Everyday Scientology

Discuss

66 Responses to “Everyday Scientology”

  1. Alexander Sidnev says:

    Is that doublethink from 1984?

  2. Andrew Singleton says:

    With all respect due to someone allowed to believe as they wish.

    Still not convinced it’s not a cult. In fact whle article feels like ‘happy in slavery’ to me.

    • nowimnothing says:

      I think you would be hard pressed to find a religion without cult-like qualities. The next article is titled leaving the church, so maybe there will be more explicit criticism there.

      • Nadreck says:

        “Religion” and “cult” are two different terms which, while not mutually exclusive, are about two different things.  One of the central things about a cult is that they lie to you about what you’re joining when you first come in the door.  The Roman Catholic church, for example, while having many bad features actually tells you that they’re a religion.  Not so with Scientology.  They’re a “Science of the Mind”, or a drug rehab program or a diet but certainly not an irrational religion don’t you know.  It’s only after you’ve made a serious commitment to it that you find out (after signing a NDA) about the Intergalactic Empire that L. Ron found out about in a vision.

        Most religions aren’t copyrighted either.  Decades ago Scientology pioneered all of the tactics of shutting critics up via copyright laws that are so common today.

        The “Big Secret Truth” that all cults eventually let you in on may or may not be religious.  It could just as easily be the efficacy of a multi-level marketing scheme or a weight loss plan.  Just as long as it’s something that can be turned into a totalitarian worldview.

        • nowimnothing says:

          “Most religions aren’t copyrighted either.  Decades ago Scientology pioneered all of the tactics of shutting critics up via copyright laws that are so common today.”

          Don’t tell me other religions would not have done this if they had the benefit of copyright back when they were created. I mean look at the historical controversies over copying and translating the bible as well as holding Mass in Latin. A major component of the Protestant Reformation was the rejection of the idea that certain people had special access and knowledge of God.

      • dolo54 says:

        Most religions don’t require you cut off all ties to family members who leave the religion. Scientology does. That alone would qualify them as a cult, but there’s much darker aspects than that. Child slavery on their mothership The Freewinds, relentless prosecution and litigation against critics, forced abortions, and much more. Google any of those topics, you will find and amazing amount of evidence from many different sources.

        Also most religions don’t require you to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to ‘advance’. Scientology does.

        • nowimnothing says:

          Hey I am no defender of Scientology, but it is not true that other religions do not do most of these same things. Ever hear of shunning, killing homosexuals or those with evil spirits, tithing etc.?
          There are dark aspects to all religions, singling out Scientology as worse than the others seems a bit defensive.

          • C W says:

            Most religions don’t have their own forced labor camps, at one time, the largest private intelligence gathering agency in the world, and a paramilitary wing.

            And of those that do, aren’t given as favorable press, surely.

          • Nadreck says:

            I don’t think that calling something a cult is a moral judgement that something is worse than any random religion.  It’s a taxonomy not a judgement.  The fact that both tigers and hyenas have claws doesn’t mean that you can’t make a distinction between them.  Also note that cults need not have any religious background at all.

          • nowimnothing says:

            I think a lot of religious people would very much take it as a moral judgement. But I agree, we can make distinctions, and cults do not have to religion-based. I just wanted to make sure that as we attack one thing, we are not being hypocritical by ignoring the same faults in our own beliefs just because they are older and have the veneer of custom or tradition.

          • C W says:

            ” I just wanted to make sure that as we attack one thing, we are not being hypocritical by ignoring the same faults in our own beliefs just because they are older and have the veneer of custom or tradition.”

            False even-handedness is absolutely unnecessary for every discussion about harmful cults (that may or may not be a “legitimate” religion independent of harmful cult status.)

          • ocker3 says:

             Lots of those things were cultural, not religious, however some religions did spread those ideas to other areas.

    • Nadreck says:

      “someone allowed to believe as they wish” ?

