Skip to comments.An Ex-Fanatic Speaks Out (The Forbidden Side of Scientology)
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 The Church's quaint policy of shunning its dissidents is an outdated and backwards practice that has no place in modern society.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.
Scientology is a dangerous cult. I advise anyone involved with it to get out now.
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?
When have the Scientologists gone around slamming airliners into buildings? They may be a touch odd, but I haven't noticed them becoming homicidal.....
Wow. I bet there is a bit of a stir at &cientology HQ tonight.
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. Im 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.
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'.
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..
"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?
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.
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.
Why do I suspect there will be a book forthcoming?
Just what I thought about it. Sour grapes syndrome. Someone's not getting their ego stroked in L. Ron Land.
Yes, if 'all you've got' includes criminality.
Hey, if it's better than Battlefield Earth, or exposes what really happened to Lisa McPherson, I'm all for it!
Scientology - a religion founded on a simple bet.
"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.
"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.
The end no longer justifies the means because it has become personally embarrassing to him. Good grief.