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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  12:43:53  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, this is scary. Scientology seems to be finding ways to worm itself into Christian churches:
TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- Some Christian congregations, particularly in lower income, urban areas, are turning to an unlikely source for help -- the Church of Scientology.

Scientologists do not worship God, much less Jesus Christ. The church has seen plenty of controversy and critics consider it a cult. So why are observant Christians embracing some its teachings?

Two pastors who spoke recently with CNN explained that when it comes to religion, they still preach the core beliefs of Christianity. But when it comes to practicing what they preach in a modern world, borrowing from Scientology helps.

The Rev. Charles Kennedy, of the Glorious Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal church in Tampa, Florida, and the Rev. James McLaughlin, of the Wayman Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, are among the theological hybrids.



Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  13:23:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't know that it is scary as much as it is inevitable. It seems natural for religions to converge as well as splinter. Easy when you think about how much religion is intertwined with culture, and peoples' amazing ability to compartmentalize their thinking.

Edited to add: why specifically is it scary? I seriously think it is kind of interesting.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 10/31/2007 13:24:26
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  13:31:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, scary because Scientology is essentially an outright criminal operation. It can add an extra layer of sleaziness to existing churches.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  13:48:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is an old link but still valid.

Scientology was founded by a scumbag out to raid the till, as it were, and continues on in that tradition. It has been outlawed in Germany and rightly so, and at my last reading, other countries are considering the ban.

Fuck the Scientologists! If they all fall into a hole, they deserve no less than what they get!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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pleco
SFN Addict

USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  13:53:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his new clones.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  13:56:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Half wrote:
Well, scary because Scientology is essentially an outright criminal operation. It can add an extra layer of sleaziness to existing churches.
It's not that I'm saying you are wrong. I just wish you would be more specific.

It seems to me that in general Scientology is simply relatively weirder, younger, and more efficient at converting and keeping adherents than most religions. Most of the crap they get away with is just as shady as a lot of the crap organized religions get away with. For instance, I think it is pretty fucked up that the Vatican is all secretive when they pick the next Pope - who is going to be an incredibly influential figure in the world for years or decades in the future. Some Scientologists have engaged in criminal action, just as some other religion congregations have. But I'm not convinced that the entire organization is criminal.

As far as legal purposes go, I think Scientology shows exactly why religions should not be treated differently, such as getting tax exempt status in the USA. I don't like that a lot of countries in Europe have classified Scientology as not a religion because it gives higher status to other religions.

I don't know if anyone should be worried about Scientology getting more mainstream acceptance because of some of its teachings being used by these churches. But even if Scientology did get mainstream acceptance, that alone would radically change the nature of the religion. The more entrenched a religion gets with culture, the farther away it gets from its foundations.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  15:30:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, I certainly agree that no religion (or group claiming to be a religion, which is pretty much the same thing IMO) should have tax or other legal advantages given to it. I do hold that Scientology is especial vile, though.



Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 10/31/2007 :  18:57:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Marf:
It seems to me that in general Scientology is simply relatively weirder, younger, and more efficient at converting and keeping adherents than most religions. Most of the crap they get away with is just as shady as a lot of the crap organized religions get away with.


I just can't agree with you on that. Scientology is lead by thugs at the top. They are as nasty as they can be without being locked up and sometimes nasty enough to be locked up. If a religion can be called a religion when its main purpose is to fleece its followers, and harass its enemies, I guess you can call it a religion. But it's a cult by every definition that I know.

Scientology's Hate and Harassment Practices

Operation Clambake present:
ENEMY NAMES


"Fair Game"

Scientology and Me





Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Ghost_Skeptic
SFN Regular

Canada
510 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  00:03:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Ghost_Skeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknoxIt seems to me that in general Scientology is simply relatively weirder, younger, and more efficient at converting and keeping adherents than most religions. Most of the crap they get away with is just as shady as a lot of the crap organized religions get away with. For instance, I think it is pretty fucked up that the Vatican is all secretive when they pick the next Pope - who is going to be an incredibly influential figure in the world for years or decades in the future. Some Scientologists have engaged in criminal action, just as some other religion congregations have. But I'm not convinced that the entire organization is criminal.


Steven Novella of the Skeptics Guide to The Universe mentioned a discussion he had with James Randi after they did a cult awareness seminar together. James Randi was saying there was little difference between the Catholic Church and Scientology, But Steve (a former Catholic) pointed out that if you ask a priest about Catholicism he will tell you pretty much all the doctrine while if Scientology only reveals it's most batshit insane beliefs (ie Xenu)to long time members of the cult who have advanced to the higher levels by spending vast amounts of money.

After the session the Scientology spy confonted the skeptics and Randi told here that he had met L Ron Hubbard twice and Hubbard was drunk both times.

Scientology started as quack psychotherapy and later became a religion to avoid prosecution. The quack therapy remains the core of their scam. It is a variation on the dancing lessons scam with each level costing exponentially more.

Scientology is extremely agressive in attemting to silence it's critics. You don't have to look very far to find deaths caused by scientologists such as the mentally ill woman who died of dehydration and starvation while under the care of scientologists including a medical doctor or the recent case of the schizophrenic woman in Australia who killed her father and sister after her Scientologist parents persuaded her to stop taking her medication.

The Catholic church may occaisonally get away with criminal behaviour because it is a religion, but Scientology became a religion so it could get away with criminal behaviour.

I hope you are not going Pomo (Post Modernist) on us.

"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. / You can send a kid to college but you can't make him think." - B.B. King

History is made by stupid people - The Arrogant Worms

"The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism." - William Osler

"Religion is the natural home of the psychopath" - Pat Condell

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" - Thomas Jefferson
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Starman
SFN Regular

Sweden
1613 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  02:31:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Starman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Scientology in a nutshell : Operation Freakout
Operation Freakout, also known as Operation PC Freakout, was the name given by the Church of Scientology to a covert plan intended to have the author Paulette Cooper imprisoned or committed to a mental institution.

"Any religion that makes a form of torture into an icon that they worship seems to me a pretty sick sort of religion quite honestly"
-- Terry Jones
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  06:35:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Kil wrote:
I just can't agree with you on that. Scientology is lead by thugs at the top. They are as nasty as they can be without being locked up and sometimes nasty enough to be locked up. If a religion can be called a religion when its main purpose is to fleece its followers, and harass its enemies, I guess you can call it a religion. But it's a cult by every definition that I know.
Maybe this is a semantics thing I consider "cult" to be a subset of "religion". Again, to say that cults are not religions is to elevate religion to some sort of special status with a more positive connotation. The connotation of religion IMO should be neutral, and judgment should come only after the specifics of a religion are revealed.

As for Scientology being led by thugs at the top, um, Catholic Church? Again, secret meetings and extreme hierarchy.

Catholicism insists that only the learned people at the top should read and can properly interpret the Bible. They then write dumbed-down versions of scripture, with the leaders' own agenda inserted, for the common adherents to read. The Catholic Church is just a lot more subtle about what they do. But then, they've had a lot more time to practice and since they are mainstream, they have a lot more public scrutiny to deal with.

Ghost wrote:

Steven Novella of the Skeptics Guide to The Universe mentioned a discussion he had with James Randi after they did a cult awareness seminar together. James Randi was saying there was little difference between the Catholic Church and Scientology, But Steve (a former Catholic) pointed out that if you ask a priest about Catholicism he will tell you pretty much all the doctrine while if Scientology only reveals it's most batshit insane beliefs (ie Xenu)to long time members of the cult who have advanced to the higher levels by spending vast amounts of money.

After the session the Scientology spy confonted the skeptics and Randi told here that he had met L Ron Hubbard twice and Hubbard was drunk both times.

Scientology started as quack psychotherapy and later became a religion to avoid prosecution. The quack therapy remains the core of their scam. It is a variation on the dancing lessons scam with each level costing exponentially more.

Scientology is extremely agressive in attemting to silence it's critics. You don't have to look very far to find deaths caused by scientologists such as the mentally ill woman who died of dehydration and starvation while under the care of scientologists including a medical doctor or the recent case of the schizophrenic woman in Australia who killed her father and sister after her Scientologist parents persuaded her to stop taking her medication.

The Catholic church may occaisonally get away with criminal behaviour because it is a religion, but Scientology became a religion so it could get away with criminal behaviour.
First of all, isn't it Randi who is often saying that the best con artists are the ones who are true believers in their own con? You seem to be saying here that the Catholic Church are less guilty because most of them genuinely believe that what they are pushing is good (despite worldly evidence to the contrary) while the Scientologist leaders supposedly know they are conning their adherents. I fail to see how this, in practical terms, makes Scientology worse.

