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Author Topic: Scientology  (Read 1577 times)

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Offline SabbyTopic starter

Scientology
« on: May 21, 2009, 11:40:54 AM »
Decided to start this to keep the 'I'm a Scientologist' Thread from becoming serious and off topic. I mentioned in it a video called 'The UNfunny Truth about Scientology' its definitely worth a look, but remember that there are some pretty gruesome images in it...

The Un-Funny TRUTH about Scientology

Offline ILoveDetailedRP420

Re: Scientology
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2009, 08:31:08 PM »
I love the music in this, it's from requim for a dream. It's performed by the Kronos Quartet love it. Sorry bout the off topic post.

Anyway, is all that really true. I mean I heard this girl in my college speech class who was a scientoligist talk about, and while I don't believe in it. I like the overall concept, of life repeating and the better person you are and the more knowledgable you get the better in tune with the universe you become.

So what do scientoligists really believe? I mean if all the celebrities believe in it can it really be a cult. I mean celebrities aren't genius's but I think they are smart enough not to be talked into a cult.

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Re: Scientology
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2009, 08:52:07 PM »
I mean if all the celebrities believe in it can it really be a cult. I mean celebrities aren't genius's but I think they are smart enough not to be talked into a cult.

Being brought into a cult has nothing to do with how intelligent you are.  Among other factors are how charismatic (persuasive) the leadership is, and if the cult is promising something that the person really, desperately needs to believe in.  Times like these, when the world seems to be going down the toilet, people want something to hold onto, even if it's a soggy bale of straw in a maelstrom.

The thing that really distinguishes a dangerous cult from a religion is how much you have to surrender of yourself to it.  Many years ago, when I was trying to explain the difference to my parents, I came across this little number (although my copy was a crappy Xerox and not a fancy schmancy web page ;) ) http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html

Offline Serephino

Re: Scientology
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 09:45:00 PM »
I've always believed in people choosing their own path, but this is just....   This is a cult.  I'm an Eclectic Pagan (hmm wonder how many people will shy away from me now...)   and when starting on my path I was fortunate to find good helpful people.  Basically I was told when looking for a tradition or Coven there are things to watch out for.  Basically, if a group insists on charging you money or making you do things you are not comfortable with you want to steer clear of them.  Another warning sign is the leader having a God complex.  There are a few others that I can't remember right now, but Scientology is full of red flags.  I'd recommend staying away from it. 

It's easy for people like this to reel in those who are unsatisfied with their lives and seeking something new.  If you're desperate for something to believe in you'll believe anything.   

Offline Vekseid

Re: Scientology
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 09:55:30 PM »
There are a few practices of Scientology that stand out and let it practically define the term 'cult':

1: It practices disconnection. 'Shunning' practices are a common factor in all dangerous cults and organizations, and Scientology is not the only 'religion' known for this - see disfellowship as practiced by Jehovah's Witnesses. Mormons have a less drastic version, but the fundamentalist sect was particularly bad.
2: It withholds, and more specifically charges for, information.
3: It controls the flow of external information sources, or at least makes an attempt to.

All of this is a pretty strong set of warning signs, even before you get to the reports of child slave labor, attempts at suppressing reports of sexual abuse, and so on.

Offline Maeven

Re: Scientology
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 10:57:58 PM »
So what do scientoligists really believe? I mean if all the celebrities believe in it can it really be a cult. I mean celebrities aren't genius's but I think they are smart enough not to be talked into a cult.
Celebrities aren't any less susceptible to this kind of thing than 'ordinary' folks.

In fact, I'd hazard a guess that their very celebrity makes them more susceptible.  Imagine, for a moment, being plucked from your ordinary life and propelled into superstardom.  At some point, you've got to come to the realization that you've basically just gotten really damn lucky. 

And then you start asking yourself...why? and how? There's really no explanation... tack on a few years of being a superstar and then you've somehow convinced yourself that you indeed are special in ways that ordinary people aren't.  But how come you still have all the same vices? Why does love still hurt; why do you still feel fat when you look in the mirror; why do you like to over-indulge in alcohol and drugs? You shouldn't because you're a superstar and you're special, right?

And then L. Ron Hubbard, or Priscilla Presley, or John Travolta, or whomever, comes along and tells you it's not your fault. That you've got the souls of these poor people living inside you that you must rid yourself of -- your body thetans -- and that they're what's keeping you from being the living epitome of perfection and by God Xenu, he can help you because it's clear that the religions of the masses aren't doing it. Right? Special people need special religion. Right?

The body thetans? They're the souls of people who were placed on a spaceship 75 million years ago by Xenu, the Galactic Dictator, who then brought them to earth and stacked them around volcanoes and then he detonated hydrogen bombs to kill them all. They're hanging around today and inhabiting our bodies and causing our vices. Seriously. That's what they believe.


