Speaking Freely

Former Scientologists are coming forward to tell their stories of life inside Scientology. We present here an archive of some of those stories in video and affidavits.


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The Woodcraft Family


Astra Woodcraft


The Woodcrafts came to the LMT in January of 2001 and sat down to share with us their experiences not only in Scientology but in the "elite" paramilitary branch of the organization called the Sea Org.

Lawrence was a successful architect in London when he met and fell in love with a Scientologist. They married and raised Astra and Zoe in Scientology.

The family was lured to Clearwater, Florida by Scientology's offer for Lawrence to be Scientology's official architect; just one of the promises never kept. Lawrence talks about his family life and the asbestos he uncovered on Scientology's cruise ship, The Freewinds.

As a member of the Sea Org, one of Astra's duties was to stop disaffected members from fleeing Scientology. In time, Astra wanted to leave herself and purposely became pregnant so that the Sea Org would kick her out.

Zoe never knew life outside of Scientology. She grew up in some of the worst conditions imaginable and was indoctrinated to believe that the world outside of Scientology was evil and dangerous. She fled from Scientology at the age of 16 to rejoin her father and sister, leaving behind a mother, grandmother and step brother who since have disconnected from her.

High Level OTs


Greg and Debra Barnes

Scientology stresses communication as one of its main virtues but members quickly discover that there are many things that can not be talked about, even with their closest friends and family. These long time Scientologists delight in finally being able to speak freely about what life was like for them as OTVIIs.

Tory Bezazian was a beloved member of Scientology for 30 years and worked as a volunteer for the Office of Special Affairs never knowing the depths of the dirty tricks OSA would use against critics of Scientology.

Maria Pia Gardini joined the Sea Org from her home in Italy and traveled to Clearwater, Florida to move up the Bridge to Total Freedom. Nothing was free for Maria, however, as Scientology extracted $2 million from Maria at her most vulnerable moments.

Greg and Debra were longtime Scientologists who found themselves declared Suppressive Persons after questioning Scientology's altering of L. Ron Hubbard's material.

The same happened to David Cook and Vickki Ford. Their story is even more horrific as they have also lost a son to Scientology. Their son, George, remains in Scientology's Sea Org and has disconnected from his parents, leading Vickki to launch an aggressive campaign to try to regain contact with the boy.

WISE Fraud

Tera and Ed Hattaway


Peter and Abby Lazarnick


Bill and Barbara Z.

WISE stands for the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises. It is Scientology's way of recruiting members of the business community through business management courses. WISE preys upon professionals who they know can bring money into Scientology.

The Hattaways and the Lazarnicks are chiropractors; Bill and Barbara are successful dentists.

More Stories

The OT Panel

The OT Panel brings together Tory Bezazian with Greg and Debra Barnes and Peter Alexander as they swap stories and share opinions on Scientology's secret upper levels.


Jim Beebe

After spending time if Scientology and leaving the group, Jim Beebe worked as a volunteer for the original Cult Awareness Network in Chicago. CAN later would be taken over by Scientology.

Taped in Leipzig, Germany


Taped on the streets of Leipzig during the summer of 2000, Tanya talks about her childhood in Scientology and the duties she performed as a Sea Org member.



Vivien spent her childhood in Scientology and found herself in the Sea Org as a young teen being forced to do the most horrendous work and getting little education.


Natascha Kobitsch

Natascha was involved in a relationship with a Scientologist. When she started to read books critical of the organization, he disconnected from her.

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