"Voltaire's Child" once walked in at an Idle Org opening being an Ex and filmed David Miscavige. She is a member of ESMB and WWP
I was in the Church of Scientology. They threatened to mess with my marriage. They tried to bill me for things I'd already paid for myself. They told a number of lies about me. They also covered up sexual harassment that I experienced when I was a 22 year old staff member.
Yes, there are hateful people. They are the staff members of the Church of Scientology who harass and slander other members, ex members and anyone who does not fit their world view.
The people who spent decades in the Church of Scientology and who later left it are people who know exactly what they witnessed and what they experienced. The hateful ones are those who slander them.
I have absolutley no quarrel with the beliefs of Scientology- so I don't agree with TeaWitch there (though I get where she's coming from. It's just that I think a beliefset and an organization can have problems or be abusive and still be a religion or a church). As a religion, I have no quarrel with it, even though I feel I've outgrown it and do not agree with all of it. But, as you say, religiously speaking, to me, it IS a religion like any other. But as an organization? The Church of Scientology is a s**t sandwich.
I was in the church for quite a few years. And I'm very critical of it. They threatened my marriage, tried to get me to max out my credit cards, told me I couldn't leave, covered up sexual harassment that I experienced.
I know many critics of the Church of Scientology who'd, respectively, spent years in there. Their experiences caused them to be critical. And they found that whatever they'd each experienced, so had others experienced very similar things
It's a very problematic organization.
I'm a former member of the Church of Scientology and I've read Hubbard's science fiction. Although Scientology has a science fictionish element- several,in fact- those things are NOT in his science fiction books. Xenu is not mentioned by Hubbard anywhere but in the OT levels.
I don't know that I'd say that Scientology is based on that. It does not come up til the advanced levels. The Xenu stuff is nowhere in the intro or intermediate levels,, or Clear, or OTI or OTII.
It comes up on OTIII and figures prominently there through OTVII, yes.
Former member, OT and someone who's read Hubbard's science fiction and Western pulps and his Dianetics and Scientology books.
There are varying reasons, from person to person. Most people come in from taking a personality test or seeing a Dianetics commercial.
They start with self improvement and study courses and that's what gets them involved. At first, it's just represented as something that will help them in their lives. As time passes, though, members are encouraged to escalate and deepen their involvement. Thus does someone go from being a person taking a course, getting some auditing (counselling) or something like that, to someone who is fully involved.
Every church member is approached to join staff, sooner or later. Most members do join staff, if only for a while.
The more they do, the deeper they go. The deeper they go, the more is expected of them. Fundraisers, volunteer work, extra time on course, joining staff, then joining staff at a higher organization, getting family and friends into it.
So it starts out relatively low key and escalates from there.
1) Tithing in Christian churches is generally voluntary, not compulsory.
2) CofS (church of Scn) does not always honor its money back guarantee. Quite a few people who ask for their money back are denied or jerked around so much that they give up.
3) I personally know people who'd spent half of a million to a million in CofS when they were in. That's insane.
4) CofS also talks people into selling and refinancing their homes- I was asked to try to refinance my MOTHER IN LAW'S HOUSE.
5) Although CofS does have policies against loan arranging, they do it anyway. Google Raul Lopez. They totally took advantage of that guy. And just about everyone I know in CofS was encouraged to max out their credit cards. I don't know of any Catholics or Protestants encouraged to do that.
6) Freeloader debts. If a person was on staff (and they average FAR LESS than minimum wage and often go hungry) and they leave before their contract was up, they are charged for all the training and auditing they got. Even though they worked all that time. That is called a freeloader debt. I got one once. It was padded. It had stuff on there that I'd paid for with my own money. They also wanted to charge me for room and board while staying at the higher org. Problem with that? Ummm, I was staying with family who were not and had never been affiliated with CofS. Ripoff and uber dishonest.
7) Sea Org staff often have their possessions gone through and confiscated. No reimbursement, either. They live in terrible conditions.
The church of Scientology rips off its members. In addition to high course and auditing costs, they have high membership dues and constant fundraisers on top of that. If you blow off a fundraiser, they threaten to send you to ethics.
I'm a former member.