At age six, Katherine Spallino is separated from her parents and sent to train for her future in the Church of Scientology’s clergy—the Sea Organization. Naively happy at first, she thinks it’s a fun adventure to live in a Scientology-owned dorm room in Los Angeles with thirteen other girls, rarely seeing her parents and never going to a normal school. She’s committed to her Scientology studies and her life’s purpose of clearing the planet. Later, Katherine is sent to live at a secluded ranch with other young prospective Sea Org members, called cadets, where she studies Scientology and does manual labor—weeding fields, digging trenches, and working in the galley. The indoctrination escalates, and her family slips even farther into the background. But as she enters her teenage years, a host of new, more immediate concerns emerge—namely boys, popularity, fits of rebellion, and fantasies of what else life has to offer.As the Sea Org beckons, the fundamental question intensifies—should she commit herself to the church, or reject everything she’s ever known for a chance at a different life? The Bad Cadet captures the universal coming-of-age challenges and adventures that befall teenage girls set within the bizarre backdrop of life as a Scientology cadet. In this engaging memoir, Katherine offers a nuanced and raw account using her diaries to draw upon her real experiences. She immerses the reader through descriptive writing and poignant scenes as we travel back to the 1990s, where over two hundred kids were separated from their parents and raised for the purpose of the Sea Org.