the Sea Org"
Interview - January 20, 2001
of Part Two
I knew in the back of my mind that I was making a mistake.
But I just kind of, you know, like, I was just kind of pushed
along into it.
But, I mean, generally speaking
They told me the only reason I was not joining was my reactive
mind, which was controlling me and telling me not to do it.
Because your reactive mind stops you from doing good things
and this was a good thing. And I couldn't confront and take
the responsibility to do it because of my reactive mind. So,
I should be bigger than my reactive mind and go and do it.
So, so then I was, like, "Oh, yeah. I don't want my reactive
mind to control me so I better do it."
They use virtually any tactic from yelling to
show you, like, newspaper clippings of horrible things that
have happened in the news and say, like, "We try to stop
this and ever since we've been working on this area,"
you know, "the crime has gone down and we've helped all
these families." And you think, "Oh God. You know,
I'd be such a horrible person if I didn't go in here and help
them out." And then say, "I would just be irresponsible
in not doing my duty towards all of mankind." (laughs)
That's exactly what
and they also show you that L. Ron
Hubbard wrote saying, and it was written in 1970, and it said,
"In 30 years, the planet won't support human life."
And then they told us the only reason it still is supporting
human life, 'cause this is in, I don't know, '93, so we had
seven years to go. But the only reason it's made any improvement
is because of Scientology and if we don't keep going, the
planet isn't even going to be able to support life. So, you
have half of me going, like, "I can't let my reactive
mind control me," and half of me going, "I have
to help mankind." And then part of my was going, "Oh,
wow! I'm going to get paid money and don't have to wear a
uniform. It's going to be so fun. And these guys are going
I'm going to work with them. They said I get to work
with them." So, the next day, I started. And I started
what's called the Estates Project Force, which is boot camp.
And my schedule was something like get up at 6:30, breakfast
at 7:00, 7:30 we had, like, a muster
like a staff meeting
thing then we had to, you know, drill and do military marching
and stuff. And then you had to run around and empty trashcans
until 8:00. And then I had to study Scientology material,
five hours straight
just, like, what your attitude should
be like, about ethics, about things like that.
Then the rest of the day was work. You'd have half an hour
for dinner. The rest of the day was work. And I had to clean
pots and pans, mop floors, clean out a broken, clogged toilet.
What about school?
What you mean?
No school. (laughs)
You're 14 years old!
Yeah but you don't. They don't send
they sent me to school
afterwards, not very much anyway but I'll get into that. But
no school while you're on the Estates Project Force, just
the five hours of Scientology study. Some people are on for
months. I was on for two weeks because I was able to study
the courses quickly. But for those two weeks, the rest of
the time I was working and then we'd do drilling, more drilling,
Like, they would have, like, the Code of the Sea Org Member
and we'd have to repeat it and learn it. So we knew it verbatim.
We'd have to march. We'd have to salute. Things like that.
So that went on for two weeks. I finished. I went to start
working at Bridge Publications. The day I started working
there, they told me, "You're being temporarily transferred."
(interviewer laughs) I was, like, "No, I'm not."
And they're, like, "You have to. You have no choice because
you haven't enough staff status. You have to complete some
courses before you have any rights as a staff member."
Which, even when you complete the courses, they can still
Of course, the people that are telling you this aren't the
same people that recruited you.
No. No. They said, "It's just temporary. It's two months.
You'll be right back." So I agreed to it. I said, "Okay.
I can take it for two months." Then I had to wear a uniform.
And I went to work as the International Justice Chief's Administrator.
I was, like, their secretary. See, International Justice Chief
is the one who is responsible for declaring people Suppressive
Persons, which means, you know, no one in Scientology can
speak to them anymore if they've done something wrong. Doing
Committees of Evidence, which is Scientology's way of, like,
it's, like the court system in Scientology, etc. So, I was
in charge of writing letters and putting all the stuff together
and things like that. And I did that for a couple months.
And then while I was working there, they said, "You're
being permanently transferred to the International Training
Organization." Now, I knew
see, each organization
is separate but it's all part of the Sea Organization, so
it's all one. But each one is separate and they have to make
their own money and support their own staff. So, I knew this
organization, particularly, they weren't making any money.
The staff were eating refried beans and rice every day. That's
the thing in the Sea Org
if you're in trouble, you're
not, like, making money, you eat refried beans and rice every
day and water. And that's all you get.
They didn't give you anything else?
It's called the rice and beans thing
you got rice and
So, they were on that meal every day and the staff were getting
paid $15.00 a week, I think it was. They were on, like, half
pay or quarter pay.
This is at the International Training Org?
Yeah. So, I said, "There's no way I'm going to work there.
I've done nothing wrong and all of a sudden I'm going to be
paid nothing and have to eat beans and rice." So they
said, "You have no staff status. You have no choice."
My mom, it's funny actually because I thought I was going
to be able to work with my mom or close to her.
And where was she working?
Well, she was working in that building that I got transferred
to. But, as soon as I joined, she got sent away on what they
call a mission to go and handle an organization in Mexico.
So, she was down there the whole time. So, I tried to call
her to get her to help me but I could never get through to
her. And she wouldn't have been able to help me anyway 'cause
it's, you know, out of her jurisdiction. So, I refusing and
refusing and they said, "You have no choice." And
I was going to get into big trouble so I had to agree and
go along with it.
And what would big trouble have meant?
It would have meant lower conditions, which
What does that mean?
You get, like, penalized. You have to do amends, do work on
your own time to make up for what you've done. You have to
get everyone's permission to come back into the group. You
have to, you know, do, like, soul searching and find out,
like, what you've done wrong and what kind of person you really
should be. And it's horrible. It's, like, you get this, like,
label put on you. Like you're a bad person until you handle
this. And people know and you can get other penalties. You
can't get any time off. Your meal breaks get shortened. You
can have some of your pay taken away, things like that. Like,
all of your privileges, what little you have are gone. So,
no one likes that.
I can imagine.
So, I agreed and I had no choice and I became the receptionist.
And I was the receptionist for about six months. And during
this time, I started having a relationship with a man there
named Jason Merrill and he was seven years older than me.
But you're not allowed to do anything. They have a policy.
You're not allowed to do anything other than kiss before you
get married. If you do anything else, you're in really, really
big trouble. Like, going on the Rehabilitation Project Force,
which is hard labor for several years. So, you can't do anything.
So, you're pushed imMediately to get married as soon as you
start any kind of relationship, you're told, "You better
get married before you get in trouble. You have to get married.
You have to get married." So
Zoe: Didn't someone, like, see you in the hallway kissing
him and they said, "Get married!"
Yeah. "You better get married!"
"You better get married now!"
Why is it like that do you think?
They have the idea-they have polices on it-that the whole
area of, like, relationships and sex is very messed up, is
very aberrated, they call it. And that people aren't responsible
enough to deal with it. And they don't want to look bad as
a church. Having people having sex. I mean, I can understand.
I was 14, I shouldn't have been doing anything anyway. So,
if they had a rule that the minors can't do that or something,
that's a great rule. You know, the minors should not be going
around having sex. But it was for everybody. And it also was,
like, nothing more than kissing so you weren't allowed to
experiment. You weren't allowed to grow up. You weren't allowed
to do anything. If you wanted to, like, do anything, you had
to get married first. So, that's all so ridiculous. The policy
states that L. Ron Hubbard supposedly wrote states that it's
for public relations reasons that no one can do anything until
they get married . So, a month after I turned 15, I was off
to Vegas and got married. 'Cause I had no choice.
Yeah. And also, before you get married, you have to live in
a room with other people. I was in a room that was maybe 8
by 10 feet, maybe 8 by 12 feet with six people. That was where
we lived. We had 3 bunk beds
We had 3 bunk beds here, 3 bunk beds here and a dresser in
the middle. That's all that fit and then a dresser over here
and that's all that fit in the room. And it didn't have a
bathroom. We had to go to, like, the main shower hall and
take a shower. So, that's horrible. But if you get married,
you have to wait and then you get your own room. So, that's,
like, a luxury, your own room. So, it's another reason to
get married. So, so
a month after I turned 15, I was
married. And my husband was 22. And then I got transferred
to another job, which was called the Master at Arms. And that's
the person who is in charge of ethics.
That's called an Ethics Officer.
Yeah. An Ethics Officer, like, enforcing ethics on people.
Like, assigning people lower conditions, making them do amends,
doing inspections, finding the bad people in the organization,
And is this in the International Training Org still?
Mm-hmm. And also, the International Training Org trained people
in Scientology's administrative technology from the lower
organization so I was also responsible for all the students.
'cause then I got promoted to the person who was
over that entire department of, like, security and ethics
for the staff and the students.
And what's that called?
That's called the Director of Inspections and Reports. So,
my first (laughs), my very first job
my very first assignment
when I came onto that job was
there was a man who was
about 40 years old, he was a staff member
his wife had
been sent to Florida. She had been gone for a year or two
on training. And he hadn't seen her and he had admitted that
he had masturbated or been masturbating.
where did that come up? How did
He admitted it.
How did that information come up?
