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Sun Mar 24, 2024, 04:31 PM Mar 24

Part 89: What Makes A Suppressive Person? The Church of Scientology and the Practice of Social Victimization

By Zachary Ellison, Independent Journalist
Published March 22, 2024.

It’s a fact! The protests in Hollywood, which have now stretched for months, are a heretical act, both towards the Church of Scientology, and the broader social structure that takes offense to the very idea of recording in public. At the start of the now viral protests, and in the first major news outlet article on the story, Rolling Stone journalist EJ Dickson wrote about Scientology Street recruiter “Sebastian” that viewers “are building a “‘parasocial relationship’” with him — a term used to describe intense emotional investment in social media influencers.” Sebastian hasn’t been seen regularly as before earlier in the protests, nor has Scientology’s street recruiting operation returned to Hollywood Boulevard. Sebastian probably won’t be saved, but the idea of mockery, or heresy even from within the Church is a constant fear within the organization.

To say that the Church of Scientology is under siege might be an overstatement, but as I watched Church members scatter back across L. Ron Hubbard Lane next to the controversial sect's “Blue Building” location between Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue, one thing became clear: the Church is afraid. I’m not sure I even fully captured this moment on camera, as I’ve strived to capture so much else the last few months on Hollywood Boulevard, but it was telling. Often controversial because of their aggressiveness, and the fact that almost all interactions are live streamed and recorded for future viewership across TikTok and YouTube primarily, creates a significant fear factor for members of the alleged cult. More than the average person, the idea of having their beliefs challenged openly scares the Church of Scientology, so much so that they have responded with fear tactics, designed to show demonstrators that not only will the authorities not protect them, but that tangible harm can happen for being resistant.

Link: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/p/part-89-what-makes-a-suppressive
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