This Is What Happens If You’re a Gay Scientologist
John Travolta and Tom Cruise’s ex-Scientology life coach has publicly claimed she spent 3 years in “Scientology jail” for kissing a girl. She told The Daily Mail her story, and here are the highlights.
Nora Sova Crest, now 39, grew up a Scientologist, and was a member of the Sea Org—a fraternity of sorts for the church’s most dedicated devotees, requiring members to sign a billion-year contract devoting themselves to the organization. Nora worked closely with members of the Los Angeles Celebrity Centre (such as Cruise and Travolta kids) to aid with their Scientology coursework, operating as something of a “life coach.”
Until she made the mistake of kissing another girl in the church, while living with a female roommate.
“[One day] I got sick and [the girl] said she’d give me a Scientology ‘nerve assist’, which means laying your hands on critical nerves along the spine to get the body going again. It felt nice and comforting, she then offered to tuck me into bed, and leaned down and kissed me on the mouth,” Nora explained.
The girls continued their kissing for a few months, but never moved past that, as the church had a strict no-sex-before-marriage policy.
But eventually the girls were found out and interrogated.
She was placed in Scientology’s version of prison, known as the Rehabilitation Project Force, identified as a “rundown building in west Los Angeles.” There, at a secret base, she was forced to work 80-hour days for months, and was severely abused, both physically and mentally.
‘It was the culture where every minute of every day, hundreds of people were watching you, judging you, making sure you didn’t step out of line. We were sleeping in dorms where there were at least 33 women on bunk beds, three beds high. If I put my hand on the shoulder of a woman, spoke to a woman, or anytime I was nice to a woman, I’d get a report. We had three meals a day, where you have 20 minutes to gather your food and eat it, and 30 minutes to do your hygiene,” she told The Daily Mail.
She continued, “You get numbed by nudity and have no privacy. You get used to going to the toilet and five people watch you. The rooms had bugs and cockroaches; the bunks were dirty mattresses with rusty springs dating back to the 50s. Disgusting conditions become the norm and you think that’s what you deserve and that you are what they say you are: a worthless piece of sh*t.”
Nora says she eventually made it out after attempting to escape numerous times, then finally drank an entire bottle of bleach in an act of desperation for her freedom. After years of abuse, she finally was permitted to leave, after swearing on camera that she would never sue
Now, Nora is happily married to husband Cameron, another ex-member of the Sea Org, saying that her public statement is necessary for ensuring that nobody else suffers the way she did.
While others — including Paul Haggis, who left the church in defense of gay rights for his daughter — have come out against the Scientology’s policy on homosexuality, this is the first direct confession of abuse for acts of homosexuality within the church.
Maybe Nora’s confession will bring some others out of the church’s alien-filled closet. Read the rest of her story here.