Brothers take a leap of faith in Scientology

The Ong brothers, who embraced the religion four decades ago, are among the few Scientologists here.
Mr Ong Eng Chowg (left) and brother Ong Eng Liang are among the few Scientologists in Singapore.
Mr Ong Eng Chowg (left) and brother Ong Eng Liang are among the few Scientologists in Singapore.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

They are among the few followers in S'pore of a church that has drawn controversy abroad

In 1978, a Singapore couple flew to the United States in a panic. Their son, then aged 24, had embraced what he said was a new religion: Scientology. Their concern was not without grounds. Media reports had cast Scientology as one among a wave of cults that brainwashed and abused converts in the US and Western Europe.

"They said, you are a successful engineer, why are you getting in this thing that's like a cult?" recalls Ong Eng Chowg, now 65. Then working in Dallas, Texas, as an engineer, he later introduced his younger brother Ong Eng Liang, a student, to Scientology in 1983.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 20, 2019, with the headline 'Brothers take a leap of faith in Scientology'. Print Edition | Subscribe