Having grown up in Scientology I was steeling myself to see on the big screen the hard truths about my former religion. I knew that there would be things that would make me uncomfortable and some that might make me laugh so I was ready for it all.
My mother and I arrived at LACMA just before 4pm. The showing started at 7:30. We wanted to beat the traffic, get parking and get some food and a good spot in line. So when we did line up, just after 5pm we were the 5th and 6th people in line. We were sitting next to a lovely young couple, Liz and Ryan and another gentleman named Rob. Ryan asked us if we had read the Lawrence Wright’s book “Going Clear” I said, “My mother has but I lived it. I didn’t need to read about it.” Which then sparked a 2 1/2 hour Q and A session with me and my mother about our years in Scientology. They were very keen to hear all our stories and ask tons of questions. It was really nice. There were a couple of people in front of them that kept turning around scowling at us and getting on their phones (Seriously OLD ass flip phones) and possibly taking some pictures of us. I didn’t really care because nothing I said was untrue. So record and report away.
When the lights dimmed at LACMA’s Bing Theater and the film was about to start I started clapping furiously. I was the only one for about 5 seconds, in that eternity I realized, I FUCKING HATE CLAPPING. It is one thing that you are forced to do CONSTANTLY in Scientology. Somebody shares a realization in the classroom, clap. Somebody achieves a new status, clap. Go to an event, EVERY TIME A STATISTIC IS REVEALED CLAP. If COB says something AMAZING, STAND and CLAP. Someone thanks L Ron Hubbard, STAND and clap and give three cheers. So much fucking clapping. It was in that moment that I was genuinely happy about something clapping that I realized that it was one of the many things that had been stolen from me. An ability to genuinely show happiness and exuberance without dread and regret.
Then the film came. It was a PACKED house. Filled with a few celebrities, Joel Egerton, Camryn Manheim and a few others. Also Tom Devoct, and Spanky Taylor who are in the film were there. Before the film started I saw Larry Anderson. He was the star of a few of Scientology’s Technical Training films and he left a few years ago, tape recording his ordeal for posterity. I spoke with him before the film started and thanked him for doing what he did and told him that he had helped so many people. Mostly the people who were there were older LA types who were members of Film Independent who were never in Scientology but were fascinated or who just wanted to see the hottest ticket to come out of Sundance. Before the lights had dimmed there was electricity in the air. People were talking and looking around and getting very excited about the whole thing.
If you have read the book it is a very good visual representation of it. It is an excellent movie over all. Very well put together. An excellent combination of the live interviews that Alex does with the people featured in the film combined with Church event and promotional footage and news reel info. It paints a very accurate and scary picture of a secretive cult that lures you in and takes from you your self determinism with promises of powers and improvement.
It also goes deeper than any other film that I have seen, about L Ron Hubbard, you get to see the what happened to him leading up to him creating Scientology. The hardest part of viewing this film for me was when they spoke of the Sea Organization and signing a Billion Year Contract. They showed the contract on the screen. I immediately became filled with anxiety and dread. I was embarrassed as a majority of the film goers laughed, loudly, at the idea of signing away a BILLION years of your life. It made me angry. When I made that pledge I really was willing to sacrifice a billion years of my existence for the betterment of all mankind, even those assholes that were laughing. I felt like they would never make a commitment like that. To selflessly help everyone, even people they hadn’t met or ones who thought they were crazy. Then I reminded myself I was no longer bound to that. I wasn’t in that trap. And I got calmer. It is irrational and I know that but seeing that contract just took over an old area of my mind, one that I thought was long gone after just over a decade out of the church.
But the truth is I am constantly reminded of the church. In my frequent nightmares. In all of them I am there. Trapped in my old job trying to do everything differently but still ending up with the same terrible results. Often I wake suddenly in a panic, covered in sweat. It takes a moment but I realize I am at home, in bed with my husband and I am alright.
