26
May
09

On air: What is scientology?

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The French branch of the Church of Scientology goes on trial today, accused of organised fraud, something the Church strongly rejects.

Clearly while the case is in progress there’s only so much we can say about it, but it again has got you discussing what exactly scientology is, and whether it should be allowed to operate in your country.

So tell us your perception of Scientology, and what you ask a representative of the organisation. We’re going to invite representatives onto the programme to talk with, though no guest has been confirmed yet.

An example of the discrepancy in perceptions is this case. The Church’s lawyers have not only denied all charges but call the trial “sacreligous” . It isn’t recognised as a religion in France (they describe it as a “sect”), but it is in America.

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There are many who think Scientologists are – to be frank- a bunch of bizarre fantasists, others who follow it and see no harm, and others who consider “mainstream” religion to be just as made-up so see no reason for scientology to be singled out.

So what do you perceive Scientology to be, and what would ask a represenative of the organisation? We’ll keep you posted if any representative agrees to come onto the show.


118 Responses to “On air: What is scientology?”


  1. 1 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    May 26, 2009 at 12:31

    Not always. But if religion and religious practices are suspect in criminal acts, then the courts should retain the right to intervene in order to protect the common good.

    Having said that, the followers of the church of scientology are just as confused as the other religionists, they are – to borrow the words above a bunch of bizarre fantasists. In my view all religion is false.

    • May 26, 2009 at 14:01

      Well, this one pulled me out of hiding. Though I am sure the hitchenites, harrisites, dawkinites, maherites, etc. will all love to sink their teeth into anyone who might like to say there is reason or evidence to single out Scientology and that, as I would have predicted, we are all bizarre fantasists; Scientologists should in fact be seen as a cult. A few key things jump out to me: the high level of secrecy, the cost-prohibitive practices that essentially make Scientology’s “wondrous powers” (or is it Hollywood connection?) so difficult to access if you are not wealthy. In my opinion, any religious practice that thrives on secrecy and a notion that you cannot access the power of the secrets except by a gradual and ever more secretive process; is a cult and a dangerous and alienating practice. This would include freemasonry, Qabbalism, and other forms of Occult practice. I would note that while Scientology is absolutely bizarre in it’s extraterrestrial lore and understanding, the author of the religion himself, was a hardcore occultist. He was an admirer of Aleister Crowley, and engaged in long and complicated sex-magick rituals in attempts to literally bring into the world some kind of antichrist creature. One of the men central to the Manhattan project was also part of these rituals and the group of Crowley adoring occultists. Odd yes, but true.

    • May 26, 2009 at 18:23

      Don’t rule out the power of belonging to a group. We are wired to herd up and feel safe. Even if I don’t agree with every aspect of a certain organization I can’t disregard the needs being meet among like minded people who belong to it.

      Tearing something down because we don”t agree and thereby surely not understand says a lot about our religious roots. When will people really be at liberty to be who they want to be?

      Religions cost money. Everything cost money. Time , Space and Energy need to be secured.

      How the organization goes about securing money says a lot about it’s roots. Free teaching has always been given to those ready to receive.

      Casey in Portland Oregon USA

    • May 29, 2009 at 02:47

      i am totally agree with u

  2. 5 patti in cape coral
    May 26, 2009 at 13:28

    My daughter did an art project about religion in college and she tried to include as many relgions as possible in this project, and to say something both positive and negative about each of them, including scientology. It was surprising how little substantial information could be found about it, it was kind of creepy. I think you don’t get any real information unless your’e really deep in the organization, or until you have spent a whole lot of money.

  3. 6 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    May 26, 2009 at 13:39

    Hey! There’s a mix-up of old rivals namely science and religion these days dear Jesus? Tell you what Jock? They are fraudsters if not perverts every other day. They won’t stop at anything to deceive those that are too hungry for miracle religions that the world is awash-with these days.

    They will sell you snake oil to cure your economic coughs if you are young and lucky; its not for free and it does not come on the cheap. If you are at the geriatric stage, well, you will be informed to surrender every coin plus any gold teeth you may be hiding since your ticket is paid up for you in absentia and its guaranteed. YYap!

    My take? The law should be followed to the letter especially now that religious wackies are now on loose globally and are keen on rewriting the laws without the benefit of even a single referendum.

  4. May 26, 2009 at 13:57

    For heaven’s sake folks … do you really need anyone else to tell you what you should think about any regilion, group, cult or thought process. Read their stuff for yourself and make up your own mind. They do not hide their literature. In fact they are very open and eager to share all they know. Check it out for your self.

    • 8 patti in cape coral
      May 26, 2009 at 19:28

      Where? Where is this information? Where did you find it? Did you find out everything, or just a little bit? How much did you pay?

  5. May 26, 2009 at 14:05

    Oh, and what I would ask a representative? I’m not sure that it matters because they will simply do what any good political operator does: deny the damning charges, creepy backroom stuff, wild extraterrestrial human origin stories, and impugn the questioner.

    On a side note – for anyone looking for a laugh – locate the Spongebob episode where they enter a bizarre Atlantis society ruled by someone who’s initials are L.R.H. who is hilariously voiced by David Bowie. Good fun.

  6. 10 Kelly, from Chicago, IL, USA
    May 26, 2009 at 14:21

    I think most religions are pretty ridiculous. However, faith is something many people need in their lives or their communities. To each their own. However, if there are criminals operating within a religion they should be pursued and prosecuted.

  7. 11 Jennifer
    May 26, 2009 at 14:53

    Re: So what do you perceive Scientology to be, and what would ask a represenative of the organisation?

    The religion of celebrities like Katie Holmes and Tom Crusie; like a big spenders club. You pay to get in and receive “enlightenment”.

    I’d like to know exactly what their beliefs are, what they base them on, and how they interact with those who have other belief systems.

  8. 12 Tom K in Mpls
    May 26, 2009 at 14:57

    To me it is a religion that is fundamentally no different from any other western religion with the exception of it’s age. As with other western religions, senior officials are in the *business* of keeping it on a prosperous track. It also has a small percentage of zealous followers, another larger group of low profile believers and a majority that pretty much give it favorable lip service and do little more.

    It is a Judaic religion that believes Darwinism is not contrary to a creator. Evolution and science is gods will. As with other Judaic religions it would ultimately become the government as seen in Israel, Iran and the Vatican’s past. As for the legitimacy, there is no more proof than there is for any other religion.

    I feel it rates no more attention, in any way, than any other religion. If they follow a consistent doctrine that is not contrary to the law they should be allowed any policy they choose. Right now their biggest problem, including the French courts, is that their most enthusiastic member has less sense than vigor and is extremely visible.

    • 13 justaguy
      May 26, 2009 at 20:30

      Scientology in itself is merely crazy, but I still think it’s unhealthy. It teaches, for example, that everything bad that happens to you happens because, either, you interacted with a bad person (what they call a Suppresive Person) or that you’re a bad person yourself. I think this is a very unhealthy worldview, and worse, it leads people to cut themselves off from family and friends who don’t like Scientology. Not liking Scientology is a clear sign of a Suppresive Person.

