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The Church of Scientology Part 2: The Indoctrination Process
11th January 2022 • Let's Start A Cult • Cultiv8 Podcast Network
00:00:00 00:45:48

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For many, Tom Cruise is a good-looking actor who rose to fame after starring in blockbusters like “Top Gun,” “Mission Impossible,” and “Risky Business.”

But for Scientologists, Tom Cruise is a demigod who has become “Operating Thetan VII.” According to them, this status has allowed him to gain a wide range of superpowers, such as telekinesis, leaving his body at will, and controlling the behaviour of other living things – including humans.

In fact, former Scientologist and actress Leah Remini once said, quote, “Being critical of Tom Cruise is being critical of Scientology itself. You are a person who is anti– the aims and goals of Scientology. You are evil.” End quote.

It’s crazy to think that a belief system created in the 1950s managed to become so powerful that it was able to turn an ordinary human being into a deity worshipped by members.

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Transcripts

Josh:

Hi, Fred.

Josh:

My name is Josh shell host of the let's start a cult podcast.

Josh:

The only podcast that has a feud with Tom cruise so far, it's mostly one sided, but whenever he hears this episode, it's on.

Josh:

And luckily I have backup because Alex and Christie from weird distractions podcast are back to help me kick Tom cruises.

Josh:

But now you guys, uh, you guys ready for that?

Alex and Christie:

I mean, literally.

Alex and Christie:

Sure.

Alex and Christie:

Fine.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Christie's ready to throw a bar.

Josh:

She hates Tom cruise.

Josh:

don't like him either.

Josh:

He's a weird

Alex and Christie:

I think his movies, I like physically, he does movies.

Alex and Christie:

We just all became best friends over a mutual hate of Tom cruise.

Alex and Christie:

Would you look at that?

Alex and Christie:

Bringing people together?

Josh:

Tom cruise, bringing people together and not great ways.

Alex and Christie:

No.

Josh:

Don't forget Fred, if you would like this episode a week early, go to cultivate podcast networks, Patrion at patrion.com/cultivate podcast network, or you use the link in the show notes.

Josh:

If you've already signed up and are listening to this episode a week early welcome.

Josh:

It's been five minutes since you've probably heard part one.

Josh:

So, so, nice of you to join us again.

Josh:

but with all that out of the way, let's jump into today's episode.

Josh:

So part two of our deep dive into L Ron Hubbard and the church of Scientology.

Josh:

Last week, we talked about the early years of the church when it was founded, the belief systems that it upholds and the controversies that have plagued it throughout the years.

Josh:

In this part, we will take a look at how it managed to become accepted as a religion and the powerful tools it uses to recruit members, including some of the most influential celebrities in Hollywood.

Josh:

So all the fun stuff we get to talk about Tom cruise finally, which is.

Alex and Christie:

so excited.

Josh:

who else?

Josh:

There's a bunch of Elizabeth moths and, John Travolta.

Josh:

That's the big one.

Josh:

the other

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, I was going to say there's somebody else that's like older.

Alex and Christie:

I didn't know those two.

Alex and Christie:

You didn't know?

Alex and Christie:

I didn't know.

Alex and Christie:

You didn't.

Alex and Christie:

I did.

Alex and Christie:

I told you they culture and one.

Alex and Christie:

Okay.

Josh:

fair.

Josh:

You know what?

Josh:

She probably lives a healthier life than us now that

Josh:

if she didn't know that.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, It's, it's the things that, you know, will just keep you up at night.

Josh:

Yeah, so while the church of Scientology claims that it has millions of, parishioners and more than a hundred countries across the globe experts say the actual number is probably somewhere close to 20,000.

Josh:

So.

Josh:

Way less, less than they were they claim.

Josh:

this may be significantly far from what the group contains, but it's still a pretty high number for a belief system that wasn't even originally intended to be a religion.

Josh:

in part one, we talked about how he created this religion, but we're going to talk about why it.

Josh:

Probably wasn't supposed to be religious.

Alex and Christie:

Sarah.

Josh:

in Dianetics the modern science of mental health L Ron Hubbard , specifically stated that the ideas he presented were based on science, not religion, he declared in its opening pages, no less quote.

Josh:

The first contribution of Dianetics is the discovery that the problems of thought and mental function.

Josh:

Can be resolved within the bounds of the finite universe, which is to say that all data needful, to solutions of mental action and man's endeavor can be measured, synced and experienced as scientific truth, independent of mysticism or metaphysics.

Josh:

And quote, later on in the book, Hubbard would also say quote, once a person has used Dianetics he will not fall back into mystics efforts to heal the mind.

Josh:

end quote, kind of contradictory, right?

Josh:

Like,

Alex and Christie:

That's a lot of words still on that penny writing shit.

Alex and Christie:

Like he's throwing every word out there.

Josh:

I'll sum it up basically.

Josh:

He's saying if you use Dianetics, which is, the mindfulness, thing that he spouts, um, you won't need religion or mysticism to dumb it down, from his word jumping.

Alex and Christie:

which is interesting.

Alex and Christie:

Cause it's like, well, once you do it, you won't need me, but I'm going to keep you

Alex and Christie:

because.

Josh:

I think it's funny because Dianetics starts is like a scientific quote, unquote, a idea, and then it merges into a religion which contradicts its original, like the statements.

Alex and Christie:

Hubbard, Hubbard.

Alex and Christie:

Hubbard.

Josh:

Yeah, these statements have led scholars to believe that Hubbard initially wanted his ideas to be considered a science rather than our religion, but he eventually declared it to be as such when he realized that doing so would not only enable

Alex and Christie:

I mean, I'm not saying he's the smartest person in the world, but He saw an opportunity and he'd ride well, if those, so, I mean, Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

he's a businessman doing businessman things.

