Religion Black and White

Queenmab321

Patron Meritorious
This discussion overtook its thread, so I thought I'd give it a home.

Yeah. I'm not totally disagreeing with you with regards to definitions, I'm rejecting the OP proposition of whatever someone calims is religion actually is a religion. But I am interested in boundary conditions. In solving certain differential equations, an exact answer is only possible if you specify a stop and a start point for the function. Those are called boundary conditions. The religion that posits immortal souls, but does not look to a deity, is approaching - but does not arrive at - the boundary condition for defining Philosophy, and thus studying it give some insight, and clarity to our lay definitions.


Similarly, as you pointed out, some religions take on a literalist view and try to take the aura of natural philosophy mixed with theology. Eliat Mazar, one of the pre-eminent archaeologists in Israel, has seriously compromised her credibility by using Christian biblical literalists as field hands. If you dig a little you can find a discrepancy where the Church of God whackos say that they literally found the gutter than David is said to have used to take Jerusalem (at least in one of the accounts, the other one does not mention it, an inconvenient fact the literalists gloss over), while in other articles Mazar, when free of her erstwhile students in an all-Jewish forum, says that the "use the gutter" is figurative. and the conquering soldiers would have had to ritually purify themselves with its rainwater, and that is what "use the gutter" meant in the ancient Hebrew.


All that is a theological sideshow, though, which is why you can't say that their literalism is similar to the MEST mock-up literalism of $CN. Those literalists are accepted as Christian by other Christians not because they declare the bible to be literally, archeaologically true, but because they accept - on faith - the divinity of Jesus Christ.

The fundamentalist Christians I have in mind typically employ something akin to Aquinas' "five ways" of proving God's existence, with special emphasis on the teleological ("watchmaker") argument, then go on to claim not only that archaeological evidence invariably confirms the reliability of the Bible, but also that historical evidence for Jesus' actual resurrection from the dead is overwhelming and consequently unassailable. An additional line of reasoning entails the assertion that any objective standard of morality must be predicated upon the existence of God and that, moral relativism being unthinkable, God must therefore exist. The "faith" of these Christians is essentially a form of rationalism. The truth claims espoused by this particular variety of Christian are not understood to be taken on mere faith. I should point out that this apology for the Christian faith is not found in the Bible itself.
My point here is that religion need not entail a self-conscious acknowledgement of faith as means of embracing dogmatic content. They will typically use the word "faith" to refer instead to their own personal allegiance to Jesus Christ.

I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by the expression "MEST mock-up literalism of $CN"; however, it is my understanding that scientologists, like the fundamentalist Christians described above, reject the idea that the fantastic elements of their belief system rest on religious faith.

In both instances the dogmatic assertions of apostles and Hubbard, respectively, are believed to be true at the outset, and justification for these assertions are marshaled after the fact.
 

La La Lou Lou

Crusader
This discussion overtook its thread, so I thought I'd give it a home.



The fundamentalist Christians I have in mind typically employ something akin to Aquinas' "five ways" of proving God's existence, with special emphasis on the teleological ("watchmaker") argument, then go on to claim not only that archaeological evidence invariably confirms the reliability of the Bible, but also that historical evidence for Jesus' actual resurrection from the dead is overwhelming and consequently unassailable. An additional line of reasoning entails the assertion that any objective standard of morality must be predicated upon the existence of God and that, moral relativism being unthinkable, God must therefore exist. The "faith" of these Christians is essentially a form of rationalism. The truth claims espoused by this particular variety of Christian are not understood to be taken on mere faith. I should point out that this apology for the Christian faith is not found in the Bible itself.
My point here is that religion need not entail a self-conscious acknowledgement of faith as means of embracing dogmatic content. They will typically use the word "faith" to refer instead to their own personal allegiance to Jesus Christ.

I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by the expression "MEST mock-up literalism of $CN"; however, it is my understanding that scientologists, like the fundamentalist Christians described above, reject the idea that the fantastic elements of their belief system rest on religious faith.

In both instances the dogmatic assertions of apostles and Hubbard, respectively, are believed to be true at the outset, and justification for these assertions are marshaled after the fact.

