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An Ex-Fanatic Speaks Out (The Forbidden Side of Scientology)
The Truth About Scientology ^ | Jan 13, 2004 | Murray Luther

Posted on 01/12/2005 5:10:10 PM PST by Murray Luther

The Forbidden Side of Scientology By the Reverend Murray Luther, Jan 13, 2005

An Ex-Fanatic Speaks Out

    This is the first entry in a series of reports and commentary on the ever controversial Church of Scientology. I've been a member for roughly thirty years, and as of this writing I still remain in good standing. I've received hundreds of hours of Scientology counseling, and have attained some of the highest spiritual levels that it offers. I've also done significant amounts of training in the delivery of Scientology counseling, as well as courses in the administration of Church management policies. I've been a Church staff member, and have done many hours of volunteer work as a Scientology activist. On top of all that, I'm also an ordained minister. I speak from a wealth of experience.

    Murray Luther isn't my real name. For the time being, I've chosen to publish my reports anonymously because Scientologists are forbidden to make public statements regarding Scientology without prior approval from the Church's PR and Legal departments. And saying anything critical about Scientology, the Church, or its founder L. Ron Hubbard only compounds the crime. Because I've chosen to speak candidly about my Church experiences and opinions, I'm committing an offense of the most heinous sort.

    In the event that the Church discovers who Murray Luther really is, I'll be expelled from the group and Scientologists will be forbidden to communicate with me in any way. The Church's quaint policy of shunning its dissidents is an outdated and backwards practice that has no place in modern society. Although my excommunication is perhaps inevitable, I'd prefer to initiate my own "coming out" at a time of my own choosing.

    For the most part, Scientologists are decent and well meaning people with a sincere desire to help others. But too many times I've seen over-zealous Church staff and management take undue advantage of their own good people. I've come across too many instances of abuse and incompetence that now compel me to speak out. I can no longer sit silently, uninvolved and watch innocent people get hurt.

    Although I'm well acquainted with the militant approach of eager Scientologists trying to forward their religion, I believed that in the end, goodness was ultimately served. Not too long ago, I started to have some second thoughts about this. I began to wonder about the human cost, if the ends were actually justifying the means. Even the most noble of causes loses its virtue if you find that your sense of right and wrong has been compromised.
There was a time when I believed Scientology was a benevolent religion dedicated to the good of mankind. While this may in part still be true, in recent years I've had to adjust my view. What I once considered enthusiastic dedication to a worthy spiritual purpose, has taken on the specter of religious extremism. I started to wonder if perhaps the Church of Scientology had stepped over the line.

    Dedicated Scientologists are intensely motivated to make extraordinary sacrifices of their time and money-often at the expense of other aspects of their lives. While that alone is hardly a crime, I think it's worth noting that extreme self-sacrifice is a common trait found among many fanatical groups. When Scientologists become zealots, they end up compromising their personal values in favor of what they believe is a greater good: devoting their lives according to the dictates of the Church of Scientology. Consequently, dedicated Scientologists come to view their religion as senior to everything including life itself.
The Scientology zealot serves as an illustrative example of the basic mindset of the religious fanatic, a true believer who's prone towards unusual and excessive behavior. And let's not forget that Scientologists are hardly alone in this single minded zeal towards their religion. Religious extremism is a worldwide phenomenon that both history and current events have shown to be troublesome and at times even destructive.

    I avoid calling myself a Scientologist these days. Although there are certain Scientology principles that I still embrace, the thought of being a Church member has become distasteful to me. Frankly, it's gotten embarrassing. Scientologists seem unaware of their own fanaticism and how it adversely affects the public at large. In recent years I've grown weary of discussing Scientology with the general public because it so often involved having to explain and downplay all the anecdotal stories of mistreated people.

    I found myself less and less willing to use PR spin to clean up other people's messes. I won't do it anymore. The ends no longer justify the means. Rather than continue to explain away these messes, I've decided to evaluate and discuss them instead. In subsequent reports I'll provide candid analysis of the Scientology movement, past and present, as well as my opinions regarding the Scientology movement.

    It's not unusual for the Church of Scientology to attack their critics with accusations of slander, fraud, and various other ungodly deeds. Scientologists like to use words like "religious discrimination," when speaking about their critics. The Church is quick to label their opponents as "anti-religious extremists," and members of "hate groups." Because I now publicly oppose their rigid orthodoxy, I suspect that I might get similar treatment. Such is the price of dissent in Scientology. Such is the arrogance of its Church.

Murray Luther is the pen name of a Scientologist who's been in good standing with the Church for over twenty-five years. © Copyright Murray Luther 2005. All rights reserved.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: ahomo; beliefs; billionyearcontracts; conspiracies; conspiracy; crackpots; cults; daveslist; dogma; extremism; extremists; fanatic; fanaticism; fanatics; holycause; ideologies; indoctrination; kooks; lronhubbard; massmovements; moneymoneymoneymoney; neotechlite; orthodoxy; radical; radicals; religion; religious; revolutionaries; revolutionary; scientologists; scientology; totalitarian; totalitarianism; zealots
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1 posted on 01/12/2005 5:10:15 PM PST by Murray Luther
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To: Murray Luther

Scientology is a dangerous cult. I advise anyone involved with it to get out now.

2 posted on 01/12/2005 5:17:32 PM PST by richmwill
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To: Murray Luther

My brother and sister were conned by Scientology about 20 years ago, when they were young and foolish, and especially attractive to Scientology recruiters - vulnerable.

These days they're like you, still in admiration of some of the concepts of Hubbard's philosophy, but disgusted with the Church of Scientology itself.

Like all religions, in and of itself Scientology is no worse than say Islam or Buddism with regard to the efficacy and insight in it's teachings. It's only when you add the PEOPLE required to call it a religion that it strays over the line to corruption, fanaticism, and criminality.

I have to admit being seriously amused though - more so than by any other 'religion' when I was told about 'body thetans' and 'n-grams'. Guess I'm in serious need of an 'audit', eh?

3 posted on 01/12/2005 5:19:54 PM PST by wvobiwan (Touchdown! Suckers walk...)
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To: wvobiwan
Like all religions, in and of itself Scientology is no worse than say Islam....

When have the Scientologists gone around slamming airliners into buildings? They may be a touch odd, but I haven't noticed them becoming homicidal.....

4 posted on 01/12/2005 5:23:36 PM PST by Bombardier (Jihad, Nazism....Umma, Deutsches diff.)
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To: Murray Luther

Wow. I bet there is a bit of a stir at &cientology HQ tonight.

5 posted on 01/12/2005 5:24:32 PM PST by Space Wrangler
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To: Murray Luther

This just sounds like a typical burnout letter. At the worst of times, I could have written the same thing about the Marines or Ernst & Young. I’m sure many could do a global search and replace on this article with the names of their least favorite church or political group that they experienced.

