First off, let me say everything you’ve ever read about Scientology is true -
except the bit where Tom Cruise can fly. He can’t fly. Neither can that
ashtray you yell at for three hours on the $1200 course.
|Anonymous Sydney Protest, via|
But as a confused 17 year old it saved my skin. It could have been Jesus,
Children of God or the Great Pumpkin, but it was those clipboard
touting freaks on the street that badger you about happiness.
Do they still do that?
They did in 1977.
|the Church of Scientology in Adelaide, where I was.|
Then I was perfect meat for Scientology. I was lost, miserable and smoking
heaps of pot. I was also shop lifting and trying to have sex with
my gay best friend. Actually, being busted for shop lifting and having fines
to pay was how I ran met Scientology.
I worked in a busy 300 seater Pancake restaurant. It ran like clockwork.
It was a Scientology family running their business along Scientology lines.
Their first born was in the US and part of Ron Hubbard’s inner circle.
Mike was a hero, but it was his little sister who became my best friend.
The family I met - later Mike left Scientology very publicly.
We hung out a lot and the family were very kind. They knew life at home was
rough and I’d stay at their house dancing to Gloria Gaynor. In Scientology,
drugs are bad, family is good. I began to straighten out and think clearly.
When Scientology wants to hook you, they look for the right bait.
The bait is whatever is messing up your life right now. It’s called your “ruin”,
and what was ruining my life, apart from not being able to bed
my gay best friend, was my mean as hell mother.
She had her head up her butt mostly, and when she pulled it out it
was to look for a target. That target was me.
Never had I gotten so much attention than when I announced the
Church of Scientology had a new member. They scattered like lead
from a shot gun. For a family so good at neglecting, ignoring, and
pretending suddenly all eyes were on me.
My grandfather flipped, threatening to go to the newspapers, and I was
banished from his presence and his cheque book.
He didn’t want any mumbo jumbo getting into my head to jolt
free the things he and the family were really doing – with me,
my brother and other less fortunate ones.
There is irony: The first born daughter of a multi generational cult family
was joining a cult. There is more irony, as by the time I woke up to my
family’s secrets, I was long gone from Scientology’s clutches anyway.
They helped sort out a messy teenage life, and taught me assertiveness,
but as far as retrieving any buried family memory, it was useless.
I could have bought a house, or had a nice long stay in one of those fancy private retreats that rich women go to for the money I spent on Scientology.
Back in 1977, my family didn’t know what a good job they had done.
Memories of them prancing about amid clouds weird smoky stuff were so
buried in my head even the Great Pumpkin, Ron Hubbard couldn’t get at them.
I remained oblivious, trying to get my ashtray to fly.
|the ashtray that didn't fly when I yelled at it in the Scientology course.|
When Mike’s little sister offered a book to help understand people I jumped.
All I wanted was to figure out my nutty family. It was called,
How to Choose your people, and the intro was written for me:
"In my early teens; I expected that somewhere in the process of growing up
I’d learn how to choose people—how to tell the good guys from the bad ones."
I stayed in Scientology for 14 odd years till one day I got sick of the crap
and left. Leaving required assertiveness, but hey! They taught me that.
Last time they knocked on the door, I had been gone 20 years.
It was after 9pm, and Dog hurtled to the door, bristle and tooth,
followed by Don, who lifted one by the throat and described
what he’d do if they they ever came back
My knights. My family of choice.
|Baxter, hound, protector and namesake of grrl+dog|
They saved me from a cult, while in 1977, all my birth family saved
was their asses. They were the reason joining a cult
seemed like a good idea.
Ever known anyone in a cult? Ask yourself, what could possibly
be going on in that person’s life to make joining a cult
look like a good thing?
After 14 years in Scientology, my ashtray still does not fly,
but I did learn how to choose my people.