Forced Abortions, Blackmailing, and Other Dark Allegations Within the Church of Scientology

Cheat Sheet

“Scientology is a complex religion. Those who are not members can’t seem to understand it, while those who are members ignore all outsiders’ confusion. However, it seems there could be some secrets lurking within the church that prevent people from being able to escape. Here are just some of the dark accusations the church of Scientology has faced through the years.

 There have been allegations of forced abortions

A woman sits with her therapist.

USA Today reported that several former members of the church spoke out against forced abortions. Claire Headley, who was featured on Leah Remini’s show, Scientology and the Aftermath, said that members of the Sea Organization were encouraged not to have children. Mike Rinder, another former member, said the same thing. “If you were in the Sea Organization and you got pregnant, you were expected to have an abortion,” he said. Those who did not comply were pulled away from their husbands and forced to do hard manual labor.

The church refuses to let its members get proper mental health care

A therapist writing down notes while talking to a patient.

If members need mental help, they are denied proper care. The church blames this on the “abuse” of mentally ill patients. It claims psychiatrists use brutal and extreme curesthat have no basis in science. Instead, the church believes that spiritual self-fulfillment will lead those to where they need to be. It completely forbids any sort of psychiatric drugs or therapy, no matter how much they may help a patient.

The church forces its members into thousands of dollars in debt if they leave

Sad woman looking down through a car window.

USA Today also reported that the church can run members into serious debt if they decide to leave. Headley alleged that she was threatened with a “freeloaders’ debt” when she wanted out. The bills claim to be for any training that was received as a member of the church (although it already charges an insane amount to move up the spiritual ladder), and those bills can run well into the hundreds of thousands.


Tom Cruise at the premiere of 'The Mummy.'

Many people believe that the only reason celebrities like John Travolta and Tom Cruise are still members of the church is because they have been blackmailed into staying. One part of being a church member is spilling your deepest, darkest secrets in order to reach spiritual clarity. But the whole time, you’re being filmed. Experts who have looked into scientology and its ability to keep people engaged believe that blackmail, especially for celebrities, plays a huge role. If celebrities don’t want their secrets exposed, they must stay with the church.

Members are brainwashed when they join the church

Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles.

At the very beginning of the scientology process, people are taught to believe that any outside media is a lie, and all media outlets are out to shut down the church, Remini told Reddit. Scientologists are also thought that they should only get their information from other scientologists. They should never trust any outside sources for learning or finding spiritual clarity. According to Scientology, all types of government are committed to not helping people and can’t be trusted.

Members of the church can’t seek legal justice against other members — no matter what the reason

Leah Remini poses at the Emmy Awards.

You can’t sue another member of the church. You can’t send another member of the church to jail. All problems, including sexual abuse, are handled by the church because prosecuting another member is seen as an enemy act. During Remini’s interview with Reddit, she recounted a time when a church member in his thirties was having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old, and nothing could be done about it.

Many people who have left the church have spoken out against its abuses

Jerry Seinfeld speaks at the GOOD+ Foundation & MR PORTER Host Fatherhood Lunch.

Remini is not the only celebrity to speak out against Scientology. Actors like Jim Carrey and Jerry Seinfeld have also spoken out against what they consider a bogus religion. Seinfeld admitted to taking a few scientology courses years ago but said it is now just another wacky thing on his resume. Lisa Marie Presley left the church and even wrote a song about how happy she was to be out disassociated from it.”

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