Scientology Implosion: Commenters of the Week!
Was this a week, or was this a week, fellow Scientology watchers!
We started out with a hallelujah chorus, Scientology style! We're talking about the 1990 "We Stand Tall" singalong that a tipster posted to YouTube and that we put up on the blog Monday morning. Later that day, we revealed that NatGeo's "Turnaround King," Grant Cardone, is a high-level, wealthy Scientologist who, e-mails show, slimed famed acting coach Milton Katselas. On Tuesday, we tided you over with video of Scientology goons hassling reporters Down Under. Then, on Thursday, came the big surprise: Scientology's Enemies List -- a handy guide to the fallen Scientologists and no-good journalists and other church critics in the Western U.S.
And then, what a Friday. We started out with an interview with Janet Reitman, author of Inside Scientology, then revealed a brand-new tease of Mark Bunker's upcoming documentary "Knowledge Report," and then finished off the day with a heartbreaking follow-up on the Milton Katselas story, showing how much Grant Cardone's slime job affected the 73-year-old acting coach.
Whew! Now, on to the awards...
As usual, we have two winners, but this week we're changing things up a little. Normally, we like to recognize a pro-Scientology commenter who comes to the defense of his or her church with style and wit. Problem is, there really wasn't any pro-church commenter this week who rose to the challenge, which is a shame. Come on, Scientologists, you can do better! You have a planet to clear and the least you can do is tell off our readers!
Our first winner this week is "Suzanne," reacting to her name not being on the Enemies list that showed up at Marty Rathbun's blog:
Well, I can't believe I didn't make "the list"! My husband and my best friends are on it. And I was an "enemy" before ANY of them! It's not fair!!!
Take heart, Suzanne! Maybe you'll be on the next list.
Our other winner really knocked us out. "Sid" read our interview with Janet Reitman and then provided this stunning list of ways Scientology would need to change before it could shake off its bad reputation. I have to say, I was blown away by the astuteness of this rundown:
Scientology needs to do way more than re-brand itself as self-help.
Let's think about the changes that would need to be made in order for the Rest Of The Civilized World to accept it:-
1. Stop lying about every single thing. Very difficult given Hubbard's "greatest number of dynamics" and "acceptable truths" dogma.
2. Quit disgraceful policies such as disconnection and fair-game. Again, gonna be difficult as this is from LRH policies.
3. Dismantle the bridge. Completely. There are no Body Thetans, there are no special abilities to be gained as OTs, there is no Total Freedom at the end of it. The best you'll get from going OT is Schizophrenic.
4. Stop making unproven claims about what Scientology can do for you. Either admit that auditing makes you feel a little bit better for a while, or submit to independent testing which will prove that's all it is. Either provide proof that Scientology can cure cancer, or stop saying it can.
5. Make amends. Use the CoS "war-chest" to say sorry to the thousands injured by the cult, instead of persecuting those who stand against it.
6. End the nonsense about psychiatry and the healthcare industry. We all know the Holocaust was not caused by psychiatry, and you just infuriate people when you make such claims.
7. Come clean about L Ron Hubbard. Allow an independent autobiography to be written about him with full access to church records.
8. Introduce a Diversity, Equality and Respect policy. Welcome the LGBT community, get rid of horrible terms such as "Degraded Beings" and "SPs".
Thank you, Sid. We sure appreciate thoughtful comments like this, and from both sides. Hear that, LRH fans? Time to step up to the plate and make your case. We're listening!
Click here to see all recent Scientology coverage at the Voice
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:
The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle' The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8 Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up The Hugh Urban Investigation -- An academic takes a harsh look at Scientology's past Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh -- A precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian link Janet Reitman's Inside Scientology -- A masterful telling of Scientology's history The Western Spy Network Revealed? -- Marty Rathbun ups the ante on David Miscavige Scientology's Enemies List -- Are You On It? Inside Inside Scientology -- An interview with author Janet Reitman
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.