      This is without even going into multitude of accusations of criminal behavior leveled against members of the Church, many of which were allegedly encouraged, tolerated, or perpetrated by high level officials, such as this fraud. I have heard many Scientologists tell me similar fraud stories.

      The Church of Scientology is bad news.

  9. 14 steve
    May 26, 2009 at 15:05

    Couldn’t any religion be sued for Fraud given there’s on such thing as God? Religion in general is a fraud, why single out a particular religion? Are scientologists killing people in the name of their fairty tale?

  10. May 26, 2009 at 15:09

    I agree with Henry of Kampala, all religions are rather false, but harmless to the greater good until they become criminal. There are too many examples of this to cite here, but fraud is a criminal act, and they should be able to refute these charges if it hasn’t occurred. More importantly, they shouldn’t be worried about a court case, if it has no merit.

  11. May 26, 2009 at 15:10

    I don’t know much about Scientology and the bit I do know, I take no confidence that the information is correct… which leads to, what is for me, the more serious issue about the religion. As I understand it, the deepest secrets of Scientology can only be learned after one has contributed large financial sums to the organization. Me smells a rat. Additional “facts” came out during Tom Cruise’s silliness during his wife’s pregnancy… no sound during delivery? … no sound during the first hours / days of a newborn’s life? The rat gets irrationally stinkier. Tales of adherents being bilked for mega-bucks have been kicked around for a long time… who knows, but with the present-day proliferation of shams and come-ons in every facet of life, Scientology appears to be wealthy elitists’ escape into the modern version of The Emperor Has No Clothes”.

    I agree with Henry from Kampala that when a religion breaks a law, it should be prosecuted. I also agree with him that unless all religions are held to task for the same issues of duplicity, one should not be singled out. What is a religion to one man is a “sect” to another.

  12. 17 Livia Varju
    May 26, 2009 at 15:15

    Nowadays Scientology claims to be a Church, which makes me smile and at the same time troubles me. A Church is where one worships God, and I don’t think they do that. Way back in the mid 60s when I lived in Vancouver, I got to know Scientology through a friend who was very enthusiastic and asked me if I could volunteer to help out someone who was studying at their centre, a luxurious mansion. I did go and the person connected me with some wires to some small box that showed my reactions when talking about bad experiences. At the time it was an organization that claimed to help people through personal development using psychology. Their courses cost thousands of dollars, and I heard of people who were weak enough to allow themselves to be convinced of the necessity of following several courses, and who as a result were in dire financial trouble. Many similar stories have come to light since then.
    I would like to ask a Scientologist: If they want to help people, as they pretend, then why do they charge astronomical fees for their courses? And, where does all that money go?
    Livia Varju

  13. 18 John in Salem
    May 26, 2009 at 15:15

    The story that I heard was that L. Ron Hubbard created scientology on a bet that anybody with a knack for words and enough empathy could create a viable religion that people would follow. Scientology is technologically based on the value of controling one’s brain rhythms through electronic feedback. I’ve read Dianetics and I wasn’t impressed but, hey, that’s just me.
    I don’t believe the validity of a religion has anything to do with it’s origins – it could be handed down through generations or cooked up on somebody’s dining room table. The only thing that matters is whether or not it fills a need.
    If it gives people a sense of personal meaning, a place in a community, a moral code and is able to act as a vehicle for spiritual expression then it really doesn’t matter where it comes from. If it gets you through the night that’s all that counts.

    Just keep it to yourself, okay?

  14. 19 deryck/trinidad
    May 26, 2009 at 15:30

    Ironiclly Scientology is hardly about Science. In Science hypotheses can be rigourously asessed and proven to be true or false. In religion the leaders demand faith in events and occurrances that cannot be proven or are fallacious.

    E.G. Reincarnation is a fantastic notion but can it be empirically proven. This also pertains to the existence of aliens and the fact that we are thought to be “thetans” who are omniscient and the creators of this world.

    Religion must be taken like a pinch of salt.

    first commandment: Beware of those who try to manipulate you for personal gain under the guise of saving the world.

    second commanment: Observe if the preachers practise what they preach.

  15. 20 patti in cape coral
    May 26, 2009 at 15:31

    Wasn’t the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, quoted as saying that the fasted way to make a ton of money was to invent a religion?

  16. 21 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    May 26, 2009 at 15:34

    I’m from Southern California, the home of Scientology. Back in the 1940’s and 1950’s, my Dad wrote science fiction stories (a few of his stories were made into TV shows in the early 1950’s)

    It was the opinion of the science fiction writing community that L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, invented the “religion” in order to make money and to make a name for himself, neither of which he could do writing science fiction (Hubbard was a published sci fi writer, but in quite a small way, much like my Dad.)

    My Dad and his writer friends thought it was a very clever, very cynical idea. I’d be very interested to hear what your Scientology spokesperson has to say about the origins of Scientology. Were my Dad and his friends correct in thinking Hubbard created the “religion” in order to make money and make a name for himself, and were they also correct in believing it to be a cynical act?

  17. 22 gary
    May 26, 2009 at 15:53

    The canon of any religion establishes its selection rules for membership. Given that what passes for most communication is little more than implication and inference and that all “scripture” is subject to interpretation, one should not wonder at the behaviors of Scientologists, Catholics, Moslems, Hindus, or of any other religious sect. Adherents subscribe to interpretations that seem to make sense to them. And unfortunately, all the more mainstream holy writ, as well as the more recently generated “scripture” of L. Ron Hubbard, are sufficiently ambiguous to allow almost complete freedom of action. Those for and against may argue as they will; but their words will not alter reality. The fellow behind you in the queue may be saint or sociopath and a devout follower of almost any religion as well.
    g

  18. 23 Alana Ronald
    May 26, 2009 at 15:58

    It’s a cult, and a dangerous one, having been sanctioned by several prominent Hollywood actors, giving it an allure of glamour and mystery, if not respectability.

    No bona fide religion sells courses in order for members to advance in their faith, or religious system, nor do bona fide religions seclude people at intervals, barraging them in an brainwashing-like way, swearing them to secrecy, and subject them to dubious monitoring (e meter) with a mechanical device that has yet to stand up to the proofs of science for the claims it makes.

    Scientology was founded by a minimally successful science fiction writer who was quoted, in his early years, that “the best way to make $ is to start a religion.”

    Lives and minds have been lost to the treatment demanded from this cult, families and marriages split apart, all to the profit of a pseudo-religious organization that should be banned world wide.

    • 24 ~Rhoda in the United States
      May 26, 2009 at 16:30

      Totally agree. I also say many other religious organizations should be bannd along with Scientology.

      • May 26, 2009 at 17:35

        Rhoda, you do realize that what your suggesting has a very short trip downward toward a Maoist or Stalinist outcome…if someone gets to decide who can practice their religion, should it be you? Should it be someone? Who is to say it shouldn’t be a populist leader with good ideas that ultimately sees through their agenda which may or may not include a totalitarian regime? I’m not one to point the finger at Atheists and say of the communist atrocities, “look what YOU people have done,” as many pop-atheists are fond of doing to me in light of atrocities in Christ’s name, but I would caution you that what seems like an innocent idea – banning this, that, or the other…rationally can have dire and ugly consequences if they are seen through.

