Ex-Scientology Kids Share Their Stories

"A very high-level Sea Org member one day saw me and asked me what I was doing and I said I was leaving and I said I was pregnant and he said, Oh, is it too late for an abortion?," Woodcraft said. "I didn't even know what to say in response. "

In a San Francisco Chronicle article from 2001, Church leaders said that the Church has no policy on abortion, leaving the choice up to individual couples.

Lawrence Woodcraft remembered the relief he felt when his daughter finally decided to leave the church.

"She thought, Wait a minute. There's more to life than Scientology," he said.

"That's when she just took off. Just got the hell out of that rotten organization. … Sorry, it makes me upset to think about it," he said, tearing up.

Soon after Astra Woodcraft left, she divorced her husband and says she was disconnected from her family who was still in the Church.

A few years later, her younger sister left, too.

'I Don't Have a Life'

Jenna Miscavige Hill said it wasn't until years after her parents left the Church that she began to realize she wanted to leave as well. "I don't even have a life," she said of her time in Sea Org. "I don't get to enjoy things. Who am I really helping?"

Hill said she and her husband, Dallas, went back and forth about leaving or staying in the Church. In 2005, they finally left for good, and she said she was told to sign paperwork promising not to talk about her experiences within the Church.

"That's a bond that I didn't sign," she said. "I shredded it in front of the lady's face."

Now out of the Church, Woodcraft, Hill and other ex-Sea Org member started their Web site ExScientologykids.com as a way to connect with other ex-Scientologists.

"It's just a way for people to share stories," said Hill, "And to maybe reconnect with people who they knew before."

With her 9-year-old daughter by her side, Astra Woodcraft said she and Hill are trying to move forward.

"If they would just let people who wanted to be there, be there, and let someone who wanted to leave, leave, and someone who didn't like what was going on, speak their mind, there would be no story," she said.

As for Hill, "I'm not gonna be intimidated. I'm just gonna continue living my life the way I want it to be," she said. "I'm not gonna let them affect me anymore."

Again, Hill's parents -- the brother and sister-in-law of Scientology's leader -- declined "Nightline's" request for an interview. However, Hill said that they have a good relationship now that they are all of out of Scientology.

For weeks, "Nightline" repeatedly asked for an on-the-record response from the Church of Scientology. Thursday night, the Church responded with a statement (CLICK HERE for the full statement) in which the Church says it would not comment on what it called Hill's "dismissal" from her Sea Org position. It goes on to say in part that "Every religion has its detractors; there is no faith that can satisfy everyone's spiritual needs, Scientology included. We wish Mrs. Hill well in her search for spiritual fulfillment."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4702271. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4702271. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4702271. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4702271. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4702271. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 4702271.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...