A church, a self help organization, a money grabbing scheme - a cult. Scientology has been a subject of fascination for many of us who wonder just what the hell is going on inside those auditing rooms, and why Tom Cruise can't stop jumping on couches about it.
Here are 25 facts about Scientology that may surprise you.
L. Ron Hubbard was a science fiction writer, not a theologian.
Despite having no religious training (or even beliefs), LRH became the founder of Scientology, which claims a million followers worldwide and enjoys tax-exempt status of being classified a “religion.” But he started out writing sci-fi paperbacks about spies and aliens for only a penny per word.
And about those million followers…
It’s really more like 500,000 – if that. According to multiple sources, Scientology likes to inflate their statistics a bit to give their faltering organization “street cred.” But their minions are leaving in droves, and recruitment is down. Way down.
Leah Remini might have something to do with that.
Leah is a former Scientologist, celebrity, outspoken advocate of ex-cult members, and producer/host of the Emmy Award winning A&E docu-series, Scientology And The Aftermath. Leah pulls no punches as she pokes holes in Scientology’s lies, its false claims about “clearing the planet,” and its many cover-ups of abuse. In short, she is a total badass.
Mike Rinder is also kicking ass and taking names.
As a former Scientology PR heavyweight, Rinder knows all of the tricks his old bosses play – and he isn’t afraid to call them out. Whether it’s creepy white vans trailing Rinder and Remini as they drive to their next interview or an overnight website popping up to slander them in the public eye, Rinder is all, Yeah, that’s what these assholes do. We see you, Scientologists!
Speaking of creepy white vans…
Kidnappers from 1980s After School Specials aren’t the only ones who use them! Because, you guys, Scientologists are driving these things ALL over Clearwater, FL, imagining they’re somehow “flying under the radar.” Except that as soon as you spot one, you’re like – Hey! Aren’t those the Scientologists who were trying to hand me a pamphlet on the beach earlier?
Yup. They are.