Zoe Woodcraft Interview

Part Four

"The Cadet Org"

Video Interview - January 20, 2001


Transcript of Part Four

Zoe: Life kind of went on and I rose higher and higher in the Cadet Org...

Stacy: But now, you still hadn't signed a Sea Org contract?

Zoe: Oh no, I did, because I finally decided, OK, I'm staying here in Florida. I'm going to join the Sea Org. And I joined the Sea Org contract... I signed the Sea Org contract when I joined the Cadet Org.

Stacy: Did you kind of give up?

Zoe: Yeah. Yeah, I gave up.

Stacy: Did they... did they do some sort of a handling on you?

Zoe: Yeah. The... the, you know, showing me the bad pictures and the good pictures. Well, OK, in the canteen where we bought stuff, they had a picture... pictures from the Wog world, or you know, the world outside Scientology...

Stacy: Wogs are everybody who's not a Scientologist.

Zoe: Yeah. And then they had pictures from inside Scientology. Two different boards, OK, one would show like Sea Org members in their uniforms, and everything's great, you know those pictures they have in magazines of people like [big fake smile]...

Stacy: [big fake smile, laughter]

Zoe: Yeah! Things like that, and they're like, oh, they're so happy! And then on the other pictures... on the other board they would have, like, Marilyn Manson... they would have, like, fires... they would have, like... at one point I think they even had, like, dead bodies in the morgue. Just like, so that we... when we thought of the world outside Scientology, we thought of, like, horrible things, dead bodies, drugs... and when we thought of the Sea Org, we thought, oh people are happy, spiritual freedom. It was like... yeah...

Stacy: Wow.

Zoe: ... it was just labels.

Lawrence: Around about this time, when she was visiting me, and she was asking me, I think about psychiatry, and how bad it was and how bad society was, because obviously she'd been exposed to these pictures. So I said, "Well, in actual fact, Zoe, you know surprisingly, recently in the last few years the economy has actually been very good, you know" ...

Zoe: Oh yeah!

Lawrence: ... "and America is more prosperous than it's ever been, and people are doing better. There's more money. People are happier. And, you know, in actual fact, crime statistics are falling right now, you know. The murder rate in LA is the lowest it's ever been, you know, and they say it's connected with the good economy." You know, I just kind of told her really what was going on, and then she went back and repeated this to her mother...

Zoe: Yeah.

Lawrence: ... and, apparently her mother, like blew up, like, "Who's telling you the economy's good?! He told you that the economy's good? He told you that crime's dropping? What?!"

Stacy: This is... What you're telling me is outrageous!

Zoe: Yeah, when I went to my mom and... Oh! oh! It was a... like he told me this all on the same visit, like the same month, two-month-long visit. So then when I went back and I wanted to go, my mom was saying, "Oh, you know, it's very bad out there, and how will you survive, it's like a jungle and it's horrible!" And I said, "No, mom, the economy's doing good now," and all this, "and psychiatry isn't that bad," and all this, and she turned white. She was like... and then she did blow up, like dad said, 'cause I remember I kind of got scared. I was like, whoa!

Stacy: But... it's so outrageous to hear you saying this... that...

Zoe: Oh yeah!

Stacy: I mean, this indoctrination is so heavy handed. It's... there's no... nothing subtle about it. I mean, it's just outright... indoctrination.

Zoe: Well, like that policy, the earth is going to be no longer inhabitable by the year 2000. Then nothing mattered except making sure that we could survive on this planet, you know?

Stacy: What you're saying is true, but you know, I mean I remeber reading those policies, and you know... we never had these bulletin boards, like you're... like you're describing.

Zoe: Yeah, that was...

Stacy: ... or anything like that.

Zoe: ... at the Cadet Org.

Stacy: This is children that they're indoctrinating...

Zoe: Yeah.

Stacy: ... with such a heavy hand. You know, I was an adult when I got in, so I was always a little bit skeptical about this "the world's about to end" stuff, and... and I mean I had already been in the real world for 23 years before I got into Scientology, so I never really lost my connection with it. To the degree that you're describing, as a child growing up in this...

