Spokesscientologist refuses to answer the volcano question

Discuss

165 Responses to “Spokesscientologist refuses to answer the volcano question”

  1. Jonathan Badger says:

    I rather doubt that pointing out the absurdity of Scientiological beliefs is going to prevent people from joining it. After all, as you mention, mainstream religions have equally absurd ones and they have no shortage of adherents. What’s more of the issue is the financial and psychological victimization of non-celebrity scientologists in sea org and the like.

    • Cowicide says:

      I rather doubt that pointing out the absurdity of Scientiological beliefs is going to prevent people from joining it. After all, as you mention, mainstream religions have equally absurd ones and they have no shortage of adherents. What’s more of the issue is the financial and psychological victimization of non-celebrity scientologists in sea org and the like.

      True, and people still become devout libertarians and/or tea baggers even after being told about the manufactured consent produced by the Koch Brothers… and people still continue to think things like single payer systems for healthcare are evil and wrong despite being told about Wendell Potter (the corporatist whistleblower who came forward and showed the “health” industry was manufacturing consent) and, meanwhile..

      Then there’s the Americans who think wikileaks is a great evil and shun it instead of focusing on exposed war crimes and corruption.

      There just NO reaching some fucking zealots no matter how many facts are put on the table, apparently.

  2. irksome says:

    “Let me be perfectly clear…”

    “Not without cash up front, chucklehead.”

  3. Yaruki Zero says:

    I always wondered about that. His entire job is to do PR for his church, and while he seems really pissed off about the whole Xenu thing, he has a chance to set the record straight on national television. If it wasn’t actually part of Scientology, he could’ve said so and gotten the message out to millions of people. Instead he just reinforced the notion that Scientologists have an utter inability to deal with criticism of their religion in a civilized manner.

    • Deidzoeb says:

      That’s another good point. You watch or listen to a govt PR spokesperson, they’ve got the verbal judo skills to turn any question around and answer it calmly and with the right spin . . . or at least to keep obfuscating calmly. Seems like you’d learn in PR 101 that walking on on a tv interview is PR fail.

  4. Ito Kagehisa says:

    Er, laughed out loud, that is.

    “Laughed out load”… oh, I’m just not going there.

  5. malathion says:

    Even more people would be turned off if they knew that Scientology was the result of a bet between two sci-fi writers to see whose religion would be more popular.

  6. Cnoocy says:

    Honestly, I can’t fault him for this. An interviewer who asks about the most mocked distortions of your belief is not interviewing you in good faith.

    • The Life Of Bryan says:

      How is that a distortion of their faith? Isn’t that exactly what they believe? I’ve read a fair amount on scientology and have yet to come across any different take on their core beliefs. So if that is a distortion or mockery, then why wouldn’t he simply explain how it’s incorrect and set the record straight?

    • irksome says:

      Notice that he isn’t offended by a description of their beliefs; he implies that he is offended by the idea of publicly discussing those beliefs.

      So is it that, like a depiction of Mohammed, this violates certain sacred tenets of Scientology? Or is it that publicizing these beliefs would diminish their ability to recruit new adherents? Since at no time does he simply refute the question, I’ll assume the latter. “No. We don’t believe that.”

      A 3rd possibility is that the interviewer simply hadn’t paid enough to be let in on the secret.

      • Cnoocy says:

        If Christianity wasn’t a dominant religion, would a spokesperson for the Christian church respond politely to an interviewer asking “Is it true that in your religious rituals, you eat and drink the flesh and blood of a human being? Do you believe that the human race only exists because an alien ripped out a man’s side while he was sleeping?” These are close to true, but they’re distorted, and an interviewer asking them is not one who’s trying to promote real dialogue.

        I’m not trying to defend Scientology. There’s some good evidence that they’re up to some hinkiness. But I’m also not going to fault someone who refuses to get into a debate with someone who’s only there to mock them.

        • irksome says:

          “Transubstantiation” is a part of Catholic doctrine and the church has been quite up front about discussing it since the Council of Trent some 500 years ago. Most Catholics I know have no problem with it.

          As to the idea of the Adam/Eve/rib thing, this is the basis for Creationism and Intelligent Design. There are potential and former Presidential candidates who publicly profess this belief as fact.

          Bearing in mind that I didn’t search out the entire interview, what I did watch seemed perfectly civil and I believe the Scientology spokesperson acknowledged such. A simple “We don’t discuss our beliefs with the uninitiated” would have been sufficient although not necessarily acceptable. Any reading of church doctrine I’ve perused has stated these as tenets of belief. To assume mockery speaks volumes.

          • Jason Rizos says:

            A simple “We don’t discuss our beliefs with the uninitiated”

            Saying this is what distinguishes reglion from cult. Religions make their doctrine/scripture freely available for all to witness. Cults are pay-to-play.

        • vitruvian says:

          Did you watch the video? There was no mocking. Also, there’s no evidence that the story as originally related by Hubbard is in any way distorted. Taken out of context (that might tell us whether the story is meant to be taken literally or allegorically), maybe, but not distorted when it’s the founder’s actual words.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Ccooncy: “Why is that in bad faith?”

      The interviewer’s job isn’t to ask the questions that the PR person wants asked. The job is to ask the questions to explain the issues.

      The interesting thing is that since in the Scientology system that information is part of later levels – so most scientologists honestly believe that it isn’t true.

      When you show them the texts of the later levels that explains this part of the teachings they will refuse to read them – saying that it isn’t right to learn things before the people in their group believe that they are ready.

      There is no dispute that the later level teachings ARE about the volcano, Xenu etc – that has been stated by official representatives of the Church under penalty of perjury in court cases about their attempts to get the material suppressed.

      So either the Church has committed purgery or the later levels are about Xenu & the volcano.

      It would be easiest if they just pitched it as a metaphor or parable. Look at how modern Catholics approach communion – despite it being the official teaching of the Catholic Church that during communion the wine becomes literally human blood – most Catholics view it as a metaphor.

      Over the next century the Church will change their teachings to change ‘it is literally true’ to ‘it is metaphorically true’ – it took about 100 years for them to change their teachings on the Death Penalty around 180 degrees .. and this seems much smaller.

      Religions are always embarrassed by their earlier teachings. They should be – that’s what growth is about.

      Any religious leader can easily explain their churches views on communion.

      It isn’t a big deal – so why does this PR guy make it one?

    • Anonymous says:

      How can asking someone about their beliefs be rude? Even the Mormons are upfront with quite a bit of their whacked out beliefs. Maybe not all, but def enough that even they admit, if they are wrong, it’s a huge con job. If we are entering a time when religious belief can be considered a secret, we are in trouble. We are even in more trouble if people actually think it’s rude to intrude and ask “Is this what you believe?”. It would be even more interesting if the people who want to leave Scientoligists to themselves are the same type who say they have nothing to hide from the government. I guess there’s just a whole class of people who are afraid of individual liberty and privacy but believe in liberty and privacy for organizations and authority.

    • chgoliz says:

      An interviewer who asks about the most mocked distortions of your belief is not interviewing you in good faith.

