Episode 71: Listener Questions #10

January 4 Episode 71: Listener Questions #10

We start 2022 with one of our favorites — more Listener Questions. We cover a wide scope of topics, from Fair Game campaign tactics to preserving Hubbard’s “legacy” on stainless steel plates in titanium capsules in nuclear-bomb-proof vaults and the embarrassing “We Stand Tall” song video…

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View Documents (9)
"Preservation of the Tech"

Scientology is so proud of the activities of Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) to preserve the tech they have a fully dedicated video on ScientologyTV expounding on the brilliance of their program.

What is CST?

Some less hypey information about CST

"We Stand Tall"

The infamous scientology “music video” featuring David Miscavige

SNL parody

The brilliant SNL parody of We Stand Tall

Hubbard on curing cancer
Wiki on Scientology Controversies
Wiki on Fair Game
Judges on Scientology
Wiki on Gabe Cazares

57 Comments

  • Alyse says:

    Love you both Lee Lee and Mikey!! Question: Is it possible that Scientology has a recruitment process similar to the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They (JWs) will read obituaries and find the family members of those who died and try to recruit them when they are at a low point in their lives. Is it possible that Scientologists work as court clerks at family and divorce courts and give information to parishioners to pray on women who are divorced or single Moms to bring them into The Church?

  • Brian E. says:

    Where do we post our questions for the next listener questions episode? And thank you for the work that you do!

    • Mike Rinder says:

      You can put them here or on my blog mikerindersblog.org

      • Benjamin Edens says:

        Here’s a question for the podcast.

        Most religions in the world have apologists that will engage in scholarly debates with apologists of different faiths. Has there ever been any scientologist apologists willing to debate theology with someone of another faith, and if not, why not?

      • Vivian E. says:

        Why is David Miscavige the leader of Scientology and not Pat Broeker?

      • Ellie says:

        You’ve mentioned in the past that you had friendships in the Sea Org. How were you able to maintain friendships in an environment where it was hard to trust each other, and how have your friendships changed since being out?

      • Dana says:

        I have a question. What would happen to a child of a Scientologist if the child was to develop type one diabetes (a condition I have.) That child would need insulin for the rest of their life. Would their parents take them to a hospital and get them the help that they need or would they die? It’s a scary thought to me, because type one is survivable if you get the help required. But it’s also expensive.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d love to hear an episode about the cadet orgs.

      • Sarah Tong says:

        I know Elizabeth Moss and her role in Handmaid’s Tale has been brought up before (why she doesn’t get asked about it in interviews/how she doesn’t see relatings factors of the show and Scientology). I’m curious why Scientology would allow her to take the role in the first place? Wouldn’t it be dangerous to put a famous face in a situation where they could see the light/be disillusioned to Scientology? Knowing Mike’s Pulp Fiction story, I would assume someone proof read the role before hand.

      • Cori Smelker says:

        I love your podcasts. I started listening to them at the end of last year and am consuming them avidly. I am only up to Episode 26, so have a way to go! Here is my question and it might have already been answered:

        Once David Miscavige passes away (or is assassinated!) who is poised to take over? And do you think that his death might spell the death knell for Scientology?

      • Aaron G. says:

        What is the story behind the “We Stand Tall” video? Did David actually think it was a good idea and would be taken seriously?

      • Diana GS says:

        My question is more about the health of the Sea Org people. I realize that it is expected that they will work from 8 a.m. to midnight ever single day, but what types of illnesses run rampant because of the horrendous hours and the requirement of not “leaving their posts”? I know teachers tend to get dehydrated and have urinary tract infections because of their requirement to keep their eyes on their students at all times. What do the Sea Org members have to deal with and how do they hide it or take care of themselves?

      • Michele Montour says:

        Just watched a Discovery “Deadly Persuasions” episode with Marty Rathbun telling his (double?) escape story – I just kept repeating “and yet he went back?” Is he actually back in there? In a (not really) neutral zone? What is the real story? He did so much to get out and fight – my brain cannot grasp going back.

