Photo: Sara May Photography
Hailley, a lifelong Scientologist, is a mother to two beautiful daughters, and makes her home in the Portland, Oregon area. Her answers to the students’ questions are as follows:
Can you explain both how and why you became involved with the Church of Scientology?
My parents were Scientologists. On the beaches of Oahu, my dad was handed a flier that read, “Do you want to be happy?” and on the flier it had information about the whereabouts of the local Scientology Church. He and my mom walked to the Church to begin their first service towards their initial goal of being happy. This was in the early 1970s and they are dedicated members to this day.
I grew up under the guidance of these opinion leaders who used Scientology principles in their everyday interaction with people, which included their children (my brother and me). However, I balked at first at listening to my parents’ suggestions and advice, seeing as I was now a young adult, and, as such, wanted to “find my own way.”
But then, re-discovering my religion was just something that was inevitable when I hit college. Every spot of trouble I ran into—whether it was school, relationships with friends, etc.—was solved with a piece of Scientology. Somehow I found myself gravitating towards my local Church to find my own answers. Try as I might, I could not deny that these solutions I found in Scientology worked and so it made a believer out of me. Thus, I considered myself a Scientologist.
Can you give a personal summary of what the Church of Scientology is about, and why you find it to be favorable?
The Scientology religion is the study of knowledge. I find it unlike other religions I’ve encountered, in that one can go into any local Scientology Church and say, “I’d like to learn about how to do better in my academics—can you help?” or “I am having difficulty with my boyfriend—can you help?” or “I am having difficulty making the money I need to do the things I want—can you help?” —The answer to all of these questions is unequivocally YES. Truly, for anything one would like some help in achieving, there is exact technology in Scientology that helps one find that answer by giving him/her the tools to look and act. It helps not just handle the immediate difficulty in one’s life but the underlying situation that was actually allowing him or her to get into that difficult situation in the first place.
Does Scientology impact any decisions you make in terms of education?
I don’t know if I would say that it impacts the decisions I make in terms of what I choose to become educated about, but rather it influences how I educate myself. I have learned through experience and the validation of the study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Founder of Scientology, that I need a purpose for what I am studying and I always study for application. Otherwise I will forget it. It’s that old adage: use it or lose it. Through the study technology, I have found and embraced my education as truly my own. I have the ability to study what I want and have no back off on learning those things I am interested in.
Are children provided with a mainstream education? Does a person’s education consist of infant and primary school, lower and upper high school, followed by the option of attending university or continuing on with tertiary education if desired?
Of course! The option of what institution to have a child be a part of is really a family decision, not a church choice.
What is different or the same about the education of Scientologist youths?
I can really only speak to my education that I received at the Delphian School, a school that uses a study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard. To state it simply, I was given the tools to study on my own and learn what I want to learn–anything I want. I have the confidence that I can learn it.
While that may sound trite, I shall give you an example: I took a job after college as a temp executive assistant for the head of a large hospital in the Northwest. I decided I wanted to keep the job and turn my position into something more permanent. I let my boss know that I was interested in the position and I would prove it to her over the next two days. She sure gave me the opportunities to prove it and show what I could do. First task, she asked for me to put together a presentation using a specific program; she wanted graphics and content on an unfamiliar subject. I, of course, confidently said, “No problem.” Of course, walking out of there, I had no idea what program she was even talking about let alone how to even open the program on the computer. What I did have was my ability to research, duplicate, learn what I needed to do to get the job done. I did end up being offered the position. That confidence and ability to learn was because of the Delphian School program and the effectiveness of LRH’s study technology.
What are the reasons behind this?
I believe this way of educating an individual makes one a better citizen. By having the ability to learn what one wants, coupled with one’s power of choice, the individual is a dynamic force to be reckoned with. The only thing left is to ensure that that one is moral and he or she will make a difference in his community.
What hobbies/interests are common to people who follow Scientology? Is there anything specific which most people partake in?
My hobbies are working out, cooking, watching movies and playing with my kids. I don’t know that hobbies/interests are affected necessarily by the religion one is part of. I can say, however, I do lead a drug-free life (no alcohol and drugs) so am not involved with the “party scene”.
I admit as a kid, having grown up in Los Angeles, I got involved in the party scene, but it was probably the combination of growing up and having a family, as well as getting more involved in my Church, that kind of made me realize the party life was a little overrated.
Do your Scientology beliefs impact the medical choices you make in your life?
Yes. As a basic Scientology tenet, we believe that we are spiritual beings. The spiritual being controls the body. It is fairly universally agreed-upon that drugs (street and pharmacological) can affect the body and one’s ability to control it to a greater or lesser degree. In taking drugs, one’s own control—even for a brief moment—shifts. It goes out of your control as a spiritual being and puts you essentially out of control.
The body can positively or unfavorably react to whatever influence it is under. Once drugs enter the equation, the perceptions weaken and the body just goes numb and is, essentially, at the mercy of the drug to repair itself. I far prefer to let my body heal itself rather than to numb it with drugs.
However, don’t get me wrong, if my baby has a fever I give her Tylenol. However, I will try everything up to that point to allow the body to heal naturally.
Do you have children? If yes, do you believe that your children (and the beliefs of their children) should be kept within the Church of Scientology. Inclusive of who they choose to marry.
Yes, I have two children.
I do plan to raise them with exposure to Scientology, and while I would certainly like them to become Scientologists owing to how it has helped me, what religion they choose to follow is up to them.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard once wrote, “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything.”
My feeling is that LRH is actually telling you not to just believe but to go observe and practice Scientology for yourself and know that it is true for you. Scientology is not some esoteric religion that only few can understand. LRH actually means for you to go out and practice his philosophy and see if it works for yourself. I would be a hypocrite if I told my children they have to believe what I believe or marry someone only in the Church.
Do your beliefs impact who you form social relationships with?
I am friends with all sorts of different people: Scientologists, Christians, Jews, upper class, lower class, fellow moms, etc. My social groups are formed around the activities I choose to be a part of. I have a group of friends I work out with at the gym; I have a separate group of friends I work with at my local church; I have a separate group of friends I have playdates with. I love people and I can’t help but love them more when they are doing things that I like to do too.
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