      A host at a party would not be engaging you in conversation in good faith if s/he asked about the most mocked distortions of your belief.

      An interviewer would not be doing his/her job in good faith if s/he didn’t ask the fundamental questions on the subject at hand.

      See the difference?

  7. millrick says:

    a long article about filmmaker Paul Haggis’ withdraw from Scientology in today’s New Yorker

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/02/14/110214fa_fact_wright

    • Micah Phillips says:

      It’s long but it pretty much covers every controversy related to The Church of Scientology. The parts about the goings on at “Gold Base” were making my skin crawl.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of the time my younger brother (around 8 years old) went to church with my Mom and Catholic Grandma. My Mom wouldn’t let him take Communion (we’re atheists, but he just wanted to do what Grandma was doing).

    Afterward he asked why he couldn’t join her and my Mom explained it was because we weren’t Catholic and it would be disrespectful. When we has asked why, my Mom explained that they believed they were eating the body and blood of Christ, which freaked out.

    My Grandma protested, saying my Mom didn’t have to put it that way, but finally acknowledged that was her literal belief. It has always struck me as funny that simply stating a religious belief plainly can make it sound so goofy to someone who wasn’t raised to believe it.

    • Mister44 says:

      It would be inappropriate because for Catholics it is part of communion with God – whereas a for an 8 year old it is a really bland tasting wafer.

      When it comes to the body and blood, your Mom put it in rather blunt and simple terms. The actual meaning behind it all is has resulted in many books and splintering of Christianity. This is why they have people go through classes before receiving First Communion, so they have more than a one sentence understanding of it.

  9. Hamish says:

    Want to have a giggle? Ask a mormon about their magic underwear and the planet they get when they die. Ask one of them about Brigham Young’s harem and his seven year old ‘wife.’

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not religious, but getting a planet when you die sounds excellent. Different people have different conceptions of heaven – a place of pleasure, of society, of understanding – and as they go, a place for creativity is a great one. I’d be very happy if this was truly how things worked.

      Seven year old wives aren’t so great, though.

  10. Fang Xianfu says:

    I can imagine a religion in which it’s a heresy and very offensive to talk about certain things with outsiders. Especially one that is strictly regemented and heirarchical, as Scientology seems to be. I don’t think this is a particularly outlandish thing to do in those circumstances.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that we’re talking about a religion invented in the mid-20th century by a science fiction writer who once said that inventing a religion is the best way to make money. Especially when that religion coincidentally charges great amounts of money of its followers and has been denied tax-exempt status in some jurisdictions for not being charitable (ie, for-profit).

    Clearly their spin guy needs to start doing some spinning.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Scientology is not a faith, or a church.
    It’s made for ripping people off their money.

  12. Felton / Moderator says:

    “It is a violation of my religious beliefs to talk about [my religious beliefs].”

  13. Crashproof says:

    Unless you’re being a total dick, a Christian isn’t going to pretend to be offended, or refuse to answer, if you ask them about transsubstantiation. They might not all have good answers, but they’re not going to freak out and decide you’re mocking them (unless you really are).

  14. Anonymous says:

    Tommy Davis’ denial is also featured in this simple but insightful video…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7EEOMbBIO8

    …which contrasts Davis’ denial of Xenu with audio of L. Ron Hubbard describing–wait for it–Xenu,juxtaposed with South Park’s accurate description of the tenets of Scientology.

    I guess Davis thinks it isn’t lying to say he finds the tenets of Scientology to be “unrecognizable” (perhaps being so coming from the mouths of un-believers).

  15. ackpht says:

    I can respect good people (honest, compassionate, unassuming, generous) who happen to be religious without embracing the religion itself. I’m certainly not religious, but I don’t have any problem with a belief system that encourages people to be more kind to others than basic self-interest requires.

    It’s not the religion, it’s the person practicing it, and what they actually live by.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Cory for posting this. The more informed people are, the better things are for everyone. Scientology desperately tries to pull the wool over the eyes of the initiates, and totally fails to reveal the truth behind their beliefs. Hey, if they want to believe that they are Alien ghosts that is totally fine by me, but they need to stop hiding behind their own fear of discovery.

  17. Ambiguity says:

    It’s amazing how idiotically Scientology handles it’s PR nightmare.

    How can you say that? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and if you look at the growth of their “religion,” I would say that the way they handle things is quite effective!

    • Anonymous says:

      By “growth” you mean “collapse”, don’t you? The two ARIS surveys, one from 2001 and the other 2008 show the US Scientology membership dropping from a tiny 55,000 to a miniscule 25,000. The most recent numbers are so insignificant that they aren’t listed at all. You have to write to ARIS to get the information.

      The Church of Scientology’s “wonderful” handling of the media has only accelerated this collapse. Stick a fork in them, they’re done.

  18. the|one says:

    You can’t really blame the guy. He’s an employee of a big business entity where the revenue stream comes from posing as a religion. There are embarassing, ridiculous, and downright unethical things about every big business, and this incident is no different than the many times Mike Wallace ended up chasing businessman as they ran from room to room over one of his questions. This guy Davis just wants everyone to be polite and pretend every thing is hunky dory so they can keep the suckers coming in with the cash. It’s their scam after all. Get your own scam.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Scientologists cannot talk about the OT-3 event in pretty much the same ways that Orthodox and Hassidic Jews cannot say the name for God in the Bible. Worse they cannot even acknowledge that the incident is a part of their doctrine within their religion except with people who have undergone the OT-3 material courses.

    When you post video of interviewers pressing Rabbis to say “Yahweh” and claiming the fact that they refuse is an indicator that they are attempting to deliberately disguise their faith I’ll have a fair bit more respect for your observations on other people’s religions, for their consistency is not their respectfulness.

    • vitruvian says:

      Not the same at all. An Orthodox Jew can happily acknowledge that there is a true name of the Lord that they are not supposed to say, and can even show you how that name is written in Hebrew. They can also answer forthrightly if you ask them whether they believe that the Lord created the world in six days, whether light and darkness preceded day and night, the whole Adam’s rib thing, Abraham being commanded to sacrifice Isaac and only having it called off at the last minute, and all other sorts of details. This would only be parallel if the spokesperson had said that he couldn’t pronounce the name of the galactic overlord who committed an atrocity on Earth about 75 million years ago, but he can confirm that it surely happened, yep.

  20. llamaspit says:

    It is precisely because the so-called beliefs are so preposterous that the gullible accept them. And that is true for all religion, not just scientologists. It is the willing suspension of disbelief that draws adherents into a particular religion because the particular combination of fantasies presented somehow strike a chord in the individual receiving them, and that satisfies the need to belong to something outside of their own mundane experience.

  21. Unmutual says:

    He can’t talk about it. Hubbard said anyone who hears about Xenu and is not OT 7 or whatever will get cancer and die. He’d be irresponsible to let that happen.

    All he has to do is say “no that’s not true”. But obviously he either really believes it or won’t at least invalidate it because it is official Hubbard doctrine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Unmutual has the right point here. If the guy really beleives it, then talking about these things when not properly “prepared” will kill you.

