July 23, 2019
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Sensibly Speaking Podcast #200: Scientology, Freedom of Religion and the Law ft. Marci Hamilton



[Applause] hello and welcome to the sensibly speaking podcast this is Chris Shelton the critical thinker at large coming at you for show number 200 Wow and I am very excited we are gonna jump right into this this is brought to you by the way on iTunes stitcher Google Play and with video here on YouTube now I have an amazing and very special guest this week of course all of my guests are special and all of my guests are amazing but I am very very very pumped about this one her name is dr. Marci Hamilton and she is the CEO I'm actually going to read because there's a bit here too for you guys know about her she is the CEO and academic director at child USA which is an interdisciplinary think-tank to prevent child abuse and neglect she's also a widely regarded scholar in constitutional law which is what we're gonna be all about on this one and a Fox family pavilion distinguished scholar in the Fox leadership program at the University of Pennsylvania she is an expert on and advocate for the enforcement of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution and that should tell you everything about what we're gonna be talking about in this episode and she's also served impressively as a law clerk for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the Supreme Court of the u.s. and she has also argued before the Supreme Court she is a as one example of the kind of thing that she gets herself involved in she's a critic of the Utah Attorney General's Office for not vigorously prosecuting polygamists in the state she has indicated that arguments against prosecution based on due process violations and alleged violations of religious freedom had no merit and she is also the author of three books God versus the gavel justice denied and fundamentalism politics and the law so dr. Hamilton welcome to my show thanks for having me yes I'm very very happy about this and I have to ask first off what motivated you to get you know to go all-in on the establishment causes your discipline as a lawyer short version is I had a case that the United States Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and there was every reason for me to take the case it was my very first case I ever had it just happened to be at the Supreme Court but I didn't really realize when I took it that I would be up against every organized religion in the United States and once I found out what it was like to be on the other side of organized religion here I saw the abuses that can happen and that really it meant something to me because I grown up in an evangelical community as a presbyterian being told constantly that I was going to hell so it's uh it's been a really fascinating ride but it's been very heartening to be able to work for the vulnerable who are being oppressed in religious settings awesome and you okay so you grew up in an evangelical household do you still hold religious beliefs we lived in Wheaton Illinois which is essentially the okay good all right well now I have talked for years about the Church of Scientology and about other destructive cults and about how it seems that the First Amendment gives these groups a lot of air cover it's in a legal in the legal arena we have freedom of religion and of course people should have freedom of religion I have never advocated otherwise I want people to be able to believe whatever they want to believe and not be persecuted for those beliefs my thrust on my channel has always been about what they do with those beliefs not what's in their head that all being said the First Amendment seems to give quite a bit Aladdin to what people can do and I'm wondering from a legal standpoint in talking to you as a scholar on this exact issue just how much air cover do these groups get and by these groups I mean all religious groups whether you know as officially recognized as such whether we call them destructive cults or the Catholic Church or the Mormons or the cat or the Christians or any of these guys how much air cover do they get from the First Amendment well what's interesting is they don't get a whole lot but they want you to think that they get a whole lot of coverage the First Amendment protects them from being singled out from being targeted from being persecuted by the government and from being discriminated against it does not get them the right to break the laws that apply to everybody else so they are subject to the child sex abuse laws they are subject to the cyber stalking laws they're subject to contract law I mean the we live in an era in which religious groups lobby and argue in the public square that they have unlimited right to do what they choose but the law simply doesn't agree with them interesting and of course the first thing that comes to mind there's two things that come to mind on this one maybe that you could elaborate on as to how we might be have some misconceptions about it and that's the Headley case that was out of California I believe in that what that appeared to be a case where they had come out of the see organization they had definitely experienced a you know years of physical and emotional abuse and they were saying hey you know we were trafficked we this is this was not cool what was done to us and it seemed that from the outside looking in on the reporting that was done on that case that the the lynchpin you know of getting it thrown out was well hey you were part of a religion you agreed to be part of a religion and therefore you agreed to all this stuff that we could do to you as part of your religious you know the exercise of your religious beliefs was that is that an accurate perception of what happened there or what what do you know about that now I understand that case what really happened is that the laws that would have been the perfect fit for what Scientology had done wrong weren't part of the lawsuit and what often happens in these cases is the lawyers may not understand the fact that they have to avoid talking about religion they have to avoid talking about faith and beliefs instead they should be focusing on what is the evidence of what this organization has done and it's the evidence of what it has done that makes it in violation of a numerous laws and in that case the court basically did say or the appellate court said look if you had brought this in with other theories you might have had a claim but you didn't and therefore this case is dismissed in the early days in the clergy sex abuse cases there was a theory that the lawyers like to use called something like a clergy malpractice and the court said oh we can't decide what clergy should do and that was the wrong approach for the lawyers instead what they should have been saying is look at the action these people took they violated these contracts these arrangements they violated these laws look what they did they can believe whatever they want but they never are allowed to do whatever they want right interesting the second case that comes to mind is the one Luis Garcia's case this was are you familiar at all with this one I'm not no okay this was one where he sued the church for I believe financial fraud they had sold him on donating money to the church for a big cross that was going to be on top of their building down in Clearwater and and of course the big cross is they are on the building but apparently they sold that cross or they they got money for that cross from three different folks with the same story right oh yeah if you give us the twenty thousand we can pay for that cross right something like that and what it ended up what ended up happening though is during the course the the case the church brought up contract law and when you said contract law that's what immediately came to mind for me is because they said well look you signed these contracts that you would agree to mediation if there was a problem and the mediation of course is the church stacking the deck against anybody bringing a claim against them because they stack it with the mediators are all Scientologists in good standing which means that they're gonna play ball with what the church wants and what the church tells them to do the judge ordered well you signed a contract so you're gonna have to do this mediation and it just went you know downhill from there and I get the point you know that you okay you sign this contract saying you the church could mediate these things but once you've come out of a group like that and you're no longer a Scientologist and you don't watch Scientologists mediating your case do you have any rights at all or are you just totally screwed at that point well it's a tough one recently there is an argument that contracts like that are against public policy and therefore they should not be enforceable there are times when arbitration is appropriate but there are also plenty of times when it's not and it's especially inappropriate where the person entered into it not fully capable of fully agreeing if they were a victim of mind control if they were a victim of a cult and there's also reasons to say they shouldn't be subjected to arbitration like that in circumstances where there's been significant harm to them where they have been sexually abused where they've been physically assaulted foresee those kinds of claims into arbitration completely undermines what the legal system is supposed to do for the victims of those activities yeah exactly how much do you think you know one thing that was questioned on that I think the judges I think it was judge Whitmore I think was the guy's name and I'm not trying to single him out as having done something right or wrong because I'm not a lawyer and I don't know but I'm wondering do judges are they fully as versed on this kind of stuff as they should be you know judges in the vast majority of cases in the United States are generalists and they tend to be think they know a lot about the First Amendment and they know about religion but I think they don't get the full training they need to fully understand two things one is that religious institutions are perfectly capable of harming people and need to be deterred they will not stop if there's anything the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis has taught us is that organizations cannot internally fix that kind of harm it has to be done on the outside so I think the judges need to learn more about those kinds of cases but the other thing that judges are not well taught is that the public discourse about religious liberty in this era is extreme and the demands are extreme and they don't actually reflect the law in most circumstances and so for many of the jurists there they're simply putting their thumb on the side of the religion scale when they shouldn't be right do you think well I mean I don't know I guess it's just psychology really have let me ask you this have you ever run into cases where a judge's bias pro or against religion I suppose I should ask was very evident in their decision-making processes in which we requested that the judge be recused in the Seventh Circuit we had a case involving one of the Catholic bankruptcies and we had a trial court judge that argued that there was religious liberty rights to completely ban victims from getting any money that was used for cemetery reasons this was a ridiculous legal claim but the judge sided with the church saying that you know he had family buried in Catholic cemeteries so of course it was fine so we we succeeded we ask that he be recused we succeeded in winning the case but you see it a lot in specific states I mean there are three states that are still saying that the First Amendment is a defense to child sex abuse cases and those are Wisconsin Missouri and Utah but the vast majority of the country has come along to the reality that you have to protect the vulnerable even from religious institutions yeah big-time big-time no surprise on Utah by the way no well frankly Missouri or Wisconsin yeah interesting it seems like Alabama's in a quick race to get to the head of that line too well yeah I mean but they don't they haven't had enough cases that permitted victims to sue because they're all out of statute so you just don't have that case law but those are the three states that have continuing case law putting up the First Amendment as a barrier to justice for people who have been sexually assaulted yeah yeah cool um I'm glad you brought up statute because that triggered a whole nother area that I had that I wanted to ask you about which is this thing that people are endlessly frustrated about in regards to being able to prosecute for assault emotional distress you know false imprisonment kidnapping these kind of things which is