Janet Reitman, author of Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion and Ford Greene, the attorney who has helped people escape from Scientology and other cult groups.
Reitman, contributing editor at Rolling Stone, provides great insight into Scientology, its founder L. Ron Hubbard and his successor David Miscavige, and the pervasive control that the Scientology organization maintains over members. Reitman and Greene help explain the secret lingo and practices of Scientology, the ruthless way they deal with critics and defectors, and the power of the “Sea Org”, the inner circle that runs the “church” and collects all the money. We talk about the recruitment of celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Isaac Hayes and the aggressive intelligence and detective operation that was blamed on Hubbard’s wife when it was exposed. Reitman and Greene tell their versions of the story of Tanja and Stefan Castle, whose marriage was broken up by top leaders; Greene helped Stefan extricate himself from a coerced gag agreement, Tanja escaped (like from prison) and they left the group they had known since childhood. We also talk about the murky manner in which the IRS granted Scientology’s tax-exempt status despite a clear, contrary record. And PBC is surprised to learn that both guests believe that the “Anonymous” group of former Scientologists is at the core of the “Anonymous” hacker group that supports Bradley Manning and other causes.
At 1:10, there’s a little Ike Hayes music break and an explanation of Chloe’s cameo at the end of the interview. And at 1:11, Gary Chew pipes up with a review of the new film Higher Ground.