August 10, 1989
My name is SANDRA WYNINGER.
Scientology teaches you to communicate and to understand life. I came from a family where communication and understanding of life were not abundant. So I was totally thrilled when I found Scientology. I dedicated my life to it -- not in the way a Sea Org member would -- but all my extra money and all my extra time went into doing my Scientology training and auditing. As a result my children really suffered because I wasn't there for them. I thought because I was helping "Clear the planet" that not being there for them would be alright because I was helping Scientology create a saner, safer and free world to live in. But it doesn't justify the fact that I wasn't there for my children. I had the delusion that I was doing the best I could for my children and husband.
After many years of struggling to get up to the point of doing my OT 3, I opened the pack, this confidential pack that I had worked for so many years to get to, only to find in my mind, that it was complete science fiction. There was no way I could agree to it. When I complained, I was taken into review. The OT 3 staff charged me $3,000 more just to complain, and finally it dawned on me, "There's not going to be any way of getting out of this graciously. If I go and tell them how I feel I could lose my husband, I could lose the respect of all the friends I had that I had made in Scientology because they would not want to associate with me."
So I had to go out and say, "OK, I'm done, I'm through, it was wonderful, thank you very much". When I walked out of the Advanced Organization that night, it was the last time I ever walked in. To this day I've never walked back into the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles. That was in November 1983.
When I walked out that night, David was there. I told him what I wanted to do, that I wanted to leave, and he was scared to death. He hadn't done OT 3 yet. I basically had to deal with the fact that he might leave me because I no longer agreed with Scientology or OT 3. He could not remain a good Scientologist and go up the Bridge and have me as his wife. It took him about three days to think about it. There was really some tension there for three days until finally he decided that I had confirmed some things that he had been wondering about. I still could not tell him what OT 3 was. I could not sit down and tell him that. It was like this thing that was so instilled in me. It was very sad that I went through all that. And then to have the courage to speak out in my small way and leave, the ripples of that weren't felt by anybody except my family. Except that now you have to be afraid of letting anybody know that you feel that way because if you speak out Scientology can harass you. They may not even do it in a legal way. They will do it ways that already happened to my husband David.
A contractor, Bobby McGee, had David do work for him as a subcontractor and then never paid him. Mark Stevens, another Scientologist, had also worked with David for years. When David told him he was leaving Scientology, he came and got his tools and said. "I don't want to talk to you again". And he's never spoken to David since. That was about December 1983. I was the villain, of course. I was the Suppressive Person who had gotten David out of Scientology because I was the one who did OT 3. They thought if it hadn't been for me David would still be in Scientology. Of course I had people tell me that too, that I was the one who used up all of David's money to do the Bridge and then I left Scientology and got him out as well. So it was a real heavy guilt trip. I mean, how wrong can you be. I made it officially known I was leaving. I told my course supervisors when they called me and asked me why I had not been to course. I was real close to graduating Class Six, so you can imagine what this did to my supervisor. I was also on lines at Celebrity Center doing the Ethics Course. So I was auditing on OT 3, doing the Ethics Course and working on my Briefing Course. So where did I have time for my family? And I was also working. I went to Celebrity Center on weekends, I audited at night. There was one period of time when I wasn't at ASHO that much, but when I wasn't auditing I was always at ASHO oil the Briefing Course. So I was always somewhere working to clear the planet.
So that's what's really sad. You live in a country where the Constitution protects your freedom of speech unless you are speaking in a way that is true to you. But some other group like Scientology doesn't want you to speak that way and wants to shut you up. They do not want people to know that there are people out there like me who do not agree with OT 3, that didn't agree with the way people were being treated or with the harassment. One example of that is that I was ordered to go to Flag in February 1983 because I took the Richard Stewart course on Real Estate. How corrupt. How horrendous can that be. I went to Flag but I didn't go because I wanted to go. I was in the middle of auditing OT 2. I was told I could not have another session until I went to Flag. When I got to Flag I had an uncle who lived in Tampa and I said, "We don't have a lot of money and we are already stretched out to do OT 2 and now we had to pay plane fare and not work and do all this. I can stay with my uncle and not have the expense of staying at the Fort Harrison Hotel". "Oh no", I was told. "You have to stay here at the Hotel". Other people had the guts to say, "I am here because I was ordered to be here", which is what I was, "And I will not stay in your facility. I will go to a motel or whatever". But I didn't have the guts to do that. And David said, "Don't embarrass me, don't embarrass me".
In 1977 I was auditing a staff member for my student completion requirements at ASHO. I had to go and find my preclear. It was parent time so I had to go to the Cadet Organization to find the person. I was appalled that there were so many small children sleeping in one room. It was wall-to-wall children and the parents only saw their children for one hour per day.
I left in 1977. We were living in South Texas. David had a business down there. I wanted to do the Briefing Course so left my children with my husband, their stepfather, while they were still in school, to come out and do the Briefing Course. So in a way it triggered my abandonment of my own children. But these children in the Cadet Org, their parents were only there for them for an hour each day, and even that was something that some of them did not want to do. The parents had to be made to fulfill their family time. Some of the parents did not want to do that. So it really made me aware that these kids were being neglected and certainly my kids were being neglected. It was also a time the parents could be free, and many times the kids were a long way away from where the parents worked. So it got to be easier for parents to skip family time with their children and take some free time for themselves. And that's when it got stricter that if families had kids, the parents had to show up for family time. So you would see the parents and children walking around with their ice creams acting like, "I'm being the parent." If you're clearing the planet and if you're wanting a saner world to live in, where does it start? Doesn't it start with your own children? In your own family? And having a peaceful family? And a loving family?
I went on a whale watch with some kids from Scientology in the late 1970s; and I heard the guy who was working on the boat say, "I've never seen a more foul mouthed group of kids like this one. This is the worst group of kids I've ever seen." Scientology kids were notorious for having filthy mouths and filthy language. Because no one was there to really nurture them. That's what they heard. It was embarassing to have somebody in the "wog" world comment that that was the worst talking group of kids he had ever seen.
So David and I moved back to Texas after being on lines at Celebrity Center because we wanted to improve the condition of our lives. We thought that if we moved back we could get ahead. We were in Scientology when we were first out here. It seemed like every extra penny we got went to the Organization. So we could never get ahead. So if we moved back to Texas and established a home and established some money and saved some money then we could come back out and do the Briefing Course. So after about two years in Texas I said, "Enough time has gone by. I'm going to go back and I'm going to do the Briefing Course". And that was about the time the prices went up. So it also kicked in the thought that, "If I don't go do it now it's going to get more expensive", which is another reason they raise the prices. So I came out, rented a room, lived in one room, shared a bathroom just like a lot of other Scientologists living in a Scientology house with nothing else but a bed and a dresser. And every night I was by myself. The kids and my husband weren't there. And I wasn't there for them either. So it was really tough. It was a real tough period. And I was late to class one morning and I had to scrub toilets. And it was like, ... "Wait a second, I'm not with my family, I'm paying all this money, I'm doing all this stuff". Here I was on the Interneship -- on the Interneship you had to be there early -- and I was late and the Supervisor found something degrading for me to do because I was late.
I think it was the unkindness that Scientologists had for each other and how they would treat each other that got to me. Like ordering us to go to Flag and the way they treated Richard Stewart and the way they treated the people that worked for Richard. I didn't want to continue my association with people that are so unkind to each other with a blind allegiance to an organization that perpetrates criminal activities while claiming to be a bonafide religion.