Tony Ortega's Stereotypes

To hear Anti-Scientologists tell it, Elizabeth Moss was just a clueless & brainwashed Scientologist during her Emmy-winning performance portraying Offred in “The Handmaid’s Tale”. But is thinking with stereotypes about people in minority religions ever going to explain how Elizabeth Moss is such a great actress?

Having been a member of Scientology for 16 years, and then a critic of Scientology for the last 18 years, I’ve done a lot of thinking about Scientology and the lives of Scientologists. And if there is one thing that is utterly consistent with what I have seen in my 18 years out of Scientology, it’s that anti-Scientologists get stuck in ways of seeing Scientology that don’t explain what it actually is. And they never notice the mindset they are stuck in. They just keep putting their wrong assumptions there, over and over, trying to get others to take them up, too, and hate Scientology and Scientologists just as much as they do.

There is a word for this obstinate ignorance in the face of evidence which shatters the stereotypes they are thinking with but, for the life of me, I just can’t think of what it is right now.

Yes. Scientology – especially at the highest levels of its Sea Organization – as run by their leader David Miscavige, DOES QUALIFY as a totalitarian cult. But 85% to 90% of all Scientologists are not members of the Sea Organization and have never participated, nor would they, in the abuses that you see on Leah Remini’s “Scientology and the Aftermath”. They are good people who spend much of their lives doing things to help others.

Elizabeth Moss Scientology participation never included being a member of the Sea Organization, and from what is obvious in her spirited performance in The Handmade’s Tale, never fucking would be.

Anti-Scientologists such as Leah Remini, Mike Rinder and Tony Ortega, really need to stop stereotyping Scientologists.

But if they did, would they still be able to whip up people into a prejudiced and intolerant lather against them?

I don’t think so: History has shown that multi-layered and highly nuanced truths are not really good at whipping up mobs of people against minority religions. They’re boring and take too much thought. Anti-Scientologists need something simple that mean, angry people can understand. “Brainwashed in a Mind Control Cult” will do.

If you want to understand the controversy surrounding Scientology, don’t stop at the kindergarten stereotypes like “brainwashed cult member” that anti-Scientologists want to give you. Look at brilliant Scientology artists like Elizabeth Moss, Chic Corea, Neil Gaiman (no longer in, but grew up in it) and others. The stereotypes just don’t explain these people.

So the stereotypes must be wrong.