This heartbreaking tape is on The Underground Bunker, click the link to listen, or read the transcript.
The series exposed Scientology’s unquenchable thirst for cash donations, and it also exposed Sindy Fagen to the disconnection policy. By going public in a newspaper story critical of the church, she had crossed a line that Scientology members know is a step too far.
Scientologists close to Sindy knew they had a decision to make: disconnect from her or risk being excommunicated themselves.
One woman in particular, who we are not going to name, was especially close to Sindy and had been for many years. She knew, however, that she actually had no choice — if she didn’t immediately disconnect from Sindy, her own status in the church was threatened. In tears, she called Sindy and left a voice message, saying how much she regretted that she would have to disconnect. But with Sindy going so public, she really had no alternative.
Sindy Fagen has held on to that message for two years.
She is only now allowing us to make it public because of Karin Pouw’s recent public declarations that the Church of Scientology does not force disconnection on its members.
Below is a link dated 2003 where Ida told her story. She sadly passed away in September 2010 and this post is a tibute to her.
This is a record as near as I can recall of the past 27 years. When my world as I had always known it was turned upside down I wondered if and how I could handle it and still have a life. As I look back I realize the first actual knowledge of my son’s involvement in the cult of $cientology was in March of 1975.
Jenna Miscavige Hill’s new book has just been released; Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape
There is a previous post on this blog of interviews Jenna did a few years ago. I will add important media as it happens.
A comprehensive review by Tony Ortega is available HERE
This is a short clip as CNN’s Piers Morgan talks to Jenna.
Below are 2 short videos from The View.
The following videos are from 2008, at that time Tom Cruise was headline news due to a leaked video about his opinions on scientology and 2008 is also when Anonymous first appeared, therefore the videos do refer to these subjects a lot.
Jenna and Astra, along with a friend Kendra, started a web site called Ex Scientology Kids. The following is quoted from that site.
Jenna Miscavige Hill
Jenna is the niece of David Miscavige, current leader of Scientology. She grew up as a member of the Sea Organization, and was disconnected from her parents at a young age. She left in 2005, and is is now happily married, living a fulfilling life outside the church. Jenna first spoke out in response to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw’s denial that disconnection exists within Scientology. Jenna wrote a moving public letter refuting these claims. Since then, Jenna has been an active opponent of Scientology abuses, and hopes that her work can help educate others about the dangers of Scientology and the Sea Org.
Her book is about to be released shortly “My Secret Life inside Scientology and my Harrowing Escape.”
Astra spent her young life in the Sea Org, and left Scientology for good when the church tried to pressure her to have an abortion. She has raised her lovely daughter outside the church, and she now has an excellent relationship with her father and sister, both of whom have left Scientology. Astra has personal experience with disconnection, and hopes to help save other families from the heartache of Scientology’s disconnection policy.
Astra’s articles and interviews have been published in numerous media outlets, including Glamour Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, and the London Daily Mail. She has also given several video testimonials, and appeared on popular television talk show Rich & Judy.
At one point my whole family were in Scientology & to cut a long story short, I & other members of my family became disaffected with the goings on at St. Hill, UK. We kept our mouths shut about how we felt..
Except for one member of my family, Amanda Kember. When she was in the UK, she was a little disaffected, but her husband had been sent to LA. He had been there for 2 years & Mandy was very undecided about going there, in fact, she started to like someone else.
But thinking back I think that Miscabbage (David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board) got wind of this & ordered Mandy to LA, so she went. She left in Sept 1998. At first she would call constantly & would cry down the phone, saying she hated LA. You can imagine as a Mother I was so concerned & worried about her.
This went on for over 3 months & I was going crazy, but this time I was very disaffected & started to openly say how I felt. Anyway, I got in touch with Bonnie & Richard Woods to see what I could do.
Of course, St. Hill became aware of this, so I finally got declared. At this point, Mandy disconnected from us all. On New Year Eve 2000 we didnt hear from Mandy, so I called the LAPD & asked them to go to the HGB to check she was OK, as I was very worried. They did & she did call us (this is the last time we heard from her) but she had been drilled to say she was very happy.