He got in trouble for something and he admitted it or he was
getting a confessional and admitted it. That's how it comes
up. And so I was 15 and he came to the office and I had to
handle him. So it was, like, the first day, I think or the
second day I started working on this job. And I had to tell
him that he couldn't masturbate. I had to have him read a
policy where L. Ron Hubbard says masturbating is bad. And
I had to get him to figure out how not to masturbate and
You're 15 years old?
Yeah. I'm 15
I was so embarrassed. I didn't even know
what I was doing and I'm telling this 40 year old to not masturbate.
And it's the most embarrassing thing in the world! No one's
allowed to masturbate. Masturbating is a big issue. You get
in big trouble. You won't get promoted. No masturbating, you
know. Even if your wife's gone or you're a young kid or anything,
no masturbation is allowed. It's really frowned upon. You're
considered aberrated. You're considered, like, messed up if
And this is in policy by Hubbard?
In books too.
Yeah. He says masturbation is bad because it re-stimulates
sexual pictures. I never really understood what that meant
but it was really bad. Yeah, it was a really bad thing to
do. So that was always a big issue and I had to handle plenty
of people for that over, you know, the period of working there.
But that was the first one. And then I had to handle a girl
who wanted to leave, to convince her to stay. I had to handle
a lot of people for a lot of things but some of the main things
were staff members who wanted to leave. It was a big issue.
How did you convince them to stay?
Just get them to realize that they were wrong. You know, have
them read policies where it says, "If you leave the Sea
Org, you are a degraded being." You know, and the only
are policies L. Ron Hubbard has written. "If you leave
the Sea Org, you are a degraded being. The only reason you
leave is because of your own withholds and your own crimes."
And you'd wear people down. You have to get them to go into
confessionals and admit what they've done. Read policies saying
that they're wrong. Tell them, yell at them. As soon as you
say you want to leave, you're put onto hard labor. You're
not allowed to leave until you got permission. It takes six
months to a year. And they're just worn down over time 'cause
all the staff sneer at you. You're referred to as a degraded
How did you personally feel about
if they came to you
and said they wanted to leave.
I wanted more than anything to say, "By all means, go.
Take me with you!" (laughs)
Why didn't you?
Because I would get in such big trouble. 'Cause if I just
up and left, my family would never speak to me again. My mom,
my grandma, my brother. So, I wasn't about to do that. If
I sided with them and said, "Go ahead and leave."
They wouldn't be able to leave and I'd be in big trouble,
you know? I'd be in ethics. I'd, you know, I'd just be
You'd be doing hard labor
It's very hard to describe but it's
you're, like, in
constant fear of people finding out about what you're thinking.
Of people, like, knowing that, you know, knowing that you've
done something wrong and you don't want anyone
just in fear all the time of people finding out about you.
Of people finding out the thoughts you've had. If you think
about leaving then you have to withhold that forever. And
if you tell them, then you're in big trouble and
So how did you deal with having all these thoughts that you
didn't want anybody to know?
Well, I did get to the point where I wanted to
wanted to kill myself 'cause I just
I was so
I was so trapped. I couldn't leave. I couldn't possibly leave.
And I couldn't stand to stay. And I felt I had all these things
I wasn't telling people that I had done that were wrong. I
was such a bad person and I thought
Did you have any friends that you could confide in?
I never told my husband. We
were married for 4 and a half years. And I never told him
once that I was unhappy. And he never knew that I was unhappy.
Why? What were you afraid he would do?
He would have to report it imMediately. He would have to report
what I told him. Any friends
he'd have to report what
I told him. You know, say, I told my dad. My dad wouldn't
have reported it but then, I would have this withhold as they
call it that I had done something really wrong. And then,
I'd end up having to
'cause they have things called E-meters.
It's like a lie detector. And you really think that these
will find out what you've done wrong so you're in constant
fear of them finding out. So, you can't even say, well, I
can think these things and they'll tell them
constant fear that they're going to find out what you're thinking.
But you were holding these fairly high posts so you must have
done a really good job of appearing to be a very good Sea
You know, when I ended up leaving, people were very surprised
because I was considered a great staff member. I produced
a lot. I got awards, you know. And everyone was just shocked
because I did do a very good job of
I just learned how
to, like, not say anything. And I have trouble now, like,
expressing my feelings, telling people how I feel. I'll get
upset and I won't say anything.
Because that's what I've learned to do for, like, five years
or longer, really but
and now, I have to, like, force
myself to say, "well, actually, you know, that upset
me." Because I just
I think that's why I don't ever
say I'm upset or I'm having bad feelings or anything.
Right. What about you, Zoe?
I was just going to say that in the Sea Org, you sort of have
to police your own thoughts. Like, you think, "Oh
can't think that! I cannot think of that thought!" But
then you do but then, you're, like, "Oh no!" And
you kind of, like, slap yourself around mentally. I mean
It's really weird.
