Zoe Woodcraft

Zoe Woodcraft, became involved with Scientology's Sea Organization when she was just two years old.

Video Interview with Zoe

Zoe's Literati Contest Winning Entry


Zoe's mother joined the Sea Org while doing services at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, and moved the entire family from England to the Scientology headquarters in Clearwater. Thus Zoe, her seven-year-old sister Astra and 15-year-old brother (who also joined the Sea Org at this time) were thrust into the regimented, controlled environment of Scientology's paramilitary Sea Organization.

Zoe's wrote an affidavit through which we learn what it is really like for children raised in the Sea Org. Zoe was raised by other Sea Org members who were assigned to be nannies. Often these "nannies" were children not much older than she. Zoe was housed far from her parents in sometimes filthy, cockroach-ridden and dilapidated buildings. Her only education was from Scientology "course supervisors" with no educational qualifications other than training in the Scientology method of learning. For years she was housed at the "Cadet Org" on a remote ranch in California, where the children were completely cut off from the outside world. As Zoe put it, "This ranch was hours away from normal civilization. In the year plus that I lived there we never went into town for a field trip; never went to a movie, shopping or anything. We were totally isolated."

As Zoe grew older she was pressed by Sea Org personnel to sign her own billion-year contract and dedicate her entire life to the Sea Org. The inducements were many -- a few dollars more a week in pay, better living quarters, more time off. Zoe, however, was not persuaded, thanks in part to the influence of her father and her sister Astra, who were by that time both out of the Sea Org. As the quality of her life in the Sea Org continued to decline, Zoe finally requested permission to leave so she could join her father and sister, who were living in California.

When Zoe made known her desire to leave, she was subjected to nearly a year of punishment and repeated attempts to persuade or coerce her into staying. She was kicked out of her dorm and forced to sleep on the floor in her mother's bedroom. She was told she was "out ethics" and forced to do "ethics handlings." Her handlers showed Zoe newspaper articles about gruesome crimes and warned her that the outside world was a horrible and dangerous place in which to live. Her motives were continually questioned. Didn't she want to "save the planet through Scientology?" Those who had been her comrades for years shunned her and Sea Org officials placed her on a treadmill of endless assignments that had to be completed before they would allow her to leave.

In early 2000, Zoe's father flew from California to Clearwater, Florida to help his daughter escape. Since that time, Zoe has struggled to overcome her experiences in Scientology and to make up for the years of sub-standard education she was subjected to in the Sea Org. She attends a public high school in California and is quickly catching up with her new friends. She and Astra have both had to learn to live without their mother, grandmother and brother, all Sea Org members who now refuse to communicate with them.

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