      • 26 Venessa
        May 26, 2009 at 18:41

        Never, freedom of religion should be preserved regardless of disagreement with the doctrine. However, any criminal activity should be prosecuted to the fullest extent and no one should be allowed to hide behind their religion.

  19. 27 ~Rhoda in the United States
    May 26, 2009 at 16:01

    I totally agree Kelly. “To each their own.”. We do not have the right to tell someone else how to live. I strongly believe that a religion does not have the right to hide behind the God of their choice. A criminal is a criminal reguardless of their faith.

    I also think that if there is a “hell” or “underworld” the ones who would be the first to burn are the ones who use the churches as a mask for criminal activity, abuse, rape and murder.

  20. 28 T
    May 26, 2009 at 16:03

    In the States, you’re entitled to your religious beliefs(or to not believe). However, what bothers me is the arrogance of the religious right.

    Also, if Scientologists are so proud of their faith, then why don’t they put the word Scientologist in their recruting ads? Seems hypocrtical to me.

  21. 30 patti in cape coral
    May 26, 2009 at 16:05

    Sorry, my typos are atrocious today, must be the long weekend. I found the L. Ron Hubbard quote I was thinking of:

    “If you want to make a little money, write a book. If you want to make a lot of money, create a religion.”
    scientologyscam L. Ron Hubbard quote –

    http://thinkexist.com/quotes/l._ron_hubbard/4.html

  22. May 26, 2009 at 16:05

    Scientology must be seen as a man-made religion as -contrary to monolithic religions – it isn’t revealed by God through a profit. In societies where is freedom of worship, it can be accepted although now it is still a minority religion, embraced by the stars who give it more publicity.

    The questions I’d like to ask:
    1- Does Scientology believe in Hell and Paradise after death. If so according to it, what form are they?

    2- Where are the followers of Scientology buried and what form of funeral do they get after their death?

    3- Do the followers of Scientology seek to mount a challenge to established religions or do they consider it as an exclusive religion?

    4- Can anyone join Scientology free of charge?

    5- Does Scientology take part in charity work. Who benefits from it?

    6- Where does Scientology have more followers? Is it spreading, for example, in Africa?

  23. 32 Gary Paudler
    May 26, 2009 at 16:12

    Scientology is fraudulent nonsense! I’m giving all my money to the Catholic Church where immaculate conception, resurrection and eternal life after death (or, in my case, eternal damnation) are among the reasonable explanations for stuff that I can’t otherwise understand.

  24. 33 Colin in London
    May 26, 2009 at 16:15

    I think scientologists believe some pretty crazy things, but no more crazy than christians, muslims, hindus etc. You can’t and shouldn’t really try to control what people can or can’t believe.

    With scientologist however, there’s the money angle. You pay for the teaching you receive, and if you can’t pay in cash you pay by going to work for them full time. People find can themselves trapped in it, unable to pay and unable to leave.

  25. 34 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 16:38

    @ Jennifer

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenu#Summary

    Here is the story of Xenu, a core story in Scientology. What do you think of it?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  26. 35 ecotopian
    May 26, 2009 at 17:16

    Bill Maher begins his movie, “Religulous” near Hyde Park in London telling the people nearby what the tenets of scientology are. Most, if not all, thought he was quite daft.

    There is a website called Operation Clambake http://xenu.net/ that does a pretty good job at unmasking scientology.

  27. 36 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 17:19

    @ Colin in London

    Really? Just as crazy as Christianity or Islam? You gotta be kidding me.

    @ Rhoda in the United States

    Yes, ban all religion. Should we also ban groups that want the advancment of socialism in America. How about liberals, how about republicans. How about we ban everything that you don’t agree with and think is bad for the world? I’ve heard of a person like that, Adolph Hitler, he thought he knew what was best for the world. So where do we stop?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  28. 37 Steve/Oregon
    May 26, 2009 at 17:22

    Religion is for weakminded people who think too much of themselves. So much in fact they believe they are some how different from every other organism on the planet. Scientology charges its members to find out the “sacred truth” If you want to know what it is I swear South Park did an episode on it even to the point that one of there voices left after 10 years. To find out the “sacred truth” check out this link http://www.southparkstudios.com/episodes/103804/

    • May 26, 2009 at 18:00

      Wow Steve/Oregon…talk about broad strokes. I would love to have a more extensive discussion some time about your harsh allegations that implicate me. I would be fascinated to know how much of your thoughts on the matter have been shaped by four leading authors, and how much has been shaped by a greater history of thought and belief, which renders the whole thing vastly more complex than “Religion is for weakminded people who think too much of themselves.” The irony to me is that the religion I ascribe to prizes attitudes and actions that give completely of themselves, recongize themselves as insignificant in the big picture, and seek to transform the world through selfless acts. One of the ultimate goals in fact, is to “esteem others as higher than oneself” as I think the verse goes.

  29. 39 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 17:23

    @ steve

    You cant sue it if you can’t prove its not real. You can’t prove God is real, nor can you prove God isn’t real.

    Oh, and more people have died because of the war in Iraq (nothing to do with religion) than Afgan (Muslims)

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  30. 40 Vijay
    May 26, 2009 at 17:28

    I hope you get the writer and broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli on your programme,i think he wrote a book about scientology and is interested in nonsesnse in general(have you seen his twitter ramblings).

    My knee jerk take on Scientology: bunch of rich people affirming there success or wannabes trying to find the “inside track” to material wealth.

  31. 41 Jennifer
    May 26, 2009 at 17:29

    Re: What do you think of it?

    I think it’s crap. Must have been the rum, pinks, and grays!😛

    Re: Additional “facts” came out during Tom Cruise’s silliness during his wife’s pregnancy… no sound during delivery? … no sound during the first hours / days of a newborn’s life?

    I wondered along those same lines…… I remember him wanting to purchase his own ultrasound machine…….

  32. 42 Roberto
    May 26, 2009 at 17:49

    RE “” So tell us your perception of Scientology “”
    —————————————————————————

    ————— Reminds me of the spat between the Christian fundie nutcases against the Gay Marriage nutcases.

    In opposing corners you have the scientology adventists against the pop psychologists and psychiatrists, or to put it into modern lingo for the kids, one ODWG, old dead white guy, L. Ron Hubbard against another, Sigmond Freud.

    It’s really no worse than looking to the republican or democratic party for leadership and guidence, or falling into a gang affiliation. Most people are communal and tend to fall in with like minded and so on and so forth.

    Wonder what the French government thinks of their homegrown Raelian movement, founded by a Frenchman. Raelians have got top scientists working on cloning members for the coming alien return to the earth. They even announced success and then went underground.

    Who knows what goes on behind closed doors? Well, history of the earth written in part by nutcases.

