Monday, September 19th Janet Reitman finished her national book tour in California with a book signing, reading and Q & A in Palm Springs with 150 interested locals in attendance. I was present and participated after the reading. I was very impressed with her candor, professionalism, and knowledge of Scientology. Although exhausted and recovering from a cold, she held the audience spellbound with her stories, insights and humor.
After the reading we both talked about Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard and the Commodore’s Messengers then the Q & A began. We fielded questions about Hubbard, personal experiences with Scientology, Xenu, beatings by Miscavige and of course, Tom Cruise. It is interesting the only knowledge that many of the audience had about Scientology was Cruise’s jumping up and down and making a fool of himself on the Oprah Winfrey and Today Shows. As the Q & A went on questions arose that led to discussions about thought stopping, mind control, the Sci-Fi Xenu story, and the upper levels being solely concerned with exorcism. The audience found the Xenu story wild and unbelievable to the point of laughter. But it was explained that initial universal truths blended with foundational lies can turn one into a true believer where ordinarily outlandish claims and myth becomes a believable reality.
Achieving freedom of thought requires obtaining information, weighing it and then deciding what is the truth; truth that is empirical, not just subjective reality as, “What is true for you is true.” I recommend Reitman’s book for all those in and out of Scientology and their families and especially independent Scientologists who have yet to weigh the pros and cons of L. Ron Hubbard, “sacred scripture”, aka the technology, and the inner workings of a destructive cult.
(“Inside Scientology, the Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion,” Janet Reitman, Pub: 2011 Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, New York, NY)