Going Clear has created quite some commotion. In traditional media, social media and back channels. I have had my hands full answering emails and chat messages from journalists, ex and current scientologists and other people interested in Scientology. Never have I had such a wide range of discussions going on this subject – from those that saw the movie, put down the cans and walked right out in the middle of OT 7 to those considering rejoining. Yeah, the range is wide.
There wasn’t much new material for those that have been discussing this subjects actively on the Net. But it was well put together. The movie covers most of the important angles and subjects within Scientology. With a solid run through of its history and excellent highlights on the current problems in the church. What it didn’t really answer was why people get into Scientology and why they stay. What is so fascinating about this subject? There is really only one answer: Gains. People do have excellent gains from practicing Scientology. Jason Beghe is perhaps the only one in the movie that gets to express this underlying reason why people hang around in Scientology.
As I was watching the movie, I kept thinking about my first years in Scientology. The excitement, the fantastic gains I had from the communication drills, the atmosphere in our local church. Those were the happy days. As I flesh out in details in my book, “Nittenåttifire“, I went from shy to a radio show host within just a couple of years. From awkward to able to pick up girls. The gains was real and they were excellent.
The movie, and especially Jason, brought those memories, those years right back. And when I got scores of people asking the appropriate question after the film, “why did you stay for so long?”, I reiterated my gains. And when a few of them told me that they were considering rejoining the church, it left me thinking if I would consider ever going back.
Well, I wouldn’t. Not in the state the church is in today. But what if there was to be a change in the management of the church? What if Hubbard returned? What if the management system was revised? Would I then go back? Maybe.
If “Going Clear” incites a major change and Miscavige left the building, I would seriously consider rejoining the religion that has given me so much real and lasting gains. Not just to complete my OT levels, but for many other reasons, I hope that the movie affects the church in a positive way. Hubbard’s technology deserves it.
Update (2015-04-02): Now that the first of April has passed into the second of April, I can reveal that this was indeed my April Fool’s joke. I am not rejoining anything. Hubbard is not rumored to having returned and I have heard of no person considering going back to the cult. The one thing that is true in this blog post is this: It is a blunder of some magnitude that films like “Going Clear”, the book it is based on and just about any other film and book on the subject of Scientology fails to answer the one single question the audience always ask afterward, “Why the heck do people join Scientology and why on Earth do they stay?”