This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
September 14, 2011
For further information contact: Karin Pouw, Public Affairs Director (323) 960-3500
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY STATEMENT Janet Reitman’s book “Inside Scientology” Ms. Reitman’s book is filled with inaccuracies. It is neither scholarly nor well-researched and bears no resemblance to an “inside” story. While preparing her book, Ms. Reitman never contacted the Church and never requested nor interviewed a single Church representative, let alone the ecclesiastical leader of the religion. Ms. Reitman chose to speak exclusively to people outside the Church. She and her publisher refused to accept the Church’s offer to provide information. Her “report” is really no different than a view of, say, the Catholic Church told exclusively by lapsed Catholics or defrocked priests and should more accurately be called OUTSIDE SCIENTOLOGY. The book is a rehash of false and baseless allegations largely drawn from stories written by others that have long been disproved, many held inaccurate, by courts of law. Despite her claim of “personal interviews and e-mail exchanges with roughly one hundred former and current Scientologists,” Ms. Reitman’s book refers to an exchange with only one Scientologist—a single parishioner in five years. Her primary sources of information are a handful of apostates, previous external affairs officers who are admitted perjurers, dismissed and defrocked when their crimes were discovered. These sources have a documented history of making false and defamatory statements against the Church. Their anger and hostility toward the Church should give anyone serious pause. Many of Ms. Reitman’s sources are also members of or are affiliated with Anonymous, the cyberterrorist organization that has been the subject of federal investigations for engaging in hate crimes against the Church and its members. Members of Anonymous have been arrested and convicted of federal crimes against the Church. In the past few months Anonymous members have been the subject of intensified global law enforcement
_______________________________________________________ 6331 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90028-6329 USA Telephone: (323) 960-3500 ● Fax: (323) 960-3508/9
investigations involving criminal activities that include violating the privacy of countless innocent people while hacking into accounts at credit card companies, businesses and financial institutions. Recently 16 individual members of Anonymous were arrested in the U.S. If Ms. Reitman were truly “objective” she would have held these sources and their claims up to a harsh and penetrating light instead of putting them on a pedestal. She would have found, among other things, that they boast arrests, a conviction for pummeling an officer of the court, and a failed lawsuit that a federal judge not only tossed out, but also ordered the plaintiffs to reimburse the Church more than $40,000 in court costs. Claims by Ms. Reitman to have engaged in extensive research for her book are laughable. Perhaps the most significant illustration of her outside Scientology book is Ms. Reitman’s ignorance of the Church’s accomplishments. She could have seen our new Churches in Moscow or Melbourne or any of the dozens opened since 2006 in cities like London, Brussels, Rome, and Washington, D.C., all of them bursting with thousands of new members practicing their chosen faith. Anyone is welcome to experience the Church’s practices and see its humanitarian works firsthand: Scientology’s global human rights initiative has educated millions on human rights; its “Truth About Drugs” crusade teaches millions how to live drugfree; and our global Volunteer Ministers disaster relief program has been hailed by the international community. There is nothing secretive about Scientology. Our Churches, located in major cities around the world, are open seven days a week. Many have public display areas to answer all questions about Scientology beliefs and practices. Anyone who wants to know the true story of Scientology should find out for themselves by coming to a Church of Scientology, whose doors are always open, or go to the Church's website, www.Scientology.org. oOo
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL STATEMENT ON JANET REITMAN’S BOOK “INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY” Janet Reitman’s “Research and Fact Checking” 1. Ms. Reitman made claims that “Every bit of information in this book has been checked and cross-checked with multiple sources.” As but one example, Ms. Reitman has it wrong from the first page of chapter one, where she states, “When Hubbard died in 1985, the world took note…” Mr. Hubbard passed away January 24, 1986. She didn’t even have the date right starting in Part 1, Chapter 1 of her book. 2. Ms. Reitman also claims her book was “meticulously researched” with “personal interviews and e-mail exchanges with roughly one hundred former and current Scientologists.” To dispel that falsehood: While preparing her book, Ms. Reitman never contacted the Church about the book and never requested nor interviewed a single Church representative, let alone the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. Ms. Reitman now claims that when she was doing a Rolling Stone article five years earlier that she received unprecedented access to the Church. Ms. Reitman appears to think that doing a story for a rock and roll magazine somehow relieves her of contacting or seeing the Church for the last five years during her “academic research” into a worldwide religion. To be clear, since Ms. Reitman wrote her fallacious Rolling Stone article about Scientology in March 2006, she has had zero contact or attempted contact with the Church. She failed to even notify the Church that she was writing a book – the Church only learned about it from the publisher’s website. That shows how much “inside” her book is. Her book contains a single interview with a practicing Scientologist, which appears among dozens of expelled members, many of whom are members of the cyberterrorist group Anonymous—known to be, among other things, a religious hate group. Over the summer, Anonymous had 16 members arrested by the FBI on criminal charges associated with numerous cybercrimes and this followed on the heals of some 40 arrests in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Spain and other countries around the world for crimes against governments, financial institutions, corporations all harming
