Posted November 22, 2021 Updated November 23, 2021 10:06 a.m. CST
A TikToker who goes by Reckless Ben said he used secret camera glasses inside a Church of Scientology service to uncover the truth about the secret religion.
Users flocked to the video, which as of Monday had racked up more than 1.7 million views.
Ben opens the video with “So I went to Scientology with a secret camera in my glasses and this is their real church service.”
In the images of the glasses, a man behind a podium with a cross says: “Welcome to the Sunday service. All you have to do is follow the commands.
He then appears to order the congregation to “sit in your chair” 16 times over a time frame of footage. In many cases, the congregation is already visibly seated.
“Are you sure this isn’t a video of me teaching my kindergarten kids?” user @emmaw501 commented.
Many users agreed that the secret camera glasses caught the brainwashing in real time.
“Simple commands and acknowledgment. Solid brainwashing technique,” @dusty_marbles said.
“What people may not realize is that by repeating a task already done, it creates a sense of ownership and investment. Then when he says something… like “come next week”, you come. It takes years, but that’s how cults or any extremist recruitment work,” @realistpyschologist commented. “Small to large investments over a long period.”
One user pointed out the irony of psychological tricks given that Scientology has a controversial relationship with psychiatry.
“They portray psychologists as the devil, while using psychology all the time,” @theacidicgod wrote.
Many users have expressed concern for Ben. They feared that revealing the notorious secret organization’s services would bring harassment to him.
“All heroes [sic] wear capes, but be careful,” @ladylawyerwarrior said. “They will try to hurt you.”
Ben did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment.
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*First published: November 22, 2021, 5:35 p.m. CST
Dan Latu is a freelance journalist who writes about internet and culture. Previously, his work has appeared in the Real Deal and Columbia News Service.