First off, let me say that I am grateful that I get to share my story here. When I have shared my story with other people who have no knowledge of Scientology - it is more about teaching them Scientologyspeak and concepts, which gets tiring all by itself. However here, I can launch right in and know that at least a few of you will relate.
My parents got involved in Scientolgy when I was two and my sister was four (1972). We lived life under the tenets of the church - no doctors or medications, a general fear and loathing of anything that smacked of psycho-babble, an elitist attitute that we lorded over wogs. In general, we led a lives limited to involvement with others in Scientololgy. My father owned his own business - and he hired only other Scientologists. (I did go to public school, so there were other influences at work on me - I never thought I would say this but - THANK GOODNESS for typical peer pressure.
I believe that my Dad was one of the first groups of people to reach OT III. After completion, he did a little speaking at different orgs and we would go and watch. I think my mother was Clear at that time and just starting on the OT levels. My sister and I were still only doing elementary reading, Training Routines, Auditing, etc.
My parents divorced when I was 11 â€“ they both had affairs with other Scientologists that worked in my Dad's office. As a kid I was afraid of my father's temper, so when they divocred, I "secretly" told my Mom that I wanted to live with her. What happened was my sister and I split our time between the two houses. Dad remarried when I was 12, my Mom the next year (on her lunch hour without telling anyone). Everyone was still in Scientology and still working together at my fathers firm. When I was 12/13/14 I, my sister, and my stepsisters were enrolled in the HQS course and spent two summer vacations at the org. We would get dropped off in the AM and picked up after my parents were done with work.
I have many recollections of those two summers- and many of them have to do with the amount of work we did around the org. We seemed to spend part of the day on course work and the rest helping answer phones, cleaning, filing, etc. My most vivid memories of the coursework was the TR's - that damn ashtray NEVER moved, not even an inch.
After two summers, we all passed and this is also when the shit hit the fan at home.
Dad started to pull away from Scientology (partly from some of the things that went on during our coursework and partly because some of his friends were getting declared for critical discussions about the higher levels) Mom lost her shit. She got the other people in my Dadâ€™s office to quit on the same day and then they collectively sued him. They lost but my father almost declared bankruptcy. During this time, my Mom also said she had gotten to a point in her coursework where she realized that she never really wanted to have kids and if she had it to do over she would have had abortions. She said she was tired of the Mother Hat and we are all just going to be friends now.
As my Dad pulled further away from the Church, my Mom got more zealous (her husband, my stepfather, was an Ethics Officer). One day the church called my Dad to ask for a meeting, saying it was for the benefit of my sister and me. He was then given my â€œprivateâ€? file to read - in addition to the typical auditing and coursework notes, it was filled with anything "secret" I had shared with my mom over the divorce years. I was mortified and ridiculed on every front. Nevermind the fact that most of what was said was when I was 11/12/13 - the people who read my file (and who didn't) held my feet to the fire for everything in it. Things became clear - no wonder my step-father never talked to me, I was not impressed with his inability to hold a job and by the fact that he sponged off my Mom...no wonder my Dad's feelings were so hurt that he had a hard time being in the same room with me for many years after...no wonder my stepmom felt alienated since I was resentful of how she was trying to force me to act as if she was my real Mom..(you get the idea)
Well, shortly thereafter, my Dad was declared. Mom tells me and my sister (who was almost out of high school at this point) that we absolutely must disconnect from Dad â€“ she has the church contact us when we are at her house to pressure us. My stepfather and Mom pressure us. My sister finally has enough and stops coming to my Momâ€™s house â€“ I still go every other week. Finally, Dad has lawyers write a letter that instructs the church to leave us alone. By now I am 16 â€“ Mom decides that she cannot have contact with us anymore since she must disconnect in every way from my father - so she moves to Los Angeles. I then lived with my Dad and Stepmom full time, and I must admit, I was waiting for the inevitable Armageddon that was sure to come since I was now living with an SP. I am happy to report...the fear faded. It was replaced by tears, then anger, then an incredible amount of cynicism.
I visited my Mom maybe five times over the next 12 or so years, usually I was in CA for some reason or other and asked if I could see her. Then she contacted me when I was 28; she was doing more coursework and said she needed to know how I felt about Scientology. I blasted her and that damn religion. Shortly after my sister and I received Xeroxed disconnection letters. I have not had any contact with her since.
I am now 36, married, with two amazing children, and a truly wonderful life that I never take for granted. Thanks for listening.