The weekly show where I answer questions from viewers left for me in the comments section of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(1) I’ve heard Aaron Smith-Levin and Mike Rinder refer to the staff of the Tampa org as “Flag rejects.” What does that mean? How does one become a Flag reject?
(2) Chris, a question on critical thinking and social justice warriors (SJWs). Just recently I found myself irrationally prompting some feminists via Facebook. All I did was make a comment that asked a lot of questions because the status poster was speaking on behalf of other people, and not just describing her experience. The funny thing is: When I merely asked some questions about her claim, I was bombarded by her fellows (mostly female and some male) with an onslaught of ad hominem attacks. To “defend” their precious friend being questioned, I was subjected to an unending character assassination. It didn’t bother me, but it’s interesting to see. At one point a couple people even commented that I can’t just rattle “Ad Hominem” as an argument. In the era of the Social Justice Warrior, where they don’t follow proper rules of argument but demand that you do, how are we to initiate any sort of change, or engage in any kind of dialogue? I have always held the view that if you disagree and don’t want to have a reasonable discussion about a topic, then you aren’t worth my time….but now there are SO many of them that it seems we need to find a way to get through. What are your thoughts on this?
(3) Chris, I have learned a great deal from your series. I have a question about PR. With Scientology having billions of dollars, why on earth do they have such terrible ads? One would think they would hire a high priced slick ad agency to do a better job then they do now. These ads that proceed every Scientology video are silly. They show the stereotype of robotic behavior and are just plain weird. Also, their spokesperson, the attorney, Yingling, could not be worse. She comes across as an evil dominatrix. She is cold and exactly what critics expect from Miscavige. It is bizarre. Is COB that out of touch with the rest of the world?
(4) A friend who I respect has suggested that I read some books by a man who founded a group (not Scientology) that many people say is a cult. I think it might be a cult or cult-like. Is there any harm in reading such books? Or is even dabbling in possible cults dangerous? I hope I am not naive. I agree with logical positivism and other philosophies that I see as similar to what you call “critical thinking”. I walked out of Scientology in 1975 after one course because I was getting the hard sell to spend more money than I thought was wise.
(5) Are there other techniques Scientology has for personal growth, that despite surface silliness, may have a validity once one has researched other information sources? And what are their techniques for getting one to discover and face up to areas that one conveniently avoids?
(6) I want to know why is it that the church sends their auditors to many different places for the so-called Stress Test? What is their expectation for this?
(7) I’ve been enjoying your videos, Scientology or not, I have also been watching some of the protest videos that are available on YouTube. I was wondering, has any Scientology member ever walked away and “blown” at one of these protests to your knowledge. You see busloads of Sea Org members offloading at Flag or other orgs for their work day. It would be great to see 1 or 2 just turn and walk (maybe run) across the street to the protest line. That would be a wonderful thing to see and would be quite the dramatic way to break with the cult.
(8) I know that in previous Q&A’s you mentioned that you are planning a book on the RPF. Where is the RPF located? In your podcast with Nora Crest she mentioned that someone who is at the Celebrity Centre who is sent to the RPF walks down to it. Has anyone who was sent to it just said “Screw it, I’m out” and just walked away?
(9) As far as I’m aware the vast majority of the Church of Scientology’s income is from donations, but unlike other cults (or many mainstream churches) it doesn’t seem to have any recurring income streams. The Mormons, for example, have a huge investment arm which is said to earn hundreds of millions of dollars each year from stock dividends and interest it earns. The Catholic Church has vast investments too, also earning many hundreds of millions annually.
Apart from maybe some royalties here and there from Hubbards novels do you know of any other revenue sources? Could Miscavige have convinced some high profile members to sign over a percentage of royalties or other income they earn? After all the tax deduction they’d get could be considerable. Am I missing something here?