Ex Scientologist who audited Cruise’s kids, Travolta, details horrific abuse

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The Daily Mail has an exclusive interview with a former Scientologist named Nora Crest. I know that Scientology is awful and that they abuse and torture members and neglect babies and children, but reading Crest’s personal story really brought home how criminal they are.

Crest, who was raised in the cult, explained that she was sent to a Scientology prison after being caught kissing a girl. The conditions and abuse she suffered there were horrific. She was formerly a top Scientologist entrusted with working with Tom Cruise’s kids and with John Travolta, but after falling for her roommate she endured cruel treatment that could be classified as torture and would not be permitted in a US prison. She finally drank bleach after two years of escape attempts, and was “allowed” to leave. I can’t imagine what she went through.

She was a high ranking member at a young age
Before her punishment, Nora was a high flying member of the Sea Org, a hardcore group for dedicated members who sign a billion-year contract tying them to the Church.

Both her parents, Kathy Thomas and Constantine Panfilous Sova, were heavily involved in the Church and eager for Nora to be an active member from an early age.

At 18, she was working as a teacher in a Scientology School in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, and had just joined the Sea Org.

‘I was doing more and more courses and had reached the “State of Clear” by the age of 14, which is really young. They say your mind is then free of unwanted emotions, but it basically means you’ve been fully brainwashed.

‘I would work with celebrities on a one-on-one capacity. I was Word Clearing John Travolta as he was having trouble with a specific policy that LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] had written.

‘I worked with Tom Cruise’s kids Connor and Isabella – they were only little and I was working with them during the summer time when they were off school, they were fun and very sweet.

‘That’s when Tom and Nicole were going through a separation and we were ordered never to speak of her and she was a bad person. l also worked Lisa Marie Presley’s daughter Riley. She was lovely.’

She was sent to Scientology prison for years after making out with a woman
[After being caught making out with a woman] ‘We were put on cleaning and construction work for three months before they sent me to RPF in March 2000, which is when my hell began.’

RPF was a rundown building in west Los Angeles where inmates were made to believe they’d done wrong against the Church and work over 80 hours a week for only $50 a month.

Nora explains: ‘It was the culture where every minute of every day, hundreds of people were watching you, judging you, making sure you didn’t step out of line. We were sleeping in dorms where there were at least 33 women on bunk beds, three beds high.

‘If I put my hand on the shoulder of a woman, spoke to a woman, or anytime I was nice to a woman, I’d get a report. We had three meals a day, where you have 20 minutes to gather your food and eat it, and 30 minutes to do your hygiene.

‘You get numbed by nudity and have no privacy. You get used to going to the toilet and five people watch you. The rooms had bugs and cockroaches; the bunks were dirty mattresses with rusty springs dating back to the 50s.

‘You spoke only when you were spoken to. All outside communication was heavily vetted, so if my mom wrote a letter they would cross things out or I’d be interrogated asking why she said a certain thing. We got $11.25 a week and had to buy everything with that including hygiene products.

‘If you wanted a snack you had to buy it yourself. You’d go to the canteen and they’d charge you $1 for a coke or $2 for a protein bar. That’d leave with you hardly anything for the rest of the week.

‘You’re required to run all day, every day. If you need the bathroom you have to run there. Your uniform consists of black jeans, grey shirts, a belt and steel toe-capped boots, as everyone worked on construction in some form. I worked for the electrical unit, even though I had no knowledge, and was given various challenges that you had to complete in a certain time.

‘We would also be thrown ‘overboard’, which stemmed from people being punished on other bases where they’d be thrown into a lake or pool of water.

‘As we didn’t have any water near us, we would stand in an empty trash can while various people poured buckets of iced water over your head and were shouting at you about what crap you were. After they were done with you, you were made to clean up all the mess.’

‘Every Tuesday they would serve hamburgers and fries for lunch. It was the one thing, besides cold scrambled eggs for breakfast, that we had consistently.

‘We’d be made to wait in line for the food to be distributed, there’d be around 250 people. When the doors opened, there was large stands of burger and fries and people would be diving at them, it was like a scene from Lord of the Flies, elbowing, punching each other, ripping hamburgers from one another, screaming in each others’ faces, then running off with the food to corners of the room like rabid animals and eating it quickly…

She got out two years later, after multiple attempts, by drinking bleach
‘I then went into a utility cupboard and saw a massive bottle of industrial strength bleach and so drank a hefty cap full, around the equivalent of a quarter cup. I fell backwards, my whole body was convulsing, my throat started to swell. When they found me, they got a gallon of milk and put me in a room and made me drink it.

‘They then got a Scientology doctor, who escorted me to a hospital and made sure I stuck to the true story before we went inside, that I was not depressed and drank bleach by accident. The doctor didn’t believe me and kept asking the same questions, but I stuck to the story.

‘When I was released from hospital, they took me to a building and I was forced to sign a waiver that I wasn’t ever going to sue the Church, say bad things, never criticize it. I said it all to camera. I didn’t care, I just wanted to go home. They then drove me to Eagle Rock in LA where my mom lived. I was just so relieved to see her. But I didn’t tell my mom what really happened for five years.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I left out the worst parts for space – she was physically abused in several different incidents, once by a very large man who broke her ribs (she was given no pain medication for that) and another time by over a dozen people who pinned her down and beat her.