this thing called statute of limitations people grow up in these called suspect this is especially difficult for second gen second-generation members right who yeah I mean we grew I'm a second-generation scientologists member right my my parents got involved before I did and I was raised in it and so when you're raised in that paradigm you you really don't understand and you're never given the opportunity to have an objective view enough to understand that what's being done to you is not normal it's not usual its right what the rest of the world does and and there were much worse groups than Scientology when it came to you know sexual assault of minors I mean I go back to like children of God and family and these we know the folks who engaged in 40 fishing and that kind of thing but statute of limitations always seems to raise itself as this as this life you know demon of like okay well there's no justice for you because you it took you ten years to figure out that you know you were part of a group that was extremely abusive to you so I guess my first question is one how much of a bugbear is that for real and two is anything being done about it so the statute of limitations on sex abuse and sex assaults have been embarrassingly short in the United States in most of the states until relatively recently I was brought into the catholic cases when the california window in 2003 was opened for the victims for the sole purpose of arguing you know the church state issues but i said to the lawyers why is it that you know this person can sue but this person can't and why is his sister in this lawsuit and his brother even though they were both heard and the answer was always the statute of limitation so i just it just is it's a completely arbitrary deadline it's got nothing to do with the merits of the case literally wrote a book at a sabbatical at princeton and i wrote a book called justice denied and the whole point of the book was to explain to the public and lawmakers that you just have to give victims more time and you need to give them more time because the trauma they are under an incredible power disadvantage in most of these cases and so we need to open up all these possibilities and i thought it was such a no-brainer argument that i just write a book it would be published everybody would agree and then i'd go back to doing fancy first amendment theories that's not what happened what happened is is that the world came out against statute of limitations reform in the form of the insurance industry the catholic bishops the Baptists and so we've been working to expand the statute of limitations especially for sex abuse and assault for I'd say it's now almost 18 years and we this is the year that's a banner year we are opening an unbelievable number of opportunities but we still need to do a better job on the other clients you talked about on for example kidnapping on cyber stalking on all these other means of oppression where a victim is traumatized and is slowed down and coming forward yeah big time I I'm it all surprised that that the machine sort of rose up against you on that particular issue there's a lot of money and a lot of influence and power you know represent a lot there's a lot you know they can all afford this right what they can't afford is the truth and so they fight the nail to keep the truth from the public is isn't it somewhat I mean I guess I'll ask you on a personal level before you know as a believer is that anyway do you not find that a little disconcerting that these organizations of religion can act as like such you know kind of I I don't know that monsters is too strong a word in some cases I'm not trying to paint them all with a black brush I'm I'm really not but man when they come up with the fangs out and the claws out it's it's intimidating well don't you know I was raised in Wheaton Illinois where the evangelicals essentially ran the government in the schools and so I learned from an early age that it's perfectly possible for religious organizations to not take into account everybody in front of them and so when I started to encounter the resistance by religious organizations to being accountable for what they had done which was so horrific I guess I just wasn't as surprised as some people would have been I wasn't as resistant to the reality but also I was fortunate to be a scholar I had you know clerked at the Supreme Court and in done straighten his teaching and I had the luxury to start collecting stories about religious groups that were breaking the law as kind of an an academic interest and the more I collected and the more people knew that I was in that space the more people with who have been harmed came to me the more it was just clear to me that the right religious space for me as a believer was to be up against organized religion and when it inappropriately exercised its power and and that's what they're doing in this era and when it comes to the victims okay I have someone standing up for them so that's in my career awesome I I'm curious I have never talked to anybody who has clerked for the Supreme Court before actually ever been as close to the Supreme Court as you have I I have so many questions that I'm trying to keep this on track here but what what is that like well it's first of all it's like being hit by lightning there are a lot of towns law students in the country and the justices you know they pick who they want to interview I was very fortunate to have been at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and justice O'Connor picked me to be interviewed although I'll tell you I didn't think I was going to get the job because it was pouring rain that day and it was the day before she had appendicitis oh so I assumed she associated me with people who are drenched I look like a drowned rat and really bad pain but we hit it off and I was very fortunate so I called her my law mom she was very she just took care of me awesome that I I it's just such a I mean it's kind of the Mount Everest of the legal world to you know to go argue in front of the Supreme Court because you not only clerk there you actually argued a case there I did I did oddly enough the first case I ever argued in any court it was your first one well I guess what you've done that everything else is downhill right I knew every justice from having clerk there not too long before my justice O'Connor was still on the bench it