Alex Gibney’s film, Going Clear, documents the horror of disconnection and how it is used as a control mechanism in scientology.
It is most dramatically demonstrated in his film with the story of Sara Goldberg. Her son Nick had a friend who was friends with me. Nick would not disconnect from his friend, so his mother was told to disconnect from her son. She was given an impossible choice — if she didn’t disconnect from him, she would be declared an SP and her daughter would be forced to disconnect from her. This is not a “personal choice” (as the church so often proclaims). Sara has the documents to prove that she begged to not be put in this impossible position. She also has a copy of the uncaring, inhumane response she received from the church. (This story was originally covered by Joe Childs in a lengthy article in the Tampa Bay Times).
So, why is this the topic of today’s post?
Because of the astonishing hypocrisy of the church and their “firmly held religious beliefs” (a catchphrase they use that they believe gives them a pass on any abuses they engage in).
Everyone knows Tom Cruise has NOT been forced to disconnect from either of his most recent wives — though neither support the church and both are certainly guilty of many high crimes in the eyes of Miscavige (primary being their refusal to kiss his shoes — like he makes Marc Yager, Guillaume Lesevre and Heber Jentzsch do. Literally).
Of course, “firmly held religious beliefs” are only firm unless they impact the public image of Miscavige. A blind eye should be one of the symbols Miscavige wears on his third world dictator style medals and ribbons adorning his Captain’s uniform.
When it is convenient, the blind eye is turned.
So, what brought this to the fore once more?
A photo in the UK Daily Mail :
The gentleman circled in red is David Lopez. JLo’s father.
Of course, that is JLo with her BFF, the super SP, Leah Remini about to get in the car after a premiere in Los Angeles. This is not just a random crowd shot. David is part of the entourage leaving the premiere — the guy in the sunglasses to his right is holding JLo’s son. JLo and Leah hang out regularly. David would not have been unaware that Leah would be attending this event. Neither the church nor David are unaware that JLo is best friends with Leah, a major SP.
David Lopez has been on lines at Celebrity Centre International for 20 years or so. He is reported to be an active scientologist currently.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. I suspect JLo’s friendship with Leah has absolutely no impact on his activities in the church. And frankly, that is how it should be.
So, why is the rule different for him than for Sara Goldberg and thousands of others? In fact, Sara Goldberg’s son was one step removed from this scenario — he was friends with someone who was friends with me. David Lopez’ daughter is best friends with a dyed-in-the-wool 2 1/2 percenter who called the police and filed a missing person report about Shelly Miscavige OMG.
The answer is simple: “Flap potential.”
Can you imagine if JLo’s father was forced to disconnect from his daughter because of who her friends are? The outrage it would generate against scientology…. So long as they think their actions will not become broad public knowledge, they enforce them ruthlessly with full “KSW.”.
But their “firmly held” religious beliefs and cold chrome steel KSWiness are only firm to the extent they are convenient and don’t cause media backlash.
It’s just like the firmly held religious belief presented to the IRS “We give refunds to dissatisfied people because exchange is a fundamental tenet of our religion and we believe it would be “spiritually harmful” to the church to keep money without any exchange.” That one was thrown out the window the minute the ink was dry on the final capitulation of the IRS. This can be found in the IRS record. Here is part of the statement:
“The Church’s refund policy is exceedingly fair. If someone isn’t happy with Scientology – which is a very small minority of people – he simply has to make a proper request for his donations back, agree to forego further services and his donations will be returned. For the Church, in addition to the fact that this policy aligns with Scientology principles of exchange, it also serves the purpose of allowing our churches and parishioners who are very happy with Scientology, to carry on without the unhappy few in our midst.”
Riiight. Tell that to the Garcia’s and all the others who have been refused return of their money.
Scientology is two faced — what they tell the world and the reality. Rarely do those two faces look the same.