Alex and Christie:

I am scrutinizing him.

Alex and Christie:

So Christie.

Josh:

Yeah, he's a Dick.

Josh:

Uh, so experts have also pointed out that Hubbard was in dire financial straits.

Josh:

During the 1950s in December, 1952, he was ordered by the court to make restitution for over $9,000 that he was accused of taking from the bankrupt Scientology chapter in Wichita, Kansas.

Josh:

Perhaps this driven, or this had driven him to capitalize on the rising popularity to turn his ideology into a full fledged religion.

Josh:

given all of the circumstances, most scholarships agree that Scientology was never intended on being a religion.

Josh:

It just morphed into that out of financial needs basically.

Josh:

And

Alex and Christie:

Covers, but in some ways

Alex and Christie:

it's basically coming from like one man's desperation.

Josh:

That's exactly what it is and yeah, which I think surprises no one, but is it interesting to dive into, so, um, nonetheless in his article titled the creation of religious Scientology researchers, Stephan Kent even concludes.

Josh:

Economic circumstances and social pressure propelled Hubbard first to transform his Dianetics creation into the grander system of Scientology, then to assert his scientific creation actually was religious in nature.

Josh:

critics of the organization who understand these transformations often resist its contemporary religious presentation, believing that it continues to use religion as an expedient device to gain the freedoms, to operate with minimal government interference.

Josh:

And Hubbard may not have originally intended to establish an entirely new religion, but by 1953, it was clear that he was heading down this path.

Josh:

In December of that year, he incorporated the church of Scientology and the church of American science, a few months later, he created the church of Scientology in California, which he stated was a subsidiary of the church of American science.

Josh:

The way Hubbard phrase has articles of incorporation made it appear that the church of American science was an actual Christian Church.

Josh:

For instance, part of his charter read, quote to train and indoctrinate ministers and brothers and sisters and principles and teachings of the church of American science to resolve the travel, and difficulties of members

Alex and Christie:

I'm so confused with this mail, if you picked Christianity, which is like a huge thing, a lot of people says I prayed with that.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

So it continues.

Josh:

So the creed also states quote that God works within man, his wonders to perform that man, his own soul basically free and mortal, but diluted by the flesh that man has God given rights to his own life.

Josh:

That man has God-given rights to his own blood.

Josh:

that a civilization is lost when God and the spirits are forgotten by its own leaders and its people

Alex and Christie:

Sure.

Josh:

quote.

Josh:

he just basically takes Christianity teachings and then phrases it with a little bit more science in it that you can come across as a religion

Alex and Christie:

He's

Alex and Christie:

half ass man, when it comes to

Josh:

and everything.

Alex and Christie:

these projects and then it gets the will fails or gets to a point where it's like, Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

I don't really want to do this anymore.

Alex and Christie:

And then that was out and this whole Christianity thing, it's like, okay, I'm just going to copy paste, change a couple words.

Alex and Christie:

And then it's mine.

Alex and Christie:

Right?

Alex and Christie:

It's.

Josh:

You just control F and filled in as few science words.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

It's like, okay, how do I make this sound less?

Alex and Christie:

Christiany more science-y.

Alex and Christie:

And

Alex and Christie:

that was that blurb.

Alex and Christie:

And he picked a huge population that could like bring in a lot of people from.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

So it already has that, buddy, buddy with Christianity so that it makes it easier for people to cross over, you know, make that change.

Josh:

Um, whereas I think if he went with, Buddha, I don't know if a lot of north American would, would transfer over to that, but.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Christianity is just like that.

Alex and Christie:

Well, it's such a big religion that it's kind of like trying to become a part of a popular group in high school.

Alex and Christie:

It's like, if you're, if you're friends with one of them, you kind of slowly become friends with all of them and then you're in, right.

Alex and Christie:

So if you rub shoulders with, you know, such a big religion, eventually you will become one.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

You'll get, you'll get the name recognition.

Josh:

and it kind of worked, I mean, uh, thanks to Hubbard's popularity and the masterful propaganda.

Josh:

It didn't take long before Scientology had become widely regarded as an actual religion in 1955, a mere year after a church in California was established another one that's formed in Auckland.

Josh:

New Zealand, dozens of ministers were also recruited and made to undergo an intensive course on how to perform a number of sacred ceremonies, including a wedding, And a funeral by July, 1957, more than a hundred Scientology churches

Josh:

This was initially so, as we talked about, this was initially a granted, but a decade later, the internal revenue services revoked the privileges, because he stole all that money.

Alex and Christie:

The IRS doesn't like that shit.

Josh:

No, no, they do not.

Josh:

so they, they were taking, uh, a tie of at least 10% from the church.

Josh:

and the couple also frequently received monetary gifts, including one that amounted to approximately $108,000.

Alex and Christie:

I'm sorry for the way I would like that gift.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah, me too.

Josh:

I could finally buy a goddamn house,

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

plus that's the fifties, right?

Josh:

So it's probably like eight, 900,000.

Josh:

I

Alex and Christie:

a lot of money.

Alex and Christie:

a lot

Alex and Christie:

of money,

Alex and Christie:

especially in the

Alex and Christie:

night.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Oh my God.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

the battle between church of Scientology and the IRS continued long after Hubbard's death in January, 1986.

Josh:

Members frequently resorted to using aggressive and at times legal tactics to get the agency to formally recognize their organization as an actual religion.

Josh:

So they're just at war with, with the IRS.