      I think the idea’s crazy, and the fact that unprepared people do know and talk about it seems to invalidate the premise, but got to remember that not eveyone thinks like this. Got to put yourself in their place before you can think of ways around it.

    • vitruvian says:

      Well, then, get back to him in a few months with documentation that the majority of people reading this article aren’t dead. That objection will then be null and void.

    • vitruvian says:

      But how would that make the actual beliefs of his religion offensive? I could understand him saying that’s something he cannot speak about, but as it is, he’stated that what L. Ron Hubbard stated to be the case was offensive.

  22. Jack says:

    I do think claiming that a faith helps you deal with adversity and then throwing a hissy fit at a question does not support your claim.

    Bingo! Also all of the comment comparing Scientology to other historically established religions misses the point about the timing of Scientology coming to the fore: The upheaval of the 1940s cultural revolution of the 1960s.

    So Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc… These are all belief systems that came to the fore when humanity was this jumbled mess and there was a quest for knowledge to keep people sated and keep control over groups of folks. I mean that’s basically what it comes down to, right? Which “tribe” are you a part of. And you know what? In that context established religions make complete sense. That was the best tool at the time to sway political influence and keep a society in control.

    Scientology—on the other hand—comes along in the middle of the 20th century and gains traction when the world is shattered thanks to World War II and is healing and gains popularity in the 1960s/1970s when “new freedoms” and cultural change comes to the fore.

    So in that context, L. Ron Hubbard basically says “Look, I know you want to heal and get back to normal life after this whole mess, and I will take advantage of your weakness to shove my beliefs down your throats.” And then when the 1960s happen? “You know, you want freedom. Come with me and join my religion. I’m newer and hipper.”

    And in conclusion this is basically a major a-hole who sees folks being freed from oppression, societal norms and old-school mentalities and what does he do? Decides there needs to be new shackles put on people.

    There is no historic purpose for a larger good held by Scientologists. They are simply a radical form of paranoia shoved into some bizarre alien dogma that requires you to give up tons of your money (and family) to join.

  23. Baldhead says:

    It’s, i think, telling that he didn’t simply say “no that’s not what we believe” instead calling it a “distortion” well distortions can be explained, or denied. he did neither. What sort of question did he think he’d be asked?

  24. Anonymous says:

    I hope Cory will follow up this story by telling us of any attempts Scientology’s OSA unit makes to handle him and the global negative PR he’s disseminated.

  25. William George says:

    I dunno how true this story is since the history professor who told me it was a bit of a smart-ass…

    But I was told that for the longest time, the early Jesuits in Asia had to hide the whole “God had his only son tortured to death in public to show his love” aspect of Christianity because the Chinese kept responding along the lines of, “Are you fucking serious? That’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard. You’re sick. Go away”

    So them not wanting the volcano thing talked about in public isn’t surprising.

    • Bevatron Repairman says:

      Odd. As a Catholic, I am required to believe certain things which are objectively absurd. I live with the contradictions — but am in no way offended if someone characterizes them as Cory has. And will proclaim my belief if asked. But what’s this guy’s problem? I am going to believe something materially ridiculous, why not space tyrants? I like wine — but the feast of Canaan’s got nothing on the intergalactic slave trade..

  26. TimDrew says:

    Hm- according to wikipedia, the whole Xenu/Xemu/whatsis thing is supposed to be “esoteric knowledge” only revealed to certain members who pay enough dosh to get to that “level”. maybe that’s the issue this fellow had: it was supposed to be “secret” . Could have handled it with a bit more class though… lost some more of the *very* few credibility points that whole belief system has left to it.

    Anyhow, not so much of a secret now- even was the main theme of a recent broadway production, not to mention also being the highlight of a certain South Park episode…

  27. moniker42 says:

    Who made that guy spoke dude? This seems like kind of a major chance for the institution of Scientology to clear itself up on a few matters. This is the direction he chose to take this all in.

  28. Anonymous says:

    It’s a secret society technique. Huge long initiation process requiring investment of time and energy (and $ in this case) that goes on forever. Parcel out tiny bits to keep them going. The trap is the final secret is so silly they cannot divulge it, but they’ll believe it rather than admit they’ve been had and wasted their entire lives.

  29. rongwrong says:

    This is the same guy who aggressively harassed BBC journalist John Sweeney until he flipped out.

    http://ow.ly/3QSqX

  30. fxq says:

    Just recently I read a post from a Minecraft fan that wanted volcanoes in the game. Notch hasn’t replied. COINCIDENCE???

  31. JimmerSD says:

    The difference here is if you were to ask a Christian or a Jew or Buddhist or almost any other ‘recognized’ religion to affirm the tenets of their faith, they would be most happy to answer all of your questions to their very hearts delight.

  32. Jack says:

    While I think you should be free to believe in anything you want, I also think it’s pretty shabby to try to bring people into your faith while deliberately disguising the tenets of the religion because you know that if you do, you can’t get them in the door.

    Bravo! Most succinctly said explanation of this main problem with Scientology I have heard in a while.

  33. Anonymous says:

    You know your religion is total and complete BS. When someone asks you what you believe in and you storm out of the interview…. Yeah…. maybe we should rework that belief narrative a little bit.

    There is no real difference between Scientology and Christianity. They are both man-made control systems hell bent on getting more cash into their grubby little hands. Scientology has probably killed and maimed a slightly smaller amount of people than most major religions.

    If you’re looking for a religion, try being Bhuddist. It’s mostly harmless.

    • Anonymous says:

      You can argue that Christianity is as silly as Scientology or that some Christian churches have become control systems. But you’re simply wrong if you think Christianity as a whole has all been a plot for money and power, and there’s no good evidence its founders weren’t being sincere in their beliefs. Anyways, I can’t help but think there’s a big difference between making people pay to see your holy books and leaving them in hotel rooms.

      I don’t know what Bhuddism is all about, but Buddhism has not always been so harmless. No ruling ideology ever has.

    • jimtron says:

      “There is no real difference between Scientology and Christianity.”

      In my view they’re both kooky, but there are some key differences. Christian church leaders generally don’t hide weird scriptures from people. Also, most Christian churches would let you attend service every week without spending a cent, and would not require money for salvation (of course there are notable exceptions to this…). With the COS, they promise something like salvation or enlightenment for a very, very expensive trip up the bridge. Finally, something unique about Scientology/Dianetics compared to other religions, is 100% of the scriptures/teachings/discoveries came from one man who lived recently (and we know a lot about him).

      “If you’re looking for a religion, try being Bhuddist. It’s mostly harmless.”

      I think Buddhism is probably the least offensive religion, though the current Dalai Lama is against oral sex, which is kind of a dealbreaker for me…

    • MrJM says:

      There is no real difference between Scientology and Christianity.

      Bullshit.

