(1/3) Marc Headley talks about Scientology

Uploaded by AboutScientology on 08.09.2008

Hello. My name is Marc Headley.
I would like to thank you for coming today and for listening to what we have to say.
I'm here today to give you a glimpse of what I experienced
while working at the international headquarters of Scientology.
My mother got involved in Scientology in the early 1980s.
I became involved in and around Scientology from the age of 6.
From the ages of 12 to 16 I was enrolled in a Scientology school.
At the age of 16 I was recruited into the paramilitary branch of Scientology
called the Sea Organization.
I've basically been involved with Scientology for most of my life.
I've seen all aspects of Scientology,
from a staff member selling introductory books on the street,
to dealing with the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige.
I was a staff member at the international headquarters of Scientology from 1990 until 2005, when I left.
I started out as an electronics technician there checking the quality of cassette tapes
that were being made at the manufacturing facility there.
Then I moved on to overseeing the films that were being shot.
We shot a lot of informational films for internal use in Scientology organizations around the world.
I later became the film producer over all the videos and films and audio products
that were produced at Golden Era Productions.
During my 15 years of working at the Scientology headquarters I witnessed and was exposed to many things
that I'll never, ever be able to erase from my mind.
Just to give you some examples: For the entire 15 years that I worked there,
I averaged at least 100 hours a week, work hours.
Literally, any waking hour was spent working.
That's pretty much the hours that every single person there worked.
We did very little else besides that.
Children as young as 14 were also employed there and were keeping those exact same hours.
This is at the international headquarters in California, the United States.
When I left in 2005, I was averaging 3 to 4 hours sleep a night.
Some weeks I was putting in over 130 hours a week, working.
Sometimes we'd stay up for 3 or 4 nights in a row to get a project done.
This would be anywhere from 20 to 50 to 100 people
that had to stay through the night, night after night after night after night,
in order to get a production deadline met for David Miscavige that he was demanding.
This is not some deep, dark secret,
where there's a few people off in a corner in Scientology keeping these kind of hours.
It's a way of life there.
Everyone there is working those many hours and is not allowed—
When you work at the facility at the international headquarters,
you can't just say, “I'm tired. I want to go home.”
That's it. You're there until we're done.
If that means we have to stay all night, then that means you have to stay all night.
You don't have any choice in the matter whatsoever.
In addition to lack of sleep, there's also lack of proper nutrition.
The meals that are being prepared there and the facilities to support the staff that work there
are very, very mediocre.
At one time while working at the church I, at 5’10 [178 cm], weighed just over 100 pounds [45 kg].
The outline of my ribs were clearly showing through as I had lost over 60 pounds [27 kg] during a 6-month period
of very heavy production demand with little food and lack of sleep and working very, very long hours.
The medical care for staff is very rare as well.
One of the things that you're told when you sign up for the Sea Organization
is that all medical expenses will be paid for by the Sea Organization.
It's just simply not the case.
If you need contacts, if you need glasses, you get put on a list of 300 people.
When the list gets down to you, then you might be able to get some contacts or get some glasses.
If you feel sick or you have some kind of illness, you're actually viewed as
what they call a “Potential Trouble Source.”
Somebody that you're related to or somebody that you're working with is suppressing you
and is a suppressive person.
Once you identify and handle that, then possibly your illness will be cured.
It's not looked at as actually a medical situation or an ailment that you might need some medicine for.
It's actually a mental or a psychological problem that you need to deal with.
A lot of times, staff that have symptoms or have things
that might be diagnosed as a terminal illness are not diagnosed for that,
until it gets so bad that they are forced to visit a professional physician or go to a hospital or go to the emergency room,
only to find out that they have some sort of cancer, or some sort of sickness
that they've had for a year or 2 years or 8 years that's gone unchecked and untreated
because they haven't handled it psychologically, or haven't identified a person
who has been suppressing them.
Daily physical, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, is just rampant
throughout the international headquarters of Scientology:
people yelling at people, people punching people.
I myself, on at least 10 different occasions have witnessed
David Miscavige actually physically strike other staff members to the ground,
strike staff members so many times or damage them physically, that they actually needed medical attention,
or that a medical officer from the facility would have to come and bandage them or treat them.
In one instance, I myself was punched several times by David Miscavige in the face
for basically arguing or talking back to him during a discussion that we were having.
After hearing all that, many people say, “Well, why did you stay there for 15 years?”
I was there while all this was happening. “Why didn't you just leave?”
A lot of people get asked that once they come out, and they tell of all these things
that happened to them, and all these different abuses that they witnessed.
“Well, why did you stick around?”
Well, staff are not allowed to come and go as they please.
When you work at the international headquarters of Scientology, you work there.
You live there. You never leave.
You're always there on the property.
If you do need to leave for some reason, or you need to go into the town which is 20 minutes away,
you actually have to get a formal submission approved through 3 or 4 of your senior staff members
saying that you're allowed to go.
Only then are you allowed to go, if you have another person go with you
so that you can't leave the organization without authorization and never come back.
The entire property is surrounded by large, high fences with razor barbed wire atop every single fence,
with security cameras, high powered floodlights, motion detectors every 10 feet [3 m] on the fence.
Even if you said, “OK, I'm leaving. I'm just going to jump over the fence,”
within 20 seconds there would be a security guard on a motorcycle
pulling up to the fence where you're attempting to climb over,
because they're watching every move of every person on the property so that nobody could get out.