This film doesn’t cover every aspect of what it is like to be in. It couldn’t possibly in 2 hours. This film is about belief and how that can become a prison even for the most intelligent of people. It is an excellent film showing how, over time, you gradually fall into the chasm of cult like mindless behavior. It isn’t instant.
Most of the attendees were never in. They were electrified. In disbelief. “How could Paul Haggis stay so long?” “Didn’t he know?” I think everyone likes to think they are above any swindling. They would know better. They would NEVER fall for anything like that. They would have seen through it from the get go. They are smarter than that. It was like they were all slowing down for a gruesome crash on the highway, almost parking so they could really take in the carnage and sneer at it, “Look at those idiots! I NEVER drive like that. Only total morons would ever die so horrifically in a ridiculous crash! Hrumph!”
So I say to you, dear people, who didn’t live through the absolute insanity that is Scientology, to those of you who haven’t had to claw your way out of a seemingly endless abyss, kicking and screaming, fighting for your sanity and sometimes losing all your friends and family in the process, kindly, don’t judge. You weren’t there. You don’t know what it is like. You didn’t live it. You haven’t lost decades of your life to a cult. You didn’t maim yourself doing 16 hours a day of slave labor. Be kind. Be helpful. Be there for people who were. They need your help and your patience. They are like newborns, coming into the real world for the first time and they need your love.
I won’t spoil the hardest hitting portion of the documentary, but this film flat out calls out John Travolta and Tom Cruise. I hope they step up to the mic and take responsibility for their hand in these crimes.
Who should see this movie? Everyone. Everyone who can. The real story about Scientology has been lingering in the shadows for too long and this film shines the light of truth on it like a thousand spotlights. It can’t be unseen. It can’t be denied or shooed away as just former disgruntled members being sour grapes. It is hard to see and hard to believe but I can tell you it is all true. And it’s not even the whole story.
I spoke with both Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney after the film to thank them both for doing this. I asked Alex if he would consider making another film about people like me, born into Scientology, one of the few who did sign that billion year contract and worked for the church and spent time on the RPF and escaped. He said that he was hearing so many stories that there was definitely another movie there. So wait for it folks, the whole story may come out. Hopefully I can get a few minutes of screen time to tell mine.
Join the discussion 81 Comments
“You weren’t there. You don’t know what it is like.” YOU. WERE. NOT. THERE! FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE BRAINWASH!
(sorry, couldn’t help myself)
It’s alright. Obviously this is a heated subject for all involved and surprisingly for those not involved at all.
It’s an in-joke about Sweeney blowing up at Tommy Davis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxqR5NPhtLI
Thank you, basketballjane, for this powerful review. I am a never-in but I think your description fits my family member to a T – has been in for 40 years. I will be seeing the movie Friday.
I hope you enjoy the movie. It is well made and to the point. Hopefully you can get your family member to see it too. It will help.
Thanks for this – I can’t wait to see this documentary myself!
The film is really so well made. Just in terms of movies it is excellent. Definitely see it. I will be at the Dome in Hollywood for the 8pm showing on Friday!
Dear Raging Buddha –
Thank you for sharing your experience. As a never-in, I felt heart-broken, reading your play by play. So glad you made it out of that horrible cult. You are an inspiration to anyone who seeks to regain personal power. Bravo!
Thank you! Go and see the film. It is excellent and I am glad it is there to spread the word. It makes all the years I spent yelling into the wind and people telling me I was just full of it and just “angry” and that I should “get over it” worth it. Validated every thing I knew to be true.
Wow, BbJ! Thank you so much for your review. It’s the first review I’ve read by someone who’s lived it and I sympathize with your pain even though I can never truly understand it because I never lived it. I hope you are able to find peace soon. And here’s to hoping you can find a reason to clap with genuine glee by your own choice. Cheers!
I hope so too. Clapping should be fun right?
Thank you for the review, I can’t wait to see the film It’s very cool that Alex Gibney might do another film. I think his documentaries are very engaging and very powerful.
