Ex-Scientologist story #361, “Buy more basics,” or else!

Jamie Sorrentini

In the annals of shameless greed and avarice Scientology stands alone.  There is no level of sleaze they won’t attempt in order to pry money away from their victims.  In this case the victims are fellow believers in the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard.  The St. Petersburg Times has once again pounded the greedy head of the cult using the hammer of truth.  Among those who were so sickened by this rampant fraud was a young actress.  Here are some excerpts from that story:

Pervasive pitch: Scientology book and lecture series, ‘The Basics,’ unleashes a sales frenzy

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers  In Print: Monday, November 14, 2011.

Actor Jamie Sorrentini, who has had small roles in The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives and CSI: Miami, said two church workers called her into a room at Scientology’s Los Angeles church in 2008. They said she needed to buy Basics sets if she wanted to advance to the Operating Thetan spiritual levels.   

   Sorrentini was stunned. She felt she had earned the right to be an OT.   

   She had racked up $70,000 in debt for counseling services and donations, putting the charges on five credit cards a church staffer had helped her get. She had spent $10,000 of that on Basics, which were sitting unopened in her garage. She had volunteered for a church human rights campaign and spent thousands hosting a fundraiser at her home. Her family had given $50,000 to the International Association of Scientologists.  

   It wasn’t enough, the staffers told her. She needed to buy more Basics.  

   “No way,” Sorrentini said.  

   Scientology had tapped her out.  She tended bar to supplement her acting income and needed family help to make her monthly debt payments. Her cards were maxed out.  

   The staffers’ solution: They would call the credit card companies and get her limits raised.  

   “I told them: ‘I feel like you’re telling me that I have to buy my spiritual freedom.’ ”  

   Oh, no, she remembers them saying. We’re not suggesting that.  

   “Well, you are because you’re not going to let me out of the room until I buy (more Basics) and say yes.”  

   They went back and forth for hours, two church staffers and Sorrentini in a room with the door closed. She didn’t walk out because she wanted the advanced services.   

   “By the end I was so exhausted I just said, ‘Okay, fine. I’ll buy them. I’ll buy two sets.’ Because I couldn’t take it anymore. It was like, get me out of this room, get me out of this situation. If that’s what I have to do to get on to the OT levels, then fine. I guess I’ll just do it.”  

   Filled with regret, she canceled the purchase the next day, angering church staffers who said they had already counted it as income. “It was like the world was going to end,” she said.   

   Then she got in trouble for telling her Scientologist father about the matter. The church frowns on spreading “entheta,” or bad news.  

   Ethics officers told her she needed additional training to get back in good graces. The cost? Fifteen thousand dollars.  

   The church denied that it ever pressured members to take on debt. Fed up and still owing money, Sorrentini left the church last year.   

For the full story go here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/pervasive-pitch-scientology-book-and-lecture-series-the-basics-unleashes-a/1201177

The story gets worse though, here is what happened as reported on Marty Rathbun’s blog.  She quit and her mom but her dad and sister stayed in; disconnection followed.  http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/jamies-adventure/

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 4:04 am  Leave a Comment  

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