It put me under so much stress, like
trying not to have these thoughts.
Yeah. You could have a relaxing day and just go to the park
but all the time you're still struggling mentally to not think
certain things and to, you know what I mean? Like, it just
could never be at rest or relax about your own mind.
Like, I could never admit to myself that I actually didn't
want to be there. I would say, 90 percent of the staff there,
if you said to them
if they are, you know, if the management
said to them, "You guys can leave right now. No strings
attached. You won't get in trouble." They would go. They
would just be gone.
I spent, like, two years in the Sea Org and I had a similar
experience, you know? I just wasn't happy. But I would think
I would look at my wife. I would look at other
Sea Org Members and I would think, "Well, they're happy."
You know, they're on purpose.
I remember at least two occasions I went to Ethics and I just
made a clean front of it. And I thought, "they will fix
me so that I am on purpose, with the program and happy."
And I would just
I confess everything, I say, "I'm
not happy. There's something wrong with me. Would you give
me something that would fix me and make me happy?"
Lawrence: And I did that on two occasions.
To confess! I would never do that!
And they would say, "Yes, you do these conditions."
You know, "work with these lower conditions. Do extra
MEST work," you know. And then they'll give me a whole
bunch of references to read. "Just read through all of
these and you'll be fixed." And I would work through
this program and work through it. And, like, I wasn't feeling
better. And then eventually, I would just fake it and say,
"Okay. Yeah. I've run through those programs. I feel
better now. I'm ready to continue." And then it would
go back to worse than it was because then, I thought, "Well,
I can't go and tear my
myself through and there's no hope. What do I do now?"
And you're more trapped.
So, it's a horrible, horrible feeling.
It was similar for me because I never wanted to admit it.
But so many people had admitted it to me and I had given them
those programs and those handlings to do and they would be
happy for a while. They would do just what he did and say,
"Okay, I'm fine." And then a month later wouldn't
be able to take it anymore and would come back and say, "I
want to leave" again. So, I knew it was the same thing
that was going to happen to me. So, I was just hoping that
one day it would change. 'Cause I thought it was something
wrong with me. "There must be something wrong with me
if everyone else here is so happy and doing so well and this
is such a great thing. And we're making the whole planet
saving mankind. Something must be wrong with me."
But what's interesting is, you're acting like you're fine
because you don't want anybody to think there's anything wrong
with you. And you're looking around seeing everybody else
acting fine. And you're believing that they really are doing
but they're probably all doing the same.
That's why I said, if you said to the staff, "Go ahead.
Leave. You won't get a freeloader bill. You won't get in trouble.
You won't be looked down upon and just leave now," they'd
I remember hearing about PC's like that all the time. It would
be, like, "Oh. They're rollercoastering."
Yeah. They're rollercoastering or, like, PTS
Potential Trouble Source.
Yeah. Giving them these ideas and stuff, so. I would always
hear that, like, if someone says, "I want to leave,"
then they change their mind. And it would go on for, like,
years. And then, people say, "we need to get them just
finally handled and get them to decide to stay. I mean, give
me a break. They're ridiculous. They're stupid people."
It was like that. That was the attitude.
Another thing that I was afraid of is they have an expression
called external influences. And that's anybody you are family
or friends or otherwise who aren't in the Sea Org who speak
to you and in any way have an effect on you that may make
you want to leave. Or even if you're not saying you want to
you're perfectly happy. But if they're giving you
gifts, talking to you more than once in a blue moon, spending
time with you if you get the day off. Then, they're an external
External to the Sea Org?
External to Scientology?
They could be a Scientologist.
external to the Sea Org?
they have a
hard time getting new staff and then they have people leaving.
So, they are, like, they've got to hold on to the people they
have. And that's a big thing there
They regularly do investigations to find out who has an external
influence on their lives. My dad was considered an external
influence especially because he had been in the Sea Org and
left. He was still considered a Scientologist but he was
of my seniors used to say, "your external influence called
Stacy: You're kidding!
Meaning my father. I was told later on
a year before
I left, I was told, in no uncertain terms, I cannot see him.
I am not allowed to see him. Unless I am getting him to go
back into the Sea Organization, I am not allowed to see him.
(To Lawrence) Let me just clarify this. You were out of the
I was out of the Sea Org but I was
And you were still behaving yourself?
I was still an active Scientologist. I was still paying
Still paying, but in their eyes
Money for services so I was
But they have a policy that says
I was part of the program still.
"Anybody who leaves the Sea Organization is a degraded
being, whether or not they continue in Scientology."
They could continue in Scientology; they could give a bunch
of money; they could do everything. They are considered a
degraded being and that's kind of a red flag over their head.
So, if Astra is not doing well, red alert
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