In the wake of the 1960s, my father and mother began studying Dianetics and Scientology in New York and San Francisco.
I grew up in a multidenominational household—Christian, Jewish, Scientologist.
I lived in an atmosphere of tolerance and respect.
There was a certain point where I realized the subject held vast insight into the mind and spirit, how to overcome the obstacles to artistic expression, and how to build a free society.
The decision to pursue the subject was 100 percent mine and based wholly on independent thought.
But we live in an age where independent thought is under attack.
Freedom of thought is under attack.
The media landscape is starting to resemble the “Newspeak” of Orwell’s 1984. My religion is subjected to a deafening salvo of venom by a nebulous yet omnipresent entity called the “mainstream media.”
Now that I have two sons of my own, I am particularly concerned about the climate they’re growing up into and the world they will inherit.
Maybe this is a First World problem. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too perturbed about it. They’re just words, right? They can’t break my bones. The worst I’ve personally experienced were anti-religious instigators and purveyors of hate speech, destruction of property, spitting on my church, throwing eggs and shouting obscenities from their moving cars.
Insane people tend to get emboldened by whatever the media is pushing.
But why does the media attack my religion?
The reason: it’s their job.
Their “job” is to incite fear, panic, controversy and upset in as wide a swath of the population as possible. This is not to say that this is the intention of all journalists. (Ethical reporting is drastically needed in our society, but we have a long way to go.)
I’m speaking primarily of media aimed at the broad public, outlets that live or die on filling our daily lives with an incessant barrage of conflict, violence, confusion and misery through the maximum number of electronic channels: television, internet, cell phones, newsfeeds, social media—into our homes, cars, freeways, airports, doctors’ offices and sports bars, inundating all strata of society and all ages.
But why does the media attack my religion? The reason: it’s their job.
Our culture is being fed unhealthy doses of fear and lies—but more and more people are beginning to see through it. Distrust in the media machine is steadily escalating.
If people had a heightened ability to delineate truth from untruth, it wouldn’t matter how loudly vested interest groups shouted their anti-religious and anti-humanity bombast. People simply wouldn’t listen.
The alert, intelligent, freethinking person is probably their greatest threat.
I don’t know what belief system my sons will adopt later in life. That will be up to them, but I don’t want them attacked for their beliefs. I consider it my duty and everyone else’s to create an atmosphere of tolerance, respect, and freedom of thought.
That is the world I want to live in.
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