The Blog

What I Learned About Scientology

I haven't been sucked into a cult, I haven't been taken for all my money. In fact, I have decided that Scientology isn't a cult, or at least not much of one, and they didn't seem to be after my money.
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I have finally emerged from several months with the
Scientologists, and much to my family's relief, I am
still here. I haven't been sucked into a cult, I
haven't been taken for all my money. In fact, I have
decided that Scientology isn't a cult, or at least not
much of one, and they didn't seem to be after my
money. (Not that they aren't weird--they are. But so are all
religions, to the non-believer.) To learn more about what I
learned, read the whole story and find out how Scientology came between Jenna Elfman
and her favorite acting teacher (and lots more juicy
stuff). Then, if you're still interested, listen to
this podcast which is, I believe, an important document in American
religion. It's the most revealing interview with a
high-ranking Scientology official that you'll find. I
went down to the Scientology church off Times Square
in New York and spent some time with church president
John Carmichael, a Cornell alum who has been with the
church nearly forty years. I basically just let him
talk; I deliberately didn't argue with him, even on
points that I found objectionable, because I thought
it would intrigue people to hear a Scientologist talk
about his faith in his own words (which were much more
cogent than Tom Cruise's). This podcast is fascinating
(note, too, that on the podcast site you can sign up
for my regular podcasts through iTunes -- I have
upcoming broadcasts with Debby Applegate, Jonny Rodgers, and Sandra Luckow.

More on the Scientologists in a future post. I am
already getting inundated with responses, and it's hard to say who's
more vehement, the Scientologists or the rabid
anti-Scientologists. Stay tuned...