Last night and tonight CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 addresses an issue that’s slowly been gathering momentum in the media, most recently with a New York Times piece at the top of March, which in itself references work from the St. Petersburg Times from Summer ’09.
In the New York Times story, published March 9, 2010, we are introduced to married couple Christie King Collbran and her husband Chris, who signed a contract for “a billion years” (not kidding) to work for Scientology’s Sea Organization, a group of “elite” staff members who keep the Scientology gears churning. They basically worked themselves to death for about $50 per week. If this were a normal job, most people would say “No thanks, I think I’d make more money and have more time off flipping burgers at McDonalds,” but since this was a religion Christie and Chris toiled away for 13 years before they pleaded to get out of their billion-year contract.
Released into the wild, they were able to surf an uncensored Internet to find many others who felt that the Church of Scientology is way shady and cultish. Not only did Scientology beat down their humanity and their soul, the defectors are saying that people are physically beaten in the upper rungs of the Church, by the organization’s chairman David Miscavige.
From the New York Times:
“The defectors say Sea Org members were repeatedly beaten by the church’s chairman, David Miscavige, often during planning meetings; pressured to have abortions; forced to work without sleep on little pay; and held incommunicado if they wanted to leave. The church says the defectors are lying. The defectors say that the average Scientology member, known in the church as a public, is largely unaware of the abusive environment experienced by staff members.”
Shocking, but this isn’t new information. In June 2009, The St. Petersburg Times unleashed a lengthy and detailed Scientology report on the world, that gave specific information about exactly which top ranking executives David Miscavige physically abused, in front of others.
Former top Scientology leader Marty Rathburn told The St. Pete Times:
“Regularly David Miscavige would, in the middle of a conference full of people. . . would phonically assault, and punch, slap open-handed, grab by the neck, throw to the floor a number of international executives.”
Amoung those most severely abused were Marc Yager, Ray Mithoff and Mike Rinder.
Here’s a video from that ground-breaking report:
Just for a little added spice here’s Tom Cruise’s infamous Scientology video: