“Second guess” means “to judge or criticize (someone) with hindsight,” and these answers to the question, “Has the Media Made You Second-Guess Your Scientology Religious Beliefs?,” appears on the Scientology Parent website and is excerpted here with the website’s permission.
Has the Media Made You Second-Guess Your Scientology Religious Beliefs?
Cristal, businesswoman & nonprofit director: No. I guess it’s a matter of true belief and dedication to our faith. Christians were being crucified for their religious beliefs 2,000 years ago. No doubt many people back then were too scared of repercussions and did not practice Christianity even though they wished to. Today, crucifixion is outlawed, but under the guise of “freedom of the press” Scientology is being presented in a negative light. Coming out as a Scientologist can often be uncomfortable when someone is bigoted, but to someone who’s benefitted from Scientology firsthand, their bigotry is only a minor inconvenience, not a deterrent.
Natalie, mother & artist: I can’t imagine hearing anything that would make me second guess my religion. I haven’t seen Scientology do anything but help people. I’ve met hundreds, if not thousands, of Scientologists, I’ve worked at the church in the past, I’ve actually studied the Scientology texts. So my ability to observe comes in far above reading something second hand from the media. I’ve also seen way too many bold outright lies in the media to even give anything a second thought. One time I was volunteering at the church working on an anniversary gala that was set up in the outdoor parking lot, and there was a big un-missable sign at the street saying that the construction was for this gala. The next week I saw a picture in a magazine of the party saying “Tom Cruise’s secret wedding!” I mean, there was nothing hidden about it and this kind of thing just removed all doubt for me that the media is just out for a story often without any regard for facts.
Fio, college student: Never. I’m in college, and – well – my religion does get bashed a lot, unfortunately. What I learned though is that the people making critical remarks generally know very little to nothing about it. I happened to stumble upon an Uber driver recently who said something untoward about Scientology, and I bluntly said, “Hey – I am a Scientologist.” Not only did the man feel terrible, but he admitted he didn’t know much about the church and actually had many questions himself. I answered all his questions, and he apologized again. There’s a lot of incorrect information about my church, but it’s up to each of us to observe for ourselves and make our own decisions – which is, honestly, what being a Scientologist is all about.
Kate, church staff: Nope. One of the basic principles of Scientology is that you have to have personal integrity when it comes to your practice of the religion (and anything else for that matter). This means being able to believe in what you know, what you know is what can observe to be true. Additionally, many of the accusations I have heard are so far from my own experience in the church.
Rebecca, Alaska mother of 4: Not even once. I know the truth about Scientology. Most of the accusations against my religion are either from people that know nothing about it or think they do.
Tad, daddy of 3: The purpose of “the news” or “the media” is for someone to gain information about something they can’t directly observe. For example, I don’t live in Afghanistan. So, to find out what’s happening there, I’d have to read the news. I would not read the news about what’s happening in my house, because I live there, and reporters don’t. So, along that line, I really don’t care what news media says about my church, because they’re not there, and it’s something that I DO OBSERVE DIRECTLY.
Scientology is a really personal thing. One studies it and decides what makes sense, decides what works for you, and what you can use. If I do something in Scientology that makes me genuinely happier, makes me a more honest person, improves my relationship with my family, and brings my extended family closer together, there is no TV show that can suddenly change that and make me realize, “oh, perhaps I’m not so happy after all.”
I’ve been involved in Scientology most of my life. I have worked as church staff, and have been around countless members of church management. I’ve personally studied the entirety of the 18 books and 200+ recorded lectures that comprise the entire foundation of the Scientology religion. I’ve got a few family members and quite a few close friends that are presently staff at local, regional and international management levels in the church. There’s honestly no “accusation” that someone can make that I can’t turn around and see the actual state of affairs firsthand. Scientologists, specifically the staff, are the most wonderful, caring, good-intentioned and big-hearted people I know. Anyone who’d think otherwise from media they’ve seen or read should just go and spend some time in a Church talking to people, and then make up their own mind.