Scientology, Again Posted by: Dale Franks
on Saturday, March 18, 2006
I should probably let sleeping dogs lie, here. In the larger scheme of things, scientology doesn't really interest me, except in passing. But, like a little kid who sees something curious and strange, I really can't stop myself from poking it with a stick at least once. And scientology is both curious and strange.
So, I wanna poke some more.
You know, within minutes of Jon's and my post of yesterday, scientologists were popping up in the comments, people who never read the blog at all, leaping to the defense of scientology. Now, I think it's odd to see that happen. One respondent explained it thusly:
Google has a feature where you can customize your own page, and populate it with your own interests. Therefore I get news about subjects that interest me, which is what made me see this thread. (Geez, talk about paranoia.)
But that's exactly the type of creepiness I'm talking about. You see, if I was to pop off on the blog about how odd I think Presbyterians are, we wouldn't get a flood of people in the comments section, leaping to the defense of Presbyterianism. Moreover, I doubt that there are Presbyterians who add "Presbyterian" to their Google alerts, so that they can be instantly informed when anyone says something about Presbyterians that requires their immediate response.
That's the kind of thing that carries the whiff of fanaticism about it. Fanaticism is creepy. Res ipsa loquitor.
And with scientology, the creepiness extends to the anti-scientology crowd, too. It seems that both scientologists, and their enemies practice the Kzinti "scream and leap" any time the subject comes up. To extend the analogy, no matter how nasty I was about Presbyterians, people whose chief avocation is creating anti-presbyterian web sites wouldn't be popping up to explain how the Presbyterians were on a bacon-greased incline to hell, and thanking me for exposing the creepiness of the "Prebs".
And while we're talking about oddities, here's another thing that's odd. What are the tenets of scientology? Where are the publicly available apologetics that explain their faith in closely reasoned detail? I mean, If I wanted to know why Roman Catholics think the Virgin Mary is such a big deal, I can go here. Got questions about why Pentecostals believe in speaking in tongues; it's easy to find. Curious about the Buddhist concept of Dependent Arising? No problem.
But what's the deal with Xenu and all those poor people sent to earth 75 million years ago? How about that Marcab Confederacy? What if you want to learn more about the insectoid Fifth Invader Force, with their unspeakably horrible hands? Well, don't bother to going to Scientology.org for any of those answers. They aren't available there. For even the most basic answers about scientology...well...you have to buy a book.
The fact that there are inner mysteries unavailable to the layman—although a large amount of money in "fixed donations", along with a satisfactory level of credulity, will allow one to obtain those closely held secrets—is odd. Nor does an unwillingness to publicly expose the fullness of one's doctrine speak to an impressive level of confidence in public acceptance of that doctrine. On top of that, when access to even the most basic lay information requires the purchase of a book, or, more precisely, by my count five books1 at $50.88, it looks excessively mercenary. After all, the other major religious books are available online for free.
Even worse, most of those books were written by L. Ron Hubbard, whose writing I find completely unreadable, even though I am a space opera fan. So, you gotta add the price of the tortuous reading experience as well.
Still, I gotta admit, I can't think of another religious sect that has such snappy uniforms.
By the way, if Scientology really has 8 million members, shouldn't Captain Miscavige have at least gotten his stripe for Rear Admiral (Lower Half)?
I would've made myself at least a Vice Admiral by now.
And I'm just dying to know what those decoration ribbons are for. ____________________ 1 Those books being: Dianetics ($16.95), Scientology: Fundamentals of Thought ($6.99), Scientology: A New Slant on Life ($6.99), Dynamics of Existence ($5.00), Clear Body, Clear Mind ($14.95)
I wonder if the time will come when we need a full on investigation of these people. I mean, of course any one with sense can see what a huge money scam it is. But, I don’t mind fools giving all their money away if they think it makes them feel better about themselves. However, any group so secretive, and so paranoid and vindictive is bound to have not a few skeletons in the closet. My prediction is that it will all blow up sometimes in the next few years. Some celebrity wil try to leave the movement, or some kind of money scandal will pop up and once the feds get involved all kinds of crap will hit the fan. Well thats just my prediction.
Honestly, I think that the issue should be lawsuits: if we can find a way to make suing much more difficult, and not pay off monetarily for the person doing it, these little wackos and others won’t make headlines as much for bullying critics or bullying in general.
“But what’s the deal with Xenu and all those poor people sent to earth 75 million years ago? How about that Marcab Confederacy? What if you want to learn more about the insectoid Fifth Invader Force, with their unspeakably horrible hands? Well, don’t bother to going to Scientology.org for any of those answers”
Dale the reason you can’t find these “tenants” at Scientology.org is because these are not tenants of Scientology. One person lieing and another swearing to it does not make it so.
The reason Scientology is not broke is because they manage their money sensibly, they pay their bills, they honor their agreements.
Look man it is a new religion, it has expanded rapidly, it is organized well, it has incredible good products, people find it very beneficial. What is the problem?
I don’t know about the Fifth Invader Force’s hands but the rest of the "tenants" is part of OT3. Obviously you aren’t there yet. Do an internet search and you’ll find out all about it.
Another part of the reason Scientology is not broke is that many never carry out their lawsuits against Scientology. Lawsuits are expensive and time consuming, and the chances of winning against a large corporation are slim, even in cases that seem open and shut.
And as for we anti-scientology people seeming creepy, well say what you will. From my point of view, I just want to make sure that nobody else gets hooked in. Now, spending your life savings and four hours a day getting body thetans off you is a whole different level of creepiness.
And in defense of the anti-Scientologists, considering the behaviour of the Church of Scientology and the horror stories that have come out of it, I’d say they’re somewhat justified in acting that way. It’s like the single-issue "drug-war libertarians" — yes they’re monomaniacal, but I’m glad they exist to keep drawing attention to abuses.
Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder verifies in the Rolling Stone article that the Xenu story is part of Scientology coursework. Information proving its existence is also available in numerous other places. Nevertheless, I pose this question to you...If you haven’t completed OTIII yet, how do you know WHAT you learn there? The material in the course (and all scientology courses, for that matter) is kept secret from the uniniated. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Scientologists never reach OTIII and, as a result, don’t know about the Xenu story. They rightfully dismiss it as a ridiculous lie, naively thinking that their "church" would never have something so unbelievable as one of its core tenets. If you HAVE done this course and can say from experience that there is no Xenu, why would Mike Rinder lie about something so potentially embarrassing to the church? You said that Scientology offers a lot good things; I don’t debate that it has done good things in your life. But has the bridge to total freedom given what it promised? Have you ever verified with your own senses that all the promises of the clear state are valid (i.e. perfect memory, perfect immune response,etc.)? If these things can be achieved through Scientology, why have they never been demonstrated? It seems that would shut the critics up pretty fast. You’ve taken all of L. Ron Hubbard’s "findings" regarding Dianetics on faith; not a single one is verifiable. Prove me wrong on this.
GRW: Dude, again with the money thing. None of you feel like owning up to the fact that you sell religion like a product—that it’s only available to those with the money to spend. Meh, whatever. Not like I expected you to come up with a convincing rationalization, but I was curious to see how creative you could get.
As for the antis, I’m with you, Matt—they do seem obsessive, but it’s probably good that they’re there.
Dale’s logic is victorious again, he manages to wade through the comments thread of the "Scientology ruined my life and left me a penniless beggar with internet access" and the "Guy with the webpage that’s chock full of worthless links and has a creepy slideshow of him and his wife cuddling" Of course that logic thankfully made him a libertarian
Matt, Heh. I saw that, chuckled, and wondered the same thing. I need to go back and read ’em again. Another group project like the Man-Kzin War series (except it’s fantasy) that I think is even better are the Thieves World books. If you like fantasy pick up a few at Half Price Books and enjoy! I’ll bet though that you probably already have - as well as couple or more regular readers of QandO. (And QandO authors as well...)
Dale, Keep pokin’ at the weirdness man. In this case, it’s well warranted I think. They are creepy. And I agree with Matt McIntosh: while the anti-Scientologists may be a fanatical, the public good they do far outweighs the fanaticism.
Something I find ironic is that, up to recently, I knew nothing about Libertarians.
First time I learned about Libertarianism was from a fellow Scientologist, while volunteering in post-Katrina relief work with the Scientology Volunteer Ministers. He proudly told me he’s a Libertarian and we argued politics for a while. Got me to thinking Libertarians are interesting folk with some sensible ideas.
A CLOSED, HOSTILE, SECRETIVE FAITH? (An article I wrote in response to the Rolling Stone article on Scientology)
——-Scientology is not a closed faith——-
You can walk into any Chuch and participate in Sunday Services. You can get a book or two and read up on it. You can watch intro films or attend free lectures.
You can take courses - be it Life Improvement courses (at less than 200 bucks each) or train as a Scientology Counselor (the cost of a career as any other).
You can speak to the Chaplain about anything you want.
You can come into the academy, get a tour of the place, get comfy.
There are many religions out there that are not nearly as open to the general public.
——-Scientology is not hostile to the press——-
This is clearly demonstrated by the Rolling Stone article itself. First of all, by the VERY EXISTENCE OF IT, and secondly, by the fact that a reporter from Rolling Stone got to speak with a high-ranking Church official, got a tour of the Church headquarters, was allowed to interview dozens of parishioners, was allowed to participate in a seminar, etc. etc. How is this at all a sign of "hostile to the press" is beyond me.
There’s a joke that has a reporter witness Jesus walking on water. The headline the next day: "Jesus Can’t Swim!"
But not all reporters are like this. I did have several really fair interviews.
During the Katrina volunteer effort, while some reporters clearly just wanted to raise outrage against the feds, many of them did come for the human interest story, and were eager and happy to talk to us, and us to them. I spoke to a lady from AP, and a few others.
I guess we oppose the media’s need for scandal and controversy, the "if it bleeds it leads" mentality. But we’re not hostile. We’re... maybe you could say we’re a bit guarded. A bit jaded. But we’re still willing to talk to you guys, and I’m clearly talking your ear off right now. :-)
——-And we’re not secretive——-
Let’s talk about this. Because I know what you’re thinking, the same line that has been rehashed for years. Supposedly we hide our "creation myth" (see my earlier post.)
Let’s talk about this. Because it just isn’t true.
First of all, when you walk into a Scientology Organization, please go to the bookstore, and look for the following books: - A History of Man - Have You Lived Before This Life? - The Phoenix Lectures
...and look for the following taped lectures: - The Whole Track Tapes - The Route to Infinity - The State of Man Congress
(There are more, I don’t recall offhand.)
ALL of these materials, openly available to the public, have information in them about past lives, pre-Earth civilizations, etc. etc.
The promotional materials of our Advanced Organizations openly talk about past lives, life before Earth, you as an immortal Soul, etc. etc.
There’s no big secret. It’s all over the place. We’re quite open about it.
Let’s take a step back now, and understand a bit about Scientology.
Back in the late 1940s, the therapeutic theory of Dianetics was that dealing with traumatic incidents in session, in a directed cathartic model, was the way to create a saner, happier person. Part of this theory was that traumatic incidents are grouped in "chains" (same or similar content, like car accident, car accident, bike accident, falling-of-tricycle), and that the idea was to find the earliest incident on the chain, and this would decrease the weight a "chain" of incidents had upon a person.
Which led to the debate about "basic-basic" - the earliest incident. Some said it must be around 2 years of age. Then, earlier incidents came up. Then it was understood that Birth must be it, Birth must be earliest. Then, prenatals started popping up. And past lives.
For a while, past lives were dismissed as "dub-in" - a term indicating that the person is avoiding the session by inventing stuff.
But eventually some people took these recalls seriously, and what was found was that people actually DID get better when these past-life recalls were addressed just as any other other memory.
After the dust settled, LRH said we deal with it.
And in 1952, Mr. Hubbard went off to investigate specifically into this area of past lives.
In 1954, he announced Scientology as a subject.
Over the next few years, the challenge was this: How far does the rabbit hole go? A lot of research into past lives, trying to find common points.
In the early 1970s Mr. Hubbard led an expedition into the Mediterranean with the first members of the Sea Organization (it actually WAS a Sea organization back then, on ships) to find evidence of past-life recall. This is documented in a book, also openly available to the public, called "Mission into Time".
Anyway, up to the late 1960s, Scientology as a practice was a collection of techniques and processes, and each person received processes as adjudicated by a case supervisor. A major restructuring was the "Grade Chart", which created the step-by-step sequential path that we Scientologists follow today.
So now, each level has a prereq, just like in College or the "Dans" in Aikido.
Thanks for staying with me so far. I’m getting to the good part.
Scientology counseling is a voyage of self-discovery. You’re supposed to arrive at realizations on your own.
The OT Levels are therefore confidential.
Now, some people say it’s because the Church of Scientology fears ridicule if it’s known that we believe in pre-Earth life, in life on other planets, etc.
But like I said, all this information is openly available to anyone who walks into any Scientology church.
So, why the secrecy?
For one thing, there’s the matter of pre-requisites. You don’t get to Med School without Pre-Med, and you don’t get to the OT Levels without getting to Clear and meeting OT Elegibility.
But most important, if you learn some wild revelation, such as, "OMG, Antarctica is made of ice!" (I’m just making an example up) during a session, you might be shocked and surprised, but it’s YOUR realization. If someone tells you, hey, "you oughta know, Scientologists say that the South pole is a block of ice, dude", then you might forever question whether that’s something you would have arrived at on your own.
A LOT of importance is placed in Scientology on the individual journey.
Also, and this is very, very important for a media person to know:
Some aspects of the level known as OT3 (or OTlll), also known as "The Wall of Fire", are, according to L. Ron Hubbard himself, potentially harmful to people if they read them or dwell on them before being ready for them.
I cannot tell you with any level of certainty if this is a fact or isn’t, but what I am stressing is that many, many Scientologists believe that it could be spiritually harmful to them to learn the mysteries of OT3 before they’re ready to hear them.
Therefore, you’re doing a Scientologist a GREAT INJURY by forcing upon them information from OT3 materials which you may have gotten from an anti-Scientology site.
Is this something you can understand?
Let’s see if I can give you examples. - It would be injurious and offensive for a Jew to be forced to eat pork. - It would be injurious and offensive for a devout Catholic to be forced to use contraceptives. - It would be injurious and offensive to a Muslim to be kept from praying (or to be forcibly photographed in obscene positions while being held captive by the enemy - but I digress.)
Ok, now, let’s see if you can understand this:
- It is injurious and offensive for a Scientologist to be forced to listen or read the OT3 mysteries before they consider themselves ready for it.
We are not upset about criticism. We are not upset about talk of aliens or little green men (and please understand we have no specific belief about UFOs.)
But we consider it a grievous offense against our spiritual well-being when someone maliciously throws in our face some "juicy bit" from the OT3 mysteries.
It’s not that we care about being ridiculed over our belief in pre-Earth existence of a disaster that may have happened millions of years ago. Many other religions have lore about "battles in the heavens" and "battles between Angels", "Fall from Grace", "Descent from Heaven", etc.
We just don’t want to be forcefed answers before we get the chance to experience the process for ourselves.
It isn’t too much to ask, really.
Unfortunately, the "critics" (I say bigots. Pot-ay-to, Pot-ah-to.) know this all too well, and use this to taunt Scientologists constantly, to harrass us and upset us.
If you think about it, it isn’t too nice.
It’s like, if someone waited at the exit of a Synagogue and threw pork at the penitents.
Yes, it’s THAT bad. No, actually, it’s worse, because, in a Scientologist’s worldview, you’re not just offending us, you’re fu(king with our spiritual progress - which is not something we take lightly.
Sure, go ahead, laugh.
You may think it’s silly.
We don’t. We take what we consider our chance at a higher spiritual awareness and our chance at a greater understanding of the mysteries of life seriously, we are very committed to it, and we would appreciate it a little bit of, if not respect, if not deference, perhaps just basic decency shown toward us.
Outside of this, we are perfectly willing to discuss our views, our beliefs, our cosmology, our ethos, our doctrine, etc. etc.
I’m an OT Seven, baby, I’ve got rice, nothing I’ve got left is nice. I’m an OT Seven, baby, still can’t fly, John Travolta, what a guy! I don’t have Powerz, can’t deal with pain, If I were to run away, I’d call it a case gain. I’m an OT Seven, baby, I’m mocking up, Ron is my Pop.
I wake up every morning and go to the Org again, My natural intelligence has gone right down the drain. I’m an OT Seven, once intelligent and clean, Now I’m just mean.
I’m an OT Seven, as a liar second to none, I lie to everyone. I never help my friends out, I’ve really quite a boob I never read a magazine, in case I see the truth. I’m an OT Seven, baby, here comes the best I’m still in MEST.
when you walk into a Scientology Organization, please go to the bookstore
And pay the organization money...point made.
ALL of these materials, openly available to the public
For a price.
You don’t get to Med School without Pre-Med
But you know what is taught in med school before you get there. Bad analogy.
Let’s see if I can give you examples. - It would be injurious and offensive for a Jew to be forced to eat pork. - It would be injurious and offensive for a devout Catholic to be forced to use contraceptives.
Yet others can access and eat pork all day long. Others can access and use contraceptives all night long. (Your Muslim example has absolutely no relevence since you switched it to denying the muslim the ability to practice his faith.) Can someone who is not on the personal scientology journey access and study what is taught? Again, bad examples.
Ok, now, let’s see if you can understand this: - It is injurious and offensive for a Scientologist to be forced to listen or read the OT3 mysteries before they consider themselves ready for it.
Fine. Then don’t listen or read the mysteries. But don’t try to compare this hidden information to possible offenses in other faiths...there is no comparison. Scientology is by definition secretive.
It’s like, if someone waited at the exit of a Synagogue and threw pork at the penitents.
People are standing outside of Scientology buildings and shouting the OT3 mysteries at you? I would oppose that, but somehow I have the feeling that you have enough security that those people would be driven off fairly quickly.
we would appreciate it a little bit of, if not respect, if not deference, perhaps just basic decency shown toward us.
"If not, then we’ll harrass and sue the crap out of you. If you’re an ex-member, then we’ll track you down and make your life miserable, probably invading your home and personal life."
Scientology books are available for free at your local library. Scientology organization also have a free library where you can read any book for free.
Scientologists know perfectly well that Scientology posits spiritual existence as a trillion-year old timeline, including pre-Earth civilizations. Such information is openly promoted in Scientology organizations. The specific details are not dislosed, since each individual’s journey of self-discovery is supposed to occur unhampered by hearsay, gossip or pithy pronouncements by any peanut gallery.