Crest also described an inability to function in society after she got out, including not knowing how to use a phone and being unable to feel comfortable enough at a civilian job to even leave her desk for lunch. It sounds like she had PTSD after all she went through, but at least she’s doing better now. She married another ex Sea org member in 2005 and they have two boys. Kudos to Crest for having the courage to tell her story and use her actual name and photo. The Daily Mail had confirmation of her story from other ex Scientologists as well. I hope she has good people around her to protect her from the goons that Scientology will send.

These things are happening in the US and yet Scientology hasn’t been prosecuted for human rights abuses, nor has their tax free status been revoked. If the US government can break down Warren Jeffs’s compound, they can break up Scientology, even if only to go after them for using slave labor. I have hope that all of these tragic stories, including the upcoming expose by leader David Miscavige’s father, will encourage the government to step up or start an investigation into this cult. Hopefully there are some active investigations happening now.

I got these photos from Crest’s Facebook. She also has cute pics of her boys and it looks like she’s doing well now.

Oh and after writing this I just found this interview with Crest on an Australian TV show. She’s a brave lady. She said “Part of my mission was to see if [Nicole and Tom’s] kids ever mentioned their mother or missed her, and find out why,” and she confirmed that Scientology was behind Nicole and Tom’s split, which we’ve heard for years.


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Photos of Nicole and Tom credit: WENN.com

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93 Responses to “Ex Scientologist who audited Cruise’s kids, Travolta, details horrific abuse”

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  1. Jayna says:

    I read her story the other day. It is frightening, just frightening. What stupid actors and actresses that stay in this cult that has lots of human rights abuses in it.

    • Wren says:

      Because they don’t see it. High ranking ex-members have said over and over that celebrities get special treatment and are shielded from the day to day atrocities. They are needed to front the organization so the cult can’t afford to abuse them too heavily. Add in the fact that many actors and actresses are poorly educated and live in a bubble of fame and wealth and, well, it’s pretty much the perfect situation for the cult.

      One could argue that members such as Tom Cruise are at least aware of the slave labor and other such things but I’m not so sure. I think he’s been brainwashed along with everyone else and a careful narrative has been constructed for him to believe. He doesn’t seem like the brightest bulb and a cunning and powerful man like Miscavage would have no trouble influencing him.

      Who knows, though. I find it ridiculous that people are literally coming out of the woodwork with stories of crazy human rights violations and so far the government has appeared to do nothing.

      • Betsy says:

        After Short Creek and the Branch Davidians, they take their dang time.

      • Michelle says:

        I don’t understand how celebrities can ignore what is happening. How can they not know by now? They may not actually see it but they have to have heard about it. Why don’t they question the abuse? It isn’t just disgruntled former members but hundreds if not thousands of former members.

    • Belle Epoch says:

      The celebrity members are not just stupid, they are RESPONSIBLE. They provide the big money. They do the PR. They put the happy face on this sick cult. Tommy is living high off the backs of abused children and adults. And the cult has it all rationalized – based on the beliefs of a psychotic science fiction writer!

      I don’t understand why Child Protection hasn’t gone in there. Apparently scientologists are strategically placed everywhere in the government to put down any resistance against the cult.

      • Goodnight says:

        They’re not responsible. They HELP to bankroll Scientology, but they are by no means the only donors or even the biggest donors.

        They are as brainwashed as the private Scientologists, and unlike them they never see the day-to-day abuses and problems that plague the cult. I think people underestimate just how thoroughly brainwashed their long-standing celebrity members are.

        They’re presented with a very carefully constructed narrative that is 100% positive. They do see abuse from time to time (one of Travolta’s assistants called him out of desperation for help), but COB always swoops in to ‘handle’ that issue and because they’re indoctrinated they believe him. He’s incredibly manipulative and he doesn’t leave them be until he’s certain they accept the ‘official’ explanation of events.

        So even if they see abuse themselves, they’ve been conditioned to believe it’s a) the fault of the person being abused and b) not to question anything.

        I just feel very uncomfortable assigning blame for the cult to people who are brainwashed by the cult.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Celebrity members are also held in high regard in the CoS. They hold high positions and are revered like a prince or a bishop. I think this is a means of placating their egos and keeping them quiet, because the celebrity member doesn’t want to give up his lauded position. Imagine being Tom Cruise who is “special” in the CoS, he gets praise, lauded, their members follow him like sheep and hang on his every word. Nowhere else in the world would Tom Cruise be looked upon as an intellectual with important messages to share and probably some kind of supposed direct link to their alien gods. He truly believes he is special in this way. It’s more than just an ego boost, it’s a huge part of his identity.

      • Goodnight says:

        And those are classic cult techniques. Love bombing is an early step, and then a bit later on they start withholding or threatening to withhold that positive attention as a means of keeping their targets off-balance and vulnerable.

  2. CoKatie says:

    She drank BLEACH to get out of this horrific “religion”!! What is it going to take to get this cult shut down? I’m still shaking my head in disbelief at one of the Canadian based posters here stating that they couldn’t legally buy a recently released Scientology tell-all. What hold do they still have over so many governments? It is really frightening.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      Can you elaborate on what that person was saying?