Yes religious people tend to believe that their groundless faith is based on physical evidence.

So Islam is proved because Mohammed said the earth was shaped like an ostrich egg, and therefore it means that it's perfectly reasonable to stone adulterers to death. :no:

Jehova's Witnesses were proved right when people who had blood transfusions died of AIDs, so those parents who allowed their kids to die in need of blood were vindicated.:no:

Those are crazy assumptions, they don't prove or disprove anything. It is a belief system though. Just as scientology is a belief system, but it is not a religion. Monarchy is a belief system any socio-political group is based on faith. No scientists can prove what political system is right.
Scientology is not a religion, it just wanted the protection being classed as a religion gave it.
 

Queenmab321

Patron Meritorious
Yes religious people tend to believe that their groundless faith is based on physical evidence.

So Islam is proved because Mohammed said the earth was shaped like an ostrich egg, and therefore it means that it's perfectly reasonable to stone adulterers to death. :no:

Jehova's Witnesses were proved right when people who had blood transfusions died of AIDs, so those parents who allowed their kids to die in need of blood were vindicated.:no:

Those are crazy assumptions, they don't prove or disprove anything. It is a belief system though.

Agreed.

I was responding specifically to Udarnik's earlier suggestion that SCN's claim, to wit, that the existence of an immaterial soul may be proven "through MEST means" (empirically?), may distingiuish it, SCN, from religion by "removing the faith aspect."

Just as scientology is a belief system, but it is not a religion. Monarchy is a belief system any socio-political group is based on faith. No scientists can prove what political system is right.
Scientology is not a religion, it just wanted the protection being classed as a religion gave it.

Scientists cannot prove what political system is right because political theory is, ultimately, an application of moral principles. Science cannot speak directly to questions of morality. Although morality is not of itself religion, the role of morality here is, I think, both integral and complex. While, on the one hand, morality appears to precede and inform the formation of belief systems, on the other hand, such systems, in their turn, invariably codify, refine and alter the individual believer's moral convictions. This has to do, I suppose, with the interface between the individual's internalized moral code and the collectively recognized moral standard of the group.

At any rate, the question, as I see it, is this: what is it about a given set of beliefs that renders it religious? I suspect it has something to do with the proximity of the adopted belief system to the core values that inform and shape the believer's sense of identity. Emile Durkhiem defines religion as "a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them."
 

La La Lou Lou

Crusader
Agreed.

I was responding specifically to Udarnik's earlier suggestion that SCN's claim, to wit, that the existence of an immaterial soul may be proven "through MEST means" (empirically?), may distingiuish it, SCN, from religion by "removing the faith aspect."



Scientists cannot prove what political system is right because political theory is, ultimately, an application of moral principles. Science cannot speak directly to questions of morality. Although morality is not of itself religion, the role of morality here is, I think, both integral and complex. While, on the one hand, morality appears to precede and inform the formation of belief systems, on the other hand, such systems, in their turn, invariably codify, refine and alter the individual believer's moral convictions. This has to do, I suppose, with the interface between the individual's internalized moral code and the collectively recognized moral standard of the group.

At any rate, the question, as I see it, is this: what is it about a given set of beliefs that renders it religious? I suspect it has something to do with the proximity of the adopted belief system to the core values that inform and shape the believer's sense of identity. Emile Durkhiem defines religion as "a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden – beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them."

Someone in the Church of England tried to 'prove' to me that spirits existed because dead bodies weighed less than living ones. There had been an experiment weighing someone just before and after death. The weight lost was very small but nothing to do apparently with loosing body fluids etc. As I did not see the experiment I couldn't comment. I would also like to see proof it wasn't evaporation, loss of air from lungs etc etc. The fact is that proving that a dead body looses a small amount of weight proves to me that it lost weight that's all, I wouldn't want to draw conclusions, especially from one body.

