The show where I answer your questions based on what you have sent me by email or left me in the comments section of my Q&A videos. This week we start with a wonderful comment from a subscriber.
Comment of the week from DreamingCatStudio
Hi Chris I enjoy videos so much. I’ve never been involved with a cult, but I’m interested in the psychological states (for example vulnerability or disconnection from meaning and purpose) that can be the precursors for otherwise intelligent and healthy people to get sucked in, because there are other life experiences–working for a corporation, social pressure–that can have similar results as a cult experience.
I call your approach “critical thinking with a heart”, because while being meticulous to provide facts about damaging and hurtful Scientology practices, you’re not demonizing the people involved. You have empathy and understanding. I try to practice non-violent communication, and your approach is very in line with those principles.
I wanted to share how something has shifted for me. At first I started watching your videos with a sense of righteous outrage: “How dare those Scientologists do that to people? They’re evil, sadistic, horrible, should be arrested, locked up, punished.” While I am still deeply disturbed, sad and angry at the harm many are still experiencing in that cult, and still believe they should be held accountable for their actions, through self-examination, I’m also copping to some similar behavior in my own life: There are times when I blindly follow or believe something because I feel like it or because I feel pressured into it and it’s easier to not make waves rather than examine it. There are times when I take an “us versus them” stance, because I feel safer judging and labeling others rather than acknowledging my own feelings. There are times when I try to influence other people’s opinion and actions, because I think I’m right and they’re wrong.
Slowly the hard, sharp line between “me and Scientologists” has gotten softer and more blurred — not because I endorse or excuse their hurtful behavior, but because I see better now how people can get involved and even do harm to others.
Questions taken up in this weeks’ video:
(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!