I’ve been asked by people why I didn’t just quietly walk away!
This question has been repeated to me, but most notably, when I was saying goodbye to my good friends, Doug & Barb Carr, who called to try to help one last time to handle my “upset with Scientology” while they earnestly pleaded with us to go to Nashville and fight the SP declare. On a side note, those two people were the most dignified Scientologist “friends” we had. They proved to be more real than any other because they talked to us, they wanted to help handle us if they could, they asked us what in the world was going on – they truly cared, they acted as a true friend would act when finding out they would never be allowed to associate with us again. Sadly, this was quite different from every other friend we had, including John & Sharon Lyman (who were our very closest friends) who never spoke another word to us, not even to say farewell or ask us why we lost our minds! Another one of my dear friends (wasn’t I wrong about this!) was Jill Casto, who never spoke another word to me, likewise never asked a single question for clarification – nothing – as if I had some contagious disease that she would catch if she called to say goodbye, farewell or at least ask if I had lost my mind! There are only a handful of people I felt really close to and erroneously believed were my friend. Doug & Barb Carr were friends, plain and simple, they cared.
Sorry, I seemed to have went off track there, but I thought it worth mentioning.
“Why didn’t your mom just quietly walk away”?
Jeremy, I’m sure you’ve even been given this same “logic” so it makes sense that your entire family are now evil beings, better known to you as SPs. I’m sure you’ve been told that I could have just slipped away quietly, like Sarah Coziahr’s mom (Cathy Crist) did….poof and it’s all over, just stop going back in, never breathe a negative opinion and it’s done. Right? Well, our situation was not so simple.
Before I made the decision to resign, I spent several sleepless nights trying to figure out how I could just quietly walk away and get your 15-year-old sister off staff at the same time. There was zero possibility that I was willing to let Heather stay on staff after everything she had endured while trying to be on staff, “saving the planet” over those past 2 years.
What she had been enduring was unbelievable and mind-blowing in and of itself. Ironically it was because of everything I witnessed happening to her (and one other person I knew) that I even could begin to believe the stuff we were finding out and it was why we decided to research further. Nope, there was no way I would leave her in the mess that was breaking her down and causing her to think so little of herself.
Heather was being emotionally abused, invalidated and evaluated for and as time went on it was getting worse wherein she began to introvert, come home crying, she was never well rested for school or staff anymore and she was made to feel like it was her fault and she was being told she was “not a big being”. During her two years on staff she was often very sick – and that little girl tried so hard to “make it go right”. Bless her heart, she honestly believed she was saving the planet and there was no other thing she should be doing, all the while being ridiculed and told she was out-ethics and made to feel stupid. Notable is that she has only been sick about 3 times in the last 3 years……so it’s quite obvious where she was being suppressed!
Our decision to leave was completely thought out, thoroughly researched and we had zero doubt left in our minds! All we really wanted to do was to just slip into the sunset and that be that.
However, in order for Heather to leave staff and not freak out on the idea, it was necessary to show her what we had found and tell her how we had come to our decision to no longer associate with the Church of Scientology (after 22 years). We showed her evidence that this 21st century Church of Scientology was completely off-source and off the rails. At the time she was so immersed that she needed to completely understand why we would resign and it also really helped her make sense of the ridiculous things that she had been going through while trying to be a “big being and not a kid”.
There was no other way around but to tell her, because I couldn’t leave her connected as a staff member any longer – I felt it was harming her.
Now let’s look at how I might have handled it otherwise. Keep in mind that during the time of our researching and soul-searching we were not coming to events or being part of things – for a couple months at least – and Heather was convinced we were badly out-ethics, off the rails and needed handling.
Scenario One: If I would have just told Heather the situation and the reasons we were resigning and had her just quit staff on an immediate basis without any of us coming out with it, it was certain that Matt Hanses would have had her declared for blowing staff. After all, it was mainly Matt who was telling Heather how inadequate she was and making her feel like a lowly person in the first place. I have no doubt he would have drawn up SP declare papers on her because he had already been writing invalidating and evaluating reports on her. He was a kid himself who was power-hungry and operated on a reality he grew up with, being a second generation Scientologist. This scenario would not have worked because then the rest of the family would have been forced to disconnect from her!
Scenario Two: If we would have just told Heather the situation and let her know that we wanted her to route off staff “standardly”, it would have come up in her “leaving staff confessional” and we would be back to the same situation. She never would have agreed to leave staff without fully understanding our reasons either because she had previously been convinced by sea org members that we were totally off the rails as parents and human beings and nothing short of showing her would have worked.
ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES: I have not even mentioned your grandmother. She was on staff too and she was so proud that Heather was a staff member. How in the world could I get Heather off staff in either of the above two ways without Nanny blowing up on us? It was impossible to leave her out of the equation and not tell her the truth too. But really, I’ve never been great at lying and deception and this is just another one of those times in my life where I felt the truth would work better than any type of dancing around it. I am not covert about much of anything.
So after very careful consideration I chose the only route I knew to resign and get my teen daughter off staff and out of that environment.
Remember I told you Heather’s “joining the Sea Org” cycle was what started my doubt?
Well, after she finally got back from that long drawn out ordeal of complete crap, she was targeted by Kevin Forney, Matt Hanses and even Stephen Levine (from LA) — they all wrote reports on her saying she was blown and was lying and it got really ugly for awhile. Before Heather completely introverted and lost her mind, I decided to get involved. I drew up some talking points and set an appointment with Kevin (the ethics officer at the time) and Matt (Kevin’s senior) to clear Heather’s good name. I found what I wrote up that day, saved on my computer, and have included it below.
MEETING POINTS from January 18, 2010: (points I have added today are in red lettering)
From my prospective, being on the outside looking at the whole scene, the situation with Heather reminds me of one of those TV sitcoms where the whole show is based on a bunch of misunderstandings involving assumption, hearsay and partial information – and a situation just keeps building with both sides thinking a different thing. Bottom line, in light of everything that has happened, I feel it necessary to have a meeting with you and Kevin before this thing goes one step further.
- Even though Heather was only 15 years old and trying to go to public school, Matt Hanses got Heather’s agreement to go to a full-time schedule in order to put her in HCO. Heather agreed to it and begged me to agree. I agreed based on a trial to see if it would honestly work over the long haul. Basically the issues were rides. Heather was getting to bed way too late to go to school. Having to get up by 6:30 AM and her ruds were completey OUT (this is the term used to say she was lacking in sleep and easily on edge, making mistakes and grumpy) and she was getting sick too often. There was no time for homework etc etc. I told Heather she just could not do this schedule because of this. I demanded that Heather request approval for a schedule change because it was creating a danger condition. Matt later (accused) thought Heather had just covertly changed her mind after agreeing with him. Heather just doesn’t have the wherewithal currently. No car and school needs. (no further details here).
- When Heather came back from the SO the first time, she had full okay to be back on staff and did not lie about her status, nor did she twist truth about her status. (full details below).
DETAILS OF #2 ABOVE –
- First time Heather went to Flag was a messed up deal. Jim and I know Heather better than anyone who doesn’t live with her. We refused to let her go, was cussed at and threatened by the Sr. Dir I&R PAC that he would be issuing a full HCO investigation into both Jim and I (said he was faxing it into the local org) and it was a horrible experience. We were told that Heather was a thetan and we were not really her parents, but just a role we play in this life and she had rights to do what she wanted. He told us we were stopping Scientology’s expansion by blocking her from doing the most ethical thing on the planet – and he would investigate us and find out why. He was literally screaming this at us on the phone. It seriously felt like we were being threatened to give our daughter to them.
- When that scene exploded and I was crying and extremely upset, somehow Allan came about calling me from Flag that same evening. He introduced himself as a veteran Sea Org member of 40 years, OT7 and told me he had handled the Sr. Dir I&R in LA and cancelled all ethics actions. He listened to me, handled my objections and I agreed to let her go (by this point Heather was convinced Jim and I were just completely out-ethics anyway because we were refusing her to go and save the planet — Allan assured me that he fully understood that my biggest worry was that she would not last and she would end up an “XSO” and not be eligible to be on staff at this very early age.
- Allan promised me that she would have to completely complete the EPF and then go before a Fitness Board who would grant her the “OKAY” to go into the SO (and again, she would be consulted as to her desire to be SO). He said only at this point would Heather become an SO member.