      You can’t blame Christianity for Battlefield Earth

  34. Anonymous says:

    You know, I’m gunna give Scientology a pass here. I gotta wonder why these guys keep getting singled out as crazy. Most other religions believe in a invisible man, who lives in the sky and grants wishes. Hell, this same invisible man has caused floods and other mayhem all because He saw 2 dudes kissin’. One day, outta nowhere, good folks (and mass-murderers with last-minute repentances) are all going to be sucked up to heaven by some giant Hoover or alien-like transporter beam. Is anyone really crazier than anyone else? For me, I’ll take, “If A=B and B=C then A must = C”.

    • Michael Smith says:

      You know, I’m gunna give Scientology a pass here. I gotta wonder why these guys keep getting singled out as crazy. Most other religions believe in a invisible man, who lives in the sky and grants wishes.

      We give our distant ancestors a pass because we think they were uninformed, or trying to explain their world, or lacking in education. But we know that Scientology came out of a discussion between Heinlein and Hubbard about ways to make money from writing. You may guess that I am familiar with Stranger In A Strange Land.
      So why did we just find out about this whole space opera thing in the 1950s?

  35. Anonymous says:

    I’d have understood if the journalist was asking him in a mocking, derisive way, but he wasn’t. I also understand that the Scientologists have been bombarded with questions meant to ridicule them so maybe he’s extra touchy on this subject. That said, he was so immature and silly that he, like so many others, embarrassed the Church of Scientology once again.

    I can’t feel too sorry for him. I don’t agree with any of the tenants of the religion. Not one.

  36. aelfscine says:

    I’m wondering how long it is before a commenter we’ve never seen before pops in and starts accusing Cory (and likely others of us) of being a drug-using pedophile serial masturbator. That’s generally their tactic of choice for dissenters. (or even, just people discussing the religion).

  37. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I don’t give a damn what they believe. The thing to remember about Scientology is not the Xenu story, or the E-Meter, or the Personality tet or whatever. It’s the fact that this cult seriously abuses it’s adherents and brutally harasses its critics and ex-members. Google the Paulette Cooper story for an intro into how this disgusting, evil organization operates.

  38. Anonymous says:

    That’s funny, he denies the story, yet in this Scientology promo video (at the 1:59 min mark), you see a big promotional poster with a volcano on it…

    http://www.youtube.com/user/churchofscientology?blend=1&ob=4

  39. PushTheOtherButton says:

    Anyone remember this commercial for “Dianetics” with the giant erupting volcano? Why is this suddenly a taboo subject for Scientologists? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIdZKygW8vY#t=00m17s

  40. ethancoop says:

    Should they whisper false of you,
    Never trouble to deny;
    Should the words they say be true,
    Weep and storm and swear they lie.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Stuff like the OT levels are part of the public record in Norway through the Norwegian Parliament. OT I and OT III are scanned copies of the handwritten documents.

    Operation Clambake has them, NOTS, and a lot of the recorded lectures.

    You can read them for yourselves and enjoy the bad scifi.

  42. Mark A. Bian says:

    A scam doesn’t work if the con artist comes out and tells the mark the whole story upfront. Nope.

    Here’s how the Scientology enterprise plays its scam:
    Marks are called “raw meat”. The corporation has a number of different tricks to get the raw meat into the door, all of them involving some kind of trickery. Sometimes they use a front group pretending to offer business consulting, or they offer a free stress test or personality test in a public location without mentioning that it’s Scientology, or they pretend to offer help to people in prison or who are addicted to drugs.

    All these different paths lead to the same place, the so-called “Bridge to total freedom”, a series of steps, each more expensive than the last, leading up to the Xenu story. Total cost of this “bridge” they like to sell? $300 000 or more.

  43. Daemon says:

    Actually, this isn’t all that unusual in the context of religions as a whole. It doesn’t take too much poking around the woodpile to find other examples of religious groups that reserve some teachings for people who have passed one or more initiations, and consider it a grave offence to discuss those secrets with those not of the religion.

    Presuming that this guy is sincere in his belief, the nearest equivalent would be asking a Catholic priest to break the seal of the confessional.

  44. vancedecker says:

    IF I were to ask a Christian a question about the origin of their god/prophet in the following manner:

    “Is it true that you worship an insane schizophrenic bastard, born of adultery, from a lying whore?”

    I suspect you would get a similar type of reaction. I’m not defending Scientology, but seriously folks, the hypocrisy…

    • Mujokan says:

      It’d be more like asking a Christian “Do you worship a man born in Nazareth who claimed to be the Son of God?”

      Anyway, insulting Xenu would be like insulting the Devil, not God. He’s not a figure of veneration to whom respect is due.

      They get touchy about it because the doctrine was supposed to stay secret, only to be revealed when you’d committed yourself completely to the faith. So they can’t answer yes and they can’t answer no. No comment would seem to be the smart reply.

      Is it bad manners to ask about something that you know your interlocutor wants kept secret? I suppose that depends on whether you think it’s a good thing to keep it secret.

      • vancedecker says:

        Growing up in the south, there is a saying: Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

        These questions were asked in a mocking tone, which is fine, AS LONG AS, he is going to use the same mocking tone while having Christians, Jews, Muslims and other superstitions on his show. Please point me to a television show which has a leader of one of these superstitions being interviewed in the same manner. It’s not done, out of some misplaced respect for the dominant superstitions of this country.

        Mormons have secrets too, heard of C Street? That’s a Christian cult for the powerful. Scientologists are just an easy target for hypocrites and cowards too worried about what people might think if they went against the real problem in this country: fundamentalist Christianity & Islam.

        • vitruvian says:

          There was no mocking tone.

        • Jack says:

          I think you miss the point of historical context and connection with reality. I cannot think of one major religion that is not adapting—some quicker, some slower—to the demands of the modern world. I speak for what I know, so for example in Judaism the number of practicing Jews is dwindling but large reform Judaism and secular Judaism populations are growing. And the Orthodox communities are increasingly becoming marginalized. People grow, change and adapt.

          And in your citing of fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, that stuff is not widely supported in the least; fundamentalists are marginalized for a reason. And are derided as often—if not more—than Scientology. None of that stuff is tolerable in the modern world. Do you really see folks turning a blind eye to creationist loons in Christianity or extremist loons in Islam?

          Also, why are you defending Scientology? This guy knows right off the bat if he’s going to be interviewed by a major global news source folks aren’t going to just ask him how great his day has been and move on. He knows exactly what questions will be asked, he knows that Scientology will be grilled and his storming off in a hissy fit is clearly a pre-thought out tactic to show he’s being persecuted.

          If you have personal issues with organized major religions. That’s fine. Join the club. I bet I could go into a bar and safely air my grievances with Judaism and get out relatively unscathed. Scientology? There’s really no such thing as a Scientologist who reacts well to criticism.

    • vitruvian says:

      And the similarity between that and the question the interviewer actually asked lies where?

  45. Sam says:

    I don’t really know the facts of the case in this instance, as I really don’t care about Scientology, but I think I may have something y’all are missing. The bit about volcanoes and xenu is hidden knowledge. They aren’t supposed to talk about it. Even amongst themselves. It’s like asking a rabbi to explain Jewish mysticism to you. It’s just not cool. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an atheist, I just believe you should have respect for other peoples beliefs.