I am no longer married, I divorced in 2001, but still Mandy didnt speak to any of her family. Her father died recently & I called the HGB, LAPD & all, but didnt get anywhere. Mandy never phoned the UK.
Tonight I was watching a video on You Tube, a flash raid picket at HGB in LA & I saw her, she was coming out of the HGB, but saw the guys outside & went back in the building. She looked so gaunt & thin, that I just cried & cried & I cant do anything, I have tryed so hard over the years to get her out of there. I have lost my daughter, Scientology has alot to account for, there overts & crimes are so suppressive. They are the SP’s & I pray to God to help her get out of that brain washing cult.
This is part of a series by Australian Four Corners program on the 8th March 2010 called Scientology The Ex Files. Further information can be viewed on the site.
This video features Liz and Jordan Anderson, Liz as a mother who lost her daughter Fiona Peachey to disconnection, and her daughter Jordan who escaped from the Sea Org.
When I was 13 years old, I was recruited to be on staff at the local Scientology mission where my mother had been attending courses. I was appointed as a “body router”, responsible for bringing people in off the street for introductory lectures. I did this directly after school every day, except on weekends as that’s when I would visit my dad. When I was 14, I quit school entirely and joined staff full time. My mom did make me finish the 9th grade, even though the Executive Director and Personnel Officer of the local church tried to get me drop out to be at the org full time before the end of the school year. For the next 18 months, I worked full time as a body router and supervisor… until I heard about the Sea Organization.
The Sea Org
I was briefed that there was going to be an event at the local church by “Sea Org members”. I didn’t have a clue what that was, but as my mom was going, I went along with her. It was a briefing about Scientology expansion. Before the event, we were all given surveys to fill out, asking about our individual qualifications. I didn’t know what it was for, but answered the questions, such as whether or not I had ever taken LSD (no), if I had every been institutionalized (no), if I had huge personal debts (no, not at age 15) and so forth. The surveys were collected up and the event began. They had a big map of the world and said that everyone needed to get on the bandwagon to help clear the planet NOW.
After an intermission in the event, a list of people’s names were called out to report to the back room. My name was on the list. I reported to the back, along with about 20 other people who had been in the audience. I couldn’t figure out how they knew my name as I had forgotten all about that survey I did. My mom wasn’t there, so I felt a bit insecure. The main event speaker was there, along with 3 other people in full dress SO uniform and they informed us that we were all joining the Sea Org now. He said that two of the people he was with were staying behind in our city to get all of our stuff packed up and get us sent off to our destinations. He handed out Sea Org contracts, had us stand up and raise our right hands and repeat the code of a Sea Org member after him (called the “swearing in ceremony”) and then sign the contract, pledging myself to work full time for the next BILLION years. I had no clue what I was doing. I wondered why my mom’s name wasn’t called.
After we signed our contracts and re-joined the rest of the audience, I told my mom what happened. She said it was not okay, I was still a minor and they need parental approval, which they don’t have. As I didn’t want to be separated from my mom anyway, I went back to the recruiter and told them that I couldn’t go. My mother was rapidly pulled in for handling by the recruiters and she ended up signing a parental concent form, giving her approval for me to join — effective once I turned 16 years old, which was only a few weeks away by that time.
The recruiters sat down with me and had me list out anything I would need to handle before reporting for duty. They briefed me that I would be “handling the suppressive psychiatrists between lives in order to make planetary clearing a possibility”. I wondered if that meant I had to die to go between lives to “handle” these people! This was all a little scarey for me. They told me that I was to brief my father (who knew nothing about Scientology) that I was going to be flying off to become a model in Paris. My mother and I went to visit my dad and that’s what I told him. He was proud of me. I thought I was going to be sick.
The Estates Project Force
(Sea Org Basics)
Within a few weeks, I was booked on a flight to Los Angeles. Not only was this trip the first time I had ever been away from home and the first airplane ride I had ever been on, I arrived in Hollywood on Halloween, which didn’t give a good first impression! I was assigned a dormatory with several 3-tier bunkbeds in it. I don’t like sleeping in bunkbeds. Now, I’m really having second thoughts. I called my dad and told him I lied to him. I told him that I joined Scientology full time and I’m in the Sea Org with a billion year contract.
My dad got very upset. He said he was going to sue my mom for lying to him and get custody of me and get me back home. I cried and talked him out of that saying it wasn’t my mom’s fault. He told me that if I ever wanted to come home, he was there for me. I called my mom and told her what happened. She said she would be handling some debts and joining too and then we’d be together again, so everything was going to be okay.
I got routed onto the courses I needed to study, was given a schedule which included 5 hours of study time and 9 hours of “deck work”. On these courses, we were studying all about the history of the Sea Org and operating at sea. I was swimming in confusion. We had no boats or ships and what does this have to do with what I need to know anyhow? I therefore asked what it was that I will be doing after I finish my basic training. I was told that I’d be “going over the rainbow”. I asked “what’s that?”, however I was told that it was confidential and I’ll only be able to find out after I get there. I asked if my mom was going over the rainbow too when she arrived. I was told no – she was not qualified as very few people were actually qualified to go there. Now I was really freaked out. I went to my dormatory and locked myself in the room. I tied the door closed and jammed a chair in front of the door so no one could get in and I said I want to go home.
It took several hours of persuasion, but I finally opened the door. I said I would NOT go over the rainbow. I wanted to be where my mom was going to be. So, they said instead I would be posted in a different location where she could later join me. I had no idea what that was going to be, but if my mom could be there too, then I’d be fine.
A few weeks later, I ended up being sent to another continent. I was put on a job I didn’t know the first thing about. It required that I travel (I was by myself) and I had no clue about currency exchange, customs, what to watch out for, who to go to for help, how to travel within the city, I didn’t speak a word of the language… I remember one time I just asked a total stranger if he’d help me find my way to the train station as I discovered I didn’t have enough money to take the subway. Fortunately, he was very friendly. He bought me food to take on my travels and got me safely on the train.
The Rehabilitation Project Force
Within the next few months, I ended up meeting someone who was 10 years older and a veteran staff member in the Sea Org. He took me under his wing, helped answer a lot of questions. We decided to start a relationship. I wanted to get married, but I was still a minor and couldn’t get parental consent to marry until I turned 17. Our relationship landed us both in the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) in Florida.
What an experience. I slept in a paint shed or in the garage. I quickly learned about “rocks & schoals” which included push-ups, sit-ups, “laps” (including the “big lap”, which meant you had to run up the stairwell to the 11th floor and back) for such offenses as not making an acceptable product, failure to call someone “Sir”, talking back after receiving an order (known as “backflash”), missing a time target set. In the summer, it averaged 95 degrees outside and was extremely humid. Where we slept, ate and studied was infested with cockroaches and mice/rats. My husband (we did get married on my 17th birthday) was taken off the RPF and I was kept there for 8 months. We were not allowed to live together — I was kept in a dorm with the rest of the RPF.
I wasn’t making it through the RPF program as I was getting about 6 1/2 hours sleep a night and I was always physically exhausted by the time we began study at the end of the day. Eventually I was “reprieved” by issue which stated that I was illiterate and therefore incapable of doing the program. I was just happy to be off the RPF, regardless of how I got out.
Shortly thereafter, my mother did arrive and we reunited! What a happy day, though very short lived. I ended up again being assigned to the RPF (still a teenager) for something I had written up as part of an amnesty issued by LRH. This time I was sent “over the rainbow” along with several other RPFers to work full time for the next 2 years, around the clock — 15 minute meal breaks, 0-4 hours sleep a night wherever you could get it (utility closets, garage, in the bathroom stalls), running wherever we went, working with toxic chemicals, using table saws and heavy equipment in our half-dead state (I’ll spare you the gory details of the fall-out from that).
My RPF assignment did end up being cancelled as “injust” after this 2-year stint and my next few decades in the church is an entirely different story, which I may publish at some time in the future.
