It was a great pleasure to welcome our old friend Valeska Guider Paris to the podcast. She has one of the more harrowing tales of life raised as a scientologist, being held prisoner on the Freewinds and losing her family to disconnection. Valeska is married to Chris Guider, former professional rugby league star in Australia. He was also the former “Inspector General MAA” assigned the task of enforcing the orders of Miscavige. They escaped from the RPF in Australia where they had both been sent to get them out of sight and out of mind.
I will include the link here as soon as it’s available:
Valeska has long been a vocal whistleblower. She has done interviews with a lot of Australian and other media, including Steve Cannane who we had on an earlier episode.
Today she lives in Australia with Chris and her 3 adorable sons (her eldest, Declan was born here in the US, my wife was Valeska’s doula).
In our talk, Valeska covers some of her time as a child in the Sea Org at Stonelands — at the time it was a Sea Org installation some miles from St. Hill, used for SO berthing and the “child care” and Cadet Org. These pictures don’t do justice to the cold, dark, damp place it was. I lived there for a couple of weeks in 1973 and it was just as horrible as Valeska describes.
Valeska talks about being indoctrinated from a young age into the idea that police and authorities are bad. Here are some Hubbard quotes on the subject:
These are HIGH CRIMES in scientology.
This is the final chapter of the Introduction to Scientology Ethics book, entitled “A New Hope for Justice” — one of the last things Hubbard wrote on the subject. It encapsulates his views (and thus the views of scientologists). There are MANY other things he wrote that express similar disdain, even hatred, for police, courts and law enforcement. It is a view that scientologists are also expected to have — “Ron” was right about everything.
Leah referred again to the book “The Betrayal Bond”.
Valeska made mention of Marion Pouw — she was one of Miscavige’s henchmen (women?) and I thought she deserved some notoriety with a photo here — taken from one of hte smear videos scientology loves to do — this one on Ron Miscavige:
I’m just heartbroken by the story that Valeska told. That childhood from hell sounds like a recipe for disaster. 💔
I wish her and her family all the best from across the world!
M Robert says
Just listened to podcast of this shocking story, and it was very well done. My thanks to ms remini and mr rinder for taking the time to continue to pursue these issues at tremendous personal sacrifice. How ironic that all of the strength and internal fortitude that Scientology instilled within these former members now is turned against them. If this is a matter of religious persecution as the church states, I suggest they open their doors and records to allow unbiased reviews of the facts and circumstances. That is as likely as a refund of prepaid services from Scientology.
Christine Walz says
OMG…Valeska’s story absolutely gutted me!!! When I think I can’t be more shocked or angry at scientology…here comes a story like this! 6YO?!?!?!? I cannot begin to imagine how she felt being abandoned by her parents and left to rot!! She had no childhood, did not experience school, friends, fieldtrips, sports, birthdays…Her story is absolutely heartbreaking! And yet she doesn’t seem terribly bitter or angry (maybe lots of therapy?) And I’m sorry for mother sounds like a piece of work!! She doesn’t appear to have fought for her daughter once she left the cult. The mom only seemed upset that they took 6mil from her husband. Man I just want to wrap my arms around her and protect her. She is so brave!!!
Melissa Paris says
Our mother tried multiple times to get us kids out of the Sea Org and living with her. She was told each time that if she continued to try that she would be declared and would have no access to us kids. I don’t know if you have ever been a Scientologist but it is complete brainwashing. My mother lost all 4
of her kids not once but 2 times, and still has no contact with our younger brother Raphael. You have no idea what she went through, was put through, and lost, because of Scientology. Don’t speak about something you know nothing about.
Wow, LRH must have spent most of his time writing. How many volumes or pages of policies are there? How many are available to parishioners? LRH sure was prolific. He seems to have covered just about every contingency to ensure maximum mind control.
