Interview - January 20, 2001
of Part Two
Zoe: When I got back from New York, there was no more room
for me at the INT Ranch. My space had been taken. There's
always a waiting list for the INT Ranch. About 65 kids, almost
as much people as there are at the INT Ranch.
Stacy: So where do the kids go that can't get in?
Zoe: Well, they're just waiting down in LA.
Stacy: Doing what?
Zoe: They're... they're just waiting in the cadet orgs there...
with the children there.
Stacy: So the parents are up at Gold and the kids are down
Zoe: I think... Yeah, I know of several cases of that.
Stacy: So where'd you go then?
Zoe: So then I was like... in the worst living conditions
I think I've ever lived in... even worse than all this. I
lived in something called the AB, the Anthony Building, which
is on Fountain Street? Fountain Avenue? Fountain Street?
Stacy: In LA?
Zoe: Yeah. And that's like four stories of... of crap. That's
just... It's... uh, OK, they tore out the kitchen to make
room for adults that were living in the dorms with the children
there, like nannies, and there was like exposed pipes, and
no hot water, and moldy tiles, and stained mildew carpets,
and... what else? Oh, we had these metal bunk beds that we
were always banging our heads on and they always had chipping
paint. And it was like you take this really old apartment
building that's all chipped and ruined, you tear out the kitchen,
and you put in a couple metal bunk beds... I don't know where
they got them from... you take a few old, wierdly painted
dressers that are half moldy in one part, or the drawers are
missing... you shove them in there, and then you put some
kids in. And we didn't even have all the bed clothes we were
supposed to have, like some of us would have two sheets and
maybe a pillow, and some of us would have a sheet and a blanket,
and like I was without a pillow for a long time and, yeah,
for a long time I also didn't have a blanket.
Stacy: Now, let me just make sure I understand this. You're
mother was at Gold...
Stacy: ... and your dad was out of the Sea Org. So you couldn't
live with your dad...
Stacy: ... and you couldn't be up at Gold with your mom. So,
now you're in this building in LA. And who's taking care of
you? Who were these people?
Zoe: Well... teachers. Like, the thing... Well, my teacher,
at first was called Nancy, and then I had another teacher
Stacy: Were these adults?
Zoe: Yeah, they were adults. They were our nannies and our
teachers. And they would live in the same rooms with us. Oh,
also the dorms were really crowded, and we also had, like,
three-decker bunk beds, and stuff like that to fit in as much
people as possible.
Stacy: And how many would be in a room?
Zoe: It would be a small area, like a small little room, and
have like four or five girls living in there, and then they
would have... 'cause, say that was the bedroom, and then they
would have the living area, which we just thought was another
room for beds, and that would have maybe eight people in there.
And then there was a tiny little kitchen area that was ripped
out, and that's where the adult was supposed to sleep. The
adult for my room was missing most of the time. I lived in
room 101, and I don't know where she was. Her daughters lived
in that room too with her, but I don't know where she was.
Stacy: So you were living there, basically, with no adult
supervision at all?
Stacy: And you were eight?
Zoe: This was... like nine. We didn't have any more beds for
girls to sleep in. So we had a girl named... Beth, Beth Hart.
She was my age. She slept on the floor on a cot, and she'd
just started doing that, and I'd forgotten. Oh and... oh,
my dad would pick me up every few nights to his apartment,
because he would try to make it easier for me, and I felt
special because of this... and this was one night when my
dad was supposed to pick me up. And, so I was laying... I
was going on my bed of blankets I'd made by the door, because
I didn't really want my dad to actually walk through, so I
laid on this bed of blankets by the door normally, and I was
walking through and I tripped over Beth's cot, and my knee
landed on the other side and it got cut really badly. I almost
needed knee surgery for it. So, I started crying and they
turned on all the lights, and I was holding my knee and it
was like blood everywhere, and so they brought in the first
aid girl. The first aid girl was eight years old. Her name
was Shannon, Shannon Linane [sp?]. She was the first aid girl,
so they didn't do any first aid... and then they got adults
in, and they were holding me down. They wouldn't let me look
at it, and it was just bleeding, and they wrapped a towel
around it, which made my... it really hurt when they had to
take it off at the hospital. But, so they didn't want to have
to pay for it, because the Sea Org's very cheap. If you get
hurt there, they're like, "God, we have to pay for this?"
