Interview - January 20, 2001
of Part Three
Lawrence: You moved to Florida in, like, 1984...
Zoe: Uh-huh... uh, 1994.
Lawrence: I think I'd just got you to the point where, you
know, you were living with me pretty much full-time in LA,
Zoe: Yeah, I started...
Lawrence: ... in my apartment.
Zoe: ... living with you a lot more.
Lawrence: And then her mother got on the phone and said, "Oh,
I need your cooperation. I haven't seen Zoe for months and
months, and I really, really miss her, and can she come and
visit with me? I need you to work this out. She's just goin
to come to Florida for a visit. I really miss her. I haven't
seen her." And, you know, I was wary of it, but I said
OK, you know. I took Zoe... I mean, I had to buy the air tickets
and everything, of course. And so I took Zoe to the airport,
and I said, you know, "See you in a couple of weeks.
Have a good time," blah blah blah... And then Zoe...
her mother would call me up and say, "You know, Zoe likes
it so much here, that she's originated that she wants to be
in the Cadet Series...
Zoe: That was mom's plan from the start was to get me there.
Lawrence: "... and that's wonderful..." So Leslie
would just lie without even thinking, you know. And so she
said, "Zoe really, really wants to stay here, and she's
decided that she wants to join the Cadets, and isn't that
wonderful?" blah blah blah...
Stacy: Did you ever talk to Zoe?
Lawrence: And I think... I would...
Lawrence: I don't think I did on that occasion...
Zoe: No, just mom.
Lawrence: Just Leslie, and you know... and I'd say, "Well,
are you sure?"
Zoe: Didn't you feel kind defeated, like, "God I was
almost getting her!" to living in...
Lawrence: ... hmmmm, I don't know... And then she would say...
I'd say, "Well, I don't know," and she'd say, "Well,
let's just have a trial period of a month or two and see how
it works out." You know, anything to shut me up, really,
you know? And so I agreed, like an idiot. I must say, had
I known that you had been left at that ranch all night at
the age of seven... to me that is just unthinkable... I just...
That's the first I've learned of that story now, and if Leslie
walked in this room now, I would try and throttle her, you
know, for that... to do that to my kid... I... I'm just staggered
for words... But, oh well, that's Scientology at work.
Zoe: But, so yeah if it... well, the reason my mom left me
there was like, "I have to get back to post, I have to
get back to post." That's what she was saying, even to
me right then in the room. But... So, yeah, I lived at the
QI, and I would see mom because I went and worked under her...
on my mission that I would go in on the bus every afternoon,
and I did the... the schooling, but then I would work in the
afternoons, and I would do filing and letter sorting. And
mom, at this point, I could kind of call her "mother,"
like it was OK. But later on when I worked for her, she started
asking me to call her "sir" and "Mr. Woodcraft."
And I did this for awhile, and then I would stop, and then
the next time she asked me, I said, "No way, I'm not
going to call you Mr. Woodcraft." She said, "Fine.
Call me Leslie." And I was so shocked... like, my own
mother... because, every now and then, something would kind
of shock me, like "Oh my God, you have to do this?"
Even though I was so used to bad conditions, a new thing would
come and I'd be, like, "What?!" The whole thing
there is that families aren't important. L. Ron Hubbard teaches
that families aren't important, because we're just spirits...
that somehow manage to enter these bodies, and we're growing
up as a family. And the only reason we're close at all is
because we grow up next to each other. So if we don't grow
near each other, like most of the time half my family was
on the other side of the United States from me... you know,
it wouldn't matter if we didn't see them that often in the
eyes of the church authorities. First the agreement was that
I would visit him every two... twice a year...
Zoe: ... I think for like at least a month each, and I only
did that once, like where I... maybe two times, I had like
a year where I did it twice. And mom didn't agree with that
at all, the two times. She would be like, "You're going
again?" And it got to be just a yearly thing, and sometimes
not even that. Because they knew that something kind of happened
to me when I went and lived with my dad. They called it going
PTS. Like, I kind of had this trouble source... I guess they
thought that you were some person directing evil purposes
or evil thoughts towards me, like, "Oh my God!"
against the Sea Org, against Scientology, which was so bad.
Stacy: [speaking to Lawrence] But in fact, you were... you
never did say anything negative to her...
Zoe: No, not for a long time!
Stacy: ... because you were...
Lawrence: Well, I was... I was...
Stacy: ... afraid to.
Lawrence: I was afraid to, yeah. I was... Again it was a fine
balancing act, you know. And on one or two occasions... Oh,
she said to me, "Dad, they really want me to joing the
Sea Org, and sign up properly..."
Lawrence: "... and, you know, sign the contract,"
and I said, "Well, Zoe..."... and she said, "I
don't know what I think," and I said, "Zoe, you
know, you should do what you want to do. It's your life, you
know. Make your decision. If you're really happy, and you
want to join the Sea Org, and that's really, really what you
want to do, then do it. But if, on the other hand, you're
coming under a lot of pressure and you don't really want to,
you know, don't do it. Because, you know, if you joing the
Sea Org under that... under those conditions, you know, it's
never going to work out, because that's kind of what I did,
you know. You must only joing the Sea Org if you really, really
want to, and it's really your decision." And I said,
you know, "And besides, you don't have to join it now,
you know. You're only like 13 or 12 or whatever. You know,
if you want, you can finish school and go to college, and
then if after that, see the world a little bit, get some life
experience... then if you want to join the Sea Org, it's fine."
Zoe: And I had never heard of going to college! Wow!
Lawrence: And that's really the limit of what I said because
I thought it was actually a good thing. I thought, you know,
well the Sea Org [???????] might be kind of wobbly...
Zoe: That was considered shocking.
Lawrence: [?????] And then, oh my God, I'd just... they'd
just crucify me.
Stacy: Well, so did you tell them?
Zoe: So... So I went back... Oh, I'll tell... I think [??????]
there was like a system of how you got promoted, and there
was like children, there was cadets, and when you were a cadet
there was all these privileges. There was pay. You could leave
on your days off, like you could leave the little QI, the
old motel area, so you could leave the parking lot, and like
Stacy: You mean otherwise you weren't allowed to?
Zoe: Yeah! Unless you were with an adult, like your parents
had somehow gotten the day off, which wasn't normal.
Stacy: So otherwise you were kind of a prisoner...
Zoe: Yeah, yeah.
Stacy: ... in the QI.
Zoe: You were supposed to... you were expected to, like if
you were 11 years old, you should be a Cadet by then, and
so if you weren't and your friends were, it was like, "Why
aren't you a Cadet yet?" It was kind of like that, so...
I wasn't getting any pay and my mom didn't really give me
a lot of money. She didn't have a lot of money in the first
place, but it's not really a thing in Scientology to give
your kids money, because it would be Out Exchange, like they're
giving you something, why aren't you giving them something?
Stacy: If you're a kid, you're not supposed to have any money
unless you're working.
Zoe: Yeah, unless you work for it. And we did work there.
Even as children, we...
Stacy: But you still weren't getting paid?
Zoe: Yeah, I wasn't getting paid. I wanted to be a Cadet,
you know, get all these people... to be able to do my laundry
without worrying about where I was going to get the quarters
from! So I remember... and then I told dad this, and he's
like, do what... you know, you should really decide, and all
that... and I realized, I said, "I'm not certain that
I want to be in the Sea Org." And I said, "Wow,
no one has ever mentioned college to me." I mean school
is considered like such a low thing, like so unnecessary.
We only do it because the law says that we have to do it.
So when I went back...
Stacy: It had quite an impact on you, then...
Zoe: Yeah, yeah, it did.
Stacy: ... that conversation?
Zoe: Because it was so shocking. It was so different from
what I would normally hear.
Stacy: But in a good way.
Zoe: [speaking to Lawrence] I mean, I know you thought it
was like normal, but...
Stacy: But it was...
Zoe: Yeah it was good...
Stacy: ... it had a good impact?
Zoe: ... it was good. So when I went back, they said... the
Cadet Coordinator, who was the adult in charge of all the
kids there, he said, "So Zoe, you're going to become
a cadet?" I said, "You know what, actually I might
want to go to college and go live with my dad." And that
was... it kind of like... I just watched like... like the
gasoline light on fire... like you know, the building explode
and crumble down. It was comparable to that... because his
face went kind of white, and he said, "What?!" And
this was a nice guy. I mean this was a very... this was the
nicest Cadet Coordinator I'd ever had. His name was Rusty
Holton [sp?], and he was the nicest, most humane Cadet Coordinator
Stacy: Was this an adult?
Zoe: ... to the children... yeah... that I had ever seen,
'cause all the other ones would be rather mean, and he would
try to get us privileges, and he went, "What?!"
And he was like, "Oh my God!" And afterwards, he
kind of like... he cooled down about it, and he was like,
"Well, you better get that handled!" But, so, I
imMediately started on what's called the Doubt Condition,
you know the condition...
Stacy: So he assi... Did he assign you that condition?
Zoe: Yeah, yeah.
Stacy: OK, so now let's...
Zoe: You get that automatically.
Stacy: ... explain Doubt.
Stacy: Doubt is one of the lower conditions in Scientology,
and if you have any question whatsoever about your... about
being committed to Scientology in any way, or being committed
to being in the Sea Org, or any aspect of it, you have to
apply a Doubt Formula, in which you compare the good things
about Scientology and the Sea Org to the good things about
what you're thinking of doing instead. Right?
Stacy: And there's a series of steps that you have to do,
and if you apply a Doubt Formula, and you come up with any
good things about the other side...
Zoe: It's weird!
Stacy: Then you're... then you're assigned and even lower
Stacy: So, it's a... it's very difficult for someone to do
a Doubt Formula...
Zoe: And end up going.
Stacy: ... and decide that they don't want to be in the Sea
Stacy: ... and certainly to decide they don't want to be a
Stacy: It's just... it's not allowed. It's not permitted.
Zoe: I'll give you an example of my Doubt Formula. OK, so
one is to review the statistics of the Cadet Org or the Sea
Org, and one of the world outside the Sea Org, OK? So, I'm
shown these magazines about the Sea Org, and they show like
everything perfect, and look how much people are saving spiritually,
and look at all the good they're doing. OK, then Mr. Holton,
or Rusty, brings out all these newspaper clippings of like...
like, I don't know... car accidents and plan crashes and...
and the crime rates have gone up, and... and like the Freedom
Magazine, which is Scientology's magazine, about the horrible
things psychiatry does... like horrible things like millions
of children on Ritalin killing themselves every day, that's...
that was like just the impression I got, so how could I make
a decision to go to this outside world when I was shown like...
Bad... Good. It was...
Zoe: ... kind of automatic!
Zoe: And even then I still...
Lawrence: ... in the full sense of the word.
Zoe: ... kind of thought I could... I would try to go out...
Stacy: And you were 11?
Zoe: Yeah. And so even then I was still like, "I want
to go out." And then...
Stacy: Even after he showed you these things?
Zoe: I... I was still thinking of...
Stacy: Why do you think... Even though this was being shown
to you, why do you think you still...
Zoe: Because it was like a... a whiff of freedom, like "Oh
my God!" It was just... it's such a... a liberating thought,
that you could lead your own life. Because I had never been
told like what dad said, like it's your own life... like that
was just a term like maybe a recruiter would use on a young
kid whose parents didn't want him to go in the Sea Org. They'd
say, "It's your own life, you should go into the Sea
Zoe: I mean I had never heard that, like, "It's your
own life. Don't go into the Sea Org if you don't want to."
So then came to... for my CSP time with mom and Saturday morning,
and I knew after that I couldn't because she said... she said,
"I heard dad has said some stuff to you and now you don't
want to be in the Sea Org." And I said, "Well I'm
just thinking about, you know, going to school and college."
And she was like, "College?! You want to go to college?
College is horrible!" She was like, "I didn't go
to college. I thought about it, but then when I realized what
it was, I didn't want to go." So she said, "Your
father is getting in so much trouble for this." And I
later found out, she called up my sister, and she had my sister
get really angry at my dad, 'cause she could just... she could
like inspire so much guilt in us and a sense of duty to do
this, and I guess she just did. And she got really angry at
dad, and then dad just kind of backed off after that because
he realized, I guess, that he had said something so shocking
and horrible and...
Stacy: [speaking to Lawrence] So what happened to you?
Lawrence: To me it was like a nothing... it was like a father/daughter
conversation, you know, like, "What do you want to do
with your life," you know, "It's your life,"
Zoe: I shouldn't have talked about it.
Lawrence: ... "You've got to think about your future."
I, you know...
Stacy: It's a good thing you did.
Zoe: I mean, I shouldn't have talked about it...
Lawrence: But I didn't even realize I was...
Zoe: ... like with other people.
