There is much to be said on the subject of Scientology’s disconnection practices, and I will cover my experiences with this.


For anyone who claims Scientology supports family, love and relationships, I suggest you thoroughly research their practice of disconnection.


Careful examination will show that behind their glossy façade, the practice of disconnection is really about Scientology’s evil control, leverage and destruction of family and relationships when it comes to its members.


In my time in Scientology, I never agreed with disconnection. I always swore to myself that if I was ever told to disconnect from my family, I would refuse. Ironically, it ended up the other way around – my family were all ordered to disconnect from me the day after I escaped in January 2005.


Two particular experiences I will cover here:


It was February 18th 2006. Marc and I were at Providence Saint Joseph’s hospital in Burbank California.


I was in labor, giving birth to our firstborn son, and my mother’s first grandchild.


Marc and I had talked about what we’d do at this moment. After all, my mother had disconnected from us when we left in January 2005. She had not talked to us since that time.


Nonetheless, out of respect to her, we had agreed that when the moment came, and our son was coming into the world, we would call my mother.


Laying in the hospital room, I was excited, worried, apprehensive and overjoyed, a mixed bag of feelings at the thought I was about to become a mother.


Marc asked if I wanted to call my mother.


I was overwhelmed with emotions, and I knew I was not up to the task of having that conversation with my mother, so I asked him to call for me.


Marc: “Hi Gen, This is Marc. We’re here in Burbank at the hospital, Claire is in labor giving birth to your first grandchild.”


Gen: “I can’t talk to you.” Click….


I should note that my mother was living 4 miles from the hospital at this time.


This moment broke my heart. My mother has always longed for grandchildren and had told me as much. I knew this must have cut to the quick for her. It also demonstrated the level of control Scientology dictates to its members.



Prior to this, in an email my mother sent me, unbeknownst to Scientology, on January 30th 2005 (and for which she was subjected to severe punishment), she said the following:


“Happy to hear that you plan to have kids!! I have never said anything to you – I don’t think? – would not want to pressure you or any of the other kids in any way, ever, but I sure do want grandchildren. Whenever; but it sure would be a wonderful thing.”


This was her last communication to me before she officially “disconnected” as ordered by Scientology.



Above anything else, my mother was afraid. Afraid of losing her husband (my step father), afraid of losing her remaining three children, and afraid of losing her life as she knew it, which entirely revolved around Scientology.


Later I would find out that my mother did her duty as a “good Scientologist” and wrote a knowledge report to Scientology – informing them of this phone call and what was said. Her knowledge report was one of the documents I was questioned about in deposition during our lawsuits against Scientology.


Fast forward to 2009. We now had two boys, Kale and Kaiden, neither of whom my mother, step father, brother and sisters have ever met.


I realized I was reaching an emotional crisis. It had occurred to me that, at some point, my children would realize they had no grandmothers, aunts or uncles. And I knew I was in a major dilemma as to how to deal with this when the time came.


Thankfully Marc’s dad, their grandfather, has always been a big part of their lives.


Nonetheless I realized the time would come where we’d need to talk about disconnection.


I have often thought about the fact that becoming a mother dramatically changed my view of Scientology and my perspective on my own experiences growing up in Scientology. It brought a clear perspective and conviction that I would never put my children through such experiences, nor expose them to any part of Scientology and its evil tactics.


I also knew I never wanted my children to be emotionally impacted by Scientology, and I was worried they might think this was somehow their fault. After all, I clearly remember having that impression myself when I lost my father at age 2. I thought it was my fault he left.


And so it was that in early 2009, I finally built up the courage to call in to the Dr. Laura Schlessinger radio show. I had often listened to her show, and I agreed with much of her advice and solutions to familial situations. I wanted her advice.


At the time, there was still a strong culture of fear amongst the media in regards to Scientology. Very few media outlets even talked about it due to fear of Scientology’s infamous litigious nature when it came to anyone giving a voice to the dark side of Scientology.


As a result, when I called in, I was very careful to couch my question to the screener, Kimberly, in such a way that I never used the word Scientology.


I explained to her that my husband and I had both grown up in an organization as a result of our parents. That we had now left and that we had been cut off completely from all family members remaining in the organization, as a result of which our children had never met their grandmothers, aunts and uncles. And that I wanted Dr. Laura’s advice as to what I should tell my boys when they came to realize these family members were not in their lives. As it happened, I had called toward the end of the show, and this time the show ended before I made it on to ask my question.


It took me about three months to get my guts up again to call.


