[VIDEO] My History in Scientology

I was invited to give a talk in Union, Kentucky on May 6, 2015 to the Tri-State Freethinkers Association regarding Scientology. I spoke about my personal history, the basics of what Scientology is all about, and various reasons it is a destructive cult that is only interested in making money, not really improving the world or “clearing the planet”.

Recovering from Scientology

Well, it’s been roughly two years now that I’ve been fully out of Scientology. I started speaking out and making videos just over a year ago, with my first series covering What Is Wrong with Scientology (here). I explained why it is in its very DNA to destroy itself. Everything I said in those videos is turning out to be more true than even I realized at the time, but there were many other things I also didn’t realize when I was making those videos. Because of the articles I’ve done since then, I’ve spent quite a bit of time researching not just Scientology but cults in general. I’ve gradually been recovering from what was a lifetime of indoctrination and abuse in what I’ve come to realize is a tiny, insignificant cult that has less and less relevance with each passing day. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Critical Q&A #5

The fifth installment of my question-and-answer video show, where I take up questions subscribers and commenters have asked me in my videos and answer them as best I can. Questions in this video:

(1) What an excellent video – I would urge anyone still in to watch it – there can be no harm in listening to someone who has actually been a Scientologist for many years give his perspective on the church. What I always find hard to understand is how any Scientologist can accept being told not to watch, listen or read things that may challenge Scientology doctrine. Surely this is all part of gaining personal freedom, which is what Scientology is supposed to be about. How does any Scientologist reconcile that, as a member? I ask because when I did the Dianetics course, I got downgraded for thinking for myself. I was told only to write what it said in the book. I instantly stopped doing any more courses because I realized that I was therefore not going to be allowed to be self-determined, and I saw this as hypocrisy because I was told Scientology was all about making you more self determined.

(2) Aaaand I thought of another question/issue – non CO$-related – that I’d love to hear you tackle. In the pagan/Earth-centered traditions, there’s been some influx of some truly stupid, mentally damaging ideas lately, such as the “Law of Attraction” (where everything – good or bad – that happens to you is due to the “vibrations” of your thoughts) and the even more sickening conceit that we choose our parents in some “between life” station – which is a direct slap in the face to anybody born into adverse circumstances. Care to tackle the wooly thinking of the New Age Sheeple? my simple, tree-hugging religion is going down the toilet due to these infectious ideas…

(3) Great idea for the new series. Your vast font of knowledge and insight is perfect for the Q&A format. My question has to do with the OT III mythology — in accord with LRH’s “scientific” findings, when a body thetan is audited off a Scientologist’s body where does it go? Does it fly around looking for another body to leech onto? Does it have a preference for Scientologist or wog bodies?

(4) Love watching your videos Chris well done. I found you due to my somewhat obsession with learning everything there is to know about Scientology. I’ve never studied LRH or his writing but I find cults very interesting and perplexing. My question is more about faith in general. Do you think organized religion, whatever it may be is helpful or more hurtful to our society? I think spirituality is important for our souls. I’m not going to tell people what they should or shouldn’t believe but from my viewpoint organized religions are hypocritical and use faith to further their agendas, and have lead to the death of millions. I’m curious to hear what your opinion might be…

(5) Hi, Chris. There is a video somewhere of you and a woman in your SO uniforms getting out of a car and walking. I think this was during a raid on a Church of Scientology. Wondering what your thoughts were at the moment? Crazy m-fers? Ignore them? Just a bunch of SPs? Hmmm, wonder what they’re so upset about? etc.

(6) Here’s my question: Would you say that you were brainwashed when you were in Scientology? I mean the literal definition of brainwashed. If so, how were they able to brainwash you, when you are clearly an independent thinker and very logical and analytical??? I know you wanted to help people. But it had to be more than that.

