Small adults with no childhood:children in Scientology

Posted on August 27, 2010 by


“If you can tell the difference between a lot of little kids you run into, and psychos, I’ll give you a medal.”
L. Ron Hubbard, Professional Auditor’s Bulletin Nr. 119 “The Big Auditing Problem”, 1.9.1958.

On 12 February 2001 the New York Post Online published an article by Peter Fearon, entitled “Kids in Co$”. The divorce of superstars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, after a marriage of ten years and two adopted children, Isabella and Connor, had drawn attention to the implications for their children. Tom Cruise was, and remains, enthusiastic about Scientology. Kidman left the church in 2000 and is now again a Catholic. What kind of future could their children expect if raised as Scientologists?

Having interviewed several former Scientology parents, the Post concluded that “Kidman is right to be concerned”. One of them, Teresa Summers, of Clearwater, Florida, told the Post, “Scientologists are encouraged not to treat sick children with conventional medication, not to comfort and nurture children, and to cut or restrict ties with grandparents if they are not Scientologists.”

Summers was a member of the elite Sea Organisation (SO) and raised her first child inside the cult. She said “Mothers who have raised children in the Church of Scientology and come out [leave the cult] have a terrible sense of guilt over what our children went through… They had children doing physical work, sometimes 40 to 60 hours a week. It could be anything – shoveling gravel, laying carpet, but mostly it was clerical work,” she said. “I also worked in one of their schools, in Clearwater, Florida. Many of the children don’t do as well as they should academically.”

The often bizarre application of Church of Scientology attitudes to children begins at birth and the same pseudo-scientific beliefs continue to guide family relationships during early childhood.

Hubbard said, in the Science of Survival: “When children become unimportant to a society, that society has forfeited its future.” Very true. But the lip service paid to the importance of children in Scientology is no more than that.

The application of the often bizarre attitudes of the Church of Scientology to children begins at birth and the same pseudo-scientific beliefs continue to guide family relationships during early childhood. Hubbard taught that children are small adults.

“Parents are encouraged not to comfort or nurture young children because Hubbard believed children are small adults, able to think and fend for themselves from a very early age. For example, a child who falls and hurts himself is taken to the place where he was hurt and the injury is pressed against the object that caused it. It is believed the pain can be made to flow back into the object. That’s called a contact assist,” Teresa Summers said. “There is also a fever assist. We were discouraged from seeking medical help or giving medication, even Tylenol, to bring down a fever. Instead, you get the child to hold an object still. That’s supposed to bring down the fever. When it doesn’t work, it’s because you aren’t doing it right or didn’t repeat it often enough. I tried it on my child. Naturally, it didn’t work.”

In a statement made in 2001, Astra Woodcraft described how her mother used these procedures.

“When I was growing up in England to the age of seven, my mother would apply the Scientology technology for sicknesses. When I hurt myself, she would make me do a ‘contact assist’ which meant that if I hit my elbow, I had to touch it back to the place where I hit it over and over until it felt better and I wasn’t allowed to stop until it felt better. If I was ill, my mother gave me a ‘touch assist” where I would lie down and close my eyes and she would touch me with her finger and ask, ‘Feel my finger.’ This was also done until I felt better. I never felt better from theses processes but would have to pretend I did because she wouldn’t stop until I said I felt good.” [Astra Woodward, Ex-Scientology Kids.]

Teresa Summers claimed that children are routinely asked to spy on one another and are subjected to gruelling punishments. “It’s called making amends, and it can be anything – my daughter was made to scrub poles, paint walls, report on her friends. I let her do all that,” she said.

Some parents who left Scientology also report they neglected their children because they were kept too busy with church programs, instruction and work.

Security checking 

Children as young as six are also subjected to security checks or “sec checks”. An auditor probes the thoughts, attitudes and behavior of an individual by asking them large numbers of questions. For adults the bulk of the questions refer to criminal or sexual activities or intentions, or anything else that the interviewee might be ashamed of. One list designed for children aged 6 to 12 included the following “insidious, guilt-inducing” questions. [L. Ron Hubbard, HCO (Hubbard Communication Office) Bulletin of 21 September 1961, also known as HCO WW Security Form 8, from various sources.

– What has somebody told you not to tell?

– Do you have a secret?

– Have you ever decided you didn’t like some member of your family?
– Have you ever taken something belonging to somebody else and never given it back?
– Have you ever pretended to be sick (ill)?
– Have you ever made yourself sick (ill) or hurt yourself to make somebody sorry?
– Have you ever done anything you were very much ashamed of?
– Have you ever spoiled things for people?
– Have you ever done anything you shouldn’t when you were supposed to be asleep?
– Have you ever tried to make others believe that your parents or teachers were cruel to you?

