[imagesource: Church of Scientology]
The Church of Scientology doesn’t exactly revel in good PR.
There have been a number of documentaries exposing some of its more questionable practices and beliefs, and some high-profile celebrities have turned their back on the religion in recent years.
At least, for Scientology’s sake, Tom Cruise is still going strong, although there is reported to be beef between him and John Travolta, as the church’s two biggest celebrity faces.
Leaving Scientology is said to be an extraction fraught with danger, and by the sounds of things, working for a Scientologist is also no walk in the park.
The Daily Beast has spoken with several people who worked at e.Republic, a California-based marketing and media firm, where owners, executives, and much of the company’s upper management are high-ranking members of the Church of Scientology.
Ryan Gallant is one of those:
The days were long—he regularly clocked 10-hour shifts. And the staff was highly-surveilled. Managers would take long, curving sweeps around the office so frequently, an ex-research director claimed, that workers developed a code word for them: sentries.
“It was like a ‘70s factory,’ another former researcher said. “They would call people out for taking slightly too long of breaks… like, ‘Reminder staff: Your breaks are to be 10 minutes. Some of you are going for walks and it’s clearly over 10 minutes.’”
That doesn’t sound much different from working in an Amazon warehouse, to be honest, but accounts from other employees paint a more worrying picture:
A half-dozen former and current e.Republic employees told The Daily Beast that the company fostered a brutal work environment, which took a toll on their physical and mental health…
“I don’t even know how to describe it [the work philosophy],” the ex-research director said, figuratively, “other than taking someone to the shed and beating them. That’s what it brings to my mind.”
…“It was 100 percent surveilled,” one worker said. “They’d read all your emails. They would read all your instant messaging through the company.”
Over on Glassdoor, a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies, some of the e.Republic reviews are less than flattering:
This bears repeating, under ‘Cons’ from the top review:
If you are looking to be disrespected, belittled, critiqued and micromanaged in a Scientologist environment on an hourly basis – this is the job for you.
I am reminded of that famous scene from The Office – “under weaknesses, you’ve put eczema”:
Sure, the link is tenuous, but I would choose to work for David Brent over working for the high-ranking members of the Church of Scientology.
That’s saying something.
A reminder that in 2019, the Church of Scientology revamped Castle Kyalami, which they now use as their African headquarters.
This from the Castle Kyalami website:
Today, the Castle Kyalami, which is nationally registered, is a spiritual retreat for Scientologists and includes an expansive state-of-the-art auditorium, a restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating for more than 200, a café, a swimming pool and a braai-equipped gazebo. In one turret there’s an observation tower where visitors can take in hilltop views that extend for miles.
It stands as a home for the community as well as a hub of action for all who share the goal of bettering the lives of individuals and strengthening communities across this region, this nation and all of Africa.
I wonder what the staff that work there have to say.
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