The Catholic church has been heavily influential in limiting access to birth control and abortions in desperately poor and overpopulated third world countries, causing widespread suffering and death. The rift between Catholics and Protestants is a major source of terrorism in Ireland, but does the incredibly influential Vatican and Pope speak out against terrorist acts committed by fanatic

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 11/01/2007 06:37:13
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  07:08:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's something of a difference, Marf. The Catholic Church didn't start out as a criminal enterprise, whatever it became soon after. Scientology was a scam from the get-go and remains one. L. Ron was a loser and a cheap grifter who had an idea, and then, due mainly to widespread, human gullibility, got lucky. He was a scoundrel, but in fact, he was such an interesting scoundrel that he has been included in my signature, an honor worthy of the foulest of rogues, cutpurses, and sickos (and the occasional good-guy. If he/she is interesting).
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 January 24, 1986), better known as L. Ron Hubbard, was the creator of Dianetics, and founder of the Church of Scientology. He was also an American author in numerous pulp fiction genres[2][3][4][5] as well as a prolific writer of non-fiction[6][7] works,

Hubbard was a highly controversial public figure during his lifetime. Many details of his life remain disputed, with official and unofficial biographies depicting Hubbard in radically different ways. Official Scientology biographies present him in hagiographic terms as "larger than life, attracted to people, liked by people, dynamic, charismatic and immensely capable in two dozen fields"[9]. In contrast, unofficial biographies (some of which are by former Scientologists) paint a much less flattering picture which often contradicts official Church accounts[10][11]. One of Hubbard's unofficial biographers, Russell Miller, describes him as "one of the most successful and colourful confidence tricksters of the twentieth century" and comments that "every biography of Hubbard published by the church [of Scientology] is interwoven with lies, half-truths and ludicrous embellishments."[12]

"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  08:25:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
marf, the Catholic Church may be scary and dangerous on its own, but Scientology was designed to be that way almost from the start.

Sure, the Catholics speak out against condoms, ensuring the spread of disease, and they take a poor person's last few dollars to net themselves more gold. The Scientologists, meanwhile, have Tom Cruise telling the world - through Oprah - that psychiatric medicines don't work, and they take thousands of dollars from rich folks (perhaps to buy L. Ron new yachts, when he was alive).

We could argue all day over which group is more evil, but to what end?

More important to the point you're trying to make (that Scientology is a religion like any other) is that Scientology's roots aren't in religion. According to Wikipedia:
Some documents written by Hubbard himself suggest he regarded Scientology as a business, not a religion. In one letter dated April 10, 1953, he says calling Scientology a religion solves "a problem of practical business," and status as a religion achieves something "more equitable...with what we've got to sell." In a 1962 official policy letter, he said "Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."
It also quotes him,
"Make sure that lots of bodies move through the shop," implored Hubbard in one of his bulletins to officials. "Make money. Make more money. Make others produce so as to make money . . . However you get them in or why, just do it."
Scientology has also been declared by judges to be a money-making scam more than once. It is not a religion like any other.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  12:14:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave wrote:
Sure, the Catholics speak out against condoms, ensuring the spread of disease, and they take a poor person's last few dollars to net themselves more gold. The Scientologists, meanwhile, have Tom Cruise telling the world - through Oprah - that psychiatric medicines don't work, and they take thousands of dollars from rich folks (perhaps to buy L. Ron new yachts, when he was alive).
These examples show exactly why I think the Catholic Church is worse. It is preying on the most poor and powerless. In order to make a decision to not use psychiatric drugs, you have to be able to afford them in the first place, so we're talking at least middle class people in the first world. The Catholic Church primarily hurts the abject poor in third world countries. And taking money from rich people, hmmmmm, yeah? How is that any worse than people who market expensive pet products and other stupid luxuries for the stupid rich to spend thousands of dollars on? I mean, that sucks, but it doesn't sound nearly as bad as taking a poor person's last few dollars.

We could argue all day over which group is more evil, but to what end?
Point taken.

My point is not that Scientology is a religion like any other. The point I think you mean is that I'm claiming it is a religion. Call it also a cult, a business, a scam, whatever, but I hold that it is also a religion. It calls itself a church, is an organized institution, puts forth a philosophy, has adherents, and encourages belief in a specific set of supernatural crap.

Actually, my original point was that I am not convinced that Scientology creeping into some Christian churches is more dangerous than it not doing so.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 11/01/2007 12:15:13
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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2558 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  15:01:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ghost_Skeptic


The Catholic church may occaisonally get away with criminal behaviour because it is a religion, but Scientology became a religion so it could get away with criminal behaviour.



Sounds like a shirt slogan to me!

>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 11/01/2007 :  18:30:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Marf:
Call it also a cult, a business, a scam, whatever, but I hold that it is also a religion. It calls itself a church, is an organized institution, puts forth a philosophy, has adherents, and encourages belief in a specific set of supernatural crap.


I'll go this far with you. Scientology is a scam, it was set up to be a scam, and because some people have been stupid enough to have
fallen for the bullshit, it is also, for those people, a religion. To bad for them...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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