[VIDEO] Critical Q&A #3

The third 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)  Why just England, just Italy, other than those are the epicenters of Catholicism and the Anglican churches? What about India and central asia and China??

(2) Can’t we put together a petition to have their religious status revoked? I mean the IRS gave it to them so they have it within their power to take it away?

(3) Chris thank you so much for being open and honest. I thoroughly enjoy your videos. How far up the Bridge did you get? How far up the Bridge do most Sea Org members achieve? And high ranking officials, like David Miscavige?

(4) If it is supposed to be a religion, who or what do they actually worship? Do they pray to anything or anyone?

(5) To what extent do you think Hubbard intended actual harm? Do you think, as some folks do, that he was actively trying to harm people in order to get his name “hammered into history”? Did he write those TRs to create double binds and psychological traps? ?

(6) Love your channel! I have a couple of questions: 1) If the Co$ were to rescind the disconnection policy, how would that square with the tech? Doesn’t the tech specifically say PTSes and SPs hurt your case? If you associate with your anti-$cino family, you are hurting your case? It seems to me like it’s a core part of the doctirne. It would be like christians ditching the ten commandments. 2) Do you ever worry about getting caught up in another cult? I was raised in a cult and I find that I have the type of personality that really latches onto things and gets quite evangelical about it. I am as dogmatic now about my anti-theism as I ever was about my theism. I wonder how other former cult members feel about their own natures and how they might get sucked in to another cult someday.?

(6) Is the point when initial Scientology indoctrination clashes with reasonable doubt that active scientologists become responsible for the abuse??

(7) Do you have any ill feelings towards Mike Rinder or Marty Rathbun, or do you feel that they were caught up in the culture of a cult, and not responsible for the harm they caused so many? Also, do you think that Tommy Davis will ever come out publicly against Scientology?

(8) 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…?

[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?

On the Shoulders of Giants

Isaac Newton quote

Although I have tried at every turn to give credit where credit is due, frankly I think so far that I have done an inadequate job. So I’m taking this opportunity now to dedicate an entire post to just this subject of acknowledging the giants upon whose shoulders I stand. This is something important in the community of ex-Scientologists and a point that should not be ignored by any of us who are relatively newly coming out of Scientology. Continue reading

[VIDEO] Critical Q&A #1

This is the first of a new show I am starting to answer questions people have been asking me in the comments section of my YouTube channel. My channel is up to just about 2,000 subscribers now and many have asked me questions in the comments sections of my videos. While I’ve tried to address some of those by answering them in the comments, I think a video show format will allow me more time to give answers of more complete length.

Here are the questions answered in this first show:

(1) How do you repair an organization that has caused so much pain and suffering to otherwise good and caring people? I don’t know, I think Scientology has passed the point of no return. And I don’t think Miscavige is going to change, not while he’s sitting on a billion dollars.

(2) Great vid. Thanks for making this. Have you heard about Steven Christ and his concave earth cult?

(3) Chris, love your work & concept of critical thinking. Could you take a minute and explain Cof$ concept of Xenu, when it is introduced to Scientologists, why the secrecy and why Tommy David flat out denied it as a spokesman for the church, I mean CULT?

(4) Do you get trolls? I always suspect Scientologists just don’t use YouTube but can’t tell for sure.

[VIDEO] An Open Message to Scientology Leader David Miscavige

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

[VIDEO] Why Conspiracy Theories Suck

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

[VIDEO] Scientology: Coming Apart at the Seams

Introduction

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