It can be shown that people who regularly go to church are less depressed that others in a similar culture. That doesn't mean that god is fluffy. It could interpreted that relaxed socialising is good for a human being. Looking at stats can be useful if the right conclusion is drawn, comparing the benefits of one church, mosque, synagogue to the others could show what kind of socialising is best for us. But there would be so many other variables within those stats it would get really hard to prove.
 

kate8024

-deleted-
Someone in the Church of England tried to 'prove' to me that spirits existed because dead bodies weighed less than living ones. There had been an experiment weighing someone just before and after death. The weight lost was very small but nothing to do apparently with loosing body fluids etc. As I did not see the experiment I couldn't comment. I would also like to see proof it wasn't evaporation, loss of air from lungs etc etc. The fact is that proving that a dead body looses a small amount of weight proves to me that it lost weight that's all, I wouldn't want to draw conclusions, especially from one body.

This was based on tests performed by Dr. Duncan MacDougall based on 6 patients in 1901 in which he determined the soul weighed 21 grams. No one has ever tried to reproduce this with modern scientific methods and his results are generally considered meaningless.

More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_MacDougall_(doctor)
 

Lucretia

Patron with Honors
I think ideologies are religions to the people that follow them. The fascists in Spain and Italy were every bit as rabid, and used their ideology to justify the most blatant atrocities, as any Jehovahs Witness, Mormon, Jehadist or Scientologist. They are similarly indefensible. They were based on a system of belief, cooked up by some crazy and then extended to their logical extreme. The idea of racial purity is nonsense, and extended to its logical extreme resulted in genocide. But it was still believed in by a whole country, and many other people besides.

For what ever reason, (and I am beginning to think it is a basic flaw in our collective psyche) I also think that the followers of ideologies tend to deify the founders of the ideologies, and therefore satisfy the need for the sacred. I don't know whether I mean supernatural, or just unassailable but in any case, beyond question. Once the concept of sacred has been admitted to a belief, then the need to question is eliminated, and the follower can settle down to a mentally quiet system of superimposed thought. Mussonlini, Franco, even Ghandi and Mother Theresa have all been elevated to god status and followed without question. I am sure, even though our beloved Hubturd denied it, he would have been very touched to know that most of us regarded him a superhuman - godlike in essence. He was certainly infallible. The Bible only works because of a belief in the Christian god, but the christian god is also a construct, to again satisfy the need for the sacred, as it is with Islam, Buddhism, the Tao and Cargo Cultists etc

In this sense all ideologies are religions, all religions are ideologies, and all ideologies and religions are cults.
 

Queenmab321

Patron Meritorious
I think ideologies are religions to the people that follow them. The fascists in Spain and Italy were every bit as rabid, and used their ideology to justify the most blatant atrocities, as any Jehovahs Witness, Mormon, Jehadist or Scientologist. They are similarly indefensible. They were based on a system of belief, cooked up by some crazy and then extended to their logical extreme. The idea of racial purity is nonsense, and extended to its logical extreme resulted in genocide. But it was still believed in by a whole country, and many other people besides.

For what ever reason, (and I am beginning to think it is a basic flaw in our collective psyche) I also think that the followers of ideologies tend to deify the founders of the ideologies, and therefore satisfy the need for the sacred. I don't know whether I mean supernatural, or just unassailable but in any case, beyond question. Once the concept of sacred has been admitted to a belief, then the need to question is eliminated, and the follower can settle down to a mentally quiet system of superimposed thought. Mussonlini, Franco, even Ghandi and Mother Theresa have all been elevated to god status and followed without question. I am sure, even though our beloved Hubturd denied it, he would have been very touched to know that most of us regarded him a superhuman - godlike in essence. He was certainly infallible. The Bible only works because of a belief in the Christian god, but the christian god is also a construct, to again satisfy the need for the sacred, as it is with Islam, Buddhism, the Tao and Cargo Cultists etc

In this sense all ideologies are religions, all religions are ideologies, and all ideologies and religions are cults.

I fear perhaps thou deemest that we fare
An impious road to realms of thought profane;
But 'tis that same religion oftener far
Hath bred the foul impieties of men.

Lucretius, "De Rerum Natura," lines 80,81
 

Veda

Sponsor
I think ideologies are religions to the people that follow them.

-snip-

In a sense all ideologies are religions, all religions are ideologies, and all ideologies and religions are cults.