    • pharmavixen says:

      I’m an atheist too, and I also don’t go around interrogating people about the illogic in their belief systems. But IMV, it’s about respect for other people, not respect for their beliefs. After all, if I respected religious belief, I’d be religious.

      • tim says:

        You certainly don’t have to respect religions, any more than you have to respect political philosophies or sports teams. You don’t have to respect the people that worship or otherwise attach themselves to such ideologies – at least, not beyond the basic respect every person should receive. You do, assuming we hope to have a world where we can have some hope of rubbing along together moderately well, have to respect the right of people to have such ideologies. Right up to the point where they try to claim that they are entitled to force you to give up your equivalent right(s). Then it gets sticky.

  46. Mister44 says:

    I don’t get Scientology at all. It seems more cult than anything. I’ve seen them giving free tests at flea markets before. They find the weak and try to exploit them.

    I know some people don’t think it is any different from other religions, but I would disagree.

  47. Jason Rizos says:

    It’s fairly obvious, for at least this guy, that Scientology does NOT believe in Xenu or the Volcano stuff and want it erased from their scripture (?) in the same manner Christianity managed to erase marginal and bizarre fables from their own. Fortunately for Christians, they were able to do so in the 9th century and so journalists no longer as them questions about it.

  48. Mister44 says:

    OH – the South Park episode on this and Mormons are two of their best ever.

  49. Brett Myers says:

    Space Tyrant Commits Genocide With a Volcano.
    Sky Tyrant Commits Genocide With a Flood.
    Whatevs.

  50. scotttsuchitani says:

    There’s an in-depth 26-page investigative report on much of the above in the latest issue of the New Yorker, available online (at least for the time being):

    The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology, by Lawrence Wright, February 14, 2011.

  51. LalitaZ says:

    ” … it’s pretty shabby to try to bring people into your faith while deliberately disguising the tenets of the religion because you know that if you do, you can’t get them in the door.”

    Which makes it not a religion, but a scam. NOTHING but a scam.

  52. MrJM says:

    Well, sure… everything looks stupid if you think about it.

  53. JoeKickass says:

    It strikes me as very unusual that a member of a religion would be offended at being asked to describe the beliefs of his religion. If he is unable to discuss “sacred texts” with outsiders then he should say so.

    “I’m sorry Martin, I’m not able to discuss those beliefs with an oustider.

    As a Public Relations Officer this guy is pretty poor at handling the media.

    • penguinchris says:

      I bet the guy would be fine at PR – if he worked at a regular business or something (or even for a real church). He probably was a PR guy somewhere else before joining scientology.

      However, he’s put in an impossible position under scientology. He can’t answer certain questions – under orders, essentially – and isn’t provided with an alternate evasive answer. As others have said, the evasive answer would be “I’m not able to discuss our beliefs with outsiders,” and that makes it sound too much like a cult (which, of course, it is) so they can’t say that.

      And, he gets constantly barraged with questions that at their base are either mocking or otherwise offensive, or that he simply can’t answer for the reasons I mentioned. What other types of questions would anyone even ask a scientologist? Of course he’ll get fed up with it once in a while.

      Finally, consider this – in order to represent himself so publicly as a scientologist, he’s got to be pretty deep into the cult both psychologically and financially. I’d say anyone at that level is probably a little unbalanced and quick to take offense.

  54. M says:

    I know Scientology doesn’t encourage creative thinking, but I once worked for someone who was a very smart, efficient person, who’d made it up quite high in Scientology, and I asked him point blank once (referring to the volcano myth) “Do you really believe in that nonsense?” His answer was “It’s just a model; I don’t have to believe it literally to benefit from it, I just have to understand what it means.”

    As far up as he got believing that, I wonder how hard-nosed they are on that point. Certainly we all know priests and ministers who don’t believe in the God they preach about, but are there because of what positive things they can do from that position. (Ignoring, for the moment, those who are there with the same lack of belief, but for the opposite reasons.) He was able to do a lot of positive things with the tools Scientology gave him, and though I’m very anti-Scientology, I learned a lot from him that was functionally useful, and that came from Scientology, through him, and wasn’t magic, but just plain common sense.

    I think of Scientology as the same as Catholicism: potentially good, potentially evil, sometimes very good, sometimes very evil and attractive to a lot of sociopaths as well as to people wanting to simply get their houses in order. It’s not what you draw from that counts; it’s what you do with it.

    • irksome says:

      Viewing Dianetics as a self-help book is one thing. Making money off of it as a “religion” is something else entirely; a scam.

      • M says:

        Well, sure. I feel the same way about most organized religions, but that doesn’t mean they might have some ideas that are of value that can be utilized by those who are more self-aware.

        • irksome says:

          I suppose if your co-worker had no problem with paying money for information that he could have gleaned on his own or through reading a book, then neither do I. What troubles me is the secrecy and the tactics used to bring converts into the fold. And I have that issue with any and all organized religions and/or cults.

          With Scientology, it’s the sheer volume of money involved, vastly more than merely passing around a collection plate. Off hand, I cannot think of any major denomination that requires “pay to play”.

          People who need an organized set of dogmatic beliefs in order to cope with the fear of death, thunder and crop failure are fine by me but I’d prefer that that religion be up front about those same doctrines, particularly if they claim or desire tax-exempt status. Because then I have indirectly become a contributor.

          I’d also prefer that they not pry into my bedroom, deem me unworthy of eternal bliss or try to impose said beliefs on me or on the US Constitution but that is a discussion for another day.

          • wygit says:

            “Off hand, I cannot think of any major denomination that requires “pay to play”.”

            Isn’t the Mormon Church still pretty tight about tithing? I remember seeing stories about members who were basically audited to verify that they had popped their 10%.

            I was just Googling the subject, and found this:

            “Having said that, it is true that agreeing to pay tithing is a prerequisite to initial membership in the church. So if, as you ask, one refused to pay tithing, one would likely not be offered baptism into the church at that time. Understand, however, that tithing is not about money?-Heavenly Father certainly does not need earthly money to conduct His affairs. It is a principle of faith. If one lacks sufficient faith in the promised blessings that come from paying tithing, that is indicative that perhaps one is not yet ready to join the church. ”

            This was buried in a lot of verbiage that, to an outsider, sounds pretty much like the rationalizations I’ve heard from Tommy before.

            http://bit.ly/gnmgrO

          • CLP says:

            “Off hand, I cannot think of any major denomination that requires “pay to play”.”

            Isn’t the Mormon Church still pretty tight about tithing? I remember seeing stories about members who were basically audited to verify that they had popped their 10%.

            That might be true, but they are more than eager to give you a free copy of the Book of Mormon.

    • Jason Rizos says:

      Nice post, perhaps this is why I’m no longer interested in ridiculing them. If they want to draw people away from the desert cult religions of ancient times, I say let ‘em. At least their doctrine doesn’t involve killing nonbelievers and apostates (anymore).

