What do Conservative Christians and Scientologists share in Common: They both use Character Assassination to Discredit Ex-Members

Did you watch Leah Remini’s interview last night on “20/20”?

In the interview, Remini discusses her experiences as a long time member of the Church of Scientology and her experience of leaving Scientology.  Scientology leaders do not take deconversion from their church (cult) lightly.  In fact, there are several documented cases where they have been down right vicious and vindictive to people who have left the Church.  One of their primary weapons to combat accusations of Church wrongdoing by ex-member-“whistle-blowers” is to attack the character of the ex-member, to take attention away from the issues the ex-member is exposing.

The Church attempts to make the ex-member the problem, not the Church of Scientology.

For those of us who have left conservative Christianity and expressed criticism of our former Church (cult), we know exactly what Remini is talking about.  When I deconverted from Christianity and criticized my former religion online, I received comments such as the following from conservative Christians:

 —“Did you know that all the pastors on Lutherans.com think that you are not very smart?  You should shut down this stupid blog and stop making a fool of yourself.”

—“You never were a Christian to begin with, that is why you ‘deconverted’.”

—“You are still a fundamentalist.  You just switched sides.  You have never really taken the time to study the issues.”

—“You are obviously an idiot who has not read any scholarly books.  If you were well-read in scholarship, you wouldn’t make such stupid comments about Christianity.”

—“You are a stupid atheist who doesn’t know what he is talking about.  Hell awaits you.”

—“You never were a true Lutheran.  You were really still an evangelical.  That is why you deconverted.”

—“You never were a true evangelical.  You were really still a fundamentalist Baptist.  That is why you deconverted.”

—“You never were a true fundamentalist Baptist.  Your lack of faith proves you were never saved to begin with.  You never understood true fundamentalist Baptist doctrine.  You are a liberal, non-Christian who just abandoned the Christian label.”

Dear Reader:  Pay attention to this phenomenon when reading online conservative Christian blogs and forums.  A skeptic will attempt to discuss a discrepancy in the Christian belief system, and conservative Christians will quickly focus their attack on the character and intelligence of the skeptic in attempt to deflect attention away from weaknesses (errors) in their “inerrant” belief system.

Character assassination seems to be the preferred means of defense for all cults.


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