You're allowing yourself to be led down the garden path into agreeing that Scientology Inc. is a religion, and, as a religion, deserves all the perks and privileges of a religion.

This discussion leads to one place and one place only: To the conclusion that Scientology Inc. should have a special status that will ensure that it can continue to defraud and harm people.

The other day, the person who started this thread posted a link to a Scientology Inc. OSA site, and it seemed completely sensible to this person to do so, and why not? since the person agrees with the content of the Scientology OSA site.

The same person's account of how Scientology Inc. received tax exempt status ignored all the relevant facts of that occurrence, and presented an explanation that could have been lifted from a Scientology Inc. OSA handbook.


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Video on Religious cloaking - the affidavit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZvqeGrbILw

The complete document:

http://www.lermanet.com/reference/brennan-dec.pdf


60min028.jpg



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Quoted posts by others from Ex Scientologist Message Board are in sienna (brown).

By Rmack:

I just had to vent a little about a pet peeve I have. People who, even though critical of this cult, still call it a church.

It's well documented that the whole church facade was taken on by Laffy for the benefits it bestowed, like potential tax exemption, the e-meter being protected as a 'religious artifact' to avoid being prosecuted for using it to treat medical conditions, etc. They went from being a clinic with 'doctors' to a religion with 'ministers', but the practices stayed pretty much the same.

Scientology is a money making fraudulent cult, not a church.

I like the adage attributed to Abraham Lincoln that goes 'How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Answer; four. Calling the tail a leg doesn't make it a leg.'



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Tax exempt status had been sought by Hubbard since he first launched his "religion angle," complete with ministers in clerical collars, crosses on "Churches," and the accompanying benign-sounding 'Creed of the Church of Scientology', meant to invite agreement from "wogs," as they were "gradiently" led into agreement with the idea that Scientology is a "religion."


It's the religion angle and religious cloaking that allow Scientology to get away with so much fraudulent and abusive behavior.



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Video about the IRS deal with Scientology:

[video=youtube;ewQ8bgMMqnQ]http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ewQ8bgMMqnQ[/video]


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From Hubbard Communication Office Policy Letter of October 1962, 'Religion':

"Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organizations. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."


This man was convicted of "interfering with a religion," for picketing outside Scientology's heavily armed, razor-wire enclosed, base outside Hemet, California. He was sent to jail.

kh-hero.jpg


Here's the law on the case: http://lists.ucla.edu/pipermail/religionlaw/2001-May/002573.html (Thanks, Teanntas.)


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From Dulloldfart:

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Scientology_organizations

Principal Organizations
Religious Technology Center (RTC)
Church of Spiritual Technology (CST)
Church of Scientology International (CSI)
Church of Scientology of California (CSC)

Trademark Service Organizations
Inspector General Network (IGN)
IGN International AB
Dianetics Centers International (DCI)
Dianetics Foundation International (DFI)
Hubbard Dianetics Foundation (HDF)
WISE, Inc.

Financial Trusts
Author's Family Trust
Church of Scientology Religious Trust (CSRT)
Scientology International Reserves Trust (SIRT)
Trust for Scientologists
United States Parishioners Trust
Flag Ship Trust (FST)
International Publications Trust
Scientology Defense Trust

Financial Service Organizations
SOR Services Ltd.
Nesta Investments Ltd.
FSO Oklahoma Investments Corporation
Theta Management Ltd. (TML)

Publishing Houses & Publication Organizations
Golden Era Productions
Author Services Inc. (ASI)
Bridge Publications Inc. (BPI)
New Era Publications ApS
Scientology Publications Ltd.

Secular & Social Management Entities
Association for Better Living and Education International (ABLE)
Applied Scholastics Inc.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR)
Criminon International
Narconon International
Way to Happiness Foundation International
World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International (WISE)

Other Management Organizations
Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International (CC Int.)
International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors (IHELP)
Scientology Missions International (SMI)

Service Organizations
<snip mostly Church names>

Membership Organizations

Unincorporated Associations
International Association of Scientologists (IAS)
Hubbard Association of Scientologists International (HASI)

Membership Service Organizations
International Association of Scientologists Administrations, N.V. (IASA)
Membership Services Administrations (UK) Ltd. (MSA)

There are 41 names there, only 5 of which include the C-word. Local service orgs in the US and other religion-favouring countries usually include the C-word, and in countries that don't favour religions they don't. Expediency reigns supreme.

Question for any residents of the "non" countries: when the cult hits the news there, is the main organization ever referred to, or is it just the name of the local branch? For example, does the media in Russia ever refer to CSI spokeperson Karin Pouw by name and title?

Paul



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Scientology has a decades long history of using the "religion angle" and "religious cloaking" to gain advantage, and to exempt itself from inspection and from laws.

Scientology is a for-profit blackmail-collecting global scam masquerading as a religion.

Prof. Steven Kent on 'Is Scientology a Religion?':

http://www.bible.ca/scientology-not-religion-kent.htm


Those who dislike religion, and think they're criticizing Scientology by criticizing religion, are being tricked by Hubbard's religion angle, and Scientology's religious cloaking, every bit as much as those who like religion and defer to Scientology because it's a "religion."


It's rare to encounter a Scientologist who knows what Scientology is, not because they're stupid, but because Scientology discourages its followers from finding out what it actually is and, ultimately, places them in a state of mind where they don't want to know even when they have the opportunity.

A few bus loads of people such as this are useful for Public Relation purposes, especially when they are wearing big yellow Scientology is my religion buttons.

These are the well-intentioned dupes, and are an essential component of the Scientology charade.


Responding to the assertion by another poster that Scientology's status as a (tax exempt, and exempt from various laws) "Church" is a "done deal":


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From Div6:

I'm with Veda on this. Only in the US is it anywhere near "a done deal". In mexico it is a "philosophical society."


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From Senator Nick Xenophon:

"What we are seeing is a worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality... On the body of evidence, this is not happening by accident; it is happening by design.

In 1955, L. Ron Hubbard secretly authored this booklet http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?2697-Table-of-Contents-Psychopolitics-revisited to be used as a black propaganda vehicle for attacking his critics, by identifying them with Russian Communism. Some years later, the booklet slowly faded into obscurity. It was no longer useful as a propaganda vehicle. During the period of the Vietnam war, Hubbard had decided that "Nazi," not "Communist," was a more effective "button" to push, to influence public opinion to Scientology's advantage. Another reason for this booklet fading into obscurity was that Hubbard was now using many of its ideas and methods on his own followers, and on others. Hubbard had been doing this for many years prior, but it was now intensified. These ideas and methods are interwoven into Scientology doctrine, and integral to that doctrine.

Brainwashing-front.jpg


Senator Nick Xenophon continued:

Scientology is not a religious organisation. It is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs."

It's noteworthy that the first official body to recognize Hubbard's use of this booklet's ideas and methods was from Australia in the 1960s and, now, another Australian official is continuing the tradition of insightful and courageous truth-telling regarding the secretive cult of Scientology.


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From Free to shine:

Why not just call it scientology???

I have never called it a church and I never will. I don't even use a capital S unless it's the start of a sentence. I was there when it was decided that it should be a religion, and I know what a farce it was.

I think it's only those who feel the need to be politically correct who use the word "Church", in the media and so on to avoid getting dogpiled for 'religious discrimination'.


Group2.jpg



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From Lermanet:

In 1994, one of the used (Im not saying correct, just one of methods used) ways to guess who was either OSA or duped by osa or too dumb to be of any worth to the expose scientology movement anyway, was to see if they could say "XENU"...

Ten years later, the rule of thumb *I* use, on all except for the very-newest-escapees, to determine this is DO THEY CALL IT A CHURCH or refer to it as a RELIGION. I feel it works for me, you're mileage may vary.

Thoroughly understanding the materials collected on my RELIGIOUS CLOAKING PAGE leads to the inescapable conclusion that $cientology is an elaborate hypnotic FRAUD that has been CLOAKED using RELIGIOUS CLOAKING.



This point is not lost on their own lawyers, and thorough application of such comprehensions demonstrated here.. in the last time $cientology tried to depose me in 1997 at the Law Offices of Mr Sinclair in Alexandria Virginia, a camera had been set up to video this, if you want proof ask OSA to post this video:

DEPOSITION STARTS

Clam lawyer Rosen asked: Mr Lerma, why do you continue to say bad things about the Church of Scientology???

Lerma: Mr Rosen, in your question, are you referring to the international psychopolitical terrorist organization running a rapidly shrinking but still brisk fraud upon innocent citizens worldwide dba scientology and related entities and front groups???

Rosen (Face gets red) said (acting angry) (waving arms around) : Mr. Lerma, you can't describe the CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY that way.

Lerma: Mr Rosen are trying to trick me into committing perjury on your behalf?

Rosen: This deposition is OVER.

THE END.


scientology-is-not-religion-survey.jpg



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"Because it's protected as a religion... it's able to get away with a lot of things."

Lawrence Wright, 2013


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"Scientology 1970 is being planned on a religious organization basis throughout the world. This will not upset in any way the usual activities of any organization. It is entirely a matter for accountants and solicitors."

L. Ron Hubbard, 1962


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Hard Sell, a.k.a. Crush Sell, has been part of Scientology since the 1960s. I witnessed Hard Sell tech being used in the early 1970s. The idea, as I recall Hubbard explaining it in the Hard Sell pack, is that people ("wogs," "Homo Saps," "Raw meat" and, apparently, even Scientologists) are naturally in a sort of hypnotic daze, and will respond to being told what to do, if that telling is done effectively. Trickery is also part of Hard Sell tech, as is "ruthlessness," after all, look at what's at stake, the eternity of every Man, Woman, and Child on this planet and your own endless agonized trillions and, besides, successful Scientology sales people lived very well. They were "up stats" and were rewarded.


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"Make money. Make more money. Make other people produce so as to make more money." L. Ron Hubbard, 1972


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Hubbard's "religion angle" and "religious cloaking" were aimed largely at achieving tax exempt status. When this occurred in the USA in 1993, the kind of pure-money-sucking that's now done in Scientology became realistic. Donations to Scientology are tax exempt, and those donating can make deductions on their income tax returns. In effect, the United Sates government is supporting the Scientology cult, just as Hubbard had envisioned.

However, even before the Scientology money-sucking vacuum cleaner engine was turned on full, Hard Sell was going strong in the "Church" of Scientology.


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"He [Hubbard] stated [that] coming ashore would be profitable, because we could get so many more people to the Flag Land Base, as it was to be called, for auditing and training, and he wanted to concentrate on getting professionals to the Land Base because, of course, they had more accessible money. They had pension funds. They had children's education funds, and some of these he named, that were accessible."

Hana Eltringham, from the 'Secret Lives' BBC program:

See 3:20: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhULw6qarW4


"What worried me was that I saw some things he did and statements he made that showed his intentions were different from what they appeared to be...

"He [Hubbard] told me he was obsessed with an insatiable lust for power and money. He said it very emphatically. He thought it wasn't possible to get enough. He didn't say it as if it was a fault, just his frustration that he couldn't get enough."

David Mayo, 1986, from an interview with author Russell Miller


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Scientology is a cult operating as a business masquerading as a religion.



-snip-

I'm no expert on tax law, but I think it's likely that Scientology's official status as a religion in the U.S. stems largely from a calculation on the government's part that the benefits of preserving the tax exempt status of all religious organizations outweighs the potential entanglements that could arise from making an exception in the case of COS. Tax exempt status of religious entities is conditioned upon non-involvement in political activities, so rather than enhancing freedom of religion, it actually provides a means of government control. Churches tend to opt for the quid pro quo, refraining from engaging in political activism in order to maintain their tax exemption.


459338133_irs2_xlarge.gif



Compare the explanation in the preceding post with that of Lawrence Wright, made during an interview from last year, regarding the IRS's sudden about face, changing the position it had held for decades:


In 1993, the "Church" owed a billion dollars in back taxes. They had decided not to pay taxes, and desperately needed a tax exemption or they would go out of business. We would not be talking about the "Church of Scientology" if they had not gotten an IRS tax exemption.

