The Woodcraft family

recounts life in Scientology as an adult, teen and young child
and how they are coping outside the cult

Part of Tax-exempt Child Abuse and Neglect by Mike Gormez. Visit the message board.


Growing up in the Sea Org -- Astra and Zoe Woodcraft's stories
Introduction by Stacy Brooks

In early 2000, Zoe's father flew from California to Clearwater, Florida to help his daughter escape. Since that time, Zoe has struggled to overcome her experiences in Scientology and to make up for the years of sub-standard education she was subjected to in the Sea Org. She attends a public high school in California and is quickly catching up with her new friends. She and Astra have both had to learn to live without their mother, grandmother and brother, all Sea Org members who now refuse to communicate with them.

Astra Woodcraft

Video interviews of Astra Woodcraft

Declaration of Astra Woodcraft (in italiano)
24 January 2001

My schedule on the EPF [Estates Project Force] went something like this: 6:30 a.m. wake up and get dressed; 7:00 a.m. breakfast; 7:30 a.m. muster (meeting); 7:30-8:00 a.m. run (not walk) around and empty all the ashtrays and trashcans outside three different buildings; 8:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. study Sea Org policies; 1:00 p.m. muster and polish boots; 1:15-1:45 p.m. lunch; 1:45 p.m. muster, drilling and marching; 2:15 p.m.-7:00 p.m. work, which included cleaning pots and pans, cleaning out a clogged toilet, sweeping and mopping floors, etc.; 7:00-7:30 p.m. dinner; 7:30-10:00 p.m. more work; 10:00-10:30 p.m. shower; 10:30 p.m. muster; 11:15 p.m. go to bed. This was a 7-day a week schedule.

I am Astra Woodcraft

Hi, my name is Astra Woodcraft and I am the 22 year old year old in the recent SF Chronicle article I just wanted to let everyone know that they can write to me and ask me questions if they like.

Article about Nicole Kidman and the Woodcraft family
The Daily Mail, February 17, 2001 (in italiano)

'If I was ill my mother would give me a "touch assist" - I would lie down and she would touch me with her finger. She would say: "Feel my finger." She wouldn't stop until I felt better, so to stop her prodding me I'd say I felt better.' Astra and other former Scientologists have confirmed the church does not believe in comforting children, viewing them as adults in young bodies who can handle pain and responsibility like a grownup.

Zoe Woodcraft

Video interview with Zoe Woodcraft

Declaration of Zoe Woodcraft
24 January 2001

In Los Angeles I was placed in the "CEO" which stood for the "cadet estates organization." This was a building located next to Celebrity Center International. This is where I lived, by myself, for the next two years. My parents and brother were placed in adult living quarters and my older sister into the Cadet Org down the street...

The day we were taken to the big boys house we were told to stay inside. I was told by the adult watching us that what was happening was we had too many kids at the ranch and a health inspector had come to check on us. So, we were hiding until he was gone...

On the EPF we would get so hungry that we would take food from the trays left over by the "public" staying in the hotel room.

I am Zoe Woodcraft
Cruel and Unusual Punishment in the S.O.

If you get sick in the S.O. you are sent to ISO, which is basically a bare room with mattresses on the floor for you to sleep on. Because being sick is supposed to be a sign of out ethics, you get less than standard treatment. All food is cold, and most of it has been sitting for hours, the ISO rooms generally don't have air conditioning, and they smell of mold and barf.

Lawrence Woodcraft

Video interviews with Lawrence Woodcraft

Declaration one of Lawrence Woodcraft
regarding blue asbestos aboard the Freewinds (german translation)
24 January 2001

We had a meeting to discuss the problem of asbestos. Steve Kisacky stated that L. Ron Hubbard doesn't state in policy that asbestos is dangerous; he only states that fiberglass is dangerous and therefore we are only removing the fiberglass. In fact, the dock next to the Freewinds was piled high with fiberglass that had been removed by Sea Org members. It was explained to me that the ship was being remodeled only according to the written policies and "advices" of L. Ron Hubbard. Since Hubbard had been in the US Navy and had then founded the Sea Org and had run a fleet of ships, he knew everything about ships. If asbestos was dangerous, he would have written this somewhere.

Introduction by Stacy to another affidavit by Lawrence Woodcraft

For helping his daughters get out of the Sea Org, Lawrence was declared a Suppressive Person in September 2000. All of his Scientology clients were ordered to cease doing business with him in an attempt to destroy his architecture practice.

Declaration two of Lawrence Woodcraft
24 January 2001

My ex-wife's name is Lesley and she remains in the Sea Org (we divorced in 1993.) I have two daughters; Astra, age 22 and Zoe age 16. Both of my daughters came under intense pressure to join the Sea Org (a Para-military organization to which a member is coerced to sign a contract of dedicated service to Scientology for 1 billion years). Astra did this at the insistence of her mother and other Scientology Sea Org members in 1993 age 14 in Los Angeles and Zoe went to an organization called the Cadet Organization which trains children from infants up to age 14, and prepares them to become contracted Sea Org members in Florida and other locations. Zoe started in the Cadet Organization at age 2 and stayed until she was 15 years old...

In Sept 2000, I received a phone call from Wilf Betke of Parkstone Construction. I have known Wilf for 4 years and I have supplied him with many sets of plans for construction projects, with absolutely no problems or complaints. He said that word was going around that I was declared a "suppressive person" and he was no longer allowed to talk to me. A suppressive person in Scientology is a person who no longer adheres to the dogma of Scientology.

I am Lawrence Woodcraft

I'm the Lawrence Woodcraft referred to in the article and I would like to tell you that I was "fair-gamed" by the Scientologists. Like an idiot I trusted my two precious daughters to the church. I was promised that they would attend school, work short hours, get time off etc. All lies.

I used to be timid, and didn't want to go up against the Church, but I say that this abuse has to stop. If you have a story, tell it. Let's swamp these bastard child-abusers with the truth and put a stop to thier illegal activities.

When Can I Start My Life?
By "Darla deToledo" (pen name of Zoe)
LMT Literatie Contest 2000

The following essay was sent to the Lisa McPherson Trust and it was decided to include a "Junior Category" in this year's Literati Contest. The judges thought that special recognition was in order for this very compelling account of a 16 year old's experience with Scientology. "Darla" was awarded a Special Junior Category Award of $500 in the 2000 LMT Literati Contest. "Darla" turned out to be Zoe Woodcraft who came forward with her father and sister to share their full stories with the world.

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