The Road to Truth: From the Scientology Cult to Torah

How a young Jewish man from Milwaukee was drawn into Scientology - then back out of it and into Orthodox Judaism.

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The Road to Truth
The Road to Truth

This book is the story of my life and how I got sucked into the Scientology cult in 1982 in Portland Oregon, its beliefs and practices, my experiences in it, and my subsequent kidnapping and deprogramming from it in 1986 in Los Angeles, and then comparing it to the beliefs and practices of Judaism as experienced in a Yeshiva from 1986 to 1989 in Morristown New Jersey.

The Road to Truth

Scientology is a very old modern cult established in the 1960s by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer and charismatic personality.

Many people have heard of this cult, and some of the famous actors like Tom Cruise, and John Travolta that are in it. However, few people really understand it, and realize how dangerous and mind bending it really is. Even some former longtime members who leave it or who are expelled don’t really understand it.

My difficult experiences in Scientology, my kidnapping and deprogramming, and my subsequent study of Torah (Orthodox) Judaism gives me a unique perspective that changed my life, and could also change yours.

Below is the prologue of my book which describes my kidnapping in Los Angeles in 1982



In every generation, one must look upon himself as if he personally went out of Egypt

(Talmud Pesachim)

“Your mother is here”


“Your mother is here outside”

“It can’t be. My mother is in Milwaukee”

“She’s waiting for you outside. Go speak with her”

I was in the elite “Sea Org” in the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles. Initially, my Jewish mother had gotten very upset about my involvement in Scientology, but according to some letters I had received, had apparently made peace with it. Therefore, I had no suspicions about why she had come, but I was surprised.

“Hello, Ma, what are you doing here in Los Angeles?”

Oh, Jonathan, my feet were bothering me, and the doctor said that a warmer climate might help them” responded my mother.

It was already May, and even in Milwaukee it was warming up. I figured she just needed an excuse to see me.


After a short conversation, my mother suggested that we go to a restaurant the next day. I agreed. She gave me the card of the hotel where she was staying at, and said that she would pick me up in a cab the next day. I agreed to a time the next day. I, later called her up and confirmed the time.

She arrived at the appointed time the next day. Instead of a cab, she arrived in a car with a driver. She said that instead of a cab, she had hired this driver to drive us around. The driver introduced himself as Jack. He was a heavyset guy with a cap and a small beard. He said his name was Jack and that he was originally from New York City. My mother engaged me in conversation. I was a nervous person and I had a bad habit of chewing on pens. When my mother saw what I was doing, she asked me if she could have my pen. She was worried that I would hurt myself with it. I gave her the pen. My mother was always very protective of her children.

We drove around Los Angeles for quite a while, and then I asked,“When are we going to eat?”

My mother said “soon”.

We turned off the main road onto a side street. Across the street was a parked car with its hood up. Suddenly, there were shouts, and my mother was gone and two guys got in to the back seat of the car on either side of me. They told me not to move. For a moment I was confused, wondering what had happened.

Then I realized I had been kidnapped.

“You can’t do this to me, it is illegal.” I screamed.

They told me to lie in the bottom of the car and threatened me with physical harm if I tried anything, so I complied.

After driving for a while, they stopped the car and put a blindfold over my eyes. They warned me not to scream and brought me into the house and into a room that had iron bars on the windows. I saw the iron bars and thought that this was prison. I was angry and scared.

The deprogramming was about to begin.

To purchase the book either in e-book format or as a softcover book, click here.

About the Author

Jonathan Ottenstein was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1955. He has a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He works for a consulting engineering firm in Manhattan, mostly dealing with hospitals. He is married and lives with his wife and four children in Crown Heights Brooklyn