Rough Week for Scientology

Lulu Belle

Moonbat
http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/guest_bloggers/5688/rough_week_for_scientology/


  • On Tuesday, Australian news announced that Jan Eastgate, a Scientology leader, had been charged with “perverting the course of justice.” Eastgate is the leader of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a Scientology group dedicated to eradicating psychiatry. In 1985, she allegedly counseled 11-year-old Carmen Ranier not to tell police that her stepfather was sexually abusing her. Ranier’s family were Scientologists, and accusers claim that Eastgate sought to cover up the abuse to avert embarrassment to the Church.

  • On Thursday, a hearing was held in a lawsuit between the Church of Scientology and Debbie Cook, a former Scientology leader. On New Year’s Eve, Cook sent an e-mail to thousands of Scientologists arguing that the Church had become too focused on “extreme fundraising” under its current leader, David Miscavige. The Church claims these e-mails violate a non-disclosure agreement Cook signed when she left the Church, though it agreed to drop its lawsuit.


  • Saturday marked the fourth anniversary of “Project Chanology,” an anti-Scientology movement founded by the hacker group Anonymous. Project Chanology (which may now be breaking away from Anonymous as an independent movement) began in January 2008 when the Church of Scientology attempted to a remove material from an interview with Tom Cruise about his religion. Anonymous decried this move as censorship and began a campaign of tactics—both legal and illegal—to disrupt and discredit the Church of Scientology. That February, Anonymous members began to picket in front of Scientology headquarters, many of them sporting Guy Fawkes masks made popular by the film V for Vendetta. On Saturday, this “uprising” against the Church of Scientology was commemorated with a two-hour picketing session in front of the Church’s Time Square headquarters (It is currently unclear how many actually attended).
Scientology is a religion everyone loves to hate. Despite its small size, several journalists and individuals have become full-time critics, dedicating significant time and energy to sites such as Operation Clambake. In world religion classes, my students are fascinated by Scientology and inevitably bring it up as an example of a “cult,” although their ideas about Scientology are almost always derived from South Park and other satirical media. I have yet to meet a student who has spoken with a practicing Scientologist.

This is not to exonerate the Church of Scientology from the kind of accusations currently made against Jan Eastgate. Apostate Scientologists have come forward with stories of estranged family members, neglected children, lost fortunes, and even false imprisonment that are quite disturbing. However, compassion for these individuals does not seem to be what motivates all of Scientology's critics. Project Chanology’s website, for example, features a video in which a gang of picketers scream homophobic epithets at a lone Scientologist. It is upsetting to watch and recalls nineteenth-century intolerance toward Catholics, Mormons, and other religious outsiders. Even public critics of Scientology have suggested that these tactics are likely to backfire, creating sympathy rather than outrage.

In a Project Chanology forum, one member explained his motivation for protest: “Because we’re great, and they’re Hitler-flavored.” Certainly some institutions are worthy of criticism, but how long before criticizing a minority religion become a sport and degenerates into bullying?
 

Petey C

Silver Meritorious Patron
"Certainly some institutions are worthy of criticism, but how long before criticizing a minority religion become a sport and degenerates into bullying?"

Thanks for posting, Lulu Belle.

I'll try and answer that last question from the report you quoted. Maybe when that minority "religion" starts to behave like a religion and stops its own bullying?
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Thanks for posting, Lulu Belle.

I'll try and answer that last question from the report you quoted. Maybe when that minority "religion" starts to behave like a religion and stops its own bullying?

That quote was double-curved. Anon protests have been characterised by lighthearted good humour and dancing - along with exposing the facts. Personal bullying is rare and denounced by anons in general.

The Hubbard-scam, however, is fuelled by bullying its own.
 

freethinker

Sponsor
Joseph Laycock seems to want to focus on whats wrong with a few Chanology protesters than the abuse by the pseudo- religion Scientology.

Joseph wrote a book.

Joseph Laycock holds a PhD in religious studies from Boston University and is the author of Vampires Today: The Truth About Modern Vampirism.
 

Boomima

Patron with Honors
Thank you for posting this. I was going to ask about the description of the abuse of the individual Scientologist.
 

Sindy

Crusader
I think this professor needs to move out of his classroom and step into the real world.

I cannot tell you how many comparative religion classes came into our org when I was on staff. It happened ALL THE TIME. They talked to all of us in Div 6, got tours of the org, watched videos, attended Sunday Services, etc. (Very truly it was our greatest source of Div 6 activity, so what does that say? :duh:)

That guy must run a shitty class. Why doesn't he demand his students actually talk with Scientologists?

Additionally, I completely disagree with his statement that the Anons are not doing their protesting out of concern. Of course you can't make a blanket statement about any group of people but all of the Anons I have met were, to a person, doing it because they cared deeply.

Just a personal story: When my daughter and fiance (and grandson) had a flood in their place and lost almost everything they owned including both their vehicles, the Chicago Anons all got together and pitched in to get her a very generous gift card so they cold go get some clothes.

Try imagining the C of S doing that...no instant image come to mind? No, me neither.
 
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