      • Bird says:

        The libel laws in the UK made publishing there difficult. However, a recent change (from which N. Ireland exempted itself) made it easier to do. Try to buy those books again. More at tonyortega.org.

    • Jaded says:

      Not sure which Canadian poster stated that but I’m Canadian and I can assure you that you can buy every anti-C0$ book that’s been published. I’ve bought Going Clear and Blown for Good so no, the Canadian government is not in the thrall of Scientologists.

      • michelleb says:

        That confused me as well, because – Canadian here – and I easily bought Going Clear, Leah Remini’s book, Tony Ortega’s book on Paulette Cooper, and other things. I’ve never heard of anyone having trouble getting an anti-CO$ book, and Leah Remini’s book was my book club’s Feb. pick.

      • CoKatie says:

        Yes, sorry for the delay. I operate on my phone so it took a little while to get. Under the story posted on 3/18 regarding DM’s father writing a tell all book, in the comments section, about halfway down, a poster, Ashley Wilkes, stated “I tried to buy Leah Remini’s book here in Canada and you cannot buy it. The CO$ will sue anyone who sells it up here. I’ll have to buy it on Ebay. ” When someone suggested Amazon, she then posted “Yeah, tried to get it at Coles here in Ontario. No luck. That’s when the salesgirl told me that anyone who sold it would be sued …”.

        I apologize if I posted anything incorrect. As I said, I was really struck at the time of reading that post of how this cult seems to control so many avenues of negative news, and in particular, can stop the sales of a book. I stand corrected if I have stated something wrong.

      • michelleb says:

        @CoKatie. That is really strange. I’ve bought most of my anti-CO$ books at Coles in Toronto (which is in Ontario) or from Amazon. I also can’t imagine a salesgirl saying that. Not saying it didn’t happen or anything. I just find these posters’ experiences strange.

        ETA: I can’t see how CO$ could sue anyone for legally buying the book anyway – not in Canada, nor I suspect in the US.

      • Squiggles says:

        I was part of that conversation. Look up Leah’s book on Amazon.ca or Chapters.ca and it isn’t there. All that comes up is a sort of summary of that book. I have read and bought other books on Scientology but cannot seem to get a hold of that particular one.

        I did watch Going Clear this past weekend (got it from the library) and there was mention about the slave labour in it. From what I undersand, it is a First Amendment issue (is that the religion one?) The FBI was investigating but it was dropped after a judge threw out a different case saying it was protected under the constitution’s religion provision.

    • Sam says:

      I really don’t even consider it a “religion” after reading Going Clear. Paul Haggis’ daughter is interviewed in the book and she says that it doesn’t even present itself as a religion. God is never mentioned. It never discusses concepts like salvation, personal freedom, or almost anything else that you’d expect to get through a church or other congregation. It has no standards of ethical behavior or moral precepts. It’s just about massaging the individual ego and making people believe they can do impossible things. She described it as a really bizarre self-help course far more than any religion. Tony Ortega pointed this out too, in the documentary – that the members can’t even describe the basic ideas behind it.

      • Naya says:

        Scientology is just a scify retake on the Abrahamic desert religions. Salvation =OT, gods=the fully realised self. If anything, it demonstrates how bizarre all religion. On the whole, I could not care less what fictions people find comfort in. My only problem with scientology is the clear abuse of parishoners and ex parishoners.

      • Ennie says:

        The thing with being marketed as a course of sorts, it is the $$$$$ they extort to get to “higher” levels. In most religions, people do not pay for religious knowledge, you get books, lectures and giving is up to you.

      • Goodnight says:

        Well, philosophies come under the umbrella of religion if you want to be technical, and if you’re generous and squint just right you might be able to call Scientology a philosophy. It’s also a cult, the two aren’t mutually exclusive or anything.

    • Jaded says:

      @CoKatie – thanks for clarifying. I can state that there is no problem buying these books and the poster may have been trolling or just pulling your leg. All these books are fully on display in Canadian bookstores and available on Amazon.ca. Coles hasn’t been a standalone bookstore for years here by the way, they are all Chapters-Indigo.

      • Squiggles says:

        It is specific to Leah’s book. I can get other books on the same topic, but not that one. At least not in a physical format. It can some up in some searches as an ebook.

        It could be that everyone is sold out and there are no plans on restocking. But it isn’t available on either Amazon.ca or Chapters website.

      • Jaded says:

        @Squiggles – I ordered the paperback through Amazon.ca no problem. Maybe they just sold out in bookstores?

      • Squiggles says:

        Do you mind posting the link? Because every search I do on Amazon.ca comes up with the summary and not the book itself. Even putting every possible variation of the title, authors and such into google doesn’t bring up an entry on Amazon.ca.

        ETA: I did send an email to Amazon.ca asking why I cannot find it. Hopefully they can come back and say why.

      • Azurea says:

        Does sound like a troll.

      • Squiggles says:

        From Amazon.ca:

        “I completely understand your concern in this regard.

        I’m sorry, but “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” is currently not available through our Canadian website.

