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Breaking with Scientology

Religion Scientology 2010

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#1 BklnScott

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 09:53 AM

Have we been discussing this here?  Fascinating article furthering a lot of previously aired claims.  

Do we have any scientologists among us?

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#2 Nonny

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 10:45 AM

I had the great good fortune  :sarcasm:  that I fell on hard times just as a scientologist of my acquaintance was starting to throw out hints to me.  The classes did sound interesting, but I would not have taken any even if I could have afforded them, because, for once in my life, I was suspicious.  Her dh, also a scientologist, was the biggest jerk I knew at the time, and no way was I going to get involved.  

Big surprise: she dropped me so fast!    :rolleyes:

I remember the snake in the mailbox, my shock at the extension of tax benefits to yet another phony church, my disgust at the whole situation.    :headshake:
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#3 Cait

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:02 PM

Actually, I know quite a bit about them.  More than I should and definitive more than I like to know.  I didn't lose any money to them, but I know quite a bit.  I can tell you that ALL the allegations of mistreatment are probably true.  Some of the stories I know first hand are true.

I have long time friendships with many ex staff and many who gave testimony under subpoena, although at this point I forget what the case was.  It wasn't the tax exemption case.

The slave labor.  True.

The physical abuse, starvation, long hours.  True.

Forced abortions?  True.

Sleep deprivation? True.

Disconnections from family and sometimes spouses who want to leave.  True.

Little to no pay.  True.

Food, was often beans and rice.  True.

Security checks all the time.  True.

Getting ill is considered to be a crime.  If you get ill, you have overts and it is your own fault.  Medical help isn't called in unless you break a bone.  Although ever since the Lisa MacPherson case, that might have changed.

I mean it's pretty much all true.  The internet really changed a lot of the hold the Church had over members who left or Staff who wanted to leave.  It's Staff that was/is hardest hit.  You'd be appalled at what staff endure and have endured in order to leave.  You'd never believe the extend of the covert activities of the Church.

The NYT's article is basically a typical story, but they all sound so dramatic, and no one can believe how a sane person could get involved under those circumstances.  The snake oil they sell is pretty potent.    There are groups out there now trying to help ex-SO, but prior to the Internet, a staff member could be off loaded in the dead of night without a passport, and left to rot.  or locked up and unable to leave.  

I didn't know this particular couple, but I've already spoken with people I know who did/do know them, so I trust that the story is legit.   Stories about mis-treatment are most likely to be true, not the other way around.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#4 Nick

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:49 PM

I don't know any scientologists (as far as I'm aware) but I'm pretty much convinced that they're a dangerous and destructive cult.  Nothing more than a money making scheme.  They've done things that would make the Catholic church of the bad-old-days blush.

I sincerely hope that more widespread publicity results in the revocation of their tax-exempt status and the "church" of scientology fades into obscurity, withers and dies.

(but let me tell you how I really feel . . )

#5 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:53 PM

I wonder if this is what L. Ron Hubbard really had in mind...
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#6 Nick

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:56 PM

From what I've ready about the guy . . . yes.  It's exactly what he had in mind.

#7 Cait

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:03 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 9 2010, 03:56 PM, said:

From what I've ready about the guy . . . yes.  It's exactly what he had in mind.


From what I know, yes.  It's exactly what he wanted.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#8 Cait

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:05 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 9 2010, 03:49 PM, said:

I don't know any scientologists (as far as I'm aware) but I'm pretty much convinced that they're a dangerous and destructive cult.  Nothing more than a money making scheme.  They've done things that would make the Catholic church of the bad-old-days blush.

I sincerely hope that more widespread publicity results in the revocation of their tax-exempt status and the "church" of scientology fades into obscurity, withers and dies.

(but let me tell you how I really feel . . )

The Church of Scientology has actually been banned in some European countries.  I think the ban is still in force in Germany, and I know the French have something brewing or in force to try and control the cult.  It's seen by some governments as very dangerous.  I don't know any more what their status is in Great Britain.  There's trouble is Australia too.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#9 Bad Wolf

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 07:38 PM

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Mar 9 2010, 04:03 PM, said:

View PostNick, on Mar 9 2010, 03:56 PM, said:

From what I've ready about the guy . . . yes.  It's exactly what he had in mind.


From what I know, yes.  It's exactly what he wanted.

Yikes.
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#10 DWF

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 08:50 PM

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Scientology is b*llsh*t! Man, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for Christ's sakes! (...) We were sitting around one night... who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester del Rey, and Ron Hubbard, who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said "This b*llsh*t's got to stop!" He says, "I gotta get money." He says, "I want to get rich". And somebody said, "why don't you invent a new religion? They're always big." We were clowning! You know, "Become Elmer Gantry! You'll make a fortune!" He says, "I'm going to do it."
"The Real Harlan Ellison" in Wings (November-December 1978) p. 32

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#11 Rhea

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 11:09 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on Mar 9 2010, 03:53 PM, said:

I wonder if this is what L. Ron Hubbard really had in mind...

Since he wrote his drivel while he was on a yacht off Hawaii (IIRC) and was both drunk and doing drugs (by his own admission), it's impossible for me to take the it seriously - and alien conflicts only make it more ridiculous.