Even though you're dedicating your whole life to them. So
the waited to somehow reach my dad, who was out of the Sea
Org. So I waited like forty minutes to an hour for my dad
to come, even though I was bleeding badly.
Stacy: So they wouldn't have to pay.
Zoe: So they wouldn't have to pay. So my dad came and carried
me down to the children's hospital and I got it stitched up.
And after that, I had to do what was called a PTS handling,
because... like PTS... I had an evil source directed towards
me, like I was saying earlier...
Stacy: So you were a Potential Trouble Source.
Stacy: You were PTS because you had had an accident...
Stacy: ... and the only reason the Scientologists, or anyone,
has an accident is because they're a Potential Trouble Source...
Zoe: Yeah, all accidents. Which means you're someone to be
looked down upon...
Stacy: ... which means you're connected to a Suppressive Person.
Stacy: So now you have to go through a process of trying to
find the Suppressive Person that you're connected to, right?
Zoe: Yeah, so now I'm nine years old, and I'm getting auditing,
which was church processes to handle this PTSness of mine,
Stacy: Did you understand what was happening?
Zoe: Not really. Oh, and I would get touch assists, where
they'd touch your finger to your body like this and this to
try to put you into communication with it, like spiritual
communication I guess...
Stacy: To make it heal.
Zoe: To make it heal, yeah.
Stacy: Did that work?
Zoe: No. It actually got infected, because I was living at
the AB in these bad conditions, on crutches, that it wasn't...
I couldn't clean up properly. We didn't even have hot water
Stacy: You didn't even have any hot water at this place?
Zoe: No. And sometimes the toilets wouldn't work. As kids...
Oh we used to... we used to be taking baths together, like
to save water, I think it was about. I don't know why, but
we were told to. And we used to hate the cold water so much,
we would have someone else [????] the bath. We would take
the biggest container we could find, fill it with hot water
from the sink... sometimes the sink would give us hot water,
and they would pour it over us in the bath, so we would have
hot water. So, eventually it became infected, and then so
my dad took me to the hospital again for it, and he had me
spend the week at his apartment, and then after that my infection
stopped because I had good living conditions at my dad's house.
Lawrence: During this period, I'd been forced to leave the
Sea Organization because I didn't have a valid Visa...
Lawrence: ... to be in the States, so then I was put on like
a leave of absence, then I imMediately started to run up attorney
bills to try and get a Visa handling, and then I'm working
two jobs on church projects. They allowed me to work on church
projects, then they'd pay me. So, I was working, like, 'til
midnight, you know... and then, I had to live in my own apartment...
and then it was a condition that Zoe had to remain in the
Cadet Org so I wasn't pulling her out, too.
Zoe: Yeah, because I think he would have taken me out...
Lawrence: You know, all of my surplus money went to paying
the attorney, paying the church back.
Stacy: So how did you feel when you arrived to find your daughter...
Lawrence: I was furious that she was... her leg was bleeding
really badly, and yet... the children's hospital was about
ten minutes away from this organization... like a huge hospital
in Los Angeles. And so I was like, what is the meaning of
letting her be there bleeding? And they're like, "Oh
well, we thought it best to get you here," you know,
and "we were using contact assists and doing tech."
So anyway, I didn't bother to argue and I took her to the
children's hospital and they... they... It was a serious injury,
you know that they were worrying about her knee, and she had
to have like two levels of stitches. She had to have like
deep muscle stitches. She was in the Cadet Org and the promise
was that they would take care of all medical bills, and that,
you know... it cost me nearly a thousand dollars in medical
bills for that one night. And then the financial policy is
once you've gone ahead and paid money, thank you... they're
wording is... LRH's policy is, you say to the person who has
paid money before getting approval, "Thank you for your
contribution." Yeah. And so, you know, with my kids I'm
not going to sit back and wait for them to develop medical
complications when I've got money in the bank or the credit
cards, you know that's...
Stacy: But when... when you saw the conditions that Zoe was
living in and the lack of care that she was getting, you must
have wanted to take her out of those conditions.
Lawrence: I could see things going... I could see, you know,
promises that had been made to me regarding my children were
completely broken. I could see that they were living in squalid
conditions, and losing their education, and yet... and so,
I would complain, but only go so far. And for my part, I would
feel that I had been like a bad Sea Org member, or I had problems,
you know, I had debts...
Stacy: So you were still a Scientologist?
Lawrence: Still a Scientologist, yeah.
Stacy: So you were still in the mindset of someone who feels
that the Scientology policies must be adhered to.
Lawrence: Yeah, right. And then, at the back of my mind I
knew of other cases where people had like dropped out of Scientology
or... or come into conflict with Scientology, and you know
the Church was so powerful and so bureaucratic, and you know,
to my mind it was just like going up against the government,
you know, or going up against bureaucracy...
Stacy: It was just overwhelming.
Lawrence: Yeah, you would just be chewed up and spat out,
you know? And, I already knew that one person or one person
seeing their children didn't matter, you know? The only thing
that mattered was the forward progress of Scientology or clearing
the planet. So, you know, if one person had to be thrown on
the sacrifice pyre, so what, you know... I knew that was the
Stacy: But looking back on it now, from your perspective now,
do you wish that you had gone to the authorities and done
something about this?
Lawrence: I still can't really give you an answer to that,
because like... I still... I mean I knew that as a parent
I wanted to get my kids out of that. I... you know, especially
after the... what happened... what transpired with Astra,
I wanted to get them out. The way I chose to do it was to
become, you know, secretive, and I plotted and I schemed and
you know, I...
Zoe: That was probably better. You might not have gotten out.
Lawrence: ... and once I got Astra out, then Astra and I,
you know, realized what was going on... we schemed and schemed
and schemed to get Zoe out. And I honestly think... you know,
and eventually we broke through and we got her out...
Stacy: You succeeded.
Lawrence: We succeeded and I really think... the other...
I think if I'd been confrontational and said, "That's
it!" You know... "I'm leaving! I'm taking my kids!"
I think I would have been a loser. I don't think I could have
gone up against the church and the power.
Stacy: You think they would have arranged to get the children
Lawrence: Yeah. They would have arranged to get the children
back, you know, I would have been dragged through the mire...
I, you know... at the same time, you know, I didn't have unlimited
money. I had to support myself. I had to work, you know...
Stacy: You didn't have the money for...
Lawrence: I didn't really have the money for...
Stacy: ... for a protracted legal battle.
Lawrence: No, I didn't. You know, so... I didn't even have
a Visa to be in the States, let alone get an attorney, you
know, so I felt in a weak position, so I thought the only
way I can succeed is by scheming, you know and... and appearing
to be a Scientologist and just... I just became devious. And
that probably is the only way it could have gone down.
Stacy: And you didn't even know how bad things were for your
two kids anyway...
Lawrence: No, no.
Stacy: ... until they got out and started really telling you,
Lawrence: You know, the day Astra told me she had felt suicidal...
you know, how can you be a parent and your kid tells you,
"Oh, at one point I was thinking about suicide"...
and you think, "Oh my God, I've failed as a parent!"
I didn't know what was going... I knew bad things were happening.
I didn't know it was this bad, you know, and there's like
a sense of relief that they got through that. You know, what
else... what else can I say?
Stacy: Yeah. I understand.
Zoe: Well, also we were... the whole time when dad was seeing
these conditions, I would never let him see the full amount.
Like I said, I wouldn't let him walk through the whole dorm.
And when he asked me about stuff [?????], you know, I was
still protecting the image of the Sea Org, and I would say,
"Oh, you know, I'm fine. It's fun. You know, I'm doing
good" when I really wasn't.
Stacy: Now, why were you protecting it from your dad?
Stacy: Were you being told?
Zoe: You were kind of told, and it's expected of you. I don't
know how to describe it, but the way I was raised was so pro-Scientology
that, it was all I could do to pro... you know... I had to
do it. I felt... I felt it was... it was as necessary as brushing
my teeth, you know, or eating food. It was... it was such
a habit, that if anyone ever said anything about the church,
it would come out of my mouth, you know, defense against...
for it. It would just come out of my mouth without me even
thinking of it. I mean... Ok what if I met a person on the
street, and he said, "Oh you're a Scientologist,"
and I said, "Yeah," and then he said something bad
about it, I would say, "You know, it's great. Other people
don't understand it, but it's really great." And I didn't
have to think about it anymore, because I'd done it so many
Stacy: Even though the conditions you were living in were
really, really bad?
Stacy: And you were aware that they were... were you aware
that the conditions you were in were... were... were bad conditions?
Were you unhappy about the conditions you were in, or...
Zoe: No. I was like... Oh, I was raised in it, so I was so
used to it.
Stacy: But... for example, you'd go to your dad's where you
could have a hot bath...
Zoe: Yeah. Yeah.
Stacy: ... or... and you had a bed with a pillow...
Stacy: ... and a blanket, and a sheet. You know, did it ever...
and, you know, you could have good food...
Zoe: The difference between the two worlds wouldn't really
come upon me until later, because after I lived at the AB
awhile, and I'd gone to school there for awhile, my mom called
up... Oh! See this whole time I'd been living at the AB, right
when we got back from New York, she went on another mission
to Mexico. So I didn't see her that whole time anyway. It
was just my dad. But then, right after she came back from
Mexico, quickly she went to Florida, back to Florida where
we had first come from originally...
Stacy: And left you in LA?
Zoe: Yeah. Of course. It was a mission. And then she called
me, and she said, "How about a visit?" and I said,
"OK." So, I went out to see her, and she kind of
put me imMediately into the Cadet Org, so I kind of knew it
was permanent. Like, the first night I slept on the floor
next to my mom's bed...
Stacy: Now this was in Florida at Flag?
Zoe: Yeah. So the first night I slept next to the floor...
on the floor, next to her, and then the second night, we had
dinner at a steak house, and then she just went to drop me
off at the QI! And I begged her not to leave me. I was was
like, "No, no, don't leave me!" and I was really
Stacy: Now the QI is the Quality Inn.
Zoe: Oh yeah, the Quality Inn that we had lived in originally
Stacy: And now she's dropping you off...
Stacy: ... with who?
Zoe: I had another dorm.
Stacy: And, so she's not...
Zoe: ... with more nannies
Stacy: ... living there?
Zoe: Yeah, she's not... she's living like half an hour away.
And I would only see her at the weekends again, except this
time I had a job that brought me near her in the afternoons.
But, I said, "No, don't drop me off!" I said, "Don't
leave me! Stay another ten minutes! Stay another five minutes!"
Something. And... Oh! Another situation like this happened
to me at the INT Ranch. After she had dropped me off from
my seven-day Christmas visit with my dad, she left me at the
INT Ranch alone. For some reason, the kids on that day were
with their parents that night, and there was no one at the
whole INT Ranch. There was no one!
Stacy: You were there alone?
Zoe: We didn't even see a security guard. There was no children,
Lawrence: No one?
Zoe: No one! For some reason...
Lawrence: No one?!
