Sadly, too many people pass away without the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones. Those who die in tragic accidents or without warning. Others in other cities or countries that make it logistically impossible for a final face-to-face meeting. Some are estranged for whatever reason and don’t reach out to them, even when they often regret it as they take their final breaths and it has become too late.
Then there are those who have had their familial relationships sundered by their beliefs — that it will be spiritually harmful to associate with “non-believers” or those who have been cast out.
And finally, there are those who are victims of scientology’s vindictive and unrepentant efforts to destroy those who speak out against its abuses. And this leads to deaths of family members with no opportunity to reconcile, but even beyond that, a legacy of hatred in words and videos that are intended to live on as hurtful reminders forever.
I know about this. The last words from mother directed at me were at the behest of scientology. Words that I know she didn’t truly mean. Words of hate towards her oldest son. She thought she had no choice but to say the things that were scripted for her. They had only one purpose, to intimidate or shame me into silence (and by shame I mean to make me feel like I was responsible for putting her through the torture of having to publicly hate on her son). In 2010 I had visited Australia with Christie and tried to see my mother. She was in a nursing/old age home, and having previously suffered a terrible car accident, and also a heart transplant, I was certain this would be my last chance to see her and tell her I loved her and that I knew what she had said was not from her. And regardless of that, I forgave her unconditionally. And loved her unconditionally. It was a long way to travel. Scientology tailed us with PI’s all the way from the US. They knew where I was heading, and shortly before I arrived in Melbourne, she was “disappeared” out of the state (her other children are all in Melbourne and she has no other family anywhere). I went to the home where she had been living and found a woman who told me all about her and someone who kindly allowed me to see the room she lived in. I left her a note telling her I loved her. In 2013 I found out she had died and had a memorial service the day previously from a total stranger. She never met her newest grandson who was born in 2012. Her legacy remains the words of hate scientology compelled her to make. See my blog post Disconnection and My Mother which recounts this story and reprints the original article about trying to visit her in more detail.
My wife, Christie, suffered a similarly devastating loss of her beloved father. He had been so proud of her and she idolized him. In fact, it was her father, Eddie, recounting his disaffection with the constant demands for money and crazy ethics handlings that had first planted the seeds of doubt in Christie’s mind that ultimately resulted in her leaving scientology. Similar to my mother, we had tried to visit with Christie’s parents in Los Angeles when our son Jack was 6 months old. We wanted them to meet their grandson. Again, we were being tracked by PI’s and they forewarned Eddie and Liz. We went to their house — nobody came to the door. A next door neighbor told us Liz had “gone on a cruise” (on the Freewinds) suddenly a few days previously, but she thought “Eddie is home.” This is the “confront” scientologists are so proud of mastering. Their daughter and a 6-month old baby were too much for them to deal with. They both then did the usual scientology hate videos. It was the last thing Eddie ever said to Christie. Sitting in front of a video camera, he seemed to hardly know what to say, but did his “duty” by making an effort “destroy the enemy” – his eldest daughter. He was gone soon thereafter. Christie was not contacted by her mother or siblings when her dad suffered a heart attack and subsequently died. Someone else informed her. Did the video stop her from speaking out about the abuses of scientology? No, if anything it motivated her to do more. Did the video cause unbelievable pain and heartache to a daughter who idolized her father? Absolutely, and it hurts to this day.
Christie and I are not alone. Paul Haggis recounted the story of his sister and her hate video put up on one of scientology’s sites. She also died, and these were her last words to her brother.
Karen de la Carriere first lost her son, Alexander, to the cult when he disconnected from her, and then was not informed of his passing when he died suddenly after a short illness. And to make matters worse, she was prevented from seeing his body or attending his funeral when she did learn from others that he had died. How do you do this to a mother?
I am sure there are others. Perhaps many.
And now there is my dear friend Leah. My heart breaks for her, as I understand the feeling of not being able to have closure – and being denied even the opportunity to try.
What other religion – even in death – has no compassion and no care for the well-being of family?
Scientology pretends that family is important – just go to their website and they have all sorts of flowery language and quotes about the great importance they place on the “family unit” and that this is the “building block” of society. Like much else in scientology, this is only true if it does not conflict with other more important things: making money, controlling people or the biggest factor of all, destroying their so-called “enemies.”
Leah did a short Instagram post about finding out about the death of her father a month after he had passed. I wanted to provide a little more context and she has written something expressing some of her views of life with her father, the activities of scientology and the pain of not being given the opportunity for closure — to have that final conversation with him and tell him she forgave him and that she loved him.
This subject epitomizes the humanity that the self-proclaimed “humanitarians” of scientology destroy wherever their toxic practices touch. I hope this helps people understand just how poisonous and harmful scientology is to all that is good, kind and compassionate in this world.
Here is Leah’s message:
I wanted to thank you all for your love and care, for sharing your own stories of loss, and your heartfelt messages and condolences.
