I have decided it is time to write up my story. I am still connected to Scientologists and I have had a load of fear in writing this and letting it be known, but it is time I did. My own safety isn't what is important. My family is what is important and those of my family who are still "in" or missing in action are what is important. Scientology is a scam - the Sea org is a scam. It needs to be brought out in the open what is does to people and what it does to families. It has all but destroyed mine. I want them back, but if they won't listen then so be it. I will tell what it has done. I will make it known for what it is. I am sick and tired of being afraid.
So here goes - part one - I have left out names in case it offends......
This story all starts in far away Australia, A land of great beauty and wonderful people. It is the story of a very ordinary, very usual, nothing special woman.
This woman was born in a small coastal town in the state of Victoria in the 50s. There was nothing special about this town and nothing special about this woman’s birth. She was just an ordinary woman in an ordinary world. Little did this woman know that as time went by she would become anything but ordinary!
This is the story of that very ordinary, very usual, nothing special woman:
I was the third child in a family of four children. I was the second child to be born in the land of opportunity; my older sister was the first, my older brother having been born in bonny Scotland. My parents had come from Scotland a few years prior on a Government assisted immigration program. My father was an Engineer and worked for a large refinery company. My mother was a stay at home mum.
We were Normal every day regular folk. We were a family going about their business of surviving and growing. I do not remember much about those early days. Snippets of memory come and go - going to Church all dressed in Sunday best, with lace gloves and a hat, pretty dresses and shiny black shoes. Making puppets at Church, going to school and doing what most kids do, growing and learning and having fun.
Our family had moved into a government owned home with pretty honeysuckle along the fence. I remember picking the honeysuckle and sucking out the sweet nectar inside the tiny flowers. I remember that taste so vividly. This was one vivid memory out of so many blurred ones.
Then one day at the age of seven my whole world turned upside down. I will never forget that day as long as I live.
It was a sunny November day, the 24th to be exact. There was Just one more month until Christmas! Of course, you have to realize that in Australia, November was summer and the days were warm and the skies blue.
I had been delegated the task of taking the mail to the post office. In those days going to the post office at the age of seven was very safe and many times my siblings and I would go by our selves. There was no need for an escort and I was happy and free. I had placed the mail in my underwear so that the letters would be safe and I would not lose them. I know it sounds strange, but I was seven and I thought that this was the only way to ensure that the mail made it to the post office and that seemed the safest place to me. Besides my underwear had tight elastic bands at the top and the legs and there was no way those letters would fall out.
There I was seven years old, skipping and running to the post office. It was a beautiful Friday afternoon, and I had no care in the world!
Those letters got there safe and I deposited them into the mailbox outside the post office.I cannot remember the exact distance from my house, but I do remember I was a little tired, it was so warm outside and so I decided to sit on the steps that led down from the post office to the street. From there I could see across the trees and houses to the big refinery where my father worked. I had no sense of doom, no idea of what was about to happen, but I do remember feeling I needed to be there. I actually felt a sense of calm. I was waiting but I did not know for what.
Then it happened, a huge loud noise the likes of which I had never heard before, an explosion. That is when I saw the smoke in the distance. I heard it and I saw it and I knew right then that something had happened to my father. However, I was not afraid; I had no sense of fear, no sense of doom. I just knew that he was close - I could feel him, and then I could see him. I could see his face; see his smile, his curly dark hair and his horn-rimmed glasses.
I swear to this day that my father stood right there before me on that sunny Friday afternoon in November 1961. That he was as alive and full of life as he had been that morning when he left for work. He was smiling and telling me that it was ok, that he was fine. He told me to tell my mother that he was ok and that things would be fine. I can still hear his strong Scottish brogue, see his smiling face and hear his words. “Don’t worry darling everything is going to be ok”. Then he was gone.
I would never see my father again.
That explosion and fire took the life of my father and three other men.
I, of course, did tell my mother that he was ok. She did not know what I was talking about. She did not realize anything was amiss until someone came to the door and then she was gone. I told anyone who would listen including my grandmother. She had gotten us children together in one room of our house while my mother had gone to be with my father in the hospital and we were kneeling on the floor in the act of praying for my father’s soul.
