Just How Crazy Is Scientology? Very.

After growing up in the Church of Scientology and being married (with parental consent) at just 15 to a 21-year-old fellow church member, Astra Woodcraft decided to cut her one billion-year commitment to the church a little short and escaped its clutches faster than you can say, "Xenu."

The New York Daily News recounted Woodcraft's struggle to escape the clutches of Sea Org, which came complete with having her arm tied to a doorknob to prevent her from escaping, physical and sexual abuse, an unvaried diet of rice and beans, ceaseless toil, and sundry attempts to coerce her into having an abortion. Woodcraft eventually cut loose from the church and is now a licensed architect and the mother of a pretty cheery-looking teenage daughter. Along with fellow defector Jenna Miscavige Hill, she's established a website called ExScientologyKids.com, which offers a support structure for former church members (Hill is the niece of the church's leader, David Miscavige).

Hill says she suffered abuses that paralleled Woodcraft's experience, including forced labor and periods of physical isolation. Meanwhile, Sea Org spokespeople have cautioned that we, the guileless public, not listen to those raving lunatics who've defected from the church because those people are most likely "proven liars" who are simply fashioning lurid tales of cultish living for personal gain.

Ex-Scientologist Astra Woodcraft recalls her terror inside the clutches of the church [NYDN]