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.