Friday, February 18, 2011
Another Mess for The Church of Scientology
After being a member of The Church of Scientology for 34 years, the screenwriter of “Million Dollar Baby,” Paul Haggis, blew the whistle. He now acknowledges, “I was in a cult for 34 years.” According to a New Yorker feature article, Haggis has made a number of allegations against Scientology including:
• Members who tried to flee “re-education camps” were tracked down and “subjected to further punishment.
• David Miscavige, the church’s leader, was prone to violent outbursts, and senior executives physically abused members, former Scientologists said. Miscavige is also accused of living large on church money.
• Members were forced to stay in trailers called “The Hole” to perform “group confessions all day and all night. (http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright)
You might wonder why the various cults, when their misconduct is exposed, don’t merely confess, “Well, we might have done some things wrong, but we’ll investigate and make the appropriate corrections.” (After all, this works for the politicians!) In the case of Scientology, this maneuver becomes very difficult or perhaps impossible. It has forgotten the lessons from Humility 101, or perhaps never learned them. Their problem is that they have built a high and glorious tower for themselves, from which they now are unable to descend.
According to Scientology orthodoxy, their big-shots have transcended humanity, with all of its weaknesses, to become an,
• “Operating Thetan…one who can handle things without having to use a body or physical means.” An editorial in a 1959 issue of the Scientology magazine Ability notes that “neither Lord Buddha nor Jesus Christ were O.T.s, according to the evidence. They were just a shade above Clear.”
While “Clears” are those practitioners who have progressed beyond their “reactive minds” – neuroses and various physical problems – the O.T. has transcended all limitations. This being the case, it becomes difficult for the O.T. to admit mistakes and failures without also sacrificing everything that they had so enthusiastically and dogmatically promoted, including their own job.
In contrast to this, the Christian derives his sense of significance from the realization that he isn’t significant in himself, but his significance is all about his associations, One in particular (Gal. 2:20).
This gives us great freedom – freedom to fail, to be wrong, to not have to defend ourselves and to even be regarded as an “idiot.” This is because it’s no longer about us, but about the One who loves us eternally.
Before I knew Him, I always had to be right. Consequently, my wife and I could never resolve our disagreements. Only exhaustion would stop the fight, but the enmity remained. However, knowing Christ and His love, which transcends all understanding (Eph. 3:16-20), I now have the liberty to be transparent, even to fail.