Blowing with a month-old baby

At eight months pregnant with my first child, I was advised by the hospital to stop putting in the hours I was doing (10 hours at the ‘church’ on staff and four at my wog-job) or my baby would be in grave danger as he was breech and in danger of coming early. It was agreed that I would C/S from home, with the folders being dropped off and picked up from my flat.

I had time to walk along the beach, and observe people having fun in the waves and playing volley ball and cricket. ‘Those poor people’, I thought. ‘They aren’t really happy. They don’t have Scientology!’

As the days went by, I began to think, ‘Maybe I’m the one who’s not happy. They sure look happy to me!’ and I began to question what I had given my life to, for the previous five years. My husband was coming home later and later – even going back to the org after his wog-job had finished, and I knew something wasn’t right. I didn’t dare say anything about what I had been thinking, as there was a Flag mission at our org right at that time, and they were sec-checking anyone and everyone. If I mentioned that I was having doubts, it would have been a crime for him not to tell, so I kept it to myself.

Two weeks after I had the baby, my mother came over to Sydney from New Zealand to see us. She didn’t say anything about our circumstances (scungy flat, husband not home until after midnight, no money …..) but maintained a positive attitude, and taught me some homecraft/ mothering skills that I was obviously lacking. She suggested that I come home with her when she left, for a little holiday, and I thought that would be great, as I still had another two weeks of maternity leave owing after she returned to NZ.

How wrong could I be?

My mother booked her ticket home, as well as a return trip for me, and I let the Director of Processing (my senior) know that I was going home for two weeks. I was very excited as my sister had two children that I had never seen, and it had been two years since I had seen my Dad.

My husband continued to arrive home very late at night, and was very very stressed about something which he couldn’t tell me. We hardly communicated, as I was so excited to be going home, but I did not want to tell him how excited I was because of him being sec-checked, and because of how glum he was.

The day we were due to fly out was coming closer, and I had heard nothing from the org. I assumed it was all approved, but at midnight the night before my departure date, there was a knock at the door. I was having trouble settling the baby, so was awake, but did not want to open the door. I heard my name being called, and my husband went to the door. My mother came and took the baby into her room, and I could see she was very afraid.

My husband opened the door and standing there was our very dear friend in black clothing with a grey arm band around her upper arm with a Sea Org member. She had been crying and looked a wreck. She began to sob. ‘You can’t go back to New Zealand!’ she cried. ‘You have to come back on post tomorrow. Your leave has not been approved!’

‘What do you mean, not approved? I still have two weeks’ maternity leave,’ I replied.

‘No, you don’t! You had the two weeks before you had the baby when you were in hospital. That is part of your maternity leave!’

‘That’s crap. I’m going home with my mother,’ I retorted, to which my friend began to wail and beg me. ‘Please come back with me now. If you don’t I have to stay in the lower conditions. My amends was to get you to come back!’ She was on her knees begging me, telling me that my mother was an SP.

I turned back to the bedroom and my husband shut the door in her face and followed me. We tried to sleep, but the worry and fear were too great. Another knock followed soon after, and when my husband opened the door, there were three Sea Org members there in full uniform. They demanded that I come with them right there and then, and said that if my husband didn’t enforce this, he would be put in the lower conditions for supporting a suppressive act. (Me going home). They also had some source about my mother being an SP, and I began to feel absolutely terrified. It occurred to me very briefly that perhaps my mother was an SP, and then I heard her singing to the baby to get him off to sleep.

The S.O. members went with my husband down to a phone box at the corner of the street to ring the ED, and I was very scared he wouldn’t come back. He came back alone, but didn’t tell me what the conversation had been about with the ED, and I began to worry that he was going to make me go into the Org. We lay down to try and sleep again, but there was another knock at the door. It was about 4am now. My husband opened the door to some Flag people. I peered around the door, and I heard them demand once again that I come into the org that very minute. I heard my husband say, ‘Don’t worry. She’ll be there in the morning. She won’t be going home with her mother’, and they left. He came back into the bedroom and I collapsed.

He picked me up off the floor and tried to console me. He said that he’d only said that to get rid of them, and of course I must go home with my mother the next day. He then poured out all that was happening in the Org, with the Flag mission declaring good people all over the place and really creating havoc in our Org. He had been thinking about leaving for a long time but hadn’t wanted to tell me because of Leaving and Leaves. We cried until daybreak, and that day I flew out of Sydney with my mother.

My husband was due to fly out in a week, (my mother had booked the tickets for him to join me for the last week of the holidays) and he went back on post. He had to act as if we had separated and that he didn’t agree with me going home. After the week he escaped to New Zealand, and during that week we decided not to return to Sydney at all. He had to return to pack all of our gear and sell our wee car, and he didn’t tell anyone he was returning. We had become friendly with our neighbours and they helped him pack our stuff and let him stay at their house. At the airport when he was leaving for home, some Scientologists caught him at the airport and pulled his luggage off the trolley. One was a very dear friend who had been with us at the birth of our son. He was begging my husband to stay just a little longer to give him the strength to leave as well, but my husband knew it was now or never.

He managed to get home, but for the next two or so years Scientologists from Sydney rang and called on us regularly to try and get us back. They still harped on about my mother being an SP.

This was in 1983. It’s still as vivid to me now as it was then.