Scientology defector breaks her silence

Church of Scientology

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Christie King Collbran never wanted to become a Scientology defector. In her interviews with The New York Times and The Today Show, she still adamantly insists that she believes in the philosophies of Scientology – but that she and her soon-ex-husband both saw too much to remain in the organization.

Scientology defector breaks her silence to the media

Christine, who was born into a Scientologist family, has been a member of the Church of Scientology her entire life. She and her husband met and were married as Scientologists. While she was very close to her parents, they could not attend the marriage, because they had spent extensive money loans on rising in the ranks of the church. At a very young age, she was recruited for the elite “Sea Organization” – the leadership of the church. After 13 years within SeaOrg, Christine and Chris went through an allegedly harrowing, expensive, and personally dangerous process that took over a year, and they were still labeled as “suppressives” – cut off entirely from friends and family as punishment. That is when they decided to break their silence about defecting from Scientology.

Christine and Chris, Scientology defectors, saw alleged abuses

Christine, the Scientology defector that is breaking her silence claims that both she and her husband worked long days for as little as $17 a week. She also alleges they they both witnessed abuse by Mr. Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology. There have been other claims from former Scientologists breaking their silence that have included the same accusation – including physical, as well as emotional abuse from the church leader. The Church of Scientology vehemently denies all of these claims.

Leaving Scientology required silence not be broken

As members of SeaOrg, Christine and Chris were required to sign a contract stating that she would “be a member of the church for a billion years,” based on the belief that church members live forever. When they decided to defect, the Church of Scientology billed them for $90,000 worth of “counseling services.” They were able to negotiate the bill down to “only” $10,000 of cash today. Beyond the bill, both Christine and Chris claim to have spent over a year going through the process to leave SeaOrg – including being asked to sign affidavits they had not written. They “could have just walked away,” but they feared being labeled “suppresives” and cut off from their friends and family. After a very long, frustrating process, Christine and Chris finally decided to get pregnant. This was the ultimate act of defection, because, as the Church admits, members of SeaOrg are not allowed to have children.

Defectors still believe in the tenants of Scientology

In the interviews that broke her silence about the abuses she had witnessed within the Church of Scientology, Christine is very careful to point out that both she and her husband still believe in the philosophy of Scientology. She points out in the Today Show interview that “there is a creed in the church that says all people are free to believe and practice” as they wish. While she breaks her silence, this Scientology defector has also been left with practically no money, no family, and cut off entirely from a church she believes in.

Weaknesses exposed by Scientology defectors?

There are small groups of Scientology defectors around the nation, and they tell a very different story than the Church of Scientology. As Christine says, “There’s a lot of PR to make it look like a successful, expanding organization. I wish that were true, but it’s not.” The New York Times article points out that in the American Religious Identification Survey, that the number of Scientologists in the United States fell from 55,000 in 2001 to 25,000 in 2008. There are also many other high-profile defectors, including Mark Rathbun, one of the former top aides to Mr. Miscavige.

Scientology defector breaks her silence in hopes of change

Like many “Independent Scientologists”, Christine is talking with the media in the hopes of seeing changes within the church that she still believes in. However, those changes do not appear likely to happen within the church anytime soon – the official statement from The Church of Scientology is that Christine is “a liar.” No matter what happens in the church, this Scientology defector has been effectively cut off because she broke her silence.