The Scientology approach to the education of children might at first sight seem unremarkable. But when one knows something about Scientology’s actual treatment of children, Hubbard’s bland prose is quite chilling in its depth of deception.

In Hubbard’s foreword to the Scientology Handbook, we read: “Raising children should be a joy. And can be. In fact, it can be one of the most rewarding of all human experiences. The application of Scientology principles to the bringing up of children can ensure that they are happy, loving and productive, and that they become valued members of the societies in which they live.” [Scientology Handbook, New Era Publications, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1994, 2.]

Scientology claims to create happy, loving, and productive human beings and happy families. It achieves exactly the opposite. The most evident results of its methods are neglected and abused children, adults who are emotionally-crippled, manipulable and often mentally unstable. A substantial number of Scientology families are broken by “disconnection”, defined and discussed below.

Hubbard’s view of children is given in his introduction to Child Dianetics [L. Ron Hubbard, Child Dianetics 1974, 9-10]. “Children are not dogs. They can’t be trained as dogs are trained. They are not controllable items. They are, and let’s not overlook the point, men and women. A child is not a special species of animal distinct from Man. A child is a man or woman who has not attained full growth. Any law which applies to the behaviour of men and women applies to children’. But Hubbard seems nevertheless to have believed that children were very similar to dogs and should be controlled every step of the way. Why otherwise does the front cover of Child Dianetics feature a dog?

In fact Scientology parents are very much into control but their children are not raised to be part of normal society. “In raising your child you must avoid ‘training’ him into a social animal.” They exist to work for their parents: “A calm house and care of Daddy means Daddy works better.” The family and its silent, obedient, subservient children are to be managed to suit Daddy. His question: “Are we going to have a happy house around here or aren’t we?” is also a threat. [L. Ron Hubbard 1951, Introduction to Child Dianetics 1974, 12-16; Kurt-Helmuth Eimuth 1997, 71].]

Scientology has no special methods for educating children. According to the Scientology view, any technique used on adults are also appropriate for children. [Scientology Handbook 1994, 3]. This can lead to overwhelming mental and psychological demands on children and young people, when, for example, a twelve-year old has to undergo the Purification Rundown, or be audited, or even become an auditor himself.

The Purification Rundown or “Purif” is a detoxification program invented by L. Ron Hubbard. The programme combines exercise, dietary supplements (large doses of niacin and cooking oil), and long stays in a hot sauna (as much as five hours a day every day for five weeks). The exposure to high heat and the overdose of vitamins have been criticized by many doctors for being potentially dangerous and having no merits. Scientology’s own literature reports dehydration, electrolyte disturbances including low sodium and potassium levels, and heat-related illnesses as frequent side-effects. Participants are taught that the side-effects are evidence that toxins are being flushed out. Like all the other medical concepts in Scientology, the Purification Rundown has no scientific basis.

The main objectives of Child Dianetics are to clear ‘engrams’ and to take precautions to avoid their implantation. A Scientologist should use Dianetics every day of life.

An engram is defined as a mental image of an experience containing pain, unconsciousness, and a real or fancied threat to survival; it is a recording in the Reactive Mind of something which actually happened to an individual in the past. [Child Dianetics, 1974, 169]

The Reactive Mind is defined as that function of the mind which files and retains physical pain and painful emotion and seeks to direct the organism solely on a stimulus-response basis. It thinks only in identities. [Child Dianetics 1974, 172]

The prevention of engrams starts before or during birth. “People have scores of prenatal engrams when they are normal. They can have more than two hundred. And each one is aberrative. Each contains pain and ‘unconsciousness’.” [Dianetics 1994, 172.] Hubbard invented several case histories. A boy of seven developed asthma following a prenatal experience at 4 months when his mother had acute bronchitis. Jimmy aged ten remembered a painful experience 8 days after conception. [Child Dianetics 1974, 120-122.] It is difficult to understand how anyone could believe him.

