Growing Up Scientologist

05/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Huffington Post

Scientology is a hot topic nowadays, thanks to Tom Cruise and the work of Anonymous, an anti-Scientology group that has been staging protest and attacks on Scientology around the world.

ABC News takes an in-depth look at the lives of Scientologists, interviewing three women who grew up immersed in some of the highest echelons of the Church.

Astra Woodcraft, 29, was the daughter of Scientologists and as a child also went to Scientology schools and belonged to Sea Org. At age 15, she married a fellow Sea Org member and her days consisted of studying -- mostly Hubbard's teachings -- and clerical duties.

"I worked 15 hour days," she said. "We worked seven days a week. I maybe had only two or three days off a year."

Woodcraft said disobedience wasn't tolerated in Sea Org, and describes the reaction she says she received when she once refused an order from a higher-ranking Sea Org member.

"He held me up against the wall, screaming in my face," she said. "I remember thinking the whole time I was there ... on the one hand I was raised on Scientology, I grew up in this environment, I didn't know any different, but I still it was like, this doesn't seem right."

Here is ABC's video interview with the women.

You can also read HuffPost editor Verena von Pfetten's take on Scientology here.