6 posted on 01/12/2005 5:26:32 PM PST by elfman2 ("As goes Fallujah, so goes central Iraq and so goes the entire country" -Col Coleman, USMC ,4/2004)
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To: Bombardier

You should read up a bit, if you can find anything on it - Scientologists are experts in media suppression.

The COS has drugged people, kidnapped them, robbed them, beaten them, killed them, ruined them, slandered/libeled them, and set them up.

Not mass murderers (that I know of, although one could argue that The Sea Org came close), but a bit more than 'odd'.

7 posted on 01/12/2005 5:29:01 PM PST by wvobiwan (Touchdown! Suckers walk...)
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To: richmwill


8 posted on 01/12/2005 5:30:29 PM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Murray Luther
I had a run in with a Scientologist, it was not a pleasant matter. He actually attained some fame on the Usenet newsgroups. I was actually afraid for my well being, until I was able to, uh, let him know that because of some sleuthing on my part, I was more capable of inflicting damage upon him than the reverse.

I don't trust the fanatics at all. MUCH less than, say, a devout Christian or Jew. They are WEIRD folks with weird beliefs, at least at the higher levels.

L. Ron was a master story teller..

9 posted on 01/12/2005 5:33:29 PM PST by Paradox (Occam was probably right.)
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To: Murray Luther
I think it's worth noting that extreme self-sacrifice is a common trait found among many fanatical groups.

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." - Barry Goldwater

If you believe you are serving the truth is it fanatical to give it all you've got?

10 posted on 01/12/2005 5:36:48 PM PST by TigersEye (Thank you, Swift Vets!!!)
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To: Murray Luther

I await the rest of your confessions. So far nothing said that everyone didn't know.
I live in an area without a Scientology presence and I had thought they had faded away into their own paranoid fantasies.

11 posted on 01/12/2005 5:37:25 PM PST by Shisan ("The law is the true embodiment of everything that's excellent...")
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To: Murray Luther

I have devised a short list of traits that most cults have in common:

1) CULT OF PERSONALITY: A particular person or leader is either directly worshipped (living or dead) or is otherwise granted dispensation from having to obey the same moral laws as the congregation at large.

2) ISOLATION OF CONGREGATION: Forbidding contact with outsiders, usually with dire consequences. This is different from a monastery, in which you do have some contact with outsiders.

3) CONFISCATION OF ALL PERSONAL PROPERTY AND MONEY: As opposed to voluntarily submitting it, as is done in churches, synagogues, etc. Monks often give up all they own but it is voluntary.

4) GENERAL ENFORCEMENT OF RULES BEHAVIOR VIA INTIMIDATION OR WORSE: No questioning of the cult's authority, as opposed to the Judeo-Christian tradition in which, with some exceptions in some sects, questions are encouraged.

Scientology fits all 4.

12 posted on 01/12/2005 5:38:02 PM PST by Zhangliqun (What are intellectuals for but to complexify the obvious?)
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To: Murray Luther

Why do I suspect there will be a book forthcoming?

13 posted on 01/12/2005 5:39:24 PM PST by Ruth A.
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To: elfman2

Just what I thought about it. Sour grapes syndrome. Someone's not getting their ego stroked in L. Ron Land.

14 posted on 01/12/2005 5:40:05 PM PST by TigersEye (Thank you, Swift Vets!!!)
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To: TigersEye

Yes, if 'all you've got' includes criminality.

15 posted on 01/12/2005 5:42:27 PM PST by wvobiwan (Touchdown! Suckers walk...)
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To: Ruth A.
Why do I suspect there will be a book forthcoming?

Hey, if it's better than Battlefield Earth, or exposes what really happened to Lisa McPherson, I'm all for it!

16 posted on 01/12/2005 5:45:36 PM PST by Jokelahoma (Animal testing is a bad idea. They get all nervous and give wrong answers.)
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To: Murray Luther

Scientology - a religion founded on a simple bet.

17 posted on 01/12/2005 5:46:16 PM PST by balrog666 (I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.)
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To: Bombardier

"When have the Scientologists gone around slamming airliners into buildings? They may be a touch odd, but I haven't noticed them becoming homicidal....."

They do have their own navy, though (or at least they DID). L. Ron was pretty much persona non grata in most civilized countries (in our own for tax evasion), and spent his last days on the high seas with his fleet.

18 posted on 01/12/2005 5:49:09 PM PST by Indrid Cold (He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.)
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To: wvobiwan
I don't know squat about Scientology or its controversies but this guy opened up with a claim to be outing their problems and everything he cited is absolutely lame. The same complaints could be made about any religion.

"They have rules that I don't like." "Some people in authority have let it go to their heads." "People in my church don't like it when our problems are aired in the general community."

He said nothing about trying to address problems from within; whether they have mechanisms for it or whether he tried to. If there's more from Luther Murray I guess we'll have to stay tuned.

19 posted on 01/12/2005 5:52:54 PM PST by TigersEye (Thank you, Swift Vets!!!)
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To: Murray Luther

The end no longer justifies the means because it has become personally embarrassing to him. Good grief.

20 posted on 01/12/2005 5:59:12 PM PST by spyone
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To: Murray Luther

Are you aware that L. Ron Hubbard is still alive?

21 posted on 01/12/2005 6:02:12 PM PST by Oystir
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To: TigersEye
If there's more from Luther Murray I guess we'll have to stay tuned.

Murray Luther. Sorry. That was not an intentional slight.

22 posted on 01/12/2005 6:07:35 PM PST by TigersEye (Thank you, Swift Vets!!!)
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To: Oystir
Are you aware that L. Ron Hubbard is still alive?

He lives in you and me.

23 posted on 01/12/2005 6:13:05 PM PST by AppyPappy (If You're Not A Part Of The Solution, There's Good Money To Be Made In Prolonging The Problem.)
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To: balrog666
I had to go into the Scientology building located in Burbank once . I picked up some brochures out of curiosity, as I remembered the news reports of members putting rattlesnakes in mail boxes of someone they had differences with ( among other various activities intent on the death of someone).

They were very friendly and helpful while I was there the short time. They offer "audits" to help you get started on the right path. Each audit of course has a good price tag attached to it. One pays dearly to conform with the COS.

As I recall from collected news articles over the years...

L Ron Hubbard long ago was a writer of fiction, now a founder of religion.

Arafat was a heartless terrorist, died a leader of some sort married to a not pretty gold digger.

Ted Hayes was a ratty looking homeless man interviewed on the news complaining about what he and his fellow homeless people felt entitled to for free. Now he is a recognized and respected advocate of the homeless.

They accomplished these with the help of non thinking average people, although I think COS goes for the wealthy more than the average Joe on the street.

Go figure.

24 posted on 01/12/2005 6:24:55 PM PST by wanderin
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To: wanderin

For anybody who is about to get into any other high-control religion, you have to watch out for these signs.

# Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.

# No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.

# No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.

# Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.

# There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.

# Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.

# There tend to be many records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader

# Followers feel they can never be "good enough".

# The group/leader(s) is always right. Either through outright admission or through unwritten rules, AKA (Our leader may be misdirected at times, but he's imperfect, however, if you speak against Their/His/her direction, you're turning your back on the group and you're evil.

# The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.

Authoritarian: There is almost always a central, charismatic, living human leader who commands total loyalty and allegiance.
Oppositional: Their beliefs, practices and values are counter to those of the dominant culture.
Exclusivistic: They are the only group that possesses the "truth."
Legalistic: Rules and regulations abound governing spiritual matters and the details of everyday living.
Subjective: They emphasize the experiential, the feelings and the emotions. This is usually accompanied by an anti- intellectualism.
Persecution-conscious: The groups feel they are being singled out by mainstream Christians, the press, parents, and the government.
Sanction-oriented: They require conformity in practice and belief, and exercise sanctions against the wayward.
Esoteric: They promote a religion of secrecy and concealment. Truth is taught on two levels, inner truth and outer truth.

Also watch out for family members and friends that seem to shy away from you due to their new religion.

25 posted on 01/12/2005 6:39:01 PM PST by TypeZoNegative (Isn't it ironic that the spleen, most useless organ in our body is also on the left side of our body)
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To: Murray Luther

Egad, I feel like I'm rubbernecking a bloody train wreck :- |

26 posted on 01/12/2005 6:42:58 PM PST by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them all and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: Murray Luther

"...attained some of the highest spiritual levels that it offers."

That phrase alone tells you more than any other part of the story.

Scientology "offers" (as in sells) spiritual levels. The more you make as a hollywierd actor or lawyer/judge .... the more "spiritual you may become .... your only limit is how much CASH you have to give.

27 posted on 01/12/2005 6:47:03 PM PST by steplock (
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To: TypeZoNegative
For anybody who is about to get into any other high-control religion, you have to watch out for these signs.

I went in with my stubborn streak turned on just to be in the clear and safe from them if they closed in on me too much.

28 posted on 01/12/2005 6:50:16 PM PST by wanderin
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To: Bombardier; wvobiwan

Read up here:

29 posted on 01/12/2005 6:52:49 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Murray Luther

Do tell. Have you ever met Tom Cruise and Nichole Kidman?

30 posted on 01/12/2005 6:53:16 PM PST by Palladin (Proud to be a FReeper!)
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To: Murray Luther

bump for later read

31 posted on 01/12/2005 6:54:45 PM PST by MissouriConservative ( Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less. - Robert E. Lee)
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To: Murray Luther
If I may...

I'm a socioanthropologist. Scientology, like some other cults, is a pseudo religion. For the emotionally and therefore spiritually bereft of the feel good culture being shoved down our throats for 35 years, it used the classic elements necessary for any new religion: heavy emphasis on what amounts to simple understanding of the human ohyche, what makes us pack/herd animals get along and what makes us confrontational.

Hubbard did this as a weird experiment in Jungian psychology. As far as I was ever able to tell, he never meant it to be a real religion, he just wanted to compel readers and sell books. When he died, his wife preyed upon the gullible for profit. If you're creative enough and a good student of human psychology - you don't need a degree, just a good brain - you too and invent a cult of your own.

If you're really that openly critical and questioning of Scientology, study the methodology Hubbard used in mapping his books.

There are no secrets to it, only elements of the ritual methodology of established religions combined with the most popular buts and pieces of pop culture

A previous poster has it right: Muhammad successfully used Judaeism and Christianity and combined it with the STRICTEST, most secret aspects of ancient Semitic tribal culture to create Islam and did a giid job, even though half the time he was wasted on opium laced wine to ease the pain of wounds he'd received while killing off while tribes of his own people

Just as Hubbard did while combining the most fascinating aspects of all the major religions and combining them with the most Californian of pop cults. You're not a member of a real religion, you're a member of his widow's complexes.

32 posted on 01/12/2005 6:58:28 PM PST by cake_crumb (Leftist Credo: "One Wing to Rule Them all and to the Dark Side Bind Them")
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To: steplock

One thing is for sure...people on welfare...will never be members of Scientology...they can't afford it and they aren't the type to be accepted in the exclusive club.

33 posted on 01/12/2005 6:59:22 PM PST by pepsionice
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To: Bombardier

Hmm, I thought some have been homocidal.

BTW, L. Ron Hubbard's mentor was Alastair Crowley, the reknowned black witch homosexual pedophile Satanist.

34 posted on 01/12/2005 7:00:50 PM PST by little jeremiah (The "Gay Agenda" exists only in the minds of little jeremiah and his cohort. - Modern Man)
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To: Murray Luther

bump for later

35 posted on 01/12/2005 7:05:25 PM PST by Boazo (From the mind of BOAZO)
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To: TypeZoNegative

You could easily be describing the Communist Party. Is the COS any different? Not in my mind.

36 posted on 01/12/2005 8:54:46 PM PST by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all things that need to be done need to be done by the government.)
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To: All
I really appreciate all of the comments. I find them all instructive in one way or another. Thank you.

For the most part, Scientologists are oblivious to how they're perceived outside of their own little bubble world. Sort of like blue state liberals.

37 posted on 01/12/2005 10:52:05 PM PST by Murray Luther (Unauthorized Correspondent for the Church of Scientology)
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To: Murray Luther

I have a very good friend whose parents were "into" Scientology for many years. They spent untold thousands of dollars, and finally kicked her out of the house when she was 16 because she would not follow the Scientology program, on the instruction of their Scientology superiors. She went through incredible hardship trying to support herself at that age.

The philosophy of Scientology, as understood and expressed by her parents to her (and still to this day) is the epitome of selfish hard heartedness. Any trouble she may have (such as a disabled child, and severe asthma) are her own fault, she "created" them. Her very wealthy parents offer her no financial, emotional or personal support whatsoever, and in fact still use her at every opportunity.

38 posted on 01/12/2005 11:00:34 PM PST by little jeremiah (The "Gay Agenda" exists only in the minds of little jeremiah and his cohort. - Modern Man)
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To: Murray Luther

Scientology...that's like AmWay, right?

39 posted on 01/12/2005 11:26:30 PM PST by MRMEAN
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To: elfman2
What you say is true, but that doesn't mean his complaints about Scientology aren't valid. I live in Los Angeles, where Scientology is BIG. I know many Scientologists, including a few very high up in the ranks, and I've read extensively about Scientology. In my opinion, 10% of what Scientology offers -- a fresh start, freedom from the victim mentality -- can be found in the best self-help books. The rest of Scientology is bunk. And although this poster is an ordained minister -- I actually may know the man through friends -- most people are beguiled away from any traditional religion by Scientology.
40 posted on 01/13/2005 8:16:14 AM PST by utahagen
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To: utahagen
"In my opinion, 10% of what Scientology offers -- a fresh start, freedom from the victim mentality -- can be found in the best self-help books. The rest of Scientology is bunk. "

The same 10% could be said for many organizations, including the management consulting firm where I worked. But I understand. Scientology is much more unstable.

I’ve been by the huge scientology building a few times when I lived in downtown LA. Interesting place! I also stumbled across a spot giving a scientology test one Friday night while in the Marines. I scored pretty high, but was told that their ministry could bring my score up. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what’s going on. They’re probably testing to see who’s likely to respond to which sales approach to suck them in. That’s killing two birds with one stone, but not unique to Scientology.

41 posted on 01/13/2005 8:27:59 AM PST by elfman2 ("As goes Fallujah, so goes central Iraq and so goes the entire country" -Col Coleman, USMC ,4/2004)
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To: utahagen

I know who you are.

42 posted on 01/13/2005 9:51:35 AM PST by clarissaexplainsitall (stewed tomatoes are just plain gross)
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To: elfman2

I agree that what I said about 10% of Scientology could be said of most management consulting firms; the difference between the former and the latter is the remaining 90%. Scientology's core beliefs are antithetical to traditional Jewish and Christian beliefs. To the extent one embraces traditional beliefs about God and the human soul and eternity, one would see Scientology as dangerous. A close friend of mine jettisoned Catholicism for Scientology. I am trying to get him to practice both (because I believe it's futile to try to get him to ditch Scientology right now.) My friend's career in Hollywood has been helped by Scientology, but I keep pestering him, "That's this life; what about the afterlife?" The problem is, Scientology teaches nonsense about the afterlife, so my friend sees no reason to remain Christian.

43 posted on 01/13/2005 9:57:31 AM PST by utahagen
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To: Murray Luther

Science or New Age Cult?*
Scientology, officially known as The Church of Scientology, was founded in 1953 by L. Ron Hubbard (1912-1986), and popularized through his 1950 book, DIANETICS: The Modern Science of Mental Health (over ten million copies sold). Dianetics was originally intended to be Hubbard's psychotherapeutic answer to the techniques of modern psychiatry. (The word "Dianetics" means "through the soul," and promises to reveal "the single source of all man's insanities, psychosomatic illnesses, and neuroses.") In addition to Dianetics, Scientology produces scores of other publications. A short list includes Source, The Delphian, Advance!, and The Auditor.

The history of Scientology actually begins much earlier than 1953. Hubbard had become a well known science fiction writer in the 1930s. In fact, some of his ideas which are "common to Scientology first appeared in his 1938 manuscript titled Excalibur" (Kingdom of the Cults, p. 345), more than a decade before its official founding. Wild claims have been made about Hubbard's earlier life by Scientology publications. For example, they have claimed that he "graduated in civil engineering from George Washington University as a nuclear physicist, although the university records show that he attended for two short years, during the second of which he was on academic probation, and failed physics. Hubbard's Ph.D. was said to be from a Sequoia University in California, although there is no proof of the existence of any accredited institution in California by that name that grants doctorates" (Podiatry Today, March 1990).

Gerry Armstrong, a devout Scientologist assigned by the Church to write an authorized biography of Hubbard, discovered other inconsistencies in Hubbard's history. Armstrong, who has now left Scientology, states: "Nor was Hubbard a World War II hero who miraculously cured himself of nearly fatal combat wounds, as he claimed. Hubbard never saw combat. After his discharge from the Navy in 1946, he was granted 40% disability pay for arthritis, bursitis and conjunctivitis. He continued to collect this pay long after he claimed to have discovered the secret of how to cure such ailments" (Another Gospel, Ruth Tucker, p. 301). Hubbard's reputation as an explorer, prolific science fiction writer, and parabotanist (he was one of the first to expound the idea of "communicating" with plants) enlarged to make him the worldwide spokesman for this fast-growing cult.

Biographers have also uncovered Hubbard's involvement with the Occult, which probably influenced his writings. Hubbard claimed to have had a near-death experience where he learned everything that ever puzzled the mind of man. The notorious Satanist, Aleister Crowley, was Hubbard's mentor and he lived with Crowley protégé John Parsons, engaging in sex magic at their black magic mansion hospice (Los Angeles Times, 24 June 1990, p. A1).

Despite the inconsistencies in his history, Hubbard would become one of the wealthiest and most well known leaders of a religious movement in only a few years. Scientology currently holds assets of nearly $500 million, including a 440-foot cruise ship used as a "seagoing religious retreat." Assets also include two publishing houses, a 2,845-acre California ranch used as a school for the children of church staffers, and more than 45 buildings on 500 acres in Riverside County, California. Other assets include reinforced vaults designed to preserve the church's teachings in case of earthquake or nuclear attack. (These teachings include 500,000 pages of Hubbard's writings, 6,500 reels of tape, and 42 films.)

Scientology's methodology and beliefs have also led some members into a long history of criminal and civil actions and convictions. Both the U.S. Federal and Canadian courts have found top Scientology officials and the church guilty of charges such as burglarizing, wiretapping, and conspiracy against government agencies (Time, 6 May 1991, p. 50). In 1980, for example, eleven of Scientology's top leaders, including Hubbard's wife, were jailed for bugging and burglarizing the U.S. Justice Department and other federal agencies in the 1970s.

Within the church, there have been widespread purges and defections. Some former members have filed lawsuits accusing the church of intimidating its critics, breaking up families, and using high-pressure sales techniques to separate large sums of money from its followers. In 1986, Scientology paid an estimated $5 million to settle more than 20 of the suits, without admitting wrongdoing. In exchange, the plaintiffs agreed never again to criticize Scientology or Hubbard and to have their lawsuits forever sealed from public view.

Hubbard formalized his theories into a religion in order to obtain tax-exempt status and freedom from governmental interference for some of his organizations. Scientology currently claims to have more than eight million members in more than 3,000 "churches, mission-related organizations, and groups" in more than 133 countries. (Source: 11/2001, Scientology official Internet web site.) Closer to the truth is that there are only about 50,000 active members.

The cult claims "Celebrity Centers" (a chain of clubhouses that offer expensive counseling and career guidance) in more than 100 cities in more than 15 countries. The cult appeals strongly to intellectuals and the "gifted," relying extensively on endorsements from celebrities and corporations that employ Dianetics. Various world locations for Scientology include Washington, D.C.; Clearwater, Florida (a Scientology Training Center); Sussex, England (where it operates a thirty-room mansion and a fifty-seven acre estate); and Los Angeles (claiming such movie stars and entertainers as John Travolta, Tom Cruise, Karen Black, Jennifer Aspen, Isaac Hayes, Priscilla Presley, Kristie Alley, and the late Sonny Bono -- Scientology's "representative" in the U.S. Congress).

There are numerous front organizations in the Church of Scientology used as vehicles for their objectives. Some of the more prominent would include Advanced Organization of Los Angeles, Religious Technology Center, and FLAG. Some of the more clandestine vehicles for recruitment and dissemination of Scientology are its affiliated agencies and business programs, most of which are part of W.I.S.E. (Worldwide Institute of Scientology Enterprises). There are groups like Sterling Management Systems; Steller Management; Singer Consultants; Uptrends; Owl Management; Applied Scholastics; Citizens Commission on Human Rights; Citizens Against Taxes; The Way to Happiness Foundation; Hollander Consultants; Irons, Marcus & Valko; and Uptrends (Podiatry Today, March 1990; Watchman Expositor, 1997). They also work through Concerned Businessmen of America, and through The Way to Happiness and Set a Good Example Contest, the latter two aimed at school children, and through Narconon (meaning "non-narcosis" or "no drugs"), an alleged drug rehab program consisting of 50 alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers in 21 countries, operating in 750 prisons under the name "Criminon" (Criminon, meaning "no crime," is a volunteer criminal rehabilitation program which utilizes technologies developed by Hubbard to help convicts recover pride and self-esteem). Narconon is a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult.

Hubbard was a best-selling author for more than 50 years, with over 589 published works to his credit. His fiction sales total over 25 million copies, and his non-fiction works have sold more than 23 million. Many may have first come in contact with Scientology through a clean-cut young man or woman at the door offering a "free personality analysis." But the 200 questions posed are part of the recruiting program for the Church of Scientology, which is nothing but an applied religious philosophy offering "a clear, bright insight to help you blaze toward your mind's full potential."

In a nutshell, Scientology teaches that all humans descended from a race of uncreated, omnipotent gods called Thetans, who gave up their powers to enter the Material-Energy-Space-Time (MEST) world of Earth. [Hubbard's Dianetics and Scientology: Technical Dictionary explains, "The Thetan is immortal and is possessed of capabilities well in excess of those hitherto predicted for man. In the final analysis what is this thing called Thetan? It is simply you before you mocked yourself up and that is the handiest definition I know of" (p. 432). The Thetan is thus that part of each individual which is immortal and which has become contaminated or debased by the influences of MEST.] Gradually, they evolved upward by reincarnation to become humans who could not remember their deified state. Scientologists are encouraged to awaken their dormant Thetan potential by removing all mental blocks called engrams. By doing so, they can realize their true personhood, achieving total power and control over MEST. Scientology offers a psychotherapeutic process for breaking through the engrams "picked up from traumas in prior lives," to "realize" once again one's true identity as an "operating Thetan" (God) beyond the limitations of MEST.

Scientology, thereby, does nothing more than incorporate certain aspects of New Age pseudoscience, psychotherapy, and various occult practices into the ancient lie of promised godhood. Below are the highlights of what Scientology believes and practices concerning its source of authority, roots, tactics, sin and salvation, Christ, and spiritual practice:

1. Source of Authority. The official Scientology Internet web site says: "The writings and recorded spoken words of L. Ron Hubbard on the subject of Scientology collectively constitute the Scripture of the religion. He set forth the Scientology philosophy and technologies in more than 500,000 pages of writings, including dozens of books, and more than 2,000 tape-recorded lectures." Principally, Hubbard and his 1950 book, Dianetics, is the authority for Scientology. [The Church of Scientology's current Church president is Heber T. Jentzsch, but the real authority is David Miscavige.] Scientology has even found it necessary to publish a dictionary with 7,000 definitions for the use of over 3,000 Dianetic words. In 1951, Hubbard released his findings on the spirit of Man, which served as the foundation of the religion of Scientology, dealing with what Hubbard considered the fundamental truths concerning the essence of life, what came before, and the hereafter. This was later followed by another basic book, SCIENTOLOGY: The Fundamentals of Thought. Hubbard's own definition of Scientology is "Knowing how to know ... Know thyself ... and the truth shall set you free" -- an obvious twisting of the words of Jesus Christ in John 8:32 -- "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

2. Its Roots. Even though Hubbard himself declared Dianetics to be "the spiritual heir of Buddhism in the Western world," there is evidence of even darker roots. Hubbard was at one time closely linked with British Satanist and New Ager Aleister Crowley, and there are strong indications that the word Dianetics had its origins in the worship of the goddess Diana.

3. Its Tactics. Scientology attempts to give the appearance that it is both a science and a religion. Fifty hours of Scientology counseling can cost $2,350. Some former members say they invested up to $80,000, which may explain some claims that the organization's total take is over $3 million per day. ["Auditing" is by far Scientology's most expensive service. Auditing is purchased in 12 1/2-hour chunks, costing the Scientologist anywhere between $3,000 and $11,000 each, depending on where it is bought.] Members are usually well-scrubbed, respectable, middle-class types. Church "ministers" wear the conventional black priest-suit and white collar, and even sport crosses, though they point out it isn't representative of Christ's crucifix. When their teachings and tactics are questioned, Scientologists are not prone to turn the other cheek. Hubbard says, "you only get hurt when you duck." Scientology's alleged tactics of harassment, intimidation, and defamation of critics are well-known -- once an FBI raid on church quarters revealed a "hit list" of enemies. [The elite of Scientology's workers, at least 5,000 of them, belong to a zealous faction known as the Sea Organization and are given room, board, and a small weekly allowance. (Scientology web site: "Today, more than 5,000 members of this religious order occupy staff positions in upper level Scientology church organizations around the world.") They sign contracts to serve Scientology in this and future lifetimes -- for a billion years. Their motto is: "We come back." Dressed in mock navy uniforms adorned with ribbons, they bark orders with a clipped, military cadence. They hold ranks such as captain, lieutenant, and ensign. Officers, including women, are addressed as "Sir."]

4. Sin and Salvation. A major creed of L. Ron Hubbard states that "man is good," an immortal Thetan, able to create MEST. This tenet is consistent with the Dianetic belief that man is descended from the gods and may someday evolve to reclaim his Thetan potential. "Salvation" involves a process of working through levels of self-knowledge and knowledge of past lives (reincarnation) to awaken the pre-existent deity within and regain total godhood. As would be expected, the existence of an eternal heaven and hell is denied.

5. Christ. Christ is deemed merely a "cleared" individual (see #6 below), i.e., "just a man."

6. Spiritual Practice. Other doctrines and practices of Scientology include astral travel, regression to past lives, and the "urge toward existence as spirits." Through the use of a Scientology "E-meter" (something like a lie detector) in an "auditing" session, members undergo exercises and counseling to eliminate negative mental images from past lives and achieve a state of "clear." (Hubbard believed all illnesses were psychosomatic and could be cured by eliminating these past experiences from the brain.) Scientology promises members higher intelligence and greater business success through Scientology courses that cost thousands of dollars. "Upper-level" or "OT6" ("OT" stands for "Operating Thetan") teachings of Scientology are available only to members who graduate through preliminary Church of Scientology programs. Scientologists tell their members that if they get into Level 6 before going through the preliminary levels, they could "dematerialize or develop [fatal] illnesses." Scientology is creating a powerful group of brainwashed robots who believe they have found a solution for their own problems as well as a master plan for every person and nation in the world, now and forever.

