This is the second part of my interview with former Scientologist Shane Weightman.
We start this part by going back over a few details of Shane’s early life in Paris and the difficulty of the situation his family was in. The financial and familial hardships they had to endure were not due to the fact that Shane’s parents were monsters or abusive but simply because Scientology used them as much as it could by convincing them that there was nothing more important than Scientology. This is all too common in destructive cults, where parents are put in an impossible situation of thinking they are “saving the planet” while their own children barely see them. Such was the case in Shane’s family and it made it hard on him and his siblings.
Shane’s upbringing in Scientology put him in a frame of mind, like almost anyone raised with any kind of rigid belief system, that his beliefs and ideas were the normal ones and everyone else had it wrong. There’s nothing unusual or strange in parents bringing up their kids that way, even if it’s not really what I would say is optimum. Growing up with the idea that “critical thinking” is a bad thing is no way to raise anyone.
As you’ll hear about here, Shane’s experiences being recruited for Scientology staff and the Sea Org, and then seeing how things were in the real world of Scientology started to open his eyes to the realities of what the real world of Scientology was like versus what is written in Hubbard’s books. So let’s see what it was like for him.