Inside the Scientology Celebrity Centre

2014, Religion  -   72 Comments
Ratings: 7.41/10 from 180 users.

Steven Mango is an actor, business owner and he was a four-year parishioner of the church of Scientology Celebrity Center in Hollywood. He came in there in hope to find spiritual fulfillment and get some guidance in his acting career. Over the course of four years he has donated close to $50,000 to the church of scientology.

In return they lied to him, they manipulated him, and they took advantage of him. They were convincing him to give up his acting career and become a staff member. The program was basically manual labor from sun up to sun down. They were yelling at him and insulting him on a daily basis. According to Steven, they've also suggested to women to have an abortion if they get pregnant because they believe the kid is just going to hold back women from their mission.

The way he got into scientology wasn't through family or friends but through a simple newspaper ad which was promising "breaking into the industry." As a young actor he was looking for a help to get into the entertainment industry and the ad caught his attention. The ad listed how you're going to be able to learn how to get an agent, manager, how to get in front of casting directors, etc. Those are all things every actor is looking for when they come to L.A.

He knew about L. Ron Hubbard... he knew he was the founder of the church of scientology but he really didn't know much about what the church actually was. He knew that scientology had a really large celebrity following and he was curious about what they have to offer. At the workshop there were basically no acting lessons whatsoever but just a presentation of various scientology principles and an intrusive persuasion to join to course. Steven's journey into the world of scientology started right there.

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72 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Belle

    This is an extortion ring plain and simple. It should be shut down. It's mind boggling that people like John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and other celebrities get roped into this scheme. Saw an expose from BBC that Juliette Lewis is one! That is a big disappointment.

    I thought it was a great piece. My only critiques would be that he didn't call it what it truly is or have more harsh words to describe this criminal organization. There was some redundancy in parts which better editing could have fixed. Other than that, it was very engaging.

    I don't understand why people are cutting this guy down. He was obviously young and vulnerable and looking to make it in Hollywood. Perfect target for cult recruiters. I'e never been in one but having watched enough documentaries on the subject, it's not hard to see the indoctrination tactics are overwhelming to suspectible people. They prey on any and all vulnerabilities, wear you down, control you. It is hard to believe the red flags weren't waving in his face from the get go. Who can say what makes a person ignore the warning signs? Cults are a strange phenomenon. Look at Jim Jones. He talked families into killing their children and then commit their own suicides. Very strange.

  2. ANON

    This seems like he would do anything for a role. I have a feeling he would have embraced Scientology if he would have gotten a starring role.
    I am not an advocate for Scientology, I believe it is insane and the work of a madman. none the less this person seems to be hardly a man, (I am not inherently against homosexuals) more of a tool/ servant

  3. get it right

    Nothing wrong with abortion at all. It's the forcing that's the problem. And forcing a woman to have a baby is just as bad as forcing someone to abort or forcing anyone to do anything for that matter.

  4. Roaman

    To summarize the film - Scientology was Steve's family until he found a mate who gave him support in his favor. Steve tremendously enjoyed all of the attention he was getting from the Church. All the phone calls, texts, emails, stalkers, and meetings made him feel important. The good news is that it only takes one friend to help a person see clearly and stand up for themselves. I wish that for everybody. Whether it's a spouse, friend, cat, dog, or pen pal, whatever it takes to keep the selfish religious nuts out of our life is a good thing!

  5. Waterhorse

    Dull, one sided and fluffy around the edges.
    Specious, unimaginative and somewhat corny.
    Keep the day job.

  6. Jacek Walker

    Let's hope he has matured a bit now and is not looking for a quick road to fame and publicity any more.
    At that infortunate time he did and he got was he was asking for. An upstart careerist being outsmarted by fully fledged charlatans.

  7. TheDanishViking

    A surprisingly BAD documentary (about an otherwise very interesting subject).

