Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath (2016) s03e06 Episode Script

Ideal Org

- Churches of Scientology around the world are called Orgs Organizations.
There are two types of Orgs.
The original, normal Org, and now this new thing called an Ideal Org.
The Ideal Org program began in the early 2000s and, A, it's a way of demonstrating or proving to Scientologists in the world that Scientology is expanding because it's opening new buildings.
It is also a way of collecting money from Scientologists who are told that they need to be donating funds to build these Ideal Orgs, and it is a way of preventing a problem with the IRS of excessive accumulation of funds by investing it in real estate rather than just holding it as cash.
- I am the writer of the textbooks of Scientology.
The aim and goal is to put man in a mental condition, uh, where he him Can solve his own problems.
- Without any Scientology organization, things are not gonna change on this planet.
- After years of slowly questioning Scientology - Leah Remini and her very public break with Scientology - Scientology what they do, trying to destroy people, trying to destroy their families when they leave, they create a lot of people who are willing to fight against them.
- Scientology takes tax free dollars and ruins people's lives.
- This is not the life that I wanna live.
I wanted to end my life.
- Some people it takes a year, some people it takes ten years, of just peeling that onion of how you were manipulated and made to think.
- This season we really needed to focus on the reason why Scientology is able to do the things that they do, is because they have tax exempt status.
- People who have bravely come on and told their stories have not told those stories in vain.
They are having an impact.
We're presenting our case to the world, to the FBI, to the IRS.
- The most important thing that has to be done is the persistent telling of the truth, and that's what you're doing.
- You have to continue to fight.
You have to continue to fight for what's right.
- Wow.
- No - Oh, we don't need an escort.
We're okay.
- Okay, great.
- Thank you.
- All right, that's fine - Let's go, yeah.
- Let's go.
Let's go quickly.
- You see him? - Our theme for this evening is relentless expansion.
Last year I told you our Ideal Org rollout was best compared to a massive snowball tumbling down a mountainside.
Well, that snowball has now become an avalanche.
Scientology is now irresistible, which means our destiny is finally inevitable.
- So, David Miscavige creates this illusion that we have all these buildings so that means that we're expanding.
All these buildings mean there's thousands and thousands of people going in to these buildings.
That's the myth.
That's the myth that he sells to every Scientologist, including me, who believed it.
And that concept that we're growing and expanding is used to justify extracting more money.
So Scientologists not only have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for their Scientology counseling, then they're told, "Look, it is your responsibility" to help us Scientology To buy these big, fancy buildings.
So a big production is made, right? They fly in people from other Scientology churches, and most of these people are staff.
So there's a big production, and they show this video of thousands of people in the parking lot, and the audience this big ribbon cutting thing.
And then when that's done, those people go back to where they came from and nobody is there.
- Right after Buffalo, Miscavige went to Clear Water.
He saw that the Tampa Ideal Org was in a strip mall.
This was a light bulb moment for Miscavige.
He realized that he could now insist that all other Orgs become "like Buffalo.
" And also that he could demand that Scientologists pay for the Org.
- Bert, how are you? - I'm good, good.
- Thanks for being here.
- Hello, my friend.
Nice to see you again.
- Good to see you, too.
- Thanks for talking to us.
I know you had a little bit of a concern in doing so because you feel like, looking back on it now, like, "What was wrong with me? Why did I do all of this?" Why was I in it for so long? Why was I that dumb?" - Stupid, yeah.
- Yes.
Yes, it's true.
- You and and every one of us feel the same way.
Even the other day I was talking to my mom who's been in it her whole life and she's like, "I don't I feel like I wasted my whole life.
" You know? And it was, like, really sad.
It was like a sad moment because you have such a sense of purpose when you're a Scientologist.
- Right, right.
- You have such a sense of this false kind of, you know, you're you're doing something for the world.
And you're - Saving the planet.
- Yeah, you're saving the planet.