Edited by Rhea, 09 March 2010 - 11:10 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
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When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#12 obsidianstorm13

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:05 AM

I have confirmed this with Balth... in the UK Scientology is considered to be a cult.  I think that means that they are not given any tax exemptions so they probably don't have enough money to keep their churches running.  

Scientology=the world's largest pyramid scheme.  Ever.  I have never liked it as a religion.  They threaten to and do sue people who make comments about their religion that they don't like.  They went after the writers of South Park and lost a voice because of their episode, which mocks some of their practices.(Not that I think South Park is an amazing show or anything but that show has literally made fun of everything.) I'm sorry I think they are bullies.  Their tax exempt status should be revoked and they should not be considered a valid religion at all.

#13 Nick

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 11:06 AM

View Postobisidianstorm13, on Mar 10 2010, 07:05 AM, said:

Scientology=the world's largest pyramid scheme.  Ever.

Scientology isn't a pyramid scheme.  A pyramid scheme pays out the early participants.  Scientology doesn't share, it's just a plain scam.

#14 obsidianstorm13

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 11:19 AM

You're right... my bad.  It might work as a good diagram for trickle down economic theory though :wink: !

#15 Cait

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 12:37 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on Mar 9 2010, 04:38 PM, said:

View PostCertifiably Cait, on Mar 9 2010, 04:03 PM, said:

View PostNick, on Mar 9 2010, 03:56 PM, said:

From what I've ready about the guy . . . yes.  It's exactly what he had in mind.


From what I know, yes.  It's exactly what he wanted.

Yikes.

The quote below that DWF posted is basically a widely known story even among Scientologists.  They don't care that he set out to become rich.  That's in fact the hook to get others to join.  "If you use Hubbard's technology, you too can become as wealthy, successful and powerful as Hubbard became".

The hook that appeals most to members is that they can become wealthy and powerful.  Whatever spirituality exists within that religion [cough cough] is the spirituality each member comes into it with.  Every moment of time in Scientology is spent in becoming more competent, so that members can become more powerful.  It strictly a money motivated and power motivated cult.  The Leader's don't pretend that there is some ultimate good, they preach that individuals can become 'at cause" of their own lives.  The only hook used for 'ultimate good' is the slogan "clearing the planet", and that's only used on actual Staff members or Sea Org members.  They sacrifice everything to bring this 'clearing to the world'.  They believe that hunger, war, everything negative can be stomped out if every person were clear using Hubbard's technology, and they are willing to sacrifice their lives to bring that about.  

BUT, regular members [like Travolta and Cruise] could care less about "clearing the Planet.  All they want is to be rich and powerful, and Scientology promises them that.

The problem lies in the fact that, except for the crazy Alien stuff [which before the internet, no one knew about until they'd reacted the OT111 level, and by then they were all in as they say], some of the practices work.  IN fact, a lot of them work.  What many don't realize is that they aren't original.  Hubbard stole from every religion, philosophy and psychiatric practice of the time and developed simple routines that when done, actually bring results.  Like I said, they just aren't original at all.  The upper levels, are pure fiction, but from what I've been told, by the time you're that far in, you're pretty much unwilling to admit that all your time, effort and money a=has been spent on a lie... and the parts that are true could have been found for free at a local library in the philosophy section.

There are some interesting exit stories--Paul Haggis I believe, and oh, damn, I forget his name.  If I remember I'll post it.  Some actor who left the Church.  I saw an interview with him on PBS a while back and he explained the unwillingness of many to admit how they'd been duped.  And it was so difficult because earlier routines and auditing had worked so well.   Like any good con, there are some early on wins to hook a mark.  There has to be or no one would get caught up in it.



View PostDWF, on Mar 9 2010, 05:50 PM, said:

Quote

Scientology is b*llsh*t! Man, I was there the night L. Ron Hubbard invented it, for Christ's sakes! (...) We were sitting around one night... who else was there? Alfred Bester, and Cyril Kornbluth, and Lester del Rey, and Ron Hubbard, who was making a penny a word, and had been for years. And he said "This b*llsh*t's got to stop!" He says, "I gotta get money." He says, "I want to get rich". And somebody said, "why don't you invent a new religion? They're always big." We were clowning! You know, "Become Elmer Gantry! You'll make a fortune!" He says, "I'm going to do it."
"The Real Harlan Ellison" in Wings (November-December 1978) p. 32

:whistle:


View PostNick, on Mar 10 2010, 08:06 AM, said:

View Postobisidianstorm13, on Mar 10 2010, 07:05 AM, said:

Scientology=the world's largest pyramid scheme.  Ever.

Scientology isn't a pyramid scheme.  A pyramid scheme pays out the early participants.  Scientology doesn't share, it's just a plain scam.

