Scientology, "Disconnection," and Homophobia: Derek Bloch's Story

ContractedToFreedom.jpg
Join us to change the world! Unless you're gay, that is.
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.

I beg to differ.

In recent weeks, we've seen a lot of joking on the Internet about Scientology and homosexuality as John Travolta has dealt with another round of accusations (most of which turned out to be garbage, as we said from the start).

But all the joking didn't address the fact that homophobia in Scientology is very real, despite PR campaigns by celebrities sent out by the church to provide cover.

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?"

Derek is 26, but he had been living with his parents after getting kicked out of the Sea Org at 18. Because he dared to write anonymously at ESMB, in April he was declared a "suppressive person" by the church -- Scientology's version of excommunication. According to church policy, no members in good standing can have anything to do with an "SP," so his parents threw him out of the house.

Derek landed on his feet. He has a job as an accountant (just like his father), and some good friends took him in, even though they live with five children of their own. (Their suburban Los Angeles house is large, Derek says.)

I'm going to let Derek tell his own story of how he got to this point, reproducing what he posted anonymously to ESMB in February. (Derek is very bright and he writes well; I only made slight copyediting changes here and there for clarity. I've put in a few interruptions to help readers unfamiliar with Scientology jargon.)

DerekBloch2.jpg
Derek Bloch and Dunkel

My story in Scientology begins when I was a kid.

My dad owned his own accounting practice and was privileged to have a visit from Sterling Management. They are a Scientology front group that seeks to install Hubbard's "management technology" in small businesses.

[One of the key ideas behind Scientology is that its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, wrote millions of words of instructions that all Scientologists must follow to the letter. His writings not only include the church's spiritual ideas about past lives and "auditing" past traumas, but also such mundane things as how to run every aspect of its bureaucracy-obsessed organizations. This "administration technology" is touted to accountants, dentists, and chiropractors through Sterling Management Systems as the best way to get ahead in their fields -- while also drawing clients into the church itself.]

It started off harmless enough. My dad was buying books by the dozen and reorganizing his practice. My sister and I were put on children's courses at Celebrity Centre Dallas. When exactly my parents went from "this is interesting" to religious fanatics, I have no idea because I was too young. All I know is that around this time my dad stopped raising me and started letting Scientology brainwash me into being a "good Scientology kid."

I went through several different schools as my dad moved us from Texas to California to be closer to the "tech." We eventually settled down in Los Angeles and started studying at a mission. I went on to do my Purif and Objectives and soon had the fire of a euphoria-addicted Scientologist in my eyes. It wasn't until recently that I would discover the psychological mechanisms behind auditing.

[Derek is referring to the "Purification Rundown," one of the core practices in Scientology, which is a risky "detox" program that physicians have repeatedly characterized as a sham. It involves sitting for up to 5 hours a day in a sauna for weeks at a time, while ingesting massive amounts of niacin. When he wasn't in the sauna, Derek was doing the "Objectives," strange routines that have Scientologists doing repetitive tasks, like talking to inanimate objects such as ashtrays and bottles. This is supposed to train their minds for better communications or, critics say, unquestioning obedience.]

When I was about 13 my dad would take me to AOLA with him and the Sea Org recruiters would look at me like I was a Little League player at a NAMBLA convention. They would tell me how "theta" and "aware" I was. Of course I was flattered because I had been taught to believe these people were "elite" and to me (a kid) they were like G.I. Joe or Power Rangers.

[At the Advance Organization in Los Angeles -- a Scientology facility that delivers upper-level training -- Derek ran into recruiters from the Sea Organization, Scientology's hardcore elite. Members of the Sea Org sign billion-year contracts and work up to 100 hours a week for about 30 to 50 dollars a week. They almost completely cut themselves off from non-Sea-Org family or friends as they dedicate themselves utterly to Scientology's goal of "clearing the planet" -- global takeover. As we have shown repeatedly here at the Voice, Scientology is dwindling and having a harder time bringing in new recruits, so the children of Scientologists begin experiencing recruitment to the Sea Org at a very young age, and have been known to join as young as 8 years old. They then are taken for a month-long indoctrination, known as "Estates Project Force," or EPF.]