Alex and Christie:

Just picture it as, you know, a younger sibling versus an older sibling it's like important to this is, well,

Josh:

mom said I'm special.

Alex and Christie:

mom and dad said it was okay.

Alex and Christie:

I can get the remote now.

Alex and Christie:

Like it's just, it's very back and forth picking me vibes.

Josh:

true.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

That's a good Tik TOK term.

Josh:

What will be in with the, uh, the gen Z crowd now?

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, They're all tuning it.

Alex and Christie:

They're like, oh, I know.

Alex and Christie:

what this

Alex and Christie:

means.

Alex and Christie:

I get

Josh:

me, , so easily the most, infamous operation was operation snow white, which we briefly touched on.

Josh:

which involved several Scientologists, including Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, to infiltrating the department of justice and the IRS to bug their offices, copy important documents and retrieve internal information about their, activities.

Josh:

Every single one of them was eventually convicted and sentenced to prison.

Josh:

Although Hubbard remained free because of the authorities were unable to connect them to the project.

Alex and Christie:

Oh my gosh, come on.

Alex and Christie:

And he's right there.

Josh:

So is his third wife goes to jail and, uh, I can only imagine he find someone else later on, but

Alex and Christie:

Oh, the day she was sentenced, he probably was already.

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Alex and Christie:

He's like, well,

Josh:

according to Stacy young, a former senior Scientologists quote, the IRS was not giving Scientology its tax exemption.

Josh:

So they were considered to be a pretty major.

Josh:

what you do with an enemy is you go after them, harass them and intimidate them and try to expose their crimes until they decide to play ball with you.

Josh:

The whole idea was to create a coalition that was at an arms length from Scientology, so that it had more credibility end quote.

Josh:

So basically bribe cheat steal until you win.

Josh:

That's their goal.

Alex and Christie:

No.

Alex and Christie:

A smart way to go about it

Alex and Christie:

as

Alex and Christie:

you know.

Josh:

No, they don't.

Josh:

They don't fuck with that too often.

Alex and Christie:

No.

Alex and Christie:

And for you, well, Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

exactly.

Alex and Christie:

It's like, okay, we want them to play ball.

Alex and Christie:

So we're going to do all this shady shit and then expect them just to go back and forth with us.

Alex and Christie:

It's like, no, they're going to arrest your ass.

Alex and Christie:

Like it's

Josh:

shut us down for doing illegal stuff.

Josh:

Let's do more illegal stuff and see if we can counteract it two

Josh:

negative.

Josh:

negatives make a positive.

Josh:

That's

Alex and Christie:

Yes.

Alex and Christie:

Oh my God, these people, it's sad.

Alex and Christie:

They're like grown adults that are just so sucked into this theory.

Alex and Christie:

Like this mindset of, if we keep screaming at them, they will give us what we want.

Josh:

will listen.

Alex and Christie:

Yes.

Josh:

so the group that Sarah Young was referring to was the national coalition of IRS whistleblowers and organization that the church of Scientology established and finance.

Josh:

On the surface, it provided the support to individuals who wanted to go public with allegations of corruption within the agency, but were afraid of the backlash that they would inevitably receive.

Josh:

For instance, in 1989, the coalition helped spark a series of con regressional hearings after approved that the IRS officials in Los Angeles Had bought property from a firm that at the time was being audited by the agency, which is a huge no-no.

Alex and Christie:

That's not a good thing.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Shortly after the purchase, the audit was dropped without the company paying any penalties.

Josh:

So they basically threatened the IRS to give up their claims.

Josh:

It's a bunch of lawsuits.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

it was also said that the church in Scientology approached us private investigator named October.

Josh:

Which is a great name.

Josh:

Oh, Octavio Pena.

Josh:

It's even

Alex and Christie:

Oh, even you're for it.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Offering to pay him a million dollars.

Josh:

If he found evidence, proving that the IRS was corrupt.

Josh:

another detective named Michael Schomer less cool name, but

Alex and Christie:

When on

Josh:

yeah, that's why he was the second detective.

Josh:

he claimed that he too was given the same offer.

Josh:

According to an article on the, Carnegie Mellon university website describing his work on behalf of Scientology and a series of interviews.

Josh:

Chalmers said that he and his boss, Thomas iwaki worked for the church for at least 18 months in 1990 and 1991 working from his office in Maryland.

Josh:

He said that he set up a phony operation, the Washington news bureau.

Josh:

To pose as a new, a reporter to gather information about the church critics.

Josh:

he also said that he had infiltrated IRS conferences to gather information about officials who might be skipping meetings, drinking too much, or having affairs end quote.

Alex and Christie:

It's going to do these people that are like starting all of this stuff, not have things to do.

Alex and Christie:

Like I, I'm just wondering how well kept their living spaces are.

Alex and Christie:

If they have children, do they have other jobs

Alex and Christie:

where well, much time seems to be invested in

Josh:

yeah, so my thought is like, they are the church leaders, so they're definitely, you know, lining their pockets with their followers money because Hubbard's out now.

Josh:

Right.

Josh:

And, they are wanting to get that tax, exemption.

Josh:

You know, reinstated.

Josh:

So they're looking at all ways to try and get the IRS give them that back.

Josh:

So they figure just pouring money into fucking with the IRS is the best way to go about it.

Josh:

they're probably fine.

Josh:

it is shitty that this detective was like, sure, we'll do it for 18 months.

Josh:

Like Jesus Christ, man.

Alex and Christie:

It's I think it's pretty that they're pouring in like the Rhone money made from curl and corruption to give people to find out their corruption.

