Deprogrammed is the 2016 documentary by the Canadian writer/director Mia Donovan, following the career path of the “father of deprogramming” Ted Patrick. It includes interviews with Dr Stephen Kent and famed deprogrammer turned exit-counselor Rick Ross. It also has extensive commentary by the now 80-something Ted Patrick himself, including shots of him participating in his own mainstream Christian church services.
This documentary contains a very good discussion of the limits of power that people can exercise over those who make religious and spiritual choices that they don’t like.
Deprogrammed: Culture vs. Cult
As I watched Deprogrammed, I was reminded of the power that culture has on the minds of human beings – telling them what is “right” vs what is “wrong”, what is “weird” vs what is “normal”. When looked at from the viewpoint of culture, the word “cult” takes on a whole new meaning. I believe this is an important viewpoint for all those who are fighting the righteous fight to expose the “criminality, fraud, and abuse” in Scientology.
Human beings have an innate impulse to enforce cultural norms on each other and that impulse is always part of any discussion of “cults”. In Islamic culture, for instance, Christianity is viewed as a “cult”. And Jews have historically viewed Christianity as a “cult” led by a charismatic break-away Rabbi.
Does this human impulse to enforce cultural norms drive anti-Scientologists on the Internet today?
Is it really just about the “fraud”, and the “criminality” and the “abuse” in Scientology for those never-ins who spend so much time “exposing” Scientology on the Internet? If it is, then where are all the civil and criminal court victories in the last 20 years which prove that fraud, criminality, and abuse exist in Scientology?
What if the practices of Scientology were entirely legal?
If they were not, then why are the overwhelming majority of court cases against Scientology thrown out of court?
I believe these are important questions to ask. “Deprogrammed” presents the words and pictures of the people involved in the forced deprogramming movement.
It’s a documentary that does not give you any answers.
It lets you ask your own.