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.

I was "routed onto" staff at AOLA at the ripe old age of 15. I had been convinced that I would see my family regularly, get regular days off, and work a regular schedule. I was told how nice the new building was going to be and how nice the area where I slept would be.

Of course it was a much different story when I actually started living there. The rooms on the EPF were nice. That is about all that was true about what I was told. 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.

Prior to joining the Sea Org I had noticed that I had a tendency to find my own sex attractive, and eventually I ended up fooling around with another guy at Flag. I was 17, I believe he was 19 or 20. We got caught, I got kicked out. My dad blamed me for everything and threatened to disown me.

I still swore by Scientology for a few years before I started to separate myself from it and reflect on all I had been through. I started to doubt my beliefs and I started to feel scared, and confused. Then I discovered human psychology and I have been studying it to get some grip on what I have been through.

I decided I would no longer practice Scientology after looking into it further and seeing the lack of results and shrinking numbers of patrons. I quickly realized what a money pit it was, watching my parents buy re-re-released sets of books for thousands of dollars. Seeing that our family had only gone downhill since my patents began participating in the religion. Also after realizing much of Scientology only works within Scientology. I have also lied to the e-meter a few times so I know it doesn't work either.

I'm much happier staying away from the church and having friends that have nothing to do with Scientology. I make more money and have better benefits working for companies that have nothing to do with Scientology.

I still have not told my parents that I want nothing to do with the church, because I don't want to lose them and because my dad is ill and doesn't need the stress. I just avoid the conversations and don't go to the events. My parents have invested too much into the church, including their youngest son (my brother) for me to even hope to convince them of my position.

Why I still feel obligated to my parents who have still done nothing but take advantage of me and basically failed me as parents is beyond me. This whole thing had damaged me in ways I am still, 11 years later, just now starting to see.

Derek wrote those words of concern for his parents not realizing that just a few weeks later, they would throw him out of their lives for it.

DarrenBloch.JPG
Darren Bloch, the dog Tony, and Derek as a toddler

I asked Derek to go back over some parts of his story in a little more detail for me, starting with his experiences in the Sea Org, and how he got kicked out.

"I started developing a relationship over a few months with a fellow male staff member. We eventually got caught by another roommate, and we were written up," he says. "He was from the UK. We were both sent home. I found him on Facebook recently. He hasn't blocked me, but he has not responded to my messages either."

Derek added that he had known for years that he was gay. "I just finally acted on it," he says. He was "routed out" of the Sea Org on his 18th birthday.

"I was taken home. My father was angry. He told me I was going to be a child molester and molest my little brother. After that I never trusted him and I never again spoke to him about my private life," Derek says.

L. Ron Hubbard, in the 1950 book that became the foundational text for Scientology, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, called homosexuality a "perversion." The next year, in his book Science of Survival, Hubbard described in detail his concept of an emotional "tone scale" which could measure how "alive" a person was, with 0 equaling death and tone 40 -- "serenity of beingness" -- the highest state a person could attain. He classified homosexuals as 1.1 on the tone scale -- "covert hostility."

Former Scientology executives tell me that this was a concept well known to them all, and something drilled into them repeatedly -- that according to Hubbard, homosexuals were not to be trusted because they were hiding their treachery. But also, and just as important, they could be "handled" through auditing so that they -- like any other Scientologist -- would move up on the tone scale as they achieved spiritual advancement in the religion.

Did this mean, I asked Claire Headley, a longtime and important former executive who worked at Scientology's secretive base near Hemet, California, that Scientologists believe that auditing could actually "cure" gays?

"It's a cure, that's right," she says. "If you're auditing, you're going to move up the Tone Scale, and so you won't be 1.1 anymore."

