A number of influencers are being criticised for wearing Scientology necklaces on TikTok.
It all started when Frankie Jonas, the youngest of the Jonas Brothers, played a prank on a number of TikTok stars by asking them to pose with Scientology necklaces.
In a now-deleted TikTok video, he showed himself wearing the necklace and wrote “wear my Scientology chain and pose” before tricking a number of others to do the same.
Then, he added a photo montage of all the people he successfully managed to fool, including Charli D’Amelio, Lil Huddy, Noah Beck and Suni Lee, who are now all getting backlash for wearing the pendant.
So, what is a Scientology necklace? And why are they being slammed?
What is a Scientology necklace?
A Scientology necklace is a chain with a Scientology symbol pendant hanging on it.
The Scientology symbol is two triangles sitting on top of each other with an ‘S’ curving through it.
People sometimes wear Scientology necklaces to show that they support Scientology, but what does that mean?
What is Scientology?
Scientology is a set of beliefs and practices developed by by L. Ron Hubbard that are often considered a religion.
According to Scientology.org, it: “Offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the Supreme Being.”
It’s not about the body or the mind, it’s all about the spirit, and the ultimate goal of Scientology is “true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for all”.
Why are influencers getting backlash?
Following Frankie Jonas’ video, people have been slamming the influencers for supporting this religion, and claim they should have been more aware before they took part in the trend wore the necklace, but why?
Well, whilst Scientology might seem like any other religion, it is often slammed for being a ‘cult’.
As reported by The Irish Times, the Church of Scientology is seen as a “dangerous and manipulative” organisation that “engages in suppression and harassment”.
Under Scientology’s beliefs, people are often ordered to “disconnect” from their friends and sever all contact from them, becoming isolated and putting their whole self into the church.
Cases of mental and emotional abuse within Scientology and the deceptive techniques used by the church to recruit members have also been widely reported on.
The influencers obviously didn’t know what the Scientology necklace signified, but it’s definitely best to think twice before you take part in a seemingly innocent social media trend.