Scientology is a complex religion. Those who are not members can’t seem to understand it while those who are members continue to support it. And with that divide comes conflict. Here are some of the dark accusations the Church of Scientology has faced over the years.
There have been allegations of forced abortions
USA Today reported several former members of the church spoke out against forced abortions. Claire Headley, who was featured on Leah Remini’s show, Scientology and the Aftermath, alleged members of the Sea Organization were encouraged not to have children. Mike Rinder, another former member, said the same thing. “If you were in the Sea Organization and you got pregnant, you were expected to have an abortion,” he said.
But the Church of Scientology refutes these allegations. It references California’s federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in favor of the church on this case.
Next: The church opposes psychiatry.
The church opposes psychiatric practices
The church objects to psychiatry as a medical practice, saying it leads to “abuse” of mentally ill patients. It says psychiatrists use brutal and extreme cures that have no basis in science. Instead, the church believes that spiritual self-fulfillment will lead those to where they need to be.
Next: Members who leave might be surprised with a massive bill.
The church sends a bill to members who leave
According to USA Today, Headley also alleged she was threatened with a “freeloaders’ debt” when she wanted out of the church. The bill was for any training or spiritual services that were received as a member of the church, and those bills can run well into the hundreds of thousands.
But the church claims the bill was symbolic and legally unenforceable. The church says it has never made a legal demand for money from former members.
Next: This could be why some celebrities have remained with the church for so long.
The church knows your secrets
One part of being a church member is spilling your deepest, darkest secrets to reach spiritual clarity. And some say these confession sessions are recorded, according to The Washington Post. So that could be why some celebrities, such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise, are still members of the church — they don’t want these secrets exposed.
However, the church says confessions are only rarely recorded. And when they are, consent is given. The church also claims these sessions are completely confidential and would never be disclosed to the public.
Next: New members are led to believe this when they first join the church.
Members are ‘brainwashed’ when they join the church, Remini says
According to Business Insider, Remini told Reddit that at the beginning of the Scientology process, people are taught to believe any outside media are a lie aiming to destroy Scientology. And Scientologists are also told they should only get their information from other Scientologists. They should never trust any outside sources for learning or finding spiritual clarity.
Next: Remini also had this to say about legal justice.
Members can’t seek legal justice against other members, Remini says
During Remini’s interview with Reddit, she also recounted a time when a church member in his 30s was having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. “All abuses are dealt within the ‘Church’ as it is an enemy act in the ‘Church’ to prosecute another member,” she said.
But the Church of Scientology said when it became aware of the relationship, the member was dismissed. And it said it encouraged the victim’s family to report the incident to the authorities.
Next: Several celebrities have spoken out against the church.
Many people who have left the church have spoken out against it
Remini is not the only celebrity to speak out against Scientology. Actors Jim Carrey and Jerry Seinfeld have also spoken out against what they consider a bogus religion. Seinfeld admitted to taking a few Scientology courses years ago but said it is now just another wacky thing on his resume. And Lisa Marie Presley left the church and even wrote a song about how happy she was to be disassociated from it.
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