So looking back over my life now, the effects of 46 years of association with scientology beliefs has resulted in a wasteland of family connections and love. Surely those concepts are an exact opposite outcome to a practice that aims to ‘save the planet’ and make this world a better place? My story is by no means the only one. There are thousands of shattered families like mine, families who never had a chance really.
I was talking to my dad the other day, he is nearly 86 and once an “OT5”, as was my mum. He said, “I am the father of seven and I don’t understand why you can’t all get along.” Oh Dad, how simple is the explanation and how complex are the consequences!
The simple explanation is that love does not come into it. My parents took us all to another country to study scientology and then were too busy to have time for their large family. My siblings were often left to fend for themselves in many ways, as I was. I am sure this is the reason we are scattered all over the world now … we were just not raised to give family bonds any priority. My brother was sent to ‘the ship’ when he was 15, I was sent to the Sea Org in another city when I was 16 and pregnant. We all had to learn to fend for ourselves. My brother says that the Apollo crew became his family, with its loose morals and fierce authoritarian boundaries, and the consequences of that reverberate to this day.
This is the end result of an extended family in scientology – of the 4 children I gave birth to, only two are connected to me now, two have disconnected (one due to scientology and the second for other reasons only he understands). My parents are now elderly, my mother has dementia and my father is battling cancer, despite the decades of devotion to the tech. Because they live with a scientology family member in another state, I have no physical access to them. Yes, I could make a fuss and demand to see them, but they are in a delicate position. My father was discouraged from even being in contact with me by skype! (He is defying that though.) My ex-husband is still a scientologist and also has severe physical problems and of course does not talk to me because I am a critic, and this affects my children. My mother-in-law was also a scientologist until a few years before she passed away. Of my 5 siblings, there is only one who will talk to me on the phone now and then. The belief is that scientology has nothing to do with the disconnected one not talking to me! My grandparents and an aunt and uncle disowned my whole family when I was young, due to my father’s choice to take us to the UK for scientology. I never got to know my grandparents they passed away. And for the same reasons, I don’t know any of my cousins.
It’s a pretty sad state of affairs.
This is what one of my own children said in response to my question on how they felt scientology had affected them, even if they had not actually done any ‘services’:
“My personal thoughts on having it influenced my younger life ….
The words sad, ashamed, embarrassed come to mind! I feel helpless because it’s like one of awful dreams where you are trying to scream at someone but no sounds comes out. Me being the person screaming and the “scientologist” completely oblivious.
I hate having to try and explain it to people, it is all so intricate and like I said before, embarrassing.
I feel like I missed out on having a ‘normal’ childhood. I didn’t realise this for a long time but when I did I felt terribly robbed.
BUT there isn’t much i can do about it now and i completely accept that it wasn’t the parents fault (you and dad) really, because you at least became cluey enough and got the hell out of there before I was old enough to realise what it was all about. Because i can guarantee you that if you were still ‘in’ I would have been the cluey one!
The fact that our other family members are still in, is just, it’s….. depressing and the word embarrassing comes up again, but I feel embarrassed for them, not for me! And it’s a huge feeling of loss really …… the absolute main effect it has had on my life is that I have no family contact out of my immediate family.
It also took me a while to realise that that wasn’t my fault….. as a child you do not have the skills to maintain complicated extended family relationships… this is their job but it was never done.”
Here is a very relevant observation on how scientology children can feel:
“I wonder about the issue of trusting the outside world. By this I mean that the “us and them” mentality. The constant under-current of “we have the best answers, they are just wogs”. The outside world is to be regarded with suspicion – at best with mild contempt, at worst with complete disregard and disdain.
A child cannot integrate in a healthy way into life if they are raised to hold the outside world as either dangerous or inferior.
I saw scientology raised children who held a very condescending attitude to anyone that was not “in” scientology. Yes they were polite, yes they were pleasant but if you stepped back, these youngsters did not trust outsiders to be of any true value.
That extended out leaves the child with limited options as they enter adulthood. University professors are held in contempt; medicos – well let’s not even go there; non-scientologists are to be held as potential trouble sources as “they” don’t have the answers to life (the tech). Therefore the child/young adult makes limiting decisions and often remains well within the confines of the mentally controlling system. They join the SO, they join general staff, they work only for other scientologists – they can’t truly trust the outside world.”
Yes, that is so true. Normal childish emotional responses are frowned upon, I remember many times that a argument was ended with “You’re just being banky!” This means it is all the reactive mind’s fault (bank) and you have no right to express opinions that go against the status quo. If a child is hurt or ill, the automatic responsibility it put back on them as “pulling it in”, in other words causing it. So you tend to grow up with the weight of the world on small shoulders, and it is very difficult.
Another profound comment on the thread linked above:
“So the constant message you are getting is “You are not important.” I will meet the bare minimum required to keep you alive but anything else is secondary to what the group needs. “If we can get away from post for your solo in the school concert – great – otherwise stop being such a baby. You’ve blown up planets before. There will be no money there to help you go to university or get married or anything left behind once you die. Scientology has our love. Scientology has our attention. Scientology must always be fed and cared for. “
Please – don’t bring your children up within scientology….
PS – I just want to add a comment that I am not saying my parents didn’t/don’t love us all. They did, they just had blind spots, and unfortunately those huge blind spots caused damage that didn’t have to happen.