March 10, 2012

A Mother's Heartbreak

I'm rarely serious, I'm just not good at it but I'm going to give it a whirl. This is my friend Lori's (Otto's Mommie) personal story with Scientology and her daily struggle almost two years after resigning from The Church of Scientology. She has taught me so much about integrity,strength and love. In return, I've taught her many inappropriate dirty words and phrases in connection with how to curse like a trucker in the most lady like and profuse way. Fair trade, right?

A Mother's Heartbreak

by Lori Hodgson

February 6, 2011 is a day that I will never forget. A day that haunts me daily as I struggle with the insurmountable anguish and heartbreak of being “disconnected” from my children at the hands of the Church Of Scientology. My children, the very essence of my being were forced to choose between remaining in contact with me after my resignation from Scientology, or their eternity and good standing in the church.

I could have never imagined that the belief system I once valued, would actively recruit my minor children to work on staff and induct my son into the Sea Organization, (a dedicated group within Scientology in which one signs a one billion year contract to serve Scientology for this lifetime and future lifetimes as well) against my wishes, restrict my contact with them and force my son to sign a three million dollar gag contract, silencing him from speaking out about his time within the Sea Organization, before he could effectively route out. Unfortunately, this is my reality.

If I had known in 1976 when I joined Scientology at the age of thirteen as Lori Moore. That if I chose to leave one day, that I would lose my children, my family and friends that remained in Scientology; I would have never participated in such a cruel organization.

When I first joined I liked Scientology. I felt it enhanced my communication skills and improved my life. After two years at age fifteen, I signed a five year contract with the Church of Scientology Stevens Creek Mission, as an employee on a part time basis.

At the age of sixteen, I was actively recruited to join the SO myself. I had a sick feeling at the pit of my stomach. Something didn’t feel right and my instincts told me to say no.

In 1982, my fourth year on staff, I witnessed many odd things. I was being instructed to help the full time staff wash their cars and donate money to them. It seemed so crazy and I wanted to get out of there. I stayed one more year finishing my contract with the church and went to college for six years. I struggled in college due to the fact that I did not receive a full high school education, but I persisted and received my BA.

While being away at college kept me away from actively participating in Scientology courses, in 1987 I returned as a public parishioner, positive that I did not want to be on staff. In the years that followed, I married a fellow Scientologist thus becoming Lori Leake and we had two children, Jessica and Jeremy.

Bearing children while in the Sea Organization is forbidden. However during my pregnancy with Jessica, I was approached once again to join the SO. I told the recruiter that my then husband Jim Leake, was not qualified for the SO and the recruiter said that joining the SO was for the greatest good and not to worry about my husband. I looked at her with disgust and thought to myself, you can take your greatest good crap and shove it!!

In 1995, my children were two and four and a half years old and I became the preschool director of a Scientology school. I remember an instance where I saw the owner of the school crying. I approached her and asked her why she was crying.

I’ll never forget her response, “My daughter is joining the Sea Organization and there is nothing I can do to stop it!”

I thought to myself, Wow, that is strange! Why would she be unable to stop her fifteen year old daughter from signing a billion year contract with the Sea Org?

I went home that day and shared the incident with my then husband, Jessica and Jeremy’s father. I told him that I would never approve of or allow our children to join the Sea Org. I thought it was nuts and had heard horror stories of parents never seeing their children again.

Our opinions on this matter differed. His step son from his first marriage, Chris Leake, had joined the Sea Org at the age of twelve or thirteen and went “Over the Rainbow.” This meant that he had gone to a place within Scientology with an extremely high level of security (a secret place) and his mother was not even aware of his location. I couldn’t imagine how his mother felt. Incidentally, Chris ended up marrying LRH’s granddaughter Rhoanne.

We divorced in 2002, shortly thereafter. I removed my children from the Scientology school and placed them in public school. As a single mother I could no longer afford the steep prices of the private Scientology school. After growing up in a Scientology school, Jessica and Jeremy had to transition to the different setting, but adjusted rather well after a few months.

In 2005, my parental rights began to be violated. Jessica was fifteen and in her second semester of her sophomore year of high school. She was excelling in school, receiving all A’s and B’s, had many friends and was looking forward to college.

