Heard It’s Crazy in There? Scientology’s Going to Look Crazier Than Ever After This Read.
Scientology, the religion that offers us endless conversation material every time a new documentary comes out.
Most of the knowledge of this secretive sect comes from someone who stole a Jeep and drove through a fence to escape from it.
Whether you’re team Leah Remini or Team Tom Cruise, it’s an interesting deep dive. So, we at Alux took a wonder through the interwebs to compile some of the more interesting facts about Scientology.
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Scientifically, and logically, it’s more entertaining to watch a fun video rather than reading a boring article. Here’s our YouTube upload for this topic:
With that in place, let’s jump right into the first crazy fact about Scientology that you probably didn’t know.
Scientology’s Founder Was a Science-Fiction Writer
“Dianetics” is the basis of Scientology. It originated from a self-help book penned by its founder, Hubbard, in 1950. When it hit the shelves it became a best seller.
The original book seemed like it was an academic style written as a joke. With all kinds of rambling footnotes that were more opinion than substantiated findings. It appeared to be written in a quirky, joking style.
But the content itself was of a serious nature, and the claims… extraordinary! L Ron claimed that Dianetics had identified the source of self-destructive behaviour, it was the “reactive mind.”
This was apparently a kind of data bank that is filled with traumatic memories called “engrams,” the source of nightmares, insecurities, irrational fears, and psychosomatic illnesses.
All this sounds okay, if you think that someone with a medical and preferably psychology degree wrote it. But L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer who holds the Guinness World Record for Most Published Works by One Author. Not really someone you would consider taking life changing advice from right? But their website claims to have 4.4million new members per year. Critics place the figure closed to 25 to 55 thousand members.
If you don’t know much about Scientology, here is a very basic explanation. But keep reading and all will be revealed, plus all the juicy bits we dug up.
Scientology identifies peoples flaws, and then offers dianetics as a method to ascend to the upper peaks of Scientology. To ascent you need to become Clear because this means you are adaptable to and able to change your environment. A “clear” person has high ethical and moral standards and can seek and experience pleasure far greater than others. Their personality is heightened, and they are creative and constructive, less susceptible to illness, stress and compulsions, well according to L Ron Hubbard.
Once you reach “Clear” the next level is Operating Thetan or OT, which has another 8 levels. This is someone who can handle challenges without using their body or physical means. That’s mind rays, Kyle.
The Founder of Scientology Once Told His Wife He Murdered Their Child
L Ron Hubbard is a controversial figure. He displayed extreme paranoia and abusive tendencies which seemed to have carried through to his church values.
He kidnapped his daughter, when his second wife threatened to leave him. He reportedly called his wife and told her that he had killed their daughter. Thankfully he called her back a while later and told her that it has been a lie and that the child was still alive. Talk about a sick joke.
Members Are Pressured to Talk About Their Sex Lives
Dianetics works by “draining the engrams of painful, damaging qualities and eliminating the reactive mind, leaving a person “Clear.”
To get to the “clear” goal Scientologists have to go through auditing. This is where leaders ask them personal questions about their lives. The questions can get pretty personal and explicit.
Forcing people to reveal this kind of “intel” makes them pretty exposed to being exploited or blackmailed, but more on the cult like practices later.
Scientologists Believe Mental Illness Doesn’t Exist
Ron Hubbard saw psychiatrists as evil. But he didn’t start out that way. Initially he offered his Dianetics findings to the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medial Association. But his work was rejected as unscientific and unplausible. He took great exception to this and has since turned on all psychiatry and psychology practices. He portrays them as demonic competitors to his pure science.
If you’re keen to learn about some of the richest religions in the world, be sure to watch our video: Top 10 Richest Religious Organizations.
The Dark History of Its Leader: David Miscavige
When L Ron Hubbard died there was a void to be filled in the church. Two weeks after his death David Miscavige stepped into the position. At the time he was only 25 years old.
In his first presentation he claimed that Hubbard has reached a higher level of Operating Thetan and had discarded his body he had used in this lifetime and is now done with a physical body.