My grand mother wanted to know why I was not crying. She said I must be evil, as I shed no tears for my father. I told her that my father had said he was fine and that everything was going to be ok. I told her I saw him, she wanted to know when, where, everything. I told her about my experience at the post office. My Grandmother called me a silly, evil little witch who was just making up stories. She said that I should pray that god would forgive me for not grieving for my father.
How could I? He had said he was ok and that everything would be fine. I did not understand why my grandmother had such a problem with it. Why could she not understand that I had seen my father and that he was as real as life itself. She never acted the same towards me from that time on until her dying day. This was something I never understood until many years later.
It actually took me close to another ten years to shed tears for the loss of my father, and that only occurred after I started to write a poem about him. However, I always knew that my father was with me and that he was ok. He has been my guardian angel ever since that day and his presence will always be with me.
I think that was the beginning of my “spiritual” life. Seeing my father before me as he was physically near death was a lot for a seven-year-old child to comprehend. I took it as it came to me. Believed it happened and never wavered in all the years since, that I had seen, not his physical self but his spiritual self as his body lay dying. I never questioned what I saw. Others did, but not me.
Since that time, throughout my life I had encountered many things that others would find hard to believe. It seems that experience so long ago had set my path, or at least had set my belief system into place.
Our lives went on after my father’s death. I found out later that my father had intended for us to return to Scotland. That he had felt that Australia was not where we should be. I guess he was homesick. We never made it back to Scotland as he died before those plans came to fruition.
My mother had been a Sunday school teacher at our church and unbeknownst to any of us she had been looking for something, something that would open up her world, give her answers to the questions she had about life and livingness, about spirituality and god. She was brought up in a religious home and I had been part of the Church for my whole younger years but I guess her questions had never been answered and so she was looking for more. A close friend of hers had given her Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health, a book written by an American Sci-fi writer, L. Ronald Hubbard, before my father died. She apparently had started reading this book and had believed that maybe she had found the answers to her questions about life, livingness, and spirituality. So after my father died, my mother became involved directly with Dianetics. She became involved to the point that a year after my father died we moved lock, stock and barrel to Melbourne where the closest Dianetics group was. Four children, a dog and a new soon to be step father.
I do remember the move, we moved into a wonderful home which was not government owned; it was our very own home. It was a beautiful house with a huge backyard. This home would hold many happy memories for me. In addition, I still remember to this day the address. Strange how some things impinge on a child’s mind. Anyway, this move was the start of a journey through life for me. This journey would take me across continents and countries. Trying and tough times were ahead for me, but there were also times of extreme happiness and delight.
My stepfather had been a Dianeticist from the very early 50s. He worked at the College of Dianetics with some well-known early Scientologists, (blank)and (blank) It was here that I would learn about Dianetics and Scientology and here where I would make friendships that have lasted my lifetime. (blank) and(blank) and their children become fast friends of my family, to the point actually where (blank) and (blank) were legally made our Guardians if anything should happen to my parents. There were many happy times in Australia. Many get togethers of local Dianeticists or Scientologists, whatever you want to call them.
I did not really become involved in the the study of Dianetics and Scientology until I reached the very early teen years. I had a passion for reading and I did read Dianetics, but I found it hard to follow. I found the Bible much more to my liking and I would read it voraciously many times in those days, along with Encyclopedia Britannica and many other wonderful books. I never found Dianetics to be easy to assimilate. I got the gist of it and I figured, hey past lives, spiritual being, yeah that rings true - after all I knew my father had visited me even while he lay dying, so maybe this Dianetics and Scientology made sense. My parents were fully engaged in it and they would many times be at the College, studying, getting auditing etc. I guess they believed in it so much that when the Government of Australia banned it, they decided the best thing to do was to go to Saint Hill, where the great L. Ron Hubbard was.