But the Sea Org really wasn't taking any chances, Claire explained. "In order to join the Sea Org, you have to be approved by a fitness board. You do the EPF, you do menial labor, and marching drills. But you also fill out a life history, a 30-page form. You have to detail everything you've ever done your entire life. Every sexual partner, every drug you've ever taken, every relative who's ever worked for the government, for the media, or has ever said anything negative about Scientology."

But even with that kind of scrutiny, Scientology leader David Miscavige would still call for Sea Org members to be investigated for any possibility that they were hiding gay tendencies, she says. "There were so many times when that kind of thing would come up, and it was always a huge flap."

She tells me about one incident in particular, which involved a Sea Org member who had been married for 20 years. But for some reason, Miscavige considered him a threat, and asked that the man's life history be examined. "When the guy was 14, he'd had a crush on a guy," Claire says. Miscavige considered it proof that the man was treasonous, and he was gotten rid of. "That would happen on a regular basis," Claire says.

"At Int Base, they're super homophobic there," says Claire's husband Marc Headley. The couple escaped from the base in 2005, which is detailed in Marc's book, Blown for Good. "If you wanted to get kicked off the base, you just had to say you had gay thoughts. You'd be gone within the day. I knew several people that happened to. And they were high executives," he says. "David Miscavige is super homophobic."

Amy Scobee, another former high-ranking executive who worked at Int Base, says the training about what Hubbard wrote on homosexuality was thorough and oppressive. "You can't trust them. That's what you're taught Hubbard wrote, and so you're trained to believe that you can't trust gay people," she says. "I had to shed those ideas after I left. I had to really un-brainwash myself and rethink what I understood about sexual orientation," she says.

Scobee and the Headleys all agreed that in Derek Bloch's case, it didn't matter that he'd grown up in Scientology as he discovered that he was gay. There was no way he could stay in the Sea Org without "handling" his homosexuality -- in other words, "curing" himself of it. Instead, he came home.

"Eventually I got a job with a Scientology company through my dad. After going through a couple of those and being underpaid for my work, I went out and found a job on my own for a company not connected to Scientology. I made friends that were not Scientologists," Derek says.

I asked him why, as a young adult, he didn't just leave his parents' house.

"Well, being in the Sea Org, I didn't legitimately graduate high school. I got an equivalency certificate at 16. So I didn't move on to college and I didn't earn any real world experience," he says. "When I left the Sea Org at 18 I was basically starting my life from scratch...It's really expensive to live on your own here and I am single. No significant other to share the rent with. I am just now getting to the point where I have enough work experience that I can get a decent paying job. Most of my friends still live with their parents for this same reason."

Derek says that another family member was also staying with them at the time -- his aunt. But he says she left after some bad blood with his father.

"We all disconnected from her, and she died a few months later, not even 50 years old yet. My dad was able to convince us [to shun her] because he holds the weight of OT III," Derek says, referring to the level of training his father has attained in Scientology.

It takes several hundred thousand dollars and several years of dedication for a church member to reach Operating Thetan III, the level at which a Scientologist learns the bizarre origin story of the religion -- a story which was dramatized in a famous 2005 episode of South Park. Darren Bloch, in other words, had achieved the status of a Scientologist who knew of Xenu the galactic overlord and the backstory of thetans and their 75 million-year history on planet Earth. For reaching OT III, Darren demanded respect in his household, Derek says.

"It was about when my aunt died in 2010 that I started to realize that something was really wrong," Derek says. "I started studying psychology and came across the concept of cognitive dissonance."

He also ran across an essay about Scientology's "freedom trap" written by Jon Atack and hosted online by Carnegie Mellon professor David Touretzky. "From there I went to Lermanet and found ESMB in late 2011," he says.

His younger brother joined the Sea Org around the same time, he says, just as Derek was deciding to have nothing more to do with Scientology. (His mother works as a Scientology staff member, and Derek also has a sister who is still in the church. The entire family has disconnected from him.)

"I posted my story online, the church tracked it down, and on April 12th I received my SP declare," he says. "My only wrongdoing stated on the declare was the posting on the website and telling my story. Interestingly enough, it never directly stated that I lied, because I did nothing other than tell the truth...When I went to go read the declare in the ethics section of AOLA, I felt my programming start to kick in. I fought it off after a couple of days."

Since then, he's had no contact with his parents. When I first began to work on this story, Derek admitted that he was angry and looked forward to his father being embarrassed by it.

Then, yesterday, I asked him for photographs of himself and his father, after I had told him that Darren Bloch had refused to talk to me.

Derek apologized for not having many photos to share.

"I started crying looking through them, man. I miss my family a lot," he said in the e-mail containing the pictures.

I hope his father sees them.


**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and was sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.

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229 comments
pierrot.reno
pierrot.reno

"All I know is that around this time my dad stopped raising me and started letting Scientology brainwash me into being a "good Scientology kid." what a freaking shame for these parents choosing their religion over their kid.

richelieujr
richelieujr

You kind of have to feel sorry for Miscavige: A repressed, crotch-level midget who's greatest dream musst be to walk through one of those living areas chock-a-block full of naked men, but he can't allow it, and he can't have it- no one shall!

 

I don't know if any of you have read Bronson Pinchot's interview on the AVCLub, but he speaks of working with a 17 year-old Tom Cruise who was the most incredibly homophobic person he had ever seen (or has seen since), who would say things like "Hey, you guys wanna go for an ice cream? That is, if there aren't any homos there!" It's a hilarious must-read, from a Hollywood insider clealry burning every bridge he ever saw (no moving up the Bridge for him!)

 

Anyways, 'birds of a feather' as they say, and in this case, two short, power-mad Napoleonesque closet cases taking it out on the world.... David and Tom, sitting in the tree, do Sci-en-tol-o-gy!

sugarplumfairy32
sugarplumfairy32

Jeeeez.. "when exactly did he stop loving me?" you deserve soooo much credit, Derek.. You've pretty much raised yourself and it sounds like you've turned out to be an intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate and independent human being.. I know your parents do love you.. How could they not? Stay strong.. sooner or later they will come to their senses.. Or run out of funds..

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Maybe that's why all of $cientology blames other people for a person's own problems--since that's what Hubbard did all his life. It was Always Someone Else's Fault.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

It's actually good that you still love and miss your family...That shows that you still have human feelings. I don't understand your dad. I am angry at him on your behalf.  ((((((((HUGS)))))))))

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Oh yeah, his publicist is keeping a lid on. He or she deserves a raise.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

I saw this horrible bit in some celebrity rag--Us or People--about the silent birth of Kelly Preston's replacement baby. Totally $cilon-$hilling puff piece. I was disgusted. No quotes from John "massage-lover" Travolta though.

Clam On A Halfshell
Clam On A Halfshell

Christianity qua Christianity has no SP declares and no mandatory disconnection.  Best not to overgeneralize "religion." They really aren't all the same.

Dbloch7986
Dbloch7986

Hi Kay, Your mom talks about you all the time! I can't wait to see you again. Thanks for the kind words. It was great getting to see most of my family. I'm so glad I went.

Kayeluman
Kayeluman

Derek, You probably have no idea who I am, but I guess you could say I am your "step-aunt" :)My mother married your grandfather. I just returned home from your aunt's wedding. Please know that you have so many family members in Texas that love you unconditionally & do care about you. Some of your close family shared with me what you have been through, which led me to your story. I just wanted you to know that you do

WatchfulNavigator
WatchfulNavigator

Derek, I am so glad that you broke free, and had the courage to tell your story.

I was one of your Course Supervisors in 1994 at CCDallas, before your family moved to LA.  I hope that you have fond memories of those times, but if they were not good for you because of anything I did, please accept my apologies.  I was new at the time, and I thought I was helping kids "learn communication skills" (I know that many did!)

I am sorry for what you have gone through.  The abuses are rampant and horrible and finally I could no longer condone them from the ground level, despite the amazingly positive things still found there.  As a parent, I was once ready to "give up" my daughter to the Sea Org, and thank God that she had more sense in her than I did.  And thank God that I at least had the sense to let her make her own decision.

I got a lot out of Scientology, despite the abuses, and it took me a long, long time to finally separate from those abuses.

I participated in enforcing "disconnection" as an OSA staffmember and at the last minute, had a stunning realization that I was about to break up a family, and so I pulled back and stopped the "SP declare" and never again handled "justice" in any way that would break up a family. 

Nevertheless, I am experiencing "disconnection" now from people I love, and I know how horrible it can be.  I too, will not be silent until this horror is ended.

I have actually, successfully used Scientology techniques on myself to "de-program" myself from the "Mind Kontrol - Ultra" - of Miscavige's (per)version of "Scientology" (which can only be described as a "strange cult"), and it worked wonders, culminating in an adventurous rescue of some old friends and staffmembers, and consequential rejection and ejection from David Miscavige's cultified and thoroughly corrupted version of "Scientology."

I have been auditing (counseling) people who were upset with their experiences and who are having difficulty recovering from the abuses.  Some still want what they came for and can get it, but people who don't want anything to do with this have my blessings, too, as I totally understand why the last thing they might want to get involved with would be "more auditing."  May they/you flourish and prosper anyway.

Although it could be successfully argued that Hubbard encouraged and at times, prescribed, "compassion" at certain stages of Scientology's development, I had to re-visit my Christian roots to find it again, before digging into and finding for myself, those forgotten and abandoned references to it in the "tech".  David Miscavige's version has thrown compassion out the window.

A real auditor has "compassion."  Real parents should have it, too.  And if yours can get past the mortal terror they have been abused into feeling when they contemplate "losing their eternities" (what an abusive lie!) then they may be able to find it again.  I hope they do.  I remember they were very nice people.

And by the way, growing up in a closed, "Christian" environment, I admit having adopted a homophobic view of things, but I was on staff with another guy who was gay and I learned that we were supposed to "help" the guy and did so.  Later on in Costa Rica I was alarmed to find certain staffmembers trying to "git rid of" staff suspected of being gay.  I objected strongly, but politely, and reminded them that we were after all, supposed to be, the "champions of Human Rights."  Talk about "cognitive dissonance"!

Anyway, I wish you the best, and by now you have found that you are not alone.   Do Well!

Scott GordonCounselor Class 0

Too Much
Too Much

"David Miscavige is super homophobic."

Study after clinical study shows that the most rampant hate-filled screaming homophobics are themselves the most turned on by thoughts of gay sex.

Too Much
Too Much

:) They're selling fraud to idiot rubes, I see, making "stellar OTs" when the insane crooks can't even produce a single "OT" back here on Earth. LOL.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

I just posted this as a responce to one of Derek's questions and I would like to know what others who were in have to say one this question:

Truly, what if you had still been in Scientology and killed in a car wreck? Would they have mourned for you? If so, one can ask, how do they now not feel a loss? I really wish your parents can see this post and read it and ask themselves, how could they reconcile my question? One day Derek is your baby boy and the next day he is the scum SP you can't even talk to?

James Hutchings
James Hutchings

 On a side topic - since Scientologists were told that their old books were no good and they had to buy new ones, does that mean that former members are entitled to a refund for their old books?

xenu the rulah
xenu the rulah

I HOPE IN FRANCE THEY WILL BE PROCECUTED AGAIN AND THIS TIME WE COULD GET RID OF THEM 

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

This article tells us that the internet works in getting people out. It also tells us our efforts are paying off. DM must be obsessed with disconnection at this point.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

Just saw Lisa Presley sing "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" on American Idol and her mom was in the audience. Maybe she hasn't blown?

bobx
bobx

Reminds me of a cartoon (xkcd maybe? can't look it up now):1st nerd:  "We had to code everything in Fortran..."2nd nerd:  "You had Fortran?  We had to write machine language in 1's and 0's."3rd nerd:  "You had 1's and 0's?  We had to use the letters I and O."

