Windy's Web Design
Subject: CHILD ABUSE
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 94 17:33:02 -0800
To the inFormer:
The ill-effects of scientology on my family were
devastating and permanent. When we joined scientology we
were generally a loving and happy family. We had just built an
upscale house in the suburbs with all the amenities. My
husband and I sought to provide our family with the stability
and caring that they required. I was only 21, and had three
children, ages four months, one year and three years.
Within one year after joining scientology we were
divorced and had moved the children four times. My children
and I were living in squalor in the Sea Org.
I joined scientology staff at the local mission. This
quickly drove my husband crazy. He came to the mission to
kill everyone and threatened to blow his head off with a
shotgun. I acquired sole legal custody after the incident.
Someone at the mission "handled" him and he went on staff,
too. He could not pay child support.
I joined the Sea Org after being told by a Flag recruiter
that we would be given a "lovely" apartment. My children, over
my protests, were taken from me and sent to live at the Cadet
Org several blocks away. I was given training which I later had
to pay back as a freeloader's debt. The promises of a
wonderful environment -- the most ethical on the planet --
were lies. The slum in my home city did not even approximate
the vile conditions to which we were subjected in scientology.
My children were kept filthy -- their toys and clothing were
distributed throughout the Cadet Org. No one owned anything.
My husband spread the rumor that I was starving my
children when the Cadet Org did not feed them properly.
When I protested the conditions of the Cadet Org and said I
needed to route out of the Sea Org to support them or get
some welfare, I was told it was unethical to use welfare and I
could not route out. I sent my children to live with my parents
while I attempted to route out of the Sea Org. My husband,
aided by his auditor and girl friend, stole them.
The Acting ED of the mission and my husband (who
worked there) had spread lies about me. So after I routed out,
got back to the mission and attempted to retrieve my children,
no one would speak to me. They gave no thought to the
welfare of my children or the fact that I had legal custody.
"Wog" laws don't matter in scientology. My ex worked on
staff all day and night. So, from a very early age, my oldest
daughter was left to baby sit the younger children, including
neighbors'. He married a woman who believed Hubbard's idea
that it was better if the real parents did not raise their own kids
-- mutual engrams, you know. So, they proceeded to neglect
my children, causing my oldest daughter to become unstable
and criminal, and my five year old son to get hit -- and killed -
- by a car as he played, unsupervised, in a busy street. They
swore he was "protected by postulates."
I was ostracized by people at the mission and I was not
allowed input regarding my children's upbringing. But, at least
I could see my children occasionally. I had been forbidden to
criticize their upbringing. I feared loss -- yet again -- of my
children, if I spoke up.
Although I had said I was done with scientology, I was
told I could never see my children again unless I came up with
the money for auditing and my freeloaders debt. I was also
told that I would be declared (Suppressive) if I told anyone
what they had done with my children. The Acting ED said that
he intended to lie and say I had blown the Sea Org so no one
would listen to me, anyway. They paid no attention to the
harm they were doing to my children by abruptly depriving
them of their mother. I had been their major supporting parent
since their births.
When my daughter was five, she put razor blades in her
step mother's purse to "get even." My son clung to anyone
with long dark hair (like mine) and my second daughter was
also hit by a car. She was not killed. Her eye, however, was
permanently damaged when she was two. Another scientology
child of eight was left to baby sit her and five other children.
The scientologist whose house they were using was a
beautician and had left her supplies lying about. My daughter
had rubbed hair dye into her eye.
I baby sat other staff members' children and really
loved them. One thing was common in all families (most had
one or more divorces): the children were all deprived of a
normal, secure upbringing. In the Sea Org, many exec families
had me baby sit during my "enhancement time" because the
conditions in the Cadet Org were so bad. Later they all were
ordered to send their children to the Cadet Org, anyway.
Several children got in legal trouble for roaming the streets of
Los Angeles, unsupervised. Their parents got in trouble for not
handling their kids, in spite of the fact that they were given no
time to do so. Sea Org activities demanded the children and
parents were deprived of each others' company. The children
were deprived of adequate love and guidance. Instead they
were given Hubbard's trite phrases with which to guide their
lives. They were never taught to think or reason beyond using
One little baby I knew in the Sea Org got herpes during
a Cadet Org epidemic. A 14 year old girl disclosed to me how
she and a few other little girls were leaving the Cadet Org in
the daytime and performing sexual services for one of the girl's
uncles in exchange for money. A man who worked in the
Cadet Org admitted he was sexually molesting the children.
Although these incidents were written up, as far as I know they
were never "handled."
I saw one staff member's child, who had been declared
a Suppressive Person at age 12, turned out onto the street
with no means of support. When he tried to sneak into the
galley line to get some food, he was physically jumped by two
adults who forced him outside again.
One woman's baby became very ill -- thin and colicky --
after using the Hubbard's "baby formula." We were not
allowed to say it was bad, however. How I respected her for
saying that it was hurting her baby and she was going to give
him formula! He then recovered fully.
Another family always delivered their children at home
and never reported the births. If their children ever want to
join society, there will be no record of them. I knew of
another baby who died during a home birth with the cord
wrapped around its neck -- a simple procedure with adequate
hospital care. But scientologists don't believe in that sort of
My children, those who managed to survive a
scientology upbringing, are ill adjusted and have all sorts of
social problems. My middle daughter, who rejected
scientology as the thing that "broke up her family," has
managed to graduate from college through hard work and
scholarships. Her family made a lot of money, but it was
dedicated to the "bridge." She does not really want a career,
however. She says all she wants is a stable family where she
can share love -- something she never had growing up.
The atrocities that have been committed against children
by individuals using scientology "technology" are reprehensible
enough to provide cause to place the cult in government
receivership. But if government agencies cannot or will not do
anything, then we must. We must speak out via pamphlets,
books, films, videos, interviews and any other media. Only by
joining together and speaking out publicly can we protect other
children from the horrors to which our own were subjected.
Yolanda, thank you for speaking out about the tragedies
scientology caused your family. My heart goes out to you.
With testimony like yours, perhaps we can prevent future
abuses of the cult's total power over innocent lives.
Rev. Dennis L Erlich * * the inFormer * *
- Additional links -
Declaration of Yolanda Howell
30 Aug 1989. (en Français)
Yolanda as of June '98
with update of new harassment.