When I first got involved with Scientology, I had to wade through misinformation to really understand what it was and what it wasn’t. Because I had no frame of reference in those early days, all the information sort of mixed together, and it was very hard to separate fact from fiction.
As I started taking courses and receiving Scientology spiritual counseling and generally spent time around the Church, getting to know its members and staff, what I was getting from the Church and Scientology technology started making more and more sense, and any criticisms I had encountered started to sound stranger and more far-fetched, since they bore no resemblance whatsoever to the experiences I was having.
When I asked questions about some of the odd things I had heard or read, I was shown very specific information about the supposed “oddities” and also about the people who were communicating them.
What being a Scientologist for two decades has taught me is that the number of people criticizing the Church is very, very small. Unfortunately for them and everyone else, they’ve made it a full-time hobby, and for a very few, it’s even been turned into an activity that pays their bills.
Only individuals who are that far gone go to so much trouble to attack religious people, religion in general and any positive social group.
I realize in hindsight that I shouldn’t have been surprised that these people, one for one, have things in their own lives they wish to hide, and that attacking the Church is a textbook example of Shakespeare’s “the lady doth protest too much.” When someone is so hellbent on making another person or group wrong, it’s important to look at their motives and backgrounds to understand if their protests are legitimate, or the result of their own misdeeds—and a desire to cover them up.
Of course, this phenomenon doesn’t only affect Scientology. Freedom Magazine published an issue about a woman named Arielle Silverstein. She works for the UN by day while moonlighting as a member of Anonymous, an online collective of individuals officially branded cyberterrorists for their attacks and hate speech against various groups.
Silverstein is an attorney and knows quite well that inciting hate against Muslims, Christians and Jews through her Anonymous postings directly violates her employee contract with the UN, not to mention flies in the face of the UN’s charter to promote and encourage respect for human rights, including freedom of religion.
So I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Silverstein is married to Tony Ortega, an unemployed blogger who attempts to foment hatred against Scientology and Scientologists by feeding misinformation to tabloid media.
If that’s not enough to turn your stomach, Ortega also personally profited from and promoted the child sex-trafficking website backpage.com before it was shut down.
It almost sounds like too much, right? Like these people are sitting in their volcanic lair, stroking a white cat and laughing maniacally. And that’s the point. Only individuals who are that far gone go to so much trouble to attack religious people, religion in general and any positive social group.
Normal people just don’t do that.
People like Ortega lie, and have ten-thousand-pound axes to grind with all religions. That’s the actual truth of it, but it can be very difficult to separate fact from fiction if you have no personal context on any of it.
That’s why it’s so important to keep your own counsel and discover the truth of something on your own terms. Pursue your passions, ask questions and discover for yourself what makes you happy and what helps you be a better person who lives a life you can be proud of.
For me, it’s being a Scientologist.