Caitlyn Jenner's got company: meet Kate Bornstein, the one-woman whirlwind who's lived many lives - 2016-02-21
She was a Scientologist for 12 years. Three of them were spent as a lieutenant on founder L Ron Hubbard's ship in his Sea Org fleet. "He was a physically unattractive man," she says. "He had a deathly fear of dentists, so his teeth were a mess and so was his breath. Despite all of that, he made you feel like he was your daddy and you just wanted to please him. He would come out on deck at night, under the stars, and spin wonderful stories. He would tell us about who we were millions of years ago, the battles we fought back then, saying that now is our chance to move back in and free Earth from the slavery of the psychiatrists."
She left after they subjected her to six hours on a lie detector machine, refusing a place on its punishing Rehabilitation Project Force. Instead, she chose excommunication, which meant leaving behind her then nine-year-old daughter, who is still a member of the Church of Scientology along with her mother, who hasn't spoken to Bornstein since.