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About Laurie Hamilton

Expertise
I am able to answer questions regarding Scientology practices and procedures, belief system, donations, religious rites, management, administrative and staff matters.

Experience
I am a second generation Scientologist whose parents began in Dianetics in 1950 and studied directly with L. Ron Hubbard. I have been personally active in the church for over three and a half decades, have ten years former staff experience in both technical and administrative areas, and extensive technical and administative training and counseling. I am "clear" and "OT." I come from an extended family of many religions, but my spouse and children are Scientologists, as are my siblings and their spouses, several cousins, nieces, nephews, an aunt, and an uncle. Between us we have had every good and bad experience one might go through in the church at every level.

 
   

You are here:  Experts > Religion/Spirituality > Scientology > Scientology > What are your crimes?

Topic: Scientology



Expert: Laurie Hamilton
Date: 7/24/2006
Subject: What are your crimes?

Question
Last month independent film director John Roecker ran into Scientologist's Jenna and Bodhi Elfman. When the two Hollywood Scientologists saw the t-shirt Roecker wore, which had the slogan "Scientology is Gay" on the front, they began angrily questioning Roecker:
"What crimes have you committed?"
"Have you raped a baby?"
http://www.tmz.com/2006/06/13/when-elfmans-explode/

This is not the only incident of this bizarre behavior that Scientologist's seem to have when they meet a critic of Scientology. Mark Bunker ran into similar aggressive questioning when he was armed only with his camera and tried to do a documentary on a July 4th Scientology street fair. He was asked what his crimes were and was accused of beating his wife and being a child molester by 3 scientologists.
http://xenutv.bogie.nl/originals/4th.htm

Why is it that Scientologists accuse there critics of such horrible things? Do Scientologist's actually believe that anyone who criticizes the Church must be guilty of molesting children, spousal abuse or some equally horrible criminal act? Or are the Scientologists making these ridiculous accusations in order to 'bullbait' a critic into assaulting them so that they can get the critic arrested?

Answer
There are at least two sides to every story.

First, Scientologists do not respond this way to critics as a rule.  I never have.  That you seem to consider the behavior "bizarre," means that you a) are buying someone else's evaluation based on incomplete or inaccurate knowledge and b) have not walked a mile in our shoes.

SOME Scientologists have had about enough of hate-mongering, apparently.  Roecker's shirt had pictures of Tom Cruise and John Travolta on the front and back plus the "Gay" slogan on the front under Tom's picture and the words "very gary" under John's picture on the back.  Tom and John happen to be very good friends of Bodhi and Jenna, so the insult to their friends and their religion may have just been too much.  I hear the encounter started with Bodhi  reprimanding the guy for wearing a hate-mongering t-shirt, and him immediately responding by spewing hateful and inflammatory remarks.  It ended with them walking away and Roecker continuing a scream invective at their backs.  In between the exchange appears to have been pretty heated.

Bodhi Elfman's representative Jenni Weinman says according to Bodhi "He was out for a Sunday stroll with his wife (Jenna), when some guy walks by with a t-shirt on, very prominently attacking his religion. Words were extended and Bodhi and Jenna were personally attacked for their beliefs.  As they went about their business, the guy continued to try to illicit negative responses from the both of them. As they walked away he continued to scream propaganda and hate at them. Apparently he spent all Monday calling the press to promote himself."

Ridiculing a group is not "innocent criticism" but rather a step toward minimizing them such that harm to them is more readily accepted by others.  People don't mind when those for whom they have no respect are harmed, and therefore won't stand up for their rights.  Actions which belittle and ridicule Scientolgy and Scientologists  are therefore perceived as harmful by us.  Usually, however, we tend to let such slide, or redouble our efforts to do good so that the reverse of criticism is proven.  However, celebrities are people, too, and sometimes they have just had it "up to here," especially when someone is a chronic and unreasoning critic.

Mark Bunker is not just some guy with a camera.  He is a leading and pro-active member of at least two groups dedicated to doing harm to Scientology and blackening our reputation to the maximum extent possible.  He has been and may still be on the payroll of the most rabid recent attacker of our church around today.  He explicitly, for money, plots and deliberately provokes trouble and then claims he was totally innocent.  Judging by his actions, it would be his aim to eradicate the church by any means at his disposal.  So, yeah, Scientologists may have challenged him verbally.  As he is/was paid to cause trouble, I wouldn't put too much stock in his version of events.

Scientology is an activity aimed at helping individuals and mankind.  That is the intent of the writings, the church managment, staff and membership.  Those who attack help activities do not have clean intentions.  Those who continue to attack in spite of efforts to correct their misinformation or to ask them to please leave us alone REALLY do not have clean intentions.  One thing we find about people with unclean INTENTIONS is that they usually have unclean HANDS, and we've found it over and over again, hundreds of times.  Perhaps for this reason a Scientologist might ask a persistent "critic" who started trouble (on their own without our having done anything to them or anyone they know) what they've done wrong.

I have personally, during my staff days, become personally acquainted with any humber of "critics."  "Critic" is a misnomer, as uniformly they were not merely criticizing but also trying proactively to do tangible harm to the church and using the cover of "criticism" to explain why they were active relative to the church at all.  It's not that different, really, from anti-abortion activists.  Some people object to abortion on principle but are not activists.  They keep their own counsel and do not further savage women and doctors who are already dealing with an unpleasant and difficult time in the woman's life.  Others picket, scream, publish "hit lists" on the web, assault women seeking medical help, bomb clinics and kill people in the name of "conscience."  These don't want to help, but to have an excuse to viciously attack others as a vent to their own harmful impulses.  They use a "noble" cause as cover for destruction.

The "critics" I have become acquainted with are of the same type.  I have gained personal knowledge through first-hand documentation about them, and as it happens, they ARE criminals.  The laundry list of things they have done is kind of shocking.  It includes:
Theft
Perjury
Extortion
Barratry
Murder
Rape
Child Abuse
Spousal Abuse
Forgery
Embezzlement
Assault and Battery
Drug Dealing
Fraud
Stuatutory Rape
Impersonating a doctor
Impersonating police
Vandalism
Kidnapping
Breaking and Entering
Burglary
Blackmail
etc.

Now I can't say that every critical person (especially those who disagree on religious or intellectual grounds, and don't add proactive efforts to harm and impede to their criticisms) has crimes.  But the real driven, persistent, unreasoning, rabid ones do.  We Scientologists have learned this from one proven example after another.  So if a Scientologist asks "what have you done?" questions of a "critic," (a pretty rare event) that may be what (justifiedly or not) they have in mind.

I can't say.  I personally have never done this in spite of having been personally attacked by "critics" verbally, physically, emotionally and financially myself.

To each his/her own.

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