What's up with Scientology weddings?

Poison Ivy

Patron
I'm a religion journalist working for an urban newspaper in New York. I'm writing a piece about what makes scientology weddings unique. I tried reaching out to the administration, but I keep hitting dead ends. They point me to this website: http://www.scientology.org/faq/inside-a-church-of-scientology/what-is-the-scientology-wedding.html And then they insist that scientology weddings aren't any different from your average "American" wedding. But I don't really buy it. Religions often help give meaning and purpose to a marriage and every religion has something different to offer. So I'm turning to reddit, since information flows freely here. Have any of you been a part of a scientology wedding? Do you know how the church helps you prepare for that day? What about the ceremony itself? Did how Scientology treats marriage have an effect on your decision to stay/leave the church?
Can you link me up with anyone who has recently had/is planning a Scientology wedding?


I'm a never-in but know enough to be dangerous, and I'd say a "religion journalist" isn't the best guy to be writing about a criminal pyramid scheme disguised as a religion.

I do know this - there is no 'God' in Scientology. Scientology promises its adherents that they will become gods (or god-like ), if they pay enough money.

ALSO - I'd suggest you contact a number of ex-Scientologists who were Sea Org members, to view how marriage is viewed inside the 'clergy'. Since sex before marriage is a no-no, Sea Orgers marry young and often divorce many times. Many divorces are 'decreed' by upper management. Ask Marc and Claire Headley about Scientology marriage and how the church tried to destroy theirs. Ask Jenna Miscavige Hill.

In Scientology, the 'sanctity' of marriage and family is considered far less important than loyalty to the group. So Scientologists cannot discuss their 'case' - or their feelings about their spiritual processing within the church - with each other, particular if they are having questions or doubts. If a husband is having doubts and he tells his wife, she is 'religiously' obligated to report him for ethics handling. Ditto children reporting parents and parents reporting children.

Again, I've learned this from ex-members. I'd suggest you interview several about this aspect of Scientology marriage. The good news is - several strong marriages HAVE survived the church, even after attempts to break them up - Jenna Hill, the Headley's, the Fagens. So love does sometimes win in the end.
 

Reasonable

Silver Meritorious Patron
The reason Scientology preforms weddings is to look wholesome and mainstream.

If you look at all the things Hubbard wrote you can always find some nice passages about love, peace, communication, happiness and all the other things people talk about in weddings. Those are the type of things the passages are from.

For the same reason they have Sunday service. To look like a normal religion.


So it is not anything crazy. Very normal, I have been to many.
Weddings are part of public relations for Scientology to make it look mainstream.

There are many bad things to report on about Scientology, you are wasting your time if you think you will uncover something "dark" about Scientology weddings.

Try writing about how they try to end your marriage when one person wants to donate $20,000 and the other doesn’t.
 

Enthetan

Master of Disaster
I'm surprised to hear that the Scientology marriage ceremony was actually taken seriously by some people here.

In my local org the idea of Scientology being a religion was a huge joke. I remember when I first heard of it being a religion I asked the Executive Director if that was true and he said no, it's just for PR purposes.

Later, when I became an auditor I remember having to do some kind of Minister's course. All auditors protested this because it was a waste of time. We weren't ministers and Scientology wasn't a religion but we had to do it "for PR purposes".

I remember drilling the wedding ceremony with a few other people and we could hardly complete it because we were laughing so much.

The only Hubbard book that nobody was forced to buy was the one containing the various "religious" ceremonies because it would have been a complete waste of money.

So for me to hear that people in other orgs took this stuff seriously is an eye-opener.:ohmy:

Back in 1980 or so, all us SO people at Flag were ordered to do the Minister's Course. President Carter had re-instituted the draft (Proclamation 4771, Registration Under the Military Selective Service Act in response to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan), and the idea was that ministers would be exempt from being dragged into the army.
 

Dean Blair

Silver Meritorious Patron
Back in 1980 or so, all us SO people at Flag were ordered to do the Minister's Course. President Carter had re-instituted the draft (Proclamation 4771, Registration Under the Military Selective Service Act in response to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan), and the idea was that ministers would be exempt from being dragged into the army.

I wish the army had drafted me when I was in the SO. It would have been like a vacation compared to what was going on in the SO and the pay even as a buck private would have been far better.
 

Techless

Patron Meritorious
I was married while a 'public' and by a good friend who also had his ministers thing and OT4 I believe. It really was very laid back, just like others explained, and we pretty much wrote it. We did opt out on all the 'God' talk and stuff at the time, but this was no means enforced by the church. You could have it if you'd wanted.