Those who have left Scientology are clear that it is dangerous to cross Miscavige. He is known to fly into a rage and assault members. Repeated beatings and abuse are reported by many defectors.
A defector, Amy Scobee, said that nobody challenged the abuse because people were terrified of Miscavige. The greatest fear of members is expulsion. As Scobee explains, “You don’t have any money. You don’t have job experience. You don’t have anything. And he could put you on the streets and ruin you.” That is a lot of a person to lord over others.
Anyone who does stand up to the leadership is given the scarlet letters SP, and punished with manual labour for being beaten and reporting it.
Regular members aren’t the only ones who fear Mascavige. If he has a problem with you he can make those closest to you disappear, but more on that soon.
The Church Tried to Censor Wikipedia
Scientology is like the men in black, they like to go around erasing any mention of their organisation that could be categorized as “untoward”. They try to repress any comment of coverage of them in the media or internet.
Wikipedia, the online community encyclopedia, had to ban any organization affiliated to Scientology from editing its articles for fear of the church removing information that is of a critical nature to the public.
If you’d like to really go into depth on Scientology, a good read is Scientology – The Fundamentals of Thought: The Theory & Practice of Scientology for Beginners available on audible.
It’s Considered a Cult
In 1985, thanks to a court case, the world was finally exposed to the crazy world of the scriptures of L.Ron Hubbard. The outside world heard about the despotic ruler named Xenu, leader of a confederation of 90 planets. Because of overpopulation 75 million years ago, Xenu was forced to take radical measures like exploding volcanoes full of the extra population.
It worked in principal and destroyed the people but freed their spirits—called thetans—which attached themselves to one another in clusters. Those spirit clusters were “trapped in a compound of frozen alcohol and glycol,” then “implanted” with “the seed of deviant behavior.” “When people die, these clusters attach to other humans and keep perpetuating themselves.”
There’s a lot there. And we’re not able to unpack it all for obvious reasons, but it’s just crazy!
One must be pretty manipulated to believe that pouring more and more money into this organization to undergo courses will free you from 75-million-year-old volcano ghosts.
On the basis of the definition of the Meriam-Webster dictionary defining a cult “a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious. Showing great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work, we’re gonna say it all adds up to a cult!
It Costs a Fortune
One of the most outspoken ex-member’s is actor, Leah Remini. She has written and featured in many TV series and interviews about her experience. Remini claims she spent “millions” during her 35 years with the church.
She opened up about the costs involved in Scientology, and the figures will make your head spin.
The introductory courses are $35, which according to Remini are a complete scam to get people through the door, and don’t count towards anything anyway. The 12 books that are prescribed reading cost upwards of $4,000 a set, and you are encouraged to upgrade your set every time there is an update to the writings. Then there are DVD’s, audio, and other learning materials all with a hefty price tag.
“The Bridge to Total Freedom” is the list of courses required to reach spiritual actualization. This kind of course cost about $650 each. But the real cost is the time commitment to study, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Then Scientologists must attend auditing, coughing up $800 an hour for the church’s version of therapy.
Even once you reach “The Bridge” the course and book buying doesn’t end. “They constantly invent new things,” according to Remini. Scientology claims there have been changes or that a mistake was made when a member was taking the course so the course needs to be repeated, at their own expense.
If a member wants to complete “The Bridge,” members allegedly have to live on a ship called the Freewinds for as long as the church deems necessary.
Regardless of how organized the economy of Scientology is, there are much more powerful religious organizations in existence. So What is the World’s Most Powerful Religion?
Even Jesus Didn’t Make the Cut According to Scientology
According to Scientologist standards, key religious deities like Buddha or Jesus weren’t up to standard if Dianetics were the plumb line.
According to a Scientology Magazine published in 1959 “neither Lord Buddha nor Jesus Christ were Operating Thetans, they were just a shade above Clear.”
Scientology’s Top Leaders Often Disappear
Not even David Miscavige’s wife is spared his wrath. According to investigative journalism reports, Shelley Miscavige disappeared under really unusual circumstances and her whereabouts remains unknown.
