Scientology - Church, Cult or Cancer?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Gillette, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Gillette

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  2. _avg_

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    All of the above.
     
  3. Gillette

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    I really don't think the word church accurately describes it. Where is the religion? What deity?

    Church Defined - IRS Church Definition

    4) formal code of doctrine and discipline - check
    9) a literature of it's own - check
    11) regular congregations - check

    By these standards any business should qualify as a church.
     
  4. chico8

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    It's a money making empire that uses people and spits them out when they no longer have any money. Anyone who thinks it's a religion or helpful to people is truly certifiable.
     
  5. No_Strings

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    Isn't the recent (~1000 years) way of Christianity solely to make a profit, also?

    Hubbard was big on satire, and I find Scientology simply the epitomy of that humour regarding religion. The irony is quite tasty, in my opinion. :tongue:
     
  6. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    it's definitely bad news. Though I disagree with South Park in that I don't think it's too much stupider than most other religions. (though they didn't directly make that accusation)
     
  7. B_LeiaSwift

    B_LeiaSwift New Member

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    its a cult
     
  8. whatireallywant

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    Shhh! Don't tell those businesses or they'll be declaring themselves a church so they won't have to pay taxes! :biggrin1:

    Actually, I'm a Unitarian Universalist when I go to church at all, and we don't have a formal creed or specific literature of our own either.

    But I do think that Scientology is a cult.
     
  9. B_IanTheTall

    B_IanTheTall New Member

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    What if L. Ron Hubbard wrote Dianetics out of sarcasm or to expose religion for what it is? I know it's supposed to be a self help system. And what if it only turned into what it is today because rich nut jobs took it laterally and Hubbard decided to cash in? You know, "A fool and his money are easily parted."

    Did you know that the German government considers Scientology to be a criminal organization and has banned its prayer houses?
    Did you know that televangelist faith healers have been charged under German law, for practicing medicine without a license?
    I think they have it right and I applaud them for having the courage to stand up to people that use the name of God for personal profit. I just hope that they expand their efforts.
     
  10. _avg_

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    A religion need not involve a diety, dieties or the 'supernatural,' whatever that may be. "Church" may not accurately define the institutiton that is Scientology but let's go by your checklist here....


    Church Defined - IRS Church Definition

    1. Distinct legal existence. - Gee, that's not vague. But we'll give 'em a check.
    2. Recognized creed and form of worship. - 'Recognized' by whom? Regardless, Scientology has a creed. 'Worship' is slippery too, but we'll again let it slide...
    3. Definite and distinct ecclesiastical government. - 'Ecclesiatical?' Way to get circular, IRS! There is nevertheless a hierarchy and chain of command in Scientology
    4. Formal code of doctrine and discipline. - Our first clear-cut criterion (mostly)...Scientology passes, here.
    5. Distinct religious history. - 'Religious' is left undefined. And even 5 minutes is a history....yet again, Scientology would pass
    6. Membership not associated with any other church or denomination. - Given how "other church[es and] denomination" shun or distance themselves from Scientologists, here's another "check"
    7. Organization of ordained ministers. - 'Ordained' by whom...the same that must 'recognize' their creed or worship? Still, Scientologists have appointed leaders of worship and authority, so: yep
    8. Ordained ministers selected after completing prescribed courses of studies. - Almost a redundancy; checkerooney.
    9. Literature of its own. - Dreadfully; check-o
    10. Established places of worship. - Yessir
    11. Regular congregations. - How 'regular' is 'regular?' But, yeah, again.
    12. Regular religious services. - As distinct from their 'regular congregations?' If you say so, Mr. Taxman; yet another check for Scientology (Ps. what're 'religious services?' reminds me of the old joke about priests and prostitutes....)
    13. Sunday schools for religious instruction of the young. - Now if *that* doesn't show a bit of bias.....Sunday, Monday, anyday - Scientology is out to (*ahem*) 'instruct' the young and the next generation
    14. Schools for preparation of its ministers. - Do they need to be 'recognized,' too? This goes along with #8; yes.


    Well, the IRS is obviously a reliable authority on the matter, for sure...

    I guess my point is, church and cult are not as distinct as their common usage might suggest, and neither are excluded from being a 'cancer.'
     
  11. prince_will

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    i'm not sure what to say. i hate bashing other people's religions...but i must admit, the whole thing does give me the creeps. plus, why are so many celebrities Scientologists? it's like the church feeds on rich and famous people. i'm still wondering what Nicole Kidman thought with Tom Cruise. She remained and still is a devout Catholic throughout and after their marriage. i'd love to hear what she has to say about it.
     
  12. Principessa

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    IMHO It's a cult.

    Then again I am a bit of a prude about such things and don't acknowledge many of the new megachristianfundamentalist institutions as real religions anyway. If your pastor lives in a 2 million dollar+ home in a gated community and owns a rolls royce I don't want any parts of your church. :mad::tongue: To me that is a bad sign.

    As do I!
     
