Meet a Scientologist: Octogenarian Frances Clark Remembers It All
Frances Clark was 50 in 1973 when she first encountered Scientology. Nearly 40 years later, at 88, she is still going strong.
Growing up in South Carolina during the Great Depression, Frances Clark had already graduated from high school and begun training as a nurse when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. With war declared, her once-sleepy Southern town was suddenly teeming with soldiers. They came from all over the country and all walks of life, and they were ready for action.
“The soldiers had their own radio station and someone I knew at Fort Jackson invited me there one day. That’s where I met David, my first husband,” she says.
David was the son of a well-known New York radio announcer, who wangled a transfer for his son and new daughter-in-law to Army Air Force Command in New Haven, Connecticut. There, Clark got a job as a cancer research assistant in the anatomy department of the medical school.
“Those were such exciting times—all the famous musicians of the day were in the Army and I got to meet Glenn Miller and other music greats,” says Clark.
But life was far from exciting a few years later when Clark, then 33 and divorced, was living in a bad neighborhood in New York, trying to raise two young sons on her own.
“My children’s godmother had moved to California and invited me to join her there,” she says. “So I packed them up and we flew to San Jose.”
That was 1957, and Clark supported her boys, first as a nurses’ aide at a local hospital and later as a senior lab assistant in the pathology department of the county hospital.
In 1973, she learned about Scientology from the friend of one of her sons, and what she heard made sense to her.
“All my life I had been very shy,” says Clark. “I believe that was really at the bottom of most of my problems in life. I was having a rough time. Among other things, I had frequent headaches from stress, and I was taking painkillers to handle it. I didn’t want to do that, but didn’t feel I had any choice.”
Clark’s first experience with Scientology was a communication course.
“I really enjoyed it,” she says. “I overcame the shyness, the stress disappeared—everything started getting better.”
For the past 23 years, Clark has been working at the Church of Scientology of Los Gatos. Even at 88, she works part-time and is very proud that although her stamina isn’t what it used to be, her memory is as strong as ever.
What Clark likes best about Scientology is the truth—that’s what she was looking for and what she found.
“Of course life isn’t always pleasant, but no matter what occurs, I recover very rapidly,” she says. “I am at peace, and I know I cause what happens in my life. And I live the life I choose.”
The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at Scientology.org now total more than 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.
A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.