There’s been some news about Scientology on the internet lately. First, there was the BBC’s program on Scientology: “Scientology and Me”. The BBC reporter loses it and starts yelling at a Scientologist. When I first saw the clip (released by a scientology supporter), it just shows the reporter yelling, but there was no context to the clip. Here’s the same clip with more context.
Second, there was a report that Scientologists sent “grief counselors” to Virginia Tech after the recent shootings. They sent the same kind of people to New York after 9/11 (Link, Link, Link).
The Scientologists can be very creepy. This video doesn’t really get interesting until around two minutes into it. Much of this video revolves around the Scientologists asking the cameraman, “What are your crimes?” and then accusing him of crimes. In another video (beginning around 9:00), is Hubbard’s claim that all critics of Scientology have committed serious crimes (“Every time we have investigated the background of a critic of Scientology, we have found crimes for which that person or group could be imprisoned under existing law. We do not find critics of Scientology who do not have criminal pasts. Over and over we prove this. Politician A stands up on his hind legs in a Parliament and brays for a condemnation of Scientology. When we look him over we find crimes – embezzled funds, moral lapses, a thirst for young boys – sordid stuff.”) That should give some context to what these Scientologists are saying:
Another video describing stories of Scientology cult members who ended up broke (because they gave all their money to Scientology), and dead (often because Scientologists take people off their psychiatric medicine, which they consider to be a sham). Warning: there are a couple short images of dead people in the video, which is unfortunate, because the video is interesting.
“Scientology: Inside the Church of Scientology” – news report on Scientology including some hidden camera footage
The Cult Awareness Network was an organization to identify cults and help parents who have lost their children to a cult. The Church of Scientology forced the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy using lawsuits, and then bought the name – so that they could use the Cult Awareness Network to trap more members, and, presumably, bury anyone who naively calls the center to get their child out of the cult of Scientology. According to the video, CAN now puts out fliers extolling the virtues of Scientology.
Here’s an interesting link to information on Scientology, and why a number of european governments consider it a cult. Some of this information sounds like it comes right out of a book involving a stereotypical ‘evil cult’.
In the early 1980s, American courts convicted 11 top Scientologists for plotting to plant spies in federal agencies, break into government offices and bug at least one IRS meeting. In 1994, in a case involving Lawrence Wollersheim, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a California court’s finding of substantial evidence that Scientology practices took place in a coercive environment and rejected Scientology’s claims that the practices were protected under religious freedom guaranties. In September 1997, the Illinois Supreme Court found there was evidence enough to allege that Scientology had driven the Cult Awareness Network into bankruptcy by filing 21 lawsuits in a 17-month period. The court stated that “such a sustained onslaught of litigation can hardly be deemed ‘ordinary’, if [the Network] can prove that the actions were brought without probable cause and with malice.”
In addition, a New York Times article on March 9, 1997, outlined “an extraordinary campaign orchestrated by Scientology against the [IRS] and people who work there. Among the findings were these: Scientology’s lawyers hired private investigators to dig into the private lives of IRS officials and to conduct surveillance operations to uncover potential vulnerabilities.” …
On December 1, 1997, a New York Times article described Scientology records seized in an FBI raid on church offices that prove “that Scientology had come to Clearwater with a written plan to take control of the city. Government and community organizations were infiltrated by Scientology members. Plans were undertaken to discredit and silence critics. A fake hit-and-run accident was staged in 1976 to try to ruin the political career of the mayor. A Scientologist infiltrated the local newspaper and reported on the paper’s plans to her handlers.”
When the earlier quote says, “American courts convicted 11 top Scientologists for plotting to plant spies in federal agencies”, it actually goes deeper than that. They were trying to dig up dirt on Scientology critics, “fix” the “incorrect” information about Scientology in FBI files, etc. L Ron Hubbard and his wife were ultimately convicted of this conspiracy, and he lived the last few years of his life as a fugitive.
Also, it’s not widely known, but Tom Cruise is considered to be the equivalent of the Pope of Scientology. He’s the highest ranking member in the church. Maybe it’s time to stop seeing his movies – apparently, his box-office numbers have been declining in response to his increased outspokenness of Scientology. It would be nice if someone in the media stood up and took Tom Cruise to task for Scientology’s crimes.
“make money, make more money — make other people produce so as to make money” – L. Ron Hubbard
“Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion.” – L Ron Hubbard
When he died, L Ron Hubbard had a net worth of $650 million dollars – all due to Scientology.