And it's such a little trap because we we weren't doing any such thing.
It depends how you really measure your success.
You know, for so long, our measurement has been our contribution to Scientology.
Financially, emotionally, and, uh, you know, we just have to change the way we look at our success in life.
- True, true.
Yes.
- You know? It's really hard to swallow because you have spent your whole life in Scientology, and all it took was one click on a computer, and your whole world is shattered.
And all the money that you spent, all the time that you spent, you didn't do any of those things you believed you were doing, and the kid that you didn't put through college because you gave it to Dave Miscavige To Scientology because you were told your that money was needed to open up an Ideal Org, you I mean, it's it's a hard place to to be.
- I was a Scientologist for 23 years.
My then wife and I were one of the top five active contributing Scientologists in the field.
- What does that mean? You were one of the top five - We were giving money.
Number one.
- Okay.
- We were giving lots of money.
- Uh-huh.
- We were active on the Bridge, which means we were doing Scientology training and we were receiving the counseling.
Started going up the the bridge to total spiritual freedom, as as they call it.
- And how far did you make it? - I made it to OT IV.
It took me 15, 17 years to get to OT VI.
It took a lot of money.
It took I'm gonna guesstimate just for the going up the Bridge part, about $750,000.
Might be a little more.
It's kind of horrible to think about all that, actually.
All the time I spent on that instead of just enjoying life.
- I understand.
- I understand.
- I mean, I still feel stupid.
I still feel totally taken advantage of.
Yes, we did it to help.
But, I mean, many times I hated donating the money because we were borrowing it, usually.
- Here's Bert.
He's, you know, somebody who's doing well in life, right? And he's giving to his church on top of paying for all of his services and his family's services in Scientology.
And even he had to borrow the money to give to Scientology for these big, fancy buildings that are servicing no one.
- Scientology is amazing at love bombing you.
Like, they love bomb you with all these certificates through your life, and it's written in calligraphy and it's, you know, sealed and it's gold sealed.
Like, you start to feel important and you're getting all these accolades, and so you really, truly believe, like, this is This all means something.
I'm really doing something with my life.
There's a Patron Meritorious.
How much did this cost? - $250,000.
- This is on top of the $750,000 you spent on getting your Scientology services.
- Yes.
- Okay.
"Highly commended, highly commended.
" This one you were very highly commended for.
This is from CCHR.
"Well, I just want you to know that you are loved "by every staff member and Executive for all you've done "to continue to keep us here doing what LRH instructed us "to do, even though the enemy would love for us to just go away and leave them alone.
" What would you say? How many of these does this man and his wife have? I mean, this is - 100? - This just basically reflects how much money you and your wife contributed to the propaganda groups of Scientology that claim they are doing the good works in the world.
- Correct.
- Okay.
This is from Super Power, the expansion project.
How much was this? - That one we only contributed about $70,000.
- That's all you contributed? - Yeah.
- $70,000? - Somewhere around there.
- What a piece of crap, Bert.
- You're a special guy.
- The Silver Humanitarian Award.
- Yes.
- That's worth - $250,000.
This was the drive to get Seattle its own building.
However the drive to purchase a building for Seattle started in 2001.
They came up with the idea.
"Hey, let's buy a building.
" And they actually looked for and found a building that was only $1.
1 million.
It was very close by.
And long story short, the the seller agreed to sell it to the church.
So we were excited and we got on board and because we were one of the very first contributors, Lynne and I donated $5,000 each to start the fundraising drive for that.
We thought, "Well, if 200 people donated $5,000", we'd be pretty much there.
" And, uh, it seemed very doable.
Upper management got word, and they said, "No, you can't buy that building.
It's it's too small.
" Then the whole shift occurred and fundraising started and they started looking for a bigger building, which they found a year or two later.
That building was 30,000 or so square feet, $3.
7 million, and now suddenly, holy shit, $3.