7. Summary of Scientology Theology. In the beginning were the Thetans. These were to eventually create the MEST, which in actuality would not be the best thing they could have done. For when the Thetan, who inhabits the MEST, comes into conflict with other MEST, an engram is recorded in the reactive mind. This engram, whether it be remembered or not, due to unconsciousness which accompanies every engram, is stored in the reactive mind and causes the Thetan to believe false data [erroneous ideas]. It is the purpose of Scientology, through its auditing efforts, to rid the Thetan of all engrams so that in turn that Thetan, who now possesses a new educational perspective on reality, as a result of the auditing, may advance to a higher state of being or Clear. Once one reaches "Clear" (a 38-step process), there are 20 more steps before one reaches "OT," when one supposedly doesn't need a body to exist and is clear of all "engrams."

MEST -- As Scientology endeavors to render this MEST mess intelligible they write, "An engram comes about when the individual organism suffers an intense impact with MEST. Every moment of physical pain contains with it a partial or major shutdown of the analytical function of the mind" (Science of Survival, Book Two, p. 28). Thus, an engram is a memory which is caused when any accidental event (be it major or minor) is experienced. However, at the instant that the engram is formed, often the person is unaware of the event. How is this possible?

In a series of lectures given during August and September 1950, Hubbard explained the process: "An engram is a moment of pain and unconsciousness which contains perceptics. Actually there are thousands of moments of pain with just a little unconsciousness. Even a little thing such as someone burning his finger still causes a flick of attenuation of the analytical mind. The engram has one common denominator above all else, unconsciousness. But unconsciousness is common to every single engram, because unconsciousness does just one thing; it closes down the analytical mind. So, we have coined the word anaten. It is a contraction of the two words analytical attenuation (Attenuation means shutting or closing down)" (Research and Discovery Series: A Running Record of Research into the Mind and Life, Vol. 3, pp. 114-115).

This engram is thus that "mental picture" which "contains, as part of its content, unconsciousness and physical pain" and is stored in the individual's mind (Dianetics and Scientology: Technical Dictionary, p. 114). But which mind?

As Hubbard explained, every person has two minds -- the analytical mind and the reactive mind. Both have very specific functions, though not necessarily beneficial functions. In the booklet, Basic Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology, the two minds are defined in the following ways: "analytical mind: In Dianetics and Scientology the analytical mind is the one which is alert and aware and the reactive mind simply reacts without analysis." It continues with, "reactive mind: the portion of the mind which works on a stimulus-response basis. It consists of locks, secondaries, engrams and chains of them and is the single source of human aberrations and psychosomatic ills" (pp. 2, 23).

Thus, Man in his true nature is an immortal Thetan. However, the Thetan is responsible for the creation of MEST. Though the Thetan created the MEST, sometimes the MEST collides with the Thetan resulting in the acquisition of an engram. Because every engram is accompanied by unconsciousness to a greater or lesser degree, not all engrams are known to exist by the Thetan's analytical mind. As a result of the build-up of thousands of known and unknown engrams, stored in his reactive mind, man seems to experience problems throughout his life. These engrams have accumulated not only in this life but in many past lives as well through reincarnation. Thus, it is Scientology's purpose to rid the Thetan of these unwanted engrams. How is this accomplished? By becoming Clear. [Return to Text]

Clear State -- In defining Clear, Hubbard used an interesting analogy. Clear is "The name of a button on an adding machine. When you push it, all the hidden answers in the machine clear and the machine can be used for a proper computation. So long as the button is not pressed the machine adds all old answers to all new efforts to compute and wrong answers result. Really, that's all a Clear is. Clears are beings who have been Cleared of wrong answers or useless answers which keep them from living or thinking." The Clear "can create energy at will, and can handle and control, erase or re-create an analytical mind or reactive mind. The Clear has no engrams which can be restimulated to throw out the correctness of computations by entering hidden and false data in it" (Dianetics and Scientology: Technical Dictionary, pp. 75-76).

Hence, the Thetan who has reached the desired state of Clear has, in actuality, become a blank slate simply waiting for new data to be entered. As Hubbard explained in a lecture series, "you have to have a new education if you are going to change a Clear's viewpoint" (Research and Discovery Series, Vol. 2, p. 408). Thus, the new data given by Scientology is not merely a rearrangement of already existing beliefs and ideas. Rather, it is completely "new" material, which is precisely what is needed for the "new education." The "Clear" is now free to start working towards immortality again by practicing higher disciplines that will re-educate him about his archaic origins in space. (As he learns more and more about his past, he will become an "Operating Thetan," or OT. There are six levels ranging from OT-1 to OT-6, the highest of Scientology disciplines. Hubbard, however, was said to be working on OT-7 or OT-8 a few years before his disappearance.) Without this new education it is impossible to reach the state of Clear. But if Clear is a higher state of being to which all should desire to evolve, then how is this to be accomplished? By the Scientology practice of Auditing. [Return to Text]

Auditing -- Since the reactive mind consists of "locks" and chains of engrams, in order for the Thetan to be declared Clear, the reactive mind with its engrams must be removed by auditing. "The reactive mind is removed by 'returning' the pre-clear to the engram, and laying its contents before the scrutiny of the analytical mind" (Dianetics: The Original Thesis, p. 54).

Once the engram is openly expressed by the pre-clear [Scientology student], then "Auditing gets rid of unwanted barriers that inhibit, stop or blunt a person's natural abilities as well as gradiently increasing the abilities a person has so that he becomes more able and his survival, happiness and intelligence increase enormously. An activity of an auditor taking over the control of and shepherding the attention of a pc [pre-clear] so as to bring about a higher level of confront ability" (Dianetics and Scientology: Technical Dictionary, p. 28). After the Thetan has remembered the engram, it is then removed from the reactive mind during the auditing session with the aid of the Scientology E-Meter. This device, similar in function to a lie-detector, is said to be "An electronic instrument for measuring mental state and change of state in individuals, as an aid to precision and speed in auditing" (Basic Dictionary of Dianetics and Scientology, p. 11). [Return to Text]