To prevent the creation of engrams one should start during pregnancy and apply what Hubbard called Preventive Dianetics [Child Dianetics 1974, 37]. “Everyone must learn to say nothing within the expectant mother’s hearing while she is hurt or ill, or during labor and delivery. Particularly during birth must absolute silence be maintained, and the more gentle the delivery, the better.” [Child Dianetics 1974, 37]

Since any injury to the mother can give her unborn child an engram, “anyone likely to be in contact with a pregnant woman should also be instructed to remain absolutely silent if she happens to suffer some accident or injury. Silence is the first rule, and nothing at all should be said if it can be avoided.” This rule equally applies to the mother. Hubbard’s hypothetical pregnant mothers were liable to a considerable and surprising level of violence. The reaction of a husband learning that his wife is pregnant is to strike her in the abdomen while raving: “Get out! Get out! I know you haven’t been true to me! You were no virgin when I married you. I should have killed you long ago! Now you’re pregnant! Get out!” [Dianetics New Era edition 1994, 275.] There is much, much more of this. If it reflects anything in real life, it is the violence in Hubbard’s own marriages.

Hubbard applied the rule of silence to the birthing process. “A child … should have a silent, as painless as possible, birth. The delivery itself should … be as calm and mute as possible.” [Kurt Helmuth Eimuth, 1997, 67.] Directly after the birth, “the doctor will lay the child on the mother’s abdomen even before the cord is cut, and as soon as the cord is cut and tied, the mother will give the caressing and nursing.” [Child Dianetics 1974, 75] In fact, despite the nod in the direction of natural child-birth, Scientology rejects the breast-feeding of babies and even recommends that the newly-born baby should not be bathed but wrapped quite tightly in a blanket and left without human contact for a day, or even for three days, according to some sources. The actual working is rather quaint: “Next, the delivery itself should carry as little anaesthetic as possible, be as calm and no-talk as possible and the baby should not be bathed or chilled (sic) but should be wrapped somewhat tightly in a warm blanket, very soft, and then left alone for a day or so.” [L. Ron Hubbard, HCO Bulletin of 20 December 1958, “Processing a new mother”, http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.scientology/msg/f6427787a2b548ac%5D This in itself would be enough to break the link between mother and child, causing psychological damage, besides making it difficult to establish breast-feeding.

The rejection of breast-feeding means that a baby born into the cult may never feel close to its mother. Research done over a long period by psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth demonstrates that an insecure emotional attachment to the parents is the major factor in psychological problems with older children. Bowlby’s work in ‘attachment theory’ lead to the conclusion that ‘If a community values its children, it must cherish their parents’. [John Bowlby, Maternal Care and Mental Health, WHO Monograph 2, 1951, 84].

Hubbard’s infamous Barley Water formula is another example of interference in natural processes. Hubbard declared that “The largest cause of upset in a baby’s early life is just rations. As an old hand at this, I have straightened out more babies who were cross, not sleeping, getting sick and all, than it was easy to keep a record of.” Hubbard dismissed existing methods of feeding babies on “bad-tasting” milk powder formulae with lots of carbohydrates or the thin breast-milk of a mother exhausted through overwork. [Scientology Handbook 1994, 28] “Breast feeding babies may have a nostalgic background, particularly to a Freudian oriented medico, but real breast milk again is usually a poor ration”.

His answer to the alleged problem was the Barley Water formula which consists of 15 ounces barley water, 10 ounces homogenized milk and 3 ounces (more or less) of Karo syrup. He claimed it was “an old Roman formula, no less, from maybe 2,200 years ago” but he invented it himself and claimed that it was “the nearest approach to human milk that can be assembled easily…” He introduced the recipe in The Auditor number 6 in an article ironically called “Healthy Babies”. The recipe was later published in The Volunteer Minister’s Handbook which is widely distributed in third world countries.

It is generally recognised to be inadequate and even dangerous. The DGE (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährungs) concluded that it was unsuitable as food for an infant in the first year of life while its faithful use has led to at least one clinical case of scurvy. [C.J. Burk, R. Molodow, “Infantile scurvy: an old diagnosis revisited with a modern dietary twist.” Am. J. Clin. Dermatol. 2007;8(2):103-6.] Hubbard was perhaps misled by the fact that human milk looks thin, compared with cow milk, and that his own stressed and battered wives had difficulty breast-feeding. He was also wrong to believe that barley has a lot of protein: it has less than wheat or oats. And when he claimed to “recall” that Roman troops marched on barley his memory was faulty. The Roman army used barley to feed horses and as punishment rations; the troops ate bread made of wheat.

As soon as the child is old enough, which may be as young as five, it is prepared for auditing sessions. Hubbard identified five ways of preparing a very young child for full-scale auditing: the prevention of prenatal engrams, running assists on minor injuries, blowing locks using straight-line memory, teaching him to remember and return by running pleasure moments, and using other techniques to bring the child out of locks and back to the present. This approach makes it “easy and rapid” to begin formal auditing which can be undertaken as soon as the child understands the significance of prenatal life and the process of birth and that the repeated “running” of a painful experience will dispose of it for ever. [Child Dianetics 1974, 86-87] Some aspects of this scheme, like locks and engrams, are unfounded products of Hubbard’s ever-fertile imagination but the process as a whole represents a by-no means imaginary attack on the personality, individual identity and mental processes of the child. This justifies opposition to the involvement of Scientologists in child-care and primary education. Their methods are designed to condition children to accept Scientology.