      • Michele Montour says:

        You have said that despite the larger jargon about expecting LRH to return, if someone walked in and said, “Hey, it’s me! I’m LRH! Back to run my church!” People would toss them out and consider them crazy.
        This has been nagging at me with the exaltation of Tom Cruise. Just wondering. What would happen if Tom Cruise was to suddenly declare – say on a March 13 celebration- “I have news for all of you: **I** am in fact LRH!” (or one of his kids was)
        Would Miscavige still hold him out as holy and untouchable- would he be cast down? Would it image Miscavige?

    • Susan K. says:

      Hey, yall! I love listening while I’m at work. I listen on Spotify because it’s free. Why don’t you do your ads yourselves like some podcasts do? Spotify drives me nuts with their ads. I have to listen to these annoying chicks talking about cool sculpting 2 and 3 times in a row before I can get back to the podcast. If yall have to sell crap I’d much rather listen to your own dulcet tones. Love yall so much! Thanks for all you’re doing. Yall are fascinating and inspiring. Sending love from Georgia.

  • Tim says:

    Another great episode, Leah & Mike! Thank you for taking the time to answer my question this episode and continuing to educate us all.

    I’m sure you’re aware of Tony Ortega’s recent reporting from a Scientology insider. Any thoughts as to why Scientology is undertaking these utterly insane actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at their orgs? Toxic “decon” spray, requiring Sea Org members with no symptoms to isolate themselves indefinitely, etc? It makes no sense based on what we’ve learned about how COVID spreads. We know Scientology is NUTS, and as Leah reminds us, they follow LRH policy to the letter. LRH couldn’t have written a policy to fight the current pandemic, so what gives? They have to be making their staff miserable. Leah, from a parishioner’s perspective, do you think this nonsense filters down and impacts the average Scientologist?

  • Kelly Gregory says:

    Will you consider doing a show regarding the Hasidic Jewish community and their fair game like treatment of those that leave? I was very saddened to see so many similarities to Scientology in the doc “One of Us”. Also, new drinking game- drink every time smile says “blah, blah, blah!”

  • Justin Krasowski says:

    Love you guys!!!! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️. I would love to help infiltrate and take down Scientology with you. Feel free and reach out anytime

  • Stacie Y says:

    Still love all the questions AND yes…. your insights to all the questions. So I have been watching the stories on Weinstein, Epstein and Raniere. Seems to be the key in bringing down these horrible abusive psycopaths who feel they are untouchable. Power seems to corrupt completely and Shelly has been abolished so Ihave doubts he has beer a monk. Has anyone come out saying David Miscavage is sexually abusive? He allows abuse everywhere else, so… is that the door to investigate ? He’s not a saint!!!! Can’t help but think that could be a way to get him out. Historically the law will step in on religions on sexual abuse to anyone in the organization .

  • Rachel Dollar says:

    Happy New Year’s to all the podcast cast and crew!

    During the hiatus I revisited previously aired podcasts and Aftermath episodes. As a non Scientologist, I forgot that there are other OT levels that have yet to be released, and it got me thinking about this age of technological misinformation. With the rise of “deep fake” videos and editing technology, would Miscavage digitally resurrect LRH and literally put words in his mouth to reengage interest in the organization?

    So glad you both are back with real new material 🙂

  • Jane Hall says:

    With more and more people publicly speaking out against Scientology, what goes into determining whether or not they are fair gamed?

  • John Craine says:

    I have a question for the next Q&A episode: What do you guys think of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master? I didn’t realise how close it was to LRH’s life until I read Bare Faced Messiah. I saw an interview where Paul Thomas Anderson denied that it was critical of Scientology and said it seems to work for some people which was very disappointing to me.

  • Jenny says:

    This is completely unrelated to this episode. But have you thought of doing an episode On purity culture, like the Duggar’s and their strict religious upbringing. I find it so interesting and sad.

