WARNING: This whole thing turned into a rant. Sorry in advance. Bear with me. Without further adieu…
Religion, as a whole, fascinates the hell out of me. So many different cultures with so many different beliefs. Different gods. Those are the wrong gods. Here are the right gods! Let’s go to war over gods! And prophets! And so on and so forth.
Among the religions is Scientology. Do they pray to a god? Not that I know. As someone who has watched South Park and Wikipedia I know there’s a high OT level that says there is a guy named Xenu who came to Earth to kill aliens in volcanoes or whatever. I’m not mocking. At NO point in this will I mock. I’m just saying that people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for learning this information. Is it crazy?
What? Xenu coming to Earth and killing aliens in volcanoes or whatever isn’t crazy? Well let’s see. The Jews believe that God created the Earth. Well I mean there’s billions of planets so he created billions, right? But then he decided that our planet was special and made animals. And man. And gave us ten commandments. And talked through people. And burning bushes. Or whatever. But that’s not crazy, right? And then later on some woman, who has a husband, is impregnated by God and that dude can later can walk on water, heal people with his hands, die, and come back to life. Not crazy? Mormonism… something about Jesus coming back to the life and visiting a guy in the woods in the USA in the 1800s and giving gold plates to him. Islam…I’m not even going there.
The point is religion is religion and you believe what you believe. When you talk religion it just sounds weird unless you boil it down to its basic core. It should be enough to believe in a higher being and just be good to other people around you. That’s what religion should be about.
Many years ago I picked up Dianetics to see what the hubbub was all about. I could not make any sense of that. Dude I’m sorry but if you read that book and it actually helps you then you are a much better person than me. I’m either a complete idiot or … I don’t know. I’m probably a complete idiot.
A&E’s new series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath is the latest scathing blow to Scientology. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy for the religion. In the past few years they’ve been attacked by the hacker group Anonymous, there’s been several books bashing the church, several scathing news reports, and HBO’s excellent Going Clear documentary. Is there more to say?
Yes. And Leah Remini is saying it. Leah leaving the church was a huge deal made even more so by the release of her book Troublemaker. It seems that, with this series, she continues to try and tell the story of how the Church of Scientology tears families apart while also showing how they can badger the shit out of you once you do.
The series talks about Scientology’s practices like disconnection (A Scientology practice of cutting ALL TIES and ALL COMMUNICATION with someone who is declared a “Suppressive Person” (enemy of the church)) and fair game (in which the Church TARGETS people they say our enemies of the church). It talks with past leaders of the church, people who worked in the higher echelons, and tells their stories – plus the stories of ordinary people whose lives have been ripped apart.
The Church is not a part of this docuseries. They do have PLENTY to say about the people participating and it is NEVER good. In the form of letters sent to the production they usually bash the crap out of them saying they were going to be asked to leave the church anyway for this or for that, or they are a wife beater, or some garbage. No matter if it is some low-level person or Mike Rinder (a former high level Scientologist) they bash the crap out of them. There was never one nice thing to say like, “We loved having him as a member for many years but he decided to go his own way and we wish him the best – no matter what he says about us.” That letter never came. The Church (according to this docuseries, other documentaries, etc) continue to bash the crap out of them with protests, signs, harassment, setting up cameras to watch their houses, follow them, hire private investigators, set up websites bashing the crap out of them. This is a church doing this?
I think as the Internet has opened up the world it allows this kind of behavior to be brought to light. It may sound crazy but it is actually happening to former members. That’s what they are telling us. But as this past election showed the Internet can also be a place where lies can be told and people think it is truth.
So who is right? The Church? Leah Remini? The Scientologists who will make signs and protest people? Who love it? Those who call it a money-hungry cult?
Leah goes into what it is to be a Scientologist. To live and breathe the religion. To spend hours a day every day doing Scientology. Buying all of their books (mandatory). Continuing to spend money. Train. Continue training. Learn that the training was wrong and now you have to retrain. Take out a second mortgage on your house to pay for more training. Et cetra, et cetra, et cetra.
But it happens in all religions right? Creflo Dollar is asking people to send their money so he can get a private jet. Creflo is worth 27 million dollars preaching the word of “the Lord.” Do you think Jesus would appreciate a pastor of his spreading the good word, passing that collection plate, and taking that money for the next mansion, car, or plane? Of course not.
Once again it is about the message and what makes people happy. If Scientology can make people happy then great. If they like spending their money on training then good for them.
It’s the whole disconnection thing with your family that really pisses me off. The docuseries talks about a grandmother who can’t see her grandkids because she was disconnected from her child. SHE CAN’T SEE HER GRANDKIDS!???!?! COME ON!
A twin brother had to take shit for going to his own twin brother’s funeral because his twin brother left the church and now is a “suppressive person.” I mean – it is his TWIN BROTHER. And the DUDE IS DEAD. He went in the end and in the very end left Scientology. So did his mother. And now they are considered “the enemy.”
The docuseries is a very interesting and fascinating look into what happens once you become an enemy of Scientology. It’s weird to think you are an enemy of a religion you once belonged to – at least in the modern world. But hey…religion is weird. There are dudes who suicide bomb innocent women and children because they believe there are 40 virgins in heaven waiting for them if they do.
For me watching it just seems like it is kind of unreal. I’m sure if it was happening right outside my door it would be very real.
The only thing I truly believe is that Scientology SHOULD be tax-exempt. Again – who are we to say what is religion and what is not. Why should a Buddhist temple be tax-exempt? Why should a Baptist church? What makes what someone who believes one thing better than someone else believing something else? The people who believe a guy rose up from the dead and then went to heaven CAN have tax exempt status but the people who believe in Xenu can’t? I mean it should be everyone or no one.
Am I for Scientology? No – I’m not. Am I willing to hear everyone’s point of view? I guess…but to a point. If you leave a church or a synagogue you are still able to talk to your parents. Your kids. Your neighbors. Scientology doing some crazy shit really just shows how crazy their shit is. I’m sure they would come off less crazy if they stopped doing this crazy shit. But they keep doing it.
But religion has torn families apart before. No matter what religion it is. I’m sure it will continue to do so.
Is this docuseries biased? Well they asked for the Church to participate and they said no. They did send the letters that bash the crap out of people. Usually it is Leah and her crew going to interview someone and Leah just being SHOCKED at the shit these people say. At what the Church put them through.
The fact that Leah grew up in Scientology, used to promote the crap out of Scientology, and then had her eyes opened, leaves, and doesn’t care what the Church says about her speaks volumes. They can bash the crap out of her all they want. She isn’t backing down. There’s not many huge celebs who leave Scientology (probably because they are courted so well…..or Scientology has all of their dirty, little secrets?) but she left. And she doesn’t give a crap. And because this fascinates the crap out of me I’ll keep watching. Until the series ends. And if it gets picked up? I’ll watch more. And if they make another documentary? I’ll watch even more. It is truly like a car wreck I can’t look away from.
I’m not sure if this is a review or just a rant about religion in general. It probably doesn’t belong on an entertainment site that reviews movies, comics, and videogames. But as I rarely watch TV (it’s usually Netflix shows, Game of Thrones, or South Park) I thought I’d talk “briefly” about this.
Sorry everyone…I’ll go back to talking about a guy in an assmask raping bros tomorrow. I promise.