Episode 48: Listener Questions Part 6

July 6 Episode 48: Listener Questions Part 6

Leah and Mike answer more listener questions. In this episode they cover how many scientologists are left, why scientology is so “white,” should scientology celebrities be boycotted, the front groups of scientology, Applied Scholastics schools, Degraded Beings, Dilettantes and more.

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View Documents (11)
The Size of Scientology

Graphic by Jeff Hawkins from 2018. Things have shrunk since then…

Dealing with Critics of Scientology

My blog post with the documents from Hubbard

The history of CCHR Part 1

Chris Owen’s brilliant history of CCHR

The history of CCHR Part 2
The history of CCHR Part 3
Scientology "Whiteness"

My earlier blog post on the subject

Hubbard's statements on race

A collection of Hubbard’s racist statements

What is a Degraded Being?

Definitions from the official scientology dictionaries.

These are what they were willing to have published. In common usage in scientology, the term is far more derogatory. A direct translation might be “bum” but even that is less derogatory than the significance attached to the term “DB” in scientology.

Sea Org ranks and insignia
Scientology schools
The front groups of scientology


  • Jeanette Lussier says:

    Future question…. If Scientologists are not really sent to normal school and end up working young in the sea org, or just general studying scientology. Do any of the people who leave the church go back to school to learn what they missed out on? And where would you start? I can’t imagine leaving and finding out you know nothing about the real word and what Scientology is known as to non believers. Keep up the work Leah and Mike. I’ve also enjoyed the conversations you have had about other religions/cults and how they are similar.

    • Steve says:

      It varies by person and how old you are when you leave. Although, you usually leave with very few friends, family or resources. I’d say the majority don’t ever get a traditional education, they just get jobs and make a life for themselves. And I’m always so happy and proud for the ones who make it and who aren’t broken by the experience.

  • Flo says:

    Hi ,I’m a big fan of your podcast and Mike I admire the courage that you have to confront the true and I’m so happy for the family that you have.
    I will love to hear you talking with Gerry Armstrong!

  • GloriJean Harper says:

    Thought you might get a kick out of this. My 82 yr old Baptist mother LOVES you! she say one of her favorite things is that she loves it when you swear!

  • Jess Smith says:

    Love the podcast, I think you’re doing an amazing job! I was slightly alarmed by how easily and absentmindedly you dismissed “Landmark”. I’ve done the first 2 courses, and had major breakthroughs, life changing experiences. I saw the people around me in the courses see a way to better their life and there was actual happiness in the room. After those 2 courses they didn’t contact me, didn’t force me to give any money, participate or read anything. It was very helpful, and very different from Scientology. I understand that “EST” was crap, but I wish you did some research into the actual current courses, before dismissing them to a whole audience that listens to you and is effected by your opinions. Thank you.

  • Laura van Ness says:

    Hello Mike and Leah! I’ve been listening for a long time, but this week’s podcast really resonated with me ..Leah mentioned having family members who support certain political figures who are just the worst kind of people (I do not speak or type the former president’s name …it’s too much like naming the devil for me), and I can relate. In my case, it’s my life partner who supports “the other side.” I thought the election would quell my partner’s beliefs, but it’s only grown worse. Maybe a future podcast topic could be “how to talk to family members who subscribe to differing political, social, and religious ideologies”? Just a thought …I really liked what Steven Hassan had to say about talking to Qanon believers in a reasonable and respectable way. Keep up the good work, Guys. I support and admire the work you do.

  • Dr Nick says:

    Hi Leah and Mike

    I am a doctor training to be a psychiatrist in the UK. Thanks for all your hard work exposing the evils of scientology!

    I have some questions, well rather a few actually, specifically on Marty Rathbun.

    The questions I have are:

    · What caused him to leave scientology?
    · Did he continue to believe in the theories of scientology when he left?
    · If you had to guess – why has he gone back in? He was harassed pretty extremely when he was out
    · What about his wife Monique – I understand she had never had any affiliation to scientology and had been harassed pretty badly herself. Didn’t she sue them? Are her and Marty still together and has she “gone to the dark side” with him (as far as you know)?
    · Now that he has gone back in, what would have happened to him? I can’t imagine he’d go back to his previously high role. What punishments/ repentance would he have to go through?
    · Do you think there could be any possibility that he is being a “double agent” and trying to take down the evil organisation from the inside?
    · Do you miss your friend Mike?

