Fact or Fiction?

There are some people who think they know what Scientology is because they read a book “about” Scientology or saw a special on TV. Yet their ideas of it don’t match what I have been seeing and doing in Scientology for over a quarter of a century.

Then what is the truth?

In the old days, when people used to go to libraries, you learned that fiction books were shelved in alphabetical order by the author’s last name and nonfiction books were organized on the other side of the room in numerically identified categories. (Don’t tell me I’m the only one who remembers the Dewey Decimal System.)

So just because a book has a number on its spine or a movie is labeled a “documentary” does not mean it is true.

The division was fiction, short stories and novels that describe imaginary events and people, then nonfiction, the writings dealing with (or offering opinions or conjectures about) facts and reality.

Note: It is not fiction and FACT.

So just because a book has a number on its spine or a movie is labeled a “documentary” does not mean it is true. That only means it is about something that does or did in fact exist somewhere, in some form (not a conjured realm or dreamt-up hero).

When I went to see Oliver Stone’s movie JFK in the theater, there were people in the lobby afterwards gathering signatures to release the “secret” government files regarding the assassination. I eagerly signed! I was incensed! Obviously, we had let the real killers of an American President get away with it! Or so I felt after watching the overwhelming case for a coup d'état lead by Lyndon Johnson laid out by Kevin Costner that Lee Harvey Oswald was just a patsy.

It seems silly to me now but I was so convinced, I was eager to talk to my mother about it. She was 15 years old when the Warren Commission released their report and, surely, as an intelligent and rebellious teenager of the age she had seen right through the subterfuge.

I asked her: “Who do you think shot JFK?”

And do you know what she said? My mother—a since-reformed hippie who when I was a child would play Bob Dylan for me on her guitar on our sofa draped with tie-dye while smoking a joint—said, “Lee Harvey Oswald.”

[Insert jaw drop here.]

I don’t know who shot JFK. And neither does my mom. Or Oliver Stone. Not for a fact.

Unfortunately, since a fact is “a thing that is indisputably the case” we may never know.

Then what is true? What remains indisputable for each of us is only what we (still) have the chance to see for ourselves.

Be intrigued. Be entertained. Be amused by dramatizations and interpretations. By all means.

But I challenge you to not be so certain about Scientology. Or anything else, for that matter, that you could observe for yourself, and so find out the truth.

Author

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