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The Stories Themselves

I thought it might be interesting to discuss the stories that have been told so far.  There are so many and they are all heartbreaking. 

But my initial observation is a lot more shallow.  Did anyone else notice these people all seem to have nice homes?  Scientology must be giving them good recommendations because the people all talk about having no education and no job experience, but they all have nice houses, so they're getting money somewhere, right?

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Most of the homes don't look "lived in."  I wonder if they are rented properties so that the SciMafia doesn't find out where they really live.

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17 minutes ago, AZChristian said:

Most of the homes don't look "lived in."  I wonder if they are rented properties so that the SciMafia doesn't find out where they really live.

Oooh! Good point.

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Not only that, anyone who ever looks at Facebook knows that there are a lot of weird people out there who think they can be buddies with people they see on TV.  (If you doubt, check out the threads for Whitney Thore and My Big Fat Fabulous Life.)  It's better for the general public not to know where people on TV shows live.  Add in the weirdness of Scientology, and that's a whole 'nuther bunch of people you don't want tracking you down.  Similar scenario:  Look at episodes of Catfish.  Few of those houses look lived-in.

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I don't watch a lot of tv, and try to stay away from reality tv for the most part.  So, I don't really have a metric for comparison.  Except hoarders, and I don't think that counts.

Edited by smorbie.
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4 hours ago, smorbie said:

I thought it might be interesting to discuss the stories that have been told so far.  There are so many and they are all heartbreaking. 

But my initial observation is a lot more shallow.  Did anyone else notice these people all seem to have nice homes?  Scientology must be giving them good recommendations because the people all talk about having no education and no job experience, but they all have nice houses, so they're getting money somewhere, right?

I think their homes are nice but they aren't all that extraordinary. I think for a lot of them they are for the most part smart and hard working people so they are able to make the transition to society pretty well. Aaron Smith-Levin has talked on his YouTube channel a few times about how when you are former Sea Org and used to working 17 hours a day 7 days a week it's not hard to be  successful. In fact he said that he was never wealthy before he left Scientology but since he has and went out on his own he's done quite well for himself. 

4 hours ago, AZChristian said:

Most of the homes don't look "lived in."  I wonder if they are rented properties so that the SciMafia doesn't find out where they really live.

Do you honestly think that Scientology with their armies of PIs and surveillance they don't know where these people live? I feel most of them know exactly where they are and what they are up to. 

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59 minutes ago, WInterfalls said:

Do you honestly think that Scientology with their armies of PIs and surveillance they don't know where these people live? I feel most of them know exactly where they are and what they are up to. 

I don't have any facts . . . yes, Scientology can probably find them, but that doesn't mean that the escapees might not want to keep their locations as private as possible.  Make them spend as much as possible to track down their targets.  

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I think ex-Scientologists, especially ex-Sea Org members, as Winterfalls said, have INSANE work ethics, and once they get their foot in the door in the real world, will easily impress any colleagues, bosses, and clients. Also, I'm sure they've gone through most of their lives stretching money as far as it can go -- working for the church meant you got paid almost nothing, and even if you're not on staff, the cost of being a Scientologist is insane, so I'd suspect they'd be able to budget their money very well when they get out. (That could go the other way, and people blow money when they get out because they've never had much chance to control any real amount of it in the church, but I'd bet Scientology would tend to make people careful with money rather than big spenders?) I'm sure it took them awhile to figure out who to get on their feet -- Mark and Amy went to their non-Scientology parent immediately after getting out, and Rinder and other escapees wind up needing someone to take them in (other exes, etc.), it probably took awhile for them to get themselves situated. And they do have skills, especially once they work the Scientology-speak out of their systems. Mark Headley was doing all sorts of production, Mike Rinder was a media spokesperson, Amy Scobee was doing all levels of people-management, etc.

And in the end, I'm sure there's a bit of a selection process going on here -- there's more motivation to show people who have (eventually) done well for themselves after leaving, not only on this show, but things like Going Clear as well...you want to give hope to those considering getting out, and show that no matter what the church says, there IS a good life to be had after and outside Scientology.

I think those are their houses (and they aren't so crazy nice that they can't be theirs), and most of these folks have been living with the church's stalking/spying/surveillance since the day they left. There's little percentage in hiding at this point...if the church is tracking Leah/Mike through airline records, it can't be too hard to figure out where these folks, especially the ones who were super-high up in the church, live.

