Don’t let the image fool you—sex and marriage in the sea org was no walk in the park. In fact, if you were caught “walking in the park” with someone and you weren’t married, you’d have hell to pay!
In scientology, it’s called “going out-2D”. I know, weirdness. I’ll explain all that later. Right now, I thought I’d tell you about my marriages while in scientology, short-lived as they were.
Both of them happened while I was on staff in mountain view, before I joined the sea org. One of them, however, was with a sea org member who led me down the primrose path to a life of subservience. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. But for now, let’s start with…
Ahhh, Roger. My second husband, but the first one after I got into scientology. Now, here’s the thing: When you’re a scientologist, it’s really not a good idea to get into a relationship with a non-scientologist. It just doesn’t work very well, as you can imagine!
When I joined staff, I broke up with my long-term boyfriend because he didn’t want to get into scientology (actually, it was because he pushed me against a wall one night and I left right then and there, but scientology was a good “out”).
Anyway, I’d been on staff for about a year, and had gone out on a few dates just for fun, but nothing serious. I had no intention of getting married again, since my first marriage was an unmitigated disaster.
Then out of nowhere came Roger. He was incredibly nice, and he seemed to know exactly what to say and do to make me happy. We had a great relationship, and it seemed like a natural fit to get married—particularly because we weren’t having sex and couldn’t do anything about it until we were married.
Hold up—whaaaaat? Scientology’s like that? Oh, yes indeed.
In scientology, you have what are called the “eight dynamics”, or eight separate urges toward survival. These range from the first dynamic, self, all the way up to the eighth dynamic, god or infinity—no, scientologists don’t believe in “god” per se, but it’s a good way to get people to agree with them in terms of the eight dynamics.
The second dynamic, or 2D, is the urge to survive through sex and children. For scientologists, that means being married—sex is only considered healthy if you’re married while you’re having it.
If you have sex when you’re not married, that’s considered “out-2D”, or severely unethical. If it happens, you get to confess it all in an interrogation and then “make amends” for having done such a terrible thing.
This usually involves writing up a “liability formula” where you lay out everything you did wrong, then list out the amends you did, and then give it to everyone in your group to read. (Embarrassing? Nah!) Once you get your liability formula “approved” by the majority of the group, you’re back in good standing.
Insane? YA THINK??? But this went on all the time, and liability formulas were just a normal thing.
Why I agreed to this “no sex until marriage” thing, I still don’t know. I’d had a pretty healthy unmarried sex life up to the point I discovered Scientology (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more…).
Oh well, in for a penny, in for a pound, I guess. Plus, who wants to go through the pain and anguish of interrogations and liability formulas? Not me.
So Roger and I decided to get married one day, and a week later we were married by the mission holder, Marc. It was quick and dirty, so to speak, and I moved right into Roger’s house.
That marriage was doomed from the start. First of all, the sex was no bueno. But that’s not the main reason.
I found out a few weeks after we were married, when Roger seemed to change almost completely, that he’d been getting “coached” by someone I thought was my friend in all the “right” things to say and do in order to “catch” me. Once he had me, I guess he figured he didn’t have to act that way anymore.
REALLY???? And I fell for it???? Well, I fell for scientology, so obviously my gullibility factor was pretty high at that point.
Roger and I tried to work on our marriage. We even got scientology marriage counseling (which of course was not cheap) to try to fix things.
Here’s what scientology “marriage counseling” consists of: You sit there with your spouse, and each of you takes turns saying what you’ve done to the other person and what you’ve withheld from them. It’s supposed to help you get a fresh start on your marriage by coming clean on all your transgressions.
Yeah, it didn’t work, obviously. In fact, it was pretty embarrassing to reveal some of the things I was not telling him, and pretty upsetting to hear about some of the things he’d kept from me.
Anyway, that marriage lasted less than a year. At that point, I was REALLY not going to get married again, even if it meant never having sex again in my life. And then came…
Now this is where things really went to hell in a handbasket. Why? Well, Andrew was my introduction to the sea organization.
I met Andrew when he was posted at our organization as the “flag rep”. A bit of backstory here: Since we had a fairly successful mission, the powers-that-be decided we should become a class V organization, which is a step up from a mission and can deliver more services.
Class V orgs aren’t sea org organizations, but a sea org member is posted in each org’s executive structure. This person is called the “flag rep”, as he or she “represents” the “flagship” organization. Blah blah blah—it’s basically a minion of Big Brother in your organization to make sure you’re doing everything according to “standards”.
We had one flag rep, Robyn, at first, and she was actually quite nice. Then she left to go to another org, because flag reps aren’t supposed to stay in any one org too long lest they become “part of the problem” as it were. In her place came this British guy, Andrew.
Andrew was smart, nice, and unassuming. I liked him immediately because he was, well, British. One thing led to another and pretty soon we’d decided we wanted to be more than friends. Of course we couldn’t, because Andrew was in the sea org and I was a lowly class V staff member. Sea org members can’t marry outside their species, you know.
Then we had a crazy idea: Why not petition the Executive Director International (at that time, the int management staff member in charge of all scientology orgs) to get married? After all, I was “eventually” going to go into the sea org, but wasn’t ready yet because I wanted to have kids. So we petitioned with that information included, and got a response: We could get married as long as I would activate my sea org contract “when called to do so.”
Oh man, I was so naive.
We got married two days later (sex, remember?) and within two weeks I was being recruited by an “int base writer’s mission”.
A “mission” is scientologese for a team that’s sent out by sea org management to get a specific job done. In this case, they were sent by international management to recruit writers for the int base.
Back in the early 90s, nobody knew how wackadoo the int base was. It was considered the ultimate in terms of scientology: If you were an int base staff member, you were considered a sort of demigod.
Anyway, I didn’t want to be recruited yet, but I’d agreed to “join the sea org when called to do so,” remember? I wanted to have kids first, but the recruiters convinced me that this was out-ethics: I’d had kids many lifetimes before and would have them many lifetimes in the future, but this was the ONLY chance I had to save the planet.
Yes, this actually happened.
So I joined the sea org and after a few months of intense preparation (read: interrogations to within an inch of my life), I was on my way up to int management.
Andrew followed soon after, as this was the deal I’d struck with the recruiters: I’d only go if he was able to go as well. I don’t think they loved that idea but they went with it.
I’ll write all about the crazy preparations I had to go through in another blog post. But you could say that marrying Andrew was one of the worst decisions I made—particularly since he “blew” the int base two years later (in the guise of going to visit his sick mother in England) and never returned. I, however, ended up staying another 12 years. Argh.
Once Andrew left, I never even thought about having a relationship with anyone else until well after I’d escaped the sea org. I just turned it all off in my head, because of course there was no thought of sex, babies, or anything else.
I used to tell people all the time that I never had kids because “I guess I wasn’t meant to have them”. That’s not really true. I never had kids because I was in the sea org from the ages of 32 to 47, and I wasn’t allowed to have them.
It would all be so sad, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m so happy now. All those marriages showed me what I didn’t want in a man, then when the right man came along, I knew it.
Plus, I have the added bonus of three great stepchildren and three beautiful grandkids: the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I could write so much more about this, and I’m sure I will. But for now, I’ll just sit here on my comfy couch and revel in the fact that I’m out of that mess and married to the best man I know. And yes, we did have sex before marriage.
In your face, scientology!