This week's guest, Claire Headley was born and raised in Scientology and joined Scientology's "Sea Organization" at 16, including signing a billion-year contract. In the Sea Org, Claire was quickly promoted to Scientology's international headquarters in Hemet, California, where she worked for 14 years, including working as an executive in their Religious Technology Center under David Miscavige, Scientology's current leader. Claire escaped in 2005 at the age of 30, and since that time Claire and her husband Marc (author of Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology) have been speaking out against Scientology's abusive practices. Claire appeared in 3 seasons of Leah Remini: Scientology & The Aftermath and has contributed to many other documentaries, articles, and radio shows, educating the general public on Scientology. Claire also now serves on the board of The Aftermath Foundation, a non-profit organization that assists people leaving Scientology to start new lives.
In this first part of a two-part conversation, Claire recounts for Rachel the damaging neglect of her childhood in Scientology, and together they survey the multiple practices the organization used on"cadets" that can leave children scarred for life. Claire speaks about her traumatic time in the Sea Org starting from the age of 16, she tells the story of meeting her husband Marc there and how their love was the catalyst for her eventual escape. Throughout the conversation, Claire paints a grim picture of life in a secured Scientology compound as she rose to the top of David Miscavige's Religious Technology Center and the indignities she suffered along the way.
Before You Go: Rachel explains how Scientology manipulates victimhood into a shameful failure of their followers, so as to not have to take responsibility for their abusive culture. She talks about the courage it takes to follow your instincts and fight against the Church's abuse despite personal harassment.
More info on the Headley's lawsuit against Scientology here:
More info on Marc Headley's book here:
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