7 million? Where are we gonna get this money? - And you, the parishioners, are being made responsible for the fundraising of this? - Yes.
- Uh-huh.
- Yes, 100%.
They would have fundraisers every week.
And we were on board with that.
We were frustrated that it was such a high amount of money and but we were still supporters.
So, in the end, we Over that eight-year period, we donated a total of $300,250 specifically for the Seattle Ideal Org building.
- Now, here's another Ideal Org fundraiser here.
"Be one of 100 people to newly donate $25,000 to get the building project done!" I mean, it just goes on.
"History's made in Seattle.
" "We Own the Building!" "The Next Phase - Renovations.
" - By the way, how much did they say was spent? Because they collect a lot more often than they actually spend.
- Well, the building cost $3.
7 million.
And what they were raising for renovations was 3.
5.
So, minimum, you know - $7.
something million.
- Minimum.
- This goes on and on and on.
This was why you're giving the money.
- Right, the pressure is so great that often you give the money to have it stop.
We were written up for not giving a huge amount of money that, uh, a Sea Org member asked for.
She wrote a KR on us for not giving, like she wanted, I don't know, $70,000 right then.
And, uh and we said no.
- So, here you have a parishioner, right? Bert and Lynne who were not only contributing in Scientology by doing their Scientology services, but they're also contributing to this Ideal Org in Seattle, right? They've already given $300,000 for a building, and then Scientology says, "Hey, bullshit.
"You don't say no to us.
We need more money.
So make it happen," and they actually write what's called a Knowledge Report, which is an internal report in Scientology that gets you into trouble.
Like, somebody writes a report like this, they call you in, and they go, "We need to talk to you, Bert and Lynne.
"We have a report written on you by a Sea Org member, and this is what it says.
" "My reason for writing "this report is that my last visit "with them they told me that they were not gonna" "donate anything else to the building cycle" "as it would have put them further into debt.
" So, that's a problem that they're that okay.
"The fact that it would only take them "a year and a half "to handle their debts if they donated "this amount to the building tells me "that they can" Underline "can" "do more if they were willing to.
" This is a Sea Org member from the "Landlord's Office" of Scientology, okay? Who wrote a report on the parishioners, who is offended she's offended that they weren't willing to go into further debt for Scientology because Scientology needs parishioners monies.
And if you don't wanna give it, there's something wrong with you, and we will handle you.
- So, Bert, you were promised that you would be prominently displayed as a founding contributor or whatever for this building, right? - Yes.
From the very beginning, anybody who donated $5,000 or more was promised to be on the award plaque to be displayed in the new building.
We were, I believe, the number five contributor.
We are absent from that plaque.
We donated $300,000.
We didn't even get our name on the plaque as promised.
- So, why? - A couple of friends of mine, Tony and Mary Jo DePhillips, became unhappy with the church, and they resigned.
They sent a letter to the church saying, "We resign.
" and and they kinda wanted to go away quietly.
And, um, the church doesn't really let people do that.
And they were declared as Suppressive Persons.
- They were considered enemies now of Scientology.
- Yes, yeah.
- Okay, and that means when you're declared a Suppressive Person that you no longer can stay connected to any family members who wanna remain in Scientology.
Family members, et cetera.
- Correct.
And they're my best friends.
And, uh, so of course I wasn't gonna disconnect from them.
- Well, it's not "of course" 'cause it's not a Scientological frame of mind.
That's not very Scientology of you.
So I don't know, like, where did the humanity come from? - That is correct.
- Just It must have been inside of you still available.
- I need to back up a little bit.
- Yep.
- 'Cause my own disaffections, so to speak, started a little bit before then.
- In what year did this start? - In 2008, I achieved OT IV.
That whole process was one of the most degrading experiences of my life, and when I was done with OT IV, I said to myself, "No more.
I'm going home.
And I'm never going to get auditing again.
" But I only said that to myself.
Because to say it to somebody else would be disaffection.
- Right, you couldn't even say it to your own wife.