I really enjoyed the entire first season -- I think if disconnection (with some fair gaming thrown in) was the focus, this next season is going to be abuse (with fair gaming as well, of the victims who dare to speak out). There's really an infinite source of story types, unfortunately.

Edited by mattie0808.
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17 hours ago, mattie0808 said:

I'm sure it took them awhile to figure out who to get on their feet -- Mark and Amy went to their non-Scientology parent immediately after getting out, and Rinder and other escapees wind up needing someone to take them in (other exes, etc.), it probably took awhile for them to get themselves situated. And they do have skills, especially once they work the Scientology-speak out of their systems.

This is an excellent point and to that point I have heard Chris Shelton say that there are people out there who often help Sea Org members that have blown. They just don't talk about it because it is dangerous for those people.  But if there are people who need help when they get out they can contact him or Rinder or others and get some support.  

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I know they need help getting out.  Rindahh talked about it.  I can't remember whether it was covered the book Going Clear (haven't seen the documentary).  But it certainly makes sense.  It's just that most people have to save up for years to buy a house, if they can ever even do so, and all these people seem to have pretty nice homes, and decent lives.  I certainly don't begrudge them that.  It's just something I always wonder about.  

And it's SO hard to get a job these days.  I just can't imagine walking in somewhere and saying, "Hi!  I have an 8th grade education, no GED, no college, but tons of experience in my "church".  Could I have one of those high-paying positions.

Of course, I think most of these people live near cos strongholds, so there are probably people who can help them get that foot in the door.

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48 minutes ago, smorbie said:

And it's SO hard to get a job these days.  I just can't imagine walking in somewhere and saying, "Hi!  I have an 8th grade education, no GED, no college, but tons of experience in my "church".  Could I have one of those high-paying positions.

I think most go in at entry level and work their way up because they are smart and super hard working.  

I would highly recommend watching some of Aaron Smith-Levin's YouTube videos because he answers a lot of question about these sort of things. IIRC he said that initially he was on staff for the church (not Sea Org) and he left and went to a temp agency and started temping and all the companies he was temping at wanted to make him permanent because he was a hard worker and smart and presentable.  Then he later joined the Sea Org and after he left the Sea Org he was still a practicing Scientologist and went to work for a company owned by a Scientologist doing I think he said market research or some such thing.  (He said Scientologists love hiring ex-Sea Org members because they are used to working insane hours for really crap pay.) Then once he was declared he was able to take the skills and business connections he had made at that job and start his own business in the same industry.  

I read somewhere else that Amy Scobee and her husband got a job working at a box company and then started to make furniture for fun in their off time and that became their full time business.  

That's all just about Sea Org members of course. I think the public Scientologists we saw on the show like Mary Khan just had money to begin with which is how they could afford to be in Scientology for so long.  I think it's worth noting most of those are first generation Scientology and probably have a pretty decent education it's their kids that don't. 

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Scientology is so expensive that I think to really get your start in it, you have to have at least a good bit of disposable income.  Either you came from money or had a relative with money that would be willing to help you out when you want to leave.  And those who are lower income in and out of Scientology are less likely to be well-connected enough for Leah to hear their story and decide to feature them.

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I would say 90% of these stories they got from Rinder because they all know him.  Season 2 I'm betting is more people who have reached out to them since the show started.  

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On 8/6/2017 at 8:59 AM, AZChristian said:

Most of the homes don't look "lived in."  I wonder if they are rented properties so that the SciMafia doesn't find out where they really live.

Starting in season 2 or 3, Catfish stopped filming in their subjects' homes. It was too depressing and they had clearance issues with artwork and personal photos. Air BnB spaces were both clean and impersonal enough to film in. I wouldn't be super surprised if we were seeing some of the same thing on Aftermath.

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In one case, you can see a rack of pamphlets on a table next to the front door — can’t make out the titles but very much looks like an array of tourist brochures which would be a logical thing to have in a nightly rental, be it an Air BnB or a motel. 

I believe it’s the segment about the man who thought his wife wouldn’t be forced to have an abortion. Can’t recall his name.

In another (Haggis daughter, IIRC), there’s a very commercial-quality “no smoking” sign at eye-level on the front door.  Typical of a motel or other commercial shirt-term residence, although there’s no reason a private, permanent [sic] home couldn’t have one.  

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The next EP story :'(  :  (and I don't tag it as a spoiler, as I think it doesn't apply in THIS forum, as the more knowledge we have, the better ! )

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