Chris Shelton reviews the book Scientology by James R. Lewis

Weren't these scholars spoon fed Scientology pap when they were shown around the orgs? I seem to recall something about that. This is one of Scientology's goals - to seek public acceptance. Take the life Exhibition with all the keys to cities, proclamations by City fathers, to build this aura to counter the cult image.

It's not the parable of emperor who has no clothes, rather, it is a wolf trying to put on shepherd's clothes to lead the flock to the shearing of their wool.

So, by choosing these Scholars, who seem to be parroting Scientology party line, does the fault lay with the editor or the Sea Org members that white wash or hide from view, Scientology's dirty laundry?

Mimsey
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Weren't these scholars spoon fed Scientology pap when they were shown around the orgs?

Weren't they PAID by the cult for their "scholarly" works? I seem to remember reading that, although I could be wrong. Otherwise, why would they do it? It's surely not for academic kudos. A minimum of research, even pre-Internet, would show that the cult is scummy but if you publish that you risk getting sued, and if you publish something unscummy you don't get sued but your peers laugh at you.

Paul
 

oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
Weren't they PAID by the cult for their "scholarly" works? I seem to remember reading that, although I could be wrong. Otherwise, why would they do it? It's surely not for academic kudos. A minimum of research, even pre-Internet, would show that the cult is scummy but if you publish that you risk getting sued, and if you publish something unscummy you don't get sued but your peers laugh at you.

Paul

I cannot fathom why intelligent, educated people would write something like that for free. They will be forever remembered as shills and they know it. No historian will be able to write about the history of the internet without writing about Scientology and it's demise. Their writing will be a part of that record.
 

RandomCat

Patron with Honors
It could be that some of these 'new religious movement' scholars just default to defending these groups (e.g. Defending them against critics and ex-members.). Perhaps they do this because they think nearly all new religions are underdogs being attacked by more established beliefs.

There is no evidence (that I know of) to support the idea that: The opinions of religious 'believers' are going to be less biased and more accurate than the opinions of 'ex believers'.
 

Lulu Belle

Moonbat
Weren't they PAID by the cult for their "scholarly" works? I seem to remember reading that, although I could be wrong. Otherwise, why would they do it? It's surely not for academic kudos. A minimum of research, even pre-Internet, would show that the cult is scummy but if you publish that you risk getting sued, and if you publish something unscummy you don't get sued but your peers laugh at you.

Paul

Yup.

http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthre...-payroll&p=986169&highlight=melton#post986169

If you want more info, read the whole thread.
 

Chris Shelton

Patron with Honors
Weren't these scholars spoon fed Scientology pap when they were shown around the orgs? I seem to recall something about that. This is one of Scientology's goals - to seek public acceptance. Take the life Exhibition with all the keys to cities, proclamations by City fathers, to build this aura to counter the cult image.

It's not the parable of emperor who has no clothes, rather, it is a wolf trying to put on shepherd's clothes to lead the flock to the shearing of their wool.

So, by choosing these Scholars, who seem to be parroting Scientology party line, does the fault lay with the editor or the Sea Org members that white wash or hide from view, Scientology's dirty laundry?

Mimsey

I think your question is a false dichotomy. They are both at fault and both responsible for their actions in presenting a false representation of what Scientology is. The book Scientology was written and published in 2008/2009, when the internet was flourishing and actually burgeoning with stories and first-hand accounts of what goes on behind the scenes at Scientology's highest levels. All of this information was freely available to these scholars and academics and so far in my critique, all of them purposefully chose to ignore that information in favor of the data the Church provided them. I'm calling them on the carpet for that because as supposedly objective observers, that is 100% their bad. Any group, especially Scientology, is going to whitewash themselves and put on their best PR face when asked to give information about themselves. And any academic would be well aware of this when receiving information of any kind from said groups. It's incumbent upon the academic to do his job by keeping an open but skeptical mind and reviewing all the available information he or she can get on the subject of his study. Of course this would include the info and tours and first hand information that the group provides, but to use only that information and invalidate any other as inherently biased, flaws or tainted is intellectually dishonest. So far that has been the central theme developing in my reviews.

I didn't intend for that to be the theme, it's just what has come up over and over in reviewing this book. I myself am keeping an open mind with each chapter and hoping that there will be at least one or would of these scholars who manage to maintain objectivity. As this is a review of only this book, I'm mainly concentrating on what is said in this book and not other places where there scholars may have said things more positive or negative about Scientology.
 

Lulu Belle

Moonbat
To quote myself from the Jim Beverly thread... :p


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/cult/unification/main.htm



Moon's businesses exist for several purposes, church leaders and critics agree: to employ members, to gain influence in industries Moon considers crucial to worldwide recognition of himself as Messiah, and to support Moon's spiritual and political agenda.

Sometimes, that support is direct, as when Moon's nonprofit organizations contribute to conservative political and social causes with financial donations, staff and publicity. And sometimes it is indirect, as when Moon-sponsored groups stage academic, religious and cultural conferences, inviting professors, clergy, media executives and other opinion-shapers to meetings, expenses paid.

"Of course, the whole thing is to buy respectability," said Marvin Borderlon, a Roman Catholic ex-priest who is president of the American Conference on Religious Movements, a Rockville-based group that fights discrimination against new religions. The group is funded by the Church of Scientology, the Hare Krishna organization, and most of all, by Unificationists, who give him $3,000 a month, Borderlon said.

"They'll have a conference on the essence of religious founders, like Buddha, Jesus and guess who," Borderlon said. "He gets a room full of academics to sit there while he pronounces himself the Messiah. He gets his picture taken with them. He gets credibility, they get to have their conference. It's all very messy."

Borderlon, like many people who have received some of Moon's generous bounty, has never been able to figure out the blizzard of organizations that make up Moon Inc. "My money is never from the church itself," he said. "It's always the International Something or Other."
 
I think your question is a false dichotomy. They are both at fault and both responsible for their actions in presenting a false representation of what Scientology is. The book Scientology was written and published in 2008/2009, when the internet was flourishing and actually burgeoning with stories and first-hand accounts of what goes on behind the scenes at Scientology's highest levels. All of this information was freely available to these scholars and academics and so far in my critique, all of them purposefully chose to ignore that information in favor of the data the Church provided them. I'm calling them on the carpet for that because as supposedly objective observers, that is 100% their bad. Any group, especially Scientology, is going to whitewash themselves and put on their best PR face when asked to give information about themselves. And any academic would be well aware of this when receiving information of any kind from said groups. It's incumbent upon the academic to do his job by keeping an open but skeptical mind and reviewing all the available information he or she can get on the subject of his study. Of course this would include the info and tours and first hand information that the group provides, but to use only that information and invalidate any other as inherently biased, flaws or tainted is intellectually dishonest. So far that has been the central theme developing in my reviews.

I didn't intend for that to be the theme, it's just what has come up over and over in reviewing this book. I myself am keeping an open mind with each chapter and hoping that there will be at least one or would of these scholars who manage to maintain objectivity. As this is a review of only this book, I'm mainly concentrating on what is said in this book and not other places where there scholars may have said things more positive or negative about Scientology.
That's a good point - I hope that some of the authors rise above these three, and have some sort of moral fiber. They sure didn't do any (or much) due diligence in terms of objective research. Mimsey
 

Jump

Operating teatime
That's a good point - I hope that some of the authors rise above these three, and have some sort of moral fiber. They sure didn't do any (or much) due diligence in terms of objective research. Mimsey

It can be a two-edged sword for the researcher who feels this is their field. An overly critical publication could cause the removal of further access to their topic.

The researcher should see this for the manipulation it is and move on. Stephen Kent has managed to be objective in the field at some personal cost.
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Review of Chapter 3, by Douglas Cowan, entitled "Researching Scientology: Perceptions, Premises, Promises and Problematics," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;giQS5CqgSQk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giQS5CqgSQk[/video]

Published on Aug 18, 2016

In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 3, written by Douglas Cowan and titled "Researching Scientology: Perceptions, Premises, Promises and Problematics."


 
I am about half way through it. Chris has just made an interesting comment - the author is discussing the Joe on the street Scientologist, and finding out what makes him tick, to understand Scientology and it's effect on people. Chris disagrees, and makes the observation - the core group - the SO are the real Scientologists. At first I thought - they are but a small minority, so what? However, when he made his subsequent point - Scientology would have collapsed long ago if it were not for them, and their willingness to absolutely anything to see Scientology succeed, I tend to agree.

A really good example of this was the evolution of setting up ASHO and AOLA after the "Flight to Freedom" got stopped in England back in the sixties. here's a post I did about that a while back. It clearly shows the Sea Org's dedication in comparison to Saint Hills non-sea Org staff in making it go right:

I was on lines in the early 1970 at ASHO when it was on Temple and AOLA was on Westlake. One day they had a sort of recruiting event, out front of AO and the moral, and inspirational message was how competent the Sea Org is, and that you should join up. And just how did they convey that message?

They told the story of how ASHO and AOLA came to be. Surprisingly, the story shared some entheta.

