SarahDB

      I can’t fathom it either, my children are ALWAYS my top priority. This shows the strength of the mindtrap.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Maybe she simply had less love for them than you?

      Less empathy?

      That doesn’t make it okay.

      I can’t imagine doing it either (here, now, as a never-in).

    • Lois Reisdorf (Lowie)

      Totally true Draco. How could she have done that….just blows my mind.

      • Draco

        I know it does, Lowie. I was thinking of you while reading this, and how hard you fought to keep your family together. And then some mothers just throw their kids away. Like clothes that don’t fit comfortably anymore, or that you don’t look good in anymore.

        Am sitting here for weeping for all of you who had your families broken.

    • Elizabeth

      Its sad, but from what I understand and have personally seen, it’s like this: You are an eternal being who has lived many lives, and will live many more. That means each of us has had thousands of kids, thousands of parents, thousands of families…. So what is one family in one single lifetime compared to an thousands? And if this is the only lifetime you have access to Scientology (it’s all very now or never), then it would be “foolish” to choose your family and not Scientology. You’d be blowing all your future families. So it’s the sacrifice in this lifetime that will ensure that Scientology saves the planet for future lifetimes – and so you will have other sons and daughters then. You can be a good mother/father then. **bullshit.

      • Draco

        Yeah, well. I also believed I had lived many times and had many previous families. But I couldn’t feel the love for them that I felt for my kids in THIS lifetime. So that particular theory never really flew with me.

        • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

          Me neither Draco.

      • Robert Eckert

        Which is the exact opposite of how Buddhists handle the same concept. They say that you should treat each creature you encounter, whether a mouse in your attic that is annoying you or an ant you might step on if you don’t shift your footfall a little, with the same tender feeling you have for your mother, because over the billions of past lives any creature you encounter now was likely your mother sometime.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      With $cn it’s ALWAYS worse than you think!

      I’m no longer able to be surprised by new atrocity stories like this one, but I continue to get more and more disgusted by the cult’s evil antics and more determined to see that it is stopped from being allowed to perpetuate this kind of true evil.

  • Mockingbird

    One thing that is really hard to get across to outsiders is the total emphasis on hiding all evidence of failure in Scientology. Failure in the form of bad results, bad or undesirable behavior by senior Scientologists or staff or Sea Org members or failure in terms of people leaving staff or the Sea Org or god forbid getting disaffected or daring to doubt or question Scientology or the valid authority of the cult or David Miscavige.

    I have had to dig and dig to find out about deaths and people leaving staff or getting SP declared. Sometimes only found out years later. When you are in protecting the image of Scientology is much more important than your personal relationships. Hubbard set it up that way on purpose.

    • And that culture actually makes matters worse, because you can’t do anyting to address a problem if you won’t even acknowledge it exists.

      Many religious organisations have strict doctrines – for example, I understand that the Catholic prohibition against suicide, theoretically forbids Clergy from officiating at the funeral of a suicide, or burying them in conecrated ground. Unlike Scientology, however, there is a culture in many Churches which places the most compassionate interpetation upon an unnatural death, so that there deceased is hardly ever denied a proper burial in his or her faith.

      That’s not to say they are trying to cover up a suicide. They do this because they are compassionate people, in a compassionate culture and can’t bring themselves to do what old-fashioned, controlling, rules demand – so they follow the golden rule, and give everyone the benefit of the tiniest doubt.

      There are many other examples of compassionate religious cultures which, in practice, simply choose to ignore ancient and unforgiving doctrines and rules which would cause unnecessary distress in the 21st century. Only pititless fanatics do otherwise.

      What’s remarkable about Scientology is that it’s not only that its rules and teachings require unconcionable cruelty – its informal culture still requires that they all be obeyed to the letter. No moderation has been allowed to creep in, even (especially) in the name of compassion.

      Perhaps this is because Scientology not only failed to establish itself after the death of Hubbard but is now in a serious decline. New religous movements are typically fanatical in their early days, in order to gain a foothold in a competitive religious market, but moderate when they become established. Scientology is still struggling against a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to it, and actually has to tighten its grip on its members.

      On the other hand, perhaps Scientology’s pitiless behaviour is an inherent fault in an organisation that was designed by a money-obsessed con man to maximise income at all costs. Perhaps it is simply too extreme by design to ever moderate.

      We will probably never know because Miscavige could never imagine such a thing. The die is cast. The problem is that the CofS will likely become even more rapacious as it shrinks, getting more extreme because it cannot help but go on makingthe same cruel mistakes right to the end.

      • Mockingbird

        I tend to agree with Rick Alan Ross who in an interview described Scientology as a machine designed to be abusive. It has many, many built in safeguards against moderation including thought reform techniques and the KSW doctrine itself. It’s reinforced, repeated and bolstered by variations of itself in hundreds and hundreds of references. It’s the cultic core of Scientology.

        If you removed KSW and everything that is a variation or reinforcement of it from Scientology you wouldn’t have Scientology anymore. It would be something else. If it had auditing or other things Hubbard put out it would still be a harmful fraud but perhaps less totalistic.

        • Hubbard was a face-to-face con man who really didn’t think very far ahead. For example, when he conned Jack Parsons, it did not occur to him that stealing a yacht was not such a good Idea because he would be too easy to catch.

          He would probably have continued to play a series of petty cons and served some jail time if he had not had started writing for pulp magazines and had the extraordinary good luck to encounter John W Campbell Jr, the editory of “Astounding Science Fiction”.

          Campbell and a small inner circle of associates fell for dianetics hook, line and sinker. At this stage, Hubbard was still playing a face-to-face con game with a small group of people. However, those people used the considerable resources of “Astounding” to promote ‘dianetics’ in a professional way to a mass audience. The Job was done for Hubbard.

          This good fortune elevated Hubbard above other con artists by putting him at the head of an organisation – and he made the mistake of treating it like a small-scale con that was not going to last. For example, he short-sighedly bankrupted the dianetics institutes by grabbing all the money for himself.

