Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Lawrence Woodcraft, Astra Woodcraft and Zoe Woodcraft

Former scientologists.

Astra Woodcraft's posts on "Ex-Scientology Kids".

Glosslip Radio (May 5, 2008): "Astra and Lawrence Woodcraft interviews" by Dawn Olsen

[...] [Astra Woodcraft]: I even recall a time when I got really, really ill, when a bad flu was going around. I was about 8 years old, I had a fever of almost 105(degrees) and my mom didn't even want to give me medication for it because they are against any medications. She didn't take me to the doctor, and she left me. She said she had to go back to work, and she left me. I remember just laying there really, really ill and just crying for her. When I was much younger, she was really kind and caring and attentive mom when we were growing up in England, but when she joined the Sea Org it was like she became a different person. The most important thing to her was spreading Scientology and getting people into Scientology. It was like family wasn't important anymore. [...]

[...] [Lawrence Woodcraft]: It always comes back too. It always seems in these situations, Scientology is this weird combination of sort of like criminal on the one hand and stupid on the other hand. Stupid that, most corporations that know don’t expose thousands of people to a deadly toxin or you’re going to get sued the pants off you, they’ll know that. So they’re stupid and then on the other hand they want to be criminal and cover it up as best they can. [...]

Gwinnet Daily Post (March 10, 2008): "Scientology: Born Again - Former Scientologist speaks out" by Chase Mitchell
Considering the veritable contstellation of big-screen stars alligned behind the Church of Scientology, it's fitting that what Astra Woodcraft says she experienced as a follower sounds like something straight out of a horror movie.

While the public sees smiling celebrities attributing their health and happiness to the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, Woodcraft speaks of cramped quarters and meager rations. Of hard labor and harassment. Of pledging service that extends beyond this life and into the next. [...]
KROQ 106.7 (March 5, 2008): Astra Woodcraft on the "Kevin & Bean Show"

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[Download the MP3 @ Lermanet if you want to download it for your archives.]

St. Petersburg Times (June 2006): "The unperson" by Robert Farley

One month after turning 15, she married a 22-year-old fellow Sea Org member. A few years later, she traveled to England to attend her grandmother's funeral. Enthralled with "the outside world," she stayed on for a time in England and decided to leave Scientology.

Her husband wrote her from Los Angeles: "What really will happen if you decide not to come back and get declared? I will have to disconnect from you, and so will the rest of your family - your Mom, your Dad, Grandma, Matt and Zoe. Or, you come back and standardly handle the situation, with whatever decision you have made."

Woodcraft, pregnant, filed for divorce. She was 20. She returned to the church in L.A. in April 1998 and did her sec checks. It took a month. She signed a document admitting to trying marijuana at age 13 and once stealing a pair of pantyhose.

Daily Mirror (October 2005): "Tom and Katie: Bringing Up Baby" by David Edwards

Astra Woodcraft, a British-born Scientologist, was in the church from the age of three to 22.

Now 28, she said: "If I was ill my mother would give me a 'touch assist' - I would lie down and she would touch me with her finger. She would say, 'Feel my finger'. She wouldn't stop until I felt better, so to stop her prodding me I'd say I felt better." [...]

ASTRA, who lives in California, said when she was five or six years old, she was put through a series of bizarre tests.

"It was like a drill where I was told, 'Look at the wall, walk to the wall, touch the wall, walk away from the wall'.

"Other times I would be told to follow someone's hand movements with my eyes. It was supposed to calm you down and help you see the world clearly, it was hypnotic."

Glamour magazine (September 2005) "Astra Woodcraft: 'Why I fled Scientology'"

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Images hosted on Dr. Touretzky's web site
San Francisco Chronicle (February 2001): "Leaving the Fold - Third-generation Scientologist grows disillusioned with faith" by Don Lattin
Astra Woodcraft, apostate and defector, is the latest enemy of the Church of Scientology.

Woodcraft, 22, never really joined this controversial psycho-spiritual movement, at least not as a free-thinking adult. Astra was born into it.

Founded in the 1950s by L. Ron Hubbard, a prolific science fiction writer and freelance philosopher, Scientology describes itself as "the only major new religion established in the 20th century," as a bridge to increased awareness and spiritual freedom.

Woodcraft, a third-generation Scientologist, paints a different picture.

Recruited at age 14 into the movement's elite "Sea Organization," Woodcraft describes a brave new world of authoritarianism, greed and spiritual manipulation.

Two generations of her family have been torn apart by Scientology. Holding her 2-year-old daughter, Kate, in her arms, Woodcraft vows that there will be no fourth generation in her clan.

Daily Mail (February 2001): "Nicole's Nightmare"

Despite her experiences - or perhaps because she knew no other life - Astra began attending a Scientology course at the Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. There, she was invited into the Sea Organisation, aged 14. 'I knew it would make Mum and Gran happy and I thought I was going to earn good money.' Astra says she was told she would be working for a publishing offshoot and would earn 200 a week. In fact, she found herself working long hours as a secretary for nominal pay (10 a week plus board and lodgings). During this time she says she attended school for only six hours a week.

One of my tasks was to persuade people who wanted to leave the Sea Organisation that they should stay.

If they refused I had to order them to do hard labour and make them sign "confessionals" saying it was all their fault they were leaving.

Jenna Miscavige Hill, Kendra Wiseman, Astra Woodcraft: "Ex-Scientology Kids"
Ex-Scientology kids is designed, owned, and operated by three young women who grew up in Scientology, and later left the Church. We feel that growing up in the Scientology environment is a unique experience that's almost impossible to comprehend unless you've lived it yourself. For what it's worth, we offer non-judgemental support for those who are still in Scientology, discussion and debate for those who've already left, and a plethora of easy-to-understand references for the curious. [...]
Xenu TV: Astra Woodcraft
In her affidavit and in newspapers articles published in the San Francisco Chronicle on February 12, 2001 and also in the London Daily Mail on February 17, 2001 , Astra speaks out about these horrific experiences and many others inconceivable to those unfamiliar with the practices of Scientology.