However, after reviewing a staff recruiting film and speaking with recruiters at the Los Gatos Organization of the Church of Scientology, without my knowledge or permission, she came home repeating the alarming information that the film had suggested.

Essentially, it was a film demonizing psychiatry and implied that public schools had a larger influence of psychiatric and street drugs. Cheap propaganda that public schools and the environment it provided was an unsafe place for her. After reviewing this film, she expressed that she wanted to drop out of school and obtain her GED, in addition to joining staff at the Church Of Scientology. My fifteen year old daughter, a MINOR was being recruited to join staff! To put her education aside and work for the “church.” I was shocked by her sudden change of behavior. I told her absolutely not! I told her that once she turned eighteen she could make that decision but I preferred she go to college first.

The next nine months were a living hell. I was adamantly against Jessica joining staff, a feeling that was relayed to the church. While attending counseling within the church myself, I was pulled from what I was working on and put into “interrogation” counseling. The Church demanded to know “who” did not agree with Jessica joining staff, even after I told them repeatedly that I was the only one who did not want her to join staff.

In Scientology they believe strongly that there is a Suppressive Person behind this. When the “church” couldn’t find their “who” they put me in extensive Chaplain meetings with the Chaplain, my daughter, her father and myself. This went on for a couple more months. After all the pressure I had from Scientology and her father, I finally gave in. We agreed that Jessica would go to a Scientology school and get her high school diploma before joining staff.

Surprisingly, Jessica got her non accredited diploma when she was sixteen. I was still trying to persuade her to not join staff, but she did so against my wishes. She signed a five year contract and was told if she breaks her contract she will have a debt (called a free loader debt) for staff training and other”services” received while on staff.

Scientology told Jessica that she would have to pay off her debt before she was allowed to do any more Scientology services. I reminded Jessica that this would be her debt if she left. She said “I’m not going to leave.”

It was during this time I married a wonderful man on March 4, 2006. He is the love of my life and I was now Lori Hodgson. I met him outside of Scientology. He was not a Scientologist, but took a couple classes. After observing what I was going through with the Church and my children, he made the decision to no longer affiliate himself with Scientology.

After Jessica was on staff for a couple months, she was sent to Florida for training. She was there three months battling homesickness before deciding it was not for her and came home. She then worked back at the Los Gatos Organization for a couple more months but came to the determination that she didn’t want to be on staff anymore. She had to have special “interrogating counseling” and do specific “conditions” before she left. When she left staff she had a $13,000 debt. Mainly from the counseling she was ordered to get because she wanted to leave.

It was completely asinine. On top of her $13,000 debt (at sixteen years old) she had to do amends.

This meant working 100 plus hours to get back in “good standing” with the “Church”. A couple weeks went by and the Los Gatos Org told Jessica that they have a “Minor Rates Special.” This was that if Jessica could pay off her debt in full in 3 days, they would knock her debt down to $6,000.

It was rumored that fellow Scientologist were helping Jessica find someone to loan her the money. My Mom ended up loaning Jessica the money. Meanwhile, the Scientologist that assisted her most likely received a commission on Jessica’s debt.

In 2007, Jessica was seventeen, working at a preschool and taking junior college classes in the evening. Jeremy was fourteen and beginning his freshman year in public high school and actively trying out for the football team. After a month in school he told me that he didn’t like public school anymore and wanted to attend the Scientology school his sister attended. This conversation was eerily similar to the one I had with Jessica not long ago. I was beginning to suspect an entirely new nightmare was about to begin.

In November 2008, I went to the hospital for a knee replacement surgery. It was an extremely complicated surgery entailing four long days in the hospital. One week later on a Friday night, while I was in recovery, my son Jeremy, at fifteen years old, attended a Sea Org recruiting event behind my back. That following Sunday he came over to visit me and tells me he wants to join the Sea Org. That didn’t go over very well.

At this time, I was in excruciating pain from my surgery and on high levels of pain medication and I was not functioning properly. Jeremy told me that joining the Sea Org was his sole purpose in his life and he is aware that it is a billion year contract. Scientologists believe one lives many life times, coming back with a new body and continuing their contract to the organization and the Church.

I always thought that was totally crazy! Jeremy said that he needed to leave in a couple days. I was hysterical, distraught and felt that I was truly on the verge of losing it. The pain and high dosages of Percocet (a strong narcotic pain pill) didn’t help my state. I told him absolutely NOT! My daughter heard us and came to see what was wrong. She saw how upset I was and told me there was nothing she could do. That she was already in an upsetting situation with Scientology and she couldn’t get in the middle of it.