  55. AnthonyC says:

    “It’s true that there’s nothing objectively stranger about this than reincarnated saviours, plagues of boils, transubstantiation, or talking burning bushes… I’m also convinced that if this was more widely known, it would be harder to get people to take the institution and its beliefs seriously.”

    These two sentences, taken together, speak volumes about humanity as a whole.

  56. Anonymous says:

    “If you really want to enslave people, tell them that you’re going to give them total freedom.” — L. Ron Hubbard

    To be fair, I have no idea if that quote attributed to Hubbard is real or not. It is pretty damning, so damning that I would be willing to accept it as fake, except the actions of the Church of Scientology seem to mirror the quote perfectly: you are offered “total freedom” only to spend many years and all your money as little more than an indentured servant in their organization.

  57. jphilby says:

    “As a Catholic, I am required to believe certain things which are objectively absurd. I live with the contradictions…”

    As an ex-Catholic (raised as one, compulsorily expected to attend and learn the ideas without knowledge or my consent) I *was* expected to believe certain things which are literally absurd. When I got much older and recited a list of them and asked for an explanation of each, I was told that it’s complex and I should attend a weekly discussion. At the first discussion, I was told that what I was forcibly taught to be literally true was, in fact, a metaphor.

    That was enough of that. If, as a teen, I could muster enough reason to forego compulsory belief in absurdity, I’m of the opinion that this dude can’t simply because either 1. the pay’s too good or 2. he’s fully committed to the scam.

    • Mister44 says:

      Too bad they couldn’t satiate your curiosity. Catholic aren’t alone in their ignorance of what their dogma and doctrine is and why. I have found the Catholics have a lot more reason in some of their beliefs. Some of the things their fundamentalists scoff at because it isn’t in the Bible they arrived at from reasoning it out.

  58. Anonymous says:

    “It is in violation of my religious beliefs to talk about them”.

    *sigh*…If only EVERY religion treated their faiths that way.

    Namely, to bury themselves in their private little hallucinatory worlds and leave everybody else the fuck alone.

  59. bjacques says:

    Tommy Davis’s antics are pretty old news, but not, judging from the comments here, to everybody. So clips like this are worth showing again now and then. But a truer picture of Scientologists’ behavior is better shown by clips from the aforementioned John Sweeney show and other evidence of their douchebaggery.

    In the end, what makes Scientology offensive are not its silly beliefs and what it charges for revelations thereof, or even the documented cynicism of founder L. Ron Hubbard, but its consistently bad behavior as an organization. The regularity and ferocity of their attacks against enemies real or perceived, within or without, and documented abuse of its own members are ample reason to wish for the speedy demise of the “Church” of Scientology or even help it along.

  60. voiceinthedistance says:

    As Tom Cruise so eloquently pointed out, with what the followers of Scientologyâ„¢ had to endure under Hitler during World War II, and what movie critics have done to them time and time again in the years since, Scientologistsâ„¢ have every right to feel persecuted.

  61. Anonymous says:

    It’s been mentioned here before, but as someone who grew up in (and later left) Scientology, trying to equate the “craziness” of Christianity with the “craziness” of Scientology is doing people who are trapped in Scientology a disservice. Scientology was developed in a modern context, and Scientologists believe that L. Ron Hubbard developed it as a Scientific philosophy of the spirit that can stand up to Scientific scrutiny.

    Lumping Scientology in with other religions is exactly what Tommy Davis wants, because it legitimizes Scientology as a world religion, and it ignores the secrecy about (copyrighted) beliefs, the extremely expensive pay-to-play structure, the cloistered, militia-like main churches, and its efforts to systematically discredit and destroy critics, competing psuedoscience, and the entire fields of psychology and psychiatry.

    By walking out, he is trying to get people to err on the side of religious tolerance without having to own up to really anything about Scientology as a religion, except for that it “helps thousands of people.”

    I don’t know where Davis is on the bridge, but anybody OTIII and above, which is where the Xenu part of Scientology mythology comes from, is just not allowed to talk about it, because Hubbard says it could cause a pneumonia epidemic if widely known. Hubbard himself claims that his arm broke in some kind of violent epiphany after coming into this information about mankind’s spiritual prehistory on his own. This goes along with the belief that being subconsciously reminded of traumatic experiences (including past lives), or going through traumatic experiences themselves can mess you up physically. It should also be mentioned that it’s not really the “creation myth” of Scientology if there is one, but more like the story of how we spiritually got stuck on earth many lifetimes ago.

    Basically, Davis is trained to hide behind political correctness, because actually trying to defend even the simpler parts of Scientology, (like the existence of a “reactive” mind inside you that’s responsible for fear and irrationality, that can be removed with Scientology auditing), puts him at a severe disadvantage. He’s going to be there so long as the interviewer lets him talk about how great Scientology is, and how many people it’s saved, etc., and as soon as it comes to the brass tacks of what Scientology actually is, he’s out of there. He’s not there to elucidate, he’s there to advertise.

  62. echidnasunrise says:

    In Scientology, you do not learn about Xenu until the OT3 level. Below the OT3 level you’re told that there are SPs (supressive persons) who are out in the world spreading terrible lies about Scientology. The people who talk publicly about Scientology are at lower levels and have not been told about Xenu. When you ask them about Xenu, they genuinely believe that you are just disseminating the lies of the SPs.

    Tommy Davis is most likely below OT3, and thus most likely believes this through and through.

  63. Rich Keller says:

    Look at Tommy’s body language, or face language, rather, from :24 to about :32. He has that “looking up to his left” expression that is common while lying. At that point in the video, he says something about “talking about things so fundamentally offensive.”

    Maybe he’s trying to convince himself?

  64. Xeno says:

    @Cnooncy

    Actually thats not a mocked distortion. Xenu appeared in several talks by L Ron and in a science fiction story he wrote; though during the talk he refered to him as XEMU. The documents about this are available only to high level thetans who have released this information online after leaving the cult after PAYING to receive this. Basically it is a shakedown or a pyramid scheme for the gullible who think they are receiving enlightenment or spiritual guidance when they are merely being told a long science fiction story and having to pay $10,000 per chapter for it.

  65. Snig says:

    As someone who’s studied evolution, I will stick around and happily talk DNA, fruit flies, flagellates and Piltdown man if asked pointed questions about monkeys and my ancestry. I do think claiming that a faith helps you deal with adversity and then throwing a hissy fit at a question does not support your claim.

  66. Anonymous says:

    I like that Sons of Ann Archer show about the biker gangs.

  67. Lauchlin says:

    I am not a Scientologist, but I live a few blocks from one of their churches. Despite the claims in this comment thread about how no Scientologist will react calmly to criticism of their religion, every week I see people walking into the church while panting, antisocial idiots in V for Vendetta masks hurl abuse at them. The vast majority of the Scientologists completely ignore the protesters, and the most extreme reaction I’ve seen provoked from someone actually going into the church was a hurt look from a mother when one of the masked ‘tards screamed something about her abusing her child by taking the kid into the church.