      Well that certainly doesn’t include the belief that Scientology isn’t as good as it was (fraudulently) promised to you.  Because then you might find yourself framed for a bomb threat or have your boyfriend turn out to be a spy planted on you to gather your fingerprints for said frame.

      http://www.paulettecooper.com/scandal.htm

    • SomeGuyNamedMark says:

      I’d call it a business as much as a cult.  Any religion that charges for basic “services” (required classes, readings, etc) is a business.  I’ve been asked to donate but never charged at the door of a Christian church.

      • Nadreck says:

        It’s true that Scientology is a business when it’s advantageous for it to be so and a religion when it’s not but you’ll get into trouble with classifying things based on their payment scheme.  Jews, for one, often have to buy tickets for basic services.  A more useful definition revolves around deceit and totalitarianism.  Cults are totalitarian groups using primarily deceit and fraud about their aims and core beliefs, especially during initial recruitment, as opposed to the more popular violence.

        Cults don’t have to be religious in any way either.  There are plenty of Human Potential and psychiatric cults.

        • heph says:

          Isnt the enforced believe in that already religious enough or do you need codified rituals? I think its  atleast a big greyish area.

  3. Alan says:

    I’m just running with the quote above, but what he is describing is what linguists call “normal”.  As in, everyone does that.  Nothing special, remarkable, or learned. It’s human nature to try and fit in with those immediately around you and to act accordingly.  If you not, then you could possibly be a sociopath.  We adapt our language use accordingly. Ask anyone who is bilingual living in a multi-lingual culture.

  4. Quiche de Resistance says:

    “Everyday Scientology”

    IIIIIIIII-IIII-hai-IIII’m an everyday day nutcase.

    yeah-hee-yeah

  5. Michael Rosefield says:

    Well, that’s exactly what I expected: you take some half-way decent ideas, some totally awful ones, and a few just plain ridiculous, dress them all up in fancy mythological clothes, and have them all taken as inseparable gospel truth. Frankly, that’s what all religions do, and I do not know what it is in people’s brains that make them swallow it whole.

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      You haven’t studied religion very hard if you believe statements like that.  I’m going to guess you know a very little bit about a very few Judeo-Christian religions and you’ve chosen to smear them all based on lack of knowledge.

      All cars are red Volkswagens, if that’s all you’ve ever seen.  But what if some of us have seen a Tesla?

      If you disagree with my criticism, please feel free to demonstrate an encompassing knowledge of all religion.  I personally would love to see an insightful discussion of the various religious claims to essential monism, particularly in refutation of panentheism and religious atheism, perhaps with a meditation on the Zen/Pureland split in Mahayana or a comparison of elements of atheism in Jainism and Therevada.

      I’ve never found any way to respond to “all religions are (this thing)” type posts without pointing out the ignorance behind such statements, so I apologize for the lack of subtlety here.  Religion is a very large category, containing many things, and I suspect it would take a lifetime of study to learn enough to say anything more categorical than that humanity is subject to a spiritual impulse.

      If you want to experience a religion that doesn’t ask you to take anything as “gospel truth” (a telling metaphor, that) you could try your local Unitarian Universalist Church.  They are usually ready to roll with any belief system you like, as long as it’s not hurting anyone else.  They always let me in, anyway, and I’m an unrepentant empiricist.

      • Michael Rosefield says:

        If being an adherent to a religion doesn’t require you take certain facts or stances as a given, then it’s a philosophy, not a religion. This isn’t a No True Scotsman thing, but a reflection that religion comes as a package deal – you have to accept *something* uncritically, or it’s just a bunch of people who happen at the time to share some ideas.

        • novium says:

          It is exactly the “no true scotsman” thing, because it dismisses all religions that don’t fit a narrow framework as “not a religion”. Not ever religion works on the fundamentalist christian framework.

          • nowimnothing says:

            So how would you define religion?

            You cannot deny that most religions do require some uncritical thinking, some leap of faith. Even moderate liberal Christians must believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven because if they do not, then he did not die for everyone’s sins and his suffering was pointless.

            To ignore that and to say that there are many paths or something like that is to deliberately hold two conflicting beliefs.

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

            You cannot deny that most religions do require some uncritical thinking, some leap of faith.

            Although I certainly could deny that, I won’t, since I agree.  The flaw in your proposition is that you are talking about MOST religions, while the original poster said ALL religion.  The qualifiers and plural/singular form are extremely significant.  If I say all people are chinese, and you say most peoples are chinese, we’re not talking about the same things.

            All the best religions are 100% compatible with reality, and completely compatible with critical thinking.  It’s really a rather good yardstick for determining which ones are worth being a part of.  Note mainstream Christianity does not fit the bill.

          • novium says:

            Actually, moderate liberal Christians do not necessarily believe that. That’s again the protestant fundamentalist framework assumption. There are large swathes of Christianity that believe that good works is they key, and large swathes that believe that it’s faith in Jesus, and large swathes that believe that it’s a mix of the two. And the “dying for everyone’s sins” is not mutually exclusive with any of those things. 

            Everything in life requires some sort of belief system with tenants that are taken on faith. Religion. Politics. Hell, even the idea that what we perceive is actually real. Faith cannot be the sole definition of religion.

            But you’re right, defining religion is problematic. I mean, what we consider today to be religion would be closer akin to the place of philosophy in the classical world (i.e., a way of understanding the meaning of the world, life, and our place in it), whereas religion in that classical context was more of civic function that a set of beliefs through which to understand “how to live a good life” or “what’s it all mean?” 

          • Michael Rosefield says:

            If you can something with no dogma a religion, you can call astrology a science; the term ceases to be useful.

            I love cheese, would die to save innocent lives, think a sense of both humour and tolerance are basic requirements to be a good person, and am fairly convinced that I/we am/are immortal… but none of this is religion. I could form a club of like-minded folk, but it wouldn’t be a religion until we told people what and how to believe.

          • My Judaism is most certainly a religion, and I don’t adhere to what you would call a “dogma”, I’m not required to accept a set of unquestionable beliefs.  In fact, I do exactly the opposite – my religious life is defined by constant inquiry, not unthinking faith.  I understand that there are many who are hostile toward any religion, but please, take some time to learn about what your neighbors believe before making pronouncements on what religion is.  

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

            If you can something with no dogma a religion, you can call astrology a science; the term ceases to be useful.

            That’s a rather famous fundamentalist Christian argument, which I believe went all the way to the Texas state Supreme Court.  You lost.  You don’t get to have a private definition of religion, even though I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know your outlook is absolutely in line with anti-humanist fundamentalist dogma.  I hope you’ll forgive me for considering you a heretic Southern Baptist, since you believe many of the same things they do?

            Incidentally, your definition of “useful” is as limited as your definition of “religion”.

        • Ito Kagehisa says:

          You’ve described a feature common to the “desert monotheisms” which are part of the “revealed truth” category of religion.  Essentially, in that category the idea is that what you see is not really basic truth – you may think that gravity is the result of mass, but actually it’s an invisible daemon.  It may appear that consciousness ends at death, but actually you go to heaven.  The truth has been revealed by a prophet, or a holy book, or some other source that you must accept uncritically, since there’s no objective proof available.

          This is very much in line with some of the things you’re saying – you believe that you can define characteristics of religions you have never studied, because you think you have a basic truth in hand, and that you don’t need to learn anything beyond that overriding truth.  Magical thinking is not restricted to us religious folks, and it isn’t really a characteristic of religion as a whole.  Although it’s certainly common.

          Have you considered that if you insist that only one sub-category of religion counts as a religion for you, that’s a faith-based argument, not rooted in objective reality?

          • nowimnothing says:

            Your argument sounds too much like the one that religious people often make about atheism. Saying that is is just another belief system like theirs. It is an attempt to put all beliefs, whether rational or not, on the same level. And it is wrong. There is a definite dichotomy between reality and illusion. Yes, Descartes, brain in a jar, the matrix, we are never 100% sure etc. But beyond that we can make some generally rational statements about how the universe works. Even if we do not understand something fully, we can state with fairly high confidence that when it is eventually explained we will not need to fully rewrite our understanding of the basic laws of physics or our definitions of the natural and the supernatural.

            I would be curious to hear about these religions that are 100% compatible with reality, that espouse no supernatural or physics-defying beliefs. Would you at least confirm that a religion is a set of beliefs?

