This is absolutely horrifying.
A former top female Scientologist, who worked with some of the Church’s biggest celebrities, including John Travolta, is opening up about the thee years — three years! — she was forced to endure Scientology “prison” all because she kissed another woman.
In an exclusive new interview with Daily Mail, 39-year-old Nora Crest (pictured) speaks candidly about the ordeal.
“It was the most horrific time of my life,” she says. “I was battered and bruised, pushed around and nearly died trying to leave the Church, and all because I had the audacity to desire another woman.”
The cult’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, believed homosexuality was an “illness” and ordered the Church to “cure” any homosexuals in their midst, which is exactly what officials tried doing to Crest.
“I was brainwashed into believing I’d done wrong and had to live in horrific conditions for three years before I was finally allowed to leave,” she recalls.
Crest says after she was caught kissing her female roommate, she was sent to secret concentration camp in a remote Southern California suburb where she was made to endure hard labor.
“It was the culture where every minute of every day, hundreds of people were watching you, judging you, making sure you didn’t step out of line,” she says. “We were sleeping in dorms where there were at least 33 women on bunk beds, three beds high … We had three meals a day, where you have 20 minutes to gather your food and eat it, and 30 minutes to do your hygiene.”
But it gets worse. Much worse.
“The rooms had bugs and cockroaches,” Crest continues. “The bunks were dirty mattresses with rusty springs dating back to the ’50s. Disgusting conditions become the norm and you think that’s what you deserve and that you are what they say you are: a worthless piece of shit.”
“You get used to going to the toilet and five people watch you … You spoke only when you were spoken to. All outside communication was heavily vetted.”
Prisoners were forced to work as much as 80 hours per week and were rarely given breaks. Anyone who took too long completing a task or stepped out of line in any way was tortured.
“We would stand in an empty trash can while various people poured buckets of iced water over your head and were shouting at you about what crap you were,” she explains.
Food was closely monitored, as well.
“We’d be made to wait in line for the food to be distributed. There’d be around 250 people. When the doors opened, there was large stands of burger and fries and people would be diving at them, it was like a scene from Lord of the Flies, elbowing, punching each other, ripping hamburgers from one another, screaming in each others’ faces, then running off with the food to corners of the room like rabid animals and eating it quickly.”
Crest says she begged to be freed, but officials refused. She tried escaping, but was caught and forced to return. She recalls that day in horrifying detail:
“I was trying to get to the door and got five feet from it, but they were grabbing all parts of me and dragging me down. At one point, I had 13 people on my body and was pinned to the floor. I couldn’t move … I was being kicked and punched, my face was covered in blood … I was screaming.”
She finally resorted to drinking a bottle of bleach in what she calls an act of “let me leave or die” desperation. She was sent to the hospital. When she was released, she says, “I was forced to sign a waiver that I wasn’t ever going to sue the Church, say bad things, never criticize it. I said it all to camera. I didn’t care, I just wanted to go home.”
Today, Crest lives with her husband, Cameron, and their two sons, Landon and Nick. She credits her family for helping overcome the trauma caused by her ordeal.
“I don’t think I would have coped without Cameron by my side,” she says. “I can safely say that marrying my husband and having children saved my life.”
“This can’t be allowed to happen to another person, hence why I’m speaking out.”