The US media’s campaign to expose the Church of Scientology, while pointing to very ugly truths about the organization, also points toward the problematic outlook of the cynical liberal establishment.
Detractors of Marxism long accused it of being a secular religion. They pointed to its rites, holy books, and mission to save humanity and declared that it was merely an attempt recreate spiritual fervor around a secular doctrine. While the defenders of Marxism would respond to such accusations by insisting that Marxism is scientific and not an “opiate of the masses,” the Church of Scientology seems to be exactly what Marxism is accused of being. It is legally established as a church, and its followers openly describe it as a religion, despite the fact that it does not claim to worship any deity, and frames its teachings as scientific.
L. Ron Hubbard, the Science Fiction writer and former Naval Intelligence Officer started his religion in the aftermath of the Second World War. Hubbard presented his teachings as a form of psychotherapy or personal wellness training, but those who paid enough money and became more deeply involved, eventually learned a complex system of beliefs involving the souls of deceased extra-terrestrial beings, reincarnation, among other things.
The organization was started in California, and in the seven decades of its existence, it has made significant inroads into Hollywood. John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Will Smith, among other celebrities, openly stump for Scientology, claiming it has changed their lives for the better and has a noble mission in the world.
Too Much Power in Hollywood
It appears that Scientology has become too powerful and influential, and ruffled the feathers of powerful people. The actress Leah Remini has been given a platform to launch a media campaign against the organization. As an ex-scientologist herself, Remini has dedicated herself to highlighting the stories of ex-members and exposing the internal horrors and predatory nature of this powerful institution.
Remini’s work highlights some sinister practices. Scientologists are told to cut ties with their families. Child abuse appears to have taken place. Efforts to silence critics of the church have been extreme, allegedly evening crossing into criminal acts. Critics of the church point out that the organization’s activities appear to be centered around manipulating the psychological trauma of its practitioners in order to financially exploit them. The Church functions almost like a pyramid scheme, financially incentivizing members to recruit other members.
However, as the mainstream media takes aim at Scientology for its very obvious flaws, most of which were very apparent to those who have directly interacted with the group, American liberalism seems to be revealing its own ugly agenda.
For example, a great deal of the criticism of Scientology, such as the 2015 documentary “Going Clear” seems to focus on the personality of David Miscavige. Miscavige, who is the most powerful person in scientology following the death of L. Ron Hubbard holds the title of “Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center.” Books, films, and TV programs condemning Scientology seem to focus primarily on portraying Miscavige as a dangerous psychopath. The implication seems to be “this man has too much power,” not only over the members of his church, but among influential people in American media.
It should also be noted that the Church of Scientology has entered an alliance of sorts with the Black Nationalist organization known as the Nation of Islam. Minister Louis Farrakhan, who leads one of the largest Black activist groups in the USA, and was an outspoken critic of the US bombing of Libya, now openly defends the Church of Scientology. The Nation of Islam is vocally supportive of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Bolivarian governments of Latin America.
The alliance between Scientology and the Nation of Islam became public knowledge in 2012, though closed meetings and negotiations had taken place for some time. It should be noted that the attacks on Scientology seemed to escalate at approximately the same time its alliance with this important Black activist group was solified.
“It reminded me a lot of Communism!”
At this point, Scientology’s influence seems to be waning in the face of the public relations efforts, as the very real skeletons in its closest are presented before the public. But where does that leave us?
When American TV host Bill Maher interviewed Leah Remini he remarked: “It always sticks with me… you said when you go to a Scientology event, and you look in the parking lot, every one of the cars is a cheap, shitty old car, because Scientology sucks all the money out of all of them… It reminded me a lot of Communism! Because, in Communism, first of all, you’re poor, they take all your money, and the snitching on each other. Everybody is watching each other.”
It seems pretty clear that Bill Maher doesn’t understand Marxism. Prior to 1917, very few automobiles existed in Russia. It was only due to the leadership of the Communist Party that the USSR became a world industrial superpower, with paved roads full of automobiles. China had very few automobiles prior to 1949, and now today it the world’s largest car market. China imports a large number of luxury cars from the United States, and now leads the world in manufacturing New Energy Vehicles that run without fossil fuels. The outspoken “New Atheist” Bill Maher seems deeply offended that people would make sacrifices for a cause, live by a moral code, and place any principles or ideals above personal financial gain.
Much like the activists who tear down Confederate monuments in the US South, the opponents of Scientology have selected a very hate-able foe who none but a small, fanatical minority would defend.
However, much like those who tear down Confederate monuments, the main voices attacking Scientology seem to view all truths, all morals, and all causes as somehow being problematic, not simply the ones they are attacking. Post-modernism views all who burn with passion as easily manipulated suckers. It views all prophets and preachers as con-men, and all moral codes as fraudulent. It wants all statues torn down, all belief systems dismantled so the post-modern world of selfish individualism and cynicism can triumph.
It is the ascendency of this kind of thinking that leaves westerners in the state of confusion, feeling that their life has no purpose. It is widely understood that this post-modern hopelessness has spawned so much of the anti-social activity in our contemporary world. Yet, despite its real flaws, it is this cynical selfish American liberalism that seems to define the western world in our time.
Robert Smith is an independent American researcher and analyst that specializes in social psychology and conflict resolution. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”