The controversial Church of Scientology has recently come under fire after the HBO documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” premiered on Sunday night.
Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney explored the inner most darkest secrets of the organisation through interviews with former high-ranking members of the church.
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With explosive revelations such as prisons camps within the church, wire tapping, murder, and black magic, we have compiled the top 10 most shocking revelations about Scientology as revealed in the documentary:
1. Hubbard spent time in a black magic cult
Before founding Scientology, Hubbard befriended rocket and chemical engineer Jack Parsons who was a part of black magic cult Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), which followed the teachings of Aleister Crowley. According to “Going Clear,” Hubbard became Parsons scribe and assistant on a magical operation to impregnate a goddess-like woman to create the anti-Christ.
2. Hubbard told his second wife he murdered their daughter
When Sara Northup, Hubbard’s second wife, threatened to leave him unless he got psychiatric help, he reportedly kidnapped their daughter Alexis. According to written accounts from Northup, Hubbard told her he “cut [Alexis] into little pieces” and dropped her in a river. Then he would call back and tell Sara that their daughter was alive.
3. Members were allegedly thrown overboard as punishment
Hubbard created Ethics, or punishments for his auditors who made mistakes during sessions. They were then pushed overboard on his ships into the water, which was “30 feet, 35 feet” below, according to Hana Whitfield, one of the original Sea Org members.
4. There was a Scientology “prison camp”
Former Church member Sylvia “Spanky” Taylor, who was once the liaison between the Church and John Travolta, was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), or what she described as the “prison camp where you’d go for re-indoctrination.” According to the film, when sent to the RPF, people would have to do hard labor for “30 hours on, 3 hours off,” eat table scraps and sleep on dirty, wet mattresses.
5. The Church supposedly found Cruise a new girlfriend
According to Wright, Cruise was “overheard to complain that he needed a new girlfriend” when he was in Spain at the opening of a new Scientology center. The Church then found a young Scientologist, Nazanin Boniadi, and reportedly had her braces removed, bought her $20,000 of clothes and colored her hair “to Cruise’s liking.” She was then told she would be Cruise’ girlfriend, but the relationship soon ended. Boniadi apparently signed a non-disclosure agreement with the Church and has since become a well-known actress in “Homeland,” “Iron Man,” among other films and shows.
6. The Church investigated the IRS
One of the Church’s goals was to be recognized by the IRS as a fully tax-exempt religion, according to former senior executive of the Church Mark “Marty” Rathbun. Thousands of Scientologists reportedly filed 2,400 total lawsuits against IRS employees, and private investigators were sent to IRS conventions to obtain information. According to journalist Tony Ortega, Scientology leader David Miscavige told the IRS commissioner that the lawsuits would go away if the Church was given tax-exempt status. The Church was granted exemption in October 1993.
7. Sea Org members were allegedly tortured to the sounds of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
In 2004, Miscaviage apparently ordered the top members of the Sea Org to live in what was known as The Hole in the Chuch’s secret Gold Base in California. In the film, former members say they were told to confess their crimes against the Church in order to leave The Hole. Beyond beatings and one man being ordered to “mop up the bathroom floor with his tongue,” another method of abuse was when members were forced to play musical chairs to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Those participating were “fighting to stay” in the Church: whoever didn’t have a seat when the music stopped was expelled from the Church.
8. The Church stole government documents
According to the film, in the ’70s, many Scientologists were directed to get jobs in Department of Justice and IRS offices in order to steal documents against or relating to the Church.
9. The FBI raid on the Church was the biggest in history at the time
On July 8, 1977, the FBI raided Scientology’s Los Angeles, Hollywood and Washington, D.C. locations, which at the time was the bureau’s biggest raid ever.
10. Tom Cruise and the Church allegedly wire-tapped Nicole Kidman’s phone
According to the film, the Church noticed Tom Cruise slipping away from Scientology during his marriage to Nicole Kidman. Cruise reportedly said he wanted to have Kidman’s phone wiretapped, which the Church did at his request.
Source: Huffington Post