I don’t remember much about the books, because I was so young at the time. I could read them, and I’ve been reading since age four or so, so the timeframe must have been in the mid-1970’s. Also, the cartoon characters in them where somewhat stick-figure-y. These books were specifically designed for young readers. I liked them.
I also have a vague memory of two women coming over to do something with an e-meter, at just the wrong time, because we were getting ready to go out somewhere. My mom being rather annoyed at the timing, and at dad giving them a couple hundred bucks.
I know a little bit of their dogma, having been told about Thetans and the volcano by my dad. I’m inclined to think that if my dad knew about this “secret stuff,” then he must have gone a long ways through the process. Mom confirms that he spent an awful lot of money.
My only other memory of Scientology-related stuff is coming across a box of books and things, including what I think was an e-meter, in the garage.
My Dad left the Church of Scientology prior to our moving away from the city of my birth in 1979.
He never talked about it much after we moved. I never knew why.
This morning, I had a long talk with my mother about it, over the phone. Turns out, my dad wasn’t the only family member who was a Scientologist. My mom was too. And so were my uncle and aunt.
In fact, my uncle and my aunt were in Sea Org. The Clergy. They had been on the boat. They knew L. Ron Hubbard. Prior to my uncle and aunt joining Sea Org, the four of them had traveled to Los Angeles to meet L. Ron Hubbard’s daughter, and to listen to her give a talk.
My mother attempted to leave the church at one point, but they told her that if she didn’t re-enlist, then it would jeopardize my dad, so she re-enlisted. She tells me she really felt bullied. Later, all four of them quit.
Why? According to my mom, my uncle and aunt in Sea Org didn’t get enough time to see each other, and my aunt was concerned that everyone was sleeping around so much, that she’d lose her husband. So they quit. They left the boat. After that, the church contacted my parents and informed them that they were not to have any contact with my uncle or aunt forever. Mom refused and quit for good, and dad went along with mom.
I think he was sad to have left.
A few years later a family member was having difficulty with a personal issue and needed some help. Dad took him to a place that was supposed to be helpful, but turned not to be. I learned in 2006 that this unhelpful place
was funded and run by Scientologists had at least one person running a Scientology-related program there. So, it seems my dad left but didn’t really leave.
Update: I talked to someone at the Church of Scientology (which I will blog about in a later post) and that particular place wasn’t actually funded by Scientologists, although there were Scientologists there doing their thing.
I have a lot of feelings about Scientology, and they’re all pretty negative. I’m torn between visiting them anyway and giving them the same treatment I’ve given other churches, and recusing myself because of my own family’s closeness with the church.
I guess one of the more interesting and enlightening things about this whole project, is learning more about myself and my family.
Update: I did a little research, and I think that my dad must have been at least OT III. My understanding is that the story of Xenu and the volcano were secrets until their fairly recent exposure, and that in the 70’s nobody knew the story except people who had gone through OT III. My knowledge on the subject is limited to internet searches, however, so I could be wrong about this.