  • Cortney Smith says:

    Hi Leah & Mike,
    I listen to the podcast weekly and have watched The Aftermath. One thing that I have never seen addressed is what happens to Scientologists after death? I know that they believe that they are coming back, so is there a funeral or any type of service? This is morbid – but what happens to their bodies? Are they buried, cremated and what happens to the remains? I’ve don’t recall ever seeing a Scientology cemetery or memorial. Is there any memorial at all for who they were and what they did as people? Or do they just sadly disappear from peoples lives? Thanks so much.

  • Joan says:

    It’s my understanding Scientology believes when bad things happen it’s the person’s fault either in this life or as a result of a past life. With this theory how is it that
    David Miscavige can blame people for problems and then beat them up? Aren’t all of his issues as a result of his bad behavior in this life or the past?

  • Kellie S says:

    https://youtu.be/KuyFPkYedZk

    I finally found the video that I watched when I visited a Scientology Church in Mesa Arizona back in 2002.

    I was writing a paper for my world religions class and I was intrigued by Scientology because of Tom Cruise and my mom telling me it was a cult. I went to visit the church and came back to my class convincing more classmates to come with me a second time because it was just so crazy.

    They made us do some weird exercise where we sat down in chairs and they said find the right wall. We were really confused but saw that they were looking at the right wall so we looked at the right wall and they said good, find the left wall. And we watched them as they turned to look to the left wall so we looked at the left wall and they said good. Then they said look at the ceiling so we all looked up at the ceiling. I was so confused like what the hell are we doing?! Good she says. Find the floor, good, look at the right wall, look at the left wall, look at the ceiling, look at the space behind your eyelid. When she said that we all started laughing because all at the same time our heads went back a little as we were trying to do just that.

    At the end they asked if they could show us the 30-minute video so we went into this tiny little movie theater and the last minute, of the link that I posted, where he says you could jump off a bridge or blow your brains out, we all looked at each other like what in the world and we ran to our cars never to return.

    Well since then I have been following Scientology stuff and I really absolutely loved the aftermath series. It was fascinating to watch but at the same time just absolutely gut wrenching and beyond heartbreaking. To me I feel that I am able to see a lot of cult like behavior in many things. Big Pharma specifically. Really been enjoying the podcast. Appreciate what you guys are doing.

    Just a fan

  • Sassy H says:

    I was just wondering, Whenever David leaves his body (i am sorry if that is the wrong terminology) Who will take over the church? Is Tom Cruise or John Travolta being groomed to be the next leader?

  • Krist says:

    I have an uncle who lives in Clearwater FL. He has never been close to our family. I am almost 44 years old, and I have seen him 3 times. I noticed in the past few years he has deleted his Facebook account. In listening to your podcast I think more and more thar he may be in scientology. Do you thunk that he would tell me if I asked him?

  • Freddy says:

    Hello, Leah and Mike. I’ve been following your podcast as well as the Netflix series.
    I wanted you to know that the question of LRH’s reincarnation has been solved. He has returned as a toilet. Can you imagine David Miscavige or Tom Cruise giving that some thought?
    Keep up the great work bringing down this awful cult.

  • Courtney H. says:

    Hey Mike and Leah!
    Question: Since Scientologist believe that they can cure themselves from all sickness, how has COVID affected their numbers and do you think they follow any safety mandates?

  • Colleen Adam says:

    Hi guys, I listen and watch everything you both do, and you do a great job, I was wondering how do your kids deal with what you both do and what you have been through, and people who get out with there young kids. Love from Scotland

  • Rachel D says:

    Hi Mike and Leah! Thank you for such a great show.

    Leah, I have been a fan for a long time, and read Troublemaker in hardcover. I was wondering if you would answer some more personal questions that I’ve been wondering. I knowt hat for Scientologists, there is a lot of pressure to get people “in” and incentives to recruit new members. Did you try (or face dicsipline) around recruiting castmates to Scientology? Was it strange to act in scenes like you were part of a different religion? Finally, did you bring Angelo into Scientology, and was it hard to convince him to leave with you?

    Thank you for all you do!