Before the last few days, I had not watched the videos scientology made my father do in full. It now makes me want to watch all the others they have done as part of their Fair Game policies to smear other whistleblowers and “enemies.” I plan to do so now.
I want to be clear: my father was never a Scientologist. Ever. He hated Scientology and called it a cult. But, he was mesmerized by the spotlight of fame more. He believed that doing slanderous, lie-ridden videos would bring him and his fame seeking-bride real TV appearances and ultimately money. He and his wife are indeed, hustlers.
And I believe it was his deranged wife who talked my father into making these videos for Scientology, still, he could have said no. But there was money in it for the both of them. If my father’s widow, Dana Connaughton had an ounce of humanity in her, she would have contacted any one of us, his surviving 4 daughters to let us know he was sick and dying. But she didn’t. She didn’t even inform us there was a funeral. No doubt she was concerned that if she had contacted us, she would cut off her only source of income from Scientology
But it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that Scientology seeks people out-through culling ex-scientologists “confidential scientology counseling folders” to see who one might be estranged from, who one might have had a falling out with, who Scientology forced you to disconnect from when they were in. This is who they get to make these videos.
Recently, scientology tried to sell a story to The Daily Mail Online accusing me of sexual and emotional abuse made by some alleged unnamed “sources”. Had I responded, the headline would not have been “Scientology attempts to destroy Leah Remini’s reputation with vague allegations”, but rather print what Scientology was selling with a “she denies it” tag at the end. Hubbard says to feed lurid, blood, sex, crimes on “attackers” to the press. This is precisely what they tried with this, and what they did earlier when they accused me, Mike and A&E of inciting murder and hate crimes.
This is all in accordance with scientology’s Fair Game directives. Anyone who speaks out against the abuses and crimes of scientology is designated an “enemy.” They will stop at nothing to silence us. They have done it for 5 decades.
“….You are to immediately evaluate and originate a black PR campaign to destroy the person’s repute and to discredit them so thoroughly that they will be ostracized”
The defense of anything is untenable. The only way to defend anything is to ATTACK…
The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway… will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.
This is correct procedure:
(1) Spot who is attacking us.
(2) Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse…
(4) Start feeding lurid, blood, sex, crime actual evidence on the attackers to the press.
Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way. There has never been an attacker who was not reeking with crime.
I have a new system worked out to knock them out no matter what they do.
We started telling them to investigate newspaper reporters who wrote against us…
They have a vulnerability already worked – several guys have lost their jobs over this. How could they be hurt – all you have to do is spot it, figure out how to cost them their jobs and make them lose it.
We must ourselves fight on a basis of total attrition of the enemy. Just go all the way in and obliterate him.
For a more complete rundown of how scientology seeks to destroy “enemies” see Dealing with Critics of Scientology – the L. Ron Hubbard Playbook.
One might ask why in death would I choose to watch those disgusting videos? I don’t have a good answer. I guess I just wanted to really know what he had done and said as his last words to me.
I am beside myself with anger and disgust.
It’s one thing to tell partial truths, a truth in your eyes about someone said in anger intended to try to hurt them. It’s a whole other thing to be paid to lie, for an organization calling itself a church.
For Scientology to go out of their way to coordinate attacks – containing known and provable lies – in an attempt to discredit those speaking out against scientology’s abuses is sadistic. It is of course justified by their Fair Game policies to destroy their enemies. That is the scientology way – anything goes in their desperate attempts to stop the bleeding and continue to add to the billions they already have.
My father was anti-scientology. He hated everything about it and L. Ron Hubbard too. But he loved the idea of being a star more and that was his motivation for these videos. My father and his vile wife both wanted to be in the spotlight. She is a failed singer and he just hoped for more TV appearances and perhaps a book deal to make some money.
Scientology thought they hit the jackpot with “See what Leah Remini’s father has to say.” I never bothered to respond and lay out all the sordid details of his true nature. I did tell some of his story in my book and I am sure the truth hurt. But, he was still my father. And though it was the truth about him, I didn’t want to engage with the nonsense as it would mean having to reveal all about him. I haven’t even begun to tell the truths about my father and neither have my sisters.
The press won’t cover “Leah Remini’s father is a paid liar for Scientology,” “Scientology offers money to attempt to discredit Leah Remini” or the true nature of scientology and the thousands of hate filled websites they have created on whistleblowers. They want a juicy headline with no repercussions. So it’s not worth it for me to give a story about this to the media. But more importantly, it wouldn’t stop Scientology from doing this to people in the future.
Neither the press nor the government has done its job exposing and ending scientology Fair Game tactics that have crippled people’s lives. This has stopped victims from coming forward for fear of scientology Fair Game.
Fact: Scientology is hemorrhaging badly. Their business is declining in the wake of Going Clear, The Aftermath and so much other media coverage. Victims of Scientology and their Fair Game tactics are being exposed. People are growing stronger.
