This weekend on 11/17/13, the huge “Super Power” building in downtown Clearwater will open, at long last. This is a good time to take a look at how the money for this edifice was raised and how Scientology intends to use these premises. But first things first. We will start with a story that was heard on 11/12/13 on The Voice of Russia. Russia and Eastern Europe have become a target of Scientology since they have been largely discredited in West.
Ex-Scientologist comes clean about Scientology ‘people will do anything, it’s like drugs’
Scientology claims to have 8 million adherents globally, though thousands escape from the religion most notably described as a cult-like religion, impossible to detach from. Ex-member of Scientology Cindy Plahuta gave the Voice of Russia the dirt on the church and the rocky path after defecting.
Before Plahuta’s life was turned upside down, she had been living in a small town in Illinois and was a practicing Methodist. Though, after her move to Florida with her then husband, events unraveled which would change her behavior forever. Upon taking a job for a company, where mostly all employees and even the boss were scientologists, she slowly got pulled into the realm of Scientology for 20 years.
Though, the hook line and sinker were just the tip of the iceberg in the world of Scientology. Potential Scientology members are given a Stress Test to figure out what problems are burdening them in life. Afterward, a certified e-meter reader deciphers what their main issues are and how Scientology can untangle the knots in their life. Plahuta warns though that once a few tiny steps are done toward the “bridge to total freedom”, there is no turning back.
“You cannot get out. If you do, they know your friends, family, and there’s a very big part of Scientology called disconnection and that can be just devastating,” 56-year-old Ex-Scientologist, Cindy Plahuta told the Voice of Russia.
Endless reading and non-stop courses keep the majority of Scientologists busy as bees. A paperback copy on Scientology is just a measly 8 dollars, and beginner courses range from 50 to 100 dollars. However, in a religion where the “bridge to total freedom” forces adherents to take classes, read books, and get auditing done, it could easily cost a person half a million dollars to make their way up to the top. ”The bottom line is, it’s all about the money,” she said.
Like many former scientologists, Plahuta had come to a breaking point and by 2002 she couldn’t ignore it any longer. Two major hang ups motivated Plahuta to slowly stop engaging in group events and then eventually not show up to gatherings altogether.
One factor, which was of great concern for her, was with the fundraising efforts The Church of Scientology had done. Since Plahuta was part of the church’s fundraising initiative in Los Angeles for their new Super Power Building, she was told they needed to hit their target goal. The amount ranged from 2 to 25 million dollars per week. Even though some weeks the target amount was reached, she was still left with burning questions. “Where’s this money going and why is the target never going down,” Plahuta asked during this time of confusion.
Another commonality within Scientology was Plahuta found that people were disappearing left and right. One instance arose where she had scheduled a telephone conversation with another member however, to her dismay an entirely different person picked up the phone and said the man she was looking for was busy on a mission. When Plahuta interrogated her superior about the disappearances, instead of calming explaining he yelled at her for doing so.
Plahuta and her husband dropped out of the church and were sure of their decision in 2009, after a friend of Plahuta’s advised her to read an article about Scientology online, where executive hot shots left the religion for good. “It’s not allowed that you would look on the internet or type in the words Scientology, or watch the news,” Plahuta confessed. While her husband went off to sleep, she quietly went online, found the article and read it thoroughly. She said in that moment, she was sweating like a pig.
Later on, she ended up reading the article to her husband, and he had the same reaction as she did—speechless. Once the news was out, Plahuta lost friends she had had for decades, but more importantly she had lost complete and total contact with her daughter. She used to talk with her daughter Kara on the phone in early 2010, but would stay away from the topic of Scientology as it was a touchy subject.
“Two and a half years ago she just stopped called and she has not returned a phone call since,” Plahuta said in an upset tone of voice. Her son and step-son are anti-Scientology, but her step-daughter, like her biological daughter, has cut all ties with her and her husband.
It is safe to say that Plahuta’s personal path in and out of Scientology has been brutally unforgettable—but her pain does not stop her from spreading her story and words of warning. Her first precautionary tip is to foreign countries, as one sector of Scientology, The Sea Organization, has been recruiting lower class people to sign up for their religion in places like Taiwan and South America. They promise them a better life by offering the money, a free place to stay, and food in exchange for their allegiance to the church. “I would be very wary in Russia. Before I got out, there had been more people than I had seen prior from Russia,” Plahuta commented.
The ex-scientologist also forewarns people that as much as the Church of Scientology advertises they are a religion—in her eyes they are a cult. “People are just brainwashed. People will do anything, it’s like drugs to get their next intensive or their next course paid for. They’ll take our credit cards, mortgage their homes, borrow money from any relative. It is crazy.” Plahuta said.
Nowadays, she has to live with private investigators tracking her every move and people keeping an eye on her –a method many former followers say is designed to intimidate defectors. In her childhood she was a Methodist, in her adulthood she turned to Scientology, however now after what she has dealt with, she admits now she will never get involved with religious groups. Instead, “treat people the very best you can and whatever happens in the end will happen in the end regardless” has become her and her husband’s new take on life.
Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_11_12/Ex-Scientologist-comes-clean-about-Scientology-people-will-do-anything-it-s-like-drugs-2501/
For more reading on fundraising in Scientology go here, it makes some very juicy reading: