(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.
(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 organization, 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?
(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:
a) 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 doctrine. It would be like Christians ditching the ten commandments.
b) 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.
(1) I’m guessing that you’re YouTube blog has exploded in popularity after the Going Clear documentary appeared on HBO this week, kudos to you for keeping this conversation going. I’m becoming obsessed, this unraveling is and will continue to be super fascinating! Question: The comment has been made online that cults don’t often “end well.” Do you fear, or suspect that as this “church aka cult” goes over the cliff, that members will drink the proverbial Kool Aid, take up arms or (fill in the bad ending blank here).
(2) I’m a never-in and have a question for you. Some time ago I was contacted by Scientology trying to update their mailing list. I politely told the woman she had the wrong person and good bye. Then the harassment started. Calls at all hours, texts, etc. I scoured the blogs for information and advice. I finally just blocked numbers and didn’t answer any unknown calls. I also turned my phone off at night. Here’s the thing: I went from someone who didn’t have an opinion about Scientology (sure Tom Cruise is weird, but he’s also an actor and you expect a bit of oddity) to someone who now is working to eliminate a dangerous cult. So here is my question: Why didn’t Scientology go away when they had confirmation that they had the wrong person? By their own admission the person they were looking for was in another city.
(3) I’m a huge fan/follower of your YouTube channel. In your opinion, why aren’t the police or the FBI looking into Scientology’s torture claims more thoroughly or raiding the Gold Base and rescuing all the parishioners? And why aren’t ex-Scientologists that were physically abused by David Miscavige moving forward with assault and battery charges? I mean the government has task forces for anti-human trafficking and child abuse. Why do you feel Scientology and David Miscavige are so untouchable?
(4) I enjoy your YouTube channel. I’ve watched a lot of videos from you and other ex-Scientologists. I have many many questions, but here’s one for today. Can they enforce / have they enforced the so called “freeloader debt”? Is that something they use to scare people thinking about leaving? Or have they ever actually taken someone to court to recover these alleged debts? If so, has a judge or jury (of non-Scientologists) ever awarded the Church money from ex-parishoners? And can a “billion year” religious contract be enforced?
(5) Great videos, Chris. I often think that the dismantling of the church will be achieved not by anger but by kindness. Your unique brand of thoughtfulness and charity is an inspiration. Here’s a question for you: If Hubbard were to return to planet Earth today, what do you think he would make of the church’s current state? What changes, if any, do you think he would make? And what would be the first thing he would say to David Miscavige?
(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 Scientology-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 woolly 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 Sea Org 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.
(1) You talked about what parts of Scientology would need to go and you talked about Xenu in this episode (Critical Q&A #1). I just wondered if you think the Scientology genesis myth would also need to go. Because, among all the atrocities the “church” commits I find that story mostly harmless (ironically) and even kinda cute. As far as genesis myths go it’s not even in bad company. All of those are kinda out there.
(2) One thought has occurred to me as I watch your and others’ videos. “Scientologists” are referred to often without distinguishing whether they’re public Scientologists or Sea Org members. Clearing this up is most helpful to those of us who were never in Scientology and have learned the culture from the internet. For example, as you answer the question about being trolled, it would be interesting to know whether they’re Sea Org directed by their superiors, if they’re public members that feel the need to engage you even though they’re not supposed to read entheta on the internet, or if they’re ‘hired guns’ like the PI’s and lawyers they use to go after apostates. It’s possible you don’t know, but it would be interesting to have your opinion.
(3) Hello there. Is there a difference between the treatment of Sea Org, staff, and just general members?
(4) I think this is a major thought of most of us who follow you and others. We now know that they have $1 billion, we can estimate that they have about 30,000 active members in the USA. Surely these 30,000 excluding the whales are going bust, so how long before Scientology hits terminal decline? As a business model they cannot survive, their costs will only ever increase whilst more & more blow the exit rate can only become more rapid. The financial decline can only accelerate at an alarming pace as Miscavage has to keep up his fake front at huge cost. Many thanks and best wishes.
(5) At 12:34 on the Xenu story, you state that it was “spiritual selfs” or “thetans” in Scientologese, not aliens, that were transported to earth. In Scientology, it’s stated that the thetan has “No mass, no wavelength and no location.” Ehm, how do you get something with no mass or location into an ice cube to put into a plane to drop into a volcano? Also, were there refreshments on the flight, maybe something salty to go along with the alcohol and glycol?
(6) I have not yet watched Going Clear, but have watched the BBC documentary, some of your videos, David Mango’s videos, etc. What I still simply do not understand is what the “wins” are, and what the positives and successes are that hook people. Clearly there must be some, as the “tech” does seemingly win over intelligent and accomplished people. I really need to understand, as I suspect that we are all at risk. It seems that it must be some incredible and impressive gains to cajole people into accepting the extortion and manipulation. Thank you so much for your candor.
(7) Hi Chris, I am wondering about the history of forced abortions and the Sea Org’s “no pregnancy/children” policy. This seems to contradict the twisted logic of the church. I would think that they would overwhelmingly welcome, in a ghoulish sort of way, members who were born into the church and were under the church’s power from day one. Is there some purpose behind the policy as it stands now or is this just another illogical fuckup by these idiots?
(1) Can you tell us when did Scientology start being a “church?” Was it after the IRS investigations?
(2) Hi Chris, I really enjoy these Critical Q&A videos. Here is my question: when you informed the Church of Scientology about your decision to leave the Sea Organization, were you required to pay the freeloader’s debt? Is it something that’s legally enforceable? What will happen to those who decide to leave and yet refuse to pay up, aside from being declared suppressive persons? Thanks.
(3) Wow Chris, I really admire you for this useful and nice way to give answers on this bloody matter. Here my question: can you share with us your reaction once discovered, through the books on him, the real life of LRH? Personally that was the key factor that changed my viewpoint on the whole matter.
(4) Chris, you mentioned that people in Scientology sometimes have euphoric experiences, so the question I have is, is it realistic to expect people to walk away from a source of euphoric pleasure? How often does this happen? Is it realistic for people to think they can pursue that activity/activities outside the church? What church activity produces that affect? Is affect the correct word there or do I want effect? Hehe.
(5) Hey Chris, you’ve mentioned several times some opinions on David Miscavige. Do you think he believes in Scientology or is he just a conman running a racket? LRH was quoted by James Randi as saying religion was a good way to get rich quick. Do you feel he came to start believing his own lies as Scientology grew? Love the vids and love the rational perspective on Scientology criticism!
(6) Any thoughts on career choices as you move forward? Perhaps additional education or coursework?
(7) Chris, I always see a keyboard at the edge of the screen – can you play? If so, do you have any plans to dismantle the corrupt power structures of Scientology via the power of musical theatre? I think that could be very effective. Possible song ideas:
I Get A Kick Out Of Xenu
Audit Takes Two
Under The Sea (Org)
Do I Love You Because You’re A Level 8 Operating Thetan
It took me 18 minutes to come up with those. Thank me at the Tony Awards.
(1) You have previously discussed two big catalysts for your departure from the Church in 2012: the intense push for fundraising and ideal orgs, and the fact that you were required to tell so many lies in the normal course of your daily life. Were there were any other points during your years in the Church of Scientology that you seriously considered leaving, but ultimately chose to stick it out? Thanks!
(2) I must not invalidate a person’s experience: alien close encounters, near death visions, etc. I can not use what they tell me because it lacks empirical proof. Could you talk about the social and cognitive aspects of this dissonance?
(3) Do you think Shelly Miscavige discarded her body and has joined LRH on New Arcturus?
(4) Hiya Chris! Did it bother you or your friends in the “church” to be reg’d over and over,or to have to buy the Basic Books again because Miscavige said that there was a flaw in the translation?
(5) I have a question: did you notice any notable differences between American Scientologists and foreigners? I am asking that because as a Polish person the Church of Scientology seems just so quintessentially American to me. Thank you in advance and wish you good luck.
(6) What do you think is the reason DM doesn’t want to add members like Hubbard seemed to want to do?
(7) Some people need direction and they reach for direction in all different avenues of life. Some people join the armed forces, some join organizations that will guide them and direct them. Do you think that is a lot of the reason for the Sea Org? I know some want to clear the world or make it better but do you think one of the reasons this cult has survived so long is just because of people who strived to be directed, found Scientology which is good at it, then that’s all she wrote?
(8) Hi Chris, thanks to you I know now why Scientology is as despised and hated as it is. My question, however, is: You’ve mentioned before how you are not an atheist and have touched briefly on your beliefs but I was just curious as to what your spiritual beliefs encompass. Is it just merely deism or does it go beyond that? Thank you and I hope you have a wonderful day/evening (whenever you read this).
(9) Did you get a feeling about any Satanic suggestions or anti-God in your moving through the levels at Scientology?
(10) What kind of fiction do you like to watch and read?
(1) After all these years of ex-members coming forward with their own horror stories, I would like to know why the government has not stepped in to investigate this criminal organization. Do you have any insight into why and how they are still allowed to abuse it’s members?
(2) I have read about a dozen LRH books on Scientology from the early 50s such as Scientology: A History of Man and Have You Lived before this Life? and I’ve done videos making fun of them because each book is spectacularly stupid. Did you read any of them when you were a Scientologist and if so, how did you avoid seeing the idiocy his books exude on every page?
(3) Is it true that you were a member of the Church of Scientology for 27 years?
(4) Hi Chris, thanks for the excellent videos and for being so balanced and grounded. Question: Do you have any idea, experience or evidence as to the involvement of the intelligence community in Scientology? What about the fact that the FBI has never really done much about the organization, using the excuse that they cannot do much about a religious organization, while they bulldozer other small religious communities? Much bruhaha has been made about the fact that David Miscavige is on a CIA informant list, which may be real or not. Some people have suspected that Hubbard was a sheep-dipped Naval Intelligence officer and that Scientology is a social experiment. What is your take?
(5) Hey Chris, what is your opinion on OBE’s and past life experiences? I have/had both with me and some of my pc’s. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
(6) I’m curious to know how you and other ex-Sea Org members go about finding work when you get out? It must be especially hard for folks who have been in for many years. Not only do you have to re-examine and redefine yourself and your beliefs (I can’t imagine how much of a mind-fuck that must be), but you’re going from a situation where your living expenses were paid for in exchange for your servitude, to having to provide for yourself in the real world. How do you go about writing a resume or filling out a job application when you spent the last 17 years in a cult?
After so many years in Scientology, what difficulties did you face, if any, transitioning to a non-Scientology life?
(7) Chris, how long does Scientology have left, in your opinion? Will they survive this scrutiny?
Do you think Miscavige even sees the Church existing after he’s gone? Could he imagine anyone else in control?
(8) Hi, Chris. Since leaving the Church of Scientology, have you pursued psychiatry? Without naming names, in general what do former Scientologists’ think of psychology, since the church deems it evil?
(1) Do you think most staff members are there to truly help a person spiritually or is it more about the stats and how much money or sales they can make? I always wrestle with that question and would like to think they are there to help. I’ve heard other people say they don’t care at all about people in general and it’s all about the money.
(2) I was in Scientology a long time ago, and only recently realized it was a cult. I don’t remember much about the thought control that apparently went on, I just remember reading a lot. You’ve talked perhaps to many others. Do you know of a book that would be good to read, or a person I might talk to, just to ferret out any effects it has had on my thinking? I am fine, just thought I should do it.
(3) I was never ‘in’ but have taken a huge interest in seeing the Church of Scientology go down and you are doing a great job in helping that happen. My question is, did you start doing this (or do you still do it) primarily to help others get out and stop people from taking those first tentative steps to get in? Or do you think it’s as much for your “recovery,” if that’s the right word? In other words reconciling the who you are now with the guy who was “in” for so many years?
(4) Why don’t all you ex-Scientologists get together and create an organization to meet the needs that all drove you to it in the first place? It could also be a place to which current members could escape. It would be a skeptical organization, an intellectually honest organization, an open organization that would embrace the scientific method of gaining knowledge.
(5) I have a tough question for you: When you were in the Sea Org, did you engage in the atrocious behavior that you now attribute to the entirety of the Sea Org? Just wanted to know if this organization had a negative affect on your own personal morality. I wonder if most people who are otherwise decent people would sink to levels of depravity and cruelty like we have heard about in the Sea Org. Thanks Chris, you rock!
(6) With whom does the guilt/blame for Scientology lie? LRH? Miscavige? Is it to be apportioned among all the members of Scientology somehow? Does it lie with Scientology itself, as something somehow distinct from actual people? Is there no guilt involved anywhere?
(7) Atheists don’t think or say there is no God. That’s an anti-theist. Atheists think there is not enough proof for them to believe in a god, so you’re actually an atheist but you don’t know what it is so you claimed not to be one and to be an anti-theist agnostic… agnostic just means the research of knowledge. You can be a theist or atheist and be also agnostic, it really doesn’t mean much.
I don’t see how being atheist, meaning, not having a religious belief, is a religious belief. Please explain. Or did you not get the fact that being atheist doesn’t mean you don’t believe in God, it means that you fail to see proof of it? But of course, atheists all have their own beliefs on God and that’s a different thing altogether….
(1) Hubbard, in many of his writings, talks about a fair exchange being necessary between his org and the students as the foundation of good business practices but since COB took over, this idea has been purged. How do the “in” folks square the circle on this inconsistency? There must be some mental gymnastics at play, or am I missing something? Thanks for all you do!
(2) Since we already know that Scientology is a fraud, and that organized religion in general is not positive, what would you suggest to someone who wants to expand his spiritual horizon, but does not want to delve heavily into philosophy books?
(3) Do you think media literacy (including scientific literacy) and skepticism mixed with understanding things about psychology helps to keep people out of cults like Scientology? This besides critical thought or free thought?
(4) Chris, the bit of this video that I found most interesting is your account of investigating the life of LRH and the absurdity of the OT materials and your resulting sense of betrayal. From chatting with Indies, they seem to still hold LRH and his tech in high regard, and focus on the evils of David Miscavige’s administration as reasons to blow. Do you think this is the primary difference between those who blow completely and those who soft-land in the Freezone or other Indies? I hope you can answer this since I heard some sirens in the background and worry that the OSA is coming to get you for making too much sense.
Update: On Reddit I’ve learned there are some who blow who are aware of LRH’s real life story, yet choose to continue working the tech as Independents in spite of LRH embodying all the flaws his tech was supposed to solve. I wonder if you have some insight into this, since it seems to require superhuman levels of compartmentalization, or cognitive dissonance.
(5) Thank you for the new videos! My question: What kind of training in Scientology did David Miscavige do? Which tech and admin training did he do and do you know and his case level? Sorry for my English, I am Swiss.
(6) Have you had any repercussions or dirty tricks, that you are aware of, done on you yet?
Have you had anybody follow you or try to intimidate you? Or have you been sued?
(7) Hubbard was a con artist, liar and insane. I wonder about the God thing. In that episode of Oprah when Cruise is interviewed at his Telluride home, Oprah point blanks asks him if he believes in God and Cruise responds “Yeah, I believe in God.” Was he lying or was he telling the truth, meaning he believes in God or a god but he just doesn’t pray or worship him/her/it?
(8) Thank you for the effort you put into answering our questions. I have a little cartoon that runs through my head about some of our fundamentalist brethren. It goes like this, “Sure, I’ll come down and hold your tin cans if you’ll come and handle our snakes.” Having said that, are you aware of any efforts made by Scientology to infiltrate the Southern “Bible Belt” states?
(9) Hey Chris, again I show my gratitude for your loyal and obedient service. Next I would like you to discuss the power of conspiracy theory in mind control. Tell us exactly what conspiracy theories we would have to believe to really bite hook line and sinker. Thanks again.
(10) Does the brainwashing come solely from auditing or does the peer pressure culture also play a role? If David Miscavige doesn’t audit, is he brainwashed?
(11) Chris, will the recent article in the LA Times regarding the surveillance on Ron Miscavige, Sr. penetrate the Scientology bubble? How can anyone hear that a man was willing to have a person working for them sit and allow his father to die? Can people continue to believe that everyone is lying and David Miscavige has not done anything wrong? I was never in the Church of Scientology so I can see him for the little, greedy punk he is.
(1) During 2008-2010, Anonymous protests were relatively frequent and popular worldwide. Would you describe what it was like being in the church during this movement? Have you picketed Scientology churches since leaving?
(2) You have talked about the abuse of power in Scientology. Most of the other documentaries and web casts about Scientology, and any cult/mind control organization talk a lot about the abuse of power, the kind of abuse that pops up all the time in any organization where someone has power over someone else, the kind we hear about in sports programs, the military, corporate boardrooms, summer camps, high schools and colleges: sexual harassment. Ex-members talk about all the horrible degrading things L. Ron Hubbard, David Miscaviage and/or their lieutenants manipulated and pressured them into doing, but none of them ever say what I kept expecting them to say. They never bring up anyone trying anything sexual on them. Has this happened in Scientology?
(3) I’ve seen this “pattern” that the Church of Scientology has with overwork/tiredness, a false veneer, separation from children, etc, throughout other harmful groups even in mainstream society. Do you notice these similarities? Also, it seems to me that generally people in Scientology put on a happy facade and that in a way, they’re not allowed to express freely what they feel. Could you please share in your opinion what the general culture in Scientology was like?
(4) There are a couple of different definitions for atheism floating around right now, and some self-identified atheists can get pretty butthurt if you try to use a definition other than their favorite. I can totally appreciate your desire to not step in the middle of that. I’m not really happy with your use of the word knowledge, though. The implication that you must have absolute certainty in order to claim knowledge doesn’t really fly with my understanding of skepticism/rationality. To a skeptic, certainty is practically a swear word, innit?
(5) I know you have said you achieved the state of Clear during the years you were in. I have been curious though as to why you never reached or achieved any OT Levels. Was it because of a common reason I’ve heard about, that members in the Sea Org are just so busy with “upping their stats” and working the majority of their time, that they just don’t have any extra time to spare for themselves, going up the Bridge? Or did you just not have the desire to do those actions?
(6) Love your videos. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I noticed that a number of exes struggle with a duality of some type of recovery or continuum thereof (shame, guilt, anxiety, etc.) and arrogance. The former is not unexpected. What I am often surprised by is a seemingly arrogant attitude many exes carry whether newly out or decades later. Now, certainly this is not unique to this group, but I wonder if this is something that is a residual effect of the Church’s insistence that Scientologists are a new species and the only ones who can save the world. Will you speak to the duality and possible resolution of this dichotomy?
(7) My question to you is when Scientologists are being audited how far back have you heard a Scientologist remember? The Sea Org has a billion year contract, so I would assume there are some real tales told. Did you ever get audited and have a past life memory? Why is it so hush-hush about these past lives? I noticed that it is a no-no in Scientology to speak of these (or maybe I am wrong). Glad you enjoyed Toronto and I hope to attend next year.
(8) Scientologists – both former and current – seem to all be very comfortable with letting the profanities fly freely. Have you noticed the same thing or am I imagining it? Did it just end up that way for no clear reason?
(9) I have heard people comment that they were afraid of loosing their eternity if they left. Other than these comments I had not heard Scientology mention salvation, eternity, just personal betterment, increased personal power, etc. How does losing one’s eternity come in? What specifically makes people think they are saving the world? What do you see in the organization that makes you think you are saving the world?
(10) Chris, you’re out now. You’re free. I’m sure you have a job, branching out into other topics and subjects, etc. Now that your life has clearly moved on, what do you notice the most (comparing your former Sea Org life to now)? Your freedom? Your daily routine? Perhaps friends or financial?
(1) What would the world look like if Scientology succeeded in “clearing” the planet? What kind of reality could that possibly be and how does it compare to their stated goals for a “cleared” planet? What do they claim they’re going for and what would really happen? What is the payoff? What happens if everyone alive is a Scientologist?
(2) The late Christopher Hitchens (a personal hero of mine) often stated that one of the reasons why he became an American citizen was that the USA is the only western democracy that has a separation of church and state in its very constitution. He was however, also one of the first to notice and comment upon the paradox that religion seems to saturate everything in America. This includes, but is not limited to the news, politics, legislation etc. As a former cult member, you more than most I would suspect, know that people are motivated by beliefs and ideas. Therefore the fact that religion seemingly saturates everything, including your highest public office, does this concern you?
(3) What do you mean by “sexual identity extremists”? I’m very curious what that means for you and what you think about it.
(4) Why do Scientologists use so much made-up jargon instead of perfectly good words from the million-word English language (and if the answer is “because LRH did,” then my question is the same, only about him)? Best reason I can think of is something like this: I’ve noticed that when authors write self-help/pop-psych/business motivation books, the content is often mindless fluff, filled with no new insight. To disguise that, they do something similar, by making up new names for concepts that have been around forever, sometimes creating so many names that they actually add a glossary in the back. Do you think Scientologists do that to disguise the empty mess that is their message?
(5) I live close to the Pasadena org and always wonder if I met a Scientologist, what question can I make (without offending them)? How they are saving this “sector” of the universe? Or, should I just leave it alone and smile as I walk by? I feel like I should say something to make them think for themselves but I feel it’s useless.
(6) Chris, my Brother of Reason, I love your efforts and appreciate that you take the time to do this right. I am a huge fan. This has to be the weirdest question so far: what does Scientology smell like? I know that sounds silly but at its best, football smells of fresh-cut grass and airborne chalk-powder, maybe some stale beer in the stands and roasting hot-dogs. At its worst football smells like sweat, dirty socks and dried blood. Can you give us the visceral and olfactory experience of both ends of this spectrum in regards to the culture of Scientology?
(7) So did you not know that LRH was married more than once? What did you know about his private life when you were still in?
(8) Could you please clarify for me the Church of Scientology’s position and belief system concerning abortion? If L Ron Hubbard stated in Dianetics that people could suffer considerable negative emotional fallout from the time when they were a fetus, caused by hearing their parents arguing, how can abortion, or the strong consideration of abortion, not also have substantial negative consequences for the fetus/person? When is the soul believed to enter a fetus in Scientology? If the soul is considered to be present from the point of conception, then what happens to the soul if the fetus is aborted? Do Scientologists believe the soul passes on to another fetus? If this is the case does that new fetus/person still experience negative emotions from being aborted in a past life?
(9) How many copies of The Road To Freedom CD have you purchased and listened to over the years? Does Scientology convince you that those songs are for real? That is surely the worst album ever recorded.
(1) After Going Clear and the media backlash, the image of the Church is all but destroyed. However shadow organizations, such as Narconon, still lure in unsuspecting public. What other organizations exist that the public should be made aware of?
(2) Is there any chance of the Church of Scientology becoming a hot political item, perhaps being championed by a particular politician? Isn’t it time a well-known politician took a stand and made it clear to the Church of Scientology that it’s living on borrowed time and needs to initiate its own reforms or face investigation?
(3) Does Dave have any humanity or kindness in him? I mean look how he has treated Shelly. Do you think that he may have been a decent person if he hadn’t become a Scientologist or if he would have still been a little arsehole but maybe on a smaller scale?
I’m interested in learning about David Miscavige’s “human” side – and whether he even has one – because I don’t believe anyone can be all bad or all good. Is he ever seen to laugh – like a proper side-splitting laugh – or does he, as I picture, only do evil Mutley snickers into his sleeve while watching high ranking publics’ videoed auditing sessions? Has he ever been known to show kindness to anybody? Is it the worst-kept secret amongst the Sea Org that Laurisse Stuckenbrock is more than a glorified PA? Has anyone seen them skipping, holding hands, through the detritus of Tom and Nicole’s wildflower meadow? Does David Miscavige ever “give” or does he only ever “take away”?
(4) Did you recall much in the way of past lives in your auditing? Any past life that was really outrageous or incredible? Did the memories feel real, and now that you’re out, what are your views on the past lives that you remembered?
(5) Hi Chris, you said that believing there is no god is a belief that requires faith. What about Russel’s Teapot and the knowledge that belief is a comforting and pleasant thing for poor, rather smart mammals that are burdened with self-awareness and knowledge of their future death? In science there is never certainty (theory of gravity) but the evidence and the historical evidence seem to show that religion and the idea of god is man-made, and therefore although not 100% certain, the default position until data supports the hypothesis of theism, is atheism. I know atheism is a dirty word these days thanks to militant atheists, but what are your thoughts on being tolerant of non-harmful belief but not believing?
(6) Being as the Church of Scientology believes that the universe is trillions of years old instead of the 13.5 billion it actually is and given the whole Xenu story in OT 3, how does the Church of Scientology deal with natural history as has been deduced through science?
(1) I had good friends in the Sea Org. After I left, it was impossible to have any contact with them anymore. Many of them would be getting on in age now so my question is what do they do with Sea Org members who become an assisted care problem, or for some reason is too old to be of use? I know they off-load them, but surely they don’t just kick them to the street, as that would be bad PR. What public assistance would these guys be able to get after a life of almost no wages nor Social Security? What happens to them?
(2) I became fascinated with Scientology about 8 years ago. My brother took a few courses in Orange County in the early 80’s when he was about 20 years old and still living with my parents. Twenty years later, my brother and I grew up, married, had families, etc. Our dad was sick so I had his mail forwarded to my house. Next thing I knew, on a regular basis, mail, flyers, full color
magazines and pamphlets began flooding my mail box, all addressed to my brother. I knew enough to not contact the Church of Scientology because I’d heard horror stories from friends.
I moved to a new home in 2007. My home phone number is not listed but one day, my landline rang and the caller ID said Church of Scientology. I usually ignore calls, but answered this one. The person asked for my brother. I yelled at the guy that he was creepy for calling me since my brother and I haven’t lived in the same house since we were kids. I told him that my number was registered with donotcall.org and that I wasn’t interested in his cult. He laughed wryly, I hung up.
Here’s my question: WTF? How did they manage to get my phone number and why would they even bother? Do they get any people to return this way? What a colossal waste of time and resources. Pretty horrible PR, right?
(3) Okay, so, if Scientology shuts down tomorrow, just goes bankrupt and ruined and completely gone, are you worried that someone would leak PC folders? Would there be legal boundaries or protections to prevent such leaking?
(4) Chris, why can’t members see that “COB” isn’t trying to bring new people into the Church? Do they truly not see that the buildings are getting bigger, but not anything beyond that is being done? They have to realize that there is no real push to expand Church of Scientology. Also, does Dork on Cults go by COB to be more like LRH?
(5) Why is it that most in Scientology feel like they have all the answers to life, more so than the rest of us? Thank you.
(6) Thank you so much for the highly important effort you put into your channel! I love watching your videos. My question is this: I’ve heard a lot about the poor conditions and harsh treatment experienced by Sea Org members, for example in Flag or Int or Saint Hill etc. I’ve read about the limits on having a cell phone, a car, watching TV, keeping a passport and so on; but what about Sea Org members who occupy certain positions in local orgs? I’ve met some of them and they have cell phones, Facebook pages and some use cars. Does that mean that these Sea Org members have it better then those at higher orgs? Are they treated less harshly? Are they too sleep and food deprived and have heaps of pressure?
(7) Over the course of your career in the Sea Org, how much of your typical week or month involved indoctrination activities as opposed to working on projects? In other words, how frequent were group meetings, video screenings, or other activities designed to solidify your loyalty to the cause, the group identity, LRH or Miscavige? Was the volume of indoctrination fairly constant over the years or were there periods of greater intensity?
(8) Chris, what do you think of one who enters Scientology now to get the benefit of the lower end of the Bridge (and bail before it gets kooky and expensive)? Thanks!
(9) Hi Chris. When I listen to your videos you create the impression of being a person that is extremely well educated, with a useful knowledge of many subjects. You don’t sound at all like a robot that has been sheltered from reality for years in the fantasy world of LRH’s nonsense. In a recent video you quoted H. L. Mencken. I’d be surprised if anyone else in the Scientology world has even heard of the man.You also recommended The Demon Haunted World. I can’t imagine anyone actively in the Sea Org discovering that such a book exists, much less reading it. Your videos are succinct and clear. There is no hint of Scientology jargon. How did you acquire such an abundant vocabulary and learn to use it so well? What was your education and experience before joining Scientology? Have you simply voraciously consumed scientific and skeptical material since leaving Scientology, or did you have a scientific background that was always in the “background” even when you were in Scientology? I’m curious about this because you sound so level headed today that is seems impossible that you (the only “you” that I’ve encountered) could have stuck around in Scientology for more than about 2 days before saying, “This is a load of crap, and I am out of here!”
(1) I want to thank you for your videos! I also have a question for you. I was raised Christian, however, more and more I am seeing the hypocritical nature of most dedicated Christians that go to church for Bible Study and services on Sunday. I do not attend any church as I feel that a “group think” dynamic is dangerous. I don’t like being told what to believe. I have a “faith” but it is a personal faith. My question is why do so many Christians judge others so readily when they claim to be “saved by grace?”
(2) Nice video with Tony. Love your Q&A Videos. Some questions: Can you give us a history of where you were on staff and what were your posts? Have you apologized to anyone you wronged while on staff? How did that go?
(3) Hi Chris, do you think that the new Scientology TV network to be opened by Tom Cruise will be effective in gaining sufficient members to staff the all extravagant Ideal Orgs, or is it more likely to be just be another waste of Scientology parishioners’ money? I, for one, hope that it’s an expensive flop, but I can’t help wondering whether a vast continuous promotion “we have the answers for your mental health and the betterment of mankind” is all that’s required to increase public acceptance and turn the tide.
(4) Hi! I made a comment on your Q & A video #5, in which I mentioned Scientology’s Life Improvement Courses. I enrolled in a Personal Values & Integrity Course, and it was going along fine – I mean, I agreed with everything up till…I ended up skipping to the end of the materials one day, because I’m rebellious that way, and discovered that the last question was to write up all my overts/sins from the beginning of my life! As if that is even possible! Would you please address the real purpose of these courses (for one, intel gathering)?
(5) I am a frequent visitor to the Underground Bunker. Recently, the comments section has been repeatedly trolled by users who attack people in The Bunker, and delete their posts to make the user look crazy when they reply. The current troll, “Ghost of Gon” has not been deleting, meaning the trolls are getting bolder. I and other Bunker users believe the Church of Scientology is putting the trolls up to it. Users have been decent and not stooped to their level, but it is trying. Does the Church of Scientology still have staff or Sea Org members trolling websites critical of Scientology? What is the reasoning behind this? Aren’t they afraid that the trolls will start poking around the internet, get the truth and turn Tory Magoo on them? Are they so full of themselves that they can’t see the danger?
(6) I have followed you since the inception of your channel. I must say that in videos at your site and elsewhere you “look” healthier and happier as time goes on. Congratulations! If an individual’s folder or file holds any confidential confessions, how do these remain as such when many workers can access or handle a folder? I see the cult begging for help with the enormous, outdated paper filing system. Moreover, can I assume that celebrity or important public Scientologists’ folders are kept out of reach?
(7) How do you and other ex-Scientologists generally feel about the fascination that many never-ins like myself have for the subject of Scientology? Have you personally ever been bothered by the intense public interest? It’s no secret that there are a ton of people who follow breaking news in the weird world of Scientology with popcorn-munching, wide-eyed fascination. They (we, let’s be honest) devour your videos and blog, as well as books, videos and websites put out by other ex-members, The Underground Bunker, Going Clear, etc. And chances are, they end up sharing this interest with their friends, some of whom inevitably become hooked themselves. That’s arguably a good thing since the more exposure there is to the abuses of this tax-exempt organization, the more likely that they might be forced to change their ways and/or the more potential new members will stay away. But while I’m sure that you appreciate people’s interest for that reason at least, I also can’t help but wonder if it can feel a little weird that so many strangers are so intrigued by tales of your own personal abuse and suffering. Does it ever… well… seem a little creepy sometimes?
(1) Could you elaborate on touch assists? I do not hear it mentioned often but to my understanding it is actually one of the more unbelievable bits of hogwash the church tries to sell you on.
(2) Hi Chris thanks for all the information you have presented so far. I was curious about some of the OT material and found that LRH handwritten material hard to read (very poor handwriting). My question: For the lower level up to Clear, does he have a lot of handwritten material for the courses? If so how does anyone understand that horrid handwriting?
(3) It’s maybe not fair of me to say the following, since I’ve never been in a cult and have a background in science rather than anything like religion, but what I see a lot as I watch online videos goes something like this: High level Scientologist acts like an evil piece of trash. Then he blows. Starts criticizing Scientology. He seems to feel no remorse for what he did, no need to apologize, and all the critics seem to place the blame entirely on Scientology the Cult. Isn’t there a place for taking personal responsibility here?
It seems like Miscavige and the dead LRH are blamed, but everyone else is just a cult victim. It’s like blaming all of WWII on Hitler, and none on the people who carried out the evil. I understand that there’s pressure not to leave the church, but with no guns stopping people, it’s hard for me as an outsider to have that much sympathy for people who have clearly done evil. And if people
truly have so little capacity to act and think for themselves — to even log onto a library computer in the corner to see what the opposition is saying about them — what does that say about us as a species, our potential, our future? Are you an optimist about the species?
(4) I’m in the middle of Jenna Miscavige’s memoir and I keep coming back to this central question: what is the deal with the E-Meter? Many times I’ve heard people describe their sec-checks and say that their answers were only secondary to what the needle was saying. I understand that most, if not all, Scientologists fully believe in the E-meter’s accuracy but in your experience how accurate is it really? Are you able to trick it? Did there ever come a time when you were being audited and the E-meter was objectively giving a false reading? If that does happen how does the church explain it? Bad auditor? Faulty tech?
(5) I just now finished watching the HBO documentary Going Clear (I had read the book about a month ago) and I cried for all the individuals who have fled yet talked of the shame of being so taken with the cult. The sadness of those who can’t communicate with those who remained in the cult just broke my heart. My question to you is did you as well experience that shame and hurt? You seem so together and confident now and I’m so pleased that you weren’t “ruined” as a person because of your experience with the cult. You’ve turned a bad thing into something positive that teaches others. Do you still have moments of “pain” caused by the cult?
(6) Great channel, I’ve recently become a never-in, self-declared SP. I’m a bit of an entheta junkie. Do you know if there are any movie plans in the works? I’d love to see Blown for Good written and directed by Paul Haggis, starring Jason Beghe as David Miscavige. If Tom Cruise blows in time maybe he could be cast as Marc Headley. Also, I’m really curious to know your take on Tommy Davis? Did he blow or route out? My guess is that he routed out and will never risk being declared an SP and being disconnected from his parents and in-laws.