        Customer feedback like yours is very important in helping us continue to improve our website and services.

        Therefore, I have passed your message about your interest in “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” to the appropriate people in our company for their consideration. It is always important for us to hear how customers react to all aspects of shopping at Amazon.ca.

        We are always expanding our selection, so you may want to check back occasionally to see if we have added this item to our offerings. Any updated information we have will be listed on the website as soon as it is available.

        Again I apologize for any inconvenience the above information might have caused.

        ​Thank you for your patience and understanding in this regard.​

        We’d appreciate your feedback. Please use the links below to tell us about your experience today. ”

        So, there you have it. It is not available from Amazon.ca.

        And we are not trolls. We are just trying to figure out why some were able to get it in Canada, but not others.

      • Jaded says:

        @Squiggles – just checked Amazon.ca and they are out – I ordered it months ago when it first came out so I guess they’re out of stock?

  3. Shambles says:

    Scientology is one of the most sinister, dangerous, f*cked up cults active today, and I’m amazed that it’s still being allowed to operate. How can this be happening, and why aren’t more people talking about it?

    It turns my blood cold to read about what she went through. It sounds like she was sent to a concentration camp.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I had no idea it was this bad! That is horrifying. Something needs to be done. Can we do anything?

      • Shambles says:

        Several months ago when Leah Remini was big in the news for speaking out, I did a lot of reading up on the cult and L Ron Hubbard and all the weirdness– Tony Ortega and The Villiage Voice are amazing resources if you’re looking to learn more. But it’s not pleasant reading, because yeah… It’s bad. Nazi Germany levels of bad, GNATTY. It’s discouraging.

        As some other posters have said, they’re protected under religious freedom laws because they claim to be a church, and it sucks. There are petitions you can sign to urge the revocation of their tax-exempt status, but I would love to see this entire organization taken down in a bigger way. I don’t know how realistic that is, but one can only dream. I’d love to see President Obama come out and slam this cult for the twisted parasite that it is on his IDGAF tour, but who knows if it’s even on his mind. I think it should be on everyone’s mind, because these people are scary.

      • FingerBinger says:

        We can’t do anything except hope they go broke. Money is keeping them going. Unfortunately Tom Cruise and Will Smith have deep pockets.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        It’s absolutely horrible. This goes way beyond religious freedom as I’m sure I don’t need to say, but it’s just craziness. That poor women. I am in shock.

    • Jen43 says:

      Child Protective Services have to investigate pronto. Their pare to are brainwashed and can’t help them. A government agency needs to step in. How many times have we heard how abusive this cult is? Sadly, it will take the actual death of a child for something to get done

    • mayamae says:

      The worst part is this – CO$ parents offer up their children to this abuse. Leah spoke of how Suri wailed for hours while no one did a thing but stare at her with wonder. Tom heard her cries. Katie heard her cries. It’s a wonder they’re not creating little psychopaths with the incredible neglect they subject these babies to. Sea Org is another hell they subject their children to – but not the celebrities.

      Going Clear – book and documentary – has rung the death knell for this cult. They will never return to their past glory.

      • Uglyartwork says:

        Google ‘Ellie Perkins’, Scientology would not permit her to have her son’s schizophrenia treated. He stabbed her to death.

        So they are not only creating mental instability but refusing treatment to those who are already ill.

    • Carol says:

      Because Scientology is seen as a religion, it can basically get away with a lot more than a regular organization. I mean, look what some monks , orthodox anything, or cloistered nuns have to go through? They do things to themselves and each other that average people would find weird or maybe even abusive. I guess that the main difference between these religious clergies and the Sea Org, is that people in the Sea Org can’t leave, they are trapped both physically and mentally. I never heard of a nun that has decided to leave the convent be banished from the Catholic Church or her family.

  4. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    Poor woman. I’m so glad she was able to escape the cult and finally live a life with happiness and freedom.

    I’ll never understand the mentality of people who joins cults and I don’t necessarilly mean celebrities. Just reading through her story there were so many red flags and yet if not Scientology it will always be something else people sign up for even if it requires abusing others or stealing away their children.

    • Sam says:

      Cults thrive off of two or three major impulses: 1.) the need to belong. Humans are social creatures, we don’t generally like to be alone. Cults are generally excellent at providing strong community bonds (at least at first). They create a very strong sense of identity and belonging within the group, and people love that. 2.) the impulse for certainty. Cult leaders present themselves as having all the answers to your problems, and that is deeply attractive to many people. Humans as a species do not like to live with uncertainty or doubt, and a cult that positions itself as having “all the answers” looks very attractive. 3.) The “other” impulse. Most cults grow and retain members by creating some kind of perceived “conflict” with outsiders. Jim Jones was notorious for convincing almost 1000 people that their government was out to destroy them. In almost every cult you see, they operate under the impression that they are constantly under threat from some outside force or group. This idea triggers out human impulse to resist and draw deeper into the group. So basically, cults thrive because they appeal to really basic needs within humans.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Thank you for explaining this, I’ve read some of it before but it’s still amazing to see its real life application. I can even understand Scientology from a celeb’s perspective since it just strokes their ego and treats them like Kings, but everyone else being separated from their children and knowing what abuse will happen to them is just baffling to me.

