by Jamie Sorrentini
My name is Jamie Sorrentini Lugli. My parents were on staff at the NY org in the early seventies and were disaffected for about 30 years. I got them back on the bridge when I discovered Scientology on my own in 2006. I also got my sister in around the same time.
I was always extremely close with both my parents. We had a very open communication line and they supported me in everything I did. And my father and I had a very special relationship – closer than most fathers and daughters I know. It was like we were telepathically and emotionally connected. Whenever my parents would fight I was there to listen to him. Whenever my Mom wasn’t around to make dinner, I would make dinner for him. And every night before bed we used to eat chocolate chip cookies together.
I got out of the church in January with my husband Tiziano. I was on OT Elig for a year and was not being accepted for unusual and invalid reasons. It all started when I refused to buy more Basic books after having already donated 25 libraries, and doing Patron with Honors. It then spiraled out of control when I got in Ethics trouble for buying a motorcycle (with money I “should have donated instead”) Also, as an actress, I played a stripper on a popular network TV show and I was told I was promoting myself as a “porn star” and I was not allowed to play characters below 2.0 on the tone scale. The list of insanity goes on and on but these are just a few highlights. In the end they gave me a program which was to train to Class 4 internship, do the complete Basics book and lectures line-up, redo the PTS/SP course ( because the entertainment industry is a “1.1. industry”) and to increase my “contributions”.
I was going to request a Board of Review but then I saw the St. Pete Times video interviews with Marty Rathbun and others who had left the church. Suddenly it all made sense and I knew there was no point in trying to fight this any longer. I could not support David Miscavige and his criminal activities anymore.
My mother left the church immediately as soon as she found out the truth about what was happening at the top. My father and sister still remain in the church and of course have disconnected from us. My mother is now seeking a divorce from my father for obvious reasons.
On July 2nd Tiziano and I went to Clearwater for the Independents’ weekend and had a blast.
After the inaugural Independent’s Deep Sea Fishing Tournament, Tiziano, Gary Jackson Moorehead and myself decided to swing by the Oak Cove and try to see Flavio, Tiziano’s brother who is an auditor. We knew we wouldn’t be able to “trespass” and go inside the parking lot to get to the actual building, but we thought maybe if we stood on the curb, we would be able to see him getting on the bus to go to dinner.
So we stood outside yelling “FLAVIO FLAVIO!” Security guards were watching us and anyone who recognized us and attempted to communicate were told, “Don’t talk to them. They are declared Suppressives.” We knew there was no way they were going to let Flavio out of that building. As it was, SO members had to run out of the side door and jump onto the bus one at a time, to keep them sheltered from the EVIL SPs that were outside on the street “attacking the church.”
After about an hour of trying to get Flavio’s attention, we decide to leave and go back to Mike and Christie’s. Since my father lives at 500 Osceola (the apartment building just next door to the Sandcastle) I say to Tiziano, “Let’s drive by there and just see if my father’s scooter is there.” (He drives around on a red scooter because he gave all his money to the church and cannot afford to buy himself a car.) We pull up in our convertible and in that moment I see my father on his red scooter about to exit the parking lot. I tell Tiziano, “Stop the car!” and I jump out and run towards him. I had not planned to even try to talk to him on this trip but when I saw him, it was like something overcame me and I just knew I had to get to him.
Funny thing is, I had been wearing my flip flops every day that we had been in Clearwater, but that morning I had put my running shoes on. I hadn’t felt like wearing them, but something had told me to put them on. I had no idea that I would be sprinting through a parking lot in them, in a desperate attempt to reconnect with my father.
So, I am running towards him, shouting “DAD, DAD!!!” And he turns the scooter around and heads to the opposite side of the parking lot. He’s trying to get away from me! OMG! I can’t believe it. So I break into a full sprint running as fast as I can, yelling for him. I see him park the scooter and take off running around the back of the building. I am in shock, with adrenaline pumping through me. I run through the building and see him come up the back stairs, heading towards a glass door that leads to the lobby. I yell at him, “Dad, don’t you run from me. Don’t do this. I’m your fucking daughter!” As I run down the hallway, I see him open the door and yell at the security guard in a panicked voice, “Lock the door, don’t let her in!” I try to run past the guard but she grabs my arm and stops me. I lose him. I was seconds away.
In my mind, I just wanted to jump on him and hug him, thinking that once he felt my arms around him he would give up and just hug me back. But I was horrified at his reaction, to have my own father who I was so close with my whole life, who once looked at me with love and affection now looking at me and running from me like I was a murderer chasing him with a gun.
The guard locks the door and won’t let me in. I break into sobs and beg her to let me in to talk to him. I explain that he is my father and that he won’t talk to me because he was told by the church that he is not allowed to have any communication with me. She says she will go talk to him.
In the meantime, Tiziano and Jackon show up and I fill them in. The guard comes back down and says that my father is very upset and that he said he does not want to talk to me and that I need to leave because I am on private property. Jackson explains about disconnection and how all I want to do is see my father and within a few minutes she is crying herself. I keep begging her to let me go up to his apartment door, but she says she can’t allow me to do that. At this point, I think all four of us have tears coming down our cheeks.
Tiziano’s brother disconnected from him, Jackson was torn apart from his wife; we had all felt the pain of the COS-enforced-disconnection. And now this naïve security guard, who could not believe what she had witnessed, knew this pain. It reinforced our individual losses in the shared experience, and it was pretty intense.
Isn’t it ironic how Scientology is supposed to teach people how to communicate and help them to be able to confront things yet these “dedicated Scientologists” can do nothing but run ?
It took me a bit to get over the shock of what transpired. But I know that as bad as I feel about it, he feels worse. I knew that I was upholding my integrity and doing what was right. He can’t say the same. Deep down he knows it’s wrong to abandon his flesh and blood. And he’s missing out on sharing my milestones, my wins.
I am living my life now. The one I want to live, not the one the church thinks I should live. My life is fantastic. I am married to my soul mate. We just bought a house and are creating on our life together. My career is moving forward and I am living my dream.
My father has lost everything he has worked for his whole life- his wife, his daughter, his future. He has given every cent he has to the church. He has 80,000 dollars of debt, he drives a scooter because he can’t afford to buy a car and even worse, he is living alone after 34 years of marriage. It makes me wonder, how far will one go to keep making themselves right?
Dad, if you are listening, I love you and I am here for you as always. You will always be a part of my life and whenever you choose to come back to me I will have your glass of milk and some chocolate chip cookies ready to share with you like the good old days.