My Journey with the Cult of Celebrity Spirituality, Greed and Power

Karen and Peter Schless were seduced by Scientology’s celebrity spirituality and detoured from Hollywood careers to join its extremist group, the Sea Org, to work in leader David Miscavige’s inner sanctum. They built the walls of their mental prison while getting absorbed into a radicalized lifestyle where danger, captivity and abuse were normalized. After three escapes Karen chose between two unbearable options.

“This is the same book I had worked to prevent being published since the early 2000s. To know that I have been able to encourage and assist Karen to tell her story to the world now is both satisfying and cathartic. It is a great read by a talented woman.”

Mike Rinder, Consultant,
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath

“I strongly encourage people to read this book carefully and thoughtfully, to realize the degree that Scientology has long been exploiting well-known social influence methods and techniques. Karen’s story will show how people become radicalized by extremists. This story is not about rehashing and reliving the trauma of the past. It’s a story coming from a survivor/thriver.”

Steven Hassan, M.Ed. Author,
Combating Cult Mind Control

“Karen speaks with the authority of a long-time insider. It’s engaging, engrossing, illuminating, and reveals how even intelligent, highly creative people can be seduced by the siren song of Scientology. Karen is a talented writer, and I found it hard to put it down.”

Jefferson Hawkins, Author, Counterfeit Dreams;
Leaving Scientology;
and Closing Minds

Karen Schless Pressley

Bonus Material

Read additional material that was not included in the book.

Leah Remini Scientology The Aftermath

The Aftermath

Karen’s story is included in an episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, Leah’s award-winning TV series.

Karen Schless Pressley


Questions about Scientology? Contact the author of Escaping Scientology: An Insider’s True Story, Karen Pressley.

Karen’s Interview with Jeffrey Augustine on “Surviving Scientology”

Karen Schless Pressley is the former Commanding Officer of the Scientology Celebrity Centre. In this interview she discusses how she and her then husband — the composer Peter Schless — became Scientologists and later joined the Sea Org. Karen fascinatingly discusses the lure of Scientology for celebrities in terms of co-dependency. In my view, this is a remarkably insightful description. Karen’s new book “Escaping Scientology: An Insider’s True Story: My Journey With the Cult of Celebrity Spirituality, Greed and Power ” is available on Amazon.