The guy was a science fiction writer (who, incidentally, named Dianetics, the 'bible' of scientology, after his daughter, Dian) and was quoted as saying a viable way of making money was to found a religion. 

Quote
Sam Moskowitz, a 74-year-old science fiction editor in Newark, claimed that Hubbard made comments to 23 members of the Eastern Science Fiction Association in 1948 about starting a religion to make money.[80] Lloyd Esbach recalls Hubbard making such a statement in 1948, made to a group of science fiction authors.[48] According to The Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Hubbard made statements to the effect that developing a religion or psychiatric method was an effective way to make money.[81] Harlan Ellison says that Hubbard told John W. Campbell that he was going to devise a religion that would make him wealthy.[82] After spending some time with Hubbard in 1951, Del Close claimed that Hubbard frequently complained about the American Medical Association and IRS, expressing interest in starting a religion.[83]


Link here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Ron_Hubbard#cite_note-80


I'm not passing judgment, but I'm certainly not buying it.



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Re: Scientology
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 11:03:06 PM »
I find that the Visual Encyclopedia of Science Fiction quote particularly interesting, considering the absolute revulsion that Scientology teachings show towards the psychiatric profession.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Scientology
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 11:52:00 PM »
Its not the message I have issue with. Talking zombies who attract fish when its dramatic is silly. The story of Xenu out classes many religions when it comes to the WTF factor, but its still just their collection of stories that explain the world and how to better yourself. Thats what a bible does, the only thing that sets this one apart was it wasn't written so damned long ago that no one knows who had a hand in it. In this case, its a fictional writer with a bad history of material and plenty of crimes under his belt.

But like I said, the 'message' is not the issue. Its the conduct. I hear many Scientologists (the ones that aren't angry looking people beating camera men on Youtube) calling out that same thing, that Scientology is being run into the ground by the leaders, and if it were controlled by good, competent people who honestly believed their cause and not the flow of cash, then it wouldn't be the train wreck cult it is today.

Honestly? I believe them. If someone took the reins of the Church, killed off the 'Fair Game' policy, made the information free and just generally modernized the whole group, it could be an awkward but other harmless addition to the world. Or at least, harmless by religious standards.

And thats another thing, the Fair Game policy. Geeeeez... how is that even ALLOWED to be practiced? :/

Offline Silk

Re: Scientology
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2009, 04:47:12 AM »
I'd sooner beleive in the church of the flying spagetti monster than this

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Scientology
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 10:26:46 AM »
What makes them any worse than these religions: Roman Catholicism (a long and bloody history), Islam (a long and bloody history), Mormons (not so long but bloody history just see September Dawn the movie was accurate as far as historians can tell), Protestants (they have their problems to like the Salem Witch Trials).

In fact few religions as a broad stroke does have a clean slate maybe Buddhism and a few others of the major and more moderate sized faiths.

And many of these have freaky starts like Mormonism ,not attacking the faith as its practiced now, but it has a odd story and violent early history.

I'm not defending these people they are ,well, a cult and I live near their HQ they are slowly buying Clearwater where they are based and they scare me a bit. But they have the right to practice unless the government can prove a compelling interest and take them to court. They haven't yet.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: Scientology
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2009, 10:38:30 AM »
Oh, I agree with you Ruby :) just the Fair Game really gets to me. I'm cool with the freedom of religion thing, but... that feels like something that actually should be forcibly removed, if its a Church, a Country or anything.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Scientology
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2009, 11:00:16 AM »
Well I would like to talk about taxing all religions on First Amendment grounds and make the country really neutral on this, but that is not for this thread.

But I would argue if any religion grossly abuses the laws and does commit crimes they should be declared not a legal religion but that is a high bar.

Offline grdell

Re: Scientology
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2009, 10:13:39 PM »
I'm an Eclectic Pagan (hmm wonder how many people will shy away from me now...)

Psh. I went out with a Hellenic Revivalist. Paganism is no big deal to me.  ;)

Offline Serephino

Re: Scientology
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2009, 10:23:45 PM »
What's Hellenic Revivalism?  I don't think I've ever heard of that. 

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Re: Scientology
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2009, 10:33:10 PM »
That would be the group 'bringing back' the religion of Ancient Greece.  (Is also Eclectic.)

Offline Serephino

Re: Scientology
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2009, 11:22:21 PM »
Ah...   My patron God is Set and my patron Goddess is Hera with some Christian and Green Witch influences.  I'm all over the place.  Of course I'm always learning and forming new opinions, which I think any good religion should do, but that's my opinion.

Offline Scott

Re: Scientology
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2009, 01:37:47 AM »
I'd sooner beleive in the church of the flying spagetti monster than this

Can I go to your church? it sounds fun!!!

