We have a wonderful opportunity to actually test our various hypotheses, which we discussed on Scientology and the Wrong "Why".
[EDIT: I have been corrected. When I am referring here to "Independent Scientology", I am specifically referring to the group calling itself that, led by Marty Rathbun and associates. I do not know about the intentions, activities and plans of any other independent Scientology people or groups.]
With the "Independent Scientology" movement getting themselves all organized and sorting out who are real Scientologists and who aren't, we have an actual, real life test bed for "pure" Scientology and dedicated True Believers.
This will answer the question, quite conclusively, "Is it David Miscavige? Was it a one-time fluke? Or are the problems displayed by the Church of Scientology actually built into Scientology itself?"
Now, most of us figure we already know the answer to those questions, but it is quite fascinating to see this play out in the real world with real True Believers trying to make it all work.
And, yes, they are doing a bang-up job aren't they?
No, they haven't actually made it to full cult status, but they are making progress.
If you check out their various communications, you will see some very strong indicators of where they are heading. Disagreements are not tolerated. If you want to be considered a group member in good standing, you cannot criticize L. Ron Hubbard in any way or find any fault with any bit of Scientology.
The word "hater" is now being used to describe anyone who offers an unacceptable opinion. And people are being banned for such crimes.
The "Independents" are noting their "enemies" -- those who disagree with them. Good, upstanding members of the "Independents" must not associate with those "enemies".
There are more and more such indications happening, feel free to add your own observations in the comments.
The "Independent" movement is quite small and it will never grow much, so nothing big will ever happen. However, it is a fascinating look at how True Believers will implement "pure" Scientology -- even though they have such a clear and immediate example of what will happen if they do not recognize, admit and fix the problems of Scientology.
Scientology is, intrinsically, a cult. It cannot exist in its "pure" form in a free and open society. Freedom of speech, freedom of opinion and freedom of thought cannot be tolerated. Disagreement, dissent, creative ideas, investigation, testing, questions, proof, doubts -- none of that can coexist with "pure" Scientology.
And, because of that, the "Independent Scientology" movement must, inevitably, withdraw from free society and protect itself in its little cave-of-enforced-agreement.
And so we get to watch this drama unfold. Will this descent into cult-hood continue? Will some of the members of this "Independent" movement see it and try to stop the descent? If they try, will anything good happen, or will they just be banned for their "suppressive acts"? How far will this go before it implodes?
Here is a wonderful example of how "pure" Scientology, applied carefully and rigorously by True Believers, affects an organization -- played out in real time in front of us all.
Who's got the popcorn?