'Going Clear' Scientology and the Prison of Belief (HBO documentary produced by Alex Gibney)

Hi everybody. It's been a while. Thought I'd pass through and see if anyone happened to catch a documentary that was aired on HBO this past Sunday, (March 29th) called 'Going Clear - Scientology and the Prison of Belief'.

Specifically, I am interested in discussing the relevance of letting Scientology be, versus the relevance of taking an interest in the subject of campaigning against this organizations' abuses. BUT PLEASE KNOW THAT I AM NOT HERE TO RECRUIT ANYBODY TO ANYTHING. Thank you. 

I firmly feel a stop needs to be put to one of Scientology's very worst, if not THEE worst policy they widely and arbitrarily enforce, which is called 'disconnection' (shunning). I also feel their 501(c)(3) status needs to be yanked out from under them ASAP. In my opinion, they have about as much in common with "a religion" as a warm sunny day has in common with a cold rainy one. And by the way, I'm no fan of religion, either.

These two abuses needing resolution and were what Alex Gibney (the producer of the documentary) hoped to bring across to audiences, in an as level headed and as realistically possible. I personally think he did a god job. He feels there are many more abuses that need some light to be shed on, but he only had so much time and he needed to start somewhere. He felt these to abuses were the most critical.

I also strongly feel Scientology uses a lot of mind control or brainwashing or invasive controlled thinking tactics or whatever the hell you want to call it. I would like to know what some of you feel about that.

This organization has a bottomless pit of depravity within its soul (meaning the hierarchy and much of the clergy), the likes of which I've never heard before. What makes it extra special infuriating and mind blowing, is these abuses and many crimes, actually, I think almost all crimes that exist in our code of law, have been happening right under our noses (those of us in the US), for decades.

I should make one important clarification before I end this post. Many of the members of Scientology that are on the more basic or lower levels, or even fringes of this organization, and I believe quite a few on the higher levels, are UNAWARE of much, if not all, of the abuse that exists. I feel confidently, this documentary will make a big change concerning this.

I'm sorry for going on. It's a rabbit hole and personally, I feel it is a bottomless one. So I better stop here.

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I feel the same way about Scientology as I do about Christian Science and Latter Day Saints; nuttier than version 1.0 aka the old testament. The crazy does not stop there though because version 2.0, aka the new testament, is just as bat shit crazy.

I watched to see if they would include some new shit that Dawkins did not cover in "The god delusion".

After watching I gotta' say that the IRS has big, big balls when dealing with little people like myself. But the minute the scientologist put the screws to them they folded and showed them that they had no balls. At least with organizations like this.

Funny, you can get arrested for imprisoning someone. But if you belong to a religion it's not considered imprisoning since you are there of your on volition. Those people are about as there of their own volition as the Jones Town people were or the Waco Texas people were.

My biggest take away was what the people who had left scientology said after. They all said that looking back they felt ashamed and silly for believing in this nonsense. Some of them said it with a smirk on their face which, if you ever felt sheepish, showed how utterly brainwashed these people have to be.

Don't get me started on Tom Cruise and his special brand of insanity. Guy's nuts. The only reason that scientology did not smear Katy Holmes was because her entire family are rich attorney's. John Travolta may as well come out of the closet already and let the scientologist the divulge all the shit he told them in private. These people are nuts.

First of all, please know that any of the following thoughts I express, are my opinion only. Thank you for your reply. It was thoughtful and I found it interesting, well written and well expressed. I agree with many of the things you expressed. You have a reasonable and common reaction after seeing this documentary even though I feel you missed an important point Gibney wanted to make which was how many, perfectly good intentioned, intelligent, good hearted people, can be unknowingly, manipulated in their thinking to a point of committing wrongful acts they would otherwise never dream of doing, and feel the acts were completely justified. ADDENDUM EDIT: Or did you? I may have misunerstood.

Alex Gibney has intimated a sequel is a possibility, and one reason for that is because there are so many other horrific atrocities this 'church' has committed, he feels compelled to make people aware of much more than 'Going Clear' was able. He could only accomplish so much in two hours. He said he had 4 hours of footage that was cut, simply due to time constraints.

I do not wish to downplay the atrocities that occur in the religions you mentioned, or any religion. My intention for starting this thread is to bring across what I feel are reasonable arguments as to why I feel Scientology is way worse than any of the mainstream religions, including the ones you mentioned. I consider Christian Science to be semi-mainstream, so I'm throwing that in the category, as well. 

Scientology is ALWAYS WORSE than you think and I don't fault you AT ALL for your seeming complete, but understandable, ignorance on the depth of evil this organization has visited on countless innocent good people and I am sure Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright would agree. Just go watch a few of their recent interviews that have been done since the airing of the documentary. 

I'm not one of those people that think they are always right. In other words, I can be moved to change my opinion, and I challenge anybody who wishes to try to bring it on!