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

I'm watching the hour-and-a-half long French/German documentary on OSA, featuring interviews with Gerry Armstrong.  It's not subtitled in English but if anyone understands French, here's a link to the movie from the Montreal Anonymous website:

h   ttp://anonymousmontreal.blogsp...

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Off topic. Should be interesting to hear what song Lisa Marie Presley will sing tonight on Fox's American Idol.

N. Graham
N. Graham

Bad publicity week for Scientology celebs; Lisa Marie quits (?) and John T. has continued problems.  All of a sudden, there are new pics of Tom C. and tattoos, lots of publicity about Tom talking about Scio which turns out to be nothing, Freedom Magazine wins an award, and Kelly P. gives a nothing interview in which no new info is imparted (except the unspoken assumption she's sticking with her man).  All of this I notice has shoved Lisa Marie off the "most searched" lists, and Tom C. and Kelly P.'s tepid news IS on it.  Must be a coincidence that all this "good" Scio stuff shows up now. 

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

John Travolta daily update Gloria Alldred now representing John Doe #2 as well: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The second man known as “John Doe #2” who accuses actor John Travolta of sexual harassment has fired his original lawyer Okorie Okorocha and hired famous attorney Gloria Allred.

John Travolta’s second accuser “John Doe #2” has fired his lawyer.The unnamed masseuse is one of three men who have accused John of sexual battery and making inappropriate advances towards them.Following the path of the first indicter “John Doe #1”, the second man is no longer being represented by Okorie Okorocha and has picked up legal counsel from famous lawyer Gloria Allred.According to Radar Online Gloria is confident about the strength of her client’s case.“We are now representing John Doe #2. We believe that the lawsuit should be filed in another court and therefore the lawsuit that was on file was dismissed without prejudice,” the attorney’s representatives released in a statement. “We will be conferring with our client regarding what will happen next in this case.”The actor has denied all allegations against him and his lawyer Marty has stated that the accusations are false and “absurd.”Gloria Allred is now representing both John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 in this lawsuit.It has been rumored that others will come forward against John claiming similar incidents of harassment.

bobx
bobx

Ad-bots strike again:  I got "  OSA is among the most common and most dangerous types of sleep disorders. "

Scientia
Scientia

Just noticed a tweet from LMP's account (from 17 hours ago). It's a link to an article featured on her own website:

'Ask Presley, who once spoke openly and favorably of the Church of Scientology, for more details on her lyrics, and she'll keep things vague. The songs, and particularly the first single, she says, are "about finding out what your mother or your parents or your counselor or your therapist or your teacher or your priest really think about you, and finding out they [don't think highly] of you, actually." Her words, however, were a bit more colorful.'

www.lisamariepresley com/news/115-lmp-tunes-in-to-her-roots-with-storm-grace

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Thank you Derek for telling your heartwarming story. We understand what you may be going through and help is always available if needed. Good luck and God bless you. Thanks Tony for helping Derek and for us to understand better through your good works.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Reading Derek's story got me thinking about something I read a few years back. It definitely applies to his situation. Plus, I think it points to why this whole thing here is important; the work Tony does, helping people tell their stories, revealing ugly secrets, articulating the history of this crazy organization called scientology in ever-clearer and more accessible ways. Also the willingness of us as readers and commenters to look at what is going on, to be affected by it, and to tell others:

"...'Only the best in us talks about the worst in us, because the worst in us lies about its own existence.' It boggles our minds to think people commonly and knowingly do cruel exploitive torturous things to each other. We prefer to believe they can't anticipate the impact of their actions or the painful feelings they engender. When we leave behind the "bassinet" view of human relationships, and confront mind- bending cruelties, mind-twisting double-binds, and mind-stupefying deliberate exploitation (common even in white collar families) we will be a step closer to realizing that having decent parents is a blessing none of us should take for granted as the norm."