was all very familiar except honestly the day that I started to feel some stress was the day that all the amicus briefs from all the religious groups against my side came to my house and when I saw that pile of briefs that was something oh that's all bad yeah yeah like I said they're there for middle you know that's not if none of what's going on right now is are these guys's first rodeo they have been doing this for decades and decades yeah well and I respect religion and have my own religion but the more bullying I saw and the more need for them to exert their power some point a minister said to me you know you're not allowed to use the phrase religious lobbyists I sleep what that's just a thing and so I was raised to tell the truth and that's just how it ended up well yeah you're not allowed to use the tech are we in 1984 now what are you talking about I can't use that term what you know the phrase religious lobbyists was simply verboten you did not demand religion by saying that what it was doing in the State House is in Congress was lobbying well I can tell you it was lobbying and so once I won that case I'll bet well it must have been really something okay I want to get into Scientology but I guess I want to ask a more general question first about religion in general in the United States what are the what are the approaches how do you go on into I mean is it just you just kind of take all the belief and religious stuff and just kind of move it over to the side and you just go in on the actions right well so you start from the law rather than the religion you know in the United States we're very to making if there's religion in the picture we're prone to making it the center of the universe what you have to do is to make the law of the center of the universe and you have to look at what are the elements of the crime or the tort look at what it is that they have you have done and then you have to match up their actions because if they just talked about it they like to talk about it and they can believe anything they want under the First Amendment weird we're the freest country in the world in that the government is not permitted to tell us what to believe ever on anything so so you have to be very careful to look for the actions that would have violated the law you have to focus on the law and then you have to treat it as though you're suing a corporation or you're suing an entity you're not suing God it's not God him or herself it's not gods you're suing the people who broke the law and if you can get yourself in that mindset and be thinking on the secular law and the secular terms it starts to make a lot more sense to everybody exactly I and it makes sense now well it's always made sense but I mean I get why they on the opposition side would launch what I would call a PR campaign or you know putting out that this is bigotry this is anti religion this is anti belief they're attacking us for our beliefs so that's so when you see that kind of thing happening is that I mean could you pretty much say a hundred percent of the time or most of the time that is just them you know sort of muddying the water as the pool so to speak in every case I've been involved in because I'm not discrimination in every case I've been involved in and that's a lot of them they just broken the law and frankly they're hurting their own religious faith by breaking the law so they can say whatever they want they can say you know I've been called it anti fill-in-the-blank everybody it's just not true I am really opposed to child sex abuse and I'm really opposed to sex assault of adults and really opposed to kidnapping and treating people badly and the laws don't permit that activity so it's not anti-catholic to be actually pro child sex abuse victim so it's just it's all rhetoric and it's taken about 20 good years to educate lawmakers and the courts that the claim of religious discrimination is not proof of it right exactly and there's so much unfortunately we are world of people and people have brains and those brains have biases and so we so I understand why it takes decades to overcome some of that in the system because seventy-five percent of Americans identify as Christian 25 percent evangelical I mean there's a lot to overcome a lot of biases yeah yeah exactly especially could you speak at all just since the wave since my channel has touched so much on the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons I mean the JW's have this to witness rule which they've used for years to cover up child sex assaults the Mormons have used have actually had it almost part of their dogma that the elders will meet with these children and quiz them about their mass Batory practices and their sex life even though they're like 11 or 12 years old I mean clearly inappropriate behavior but it's all under religious freedom so what about what about those kind of activities about this kind of behavior through speaking to what believer directly they don't have to report it and they also refuse to testify to it so there's been a lot of activity to decry to try to keep these practices under wraps their problem is the internet and the victims who find out that they're not the only ones in the world and then are capable of coming forward and the more we learn the more we know about these utterly inappropriate practices and the more we're fighting them excellent yeah because it's not you know it's not just one group that's like off the rails on this stuff it's just wow you know and anyway yeah and which a woman was raped by her rabbi in order to get access to her congregation for a bar mitzvah for her son Supreme Court in Nevada brief is filed by the bishops of Catholics and Mormons arguing First Amendment immunity to a case for any religious proof involving sex assault or abuse now that's the only time they've done it is a joint public effort because I took them to task for it I thought it was so outrageous but that's what's happening and that's what's happening behind the scenes they're fighting together as religious groups to be able to get around the laws that prevent them from doing all this man and so blatant I mean it cuz that's public record area I mean it because and correct me if I'm wrong but that literally means that they are claiming that because they are we religion they should have complete air cover for any child sexual assault and never be taken to task for it