Currently, I am declared a Suppressive Person and yet again, separated from family members who are still connected to the church. This has left very deep scars and that’s why I’m speaking out. I feel for every person who has ever had to experience anything similar because of their “religion”. It’s discrimination, inhumane and just plain not right.
On the bright side, however, I did take my dad up on his offer to come home when I needed him. He has helped me tremendously to get back on my feet. I left with no money, no proper education, no driver’s license, no credit and no where else to turn but to family that — despite it all — still loved me and welcomed me home with open arms.
There truly is NO PLACE LIKE HOME.
The following is a transcript from the God Discussion Show
Lori on Friday Jan 4, 2013
Thank you for having me on your show!
I would like to start off with that I was not aware of what could happen to my children when they turn 15….it was a nightmare! I’m happy to hear that Katie Holmes was aware enough to leave scientology and is trying hard to keep Suri far away from them.
My daughter Jessica was recruited to work for Scientology behind my back at age 15. She was an honor roll student and wanted to go to college to be a Veterinarian. But after she went down to the Organization with my ex husband, she was shown a scientology recruiting movie that completely manipulated her goals and dreams!! She came home and told me she wanted to get her GED and work full-time for Scientology at our local Organization. I did not agree and fought the Church to keep her in school and get a proper education!
After much harassment, I finally agreed for her to go back to a Scientology school and finish her High School Education there. Little did I know that they planned to have her graduate after 4 months and she got a NON ACCREDITED High School Diploma. She signed a 5 year staff contract at age 16 and they sent her to Florida for training. After a couple of months, she got homesick and came back to do her training near home. She didn’t like being on staff and broke her 5 year contract. As a result of leaving, she was assigned a $12,000 debt approximately for her training and 100 hours of amends for deciding to leave before she fulfilled her contract.
I’m going to move on to my son Jeremy, but if you are interested to know more….my full story is “A Mothers Heartbreak” on Aida Thomas’s Blog.
2 years later I had to have a knee replacement and when I was recovering from the surgery my ex took my son Jeremy (he was only 15 years old ) down to Scientology for a Sea Org Recruiting event behind my back!! Jeremy was brainwashed and manipulated to sign a billion year contract to work for the church, quit school and move to Florida and give his life to scientology!
Jeremy came home from the event and while I was in a lot of pain from my knee surgery he said he wanted to join the Sea Org and leave soon. I was very upset by this and said ” No! you can decide that when your 18 years old!!!!” I was against this and fought it for 6 months. They broke me down….slamming on my door while I was still trying to recover, pressuring my family and constantly harassed me. I ended up back in the hospital because of having no rest from the harassment and finally let Jeremy go. They didn’t give up until they had my son! I knew if I didn’t agree with Scientology I would lose my son because they would have declared me back then. I felt I had no choice and I was physically not doing well because my knee replacement the doctor put in was too big.
I had to have another knee surgery 6 months later and while I was in the hospital my daughter Jessica says goodbye to me as she was also coerced into joining the Sea Org. The following day I was so devastated from losing both my children to Scientology that I went into shock and almost lost my life! My Dad was with me and had to get help … the Medical Response Team came in and saved my life. Thank God my Dad was there.
Jessica lasted 1 month in Florida, hated it and routed out. She told me that she wanted to leave after day 3 and they kept her there against her will for 1 month. Jeremy lasted 7 months and he routed out. While he was gone in the Sea Org and I was in all the physical pain from my knee surgery I called him daily and was only able to talk to him 5xs in 7 months! He told me he cried every night to come home which was kept from me. When he decided to leave, they made him stay off the base for several days in a separate building with a security guard from Scientology keeping an eye on him. I remember talking to him on Thanksgiving Day and found this out…… I asked him how his dinner was and he said ” Mom I’m not allowed to be around anyone because I want to leave so I didn’t get a Thanksgiving dinner. I was beyond upset! It took me all day to get through on the phone to be able to talk to him.
I later found out that Scientology made him sign a 3 million dollar gag contract to never discuss what happened while he was in the Sea Org! He also had no official schooling and only got paid about 25-30 dollars a week. The Sea Org promised me that my son would get his education and be able to talk to me anytime. The Sea Org knew Jeremy wanted a girlfriend so they told him that there are lots of pretty girls there and when he was there he wasn’t even allowed to barely look at them!
EVERY PROMISE THE SEA ORG GAVE ME WAS BROKEN !!!! They lie just to get your kids!!!!
After going through this ordeal with my children I resigned from the Church of Scientology. You can never say anything negative about the church or you are declared. I was declared a Suppressive person because I disagreed with what they did to my kids!
Jessica and Jeremy were forced to Disconnect from me. It’s been 2 years this coming February. They are not allowed to talk to me. Even when my son had a serious motorcycle accident a year ago and was in Emergency I was not allowed to see him. I didn’t even know if he was critical or not! As a mother this was really traumatic! I went around the back of the ER and stood by the door waiting for someone to come out. I finally saw a Nurse and by then I was crying because I couldn’t find out any information about my son. I explained to the nurse that I had resigned from The Church of Scientology and because of that , Scientology and my Ex are keeping me from my son!! I asked if I could please see my son. The Nurse said he couldn’t do that, but that I could write a note to Jeremy and he would make sure Jeremy receives it. I wrote my son a note asking if he is okay and that I Love Him and want to see him. The nurse was able to give Jeremy the note while my Ex was out of the room talking to the Doctor.
Jeremy read it in front of the Nurse and told him to tell me he will be okay and that he just cant see anyone. I was so relieved that Jeremy was able to respond and happy that he got my note.
The next day I went to the hospital and waited outside the surgery unit. Something changed and I was able to see my son. I think since it was a big Scientology flap in the News from not being able to see my son in the ER, Scientology got worried what I would do next if I couldn’t see my son the next day in the hospital. I was not going to be quiet that’s for sure!
When Jeremy got out of surgery the Doctor asked to speak to the Mother and I was right there. When he got to his room I went right in to see him and told him I’ve been here all day and that I’m glad he is going to be okay. I told him I loved him and he said he loved me back!! My daughter hugged me and that’s the last time I saw and talked to my kids!!!
Two Christmas’s ago I took my best friend Beth with me to deliver some Christmas Presents to my kids house. I planned it so I would possibly go when my son was home. After I dropped the presents off on their doorstop as I left, Jeremy drove by in his tan truck. It was dark and I didn’t know it was him until we passed each other. He drove down to the end of the street and turned around. I drove down to see him and he was on the phone with someone. He then slowly drove by me and wouldn’t stop. He went to the end of the road and hesitated for a couple of minutes then took off. I wasn’t going to follow him and chase him down. I wanted to give him the chance to stop and talk to me. I know he has been terrified by Scientology and his father to not talk with me.
Two weeks later my daughter Jessica was ordered to give back my Christmas presents that I gave her and Jeremy. She put the unopened presents on my doorstep when I was out of town. This is a prime example of how manipulative the Church of Scientology really is!
Both of my children have told me that they will only talk to me IF I get back in Good Standing with Scientology and do the steps needed to do that. I told them I am not a part of scientology anymore and I can not do that!
I wrote my children an “Open Letter” and asked all my family and friends to share it with them. I still do not know if they were able to read it.
I have heard from some of my family that Scientology is telling my kids that their mom is crazy and to stay away. That I am a Declared Suppressive Person now … which scientology considers is an evil person. All because I fought for my parental rights and disagreed with what they did with my kids!
After I resigned, I was threatened in my parking lot by John Allender a Scientologist. He asked me if I “enjoy beatings?” Then he and Mark Warlick another Scientologist followed me across State lines! Scientology also took private confidential things out of my counseling folders and put them on the Internet.
I have personally experienced the abuses of Scientology. I will continue to fight for my kid’s freedom! Because of how Scientology operates, people are afraid to leave or say anything. There is a momentum now and more people are leaving Scientology and speaking out! I will continue to SPEAK OUT so other parents will know the Truth and hopefully never have to go through what I went through with my own kids.