Reza Aslan Will Cover Scientology in His New Show: Believer

reza aslan believerIn an interview with Vulture, about the new show called Reza Aslan Believer, he said:

With Scientology particularly, you take a much more sympathetic view than we typically see. I had no idea there’s a reform movement going on in Scientology.
I don’t think the church knows that. That’s the one that is probably going to blow people’s minds the most. Not just because they are going to recognize that when you really get down to it, Scientology beliefs aren’t as weird as we think they are. But at the same time to think that, oh, there’s this whole other thing happening where these Scientologists have left the church, but not the religion. And the parallels that it has with the Christian Reformation, or with the reformation of almost any religion, are really stark.

There has already been a good deal of backlash before the episode from the anti-Scientology crowd, who are angry that we would even treat it like a legitimate faith expression. And then there’s been a little bit of concern from the church, having just seen the previews, that we’re going to be yet another one of these shows that are about the controversies and the scandals of the church.

And it’s clear in the episode that you tried to talk to the church.
I tried very hard. Very hard. I get it because it’s a religion that is demonized by the media, by the public perception. A lot of it is their own doing. I don’t think they’re very good at dealing with criticism, and it would behoove them to learn how to be better at that. But as a member of one religious community that is constantly demonized, I can’t help but feel a certain connection with them.

You get audited in the episode, which you note is the first time an auditing session has ever been filmed for mainstream American TV. What was that experience like? It looked a lot like therapy.
I went into it thinking to myself, Oh my God, I have to bare my soul. And it wasn’t that at all. It was basically a mental exercise. I refer to it in the show as aversion therapy, where there’s this thing that is bothering you, so let’s just focus on that thing over and over and over again. We clearly had to fast forward the auditing sessions, but that went on for hours.

That sounds exhausting.
It was exhausting. But I will say there was something about it where when it was over, you couldn’t help but feel lighter, you couldn’t help but feel as though a certain weight had been removed from you. And I get it, I understand why people who would undergo an experience like that think to themselves, this is something I wanna do over and over again.”

Atheists hate him because they say he is a “religious apologist”.

In an increasingly globalized culture, there comes a point where human beings need to recognize that other human beings have differing beliefs, and not demonize them for it. It appears to me that Reza Aslan might be trying to promote this important principle.

Atheists are really bad about understanding other human beings’ religious beliefs. They really don’t get the nature of belief at all, while being ruled by their own beliefs. So of course they will freak out over Reza Aslan, and it will all be very entertaining to me.

I am very glad that Aslan is doing what he is doing.

2 thoughts on “Reza Aslan Will Cover Scientology in His New Show: Believer”

  1. It’s interesting that anyone with serious knowledge of religion gleaned from actual study rather than from television shows and sitcoms will acknowledge that Scientology really isn’t the bizarre cult its made out to be. Compared to Mormons and Hare Krishna, Scientology can seem rather banal and tedious.

    But the anti-Scientology attacks against Aslan are disturbing. They had a veritable hatefest at Ortega’s blog and without any provocation or instigation, they all hammered the guy with the worst and most offensive insults, Tony included.

    Even worse is that they assume Danny Masterson has got to be guilty of rape before any investigation has concluded. This is why I’m so focused on Ortega, because when behaves irresponsibly like an amateur wannabe journalist, peoples lives get ruined. The tone of his article and of the comments show that they really, really want Masterson to be guilty.They’re hoping for the worst. Ortega is so desperate for attention and cash that he rushed to “break” the story (he loves throwing this term around all the time) without at least waiting for the cops to come to some preliminary decision on whether or not Masterson is actually guilty. It’s a convoluted case.

    They certainly don’t believe in the idea of “live and let live” but that’s to be expected. Aslan’s comparison of Islam to Scientology in relation to public demonization is spot on. Scientology is actually tolerated far less here than Islam, but that’s not saying much.

    It should be a good show though I’ve been confused and bothered by something. Both Rinder and Karen seemed to be indie Scientologists for awhile, but now appear to be totally against it. Karen’s videos indicate this, as she criticizes and condemns Hubbard in every other sentence. But she also continues to sell her services as an auditor? How the hell does that work? That’s scamming people. And her husband, Jeffrey Augustine, this guy went so far in his hatred of Scientology to appear in a Ghost Adventures episode about an early Diabetics center in L.A. that is now abandoned, where he proceeded to put forward claims that Hubbard’s “victims” are still haunting the place, even suggesting Hubbard likely committed tortture and murder!

    Honestly I don’t know how they can live like that, obsessing over Scientology all the time, like the anti-Muslim fanatics. Even when they leave the church and protest against it, their lives are still dominated by Scientology. They can’t even help it.

    It’s getting to a point where I can’t bother to read his blog anymore because of the ridiculously biased & surreal tone. To each their own, I guess.

  2. I saw the trailer of this “Believer”, and it seems really interesting on the aspect that he takes the Church of Scientology as a religion. As I saw earlier a post on some blog that Reza has attended an “Independent Scientology” group in Israel called Dror-Center. It looks like Reza is going a bit insane about his CNN item by calling this group a religion or a “spiritual group” which the Church might call a “squirrels”. They are not a religion and never were. You can just read the posting in WWP and the blog of this Dror-Center. It clearly lays out that they are becoming Freezone matter, and are basically inventing their own shit just like the Church. So why bother call them or anyone a religion?

    Reza might as well go to the Free Zone and get their belief, as they believe things that are much higher then what the human brain can think of. You know, I applause to the people that leave the Church of Scientology, but when they start calling themselves “Independents” it just becomes ridiculous. JUST QUIT THE CHURCH AND QUIT THE PRACTICE.

    So all I want to say, is that Reza has spent too much time researching the “religion” of Scientology. I am sure his item will be fantastic, but man, don’t degrade the work we do against the Church by saying that this Dror Center is a religion or actually “practices Scientology”.

    Also a word should be gotten to Dror Center on this… it is just shame.

    WWP activator on co$ matters


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