The truth will set you free…what is that supposed to mean? Sure, talk to anyone who has lived a lie, held onto a lie or perpetuates one against someone else, it does take it’s toll, and eventually the truth comes out. And it’s never just one lie; lies multiply until they coalesce into substantial matter that obliterates the many to sustain itself. Lies make people seem larger than life, and create the illusion that can make the truth seem somehow less than, well, true. I was watching a documentary on HBO: “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” and I realized just how powerful lies can be.
What I found most surprising is that the people being interviewed seemed reasonable, intelligent, and well, normal. Having never been a in a cult (crazy town doesn’t count), I just couldn’t understand how they could be, well, so stupid. Clearly L Ron Hubbard was mentally ill, even he thought so…and David Miscavige is an almost textbook narcissistic sociopath. Why do the intelligent follow him? When the documentary insinuated that the “church” may hold too much dirt on many of their more wealthy members, I thought that this was a perfect example of how intrusive lies can be and how they really can imprison a person. I give credit to and pray for those who finally came forward to tell the truth. From what it sounds like, the Church of Scientology didn’t make it easy for them. They were harassed, their reputations tarnished, they were cut off from their families, all because they wouldn’t sustain the lies and would no longer be controlled.
I think that is why Jesus honed in on the truth so much. In the gospel of John, Jesus makes the above quote. He does it in the context of refusing to condemn a woman caught in adultary. When he declared that the one who hasn’t sinned throw the first stone, everyone walked away…so he didn’t condemn her either, and went on to say, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Pharisees attacked his veracity and demanded verification. Rather than listen and soak in the wisdom of what just happened, they yell “Prove it” And he did, but there was a steep price to pay. He had all the power, which is why he didn’t have to use it, but to those who exist in lies, it’s terrifying. He gave his life to empower mine. Now I have his power, if I remain in his word, as he instructed. The truth isn’t always easy or glamorous, but it certainly is freeing.