Sure, Scientology research into the possibility of past lives may seem ridiculous to some of you. Pasteur had a hard time convincing the scientists of his time that disease was caused by tiny critters living on people’s hands.
You ask me if someone who is not a Scientologist can access Scientology confidential teachings and read them. Well, the first one who did, stole them from a Scientology organization and, conspiring with others, posted altered, exaggerated on the Internet for the purpose of ridiculing our religion.
The Mormons have confidential holy scripture that they do not care to share with any but their initiated elders. The Vatican has secret writings they don’t release to anyone. Go ask them to hand those to you.
And if you don’t care to travel the Scientology path, why do you care? It’s utterly arrogant of you to say this. Imagine going to U2 and saying, look, I hate your music, I picket your concerts, I tell people to trash you when your songs come on the radio. Now, hand over your masters to me.
Yes, people of the ilk of Robb Allen (on this very board, who claims he will make it a point of harrassing Scientologists!) do stand in front of our buildings and harrass us.
And the sad thing is that they’re just pawns in a PR war: Scientologists are actively campaigning against the psychiatric drug industry (a trillion-dollar industry that makes Big Tobacco look like a kitten, an industry that specializes on hooking people on addictive substances.) Tom Cruise attacked them on the Today Show (and Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical, appeared on the Today Show one week later and basically agreed with Cruise.) Sales of Ritalin dropped 21%. The FDA now requires black-box warnings on all such pills stating the side-effects (violence, suicidal tendencies, etc.) Scientologists Kelly Preston and Kirstie Alley are testifying before Congress about the OVER 1 MILLION American kids on Ritalin, while the Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) pushes forward two Bills (HR 1213 and HR 1477) curbing the drugging of American children.
The Drug Cartel is not happy with us Scientologists, and they’re fighting back. Ridicule is a PR neutralizing weapon.
Quite bluntly, if we were 1/10th as evil as you people all seem to think, we would have self-imploded years ago.
Quite bluntly, if scientology did 1/10 of what it claimed to do, everyone in the world would have been a scientologist by the mid ’50’s.
And Greg, you still seem to be unable to confront the KEY point. Scientology charges huge wads of money to give people specific enhanced human abilities and super-human abilities, but no one gets them.
That wasn’t a limerick, and it was by Lance S. Buckley, to be sung to a tune by Neil Innes, occasional songwriter for Monty Python. (Who were known for taking a humourous poke at religious beliefs from time to time.)
The URL is to my parody of the "Scientology Parishioners Committee" smear site religiousfreedomwatch.org and how they’d treat South Park’s Stan Marsh.
I guess Mr Churilov agrees with "Chef" about humour and Scientology: None at all.
(As for screaming *then* leaping kzin, doesn’t that make it easier to shoot them while they’re in the air?)
Fascinating name. And we Scientologists are the weird ones?
First of all, Scientology does not charge people to attain superhuman capabilities.
Scientology is a means by which people can attain more spiritual awareness and a better understanding of the Universe around them, and a greater empathy for all living things. Whether or not superhuman abilities come as a side-effect is rather moot.
Secondly, Scientology is a philosophy in which you can engage simply by reading books available in your local library.
Thirdly, the Church of Scientology is an organized religion that provides a structured environment where you can get Scientology services. It involves trained personnel, buildings, electricity and water bills, and other expenses. It is unreasonable to expect all such services to be doled out for free.
In terms of whether or not Scientology actually delivers:
The apostates say it does not. The Scientologists who have reached the higher levels of Scientology spiritual enlightenment say it does.
It really has a lot to do with your world-view, to begin with. If you start with a materialistic or naturalistic approach, where nothing that is not directly observable exists, then not only Scientology makes no sense, but Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Eastern Mysticism make no sense.
If you subscribe to a mystic worldview, where the spiritual, material plane is but a reflexion or manifestation of a deeper spiritual reality, as Plato described, then it makes much more sense to spend your life pursuing some way to attain a deeper reality than golfing or driving a new beemer.
Scientology does not get subsidies from any Government agency, or insurance group, or any rich man’s foundation. The only source of funding for Scientology Organizations is the inidvidual donations of its parishioners. And don’t think for a minute that such contributions are not needed –every dollar people flow to an Org goes to paying for that electricity bill, that replacement light-bulb in the Org’s bathroom, that new dictionary. And don’t think for a second that Scientology Organizations have it wired –they survive on VERY lean means, and staff members survive on lean paychecks. If you saw how the average Org’s Treasury Secretary manages to keep all the Org’s bills paid, you wouldn’t believe it. Every penny helps. Scientology is a young and spirited movement, and it takes mucho bucks to keep it moving forward. That means that the very survival of the local Org is on the shoulders of every parishioner.
Now, IS Scientology EXPENSIVE?
