I am 34 years old. I was born and raised in Scientology. Both my parents worked for the Church of Scientology until very recently. I know hundreds of others in all age ranges and many sub-religious categories, and I can say with confidence that they would disagree with ABC’s recent depiction of their upbringing in the religion.
Take a minute to consider why so many people choose to practice Scientology and why the only story you see coming out of tabloid reality TV shows by A&E make Scientology out to be some kind of controversial cult. The reality is far from that.
Imagine for a second growing up as a Jew in the 1930s and 1940s and seeing nothing but anti-Semitic information from the media. Or growing up as a gay man in the 1970s and 1980s and always being made out to be some kind of weirdo or flawed, second-rate person. Or being any kind of other minority that is singled out and stripped down to some kind of distorted stereotype and demonized by a media that has failed to do their due diligence.
The sad truth is that THAT IS WHAT GROWING UP AS A SCIENTOLOGIST IS LIKE, and with programs like ABC’s, that is what it continues to be like throughout our lives. ABC is using my religion and the religion of many of the people I know—honest, hardworking, patriotic Americans and generally good-hearted people that by and large seek only wisdom and spiritual betterment for themselves and the rest of mankind—to spin a story that may captivate viewers for 20 minutes but is so morally corrupt in journalistic integrity I fail to see how it can be called “news.”
What if ABC and other media like it are making stories that do nothing but distort the truth and even worse, blast that distorted information to the public, in the process victimizing thousands of innocent people by creating a bigoted mindset in Americans who rely on these networks and programs for accurate information? What if they are actually HURTING INNOCENT FELLOW AMERICANS?
I also know the small handful of the people who have come out in the media denouncing Scientology and there is no difference between airing an interview with (or “information” from) any one of those than it would be to air the same from a bitter former lover. The fact that the media is taking one side and failing to equally cover the other is exactly why it is losing the American people’s trust and why they have an increasingly abhorrent view of it.
The reality is that journalists are entrusted with a very powerful medium and an equally important responsibility, one which I have seen and felt the abuse of all my life.