Based on founder L. Ron Hubbard’s 1950 book “Dianetics,” church was suggesting an alternative way to overcome physical and mental stress, which drew challenges from the American Medical Assn. and the American Psychological Assn. The late Hubbard, later to move to England and then into seclusion, blithely explains (via an old tape) that Scientology doesn’t deal with insanity.
Loder discourses on the secrecy maintained by the church. Long a magnet to journalists, Scientology’s restricted agenda and recruitments have been sources of speculation and concern long before Loder’s implications, and have been widely reported.
A seg on the fundamentalist International Churches of Christ, with a glimpse of leader Kip McKenn (with nothing about him or the movement’s beliefs), suggests there’s too much recruiting and too much time demanded of young people by the church, but no explanation of why that’s bad — except by a fall-away who claims he didn’t have enough time for his schoolwork.
Of course there are phony, scary cults out there, and they should be responsibly exposed. But investigations need more than repeats of rumors and suspicions and of partial testimonies. Besides being old hat, “New Religions” plays more to schlock than to shock.