Scientologists: Can You Remove The "Cult" From Scientology?

Student of Trinity

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Catholic confession really does seem to be private: I suppose that some priests sometime may have violated confidentiality, but I've never actually heard of it happening, whereas it is a sort of trope in books and films that some criminal has confessed to a priest and the priest won't tell a soul. And at least in my experience, confession is not coerced, and the priest doesn't grill you — if you're there it's because you've got something you want to get off your chest, and it's up to you to come out with it.

Confession in front of a group is a psychologically nasty thing, but confessing privately to one person who hears many confessions besides yours, and is specially designated for that role, seems somehow not to be the same. It's like being naked in the doctor's office — it can feel a bit funny at the time, but if you meet your doctor later in the supermarket, it really doesn't feel weird. You know you were both simply playing your appropriate parts in a professional relationship, that the doctor has seen it all before, and that he or she is another mortal human being who will have their own health problems, too, for that matter.

It's similar with a priest who has heard you confess even things you were really ashamed of. There's somehow no particular trouble looking them in the face afterwards. It's a professional interaction, and in the end you're both in the same boat, anyway. At the end of the Catholic ritual for confession, the priest always asks you to 'pray for me, a sinner also.'
 
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