Once again furthering the tired argument that the beliefs of Scientology should not be mocked beyond those of any other religions simply because the "church" is in its infancy, columnist Brian Hennigan writes in the Scotsman:
Scientologists do have good reason though to be sensitive. For some reason or other Scientology is routinely attacked as a cult or quack religion whose only divine mission is the emptying of its members' pockets. Those who get past the "personality tests" that are used to recruit members are always described by the Church's detractors as being "brain-washed" and/or subject to devious mind-control techniques.
Every year millions of Scientologists buy chocolate eggs and give them to children in memory of their religion's founder and his rise from the dead. Oh sorry, that's Christianity.
Flippantly likening the techniques and doctrines of Scientology to the practices of Christianity while assuming that critics attack one while accept the other, Hennigan is revealing his massive ignorance and his obvious lack of research outside of viewing a 24-minute cartoon. He nonetheless feels comfortable commenting on the subject, something no professional journalist should do. While the "Trapped in the Closet" episode of "South Park" mocked the stories about Xenu and aliens, had Mr. Hennigan bothered to do his homework on the matter before writing such ill-informed drivel such as the following:
And that is my point. The method of attack against scientology is basically to identify the more outlandish beliefs and activities and use these to undermine the whole enterprise. In much the same way that someone could attack Christians for actually believing that several thousand years ago someone got a big boat and rounded up a pair of every animal - have you ever tried to lasso one squirrel let alone two? - and put to sea until a dove came along with a twig to give the flood all-clear.
he might have discovered a thing or two about "the method of attack against Scientology" that, in fact, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with objections to to any of their beliefs or superstitions. He later continues, ironically:
The point is that Scientologists should surely be judged on what they do and not what they believe. And it's difficult to see what they are doing that is so terribly bad.
Ironic because what Scientologists do
is exactly what has earned them so many critics. Sure, many people, like myself, may have a hard time buying a story that an evil galactic dark lord named Xenu horded the surplus population of the universe around volcanoes on Earth and turned them into Thetans with nuclear bombs who now infect the bodies of humans, but it's hardly the single basis for their criticism. Besides, it's not "difficult" in the slightest to see what's so bad about the "church." It's just plain lazy. Anyone with an internet connection and thirty minutes of spare time - something one can fairly assume a responsible journalist might find necessary to spend before writing with authority on any subject, let alone one that defends a dangerous cult - can find out the basic human rights abuses of which Scientology is guilty.
If taking money from the gullible is a crime then the people that run the lottery should be on trial, as well as anyone who sells make-up to spotty oiks on the grounds that it will help them look like Jennifer Lopez. And unlike some religions, Scientology doesn't have followers decapitating people on prime-time television or bombing abortion clinics.
Perhaps not, but part of the reason why this site was even started was for the sake of people like Mr. Hennigan, so here's just a crash course in why Scientology is a lot more than just a harmless little scam that doesn't hurt anybody.
Let's start at the beginning: founded by a megalomaniacal madman who'd been ruled mentally unstable by a qualified physician, with such charming character traits as misogyny, racism and delusional beliefs about his own mediocre accomplishments specifically for the purpose of making money. Described by his own son as a pathological liar, nearly every detail he had ever boasted about his life while he was living has been proven to be false. See Bare Faced Messiah
. No need to read the entire text if you haven't the time. Merely skimming a few chapters is enough to leave you itchy.
Fair Game: Read all about this lovely policy here
. If you can't be bothered, here's a precis: "church" members are allowed to utilize any means available to destroy Scientology's critics personally, professionally and financially. Current members claim the policy was discontinued in 1967, though memos from Hubbard indicate that his intention was to have it removed from any "church" documents to avoid public embarrassment, but make it clear
that the policy was to continue in practice.
Bad medicine: Scientology's "Purification Rundown" claims to rid the body of toxins and involves high doses of niacin and long sessions in saunas, both of which
have been proven to be harmful to the human body
. They are peddling a junk science made up by Hubbard, a man with no medical training, as cure-alls for ailments raning from cancer to schizophrenia.
The war on psychiatry: Members with bonafide psychological troubles are encouraged to trust in Scientology's treatments, many of which have no medical basis whatsoever, in favor of soliciting the advice and care of a trained mental health professional, sometimes resulting
in disastrous consequences
Abuse of members: There are simply too many to list here. Here's a good starting point
, where you can read all about the "Sea Org" and its practices and methods for dealing with anyone who has joined, signing a billion year commitment of service, who does not toe the line.
Harrassment of critics, police, investigators or anyone who questions any of their methods: Again, too many to mention in this space, but there's enough bandwidth on the internet for all of them. Here are some accounts
of some of the brutal, even life-threatening, things that have happened to anyone who has questioned the leadership of the "church." There are also enough links there to keep a person occupied with reading for hours. Some of the stories you will read will make you sick, so be warned.
Finally, if this doesn't make you sick
, I'd have to question whether you even possess a human conscience. If you were to even bring up any of the names of the people mentioned at that site to a Scientologist, they would immediately feign ignorance or unleash a torrent of abuse. That is what Scientology does. What it doesn't outright deny, even in the face of irrefutable evidence, it attempts to silence, often using sinister and abusive tacticts.
I don't care about Xenu. I don't care if they believe the Easter Bunny is the prophet returned. What I do care about is who they harm
, and even worse, that they do so only for money. That and that alone is the basis for the time I invest in this site.
Still want to argue it isn't hurting anybody? Be my guest. It's your right. But if you ever decide you want to find out more, I invite you to enter any Scientology center and innocently ask your hosts about Xenu to experience some of this abuse yourself. You might not be as forgiving.