Announcing a new video series - The stories of young Scientologists not told in 'Going Clear' - 2015-04-14
A year ago, we brought you the story of a family ripped apart by Scientology's 'disconnection' policy. Gayle Smith had been a longtime staff member in the Philadelphia org who found herself "declared" a "suppressive person" in 2011, cutting her off from the church and everyone in it. That included her son, Aaron Smith-Levin, and his three children. But she defied the church, continued to see her son and grandchildren, and that ended up getting Aaron tossed out of the church and his kids kicked out of a Scientology school.
Also last year, Tampa Bay Times journalist Joe Childs reported another stunning case of disconnection. A woman named Sara Goldberg was forced by church officials to choose between her son, Nick Lister, who had been declared, and her daughter, who remained in the church. Her dilemma became a key highlight of Alex Gibney's documentary, Going Clear, which began airing on HBO last month.
Now, the two young men from those stories, Aaron Smith-Levin and Nick Lister, are teaming up to create a new YouTube channel that will feature the stories of other young Scientologists who grew up in the church and believe they have a unique view of it.