Saturday, December 6, 2008

Growing the Cojones to Leave Scientology

From time to time I receive e-mails from moderate ex-members who share my views. It is always rewarding, especially when they have been substantially helped by the information contained on my web site. I have webbed such an example on my Scientology kids page. Check also this blog entry for another example, but I have many more on my email archive.

Often, it helps ex-members to know that not everything in Scientology is either rabid anti-Scientologists or fanatical CoSers, and that there exists a "third way" that is neither nor one or the other and that goes beyond both on the path that ultimately amounts to a spiritual journey.

On occasion also, it helps members who are on the edge to break away from the bond of Scientology more than other critical web sites. Indeed, they are quickly put off by the exaggerations and distortions most critical web sites typically engage into, whereas on my site they find a more gentle approach, as well as a stand against the myths they can observe for themselves at various places on the net. They thus tend to listen more attentively to a critical view, which in turn can bring them to think about it all.

Below is the email I received today, from a lady who grew up a Scientologist and gradually broke away from Scientology. The email is published with permission.

I am very gratified to read your perspective both on Scientology and the Anti-Cult freaks that so mischaracterize it. I was born and raised in a Scientologist family, with a very strong willed and critical thinking Scientologist mom, while Dad was less critical but perhaps more deeply philosophically-minded – together they made a fine, inquisitive pair.

Like you, I have noticed that there are cultish aspects of the church that are both encouraged by some of LRH's writings while completely contradicted by others. My big cognition was that the EP of Scientology was growing the cojones to leave Scientology.

Anyway, it really heartened me to read your perspective, because I deeply appreciate much of what I learned in the CoS, and I wouldn't trade the training and study I had as a young adult and adolescent for anything. It was a great way to grow up and it instilled in me a lust for learning and bent for philosophical inquiry that benefits me to this day. The anti-Scientology comments from overwrought critics annoy the hell out of me. It's sheer ignorance and closed-mindedness. I am also annoyed at my friends who constantly tease me when I still use the term "we" while gently correcting their misinformation regarding the beliefs of Scientologists (after spending most of my life identifying with that group, it slips out sometimes) and who make cult jokes and rib me about Xenu. Like you, I walk the middle ground, defend Scientology when appropriate, and agree with criticism when appropriate. I am very glad to know that I am not the only one!

I am not a Scientologist, but I'm not a non-Scientologist either. I'm my own damn self!

Thank you so much for your website.

R.I.P. - Forrest Ackerman

Forrest Ackerman died Dec. 4 at the age of 92.

Ackerman was a primary contributor to making science-fiction something that could be defined and understood by the masses, right down to coining the phrase "science-fiction" itself. There is not a single aspect of genre culture that he did not inspire, influence, embrace, embody, popularize, promote or have an actual hand in creating.

As an agent, he represented more than 200 authors in the genre, and was instrumental in the rise of greats such as Isaac Asimov, Charles Beaumont, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ray Bradbury, Ray Harryhausen, Rod Serling, Edward D. Wood Jr.

Why the news is relevant in this blog is because he also was the literary agent and friend of L. Ron Hubbard, long before Dianetics and Scientology.

As a publisher, his Famous Monsters of Filmland, the garish, gushing, goofy fan magazine he launched in 1958, became an acknowledged inspiration to countless future fantasy creators, from Steven Spielberg to Stephen King to budding auteurs not even born when it ceased publication in 1982.

Ackerman was considered as perhaps the science fiction's greatest collector, owner of a huge private collection of science-fiction movie and literary memorabilia that for years filled every nook and cranny of a hillside mansion overlooking Los Angeles, the "Ackermuseum" – which he gladly kept open to the public.

Collated from:

Travolta - A Cut Above the Lot

"From a performance standpoint, the new cast is just as capable as the old, with one odd exception. Mock his love of Scientology, but John Travolta was a much more effective villain in the original Punisher than Dominic West’s Don of Douchebags, Billy Russoti, aka Jigsaw."


Danny Masterson

When asked if the negative press surrounding Scientology, his religion, upsets him, Danny Masterson told Hollyscoop,
"No, because no one ever says anything that makes any sense and no one ever says anything that’s true."

"Also scientology is so new 58 years now at least were not having to deal with the inquisition and the crusades. That’s pretty good."
Masterson's interview coincided with Tom's appearance on Barbara Walters's Most Fascinating People special, which featured Tom at number 9.
"You can tease Tom all you want I don’t really think he cares."