Catarina Pamnell. from Sweden, was just 18 when she joined Scientology in 1981. Like others she wanted to be part of something bigger than herself, something that could help the world. She also wanted personal growth and enhanced capabilites, Scientology looked like it had the answers she had been looking for. She joined the Scientology staff and set out to help “clear” the planet. But thing in Scientology were not as rosy as they seemed when she joined:
By 1983, two years after reading my first Hubbard book, I had gone from a reasonably well-ordered life (steady job, friends, money in the bank, no drug or psychiatric problems, etc.) to a complete mess. I had quit my office job, and worked in the local Scientology organisation in Stockholm, Sweden, for ‘wages’ of around $10-15 a week. My money was all gone after paying over $10,000 for their courses. I had nowhere to live, as the person I had been renting a room from got kicked out of Scientology, which meant that other Scientologists were not allowed any contact with her. The organization’s Ethics Officer told me I had to move out within 24 hours. I didn’t eat or sleep much, had practically no contact anymore with my family and former friends, and was becoming increasingly depressed and unstable. So why didn’t I just quit? By then, I had begun to accept the view that if any Scientology methods didn’t work out very well for me, it was solely due to my own shortcomings. People who were not successful and healthy were considered less valuable as human beings, as it was believed that their own evil intentions and deeds caused all of their problems. The worse things got, the more I thought I had to stick to Scientology. Hubbard, the founder and ‘guru’ of Scientology, stated over and over that Scientology was the only way out, and only evil-minded people opposed it. The world outside was controlled by crazy psychiatrists, greedy bankers and corrupt governments.
Scientology is never hesitant to punish staff members who fail in some way or another. This includes just about everyone sooner or later. She was put in the DPF, Deck Project Force, which is supposed to be less severe than the dreaded RPF, Rehabilitation Project Force. Nonetheless she had a tough time of it.
Then I was taken to a crowded, dirty room in the basement, where DPFers had to sit for several hours every day and write lists of their ‘sins’. According to Hubbard’s ideas, a major reason why people are critical of something or somebody, is because they have committed bad acts towards that which they are criticising. By disclosing every immoral or discreditable thing we had ever done, no matter how small, we were supposed to become well-behaved, obedient, uncritical Scientologists.(Of course we were not told that in those words, we were told it was our only chance to redeem ourselves from total spiritual disaster.) . . . Despite the dreadful physical conditions, the worst part was easily the humiliation; we were basically treated like criminals. When I got there, I was in a pretty bad shape mentally, and the situation only got worse. It’s hard to describe, but I seriously thought I was going to die. My body felt like a foreign object and sometimes I could not even walk or speak.
Summing up she states: The Church of Scientology ideals of grandiose, chilly, controlled, super-human perfection hold no attraction. Living like a robot really sucks.
Her story is compelling. This is the world of L. Ron Hubbard, this is the world that they want for the rest of us.