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What do you think about Scientology?





Jinx
I have been reading a lot about Scientology lately since I heard about Anonymous' internet war with the Church of Scientology, and I was wondering what the folks here think about it.

Do you think Scientology can be considered a religion? Why?
What is your opinion of Scientology? Why do you hold that opinion?

Personally I don't think it's a religion, and I've read that it only disguises itself as a religion to avoid paying taxes and to avoid criticism from the scientific and medical communities for it's claims. As far as I can tell they don't believe in any kind of higher power... shouldn't that be a prerequisite for being a religion?

What about the philosophies behind Scientology? They believe that the human soul (which they call a Thetan) is all powerful, and that once you have gone through their processing (auditing) you will be able to control mater, space, and time. (it's a little more complicated than that, this is just a summary.) Obviously they can't prove this, otherwise they would have won all that money from that challenge (Rand, Randi? something like that). Why would people follow a doctrine that makes such claims yet has never shown them?

I mean, the Christians have an easy excuse - God works in his own way, and you can't make him perform miracles on command, but the Scientologists claim that ordinary people, right now, have these abilities. No reason why they couldn't demonstrate them if they existed.
TBSC
Jinx wrote:
I have been reading a lot about Scientology lately since I heard about Anonymous' internet war with the Church of Scientology, and I was wondering what the folks here think about it.

Do you think Scientology can be considered a religion? Why?
What is your opinion of Scientology? Why do you hold that opinion?

Personally I don't think it's a religion, and I've read that it only disguises itself as a religion to avoid paying taxes and to avoid criticism from the scientific and medical communities for it's claims. As far as I can tell they don't believe in any kind of higher power... shouldn't that be a prerequisite for being a religion?

What about the philosophies behind Scientology? They believe that the human soul (which they call a Thetan) is all powerful, and that once you have gone through their processing (auditing) you will be able to control mater, space, and time. (it's a little more complicated than that, this is just a summary.) Obviously they can't prove this, otherwise they would have won all that money from that challenge (Rand, Randi? something like that). Why would people follow a doctrine that makes such claims yet has never shown them?

I mean, the Christians have an easy excuse - God works in his own way, and you can't make him perform miracles on command, but the Scientologists claim that ordinary people, right now, have these abilities. No reason why they couldn't demonstrate them if they existed.


Of course it is a religion. It was formed by combining science fiction, mysticism, and "psychology".

It is as much of a religion as Christianity. They dont tell you/show you anything because they want your big money. If you give enough, maybe you will reach the level of Tom Cruise and know something, maybe not. You will never know unless you try...it takes faith.
Jinx
But it was only years after Scientology was released, when they started drawing the attention of the medical establishment by making claims that they could heal disease and treat mental illness, that they claimed to be a religion. If it was really a religion then wouldn't they have declared themselves a religion from the get-go, not just after it became legally and politically advantageous to do so?

And what other religion have you ever heard of that charges for their teachings?
bigdan
I find it quite bizzare myself, but hey, if you want to follow it, be my guest. It's not my money you're spending on it...

Tom Cruise though....he is nuttier than a pecan log!
liljp617
TBSC wrote:
Jinx wrote:
I have been reading a lot about Scientology lately since I heard about Anonymous' internet war with the Church of Scientology, and I was wondering what the folks here think about it.

Do you think Scientology can be considered a religion? Why?
What is your opinion of Scientology? Why do you hold that opinion?

Personally I don't think it's a religion, and I've read that it only disguises itself as a religion to avoid paying taxes and to avoid criticism from the scientific and medical communities for it's claims. As far as I can tell they don't believe in any kind of higher power... shouldn't that be a prerequisite for being a religion?

What about the philosophies behind Scientology? They believe that the human soul (which they call a Thetan) is all powerful, and that once you have gone through their processing (auditing) you will be able to control mater, space, and time. (it's a little more complicated than that, this is just a summary.) Obviously they can't prove this, otherwise they would have won all that money from that challenge (Rand, Randi? something like that). Why would people follow a doctrine that makes such claims yet has never shown them?

I mean, the Christians have an easy excuse - God works in his own way, and you can't make him perform miracles on command, but the Scientologists claim that ordinary people, right now, have these abilities. No reason why they couldn't demonstrate them if they existed.


Of course it is a religion. It was formed by combining science fiction, mysticism, and "psychology".

It is as much of a religion as Christianity. They dont tell you/show you anything because they want your big money. If you give enough, maybe you will reach the level of Tom Cruise and know something, maybe not. You will never know unless you try...it takes faith.

Have to say it's more along the lines of a business scam.
Bikerman
I would have thought that the fact that Scientology originated with L. Ron Hubbard would have been a clue to its nature. Hubbard was a science-fiction writer (a pretty good one, in fact - I have several of his works on my bookshelves). I've always thought that Scientology was a his idea of a huge practical joke as well as a way to earn a few bob Smile
There are several reports of a conversation he had with one of my Sci-Fi heros - John W. Campbell - in which he is reported to have said "I'm going to invent a religion that's going to make me a fortune. I'm tired of writing for a penny a word."
Hubbard himself almost certainly regarded Scientology simply as a business, not a religion. He made many comments on the matter. Calling it a religion, he said, solved "a problem of practical business."
Hubbard wrote:
"Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."


Laugh? I nearly audited my Thetan....
(PS - that last is a joke which scientologists would get Smile )
Indi
Jinx wrote:
I have been reading a lot about Scientology lately since I heard about Anonymous' internet war with the Church of Scientology, and I was wondering what the folks here think about it.

i did a lot of research into it years ago, so i actually know a great deal more about it and its mythology than most... but then again, this was years ago, and it's not really a topic i care much about.

Jinx wrote:
Do you think Scientology can be considered a religion? Why?
What is your opinion of Scientology? Why do you hold that opinion?

In order:
  1. Of course it can be considered a religion.
  2. Because they attempt to explain the nature of the universe by appealing to supernatural forces, and most of their main propositions require faith to accept - same as every other religion.
  3. On the scale of religious stupidity, 1 being the least stupid and 10 being the most, i'd put it at about a 2 or a 7. A 2 if you don't include the really idiotic SF and the bad scientific claims and just take the base concept.
  4. i find some of its more existential aspects (like the universe being a mass delusion we created) aesthetically pleasing, although some of its nuttier aspects are just plain funny. If you strip away the obviously stupid claims - the scientific howlers - the religion you are left with is actually quite sexy... something that appeals in the same kind of vein as The Matrix does. It's actually far more interesting than the underlying explanation of any of the Abrahamic religions. Those religions look like they were written by preschoolers. Hubbard may not have been an A-list SF writer, but at least he was good enough to get published... and it shows in the religion he wrote. Hell, take away the cracked Xenu nonsense and the other pseudoscientific crap, and it might be the best SF he wrote.

Jinx wrote:
Personally I don't think it's a religion, and I've read that it only disguises itself as a religion to avoid paying taxes and to avoid criticism from the scientific and medical communities for it's claims.

There is some truth to the facts you state, but they do not lead to the opinion.

In brief (with some personal opinion about motivations): Hubbard hated psychologists and psychology, so he tried inventing an alternative - Dianetics. The medical establishment rejected Dianetics - they have this crazy idea that medical treatments actually have to stand up to scientific verification - and tried to shut down Dianetics. Hubbard turned around and said Dianetics was just the applied form of a religion - Scientology - and so nyah, nyah, you can't tell me not to do it.

That's one version of events. Is it the truth? Impossible to say. It could just as well be true that Hubbard did have a real revelation - these actions would suit that hypothesis just as well.

As for the taxes thing, that's just a red herring. It is true that Hubbard and CoS (the Church of Scientology) fought to get Scientology recognized as a religion (and CoS as a legitimate church) for tax purposes... but so what? Recognition by the IRS does not a religion make (or break). Secular Humanism - which is obviously not a religion - is legally recognized as a religion in the US. However neither Unitarian Universalism nor Rastafari - both of which i would say unquestionably are religions - are recognized as religions for tax-exempt purposes. Seriously man, are you going to rely on the government to tell you what is and what is not a religion? ^_^;

Just because Scientology wants a tax break to cover their operating expenses does not mean they're a fake religion.

Jinx wrote:
As far as I can tell they don't believe in any kind of higher power... shouldn't that be a prerequisite for being a religion?

No, it should not. By your logic, Zen Buddhism is not a religion.

Jinx wrote:
What about the philosophies behind Scientology? They believe that the human soul (which they call a Thetan) is all powerful, and that once you have gone through their processing (auditing) you will be able to control mater, space, and time. (it's a little more complicated than that, this is just a summary.) Obviously they can't prove this, otherwise they would have won all that money from that challenge (Rand, Randi? something like that). Why would people follow a doctrine that makes such claims yet has never shown them?

You haven't heard of faith healers? Not to mention the experiments being done - scientific experiments under the scrutiny of medical professionals! - to test whether prayer influences healing.

Anyway, you are not quite accurate. It is true that eventually if you stick to the program, you become... superhuman, i guess, as you describe, and can control all of matter and time and so on. But that's a long way down the pipe, and i don't know that anyone has actually gotten to that point. Most of the levels are about controlling yourself and controlling your mind - having a "clear" mind, being aware of subconscious modes of operation, that kind of shit. Nothing supernatural, just really good mental control - i.e., mental control over your own mind, not the universe in general. The superpowers come much, much later, if anyone ever gets there.

Incidentally, this made me laugh: "Why would people follow a doctrine that makes such claims yet has never shown them?" You really haven't studied religion much, have you? ^_^;

Jinx wrote:
I mean, the Christians have an easy excuse - God works in his own way, and you can't make him perform miracles on command, but the Scientologists claim that ordinary people, right now, have these abilities. No reason why they couldn't demonstrate them if they existed.

No, as i said, the superpowers come only at the highest levels. i don't know if anyone has actually gotten there.

But, on a side note, you are aware of the mobaton of claims Christianity has made that have been disproved, aren't you? Creation in six days, a global flood, even the killing of the innocents... all easily confirmed, yet not one of them has been.

Jinx wrote:
But it was only years after Scientology was released, when they started drawing the attention of the medical establishment by making claims that they could heal disease and treat mental illness, that they claimed to be a religion. If it was really a religion then wouldn't they have declared themselves a religion from the get-go, not just after it became legally and politically advantageous to do so?

Scientology is not the first revealed religion to have been revealed in stages. Islam was (allegedly) revealed to Mohammed in stages, Christianity was revealed over decades between Jesus and Paul (and others). i could easily ask why God didn't just write the whole damn Bible in one shot, instead of leaking it out in bits over ages.

According to the logic of Scientology, Hubbard did not have an angel dictating Scientology to him like Gabriel dictating to Mohammed. Hubbard had to figure it all out himself, by trial and error. And he did make errors that he freely admits, as "new understandings" overwrote old ones (Christians have a hard time grokking the concept of a flawed prophet - in their minds, all prophets have to be perfect, like Jesus, but that's just absurd - Jesus had to be perfect because Jesus was God, but Hubbard never claimed to God, or perfect, so he is free to screw up). By that logic, it makes sense that Hubbard figured out the applied part of the process first, then the deeper truth. In fact it makes perfect sense. Start with an ordinary human (Hubbard) that suddenly has an insight on how to "clear his mind". He publishes that insight (Dianetics), all the while applying it to himself. After applying it to himself long enough, he breaks into a new understanding (Scientology, Thetans, yadda yadda). Thus, a therapy becomes a religion.

(Of course, you can take the same set of facts and explain them by saying he was a greedy bastard. So who knows what is really true? *shrug* Believe as thou wilt.)

Jinx wrote:
And what other religion have you ever heard of that charges for their teachings?

*snicker*

Ok, first, let's clear up the lies.

Many people claim that Scientology claims that you have to pay to advance. THAT IS A LIE. Scientology offers counselling that you can pay for... but you don't have to use it. In fact, there are entire splinter churches that don't offer paid counselling (look up the Scientology Free Zone). Of course, they "strongly recommend" that you use the paid counselling... but it is not required. The Church of Scientology is a non-profit organization - same as every other church in the US (yes, every church in the US is a corporation... open your eyes).

So, payment in Scientology is optional. Always has been, always will be. If you don't want to - or can't - pay, you can still clear your Thetans (or whatever). It will just be more difficult and riskier (according to them).

So, have i ever heard of another religion that has requests money from its members - optional money? Well, i don't know. ^_^ Why don't you think about next Sunday when that little plate gets passed around?
TBSC
Bikerman wrote:
I would have thought that the fact that Scientology originated with L. Ron Hubbard would have been a clue to its nature. Hubbard was a science-fiction writer (a pretty good one, in fact - I have several of his works on my bookshelves). I've always thought that Scientology was a his idea of a huge practical joke as well as a way to earn a few bob Smile
There are several reports of a conversation he had with one of my Sci-Fi heros - John W. Campbell - in which he is reported to have said "I'm going to invent a religion that's going to make me a fortune. I'm tired of writing for a penny a word."
Hubbard himself almost certainly regarded Scientology simply as a business, not a religion. He made many comments on the matter. Calling it a religion, he said, solved "a problem of practical business."
Hubbard wrote:
"Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."


