Leah Remini is an US actress, known to the public for various roles, principally as one of the leads in the TV series, “King of Queens.”
She was ‘born into’ Scientology and participated for many years. Recently, however, she left the organisation.
The details of ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ are bizarre. A decade ago, after a dispute with her husband, the wife of the current leader of Scientology disappeared. In 2013 Leah Remini wanted to know where her friend had gone – and was aggressively blocked. The fact that she did so during a celebrity wedding which Miscavige was attending made matters worse.
Eventually, Remini filed a missing persons report with the Los Angeles police. Informed sources place Shelley in an isolated Scientology facility, which includes an underground bunker. This place is dedicated to preserving he writings of the founder of Scientology L Ron Hubbard. The police cast no light on Shelley’s whereabouts. They claimed to have determined that she was not under duress, and therefore her location was confidential.
After leaving Scientology shortly after these events (with her family, who refused to ‘disconnect’ from her, as per Scientology policy) Leah Remini produced a eight-part critical TV series about Scientology, which is now being broadcast. This is different from previous examinations (e.g. “Going Clear”) . It does not take a documentary approach, but is based upon first hand experience and interviews with ex-Scientologists. It promises to bring the abusive behaviour of the Church of Scientology to a new, wider audience, and add a human dimension.
Click ‘Continue Reading’ for links enabling you to watch the first seven episodes (so far) a bonus episode (which includes some incredible interviews) entitled “Ask me Anything” and coverage by the ABC New programme 20/20. Continue reading
International Scientology News| Issue 29| Extract | Download as .pdf (Click the grey ‘download through your browser’ button in new tab)
I’ve been busy lately, and have got behind with my latest series of posts. To fill in, I thought I’d publish this, without much comment.
It’s an article from issue 19 of “International Scientology News”. It describes the presentation of Tom Cruise with “The”Freedom Medal of Valour” – the highest award given to Scientologists by Scientology, and especially created for Cruise alone.
The person who scanned the magazine did not seem to have the means to quite image the pages in one go, so theymade two, overlapping, images of each. I’ve combined them again, using the excellent (and free) “Gnu Image Manipulation Program.” See if you can spot the join.
The rampant sycophancy of this ‘event’ and its coverage was designed to draw Cruise back into Scientology, and seems to have succeeded. It was at a price, however.
The announcement by David Miscavige, the present leader of the Church of Scientology that rich, pampered, Tom Cruise was ” the most dedicated Scientology I know” did not play with many members of the audience – members of the Sea Org who work all hours for subsistence wages, giving up a career and a family to dedicate their lives to serving Scientology. Continue reading
2015 | Going Clear:Scientology and the Prison of Belief | Alex Gibney | HBO
View Online| Download as .mp4
The long wait is over, “Going Clear” was broadcast in the US on the 29th of March 2015.
This film has been so keenly anticipated by activists because it promises to bring the story of the Church of Scientology into the mainstream, and could prove to be a game-changer.
Please, buy a copy when the film becomes available for download, or on DVD. The people who made this need our support.
A review will follow (after I’ve seen the film myself).
Important news about the availability of “Going Clear” in the UK follows after the break.
2014 | An Evening with Lawrence Wright
Watch Online | Download as .mp4
This is an interview with Lawrence Wright which took place at the Texas book Fair in 2014. In it, he discusses his book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief”, which had been published the previous year.
“Going Clear” is based on more than 200 interviews with ex-Scientologists and years of archival research and one of a select few texts that has brought the history of the Church of Scientology up to date.
Recently, the news broke that HBO, the American premium satellite and cable TV network, is in the final stages of producing a film based on Wright’s book by award-winning documentary film-maker Alex Gibney which they plan to release in 2015.
To protect both author and publisher from the notoriously litigious Church, it was subject to incredibly thorough fact-checking and legal scrutiny. Now (according to HBO) 160 lawyers have scrutinised, and stand ready to defend, the film. Continue reading
2009 | Stephanie Gargosch | ZDF (German) Television | Der Scientology Plan (The Scientology Plan – How the Psycho-corporation Plans to Conquer Germany)
Part One View Online | Download as .mp4 | Part Two View Online | Download as .mp4 | Part Three View Online | Download as .mp4
This (subtitled) programme for German television opens with a film crew driving past the Scientology organisations in Los Angeles with ex-Scientologist Marc Headley (author of “Blown For Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology“).
They are followed by cars, intercepted by ‘security guards’ and watched over by surveillance cameras – and record it all.
They go on to describes the aim of Dianetics and Scientology as follows:
In 1954 Hubbard had already laid down the goal of Scientology. A new civilisation with so-called clears, a kind of Ubermenschen free from all negative emotions. […] Clear – this is a state that only Scientology can bring about. And in this clear world, according to Hubbard, the code of law of Scientology would then be applied.
Then, they play a recording of a Hubbard lecture. He tells his audience:
In the central organisation there will be a political officer. You want to know what happens when you have cleared everyone in the area? The only purpose that this centre is going to be used for is as a political centre. Once you have done all this, you are the government.
The totalitarian nature of Scientology, and its potential threat to German democracy is evidentially uppermost in the mind of this film-maker.
Read on (and play the video) after the break.
2005 | Education and Re-Education in Ideological Organizations and Their Implications for Children
Stephen A Kent Phd professor of sociology at the University of Alberta at Edmonton, Canada
Originally published in Cultic Studies Review Vol. 4, No. 2,
View Online | Download as .pdf
In this paper, Kent examines the attitudes of a number of “high control groups” (including Scientology) towards children. In all of these organisations he finds that:
- The overwhelming majority of the second generation abandon their parent’s ‘faith’, leaving as soon as they are old enough
- The reason for this is that group membership made such demands on the time and attention of parents that they did not have any time to spend with their kids – let alone time to indoctrinate them into a ramshackle belief system that was being made up as it went along.
2005 | Tom Cruise is Dangerous and Irresponsible
Ushma S. Neill, Executive Editor, Journal of Clinical investigation
View Online | Download as .pdf
For a time around 2005, the film actor Tom Cruise took it upon himself to promote Scientology’s aggressive hostility to psychiatry and psychiatric medication in media interviews.
In a masterpiece of understatement, this article in The Journal of Clinical Investigation examines many of of the statements that Cruise made at this time (and also refers to L Ron Hubbard’s writings).
It concludes that there was no rational medical foundation for his advice, and that attempting to follow it was potentially hazardous to health. Consequently the medially qualified author characterised the (unqualified) actor’s behaviour as ‘dangerous and irresponsible’.
Some people may raise an eyebrow at such an uncompromising condemnation. I don’t blame them. It is reasonable to doubt that a highly-motived film actor who caters to a mass market (and depends on the goodwill of the public) would risk his career by promoting dangerous pseudo-medical practices. This is why I have added links to one of the interviews that is analysed in the article below. Watch, and judge for yourself.