Scientology is rightly and widely criticized for its barbaric practices of Disconnection; character assassination; spying on people; the use of child labor; and many other incredibly inhumane practices. Rather than acknowledging these things and implementing reforms, Scientology ignores it all in favor of using a standard old ploy. This old ploy is for Scientologists to feign righteous indignation and claim religious persecution. Scientology will not change its brutal and lying ways and so it screams that it is the victim of bigotry.
Scientology’s latest tax-exempt scam is STAND, an acronym meaning “Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination.” STAND is presently waging a campaign on social media. STAND is largely a reaction to the enormous success of Leah Remini’s show Scientology And The Aftermath.
As part of STAND’s attack it is attempting to shame the sponsors of Leah’s show. This is quite hypocritical coming from a cult that has no shame and once conned a brain-damaged man out of his life savings. See: BRAINED-Raul-Lopez-Scientology-Story
As a part of STAND’s efforts, Walgreens, GMC, Little Caesars, Carl’s Jr., Bud Light, Geico and other companies are being singled out on STAND’s bizarre website. STAND is also insisting that everyone should sign Scientology’s ridiculously self-serving Charter on Journalistic Ethics in Relation to Respect for Religion or Belief.
This charter has Scientology pontificating to the media and demanding censorship:
A responsible media avoids discriminatory or denigrating references to religious beliefs and spiritual values…
A responsible media refrains from reinterpreting, misinterpreting, analyzing, assessing or examining religious beliefs or the expression of these beliefs. Instead, it maintains a strict duty of neutrality and objectivity—accepting what the religion puts forward as its true beliefs without disapproval, contempt, condescension, bias or ridicule.
The Church of Scientology wants to hold the media to the same standard as the US Government:
Scientology is so addicted to the crack cocaine of First Amendment religious protections that it actually thinks the secular for-profit media has an obligation to refrain from commenting on religious matters. Scientology actually expects the media to take religious pronouncements at face value. This is absurd. If the media did not challenge the statements and claims of all religions then priests could rape children with impunity; televangelists could endlessly swindle poor people with promises of prosperity; and Scientology could continue to con brain-damaged people out of their life savings. In a free society, the media can and must challenge the status quo, corruption, the powerful, and everything else.
Furthermore, Scientology will not publicly own up to its Xenu cosmology and therefore demands that the media refrain from ever mentioning this matter. Scientology seriously expects the media to remain silent, or at least neutral, on the matter of Xenu. This is both silly and unrealistic. The job of a free press is to analyze, dissect, expose, discuss, and even lampoon people, institutions, and belief systems. And yet the Church of Scientology is so deluded that it actually thinks it should get a free pass by screaming that it is a victim — and this even as it continues to destroy people spiritually and financially, break up families, and disgracefully treat its Sea Org members as chattel.
A recent tweet linked to a STAND article that attempted to shame the insurance company Geico for sponsoring Leah Remini’s show. It seems that some Scientologists are calling for a cancellation of Geico policies currently held by Scientologists. This tweet is unintentionally funny as it shows very little commitment:
The problems with Scientology boycotting or “naming and shaming” Geico are enormous:
1. Geico is a division of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, a company whose 2016 revenue was $223.6 billion USD. A more meaningful protest by STAND would require the naming and shaming of Geico parent Berkshire Hathaway and the many companies it owns or holds a significant interest in. These companies include American Airlines, American Express, Apple, Charter Communications, UPS, IBM, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Johnson & Johnson, Visa, Costco, Wal-Mart, Duracell, Verizon, Wells Fargo — and just keep going. The list is very long.
2. Scientology’s salespeople, its so-called regges, are helping to enrich Berkshire Hathaway each and every time a Scientologist pays for Scientology’s goods and services with a MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or a Wells Fargo credit card. Likewise, credit cards offered by American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Costco, Bank of New York Mellon, Goldman Sachs, and US Bancorp also help to enrich Berkshire Hathaway. Why isn’t STAND calling for a boycott of these credit card companies? Is boycotting credit card companies hitting too close to home for the money-obsessed Church of Scientology? The answer is a definite yes. Scientology management would likely argue, “by all means cancel your Geico policy as a gesture, but leave AMEX and the rest of the credit card companies the hell alone!”