right what they do is they twist the First Amendment into a pretzel they wrap themselves in it and then they say look at us we're religious we're not liable for anything and sometimes they'll get a judge to fall for it but over the years that's not in harder and harder for them over the years everybody now gets oh wait a minute yeah there might be rape in a religious organization and we better do something about it surprise yeah humans act you nah you know what okay let's get to Scientology first off how familiar are you with the Church of Scientology as an entity barely okay I've been following them for many years cool and and full disclosure you are connected with this recent lawsuit filed by Jane Doe I am yes I have been brought into these cases awesome I just have one question about that I don't want to get into when I'm not going to quiz you on specifics of that case or anything but it is a question I have been asked and I don't have the answer why was it filed as Jane Doe when I think everybody kind of knows who it is well you know when a victim decides to go into court they never know how they're going to feel about having their name tossed around with all the statements in the complaint all the facts and all the ugliness I and so it's just typical to file these lawsuits under a Jane or John Doe to start and then if they change their mind at that point that's the point at which you file a motion you ask for them to be able to be named so it's really out of respect for the victim and giving them the time they need to kind of adjust to this new heir this new you know medium that they're living in yeah I imagine it's quite different air yeah yeah it's it's stressful nobody who's been a victim of religion should ever be filing any lawsuits without being in therapy because it's hard big time that I can understand is there anything that you would that that you've seen on the reporting on this so far because it's made international news I mean this has been a big deal and certainly amongst my world in the Scientology watching community there's all kinds of you know conversation and and hopes and you know various ideas about where it might go and that kind of thing and it being ongoing litigation and really just having started I know I'm not asking you for predictions I'm not asking you for anything like that is there anything about it that you've seen so far that you thought was inaccurate in the reporting that maybe we should correct the record on you know I I don't know I really haven't seen anything that's inaccurate as much as I've seen the statements from Scientology representatives saying that these facts have already been disproved that's really kind of hard to believe because they haven't been disproved in this case so part of the dealing with religious groups it's not just Scientology but dealing with religious groups in the public square is they come in with a lot of credibility I and they frequently started if you would think back to when the clergy sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church started the current tune of the bishops will say the victims are lying they're not telling the truth and why do they say that because they don't want the trick to get out there so I wasn't at all surprised by the Scientologists response but they have to know we're in a different era this is not like any lawsuit that they have ever dealt with before it's harder and harder for these groups to argue either religious liberty or that they stand on the high ground when someone's been really harmed boy I'll say and having deep intimate knowledge there is ZERO high ground these guys are on at all so I will just say that much about it in looking at legislature or you know in looking at not legislation but the judicial record and looking back at you know the cases that have been brought against Scientology in the past Wollersheim Jerry Armstrong's thing back in the 80s the the Portland case what do you see and and maybe other destructive cults also when people with Conny gone up against these guys what do you think has been some of the the bigger mistakes that have been made along the line and how can we prevent that in the future well I don't know if they were mistakes or if they were victims of their era there was a time when you couldn't get the judges to listen and there was there was a high level of unease and a nervousness by judges because they were hearing things basically for the first time and they were having a hard time swearing their presumptions of the goodness of religion with the horrible acts they were being told about so early on in the Catholic sex abuse crisis you know judges would deny discovery because they'd say you know this couldn't have happened they didn't believe it or they'd agree to secrecy that's changed dramatically because we all know what we know now and with the global revelations the judges are now saying oh oh you say that they have that okay hey Church produce it so we're in a different era we have moved from unease and ignorance about the level of wrongdoing by some religious entities to education and so the judges are in a space now where this kind of complaint is not going to get the back of the hand from the judge automatically it's going to be read carefully and there's going to be every reason why we're going to get discovery because the judge is going to believe that this could be something that a religious group would have excellent it's interesting I hadn't really you know you I guess you'd have to be in a position such as yours or somebody you know real real student of this to see the dot connecting that occurs between the various religious groups I mean they yeah the the Catholic a thing blowing open I think it was the newspaper reporting that first really blew that thing open and then suddenly you know hundreds thousands of cases from all over the world pouring in helps the Scientology cases that's right it's late but it's it's the Catholics it's the Jovi's witnesses it's the older Orthodox Jews it's the Orthodox Jews it's the Mormons it's the Baptist's I mean if you look back over this since 2002 in the spotlight report when the world was formally introduced to the concept of higher-ups in a religious group destroying the lives of children on an organizational basis we've just had a cascade you know an increasing waterfall of claims against every church every religion every entity