David Miscavige [had] launched 2,300 lawsuits against the IRS, and individual agents, hired private investigators to follow individual agents around, and part of the deal, whatever the merits of the case, was that the IRS would give the "Church" tax exemption, forgive the billion dollars, and the "Church" would call off the private investigators, and drop the lawsuits...

When the IRS made that determination, then the protections of the first amendment, freedom of religion clause, came into play, and those are vast protections, and it's because of those protections that the "Church" is able to operate today...



One of those followed around by private investigators was the IRS Commissioner, and the topic of the possible blackmailing of the IRS Commissioner, is another disturbing area.
 

Lucretia

Patron with Honors
You're allowing yourself to be led down the garden path into agreeing that Scientology Inc. is a religion, and, as a religion, deserves all the perks and privileges of a religion.

There is no garden path as far as I am concerned. Scientology Inc. is a cult. Please see the last sentence of my first post.

I think that all religions and most ideologies are cults. I do not imbue any of them with any special privilege. Scientology least of all.
 

Gadfly

Crusader
In both instances the dogmatic assertions of apostles and Hubbard, respectively, are believed to be true at the outset, and justification for these assertions are marshaled after the fact.

I don't think this is at all restricted to religion.

There are people, religious and otherwise, who have various FIXED IDEAS about all sorts of things, and the explanations and justifications for these assertions are marshaled AFTER THE FACT.

I love watching people argue about how we got here - Evolution versus Creationism. To me, BOTH theories are incredibly flawed (in their usual forms) and each side of the argument FIRST believes, and then later tries to explain why they believe with various leaps of logic and mental gymnastics - AFTER the fact.

I see this as common throughout all humanity. It is not restricted at all to religion.

Granted, it is especially exaggerated and noticeable in something like Scientology.

In my experience, most people have affinities for certain views, or predilections towards certain theories. In other words, usually the attraction is NOT based on logic or reasoning, but on some deeper resonance with the idea. In a sense, people have inborn preferences, and much of the logic and reasoning to explain and justify come AFTER the adoption of the belief. Religious Faith (belief in the unseen regarding spiritual matters and things) is a special case of THAT.
 
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There is no garden path as far as I am concerned. Scientology Inc. is a cult. Please see the last sentence of my first post.

I think that all religions and most ideologies are cults. I do not imbue any of them with any special privilege. Scientology least of all.

you aren't the lone ranger in your opinion

personally i don't favor it at all. if churches were taxed property taxes alone would close more than half of american churches within five years
 

kate8024

-deleted-
So Veda, you seems to be the most vocal one here opposing the religion status but you keep using the term Scientology Inc. in your opposition, would it be correct to infer from this that you mean "The Church of Scientology is not a religious organization and my statements to that effect only apply to the organization and not the practice of Scientology independent of the church"?
 

Veda

Sponsor
So Veda, you seems to be the most vocal one here opposing the religion status but you keep using the term Scientology Inc. in your opposition, would it be correct to infer from this that you mean "The Church of Scientology is not a religious organization and my statements to that effect only apply to the organization and not the practice of Scientology independent of the church"?

I am referring to Scientology Inc.

Each instance of "the practice of Scientology independent" of the "Church" would have to be examined and evaluated.

To not repeat the commercial, deceptive, manipulative, and abusive practices of the "Church" would require severe "cherry picking," and the result would be a subject that, if one were to be honest, would no longer be Scientology.

If someone wishes to cherry pick a few (benign) things from Scientology, and use these as the basis for a group, I would have no objection to that.
 

Queenmab321

Patron Meritorious
I think ideologies are religions to the people that follow them.

I can't say I agree with this statement. An ideology is a more or less coherent set of conclusions about the world, society, etc., and, it seems to me, one may base such conclusions upon reasonable observation and study of society and its history together with a moral evaluation of the actors and institutions of which society is composed. Differences between ideologies may arise from honest disagreement with regard to the reliability and interpretation of matters of fact as well as from differences in values. This being said, people are generally prone to confusion, credulity and delusion. Conspiracy theorists, John Birchers and their ilk typically begin with faulty premises, persist in illogical reasoning and arrive, thereby, at irrational conclusions. I think it's fair to say that the quality of a given ideology may be thought of as an index of the intelligence of the individual who subscribes to it. Because ideoloies incorporate a moral appraisal of human affairs, it is only natural that those who espouse them find it reasonable to promote them and defend them against competing ideologies which they believe to be immoral or misguided or both.

