There is an interesting article on Yahoo Entertainment this morning entitled Elisabeth Moss Gives a Rare Interview about Scientology: It’s a Complicated Thing.
Taryn Ryder, the writer of the article opens with the hook; “Elisabeth Moss is giving a rare glimpse into her beliefs as a Scientologist.”
A better lede would have been “Elisabeth Moss Gives a Great Example of the Scientologists Ability to Dodge and Deflect.”
In the piece, Moss is asked how she balances her portrayal of her character in The Handmaid’s Tale with her Scientology beliefs; “the Mad Men alum was asked about criticism she’s received for playing fiercely feminist characters whose beliefs seem at odds with Scientology.”
In the 1951 version of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology A New Slant on Life he wrote
“A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out.”
Scientology does not want society to see LRH’s misogyny so an entire chapter, called A Woman’s Creativity was edited out of the book in 1965. The original version is still available, however and contains such bits of wisdom as “The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant when women begin to take part, on an equal footing with men, in political and business affairs, since this means that the men are decadent and the women are no longer women. This is not a sermon on the role or position of women; it is a statement of bald and basic fact.”
This would have been a golden opportunity for Moss, a self proclaimed “huge feminist” to speak out about this issue. Instead in typical, predictable Scientology fashion she chose the vague, roundabout response.
“Listen, it’s a complicated thing because the things that I believe in, I can only speak to my personal experience and my personal beliefs,” she replied. “One of the things I believe in is freedom of speech. I believe we as humans should be able to critique things. I believe in freedom of the press. I believe in people being able to speak their own opinions. I don’t ever want to take that away from anybody, because that actually is very important to me.”
The interviewer tried to be more specific by asking her about criticisms of Scientology over things like Disconnection and the financial demands on members.
Moss again dodged the question by responding with “I choose to express myself in my work and my art. I don’t choose to express myself about it in interviews.”
What? Then why even agree to be interviewed in the first place?
Throughout the interview she repeatedly states that she can only speak from her own experiences.
Despite the journalist promising a “rare glimpse” into Moss’ Scientological beliefs, by then end of the article one is left no wiser than in the beginning.
The fact is that Moss successfully dodged the questions and deflected the focus from Scientology all while revealing nothing of substance except for one telling moment.
Interestingly, Moss does comment on her stance on the LGBTQ community and it inadvertently sheds light on Scientology’s position.
In 1950 in Hubbard’s book Dianetics he listed homosexuality as a Perversion. Then in 1972 Scientologist Ruth Minshull wrote a book called How to Choose Your People which was copyrighted to Hubbard and sold by Scientology. In this book Minshull wrote that the “gentle-mannered homosexual (is) a classic example of the ‘subversive’ 1.1 personality, commenting that they ‘may be fearful, sympathetic, propitiative, griefy (sic) or apathetic. Occasionally they manage an ineffectual tantrum.” She called them “social misfits”.
More recently, however Scientology has tried to distance itself from the homophobia and hate by claiming in 2005 “The Church of Scientology does not dictate sexual preferences. Scientology is a practical method of improving conditions in life and works to increase a person’s abilities, give higher IQ and better reaction time, greater ability to solve his problems in life – things of this nature.”
Elisabeth Moss’ response seems to contradict this idea that Scientology is now more accepting, however. Even though COS tries to hide their true opinion, they are still seen as very much Anti Gay.
“The Church of Scientology is widely viewed as anti-LGBTQ given founder L. Ron Hubbard’s writings, and Moss was quick to clarify that ‘is not where I stand.’
‘It’s like, it’s a lot to get into and unpack that I can’t do,’ she continued. ‘But that is not my bag. I am obviously a huge feminist and huge supporter of the LGBTQ community and believe so strongly — I can’t even tell you — in people being able to do what they want to do, to love who they want to love, to be the person that they want to be — whoever that is.’”
If Scientology truly were open and accepting of the LGBTQ community, this would have been the place for Moss to correct the error in perception of COS. Instead her comment only strengthens the public’s opinion that nothing has really changed within Scientology since Hubbard created it. After all, his writings are considered sacred scripture and not to be changed.
All in all this article was classic Scientology at work. In spite of the promise of a glimpse into Moss’ beliefs we are none the wiser. She “Handled” the interview by not answering, sidestepping and changing the focus.
If one is interested in truly getting a glimpse or more of Scientology there are excellent blogs by those who know.
Mike Rinder’s Blog: https://www.mikerindersblog.org,
Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker: https://tonyortega.org, (not to be confused by Scientology’s impersonation account: undergroundbunker.org) and
Jeffrey Augustine’s Scientology Money Project: https://scientologymoneyproject.com/tag/jeffrey-augustine/ are trusted and dedicated sources that are highly recommended.
Of course Leah Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath would be an excellent binge watch suggestion.