          After the collapse of dianetics, Hubbard stole the mailing lists, regrouped, and tried again with Scientology. His innovation was to persuade his followers to present his con for him. Scientology, to this day, operates by taking people in, fleecing, and then discarding them – the basic sequence of events followed by any con game.

          Scientologists unwittingly presented Hubbard’s con on an industrial scale by following the procedures he set down in writing. He was still presenting a face-to-face con, but using other people’s faces to do it – and it was still a short-sighted operation because it has such a brisk turnover of members. People were still fleeced and discarded – the CofS only prospered because, in the days before the Interent, disillusioned exes could always be replaced by innocent recruits who knew nothing about the reality of Scientology.

          Scientology was a con game by proxy. As such, it could not help but be exploitative and abusive. However, it gives Hubbard too much credit to say that he ‘designed’ it. He was only applying what he he knew – the con game- on an industrial scale.

          At some point (about the time that hubbard took to sea) the organisation took on a life of its own. Hubbard became a paranoid old man, in declining health, sending orders from Sea via Fax. You can’t run a complex International organisation like that. It was functioning despite him, not because of him.

          All if those complex rules accumulated ad hoc over the years to keep the con running despite internal and external challanges to Hubbard’s power. They were not designed to be abusive. They were designed to take cash off of as many people as possible without any regard for their welfare. Scientology is abusive because it is (like Hubbard) utterly indifferent to the harm it causes as long as the money keeps coming in.

          This is, I think, something that people without Hubbard’s dark triad of personality disorders fail to grasp. He didn’t care about the welfare of others as long as he got ‘his’ money. Not at all. Not in the slightest. He was not capable of empathy or compassion.

          That is the source of Scientology’s cruelty, not deliberate design. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

          • Mockingbird

            Hubbard had many people he plagiarized ideas from . In the affirmations, Skipper letter, PDC tape 39 and a few other references Hubbard made it clear that by 1947 to 1952 He had his intention to enslave humanity covertly and a plan involving hurting, confusing and mentally crushing people to make them vulnerable and submissive formed.

            He had a few subjects he actually studied. The occult and hypnosis were among them. He fully understood he would be hurting people and creating anxiety and confusion in them to fool them.

            He was after far more than a face to face com.

            • This is where we always differ – and I say that just because he showed an interest in such things and made reference to them does not mean that he understood them in the slightest. His level of understanding, in fact, was typically equivalent to the knowledge of physics that he displayed in “all about radiation”.

              As for hurting people – he understood he was hurting people insofar as he understood that this was a way to get what he wanted, but he really didn’t care. He was not capable of caring.

              Finally, “understanding the occult” is hardly a qualification for manipulating people, because that does work any more than Scientology does.

              Long may we disagree 🙂

            • Mockingbird

              He had a very detailed plan for a caste system set in his games maker tape. He explained that it required very exact methods of deception and control. He explained the role all further methods developed in Scientology fulfilled.

              He got hundreds of ideas on persuasion from his occult studies. They weren’t about magic powers or supernatural elements – they were about influence and he sought to strip off superstition and refine psychology.

              He had a minutely detailed plan which he followed for decades.

              If I plagiarized hundreds of ideas from a subject and repackaged them I would hold some understanding. That’s for the occult.

              Regarding hypnosis he made hundreds of statements showing extensive personal experience and a wealth of theory on the subject. The theory isn’t perfect, but it’s relevant that he knew a vast amount of it.

            • grundoon

              “Just because [L. Ron Hubbard] showed an interest in such things and made reference to them does not mean that he understood them in the slightest.”

              He understood enough for his purposes. As should be self-evident.

              His level of understanding, in fact, was typically equivalent to the knowledge of physics that he displayed in “all about radiation”.

              A caveman who drives a mammoth over a cliff displays a level of practical understanding sufficient to get dinner.

              He was not capable of caring.

              LRH was capable of taking pleasure in another’s suffering at his whim. While watching and taking photos, he would jocularly give orders to make it even worse. The blood-drenched peanut race proves this. His invention of overboarding is another example.

              YACHT APOLLO – ORDERS OF THE DAY – 6 October 1971

              GREAT PEANUT RACE

              The low hour Festival Auditors were Joyce Tidy, Vi Wellington and Charles Reisdorf. This made them contestants in pushing a peanut with their noses on a race course on the Prom deck. They had substitutes race for them, Pat McCullough, Bonnie McPeek and Diane Reisdorf.
              Early in the race, Diane Reisdorf crashed through the guard rails. Charles Reisdorf took over. The McCullough lead was tightly contested by McPeek.
              Reisdorf was fighting a head wind and fell further and further behind.
              McCullough romped home with McPeek a close second, and won by a nose.
              As the last in Charles Reisdorf was relegated to wearing a sheet at the ball.

              LRH, COMMODORE 6 Oct 1971

          • grundoon

            “It gives Hubbard too much credit to say that he ‘designed’ it…. All of those complex rules accumulated ad hoc over the years to keep the con running despite internal and external challenges to Hubbard’s power. They were not designed to be abusive.”

            On the contrary, you give L. Ron Hubbard far too little credit. Your (well-merited) dislike blocks you from seeing him as he was.

            Hubbard’s system of control was planned in detail with a great deal of cunning. It very much was designed to be abusive. In fact it has been extraordinarily effective, in comparison to the results obtained by his many imitators.

            “At some point (about the time that hubbard took to sea) the organisation took on a life of its own. Hubbard became a paranoid old man, in declining health, sending orders from Sea via Fax. You can’t run a complex international organisation like that. It was functioning despite him, not because of him.”

            Your assessment here is at odds with the truth. The worldwide Scientology apparatus did indeed dance to Hubbard’s tune as he micromanaged it, whether at sea or ashore. His management was bad and demented, but he was in complete control.

            Scientology was functioning both despite him and because of him. He designed the organization to produce, at all levels, continual crises that only he could set straight. He did this because he reveled in micromanagement, and because it let him delegate any work he found burdensome – in fact amounting to enormous authority – while at the same time it hindered any subordinate from succeeding so far as to pose a threat.

            Things started to come apart around 1977 with Quentin’s death and the FBI raids, when he went into hiding and could no longer rely on Mary Sue and the GO. IRS and legal pressure meant that he had to choose between running a family business that would pay taxes and be liable to lawsuits, or going all the way with the “religion angle” and relinquishing overt control of Scientology. With the latter choice, Scientology could no longer be his vehicle to power and fame.

            Hubbard could no longer micromanage all levels of the empire, but had to work secretly through Miscavige. Basically worldwide Scientology was of no further use to him except as a cash cow. So he began to tear it down and cash out, starting with the missions.

            With Hubbard off the lines, that is the point where Scientology began to take on a life of its own. The Chruch continued to operate on Hubbard’s policies, not realizing that the policies intentionally generate chaos when deprived of Hubbard’s continual personal intervention. But “life” isn’t the right word. The “independent” Chruch, from its inception, was more like a fresh zombie lurching along, not noticing that its blackened soul had departed. The primordial stink of Hubbard’s malevolence covered up the odor of decay for awhile.

            “All of those complex rules accumulated ad hoc over the years….”

            Actually it was the “tech” that accumulated ad hoc over the years. I suspect your underestimation of Hubbard may come from paying far too much attention to his nutty “tech” while neglecting his “ethics” and “admin”. I agree that the “tech” was haphazard, extemporized, accidental, borrowed / stolen, pulled from his ass, chemically assisted, and/or made up as he went along.

            The green and blue volumes show a different side of Hubbard. His “ethics” and “admin” frameworks show a good deal of (not completely sane) thought and obsessively thorough attention to detail. (And as always, unparalleled arrogance.)

            Most of the “ethics” and “admin” essentials were originally released in the 1960s in close to their final form that still stands today. There have been many ad-hoc additions and adjustments, but few changes to the basic structures. These policies, rigidly enforced, allowed Scientology to grow worldwide and kept it lurching along for decades past the founder’s lifetime. These policies, rigidly substituted for thought or feeling, directly produce much of the insanity, neglect and abuse which Scientology imposed in the past and still imposes on SO, staff, public, and their children and families.

            This is, I think, something that people without Hubbard’s dark triad of personality disorders fail to grasp. He didn’t care about the welfare of others as long as he got ‘his’ money. Not at all. Not in the slightest. He was not capable of empathy or compassion. That is the source of Scientology’s cruelty, not deliberate design.

            Here you hit the nail on the head. However, the system which produces this cruelty was very much designed to do what it does. Some cruelty has been deliberately designed into the system to enforce compliance and deter attackers. Also some (unintended but unregretted) cruelty is produced as a side-effect of the machinery working as designed, like fish sucked into the turbines of a hydroelectric plant. On top of that, Hubbard occasionally indulged in sadism and encouraged it in others; and it seems to be David Miscavige’s favorite pastime.

            • I’m struggling with this a little. I don’t seem to be able to quite express what I mean.

              I agree, pretty much, with all that you say. For example, I agree that Hubbard was continually ‘managing’ Scientology – but from a great height.

              My point is that the orgs ran day-to-day without him, and the Scientologists in them reproduced his con by ‘training’ each other in ‘the tech’. In that respect, the money machine had a life of its own from an early stage.

              What I’m trying to question is the idea that:

              a) Hubbard was a genius of manipulation
              b)Scientology, at it’s height, was a product of a deliberate plan which he devised and executed
              c) He achieved the results he intended

              I just can’t reconcile his supposed ‘mastermind’ status with his incoherent writing and obvious inability to understand anything he read except on the most superficial level.

              His talent for manipulating people on a small scale, face-to-face led to his coming to power over an organisation. He always had ‘personal assistants’ who were smarter than he was and did the bulk of the administrative work – Hubbard only indicated ‘command intention’ and left it to others to carry this out. These people were ‘selected’ on a ‘last man standing’ basis.

              Hubbard intentionally achieved very little indeed. What actually happened is that:

              a) He had some significant strokes of luck (e.g. happening upon Campbell)
              b) Most of Scientology was not planned – it emerged from the situation.

              He was not a master manipulator who devised and executed a plan which achieved the results he had originally desired. Crudely put, he typically threw a lot of shit at the wall and, when some stuck, he painted a target around it.

              Just because he wrote, spoke and made wild claims about subjects like hypnotism does not mean that he actually understood them, nor was any good at them. He was a pathological liar, after all.

              I think some people make the same mistake about Scientology as those who reject evolution for ‘intelligent design’ – the world seems to have been designed, so there must have been a designed. In discussions of Scientology, Hubbard is often (ironically) put in the place of God.

              Again: I just can’t reconcile Hubbard supposed ‘mastermind’ status with his
              incoherent writing and obvious inability to understand anything he read,
              except on the most superficial level.

              In fact, as evolutionary theory demonstrates, a lot of things that are complex and functional can, in fact, emerge naturally from a suitable environment. In this case, the environment was the US in the period 1950 – 80 and some of the ‘natural selection’ was provided by Hubbard. This tended to favour the ruthless and pitiless options, because that’s the kind of person he was.

              I think that this kind of emergence is responsible for much of the form of Scientology, and that’s what I am struggling to express.