So again, 1966-67, lock stock and barrel we moved to England. Only this time our dog was the only one left behind. Every stick of furniture went with us. We spent a month on a ship coming across the ocean to England. Our voyage on the ship ended in Genoa, Italy and we took a train to France where we crossed the ocean in a ferry to Dover England. I do remember the voyage and I remember the places we visited and the people we saw. In my short life, I had traveled the world almost. Seemed like it to me. What a wonderful trip for four - oh wait - five, yes my mother and my stepfather had a son. Born in 1964 in Hawthorn Victoria Australia. I had a little brother. I did not really have much to do with my younger brother in the early years. I was a preteen after all and ten yrs older than him, but he plays into my life in present time, but that is for later!
We arrived in England to grayness - dark skies and cold. I do not think I had ever felt that cold. After all, it was winter then. We ended up staying for a short time with some of my parent’s fellow Scientology friends. Finally, after a few weeks made our way down to East Grinstead to stay with the (blank) We stayed with them for some months and were enrolled in school in East Grinstead. I ended up going to Imberhorne High. I liked the school, I liked the people. There was however, a definite feeling about East Grinstead, even at that time, where the people thought that Ron Hubbard and his scientology flock were “strange”.
On one of my first visits to Saint Hill, I met the Hubbard children. They would soon leave for the newly formed Sea Org. I do remember Arthur - very mischievous, he would later take me for rides on his motorcycle and run over huge bugs on the docks in Casablanca just to gross me out and a few times short sheeted my bunk, and put bugs in my bunk, he just loved to play pranks. I remember Diana and her long red hair and I thought how beautiful she was. I remember quiet Quentin and fun loving Suzette. Most of them would play a bigger role in my life to some degree. More on that later.
My parents bought their own house in East Grinstead. One of three they would eventually buy there before leaving to return to Australia. I remember that address also and I remember the countryside, the green, and the horses. I loved England. I loved the country. It always seemed to provide a sense of freedom for me.
My parents also got onto services at Saint Hill. My mother completed OT VII and the Briefing course. My father seemed to be stuck and never really went any further in Scientology at Saint Hill, but there we stayed and there I joined staff at the ripe old age of 14. I became a weekend supervisor for the Children’s Comm course, I then would later join WW staff and work in the OIC area with my older sister and follow her into the Sea Org. I left school at 15 and my sea org career lasted almost 17 yrs.
It just seemed the thing to do. After all, my whole family was Scientologists, us kids by default. My older brother never really got involved and would later join the Military. However, the rest of us were all involved. My two sisters, myself and my younger brother all joined the Sea Org. In those days, when the Sea org was new - everything seemed exciting. My whole life seemed to be made up of adventures and wonderful things. It was there at Saint Hill that I also went “clear”. There were, however times I did get into trouble. First boyfriend things at the age of 14, he was a “wog”, sexual adventures with fellow students who came from overseas, they were all Scientologists. It was put down to “out ethics” and I would do conditions and restitution for many of my teenage “troubles”.
It also included an experience that I will never forget - being raped - yep being raped by a fellow scientologist - an older man who had come from Spain and was a student at Saint Hill. I never told anyone about this - it was at a point in my young life where I was already staff, already well indoctrinated into the “you pulled it in” mode and threatened into silence. I was 15 yrs old. He was well respected and probably 35-40 yrs old at the time. I honestly figured it was my fault. In addition, I had those types of considerations for many more decades about things, which happened to me. There were “nigglies” then - little things that niggled at the back of my mind that maybe, just maybe something was wrong with Scientology. I would push those thoughts away - after all, I was there to help humankind. I honestly thought that I was doing good.
I have always wanted to help others. Always wanted to do good. In addition, I always felt strong guilt that my thoughts about certain things that happened were all because I was out ethics. Having scientology pushed into you at a young age, makes you think it is real and it is what will help others. However, those niggling thoughts did occur right from the beginning of my sea org career at Saint Hill, I would always push them out of the way, and that guilt always made me work even harder at being a good sea org member.
I justified so many times the bad things that happened with “the greatest good” that it did not matter about what happened to me, that the greatest good was for me to be there and help set others “free” What a load of bullshit that was! Took me over forty years to figure it out..... but I finally did.
more to come............
What an amazing story you have shared! I am very curious about your life in and out of the scientology community. Would you be willing to let me interview you? Please let me know!