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When Scientologists Talk To Each Other About Scientology

I felt precious IQ draining away as I watched this video a few times, and I may not actually be doing our readers a service by subjecting them to it.

But sometimes, it's important to counter Scientology's preferred public image -- as a somewhat vague and possibly glamorous undertaking that appeals to beautiful people like Tom Cruise -- with the reality of what Scientologists actually say to each other when they try to convince each other to fork over large amounts of cash to "move up the Bridge to Total Freedom."

I know it's difficult, but please stick with this video so you can see the testimonials that start showing up about the 5-minute mark. And keep in mind -- these are people getting into the higher levels of a spiritual journey that promises to make them among the most brilliant and unhindered beings on the planet, and well on their way to superhuman status...

Rather than try to explain all of the jargon in this video, I'm posting this quickly so our illustrious commenting community can do what it does best and take this thing apart down to its fasteners and grease.

Commenters, please point out your favorite passage, and help beginners understand what in the blazes these people are talking about. The service you provide humanity will be priceless.

(For those new to the bewildering jargon of Scientology, please start with our primer, "What is Scientology?" And if you've never heard of the church's private cruise ship, please read the harrowing tales of what it's like to work on the barge in our interviews with Valeska Paris and Ramana Dienes-Browning.)


********** Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories, which tend to come out each and every morning at 8 am, but can suddenly appear at any time of the day. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories. As for our regular features, on Thursdays we do a roundup of world press, on Fridays we visit L. Ron Hubbard on the yacht Apollo circa 1969-1971, on Saturdays we celebrate the week's best comments, and on Sundays we publish Scientology's wacky and tacky advertising mailers that people send us.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and is now being sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.


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