  33. 43 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 17:50

    @ Jennifer

    After reading the story of Xenu, don’t you think its quite a coinky-dink that he was an award winning fiction writer? Lol at the Rum, pinks, and greys! Some people swear by that story though.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  34. May 26, 2009 at 17:53

    I note a common theme here of “Scientology seems like it’s based on a pretty wacky story, but so is Christianity, Islam, etc…”

    I’m sure none of the sharply original thinkers got this repeated parallel from Bill Maher’s film. ahem. But seriously, I think that the passing of time bears some importance here. If the mythology, story, power, or whatever it is behind Scientology is still around in 100 years, let alone 2,000, they may have a bit more of a leg to stand on. I don’t think it is, practically speaking, fair to compare a religion which is built on not only it’s founding mythology and stories, but on millenia of scholarly study, personal experience, critical thought, etc….to a religion which is not even a half-century old. To lump them all in together is a broad stroke that is easy and maybe even gleefully simple for those who would wish the “God delusion” away altogether, but it doesn’t really work. Sorry.

  35. 45 Steve/Oregon
    May 26, 2009 at 17:55

    @ Anthony
    Yes just as crazy as christians and muslims

    If you get a scientologist can you ask them. if the ultrasound machine would violate the no sound rule? LOL

  36. 46 Kurt
    May 26, 2009 at 18:10

    Perhaps the discussion of “is it a religion” is not as important as why we must afford ‘respect’ to religions. Why does the status of ‘religion’ justify ANY action, no matter how bizar, abusive, or offensive.

  37. 47 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    May 26, 2009 at 18:15

    There is a joke or a sort of joke.

    Q: What is the best new business to start in America?

    A: A new religion!

    Jokes apart; the fact of the matter is that all religions have ultimately degenerated into a business!

    This does NOT mean that the Prophets of the world’s major religions i.e. Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Baha’i (ism) were the ones who wanted to create a business.

    The clergy and certain ‘entrepreneurial’ individuals/hangers-on used the ‘popularity’ of the Prophets to make religion into a business!

    Scientology: based on Greek and Latin roots sounds like a study of science! Is it? Can the founders prove it?

    It is JUST a business!

  38. 48 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 18:17

    Oh my goodness, people talking about Scientology being just as made up as the Bible. Well I have read the Bible, and guess what, they talk about people, locations, even Jesus (wether you believe in a “magic” Jesus or not, he was real.) and there is proof that all that actually existed. Try to find proof of anything in Scientology. The bible talks about Bethlahem….oh wow, it really exists.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  39. 49 Jonathan Camacho
    May 26, 2009 at 18:17

    ross i like probably some more people need to know what this religion or sect is about to undertstand the program, please take a minute of the program to explain this.

  40. 50 Scott - FL, USA
    May 26, 2009 at 18:18

    My questions are:

    What is the ultimate goal a practicioner of scientology hoping to achieve?

    and

    Are there many different roads (religions) to reach this goal, or is practicing scientology the only way to achieve it?

  41. 51 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 18:21

    How can Scientology give people a better understanding of their own religion and strengthen it if according to the “religion” of Scientology all world religions are fake, and just brainwashing my Xenu’s minions?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  42. May 26, 2009 at 18:25

    According to Scientology, is it possible to be both a scientologist and a believer in another religion like Christianity?

  43. 53 HJ
    May 26, 2009 at 18:26

    Scientology is not a religion, and therefore cannot be compared to real religions.

    It is nothing more than a greedy, litagous, money-making cult that preys on the weak members of society and makes them weaker. There is a mass of evidence of this, easily available to the public. Scientologists, of course, state that any negative comment about the organisation is a lie. Anyone who criticises Scientology is an “SP” (Supressive Person)… an enemy of “the church”

    Scientology became a “religion” to gain tax benefits in the U.S. and to claim that their “auditing” is a religious practice thus keeping the FDA off Hubbard’s back.

    Ask the Scientology spokesman if he supports Hubbard’s claim that Jesus was a “lover of small boys”, and what he says about God in OT8.

    Everyone is free to believe whatever they like as long as it does not harm others. Scientology DOES harm others. The RPF is and the Introspection Rundown are examples.

    As the spokesman said, you CAN do Scientology without paying BUT only if you join the “Sea Org” (Their pretend Navy) and sign a Billion year contract!!!

  44. 54 Nathaniel in Indianapolis
    May 26, 2009 at 18:30

    I tried to call in but was unable to- I have this question: why all the secrecy around Scientology’s higher principles? Beyond just paying, why keep things from possible members until they reach high levels? Coming from a Protestant background it would be wonderful for someone to try and learn about that faith, and one would explain as much as someone else would listen. Why is the opposite in Scientology? Is Xenu an uncomfortable topic?

  45. 55 pdxmike
    May 26, 2009 at 18:34

    Scientology is a cult. They want you for your money. They are not about doing good. Been there done that! They dont deserve the respect that they are given on this show.

  46. 56 Anthony
    May 26, 2009 at 18:35

    @ Steve/Oregon

    Yes, but you must admit that the Christian Bible makes more sense than the Xenu story. Which do you think is more plausible? I mean, you know that Jews, Bethlahem, and Pontius Pilate are real, right?

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  47. 57 Christina in Indiana
    May 26, 2009 at 18:35

    Regarding the celebrity-bashing – there are wildly wealthy people of every other religion as well, some (such as Rick Warren or Joel Olsteen) of whom became millionaires because of their ability to sell things associated with their beliefs. Why should we say that Scientology is invalid because some wealthy folks practice it? I don’t see Scientologists out terrifying non-believers into conversion – you say they’re a cult, I say they mind their own business and protect their own. If laws are being broken or people giving up their free wills wrongly, that doesn’t negate the religion – that’s human frailty.

    • 58 Marc Abfleet
      May 26, 2009 at 19:49

      Christina in Indiana: “If laws are being broken or people giving up their free wills wrongly, that doesn’t negate the religion – that’s human frailty.”

      You obviously aren’t aware of Scientology’s desire to either convert everyone to Scientology, or rid the world of those that won’t.

      “Somebody some day will say ‘this is illegal’. By then be sure the orgs say what is legal or not.”
      – L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 4 January 1966

      [An “Org” is the Scientology term for a ‘church building’ – although I use the term loosely of course as in the UK and many other countries they are not recognised as a religion]

  48. 59 Matthew / San Francisco
    May 26, 2009 at 18:36

    I had someone I cared about involved with this group. They aren’t a religion. They are a cult or a ponzi scheme. She was manipulated by them into spending money she didn’t have. It’s a very weird group. They apparently have confessionals and ape psychology while denouncing it.

  49. 60 Mary/ Florida
    May 26, 2009 at 18:40

    I dont know much about Scientology but if i learned all i could from online and any book could i go to a severse? Without paying? I see similarities in other religions in comparison but why do i only know scientology threw the media? I have no understanding of the Scientology… so what is it. Nothing wrong being a religion.

  50. 61 Roy, Washington DC
    May 26, 2009 at 18:41

    Without commenting on Scientology’s worthiness as compared to other religions, I would like to know why it has such a reputation for asserting copyright on its religious works, particularly at the higher levels. Don’t most religions want their message to be spread as far as possible?

  51. 62 Heather
    May 26, 2009 at 18:42

    Scientology is less a religion than a cult designed to part people from their money by playing upon their weaknesses.

    See the Bonewits Cult Evaluation Frame: http://www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html
    and assess Scientology for yourself.