It's really the $cn divorces, where'll you find the bizarre - and as also spoken about above. Whoever is the chosen loser in the battle, will be pummeled by the church, who will go out of their way to support the spouse who is 'in-line' and has better potential for future donations. Those divorces are more like disconnections, which is where all the juicy stuff you are looking for, and resides.
 

uniquemand

Unbeliever
I was married while a 'public' and by a good friend who also had his ministers thing and OT4 I believe. It really was very laid back, just like others explained, and we pretty much wrote it. We did opt out on all the 'God' talk and stuff at the time, but this was no means enforced by the church. You could have it if you'd wanted.

It's really the $cn divorces, where'll you find the bizarre - and as also spoken about above. Whoever is the chosen loser in the battle, will be pummeled by the church, who will go out of their way to support the spouse who is 'in-line' and has better potential for future donations. Those divorces are more like disconnections, which is where all the juicy stuff you are looking for, and resides.

The chosen loser will be the one who has less money to access, or who stands between the Church and the person who will say "yes" to their pushing. My ex was an heiress, I was not. I wanted to leave, they didn't want her to leave. :)
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
It's really the $cn divorces, where'll you find the bizarre - and as also spoken about above. Whoever is the chosen loser in the battle, will be pummeled by the church, who will go out of their way to support the spouse who is 'in-line' and has better potential for future donations. Those divorces are more like disconnections, which is where all the juicy stuff you are looking for, and resides.

Yep, been there, done that. Divorce including multiple SP declarations and a huge problem for my org which entailed top-level intervention by the Advanced Org.

Oh, what fun.:ohmy:
 

Enthetan

Master of Disaster
The chosen loser will be the one who has less money to access, or who stands between the Church and the person who will say "yes" to their pushing. My ex was an heiress, I was not. I wanted to leave, they didn't want her to leave. :)

You would also have things go the other way, with the org pressuring a couple to get married. Officially, because living together was "out-PR" for Scn. In reality, because once married, the one who would bend to church pressure to donate could access the funds and credit rating of the other.
 

Enthetan

Master of Disaster
ALSO - I'd suggest you contact a number of ex-Scientologists who were Sea Org members, to view how marriage is viewed inside the 'clergy'. Since sex before marriage is a no-no, Sea Orgers marry young and often divorce many times. Many divorces are 'decreed' by upper management. Ask Marc and Claire Headley about Scientology marriage and how the church tried to destroy theirs. Ask Jenna Miscavige Hill.

When I was in the SO, I had been thinking of getting married, purely so I would only have to share a room with one other person, instead of the 8 guys I was sharing a single motel room with (triple-decker bunk beds crammed into one room). Having sex wasn't even at the top of the list, as I was so chronically tired. I left the SO instead of getting married.

Being in love would not have been a prerequisite, as long as I thought we could get along.

I remember talking to a guy at Flag who was upset that his wife left without even telling him. He loved her. He thought she had feelings too. Then again, it happens in the real world too.
 

Claire Swazey

Spokeshole, fence sitter
I'm a religion journalist working for an urban newspaper in New York. I'm writing a piece about what makes scientology weddings unique. I tried reaching out to the administration, but I keep hitting dead ends. They point me to this website: http://www.scientology.org/faq/inside-a-church-of-scientology/what-is-the-scientology-wedding.html[FONT=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] And then they insist that scientology weddings aren't any different from your average "American" wedding. But I don't really buy it. Religions often help give meaning and purpose to a marriage and every religion has something different to offer. So I'm turning to reddit, since information flows freely here. Have any of you been a part of a scientology wedding? Do you know how the church helps you prepare for that day? What about the ceremony itself? Did how Scientology treats marriage have an effect on your decision to stay/leave the church?
Can you link me up with anyone who has recently had/is planning a Scientology wedding?
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I had a Scientology wedding, though not recently.

It was the Scn double ring ceremony. Of course, it was different from some other wedding ceremony. L Ron Hubbard wrote the ceremony verbiage. The minister held up the rings and mentioned how the rings consisted of circles, likening it to eternity, as I recall. It was nice but I would never compare it to or say it was similar to a non Scientology ceremony.

The church's attitude toward marriage and sex never had one bit of influence over us.