One aspect of Child Dianetics, mentioned already, is the treatment of an injury with a Child Assist. (As noted, the level of violence and illness in Hubbard’s hypothetical families is abnormal.) Hubbard defined an assist as the reduction of current pain by dianetic methods. [Child Dianetics 1974, 166.] When a young child is upset or hurt, it should not be spoken to or comforted, but left to cry until it begins to laugh again. (This is also the principle of the Introspection Rundown, used by the cult to treat adult psychotics, with many disastrous consequences.) “In cases of minor physical injury, anyone around the child may run an assist. But in young children, often just letting them cry it out seems to be enough. When a child is hurt, most people find themselves speaking comforting and consoling words almost before they know it. And what they say is usually what they have said a hundred times before when the child was hurt. This restimulates the whole chain of injuries. Parents can help a child most by saying nothing. . . Silence need not inhibit affection. One may hold the child, if he wants to be held, or put an arm around him. Often, if nothing is said, a young child will cry hard for a minute or so, and then suddenly stop, smile, and run back to what he was doing. Allowing him to cry seems to release the tension resulting from the injury, and no assist is needed if this occurs. In fact it is often very difficult to make the child return to the moment of injury if he has run it out of himself this way.” [Child Dianetics 1974, 75]

According to the principles of Dianetics, therefore, the gentle treatment of the pregnant woman, the silent birth and other silent methods should prevent the child from acquiring engrams or developing a “lock”. In older children an assist should normally be done. This assist is a simple form of auditing. An example is given in Child Dianetics. [Child Dianetics 1974, 76-77] A child has fallen off a rock and hurt himself.

“When the child is no longer dazed, ask him, ‘What happened? How did you get hurt? Tell me about it.’

As he begins to tell about it, switch him to the present tense if he doesn’t tell the story in the present tense spontaneously. Try it this way:

‘Well, I was standing on a big rock and then I slipped and fell and . . .’ (crying)

‘Does it hurt when you are standing on the rock?’

‘No. ‘

‘What happens when you are standing on the rock?’

‘ I slip . . . ‘(crying)

‘Then what happens?

‘I fall on the ground.’

‘Is there grass on the ground?’

‘No – it’s all sandy.’

‘Tell me about it again.’

You can take the child through it several times until he gets bored or laughs. “

This assist is intended to prevent children form what Hubbard calls locks and secondaries. A lock is defined as ‘an incident which, because of similar perceptic content, activates or restimulates an engram’. [Child Dianetics 1974, 170] A secondary is defined as ‘a mental image picture containing misemotion (encysted grief, anger, apathy, etc) and a real or imagined loss. Secondaries contain no physical pain; they are moments of shock and stress depending for their force on earlier engrams which have been restimulated by the circumstances of the secondary.’ [Child Dianetics 1974, 173]

A chain is defined in Dianetics as any series of incidents in the engram bank which have similar content. The former German Scientologist, Norbert Potthoff, explains that a chain consists of engrams and secondaries. They contain lots of images and information resources but the energy saved in these chains is not available to human beings in the present time and this leads to their making mistakes [Norbert Potthoff, Scientology Analyse, 1992, 72].

If the child has already formed a lock-chain and it is to be deleted, then the process of straight memory can be used. The child should be reminded of other situations which he can link to the current painful situation and go through this repeatedly until he begins to laugh or becomes bored. The lock-chain has then been deleted, as in the auditing described above. This technique appears to induce a mild hypnosis which separates the child’s memory from his feelings.

“Straight-line memory may be used in hundreds of situations that arise from day to day: whenever the child is fretful, unhappy and crying over something; when he is feeling slightly sick [ill]; when he is obviously restimulated by something; when he has overheard a dramatization; or someone has punished him severely or uncorked a dramatization directed towards him; when he feels rejected – in fact, every time a child is unhappy or nervous for any reason, or when you know that he has recently had a highly restimulative experience. The principle here, as in any straight-line work, is to get at the specific phrases and situations causing the restimulations. Of course this technique can be used only when the child has learned to talk enough to give a coherent account of what he is thinking and feeling.