  13. Gillette

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    I missed the legal existence one. Oddly enough that's what I should have looked for instead of using the IRS criteria. (wasn't that a bitch - I couldn't copy and paste it either. If you managed, please tell me how)

    I can see your points, but I think where we're differing is on the religious criteria. To me religion does imply a deity being worshiped and minister as being an intermediary of sorts between the deity and the worshippers. I'm going to go hunt up some legal definitions of "religion", "worship" and "minister" if I can find them.

    Scientology was/is set up as a method of psychoanalysis. Their belief, from what I've read, is solely in the method, so declaring them a religion is as valid to me as forming a church of Jung or Freud.

    We're in complete agreement on the cult and cancer parts.
     
  14. Gillette

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    That would be the most horrifying irony of all. And entirely plausible.

    I didn't, but I'm tickled pink to hear it.
     
  15. _avg_

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    :biggrin1:
    Used this site, and removed their comments:
    IRS Church Guidlines - UNIVERSAL LIFE CHURCH SEMINARY


    Buddhism isn't a religion, then. Animism isn't a religion, then. Any college-level course on comparative religions will dispell the notion that a religion need invoke a 'diety' or the supernatual.

    Here's a useful link, though:
    DEFINING RELIGION IN AMERICAN LAW

    FWIW, I despise the tax exemptions churches and 'faith based' organizations enjoy, for many of the reasons we're hitting on (or intimating) here.
     
  16. _avg_

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    Define "religion." What makes one "real" and how does one tell?

    (this is not a challenge except for the sake of discussion and personal insight :smile:)
     
  17. _avg_

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    All of this said, I don't like to paint things with such a large brush; I certainly think people *are* helped by their beliefs, at least to some extent, and this includes Scientologists. I just happen to think "religion" (sp. the belief in 'the supernatural') does more harm than good, and that the "good" can likely be found elsewhere.
     
  18. ZOS23xy

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    Interesting. How ever. Many years back, I met a man named Alva Rogers at a science fiction convention. He was room mates with Jack Parsons, who in turn also dealt with the likes of L. Ron Hubbard and Robert A. Heinlein and a few others.

    Parsons was a pioneering rocket scientist, even if he did boil stuff on his stove for experiments (thusly, "It ain't exactly rocket science" was intended as a putdown). He was deeply involved with the occult, and was a correspondant of Aleister Crowley.

    Alva Rogers said that Hubbard used to say "If you want to make a million dollars, you could start your own religion". Or a varient of this. Several times.

    Hubbard firstly tuned up DIANETICS, and when he was given an IRS audit, he turned it into a religion.

    I've always found the Scientologists I've met rather distant from people, almost as distracting as a hard core Baptist.

    Hubbard's books on Scientology and the like are pretty much Crowley's MAGICK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE, written large and prolonged and rigged to cause people to shell out lots of money.

    It can be determined that Scientology is the relgion of the well heeled. If you have no cash, you get nowhere in the system.

    Organized religion: hoax or menace?
     
  19. Principessa

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    I almost typed church rather than religion, but I was afraid some literalists might think I meant the edifice. :tongue: I am not a theologian, I'm crazy and I like to compartmentalize things. It makes them easier for me to understand. :biggrin1:

    IMO - Real Religions are:
    Hinduism
    Buddhism
    Judaism
    Native American Spirituality
    Catholicism
    Greek Orthodox
    Russian Orhodox
    Armenian Orthodox
    Protestants: Episopalian, AME, AME Zion, United Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal.
    COGIC - Church of God in Christ
    AOG - Assembly of God
    Islam

    From what I have seen and experienced the religions that have the potential to do the most damage are the ones that are off shoots of the Baptist and Pentecostal religions. The reason I say this is that they usually don't have a conference or an archdiocese to report to. This provides an open door for each church to make their own rules and doctrine. They report to know one. Sounds like an American ideal until you realize that they are bilking people out of their hard earned money. Some of these megachurches of no discernible religion demand that parishioners tithe 10% of their gross income! :mad::confused::eek: Others have credit unions within the church so that if necessary you can take out a loan to tithe for the year or just have your tithe automatically withdrawn from your paycheck.:smile::eek:

    In my experience it's the fruit loopy fundamentalists which are off shoots of Baptist, Pentecostal, COGIC - Church of God in Christ,
    AOG - Assembly of God that cause the most damage. The snake handling churches are usually Pentecostal. I don't buy into that nonsense.:mad::tongue:

    Sorry if I have offended anyone here, that was not my intent.



    I base this on my experiences with people and do not have any statistical or scientific data to support these statements.
     
  20. ZOS23xy

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    Scientologists can be brain dead inflexable about the stances they are required to take. As with a number of followers in various religious groups, intolerant and reactionary. When someone disagreed with them, the sent out lawsuits.

    Christianity and Islam are the major dominant relgions, and the hate level in them is pretty full. Both the Koran and the Bible are full of violent bloody histories and it amuses me to see one side reads the other's book and proclaim it to be horrid and hateful; I tend to think one side forgets its own history and judges the other very harshly.
     
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