A&E network just aired its fifth episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, an eight part documentary exposing the unbelievable institutional abuse of the Church of Scientology. Each episode has featured mind blowing personal accounts by former members of isolation, interrogation, forced captivity, separation from family members, money extortion and fraud. The church’s victims include the cult leader’s own father, Ron Miscavige.
Perhaps the most mind blowing of all, are the reports of frequent use of coercion and intimidation to force couples to abort their children. The church’s Sea Organization, a high ranking level in the hierarchy of Scientology, depends on the heavy labor of its young members. Interestingly, the majority of these accounts happened to married teens- another strange characteristic of Scientology. Any interruptions to grueling work hours are resented and “discouraged”. Since Miscavige came on board, having children has been banned for Sea Org Members. The church has denied this claim.
However, married couple Marc and Claire Headley told a different story. When Claire discovered she was pregnant at 19, she was isolated and separated from her husband. “Auditors” interrogated her for hours until they broke her down mentally. According to Headley, this is typical procedure for members of the elite Sea Organization. Children and families only get in the way of the mission of Scientology to “clear the planet”- whatever that means. Uncooperative Scientologists are labeled as “suppressive persons” and cut off from spouses and immediate family forever. Those who escape and are recaptured are assigned to years of hard labor and rationed food.
There really wasn’t a choice for Claire. Her abortion was scheduled for her and she was back to work the following day. This happened a second time a few years later.
A broken-hearted Claire tearfully shared her story saying, “Some wounds you can’t heal”. She counted how many women she personally knew who had been mandated to abort and said it was no less than fifty! One woman she knew had six abortions.
Fed up with the abuse, the Headley’s narrowly escaped from the oppressive church but not before being followed, intimidated, and run off the road on a motorcycle.
Incredibly, their story is not unique. A Google search for “scientology” and “abortion” will pull many results. In fact, The Tampa Bay Times ran a story in June of 2010 featuring similar accounts. A woman named Laura Dieckman, who testified in a deposition for a court case the Headleys brought against the church of Scientology, felt pressured as well. Laura DeCrescenzo, Sunny Pereira, and Samantha Domingo also claim they were pushed into abortions they didn’t want. The St Petersburg Times alleged more than a dozen more women who were forced into abortion.
In a 1994 affidavit written by the late Mary Tabayoyon, an ex Scientologist whose son was forced to “disconnect” from her and her husband wrote,
“I told the Medical Officer (Martine Collins) of my pregnancy. She immediately went into action to arrange for my abortion. She told me, that I would naturally be expected to pay for it myself, since it was considered Out Ethics to get pregnant. (Out Ethics in Scientology simply means your reasoning facilities are no longer thinking in a direction designed to promote Scientology and must be corrected)…A friend of mine, Betty Hardin, who works in the treasury division …told me that she used to transport the pregnant women at the base to Riverside, California for their abortions. For about a year, she transported women almost weekly to the Planned Parenthood Center, in Riverside, so that they could have their abortions and follow up check ups that were needed. She said it just became routine. Pregnant Sea Org members were sent to the Planned Parenthood Center to get their abortions. When they returned to the base they went to Ethics.”
In yet another report, a documentary titled Knowledge Report by ex Scientologist Mark Bunker, a security guard Gary Morehead recounted his story. As the head of security in desert compound in California, Morehead had the job of “persuading” girls to abort and he explained the various ways he would accomplish coercion.
Each new episode of Remini’s docu-series further exposes abuses by the Church of Scientology. As I write this, three more episodes are scheduled to air.
It sounds far-fetched to think that within our free and developed nation’s borders there exists a “church” of fear and coercion where women are mentally broken until they abort their own children. It sounds like the stuff of communist dictatorships; and some have called David Miscavige a dictator. The only thing worse than a church that is pro choice is a church that gives no choice.
Mercifully, evil cannot remain hidden very long before light exposes it. Good for Leah Remini for having the courage to break away and expose this evil.