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Re: Scientology
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2009, 07:53:12 AM »

     I tried some Dianetics books in high school.  They do have some funky (if simple) psychological techniques, although you'd think meditation or creative role-playing might take you much the same place - if you "focused" on it enough.  I tried "analysis" on a friend a few times.  I often felt it was something like fortune telling, requiring a lot of guesswork and chance.  That is, unless you like psychoanalytic models where everything leads back to the parents, or back to some other fixed model you've already chosen.  In which case, you would just keep tossing the patient different topics with different hints until you get there. At least as an amateur working off a book more about meditation tricks, I was doing that. 

     Then we picked up a report in some magazine (I wanted to say Time or Newsweek, but can't seem to track it down now).  It was a long running list, rather like the video, of disaffected celebrity followers, possible Silence of the Lambs cases, cooked books, and clashes with the government.  Besides claims of bullying the flock, a mention particularly that jolted me was a reference to the organization being associated with some sort of rocket attack in California.  It might have been in the 70's, and these days I wouldn't dismiss an organization's whole name simply because it got violent once or twice.  But, the whole package felt fishy in addition to my being much more reactionary then.  We dropped that pursuit. 

     Scientology seems to be trying to occupy a number of different roles.  As I gather, some of it can be spiritual.  Some is claiming to be more therapeutic.  From the video history of legal issues, it seems to have an organized crime component too.  As a business, there is this massive book and "workshop" push with special efforts to land on best seller lists and plenty of hefty marketing and retail work.  When the IRS comes along, it refers to religion.  And, there are certain scientific and religious structures and concepts among the ingredients.  I can say that, without fussing about how much or what quality are required to be rated "a science" or "a religion."

     It's true that various types of functions like these can't be neatly categorized in modern societies.  They don't precisely fall under any one type of institution or practice all the time, no matter what the formal names or categories are.  The impression I get about Scientology though, is that its bureaucracy is very interested in occluding or misrepresenting the actual links between its various faces.  It also appears the outfit is trying to conceal something that is particularly hard to hide: Perhaps more business is being served than spirit.  There is a certain desperation to enforce order visibly that suggests special duplicity.  A happy, happy church of free choice shouldn't need a press gang to keep people inside.  A well-planned psychiatric program that works, shouldn't be too closely associated with sapping physical health and funds to the point of exhaustion. 

     Granted, other businesses and more established churches have similar edges to them. Still, I have an impression that Scientology is doing something to crack certain, deeply cherished social limits and eventually, emotional tripwires about standards for abuse better than some larger groups.  It wouldn't be the first time one organization becomes the depository of society's unease with some really pervasive issues.  But in itself, that's not a good reason not to question that particular depository closely and pick apart the issues.  Particularly if lots of disaffected people are streaming out of that organization.     


Offline Rhapsody

Re: Scientology
« Reply #18 on: July 25, 2009, 09:31:50 AM »
I highly recommend that anyone who studies religions either as an interest or "professionally" watches Bill Maher's comedy documentary Religulous at least once.  Yes, it's a slanted documentary about religion, done as it is by an agnostic (and most documentaries tend to be slanted in one direction or the other), but it does put a lot of the origins and religious stories of various paths into a rather humorous perspective. 

Bill Maher's 'Religulous'

Offline TheWriter

Re: Scientology
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2009, 09:34:24 AM »
If you guys think Fair Game is bad, look up Auditing Process R2-45.  The days where you could kill someone for not believing in your religion should have left us with the Middle Ages.

Incidentally, what my local government has to say about Scientology as a whole makes for some interesting reading:
Quote
Regardless of whether the members of the applicant are gullible or misled or whether the practices of Scientology are harmful or objectionable, the evidence, in our view, establishes that Scientology must, for relevant purposes, be accepted as "a religion" in Victoria. That does not, of course, mean either that the practices of the applicant or its rules are beyond the control of the law of the State or that the applicant or its members are beyond its taxing powers.
Yes, my government's official stance on Scientology is 'if you're stupid enough to believe this claptrap, suit yourself'.

Offline Jude

Re: Scientology
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2009, 01:27:29 PM »
As much as I appreciated Religulous, I thought it was a rather typical take on the subject for anyone who's into skepticism.  It was pretty much a collection of concepts I've faced before, just made funny and portrayed for a mainstream audience.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Scientology
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2009, 03:44:41 PM »
The problem is that most religions like Christianity and Islam don't really believe in giving your money to the church as payment as much as it's charity or alms giving. Hubbard founded his church on greed, I'm more than certain.

Offline Mathim

Re: Scientology
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2009, 04:17:24 PM »
I talked my philosophy teacher into letting us watch the Scientology episode of South Park for our study on cults vs. religions. Pretty sweet. But the way I look at all religions is that it's like people believing in fictional stories; those are for children. And if you believe in one, why not any of the millions of others? Not one bit of it makes a lick of sense, but they're all equally ridiculous so I can't really put down Scientology more than any other religion.