Ex-Scientologist story #403, Disconnection Strikes Again

Derek Bloch tells his life story to the Village Voice blog on 2/16/2012.  As a child whose parents became fanatical Scientologists he saw the real face of Scientology.  This is not the smiling face that it shows the public; no, you have to be a member to see the teeth and hear the snarl.

Scientology, “Disconnection,” and Homophobia: Derek Bloch’s Story.

“Derek Bloch just wanted to share his story.

He wanted to tell other people what he’d been through, growing up in Scientology, getting kicked out of its hardcore “Sea Org” when it turned out that he was gay, and then increasingly becoming disaffected with his parents’ religion as he became more educated and learned something about human psychology.

He wanted to say all that, but he didn’t want to harm anyone, particularly his parents, who were still convinced Scientologists.

So Derek hid his identity, writing a lengthy and emotional description of his life growing up a Scientology kid, and posted it in February at the Ex-Scientologist Message Board (ESMB), using the screen name “Adam7986” to disguise himself.

Someone reading ESMB, however, recognized the people in Derek’s story and contacted the church, which excommunicated Derek for writing it. Derek’s parents, in turn, “disconnected” from him immediately. In other words, they threw him out of their lives.

Yesterday, I called up Derek’s father, Darren Bloch, and told him I wanted to talk about his decision to choose his religion over his own son.

“It’s really none of your business,” he said before hanging up. . . .

From L. Ron Hubbard’s classification of homosexuality as a “perversion” in his early Scientology texts — considered sacrosanct by the church — to the way a young member like Derek Bloch is treated in what is supposed to be a more enlightened era, Scientology’s homophobia runs deep.

But there was another reason to ignore Darren Bloch’s declaration that this story was none of our business.

That reason is Derek Bloch, who very much wants us to tell it.

“If you do talk to him,” Derek said to me when I told him that I’d be calling his father, “tell him I just want to know one thing: When exactly did he stop loving me?” . . .

Heavy pressure was put on him to join the Sea Org.

The next two years I spent crying, fighting, screaming, being kept up until two in the morning, practically kidnapped by these people. They would follow me to school, follow me after school, chase me on PAC Base. Call me at all hours of the night. I had no support from my parents during this time. My dad blamed me for “pulling it in” and my mom would only tell me how proud she would be if I joined the Sea Org. At 14, I was completely at the mercy of ruthless psychological torture, including mild forms of sleep deprivation and starvation. I felt abandoned by my parents, and I felt like I would never have their respect unless I joined the Sea Org.

The Sea Org recruiters as he soon found out tell outrageous lies in order to fill their thinning ranks.

After my parents so generously abandoned me to the church I spent a month on the EPF. Here I was introduced to the dark side of Scientology. I almost immediately wanted to go home. I spent every day going through the psychological torture of never being good enough and the old cult trick of putting you down one day and building you up the next day. Switching between screaming at you and being your best friend. It has done a copious amount of psychological damage to me.

After a month of being brainwashed while cleaning dishes and bathrooms and running everywhere, I was put “on post” at AOLA, where I quickly found out that I wasn’t allowed to make personal phone calls unless I spent some of my $30-a-week salary on it. I was put in a room with 30 other men and boys ranging from 14 to 60 in age. It smelled horrible, there was no A/C or heating, and I was exposed daily to the company and sight of naked boys my age and older men, while I was going through puberty. This is relevant later. I worked 15- to 20-hour days, with maybe one day off a month, if I was lucky. I was supposed to be going to school but that didn’t happen. I did eventually get my high school equivalency, though. I was screamed at daily about how worthless I was while at the same time being told I was important. It was awful. I was in constant fear of being caught doing something human, like getting sick, eating, taking a dump, or having a non-post-related conversation.

I hardly got to see my parents for the next 2.5 years. Eventually I was sent to train at Flag [Flag Land Base, Scientology’s spiritual headquarters] in Clearwater, FL. This whole time I wanted out but I couldn’t mention it to anyone. I had to bury the feeling and hide it from everyone. I couldn’t even tell my parents how I felt or what I was going through because it is considered a high crime by the religion. Keep in mind, I was still a child.”

Eventually Scientology found out he was gay so they tossed him out.  This was a bitter pill for him to take as it soon led to a break-up with his parents.  But it did spare him further humiliations and deprivations in the Sea Org.

To read the rest of the story go here:


Published in: on October 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm  Comments (2)