(7) Chris, when I was in Scientology, I knew that the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) was a program that “bad” Sea Org members were sent to, but I always assumed it was something that lasted a few weeks to a few months. I didn’t find out until years after I left Scientology that people spent years on the RPF! I’ve known some Scientologists who said there were parts of the RPF that they felt they really benefited from. Sometimes, people actually do their whole Bridge up to OT V, other times, they do the False Purpose Rundown. One ex-Scientologist told me that the RPF was like BDSM without a safety word, in that while you are dominated and degraded and forced to be submissive, there were potentially good things you get out of it. In the BDSM community, some people are willing to pay $150 an hour to be dominated and degraded, and it’s all for fun; but on the RPF, you really are a slave and degraded, there is no safety word for when things get too intense and you need to stop, it can get too heavy, and it can be hard to get out of. Was there any part of the RPF you enjoyed or you felt you benefited from? And do you agree with the BDSM analogy?
(1) I have a question about Scientology “buzzwords” and how they are used as a PR strategy, especially by celebrities in Scientology. The first is the word bigot. When John Sweeney was investigating Scientology, Tommy Davis kept calling him a bigot over and over again. He sounded like a broken record. When Leah Remini left Scientology, Kirstie Alley went on the Howard Stern Show and said she no longer associates with Remini, not because she left, but because she’s a bigot for criticizing Scientology. If there’s a news report featuring an ex-Scientologist, the news broadcasters have to read parts of these long rebuttals which almost always accuse the critic of being a bigot. It’s as if they intentionally say this word over and over again to suggest that any person who looks at Scientology critically or questions its intentions is actually a bigot. And decent people should despise bigots, right?
The other buzzword is religion. When I think about it, most people don’t usually refer to their faith, whatever it may be, as their “religion.” They might say “my faith” or “my belief system,” but not necessarily “my religion.” Yet, Tom Cruise always speaks of Scientology by saying “my religion.” Tommy Davis accused Sweeney of being a bigot by attacking “his religion.”
I guess I’m just wondering if the constant use of these words as a defense mechanism is some sort of tactic or PR strategy for getting the public, especially those who don’t really know (or care) much about Scientology, to assume that anyone who comments negatively about the “church” of Scientology is a bigot who also hates religion. If you have any insight, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!
(2) Hey Chris, love the videos. I understand that symbols and icons are used by cults (and many other organizations for that matter) to help the member identify him or herself with the organization they belong to. Whether it be the military, church or Scientology, symbols and icons can describe so much about that organization without saying a word. So here’s my question: what does the odd looking cross and the triangles mean? Is the intended effect of the cross used as a way to give the impression to non-Scientology members a feeling that the organization is benign and Christian oriented?
(3) Hi Chris. Love your videos. I’m currently expecting my second baby and was curious about Scientology births. I’ve heard that they are to be silent but (given Scientology’s views on pharmacology) do women go medication free as well? Do touch assists play a role? Just curious! Thanks!
(4) Hi Chris, thank you so much for the amazing videos, the info you have given us is something we would probably never have ever heard about (living across the pond over here in Ireland). There is a Scientology office here. About 20 years ago me and a couple of my friends went in purely to have a bit of a laugh with them, we never really had any big interest in signing up. My question though is us (Ireland) being a small nation and having a very diverse beliefs on religion/life in general, and that the very same Scientology office has completely shrunk to a minuscule room, has Scientology really an interest in the smaller countries like ourselves or is it really just taking a bullet for the cause to show a presence over here and stand firm with the organization?
(5) Hi Chris, Thank you so much for these videos. I wonder, if you don’t mind saying, do you feel anything inside yourself when you say that you’ve been declared? Does it still feel shameful inside, even though in your logical, enlightened self, you know that the problem is with the “Church” and it’s only because you are a good person that you were declared? I thought to ask when you mentioned in this video that you’d been declared. Thanks again. I hope many people are staying away or getting out of Scientology because of you.
(6) Are we all capable of being taken in by snake oil salesmen? I wonder if that is entirely true. Stanley Milgram’s behavioral therapy hoax experiments in the early 1960s seemed to show that about 70% of us don’t want to cause trouble and will basically do what we are told. We bow to the group dynamic, we go with the flow, even if we don’t like it. However, the other 30% of us are unreformed stubborn skeptics apparently. So, I am afraid I disagree. There are an awful lot of independent free-thinkers out there, graduates of The School of Hard Knocks and The University of Life who apply a common sense approach of most all things and sic their dogs on any snake oil salesperson who is unfortunate enough to knock on their front doors. Having said all that, I am beyond doubt the most gullible fool on the planet.
(7) Did you happen to see the video that Tony Ortega posted on his blog (the one with Jenna Elfman and her husband)? Considering the content in that video, do you think they will be in “trouble” with the Church or do you think that was planned by David Miscavige to show that Scientologists are just normal people?
(1) Do you think L. Ron Hubbard made staff contracts 2-1/2 or 5 year contracts to trap members or suppress them and unknowingly stop them from doing and getting up The Bridge?
(2) Are you familiar with Amway/network-marketing-type companies and, if so, do you think that their tactics are similar to those used in cults?
(3) If the Sea Org members generally don’t get anywhere up The Bridge, how do they feel about the fairness of that? Do they have the attitude that, “Oh well, it sucks not to be rich enough to buy the superhuman powers, but at least I’m working 24/7 to provide the structure to help others buy theirs?” This all particularly confuses me since you say in the next Q&A that participation in Scientology is a pretty narcissistic activity.
(4) In one of your videos, you said “You can’t have a knowingness.” Was that intentional use of Hubbard-speak? If not, then why is it difficult for ex-Homo Novis to extricate themselves from Hubbard’s lingo? Why do mind-control phrases such as “you pulled it in” seem so natural and appealing despite being such obvious nonsense?
(5) Do you know whatever happened to Steven Fishman? Could you talk about his case? I find it quite fascinating. Thanks.
(6) I have an important question: do you have any idea how chromatically disturbing is your squared grey shirts above your green tee shirt?
(7) Hello Mr. Shelton! I was wondering, what key piece or pieces of data do you think would be most damning to a typical Scientologist’s mental resolve and cause them to doubt? I understand that your disillusionment with Scientology took months to build up, but what fact, had you heard it in the depth of your brainwashing, would have shaken your faith the greatest?
(8) Many ex-Scientologists – Jason Beghe, Paul Haggis, yourself, to name a few – start out by acknowledging that they gained from the Communications Course they took. Which Communication Course did you take specifically? Many thanks.
(9) Have you ever thought that there are striking parallels between the Church of Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses? Both were founded by money grubbing conmen (LRH and Judge Rutherford), practice disconnection/disfellowshipping, and are obviously highly authoritarian.
(10) Chris, thank you for your incredible videos and shedding a light on this cult/religion. My question is this: I’ve seen on Karen’s channel a video about the disarray, the decaying state of Big Blue, broken restrooms, no fire alarms, broken elevators, broken lights and working in and around with asbestos. Is this a violation of city codes and work environment in the City of Los Angeles? Could the city come in and close Big Blue until the building is updated to specifications? Has anyone attempted to do so or is this against the First Amendment rights?
(11) Hi Chris, thanks for all you’re doing. A niche question, but I’ve been wondering: since you mentioned you never made it to the OT levels while you were in the Sea Org, and since we all know their contents are secret, what did you imagine would be in them and they’d teach you if you got there?
(12) When you are going to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) like, the minute they say come with us, do you know where you are going and why? Also when you get there, I mean my first instinct would be to run no matter what I did. Do you really believe you deserve it? I cant remember, were you in the RPF ? What for and for how long?
(13) What is your take on the “Antichrist” version of OT 8? If it was real it seems like it was changed by Scientology quickly. Or is it fake like Scientology has said? I was curious if you had any definitive knowledge on this topic.
(14) In your opinion, to what extent did LRH believe his own con? Did he start a “religion” for the sole purpose of getting rich and wielding undue power over the minds of others? Over time, do you think that being constantly surrounded by people who essentially deified him, he fell under his own spell? I get the sense that the struggle in his mind between awareness of the true nature of Scientology and his desire to believe in his own greatness may have been the primary catalyst in his going completely insane in his later years. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts. It seems pretty clear that David Miscavige is fully aware that he is selling a lie and does not regard Scientology’s texts, practices, or beliefs as sacred. Yet, in his youth he was said to have been so devoted a believer that he became protege of LRH. Do you suppose his personal experiences and interactions with the man behind the curtain were the cause of his loss of faith in Scientology and his (somewhat) covert hostility toward its followers? Please keep up the amazing work!
(1) With funds coming in to the Church of Scientology dwindling, even the whales have limits. I feel Miscavige will be forced to dip into their huge reserve funds to keep the lights on in the Orgs. Do you agree? If so does that mean they are in a death spiral?
(2) Hey Chris, I was always curious about Scientology from the day I heard about it (I wasn’t looking to convert or anything, just curious in my study of religions) and I was wondering: Why, after everything that has been revealed about the church, do you think people still would convert to Scientology, or are there still people who are converting?
(3) Great show Chris! Question: If I was to decide to try and join Scientology (I wouldn’t) and told them I was flat broke and unable to obtain any money, would they take pity on me and allow me to do coursework anyhow? Or would they just show me the door and kick me out?
(4) Hi Chris: My question is about OT 3. It has been so widely publicized over the years, and although Scientologists are kept in a bubble, I find it hard to imagine in today’s information age they haven’t heard of its details. I’ve seen people bring it up to the body routers in the street when they try to solicit stress tests as well. If I were to walk into a Church of Scientology today and express interest in joining but voice concerns about thinking OT 3 is silly (in detail), I am certain they would just deny it’s existence. Suppose I stuck it out and paid enough money to get to OT 3 – would they really still put this in front of me? How can they still push this? Do you think they might scrap the Xenu story or would that be blasphemous since it came from Hubbard?
(5) Hi Chris! Great videos that have certainly educated me (and scared me) about the Church of Scientology. Are Scientologists homophobic?
Hey Chris, have you experienced any homophobic behavior towards other Scientologists during your time there?
(6) Hello Mr. Shelton! You prefaced one of your videos by summing up your experiences at the Ontario Scientology Convention. You stated how it reinvigorated your interest in making more Scientology-related videos and that you now know definitively that Scientology is purely a money-generating scheme. Care to share a few of the factoids that influenced your conclusion?
(7) Chris, what is your educational background? You’re so good at explaining concepts, have you ever thought about becoming an educator?
(1) Thank you so very much for your important and interesting videos! My question is: I heard that the OT courses consist of the attendee just being delivered a number of documents to read, handwritten by LRH. So for x-thousands of dollars they just sit there and read a couple of pages, that they then have to give back? Is that true? If so, couldn’t the absurdity of the situation rather be seen as a test about the status of indoctrination? Or, are the OT courses in a classroom situation, with one or more attendees and a tutor? Would you describe this? Thank you very much & viele liebe Gruesse from Germany.
(2) When you were in Scientology did you or any of your fellow members ever ask why L Ron Hubbard would drop into that strange faux Boston accent for certain words then back to his regular voice for the rest of the sentence?
- “Galactic Ruhhh- Lahhhh”
- “ColOHHSall 3D Motion Pict-chahhhhh”
- he said “galaxy” as “guh laxxx seee”
Was this part of his brain washing? Trying to make himself seem smarter and more sophisticated?
(3) There seems to be the idea on The Underground Bunker that Scientology is excessively puritanical on sex, to the point where they wonder why Jenna & Bohdi Elfman wouldn’t be sent to Ethics for talking about their sex life on YouTube. But my memory from the late 1970s was that other than Hubbard’s comments that homosexuals were 1.1 and that Sea Org members were not supposed to have sex before marriage, my impression was that Scientology tended to be sexually free. What changes to attitudes toward sexuality did you observe during the years you were involved with Scientology?
(4) How do you feel when others question you with “Who are you that we should listen to you? What makes you right? Why should we believe everything you say?” Also, how do you feel when those still in or defenders of the cult, including the celebs, say you are lying and are only doing this to make a buck?
(5) Dear Chris, when it comes to filtering information in everyday life the application of skeptical analysis is not too great a burden. However what are we to do with more complex issues which to address fairly would require years of reading and analysis in order to affirm or negate the ideas presented to you, such as Aristotelian metaphysics or Kantian ontology etc. These notions are clearly not intentionally deceptive or clearly false, however I find myself not wholly convinced despite being unable to provide adequate counterargument. Since I lack the motivation and time to work through tomes of dry and convoluted texts and commentary am I therefore being and irrational and non critical thinker, how are we to deal with these situations?
(6) How were Scientologists affected by 9/11? At that time, I had been confirmed a Catholic as an adult. Although we always seem to fill up the church, all the masses were literally packed after 9/11. Did you see any change in the amount of new members? Or did you lose people? Or did it barely affect them considering the organization deliberately cut themselves off from the rest of the country. Did they believe the “psychs” were behind it?
(7) I know that each church keeps an office for Hubbard in case he returns, and considering Hubbard’s revelation in OT VIII that he will fulfill the role of the biblical Anti-Christ, how do upper level Scientologists see their version of end times playing out? Do you think they are looking for this person who would be the Beast of Revelations? And considering the underground vaults storing (preserving) the entirety of Scientological materials, would you say they expect, or would even work to facilitate an apocalyptic event? I know this is some pretty deep shit, but I would really appreciate if you could address this aspect of their teachings that no one ever seems to mention.
(8) Did you have career goals while in the Church? If so, what was your motivation to further these goals, the Church, personal, or a combination? Thank you for your videos! I look forward to them each week.
(1) I have noticed that there a number of people who identify themselves as “independent Scientologists,” as if there is in fact something immutably valid to salvage of the system outside of the Church of Scientology. I am curious to know what this means if, as we now know, the whole system was based on the derivative musings of a narcissistic madman, now perpetuated by a dangerous sociopath. Is it simply the belief in the therapeutic practice of auditing and an intermediate point of transitioning away from the system?
What do you think of people like Mark Rathbun who still “believe” and practice Scientology and people like that? Thank you for your work. Carry on
(2) Hello Chris! I enjoy and subscribe to your You Tube channel. As an ex public Scientologist, I am under the radar at present. I developed a physical condition and have used that as to why I can’t be on course, on the Purification Rundown, on staff etc. Could you give some tips on those souls who may feel the need to back out rather than speak out. I’ve heard you say that speaking out is what makes an impact, but most of us know when that time is right. I know I’ll lose friends, or maybe not, but none the less I have chosen to do so quietly.
(3) Hi Chris, thanks for your great videos. In this video, you’re talking about your time in the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). In the book Going Clear, I got the impression that during the RPF, you sleep in some crummy place, but I think you said you were married at that time. Were you able to go home at night to your wife? Many thanks.
(4) Great work as always Chris! You are so warm and well spoken, I would take every college course you offered if you were a professor. Question: I realized through reading A Piece of Blue Sky that a lot of L Ron Hubbard’s conspiracy theories still persist today on the internet. I have met many people who believe in a “prison planet,” the Illuminati, etc. Since the verbiage is the same for these “theories” did they come from Hubbard’s paranoid ramblings? Are some of the people perpetuating these ideas former Scientologists or were they influenced by Dianetics years ago?
(5) As I understand it, you were removed from Scientology. You did not route out and you did not blow, you were asked to leave, right? If that’s true, where do you think you’d be now had you not been told to leave? Would you still be in, do you think? In the RPF? An Independent Scientologist, or do you think you’d have left of your own accord by now?
(6) Thank you Chris for all that you do! My question is if there’s ever been a petition type attempt at having Scientology’s IRS tax exempt status reviewed? Is that even possible? What can we common folk do to help with something like this? Thanks in advance!
(1) I had heard of connections with the beginnings of Scientology and Dianetics with certain occult practices and that L. Ron Hubbard was interested in some occult subjects. Given that the internet can be an unreliable source of information on such topics are you able to shed a little more light on the matter? Also, thank you for creating content that is both informative and entertaining.
(2) L. Ron Hubbard said “man is a spiritual being.” When you were a Scientologist what did that mean to you? Do you still believe it? Is it a testable proposition?
(3) You’ve made mention of using the term muggle while in Scientology and that you are a huge fan of Star Trek and such. Were you able to read novels and go to the movies and television very often while you were in Scientology? How much free down time did you really have? Were there any limits on what movies, books, and television shows you could see (aside from the obvious stuff you weren’t allowed to look at like obvious critics of Scientology)? Have you seen or heard about the movie Bowfinger? If so what do you think about MindHead? Thanks, love your videos.
(4) How does one move or graduate from one OT level to the next? What is the determination of a person being able to move to the next OT level? Why does it take so long to be at a particular level before one moves up to the next? Also, roughly would you know how much financially each OT level costs? If the OT levels are the person auditing themselves and you mentioned hours and hours of it, does that mean hours and hours each and every day? How does one find the time?
(5) Hi Chris. Listening to your Q&As has so far cleared up a lot…great work! When you refer to the “original” concept of Scientology as opposed to what it has become today, what exactly is that? I’ve heard many ex-Scientologists state they still believe in the concept, just not COB’s current reign and all the abuses, etc. What exactly does auditing do that is beneficial? Also, how in the world do the “Squirrel Busters” get away with so blatantly harassing and berating ex-members as they do? Good Lord, they even advertise themselves on their chests!
(6) Thank you, again, Chris, for sharing your personal experiences and well-reasoned arguments. I learned this week that someone very close to me had been manipulated (swindled, more like it) by her former boss who was a Scientologist and a physician. She was very close to losing all of her savings. Fortunately, she confronted him head-on, challenged his claims, and quit her job. I’ve heard that Scientology targets physicians, dentists, and vets – why is this? Should we be concerned about the motives of the people we trust with our lives (and our pets’ lives?)
(7) Hi Chris! I’m a big fan of your channel and all the positive work you’ve been doing since leaving the Church of Scientology. Thanks for all you do! Now, on to my question: I recently read the story of Brian Sheen posted on The Underground Bunker. Part of it mentioned Mr. Sheen (whose daughter suddenly stopped speaking to him thanks to him getting an SP declare) trying to get his daughter’s new in-laws (big in the church, HUGE IAS donations) to perhaps use their sway to get the Church to reconsider the declare. In Going Clear, Sara Goldberg mentions petitioning the declare against her son, Nick Lister. Well that didn’t work, and the jury is still out (so to speak) in the case of Brian Sheen. So my question is, do you know of any time or situation where the Church changed their collective mind on a declared SP? Aside from someone earning back their favorability by doing A through E steps, it seems to me that the Church is rather stubborn (to put it mildly) and once they make a decision, that is that for this lifetime. Are there any other situations where the Church would or could say, “Oops, we were wrong…” and then reverse a decision about something?
(1) Hi Chris! First, just letting you know that your videos are awesome! Second, I had a question with regards to how Scientology operates in different countries, specifically in the UK. I live in the UK and have not encountered Scientology, but wondered if one would notice a difference going to a Church of Scientology based in the U.S. and as opposed to a Church of Scientology based in the UK? I appreciate that you may not know unless you’ve been to a UK based Church? Thanks.
(2) Seeing as Scientologists seem convinced Hubbard will “return,” evidenced by the home awaiting him at their base in California and offices prepared for him at all orgs; what do you think would happen if someone showed up claiming to be Hubbard reincarnated?
Also, Miscavage is no “spring chicken.” Do they have, or do you think there is any succession plan? If so, what might it be? Hard to imagine Miscavage has any intention of ever stepping aside, but he isn’t getting any younger. His health could deteriorate, especially if he’s an addicted smoker as so many in the cult seem to be, or have been. I question if they receive regular health check ups or get regular medical care.
(3) There have been many high-profile exposés of Scientology, recently including the Emmy-winning HBO documentary Going Clear. Similar accounts have come up time and again through the history of Scientology; how were public-relations flaps (TV or newspaper series, public protests, unflattering news stories, etc.) experienced by you when they occurred? Are staffers informed about such things or shielded from them? Did they alter your work assignments in any way?
(4) I know that Scientologists are against drugs and medicines in general, but was curious about their stance on drinking alcohol. I understand you are not supposed to drink before session or while on the Purification Rundown, but is it considered okay to drink recreationally at all? Also, what about smoking? From what I hear, there are a lot of Scientologists who smoke, including David Miscavige, so wouldn’t they see that is hypocritical, as it is a type of drug too?
(5) Hi Chris, thanks for the great videos. Hubbard claimed that by doing Dianetics and Scientology processes, ordinary people could become super-beings. According to Mr. Hubbard a Dianetic Clear is able to completely recall everything which has ever happened to him or anything he has ever studied; able to do mental computations, such as those of chess, for example, which a normal would do in a half an hour, in ten or fifteen seconds; able to think spontaneously not merely “vocally;” has a vigor, persistence and tenacity to life much higher than anyone has thought possible; etc. According to Mr. Hubbard, an Operating Thetan can levitate objects, read minds, view remote locations and events, communicate over long distances, predict the future, cure himself of serious illnesses like cancer, remember past lives, etc. So Chris, here is my question: do Dianetic Clears and Scientology OTs have these god-like powers? If not, why don’t Scientologists see they don’t have them, wise up and leave?
(6) In one of your Q&A-videos you talk about why Scientologists were not allowed to talk about theirs sessions. You mentioned the example of two people thinking they had been Cesar and Cleopatra, remember? Now in 30 years of Scientology, one thing that I was totally sure of was having lived before this life. The first time this belief received a fissure was when I met an auditor in the cafeteria one day. He uttered a big sigh.
Me: Why are you sighing?“
Auditor: Oh, I have just been auditing yet another Jesus Christ for hours!“
Me: So what makes you sigh about that?“
Auditor: I have audited a few hundred of Jesus’s I think so far! It is really boring!“
Now that made me really think whether these “memories of past lives“ aren’t really mere projections, images or something like one also would see when taking psychotropic drugs. How else could you explain that so many people would believe having been Jesus Christ in a former life? Another doubt kicked in when I had a burn-out two years ago which erased a great part of my memories. So when “theta facsimiles“ really existed they wouldn’t be wiped out by a depression or burn-out, right? So I come more and more to the conclusion, that this whole concept of thetans living in different bodies is another pseudo-scientific nonsense as so many other parts of the teachings. I can imagine that there is some sort of a yet undiscovered “life-energy“ yet are afraid that all of my personal grandeur and splendidness one day will be eaten by worms, like everybody else’s.
As this concept of previous lives is one of the basic collars of Scientology (and many other religions) I would be really curious how you see it today with some years of distance from this indoctrination?
(7) I did not know that the church cancelled people’s auditing levels such as Clear. Was this just another money making scheme by COB (Crime Organization Boss David Miscavige)? How can this be squared with the idea of Standard Tech which is supposed to have been nailed down solid before LRH had died? I know of others who went Clear and they did not have their levels invalidated. How did they decide who was going to have their levels cancelled? Since we are hearing that the org’s stats are crashing, aren’t the staff constantly in danger or lower, eating rice and beans, getting half or no pay and having very poor morale?
(1) You seem to have recovered so well and so quickly compared to the many ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses I know who were in the cult for a similar amount of years (including myself). That’s all the more surprising considering that Scientology seems to do a much greater mindf@@k on the followers than even the JWs, but of course, there’s no good or healthy cult. What has been most helpful to you in your own recovery and what would you recommend to new cult escapees?
(2) I am a retired psychiatric nurse practitioner who has become fascinated by Scientology and its mind control methods. Fifteen years ago I was teaching Psychiatric Nursing at a state university and had two young men in my class. They kept to themselves, did not mingle with the other students, and seemed uncomfortable with the class material as well as the clinical experience in my Psychiatric Nursing course. After the final exam, they told me their beliefs about psychiatry, which were, of course, shocking to me. They confessed that they thought all psychiatrists were evil and were intentionally trying to harm people.They asked me if I had ever heard of Scientology and invited me to their “church.” I politely declined, and as they were walking away, they turned and said, “Oh, she’s just a wog.” At the time, I had no idea what that word meant. Do you know if Scientology in the past has actually sent some of its parishioners or Sea Org members to universities to become nurses? This is a chilling thought, as I do not think that the philosophy or practice of nursing would be compatible with the belief system and practices of the cult of Scientology.
(3) Is there any affiliation between the Church of Scientology and Landmark International (formerly EST)? An acquaintance of mine went through that program, and when she described it to me, it sounded very familiar in structure.
(4) Do Sea Org members vote or take an active interest in politics? If so, do those in charge influence the membership to vote in a particular way or for particular candidates? Does the Sea Org vote as a fairly homogeneous block or are political opinions within the organization as varied as the general populous?
(5) I have a statement, not a question, but I would like to hear your response to it. In an earlier video you talked about the way that dangerous cults foster an “us versus them” mindset into their victims. You ended with saying something like that is never true. I live in a place (I shouldn’t name names) where people are deeply divided along racial/religious lines; where people can be hurt, and even killed, for literally no reason, for hatred. Now, I do not know anyone who would not like go be at peace, I do not believe there is anyone who does not recognize that the other people are real folks who deserve respect and life and all that, but at the same time our lives are in danger, our children are in danger: that is paramount, it is literally us versus them. Nobody alive created this situation, we just have to live with it. The point is that sometimes “us versus them” is true. Sometimes it is reality, and one must face reality as it is.
(6) I’m still curious to know what your opinion is on Shelley Miscavige. What do you think happened to her?
(7) Can you tell us what has changed for you emotionally? What do you feel now that is different from your years in Scientology? I know you have said that in Scientology you had learnt to hide your emotions and pretend that everything was just fine. What is it like for you to no longer have to control your feelings? Frightening? Freeing? Exhausting? Thank you for the very interesting and informative videos. I have enjoyed ever single one of them. You are a talented writer, speaker and presenter.
(1) You do not display anger on your videos. You smile and chuckle at the silliness of it all, including your own silliness. Are you mad at your parents for having temporarily become Scientologists in the first place, and possibly leading you to become one? Are you mad at the Church of Scientology? People you worked for or with in the Church?
(2) What do you think is the value of exposure? I assume it is a good thing for people to be aware of what horrible things Scientology is doing, but I think it isn’t that clear with other issues. For example sharing links about suffering and social issues on Facebook instead of doing something tangible like donating. Or even pirating movies and arguing that advertising those movies to your friends makes that okay or even better than actually paying for them. Do you think that position is defensible or is it just a way to sooth your soul / to trick yourself into thinking you are helping without actually spending effort or money?
(3) Chris, my question is what would a parent do if they wanted to kidnap their child out of Scientology?
(4) I’ve been wondering about the recent media site in LA. I know David Miscavige can use it to extract more funds. (“We are under attack, we need to disseminate to the world.”) Just curious about your thoughts on what kinds of films might come out of that site and what they are going to do with the Int media site. Okay, another speculative question: is it possible David Miscavige is getting ready to ditch the Hemet properties, partly to completely erase its connection to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) and partly to hunker down somewhere else? That would be another reason for moving SO personnel out to orgs.
(5) Why is it that Sea org members cannot date, even casually, with public Scientologists? Why not state it up front to public instead of spinning ones wheels?
(6) Chris, do members of the Sea Org chat amongst themselves, asking each other – “What is going on? This isn’t making sense…”
(7) Did you discover things you weren’t supposed to know at your level and if so how did that effect you? Where you disappointed with the OT levels when you learned about them after you left?
(1) I have heard of the horrible way Sea Org members are treated: the 16 hour days, yelled at by superiors, menial labor, etc. It seems those who blow out of Scientology are most often Sea Org members who are burnt out or tired of being mistreated. Why does the organization treat people this way? It seems that its not advantageous to the Church to create an atmosphere that makes people want to run away. Much of the Church’s bad publicity has been from Sea Org stories. If they wanted to alleviate this press issue, they’d treat the Sea Org members well so as to prevent people from wanting to leave. Is it just a desire to get free labor that spurs the Church’s top leadership to overwork the Sea Org members?
(2) Hi Chris! With all the violence that David Miscavige seems to inflict with impunity, can’t a few strong fellows who have had enough, just physically carry him off and declare a new regime…assign him to some RPF duties, locked up in his own “hole”?
(3) Given the amount of exposure in the media on Scientology’s questionable practices, why are we not hearing about the U.S. government re-evaluating the status of Scientology as a legitimate religion? Given the amount of information out there, I’m surprised this hasn’t been given more political attention. One would think that enough evidence currently exists to launch a full investigation. Are we dealing with a passive population that is more interested in learning about this cult, rather than acting in meaningful ways to reverse its path? I’m surprised that the power of social media and documentaries such as Going Clear have not created the call to action necessary to severely cripple the Scientology organization in the United States. I am astounded that this group is still able to continue purchasing properties at this pace without intervention.
(4) Hi Chris. Great videos and thank you for speaking out. I have a question in relation with the suicide of Jim Carrey’s ex-girlfriend. Is it possible that a Scientologist would consider suicide as a way to get rid of his/her troubles in the present life? Based on the fact that Scientologists believe in reincarnation, could it be that the person might think that he/she will come back in another life and have a “clean slate”?
(5) Hi, C-Shel! I have a more personal question, which is more a comparison of perspectives. Having had the Scientology-centric indoctrination of what your purpose in life was supposed to be, namely, whatever benefits Scientology, and then becoming free of those mental and emotional manacles, does pursuing or contemplating the real possibilities for discovering a meaning to life take on new meaning to you? Have other areas of life, like getting up in the morning, or enjoying a nice meal or a drink with friends become more satisfying and rewarding? Please keep up the awesome videos – the information and insight is invaluable.
(6) From your experience as a Sea Org member, are there different challenges working in churches in Middle America compared to let say Los Angeles? Do you face more religious bigotry in these areas? Are there any pressure groups from other religions or people from the extreme right that give the Church problems in these areas? I am asking this because being from the South, I had no idea what Scientology was until I watched your videos. The only thing I knew or associated with the Church was that they “worshiped aliens.” Or at least that was what I was told until I did my own research.
(7) Hi Chris, it was great to meet you at the Toronto conference. My question is one I asked you at the conference; at the time, we were in a joking mood and so it was taken as the compliment it was meant to be, but not really answered as we moved on to other subjects. But now I’m going to put you on the spot, because I think it’s an interesting and critical issue: Why is it, do you think, that some people can “awake” and recover quickly and embrace rationality, like you, while others take many years to free themselves from the thought control trap? And why do some people never open their eyes?
(1) Was Hubbard’s weird book Excalibur ever printed out?
(2) In an earlier answer you gave about OT III, you said “Again, this is all within the Scientology belief system” and go on to clarify Hubbard’s unoriginal idea that the identity of a person is a spiritual thing not confined to the physical universe. Hubbard claims a “thetan” becomes “trapped” in the physical universe. So if it wasn’t “aliens” getting transported into volcanoes, per Hubbard’s imagined fantasy, what do you think it was? What did they identify with? What was in the ice cubes? A “thetan” trapped in a what, if it wasn’t an alien lifeform. I think Hubbard’s myth need exploding, but not in a cartoon like South Park. Of course, nothing was trapped in any ice cube or transported anywhere, that was Hubbard’s insanity, but it persists and the cognitive dissonance persists.
(3) I know that Hubbard and Scientologists despise gays. Did you meet/hear about any gays on staff – if so, can you tell how were they treated or their stories; and/or do you know anyone claiming to be ‘cured’ of homosexuality through Scientology?” Thank you very much.
(4) “Everything is always your fault, it always comes back to your responsibility” If this is the group mindset or culture within Scientology, how would you square it with the decline of the church vis a vis David Miscavige? At what point will he be forced to accept that the decline is happening on his watch and that he, as supreme leader, is ultimately responsible for it? Maybe another way to put it is, when Will DM realize that he has ‘pulled in’ what has been happening to Scientology over the past 6 or 8 years (exodus of top leaders, growing number of critics. decline in membership). Isn’t he ultimately responsible?
(5) Hi Chris! After listening to many people who were traumatized by Scientology and eventually came out after some pretty heartbreaking turn of events (losing everything, being physically hurt, losing family…) almost all of them have specifically said “Dont feel sorry for me!” and “it bothers me when I meet people and they tell me Im sorry” that seems to be a theme. No one wants to feel like a charity case but many people DID come through some horrible things and it WILL compel people. Why does this seem to be such running commentary?
(6) Chris, could you explain in detail and with some examples how it is that Scientologists are supposed to be “saving the world”?
(1) Scientology is very expensive. I think Ron said an intensive should cost either 1 week’s or 1 month’s salary from the general public. Are the prices different in different countries in order to match the income of the denizens of that country? If a miracle happened, and someone independently figured out how to actually go Clear and demonstrate OT abilities and wrestled control of the church from COB, the Crime Organization Boss, would you be willing to take DM’s place and run the church and fix the problems you have so clearly exposed?
(2) I’ve never quite understood the need for that many people on post, especially for the really small orgs. With all due respect, but some of the tasks sound like things I can knock out in one afternoon – by myself. Can you please clarify what it is that a typical staff person does all day. Moreover, now that there is less public to be had, are orgs cutting back on the number of staff? I’ve sometimes wondered if staff was hired to make the orgs look fuller and busier than they really were and if staff members are given “busy work” to justify their presence. I mean no disrespect, I’m aware that staff members work their tails off to meet the goals/quotas they’re given, but it does appear like mismanagement of resources from the outside looking in.
(3) A Hubbard Management Consultant is active in our local business community. He got his hands on my business card three years ago and the emails haven’t stopped since. He’s friendly enough and I’ll give him high marks for persistence. However, I have real concerns about his qualifications to do consulting work that requires a high degree of education, integrity and trust. Here’s an interesting quote from the WISE website advertising for new Hubbard Management practitioners:
“A hugely rewarding career, Hubbard management consultants not only help businesses flourish they help individuals succeed and achieve their life-long goals. Whether it is helping a bright young business owner get off on the right foot, or rescuing the family firm that’s been handed down generation to generation, or straightening out the accounting office that’s all but captured its owner from his wife and children, the accomplishments of consultants reach out, touching all areas of people’s lives.”
That is a highly personal – and perhaps even intrusive – statement of what a family business consultant might do. “Capturing its owner from his wife and children,” seems like some weird imagery to make the point. So is the Hubbard Management Consultant the right guy to do the job? No way. Consultants aren’t Certified Public Accountants. They aren’t lawyers. They don’t train in any normal business school. The Hubbard School of Management is unaccredited, has no transferrable units, and has not one single course on financial accounting. Yet we expect him to “straighten out the accounting office”? What’s going on with these people? Does Hubbard Management have anything worthy to offer, or is yet another dangerous trend spawned by the destructive cult of Scientology?
(4) In a video, you mentioned LRH’s “Affirmations”. There are a number of odd aspects to the Affirmations that lead me to believe they were not written by LRH. The biggest is that it simply doesn’t read like LRH, it has some bits of scientology sounding phrases peppered in, though I just don’t hear LRH when I read the Affirmations. Then there’s Armstrong’s desire to get back at Scientology, the lack of an original for the Affirmations, and the conflicts within Armstrong’s story. What do you think? What leads you to believe they are authentic?