Laugh? I nearly audited my Thetan....
(PS - that last is a joke which scientologists would get Smile )


Ew I dont think I would ever read his science fiction. Dianetics seems like something sound on the surface, but this stuff is based on delusions. The thetan concept is worse than a God concept. Did Dawkins cover this in his book?

One can only imagine what those poor people go through when they give up their lives to such brainwashing.
Bikerman
TBSC wrote:
Ew I dont think I would ever read his science fiction. Dianetics seems like something sound on the surface, but this stuff is based on delusions. The thetan concept is worse than a God concept. Did Dawkins cover this in his book?
Well, you could argue that all religion is based on delusions. I'm actually with Indi on much of this - the basic stuff, once you strip away the guff - is not nearly as bad as many other religions. The idea of 'auditing' is not so different from the modern idea of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (sometimes called 'talking therapy'). From what I know of it auditing is not a brainwashing exercise - though I have to say I've never undergone or witnessed a session.
Dawkins mentions it briefly in his book with the following sentence
Dawkins wrote:
One religion that was intelligently designed, almost in its entirety, is Scientology, but I suspect that it is exceptional.

Quote:
One can only imagine what those poor people go through when they give up their lives to such brainwashing.
Well, one can use exactly the same arguments for most religions. As a Catholic child I was fairly comprehensively brainwashed Smile
TBSC
Bikerman wrote:
TBSC wrote:
Ew I dont think I would ever read his science fiction. Dianetics seems like something sound on the surface, but this stuff is based on delusions. The thetan concept is worse than a God concept. Did Dawkins cover this in his book?
Well, you could argue that all religion is based on delusions. I'm actually with Indi on much of this - the basic stuff, once you strip away the guff - is not nearly as bad as many other religions. The idea of 'auditing' is not so different from the modern idea of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (sometimes called 'talking therapy'). From what I know of it auditing is not a brainwashing exercise - though I have to say I've never undergone or witnessed a session.
Dawkins mentions it briefly in his book with the following sentence
Dawkins wrote:
One religion that was intelligently designed, almost in its entirety, is Scientology, but I suspect that it is exceptional.

Quote:
One can only imagine what those poor people go through when they give up their lives to such brainwashing.
Well, one can use exactly the same arguments for most religions. As a Catholic child I was fairly comprehensively brainwashed Smile


Well the only thing intelligent about it probably is the business plan, as someone else mentioned. However that is not a respectable business. Thetians is a myth. It makes people dependent on it to solve their problems and sources of continous income.

The ironic thing is that they berate psychiatry as if they are really different in principle, when they are not: it is really just bashing their competitor. Giving a shrink money would be cheaper and less delusional however.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
The idea of 'auditing' is not so different from the modern idea of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (sometimes called 'talking therapy'). From what I know of it auditing is not a brainwashing exercise - though I have to say I've never undergone or witnessed a session.

Ah, well, actually... ^_^;

Unlike talking therapy or Freudian psychoanalysis or Rogers-style counselling, Scientological auditing was designed by idiots. ^_^; Or, at the very least, it never had the benefit of being analysed by competent, dispassionate minds.

Technically, it is very much brainwashing - it uses several well-known and well-documented brainwashing techniques. Whether those techniques were designed into the process on purpose, or whether they were simply strokes of luck (for better or worse) is open to debate, although i'd lean toward the latter.

It's been many years since i studied this stuff, so some of this is vague in my head, but if i recall, some of the techniques used include:
  • Verbal and emotional abuse from the auditors (threats and intimidation).
  • Humiliation (forcing the subject to confess to various crimes and such, then rubbing their faces in it).
  • Isolation (like solitary confinement in prisons).
  • Rote repetition (mindless repetition of various mantras and tasks to numb the mind).
  • Requiring penance acts (making subjects do drills to "practice techniques" as punishment).
Now, before anyone gets up in arms and points the finger at Scientology again, saying, "See? It's evil! It uses brainwashing techniques!" it should be mentioned that most - if not all - religions use most - if not all - of these techniques as well.

But anyway... yes, there are some superficial resemblances to proper psychological counselling - especially if you strip away the psychological abuse. But that's not really hypocritical because...
TBSC wrote:
The ironic thing is that they berate psychology as if they are really different in principle, when they are not: it is really just bashing their competitor. Giving a shrink money would be cheaper and less delusional however.

Not quite.

Scientologists technically do not have a problem with psychology - and this is a mistake i often make myself - they have a problem with psychiatry. They don't really have an issue with counselling (although, they obviously claim their counselling methods are more likely to be successful), they have an issue with medication. Things like Prozac and Valium are what they scream about, not counselling.

For example, a couple years back there was a big-news feud between Tom Cruise and Brooke Shields. Shields wrote a book or something about her struggles with post-partum depression - a fairly point-blank and honest tell-all, i was told. Cruise said publicly that Shields was wrong to take medication for her post-partum depression, prescribing "vitamins" instead, and said that he had personally treated people who were being harmed by taking medication by weaning them off the pills (and presumably onto vitamins). i don't know how it ended up, but it was during the wacky, couch-jumping period that eventually got him fired, so i presume he apologized after the fact.
Bikerman
Well, I'm happy to retract my comments - as I said I've never witnessed or undergone a session of auditing and my opinion was based on partial information.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Well, I'm happy to retract my comments - as I said I've never witnessed or undergone a session of auditing and my opinion was based on partial information.

With all the disinformation spread about Scientology, i don't doubt that your opinion was both informed (such as it goes) and rational. On the one side you have most people writing about Scientology writing blatant hate tracts usually with a bare minimum of information, and on the other you have Scientologists screaming "Help, i'm being repressed!" while insisting they're not only innocent they're divinely pure. Picking the truth out of that mess is no small task.
Bikerman
Indi wrote:
With all the disinformation spread about Scientology, i don't doubt that your opinion was both informed (such as it goes) and rational. On the one side you have most people writing about Scientology writing blatant hate tracts usually with a bare minimum of information, and on the other you have Scientologists screaming "Help, i'm being repressed!" while insisting they're not only innocent they're divinely pure. Picking the truth out of that mess is no small task.
'Twas ever thus with those religious bunnies. Scientology, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, take your pick Smile
Poetsunited
It can be considdered a religion, but its based on a scifi book...
Ofc the church is also based on a book written by ppl ages after the dead of christ

Scientology is a cultlike organisation, build to make money and get powerfull people in all parts of the world to put as much pressure as they can on the current political state...
oufti
nothing
TBSC
Yeah oops psychiatry is what I meant.
HalfBloodPrince
What do you think of scientology?

Cow, not even bull, but pure cowshit.
{name here}
TBSC wrote:
Jinx wrote:
I have been reading a lot about Scientology lately since I heard about Anonymous' internet war with the Church of Scientology, and I was wondering what the folks here think about it.

Do you think Scientology can be considered a religion? Why?
What is your opinion of Scientology? Why do you hold that opinion?

Personally I don't think it's a religion, and I've read that it only disguises itself as a religion to avoid paying taxes and to avoid criticism from the scientific and medical communities for it's claims. As far as I can tell they don't believe in any kind of higher power... shouldn't that be a prerequisite for being a religion?

What about the philosophies behind Scientology? They believe that the human soul (which they call a Thetan) is all powerful, and that once you have gone through their processing (auditing) you will be able to control mater, space, and time. (it's a little more complicated than that, this is just a summary.) Obviously they can't prove this, otherwise they would have won all that money from that challenge (Rand, Randi? something like that). Why would people follow a doctrine that makes such claims yet has never shown them?

I mean, the Christians have an easy excuse - God works in his own way, and you can't make him perform miracles on command, but the Scientologists claim that ordinary people, right now, have these abilities. No reason why they couldn't demonstrate them if they existed.


Of course it is a religion. It was formed by combining science fiction, mysticism, and "psychology".

It is as much of a religion as Christianity. They dont tell you/show you anything because they want your big money. If you give enough, maybe you will reach the level of Tom Cruise and know something, maybe not. You will never know unless you try...it takes faith.

In the eyes of the IRS today, yes, it is now a "religion". But several decades before in the 1950s, science fiction writer (if you can even call him a writer) L. Ron Hubbard did not get these tax breaks, and it was basically a shell operation for Dianetics intended to get tax breaks for his pseudoscientific regression therapy. Later he used it to make his own little private navy and relaxed at sea for a while, until Operation Freakout that is. Then he spent the last years of his life fleeing as a delusional criminal, eventually actually believing the things he wrote.

Some of the animosity towards psychiatry could be linked to the rumour that L. Ron was a pathological liar, though the church has muddled his biography (saying he was the youngest Eagle Scout, etcetera) so much that we can only confirm so much. And his phD isn't worth anything --- it was issued by a degree farm that California later shut down.

It is a dangerous, psychopathic organisation with intent to make money. It's not a religion, it's a corporation with followers --- no better than a Hollister with a slave navy that lobbies so it can continue its sweatshop operations without getting taxed. What's the difference between the two? Not a lot, but enough to make a destinction.

The whole thing is also reminiscient of the North Korean government --- expunging records with negative connotations against the church, isolating followers from the outside world, giving shoddy wages to workers and working them to death, distributing propaganda, having a cult of personality, etcetera. All they need is L. Ron Hubbard as their eternal leader, a falling currency, counterfeit operations, nuclear weapons, and food stamps and they can run their own communist government. Of course, the corporation method is nice, too, because you can expand to rule the world silently that way.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Indi wrote:
With all the disinformation spread about Scientology, i don't doubt that your opinion was both informed (such as it goes) and rational. On the one side you have most people writing about Scientology writing blatant hate tracts usually with a bare minimum of information, and on the other you have Scientologists screaming "Help, i'm being repressed!" while insisting they're not only innocent they're divinely pure. Picking the truth out of that mess is no small task.
'Twas ever thus with those religious bunnies. Scientology, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, take your pick Smile

Cynical, but true. ^_^;

Poetsunited wrote:
It can be considdered a religion, but its based on a scifi book...
Ofc the church is also based on a book written by ppl ages after the dead of christ

Technically, it wasn't based off of any book. It has several "sacred texts", but unlike the sacred texts of Judaistic religions, they are not believed to come from a pure an infallible source. Hubbard was (allegedly) a visionary, but he was not a god or demi-god. He was allowed to ****** up, and he did. In theory, another visionary could arise that gets to level OT 100 or whatever, and corrects Hubbard's writings.

The thing is, i find the idea of saying that Scientology is not a religion because its teachings are loopy to be totally absurd. Have you ever read the Christian Bible? Aren't you aware of all the whacked out shit in there? My personal favourite is the wizard's duel in Egypt, turning staffs into snakes. If that doesn't disqualify Christianity from being a religion, why does Xenu disqualify Scientology?

Poetsunited wrote:
Scientology is a cultlike organisation, build to make money and get powerfull people in all parts of the world to put as much pressure as they can on the current political state...

Which is different from most of the major religions... how? ^_^;

{name here} wrote:
It is a dangerous, psychopathic organisation with intent to make money. It's not a religion, it's a corporation with followers --- no better than a Hollister with a slave navy that lobbies so it can continue its sweatshop operations without getting taxed. What's the difference between the two? Not a lot, but enough to make a destinction.

Then by all means, make the distinction. ^_^ What has Scientology done that no other religion has done?
{name here}
Quote:
Then by all means, make the distinction. ^_^ What has Scientology done that no other religion has done?

I don't consider it a religion. It's a shell made to sell and use Dianetics without paying taxes. I consider it a very clever corporation: Masquerading as a religion to completely bypass taxation without the use of loopholes which the IRS can close off! No other corporation has ever made that leap. It's even more clever than using a religion to allow drug usage like Church 420, or the trusts of the 19th century, because if you question their legitamacy they can call you a bigot, sick their members on you to harrass you, and then silence you with threats and litigation to completely wipe you off the radar. Meanwhile, you can excommunicate dissent and fence off followers to make them feel more like "real" members of Scientology while simultaneously fencing them off from critics. You can copyright doctine, too, and make a profit off of people that criticize your practices, and keeping your practices and beliefs away from the public eye, so nobody really knows what they're into until they've wasted their money to get there, and by then you'll be so psychologically destroyed you'd probably never question it anyways.

No other non-governmental organisation has blended corporate practices so well with religious doctrine. Not even the Catholic Church. They weren't smart enough to gate their communities or copyright their core teachings, or trademark them. They don't even have their own private slave fleet, nor have they resulted to both minitrue and miniluv in such a way that its members can be almost entirely brainwashed and manipulated, their critics censored, without spilling a drop of blood.
Indi
{name here} wrote:
Quote:
Then by all means, make the distinction. ^_^ What has Scientology done that no other religion has done?

