A Boynton Beach father says The Church of Scientology is keeping him from a relationship with his daughter, and now he is making his situation public with the hopes that he can stand up for other families who are going through the same thing.
“Thousands of others are like this,” Brian Sheen said. “If they’re silent about it maybe that’s my mission here; I have to speak for those who cannot speak.”
Sheen, who left the church decades ago, said he and his daughter Spring, 38, had a loving and close relationship. He attended his daughter’s wedding in November and then he received a letter in April from the church saying he could not speak with her anymore. Sheen said he’s sent letters to the church asking for clarification as to what he did wrong, but he hasn’t received a response.
A request for comment from the church hadn’t been answered by Friday afternoon.
Scientology has been reported about widely in the media and more recently was the subject of a documentary this year titled, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.” The religion made headlines during the public downfall of the relationship between Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, a member of the church.
Scientology “recognizes that man is basically good and offers tools anyone can use to become happier and more able as a person and to improve conditions in life for himself and others, and to gain a profound understanding of the Supreme Being and his relationship to the Divine,” according to the religion’s website.
Sheen was also a member of the church but said he decided to leave about 40 years ago because of differences he had with the religion. His daughter and her mother are members, and Sheen said he always supported his daughter in that. He said his brother recently entered back into the church and thinks he might have something to do with the letter he received.
The letter came by Fed Ex in April and labeled Sheen a “suppressive” person. The church defines a suppressive person as one who “actively seeks to suppress or damage Scientology or a Scientologist by Suppressive acts,” according to the letter. Sheen said the letter says if he doesn’t follow the church rules he will be kept in this position and won’t be able to speak to his daughter again. And, if his daughter does speak to Sheen, she would lose her marriage and wouldn’t be able to speak to her friends and her mother, Sheen said.
Sheen says the church discriminated against him because of his religious beliefs. On July 4 he filed a Civil Rights complaint. He’s also created a website to spread awareness and is calling for politicians to get involved and demand the church either stop the disconnection policy, or make interested church members aware they might have to disconnect with friends or family not associated with Scientology.
“What I’m hoping to do is be able to help other people because I know there are hundreds and thousands of other people across the country like me,” Sheen said. “I’m not the first person here.”
Like the Post on Boynton Facebook page to stay connected to news from Boynton Beach