Episode 67: Listener Questions #9

November 23 Episode 67: Listener Questions #9

Another of our favorite Listener Questions episodes… We have a lot of great questions, including what the organization does with all the money it makes? Are the PI’s scientologists? What would happen if we tried to rejoin scientology? What is the most bizarre Hubbard policy? What’s the story with Mimi Rogers? Does David Miscavige tune in? And a lot more.

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View Documents (11)
A to E steps

The steps that a person declared Suppressive must do in order to get back into good standing with scientology?

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The Black Bag Department

My earlier blog post about scientology PI’s and which ones are scientologist

Who is Rick Moxon?

One of the unindicted co-conspirators from Guardian’s Office prosecution (along with L. Ron Hubbard), in house lawyer for scientology, OT VIII and father of Stacy Moxon who committed suicide at the Int Base (it was covered up as an accident).

Monique Yingling on 20/2

Unfortunately the only way I have found to see Monique with her impressive display of muffins is to watch Part 1 and allow this video to then go to Part 2. At 00:30 Monique shows up with the muffins baked with love by the slave sat Gold.

Yingling and Davis on AC 360

Monique Yingling and Tommy Davis on AC 360 lying about disconnection

Jokers and Degraders

One of two of the most bonkers Hubbard policies (in my view)

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Pain and Sex

The second choice of bonkers Hubbard writings

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Data on Fragrances

Hubbard on odors and perfume — another of his completely bonkers writings (Note, his ramblings seemed to become even more unhinged towards the end of his life — though it is hard to top History of Man) ….

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VF article about Nazanin Boniadi

Maureen Orth’s excellent VF article about Tom Cruise that details what happened to then-scientologist Nazanin Boniadi who had been selected and groomed as Cruise’s new mate.

Passionate kiss quote from Dianetics
Leah's list of recommended books

113 Comments

  • Lauren says:

    Does L Ron Hubbard’s children ever speak out about Scientology?

    • Jane Lohman says:

      Curious. Standing in the grocery line I see a tabloid with a photograph of Katie Holmes. The headline disparaged her career and appearance. Miss Holmes must have signed an NDA or has kept quiet about Scientology out of respect for her child’s father. Tabloids, however, have kept her very upfront in the public eye. Is Scientology behind this or is it just an attempt by a rag to beat down a woman who bested a narcissist, homophobic and misogynistic organization?

    • Wesley Miller says:

      Mike and Leah,

      Once the planet has been cleared what would the next goal for Scientology?

  • Helen Kendra says:

    Hi guys
    Another fab episode, thanks for all you do.
    I have a question for listeners questions –
    I live in Cardiff, Wales. Do you have any idea how many Scientologists are in the U.K.? I have left Aftermath Foundation cards outside the church in Birmingham and got some insights from a friend who lives near. I saw 1 car go in and out, I did have security be alerted that I was there, ah well! I really think the numbers are tiny. I have also registered my guest room with th aftermath foundation, in case someone here needs it. Much love

    • Brandon says:

      Aloha! Thank you so much for this incredible podcast, as well as for The Aftermath. I have a close friend who was a Moonie and have several family members sucked into QAnon, and these series have been huge blessings in helping me understand cultic mindsets, practices, and abuses.

      I have two unrelated questions. Mike, that doesn’t mean you have to answer both >.<

      Much has been made of LRH’s narcissism; and Leah frequently says that Scientology teaches people to be abused and become abusive. When I talk to people in my life who do not know anything about Scientology, I’ve often described it as ‘narcissism training.’ Does that feel at all accurate to you, and do you think it’s possible, in part, that LRH was so incapable of understanding the human experience that he developed Scientology in part to make people more like him (narcissists)? That to me seems like the ultimate narcissism. It also seems to be a bellwether of why it fails so often; because those brought in are not actually disordered at the outset.

      Second question! Does Scientology have an official list of banned sources? For instance, CNN, HBO, and the BBC have all done major exposés on Scientology. Are Scientologists forbidden/discouraged from accessing those sources for ANY information, or are they just forbidden from looking up anything negative about Scientology?

      Love you both!

  • Sam Augaitis-Elzey says:

    I have a question for you guys! It requires a bit of fluff before the question, so my apologies! I am a therapist. Let’s say I was having a nice stroll one day in Hollywood and stumbled across scientology’s free personality testing center and decided, what the hell and walked in. Inevitably, I fail the test because, who doesn’t. Then I am sent to the Reg to sign me up for classes to help rescue me from myself. This is when you are to cough up the money as well as details about yourself. I tell them my occupation…. What happens then? What do they say to someone whose money they want but who they vocally renounce as being pure evil?

    • Lisa says:

      Do you think the Danny Masterson trial will end Scientology? If the attorney scares ALL the Scientologists from testifying, does that make the prosecutor’s case stronger??

  • Stephanie T says:

    Leah,
    Never apologize for being such a heartfelt, beautiful person. Your huge heart and the way you connect with people is such a force. I love everything that you do, especially getting to see the real you on People Puzzler, filling in on the Wendy show (the world needs you to have your own show!), and every episode of Scientology and the Aftermath. I can’t say that I understand how you feel as a mother, as I do not have any children, but the love that you have for your daughter is so moving and wonderful. Don’t change anything about yourself or how you present yourself on this show. We love you!

  • Cynthia Gray LPC says:

    I wonder how much Hubbard believed his own ideology. Of course he invented a religion as a cynical, money/power exercise. But he also seemed to think he had true insights about human progress. There’s really nothing innovative about it. His E-meter is simply a brutal form of exposure therapy that — when it is effective — helps you lose your attachment to memories and experiences. But, obviously, it mostly traumatizes people who engage with it and causes them to lose touch with emotion and become vulnerable to manipulation. I suppose his narcissistic self wanted it all to be more than just a con. And I’m sure current members would say they are helped by the sessions, which, in a limited way, is probably true. But it all adds up to a negative number, I think.

  • Barb Kozuh says:

    Leah — I feel the same about my daughter and I sat and cried with you this morning. My daughter, like Mike’s son, is only a freshman and I’m doing all the things you are like making a “fun” experience for us (movie, dinner, etc.) and she wants to go do something else with friends or get on her phone with her friends. I wish we could have coffee and chat — my friends all have younger kids and can’t relate…yet. Sometimes I think if I just sit in these feelings rather than avoid them that I’ll be able to get over or accept them faster. Thinking of you!!!