Hi, I don’t know if this is a comment about this particular episode, It’s just something I can’t stop thinking about. In 2017 Mexico City had a big earthquake, I have some good microphones since I work in TV and film, so some of us went to the buildings that collapsed to try and hear if there were some survivors inside the rubble, I was there waiting to get the clearance to go inside when I saw a kid, no more than 16 years old with a yellow scientology shirt, there where about 6 o 7 of them, I kept looking at this kid, he obviously wanted to help, I thought to say something to het him thinking about doubting his cult, but I didn’t, I thought if I did maybe I would get him into trouble and he might have to do auditing or being punished some shit like that. Since that day I can’t stop thinking about it, I feel a coward and I wanted to ask you since you know more about it. How can I approach someone in that situation? Should I? Would he get into trouble If I had said something? (I apologize for my English is not my first language) Thank you so much for your blog and the work you do!
If you asked the kid what he was doing to help, I would expect him to say, “I am wearing this pretty yellow shirt they gave us to show everyone here just how much we all card.”
If you then pressed him by asking, “Well …. can you tell us just how much you care?”, I’m guessing he might have answered, “I care as much as necessary to keep me out of that Rehabilitation Project Torture Force. All of us want to avoid going there to be tortured. By the way, have you got any spare change?”
One of those kids once asked me for some spare change and I asked him if that was for the victims. He replied, “Oh no. It’s just that we want to buy some ciggies and none of us earn enough money to buy more than one ciggie at a time.”
You have got to feel sorry for these kids. Most of them seemed to be very hungry to me.
Christopher Baranet says
I met Valeskas father at Flag, some years ago. He currently has an ad running in Tampa Bay magazine, he is an artist, and does portraits of animals, as in pets.
Thank you Leah Remini and Mike Rinder for opening our eyes to this abusive cult! I listen to your podcast every week and watched the Aftermath series from Day 1.
What the heck is WRONG with these people??? It disgusts me to hear the abuse that goes on. Valeska was working at 6 years old? Aren’t there child labor laws? It’s clearly all about CONTROL & MONEY. We all have FREE WILL to make choices. These VICTIMS clearly were CONTROLLED and ABUSED by a CULT.
I will figure out some way to spread the word because this makes me SICK.
Scott Sheriff says
Amazing when you do a Google search on her name, Scientology has bought her name’s website and many others to create smear sites. They’re absolutely pathetic.
Astonishing story. I knew Valeska and Chris in passing. When she was talking about what happened in Australia, what she said comports with a notable fact from my experience with orgs in different countries: Scientology management in ANZO (“Australia, New Zealand and Oceania”)—and, because it was run from Sydney, we’re really talking just Sydney—is incompetent, more so than other orgs. Laxer, more laid-back, easier to escape from or even just walk away from.
I’m so glad that she and Chris have been able to build a life after that horror show.
Kimberly A Wilson says
Why can’t the FBI insert undercover agents like they did with the Hell’s Angels? Why can’t they at least open an investigation of some sort? Why do they listen to these accusations, make horrified noises, then just move on?
I just feel like they should be doing more.
You are not alone. Not by a long shot!
Dave Fagen says
I know that neither of us have come up with a way for you to re-connect with your father, but in case you ever do come up with a way, assuming that he is still located in Chicago (I haven’t listened to the podcast yet), Sindy and I are available to do what we can to help out.
I Yawnalot says
Wow. I knew Chris for a little bit in passing with the technical side of things back in the day and this fills in a few blanks. Lovely family and it makes me feel that ex-Scientologist anguish that you’d love to see justice served on that toxic organisation and it’s exec strata striped of the stolen money & before the courts.
Funny thing though scanning over those references quoted/exampled above (read many times years ago) but Hubbard really was a two faced SOB! Even judged by his own standards he ozzes out generalities with every stroke of his pen. How I didn’t see that at the time is one of the prime examples of how Scientology blinds you to your own intelligence.
Valeska, what a lovely pretty woman & what gorgeous children.
Marion Pouw , what a sour dour face, she looks like she either ate something that tasted horrible or smelled a rotten stinking item.
Balletlady said, ” she looks like she either …… or smelled a rotten stinking item.”
Well, it’s no mystery what that rotten stinking item might have been. Many people refer to it as scamatology or scamology or just the scam.
But no matter what people may call it, Balletlady, you certainly have nailed it on the head IMHO.
Thank you Skyler…….Sometimes what you ARE on the INSIDE…..shows on the OUTSIDE! Apparently she’s not a very nice person.
It is so sad that the statement “The Devil Looks After His Own” shines brightly when it comes to this outfit. To do so much damage & harm to others who’ve decided they want OUT is incomprehensible to good people like us. In MOST normal circumstances when it comes to “parting ways with the religion one practices”…well they are also NOT happy you’ve left…but they sure as HELL don’t dog you to the end of your days & separate you from your loved 0nes & friends..
To truly deeply believe what this is all about…..& stay in working til you drop dead…all for…nothing because in the end that’s all you have…..that promised new meat body “ain’t nevvah gonna happen”…..
Mary Kahn says
Thank you Valeska! You are an amazing woman. What you have been through and survived is remarkable to say the least. This was an excruciating listen. The most remarkable thing of all is that no one who has the authority to stop this “church” has done so. It is only people like Valeska and Leah and Mike and blogs and books and documentaries that have been able to expose this vile group and wound it. I cannot wait until its final and mortal wound.
And a Pox on all the authorities whose job it is to do something about this group and pretend their hands are tied. We all know that is bullshit; when the powers that be want to take a person or group down, it happens; just the will is not there.
O/T. WGN TV Video: Leah Remini on backlash from Scientology leadership following her award winning docu-series on the group
* * * * * BEGIN INTRODUCTION * * * * *
Leah Remini is the host of the new Game Show Network show, “People Puzzler.” It’s based on the popular crossword puzzle from People Magazine. She says she loves the fun new gig and that viewers are enjoying the distraction, especially during these times.
She also updated us on what’s happened following her award winning docuseries on Scientology and her continuing work on the subject. Remini says investigations into the organization leadership continue to face roadblocks.
* * * * * END INTRODUCTION * * * * *
Priceless good interviewing and history telling just priceless solid material.
Thankyou so much Mike Rinder, Valeska and Chris.
Truly, there is so much more that could be said, but the bottom lines Valeska lays out.
Second and third gen Scientologists are caught up in something that some of them, probably most second and third gen Scientologists, thankfully get out of the Hubbard trapped world or rules.
Thankyou so much Mike for quoting Hubbard unalterable and still existing rules. What strikes me today, (I loved Hubbard’s policy and was greatly involved in policy for my most productive years in Sea Org), but today, it’s just all a nasty entrapping backdrop to the overall quackery guts of the “tech” (the “tech” of Scientology cannot ever pass the world smell test, the “tech” is quackery).
Quoting Hubbard nasty entangling and lawerly approved style rules, since the nasty rules could be only lawyerly considered “okay”, and lawyers do have to approve of all lines or all things written by Hubbard, and Mike, I hope you someday get some ex OSA person to get into the details of how the lawyers have sidechecked every line of Hubbard’s writings, for “legal sidecheck” reasons.
There are just countless Hubbard writings, in my years justifying it while I was involved in staff training of the policy on staff to do their jobs, I always saw the way the Hubbard writings were to be interpreted as “figurative” or as in the case of this one quoted and circled in red section above today, I interpreted that to mean literally the shortsighted view of that quote.
When I worked in Senior HCO Int sub branch, in 1983, there was a case of a staff or public member in Michigan admitting in a sec check or in his auditing, that he’d murdered his mom. He was guided by his org to turn himself into the police and he did so.
incidents where I third hand, like this incident, learned of “our” cooperating with police, like in this case, I presumed that the red circled quote above wasn’t to mean literally to hide all crimes discovered during Scientology confessional quackery, but that some crimes the Scientologist would be guided to turn themselves in to police.