In June 2006 Miscavige went away from Gold Base. While he was away, Shelley filled some job vacancies without his permission. According to witnesses this enraged him upon his return. She has never been seen since.
Scientology Is Constantly Preparing for the Apocalypse
If the apocalypse comes, Scientologists are ready. They have been preparing secret bunkers to shelter in place for many years. And what is a nuclear-proof shelter without a library sized vault housing footage of their lord and saviour, Hubbard.
Gold Base Freeloaders Tab
Gold Base is a SeaOrg camp in Southern California. It houses around 800 Scientologists and the office of Miscavige. They have to pledge a billion years of service to scientology in exchange for board and lodging and counselling.
They each receive $50 a week stipend.
One ex-SeaOrg member of 19 years, Janela Webster, tells how it wasn’t uncommon for this measly wage to be docked to as low as $13 a week, just for failing to meet production quotas or skipping scripture-study sessions.
The church states that anyone can leave whenever they want, except for that pesky billion-year agreement of course. So when they do leave, quit or escape “Gold Base” they receive a whopping bill for their time there. The Freeloaders Tab, as it is known, lists the costs of room, board, counselling and other services they received while at GoldBase. It can exceed a hundred thousand dollars.
If you fail to pay you can’t leave in good standing. It is used as a way for the church to force defectors to come back because they have no other option as grown adults with no worldly skills and a huge debt to pay.
The View From the Top
On the other side of the tracks from the lowly SeaOrg members, the top brass get paid well.
Apparently members like Tom Cruise and David Miscavige live in the lap of luxury. But the FBI is on their tales because the law in the US prohibits a tax-exempt organisation’s leader to enjoy compensation of perks. They call the practice inurement, and when you hear of Miscavige’s perks you’d agree he is certainly “inured” at inurement.
Miscavige lives like the rich and famous of Hollywood enjoying private jets, elaborate birthday gifts like motorcycles with a $70,000 price tag. Miscavige had five private stewards and two chefs at his disposal; and a large car collection including a Saleen Mustang and 6 motor cycles.
“These gifts are tokens of love and respect for Mr. Miscavige,” according to Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis. The church refuses to disclose how much money Miscavige earns, and the church isn’t required to do so.
The FBI Investigated Them for Human Trafficking
Since December 2009 the FBI began investigating the Church of Scientology with the hope of uncovering human rights violations that had been reported to them from ex members. If emotional, spiritual, or psychological pressure failed to work on wayward members, then sometimes physical force is used to bring them back.
The first focus was on Gold Base, and claims of “Human Trafficking” taking place.
Defectors who tried to leave told of the gold base security staff using “blow drills” to find escapes and bring them back. These are effective and hundreds of SeaOrg members have been caught and brought back this way. When a member has been disobedient in this way they are sent for “re-indoctrination” at a camp known as the Rehabilitation Project Force. Here members are forced to do hard labour and fed very little.
It All Started With Acting Lessons
If you think handing out lanyards and T-shirts are a good marketing ploy, then you’ve got nothing on the Scientologist.
In 1955 the equivalent of a Scientologist’s newsletter urged Scientologists to “cultivate celebrities.” Kind of like a grow your own herb garden, we guess.
The idea would be that having some famous names attached to the church will bring credibility to “Dianetics” and Scientology as a whole. If there’s one thing that L Ron Hubbard knows better than science fiction, it’s the smoke and mirrors of marketing.
They appointed Milton Katselas as resident acting coach. He taught hundreds of Hollywood hopefuls, including Michelle Pfeiffer, George Clooney and Ted Danson. Katselas received 10% commission from any of the money donated to Scientology by any of the celebrities he coached. Kind of like a backwards tithing system.
We know you have your own views of this religion, but in the words of L.Ron Hubbard, “Nothing in Scientology is true for you unless you have observed it and it is true according to your observation.”
What is the craziest cult you have ever heard of?
Which group should we uncover next?