  • Stephanie says:

    Great episode

    What do Scientology actors, especially those brought up in Scientology, draw from to create characters if they have lived such insulated lives? How can you “act” like a normal person when you can’t be out in the world with other everyday people?

  • Amy says:

    Hi Mike and Leah. Love the podcast. I am always baffled at the lack of criminal investigation or even interest from police etc into Scientology abuses all around the world, it’s so bizarre when they have brought down other cults worth millions (like nxivm).

    I have been wondering whether you think there could be any undercover police in Scientology gathering evidence from the inside? Perhaps a long term strategy to bring them down and gather tons of data? Does this seem likely or plausible? Has this ever come up as a suspicion on the inside? Sometimes it’s the only explanation I can think of why nothing is ever done!

  • Emily Butler says:

    You’ve mentioned that a Sea Org member set’s out Hubbard’s clothes every morning. If someone walked into an org claiming to be L. Ron Hubbard in his new body, and knew enough about Scientology to fool enough people, what would happen? Are there certain conditions that they expect to look for with his return?

  • Amy Walker says:

    Several years ago there was a lot of rumors that John Travolta was gay, and even allegations of sexual battery from one or two men. I have always wondered if he maybe threatened to leave or questioned Scientology in some way, and if these allegations were him being fair gamed by Scientology. What are your thoughts?

  • Kyle says:

    Thank you for what you said about your daughter growing up and the fear and sadness. I know it’s not the same but today my son (7 yo) had surgery. It’s a common childhood surgery but still required anesthesia and frankly someone was cutting on my child. Because it is common – tonsils and adenoids out – everyone tried to reassure me it’s no big deal, it’s normal, he’ll be fine, happens every day etc etc (as Mike says). I needed to hear someone say that they were sad and scared and felt useless about something “normal” with their kid, and you did that. Thank you for everything you do.

  • Scott says:

    You say from time to time that you’re supposed to pay Scientology a fine every time you reveal upper OT level material. They maintain that you’re lying. I suppose they haven’t actually come after you for those fines because by doing so, they would essentially be admitting that what you say on your podcast is true, and that they’ve been trying, poorly, to pull the wool over people’s eyes?

  • Sandy Ziegler says:

    HI Leah and Mike, I’m listening to and loving your podcast,
    I have a question.
    Maybe just an observation. I’ve always known how crazy this scientology cult is,. I am know wondering, about all the other crazy cultish happening in the States. Is it possible certain GOP members, etc. follow this dangerous scientology nuttyness?

    Thanks to the both of you and all your guests.
    Sandy
    Concerned Canadian
    PS don’t answer this, if it will get you in trouble.

  • Lorrianne Wynn says:

    Dear Leah,

    I went through the trauma of my baby going off to college. I have three adult children, ages 30, 29 & 24. My older two attended local university/college. I was thrilled to watch them grow into the amazing adults that they are. When it was my youngest’s turn to look at schools, he chose a state school 5.5 hours away. The day we dropped him off freshman year, I had a mini nervous breakdown. (I cried every day for 6 months.) I realized that I was done raising my children, my most demanding and best job! I wasn’t sure what my role was anymore. I didn’t know my place in the family dynamic. It took time, but I finally found my way. As will you. As for me, I decided to finally focus on my own wants and needs. So I now live a life of YES! I am still figuring out my place in my children’s lives, and am (not too) patiently waiting to become a grandmother. I have too much love in me to give!!! I hope this helps! Wishing you, Mike and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving!! Best regards, Lorri PS – Love your podcast! (Not sucking up!)

  • Corey says:

    Leah’s honesty and vulnerability toward the end of the episode was so moving. I wish you both the best, and I feel love for you all–even without having met you. You guys are helping so many people! Your promotion of psychology and therapy are helping not only ex-Scientologist, but everyday people (like me) who get run-down by what life is throwing at them.
    All the best!

  • Katherine says:

    We’ve learned that Scientologists do not parent their children, expressing emotions is not an appropriate way to behave, that they feel superior to us common folk (wogs) and that there is a concerted effort to bring celebrities into the fold, namely actors.
    As an actor herself, what would Leah say about Scientologist actors and how they feel about the characters they play. For example, The main theme in Jerry Maguire is that Jerry’s life would not be fulfilling until he got in touch with his feelings and committed to his marriage. If anything, wanting to parent his Step child was the thing that was making him stay… to this day it is one of TC’s most popular movies, and that closing scene is part of movie history. How does a Scientologist reconcile the fact that they aren’t depicting ANYTHING that Scientology would approve of. Erika Christensen played a mom trying her best on Parenthood, KA and JT played a loving couple in Look who’s talking, that had to wear their emotions on their sleeves in order to become a family. Would all those actors say their characters were pathetic wogs for crying and expressing their feelings? How do they not see, through their roles, that Scientology isn’t normal or the optimal way to live life?

  • Sharon Propst says:

    Leah- Today is my daughter’s 23rd birthday. She is my baby, by best friend. I tell you this, because I totally get how you feel about Sophia going to college. I had to let mine go, twice! First in 2016, and even though she was a half hour away, the silence was deafening. Just when I got used to her being away, got into a routine, COVID hit, and she came home. She started Grad School in June, and the silence is back. I can tell you, it does get better, you will be amazed at all she can accomplish, on her own, and know, in your heart and soul, that it’s because you were an awesome mom and gave her all the tools she needs to be a successful, strong, independent young women!

  • Caitlin says:

    Hi!
    I had a question about the “religious” side of Scientology. I’m a lapsed catholic at best but catch myself in church from time to time. I recently stopped in after work one day to light a candle for my grandfather on the anniversary of his passing. It got me thinking when I was just able to stop in and out, said hello to the priest who walked in and when I scrambled and found a crumpled dollar I pushed into the offertory box. Are there any traditions or holidays that Scientologists celebrate? Any wedding ceremony traditions ? Traditional clothing or decorations? Aside from the sea org “uniform”? Do they still gather yearly to celebrate their “success”? I live in Jersey so I don’t ever see them or have had any interactions. Thank you!

  • Joanna says:

    Just about cried listening to you talk about your daughter growing up and being so conflicted about it. The text you read from your therapist made me feel so much better about my own daughter graduating this year. I will probably replay that segment a lot! Thank you so much for being so open about how hard it is. You definitely helped, as you always do. Thanks for the show and for all both of you are continuing to do.

  • Carly Brindley says:

    Leah, how did your husband feel about you and your mum being in Scientology while you were in it.? To my knowledge he wasn’t involved in a big way if at all.

  • Shannon Josefoski says:

    How did Scientology handle plots in The King of Queens that went against their teachings & policies? Things like MLMs and going to church or wanting an education and working for a law firm.

  • Stacie Y. says:

    Thank you for continuing on this podcast. With everyone who is speaking out now, does it seem like there is less publicized positive “lies” lately and certainly less celebs talking, Did anyone find out if Scientology actually messed with the Youtube subscription? (I thought it was an opportunity to get more listeners and see if more crazy behavior occurs to the public. Sad but fascinating! They keep doing it because as you all have said because that’s what they do.)

    Do you think they are capable of growing in a technical way (ex: hacking Youtube) since that wasn’t in LRH’s doctrine?

  • confidential says:

    I sent three emails and no response.
    I also sent a $1 donation on PayPal to get a response. If you could reply please.

  • Beth says:

    Can you comment on Scientology in Canada? It has a Wikipedia page, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_in_Canada, that says there were 1745 members in Canada, as of the 2011 census. And some lawsuits back in the 1980s, but nothing recent. The ideal org I have walked past in Vancouver many times is always empty.

  • Melissa Megines says:

    If Scientology is supposed to cure you of diseases how do they explain Jon Travolta’s wife dying of cancer?

  • Kari Jane Houke says:

    Hi Leah and Mike, good evening! Leah, I too cried like a baby when each of my 2 daughters moved on into the next stages of their lives. Today they are amazing, productive, compassionate, empathetic, critical thinking adults – both mothers of small children (1 each: 3yrs and 13mos). They are my BEST FRIENDS. Your relationship with your daughter will continue to grow grow grow and your therapist is absolutely right. Please keep showing emotion, it’s a beautiful thing <3. Love you both and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Erika says:

    Leah and Mike!

    Thanks so much for using my question on the podcast. I listen faithfully every time a new episode comes out, and I kid you not I got chills last night when I was listening and Mike said my name! It was awesome. Keep up the amazing work!

  • Martha says:

    Leah and Mike, How is Ron Miscaviges wife doing after his passing. I hope she has support. I miss his trumpet serenades and good conversation.

  • Trish says:

    Why doesn’t Nicole Kidman speak out about Scientology? Her kids called her an S.P.? So why not speak out? I assume Katie Holmes doesn’t speak out because Suri is still a minor… Obviously speculation, but do you think either of them will speak out at some point?

  • PJ says:

    Thank you endlessly Leah and Mike for showing that expressing your emotions is not only healthy but positive and a strength. Everyone raised in the world these days, cult or not, can use the reminders and examples. You make the world better for everyone and I can only imagine how much more impactful it must be for survivors of cults.
    You are beacons of love, light and hope for so many.
    Thank you for your work and inspiration!
    I have questions but this was more important right now. One day I’ll get the questions in!

    Men need to feel and express their feelings without fear of being perceived as weak! Women need to be heard, believed and supported! ALL PEOPLE need to feel and express their feelings and be validated!
    Therapy is awesome too! Especially to heal from trauma. Mental and physical health are no different from each other and both deserve treatment and support as needed.
    Love to all!

  • Holly says:

    Mike, I am so sorry for the loss of your baby girl. I am so sorry that your were robbed of the opportunity to mourn her. Thank you both for this episode. I have a question. John Travolta lost his wife and his son. I have seen he has posted many time over the years touching tributes about them and mourning their miss. In your opinion are the just PR or do you think they are heartfelt? Thank you for all you do.

  • Suzanne P. says:

    Leah,
    You are not alone! I have a 17-year-old son who is a senior and after he graduates this spring he’ll be joining the Air Force. I am happy and excited for him, but also overwhelmed with my own emotions.
    A few days ago I wrote his “Senior Ad” (the message from the parents to the graduate, with his baby picture) for the yearbook. I was crying like a baby myself by the time I was done.
    The emotion seems to come and go in waves, like contractions (coincidence?) ;-). And the the more milestones pass by the emotions hit me harder and harder.
    My friend who has been through this says that people in this position should plan more evenings out with friends. She says that this is a struggle to get through and that it takes time.
    I feel for you my friend! Take comfort that you are not alone! This June, at my Son’s graduation, I’m going to be crying my eyes out! <<>>

  • Ex NN INT says:

    How is Debbie Cook doing ? Any new from her?

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to have her on the podcast?

    Do you think she is still scared by the “silencing” deal she probably signed?

    Why she is not getting vocal now, time has passed, she could be such a contributor now…

  • Electra A. says:

    You did not mention posting questions on YT as a place you will look to collect listener questions. Lots of comments there.

    Could be because the channel routinely disappears, shows up under someone else’s channel (most recently for me: Nancy Grace) or reloads episodes in random order.

    I would like you two to speculate on the lasting influence the Scientologists who infiltrated the US government decades ago might be having.

    I ask because the cult of WOKE with it’s politics of personal destruction and cancel culture looks so much like “fair game.”

  • Eric says:

    Hey there, not a very long question, but probably a very long answer: Can you give us the perspective of a fly on the wall in Flag the night South Park released their Scientology episodes? What was the internal reaction, and how did it affect the organization afterwards?

  • Susan Glass says:

    Do you and Leah have security for you and your families?

  • Aimee says:

    Leah –
    I really appreciate your vulnerability in this episode. The Aftermath has really ignited an interest in cults and Scientology in specific, and I think you for keeping this podcast going.
    I’m also freaked out and devastated about my kids leaving home – and my oldest is only 8. I’m already starting to feel like they don’t need me and when I want to do stuff for them, I get a lot of “Can you give me some space, mom?” Then I go cry a little. I get you. But the fact that they can do these things on their own IS a testament to excellent parenting. So – good job, momma.
    Much love.

  • Patti C. says:

    Mike, please tell Leah she is not alone in having a tough time with her daughter’s upcoming departure for college! My daughter is also a high school senior and I cry every time I think about her leaving. I am NOT ok with it.

    All the best to you both in your journey to recovery and finally finding peace.

  • Lena says:

    Fucking Leah!! You HAD to go and cry and made me fuck up my makeup.. I’ll watch movies with you and cry and eat your scones. Crying is proof that you are beautiful.
    Btw, I’m sending you a cleaning bill for the makeup on my sleeve ,

  • Melissa Lorenzana says:

    I’ve been searching everywhere for the answer to this question…
    What is the reason that Scientology actually gives parishioners as the reason they can’t reuse books? I know they force you to buy new edition s, but for the ones that haven’t changed… what’s the BS claim they make, since it won’t just be “Because we’re scammers!”

    PS- LOVE FROM BROOKLYN! ♥️

  • Courtney says:

    My Question (sorry if it’s been addressed) – I recently discovered the 2017 movie “My Scientology Movie” on Hulu, which Marty Rathbun was featured prominently in. Knowing what I know from you guys, it was clear to me that he might easily go back in. I felt for him because I kept thinking he really needed therapy but was taught not to trust it. At the end, Scientology threatened his family, which upset him a lot and I’m guessing, led to him going back. Have you seen the movie and do you think there is a way he could have kept up the good fight with you guys instead of going back?

  • Wendy says:

    Hello Mike and Leah,
    I have been to Clearwater several times to visit the aquarium there, the most recent time right before Winter the dolphin passed away. We drove through Clearwater and saw all the scientologists walking around the Fort Harrison. I know the aquarium isn’t right in the city, but there is alot of tourist traffic because of it. Has David Miscavige tried to either buy up the grounds or make them move? Or is he not interested in it because it’s not in the downtown area?

  • Kaybay says:

    My favorite episodes for sure! Hope to hear my question on the next one. But even if its not, still love them.

    Do you think you (Mike Rinder) and Leah would still be scientologists if Ron Hubbard was still in charge of the organization?

  • Lorrie says:

    I’m very concerned about how the LAPD let’s all things re Scientology just slide on by because of what the LAPD receives from Scientology payoff/trade off. In your estimation, what percentage of the LAPD is currently corrupted by Scientology? What percentage of the LAPD powers that be are corrupted by Scientology?

  • Lorrie says:

    Hubbard was a drug addict, he was into the occult & orgy/womanizing garbage. Miscavage has to be into some of these as well or equally reprehensible acts. What do you think his level of drug use or sexually deviant behavior is on a scatof 1-10? One being low, 10 behind extreme.

  • Jane Standen Bolton says:

    You mentioned Karin Pouw in a previous question, what’s the deal with Karin Pouw? To those of us never in she basically an imaginary person, a name on many insane statements and a single 20+ year old photo online. She may as well not exist in real life. But Mike must know her, she presumably worked for him in OSA? Who is she? I What is her job? What does she do all day other than lend her name to Miscavige’s crazy rantings? With Scientology’s stats obsession, what would her stats be?

  • Edward LaBonte says:

    This doesn’t have anything directly to do with the show, but I was watching the Thanksgiving Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathon, which featured the movie Hercules Against the Moon Men. (If you’re not familiar with the show it features a human and 2 puppet robots making fun of cheesy movies). This show was originally aired in 1994. Near the end of the movie, there’s a giant explosion on top of a mountain and the 2 robots Crow T Robot and Tom Servo have this exchange:
    Crow: “Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard.”
    Tom S.: “Why do I hurt inside? Page 54.”
    Crow: “When will this stupid movie end? Page 38.”
    Tom S.: “How much money can we get out of Tom Cruise? Page 35.”

  • Edward LaBonte says:

    In reference to my previous comment:
    https://youtu.be/NSPAHuvnuwA
    at 1:22:25

  • Carolyn Williams says:

    I have been following the free Britney movement. The way Britney Spears was so controlled by her father sounds like the way Scientology manages celebrities. Is Britney’s father, Jamie Spears, a scientologist?

  • Dawn says:

    Leah, I am your people! this episode had me in all the feels listening to you speak to Sophia growing up. I feared packing my daughter up and taking her to college. Screaming and falling apart inside and privately while continuing to put on a brave face in her presence. It’s hard, it’s really f$*&*ng hard. Walking the fine line of being outwardly supportive, you can be, do and go wherever your passion leads you (but please don’t leave me). It’s a real mind you know what. Happy to say I’m on the other side of it. She’s a successful and strong woman and actually just got married last Saturday, which makes no sense because in my mind, she’s still 8. Best of luck to you and your upcoming journey. You will get through it, it will be hard, it will be sad, but the rewards and the pride you will feel as you watch her succeed are so fulfilling!

  • Jill Stevens says:

    I have wondered for months – wouldn’t Scientology get more members and even more money if they would behave like a “normal” church? That is, be nice, stop disconnection, support people spiritually and emotionally, have free services and community events, all the things real religions do? Why don’t they drop all the mean stuff and be a real church, fill their empty buildings with real people practicing their faith, etc.? Perhaps then, they would see some growth and would even thrive (even though teachings are false.) In other words, stop pretending to be a religion and really be one.

  • Melanie Kelly says:

    I really need to know. Do you think Tom Cruise knows Scientology is all bullshit or is he still brainwashed?

    Also, your podcast is great. I’ve learned so much. Glad you invite guests from other cults so i can learn about those as well

  • Steve in DC says:

    Does Scientology have sources of income other than payments for services or donations from adherents? Presumably the organization can’t use its inventory of real estate for commercial purposes. Does it have an investment portfolio?

  • Dalton Laras says:

    Hi Leah & Mike.

    I’ve also got a question for the show.
    I am interested in Scientology on “2 levels”. Meaning I get what you guys are saying, but I also read some of the books of LRH and find there are some very interesting topics there, like ARC, Comunication, Stable Datum, Dynamics, etc. So I’m a bit to and fro…
    I have also seen that as far back as 1953 or so LRH talks about Exteriorization. Now, my question is:
    When this subject of Exteriorization has been around for decades, and LRH presents it as something that does occur, and is in fact quite obtainable, how come that – should this not be true – all these hundreds and thousands of people in Scientology since the ’50’s have never complained ‘en masse’ about this being a lie? Have any of YOU had any personal experience with being exteriorized?
    Thank you from Dalton, The Netherlands!

  • Liz Graham says:

    Hi Ya Leah and Mike, before my question , I just wanted to thank you both for all you are doing. You both are a wonderful example of bravery and proof that there is kindness in this world. My question is , if Scientology believes that your body is not really yours and just a vessel for body thetans, Why are Sea Org members forced to help pay for D. Miscaviage’s birthday gifts? Why would this be celebrated? Also, since Scientology does not practice Christianity, why are SO members forced to contribute to a Christmas present for D. Miscaviage, as this is a Christian Holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ?

  • Gemma says:

    Hi Mike and Leah,

    Love the podcast and listen every week. I have a listener’s question for you.

    What would the return of LRH look like? What’s stopping someone from just walking in claiming to be him and de-throning Miscavige? Is there some sort of “prove your LRH” test?

    Thanks

  • Nicole says:

    Oh, Leah! I’m sorry you couldn’t find more support from other parents about their kids leaving for college. My son leaving for college was one of the hardest things I went through. I knew it was the right thing – that it showed that we were successful as parents – but it ripped my heart out too! I love spending time with my child and I missed him terribly. I wished I could tell you something different, but you will get through it. To love deeply means to hurt deeply, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Sending lots of love and courage your way!

  • Ashley King says:

    Hi Leah and Mike! My question is about the Sea Org and signing the Billion year contract. You talk about so many who used to be Sea Org members, how hard is it to break that contract? What steps do you go through? Do they make it extremely difficult to leave the Sea Org and still remain a Scientologist? And finally are you then looked down upon after breaking that contract?!
    Thanks! -Ashley from Phoenix AZ

  • Laura says:

    Question: when Scientologists say they were transferred to a different Org, who pays for transportation costs? Also, what about costs related to new housing etc?

  • Wendy says:

    Hello Mike and Leah,
    I’ve been to Clearwater several times to visit the aquarium there. There is alot of tourist traffic to get there and we have always spotted the scientologists walking through downtown. Did scientology ever try to purchase the aquarium or try to get rid of it? Or do they not care about all the outsiders driving through since it’s not in downtown Clearwater? On a side question, did filming the movies there ever cause a stink at Flag?

  • Rikus says:

    Hi Mike and Leah
    I love your podcast, i especially enjoy the episodes about the life & lies of L Ron.

    I’m from South Africa and with the little info i have it seems that for some reason Sientology is or atleast was quit popular in south Africa, if I’m not mistaken L Ron even called a book or a course something related to Joburg.

    There are various prominent properties in South Africa a that is owned by the church but me as a citizen have never come across Sientology in SA until i listened to your podcast.

    Anyway just found this interesting

    Regards
    Rikus Schutte – South Africa

  • Sarah says:

    I have a question for a future episode. Do you think that Danny Masterson has had to deal with any consequences within Scientology for causing a “flap?” It seems clear that they don’t care if he mistreats women. But, many of the people you have had on your show have said that causing a “flap” is a punishable offense. So, would he have to pay in some way? Do you think that in the future, a celebrity would be as protected by the organization, since this policy gets them so much bad PR?

  • Tim says:

    Hi Leah and Mike,
    Love the podcast! Two questions about two often mentioned people, but I’m hoping to hear more:

    1) How do you think Marty Rathbun lives with himself, after fighting the CoS for years, and betraying so many who were also speaking out about the abuses? How can he (or anyone) go into an auditing session and “practice a religion”, as part of an organization that was trying to destroy him? How do you think he justifies in his mind the lies and hate he directs at so many people who were trying to help him?

    2) Leah – do you know what happened to your auditor, CS, or other “handlers” after you left Scientology? A very famous celebrity leaves AND speaks out.. those are some serious down stats!! I’m guessing it wasn’t a big surprise to anyone that you were unhappy, but any idea if anyone ended up on the RPF or otherwise punished for not being able to “properly handle you” and otherwise keeping you in the fold? Any thoughts if DM flipped his lid, and who would be caught in those cross-hairs of blame?

  • Jody Lewis says:

    I want to know how Leah’s mom feels about Scientology now and why you guys haven’t had her on as a guest. She’s a hoot and I think she’d be a great guest, not to mention, a knowledgeable expert on how people got hooked in and why they trusted the church.

  • Sara says:

    Question: In the fight against Scientology’s tax exempt status or any of its abuses, Has anyone considered entering Scientology as a mole?

  • Carol Mitchell says:

    HI! Just listening to the podcast and you were talking about Marty Rathbun going back to Scientology. WHY did he go back? What happened? Thanks and take good care.
    Carol Mitchell
    San Bernardino, CA

  • Renee Baker says:

    Amazing how much Jehovah’s Witnesses are fashioned like Scientologists but I never hear anything about Seventh-day Adventists whose leadership style and beliefs of being the one and only group to be promised Heaven are so similar to JWs. Amazing

  • Rebecca Steer says:

    I live in outback Queensland, Australia, and drive my kids 100km (one way) to school just about every day. I listen to your podcast all the time!
    I have just joined you Leah in the tears shed for our girls growing up. I totally get it. My girl has an anxiety disorder, and we always wondered what will be the step in her final 2 years of senior school. She herself has decided she wants to try boarding school! Ugh, my heart! Your words today on how her being ready for such a big step in her life, is an amazing accomplishment for both Immy and myself gave me such a wonderful feeling in my heart! Does not stop me being a total fucking mess, but I feel a little better about it!

  • Betsy Young says:

    Hi Mike, I’m a big fan of the Fair Game podcast and listen to every episode. I was curious, is the claim true from writer Harlan Ellison that L. Ron Hubbard picked up on the idea from writer Lester del Rey at a meeting with the Hydra Club in NYC, “What you really ought to do is create a religion because it will be tax-free.”? With the help of the writers at the table and their suggestions, that it inspired Hubbard to write Dianetics?

    And is it also true Hubbard signed his will right before he died, leaving all his copyrights and subsequent royalties to Scientology? If so, did he really sign it by his own free will and is this in perpetuity? I assume all royalties include his science fiction works. Did his family members receive anything when he died?

  • Stephanie says:

    What do you guys think about some of the podcast streaming services promoting podcasts of scientologists during your episodes? Almost every commercial break on I❤R includes a promo for Wilmer Valderrama…. it gets me annoyed but it has to seriously pass you off. I don’t even know how to report this. If you know please let us know so we can stop inadvertently supporting Scientologists or Scientology front groups

  • Diane Loomis says:

    I am a week behind in listening, so I just listened to episode 67.

    Leah, I cried along with you to. I have son who is a senior. It is not just the leaving, but all those activities they do where you watch and cheer and beam with pride also end. We have to shift to being a cheerleader for our kids in a different way.