      • Techie

        Excellent points, Once_Born. Remember, Miscavige is the Chairman of the Board of RTC. and RTC’s basic purpose is to enforce the Hubbard dogma known as “Keeping Scientology Working”. That issue contains the immortal line “We’d rather have you dead than incapable” and a host of other fundamentalist exhortations. Fundamentalist all the way, but he must know that it doesn’t work. He has access to all the statistics. He knows right away when there is a suicide. He knows how many sign up each week and how many escape. He has folks who read all the blogs for him. He sees all the testimony in the court cases. If he is not in it just for the money then he is truly insane. There is no other logical conclusion.But those under him are carefully kept in the dark. The system is highly compartmentalized. Those who know all about the deaths have no idea how little new public are coming in. Those who know all about the organizations know nothing about the TV shows. And so on. Thus it is possible to keep it going in appearance while it has all but collapsed in reality. It is ruled by a micro-managing iron fist. But perhaps as you say this is not something unique to Scientology. In medieval times nobody could read except the few scribes and religious scholars. So the average person was forced to follow along with what they were told by their “betters”. It was rare for someone to leave their village, let alone their country. So it was possible for local religions to thrive with almost no one questioning basic principles. When we started to recover from the Dark Ages trade expanded, and people found out more about other cultures. With the discovery of fossil fuels the world became a large tiny village in some ways. But it also became really obvious that not everyone had the same beliefs. There are only two ways to reconcile that in your mind. Either you accept that others don’t believe as you do and modify your religion to tolerate others, or you retreat into fundamentalism. Scientology by design is a totalitarian fundamentalism intended to benefit exactly one person – Hubbard. But under the right leadership it could have evolved a bit after Hubbard was gone and become just another new age woo woo pilot bunch. Maybe it could still happen.

  • Missionary Kid

    There are not only direct suicides in $cientology, but indirect suicides by people who neglect their health and die unnecessarily because they’re reaching for “the greater good” and neglect their bodies. That is something that I hear from my friends that are exes. The number of deaths in Co$ is disturbing.

    • PickAnotherID

      Escpecially when you hear crap like, “He/she didn’t smoke enought tp prevent the cancer.”

    • LongtimeLurker

      Really good point.

  • LongtimeLurker
    • Draco

      Why are these cute animal pics making me cry today?

      • LongtimeLurker

        Because…they know what matters and their love is unconditional and they wouldn’t do all the bad things we do to each other?

        I dunno.

        Now I’m crying.

        At 3am. Stupid wombat. : /

        • Draco

          Have another hug!

          • LongtimeLurker


            • daisy

              (((( HUGS )))) go to sleep pet and I will make you sausage and pineapple sandwiches for breakfast.

            • LongtimeLurker


  • Mockingbird

    Scientology really compartmentalizes the negative information about it by design. Hubbard didn’t want people putting two and two together to see staff everywhere are always getting bad results and terrible pay. He didn’t want them to realize it isn’t just their org that is struggling and everyone else in Scientology is having a rough go of it.

    He also didn’t want people to see the bad things happening to Scientologists all over the world no matter how long they have been in or how high they went on the fraudulent bridge.

    I only found out about the hundreds of murders, suicides and other questionable deaths in Scientology after I left the cult and only knew about ones from people I knew personally before that. The cult does a very good job of making it so you don’t see or hear anything about them at orgs you aren’t in direct contact with while you are in.

    So you only know about a handful of these deaths unless you are in LA or by Flag usually if you are a public. Then when you come out and watch videos by Tory Magoo and read the articles here you see a whole larger world of hidden death and crimes and cover-up after cover-up. It multiplies the harm you saw by hundreds of times. Enough to shatter the illusion that Scientology is a perfect society.

    You don’t look to outside media to understand Scientology because it has convinced you only Hubbard and Miscavige tell the truth. Anytime some person or group is saying only I am honest or can help you it’s probably the biggest red flag possible of an abusive relationship or cultic group. Run, don’t walk away as fast as possible.

    • Lois Reisdorf (Lowie)

      So true Mockingbird. Always “a need to know” thing.

    • Harpoona Frittata

      And the externally imposed compartmentalization that exists at every level of $cn ends up becoming internalized by every True Believer $cilon as dissociations within their core self; so that for hard-core Kool-Aid drinkers, like Sarah’s mother June, they can end up splitting off and disowning their own identity as a mother and sacrificing it in order to be a Good Scientologist.

      The cruelest irony there is that despite sacrificing everything for $cn, as soon as you no longer have the cash to spend or your free labor to contribute, the cult will abandon you just as you’ve abandoned your family, leaving you with only the memory of your destroyed family to haunt you all of your remaining days. If there is any heart in $cn at all, it’s a very cruel and dark one indeed!

      Folks who were never in have a very hard time understanding how someone like June could ever have had a deep and abiding love for her children to begin with and then done what she’s done to abandon and betray them. June is still there; she’s just dissociated from herself and all of who she once was – call it, her larger self – was sacrificed for what she falsely believes is her “Eternity,” her ultimate spiritual freedom as she’s come to understand it.

      The very simple question that $cilons never get to even ask of their religion, or even of themselves, is: How could any supposed path to spiritual freedom come at the cost of the destruction of your family? The screamingly obvious answer to the rest of us who are on the outside looking in is, “IT NEVER COULD!!!” The truly black magik of $cn lies in its ability to create such deep dissociations and misidentifications within an individual’s core self that questions like that just don’t occur to their fragmented and walled off True Believer self, which they take to be their true core identity.

      It’s diabolical and disgusting…and it’s how Elron’s evil legacy got smashed in history, one destroyed family at a time.

      • Mockingbird

        Yes. I agree that Scientology relies on dissociation to fool people. It uses denial and many vulnerabilities in the human mind to turn a mind against itself in submission to Hubbard.

        Without denial and dissociation and cognitive distortions and cognitive dissonance Scientology wouldn’t succeed.

  • oknow

    Hey Tom Cruise tell me again that your religion is so beautiful.

    • Rasha

      …Penthouse suites, Ducatis, huge comical medals, praise and ass-kissing 24/7….. of course it’s beautiful! How could it be anything other than the Salvation of Humanity????

      “Yay! Hey, Dave! Let’s salute each other! Hahaha! This is fun!”