            In philosophy it often comes down to definitions, so we can debate all day about what religion should mean, but I think Michael’s point is valid. If you allow religion to be defined in different and internally conflicting ways then the word ceases to have any meaning.

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

            You’re making the same mistake in regards to atheism that you’ve made regarding religion. There isn’t “one canonical form” of atheism, any more than there is of religion, or Hawaiian Punch for that matter.

            All of the many flavors of atheism are worthy of study. Some atheists are also agnostics, because their flavor of atheism (“I have no god”) is orthogonal to agnosticism (“there may be no god at all”). Some atheists are heretic Christians (“God is defined in the Bible, and only that definition is valid, and I don’t believe in that God”). There is at least one explicitly atheist branch of Hinduism, and many atheists are members of religions that don’t discriminate against them. Some atheists – and nearly all theologians refer to this group as “naive atheists” – refuse to agree that the definition of God is the root of theology, and insist that all gods are the same, and that the primary characteristic of god is non-existence. This is not a viable viewpoint from the stance of philosophy or logic, because it’s based on circular reasoning, but it’s OK theologically because theology is the study of what people believe about God. The naive atheist view is prominent on Reddit and among followers of Ayn Rand (I mean no disrespect, I merely inform).

            You asked “I would be curious to hear about these religions that are 100% compatible with reality, that espouse no supernatural or physics-defying beliefs. Would you at least confirm that a religion is a set of beliefs?”

            My own religion – pantheism – is 100% compatible with reality. So are some kinds of Buddhism and several of the more advanced forms of Judaism. If my religion conflicts with reality, then my religion is wrong, so I figure out how to fix it and make it better. Reform Judaism is pretty much the same way, according to the practitioners I know.

            Religion is definitely not a set of inviolable beliefs. That is a feature of many religions, but certainly not all. Rinzai’s famous aphorism, “If you meet the Buddha in the road, kill him” tells the Buddhist (among other things) that enlightenment is not something that is externally applied by a preacher or read from a book, it is found inside oneself – through meditation and intense personal study of the nature of reality. At the American Universalist convention of 1803, where this subject was extensively discussed, Noah Murray said that explicitly requiring a set of beliefs was morally wrong, and “It is harmless now – it is a calf, and its horns have not yet made their appearance, but is will soon grow older – its horns will grow, and then it will begin to hook”. Murray’s viewpoint won the day, and consequently the various Universalist faiths have no dogma, no catechism, and no requirement for any set of religious beliefs.

            You said: “Even if we do not understand something fully, we can state with fairly high confidence that when it is eventually explained we will not need to fully rewrite our understanding of the basic laws of physics or our definitions of the natural and the supernatural.”

            But that’s not science. You have faith, but it’s not based on empirical evidence or inductive reasoning, since both of those contradict your thesis. We’ve fully rewritten our understanding of the basic laws of physics many times since Pausanius’ atomic theory. Unreasoning faith despite all evidence and experience is not part of my particular religion, but it’s a major feature of the “revealed truth” religions I mentioned before, and it’s also a feature of some forms of atheism. You should probably worry about that statement of belief growing horns! ^_^

          • nowimnothing says:

            @boingboing-506774f849b3f6f756077ca458da621a:disqus So how is your religion distinct from a secular naturalistic viewpoint? Why call it a religion if it is indistinguishable from a personal philosophy such as secular humanism?
            The various forms of atheism are not relevant because non-belief is not a philosophy in and of itself. Christians for example are atheists about any number of pagan gods.
            I don’t think you can say the non-existence of god is a circular argument. The argument is more properly stated, God is supernatural, the supernatural does not exist, therefore god does not exist. There has never, in the entire history of humanity, been any evidence of the supernatural. This is because of the basic definition of the supernatural being outside of natural events and evidence. By definition if you have evidence for something, then it ceases to be supernatural and becomes part of the natural world. The correct terminology would then place all unexplained purported supernatural events into the preternatural realm.

            I would claim that we have not greatly rewritten basic physics in at least the last 200 years of ‘modern science.’ Sure Newtonian physics may break down at certain extremes, but that does not mean Newton was wrong, just that the technology and advancement was not there to see more of the natural world. What we continue to learn just builds on these basic observations and enhances them with more detail.

