A belief system such as scientology can have dire consequences in ways one can not imagine.
Sitting with my first coffee of the day, I watched the beautiful native birds in a nearby gumtree and a single white feather drifted down, much like the feather in the movie Forest Gump. A symbol that life goes on, the breezes and storms of life take us where they may, and beauty still exists.
I was just a normal girl, raised in a normal church going family in a normal suburb in Australia.
I want to write of my experiences in this life to try and make sense of it all. This is mostly for me; however I hope that my children may gain some insight into their lives as well and possibly others may understand similar paths influenced by a belief system.
The place, time and family we are born into are beyond our choice, though in some metaphysical circles it is thought we do choose. I don’t know and at this point can’t take responsibility for choosing the life I have had, even though my astrology chart indeed describes it in detail, if I choose to take that point of view. Astrology has in fact been both a great comfort and challenge to me at times as it describes the ‘cycles’ we all go through in life. The very idea of those cycles helped me to survive challenging circumstances, knowing that a door would close and another one open. Which door to choose, which reaction to take are choices I do believe are our own.
Yet there are times when those choices are not ours to make and one has to go with the flow of life. Our family’s circumstances dictate a lot of that when we are young; hopefully we learn the values and attitudes to help us survive.
I am very grateful now for having an uncomplicated and loving childhood, until the age of 14, as it has given me a basis to fall back on in later life.
Although born in central Sydney, life took on a whole new meaning for me around the age of seven, when we moved to the then wilds of ‘the bush’. I am the eldest of six children with a ten year age gap. Land was much cheaper in those days and with the help of my father’s parents, Dad bought a block of five acres of bushland in what seemed the middle of nowhere and set about building us a house.
I had been raised in the Methodist Church as my parents were committed Christians when they met and for my youngest years. We went to Church every Sunday and had the traditional roast dinner for Sunday lunch on our return; it was a routine that was a comforting part of my early life. As I grew older and graduated from Sunday School, I started to help out with the smaller children in their Bible studies and it was something that I found more interesting than the normal service. My mother was a teacher and I fully expected to follow in her footsteps as a career path.
My father found Scientology in 1964 after reading the book Dianetics. He has always been a spiritual seeker and in this new philosophy he felt there were answers he wanted to find out more about. As he became more immersed in his studies over a few years, he spent more and more time away from home. After a full day’s physical work as a builder he would then drive 25 miles into Sydney to study and night, and then home again very late. I know my mother found this difficult with a brood of six children to look after, especially as she was working as a teacher as well. The elder children had chores to help with running the household but we were an unruly bunch sometimes, it must have been hard, yet with the ignorance of youth we had no idea.
My younger brother started to become interested in my father’s studies and that was not something I wanted to be excluded from, mostly from the sibling rivalry point of view.
So I went along to my first scientology Seminar in May 1967… I was just 14 years old.
The moment I walked into the venue I felt I had come home. Full of smiling friendly people, I was welcomed in a way I had not experienced before. There was an enthusiasm and apparent common purpose that seemed to bring these individuals together and I felt very grown up for the first time in my life. This Seminar was actually the playing of an important tape from the Founder of scientology, L. Ron Hubbard called RJ67 (Ron’s Journal 1967) and it concerned the need for immediate action to be taken by scientologists to ensure the safe future of the planet. It was all very dire, important and dramatic.
What magnificent concepts for a teenager! “Save the Planet” sparked my innate desire to be part of a concept bigger than the one I had and I was totally and immediately engulfed by the group purpose, even if I had no real understanding of what it was all about. I just knew I wanted to be part of an elite group of people who actually did something. (This is typical of the “love bombing” new recruits are subject to.)
And then my life changed forever.