      • oknow

        TC conned into thinking that his life wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t a scientologist is fun!

        • oknow

          actually it’s really sad.

          • Rasha

            Yup. Tragic, actually.

  • Betty

    Omg this is so depressing.

  • Rasha

    “…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.”

    …because she clicked “like” on a post of Nora’s…. smfh

  • Lois Reisdorf (Lowie)

    This is one of the most disturbing stories I have read. It was hard to keep track of all the people, but I finally got it. It floors me that a mother can seriously disconnect from all kids and grandkids, especially after one of them committed suicide. Hiding all the evidence is also despicable . The whole thing is despicable. Thank you Marie for being brave and courageous in telling your story.

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      And, as has been pointed out by commenters here, when the mother wasn’t in the intolerable position of having to choose between her kids both in and out of Scientology like, say, Sara Wright Goldberg (and hundreds of other families).

    • MarcabExpat

      Thank you so much for being here today, Lois, and for your series at Mike’s blog. It’s important and timely. I wish everyone on the ship and along for the years in hiding would tell their story in this much detail as you and a few brave souls have done.

  • Mrs. V.

    Heavy sigh. Nichola, Sara, Marie, my heart aches for you. Sending virtual hugs your way.

    Now excuse me while I curl up in a ball under covers and read some fantasy fiction so I don’t have to think about real-life tragedy like this.

    It’s always worse than you think.

    ETA: I have a very strong urge to hug my parents and my brother, sister and husband now.

  • Mockingbird

    This story reminds me of the celebrity gossip watchers who act like the only things worth saving are weird rumors about celebrity relationships and the fame of the celebrity and salacious nature of the rumors matter and the kooky ideas about Xenu from South Park are a source of light humor and anything else you have to say is irrelevant. They are practically worthless to me when I see them on TV trying to redirect every conversation to Tom Cruise or something else on celebrity dating habits.

    I have seen people like Joe Rogan totally get things wrong but think they know it all and convince their audience that things are entirely different than they really are.

  • Ann B Watson

    I am sitting here crying for Marie and all she has seen and been through.I join Lois in saluting her bravery,strength and for telling her story.This is so very very important to leave our records of what happened to us when in.For me this testimony is illustrative of the beyond zero ice coldness of a church with no heart and no soul.Those still in have become mind-less robots dancing as Miscavige pulls their strings.Cruel and violent and liars sums up the cult for me now.Thank you Marie may you be happy and find peace because you so deserve all the love I & I am sure many others send your way.💜💗

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Ann, this is off-topic but I just wanted to say I caught that comment someone made to you over at Mike’s where the person told you that your kindness kept them coming back to Mike’s when they were starting to peek out from the bubble. I thought that was so sweet. 😊 You are a blessing to others, and that may be one of the greatest things we can do these days. Thank you for remaining your amazing self. ❤️ (and pssst……Geaux Saints! ⚜)

      • Ann B Watson

        Oh my NOLAGirl,Thank you so so much.Yes I replied to the sweetheart of a poster because that really made me feel that all we do on all the blogs here is totally Worth it.❤️💗to you Geaux Saints ⚜⚜

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)


      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        I totally agree. We love Ann in the Facebook groups; she’s a complete joy 🙂

      • Ann has always stood out to me with her graciousness and warmth. I’m always happy to see Ann at Mike’s and on Facebook.

      • chukicita

        I agree with you about Ann, but go Bucs, please, at least this weekend. 😀

        • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

          Pleeeease Chuki…we need a win. Don’t hurt us too bad. 😀

          • chukicita

            Y’all got the Cool Brees. We got a banged up offense. Please don’t hurt *us* too bad!

            • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

              We’re finding new and innovative ways to lose so it might be y’all dragging us on Sunday. 😀

    • Marie Bilheimer

      Thank you. It was a hard day, but the support from everyone is so strong and encouraging.

      • Ann B Watson

        I so agree with you.🌺💗

  • Racnad

    On an unrelated note: Has anyone been reminded of L. Ron Hubbard followers when having frustrating conversations with L. Don Trump followers?

    • aquaclara

      Can we leave politics out of this, for heaven’s sakes? Sheesh, there are a billion bashes sites out there, just leave it out of here for one day.

      • BosonStark

        Trump will never be out of the conversation. Hubbard and Trump are too much alike. Trump is going to change history, and possibly promote ecological disaster. Plus, second to Hitler, Trump and his followers have been compared to Hubbard and his followers many times, only Trump and his policies are going to affect billions more people. Both leaders are against criticism and a free press. Trump says outrageous things, makes big reversals, appoints a crazy cabinet and his followers don’t blink.

        • Frodis73

          Yeah, I don’t think there will be political free zones anymore–people are too mad and scared and everything else.

          • BosonStark

            It’s one to thing to have a crazy person who says crazy things leading a cult, and another for one to be President. Appointing a fossil fuel industry-funded person to head the EPA is insane, and it’s just one thing Trump has done, with many more yet to come.

            Scientology is going to try to take advantage of the upheaval also. But the mindset is similar, with people hanging onto promises which can’t be kept. There are no clears and OTs, and there is not going to be any reversing automation and technology by building a wall or relaxing EPA standards, and Trump has not even mentioned automation.

            • aquaclara

              You had your crazy choices killing the industry of this country and see how that worked. Over regulation (specifically, Dodd-Frank) killed my last four jobs and I live in a state where almost half (43%) of our electricity is powered by coal. HRC was shutting that off with no alternative plan. Sorry, but your opinions are simply that. Not fact. Go off and sulk.

            • Kim O’Brien

              if you think coal is coming back …i feel really sorry for you . And without Dodd Frank …..your ” industry” would just fucking steal from people . God forbid the consumer knows the fine print on their fucking credit card statement . GASP . Oh NO …i have to tell my client that i make money when they lose it ! GASP . Oh dear …those pesky ” regulations” that wall street hates …poor poor wall street .