This time, to my great surprise, the screener remembered me. She was kind enough to bump me to the front of the line, so after 10 minutes on hold, I found myself on the phone with Dr. Laura.


And of course, right at that moment, the floodgates opened, and I choked.


Somehow I pulled myself together enough to get my question out!


I summarized the situation for Dr. Laura, again without ever using the word Scientology:


I explained that my husband and I grew up in an organization our parents had joined when we were young children. That we had finally managed to escape, after 30 years,  to which our family had cut us off completely and refused to talk to us. And that I wanted to know what I should tell my children when they realized their grandparents and other immediate family members were not part of their lives.


Dr. Laura’s response was to tell me she knew exactly what organization I was referring to (and I believe she really did).


And she continued to say that this is an organization that represents itself as being about love and family, and it is NOT. That we were cut off, and that’s a tough thing to go through, essentially shunned completely. But in regards to my children, she said the best I could do is tell them the truth when that time comes, and at least rest assured that they would never fall prey to Scientology or go down that path under any circumstances.


As simple as that sounds, it helped me tremendously and I remain grateful for her advice.


About 6 months later, when my youngest son had just turned 2, we were at the grocery store in Burbank. Nothing out of the ordinary there.


Out of the blue, my 2 year old looked at me and said “Mommy, where’s your mommy?”


And right at that moment, I was supremely thankful I had taken the time to call Dr. Laura and get my emotions on this topic out from under the carpet so to speak.


Had I not done so, no doubt I would have had an emotional breakdown right at that moment.


As it was, though my son’s question brought on a giant wave of hugely mixed emotions, I managed to keep my cool.


Me: “She’s in La Crescenta, that’s where she lives.”


Kaiden: “What’s her name?”


Me: “Her name is Gen.”


And that was the end of it. One day we’ll talk about it. At least I know how I will deal with it. Truth is truth.


I often wish I’d never heard the word Scientology. I wonder what my life might have been if I’d never been born into Scientology. But there you have it.


And some day, there will be a statistic to this, an actual count of how many families were destroyed by Scientology.


Best I can do is continue to shine the light.


With love,



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  1. Cindy says:

    Claire, your story depicts Scientology as it’s finest. Mother pitted against child and unborn Grandchild. I hope your Mom wakes up someday. She is really missing out on so much joy.

    If you are reading this blog and you are contemplating becoming involved with Dianetics or Scientology, DON’T. If you are reading this blog because you are considering leaving Scientology, RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

    There are many, many painful stories if disconnection. Just Google Scientology Disconnection. This is no Church nor religion. It is all about the money and Disconnection is designed to keep the members in the C of S. The Church promotes it’s self as a religion that helps families, groups and mankind. This is a false pretense. Save yourself a major amount of money and heartache and stay away from this cult!

  2. Christie says:

    Thank you for sharing Claire. I’ve had similar conversations with Shane and this is good advice. I tried to visit my parents when I was recently in LA. It took all of my courage to walk to the door. The fear of rejection alone had my heart racing and stomach churning. I brought Jack with me. They were intentionally “not home” both times I showed up. Imagine that. I hope that one day our parents will wake up and come to their senses.

  3. Christine Baranay says:

    Dear Claire,

    Just spent the afternoon with a friend – someone whose been curious/interested in Scientology for a long time. Knows some who are involved; however, they are basically celebs and as such not subjected to the same things we were.

    In any case, I just forwarded him your very clear article. Destroyed families are horrible.

    I was in the Sea Org when my father grew quite ill emotionally. I asked for a short leave of absence and it was denied.

    6 months later I received a call while on post from my mother. My father had killed himself that morning.

    It’s been over 32 years since his death (I left the Sea Org a few months later – unable to cope any longer) and while I no longer blame myself for his death, I often wonder how our lives would be had I not be in the Sea Org or scientology.

    I’m not sure that people can truly understand the pain caused by disconnection and the hard-core line taken by scientology regarding the importance of families, children etc.


  4. Christine Baranay says:

    My last line about the hard core stance scientology takes about families wasn’t very clear.

    Scientology is very remiss when it comes to the importance of mothers for example (whether biological or adoptive) in the nurturing of a child.

    Families are seen more as a burden, than a blessing.


    • Claire says:

      Thanks for sharing Christine, and for listening. So sorry to hear that re your father… And I agree, it is hard for people to understand such extremes, though I believe, as people are more willing to speak out about the truth, it is now becoming harder for Scientology to hide their atrocities. Thanks again… Take care.