  52. 63 sasha collins
    May 26, 2009 at 18:43

    amongst ALL the arguements of wheither its a real religion or a “cult’ religion ……. whatever’s said or how good the arguement can be

    “COMMON SENSE” dictates the answer – common sense says its a cult !

    it has no real history and no depth to it !

    HOWEVER i dont think its a danc=gerous religion like other cults
    i have some experience of about 8 different religions mostly by teh time i was 13 … all religions basically say the same thing

    ALL PRAYERS GO IN THE SAME DIRECTION !!!

    one cult religion the “brahama kumari’s” or also known as “raja yoga” my mother and other friends mothers joined and i found it to be a destroying cult

    scientology – i see as something that is actually helping people and making a better place in time for many people where other actual religions are failing them ….

    its far better to find out about yourself and become a better person than to be dictated to and shamed into being what your told to be which many religions do !!!

  53. 64 A.J.
    May 26, 2009 at 18:44

    All “churches” take money and all “religious” organizations try to convince people of certain Truths. Here in Oregon many years ago the Bagwan Shree Rajneesh established his community, “Rajneesh Puram”, and had “leaders” who convinced mostly wealthy, spiritually searching individuals to follow him. In return for giving him most, if not all, of their money, they were given a place to live, where they worked and were members of a self-sufficient community and spiritual guidance of a sort that was kept quite secret from the outside world. The followers, when in the presence of the outside world, giggled all the time and seemed euphoric or insane. They also didn’t seem to mind greeting the Bagwan each morning as he drove by in one of his many Rolls Royces purchased by them. Until they did some ethically questionable and finally clearly criminal things that affected the surrounding communities adversely, they were just a bunch of, perhaps naive, individuals who gave away their money and time for some spiritual enlightenment. The Dianetics and Scientology people feel just as enlightened or are just as naive as any other “religious” person. So long as they do it only to themselves…fine with me.

  54. 65 rena
    May 26, 2009 at 18:46

    What I respect about any religion is ther ability to engage in critical debate, accept criticism and in a way, laugh at themselves. However, the scientoligists always seem to be dogmatic, defensive and view anyone who says anything negative about them as their enermy!!!. Why is this???

    I thank the BBC for bringing us this debate as it is the first time I have heard scientoligists answer straight question…

    • May 26, 2009 at 18:51

      agreed Rena, though I would point out he is only answering SOME of the straight questions and carefully dodging others.

      And yes, I think that most of us on here today would likely be qualified by Graham and others as whatever their term is for difficult people, about which Tom Cruise had a good…er…laugh on one of those leaked videos.

  55. May 26, 2009 at 18:47

    I enjoyed having a chance to pose some questions. I am still wondering if he’ll be willing to address the esoteric founding mythology, Xenu, etc. I don’t think so. Publicy, they are very good at staying on message, part of which is speaking in broad and palatable new-age terms about self-help, etc., while avoiding the admitted ownership of what they apparently secretly profess to believe. Why?

  56. 68 Tom D Ford
    May 26, 2009 at 18:49

    It’s a hustle, just like so many others.

    The Pharoahs, Abraham, Elmer Gantry, Mary Semple McPherson, Popery, Fundie Xtians, etc.

    The only true religion is that of The Flying Spaghetti Monster!

    Snerk!

  57. 69 craig in belgium
    May 26, 2009 at 18:49

    if scientologists have an insight we non-scientologists have no access to, WHY THE SECRECY? Why does one have to pay for this knowledge? Religion is religion but this is pure capitalism, a question of supply and demand!

  58. 70 steve
    May 26, 2009 at 18:49

    Is there proof that antidepressants work? It seems so many are on them and so few it’s working for. And do you listen to the warnings when they are advertised? How come SO many of the mass shooters recently have been on anti depressants? Is it possible, like Scientology and other religions, the pharma industry is more in it for making money than curing people? Imagine if they could cure depression rather than treat it, could they make as much money? Do they have in incentive for it to really work to cure mental problems?

  59. 71 Lisa Schiltz
    May 26, 2009 at 18:50

    My experience with Scientology was, in the 1980’s, answering an ad for a job paying $18/hour. The interviewer insisted that in order to get the job, I must pay $35 for the book “Dianetics” on the spot. I said “why would I pay that much for a paper back book that I am sure is much cheaper at the bookstore?”. I felt that this was very deceptive, and I left without buying the book. I also warned people in the waiting room.
    Is the book available at bookstores anyhow? I wasn’t interested in finding out.

    -Lisa from Milwaukee

    • 72 RightPaddock
      May 27, 2009 at 05:19

      @Lisa Schiltz – Amazon have copies starting at $3.94.

      I’ve known two people who’ve had involvement with Scientology in the late ’70s and mid ’80’s. Both independently stated that Scientology was harmful to their well being and to their bank accounts.

      One claims the Church gave her Mescaline, an hallucinogen, as part of the teaching practices. Mescaline can be obtained from the peyote cactus, from that source it was and continues to be used by many American Native peoples in their religious ceremonies. Hubbard claimed to have been the protege of a North American shaman as a young boy.

  60. May 26, 2009 at 18:51

    Isn’t Scientology all about alien souls destroyed by a nuke and sprinkled down to Earth?
    That seems to be on par with magic underwear and afterlife planets.

  61. 74 Andrew
    May 26, 2009 at 18:57

    My question to Gram is that Scientology was started and conceived by a science fiction author. Doesn’t that fact cross the mind of all the members of the Scientology church…the fact that everything they believe as “real” clearly was conceived as fiction.

  62. 75 Evan (Oregon, USA)
    May 26, 2009 at 18:57

    My wife’s aunt and uncle joined the “church” when they were younger. They signed a contract to give the church an extraordinary amount of money, and were then sequestered away from family and friends, and forced to wash dishes or something like that (I don’t recall exactly, but it was a menial task). They had to be rescued by family in what amounted to a kidnapping. The church came after them for years after attempting to get their money.
    Does this sound like a religion to you?

  63. May 26, 2009 at 18:59

    He arrived at the Xenu story by studying other religions and observing other human beings? Really? Really?

  64. 77 Krishna Sistla
    May 26, 2009 at 19:01

    I am a hindu and so far everything i heard about scientology seems resonable to me. Religion is a process of internal transformation and scientology seems to provide one such process. People are free to choose any process or path that suits them. There are thousands of such groups even withtin the so called mainstream religions. I dont understand why everyone is so worried about scientology?

    • 78 patti in cape coral
      May 26, 2009 at 19:26

      @ Krishna – Everyone is worried about scientology because #1 – the money required to acquire the smallest information about what you are getting into, #2 – The secret knowledge that is not divulged until you either spend a lot of money or provide them with labor in exchange for this information, and #3 – The information that they do give for free, such as in this programme, is of a general nature that can be applied to any or every religion.

    • 79 Marc Abfleet
      May 26, 2009 at 19:46

      Krishna Sistla – “I dont understand why everyone is so worried about scientology?”

      A little research with Google will solve much of that.

      Google “Scientology racism”, “Scientology homophobia”, “Rehabilitation Project Force”, “Lisa McPherson” for a start.

      Scientologists will tell you that Scientology is compatible with every other world religion – whereas the truth is you will be expected to drop everything to follow Scientology. It is about as incompatible as can be.

