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What was your experience?

What was your experience?

18 comments

[–] ProxyMusic 16 points Edited

No. Some friends tried to get me to read "Dianetics" and come to an event when I was a teen in the early 70s. I often look back on that moment and realize I really dodged a bullet.

I only recently learned from watching Leah Remini's and Mike Rinder's shows on Netflix that Scientology has infiltrated and become dominant in Farakhan's Nation of Islam in much the same way that the T has glommed onto and taken over the LGB. Talk about an unlikely pairing.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/inside-the-nation-of-islams-strange-ties-to-scientology

That is fascinating - thank you for sharing it. What an unexpected pairing.

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder have a podcast too, if you want to go deeper into the rabbit hole of Scientology.

I watched a South Park episode about it. I'm basically an expert.

Not personally, but I have a few family members that are ex-Scientologists. One was raised in Scientology and it’s really screwed him up; Scientology treats children as little adults and they are given little guidance and structure. He was basically raised by a housekeeper while his parents traveled between CA and FL doing Scientology shit, he was homeschooled and has zero social skills. He’s in his 30’s and has just gotten his first job. Scientology business practices are… questionable, at best. Illegal, at worst. This family member has had at least two legal issues with his businesses. The family spent literally hundreds of thousands completing different “levels” before they left. 0/10 Would not recommend.

I read Dianetics once on a cruise since it was in the ship's library. That was like 20 years ago so I don't remember much other than thinking that it sounded like a bunch of bullshit. But at that point I think I already knew it was a "religion" invented by a sci fi author as a bet, and had nosed around the old Operation Clambake website. I like taking personality tests and when I've been in LA and passed a sandwich board saying come in for a free test I have been kind of tempted to check it out but at the same time I don't like sitting through, like, time-share sales pitches either and have heard horror stories where they (time shares, not scientologists) lock you in the room and don't let you out until you sign a contract so I've never actually taken the plunge out of possibly paranoid but maybe not totally unfounded fear that if I went in the building I'd end up being kidnapped or trafficked. Then again the last time I had to make a decision about that I wasn't making anywhere near a high enough income to be worth it to them.

[–] ghoul2 [OP] Ghost w/the most 1 points

Holy crap... the thing about getting locked in a room is genuinely terrifying lol. Yeah I'll pass

Only in the most minor way. I was accosted by an old man downtown talking about "personality tests" and I asked him if he needed help leaving the cult. He was taken aback and said no and scuttled away.

Not directly, but I used to know someone who was a well-known Scientology protestor and had websites about the way they mistreat people. She was doxed online, harassed, stalked, flyers put up in her neighborhood accusing her of being a religious bigot, the whole nine yards.

[–] ghoul2 [OP] Ghost w/the most 2 points

Dang i'm really sorry she had to go through that :(

She handled it well, but it must have taken a toll. Knowing her, and having learned about Lisa McPherson before that, pushed me from "Scientology is weird and dumb" to "Scientology is a dangerous cult and I can't believe they're legally allowed to exist"

Yes. My dad is... with them in a sort of strange way. Did some of their practices. Can't quite grasp the difference between reality and fiction. Has strange beliefs which might be his own, or maybe from scientology. Like his belief that there's propaganda that smart people wear glasses, and therefore people ruin their eyesight to be smart. He's almost blind himself and thinks himself very smart, and I guess is very resentful of the fact that this propaganda has made him blind.

I've only interacted with them to troll them, bc they're a batshit insane cult. I started participating in activism against them (in the days when the cake was a lie and long cats were long) after hearing about the disturbing Lisa McPherson case, and the accounts of the ex-scientology kids which are also horrific. During the protests against them their agents stalked, doxed, and continually terrorized many protestors afterwards and I personally do believe the stories that they poisoned people's cats.

My own religious community was insane and abusive but not scientology levels of insane and abusive, but still I have a degree of empathy for what the survivors describe.

[–] immersang 1 points Edited

As many others here, only in a superficial way.

The city I live in has a Scientology "Ideal Org" which is quite centrally located, so you will meet the members occasionally outside when they are trying to recruit. And it's always kind of "sneaky". Like, you get a flyer to a "movie night" on some topic like drug abuse prevention, and you only notice who it's by when you look at the fine print (or are already aware of the typical wording they use). Or once a friend and I were pulled into some kind of "exhibition" by a friendly older lady; it was a pretty cold winter day and my friend was desperate to warm up, so he went immediately and I followed. Inside they gave us some reading material, and somewhere it said "L. Ron Hubbard" on there, and then we realized what that was.

I sometimes thought about going into the Ideal Org and take a personality test out of sheer curiosity. But that most probably means giving them contact data, and I really don't want them to have any personal info on me. Especially not my address.

[–] ghoul2 [OP] Ghost w/the most 0 points

What's the deal with the personality test? I didn't know about this until I read the comments on this post.

The short answer is that it's their main recruiting tool. You take a free personality test, which supposedly then shows some areas in your life / personality that Scientology can help you improve with some of their (paid) courses.

A detailed explanation (What is is? When and how did it start? How are they using it today?) is this video. (Chris Shelton himself is a former Scientologist.)

Also, here's the South Park parody. :D

Only saying “No thanks” to the “personality tests” the were pushing in town once years ago.