Lawrence: ... planting the seeds of doubt, you know. I was
just having a father/daughter conversation. So I didn't see
her... she was supposed to come back out that Christmas, and
then she never came...
Lawrence: ... she never came. I don't think I saw her...
Zoe: ... mom didn't let me come.
Lawrence: ... for like a year and a half, and I was like freaking
out, like how am I going to see her again, you know. Are they
going to release her? And then I received a conversation from
a... from the Assistant Cadet Coordinator. I think his name
was Gene Sedeko [sp?]. And he said, you know, "I need
to speak to you about the problem we're having with Zoe's
little trips to Los Angeles." So I said, "What do
you mean 'her little trips to Los Angeles?'" He said,
"Well, every time she comes out to Los Angeles, she...
she comes back unstable," you know, "... and it's
unstablizing her, and I don't think that's a good thing."
So I said, "Zoe's little trips to Los Angeles, so that
she can keep in touch with her... me, her father, her sister,
her brother there... for her to keep in touch with her family."
And he said, "Well, you know, I don't think... you know,
I'm worried about her future as a Sea Org member, you know,
and I don't want to unstabilize her. I don't think she should
be coming to LA anymore." And he said, "But it will
be OK... it might be acceptable for you to come and visit
her in Florida."
Zoe: So, bring the whole family!
Lawrence: And I said, I'm not prepared, nor do I have the
money to fly out to Florida, you know but... you know, I said,
"I... but I'm not... I'm not saying anything to her to
unstabilize her." He said, "Well you had a conversation
with her about college." So I said, "I asked Zoe
what she's going to do with her life," and I said, you
know, "She said, well I'm not sure if I want to go in
the Sea Org or not." So I explained to him, I said, "Look,
all I said to her was, you know, Zoe if you want to go in
the Sea Org, that's fine with me, but you know, make it your
decision. Don't go in the Sea Org because of a lot of pressure.
It has to be your choice, your decision. It's your life. No
one can tell you what to do with your life." And I said,
"I think that's a good thing, that it's you know... it's
encouraging the child to have her own self will." He
said, "Oh yes, yes. You're right." Because he couldn't
really argue with that...
Lawrence: So anyway, that was the conversation, but it was
an attempt to like intimidate me, you know...
Stacy: Well, and the result was that you didn't see her for
a year and a half.
Lawrence: I didn't see her for a year and a half, and I was
freaing out. When am I going to see... And at this point I
would try and estab... you know, I would try and maintain
contact with her by the phone. I would call the Cadet Org...
Lawrence: ... It would be on a machine. I would leave a message.
No one would call me back. I would leave message after message,
you know. "I need to talk to my daughter! It's an emergency!
She needs to call me straight away!"...
Stacy: Did you ever know that he was calling?
Lawrence: ... I would send faxes, you know. "I need to
speak to Zoe, urgently!" And then, after about ten days
she would call me back, you know, and it was horrible.
Zoe: Yeah, well, dad would call and call, and I wouldn't find
out about it at all. I mean they would... like I said it was
gradual, the mind control, and the strictness with which your
life was run... they would, like, hang around in the office
while I was calling my dad, like doing their work, but it
was kind of strange, like I... they would kind of hang around,
pick up a paper and kind of read it, but you know you... when
you can tell someone's listening. And they were definitely
listening. So, they would, even then, just kind of monitor
my phone calls. On the thing with mom, that Saturday morning,
she also I think made it clear to me that I wouldn't be seeing
you until I had made up my mind. And of course my mind...
my decision would be to be in the Sea Org. And so... and when
I asked to go that Christmas, 'cause I always was like, "Oh
yeah, I'm going to go this Christmas," and I was all...
I would always get excited about it. And I remember like when
she said, "No, Zoe, let's not go this Christmas. No,
let's not go." And I was said, "I want to go."
And she would say, "No, let's not go this Christmas.
Why don't you spend it here. It'll be so fun here." And
I said, "I don't want to spend it here!" Because
Christmas is... you don't even get the whole day off with
your family. She... she would have to go in again at 3:00
Stacy: On Christmas Day.
Zoe: Yeah, on Christmas Day. So I was like, "I don't
want to be here for Christmas!"
Stacy: So much for that happy holiday time...
Stacy: ... at the Fort Harrison Hotel.
Zoe: Yeah. Oh, yeah!
Two xPart Threex
Part Four xPart