Note on Science Fiction: Hubbard first gained notoriety in the minds of Americans as the author of numerous science fiction novels. He would later use his skills to tightly weave the web of science fiction and religion. His theology, which is today accepted by millions, eventually leads to tales of preincarnate souls trapped in ice cubes from the planet Mars: "One preclear (student of Scientology) said that this Thetan (somewhat similar to 'soul' or 'spirit') had inhabited the body of a doll on the planet Mars 469,476,600 years ago. Martians seized the doll and took it to a temple, where it was zapped by a bishop's gun while the congregation chanted 'God is Love.' The Thetan was then put in an ice cube, placed aboard a flying saucer, and dropped off at Planet ZX 432, where it was given a robot body, then put to work unloading flying saucers. Being a bit unruly, it zapped another robot to death and was shipped off in a flying saucer to be punished. But the flying saucer exploded, and the Thetan fell into space" (story as reprinted in Kingdom of the Cults, p. 346, 1985 ed.). While this may be where the theology of the Church of Scientology eventually leads, it is not explained to the initiate in these precise words. Rather, it is touted to the world as the cure for all man's problems and a way to gain every desire. [Return to Text]

Note on Religion: In 1967, the Church of Scientology of California was stripped of its tax-exempt status by the IRS (deeming Scientology a for-profit business that enriched church officials), an action the church considered unlawful and thus ignored. (The church also replied with more than 2,000 lawsuits against the IRS.) The IRS, in turn, undertook a mammoth audit of the church for the years 1970 through 1974. A federal court ruled in 1971 that Hubbard's medical claims were bogus and that E-meter auditing could no longer be called a scientific treatment. Hubbard responded by going fully religious, seeking First Amendment protection for Scientology's strange rites. Scientology ministers (formerly "counselors") started to wear white collars, dark suits, and silver crosses. Sunday services were mandated, chapels were erected in Scientology buildings, franchises became "missions," fees became "fixed donations," and Hubbard's comic-book cosmology became "sacred scriptures." It was made a punishable offense for a staffer to omit from church literature the notation that Scientology is a "religious philosophy." Many of the changes flowed from a flurry of "religious image" directives issued by high-level Scientology executives. One policy put it bluntly: "Visual evidences that Scientology is a religion are mandatory."

IRS-conducted audits proved that Hubbard was skimming millions of dollars from the church, laundering the money through dummy corporations in Panama, and stashing it in Swiss bank accounts. Moreover, church members stole IRS documents, filed false tax returns, and harassed the agency's employees. By late 1985, with high-level defectors accusing Hubbard of having stolen as much as $200 million from the church, the IRS was seeking an indictment of Hubbard for tax fraud. Scientology members "worked day and night" shredding documents the IRS sought, according to a defector who took part in the scheme. (Hubbard, who had been in hiding for five years, died before the criminal case could be prosecuted.) None of this, however, convinced the IRS, which assessed the church more than $1 million in back taxes for the years 1970 through 1972. Scientology appealed to the U.S. Tax Court, where, in 1984, it was handed one of the worst financial and public relations disasters in its history. The battle with the Internal Revenue Service was finally resolved on October 1, 1993. On that day, despite all the evidence to the contrary, the IRS issued letters recognizing the Church of Scientology and its related churches and organizations as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In return, the Church of Scientology paid the IRS $12.5 million to settle any tax assessments prior to 1993, and dropped all its lawsuits against the IRS. The IRS also agreed to drop any outstanding audits of Scientology organizations and declared several related Scientology organizations as tax-exempt, including a trust that oversees the church's 440-foot cruise ship, Freewinds. Also, church members were permitted to henceforth deduct from their personal income taxes the fees they pay for "auditing." [Return to Text]

Note on Tactics: Frequently, a person's first contact with Scientology comes when he is approached by a staff member on the street and offered a free personality test, or receives a lengthy questionnaire in the mail. Using charts and graphs, the idea is to convince a person that he has some problem, or "ruin," that Scientology can fix, while assuaging concerns he may have about the church. According to Hubbard, "if the job has been done well, the person should be worried." With that accomplished, the customer is pushed to buy services he is told will improve his sorry condition and perhaps give him such powers as being able to spiritually travel outside his body -- or, in Scientology jargon, to "exteriorize." Church members are then required to write testimonials -- "success stories" -- as they progress from one level to the next.

The Scientology organization uses sophisticated sales tactics to sell a seemingly endless progression of expensive courses, each serving as a prerequisite for the next. Known collectively as "The Bridge," the courses promise salvation, higher intelligence, superhuman powers, and even possible survival from nuclear fallout -- for those who can pay. Church tenets mandate that parishioners purchase Scientology goods and services under Hubbard's "doctrine of exchange." A person must learn to give, he said, as well as receive. For its programs and books, the church charges "fixed donations" that range from $50 for an elementary course in improving communication skills to more than $13,000 for Hubbard's secret teachings on the origins of the universe and the genesis of mankind's ills.

From time to time, the church offers "limited time only" deals on a select package of Hubbard courses, which represent a small portion of The Bridge. One such offer packaged courses that if bought individually would supposedly cost $55,455; the sale price was $33,399.50. To complete Hubbard's progression of courses, a Scientologist could conceivably spend a lifetime and more than $400,000. The Scientology Bridge is always under construction, keeping the Supreme Answer one step away from church members -- a potent sales strategy devised by Hubbard to keep the money flowing, critics contend.

New courses continually are added, each of which is said to be crucial for spiritual progress, each heavily promoted. Church members are warned that unless they keep purchasing Scientology services, misery and sickness may befall them. For the true believer, this is a powerful incentive to keep buying whatever the group is selling. Through the mail, Scientologists are bombarded with glossy, colorful brochures announcing the latest courses and discounts. Letters and postcards sound the dire warning, "Urgent! Urgent! Your future is at risk! ... It is time to ACT! NOW! ... You must buy now!"

Scientology staffers who sell Hubbard's courses are called "registrars." They earn commissions on their sales and are skilled at eliciting every facet of an individual's finances, including bank accounts, stocks, cars, houses, whatever can be converted to cash. Like all Scientology staffers, a registrar's productivity is evaluated each week. Performance is judged by how much money he or she brings in by each Thursday afternoon. And, in Scientology, declining or stagnant productivity is not viewed favorably. (Source: "The Scientology Story, Pt.2," L.A. Times, 6/25/90.) [Return to Text]

Note on David Miscavige: To the public, Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, is portrayed as Scientology's top official. He appears regularly at news conferences and on talk shows, appearing to be chiefly responsible for church public relations. The real power is consolidated among a handful of Scientologists who keep low public profiles. The Church of Scientology serves as the mother church and is responsible for the overall ecclesiastical management, dissemination, and propagation of Scientology and the various churches of Scientology, but the Religious Technology Center (RTC) serves as "protector of the religion." And, more importantly, RTC is Scientology's final arbiter of orthodoxy.

David Miscavige (41) (a high school drop out) has served as RTC's Chairman of the Board, its most senior position, since 1987. Miscavige has been an active Scientologist for most of his life, and has been involved with nearly every aspect of the Church's activities, closely working with Hubbard. Miscavige wields power with the iron-fisted approach of his mentor. RTC owns the trademarks that Scientology churches need to operate, including the words Scientology and Dianetics. RTC licenses the churches to use the trademarks and can revoke permission if a church fails to perform properly. Therein rests much, but not all, of Miscavige's power. He is the man in control, charting a direction for the organization that is at once expansionist and combative -- in keeping with the dictates and personality of Hubbard, his role model. [Return to Text]

More Detail on Scientology’s Wide Array of Front Groups and Financial Scams (Source: 5/6/91, Time Magazine):

CONSULTING. Sterling Management Systems, formed in 1983, has been ranked in recent years by Inc. magazine as one of America's fastest-growing private companies (estimated 1988 revenues of $20 million). Sterling regularly mails a free newsletter to more than 300,000 health-care professionals, mostly dentists, promising to increase their incomes dramatically. The firm offers seminars and courses that typically cost $10,000. But Sterling's true aim is to hook customers for Scientology. Sterling's founder, dentist Gregory Hughes, is now under investigation by California's Board of Dental Examiners for incompetence. Nine lawsuits are pending against him for malpractice (seven others have been settled), mostly for orthodontic work on children.

PUBLIC INFLUENCE. One front, the Way to Happiness Foundation, has distributed to children in thousands of the nation's public schools more than 3.5 million copies of a booklet Hubbard wrote on morality. The church calls the scheme "the largest dissemination project in Scientology history." Applied Scholastics is the name of still another front, which is attempting to install a Hubbard tutorial program in public schools, primarily those populated by minorities. The group also plans a 1,000-acre campus, where it will train educators to teach various Hubbard methods. The disingenuously named Citizens Commission on Human Rights is a Scientology group at war with psychiatry, its primary competitor. The commission typically issues reports aimed at discrediting particular psychiatrists and the field in general [not a bad goal]. The CCHR is also behind an all-out war against Eli Lilly, the maker of Prozac, the nation's top-selling anti-depression drug, claiming that Prozac drives people to murder or suicide. Another Scientology-linked group, the Concerned Businessmen's Association of America, holds anti-drug contests and awards $5,000 grants to schools as a way to recruit students and curry favor with education officials.

HEALTH CARE. HealthMed, a chain of clinics run by Scientologists, promotes a grueling and excessive system of saunas, exercise, and vitamins designed by Hubbard to purify the body. Experts denounce the regime as quackery and potentially harmful, yet HealthMed solicits unions and public agencies for contracts. The chain is plugged heavily in a book, Diet for a Poisoned Planet, by journalist David Steinman, who concludes that scores of common foods (among them: peanuts, bluefish, peaches and cottage cheese) are dangerous. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop labeled the book "trash," and the Food and Drug Administration issued a paper in October [of 1990] that claims Steinman distorts his facts. "HealthMed is a gateway to Scientology, and Steinman's book is a sorting mechanism," says physician William Jarvis, who is head of the National Council Against Health Fraud.

DRUG TREATMENT. Hubbard's purification treatments are the mainstay of Narconon, a Scientology-run chain of [50] alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers -- some in prisons under the name "Criminon."

FINANCIAL SCAMS. Three Florida Scientologists, including Ronald Bernstein, a big contributor to the church's international "war chest," pleaded guilty in March of 1991 to using their rare-coin dealership as a money laundry. Other notorious activities by Scientologists include making the shady Vancouver stock exchange even shadier, and plotting to plant operatives in the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and Export-Import Bank. The alleged purpose of this scheme: to gain inside information on which countries are going to be denied credit so that Scientology-linked traders can make illicit profits by taking "short" positions in those countries' currencies.

BOOK PUBLISHING. Scientology mischief-making has even moved to the book industry. Since 1985, at least a dozen Hubbard books, printed by a church company, have made best-seller lists. They range from a 5,000-page sci-fi decology (Black Genesis, The Enemy Within, An Alien Affair, etc.) to the [50]-year-old Dianetics. Critics pan most of Hubbard's books as unreadable, while defectors claim that church insiders are sometimes the real authors. Even so, Scientology has sent out armies of its followers to buy the group's books at such major chains as B. Dalton's and Waldenbooks to sustain the illusion of a best-selling author. A former Dalton's manager says that some books arrived in his store with the chain's price stickers already on them, suggesting that copies are being recycled. Scientology claims that sales of Hubbard books now top [100] million worldwide. [Back to Text]

* Unless otherwise cited, this report has been excerpted and/or adapted from the following sources: (1) "Church of Scientology," Rick Branch (Watchman Fellowship Profile, 1996); (2) "Scientology: Science or Science Fiction," G. Richard Fisher, PFO Quarterly Journal, Vol.17 No.3; (3) "Lafayette Ronald Hubbard and the Theology of the Church of Scientology," The Discerner, and (4) "Church of Scientology: A Religious Mafia?," The Watchman Expositor (Vol. 15, No. 1, 1998, p. 5). [Christian books on the cults also have chapters or sections on Scientology. For example, The Kingdom of the Cults, 1997; Ruth A. Tucker, Another Gospel, 1989; William Watson, A Concise Dictionary of Cults and Religions, 1991; and J. Gordon Melton, Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, 1986. Two works by secular writers are Bent Coryden's L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, 1992; and Russell Miller's Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, 1987. One is advised that in both of these works Hubbard frequently is quoted verbatim and any Christian will find his words vulgar, obscene, and offensive.]

Biblical Discernment Ministries - Revised 11/01

44 posted on 01/13/2005 10:07:43 AM PST by razorbak
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To: clarissaexplainsitall

Oh, yeah? I sort of doubt that, Clarissa.

45 posted on 01/13/2005 11:32:17 AM PST by utahagen
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To: Paradox
I had a run in with a Scientologist, it was not a pleasant matter.

In St. Louis where it seems to be fairly many, my family has had to deal with several and each time it has been a disaster. They were the looniest people I have ever run across and will never conduct any business or get involved with any group where they a part.

46 posted on 01/13/2005 12:13:44 PM PST by Lady Heron
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To: Murray Luther
I've received hundreds of hours of Scientology counseling, and have attained some of the highest spiritual levels that it offers.


47 posted on 01/13/2005 12:15:45 PM PST by Petronski (Alles klar, Herr Kommissar?)
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To: elfman2

Hmmm, any relation to Scientologist Jenna Elfman?

48 posted on 02/23/2005 6:08:10 PM PST by bd476
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To: TigersEye
Not sure what your experience is with cults, but perhaps you should not waste time waiting for your proof, and instead spend a little time reading up on it for yourself.

Of course you always have the freedom to learn about them first hand, join them if you feel it necessary and if you feel strong enough, that is.

49 posted on 02/23/2005 6:14:19 PM PST by bd476
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To: bd476

We both just chose elfman as stage names. Maybe she was also a Boingo fan.

50 posted on 02/23/2005 7:13:58 PM PST by elfman2
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