Scientology 101

For all of you who've been hearing a lot about Scientology lately but wonder what it's about, well, it's basically a bunch of nonsense. It's interesting, sure, but to really believe the doctrines you'd have to be a hopeless dupe to begin with or be brainwashed. Nevertheless, it makes for entertaining study. Rather than using the official website as a source of information, though, I suggest Operation Clambake, because the official Church doesn't want you to know everything right off the bat. (This also explains some of the apparently normal people who join the Church: they're not told all the wacky stuff until they're deeply involved already.)

Highlight: the L. Ron Hubbard Audio Collection, choice samples from his lectures. His lectures and writings are the scriptures of Scientology. I'm not sure how advanced Tom Cruise is, but as far as I can guess this is some of the stuff he believes.

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The problem with scientology

The problem with scientology in my mind is that it claims to be based on scientific discoveries that, absurdly, only L. Ron Hubbard could make.

One main premise behind modern science is that experiments must be repeatable and independent of who is conducting the experiment. Thus, right from the begining one sees a contradiction.

The sad fact is that when Scientology's theories, the ones that are testable anyway, are tested, the claimed results are not replicable. In fact many of their early demonstrations were disasters, like the time when L. Ron hubbard presented the first "clear" on stage, and she demonstrated a complete lack of the mental abilities that clears were claimed to possess.

Scientology is not based on science, it is associated with nasty forms of aggression including attempts to terrorize or incarcerate perceived opponents, and I am disturbed by the persistant reports of abuse of practitioners by the leadership, including the high incidence of psychotic episodes among the practitioners.

It is an organization I avoid.

Remember Tertullian:

Remember Tertullian: "Prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est." Trans: "It is to be believed because it is absurd." (from Wikipedia).

Quantum mechanics is also absurd, if you are to trust the accounts of its popularizers. Those of us with a scientific background purport to believe in it. But I myself don't have unswerving faith in QM, or in anything else.

Indeed. Christianity looks

Indeed. Christianity looks insane if you judge it by, say, the Eucharist. That doesn't mean that all Christians who take Communion are nuts.

But it also doesn't mean that they aren't. ;)

You forgot the bit about L.

You forgot the bit about L. Ron screwing Jack Parsons out of his share of the proceeds of the sale of Aerojet.

Though, to be fair, pretty

Though, to be fair, pretty much every other religions in the world is also about a bunch of nonsense that nobody could reasonably be expected to believe...:evil:

I've been reading Szasz

I've been reading Szasz Under Fire and know that his views on the myth of mental illness are embraced by some Scientologists (it pains me to even type that word). The jury is out on whether this endorsement hurts or helps.

A lot like mormons. Crazy

A lot like mormons. Crazy to the core, but they play their cards close to the vest with neophytes and the public.