Photos from Enturbulation.org
On Saturday evening at about 8:30, I stumbled upon a demonstration in front of the Scientology building on Hollywood Boulevard. About 12 people participated, most wearing masks, likenesses of the one in V for Vendetta. The numerous signs had messages including “Scientology disconnects families.” Among the many messages on people's shirts was “Cultbusters.”
While I was talking to various demonstrators (it was a bit surreal talking to people with these masks on), I was told that Scientology managed to get one of them in jail (but not during this demonstration, apparently) on some trumped up charges. The group seemed optimistic that they would get this person out.
I interviewed one of the participants. During the course of our conversation, I learned she was Tory Christman, who had been in Scientology for decades.
QUESTION: You actually were in Scientology?
TORY: Yes, I was in it for 30 years.
Q: How did you get out of it?
TORY: I escaped out. They chased me all the way across the country. I got out with the police in the Tampa airport in 2000. I was with it 30 years.
Q: The police helped you get out?
TORY: Yeah. They were there to get me.
Q: How did you get into it?
TORY: I read Dianetics, believe it or not, and I hitchhiked from Chicago to here.
It's a mind control cult, and you can't see the walls. It's like The Truman Show, you can't see the walls when you're in.
Q: . . . What made you start to lose interest in it?
TORY: Because I got to the top, and it didn't work; and I realized they were a total con; and they were liars; and they're rip-off artists; and they don't care about the poor, the homeless, or blacks, or anything. They're just creepy people that run it. The people that are in it are often nice, and that's the glue that keeps people in. You go, “I really like my friends,” and if you leave, you lose all of your friends. I lost every friend of 30 years and my husband of 27 years—overnight.
Q: That's awful.
TORY: It is awful. So a lot of people stay just for that. They're like a low-grade mafia. They're not a good mafia, they're just low-grade, like high school bullies.
Q: . . . How have you been able to stay out? Don't they stalk former members?
TORY: They do, but I'm well-known on the internet. You can go look at YouTube.com/torymagoo44 , I have videos up on XenuTV.com where I've spoken to people. So I'm very verbal, I'm very open, and they know it.
Q: Did you have an article in the LA Weekly some years ago?
TORY: Yeah, and the New Times LA.
Q: How long have you been doing these demonstrations?
TORY: We've been doing the demonstrations for years, but I've been doing it for eight years.
Q: Is this a weekly demonstration?
TORY: We just do it whenever we want. And some of these guys have on the masks because they don't want Scientology to follow them and hurt them.
Q: I knew people who were involved in trying to stop the renaming of the street down here to L. Ron Hubbard Way. They said that Scientology would bring these big, tough-looking people to meetings to intimidate opponents. And people were afraid to speak up against them.
TORY: I was part of that. I was there—for Scientology--at the time. I was on their side. That's why they hate me because I've been everywhere in their thing.
Q: Is that episode of South Park [about Scientology] pretty accurate?
TORY: Absolutely. I did that level, it's 100% accurate. They'll say it isn't, but they're chronic liars. You have to know that.
ANOTHER DEMONSTRATOR: [The South Park episode] is a very educational layout of the religion, of the beliefs of the upper level.
TORY: Well it isn't a religion, it's a cult. But they say it's a religion for tax exempt purposes.
[A passerby yells an obscenity about Scientology.]
Q: You seem to be getting a lot of positive responses.
TORY: Yeah, people don't like them, they do creepy things. I told them when I was in, “You are creating your own enemies,” and I still say that to them. People are here because Scientology creates their own enemies.