Difference between revisions of "Church of Scientology"
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End of reality check.
End of reality check.
Revision as of 15:26, 6 July 2008
Scientology is a bad joke foisted upon the gullible public by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. As a student of various sciences, and a creative writer, he wrote a book called "Dianetics" to, essentially, start an experiment in human psychology on the founding and growth of religions. The joke, of course, is on the "believers", who don't even realize they have been manipulated by someone who simply took their understanding of the human mind and created an interesting quasi-scientific experiment on how people come to believe things and follow "teachings". His experiment was well enough formed that his "religion" actually survives to this day, to the embarrassment of the human race.
The first Church of Scientology was founded in 1953.
It seems possible that Hubbard borrowed from an earlier writer.
End of reality check.
“”The Harm it Does to a Person
The results of applying their crackpot psychotherapy (called "auditing") is to weaken the mind. The mind goes from a rational state to an irrational one as the delusional contents of the subconscious mind are brought to the surface and are assumed to be valid. It also makes a person more susceptible to suggestion since it submerges the critical thinking faculties of the mind into a partial subconscious state. It results in a permanent light hypnotic trance and so from thenceforth that person can be more easily controlled. The person will, to a much greater extent, believe and do whatever they are told. And of course this is used to the full in persuading them to hand over further money and dedicating themselves further to the cult.The results of applying their oversimplified and inapplicable rules in life is to lose the ability to think rationally and logically. A person loses the ability to think for themselves and so they lose the ability to challenge incorrect ideas. This makes them easier to control. It also isolates and alienates the person from society so that they withdraw from normal society and into their "Scientology" society. This further increases their susceptibility to the influence of their group. They end up being afraid of society, believing all society to be controlled by a group of drug companies, psychiatrists and financiers all of whom report to more remote masters. In other words they are in a state of mass paranoia. They therefore avoid reading newspapers and the like since they fear it will disturb their safe Scientology world. It is a downward spiral into madness.
Front groups and recruiting
Scientology is particularly opposed to the psychiatric community and operates a front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), to engage in anti-psychiatry campaigns. Scientology practise has a great deal in common with bad psychiatry.
Another front group is Narconon, a purported drug rehabilitation program (note the deceptively similar name to the legitimate 12-step program Narcotics Anonymous, and the support group for those living with alcoholics, Al-Anon). Sterling Management Systems is a large group awareness training run by the Church of Scientology and promoted to doctors and dentists.
The Cult Awareness Network, originally a mainstream anti-cult organization founded 1978 in response to the mass suicide of Jim Jones followers, fell on hard times (due to aggressive litigation against it by Scientology and by Landmark Education and the Pentecostal "Life Tabernacle Church"), and its assets purchased from bankruptcy court in 1996 by the Church of Scientology, and now functions as a Scientology front group as well.
Scientology recruits heavily from celebrities, such as Tom Cruise, Isaac Hayes, and John Travolta.
Bad movie night!
Scientology has a free movie they show called Orientation. You can only watch it at your local Church of Scientology. Actually, that's not true. Somebody posted a bootleg copy to YouTube and Google Video, but the Church of Scientology forced it down due to copyright threats. Somehow it still keeps popping up on the Internet though. Watch it here while you can. That way you can watch it without having to give them your name and address and being pestered by them. It concludes, "if you walk out of here and never mention Scientology again, that is fine with us. You can also jump off a bridge or blow your brains out."
There is another leaked Scientology video at the Tom Cruise article.
Birth and baby care
Hubbard was very opinionated about birth and infant nutrition.
Hubbard thought that talking in a delivery room could cause trauma for the baby and therefore delivery rooms should be as quiet as possible. He also thought that the mother should use as little anesthetic as possible - somehow a mother giving birth in pain doesn’t cause trauma for the mother or baby. But who expects Hubbard to be rational?
Hubbard further disapproved of breast milk in situations where the mother's health was compromised - but he also rejected the baby milk formulas developed by experts in nutrition. As usual, Hubbard thought he was a better expert than anyone else. He surmised that since Roman soldiers ate a lot of barley, and that made them fit and strong, it had to be good for babies too. Scientologist mothers still use the Hubbard baby formula. Actual health care experts think the Hubbard formula is low in vitamins (vitamin C in particular) and can put the baby at risk.
