Former devoted Scientology member claims she was 'forced' to have an abortion by sub-group

Samantha believed she had committed the "ultimate sin" and having an abortion was "the right thing to do"

The Mirror, UK/August 24, 2015

By Natalie Corner

A woman who was a member of the Church of Scientology for 20 years says she was forced to have an abortion.

In the Channel 5 documentary, Inside Scientology and Escaping the Witness, Samantha Domingo claims when she fell pregnant she wasn't given any other option.

Speaking to the cameras she says: "It felt like I'd committed the ultimate sin. The next thing that came was 'what is the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics?'

"That was the right thing to do have an abortion, that was made absolutely clear to me."

As well as being a member of the Church, Sam was a member of the Sea Organisation based at Saint Hill Manor in the UK, a group within Scientology for the most devoted members.

Sea Org members are not allowed to have young children and are required to leave but are still allowed to remain a member of the Church of Scientology itself, and can return when the child is of age.

Sam said she went ahead with the abortion to prove to her fellow members that she was not a 'criminal': "I bought into it. I had an abortion to prove I wasn't this evil person, this Satan that everybody was saying I was."

The Church claim that members are allowed to choose whether they have an abortion, and if they choose to keep their child they are allowed to return when the children are older.

But Sam says she can never forgive herself for what she did: "I murdered a child, that's the way I look at it, and it will forever live with me that I murdered a child.

"I will never forgive myself for that, I will never be able to rewrite it."

However after the abortion and the breakdown of her first marriage, it was to be another 15 years before Sam walked away from the Church.

The Church of Scientology did not accept any of the complaints or criticisms made by Samantha Domingo in the programme: "Sea Org members can and do leave the organisation but stay within the church. Sam Domingo left the Sea Org in 1995, and stayed a member of the church for a further 15 years.

"Her complaints bear no relation to the Church today."

They also say they consider it "abusive to use the word 'cult' to describe any of the religion's beliefs and practices", but critics in the documentary say that the lines between religion and cult often start to become blurred.

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