I told Jeremy in no uncertain terms that he was not to join the Sea Org. He was a MINOR, a fifteen year old boy without the life experience to make such a profound decision. Later that evening, Jeremy came back and continued to ask permission to join. Every part of me ached, reeled and screamed from the mental and physical pain. Seeing me in such distress, my husband tried to diffuse the situation by asking Jeremy to leave and respect the decision as his mother.

Upon Jeremy’s refusal, my husband contacted Pat Wehner who was the ethics officer and Mission holder where I took services. Pat told us there was nothing he could do, I had heard that before. In the following days I was harassed by recruiters trying to persuade me to allow my son to join the Sea Org.

Once again, I contacted Pat in order to help me write up reports to Mark Warlick, the man in charge of Internal Scientology Legal Affairs. My reports stated that as Jeremy Leake’s mother, I was not allowing him to join the Sea Org and I wanted all recruiting to stop until he was eighteen. The church had their agenda, they wanted my son.

Because of all the stress I was not physically healing properly. While at home, recruiters arrived and stood outside my living room window insisting that they talk to me. I told them to leave, I couldn’t talk and I had to leave for physical therapy. The interaction really startled me, I couldn’t stop shaking. My father arrived to take me to physical therapy just as the recruiters left barely missing each other.

After physical therapy, my dad brought me home and put me to bed and left. Within minutes, the recruiters were back, pounding on my door for at least fifteen minutes. I was frantic and frightened. I tried to call my mom but she was unavailable so I left a message and the recruiters pounding on my door was recorded. I then called Pat Wehner and he verbally tried to calm me down.

Although he lived right down the street, he did not come over to assist me. Seeing that the harassment and constant recruiting was harming my recovery, my life-long friend Mari met with the two main recruiters, Gerald and Alexis at a Starbucks. Mari took time out of her busy day to get them to understand my physical condition and state of mind. She got my drug list and details of my surgery which included the information of my leg, basically as the equivalent of being amputated and put back together.

The recruiters told her that they heard I was watching TV and that if I was able to watch TV then I was able to handle a recruiting cycle of my son.

After the Mission Holder, Pat Wehner, failed to assist my mother and I in our pleas to stop this insanity, my mother called Mari and met up with her to seek guidance in the situation. Mari is a smart person, she figured out how to best protect me in my condition and helped me secure a doctor’s note which she then promptly delivered to Mark Warlick, the legal officer for the Los Gatos org.

Later, after the note had been delivered Mari went to meet with the recruiters who have been pounding on my door. She wanted to tell them that she orchestrated the contact with my doctor and obtained the note to have this situation corrected once and for all. Before she was able to tell them what had occurred, she was told that whoever got the physicians note is a suppressive person!

The recruiting did not cease or even slow down. In fact, they went to my parents home twice late at night with Jeremy to get my Mom to “handle” me and get me to allow Jeremy to join the Sea Org. They also showed up with my son at my Mother’s place of employment to talk to her again

My health was not improving, in fact it was deteriorating and I was rushed back to the emergency room where I remained for ten hours. I had an ovarian cyst rupture and was diagnosed with pneumonia in addition to my knee which was not healing from replacement surgery. A rupture of an ovarian cyst if not treated immediately can lead to death and I was admitted for three days. During this time, the recruiting did ease slightly and Jeremy and I were growing even closer. He told me he had changed his mind and no longer wanted to joining the Sea Org.

Hearing those words filled me with such an immense amount of hope and joy! Although, that joy was short lived. Unbeknownst to me, recruiting was continuing behind my back despite the many reports I had written to Mark Warlick insisting the recruiting stop. Jeremy came back to tell me that he did want to join the Sea Org and they promised him that he would continue his schooling, obtain his driver’s license and his orthodontic treatment would progress as scheduled.

They promised him his own computer and trips to play golf, as well as enticing him with the attractive girls there, knowing how badly Jeremy wanted a girlfriend. They also promised me that I could talk to him anytime I wanted to and he would be able to come home for his birthday and most major holidays. I fought the constant begging and the coercion by the COS and I felt hopeless.

