My parents were Scientologists, but not in a zealous way. Then my mother decided to become more involved with the church, and we moved to Clearwater, Florida, where she joined a religious order called the Sea Organization. She signed a contract commiting herself to the group for a billion years—covering her future lives, as the church believes people are immortal. We settled into a compound with other families. The year was 1986. I remember it as the year I lost my freedom.
I imagine that Katie Holmes is trying to protect her daughter, Suri, from the rigid world of Scientology now, and I applaud Katie for that. I wish my mother had done the same.
Instead, my own mother became a stranger to me, when I needed her most—when I was a scared kid in a strange compound in Florida. But in the Sea Org, as it is known, parents aren’t supposed to pay much attention to their children; kids are a distraction from a higher mission.