Come on peoples, please. I want to see your comments, even if you didn't see the documentary yet. I'm was just kidding when I said bring it! I really want to know what you folks think. Let's see.. who did I remember.... oh yes, Jake LeMaster, and a guy in India... oh gosh, what was his name? I'm old so I forget names. Oh yeah, his name was Akshay Bist and a Heather. And I remember a Fronkey Farmer or something like that, and Simon Paynton (okay now I'm cheating because I just pulled up groups to try to refresh my memory). Another - atheistexile (I still bump into him once in a while on some other social network sites), and there was a Doone, but I could never understand much of what he said - he was one of those that have a Harvard professor vocabulary. Aww forget it. My memory sucks. But anyway, yeah I'm coming close to begging here. I want to hear about others perceptions about Scientology.  

I won't have much time to spend here for a few weeks or so, and I have a lot to say! I'll just leave you with the video that convinced me of Sci's cult status. It's several hours long... so if anyone wants to watch just a part of it, I'll tell you where the best (imo) 30 minutes or so of it is. I just don't remember it, right now.

The gist of it is, it's a legal deposition given by a Sci member, who's truly brainwashed, and truly believes he's doing a good thing for the world... for planet Earth, in fact. Even if you're not interested in the cult aspect of Sci, this is a fantastic psychological example of one guy who is massively deluded, yet still with all the wits about him that he needs.

Thank you for recommending that. I've was aware of this video, but never got around to watching it though I wanted to. Mr. Fishman is still active on several anti-Scientology blogs, if I am not mistaken. I may be confusing him with someone else, but I don't think so. I'm pretty sure I've see posts here and there with his name on them and I was aware that he was someone that a lot of anti-Scientology bloggers liked to discuss. I'll double check and make sure I'm not confused about this.

It's running in the background while I'm doing homework, and I just heard some quotes I didn't notice before (in the above, Part 1 video) that are great!

It's hard to get into a morgue telling them that you want to spring people out of their bodies.


I'm a squirrel now, because I can't get up the bridge, and I need the data!

He looks (to me) like he's about to cry at 27:00, where he's getting into what he has to do to get back into the good graces of Scientology (as opposed to currently being "Declared a Potential Trouble Source"). 

I love this guy! He's so genuine. Those quotes went over my head the first time I watched, but now I understand them (and him) better. Keep in mind he hasn't even been indoctrinated to the level of OT III yet, and they can go all the way up to level OT VIII (assuming they give enough to the organization). (OT is Objective Thetan.)

Wow, I watched it too. I'm no expert but it sounds like he's speaking part Scientologist and part insanity lol. But guess what? He ended up going to jail for crimes he committed when he was still a Scientologist. The lawsuits were flying and he was one of THE main characters - it was a huge deal as far as court rulings and precedents and some of Scientology's inner workings being revealed, and all of that kind of thing. Later he said he was glad he went to jail because he said otherwise, he would probably still be a Scientologist.

Wow, seriously? He was not even OT III yet? Whoa! The bizarreness never ends in the world of Scientology.

I couldn't find any current info on him so I sent an email to to him from his website but the website has not been updated since the 90's so I don't know what the deal is. I'll find out eventually. I just need to know where to go and who to talk to. It's a very deep rabbit hole. It's easy to get lost in the maze lol. 

I feel about scientology EXACTLY the way I do about every other religion.  Every bit of it is nonsense, and much of it is destructive of humanity.

In my opinion you are wrong. If you get the chance are inclined, I hope you will do some research. I think you will quickly find out why I feel this way.

An excellent and current book I can suggest for starters, is 'Blown for Good' by Marc Headly, but there are other excellent books. I think this one came to mind because I noticed you had the same last name lol.

I am a Scientology critic because of the horrendous abuses they commit and have managed to hide for a long time because of their lies, scams, crimes, and abuse of their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. I do not criticize them for any of their beliefs.That is not the issue. Any current mainstream religions are a garden party compared to Scientology, when you learn the truth, imo.

A popular Scientology critic motto: Scientology is always worse than you think.

Thank you for your reply.

When Fishman mentions, "..devients, artists, nonconformists' and that the 'earth is a prison planet', that was one statement that seemed the 'most' true. Sadly, the mentioned classifications are my kind of people for the most part! I do have my own limits of course. Would this not represent the 'poisen tree' from which everything emerges, even Scientology? Could such a system ever transcend the poisen at it's roots?

It would seem that Scientology should have just 'stopped' while it was ahead, before it establishes the earth as a Sartreian 'No Exit'.
Sadly I did not get past the first 15 mins of the tape. As I listen to his monologue, it became clear that he is describing a system of thought that is self-referencing, and 'sealed', against disconfirmation or test. Some of the 'methods' used could be considered rather common psychological tech., such as desensitization, visualization, and 'talking therapy'. Sadly this poor fellow takes the 'method' at face value, and brings nothing to the table as personal insight.

I do not know if he took the entry 'personality test' that I remember looking at in the early 1980's while I was a student in Portland. I was a Psyche- major at the time as was slightly familier with the MMPI test. During my review of the Sci test, it became clear that the questions could help sort the 'nieve' from the 'hard case' in the right hands. I would expect that this poor fellow was of the 'nieve' class.

I wonder what the poor fellows background was, as to education, religious experience, and life-time traumas? Some of us are ripe low laying fruit for the predatory.


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