- So, we finally agreed to let her go and of course they wisked her away so that she could arrive before Thursday at two for their stats. Heather went to Flag to join the SO and literally within the first week she originated to me that she wanted to come back to staff at the our local org. I told her to put it on the proper lines and get it handled. I made several phone calls to try to give input to help them in handling her.
- Bottom line was that her sleep ruds were out from day one and never went back in. Knowing Heather, she “checks out” when her sleep is out.
- Time went on and it didn’t seem she was being routed or handled. I checked in with her as often as I could to find out exactly what was being done to handle her origination. Finally we were down to the wire where she had to come home by a certain date so that she could go back to school on time.
- Allan arranged for me to speak to Torin (the EPF MAA). We had a very long conversation about Heather wanting to leave the SO. I let him know I thought she could be handled to stay, but if she wasn’t handled, here are the details of when she needed to be home in order to start High School on time, and she would also be back to attend Irving’s memorial (Irving Ward, who had been the St. Louis Org’s Qual Sec had just died of cancer). After a long conversation, he told me to go ahead and buy the plane ticket for that certain date. I later found out that Stephen Levine reportedly was told by somebody at Flag (possibly Frank Feeny) that Heather said she was leaving on LOA to attend a funeral. – however this is conflicting and hearsay, as I spoke directly with the MAA handling Heather’s cycle.
- When the date arrived for Heather to fly, Torin arranged her ride to the airport and gave her personal effect (SS card & birth certificate) to her and wished her well. I spoke to Allan and he was happy that Heather was going to still be able to be a staff member.
- When Heather got home, we got her enrolled for High School and had it all arranged for her to start that same week, however we discovered that there was an APS online HS Heather could do from home and ultimately we enrolled Heather in it so that she could keep up with school and staff easier.
- Heather went back to staff and all should have been well.
- However, Salena Mikos (Knobs) and Kevin Forney were requiring Heather to have something in writing from Flag stating she had okay to be back on staff. This was a flap that shouldn’t have been as I’m told SO policy is very specific with regards to when a person is considered an SO member and reading that policy would have handled the questions. Even though this was dev-T, Heather still tried to reach Torin. The first call she spoke with him and told him the complete scenario and what she needed and he told her he would call her back in an hour. When he didn’t call back she tried again to reach him over the next few weeks by phone 30 times, left 8 messages, sent an email and even sent a written comm through the mailpack. There was never anymore comm from him.
- Then a KR came to the org from Stephen Levine (who was the one originally recruiting Heather to Flag) about a month after Heather returned, accusing her of being a blown SO member, which just caused more confusion on Heather’s cycle.
- Stephen accused Heather of telling Flag that she was just taking an LOA and just never went back, but instead joined staff again. This was factually not true. From what I can tell, that whole cycle was finally dropped.
- Then Davey Burk from PAC called Heather trying to recruit her to be Amber Fish’s full replacement from the org so that she (Amber) could go to SO. However, within about 30 mins on that call, he started recruiting Heather for SO again. When him and Stephen Levine and another person failed to get much agreement from Heather, they pulled in Bella (a brand new Flag recruiter who Heather had been with in the EPF the first time) and she talked Heather into just coming back to Flag for a few days to do a clean up, handle ARCXs (her upsets) etc. Heather agreed to this and Allan called me to handle me on letting her go JUST for a weekend it.
- I spoke to Allan again. First of all, why all the rumors that Heather is blown? He said that the WUS Sea Org operates differently than Flag, wherein they considered a person an SO member as soon as they start the EPF, and Flag doesn’t. Furthermore, he said she would be flown down there get all cleaned up and flown back within 4 days. He said it would complete the cycle and of course they hoped Heather would change her mind and want to come back to the SO.
- During Heather’s trip, which turned out to actually be NOTHING more than a heavy recruitment trip – using condition formulas, insinuated posts and a lot of ARC – Heather decided it probably was the greatest good for the greatest number to go back. She came back, told me that she really didn’t want to go back but she felt it was the most ethical thing she could be doing.
- She was agreeable to me that she would complete schooling here first. Allan talked me out of it because that was too far away, insinuating that really bad things were just on the horizon and time was of the most importance! We all agreed she would go that first week of January instead of right away though, because she needed to have medical handlings and some specific schooling actions complete first.