“If the child is feeling upset (not seriously ill), you may begin by asking him when he felt this way before. Usually a child will remember. As you ask further questions about what was happening, what he was doing at the time, who was talking, what was said, how he felt, and the usual questions directed toward uncovering the situation, he will describe the scene graphically. When he does so, simply run him through it again a few times. … But don’t be overly sympathetic. Show affection and interest – yes. But don’t croon, or moan, ‘Poor baby, poor little thing!’ or similar phrases. They serve only to form sympathy computations.” [Child Dianetics 1974, 78-79]. “Say nothing around a sick child or an injured child. Smile, appear calm, but say nothing.” [Dianetics 1994, 211.]

A sympathy computation is defined as a reactive conclusion that the way to obtain sympathy, and consequent survival, is to suffer the pain involved in the engram, or to obey its commands. In other words, the child will learn to consider the injury or annoyance to be valuable because it has the effect of allowing it to receive special attention and sympathy. Later in the manual the parent is advised to “run the child through the incident a few times until he laughs. This will blow the lock and release him from the restimulation. ” [Child Dianetics 1974, 80]

Dramatization is defined as the acting out (doing or saying) of one or more valences from a restimulated engram. A valence is defined as the personality and/or characteristics of a person or an object. A winning valence is the dominant or most successful role.

The main features of the Scientology treatment of children are therefore the prevention of engrams in the unborn child, the performance of assists for minor injuries in older children, and the removal of locks with the help of straight-line memory. These are all ways of preparing children for auditing, and are similar to the procedures used in auditing adults. Child Dianetics teaches how to carry out a simplified form of auditing in any situation. “A child cannot be safely cleared until he is at least five years of age and current practice is to place this figure at about eight years.” [Dianetics 1994, 203.] This is a serious burden on a Scientologist child, when, as may happen, imaginary memories of their own birth or previous lives are superimposed on their own memories of daily life. How is a child to cope with this when an auditing session in an adult can barely cope with the feelings and thoughts raised, as described, for example, by Norbert Potthoff. [See “Auditing”]

In the book The Cult Children [Die Sekten-Kinder, 1997] by Kurt-Helmuth Eimuth, a former Scientologist described her experience with her own son. “The end-product is a disturbed child, who is unable to adapt. These children carry with them overwhelming guilt, always confronting or experiencing their past crimes, like the endless repetition of a horror film, trying to understand them well enough to bring closure.”

According to Eimuth, the focus on imaginary memories, auditing and confronts hinders the development of the personality of children brought up as Scientologists. “It is evidently impossible for them to develop an ability to make independent decisions. It seems possible, that up to a point these children suffer from the same massive problems of identity, including pathogenic identity confusion, that we find in adult cult members. “

Eimuth identifies several specific sources of identity problems in Scientology children: the Children’s Communication Course, the absolutely standard behavior demanded of the children, the auditing, the use of technical jargon, the work children must do, and the lack of time that parents have to take care of the needs, especially the emotional needs, of their children as a result of their own activities and routines. In addition, Scientology children are outsiders in the “normal” world. As a consequence of their outsider status they are repeatedly pulled back into the Scientology sphere of thought. They are also set apart by the imaginary nature of the thoughts, including out-of-body experiences and memories of past lives and past crimes, which are evoked in auditing.

“Children MUST contribute.”

The work that children do has been referred to more than once. An important principle of Scientology doctrine is that children must make a “contribution”. This obligation starts in infancy: “A baby contributes by trying to make you smile. The baby will show off. A little later he will dance for you, bring you sticks, try to repeat your work motions to help you. If you don’t accept those smiles, those dances, those sticks and those work motions in the sense in which they are given, you have begun to interrupt the child’s contribution. Now he will start to get anxious. He will do unthinking and strange things to your possessions in an effort to make them ‘better’ for you. You scold him. That finishes him. … You can do nothing more than accept the smiles, the dances, the sticks of the very young. But as soon as a child can understand he should be given the whole story of the family operation. ” [Child Dianetics 1974 14, 15.]

Hubbard believed that problems with children can invariably be traced to the fact that the child is not allowed to make a contribution to the family or to society. “You have no right to deny your child the right to contribute. A human being feels able and confident only so long as he is permitted to contribute as much as or more than he has contributed to him.” [Child Dianetics 1974, 15] According to Scientology it is the duty of a child to look after and work for his parents. [Child Dianetics 1974, 15.] In consequence, Scientology children often end up working beyond their physical and mental capacities.