            Interesting conversation even if we end up agreeing to disagree. :)

          • Ito Kagehisa says:

             @nowimnothing:disqus  I’m glad you find it interesting; theology is a rich field.  At the root of it is the definition of God.  How you define deity almost always determines what your religion is.  If you choose to have no definition whatsoever, it gets tricky – people who have studied theology for decades argue about it incessantly, so let’s not go there – but in most cases that makes you both agnostic and non-religious.  If you’re an atheist, that is no absolute barrier to religion, but it does severely restrict your choice of faiths.

            You stated as an axiom that “God is SuperNatural”.  But this is not really a base axiom; it is a statement of belief that you share with several religions.  It is a faith-based belief, as there is no empirical evidence for it whatsoever, and considerable evidence against it.  I do not agree with this belief as stated.  By definition, that which exists in nature is “natural”, and my God physically exists in nature, therefore God is not super-natural.

            The distinction between panentheism and pantheism is concisely encapsulated here, though.  Pantheists believe that everything is God, and panentheists agree, but panentheists also believe that there is more – that God is composed of everything and some mystical supernatural other stuff.  I believe Hasidic Jews are panentheists, as are some of the smaller Christian denominations.

            I don’t know how to show you that your argument is entirely circular if you don’t see it.  You’ve defined non-existence and supernaturality and god as synonymous, and then said this proves god is nonexistent.  There’s nothing there but a loop.  You started from your conclusion.

            Here, I will give you Spinoza’s argument for God, which is often called the Geometric Proof (people who don’t understand it will incorrectly claim it’s an ontological proof, by which you can deduce that they have not read Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy).

            axiom: God is the greatest thing there is or can be
            axiom: a set is greater than any individual component of the same set
            therefore: the set of all things is the greatest possible thing
            conclusion: God is the set of all things.

            You asked:  So how is your religion distinct from a secular naturalistic viewpoint?

            It’s more joyful and inclusive.

            I don’t know if you’re ever achieved a spiritual experience, through meditation or prayer?  Science has proved that this experience exists, as a measurable human condition.  And it’s both enjoyable and really good for you, psychologically and physically.  It doesn’t matter if you call it enlightenment, left/right brain recalibration, or a state of grace, but it’s fair to say it’s a condition that secular naturalists aren’t particularly interested in.  By contrast, religious pantheists approach experiential realities as facets of the divine, and welcome spiritual experiences.  Both groups see beauty in nature, but pantheists choose to see divinity also, and see themselves as participants in deity, rather than as supplicants to an external environment, process or entity.

            Also, as a pantheist, I get to participate in the rich legacy of human celebration of the divine.  I can read, repeat and enjoy Rumi’s poetry, I can sing many of the great and moving hymns of the Reformation with full conviction, I can read and agree with great religious authors and freedom fighters of the past and take motivation from them, in short I can use God-language without pretense or hypocrisy.  My marriage vows weren’t some fake thing I did to impress other people, they were real promises to God and to my spouse.  When someone gives a thanksgiving blessing, as long as they leave out specific claims (mostly involving Jesus) I can wholeheartedly share an “amen” with the Christians, Muslims, B’Hai, and Quakers in my community.  Being religious means I don’t have to completely reject a huge part of history or humanity.

            You also asked:  Why call it a religion if it is indistinguishable from a personal
            philosophy such as secular humanism?

            Well, I would argue that a religious person has the right to define their religion, and that while you don’t have to agree with them, you’re going out of your way to pick a fight when you say their religion isn’t a “real” religion.  It would be like me saying you aren’t a real atheist – I am willing to categorize you as a particular type of atheist, sure, and I’m willing to point out any inconsistencies in your beliefs; I’m even willing to say that your God is fake and non-existent – but if I start telling you that you aren’t allowed to call yourself an atheist, I’m just picking a fight – either with you, or with the people I think are “real” atheists.  It’s pasting an intellectual facade over a desire for conflict.

          • nowimnothing says:

            @boingboing-506774f849b3f6f756077ca458da621a:disqus I am not trying to pick a fight, but you do bring up some interesting complications. If god is everything then is everything god? If so and there is no extra supernatural “stuff” then what information is added by changing the term? 

            Thanks for educating me on pantheism though, if you could not tell my philosophical reading leans more toward the existentialists.

            I have had spiritual experiences, most often like the ancients, with the help of hallucinogens. But I never felt that there was a need to externalize the experience into one of special knowledge of the universe. I always understood that any revelations were internal and dealt with my own psychology and brain chemistry. 

            To me though, adding the divine takes something away from the wonder of the universe. Life is so much more precious if there is no divine connection, if we are all just transportation systems for our DNA. Bad crib from Carl Sagan: we are all made of star stuff, and there is not anything in our religions, fictions or imagination that can compare with the wonder of that.

            I guess I just see that extra layer as extraneous and removing us unnecessarily from contact with each other. I am sure you see it in a much different way :) and that is ok, it seems we probably agree on much more than we disagree. 

    • Nadreck says:

      But then cults are defined by their orthopraxy (their actions) rather than their orthodoxy (their beliefs).  Most religions don’t send undercover agents from their counter-intelligence divisions into police departments as was the case with Scientology here in Ontario and the Ontario Provincial Police.  Most religions also aren’t copyrighted so that you can’t talk about their beliefs without a payment to a license holder.

  6. I got to really dislike the jargon of the conservative Christian culture I grew up in.

    “How has the Lord blessed you today?” instead of “How are you?” Or they respond “Blessed” if you ask how they are.

    Even worse: “You should pray for Susan. She’s struggling with homosexuality…” is just the “Christian” way of saying, “OMG, Susan’s gay!”

    • ChicagoD says:

      Is the answer to “has the Lord blessed you today?” ever “no”? Or are you blessed to have spilled coffee all over yourself before you left the house, then to have fallen down the stairs rushing to get out of the house only to discover that you have not one but two flat tires on the car . . . 

      • Felton / Moderator says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if my grandmother, in that situation, said something like “no, the Lord is having a hissy-fit today!”

      • I think the “how” in the front of the sentence is important. There seemed to be an implied assertion that the Lord has indeed blessed you and they want to encourage you to articulate that forced optimistic outlook. You’re only allowed to complain if you phrase it as, “Please pray for me. I spilled coffee all over myself and then had two flat tires. Apparently the Lord didn’t want me to go anywhere today…”

    • Mitchell Glaser says:

      Susan is struggling with homosexuality… she can’t get enough!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      “How has the Lord blessed you today?” instead of “How are you?”

      Just respond by saying, “Happy as a succubus sitting on Satan’s cock! How are you?”

  7. C W says:

    “To this day it’s like a door opens in my brain when I’m with my parents, allowing the use of those specialized terms, and closes again when I’m with friends”

    No shit, this is another way they prevent Scientologists from interacting with the outside world. This is a HUGE flaw, requiring hidden vocabulary and redefining words and language to exclude non-cultists and make everyday life and self-examination/expression difficult for exiles.

    You’re literally speaking another language and only comfortable around those who understand.

  8. ryuthrowsstuff says:

    This article contained probably the most direct and clear description of the e-meter readings that I’ve ever read. And they sound like a session with a fortune teller. Cold reading type interview process with the meter as a prop for suggestion/pressure purposes followed up with new agey reassurance. That’s quite interesting. 

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      Degrade, Isolate, offer false promise of improvement, and in the case of those wanting to leave either go on about how they can’t survive on their own or that you’re better off where you are.

      Gee. Sounds like an abusive relationship to me.

      • Nadreck says:

        Bingo!  A cult is just a bad relationship with more than two people in it that doesn’t (usually) revolve around sex.  People (shockingly!) are often highly motivated by things other than sex and that’s what cults latch onto.  The old paradigms of cult coercion being along the lines of Chinese Brain Laundries long ago gave way to the Bad Boyfriend from Hell Incorporated model.

        I knew a cult escapee once who ran away to the ass-end of nowhere and was telling his story to a waitress in a diner there.  When she asked why he put up with the abuse for as long as he did he said “Well, have you ever had a bad ex who…”.  “Say no more”, she replied, “I get it.”

