Treatment of children in Scientology
and particularly the Sea Org
Part of Tax-exempt Child Abuse and Neglect by Mike Gormez. Visit the message board.
From: email@example.com (Stacy Brooks Young) Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology,alt.support.ex-cult,alt.abortion Subject: Re: New Hampshire picket and forced abortions [in Scientology] Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 23:46:56 GMT Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> What Jesse and Warrior have described is absolutely accurate. The treatment of children in Scientology, and particularly the Sea Org, is utterly heartbreaking. I had a dear friend, Andy Lenarcic, with whom I worked for nearly ten years, beginning when I first recruited him into the Guardian's Office in DC in 1979 and continuing when we both worked in the FREEDOM Office in the Office of Special Affairs and later in the LRH Biography Unit under Pat Broeker and Vaughn. Andy and his wife Ann, also a dear friend of mine, used to live in a small, shabby room in the Hollywood Inn building on Hollywood Boulevard. They lived in this room with Ann's teenage daughter Heather and Andy and Ann's young daughter Jennifer. Andy used to worry terribly about living in such close quarters with his wife and these two young girls. Family time was extremely important to both Andy and Ann. At that time, parents were allowed to see their children for one hour during dinner, as long as it did not cut across any production and as long as their stats were up. I was Andy's senior at the time and I always covered for him so he could see his kids, regardless of what supposed production "crisis" we had at the time. For God's sake! There was always a production crisis, because we were always given too little time to get our assignments done, which meant we were never able to get a full night's sleep. Andy was never able to see his children at night, because they were always asleep when he got home. If we were lucky we would be allowed to leave post at 11 or 11:30 p.m., but usually it was much later than that, if at all. So the only time he could ever see Jennifer was over dinner. Whenever possible Andy and I conspired to make sure he could see her, for at least that hour ever day. Often our production "crises" were so extreme that it was out of my control and he was forced to go for days at a time without seeing his daughter. This was the situation for all the parents in the Sea Org in Los Angeles. They would be forbidden to see their children and then they would be blamed when their children got in trouble or got sick. It was a totally insane situation. Although I didn't have children of my own, I heard about the problems in the Cadet Org because I was in OSA, and it was OSA that was responsible for taking care of the "flaps" caused by the children. For example, it was a huge flap when all of the Scientology children showed up at their public school with lice. This happened frequently. It was a flap when there was a health inspection and the children's quarters were so filthy that an "all-hands" had to be called to clean up the filth before the inspectors arrived. It was a flap when a Cadet Org staff member was caught forcing sex on the children. This happened several times that I can remember. It was a flap when parents wrote reports complaining that their children -- including babies -- were being left totally alone all day long and into the night because there were no personnel to take care of them. Many people routed out of the Sea Org because they were unwilling to allow their children to be treated this way. Many others "blew" (meaning that they did not just leave staff or the Sea Org; they left Scientology altogether). I know several women who are former Commodores Messengers. These were young girls, usually in the early to late teens, who waited on LRH hand and foot when he was on the ship, the Appollo. Some of these young girls had as many as six and eight abortions -- in fact, the messengers required so many abortions that it was part of the routine whenever they docked in a port for all the girls to go to the local hospital and stay in a ward together for their abortions. Later, these messengers ended up mostly at the secret international management compound (known as "Int") in Gilman Hot Springs east of Los Angeles. Children were forbidden at Int, so these young women were forced to have abortions in order to remain there. I know several former Commodores Messengers who are no longer in Scientology specifically because they were unwilling to have any more abortions. Some of them now have lovely children; others less fortunate are unable to have children because of the damage they suffered from repeated abortions. Something else that used to happen all the time was that parents would be sent on mission to Europe or New York or Clearwater or wherever, and no provision would be made for how their children would be cared for. Parents were supposed to "make it go right," although how they were supposed to do this was always maddeningly unclear. A parent couldnt ask a fellow staff member to care for their child, because only parents were allowed to have family time. So there was no way a parent could ensure their child was going to be cared for while they were gone. Often these missions lasted for months at a time, and the children were simply neglected the entire time. Parents who refused to leave their children were subjected to relentless screaming, cursing, sleep deprivation, ethics conditions, and security checking to uncover the source of their "counter-intention." Basically, as in any other situation in the Sea Org, the parents were simply beaten down into apathy until they agreed to whatever they were told to do. Psychologically they were forced to dissociate from their children completely so that they would no longer feel any responsibility for them. This had disastrous consequences for these children. But this is how it could happen that Mike and Kathy Rinders baby died (the scientologists say of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, others who were there say it was from neglect and dehydration) and Mike never went to Clearwater for the funeral or to be with his wife. This is the state of mind that is required of parents in the Sea Org. Had Mike protested, he would have found himself in lower conditions or worse. The truth is that some losses are so profound, you just keep them private, because you dont want your seniors in the Sea Org to come anywhere near you. For Mike, Im sure he was terribly saddened by the death of his child but never showed it to DM, because he had no desire to have DM degrade the memory of his child with his Sea Org attitude that "production is more important," or that "the kid can just pick up a new body anyway, so whats the big deal?" Many former scientologists that I have spoken to feel terrible guilt for the way they allowed their children to be treated while they were in the Sea Org. One of my dearest friends was pregnant when she was assigned to the RPF. She was on the 1977 RPF in Los Angeles, when the RPF was used as slave labor to renovate the newly purchased Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, which is now "the Complex." These people were forced to do hard labor for thirty hours at a time, and then allowed only three hours of sleep. They were not provided any beds; often they had to sleep on the top floor of the parking structure, even when it was raining. My friend was desperately afraid that her baby would be damaged by this physical treatment which she was forced to undergo, but when she tried to get a more lenient schedule because of her pregnancy she was assigned lower conditions for "putting her own welfare before the good of the group." To protect her baby she finally escaped from the Sea Org, but by then her child was already damaged. The doctors thought she had been a heavy drug user during her pregnancy, because her baby was so seriously ill when he was born. In truth it took several years before her child finally caught up with other children his own age. Today, he is a wonderful, charming young man, but his mother will never forgive herself for putting him at such severe risk in the first few months of his development. There are many, many such horror stories that parents could tell about life for children in Scientology. For those of you who have such information, I urge you to come forward and tell your story. Only in this way will we be able to save the next generation of children from similar abuse and tragedy. If any of you are afraid to come forward for fear of harassment from scientology, please write to me privately at email@example.com or call me at 206-463-6809. If you would prefer to write to me via the mail, you can send me your story at PO Box 2698, Vashon, WA 98070. Please help us save the children. Stacy Brooks Young
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