            • aquaclara

              You might want to look at your own state, where 60 % of your electricity is powered by coal. ( Turn that off tomorrow, and gee – what’s your plan? Just helps to know some basic facts before bashing others. Also, I’ve never worked on Wall Street, or for a Wall Street firm. There are 14,000-plus pages in Dodd Frank that cost employers in most communities a ton of money and thousands of lost jobs, not with clear direct benefits in exchange. Note that I said communities, not Wall Street.
              And I don’t want your sympathy.

            • Kim O’Brien

              which one is it ? Is the industry being crushed …or are we actually using it ? Is 60% just not enough …??? 60% under Obama ?? seems pretty good to me actually

              Dodd Frank protects consumers from rip off artists and scams .

            • Nat-leficent

              I admire your commitment to keeping politics off this board. /S

            • Kim O’Brien

              you might need the sympathy . Looks like the Republican Trump lovers are going to take away the health care and the pensions of those coal miners HRC hates so much . Watch …they are going to lose pensions and healthcare . They were promised healthcare FOR LIFE because of all the ” deregulation” of things like ..oh …safety measures in coal mines . You might have to tell them they are gonna kiss that goodbye ……cuz it is not looking good


            • Nat-leficent

              You practicing what you preach going politics free on the board?

            • kemist

              … but the trains ran on time.

            • Frodis73

              The current state of affairs is scary af. Only way to put it. I am scared and disgusted at his appointments. Drain the swamp my ass!!
              I have also been thinking how sci will try to take advantage. One guy (name escapes me atm) that he wants is into some weird pseudo science type stuff…the Ron bots will love that. It is going to be rough…

      • I hear you, and congratulations on your beautiful grandchild. That said, even if it were just Mike Pence about to take the oath (and he would have me disappear if he had his way), I’d cut the political comments. But, understand that a toddler with a loaded Glock, a drunk juvenile boy driving a Charger Hellcat, and a rhesus monkey with a straight razor are all seem safer to me than Trump with The Football . . . or a cell phone. Trump/Bannon will be called out whenever possible.

      • Dee Findlay-DeElizabethan

        Double Sheesh!

      • chukicita

        It is not bashing to make these comparisons and have discourse about them. We need to understand them in order to address the efforts that are being made to control many aspects of our lives. We need to understand the impact of high control organizations, gaslighting and misdirection and other control techniques.

        Remember, it has always been Scientology’s plan to control governments. When we see Scientology-like techniques being deployed in our government, when we see the tragic results of that scale of misinformation in our policies and on our evening news, it is our responsibility as citizens to at least talk about it.

      • Nat-leficent

        You need a “safe space” honey? /S

      • Nat-leficent

        By spouting your political opinions below you’ve shown that you don’t actually want a politics-free board, you want a politics-that-don’t-agree-with-yours-free board.

    • Mockingbird

      I have something on that…

      The Cult of Trump posts 1 – 8
      The Cult of Trump part 1 What’s a Cult ? Really ?
      The Cult of Trump part 2 Who Owes Whom What ?
      The Cult of Trump part 3 Thought Reform
      The Cult of Trump part 4 Reason and Resistance
      The Cult of Trump part 5 Most Likely Scenario
      The Cult of Trump part 6 the Con
      The Cult of Trump part 7 Godwin’s Flaw
      The Cult of Trump part 8 Godwin’s Flaw 2

    • kemist


      It scares me.

    • Frodis73

      Yes, it is exactly the same. I even said it to Gemma the twit.

  • Princess Squishy

    That picture with the caption at the end makes me want to cry. That is the most apt description of Scientology ever I think.
    I need some Christmas to cheer me up after that…

    Nope didn’t work

  • kemist

    All her children.

    This woman has lost all her children to search words in dictionaries, get fake, meaningless diplomas and exorcise imaginary space cooties holding soup cans. But then there is a man and a woman in prison in Canada for conspiring (and succeeding) to kill his ex-wife and two teenage daughters by pushing their car into Rideau Canal.

    Jeb is right, it’s super hard to understand how someone sane can do that. It’s also incontrovertible evidence of how powerful and destructive mind control techniques can be – they can destroy, and render meaningless, even a bond as important as that between a mother and her children.

    It’s a terrifying prospect to contemplate, but human minds are vulnerable and can be hacked. We should all be educated about that, it’s very important.

  • Mockingbird

    It’s important to review the real products of Scientology. As they say show me a motherfucking clear ! Or an OT ! Nope, zero, zilch, nada. Broken families ? Thousands and thousands. Failed marriages ? Thousands and thousands. Unnecessary and questionable deaths including ones that proper medical or mental health care could have prevented ? Easily hundreds most likely thousands. Bankruptcies from bad admin technology and chasing OT powers that never come ? Thousands. Ruined lives ? Tens of thousands.

    Now other groups like Christians may also have thousands too or Muslims. True. BUT I have a huge but – there are over a billion Christians and a billion Muslims in the world ! There are only ten or twenty thousand Scientologists total in the whole world ! With that puny relative size Scientology has a hugely disproportionate amount of harm and ruin compared to other groups. It’s ratio of ruined lives is way out of whack.

    Here’s your stat that is straight up and vertical. Clap for this at the events. Indies have a hell of a button on this when they are confronted with it. They get extremely defensive and blame everyone under the sun for the terrible results Scientology actually produces and say if people really did true Scientology it would not be this way. But have no clears or OTs still.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    This story AGAIN shows how dreadful Scientology is. The suicides are kept secret. There’s even no time for mourning, no time to talk about it. Scientologists are not allowed to get distracted from their purpose.
    You could state that humankind needs saving, but Scientology was never fit to do it. It’s just one big scam!

