On Friday, I had the pleasure of joining John Dehlin on his Mormon Stories podcast.
We had a terrific discussion about cults and differences and similarities between Mormonism and scientology. He is very well informed and articulate. This is the oldest and I dare say most popular blog on the subject of the problems with the LDS church. It’s worth a listen for a bit of a different perspective.
John Hancock says
Thanks Mike. I appreciate the work that you and Leah are doing to bring to light the truth about Scientology.
As far as I am aware, you have not found any supporters or faithful members of the “religions” of Scientology or the Jehovah’s Witnesses to come on your show. If I’m not mistaken, the reason that supporters of these “religions” will not appear on your show, or podcast, is because they are they have been ordered to keep their distance. They may also fear that you are right, and they will be shunned or targeted as suppressive persons if they dare to associate with you.
In other words, you have found many defectors from Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have been willing to speak with you, because they agree with you and recognize that they are not alone in the atrocities that they have experienced. But the supporters or faithful members of Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not allowed to speak with you.
This is only one major difference between Scientology and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are plenty of good and faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who support the work that you and Leah are doing. I have promoted your work and your show to my own family and to other faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints myself, I completely support what you and Leah are doing to bring to light the truth about Scientology.
In fact, my faith in Christ, as well as common sense, moves me to support what you are doing because I recognize that you are fighting to defend the liberty and dignity of those who have been harmed by Scientology’s nefarious policies and practices.
There is a world of difference between Scientology and “Mormonism”, between “Dianetics” and the Book of Mormon, between L. Ron Hubbard and the Prophet Joseph Smith. In order to understand those differences, and in order to understand why the vast majority of the faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would support your enterprise, I think that it would make sense to speak directly with someone like myself who believes in and does his best to follow the doctrines and principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that are taught in His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The offer is on the table.
Keep up the good work.
John C. Hancock
I am a former Mormon that has always been fascinated by Scientology. I love how my Mormon family completely discredit everything about Scientology but when it comes to Mormonism it is all peachy.
Mormons: Xenu the galactic overlord? Body Thetans? Scientologist pay for their church services? A bunch of crazy talk. Totally a cult.
Also Mormons: God’s name is Elohim and lives on a planet named Kolob? Members are required to pay 10% of their income as tithing in return for ‘life saving ordinances’ that allow you to get into heaven? Now we’re talking. This must be God’s one true church!
Becky Ownby says
This was a very good podcast to listen to. I like how his “Mormon nice” rubbed off on Mike who then had to be encouraged to use some of the more customary, colorful vernacular he and Leah always banter back and forth so freely. I had not heard of John Dehlin and didn’t know anything about “Mormon Stories” and all the ways he connects with others.. Very surprised at the number of episodes he has done (did he say 1400+???) 😳. Did he say he had 190,000 ex-Mormons following his show and other media? 😳😳😳 You guys could definitely do lots more discussion on specific topics. And I think he is onto something with the idea of building a coalition of ex-cult members (from any groups) who could all coalesce and push together, in larger numbers to stop the human rights abuses. I swear I think you need PAC to fund a movement to get to Congress and EDUCATE our reps and Senators to change our policies/laws that are allowing human rights abuses to take place on U.S. soil
Lynn Fox says
Mike, I very much enjoyed this episode and always enjoy your insights. I have been down the LDS-research rabbit hole for a while, and since Scientology helped my father justify his CSA of me, I’ve been down that rabbit hole for quite a while too, and this is a fascinating cross-section. My dad dropped out of my life after abusing me through early childhood, then we reunited for a short time. when I was 18. He started talking to me about the abuse, and I thought he was going to apologize, but instead he gleefully informed me that Scientology confirmed that we were married in a previous life, so it was only natural. :/ When I started watching your series it dawned on me, to my horror, that he was actually doing a “process” (sorry…don’t have the lingo down). I recently discovered a long letter he sent while he was “away,” and he talks about (paraphrasing) being a spy for Scientology, and how he is “surveilling” for “a very important Scientologist” and something about “papers.” Crazy stuff. This was sometime in the early 80s. I now wonder if he was part of Operation Snow White…he was based in SoCal, but as a deadbeat dad, he was very mobile. I *sincerely* appreciate everything you and Leah are doing.
Mike Rinder says
OMG that is absolutely fucking insane. Now I have heard everything….
As much as I’m fascinated by Mike’s work…hearing your story reminds that these are real people and lives. So sorry for what’s happened to you. Sending my best. 🙂
Roger Larsson says
Trump – Hubbard?
Never defend – always attack.
The whole world is a human beings I
a human beings I is the whole world
with billions of the same kind
and more with the same value
O/T. On Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day 2021, the Church of Scientology celebrates Scientology Freedom Medal Winner Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad.
Memorialized, with screenshot, on ESMBR at:
I’m on it: downloading as we speak.
Peggy L says
Mike, I just finished watching this and my goodness it was excellent. Loved your and Leah’s episode with Tony Ortega too.
Something that you said that really rang true is that there are everyday people out there who will identify with what happens in scientology. I have recommended your blog to others for that very reason. It’s not just scientology but any organization be it a work place/business or a dysfunctional family or a troubled marriage or relationship. Abuse is never ok.
LE can only do what the laws allow them to do so you are so right, that it’s going to take someone who carries a bigger stick to change things.
ammo alamo says
Speaking of LDS, I was working on something else and looking at Tongatapu, the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. Right there on Google Maps one can see the road map, and one small crossroads village after another,. Each community has one or more LDS Stake Houses. I may have missed a few, but I saw 31 LDS churches on the Google map of Tongatapu island. The island population is 74,000 people, which works out to one LDS building for every 2400 people.
ammo alamo says
That podcast was an hour plus well spent. Thank you, Mike, for your open and candid remarks, especially about the era when you were a top executive in Scientology. The short detour into your history with Heber Jensch was interesting, too. As always, your thoughts about cults, and the ordinary do-gooder types of people who cults ensnare are spot on and resonate with truth. It was interesting to discover that the LDS Church followed Scientology in a membership drive. Their “What Is A Mormon? TV spots were inspired by the “What Is A Scientologist?” spots from a year prior. Damn, if they hadn’t eventually settled in a desert they might have a little navy of their own, too.
You make a good point that when a cult (or church, or whatever) gets its members to believe in “crazy shit” it begins as internal beliefs that are fairly well internalized and don’t hardly affect the world outside of the person’s close community. But once people are OK with “crazy shit” then they are easily led into other out-of-the-norm beliefs that actually do great harm to other individuals. The Sea Org and its near-slavery conditions is one example; the LDS hiding its origins is another.
FYI – The LDS origin story with gold leaves, Angel Moroni, some unearthly planet, a seer stone in a hat used to translate Egyptian writing, and no one but Smith ever seeing the gold before it was whisked away for all time is well told in cartoon format on youtube.
Mike, thanks again. I enjoyed hearing both parties on this podcast.
I would love to hear what is happening on Rizza Islam and his mother”s trial. Did they get convicted of the fraud they were doing?
Jerry Hack says
Tony Ortega’s website http://www.tonyortega.org has all that information. Every court case involving Scientology. I believe the Islam’s are still awaiting trial.
Mary Kahn says
Really enjoyed John Dehlin’s interviewing you. I especially liked his thoughts about unification of various high control and abusive cults or religions.
I hope you do interview John soon on Leah and your podcast as I’m interested in hearing his take on how the church of scientology and LDS are similar and about what he considers abuses in his ex religion.
O/T. Scientology Freedom Medal Winner Nation of Islam Minister Abdul Malik Muhammad (aka Tony Muhammad) and Scientology Youth for Human Rights Award Winner NOI Brother Rizza Islam were presenters for the NOI Saviours’ Day 2021 Plenary Session:
“COVID-19 — The Virus and the Vaccine.”
With a live message from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan:
Brother Rizza later promoted the videos Origin of the White Man Part 1 and Part 2, and said during his NOI Saviours’ Day lecture, “In 2021 they are still following Yakub’s Law.”
Wikipedia explains Yakub, Nation of Islam scriptures regarding the origin of the White race, and the result Brother Rizza is referring to:
Yakub (Nation of Islam)
* * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *
The brutal conditions of their creation determined the evil nature of the new race: “by lying to the black mother of the baby, this lie was born into the very nature of the white baby; and, murder for the black people was also born in them—or made by nature a liar and murderer”.
* * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
Also during the aforementioned Saviours’ Day Plenary Session, Minister Farrakhan referred to Brother Rizza as —
“Doctor Rizza Islam”
— awarding Brother Rizza an honorary doctorate.
Brother Rizza being selected as a presenter for Minister Farrakhan was an honor. Minister Farrakhan referring to Brother Rizza as “Doctor Rizza Islam” and awarding him an honorary doctorate was even more so.
I memorialized the above, including relevant screenshots, on ESMBR at: