According to all reports and reviews, Alex Gibney’s new HBO-produced documentary about Scientology, called Going Clear, looks like it is everything we hoped in terms of telling the real abuses that Scientology has been perpetrating for many decades. Continue reading
Dear David Miscavige:
When L. Ron Hubbard passed on in the mid 1980s, you took over stewardship of the Church of Scientology. You have been in control of this movement for longer than L. Ron Hubbard was and have inarguably put your own brand on it in ways that Hubbard could never have foreseen. Much of what Hubbard said and wrote needed to be changed because let’s face it, he didn’t have all the answers and he didn’t predict all the things that were needed for Scientology to continue into eternity. Continue reading
So far, most of my videos have been about Scientology. As a former member of that organization, I have plenty of reasons to speak out against it and I will continue to do so. But my blog and website are called Critical Thinker at Large for a reason. I’m not the Ex-Scientologist at Large. So here we go with something new. Continue reading
For anyone who pays attention to the Church of Scientology on a fairly regular basis, it has become obvious over the past couple of years that its public image has taken repeated well-deserved beatings. It’s so bad that at ths point I believe it has passed the point of no return. There is no road out for Scientology to gain a favorable public image and it’s only going down from here. Continue reading
I was able to contribute to a presentation about the dangers of Scientology which I’d like to share here.
There’s a bit of back-story about this which starts with studies on the subject of cognitive dissonance. This is a psychological term which is often used to describe what Scientologists and many other members of mass movements do when confronted with opposing information about their beliefs. Cognitive dissonance simply means “the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.” (Leon Festinger from A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance) Continue reading
How many times have you been caught out trying to fake knowing all about something which you really know very little or nothing of? How many times in life do we pretend in order to impress, to try to entertain or at least not appear foolish? It happens all the time. We delight in catching others out when they do this, yet dread when we ourselves are met by someone smarter or more experienced or who can just see through our shenanigans. Continue reading
First, A Personal Update
I know it’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything and before I get into the main subject of my article, I thought I’d give a little personal perspective on what I’ve been up to that’s kept me away.
Like TV shows in each new season, characters come back a little older and a little wiser from the lessons of the previous season and are usually refreshed and ready to take on the new challenges offered by the show’s writers. Continue reading
“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.” Continue reading
“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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading