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Scientology destroyed her family, but this former Sea Org worker has a surprise ending

[Katrina and her mother Yelena, in the Sea Org]

Last year, we finally got to tell the heartbreaking story of Katrina Reyes. About how she had come to Florida from Siberia to join Scientology’s Sea Organization at only 11 years old. About how her mother seemed less concerned with her daughter’s well-being than about finding a husband in the Sea Org and working its long hours. About how Katrina had finally broken away from the Sea Org, and then was thrown out of Scientology and was “disconnected” by her mom.

While Katrina’s mother, Yelena, remains a Sea Org worker at Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Katrina moved on, getting married and having a child. She and her husband Jose and their son Nolan moved to Austin, Texas, and Katrina has not heard from her mother since 2015.

So many elements of her story are remarkable. That she happened to meet Jose on a smoke break at JFK airport while flying back to Siberia for a passport. That when she went to her Sea Org superiors asking to see a doctor because she feared she was pregnant or had contracted an STD after being raped in Siberia, they instead interrogated her and kicked her out on the streets. That her mother disconnected from her for, among other infractions, “liking” a photo of Tom DeVocht’s dog on Facebook.

When she called us with an update, we braced for the worst.

She explained that a part of her story that we had essentially skipped past was about her first years, which took place in Uzbekistan, before she lived in Siberia. Her mother and grandmother took her to Siberia when she was three years old after her mother divorced Katrina’s dad.


Since then, Katrina says she had been told by her mother that her father had never wanted her, and had encouraged Yelena to have an abortion when she became pregnant.

So, according to what her mother had told her, Katrina always believed she never really had a father. And then her mother had cut off all ties with her because of Scientology.

She says that since 2015, she considered herself an orphan.

But she always remembered a family in Tashkent, Uzbekistan that she had been a part of. There was an aunt, her father’s youngest sister, who was only four years older than she was. She could still remember playing with her aunt and enjoying her grandparents’ farm, with animals and exotic birds.

She began to wonder. What if her Scientologist mother had been lying to her about those years?

Katrina says she began scouring Russian-language social media for her aunt. She knew her name, knew her approximate age, and knew that she resembled Katrina quite closely. Was the family still in Tashkent?

After searching extensively, Katrina found her aunt. And as soon as they reconnected, the aunt told her that Katrina’s father was desperate to talk to her.

Katrina’s mother, it turned out, had been lying to her. Her father had never wanted to be separated from his daughter.

“I have finally found the father that I have not spoken to or seen for 28 years,” she tells us. “He didn’t know anything about my life. He didn’t know he was a grandfather.”

She says when her son appeared behind her during their first video call, her father burst into tears.

Katrina says the experience has been bewildering and bittersweet. “My father has seven brothers and sisters. So now I’ve reconnected with some of my aunts. And I have a brother and a sister! Holy shit, I’m no longer an only child.”

She learned that her father was only 19 and her mother was 16 when she got pregnant, and that Yelena’s mother said she would go to the authorities if the couple didn’t marry. So they did, unhappily.

Then, just a couple of weeks after Katrina was born in 1987, her father was shipped off to the Soviet Army. He was gone for two years. When he got back, he and Yelena fought, and they separated. Eight months later, Yelena, her mother, and Katrina moved to Siberia, cutting off all ties with him.

“My mother asked him to sign papers giving up all parental rights to me, and he refused,” Katrina says.

She admits that she was nervous about finding her former family. What if it had gone badly? But things have turned out well. She’s glad to have the connection after being told for so long that none was there.

“Seeing the human reaction of this man, breaking down when he sees his first grandchild? I think that’s what I needed to see,” Katrina says. “It’s a huge milestone for me, mentally.”

She has also made a major decision.

“I’m done with my mother, by the way,” she tells us. “I’m not going to reach out to her anymore.”

She and Jose had made multiple trips to Florida, hoping to get some kind of contact with Yelena at the Flag Land Base.

“Why am I fighting for a woman who won’t even accept a picture of her grandson? My husband would ask, why are you still trying to get her back into your life? I guess I’m finally there.”

We’re reminded of a similar thing that Liz Gale told us, and we hope it eventually gets through to Scientologists who destroy their own families through disconnection: Wait too long, and you may not have a family to go back to.

But for Katrina, at least, there’s a new family for her, and one untainted by Scientology.

“I’m not an orphan anymore,” she says.


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] VIDEO: ‘Chicago Fire’ star Christian Stolte’s tribute to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s sneaky strategy: Suck up to police departments through ‘Drug-Free’ campaigns
[THREE years ago] David Miscavige gets ribbon-happy in Florida: It’s the Scientology social media review!
[FOUR years ago] Jefferson Hawkins on how Scientology closes minds — a new podcast
[FIVE years ago] Scientology has a new recruitment video to get you to sign up for a billion years!
[SEVEN years ago] Luka Magnotta’s Scientology Screed: “I Wished Every Night That Tom Cruise Would Adopt Me”


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,489 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,618 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,122 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,642 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 662 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 553 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,860 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,728 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,502 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,276 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,622 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,188 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,107 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,275 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,856 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,117 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,156 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,868 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,394 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,483 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,623 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,943 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,799 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,918 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,273 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,576 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,682 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,084 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,956 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,539 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,034 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,288 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,397 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 26, 2019 at 07:00

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Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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 can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

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