Transgender, Scientologist, “Cult Hero” - Kate Bornstein

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Really good article - go Kate!

http://www.religiondispatches.org/books/sexandgender/5899/transgender,_scientologist,_“cult_hero”/

A Queer and Pleasant Danger
by Kate Bornstein
Beacon Press , 2012

Transgender, Scientologist, “Cult Hero”
Why America’s Most Radical Transgender Activist Spent Twelve Years in Scientology, and What It Teaches About the Rest of Us

By Jay Michaelson
<snip>
But what I didn’t know, until reading this book, was that there’s a whole other chapter to Bornstein’s story: as Al Bornstein, he was one of the most elite members of the Church of Scientology. And while several exposes of the “Church” have already appeared, A Queer and Pleasant Danger is one of the most damning, most sympathetic, and most knowledgeable.

QAPD is at least three books in one, each of which is a page-turner. The first part is a powerful, at times painful, autobiography of a transgender woman growing up before the category even existed. In some ways, LGBT-youth-memoir is a conventional narrative, but Bornstein has never been conventional and—Goddess help us—never will be. If QAPD ended at page 54, it would be a must-read for anyone interested in transgender, queer theory, or LGBT lives more generally.

But then there’s part two, on Bornstein’s twelve years in Scientology, and part three, on her eventual liberation, transition, and embrace of her kinky, post-gender, post-fame self. (Bornstein’s new book gives her status as a “cult hero” a whole new meaning.) These are also two complete books, and also indispensable. Where to begin?

<snip>

Now, there are important differences. Bornstein was thrown out of Scientology not for his sexual deviance or some doctrinal dispute, but because he unintentionally exposed a financial scam in which money meant for the ‘Church’ went instead to Hubbard’s Swiss bank account. He was then interrogated, defamed, railroaded out of the organization, and branded a “Suppressive Person”—i.e. a heretic with whom contact is strictly forbidden and who may be opposed by any means necessary. Once again, the rhetoric of religion allows Scientology to extort, deceive, and control—but this is not really a religion, either.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
If you want to read what Kate has written on ESMB (I only just made the connection), check these threads or do a search on her posts, outlawgal.

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?25020-My-Memoir-Is-Now-Available-for-Pre-Order!-Eeeeeeee!

A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER
the true story of a nice Jewish boy
who joins the Church of Scientology
and leaves twelve years later
to become the lovely lady she is today

by ME! Kate ( aka Lt. Al ) Bornstein

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthre...xual-Transgender-amp-Queer-as-a-3-Dollar-Bill
 

R2-45

Silver Meritorious Patron
Key point:
<snip>

<snip>
Now, there are important differences. Bornstein was thrown out of Scientology not for his sexual deviance or some doctrinal dispute, but because he unintentionally exposed a financial scam in which money meant for the ‘Church’ went instead to Hubbard’s Swiss bank account.
He was then interrogated, defamed, railroaded out of the organization, and branded a “Suppressive Person”—i.e. a heretic with whom contact is strictly forbidden and who may be opposed by any means necessary. Once again, the rhetoric of religion allows Scientology to extort, deceive, and control—but this is not really a religion, either.
In a free world, WWHwT?


(What would Hollywood think?)

:)
 
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Smurf

Gold Meritorious SP
Sadly, Kate's daughter, Jessica, is in the Sea Org in Clearwater & Kate has long been deliberately prevented in seeing her beautiful grandchildren.
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
I admire the Sea Org so much, I even make recruitment posters for them.

oldronseaorg.jpg


(Incidentally, the Sea Org poster thing is made as a template, so if anybody has requests, I'd be happy to make some more versions...)
 

afaceinthecrowd

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Kate Bornstein: L Ron Hubbard.. I was first mate on his fucking ship..

[video=youtube;aR22mbPfJ8s]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aR22mbPfJ8s[/video]

http://www.xtra.ca/public/National/Activist_Kate_Bornstein_on_Scientology-12462.aspx


Thanks for this, Smurf. :thumbsup:

Kate...Lt jg Bornstein...was one of my Apollo Shipmates. We've all come a loooong way since then...some of Us have still gotta ways to go. :yes:

Luved ya then...Luv ya now, Kate. :cheers2:

[edit] Youze still gots class, heart and are lookin' good'! :coolwink:


Face:)
 
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Purple Rain

Crusader
Re: Kate Bornstein: L Ron Hubbard.. I was first mate on his fucking ship..

