By Melissa Antoinette Garza
There’s not much Americans agree on right now. The one thing that isn’t up for debate is SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH. Everyone loves it and everyone talks about it. Whether on Facebook, Twitter or in person (imagine that) everyone I know is cheering on Leah Remini and her partner in justice, Mike Rinder. Their crusade against a large evil entity has given us heroes that we all can root for.
By far, AFTERMATH was the best new show of 2016 and A&E’s most successful program in years. It sounds as season 2 is in the bag, but I can’t wait. I really wish the season wasn’t over. I purchased the series on AMAZON and have watched each episode numerous times. It’s not only that the ordeals of each person were compelling, but to compare the situations the individuals experienced and see the parallels is both fascinating and horrifying.
Whether hearing tales of mothers being disconnected from their children or twin brothers losing the last few years they had together, it’s gut-wrenching. The fact that a system of beliefs tears so many people apart is insane. Generally, one thinks of religion as a uniting factor in a family’s life. They go to church, feel good about the world, have breakfast, go home and get back in to pajamas.
It’s unbelievable to me that SCIENTOLOGY has gotten away with so many awful acts for so long. When I was in my early 20s, I read a lot of L. Ron Hubbard’s work. I still have the books. DIANETICS was my first venture in and I thought it was a compelling read. I vaguely remember THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THOUGHT and THE WAY TO HAPPINESS. Hubbard had a way of explaining philosophical ideas in latent terms. His work reminded me of a dumbed down Friedrich Nietzsche. I exchanged a few emails with SCIENTOLOGY, but it never went beyond that. They would ask me how my reading was going and when they started prying a little too much, I stopped responding.
Come to find out, that may have been the smartest move of my life. In the early noughties, I was very naive. In college, I believed my professors had all the answers and their ideas were superior to me because of their status. I adopted thoughts and positions easily, both because of my insecurity and the professor’s self-assurance. So, had I gone a little further with this cult, I could very well be sitting in the hole right now.
Unsurprisingly, major players at A&E have stated that Scientology is harassing Remini. That’s such a stupid play on their part. This cult is the most self-destructive group I’ve ever seen. Their recent 20/20 appearance didn’t help their cause either. Having their lawyer come out and defend asking sexual questions to children was just beyond disturbing. The videos they have on their website is laughable. I watch the pro-Scientology videos where they bash Mike Rinder and other people who left, and it’s hilarious. They make them like political attack ads, but it’s so obvious and so poorly made.
There are so many things Scientology could do to save face, but they’re making every wrong move. First, Remini is a fighter and has all of America behind her on this one. If the cult comes after her, we’re going to use every forum we have to come after them harder. Same goes for Mike Rinder. The two have become heroes to the public and we don’t like it when villains start following them and making veiled threats.
Second, Scientology could have turned this into positive publicity easily. If I were a head official in the cult and really believed in its cause, I would say that the church takes the actions mentioned in the show very seriously and are deeply sorry for anything that may have happened. I wouldn’t send out an attorney. People don’t trust lawyers. I would say that due to the accusations, David Miscavige is stepping down immediately.
Lastly, I would seriously do an internal investigation and stop anything damaging the reputation of the church. Fair game and disconnection would REALLY be stopped. The hole would be taken down and the people there would be freed.
If the church actually watched AFTERMATH, they would see that money was on the bottom list of concerns. It was the violence, hatred, harassment, and disconnection practices that angered these ex-Scientologists. If Scientology wants to be a greedy church and collect ridiculous fees for classes, it sucks, but whatever. They could still collect the money and not be abusive pricks about it.
I know Remini and Rinder have something big going on and I hope that everything goes their way. I along with the rest of America send good karma and great wishes to them both. They familiarized everyone to a dark side of Scientology and without question saved many from making the same mistakes they had.
If you haven’t watched this show yet, get on it. It’s both on the A&E website if you have cable and available for purchase via AMAZON.