Critical Q&A

This is the audio version of Chris Shelton's weekly Critical Question and Answer show on his YouTube channel. In this show, Chris answers questions posed by viewers in the comments section of his Q&A videos or sent by email to Questions cover a wide range of topics but tend to focus on Scientology and critical thinking, as well as Chris' personal experiences with and in the Church of Scientology.


Critical Q&A #330

This week I give perhaps my longest non-Scientology answer ever about COVID/vaccine denial, the goals of the public Scientologist, my opinions on the “intellectual dark web” and a lot more. Enjoy!

(1) I was wondering if you could touch on the continued COVID denial and anti-vaccine sentiment that continues to plague us.  Locally it has increased in intensity as school starts and county health departments issue mask mandates for school districts in their coverage area. There have been anti-mask protests at school board meetings and people have been getting threats via voicemail and social media. In fact at two school board meetings, the people in favor of masks actually had to be escorted through the audience by Sheriff’s deputies or local police officers for their safety. It’s getting out of hand. I know you have said that it is easy to fall for misinformation and you don’t have to literally be stupid to do so, but at this point I have lost any semblance of empathy or sympathy that I may have had for these people. I just don’t get it.  

What is it that makes people distrust medical professionals and vaccines only to blindly jump on board with unproven treatments such as the wrong form of ivermectin or even chlorine dioxide for COVID peddled by people with no credentials?

(2) I understand the Sea Organization lives in a bubble but Scientology public do not, so my question is how do you feel the public Scientologists gauge their success in saving the planet? Do they think they are winning? Surely at some point they realize they might be fighting a losing battle. 

(3) I got the impression that you’re not a fan of Ben Shapiro, and was wondering how you feel about the so-called “intellectual dark web” in general (Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, Bari Weiss, maybe Joe Rogan, etc). I feel like, even though I don’t agree with a lot of their views, they do engage in critical thinking and an interest in serious discussion and open debate. Ben Shapiro, for example, obviously makes his living by criticizing liberals and is basically “reactionary”/reactive, but I do think he’s highly intelligent and analyzes different sides of arguments. Do you feel like a lot of these YouTube/conservative or libertarian-leaning “populist intellectuals,” as it were, are really engaging in critical thinking or do you think they’re misguided somehow?

(4) If LRH actually returned and it were proven scientifically, what impact would that have on organized religion and society at large? How quickly would David Miscavige find himself in the RPF? I realize this is VERY VERY unlikely, but figured it’s an interesting hypothetical. Thanks and good job Keeping Sensibility Working!

(5) I first developed an interest in Scientology about 15 years ago. I had a client at the time and she was telling me she had started the Purification Rundown and was going to our local Sportsplex to use the sauna. She told me about the amount of time she had to spend in the sauna and the vitamins, which I thought was crazy. She was doing the rundown with another person and explained that while they were doing the rundown, they came out of the sauna and there were strange markings on his back. It was determined that he had taken either antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication and this what these markings were. Is this something that happens? Have you ever heard of this happening before? Also, because he was no longer able to continue in Scientology, she also had to stop the rundown until they found another partner for her. Would she have to pay for the course again? 

(6) Suppose Hollywood decided to make a big budget film like The Master. It could be arty drama, a psychological thriller, or a wacky comedy, just as long as the central subject is a lightly fictionalized version of Scientology history. Which time period or incident from the history of Scientology would you choose?  Do you have any preferences for directors or actors or the soundtrack?  

(7) Let’s imagine that you had access to the Hubbard archive at Gold, but you could make only one request to pull only one file. I would have to be confident that file was there. Which folder would you ask for?

(8) Will you and Melissa be getting your 3rd COVID-19 shot (booster) when it’s available to you and it’s the recommended time from your last dose?

The post Critical Q&A #330 appeared first on Chris Shelton - Critical Thinker at Large.


 2021-09-05  53m