The New York Times today published a lengthy piece about two former Scientologists, husband and wife, who left the Church due to extensive abuse. Chris and Christie Collbran talk candidly about their experiences with the Church and their employment with its association, Sea Org, whose members are required to sign a contract for a billion years. Yes, a billion years.
From the article:
"When Mr. Collbran decided he wanted to leave the Sea Org, he was sent
to Los Angeles, where potential defectors are assigned to do menial
labor while they reconsider their decision. Ms. Collbran remained in
Johannesburg, and for three months the church refused to allow them to
contact each other, the Collbrans said.
Letters they wrote to each other were intercepted, they said. Finally,
Ms. Collbran was permitted to go to Los Angeles, but husband and wife
were kept separated for another three months, the Collbrans said, while
they went through hours of special auditing sessions called
“confessionals.” The auditors tried to talk them out of leaving, and
the Collbrans wavered.
They could not just up and go. For one, they said, the church had taken
their passports. But even more important, they knew that if they left
the Sea Org without going through the church’s official exit process,
they would be declared “suppressive persons” — antisocial enemies of
Scientology. They would lose the possibility of living for eternity.
Their parents, siblings and friends who are Scientologists would have
to disconnect completely from them, or risk being declared suppressive
'You’re in fear,' Mr. Collbran said. 'You’re so into it, it’s everything you know: your family, your eternity.'”
In related news, the 2000 film "Battlefield Earth," based on L. Ron Hubbard's novel of the same name, was just awarded a Razzie for worst film of the decade.