Scientology goes so far as to claim that the fundamental cause of juvenile delinquency is the prohibition of child labour. “The basic difficulty with all juvenile delinquency is the one-time apparently humane program of forbidding children to labor in any way… Forbidding children to work, and particularly forbidding teenagers to make their own way in the world and earn their own money, creates a family difficulty so that it becomes almost impossible to raise a family, and creates as well, and particularly, a state of mind in the teenager that the world does not want him, and he has already lost his game before he has begun it. Then with something like universal military training staring him in the face so that he dare not start a career, he is of course thrust into a deep subapathy (state of disinterest before apathy) on the subject of work, and when he at length is faced with the necessity of making his own way in the world, he rises into an apathy and does nothing about it at all…

“Children, in the main, are quite willing to work. A two-, three- four-year old child is usually found haunting his father or her mother trying to help out either with tools or dust rags; and the kind parent who is really fond of the children responds in the reasonable and long-ago-normal manner of being patient enough to let the child actually assist. A child so permitted then develops the idea that his presence and activity is (sic) desired and he quite calmly sets about a career of accomplishment.

“The child who is warped or pressed into some career, but is not permitted to assist in those early years, is convinced that he is not wanted, that the world has no part of him. And later on he will come into very definite difficulties regarding work. However, the child who at three or four wants to work in this modern society is discouraged and is actually prevented from working, and after he is made to be idle until seven, eight or nine, is suddenly saddled with certain chores.”

Hubbard continued: “Later on in his teens, he is actively prevented from getting the sort of a job which will permit him to buy the clothes and treats for his friends which he feels are demanded of him, and so he begins to feel he is not a part of the society. Not being part of the society, he is then against the society and desires nothing but destructive activities.” [Scientology Handbook, New Era Publications, 1994, 14ff.]

A parent can physically punish a child who is making a contribution but who nevertheless violates the rights of its parent. Hubbard claims that this will not damage the child so long as it can still play its own part. A father can take physical action against a child, so long as the child continues to own what it owns, and continues to make a contribution to the father, and can still works for him. His argument is that, whatever else happens to them, children will be happy when they are making a contribution by working.

We know something about the abuse that this entails from a report published by U.S. Sonntag-Kunze which investigated the daily lives of children living and working in the Scientology centres at Copenhagen, Munich and East Grinstead in England. The children have to fulfil a program similar to that of adult Scientologists on staff.

Like adults, the children living in these centres have a clearly-demarcated daily routine with a points program and a statistic or result that is presented every week, on Thursdays. In addition to their school work, children have positions within the organization. Some are Registrars, responsible for distributing documents prepared for meetings and managing the related paperwork. Some are Messengers who link the various offices, bring people to meetings and “rout” them out again. They have the same authority as any adult holding the same position. In addition children take courses to become Auditors. A child of twelve might have to audit adults and be confronted by every possible intimacy they might disclose. There is no leisure. Between school and working for Scientology, these children, even if they go to a regular school, have no time for child-oriented activities. [U.S. Sonntag-Kuntze, “Ausarbeitung über die Gefahren, die bei dem Kontakt zwischen Scientologen und Kindern entstehen können”, Schriftsatz n.d.,11, 31 May 2010; also in Eimuth 1997, 86.]

This sounds bad enough.  Ann Bailey, as part of her statement to Hearing in Clearwater, gave a description of the physical conditions that were tolerated in Scientology “Cadet Orgs” or holding centres for Sea Org children.

http://www.american-buddha.com/cia.scientologyclearwater.exh67.htm

What of the Sea Org children? At ASHO if you were in the Sea Org and had a child this is what happened. At four months your baby would be sent to the Cadet Org. This was another old Inn originally called the Melrose bought by the Sea Org in 1977. Sea Org children saw their parents once a week on Sunday. The children were totally indoctrinated into Scientology tech. They didn’t even go to regular school. At kindergarten age they went to the Pumpkin School and then on to the Apple School, both Scientology run. At sixteen most of the girls went to the Commodore’s Messenger Org. The children had their own Org in miniature. Their CO was age 8. They had uniforms and a lot of kids were auditors before they were 12. The most chilling thing I saw was a Cadet Org Ethics Order on a 7 year old girl. She had been placed in a condition of enemy by the Cadet Ethics Officer who was 11. She had to work through the conditions just as a grown-up would. I only saw the Melrose once and that was enough. We had an emergency mission one Saturday night, when we usually had liberty time. The L.A. Health Inspector was coming to the Melrose on Monday. ASHO Fdn was told to go over and clean the whole place up. It was a stinking pigsty. It really upset me. We worked like demons all Saturday night. The babies there were all underfed as they were given feeding according to Ron’s orders — he has Flag Orders written on baby formulas. There was food all over the walls and floors, maggots in the kitchen and these robotic children wandering around. Piles and piles of dirty laundry thrown in the front hall. It was awful. I worked so hard to clean it up — I was so angry. I wanted to do something for these children who had no childhood and didn’t know it. I remember cleaning the ovens so hard my hands bled. At least they’ll have a clean stove and hopefully won’t get food poisoning was what I was thinking. I was never so glad that I had never become pregnant in the Sea Org. If I had done so, I knew I would have snuck out and had an abortion, with no qualms whatsoever. No way would any child of mine end up there. When the mission was finished and we went back to the Hollywood Inn, I spent the two hours we were supposed to sleep, scrubbing our bathtub over and over. It was the only way I could vent my anger

