Six former Scientology staff reveal new information about abusive conditions inside the church of Scientology, including exploitation, physical abuse, child labor, and forced abortions. This press conference coincided with the two-year anniversary of global protests against the church by the internet group Anonymous.
The conference took place at the Center for Inquiry's Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles, California.
MARC HEADLEY, author of Blown for Good. For 15 years Marc lived at Scientologys International Base, where he worked 100-hour work weeks for less than 50 cents an hour, enduring mental and physical abuse. Marc made a dramatic escape from the heavily guarded compound in Hemet, California, and started a new life with his wife, who also escaped.
NANCY MANY, author of My Billion Year Contract. When she was five months pregnant, Nancy was sent to Scientologys re-indoctrination labor camp, where she was forced to work 10 hours a day, followed by five hours of study, while living in a garage. Nancy suffered a mental breakdown after relentless interrogation and confessions.
LAURA DECRESCENZO was recruited into Scientology at the age of twelve. Married at sixteen, she became pregnant and was forced to abort her child; Scientology staff are not allowed to have children. In desperation, Laura swallowed bleach to get herself thrown out.
JEFF HAWKINS spent 35 years working for Scientology all over the world, including the top level at the International Base. Jeff left Scientology five years ago after suffering beatings by Scientologys leader, David Miscavige.
WILL FRY was raised by scientologists, and attended Scientology boarding school while his parents worked for the church. As a teenager, Will joined the Sea Org, but immediately realized he wanted out. He escaped after two and a half years.
MAUREEN BOLSTAD, at age 15, got tricked into making a dumb mistake and signed a contract to join Scientology staff. Maureen was promised an education and regular pay, but instead worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week, and developed health and emotional problems. She was allowed to leave after 3 years of being made to confess her sins and evil intentions.
MARK BUNKER (moderator) is an Emmy-winning journalist who has been covering Scientology since 1997. His website, www.xenutv.com, features video and commentary covering the controversial church.