Firstly, an acknowledgement and a warning. Issues regarding faith and belief systems are always going to be contentious, and I appreciate that this topic has a relatively high potential for offense. Thus, if you feel you are likely to be offended by this thread, I ask initially that you think, really think, about whether reading or contributing to it is a good idea. My aim here is not to belittle, demean, insult or otherwise offend any persons, but it is to question and challenge the Church in question, which I believe is my right and indeed duty as an intelligent human being. I hope, and am sure, that potential readers of and contributors to this discussion will understand this.
Moderators: I'm not entirely sure where I stand among the board rules with this thread. Just allow me to reiterrate the above: I mean not to offend or insult; I am curious about the Church of Scientology and about people's thoughts on the matter. Unless it gets totally out of hand, I ask that you are perhaps a little lenient here. Thank you.
When he was in his twenties, my uncle moved to Copenhagen in Denmark, and thus became involved, through friends, with the Church of Scientology.
Within just a short space of time, and despite meeting a number of what he refers to as 'fascinating and interesting people', my uncle began to feel suspicious of those inside the Church who were attempting to steer him away from the outside world, and into a sinister web of confusing beliefs they called Scientology. He moved back to England, a task the Church made as difficult as possible for my kind, friendly and completely innocent uncle.
Rewind. A lot.
From 1949, Laffayette Ronald Hubbard, a known science-fiction author, began publishing a series of works called 'Dianetics'. It was centred around various abstract methods of self-improvement, and as it developed became a somewhat unlikely candidate for a religious scripture. In 1952, Hubbard claimed Dianetics to be an 'applied religious philosophy' and, over the coming years, the Church of Scientology was formed.
I strongly and vehemently claim that Scientology is not, in any conventional sense, a religion. Instead, it is the simplistic idea of a human soul being the core of life and existence, and the idea that nurturing a good soul is the way one should live his or her life - but around it is woven a rich tapestry of nonsensical stories, lies and deceit, violence, corruption and - above all - the desire of those at the top to make as much money as possible from those whose lives are unfulfilled.
People like me. And people like you.
Today I read an interesting article written by one of the first journalists to investigate and ultimately challenge the Church of Scientology. As a result of the book she published, she was hounded by the Church, who - it was eventually proven - had infiltrated her personal life, sent a Church member to 'befriend' and essentially spy and report back on her day-to-day life, and eventually frame her for the bombing of a Scientology headquarters. Some UK residents may remember the Panorama documentary a couple of years ago in which reporter John Sweeney was followed by a total of thirteen strangers - who he believes were hired private investigators - during his investigation. Every time he arranged an interview with any person challenging Scientology, a member of the Church was there waiting to disrupt the filming. In the months following the investigation, members of his family were hounded, threatened and spied upon.
Is this what a religion does? Religions, surely, are about the coming together for a greater good. This, to me, is the exact opposite - particularly when the Church charges a membership fee for those who wish to learn particular 'truths' about the organisation.
I am not here, though, to pass judgement without evidence, and as such I would love for members of this forum to comment on and discuss this bizarre church. I do not claim to know anywhere near enough about Scientology to accurately draw any opinions with any more depth than the above, and would love to learn more. I am not anti-Scientology per se; I am merely confused by the information I have been given, as it provides me with no reason to find the Church remotely worthy. For it to have become such a renowned organisation, a great many people must disagree with me. I aim to find out why.
Scientology and every other religion were just cults which have just spread rapidly due to human willingness to be fooled. IMO....
Scientology is just confusing all round though, I've read a fair bit on it... but it makes me feel really uncomfortable for some reason =|
Do you not see a gaping difference between Scientology and every single other religion in the world, mainstream or otherwise?
The only direct comparison I can see between Scientology and any official religious organisation is when looking at the Westboro Baptist Church. That's the one that pickets funerals of 'fag enablers' - basically, anyone who doesn't believe homosexuals should go to hell. Isn't that worrying?