I felt as if the only way to keep my son and to keep in contact with him was to allow him to join. If I refused, he would surely disconnect from me. The recruiting within the organization is crude and filled with false promises and lies. These kids do not know what they are getting into. They are signing billion year contracts without having even lived to adulthood!

On May 4th, Jeremy left for the Sea Org after signing a one billion year contract for the Church Of Scientology. I signed a power of attorney and guardianship to Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Jeremy’s uncle and worked very closely under David Miscavige, the leader of the Church. Because Bob is Jeremy’s uncle, I believed he would look after Jeremy’s best interest and well being while in the Sea Org.

What I didn’t understand fully at the time is that legally Bob was Jeremy’s guardian but many of the decisions made were made by the “Church,” not Bob.

The next two weeks I was preparing for my second knee surgery, to replace my initial knee replacement that had complications. During this time, Jessica went down to LA with her fiancé. She and her fiancé were heavily recruited while she was there to join the Sea Org. Her fiancé wanted to join, but she didn’t. The recruiters coerced her by screaming at her to join. They eventually wore her down and she did join under extreme pressure. They told her it was her only choice.

While in the hospital, on my second day after surgery, Jessica visits and says goodbye to me and joins the Sea Org. She also mentioned that she and Justin (her fiancé) were going to get married in a couple days so they can be together in the SO. I was extremely distraught about not being there for my only daughter’s wedding and losing her to the SO, but she was eighteen and as an adult, had the power to make that decision herself, no matter how against it I was.

She also signed a billion year contract like her brother. Now I had lost both of my kids to this corrupt and cruel, child stealing organization and the wedding is being planned while I’m in the hospital! I couldn’t wrap my mind around a “religion” being so cruel and heartless.

I was so upset that the next day I went into shock. Luckily my Dad was there and he went to get help as he didn’t think I was going to make it. He ran down the hallway yelling for help! The medical response team came and pulled me out of the shock. I felt like I almost died but I got a second chance yet I ended up having to get a full blood transfusion. Since I made it, I was going to make some changes in my life.

Little did I know what was on the horizon for me.

On my fifth day post op, I was released to my house that used to have the presence of my two children. I was incredibly grateful that at least I had my wonderful husband, my loyal dog to greet me and my compassionate stepson Peter. I had a very difficult recovery, mainly from the loss of my children being gone and missing them so much!

I remember many heartbreaking nights missing my kids and trying to cope with all the pain. My stepson Peter would bring me ice packs and just be there for me. At this time, my daughter and son were both in the SO and I tried calling for two weeks. The SO would not allow me to speak with them.

Jeremy was almost turning sixteen and Jessica was eighteen. Jeremy’s sixteenth birthday was coming up and the SO promised me that my son could come home for his birthday. Birthdays are very big in my family and we were all going to have a lovely sixteenth birthday party for my son with his family who loves him.

I finally got through after three weeks of crying because I couldn’t reach my son, on top of recovering from my knee with extensive physical therapy. Jeremy told me he could not come home for his birthday, that he was not done with his EPF (Estates project Force, boot camp type training) and the SO would not approve for him to come home. Jeremy seemed really upset when he called but was holding back.

I knew how important coming home for his big day was. The SO monitored his calls and he was not allowed to show any negative emotions, but only positive emotions when in the SO. I was extremely upset and so was all my family.

A month passed and Jessica called announcing to me, “I’m coming home!” She was not allowed to tell me until she had gained authorization from the SO to do so. Another fact I was unaware of at the time. At dinner a couple months later, Jessica told me what really happened. When Jessica was packing to go to the SO a day before she left, the SO said there is a problem with her fiancé going with her to FLAG.

She and Justin had planned to marry once they had both arrived in Florida so that they could remain together while in the SO. Justin had an Ethics situation and was not approved to go with her but needed to go to the Mexico SO to get this handled before he could join her.

Jessica was DEVASTATED about this as she was joining the SO mainly for him so they could be together. The SO promised her that her fiancé would be able to join her soon. After only two days, she could clearly see that her fiancé wasn’t coming soon and so she wanted to leave the SO and come home.

They were able to talk and Justin decided to leave and go back home too. The SO tried to “handle” Jessica to stay and kept her there for a month against her will, while making her perform menial tasks like wash dishes. She told the people in charge that she reported to daily that she wanted to come home. Jessica is very feisty and was determined to get out of there. After one month of persistence, she was home and I was so happy and relieved to have her back with me.

She told me that the SO in charge yelled at her and would not let her go home until she did her official route out. Then she said, “Oh mom please doesn’t tell anyone I said this, I could get in big trouble!!!” I was beyond furious! That they treated her this way and lied to her about her fiancé joining her, this was all so surreal and shocking to me.

At the seven month mark, I still struggled to recover from my surgery but the emotional trauma from missing my son was not helping. I was still on pain pills when needed and Advil. In the time that Jeremy was in the SO, I was only able to speak to him five times. My husband would see me crying because they would not let me talk to him and he was infuriated and ready to fly me to Florida to get Jeremy, even though my immense knee pain rendered me unable to do so.

During the minimal times we did talk, I could tell something was wrong and Jeremy told me a couple times that he was in school and doing well. On the contrary, Jeremy had sufficient schooling only a handful of times. A total disregard for the “Power Of Attorney for Care Of Minor Child” that clearly stated he would attend regular schooling.

I didn’t believe he was doing well at all, I guess it’s a mothers intuition!! The Sea Org had also promised me, that Jeremy would continue his orthodontic treatment that he had been in the process of for the past three years and now he was ready for his final stage of treatment, braces. In actuality, he never got any orthodontic treatment. Another broken promise and the “Power Of Attorney for Medical Care Of Minor” violated.

Jeremy had his drivers permit and needed to continue his hours of driving, another promise the church had ensured me of, yet he never had an opportunity to practice while he was there. Jeremy was in the CMO (Commanders Messenger Organization, a very high ranking section in the SO) and for three months was in the regular EPF and then went to the CMO EPF.

In the seven month time period that he was a member of the Sea Org, he had only a few days off and was paid just $30.00 a week.

Finally, I got a call from Jeremy that he wanted to come home and that he was going to leave the SO. I was so excited I was beside myself. Jeremy said it would be a couple of days.

The very thought of having him home for Thanksgiving was overwhelmingly thrilling. A couple days later and he says, “I’m still going through the procedure of routing out and I won’t be there for Thanksgiving.” I was extremely upset! I called Jeremy on Thanksgiving three times, very angered because I couldn’t get through.

When I did finally get through, I asked if he was having Thanksgiving dinner to which he replied, “No mom, I am not allowed to be on the SO base and around the SO members.” He was off the base in isolation and under guard. He had to stay away from the members in “good standing.” I was really pissed now and so was the family!!!

The following week, I called three to four times a day attempting to get my son home. Jeremy was isolated and kept under guard for seven to ten days. Jeremy was only sixteen, held against his will and in isolation for seven to ten days. To a teenager, that must seem like forever. My multiple daily calls went unanswered while he sat in isolation wanting nothing more than to come home. Fortunately, he was finally able to come home!

In leaving the Sea Organization, Jeremy was issued a “free loader” debt of $950.00.

Until this debt was paid, he could not take any courses or services with the church. He got a job at a motorcycle shop and made payments with the church over a six month time frame, to pay what they claimed he owed them, in order to remain in good standing with the church.

At seventeen, as a minor legally unable to sign, or be bound to a contract, he paid the debt in full. I was ecstatic!! I got to the airport early and sat by the gate with anticipation of seeing my son that I haven’t seen in seven months. As he approached, I was flowing with excitement to see him, we hugged and I cried. Then we went to our favorite place for dinner, Chili’s. I asked Jeremy about his seven months in the SO. He told me, “I don’t want to talk about it and what is important is that I am home now.”

I kept trying to find out what he did there but he adamantly made it clear he did not want to discuss it. I thought this was very strange. Jeremy and I usually talk about everything so this was ODD to me. I was full of JOY to finally have both of my kids back home. Slowly, Jeremy opened up to me and said, “Mom, I know you had a really hard time crying and missing me, but I want you to know it was even harder for me.”

I cried many nights wanting to come home and I couldn’t tell you because the SO said I shouldn’t tell you while you’re recovering from your knee replacement.” He said that being there was really hard on him and that he missed me a lot and was very homesick. I was furious that the church kept this from me.

