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Tory Christman in 2008

Tory Christman (formerly Tory Bezazian) is a former member of the Church of Scientology. She left the organization in 2000, after being a member for about 30 years and is now one of its most visible and high-profile critics, making frequent media appearances.

Contents

Scientology

In 1979, Christman attained L Ron Hubbard's State of "Clear" and shortly thereafter began the level named Operating Thetan Level III: The Wall of Fire, the most well-known regarding Xenu the dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy".[1][2] Christman said that she felt that she was having a seizure, was close to dying and began to think perhaps that OT3 could be the answer to her physical problem. After completing the level of auditing, Christman believed she had rid herself of body thetans and tried once again to stop medication for epilepsy in line with the Church's anti-psychiatry beliefs. Christman shortly went into Status epilepticus (unremitting seizures) and was admitted to the Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater.[3]

In 1990, Christman paid for and began Scientology's second to highest level, Operating Thetan VII. She refers to this time as the beginning of her ten-year process of "waking up" and began to read many other books regarding healing. Christman says that this time was comparable to The Truman Show, where one is unable to see the walls of their isolated world.[4]

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Public relations and the Internet

Of her own initiative, Christman succeeded in closing down a web forum regarding the film Battlefield Earth, a 2000 film adaptation of the novel by Ron Hubbard. She also helped supervise John Travolta during his training at the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles.[5]

Leaving Scientology

Actor Jason Beghe, Tory Christman, Mark Bunker, and Andreas Heldal-Lund (2008)

During this time, Christman became increasingly disillusioned with the church. While posting on alt.religion.scientology, a Usenet newsgroup, she met Andreas Heldal-Lund, whom she initially perceived as the devil. Through emails, she confided in Heldal-Lund that if she left the Church of Scientology, she would lose all of her friends and her husband because of Scientology's Disconnection policy. Andreas wrote back to Christman, telling her that although saddened by this thought, he asked the question, "what kind of friends could those be, if they're going to leave you because you change your mind?" Christman sat in tears, seeing the organization in a new light. At the same time, she described the joy of having her 'Truman Show' crack open, and how freeing it was to finally see the light.[6]

In a post made to the newsgroup, Christman wrote, "To all of you at [alt.religion.scientology], and to you all reading this from my Church, as of this date, July 20, 2000, I have officially left the church. Please do not call me, or come over to my house. Any friends who care (and only those who do, please) e-mail me. To the rest, good bye. In the future, listen to Andreas. What he said last night...is what is true."[7]

As a Scientology critic

Christman at a July 2008 protest by Project Chanology in London

Christman has become one of the best known Scientology critics on the Internet and has given speeches about her time as a Scientologist in addition to appearing on radio and television to talk about her experiences.[8]

Some of her criticism against the Church of Scientology addresses the manipulation of its members, sometimes causing the breakup of families through the policy of "disconnection", medical abuses and the organization's use of "Fair Game" against its critics. Christman says that she wants to educate people, mainly young people and artists, to read both sides and to make up their own minds about Scientology.

In 2000 she was convicted of contempt of court for violating a court order banning her from picketing within 10 feet of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater, Florida, and fined $100.[9][4]

References

  1. ^ Scott, Michael Dennis (2004) "Internet And Technology Law Desk Reference", Aspen Publishers, ISBN 0735547432
  2. ^ xenutv.com/CNN
  3. ^ Operation Clambake present: How the OSA Trap really works
  4. ^ a b Ortega, Tony (2001-09-27). "Sympathy For The Devil - Tory Bezazian was a veteran Scientologist who loved going after church critics. Until she met the darkest detractor of all.". New Times LA. pp. Feature. Archived from the original on 2002-06-09. http://www.torymagoo.org/devil.htm.  
  5. ^ Sympathy for the Devil (A) - New Times LA article Sept. 2001 (Scientology, John Travolta, Battlefield Earth, Tory Bezazian
  6. ^ Speaking Freely - Tory (Bezazian) Christman, xenutv, 2000-08-22
  7. ^ Tory Bezazian (2000-07-19). "Magoo had LEFT THE BUILDING!". alt.religion.scientology. (Web link). Retrieved on 2009-05-21.
  8. ^ Tory Christman-Bezazian
  9. ^ Sixth Judicial Court, Pinellas County, Case. No. 99-7430 CL-8, Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization vs. Robert S. Minton et al., 21 Feb 2001

Further reading

External links


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