I don't consider it a religion. It's a shell made to sell and use Dianetics without paying taxes. I consider it a very clever corporation: Masquerading as a religion to completely bypass taxation without the use of loopholes which the IRS can close off! No other corporation has ever made that leap. It's even more clever than using a religion to allow drug usage like Church 420, or the trusts of the 19th century, because if you question their legitamacy they can call you a bigot, sick their members on you to harrass you, and then silence you with threats and litigation to completely wipe you off the radar. Meanwhile, you can excommunicate dissent and fence off followers to make them feel more like "real" members of Scientology while simultaneously fencing them off from critics. You can copyright doctine, too, and make a profit off of people that criticize your practices, and keeping your practices and beliefs away from the public eye, so nobody really knows what they're into until they've wasted their money to get there, and by then you'll be so psychologically destroyed you'd probably never question it anyways.

So, in summary...

Scientology is not a religion because you don't consider it one... and your evidence is that - even though it does exactly the same things many other religions have done over the ages (incidentally, the reason the Bible - for example - is not copyrighted is because its writers have been dead too long, but in fact, modern translations of it are copyrighted, as are many of the symbols of many religions) - it does them so much better (or worse, depending on your view).

Does that about sum it up?

Just for the record, here are some facts you don't seem to be aware of:
{name here} wrote:
No other non-governmental organisation has blended corporate practices so well with religious doctrine. Not even the Catholic Church. They weren't smart enough to gate their communities or copyright their core teachings, or trademark them. They don't even have their own private slave fleet, nor have they resulted to both minitrue and miniluv in such a way that its members can be almost entirely brainwashed and manipulated, their critics censored, without spilling a drop of blood.

ORLY? ^_^

You do know that the Catholic Church is not only a corporation, it is a state - complete with its own government, and its own bank... right? Yes, you can invest your savings in the Vatican bank! ^_^ Save your soul and your paycheque in one shot.

You do know that many Christian groups, including the Catholic Church, have, in fact, gated themselves off many times over the centuries, don't you? You've heard of convents, right? Monasteries?

You do know that many religious bodies do, in fact, copyright their religious texts, wherever possible, and that most churches have copyrighted their logos (wherever possible). In fact, the only times religions don't do that is when they can't, because the original authors are long dead.

You do know that the Catholic Church did, in fact, had their own private slave fleets - literally slaves, like, people owned as chattel and in chains... right? In fact, most Christian groups - despite what they will claim nowadays - were quite vocal supporters of slavery.

Minitrue and Miniluv? ^_^; The Catholic Church practically invented those ideas! Do you deny that the Catholic Church has, in fact, rewritten history on several occasions, and even - possibly - warped the original source text, the Bible? Aren't you aware of many occasions throughout history where the Church has ordered people to say one thing while they personally believed something else. Hell, doing that is often seen as a virtue!!! Just look at the case of Mother Teresa, and the response to it.

And to claim the Catholic Church has never brainwashed or censored... are you living in a cave? They've done it absurdly often over the centuries - bloodlessly where possibly, but by fire and torture otherwise.

Nothing Scientology has done hasn't been done by other religions at one time or another.
{name here}
Quote:
Scientology is not a religion because you don't consider it one... and your evidence is that - even though it does exactly the same things many other religions have done over the ages (incidentally, the reason the Bible - for example - is not copyrighted is because its writers have been dead too long, but in fact, modern translations of it are copyrighted, as are many of the symbols of many religions) - it does them so much better (or worse, depending on your view).

No. I don't consider it one because it was invented as a shell for a pseudoscientific psychotherapy so their profits aren't cut by taxes. L. Ron, being a science fiction writer, made the stories (such as the infamous Xemu story) in the genre of his forte. If I remember correctly these stories are mostly not told to followers who haven't been cleared by Dianetics, making it even less of a religion and more of a psychological "service". I would have to consider it a cult if I consider it to be religious, simply because I think L. Ron's ideas in creating the corporation were probably profit and fame driven --- a motive of an entrepaneur.
This is in contrast to a religion, which has people which exploit it after its formation, especially when it begins to organise because of state interference or whatnot. There might be exceptions to this I am not aware of. L. Ron didn't exploit what was there, he made it an exploit, and he didn't really hide it. The IRS even denied him tax exemption initially because they believed it was more of a corporate, profit-driven organisation.

Trademarks, copyrights, litigation, the fact that you can believe in any god, etcetera are in reality just added gripes of mine.

Quote:
You do know that many Christian groups, including the Catholic Church, have, in fact, gated themselves off many times over the centuries, don't you? You've heard of convents, right? Monasteries?

Yes. FLDS is the example I remember most because I saw it in the media once (-). And then there's the Amish. These people look like they drink their own kool-aid (at least the Amish), and there doens't seem to be as much profiteering going on in these communities. Ignorance and authoritarianism is still a problem, however.

Monasteries and Convents, as I remember, house monks and nuns, who end up dying without reproducing. Those that enter a Monastery or Convent are adults or teens. A scientology gated community has children who are shielded and forced into the religion. They have no contacts with the outside world and no ability to find any sort of media that would give them a reference point, and their parents are allowed to see them for only one hour per day, or they are dragged around like handbags.

Quote:
You do know that many religious bodies do, in fact, copyright their religious texts, wherever possible, and that most churches have copyrighted their logos (wherever possible). In fact, the only times religions don't do that is when they can't, because the original authors are long dead.

I can understand people copyrighting logos, it isn't relavent to the religion, but it's something which defines it.

I would like to know what religious bodies have copyrighted their texts and what texts they were.

Quote:
You do know that the Catholic Church did, in fact, had their own private slave fleets - literally slaves, like, people owned as chattel and in chains... right? In fact, most Christian groups - despite what they will claim nowadays - were quite vocal supporters of slavery.

So were the Greeks. Plato (or was it Socrates?) supported slavery. These people were ignorant, and had evidence which allowed for thousands of years of ignorance. Their doctrines even promoted slavery. Scientology does not have such a claim.

Quote:
Minitrue and Miniluv? ^_^; The Catholic Church practically invented those ideas! Do you deny that the Catholic Church has, in fact, rewritten history on several occasions, and even - possibly - warped the original source text, the Bible? Aren't you aware of many occasions throughout history where the Church has ordered people to say one thing while they personally believed something else. Hell, doing that is often seen as a virtue!!!

Of course, they've done it. They messed with their own documents, their own followers and jurisdictions, etcetera. Scientology has attempted to manipulate or memory hole governmental records; records of democratic nations for the assistance of the people, and not some demented monarch. Not of just one government, but several.

Quote:
And to claim the Catholic Church has never brainwashed or censored... are you living in a cave? They've done it absurdly often over the centuries - bloodlessly where possibly, but by fire and torture otherwise.

That is where the bloodlessly part went into play --- and by bloodlessly I mean by pure psychoanalytic mind manipulation, and exploiting the effects thereof. As far as I know they have not had manuals for brainwashing (outside of the Bible), nor have they used anything more than crude emotional ploys, and not complex psychiatric methods.
Bikerman
{name here} wrote:
Quote:
And to claim the Catholic Church has never brainwashed or censored... are you living in a cave? They've done it absurdly often over the centuries - bloodlessly where possibly, but by fire and torture otherwise.

That is where the bloodlessly part went into play --- and by bloodlessly I mean by pure psychoanalytic mind manipulation, and exploiting the effects thereof. As far as I know they have not had manuals for brainwashing (outside of the Bible), nor have they used anything more than crude emotional ploys, and not complex psychiatric methods.
I'll leave the bulk of this to Indi, but I would like to speak to this point in particular - since it is one I have direct experience with.
Catholicism is much more sophisticated than simple use of 'crude emotional ploys' in its use of brainwashing. Remember the Jesuit saying 'give me a child 'till he is 7 and I will give you the man'. I attended a Catholic school run by a quasi-Jesuitical order (Salesians) and the techniques of brainwashing are quite subtle. They include social/family/peer pressure, emotional/psychological conditioning, intellectual bullying and dishonest representation of facts.
You should bear in mind that Catholics have been developing their techniques in this area for centuries and, compared to them, Scientologists are childish amateurs. The brainwashing is entirely institutionalised and requires no 'manual'.
TBSC
Hi Bikerman, that's horrible. I suppose the Jesuit run schools are different? What makes someone a Jesuit?

That saying really is revealing. I think the bible says something like that also.
Bikerman
TBSC wrote:
Hi Bikerman, that's horrible. I suppose the Jesuit run schools are different? What makes someone a Jesuit?

That saying really is revealing. I think the bible says something like that also.

The Jesuits are the academic arm of the Catholic church. They were set up in the 16th century as part of the counter-reformation response to the Lutheran protestant reformation.
The Jesuits have traditionally been seen as the Pope's 'foot soldiers'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_of_Jesus
Indi
{name here} wrote:
No. I don't consider it one because it was invented as a shell for a pseudoscientific psychotherapy so their profits aren't cut by taxes. L. Ron, being a science fiction writer, made the stories (such as the infamous Xemu story) in the genre of his forte. If I remember correctly these stories are mostly not told to followers who haven't been cleared by Dianetics, making it even less of a religion and more of a psychological "service". I would have to consider it a cult if I consider it to be religious, simply because I think L. Ron's ideas in creating the corporation were probably profit and fame driven --- a motive of an entrepaneur.
This is in contrast to a religion, which has people which exploit it after its formation, especially when it begins to organise because of state interference or whatnot. There might be exceptions to this I am not aware of. L. Ron didn't exploit what was there, he made it an exploit, and he didn't really hide it. The IRS even denied him tax exemption initially because they believed it was more of a corporate, profit-driven organisation.

As i thought i've already made clear, i am not interested in your opinions - i am interested in reasons. You don't like Scientology. Noted. What does that have to do with the question of whether or not it is a religion?

Let's look at the facts you've brought up - as well as the opinions you're trying to disguise as facts.

Let's start here: "it was invented as a shell for a pseudoscientific psychotherapy so their profits aren't cut by taxes." Prove it. And for that matter, prove that Jesus Christ didn't invent Christianity because he thought it would suck to be a carpenter, or that Mohammed didn't fake his revelations because he was tired of being a salesman. Clearly this is not a fact, but your opinion. And - while it is my opinion, too - it is still just an opinion. The fact is that we have no way of knowing that it was not actually established for legitimate reasons - or at least that it was established for reasons as legitimate as any other major religion.

Then this: "L. Ron, being a science fiction writer, made the stories (such as the infamous Xemu story) in the genre of his forte." So what? Mohammed was a freakin' saleman! ^_^; i'd trust a science fiction writer before a salesperson any day, personally, but the issue is irrelevant. Whatever the "prophet" was before the revelation, be it writer or carpenter, that does not negate the possibility of a revelation being real.

"If I remember correctly these stories are mostly not told to followers who haven't been cleared by Dianetics, making it even less of a religion and more of a psychological "service"." That makes no sense at all. ^_^; Every religion has "revelations" that are only taught to upper echelons in the church. How does that make them not religions?

"I would have to consider it a cult if I consider it to be religious, simply because I think L. Ron's ideas in creating the corporation were probably profit and fame driven --- a motive of an entrepaneur." Who cares? Seriously, your opinion in the matter will not change the fact of whether it is a religion or not. And even if it was just created as a joke by Hubbard, and even if all of the officials are corrupt, neither of those things rules out the possibility of it being a religion.

Everything so far has been straw man or ad hominem arguments. Let's move on to paragraph 2.

"This is in contrast to a religion, which has people which exploit it after its formation, especially when it begins to organise because of state interference or whatnot. There might be exceptions to this I am not aware of. L. Ron didn't exploit what was there, he made it an exploit, and he didn't really hide it. The IRS even denied him tax exemption initially because they believed it was more of a corporate, profit-driven organisation."

First, let's cut the IRS comment, because it is completely irrelevant. The IRS does not determine what is and what is not a religion, it determines what does and what does not meet its requirements for a religious tax-exemption.

Now, your argument is that because Hubbard might have (stop trying to pass of opinion as fact!!!) formed the religion for greed, that it is not a religion. But aside from the fact that you don't really know what Hubbard's motivations were (or what Jesus' or Mohammed's were, for that matter), does the fact that the religion was created for bad reasons make it a bad religion? If i wrote a heart-breaking story for money - even if it was all made up - is it not still a heart-breaking story? It may be a lie, but it still works for what it is. If Hubbard pulled all of Scientology out of his ass for the money, why can't it still be a religion? People still to do believe it - whole-heartedly - and pattern their entire lives around it, and they're quite sincere. Maybe Hubbard lied through his teeth, but so what? Since then, people can - and have - found deeper meaning in those teachings, and now hold them to be a good belief to have, and a good system to pattern the life under. Doesn't that make it a religion?

