Caption: Phil and Willie Jones Stand in Front of The Billboard They Claim Made Scientology Take their Adult Children Away From Them. But did it?
Phil wrote this in a comment on Tony Ortega’s blog:
Phil Jones wrote
“At one point Scientology offered to let us have contact with our kids if we stopped doing billboards and no longer criticized them. One of the most difficult things I ever did was to tell them “no, not unless all families are reconnected”. When I see the love that Lori has for her children it just strengthens my resolve. Though I have to admit I do second guess that decision at times. Willie and I talk about the kids every day. We dream about them almost every night.”
I know it seems heartless and cruel of me to point this out, but you really have to get past all the emotional manipulation which is the basis of the Anti Scientology Disconnection Theater here. You have to think past the drama on this.
If you view this situation rationally, grounded in your own experience with your own family, you’ll see what’s real and what’s being manipulated here as theater.
Phil and Willie Jones’ children are adults, and they were adults when they decided to disconnect from their parents for putting up billboards all over Los Angeles to trash their Church.
This selfless act of heroism that Phil admits to above might have been just that – they will not speak to their own children until “all families are re-connected”. It seems so courageous and selfless, doesn’t it?
But was this the only choice Phil and Willie had? Or were there other factors at play than just the villain in this play: mean old Scientology?
To a person who has never been in Scientology, it may appear that way. But to anyone who has been in Scientology for any length of time, you know it is not that way. Scientologists get around complying with bullshit orders from the Church all the time. And you know that if there was a family whose members each truly wished to stay together, they did, no matter what the Church ordered.
This is the reality of Scientology disconnection vs the perception Phil and Willie and Tony Ortega and the rest of the cast in Scientology Disconnection Theater are trying portray to you.
If speaking to their children was the most important thing in the world, then Phil and Willy could have said yes to withdrawing from the billboard campaign – and gotten someone else to take over their spots – AND DONE BOTH. They could have re-established contact with their adult children (IF their adult children wanted that) AND continued to be critics of Scientology. They could have gone under the radar and been even more valuable as Anti-Scientology assets. They could appear to be no longer criticizing the Church and just set up sock accounts in the Underground Bunker.
But if you are a member of a family where staying together is the most important thing to you and every other member, then you can easily see that there was something more important to Phil and Willie than talking to their adult children:
And being celebrity anti-Scientology critics.
Celebrity and praise for being courageous and selfless warriors is a huge part of being an anti-Scientologist, especially among those who seek to be high profile anti-Scientologists, like Phil and Willie.
There is also another factor here that no one is mentioning – the choices of Phil and Willie’s adult children and whether THEY wished to speak to Phil and Willy any more after their stunt. Phil and Willy make it seem like the Church held all the cards here, and that the Church could order their adult children to have a relationship with their parents that the adult children did not wish to have – if only they would drop their billboard project.
But the Church can’t do that. No one can do that.
So the real life here is very different from the drama: Family members who have never even heard of Scientology frequently become estranged – without the help of Scientology in any way. They get into fights at Thanksgiving dinner and don’t speak for years, they fight over a piece of furniture after a parent dies. Non-Scientology family members become estranged and disconnect from each other all the time.
And sometimes, as any psychologist will tell you, it’s the best for all concerned.
I’ll bet that most people reading this have some member of your own family that you have not spoken to for whatever reason for years and it has nothing whatsoever to with Scientology, right?
Look Beyond the Anti Scientology Disconnection Theater
The reality of Scientology disconnection is much more complex and nuanced than Scientology Disconnection Theater wants you to think about.
And what you are looking at here is the Anti-Scientology Theater of Scientology disconnection that relies heavily for your suspension of disbelief on your own sense of codependency, rooted in the Karpman Drama Triangle.
If you learn the concept of the Karpman Drama Triangle above very well, lots of Anti-Scientology Theater has a harder time working on you. It can help free you from the emotional manipulation that every cast member is using to draw you in and hold your attention.
If the most important thing to Phil and Willy – and to their adult children – was having a good relationship with each other then they would have one right now. But they don’t have one. So it must not be the most important thing to them.
End of story.
I recognize the very real heartache of a dysfunctional family here. But we should all recognize the other nuanced and complex factors here as well. Maybe Scientology is the Super Inhuman Villain in this piece. As with all Scientology Disconnection Theater dramas, there’s likely lots more going on here. But that’s just too messy for good theater.
As drama goes, unfortunately, this drama is way too simplistic.
And thus, not very true to life.