      • I Choose Me says:

        Yes to everything you said! Also, they never reveal all of their beliefs until you’re well entrenched. You’re told/taught early on that all negative information about the church is all lies and misunderstandings. There are certain key phrases and repetitions during speeches and in the literature. Recruiters are taught to target those who are vulnerable: persons going through a tough time, or persons who’d just had a loss in the family etc.,

        I’m a former LDS member and although it cannot it no way compare to the atrocities committed by Scientology, it is still very much cult-like.

  5. Sam says:

    Here’s the thing about when the government gets involved. Governments care very little for most cult members because they can always argue that the people are there by choice. Cults get broken up when they somehow screw with government money. Do you know the major reason why the FLDS/Warren Jeffs group finally got broken up? It’s because the FLDS were routinely engaging in large scale welfare fraud. Basically, the polygamist game is to only legally marry one woman and enter into “spiritual marriages” with multiple others. It’s nearly impossible for one man to earn enough money to provide for multiple wives and children. Thus, those that he is not legally married to would routinely claim welfare benefits by claiming to be “single mothers.” So many of them were doing that, it invited government scrutiny and that’s how they got busted. Plenty of people were previously aware of them, but nobody did anything. Once they started meddling with money, though, things changed. But that’s the point. Cults largely get left alone until they start messing with government money, then they get broken up.

    • Algernon says:

      Because they fall under religious protection laws. I’m marrying an FBI agent and my experience with that group has been that they would *love* to bust up more cults but it’s really hard to do because they claim religious exemption to so many things. You have to either get them on the welfare/tax fraud stuff, or be able to conclusively, firsthand prove abuse, and getting people to go on record is really, really hard. This woman is incredibly brave for speaking up about Scientology, but as far as law enforcement is concerned, they can’t act on her testimony now. They needed it when she was still in CO$ and the abuse was ongoing, and they would have needed proof, like photos of bruises, etc. What law enforcement needs is a credible reason to enter a CO$ facility and gather evidence, which they have not gotten yet.

      • Sam says:

        There are not any “religious protection” laws that Co$ would fall under, outside of the tax laws. RFRA doesn’t cover stuff like this (RFRA was designed to cover actions that would otherwise be illegal outside of the religious context). There is no religious exemption law that would cover physical violence, abuse or anything else. You are mistaken when you talk about blanket “religious exemption” laws. The only non-financial religious freedom law currently on the books is RFRA, which doesn’t cover physical violence. So I’m really not sure what kind of laws you’re arguing shield them at this point. Co$ can’t argue that they have a religious right to physically abuse their members, so I’m not sure how RFRA would even apply here, and there are no other federal laws providing religious exemptions.

      • Algernon says:

        They’re technically a church, and there is real terror about setting a precedent that allows the government to storm into religious facilities and start shutting it down. I’ve heard my fiance and his fellow agents discuss it several times. It’s not just CO$, there are a lot of active cults and they know many of them are actively hurting/abusing/exploiting people. But while there is not a single blanket law, there is religious liberty incorporated into many public ordinances/laws. So much of what they can and, mostly can’t do is dictated by the concept of religious liberty. There are cases of people becoming gravely ill, even dying, under the “care” of a cult but leos have to tell distraught parents there’s nothing they can do, because technically, whatever horrible thing happened to their child occurred as part of a religious ceremony/rite. People *die* and they can’t do anything because these dangerous practices are protected by religious liberty. It’s not one single law. It’s an entire system of belief encoded in our justice system that we are nowhere near ready to throw out as a society.

      • Tara says:

        @Sam That’s interesting about RFRA, but Algernon is correct about the execution of the law, and sometimes courts’ interpretations of it, whether its RFRA or more local laws. I doubt I’m telling u anything u don’t know, but $cientology is an expert at using the law as a cudgel in a war of endurance and attrition. They draw everything out as long as they can… 20 years or more. They appeal EVERYTHING. Infiltration, spying, blackmail and mass lawsuits are supposedly how they won back their IRS tax exempt status in the 90s.

        In the recent lawsuit brought by Monique Rathbun, wife of ex-high-level $cilon exec Marty Rathbun, against the C0$, the cherch admitted it systematically stalked and harassed Monique, in order to file a SLAPP action, saying their constitutional right of free speech and religious freedom (to stalk and harass) was being violated by the lawsuit. SLAPP is meant to be used by small groups or individuals against corporations who use their money to bring lawsuits against people using their political speech to try to call attention to perceived injustice, in an attempt to silence critics.

        The C0$’ subversion of the legal system reflects their belief system well, in that even charity toward others is considered “out ethics.” If no money changes hands, they’re generally against it. For all of organized religion’s failings, most at least purport to believe in love and generosity to one’s neighbor. Makes sense that LRon’s early milieu included Aleister Crowley and Anton LeVey.

      • Lucinda says:

        It’s also important to understand context. Right now there is a widespread belief that freedom of religion is being attacked by the government Legalization of same-sex marriage and access to birth control are two examples being touted as proof. As a result, we are seeing a backlash in places where local governments are trying to pass laws that allow bigotry in the name of religion. In that context, it is difficult for the government to attack COS right now because COS will use this widespread belief that religions are actively being persecuted by the government. So yes, agencies need to have a case that doesn’t fall under any morality beliefs which means it’s a money game right now.