It's a pretty basic con, and there used to be a program [although I don't know if it exists any longer], where members were given credits towards more services for every $ spent by someone who signed up and were referred by the member.  Sort of like Amway, a member could literally pay his way up the Bridge by recruiting others to begin services.  A down line so to speak.  Every penny spent earned a reward for the member who got the referral.  That's sort of a pyramid scheme.  Although no one really wins anything except the Church, and even then only the top top execs.  Everyone else working for the Church is basically doing volunteer work and working for pennies.  I can't even describe how bad it is for staff.  They are just pawns and are treated as if they are just as expendable.

The Church has kept one step ahead of the governments all over the world because they basically have an intelligence gathering network, and a covert ops section that really rivals the CIA.  I know that sounds like a Clancy novel's outline, but it's true.  It was rumored that during the tax exemption case that the settlement came from the government because the Church had so much dirt on IRS officials on that case.  That the government settled with the Church to avoid a scandal. But, that's just a rumor in some circles.

One word of criticism from anyone public, and the intelligence gathering arm goes into action.  They will find out everything they can about you, blackmail people, expose people, discredit your word, anything to be able to discredit anything that's said about the Church itself.  That's a common report from all ex-Scientologists, and also why so many have remained quiet.    But, the Internet has changed much of it.  Staff members are forbidden from logging on to the Internet.  Officials fear what staff members will read about the Church. So, all we know, all we see int he news and such, is not available to Staff members, and before you ask, yes they have that much control over the behavior of their staff.

It's a dangerous cult.  

A friend of mine [one who finally gave testimony etc,] said that there were some bases that were fully armed with weapons.  So, dangerous isn't a word used lightly.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#16 Rhea

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 01:14 PM

^And IIRC you pay more $ for the higher levels than most people could ever afford.

I'm not even sure I'd admit he can write a decent novel. I remember picking up Battlefield: Earth and reading the first part - humans battling occupying aliens, humans win was mildly entertaining. Then I started reading the part about banks ruling the universe and a lot of other rambling drivel, and I put it down. Never read another book except Dianetics, out of curiosity.

Edited by Rhea, 10 March 2010 - 01:18 PM.

The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#17 Cait

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 01:28 PM

View PostRhea, on Mar 10 2010, 10:14 AM, said:

^And IIRC you pay more $ for the higher levels than most people could ever afford.

Oh yes.  The introductory courses are like under 50$, but auditing can be as much as 250 per hours, and it's sold in nothing less than 25 hours.  So you can see how the services can lure you in, and their closers for more classes and auditing are pros.

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I'm not even sure I'd admit he can write a decent novel. I remember picking up Battlefield: Earth and reading the first part - humans battling occupying aliens, humans win was mildly entertaining. Then I started reading the part about banks ruling the universe and a lot of other rambling drivel, and I put it down. Never read another book except Dianetics, out of curiosity.

Dianetics had some fascinating theories.  I thought it was a good book, but certainly not something I'd hold up as some kind of Bible the way they do.  That's like reading The Reluctant Messiah and making that your religion.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#18 Annibal

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

I read Battlefield Earth in the 6th grade and can barely remember much beyond them being in Colorado (which made kind of sense but not really. Seriously, there are way better places to hide from aliens than on Pikes Peak. Like, say, a mountain not right on the front range and ginormous.

Then something about Denver and getting captured and maybe a horse or two and then explody bling and mining. Right? Eh, whatev. First book i read that was over 1,000 pages, but it was a pretty lame 1,00 pages, apparently. Luckily that year I also met Harry Potter :love:.

As for scientology, it's a scam, a cult, and probably a solid foundation for a future religion. I don't mean to bash faith or anything, but looking at the mythos of scientology and at the mythos of many current and widely believed religions, like Hinduism, Christianity, etc., and ONLY looking at mythos--not members and profits and that sort of thing--it's not that crazy. After all--Christianity was considered a cult for the first couple hundred years, and the Romans killed so many Christians. So I am wary of calling the beliefs themselves crazy, because to call out Scientologist beliefs is, in my view, to also condemn the beliefs of everyone, and despite not being a believer in anything I'd rather not think of people who do believe things, spiritually, as crazies.

Practice-wise, I see scientology as insane and awful. I have a tendency not to trust anything that hides behind sworn and enforced secrecy. If you don't want people to know what your religious organization is doing it usually means that you're not doing things you think of as good, or that other people would. And there are some HORROR stories with scientology. I might not agree with the Catholic church, but at least you can freakin' leave if you want to.
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#19 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 05:34 PM

One doesn't have to be crazy to have beliefs predicated on known falsehoods.  I like the way Cait put it - people bring their own spirituality to the table.  That means they bring their own spiritual senses, their own ability to reason from a spiritual point of view, their own ability to synthesize conflicting data into a moral whole (which is one of the key skills of spiritual practice.)

None of that means that the original data isn't a house of cards. And, unlike Christianity, Scientology is persecuting its OWN members. Not the heretics - the actual practitioners.  So, no, I would have to disagree that there are any similarities between it and early religious faiths.  As Jesus said, you can judge a tree by its fruits.

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#20 BklnScott

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 06:58 PM

qt said:

One doesn't have to be crazy to have beliefs predicated on known falsehoods.

"I know X is false.  I believe in X."  

Sounds like a pretty good definition of crazy to me.  James Kirk has been known to wreak havok on androids with less!

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