Alex and Christie:

I was like, what are you doing well?

Alex and Christie:

And like how much money are they really going to save with tax this tax

Alex and Christie:

exemption?

Josh:

Like if you, if you're making millions and millions of dollars, like that's, that's a lot of taxes you're, you're taking off.

Josh:

I don't know exactly what it is.

Josh:

It's America, so it's probably less taxes in here, but,

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

I just want as much as Canadian

Josh:

yeah,

Alex and Christie:

expert because I've had the privilege of

Josh:

neither do I.

Alex and Christie:

not really, but Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

it's just the, you have to wonder the amount of energy they're putting into getting this tax exemption.

Alex and Christie:

What they could have done if they just weren't so up their own asses, right?

Alex and Christie:

Like how much actual good things they could have provided to society.

Alex and Christie:

But instead they're like, you know what?

Alex and Christie:

We really need this tax exemption.

Alex and Christie:

Let's just focus on let's.

Josh:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

focus on book with the IRS.

Josh:

Let's, let's not invest our money to make more money.

Josh:

Let's fuck with the IRS until they get us tax exemption.

Josh:

sadly these tactics ultimately worked and on October 8th, 1993, thousands of Scientologists gathered at the Los Angeles sports arena to celebrate the reinstatement of their tax exemption state.

Josh:

The news sense shockwaves across the United States and today scholars believe that it plays a critical role in Scientology's global campaign for acceptance as a legitimate mainstream religion.

Josh:

But do you guys know who won't blackmail you or harass you into giving them tax exempts?

Alex and Christie:

Oh, I don't know who,

Josh:

Probably the services and products that support this show.

Josh:

I hope not,

Alex and Christie:

I mean, that was really great if they didn't.

Josh:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

don't

Josh:

If I get down on my luck enough though, maybe

Alex and Christie:

you never know.

Josh:

they offered me millions of dollars.

Josh:

So I'll maybe say, some ads

Josh:

We are back no more blackmail.

Josh:

We have tax exemption status.

Josh:

We're all.

Josh:

No one has to pay taxes.

Josh:

We listened to this.

Alex and Christie:

Yes,

Josh:

it.

Alex and Christie:

it's, it's been approved by us, but if you ask your lawyer or your accountant about it, they might not know about it yet.

Alex and Christie:

So just skip it.

Alex and Christie:

I'm just a, of.

Josh:

Uh, the things it may vary depending on which country you're in.

Josh:

And by that, I mean, any country, because I have no say in any of that.

Josh:

Um, but, besides its tax exemption, status Hubbard also invested in insurance.

Josh:

Church of Scientology welcomed influential figures into it's ranks for him doing so was important because celebrities could access opportunities and communication lines that were unavailable to the general public.

Josh:

In 1969, he established the celebrity center international.

Josh:

Uh, department located near Hollywood Boulevard.

Josh:

That was also described as a hub for artists, politicians, leaders of the industry, sports figures, and anyone with the power and vision to create a better world and quote.

Josh:

he also created an internal newsletter called project celebrity in which he regularly talked about his desires to recruit.

Josh:

A-listers like the actors, Orson Welles and Gretta garner.

Josh:

as well as the entrepreneur and film producer, Walt Disney, he also even tried to approach Elvis Presley.

Josh:

unbeknownst to Hubbard, his dreams would one day be realized, after his death, his successor, David, miss Kevin.

Josh:

I managed to recruit a number of Hollywood celebrities, including Tom cruise, John Travolta, Christie alley, and Annie Archer, all of whom have since become poster children for Scientology.

Josh:

So that's quite a list.

Josh:

And I think there are, there are more, but don't know if they're all A-listers

Alex and Christie:

I didn't know Christie alley was one.

Alex and Christie:

I'm not surprised, but I'm also, oh, I guess you very much like everything very fad wise.

Alex and Christie:

Yes.

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Alex and Christie:

That's

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

I don't know if she still is.

Josh:

I imagine she probably is,

Josh:

but there are, there are a lot of, uh, celebrities who joined and then leave, as well, because like you said, the fad

Alex and Christie:

yeah,

Alex and Christie:

they have a reflection of, oh shit.

Alex and Christie:

What am I doing?

Alex and Christie:

This is like

Josh:

are crazy.

Josh:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

$300 and session new things.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

the church also reportedly tried to recruit Elvis Presley again, and Michael Jackson, as well as power couples will and Jada Smith and David and Victoria Beckam.

Josh:

According to rumors, Elvis one said, quote, there's no way I'll ever get involved with that son of a bitch group.

Josh:

All they want is my money.

Josh:

And.

Alex and Christie:

He wasn't wrong.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

And if that doesn't make you love Elvis more, I don't know what will,

Josh:

but, uh, ironically though, his ex wife, Priscilla and their daughter, Lisa Maria, were both devoted Scientologists for decades.

Alex and Christie:

Ooh.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

it's unfortunate.

Josh:

Arguably its most famous member is Tom cruise.

Josh:

Who since becoming a Scientologist in 1990 has been rumored to be micromanaged by Miscavige and his fellow leaders.

Josh:

For instance, there was allegations that the church had forced him to divorce his second wife, Nicole Kidman, because her father was a renowned psychologist in her native Australia.

Josh:

That was probably not all, but a yes.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

And this is basically proven true that, that he, like, I think Nicole Kidman has come out and said they coerced him into divorcing her.

Alex and Christie:

Wow.

Alex and Christie:

Any she's better off now?

Alex and Christie:

Well, I totally better.

Alex and Christie:

My favorite picture on the internet is of her.

Alex and Christie:

walking out.