I got Jeremy back in school and found that he was very behind because he had no schooling when he was in the SO. Per the law, he was required to be in school and he only went approximately three days in the seven months he was in the SO. Another violation that the SO committed. A few months later, Jeremy mentioned that his toe was hurting. I asked him about it and he said, “I had an ingrown toenail and had a toe procedure done in the Sea Org by a doctor and it was very painful.”

I told Jeremy that I should have been told about this being his mom. He seemed upset about this procedure, but he was quite reluctant to divulge any information regarding it. His toe continued to hurt and when I asked Jeremy if he wanted to go to the doctor he said “NO!!!” This put up another red flag for me as a mom. I had an uneasy feeling about this, “toe procedure.”

Six months later, we went to Clear Lake for my Moms 4th July Birthday week. Jeremy was talking to his Grandma, my Mom. My Mom was asking Jeremy about his stay in the SO. Jeremy slipped and said, ” Oh Nonie, I am not allowed to talk about that…

Additionally, he added that if he were to break this contract, he would no longer be able to take any Scientology courses. My mom said, “WHAT!!!!” That is not legal or binding, you were only sixteen years old.

She asked if he received a copy and he said no. My Mom told me this and we both thought…

I couldn’t fathom any reason why a “church,” would order anyone to sign a contract blackmailing them into silence. What could have taken place that was so damning and horrible that they required a gag contract?

Effective August 30, 2010, my Mother and I resigned from the Church of Scientology. Neither of us could deny that we were obviously a part of a corrupt and manipulating organization and we no longer wanted any part of it. The day we resigned, my Mom and I met my kids at our office to explain to them that we resigned and why. Jessica got very upset, she voiced her concerns that her Grandmother and I would be declared suppressive (a bad person) and if she kept in contact with us, then she would be declared as well.

Jeremy was more receptive and agreed with a lot of things we were saying. We told them to take a couple days to think about what we said. The next weekend was Labor Day and I was told by a friend that their father said to Jessica and Jeremy that…
“If you don’t disconnect from your Mom, then I will disconnect from you, because no one is going to take my eternity away from me!”

We were all up at the lake for Labor Day, a big family weekend for us and my daughter was very upset with me for resigning. My son was a little more understanding.

After my mom and I resigned, Pat Wehner and Maryjoe Hyland came over to our work, to talk to my Mom and try to “handle her.” (Convince her not to resign) Pat told my mom, “This will be a shock wave across the planet!” My Mom said clearly, “Lori and I are done.” They both looked sick about this and left. In the following weeks Mary Joe attempted to try to handle my mom and coerce her to not resign from the COS and to not request a repayment of her unused money on account.

She tried to show her COS policies and tell her the consequences of her leaving and getting her money back that was owed to her. My Mom and I have a lot of integrity and stayed firm on our decision to leave the COS. My Children were very upset with me and they would not listen to why I wanted to leave. I was extremely upset about possibly losing my children and what I had gone through the past five years with my kids.

I was not doing well. I struggled trying to sort out my feelings in addition to figure out for myself if I could salvage what I did find helpful about Scientology initially. I found Marty Rathbun, a former high ranking member of the COS who counsels other ex members to help them with their betrayals from the COS and if they choose to continue their counseling.

I visited him in December 2010. He was in Texas and I had not told anyone of my whereabouts or what I was doing. The COS strongly opposes anyone of their members (or ex-members) to practice Scientology outside The Church. They refer to it as “squirreling.”

After arriving home the following day from my visit with Marty in Texas, I was harassed and threatened by John Allender, an undercover operative for the Church of Scientology. He approached me in the parking lot at my office in an aggressive manner and asked…“Do you enjoy beatings?”

Apparently, he was aware of my whereabouts. This became obvious when he said, “You’ve been doing some squirreling over the weekend.” I immediately reported this incident to the authorities. It became rather clear to me that I was being followed. I decided to share my short story on Marty Rathbuns blog, “Moving on up a Little Higher,” and I went public about John Allender’s threats towards me.

My children Jeremy and Jessica were coerced and manipulated by the COS and their father to disconnect from me because I had left the “church”, “squirreled” and went public about John Allender’s threat to me.

At this time, I spoke to Pat Wehner to request a refund on the $11,000 that I had on account with the “church” for future services. My daughter met with my Mother and Myself and told us that if we aksed for our money back, I would become an enemy to her and to the “church.” I was also told that Pat had already spent my money, that he would have to pay it back out of his own pocket and that I shouldn’t have gone public about the threats made against me by John Allender.

I told her that I wanted my money back, I would not be returning for any services and I had every intention of going public with details about the injustices that the COS has inflicted upon me, my family and my children!

My children told me that unless I got back in good standing with the COS and take their steps to rectify the situation, they could not be around me.
Since my mom and I could not be “HANDLED,” my children were manipulated and forced to disconnect from us as of Feb 6, 2011. My mom and I have not seen Jessica or Jeremy since that date and they both live near us.

My father, stepmother and brother tried to talk to my children on Easter to get them to look at what the COS was doing to “fair game” me. Fair game is a cruel strategy the COS enacts on those who are blowing the whistle on the “church’s” abuses! Basically “anything goes” to harm us. My kids refused to look at anything critical of their Church. There is a video showing Scientology’s harassment towards me.

My children are no longer allowed to be around any member of the family that is critical of Scientology or anyone that has tried to get my children to see how insane this “church” is. And that disconnecting from family and those who love you most is immoral and wrong! My parents are in their seventies and cannot be a part of their Grandchildren’s lives because of this disconnection policy.

My sister is nine months pregnant and Jeremy and Jessica cannot be there to revel in the joy of seeing their new baby cousin and being a part of his life! I was so upset that I felt I needed to go back to Texas to get help from Marty. I was mentally unable to handle the pain from the disconnection and the abuses I received from the “church.” In April 2011, I went to Marty’s.

On my first day in counseling, John Allender, the man who had just threatened me in December and Mark Warlick (the man that I asked for help to stop the recruiting of my son) from San Jose followed me across state lines to Texas to try to stop me from meeting with Marty.

They showed up with two other men in heinous light blue t-shirts with Marty’s picture on the front saying, “Squirrel” and cameras taped to their heads with a camera man. They slammed on Marty’s door while I was downstairs having a lunch break. The slamming on the door was similar to how the recruiters slammed on my door when they were recruiting my son.

I saw it was John Allender and was terrified. Marty told me to lock my door and stay inside. Then Marty called the Sheriff and we reported the harassment and the stalking of me across state lines (all the way from San Jose, Ca). I also reported this to the authorities that I am currently working with.

This incident left me clearly shaken and even more determined to stop these abuses from occurring. Three days later, a Squirrel Busters van with the logo on the side drove down the street near Marty’s house and when we saw them and they drove away. Then one morning I saw a man watching me from across the Canal.

Upon arriving home, I found sexual liable about me on the internet. It was a “blog” written by a person calling themselves Minerva, pretending to be Marty Rathbun and even uses his name for the website when it isn’t him. In addition to Minerva’s slander, a commenter on the blog uses my name to continue to perpetuate the lies.

This “Dear Diary” article has very personal things probably taken from my confidential counseling folders and put on the internet for the world to see. It is cruel, sick and another fair game tactic Scientology uses on ex-members for leaving and speaking up.

On May 27, 2011 I found a package in my mailbox with no return address which implies that someone physically placed it in my mailbox. Included were some pamphlets and a letter that read…

”It has come to our attention that Marty Rathbun is auditing PCs who are smoking dope. Perhaps you are not fully aware of the effects drugs can have on an individual. Therefore, I am sending you the Truth about Drugs booklets, which are very educational on the dangerous effects of drugs. Minerva.”

My Mother and I have continued and will always continue to reach out to Jessica and Jeremy until we are reunited once again. On February 1, 2011 I received this text message from my daughter…

“Ok. Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable going to you and CR’s (my husband) birthday dinner and sitting there acting like nothing is wrong when I am very enturbulated (upset) about what is happening. I do wish you and CR a very happy birthday, but I’m not going to come on Saturday. I will be there for Papa’s on Sunday to wish him a happy birthday and see the family.”

On Easter my mom and I sent Jessica and Jeremy Easter cards with money and they both sent them back to us saying they could not accept them because we are not in good standing with their Church.

This past Mothers day, I invited both of my kids over for a BBQ. They told me they could not see me. Jeremy turned eighteen in June and I could not share this very special day with my son. I asked him if we could do something fun together for his birthday and I got no response. Another birthday we missed together because of the COS!

