The show documents alleged abusive policies and egregious misconduct by Church officials, including a practice known as “disconnection”, which dictates that active members of the church cut ties with family members who are not.
As Ms. Remini states in the premier episode’s introduction, she thought she would simply be “documenting stories of families that were torn apart by the Church of Scientology’s policies and practices”, but, she continues, what she uncovered was much deeper and darker than she ever expected.
Though the intro is compelling, I was into the show 10 seconds into the advanced promo I saw weeks ago. In that promo, Ms. Remini boldly stated her goal of exposing the church as a well-financed cult that, as cults are known to do, asserts control over its members by isolating them from their families.
Let’s see: A powerful institution purporting to be something it certainly is not that destroys families? The analogies between the Church and family court should be manifest to any alienated parent or divorced dad.
For your consideration:
I. The Self-Anointed Lording it Over Hapless Peasants
SCIENTOLOGY: Ms. Remini and former Church members allege that Church officials routinely abuse their authority and lower-ranking members of the Church, going so far as to commit acts of physical and sexual battery that go unpunished because they are never reported to law enforcement.
FAMILY COURT: Divorced dads and alienated parents express daily via social media our frustration with the monolithic, often corrupt family court system, the constituents of which routinely make formulaic, arbitrary and/or uninformed decisions on matters of custody and support that go largely unchallenged by victims ignorant of how to navigate the system.
PARALLEL: Some Church and family court officials suffer from the delusion that they have absolute power.
II. The Casual Severance of Family Ties
SCIENTOLOGY: Ms. Remini and former Church members allege that the Church destroys families by forcing active members to cut ties with relatives not involved with the church, including parents and siblings.
FAMILY COURT: Divorced dads, alienated parents and our children have for decades lost incalculable, invaluable time to thoughtless custody decisions. The resultant emotional devastation suffered by non-custodial parents and our children often goes unaddressed and contributes to the steady decline of the nuclear family and related values.
PARALLEL: Neither the Church nor family court demonstrates genuine regard for the natural family ties or long-term emotional health of the people over whom they hold dominion.
III. The Mainstream News Media Ignores Victims
SCIENTOLOGY: Ms. Remini and former Church members express that the media has underreported or ignored mounting evidence that all is not well in Gilman Hot Springs, California (Scientology headquarters), and its satellites.
FAMILY COURT: Divorced dads, alienated parents and our children suffer in silence as a Google news search for “family court reform” will show the lack of mainstream news media coverage of the growing outcry for exactly that.
PARALLEL: The Church and family court officials have long enjoyed the luxury of acting in a media black hole.
Ms. Remini has taken a step that we divorced dads and alienated parents have not yet managed: She brought her fight to network television. She has done so with the spirit of a street fighter outnumbered, outgunned and determined to go down swinging. But unlike that street fighter, she’s got resources: She is savvy, has credible allies and the backing of a network.
Ms. Remini’s direct involvement in telling the stories of ex-Scientologists is an indictment of the news media’s continuing failure to expose major social injustices taking place in plain sight. Unwittingly, she is blazing a trail for those of us living under the heel of a terribly flawed system that affects too many and is called to task by too few.
I have no idea how to make inroads to network shot callers, but there have to be alienated parents or divorced dads who do. People, what are we waiting for? let’s take our fight Hi Def.