I guess this is why it matters, that we are willing to talk about (some of) "the worst in us", and that we care about each other and help each other. Life can be brutal sometimes, so it is crucial to do what we can to make a place for real kindness as well. So many good folks posting here seem to share that point of view. I guess I have said it before, but I am again deeply touched by the community on this blog, the compassion and the fierce commitment to stay awake to injustice, when it is SO easy to fall asleep. It blows me away. This is a good one, Tony O. Well done.

[quote from Dr. David Schnarch, "Charlie Manson, Please Save Marriage & Family Therapy" in Psychology Today]

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

I read this last night and cried . I hugged my daughter just a little bit tighter this morning ....gave her a few extra kisses this morning ....told her I loved her more times than once . Those extra hugs and kisses and declarations of love ...were for you Derek. I wish I was your mom ~ I am very proud of you .

Banchukita
Banchukita

As a human being (and a card-carrying member of Equality Florida) I am in tears after reading Derek's story.  Scientology is steeped in hate and is a funhouse-mirror reflection of the unconscious self-loathing of its 'leadership.'  Derek thank you for your honesty. I'm so glad you are free, and I'm certain your courage will help so others won't have to endure the kind of abuse you have suffered.

scilonschools
scilonschools

The documented 'doctrinal' abuse of the 'Church' are so clear and widely followed and yet the DoJ seems to campaign internationally (Germany & Belgium for example) that crimes committed by members of the 'Church' should be treated as 'individuals' and not members of the 'Church'.This was reflected in the Judges statements in the Rex Fowler case.And yet any held on suspicians ofconnections to Al Queda are viewed firstly as terrorist and then as 'individuals', so strange when both groups have a desire to use intimidation and 'terror' tactics to gain political power and 'clear' the planet of those who do not accept their specific ideals.Can anyone explain why this difference?

Deirdre
Deirdre

Derek, welcome out. May you find your path in life and the man of your dreams.

Dbloch7986
Dbloch7986

I don't remember you all that well man. That was so long ago for me and I was so young. But those were the "good" years in Scientology for me. It all went downhill when the recruitment cycles started.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

It certainly does seal the deal, but the disparity between the real world and Scientology is really what gets the ball rolling.

That and realizing that you don't have to live your life constantly in fear and servitude.

Are_sics
Are_sics

She hasn't made it clear, certainly.  Maybe she wants out but doesn't want to take a firm enough stand that her mother (or anybody else *committed* to cluelessness) would *know*.  Which means not taking a very firm freaking stand.  Highly disappointing.  But there's hope.  There's a battle for her SOUL even, is how it looks to me. 

Come on OUT Lisa!!!!  There air is fine.  And there's much love out here!

John P.
John P.

Here's XKCD on Goto's in general: xkcd.ZOM/292/ ("ZOM" -> "com").  I couldn't find the Fortran one you speak of on XKCD.

There's a Dilbert similar to your comment here: dilbert.ZOM/strips/comic/1992-09-08/.  Nice memory on your part, since it's nearly 20 years old...

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

Yeah, families...gotta love 'em, can't strangle 'em.  I found Derek's father, Darren Bloch,' scientology page and it just shows how scientology sniffs out your "issues" spreads their poison, and keeps you coming back for more, Even Though your issues are getting worse. 

Darren sounds like he had unresolved issues with His parents.  This is what scientology does to your brain, going from what he wrote below when Derek was only 11 to his current vile bile,  verbal abuse and emotional blackmail he used as weapons against his very own son:

His scientology cooker cutter "About Me" blurb:“My name is Darren Bloch. I'm married to my high school sweetheart, Theresa, and we have three wonderful children--Derek age eleven, Sarah age eight, and Alexander age three.