My heart broke when Kate was talking about her daughter. I hope she does read the memoir one day, or preferably seek Kate out in person.
 
G

Gottabrain

Guest
Re: Kate Bornstein: L Ron Hubbard.. I was first mate on his fucking ship..

Kate looks fantastic. She absolutely radiates.

I knew Kate only as Al. Loved her then. Ironically, it was Al who recruited me back to the SO in 1979. We had a lot of long talks about many things. Al was always warm, considerate, kind. We exchanged a lot of letters in the early 80's between Flag and AOLA when we were both in the SO, but these gradually slowed then stopped and we lost contact.

She is calm now and seems at peace with herself. I am very happy my friend has finally achieved this - something never possible in the SO.

Very sad about her daughter. I hope the daughter reads this and knows - if you love someone, you see them for who they are. The love is there on both sides, I'm sure, if she can just be her own person and look at the person who is her father, she will discover that love is blind to personas and appearances because it only sees a person's true being.

As for me - are you reading this, Kate? I don't know anything about what it's like to change your gender and life the way you have, but I do know a parent's heartbreak and I know about friendship and love, too.

Kate, I see you. I love you. You were and always will be my friend. (and I forgive you for recruiting me back to the SO when I was in Chicago - lol)

:arose:

Sheila Huber
 

FoTi

Crusader
Re: Kate Bornstein: L Ron Hubbard.. I was first mate on his fucking ship..

How old is Kate?
 

sallydannce

Gold Meritorious Patron
Re: Kate Bornstein: L Ron Hubbard.. I was first mate on his fucking ship..

My heart broke when Kate was talking about her daughter. I hope she does read the memoir one day, or preferably seek Kate out in person.

Yeah mine too. I can't think with it. Bloody scientology and the way it rips connections apart. Pffffff!

Warm love to Kate. :)
 

PTS

Elliott
Re: Kate Bornstein: L Ron Hubbard.. I was first mate on his fucking ship..

I just adore this woman! She's everything I always imagined a best friend to be.
 

What's It All About

Patron with Honors
Kate Bornstien on Scientology, social justice and breaking social barriers

From Kate Bornstein's lecture at Tufts University 09/24/12:

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/kate-born...eaking-social-barriers-1.2768301#.UGDdMo6yqfQ

"TD: So when did you come out as transgender?

KB: Well, I took a sharp wrong turn after graduate school. I got into Brandeis [University] graduate school for acting — I’m a good actor. I stayed for a year and I thought, “Well, okay, I can act, but why? What’s the good of it? What purpose is it going to serve?” And I went off to find the answer to the world’s problems.

Sadly, after a few stops, I ran into Scientology and stayed there for 12 years, which is a whole lot more embarrassing than saying “Hi, I’m transsexual.” I got out of Scientology in ‘81, and three years after that I came out as transsexual — transgender wasn’t an umbrella term back then.

TD: Could you talk a little about your experiences within Scientology?

KB: I was raised in a secular Jewish family. [We] went to synagogue once a week just to show up. Whenever I did speak with a Rabbi - all I got [were] more questions. I wanted answers. When I was getting out of graduate school I needed answers, and Scientology had answers.

Scientology, right as it is now, is in a very fundamentalist stage of its development. So
you do it their way or the highway.

It’s system of good and bad, right and wrong, evil and good — that’s the way it was in Scientology, and it was comforting.

I was first mate on Elrond Hubbard’s private yacht — the founder of Scientology — and it started out as a grand adventure. It became a living hell. People were mean to other people, and that finally got me. When I finally left Scientology, I found out that Elrond Hubbard was skimming off a lot of the money for himself, and he had told us all along that he wasn’t.

That did it for me and I left. I was married twice when I was in Scientology, and I was still a guy, and my daughter was born into the church of Scientology. She was nine years old when I left, and she just turned 40 on the Fourth of July. She’s not allowed to talk with me. She’s still in the Church of Scientology [and] she’s not allowed to receive any communication from me or communicate with me.

That’s their canon, that’s how they deal with things — they shun. Many fundamentalist practices have shunning, and the penalties for violating that shunning are dreadful. Including up to years of imprisonment — they have their own private prisons. Instead of trying to reach out to my daughter — I did for a while, and then realized that she wasn’t going to get in touch — I wrote a memoir, called “A Queer and Pleasant Danger” (2012). I hope that it gets into my daughter’s hands one day."
 
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