In his interview with Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega’s postscript thanked Christie Collbran, Mike’s girlfriend, for her patience, as she is just about to have a baby. (Congratulations, Mike and Christie.) His thank-you note links to this New York Times article about Christie and her ex-husband, Chris.
Chris and Christie were former Sea Org members who got tired of the atmosphere of control. Christie got pregnant (children are not allowed in the Sea Org, and members are encouraged to have abortions) and the two of them “routed out standardly” – in other words, they went through the proper process, complete with confessionals and a five-figure “freeloader debt” which they paid off. (Sea Org members get free Scientology classes and counesling in exchange for their labor. Per L. Ron Hubbard’s policy, if they break their billion-year contract, they are expected to pay for those services at full retail.)
Despite following Hubbard’s myriad and complex rules for leaving, both Collbrans were declared Supressive Persons, and their Scientology families disconnected from them. According to the article, Christie’s own mother sent her an email calling her a “snake in the grass.” But that’s not the disconnection I’m talking about – we already know that Church members cut ties with family members who go to the Independent movement, which Marty, Mike, and his ilk label as “forced disconnction” and blame on David Miscavige. (In fact, disconnection is an L. Ron Hubbard policy that Marty has defended.)
No, the disconnection I’m talking about happened later. Chris and Christie left as a married couple, but while Christie still believed in Hubbard and Scientology, Chris decided he wanted nothing to do with it. The NYT article quotes Chris: “Eventually I realized I was part of a con,” he said, “and I have to leave it and get on with my life.”
The NYT article ends with its own postscript:
“Despite all they have been through together, Ms. and Mr. Collbran are getting a divorce. The reason, they agree sadly, is that they no longer see eye to eye on Scientology.”
Let’s review: Chris and Christie apparently loved each other enough to stay together through the ordeal of being in, and leaving, the Sea Org. They had a baby together (although the NYT article seems to imply that her sole reason for getting pregnant was to leave the Sea Org, I have trouble believing that Christie would be so selfish and self-serving as to bring a child into this world strictly because she was too much of a coward to stand up and leave on her own). Their bond was strong enough to survive all that – and yet the wedge that drove them apart was simply that Chris realized that Scientology is a scam and Christie didn’t.
See, this is how Scientology really breaks up families. Believers don’t want to be with non-believers – and non-believers can’t stand to watch their loved ones delude themselves and waste all their money on Scientology services. Not all Scn/non-Scn relationships break up, but LRH policy pushes the us-vs-them mentality. Non-Scns are always viewed as wogs and “not part of the group.” They are always viewed with suspicion. Just note how dissenters on Marty’s blog (when they aren’t censored) are labeled as “OSA” (Office of Special Affairs, the Church’s secret police) or “agreeing with Miscavige,” even those who openly say that Scientology is full of shit.
Marty can crow all he wants about “forced disconnection,” but this is the Scientology mindset – and as long as people follow L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology will continue to break up families, whether they pratice inside the Church or on their own.