  8. beepath

    I disagree Grant. At first, I thought I wouldn't sit through the entire doc, but once into it, I was very impressed. These people are just a crazy bunch of bastards. I so admire Leah Remini and her decision to ask the hard questions about her friend, Shelley Miscavige.This is just another rotten patriarchal religion to be avoided at all costs and by any means necessary.

  9. 733

    i have no sympathy for anyone who gets caught up in these scams

  10. Grant Howard

    This is more like a book-on-tape than a documentary. Fascinating stuff but he'd have been better writing it down and publishing it than talking to the camera for two and a half hours.

  11. Toy Pupanbai

    I fast forwarded, a good bit.
    Anyone remember the 'Moonies?'
    (I looked up Word Check and the top word offered was, 'Loonies'!)

    1. beepath

      Once I got into it, I didn't want to miss a second of it.

    2. coryn

      Anyone remember Barrytown, Rhinebeck and Red Hook? Then you'll remember the Moonies. Clean, well-dressed, disciplined, small groups walking and talking around the area. Hmm..... , I think I'll google them.....

  12. Horst Manure

    We will always have crooks scammers etc running religion ..until it is banned we can never have peace..

  13. dmxi

    do they shriek away when one calls jesus thy saviour?sounds stupid but if it matter if you fall for the second trap!now,audit that,!

    1. beepath

      Nah, I simply call up the goddess of us all and ask her protection from these crazies. And it harm none, do what thou will....but don't take any s*it!

  14. Che

    wow! This guy has to be the most gullible person in L.A. I couldn't help feeling that this video was essentially a resume for this credulous, John Cryer lookalike. Scientology is a tax shelter for the rich and famous.

    1. beepath

      Remember, he was very young and impressionable.. I'm very happy for him and his sweet husband;

  15. ennasus

    Any group that tries to influence a person's will is transgressing on the freedom of another and is destructive! Never believe anyone or anything that is interfering with your will!!!!

    1. ennasus

      It is a RED flag when someone or a group wants to control you!

    2. Anita

      I whole heartily We should never allow anyone to manipulate our minds.

    3. TonyIII

      This is a wonderfully written anatomy of a scam that any Psych or Sociology major can use. Beware of homosexual propaganda which confuses disapproval of homosexuality with disapproval of homosexuals.
      The entire scam here is series of non sequitors and irrelevant metaphors which appeal to people who are mis-educated by John Dewey's handiwork: education without Philosophy. It's normal at age 19 but for an adult it indicates a severe lack of mental acuity.

    4. fender24

      How do u know the video is not influencing YOUR will?? btw he is an actor :D

    5. beepath

      Nope, he just gave us the facts, and he rings true.

  16. Fox

    I'm glad too see the young man evolved, any Religion/cult should be considered a danger too our evolving as a species. Worship Mother Earth!

    1. bringmeredwine

      I found the Protestant United Church fairly harmless.
      Hope I don't get my head ripped off now!
      Edit, I should add I'm talking about the particular church where I used to go.
      We were guided by a very tolerant and amiable Minister.
      He once did a sermon on how some non-believers acted more kindly, and were better people in some instances, than devout Christians he knew.
      We were for the most part a caring and accepting community.

    2. ZeissIkon

      I'd agree with you there, if you really have to have a religion in the first place, do try to make it a tolerant/inoffensive one, and some mild mannered forms of protestantism are really pretty good in that respect.
      Personally, like most people I know who were brought up under the Church of England, I am an agnostic and haven't got a religious bone in my body. In retrospect, I would say that's probably the mark of a good religion :-)
      The church over here traditionally being a very nice place used for weddings, funerals and jumble sales, with hardly anyone ever actually making it on a Sunday (unless Songs of Praise was being filmed), its most vital role being that of a community centre for those not quite old enough to successfully get served down the pub and somewhere for the old ladies to gossip over tea and biscuits as to whether the good looking new vicar is gay or not.

    3. bringmeredwine

      Lol, pretty much here too.

    4. beepath

      Blessed Be!

  17. TheDanishViking

    Just one guy talking and talking.... and talking.

