June 27, 1995
look at New Religions features a piece on
half-hour presentation included a section
on Scientology. The Scientology section begins
well into the program, and that is where this
transcript starts. The transcript was made
from a video tape copy of the program. This
transcript was not produced by MTV. [Text
in brackets describe the visuals shown on
screen. Text superimposed on screen is shown
["Kurt Loder, MTV News"]
Few groups are more controversial than the church
of Scientology, which was started as a self-help
system called Dianetics in the 1950's, by a science-fiction
writer named L. Ron Hubbard.
Scientology receives multi-millions of dollars
from its members, and has a brigade of showbiz
celebrities ranging from Tom Cruise and John Travolta
to Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis [celebrity
stills of Lisa Marie Presley, Cruise, Travolta,
Alley, Lewis] who sing its praises and are embraced
at its luxurious celebrity centers. [celebrity
Travolta, Scientologist" "1992"]
I think it's THE most important movement, on the
Science Fiction" pulp magazine cover showing
an article titled "Dianetics, a new science
of the mind", May 1950, 25 cents]
Dianetics, the forerunner of Scientology, was
first presented in an article in a cheap sci-fi
magazine. Hubbard's subsequent book of the same
name became the first self-help best seller of
the modern era. [book cover "Dianetics"]
has evolved into Scientology, [book cover "What
Is Scientology"] a self-described "pantheistic
applied religious philosophy dedicated to self-discovery".
God, and uh, interpretations of that, are left
up to the individual. So you could be a Jewish
Scientologist, you could be a bap... a Baptist
in a Scientology, you could be a Catholic in a
Scientologist" A young man stands next to
a bust of Hubbard]
Scientology is a religious philosophy, that's
designed to make life better. It's as simple as
it is... It gives you the tools, in life... sezz
handle the problems, and work out certain things!
of an e-meter with an auditor and auditee]
Scientology's adherents take "auditing sessions"
with a lie-detector-like device called an "e-meter",
[still of a composite photo: Man sitting at table
clutching his stomach; an inset picture labeled
"engram", the inset picture being of
an operating room, the camera is the POV of the
patient on the operating table, looking up at
the group of doctors who are saying "Ouch,
your stomach is going to hurt!"; circular
arrows between the man and the inset indicate
rid themselves of inhibiting memories called "engrams".
An auditor listens, they don't evaluate for you,
they don't tell you what your problem is. And,
she just, er, the person just points out, where
you should look! And they say well, you make the
decision for yourself. No one tells you what your
But according to former Scientologists, members
aren't given the church's full liturgy until after
taking many expensive courses.
setting, with Loder seated on the right and Leisa
Goodman on the left in front of a fireplace. "Leisa
Goodman, Media relations director, church of Scientology
GOODMAN: What price can you put on personal freedom?
Six, seven hundred dollars...
Wuh.. It's an individual choice, isn't it? That's
how much YOU put on it. But it's uh, it's an individual
choice again, and uh it's up the the person. I
think the other important thing is... in sum total
there's no "tithing"... for example.
It's a totally voluntary thing.
Um if you want to take a course you have to pay
Sure! You pay a, a donation, and you, get exactly
what you, PAID for.
Do you sit home at night and think gee, I wish
I could take that expensive course?
Well sure. But I mean that's the same way it is
for a computer or a car. So I mean, you just save
scene of a stone building with a Scientology sign
on it, with many people entering it]
Although Scientology executives deny it, former
longtime members say that
over red background "Some of these ENGRAMS
are the remnants of space aliens called BODY THETANS
who were placed here by the GALACTIC OVERLORD
followers are told that some of these "engrams"
are the remnants of space aliens called "body
thetans" who are placed there by the galactic
setting showing a close-up of Stacy Young. "Stacy
Young, former Scientologist"]
YOUNG: It's a very science-fiction world, um,
it has a, galactic confederacy... [book cover
titled "Scientology 8-8008, apparently showing
an angel and a soldier] it's a very romantic...
view of the world.
and Goodman at the fireplace]
I don't understand, there's like a galactic overlord
"Xenu"... is there a whole staff of
characters... or is that not true?
Ohh uhh... I don't think... I don't really know
what you mean. What you're talking about.
cover titled "Scientology, the Fundamentals
of Thought; L. Ron. Hubbard]
Originally Scientology started out, not as a religion,
but as a collection of psycho-therapeutic nostrums,
promoted and sold, by Hubbard. [still of Hubbard]
up of J. Gordon Melton "J. Gordon Melton,
Director, The Institute for the Study of American
GORDON MELTON: Scientology grew out of what uh,
began as an attempt to uh, help people deal with
certain mental problems, uh as a psychology.