  • Jan Waller says:

    This is for Leah – I too have a 17 year old daughter who will be off to college (hopefully) in the Fall and I sobbed when you talked about your daughter – I feel exactly the same and yes hearing you talk about it makes me feel less alone in this. I am going to miss my daughter so much and yet at the same time I am so excited for her, I wish I could go with her. You absolutely have done a wonderful thing for your daughter – doubly so because you saved her from a life with Scientology, you are a hero.

  • The Dapper Downstat says:

    Thank you Mike and Leah for answering my question in this episode!

    I have another: do either of you have Scientologese terms that you find are still useful for describing situations in life on the outside? I don’t mean terms you use with other ex-Scientologists out of convenience, but rather terms or concepts from Hubbard that are truly better than the closest real-world equivalent.

    I ask because I’m a never-in, but I still find the concepts “valences” and “tone 40” useful in describing how people adjust their mindset or behavior in certain situations.

  • Dani G. says:

    A while ago Leah mentioned parishoners who surf the edges – they don’t actively participate but are still considered parishoners – how does that work since most of what I know is that it’s all encompassing and you have to spend hours a day devoting to Scientology. How are parishoners (who maybe don’t leave because they don’t want to be disconnected from) able to fly under the radar and stay in and not be bothered to donate money, coursework etc?

  • Sharon says:

    Leah – my daughter is also graduating this year. I was sobbing, listening to you discuss your feelings about Your daughter graduating and moving on. I wish we had as much support for this stage of life as when they’re babies!

  • Kelly Fischer says:

    I think you two are amazing.
    Leah! I found it touching how upset you are about your daughter growing up. (It broke my heart to hear parents speak so disparagingly about being forced to spend time with their kids during the 2020 lockdown.)

  • Jess says:

    You guys should do an episode about Remnant Fellowship based out of Tennessee. I just found out about this group and their beliefs and how they control people remind me of scientology a bit. I believe their leader just died in May so it would be interesting to see what’s going with them.

  • Jacqui Kramer says:

    Leah, you are NOT alone in feeling sad about your daughter going to college! It took everything I had to keep a smile on my face when I took my son to college in August. Literally, the second he closed the door to our rental the last time, I burst into tears and sobbed for 1/2 hour. After a few weeks of hearing how happy he was and how he was thriving, I was able to start truly feeling happy for him, and proud that he became such an incredible young man. 🙂

    Question for you/Mike: You often describe the poor state of education Sea Org members, and even some parishioners, receive. How does Scientology select/train people for roles that require higher education? Does the e-meter tell them, “This one can duck tax laws like a pro?”

    Love the show – thank you for all you do.

  • Stephanie Olsen says:

    Dearest Leah,
    I was so touched by this episode. You were so emotional about the loss of a child and again when talking about your daughter leaving for college. Your vulnerability is so inspiring. From everything you and Mike have taught us about Scientology I am sure this vulnerability and transparency will inspire others who are struggling with emotions after leaving Scientology.
    On a personal note: I lost my daughter 4 years ago. She was my only child and was 28 years old. She was a crisis counsellor and was given fentanyl by a guy she was “rescuing” and died instantly from opioid poisoning. My heart breaks for all of the Scientologist who have lost a child and have not been able to properly grieve.
    I loved your story about all of the stuff you made for your daughter’s friends and how emotional you were about her leaving for college. Continue to do everything you are doing for her and her friends. You will NEVER regret those moments. She will also always remember them.

  • Stephanie R says:

    Leah! You are not alone – I have “launched” two kids and have a junior in high school, and I have cried so many tears. Sending you so much love, and please know that you are definitely NOT the only one feeling loss when your kid grows up. Thank you and Mike for all your amazing work!

  • Sheri Vanderschoot says:

    Hi! I love your podcast. I have a question- since Scientologists don’t really believe in medicine and that they can heal themselves through Scientology, how are they responding to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate? Do Scientologists get vaccinations? If a celebrity is a Scientologist and their movie/tv set requires vaccine- do they lose the job?

  • ALISON says:

    I have a question for the amazing Leah and Mike!
    What is Scientology’s status in Canada? Do they have a lot of members and/or tax except status?
    Thank you.

    PS I related to you so much Leah when you cried at the anticipation of your daughter going away to college! Thanks for being vulnerable.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Hey y’all!!! Can you please talk about the Nashville scientology center?!? I think it was built because Tom’s ex wife Nicole moved to Nashville. Is that true? And do you have any idea if it is staffed and running or is it like most of the other scientology centers where the buildings are empty and not being used?? It blows my mind that scientology is in the “BIBLE BELT” but hey I guess cults are everywhere. Love the show, listen to every podcast. Keep up the good fight, you’re changing lives AND informing us…. love y’all bunches 💗 💓 💕

  • Rae says:

    After listening to you both for years and reading through copious amounts of Scientology materials made available, I’m actually quite confused as an older Millennial: It’s hard to believe there is not a Millennial or Z Gen Miscavage out there, prepared by Scientology teachings, capable of continuing the cults’ horrors. What is blocking somebody in Scientology, born after Hubbard died, from doing intimate research and coming out saying “I’m the reincarnation of LRH!” and be believed by Scientologists? Are their preventative measures keeping this from happening, or is the younger generation of Scientologists just blasé on a man they never met coming back?

    Ps. Leah, cry all you want! You got out of that cult and now get to share in the human experience with the rest of us, open eyes! Crying is part of the package. It doesn’t sound like you’d be able to experience this very real part of motherhood and your unique life journey, if you were still in that thieving cult. They didn’t steal this from you.

  • Marty Aguilar says:

    Dear Mike and Leah,
    Been a HUGE fan since reading Leah’s amazing book (bought it the moment it hit the shelves) and just finished listening to the Nov 22 Listener questions. Not a former Scientologist, but a proud SP.
    I wanted to thank Leah for being courageous enough to be vulnerable with us. My oldest is about to leave home and move into Developmentally Disabled assisted living and my wife and I are a bit soppy about it too.
    Thank you, Leah, for sharing that tender side of you (since you’re usually tougher than a brick shit-house). It was a gift and I’m so very grateful. I try to be tough about it with my kids and strong for my wife but it tears me up inside. I gotta say, your emotionality caught me off guard and it was a relief to share that moment with you.
    You are both so incredibly brave and an encouragement to all of us. Keep fighting the good fight!
    Proud supporter of The Aftermath Foundation. I make sure all my Amazon purchases redirect to it.
    Much love and prayer to both of you!
    Marty

  • Kate says:

    Do you think that David Miscavige (sp?) would see an oncologist and receive chemotherapy if he got cancer?

