The weekly show where I answer questions from the comments sections of my Q&A videos or sent to me by email at AskChrisShelton@gmail.com. This week, the questions I answer are:
(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?