I confess, I’m a Dateline junkie. I scour the internet looking for the next great “True Crime” podcast. I’ve watched every single HBO crime documentary.
I’m not alone. But it’s not just because I’m fascinated by the genre. It’s because I’m looking for parallels that help me make sense of my own story.
Here’s a good example of what I mean. I’ve just finished listening to a podcast called The Shrink Next Door. It was CRAZY.
The story centers around Marty and Ike. Marty starts seeing Ike to get some help with his depression. Ike manipulates him over time to the point where Marty depends on him entirely, for every decision in his life. Marty ends up completely cutting ties with his sister because Ike convinces him that she’s his enemy and out to get him. Marty also makes Ike a partner in his business, gives him access to his Swiss bank account, turns over his Hampton’s house to Ike, and even makes Ike’s wife and kids beneficiaries in his will.
I know this sounds insane, but I completely understand how this can happen. The parallels to Scientology are staggering.
Take my story. I got into Scientology and within a few months had not only maxed out my credit cards, but was convinced to get more lines of credit to pay for even more services, which I could in no way afford. Scientology “registrars” know exactly how to get all your money, believe me. They know how to contact credit card companies to get your limits raised, they know how to get you more loans, and they are completely ruthless when it comes to getting every last dime. L. Ron Hubbard wrote a policy letter on it called “Hard Sell”. The gist is that you need to do whatever you can to get all the money out of a person, because Scientology services are the most valuable thing on the planet and far more important than money.
So back to my story. My car was repossessed and I had no income because I was spending all my time doing Scientology services instead of running my business. But the whole time I was completely convinced that I was doing the right thing because I was becoming “more able” and “more spiritually free.” I know it sounds nuts but it’s an insidious mind game that takes place over many years, and when you’re so far in it you can’t see the truth any more.
Then, when I joined the Sea Org, I cut ties with all my non-Scientologist friends and my family. I wasn’t “told” explicitly to do this, but it was made clear to me that anyone not a Scientologist was not a friend. So if they didn’t want to read Dianetics or didn’t want to take any introductory Scientology services, well, then, they were an enemy. Now that I’m out, I’ve been able to mend those broken relationships. I’m SO grateful for that.
There’s one part of my story that doesn’t parallel a Dateline story: Death. Thank God for that. But I can assure you, others haven’t been so lucky. Google “Lisa McPherson” if you want to find out more. But I warn you: It will send you down a rabbit hole, so be prepared.
Honestly, I can draw parallels to Scientology in almost every crime story I read, watch, or listen to. That’s why it’s so insane that this criminal organization disguised as a “church” continues to exist.
Believe me, I take full responsibility for my part in my own story, but it scares the hell out of me when I think about this happening to other unsuspecting people with open and trusting hearts.
That’s the real “True Crime” story going on right now. And it has to end.