      On Christianity: From “Assists” lecture. 3 October 1968. #10 in the confidential Class VIII series of lectures:
      “Anyway, Everyman is then shown to have been crucified so don’t think that it’s an accident that this crucifixion, they found out that this applied. Somebody somewhere on this planet, back about 600 BC, found some pieces of R6, and I don’t know how they found it, either by watching madmen or something, but since that time they have used it and it became what is known as Christianity. The man on the Cross. There was no Christ. But the man on the cross is shown as Everyman. So of course each person seeing a crucified man, has an immediate feeling of sympathy for this man. Therefore you get many PCs who says they are Christ. Now, there’s two reasons for that, one is the Roman Empire was prone to crucify people, so a person can have been crucified, but in R6 he is shown as crucified.”

      On Islam: Prior to founding Scientology, Hubbard gave a lecture entitled “What’s Wrong with This Universe: A Working Package for the Auditor” on December 9, 1952. In it, Hubbard describes some of the “between lives” implants that supposedly occur to us after we die and before we reincarnate. One of these implants, called “The Emanator”, is supposedly the origin of Islam. Hubbard claims that The Emanator was the source of the “Mohammedan Lodestone”. Hubbard further describes the Prophet Muhammad as a small town booster that mocked up [made up] Islam only because business wasn’t good in his hometown.

      • 80 Krishna Sistla
        May 27, 2009 at 14:46

        Marc i took your advice and did some research on scientology. Its clear to me that they hold extreme views. I would never join them. But this is exactly my point, it finally comes down to individual choice. If individuals are choosing to join scientology and spend money to uncover secrets, it is their problem to handle.

        Having said this many features of scientology are in essense no different from other religions. Bashing other religions, racism, inequality, unverifiable claims about the true nature of man etc. All religions present theories that can only be verified (proven false or true) by individual and direct experience. So i have no problem with some one trying out scientology. They need to be honest to themselves, and critically examine their choice at every step along the way.

  65. 81 Amanda
    May 26, 2009 at 19:01

    What a useless, inflammatory, unproductive waste of time–just what I’ve come to expect from this useless radio program.

  66. 82 geofied
    May 26, 2009 at 19:03

    I had to laugh when the Scientology spokesperson said that there are plenty of non-wealthy Scientologists in the upper levels. I can’t help thinking that they may have been wealthy if they hadn’t given all their money to the Church.

  67. May 26, 2009 at 19:13

    While I think most organized religion is bull, Scientology is an outright ponzi scheme that’s as dangerous as it is insane. Just listen to Jason Beghe talk about it.

    More power to Anonymous.

  68. 84 SciFiFan
    May 26, 2009 at 19:22

    I did not see any note of the fact that Hubbard’s first (at least wide spread) publication of Dianetics was in John W. Campbell’s Astounding Science Fiction. This was the leading S-F magazine of its era and is still important today under its current name Analog.
    I was not impressed with the pop-psych when it was first published and rather appalled as it morphed into a cult over the years.
    Personally, I though the Hubbard was a hack writer down in the C level of Campbell’s writers compared to A list types like Asimov and Heinlein. I reserved his Ole Doc Methuselah stories for when I was bored out of my mind and after I cleaned the chicken coop.
    On the other hand, my copies of ASF from that era which have Hubbard stories are generally accounted more valuable than others that don’t due to the holy writ aspect.

  69. 85 patti in cape coral
    May 26, 2009 at 19:23

    How disappointing! He said a whole lot about nothing! I was really looking forward to learning more about scientology, but I guess I didn’t pay for the info. I agree that anti-depressants are probably over-prescribed, but to me the scientologists seem to be saying “Don’t pay for psychiatrists or medications! Spend your money here!” While my daughter was rolling her eyes at me for even listening to what Gram had to say, I was ready to have an open mind and learn something. In the end it’s just the same old story, an institution/religion taking advantage of people that are vulnerable, dumb, or have enough expendible income to indulge in this nonsense.

  70. 86 Jessica
    May 26, 2009 at 19:26

    Why have a cross on the building, as shown in the photo? The cross is a Christian symbol.
    I only heard the last few mintues of the show today, but was this discussed at all?

  71. 87 Enagha, Dallas
    May 26, 2009 at 19:31

    How free is religion i have to pay for?

  72. 88 Marc Abfleet
    May 26, 2009 at 19:41

    Jessica, the “Scientology cross” is not actually the Christian cross as it has 8 points – you could say it’s like a cross, crossed out – and very similar to Alister Crowley’s 8 pointed cross and used in OTO “magick” rituals. It’s probably no surprise that L.Ron Hubbard dabbled in satanism and suchlike before “inventing” Scientology – and the 8 pointed cross is simply another thing he ‘borrowed without asking’ from many other faith systems, psychologies and suchlike to throw into the pot which gave birth to Dianetics and Scientology.

    Oh, and talking of ‘giving birth’, have a quick google for “hubbard moonchild”. Most Scientologists won’t have a clue about that – but like everything else, they’ll deny it. What was it L.Ron Hubbard said about that too?

    “THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.”

    – L. Ron Hubbard, Technique 88

  73. May 26, 2009 at 19:45

    I had a fascinating run-in with Scientologists when I was a grad student in London. One Friday evening, I was walking to the Tube station on Tottenham Court Road after a long day in school all day.
    I walked as usual right past the Scientology building. I was approached as I had been 100times before for a “Free stress test”. Since I was free for the evening, I decided to have a little bit of a laugh. So I went in for the stress test and was told that my stress levels were off the chart and that I needed more consultation/therapy.
    Even though I am a complete skeptic and extremely cynical, they were soo persuasive! To make things worse, I was mega stressed out by school at the time and I actually thought twice about going in for second session while there. Luckily, I got a grip and rushed out of there.

  74. 90 Martha Rose
    May 26, 2009 at 19:51

    You know, some people don’t want other people to be happy. Some people don’t think that “religious freedom” is a universal right. Some people don’t know how to do anything but attack others for their ideas and beliefs. Some people don’t think other people should have the right to even look to see if something is true or not, as if people are mindless sheep. And those same people would want you to be a slave to their own ideas instead. Come on you guys! Leave the Scientologist alone. These attacks are the old “divide and conquer” strategies used by madmen. Get your heads out of your butts and get out and do something that is really constructive for the world for a change instead of just making noise.

    • 91 Chuck L
      May 27, 2009 at 06:05

      Martha, Martha, Martha, et al…

      This is not about religion. It is not about persecution.

      This is plainly a case about fraud.

      You cannot hide criminal activity behind the facade of “religious freedom” universal or not. If you rip people off, expect to make enemies.

      Eventually the enemies will fight back.

      So Martha, quit making noise and start making sense. If you would like more information about the alleged fraud, it is out there.

  75. 92 Tamatoa
    May 26, 2009 at 19:54

    I don’t think Scientology is a religion. But it still is an organisation. And neither I nor the state have the right to prevent anyone from joining an organisation. Unless it prevents its members from being active functioning members of society on a regular basis. Scientology does not produce enough disfunctional individuals to qualify as being harmful. But what the state can do, is warn people from joining an organisation. If the state thinks that it has addictive potential that could ruin their lives then the state should actively educate people and tell them that it’s dangerous.
    Maybe, we can compare it to cigarettes. Unless there is direct link that shows that cigarettes reduce life expectancy by about 30 years in 90% of the cases and therefore e.g. will never pay enough old age insurance contributions, we don’t have the right to prevent people from smoking because they’re still functioning members of society.

