April 2nd, 2010
11:59 PM ET

Video: The ramifications of leaving Scientology

Note to readers and viewers: The Anderson Cooper 360 series "Scientology: A History of Violence," which reported competing claims and denials about violence at the top of the Church of Scientology has attracted a number of complaints from senior members of the Church of Scientology (including Mr. Miscavige) and the Church of Scientology itself.

The series is now the subject of a letter of legal complaint in the United Kingdom. The complainants strongly dispute the allegations and the assertions made against them and covered in the course of the series by former members of the Church of Scientology.

Anderson Cooper | BIO
AC360° Anchor

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Tony In Largo

    It reeks in the Scientology movement. I think I've heard this kind of story before coming out from people who have left their ranks. Unfortunately, the people who are about to enter into their weird system are not well informed.

    April 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm |
  2. arron

    mr cooper, what about germanys news today in regards to scientology, 21% of germany thought this was news too.

    April 2, 2010 at 11:11 am |
  3. Chi

    Concept can be misinterpreted. It depends on how it is introduced. How was it introduced and explained so a mom disconnected from her own daughter while she was not abused by her daughter?

    April 2, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  4. Chi

    Concept can be misinterpreted. It depends on how it is introduced.

    April 2, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  5. Marie

    I have family in Scientology, and disconnection absolutely seemed to be a policy that when a family member of mine left the church. He was named a suppressive person and not allowed contact with his immediate family. In fact, the rest of the family who supported his decision to leave the church were deemed suppressive as well. We had no contact with our family who remained in the church for over 6 years. We certainly tried, but we were always ignored or given excuses for why we couldn't see them.

    I love all of family, and I will always (and always have) respect their beliefs, but the disconnection from suppressive people was very much a reality for us.

    April 2, 2010 at 10:48 am |
  6. Ken Shiro

    I posted this in the other blog but this is the correct one

    Dear Anderson, I saw your 4th video on Scientology disconnection policy. My family has been in Scientology since before I was born, I joined the Sea Org when I was younger and worked there for about 5 years. I got out a few years ago and shortly after my family found out that I am gay. They asked me to get auditing to fix my "condition" or they'd have to disconnect from me. I decided not to get "cured" and I haven't heard from them for about 2 years now. My dad occasionally would literally say "hi" when forced by my non scientologist relatives but that's all. You can find the disconnection policy on the ethics book and the green volumes, it is as real as it can be.

    April 2, 2010 at 10:16 am |
  7. David Aden

    Once again, the story you are being feed by the ex-members is confused and inaccurate.

    Any Scientologist who has even the most basic understanding of their religion knows that helping families stay together and stay strong is an integral goal of Scientology. Over the last 30 years of involvement with the Church I have personally seen the results of that effort and the results are undeniable.

    “Disconnection” is a concept, not a policy, which is used to help educate and protect victims – battered wives, abused employees or people being pushed onto drugs by dealers. It is a way to help such victims come to realize that they have the absolute right to make their own choices - including the right to sever communication with their abusers - which is a first key step they need to take. To try to discredit or mock it by falsely characterizing it is tantamount to saying that the battered wife should continue to accept the abuse. That’s rich coming from a group of people who have amongst themselves an admitted history of violence.

    April 2, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  8. ptitphilou

    Hi, i live in France (sorry im not gifted in english) Scientology is very strong too.
    Many journalists and also french population believe scientology as succeed to changed the french law (may 2009) , 5 month before is robbery sentence (October in Tribunal de Paris) to avoid dissolution (before the law said when a sect is convicted of robbery it is dissolved, now its impossible), ask to french journalist to have more information

    April 2, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  9. ubettergetit

    I believe that this "disconnection" exist. I was a Jehovah's Witness and was "disfellowshipped" at 18 years old. My mom asked me to leave our house because once disfellowshipped you are not allowed to speak to people still in the church so my mom said it would be to difficult to have me in the house but not be able to speak to me.
    Also another similarity is that when you are in the church you are told to only associate with other church members. Anyone not in the church is a "bad association". So if it happens later that you leave the church you do find yourself without friends or family.

    April 2, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  10. Chi

    If you look at Jeff Hawkins' eyes, when you said "that's extraordinary", he said "Yes".He had to leave his wife. His face. His eyes. His voice. He is deeply hurt.

    April 2, 2010 at 8:05 am |
  11. crystal bryan

    i am really glad anderson is addressing this issue. i live right by the dianetics center in hollywood and scientology is very secretive and seductive. it's good to know what you're getting into and what's around you before it's too late.

    April 2, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  12. Jayoung Hwang

    Religions have a strong collectivity. it could be a double-edged sword .

    April 2, 2010 at 7:39 am |