    1. beepath

      No different than sitting through a lecture. And this speaker was excellent.....don't guess you go to school or read much.

  18. Fabien L

    Very tedious to watch even if the message is interesting and important. This could have been edited to 1hr and the message would still have been clear.

    1. ZeissIkon

      I had to switch it off after about 40 minutes, as there didn't seem to be anything much we didn't already know about scientology and I really couldn't bear his whining voice, having concluded by that point that he was a narcissistic little stage school kid, who'd thought he'd cynically join a dodgy cult religion, well known for brainwashing and looting its members, as some kind of networking exercise to further his lousy acting career. And then, when his stupid plan all rather predictably came apart like a cheap watch, we are expected to sit down for two and a half hours and listen to him bleating on about how they mind raped and financially rinsed him, I think not.
      I did however feel quite sorry for his husband, as I'd bet that's one high maintenance relationship.

    2. beepath

      I read an expose on Scientology a few years ago. this was an excellent refresher. No need to feel sorry for his husband, silly.

    3. beepath

      My interest was held and I appreciated every anecdote.....

  19. vcragain

    I remember reading the first Ron Hubbard book back around 1970, curious of what it was all about - then realized every other word was about how we were all secretly abortion-attempts by our mothers - at that point I thought - NUTS - this is garbage - how on earth does ANYONE read past that point - this CULT is nothing but money making crazy stuff !!!!

    1. jaberwokky

      I read the Dianetics book back in the mid 90s. At the time I knew nothing about Scientology, or Psychiatry for that matter, but the book was so full of WTF moments that I remember having to recheck whether it was fiction or non-fiction. It was appalling tripe.

      Having said that, I could certainly understand how some people would overlook the more disturbing insinuations in the book because they are focused on the magic answers the author claims to provide. It's the same old story, empty promises and selling hope.

    2. Sieben Stern

      "Having said that, I could certainly understand how some people would overlook the more disturbing insinuations in the book because they are focused on the magic answers the author claims to provide."

      sounds familiar..... like the bible for instance?

    3. jaberwokky

      Yup, hence the 'same old story' reference.
      But I was trying for subtlety in the hopes that future readers would feel their way to a conclusion.

      You ruined it damn you ;)

    4. a_no_n

      that and Dianetics is almost impossible to read, thanks to it's mad eup words, and odd grammar structure it's incredibly confusing and jarring...precisely so that you don't realise it's not actually saying anything.

      the old addage bullsh1t baffles Brains.

    5. beepath

      Yep, talk fast...get the cash. Hope they find his wife, wonder what those ******* did to her.....

    6. beepath

      Doh! Aren't you brilliant after reading something from 45 years years ago.....

  20. ChefBryn

    Like all religions, its a scam.

  21. jaberwokky

    I'd imagine this would be a good documentary to show anyone who's been entertaining the notion of joining the $cientology cult.

    An overly long look into the mental, physical, emotional and financial pressures exerted on cult members. I liked the "Now that I've left the cult" advert at the end.

  22. 1concept1

    My comment just below this one is not a plug for Scientology - I am just being the devils advocate -

    1. bringmeredwine

      Oh I'm sure you really meant it! LOL
      I'd be questioning the origins of said Scientology venison!
      Personally, I found this doc way too long and not very interesting.
      I was disappointed.
      I can't believe Stevo gave up four years of his life to these kooks.
      He doesn't mention this phase in his actor's resume.

    2. 1concept1

      I only watched a few moments of it - boring - I have seen other docs like this on the same subject only they held my interest

    3. beepath

      Doh! Well that would be the better way to go....

    4. bringmeredwine


  23. 1concept1

    There are a lot of members in Scientology - someone likes it? - and yes it cost money to run any kind of organized religion - That's there program - that's what they do - That guy was expecting something else?

    I wouldn't give them .10 cents - He did and now he is complaining -

    The only reason "Scientology" is classified as a religion is because it puts them in a tax exempt status?

