Scientology – My Take

A few weeks ago, I read the New Yorker’s exposé on Scientology (or most of it. It’s long-as-hell, but worth the read if you’re into cultish, oppressive new religions) by Lawrence Wright. He details in great length the experience of Oscar winner Paul Haggis’ as a member of the organization in a preview of his new book “Going Clear,” about the inner workings of this secretive organization. I was already familiar with most of the allegations, but was really interested to read Haggis’ description of his thoughts before and during his time in Scientology.

I haven’t decided whether or not to read the book. The New Yorker article alone made me want to punch not a few people in the throat and I don’t know if I want all that bad mojo for however many days it takes me to complete the book. And I’m certain I don’t need to it the book to reinforce my current position on the “church” in any case.

Scientology – Run Like Hell

The latest allegations of the abuses committed by Scientology aren’t even necessary to assess the ethical standings of the organization. Nor is it’s theology or teachings. It’s secretive. This is almost always a bad thing. Whether it’s a corporation, a government, a church, an educational institution, the more secretive the operation, the greater the opportunity for abuse and likelihood of its existence.

Scientology has a celebrity center. It’s fucking laughable. Any religion or institution of spiritual instruction that targets celebrities for membership – without any other wrongdoing – is obviously a money-making scheme that is most likely avoided by all but the very naive and emotionally needy.

Take the widespread claims by former members that Scientology instructs members to “disassociate” with family members. The “church” (har, har) denies this, but EVERYONE who comes out insists this is the case and I believe them. Any organization that punishes members for contacting ANYONE should obviously be avoided.

Also, it costs oodles and oodles of cash to move up in the organization by taking specific classes and achieving advancement. The article asserts Scientology filed lawsuits against young adults who had been members as children for back pay for classes they took when they were minors.

One surprise The New Yorker piece offered was Haggis’ revelation that his children and other Scientology children were generally sequestered from mainstream media outlets and sometimes rarely come into contact with non-Scientologists until they were 18. While this probably isn’t true of all but the hardcore Scientology families, even if this happens on a very minuscule occasion, it is the greatest offense. Exposure to information and experiences the world has to offer are fundamental to good decision-making. If this is true, and the claims seem very credible, Scientology leadership are guilty of imprisoning the minds of minor members.

Yes, the allegations of unlawful imprisonment, beatings by leader David Miscavige, as well as the well-known extreme abuse of the legal system give clear indication that Scientology, at the very least, is an organization to be avoided and, at the very most, a criminal outfit. But, if even a fraction of the claims made by ex-Scientologists are true, Scientology should absolutely be stripped of its tax-exempt status and by investigated for illegal activity.

Celebrity Involvement
I agree with the sentiments of David Wright yesterday morning on Morning Joe, Tom Cruise is accountable for the atrocities committed by Scientology as he is their leading salesman. So is every other celebrity who participates in this rotten, festering American ulcer of Scientology. I saw Kirstie Alley and Anne Archer (whose son is spokesman for the, gag, “religion”) go apeshit on a reporter who was once questioning them about Scientology. That level of fierce defensiveness was so transparently indicative of cultish indoctrination, it should by taught in psych classes across the American university system.

Whether you’re Beck or Giovanni Ribisi (tear) or Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jenna Elfman, the voice of Bart on The Simpsons, or Isaac Hayes or whomever, if you are a member of this church, you are participating in and helping the organization to oppress minors and abuse members. In most instances, I will avoid the consumption of their products because I do not in any way want to contribute to the practices carried out by this secretive, controlling, and grotesque organization.

As online media helps bring to light the true nature of Scientology, I hope it dissolves as a viable “religious” organization. We cannot legislate stupidity and, if people want to become members and muddy the gene pool, so be it. I think an organization so inherently slimy cannot and will not stand the test of time. Until then, I can only throw my hands in the air and shout, “What the hell is wrong with people?!!”

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