(7) Weren’t you in Minneapolis when the Ideal Org there opened up? What was the thinking behind acquiring such an ENORMOUS building (a former museum, if I recall correctly)? Didn’t it
seem suspicious when the org did not start filling up with thousands of public eager to go “up the bridge”? I would think it must be very discouraging for a handful of staff to be rattling around inside a massive structure…

[VIDEO] #GoingClear – Alex Gibney Clears the World of Scientology

The new documentary from Alex Gibney called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief has now aired on HBO and the public reaction to this has been outstanding.

The night it aired, #GoingClear was a nationally trending topic on Twitter as people live-tweeted their responses. Other than the few Tweets that Scientology purchased to forward their own messages of hate against the people speaking out in the film, almost every tweet expressed horror and outrage that the Church of Scientology would do the kinds of things depicted in the documentary, and even worse, that it has the luxury of spending tax-exempt monies to do them. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Road to Reason – HBO Documentary Pre-show

Today I was proud to be a guest on the Road to Reason, a show which airs on Fairfax County Public Access in the Washington DC area. They interviewed me  last year about my experiences with Scientology and that was a lot of fun. The producer was kind enough to invite me back today along with independent journalist Mark Ebner, and we discussed the upcoming HBO documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

The documentary has been showing to sold out theaters for the past few weeks and is finally premiering tonight on HBO. I got a chance to see it a few weeks ago in Austin and meet the director, Alex Gibney and the author of the book it’s based on, Lawrence Wright. I published my review of the movie after I saw it (here). It is without question the most powerful piece ever made on the subject of Scientology and is bringing to light its most toxic practices and abuses. I cannot recommend the film enough.

[VIDEO] What is Scientology?

(A presentation on Scientology I gave at The Secular Hub in Denver, Colorado on the evening of March 14, 2015. This transcript is not exactly what I said but this is what I had on the podium when I was talking.)

Hi there!

Well, the Church of Scientology is taking a severe beating in the media right now and the first thing I want to tell you is that they deserve every bit of it. I flew down to Texas a few days ago and saw the new documentary about Scientology that is all over the media. It’s called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, based on the book by Pullitzer-prize winning author Lawrence Wright. I also got to meet the director, Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright at the movie screening. Continue reading

Alex Gibney Helps Us All Get Clear of Scientology

GoingClearPortrait

I traveled from Denver to Austin on Tuesday to see a special advance screening of Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. This is a film which defies one-word descriptions so I can’t boil it down to some adjective like “amazing” or “perfect” or “touching” because
all of those words apply and so many more.

I don’t want to give “spoilers” and there are some surprises in this film for everyone including long-time Scientology watchers and ex-Scientologists, so I’ll be sllghtly vague about some things but still do my best to convey what I got from it. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Critical Q&A #2

The second installment of my question-and-answer YouTube show. The questions I answer in this show are:

(1) (a) Good work Chris, can you explain why so called nice people like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Will Smith have anything to do with this pretty evil organisation, are they brainwashed? Have they got something on Tom and John I don’t get it?  (b) Do celebrities get special treatment within Scientology? Can you also make a video addressing this topic?

(2) If Scientology reformed like you spoke of in your first question, would you rejoin??

(3) Chris, I wish I had your moderate tone and method of rational discussion. It’s hard for me to restrain myself to an effective level of volume. When I think about all of these things going on with Scientology and what it has done to people, I just scream and want to punch people. That is really difficult for me because I lean a little Buddhist and wish I could tolerate the shame and degradation CoS imposes upon its victims/followers. My Q: What is your secret for not exploding like the Tasmanian Devil, as I seem to do?

(4) Chris, did you ever achieve the state of Clear? If so, what did you think of it at the time? What do you think now? Even if the concept of Clear is inherently flawed, do you think there’s something beneficial to having gone through all the auditing to get there (e.g. increased neuroplasticity in the brain, a general, more lucid feeling, less negative emotions daily, etc)??

(5) During your time in the Sea Org, did you notice any change in regards to how long the average teenager lasts after graduating from the EPF versus how long the average teen-aged recruit from your generation lasted?