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Breaking with Scientology

Religion Scientology 2010

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#21 QueenTiye

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:25 PM

Three things: 1. I don't believe that Jesus condemned a fig tree, but the truth of the story is still apparent in the fact that I just quoted the lesson.  2. If people don't actually know that what they are believing in is entirely false, then they are dupes, but that doesn't make them crazy. 3. Related to 1, if people know the stories are false but are intended to teach a truth, there's nothing crazy about accepting the validity of the story on that basis.

That's not to say that any of that is what's going on with scientology. I just wanted to clarify my own position on the subject of "truth."

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#22 BklnScott

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:40 PM

If we're talking about parables or allegorical tales, then it's disingenuous to categorize one's feeling about them as "belief."  You may believe in the moral of the story -- but you acknowledge that the story is bollix.

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#23 Nick

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:49 PM

If an individual believe something to be true, then that same individual does not believe that same thing to be false--assuming they're rational.  It's a tautology.

#24 Cait

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 08:10 PM

View PostQueenTiye, on Mar 10 2010, 02:34 PM, said:

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.

QT

Exactly.  And a lot of people swept up into Scientology were hooked on the promise of removing obstacles that stood in the way of being a sort of "pure soul".  That our souls are defiled and damaged by different things in life experiences, all of which could be removed, healed, etc. by using the technology of the Church, and what would be left would be a pure soul.  Many sought/seek to find that, and in that regard it is a religion.  But again, it is spiritual to the degree that the individual him or herself wants it to be.  The Church itself does not have one religious tenet that we'd recognize as such.


The catch has been of course, that no one ever reaches "it".  That magic place promised.  New levels emerge as people attain the [previous] highest level.  So, the money pit is never ending.  The Church convinces you you are miserable, and you can become happy if you join.  

It's the same old con, people want something, whatever it is you want, the Church can provide.  Want to be a cleared soul?  They can do it.  Want to be rich and famous?  They can do it.  Want to he happy?  Oh they can definitely do that.  All you have to do is follow the yellow brick road, only the road never goes anywhere.

That's not to say, there aren't some moments of apparent gain, but I honestly think that those gains would have come along to those people regardless.  Some people live examined lives.  They discover, learn, grow all on their own.  Those people would also grow using the Hubbard stuff.  Like I said, it wasn't that new.  He culled it from other places and as a philosophy was jerry-rigged from other philosophies.

For those that don't have gains, the Church says it is the individual's fault--not the Church's.  They are out-ethics, and in order to get fixed enough so you can then gain from the original processes, you get sent to Ethics for handling, and that costs too.  LOL I swear there is no end to how these guys have covered their asses.  So, the parishioners pay for the lack of gains, and they are convinced it is their own fault.  It cracks me up every time I try and explain this to anyone.  It's the ultimate catch-22.

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


#25 Enkephalen

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:14 PM

I heard something today on the radio.  The person said that there are only 20,400 Scientologist.  I thought they had more members.  I wonder if this is true?
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#26 Rhea

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:34 PM

Here you go, Enkephalen:

http://www.americanr...urvey-aris.org/

Scientology has claimed up to 8 million members at various times. In 2008, according to ARIS, which is an annual survey done in junuction with Trinity College, 339,000 people self-identified as Christian Scientists.

The research is done by the ISSSC:

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The Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) was established in 2005 to advance understanding of the role of secular values and the process of secularization in contemporary society and culture. Nonpartisan and multidisciplinary, the Institute conducts academic research, sponsors curriculum development, and presents public events.

Their methodology:

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ARIS 2008 is the third in a landmark time series of large, nationally representative surveys that track changes in the religious loyalties of the U.S. adult population within the 48 contiguous states from 1990 to 2008. The 2001 and 2008 surveys are replicas of the 1990 survey, and are led by the same academic research team using an identical methodology of random-digit-dialed telephone interviews (RDD) and the same unprompted, open-ended key question "What is your religion, if any?" Interviewers did not prompt or offer a suggested list of potential answers. Moreover, the self-description of respondents was not based on whether established religious bodies or institutions considered them to be members. To the contrary, the surveys sought to determine whether the respondents regarded themselves as adherents of a religious community. The surveys tap subjective rather than objective standards of religious identification. The value of this unique series of national surveys, which allows scientific monitoring of change over time, has been recognized by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The Bureau itself is constitutionally precluded from such an inquiry into religion, and so has incorporated NSRI/ARIS findings into its official publication the Statistical Abstract of the United States since 2003.