- Correct, and so I pretended to be a good Scientologist still, and embarrassingly I we still donated money to Ideal Org and other groups.
I was just gonna not go back for services anymore.
And, uh, then "The Truth Rundown" came out.
- In 2009, the "St.
Pete Times" published an extensive series of articles called "The Truth Rundown.
" And it was the first major exposure of the abuses The physical abuses and the mental abuses that had gone on at Gold.
I participated in it.
Amy Scobee, uh, Marty Rathbun, Tom DeVocht a lot of people spoke to the newspaper for that series.
- Tony and Mary Jo were exposed to that.
They read that and we were all shocked by the allegations.
And we started looking at that information and discussing things and at some point, it became safe to tell my wife that I was no longer going to go back for services in the church.
- 'Cause you believed what you read? What you saw? - When I first read it, I didn't believe it at first because I thought, "How could How could a leader" "of an 'ethical' church " - The most ethical organization on the planet.
- Correct, correct.
- Yeah.
- How could the leader beat people? So I was kinda iffy on it.
But then my wife Lynne, she decided to look at what the church's response was to that.
- What was the response? - Wow, the yelling yelling and screaming and she looked at that stuff and she was like, "Holy shit.
" If that is the church's response, there's something to this.
- But he's the one who's saying that David Miscavige beat these people and he's saying that David Miscavige beat the exact same people that he beat, and that's what pisses me off.
Because this guy's a ing lunatic.
And I don't have to explain how or why he became one or how it was allowable.
The fact is, is he's saying David Miscavige did what he did.
Not once, not twice, but 50 times to 22 people where the people are still around, and they can attest to it, and there are witnesses to it.
And the instances that you're saying that Mr.
Miscavige engaged in aren't that way.
- It was It was nuts, and so that kinda opened the door for her.
It was like, "Wow.
Something is wrong here.
" - Right.
- And then we just started the process of peeling back the truth.
It was difficult to go through 'cause starting to learn this truth about this organization that you're in, and it's not that you necessarily believed everything that you're reading, but so many of the things matched your own experiences and and how you were treated in different ways and different things that had gone on.
You can start piecing this shit together of "Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
We've been we've been duped.
" - It was difficult to go through.
I was extremely, extremely angry.
But at the same time, we had to be careful, too, because we were still "in" the church.
We were still kinda going to events.
- Why? What did you fear losing at that point? - I don't think we wanted to be declared.
We knew that could happen and And then everybody would disconnect from us and, you know, we had a customer or two that were Scientologists.
We have employees that were Scientologists and family.
My stepson at the time and his wife, they were ex-Sea Org members, and they were working at our company and we did try to tell them what was going on.
- Now, your stepson and his wife, they had left the Sea Org, right? Which means that they just left working for Scientology but they were still Scientologists.
And my understanding is that for them to get back into the good graces of Scientology, which is called, "In Good Standing," they had to pay off what's called a Freeloaders' Debt.
Did you pay their Freeloaders' Debt for them? - We did.
Danar's wife was about $104,000 and Danar's was about $53,000.
We wanted them to be part of the family.
- So Bert and Lynne, on top of paying for their Scientology counseling, on top of giving $300,000 for their church's building, the good people that they are, then they're paying for his stepson's and his daughter-in-law's Freeloaders' Debt.
So they go, "We don't want you to not be part of us.
" "And even though we don't really wanna be part of Scientology, we don't want our family to be broken up.
" And so, basically, it's more blackmail, and they pay that.
- They were both working for us, and we exposed them to what we had discovered.
They rejected that.
They told on us to the executives at the church.
They started trying to come around and meet with us to handle us.
We refused.
And then we didn't hear much anymore except that the building was nearing completion, meaning the grand opening of the Seattle Ideal Org was looming close, and this is around the time when Tony and Mary Jo our friends Left the church.
And then they began to communicate to me.
"Hey, the grand opening is coming soon.
We need to talk to you.
" And and they wanted me to verbally and probably in writing agree that I had, uh, cut ties, that I had disconnected from my friends.
- From your best friends? - Yes.
- Right.
- They being the people at the At the Seattle church? - Yes.
- So, you're getting all of this pressure.
You're not acting like a Scientologist by exerting, uh, any integrity and loyalty towards your best friends.
And what happens after that? - So, the day of the grand opening arrives, and I go.
- Three Two, one.
- I went with a friend and, uh, you know, they they had security and I was I wasn't allowed in.
- But you had not been declared a Suppressive Person.
- Correct.
- And you had given $300,000 for that building, and you had been promised your name would be in the door.
- Yep.
- And you showed up to go to the grand opening and they told you, "Not you, pal.
That-a-way.
Take a step back.
" - When they betray you like that, they create an enemy.
- So, when did you get declared officially? - June of 2011.
- And how did you find out that you were officially declared a Suppressive Person? - Somebody under the radar got a copy of it and, uh, sent it to me.
- So, you paid $150,000 for your stepson and his wife to get back in good standing with Scientology.
- Yeah.
- And then you then step out of line in the eyes of Scientology, so they then disconnect from you.
- Correct.
- They didn't give you the 150 grand back, though, right? - No, no.
They had been making some payments on it.
But that stopped once the disconnection occurred.
Interestingly, a few years later, I was in a Home Depot and ran Ran across Danar.
Danar was there, too, and, you know, I told him he needs to get into communication with his mom.
And I said, "Your mom loves you.
" All the while he was doing his best to ignore me and had a look on his face of, "I can't talk to him.
I gotta get out of here.
" and he bought his stuff and left as quickly as he could and it was sad.
- Yeah.
So he hasn't spoken to his mother? - For six years.
That's one of the reasons why I'm here talking to you.
If we can help other people not get involved or help others get out and end disconnection, end that practice, that'd be great.
- We're trying.
- Yeah.
- So now you have your declare.
And now what happens? - And life goes on without being molested by the church.
No E-mails, no phone calls, no visits, nothing.
- Now you don't have to judge everybody you've ever met in your life.
- Right.
- And now you can be part of life as opposed to completely segregated from the rest of the world.
- Yeah.
- And shut off and being dictated to how to live your life.
- Yeah.
As a matter of fact, one of the things that I experienced was I found myself having affinity for - Mankind? - People.
For mankind.
For everybody out there.
Like I hadn't before.
Like, "Hey, I'm I'm one of you now.
" I'm not a member of this cult that looked down on you because you weren't a member As nutty as that sounds I'm I'm now, "Wow, okay", I can like you all.
I do like you all.
" And it was like becoming a member of the human race again in a in a weird way, and it was just so freeing and so wonderful 'cause when you are a church member, you are in this meat grinder.
- Well, I'm glad you got out, and I'm glad you decided to look and I'm glad that you're happy.
- Thank you, thank you.
- Yeah.
- I'm happy, too.
- Thank you, sweetheart.
Really, thank you for doing this.
- Oh, you're welcome.
- I really appreciate it.
- Really, really, really, really.
Thank you.
There are so many people who have stories to tell but are afraid for whatever reason to tell them or to make waves or that I'm sort of out of the firing line, so I'm happy to stay out of the firing line.
I appreciate it because you come out of retirement to tell your story and it That's very admirable.
- Hi, Paul.
- Hey.
- How are you? - Very good.
- Good.
- Hey, Paul.
- Very good.
Mike.
- Nice to see you, buddy.
- Oh, yeah.
Nice to see you, too.
- Long time.
- Thank you for joining us today.
- I'm so happy to be here.
- First we want to know who you are and how long you were in the Sea Organization for.
- I was in the Sea Organization for, um, about three decades.
I actually got in to renovate, so that was one of my big buttons for getting in.
I was a Scientologist already.
Had been for about four years.