Zoe: I never had that connection.

Stacy: I just had no idea the degree of indoctrination the children are being subjected to.

Zoe: Yeah.

Stacy: I had no idea. It's horrifying.

Zoe: Yeah. It was just, like, the way I was raised, you know? I mean I didn't really... I... I guess I didn't really believe the world was going to end that soon, but I was... if anyone asked me, I'd be like, "Well, LRH said..." Oh no! Oh, I was told that it might be extended because Scientology had been here for awhile now.

Stacy: And yet, these few things that your dad told you...

Zoe: Yeah.

Stacy: ... kept you from being completely indoctrinated into this...

Zoe: Well, I was pretty much...

Stacy: ... point of view.

Zoe: ... completely indoctrinated. I would say I... yeah.

Stacy: So, now you moved up into high post in the Cadet Org...

Zoe: Yeah. And then they said, "We're going to make this Cadet TTC, so... Cadet Technical Training Corps...

Stacy: And that's...

Zoe: ... which means we would train... like yeah we'd be training or studying Scientology...

Stacy: To become auditors.

Zoe: No, not to become auditors, in this case. It was to become supervisors and word-clearers, so that adults no longer had to supervise the kids. The children could supervise themselves in their school. And I studied among adults for... I did this for a year.

Stacy: This was at Flag?

Zoe: Mm-hmm. I did... I'd study 11 hours a day for six days a week, except for Saturday because I had that morning time, but the rest of that. And then the other day, Sunday, when I didn't study Scientology, I did 10 hours of school to keep in my school time. And then I was on something called the Student Hat.

Stacy: The Student Hat?

Zoe: How to study. It's a course on how to study. I... And you could only take the day off every few weeks that you're supposed to get per policy if you were on target on course, and I was never on target on course, because I was always, you know, late in the Student Hat. So finally my days just got unbearable. It was so horrible.

Stacy: Because you weren't getting any time off at all?

Zoe: Well, I could have stood that, you know, I did that for a long time, but it was doing something that was just so boring. I would... I would, like, read one page... like, in a day maybe I'd get... I'd get through half a page because I'd read that page, and I would say, "You know what? You're supposed to feel great about everything you study, you know, you're supposed to be all happy about it, and I wouldn't be, so then they would say, "You must have a word in there that you don't understand, because that's Scientology study technology. And I would say, "No, I don't!" I looked up every single word. That whole page, I would look up in a dictionary, and practice saying it in sentences, like looking up the word "and" and all 30 definitions, or... like that. I was...

Stacy: And "be" and "a" and "of"...

Zoe: Yeah! And I had a label on me. I was called "significant."

Stacy: Yeah. That's a very bad thing to be called in Scientology.

Zoe: Yeah, it is.

Stacy: It's what they call all the students that are really trying to understand what he said!

Zoe: Yeah! I was really trying to understand, because I was like, you know, I suddenly decide I'm going to be in the Sea Org now, and I'm a Cadet, then I should, you know...

Stacy: ... Really understand it, yeah.

Zoe: ... get meaning from... from this. So then people started mentioning the EPF for me, which was a training course to go into the Sea Org. So I said no at first, 'cause I remembered everything dad had said, and I was still kind of wary. And after awhile, when it just got so bad, and I was crying every day on the Student Hat...

Stacy: Anything to get off course.

Zoe: Anything to get off course! And I sought... like, I considered all that really hard work, you know that you're doing on the EPF... I considered that, like that... when I thought of that, it seemed like so much fun.

Stacy: Compared to what you were doing.

Zoe: Compared to what I was doing! So, I went on the EPF, and little did I know, they would just have me work through the Student Hat over... like, clear up any words I didn't know on the Student Hat, over and over and over again in my study time. So I was just doing this illegal work, because I worked all day... all day, from early in the morning until, like, eleven at night, except for five hours of study I did, and the five hours of study was just going over the Student Hat.