    Personally, I think there are a lot of things in this organisation that don’t make sense, are injust or dangerous. But the human rights prevent me from stopping them by violence. People have a free will. All I can do is give advise.

  76. 93 Daniel Githira
    May 26, 2009 at 19:57

    HI BBC
    Here in Africa, religious beliefs have gradually lost value. The person who comes with food gets all the praise. People are practically desperate for anything that promises them a better life. For my case, i would care about the details of the beliefs and possibly evaluate it against christianity and the rest.

    Njoroge
    Kenya

  77. 94 Ex UK Scientology Executive
    May 26, 2009 at 20:39

    I used to play a big role in Scientology in UK and I’m ashamed to say it’s a fraud. Throughout its literature Hubbard said it was a science. And the claims it makes sound like scientific claims, e.g. that it has a Standard Technology that produces standard results 100% of the time. But Scientology never gets scientifically scrutinised and regulated. Its claimed results are not subjected to scientific double-blind tests. If drug companies have to produce the scientific data that validates their claims (and also reveals the risks), why doesn’t Scientology’s claims ever get put through the same tests? Because they say they are a RELIGION. Now they don’t have to PROVE anything. As you pay them 10s of thousands of pounds, you just have to have FAITH in their BS claims that their “Standard Tech” will produce 100% standard results. STAY AWAY FROM SCIENTOLOGY. IT IS AN ELABORATE MONEY-MAKING CON JOB POSING AS A RELIGION.

  78. 95 WolfyRik
    May 26, 2009 at 20:40

    Why do scientologists keep trying to claim that ALL religions cost money? It’s nonsense. While some religions ask for donations, those donations are voluntary, there is no set price and choosing to not donate you still gain access to all aspects of the religion and all of its teachings.Except in scientology.

    If you don’t pay the set fees, you gain nothing. That’s not religion, that’s business. Also stop trying to claim that this is persecution of a religion, again it’s nonsense. Hiding behind the cloak of religion does not and should not allow you to commit crimes at will. Nor should it allow you to make fraudulent medical claims as scientology frequently does to non-official bodies. A simple google search or youtube search will demonstrate this, such as the recent 13heathens vid in which a scientologist at a stress test cart claims that scientology can cure bi-polar disorder.
    This is a snake-oil selling, bait-and-switch scamming, ufo cult. Pursuing criminals in this cult is not persecution, it’s the same treatment afforded anyone who breaks the law.

  79. 96 deegee
    May 26, 2009 at 22:11

    Back in the 60’s I had occasion to visit their East Grinstead mansion and although I know very little of their beliefs I did notice that their students were extremely wealthy.Very expensive clothes,cars etc.I wondered then,& I wonder now,is wealth the main qualification as,since then, I have never seen a poor scientologist.

  80. 97 Abram
    May 26, 2009 at 22:12

    I think the Journalist from “The Times” should have stopped praising this organisation, as she said herself that she doesn’t know much about it. I was surprised that the BBC was unable to invite guests who knew well about Scientology to share their competent views on it.

  81. 98 Jennifer
    May 26, 2009 at 22:24

    Re: Anthony

    haha A colorful imagination!🙂

  82. 99 Moja man
    May 26, 2009 at 23:24

    The question is whether Scientology has a moral and ethical axis. All religions were initially based on such an axis (although the times have certainly stripped most religions way off this axis). If this is not the main aim for a merely 50-year old “religion” then its just a cult. If on the other hand this is the main aim on their charter, then hey, what the heck, why not let these people practice their own (perhaps a bit awkward) path towards what is a noble target.

  83. 100 James Scott
    May 27, 2009 at 00:10

    Martha Rose,

    Your post was very telling.

    Replace “some people” with Scientology edicts and “madmen” with Hubbard and you have scientology in a nice little package.

    Open your eyes or is that ‘entheta’ to you?

  84. May 27, 2009 at 00:14

    Scientology seems to smack of a secret society: Members gain limited access to exotic knowledge, guaranteed to help them master their fate. There are steps involved. Members are a tight-knit group, giving out only so much information. Secret societies have been around forever, in every religion and at every time. We humans aren’t likely to give up the lure of knowing something that others don’t.

  85. May 27, 2009 at 01:04

    Don’t bother with Scientologists, when the real problem lies with false Christians.

  86. May 27, 2009 at 02:34

    I was introduced to Scientology when I was 16 years old. I can tell you from experience that this organisation preys on your insecurities to make money. After completing a long questionnaire and attending a consultation I was initially convinced that I had problems they could help me with. After my first consultation they advised me on which course to attend and drove me to a cash machine so I could pay for it! I attended one session and realised that the operation was a con and was full of odd balls.
    I contacted trading standards for advice and managed to get all of my money back.

  87. 104 Takudza
    May 27, 2009 at 03:16

    My opinion is that Scientology is just as crazy as any other religion. Why pick on them? Yeah so Xenu and the alien ghosts sounds nuts and so does God getting a Jewish girl pregnant and getting 72 virgins when you go to paradise. Look as long as they don’t harm anyone or break the law then they should be left to be as nutty as they want to be.
    All religions should not have a tax exempt status.

  88. May 27, 2009 at 05:00

    I’m part of the Anonymous movement to expose Scientology’s crimes.

    I should note that the vast majority of us believe that discussions about religion aren’t really relevant to judging Scientology’s merit: atheists, theists and agnostics can all agree on one thing: cruel, inhuman and unethical behavior–on the part of any organization–is WRONG. To ignore it would be to allow evil to go unfettered.

    Scientology has a long and storied history of greed and oppressing free and fair discussion about its practices, along with those of it’s front groups (Narconon, CCHR, etc.). The difference, perhaps, is that Scientology exerts an alarming quantity of pointed force to quell dissent and free dialogue.

    The reasons behind this are explained eloquently in a few articles, all of which you can Google for:
    –An award-winning article by Time Magazine, “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power”
    –Further articles and material from the New Yorker, BBC, and elsewhere
    –Google “KESQ Scientology” for a series of investigative TV news pieces from the US

    Also, to the Times UK journalist on the show: if Narconon has done so much good for people (a finding which isn’t borne out in independent research), why won’t Scientology be transparent and open about it?

    Also:
    WhyWeProtest.net
    HelpExposeScientology.com

  89. 106 Trace
    May 27, 2009 at 05:21

    The secrecy of Scientology is why people are critical. If it really works, open it up to the world. Let people see what it is without having to pay massive amounts of money. When you take a personality test you should be informed it’s a Scientology personality test. People should be able to make informed choices about what they do with their lives and their money. Scientology dangles one carrot in your face after another…This course will help your communication the next course will help your confidence…the next course will improve your business and etc.. and then there’s the OT levels 1-8. Let’s not forget auditing. Years of your life and all of your money and what happens when you retire. Is Scientology going to financially support you the way you’ve supported them? I don’t think so.