I dont really know much about scientology, but its rahter strange that its a church created/founded by a science fiction writer - it casts doubt onto it, thought if anyone is a scientologist feel free to enlighten me, but i just cant quite see how someone can found a religion or church out of what appears nothing, or disagreement. Religion and churches confuse me in that way - its not disrespeact to anyones faith and whatnow.
I agree with clairey on this one. All religion stems from humans trying to explain why we are here. We are so arrogant as a species that we can't accept in our minds that we are simply here as a fluke of evolution. Any number of things could have changed that we just got lucky. Thats why in all my opinion all religions including scientology are a hinderance to any real chance of peace and unity in our species.
I love Alcohol Induced Altruism(Laura) I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence - Doug McLeod Those who believe in absurdities will commit atrocities - Voltaire
disclaimer here: it's not my place to criticize beliefs (not to say I don't silently judge), and I don’t really think it’s relevant, so I won't go into what I think about Scientology as a religion. People can believe whatever they want.
Now... the Church of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 /><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Scientology</st1:PlaceName> is, by definition, a cult. There are a lot of religions, and many oft-criticized Christian sects, that show characteristics of a cult. But scientology is not "cult like," not "some kind of cult." It's a bona fide cult. And I’m not down with them at all. I am not a hater of religion, even Scientology. I appreciate and respect it and learn a lot from it. Naturally it breeds a lot of bad, but it has an essential and innate place in our society that can't be ignored. It’s this “church” specifically that angers me.
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<FONT color=black>The <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "[/IMG]<st1:PlaceType" /><st1:place w:st="on">CoS</st1:place> is a cult in that it conforms to the main hallmarks:<o:p></o:p>
<FONT face=Verdana>It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members. <o:p></o:p>
<FONT face=Verdana>It forms an elitist totalitarian society. <o:p></o:p>
<FONT face=Verdana>Its founder/leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma. <o:p></o:p>
<FONT face=Verdana>It believes 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds and recruit people. <o:p></o:p>
<FONT face=Verdana>Its wealth does not benefit its members or society. <o:p></o:p>
<FONT color=black>I’d like to say I view them without prejudice, but you've got to take into account the fact that cults don't have a great track record. In fact, it sucks. They **** people up. In the past few months I did a little reading on the subject of scientology because of the media attention it's been getting. They are driven by manipulation. There is not an ounce of honesty in their m.o. and they put a great deal of effort into disguising that. It’s pretty obvious that money is their primary objective. You have to buy everything in this "religion."
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Scientology has a huge base of workers who are paid to intervene when people challenge or threaten the growth of their business (yes, it's a business. They are hella possessive with every element of what they produce and have it all copyrighted. You don't see that with legitimate religions). Prime example: the organization “Cult Awareness Network” was founded after the People’s <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Temple</st1:place></st1:City> mass suicide to help people who wanted to exit cults. It was highly critical of Scientology. Scientologists got pissed off about this and litigated the CAN until they went bankrupt, at which point the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Church</st1:PlaceType> of <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Scientology OVERTOOK</st1:PlaceName></st1:place> the organization, added “New” to its name and pretended like nothing happened. Of course, it turned pro-Scientology.
They run other pseudo-organizations like the “Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights” which, despite the humanitarian sound of its name, is just a radical anti-psychiatry group that propagates Scientologist beliefs under the guise of a human rights organization.
<FONT color=black>They are so incredibly slimy. They have spies, researchers recruited to drag out any dirty facts on opponents, they distance themselves from society and conduct their business secretively because it is so predatory. They hide everything. That’s why you see copyright claims whenever non-propaganda material leaks out. Their recruitment in itself is super sketchy. They take on disguises as support groups and mental health advisors and make no mention of Scientology (to avoid scaring people away, I can only presume) while teaching the exact same things and, of course, taking loads of money.
<FONT color=black>The most troubling facet of the church is, as far as I'm concerned, the "auditing" (read: brainwashing) aspect. LRH was rather prolific in his ability to spew out tons of techniques designed to weaken the mind and destroy the capability for free thought. Honestly, it's ridiculous. I've read accounts of people who, as children, went to Scientology "schools" and the exercises they were made to do are not only ridiculous in their foundation but very damaging to the ego of a person.