I make my living as a business manager working with movie and television stars as well as business. Theresa, my wife, plays a vital role in the management of an environmental air quality control company. My wife and I have varied interests. She enjoys horseback riding, dog training, and painting. I enjoy camping, carpentry, and my computer. The family really enjoys just doing things together, whatever they are.”

Then there's the obligatory success story, again about family:“I got involved in Scientology in 1993 after I took over my father's business when he passed away. My life seemed to be more than I could handle, and a friend suggested that I take some courses at the church.

I took their suggestion to heart and did some Scientology courses.I was amazed at what insight Mr. Hubbard had into life's challenges. I realized that no one gave me an owners manual for my children when they were born. I was using the same methods my parents had used on me, knowing they had not completely worked for them either. After doing the parenting course at the church, I have some very sane methods to use now, and I have been very pleased with the results. None of my children are angels, not by a long shot, but we do have an open communication line, and they feel free to use it.”

And I wish Derek's dad would Also remember (and apply) his favorite L Ron Hubbard quote:  “Two rules for happy living: 1. Be able to experience anything. 2. Cause only those things which others can experience easily.”

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Well said, Deirdre.  And something that each one of us deserves -- the freedom to find our own paths and someone to share it with.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

I agree, and more so, because good people like you lead the way. I for one am proud to see the courage you have. Parents teach their children but in this case it is you that set the example, I hope your family and other families in Scientology can see that you have the ethics, confront and courage they espouse to have. I was in the military in the 1990’s and spoke out against the first gulf war. Right or wrong I welcomed debate and challenges to my position and stood my ground. I did not block people out of my life, even those that hated what I stood for. Eventually those I knew came around or accepted me for who I am. Sadly Scientology is such a cult that seems like you are up against a brick wall but I hear people all the time say they are out because others did exactly what you are doing (speaking out). What I am saying is you are right and they are wrong and you are not alone. But it sounds like you get that.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I agree there is a whole lot of love out here waiting to embrace her. But, I was wondering? Do you think Lisa is another Stacy Francis and Chill E.B.? They didn't admit they were in either. What if this is just a diversion to get people to buy her record? I hope not?

Anyway, on American Idol she and her band reminded me of Stevie Nicks when she was in Fleetwood Mac.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

So I was right about how I felt. My dad thought I was a new stereo that needed to be programmed so he surrendered me to Scientology. What a prick.

Sid
Sid

"I realized that no one gave me an owners manual for my children when they were born. I was using the same methods my parents had used on me, knowing they had not completely worked for them either. After doing the parenting course at the church, I have some very sane methods to use now, and I have been very pleased with the results. None of my children are angels, not by a long shot, but we do have an open communication line, and they feel free to use it.”

Darren Bloch you need to re-read this paragraph. Did your parents fail you? Did you promise yourself you would be different? You need to get your shit together man and put your children first in your life. You could make a start by having an "open communication line" with your son.

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

Allow me to clarify, I meant you are right for speaking out and they are wrong for disconnecting. That is the way I see it anyway. I know you must still love them. 

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

And by why, I mean why anything. Its a generic why.

dbloch7986
dbloch7986

If my time dealing with scientology taught me something, it is that the world is not black and white. My parents and I are both right and wrong in our own ways.

life is complicated. That's the nature of the game. Hell life is overly complicated that there are things that we do every day that defy explanation. I refuse to simplify it down to a simple ”you're right, i'm wrong, the end case closed.”

Part of making it through life is understanding that you cannot understand something from someone else's point of view, and sometimes you just have to resign to the fact that you will never understand why.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Well I don't think I recall anyone defaming the church then going back to it with open arms. It is possible that we're misinterpreting her lyrics. I don't think it's likely. I also don't think there's that many people who are buying her albums because she is either in or out of the church. 

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