(5) What do you personally think of Marty Rathbun? I am sure when he was in charge of dirty tricks he did some awful things. To me he tries to come off as a good guy in a bad situation. Do you think he should tell some of the things he has done? I am not talking like when Scientology screams ” what are your crimes.” I just think he should be honest not only about Miscavage but what he may have done that he regrets.
(6) What does Scientology do with all of that video they have? it would have to be a massive undertaking to archive all of that footage.
(7) I notice that you use the word “spiritual”. e.g. “LRon was deeply troubled, mentally and spiritually”. I’ve never really understood what people mean by that. I’ve heard it described as “understanding your place in the Universe” which sounds fine but a bit vague and “supernatural”. I would be interested to hear what you meant by that, and especially what you, as a skeptic, understand by the term “spiritual”.
(1) You mentioned that you were very disappointed and pissed about the OT material when you read about it on the internet. Do you think you would have reacted differently if you were still in the CoS and maybe bought into it like the rest of the stuff you “learned” all the years before? And another thing I’m curious about is, why did you not do the OT stuff during your time at CoS. It seems like it is not very common that people “study” OT.
(2) A Scientologist claimed that Dianetics had cured her mother-in-law’s arthritis in 1950. What is your response to claims that Scientology benefits some people who have “wins”?
(3) Chris, your videos are an excellent resource, particularly your fine-grained accounts of life on staff and in the Sea Org. My question is about the nature of relationships developed between devoted Scientologists, including public, staff and Sea Org members. On one hand, there is a culture of confidentiality and “snitching” that, it seems, severely inhibits honest communication between people, even longtime friends or married couples. On the other hand, there are aspects of Scientology that seem like they would tend to create close bonds: the long hours, separation from the culture at large (especially in the SO), belief in an all-important shared cause and the fight against powerful enemies. Do you have any thoughts (or examples) about the ways this apparently contradictory state of affairs plays out?
(4) Regarding Xenu’s place in Scientology: If you look at the narrative of Incident II, it becomes apparent that without Xenu there are no masses of body thetans wandering Earth to cause problems, and therefore no reason to do anything at all to clear them, which is the stated goal of auditing at OT III+, and even in the PC levels (you’re just not told about it). It seems without Xenu, his DC-8 space planes, his H-Bombs and super colossal 3D motion pictures there would be no reason for Scientology to exist in the first place. Why do Scientologists, if they answer at all, state that Xenu and space opera are very small parts of the practice? (Of course the obvious answer is, “they’re lying,” but I mean rationalizing the answer within the context of the practice.)
(5) Hi Chris! I was wondering if you have seen or heard of anyone leaving Scientology due to seeing the documentary Going Clear?
(6) I have helped other people run away from various situations including leaving other cults. I have found myself wondering lately if there is some sort of “Underground Railroad” set up for Scientologists. I know there is a frequent Clearwater protestor who holds a sign with a national hotline on it specifically for Sea Org members, and if I recall correctly it is linked to the FBI? So do you know about any sort of network like that, and if so, can you teach me the secret knock/password/mating dance one would need to do to indicate interest?
(7) Would you say Miscavige is trying for the smallest manageable number of members with the largest financial benefit? Even with an average Christian church a split becomes more likely the larger the congregation grows. The difference being that no one denomination has a copyright on the Bible. So even if nothing else changes L. Ron Hubbard’s writings will become public domain in 2056. Then any schmo can open up a COS branch.
(8) Did you have any interaction with David Miscavige? and if so , how did it go?
(9) Probably a really dumb question, but why bother expanding your spiritual horizons? What’s the point? Work to get a job that gives you fulfillment, try to get along with your fellow man, and enjoy yourself without hurting others. What else is there?
(10) My question is about the scientology consulting businesses that are out there scamming unsuspecting dentists and chiropractors. Many are so devoted to Scientology that their business are actually failing. I have had some exposure to this and it is alarming how many of them are so arrogant. They are all desparate to make money for the cause. The two male dentists that I met were very mean to their wives. Can you fill me in on why so many dentists and chiropractors get sucked in? Thanks!
(11) Hey Chris, I have a question for your next Q&A about Transgenders in Scientology. What would happen f.e. if a Transgender woman starts with Scientology without mentioning it before Auditing. Would they kick those people out of the church or would they try to “cure” them like they “do” with gay people. Thanks and cheers from Germany.
(1) I don’t understand why Scientology needs slave labor in its “priesthood”, the Sea Org? This is a very wealthy church, that could easily afford to pay their clergy well, give them first class accommodations, food, education etc., correct? If we compare Scientology to The Catholic Church (whom has a live-in clergy) which treats its priests, bishops, and cardinals well, then why can’t Miscavage do the same? Even The Salvation Army, provides good housing, pay, retirement, and health benefits for its officer corps.
I don’t understand why the concept of respecting ones own management structure, is such a foreign concept here. How can Miscavage expect top performance of individuals, who have no real incentive to do so? If the pay and benefits were good, perhaps they could recruit top individuals voluntary. Perhaps if they were to pay a good percentage commission on services sold, then sales would rise. People are much more effective when they want to be and when they enjoy their job and life’s position.
(2) Dear Chris, I have heard that in Russia members of the Church of Scientoloyg have been attacked physically by some students (which proves that Russian people are extremely intelligent) Do you have knowledge of any other facts like this? Do you think that in the future we will have the hope to see Scientologists fear for their own physical integrity?
(3) Thank you, Chris, for delivering so much important information on such a consistent basis. I’m a regular watcher/listener of yours and many other Scientology-busting YouTubers and have read dozens of books on the subject, primarily those written by former members. Yet, after seeing a clip of John Travolta claiming that “joy is the operative concept” in Scientology, I am left baffled. I can’t recall any other instance of this particular “technology” being discussed either by Scientology propaganda or former members. I must have missed something. Can you fill us in on this aspect of Scientology teaching??
(4) It is interesting that you chose to believe in something (an afterlife) because you hope that it is true. Do you think that this is a general principle? That people should believe in things that they hope are true? I don’t think you do. So if you don’t think that such a general principle is a good one, then why is it good to believe in an afterlife based on this principle, but not have the principle apply to other beliefs? What makes belief in an afterlife special?
(5) Wish I was there as I wanted to ask if it’s true that Scientologists can’t use modern technology. For instance I heard they still use an older form of fax. I think it’s called a telex machine or something. Anyway thanks for uploading. Just subbed to you. Would love to see you here in Australia one day but fortunately Scientology really isn’t that much of a deal here.
(6) What does Scientology think of conspiracies really? Are there some Scientologists that believe in things like the NWO ( new world order), reptiles, and illuminati? Just curious. Thanks.
(7) Hi Chris…In ‘Going Clear’, Jason Beghe comes across with a full and sincere array of emotions regarding his time in the cult. One thing he alludes to is ‘going exterior’, which seems to have had quite the impact on him, regardless of how the rest of his experience had left him sad, confused, disillusioned and even angry.
Do you know of anybody else who ever experienced the phenomenon of ‘going exterior’ Just curious whether this is just another ‘gain’ that is too easily melded into their minds?
(8) I have a background in psychology, am a licensed clinical social worker and work with clients in the field of mental health crisis. As I’ve studied the practices of auditing and Hubbard’s assertion that Dianetics is a true and accurate description of how the mind works, I have been astounded at how grossly wrong he was. He clearly had no education in the scope of psychology. Why do you think Scientology has gotten the traction it has when it is so antithetical to known science? Why aren’t psychologists speaking out about this?
(9) Chris, you an extraordinarily engaging and gifted communicator. Even in your earliest videos, where the production values weren’t so great, you displayed an earnestness and charisma that demanded our attention. I wonder if and how your work in CoS helped you develop your powerful skills for speaking and presentation. It would be ironic if the CoS, for their own purposes, directly trained you in the superlative communication skills you now use to educate the public against them.
(10) How would you react if David Miscavige cloned himself?
(11) I recently went to the CO$ site out of curiosity, and one thing that struck me was all of the new churches being opened. I don’t understand why Miscavidge would be opening so many churches, when there (as you and many others have shown) are a dwindling number of bodies to fill them. What is your take on this?
(1) How is it possible to have a job and a life outside of the COS and yet still be in? I get it if you live on the premises and your whole life is about the COS. But if you live at home and have internet and everything, I don’t get how one would be sucked in to the thing. Wouldn’t you be in a state of cognitive dissonance all the time?
(2) David Miscaviage (or the Space Pope, as I like to call him) has proven himself to be a potentially dangerous person, imprisoning people, beating his staff, willing to let his own father die. If and when Scientology hits an iceberg and it becomes obvious that the whole thing is going to come down, do you think the Space Pope could possibly decide to take as many people down with him as he can? I don’t mean throwing people under the bus; I mean do you think he could, God forbid, order people to be killed? It’s an extremely unpleasant thought, but he is a violent and arrogant guy who is willing to hold onto power by any means necessary, and sometimes I’m genuinely concerned for the safety of outspoken critics such as yourself.
(3) I know that late in his life Hubbard was in hiding in California, trying to avoid possibly being arrested/indicted. At that point when he could only look out for himself, burdened further by declining physical health and severe paranoia, did he then give up on appointing a successor? Or do you think that since Scientology had always been more about his amassing a fortune than it had ever been about clearing the planet, that he had never planned on appointing a successor? I don’t know if anyone really knows the answer to this question, but since you are so well versed in this subject, can you offer us your take?
(4) Your recital of the poem (Joy of Creating) reminded me of something I’ve always wondered. Sorry if it’s come up before, but i’m a new subscriber. LRH produced volumes of writings, and the ex-Scientologists I’ve been exposed to seem to all have an uncanny ability to recall and recite much – if not all – of it. Can you give a specific example of the process one would go through where the end result is having these words forever committed to memory? Was that poem part of a class? How were you introduced to it? What did the exercise/s consist of, and how would you have performed the steps??
(5) At about the 12 minute mark [in Critical Q&A #31] you talk about how $cinos who have committed crimes should be dealt with in a court of law. Do you believe this to be true for former members, like Marty Rathbun or Mike Rinder? They participated in stalking and coercion when they were in, but are different people now.?
(6) Why do you think the church never lashed out at Saturday Night Live for their brilliant parody of the “We Stand Tall” video featured in Going Clear? They knew they were being made fun of, and I expected and hoped that the church would respond with some of their usual idiotic press releases. It would have provided SNL with a full season’s worth of material. Thank you for your time.
(7) In your answer about spirituality you talked about a lot of points, I just wanted to know if you still believe in after life, with that I mean recurrent lives (like in COS) but also reincarnation with out knowing (Eastern).
(8) Question for you… I’m finding that your videos and other critics have ads for the COS in the beginning. This especially happens when I watch via my smart phone. Is this a COS or YouTube thing. I always find it funny that the COS is advertising on its critics videos. Or is it part of an evil plan?
(9) I’ve noticed former Sea Org members, like yourself, grow beards when they get out. Is/was facial hair banned in Scientology??
(10) Hey good video. I kid you not I mentioned Scientology at my workplace this week and immediately a guy said that it was insane, so did another coworker. How many in the hierarchy of Scientology know how much of a pathetic joke the public views it as?
(1) Hi Chris, i was looking forward to your response to the question about ‘going exterior’ and was left wanting more because you didn’t expand on the concept – i.e. what’s involved physiologically, and what function does it serve as far as keeping someone indoctrinated? Maybe some time you can talk about that more.
I am interested in the question of exteriorization as well, since Jason Beghe in Going Clear mentioned it as his biggest win in Scientology.
(2) I noticed in Q&A 8 you mentioned you read a lot of Science Fiction and other books. You liked the Marvel Cinema stuff but not comic books ?? Has it been asked what you thought of Battlefield Earth or LRH as a writer? How did you find time to read books?
(3) What media do you suggest about skeptical thinking that may help others open the mind but not so much brains fall out? What do you suggest would be better ways to promote media literacy??
(4) When I’ve seen videos and pictures of ex-Scientologists back when they were members, you guys look pale and very thin. I’ve seen the clip Anonymous took of you smiling in your Sea Org uniform. Mike Rinder looks ok in the older videos but in the clips from the Panorama (John Sweeney’s legendary program), he looks so gaunt and horribly stressed out. His eyes even looked like they changed color since he’s been out. Although you were slimmer, you guys look fantastic and healthier since you left. Was it due to the quality or quantity of the diet provided? Or did the stress destroy your appetite? I know you did hard physical work in the RPF, but does routine Sea Org work involve physical labor that is physically taxing??
(5) Chris, I am a never-in but I cannot stop diving into the extensive works of LRH, mostly because I just love crazy. What, in retrospect are the craziest and/or most disturbing things Source has committed to paper or tape? For me it’s a toss up between almost everything in “A History of Man” and the space gorilla theme park in Routine 3N for crazy, and “Affirmations” for direct and disturbing evidence of sheer insanity. Thanks for your videos. This is one of my favorite series ever.
(6) Scientology seems to be a circular belief system. If something good happens, Scientology gets credit; if not, you didn’t use it properly. If someone says he had success with Scientology, it must be true; if they criticize it, they must be evil. Then, the Church tries to reinforce this circular system by keeping you in the bubble (disconnection, discouraging people from surfing the net). Do you agree?
(7) You’ve got me really curious as to why you consider Ben Carson to be a prime example of not being a critical thinker. (I’m not covertly trying to ascertain your political leanings… ;)?
(8) Stemming from your remark about co$ assets: Do you think that the Co$ actually has the colossal amount of money to sustain such asset purchases, or is it that they are acquiring these assets using financial slight of hand, similar to America’s Enron, Britain’s Mirror Group or Australia’s BondCorp?
(9) Any information about Lawrence R. Spencer’s Alien Interview?
(1) Hi Chris, I was just wondering what your opinion is on Scientology private schools? Schools such as Delphi Academy. Why do they advertise their schools as an “Applied Scholastics” school and withhold the information of a Scientology link?
(2) What is your current view on psychiatry? If it has evolved, can you describe that evolution?
(3) Hi Chris, you define Scientology as a money making scam etc… but would it be correct to say you are then only referring to Church of Scientology (orgs, Sea org, management, IAS, etc) and not the texts and materials of Scientology as a philosophical subject? My question is how do you see those in the independent field who get and receive Scientology (auditing/training) at a fraction of the cost (one could say a fair exchange) and believe/think/feel/know they get benefit from it? Would you say they are still in a destructive cult induced state, or otherwise?
(4) A lot of the techniques used by Hubbard and later by Miscavage seems to blur the line between mind control and aggressive PR techniques. Would you consider that statement correct or maybe would you say that bottom line, PR and mind control are basically the same thing? And on that train of thought, given you lean toward answer B, could it also be said that somehow, corporations, states and maybe even professional corps and association could also be considered cultish?
(5) I was on some course or another for about a year in the CoS. While doing some of the courses I “learned” that suppressive people cause many of society’s problems. In particular some of those problems are physical in nature. Well, I am a disabled person. I was born with cerebral palsy. In the time I was in CoS I never saw another disabled person in the Orange County org or in the Los Angeles org. One of my questions is, what does Scientology think about people with disabilities and because I have cerebral palsy does it mean one or both of my parents are suppressive persons thus they caused my disability? My final question is, are there any physically disabled people in the Sea Org?
(6) Is Scientology racist?
(7) I have heard recently that now Sea Org members at Int Base cannot be married. Is this at Management only or Gold also? Also, when did this start? Do SO members wanting to go there get asked to divorce before then can move up? Can you talk about this topic.
(8) I’ve read on Tony’s blog that the church is going to release OT 9 and 10 later this year. I remember a post on Marty’s blog stating that OT 9 and 10 do not exists. What do you think Miscavage could possibly throw together to resemble an OT level that Hubbard never wrote? Also when the new levels fail to deliver the promised results, do you think that will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for many long time high up members?
(9) What is the thinking behind my endless eternity depends on what I do, here and now, in Scientology?
(10) In the event of Scn imploding, caused by a myriad of things, or Miscavige meeting with his just deserves, what is going to become of the buildings and land in the Scn portfolio? Will all the gullible doners, who have been responsible for their acquisition, have any rightful claim over them, or will they become null and void?
(1) How do the ranks work in the Sea Org? I understand some are permanent and other’s temporary based on your job level. How does one get promoted in rank and when do you get real rank? I understand the former President of Scientology had a low Sea Org rank. Are their others who share the rank of Captain with David Miscavige?
(2) How does a Scientologist feel when the promised “super powers” fail to materialize after attesting to Clear or an official OT Level?
(3) What is your favorite thing to do now that you are free of the restrictions of the Church?
(4) My question is: What’s next for Chris Shelton? I mean what will you do in the future when all of ghosts have disappeared and you are not only one or two feet out the door, but when, as you could say, Chris has left the building? Will you be able to somehow use the 27 years of experience in some way? Are you going to be in the “post cult” game or completely change venues?
(5) Hi Chris, I’m a big fan of yours from Italy. Some years ago I was in a group that I would describe as “destructive”. It was (and still is) masked as a company that sells self-help seminaries, public speaking classes, motivation courses and the list goes on. They refer to NLP, Reiki, Law of Attraction and every kind of new-ageish nonsense. Many of those courses are designed to get you to enter the group and start what they call “collaboration”. As you go up the hierarchy, this “collaboration” becomes more and more taxing in terms of time, energy and money. They use the same techniques as destructive cults (language manipulation, uniform clothing, communal living, control over your diet, how much you sleep, love-bombing, all the package) but they use those tecniques in a “gentler” way than other cults like Scientology. If you climb the ladder of their hierarchy they’ll eventually become more and more abusive but they’ll never reach some levels. For example, I have never heard of actual physical abuse even though I have proof of physical menacing. I think those kinds of groups could be potentially even more dangerous than standard destructive cults because they are more difficult to recognize, since they are not as abusive as the others.My personal explanation for this is I think they rise when someone who IS NOT a sociopath tries to mimic other cult leaders in order to raise money, but he is not as deranged as other cult leaders and he understands the need to not cross certain lines.I would like to know if you knew about those kind of groups and what do you think about them.
(6) A long time ago a friend of mine found an LP of LRH’s music, called ‘The Power of Source’ by The Apollo Stars. I remember thinking it was interesting-looking, particularly the photo on the back cover of LRH in a cap with big headphones on, but I requested my friend not to play it. He was laughing at my serious face as he slipped the vinyl back in the sleeve. In Critical Q&A #33 you explained that people would praise LRH’s pulp in near-ecstatic states. Did you find that it the same for his music?
(7) When reading about the Sea Org, I’ve come across accounts of prominent members who “blew” and subsequently returned to the Sea Org (Marty Rathbun and Tommy Davis, for example). In your experience, how common is it for Sea Org members to “blow” at some point (or more than once) during their career? Did you do that or did you have Sea Org colleagues who did so?
(8) Question about your use of spiritual existence as consciousness or awareness, do you mean something along the lines of mind-body dualism?
(1) My question has to do with the comments that you have made throughout you Q&A sessions about COS. In particular with the downfall of the COS. I think that the only way to have any hope of a real (soon) solution is to have the FBI/CIA/HS raid Big Blue, CC, Gold, Flag, Freewinds (hard, int waters) and CST at the same time and get all the evidence at once to make any impact. What do you think about this and what advice do you have so any potential law/department if they want to really do something about COS?
(2) I never knew that the method of rote memorization you described was a) called “Chinese school”, b) a cult technique or c) foreign to most people. I was taught that way in school for everything from grammar lists (prepositions, being verbs, etc.) to Bible verses. I went to a fundamental Christian school which taught a lot of propaganda-like theories which I always questioned (and received negative responses for doing). It has always confused me that my teachers were so defensive and refused to discuss doctrines of other faiths. It shows an insecurity in one’s own faith to turn a blind eye to different opinions. Do you think that insecurity in belief could be one reason why Scientologists are so closed-minded? In your experience, is there something that can be done to help someone so engrossed in any one way of thinking to learn to think critically??
(3) Chris, what are your thoughts on hate groups such as the KKK and the Westboro Baptist Church? I definitely wouldn’t say the people in those groups are critical thinkers by any stretch, but I’d like to hear what you think. What do you think drives such groups to hate who they hate? Is it confirmation bias? Could it be conspiracy theory oriented? Is it scapegoating? Is it something else entirely?
(4) Hi Chris, thanks for your great videos. I’d be interested in hearing more specifics about how you got into critical thinking. You’ve said that you started reading Carl Sagan, but I’d be interested in the moment (if you remember it) that you began to know that you lacked critical thinking skills (or weren’t using them). Did you read a blog post somewhere where someone mentioned that they had learned to think critically by reading authors such as Carl Sagan? Did you go to a lecture where someone talked about the need to develop critical thinking or what? Thanks!?
(5) I have noticed that many of those in Scientology promos have Russian accents. Are Russians joining Scientology so that they can come to the US? Is Scientology engaging in immigration fraud?
(6) Greetings Mr. Shelton. I remembered something this week that you might be able to shed some light on. About twelve years ago, I lived in a major metropolitan area here in Texas and listen to an FM talk station practically nonstop. The weekend programing was usually low quality quest hosted shows. One Sunday late in the evening I actually heard a Scientology talk show. I’m not kidding here, they said they where Scientologists speaking about Scientology. They even had some callers. I do remember them talking about “life traumas.” The one example of a trauma that I do remember the female host talking about was an expecting mother running into a door know or wall by accident would cause a trauma for the fetus inside of her. This “trauma” could then be dealt with in Scientology. Bear in mind that I only heard this show once that one Sunday. After that I never heard the show again and I remained a listener of that station for some time. My questions are these: Do you know about stuff like this going during your tenure in Scientology? If you did know how involved where you? If this stuff still goes on, what other types of media are Scientologists involved with?
(7) May the Force be with you! A question: do you think that there is some ‘inner circle’ of Scientologists around David Miscavige who are in on Scientology being a money making scam and willingly work for/collaborate with him to bilk the true believers, or do you think he is more of a lone operator? From what I know of the man, he does not seem like the kind who play well with others, but what I know is limited.
(8) Do you plan a movie review on the new Star wars soon?
(9) What do Scientologists think about killing animals for human consumption? I believe that most animals are slaughtered by people that aren’t involved in the church, so wouldn’t it be considered as “wog food” to Scientologists? Maybe a stupid question, but isn’t it “unhealthy” for a Scientologists to eat an animal which hasn’t reached the state of “clear”? As the animal is suffering and is being traumatized before/while being killed?
(10) I’ve been wondering if anybody has heard DM make any comments about the “Going Clear” book/film? Also, do you think that he’s probably a complete psychopath?
(1) My question is one you have probably answered before, but I would be interested in your response: If someone who was aware of controversial aspects of the Church (contents of the OT materials, Sea Org/RPF stories, historical evidence of Hubbard’s true life story, etc) decided they wanted to become a Scientologist, how far would they get? Would the Church deem them to be irredeemable or PTS once they read ‘entheta’ and block any advancement? Or if the individual believed in the T ech and agreed with the Church’s version of events, would the Church overlook the person’s ‘transgressions’ in having read this information? Like many issues in Scientology I suspect it comes down to money with my guess being their dollars are as good as anybody’s, and the church believing it is protected through the contracts new Scientologists must sign. But your knowledge would be appreciated.
(2) Could you explain in more detail what the Scientology training really consists of? I know about auditing, but is that all that there is about it? I’ve read about word clearing and other things that didn’t make any sense to me. I am very curious to understand what do people actually do and what do they feel they achieve by doing so.
(3) What are your greatest and happiest moments in Scientology if you were to ignore that it was a Cult and all the bad experience you had inside Scientology?
(4) I’ve had the misfortune of interacting with some online Scientologists. I have found them to be at the level of teenage trolls. They hurl petty insults, accuse us of crimes, act offended by anti-Scientology comments and attempt to divert any conversation away from the wrong-doing of Scientology and onto me or other critics. Who are these people in general? Are they OSA? Are they official or public? Aren’t they in danger of losing their eternity by reading all the entheta written by critics? Are they genuinely angry or is it just an act like Tommy Davis’ mechanical “I’m angry.” speech during the Panorama special with John Sweeney. They are hardly higher spiritual beings, working towards a non-reactive mind.
(5) In the 1990’s the Exclusive Brethren made large financial contributions to the Liberal Party here in Australia (who by the way are actually conservative) to help John Howard become Prime Minister. This was in spite of the Exclusive Brethren’s teachings of not voting or having anything to do with politics. I am also well aware of the trouble the CoS had with the IRS. Is it common for destructive cults to make political donations and/or try to lobby politicians to get the laws or policies that they want or just to get the authorities off their back??
(6) Another question for you about David Miscavige. You say he’s a sociopath, and I agree – mostly. However, I’ve heard that children raised in cults will often develop a cult “shell” which is a reflection of the leader or the leader’s “ideal” cult member. Could the sociopathic, swaggering psycho we see be merely a shell, a warped version of some part of Hubbard’s ego (without the grifting savvy or the charm)? Could there, in fact, be a very tiny, very scared child inside who knows it’s all gone bad, and, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, doesn’t know how to stop the ride?
(7) Hey Chris, I am sure that there is a bit of PTSD from the exposure to such hubristic people. I think that you are doing great in your recovery. Do you have triggers in your recovery that bring flashback memories?
(8) If Tom Cruise actually blows do you think Scientology will fair game him? Or do you think they will put as much dirt as they possibly can about him.
(1) I might be wrong, but I think you said in one of your videos that sexuality (excluding homosexuality…) isn’t that big of a deal in Scientology. I finished Jenna Miscavige Hill’s book today, and it really painted a picture of sexuality being a HUGE thing in Scientology, especially if you did “out 2D” or anything related to premarital sex seemed to be very bad thing.
P.S. Is that Age of Empires on your computer desktop?
(2) Love your YouTube channel. I see some similarity in your situation and being abused by narcissists. I wonder how you have come to forgive the fraud and abuse you suffered – how have you come to forgive?
(3) Please explain the extraordinary work ethic that is apparently instilled in every Scientologist. Surely such a character trait is to a large degree an issue of temperament. Does Scientology somehow overcome this? Or perhaps lazy people simply don’t last long in Scientology? Does this issue somehow relate to the Scientology ethos of helping the able to be more able and screw everybody else? Is that a fair characterization?
(4) Hi Chris, still loving your channel ?? Can you take us through a typical “emergency” or dealing with a “flap” when you were in the Sea Org, as far as the extra time/stress/pressure put on you? How frequent were these on average? Also, your thoughts on the IRS revoking the tax-exempt status of the World Literacy Crusade front group this year? Can we expect that to happen to more tax-exempt CoS front groups?
(5) It seems that many ex-cult members becomes some what vaccinated against normal bullshit to, and don’t fall in to the smaller traps of the “normal world” as brand fanboyism and tabloid journalism. Is this a fair observation and is this one of the many “real wins” of your new life?
(6) I understand that David Miscavage is now addressing himself as The Pope of Scientology. On your last question, about Tom Cruise left me with a quick question: Do you think it is possible that Cruise will ever join the Sea Org (as a rank of full Commander) and be named Miscavage’s heir apparent? It could make sense that Miscavage could be made Sea Org Captain Emeritus (ie. Benedict as Pope Emeritus) and Tom then replace him, as the Sea Org’s full Captain. What are your thoughts?
(7) In that great Tom Cruise video in which he claims that only he as a Scientologist could help at a traffic accident scene, what exactly do you think he thinks he could do to help that a regular person couldn’t? Call Miscavige and tell him to get his people to handle it? ??
(8) I don’t understand the concept of the “empty orgs”. What do you suppose the ultimate goal is for them?
(9) Hey Chris I have a question about pay. I know the Sea Org are paid very little but I am curious about other areas of the church. I understand that some of the for-profit areas of Scientology are paid more? Also how about the executives and OSA? What sort of remuneration and perks do they receive?
(1) Hi Chris! I have never found the word “love” in anything I have read or watched about Scientology except in personal stories of disconnection. It’s clear by its behavior that the Church doesn’t value love, and as both Hubbard and Miscavige showed all the symptoms of antisocial personality disorder neither of them ever felt love. Does Scientology ever mention love at all?
(2) Hi Chis! Loving the new book!! You’re output just keeps getting better and better! My question is about word clearing in Scientology. I’ve heard many former members describe word clearing for misunderstood words in ways that almost sounds like obsessive compulsive behavior. And I noticed many ex-members still seem to obsess over getting the right definition and splitting hairs over which definition to use even after they have been long gone from the fold. Was word clearing and constant dictionary lookups a habit you had to break when you first got out? Or was leaving that behavior behind easy to shake off?
(3) Chris I have to ask this and I would really appreciate it if you addressed this question in a video. What attracted me most about Scientology is the ability of creating perception. It’s a perception that does not reflect reality at all. It’s a thought that I’ve always had nagging at me since childhood. What I mean by this is life as we know it regarding religions, countries, civilizations, etc. past and present can all be a lie. It may not but at the same it may be. I think you will understand what I am getting at here. Please use your critical thinking to expand upon this and address. I thank you kindly.
(4) Is the mess better in Clearwater or Hemet? Please elaborate on the menu that is provided for staff. Since there is clearly no money in a staff member’s budget for groceries, are they hostages of nutrition at all? I have seen reed-thin Scientologists with black rings around their eyes, also in videos I have seen some paunchy, disheveled fat-bastards too.
(5) Hi Chris! Quick “flash” question: I’m currently reading your book (cheers!) and at your suggestion in Chapter 5, I referenced the 1959 HCO Manual of Justice. While I was familiar with Hubbard’s use of the term “squirrels”, I had never run across the term “wildcat”. He describes the proper handling of both “wildcat people” and “wildcat magazines”. Based on the context I can only assume it’s a derogatory term, but can you please clarify? I certainly wouldn’t want to have a misunderstood word, haha. Thanks as always, and congratulations on what is so far a really great and informative book!
(6) Can you please tell me if Scientology ever talks about philosophy and philosophers? What do Scientologists think about freewill, subjectivity and things like that? Thanks always for all your time in answering so many questions.
(7) I’m curious about the immeasurable amount of acronyms in Scientology. Do you think their purpose is to add to the concept of Scientology being, as what L. Ron Hubbard would say, a “mystery sandwich”? On that note, as a former member of the Sea Org, have you witnessed any members advancing to the OT levels?
(8) I was wondering if it’s well known that Scientology forbids medicine. My question is does that include vaccines?
(9) Hi Chris, I have a question about the Sea Org and private property. If someone owns a house and a car before they join do they have to sell that or give it to the church?
(10) In your last Q&A video you describe some of the pressure to get results that is placed on the local orgs and that consequences are at times severe for not cutting the mustard. This open ended scenario seems to me to be the perfect breeding ground for falsifying numbers and bogus reports being produced by the local orgs on a wholesale basis. In your experience did you see or know of any trumped up numbers, falsified documents, obfuscation, and such like being conducted at the local levels of Scientology? How about at the mid level management?
(1) I have a question about the concept of God in Scientology. I have heard you say before in one of the lectures on your channel that Scientology doesn’t have any concept of god, so day to day ‘worship’ for the lay Scientologist takes the form of reading LRH’s materials. However, on the Scientology website, they make reference to God as the Supreme Being, the relationship to which constitutes the Eighth Dynamic. It also has an LRH quotation saying that people who have some concept of a God are morally superior people. Obviously the concept of God is Scientology is not emphasized, and from the website, seems to be little more than a bit of PR to make Scientology look more like a mainstream religion. However, it does appear the LRH discussed it somewhat. Can you talk a bit about what God is in Scientology, what God means in Scientology, what LRH said about God in greater detail?
(2) I have a question– is there anyone, anywhere in Scientology who is believed to have some of these “powers” of the upper OT levels? Obviously no one is actually running around Clearwater levitating things with their mind, but is there anyone currently in or someone from the past decades who could supposedly do at least something like this? I am curious because if I were in Scientology being told how amazing Hubbard was, I think I would expect that he would have been exactly the guy to have “OT Powers” if anyone did. Thanks! ??
(3) I was watching Steven Mango’s video about his experience at Celebrity Center International and I do wonder about the pressure to join the Sea Org that he describes. Are the celebrities and other parishioners under the same pressure to join or is it some sort of screening process made by the orgs?
Also, there’s the story of a non-Scientologist who was lured to a org under false pretense (she was told it was a free stand up comedy show) but when she got there she was pressured to buy some book. She claims they basically closed the door in front of her and her friend and would not let them go until they had paid or signed up for courses. How can they get away with this? Is this not against the law to physically hold people and force them to buy something they do not want? Thanks for your time.
(4) Does Scientology reject Darwin’s Theory of Evolution? What would a Scientologist be instructed to teach their children about the origins of human and animal life? I know about the Xenu story, but what are the people who haven’t reached OT III allowed to accept in science?
(5) Scientologist will often use expressions like “I was sooooooo blown out!” or “total blowdown!” What do these expressions mean? Where do they come from?
(6) Greetings Mr. Shelton. What type of an impact do you think Scientology’s outspoken critics are having overall? In previous videos you have mentioned that Scientology is “coming apart at the seams” and is facing internal strife. Is it safe to assume that the Scientology apparatus as it is will collapse in the coming years?
(7) Hello Chris. You do a great job producing this channel. Thank you. Please explain why all victims of David Miscavige’s physical abuse aren’t pursued with the authorities for criminal prosecution. It seems to me his arrest would spell the end of his reign.
(8) Do you think Miscavige watches any of your videos?
(1) I was wondering if you might be able to compare and contrast destructive cults such as Scientology with groups such as the Marine Corps, fraternities, or the police force. I can see that there are some big differences – for example, there is no enforced disconnection if you choose to leave these groups. However, I think that there are a lot of similarities, too. I’ve been really interested lately in the way that mind control tactics are used to build group loyalty in settings outside of what we might consider “traditional” cults. Would love to hear your insights into this.
(2) I know Scientology has anywhere from 20-50,000 members currently based on what numbers you believe for current membership, but what was Scientology’s absolute peak membership and what year was that? I can’t find that anywhere. I think it’s an important question because it would reveal how much undue influence this cult had at its peak. Thanks for you answer, even if it’s just an educated guess or citing someone else.
(3) Thank you again for all the good work. Have you seen the movie with Harvey Keitel called Holy Smoke? He plays a «cult deprogrammer». What do you make of such practice ethically and morally? Also, are you familliar with the reality tunnel concept and with R. A. Wilson?
(4) I know Scientologists aren’t supposed to discuss their own cases, so what do they talk to one another about? Is it as jargon heavy as I imagine it would be and is there an element of snobbery among public based on their place on the Bridge or IAS status? Are there any policies or guiding principles as to when the “love bombing” stops and the berating of public begins?
(5) Chris, I’d love to hear you talk a little bit about how you dodged the “foul mouth” bullet. Watching Tim DeWall talk in the interview you did with so many expletives and bad attitudes reminds me how that really was the culture and so few people didn’t talk like that. You never seem to talk like that. Did you when you were in? Is it a conscious choice not to, now?
(6) What I would like to know is how do they answer census questions, in particular here in Australia where the last census put their membership at just over 2500 and Jedi at over 65,000? I can’t understand how they can explain this as to me they would want their members to proudly announce they were Scientologists. Seems to me if I were a Scientologist I would be asking how can this be?
(7) When Sea Org members get married (most very young), is it legal, as in do they go and get a marriage license? Do they have ceremonies? And when there is forced disconnection or someone leaves, are there legal divorce processes?
(8) If the goal of Scientology is to “clear the planet” it would seem to me that they would be happy to provide their literature and auditing at no charge. The majority of residents of the planet Earth could never afford their fees, so, by definition, the mission and spiritual goals of Scientology can never be realized.
(9) Who came up with the design aesthetic that seems to be so prevalent in Scientology? Taste is clearly subjective but the pillars, ivy and near ubiquitous gold electroplate are almost baroque in their excess.
(1) What is your opinion of Anonymous and project Chanology? Have they been useful in disseminating the abuses of the church? Have you ever picketed with them? What advice would you give them? Thanks for the all the work you do, it’s excellent quality and of course, compliment as we say in Italy for your book, great read. I am waiting for the audio version so that I can listen to it again whilst gardening.
(2) Hello Chris. I’ve been watching your videos for a couple of years now and have recently read your book. Needless to say I’ve found the information you provide about Scientology and destructive cults very interesting and very useful. I want to pose a hypothetical scenario to you where Scientology had either taken over or formed its own city-state or maybe even its own country.I want to know how you would think such a society would be run and organised, how it would interact with the global community, what its transportation system would be etc…I ask because I’ve read and watched things that suggest that Hubbard had once tried to do something like this with Rhodesia, but more importantly because I wanted to hear how you think Hubbard’s management, study and ethics technology would look like if applied on a much much larger scale than at present. Thanks and keep up the good work.
(3) Chris, are Scientology orgs able to do budgeting or financial planning?
(4) Love your videos, very informative. Hypothetical – this month is the 30th anniversary of LRH’s death. What would happen if someone (under 30) walked into the main COS building claiming they were LRH reincarnate? This is what Scientologists believe in, correct?
(5) Did L. Ron Hubbard have something against dentists?
(6) Do you know whatever happened to Martin Samuels, the head of COSMOD and Delphi? That’s the group I was involved in for years and I never got the full story. Thanks!
(7) Why does Scientology engage in bull baiting when they know it’s just going to get on the Internet and make them look stupid and evil? Are they just incapable of learning new tricks? Or do they think there’s an intimidation benefit that outweighs the negative?
(8) Hey Chris, in a video on Youtube called “The Strange Case of Steven Fishman,” a man describes his beliefs in Scientology at length to his lawyers, and in one part, he says that the term WOG originally meant “worthy oriental gentleman,” which as you’ve said before, was an old European derogatory term. However, he then says, “But it also means, ‘the world operating genetically, that’s the real definition.” Have you ever heard that phrase while in the Sea Org? Moreover, do you think there are some principles of eugenics that are present in Scientology? That’s what came to my mind when I heard that phrase.
(9) Did you have career goals while in the church? If so, what was your motivation to further these goals, the church, personal, or a combination? Thank you for your videos! I look forward to them each week.
(1) Are there any other cults that are under the same scrutiny as Scientology? Who or what decides that a person is ready to go the next step on the Bridge?
(2) DUUUDE! Stop! Dude. Please….PLEEEEEEEZE elaborate as much as you possibly can on the “no deaths in Clearwater” policy. That a California death is more “ideal” fascinates me. After you mentioned that, suddenly it is the only thing I want to know about. Hoping there is a great number of anecdotes on that.
(3) Here’s a question I know you don’t know the actual answer to, but I want to hear your opinion about. In the last week the internet news was filled with reports that Tom Cruise was contemplating leaving Scientology. You were quoted as saying you doubted it, he’d be disconnected from his family and anyone following the story of Scientology knows he would lose his “apostle-hood” to the messiah Miscaviage.
Not long after THAT story came the announcement of Scientology’s own “CNN.” An all Scientology news channel. My gut feeling was that there was a closed door chat between Cruise and Miscavige about how to react to HBO’s “Going Clear “ and the news reports about Cruise picking his daughter over Scientology. As crazy as Miscavi ge is said to be, I think he’d do ANYTHING to keep his Golden Egg laying Goose ( Cruise ) from leaving.
The church has been alleged for many years of asking parishioners to donate money to apparently bogus projects. Building Church buildings they KNEW would remain empty, and asking for money to modify the former Los Angeles PBS studios to spread the good news of Scientology. (Even though they had the elaborate GOLDEN ERA studios for many years already).
Do you think that the “Scientology CNN” story is Miscavige’s reaction to “Going Clear”? Do you think that Cruise said to Miscaviage : “Why don’t we use those PBS studios we bought to counter HBO’s bad PR?” Will we ever get to see this “Scientology CNN” channel? Or is this just more smoke and mirrors? Will this “Scientology CNN” be a laugh fest like most of Scientology’s internal videos that have leaked out or will they take it seriously?
(4) I am fascinated by the constant barrage of flyers for minor events that the COS hold at various orgs, with the never ending quotes like “Epic”, “World Changing”, “Extravaganza Event” etc, that so often now include the bait of some free food. Surely just like spam email many public members just ignore this constant pleading to come to yet another regging. So my question is this: they set out a room in the Org, they make it Epic, but nobody turns up. How do they explain this away? It must after a while border on utter humiliation that nobody turns up to their ‘Epic Event’. Are they compelled to hold these events, or do they have no clue how to try another tact? Surely one can only smash one’s face into a brick wall so many time before one realises that using face & wall interaction is not the correct way to take a wall down.
(5) Chris, Do you think ( as I do ) that when this magical world of David’s comes crashing down he will slip out the back door with all the money and live happily ever after leaving everyone else to face the consequences?
(6) Hi Chris. Thanks for these Q&A videos. I have heard a lot about the lives of the high level Scientologists and those that work in the Sea Org. I have been wondering about the lives of ordinary Scientologists. How does Scientology influence the normal member’s life? Do average Scientologists, for example, have non-Scientologist friends?
(7) Do you think there is a threat of Scientology’s wrath for us never-ins curious and critical towards the Scientology topic who participate in the online events and/or follow ‘great SP critics’ like yourself, Rinder, Ortega and others? Or is their reach a thing of the past, their actions now only reserved the big SPs themselves and not the random people they interact with?
(8) I hear people saying that the CoS is going to die. With billions in money and assets, isn’t that a total fantasy? Someone will step in the moment Miscaviage shows any weakness. What would you say to that?
(1) What is the difference between a “case supervisor” and a “cramming officer”? They both decide how a person will go up the Bridge.
(2) There are aspects of Scientology I still find interesting as a student of religion and philosophy. I belong to several non-church affiliated Scientology groups, but I don’t know….I’m beginning to wonder if any version of Scientology is safe since it alters one’s thinking by what seems extended hypnotic command. What do you think?
(3) You have mentioned your parents were in Scientology before you were. Did they and/or how did they introduce Scientology to you as a child? Did they tell you it was their religion? Did they say they were on a spiritual journey? Something else? What was your impression of Scientology before you ever joined as a teenager?
(4) If personnel (Sea Org members) are so scarce, why does the COS keep people in the RPF for such a long time?
(5) Noticing the artwork behind you, I have to ask: who are your favorite SF authors? (We already know your least favorite!)
(6) What was one (or a few) of the things you wanted to do when you left Scientology that you could not do when you where in there? Or what did you find out about the real world that exploded your mind after you left?
(7) On the ship LRH surrounded himself with a cadre of teenage girls who fed him, clothed him, bathed him (ugh), lit his cigarettes, carried his messages and essentially did his bidding. Are there any reports or proof that there was sexual activity between LRH and this cadre? Given his involvement with the Sex Magik movement I wouldn’t be surprised. Just typing this question made me feel gross; I need a hot shower.
(8) Chris, I’m a big fan…my question is…has anyone joined Scientology to try to infiltrate deeper into the organization. I know that in the 70’s, Scientology infiltrated the IRS as part of Operation Snow White, but has anyone ever done the same type of thing into Scientology, perhaps to get some tangible evidence that COB is really abusing people.
(1) On my final try in Scientology I realized that there are no real friendship connections between “Public” Scientologists and it seems to be frowned upon by the system itself. Every minute is monitored by staff and there is a great suppression of mutual communication and friendship. “Public” in the church keep to themselves and avoid each other mostly. The only place that seems to be safe to meet and chit chat is in the Sauna on a Purificiation Rundown! So bad that one woman was in the Sauna nightly for 6 months! She was only looking for a Scientology man, showing off her body, while checking out prospects. Got one. Done!
Question is: Are you aware of how disconnected these PUBLIC Scientologists actually are between each other and how badly communication is blocked by the system itself and why?
(2) In Going Clear Mark “Marty” Rathbun said that he thought that Miscavige, in a misguided way, actually believed in Scientology. What is your opinion?
(3) What are all the courses or training that cover communication in Scientology? Success Through Communication and the TRs or are there more? I ask because I routinely hear this mentioned as a positive gain of Scientology that hooked people. Do you think communication is one thing Scientology actually helps people with or is the hypnotizing element of it too damaging?
(4) Chris in regards to the Ideal Orgs, if hypothetically speaking the majority of them couldn’t pay their rent and utilities and the upper offices had to bail them out, do you ever see one or any of these buildings being offered up for bankruptcy?
(5) With the push being to remove Scientology’s tax exemption status, wouldn’t it hurt the cause by continuing to refer to it as a church as opposed to a business? I’m not suggesting being disrespectful to those who follow Hubbard’s teachings. However, if their actual practices are those of a for-profit business, then doesn’t calling it a church create an issue when it comes to the purpose of removing the exemption?
(6) Chris, in all your years in Scientology, did you ever observe anyone who went from being a shy, introverted type person into someone who was a dynamic, influential communicator after having completed Grade 0, Communications Release?
(7) Do you know if Miscavige has any contingency plans ready if and when global sea level rise inundates Clearwater?
(8) Chris if I had enough cash could I just walk in and say ok I want OT8. Could I just fast track myself with cash and get there in like 1 year? Is this possible?
(9) During your podcast with Joe Szimhart, he mentioned that a Scientologist had said to him that the religion was in some way related to Buddhism. Does Scientology claim to outsiders to be based partly on eastern religions that believe in reincarnation, or is that just an isolated comment? By your reaction, it sounded like the former.
(10) Do you think there is a way to light up the eyes for a friend of mine that’s still in Scientology and how can I do it? I’m an ex-Scientologist.
(1) I’m sure that you’re familiar with this quote by Martin Niemoller:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
I use this quote because I have devout friends who are members of other religions who are muted in their response to Scientology’s evils, because they feel that although Scientology is low hanging fruit and easy to demonize, the anti-Scion movement is populated not only with ex-scions, but also with new atheists and others interested in wiping out all churches via loss of tax status and other government privileges. So members of other religions — who in my experience are among the first to mobilize against slavery, child labor and lack of education — put up no challenge to Scientology, because it is a bulwark against attacks against all churches in general. I’m interested in your thoughts here because you are vehemently against Scientology, but it is not clear that you’re an atheist.
(2) Why isn’t more attention given to the fact Tommy Davis is gone? Between the John Sweeney incident, Australian TV reports, CNN interview and the taped conversation with Larry Anderson I would think this would be more discussed amongst Scientology critics. I have to think there would be a line of people waiting to rub it in his face that Scientology seems to have not worked for him. Why isn’t this examined more?
(3) I was reading a comment by /u/Echo1886 on Reddit and he gave an example of how Scientology manipulates the definitions of words to “terminate exits” (I think I got that right). His example was the word reasonable. Have you already addressed the significance of hijacking that word?
(4) Wouldn’t the Youth for Human Rights group be considered a child evangelism tool. I know they specifically say they don’t target children for “parishioners”, but this clearly sounds like a children’s outreach; a very well designed and constructed way to create contact and dialogue with children in a way that gets them the audience in a very “neutral” situation. Like you said, the human rights lessons aren’t bad at all, but of course (I always think “Stress test”) they will incorporate their message.
(5) If Scientologists believe when they die they come back to serve the church per their billion year contract, then why isn’t Hubbard back and running the church? He would be 30 now and should be more than able to take over leadership of the church again. Or how do they explain why he isn’t back? I really enjoy your channel keep up the great work.
(6) How likely are Scientologists to seek mental health support once they get out, given that they’ve been told such horrible stories about psychologists, therapy, meds, etc?
(7) Do you see some of the tech techniques being used by any of the Presidential candidates? I thought Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz were utilizing Scientology tech.
(8) Hi Chris! I was wondering about the sense of guilt presence in the Scientology cult. Does a Scientologist believe that if he does not behave according to the Scientology principles he will suffer any sort of “supernatural” consequences? For example, if a Scientologist takes a psychiatric drug or watches one of your videos, besides the actual risk of getting caught, does he perceive it as a form of “sin” Xenu, Ron Hubbard or any Scientologist God in the afterworld will punish him for?
(1) I’ve seen Freedom magazines and Scientology pamphlets being given out and I’m curious as to who pays for them? I can think of two possibilities:
a. Scientologists being expected to buy them (at steep markups) or face being accused of not helping clear the planet.
b. Each Org having to buy a certain amount each month and then having to sell more services to make up the costs.
Were you ever asked to pay for these when you were in Scientology?
(2) I understand your position on the label of atheist. I am an agnostic atheist. I don’t know nor do I believe. I’m not militant at all and only speak out against harmful beliefs and ideas. I would like to hear your viewpoint on Mormonism and the recent rule changes on gay members and the 30+ suicides in Utah since the rule changes. Married same-sex couples’ children aren’t allowed to join the church until they are 18 and denounce their parent or parents lifestyle.
(3) Apparently there are a couple of “missions” here in Toronto as well as the Org (the Org has been empty for a few years now awaiting renovation – temporary housing is in a couple of offices downtown). I looked on Google Earth to find these missions and I saw 1) a house and 2) a nondescript building – both had no signs saying “Scientology is here”. What do these missions do?
(4) How did L. Ron Hubbard handle the claim that Dianetics was a “science”? What is the definition of science by L. Ron Hubbard vs the one in the scientific field?
(5) Chris, why are females in the Sea Org referred to as “Mr” instead of “Miss” or “Mrs”?
(6) Hey Chris, big fan of your Q&A. I have a question. Are people in the RPF ever seen by public scientologists? Like do they know about the awful conditions that Sea Org members are put through? Thank you for posting. Looking forward to picking up your book and I wish you the best.
(7) Did you come across Chick Correa within Scientology? I believe the great bassist Stanley Clarke was involved as well…
(8) How high up The Bridge did your parents get?
(1) One thing I’ve got on my mind is the As-Isness, exact duplicate, no two things can occupy the same time place basis of getting rid of mass in the mind. Can you explain this?
(2) I have heard and read a lot about the RPF, but I am still not fully clear about it. Yes, people are made to run, not talk to anyone, work very hard, eat scraps, sleep on the floor, a guard is at the locked door and there are bars on the windows. It is like a bad prison, with heavy work program during the day. But can a person, if they make up their mind, simply say: I am not going to oblige and I demand that I be let out? The church maintains it is voluntary, and it seems to me that there is some truth to that in the sense that people do not refuse to go to the RPF and believe they need to do it, for their own good. I understand that they are brainwashed, but I want to assume that someone is not (or have come to their senses) and demands to be let out. What will the church do in that instance? Will they use physical force to keep someone locked? Will they threaten use of physical force?
(3) Hello, Chris. I listened with interest your eval of Scn auditing as a form of hypnotism. Though I logged in years of countless hours in auditing sessions, I’ve never considered the hypnotic aspect and how that might have affected me. And it brought up a question in mind: How would you compare Scn auditing with an e-meter to the old fashioned Book One auditing using the Dianetics book only? This may be a little too “inside baseball” for your average viewer, but I’d appreciate your perspective.
(4) I need to make clear that I am not asking about David Miscavige, as he is a whole other issue, as he can do whatever he wants to people. I am looking for a general membership Sea Org view. I have gotten some mixed impressions of how Scientology handles broken policies and rules. Given what I have read, it seems to me that Scientology is all about working lists/steps, in order, and this includes punishment. One example, the Suppressive Person letter I once looked up, said something like, if you do Steps A-E, then you can come back to the Church. Also several comments you made about the RPF gave me the feeling that you know you have broken rule X, so you do steps 1-10, you’re forgiven and all is well. This sounds almost impartial. Elsewhere you, and others, talk about how “arbitrary” everything is and that it takes a lot of “sucking up.” So I wonder, which is it? If you were magically (yes, I know it is impossible) able to follow all the rules, would that mean you would never get into any trouble, or are you at the mercy of those above or around you? When you do break a rule, is the process of forgiveness a step by step impartial system, or is it up the whims and moods of those above or around you?
(5) Why are none of Scientology’s books available for e-readers? Are they just that behind the technology curve, or do they just want to max out their printing plant? Granted, some of Hubbard’s fiction is so available.
(6) Just curious as to who gets the money if I should buy a book like Battlefield Earth from Amazon or Google Books. Does it go to the publisher, church or to someone like his heir Jamie DeWolf (or a combination of these)? Not sure how the rules work in the US.
(7) I’m an ex staff member and I’m so glad I’m out of that junk. My question is, with all the glaring contradictions in Scientology, how is it that no staff seem to see them? They are so obvious and they’re everywhere. The one that blows my mind is that LRH says think for yourself, but then when you do and ask questions you find yourself in ethics. It’s hilarious!
(1) Chris, I like to hear the minutiae of processes so could you give any fun or absurd examples you experienced of “Rollbacking” and/or the “Truth Rundown” that may illuminate dynamics between passing-the-buck to the source of entheta someone does a KR on, and the self-blame game?
(2) Chris, what differences, if any, have you seen between people who joined Scientology as an adult, young children who were brought into Scientology via their parents joining and those born into Scientology? Is it the same for those born into and those who were young children when their parents joined? And also if you have any observations any differences between the 3 groups as ex-Scientologists… in terms of recovery ease or difficulty, letting go of the cult… ability or desire to speak out publicly, ability to lead a happy, fulfilled life beyond Scientology? Any thoughts? Thanks and LOVE this series.
(3) I’m fascinated with what aspects of pop culture you may have missed while you were in Sea Org. Were you able to watch TV shows?Listen to the radio? Go the movies? Did you miss all of the music of the ’90s? Did you know about the OJ Simpson trial? Did you miss the 911 attack on the World Trade Center? The Columbia Space Shuttle Explosion? Monica Lewinsky?
(4) Do most Scientology members live in these buildings because most of them work almost all the day? You said that the salary is just few dollars so how do they buy food, clothes and all that stuff? Does Scientology give support so the members don’t look like poor people for PR?
(5) Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley are clear examples of the ‘upper echelon’ of what a serious Scientologist is made of. Tom Cruise is likely working on his fourth marriage while Kirstie Alley seems to have an on-going battle with her weight in the arena of Hollywood. If I were to ask this question to a serious Scientologist, what would they say? “How can two of the most prominent and ‘clear’ Scientologists battle with everyday problems that people who have never even experienced the C of S easily maintain and overcome?” Many people can overcome a weight issue. Some people who have never read Dianetics have been married for 30 years or more. How positive and constructive can the CoS really be?
(6) Hey Chris, I was just wondering , when you were traveling around recruiting for the Sea Org, where did you stay in each town? I mean in California, you would stay in orgs I suppose? When on the road did you stay in that cities org? I constantly have the image of you in my mind from one video when you and a woman (don’t remember who she was) were getting out of a car and you were buttoning your jacket with a huge smile on your face. You looked so happy lol.
(7) On the issue of all the personal information that Scientology is keeping on ex members, has anyone ever tried to get their records from the church? I can imagine the trouble if someone sued to have all their case files turned over to them so they could have it or destroy it. But wouldn’t that be an individual’s right if they had left the organization? Has anyone ever tried to do that that you know of?
(1) Chris, I just watched this documentary The Beginners’ Guide to L. Ron Hubbard, expecting Hardeep Singh Kohli (the presenter) to be critical of Scientology. I was left with a different impression of Dianetics. Watching this very intelligent and articulate man on a 2-week journey through to his first auditing session, everything the Scientologists did seemed to make sense to me. I have been left a little confused as to how I now view Dianetics, because it all seemed to be so simple, clear and concise. My question to you is, do you still practice Scientology outside of the organized “Church”? Are you critical of the tech of Scientology in general, or the organization as headed by David Miscavige? It has disturbed me a little because I have been so critical of Scientology up to now, but now have a new “openness” to the fundamentals behind Scientology. The “mind control” you speak so critically of, is that referring to Church of Scientology or L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings in part or as a whole?
So there’s a “reformed” Church of Scientology, right? Have you done any videos on former “Miscavige” Scientologists who are now practicing a reformed type of Scientology? I’ve always questioned whether the dark side of Hubbard can be removed from the religion and leave a new type of healthy Scientology. Are reformed Scientologists brainwashed?
(2) Thank you so much for your videos. I have a question about Scientology “buzzwords” and how they are used as a PR strategy — especially by celebrities in Scientology. The first is the word bigot. When John Sweeney was investigating Scientology, Tommy Davis kept calling him a bigot over and over again. He sounded like a broken record. When Leah Remini left Scientology, Kirstie Alley went on the Howard Stern Show and said she no longer associates with Remini, not because she left, but because she’s a bigot for criticizing Scientology. If there’s a news report featuring an ex-Scientologist, the news broadcasters have to read parts of these long rebuttals which almost always accuse the critic of being a bigot. It’s as if they intentionally say this word over and over again to suggest that any person who looks at Scientology critically or questions its intentions is actually a bigot. And decent people should despise bigots, right?
The other buzzword is religion. When I think about it, most people don’t usually refer to their faith, whatever it may be, as their “religion.” They might say “my faith” or “my belief system,” but not necessarily “my religion.” Yet, Tom Cruise always speaks of Scientology by saying “my religion.” Tommy Davis accused Sweeney of being a bigot by attacking “his religion.” Danny Masterson (from That 70s Show) said critics can “go fuck themselves” for attacking his religion just because it’s new. There are countless other examples.
There are other buzzwords, but I wanted to specifically ask about these two. I guess I’m just wondering if the constant use of these words as a defense mechanism is some sort of tactic or PR strategy for getting the public, especially those who don’t really know (or care) much about Scientology, to assume that anyone who comments negatively about the “church” of Scientology is a bigot who also hates religion. If you have any insight, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!
(3) Chris, do you see that you are embarking on the daunting task of reversing the predominant trend of human culture? I don’t believe it is hyperbole to say that your definition and promotion of rational thinking and behavior could represent a new and distinct direction in human cognitive evolution. Your work arguably occupies a space equivalent to that of Religion, and the “group instinct” that you mentioned in the latest blog. I’ve often thought that Mankind — early on — headed off into some directions in response to the pressures of survival. Somehow those “directions” constituted definition of codes of conduct — moralities — that provided comfort and guidelines to help deal with the difficulties of life. With some time and effort, those early survival solutions became religions. Some opportunists saw the power of such a process and formalized their belief systems into the control mechanisms that became organized Religion. It didn’t have to happen that way, but it did. This defined the character of subsequent human cultures. You are demonstrating an alternative. Reason, rational thinking — and understanding of what is a belief system — would have served mankind much better and saved millenia of abuses. Better late than never, I guess. While you are not the first rational thinker to voice your sentiments, your publication and promotion of these principles may well lie at ground-zero of revolution that sets our culture in a new direction. Your comments?
(4) How did the release of the film Battleground Earth play in the Church when you were in? Did you know about it and were you encouraged to see it? Also when it bombed critically and commercially, how did the church spin the production’s failure?
(5) Hi Chris. Can you please give a narrative of the most common nightmares you had immediately after leaving and since, and if anything you dreamt has helped or hindered your recovery?
(6) What would it take to remove Miscavige as the Chairman of the Board? I am assuming there is a “board.” If this is the case, considering the “board” has witnessed the abuses and violence Miscavige has been accused of, why has he not been voted off? If he is the COB, can’t he be removed by a majority vote? Why not a coup?
(7) How many hours per week are staff working? Since you’d have to have a real job to pay the bills, you must not have time for anything.
(8) Tony’s blog claimed that Scientology is getting ready to attack you. What was your initial reaction?
(9) What do the terms black dianetics and reverse auditing mean?
(10) This might be a completely ludicrous question, but I do not know the answer. If the Scientologist’s goal is to clear the planet of Body Thetans, why does it matter whether they are doing it with the official approval of the CoS or doing it as an independent? Once the BT is talked into leaving the body, isn’t that just one less BT that everyone on Earth needs to worry about? I realize that financially, a branch of Scientology makes less money if another branch is removing BTs more cheaply, but in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t this decrease the entheta population for everyone? Why can’t they all work together?
(1) Chris, as you know I watch all your video posts and have recently read your book which I love and enjoy. I still have some questions. I think the answers might have something to do with the mindset of Sea Org/Staff members, but here goes: why does ‘going Clear’ and getting to the higher OT levels take so long? An example was Tim DeWall who explained his mission to get to Clear and years later he’s no nearer. If the primary goals are to ‘clear the planet’ and ‘save all mankind’ and the Scientologists believe they are in ‘a race against time’ – why is it so difficult? I know it might be to drain money out of people and the ‘levels’ actually don’t work, but, if the Sea Org and Staff members genuinely believe what they are doing (rather than knowingly perpetuating the con) why are the Case Supervisors not approving people moving on more quickly/easily?
(2) What do you think of Russia’s recent banning of Scientology in the country? I have seen anti-Scientology people who say that the way Russia went about it was morally wrong.
(3) Scientologists are indoctrinated to believe many things that most people would consider prejudiced. For example, Hubbard was very anti-homosexual. It seems that one of David Miscavige’s favorite ways to discredit someone is to say that they are homosexual. Then there are the rumors about John Travolta using Scientology to hide his homosexuality, etc.
When one comes out of a lifetime of Scientology and enters into the “wog” world, how difficult is it to reconcile the fact that members of the gay community are not evil? I imagine it would be similar to a person growing up in a family with ties to the KKK if they were to leave one day and disavow the way they were raised. I wonder how difficult it is to reprogram oneself when it comes to such ingrained beliefs not dealing directly with spirituality or religion, but simply attitudes towards other humans.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
(4) Congratulations on your continued healing process and I wish you strength moving forward. If it’s not too personal a question, what has been the most difficult aspect of the recovery process? Is there still something you wish you could change about how you feel?
(5) Not a Scientology question: When people say they don’t believe in the “Christian God” do they mean Jesus? Or are they talking about the god as portrayed in the Old Testament? Is this statement meant to imply that there is or could possibly be a supreme deity or higher power, but that orthodox Christianity fails to properly characterize an accurate picture of who God actually is? I know atheists will use this term pejoratively to delegitimize Christian theology. What do agnostics mean when they specifically claim they don’t believe that “that god” exists?
(6) Now that you’re out, and re-evaluating what you believe, is it your desire that Scientology be completely broken down and abolished, or are you more interested in seeing if there’s anything salvageable once David “Let Him Die” Miscavige is rousted? If tomorrow, the IRS declared that religious groups would no longer be tax exempt, how would that affect your feelings toward Scientology?
(7) Tony Ortega suggested in a recent interview that the appeals for money had shifted in the noughties (i.e. circa. 2000-2009). Originally he claimed the money would have been used to buy new courses for the individual donating, later appeals would ask for money which would then be used for the upkeep of the global organization. People apparently got awards (medals, I think) if they gave above a certain sum. One chap allegedly gave more than ten millions USD. I can’t help wondering, what happens to all the money? What do they do with it? Are overheads high? What is the point of having so much?
(8) When you were still in the Church, what did you think of Paulette Cooper?
(1) I’ve heard Scientology referred to as an all-white religion up until it began recruiting from the Nation of Islam. Certainly Hubbard was racist. My question is this: what was it like to emerge from the Scientology bubble into the larger, multi-racial world?
(2) Chris, aren’t most, if not all, of the gains in Scientology just a placebo response?
(3) What are thoughts on the gun culture of America. Why do Americans hang onto the 2nd amendment to justify mass shootings and the entitlement of gun ownership. What can your great country do to go in another direction?
(4) Hi Chris, as a critical thinker, what is your opinion on the legalization of Marijuana? Also, has there ever been an incident involving a Sea Org member(s) caught smoking or possessing weed or any other illegal drug?
(5) Boko-Haram and arguably ISIS, the Taliban and other Islamist groups seemingly have all the indicators and fit the pattern of destructive cults. Do you agree? Will the elimination of the leaders of such cults disrupt the cult enough to break up the organization or will another leader arise? Do cults, once established, require autocratic leadership to survive as a group? Will the true believers, in their need that the organization continue, accept whoever acquirers that leadership position, no matter how ill gotten? Isn’t a yes answer to the previous questions kinda scary?
(6) Hey Chris, quick question for you. Do you know if any military personnel could also be Scientologists? Would the Co$ allow it?
(7) Do you ever think someday there will be sects of Scientology, or is that still considered being ‘squirrelly’ whatever that means?
(8) Hi Chris! Thank you so much for continuing to put out such high quality videos. I hope this isn’t too personal a question, but I was wondering what it is that you do for work now that you are out of the Sea Org. I would assume that your work on Scientology and critical thinking is supplemental to another source of income, but I could be wrong. You have spoken before about how the Sea Org helped give you many career skills, such as public speaking. In the work you do now – both the YouTube/podcast work and also any other work you might do – what other skills that you learned in Scientology have you been bringing to bear? Thank you so much for answering and wishing you continued luck in all you do.
(1) I notice in these conversations with your mom that your mother’s language is still laced with ‘Scientologese’ even though she has been away from the church for a long while. I don’t get the impression that she has a tendency towards identifying as an ‘Indie Scientologist’ who may still embrace some Scientology principles and she certainly doesn’t seem to want anything to do with the official Church of Scientology.
This brings up the concept of ‘recovery’ in Scientology. Not as in recovering from Scientology but be being recovered back into Scientology. I don’t think your mom would ever be able to be recovered, but I do believe that people who are still using the language still have some connection with the subject even though they may not even be aware of it. You have mentioned in the past that ‘recovery’ was one of your jobs when you were in the Sea Org and that you were very good at it. Could you explain how you went about recovering people and more importantly now, how people can best avoid being recovered back into Scientology?
(2) What about if people deliberately want to stay in that state of ignorance for purely egoistical reasons as physical health, well being and so on?
(3) Hubbard’s Scientology gives people a false sense of security, especially in what happens after they die. Letting go of that must be terrifying, and maybe impossible for some people, especially if they grew up believing in it. Life with all its pains and suffering can sometimes feel like a free fall into emptiness. Scientology promises that there will be a soft landing, and that provides some comfort to people who believe it. Do you ever miss being comforted by Hubbard’s ideas? Do you ever experience mortal terror and emptiness now that you realize there may not be a soft landing? If so how do you deal with it?
(4) There have been some news articles re Tom Cruise moving to St Hill in England. Most people consider it bunk. I do not as he could be in some turmoil seeing his daughter Suri in the press growing up & this issue is coming up in auditing. When Miscaviage hears of this he could have decided to sit down with Tom, & give him a grandiose title such as European Director of the Board, so as to get Tom very focused on being much more of a leader rather than just a figure head, getting him to work more on expanding Scientology and by default dragging him further down the rabbit hole. Would you consider this a possibility?
(5) After watching your video with an ex-Jehovah Witness on comparing and contrast the 2 different cults, have you ever considered doing another video with other former cult members? Perhaps a former Mormon or an ex-Moonie?
(6) For the former members that are blown and outspoken, is it a point of pride that Scientology puts out trash talk about you or is it something that you worry about?
(7) Do you believe that if a reform was to happen and the church was turned into a business offering courses and therapy auditing it could be of help and turn from evil to good? Including offering more affordable prices and the cancellation of Sea Org and other draconian management organizations?
(1) Chris, your explanation of how you recovered people by first acknowledging that they had suffered a legitimate wrong got me wondering if those wrongs were ever redressed? Like, if they got bad auditing, were the auditors ever forced to apologize? If they were defrauded by desperate regges, were they ever refunded? Was anything other than an acknowledgement of what happened to them being wronged ever doled out on your authority or the authority of those you reported to, that you know of?
(2) I am very curious about this cult. I have seen many videos and read many articles. However I am still confused about how the financial portion works. If a person is earning pennies in the church how do they pay for auditing and books? And how could those employed outside the church spend hours auditing and studying while still maintaining their jobs? Could you please spend time explaining how the money works.
(3) If you had a slow-motion video on the moment or moments when you were still “in” AND were starting to wake up, what would those moments look and sound like? What exactly and specifically triggered your (doubts, questions, awakenings), while you were still in the role of someone who was buying it all? What aided you in taking the psychological, emotional and mental risks to question Scientology, while you were still in it and after so many years of accepting it?
(4) Chris, I heard that in his youth, David Miscavige was thought to be taking steroids for his asthma, but it was noticed how well developed his musculature was for such a young person. I know he is into body building as well, so my question is could he be taking anabolic steroids? The side affect of these drugs is the potential for increased aggressive irrational and violent behavior. This would certainly describe how he acts and wouldn’t this also classify him as a drug addict?
(5) I have heard that OT VIII, revealed after Hubbard’s death, indicates that Hubbard is the Anti-Christ and will return as such at the end of times, claiming that Lucifer is an entity of “enlightenment.” Is that true? In reading about Hubbard’s early life before Dianetics (in accounts from his son, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., and Lawrence Wright’s book “Going Clear”), I read that Hubbard was involved in the occult and black magic, aligned himself with Aleister Crowley, a known Satanist at the time, and even considered himself to be Satan (and Crowley’s successor). His son has some chilling accounts of Hubbard’s words about this. However, the church has denied these connections. Therefore, I find it interesting that OT VIII would draw upon these connections and refer to Hubbard’s occult beliefs.
(6) Did the CO$ ever contact you to try and get you back in? If so, what did they do?
(7) Hi Chris, When you were a Scientologist did you vote in presidential elections? If so, was there any pressure to vote a certain way? Also, do you intend to vote in the upcoming election? Thanks, love the content on your channel!
(8) Hey Chris, I was wondering why Scientologists are always filming or taking pictures of people who protest or question them? I see it in so many videos. What is the purpose for this? Where do these videos and pictures go? Do they use them for fair game?
