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Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology 426

eldavojohn writes "It's a lengthy read, but Lawrence Wright at The New Yorker has released a 26 page expose on Scientology. In a world where such innocuous sounding words as 'squirrels,' 'security-checked,' 'disconnection,' 'contra-survival,' 'suppressive persons,' 'clear' and 'open season' carry very serious and heavy baggage, director Paul Haggis has exited after thirty four years of membership and massive funding. Now he speaks at length of Scientology's controversies. From how celebrities were recruited with a 10% commission by a worker at Beverly Hills Playhouse to the current investigation by the FBI of physical abuse and human trafficking, Wright draws surrounding histories and accounts of the Church including Anonymous' crusade. The length of this article reflects the unusually large number of individuals (12 cases of physical abuse) cited as testimony of Scientology Leader David Miscavige's inurement and physical violence. The case remains open as the FBI collects data and testimony — especially in relation to Sea Org. Most disturbing are the disappearances of people that the New Yorker piece enumerates. The piece concludes with the author's interaction with the Church that results in several conflicting foundational statements from its stance on homosexuality (Haggis' original reason for publicly leaving it) to almost all details of L. Ron Hubbard's naval service and discharge. The article ends with Haggis' quote: 'I was in a cult for thirty-four years. Everyone else could see it. I don't know why I couldn't.' You can find summaries of the lengthy article and its suspected results along with corresponding reports listing politicians involved with the Church. Copyrighted work, leaked government documents, PS3 encryption keys and everything else has been posted on Slashdot but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence."
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Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:03PM (#35203066)

    It didn't even mention the Fair Game [] practice, Operation Snow White [], Operation Freakout [], or the numerous other nasty bits [] from the history of this organization.

    Of course, that probably won't stop Scientologists from calling the author a child molester and sending private detectives out to his house to harass him and try to dig up dirt on him. They don't seem to do measured responses very well.

    Of course, anyone who believes such attempts to discredit Haggis and Wright probably also believes that Julian Assange is a rapist.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:05PM (#35203088)

    Of course, that probably won't stop Scientologists from calling the author a child molester and sending private detectives out to his house to harass him and try to dig up dirt on him. They don't seem to do measured responses very well.

    They have 35 years worth of audits, they don't have to hire PIs to keep their own people quiet.

  • Operation Clambake (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheGreatAvatar ( 49772 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:15PM (#35203204) Homepage

    The obligatory link when discussing $cientology: []

  • by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:17PM (#35203224)
    I've personally known someone who was, for a decade along with his wife, a scientologist. He now has no qualms about calling them cultists and thieves and is glad to be out of there, though he deeply regrets the years he wasted there. I'm pretty sure that the drones of the church of happiology will be pretty pissed off at me for this, but hey, since this article is purely an opinion, there's no law they can pull to force this comment off slashdot.
  • Well, you're free to disagree with me but here are my initial reactions to these words prior to reading the article and what they mean to a scientologist:


    To me: Checked for security. Maybe used to say you checked out a building for how safe and secure it is or even referring to the process everyone goes through when they fly or enter a sports arena.
    To a scientologist: when someone "blows" (or flees the church) they recover them ("blow drill") sometimes physically against the persons will and subject them to an E-meter test which the article says is a powerful form of thought control.


    To me: Contrary to survival. Doesn't sound like you're committing suicide but maybe smoking or drinking? Making bad choices that jeopardize your health? Hell, driving while texting on a cell phone could be called 'contra-survival.'
    To a scientologist: when someone explodes violently, often hitting someone or throwing things at them that is contra-survival. The article mentions that this often traces back to prior lives where the person was a violent or disturbed individual.

    'suppressive persons'

    To me: Anyone who suppresses you. Probably a jerk or bully. Maybe an evil tyrant?
    To a scientologist: anyone in your life that says anything negative about scientology. It's always only someone you have a personal relationship with. The church determines who this is and oftentimes you must cut off contact with them completely or you will never be clear. The article lists tons of stories of families and lifelong friends being separated because of this. I'm sure Haggis is probably an SP now. If I ever meet a scientologist, I plan to announce immediately that I am an SP.

    To me these words seemed harmless and tame until you realize what these labels function as inside the church. It's so arcane and ridiculous. I can't believe people don't recognize the easily abused power system here that has very direct and serious consequences in your life. The article was a real eye opener as to how that crazy O.T. III shit is gobbled up by people because by that point they've maybe signed a billion year contract and have easily spent $400k on course work and auditing so they have a huge investment and desire to keep the lie going in their mind.

  • Re:Hrmm... (Score:2, Informative)

    by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:59PM (#35203672)

    You might want to look into that claim 'However, the church entity did try to conceal the abuses.' because they've got a smoking gun in Ireland.

    The cover-up of the chester priests was started and run from Rome. If their was an activist god like many Christians choose to believe she would smite many of their asses. She has done much worse for less (their claims).

  • by sourcerror ( 1718066 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:14PM (#35203836)

    "Any christian church, any fits that description. So do some flavors of Judaism and Islam."

    They want to control your mind, but they're quite modest with money. You can learn everything about these religions, without getting in debt. And there are no restricted scriptures, everything is accesible to newbs as well. That's a huge difference.

  • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:30PM (#35204018) Journal

    Not the first time religions have embargoed their own literature.

    It used to be illegal to own a bible that wasn't in Latin. The Priests thought that if people could read it for themselves they'd (a) figure out they were being lied to about what it contains and (b) not need priests even if they told the truth.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"