You guys. If you are not watching this show you really should be. It is an absolutely fascinating look into the shadowy religion of Scientology. Not only that, but it also reveals the unspoken psychology behind why people are drawn to organizations like this and how these same organizations manage and control their members while also building themselves into a giant business.
Leah Remini is absolutely inspiring in this A&E documentary series. With her strong New York accent and her assertive personality she could be in danger of coming across simply as an angry person with an ax to grind. Instead, she is channeling that anger and frustration with the Church of Scientology into finding the truth. Through her own story and interviews with various ex-church members, some of who were very high ranking, she is exposing the reality and the details behind this mysterious religion. She comes across as compassionate and empathetic in those interviews and while one can sense her indignation towards her former church she never sounds as if she has a personal vendetta against the people involved. At times, she almost appears bewildered at how an organization she was wholeheartedly devoted to could have been so abusive and also so fooled its members.
The interviews are heart breaking and some have left me horror stricken. It’s hard to imagine experiences like that could happen, especially in America, land of the free, and yet never be prosecuted. At times I’m almost in awe of the evil genius behind the tactics which keep people ensnared in a church which demands so much and yet gives so little.
Let’s be honest and call Scientology what it is, a cult. But it portrays itself as a religion. Scientology is not unique in this as many other religions are in actuality cults. However, religion is not the only venue which can be cult-like. In reality, business, government and many other sectors of society may not be called such, but operate with similar principles. Any group which desires to control and manipulate its’ members by withholding or feeding them only acceptable information, by preying on their ignorance or kindness to extort their money, or which threaten them with expulsion from said group or separation from loved ones, or who use any type of abuse to keep them in line is behaving like a cult. The misconception that cults only exist in religion is dangerous.
If you’ve ever wondered how a cult works, how people get sucked in or why they don’t leave, this show answers many of those questions. It also reveals the aftermath for those who do manage to disentangle themselves from such malevolence. While they may be physically free, for many the psychological damage that occurs stays with them forever. I, myself, personally know people who had been in a cult-like church and often found myself frustrated with them when years later they are still trying to reconcile themselves with the training/brainwashing they received. Thanks to this show I have a better understanding of what they experienced and will hopefully be more compassionate in the future.
I would recommend this show as a must see. It is currently airing on A&E on Tuesday evenings. You can see the episodes you may have missed here.