In today’s episode we will continue our series on the parallels between Scientology/Mormonism by interviewing Chris Shelton – Critical Thinker—a former Scientologist and Sea Org member, and current writer, consultant podcaster, YouTuber and advocate for critical thinking.

We will be begin by exploring the rise of modern Scientology after the death of founder L. Ron Hubbard – including an exploration of what it means to be a Scientologist in 2019.


All of our interviews with Chris may be found here:


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:


Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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  1. John Crane October 18, 2019 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Good overview of the history. I joined a Scientology mission in Seattle and was told that the mission-holder and much of the staff were ex-Mormons from Salt Lake City, and they told me enough to convince me that it was OK for Mormons to join Scientology. I actually, personally got a lot of good out of my couple of years in Scientology. I went Clear in about a quarter of the time it usually takes. I didn’t notice any homophobia during my experience, even though there were several gay guys among the public at the mission. Perhaps, it was because it was a mission that the people didn’t care. BTW, in Scientology, missions and orgs and analogous to branches and wards.

    To give you some idea about how Scientologists worship L Ron Hubbard, aka “LRH”, aka “Ron”, aka “The Old Man”, every Scientology org has a plush office reserved for Ron right off the main lobby. It has glass windows so you can see inside, but nobody is allowed to enter. The office is fully furnished with a complete Scientology library and all the accoutrements you would expect L Ron Hubbard to have in an office, as an explorer, engineer, writer, and researcher. Also, at every event, which is a major gathering, they always leave two empty chairs, front and center, reserved for Ron and Mary Sue, should they decide to come and attend. Scientologists believe we all have spirits, and they believe that the spirits of Ron and Mary Sue could drop in at any time to use the elaborate office or sit in the empty chairs provided for them.

    In addition, at the events, there is always a huge picture of LRH displayed at the front of the room, and at some point in every meeting, a speaker calls for a round of applause for LRH. They will typically say to the audience: “Let’s hear it for the Old Man.”, and the crowd goes wild.

    Like every religion, Scientology has his holidays (holy days). One is the date of the first publication of “Book One” (aka “Dianetics”), and the other is L Ron Hubbard’s birthday. Their festivities are comparable to the recent gala held to honor Russell M. Nelson’s birthday.

  2. Vickie Duncan October 18, 2019 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Loved this…speaks volumes for the individuals like Hubbard/Smith and the essence of ego. Wow…

  3. Vickie Duncan October 20, 2019 at 11:34 am - Reply

    After all the episodes…I have found this just fascinating. My thanks to both of you for an interesting and informative podcasts. This place rocks. Can’t wait for the continuation on Chris Shelton’s own journey…please hurry with this..I am just hangin’…

    • Ricardo Montobon October 22, 2019 at 9:10 am - Reply

      I too am hanging – thank you thank you

  4. Tracy Austin October 21, 2019 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Wow, informative and super helpful. Blew me away. Making history and documenting a movement is what you are both doing! Thanks.

  5. Angie October 23, 2019 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    What a brilliant overview of the true story of Scientology! I’m so impressed with how your guest was able to wade through a mountain of complexity in characters and contextual events with such skill and ease, keeping it moving and very interesting. His personal perspective and knowledge of the inner workings of this cult is staggering . His ability to then also be able to articulate this knowledge in such a down to earth way for an outsider to be able to follow, makes him very unique. I don’t think we can fully appreciate the brilliant editing he had to do in this telling. His inside and now hindsight view make what he has to say about Scientology very credible, as crazy as some of what he shared sounded like.
    After listening to this, as an ex Mormon , I realize that my cult experiences could have been much worse…Same flavour though. Can’t wait to hear his personal story. I hope he won’t feel rushed. Please take however many podcasts it takes! Thank you.

  6. John October 28, 2019 at 1:00 am - Reply

    John .do you think it is really needed to advertise your events at the beginning of every chapter of a client your interviewing . It’s far too long and far too repetitious …

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