Um, but, you know, the Orgs back then were not really nice.
And then it wasn't way up until in the 2000s when the Ideal Org program really became the thing.
- Right, now, so, you're a full-on Scientologist, dedicated Sea Org member being tasked with, "We want you to build these Ideal Orgs for us.
" - Yes, my job was to do what's called a space plan.
These space plans often took months and months and months to get approved by David Miscavige.
They were gone over with a fine tooth comb.
- By him? - By him personally.
- Mr.
Miscavige saw to the establishment of the International Landlord Office and personally supervises the development of each new Ideal Org.
Overseeing building selection, design, space planning, staff training, and all the myriad details that make a Scientology church ideal.
- You're talking about, what, like, a couple thousand for this one? A couple of - We're talking about couple hundred thousand to $300,000 just for the planning.
Overall between the building purchase, all the construction, the uniforms for the staff, anywhere from, I would say, $8 to $30 million for some of them.
Like some of the big like Rome.
Sometimes the building would cost $25 million alone.
There was, uh, over 100 different Orgs we were trying to do make into Ideal Orgs.
- And who's paying for that? - So, it varied on each Org.
- Sure.
- Sometimes the local Org would do everything.
A few like Seattle.
They did it, fundraised every penny and they were, like, held up as a, you know, every Org should be doing this and - Paul, tell us a bit about these fundraising practices.
- I was in the fundraising office quite often.
And I would see all the different types of books that they would study on how to fundraise.
So they knew all the standard techniques.
And what seemed to work the best for Scientology fundraising was these crazy themed events.
You know, where it's pirate week or whatever they could come up with.
So people are already in kind of a wild and crazy mood when they go in.
- They put on all these shows.
We're doing a pirate theme, and then we're doing a Star Wars theme, and then we're gonna do a "Wizard of Oz" theme.
Like, and all these things.
It's all supposed to be like, "We're making it a game.
"And yes, sell your house.
And yay, yeah, mortgage it.
"And, hey, go broke," and, like, it's all this craziness.
And then on top of all of this, they have the audacity to use children.
Like, they know no bounds.
I gotta read you something, okay? This is an actual, like, directive of how to fundraise for Scientology.
"Occasionally children in the audience will want to "participate and donate their piggy banks or allowance.
People love this so back it up whole-heartedly.
" So, the church of Scientology needs children's money from their piggy banks to open these Ideal Orgs for Scientology.
- After some different games and getting everybody excited The usual kind of fundraising stuff They would also have shills in the audience that would say, "Okay, I'm gonna make this huge donation.
" It's much bigger than anybody thought it would, but of course it was all arranged ahead of time.
And they would have targeted people who they knew had money and used various ways to pressure that person too, 'cause they thought, "Well, maybe we can get $50,000 out of this guy," or It became a vicious cycle when we started opening the Orgs.
The pressure on people to give intensified.
When you gotta raise $10 million out of a small field, it never ends.
It These people would sell the family, you know, jewels that have been with the family forever.
They would sell anything that - Remortgage their house.
- Yes.
- Give up their kids' whatever savings.
- Yeah, for school, the savings for the kids to go to college, I mean, because they thought, you know, "If I" you know, they're told, they somehow believed that this was gonna save the world if they just make an Ideal Org.
- One of my last meetings with Dave Miscavige before I actually left the church, I said, "Dave", "why don't you, at the next event, ask," 'Who is going broke "because of their religion?'" - Who why don't you just ask that - Wow.
- Dave, just ask that question.
And he goes "Okay, anyway", "let me just show you the plans that we have "for another Ideal Org," and he laid out these huge plans.
Beautiful books with these beautiful pictures.
"And he's saying, "Look, this is what we're doing next.
This is what we're doing next.
" And I go, "That's beautiful, Dave.
But my stepfather's going broke.
" - Yeah.
- And, again, it was, "Yeah, but isn't this great?" These big, huge, beautiful pictures.
