Hi again! I’m back with more craziness to share. Exciting, right?
I read a blog post by Tony Ortega yesterday on his excellent website, The Underground Bunker. In it, he examines the insanity of the way Scientologists justify doing crazy, evil things.
And it got me thinking…
How many ways did I justify situations in my life as a Scientologist with the words, “Well, I’ve lived for trillions of years, so I’ve probably already done/not done this…”
Yes, Scientologists believe we’ve been around for 76 trillion years and lived many lifetimes. That means, of course, that we’ve pretty much experienced everything good, bad, and super ugly.
It’s the way Scientologists justify anything they do. In the article, Tony writes about how once-prominent Scientologists who are now in jail don’t really have to worry about it because, hey, what’s 16 years in jail to an immortal spiritual being? Been there, done that, probably hundreds of times.
That’s the crazy thought process that led me to justify a number of situations in my life while I was in the Sea Org.
No Children Allowed
First, I never had kids. Why? Because in the Sea Org, particularly at the Int level, it wasn’t allowed. Having children, you see, would take you away from the vital business of saving the planet from destruction. Those who had children when they entered the Sea Org were separated from them, and hardly ever saw them. The kids grew up in a sort of a grooming facility, called the Cadet Org, until they were old enough to join the Sea Org on their own.
In fact, Sea Org members who got pregnant had two choices: have an abortion or be posted in a “lower org” — a fate worse than death to a high-ranking Sea Org member. The drives to the abortion clinic happened regularly when I worked at the Int base in Hemet.
It’s painful to think about now, and really tough to reconcile what I was a part of. I’m pro-Choice, but in this case, there was NO choice.
Anyway, while I always felt like I wanted kids, I hadn’t had any before I got into Scientology. In fact, one of my objections when I was being recruited for the Sea Org was “What if I want to have kids?” My recruiter assured me that I’d had kids thousands of times before and would have them again in future lives, so I really wasn’t missing out on anything by skipping the kid thing this lifetime.
So I never had kids and by the time I got out of Scientology I was 47, so it wasn’t an option. Now I’m glad I didn’t, because they would have had to be subjected to the horrible treatment of children in the Sea Org. Every so often I think about what it would have been like to have been a mom, but I don’t dwell on it. Plus, I got lucky enough to marry a man who has three kids of his own, and I love them all. Even better, I’m a grandma now and it’s more joyful than I could have ever imagined.
Another thing I justified with the “lived trillions of years” thing was not seeing my family for decades and not being part of their lives at all. You see, in Scientology, family members are just other thetans (Scientology term for spiritual beings) who happen to be in the body of your mom or a dad this lifetime, but could easily have been your kid another lifetime, or no connection to you at all.
It’s an insidious way to dehumanize family connections, and that’s how Scientologists can justify the horrific disconnection policy that has torn more families apart than I can count.
If you’re not familiar with the disconnection policy, in a nutshell it’s this: You leave Scientology and want nothing more to do with it. By doing that, you’re declared a “Suppressive Person” and anyone who is still a Scientologist must disconnect from you. That means if you grew up in a Scientology family, your entire family wouldn’t ever speak to you again.
In my case, nobody in my family was a Scientologist, so I didn’t have the disconnection situation when I left. But when I was in, I never spoke to them. I justified it with the old “just a thetan in a body” idea. I was too busy doing the important work of Scientology. They’d understand next lifetime.
My brother told me a few years ago that he’d tried many times to reach me when I was at the Int Base, but they’d never put him through. Of course I never knew this. We didn’t have our own phones and could never make phone calls on our own. Everything went through a switchboard of sorts, and every call was monitored. One time when my brother was trying to contact me, he got frustrated and said, “But I’m her family!” Their response? “We’re her family now.”
I missed so much time with my family—time I can never get back. I missed seeing my nieces and nephews grow up, sharing in birthdays and anniversaries, hanging out at holiday gatherings—basically, living life with them.
At least I got out when I did, and was able to spend a few years with my dad before he died, so that’s something. Now my brother—the one who took me across country in his truck when I escaped—is about to enter hospice. I’m so grateful we got to spend time together these past 12 years.
There are other things I could write about here, but it’s just making me mad to think about them. I hover between beating myself up for being so stupid and feeling horrible for those who are still living this lie.
If you’re one of those people—someone who’s still in Scientology but lurking here and on other blogs because you have doubts—there’s still time. You can leave and have a great life. Do it now, before it’s too late.
2 thoughts on “Why did I think this was OK?”
Hey Anne, so great you are writing down your experiences and thoughts. I found it very therapeutic. The family thing is so tragic. I managed to sneak away and see family more than most. I used to call my mother every Sunday morning during “CSP” time. I would sneak out to a pay phone. I was blessed to have had a step-daughter from my first marriage who I kept in touch with, and she was the first person I called after I managed to escape. Now I have two grandchildren. My niece also has 2 kids and I see them all the time. We can’t take back those years of “no family” but we can create new families, and I’m glad to see you are doing that. And the friendships we forged in the bad old days are forever!
Write on, Anne!
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