I am more interested in your personal reaction at seeing that contract. I am sorry that it affected you that way. Memories are powerful thing to deal with. You had the strength and courage to leave scientology, and then during this anxious time you had the strength and courage to question why you were angry.
How did your mother react to the film?
My mom and I are still discussing it this morning. So many feelings and memories. She was disappointed that it was so celebrity heavy. There are so few celebrities in the cult. The majority, like 99% of people in the religion are not celebrities, and the only one of those highlighted was Sara Goldberg. Hopefully this will get more regular people to speak out.
I’m going to LA to see it soon. Thanks for your review.
Tell your mom that the emphasis on celebrities will bring more people to watch the documentary. It also attacks the most visible people who are a part of it, especially since Miscavige hasn’t appeared in over 20 years.
I understood the flashback you had about signing the billion year contract. I was raised a fundamentalist Christian, and even after over 50 years of leaving it, I have flashbacks like that, where I am first upset that something negative was said about something I once believed in, then realizing that my viewpoint has changed completely.
Yeah the PTSD from the life is real. I deal with it best I can but it still surprises me when it comes up suddenly like that.
Great point. All the religions are the same. The Christians are probably the worst. At least Scientology doesn’t burn witches and embark on crusades.
Ummm maybe not literally burn them but the mindfuck might as well be burning. It is just as bad as any other atrocities committed in the name of religion. Don’t kid yourself.
A lot of people say that all religions are the same. Maybe they are in the same way that a person can say someone is, “First among equals”. Scientology has equivalence under the law in the United States, but they use the word religion to hide from their horrible actions. It is a scam, disguised as a religion. It is the only criminally convicted religious organization in the history of my country (Canada). Even the founder, L.Ron Hubbard said it was not a religion (recorded) until the moment that the religion scam seemed like a better scam than the self help scam.
Yeah. They have done a bang up job of committing atrocious crimes under the veil of religion. That veil has a massive hole in it now and it will be gone soon.
do not be hoodwinked into thinking that Scientology is a religion…and some decent faith based religions save lives with medical care and education, sanes missionary tactics.
“This film doesn’t cover every aspect of what it is like to be in. It couldn’t possibly in 2 hours”
Hopefully it ALL comes out eventually — I would love it if every victim was heard.
Let’s hope Mark Bunker’s documentary is out soon and packs the same punch!
Yeah and there is another film coming out later this year by Louis Theroux that I am also looking forward to.
That will be the most difficult part for people to swallow, which is the worst part of all – $cien is an expert manufacturer, on an unimaginable scale, of deception, delusion and EVIL. Thank goodness brave souls like Paul Haggis and Jason Beghe managed to escape and came forth with their stories; and of course I know there are many many others, just as brave, that did so, also. I’m sure it’s thousands of people.
I was deeply touched by your write-up and you had a perfect right for feeling angry at the reminders of the horrible suffering that was imposed upon you and your family, by this hideous beast that pretenses to be a church. I am truly glad you are able to tell your story. Thank you.
Thank you for that. I am working on the anger. But it is good to get the emotions out there and inform others. If it saves one person from ever going through what I did, then mission accomplished.
Amazing Nora! I soooo get it. And I’m still living through the unraveling too. Its hard to be vulnerable about this and I appreciate you bringing it up. Its so complicated. I’m happy to hear how interested people are and that Alex G may plan another film. I admit, I’m still pretty angry. But I wouldn’t trade this necessary anger for one day of having no autonomy or self determinism, like you said. Who wouldn’t be angry with being forced to hand over all their power and rights to their own self interests? Who would ever ask permission to live? Or breathe? Or fall in love? And by now, I believe we’ve damn earned our individualism. I cant wait to see this film. And thank you for your unabashed way of seeing things. I needed that.
It is a great film. There will be feelings. I am still having them. I am sure I will write something else after I see it again on Friday. I will be at the 8pm showing at the Dome. I hope you can see it soon. It will make all the effort and speaking you have been doing worth it.
Thanks for posting this on Tony Ortega’s blog. I am glad you got out!
