The Aftermath of the “Aftermath”
“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” What an apt quote by Abraham Lincoln in light of Leah Remini’s now-defunct three season show, a.k.a.“Bigotry for Fun and Profit.”
So now the viewing public has concluded what the Church of Scientology concluded years ago: that Leah Remini is just another version of the high school “mean girl”, surrounded by toadies, proclaiming the defects of everyone…except themselves. And just like members of the Church of Scientology, the general viewing public has long grown tired of her behavior. However, there are several lessons we can all take away from the “experience.”
1. Critics will always fall into the trap of accusing others of what they themselves are up to. As I’m sure Remini has now discovered, tabloid media are solely interested in money. When the story runs out, so does the money. When the money runs out, so does the story. And Remini is out of a job…again.
2. Drama sells. To create the drama, the media must appeal to the baser emotions of the public, namely fear and hatred. They must create a boogeyman for the public to fear. Fear and hatred of something unseen and unknown to the public. Fear of being unpopular or thought “different.” The problem is that fear and hatred fade, often replaced by boredom or curiosity. So old drama must be abandoned and new drama must be created.
3. Any outrageous lie can be sold by appealing to the vanity of listeners: “If you agree with us, the media, you are better, smarter, wiser.” “You are too smart and wise to be fooled.” This is of course the easiest way to set someone up to be fooled. The saddest and most insidious effect is the subtext—constantly hammered down the throat of the public—“You cannot trust yourself.” “You are too incapable of making a correct judgment.” “You must trust us, the media, instead.” This message is so obviously not true. The vast majority of people demonstrate good judgment as evidenced by the fact that both industry and society itself continue to prosper and expand. (It is also interesting that the only time societies and economies collapse is when people are not allowed to freely observe and exercise their own judgment.)
4. To avoid the truth, the media must employ faulty logic and create a false narrative. “One thing wrong means everything is wrong.” “Since I am always right, anyone who doesn't agree with me must be wrong.” Not only is it illogical but it’s just plain stupid. If anything or anyone were “all wrong,” it or they would cease to exist. Yet the Church of Scientology continues to expand. Hmmm.
5. The media can make any good thing look bad, and any bad thing look good. No explanation needed.
6. Critics possess no ability, either to offer an alternative or create one.
Most people are decent: They are constructive, creative, welcoming and social.
7. If you stand up to bullies, especially as a group, they will back down. Not because of superior strength, but because—more than anything else—bullies must avoid any appearance of being wrong. They want the spotlight, but not the light of examination.
8. Either happily or grudgingly, people respect persistence. The Church of Scientology and its members did not run and hide as was hoped; they continued and expanded their efforts to help both their members and the general public. They’ve stood up to this latest salvo and used the attention generated to enlighten the public even further.
9. Most people are decent: They are constructive, creative, welcoming and social.
10. The minds of decent people can change easily. The minds of the indecent cannot. Once the majority of the show’s viewers made it past the initial outrageous mischaracterizations of Scientologists and other religious people, they began turning their attention to other pursuits, and Leah Remini’s handful of misfits found itself raging to empty bleachers.
11. Last but not least, the self-aggrandized, self-deluded, self-absorbed, self-appointed arbiters in the media of “what is good for you” will once again learn what they have been learning for over half a century: Scientologists are not going away. We are not afraid. We are well organized. We are determined. We have a right to exist. We will continue to claim that right. We do not back down.
The real story of Scientology is the direct opposite of Leah Remini’s fabrication.