For a relatively small church (or relatively large cult), Scientology takes a lot of bashing. Not that the organization doesn’t deserve it, of course. But, you know, I should be able to find something else to whine about on this blog. Bigger fish to fry and all that. So, I’m going to get all the Scientology stuff out of my system at once.
I just finished two books on Scientology–Inside Scientology by Robert Kaufman and A Piece of Blue Sky by Jon Atack. Here are some of the highlights of what I came across.
James Stewart has been put in a Condition of Doubt for having [epileptic] seizures in public thus invalidating Scientology. If there is any reoccurrence of these either consciously and unconsciously on his part he will be placed in a Condition of Enemy.
Stewart’s real crime, having had a seizure, was telling the hospital that he was a Scientologist, thus supposedly giving Scientology a bad name. [Blue Sky, page 184]
Getting out of the Condition of Enemy generally involves heavy manual labor and a high level of shunning. Yup. That’s nice and compassionate. Just what you’d like from your religion. Of course, since illness is a sign of improper application of Scientology principles, maybe Mr. Stewart deserved what he got. … Ummmm, no.
[Scientology agents infiltrated the Coast Guard, DEA, and IRS.] This was not a matter of a small persecuted religion infiltrating government agencies to expose immoral actions committed by those agencies. In reality, it was a matter of protecting Hubbard from any inconvenience, let alone any litigation. [Blue Sky, page 210]
And while they were infiltrating, they were also stealing documents about ongoing investigations and about people who challenged Scientology. Pretty sure the ends don’t justify those means.
Hubbard alleged the psychiatrist [sic, mine], “who have been on the [time] track a long time and are the sole cause of decline in this universe” had invented sex as a means of entrapment eons ago. As a result of Hubbard’s diatribe, some Scientologists stopped having sexual intercourse with their spouses. [Blue Sky, page 288]
Ooookay. The part about sex as a means of entrapment sounds an awful lot like what’s taught in some other, more mainstream, religions. So maybe I can give them a pass here. Speaking of sounding familiar:
Ron claimed that every word he ever wrote held just as good today as when he wrote it: nothing he ever said needed changing. [Inside, page 179]
Huh. Where have I heard that before?
And another familiar thought:
Most of the Scientologists were culturally green, interested only in Hubbard’s pronouncements. Many were reactionary, almost Fascistic, in their political views. The attitude of this breed was that the poor and oppressed of the world, the dwellers in mud villages and ghettos, were suffering solely from their own inadequacies; they were dominated by their reactive minds and were getting exactly what they deserved. [Inside, page 31]
Sounds like the crud that’s preached from some megachurch pulpits these days. Whatever the source, blaming the victim is always cruel.
For six months, Gulliver had been a top executive in the Commodore’s Messenger Organization U.K. which controlled all other Scientology organizations in Britain. He rated himself one of the top four executives in CMO U.K. He was fourteen years old. [Blue Sky, page 322]
Yowza. I barely trust a seventeen-year-old to feed my cats. There’s no way I would trust one to run my religion. This is just a bad idea. As well as probably qualifying as child abuse.
And speaking of child abuse:
At one meal, I noticed a little boy eating at a small table off to the side. At first I thought he was alone; then I recognized him as one of the children of an American couple who were on SBC and acked everything said to them in the approved way, with sonorous “Okays” and “thank-yous.” His mother had found in an S&D that he was suppressive to her (perhaps she hadn’t wanted him in the first place), and she had had to disconnect from him; and so they sat at separate tables. Now and then she ran over and gave him a love-pat because, as she maintained, “I can really only half-disconnect from him.” He was the saddest little boy I ever saw, his pinched, bewildered features in complete contrast to those of his sunny little sister, who always sat with her parents. [Inside, page 97]
There are no words. I could just spit.
On a lighter note:
Having decided in 1952 that most science fiction is actually a recounting of real past-life experience, Hubbard’s own preoccupations as a science fiction writer became the cosmology of his religion. [Blue Sky, page 375]
So much for the predictive nature of science fiction. It’s actually history, not futurism. I never would have guessed.
Okay. I think I’m “clear” of this now. Thank goodness.