Science fiction by Hubbard
Re-evaluation Counseling, although steeped in Marxism, is essentially an off-shoot of Dianetics. Avatar, a large group awareness training seminar, is run by Harry Palmer, a former Scientologist. More directly related to Scientology are the small groups collectively referred to as the Free Zone, consisting mostly of former Scientologists who continue to practice Scientology, but do so outside the official Church of Scientology. Scientology refers to all these as "squirrel organizations", a Hubbard term for anyone who appropriates Scientology doctrines outside the Co$. Participation in anything labeled "squirrel" by the Co$ is automatic grounds for being declared a "suppressive person" (persona non grata) and cut off from any further involvement in the "church" - and often actively harassed by them.
The "Sea Org" is Scientology's "advanced religious retreat" at sea. Promoted to members as some sort of utopian cruise ship in which the most advanced levels of Scientology are taught, those who have joined Sea Org instead found themselves required to sign a "billion year contract" with Sea Org, surrender their passports upon boarding, live in squalid group quarters with no privacy, perform menial chores as assigned, and suffer punishments such as being locked in the chain locker for petty offenses. Sea Org makes it deliberately hard to leave by issuing those who leave a "freeloaders bill", billing them for all the auditing and services received on the ship.
Teh Internets vs Scientology
Scientology has been at odds with many on the Internet since 1995, when the "church" attempted to cancel the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup using forged cancel messages. In 1996 a popular anonymous remailer in Finland chose to shut down after Scientology demanded the identities of two users. Several people who posted what the "church" considered their proprietary material have been sued and their homes and computers raided. A partial timeline of these early events can be found here.
A Google bomb had the official Scientology website coming up #1 when a search for "dangerous cult" was done, but it no longer appears in the top 100 hits on Google, Yahoo, or any of the search engines which rely on those two such as AltaVista. Smells like "somebody" coerced them into manually censoring it. Scientology.org is still the #1 hit on Ask.com, Gigablast, Lycos, and MSN. Scientology has also been pressuring Amazon.com to remove any bad reviews of Dianetics and other Scientology books, leaving them with improbable 5-star average ratings.
In 2008 in response to Scientology forcing a leaked Tom Cruise video off the Net, some unruly Anonymous 1337 hax0rz types have been holding regular protests at Scientology "churches" around the world, posting their communiques on teh YouTubes, campaigning for revocation of Scientology's tax-exempt status and generally making merry pranksters out of themselves (while enjoying delicious cake). This movement, known as Project Chanology, is spiraling out of control and running circles around the Church of Scientology. Should prove to be fun all around, stay tuned for more.
The unofficial central website of this conspiracy by suppressive persons to bring down this great work of LRH appears to be this site (also here - both sites seem to be under periodic cyber-attack so if one doesn't work try the other), but Project Chanology is decentralized and its goings on all over teh Internets can be seen on any search engine.
Everyone hates Scientologists! Though Steve Napierski, creator of Dueling Analogs and The Outer Circle, drew this comic, he did not create the text for this version. This is a fan modified comic. For the original visit "Dueling Analogs: Hello, I'm Linux".
Visit "Dueling Analogs" for more.
Much has been written about Scientology by people who have been in the skeptic business for far longer than we have at RationalWiki. Here are a few choice examples:
- Operation Clambake -- Norwegian writer and atheism activist Andreas Heldal-Lund collects numerous articles describing the utter ugliness and insanity of the inner workings of Scientology.
- Dave Touretzky is a computer science professor at Carnegie-Mellon University and a major voice in the online civil rights world. He has numerous pages dissecting the whys and wherefores of Scientologist science and technology:
- "War Breaks Out Between Hackers and Scientology" - Wired article on Project Chanology
- Wikileaks publishes the "Bible"' & is threatened.
- The animated TV series South Park created a very succinct portrayal of the belief system.
- FactNet archive of celebrity criticisms. Not particularly useful, just lulz.
- Mark Bunker explains why Scientology is not just the same as any other religion.
References and notes
- http://forums.enturbulation.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4829 1934 German book.
- http://www.xenu.net/roland-intro.html What is Scientology?
- Scientology Newsroom, accessed 2006-08-07
- Hubbard, Dianetics, quoted in SilentBirth.org. Accessed 2007-06-15
- Wikipedia on Hubbard & baby care. There are several "original" cites for this at the Wikipedia article, but they are all print rather these easy links to grab.