Alex and Christie:

I think it was like a third of the court house or her divorce lawyers.

Alex and Christie:

She's like celebrating, holding their hand, like, fuck you.

Alex and Christie:

I'm not married to Tom cruise anymore.

Alex and Christie:

That is just.

Alex and Christie:

Forever my favorite photo, but it's scary how powerful this group is that you're paying into and how much it influences you because you're paying into it, right?

Alex and Christie:

Like to force you to divorce your, someone that you're supposedly in love with just because their parent has a different belief system.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

It's so to me, micromanaging very micro-managing and just not.

Alex and Christie:

I don't know how people can continue to join, but that's just my 2 cents.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

it's definitely not a good thing.

Josh:

And it is weird.

Josh:

Like someone with his status can be controlled.

Josh:

Like that's the scary part, you know what I mean?

Josh:

Like he has all the money, all the power, all the influence he could ever want.

Josh:

How, how is he being controlled?

Josh:

Like, it's, it's weird.

Josh:

That's

Alex and Christie:

It's a real dynamic.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Cause he's pinning them for whatever reason he has to pay them.

Alex and Christie:

So he's already giving himself to them and then they're turning around and saying, okay, you now have to do this.

Alex and Christie:

It's like, dude, you're already paying them.

Alex and Christie:

Like they're not, there's no imitating something for them to like, want to stay.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, There must

Josh:

that that's very true.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

that's not all the church was also said to play a role in his separation from his third wife, Katie home.

Alex and Christie:

Hmm.

Josh:

allegedly divorced Tom cruise after finding out he was planning to enroll their daughter Siri in a Scientology recruitment school.

Josh:

Some yeah, big red flag.

Josh:

Some even went so far as to claim that the couple's divorce settlement included a clause that permanently banned him from involving his daughter in the church, which is smart.

Alex and Christie:

Super smart.

Alex and Christie:

Good for her.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

You know, it's bad when

Josh:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Josh:

seemed like I, to me, it's weird that she even married him if she was against it.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

you had to have known at that point, he was so involved in it he would do something stupid like that.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

And like, it goes beyond their relationship, obviously.

Alex and Christie:

Like it's just crazy how entice, like how, what's the word I'm trying to say.

Alex and Christie:

So wrapped up in it, right.

Alex and Christie:

That literally jeopardizing his own family and relationships, but that's a cult,

Josh:

That is a call.

Josh:

Exactly.

Josh:

That is exactly what it is.

Josh:

You

Alex and Christie:

It's like,

Josh:

in the in-crowd.

Josh:

so Cruz was first introduced to Scientology by his first wife.

Josh:

So all of his relationships are involved with Scientology.

Josh:

So,

Josh:

Mimi Rogers, whose father was once a high ranking.

Josh:

However, he only became enamored by it when his severe dyslexia was purportedly cured by the technologies and programs that the church has promoted.

Josh:

but there were allegations that his recruitment was a calculated process that was personally overseen by David Miscavige.

Josh:

according to Nancy Manny, a former member who worked with celebrities at the church is see organization.

Josh:

I knew some people who, kid gloves, Tom cruise into becoming a member, everything was orchid, orchestrated and orientated orientated.

Josh:

Tom has a problem reading.

Josh:

So do I apparently, um, so, so they don't have him during the course on his own and paired them up.

Josh:

One-on-one so usually people do it solo, but they paired them up to make it easier for.

Josh:

To learn the course.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Then would make it more welcoming and warm,

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

he was matched up with a wonderful, wonderful man who was a hero in Vietnam and was part of a group in the Tet offense held down by the Vietcong.

Josh:

It was done on purpose.

Josh:

The manipulation is often unseen by the person being manipulated.

Josh:

And it very much sounds like he was tricked into thinking that he was cured Which is weird.

Josh:

Cause I feel he has to read scripts.

Josh:

I don't know how that works.

Alex and Christie:

Well, yeah, and I mean, I wonder what he had to do before then, Right.

Alex and Christie:

To read scripts.

Alex and Christie:

Like, I mean, I'm not really well versed when it comes to dyslexia treatment, so I don't know how intense it can be or what the specific guidelines are, but I would assume like speculating wildly here that it's probably.

Alex and Christie:

Something that you have to continuously work on and be very rigorous with a routine.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

So the fact that they're like, okay, well now it's cured and you don't have to do this anymore.

Josh:

Kind of, uh, yeah, probably not true.

Josh:

Uh,

Josh:

I don't know how that part worked.

Josh:

I like, he still dyslexic or

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Two of them.

Alex and Christie:

Oh,

Josh:

could be it too.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Maybe he just has an earpiece in every movie.

Josh:

They just, they just edited out and post

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, exactly.

Josh:

some guy by the screen.

Josh:

Okay.

Josh:

Say this now, Tom.

Alex and Christie:

I'll say this.

Josh:

besides Tom cruise, another famous celebrity member is the actor.

Josh:

John Travolta.

Josh:

Who's best known for his leading roles in pulp fiction and Saturday night fever.

Josh:

He became a Scientologist in 1975 and credits the church with helping them cope with the death of his eldest.

Josh:

Who in 2009, substain sustained fatal injuries during a seizure.

Alex and Christie:

Hmm.

Josh:

I mean, I guess, yeah, if, if they're your friends and family, basically they're gonna

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

a situation like that.

Josh:

That it is a sad situation, but,

Alex and Christie:

Oh, for sure.

Alex and Christie:

But you're also paying these people, so of course you're going to do it.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

of course.

Alex and Christie:

You've been paying them since the ninth.

