How it happened

It’s been 20 years and I still have nightmares. I was on staff at Narconon LA as a Course Sup . My 2D and I were given an apartment at The Ardmore to live. During the LA riots I was too afraid to leave the house and didn’t report to post one day. The manager and owner of the building was a scientologist and came by to tell me my ED had called him, we didn’t have a phone ,and I was told No case on post and to report immediately. My 2D and I had discussed leaving the church before but this brought those contemplations to a head. Buildings all around us were on fire, gangs of angry people everywhere. As a white 22 year old girl I wasn’t about to leave the house. But of course I reported in and was immediately sent to the EO. After being assigned lower condition and hours of MEST work , Kathy from Qual came to me and said she was taking me to the apartment to pack a bag. I was being sent to Chilocco as an ethics particle. I wasn’t allowed to speak or see my boyfriend, Roberto but I assumed they had told him. On the way to LAX Kathy said he had admitted we thought of leaving. I’m trying to make this short. I was assigned a twin once in Oklahoma immediately. She was attached to my hip. No phone calls, no mail. A week after arriving I began to get sick and soon found out I was pregnant. Not allowed to tell Roberto, they told me he had been informed. My entire time there I was fed plain ground beef and rotten cantaloupe three times a day. I was desperate to leave but it’s literally in the middle of nowhere. I had no money and no way of getting out. Then I was told he had blown and no one had heard from him. I knew I had to also if I wanted to keep this baby. Finally I managed to sneak a call. I had befriended a student in LA named Marjorie and she was never a fan of COS. I quickly told her where I was etc. She immediately said she’d get me out and to call her the next day but of course, I couldn’t. I did get to about a week later. She said there was a local church in Newkirk standing by waiting to hear from her and they were going to get me. I knew there was no way I’d be allowed to just walk out, if they even managed to get on grounds. But it was my only option. She told me to be ready, to be in the main building in two days. I was and by then my twin wasn’t nearly as attached to me. I waited and saw a strange car pull up. I walked out if the dining hall and got in without thinking. But I had to leave my bag in my room so not to be suspicious. There was a pastor and two big Native American men in the car. We drove the short distance down the dirt road to the main dorm. A huge den and fireplace that people were always around. Especially on a Sunday morning before post. I’m sure I rolled my eyes when the pastor said there was nothing to be afraid of. Two of us went in, down the hall and into my room. I grabbed my purse and small suitcase and locked my bedroom door behind me. I’m not sure why. Maybe to buy time. My heart was racing as we went back through the dorm to the door. The place was a ghost town. Not one person anywhere. No one stopped or followed us. I don’t think I breathed the entire time. The pastor had a plane ticket to Ohio, where Marjorie lived, for me. We went to the airport in Kansas, I remember a Dorothy and Oz mural and feeling a kinship with her. I think I saw Roo , a nice but all in staff from Australia there, probably picking up new student but if she saw me she didn’t react. So much for short. I arrived in Columbus and have been here since. I called Roberto’s mom in LA and she said the church had called immigration, he was illegal and they knew it but had always ignored that . Mom said all she knew was he had been picked up and sent to a detention center and would be sent back to Guatemala. I never got to speak to him. I couldn’t go home to LA so I stayed and found a job, had my son and proceeded to raise him alone. He has never seen his father. Recently Roberto reconnected with me via facebook but the damage is done. The cult ruins families. In my case, they destroyed our family before we even had a chance to be one. I still speak and catch myself speaking like a scientologist. I trust very few, I’m paranoid when they send me letters saying how is Ohio . I wasn’t a lifelong member, I was a nobody. I still don’t know why they sent me away instead of letting us go. It doesn’t matter. I just want to say thank you to you and Leah. I’ve never heard from anyone that can relate with similar situation until now. There’s an odd comfort in it and although their stories are worse than mine, I finally don’t feel like I’m the only one. And that helps more than I can say… Samantha

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3 thoughts on “How it happened

  1. I was at chilocco for a year. Thank God after finally being convinced to disconnect from my family that they just showed up and got me. Thanks for letting me know others are out there.

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