The featured SO Officer giving the speech, described how there was a flight to freedom. This was where they booked or chartered a jet, loaded it up with scientologists, and flew to Merrie Olde England. The Brits, had a dim view of Scientology, and so, denied them entry. What to do - Hubbard sent down the order to AO Edinborough and to Saint Hill, that they each were send a team to the USA in Los Angeles and set up an AO and SH (Saint Hill) there. And - get this - they only had 3 days to do it in. Scientology put up the Scio's in some local hotel, and then planned on sending them to LA

So the mighty SO at Edinborough put together a mission and jetted to LA and started hunting for a suitable home near LA org which was on 8th street and Alvarado. They found a small apartment building on Westlake and set up house keeping. They were up and running when the flight landed at LAX.

But when the public arrived - they were in for a shock. The public wasn't ready for them. They needed to do R6EW, power, etc. What to do? The AO had CC and OT materials, but nothing below that. So they raided LAO's mimeo section and found they had enough tech stuff there to start delivering the solo course etc. There was any number of confidential materials in the mimeo files, so they started delivering.

I don't remember exactly how much later, maybe two weeks? that the SH team arrived to set up ASHO. See, the SH was non - SO in those days, so they weren't as on purpose as the SO was ( remember the first paragraph?) so they just weren't able enough to make good on LRH's orders.

So, what to do? Since the weather was nice, they ran ASHO on LA Orgs porch while they looked for a suitable building, which they found on Temple Street. Then they moved every body there and began delivering services.

So, Boys and Girls! Do you want to become a competent, make it go right person, or just sort of limp along in life? If it's the former, you should see the friendly SO recruiter and sigh up with the winning team!

What else is there to do that is worthwhile for the next billion years?
Mimsey
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Review of Chapter 5, by Dorthe Christensen, entitled "Scientology and Self-Narrativity: Theology and Soteriology as Resource and Strategy," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;4PMGAInHzSQ]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PMGAInHzSQ[/video]
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Review of Chapter 6, by James R. Lewis, entitled "The Growth of Scientology and the Stark Model of 'Success'," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;UUOeDiYdFX0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUOeDiYdFX0[/video]
Published on Sep 8, 2016

In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 6, written by James R. Lewis himself and titled "The Growth of Scientology and the Stark Model of 'Success'."

Link to scribd article: http://goo.gl/zBV1Op

****************

Referenced text: Mormon and Scientologist Ad Campaigns: Who Copied Who?


https://www.scribd.com/document/200571599/Mormon-and-Scientologist-Ad-Campaigns-Who-Copied-Who



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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Review of Chapter 7, by Peter B. Andersen and Rie Wellendorf, entitled "Community in Scientology and among Scientologists," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;B0hg4kN777Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0hg4kN777Y[/video]

Uploaded on Sep 14, 2016

In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 7, written by Peter B. Andersen and Rie Wellendorf and titled "Community in Scientology and among Scientologists."
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Review of Chapter 8, by Regis Dericqueobourg, entitled "How Should We Regard the Religious Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology?," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;_qPj-u2X81c]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qPj-u2X81c[/video]

Published on Sep 22, 2016

In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 8, written by Regis Dericqueobourg and titled "How Should We Regard the Religious Ceremonies of the Church of Scientology?"







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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 9 - The Development and Reality of Auditing.

[video=youtube;RR4a_CaXRJs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR4a_CaXRJs[/video]

Published on Oct 27, 2016


In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 9, written by Gail Harley and John Kieffer and titled "The Development and Reality of Auditing."


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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Review of Chapter 9, by Frank K. Flinn, entitled "Scientology as Technological Buddhism," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;9q-Sw8wiPbE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9q-Sw8wiPbE[/video]
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Deconstructing Scientology: Chapter 11.

[video=youtube;Muc3eHuJgXI]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Muc3eHuJgXI[/video]

Published on Nov 17, 2016
In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 11, written by Andreas Grunschloss and titled "Scientology, A 'New Age' Religion?"
 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
VIDEO: Review of Chapter 12, by Gerald Willms, entitled "Scientology, A Modern Religion or Religion of Modernity?," of the book Scientology edited by James R. Lewis.

[video=youtube;O5rSlniotc4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5rSlniotc4[/video]

Published on Nov 24, 2016

In this video series, I'm taking on Scientology academic apologists by deconstructing the book Scientology by James R. Lewis, chapter by chapter. In this video, I look at Chapter 12, written by Gerald Willms and titled "Scientology, A Modern Religion or Religion of Modernity?"
 
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