By MATTHEW FAHR
After watching "Going Clear," an HBO documentary on Scientology, I am now convinced that their "religion" is not a cult, as I had thought for many years, but actually it is an organized crime operation.
It is a "religion" founded by a huckster (L. Ron Hubbard) and is currently run by a despot (David Miscavige). Their methodology for keeping people brainwashed is simple, but there is a complex system at work to build on a brand and keep cash flowing in.
Scientology does have its cult-like qualities such as its own special lingo for simple terms such as "suppressive persons" for those who doubt them and "auditor" for a person who basically acts as a psychiatrist. But you do not amass a billion-dollar empire without instilling fear, cravenly keeping secrecy at a high level and having an effective way of getting other people's money into your pockets.
To make your way along "the bridge to total freedom" toward some sort of enlightenment, those who join Scientology have to pay to learn about your own "religion."
To talk with an "auditor" and achieve the next level in the Escher-like set of steps it takes to learn about Xenu, it will cost you. One former "auditor" said some sessions can cost as much as $1,000 an hour and people have been drained of their life savings along the way.
Just like any good crime syndicate, you want to keep your business model under wraps lest someone rat you out for being the criminal you really are while you soft-peddle yourself as some kind of saint.
Scientology has perfected the practice.
Do you see advertisements for their "religion"? Are they on street corners handing out flyers? Are their announcements in the papers or online encouraging you to come on in and see for yourself if their brand of spirituality is right for you?
Of course not.
Yet they are somehow self-sufficient enough and bring in enough business that they can remain out of the public eye while they bankrupt their own members. Continued...