I will read your story. I appreciate you speaking out. You have made me want to see this even more now and I didn’t think that was possible.
You’re welcome. Enjoy the film. It is a good one. A necessary one.
Thank you for posting this, Jane. I wasn’t born into scn, but I did get into it at a young age and lost over 3 decades of my life to it. I understand the nightmares of being back in the sea org, of waking up and the relief washes over you as you realize you are in your own home. I can’t wait to see the movie and I am so glad that it is bringing more people to an awareness of exactly what scn is. The cult is dying and I am so glad that I am here to witness it! Hugs to you xxx
Hugs to you. It is a daily process to remind myself each day that I have a wonderful life. I have two beautiful children and am surrounded by my family who love me. One day I will just know that, I won’t have to remind myself.
Thank you Jane for this review and your private feelings about it. I was never on staff or SO and appreciate learning more of the damage done, which help me to understand better. I always enjoy your posts.
Wonderful review! So enjoyed chatting with you and re-connecting last night after our last mutually-shared experience as culties at CC INT. The great thing about the “limited scope” of the film (although they did manage to get in a LOT about the LRH, auditing, Se Org, and disconnection) is that now the public’s appetite had been whetted and there is SO MUCH MORE that can be covered in future efforts and some of the media companies who may have been afraid to broach the topic of Scientology, will feel more inclined to follow-up now that HBO has paved the way. I have HBO at home and will be having many of my friends over for viewings when the film begins running on cable. This is something on the “order of magnitude” the CO$ has never had to deal with before. COB must be desperately in need of a locational. (wink)
Brilliant. Hosting viewing parties will become all the rage. I hope that people will come over to my house and watch. If they are afraid that someone will find out I can assure them it won’t come from me. I want all of them to see this film and I am sure COB is RPFing everyone he can and throwing a fit in Hemet right now just stomping around calling for everyone’s head on a pike. There is no escape from this fire storm. Every person who sees it, if they know someone that is involved at all with the church is going to ask them about it. They are going to demand that they see it. It will be brilliant. I was so excited to see you there. I literally told my mom that I had to go over and fangirl for a moment with you.
Hey Larry, Nora’s husband here. Couldn’t make it to the screening -but she mentioned getting to meet you. 🙂
I have to say, I still remember the day you shocked me with the line you read in the Scn Orientation film. As an SO member, I was in disbelief after hearing you say “You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out… that is your choice.”. Your lines up to that point were good. Then you said that. At the time I was like.. Huh?. Laughing my ass off thinking of it. Would love to know the person who wrote that crazy line. Screenwriter? COB? If you’ve written any behind the scenes stories on it I’d love to know where they are. Was so happy when you left. Good to hear from you!
When I originally auditioned for the film (the audition material was that last speech) I too was shocked at the audacious text. I asked them point blank, “Who wrote this – it’s very in your face and pulls no punches”. They told me it was all LRH. I frankly didn’t believe it. I could smell DM all over it. But I didn’t question any further as I was happily drinking the Kool-Aid (like a good little robot) — and I needed the paycheck too. Haven’t written any stories yet as I had wanted to not antagonize the cherch after my departure with hopes of getting my repayment of monies on account but that hope is dwindling as the organization has stopped paying anybody — methinks as a way not to set a precedent that will open the floodgates of repayment. Instead, their tactic seems to be to ignore all requests for repayment forcing the claimant to sue (which no one can afford to). They’re also hoping to get a ruling from the court in the Garcia case in Florida that all claimants must go through an arbitration panel to Scientologists in good standing to request a repayment. And we know what fruit that effort would bear. Thanks for saying hello…
Thanks for sharing that little story Larry. Look forward to hearing more in the future. I’m sure what you have to say will have a lot of impact for people mid their red pill journey.
I could not stop reading your blog. I definitely agree that those of us who have not had your experience really have no idea what you have gone through, why people stay for years, etc. I have spoken to others who have been in cults & then left; one thing they told me is that they got a lot out of it in the beginning, and THEN. . . things changed. Sounds like extreme manipulation by the cult leaders. They have also described how & why they left. I am very curious as to how/why you left? Did you and your Mom do this together?
