Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Scientology vs. The World

Can someone tell me why people think Scientology is any different then any other made up religion? This article from columnist David Gibson details director Paul Haggis's departure from the religion, but it also does a fantastic job of coming off seemingly-unbiased while at the same time completely throwing Scientology under the rug.

My favorite part is when Gibson goes on about "real" religions:

"One mark of a 'real' religion is its ability to reform or adapt."

Hahahahah. Tell that to the Catholics.

Or the part where he goes on about how outlandish Scientology is:

"The disclosure of the belief that an alien ruler named Xenu brought people to earth 75 million years ago in jet planes and planted them around volcanoes is one of the more unusual tenets that have come to light."

How about the idea that a flood wiped out all the living creatures on earth except for one male and one female of each kind -- or the idea that a burning bush spoke to a man (to top that off, it was really god speaking!) -- or the concept that a dead man is actually his own father, a holy ghost and himself all at the same time. Please. I can go on.


  1. The problem I find with Scientology is it allegedly acts as a tax haven. I don't if you can say the same about other religions. In this regard, I find it interesting that the largest terrorist attack on the IRS was orchestrated by L. Ron Hubbard in order to gather information. Maybe this information is what they leveraged against the IRS in order to gain their tax exemption. (Note: His wife ended up serving time while he absconded with millions.)

    Just a little tid bit.

  2. I don't understand. There are thousands of people believe in and practice Scientology. How is it a tax haven for these people? How is it different then any other religion?

    Tony B., why do you make backhanded comments about using leverage against the IRS to get a tax exemption?? Seems pretty ignorant and intolerant to me (not that I mind religious intolerance - its just that I'm an equal opportunity anti-religionist). What did the Mormons leverage against the IRS? The Jews? The Catholics?

  3. There is a typo in my statement. "I dont [know] if you can say the same about other religions." True, most any religion can double as tax haven, which I in no way condone. Rather, the post also attempts to show that the head of and creator of Scientology perpetrated a major felony against the United States federal government and then refused to face prosecution. What legitimacy can you gain if your revealer of truth (in no way meant to be sarcastic) is a major felon? Additionally, the IRS dropped any and all lawsuits with the Church after this information had been gathered. One is left to wonder why.

    Postscript: If you feel that Jesus Christ, if his accounts are *modestly* based in truth, was also a felon in his actions (throwing the tax collectors out of the temple for one), which may be true, I can't say the connection between the two holds. In one case, the perpetrator gathered evidence for personal gain while in the other (according to whatever "evidence" we may have), it was to bring "salvation" to the meek. I can't see how an attack on the IRS can bring a subset of people salvation, can you?

    PPS Intolerance possibly, but ignorance is hardly the case. Wouldn't it be quite the contrary for knowing something as ignorance is the state of lack of information?

    On a sidenote: What other mainstream religion charges for their services? Yes, others ask for offerings or tithes or what have you, but the information is inherently open and free of charge. Additionally, if money is to be spent on education for Scientology, it is given a tax-deductible status. No other religion is given this privilege, which is preferential treatment. BTW preferential treatment of religions is against the First Amendment. Lawsuits have been brought up against the IRS by other plaintiffs who have used money for religious studies with this as a precedent only to be squelched. Just food for thought...

  4. First of all, I don't believe that the character Jesus is *modestly* based on truth. I believe he is 100% as fictional as Xenu. That being said, the character of Jesus as a founding figure of a religion is a lot more admirable then the "character" or L. Ron Hubbard. Still, the amount of crimes that have been committed in the name of Jesus Christ lead me to believe that he has done far more damage to the world then L. Ron Hubbard could ever really hope to do.

    Also, Tony B., did you know that temples require yearly dues in order to be members? If you want tickets to go to temple on the high holidays (and there is TIGHT security - you definitely can't get in without a ticket) then you have to pay about $5,000 a year in dues PLUS the price of the ticket. Your other option is to buy tickets on the black market. How admirable is that?

    Tony, look, I'm not trying to argue that Scientology is a credible religion. That's actually the opposite of what I'm trying to do. I'm pointing out that ALL religions are ridiculous, fantastical and fictional when you get down to it.

  5. The crimes committed in the name of Jesus Christ have nothing to do with his character. That is merely the follies of man invoking something greater in order to justify their selfish goals. I could claim evolution as my reasoning for killing a man. It in no way displays evolution as damaging, just my actions. One must separate those two.

    Secondly, I did not know about the temple's subscription. Personally, I feel that's unfortunate and ought to be rectified in some manner. That doesn't detract from the fact one can write that off one's taxes in the Church of Scientology but not in Judaism.

    Overall, my comments were never to antagonize the claims of Scientology, but instead its institution. If you want to say that no religion is credible, you must at least maintain that all have equal standards under the law and not deny prosecution for actions taken.