It seems to me that your method for deciding what is and what is not a religion is remarkably brain dead. Think about it. If you have to know what the motivations of its founders were, then since we don't know the motivations for the founders of virtually every religion in the world, you mean to tell us that we have to go around to every single one of them and say "no, sorry, you can't call yourself a religion because we cannot determine whether your founders made the religion on pure intentions or not". You've pretty much made "religion" extinct, in one fell swoop.

Ah, but that's not what you want to do, is it? You want to apply a double-standard. You want to judge Scientology by one criterion, and all other religions (that you consider "valid") by another criterion. Hm.

{name here} wrote:
A scientology gated community has children who are shielded and forced into the religion. They have no contacts with the outside world and no ability to find any sort of media that would give them a reference point, and their parents are allowed to see them for only one hour per day, or they are dragged around like handbags.

Yet another feature common to literally hundreds of religions over the ages, including many, many communities nowadays in the US.

{name here} wrote:
I would like to know what religious bodies have copyrighted their texts and what texts they were.

i already told you that, and am not a fan of repeating myself.

But, for the record, let's play a game of reality check. The lifetime of copyright is, what - let's say 90 years. So in 90 years, Scientology's texts won't be copyrighted any more. Bada boom - will it be a religion when that happens?

Like i said already, the fact that Scientology's texts are copyright is simply because they can be. If other religions could have, they would have (and for any text they can, they do).

{name here} wrote:
So were the Greeks. Plato (or was it Socrates?) supported slavery. These people were ignorant, and had evidence which allowed for thousands of years of ignorance. Their doctrines even promoted slavery. Scientology does not have such a claim.

Alright, we're really getting into wacko land here. ^_^; i think you seriously need to take a step back and re-evaluate your reasons for refusing to call Scientology a reason, because - frankly - from where i am sitting, it's blatant bigotry and religious hatred. The bit above is a good, clear example of what i mean. It is utter nonsense, devoid of rationality.

You claim Scientology is not a religion because it supports (virtual) slavery. i point out that many religions have supported slavery (virtual and literal), and you respond, well, so do many non-religious groups. WHAT?!?! ^_^; What sense does that make?

And then! You go on to say that because those religions are old, they're excused from supporting slavery (even thought it's still blatantly supported in many of their current religious texts), while Scientology is not because it's new. Excuse me? ^_^; This is a textbook double standard!

If Scientology supported slavery (which, obviously it doesn't - that's just an emotionally charged word you carefully chose), then how does that make it not a religion, especially when many of the largest religions in the world literally support slavery - in their texts, at least, if not in their policy. (And if your objection is that Scientology is not a religion because it supports slavery not just in its texts, but in its policy, then you are in effect saying that Scientology is not a religion because unlike religions, it actually takes its texts seriously. ^_^; )

{name here} wrote:
Of course, they've done it. They messed with their own documents, their own followers and jurisdictions, etcetera. Scientology has attempted to manipulate or memory hole governmental records; records of democratic nations for the assistance of the people, and not some demented monarch. Not of just one government, but several.

Give me a break. ^_^; If you seriously believe modern day religions do not actively support and/or coerce governments throughout the world - openly and behind the scenes - you are living in a cave.

{name here} wrote:
Quote:
And to claim the Catholic Church has never brainwashed or censored... are you living in a cave? They've done it absurdly often over the centuries - bloodlessly where possibly, but by fire and torture otherwise.

That is where the bloodlessly part went into play --- and by bloodlessly I mean by pure psychoanalytic mind manipulation, and exploiting the effects thereof. As far as I know they have not had manuals for brainwashing (outside of the Bible), nor have they used anything more than crude emotional ploys, and not complex psychiatric methods.

Ok, ok. ^_^; Here's more wackiness.

So, basically, Scientology is not a religion because it manipulates people without torture, while Roman Catholicism is a religion because it manipulates people with torture, as well as without torture.

So, essentially ^_^; If Scientology were to start putting its people on the rack, it would become a religion?

Incidentally, as Bikerman as already pointed out, you are way out of touch with the reality of religious manipulation. Many religions do have manuals - and even, in the case of Catholicism, for example, classes - on how to subtly psychologically manipulate its members. In fact, there are many ways in which modern religions have gotten the procedure down to a fine-tuned science, whereas Scientology is a little rough around the edges. Catholic confession is a prime example of a very powerful brainwashing technique that Scientology has copied without the same finesse. In fact, it is quite often said that modern-day Catholics - and i really shouldn't pick on the Catholics so much, but they're the easiest targets simply because they're so big and so widely researched - live in a perpetual state of guilt and emotional stress brought on by the mind-control techniques of the church.

(Just to give you an idea of how sophisticated and ingenious Catholic psychological engineering techniques are, when i studied cognitive psychology, and when we came to brain-washing and mind-control, Catholicism was used for most of the examples. Scientology wasn't even mentioned - i noticed the same patterns as i had seen in the Catholic examples, roughly applied, years later.)

Bikerman wrote:
Catholicism is much more sophisticated than simple use of 'crude emotional ploys' in its use of brainwashing. Remember the Jesuit saying 'give me a child 'till he is 7 and I will give you the man'. I attended a Catholic school run by a quasi-Jesuitical order (Salesians) and the techniques of brainwashing are quite subtle. They include social/family/peer pressure, emotional/psychological conditioning, intellectual bullying and dishonest representation of facts.
You should bear in mind that Catholics have been developing their techniques in this area for centuries and, compared to them, Scientologists are childish amateurs. The brainwashing is entirely institutionalised and requires no 'manual'.

i know, eh? ^_^; i'd say they are the most sophisticated religion when it comes to brainwashing in existence today. By comparison, religions like Islam are pathetically amateur. And Scientology? It's not even in the same league as any of those big shots. By their standards, Scientology's techniques are brutish and amateurish. i mean, hurling verbal abuse at the confessor? Can't just see a priest waving that off and saying, "Pfft, that's so eleventh century."
{name here}
Quote:
Let's start here: "it was invented as a shell for a pseudoscientific psychotherapy so their profits aren't cut by taxes." Prove it. And for that matter, prove that Jesus Christ didn't invent Christianity because he thought it would suck to be a carpenter, or that Mohammed didn't fake his revelations because he was tired of being a salesman. Clearly this is not a fact, but your opinion. And - while it is my opinion, too - it is still just an opinion. The fact is that we have no way of knowing that it was not actually established for legitimate reasons - or at least that it was established for reasons as legitimate as any other major religion.

1. In Reader's Digest he had stated "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion", which sort of predisposes him to a little criticism.
2. Before Hubbard made Scientology, he made the Hubbard Dianetic Reasearch foundation, which later went bankrupt. Thereafter he made an organisation he called "Hubbard College" for similar purposes which was quickly renamed "Hubbard Association of Scientologists International", and in 1954 he created Church of Scientology we all know and love which absorved this organisation.
3. Scientology requires people to become "clear" before advancing to OT Levels.
Those two things lead me to believe that Hubbard had made the church mainly to sell Dianetics, and get tax cuts at the same time.

I believe the first Christian church wasn't made by Jesus, but by somebody else several hundred years after his death. He had no organisations to profit from based on what records we have of him and his religion. Obviously it is possible, just as it is possible that he was neurotic while he was alive.

Quote:

Then this: "L. Ron, being a science fiction writer, made the stories (such as the infamous Xemu story) in the genre of his forte." So what? Mohammed was a freakin' saleman! ^_^; i'd trust a science fiction writer before a salesperson any day, personally, but the issue is irrelevant. Whatever the "prophet" was before the revelation, be it writer or carpenter, that does not negate the possibility of a revelation being real.

I would trust the opinion of a science fiction writer about his best estimates in where we are going technologically.
I would not trust the religion made by a science fiction writer writing short stories in his religion about DC-10-style rockets and overpopulated alien planets which he claims true.
I could never truly trust anyone claiming to be a prophet, however.

Mohammed, at least, is genuine for his time. Maybe that is his sales pitch rubbing off (if he even had much of a sales pitch. I'm guessing the techniques around that time were fairly underdeveloped).

Quote:
That makes no sense at all. ^_^; Every religion has "revelations" that are only taught to upper echelons in the church. How does that make them not religions?

They want to sell dianetics first, requiring the therapy to be done to its fullest before entering OT levels. I haven't seen their ladder poster in a while, but if I remember correctly there isn't much of any dogma on any of the levels below OT I.

Quote:
If Hubbard pulled all of Scientology out of his ass for the money, why can't it still be a religion? People still to do believe it - whole-heartedly - and pattern their entire lives around it, and they're quite sincere. Maybe Hubbard lied through his teeth, but so what? Since then, people can - and have - found deeper meaning in those teachings, and now hold them to be a good belief to have, and a good system to pattern the life under. Doesn't that make it a religion?


Psychology could do the same thing --- find a deeper meaning to your actions, and find your most ideal patterns to live life under --- and yet it is considered a science rather than a religion. You could live life based on Neilson ratings, Straw polls, and Government propaganda concerning what good citizens should be, but that doesn't change the fact that they are corporate and governmental documents, and not really religious ones.

We could consider Stalinism a religion because it gave hope and a deeper meaning to our actions, and a lot of people followed it. He also gave people virtues to live by, worked them, and smited offenders against his doctrine. And yet we do not consider Stalin a prophet or a god, nor do we consider his cult of personality a religion. We do not consider this with Kim Il-Sung, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Vladamir Lenin, FDR, Woodrow Wilson or any other political leader that has had a large following, given hope and promised salvation, and a list of virtues, which other prophets have all done. I believe FDR even claimed that a higher power was on his side.

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It seems to me that your method for deciding what is and what is not a religion is remarkably brain dead. Think about it. If you have to know what the motivations of its founders were, then since we don't know the motivations for the founders of virtually every religion in the world, you mean to tell us that we have to go around to every single one of them and say "no, sorry, you can't call yourself a religion because we cannot determine whether your founders made the religion on pure intentions or not". You've pretty much made "religion" extinct, in one fell swoop.

If we cannot determine what the motives of their prophets were, then we must go to the history, and their foundations, and their profiteering. If they seem as if their originator drank kool-aid with their followers, their foundations seem solid with a definite philosophy, some definition of afterlife and possibly a god, and they don't seem to wish to milk out every single penny from their followers, they have experienced abuse by futher people later on, and temples of worship are typically founded at a much later date than the originator's time.

Quote:
But, for the record, let's play a game of reality check. The lifetime of copyright is, what - let's say 90 years. So in 90 years, Scientology's texts won't be copyrighted any more. Bada boom - will it be a religion when that happens?

As I said, it's an extra gripe, not really a main reason.

Quote:
You claim Scientology is not a religion because it supports (virtual) slavery. i point out that many religions have supported slavery (virtual and literal), and you respond, well, so do many non-religious groups. WHAT?!?! ^_^; What sense does that make?

No, it is an added gripe, as I've said. Sea Org is sick in my opinion and angers me, but it's not something which I'm really using as a serious argument against it being a religion instead of a devious corporation.

I will repeat: The main reasons are Hubbard's supposed purposes for founding the corporation, and its tiered program requiring Dianetics therapy (which is more of support for Hubbard's foundings of the church rather than a main reason or an added gripe). In this manner he created a very slick, manipulative psychological service which can make money without much interference of their profit from governments, and that certain protection that comes with being a "religion" or "church". My argument has no more reasons than that.

Quote:
Give me a break. ^_^; If you seriously believe modern day religions do not actively support and/or coerce governments throughout the world - openly and behind the scenes - you are living in a cave.

I think there are more neurotic politicians vehemently supporting their religion, than religions vehemently swerving politics (taking away theocratic governments). I know of few lobbyist groups that do, but I do not know their power compared to, say the oil or telecom lobbies which like to pour in the most money into many democratic governments.

Quote:

Incidentally, as Bikerman as already pointed out, you are way out of touch with the reality of religious manipulation. Many religions do have manuals - and even, in the case of Catholicism, for example, classes - on how to subtly psychologically manipulate its members. In fact, there are many ways in which modern religions have gotten the procedure down to a fine-tuned science, whereas Scientology is a little rough around the edges.

Manipulation of the subconscious is rough around the edges? Quick, call Edward Bernays. Wait, he's coaching the corporate world that's slowly subverting religion for consumerism.
aswapathy
Before you get into Scientology it might be a good idea to read "L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman" which can be found at most major libraries, or you can pick up a used copy on Amazon.com.
Indi
{name here} wrote:
No, it is an added gripe, as I've said. Sea Org is sick in my opinion and angers me, but it's not something which I'm really using as a serious argument against it being a religion instead of a devious corporation.