  • julia says:

    A question for the next Q&A-
    Do you guys ever fantasize about how it will all come crashing down? I mean, the end of the church.
    I have never been in scientology, but from listening so much I now often have different fantasies about how that will happen, like someone on the inside will steal some important documents and hand them over or somehow record something.
    Just wondering how much you think about it, what you fantasize and doesn’t it drive your mind insane when you do?
    Maybe this is too personal for you to talk about, in that case, sorry for asking 🙂

  • Danielle Nichole says:

    Hey there
    Just found the podcast and loved the show. I was listening today to another podcast that was addressing the friendship of LRH with Jack Parsons and their following of Alistair Crowley. The story showed significant comparisons to the OTO, including the ranks/levels you climb within the group. Not sure if you ever touched on this in the podcast but would be very interested to hear more from you. Thanks!

  • BethG says:

    I’m catching up and just listened to this episode last night, I cried so hard. Mike I am so extremely sorry for your loss. And Leah you are not alone my 11th grader isn’t even going off to college, they are planning on trade school and I have to much younger kids but I cry thinking about him graduating.

  • Vanessa I Jordan says:

    Have you read Jenna Miscavage’s book? Might you have her on the podcats?

  • Rebecca D. says:

    I was just doing a bit of Scientology googling and saw something about a “pregnancy assist”. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about that. What exactly is it and Leah, is this something you had to go through?

  • Lauren W says:

    I have a question for your next Q&A. Does Scientology have a plan in place for someone to take over as leader when or if something happens to David Miscavage? Is he grooming his potential successor to take over? You guys discussed how he forced his way to become to leader after LRH passed. So I wasn’t sure if someone else might do the same. Or if he scared everyone so much that they wouldn’t consider it. Thank you Mike and Leah for doing all you do!

  • Nikki H. says:

    Hi Mike & Leah! Love the show and podcast so much. Thank you for all you do.
    My question is: Was Leah’s husband Angelo ever a Scientologist? I’m curious about what his experience was through all of this.
    Thank you!

  • Sarah G. says:

    I hear the question about Elizabeth Moss and asking her about Handmaids Tale a lot. However I think anyone in an organization like Scientology will either be brainwashed or in on it, so questioning them will get nowhere. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to ask the Creators/Writers/Producers of the show if they are comfortable funding and promoting Scientology through Elizabeth? Presumably they are knowledgeable about high control groups and oppressive religious groups and are against them. That is what the show is about. Seems like a campaign worth pursuing.

  • Carmen Chu-Villanueva says:

    Hi Leah and Mike, I have been a following your podcast since it started and got a VPN just to watch the aftermath on Netflix. We don’t get to watch it here in Canada Netflix. I don’t know why. Anyways, I was just very curious about John Travolta and have you had any contact with him. I have heard he is distancing himself from Scientology since Kelly Preston passed.
    If he has left, what kind of implications would that have in the church? Would he also have had to fill out affidavits when he left?

    • Carmen Chu-Villanueva says:

      Forgot to ask one more question. How is Paul Haggis? Do you think you would be able to interview him or have him on the show some time?

  • Kelly S says:

    Hi!

    Love the work you two are doing! Been following your work for years. I have a couple questions for your next question segment. (Hopefully they haven’t been asked before)

    Does David Miscavige actively practice Scientology? Does he have to do audits or study/read and go through the levels up the bridge?
    Also, do regular parishioners not carry cell phones? How could these members not have access to the internet if they have a phone in their pocket? With everyone having iPhones, how could members not be using the internet? How would anyone know if they did?

    • Kristen says:

      Hi Leah and Mike, I admire you both for informing the public of Scientology’s abuses. I love your show and look forward to each week’s podcast. My question is in regards to their policy about “attacking the individual, not the group”. If Scientologists are taught this is the way to handle SPs or enemies, why don’t more former Scientologists from attack David Miscavige directly? They should give David Miscavige a taste of his own medicine; just like he did with IRS agents. Keep fighting and thank you both for all that you are doing!

