I shook my head when I remembered the celebrity back entrance Lucia Ribisi talks about in the recent KCRW interview on her life & Scientology. Remembering the off limit places like the Presidents Office for anyone who isnt famous or the family of a celebrity, helped remind me of that mindset she explains so well.
It’s good to see the sincerity in how Lucia’s representing herself despite how tricky all this Scientology/leaving Scientology stuff can be to navigate. I was very close with the Ribisi family & I’ve written a little about it here before. They were like family until I was disconnected from.
It’s refreshing to see someone so young have the awareness she does of life’s not so positive side while also knowing that her own life could be considered privileged.
Because on the other side of it, I too remember the fear in what most people take for granted by doing things like googling your own religion & how long it took Lucia to actually do it. Or why she felt the need to disguise & initially protect her identity by using the pseudonym “Carole.” Very smart idea. There’s a reason people do that.
I remember when Lucia was born. She was the first baby anyone from our age group of friends had & we were all fascinated by her. She was a darling person & I’m absolutely thrilled to see that she’s grown up to be exactly what she wants to be.
I’d heard of Celebrities not having to follow disconnection policy’s & were being exempt from some of the harsher Scientology rules. But that concept is so far removed from my own Scientology experience that I’m still trying to understand what it would mean if certain people didn’t have to follow what’s called KSW, Keeping Scientology Working. We, my generation of Scientologists, whatever you want to call us, did not disobey the disconnection policy. I knew plenty of people who couldn’t speak to their own parents back then. But we either didn’t talk about it or were asked not to.
Although in comparison, it was Vanni Ribisi who around ’07 randomly got behind me in line at Mani’s bakery in L.A. When we recognized each other, it was like nothing had ever happened. Like seeing an old friend. It was so unusual because this moment remains the only time I was treated in a positive way by anyone I’d once known in Scientology.
Are things changing in Scientology? Is it possible? Are families being allowed to make a choice about staying connected to loved ones who decide to leave? Or is the Church turning a blind eye to celebrities & disconnection based on potential p.r problems? Is it self preservation for the Church of Scientology or are Scientologists choosing love & familial bonds over disconnection regardless of the Church’s expectations of their compliance.
In my own way I think it’s interesting that these questions can even be raised & it’s mostly due to how Lucia makes it plain that Vanni & Mariah will continue to support her regardless of whether she’s a scientologist or not. That’s huge. Even if the Church is allowing an umbrella of protection around celebrities which I know isn’t fair to other members but maybe, just maybe this is the first dominio being knocked down, possibly signaling the beginning of disconnection not existing eventually at all. No more having the Church dictate who you can have in your life? That’s a serious contrast from what I understand disconnection to be & have experienced in my own life. It’s a lot for me to think about.
I mean, isn’t this all about freedom of choice? About people making their own decisions about what’s best for them & being supported for those choices by their Church rather than the other way around?
A few years ago, I was told Jason had left Scientology. I’ll tell you why I never imagined that could happen. Because of how I was treated when I left Scientology by him & some other people not included in this story. Jason, I saw it also reported, quietly left Scientology because of registrars knocking down his door, implying the Church pursued Jason for money he didn’t want to give. If that’s true, then I understand why Jason would eventually leave Scientology. I understand because I went through it. But among other things I want to say about that but won’t, is some people don’t get to quietly leave the Church because some people don’t make it possible for some people to quietly leave.
I applaud Lucia for being true to herself & I applaud her parents for not allowing anyone to take their loved one away from them. To me all this points at is change & when an 18 year old girl can teach you the beauty in simplicity, then times are changing.