The fact remains that I will be left with those words so carelessly spewed in the scientology hate videos as the last memory of my dad. And so are many others. It’s not enough that scientology has brainwashed mothers, fathers and children to disconnect from family once a family member has left and spoken out against scientology. They must be forced to suffer again, in that when they really lose that family member in death, they suffer another death. And one that is truly final. To be left with those hateful words is just…heartbreaking.
I implore those that are in, who might be reading this – you have this life to make things right: stop this bullshit of sacrificing your relationships for a cult that is destroying you and your family unit. Call your mother, call your sister before it is too late. Whether it’s scientology, or any other extremist ideology, life is too short. It is not noble to shun your own child, it’s reprehensible. For scientologists, they believe this is not such a big deal as they will find this child in another lifetime. Well, have you met your children, your mother, or father from an earlier lifetime in this life? No, you haven’t. Wake. The. Fuck. Up. Your children need you, your parents want to know their grandchildren and you are missing out on a life with them and you are robbing them of knowing some pretty great people.
Can you imagine having to answer your child when they ask this question?
“Why wont daddy see me?”
“Because your dad loves a cult more than you honey”?
“Why can’t I talk to my grandparents? Well, honey, they believe if they talk to you, their eternity is at stake”. Insanity.
This article by Tony Ortega only touches upon just the tip of a massive iceberg of tragedy.
Scientologists: You know all that past life stuff you were forced to run? Guess what you learn? Clear: You made it up (mocked it up) and on OT-8, guess what else you learn? You mocked it all up and none of your past experiences were you at all.
This is what you are sacrificing your life and your family for. This is what you are sacrificing your time to, and this is what is costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars
If there is an Eternity, Cause Over Life or being able to have full recall as L. Ron Hubbard promised you, where is he? Doing more research? Even though you know you have read where he said he has completed his research? Where is any person who has died since the inception of scientology? Why are OT 8’s, dying all the time? Did they miss the PTS/SP course data even though they were forced to retread and retrain it over and over? The truth is, you are not superhuman, you will not be able to be cause over your body, You cannot and will NOT heal yourself of cancer and other illnesses as they sell you when you reach OT 5. You will not have superpowers. You are not the super-elite. You will not be able to move things with your mind… it is all a scam. And why you think the e-meter works? This answer is found in basic books on psychology. What you believe is a “workable system” in the basic courses — thought up by L.Ron Hubbard – is exactly that: basic concepts that are either innate or learned in kindergarten… Do you really need scientology to tell you that you should not take drugs? Not murder people? That everyone on the planet is bad and you have the technology to fix it? Well, look at the world, are you fixing it? All of your sacrifice? Look at the stats. Period.
You can do a lot of good in the world, but you need to start with your lack of confront of what’s really going on there. Do some research. You can go searching on the internet. A church with nothing to hide wouldn’t forbid it and punish you for doing so.
Therapists, psychologists, life coaches, mentors, the Red Cross, grassroots charities — all of them do more to help people in one day than Scientology has done in 5 decades.
My therapist doesn’t demand that I disconnect from family, my therapist does not think I need to disconnect from my friends because they have different views than me, my therapist doesn’t demand that I see or talk to them every day and then track me down if I miss an appointment. My therapist doesn’t demand that I mortgage my home to pay for it — and it’s half the cost of sitting in front of an e-meter operated by a teenager.
Real religions don’t break up families and real religions don’t have policies that demand the destruction of someone speaking out against their abusers.
And if there is an afterlife and a paradise to be found, do you truly believe that deserting your own child, mother, father, brother or sister… is a virtue that should be rewarded? You should think about that.
IRS, can you please grow some balls and see that this organization is using tax exempt money to silence victims from coming forward? That the millions of dollars they use on lawyers, hiring PI’s, creating hate websites with the intent to destroy ones reputation, cause them to go crazy in their grief and loss, all the thousands of URLS are all monies you are giving them to do so?
You are not winning Scientology. You are only proving over and over again what the world now knows. You are a vindictive cult operating as a for profit business, pretending to be a religion.
The pain you have caused those in life and death is incalculable.
I am sure your videos make you smile, and the OSA team that put them together were proud to present them to the COB as “effective action” against a terrible Suppressive Person. You should know, it only motivates me more.
But for you scientology believers — here is something your Founder said that you can keep in mind:
When a person finds himself committing too many harmful acts against the dynamics, he becomes his own executioner.
This is why the criminal leaves clues on the scene…
The criminal who leaves clues behind is doing so in the hopes someone will come along to stop him from continuing to harm others… he attempts to put ethics in on himself by getting thrown in prison where he will no longer be able to commit crimes. L.R.H
Some have wondered why I haven’t sued the shit out of every person involved in making these rehearsed, poorly produced and staged libelous videos.
The simple, but truthful answer is because I’ve been busy.
But I do have some time available now.