A seachange brewing among Scientologists?

A letter by Oscar winning Paul Haggis (Crash) wherein he renounces the  Church of Scientology, of which he’s been a  member for 25 years,  is making the rounds on various websites.

In summary, Haggis’ initial frustration arose from the San Diego branch’s support of Proposition 8, and, in spite of his appeals, the Church’s inaction over condemning the support of the anti-gay legislation.

“I told you I could not, in good conscience, be a member of an organization where gay-bashing was tolerated,” Haggis writes.

Haggis goes on to verify and condemn that the Church used private information gathered during an auditing session to smear a Church defector, a tactic the Church has long denied ever using.

“So, I am now painfully aware that you might see this an attack and just as easily use things I have confessed over the years to smear my name.”

The letter ends, “I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.”

But one thing he never does is recant any of the core teaching or beliefs of Scientology. His bone lies only with how the Church is run.

Additionally, the site this first appeared on, the writer, by former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, notes that the Church of Scientology is not anti-gay, and that L Ron Hubbard even had long time staff who were homosexual.

More importantly, both Rathbun and Haggis, while they have strong issues with the Church itself, both continue to have strong beliefs in Scientology itself. These aren’t people who ran from the Church, believing they were duped by a bunch of alien hogwash, but true believers who take issue with a system and leadership they argue is taking advantage of its members.

Which begs the question… have former members of the Church of Scientology yet tried to create a their own church, using the same materials, but without the cultish tactics that Scientology is currently synonymous? And if not, could the comments from as high profile member as Haggis become the spark for such an effort?

On a related note, during an interview on Nightline last Thursday, the same Scientology spokesman who Haggis’ letter was addressed to, stormed off set in the middle of an interview. At the end of the clip below, you can see spokesman Tommy Davis yanking off his microphone and walking away after reporter Martin Bashir asked him about some core beliefs relating to Xenu, Thetans, and other topics that are allegedly priviliged information only for those among Scientology’s highest ranks.

And by asking about these beliefs, Bashir was simply asking if Davis believed in them. (fast forward to the 3:15 mark to get to this portion of the report).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWZ23jKZXWA&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

9 Replies to “A seachange brewing among Scientologists?”

  1. “…have former members of the Church of Scientology yet tried to create a [sic] their own church, using the same materials, but without the cultish tactics that Scientology is currently synonymous?”

    The obstacle here is that Scientology routinely copyrights all their teachings, methods, books and so on. To use them in a new church would invite heavy lawsuits.

  2. And yes, disaffected Scientologists *have* started their own offshoots from the CoS…the “Freezone” is the most notable effort. To say the CoS is hostile to such efforts would be an understatement. The efficacy of Scientology, remember, depends on the deliver of unchanging, standard “tech”; thus, the thought goes, independent organizations cannot be relied upon to deliver the materials with the exactitude and precision required. Such offshoots are generally dismissed as “squirrels,” or those who use and distort the text outside of the confines of the established doctrine.

  3. “Which begs the question… have former members of the Church of Scientology yet tried to create a their own church, using the same materials, but without the cultish tactics that Scientology is currently synonymous?”
    ————-

    This question could be easily answered by a simple google search by the writer of this article on “independent scientology”, aka freezone scientology.

    The short answer is yes. There are independent scientology churches & practitioners throughout Europe & the Western Hemisphere and have been for nearly 30 years, since the Great Co$ Church Schism of 1982.

    The impetus behind the establishment of independent scientology has always been the institutional abuses of the various organizations of the official Church of Scientology.

  4. The public fractures that are appearing in the pleasant face of Scientology are a welcome development, exposing its abuses in the words of its own members.

    However, exes like Marty Rathbun (whose blog is linked above) and other fool themselves if they think they can create a ‘Scientology’ without vicious human rights abuses and frauds. What they are not yet ready to acknowledge to themselves is that is it not the admittedly villainous current leader David Miscavige who made the ‘Church’ a criminal scam.

    The bulk of the now-exacerbated problems stem from the planned policy of Hubbard himself, who started the Dianetics scheme as a money and power gathering tool for himself. Have problems with today’s “OSA” secret CoS police? Look back to their predecessor, L. Ron’s “Guardian’s Office”. Disconnection policy, ‘fair gaming’ of critics, homophobia, financial fraud, intolerance and slander of other religions and more – all of this can be found in Hubbard’s own writings and the earlier actions and policies of his groups.

    Don’t kid yourselves “independent” Scientologists. You’ve been taken, and your failure to see this is making you remain perpetrators of the rip-off.

  5. Although I have never been a member of Scientology, I have done a lot of research on this movement, as well as other similar ones. It seems to me, and what former members have said, is that some of Scientology’s beliefs and activities are extremely beneficial. They have helped many addicts get off of drugs; helped poor students learn to read, etc. But what I have continually read is that the organization that runs it can be horrific, especially to ex-members.
    Many years ago, I underwent EST training (Erhardt Seminar Training), and that was what I precisely felt about that group. The training helped me change my life in a very major way for the better; but the organization was so “dictatorial” at times, that I refused to have any part of it. I think that this is not uncommon, and wonder what it is about these types of movements that tend to foster these ‘extreme’ organizations?? This would make an important and fascinating study.
    I think this shows that those of us, like myself, who are attracted to these movements must be very, very careful of those who run the organizations themselves. Always question what they tell you, and never give away your ‘power’ and decision-making to them.

  6. I would like to ask Susanne in what way she thought the est organization was dictatorial. I was active in the organization for seven years in the 1970s and thought that they always operated with the highest integrity and dedication to enhancing people’s potential.

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