Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ignorance Is Bliss?

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Scientology cult banks on just his kind of ignorance - Those unable to discern one religious doctrine from another.

Those who believe in nothing are capable of believing in anything.


4:37 PM  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

He was probably paid by Scientologists to write the piece - or he's trying to get a piece of some ScietoChick.
His apparent complete lack of knowledge about the Judeo-Christian antecedants of the West - and/or their casual dismissal - is ahistorical and pretty pathetic.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Thetan Lover said...

I think he's just another ignorant schmuck. I read and hear similar drivel all over the place, especially from the more fervently anti-religious types hostile to Christianity that consider adherence to any religion a childish belief in superstition and therefore do not distinguish betweeen Jesus/Allah/Buddha, etc. It's not even necessarily that attitude that irks me (though I have to admit, it mildly does), as much as the ignorance of blatantly stating that Scientology isn't hurting anybody. It IS, and anybody can learn as much in just a few minutes.

Madonna said something similar not too long ago in defense of Tom Cruise. Again, ironically stating that critics need to shut up because they don't know what they're talking about. Yes, Esther, they DO know, all too well. If her Kabbalahness could be bothered to read a little on the subject, she might realize that. Being brainwashed herself, I doubt any of it would register.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talking about Fair Game policy, it look like you're applying it to Tom Cruise. Litteraly.
Are you an ex-scientologist?
Because you sound like one.
I wish you will talk a bit about miscavidge responsability. Have you ever heard of? anyone?

1:27 PM  
Blogger Thetan Lover said...

Tom Cruise wasn't even mentioned in this post.

No, I am not an ex-Scientologist.

Yes, I have heard of David David MISCAVIGE and he has been written about on this site before.

I don't like the "lay off Cruise" attitide. He has, through his own actions and behavior, made himself the public face of Scientology. He deserves any and all torment he receives. If he kept his damn religion private and to himself I'd argue otherwise. In the meantime, he keeps shilling for this cult, possibly sparking interest in other people, who will no doubt receive treatment much different from Scientology's coveted celebrities.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous carolinafox said...

As an ex-Scientologist, I can assure you that $cientology is NOT harmless. It is evil. Good people who want to help others are targeted, using false pretenses, to help the "church" achieve goals that are not at all the true gols of David Miscavige and the Sea Org. Since the Sea Org doesn't even apply the so-called "technology" that is supposed to be life-saving and miracle-working, it's pretty obvious that it's all a lie. It's okay to "live and let live", as long as you don't ignore criminals who are committing crimes on a worldwide basis.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Sam Jordison said...

To return to Brian Hennigan's 'arguments', who ever in the community that's trying to raise awareness of the dangers of South Park said that Christianity is a good thing? Certainly not Parker and Stone at South Park who've dedicated far more time (and hilarious jokes) to pointing out that religion's historical inadequacies, abuses and etc. Hennigan's own reductio ad absurdum is absurd... Just like a cult apologist to use a series of false logical steps on a staircase to nowhere to defend the indefensible...

12:22 AM  
Blogger Thetan Lover said...

Congratulations on escaping Scientology's clutches. I hope you've managed to get your life back on track and know there are a lot of people out there pulling for you!

6:41 AM  
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