‘Rock Center with Brian Williams’ explores Scientology’s 'Narconon'

Tom Cruise is one of the most famous Scientologists  

Photo: Facebook/ Rock Center With Brian Williams

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2013―Most people probably associate Scientology with actors like Kirstie Alley and John Travolta, and give it little thought beyond that. Fans of science fiction may even remember Scientology’s creator, L. Ron Hubbard, as a prolific writer with a wonderful sense of satire.

But for anyone who tries to leave, or even speak out against the Church of Scientology, the story is a lot more complex. Equally disturbing is a report tonight at 10 p.m. on “Rock Center With Brian Williams.” There are allegations that the Church of Scientology’s “Narconon” drug addiction treatment centers are more about making money and recruiting new members than overcoming any dependency.

A person can lose days on the Internet trying to get to the bottom of Scientology without every uncovering definitive answers. Cutting through the layers of fiction to get any facts about Hubbard comes up with little but a nearly impenetrable fog. Even in interviews with Hubbard, the results of the conversations are often unclear. He talks in circles like a used car salesman who avoids any question that might be detrimental to his sales pitch.

If one asks Scientologist Tom Cruise, he’ll likely say that Hubbard was an enlightened soul with a valuable message for mankind. Ask ex-members of the Church of Scientology and they will tell you the organization is nothing more than a cult with little or no tolerance for anyone who isn’t a member.

Whether Hubbard was a visionary or a scheming con man looking to capitalize on the weakness of people at vulnerable moments in their lives is something each individual must decide on his or her own.

However, one of Hubbard’s quotes keeps resurfacing, and it may shed more light on his real intent than anything else. At a meeting of the Eastern Science Fiction Association in November 1948, Hubbard responded to a question on his writing career by quipping, “You don’t get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion.” 

Since this was Hubbard’s mindset before he created the Church of Scientology, it is definitely food for thought today. If you want to explore more, check out “Rock Center” tonight at 10.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: Happy Endings: (New) Max gets gossip about Alex and Jane from their hairdresser; Dave and Penny try to figure out who stole the Steak Me Home truck.

CBS: Undercover Boss: (New) Andy Wiederhorn, CEO of Fatburger, a “fast casual” restaurant famous for their made-to-order burgers, takes drastic measures when he learns that employees at one franchise location are facing payroll issues and working with broken equipment

FOX: Kitchen Nightmares: (Repeat) Chef Ramsay visits Sabatiello’s, an Italian restaurant in Stamford, Conn., with a hot-tempered owner and poor customer service. After his staff turns against him and Ramsay offers criticism, the owner gets so angry he shuts the place down himself.

NBC: Fashion Star: (New) The designers must work with a design partner to create a cohesive collection.

CW: Nikita: (New) Nikita and Michael learn of a new prosthetic hand that could have Michael back to his old self, but it comes at a steep price. Meanwhile, Alex and Sean are tasked with investigating who, inside Division, is behind a mutiny that ends in bloodshed.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Happy Endings: (New) Penny reaches out to her estranged father; when Brad and Max help sabotage a rival food truck, Max falls for the enemy’s son.

9 p.m.

ABC: Shark Tank: (New) Gourmet meat business; a cooler with interior LED lighting; full-body spandex suit; an advance filter water bottle; follow up on a play and party space for kids from season four.

CBS: Vegas: (New) Sheriff Lamb and FBI Agent Byrne butt heads when Byrne prevents Lamb from pressing charges against a pimp in order to get info on Savino instead. Also, Dixon falls hard for Hollywood starlet Viola (Anna Camp), and Tommy and Dixon discover that Yvonne has a chance at becoming a professional singer.

FOX: Touch: (New) Jake tries to locate Amelia using a cipher, while Martin tracks down Guillermo, who is stalking a familiar member of the “36.” Elsewhere, the CEO of Aster Corporation tries to convince Calvin to come back to the company.

NBC: Grimm: (New) Rosalee is called to jury duty and takes on a lawyer with unusual

CW: Cult: (New) E.J. (guest star Stacy Farber, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) slips Jeff a copy of Sakelik’s (guest star Aisha Hinds, “Weeds”) police personnel file which reveals that Sakelik was taken into custody by Child Protective Services 25 years ago after being found with other abandoned children at a house in Arrowhead.

10 p.m.

ABC: 20/20: (New) A durable newsmagazine mixing investigative pieces with human-interest and celebrity features that’s ABC’s oldest prime-time series. No episode description available.

CBS: Blue Bloods: (New) Danny investigates a murder in a cemetery and discovers that the victim was a religious woman who was hiding her interfaith romance from her family.

NBC: Rock Center With Brian Williams: (New) In the wake of a Rock Center with Brian Williams report on three deaths at a Scientology-linked drug treatment center in Oklahoma, the former president of the facility, and a former executive at a Narconon facility in Michigan have come forward to expose what they call deceitful marketing techniques and under qualified staff.

Basic cable:

New episodes of: 

Four Weddings: Revealed at 8 p.m. on TLC

Yukon Men: Revealed at 8 p.m. on DSC

Yukon Men at 9 p.m. on DSC

Flea Market Flip at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC

Bering Sea Gold: Getting to the Bottom at 10 p.m. on DSC

Something Borrowed, Something New at 10 p.m. on TLC

The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

XXX: State of the Union on ENC

The Big Lebowski on FLIX

The Green Hornet on FLIX

The Change-Up on HBO

The Cable Guy on FLIX

The Expendables on SPIKE

Mildred Pierce on TCM

Clash of the Titans on TNT

9 p.m.

30 Days in May on SHO

Due Date on SUND

Drive Angry on TMC

Later tonight:

Rambo III at 9:15 p.m. on CINEMAX

Always at 10 p.m. on FLIX

The Hangover Part II at 10 p.m. on HBO

Cowboys & Aliens at 10 p.m. on HBO

Stella Dallas at 10 p.m. on TCM


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.

 

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