        • C W says:

          “A cult is just a bad relationship”

          No, it’s the nightmare relationships where one party is locked in a cage and beaten. In COS’s case, this can be literally be true.

    • BillStewart2012 says:

      There are different kinds of fortune tellers.  Sometimes the astrologer or tarot card reader believes in her art and is trying to find the Universe’s best advice for you.  But Miss TV Psychic Hotline believes in _her_ art and she’s trying to find out how good your credit cards are. 

      And unlike astrology, tea leaf reading works really well, because by the time there’s a pattern at the bottom of the cup, the old gypsy woman has spent a couple of minutes talking to you about how you’re worried your boyfriend might be cheating or whether to dump him for that dark handsome stranger, and she’s got a good idea about what _you_ actually feel even if you don’t, and she’s known a lot of people with cheating boyfriends and a lot of people who did or didn’t leave the nice boring guy for the new hottie, and can probably tell you a good story and invite you to come back next week for another session.  (Of course, next week she may tell you that the real problem is that you’re suffering from a curse and it’ll cost a lot of money to fix, and unlike Scientology auditors, she _knows_ it’s a scam.)

  9. soupcrusher says:

    Not a bad article if you have never heard someone’s account of being a scientologist before. She’s reminiscing just a tad. The fact that she barely talks about her mother being an SP is weird to me. Maybe there’s more about it in the 3rd part? Zero mention of the sea org. If you want decent testimonials just check out operation clambake www.xenu.net/

    • C W says:

      “The fact that she barely talks about her mother being an SP is weird to me.”

      Plenty of ex-COS members reminisce very fondly and have only a vague understanding what life is like for the rest of the world, long after being declared a SP. Their entire world has been up-ended and they’ve been made reliant on those techniques through learned helplessness.

      It’s sad how many ex-officers speak out against the current leader, but miss the point and essentially want to set up the same exact structure, not comprehending how corrupt the process is, how much abuse is inherent to Scientology.

  10. dolo54 says:

    Anybody who is interested in learning more about Scientology would do well to read Tony Ortega’s long running series on it.

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/scientology/

    Here’s some choice bits:Leader of Scientology’s wife missing for years:

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/07/scientology_shelly_miscavige_disappeared.php

    “The Hole” notorious Scientology reeducation camp:

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/08/scientology_concentration_camp_the_hole.php

    Deaths at Narconon, a Scientology front organization:

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/deaths-at-scientology-drug-treatment-program-narconon-bring-investigation/1246054

    http://mcalesternews.com/breakingnews/x44829217/DA-Narconon-Arrowhead-Oklahoma-Department-of-Mental-Health-investigates-deaths

    Also you should read up on how Scientology got tax exempt status. They investigated the IRS officials prosecuting them until they had enough dirt to blackmail the officials. Case dropped after a sure-fire conviction was imminent.

    http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Cowen/essays/nytimes.html

  11. “The Xenu story doesn’t come until the ultra-secret OT 3, which comes well after you’ve gone clear, which requires tens of thousands of dollars of auditing and courses and can take decades.”

    [londo molari mode]
    This, by you, is a DEFENSE of Scientology?
    [/londo molari mode]

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      And by this point you’re in so deep that getting out requires not only friends and or family you by then have severed ties with but an act of will you are conditioned to believe you nolonger can make.

  12. Marc Mielke says:

    About the best resource for determining whether a religious movement is an abusive cult is the Isaac Bonewits scale. Bonewits was pagan, which dispenses with the implicit Christian propaganda in similar analyses and rates an organization exclusively by what it does rather than what they believe. 

    http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html 

  13. Mitchell Glaser says:

    I’ve read statements from women who wear a burqa insisting that they are not forced to, and that wearing anything else in public would make them dreadfully uncomfortable. I don’t think they are lying, there are probably slaves who would feel naked without their chains.

    This Scientology droid fits in that category IMHO.

  14. CLAVDIVS says:

    The beliefs of the Church of Scientology are not the problem. Its ACTIONS are.

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