(1) I have been seeing some people out there believing in opinions of an “us verses them” kind of mentality, or just that “black and white” view of the world, those who start following cults and become bigots and aggressive extremist activist where they were not beforehand. Why do so many people believe in stereotypes, have prejudices and agree with things in trust without seemingly giving any effort in critical thinking? Why would people stop thinking and stop using a higher moral ground … or at least how does that happen in the first place?
(2) I am also interested in anachronisms in the CoS. Due to LRH’s written specifications, Scientologists use newspaper to clean glass, send telexes, and use a mimeograph to make more than 10 photocopies of any document. I wonder if you have any interesting anecdotes of anachronisms in Scientology daily life? Also, I have often thought that the CoS presence on the internet is very muted; most of it is either church service and contact information, or else digital editions of their print magazines. I think they could enhance their interaction with the public with much slicker videos and multimedia and other attractants. Their Social Media presence is minimal at best, and the number of pro-Scientology websites are overwhelmed by the anti websites. Do you think that the CoS has not not really taken full advantage of the internet because LRH never envisioned it, so the Church is stuck in a print world?
(3) From watching and reading the internet, I’ve seen some really intelligent ex-Scientologists, like you and like Geir Isene. What I am more impressed about is the number of ex-Scientologists who are extremely self-aware, like Brian Culkin. I suppose this is a result of so much introspection done when auditing. I don’t know any Scientologists, so I would like to ask you: are current (believing) scientologists just as self aware? And how does this willingness to face personal flaws and issues not transfer over to facing institutional flaws and issues in the CoS?
(4) I’ve read most things L. Ron Hubbard and his early writings of Dianetics, but since it did fail just 3-4 years after he wrote it, no one really talks in detail about why it failed…what exactly happened in the first writing of Dianetics? Can you please detail why the first foray into Dianetics failed?
(5) I commend you for your exceptional effort explaining Scientology, I have found your videos invaluable and extremely informing. You mentioned that you where a shy teenager who needed a little help relating or communicating with the females in your peer group at the time. After you joined the staff at Scientology, and then later the Sea Org, were you able to pursue relationships with females with your newfound communication skills? It seems to me from your story that you learned how to manage shyness, only to be completely shut off from pursuing the very thing you had gone to Scientology to help you with.
(6) Hello Chris, I was wondering why LRH is so anti-gay even though he studied under Aleister Crowley who was known to be actively bisexual?
(7) Doesn’t the E-meter send electricity through the user? I know it’s not enough to cause pain, but it seems like it could cause a drug like response, leading to a false sense of euphoria, and helps the auditor manipulate the pre-clear.
(8) Do you agree that some of the proclamations from former executives e.g. Marty Rathbun and Tony Ortega about the imminent dissolution of the CO$ are a little far fetched? There appears to be plenty of money coming in from whales and dolphins to keep the organization functioning for many years.
(1) Please enlighten us on the subject of commissions in Scientology. Does Scientology really pay out cash commissions like Amway or Avon or Nuskin? Who gets how much for what? Is this official with receipts, etc. or is it “under the table”?
(2) If you had never heard of Hubbard and Scientology growing up, how would your life have been different? I like to imagine, given your curiosity, penchant for critical thinking and philosophical inclinations, that you’d have made a good student at university. With your natural charm and ease with people and your desire to be helpful and make things better for others, I wonder if you’d have been attracted to fields such as medicine or psychology. Or maybe you like the idea of teaching?
(3) I watched your mom’s interview and I think she and I would have been friends had we met when I became a Scientology student in the early 1970’s. So much of her viewpoint on the missions, tech and ethics is very real. I just wanted to know what your opinion is on spiritual abilities which are said to be obtained from auditing and training? That is why I stuck with Scientology for so long. The frustration caused by organization is mostly why I haven’t done any services since about 2001 or so.
During a picket protest at a Church of Scientology, some Scientologists came out to block us. Once I had established that they were OTs (I asked them and they told me) I asked them if they had real OT powers. Of course they said they did. So I consulted with the other picketers and asked them if they were willing to call off the picket for that day if one of these OTs could demonstrate clear OT powers in the form of levitating a penny off the palm of my hand using thought alone…. Do you know, they actually tried! Can you imagine it? Adults thinking they could perhaps lift a penny with their thoughts. Chris, are Scientologists really that delusional?
(4) With all the shouting of people I hear about inside Scientology, how is this reconciled with the idea of treating people with ARC? It’s as if what I call “entry level tech” – what is taught to new members and described on Scientology.org is understood to be fluff for public. But ALL of LRH’s writing is supposed to be gospel, right?
(5) I have always wondered what makes people act in ways that are sometimes very opposed to what their education and sensibility would dictate when they are under a powerful emotion or belief. I think that most Scientologists are generous people that want to help others and change the world for the better, so when you said that you heard from current members a reasoning such “I don’t care if David Miscavige beats people because I have gains from Scientology”, wouldn’t this ring some kind of bell in their brains? Doesn’t these conflicting ideas – being generous and altruistic and being selfish – makes some kind of short circuit that gets people started to at least want to investigate more or to do some introspection about the purpose of what they are doing?
(6) Have you walked by your local org recently to see if any people are there?
(7) Has Scientology began the process of selling off empty orgs as a means of economic survival?
(8) Who are the billionaires still financing and keeping alive this crazy organization? Why do they do that? Are these people totally brainwashed or under some sort of wicked threat and so unable to stop feeding the monster?
(1) Why in the world does the CofS interact with the Nation of Islam (NOI)? Their philosophies and purposes are so divergent. All indications (from agencies and groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.) are that the NOI (the American “Black Muslims” group) are a racial solidarity group; anti-white, anti-Jewish, misogynistic, and their core beliefs hold that white people and NOI members should not intermingle (let alone inter-marry, etc) – in short they are a racial-hate group (and so classified as such by most agencies) so why is there now an alliance between the CofS and the NOI? It’s unfathomable to me. I know that the NOI has a “creation philosophy” as strange as Scientology’s Xenu story. The NOI holds that an evil scientist named Yakub bred all the good out of people, along with the pigment of their skin, so that white people are inherently evil. This story is so unbelievable as to make the Xenu story seem reasonable in comparison. It seems so strange that Scn/NOI have any interaction. Can you shed any light on this?
(2) In the Sea Org, is there any privacy in the bunk-bed-filled rooms? If there’s no privacy in those crammed rooms and nobody is allowed to masturbate…what is everybody doing in the shower? I’m very frustrated that ex-Scientologists rarely complain about privacy and having 50 people share 1 toilet.
(3) Please tell us more about the thetan. I understand that early on Scientologists are taught that each one of us is a thetan with billions of years of life, going from one body to another, having a memory (engrams) of everything traumatic that happened (did I get it right?). Since Scientologists know nothing about what’s in the OT levels for a long time, they believe that they are dealing with this one thetan in their body. What is the goal of all the courses they take before the OT levels – to unburden the thetan from engrams and make him operate the body in a more capable way? It is not to expel him, right? What happens when the body dies – how does the thetan move to another body and when? Any grace period? Since all adults have a thetan in them (or do they?), does that mean that a thetan has to move to a newborn? Is there a fight between thetans over a baby’s body? And if I had achieved the state of Clear, is my thetan going to a new body in a state of Clear, thus that next person is spared all of the problems of a pre-clear? Is this the way to “clear” the planet? If I am a thetan, it should not be a big deal for me if the body I occupy seizes to exist – I will move to another body, maybe a better one. So why the emphasis on making this body less sick or with better vision? Can a thetan simply leave the body on his own volition or does the body have to die for him to leave? Does he have a sex or can he move from male to female bodies? When I listen to people “recalling” past lives, they are always the same sex. Anyhow, you get the gyst -trying to get the skinny on thetans according to the cult (did they think it through?). And my question does not cover OT levels body thetans.
(4) I really love your videos and this little community you’re part of. I grew up in Los Angeles and my parents were keen on telling me to never get involved with Scientology and signs that you might be interacting with a front group. All three of us have seen Going Clear multiple times. Do you still feel a certain type of way about psychiatry? Sometimes I wonder if this bias is the major unifying factor among Scientologists, even if they one day leave the Church.
(5) Question: Did you know or hear of anyone in the Sea Org who were there for nefarious or disingenuous reasons, but were able to pass the rigorous e-meter testing? How long could someone fake their interest before they were rooted out by the organization?
(6) In your own personal opinion, what would you make of the mindset and rationality and well, to put it frankly, sanity of ANYONE who has reached the high levels of OT 7 and OT 8? I know you’re not a doctor (nor do you play one on TV) but in all seriousness would a Scientologist who reaches those levels be deemed in your opinion mentally (if not also morally) really screwed up and clinically (insert your adjective here) by a medical professional, a.k.a. psychiatrist/psychologist?
(7) Did you “blow out” or “route out” of Scientology? Are those who route out not expected to pay back money to the organization and are they spared the humiliation of having their auditing secrets shared? Or is that done to everyone who leaves Scientology regardless of how they leave, including public Scientologists who no longer wish to continue with the courses?
(1) Interestingly enough, there are still things about Scientology that are not so clear or I am completely in the dark about. For example “Sunday Services”. What do they do when they pretend to be a church on Sunday?
(2) In 1997 after my second divorce, I was kind of down and someone suggested to me to read the book Dianetics and I just kind a looked at him and I think I kind of shook my head no. I mean, this was a long time ago. I never read the book, I wasn’t going to. Why are there people like me that can just say no? I remember in the 80s seeing all those commercials on television and I just watched them and said, “Oh well.”
(3) If thetans don’t have a gender, then why was Ron Hubbard so anti-homosexuality? I realize that Ron is a product of his time, and there are documentaries I’ve watched that say he was anti-homosexuality because of his son. But, I guess my question is a larger one. In Christianity, souls also don’t really have a gender (the same for angels), and yet, homosexuality is a big issue there. To me, logically, if what we all truly are is a spiritual being and that being doesn’t have a gender, why would it matter to any religion that two spiritual beings choose to love each other, whatever gender their bodies take form? While the question is coded in terms of Scientology, I’m really more asking you as a critical thinker for your opinion on this.
(4) I’d love to hear more about your recent book signing in LA and how that went for you. I hope it was a success. Also, what’s next for Chris Shelton? Any plans for more books? Maybe some fiction? Any burning plans for world domination or even a nice vacation?
(5) How much did you pay to the church when you were there?
(6) I’m a never-in but I’m intrigued by the cult and its strange activities. I watch Scientology videos and I heard about “brain pills” that someone said were by all the water fountains. Do you have knowledge of these? Were they pep pills like caffeine or ephedrine? Did the cult have any other strange rituals or activities that are not publicly known about? Please let us know more about what’s behind the curtain.
(7) My brother has been in Scientology since 1971 as a worker bee for the organization in exchange for auditing and other “church” services. He is married and living in a Scientology-owned apartment with another couple. My question is, does Scientology provide retirement benefits, housing, health care, end-of-life palliative care, etc., for its work staff? Or are they even allowed to “retire”?
(8) Can the person being audited see the needle on the e-meter? If he is clever, can he control the needle by tightening or relaxing his grip on the cans?
(9) Do thetans occupy animals?
(10) Hi Chris! Does the CO$ pay property taxes on all of their real estate?
(1) David Miscavige has a reported financial worth of $50 million dollars (U.S.) as reported by many agencies (I simply typed in “David Miscavige net worth” in the Google searchbar to find this figure) – how is this possible if he takes a minimal salary as head of the Church? How has he amassed this fortune? I really can’t fathom it. Do you think this is an accurate figure? Or is it a “public” figure and his real wealth is more, hidden away in other countries, etc, perhaps real estate, gold bullion (as one book theorized) or other assets? Does he earn or take a commission on donations to the International Association of Scientologists?
(2) I wondered if you might address the ability of public Scientologists to restrict what they see or read, at the behest of other Scientologists and the organisation and how their standards in real life aren’t applied to their religion. This is true of many believers, where standards of evidence for taking medicines, buying stocks or how safe a car is aren’t applied to the most important spiritual questions like: is there a god?
I can’t understand how Scientologists can run successful businesses and interact with Joe Public and the world at large, yet still remain in a bubble. How can they not compare the success of their own business marketing campaigns to the sheer lack of outward advertising by Scientology? If I were a business owner, I’d be expecting enormous results from millions of dollars worth of fundraising to ‘disseminate’. I’d expect to see Scientology splashed across bus shelters and taxis and park benches in my daily life. They must know the costs of their own marketing, how many people they can reach with X number of leaflets, what the likely return is. Surely they must see Scientology as, at best, poorly performing in this regard.
The sums are so huge that I can only think about my own charity fundraising, where just getting people to give a few pounds can be difficult enough. Yet millions of dollars are being put through these organisations each year to no benefit and no visible dissemination.
If the same person who put their hand in their pocket to donate to Scientology was to pay the same amount of money to a marketing company to advertise their shop, they would be apoplectic if they didn’t see more people in the door. Yet Scientologists see this every time they take a course. No more people, but they still need you to mortgage your house for more dissemination.
(3) I just now watched in completion the interview of Steven Fishman. Wow, what an incredible case that was. About how many Scientologists do you think have reached his level of brainwashing and excessive amount of study?
(4) Regarding the Sea Org and the billion year contract, has anybody ever claimed to have fulfilled the contract, having lived all the previous and future lives? Steven Fishman in his interview (and what a crazy interview that is), said that when the body dies, the thetan can go back or forth in time and because Steven could not be guaranteed to be reborn in a well off and good Scientology family, he refused to commit suicide when told to by the Church. Does anybody “remember” future times or is it mostly past? Did anyone remember being a Scientologist in the previous life, going through all OT levels and not needing any more OT training? If there is anyone like that, do they have special status in the church?
(5) Having watched several interviews of Scientologists and ex-Scientologists, I get the impression that many, if not most of them, have big egos. Even when saying they are out and no longer believe in it, many will boast about how far they made it on the OT levels, how awesome they were at it, how they had an above average learning curve, etc. Not that there aren’t plenty of exceptions (such as yourself), but I get the feeling that this is a common trend in Scientology. Do you think Scientology preys on egocentric people, using their ego to get them hooked? Or do you think they end up becoming egocentric due to prolonged exposure to the “we’re the only ones who get it and will save the world” discourse? Or perhaps you think this simply due to a bias that people who are self-centered will tend to give interviews more often that those who are not?
(6) I have read that there are about 5,000 Sea Org members, but let us be really generous & say 6,000 SO, but you have 6400+ subscribers on your channel. Did you ever think when starting your channel that you could trump the Sea Org? Also, if I unsubscribe to your channel do I get a Goldenrod?
(7) Chris, for many years while in Scientology you had very strong opinions and beliefs you felt sure about that we’re later changed after you got out. Do you ever question other opinions you may have on different subjects thinking you could possibly be wrong about them also? Do you question yourself and ever think you might have gotten other things wrong you believe in?
(8) Thanks for telling us what you know about exteriorization. I was wondering whether during your Scientology years you believed that you yourself had experienced it. If so, was it the kind where you see yourself from another part of the room? Was it like a lucid dream (a kind of dream where you know that you are dreaming)?
(1) I was just listening to you answering the question about the two “triangles”, and you mention how Hubbard posited that these triangles “always” work as he describes, and it got me thinking how often Hubbard uses the absolutes – “always,” “never,” “invariably,” etc. Now, we know that Hubbard also described the S.P. – the Suppressive Person – as “always” speaking in general, absolute terms. Pretty darn obvious, yes? He’s describing himself. There’s a few other places – I’m sure you’ll know them better than I do, where he defines some quality of an S.P. and then demonstrates the same behavior or characteristic himself, almost in the same breath. So, my question to you is, knowing what you know of Hubbard, do you think he was leaving these “in your face” clues to his true nature in his work, deliberately showing his victims the wires and the pulleys of his deception and laughing all the way?
(2) Great video, Chris. Isn’t the Scientology cross also related to Aleister Crowley’s occult symbolism? Can you talk more about Hubbard’s plagiarizing ideas from the occult, Hinduism, and other sources?
I’m having some confusion about the Scientology cross. Didn’t Hubbard pick that up from something Aleister Crowley was using? I heard this somewhere (perhaps in ‘tinfoil hat’ territory online) that at one point Hubbard and Jack Parsons were fooling around with so-called “Sex Magick” in the L.A. area? Am I standing alone in a field on this one?
(3) I was recruited into the cult of Scientology back in the 70’s through my friend’s doctor. He was having emotional problems at the time and went to his doctor for help. His doctor said there was nothing he could do but referred him to the local Scientology org. I went along to support him and got mixed up in it for a time until I walked. Have you heard of any other outside agencies recruiting for Scientology services that people should be aware of?
(4) Why did the US government take such an aggressive approach to the rather benign Branch Davidian cult, which resulted in the horrific deaths of men, women, and children, and yet, the US government continues to maintain a laissez-faire attitude towards all of the serious crimes of the CoS?
(5) People leave Scientology (and the like) for the obvious reason that it is a destructive cult, but it did provide at some point a sense of spirituality and belonging for them. What do you think of the recent decrease in organized religious beliefs and behaviors generally in society? Particularly in the Millennial generation, who say they do not belong to any organized faith. Do you see any similarities in people leaving organized groups, cults, or otherwise?
(6) Have you ever been on the Freewinds and what was she like?
(7) My question is just a quick one regarding Scientology front groups. I watched your video on the subject and was curious as to whether or not an organisation named ‘Ablechild’ is at all affiliated with Scientology? There are mixed responses when trying to research this myself online, there seems to be ties to Scientology groups like CCHR and beliefs such as a very strong anti-psychiatry stance, this even goes as far as to blame all school shooting on “psyche” drugs, however some Ablechild websites deny any connection to Scientology.
(8) Do Sea Org members have IDs? I have known several ex-SO and ex-military members who didn’t get their drivers licenses until later in life, simply because they didn’t need one when they lived on base. Military members have government-issued IDs, so that’s not really an issue for them, but what about SO? Do they simply have no ID cards? You can’t get on a plane or do any number of other activities without ID, so I wonder if this is a sort of control method? Also, what about members who are from other countries? Do they get to keep their passports and visas with them, or do they get locked away “for safekeeping”? Thanks for your time and all your hard work.
(1) I have exteriorized once or twice but it was long before I heard of Scientology. It is a sensation very different from dreaming or making things up. After being introduced to Scientology, I have gone backtrack to earlier lives in basic auditing at least once which is also not the same as dreaming. Have you ever exteriorized and have you gone backtrack to earlier lives? Or is this part of what you refer to as nonsense?
(2) I’m a huge fan of your videos and appreciate them so much I became a Patreon supporter! (It was so easy.) You’re doing a great job and I’m happy to contribute so you can continue educating all of us. I was initially drawn to your work because of my fascination with Scientology however I have benefited so much more because you have introduced critical thinking skills into my life. It has prompted a shift in my approach to many things. Thank you!
Now my question: When I was young I thought Christian Science and Scientology were the same thing. I just thought the term “Scientologist” was what parishioners of Christian Science were called but I now realize that’s not the case. While learning about the different tenets of each, I was struck by Mary Baker Eddy’s theory of “malicious animal magnetism” (a malicious person can transmit something harmful or damaging onto another person by thought) and Hubbard’s belief that a PTS/SP can “draw” physical harm onto a Scientologist individually or the group as a whole. I understand Christian Science was at it’s height of popularity in the 40’s. Do you think Hubbard, who liked to repackage ideas and claim them as his own, was influenced by Mary Baker Eddy?
(3) I had a question about the whole “war on psychs” thing. I know Scientologists believe that psychiatry and psychiatrists are evil and suppressive, and that for millions of years they have been oppressing the freedom of beings all across the galaxy. Psychiatry is blamed for causing strife, misery and mental slavery throughout this world and countless others. The church has been very vocal about its condemnation of psychiatry, with Tom Cruise publicly going off on psychiatric drugs and the church’s official campaign against Prop 63 (the Mental Health Services Act). Their “Industry of Death” museum (and I use that word loosely) even hands out disturbing brochures with titles like “Psychiatric Rape” talking about how psychiatrists need to be stopped before it’s too late. With that in mind, are you aware of individual Scientologists that have taken any sort of extreme action against members of the psychiatric community? I didn’t know if that sort of violent fundamentalist extremism was present in Scientology, but I would be surprised if all the hate speech spewed by the CCHR, Miscavige, and Hubbard himself didn’t end up pushing some true believer over the edge?
(4) In an earlier Q&A you discussed the possibility of the Feds raiding Scientology and you pointed out that in order for that to happen, the Feds had to have evidence of criminal activity. While this is certainly correct, I thought you slid past the rather important issue of just what criminal activity the church is involved in. I’m curious what you think the crimes of Scientology might be, not just unethical, immoral or tortorous activity. Seems to me that the church is fairly careful not to cross legal lines and as long as it enjoys protected status as a church, it can engage in all kinds of activitites that aren’t necessarily illegal.
(5) If a person gets someone into the cult, gets a payment for that recruit, when that person then gets people into the cult, does that original person also get a payment for those his recruit brings in?
(6) Which religion beliefs do you find the funniest?
(7) I love your Q&A Chris, keep up the great work. I have a question for you. In Q&A #59 you briefly discussed your prior auditing experiences experiencing the past life of a Scientologist. Shortly after you added that they would have dug up the past auditing record of the person claiming to be cleared OTVIII. I assume they would have done that regardless of the OT level. My question is did they do this to you? And if they did where did you get the name of the prior Scientologist who was on the ship with Hubbard?
(8) Chris, do you miss anything or anyone regarding Scientology?
(1) My questions have to do with your thoughts on the Independent Scientology movement. You probably need to know most of my knowledge of this comes from YouTube videos, and a few books on the subject, not exactly representative but all I have available. In many of them, the independent scientologists seem to be saying that Hubbard’s Scientology is valid and that Miscavige has perverted it. Does this mean that they still believe in fair game, no psychologists, disconnecting, SPs, policies on homosexuality, mind control etc? Someone said this was just an evolutionary process and that in the future, they will change. Has that happened? Why does no one confront them about these questions? Again I didn’t want to betray my ignorance because I can hardly get a good picture from my limited media. Is there any worry that some of the people who enjoyed power might want to recreate it in Independent Scientology? Ok sorry that was an earful. I don’t want to sound judgmental about people I don’t know but this kind of thing has historically been frequent. Thanks for your time.
(2) Nice work on the channel. Having been involved with Scientology for over 30 years myself I do respect the work you are doing. I am interested in learning critical thinking skills. What’s out there that you recommend?
(3) Back when I was in the fold in the 1970’s writing to Ron was encouraged. I wrote him a letter or two and received a nice enough response reasonably soon. Do you know if LRH ever wrote or signed off on any of these letters or did he ever even see any of these letters? I am guessing “No, he did not”, but what is your take?
(4) Hey Chris. Thanks for the great channel! I have a very simple question – why do Scientologist need their own E-meters? Are they auditing themselves and friends and neighbors at home? I’ve been wondering about this for awhile, as I know selling expensive E-meters to Scientologists is part of the scam.
(5) I’ve been reading your book and one of the questions I’ve been wondering about is why the CoS keeps the location of Gold Base (Int Management) secret from its members. Not that the CoS does the logical thing much, but it seems unnecessary to me. it would be like the Catholic Church trying to keep the location of the Vatican secret. Why bother?
(6) I used to work in sales for cars and for various energy companies. A common thread was that we used a program called SalesForce. It measured basic statistics about sales, size of commission, etc. The way you describe Scientology cold calling and other techniques basically sound like your run of the mill sales organization. Did you or others ever use that program? Or did you guys just keep track of all your own “stats” without computer software?
(7) Do you think Tom Cruise will ever wake up and leave the church?
(8) What are your thoughts on “fad diets”?
(9) My mother just mentioned to me that “Scientologists can’t do scents” and said that John Travolta requires any hotel room be free of scent for 24 hours. Is this just a specific celebrity being weird or is there LRH policy on this?
(1) I would love to hear your thoughts about Captain Bill Robertson, his breakaway “Ron’s Org,” and the Marcabian Conspiracy storyline. As you know, Bill took his narrative directly from LRH’s claims about aliens from Marcab (Xenu’s civilization) controlling the Earth, and spun it into a plot about these beings having worked with the CIA to infiltrate Scientology, resulting in the early 1980s Stalinist Purge which pushed out Bill, David Mayo, and others. Nancy Many describes how she fell under the spell of Bill’s storyline during her own meltdown, and Jon Atack tells fascinating tales about this as well, including descriptions of Bill’s method for contacting “Elron Elray” and so on (I dare you to comment on the corn cob!). Anyway, ridiculous as this may sound, the story Bill created lives on in modern Illuminati conspiracy literature (just substitute “The Jews” for “The Marcabians”) and Ron’s Org continues to exist, especially in Russia. What do you have to say about all this?
(2) This comment concerns Laura Prepon, and the most recent series of OITNB. Don’t read this if you don’t want spoilers. As you have commented on previously, the actress Laura Prepon has defended CoS against allegations of of homophobia (which we know to be true), and is currently portraying a homosexual character in Orange is the New Black. In the most recent series, aired a few days ago, some other characters in this show made openly critical remarks about the CoS. As of the end of the series, Prepon’s character isn’t set to go anywhere, so can you shed any light on what the CoS might think of this? Did they know beforehand and allowed her to continue filming with these SP/PTS’s, or might she be in trouble for appearing in this program?
(3) Chris, do you think hardcore atheism can be a cult? Many New Atheists hold unscientific views, such as blaming religion for all the world’s problems, as Scientologists do with psychiatrists. There have been cases, such as the 2013 murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, in which the perpetrators recorded themselves on camera specifically blaming UK foreign policy for what they were about to do, yet New Atheists still blame religion. Some New Atheists, such as Kate Smurthwaite, dismiss all religious people as “idiots,” the same way Scientologists are dismissive of “wogs”. They want to “clear the planet” by spreading atheism to religious people, believing this will make the world a better place. Many exist within their own echo chambers, only watching YouTube videos and reading books which reinforce their beliefs and contribute to their confirmation biases. The result is groups of extreme atheists who are highly hostile to outside groups, arrogant and lacking empathy, believing that they alone have a monopoly on logic and reason, unable to understand that their religious counterparts may also be rational people who have merely come to a different conclusion.
(4) Did you read all of Hubbard’s writings or know of anyone who did? I also wonder if any Scientologists ever stop and think: “What the heck have I got myself into?”
(5) In a recent Q&A video you said management was not interested in expanding churches when you found a way to successfully accomplish targets for one org. Why not? If they could expand orgs, wouldn’t they make more money and expand the cult? Why wouldn’t they want to expand the cult in reality instead of just claiming to? Great video, by the way. Love them. Keep up the good work.
(6) Love the channel. You make things simple enough to understand. Are dictionaries allowed in the “church”?
(7) Dear Chris, did you ever go to the Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum when you were in the Sea Org?
(8) Are any people in touch with you, or with other campaigners like Tony Ortega, while they are still members? Do you and others get information from disgruntled insiders? (Not asking for specific details here, of course, I’m sure OSA is watching.)
(1) Have you ever thought the irony that several years after you escaped from what Tory Magoo calls “The Scientology Truman Show” you cast yourself in your own “ Truman Show”? What I mean is, I’ve been watching all your videos since you started and at times I almost think I know you, even though we’ve never met. You’ve told your whole life story in pieces. Sometimes you’re consciously doing it in big chunks, sometimes in little snippets you’ve included in other conversations. You’ve let the whole world, or at least the whole internet, eavesdrop on conversations with your mom, your therapist friend, your pal Ruth, that Jehovahs Witness guy with the awesome voice…..
Have you ever stopped and thought about how much of yourself you’ve put out there? Any good or bad experiences at book signings/ speeches/ appearances with people who “know” you online but hadn’t really met you before? Ever worry that “OSA” is taking notes to use your info against you? Do think you think its a habit leftover from auditing? Where you had to tell someone everything about you all the time? ( then again “ over sharing” has been discussed since before the MySpace days)
(2) I assumed Scientologists were at their roots atheistic with no deity as an eternal, first-causer type being. What is the church’s stance or teachings on a supreme being. Is it a “don’t ask/don’t tell what your God-view” is or is there a codified teaching. As mentioned I thought the roots were atheistic, but I saw on Oprah her asking Tom Cruise if he believed in God and he boldly said, “Yes, of course I do.” I guess the 2nd part of the question would be “What did Tom mean when he said he believes in God? Was that a fair-game thing where you can say anything for the sake of PR?
(3) Hi Chris – did you know any Scientologists that listened to rap music? What is Scientology’s view on rap in general?
(4) As I have been watching your YouTube videos and keep thinking that there has been many things that are helpful in Scientology such as Comm Course, wordclearing and conditions in life. I have not come across this knowledge anywhere else. You briefly go over the idea that people ask you this question, (Chapter 8: Is there anything good in Scientology?) but you are rather vague explaining what your thoughts are about it. Of course I agree with you about the fact that there are a lot of contradictions and lies being told everyday. However, what are your real thoughts on the helpful and useful things that seem to be really unique about this body of knowledge?
(5) When LRH was in his state room doing “research” what in hell was he doing all that time? There was no internet so he could not even do what passes for research in many circles today. He seems to have been alone a lot of the time. Why would people think he could do research in a room all by himself?
(6) Does David Miscavige profit from the real estate transactions of the newly purchased “Ideal Orgs” in any way? What if they are later sold, does he profit then? Does he take a commission or any other form of payment?
(7) I am fascinated with the responses you give to these questions. Does Scientology still harass you and do you have any concerns that Scientology will come after you because you have this YouTube presence with thousands of viewers? Why do you think those of us who have not been in Scientology or are not actually cult victims find this information so interesting?
(8) Crizzle Shel-Dizzle: As you are being my mainest of all nizzles, wanna give mad props. We gots ta blass dem scilon fools wiff knowledge. I wish I could call up L Ron to ax him, “You Mad Bro?” What question would you ax him if he came back?
(1) What do you make of the current beef between Tony Ortega/The Underground Bunker and Mark Rathbun? The way I see it as an objective observer is that Tony Ortega is simply acting as a journalist reporting the facts of the current developments in the Rathbun lawsuit against the church, and attempting to fill the vacuum/lack of firsthand information from the Rathbuns by consulting TxLawyer, who seems to be a highly knowledgeable observer of the proceedings. Mark Rathbun seems to have really thin skin (surprisingly so given his background and personality) and has taken offense to pretty much anything Tony has reported or the commenters on The Underground Bunker have commented on. Granted some of the comments that Mark Rathbun has recently re-posted on his blog from The Underground Bunker are pretty inflammatory toward the Rathbuns, but still, it’s internet commenting, you pretty much have to take everything said with a huge grain of salt. I’m more surprised by the fact that the Rathbuns seem to think that Tony Ortega is slandering them, which I have seen zero evidence of. It’s also interesting to note that Tony has yet to comment on the fact the beef exists. Probably he doesn’t want to make himself the story as a journalist? What is your take on the whole thing? I thought the Scientology Watcher/Ex-Scientology community was pretty unified, but maybe not?
(2) What do you think of philosophy? Also what do you think of Stefan Molynuex? Some say Moly is a cult leader. How many cults and cult leaders are there actually?
(3) Chris I admire you for your hard work on highlighting the value of critical thinking and applying skepticism to various claims but it seems to me you have a mental block on applying these aspects to religion. You say you believe Scientology to be a fraud, but according to the special conditions you give to other religious beliefs, you can’t “know” that for certain and you can’t test this claims. In Critical Q&A #9, you said you don’t believe in a conspiracy the CIA controls Miscavige because there is no evidence to believe that, but you reject that argument when others have made it about religion. It seems to me that your reasoning is as follows: if the religion is sufficiently old enough or accepted widely enough, then the claims it makes are unfalsifiable. Is this a fair assessment of your view on the subject and how do you determine the veracity of the claims made by the “traditional” churches? Do you think the original founders of these religions thought it’s claims were just a bit of metaphor, as you have claimed previously?
(4) Hi Chris! I’m a huge fan of your Youtube Channel and have watched quite a few of your videos. My question is, how come LRH wrote “communication is the key component of life itself” and that “Through communication, any problem could eventually be resolved if both parties keep trying,” and yet he later wrote policies to punish or expel people who communicated their disagreements upsets regarding Scientology? Sounds like he was a hypocrite and that he basically wrote policies that were against his early principles. Please explain why you think LRH did this. Love everything you do regarding raising awareness of destructive cults, please continue!!
(5) Hey Chris what are you thoughts on the Angry Gay Pope. Do you think he’s a professional protester with nothing to do? Is he publishing videos that only show him harassing people? What about Mark Bunker? He’s another one that hasn’t been in the church but makes videos about the COS.
(6) Are Sea Org recruits TOLD about RPF before they sign a contract? If not…that’s a fraudulent contract
(7) Do you think David Miscavige will ever face criminal charges, and with the continued bad press, is there a chance of a coup in the works to drive DM from control?
(8) Hi Chris I need to ask if you ever saw a video of an actor called Steven Mango who was once a member of Scientology. He released it in 2014 on his channel?
(9) Does Scientology target homeless people around L.A. and Florida by enticing them with the promise a place to sleep and stable meals via joining the Sea Org?
(1) Thanks Chris, for your channel you were one of the first familiar faces I saw when I left Scientology and your channel is a big help on getting and keeping my head straight after years of indoctrination. It was amazing to see my old management senior talking with a real straightforward approach to leaving Scientology. For years before I left I proudly told my fellow Scientologists I was a Flag trained Class IV Co-audit Supervisor and Cramming Officer. I also would explain to “wogs” that I was a very knowledgeable Scientologist proudly. One of the biggest things I have had to deal with after leaving is the deflating of my ego. I still think it is my biggest weakness and struggle to keep it in check. I am sure you also have struggled with this. How do you deal with it? Also I suffered from depression shortly before leaving and a bit afterwards which of course at the time I didn’t admit to myself. Have you dealt with this? I also would like to say to the non-ex-members that Scientologists are people and most are good people and for some of us this cult has ruined and destroyed our life and the lives of those closest to us.
(2) You state in your last video that religious claims, contra scientific ones, are fundamentally metaphysical and therefore unfalsifiable. More specifically, you say that because religious claims are unfalsifiable, a position stronger than agnostic atheism (“I don’t know with absolute certainty, but have no positive evidence to accept the claim”) is untenable. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on two objections to that line of reasoning:
(a) While I don’t foreclose on the possibility that a theistic claim might be internally coherent, to date I have yet to see any such claim actually meet that standard. Far from being forced to admit that the claim might be true, if the definition of a god or gods is contradictory, how can anyone not reject the existence of such a logically impossible being?
(b) Even if (a) is met, a theistic claim that has clear implications for empirical reality can still be investigated and falsified. For example, if someone claims that omnipotent, omniscient god X wrote scripture X, and scripture X says that the universe contains only one planet, we would have good cause to believe that god X doesn’t exist. The vast majority of theistic claims involve a god who intervenes in people’s lives, often miraculously, to deliver followers from disease and other undesirable facts of life. Since, however, there is no empirical evidence that believers are healed at a rate higher than non-believers, doesn’t any claim that hangs upon such specific divine properties fall apart by demonstrable scientific evidence?
When we apply these two criteria, it seems to be that the number of religious beliefs left untouched is exceedingly small, and clearly includes many of the people whose beliefs you pass over as merely unfalsifiable.
(3) It is known that the number of active Scientologists is (thankfully) constantly decreasing. Now in response to this, is the church squeezing its active members for more and more donations or are they subsidizing these losses with previously gained funds? I ask, as if it’s the former and pressure is being put on members to donate more and more, then surely this can only result in increasing amounts of bad feeling and disaffection towards the church and in turn, more people leaving. It’s a business model that simply does not work.
(4) Chris, a question for you. I watched a Youtube book review of Dianetics (here: https://youtu.be/3M0SCzBAn5Y) and at one point she mentions that it says the analytical mind is also called the “egsusheyftef”, which is defined in the glossary as “a made up word with no meaning”. As far as I can tell, the word doesn’t appear in the original version of the book so I guess it was pushed out as part of GAT I or GAT II. So, what on earth made DM read that and say “Yeah, looks good to me. I’m not going to RPF whoever inserted that crap in there”?
(5) As I understand it, people who have in the past been receiving psychiatric care for things like a suicide attempt are “illegal to be audited” and cannot move up the Bridge in the body they are said to have now. What happens to those people that are in Scientology? Do they just get thrown around in lower courses with no chance to reach Clear or higher OT levels? I know that some Scientologist have committed suicide believing they will return in an other body. I can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of pressure or suggestion from the COS on these people to actually go through with a suicide to be able to return and go up the Bridge?
(6) Do you think the Church finally got to The Rathbuns? Maybe that’s why they seem to be turning tail?
(7) Reading Ron Miscavage’s book has given me greater insight into David’s mindset and how it developed. Is there much information about LRH’s childhood and family life?
(8) I would like to know if it might be possible you get (and already have answered) questions that came directly from OSA they sent to you for the reason to get you into a trap? I hope that you get what my question is about, because of my bad English.
(1) I was wondering about Scientology’s tax-exempt status. You always hear that if Scientology lost its tax-exempt status in the U.S. that it would pretty much be game over for them yet it seems like in 90% of the countries they operate in around the world, they are not recognized as a religion and don’t get tax breaks. If being tax exempt here is such an issue, how is that not a hindering factor for them everywhere else? Do they funnel all the money from Europe, South America and elsewhere to the safety of the American tax shelter? Do they enjoy tax exemption anywhere else or just the U.S.? Would losing it truly end them or just really hurt them?
(2) Is Scientology effective against drug and alcohol addiction? Have people ever used Scientology to over come drugs and alcohol and become clean and sober?
(3) My question is serious and I hope you’ll answer it. Although I’m not a Scientologist my sister is and has been (very seriously) for 30 years. Her neighbor is an SP (actually declared by the church) but I don’t think my sister is aware of this because like many Scientologists she is very very wary of all media and of the internet in particular. She’s on friendly terms with the neighbor, as a neighbor, but there’s no social contact between them. There is, however, significant overlap between them in the form of the neighbor’s dog who has access to my sister’s yard. Given that the dog is very charming and visits frequently, my sister has developed a real relationship with it.
Do you think she’d flip out if she knew the dog’s owner was an SP? I’ve never mentioned the fact for fear of pointlessly upsetting her. I can’t imagine she’ll ever change her perspective on Scientology, but then on the other hand I think well maybe learning that the dog’s delightful owner is supposedly a terrible SP, that might cause cognitive dissonance sufficient to make her start thinking more critically. What do you think?
(4) In your book, Scientology: A To Xenu (great title!), you mention Scientologists being forced to do sec checks for perceived infractions. Leah Remini mentioned being charged $300K for a lengthy round of sec checks. What happens if the Scientologist who is subjected to those sec checks is tapped out because the Regs already separated him from his money — his home is triple-mortgaged, his kids have no college funds, the 401Ks gone, etc? Does the Church sec-check him anyway? How does it get Scientologists to pay for their mandatory sec-checking if they literally have no more money?
(5) Hi Chris! A question about the stereotypical image of Scientologists whipping their cameras out. What do you think the decision process looks like before they send a Sea Org member storming out of an org to then just stand there and film protesters? Or what an individual Scientologist’s idea is of what to do with such footage on his phone? It being Scientology, I’m sure there’s some basis in LRH policy here. This might be a tactic used less these days as it doesn’t appear so much in recent protest videos.
(6) Hi Chris, I have an opinion that David Miscavige is the best man to have as the supreme leader of $cientology. Anybody replacing him would be bad news. I say that because Scientology is and always has been a scam through and through, acts in destructive ways, and therefore we need it to cease to exist. David Miscavige’s incompetent leadership and inablilty to understand the outside world keeps the “church” on track for its downfall even though that is not his intention. The bad news is that because of him people have to suffer, but because of him $cientology is heading full steam ahead toward its demise. So I feel he is the best man for the job. My question Chris, is do you agree?
(7) It seems like there are countless policies in places for Scientologists to follow, for every possible happenstance. How was Hubbard able to draft policies for every infinitesimally tiny detail? Was this something that he constantly updated throughout his life?
(8) Dear Chris, As Scientology’s numbers is dropping like a stone do you think they will result to more drastic measures to recruit more followers, such as subliminal messages?
(1) During my time in Scientology, I saw many “high level” public on the top of the bloody Bridge die of cancer or something like that. It gave me the idea that “cause over life” was just a fake promise. How did you justify or view those deaths as a Sea Org member when you were in?
(2) So much of the punishment that goes on at Int Base is classified as voluntary. I have heard you say that most of the people in the RPF are convinced they need the fixing that they can get only in an RPF setting. This visually makes me believe that Scientology is very good at breaking a human being down into a humiliated mass of guilt. I wonder if you could take us through the specific activities and psychological tropes that a new believer might experience in trying to achieve the respective disciplines of a pre-clear/clear/OT. I heard about the ashtray thing, and the staring at each other routine, but there has got to be some kind of magic bullet they are using to keep people on track. I simply cannot believe that the message is that convincing on its own. There have got to be little blackmails and some extortion going on. In some cases would the use of actual physical restraint be employed to keep someone at an org or public Scientology space? Do these restraint techniques intensify as we get closer to the Gold Base? Is there a hierarchy of abuse capacity respective to the increased atmosphere of Hubbardness? I guess what I mean is this: are the Scientologists more insane as we get closer to the Scientology sun? How much time did you yourself spend in the dreaded “Hole”?
(3) Hi Chris! I live 2 blocks from a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall and not surprisingly, there are a lot of proselytizers in my neighborhood. I can’t always avoid them. Today, I mentioned to one that I did not support their practice of shunning and he argued that they only shun people “for very valid reasons, like adultery.” How do you handle folks like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormon missionaries? (I rarely see Scientologists, unless I happen to be walking directly past the Ideal Org.) I want to be polite, but some of them have a hard time taking no for an answer. We’re obviously not going to change each other’s minds.
(4) Hi Chris. I’m reading your book and it’s very intersting. If someone had the possibility to write an email to a Sea Org member recently in, would it be a good idea? If so, what would be good things to write about to wake him/her up?
(5) Many of your Q&A submissions are about the hypothetical downfall of Mini-Me COB and the collapse of the Church of Scientology. My question is not about the how or when, but rather about the aftermath of The End. Some context: In the 1840s, self-proclaimed prophet William Miller read his Bible, predicted the end of the world, and gathered together a doomsday cult of believers, many of whom sold all of their earthly belongings. But, like every prophet before and after, Miller was wrong and the world kept spinning, so his cult followers scattered. The interesting tidbit: modern researchers have discovered that a sizeable percentage of his disappointed followers ended up in mental hospitals. So, when the end arrives, do you think that diehard Scientology loyalists will be able to adjust to the wog world? Or, will a number of them end up in mental hospitals or under close psychiatric care?
(6) I’m very curious how ex-Sea Org members who leave the church are able to handle the debt. It seems as if CoS charges people who have left the Sea Org quite a bit of money, yet, it seems that those members have also been working for next to no money for years. Is there a network of people who are able to retrain and support them back into the workforce?
(7) What do all the do-dads (military term, right) on DM’s uniform signify?
(8) You say that many orgs have had problems paying their rent. So, are the ideal orgs actually pointless? If they own them wouldn’t that mean they provide a rent free/tax free solution in the long run?
(1) Listening to Lawrence Woodcraft’s account of his life as a Scientologist, I noticed that Scientology had to do a serious run around the immigration rules to get him to come to Clearwater from his native England and stay there. Elsewhere, Jason Beghe stated that on several occasions, his calls to Clearwater had been answered by people who seemed to have limited command of the English language and accents that he thought to be Eastern European. It is also widely known that Mike Rinder is from Australia and Hana Eltringham-Whitfield is from South Africa. So, if we assume that the Eastern Europeans encountered by Beghe, along with the Australians, Brits, and South Africans he didn’t peg as such, had to jump through the same hoops Lawrence Woodcraft did, it would appear that there are at least a few people in the Sea Org who, due to the Sea Org’s policies, are technically in violation of immigration rules, as is the Sea Org itself. Hence, a three-part question: (a) have you encountered non-U.S. Sea Org personnel during your time as a Scientologist and if so, how often?, (b) has Scientology ever butted heads with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) over the status of Sea Org members who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents?, and (c) how likely, in your opinion, is this kind of head-butting to happen in the near future?
(2) I have an odd question: You have said, and Scientology has said, that the RPF and/or the Hole was “voluntary.” Has anyone, to the best of YOUR knowledge, ever politely declined or flat-out refused to go? If so, what was the result? Were they eventually broken down so that they recanted their decision, or did they get some sort of sanction (i.e. extra courses, having to hand out booklets, etc.) or were they booted straight to the curb? Any insight you can give will help. Thank you for your answer.
(3) Chris, I have never understood the clay thing, what is the purpose of doing all those hours playing with clay ? I don’t get it.
(4) Big fan of your videos. Thanks for sharing so much about your personal experiences. I was wondering – how did L Ron say he learned about Xenu? I can understand how Scientologists could believe that he came up with techniques to overcome personal issues, but I can’t understand how they could believe that he had knowledge of something that explained, in so much detail, events that happened a billion years ago.
(5) Chris, have you been officially declared a suppressive by the Church of Scientology?
(6) Chris, I enjoy your posts and look forward to each new episode. You do a superb job presenting your views and you articulate your points very well. One question you might be able to answer, what has become of Mark Bunker? Specifically his documentary “Knowledge Report” Mark posted regularly but as of late I don’t see much nor do I hear anything at all of his film. Keep up the great work.
(7) Has there been a fairly recent report on the condition and whereabouts of Miscavage’s wife?
(8) You seem to always wear T shirts with interesting slogans. For instance, in the video I’m leaving this comment on, you are wearing a black T shirt with white letters that says, “THINK, it’s not illegal yet.” Do you make an effort to find T-shirts with ideas or slogans that hopefully provoke critical-thinking, but in a subtle way that doesn’t treat your audience like morons or ranting about how stupid people are and need to get on board?
(1) I notice people talk about the Scientology community in Clearwater and Los Angeles. How is the community in NYC and Chicago? The reason I ask is because nobody ever mentions those two major cities in America. The org in NYC is huge and the one in Chicago is like hole in wall that’s falling apart.
(2) When in the Sea Org, do members continue to do auditing and courses? Or must one first get to OT VIII before joining? If they continue with the auditing and coursework, how do they find the time when they are expected to work very long hours in their job position?
(3) I’m very curious as to your thoughts on companies and cult-like behaviour. A few years ago I worked for an organisation which had some cult-like tendencies and one of the biggest things that has helped me is actually watching ex-Scientology videos to help me understand my feelings about that company.
(4) Chris, what is the educational level of Scientologists? Those who have trained in science & engineering seem to be absent from active or former members. Not to bash on anyone’s education, you don’t need a degree to be smart and you can certainly be foolish even if you have one, but being educated in the scientific method seems to be a pretty efficient antidote to Hubbards brand of BS.
(5) I know someone who joined Scientology as a joke, but actually wound up buying into this stuff legitimately. He’s out now but was in for twelve years and ended up losing a lot of friends and a lot of money. My question is: How many people do you think join $cientology thinking they won’t get in too deep, but actually do? Do they have different indoctrination techniques for different kinds of people?
(6) Do you yourself have any family inside the Church who have had to disconnect from you?
(7) Did you get a graduation ceremony when you entered the Sea Org or when you finished the 3 year slave rehabilitation camp (RPF)?
(8) I’m really curious what a marriage ceremony would look in Scientology. What kind of vows, traditions, etc are used, and did Hubbard just make it all up or is it based on some pre-existing customs?
(1) LRH died in 1986, before paperless offices were practical. Did LRH require orgs to maintain their records on paper in Central Files because decades ago he couldn’t conceive of a large organization maintaining notes and records electronically? Have any orgs gone paperless? Would LRHs “admin tech” even permit an org to go paperless?
(2) During your time in Scientology did you ever see anybody who was specifically targeted for an expectation of future windfall? For example did anybody who looked like they might be in line to inherit money ever receive any special treatment from the church, or were these people just expected to take the regular routes like everybody else until their net worth was bolstered?
(3) A quick question that you may have answered before: In your time at COS, did you ever get too meet David Miscavige? If so, what were your impressions of him as a man, a leader and as a human being in general? How did he treat Sea Org members in person? I’d be interested to get the same feedback on LRH, but I think that may be before your time.
(4) What are your thoughts on ISIS and how come ISIS has a very hateful state of mind? What drives them to hate who they hate?
(5) Hi Chris. I am a big fan of your channel. I understand what happens when one spouse chooses to leave the COS. Divorce, disconnection, horrible things. But my question is, what happens when both spouses want to divorce and both plan on staying in Scientology? Does the “church” get involved with marriage counseling? If there is money involved like spousal/child support, is that money taken away from the”church”? Money that could go to pay for going up the bridge to total insanity, oops, I mean freedom. Just wondering how COS handle that or do they even care?
(6) If I were to claim that I had been in the Sea Org in my previous life, would they let me sign a 999,999,990 year contract, subtracting 10 years for time already served?
(7) I love your videos. I also remember seeing you years ago in an Anonymous video while they were protesting. I looked for and found that video, but it has now been taken down. Did you ask for it to be removed, and if not can we see a photo of you in your Sea Org uniform from back in the day? Keep up the good work.
(8) Is Gerald Armstrong personally responsible for revealing the OT III tech and other private documents to the public? And have you met him?
(9) Whenever I watch these videos of former Scientologists, all of you seem so well spoken and media savvy. I recently watch a video where Tori Magoo said that she felt that the communications course was actually a very good one. Do you agree? I guess this is a chicken and egg question, because maybe the type of people Scientology attracts are already quite well spoken, but I am curious as to whether you feel that some of the “tech” as people call it, is actually useful.
(1) Chris, in a recent video you made brief mention of INCOMM, which is apparently the Church’s special unit for dealing with computers. In following up on this, very little information is available on this mysterious group, other than survivor stories about a 1995 crackdown wherein INCOMM members were put through a special kind of hell over a leak to ARS of internal Sea Org emails. Can you explain what went on with this episode, as well give us more information about the history and current state of INCOMM?
(2) Why do Scientologists have the idea the word ‘bigot’ could serve as a weapon or offend anybody? For me it is really ridiculous to hear Scientologists using the word bigot as a “Wonder Weapon” to repulse their “enemies”. Is it just because I am German?
(3) How would you respond to someone who tried to accuse you of not thinking critically when applying the term “cult”?
(4) I very much appreciated the description of how Miscavige manages to get his followers to revere him unquestioningly. Did Hubbard or Miscavige ever want to be thought of as a father of the followers? Cult leaders often hijack father/child psychology as a means of control. You see god being called father in monotheistic religions, and there is usually a father figure, or literally a father, who rules over the other gods in polytheistic ones.
(5) I would prefer to not give any business to professionals (dentists, chiropractors, etc.) who employ Scientology “business tech”. Are there any things that a consumer can be on the lookout for? What are signs that your employer is using Scientology “business tech”?
(6) Why do some Sea Org members wear a chain on the front of their uniforms? Does it have any significance?
(7) What is your opinion on the Westboro Baptist Church as a destructive cult? Do they fit into the different criteria for that label, and how? Also, have you seen any really accurate fictional depictions of cults?
(8) Mind control groups use similar techniques to embed themselves in peoples’ heads. Do group founders study the teachings of other cult leaders to mimic what worked for them, are they naturally inclined to operate within a similar, sinister manner since most have either severe, untreated mental illnesses or personality disorders?
(1) Hi Chris – Love your channel! Question: I was involved in an Muslim cult when I was in my college and university days. The cult was actually very similar to Scientology. I’ve never really fully ‘recovered’ as such. I’ve encountered many problems in my life but one problem really troubles me: dwelling on the past. I often in my mind obsessively debate scenarios from the past, I imagine myself yelling and refuting the cult I was with, embarrassing them the way they embarrassed me, making their leaders feel stupid etc. All of these are scenarios I ruminate on. I often debate them on social media and I get very obessesive on chasing and confronting them. This despite the fact that the cult has died down over the years and has few members left. Yet still, I rehash arguments and refutations against them in my mind, in the off chance I meet them on the streets and show them that I’m now in the know and can take them on easily.
Why am I like this? Is this something that ex-cult members face? Would you say that this is a form of OCD?
(2) This is the first time that tuning in raised a few, little defensive hairs on the back of my neck, so I thought I’d weigh in for a change. I care about “the truth”, but found myself emotionally put off by your guest (Aron Ra), and I’m looking for an explanation as to why. By your own viewpoint, shouldn’t people be open and accepting of differing religious, cultural and scientific ideas and facts from a multitude of sources in their searches for that truth? I see my friends and family expressing and living a wide range of beliefs and lifestyles. Some make me cringe, but others make me wonder if there is something there because they seem to be thriving within their belief system/religion. Perhaps man did invent God, but I question whether or not human beings have an emotional need to do so. As long as no one is being harmed in the process — as one might be in a destructive cult (yes, I get the huge grey area here.) a little magical thinking might serve as a handy corral for positive social norms and serve as motivation to treat the other human beings on the planet with kindness, respect and some form of a hopefully-fair degree of justice. I understand that truly horrific things have also been and are being done in the name of God — any or all and other faith-based beliefs.
Personally, my husband and I just lost all four parents to cancer in a two and a half year period. It comforts my grieving heart to think that they are not completely gone from existence despite what my critical mind has come to believe.
So my questions are: Do you believe that it’s possible that, despite the apparent facts, we have a basic, possibly even biological need to believe in a higher power and to exercise the values that we attribute to that belief as a beneficial component of our culturally-mosaic social order? Do you think that the stigma attached to atheism could have anything to do with the emotional pain associated with rationalizing with and attempting to convert the faithful to the belief that faith doesn’t exist which may in turn be viewed by them as threatening or as a stripping away of their security and culture? If someone seems happy in their chosen faith, is it the manifest destiny of atheists to “witness” (rationalize) to these potentially self-deluded people? In doing so, might some well-meaning atheist cause more emotional harm than intellectual good?
Perhaps atheism wouldn’t get such a bad rap (trust me, I live in Texas, and it does) if it didn’t seem as cold or threatening by providing alternative social structures that promote equality, honesty, compassion and so forth: but aren’t attempts to pull that kind of thing off inherently in danger of becoming the next versions of inevitably flawed systems of belief or religions? How would you resolve that paradox?
(3) You seem to use the words psychology and psychiatry interchangeably as if they mean exactly the same thing. I always thought that psychiatry was the more evil of the two as that branch uses electo-shock and the continuous drugging of patients and so forth (as described by Mark Rathbun about his brother in his memoires book), whereas psychology is more concerned with therapy and maybe some perscription anti-depressants and such that you could take at home. Do you see any significant difference between the two and the way you discuss them?
(4) The International Justice Secretary as the only terminal for declared SPs must surely become PTS to any SP he deals with. How is this dilemma resolved by the CoS?
(5) Would you agree that a study of “destructive cults” would be useful in understanding organizations which have some but not all characteristics of destructive cults?
(6) Hi Chris, I know you used to work on the ideal org program so you should definitely know what’s going on.I recently saw an artist’s rendering of Miami’s Ideal org (from Mike Rinder’s blog Thursday Funnies) and the building looks HUGE, with an apparent parking garage and everything. I’ve always heard most Scientologists in Florida are in Clearwater though. Does Miami really need this massive building?
(7) Is the top management of the cult not working to expand, simply because with a huge influx of new members, there could be a demand for changes by the basic Scientologist? More members, more of a possibility of current leaders losing control and/or reform of the church?
(1) When you where going to all the different orgs and seeing the fail that COB was creating with the ideal orgs, were you doing any auditing during this time? What about sec checks? Could you explain how a Sea Org mission works?
(2) If Scientology doesn’t want to be viewed as a kooky space alien cult, then how do they explain away the Church of Spiritual Technology? Scientology “scriptures” sealed in 2,300 titanium capsules in “calamity-proof vaults” in the middle of nowhere? Titanium is not cheap, and digging bomb shelters in the desert, with directional markers carved in the earth that can only be seen from the air or space – sure, that sounds completely not weird. What was your knowledge of these sites when you were in the Sea Org? Did you have any second- or third-hand knowledge of what these vaults were really like (shiny and high tech, I hope)? Or is this the ultimate con, with 100% of the money that is regged for the CST funneled into the IAS slush fund?
(3) I have come to have great trust in your ability to discern between facts and BS. There are, however, a few subject where your positions indicate to me you either did not come upon some info I have or you did and filtered them out as BS while I didn’t. In a recent Sensibly Speaking Podcast episode, it seemed the general point was made that “conspiracy theorists are crazy to think their government would go to that extent to harm their citizens or to behave in a way that is directly detrimental to them.” I hope I did not understand you right. In point and fact there are countless examples where US government, amongst other have directly engaged in terrorist activities on their own soil or that of allied nations. Don’t tell me you don’t notice how society uses ALL cultic tactics to keep people in the fold. Please help me become reasonable too. Please tell me, demonstrate to me I’m wrong. Help me throw up my red pill.
(4) When explaining the difference between “The Hole” and the RPF you mentioned those in “The Hole” have been declared SP by Miscavige. However they still do their jobs in the church and are at Gold Base. Doesn’t that go against the rules? I know Miscavige makes his own rules and does not care, but he is directly going against LRH. How do public or lower members not see Miscavige is breaking the rules of the church? How do Scientologists not in management reconcile all the actions Miscavige takes that clearly break LRH policy?
(5) I am in the medical field, and I wonder how well the staff are taken care of medically. Since the “corporate lifestyle” of Sea Org staff is one of isolation and minimum provisions, are women able to access obstetric/gynecological care? Are there doctors on hand to treat these folks for general illnesses and provide medicines? Also, is there any way I can get you to say the words “Earliah… Similah!!” in LRH’s voice?
(6) You mentioned in your videos and your book that you grew up in Pasadena, started as a Scientology staffer in Santa Barbara, and spent a large chunk of your time with Sea Org in Los Angeles. When you got out, there was a limbo period in Minnesota, and then we see you doing your wonderful work in Colorado. Did your experience with Scientology ruin Southern California for you?
(7) Hi! I am curious about something – Bob Geldof’s late daughter Peaches had a one night stand with a guy who then posted about it on the internet. He said they had taken heroin together and then gone to the Scientology Celebrity Centre and gone through something to detox there. Since her death it has come out that she was a heroin addict so that part is probably true, and she certainly was with the guy as he had the photos, and she WAS into Scientology for a while, but do you think it is likely that she would have been able to bring some guy with her into the Celebrity Centre and they would have had some detox thing there?
(8) Hey Chris, here is a flash question. If scents are banned in the SO, what do you use for aftershave? Witch hazel? Alcohol? Also, since DM plays by his own set of rules, do you know if he wears cologne?
(9) In light of Roger Ailes recent departure from Fox News, I have a question about Greta Van Susteren, who is a practicing Scientologist, right? She doesn’t appear to meet the Playboy Mansion style that Ailes created around all the other female anchors. In fact, Greta dresses more like either a butch lesbian or a Mennonite school teacher, take your pick, but she really defies the Ailes uniform. Does Greta wield significant influence at Fox News?
(1) I was wondering if you could synopsize in plain English what exactly happened with the Monique Rathbun case in Texas. The legalese is very hard to understand and I’m not sure why they dropped the case.
What do you think of Steve Mango’s recent criticism of Marty Rathbun? Also, why do you think Monique stopped her lawsuit against CoS? One post claims Marty is now defending David Miscavage. Things seem so bizarre. What are your insights?
(2) I understand Hubbard wrote that about 2% of the population were essentially degraded beings, however did he define all of these people as SP’s or is this term reserved just for enemies (percieved or otherwise) of Scientology? Or am I wrong altogether and is the title SP reserved just for somebody such as yourself who at some point has been specifically scheduled by the church?
(3) Hi Chris – was sitting one day at the Spaghetti Warehouse for lunch in Tampa, looked out the window and noticed the Scientology org. I had no idea it was there. I was there for about an hour having lunch, and noticed a security guard come out like every 15 min looking around, checking garbage cans, etc. What exactly are the guards looking for? What are the duties? Are the guards Scientologists?
(4) I don’t understand what everyone on staff and in the Sea Org is so busy with. I hear stories of people working 16 hour days, 7 days a week and I believe them but what is there to do in Scientology? It seems that with very few people coming into the religion/business that the only work to be done is regging current members and maintaining the orgs and other real estate owned by the church.
(5) Hey Chris, do you remember the “record-breaking” extreme examples while you were in of the most number of people calling someone to confirm they’re attending an event? Ross and Carrie’s podcast revealed they experienced multiple calls per day. Also, any examples of extremes on the other end, like most number of years someone wasn’t active that you recovered? We’re seeing letters from a CoS registrar being posted online that were sent to people 23 and 48 years after they bought a book.
(6) Do you agree that the Church is facing a demographic time bomb? All of the PR emails for small church events show nothing but AARP members: grey hair and bald heads dominate the scene. Generation X and Millenials are just too internet savvy to be routed onto the lines. Did you see an older membership in the Twin Cities (etc)? Do you think that COB should start selling gilded urns and caskets? Thanks for your great work.
(7) Often when Scientologists and ex-Scientologists talk about why they disconnected from someone, or why they didn’t look at anything critical about the church, etc. they often say it’s because they didn’t want to “lose their eternity.” What is this “eternity” they’re at risk of losing? What long-lasting consequence do they believe will befall them if they fall out with the church in this life?
(8) You’ve had some awesome guests on your show. Lloyd Evans, the man who puts out excellent content about the Jehovah’s Witnesses has collaborated with you. Thanks for introducing me to his channel! Of course, everyone can’t help but love ToryMagoo44. What other YouTube channels do you personally enjoy? Who’s work do you follow in your free time?
(1) Chris, when you say you had to go to different orgs to solve problems with a personal touch, can you give an example? Also, I tried to read Dianetics; after 230 pages I gave up (it is repetitive garbage). Regardless, looking at The Bridge, the level of sophistication is amazing as well as the infrastructure of Scientology. Do you believe LRH came up with everything himself?
(2) Do you believe studying the Bible as part of our cultural heritage and as a set of moral stories can be beneficial?
(3) Is it true that Jason Lee and his family have left Scientology? I saw a news clip to that effect.
Hi Chris, I’ve noticed that Jason Lee has joined the long list of celebrities that has left Scientology. If celebrities continue to leave do you think The Celebrity Center will soon cease to exist.
(4) Thank you SO much for the extended discussion of Marty Rathbun. I actually just watched a documentary about him as well as Steve Mango’s interview and an interview with the director of the documentary. I appreciate you clarifying that you “don’t know.” Do you know if there have been other promising lawsuits against Scientology that have been dropped in any somewhat similar ways?
(5) Hello Chris, could you elaborate on what “OT phenomena” are? There used to be outrageous OT success stories in Scientology magazines, touting the near superhuman benefits. When you were in Scientology, did you actually believe these stories? Did you know people who actually claimed to have had these crazy experiences, or was it all made up?
(6) Scientologists believe that surrounding the Earth is something that traps their thetan and other thetans here right? What’s that thing? Why can’t they escape it? How high is it, would SpaceX flights mean thetans could escape Teegeeak and take over new bodies elsewhere? If so why isn’t Scientology investing in space travel research?
(7) Why do Scientologists say “literally” all the time? And why do they all pronounce it the same way (lich-rally)?
(8) Why is the term libertarian not used as a more correct label for Scientologist politically?
(1) Many Ex-Sea Org including yourself have said they went with very little sleep for years. How much did you actually get per week and night? I have read that without proper sleep, the brain begins to shut down. People will hallucinate, make mistakes, go crazy and eventually die, not including how it lowers muscle matter and exposes you to the chance of getting sick, so it amazes me more Sea Org members don’t drop dead from lack of rest. How bad was the sleeping situation and were there ever truly tragic results from lack of sleep in the Sea Org?
(2) Hello Chris, as I go through your backlog of Q&A videos certain questions crop up. I just listened to #26 and I was shocked by what I heard. You said something about SO members being used to staff LA Org. Is this true, do SO members other than network staff man up that org? Wow! I am very surprised at that. How and when did this start?
(3) Have you heard or read anything of “Black Dianetics” or “reverse Dianetics”? I saw a video of two top former members Marty Rathburn and one more … who talked about this before and wonder what you can say about this or how is it used. Is this somehow also used by LRH or is this somehow created. Did you experience this or saw it was used?
(4) Hello Chris! I really like the way you think which is admirable, not only for someone who had been living in a brainwashing cult for a long time, but also for any other ordinary human being.
I wanted to ask if it is possible for someone (with enough money) to practice Scientology in secret, given the worthy bad press Scientology is getting the last few years. Someone like Will Smith, for example; I know you said before you don’t think is a Scientologist, just a Study Tech fan, and I know he is very cautious in his interviews, but his (teenagers) kids, can’t seem to keep a secret. They always talk about how they want to ‘save the planet’ or ‘fix the whole planet Earth’ (just as Scientologists say they want to ‘clear the planet’). They think they have super powers like manipulating time, as people high in OT levels think they do or as Tom Cruise has said also. The son only recently said he remembers being a baby, the daughter said he never reads other books except the ones from her study tech, their parents always treated them like adults, and then there is the propaganda movie After Earth. Do you think there are people practicing it totally in secret?
(5) Your interview with Aron Ra was outstanding. You must have him back on your Sensibly Speaking Podcast. In the interview he refers to Mathew 10 from the Bible, I Googled it & was utterly shocked by what I read. I would be very interested in your thoughts on that chapter of the Bible.
(6) Hey Chris, crazy question – I know that other bits of things can be added other than clay in the clay demos, so did anyone ever resort to using action figures or similar to represent people, instead of making them out of the clay? Did anyone save their already-made figures, such as people, cars, books, etc. to be used again, to save on time? Was that allowed? And finally, what is the strangest thing you saw at the clay table?
(7) Do you think that at some point that all of the orgs will end up being solely run by the Sea Org? The reason I ask is because it would seem that there would be a minimal amount of volunteers to staff the orgs. What is your opinion?
(8) Hi there Chris, love your stuff. Can you please tell me why you think Deepak Chopra is a fraud/fake as I have done a bit of his stuff but having gotten out of Scientology I dont want to go from one cult to another?
(1) It would be interesting to hear a discussion of TR-L, shore stories, safe pointing and such. Precept #7 in Hubbard’s re-definition of ethics – The Way to Happiness – seems awfully convenient: “Seek to live with the truth.” Lots of wiggle room there, even for a pathological liar such as Hubbard. Speaking of WTH, another one of my favorites is #11: Do not harm a person of good will. Which is to say: If you define them to be “not of good will,” harm away as you see fit!
(2) This week you said “I can exchange with you guys”. Do you realize you were using Scientology vocabulary? Non-Scios would rarely use the word “exchange with” to describe offering products for sale. Amazon, for instance, doesn’t “exchange with” its customers. But Scientology does.
(3) When I first came across Scientology I knew instinctively it was a scam when I saw the pictures of L. Ron Hubbard. You know the silly pictures of him in the captain hats, the one with the ascot as he looks into the sky or the one where he poses with the quill feather pen at a desk. I could see it was a silly con without knowing about Xenu or the ton of other nonsense. I hate to question your view of this but what was your thoughts on these pictures as you entered and grew in your career in the Sea Org? I can’t imagine doing all the work you did for years for pennies an hour and then standing in front of those portraits, paintings and sculptures and yelling “Hip Hip Hooray!” to this ridiculous man pretending to be an admiral with his sailor hats and ascots.
(4) There is a policy about how Hubbard’s words are not to be changed, modified, embellished or restated in any way. I ran afoul of this once when I came across something he wrote (I forget exactly what it was) that was a direct restatement of “form follows function.” When I pointed this out to a course super, saying that it was an old engineering maxim, she took me to task (and ethics) saying something about how, if LRH said a thing he meant THAT THING, and not a restatement of it. Hmmm.
So my question is, given that policy dictates no embellishment, modification, change or restatement, how is it that DMSMH & etc can be translated to Cyrillic, Kanju, Spanish, Basque, several dialects of French, Portuguese and so on, yet keep not only the meaning but also the exact way it was originally stated?
(5) As a jazz musician myself I”m infuriated by pianist Chick Corea, who’s been a long time poster boy for the Church. Indisputably, he’s one of the giants in the jazz world, a long-respected and admired musician. It bugs me that while Tom Cruise and John Travolta have been exposed by the media, Chick Corea seems to slip in under the radar. The jazz world seems to give him a free pass because he’s such a great artist – or maybe most musicians don’t really know just how evil CO$ really is. In any case, I’d welcome your comments on Mr. Corea.
(6) Do you think that Oprah Winfrey is making things worse by promoting people like Deepak Chopra, John Edward and others like them?
(7) Re OT phenomena: I have frequently observed that certain sports teams do better when I watch them, and others do better when I don’t watch them. This was so common that I actually had friends beg me not to watch a game, or ask me a day after a game if I had the audacity to start watching in the middle of the 3d quarter when their team blew a lead. Now, you and I know that my watching TV does not affect a sporting event but if I were a Scientologist, I would credit this as OT phenomena, wouldn’t I?
(8) What is the significance of the numbers on the Tone Scale (“Tone 40”, “1.1” etc…) Are they just arbitrary numbers, or are you supposed to be able to measure them, e.g. on a meter?
