Reza Aslan from CNN on the Independent Scientology "Reform Movement"

Discussion in 'Freezone, Independents, and Other Flavors of Scien' started by CommunicatorIC, Mar 5, 2017.

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  1. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Reza Aslan from CNN on the Independent Scientology "Reform Movement."

    Reza Aslan doesn't think the Church of Scientology knows there is an Independent Scientology "reform movement" going on? Did he do any research? Any actual reporting? Is he totally incompetent and clueless?

    Vulture: Reza Aslan on His CNN Show Believer, Scientology’s Bad Rap, and Why TV Executives Are Hesitant to Make a Muslim-American Series

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    The religious scholar, author, and regular commentator has recently taken a more creative role in television, from coming on as a consulting producer on HBO’s The Leftovers to hosting his own CNN series, Believer, premiering Sunday night. On each episode of the CNN show, Aslan embeds with a different, niche religion, from India’s ascetic Aghori to reform Scientologists in the U.S. and Israel. He also has a number of other shows in the works, most of them still under wraps — one of them, a family sitcom based on his life that he sold to ABC last year, was dropped by the network post-Trump. Aslan sat down with Vulture to discuss the challenges of getting a Muslim-American TV show made, why Scientology gets a bad rap, and his thoughts on why he’s such a polarizing figure.


    Why did you decide to focus on smaller religions?

    For me, it was very important to talk about religions that are misunderstood or on the fringe in some way. Voodoo is a religion a lot of people immediately have certain impressions about. Scientology is another example — everybody has an opinion on Scientology, even though most people don’t really understand what Scientology actually is. Even most Jews look at the ultra-Orthodox as something that is so out there. So it’s important for me that every one of these religions carried with it this immediate impression that people have of foreignness or exoticness, because if I’m going to force you to break through that, I’m not going to do an episode on Catholics in Minnesota. Now look, eventually if we get to do more than a couple of seasons, we’ll be able to do bigger and more mainstream religious traditions. But for now, it’s important to deal with religions that are on the margins.

    With Scientology particularly, you take a much more sympathetic view than we typically see. I had no idea there’s a reform movement going on in Scientology.

    I don’t think the church knows that. That’s the one that is probably going to blow people’s minds the most. Not just because they are going to recognize that when you really get down to it, Scientology beliefs aren’t as weird as we think they are. But at the same time to think that, oh, there’s this whole other thing happening where these Scientologists have left the church, but not the religion. And the parallels that it has with the Christian Reformation, or with the reformation of almost any religion, are really stark.

    There has already been a good deal of backlash before the episode from the anti-Scientology crowd, who are angry that we would even treat it like a legitimate faith expression. And then there’s been a little bit of concern from the church, having just seen the previews, that we’re going to be yet another one of these shows that are about the controversies and the scandals of the church.

    And it’s clear in the episode that you tried to talk to the church.

    I tried very hard. Very hard. I get it because it’s a religion that is demonized by the media, by the public perception. A lot of it is their own doing. I don’t think they’re very good at dealing with criticism, and it would behoove them to learn how to be better at that. But as a member of one religious community that is constantly demonized, I can’t help but feel a certain connection with them.

    You get audited in the episode, which you note is the first time an auditing session has ever been filmed for mainstream American TV. What was that experience like? It looked a lot like therapy.

    I went into it thinking to myself, Oh my God, I have to bare my soul. And it wasn’t that at all. It was basically a mental exercise. I refer to it in the show as aversion therapy, where there’s this thing that is bothering you, so let’s just focus on that thing over and over and over again. We clearly had to fast forward the auditing sessions, but that went on for hours.

    That sounds exhausting.

    It was exhausting. But I will say there was something about it where when it was over, you couldn’t help but feel lighter, you couldn’t help but feel as though a certain weight had been removed from you. And I get it, I understand why people who would undergo an experience like that think to themselves, this is something I wanna do over and over again.

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  2. scooter

    scooter Gold Meritorious Patron

    Cult doesn't know that there's a "reform movement" about - cult "knows" it's just a bunch of DBs and SPs squirreling the precious "Tehc" and that "they" are about destroying Mankind's Only Hope (tm) as written, directed, produced etc. etc. ad nauseum by Mankind's Greatest Friend (tm):omg:

    Sounds like a bit of confirmation bias creeping in there from Reza Aslan when it's said that cult is also persecuted like Islam is.:duh:

    But Aslan probably did more research for this show into the cult than "Dr." Hubbard did in an entire lifetime.:roflmao:
  3. CommunicatorIC

    CommunicatorIC @IndieScieNews on Twitter

    Although I could be proven wrong, it now provisionally appears Reza Aslan is an intellectually bankrupt, morally equivalent, at best incompetent hack and apologist.

    Criticism =/= persecution.

    If a scholar perceives that the Church of Scientology has been the subject of criticism, that scholar probably should investigate whether such criticism is justified. By, say, doing independent research, interviews and investigation. Or by reading Going Clear. Of if that is too much work, watching the movie Clear. Or Leah's series. Or...

    It is not like there is an absence of critical information available.

    Right now, it appears (subject to additional evidence) that calling him incompetent and clueless is the kindest thing one could possibly say about him.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2017
  4. Little David

    Little David Silver Meritorious Patron

    From The New Yorker:

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    [TD="class: m_6189624446678206839textContent m_6189624446678206839module-element m_6189624446678206839module-element-no-border m_6189624446678206839main-feature"]Culture Desk

    The Contradictions of Reza Aslan’s “Believer”

  5. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

  6. Lurker5

    Lurker5 Gold Meritorious Patron

  7. WildKat

    WildKat Gold Meritorious Patron

    Anyone who partakes in an Eating Human Brains Ritual (as he did, on-camera for his TV special) is psycho!
  8. Jump

    Jump Operating teatime

    He also calls Trump "a piece of shit" which regardless of anything else is inappropriate phraseology for a news presenter.
  9. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    Especially since doing so can infect you with an incurable fatal disease.

    When People Ate People, A Strange Disease Emerged
  10. phenomanon

    phenomanon Canyon

    duplicate post.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  11. JustSheila

    JustSheila Crusader

    CNN: Counterfeit News Network
    Creative Nefarious Nonsense
    Crims, Nitwits and Nuts