- Heather refused to just up and leave without getting her post covered at the org, which was not going anywhere. (which is usual)
- Allan spent a long time on the phone with us, on 3 occasions letting us know how vital this was that she just get there. When post replacement was brought up, Allan told me he was going to send a telex in to the org stating that Heather was really still an SO and was recalling her. (him willing to tell that lie should have been a big red flag to me, but no, I just felt some lies were important when it came to saving a planet!)
- Before Allan did this, he explained to me that since there is a discrepancy with regards to when WUS considers one an SO member and when Flag considers one an SO member – he was going to use that confusion to his advantage to get Heather back out there right away and not have to stay to get a replacement. Heather and I disagreed with doing it like this a few times and he finally convinced us that “this was absolutely the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics that Heather get there….this planet doesn’t have much time and orders are coming down from COB regarding this whole evolution”.
- When we weren’t moving on the cycle to get Heather back to Flag, Bella called in and said there was a flap involving her because they had reported her as a product earlier and now COB had asked specifically about “Heather Powers”. Heather felt flattered and obligatory to this cycle now, even though I told her it was probably different than what she was told. (I flat out knew it was a lie, but couldn’t bear to tell Heather that OTs would be lying to her!)
- Allan promised if Heather would come right away, he would ensure she was flown home for the week of Christmas to handle any loose ends. He also promised that Flag doctors would handle Heather’s medical tests out there. (Ultimately that also flapped and Heather had to pay for it on her own). (LIES LIES LIES)
- Heather went out there and again…….literally before the end of the 3rd week she originated she wanted to go back to staff in STL.
- Tons of knowledge reports were written about this and very little was truth, but hearsay. Heather went really down tone and was told to knock off the “case on post” and stop dramatizing her “case” – so she put on a fake happy smile and went about her days doing as she was told and finally she was confronted by the Sr HAS and told she was nothing more than a fake and totally 1.1 – This introverted Heather very badly as she was told no case, then told she was fake when she tried to be “happy”. A spin bin.
- Heather was actually punished for wanting to go home by being told she had to stay in her room on Christmas day and made to stay up very late on Christmas Eve cleaning the kitchen.
- After originating wanting to leave and finally coming back, 6 weeks had gone by where Heather was not handled except for people trying to get her agreement to stay by showing films, policy, talking, etc.
- The only reason Heather made it out of there and back to the local org was because in the end, Claire Feeney submitted a petition to have Heather be allowed to return to staff…and it was approved based on the fact that Heather had not made it into the SO this time either as her Fitness Board had been disapproved. (Likely disapproved because of Heather’s origination to leave occurred before it had gone completely through the lines for approval).
By the time I got my Heather back she was a sad and scared little girl who clung to me. She was introverted because of being told if she smiled and acted happy she was a fake, while also being told to stop dramatizing when she revealed how she was really feeling. She was freaking out because she was told she was just 1.1 (a very bad thing to be!). Her security in Scientology had been shattered by the two-faced actions she had witnessed along with deception from people she at first thought were stellar and highly respected people. After all, “Clears” and “OTs” are supposed to be eons above normal people.
Things only got worse for her in the org on staff because it was demanded that she maintain a full, 40 hour per week schedule (even though she was only 15 years old) and she had to maintain her High School studies around that time. It was a mess of Knowledge Reports and accusations from those who knew nothing of her accomplishments or arrangements. I was infuriated by the whole scene and Heather was just getting sicker and sicker. She ended up with MONO and on one occasion she completely lost her voice for a week! Matt Hanses tried to make her the Director of Communications while keeping her at the front desk answering phones and greeting people (while trying to convince her that answering the phones was really the job of the Dir of Comm! Then she was shot for stats not being up or not having enough copy paper. Oh my gawd, I could go on and on here.
It really all just came down to
I was not willing
to have my Heather
subjected to such bullshit.
As usual, I want you to know, and anyone else choosing to call or email me – you are SAFE with me. I’m not being followed bugged or otherwise tracked and I will NEVER share your identity or information. I assure you that nobody will know that you talked to me. I know folks need someone to talk to when their stable data starts to crumble.
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