Finding Elvis dead at 9, Scientology 'obedience therapy' at 11, and 'hostile relationship' with mom Priscilla: Lisa Marie Presley's former counselor reveals how trauma the King of Rock and Roll's daughter suffered was too much to bear

Daily Mail, UK/January 18, 2023

By Chris White

Lisa Marie Presley was so traumatized by her father's passing – and discovering his dead body at nine years old – that she spent the next 35 years trying to be 'cured' by Scientology, according to claims by her former counselor.

Karen De La Carriere, who was known as the 'Queen of Scientology', was a high-ranking member of the church for 35 years.

She says that Priscilla Presley, who had turned to Scientology to alleviate the grief of Elvis's sudden death in 1977, used the church to help control her daughter's behavioral problems.

As a result, Lisa Marie, who was just 11 years old at the time, and her mother endured a 'hostile relationship' and were in 'mortal combat' for the rest of their lives, claims De La Carriere.

Lisa Marie, the 54-year-old daughter of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, died of a cardiac arrest last Thursday night at the Calabasas home she was sharing with ex-husband Danny Keough, after decades of drug abuse.

De La Carriere was married to Scientology president Heber Jentzsch from 1978-1989. She quit the church in 2010 and is now married to artist Jeffrey Augustine and lives in LA.

She became Presley's auditor – Scientology-speak for counselor – and says that Presley was placed in 'obedience therapy' as a schoolgirl.

De La Carriere says that Elvis would never have allowed that to occur if he had lived.

Priscilla Presley did not respond to's request for comment.

Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw said the church does not comment on 'parishioner counseling', but said church leadership is saddened by Lisa Marie's death.

'The church's relationship with Lisa Marie was one of warmth and care,' she added.   

De La Carriere, who left Scientology in 2010, said Priscilla was introduced to the church by her friend John Travolta.

'She was in a bad mental condition, had gone through a big loss. Elvis had died and, in her weak moment of great loss, Travolta persuaded her to come in.

'Priscilla then dominated poor Lisa. She grew up as a little princess. She was the daughter of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, living in luxury. But she had misery because she and her mother were adversaries.

'Whatever her mother wanted was the opposite of what Lisa wanted.'

Priscilla forced the religion on to Lisa Marie, she added.

'This is a girl, who is a second generation Scientologist, who didn't elect to go into Scientology, but was dragged into it because her parent was in it. She didn't want to be indoctrinated or attend courses.

'It's really tragic that Lisa as a nine-year-old discovered her father's body. She was her daddy's princess, truly loved by him. That was a huge trauma for her.

'Lisa emphatically acted out like a child, taking drugs to forget every agony of losing her dad.

'Priscilla would get exasperated with her because she was a rebellious kid - she was not a kid who believed in rules and boundaries. She was a free spirit – ''I'll do what I want, whenever I want''.

'They were locked in mortal combat, the relationship was hostile,' added De La Carriere. 'It was adversarial.

'There was such a power imbalance. Priscilla had all the power, she was the mom, the child can't run away at nine years old. What you can do to fight back is be rude, be disrespectful. Your only weapon is to be combative.

'Her mother got more and more worried. I think Lisa first started experimenting with drugs at 13 or 14 years old. The more Lisa fought back, the more Priscilla tried her own methods of control.

'So when I say locked in mortal combat, the two were not aligned at all. There was no harmony. A relationship of warfare, it was like living in a war zone. That would precipitate a child to do more drugs to get some kind of high away from misery.

'That's why I think Priscilla will take this death really hard, as the other person has died and you haven't made good.'

As an 11-year-old, Presley was dropped off by her mother at the church's celebrity center for hours, months on end, for 'obedience therapy', as her behavior went off the rails, De La Carriere says.  

She claims Lisa Marie was made to do the 'purification rundown' - which consists of hours in a hot sauna, doing large amounts of exercise and taking high levels of vitamins to make the body supposedly pure - at least three times. The first of these was when she was just 12 years old.

'Priscilla would be scowling when this big limousine drove up to the celebrity center with a chauffeur and Lisa would be ordered out of the car to get her indoctrination and straighten herself out,' says De La Carriere.

'I can't get into what came up in the sessions, it would be betraying trust. But any time she acted up, she was dropped off.

'The instructions from Priscilla were, ''Handle her, just do it'', and she'd be there for hours. Lisa had no choice. I believe this was enforced conversion therapy, it was obedience therapy.

'Lisa spent a couple of hours a day with me for months when I was her auditor or counselor.

'An 11-year-old shouldn't be forced into the indoctrination of anything.'

De La Carriere said she was light on Presley.   

'I wasn't some Mother Superior with a cane, rapping her knuckles. I saw the sadness in her eyes. I saw how this force was superimposed on her against her will. Now I really regret it, I should have just refused and said, ''I'm not gonna do this to an 11-year-old girl, who doesn't want any of this.''

'She did drugs and they forced this Scientology purification rundown on her. The rundown consists of sitting in a sauna for five hours a day, slowly taking more and more vitamins and minerals, until one is taking 5,000mg of niacin daily.

'Lisa had to do this procedure over and over because of her drug relapses ... doing this program, so she'll magically not want to do drugs anymore.

'If Elvis was alive, he would never, ever have let his daughter endure torturous purification rundowns, sending her to ethics, handing out morality punishments.

'And all the stuff she endured for 35 years, the absolute Scientology indoctrination, leading nowhere, with no result. He would never have allowed this.

'Scientology got tons of money out of her. Scientology touts itself as making you this high ethical spirit – you're more aware, you have more morals, you have more ethics, you're practically a Superman, you're more healthy.

'Well, she died a drug addict after being in Scientology 35 years.'

It's thought that Lisa Marie turned her back on Scientology after a bust up with leader David Miscavige, who disconnected from his father Ron after he fled the church in 2012. Presley was very close to Ron and sided with him. 

Ron was banned from any contact with his other Scientologist daughters, Lori and Denise.

The same year that Ron left, Presley released the single 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet' and quit the church herself two years later in 2014.

'This was Lisa's big revenge on David Miscavige. That was her announcement to the world that she's leaving,' adds De La Carriere.

The lyrics certainly seem like she's hitting out, saying: 'Lay down the truth don't make a sound/Just a piece of fruit who's hit the ground/I don't respond/I've lost the plot/Unethical/Not what I thought.

'You can think that I'm evil and I'm all for it/You ain't seen nothin yet/I'm a bit transgressive and suppressive as well.

'You ain't seen nothing yet/Am I a disruption to your corruption?'

Now De La Carriere thinks Priscilla will be full of remorse and will turn to her old friend Travolta, who lost his wife Kelly Preston to breast cancer in 2020 and his autistic son Jett in 2009 after a violent seizure, for comfort.

'I predict that this will shake up Priscilla to the core. She can look at how much she tried to make Scientology work – and it did f**k all. Nothing. Excuse my language.

'There's no evidence that Priscilla, like Travolta, has been doing Scientology. When has Priscilla used any of its services?

'When a celebrity does take services, the word spreads like lightning. If Priscilla showed up in Clearwater, the word spreads,' said De La Carriere, referencing the Florida city that is the hub of Scientology.

Scientology can't resist putting it in their magazines to say, ''Look who's endorsing us." We haven't seen anything like that in years. So I don't know that Priscilla is really doing Scientology. She's already kind of drifted away.

'Scientology will desperately try to reel her back, say, ''Let us handle your grief,'' but I don't know that Priscilla will play ball anymore.

'I do feel that this will be an earthquake in Priscilla's world.'

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