Children are mature "thetans" Edit
Template:PScientologists believe children are ageless souls in small bodies. What religions call the "soul" and philosophy terms "consciousness" - is called a "thetan" in Scientology. Since thetans are forever mature, a child thetan requires no special nurturing.
Template:PHow child thetans are cared for in Scientology is best understood in light of two fundamental church beliefs:
Template:PThese beliefs have a profound effect on how children are treated in Scientology. A child is expected to act as an adult, and work as an adult, because a thetan has been an adult in prior lifetimes. A child’s deficiency is simply the temporary physical limitation imposed by a smaller body.
Template:PAccording to Ex-Scientology Kid - Karen Wolf:
Template:PAs "Anonmom" describes:
Template:PAdditionally, since a thetan is a mature "able-being", a child has the same responsibility to work and pay it’s way as an adult. Scientology teaches that every human interchange requires fair compensation. Failure to compensate for something received is called "out-exchange" and children are not exempt. A child must contribute the equivalent work of an adult to pay for food, clothing, or shelter.
Template:POne "Ex-Scientology-Kid" (ESK) described her parents’ Scientology beliefs:
Template:PAnother Ex-Scientology Kid relates:
Left unsupervised Edit
Template:PScientology’s conviction that children are mature souls devalues physical and psychological nurturing. Thetans don't require nurturing. They are also capable of taking care of themselves. As a result, parental supervision is not a high priority in Scientology.
Dormitories and communal living Edit
Template:PChildren live in dormitories or nurseries separate from parents employed on Scientology staff or in the cult’s Sea Organization. "Family time" is set at 1 hour per day, when children share a meal with parents, typically in a crowded cafeteria
Template:P"Dolphinlover" describes her living arrangements at age 6 ½:
Template:PTransitioning to a communal lifestyle in a Scientology dormitory can be distressing for a young child. The little bit of home life and personal space they once enjoyed may be shattered when their parents get caught up in Scientology’s zeal to "clear the planet".
Template:P"Ex-cadet" recalls her experience at age 9:
Not much sympathy and nurturing Edit
Template:PSympathy for children is often in short supply since Scientology considers human emotion a spiritual weakness. Many Ex-Scientology-Kids suggest that the lack of nurturing hindered their emotional development.
Template:PAccording to "rose129":
Template:PWork assignments at distant locations keep parents separated from their children for long periods. Scientology staff and Sea Organization members are expected to take up new duties, anywhere in the world, at a moments’ notice. In that regard, communal child-care serves the church, but possibly not the children who have no idea when their parents may return. Children are not part of a family unit, they are part of Scientology’s production machinery.
Template:PThe overall scene is well depicted by Stephen Fishman:
Industrial strength child-care Edit
Template:PLike a modern factory, Scientology organizations manage every activity by production statistics. These industrial efficiency tools may be useful in Scientology’s accounting and production departments, but are not what most people consider appropriate to child rearing. Raising children in a ‘production environment’, Scientology relies on the older children to help untrained nannies to keep up with the work flow.
Template:PScientology nannies are typically responsible for far too many children. Abusive practices arise as the result of frustration and inexperience:
Template:PFacilities for children are inadequate and unpleasant. Like most Scientology staff, ‘nannies’ are severely overworked.
Medical treatment Edit
Template:PChildren receive little medical attention and have to ‘tough out’ illness. Scientologists believe disease is negative energy "pulled-in" by a thetan. Since children are thetans illness is something they bring upon themselves. Illness is not the result of germs or viruses, so medicine is inefficacious. Scientology spiritual "technology" is the only real cure for disease, so there’s not much to be done for children. As a result, Scientology parents and caregivers often neglect the earaches and fevers so common with children.
Two weeks sauna Edit
Template:PAs mature thetans, children also partake in the same rigorous training protocols as adult Scientologists. Two weeks (or more) of repetitive stints in a scalding sauna, while taking large doses of vitamins (particularly Niacin) is one of Scientology’s first training routines. Scientology calls this the "Purification Run-down" and it has caused severe medical distress even for adults. Medical authorities have warned that the program can cause liver and kidney damage. Nonetheless, even preschoolers take part in "the purif".
Template:P"Rose129" was first put on the "purif" at age 5:
Template:P"Doublevee" did the 'purif' and other Scientology training at ages 7 through 9:
Template:P"Ex-cadet" did the "purif" at age 8:
"Hard Sell": Recruitment into the Sea-Org Edit
See also: Aaron Saxton's videos, Scientology's Sea Org recruits minors
Template:PLike kids everywhere, children in Scientology want to emulate and be praised by their parents. The church takes advantage of this enthusiasm to recruit children into Scientology’s paramilitary Sea Organization.
Template:PScientology depicts the Sea Organization as a dashing, elite corps, with a special mission - making it especially attractive to youngsters.
Template:PSea-Org recruiters use hard-sell tactics to get youngsters to sign "billion year contracts" even though few even understand what a contract means. The recruiters usually approach and solicit these children without the permission or knowledge of their parents.
Template:PThese recruitment tactics are often described as lying and abusive:
Template:PSea-Org recruitment tactics are so unfair, that one regretful (former) Scientology recruiter posted a public apology to the ‘Ex-Scientology-Kids’ message board:
Template:PThe Sea Organization performs many functions in Scientology, but for the most part it supplies a flexible labor force to the church. Unfortunately, Sea-Org recruits, attracted by the image of handsome uniforms with gold braid, usually wind up serving in clerical, janitorial, construction and maintenance functions in Scientology’s ‘Estates Project Force’.
Template:PYoungsters who join the Sea Organization usually find it’s not the exciting and romantic experience they expected. Instead they embark on the heavy stage of Scientology indoctrination. Many describe the long hours of repetitive drill, manual labor and verbal abuse as mind control, likened to the kind of discipline associated with the military.
Unlawfully overworked Edit
Template:PChildren work long hours at demanding tasks in the Sea Organization. In public interviews, Scientology officials misrepresent this work as chores of the kind that any youngster might do at home or in school. The reality is much different.
Template:PYoungsters assigned to the "Commodore’s Messengers Organization" take care of laundry and other chores for Scientology executives. "Commodore" refers to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard who created the "Messengers Organization" as his personal staff.
Template:PNaturally, a primary job of Sea-Org youngsters is to take care of younger children:
Penal discipline: The "Rehabilitation Project Force" Edit
Template:PVery heavy labor is a disciplinary action in Scientology. Kids (being kids) sometimes break rules. Refractory youngsters in the Sea-Org are assigned to Scientology’s "Rehabilitation Project Force". The "RPF" is a penal labor camp isolated from the rest of Scientology. Sea-Org members of any age may be punished on the RPF.
Template:PManual labor and enforced physical exercise (mostly running) are common punishments in Scientology, for all ages. Not surprisingly, youngsters endure this better than adults. Some even suggest that ‘at the time’ the experience was, ‘fun’. And while most ex-Sea-Org-kids agree their time would have been better spent in school, some (like Bea) claim the construction projects and manual labor was instructive.
Schooling is minimal Edit
Template:PSchooling for children varies with the affluence of the Scientology parent, but is generally haphazard. Thetans don’t require schooling because of all they've learned in prior lifetimes. School subjects are usually restricted to the writings and methods of L. Ron Hubbard.
Template:PScientology teachers are typically not certified by the state and the schools not accredited. For Sea-Org members, work takes priority over schooling. Educational instruction is sacrificed to projects and fitted around work assignments, to the point that it becomes largely meaningless. Many Ex-Scientology Kids ("ESKs") claim that the bulk of their education came from personal reading, consisting mostly of Hubbard’s books).
Sexual abuse Edit
Template:PTragically, the worst possible abuses befall children whose Scientology parents neglect them in the belief that as thetans they "pull in" whatever evil may occur. Sexual assault and physical abuse are far too prevalent,
Template:PJennifer, a 16 year old staff member, was repeatedly raped by her Scientology supervisor, Gabriel Williams. Convicted of sexual battery and sodomy, Williams is a registered sex offender in the state of California.
Template:PIn Florida, Scientologist Tony Strawn was convicted of sexual battery:
Template:PIn 2009, Scientologist Ben Kasle was charged molesting a 13 year old girl:
"Thetans" don't have families Edit
Template:PThe unorthodox treatment and abuse of children in Scientology results from many factors. Nonetheless, there's little doubt the mistreatment is undergirded by Scientology's fundamental belief that children are mature thetans packaged in a small body.
Template:PThere are no families among thetans. Thetans are god-like individuals with dominion over "matter, energy, space, and time."
Template:PChildren are ageless thetans who choose their parents in order to "pick up a body" in which to be reborn. Parents serve only a biological function in creating the "meat-body" a ‘thetan’ can inhabit.
Template:PA thetan is on a passage to eternity. Scientology places family as just one out of eight "dynamics" a thetan relates to in the course of its journey. In practice this simply means the family must accept the thetan as a Scientologist. Any family member critical of Scientology impedes the thetan’s passage and must be shunned, which the church terms "disconnection."
Template:PThe thetan and it's relationship to Scientology is the fundamental feature of the universe. The first principle in Scientology is "survive". A thetan survives by adherence to Scientology doctrine and dedication to the church.
Template:PNo matter how much the church of Scientology tries to propagandize that it helps families, all that can ever mean, is – Scientology helps families understand they are NOT families, but individual thetans - that’s Scientology’s foundational doctrine!
Template:PAll these facets that devalue the family are well illustrated in this account of a young Sea Org member trying to get permission to go home for Christmas.
Template:PThe "internal staff member's" concluding response summarizes Scientology’s doctrine and attitude toward family quite succinctly. Thetans don’t have families. Parents are no more than "genetic entities." The thetan’s relationship to the family is unimportant and merely biological. As this Scientology executive tells bushkaGND,
Aftermath: Physical and emotional trauma Edit
Template:PFinally and most tragically, Scientology youngsters suffer physical and emotional scars, some that may never heal -- separated from their parents, taught that family serves merely a biological function, indoctrinated, deprived of schooling, suppressed for acting like children, tricked into menial jobs and impressed labor, corporally punished, forced into adult trials long before adulthood -- in sum these youngsters are abused.
Template:PSome children do not "escape the madness" -- the fortunate fact that others, like Chris, do survive is a modern miracle.