When I got in trouble with the cult for posting to the internet, they threatened our marriage. Because, if one member gets expelled, they are automatically declared suppressive. Members cannot be associated with alleged suppressives. So they told me that if I didn't do what they wanted, they would expel me and my husband would have to disconnect. However, even at his most fervent, my hubby's never been one to let people tell him what to do. He just looked at them with his "what kind of bug are you?" look- which should probably be patented, IMO.

So they expelled me a year after I walked away and included him in the expulsion cuz they knew they couldn't get him to do anything. He said to me that he'd kind of wanted to stay in and wasn't totally thrilled with being included in my expulsion, but one thing for sure, he wasn't going to let them tell him what to do.

As people here can attest, no one successfully orders either of the Swazeys around- at least not for long.
 

Lord Xenu

Patron Meritorious
Anyway, apologies if this is posted elsewhere but the big one is in the UK tomorrow - there was a two page article in the London Evening Standard with the happy couple yesterday...
 

splog

Patron
I'm a religion journalist working for an urban newspaper in New York. I'm writing a piece about what makes scientology weddings unique. I tried reaching out to the administration, but I keep hitting dead ends. They point me to this website: http://www.scientology.org/faq/inside-a-church-of-scientology/what-is-the-scientology-wedding.html And then they insist that scientology weddings aren't any different from your average "American" wedding. But I don't really buy it. Religions often help give meaning and purpose to a marriage and every religion has something different to offer. So I'm turning to reddit, since information flows freely here. Have any of you been a part of a scientology wedding? Do you know how the church helps you prepare for that day? What about the ceremony itself? Did how Scientology treats marriage have an effect on your decision to stay/leave the church?
Can you link me up with anyone who has recently had/is planning a Scientology wedding?

I had a Scientology wedding, and attended 5 others. The ceremony is ordinary and not much stands out as being unusual - a minister who dispenses friendly advice, a couple who make promises to each other and an audience. It's all very routine. You might say that the exact wording is unusual - there's the part about "pots, pans and maybe even a cat" - that portion is very much in line with other ad-hoc comments Hubbard loved to make in his lectures. I don't think it's worthy of much note at all, the man like to act it up like that in front of his Scn public.

There's probably more variance and unusual aspects between different Christian sect's wedding ceremonies than between Scientology and everythign else. Catholic weddings are long formal affairs, Anglican are more relaxed and easy-going. Scientology wedding tends towards relaxed and east going.

One must understand that Scientology contains enormous amounts of mind-fuck. But the wedding ceremony is a public affair and all sorts of people get to watch it; so to that end the ceremony is quite ordinary and almost innocent. The mind-fuck that is in Scientology simply is not present in the ceremony.

As to how Scientology itself trearts marriage: in my experience the average Scientology couple attach very much less importance to marriage than the norm. It's just not all *that* important really, and there's no concept of "a union blessed by some higher power". In terms of emotional impact on the couple, it's closer to a civil ceremony or even elope to Vegas than the average Western Christian wedding. Scientology has never attached too much importance to marriage regardless of what the PR says about the 2nd Dynamic. You can see this with how easily Scientologists divorce each other. Sometimes I think those folks regarded being married as just a stronger version of "going out steady!"
 

Freeminds

Bitter defrocked apostate
Scientology isn't a religion, except insofar as religious cloaking makes the scam more profitable, and deflects some criticism.

Hubbard was about as spiritual as a scab. Scientology uses weddings as a means of circumventing visa restrictions; many weddings are a sham, and the remainder are subjected to terrible stress, as the victims get posted away...

As well as pretending to be a religion, the cult pretends to be a branch of the armed services. Naval uniforms and jargon were adopted to allow LRH to pretend he was a sailor, despite his disastrous service in WWII. (Similarly, Marshall Applewhite's followers all pretended they were in Star Trek.)

Basically, OP, you've been hoodwinked. There is a story to be found here, but thus isn't it.
 

MissWog

Silver Meritorious Patron
Scientology isn't a religion, except insofar as religious cloaking makes the scam more profitable, and deflects some criticism.

Hubbard was about as spiritual as a scab. Scientology uses weddings as a means of circumventing visa restrictions; many weddings are a sham, and the remainder are subjected to terrible stress, as the victims get posted away...

As well as pretending to be a religion, the cult pretends to be a branch of the armed services. Naval uniforms and jargon were adopted to allow LRH to pretend he was a sailor, despite his disastrous service in WWII. (Similarly, Marshall Applewhite's followers all pretended they were in Star Trek.)

Basically, OP, you've been hoodwinked. There is a story to be found here, but thus isn't it.
:goodposting:
 
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