KESQ.com News Channel 3 Palm Springs - April 1, 2009
By Nathan Baca, News Channel 3 Reporter
Former Scientologist Maureen Bolstad continues her account of her years at the church headquarters near Hemet.
"I was actually one of the older ones at 17. There were 13-year-olds, 12-year-olds," Bolstad recollects. "There was just one kid, 12-years-old that was given an executive responsibility doing something. He had a complete nervous breakdown."
This is how Maureen spent her teenage years: making videos for the church. Looking at her social security tax forms, she says nobody ever told her about minimum wage.
"I was taught to lie too. I got a worker's comp claim form. They ask you how many hours do you work a week. And I was told to put 40 hours."
When we asked, "You were told by management to lie on official paperwork?" Bolstad responded, "Yeah, by the legal director here. It's like, don't put down how many hours you really worked, just put down 40 hours."
And nobody ever told her about the facts of life.
"If a woman gets pregnant, and does not abort the child, then they are declared a suppressive person. Because, it kind of started out gradually. At first, the thing was, the Church of Scientology International did not want to pay for child care," said Bolstad.
There are two versions of the truth here. The Church says it is one of the fasting growing religions with 8 million strong and growing. But the American Religious Identification Survey from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut shows only an estimated 25,000 Scientologists in the United States. That number is down from previous religious surveys.
The Church of Scientology wants everyone to believe every former Scientologist is lying about their years in the church. They want you to believe asking theological questions, as we did to Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis is "furthering an agenda of hate" as he told us earlier in this investigation.
They want you to believe their church is like any others. Never mind they have an extensive intelligence department with training documents on how to misdirect journalists and actually have a training routine on how to lie to others.
So, if Scientology's point of view is correct, Maureen is one of the worst people alive. The church declared her a "suppressive person" for talking to the media. Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard declared so-called "suppressive" people "cannot be granted the rights ordinarily accorded rational beings." In Bolstad's case, that includes never hearing from those she knew inside Scientology, including her own twin sister.
Bolstad says as she looks beyond the gates of Scientology's headquarters, "I do not know where my sister is, actually. Her last known address was here. She hasn't spoken to anyone in her family since 2006. I don't even know if my sister is even alive."
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