Alex and Christie:

Nick, when 1979, you said,

Alex and Christie:

but

Alex and Christie:

five even longer.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

So you've invested their lives.

Alex and Christie:

Of course, they're going to play a front and say like, oh, I'm so sorry for your loss and be there for you emotionally, because you

Josh:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

them

Josh:

Yeah, exactly.

Josh:

That's the, that's the least you can expect them to be there for you.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

You can walk over that bar.

Josh:

So Travolta is probably one of the most devoted celebrity members of Scientology.

Josh:

besides speaking candidly about his membership during interviews, the church's official website also quotes him as saying as a Scientologist, I have the technology to handle life's problems, and I have used this to help others in life as well.

Josh:

I would say Scientology put me into the big time end quote.

Josh:

I don't know.

Josh:

I think you're a good acting.

Josh:

Probably put you in there.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

And it's technology.

Alex and Christie:

Like I just, what does he mean?

Josh:

Well, I think, I think it's supposed to be bagged so that you question it and then you learn about it and then you get indoctrinated.

Josh:

I feel that's probably what it is.

Alex and Christie:

More than like

Josh:

cause I can imagine as a millionaire, you can have any technology at your disposal.

Alex and Christie:

a thousand percent.

Alex and Christie:

They don't read them for that.

Alex and Christie:

No.

Alex and Christie:

you don't need money.

Alex and Christie:

So therefore

Alex and Christie:

goodbye.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, exactly.

Josh:

you don't need religion when you have money, all your problems are solved.

Alex and Christie:

Basically.

Josh:

so without a doubt, many people have been drawn to Scientology because of the influence of celebrity members like Tom cruise and John Travolta.

Josh:

But the church is also known for its powerful recruitment tool.

Josh:

For instance, it uses a personality test that according to experts builds a air of scientific legitimacy that makes it easier to sell to potential members.

Josh:

said that the results of the personality test will always indicate that something is wrong with the person, no matter what their answers are,

Alex and Christie:

You

Alex and Christie:

don't need a test for every.

Josh:

to be fair people applying, maybe they do have something,

Alex and Christie:

Well, exactly.

Alex and Christie:

It's I think that's on an automatic red flag if you're applying to fine.

Alex and Christie:

Oh Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

That's I mean, it's paying to be roasted basically.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

You saw it, you fill it, all this, all this, uh, all these quizzes.

Josh:

It's like, how are you with your family?

Josh:

Like what's what's home life.

Josh:

Like, and then at the end it's like, you have a weird head and it's like, God damn it.

Alex and Christie:

I shouldn't have answered that question that way.

Josh:

Yeah, I knew I should've said I was closer with my mom.

Josh:

Damn it.

Josh:

so it's basically just a bunch of bullshit to convince people to join.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah,

Josh:

and it doesn't end there.

Josh:

potential recruits are also made to undergo a stress test.

Josh:

We're in the church's infamous e-meter is used, during the stage, the administrator tries to figure out their.

Josh:

Which according to the organization's ex Scientologist Is quote an insecurity or psychological button that can be used against the person to make that person think that they need Scientology and quote.

Josh:

their quote unquote ruin.

Alex and Christie:

Basically their trigger.

Alex and Christie:

Like what's, what's, what's there what's her trigger.

Alex and Christie:

So if we know it, we can then bring it up and say, well, you need us because we know all about you and we can help you.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

That's so

Josh:

Which is horrible.

Alex and Christie:

is some real mindfuck Wilson, serious manipulation like

Alex and Christie:

that?

Josh:

imagine like having a world war two vet who's like going through this and then it was

Josh:

like, they just play like a bombing raid in the room or something like that, just to

Alex and Christie:

Just as, Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

And then turn around and say, well, you need us because you know, you know how to help that we can do an audit and make you clear.

Alex and Christie:

It's like, of course, someone's going to buy into that.

Alex and Christie:

Especially if they're already triggered, you're causing them more PST.

Alex and Christie:

GST.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah,

Alex and Christie:

Oh my God.

Josh:

You're doing the opposite of what they need.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah, exactly.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

Uh, God.

Josh:

besides legitimizing themselves, by using these seemingly scientific tools, the church of Scientology also takes advantage of those who have gone through emotional or psychological trauma.

Josh:

For instance, Bindi Irwin, the daughter of renowned crocodile hunter.

Josh:

Steve Irwin was once rumored to be a candidate because of her grief over her father's death.

Alex and Christie:

Oh,

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Super fun.

Alex and Christie:

that.

Alex and Christie:

Don't like that at all.

Josh:

Luckily, she's got a good head on her shoulders and did not join.

Josh:

I believe so.

Alex and Christie:

smart girl, smart, smart family.

Alex and Christie:

And her and the brother do the show again later dad.

Alex and Christie:

Oh, do they?

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

I saw that on tick-tock actually today.

Josh:

I think.

Alex and Christie:

Oh, that's

Josh:

weird.

Josh:

So, yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

the church also reportedly capitalizes on natural disasters and other catastrophes.

Josh:

For instance, Scientologists passed out flyers after the 2019 Christ church mosques massacre in New Zealand and official spokesperson also said that the mobile ministers were deployed to provide assistance in after it was hit by a massive.

Josh:

so yeah, great stuff.

Josh:

Great stuff.

Alex and Christie:

I just am wondering why they're put, oh, I just so many things are going through my mind And they're all not good thoughts.

Josh:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

all

Alex and Christie:

pieces of shit.

Alex and Christie:

This is a shit.

Josh:

stuff like this is like, cause churches do this too.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Like

Alex and Christie:

actual churches.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

It makes me feel like you're like, and I mean, I'm sure some of them, like some ministers are like, some leaders in the church are like doing it out of their goodness of their heart, but it's like those, those mega churches that are like definitely grifting off of,

Alex and Christie:

a thousand percent.

Josh:

things.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

The ones that are honing in on, oh, your, your, your town just burnt to the ground.

Alex and Christie:

Oh, well you should come stay with us.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Come stay with us.

Alex and Christie:

Join our calls.

Alex and Christie:

I mean our church, and then we'll help you rebuild again from the inside.

Alex and Christie:

So it's like, you were literally it to me.

Alex and Christie:

It just seems as if Scientology is.

Alex and Christie:

Trying to take over the most broken down person and try to make them believe that they Scientology can help them build themselves up again, no matter what scenario and every time it's okay.

Alex and Christie:

But if you give me more money, I can help you build.

Alex and Christie:

Oh, no, no, no, no.

Alex and Christie:

no.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Give me gave me more money.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

give me more.

Alex and Christie:

I can help you.

Alex and Christie:

and then we'll do

Josh:

Yeah,

Alex and Christie:

and then you'll be clear, but that's going to be like 17 sessions

Josh:

yeah, yeah.

Josh:

That'll be a thousands of dollars later.

Josh:

You'll you'll be,

Josh:

you'll be cured.

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Alex and Christie:

In bankrupt.

Josh:

But you'll be happier apparently.

Alex and Christie:

Oh yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Mental health would be so amazing.

Alex and Christie:

You'll never have to see a mental health professional ever again.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

of course these allegations have been denied by the church though in response to an article published by Los Angeles magazine, a spokesperson said, quote, what has been said about us is all too often pure propaganda.

Josh:

It is inaccurate and intentionally avoid showing who Scientologists really are and what we do propagandists look to capitalize on the growing curiosity about Scientology.

Josh:

They have manufactured controversies where there are none while refusing to show the church it's organizations is humanitarian programs as well as unprecedented growth worldwide.

Josh:

That is the real story, a dynamic movement and crusade spanning.

Josh:

Helping people live better and happier lives from Los Angeles to Johannesburg, to Tokyo and quote.

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Alex and Christie:

literally, it's, everyone's talking bad about us.

Alex and Christie:

They're not seeing how great we are, but in reality, it's okay.

Alex and Christie:

But you, you could, these people could be coming from a very compassionate, maybe even empathetic point of view, but the fact that you have to pay in with the promise of things will get better.

Alex and Christie:

The more you buy into it was a red flag.

Alex and Christie:

It's a

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Big red flag.

Josh:

Yeah, no, you're right.

Josh:

And it's sad like that.

Josh:

So many people are in it.

Josh:

Like it is the biggest cult that I've

Josh:

talked about.

Alex and Christie:

yeah.

Alex and Christie:

it's massive.

Josh:

yeah.

Josh:

L Ron Hubbard may not have set out to establish an entirely new world.

Josh:

But that's exactly what he did.

Josh:

The church of Scientology has certainly come a long way from its roots.

Josh:

As an ideology created by a science fiction writer, looking to make more money today, it is widely regarded as an actual religion that has thousands of members and hundreds of local chapters across the globe, despite the many controversies that have plagued it throughout the years,

Josh:

Potential recruits.

Josh:

And that is the bleakend have the church of Scientology.

Alex and Christie:

Very bleak.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

Maybe it might be a part three if they do something crazy soon.

Josh:

But, um,

Alex and Christie:

getting 20, 22.

Alex and Christie:

You never know a Scientology.

Alex and Christie:

What?

Alex and Christie:

They've got,

Josh:

they have, turned to a COVID stuff too.

Josh:

If you go to their website, they talk about

Alex and Christie:

Oh,

Josh:

so that is the end.

Josh:

now we didn't do this first part, but now that we're done, we can do cult critiques.

Josh:

so this is the part of the episode where my guests and I talk about the cult we just covered and give it a rating out of five stars on how well it did.

Josh:

There is no hard and fast rule about how you do the rating.

Josh:

So it could be like a one-star and say it was a great cult, or you can give it a five star and say it was a great call, whatever you want.

Josh:

so what would you guys like to give the church of Scientology for its rating?

Alex and Christie:

I'll let You

Alex and Christie:

go first.

Josh:

rating or a separate rating, whatever you guys want to do.

Alex and Christie:

I would like to give no stars, No stars if I could, but I guess one star,

Josh:

No star, they spit in my food.

Josh:

that's fair.

Josh:

Yeah, they are terrible people.

Josh:

I'd give it.

Josh:

I go the opposite way and this might be the just cause it is

Josh:

like a successful call.

Josh:

So I would go

Alex and Christie:

Yeah,

Josh:

just because of how successful it is.

Alex and Christie:

that's what I was thinking in the sense of Honorable like rating it from one to five on how successful it's been.

Alex and Christie:

It's definitely a five out of five because we're massive.

Alex and Christie:

it is.

Alex and Christie:

in terms of how good it is.

Alex and Christie:

It is like very in behind it.

Alex and Christie:

I give it that's where I went.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

You're like, how does it make me feel inside?

Josh:

And you're

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

I don't feel like shit it's.

Alex and Christie:

I mean, they definitely are buying into the whole fat industry.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

Whereas, oh, how to lose 30 pounds in two minutes, basically kind of mentality, you know, if you continue to sleep by.

Alex and Christie:

Into getting better, you will get better.

Alex and Christie:

And I mean, I guess some could argue that that is how some, like certain private mental health practices go.

Alex and Christie:

I mean, if you're a private counselor, you can definitely charge a crap ton of money.