And all I kept seeing was people like my mom, people like my stepdad.
I was like, "This is their money.
" Their money is going into this elaborate lobby It's going into this very specific light fixture.
That turned me, if anything.
It didn't it didn't sell me.
But what's sad is that it works on people.
It works on other parishioners.
Why does it work? Because it implies that Scientology's in such demand that these buildings are required.
- Exactly.
- And it's a lie.
- This is a book that was made for, um, fundraising purposes, and it just shows all of the Orgs that were renovated for that year.
And they were opened as Ideal Orgs, and it shows the grand openings.
Shows lots of people in there.
Filled up course rooms.
Grand auditorium.
- And you realize the day after those pictures were taken, there was nobody.
- It was empty.
- How many of these "Ideal Organizations" have you actually been to, Paul? - Uh, probably 15 or 20.
- Tell me exactly what did you see.
- Yeah, like Pasadena I went in quite a number of times after it opened, and there would be one, two people in a course room at most.
And most of the course rooms would actually be empty.
Every Org was like that.
I mean, they're all empty.
And none of them there isn't a single Org that deserve a building of that size.
- The Valley Ideal Org is literally two blocks from where I live right now.
And I drive by it all the time.
And I've never seen a person Like, not one person.
Not a person walking in, walking out, standing in front, nothing.
And I have driven by Tampa Ideal Org.
I've driven by Pasadena, San Diego, Orange County, Inglewood, I've been past all of these, and I've never seen anybody.
There's no new churches and no new reach into different areas of the world, but that's what the PR line is that keeps being pushed.
"We're expanding because we have all these buildings.
" The implication is, "Look, nobody's gonna build buildings" "if they if there's nobody in them.
"Nobody's gonna spend that amount of money if there's nobody in them.
" Ah, unless it's just a way of protecting against the IRS coming in and saying, "You are accumulating "too much money and you're not spending it, "so therefore you're in violation of the fundamental principles of tax exemption.
" - And, you know, I believed it, which is why I handed over a nice chunk of change.
And, you know, this is why parishioners continue to do so, because they think they're helping.
- You believe it when you're in the bubble.
- Yeah, you do believe it.
- Scientology has emerged into the 21st century as the fastest growing religious movement on Earth.
With more than 11,000 churches, missions, and groups around the world, Scientology is expanding more rapidly today than at any time in its history.
Over the last decade, the Church of Scientology opened dozens of new churches in major cities across the globe.
- What was the thing that made you finally, after 28 years Almost three decades of being in the Sea Organization What was the thing? - It was two things, really.
It was the fact that it wasn't working.
The Ideal Org ground plan was Obviously wasn't working.
We were making empty buildings, and also I had a cell phone with Internet access that I wasn't supposed to have.
So I started looking.
I started reading other things.
And then I eventually went to the personnel department and told them, "Hey, this is a dead end.
" "This whole church just isn't going anywhere.
"It just is gonna become a kooky, crazy, almost evil cult.
" That's what it developed into.
So, I bailed.
Tammy Lundeen came down from Int to interview me, and she asked me about Leah leaving 'cause your thing was going public at the time, and, like, was I leaving because you were leaving, or something like that? - Uh, wha that's weird.
- Yeah, it was really weird.
She kinda brought it up kinda subtlety.
You know, "Have you did you hear about this?" And, "Was this" you know "She's being handled.
" Or something like that.
- "She's being handled?" - Yeah.
- They did a good job.
Handled the hell out of you.
- They made me realize that I actually do have the rank to be asking about Scientology.
- You do, too, Mike.
- You have the rank.
And so do you, Paul.
- Yes.
- You have the rank.
And so does everybody at home.
Have you ever heard of a church A place calling itself a church That is saying to the parishioners, "You need to live below your means "because that's really not important.
"But what's important is that you not only pay "for your services but then we need you to go into debt for our fancy buildings.
" Insanity.