When originally introducing Christie Collbran (with whom he so casually strolled through Central Park), a television tabloid host assures viewers that she doesn’t really want to destroy the Church of Scientology. She just wants to tell her story.
Fair enough, except she didn’t tell it all…
Born into a family of Scientologists, Collbran, now 33, was raised in a loving home by her parents, Ed and Liz King. The family lived—as the Kings still do—in a suburb outside Los Angeles. Her parents remain dedicated Scientologists.
In 1993, when she was 16, Christie joined the Sea Organization, where she remained for 13 years. She worked at Church organizations in Los Angeles and New York. She married Chris Collbran in 1999, when she was 22 and he 18. It was her second marriage.
In 2000, the couple transferred to the Church’s South African Continental Office in Johannesburg, and over the next several years their relationship with each other—and with the Church—headed south.
Christie’s job performance became increasingly erratic; she was continually lying to cover poor and inadequate production. She was also continually violating ecclesiastical procedures, all of which inevitably led to her demotion.
Meanwhile, husband Chris grew as unstable as the couple's relationship. He made a “suicide” attempt—more or less—trying to “slice his wrists” with an electric razor and then a toenail clipper—literally.
Then, in 2006, even while their fractured marriage was nearing its end, Christie got pregnant. When a Sea Org member is with child, the couple is granted a leave of absence from the religious order until the child comes of age. So it was with the Collbrans.
But not long after the couple left the Sea Org, Christie turns up on Marty Rathbun’s doorstep. Her marriage on the rocks, she's severed all ties with her family, breaking her parents’ hearts, and now she knows not where to turn.
Rathbun, after conducting his own twisted brand of counseling, provides the only logical solution: He turns her into Mike Rinder’s bedmate.
So while her ex, Chris, turned to drugs and women (both of which he had secretly pursued while in the Sea Org) Christie took that prominent place in the bed of Rinder—the original family heartbreaker.
Shortly thereafter, Rinder dispatches her to New York and the TV tabloid host where she rambles incoherently on why none of it was really her fault—not that she broke her parents’ hearts, not that she’s turned against her religion.
But there were a few pertinent details that went unmentioned on her ambling interview. She had, indeed, earlier told two news outlets that she had gotten pregnant for one reason—and one reason only—to expedite her departure from the Sea Organization, since she knew the Church would want her to begin prenatal care at once.
What does that say about her character, her sense of maternal responsibility? To become pregnant to avoid standard procedures in leaving a religious order? To save a few weeks? And to then tell the press where it will permanently remain available for retrieval on the Internet in perpetuity? One can only begin to imagine the emotional devastation that awaits her three-year-old when he grows old enough to learn how he really came into the world.
That the tabloid host himself knew every sordid detail of Christie Collbran’s story and never whispered a word of it to his viewers is yet another wrinkle in her soap opera.
In fact, the host couldn’t even bring himself to at least mention that his ingénue interviewee was the absentee Rinder’s current live-in lover—certainly a germane fact for viewers to assess her credibility.
The tabloid host’s response as to why he didn’t let his viewers know would no doubt be his favorite catchphrase: “I didn’t think it was relevant.”
Although on the other hand, what’s a poor Anchor Boy to do?
He had already paid her airfare from Florida, so he too really had no choice but to pass her off as a credible source and take her for a stroll in New York’s Central Park…
Soon after, naturally, Collbran’s strings were yanked—not pulled—back to Rinder’s bed in Florida.
And so the couple continues their sorry affair, having alienated their families and saddled with a child born out of deception. Well, at least they have each other.