I left in a blaze of glory in 2002. It is far too long to put here in the comments and I will have a full post of that coming soon. I have been fully out since 2004 and it took me till 2012 to get my mom out. Her journey has been very different than mine. She was in for over 40 years. I was born into it. I worked for the Sea Org and ended up on the RPF. She didn’t work for the Sea Org and was very trained. She was there to help people. As was I. And to learn that all the years you dedicated to what you thought was help was actually a lie is very hard to take. It is still a process we are both going through but it is good to go through it.
Thank you for the review and for describing how it felt for you, Nora. I can empathize with you. The nightmares about being back in the trap, I know them too (I read from many who got out that they had/have them).
I was not born into the cult, so I could put things still in relation. I hardly can comprehend how it is when one doesn’t have anything to compare to. You have reason and all the right you want to be angry; you do not need “to work on it” (that is also indoctrinated, IMO).
Your comments on the various blogs are also great and are an asset – I always read them.
Thank you. It is good to know that I am reaching people. Sometimes it feel like shouting in the wind and I am the only one hearing it. So thanks for letting me know that other people are getting the message. It is so important.
“shouting in the wind”? – you are a roaring lion(ess) 🙂 , and you are heard! Sometimes it seems that not so many people are reading because it is difficult to have conversations on the blogs (with disqus it is better). It happens again and again that readers are commenting first time, stating that they are reading /lurking since a year or longer (so was I). There are thousands who read the blogs (‘on the fringes of the Internet’) every day.
Thanks for sharing your review and thoughts after seeing the show. I’m a never-in but grew up in Clearwater while Scientology came into town. That experience pretty much inoculated everyone I knew. We saw the lies and harassment first-hand, and heard rumors about what went on inside that pretty much all turned out to be true. I am so sorry for what you went through.
Your escape (and how you managed to extricate your mom) would be a compelling story for others to learn from, so I hope you get a chance to tell your story. You’re so right in that there are more than enough stories to make another documentary, and I hope we see this happen soon. Besides, just the mere thought of it will give Dave more indigestion, and that’s good, too.
Sorry that you were embarrassed at the billion year contract part. I think most people just find the number so large, so incomprehensible, that it defies belief. It is one of the more audacious parts of the total scam, but as many scammers in the past have found, sometimes the bigger the scam, the more believable it can become. That’s actually what people can’t believe. I hope you don’t think of the embarrassing parts so much when you see the show the next time.
Everyone somewhere has fallen for something, I have said many times. Everyone. But not everyone has been brave enough to admit it, to share the story about it, or to walk away from it. That’s the better part of the story.
Hugs to you and your mom. I wish you both all the best. Glad you’re out now.
Thank you so much! I am recovering. I am one of the lucky few who have my family with me in this evolution. We are all helping each other. Most aren’t so fortunate and have to go through all this alone. Hugs to you!
good work, I enjoyed your blog…as a SP, ex member I remember refusing to shout Hip Hip Hurrah for LRH. the ex husband was not pleased.
Fucking HATED doing the Hip Hip Hooray crap OVER AND OVER!! Ugh. It was just too much.
Even as a never in, I have been waiting for the film to hit Hollywood. Thank you so much for the review. Glad you were able to get some sleep. The waiting reminded me of Christmas morning. Sure Davey boy is getting some ulcers from the impending doom of the cult. Think how pissed the “hard core Scilons” still in are going to be at DM when the cult is done. They are what he needs to worry about. Life is good
I hope they eventually see the film. It will be shocking and they will just get angry but after they ponder it for a while they will see the truth. They all need to see the truth. They are just killing themselves by being in there. I hope they all get out. I am sure Dave is having a major meltdown. MAJOR.
