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Jason Beghe’s Life After Scientology: ‘I Was in a Cult’

Discussion in 'Celebrity News' started by The Wrong Guy, Jan 4, 2017.

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    Jason Beghe’s Life After Scientology: ‘I Was in a Cult’ | The Daily Beast

    The ‘Chicago P.D.’ star opens up about smoking pot with John F. Kennedy Jr., defecting from Scientology, and why “this country is a cult.”

    By Marlow Stern

    Excerpt:

    “It’s funny,” he says. “I’m not a very ambitious guy and I don’t have goals, which makes me a pain in the ass to certain people in my life. But my favorite quote, as a person and as an artist, came from Picasso. Somebody asked him once how you plan a painting like Guernica, and he looked at him and said, ‘I paint the picture to find out what it looks like.’ I try to live my life like that — moment-to-moment. It keeps it exciting.”

    This live in the moment approach has its downsides, too. In 1994, while taking an acting class taught by famed acting coach and Scientologist Milton Katselas, Beghe began studying Scientology. By the mid-2000s, he’d risen to the level of OT, or “Operating Thetan” — the “highest state” according to the controversial religion — and had given an estimated $1 million of his earnings to Scientology. He was featured in ads for the religion, and sang its praises at Scientology events.

    Then, in 2007, he left Scientology. The following April, he sat down for a two-hour interview where he spoke out against the Church of Scientology, calling it “dangerous for your spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional health.” The video went viral, attracting millions of viewers worldwide, as well as condemnation from the church.

    “I don’t really think about it much — which is good,” Beghe says of Scientology. “I went through some shit. One never knows how much of it is still influencing you, because you don’t know what you don’t know.”

    I ask him if he has any regrets about donating $1 million of his money to what he claims is a toxic organization. “I don’t think about it. I make plenty of money now, and you look at my life now and maybe think, oh, he’s doing great, but there are always new sets of problems,” he offers. “There’s a case to be made that this success has a lot to do with that failure. It’s chiaroscuro. It’s light and dark. It’s the way it is. And sometimes the darker it is, that makes that light even more beautiful, and more important, and rare, and worth something. That’s part of my story. It’s who I was at that moment, and I’m sure it has something to do with who I am now.”

    Ever since defecting from the church, Beghe has — along with Leah Remini — become one of the foremost Scientology celebrity whistleblowers. He’s appeared at several protests and events speaking out against the religion, and famously featured in Alex Gibney’s Scientology docu-exposé Going Clear—the impact of which, he claims, has been significant.

    “I don’t think it is business as usual. I think that place is suffering. I’m careful, because I don’t care what anybody believes, but I’m not into people hurting my people,” he says. “My problem with Scientology had to do with the superstructure of the organization — and [David] Miscavige is the superstructure of the organization. I’m not going to sit by and watch someone beat the shit out of some old lady; I’m going to do something about it. That’s who I am.”

    Jamie DeWolf, the great grandson of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, once compared the practice to a “pyramid scheme” where adherents pay large sums of money to enroll in courses and move up levels — only to be inundated with more and more expensive courses.

    “One of the things I realized when I was extricating myself is there are many, many steps when you’re in this thing, and then I realized, Holy shit, that’s a fucking cult. Wow! I was in a cult? I don’t strike me as someone who would be in a cult,” says Beghe.

    “And then I realized, maybe it’s true maybe it’s not, but in my opinion — which is just an opinion — I don’t think there’s anybody that isn’t in a cult. Everybody’s in a cult. This country is a cult. I see the indoctrination going on from the get-go,” he continues. “I have children and I see them pledge allegiance to the flag, and they don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know! You should be able to make that choice yourself. And then I’m buying this type of toothpaste because, well, it’s advertising. It’s bullshit. It helped me develop a mantra that I try to keep, which is: the only thing I know is that I don’t know. That helped me get out of Scientology, because I didn’t know what I’d learned from my parents, society, or Scientology. What’s my reaction?

    While Beghe was a high-ranking member of the Church of Scientology, he was forced to distance himself from his best pal Duchovny, whom the church branded a “Suppressive Person,” or SP — a perceived enemy of the church who is possessed of an “antisocial personality” and a danger to those around them.

    Years later, after Beghe has left Scientology, he reconnected with Duchovny, and the two had a wild night discussing his time in church. He’d later star in 13 episodes of Duchovny’s critically acclaimed Showtime series Californication.

    “Scientology affected our relationship in that we didn’t get to enjoy each other as much as we could have,” Beghe confesses. “But after having gone through that, our reunion was that much better. When we started talking about this shit, I remember that day distinctly — I was laughing so fucking hard and so was he. We couldn’t get our faces off the floor. We fell down laughing, stomach hurting, at how fucking absurd this shit is.”

    “A friendship like that, I don’t think you can get further apart,” he adds. “There might be distance and other things that give you the illusion that you’re not closer, but I think we all love each other, and it’s just about getting all the lies out of the way so you can truly appreciate it.”

    Here's the complete article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articl...s-life-after-scientology-i-was-in-a-cult.html
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