<FONT color=black>I'm exhausted and going to get some sleep before exams, but if you want to read about auditing and mind control techniques used by the CoS check out http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/S...eld/us-14.html, http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Library/S...eld/us-a1.html and http://www.xenu-directory.net/practices/auditing1.html.
<FONT color=black>Uh, long story short, I have major beef with the CoS and consider them dangerous, crazy, greedy and manipulative. I don't fully understand their motivation, but based on all the evidence I've encountered I do not trust their official assertions for a second.
well, i have sown untidy furrows 'cross my soul,
but I am still a coward,
content to see my garden grow so sweet & full
of someone else's flowers.
Some people behind anonymous are from what are called "chan sites" that are forums (4chan, 7chan, 711chan), as well as several other related communities like YTMND and Ebaum's. Some members of 4chan broke off to make 7chan because they thought 4chan was too strict - and that included banning bad sex pics of kids so these groups aren't exactly idealists. Channers look for reasons to hack peoples sites anyway and are like hooligans of cyber variety
Scientology fans have hacked 7chans site already (dont want to post the link but you can look them up easy enough)
I cant say I know much specific about Scientology aside from some wiki type stuff. It seems to me they borrow some sound religious principles and then encase them in their own jargon to bring people to them instead of God. So nothing that new in that regard. When I go into big cities I get approached by "Moonies" and Hare Krishna types but I have never had a scientologist come on to me or even give out a brochure.
Unfortunately Cruise is right about meds when he says the "brain chemical imbalance" has never been proven. I say unfortunately because now people will associate that claim with Cruise and his group and dismiss it out of hand without knowing whats even going on.
Scientology isn't good imo but there are other groups doing much worse brainwashing and thousands of kids being put on things like Ritalin that they don't need. But people don't seem to care about stuff like that anymore and more petty issues are used to make people think they care. It reminds me of parents that will bug out about any chance of lead in a toy from China while pumping their kids full of sugar all day (and so type 2 diabetes is skyrocketing while lead poisoning is not)
Last edited by Isoverity : 28-01-2008 at 07:34 PM.
If Jesus had been quoted, many times, very accurately, by a lot of very respected people to have said, many times that "The way to get rich was to start a religion" I should as anything would be equally as sceptical of christianity as I am of Scientology
Not all those who practice or believe in Scientology (especially those who do not pratice through the CoS, which is the real danger) are bad, confused and ather dumb yes, but not bad. Some however are pure evil.
In the context of RYL, I have heard many horror stories about the treatment of those with serious mental conditions (which they basically believe are not real and that you havn't spent enough on their audits, tapes and books to become 'clean')
And if I suddenly vanish without a trace - you will know it is all real!
My personal view is that - and I by now means wish to offend anyone -the Church of Scientology is a danger cult. One which seemingly brainwashed its members into believing certain stories which I would regard as farcical, and having them shell out thousands of dollars to move higher in the religion. Thus, in my view, making it by no means a spiritual organisation. Instead it is a place for corporate gain on the part of the people who run it.
Also, having watched the Panorama programme on the Church, it appears to use intimidation and horrible scare tactics to quieten anyone who opposes it. These such action, in my view, are not the actions a "religious" organisation should take. Leading myself to believe they must have something to hide if they try as hard as they do to quieten the people who question them, to the extent of ruining said peoples lives in the process.
I also find it amazing the amount of the people who are part of a religion who's founding story reads like a bad 1950's sci-fi novel. Ironic in that its founder was a science fiction writer.
Finally - even leaving its founding story and my views on that aside - I would just like to say that, in my opinion, the Church of Scientology is a dangerous organisation which used intimidation and scare tactics against its oppositon and brainwashes its memebers. It, in my view, is not an organisation to help enlighten the masses in a spiritual context, but instead to suck people in and have them pay ridiculous amounts of money to excell in the religion. Thus, as I have said before, making it (in my view) an organisation more interested in capital gain than spiritual fulfillment.