Zoe: ... that day there was no one there. And she... she started
putting me to bed, and I said, "Mom, you can't leave
me here! There's no one here!" And she said, "Yeah."
And I said, "No, you can't!" And it was like three
or four in the morning. And...
Lawrence: My God... I didn't... you never told me this.
Zoe: I know, sometimes I forget these things.
Stacy: What was she thinking, Zoe...
Zoe: I don't know...
Stacy: ... what was she thinking?
Zoe: I don't know, because that's like a ranch and there's
like coyotes and rattle snakes...
Lawrence: Rattle sn...
Zoe: But I wouldn't go outside, obviously...
Lawrence: She was going to leave you and drive away?
Zoe: So, she did. She did leave me.
Lawrence: Oh my God!
Zoe: So, I was... I was left there and I... I couldn't fall
asleep the whole night.
Lawrence: That's, like, a criminal offense. Child Endangerment.
Zoe: I know. I didn't even see a security...
Lawrence: And how old...
Zoe: ... guard, and it's a huge...
Lawrence: ... and how old... you were how old then?
Lawrence: Oh my God...
Stacy: What happened when somebody came back and found you
Zoe: Eventually, I guess I went to bed for, like, forty minutes,
and I woke up in the morning, and there were some kids just
coming back with their stuff who said, "You're here?
Where have you been for the last..."
Lawrence: Oh my God...
Zoe: "... seven days?"
Stacy: Did anybody ever...
Zoe: No. I was just, like, "Oh my mom just dropped me
Lawrence: So you were left out in the middle of the desert...
Lawrence: ... complete... at the age of seven...
Stacy: That valley is in the middle of nowhere.
Lawrence: ... completely alone?
Stacy: Absolutely in the middle of nowhere.
Zoe: So, but... yeah...
Lawrence: What if there had been an earthquake?... Like...
Zoe: But, so this kind of reminded me of that situation. So,
yeah, she just said adios and left me there. So, I was there
in Florida in this new dorm I had. And actually, like I said,
there was like a... such a... like a structure ans system
there, that... that because I was... my mom had been, like
I said, top management, so they moved another kid onto the
mattress on the floor, that the... this was like a nicer room,
obviously, because I was an INT management kid, so she...
I actually took her place. I didn't know it, but they had
made that girl move out from her bed and her dresser, and
put her on a mattress on the floor in that same room. I mean,
she was resentful of me for months, and I never knew why,
and finally she told me, and I was like, "Wow! They moved
you off your bed?" But, so this first night, I was lying
there, and I kind of... I could kind of tell that my mom was
just going to have me live in the Cadet Org there at Flag.
I'd just gotten there for a visit, and now I was going to
Stacy: And how old were you now?
Zoe: Nine... ten. Like I'd just... I'm not exactly sure. Either
nine or ten. That first night, I got so upset. It was one
of the worst nights of my life, and I was missing everything
in LA and missing my father and my sister, and I just went
and I threw up that whole dinner we had at the steak house,
and everyone was asking me if I was OK, and I said, "Yeah,
yeah, I'm just missing everyone a little bit." But inside,
I was missing everyone a whole bunch. So much that I was sick
Stacy: And why weren't you telling anybody?
Zoe: Because, that's kind of... like... that's just kind of
built into you, that you... you never tell anyone how bad
Scientology is. You always tell them how good everything is,
and you always sort of say your life is going well, and everything's
great, when it's not...
Stacy: But even... These are your fellow Scientologists. These
Stacy: ... Sea Org members. You couldn't... You didn't feel
you could even talk to them?
Zoe: Well, because if you're not happy, it's your fault. If
you're not doing well, it's your fault. If you have... If
you live in bad living conditions, could someone move you
in there? It's your fault for not going and finding and hunting
down better living conditions. I mean, I didn't understand
that then, but later, in reading LRH policy, it is. Everything
is your fault. So, I guess I kind of understood that even
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