In "The Story of Kate," Astra Woodcraft details the pressure that was brought to bear on her to abort her baby when it was discovered that she was pregnant. Meet Astra's beautiful daughter, Kate, who is alive today because of Astra's courageous escape from Scientology's Sea Organization.

Affidavit of Lawrence Woodcraft (24 January 2001, 1st)

13. In summary, I was attracted to Scientology because of the claims that it could help improve your family life by bringing family members closer together, help a person with their personal life, and make them more able in their professional life, able to expand their business, make a better income and so on. In other words Scientology claimed it could help in virtually all areas of life. With this in mind I agreed that all my family could move to Clearwater, Florida. I sold my house in London and disposed of my business there. Looking forward to a bright future, my wife and I, two daughters and a stepson moved here in 1986. 14 years later, I had divorced my wife, my eldest daughter now has a 2-year-old baby and she and the 16-year-old missed major parts of their education. My 22-year-old daughter has a bill from the church for $90,000 for the courses and auditing she received, but gets no child support from her ex-husband, who remains a sea org member. Their mother and brother will never speak to them or have any contact. Not even a birthday card, as the Church forbids this. While I give financial support to my daughters and try to help them complete school and college, the Church condemns me as a "suppressive" and treats me as a common criminal. They made a concerted effort to ruin my architectural business by forbidding any clients who were Scientologists to have any dealings with me. Even though these clients had been very happy with the service I had provided they all stopped calling me. In the Dissemination Manual, Hubbard says of enemies of Scientology, "If possible, of course, ruin him utterly". This is what the church tried to do to me. This is despite the fact that I am a licensed architect in the state of California, in good standing and a member of the American Institute of Architects. If I were an unethical or non-professional architect, I would have lost my license and be barred from the AIA. At this time I am unable to speak to my ex-wife and stepson as Scientology prevents them from having any contact with me. This is what Scientology has done for my family. This is what Scientology has done for me.

Affidavit of Lawrence Woodcraft (24 January 2001, 2nd)

15. Now, the church decided to employed Scientologists who were carpenters, metal workers and from allied professions. They had full room and board on the ship and were paid $800 per week for working on the remodeling. Approximately 80 or 90 such Scientologists were brought to the ship and so employed. As they were Scientologists, they were easy to control and the asbestos problem was no longer an issue. They completed the remodeling by June 1988 for the Maiden Voyage. By the time the ship was finished, all the paneling was put back in place and the walls were painted and wallpapered, the floors were carpeted and new furniture was installed. It looked great, but behind the paneling, the asbestos was left hanging and flaking and falling apart. The ceiling panels were set in a metal grid system, which is a long way from being airtight. Every time a panel is removed for routine maintenance, asbestos dust is released into the rooms, cabins and corridors of the ship. This is continuing to this day. A ship at sea is subjected to intense vibration and so the already loosened asbestos becomes progressively looser and releases more airborne contamination.

Affidavit of Astra Woodcraft (24 January 2001)

43.  In September of 1997, my grandma in England died.  I convinced my seniors that I had to go to her funeral in England.  They did not want me to go, but finally relented and let me take an 8-day leave.  When I returned I realized that I could not take being split apart from my family any longer.  I decided to get pregnant because if I tried to just leave, I would be made to do heavy labor and confessionals for 6 months to a year and be called a "degraded being" by the other staff.  I got pregnant in January of 1998 and on February 23rd 1998 I left without permission, got on a plane and went to stay with my aunt and uncle in England.  No one knew up until then that I was pregnant and I was really sick and had to get away.  My seniors in Scientology threatened me that if I didn't come back and receive a confessional I would be declared a Suppressive Person and my family would never speak to me again.  My mother who is still in the Sea Org called me on a continuous basis telling me to get an abortion and return.

Affidavit of Zoe Woodcraft (24 January 2001)

125.  Regarding medical treatment while I was in the Sea Org, I once fractured my foot when I was about 13.  My bone was fractured from my pinky bone to my ankle and I was in terrible pain.  I couldn't walk at all and stayed in bed late, but still had to get up and work.  The cadet coordinator checked me and told me I just had a sprain.  After about a week it was not better so I went to the MLO.  I waited all day and no one helped me.  They finally helped me toward the end of the day.  One of the MLOs took me to a nearby scientology chiropractor.

126.  I was told this chiropractor would take cheap x-rays.  She took them, saw the fracture and pointed it out to me and advised me to see a doctor.  I was never taken to a doctor.  To this day, my foot still hurts and aches when I run.

Lawrence Woodcraft (Jun. 2002): "Disconnection, Lies and Video Tape"

Disconnection means that if you are a Scientologist who is connected to someone who is critical of Scientology, has ever attacked Scientology, in a newspaper, online or just verbally in some way, then you must never see or speak to that person again, or you will be disconnected from. It doesn't matter if this person is your child, spouse or friend. If you don't disconnect, you will be disconnected from. This is all as per the written policies of L. Ron Hubbard.

Lawrence Woodcraft (Mar. 2001): "'Los Desaparecidos' of Scientology"

So Scientology, I ask you this: respect people's 1st amendment rights and listen to them. Realize that other large organizations are criticised and that they are able to reform and may end up better for it. Other organization that have split up families have been harsh and cruel military dictatorships. They have enjoyed a reign of terror for a few years and have invariably perished. And finally, let my daughters speak to their mother.

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