    Like I said – a lot of questions! May be you could devote a whole special episode on Marty?

    Thanks again for all you both do

  • Former Listener says:

    I used to be a faithful listener of the podcast and TV Show until the 7/6 podcast. Political stuff has been brought up in the past, but your show crossed the line this time. I am so tired about hearing about how the US was founded on racist principles and how it is still a racist country. So misinformed.

    • StuckInTheMatrix says:

      Agreed. The content is best when it comes to exposing Scientology. I listen to Fair Game and other podcasts because I’m fed up with the main stream media’s lies, misrepresentation of statistics, taking things out of context, etc etc etc. Saying this country is still racist is a blanket statement that minimizes the accomplishments of minorities including recently having the first African-American President and the current first African-American woman Vice-President.

  • DesR says:

    Does David Miscaviage have kids? Who will take over when he passes?

    • Steve says:

      He doesn’t have kids and I wouldn’t expect family relation to be a factor in choosing the next in line. Unless Miscavige develops some physical ailment that he can’t keep hidden and is forced to pick a successor, I suspect he’ll hold on to the bitter end and things will get very weird when he dies.

      Having spent a lifetime in and around it, I can’t give you any idea how that will go. But I’ll be watching closely when it does.

  • Allison Lavigne says:

    How are Scientologists who marry people who are not Scientologists viewed by the church?

    • Steve says:

      It’s looked down upon. You either convince them to get active in Scientology or you’re viewed as having one foot out the door.

  • Rae says:

    After researching polygraph usage and history, I’m curious about the similarities between a polygraph and an E-meter. It seems an E-meter was developed off the component of a polygraph machine that measures skin connectivity, or GSR (Galvanic Skin Response). Is this correct? And if so, since polygraph results are incredibly easy to corrupt with physical counter measures, can an E-meters’ results be manipulated, like a polygraph, by the participant contracting their anal sphincter muscles or controlling respiration? Are auditors instructed to watch for these, or other, physical actions, like polygraph administrators?

    • Steve says:

      Yes, you’re supposed to watch for physical movement, but the meter can be influenced very easily. However, it’s supposed to be done in a cooperative environment, not a person willfully misleading like they would with a lie detector. One of the sayings is “Auditor + PC is greater than the bank”.
      Auditor = counselor
      PC = Pre-Clear, person receiving auditing
      Bank or Case = your bad mental stuff basically. l

      So, the auditor and the PC have to be working together to make progress. And nothing that “reads” on the meter is absolute, it’s used as an indication that you might have something to address. But if you go looking and don’t find anything, then you might have a “false read” and you can backtrack. It’s not like “we have proof!”, it’s like “what’s that there?”

      And that’s where the culty stuff happens, because you can literally be cooperating and also want nothing more than to run away at the same time. There is a part of you that concedes to this process. I could go on a long time about this, as this is where the intricacies of brainwashing start.

      • Rae says:

        Thank you, sincerely, for taking the time to respond. Reading so many articles on the evolution and use of the device, it’s not hard to see how they become devices of manipulation, as you pointed out, because they’re so inconsistent.

        As an individual who is aware how unreliable these devices are, it would be very difficult for me to take any auditing sessions seriously, knowing Scientology is using a device that’s known in many academic communities as “scientific witchcraft.”however, you painting the picture of interaction intentions in an auditing verse a polygraph examination was very helpful. It really is fascinatingly terrifying how under different circumstances, the same device has different outcomes and behavioral manipulation of the individual hooked up to the machine.

        Again, thank you for responding to my question.

  • Nancy Niederhaus says:

    Leah and Mike:

    With each new podcast release, I love your work more and more. And I feel like I am slowly getting to know you two remarkable folks. And of course, Scientology.

    Keep cursing, Leah! Your unbridled passion is refreshing! Mike, you are such a modest man. Thank you for sharing your experiences with Scientology. It can’t be easy.

    This last podcast was my favourite. Keep it up.

  • Kat says:

    I just watched this on YouTube and thought about this podcast and how you guys say other real churches aren’t businesses. It looks like it might be the wave of the future… https://youtu.be/KrBcpL5HGcs ViceNews “Why churches might start looking more like businesses”. Interesting 7 minute watch.

  • David says:

    If David Miscavige wasn’t the leader and “chairman of the board” of Scientology would Scientology be any different to what it is now?

    • Steve says:

      Yes, I suspect it would be tiny rundown group with a handful of locations and no money. His impact can’t be understated. I think you need an obsessed power-hungry tyrannical fanatic to do what he’s done, and you don’t find too many of them. I think anybody else would have been too reasonable.

  • Kirsten Gebhardt says:

    Future question: are the attorneys and PI’s who work for the church also parishioners? If not, do they have no morals? I guess that there are a lot of attorneys without morals on this earth, but I find it curious if the church has trusted, long-term attorneys who are not parishioners, or if the church goes through attorneys at the same rate that Leah says the “F” word?

  • Samantha says:

    Would love to see y’all take on QANON. Australian media has started to interview former followers and we know it’s following us unfortunately growing here

  • Andrea Fritzsch says:

    hi I’m Andrea, I’m hoping you guys can answer this question in your next q & a. Was John Travolta’s movie Phenomenon based on Scientology? I only watched it once and aside from thinking it was boring I also thought some of the talents the main character was given were Scientology based, like having mind powers and everything.

    • Steve says:

      I doubt it was based on Scientology, but it may have influenced him taking the role. It was definitely popular with Scientologists and made up for Pulp Fiction, which many Scientologists were upset with him for doing. Pulp Fiction was “down-stat” and “entheta”. And we wanted John to be a Theta-Potata (potato, but said with an “a” on the end. I’ve heard that a million times growing up, but never tried to type it out).

  • Barry says:

    Great Podcast guys. Really love it. As a retired U.S. military member, the way the SeaOrg uses the titles and ranks do not infringe on stolen valor. Stolen valor would be if someone wore an authorized military uniform claiming to be in the army, air force or marines claiming they were in the military and earned the rank and/or various awards and decorations. This is not. This is just a case of wannabe important LRH using his time in the Navy as a background for the construct of this shame organization.

  • Nora says:

    Hi! Love the podcast! Quick question. Does David Miscavige have an auditor? If so, is that person sworn to secrecy? Along those lines, does he have a succession plan? Thanks for all the great work you do!!

  • Danielle says:

    One question I have concerns one person in particular when it comes to speaking about Tom Cruise.

    None of his exes talk about him publicly; I assume it’s because they all signed non-disclosure agreements to that effect.

    In three years, Suri Cruise will be 18 years old and legally an adult. She was just six when Katie filed for divorce from Tom; is there any possibility that Suri might one day speak up about her parents’ divorce, about being born into a cult, escaping it, what she thinks about her father disconnecting from her – anything else?

    I find it very hard to believe that Scientology and Tom Cruise, as “all powerful” as they may be (eye roll) could legally bind a six year old child with a non-disclosure agreement. I feel like she would then be free to say anything she wants.

    What are your thoughts?

  • Kim O says:

    Keep swearing Leah! I tend to swear a lot and sometimes feel guilty when I do. Now thanks to you that guilt is fading! I have an African Grey parrot that has picked up on my personal favorites (most notably the “f” word) which is entertaining when I have guests over.

    Also, there is a book written by Emma Byrne titled “Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language” It’s on my Amazon wishlist. :-}

    Thanks to the both of you for the work you are doing! I know it is frustrating to you that they are still getting tax-free status and getting away with their abuses but I have to think that because of your hard work the number of new recruits has dramatically decreased. The organization will have to fade into obscurity eventually without new members signing up … hopefully.

  • Jim Kenney says:

    Just curious, if that sadist tyrant Miscaviage had never struck you or assaulted you, I can’t help but wonder if you’d still be in this cult? It appears that the impetus for your leaving was the abuse you took and witnessed. Had that not occurred, since you were indoctrinated, and wouldn’t have had access nor the desire to search out the lies of LRH and the ridiculousness of his entire premise, you might still be there. Just a thought. I respect what you’re doing now and wish you success. I’m pretty disgusted with the lack of law enforcement interest in the cult and the IRS cowing out of fear of reprisals. Best of luck. Enjoying your podcasts.

  • Honey Shotwell says:

    If a member has a child born with disability’s do they kick them out of the cult?

  • Leanna says:

    I was wondering if David Misgavige also gets auditing? and if so, who acts as his auditor?

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