Usually, when we talk about Republican politicians promoting religion, we’re talking about the Mike Pences of the world pushing their Christianity anywhere they can.
In Nevada, however, Brent Jones, a former assemblyman and current candidate for lieutenant governor, is apparently the subject of multiple lawsuits from employees of his bottled water company because, they say, he pushed Scientology on them.
Riley Snyder of the Nevada Independent has more:
… Jones and the parent company of Real Water, Affinitylifestyles.com, have been targeted in several discrimination lawsuits by former employees, including one centered on claims that the former lawmaker required her and other new employees to watch videos with Scientology undertones that promoted the controversial system of religious beliefs founded by writer L. Ron Hubbard.
While one district judge ruled in Jones’ favor and Jones himself denied these allegations, there’s plenty of evidence that Scientology propaganda made its way into training courses for staffers.
… court documents including depositions of Jones, his son and wife and a former top employee paint a picture of a workplace that appears to blur the lines between promotion of Scientology as a religion and various secular management techniques created by Hubbard and taught by groups close to the church.
… court documents indicate that he has closely integrated many aspects of Scientology into his Las Vegas business, which employs between 40 to 60 people at any given time.
One employee says Jones asked him to read L. Ron Hubbard’s The Way to Happiness, a secular-seeming pamphlet that nonetheless propagates his beliefs. That same employee said Jones required him to attend Narconon, another Hubbard-inspired program that focuses on substance abuse recovery.
There’s so much more in the article, but the point is that there’s plenty of evidence of Jones promoting Scientology, whether the courts deem it legal or not.
While there’s no religious test to run for public office, and no one’s stopping Jones from running due to his beliefs, voters have a right to weigh his decision-making skills when choosing who to support and a hell of a lot of his decisions appears to have been guided by Tom Cruise-style batshittery. Even for a Republican, that may be too far.
Incidentally, there’s a whole section on Jones’ campaign website where he attempts to explain all the Scientology stuff. He doesn’t deny using Hubbard’s material at all; he merely says he focused on the secular aspects of it, not the religious parts. The problem with that excuse is that there’s really no distinction between the two. It’s like saying you told your employees to follow the secular advice in the Bible and then acting defensive when people accuse you of illegal proselytizing.
If Jones wanted to foist secular advice on his employees, he should’ve found a secular source. Instead, he played the same game that Scientologists always play when seeking new recruits. They lure you in with the normal stuff before getting to all the weirdness.
There are many reasons not to support Jones in this election. He opposes accessible health care, his education platform would take money away from public schools, he won’t raise taxes on the wealthy, etc. But a guy who defends Scientology as much as he does really makes you question the basis of his judgment.
The primary is on June 12.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)