A sub history of that ought be done, but of course no such study will be done.
Bottom line to me today, is Scientology’s detailed history does need updating, and constant telling, and also that the public, in general, don’t trust Scientology, rightfully so.
Scientology just simply does not pass the public smell test, and history telling by ex members, and quoting existent Hubbard rules, proves why the public ought never choose Scientology membership.
It’s a quackery subject and which methodically abuses its members and ex members.
It’s all Hubbard’s nasty voluminous world of rules containing this quackery subject (which is pseudo-therapy and exorcism, a whole lot of exorcism that Scientology never talks about, nor are Scientologists even educated sufficiently to see through down to the simple big swathes of what Scientology is doing, the OT levels 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 are extensive exorcism of “body-thetans” leftover from the Xenu caused 4th dynamic engram). So much exorcism awaiting those that somehow make it to the “upper levels” of OT 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, someday. Most never get there, so for that reason this Hubbard stepladder of all the exorcism also doesn’t get much word of mouth explanation, but I explain the upper levels every chance I get, since the exorcism part of Scientology is awaiting those that get to it.
George M. White says
Great reply Chuck. The peer pressure from the FSM’s was intense. I never would have gone through all of the OT levels except for the fact that some folks really wanted the 15%.
Nancy Vasta says
Very much looking forward to listening to this installment of the podcast.All of yours and Leah’s guests appeared to have gone to hell and back before they finally escaped the snares of Scientology.All these cults and so called “churches” make me sick.I just finished listening to a podcast about a serial killer whose parents lived off the grid in the middle of nowhere and joined several churches before they settled on one called the Order,I believe.This killer was one of ten children.They lived in some dump their father built.No electricity,no running water,no nothing.These kids were not allowed to associate with other kids.I am by no means excusing the fact that this killer brutally murdered over a dozen people,then killed himself when he finally got caught.All of your guests are very brave people who refused to let Scientology destroy their ability to think for themselves.The more I read excerpts from LRH’s writings,the nuttier he sounds.Instead of copying and saving all of his garbage,his books and directives should be burned in a big pile and then have salt poured around the residue.Just in case.Keep fighting,Mike and Leah by shining a light on this gruesome cult.
Lara Lichtenstein says
I just finished Troublemaker and watching your show on Netflix. As someone that lived in Indian Shores and spent time in Clearwater I had no idea what Scientology was about but always wondered. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to me to learn about the horrors people have endured and deal with as a result of scn. We moved to Apollo Beach this year but if any help is ever needed for people trying to leave count me in.
Komodo Dragon says
Another excellent book written by Jenna Miscavige Hill entitled Beyond Belief.
This was the first book on Scientology I read. I grew up 20 miles south of Los Angeles, passing by Big Blue off the freeway. Like you, I grew up hearing about Scamology but never really knew much about it.
Welcome to the very deep rabbit hole of learning about the scam.
This is off thread, but still related. I just read that Hollywood movie producer, Steven Spielberg, doesn’t want to work with Tom Cruise anymore. Tom has been trying to get another movie project going with Spielberg, and he wants nothing to do with Tom. He wont’ say why. There was speculation on why in the comments below the article.
Maybe it’s for the same reason I don’t want to watch any of his movies anymore?
It may be petty of me. But I can’t resist pointing the finger at Tom and laughing at how ridiculous it is for a 60 year-old actor (I’m just guessing his age) to make action films requiring him to jump and hop and run and fall flat on his stupid face. See? I told you I was being petty.
Whadda stupid freaking jerk! How many reasons? Let me count the ways!
OK. Never mind. Maybe he will just run into a helicopter’s spinning rotor and it will slice his stupid head off. Oh dear. So petty. But I don’t really care.