    • Goodnight says:

      I know what people mean when they’re saying their abuse is protected by them being a religion.

      The RPF (Scientology prison camp) is full of human rights abuse… however, they tell the government that it is a spiritual retreat that members enter into voluntarily. I can’t remember the exact wording Scientology uses, but that’s the excuse. The hard labor and every other egregious thing is protected because it’s part of a religious retreat that members willingly enter. The ‘enter into voluntarily’ part is especially important.

      Legally, the RPF can’t really be touched unless there is proof of current and ongoing abuse and proof that they’re being held against their will.

  6. Green Is Good says:

    How is CO$ getting away with insanity?!

    • Snazzy says:

      Sorry didn’t see your comment before posting mine! Said the same below… I just don’t understand it.

  7. Scal says:

    To be fair, Warren Jeff’s FLDS group is still very much around-he’s just not in ‘charge’ anymore. Except apparently he’s still controlling it from prison, and basically has all of Colorado City, AZ still under his thumb. (including the sheriff, the mayor etc)

    The gov’t has a tough time breaking up these cults-which is scary to think about.

  8. Snazzy says:

    Every time I read a story about these people it makes me sicker and sicker. How is this cult still allowed to operate?

    • FingerBinger says:

      After what happened at Ruby ridge and Waco government agencies are hesitant to get involved with cults. Scientology is a dangerous cult. There would only be 1 outcome if the government got involved.

  9. Algernon says:

    They’re taking down Warren Jeffs’ cult on welfare fraud and tax evasion. So far, the government has not caught Scientology engaging in anything like tax evasion, which is the most likely route to shutting them down. They’ll never revoke their religious status because if they did, you would absolutely have people suing to revoke the status of the Catholic church, etc, and that would be a disaster for our society. We can barely have civil conversations about issues that skirt religious ethics, like abortion. We are not ready as a society to have the “we should probably stop privileging churches because some really bad stuff is happening under their aegis” conversation.

    • Sam says:

      The Catholic Church would be fine – the charitable works the Church engages in is more than sufficient to retain their nonprofit status. Same goes for most other churches. It’s actually a myth that you can get a tax exemption SOLELY by claiming to be a religious organization. Religious organizations still have to show that they perform qualified nonprofit work. The problem is how “nonprofit work” is defined. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something common to churches, such as collecting donations or running a food bank. Co$ claims things like “detox” as nonprofit work (they had a program that claimed to “detox” 9/11 rescue workers – all the while exposing them to recruitment materials). And that technically counts. It’s very easy to collect a few bucks and send it off somewhere and claim that as your “nonprofit” status. But it’s also a myth that simply claiming to be a church will get you an exemption. It’s not quite that easy.

      • Algernon says:

        I’ve always thought the route to taking down COS is through their “charitable” contributions. Churches are supposed to aid/benefit the community, that’s why they get tax exempt status, because in theory their money is going to help their parishoners/neighborhood/the world. I don’t think CO$ actually has a good track record with that.

        And I don’t think it would necessarily follow a CO$ takedown that the Catholic church would collapse next. I just think, based on what my fiance and his fellow agents have discussed, that taking down CO$ on anything other than strict financial impropriety grounds, would lead to a public clamor no one really wants to deal with. I think the situation is more complicated than it looks to outsiders.

      • Tara says:

        I wonder if there could be more success (in revoking CO$ tax exempt status) via a campaign to introduce legislation incorporating a “meaningful charitable works” ratio requirement. Like the 2014 ruling in the Netherlands denying CO$ status as a charitable institution due to its activities in support of public good not being at least as much as those in pursuit of private interest. http://tonyortega.org/2014/12/13/jonny-jacobsen-new-scientology-legal-setbacks-in-belgium-france-and-holland/ near bottom of article

    • Bird says:

      They aren’t looking. Scads of information about inurement , failing to file 990s, non compliance with settlement agreement with the IRS. They aren’t looking.

    • Imqrious2 says:

      @Algernon, did you catch John Oliver’s piece on setting up a “church” as a tax exempt non-profit? He said it was incredibly easy, and then proceeded to do it! It was called “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption “. Check this out: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7y1xJAVZxXg

      I LOVE John Oliver!!!

      • Algernon says:

        The *Kardashians* started a church.

      • Sam says:

        Algernon – not exactly. I presume you’re referring to the Life Change Community Church. That church was co-founded by Kris Jenner and a guy named Brad Johnson. Brad Johnson is, by most accounts, a legitimate minister who leads services there routinely. So, by most accounts, it’s a legitimate church with legitimate activities. The Kardashian issue is that when they make “donations” to the church, it’s unknown as to where those donations are actually going and for what purpose they’re being used. Are they being used for legitimate nonprofit services or simply to further enrich Kris? It’s also problematic that Kris’ role is not disclosed – if she’s simply a founder, that’s one thing. But if she’s on the payroll, that’s another issue. So yeah, it’s shady, but it’s also not really “the Kardashians created a church as a tax dodge.” The church seems to be functioning and providing services, but it’s linkage to Kris Jenner makes it look shady.

        (I also find it a little weird that the family claims that as their church but Kim made a big show of taking North to Israel to have her baptized in an Armenian Christian church. I get the symbolism but you’d think they’d choose to baptize in the “home” church, as most Christians do.)

  10. alihar999 says:

    Just when I thought I coud not dislike Tom Cruise anymore than I already do. Yuck. Glad she got out.

  11. tealily says:

    I thought I had read somewhere that they were, in fact, having their tax-free status revoked. Did anyone see that? Have I made it up?

    • Bird says:

      Fake news site. You aren’t making that up, some troll is.

      • tealily says:

        Really?? Thanks for that. I had seen a headline, but never read a story. I do not understand the purpose of such trolling.

  12. Zimmerman says:

    My best to Nora! Kudos to her for speaking up!

  13. NeoCleo says:

    These people (Scientologists) are terrifying thugs. All the more so because they are devious in the way they present themselves. They almost got their claws into me when I was 18 years old back in 1975, just out of high school and desperate for a job in a very weak economy. I answered a blind ad for office help. It started with an interview where they explained how I just had to pay $250 for training and they would employ me once I passed the training. What a cruel carrot! Of course they’re more than happy to “float” you the loan until you get on your feet, which never happens. There’s always more that needs to be learned, more fees to pay for the training and you end up owing them your soul.

    Horrible, horrible organization that preys on young people.

  14. Kimbers says:

    Never have i ever considered Co$ a religion. The celebs who partake have always appeared emotionally broken to me. Veneers hide a broken smile, and I don’t mean bad teeth. It’s sad that people get brainwashed by this abusive cult. I don’t think TC is brainwashed though since his ego is crazy large, and his career sucks. It probably means a lot to him that the cult treats him like the celebrity he once was. He’s inhumane (it appears) to belong to a cult that imprisons their own members for so long, and not care.

  15. paolanqar says:

    This sums up everyhting you need to know about this cult:
    ‘They say your mind is then free of unwanted emotions, but it basically means you’ve been fully brainwashed’

    I am sorry for what happened to her but it seems like she realised what Scientology was really about when she was overthrown. On the other side of the fence life wasn’t so easy after all.
    She was an auditor and she contributed to hurt many other people.
    I’d say that karma is a bitch but she kind of deserved it despite the fact I am glad that now she is out of it and she can speak the truth to maybe help other people.

    • Lindsay says:

      If she was ‘clear’ at fourteen then her parents were Scientologist. That is a lot of money and classes. She was indoctrinated from a young age. It’s naive and hard hearted to think she should have just left and known what she was doing was wrong. It’s the only thing she knew. She was brought up by her parents to believe that this was crucial to saving mankind. Leaving or even reading or discussing dissenting opinions about what was really going on meant losing everything she had ever known. She would have lost her family, friends, home, school, teachers, and been totally on her own.

  16. LadyJane says:

    “I was Word Clearing John Travolta as he was having trouble with a specific policy that LRH [L. Ron Hubbard] had written.” – No prizes for guessing what specific policy Travolta was having difficulty with.

    • paolanqar says:

      Only a fool would believe that John Travolta is a straight man.
      He has lost his son to this religion. All Co$ are obviously people with latent inner issues and that is fertile ground for brain washing and money extortion.
      Maybe one day Miscavige will be overthrown and he will benefit of the same inhumane treatments he currently saves for his slaves. I would pay big bucks to see that.

  17. CoKatie says:

    I think one of the most terrifying things about what this woman went through (I read the full article on DM yesterday) was that this was happening in a building in LA. A nondescript building that any of us could easily walk past multiple times a day. Likewise, Clearwater. How is holding people slaves, beating them, withholding medical treatment, working them inhuman hours, providing substandard housing, barely enough food, etc NOT enough of a reason to conduct a raid? I understand that I’m being very naive. But I just don’t get it, and I despise people suffering. Sorry. I’ll take a seat now.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Because all of what you mention falls under “religious freedom” so they can basically do anything they want to a person if it’s in their doctrines. And who is say what actually happened to her – it’s her word against 1,000s of members saying she is lying. Nobody else from that “prison” is going to support her claims even if they’re going through it too or have in the past because they’re still there with the cult, so they’re obviously not going to bad-mouth CoS. The government needs proof – hard proof – which is requires something in writing, photographic evidence, or multiple witnesses. They have none of that. All they can is wait for them to slip up financially with contributions, charitable giving lies, or actual video of someone being physically abused. CoS knows this, so they are very careful not to put anything out there that could be used against them. They spend an inordinate amount of time and money protecting themselves.

      • Sam says:

        I’m sorry, but dude, no. There is no law – federal or state or local – that permits a “religious freedom” exception to crime except for the limited uses in RFRA (all of which deal with drugs, not crimes against people). Can we please stop with the thinking that if you are a religious organization you can get away with anything? Because you cannot. If that were the case, no priests could ever be convicted, but somehow, they do.