Their parents also have a very full day and little leisure time. In “Cult Children” Eimuth describes how little time a Scientologist, who eventually left the cult, had for his children. Daniel Fumagalli was given at the age of seven to Scientology by his mother. “He later lived as a staff employee in Copenhagen. He could not care for his one year old daughter because of his job requirements … Daniel says: ‘There were nurseries where you could leave a child in the morning and collect it in the evening. Parents also had an hour after the evening meal which was called parents’ time or family time.’ Later a new order curtailed even this limited but regular contact between parents and their children. ‘The order stated that an hour a day was not enough for family time. Therefore it was better to spend this time on productive work and in exchange have a whole day off every other Saturday, which could be spent entirely with the child. In other words, one now saw one’s child every second week for one day, which included the night when the child was asleep.’ ” [Eimuth 1997, 86]

This means that the education of children is now entirely the responsibility of the organisation and no longer that of the parents. Scientology is free to manipulate these children throughout the whole day. If they do not go to a normal mainstream school but to a Scientology school then they live entirely inside Scientology and have no chance to learn anything else. They know they must work for Scientology, so that the world can be saved. So they are under strong pressure to perform and to fulfill their statistics.

A young woman who looked after children and young people in a Scientology center, explained the way that statistics were applied to children. “The Ethics statistics assessing the child’s behavior are spread throughout the day … The system is designed to help the child who has a particular difficulty. If he has done very well, he is in a state of ‘Power ‘and gets five points, the maximum number. In order to be in ‘power’, he must not have been ‘out-ethics’ [bad] and must have participated actively to improve one or more dynamics. If he was not quite so active, but was still well behaved, he achieves a condition of ‘Abundance’, which gives him four points. Three points are ‘normal ‘and only mean that the child did nothing out-ethical. One to two out-ethical acts put him into ‘Emergency condition’ and he gets two points. If the child has seriously enturbulated the group, he is in ‘Danger’ and gets only one point. And if he has been unreasonable all day and has continuously enturbulated the group, he gets no point and is reduced to a condition known as ‘non-existent’.” Hubbard defined ‘to enturbulate’ as to agitate, disturb, upset or harass, and ‘enturbulation’ as anything turbulent, stormy or stirring. The punishment for enturbulation can be extreme.

Children may be disconnected. Whenever an individual Scientologist encounters problems he is told that they are due to the influence of a Suppressive person or SP. Disconnection forces members of the cult, including small children), to sever all ties with any relatives, friends or colleagues who is deemed to be antagonistic towards Scientology. The cult claims that contact with SPs creates an obstacle to spiritual growth and can change a member into a PTS (Potential Trouble Source), which cuts him off from the services of the cult. For the indoctrinated, who have invested their lives in the pursuit of immortality, this is a serious threat. Disconnection can and regularly does end marriages, separating children and young people from their parents, and leaving them dependent on the dubious care of the organisation.

Children who misbehave are by definition suppressive and so they are forbidden to have contact with their parents, because they hinder the advancement of their parents in Scientology. [Eimuth 1997, 90f.] U.S. Sonntag was told that her son was a “suppressive person” and that the org was going to make an example of him. ‘In the Italian restaurant one floor below the Org a small boy sat alone at a table and ate. His mother sat apart from him at another table. I was told that the boy was an SP and that his mother must handle him. She had to disconnect from him in order to move forward.” [Sonntag-Kuntze, cited by Eimuth 1997, 83]

Disconnection is used to control and punish children [Eimuth 1997, 84]. The Interdepartmental Working Group set up in Germany to investigate self-styled youth-cults and psycho-groups has confirmed, as have Scientology critics, that children are separated by disconnection from their parents, as the family must submit to the orders of the cult.

Scientology naturally denies that disconnection exists. However enforced disconnection from close family members, sometimes lasting for decades, is reported by almost every individual who leaves the official cult and is often a factor in their decision to do so.