Stacy: You were twelve?

Zoe: No, I think I was... 'cause I was a year on the... on the Cadet TTC, so I was around, like, 13... 14. I don't remember exactly.

Stacy: So when you say you were doing illegal work, what do you mean?

Zoe: Not illegal work, but illegal work hours, but I was staying up late at night and sleeping during the day to do, like, carpeting jobs. I was handling machinery that I shouldn't have been handling.

Stacy: Isn't that against regulations?

Zoe: No.

Stacy: Against actual...

Zoe: I don't know of it being... it was normal.

Stacy: But I mean, I think you were too young by the law...

Zoe: Yeah.

Stacy: ... to be doing this.

Zoe: Yeah, I was.

Lawrence: Weren't you... Didn't you tell me that you were operating one of those hammers for smashing...

Zoe: A jack...

Lawrence: ... a jackhammer?

Zoe: I did that later in the QI.

Lawrence: OK.

Zoe: A big jackhammer. But...

Stacy: What kind of machinery were you dealing with?

Zoe: Like... we would transport stuff, or we would have to use this thing that would carry gravel up to the top of the FH roof... the Sandcastle rooftop, like a conveyor belt, a sort of weird thing that would go up kind of slanted so it could get height. We would be...

Stacy: You were operating that?

Zoe: Yeah, like... not... I didn't, but I ran people that did. And we would be using, like, carpet knives and, like, sharp knives that we shouldn't have been using. I think it was more in the Cadet Org that I used, like, the circular saws. I did use a drill gun and some saws on the EPF, but not as much as in the Cadet Org, later in the Cadet Org. 'Cause I was on the [??renos???] team later in the Cadet Org. I would do a lot of hard stuff. I had to run large groups of people, about 30 or 40 people in work, and like I mentioned carpeting? We did this week-long job where we did carpeting at night and slept and studied during the day. But we didn't have enough sleep, anyway, because we had to fit studying in too during the daytime... And this old Russian man, probably about 55 or 60... his name was Sasha... Carpet knives go like this, and then they bend up like that [demonstrating shape of knife], and we only had one guy that we hird from a carpet company to help us, and the rest... we were just supposed to do the work of it, the EPF was. And I was assigned in charge of everyone, and he had a carpet knife, and he put it in his pocket so that that little... that little part kind of stuck out, though, and he went like this and he picked up the carpet and he cut his wrist like this... not the inside of it, but the outside of it, like from that, like that [demonstrating cut location]. And I only knew a few words of Russian, so I came rushing over to handle this, because I was the IT. And I was, like, "Oh gosh, are you in pain?" He didn't understand a word I said. So I wrapped my hands tightly around... I should have probably wrapped it around here [indicating upper arm], because that's where the blood was coming from, but I wrapped it around his wrist, because that's all I could think to do to stop the blood. It was really bleeding badly. So we walked from the second floor of the CB, where we were carpeting...

Stacy: What's the CB?

Zoe: Oh, the Clear... the Clearwater Bank Building?

Stacy: The Clearwater... OK.

Zoe: That's where all the staff eat, here in Clearwater.

Stacy: OK.

Zoe: And so we walked down to the truck, and by that time there was blood all... we were leaving a trail of blood because he was bleeding badly. We got in the back of the truck, and in fact, it was the carpet guy that we had hired that was driving us. He was the one really worried about it...

Lawrence: The non-Scientologist, in other words.

Zoe: Yeah, he was non-Scientologist... a Wog. So we drove to the hospital, and I'm holding it, and I'm so scared. I don't know what we're doing.

Stacy: Where'd you go, Morton Plant, the one right down the street?

Zoe: I think so. I don't know. And so I went in there, and I was holding... they couldn't even tell which one of us was bleeding, because there was blood all over me. I had it on my face. I had it all down my uniform. It was on my shoes, and like our hands were just a bloody mess, like we were just holding each... it looked like we were holding each other. And so we brought him into the room and we laid him down, and we couldn't... we couldn't get any information from him, or like, you know, was he allergic to anything, because he only spoke Russian. And then, it was about four or five in the morning, so then the emergency staff turned to me and they said...