It's really fascinating. For instance,  the two most dramatic jumps are Muslims, who jumped from 527,000 in 1990 to 1,349,000 in 2008 and interestingly enough, Buddhists, who jumped from 404,000 in 1990 to 1,189,000 in 2008 (go, Buddhists! You don't see fanatical Buddhist fundmantalists :p )

Edited by Rhea, 10 March 2010 - 09:37 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

#27 Nick

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:41 PM

View PostRhea, on Mar 10 2010, 09:34 PM, said:

Here you go, Enkephalen:

http://www.americanr...urvey-aris.org/

Scientology has claimed up to 8 million members at various times. In 2008, according to ARIS, which is an annual survey done in junuction with Trinity College, 339,000 people self-identified as Christian Scientists.

Christian Science isn't Scientology--they're completely different sets of beliefs.

#28 Rhea

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:28 PM

View PostNick, on Mar 10 2010, 06:41 PM, said:

View PostRhea, on Mar 10 2010, 09:34 PM, said:

Here you go, Enkephalen:

http://www.americanr...urvey-aris.org/

Scientology has claimed up to 8 million members at various times. In 2008, according to ARIS, which is an annual survey done in junuction with Trinity College, 339,000 people self-identified as Christian Scientists.

Christian Science isn't Scientology--they're completely different sets of beliefs.

You're right. My bad. :blush:

Nobody seems to have self-identified as Scientologists, because if you look at this list:

http://www.americanr...l/religion.html

It was under "other religions/faiths" as a possible answer for the surveyors to record, but apparently the number of people who self-identified as Scientologists is stastically insignificant, which is really peculiar.  Maybe Scientologists don't think of it as a religious faith?

I read the full report a while ago - it's actually really interesting, as much for the increase in people who self-identify as Evangelicals, which went way up and the "nones," which doubled IIRC.

I was considering this as the most comprehensive survey because it's actually added to the U.S. Census Report (which is a whole other conversation about why the Census, which is not allowed to ask questions about religion, has incorporated this into their report. Talk about an end run around the rules).

The Wikipedia info explains it using another survey, which also didn't record many people self-identifying as Scientologists:

http://en.wikipedia....ship_statistics

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In 2005, the Church of Scientology stated its worldwide membership to be 8 million, although that number included people who took only the introductory course and did not continue on.[78] In 2007 a Church official claimed 3.5 million members in the United States,[79] but according to a 2001 survey published by the City University of New York, 55,000 people in the United States would, if asked to identify their religion, have stated Scientology.[80] In 2008, the same survey team estimated that only 25,000 Americans identify as Scientologists.[81]

Scientologists tend to disparage general religious surveys on the grounds that many members maintaining cultural and social ties to other religious groups will, when asked their religion, answer with their traditional and more socially acceptable affiliation. On the other hand, religious scholar J. Gordon Melton has said that the church's estimates of its membership numbers are significantly exaggerated.[82]

Edited by Rhea, 10 March 2010 - 10:33 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

#29 Dev F

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:46 PM

View PostEnkephalen, on Mar 10 2010, 08:14 PM, said:

I heard something today on the radio.  The person said that there are only 20,400 Scientologist.  I thought they had more members.  I wonder if this is true?
Scientology is notorious for trying to inflate their popularity. I've heard people claim that they count as a member anyone who's ever taken a Scientology course, regardless of whether they stayed with it after that. It'd be like counting as a Catholic everyone who ever attended a Catholic mass. And then there's the legendary tale of the Scientologist with no head -- which is to say that they're not above altering photographs to make a small crowd of Scientologists look like a massive crowd of Scientologists.

So it wouldn't surprise me at all if the real membership figures were much lower than what the group regularly reports.



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