Suppose you need some grief counseling because your aunt passed away. If you go to a shrink, you pay $40-$300 an hour, depending on the kind of car your shrink drives. For 12.5 hours of “therapy” – which is ended abruptly and arbitrarily regardless of how you feel, you’d pay $500 to $3,750 or so. With Scientology (aside from the fact that it WORKS) you could: a) Go to a Volunteer Minister for some Book One auditing COMPLETELY FREE b) Go to your local Org and pay $200 for an intensive (12.5 hrs) of Dianetics Auditing –that’s less than $20 p/hr! c) Go to your local Org and get some Life Repair Auditing at $700 an intensive –that’s less than 65 p/hr!
Comparable services: Chiropractic care: $40-250 per hour or so. Dental care: I was at the Dentist this morning, and my next crown will cost me $250, WITH insurance! (it would cost upwards of a grand without insurance) Mechanic: My latest bill reflected $65 p/hour for labor (not including parts) Medical care: Let’s compare it to something mild, like allergies. Just a consultation would cost you over $100 bucks without insurance.
Now, suppose that you want to take courses to improve your life, your marriage, your work, your finances.
Scientology courses: From $5 (for a Scientology Handbook course) –no kidding –FIVE BUCKAROOS. My daughter just took one of these courses and really dug it. It was her first Scientology course ever!
The Vatican has secret writings they don’t release to anyone.
Again, bad example. According to you, you may eventually acquire the level of readiness to receive higher learnings from your church, but ordinary Catholics will never be able to see these secret Vatican files.
In reality, Catholic doctrine is extensively made available to all. Are you trying to claim there are additional beliefs within the Catholic Church about Christ, the Trinity, and mankind’s place on Earth that remain unavailable to the masses?
Greg- You have got to get a grip. Sure, checking out $cientology is free to start with, but soon, you’re paying a lot of money to gain something that doesn’t exist.
I’m Catholic from birth. As far as I know, any doctrine is available for the asking. Why should I pay large sums of money to an org that isn’t showing where the money is being used? Why is it when people want to leave this so-called church, they’re made to fear for their lives? That, Greg, is not a church. At least not by the whitebread definition in which we have all been raised. Yes, my church doesn’t release everything to its followers, but neither does yours. I really hope you don’t buy into David Miscabbage living the same simple life as the rest $cientologists. Uh,uh. I know the Pope lives well. That isn’t a secret. But I’m sure David’s lifestyle is. Have you been to Gold? I hear it’s beautiful, and all due to slave labor, that’s all those poor deluded folks are that made/paid for that place. But hey! They’re gonna get to OTIII one of these days.
Greg, it’s all about the "Jacksons," for these folks. A former room-mate can attest to that. She lost everything she worked for, just taking these courses. Yep, nice home mortgaged to the hilt. Gone. 401K. Gone. Did she come out a better person? Well, after finally coming to her senses that there was no great power to be had by climbing the "bridge." She walked. Did they care? Only for a month. They were sure they could help her get back on track. Hmmm, they already took out credit cards in her name without her knowledge, the house she bought, long gone. But they pestered her for more. Telling her that she was making a deadly mistake by leaving. Nice. Nothing like a veiled threat to help a person get back on track. She ran, and I’ve spoken to her off and on for 8 years. She’ll never be the same.
Anything you’ve posted here that begs to differ on how great your little org is doesn’t make a bit of difference to many of us who come here. I have lurked here for a few weeks, and read through your "information" about the org. Now I have to finally say something about it. If this snake oil works for you, great. But I have a feeling you’re going to wake up one morning and find out it isn’t worth it, and it doesn’t exist. Oh, how I wish it did. What an incredible thing it would be if it did. I would gladly pay to find out more about this Thetan business. But you know, I’m enjoying the fact I can do what I want, and not have to shill for "fresh meat." Elron was crazy, but he sure did get rich. All off of the backs of the likes of you.
Either you’re flat out lying here, or you’re earnest, and someone’s lied to you.
Yes, I’ve seen Mr. Miscavige’s lifestyle, and, while it’s slightly upgraded from the average SO Member, he still lives in 2 room apt. (no mansion, no estate) and drives a used car, and works 60 hours a week.
I’ve already addresed the money thing.
About your roommate, she’s not telling you the real story.
And any religion would tell someone turning away from it that she’s "making a deadly mistake" - my best friend’s mother told him that when he gave up on Christianity. So let’s not read macabre and sinister threats everywhere.
As a note, I’ve been a Scientologist for over 20 years, and I’ve NOT hocked my house, my car or even my kids bike. (My personal belief is that only a crazed fanatic would do that, be it for Scientology, for Christianity, for Jim Baker, for Billy Graham or anyone.)
Also, a close relative of mine was a Scientologist for a few years and then chose to discontinue her involvement. We are very much in touch, she is now in a Bible Study fellowship and quite content. While she enjoyed what she’s learned in Scientology, she felt it was’n’t quite her path. NOBODY has harrassed her. NOBODY has "come after her."
The only people that claim harrassment and such are the very people that picket our Churches, put up hate-sites and threaten violence against our parishioners.
It’s easy to get on the Internet and swallow a bunch of stories. Doesn’t mean they’re true.
Moreover, I doubt that there are Presbyterians who add "Presbyterian" to their Google alerts, so that they can be instantly informed when anyone says something about Presbyterians that requires their immediate response.
The only people that claim harrassment and such are the very people that picket our Churches, put up hate-sites
Yeah, that free-speech thing is a bummer. I don’t recall any other religion harrassing those who put up anti-Christian websites. For someone who likes to compare Scientology to other religions, you have very thick skin when it comes to how your religion deals with disbelievers and those who reveal its inner workings. Or are you now going to claim that all those lawsuits are "lies" as well?
Legal prosecution of people that break the law is certainly our right as American citizens. Deal with it.
I’ve got no problems with challenging illegal activity. Scientology goes far beyond that. You’re not dealing with that.
Additionally, you’ve repeatedly try to argue that Scientology secrecy and response to "hate" is no different than other religions. I pointed out that those comparisons were false. Now you’ve confirmed it. Thanks.
Scientiology behaves more like a buisness than a religion, using civil lawsuits and intimidation to protect its copyrights. Deal with it. I’ve never claimed that Scientology shouldn’t exist. But don’t try to pass it off like it’s nothing more than another religion like Catholicism. A "religion" that requires payment for enlightenment, resorts to civil lawsuits to silence its critics, and mandates secrecy of its core beliefs is definitely not like other mainstream religions. Your comparisons repeatedly fail. Other than that, go and improve yourself...20 years and no invitation to OT3...I guess you haven’t spent enough yet.
Keith, confession isn’t held against us. Unlike the fine folks who do this auditing/confession to glean some kind of information to use against their subject in the future. I’m sure you know that.
Greg, you really have no idea how some things might be handled in various situations. No lies were posted by me, and as for my former room-mate, she had no reason to lie. She simply went bankrupt chasing after something that doesn’t exist. These folks were just plain sinister. Now if your particular place of "worship" handles things differently, good for you. That wasn’t the case for her. So don’t come here and tell me what I saw and heard from her, as being a lie. Greg, you’re the one who’s being shaken down. As was she. Everyone is seeking some kind of truth, including you, her, and yes, me. No fanaticism that I know of on her part, or mine.
I can recall her asking me to come and check out $cientology. Knowing what I knew at the time, I politely turned her down. We remained friends. It just wasn’t for me.
I’m not looking to force feed information you don’t agree with. You don’t agree with anyone who doesn’t agree with you. What you do is your business. I’m sharing something that happened to someone I liked. It’s you who is becoming combative about $cientology’s inner workings. Perhaps you’re one of those folks who have the income to pay for this secret knowledge, again, good for you. I refuse to believe in such things as body thetans, Elron’s visit to outerspace, or Xenu. If it works for you, then go for it. But don’t tell me I’m spreading lies. You don’t know, you weren’t involved, and you’re responses are typical of those involved in this org.
Is Greg conveying a tone of "Boredom" to move most of the rest of us up from "Anger" on the tone scale? This is one of L.Ron Hubbard’s brilliant discoveries. My Kindergarten teacher must have been a scientologist. She used to say, "Ignore him, he will go away".
"The Vatican has secret writings they don’t release to anyone."
Yes, it’s called the Conclave of Bishops, usually during the election of a new pope. It’s usually the names of the individuals nominated and they are LATER released for all to see. Aside from private notes, the Vatican does NOT house any writings pertaining to doctrine and faith that is secretive. Period. There are some writings that are not allowed to be viewed by the public because the condition of the physical document is fragile, but scholars have been granted access with permission in order to transcribe (or translate) those documents for public viewing. Some of these are the gnostic Gospels, or the non-canonical (not part of the Bible) Gospels such as the Gospel of Thomas. Feel free to Google on the Gospel of Thomas online and you’ll find virtually everything in it. The only reason for maintaining the documents in the Vatican Vaults is to protect them FOR future use, not FROM future use!
Now, the Church does have the Seal of Confession. The Seal of Confession prohibits ANY divulgence of information pertaining to who OR what was discussed during a private confession. This is for the protection of the individual. A priest cannot even talk to another priest about these things. Does Scientology do this? Do they guarantee never to disclose information received during an audit to any other Scientology member?
With all that said, there are some interesting plagerisms to base theology or mystical legend that L.Ron has managed to exploit. If you dare to study the Catholic mystical legend of the creation of the heavens, you’ll find Xenu sounds a lot like Lucifer, the poor thetans sent to earth sound a lot like the angels that fought with Lucifer against Michael the Archangel and were exiled to the earth and thetan ghosts sure bear a lot of similarities to demons (which are what all fallen angels are that have turned away from God.) Now, I find it coincidental that the Catholic legend (I don’t believe it is actual declared doctrine,) existed for hundreds of years prior to the existance of L.Ron, and the timeframe of the legend was at some point before the creation of the first man, but after the creation of the heavens and the earth. Since the Catholic Church clearly states that evolution CAN be taught (providing there is a distinct difference between the first homosapiens with a soul and the last ape-man) this leaves much room for the possibility of when this legend occurred on earth.
So, to make a long story short, Xenu is Satan and you guys have bought a repackaged story that Catholics get without having to pay for it. In fact, most of what L.Ron was privvy to, in terms of "revelation" has been a repackaged version of Gnosticism. If you Google on that, you’ll find the various parallels and discover L.Ron was a con artist who wasn’t even capable of original thought. (Gnosticism existed within the first few hundred years of the Catholic Church.)
But then again, L.Ron did say that truth was whatever it was for you, so if I decide Scientology is truly a global scam, that is Truth!
Scientology is a litigious, paramilitary quasi-fascist business, a brainwashing cult of psycho-terror, and the treatment it is (hopefully) getting in Germany and many other countries is what the Nazies SHOULD have gotten in the early 30’s. Their claim "likening themselves to Jews being persecuted during the Nazi era", is absolutely cynical and disgusting.
As in numerus previous cases, scientologists are urged (and coersed) by their military superiors, to write/phone the press or net over and over again in order to give an impression of some vast following, which of course does not really exist- the supposed 8 million followers they claim? 200,000 at the most would be more likely. The web is full of fascinating and accurate info about this most lying of cults- and guess what- that info is NOT to be found within the cult’s own propaganda sites; Most scientologists don’t know jack about the real history and facts regarding their group or dead paranoid Leader. Not only are they convinced that all critical writings about Scn. are part of a Cosmic Conspiracy trillions (thats right!) of years old, they actually are not allowed to come in any contact with the evil originators of said criticism- the SP’s- (thats short for "Suppresive Person")- the "anti social personality", best recognized by the mere fact that he or she are anti Scientology. Scientologists that do communicate with an SP are dealt with by the "Ethics officer" or "Master at arms" , are "handled" at their OWN expense by a self created "Justice System" that would make any decent person’s skin crawl, and could face Ex-communication by the "Church", their own family and former buddies. Worse, that would be for them the equivalent of banishment from any chance of spiritual freedom.
One should be aware of the belief system they espouse. In their unbelievably high priced "services", the (at one time) secretive higher levels, and in his over-the-counter Scientology books and tape recordings- Hubbard talks about aliens and "galactic civilizations" constantly- he gets into great detail about the subject. It’s ludicrous. The sheer quantity and depth of the idiocy found in Hubbard’s writing is way beyond the scope of this letter. The net provides ample examples and proof to anybody who is not already a brainwashed fanatic.
ALL (new) scientologists are lied to by their "more advanced" colleagues regarding this and other ridiculous "scientific" claims, and are led to believe that they can for the time being, avoid making a personal decision about the subject. This goes on until THEY TOO have been brainwashed, at which point they will treat the totality of L.R.Hubbard’s writing and opinions as absolute truth, NO ifs and buts. Any scientologist saying otherwise is lying: He knows the truth- NO ONE may go up the "Bridge To Total Freedom" with any other opinions than those of the "Source", Hubbard. The True Believer lies to himself too, but that is what being brainwashed is all about, and where the biggest betrayal takes form.
Do you suppose I would have wasted my time writing this letter had I (and thousands of others who HAVE BEEN THERE) not felt very strongly about this? Just hope your that your own kids don’t fall into such a scam. Thanks.
By someone who is too scared to sign his name. (Like so many others.)
Hi Jen, I re-read some of your posts. All I can tell you is that my own experience is different. Sorry your friend had a negative experience.
I am not going to defend a situation I did not witness and don’t understand. But analogies come to mind in thinking of Tammy Fay Baker and others. Sometimes people get a bit overzealous and donate to a cause looking for salvation.
My own experience had not been that.
And something that a lot of posts here don’t take into account is that the cosmology and dogma of Scientology are NOT what is posted in hate-sites, and that we Scientologists are NOT searching for any holy grail.
Scientology (when correctly applied) is nothing but an empirical epistemology, a practical set of guiding principles for life. Combined with a fairly effective type of spiritual counseling.
Anyway, Jen, again, if your friend had a bad experience all I can say is I am really sorry. My own experience, and that of many of my friends, has been one of joyous participation in a community of like-minded individuals, all trying to do our part to make the world a bit better. That’s all.