university schools boarding schools we're in the era of disclosure and it's impossible at this point for a judge to look at a claim like this and to say you know that's far-fetched it's the opposite of far-fetched at this point yeah the damn really did break didn't it yeah finally but and a lot of that has been due to our success and opening the statute of in many of the states we have quite a long way to go but this year we've got 39 states considering extending and eliminating that child sex review statutes of limitations and even the adult rape statute of limitations and so we're just were the new and that is so encouraging in such good news that this is finally the you know the the avalanche is happening because you know you know just because we're in a modern era we tend to look back in the past and go oh well you know different time and all that but you know if it was happening now or 10 years ago or 20 years ago you know this stuff was going on 5060 a hundred two hundred years ago and there was no justice for anybody well right and we now know what's happening in sports in the county Island in Pennsylvania they just named a soccer coaches have used many girls I mean it's just it's everywhere across the culture and religion has lost the ability to say that it's so above or distinct from the culture that it wasn't happening there perfect exactly exactly because it's kind of funny how we're all raised with this idea I mean even me is a Scientologist you see a guy in a black collar you know with the white tab and you just immediately think here's somebody I'm supposed to be able to trust here's somebody I can trust with anything and everything and we just you know with this indoctrination is sort of bypassed the fact that oh yeah no actually the guy in that collar yeah he's a human being right yeah yeah that's my favorite saying religion would be great but for the humans yeah it's it's the human involvement and their failures that have created these dangers it's not the religions per se and it's certainly not the fact that people have beliefs exactly and that's been my I completely agree with you I'm a hundred percent on board with that yeah religion is neither you know this this thing that gives you moral high-ground but it's also not something that makes you super you're just as human as everybody else you know temptations to abuse your power it's it's a wonderful arena to study as an academic because it's also imaginative yeah I imagine you you must have thought operating Satan's were quite something that's right okay well let me ask let's uh let's go ahead and move toward wrapping up with this the future where do you three or do you see this going and I'm not talking about a prediction on a single case I mean in a general sense you know you've got statutes now being extended you've got this work being done you're clearly not the only torch bearer on this there are groups there are you know our religious groups actually a mascot is first are any religious groups getting on board with this you know they will talk a good game and they will be persuaded to chocolate good game but I think the most destructive moment of the recent year on these issues has been with a West Virginia Attorney General files a lawsuit for a violation of fair trade practices against the Catholic bishop and the diocese saying that they lied to the public because they said they had the gold standard for child protection and in fact they were harboring pedophiles that is a brilliant move on the part of that attorney general because that's the problem they're all now saying all the religious groups are saying oh we go we're working on it we're getting procedures your child has never been safer than it is now in my institution and then the next get sexually assaulted and the procedures so pretty so the future is that the only way to change institutions is to make them accountable the only thing that what makes religious groups accountable is pressure through the law either through prosecution criminal prosecution or civil lawsuits those are the only two ways that we get any kind of true accountability as we open up the statutes of limitations across the country state-by-state we are seeing meaningful change but until we open them up in every state we won't have the change that we need but I am extremely encouraged this has been a banner year for what we call Sol reform statute of limitations reform we've seen 39 states considering these flaws and already xx past something so the future is accountability I and one of my goals right now is to persuade the insurance industry they ought to be on our side they should not be on the side of the bishops and the religious groups who are trying to cover this all up yeah exactly you don't want to be on the wrong side of history on this one no no not when there are children and and women and I mean even men I mean it's just it you know there will be there will be a gradual you know it'll start with the children then it'll go to the women then it'll go to everybody and you know this somehow I think accountability like you just said is the key because you know sending these people a strongly worded letter ain't where we're at anymore you know no well a strongly worded letter to a bishop or to David Miscavige does nothing but reinforce them that they have the power to do what they want to do but a lawsuit makes them produce records and makes them be accountable and brings them to account that's that's the only way here in the United States we hold people to account but it's really powerful big time excellent well I cannot actually literally thank you enough for the work that you are doing have done because you know our we're have common cause yeah yeah what's a pleasure to eat you I'm glad you do what you're doing thank you very much and thank you again for being part of my show here and it's been my 200th episode no less all right awesome Marci all right folks out there I hope that you found this informative educational and interesting and maybe a slightly entertaining as well leave any questions comments or feedback in the comments section below here on youtube or at sensibly speaking comm and who knows maybe if a whole new whole other Avenue opens up here then we will do another show at some point in the future with with Marci here because clearly she knows what she's talking about alright guys see you next week bye bye

Otis Rodgers

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47 COMMENTS

  1. Leo P Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Chris congrats on episode 200
    this episode is awesome

    Reply
  2. 1996ZacharysMom2017 -4Ever20 Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Chris, CONGRATULATIONS on 200 shows! The amount of vast education you've provided is immeasurable! Kudos to you ๐Ÿฅณ

    Reply
  3. Chuck Beatty Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Incredibly informative interview.

    Reply
  4. M Fisher Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Excellent video!! Thanks for producing it and sharing it…its SOOO critical!!!

    Reply
  5. Vera Nika Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    I'm a Roman Catholic by baptism, but all the child abuse cases make me proud to say I am agnostic and do not attend any church service

    Reply
  6. JAYE R Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congrats, Chris! And what a way to celebrate with Marci's interview! Ushering in a new era of exposure to the abuses of religions, schools and sports and workplace. Not one of us is immune to the horrors being committed against us. It's time to change that in society!

    Reply
  7. Kymberley Sauer Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    The work that Marci Hamilton , and you , are doing is so important and impacts lives positively: I like the interviews of people who have recovered or are recovering from these abusive situationsโ€™ and even more, the interview like this one of the people , fighting to legally hold accountable the abusers.

    Marci Hamilton kept mentioning the Baptist church of which I had experience with as a child. I hadnโ€™t considered their actions abuse until watching these interviews, dealing with the witnesses and Scientology, spousal abuse and maybe others, California is a breeding ground for such.

    We we threatened with the rapture and being โ€œleft behind and separated from are family and friendsโ€. Of course it could happen any day at anytime. I would go home for lunch during the school week just to make sure my Mom was there. If Iโ€™d come home when no one was there I was terrified that I was left behind. If we didnโ€™t give thanks for everything โ€œthe air we breath could be taken away from usโ€, I experienced uncontrollable leg tremors on some nights. They constant threat of being left behind and separated from family left us in a constant state of anxiety. Not only did this experience happen at the church but also at school. Where I grew up we had bomb shelters and an air raid siren every Saturday at 1:00. That was more than I could handle. At school we had drills to go down into the bomb-shelter and told that if anything really did happen, we wouldnโ€™t see out parents for ten years. Well , really, weโ€™d never see them again.

    Many, many thanks for this work and those of you, your associates, and Marci Hamilton for digging in and holding these groups and people accountable.

    Kymberley Sauer

    Reply
  8. Tylon Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Hey Chris! I was your front desk service representative at a hotel you recently stayed at! Just figured Iโ€™d give you a sub! I am a critical thinker myself and get hyped up over this kind of stuff, not necessarily Scientology specifically, but in general! Hope you were satisfied with your stay!

    Reply
  9. Charlie Hunt Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Could you do a show on Debbie Cook and what she said about Scientology in 2012.

    Reply
  10. Sharon Follis Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    This was one of the most encouraging videos I've ever watched! Thank you.

    Reply
  11. alexisdigital Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Very impressed by the guest! Congratulations for the 200th episode. ๐ŸŽ‚

    Reply
  12. Alex Leo Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Great content. The legal monstrosities that are modern corporate religions are wrecking havoc on civil protections for vulnerable people. Scientology, Catholicism, and Mormonism all get free passes to abuse children and mentally vulnerable adults because our country values religion over people. The US continually finds intricate ways to disappoint me.

    Reply
  13. NickTalk Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Besides the MONEY HIDDEN OFFSHORE (CYPRUS, SWITZERLAND, CARIBBEAN ISLES) by CoS, lawyers hold the purse strings (on the board of whichever RIDICULOUS acronym for the entity that has the cash and assets (CST?), therefore CoS is going to drag this out and fight. They're NOT going to let this litigious cash cow go easily.

    Am I the only one suspicious after this interview that the next case is going to involve a sexual abuse cover up by CoS? The "church" needs a GOOD CRIMINAL CASE against it. The Danny Masterson alleged rape allegations have drug ON and ON in investigation process and the media never reports on it. Did "we" just DROP IT? Did the shredders take care of all the audit recorded data?

    Reply
  14. john edgecomb Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Gratz Chris on 200. TYTY both for video

    Reply
  15. Candice Young Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congratulations on 200๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ๐ŸŽˆ

    Reply
  16. Charlie Hunt Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for such a marvellous wonderful video. This is much needed information that we wonโ€™t here in mainstream media due to high censorship.
    Great job.
    I hope you will have her as a guest again after the Jane Doe case.