millions of innocent individuals. Those harmed include Scientologists and members of numerous religious faiths. 3. You asked about, “The Church’s Los Angeles origins, including Mr. Hubbard’s life here, real estate projects, Hemet headquarters, and recruitment of celebrities.” The history of Mr. Hubbard and the Church in Los Angeles is decades long. In the late 1940s, Mr. Hubbard conducted research into Dianetics from an office on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. One of the first Hubbard Dianetics Foundations was established in 1950 on Hoover Street and on February 18, 1954, several of Mr. Hubbard’s students founded the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles. Today, the Los Angeles area is home to the largest community of Scientologists in the world. We take pride in being a vibrant, expanding, contributing member of the Los Angeles community. Los Angeles has been home to the Church of Scientology International for the past 30 years. It is also the home of Church headquarters for the Western United States. The reason our Los Angeles activities are located in Hollywood is because Hollywood is centrally located to the entire city of L.A., easily accessible from the Valley and downtown, making it convenient for our parishioners who often travel from all over the city. _________ The property near Hemet, California you refer to is Golden Era Productions. It is the Church of Scientology’s international dissemination center. Located on a 750-acre property in Southern California, Golden Era Productions includes a complete film and video studio, with all postproduction facilities, music and voice recording and mixing studios, translations unit, E-Meter manufacturing, administrative offices and housing for Church staff and non-staff guests. As a modern religion rapidly expanding across the globe, Scientology utilizes audiovisual media to spread the religion’s message—through training films, information films and international broadcast events held for all parishioners around the world six times a year. These are all produced by Golden Era Productions.
As photographic evidence demonstrates (see www.Scientology.org/goldenera), the entire property is a lush green landscape and the tennis court on the property is available to all guests at the facility. _________ Reitman’s allegation of “recruitment of celebrities” is a compendium of gossip culled from the tabloid media. Scientology appeals to people of all walks of life. L. Ron Hubbard had an enormous respect for artists and the influence they have on a culture—both positive and negative. Mr. Hubbard wrote: “A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.” There is nearly an entire chapter devoted to the discussion of artists and their importance to a society in his book Science of Survival, from which this quotation is drawn. Mr. Hubbard was himself very well known across the United States long before his publication of Dianetics or the founding of Scientology. As one of the most famous fiction writers of his time—in a pre-television era, the pulps were arguably one of the most consumed forms of entertainment of their day—better than 20 million Americans read fiction magazines containing his stories every week. It was the Golden Age of Fiction and Mr. Hubbard was one of its undisputed grand masters. Mr. Hubbard was famous, as were his peers and many of his friends. As his research and discoveries carried him into the field of the mind and ultimately the human spirit he shared that journey with those peers and friends, including scientists, fellow writers, actors, musicians and politicians. This history does not translate into the “cultivation of famous people” as a “feature” of Scientology. This would be “spin” that is simply misrepresentative of the truth. Scientology is a relatively new religion. While there are some famous Scientologists, their numbers are miniscule in comparison with the millions of ordinary individuals who regard Scientology as their religion. Wellknown Scientologists are asked about it because people do not know what it
is. Those who discuss it publicly often share how much it has helped them. The media do not sit down with a famous Catholic or Jew and ask, “I understand you are Catholic/Jew. Tell me about that.” Well-known Scientologists, however, are asked that question, repeatedly. The Church does not use celebrities. Those individuals that are celebrities come from many fields including the Corporate Sector, Sports, Music, News, Theater, Television and Films. Celebrity adherents are parishioners like any other Scientology parishioner. It is the media who pays attention to and focuses on celebrity members. As proof of this, you will not find celebrities promoted or advertised on Scientology’s website. Indeed, if you go to www.scientology.org and click on the link entitled, “Meet a Scientologist,” you will find profiles on hundreds of Scientologists who work in over 100 fields. But you will not find a profile on any of our most well-known members, contrary to Reitman’s allegations. 4. The underlying doctrine on which Scientology is based. Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being. Scientology addresses the spirit—not the body or mind—and believes that Man is far more than a product of his environment, or his genes. Scientology comprises a body of knowledge which extends from certain fundamental truths. Prime among these are: Man is an immortal spiritual being. His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized. Scientology further holds Man to be basically good, and that his spiritual salvation depends upon himself, his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
Scientology is not a dogmatic religion in which one is asked to accept anything on faith alone. On the contrary, one discovers for oneself that the principles of Scientology are true by applying its principles and observing or experiencing the results. The ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom. 5. The Internet’s impact on Scientology. The Internet has had a tremendously positive impact on the Church’s ability to get its message out. Church internet sites are available in 17 languages and contain more than 8,000 videos and 64,000 pages of text. These websites cover all aspects of Scientology from our beliefs and practices to our humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs. The videos themselves have won numerous industry awards for their quality. In the past year alone our websites have attracted more than 20 million visitors. Please visit www.scientology.org for the full impact of our Internet presence. As further evidence of Ms. Reitman’s lack of familiarity with what actually goes on in the Church of Scientology, the Church was at the forefront of the development of laws protecting free speech and intellectual property rights on the Internet. During lawsuits in Europe and the United States, procedures were developed by the Church to reveal the identities of individuals responsible for transmitting unlawful material such as child pornography and counterfeit copies of intellectual property without unnecessarily intruding into the privacy of others. The Church’s experiences and accomplishments in this regard have been guideposts for legislators in many countries attempting to fashion laws and regulations affecting the Internet. The result of the Church’s dedication has been to the benefit of both freedom of speech and the Internet itself.
6. Whether there’s room for the practice of Scientology outside the formal church, as well as different interpretations of Hubbard’s work within the church. An essential element of Scientology is that it be applied precisely as L. Ron Hubbard wrote it. Based upon Scientology Scripture written by the Founder of the Scientology religion, a Scientologist must be a member in good standing with the Church and receive training and auditing in authorized organizations. Moreover, a Scientologist, in order to deliver Dianetics and Scientology services, must be licensed and certified in order to ensure that what the person delivers is per L. Ron Hubbard’s writings. These policies are in place so that we can ensure that Scientology will be preserved in its pure form for the centuries. Mr. Reitman has chosen to use her book as a platform to champion the unauthorized delivery of Scientology services outside the context of the Church. This again shows her work is not an objective review, but a propaganda piece. She advocates so-called “independent” Scientologists. However what she describes is actually a mere handful of individuals who are not Scientologists and will never be. They are not welcomed in any Church of Scientology and Scientologists are happy they are gone. From time to time throughout our history individuals have tried to start up their own rip-off versions of Scientology, but they have always failed and the number of individuals doing that today is smaller than it has been at any time in the past six decades of the Church’s existence. Eminent scholars have written papers documenting that apostates are not reliable as a source of information about their former religion. And make no mistake, it is their former religion. Not one of these individuals is practicing the Scientology religion. Despite what they may tell you, their practice is not the practice Church Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s scriptures describe. And in matters ecclesiastical, it is the Church that determines standard orthodoxy as specifically and emphatically stated by the Church’s Founder. 7. The current leadership of David Miscavige. Under Mr. Miscavige’s ecclesiastical leadership, the Church of Scientology is enjoying a period of tremendous growth, for which he has the
undying gratitude of thousands of staff and millions of parishioners in more than 100 countries worldwide. Contrary to Ms. Reitman’s inaccurate and biased book, Mr. Miscavige is the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion because he is singly qualified for the position and has demonstrated his leadership through more than 25 years of caring, effective and stalwart dedication to the Founder, the religion and parishioners worldwide. No Church executive ever received more direct communication from Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard than Mr. Miscavige. In 1983, Mr. Hubbard described a heroic Church executive who cleaned the ranks of rogue staff attempting to seize control of Scientology (some of whom are among Ms. Reitman’s discredited anti-Scientology sources) while Mr. Hubbard was engaged in intensive research and absent from the Church. As Mr. Hubbard phrased it: “So forgive me for not managing the Church when it almost fell into hostile hands. It all came out all right. Why? Because real Scientologists made sure it did. My faith was justified.” That real Scientologist L. Ron Hubbard spoke of was Mr. Miscavige. Since then, Mr. Miscavige has steadfastly carried forth L. Ron Hubbard’s legacy. Scientology now stands as the only major religion to emerge in this modern age. To be sure, what Mr. Miscavige has done is no more or less than the fulfillment of Mr. Hubbard’s vision—a vision he knew would be faithfully carried out with Mr. Miscavige at the helm. As L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “Trust and friendship are things forged in fire and pounded out on the anvil of life. We have been through a lot together. I trust you as you trust me.”—L. Ron Hubbard to David Miscavige Under Mr. Miscavige’s stewardship, the Church’s social betterment and humanitarian programs were created and are supported by the members of the International Association of Scientologists and as a result have touched the lives of billions. L. Ron Hubbard’s materials are more widely available than ever, and the Church has achieved unprecedented growth both in physical size and in its reach. The Church has grown more in the past five years than in the previous 50. We have been flourishing because of Mr. Miscavige’s leadership and dedication to L. Ron Hubbard.
Ms. Reitman’s anti-Scientologist sources who seek to undermine that leadership are unreliable. As covered in the general statement above, they include, among others, a self-admitted perjurer, someone who obstructed justice in a legal proceeding and who was guilty of drunk and disorderly conduct in New Orleans, someone who was convicted of battery as well as a cadre of media-hungry anti-Scientologists, individuals connected with the cyberterrorist group Anonymous, individuals with documented acts of violence for which the Church has medical records, affidavits and police reports to back up its claims. 8. While you did not ask, it would be fair that you inform your listeners of some information about the Church today. Under the ecclesiastical leadership of Mr. David Miscavige, chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center, the Church of Scientology is enjoying a period of tremendous growth, a fact reflected in ever-increasing media interest and increased global presence. Parishioners and Church staff members alike have never been happier with the direction of their Church. While Ms. Reitman does mention a few of the new Churches of Scientology that have been established, she fails to note the accelerated speed of their opening or the many thousands of parishioners attending services in these Churches. There have been 25 new Scientology Churches acquired, restored and rebuilt, including those in the world cultural capitals of Rome, London, Berlin, Washington, D.C., Mexico City, Moscow and Melbourne. The most recent of these new Churches was dedicated on L. Ron Hubbard’s centennial, March 13, 2011, in Tampa, Florida, by Mr. Miscavige, the driving force behind this expansion. The Tampa Church moved to new premises, as it had outgrown the facilities it had moved to in 2003, and expanded its parishioner base by four times in those few years. Please see videos of the grand openings of these new Churches: www.scientology.org/newchurches Also, as an example of parishioners’ contribution to the creation of their Church for generations to come, see the video presentation of the opening of the Church of Scientology of Melbourne at: www.scientology.org/melbourne
The Church has more than 60 additional properties in various stages of design and construction, with many new Churches moving toward completion in the next 24 months, increasing the facilities to minister to parishioners and the surrounding communities. 9. Claims by Reitman to have engaged in “serious” or “extensive” research for her book are disingenuous. Of the 158,000 words printed, far less than .0001% could be found to be true. The few specific statements Ms. Reitman made which are true follow: “The past fifty-odd years have seen the birth of dozens of religions; many have come and gone without a trace. The Church of Scientology has endured. It has persevered.” “Scientology is considered by some academics within the field of comparative religion to be one of the most significant faiths born in the past century.” “Mr. Miscavige’s role is the steward who would consolidate Hubbard’s movement and guide it into a new age.” “Since 2004, the church has purchased seventy buildings in cities around the world, many of them faded gems that have been meticulously restored.” “The church is in some ways more accessible than ever. Since 2009, the Church of Scientology has significantly upgraded its online presence, to explain its beliefs and its connection to other religions and philosophies; it even offers a virtual tour of a Scientology organization. A separate Scientology video channel presents scores of testimonials to Scientology’s effectiveness in handling life’s problems.” “(The Church’s) missionaries, known as “volunteer ministers,” tour the developing world and are sent, en masse, to deliver aid in familiar disaster zones such as earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince or New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.”
“Scientologists live in virtually every major city in America and in numerous smaller cities and suburbs as well: they can be found in every age group and vocation.” “...the vast majority of Scientologists are people you have never heard of. Many work in various parts of the entertainment industry, but still more of them write, teach, create art, build houses, trade stock, manage hedge funds, own businesses, and invent new forms of technology. They run schools and drug rehabilitation programs, work in prisons and inner cities, and lobby Congress and federal regulators.” “Scientology is experiencing unprecedented expansion, its worldwide membership ‘growing faster now than at any time in its history.’ ... And to be sure, Scientology has expanded its reach in the developing world, where the church is opening missions in such far-flung locales as Kazakhstan.” oOo
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.