  • Peyton says:

    Thank you for everything you do. I’m in awe of both of you. Your dedication and compassion are an inspiration. Your authenticity and humor make you guys a terrific hang! Who wouldn’t want to be friends with you two? Well, other than Miscavige and his minions, I guess… But if I had a choice between going to a party at his house or one of yours, it’s a no-brainer.

    Question for you: just this morning my neighbor gave me a big fat book called The Urantia Book, and invited me to read it and if I was interested I could join their Urantia Study Group. Well, because of you two, I could practically see the culty vibes radiating off the book. I told him I wouldn’t have time to read it anytime soon, and he told me I could keep it as long as I needed to, because he has “dozens” of them.

    I asked if it was fiction and he said it’s “purely non-fiction.” A shiver went down my spine, and I hadn’t even cracked the book open.

    Do you guys know anything about this Urantia thing? It almost seems like somebody trying to ride the same wave as LRH was catching with Dianetics back in the fifties.

    I’ve been friends with my neighbors for 6 years now and they mentioned a study group once before, and said I might like to join. They said it was more of a book club, but never once said anything about “Urantia.” Now to hear today that is the sole focus of this “study group” makes me feel like they were really trying to sneak up on me with this stuff, which creeps me out. I like my neighbors a lot. They’re nice people. We look out for each other. I don’t want to offend them, but this stuff is giving me the creeps.

  • D Freeman says:

    hey y’all! long time fan of both this podcast and the show. as someone who struggles with my own spirituality and is often looking at ways to positively impact the bigger picture, without the knowledge i gained from the interest your shows started, i likely would’ve ended up a member myself. i wanted to ask; what’s a small thing you appreciated upon leaving the organization? for instance, leah, during the show at one point you mentioned that you had never been in the ocean in clearwater, alluding to the fact that all of your time in clearwater was spent working.
    keep up the good work!

  • Shannon Williams says:

    Is the Aftermath show and the Fair Game Podcast having any impact within Scientology? Are parishioners “escaping” after seeing or hearing either of the shows? One or more parishioners has to be listening inside to report your suppressive acts to Dumb Ass, oh sorry; Dave, so your message has to be getting through to at least one or more people. Love all your work, Leah, as a construction worker I have to say I love your “F” bombs! Fuck Scientology!!

  • Rach says:

    Hi guys, another question to add to your list;
    What, if anything, would cause David Miscavige to leave his position in Scientology, or even Scientology altogether?
    I realise he’s unlikely to do this willingly, but wonder if there’s say, enough pressure from the outside world or from the IRA, or even criminal charges against him, if it would make him give it up.

  • Terri Fisher says:

    Just curious of how scientology seems to dodge the failure of churches or branch centres?

    We used to have a building where I’m from in (Belfast, Northern Ireland) and rumours were that they were ousted out, harassed and eggs repeatedly thrown at the windows saying cults weren’t welcome, is there any truth to this?

    Love the podcast and admire you both! Loved the book Leah!

    Terri 🙂

  • Toni Switch says:

    For starters, I wanted to thank both Mike and Leah for doing this podcast – it’s been something that I’ve been able to draw a lot of strength and perspective from – both from having previously been involved in a cult and also going through the end of a long term romantic relationship that included a lot of gaslighting and cognitive dissonance between words and actions. This podcast served to remind me of the things that made me leave the cult and the things that were just too similar for comfort in the relationship I was in. So thank you.

    Second – you both sound so much happier now than you did even when starting Scientology and the Aftermath. Maybe it’s time and distance from being in scientology, or the satisfaction of a well-lived present. Or something else entirely. Whatever it is, I’m happy for you both.

    The actual question I have:

    -There seems to be certain repeated accusations from scientology when they attack people who are telling the truth about them – lots of accusations of wife-beating, molestation, sex with animals. Also, on the Anderson Cooper interview with the repeated, “I know every inch of his body” shit. Why wouldn’t they mixup the narratives? Even try changing verbiage so it isn’t the exact same, blatantly coached, response? Do they think people won’t notice? Do the policies state specifically that accusations of wife beating and banging animals are the most effective? It just seems really dumb to use the same lines over and over. (And it begs the question – why the hell does scientology seem to have so many former members who were getting it on with animals?)

  • Gennie says:

    I just listened to the Listener questions #9 episode and I had to pause and immediately write this. I hope Leah, and anyone else going through the “empty nest” syndrome, reads this. I have 2 daughters. Both adults and both are fully moved out now (our youngest moved back in with us during COVID due to losing her job). I know how close you and Sofia are. I’ve heard you talk about her and saw your show that aired years ago. I know that right now she’s “too busy” for you, as a teen getting ready for her next step in life; HOWEVER, I can speak from experience and say that, with a strong foundation, you will continue to have a strong relationship. My girls are my best friends now. We text both individually and as a group amongst the three of us multiple times a day. We see each other in person as often as we can. We do favors for each other and are so very present in each other’s lives. Yes, it’s hard and we, as primary caregivers, feel useless when they first leave. I went through that too. But, then I started to enjoy my own free time and I feel I have the best of both worlds. It gets better!!! I promise.

  • Jen says:

    Do the executives of Scientology fairgame those that speak out because they know what they are doing is wrong, or do they fairgame because it’s policy and that’s the only thing they know and truly believe that what they are doing is right?

  • Line Pedersen says:

    Hi
    I have a question. You’ve talked before about how one of the reasons scientologists use to justify lying to the public, is because us normal people would get cancer or pneumonia if we were to be told. My question is, how do they then rationalize it, when they are told to do a course again because “it was done wrong the first time” and they therefore weren’t ready or prepared for the next level. Do they not wonder why they didn’t get cancer or any other illness? Wouldn’t they be angry at their auditor for putting them at risk of getting such horrible diseases? Is it a double standard because of the money? Or am I missing something?
    Thank you for an amazing podcast. Much love from Denmark:)

  • Stacie says:

    I am still baffled that Marty went back. The only plausible reason why …. logically is that the CoS found something on his wife. She was as opinionated as he was. Speculating ~ perhaps her history or her safety made him do it.

