20/20: Scientology: A War Without Guns 6 January 2017

Discussion in 'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' started by tlcya, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    http://abc.go.com/shows/2020/episode-guide/2017-01/06-010617-scientology-a-war-without-guns

    With A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath providing viewers with a look at the alleged practices of the Church of Scientology, a top spokesperson for the religion took to 20/20 on the Friday, January 6, episode to assert its side, claiming that attacks on the religion are discriminatory and often profit-motivated.

    http://www.usmagazine.com/entertain...cientology-2020-recap-six-revelations-w459553
     
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  3. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    copied over some posts from another thread that pertain to the 20/20 episode aired on 1/6/17
     
  4. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    Tony Ortega has an interesting blog about the attorney who appeared on the 20/20 episode. According to the blog Monique Yingling is a tax attorney and her husband, Gerald Feffer (now deceased), assisted the organization in fnally achieving tax exempt status as a religion after the organization's self described lengthy "war" with the IRS.

    http://tonyortega.org/2017/01/05/sc...beach-bungalow-on-the-market-for-2-4-million/
     
  5. Kellyd

    Kellyd New Member

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    There are no other religions that I have personally experienced where if you leave, you have to "disconnect" from your family and church members start spying on you and harassing you on a regular basis. IMHO, this religion is misleading and damaging to all who attend or are members. Only in the USA can a man write a book and start a religion based on his beliefs and the broken people of the world join and give up everything to be a part of it because they are so desperate to belong to something. I say go leah, please keep educating me on what not to do and at least maybe... just maybe some good will come out of this by some families reuniting with their loved ones. Nobody should have to "disconnect" from their family members for anything or anyone.

    As always just my opinion.

    Sent from my SM-G935T using Tapatalk
     
  6. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    The Amish still shun those who leave their denomination. I don't think they have the resources to do much surveilling, but extreme social pressure may be brought by the family of a congregant who tries to leave.

    It seems less common now, but it wasn't all that long ago (certainly within my lifetime) that many Jews and Catholics risked being ostracized for leaving or marrying outside their faith. I have friends who had that experience as recently as the 1980s.

    I agree shunning your child (or sibling or parent) is abhorrent, but it's not uncommon in the most conservative sects. Scientology may put a bit more energy into it, but as Remini herself has said on her show, it's usually only those who speak out against the church who are harassed. Those who go quietly are allowed to leave, according to her, but of course they leave not just every THING but every ONE behind.
     
  7. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I loved it when Leah Remini called the 20/20 reporter, Dan Harris, an a--hole!

    His big "get" was the Scientology rep (since the church has refused to appear on Leah's own show), so Harris was peppering Remini with the nonsense the Co$ lawyer had supplied him as if even the lawyer thought it was true.

    I'd bet money that the reference to Remini as a "has-been actress" was something the reporter himself had said to her first (just as we first heard it on the voice over), claiming to quote the Co$ lawyer. Of course, Remini was insulted! She's been on DWTS, she's written a book, and I don't know what else since her series ended, but it's a rare actor who gets a lead in even one long-running TV show. There's no shame in not immediately getting a second one. (And I suspect being an enemy of the Co$ doesn't help.)
     
  8. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Finally--and I guess this is as good a place as any to say it--the worst stories we are hearing concern members of the Sea Org. And the Sea Org shouldn't be thought of as a regular congregation in another church. There are (fill in the blank because the Co$ won't tell the true numbers) people who take a few or a lot of courses, don't give up their homes or families, and leave whenever they want to go.

    The members of Sea Org are really the Co$'s clergy. They should be compared to priests in a monastery or nuns in a convent about a century ago (since cloisters are rare now, I believe). They have taken vows and the Co$'s leaders have invested in them; of course, there will be pushback when they leave or when they try to convince other members to go with them. I'm not saying the way they are treated is right or that Remini is even exaggerating. It's just that we should resist thinking of everyone who takes a Dianetics class as a church member (even if the Co$ so counts them); the vast majority are not that involved.
     
  9. stx722

    stx722 Member

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    RSBM. According to statements by Miscavige's own lawyer, the Sea Org doesn't even exist. I posted an article link in the Golden Era thread, but here it is again.

    http://tonyortega.org/2015/05/07/gu...-church-of-scientology-is-a-cult-and-a-fraud/

    From the article -

    I'm unsure how you are able to have members, not to mention clergy, that belong to something that doesn't exist, by the admission of the very people involved. MOO
     
  10. Dmacky

    Dmacky New Member

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  11. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I've read enough books and articles, and heard enough testimony to believe the Sea Org does in fact exist. Of course, you have the right to decide for yourself.

    That said, I imagine the term "Sea Org" is unofficial shorthand, which allows the Co$ plenty of room for denial.
     
  12. stx722

    stx722 Member

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    More info here: https://scientologymoneyproject.com/2015/02/26/the-sea-org-fact-or-fiction/

    There is what people are told when they sign up, and what they are led to believe, as opposed to the legal reality.

    From the article...

     
  13. CherCher

    CherCher Member

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    So I guess the lesson is not to speak out against Scientology? The other religions you mentioned may practice "shunning", but don't retaliate if someone leaves and speaks out. Only Scientology, and with vengeance.
     
  14. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    I wrote nothing of the kind against speaking out. On the contrary, I think Remini and Rinder, et al., are doing nothing but good in speaking out and providing a forum for others to do the same.

    But I would like to see Scientology's excesses placed in a context of religious excesses in general. We know there are Muslim sects that are far more violent and intrusive than Scientology; we all remember the People's Temple. in the 1970s, a Hare Krisna group (In WV, if I recall correctly) was caught stockpiling automatic weapons. Ask gay and lesbian kids whether there are retaliations against them for being who they are. (Not in my case, BTW. My very devout family was surprisingly accepting.)

    I'm sure the mods don't want a general discussion of religion here, so I'll stop. My purpose isn't to defend the Co$ nor to attack religious faith in general. My point is merely that we should be careful about assuming the Co$ is unique, when we are viewing it by means of a series that deliberately focuses on the Co$ and no other religion.
     
  15. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Forgive me, but I can't tell what you are arguing. That the Co$ has avoided incorporating Sea Org in any legal sense is merely a ploy to protect Sea Org from lawsuits for sexual harassment, failure to pay minimum wage, etc. It doesn't mean Sea Org doesn't exist, regardless of what Miscavige's lawyers claim.
     
  16. stx722

    stx722 Member

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    I think we are both driving at the same point, just from different directions. You have summed it up perfectly, and stated it better than I was able to.
    I also think your point about putting CO$ in perspective is dead-on. In short, I think we're on the same page.
     
  17. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Got it. Sorry I was so dense.

    I hope it's clear that I'm not knocking Remini's show for not being about "everything". I realize they have 42 minutes per week and are devoting their time to the testimony of formerly high-ranking members who are now apostates.

    As CherCher points out, although the Amish may shun wayward children (something I personally find reprehensible), they don't hire PIs to harass those children later. Putting Scientology in a context with other groups would help to highlight Scientology's excesses while simultaneously raising questions about "blind" religious faith and its consequences.

    But no show can do everything. Comparisons in my last paragraph can be left for another program (and are, in fact, available in books and documentaries already).
     
  18. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    ^^^ Sorry to reply to my own post, but I want to add that everything I've seen on Remini's show was available in print when I studied "New Religious Movements" in a sociology class 35 years ago. Some of it was only available in scholarly text books that wouldn't appeal to the general public, but it was out there. It was even rumored then that LRH was dead on his yacht and the Co$ was ruled by others in LRH's name. (It seems that was not yet true in 1982. LRH had smuggled himself into Florida, if reports from Co$ members are to be believed.)

    The exception is the rise of Miscavage and his consolidation of power. I'd really like to hear how he did that, but not even the episode with his name in the title really explained it.
     
  19. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    I do wish they would have gone more in depth about how Miscavige rose to power. But I wonder really if they even really know. It seems almost as if he excelled and per the policies of the org. he was then whisked off to continue his education and became privy to LRH and the inner circle. So who knows what went on? Probably a very small group of people really have that information.
     
  20. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    ticya, there's a link in another thread to Mike Binder's blog. (I'm sorry. I'm lost in these threads and, as you have seen, have trouble remembering the topic of each one.) It explains in tedious detail the events surrounding DM's ascension.

    Long story short: the FBI raid on Co$ facilities in the late 1970s and the imprisonment of LRH's wife (I don't know for what) had the entire church hierarchy on edge and LRH, in particular, in a state of panic. LRH was only communicating through a very few "Messengers" and David Miscavige took advantage of the power vacuum to grab control. LRH died a few years later, making room for a new leader. As the writer describes it, Co$ members smiled all the time (we've heard Remini say the same thing) so DM's sudden outbursts, even well before he took control, were very intimidating to the others.

    If you read it, get ready for a tidal wave of acronyms!
     

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