At first I was all like, “Yeah, I heard about that before.”
But then I was like, “Wait, no I didn’t. That just sounds exactly like something they would do and I just kind of assumed it was old news when I read it.”
More former members of the Scientology cult have been making pretty damning allegations about how the church has been treating its “workers,” and by workers I mean brainwashed slaves. The allegations include working long hours for 39 cents an hour on only a few hours sleep, separating defectors from their loyal (loyal to Scientology, that is) parents, and even a forced abortion.
But see, all this is OK because these people aren’t really workers. They are “religious devotees akin to monks,” which makes treating them like shit totally cool in the eyes of the law, for some reason.
The response from the church wasn’t the typical “NUH UH!” we normally hear from them. Well, OK, it wasn’t just that. From the Times (emphasis mine):
The church has responded to the bad publicity by denying the accusations and calling attention to a worldwide building campaign that showcases its wealth and industriousness. Last year, it built or renovated opulent Scientology churches, which it calls Ideal Orgs, in Rome; Malmo, Sweden; Dallas; Nashville; and Washington. And at its base here on the Gulf Coast of Florida, it continued buying hotels and office buildings (54 in all) and constructing a 380,000-square-foot mecca that looks like a convention center.
Can you believe that? They’re being accused of running sweatshops – sweatshops which were, as it turns out, in the business of producing the church’s highly profitable but practically useless books and DVDs – and their response to this? “Hey, how could we have done that? We just finished a building a convention center. Look, it’s all shiny!”
It’s a lot like how when Walter Sobchak tried to get Larry Sellers to crack and they all saw that Corvette out front, except in this case the car really IS Larry’s and he’s showing it off to the press.
Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Just in case you’re new to the idea of Scientology and what it’s all about and think maybe I’m unfairly assuming these allegations are true (and if this is the case you should take some time to read up on them), the AP has another report about another couple making the same allegations. It’s pretty much what you’d expect: constant surveillance, blocked escape routes, censored mail, and anyone who corroborates these things is a lying heretic who must be silenced – for interfering with the church’s freedom, you see. Their ability to project their own worst qualities onto their critics doesn’t seem to have any limit at all.