  • Sondra says:

    In this episode, there was a great question regarding the requirement to purchase new editions of Hubbard’s books. 1. Do they require old editions be returned or destroyed? 2. How do they monitor ensuring each and every parishioner abides? 3. If Scientology is so antiquated and it’s writings are taken so literally, why would they change the language at all? Or is the language identical and they force you to buy a new edition because the old edition has a semicolon where a comma should reside?

  • Sydney says:

    Hey guys! I loved watching the show and discovered you have a podcast! I had a question regarding David Miscavage. Mike, if David were to ever leave although highly unlikely, would you welcome him with open arms even after everything he has done to you?

  • Natasha Zinsou says:

    Hi Leah and Mike! Like everyone else, I love and admire your work and your drive to speak your truth and allow others to do the same <3

    To my knowledge, Scientologists traditionally and primarily get recruits by offering "free personality tests" to people walking by CoS buildings. Has their recruitment tactics changed heavily over the last 10 years, and especially now that we are in the time of COVID? I know myself and most people I know do not enjoy being approached on the street, so if I were approached by a Scientologist I would just turn up my music and keep on walking by lol.

    Thank you!

  • Ross says:

    Here’s my question: You’ve often talked about Scientology’s teaching that if a Scientologist hears about or learns information from the upper OT levels when they are lower on the bridge, severe illness, disease, or even death would befall them. But at this point, it is impossible for most believing Scientologists to live in the Internet age without seeing a passing mention of Xenu or something similar. This probably happens quite frequently. How does a believing Scientologist account for the fact they were not stricken with illness after seeing a mention of Xenu on South Park or elsewhere?

    Relatedly, what would happen if a group of people stood outside Scientology buildings in Clearwater or elsewhere holding signs that said “Scientology believes in Lord Xenu.” After weeks with no Scientologist falling I’ll, wouldn’t this prove to the members that (at the very least) the illness teaching isn’t true

  • Sam says:

    Hi Mike and Leah! I absolutely love your podcast and have followed your journey for years. I moved to Florida from Albany, NY (#thevow) and find the story of Scientology quite fascinating.

    I want to visit Clearwater but also want to be conscientious of where my money goes. Is there a list of non-Scientology businesses in the city?

    Thanks!

  • Jody Lewis says:

    Question: as a mom I always wonder how Vicki feels about getting her family involved in Scientology. Does she have guilt? Has she apologized? Why haven’t we heard her Scientology story?

  • Sue Loomis says:

    Hi Guys,
    Just finished listening to this episode and I can’t help but feel like when you guys are talking about all the rules and policies in Scientology and Hubbard’s writings, it all sounds like some teenager who is obsessed with science fiction and comic books, making up his own little world and somehow, convincing people to join his “fraternity”!

    It is so hard for me to even believe that anyone could ever believe in Scientology or even stay in Scientology…which goes to show just how brainwashed they truly are!

    Keep up the fight Leah and Mike!

  • Tiffani says:

    Question for Listener Questions #2117 (or whatever we’re on now).

    Have any other religious leaders spoken out about Scientology’s practices or tax-exempt status? Leah and Mike do such a good job of comparing Scientology’s practices to those of a well-meaning, legitimate religions. It seems that if religious leaders backed these comparisons or illustrated what commitment to family and caring for community could look like, it would go a long way toward building awareness or holding the church accountable. Would it be harder/more complicated for Scientology to “Fair Game” leaders in these religious communities with strong reputations?

  • Janice says:

    Hi Leah. I’ve been listening to your podcast. I watched all of your AE program too. I’m not a Scientologist, just fascinated.
    I have a question. I am not sure where to send it so I thought I’d send here
    I am a Breast Cancer Survivor and Kelly Preston’s death shook me. Knowing she prob didn’t get treatment but wondered if she did at the end. Her photos show her with a wig on prior to her death. John thanked a Cancer Centre. Do you think she finally went and did chemo or is it just said to make us think she did? So curious.

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