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Anyone watching Scientology and the Aftermath on A&E?

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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This is by far one of the most interesting documentaries I've watched in a while. It is heartbreaking to see families get torn apart by a "religion" though.

Anyone else watching this series? What are your thoughts?
 

rainydaze

Ideal_Rock
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I am! It's fascinating, and I'm so happy someone is finally shining a light on it. I've had so many questions for years, and wondered why no one was speaking up about what they do (specifically Leah - what took her so long?!! Well, it's easy to say that from where I stand, not having been brainwashed starting at a young age, and having fear instilled in me should I speak my truth.).

I wonder what the fallout will be from this series, and I am a little concerned for her safety. But I give her great props for doing this. I hope it helps some of the people who are wrapped up in this cult, and prevents more from getting sucked in. It's a scary one. I am surprised at how many members there are... I didn't realize it was quite *that* extensive!

I am fascinated, and shocked frankly, by how people (adults, not kids who are brought up in it) got/get sucked into it. It just seems so ridiculous to me, and so obvious what it is and what it is not, and what they are doing. Yet... so many people!!
 

ksinger

Ideal_Rock
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I don't have A&E, but have Showtime (via Amazon). In a similar vein, I just watched "Prophet's Prey", a 2015 documentary about Warren Jeffs, leader of the FLDS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints). Hard to watch. Jeffs - a predator the likes of which I've never heard of - seriously - is still in total control of his followers even though he's in jail for the rest of his life. L. Ron and Jim Jones have got nothing on this guy. Nothing.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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I'm so glad I'm not the only one watching, it is such a good show.

Rainydaze, it is so amazing how many followers this "church" has, here is hoping the documentary will keep them from being able to recruit more people! I think this appeals to people who are looking for somewhere to belong and fit in because they lack that in their lives. Still after hearing about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on books and materials only to be told you have to buy some of them all over again?! Get out of here! The disconnection thing really gets me though, I can't imagine losing a child like that all because the church labels you as evil and to save themselves and the world they have to disconnect. Just pure evil IMO.

Ksinger, we don't have Showtime but I've heard about Jeffs, he is about as sick as they come. The poor kids that are born into these cults, just sickens me. What they are subjected to especially the FLDS. Brainwashing and mind control is very scary.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
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I've not heard of this (nor do I get this channel, so I'd probably never), but I will look into downloading it!

I find the way people get sucked into religion so interesting. I think that in a way, all of them prey on people who are very vulnerable. I'm looking forward to learning more about scientology and how they do it. Thanks for the rec :)
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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Yeah but this isn't a religion IMO, it's a cult. Of course this lead me to question what the actual difference between a cult and religion is and if you look at this definition I think this is what distinguishes Scientology as a cult:

"a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister."

In a 2014 survey the number of Scientologists in the U.S was 25,000 compare that to 69,470,686 Roman Catholics, and I'm sure many other religions surpass by a large margin the number of Scientologists.

I was raised Catholic and recently became active in the church because I hit a really low point this year, so I can see how someone might be easily influenced in joining Scientology because they sell it as making your life better and attaining inner peace and freedom. After hearing about how much the average Scientologists spends to advance to the highest level, I consider the dollar I put in the collection basket weekly a bargain ;-)
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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We started watching it. I always loved Leah Remini and her sitcom was one of my favorites. King of Queens with Kevin James. Hilarious. But I digress.

My dh watched a documentary on Scientology called Going Clear 6 months ago and he loved it. He also read the book by L Ron Hubbard called Dianetics. The book is a science fiction story (and not a good one) that provides the philosophical underpinnings of his completely invented religion. My dh found the book to be terrible and almost unreadable in his opinion. He said the documentary was wonderful and we are going to watch it again together because I missed it the first time. Anyway back to your question about Scientology. IMO it is both a religion and a cult.


A newly manufactured religion (that began in the 20th century) as compared to older manufactured religions but still a religion. Its non profit status was recently revoked and then reinstated.

http://abcnews.com.co/united-states-revokes-scientologys-tax-exempt-status/

In the 1940s L. Ron Hubbard wrote "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." And in the 1950s L. Ron Hubbard fulfilled his aim and started the Church of Scientology to make money.

IMO the reason religions can be and are successful is because they help people grow and endure and and fulfill a spiritual need. They offer a (comforting) sense of community that often people cannot find themselves. So in this way religions can be positive. However many religions take it way too far and try to brainwash and control their members and offer far more negative influences than positive.

It is amazing how so many people can be fooled into joining such a dangerous (IMO) organization. And I think it just goes to show how vulnerable we all can be to wanting a better life. To fulfilling an empty void, to give one a need of belonging they might not find elsewhere , and to often a sense of purpose higher than what one might be able to find on their own.


Karen, I completely agree with you about Warren Jeffs.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
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StephanieLynn|1481759947|4107330 said:
"a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister."
Just because it's new and small now doesn't mean it won't grow. Also, catholics used to consider pagans as strange or sinister lol. What about Mormons? They don't like coffee, that's definitely strange.

"Relatively small" is definitely relative lol. And to scoff at one religion and say their practices are strange/sinister while practicing another religion who others view as strange/sinister is very glass house.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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telephone89|1481817152|4107481 said:
StephanieLynn|1481759947|4107330 said:
"a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister."
Just because it's new and small now doesn't mean it won't grow. Also, catholics used to consider pagans as strange or sinister lol. What about Mormons? They don't like coffee, that's definitely strange.

