Lisa Marie Presley sadly passed away on January 12 after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 54 years old. New reports say the only daughter of Elvis Presley was reportedly so traumatized after witnessing her father died when she was nine she spent the next 35 years searching for a cure within the Church of Scientology, where her mother Priscilla turned after Elvis's death in 1977. Here's what Lisa Marie's former counselor Karen De La Carriere tells the Daily Mail about her time with the singer.
John Travolta Alleged Connection
De La Carriere was Lisa Marie's "auditor" and says she was placed in "obedience therapy" as a young girl. The former Scientologist says Priscilla was introduced to the church by John Travolta. "She was in a bad mental condition, had gone through a big loss," De La Carriere says. "Elvis had died and, in her weak moment of great loss, Travolta persuaded her to come in."
Mother-Daughter Alleged Drama
De La Carriere says the relationship between Priscilla and Lisa Marie was tumultuous. "Priscilla then dominated poor Lisa. She grew up as a little princess. She was the daughter of the King of Rock 'n' Roll, living in luxury. But she had misery because she and her mother were adversaries. Whatever her mother wanted was the opposite of what Lisa wanted."
Second Generation Scientologist
De La Carriere says Lisa Marie never wanted to join the Church of Scientology. "This is a girl, who is a second generation Scientologist, who didn't elect to go into Scientology, but was dragged into it because her parent was in it. She didn't want to be indoctrinated or attend courses."
According to De La Carriere, Lisa Marie was understandably traumatized by the death of her father in 1977. "It's really tragic that Lisa as a nine-year-old discovered her father's body. She was her daddy's princess, truly loved by him. That was a huge trauma for her. Lisa emphatically acted out like a child, taking drugs to forget every agony of losing her dad."
Priscilla Overwhelmed, Counselor Claims
De La Carriere says Priscilla would feel overwhelmed when it came to her young daughter. "Priscilla would get exasperated with her because she was a rebellious kid – she was not a kid who believed in rules and boundaries. She was a free spirit – 'I'll do what I want, whenever I want''. They were locked in mortal combat, the relationship was hostile. It was adversarial."
Alleged Power Imbalance
De La Carriere says Lisa Marie and her mother couldn't see eye-to-eye. "There was such a power imbalance," De La Carriere says. "Priscilla had all the power, she was the mom, the child can't run away at nine years old. What you can do to fight back is be rude, be disrespectful. Your only weapon is to be combative. Her mother got more and more worried. I think Lisa first started experimenting with drugs at 13 or 14 years old. The more Lisa fought back, the more Priscilla tried her own methods of control."
"So when I say locked in mortal combat, the two were not aligned at all," De La Carriere says. "There was no harmony. A relationship of warfare, it was like living in a war zone. That would precipitate a child to do more drugs to get some kind of high away from misery. That's why I think Priscilla will take this death really hard, as the other person has died and you haven't made good."
Alleged Obedience Therapy
De La Carriere says an 11-year-old Lisa Marie would be dropped off alone at the Scientology Center for hours of "obedience therapy" and "purification rundowns." This would reportedly consist of hot sauna sessions, exercise, and taking vitamins. "Priscilla would be scowling when this big limousine drove up to the celebrity center with a chauffeur and Lisa would be ordered out of the car to get her indoctrination and straighten herself out."
She Had No Choice, Counselor Claims
De La Carriere says Lisa Marie had no choice but to attend the sessions. "I can't get into what came up in the sessions, it would be betraying trust. But any time she acted up, she was dropped off. The instructions from Priscilla were, 'Handle her, just do it,' and she'd be there for hours. Lisa had no choice. I believe this was enforced conversion therapy, it was obedience therapy. Lisa spent a couple of hours a day with me for months when I was her auditor or counselor. An 11-year-old shouldn't be forced into the indoctrination of anything."
"I Should Have Refused"
De La Carriere says she was gentle with Lisa Marie out of pity. "I wasn't some Mother Superior with a cane, rapping her knuckles. I saw the sadness in her eyes. I saw how this force was superimposed on her against her will. Now I really regret it, I should have just refused and said, 'I'm not gonna do this to an 11-year-old girl, who doesn't want any of this.'"