I will repeat: The main reasons are Hubbard's supposed purposes for founding the corporation, and its tiered program requiring Dianetics therapy (which is more of support for Hubbard's foundings of the church rather than a main reason or an added gripe). In this manner he created a very slick, manipulative psychological service which can make money without much interference of their profit from governments, and that certain protection that comes with being a "religion" or "church". My argument has no more reasons than that.

Well, all right then, i'll just deal with those reasons and ignore all of the other "added gripes", because i don't really intend to provide you with a platform for spewing bigotry.

{name here} wrote:
1. In Reader's Digest he had stated "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion", which sort of predisposes him to a little criticism.
2. Before Hubbard made Scientology, he made the Hubbard Dianetic Reasearch foundation, which later went bankrupt. Thereafter he made an organisation he called "Hubbard College" for similar purposes which was quickly renamed "Hubbard Association of Scientologists International", and in 1954 he created Church of Scientology we all know and love which absorved this organisation.
3. Scientology requires people to become "clear" before advancing to OT Levels.
Those two things lead me to believe that Hubbard had made the church mainly to sell Dianetics, and get tax cuts at the same time.

First, i am sure you've heard the term "circumstantial evidence". Fact is, you don't have evidence that Scientology is complete hocus. You have circumstantial evidence. That Reader's Digest article was from before Scientology, so if Hubbard was sincere about his revelations, then there's no conflict. All you have is a comment he made before "his eyes were opened to the truth". As i've said over and over, Hubbard never claimed to be a god, or to be perfect - he could and did make mistakes, and none of that invalidates his teachings.

Second... so what? Seriously, so what? So he had a hard time establishing his church... so what? Early Christians had a hell of a time, too. So it was put together in stages... so what? Early Christianity was assembled bit-by-bit, too (dozens of small, proto-Christian cults - some worshipping Jesus, some worshipping Mary, some worshipping John, etc. - followed by unification under Paul's teachings, followed by several false starts like Gnosticism, before finally coming together). Once again, according to the beliefs of Scientology, Hubbard didn't just wake up one morning with all the answers. It came to him in stages, and given that, wouldn't you expect to see the religion founded in stages?

And third... again, so what? Every religion has some kind of "entry fee". Scientology's is that you have to "clear your Thetans" (which is another way of saying you have to keep the needle down on the e-meter). Christianity's is that you have to "accept Jesus as your saviour". Islam's is that you have to "submit completely to God". Yadda yadda.

i still don't see anything there that rules out Scientology being a religion. Even if all of the implications you are making with this "evidence" is true, Scientology could still be a real, honest-to-Thetan, religion. Maybe Hubbard saw a real truth to the universe, then - in true human form - set out to milk it, to exploit it. In that case, all of your insinuations about how big of a bastard he is are all absolutely true... and Scientology would still be the "one true religion".

{name here} wrote:
I believe the first Christian church wasn't made by Jesus, but by somebody else several hundred years after his death. He had no organisations to profit from based on what records we have of him and his religion. Obviously it is possible, just as it is possible that he was neurotic while he was alive.

*ahem* If the Bible stories are roughly based on true events, then the man had thousands of followers hanging on every word he said, and very likely those followers kept him fed, comfortable and supplied with anything he could have wanted. He may not have even cared whether a church was established - he was making a pretty sweet living just being a prophet.

And, of course, Mohammed did pretty well because of Islam, didn't he?

You see? It's only your hate colouring your perception here. You see Hubbard as a profiteer because that suits you, and you are completely blind to the possibly rampant profiteering by other religious leaders.

{name here} wrote:
I would trust the opinion of a science fiction writer about his best estimates in where we are going technologically.
I would not trust the religion made by a science fiction writer writing short stories in his religion about DC-10-style rockets and overpopulated alien planets which he claims true.
I could never truly trust anyone claiming to be a prophet, however.

Mohammed, at least, is genuine for his time. Maybe that is his sales pitch rubbing off (if he even had much of a sales pitch. I'm guessing the techniques around that time were fairly underdeveloped).

Personally, i would trust a scientist or a futurist about their best estimates for the future of technology, not a science fiction writer. But anyway.

It boggles my mind how you can throw off statements like "Mohammed, at least, is genuine for his time". Excuse me? ^_^; Did you know the man? Obviously not. Ok, so what are your sources for what Mohammed was like. Why, golly me, aren't they all... Islamic? And you say they make out Mohammed to look pretty good? SHOCK! ^_^;

There's a double standard in play there. All you know of Mohammed or Jesus comes filtered down through those religions - cause pretty much no-one else was writing about them at the time. And they seem pretty rosy, more or less, no? Meanwhile, every source you are using for Hubbard is not filtered by Scientology - and you are in fact deliberately ignoring the Scientological sources on what Hubbard was like, and his motives. Which, epistemologically, makes sense - because we are pretty sure the Scientology sources are deceptive (we have lots of corroborative evidence that shows them to be lying on many counts) - but means that you are judging them by entirely different standards. It may well be that if we actually had real extant evidence about Mohammed or Jesus, and their motives, we would find they were deceitful, manipulative bastards - they may have boasted openly that they had fleeced thousands or millions... we just don't know. Yet you hold them up of the standard of "good" - something you have absolutely no real evidence for - as compared to Hubbard, whom you do have evidence for.

Either judge them all by the same standard, or don't judge them at all. Anything else is pretty much the dictionary definition of bigotry.

You don't have any knowledge about the characters or motivations for the founders of other religions (other than the claims of the religions themselves), and so it is illogical, unfair, dishonest and just pointless to compare Scientology to those religions using judgements about the character or motivations of Hubbard.

{name here} wrote:
Quote:
If Hubbard pulled all of Scientology out of his ass for the money, why can't it still be a religion? People still to do believe it - whole-heartedly - and pattern their entire lives around it, and they're quite sincere. Maybe Hubbard lied through his teeth, but so what? Since then, people can - and have - found deeper meaning in those teachings, and now hold them to be a good belief to have, and a good system to pattern the life under. Doesn't that make it a religion?


Psychology could do the same thing --- find a deeper meaning to your actions, and find your most ideal patterns to live life under --- and yet it is considered a science rather than a religion. You could live life based on Neilson ratings, Straw polls, and Government propaganda concerning what good citizens should be, but that doesn't change the fact that they are corporate and governmental documents, and not really religious ones.

We could consider Stalinism a religion because it gave hope and a deeper meaning to our actions, and a lot of people followed it. He also gave people virtues to live by, worked them, and smited offenders against his doctrine. And yet we do not consider Stalin a prophet or a god, nor do we consider his cult of personality a religion. We do not consider this with Kim Il-Sung, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Vladamir Lenin, FDR, Woodrow Wilson or any other political leader that has had a large following, given hope and promised salvation, and a list of virtues, which other prophets have all done. I believe FDR even claimed that a higher power was on his side.

i've already defined what makes a religion, and neither psychology or Stalinism apply. Both of these arguments are very poorly constructed straw men.

{name here} wrote:
If we cannot determine what the motives of their prophets were, then we must go to the history, and their foundations, and their profiteering. If they seem as if their originator drank kool-aid with their followers, their foundations seem solid with a definite philosophy, some definition of afterlife and possibly a god, and they don't seem to wish to milk out every single penny from their followers, they have experienced abuse by futher people later on, and temples of worship are typically founded at a much later date than the originator's time.

You'll have to explain "If they seem as if their originator drank kool-aid with their followers". This is gibberish.

How does history or profiteering determine whether a religion is a religion or not? Every religion that has been accused of rampant profiteering has just turned around and said that it was the people that were profiteering that were corrupt, not the religion itself (and, surprise surprise, Scientology is no exception - Free Zone churches rail against the corruption of the Church of Scientology). Same goes for ever other historical foible - they blame the people who did it, not the religion.

As for your other requirements, let me put them in a list here:
  1. Philosophical foundations must be "solid".
  2. They must have an afterlife (and possibly a god).
  3. They don't "seem to wish to milk out every single penny from their followers".
  4. They have experienced "abuse" (i assume you mean they have been persecuted).
  5. Temples of worship are (typically?) founded long after the founder has died.
These are awful prerequisites. They are silly, shallow and illogical, and most of them don't even stand up when applied to actual modern-day religions. Taking them on one at a time:
  1. Philosophical foundations must be "solid"
    And, of course, you define what is and what is not "solid", right? ^_^;

    Ok, putting that obvious bit of silliness aside, there is the fact that the "philosophical foundations" that underlie Scientology are, in fact, far more logical, and aesthetically pleasing, than those that underlie the Abrahamic religions. In (let's say) Christianity, mankind's purpose for existing is to satisfy the emotional needs of a jealous, neurotic god with the EQ of a spoiled four year-old. The rationale for that religion is ridiculously illogical, and downright insulting to human intelligence and dignity. By contrast, in Scientology, mankind's purpose for existing is that we are our own responsibility - we made ourselves. The rationale for the religion is to discover our role in reality and who we are, take charge of it, and eventually open our minds to a higher understanding.

    In other words, if you accept Scientology's view, you - maturely - accept responsibility for who you are, and attempt to take control of your destiny. If you accept Christianity's view, you surrender your personhood, and - like a child - beg a superior being to make things right.

    In my mind, that makes Scientology more philosophically "solid" than Christianity - more in line with Buddhism, actually - but of course, "solid" is just a bullshit weasel word you made up to allow you to disguise your obvious contempt for Scientology as "rational", so it means whatever you want to say it means.

  2. They must have an afterlife (and possibly a god)
    This is just sad. ^_^; i thought we grew out of this kind of thinking in the late nineteenth century. If an anthropologist made that claimed, they'd be laughed out of academia.

    Let me reword what you have said, to make the problem clear: "In order to be a religion, it has to match my model religion (usually Christianity for Westerners)". See it now?

    In point of fact, there are many religions without gods, and afterlives are really a more recent invention in the history of religions.

    But putting all of that aside... Scientology has both. In Scientology, we are all "gods", and we are all immortal spirits (hence, the afterlife).

  3. They don't "seem to wish to milk out every single penny from their followers"
    Says who? Again, this is your own ideal that you're using to judge everyone else by. Why can't a religion allow its priests to profiteer? Seriously, why not? What if there was a religion where everyone tried to fleece everyone else - under the understanding that the divine being that created them wants them to try to be the most clever, and will reward them if they succeed in their cons? What part of that theoretical religion excludes it from being an actual, legitimate religion - other than that it offends your delicate sensibilities.

    Notice that i haven't even touched on the obvious problem with this standard - that it is completely subjective, as most of your points are.

  4. They have experienced "abuse" (i assume you mean they have been persecuted)
    What? ^_^; A religion has to be persecuted before they can be considered a valid religion?

    Heh, anyway. Even if that's true, Scientology has been heavily persecuted, so...?

  5. Temples of worship are (typically?) founded long after the founder has died
    Alright, once again... take a step back and think.

    Why does the time between the founder's death and the organizing of the religion matter? Seriously, why? This is absolutely ridiculous. You're grasping at straws.

    Well, hell, religions are typically founded in the Middle East or Asia, aren't they? Does that mean that if it's not founded in the Middle East or Asia, it's probably not a religion? ^_^; Or hey, how about this! The founders of religions typically either have the letter 'e' in their name and begin and end on a consonant, or they end in 'a' or 's'. So if the founder's name does not fit that pattern, it's probably not a religion, right? ^_^;

    Come on, man! ^_^; Seriously, think. How does the temporal separation between the founder's teaching and the founding of the first organization seriously effect the validity of a religion? Answer: it doesn't. This is just a lame attempt to level just one more "rational" argument against Scientology.
{name here}
Quote:
First, i am sure you've heard the term "circumstantial evidence". Fact is, you don't have evidence that Scientology is complete hocus. You have circumstantial evidence. That Reader's Digest article was from before Scientology, so if Hubbard was sincere about his revelations, then there's no conflict. All you have is a comment he made before "his eyes were opened to the truth". As i've said over and over, Hubbard never claimed to be a god, or to be perfect - he could and did make mistakes, and none of that invalidates his teachings.

All evidence is circumstantial.

Quote:
Personally, i would trust a scientist or a futurist about their best estimates for the future of technology, not a science fiction writer. But anyway.

Well, yes. But if you were not given the option of seing a scientist of futurist or anyone else really qualified, a science fiction writer might be a decent alternative.

Quote:
And third... again, so what? Every religion has some kind of "entry fee". Scientology's is that you have to "clear your Thetans" (which is another way of saying you have to keep the needle down on the e-meter). Christianity's is that you have to "accept Jesus as your saviour". Islam's is that you have to "submit completely to God". Yadda yadda.

Keeping the needle down on the e-meter seems to look a little more costly than just professing your faith.
I have a friend who is mildly schizophrenic who had converted to christianity for about three weeks our so after talking with a fundie; he did not require to do anything to convert. Then again he was doing this solo.

Quote:
There's a double standard in play there. All you know of Mohammed or Jesus comes filtered down through those religions - cause pretty much no-one else was writing about them at the time. And they seem pretty rosy, more or less, no?