"Relatively small" is definitely relative lol. And to scoff at one religion and say their practices are strange/sinister while practicing another religion who others view as strange/sinister is very glass house.
True, but I'm just sharing my opinion about Scientology, and although it could grow, relative to other religions it still has a small following. I agree it is all relative however, I don't think the damage to families being caused by Scientology should be overlooked, yes I find it sinister that there is a belief in Scientology that encourages individuals to disconnect from their families. That is not living in a glass house, most people would find that abhorrent.

Now granted, there are many Catholic beliefs I don't agree with, I'm not trying to come off as upper crust, I'm just simply pointing out some very questionable tenets of another religion. I just used Catholicism as an example because that's what I personally am familiar with.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
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Fair enough! And since I haven't watched this and know relatively little about Scientology, I shouldn't be arguing much on the pillars of its system haha. Sorry if it came off that way! I'm still very interested to watch it though.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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telephone89|1481820518|4107500 said:
Fair enough! And since I haven't watched this and know relatively little about Scientology, I shouldn't be arguing much on the pillars of its system haha. Sorry if it came off that way! I'm still very interested to watch it though.
Hey no worries at all, like I said there are many beliefs in my own church that I don't support myself. It really is a very interesting show, it would be great if there was a whole series about different religions and their effects both positive and negative on society. Maybe there is one? If so I would certainly be interested in learning more.

Missy, your post was very well thought out and better written than I could ever contribute, so thank you for that!
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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So far, I watch and cry...i can't believe the devastation they are causing to these poor people.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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telephone89|1481817152|4107481 said:
StephanieLynn|1481759947|4107330 said:
"a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister."
Just because it's new and small now doesn't mean it won't grow. Also, catholics used to consider pagans as strange or sinister lol. What about Mormons? They don't like coffee, that's definitely strange.

"Relatively small" is definitely relative lol. And to scoff at one religion and say their practices are strange/sinister while practicing another religion who others view as strange/sinister is very glass house.
My husband is an exmormon, as is one of my friends, and imo Mormonism is definitely a cult. Both have been almost completely cut off from their families for leaving the religion, which is definitely cultlike behavior (not to mention all the other cultlike behavior of Mormonism).
 

House Cat

Ideal_Rock
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Cutting people off is the part I can't wrap my head around.

My stepdad is Irish Italian. This meant I was raised Catholic. I even went to Catholic School. When I got older, I became Christian. I love my stepdad and talk to him at least once a week. The subject of my religion has never come up.


Using emotional blackmail under any circumstance is abuse. Abusing a person is wrong. There is never a time when abuse is justified.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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I have to admit that I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to other religions. Like when distracts talks about Mormonism, I pretty much have no clue about it at all. As proof of how sheltered someone can be raised, I had no idea that other religions even existed until we moved to a town with a large Jewish population. I literally thought everyone in the world was Catholic. So on the first day of middle school when I first heard about Judaism I didnt know what to think, is it a race or a religion? It couldn't be a religion though because there is only one universal religion....or so I thought.

I also found out in reading about different religions that Satanists don't actually worship Satan and are from what I have read more like Atheists. That was news to me.
 

YadaYadaYada

Ideal_Rock
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House Cat|1481844874|4107601 said:
Cutting people off is the part I can't wrap my head around.

My stepdad is Irish Italian. This meant I was raised Catholic. I even went to Catholic School. When I got older, I became Christian. I love my stepdad and talk to him at least once a week. The subject of my religion has never come up.


Using emotional blackmail under any circumstance is abuse. Abusing a person is wrong. There is never a time when abuse is justified.
Did you watch the episode is this week? My heart broke for that woman losing her son. I hope that at some point they are reunited, that maybe at some point he will get to his breaking point too.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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House Cat|1481844874|4107601 said:
Cutting people off is the part I can't wrap my head around.

My stepdad is Irish Italian. This meant I was raised Catholic. I even went to Catholic School. When I got older, I became Christian. I love my stepdad and talk to him at least once a week. The subject of my religion has never come up.


Using emotional blackmail under any circumstance is abuse. Abusing a person is wrong. There is never a time when abuse is justified.
Yes, and it's an established part of the religion, like, if someone leaves Mormonism, the church will encourage the family and friends to cut off contact, and if they don't, then they are at risk of being shunned. Then they incessantly send missionaries to you, call you, basically longterm stalking by the church, intentionally making your life miserable by cutting off your social network and then harassing you so that you'll come back just to make it stop. Some of the exmos I know had to hire lawyers because only lawyers could get it to stop. For over a decade after that my husband didn't let anyone in his family know where he lived because he was afraid it would all start up again. It's madness, and you're right that it is abusive.

I was raised Methodist so that kind of stuff is just totally crazy to me. I've mainly been exposed to much chiller versions of religion. Even Baptists are way calmer about people not being Baptist than that!
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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distracts|1481875422|4107706 said:
Yes, and it's an established part of the religion, like, if someone leaves Mormonism, the church will encourage the family and friends to cut off contact, and if they don't, then they are at risk of being shunned.
Sounds a lot like the Amish.
 
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