    Meanwhile, I also live down the street from a major Catholic church. There were no protesters outside, even when the story about how the Church hierarchy actively engaged in a conspiracy to protect the members of their faith who sexually abuse children was at the height of the news cycle. Meanwhile, people like Rick Warren get rich while campaigning for their religion’s belief that homosexuals aren’t real human beings, and that gay rights are an affront to their god and civilization. Meanwhile, the last President of the United States was a Biblical literalist who believes the end times are nigh, and was working, while in office, to try to make sure the conditions were right for the second coming. Meanwhile, Western preachers travel to Uganda to campaign for a law that criminalizes homosexuality. Meanwhile, radical Islam is a force throughout the world for violence and oppression of women and homosexuals.

    Scientologists’ beliefs are absurd, and, like some other religions, they fleece their adherents, but in the big scheme of things they are relatively harmless. Scientology’s low number of adherents makes them a socially weak organization, and their relative innocuousness makes them an easy target. I know Anonymous isn’t my personal army, but I’ll start to take Anonymous’s mission to protect people from evil religion seriously when I start seeing sweaty, overweight comic book characters protesting the protection of child abusers outside the Catholic church down the street, or on TV the next time Rick Warren is at the White House. Until then, I’m going to have to assume that the Internet bandwagon’s antagonism towards Scientology can only be the result of people who need to be given something to hate, and bullies in masks who like to scream and leer at children because they know their targets are too socially weak to stop them.

  68. Anonymous says:

    Can we get keyboard cat to play him off please? Anyone?

  69. Anonymous says:

    I’ve seen that spokesscientologist before, he’s a shameless hack that harassed the BBC reporter John Sweeny awhile back. Search youtube for “bbc scientology john sweeney” for clips of that fiasco. The corporate scientology propaganda department released doctored clips of John Sweeney losing his temper at the relentless nonsense …

    If you do insist on abolishing religion, divide and conquer starting with Tommy Davis’ kneecaps.

  70. ericroded says:

    They’re going to measure the brain instead.

    Map the Genome.

    They’re going to be able to predict bipolar disorders in fetuses soon.

    They can use gene evidence to prevent bipolars from marrying.

    Strapping people to volcanoes doesn’t have anything to do with the Modern Malaise.

    It’s all within your DNA.

    And had your parents planned properly, your problems could all have been avoided.

    It’s all Nature now folks.

    Nature is The Brave New World.

    • aelfscine says:

      What the blap???

      There’s gobs of research that shows that genes at best give a *disposition* toward behavior, and if the behavior’s not stimulated and reinforced, it quite likely won’t happen.

      Is this some weird attempt to change the subject?

  71. NuOrder72 says:

    “Is there a journalist sitting in front of you asking questions about your pseudo-religion?”

    (Turn to pg. 69 in DIANETICS, by L.Ron Hubbard)

  72. Anonymous says:

    I thought that Martin Bashir handled that very well, impeccable journalist that he is. He made the interviewee look an even bigger idiot than he obviously is. Storming off in a pretend pique is not the way to go.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Scientology basically emerged as part of the anti-psychiatry movement; in its place, it offers a modern form of exorcism; the secret-scripture craziness fits another model — that of the esoteric religion.

  74. Anonymous says:

    All religion is ridiculous. Belief in anything is just that, mocking someone makes the interviewer look just as ridiculous.

    Anyone who believes in an afterlife, or in heaven, is just as mockable. Srsly, aren’t we past making fun of people because of what they believe? I mean is Hinduism next?

    What a cheap shot.

  75. LaHaine says:

    Christ^H^H^H^H^H^HL.Ron, what an asshole.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Poor scientologists are offended day in and day out. These people are telling the truth, that has been revealed to them, and they are just as correct as the disciples of Jesus, who also suffered for their faith.

  77. Anonymous says:

    If this group of bullies and thugs is a “religion” then so is the Mafia. It’s so nice to see people actively protesting and speaking out against Scientology. For far too long they’ve terrorized members, ex-members, government officials, critics and the media. I have to laugh every time I see them deny the Xenu account. Not because it’s any more far fetched than other religions, but that they continue to lie about that which has been out of the bag for years. But that’s Scientology for you. In over 60 I doubt they’ve told the truth about ANYTHING.

  78. Anonymous says:

    FWIW, Tommy Davis is Anne Archer’s son. He’s the lead enforcer, inquisitor and intimidator of Scientology. There’s a lot of video out there of him being a total d-bag.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Somewhere I’ve got a video pulled off YouTube (before the video itself was yanked off YouTube) taken of a scientology orientation video presentation, you know, a cam held up to the screen. It had a definite ‘you’re-not-supposed-to-see-this’ being-on-the-inside kind of thing. I need to find somewhere to disseminate it. Is there a WikiLeaks for contraband YouTube videos? :) (I guess torrents would qualify, but distributing it in some higher profile manner would be more fun. And get the word out better.)

  80. Anonymous says:

    Is he offended because by asking the question the interviewer is exhibiting doubt in the story? Such as a typical person would be offended by someone who questions whether the Holocaust happened?
    Anyway, he gave a good politician-like answer; neither a denial or an acknowledgment.
    I have to admit I received my education on Scientology from the most reliable and always accurate source, “South Park” converted me. And to think previously I was a follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

  81. MarkM says:

    Bashir needn’tve gone for the jugular 3 times in a row.
    At the very least, he could have narrowed down the reasons
    why scientologist guy “had” to leave.

    Scientologists aren’t allowed to talk about this “OT” stuff
    (“Operating Thetan”) in public. But by leaving in a huff without
    explanation, we’re given the impression, or he’s allowing us to
    have the impression, that he didn’t believe in Xenu/Volcanos at all.

    Bashir shd’ve made him admit that he’s not allowed to even
    talk about OT topics among laypersons. Then, perhaps tried
    to get him to agree about OT topics are (ie Xenu/Volcanos).
    THEN say: well, do you believe in these OT topics.

  82. longnow says:

    Regardless of what you think of Scientology
    it has the all important tax exemption which
    was the whole point of inventing the religion.

    I read somewhere
    that Hubbard looked at the BOM and said… if they
    can get away with that so can I…or something like
    that. Sci-bots don’t believe that garbage but they
    do believe in tax exemptions which is why the
    guy stormed off. He was probably afraid he was
    going to blow it (volcano it) for everyone if he screwed up.

  83. Milfs says:

    I hate Scientology… I have to admit tho, just reading the title of this article made me laugh lol

  84. AndroidCat says:

    The problem with Scientology is “deeds, not creeds”. The wackjob sci-fi cosmology that Hubbard tacked on to Scientology isn’t much worse than the usual bronze age mythology stories, but the policies like Fair Game, Disconnection, hard sell Crush Regging, Knowledge Reports, Ethics Officers, Sec Check, gang-bang Sec Check, and the general MF of “Keep Scientology Working” are where the damage is done.

  85. Rider says:

    It’s amazing how idiotically Scientology handles it’s PR nightmare. Just say yes it’s true and move on. Storming off sets, making threats, pulling out celebrities to have them deny the whole Xenu thing in interviews. They are fighting this losing battle and they are the one making it a battle in the first place.