    • pluvo

      One major point is that it is considered “entheta” (= bad news in this case) and it is bad PR for the CoS and has to be avoided at all costs. Many times OSA is immidiatley involved to keep the incident under cover as much as possible and give a “shore story” I would say that in the CoS their PR is mostly more important than a life.

  • aquaclara

    I hope Marie and Sarah and Nicholas know how much it means that they have entrusted their story to us. And that we will not forget Alison and Aaron. There are many readers here, some former members, many who are not. But we share in your grief, even though we are strangers.

    I was blessed with a grandbaby yesterday, happy and sweet and an immensely joy-filled event that is one of the biggest moments of my life. Scientology’s power to destroy those bonds is immense, and I just hope that right now, for all those who are disconnected, that the phones start to ring, and the families come back. Mostly, I hope we will never see another family endure the grief that this family has had to face.

    Still-ins, if you are here today, that’s a good start. Please call your families today. And may God bless you.

    • MadisonAgain

      Congratulations on your new grandbaby!

    • Marie Bilheimer

      Thank you aquaclara, it means so much to have so much support.

  • Mockingbird

    Stories like this remind me of the policy Hubbard had on promotion and delivery. He explicitly wrote that we promise results in Scientology and if we fail to deliver our approach is to always raise delivery never lower promotion. That is a slick way to say if you can’t get clears or OTs or actually help people LIE until you can !

    Scientology promotes itself as building strong families. An ED with a divorce and a couple estranged children taught me that.

  • madame duran

    After reading today’s post in bits and pieces (there’s only so much I can take), I really can’t deal with idiots like JAW and his girlfriend Gemma right now. Too angry.

  • gtsix

    Nichola, Marie and Sarah: may you live well with your family and friends. I am so sorry you experienced such horrid tragedies, and I am horrified at what that organization has taken from you. I hope for your continued happiness, togetherness and love between siblings. Stay strong and happy.

  • ze moo

    “It’s just so bizarre” Yes it is, and sad and disgusting. Hey Dave Miscavage, North Korea called, they want to buy all the $cieno ‘studies’ for ‘education’ department.

    There is too much death and destruction in $cientology. That pisses me off. I do hope that Leah Remini features this story. Thank you Marie Bilheimer, for telling your story. It is a very important story.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    $cientology promotes The Way to Happiness, a trite collection of truisms, platitudes
    and perverse rereadings of common and useful advice, all woefully written.

    I have the DSM 5 open to page 669. The following 3 pages on Narcissistic Personality
    Disorder could substitute seamlessly for Hubbard or Trump’s biographies.
    The exporting of Hubbard’s insanity via his techniques of manipulation and deception
    to take control of people’s will, lives and dreams is appalling.
    The tragedy of all these lives casually tossed on the bonfire of Hubbard’s vanity is awful.

    I really do hate $cientology.
    I do not hate $cientologists.
    To the contrary, I wish them all peace and freedom from their shackles.
    Some of the most damaged may need however to wear shackles for a while.

    • Ann B Watson

      I love all your posts.💗

      • Rasha

        …and spoons.

        • Draco

          And babies! With chubby cheeks!

          • Rasha


  • scnethics

    Wow – so much process and learn from this tragic story!

  • Roger Larsson

    If people had been thetans instead of humans they had attack critics, psychs and communists.

    OT TR 0 knock out Human Emotions and Reactions.

  • Mark Allen Shreck

    well, I think my heart just literally sunk…

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I think you just put into words the way we all feel today.

  • Mike Rinder

    Thanks for coming forward Marie. It DOES help for the world to hear what happened to you and your family. Others must not be allowed to suffer the same fate.

    This tragic tale touches on all the toxic elements of scientology’s “family values” they try to pitch so hard.

    Scientology’s view: if your family has value to scientology, it’s tolerated as a social necessity. As soon as it is seen as any sort of threat to the empire it is ripped to shreds and its component parts treated like garbage to be brushed aside for fear they will soil the soles of Dear Leader’s John Lobbs.

    Stay strong Marie. And Nichola and Sarah.

    The pain you have suffered can be turned to good. This is a giant step in that direction.

    • Rasha

      Hear, hear!

    • Mark

      Comparing Scientology to North Korea?

      Very appropriate. Of course Scientology doesn’t go and kill you if you break away and they don’t harm your family if you break away, (so long as they remain in the cult)

      I wonder if that is more on feasibility grounds rather than moral grounds?

      • Draco

        “Of course Scientology doesn’t go and kill you if you break away and they don’t harm your family if you break away, (so long as they remain in the cult)”
        maybe not, but some of them WILL cheer if you die, and while they might not harm your family physically, the mental and emotional damage is beyond measure.

        • Mark


          But I think it is a matter of being practical or not having the ability to do so.

          In other words, if they could get away with being like North Korea I think a lot would go for it.

    • Liberated

      I still say, John Lobbs do not come in kiddie sizes.

      • Draco

        Custom made shoes come in any size you want. As long as you pay the outrageous asking price of course. I wonder how much giggling went on behind the scenes at the cobbler’s? “You’re kidding! These are for a grown man?. Nah. You’re pulling me leg!”

        • Liberated

          I stand corrected…..but still!
          Gotta laugh.

    • MarcabExpat

      LIsten to what Mike said, Marie. He knows it better than anybody.

    • Marie Bilheimer

      Thank you Mike, for your continued support.

  • PickAnotherID

    Later gang. I need to go find some glads somewhere before I go see the grandkids tonight.

    • Rasha

      VERY HUGZ ALL ROUND!!!!!!!

      • Draco

        From all of us!

  • Shayne

    Tragic beyond comprehension. So very brave of her to share her story.

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    Thank you Marie, Sarah and Nichola for having the strength to tell your stories to Tony Ortega. No words can describe the tragedies you have endured, but by telling your stories you have made sure that Aaron Poulin’s death will no longer be covered up, and that the Miscavige-ordered crimes against your family will be exposed.