(1) Question: To prepare for your new interviews I was watching your original interview with Tim DeWall and y’all talked about his case being messed up with thirty seven pc folders and having to pay for more auditing to correct it and how that is common. As a never in, exactly what does all that mean? How do they mess up your case to prevent progress up The Bridge? Is it part of the scam, to get more money?
Link to Critical Q&A episode #44 about case supervisors is here.
(2) I heard someone liken third-wave feminism to a “cult” that unduly influences its adherents in a similar manner as Scientology, the People’s Temple or the Unification Church. As a second-wave feminist myself, I tend to shy away from third-wave feminism because I think some of its causes are less about equality than they are about dogma, but I’m thinking the cult label might be a bit much. Your thoughts?
(3) Hi! I really like what you are doing. Watching your videos helped me to get back to myself after I stopped coming to the Church of Scientology when I was still considered to be a member of the Church and to stop feeling guilty. So now, when I’m free from Scientology there are still some questions bothering me. I wonder why the practice of Dianetics and auditing couldn’t be included as one of the programs to get better, as a possible remedy for psychology, neurology, psychiatry etc. that would be fully or partially financed by the governmental funds, like for example obligatary health insurance that people have to pay with their tax even if they are not working, even if they are never going to any doctors… I know that many doctors are bad because they prescribe only the most expensive pills for which they get secretly rewarded from the pharmacy companies and these drugs may actually do more damage than help. I would like to hear your opinion about this. Thank you.
(4) Hi Chris! You’ve stated on many occasions you are Sci-fi fan. Me too. My favorite movie director of all times is Kubrick. I am wondering what’s your take on his alleged involvement with NASA and Apollo missions. I would really like to pick your brain and critical thinking on the whole landing on the moon subject. I am also wondering about Scientology’s take on cosmology, apart from thetans, volcanos and the rest of the crazy. Thanks for your kind reply. U ROCK!
(5) Here’s a Flash Question for you, that is non-Scientology and non-political: Who had the stronger interspecies bromance: Kirk & Spock OR Han & Chewie?
(6) Are you married or did you ever have children? Did being a Sea Org member factor into your decisions for your personal relationships? I apologize, I realize this is personal, and hope it’s not offensive. I have a really inquisitive nature.
(7) Do you think that David Miscavige (or an assigned goon) watches all the videos and/or reads all the literature put out there by guys like you and Tony Ortega? They obviously know when to launch their smear campaigns so someone is keeping them in the loop but to what extent do you think Miscavige goes to? Thanks Chris!
(1) Chris, one element of LRH’s space opera mythos that is still vague to me involves Farsec, the supposed origin planet for the Psychs. What is its role in the greater Galactic Confederation? How and why did the Psychs end up working for Xenu? What is their interest in Earth? Can you please sum up, briefly, what you know about all this? Thanks, and keep up the good work!
(2) You’ve mentioned a few times in your Q&As that errors in preclears’ case files are constantly found, and of course, correcting the errors are at the pre-clears’ expense; unquestionably an opportunity to siphon more money. My question is has the Church ever internally acknowledged problematic auditors by demoting or removing them because of obvious incompetence and who clearly had no business auditing other people?
(3) The concept of a suppressive person is pretty clear to me, although its meaning really changed from a “psychotic” individual to an “enemy” of Scientology to anyone Miscavige wishes to defame, expel or incarcerate. However, what is the exact definition of a degraded being? Does that only include SPs or also those wog’s who have not availed themselves of the wonder-cure that only Hubbard can offer?
(4) Hi Chris – how do Scientologists rationalize the fact that they claim not to worship or deify LRH, but also keep offices for him ready for his posthumous return?
(5) Do you think it’s a good thing or a mistake that the upcoming 2017 Stargate sequel movie will be ignoring all the series and TV movies that came after the first movie? I look forward to your review when it comes out.
(6) Ford or GM? (I have to know! lol) This debate has been so successfully exported from the USA to Australia that I bet if I put Ford as my religion on my census paper or a birth certificate application it’d be accepted.
(7) I remember on the list of “Original LRH EDs” one entitled “John Travolta” but it wasn’t included in the pack. Have you ever heard of a “one copy only” LRH ED…? Carry on my friend!
(8) What did you and the other people inside of COS think of the horrific music and “shows” during your events? I think I’ve seen less cheese at a Green Bay Packers game! Horrific! Thanks for your info; they’re quite interesting to watch.
(1) Back when LRH was sailing about on the Apollo, what were the big established land bases? Please talk about some exciting and interesting missions.
(2) What do you think of the Wikileaks documents on Scientology? I’ve read some of the OT materials and they seem legit (and Hubbardian) however as a never-in I want to know if are they good sources in your eyes?
For your next video – What was your reaction on first reading the OT III materials?
(3) What’s the single most difficult adjustment to the ‘real world’ you’ve had to make since leaving the cult?
(4) Most Scientology-watchers focus on how few Scientologists there actually are, but shouldn’t we be talking about the dwindling staff numbers instead? For the past few years, the L.A. org has been staffed exclusively by Sea Org members. The Ideal Org in Atlanta was practically begging people to join staff in the weeks leading up to COB’s arrival with his giant ribbon-cutting scissors. And the hand-outs at recent Scientology events inevitably ask attendees “When can you join staff?” and “When can you join the Sea Org?” In previous videos, you said that most local churches have “at most” 200 to 300 parishioners, with maybe 100 actually “active,” but you also said that a fully-staffed Org needs 100-plus staff members. Where are these staff going to come from? Will the L.A. org be the model? As more and more Ideal Orgs open, will more and more Sea Org members be shipped from Flag and Southern California to work in Buffalo, Cincinnati, or that stadium in Twin Cities? Are there enough Sea Org members to go around, or will there be more recruiting drives in Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America? (“Fancy uniform, fifty dollars a week … sign me up, new American friend.”) Thanks and keep up the good fight.
(5) Hi Chris. I wanted to let you know that it is difficult to navigate through your channel to find, Q & A’s for an example, were you have answered a previous question. You often will say that you don’t want to repeat your answers. I understand however how am I, or we, to find the answer? Thank you.
(6) From my reading, I understand that prior to the Miscavige takeover, Scientology had missions, which were, in business-speak, independently owned franchise outlets. Some of them had been financially successful, which was one motive for Miscavige to cut out mission holders (that’s what they were called, right?) by, again in business-speak, converting franchises into corporate-owned outlets. In that, Miscavige was aided by a Scientology outfit called the International Finance Police. Who were these people, what did they do, and what happened to them after the takeover? Does this outfit still exist, was it dissolved, or did they go the way of the Guardian’s Office, morphing into something bearing a different name but serving essentially the same purpose?
(7) My question is about Flag. If a person was in the Bay area, Flag seems like it would be a potentially interesting tourist attraction even for someone with a limited knowledge of Scientology. However I have read reports about surveillance including cameras that will capture license plates and people being followed. In your opinion, is it safe for a wog to go down there and spend a few hours looking around?
(8) Why do you not identify as an agnostic atheist and only an agnostic? Everyone is an atheist or theist given the definition of the words–you either remain unconvinced there is a god (atheist) or think the burden of proof for the existence of god has been met by your standards (theist). You can be unsure if a god exists while also not being convinced that one exists (the null hypothesis). I think that most people don’t understand that gnosticism speaks to what you can know while theism speaks to what you believe and are not mutually exclusive given the definition of the words.
(9) How does Scientology view L Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi novels? Are they avoided as fictitious stories that would blur the lines between the “truth” about Xenu and Intergalactic empires or are they praised as seminal works? (I personally have only read only one LRH short story and found it utterly dreadful).
(1) Are body thetans (BTs) mentioned anywhere outside the upper OT levels in Scientology? In other words, would a non-OT Scientologist (including Sea Org since they don’t seem to be privy to any secret upper level doctrine unless they have worked their way up the Bridge the same as public) be aware of BTs? I assume the answer to both questions is no, and thus you yourself were not aware of the concept of BTs until after leaving the church and reading the OT materials online? What did you think when you read about BTs? To me that’s almost as big of a revelation as the Xenu story to learn that there are supposedly other thetans clustered on various areas of the body causing all sorts of impairment. I would liken it to the discovery of bacteria and viruses and how revolutionary it was to see these previously unseen entities which have the ability to profoundly affect our health.
(2) Are you, or were you ever a smoker? If you were, how did you quit? In their podcast on Scientology, Ross and Carrie mentioned the large number of Scientologists that were smoking outside the building, and I’ve seen videos of Sea Org members and/or staff taking a smoke break. I know Hubbard smoked like a fiend (well, he was one) and dismissed it with the comment “nobody’s perfect.” Doesn’t it seem a little “disconnected” that Scientology is so anti-drug but permits its members to smoke, unlike, say, the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses, which don’t allow smoking? I welcome your comments on this.
(3) I know some people have said working for a Scientology-run company is like being in Scientology/the Sea Org. Do you agree?
(4) I have heard you and others explain the role of Case Supervisors and how they oversee the auditors’ sessions to make sure there are no errors made and everything is done “On Source”, using standard tech, etc. I have also heard there are what are called “Field Auditors,” who offer services on their own, separate from the church (though except for some special cases, are supposed to charge the same rates so as not to undercut them). If they audit parishioners, is there no Case Supervisor who checks in after each session, or is everything completely in the hands of the Field Auditor? Is this a common practice and how does the church feel about it in general? I appreciate any thoughts you have on this.
(5) What’s your feeling on the phenomenon that is The Walking Dead?
(6) At what point did Hubbard stop supervising David Miscavige? Did Hubbard know and approve of the IAS charging thousands and even millions for statuses?
(7) Why couldn’t Hubbard have been arrested on the high seas for tax evasion?
(8) What became of some of the major mission holders after the mission holder meeting (1980s I think) where many of them were declared?
(9) Great work you are doing. You are for sure saving many life’s. Have you ever considered the fact of placebo playing a major part of the feeling that it works? My experience talking to a Scientologist is that it in average works in about 30% of the cases – VERY CLOSE TO THE PLACEBO
(1) It seems as though Tom Cruise has been on OTVII forever. Do you think that David Miscavige has been deliberately keeping him on this level to ensure that he will always have something to aspire to in Scientology in order to retain his ongoing interest and motivation? Do you think that DM is using a form of manipulation by holding a carrot that is just out of reach? On that subject, what happens to people after they have achieved OTVIII? With no higher level to achieve, how does the church keep them involved and make them an ongoing source of revenue? Love both your channels. Thank you.
(2) Chris, I am so surprised that being aware that fragrant chemicals can be harmful that L. Ron Hubbard did not recognize tobacco, nicotine, alcohol, and caffeine as drugs. He was against aspirin but not against cigarettes, smoke everywhere, or alcohol, etc. It seems he was too self absorbed to be able to transfer his personal lesson with fragrance to transfer to courtesy to others’ sensitivity to smoke or knowledge of other things that could be considered a drug, such as nicotine and alcohol. Certainly it was not just about addiction, as cigarettes were clearly addictive. Being addictive to anything would seem to be a sign one’s power is not all his own, under his/her total control. I am also surprised he had no idea about good nutrition, but was adamant about being against drugs. I am left thinking he created policies when he needed a cause to rally people around, because there seems to be no consistent philosophy about health issues. One guy told me he smoked because Hubbard had said that when a person is CLEAR they could drink poison and be alright. This seems such an avoidance of the fact they are addicted to cigarettes. Any comments on this?
(3) Hi Chris. I got to ask. Not that I should expect anything to make sense in Scientology however you said that Miscavage is basically getting rid of all auditors. If he really believes in Hubbard and all that “clear the planet” stuff how is he supposed to accomplish that tiny task? And how is he supposed to get the deep dark secrets of people if there is no way to audit it out of them? Sec checks are done by auditors too, is it not? And even if he gets everyone to re-do all OT levels over and over again they still need auditors, right? What is left of Scientology if you take away the auditing? Booksales and constant regging? Auditing seems to be one thing some of ex-Scientologists say they actually felt good about in the cult. I’ve got to wonder if Miscavage is purposely destroying anything like that. I wonder if he has some odd disorder where he does not want anyone be happy, just hounded? Any thoughts?
(4) Hi Chris! I’m a big fan of your work and enjoy your videos so much I recently started following you on Facebook. I hope this is isn’t too personal, but I noticed you occasionally post pics with your new “gal pal” and mention the fun stuff you two do together. So I was wondering, is this officially a girlfriend in Chris Shelton’s life? And if so, surely she’s NOT as young as she looks??? Thanks for all you do, and wishing you all the best with your new relationship status if you’re no longer single.
(5) Since you don’t like dark/torture porn movies & TV shows, what are your thoughts about Quintin Tarantino?
(6) You talked about quitting smoking when you were in the RPF because of the price of them and you only making 11 or 12 dollars a week. The women in the RPF on that $11-12 a week, do they have to buy their female hygiene products out of that and if so how in the world do they manage that? If Scientology furnishes them I can only imagine Army-like 1950 style products.
(7) Hi Chris. When Scientologists go “clear” they often display a form with lots of colourful graffiti on it from the the staff members who’ve signed it off. Some look really artful and attractive. Are you familiar with this tradition? Where did it originate from?
(8) Chris, I know what the Clear Cognition is from Aaron Smith-Levin. My question is could someone hypothetically start auditing and give the Clear Cognition? What would happen? Would they be allowed to attest to clear-even if they haven’t done New Era Dianetics. Or would the auditor look at this as suspect and order a a Sec Check on the person to find out if how they got the Cognition? I’m asking this because I know DM cancelled past life Clears. Thanks.
(1) Thank you so much for your helpful series. I have learned more from you about Scientology than I ever did from reading Hubbard’s books. I have a background in psychology and philosophy, and was excited back in 1987 to read Dianetics for the first time to find out what I was allegedly missing in my study of the human mind. As I read, I remember thinking how shockingly shallow and offensive the book was, and how poorly written (and unedited) it appeared to be. I was getting more insight into Hubbard’s personality disorders than I was about any “modern science of mental health.” But I always try to give everything a fair shot. I read the entire book, even though it left a horrible taste in my mouth, with the words “charlatan” and “con artist” constantly at the forefront of my critical thoughts.
I decided there had to be something to this, however. How could so many TV commercials, book sales and happy members numbering into the “millions” be involved in something as shallow and offensive as this? So I acquired a few other books on the subject by Hubbard — all equally full of empty rhetoric and odd self-posturing on his part. Eventually I told myself that I would reread Dianetics, just so that I really didn’t miss anything. And in 1995, after the second reading all the way through, I realized there had been nothing there to miss in the first place.
My question is, did you or anybody else out there notice these same two things about his books that I did?
First, auditing is simply a reformatting of Freudian psycho-therapy, where the patient keeps free-associating until significant events come to mind. Then they continue to talk about them over and over as more detail builds up. Eventually the goal is to incorporate the subconscious material, as it surfaces, into the conscious mind where it is finally processed and integrated, causing the patient to feel better about the event. In Dianetics, it appeared that Hubbard kept stealing concepts and techniques like this from Freud and other people, renaming them, then claiming he “discovered” them.
Second, everything in Dianetics and Scientology seems so quickly fabricated and sophomoric, without much thought put into it, such as the Axioms, the Eight Dynamics, the Tone Scale, etc. (My college students have come up with observations and data involving more depth and usefulness than Hubbard’s.) Did he think that charts with terms and numbers would dazzle his followers and validate his claims? In the actual fields of both psychology and philosophy, there have been some amazing and brilliant discoveries and theories made, by the sharpest minds of our species. But Hubbard’s terms, charts, scales and approaches seem like a poor man’s attempt to explain something that is irking him. “A poor man’s religion, which costs a rich man’s estate.” Perhaps their more accurate motto?
Anyway, could you comment on these two observations? Keep up the great work, Chris.
(2) I have 3 family members in the COS and was wondering if you could maybe do a video on how to approach them and change their “hearts and minds” with some really good facts and arguments that they can’t twist and turn around. I’ve been reading a few of Hubbard’s books and trying to get a handle on the “lingo” so I can at least argue I have some actual knowledge on the subject, but there’s just so much intertwined crap and soooo much stuff to wade through. Any help greatly appreciated.
(3) Marty Rathbun calls critics of Scientology the “Anti-Scientology Cult (ASC)”. Are they? Do people ever go from one cult to another? Do cults talk about other cults? I believe that cult critics are the opposite of a cult.
(4) How common did you find it during your time in the actual Sea Org that you would run into someone who would listen to LRH recordings and then imitate phrases from them back during the day at random times? Or constantly talk out loud to themselves complaining they were the only one who could get things done correctly? Constant demands for “stats” and “speed of the particles” and the like, seems like a lot of self-hypnosis going on.
(5) When it comes to the military, it seems that Scientology is influencing veterans. Especially of late, I’ve seen Scientology messing with many vets going through PTSD. How can people stop abuses done to vets? Can the justice system and government be improved in any way to stop such people sending propaganda to scam others, whether they are a vet or regular citizen? If so, what are some ideas to make “separation of church and state” more effective?
(6) Most of the stories I have heard about Scientologists are of those who eventually joined the Sea Org. It seems that everyone eventually does so, but I assume not all Scientologists end up there. Are there those who remain public their whole life and only move up The Bridge through the local churches? Or do they get up to Clear locally, then have to move to Flag or LA to go through the OT levels? Are there those who just get to Clear and then stop and never choose to move on despite the pressure to do so? And if they just remain in their local churches, do they have to become staff eventually? Or can one just do some of the levels and be peripherally involved? It seems there is so much pressure to move up and get deeper and deeper into the organization, but I can’t imagine that’s true for every Scientologist.
(7) Any way to guess how much money the average CofS public member (gives/is ripped off) to CofS per year, whether that is a donation or payment for “services?” About how many people bail out of the organization per year?
(8) How archaic is the record-keeping at orgs? A Flag video from 2004 shows a woman wheeling around paper files on a cart. Are auditing records digitized yet? Or do Scientology orgs lag significantly behind the rest of the world in IT?
(9) Chris, what are your thoughts on Freemasonry?
(1) If (according to Scientology) the state of Clear persists into future lives, would the same happen with the OT levels? Has the church (or would the church) ever recognise someone as a past-life OT? If I joined and started ‘recalling’ the Xenu story in an auditing session, what do you think would happen (presumably if the auditor hasn’t reached OT 3 they couldn’t react to that without admitting they have read the OT materials)?
(2) I was curious about what is happening behind the scenes here at the Sacramento Ideal Org. After months of being in the middle of a major construction zone, the ideal org is now luckily placed right next to the brand spanking new Golden 1 Arena where there is now plenty of opportunity to body route concert goers and sports fans. At the same time, there has a recent glut of Dianetics billboards in the Sacramento metropolitan area (I seriously cannot turn a corner without seeing one). My question is, was Sacramento Ideal org staff placed in a constant condition of liability for the inability to keep stats up during construction, and how much trouble will they be in if the stats don’t go straight up and vertical now that the arena is open and the billboards are ubiquitous?
(3) Question: You just died. Scientology is true. What now? As in your thoughts and action/reaction. Same question, but you died a believer in the Sea Org.
(4) I have recently had a contact with a Scientologist through personal emails. I opened up and talked with her as if she was my friend. I’ve received a printed letter per post from a Scientologist who is responsible for the recruiting a few days later. He wrote me that he noticed I was in contact with his colleague, so he thought maybe I would like to join Scientology. I wrote her many different reasons why I am not interested in Scientology any more. I also sent her a link to your blog and she just replied me: “This link which you sent me just represents a criminal. I can see he has bad intentions. Scientology has saved my life.” Does Scientology have the right to check members’ personal emails or can I assume it was harrasment?
(5) I was wondering why you make a distinction between Catholics and Christians? You’re not the only one who seems to separate Catholics and Christians as if they were two different things, that have widely different beliefs. I’ve noticed the talking heads on the TV news do it, journalists in print media do it as well. Catholics are indeed Christians too. To use a twist on a common phrase, “Not all Christians are Catholics, but all Catholics are Christians.” Just curious is all. Thanks for all you do on this channel and reading my question.
(6) You write in your book how L. Ron Hubbard left a provision in his will that only a tax exempt organisation could inherit his assets, including his valuable Copyrights and Trademarks to Scientology materials. So how did Scientology run between LRH’s death in 1986 and being granted tax exemption in 1993 when it owned no rights to its own materials?
(7) Just wondering, with the new President coming in, is anyone outside of the Cult doing anything or contemplating any actions to get tax exempt status taken from Scientology? How much money could the U.S. make up if Scientology were paying their fair share? If they were to be called on the table and made to pony up, would it virtually shut the group down in no time?
(8) Hi Chris. Guess what. I have suddenly started receiving Freedom magazine, addressed to me personally, at my work address. I am wondering if Scientology trolls got my name because I comment on things like your videos and I post stuff about Scientology sometimes on my Facebook page. In fact, I am sure of it. What do you think?
(1) I believe there was a bit of a misunderstanding in Episode 83 where you answered Jon Stewart’s question about the decorated forms and your answer related solely to certificates. Please see the attached where, in this instance, a routing form has been decorated with highlighter pens etc. These pop up quite often on Thursday Funnies pages etc. I also would like to know where this originated. Any ideas?
(2) Everyone is intrigued by the story of Michele (Shelly) Miscavige, the “vanished” wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who is supposedly at an isolated mountain retreat. Do you think she remains wherever she is of her own free will, or is she imprisoned, either physically, or mentally? Is “COB” still married or did he divorce her, as some reports speculate? Is the LAPD officer who talked with her a Scientologist himself? (as per Tony O’s writings) or did she have someone else present while she was being questioned? I’d really like to know this.
(3) I’m interested in the teaching methods used and where these originated from. I can imagine the ashtray exercise, although at first glance it might appear a bit odd, it could actually be quite effective at getting someone to improve their ability to focus. There’s allegedly an exercise where a couple stare at each other (without blinking if possible) for hours – someone in a Mark Bunker interview claims this is not entirely dissimilar to a hypnosis exercise. One of the more sensationalist YouTube sites suggested similarities between some of LRH’s original exercises and CIA counter-interrogation training methods in the 1940s. I cannot verify any of this, it may all be untrue. However, (the pre-Co$) Dianetics movement in the early 1950s was enormously popular for a very brief period. I wonder if anyone has looked at where LRH got his teaching exercises from. He must have been doing something right – he did drew people in like a magnet. It ain’t easy to create a new religion which outlives its creator by thirty years and which causes people to devote their lives entirely to its propagation. I wonder what worked, why it worked and who originally created these exercises.
(4) Have you been able to study Power and Power Plus? These confidential auditing actions are not done by every Scientologist and I have not heard anyone talk about them. However, I am very interested in them because it was receiving Power/Power Plus that started me on the journey of realizing that there is something seriously wrong with Scientology. I was recently told that a few months ago, Power was re-vamped AGAIN because SPs on the line had been removed AGAIN. I’ve been assured that delivery has now been fully restored to Standard Tech… AGAIN.
(5) Do you have a favorite type of logical fallacy to spot?
(6) Are there any interesting traditions in the Sea Org?
(7) How long can the CoS keep explaining away the lack of superpowers by saying that they are just around the corner? How long will it take for people to snap out of it and realize they are being defrauded? As a “never in” I’m amazed it has gone on for as long as it has. Your thoughts Chris.
(1) I have always viewed high school’s most important job as teaching critical thinking skills, but I feel that they have been farther and farther from that as they concentrate on teaching to take a test successfully. What are you feelings on this and do you think that it is or should be part of public schools mandate to teach such skills?
(2) Recently we were re-watching your What is Wrong with Scientology series. In, I believe the first one, you state that your focus and disagreement is with the abusive practices of the CoS and not with the dogma, or, technology. I’m wondering, now a few years later, if your view point on that has changed? As I understand it from a lot of things I’ve read, the technology is the primary instrument of indoctrination which creates the mental state where mind control is possible. One example: Boring, repetitive tasks such as word clearing a passage over and over again because one disagrees with the content can create enough mental discomfort that one will accept a disagreeable, dogmatic statement in order to end the boredom.
(3) Do you know what most loyal Scientologists might think about transgender people? I know that Hubbard held a very dim view of homosexuality, but gender dysphoria and related issues were not nearly as widely known in the 1950s (when Dianetics and Scientology’s doctrinal prejudices were being established) as they are today. I wonder if LRH was even aware of the existence of trans people; if so, is there an established Scientology position on them? Or would they just be put in the same category as gay/lesbian people (Covert Hostility) and subjected to the same hypocrisy and abuse?
(4) Greetings Mr. Shelton. In a variety of your videos you reference and/or describe a host of “orgs” each replete with its own “management.” In my own layman’s understanding of any type of organizational management, especially in a for profit environment, it’s not only important but necessary to recruit and to promote people with the proper skill sets and experience to run an organization. From watching your videos it seems to me that practically nobody at any level in Scientology has any idea as to how to run anything, let alone managing others and running a quasi business type endeavor. It just seems like they (Scientologists) just pick any old Tom, Dick, or Harry and give them a “management” position. I’m curious as to the qualifications Scientology requires for its various levels of management, could you explain this please?
(5) I wonder if L. Ron Hubbard ever laughed himself to sleep at night thinking “I just wonder how much more crazy bullstuffing I can get people to believe and pay for”?
(6) Scientologists often speak of “blowing charge.” What is the difference between charge and an engram? Are they the same thing?
(7) It’s well known that Scientologists aren’t allowed to look up facts about their Church, but are there other information taboos? They must surely have banned “The Producers” by Mel Brooks, since the parallels with “The Ideal Org” hoax are so painfully obvious.
(1) Question: I have heard from you and others that when Scientology is trying to sell people on the cult they say there is no problem with already being religious. That you can be Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, or anything and still join Scientology, that the religions will not conflict. This is obviously not true, especially with the upper levels beliefs on Jesus. So I have a couple of questions relating to that. When and how does the switch happen? When are people no longer allowed to participate in their old religion and how does Scientology get them to quit? Have you ever witnessed or hard about a hardcore member of another religion giving it up for Scientology or is it usually people already dissatisfied with their current religion. I am curious because the promise of keeping your current faith seems like it would be a major selling point for some but I assume Scientology has to quickly break that promises and I would think that could be tricky to do with many people. Thanks in advance for your answer.
(2) Hi Chris, I know that the cult opens and reads the mail of its members. That is a federal offense. How do they get around that?
(3) The Sea Org took my childhood away (I was there from 10 to 20 y/o) and at one point it even took my will to live, along with my self esteem, self worth and dreams. Sadly they also took my belief that I could actually have dreams and reach them one day. So I lived on a hamster wheel for a very long time (until last year). I’m in my 40s now. Happily I now believe that I do deserve good things, but the scars are still there. I know that if it hadn’t been for all the psychological damage, I would have had a different/much better life right now. I can’t help but to blame them. So I guess my two questions are: How can I forgive and forget and move on without feeling any more resentment towards the Church? And why hasn’t Scientology paid yet for what it has done to so many people’s lives?
(4) Thanks for all you do, especially your book Scientology: A to Xenu; it really detailed some things about Dianetics when it first appeared and then went away that just were not detailed before. My question is this: before you left Scientology, you had mentioned you started seeing indicators (e.g. internet, other research) that led you to believe that Scientology wasn’t all that ‘they’ wanted you to believe it was, and you left, but can you please explain how long these thoughts were there before you left Scientology? Also, did you plan your departure hours, days, weeks, months before you finally left? And, if you did plan this, did you have any internal Scientology person(s) help?
(5) I enjoy your Q+A videos and hope you will answer my question one day. Do ex Scientologists go into sales after they leave Scientology? I wonder this because I hear so much about how Sea Org people have to sell books, auditing sessions and ask for donations. I figure they must be good at sales and enter into MLM’s or some other sales type of business.
(6) Is the Truth Rundown a major part of getting out of the RPF? Do you have to “re-understand” that you the individual were at cause over matter and ultimately you are responsible?
(7) You say LRH believed some of his own stuff. I just listened to the recordings Tony Ortega uploaded, where LRH talks about the invader forces. I’m assuming he was bullshitting people and didn’t believe any of it. But it actually takes guts to talk that much bullshit. Wasn’t he scared that this is just too much and people might turn away from him after listening to this ridiculous tale?
(8) Are all psychiatrists intrinsically and irredeemably evil, according to Hubbard? If so, how do Scientologists square this with the fact that CCHR was cofounded by a psych?
(1) It seems people are able to get out of Scientology/Sea Organization with nothing and rebuild. I’d like to hear more about that. What line of work did you get into? Is there a list of people who would help support “defectors”?
(2) Your interview on Oh No! Ross and Carrie was fantastic. Could you expand on the Prison Planet, Alex Jones, Scientology connection?
(3) My question has to do with levels of belief at the top, and in this case I mean exactly David Miscavige, and his weird psychology. What spurred me to wonder about this is the existence of CST projects. It seems to me that a cynical overlord who doesn’t believe in the teachings of the cult he leads wouldn’t spend money on this activity – that is, the preservation of Hubbard’s words. the holy scripture of Scientology, so that they may be available to future generations and perhaps even survive nuclear explosions. It gives him nothing, because it’s secret. This stuff is completely different from the endless opening of new Ideal Orgs and expensive media facilities, which are clearly done as PR, presumably aimed at current Scientologists. That stuff is all public and it might actually make sense to spend money on such stuff for the sake of keeping people in the fold and willing to donate more money. But the CST centers are SECRET!! What would a cynical non-believer want with that? It would seem to be almost literally money down a rabbit hole. For example, if you watch any of these exposes of money-grubbing televangelists, all of their money is spent on their own luxurious lifestyles. You don’t see them, for example, SECRETLY building a mansion for Jesus to hang out in when he ultimately returns. That wouldn’t make sense for a cynical non-believing overlord. So my question really comes down to, what is going on with Miscavige and these nutty, SECRET, projects that only spend money, produce no publicity, and produce no more fancy motorcycles for Davie?
(4) What are the KRC and ARC triangles and what are the differences between the two?
(5) Around cult leaders (or even just regular celebrities) there’s often collections of items the person made, used or even just touched which become extremely valuable to followers. Are there any L. Ron Hubbard relics being traded around by or shown to the Scientology community?
(6) Lance Bass said Leah Remini was once his “sponsor.” Does this mean she would have gotten money if he stuck with it, or was this just a “nice thing” for her to do?
(7) Were you the Course supervisor at PAC? I left in 2000 something. Thank you for your videos, its a long story. I was in ASHOD.
(8) Has anyone who has been declared ever been able to claw their way back into the cult?
(1) I know Scientology targets professionals such as chiropractors and veterinarians with their business and admin “tech”. How do these small business people, who are also Scientologists, deal with patients, customers, or even business partners who are reading your blog, watching Leah Remini’s “Aftermath” or who are simply exposed to what is becoming more and more common knowledge about Hubbard’s cult of broken dreams? Surely they can’t disconnect from all of them? What if a business partner or patient is one degree removed from a Facebook friend who is an open critic? What if a customer’s husband watched “Going Clear”? It’s insane to even think it’s possible to exert this level of control. I have to believe if this policy were strictly enforced everyone would be declared.
(2) Is everyone in charge of PR at $cientology, aka the Office of Special Affairs, ignorant of the reverse effect, when they bash former members? To name just a few: Tory “Magoo” Christman, Jason Beghe, and Karen De La Carrier, and the more recent attacks aimed at Mike Rinder, Leah Remini, Ron Miscavige and yourself. You all have an average of 30 years of participation. The “COS” in it’s infinite wisdom has decided to label all you as losers, immoral, selfish, criminal, the “slime of the earth”, and so on, and so on. I extract and interpret from this practice, that 30 years of participation and reaching the highest levels in the various member areas of the organization, along with studying the “scriptures/tech”, has been ineffective, and therefore $cientology simply, does NOT work. It seems like they are testifying, to the failure of their own system and structure. Another foot bullet? Is this their admission or am I getting it wrong? I would love to hear you elaborate on this topic.
(3) I grew up in a somewhat strict religious environment and I’ve been studying cult groups since I lost my faith in my early twenties. I’ve noticed that recently (perhaps in the last few years) that the term “brainwashing” has fallen very much out of favor and has been replaced with “undue influence.” Normally I would roll my eyes at this kind of thing and see it as nothing more than a semantics game, but I actually think it makes sense. “Undue influence” is far more palatable and is easily contemplated, especially when compared to “brainwashing”, which frankly has an air of hypnotic bullshit about it.
Do you think that the word “cult” will ever be replaced in the same way “brainwashing” was? I’m not at all proposing that it should be, but the word itself has an intensely negative connotation and is perceived as being intrinsically combative in nature. The general public only acknowledges a group as a cult when they are as loud and as ugly as the Westboro Baptist church – meanwhile large scale abuses by the Jehovah’s Witness organization and the Mormon church are largely ignored. I can’t help but wonder if these abusive groups would get more media attention if there were a less ham-fisted way to label them. Thanks for all your videos and I’m curious to hear what you think.
(4) Hey Chris! Thanks for answering my question a few weeks back. Got another one for you. I saw Battlefield Earth a few years ago on Netflix and it was so rancid that I had to spread out my viewing in 10-15 minutes increments over a few days. I read a book reviewer around that time who pointed out a plot element in the story that may reflect Hubbard’s view of his followers. The main alien villain, Terl, wants to become rich by mining a gold mine in the Rocky Mountains. I think in the movie it was Fort Knox? Terl recruits the human Jonnie Goodboy Tyler to get the gold for him and uses a learning machine or advanced “tech” to increase Jonnie’s intelligence so Jonnie can be more able to get the gold. I’ve always thought this was Hubbard’s secret message of what he was doing with Scientology and he left it in plain sight. Has anyone else thought of this before or have you realized it yourself? I’m amazed it hasn’t been talked about more even though it was in Scientology’s one major foray into Hollywood with John Travolta in the starring role.
(5) Hi, Chris. I heard you comment that if Scientology were a country it would be exactly like North Korea. I think that comparison is eerily accurate. There are pictures of LRH everywhere in Scientology orgs, just like portraits of the Kim family are plastered around NK. The RPF seems identical to a gulag or labor camp like in NK. Also, Scientology’s use of the Chinese School method comes to mind. It makes one wonder if LRH wasn’t just intimately familiar with Soviet government and copied/pasted it onto his organization. The lack of or discouragement of open internet use in both is another parallel, and many many more I can think of I won’t waste your time with. My question relates to this. I noticed that Ideal Orgs opened up in Japan, Taiwan, and Moscow recently, but not South Korea. Maybe it’s just coincidence, but I was wondering if maybe it never gained a foothold there because the citizens would quickly realize the parallels to NK and it would cause terrible PR for the church. What are your thoughts on this as it relates to South Korea? And your thoughts as to whether or not LRH copied his platform from Communist Authoritarianism as a whole??
