Scientology: Children and Auditing, Religious Ritual or Abuse? ~Part 4

(b) “Child abuse” means:
1. Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;

Leah Remini has noted that for children in the Sea Org Scientology is the caregiver.

Mike Rinder also verified that children are secondary to Sea Org duties and thus are raised by the cult rather than their parents.

Children who audit adults are placed in potentially dangerous proximity to obscenity which classifies as a form of child sexual abuse. A fact by itself that should be enough to concern child advocacy groups and law enforcement.

Beyond the question of obscenity there lies the matter of simply exposing minors to major adult issues whilst placing them in a position of therapist or caregiver.

It has long been established that burdening children and adolescents with grown up problems, as for instance during a divorce, causes stress, anxiety and even more serious mental health conditions.

When this happens in a familial setting it is known as Parentification.

First identified by Boszormenyi-Nagy & Spark in 1973 in their groundbreaking book, Invisible Loyalties: Reciprocity in Intergenerational Family Therapy, Parentification is defined as “…the distortion or lack of boundaries between and among family subsystems, such that children take on roles and responsibilities usually reserved for adults”.

Two strong articles explaining Parentification can be found here and here.

Relevant to this discussion is that “Emotional parentification is when the child feels responsible for the emotional wellbeing of others in the family.”

In this case, the family is Scientology and by auditing the adults around them they are absolutely responsible for the wellbeing of others.

Placing a child in the role of caretaker forces them to grow up too fast. It robs them of a chance to be children. To feel safe, nurtured, protected and cared for.

Emotional neglect is also a form of child abuse and such a burden does cause mental injury to many.

Of course not all are adversely affected. But it should suffice that any child is forced into such a situation.

Growing Up Too Quickly: Parentified Children outlines the dangers facing children who are forced to take on age inappropriate adult situations.

“Many parentified children can grow up with higher levels of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). DiCaccavo (2005) argues that parentification often sets the child up for failure as they are attempting to perform tasks that are beyond their current capabilities, and internalisation of these failures can lead to feelings of shame, depression, and low self-esteem.”

As Chris Shelton noted, the auditor is 100% responsible for everything that happens during the audit. If that auditor is a child he or she is the one who must handle any crisis the PC in front of them throws out.

This too is damaging abuse.

Experts believe this kind of behavior creates an atmosphere of neglect, because children are made responsible for looking after the emotional and psychological well-being of the parent while suppressing their normal childhood needs, such as play or friendships with kids their own age.”

Depriving children of their childhoods, forcing them into adult positions where they are confronted with the confessions of adults is emotional neglect and therefore abuse.

Scientology auditing loses the cover of religious ritual equal to that of other, traditional forms of spiritual confession the moment David Miscavige breaks the seal of confidentiality. Using the contents of carefully documented and saved personal revelations publicly to attack, abuse, discredit, intimidate and dehumanize completely nullifies any illusion of religion.

Children who are trained as auditors are being placed in potentially dangerous, abusive, age inappropriate roles that have been shown through research to cause mental injury and long term psychological harm.

Minors who are audited are not only made emotionally, physically and psychologically vulnerable but so too are they at real risk of mental illness induced by shame, humiliation and psychological manipulation.

There is enough evidence from former members that interest, concern and outrage should be raised within law enforcement and child advocacy organizations. It is irresponsible and naive to wait for an isolated incident to present itself when in the meantime the potential for injury exists daily for any number of susceptible minors.

Exposing minors to Scientology’s auditing is exposing them to an unhealthy, inappropriate, abusive environment. At the least children are involved in situations no right thinking parent would ever countenance. At worst, there are the Serge Gill’s, Mirriam Frances’ and Saina Kamula’s who today as adults live with Hubbard’s crippling legacy.

How many more vulnerable children and teens will find themselves re-victimized like Amy Scobee? Blamed for their rape or molestation during an auditing session today?

Something MUST be done about it.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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