  • Elizabeth

    Holy sh*t, that is a crazy story. I’m so sorry for your losses, and for all you’ve endured, Marie! I don’t know you personally, but I am super proud that you’ve told your story. All those things the church tries to make you hide! All that pain, just so they don’t look bad. Awful. I hope you are doing ok, and if there is any way a fellow ex-‘er can help, let me know!

  • Rasha

    More Recommends than comments. Thanks to everyone who reads, forwards, tweets, watches….

    *preemptively skootches on the Bunker Sofa*

    • StudentOfLife

      Good catch, that means more and more lurkers and likely more newbies are coming to the Bunker to find out what all the fuss is about. I bet Scientology has one of the highest suicide per capita rates of any organization, maybe even exceeding that of our returning wounded (including emotionally) desert veterans. We thought Hurricane Going Clear was going to be a Category 5 but Hurricane Leah has the potential to be a tsunami even beyond the Category 5 it already is. I bet Leah’s force of purely altruistic intentions has Lil Davey Miscavige’s behind puckering at the thought of what it will feel like to finally wear all orange.

      • Xenu’s son.

        You are hopefully a GoodStudentOfLife.But for sure a good student of boards.
        From my own limited calcullations (ex)staff suicide rate 500% higher than comparable demographics.
        More precise estimate?Post it.
        If we can prove with numbers the giant link between Staff Scientology and Suicide,we might finally get the DOJ to take some action under the RICO act.
        Isis are the suicide mastes of the world.Could staff on Scientollogy be number 2?

    • Sibs

      I don’t usually have time to comment anymore, but I do read and click the heart when I can.

      • Rasha

        ^_^ Good to see you, Sibs!!

  • Hamtaro

    A lot of comparisons in the comments today between Scientology and North Korea. So let’s make a deal: I’ll stop complaining about Scientology destroying people’s lives the day DM gets his hair cut like Kim Jong Un.

    • If I weren’t so freaking busy right now . . . Obs! Mark!

    • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

      Dear Santa,

      We don’t ask for much but if you could make this happen that would be great. We haven’t exactly been “good” this year (whatever that is) and no Hamtaro probably won’t stop complaining about Scientology abuses but c’mon Santa, it’s been a tough year, and that little turds hair will grow back.

      Thank you,

    • Graham

      Don’t joke about Dear Leader’s haircut or you might get a visit:

  • OMG I literally had to take a break and toss up my coffee mid reading this. Yes, it’s entheta as I used to say but truly its only one of thousands of stories. I lost a son to suicide, a husband to suicide and was disconnected by my scientology friends and then 38 yr old son and 28 year old daughter who was 8 mos pregnant with my first grandchild. That was 3.5 yrs ago. She now has a daughter I’ve never seen. It hurts like I never felt before. But what hurts more is that there are thousands of these horrible stories and the ‘scientologists’ don’t even have a clue. They are indoctrinated/brainwashed to such a degree they can hardly remember ‘entheta’ and will discount it …. but it will all come into focuse when they are on the way out. Thus the enevitable insidents of nightmares and long forgotten ‘entheta’ that now must be delt with and no where really to turn for help then oneself including the only drugs allowed alcohal, nicotine and caffeine. I’d send all my guardian angels off to help all these guys trying to leave if I could. Thank you all speaking out because its important that these guys not think they are the only ones and have someone to talk to that understands the effects of a cult or any abusive relationship for that matter. XXOO

    • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

      I thought of you while I was reading today’s article. Are you okay?

      • Yes Andrea. Thanks. I’m OK despite this $ crap. And only because I’m a fighter type. Many of my old friends gave up on their spiritual goals because they couldn’t figure it out. I’m one of the lucky ones and will forever be greatfull for you all here 🙂 Hugs ♡♡♡

      • I’m fine. Just answered you but it went away. Hugs Andrea 🙂

    • And, as always, great, warm BunkerHugs to you Cece. Your story is another in the tapestry.

    • aquaclara

      Scientology leaves no room for lifestyle choices, healthy living, meaningful medical care, including psychological help, and their preferred treatments for anything are at best useless, at worst, life-ending.
      Add in the children who can be raised with little parental guidance, the threat of disconnection, a lousy education, and no meaningful choices as to how to live their lives, and it all stuns me that anyone could survive through all this.
      As you observed “…including the only drugs allowed – alcohol, nicotine and caffeine” .
      Hugs to you, Cece. I hope more do see the way out with your help and everyone here.

    • Draco

      So sorry, Cece. I tried for a second to put myself in your shoes, and my mind just runs screaming from the mere thought of it.
      I hate this fucking cult. ((((Hugs))))

    • Lois Reisdorf (Lowie)

      Wow Cece, so sorry for all of this. I thought my stories of disconnection were horrible but this is so much worse! You are in my thoughts and sending you lots of love. Hang in there.

      • Lois – I had 21 years of my life with no $. I had that to fall back on. The fact you children of us that raised you in, do make it out is why us parents will never give up. Thx so much for speaking out ♡♥♡♥XOXO

    • daisy

      I am so sorry Cece. Healing thoughts and prayers for all the hurting bunker mates . I believe this will end . (((( hugs )))

    • Marie Bilheimer

      Thank you Cece. I shared in the hopes that I could help others not have to be in the same situation as us. I am so sorry for your losses. <3

    • ExCult.Jan

      Oh, Cece. Hugs!

  • What a heart crushing story to read. Truly, it tragically reaffirms a phrase referenced in this post’s title, “Scientology: always worse than you think.” To Marie, Nichola and Sarah, let your sisters and your families, both chosen and biological, be the bedrock of your lives as you move forward. You’ll always have a place to vent here in The Bunker. And remember that support for your plight grows every Tuesday night at ten.

  • Username

    With so many stories like Marie and her family’s that need to be told, I hope Leah’s series runs another 10 seasons or more until it’s all out there.

  • Interested2

    I am wordless. Ethical!?!?!

  • Username