The problems created by SPs and PTSs are a convenient fiction which justifies separating a believer from any sceptical outside contacts. Eimuth concludes that the high demands of parents and Scientology’s view of people, which does not include a childhood, contributes to estrangement between parents and children.

In his book, The Labyrinth of Scientology, Norbert Potthoff tells of a disabled boy, Christian, who was emotionally neglected by his parents, as they believed his disability was due to his having been “out-ethics” in a previous life, and that this had had a negative (“suppressive”) effect on his twin brother during pregnancy. Potthoff said: “Christian is Joe’s son from his first marriage. I don’t know much about him. From time to time I see him in the hallway on the top floor, but most of the time he hides in his room. He has difficulty in walking but makes a good impression. ‘There are quite a few things you should know’ says Beate (his stepmother ) ‘Christian and Hilmar are twins and what Ron called ‘black beings’. Hilmar is extremely domineering and authoritarian. He caused his brother’s hip injury by kicking him while they were in the womb. But Christian is also responsible for his problem because he agreed to (‘pulled in’) this damage. We have sent Hilmar to Portugal. He is not easy to handle and was always in serious trouble. Christian is mostly stuck in his reactive mind, and can only get out of it from time to time with a great effort. So that we do not affect his reactive flow, he lives alone in his room. Only his father is allowed to have contact with him. ‘” [Potthoff 1997, 136]

This cruel explanation of a birth defect shows how child-neglect has been incorporated into the ideology and objectives of Scientology with the help of dependent or credulous parents. Despite (or because of) their ambition for world domination, the much-vaunted Clears of Scientology are flawed people who neglect children and teenagers, the disabled, even disabled and sick children, and who have no strong emotions except the need to master their own lives by continued auditing. (A person is regarded as clear when he has erased all engrams, secondaries and locks from his reactive bank.)

This exploration of how Dianetics is applied to children shows that in Scientology the family is very much in second place. Children are often brought up by unrelated people without love or affection. They learn to follow orders blindly. Their own opinion, if they have one, counts for nothing. They learn to seek power and how to control other people. They learn not to be affectionate towards other people. The family is not important for Scientology children for they never experience “normal” family life. Scientology wants to make these children into Homo Novis, the new race of supermen that are to dominate the world, a world in which there will be no sick, weak or disabled people.

Kurt-Helmuth Eimuth saw that “children are forced from an early age into an imaginary system that alienates them from any other society committed to normal social behaviour. Like no other organisation, Scientology teaches a naked social Darwinism. Nothing could be further from its claim to produce mature, social, responsible people. Either children grow up to be critical, independent thinking adults, or they will turn into a kind of Scientology ‘superman ‘, controlled by other people.” [Eimuth 1997, 109f.]

Will these children who have grown up within Scientology react against their programming as their experience of the world widens or will they become “perfect soldiers” who can act without emotional impulses in the struggle for Scientology? We still do not know how those who remain within Scientology feel and think as adults. How can they act against Scientology? The only people who have provided this information are those who did not fit into the Scientology system, and who were able to leave. Their views are not necessarily the same as those of people who conform to the system. Can such people ever be re-educated?

Main sources
L. Ron Hubbard, Child Dianetics (1951), 6th edition, 1974.

L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics, The Modern Science of Mental Health (19XX), New Era edition 1994.

L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology Handbook, 1994.

Kurt-Helmuth Eimuth, Die Sekten-Kinder, 2nd edition, Freiburg, Basel, Wien, 1997.

Anonymous, “Kindheit in Scientology – kleine Erwachsene mit keiner Kindheit” – “Childhood in Scientology: small adults with no childhood”, 31 May 2010

Kinder in Sekten, Die 2. Generation, in Werkmappe “Sekte, religiöse Sondergemeinschaften, Weltanschauungen. Heft 76.

Web sites

http://kindseininscientology.wordpress.com/

Cruise-Kidman divorce: http://www.skeptictank.org/gen3/gen02032.htm.
http://www.wfial.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=arcUpdate200103.pg2

Astra Woodcraft declaration: http://exscientologykids.com/astra1.html

Barley Water formula: http://exscnforum.com/index.php/hubbards-barley-water-formula-babies-stupid-parents-t53.html

DGE article: http://www.dge.de/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=22

Bowlby and Ainsworth: http://www.psycholog…nge_origins.pdf ]

General (in German)
http://www.ingo-heinemann.de
http://ilsehruby.at
http://www.chanology.wiki.info/

30 July 2010

Posted in: Child Abuse