(September 7, 2009) Undaunted by the pummeling it is taking from former members, the Church of Scientology has been stepping up efforts to reach out to African-Americans.
Details appear in an interview with veteran rapper Doug E. Fresh at essence.com.
"Scientology is not a White religion. It is not just for White people," the artist, whose birth name is Douglas E. Davis, tells Terrance Dean. "Scientology is not written with disrespect toward God. It doesn't worship something that is evil. It is scientific, mathematical, and spiritual. The Black community has to check it out and see what's there. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but you have to take a look. You may be amazed at what you get."
The largely favorable piece, which mentions the erratic behavior or Tom Cruise but says nothing of the more troubling allegations against the church, lists several African-American entertainers it says have been associated with it: Chaka Khan, Al Jarreau, MC Lyte, Haywood Nelson (who played Dwayne "Hey HEY Hey" Nelson on the 1970s television show, "What 's Happening!") and Isaac Hayes. The Essence piece details Scientology operations in Inglewood, Calif., and Harlem in New York, where the church opened a center in 2001. (The Baltimore Sun)
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Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam for more than three decades, has said that he first
heard about Scientology 35 years ago from a former Nation minister who became a Scientologist.
But the story of how Farrakhan came to embrace it concerns a Nation minister in Los Angeles named Tony Muhammad. In 2005, Muhammad was beaten by the LAPD at a prayer vigil he’d helped organize for a young man killed in a drive-by shooting. The incident plunged him into an agitated, depressed state. A concerned friend introduced him to Scientology, which he credits with saving his life. When Farrakhan later met with Muhammad,
he was amazed by the transformation and, as Muhammad tells it in an audio clip posted on YouTube, exclaimed: “Whatever you’re on—I want some of it.”
The first large-scale introduction of Scientology to Nation members took place in August 2010, when hundreds of believers from around the country traveled to Rosemont, Illinois, near the Nation’s headquarters, for a seminar in Dianetics, a foundational belief system of Scientology. There, they were guided through auditing sessions—a kind of hybrid between hypnosis and confession—in which a Scientologist purges painful experiences from his subconscious in the presence of an “auditor.” At the end of the seminar, Farrakhan told the group he wanted everyone in attendance to become a certified auditor. . . continue reading>>
Louis Farrakhan has gone clear with Dianetics and the Church of Scientology, but what does the endorsement of L. Ron Hubbard by the Nation of Islam leader mean for the group, and why is the Church of Scientology so interested in the black community? Former Scientologist-turned-whistleblower Tory Christman discusses it on this Media Mayhem interview clip.