In July, my Mom turned seventy two and we had a family celebration at the Lake. My two children always celebrate this fun week at the lake with us. Jessica and Jeremy were across the Lake with my cousin but did not come over to see us. Jeremy sent me another disconnection text.

On July 4, 2011 I received this text message from Jeremy:

“Mom I’m having a very hard time too and I never thought in my right mind that this would happen to us and it is a big bummer. But you know what you and Nonie need to do to put this family back together and that’s that. I really hope you guys fix this and we are all a family again. I miss you very much and hope everything is better soon, but I can’t be around you guys with this going on. You are my mother I will love you and miss you too.”

On July 15, 2011 I received this text from Jeremy:

“Mom…Please just handle this situation. You know what steps you need to do. It’s that easy and if me and sissy aren’t worth doing that then I have nothing else to say. I do love and miss you but I can’t be around you with this going on.”

On May 1, 2011 I received this text from Jessica:

“I did. I even watched that video. I am a Scientologist and I expect that to be respected. I told you before that this would be a complete different story if u just decided not to be a part of the church anymore and went off and did ur own thing. But u are attacking my group. U are being part of a squirrel group. By definition and fact they are squirrels and are trying to put a bad name to my church.

And I don’t see how we can have a comm line when u r attacking my group and committing suppressive acts and by definition in the ethics book u r committing suppressive acts and that is lrh. I really don’t want things to be like this and I’d like to handle it but we can’t have an OK comm line until this stop. Scientology and my friends that are Scientologists have helped me majorly in life.

I believe in it 100% and that won’t change. This has even been a wake up call for me and made me realize how important it really is for me to get up my bridge now.”

Jessica turned twenty one in August and I sent her balloons and a beautiful card to her place of employment and I got no response. I also asked her if we could do something special for her big day and not tell anyone so we could be together, no response. My sister is pregnant and just had a beautiful baby shower which Jessica was invited to, no response.

This was the first summer at the Lake without my kids and it was so very sad for all of us. We all miss them very much and hope soon they come back to their loving family who cares so much for them. In July my son changed his phone number so I can no longer text him. In August my Facebook was broken into or hacked into three times from Texas and twice from Washington. I have pictures of this and reported this to the authorities.

The San Jose Mission (where I used to take classes and where my kids are being coerced to disconnect from us all) just moved 1/2 block away from our office. My ex has my son working construction there, so my son is working a 1/2 block away from me and yet I can’t see him.

I have also been trying to get my money on account (never used for services) back from the San Jose Mission of the COS. Pat Wehner, the Mission Holder of San Jose, will not give me my money back unless I sign a “Claims and Verification” form signing away my rights, and do the steps and “conditions” in Scientology that are required to get my money back.

It states that I can’t go to an outside third party etc… This violates my constitutional rights. John Allender was watching me from his truck when he drove by me at the Pruneyard in Campbell in August 2011. Just yesterday members of my ex husbands family have disconnected from me fearing that staying in contact with me would jeopardize a member of their family, to what extent I do not know. They also feared that further contact with me would most definitely lead to a disconnection from their family.
My children are being told by the “church” that I am crazy and that I am spewing lies about the church.

The Church of Scientology is a dangerous, paranoid and unjust organization. They utilize fair game, which in their opinion means that they can lie, trick and do whatever it takes to utterly destroy me as an open critic of the church. I have been harassed, threatened, stalked and continue to be fair gamed even now.

They also use disconnection as a means of power over their members. Having thoughts that are not favorable towards Scientology will inevitably lead to losing the ones you love through this forced policy.

I did find value in some of my Scientology courses and counseling. After leaving the “church,” I was unsure of whether or not to continue my belief in Scientology without the interference of the organization.

I sought help and counsel from Marty Rathbun. He is a phenomenal counselor helped me greatly in decompressing from my time and struggles within the COS. For that, I am truly grateful. After leaving the church, I spent a lot of time researching LRH and the policies of disconnection and fair game, both of which I struggle to deal with daily.
I am no longer a Scientologist in any capacity.

Not a second passes that I don’t miss my children with every fiber of my being. That I don’t ache to hear their voices and make new memories with them. I’m telling my story to shed light on the abuses that continue to go on within the Church of Scientology, to bring my children back where they belong, with their family, with me.

Lori Hodgson