    Reply
  17. Mark NPM Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    A perfect two hundredth episode! I strongly suspect you've just made David Miscavige soil himself with fear.

    Reply
  18. NickTalk Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    California REQUIRES when physical or sexual abuse is involved, the victim IS to be named Jane Doe, EVEN if they choose to go public, which obviously Valerie Haney has.

    Reply
  19. ShyAnn291 Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    I didnโ€™t know that the bishops in the Mormon Church met with kids and talk about sex stuff. Iโ€™ve never had that happen, Iโ€™m so sorry for those who have gone through this!

    Reply
  20. Southern Bawse Lady Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congrats on your 200th video!! ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐ŸŽผ๐ŸŽถ๐ŸŽต๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ

    Thanks as always for the informative and thought provoking videos! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

    Reply
  21. MaryAnne Brown Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Incredibly interesting! Thank you Chris.

    Reply
  22. Charlie Hunt Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Show 200 congratulations! โœจ๐Ÿพ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽŠ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽŠCheers ๐Ÿฅ‚

    Reply
  23. Twila Fairbanks Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for this and all of your other informative videos….this particular podcast gives me greater hope in seeing the cult dismantled as itโ€™s known today. Congratulations on your 200th episode!!

    Reply
  24. Andrew Warriner Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Fantastic content Chris! Big thanks to Marci for the information!

    Reply
  25. Bob Hunley Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you both. When I got treated bad with a fellowships I picked up a chair and was ready to rock the socks off these "it's" But I took the stance that let them self destruct from within. Creseepy. ๐Ÿ˜ณBob

    Reply
  26. abram galler Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    The country needs undue influence laws,at on a civil level.

    Reply
  27. Johnny McMerica Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Great vid – really interesting!

    Reply
  28. Niqole the Diva Q Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Scientology probably would have been better off (in their eyes/standing) if they didn't perform noisy investigations! Seems they made a bunch of vocal enemies rather than a bunch of people who fear them!
    #scientologysucks

    Reply
  29. Mary Kahn Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Excellent interview. I'm glad to hear about the changes in laws regarding Statute of Limitations laws. That really needs to happen in all 50 states especially as regards not only child sexual abuse but adult. I personally wish that 501c3's would not be granted to any group that enforces or has tenets and beliefs as regards shunning or disconnection. These practices are used as a means of control and there is nothing good and SO much that is damaging and harmful as regards these practices. I guess that'll be another era but it is certainly already past due in an informed and civilized society.

    Reply
  30. Mike Mallen Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Excellent interview. Looking forward to the unfolding of the Jane Doe case.

    Reply
  31. Hans-Christian Schwartz Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Man this was one hell of an interesting chat. Well done, and congratulation on hitting your 200th podcast ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  32. Sunfish OutOfWater Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    What an interesting guest!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    More than well deserved for your 200 episodes!! Many congrats ๐ŸŽ‰ & many more to come!!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    And while I say that I ever donโ€™t like an episode, I did find this one to be especially great! Nicely done!๐Ÿ”†

    Reply
  33. Nicholas Callund Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congs on the 200th, good for you, and many more. From North Uganda

    Reply
  34. lorenzo s Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    At 4.53 : "catholic Church, mormon, cristian" , dude catholic and mormon are cristian.

    Reply
  35. Judy Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congratulations on #200!

    Reply
  36. Gem Jem Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Victims of trauma / abuse need more, MORE time, to seek justice, because when they're stuck in something that controls a lot of one's life, it can take years to realise and much courage to speak out.

    Reply
  37. Stephanie Beard Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congrats on 200 episodes, Chris!!! ๐ŸŽ‰ ๐ŸŽ‡ I love your work and the depth of your analysis. Thanks for everything!!!

    Reply
  38. Jill Anderson Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congrats on the 200th! I hope this interview gives courage for others to speak and pursue their cases, thanks!

    Reply
  39. Zona Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    In the U.S, and many places in the world, we have rising fascism, white supremacy, and xenophobia. These evils are sadly encouraged by most religions who have a great deal to gain by upholding oppressive power structures and hierarchies. The courts in the US are not only hindering progress of justice but are inherently regressive and disconnected with the values of young people. In the US, it is not uncommon for one to receive more time in jail for destruction of property than for sexual assault and the type and amount of justice you receive is based on the color of your skin and your wealth. Thank you for bringing this intelligent and relevant legal expert to talk to us.

    Reply
  40. Kathleen McDowell Posted on July 12, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    Congratulation on your 200th. Very cool.

    Reply
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