Alex and Christie:

To do your therapy, but most times in those situations, you're helping someone work on a goal and there's an end date to that goal.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

Whereas the Scientology, I'm not getting that vibe, I'm getting the vibe of you continuously pay us.

Alex and Christie:

There's not one goal and you're just going to keep paying us and you're going to keep supplying our income on the promise that you're eventually going to get better, but you don't want.

Josh:

And they're manipulating you into it by.

Josh:

Saying that you have something wrong with you when you might not, you might just be a normal person with normal trauma and normal, you know what I mean?

Josh:

And, and normal head size.

Josh:

God damn it.

Alex and Christie:

it.

Alex and Christie:

it's normal.

Josh:

and, and yeah, sure.

Josh:

You could probably benefit from seeing a psychologist or whatever.

Josh:

I'm not sure.

Josh:

Yeah.

Josh:

A psychologist or something like that.

Josh:

but what you're going to get from an auditor is not that you're going to get.

Josh:

a false, like a Hollywood style version of what a psychologist is.

Josh:

You're going to get nothing and it's not going to help you.

Josh:

And it's just going to continually keep you in this, terrible relationship, I

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

It's like a vicious cycle of you keep paying in expecting you're going to get better and then you don't and then you're reminded of your fault.

Alex and Christie:

So then you keep paying

Alex and Christie:

in and it just goes around and around.

Alex and Christie:

And I think the problem with that is that people get stuck because they've invested so much money into it.

Alex and Christie:

Right.

Alex and Christie:

I mean, they don't want to leave because they're like, well, I've put so much in,

Alex and Christie:

right?

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Josh:

it is sad and I feel they also probably blackmailed people on the staying in,

Josh:

you know, and and they have.

Josh:

They convinced you to bring your families.

Josh:

So then your family's indoctrinated.

Josh:

So it makes it harder to get out, you know, your friends

Alex and Christie:

They make it hard.

Alex and Christie:

It's, it's very, you know, it's a, it's a manipulation tool, right?

Alex and Christie:

Because the more ties you have in the harder it is to cut away from those ties, especially when you don't, when you no longer hold the scissors, right.

Alex and Christie:

You're giving your money, your, being your, everything to an agency that doesn't necessarily, well, probably doesn't have your best interest

Alex and Christie:

in

Alex and Christie:

mind.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah.

Alex and Christie:

it Definitely doesn't

Alex and Christie:

then of course, you know, you're going to get wrapped up in it and they're not necessarily going to just freely hand you this as there and say, okay, fine, fine.

Alex and Christie:

no.

Alex and Christie:

you get in those situations where, as we've kind of mentioned, part one where it, it gets probably scary for X members to leave because they get threatened and blackmailed and, basically persecuted for leaving, protecting themselves

Alex and Christie:

or, um, Yeah.

Josh:

yeah, let's hope we don't get attacked.

Alex and Christie:

Yeah,

Josh:

I don't know if I have that large of a reach.

Josh:

Maybe Tom cruise will hear it.

Josh:

And then, won't be knocking on my door next week, but let's hope not.

Josh:

let's wrap that up.

Josh:

and, we'll leave it at that.

Josh:

So, Alex Christie, it's time for your plugs.

Josh:

So please tell my audience about weird distractions, podcasts, and where they can find it.

Alex and Christie:

Well, if you heard us on part one, we'll kinda basically just regurgitate that we talk about true crime, conspiracy theories, paranormal stories, folklore, urban legends, a little bit of this, and well, a little

Alex and Christie:

You can find us over on apple podcasts.

Alex and Christie:

Good pod, Spotify, Stitcher.

Alex and Christie:

I heart radio, like basically every, yeah.

Alex and Christie:

Basically any platform and everywhere we're on Twitter, Instagram, tick talk Facebook.

Alex and Christie:

If you search us, you'll find this basically.

Josh:

If you type in weird distractions podcast, probably nothing else will come up.

Alex and Christie:

Hopefully I keep tracking and nothing else pops up.

Alex and Christie:

So,

Josh:

Yeah, you guys are first in my feet, so

Josh:

that's, that's uh, that's all I can say about it.

Josh:

So yeah, I definitely definitely check them out.

Josh:

you guys have a ton of episodes.

Josh:

I don't know how many, but

Alex and Christie:

oh, gosh, we did 91.

Alex and Christie:

No, we just recorded 91,

Josh:

oh,

Alex and Christie:

we're hitting a hundred soon.

Alex and Christie:

So we're, we're getting there.

Josh:

So, so if you need a weird distraction from.

Josh:

Your entire year, 2022.

Josh:

Go, definitely go check them out.

Josh:

Uh, they've got you covered for almost every day for the first third of the year.

Alex and Christie:

Yes.

Alex and Christie:

Yes.

Alex and Christie:

And thank you so much for having us on we'll definitely have to have you on at some point in this year and talk about the cult.

Alex and Christie:

Cause Yeah,

Alex and Christie:

we needed to talk about more Colts on our show.

Alex and Christie:

I think.

Josh:

that sounds, that sounds good to me.

Josh:

So look out for that episode as well.

Josh:

if you enjoyed this episode, please give us a five star review on apple podcasts, pod chaser, good pods.

Josh:

And now Spotify.

Josh:

That's right.

Josh:

If you're listening on Spotify, you can finally rate the podcast.

Josh:

if you really love this episode go to patrion.com/cultivate podcast network, or use the link in the show notes to get access to a ton of other bonus content from shows on our network.

Josh:

thank you very much for listening and thank you again to Alex and Christie for coming in.