I don't actually know much about either prophet --- just that both religions potray them as "good", although it is debatable. I actually thought --- at one point --- Jesus was a satire of the hundreds of people that claimed to be prophets during that period of time, and that he was slowly represented as fact afterwards by pupils of people who taught them morals through 'his' writings.

Quote:
Either judge them all by the same standard, or don't judge them at all. Anything else is pretty much the dictionary definition of bigotry.

For some reason I am able to do this in politics, but not in religion.

Quote:
These are awful prerequisites. They are silly, shallow and illogical, and most of them don't even stand up when applied to actual modern-day religions. Taking them on one at a time:

I must agree. I do not know what I was thinking when I wrote these reasons. They sound silly to me reading them back.

Quote:
They have experienced "abuse" (i assume you mean they have been persecuted)

I meant people abusing the it for financial or personal gain rather the persecution.

Quote:
You'll have to explain "If they seem as if their originator drank kool-aid with their followers". This is gibberish.

I guess you do not know this expression, or I have misused it. I intended to say that the religion's originator was in belief of the philosophy as much as their followers were.
Indi
{name here} wrote:
All evidence is circumstantial.

"Some evidence is more circumstantial than others."

{name here} wrote:
Keeping the needle down on the e-meter seems to look a little more costly than just professing your faith.

Perhaps. But it is also less costly than giving up all your worldy possessions, taking a vow of silence or having your fun parts snipped off.

{name here} wrote:
I have a friend who is mildly schizophrenic who had converted to christianity for about three weeks our so after talking with a fundie; he did not require to do anything to convert. Then again he was doing this solo.

That is not true. In order to convert to Christianity today, you are required to:
  1. Swear away other, contradictory beliefs.
  2. Admit that you are guilty of "crimes" you did not commit.
  3. Acquiesce to the psychologically abusive request that you admit that you are fundamentally flawed - broken at the core.
  4. Accept the truth of numerous ridiculous claims (the existence of gods, angels, demons/devils, etc.).
  5. Surrender moral authority to a two-thousand year-old mystical text, and beings no-one can see or talk to.
  6. Tell an imaginary being that you accept that it and only it can "save" you from an imaginary fate.
And that's just in today's watered-down version of Christianity. In the past, the requirements were much more strenuous.

You may say that these requirements are rather light compared to Scientology's. *shrug* Maybe they are. But so what? Other religions have far stricter requirements for entry than either Christianity or Scientology. The fact remains that all religions have admission requirements. Scientology is not unique in any way in this regard.

{name here} wrote:
I don't actually know much about either prophet --- just that both religions potray them as "good", although it is debatable. I actually thought --- at one point --- Jesus was a satire of the hundreds of people that claimed to be prophets during that period of time, and that he was slowly represented as fact afterwards by pupils of people who taught them morals through 'his' writings.

Maybe. The point is that the only information we have on Jesus comes heavily filtered through Christianity. The only non-Christian sources we have on Jesus are either vague to the point of being silly (Tacitus, for example), or are obvious Christian forgeries (Josephus, for example). By contrast, you probably won't even look at the Scientology biography of Hubbard (and i can't blame you). But if you did, you'd end with an equal judgement on both sides, and - unsurprisingly - both Jesus and Hubbard come out looking pretty good.

The upshot of this is that we can't make intelligent judgements on any of the usual suspects - the big religions, the ones no one dreams of denying are religions - based on their founders. For all we know, they were some of the worst scum the human species has ever produced. Hubbard may be a saint by comparison. Certainly Mohammed's death-toll is way bigger than anything Hubbard ever managed. We don't have the information to make an intelligent conclusion, so any conclusion anyone makes will be necessarily biased, and hence, useless.

{name here} wrote:
Quote:
Either judge them all by the same standard, or don't judge them at all. Anything else is pretty much the dictionary definition of bigotry.

For some reason I am able to do this in politics, but not in religion.

Religion generally brings out the worst in people, in my opinion.

{name here} wrote:
Quote:
They have experienced "abuse" (i assume you mean they have been persecuted)

I meant people abusing the it for financial or personal gain rather the persecution.

Which virtually all religions have done.

{name here} wrote:
Quote:
You'll have to explain "If they seem as if their originator drank kool-aid with their followers". This is gibberish.

I guess you do not know this expression, or I have misused it. I intended to say that the religion's originator was in belief of the philosophy as much as their followers were.

We don't have any information on the founders of most religions, and even in the case of Hubbard - whom we do have a lot of information on - no one can read minds. You cannot know what Hubbard really believed (or didn't believe), you can only guess.

--------------------------

i'm going to go out on a limb here, and guess that the reason you are loathe to call Scientology a religion is because you think Scientology is an idiotic belief system, and the Church of Scientology is a corrupt and reprehensible organization. In my opinion, both opinions are correct - but neither excludes Scientology as a religion. There are lots of idiotic beliefs in existing religions, and "corrupt church" can almost be considered redundant.

But i think your thinking has been tainted by religious awe. You have been - as many of us have - raised to believe that religions must be "good" and benign. This is what we have all been indoctrinated with over the centuries. Religions thrive on the protection this belief gives them. But it is not true, and has not been true for most of history. And, it is damaging to free and rational inquiry.

The idea is that if you call something a religion, you automatically label it as "good", and you provide it certain privileges and protections. Because of that, you have to be very careful about what you label a religion - because you don't want to call something "good" unless it's really earned, and you don't want to give privileges and protections to something evil.

But i say this is hogwash.

i say that just because something is a religion, it is not automatically "good", and any privileges or protections a religion gets, it should earn.

Because of that, i don't really care whether Scientology is a religion or not, or Raëlians or anything else for that matter. If they want to be a religion, let 'em.

But if they want privileges and protections - ranging from tax breaks to freedoms associated with worship practices - they have to stand up to the same standards as any secular organization making the same request. Religions should not be privileged just because they are "religions". Let them earn it the same as any other organization or belief system. If they want tax breaks, then let them stand up to the same scrutiny and standards of a secular organization that wants a tax break.

Once you do that, it doesn't really matter whether Scientology is a religion or not. Either way, it has to earn its tax breaks by showing that it is worthy of them - same as a secular organization. And it will not be allowed to hide its bullshit behind "religious freedom" claims unless it can show it deserves those kinds of freedoms - not just by being called a religion, but by acting in ways that warrant those freedoms.

And of course, all religions would have to stand up to the same standards and open scrutiny - from Raëlians to Roman Catholics.
roxys_art
Bikerman wrote:
I would have thought that the fact that Scientology originated with L. Ron Hubbard would have been a clue to its nature. Hubbard was a science-fiction writer (a pretty good one, in fact - I have several of his works on my bookshelves). I've always thought that Scientology was a his idea of a huge practical joke as well as a way to earn a few bob Smile


And yet April Fools has come and gone yet again and Scientology is still around...

Bikerman wrote:
Laugh? I nearly audited my Thetan....
(PS - that last is a joke which scientologists would get Smile )


I'm not a Scientologist, but I gotcha Very Happy

But it does seem like Scientology was setup as more of a business (even moreso than other religions) rather than a way to explain the.....umm, unexplainable.

Oh, and the fact that I am calling Scientology a religion, probably means I consider it a religion. Doesn't mean I believe all of it though...
Bikerman
Well, I don't 'believe' Christianity, Islam or any other of the mainstream religions. That doesn't mean, however, that I would deny they are religions. Scientology clearly qualifies as a religion - as Indi has pointed out in some detail. I don't 'buy' it, of course, but that is another matter.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
Well, I don't 'believe' Christianity, Islam or any other of the mainstream religions. That doesn't mean, however, that I would deny they are religions. Scientology clearly qualifies as a religion - as Indi has pointed out in some detail. I don't 'buy' it, of course, but that is another matter.

Sure, i don't buy it either. i think it starts out with an interesting premise, then gets buried under grade-B bullshit - what with the clams, and Xenu and whatnot. i also think the Church of Scientology - the biggest and "official" church of the religion - is a criminal organization on the same level as the Mafia.

But, like you say, it is a religion - and there is no rational, unbiased reason for denying that.
Soulfire
Scientology is an excuse to be tax-free.
Indi
Soulfire wrote:
Scientology is an excuse to be tax-free.

Actually, that would make religion an excuse to be tax-free - an excuse that Scientology is trying to use.

Personally, i don't see any sense whatsoever in allowing a religion to be tax-free. What's the point? And if Scientology really is just faking religion to get the tax-break, taking away the tax-break takes away their motivation to fake being a religion. Problem solved.
Poetsunited
scientology is a religion as i said before, they have everything accepted religions have....

Whats the difference? Scientology is considdered commercial ^_^
Its a well known fact that Ron Hubbard's book was meant to be a scifi novel... not the new bible/koran/tora or something like that...

Still, They call themselves a church so thats what they should be called by us too i supose... But ofc you don't have to believe in what they say <_>
achowles
It's a brainwashing cult Ron Hubbard created with the only intention of lining his pockets with the proceeds. The fact that there are people who believe in it is largely inconsequential. There are people who believe that soap opera characters are real. I'm not interested in maintaining the 'good name' of religion as I don't see it as having one, but Scientology is just plain ridiculous in every regard.

I don't know what else needs to be said about it. It's so utterly blatant in what it is. Ron Hubbard was blatant with his intentions and made no real effort to hide them.

Given the various 'beliefs' out there that are considered religions, I suppose it does qualify. But all that signifies is how we should perhaps not be holding other religions in such high regard as to make them tax exempt.
roxys_art
achowles wrote:
It's a brainwashing cult Ron Hubbard created with the only intention of lining his pockets with the proceeds. The fact that there are people who believe in it is largely inconsequential. There are people who believe that soap opera characters are real. I'm not interested in maintaining the 'good name' of religion as I don't see it as having one, but Scientology is just plain ridiculous in every regard.


This has been hammered into the ground, but one could argue that many aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. are "ridiculous" in every regard. Although, I would never say that a religion is ridiculous in "every" regard. Sure, some aspects are off the wall in my opinion, HOWEVER, there are many many lessons that can be taken from the stories portrayed in each religion.

For example, I find some aspects of the story of Jesus to be very motivational. To me, the story is nothing more than an individual overcoming adversity and trying to grow as an individual.
achowles
roxys_art wrote:
achowles wrote:
It's a brainwashing cult Ron Hubbard created with the only intention of lining his pockets with the proceeds. The fact that there are people who believe in it is largely inconsequential. There are people who believe that soap opera characters are real. I'm not interested in maintaining the 'good name' of religion as I don't see it as having one, but Scientology is just plain ridiculous in every regard.


This has been hammered into the ground, but one could argue that many aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. are "ridiculous" in every regard. Although, I would never say that a religion is ridiculous in "every" regard. Sure, some aspects are off the wall in my opinion, HOWEVER, there are many many lessons that can be taken from the stories portrayed in each religion.

For example, I find some aspects of the story of Jesus to be very motivational. To me, the story is nothing more than an individual overcoming adversity and trying to grow as an individual.


Hence why I don't argue against Scientology being a religion for any reason beyond not giving it exactly what it wants (tax breaks = more income).

My main problem with it (that I somehow left out last time) is that it represents a threat that should not be tolerated. Anyone who speaks out against it is considered 'fair game' which means that any course of action including blackmail, destroying people's reputation with mud-raking and even murder are all deemed acceptable by the cult.

It's also a threat to its own followers who are obliged to sign contracts so ludicrous they could in fact be overruled by a court simply because they're so completely ludicrous they cannot be considered binding (look on wikipedia for more. I won't spam it here). Whether they stay or try and break free, the cult will try and claw every last penny from them.
Indi
roxys_art wrote:
This has been hammered into the ground, but one could argue that many aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. are "ridiculous" in every regard. Although, I would never say that a religion is ridiculous in "every" regard. Sure, some aspects are off the wall in my opinion, HOWEVER, there are many many lessons that can be taken from the stories portrayed in each religion.

For example, I find some aspects of the story of Jesus to be very motivational. To me, the story is nothing more than an individual overcoming adversity and trying to grow as an individual.

Absolutely. While i don't agree that the story of Jesus is particularly interesting (in fact, i think it's pretty lame), there are parts of the Bible that are absolute poetry. And there are one or two of Jesus's parables that i think are remarkable. And there are aspects of many of the Christian sects that i find interesting, like their theodicies and so on. And of course, many other religions have interesting stuff.

Scientology has some really stupid "science" and completely idiotic space opera science fiction... but i really like it's "creation myth". Compared to the Judaistic creation myth, the Judaistic version is childish and unimaginative (although, i really like the way Islam words it, where God just says "Be", and it is... puts "Let there be light" to shame, i think).
hiquality
Take a look at SouthPark's epidode about scientology and you'll understand what it is Smile
It was that controversial that Isaac Hayes, the actor interpreting Chef's voice left the building accusing South Park creators that they mock religion although in the show,before that episode numerous religions where being pointed out without making him feel sorry for it.

I believe in Scientology...I believe it's a BIG scam Wink like many more religions
brokenadvice
Scientology as a religion is ok. Even though I do not believe what they do, I still respect their beliefs. Some of the things said about scientology as a religion is also said about other religions too (Yeah like this magic baby grew up and died and came back and stuff)

The real problem is the curch of Scientology (CO$ for short) has since its inception taken advantage of people, and its celebrities. The CO$ is the one that should (and mostly is) attacked, not their religion (albeit farfetched as it is).
Bikerman
I think you need to differentiate a couple of things.
We agree that scientology is a religion - I think that is demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.
That does NOT mean that you have to respect it. The implication that all religious beliefs have to be respected is something I profoundly disagree with.
I believe that one should show courtesy to other people, and this involves acknowledging that they may have beliefs you find objectionable, incomprehensible or illogical, and further acknowledging their right to hold such beliefs. I would actually go further and say it involves defending their right to hold such beliefs. It is possible (and I think desirable) to display common courtesy without having to 'respect' such beliefs.

The problem is, of course, a semantic one (like so many problems). What do we mean by respect?
A couple of common definitions would be
1.To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2.To avoid violation of or interference with:

For both of those definitions I would say that respect is an inappropriate word to use with regard to religious belief. I will positively NOT defer to religious beliefs, and neither will I avoid interfering or violating such beliefs. I insist on my right to challenge religious beliefs and I refuse to defer to someone simply because they believe something I do not.
I do not seek to wantonly insult those of religious faith (whatever it might be) - that is what I mean by courtesy. I will not, however, refrain from critical comments on such faiths simply because they may cause offence.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
The problem is, of course, a semantic one (like so many problems). What do we mean by respect?
A couple of common definitions would be
1.To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2.To avoid violation of or interference with:

For both of those definitions I would say that respect is an inappropriate word to use with regard to religious belief. I will positively NOT defer to religious beliefs, and neither will I avoid interfering or violating such beliefs. I insist on my right to challenge religious beliefs and I refuse to defer to someone simply because they believe something I do not.
I do not seek to wantonly insult those of religious faith (whatever it might be) - that is what I mean by courtesy. I will not, however, refrain from critical comments on such faiths simply because they may cause offence.

Interesting. Honestly, i have never sat down to consider just what it means to respect other people's religions, or if i even do - despite the fact that it is certainly an interesting question.

Perhaps the semantic problem is not with the word "respect", but with the phrase. Perhaps we don't "respect other people's beliefs" - perhaps we "respect their right to believe"?* In the case of Scientology, as i've said i find their beliefs ridiculous. i don't respect them at all. And if they bring those beliefs to a public forum i just may challenge them (depending on my mood and the behaviour of the Scientologist). However, if they want to continue believing that pap, as far as i am concerned they are free to do so - and not only will i not impede them from their beliefs, i will defend their right to believe what they want from people who would take that right away.

i would say they have a right to believe what they want to, but they do not have a right to broadcast those beliefs without having them challenged, and they don't have the right to act on them without rational justification. You can believe the world is flat if you want to, but you can't expect that you can make that claim without being challenged, and you can't do something like plot a course for a trip based on that belief (unless you and your fellow believers are the only ones going on that trip).

Incidentally, this relates to the Danish cartoon controversy as well, so as a further illustration i will apply it there. Muslims have a right to believe that anyone that mocks the Prophet should die, but they don't have the right to make that assertion without being challenged, and they certainly don't have the right to act on it unless they can offer a rational reason for doing so (which, of course, they can't).

* Of course, i've even challenged that in the past. ^_^;
Bikerman
I think the problem is a breaking of symmetry (sorry to go into physics mode Smile )
We both agree that people should have the right to say and believe what they like. We both are actually prepared to defend that right - regardless of whether we support the statement or belief. We both agree that this extends to everyone.
Here is where the basic asymmetry comes in - some believe that the right only extends to themselves and would seek to supress or restrict the right of others to criticise their own statements or beliefs.
Indi
Bikerman wrote:
I think the problem is a breaking of symmetry (sorry to go into physics mode Smile )
We both agree that people should have the right to say and believe what they like. We both are actually prepared to defend that right - regardless of whether we support the statement or belief. We both agree that this extends to everyone.
Here is where the basic asymmetry comes in - some believe that the right only extends to themselves and would seek to supress or restrict the right of others to criticise their own statements or beliefs.

Well that much is true - even in this thread it is disappointing to see the blatant hypocrisy of the followers of the wacky beliefs of one religion so intolerant of the wacky beliefs of another religion.

But i'm not interested in the bigots, i'm interested in the limits of my own tolerance. Because - for example - i would (and volunteered to) fight to the death for the rights of people to follow whatever religion they choose. But at the same time, i have zero tolerance for some religious claims and practices (for example: i don't care how important it is for your religious beliefs - circumcision is mutilation). It seems a bit a paradox, unless you word it such that i support your right to belief, but not your right to publish or practice those beliefs unchallenged.
xtupie
Yes Scientology it is a religion, but I hasten to add very weird one.

Basically you could think up any crazy idea, get enough people to believe it and you have just created a religion.

Religion in it basic essence is a belief system, shared but multiple people. So if you want to start the religion of BABIE or any other fancy get a couple of BARBIE fanatics together discuss how you will worship BARBIE and what all you believe about BARBIE, and WOW you have just created a religion.

Scientology is a belief system and also makes millions of dollars each year by their followers, the most notable being Tom Cruise.

Lastly, there are many people who faithful worship and service Jehovah - God (the God of the Bible), but being a Christian involves more than going to church or doing good, it is based on a personal relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. By accepting His son as your saviour and becoming Christ like, you can call yourself a Christian. NOTHING else will get you into heaven. No works etc, but only by accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this is what the Bible calls the narrow way which few travel on.
Indi
xtupie wrote:
Yes Scientology it is a religion, but I hasten to add very weird one.

And here we go again....

Yes, Scientology is weird... but so is every religion. (And everyone thinks every religion is weird except their own, of course.) What religion do you think is not weird? Judaism, with its Harry Potter-esque battles between wizards and curiously clueless all-knowing god? Christianity, with its demonically possessed livestock and bizarre requirements for blood sacrifices from a supposedly merciful god? Islam, with its tales of people being turned into apes and swine and its peculiarly ruthless god of peace and love?

xtupie wrote:
Basically you could think up any crazy idea, get enough people to believe it and you have just created a religion.

No.

Religions are not just random "crazy ideas" that people believe. They are beliefs about the nature of reality (or the universe), and of our place in it. If you got a bunch of people to believe that Neil Patrick Harris is the greatest actor that ever lived, you would have a fan club, not a religion. If you got a bunch of people to believe that Neil Patrick Harris is the personification of the ultimate life force that drives the universe, you would have a religion.

xtupie wrote:
Scientology is a belief system and also makes millions of dollars each year by their followers, the most notable being Tom Cruise.

So what? Catholicism makes billions of dollars each year by its followers, the most notable being Mel Gibson.

xtupie wrote:
Lastly, there are many people who faithful worship and service Jehovah - God (the God of the Bible), but being a Christian involves more than going to church or doing good, it is based on a personal relationship with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. By accepting His son as your saviour and becoming Christ like, you can call yourself a Christian. NOTHING else will get you into heaven. No works etc, but only by accepting the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this is what the Bible calls the narrow way which few travel on.

i don't even know what your point is here. Being a Scientologist involves more than going to audits and taking Scientology courses. As with every religion - whether its yours or not - it requires a commitment of belief at the very least, and living your life in accordance with that belief. Same thing as Christianity. In Christianity you believe that some judgemental god is somewhere in the cosmos watching your every move to decide whether you suffer horribly or not after you die, so you live like you're being watched in order to get on this god's good side. In Scientology you believe that you are an eternal spirit who has been trapped in the illusion of this universe by past traumas, so you live like you're trying to get in touch with those traumas in order to cast them off.

Same shit, different pile.
xtupie
Okay maybe I was strong worded when I said the Scientology is “weird”, but that is my personal opinion, I do not expect the world to embrace my opinions, you it is called freedom of speech in most of the world!

As to what you have said in response, you can really believe whatever you want, REALLY? It really does not make a difference to me or infact anyone expect yourself! As long as you are happy with what you believe and realise there could be consequences for what you believe in and the way you believe.

The QUESTION was, is Scientology a religion? Although I am a Christian, the fact is it is a religion, no matter how you or I, or infact any one feels. As would be any idea one might have and believe in.

The fact is that any religion even Christianity, is based on a group of beliefs or doctrines and if you decided that you want to believe in worshiping anything you want, and you set in place your beliefs, doctrines and get people to believe in it, you have just created a religion, it is as simple as that!

About the money aspect, that is a proven fact with Scientology and with the Catholic Church, which you pointed out but hey I am not Catholic! And to be honest you might even say that Christianity is all money based too, I am talking about the Tithe – if you want I could give you a whole lecture on this but I will not.

In fact the bible has a lot to say about money and the principles that apply weather you are a Jew, Christian, Moslem, Hindu, Scientologist or whatever. That is if you give you will received or the Law of sowing and reaping, I might add this law applied in everything we do, whatever you sow you will reap someday, remember you always reap more than you sow!!! I have some Moslem, Hindu and Christian friends and I can see this law operating in their lives even though then do not believe as I do. This law applied to everyone just a gravity applied to us all.

As for the God you see as judgemental, I am really sorry you have such a narrow view of Him (no offence intended). It is for His pleasure that we live and move and have our being. We were created to worship Him and why we are alive today. But it is our SIN that separates us from God and makes us guilty. But God wants to be your and everyone’s friend, that is why He sent Jesus Christ, to die in our place so that we can be reconciled with Him when we accept His Son as our Saviour. Trust that one day soon you will discover this and become his child.

The alternative is you will see God as a ruthless judge and He will judge every man and woman who did not take the offer of His friendship.
No matter what you believe or who you believe in, the reality is that everything around us did not happen but had to be created by a superior Being and if there is a superior being and He is offering you friendship it would be best to accept it before it is too late...

Enough said.... Thanks for the comments, did not appreciate your ending but hey that’s you opinion, have a great day
Indi
xtupie wrote:
Okay maybe I was strong worded when I said the Scientology is “weird”, but that is my personal opinion, I do not expect the world to embrace my opinions, you it is called freedom of speech in most of the world!

Freedom of speech entitles people to the freedom to express their beliefs. It doesn't make their beliefs any more right, or any less stupid.

xtupie wrote:
The QUESTION was, is Scientology a religion? Although I am a Christian, the fact is it is a religion, no matter how you or I, or infact any one feels. As would be any idea one might have and believe in.

That is simply plain wrong, and it is easy to prove. i have an idea that my dinner will be ready in about twenty minutes, and i sincerely believe that is true. Is that a religion? Don't be ridiculous. i have an idea that 1 + 1 = 2, and i sincerely believe that is true. Is that a religion? Of course not.

Thus: not every idea that one has and/or believes in is a religion.

Scientology is a religion because of what its beliefs are, not simply just because it has some.

xtupie wrote:
The fact is that any religion even Christianity, is based on a group of beliefs or doctrines and if you decided that you want to believe in worshiping anything you want, and you set in place your beliefs, doctrines and get people to believe in it, you have just created a religion, it is as simple as that!

First, the fallacy in your first argument - that because every religion consists of a group of beliefs that means every group of beliefs is a religion. That is not true. It is the same as saying that because every car engine consists of a bunch of metal parts that means every bunch of metal parts is a car engine. Nonsense.

Second, the fallacy in your claim about worship. Not every religion requires worship of something. In fact, Scientology does not.

Third, a religion is not formed simply by co-opting a bunch of people and getting them to believe in your ideas. If that were true, then Albert Einstein is the Jesus Christ of the religion of General Relativity - because he had a set of beliefs about the nature of gravity, and he got a lot of people to believe in his beliefs. Obviously General Relativity is not a religion, and Albert Einstein is not a prophet.

So, as you can see, it is certainly not as simple as that.

As i said, a religion is a set of beliefs about the nature of reality/the cosmos/existence/whatever, and humanity's place in it. With that definition, both Scientology and Christianity are religions. General Relativity and my dinner are not.

xtupie wrote:
About the money aspect, that is a proven fact with Scientology and with the Catholic Church, which you pointed out but hey I am not Catholic! And to be honest you might even say that Christianity is all money based too, I am talking about the Tithe – if you want I could give you a whole lecture on this but I will not.

i don't need a lecture about tithing, thank you. i was just pointing out that every claim you made about Scientology also applies to every other religion. Catholicism was just the first example i picked. You provided another example using Christianity in general.

xtupie wrote:
In fact the bible has a lot to say about money and the principles that apply weather you are a Jew, Christian, Moslem, Hindu, Scientologist or whatever.