    I wonder - If one actually studied and worked very hard to implement the courses one took is it not possible to receive a better outlook on things? And thus conduct ones life in a different manner - more conducive to a positive life style?

    I'm just sayen - das all -

    PS: Look at some of these other "religions" they take your money and you get nothing until your dead -

    At least these people are offering the venison and champagne while your still here and alive - ?

    1. Ilona Randall

      Well speaking as a pagan, no one's ever took my money and I'm certainly not waiting for my death to get anything out of it. I'm benefiting right here and right now.

      But to speak about Scientology, I saw a documentary about people being Scientologists but not being affiliated with the main body. In other words they are independent but still apply the teachings for themselves. They seemed to be happy about the freedom and benefit from it.

      Personally, I don't like it, but who's to say that some of the ideas can't be applied? Like people who do yoga and mediation without being Dharmic?

      I am very much opposed to the main body cult. They are dangerous criminals.

    2. 1concept1

      IIona personally i feel all organized religions are more lethal then all the Nuk stock piles on the entire Globe -

      By Nature I am a pagan -

    3. 1concept1

      Well thought out and well said!

    4. allioops

      Sorry, no they are NOT OFFERING ANYTHING of value to their members. It is a destructive and dangerous cult. It has property worth Billions of dollars+all TAX EXEMPT!!!!!
      It is something that I know all too much about, sadly. I was a "member" for over 27 years.

    5. WTC7

      It is great, however, that you succeeded to get out of their claws eventually. I wish many more people could realize the religious dogma as such, (not just Scientology, of course), that is, not bringing any added value to their lives, and start thinking with their own beautiful brains.

    6. bringmeredwine

      And celebrate life, and everything that is good in their lives, in the here and now.

    7. allioops

      I was "kicked" out. It cost me my marriage and life with the man I loved. But< yes I am free to think for myself. I do have the good fortune to have a faith that comforts me. Thank you for your good wishes.

    8. 1concept1

      I gave you an up vote - We all feel raped as we outgrow dogma - you don't have a monopoly in that area -

  24. johnBas5

    Mentioning abortion as an evil deed? Another fearmonger of another crazy cult. Known as Christianity.

    1. WTC7

      I would only replace "Christianity" with Judeo-Christian (including Islam as their off-shoot) 'religion'. Maybe they don't call themselves 'cults', but they are crazy, I agree.

    2. johnBas5

      Fixed in my previous post.

    3. bringmeredwine

      Hmm. All schools of Muslim teach that abortion is acceptable if a mother's life is endangered by a pregnancy.
      This might be of interest: Buddhists are against abortion, because it is considered the taking of a life; but also believe that the rigid following of rules is not what makes us moral.
      This is a very interesting subject to explore.

    4. johnBas5

      Left out Islam in my post, fixed.

    5. bringmeredwine

      Oh, you didn't have to do that.
      I was simply making conversation:)

    6. 1concept1

      Asians for a large part believe that life begins at the moment of conception - so when you are born into the world and leave your mothers body you are 9, months old? So yes I can see why they would be against abortion -

      Your statement about "what makes us moral" I can just see the Dolly Lama sinking his teeth into that one - tho I have no idea what he would say -

    7. bringmeredwine

      He'd say that I'm a paragon of virtue, LOL!
      But seriously, I wonder what he thought of the Buddhist monks who killed Muslims, in Pakistan?
      What a crazy world we live in, eh?

    8. jaberwokky

      In fairness the guy did mention offshoots, when I think of offshoots to the Judeo-Christos story there's one big culprit I think of ... and it's not the Mormons as odd as that may seem ;)

      How you doing by the way?

    9. bringmeredwine

      Off shoots rhymes with kooks! (sort of).
      I'm doin' good for a bitter old bird, because it's finally starting to warm up outside.

    10. jaberwokky

      Bitter? When you get to my age you call it pragmatism ;)

      My God is the Sun.

    11. bringmeredwine

      So is mine.
      I have the crocodilian skin to prove it!

  25. johnBas5

    Scientology is a crazy cult!

    1. sniper43543