Stacy: This was four in the morning that this happened?

Zoe: Yeah, because we were working all night. And then they turned to me and they said, "How old are you?" And I think by that time I was fourteen. I said, "Fourteen." And they were like, "What were you doing with them?" They're like, "Why were you there?" They were totally questioning me, and I said... I said, "You know what, I just happened to be there. I was just kind of... I'm friends with one of them, so I was just sort of standing by and helping out." In fact, I was running the whole team. But, I was like, oh and... they didn't really believe me though, so... And then finally someone said, "You know what? He's church of Scientology. And they were like, "Ohhhhhhhh!" They all... there was like a murmur going through the room. They were like, "Ohhhhhhhh!"

Stacy: Was Sasha OK after that?

Zoe: Yeah, he got stitched up and everything.

Stacy: Did you get in trouble for...

Zoe: No, but...

Stacy: ... going to the hospital or anything?

Zoe: ... but, when the... the Sea Org training officer, which was a Sea Org member in charge of all of us like... but he hadn't been there during our work time... he said... he was like, "Yeah, he got himself cut," because it was, like, stupid of the guy to get himself cut. But the Sea Org training officer, by the way, would do, like, pretty bad things... like, we had a lot of people that came from Russia, because suddenly a group of them were recruited and put on the EPF...

Stacy: This was when Scientology did their whole...

Zoe: The campaign in Russia.

Stacy: ... the campaign in Russia?

Zoe: Yeah.

Stacy: So they brought a whole lot of them over here to join the Sea Org.

Zoe: Yeah. Like, at one point almost the whole EPF, which was about 60 people, was full of Russians.

Stacy: Uh-huh. Whatever happened to all those Russians?

Zoe: They became, like, handymen and maids... did all the lowly labor...

Stacy: Were they still there when you...

Zoe: Sasha... Sasha's now... He polishes the brass bannisters inside the lobby of the FH.

Stacy: Must be pretty shiny.

Zoe: Yeah. I mean he does a few other jobs, but that's mostly what I see him doing. So... Well, Mr. Englehart would do things like...

Stacy: Now who's Mr. Englehart again?

Zoe: Oh, he's the Sea Org training officer. He was the Sea Org member who was in charge of all us EPFers... David Englehart. Well, the Russians all came over and they weren't used to Florida weather. It was the middle of summer, so some of them, like, didn't really understand deodorant that much either, because they came from cold cities. So this guy named Vladimir, I guess his feet stank. I never smelled them, but Mr. Englehart came to muster one day... He told him a few times, like, that he should get it handled, put some powder in his shoes. And, he was in a bad mood, so he came over to the line that Vladimir was in. He put... he was like, "Whose feet are that?!" And then he pushed the whole line of people, so they kind of, like, went back. They didn't fall, but they, like, were kind of shoved back. And then he got Vladimir, picked up his foot really, like... Vladimir was babbling in Russian. He had no idea what he'd done exactly. He was like, "Uhhhhh!" And he, Mr. Englehart, like picked up his foot so Vladimir fell on his back, like just [????]. And then Mr. Englehart threw... picked up his shoe, like jerked it off his foot, and threw it right next to Vladimir, so Vladimir like ducked because he thought it was going to hit his head, and Mr. Englehart was like, "Go soak your feet in bleach! Anything! Just get rid of that smell! Your fucking dorm stinks!" and just yelling at him. And Mr. Englehart was known to have a bad temper. He... Another thing... We had a storm. We had this storm, and down by the sandcastle, which is another building of the... of the Sea Org... they get scared of flooding sometimes with bad storms, so we had to go down and put sandbags out there. And Mr. Englehart was giving us this whole lecture on how dangerous it was and how we had to be careful, and this... this little, like, thirteen year old guy, he kind of snickered a little, he was like... 'cause it wasn't that big of a deal. And Mr. Englehart took him... And we were, like, at this... standing on this concrete walkway that was, like... there was a drop, like about six feet down for trucks to like back up and unload stuff, I don't remember exactly. And Mr. Englehart took this, like, little 13 year old boy and hung him over the edge, like the guy's feet were still on the edge, but they were kind of slipping off, like because he was slanted. He hung him over the edge by his shirt, and the guy was like [waving hands around]... he was all scared, and Mr. Englehart was like, "This is not a joke! Do you think I'm joking?! This is not funny!" And he was like, "Don't laugh again!" And then he put the little boy back. The guy tried to, like... He tried to, like, laugh it off. He was like, "Oh [forced laugh]" But he was all shaken up. Mr. Englehart actually got really mad at me at one point for... I borrowed a public Scientologist's book, and I had forgotten to return it, and now that person had moved off, and they sent me a letter asking for it back, and I didn't know where it was, so I was like, "Oh no, this person sent me a letter! I don't know where it is!" And he got really angry at me when I couldn't find it, and he had me in the office... in his office that day and he yelled at me for a long time about how I was a horrible person and how I wasn't ethical and I wasn't responsible and I didn't deserve to be a Sea Org member, and I started crying and crying, and he put me in lower conditions again, which were like Doubt, you know, where you have to make amends and do all these projects and, you know, grovel at their feet.

Stacy: Always.

Zoe: Yeah. And, oh there was one thing Mr. Englehart did that was kind of nice. I don't think he did it out of niceness, though. There was this lady... she had... she'd gone to a weekend seminar on Scientology and she joined the Sea Org right away, and just through talking with her, I found out about... she had really bad skin cancer, and no one knew that she had only been in Scientology for a weekend. She had bad, like... she would go out and she would start forming tumors, like she had had, like, almost fifty or something like that removals of tumors. And you could see it in her skin. She showed me all these scars, and I didn't... I hadn't really recognized it at first because she was very pale. She didn't get tans at all. And so I found out about this, and she told me, and I said, "Whoa!" and I told Mr. Englehart. And Mr. Englehart just kind of told her... he said, "You know what?" He said, "If you were just, like, to leave quietly, I wouldn't say anything." And so...

Stacy: To her?

Zoe: Yeah. And this was a good thing, because it saved her from the Sea Org, but I think he was just doing that because, like my dad mentioned about my cut knee, the Org doesn't like to pay for medical bills...

Stacy: It costs way too much to deal with it.

Zoe: Yeah. Oh, in the EPF, at one point I slept in a... in a... like a broom closet [????], like our cleaning closet was...

Stacy: Why?

Zoe: Because I had come back from a visit with my dad and they didn't have room for me, and the rooms would be really crowded. And, oh, the rooms were so crowded. We would have, like, between 12 and 18 people in one apartment with a bathroom for all of us, and we would have to take, like, one-minute showers, like really quickly, and...

Stacy: This was EPF?

Zoe: Mm-hmm. And we did also in the Cadet Org at one point, too, but it was, you know... we had a bit more time there.

Stacy: Was this all girls?

Zoe: Yeah, it was all girls. So we would have to take showers really quickly, and the dorm captains were taught they had to be really strict, and would write knowledge reports, like little reports on Out Ethics things we had done in the room, like stayed up late, ate food in the dorms, stuff like that. My friend, Cece Frasier [sp?] stayed in longer than a minute, and the dorm captain was yelling at her to get out, and Cece had left the door unlocked like she was supposed to do...

Stacy: Who was the dorm captain?

Zoe: Anne something? She was Russian, so I don't know. So Anne rushed into the bathroom and, like, tore open the shower curtain and ordered Cece to get out. And Cece's the same age as me, like 14 or something, and Anne's 25... 26... and Cece's in there naked. Like she's like, "Get out! Get out!" and she was all... And Anne's like, "No, you get out now! You get out now!" And so, anyway, stuff like that would happen.

Stacy: Oh God.

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