Religious ideology, on the other hand, involves the assertion of propositions about the world that are not derived from contemplation of observable phenomena. The religious thinker takes as his premise principles that are grounded in some unsubstantiated authority. He takes for granted the incontrovertible truth of this authority and interprets the world accordingly.
 
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La La Lou Lou

Crusader
I think ideologies are religions to the people that follow them. The fascists in Spain and Italy were every bit as rabid, and used their ideology to justify the most blatant atrocities, as any Jehovahs Witness, Mormon, Jehadist or Scientologist. They are similarly indefensible. They were based on a system of belief, cooked up by some crazy and then extended to their logical extreme. The idea of racial purity is nonsense, and extended to its logical extreme resulted in genocide. But it was still believed in by a whole country, and many other people besides.

For what ever reason, (and I am beginning to think it is a basic flaw in our collective psyche) I also think that the followers of ideologies tend to deify the founders of the ideologies, and therefore satisfy the need for the sacred. I don't know whether I mean supernatural, or just unassailable but in any case, beyond question. Once the concept of sacred has been admitted to a belief, then the need to question is eliminated, and the follower can settle down to a mentally quiet system of superimposed thought. Mussonlini, Franco, even Ghandi and Mother Theresa have all been elevated to god status and followed without question. I am sure, even though our beloved Hubturd denied it, he would have been very touched to know that most of us regarded him a superhuman - godlike in essence. He was certainly infallible. The Bible only works because of a belief in the Christian god, but the christian god is also a construct, to again satisfy the need for the sacred, as it is with Islam, Buddhism, the Tao and Cargo Cultists etc

In this sense all ideologies are religions, all religions are ideologies, and all ideologies and religions are cults.

Yes I do agree with you on almost everything. The one thing I differ on, and I have a feeling you'll agree is that I certainly wouldn't want Hitler worship or Hubbard worship to be given the tax free status they would like.
Perhaps we should just ban worship of anyone beginning with'H'.:eyeroll:
 

La La Lou Lou

Crusader
I can't say I agree with this statement. An ideology is a more or less coherent set of conclusions about the world, society, etc., and, it seems to me, one may base such conclusions upon reasonable observation and study of society and its history together with a moral evaluation of the actors and institutions of which society is composed. Differences between ideologies may arise from honest disagreement with regard to the reliability and interpretation of matters of fact as well as from differences in values. This being said, people are generally prone to confusion, credulity and delusion. Conspiracy theorists, John Birchers and their ilk typically begin with faulty premises, persist in illogical reasoning and arrive, thereby, at irrational conclusions. I think it's fair to say that the quality of a given ideology may be thought of as an index of the intelligence of the individual who subscribes to it. Because ideoloies incorporate a moral appraisal of human affairs, it is only natural that those who espouse them find it reasonable to promote them and defend them against competing ideologies which they believe to be immoral or misguided or both.

Religious ideology, on the other hand, involves the assertion of propositions about the world that are not derived from contemplation of observable phenomena. The religious thinker takes as his premise principles that are grounded in some unsubstantiated authority. He takes for granted the incontrovertible truth of this authority and interprets the world accordingly.

To me political ideologies are not inherited, they are deeply personal and are based on and appeal to what's already there, life experience. Too many people accept their parents religious faiths without too much questioning. Faith is something I question. Religious or political it is to be questioned, because faith from habit leads to empty superstition.

Someone loving and kind brings their personality to anything they study, overpowering forceful bastards bring theirs to the same book. That's how we get some missionaries really caring for the poorest abandoned children and some as now, evangelical American Christians telling the Ugandan government to kill gays. The same is probably true of politics. You get cruel absolute monarchs and you get popular and beneficial ones. If mother Theresa, after years of study of Das Kapital etc had taken over from uncle Jo (Stalin) there may well have been less people dying from slave labour, or maybe not as that's pure speculation.
 
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