  5. Pam says:

    Dear Claire,

    I am so sorry for everything you and your family has been through and continues to go through. All of your posts have been heartbreaking but thank you for having the courage to speak out against Scientology. Your strength is amazing I, thankfully, was never in but have known people that were. There are many, many, many of us that will always have yours and your family’s back. Stay strong and keep fighting.


  6. Anon girl says:

    How ironic that David Miscavige claims to be a conservative republican when his policies are so anti-family. In fact, his policies are very akin to early communist Russia when families were torn apart, people lived in terror of the gulag, and parentless children were raised by unloving bureaucrats. Miscavige’s reign of terror will not last much longer. There are too many exposes, too much opposition, and he has committed too many crimes. His world has already started to crash down around him. Your children will someday soon know their mommy’s mommy. I wonder how your mother will bear the sorrow she will have to live with when she wakes up and realizes what she has missed. You should have no such regrets, you are a terrific mother and I am in awe of you!

  7. Anon Girl says:

    Claire, one more thing. I strongly encourage you to write your book sooner rather than later. Your voice should be heard since you so clearly speak for the children and families who have no voice in the Church of Scientology. Your strength is amazing, and I hope you know how much you are admired.

  8. Crashed Alien says:


    Thank you.

    This is so well put, I too have been in a similar position.

    My children are a little older now, but I have been through the mill with this.

    I have also reached the emotional crisis point and am dealing with it…

    Thank you for your posts here, and for your site.

    I hope you and your family are well and that one day, somehow, this awful situation gets resolved…

    For me too.

    Kindest regards,


  9. InTheNameOfXenu says:


    You’re story is a heart-breaking one, but you are extremely lucky that you and your husband made it out alive from that compound. Anne Broaker made her escape to meet her husband but, thanks to Marty Rathbun, was brought back. She didn’t have the conviction and was a broken woman. Scientology is a vampiric organization. I know because I was involved with it 23 years ago. I had a short stint as a staff member and experienced the insanity close-up. It was pure hell-on-earth I thought. One thing that saved me from joining the Sea Org was my family. I was very close to them, especially my mother. At one point there was antagonism from them regarding my involvement. I was told by my superiors that if I couldn’t handle them, I’d have to disconnect.

    Like you, I never believed in disconnection. What kind of group that pretends to be the only hope for mankind’s spiritual salvation tells you to break away from your family, I thought? The decision to leave was the hardest thing. I was terrified. I couldn’t tell my family, because I explained to them that they were a ‘church’. The night I decided never to go back I got so sick that I vomited. I was experiencing a nervous break-down. I blew from my post over the weekend. But, like a schmuck I went back after 2 days. Got ‘comm eved’ and put in a condition of treason. What a joke. After a couple of weeks, I couldn’t stand it anymore and refused to cooperate and told them I was leaving. i left without routing out or doing sec checks. That was 23 years ago, Claire and since then I flourished and prospered. It wasn’t easy. it took years to peel off the ‘layers’ of the Scientolgy onion. Funny how being involved with this group for only 2 years still has an impact on my life till today.

    You have a wonderful and brave husband. You are blessed with with those adorable kids. You are a beautiful human being. You have a community of people here in this internet collective that has your back. I admire your courage and bravery to stand up against this evil organization. They are loosing. Finally, we are witnessing the beginning of their demise. The abuses will one day finally stop and you and your husband can be very proud that you had an important part in that.

    • Claire says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words.
      I am so very thankful that I somehow found the strength to make the right decisions when they mattered most. Escaping Scientology was the toughest and best decision of my life, seconded only by my decision to speak out. Those two decisions alone have made me a much stronger person. While I understand the concerns of those who choose to remain silent, I do not agree with silence and never will. In the end, what matters most is that one knows in one’s heart that you did the right thing, regardless of what others might say or think and regardless of the ramifications and “backfire”. Thanks for your support!

  10. Aquaclara says:

    I really admire you for speaking out about your experiences. This, more than any other factor, will be the death knell for the cult. More than money. More than lawsuits. Because there are only a few things that stand a chance of breaking through the intensive mind control that has held people in their grip for so long. And that’s the voice of concern, of knowledge and of experience. Sharing your experiences here, and your excellent descriptions each week on the Bunker with Tony are tremendous.

    When you decided to break free, It was a blessing that you and Marc could even share what was happening with each other, with COB trying to break up your marriage and trying to destroy both your lives. I hope that others who are in see you as an example of what can be done to start life over. I am so sorry for the loss of your family. I hope they will come around one day very soon. There is a world that will welcome them with open arms.

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