3. Geico is the second largest auto insurer in the USA and insures over 24,000,000 vehicles. Scientology has perhaps 20,000 – 25,000 members. Therefore, even if all Scientologists were insured by Geico and cancelled, this would only represent 1/10th of 1% of the vehicles insured by Geico. This number is statistically insignificant. Geico’s own website shows 2016 “admitted assets” of $ 27,197,917,293 USD. The incredible shrinking cult of Scientology lacks the power to financially harm anyone except its own members.
4. Leah Remini’s show is available on television, the internet, and all digital devices that can stream television programs. If STAND wanted to boycott all platforms capable of streaming Leah’s show, then STAND would logically name and shame Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Oracle, Adobe, and every other software company and hardware manufacturer whose products contribute to the broadcast of Leah’s show.
5. In order to punish all guilty parties that contribute to Leah’s show, STAND would need to call for a comprehensive boycott of the vast integrated electrical grid and communications network that underlies television, the internet, and mobile devices. This sprawling global network includes hydroelectric power plants; satellites; cell towers; microwave towers; and millions of miles of fiber optic cable and electrical wiring. In the US alone, internet server farms operate more than 100 million hard drives that contain in excess of 350 million terabytes of data.
The Church of Scientology’s STAND group does not seem to comprehend the enormous technical, communications, and financial infrastructure in which Leah Remini’s show Scientology: The Aftermath exists. STAND cannot boycott or shame this infrastructure in any meaningful way whatsoever.
The reason that virtually all this enormous electrical, industrial, technical, and communications, infrastructure exists is capitalist in nature. This infrastructure generates tens of trillions of dollars each year. Commercial broadcasting exists to make money. The Constitutional basis of commercial broadcasting in America is the First Amendment right of free speech. Leah Remini is engaging in free speech in order to expose the depredations of the Church of Scientology. Leah’s show is a hit and it is making money. That is how commercial broadcasting works in a capitalist society: Any company or individual can use broadcasting to engage in social justice; in raising public awareness of issues; or to expose crime and fraud — and they can make money doing it.
That is how the system works. The CBS show 60 Minutes first aired on September 24, 1968 and has made CBS a great deal of money by specializing in exposing scams and frauds.
Likewise, Scientology has made a fortune peddling its wares. What does Scientology have to complain about? It has profited enormously from its First Amendment protections and yet hates it when others enjoy the same protections and are able to make money. Scientology uses its hate websites to attack Psychiatry, SP’s, 1.1’s, the media, and a litany of other people and groups it hates and yet it hypocritically demands that it not be exposed for what it is by the media. The Scientology Cult can dish it out but can’t take it.
While STAND certainly has every right to name and shame and to boycott those companies that advertise on Leah’s show, STAND is nevertheless missing the point. Scientology leader David Miscavige poured somewhere around $100 million dollars of Scientologists’ donations into Scientology Media Productions and yet SMP has not broadcast a single television program since its grand opening on May 28, 2016.
Why isn’t SMP broadcasting STAND’s message across the world of cable television? Why isn’t Scientology buying time on television networks with its enormous wealth to get out STAND’s message? Why is STAND reduced to a mediocre website and a Twitter campaign? Sounds like David “McScrooge” Miscavige is too tightfisted to really care.
SMP is a world-class studio that apparently does nothing. Rather, we see STAND impotently flailing away on Twitter where it is literally tilting against windmills and a cartoon lizard:
L. Ron Hubbard placed a high personal value on creation and the value of artists. Scientology Media Productions has Hollywood-level professional production capabilities. Scientology has television and movie stars as members. Despite these assets, STAND’s solution is to name and shame Geico and other companies while SMP remains silent and empty. This is failure writ large in the Scientology universe.