We’re deep into reporting several cool stories coming your way, so we just had time for a quick thought for you today. We noticed over at the forums that Scientology has put out, among its flood of recent press releases, an announcement about its newest pet academic.
That reminded us of something we’ve wanted to point out for a while now. There will always be religious studies types at universities who run interference for Scientology. Why? Well, we think it has something to do with the nature of the field itself. Except for a very few who see things clearly, such as Stephen Kent and Susan Raine, the rest betray a need to preserve the field, which, let’s face it, is getting less important every day.
Anyway, one of the chief ways that academics provide succor for Scientology, even some of the “better” ones, who have written critical pieces about the church, is that they disavow the testimony of “apostates.” They assume that anyone who has left an organization like the Church of Scientology has an axe to grind, and that one should automatically discount the claims made about the “spirituality” of a group by someone who no longer has that spirit.
As recently as just a couple of years ago, we have seen very mainstream, very respected religious studies types making the claim that the story of Scientology is still not well understood because one must ignore the “apostates,” and the average, everyday Scientologist has not been heard from. Also, the media plays into this notion whenever someone new comes forward, and they treat that person as if their word must be examined alone, and against the official pronouncements of an organization that invariably calls them a liar. We’re thinking, for example, of when Jenna Miscavige Hill made her media rounds when her book was published early in 2013. We saw news organizations ask her to refute what the church was saying about her, as if what she had to say had not been said by literally hundreds of ex-members before her, and that what the church had been saying had been proved to be bogus time and again in court documents.
Academics and the media time and again reduce the testimony of former church members to be a simple case of he-said-versus-she-said, and who knows what the truth is.
Well, it’s time to bury this notion that we have not heard the truth about Scientology because we are only hearing from ex-members. In the last year, the Underground Bunker has brought you previously unheard recordings that shatter the notion that we are relying solely on the personal accounts of ex-members. We are sad to say that except for short portions of the Powell recordings, none of the others have been picked up or even mentioned by other media. And we certainly expect religious studies academics to ignore them.
Don’t believe the ex-members? You don’t need to. Listen for yourself and hear…
…an actual member being excommunicated by being “declared” a “suppressive person,” confirming almost everything ex-members have been telling us about Scientology’s Orwellian system of “ethics.” The Underground Bunker obtained an audio recording of Sylvia DeWall being told that she would be declared suppressive for committing the “crime” of, among other things, watching Leah Remini perform on Dancing with the Stars, and watching a televised interview of author Lawrence Wright. It’s all there — confirmation that Scientology is a snitching culture, that members find themselves being interrogated by young ethics officers who have the power to upend their lives and split apart their families. Don’t believe the exes, listen to it with your own ears.
…hours of police interviews with Dwayne and Daniel Powell, two Scientology spies who were caught stalking Ron Miscavige, Sr., father to church leader David Miscavige. Ron escaped from Scientology’s International Base in 2012, and in 2013, the Powells were arrested on a weapons charge and then spilled their guts in these detailed conversations. For decades, ex-church members have told us about elaborate schemes by Miscavige to use private investigators to stalk and harass ex-Scientologists and journalists, right out of L. Ron Hubbard’s 1960s playbook. Don’t believe them. Instead, listen with your own ears as the Powells describe what their job was — for $10,000 in cash a week, to spy on Ron Sr. in exactly the ways Scientology always has.
…the jargon-filled tirades of a high-ranking Scientology Sea Org member as he dresses down compliant church members while being secretly recorded inside a Scientology “org.” Andres Rodriguez is frustrated at the shortcuts church members have been taking, and so he blasts a group of them in a lengthy talk that was recorded and smuggled to us. With the help of Chris Shelton, we decoded what he is saying, and it stunned even long-time former members who told us they didn’t realize things were even worse than they’ve been saying. The Rodriguez recording again confirms what “apostates” have been saying — specifically about the convoluted and arcane steps of Scientology’s “Bridge” of courses. And that alterations made by David Miscavige are making things even more illogical (and, as always, expensive). Don’t believe what ex-members say about the Kafkaesque world of Scientology’s “levels” of advancement — you can hear with your own ears as Andres Rodriguez describes it in detail.
It recently dawned on us how these three recordings, all obtained and posted in full only here at the Underground Bunker, really do represent an advance in the outside world’s understanding of Scientology. Not that we expect the academic world to pay any attention to it. Or even other news organizations.
But our readers know. A corner has been turned. Scientology can recruit as many academic shills as they want. But the truth of what goes on in the Church of Scientology is now out in a way it never has been before.
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Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield