Ex-Scientologist story #195, Staffers live in “condition of poverty.” Witness to abuse.

From the St. Petersburg Times article, “SP Profiles” by Robert Farley, June, 25, 2006.

Karen Pressley of Atlanta and her then-husband Peter Schless – a musician and composer who wrote the hit song On the Wings of Love – became Scientologists and later joined staff. Pressley mostly worked for the church’s international organization in Los Angeles, but she spent six months in Clearwater. She said she designed the new uniforms still worn by staffers today.

Pressley left Scientology in 1998 and refused to come back for sec checks. She has publicly denounced “substandard” child care at church facilities around the world and criticized the church for the “condition of poverty” that staffers lived in. After she left the church, her husband “faithfully applied the rule (of disconnection),” she said.

She calls the suppressive person declare “a form of psychological terrorism. It obliterates families. … People who leave are afraid to talk about Scientology.”

To read the full story go here: http://www.sptimes.com/2006/06/25/Tampabay/SP_profiles.shtml

Another story, this one from the Christian Index, August 4, 2005.

. . .  At the time the organization was growing so rapidly that it could not house all employees at the compound so it purchased a nearby apartment complex. That’s where they housed overflow staff, and that is where they would transport us to work in the morning and back at night. Security fences were erected around the property and 24-hour guards patrolled the grounds – to protect us from intruders we were told, but it was really to prevent us from leaving.”

There was never any privacy. Staff had to assemble for muster, military style, in the morning to be sure everyone was present. All telephone calls were monitored and no one left the compound without a security escort.

Then occurred what she refers to as her Damascus Road experience. In July 1998 she came to “a place of complete brokenness” in her life and knew she could not continue in the cult – even if it meant losing her husband, which was the only reason she returned on those two previous escapes.

. . . People don’t understand how controlling Scientology is,” she says. “About 800 people work in the international headquarters and they give their entire life to the organization. We would work from 8 a.m. to midnight and were forbidden from having children because it would distract from our mission. Only customers, such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta and others who were paying for the instruction, were allowed to have children.

“But that’s part of the attraction of joining as a staff – you could receive your instruction for free, and that is very attractive. But once when I considered leaving I discovered they would charge me $225,000 for the services (meals, housing, instruction) I had been provided in four years as a fulltime staff member. There was no way I could erase that debt.”

In the end she found what she was looking for and it didn’t involve L. Ron Hubbard or the little evil empire he founded.

Here she tells Mark Bunker about the pressure she was under to get high-profile actors into Scientology:

Karen also saw some savage behavior by David Miscavige:  “I’ve seen [David Miscavige] slam people against a wall, by the neck, by the shoulders. … Ray Mithoff, who was the Snr C/S International (his office was across from mine when I was the International Public Relations Officer; we were in the Del Sol Building) … was constantly under the gun with David Miscavige.  And I was present once when he threw Ray Mithoff against the wall, and took his shirt and threw him up like this [gestures upward], and told him he was an SP and a piece of shit. And made him get on his hands and knees and just humiliated him.  And right after that, Ray Mithoff was sleeping in a tent on a hillside and having to pee outdoors with no toilet facilities.  And cleaning floors with toothbrushes. … Miscavige used every psychological tactic, physical abuse, verbal abuse, to dehumanize him.”

To here this interview go here:  http://vimeo.com/13073239

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Published in: on June 22, 2011 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

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