    • jimtron says:

      It’s supposed to be secret though, and if they admitted they’d probably scare away many potential paying customers. Once you’ve been in for years and are indoctrinated, it’s more likely to be accepted without being questioned.

    • Scott Grotyohann says:

      They can’t lure people in when presenting that stuff up front.

  86. mgfarrelly says:

    In Christianity at least, the trend over the past few centuries has been towards an open source view of God.

    Consider the Catholic Church as a corporate entity, defending it’s copyright and trademarks through inquisition, excommunication and other pressures. Protestantism comes along and breaks up the stranglehold, though over time many of these splinter groups become nearly as rigid and enforcing of their particular work-processes.

    The Great Awakening and more modern movements (Vatican II, the influence of non-Christian religions) have given us preachers whose only claim to preach is their ability, holding no training or certification. No CS (Ahem, theology) degree needed. Of course the original institution still exists, but every day the literacy of the public chips away at the need for elaborate DRM and general secrecy in it’s dealings, both divine and temporal.

    I believe I have beaten this metaphor to death.

  87. AirPillo says:

    I believe I have beaten this metaphor to death.

    It’s cool, you can only kill it for 3 days at a time.

  88. longnow says:

    There are plenty of conservative right wing fundamentalists who
    take great satisfaction in finally finding a group of ppl
    whose belief system is even crazier than theirs.
    I hate to bust their bubble but the fact is that Hubbard
    took the craziest scripture he could find among the
    major American religions and purposely made his religion
    even crazier just to qualify for the tax exemption.
    He didn’t believe any of it.

  89. Micah Phillips says:

    Is anyone else itching for a writer to go deep undercover and report back on what is really going on inside the darkest corners of the church of Scientology?

  90. GrymRpr says:

    I’ll leave this right here:
    YAAFM 11: Scientology
    http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/263120
    ( Slightly NSFW )

  91. longnow says:

    Some of the comments actually approach this thing
    from the point of view of reality. It’s the religious
    tax exemption that’s behind all of the nonsense that
    makes up the religion called Scientology. Hubbard
    looked at Mormonism and did them one better through
    some pretty heavy legal and probably illegal pressure on the IRS.
    Why do you think they don’t discuss this openly most of the
    time? Could it be that many or most know that it’s a legal
    facade/ fiction? These are not all stupid ppl despite how convenient
    it might be to think so. Hubbard was a pulp fiction con-artist b/c to
    survive as a writer you had to be looking for new hooks to out idea/ nonsense
    other writers to get published. Do you think a guy who knew Heinlein
    and Van Vogt actually believed any of this stuff?

  92. Teller says:

    All this ooga-booga religious talk makes me laugh. Bunch of nutjobs. Let’s go sit with the scientists. They’re discussing string theory.

  93. irksome says:

    It certainly is a rather elaborate back-story for a Ponzi scheme.

    And AirPillo@#3, FTW. Very nice.

  94. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny, because all he needs to do to spin it is that the origins of most religions sound silly when you take them “out of context” like burning bushes or fiery wheels in the sky.

    • jimtron says:

      Not that simple, because they keep the Xenu myth secret until you’ve paid thousands (tens? hundreds) of dollars and spent years being indoctrinated. Yes, Christians believe in weird stuff like eating the body of christ and virgin births, but you can walk into just about any church and the priests will gladly tell you that upfront, at no cost. COS’s problem is that they want this secret, so no one will talk about it.

  95. PaulR says:

    AAaarrrgghgghhg!

    WHY, oh WHY, do people make ultra-loud flash presentations? With no volume control?

    /Killed the FF tab after three seconds.

  96. Blue says:

    The pretence at taking offence is really quite intense.

  97. Anonymous says:

    There is no respect required for religious beliefs ESPECIALLY when you sit down for an interview about them.

  98. Deidzoeb says:

    I would be leary of any religious faith that copyrights its sacred texts. That obviously doesn’t help spread your message. (And I’m sure Scientology isn’t the only religion that does this, but it’s one of the easiest ways to see that Scientology is shady.)

  99. Anonymous says:

    His inability to just say ‘no’ was quite striking. Maybe it was the spelling of emperor that pissed him off?

  100. am says:

    It’s from Nightline, October 22, 2009:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yoc-AQ0RDxo

  101. Anonymous says:

    What I don’t like about this interview is the reporter. After being told numerous times that the scientologist wouldn’t answer the question, he just kept asking. The reporter should have dropped that specific question and gone a different direction. It would have been a lot easier to just ask, “Why won’t you answer this question?” or “If this is *not* what you believe then tell me what you do believe.” I really do think the reporter wanted the guy to walk out, perhaps for better ratings.

    • jimtron says:

      I agree. I’m glad the Xenu myth is public, but I don’t think it’s productive to ask this question over and over–its supposed to be secret, it’s part of their faith, of course they’re not going to answer it.

      I prefer questions like when Ted Koppel asked Miscavige if Clears get colds (which Hubbard had claimed)…he hedged and finally admitted that they do in fact get colds. There’s enough public stuff out there to ask the spokespeople…like, do OTs have super powers, yes or no? What’s an example of having control over MEST (matter, energy, space, time)? What’s the average (or minimum) cost to go all the way up the bridge? Etc.

  102. benher says:

    volcanoes? space-tyrants?

    I’ll keep my Jewish carpenters, virgin births, and inquisitions, thank you very much!

    • Anonymous says:

      Really these shows are scripted in a way. Both interviewer and interviewee (mostly interviewee) have to agree on the content that is presented to the viewers. Otherwise Tommy Davis would have never done the interview.

  103. dainel says:

    “Yes, it’s true. But my religion does not allow me to say that.”

  104. a_user says:

    I remembered this Tommy guy from the John Sweeny programme, same modus operandi for dealing with anything he feels to be threatening towards his faith.

  105. EeyoreX says:

    How to mix your own shake-n-bake sacred teachings:

    Step 1. Start with an assortment of really easy body hacks or mind hacks that THAT ACTUALLY WORK (i. e. “focus on the task at hand” or “eat food, mostly vegetables” or “take deep breaths and count to ten when you get exaltated”).

    Step 2. Teach the hacks to people who actually NEED them. All the while attribute the teachings to yourself or some higher power that you alone have access to (i. e. “the Maharishi learned this breathing tecnique from a sacred vision” or “The Lord told Moses that you’ll get sick if you eat that thing” or “Applied Scholastics work because it targets the bad tethans in your body”).

    Step 3. Once you have gained peoples trust by genuinly helping them out with stuff that actually works, tell everyone that there are superpowers in store for those who pay for the advanced course. Promise levitation, total freedom, eternal life in Heaven, whatever. The sky is the limit.

    Step 4. ???

    Step 5. Profit!!!

    Many people just don’t “get” cults because they get cause and effect mixed up. “My neighbor is a really nice guy and the Order Of Klimpaloon helped him kick his drug habit an overcome his stutter. So what if they have a few eccentric beliefs, they seem like nice enough people”.

  106. lewis stoole says:

    hollywood blvd would not be the same without scientology.

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