(6) From the films, videos and photos I have seen, it appears that the “church” of Scientology is almost exclusively white/caucasian. Is this correct, and, if it is, do you have any idea why?
(7) In “Scientology and the Aftermath” Leah Remini and Mike Rinder refer to Scientology as “the Church” and Scientologists as “parishioners”. Do members of Scientology really believe that they are parishioners in a Church? Do you believe Scientology is a Church? Obviously you can’t speak for Leah or Mike, but do you think that they believe Scientology is a Church? Are Leah and Mike doing this out of habit? I find their use of these terms to be jarring. It seems to me that they have willingly ceded rhetorical high ground to Scientology by referring to it as the Church. Thanks is advance for any thoughts you have on this.
(8) Chris, I was just listening to the year-end Shrine gala that Tony Ortega posted, and Miscavige, throwing out the crazy ‘expansion’ stats, said a new ‘clear’ was made every 90 minutes — that’s 16 per day. Yet in everything I read about the cult I see stuff about ‘clearing the planet’ being such an important goal. So what are members thinking when they hear something like that that indicates, despite all the other ‘expansion’ stats, that they’re falling behind since the planet is growing much faster than they’re clearing it? Is it one of those cognitive dissonance things they simply try not to think about? How do they reconcile it?
(1) Hi Chris, is there a singular moment that stands out in your COS time that has become particularly difficult and/or haunting to you after your exit where as it was not clear to you when you were ensconced in full COS practices? Keep up the good work & stay strong!
(2) I have a question coming from Leah Remini’s show that you’ve also touched on in past videos. In the most recent episode someone brought up the freeloader bill. Of course I understand the concept of it, but as she said she signed when she was 16, why would she be worried that it would hold up as a legitimate contract and that she could be forced to pay it once she was outside Scientology. Surely that contract wouldn’t hold up in any outside court to force her.
(3) I’ve learned many of Scientology acronyms and stupid words that they use. One thing I don’t understand is what is the Birthday Game?
(4) You mention Hubbard having two wives at the same time as an example of him having problems. These days a lot of people, myself included, make a clear distinction between cheating and polyamory. Yet, this distinction is about relationships rather than marriages. Polygamy is not legal. Could you tell us a bit more about how this whole thing with “two wives” worked? I mean socially as well as legally. Were they married in a legal sense somehow? Did the wives know about it in advance and consented to it, or was it something that Hubbard either kept secret from them or forced upon them?
(5) In episode 3 of Leah’s show, she mentioned that, in addition to buying $cientology books for herself, she was asked to buy and donate books to libraries who needed them. I immediately checked the Public Library Catalogue of my province of New Brunswick, Canada. We have a population of just over 750,000. That catalog gives a list of all books accessible throughout the province.
There are 61 entries for LRH as an author (69 in all, the others being books like Barefaced Messiah), each for a different book, CD set or sound recordings. For example, there are 4 copies of Scientology 0-8 : The Book of Basics and 6 copies of The Way to Happiness. There also some of his Sci-Fi work.
I was expecting to see his Sci Fi work, but I was astounded at the number of Scientology books available through the public library system. This doesn’t make any sense, as the closest “church” (a mission, actually) is in the neighbouring province of Nova Scotia. People here may have heard about Scientology because of Tom Cruise and John Travolta, but know very little about the religion and aren’t interested. It made me wonder if these are church sponsored donations.
There are probably many other libraries around Canada, the US and around the world that have Scientology books. Maybe others are also interested in having them removed. I want these books gone! My main question is, “Is this worth it?” Would my time be better spent on something else? When someone is down and vulnerable, coming across a book that claims to have the answers to all your problems can be as damaging as someone asking you if you’re interested in a free stress test. Leah’s series stirred up my activism. I want to do something about this even though I was never in.
(6) I recall that in the video in 1986 after L. Ron Hubbard died, David Miscavige called the year AD 36 and I know that AD is suppose to mean “After Dianetics” but I’m wondering if Scientologists openly use this term in the organization? I have known Scientologists and I don’t remember them ever saying that they believe in this alternate calendar or them using it. When you were in Scientology did you or your friends use this calendar?
(7) I’d like to know, and maybe youve covered this in a past show, if Child Protective Services, have ever taken steps to get children removed from these facilities? I understand that parents have rights to live the way THEY choose, but a child has no say so. Have any children who have ever escaped notified CPS?
(8) Is there anything which gives legitimate status to a public member of Scientology in the eyes of the church staff and Sea Org workers? I can think of wealth, fame and how far up the bridge they are as contributing factors, but is there anything else?
(1) Dear Chris, I have watched all your Q&A and I have heard you saying many times that Sea Org members can leave the COS whenever they want, no one is stopping them except their own beliefs (they don’t want to disconnect from their loved ones inside the Scientology, pay the debt, etc). I recently saw the 5th episode of “Leah Remini, Scientology and the Aftermath” and I remember how Marc Headley both had to escape from the Base. They also describe how others escaped and some were caught and brought back. So how is it that you say that they can leave whenever they want (if they decide to go)?! Other members caught them and bring them back by force!
(2) What happens in cases when there is disconnection and child custody comes into play? As you know, legally the parent without custodian rights needs to still pay for child support. At least here in California, I know the laws on child support are very strictly enforced. Does the church discourage people from paying or accepting child support?
(3) What do you think the end-game for $cientology will look like? Some critics think it will retreat to Clearwater, closing and selling off all of the empty ideal orgs. Miscavige might follow the model of Hubbard and go into hiding to avoid criminal prosection. Or he might use the $ obtained by fraud to buy protection in a country where he can’t be extradited. Your thoughts?
(4) I’ve been wondering recently what Scientology’s stance on gambling is? I have some familiarity with the gambling industry and it seems like ripe picking grounds for their propaganda machine. Believe me that every fine detail of a casino down to the color of a button on a slot machine is designed to make players forget the outside world and encourage them to gamble for as long as possible. Large casino companies budget millions upon millions of dollars for this each year, most of it drawing on psychological methods. In the past two decades there’s been a considerable rise of regional casino s in the USA (not to mention gambling revenues), however I don’t recall ever seeing the subject mentioned in Freedom Magazine or any other Scientology materials. It seems it isn’t on their radar at all.
(5) With the Church of Scientology having ribbon yanking ceremonies for “Ideal Orgs,” it’s disturbing to have local dignitaries participating because it gives CoS an air of legitimacy and political acceptance. How do all of us out here get together to dissuade public officials from attending and participating in the ribbon yankings?
(6) I understand that Scientology started appearing behind the “Iron Curtain” via splinter groups such as FreeZone. Any comment?
(7) How accurate are the online accounts of OT 3 (Xenu story) and the other OT levels?
(8) How did your appearance on Leah Remini’s show boost your ratings? Also, can you tell us a little about the equipment/programs your using? Self taught?
(9) Are you a slow eater?
(1) Well done for finding the courage to leave Scientology. How did you learn to trust your conclusions after you left? After being deceived for so long doesn’t it play on your mind that you may be succumbing to other cognitive biases without noticing?
(2) I found your channel after hearing you on Ross and Carrie’s podcast, and since then I’ve been marathoning your videos. I love your work. It seems to me like people who have a tendency to blame themselves for problems they’re having, people quick to find fault with themselves or who have low self esteem woud have trouble completing the auditing required to “move up the bridge”. Is this the case? Were you in the RPF for so long because you are someone who is quicker to blame yourself for things? I am an ex-fundamentalist-Christian and because I have a rather low opinion of myself I was very susceptible to that group’s message of “God is perfect, you are an awful, sinful creature who needs to be saved by us.” I was wondering whether Scientology preys on that same personality trait too.
(3) Chris, you have a lot of experience with Scientology but how do they compare to Landmark Education? My sister-in-law, a sick girl who was taking Landmark’s courses, went into the hospital and then a care facility to recuperate and recover. Her course lead called her in the facility and asked why she hasn’t made progress on the project she was trying to complete. That, and with her families advice, was the last straw for Landmark. She told her ‘lead’ that she was in the hospital for so and so weeks and now in a facility to help her recover. She couldn’t have done the work, for that I attest, that was required and they needed to wait. That answer wasn’t good enough for them and luckily my in-law had enough sense to say enough. Are there any related parts between the two groups? By the way, I was the only good family member, mind you I was an in-law, that attended her graduation from her ‘mind molding’ experience. Pat me on the back but my main goal was to support her but understand the culture of individuals who would take these classes and be told to recruit more.
(4) I had a question about the L rundown. Did you ever do them? They seem to be a bizarre labyrinth of questions about groups, churches, race, politics, etc. This part stood out to me:
34. Have you ever created a secret society?
35. Have you ever caused trouble as a member of a secret society?
36. Have you ever harmed a secret society?
37. Have you ever pledged your allegiance to a secret society?
Why was Hubbard so obsessed with the idea of secret societies for these high level services? Was it sheer paranoia or were groups (not CIA) actually trying to get into Scientology? Or is it something completely else that I’m missing?
(5) Which episode of Scientology and the Aftermath were you on?
(6) Has anyone ever been considered a past life Scientologist, and taken up a previous person’s contract?
(7) If people are so brainwashed and beaten down when they go to the RPF, couldn’t the argument be made that they didn’t have the mental capacity to sign?
(8) You have mentioned several times that no Scientologist has shown any OT abilities. How can we be sure they are not following the guidelines in An Open Letter to Clears?
(1) Surely there are people in Scientology who have experienced real trauma in their lives (sexual or physical abuse, loss of a loved one, etc)? From what I have gathered so far Scientologists are taught to bottle up emotions from the “reactive mind,” so how are these auditing sessions handled if a person is rightly becoming emotional from re-living these painful experiences?
(2) I have heard you mention the terms “Start, Stop, Change” in one of your Q&A videos. I have heard a similar term called “Start, Stop, Continue,” both in business, and most noticeable, in some of my charity work. This is a way of promoting feedback within groups. People suggest things to “Start” doing, “Stop” doing, and “Continue” to do. Given Scientology’s history of hiding their methods inside business and motivational training, was this “Start, Stop, Continue” method created by Scientology or Hubbard, or was it something adopted by Scientology from elsewhere?
(3) What happens if Scientology is regging a member of the Scientology public, and the object of the regging, i.e. the mark, calmly responds to each request with a “No”? The mark doesn’t argue or engage, or give reasons why not other than that she doesn’t want to. Does the reg cycle ever end?
(4) My question is about the technical/creative behind-the-scenes of your channel. I recently started a video series project of my own so I’ve become super curious about the processes of the creators that I follow. What camera/software do you use? What is your philosophy behind your output (how to be engaging etc.)? Also, clearly you’re super creative, and I’m wondering if you have philosophy of how you perceive your creativity or if you’ve ever struggled with it.
(5) Have you seen the YouTube anti-Scientology documentary “The Bridge”? It’s very dark, but comes off very realistic. How accurate is this movie?
(6) Do you think the reputation of the cult of Scientology is damaged beyond repair, or do you ever see a scenario where the Church of Scientology may begin to attract new members?
(7) I know this is a silly question but I wonder what the Church of Scientology would do if you brought at least 20 or so homeless people into one of the Churches. If those homeless people just sat down and said I want to join, we need guidance and some help, etc.
(8) How often did you hear the term for us lowly non-Scientologists, “wog,” during a normal work week? Was it used as a slur all the time or did it become a description of outsiders? What did you think of wogs when/if you used the term?
(1) I appreciate all the time you spend disseminating information and correcting misapprehensions/untruths. I’ve been watching your videos for a few weeks now and still can’t figure out how staff members support themselves. You’ve said they all have other paid jobs, but how do they work around the “emergency” demands at their Scientology posts that may require 12 hour days or more? Their paid jobs must be at nights and on the weekends — are they usually part time shift work? Those typically don’t pay well or provide benefits. And what about when you personally were traveling on behalf of Scientology? That’s days at a time when you aren’t earning. I just cannot fathom how it works financially. I imagine roommates and shared housing are involved, but rents are very high in Santa Barbara, L.A., Pasadena, etc.!
(2) Can you talk about Rollback?
(3) Chris, could you explain what a “one-shot Clear” is? Reading Dianetics 55!, which is a mess in its own right, it struck me as absurd! Was there ever a real application of the process? Was it discontinued? Why would anyone audit for hours and hours if it’d be possible to arrive at the state of Clear in one shot?
(4) Your mom seems to have successfully moved on with her life after Scientology and is doing well. She also seems to have been able to let go of attachment to the subject. She also doesn’t seem like the kind of person who would be motivated to post any comments on a critic’s blog. I believe this is the way it is for the vast majority of ex-Scientologists as well as ex-cult members of all stripes. When we get out we just want to be out and left alone to recover and get on with our lives as best we can. Some people however seem to be a bit obsessed with being a critic. I have been in both camps at different times of my life. I can see why an ex might want to speak out because they feel so wronged and want to let the world know about it, to warn others away from the cult and its trappings, to unburden themselves by writing about their experiences, etc. I can also see why people would not want to speak out, especially as an ex-Scientologist: fear of reprisal, apathy, disgust, embarrassment, to protect others, etc. Can you comment on what you think it is that motivates people to speak out (or not)? Why do you think a person should speak out (or not)?
(5) What was the main reason your Mom and Dad quietly left the Church? I understand why they did so quietly, because of you, but what was the reason for them wanting to leave while being so high on the Bridge? And once your parents decided to leave, did they then break a major rule by discussing each other’s case gain and what the levels entail?
(6) Some Sea Org members interact with the general public, such as those who conduct tours at open-to-the-public exhibitions or run booths at book conventions (I presume all such people are Sea Org, please correct me if I’m wrong). I also know that the Sea Org members are paid next to nothing. If somebody were to offer a financial tip to one of the Sea Org members such as $20 as a thank you after a tour, would the member be permitted to keep the money themselves, or would they be pressured to turn it over to Scientology’s coffers? Did you have any personal experience with “outsiders” giving money to Sea Org members as a favor or a tip?
(7) Did LRH model Scientology on Stalinist style Communism? Can you give examples of how if yes?
(8) Thank you very much for your clear information about the perversion of science in the use of Scientology’s pseudoscientific “Personality Test.” From my point of view, the conspiracy theory that Scientology could be a CIA front organisation or an inside job project, is worth mentioning. What do you think? There are Scientology-like problems in the institutions of psychiatry and psychology also.
(9) I have a very important question. Coke or Pepsi?
(1) I know you’ve gone over what happens generally when someone walks into a Scientology org for the first time and that they believe psychiatry is simply out to hurt and take advantage of people but what would happen if I went there for my Asperger’s or ADHD? What would they blame my symptoms on and what would they do to try and “help” me?
How does the Church of Scientology treat individuals with neurological conditions, e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder? Furthermore, what is your perspective on behaviorally-based treatments like applied behavior analysis which has a huge empirical literature base?
(2) Do you think that Hubbard realized that he was a bad film maker, or do you think that because of ego, which perhaps all of us have to some extent, he convinced himself that his work was really good?
(3) Do you have any recollection of the Church of Scientology ever apologizing for or subtly hinting that they were wrong about anything? I assume the answer is “no,” but any examples (even really tiny examples) would be interesting.
(4) I understand that when you found out the truth about LRH, you started your way out. My question is are there many high up in the organisation that know what a liar and hypocrite he actually was, and does it not bother them that they are following this dingbat? How can they honestly serve a man that has the wool pulled over everyone’s eyes or when they do learn these things are they more than not likely to leave?
(5) I have an acquaintance who is now a Scientologist. She became involved in the “Church” a few years ago right after her last parent passed away and came in to a significant inheritance. She bought a big house on the lake and shortly after that, she was contacted by Scientology. Do they actually try to seek out people who have deep pockets? If so, to what lengths do they go to find these people?
(6) In Going Clear, the question is raised if David Miscavige is a true believer. The answer in the documentary was that he has to be, because it’s all he’s ever known and his entire life is integrated into the Church. From what I have read in critics’ books, LRH was constantly auditing himself and raving about body thetans, so to some extent he was a true believer as well, though obviously both men are sociopathic charlatans. Do you agree with this view on Miscavige, and second, do you think it explains why there’s been no more OT material released? Last cover story I heard was that “all orgs had to be the size of the old Saint Hill org” which is obviously never going to happen, hence no pressure to release. If Miscavige truly believes LRH was a visionary, then perhaps he’s reluctant to release anything Hubbard didn’t author. Otherwise, writing a few more levels’ worth of bad science fiction and checklists wouldn’t be that hard and he could continue to herd sheep up the Bridge.
(7) I’m interested in reading some of Hubbard’s pulp and science fiction however I’m worried that if I buy anything from Galaxy Press they will then pass on that information and I will get harassed and spammed by pushy Scientology members. Is this a legitimate concern?
(8) I was wondering, since Scientology infiltrated the government, would the government be able to infiltrate Scientology? Couldn’t the Feds just walk in a church and join up? Scientology just sees people as money and free labor anyway, how would they know?
(9) In many of your videos, Scientology’s Communications Course is described by your guests as a great course that has helped them improve their communication skills. Even you look back on it as a course that benefited you and clearly resonates today with your current career in creating these videos. My question is: can someone just get involved just enough to take this course? Is it offered as a “one off?” If so, would it be wise to do it with a group not associated with the Church, or would one get the most benefit from the way the course is given by the “Church.” I know you can’t get “just a little bit pregnant” and I would be worried to give them any information, but you and your guests seem to really praise this particular course. Or should I just stay as far away as I can?
(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?
(1) Did you hear about Scientology’s new anti-bullying website? It’s called STAAND (Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination).
(2) I listened to your Sensibly Speaking podcast with Pete Griffiths recently and noted that you both reflexively and emphatically denied being in an “anti-Scientology cult.”
I don’t know from Mr. Griffiths, but I have listened to more than 60 hours of your opinions and viewpoints. Considering how many times I’ve heard you tell people NOT to start looking into or to join Scientology, I think it’s logical to assume you are indeed opposed to their existance as a destructive cult.
You’ve emphasized numerous times in your videos that there’s a difference between Scientology’s beliefs and their organizational implementation. You’ve said you don’t give a fig if people want to believe in the tech, LRH, body thetans, etc. but your express purpose in creating and maintaining your online presence is to offer information and raise awareness that would ideally prevent people from joining and help those still in to make the decision to leave. Isn’t that the very definition of being anti something? If a positive result would be all members leaving, the ultimate destruction of the organization is implicit.
I know you’re constantly being taken to task over the meaning of atheist vs agnostic vs whatever and I’m sorry if this just seems like more nitpicking.
(3) When you were in the Sea Org, were you ever asked to disconnect from someone dear to you? How did you feel about that? In general, how did you feel about the disconnection policy?
(4) I’ve heard many/most ex-Scientologists claim that Scientologists are basically goodhearted, kind people who got into the cult for altruistic reasons. How exactly do those traits manifest themselves then?
From what I’ve seen, Scientologists are neither kind nor helpful to friends and family who are ill, depressed, struggling with addiction, in financial difficulties, failing at work, etc. People in those states can negatively affect them, as does associating with anyone who is low on the Tone Scale. Besides, the person who is ill or troubled pulled it in themselves. They’re degraded beings or potential trouble sources and to be avoided.
I don’t see how that attitude could possibly result in Scientologists being kind people. That to me means being thoughtful and emotionally generous to all, not just those who agree with and abide by one’s own beliefs.
As for altruism, most practicing Scientologists don’t seem to take any direct actions, aside from auditing, to improve the world. Working at one of the front groups doesn’t count. I understand that they deeply believe that holding cans is helpful to the planet, but shouldn’t people who have now repudiated the cult and its tech be able to see that it’s not?
Are you able to give any examples of Scientologists being wonderful people who are caring towards anyone except other Scientologists in good standing? The cult’s mindset promulgates against gentleness, open-mindedness, kindness, or warmth so I’m a bit at a loss to see how they can be described as wonderful people.
(5) By all accounts the Freewinds is old, decrepit, ugly, and barely seaworthy. The Church of Scientology has more than enough money to either remodel the ship or buy a new one. Since they buy new buildings all the time to keep up appearances, why not buy a new ship to impress the whales who are expecting to get to OT 8? Is it just typical executive incompetence or is there some reason for keeping the old boat afloat?
(6) Once a Scientologist has reached the highest level of OT 8, where do they go from there? With no further levels up the Bridge, is it just constant auditing on that level or are there other things the Church of Scientology is making them do?
(7) Given the incredible stress of Sea Org life, had you ever sought out a private place to scream, cry or otherwise allow yourself a mini nervous breakdown before getting back to work?
(8) I was in Scientology for a few years in the early 90s. I even signed a 2.5 year staff contract. For the last few years Scientology has been sending me mail and calling me and my family. I do enjoy looking at the propaganda, but I just ignore the phone calls. A recent phone call got me to pickup. I got a call from a local number that I did not not know. Normally all the calls from the Orgs are from CA or FL. I answered this local call, it was someone from a Clearwater group. It seems like the Clearwater call center forwarded the call through a local number. Have you heard of the org call centers doing this? The cult seems to be getting very desperate to recover and handle anyone that had anything to do with Scientology.
(1) My father and his brothers were very familiar with Scientology; even though they didn’t belong to the org they studied it for years. My father passed away last week. Because of my work, it was impossible for me to attend the funeral and the cremation. I spoke with his brothers by telephone and they accused me of being ungrateful, having abandoned my father and let him die. They asked me questions (what’s your game? what’s your reality? what’s your ethic?) that I didn’t understand but I know they belong to the cult’s jargon. Besides the pain for the loss, at the same time I have to face a family that accuses me of indolence and from what I see they have undertaken a sort of revenge against me. My question is, how to defend myself from a family indoctrinated by Scientology?
(2) Hi Chris, I have just finished reading Counterfeit Dreams, Blown For Good and Beyond Belief for the umpteenth time each. They are gripping stories. In BFG, Marc Headley tells of the time David Miscavige attacked him, and he started to retaliate but the group around DM swarmed about him and forced him outside to cool off. Is there anybody else who has stood up to DM? It is hard to imagine there is not even one person man enough to do this. Is DM so buff that he is like a small version of Arnold Schwarzenegger? Is everybody actually physically afraid of him? I can only guess everyone is afraid of being offloaded; but why can’t an off-loadee stand firm and deny him that power?
(3) For 30 years I have gotten weekly or sometimes twice weekly mail from the Church of Scientology. I had tried one time decades ago to get off their mailing list and it only made them increase their mail madness. What is a safe, sane, effective and final way to get off their mailing list? Is it even possible?
(4) I do have another question for you about Scientology and modern medicine. After reading your books’s section on the Purification Rundown and watching the video about it, I’ve gotten a little confused. I guess I’m just trying to better understand the medical beliefs of Scientology. I know that you have said that Scientologists are allowed to use modern medicine, but you have also talked about the Purification Rundown and Scientology assists being preferred, and that some members are personally anti-vaxxers. So I got a little confused about where Scientology draws the line. At what point do they consider a medical procedure or a medication something bad that has to be avoided, instead of helpful medicine?
(5) What is this gadget on the Freewinds in the OT 8 course room? It looks like a companion to the E-meter. Do you know what it is and what it does? (from this video)
(6) Hi, Chris, love your videos; keep up the good work. Here’s a simple question regarding your “Deconstructing Scientology” series. Have any of the the so-called “scholars” who contributed to the book “Scientology” ever challenged you or made any attempt at rebuttal? In the normal course of academic or general intellectual discourse, when a theory is attacked or challenged, its author will offer a vigorous rebuttal (you can see this process in the letters section of most serious magazines, for example). If the “scholars” whom you’ve taken to task in this series haven’t bothered to respond to you, then that tells us that they’re all merely shilling for Scientology as you said they were.
(7) I see the Millennium Falcon on your desktop. I noticed that Mark Bunker had a Tardis phone cover. Do you watch Doctor Who?
(8) In the video for ‘We Stand Tall’ David Miscavige is wearing a rather “unique” shirt. Does his shirt have any Scientology meaning or was it just bad 90’s fashion?
For the special 100th episode, I did a YouTube live stream and answered questions from viewers asked in a chat window. The questions are not listed here but are said out loud during the episode.
(1) I recently relocated to Florida for work and I have 3 store locations that I manage in Clearwater. One is literally a block from Flag. My question is this: I have had a few Scientologists apply for positions within my company and I can tell because they have work history on their resume stating they were tour guides or what not. While I would never discriminate against anyone for their religious beliefs, I do worry more about what another employee may say to that person about their beliefs. With the Church’s Fair game policy, I’m worried about a Scientology employee getting upset because a coworker is committing suppressive acts and end up with a boycott outside of my store. Is this something I should worry about or is this irrational fear?
(2) Do members of the Sea Org have ranks like sailors in real navies do? Do the ranks correspond to those in the US Navy? What was your rank? Do those with lower ranks feel bitter about it?
(3) I’m in the actual Navy as an enlisted maintenance person. As I watch your videos, I notice many techniques used on military personnel that also seemed to be used on Scientology staff. Examples include renaming a questionable task to give it a more legitimate feeling, a spirit of cause over self, and, definitely, thought control. It makes me wonder whether Fearless Leader (LRH) got many of his human control techniques from the Navy for the few years that he served. It seems that, as an Lieutenant JG, he would have been exposed only to a little of the manipulation techniques that are taught to naval leaders. Still, nothing is more dangerous than someone with a little knowledge. Your thoughts?
(4) I have been watching a lot of your videos and really enjoy your perspective. My question is, did you have face time with David Miscavige during your tenure in Scientology? If you did, can you describe what those interactions were like?
(5) Do you enjoy talking about Scientology? Wouldn’t an Ex-Scientologist at some point just get tired of the subject and want to move on and focus on other things of interest? Don’t get me wrong, I love watching your videos and think what you do is of great value. But aren’t you bored of it yet?
(6) I would like to know why Anonymous has been not so active when it comes to Scientology protests. What happened with Scientology vs Anonomous lately?
(7) When a new org opens, we see a Scientology video of a very nice looking building with nice looking interiors and course rooms, etc. I have noted that some of these buildings are many stories high and I surmise from this that they must have many rooms. In these videos we see the entrance, lobby and presumably the lower floors. What about all the other rooms in the building? The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and so on? Are they all closed off and still dilapidated inside?
(8) Has learning about critical thinking changed your view on any other of your beliefs? For example, did you ever believe in any government cover-ups, paranormal entities, the Illuminati etc.? Are there any conspiracies that you think may have elements of truth behind them?
(1) When the Going Clear documentary was making big waves in the news and film industries, I noticed a few Independent Scientologists on social media and chat sites had voiced complaints about their viewpoints not being included in the dialog. When Leah Remini’s show made similar waves, those same voices seemed to grow in numbers and became extremely agitated towards the series. By the end of the show they were downright antagonistic and hateful towards Leah and her prominent co-stars. Now, with the recent CNN Believer show about Scientology, the push back against former members speaking out from other former members or independent practitioners has gone beyond nasty and seems downright nuts. What triggered all this ugly drama? Do some ex-members and independents really want to protect and defend their former church from being exposed as an abusive cult – or is something else going on?
(2) Hi Chris, I’m a huge fan of yours from the very beginning.
It’s a well known fact that the church of Scientology is vehemently opposed to psychiatry and pharmaceuticals. It’s also known that Bob Duggan is one of its billionaire supporters, giving huge donations. Mr. Duggan’s wealth comes from his Pharmacyclics company & the discovery of a DRUG to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
First question: why would a Scientologist work to discover a cure for cancer-of any type-since according to Hubbard’s scripture, cancer is caused by a second dynamic or sexual upset? Obviously, cancer can ONLY be cured by the practice of Scientology.
Second: How is it that the church justifies & ‘accepts’ the gigantic donations given to them with money made from the enemy? Do they think it’s a secret? Seems like competing forces.
(3) I’m fascinated that people can be so controlled that they “voluntarily” participate in the RPF. I’ve been doing some of my own research online and discovered there’s an “RPF’s RPF.” Yikes! Stories of malnourishment, illness, no medical care, no sleep, fighting rats and cockroaches….all even worse than the actual RPF. Did you ever have to do the “RPF’s RPF” or witness any of these human rights abuses beyond regular RPF activities?
(4) Chris, continued thanks for your mission of spreading knowledge and seeking truth. My question is about international Sea Org members. I know the Sea Org’s current recruitment comes mainly from Venezuela and rural Russia. Are these recruits believers to any degree, or are they simply latching on to the opportunity to work for an “American church,” with the hopes of starting a better life in the USA? In your Shane Weightman series, he described the near impossibility of getting his passport back–how do any of the SO from these countries ever leave since their passports are confiscated, and they’re in international waters, on a ship? Since many of the SO’s policies and punishments make little sense to native born Americans outside the organization, what do these international recruits make of these abusive and nonsensical tactics? I can’t imagine the governments of either Russia or Venezuela taking a personal interest in recovering this small number of citizens, so what recourse do families have to get their international SO family member back home??
(5) I have watched some of Phil Spickler’s YouTube videos. As you know, he is Mimi Rogers’ father, Tom Cruise’s ex-father in law, and knew LRH from 1950 to when he left the church in 1980. He has said that LRH was very innovative given that he was experimenting with self help for the masses in the 1950s, after WW2, which such a thing was completely new. Spickler says he treasures his time from 1950 – 1962 or so, when there was real work and innovation going on. After that, LRH went off the rails completely. Unfortunately he hasn’t explained how this transformation came about. What do you think about this?
(6) I’ve heard that in the past, it was fashionable among higher-up members of the Sea Org to imitate LRH by smoking. Is this true? If so, what, if any, was the reasoning behind the inability or unwillingness to stop smoking (clearly an addictive behavior) among the brass, including LRH?
(7) How many members does Scientology need to survive? Could they operate with as few as 10,000 people? More/less? Thoughts and opinions? Thanks in Advance.
(8) Do you think David Miscavige can be helped? He seems like he is probably a narcissistic sociopath with a bent towards OCD and paranoia, as defined by the current DSM guidelines and the comments of others on his behaviors. Do you think his childhood was more abusive than his father allows in his bio of his son? Or perhaps this behavior and way of seeing the world is biologically hard wired in him and completely unalterable? If he is as others describe him, he must be a miserably unhappy person. Is there any chance he could change, get better, become aware of this, or is this so concrete, so core to his personality that he will just live and die this way?
(1) I’m no lawyer so can you explain how the Church of Scientology can hide behind the US First Amendment for all of its abuses? I would think that in the “free exercise of religion” you would still have to abide by the law regardless of whether the person is/was a member or not.
(2) I heard an amusing story on the Surviving Scientology podcast about Sea Org member Jeff Walker who escaped the Int Base and got Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies to escort him back in to retrieve his belongings. Since they obviously can’t try to detain him in front of law enforcement, the Sea Org had to just stand and watch. A police escort strikes me as a brilliant and seemingly foolproof way to make an easy break, yet this is the only example I’ve ever heard of this strategy being used. There is the drawback of it being guaranteed to get you declared, but anyone who blows instead of routing out gets declared anyway, right? Am I missing something here? It seems to me this should be a common practice.
(3) To what extent is the Universe Corps used to motivate staff and Sea Organization members? During your time on post, did you ever see them deployed to help crew move up the Bridge?
(4) In recordings of Hubbard’s talks, it often seems that he is presenting his theories and space opera in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. He’s laughing and so is the audience. I wonder whether in early days he and his audience ACTUALLY believed it or whether it was more understood as entertainment, as fiction and only some time later the lines blurred and people started believing.
(5) You came out and said you were an atheist. I have always thought atheists believe 100% there is no God. I always felt it takes as much faith to claim there is no higher power than to say there definitely is one. As a critical thinker, I would have thought you would have landed as an agnostic, which I think believes you cannot answer the question with proof one way or the other, so they accept that we just don’t know if there is a higher power. I could be totally wrong about what atheists and agnostics believe, so could you explain the difference between them and why you felt more comfortable as an atheist rather an agnostic?
(6) I have a friend who is a big advocate of the “health” brand Juice Plus. She appears to be a believer in what they sell and promote, going as far as buying their product bulk and re-selling/throwing parties promoting her “business” within the brand. I’ve done some research myself and see it mostly as a scam, but the amount of involvement my friend has gotten into feels it’s reached cult territory. Do you believe health cults exist?
(7) Chris, when you were Course Supervisor, were there many new members taking classes? If not, how did you personally square that with the alleged millions of Scientologists and incredible growth/expansion?
(8) The Sea Org has ruined your relationship with eggs. Has that relationship improved at all since you’ve been out or are you still an egg-gnostic? 🙂
(1) I’ve read stories of Scientology parishioners who may choose to go to another location/country, aside from their own, to partake in services for a price that is less expensive (due to a more beneficial exchange rate as an example) as opposed to paying more for the same services offered at their closest office. I’m speaking more about OT levels or other services that are limited to one of the six (I believe) places where these costly services are limited for delivery, but I suppose it could apply for any service. Can you discuss this?
(2) In the comments section of your Q & A #102 a commenter posted a link to a video of a Scientologist/ pro-Scientology man who was attempting to lampoon your efforts to expose the dark world of Scientology. What are your thoughts about this type of thing? I would like to point out that the rather crass man in the video employed all of the techniques and buzzwords that you’ve said Scientologists would use when attacking the church’s detractors. My opinion about this subject is that it is a rather positive sign that you’re having a negative effect on the Church of Scientology, or they see you as a threat. Either one of those things is a good thing on their own, taken together they make a promising combination!
(3) Do you have any idea why in the early 2000’s Miscavige dismantled management and formed The Hole? How did destroying the structure help him at all? It seems he just went crazy. Also, since management is gone, who issues his orders and makes sure they are done?
(4) Hi Chris, love your videos. My question for you is in regards to how you learned to be the “real” Chris after leaving Scientology. What was your process? How did you counter the isolation? How did you come to find hobbies, other groups and fun that fits who you really are and leave behind the things you were told to be/like?
Does Chris Shelton, Scientologist and Sea Org member, still live in the back of your head? Do you ever catch yourself thinking like a member?
(5) If, when you met Miscavige, you answered his authoritarian instructions with “Oook Dave,” instead of “Yes sir!” would he immediately punch you in the face?
(6) What prompted the move?
(7) What could you say about Montreal’s Scientology operations? They have an office that has been open for at least 30 years. I visited at some point when I was lost. I liked the book but I didn’t fit their typical customer. They told me to straighten up and come back after. I was jobless. From what I now understand that must have been their sole criteria.
(8) Did you know any Scientologists who liked Hubbard’s Mission Earth series, or is that another thing, like the Battlefield Earth movie, that Scientologists have agreed not to talk about?
(9) Look into Cell Earth please.