In the system of the Scientology organization, the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) is the department which is concerned with training and education.
L. Ron Hubbard stated its mission in the following way:
"... to rehabilitate the entire area of training through the spread of the only functioning study technology: the study technology of L. Ron Hubbard."
The book "Child Dianetics" can also serve as the prescribed training ideal for parents in the Scientology organization. It forms the foundation of Scientology child rearing. Since the founder of the Scientology organization starts with the definition of a "child" as nothing more than a Thetan in a small body, the entire training program is viewed as mandatory for children. In the book "Child Dianetics," childhood fantasy is defined as mentally ill. L. Ron Hubbard found it "not surprising that children appear to have similarities to psychotics and schizophrenics."
In order to treat the childhood behavior which is classified as unhealthy, the process of "auditing" is performed on children. That process is supposed to expunge painful and troublesome experiences in order to remove the so-called "reactive mind." Hubbard felt that auditing was possible for children after they learn how to speak. However, he recommended saving "heavy processing" until after the age of five years. He believed traveling back into prenatal experiences should be held off until the age of twelve. A "security check" for children also exists in the framework of Scientology rules that begins with the question, "What has someone forbidden you to tell?"
After that, the child is confronted with a list of over a hundred questions. The procedure contains the character of an interrogation and aims to lure troublesome and negative information from the child, and is supposed to aid with the removal of engrams. Children appear to be exposed at a rather early age, as a result of auditing and internal instruction from Scientology, to an attempt at expunging everything which is bothersome, weak or emotional, at orienting them towards strength and accustoming them to insensitivity towards pain and weakness, for the purpose of creating unfeeling superhumans.
It can be gathered from reports of former members that children are expected to keep a sort of statistical diary as part of their learning program in which they are systematically rated. This practice can be understood to be an early introduction to a type of submission to outside control. If the parents stick to the prescribed training ideals, the children grow up in the closed ideological system of the Scientology organization. Growing up with the ideology is supposed to guarantee that the children are cared for and instructed in the organization's own kindergartens and schools.
From the available reports and instructions, it can be concluded that children graduate rather early into a daily routine which is similar to that of adults. Of primary importance is that the activities of the parents always be of use to the organization. Symptomatic of this is an internal instruction for the Scientology elite unit, the Sea Org, in which parents are required to give up their one hour of daily family time in favor of "production."
By this means, close, reliable and consistent parent-child relationships are hindered and the child experiences early on - through his parents - that work for Scientology has the highest priority. This can lead to neglect of children by their parents, since Scientology parents, as a rule, concentrate predominantly on the expansion of Scientology as their highest goal, and hold the view that their children will have to wait. The most extreme form of this happens to the children who grow up in the Sea Org. Since the Sea Org amounts to an elite unit inside the Scientology organization, many Scientology parents seek it as a career, in the Scientology sense, for their children.
Of particular note here is the statement of a youthful former member who grew up in a Scientology family and came to Germany at the age of eleven years old. Until the age of sixteen or seventeen years her experiences with Scientology had not been extensive. She only worked for Scientology for a few weeks in the summer, and was sent to a Communications Course for a rather common problem, so that she would understand her stepmother better, then graduated an introductory Scientology course, which was fun for her at first. The familiar training and in particular the relationship with her father appeared to have the greatest effect upon her. She reported that she was never permitted to say in school that her father and stepmother were Scientologists. She grew up in total isolation. The attitude of her father had been that she was able to do anything, that it was her problem and that she had to figure things out for herself. From the time she was small, whenever there were fights or problems at home he told her that she was not four years old (the age at which her mother died), but that she was a Thetan and had to control herself. Scientologists, she determined, expected very much, too much from children.
When she was sixteen or seventeen years old, the familiar problems grew worse. Her father's new woman companion had not reckoned with her staying with them after his separation from her stepmother; she stated she did not want his daughter living with them. Her father told her that she was a Thetan and should see about staying someplace else. She was able to work in the organization and received, in return, a roof over her head. She was there for several weeks without having a permanent place to stay.
At this stage she was approached and asked if she would like to become a staff member. Recruiters from Flag, Copenhagen and St. Hill had also tried to recruit her. Their statements that she was very qualified, intelligent and competent much appealed to her. She finally decided on St. Hill and the Sea Org, and, with her father beside her, signed a contract for "one billion years." That had been important for her father because he had failed on an earlier attempt, and now placed hope in his daughter. Her problems were "solved" with this contract, because she had a place to live, eat and tend to.
The youthful former member reported that she studied from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to graduate the courses for the Sea Org. Then she was trained, and then the physical work began. People were not allowed to take a break, and the during the entire day there were only two half-hour breaks for meals. People had to jog everywhere they went and got no rest because they had to reach the optimal production. They had as good as no time off, neither did they receive the promised wages, nor were the wages as much as promised. They almost never went to school. That had also been the case for a thirteen year old friend of hers, who happened to be her boss. They had helped with the construction of a sauna, and had often worked the whole night through and then gone to their course the next morning with little or no sleep. She became exhausted, had back problems, and the work was very hard on her. They always had too little sleep. They even had to work when sick, and received no consideration at work for injuries. They did not have enough protective clothing available for the dangerous work, e.g., when they had to work with acid. They were told that a Thetan can do anything.
After six weeks she had wanted to go back home because she felt lonely and everything was so impersonal. She had been told to write up all her mistakes she had ever made so that if she did leave, it could be said of her that she was a failure and a shame to her family. Whenever she resisted, she was screamed at and humiliated in front of others. The work became more tedious and meal times were cut back. When she made an attempt to flee, she was apprehended by security guards and locked in a room for hours. After that she was constantly watched and inspected. Attempts at resistance were especially problematic in that nobody could be trusted because they would immediately repeat whatever was said. Telephone conversations were listened in on and mail was inspected. She herself was also involved in this system; she had guarded others and opened their mail and inspected it. That was the only way to escape control, by fitting in, and she succeeded in cleverly and credibly making a case that her father had gotten very sick. That is how she received three weeks leave to go to Germany. She used this opportunity to leave Scientology, otherwise she could have left only with the help of others. Her father never understood her and told her that she should not do as poorly as he did, and if she did not wish to go back to the Sea Org, then she was not his daughter. Although she was very happy to escape St. Hill, she was in a bind because she had lost her friends as well, just as those in Scientology lose their previous friends. She was also forsaken by a large number of relatives because they thought she was taking advantage of her father and his health problems, and that she was to blame for his worsening condition. Altogether she would have preferred to quit; she felt too old for her classmates and people her own age, more like 40 years old instead of 18. On the positive side, she was able to go back to school and slowly build up friendly relationships with others. This description applies to parents who rigidly adhere to the instructions of the Scientology organization in the raising of their children. There are also cases in which the parents do not keep the rules concerning child raising.