The psychiatric and the psychological community,
they... the scientific community... they became
very critical, of his methods... [still of Hubbard
with a meter attached to a tomato] because they
felt that they were very unscientific.
clippings headlines: "'Cure-all' Machine
Like Lie Detector" "Scientology Practitioner,
Phoenix Man Jailed on Medicine Charge" "Scientologists
and F.D.A. Clash in Court"]
The Scientology movement found itself fending
off accusations of practicing medicine without
a license [close-up of Hubbard] and Hubbard began
distancing himself from the shrink establishment.
of Hubbard, speaking. "L. Ron Hubbard, Founder
of Scientology" "1966"]
RON HUBBARD: Uh psychiatry has to do with the
insane. And we have nothing to do with the insane
whatsoever. They are insane... Well, they're insane."
cover titled "A Description of the Scientology
Religion, from the Scientology handbook"]
Once the group declared itself a religion, Scientology
mounted a lengthy court battle with the Internal
Revenue Service for tax exempt status.
Revenue Service building, news clipping "IRS
files show wealth amassed by Scientology"
clip text reads in part "...Scientology holds
assets of nearly $400 million, including a cruise
one point, eleven Scientologists, including Hubbard's
wife, [still of Mary Sue Hubbard; clippings "Church
of Scientology found guilty"; "Trial
told of break-ins, espionage - Sounds Like Spy-entology"]
were convicted of conspiracy and burglary, of
and Goodman at fireplace]
Actually the people who did that, were booted
out of the church. It's got _nothing_ to do with
Scientology. And, um...
Mr. Hubbard's wife was one of them.
Yup. They were... eh. They were... They were kicked
Did he dump her? jss.. get a new wife and...
No not necessarily we're [unintelligible - "trying
to tell you"?] that they were not accepted
in the church as staff members, any more.
"Church declared tax-free, The IRS says Scientology
can be called a religion"]
In the end, the IRS granted Scientology the tax
exempt religious status it wanted. [IRS office
"IRS office, Washington, DC"] A move
IRS spokesman now decline to discuss.
building at night]
should be noted that although Scientology was
in constant contact with MTV about this program,
[lobby of Scientology building] church executives
refused to be interviewed until just a few days
before its initial broadcast. [Stacy Young petting
a dog, photo of Stacy Young as a young girl] Disturbed
that we would be airing parts of our interview
with Stacy Young, a Scientology staffer for fifteen
years and a one-time colleague of Leisa Goodman.
[photo of five people meeting around a table]
and Goodman at fireplace]
Let's put it this way she worked under me. For
some time. And I didn't ... Her level of competency
was not... up to where it should be. Certainly
her level of ethics... was far below... the other
She was there for fifteen years...
That's a long time...
That's right! And um, it's a long time to... uh...
to not succeed too, an... and Stacy did not. And
frankly... I mean to be honest with you, we were...
we were... glad to see her go.
main title card "New Religions: The Cult
Scientology also took offense at the title phrase,
"The Cult Question".
and Goodman at fireplace]
The definition of "cult" is a closed,
secretive group. And that's not Scientology.
well Scientology has a lot of secrets right I
mean, the OT levels and...
There's some levels very high up... very, just
very... a tiny fragment of Scientology... is something
that you don't learn about when you first walk
in the door.
with insets "Code of a Scientologist"
"10. To work for freedom of speech in the
Scientology also claims to be a supporter of free
speech. [clipping "Suit-Happy Scientologists"]
Although opponents say that doesn't seem to apply
to those who in any way criticize the church's
of TIME magazine: "Scientology, The Cult
TIME magazine ran a cover story in 1991 describing
Scientology as a "ruthless global scam",
[superimposed over TIME cover: " 'Scientology
poses as a religion but is really a ruthless global
scam' TIME magazine"] the group filed a $416
million dollar libel suit. And that case is still
over red screen: " 'The purpose of the suit
is to harass and discourage rather than to win'
L. Ron Hubbard"]
group is said seldom to win such suits, but the
legal costs of fighting them can wreak financial
havoc on defendants.
Scientology is willing to spend, any amount of
money they need to... They don't care how much
it costs... The, the purpose is not to make any
money off of the litigation, the purpose is to,
um, silence the critic.
and Goodman at fireplace]
We will... use... the legal arena to defend our
first amendment rights... umm. We're not a "turn
the other cheek" type of religion...
continues with another subject...]
courtesy of Xenubat