How badly does that compare with Tiny Dave holding his wife in House Arrest and keeping her all locked up so that she can never reveal what a crazy psychopath he really is.
Talk about petty! Talk about psychotic. Why don’t Tom and Dave just buy an island on one of their mystery secret planets and go live together for all the many eternities they have left in their billion year lifetimes? That way they would avoid creating all the mayhem and misery like they currently do.
What a pair of Ass Wipes!
P.S. OK. I just checked and he is 58 years old. Not a terrible guess. But still plenty ridiculous.
P.S. Who would want to work with someone who believes they have total control over all things MEST and they can protect themselves from any and all kind of harm (especially COVID) by using their own will and the tools they have learned from this phony cult? I know I sure as Hell would never want to come within a ten foot pole of Tom or anyone else who believes such nonsensical pap. How can anyone blame Steven Spielberg for wanting to avoid this idiot?
It doesn’t matter how many millions of dollars he may have. He is just as susceptable to this disease as anyone else and much more susceptable because he believes all this ridiculous bullshit about how he is invincible because of this cult. IMHO, he is a walking disaster just waiting to happen and so is everyone else who believes they are invulnerable.
A recent gossip rag claimed that “Cruise knew he broke his ankle but continued so as not to have to stop filming”……(as be hobbled off)…..I guess all that “you’ll never be sick or get hurt”….HOW did “they” get past or explain that to him when he’s in a cast from a REAL injury.
Maybe a case of COS double speak…BUT in reality they probably told him something like……Tom what did you do to pull that in???
He still think he’s a “lady killer”…..he’s not as popular as he use to be with all that’s gone on…..three failed marriages….a little girl he deserted….his ONLY friends are within the realm of COS & his dedication to the same.
The time he visited Oprah & was jumping on and off her couch….really???…scheez……as I noted…3 failed marriages…can NO ONE “fit the bill” to stay married to this man who thinks he’s better than & well above anyone else?
If he truly thinks that DM is his best buddy……he’s really living in his own fantasy world.
Mary Kahn says
Cant’ wait to listen to this. I’ve never met Valeska but feel I know her through so many stories I’ve read and Facebook and following her wonderful art. She seems like she’s definitely made lemonade from lemons.
George M. White says
Hubbard referred to Torquemada in this post and mentioned his name in several lectures. How did an uneducated Hubbard know anything about the Inquisition except general details from his brief contact with history? Well, reading Blavatsky is the key to Hubbard. She covers Torquemada in serious detail and Hubbard probably heard about it from a former Theosophist. I got a huge laugh out of this because I once mentioned I was Jesuit educated on the blog. Scientologists immediately responded with stories of Torquemada which Hubbard copied from Blavatsky.
O/T. Mike receives a favorable mention in the flowing HuffPost Canada story:
3 Years After Leaving NXIVM, Sarah Edmondson Is Still Questioning Everything
* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *
Since Edmondson left the cult, there have been a few surreal experiences. People have stopped her during walks along Vancouver’s Seawall to express their support. She got to meet one of her heroes, former Scientologist Mike Rinder, who’s now a prominent critic of the organization and co-host of “Scientology and the Aftermath” with Leah Remini.
* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
George M. White says
Very interesting information about Hubbard and his Ethics. He really went off the deep end in his final days. Hubbard was hyper-critical of everyone. History has proven Hubbard to be totally wrong. Hubbard describes a future society which never evolved. He describes Russia in the early 20th century. He totally missed the extreme political movements, the concentration of wealth, the fiat currency, and the medical monopoly.
jeanne hameed says
Mike I need to send you or Leah a private message. I have no idea how to do this. I am 64 and riding the short short bus on computer skills. My nickname is the Girl Scout. Always prepared, always helpful, and always looking for ” The Root Cause of Everything.” I think there is something very important that has been overlooked about L. Ronald Hubbard.
Mike Rinder says
Just put whatever information you have here. I assume it’s not secret…