  90. 107 Dean Fox
    May 27, 2009 at 08:40

    Seems some people here have missed a very important point, the beliefs surrounding Scientology are not really what are being protested by Anonymous, it is the organisation calling itself the “church of scientology” and what it does that is being protested.

    As Damian said their is another organisation calling itself The Freezone that also practice Scientology and they are not protested, indeed some Freezone members attend protests against the organisation calling itself the church of scientology.

    This situation is no different to that of the Catholic church hiding paedophile priests and hushing up their abuses or people in Catholic run reformatories beating children. No one screamed freedom of religion or religious persecution when those issues were being investigated and protested. Nor are people screaming for Catholism to be banned now despite the many outrages coming to light that occurred within the institution.

    Just as with the Catholic church there are lots of accusations of abuse of adults and children. There are also accusations of forced abortions, rapes, slave labour, human trafficking, physical and mental torture, corruption etc. It took decades for the issues with the Catholic church to be brought to light and only now are the people affected starting to see real justice, must we wait decades more before the victims of the organisation calling itself the church of scientology get justice?

    Being a religious organisation does not make one above the law and nor should it be a barrier to scrutiny and investigation.

  91. May 27, 2009 at 09:43

    Unfortunately,most Scientologists remain blissfully unaware of the true nature of the organisation they belong to.
    Very early on,they are all trained to close down their critical thinking by not reading anything they consider to be ‘negative’ about their ‘Church’ and by ‘disconnecting’ from anybody-even family members-who question or criticise the organisation.The further up the ‘Bridge’ one goes in Scientology,the more one pays,the deeper one is indoctrinated and the more they are cut off from critical sources of information.These people learn to suppress their doubts even when they see unethical practises before their very eyes.Many become completely dependent on the organisation,having given all their money and being cut off from all their non-Scientology friends.Scientology’s Sea Org is slave labour and the ‘Church’ has also been known to use child labour.
    L.Ron Hubbard placed his elite race of Operating Thetans above the law and taught that only they had the power to save humanity-so for them to get what they need,it is fine to lie,to cheat,to deprive people of their rights and even to kill (See his Suppressive Person policy).He even invented an auditing process called R2-45 which explains how to make a ‘thetan’ leave a body-with a gun.The current leader of CoS is a vioent thug who beats his staff and lives in secluded luxury while the Sea Org are suffering from sleep deprivation,malnutrition,and being subjected to humiliating punishment programmes (the RPF).
    This organisation needs to be investigated and disbanded all over the world since it is rotten to it’s core.

  92. 109 orisa
    May 27, 2009 at 17:32

    Some years ago I was looking for work and I walked past the Scientology shop on Tottenham Court Road in London. A sign on their window said they had vacancies.

    I walked in and soon realised this was not the case. No salary was mentioned, instead I was asked to watch some videos I wanted to leave but they insisted I sign a five year employment contract.

    The next day, when I did not arrive for this long term post, they called me and told me I had agreed to work for them.

    I was only 18 then and I find it disturbing that even now, when I leave Goodge Street Station, I am approached by one Scientologist and then another. One even touched me to grap my attention.

    They should at least be honest and say who they are rather than offering free personality or stress tests.

  93. 110 exscn
    May 27, 2009 at 18:03

    I was sucked into this cult as a teenager before the internet. It’s a bait & switch fraud and it ruined my life. They record all your secrets (confessions – allegedly to help you) so that once you realize you’ve been had….you are now silenced by threat of blackmail.

  94. 111 AnonCR
    May 27, 2009 at 18:41

    Bizarre sci-fi “scripture” put aside, only a few know about it, I’d say that Scientology is a multi-national FOR PROFIT organization that gains and retains membership using mind control cult techniques. They masquerade as a religion if and when it suits their purses.

    Freedom of religion does not mean freedom for religious groups to violate the law. Scientology charges flat fees (“donations”) for all of its services, amassing large sums of money to the detriment of their members. Many Scientologists have committed suicide because of Scientology induced debts. It delivers nothing it promises, sometimes resulting in death from medical neglect. I’d call that fraud. A fraud far and beyond and truly not comparable to the promises of the large mainstream religions like Christianity and Islam.

    The way Scientology operates, their primary focus on money, their lack of any charitable works, how they slowly indoctrinate and alienate their more devoted adherents from the rest of the world, their litigiousness, their suppression of free speech, it is not comparable to most religious groups. They should not be given a pass just because at a glance they might appear similar. In the end they are a weird amalgam of mind control cult and for-profit business.

  95. 112 Bruce the Shark
    May 27, 2009 at 22:47

    One of the basic tenants of Scientology is that people are generally good. People do bad things because of outside influences, either other bad people influencing them or hordes of invisible space aliens that can only be driven off by expensive Scientology rituals which coincidentally involve a having person admit any bad thing they have ever done or even thought about! More advanced rituals demand that people imagine that they have lived billions of years on other planets and again, they have to admit any bad thing they have ever done in this imaginary existence. All of this is carefully recorded to be used against a person should they defect from the group.

    If this is not a recipe for making people detach from reality and stop taking responsibility for themselves I’ll never know! The incredible thing is, people willingly pay money for this!

  96. 113 Abram
    May 28, 2009 at 00:06

    Peope usually get money if they allow themeselves to sell their soul, but in the Scientolgy case, it looks as though people are forced to bleed a huge amount of money for selling their soul.

  97. 114 Johnny
    May 28, 2009 at 10:14

    This “church” of Scientology is nothing more then a farse, meant to garner as much legal tender from it’s members as possible, and to silence those who are critical of it’s methods.

  98. May 28, 2009 at 23:33

    Scientology does not have a God in its belief system yet it does believe in a spirit world containing phenomena linked to past lives. That’s the crucial theological point that needs to be debated the rest is secondary. Personally, I believe in The God Of A Thousand Names.

  99. May 29, 2009 at 01:56

    Good job. Germany is also investigating SoC fraud. I just survived a week in Scientologist Mecca at Clearwater Beach Florida. They are crazy with the goal of clearing the earth of everyone else, and I just wrote about my wild encounters with them with lots of useful links.

  100. 117 Matthew S
    May 31, 2009 at 17:03

    This entire discussion exposes to me a fundamental difference between the American philosophy of government, and that of Europe.

    In the States, our constitution bars the Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion. In other words, there is no requirement for government approval to set up a church, mosque, temple, etc. In fact there is no such thing as a legal or illegal religion in the States. Members of a religion are merely subject to the same laws as any other citizen. They may not rape, murder, or kidnap. They are free to spread whatever truth or lies they like. When numerous Catholic priests were accused of pedophilia, they were prosecuted. There was never any discussion of a ban on Catholicism. So with Scientology.

    To me, this is one of the great strengths of the US constitution, and our general culture. It is unfortunate that members of the emerging Evangelical or Charismatic movements here do not seem to appreciate it. In their attempts to legislate their particular flavor of morality onto the entire nation through the Republican Party, they are actually undermining the very principles that allowed their movements to flourish: separation of church and state.

  101. June 2, 2009 at 15:57

    i still dont have a clue what it is?
    to me my religion will always be christian


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