“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…” Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
Whenever one looks at the press releases or promotional materials of Dianetics and Scientology, one is presented with the picture of amazing success. Claims of “straight up and vertical expansion” are made, citing hundreds of thousands of square feet of new church building space as proof of this success. Far be it from me to challenge these claims, but I don’t know that a building’s girth ever helped enlighten anyone. I’m quite sure that the last time I was looking for help sorting out my relationship with the universe, I did not look in the yellow pages under “largest construction site in town.” Read more
“Progress is impossible without change,and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything” – George Bernard Shaw
Looking at the ex-Scientology community, the blogs and video channels and Facebook groups, I would say that I have put out my fair share of articles and videos about the abuses and darker sides of the Scientology experience. Frankly, there has been so much to say that I haven’t yet suffered from anything like writer’s block. Scientology is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to oppression, deception and abuse.
But there is a point to all this and it’s not just to be a critic for the rest of my life. These articles and the videos I make are a form of catharsis and as much as I’m informing and helping others, I’ve also been helping myself. Read more
Admiration and the Scientology Mindset
After coming out of a cult experience like Scientology, I’ve seen a lot of former members try to make sense of the experience. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and learning in the past year since I’ve been out, trying to undo the psychological damage that being in a cult for 27 years does to you. I’m not even close to being in a place where I can say I have it all figured out but I think it’s good to take note when one hits certain milestones and I believe this is one of those. None of what I’m saying here in this article (or in any of my public writings) are an attempt to demean or insult current or former Scientologists. Read more
Critical thinking and logic have radically changed my life for the better. Unfortunately, when I bring up ‘critical thinking’ I notice that some people’s eyes seem to glaze over. People seem to think these are immensely philosophical and deep subjects which only college-educated intellectuals want to have anything to do with.
I’d like to break through that, so let’s talk about something really practical and useful, which also just happens to be the very heart and soul of critical thinking. Read more
All Scientologists wonder why Scientology isn’t as successful as they think it should be. The Ideal Orgs are not filling up with new people and the church is taking a beating in the media and in the court rooms almost every day. You can write this off to the psychiatrists or grand governmental conspiracies against Scientology, but that doesn’t really open the door to any handling or make these problems go away. Read more
Today I took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. I myself have not been a heavy contributor to charities nor have I had any awareness of what ALS even was until this past week. And I think that is the entire point of the success behind this ALS campaign. With a simple video challenge done in the style of a chain letter, over 53 million dollars have been raised to help fight what has been an incurable disease with very little actual support or public awareness. Read more
Here is part 2 of my interview on the Minnesota Atheists local cable TV show. In this part, we talk about my own experiences with Scientology, how I got involved with it and why, and what happened to me on church staff and in the church’s upper levels as a Sea Organization member.
This interview was a lot of fun and I want to thank the people at the Minnesota Atheists for having me on their show. James Zimmerman, the host of the show, is an ex-Jehovah’s Witness and understands the kind of things I’ve been through as an ex-Scientologist. I was glad to have him interview me.
I was interviewed in July by James Zimmerman of the Minnesota Atheists cable TV show about Scientology. In Part 1, we covered the general subject of Scientology. I described what it is, how people get involved with it through the personality test, how many members the church claims versus how many there really are, etc. I had a lot of fun doing these interviews and getting the truth out about this group to the local community.
The best part for me is at the end where I talk about critical thinking skills and why these are so important for preventing anyone from getting sucked into the mental traps of Dianetics and Scientology.
One of the most deadly things that a cult or mass movement does is convince its members to self-censor their thoughts and information. By this I mean they get an individual into a frame of mind where they feel that certain information is somehow dangerous to them. They must not think outside the box, so to speak. Read more
If you look up Scientology in media reports, books or on the internet, you are going to find it described in a lot of places as a cult. I’m sure most Scientologists find this term offensive, but the truth is that they probably don’t understand what it actually means. So I thought I would make an effort to clear this up and answer the question of “Is Scientology Actually a Cult?” Read more