“So I say to you, dear people, who didn’t live through the absolute insanity that is Scientology, to those of you who haven’t had to claw your way out of a seemingly endless abyss, kicking and screaming, fighting for your sanity and sometimes losing all your friends and family in the process, kindly, don’t judge. You weren’t there. You don’t know what it is like. You didn’t live it. You haven’t lost decades of your life to a cult. You didn’t maim yourself doing 16 hours a day of slave labor. Be kind. Be helpful. Be there for people who were. They need your help and your patience. They are like newborns, coming into the real world for the first time and they need your love.”
This is one of the best things I have ever seen written about Scientology, about cults, and everything else on the internet.
Thank you for that! It came from the heart.
Damn, I wish I was there to go with you Nora!
berman aka joe pendleton
BERMAN!!!! We both wish you were here!!! We will have a viewing when you get back!!!
Amazing review. I read it three times, and will probably read it again. Basketball Jane – I hope you get to tell your story in front of a camera someday. I think the subject of telling the stories of the second and third generations Scientologists, the ones who were born into the cult, is a worthy subject. I read Jenna Miscavige’s book, “Beyond Belief” and it was a heart wrenching story. I am glad you are out Jane, and glad I made my way out as well. Life is good.
Thank you so much. I hope to tell it too on camera. I think it would be great to get the all too many stories down on film. For educational purposes and for history to record what really happened. We are survivors and our stories should be heard.
Hey Nora, I hope this is ok if I say something here that’s slightly (actually very) personal. In a weird way my life has felt like its been on display since I left scientology anyways. So its only fair to admit this in public. But almost a year ago when you and I met on twitter, I wasn’t nice to you. I am so very sorry for that. And you actually were still incredibly nice back to me despite my hostility. I don’t think I would have been so giving to another if that was done to me. So my respect for you right now warrants a serious explanation. So here it goes.
If I began to get into details of what I’ve experienced as far as fair game goes from the last 12 years, I’d write a book on here. We all have our horror stories. Telling outsiders is futile. They immediately think we’re crazy because the world would never allow such atrocities. Oh, little do they know. As exhausting as this may seem, I know you know. I’m amazed now that you were still kind to me at a time when I was anything but happy. So I’m gladly indebted to you for showing me a piece of human compassion. It couldn’t have arrived at a better time since I was beginning to believe them, that I was nothing. So seriously thank you. You started me coming out of denial and I slowly stopped blocking out the abuse. I knew they were all over me online. I knew they tracked what websites I frequented and I knew they liked to use comment sections as one of their tools for mind games. I’d hear echos from my p.c folder twisted into content. I knew I got followed. I discovered my former scientologist best friend had made some undermining jokes about me on her Facebook. Pics and all. She’d sarcastically comment that I was missing and had anyone seen me. She and her friends laughed and compared me to Anna Nicole Smith, which I thought was heartless . This was after I’d been gone for like 6 or 7 years so I didn’t see the point. Regardless, it hurt me so much that I never looked anything up like that up again. Her reappearance last year was no surprise. She accused me of stalking her husband. I didn’t even know she was married. The last 2 years have been BAD. Around last March I reached the breaking point. My private life seemed like it had become a public spectator sport and a source of constant fodder for gossip in my town. And of course online. But the new thing was it started happening at husband’s work. ( I say husband but in truth we’re not married. But when you’ve been together for 12 years and have children, boyfriend just isn’t enough. They accused me of being anti marriage too. Petty to the zillionth power.) The only reason I even came on twitter was because people outside OSA started taking part in the harassment and I had no recourse to hold them accountable. My situation with you specifically came about partly because I’d become use to certain themes used to taunt me. Reducing me as if I were their personal movie to watch and scrutinize. They reveled in it and wanted me to know that my privacy was a joke. So was intimacy. They’d comment on whatever I took pics of on my cell phone. Would say I took too many selfies. They were flat out obsessive and prejudiced. I got the bizarre phone calls and emails. I used to write on my cells note pad and complained that the people doing this are rapists. Sorry, but that’s how it feels. Like mental rapists. So when someone right before I met you on twitter calling themselves “Mr. Rapist” sent me an animated movie entitled “Carmen & Mr. Rapist,” it pushed me almost over the edge. In it they said they were going to kill me. So when I saw your twitter name was “not leading lady” (and they called me the leading lady sometimes) I immediately equated it with this movie and reacted. That’s why I started questioning you and acting the way I did. I’ve actually become much more aware and can tell you its gotten better. They’re not above pretending to like me. But it is what it is and I hadn’t learned how to cope other than be afraid back then. I’m sorry Nora. I wish people understood that fair game is nothing like a game. Calling it a game insinuates that we’re consenting to whats happening and engaging with others in the attempt to gain something valuable. But we never agreed to anything. Its their game where they compete on who can hurt us the most and they’re rewarded when were destroyed. It’s dehumanizing. We’d never ever allow anything like this to happen to us. Or happen to our children, which they don’t spare. This is only a tiny fraction of what people who get fair gamed go through. It gets much worse. It really is the essence of terrorism. Meant to instill fear. Its designed by intelligent people who are skilled at this. Its been perfected. It gets results. Its like the very slow, methodical murder of a person. But undetectable. Its layered and organized. Its system is strategically meant to cause trauma. This has to finally be exposed.
Sorry for the mini book, but I realized I couldn’t apologize sincerely unless my motives for some of the more strange tweets i wrote last year didn’t make sense. Hopefully Going Clear is just the beginning of their end.
Carmen, thank you so very much for all this. Just so you know I was never mad about it. I felt terrible because I remember very vividly how you were treated at CC at the end, and what was said about you which I always thought was wrong and disgusting. You were never anything but nice to me when I saw you in the Presidents Office a few times and I thought you were a lovely person. You weren’t going with the program and like Nicole for Tom you had to be eliminated at all costs. They are supremely evil like that. They have no mercy. They want to break you. The relish in it. They celebrate it. It disgusts me that I was ever any part of that group. It is my biggest regret. It eats at me. I try to remind myself that I can’t go back in time and change anything, that the only thing I can do now is speak the truth and let people know what is really going on.
The good news for all of us who are speaking out and have been speaking out is that this film is the spark that we have been waiting for. It proves that we aren’t crazy. We didn’t make it all up. We were harmed. It happened. It was real. I know what you mean. I think all of us who have been harassed go through a massive spiral of self doubt and depression, taking ourselves out of this “game”. That is the real goal. The easiest victim to defeat is the one who never fights at all.
You had every right to be skeptical and angry. Now that we know we are on the same team I am pretty sure they have screwed with the wrong women. Nothing like two powerful mothers taking on bullies to get some shit done. I am here for you. Sending you love.
FUCK YES!!!! You just moved mountains for me. I’m looking forward to the day we know justice.
Massive amounts of love for you,
Holy hell Carmen. That was chilling. But I’m so glad you wrote it and Nora could respond. This shit needs to end. Women like you inspire me every day to keep on getting on. Kudos to you both. I do think this movie is a game changer.
As a never-in I am so pleased to see so many of us interested in and supportive of the ex-Co$. I am a lurker on many of the exCo$ sites because this community is surely one of the most inspirational group of people, who are not necessarily seeking revenge, but wanting to stop the horror that is The Cult. There are many horrible things in this world, and it is the brave actions of those who know which will work to stop and redress the harm. To all of the ex-Co$, their family and friends, I thank you for being such a remarkable community.
It is nice to have support of anyone who sees the injustice and wants to make it right so thank you!
Nora, you are very brave & I hope writing this review was therapeutic. I hope this empowers you to find your voice & share your story. Your voice is more powerful than you think. This is my favorite review & I have read a dozen of them. There are many people who can use your comforting words. Thx for writing this & I can’t wait to see what’s next!!
Y’all are amazing to survive it, face it again and move on. If you’re having trouble with the trauma…try EMDR therapy. I was a sceptic but it really does heal you quickly.
Thanks for the review and all your very insightful and mature replies here.
Your nightmares, cringing sudden realities to having been part of such a
cult are shared by many. The embarrassment, the hot feelings, the wanting
to just go and hide under a rock for having been so stupid is something that
I have experienced and still do even after having been out about 7 years (I
was in for over 42 years – we even met on the RPF). It can be very difficult
for an uninvolved to comprehend.
To magnify this a thousandfold and in a totally different arena look at the
trauma soldiers go through. I did audit some Vietnam vets and some of them
Were so scarred mentally it was very very hard to confront the enormity of
what the result of a war can do to a person.
I’m a never in, and I admit I don’t see how you get sucked into a thing like that, but I’ve watched the interviews of Scientology escapees who are smart and articulate and though it happened to them, are just as baffled by what they did as I am. And then I remember the times I fell for something that, looking back at it is easy to see through, but that sounded like a good idea at the time. Even people who think they’re smart have been scammed; we can relate a bit. I don’t mean to equate your experience with buying a bad used car, I just mean that everybody in the audience that laughed has been conned sometime.
I cannot tell a lie, that really hepeld.
Thank you so much for the review! I enjoy your posts at the Bunker.
Hi Nora! What a thoughtful post! I found your insta after searching the hashtag, #goingclear. As I mentioned in my instagram post to you, Ryan and I wanted to find you guys afterwards to tell you just how great we thought it was to hear from you and your Mom, firsthand. We were also so honored that you shared so much of your story with us. It was more effective than just seeing the movie, in my opinion.
I am not sure if it was Alex or Lawrence, but someone on the panel said that it could be any of us in this film. It’s not a “certain” kind of person that is attracted to Scientology or other groups, religious or not. It could be any of us. We all want to belong to something for whatever reason, many of us, like your mom wanted to belong to something bigger than herself to help others. Who could fault or laugh at someone for just trying to do good?
I truly hope this film helps families understand what their loved ones have experienced or are experiencing, rallies people to help and puts pressure on those megaphones out there to stop ignoring the abuses and start to breakaway and speak out.
We wish you and your family the best on your journey! Thanks for sharing so much with us.
Thank you Liz, like I said it was great talking with all of you. I used to be very wary of sharing my story. Whispering it or just keeping quiet. I have found some relief in letting it all out. Just saying it exactly like it was. I don’t have to embellish. It is crazy on it’s own. I am glad that we could give you another layer to the film. There are so many stories, so much to be said that it really couldn’t put it all on film. We spoke for over 2 hours together but we told you probably 5% of our stories. Thank you for listening. For believing and for your understanding. I hope what we shared can help others. That is why I try to share as much as I can whenever I can.
Well, I hope you get a chance to share your story on film. I think that your idea of a movie about people born into the organization would be very powerful. Not only do you have so much to share, but you are also funny as hell. I am sure your humor has gotten you through some pretty dark times.
The world needs to meet The Raging Buddha! Brilliant name by the way! You remind me of so many of my closest friends and I look forward to checking out your blog in the future. Don’t give up on that SNL dream. 🙂
Wow. Can’t wait to see it when HBO shows it later this month.
Cults get people immersed by degrees. It’ll start slowly, simply, then they pile more on. Also, the carrot and stick routine is used.
I’m glad you were able to get out of the cult, and hope your recovery continues to go well. Take care.
Thanks for the review and story – I’ll have to wait until it’s on HBO, and I can’t wait!
Great review. As I was in the Sea Org from age 13-38, I was RPF’d 5 times, Comm Eved 12 times did about 60 missions around the world, I have seen it all.
I am very anxious to see the Film, a lot of my ex Scientology friends who saw it say that is quite an emotional experience to see it. Thank god I have HBO.
It is very emotional. It is still emotional now. Only 5 days left and the whole world will see the truth.
Thank you for posting your experience. I am so glad you were able to free yourself.
About “judging” though; there are lots of horrific things that one doesn’t have to experience personally to know that they are bad. What if nobody “judged” anything?
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