I watched the two-hour HBO “Going Clear” documentary last night and wanted to share some immediate thoughts.
First of all. Wow! It was very intense and will hopefully wake up the public to the power and danger of the Scientology cult. In particular, I welcome the call to action to revoke its tax exemption status (something I do not believe it should have ever acquired).
In 2010, I wrote a blog piece calling for tax exemption revocation of Scientology, when high-profile leaders like Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder started sharing their inside stories.
Super kudos to all of the former members for their bravery in speaking out and sharing some of their incredible stories.
(There are of course other stories which were omitted, perhaps worse stories,–like the death of Lisa McPherson and Hubbard’s use of many drugs according to his son and dying with psychiatric medication in his blood system, according to autopsy records).
I was so moved by the former member’s courage. I know how much they have been fair-gamed (harassed, threatened, and had loved ones cut them off) because of cult indoctrination.
Two notable stories that could have been mentioned in the movie are those of Jon Atack and Paulette Cooper. Jon’s book, “Let’s sell these people a piece of Blue Sky,” has helped so many to understand the undue influence of this group.
I hope in the days to come, many more people, take the opportunity to watch the movie, especially current members of Scientology, celebrities and people of wealth who continue to give huge amounts of money to prop up this group.
I was glad the words, “mind control” and “brainwashing” were used by former members. It pains me to hear former members talk about themselves as “stupid” for belonging for so many years.
They are not stupid! Cults do not want stupid people.
Information about how such groups operate is available and this needs to be shared widely. With this information, the public (and former members) will be in a better place to understand the forces of systematic social influence they were subjected to from the very first deceptive recruitment appeal.
For example, consider hypnosis (Hubbard said he was de-hypnotizing, but he was doing the opposite). Other techniques include sleep deprivation, thought-stopping, phobia indoctrination, to name just a few. These techniques are discussed in my BITE model of mind control. Understanding how that operates will free people from the residue of self-blame and guilt.
It is essential that people who watched “Going Clear” learn more about cults of all kinds: terrorist cults, trafficking, multi-level marketing groups. It is so important that people arm themselves with information and share their stories to help others.
It is with this in mind that I have worked to create the 2015 edition of Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults. The book is intended to help and is now available on amazon.com in paperback and e-book and soon at major bookstores everywhere.