I was about 13 when the local Sea Org recruiters smelled blood. The Sea Org is always on the lookout for the young and able-bodied. The long hours and harsh treatment require deeply indoctrinated children who aren't resistant to recruiting techniques and won't burn out. I was already perfectly groomed for them.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
"We're going to work you like a stock boy on Black Friday. Every day."
The Sea Org, from an uninformed child's perspective, looked totally badass. No, they don't look awesome now, but when I was a kid, these guys were like the Power Rangers to me. I had been raised to believe the Sea Org was guarding the innermost secrets of Scientology and personally responsible for delivering the messages of founder L. Ron Hubbard from beyond the grave, both of which would save the world one day. I was even raised to believe that they'd be a space navy with special reincarnation powers. Holy mission to protect humanity, one foot in the supernatural, and secret powers? That's the perfect storm for snaring the interest of children. Just look at the poster:
Sea Org, via Derek Bloch
If they'd been wearing Aviator sunglasses, the poster would've literally caught fire from radness.