-What drew you to Scientology in the first place?
The fact that they offered a "technique" that seemed to answer my spiritual quest.
-What was it about Scientology that eventually made you decide to leave?
The fact that the "technique" did not seem to work, at least not at the spiritual level, and the realization of the conditioning and cultic aspects of Scientology
-What are the good things about Scientology?
It offers a seemingly coherent and comprehensive system that is not based on belief but on "principles" that are supposed to work. At the lower level, Scientology can be very effective and offer a way of life by which people can find meaning. See the many celebrities who swear by Scientology. (These just are the more visible members, but many others non-celebrity members share the same enthusiasm.) Here are just some of the later instances I blogged about:
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2009/02/ scientology-goes-nascar.html
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2009/02/persia- white.html
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2009/01/seeing- whole-field-at-once.html
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2009/01/juliette- lewis-promotes-scientology. html
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2009/01/ catherine-bell.html
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2008/12/jerry- seinfeld-on-scientology.html
-What are the things about Scientology that people should have genuine concerns about?
The constant pressure to "produce" more or "study" more. The fact that Scientology can't deliver what it promises at higher level. Its cultic aspect. The dependency people can develop towards Scientology. The expensive prices.
-Did you ever come across any openly gay Scientologists in your time as a member?
-Did you ever encounter other Scientologists expressing homophobic opinions or acting in a homophobic manner?
-Do you think claims by a number of individuals that Church staff told them Scientology practices could change them from being gay to straight are true?
-If so, do you think these are indicative of a commonly held belief that Scientology has the power to do such a thing, or that these instances simply reflect the personal views of the particular Scientologists they were interacting with?
A commonly held belief that Scientology has the power to do such a thing. However, homosexuality is not a "hot" topic in Scientology like it is, for example, with fundamentalists. Most Scientologists will consider this a matter of individual choice.
-What do you think of the more extreme claims made by the anonymous movement and what are your concerns and criticisms of the group?
These more extreme claims are childish and for the most part untrue. My main criticism with the anonymous movement is that they failed to bring the critical movement to the "next level" and, instead, just became the "old guard" themselves.
-What do you think of claims that the Church uses underhanded methods to silence and destroy its critics?
It reflects the cultish aspect of the Church. However, I believe it mostly is a thing of the past.
-Do you think the Church's responses to criticism has been constructive in general and what might be a better approach?
The Church's responses to criticism has not always been constructive but I found they have behaved of late. In particular they behaved with dignity for the most part in the face of sometimes vicious attacks from members of anonymous. In some cases Anonymous have had to distort Scientologists response to provocation beyond belief to try and make them look like the bad guys.
I blogged an example (especially relevant here since it is gay-related) of both civilized behavior on the part of Scientologists in the face of provocation and gross distortion from Anonymous to try and make them look like the bad guys at http://
anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2008/07/another- example-of-gross-propaganda- on.html
-Do you think those in leadership roles in the Church are, in general, sincerely motivated?
Definitely. Just look at the latest (extremely) high-ranking defector Marty Rathbun. The guy still believes in Scientology even though he is now out of the Church. I blogged about him at http://
anotherlookatscientology2.and http:// blogspot.com/2009/02/marty- rathbun.html anotherlookatscientology2. blogspot.com/2009/02/marty- rathbun-sees-through-web.html
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is my answer to an interview I received by email: