Ross and Carrie are self-styled investigative journalists who specialize in spirituality, fringe science and the paranormal. When they visited the Los Angeles Church of Scientology to take the “free personality test,” they may have gotten more than they’d expected: two additional tests and a sales pitch. Listen to this audio of their misadventure. It’s as amusing as it is instructive.
What I found most striking about their account was their personal perspectives and attitudes about their Scientology experience. Theirs was a typical reflection of contemporary society, one that’s changed significantly due in large part to the advances in technology and mass media. It was a stark contrast to LA Org in particular and the COS in general that in so many ways are still stuck in the Fifties on so many levels. It’s ironic that Scientologists consider themselves far in advance to “wog” society, when in reality it’s completely the other way around.
Every time some PR flap blows up in the Church’s face, their reaction and response is both typical and predictable. Regardless of the details or circumstances, their damage control tactics have varied little over the years. However, because of the prolific expansion of internet activity, they’ve added a component to their clunky PR spin machine.
If nothing else, Scientology PR is good at making much out of nothing. Perhaps no better example of this is how they explain surges in their internet traffic. They’d have us believe that this is conclusive evidence of overwhelming public support. While this might indicate gross naiveté and online marketing incompetence, I suspect that it’s just disingenuous deception.
Since its founding in 1953, the Church of Scientology has faced criticism from every quarter imaginable on just about every aspect of its philosophy, its organizations, and its founder. As the decades passed, the criticism evolved in a way that reflected the development of mass media communication. There was more of it, it was reaching more people, and was easily accessible. Then with the advent of the internet, Scientology criticism experienced a quantum leap that caught the Church flat-footed. It was a phenomenon from which they have never fully recovered.
Mike Rinder is a former executive for the Church of Scientology. From 1982 to 2007, Rinder served on the Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology International and also held the post of Executive Director of its Office of Special Affairs. From the early 90’s to 2005, Rinder was the primary international spokesperson for the Church.
In Part 2 of this FOX News interview, Rinder discusses some of the disturbing revelations from the award winning documentary “Going Clear.”