    How long can he stay in without her and the child(ren) become a part as well? And guessing if they don’t ~ then that clearly shows he’s being coerced.

    It’s sad because I do think he was as heartfelt opposition as you both are … so thinking they found a true “ruin”.

  • Lizzy says:

    First off: Huge fans of you both, both the work you’re doing now to speak out and all the work you’ve done to turn your lives around (Best of luck to you with school, Leah. You’re gonna kick that degree’s ass!). Thank you both for speaking out.

    On to my question: Could you please give some insight into how the Writers of the Future and Illustrators of the Future awards are a sham (or at the very least, how it’s a front group for Scientology); how much money individuals in Scientology are hustled to donate for this fancy ceremony (and if it’s a requirement for Scientologists to attend); how it doesn’t help writers despite what they say on their website (aside from the cash prize of Scientology blood money, and some goofy courses by LRH); and how it’s secretly a recruitment tool hidden behind the veneer of a ‘prestigious’ writers and illustrators award. I’ve read in some places that Scientologists who run it think it’s a joke and they all put on an act for the wogs. I figure it’s safe to assume that they keep the judges away from anything too overtly Scientology related, but that’s just a guess. The Wiki article gives some connection to Scientology but it still seems suspicious that what’s stated is really the whole truth. I’m also asking because there aren’t any famous authors or illustrators who’ve judged these contests who will say anything bad about them (obviously because of the fear of Fair Game, and it seems fairly succesful as a front group for Scientology to hide behind), so since you all know how to get the inside scoop, please do tell. What goes on behind the scenes?

  • Esther says:

    I have a question I’d love to hear on the next listeners question!

    I was recently interviewed for a job at an optometry office, the interview questions first off were very odd and seemed all personal and not work related. He then asked if I had heard of L. Ron Hubbard (which at the time I had not) and he said they would go to weekend retreats to learn the “management and ethics” they’ve learned from his books. I know you’ve touched a little on dentists who use Scientology tactics in businesses I was just wondering like how they get pulled in and if they are expected to “recruit” people or something. After realizing who L Ron Hubbard wasI started deep diving in your podcast and I kindly declined the position shortly after. Also thank you so for having a podcast that really brings learning about Scientology and exposing it in an easy and personable way.

  • Jacob says:

    Hello! I have a question for the listener episodes, and I love the podcast!
    My question is, to what extent is L.Ron Hubbard’s science fiction work relevant within scientology practitioner’s lives? Is it ever talked about? Why has Scientology as an organization not used his sci-fi books to generate more money? Battlefield Earth aside of course….

  • Melissa says:

    Hi! I have a question for the listener episodes.
    I recently had a baby, and my in-laws are deep in scientology (mother in law and her husband, my sister-in-law and her husband). Since becoming a mother my instincts are to keep my baby far away from them, but they are extremely pushy and practically demand to spend time with the baby. I would never allow them to be alone with the baby, but are there certain things I should watch out for when they are around? What age would they try sucking him in? A big part of me just wants to cut them off now so I don’t have to worry about it later. Any information would be appreciated!

  • Shelly says:

    Hello! I have a question for the Listener Episodes. Being that the “church” is essentially home for so many children in the sea org and they care for such small children in the day care services while the parents are working, do they not have to follow any type of state rules/regulations as far as living conditions? After hearing Leah’s recollections in Troublemaker about the conditions of the sea org bunks, and hearing Spanky’s story in Going Clear about her baby being so sick in the daycare that her eyes were crusted shut, how has the health department/child protective services/state agencies not been called in to check on these claims and make sure that these children are being cared for appropriately? It’s so heartbreaking knowing the neglect that these children experience, and no higher department is willing to step in and correct this.

  • James McPherson says:

    Mike… can we please talk about the We Stand Tall music video?? It’s crazy seeing all you guys singing and stuff. I was just wondering were y’all actually “into” it, like really thinking this is a good song and going to be a cool video? Or hating it but just grin and bear it? I know the video on YouTube is supposedly a leak, so who was it made for? Everything about it is just so bizarre. You guys are great and love the show!!

  • Steve says:

    Why do lawyers from white shoe firms take work from Scientology? Lawyers at that level shun any work that would attract the “mob lawyer” label. Yet, they eagerly take up the cause of Scientology. Is it only because Scientology is effectively designated by the government as a religion protected by the First Amendment? Is that what keeps Scientology from being shunned as organized crime?

  • Toni says:

    For the longest time I have wondered, why/how does Scientology have their own channel on cable? It’s not a paid channel, but available for anyone to watch. Do they make money off of this?

  • Tony says:

    Hi Mike & Leah,

    David Miscavige took control of Scientology from the Broekers by rescinding LRH’s flag order 3879. Apparently a Scientology “investigation” concluded that the Broekers wrote that flag order, not LRH.

    Do we know whether LRH really did approve flag order 3879, putting the Broekers in charge?

    Thanks for the awesome podcast!

  • Anita Castle says:

    I’m catching up on the episodes and just heard this one today. I’m a psychotherapist and just wanted to say thank you, Leah, for encouraging folks to talk to someone if they’re going through a difficult time. The last few years have been traumatizing for pretty much everyone, and no one should have to suffer alone. Also, thank you for being brave enough to share your story about your daughter, and to recognize that vulnerability is a strength rather than a weakness. My kiddo is only 6 but you had me sobbing about the day she goes off to college. What can I say? Even therapists are allowed to lose it from time to time. Thank you to both of you for all that you do. I truly believe you’re saving lives.

  • Laura Font says:

    Hey Leah I have a little bit of a tmi story for you. As I was listening to this episode (#67 listener questions #9) I had to use the restroom. As I was doing my business you started talking about how emotional you were over Sophia’s last year at home. Me being an emotional person as well I started to cry. My 6yo came in the bathroom, because that’s what they do, and noticed that I was crying. So as I’m sitting there trying to drop a duce, crying because of a completely unrelated thing, i had to explain to my daughter that one day she was going to leave me and the very thought of that crushes me. As much as I would love to take a mother fucking shit in peace the mere thought of my baby leaving me is on another level. You are not alone. I am your people. I cry too easily sometimes, but there is nothing wrong with crying. It’s a normal emotional reaction. In fact those mother fuckers that don’t cry, there is something wrong with them.

    Just remember, she is just going to college, not disconnecting from you.

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