Inside Scientology: A Times Special Report
She fought Scientology for the child they wanted to abort.
By Thomas C. Tobin And Joe Childs, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Monday, June 14, 2010
[This story combines two people, Natalie Hagemo and her daughter, Shelby LaFreniere. The theme about forced abortions within the Sea Org is a common one, so is disconnection. Yet each case shows the misery that Scientology can cause once it gets a toe-hold in a person’s mind.]
Twenty years ago, when Natalie Hagemo was 19, pregnant and working for the Church of Scientology, she couldn’t wait to be a mother.
She was near the end of her first trimester, she says, when colleagues in Scientology’s military-style religious order, the Sea Organization, began pressuring her to get an abortion.
Two high-ranking officers said terminating the pregnancy would allow her to keep working. They berated her when she said no.
Supervisors told her to hide her expanding belly lest co-workers start thinking it was acceptable to get pregnant. Friends and colleagues shunned her.
Hagemo stood fast and, with her husband at her side, delivered Shelby on Aug. 20, 1990.
Hagemo left the Sea Org but remained an active parishioner and raised her daughter as a Scientologist.
When Shelby was 14, a recruiter came by the local church and signed her up to serve in the Sea Org for a billion years. Hagemo put aside her doubts and allowed it, figuring her daughter would want to come home soon.
A week or so later, Shelby called home in tears, wanting out. Hagemo called a church supervisor to discuss the discharge procedure. She remembers his anger:
You have no say in this. How dare you interfere. You are suppressive.
For the rest of this story go here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/taking-her-daughter/1102159
Natalie put some her own story on video:
More on forced abortions in the cult.