    • Dlo says:

      I agree completely, mans inhumanity to man, how very sad

    • Tara says:

      @Sam RFRA is just federal, right? Sounds like people are talking in general… Which would include state laws like the legislation proposed in Georgia last year: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/01/georgias-religious-freedom-bill-would-permit-child-abuse-domestic-violence/ . Plus courts’ interpretation of law is always a frontier of sorts.

      $cientology definitely argued in the Texas court that their stalking and harassing Monique Rathbun was protected speech under religious freedom guarantees. I don’t know if they mentioned RFRA. The trial judge wisely SLAPPed that down (sorry couldn’t resist pun), but the cherch was appealing that ruling. Sadly, we may never know how it would’ve played out because Monique has fired her lawyers and may be settling.http://tonyortega.org/2016/03/21/no-longer-working-for-monique-rathbun-to-sue-scientology-ray-jeffrey-opens-up/

  18. coffeeisgood says:

    I hope to see this horrific cult taken down in my lifetime. I admire this women for her courage to speak out against them!

    • L says:

      With all the tell all stories coming out, Leah Rimini, Miscavige’s father, this one, and all the ex-Scientologists in Going Clear, hopefully it will!

  19. celine says:

    What will it ultimately take for the government to step in and raid this cult? I don’t understand how they can operate with impunity, even after concrete proof from dissidents from their ranks into their criminal activity with children. How can celebrities and people still belong to this effin cult after all the proof out there? There has to be something more to this as to why the government is hesitant to do something about this.

    • AtlLady says:

      The problem with C0$ is that it is worldwide. Which government is going to step in? Don’t the Sea-Org ships stay out in international waters? The only way C0$ will ever go away is if they can no longer recruit from the ranks of their own membership (their own kids) or prey on folks who have never heard of their atrocities. C0$ has tax-exempt status in the US and is perfectly capable of forging or using false information on their charity work tax forms.

  20. lucy2 says:

    It isn’t going to stop until the big money (celebrities) wise up and run in the other direction. But they are so insulated from the gross realities, it will probably never happen.
    I hope someone, somewhere in the government t is working on a way to take them down. I’m glad so many have spoken up, that books and websites and documentaries detailing the abuse are out there.

  21. iheartgossip says:

    “Tology really needs to lose their ‘church’ affiliation and start paying up. Tommy C. & Johnny T. – you two boys have a lot of explaining to do.

  22. kri says:

    This is a blood cult. Make no mistake about it. I am so sorry for this woman, and for anyone who has been a victim of abuse. I don’t care what people choose to believe in, or not to believe at all. But if this is your choice, please think again.

  23. msw says:

    God, Scientology is disgusting. What can we do? Apart from petitions and writing congressmen and supporting those who come out with these stories, is there anything we bystanders CAN do? Serious question. I am ready for brainstorming and getting involved, but I’m just not sure where to start.

  24. L says:

    Sounds like prison!

  25. nicegirl says:

    Good work. Nora. Wishing you a peaceful life.

  26. Lotte says:

    A couple of weeks ago a big criminal enterprise case (18 year investigation) against Scientology in Belgium was thrown out by the judge. He felt the Scientologists were discriminated against based on their ‘religion’. There’s an article about it here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/11/scientology-criminal-enterprise-case-thrown-out-belgian-judge. It doesn’t give much detail though, so I don’t know if they were accused of this kind of abuse in Belgium as well.

  27. Davidh says:

    This happens when a science fiction writer wants to create a “religion” and he thinks he’s god.

  28. CF98 says:

    The reason why the government etc won’t intervene is because they are a part of it. Is it so hard to fathom?

    There’s a reason why certain companies/people get away with stuff because it affects the really important people who want it covered up etc.

  29. sauvage says:

    To everybody wondering why people stay in abusive cults such as $cientilogy or the Quiverfull movement, I recommend reading Steven Hassan’s book “Combatting Cult Mind Control”.

    It’s not a choice. You don’t join a cult. You are recruited.

  30. PRenaud says:

    Wish I could up-vote every comment here, so happy to see how people are getting informed. $$$cientology is evil and unfortunately is protected by religious laws in most countries but let’s not lose hope, it’s slowly dying, we must not stop spreading the word, the children of these brainwashed celebrities rely on us.

  31. Magnoliarose says:

    It’s really not surprising when you think about them targeting entertainers. So many of them have fragile egos and money. CoS plays on their need to feel important and relevant. The wannabes get involved hoping to get in with the famous and catching a break. Hollywood is full of rejected and disappointed people so this probably feels good and stabilizing in the beginning. They foster an us v them mentality and think it’s fine to lie to non members.

  32. kait says:

    Ok, I’m getting seriously tired of the title shenanigans going on around here.

    The first instance that I noticed was the story about how the Queen of England was “refusing to meet” with President Obama. The title clearly indicated that she would NOT see him at all (which was not true – she is willing to meet with him at Windsor & she is old so that’s reasonable). Now this title which – indicates that Cruise’s & Travolta’s kids were abused. Which is also NOT THE CASE per se (we can speculate, of course) because you’re actually saying “Someone who was abused by the CoS happened to interview (essentially) these children while working for the CoS prior to her abuse”.

    Is this intentional – is it click bait, like I suspect? Or are you simply not putting effort into being clear (which is an editorial failure that is inexcusable)?

    Can we get the quality back, please?