The Bible has absolutely nothing to say to anyone that is not Christian. If you see it's claims operating in your Hindu friend's life, that is because you are Christian, not because the Bible is true. i am sure your Hindu friend would say that he sees the Vedic teachings operating in your life, even if you don't.

xtupie wrote:
As for the God you see as judgemental, I am really sorry you have such a narrow view of Him (no offence intended). It is for His pleasure that we live and move and have our being. We were created to worship Him and why we are alive today. But it is our SIN that separates us from God and makes us guilty. But God wants to be your and everyone’s friend, that is why He sent Jesus Christ, to die in our place so that we can be reconciled with Him when we accept His Son as our Saviour. Trust that one day soon you will discover this and become his child.

If your god wants me to be his "child", all he has to do is offer a rational explanation for himself and his actions. After over 5,000 years of trying, his "children" (including the Jews, before Christianity, assuming it's the "same" god, as so many Christians claim) haven't had any luck so far. i mean, i am capable of forgiving someone's sins without someone having to die for it - so why couldn't he?

xtupie wrote:
No matter what you believe or who you believe in, the reality is that everything around us did not happen but had to be created by a superior Being...

No, that is not "reality". That is your belief.

xtupie wrote:
... He is offering you friendship it would be best to accept it before it is too late...

Isn't that a threat? Why do you and your god have to threaten me to get me to like him?
xtupie
I see you have lots to say but little to add.

I am really sorry for what you believe or do not believe but if you go to any dictionary you will find the definition of a religion but any belief system (let's not call it a religion) is based on a set of beliefs which are shared with other people. Your explanation of dinner only has you believing. You have to convince other people of you beliefs and get them to believe them too to make a religion.

As to you last statement I am not trying to threaten you with God. In fact you quiet welcome to believe what you want, it does not change the fact that there is a GOD and one day you will give an account to Him for what you did here on earth!

You can fuss all you want, call me names, think I am stupid, a religious bigot etc, etc but that does not change the fact that He is a GOD.

I am really interested in what you believe? I know it has nothing to do with Jehovah God so what is it? What is your pet subject? Your explanation to this world and it issues and answers?
Klaw 2
the leaders try to suck the money out of people,
they have camps where they send people who don't agree anymore,
they are trained to have an fixed dedicated look,
http://nl.altermedia.info/images/adolf-hitler_neutrale-foto.jpg
and during protest insult people who protest by asking what sins they commited and coming to conclude that the protestor is a child molestor.

Sort of nazi's really, no wonder why scientology is banned in germany, they have seen it before.
Indi
xtupie wrote:
I see you have lots to say but little to add.

^_^;

xtupie wrote:
I am really sorry for what you believe or do not believe but if you go to any dictionary you will find the definition of a religion but any belief system (let's not call it a religion) is based on a set of beliefs which are shared with other people.

Let's not call it a religion? ^_^ What the hell? i say the definition of religion is that it is more than a set of beliefs, and you say, "let's not call it religion let's call it a belief system and lo, now it's a set of beliefs"? Are you serious? ^_^;

No, let's not say belief system. Let's say religion, as i have been from the start, and as you did before just now. You said a religion is any set of beliefs, i said it's not. Now you say you have proof in dictionaries. Well....

You know, i'm an engineer. When you tell an engineer, "you are wrong and if you go check X, you will see proof of that," what do you think they would do? ^_^;

So, i went to "any dictionary". ^_^; This is what i found.

  • From here: "a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny OR A religion is a set of beliefs and practices generally held by a human community, involving adherence to codified beliefs and rituals and study of ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience OR (other definitions, all similar)" (As i said, not just any set of beliefs, but a set of beliefs with specific characteristics. In this dictionary: your claim is false)
  • From here: "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe... OR Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. OR a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny... OR (other similar definitions)" (Again, not just any set of beliefs, but a set of beliefs with specific characteristics. In this dictionary: your claim is false)
  • From here: "A system of beliefs, including belief in the existence of at least one of the following: a human soul or spirit, a deity or higher being, or self after the death of one’s body." (Yet again, a set of beliefs with specific characteristics. In this dictionary: your claim is false)
Maybe i'm just looking at the wrong "any dictionaries". ^_^

Or, you know, maybe i've actually done real research on the topic and i know what i'm talking about and not just pulling stuff out of my ass like "any dictionary says X" when they obviously don't. ^_^

i realize that i'm not really "adding anything", but maybe you might want to do some reading on the topic of the definition of religion. You will find that most experts in the field say the field is far to broad to be defined, and should instead by described by traits. In other words they say you should make of a list of things a religion should have and should not have, and the more of those criteria something meets, the more likely it is to be a religion. Others debate this as being too wishy-washy and attempt a definition anyway. None - no expert, anywhere - say that "just any set of beliefs" is a religion.

xtupie wrote:
Your explanation of dinner only has you believing. You have to convince other people of you beliefs and get them to believe them too to make a religion.

What? ^_^; So if i sent a mass email out to a million people telling them that i would be eating pizza for dinner sometime next month, and they all - or even just most of them - believe it... it's a religion? ^_^;

Give me a break.

xtupie wrote:
As to you last statement I am not trying to threaten you with God. In fact you quiet welcome to believe what you want, it does not change the fact that there is a GOD and one day you will give an account to Him for what you did here on earth!

That would be a threat. "If you don't do X, you will pay for it" is a threat. What you are saying to me is "if you don't believe God, you will have suffer for it". That is a threat.

xtupie wrote:
You can fuss all you want, call me names, think I am stupid, a religious bigot etc, etc but that does not change the fact that He is a GOD.

Why would i want to fuss or call you names? ^_^; And why would i be stupid enough to think that fussing or calling you names would change a fact?

And no, that is not a fact. That is a belief. Specifically, that is your belief. Unless you want to call everyone in the world who doesn't share your belief deluded, you're really going to have to learn to tell the difference.

Klaw 2 wrote:
the leaders try to suck the money out of people,
they have camps where they send people who don't agree anymore,
they are trained to have an fixed dedicated look,
http://nl.altermedia.info/images/adolf-hitler_neutrale-foto.jpg
and during protest insult people who protest by asking what sins they commited and coming to conclude that the protestor is a child molestor.

Sort of nazi's really, no wonder why scientology is banned in germany, they have seen it before.

That's classic. ^_^;
Klaw 2
@ indi
Well scientology said that:
In the former Yugoslavia it claimed to be an NON-religious organization.
In greece it claimed to be a philosopphical organisation.

But from what "it" (their "bible" or something) says, yes it's a religion.

O and what did you mean with classic?

Im gonan reply too:


xtupie wrote:
I see you have lots to say but little to add.

I am really sorry for what you believe or do not believe but if you go to any dictionary you will find the definition of a religion but any belief system (let's not call it a religion) is based on a set of beliefs which are shared with other people. Your explanation of dinner only has you believing. You have to convince other people of you beliefs and get them to believe them too to make a religion.
.
No, I can start a Religion by myself, believe in it myself and it is still a religion. If you took 2 minutes to look up the wikipedia entry or any other entry in any cyclopedia, you wouldn't make that mistake.

xtupie wrote:
As to you last statement I am not trying to threaten you with God. In fact you quiet welcome to believe what you want, it does not change the fact that there is a GOD and one day you will give an account to Him for what you did here on earth!

Really there is a God? What proof? And not threatening huh?

xtupie wrote:
You can fuss all you want, call me names, think I am stupid, a religious bigot etc, etc but that does not change the fact that He is a GOD.
"evidence?"
xtupie wrote:
I am really interested in what you believe? I know it has nothing to do with Jehovah God so what is it? What is your pet subject? Your explanation to this world and it issues and answers?

Well well well, i think what indi "believes" is rather obvious. But I have accepted evolution, big-bang etc. You don't believe in a scientific theory, you accept it. Big difference.
roxys_art
Indie wrote:
What? ^_^; So if i sent a mass email out to a million people telling them that i would be eating pizza for dinner sometime next month, and they all - or even just most of them - believe it... it's a religion? ^_^


I think it depends on what kind of pizza it is and whether or not I can have some (assuming the toppings are satisfactory).
HalfBloodPrince
I agree with Indi that not any "set of beliefs" is a religion. I believe the sky is blue. I follow BlueSkyism???
Indi
Klaw 2 wrote:
@ indi
Well scientology said that:
In the former Yugoslavia it claimed to be an NON-religious organization.
In greece it claimed to be a philosopphical organisation.

Oh, i can totally see that. In America the real fight over whether or not they are a religion - the reason it matters at all, except to people who are really into "religion" and want to keep it an exclusive club (i.e. only their own religion, and any other religions too big to bully or to complacent to be a threat) - is over the tax exemptions and other legal protections that get afforded to religions only.

Now, Scientology does just about jack shit for the general public... so there is no real reason the should get tax breaks. But... if they're a religion, they get them pretty much automatically, regardless of whether they do anything that warrants them or not. And so, they pushed to be recognized as a religion. And, according to the IRS's own standards, they are a religion. *snap* Tax breaks.

There's also other legal protections that religions get - like protection from having many of their files subpoenaed because they are privileged. (This is the same protection that Roman Catholic priests get for confessions.)

Now in countries that don't offer those protections, they have no real motivation to get themselves declared as a religion. i mean... why bother? If, however, there are benefits to being a non-religion (or a philosophical organization)... then of course they would try to stress the non-religious aspects of their "thing" to get those benefits. That's how the game is played.

But ultimately whether or not Scientology is legally recognized as a religion or not is a moot point. There are people in their forties and fifties that are not legal adults, although obviously they are biologically adult humans. Legal recognition as an adult is just a fiction the state uses to determine your privileges and responsibilities in society. Much the same is true for religion - legal recognition as a religion (or non-religion) is just a fiction the state uses to determine the privileges and responsibilities of that organization.

Klaw 2 wrote:
But from what "it" (their "bible" or something) says, yes it's a religion.

Actually, there is some skulduggery there. Yes, their "sacred" texts do say they are a religion, and according to them those texts are unaltered from what Hubbard originally wrote.

Only problem is... they are lying. Original copies show that the texts have been edited. Originally they insisted Dianetics was not at all religious in nature. Now....

Klaw 2 wrote:
O and what did you mean with classic?

There is a long-standing tradition in Internet discussion, codified as Godwin's Law. It states that as the time spent discussing something increases, the probability of someone mentioning Hitler or the Nazis goes to one.

There's also a tradition that whenever you want to show that something is bad in the most obvious or heavy-handed way, you compare it to Hitler or the Nazis. Like "peanut butter is way better than mayonnaise... after all, Hitler used mayonnaise". ^_^; (Note, you can sometimes use "communists" or other stuff, too.)

Comparing Scientologists to Nazis... classic. ^_^; Ten points, easy, and bonus points for bringing up Germany's disdain of Scientology as "they've seen it before". i'm so going to use that myself sometime.

(Note: nothing you said is wrong - those tactics are well-known Scientology tricks (it comes under their label of "Fair Game"), and classic religion tricks, too (if you don't play by their rules, you are possessed by the devil and tortured to death). It's just funny how you put it.)
Klaw 2
@Indi I wasn't on the defencive but I just wanted to know what you meant.

But we forgot something else. (at least I didn't read it anywere)

Scientology is also trying to control the media. And Whith who their followers talk. If you control what information enters the brain you also control what it thinks. Again I point to nazi-germany where the media was under control and also personal lives. Of course other regime's have the same. Like those of: Stalin, Mao etc.
Indi
Klaw 2 wrote:
@Indi I wasn't on the defencive but I just wanted to know what you meant.

But we forgot something else. (at least I didn't read it anywere)

Scientology is also trying to control the media. And Whith who their followers talk. If you control what information enters the brain you also control what it thinks. Again I point to nazi-germany where the media was under control and also personal lives. Of course other regime's have the same. Like those of: Stalin, Mao etc.

Not to mention other religions. Even today, the most vocal supporters of censorship are the most religious. And of course, this is hardly a new thing.

When it comes to controlling information, and controlling lives, Hitler had nothing on just about any religion you can name.
roxys_art
hiquality wrote:
Take a look at SouthPark's epidode about scientology and you'll understand what it is Smile
It was that controversial that Isaac Hayes, the actor interpreting Chef's voice left the building accusing South Park creators that they mock religion although in the show,before that episode numerous religions where being pointed out without making him feel sorry for it.

I believe in Scientology...I believe it's a BIG scam Wink like many more religions


Well, since you added a smiley face after your statement, I will assume you were joking. However, if you aren't, I don't think a cartoon show would be a good source of information.

As far as Isaac Hayes quitting...well, I don't like hypocrites. The show mocks religion...really? You just realized this? I'm pretty sure the whole basis of the show is to mock current hot topics, but I guess maybe he was liking the paycheck too much to notice...
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