The Houston Chronicle: Sympathizing with Scientology

Lone Star

Crusader
A PhD in theology is about as worthless as it gets. This guy is a........ Never mind. I'm pissed right now so I'll keep it clean.

What angered me about his pathetic attempt of an article is what he left out. He claims to have read Wright's book, yet didn't make any substantive comment on the human rights violations and abuses.

That would be like someone trying to figure out the ideology of Hitlerian Nazism and any potential merits it may have had while ignoring the death camps and holocaust.

PhD.....pffft.
 
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Lone Star

Crusader
Re: just another rant against "religious scholars"

CRINGE!

AND FACECOUCH!*


I've [STRIKE]read the quoted excerpt[/STRIKE] now read the whole article, and [STRIKE]don't see what point he's trying to make, if any[/STRIKE] :confused2: am fucking annoyed. You know, to the point where I feel like I'm growing a pair of horns. :devil: The point where cats start to slowly whip their tail. Too interesting not to stare at it, but...

Ken Chitwood reminds me of James Beverly and the rest of these "religious scholars of religiosity". (Even before I went to the whole article, where, oops, stood that he's indeed a student of religion.) Even if not "shilling for the cult", they still keep "shilling for religiosity in general", and its little (and IMO even more sinister) brother, the "due respect, awe, reference, for people who still ACHIEVE (LOL/cringe) to maintain their religiosity, in these difficult times"...
All belief systems are meme viruses and their hosts will do anything to defend their belief systems and seek to clutch any straw and to create sympathy and to beg or demand "tolerance" just when it all tends to crumble down, yawn.
This is nothing than another desperate attempt to promote a "pro religiosity" attitude. I don't say he has a hidden agenda, I say he has an agenda he's unaware of. That's, to say the least, often the case with religious people. Religiosity is just a feeling of being-in-love that is not focused at a specific person, with the trance backed up and maintained by elaborate belief systems. Religiosity, as a system of delusions, inevitably makes people dumb and actually reduces their self-awareness - as psychology defines it, such as awareness of one's own motives and emotions and issues, because some spiritual pipe-dreams about metaphysical realities and fantastic interpretations DON'T count for me as "points of self awareness achieved".
The result are arguments that go in circles and certain points (or vocabulary, such as "CULT" or "MIND CONTROL") can never be approached because with it would come the essential need to acknowledge that their own belief system is bullshit as well.
Yawn.




What I see here, is a person infected and blindfolded by the virus of spirituality, unable to call a dangerous, brutal cult with heaps of abuses a fucking CULT, because it's "something spiritual". The main program of this person is SPIRITUALITY = GOOOOOD.




The "SPIRITUALITY = GOOOOOD" virus, again. Spirituality must be justified, talked-up, held up, at EVERY cost. What an idiot.




Oh, so cool. Why not open your own Indie group, and try to "salvage" what is salvageable. It's a belief system and somewhat "spiritual", so SOMETHING must be groovy about it, because, after all, they're on a spiritual mission and feeling spiritual, right...? Circular thinking much...? :duh:

I still think he's a fool, and I still despise this approach. I think it's useless, superfluous, a fancy mindgame, fancied by people who are "into the spiritual" (of whichever kind, and whether they're tolerant of and interested in other belief systems, or not), and they're confusing this need to feed their natural, overly distinctive schizoidity with "being into improving the world". Really all what they're doing is entertaining themselves.

To make it plain, I know what he INTENDS to say. I DO understand what he's thinking, and THAT he's thinking.
But all he achieves with that kind unctuous fluffy, wishful talk, is to steer up and revitalize the Satanist in me.


The urgent need of these religious scholars to strive for "tolerance" and "fairness" in regards to belief systems is nothing than a sign that religiosity, with its extraordinary claims (many refutable and indeed refuted by now) and hopelessly outdated explanations for natural phenomena, is overall becoming so cornered that its hosts are gradually switching from vindicating a specific belief system to vindicating ALL belief systems. I'm referring to something similar to instinct here, unconscious moves, urges that are implanted by the mental virus that has infected their minds. It's a numbers' game. Shilling for "acceptance" and "reference" for ALL religions is, under the conditions given, simply the more effective strategy to maintain a friendly climate for A SPECIFIC religion. It's, after all, important to keep politicians getting voted who tend to be compliant to religious agendas. (So sorry I couldn't find a better translation for the wonderful, salacious, no, somewhat incredibly nutty German term "GEFÄLLIG". :hysterical: ) In former times, local religions didn't have to face much concurrence because people hardly travelled - nor could they read. In situations of concurrence, rude authority or throwing some good speeches was all what was needed for one religion to be victorious and the otehr one eradicated - locally. But the game has changed. Vindicating one belief system over another, no matter how charismatic the preacher and how elaborate the language used and how shiny the academic credentials of the presenter (hello, Mr. I-know-it-all-so-I-must-know-it-all Beverly), can still become a lost cause with so many people having easy access to (and curious about) comparative informations.
"Yay, so, let's sing together.
Let's SHILL together.
Let these atheistic suckers get the feeling that they're hopelessly OUTNUMBERED.
:dance3:
That's all that counts.
That's, in fact, all we still have: trying to make them feel insecure, and feeling guilty over "dropping their faith"." :dance:



The Scientology phenomenon needs SCIENTISTS investing it neutrally, pursuing a SCIENTIFIC point of view, and methods. Only this helps to unravel the mind control and to inoculate people forever, against this con, AND similar ones. And every ex is, in some way, an expert in doing that kind of work, so yes, their testimonies have a central role in this. I actually used the term "scientist" very loosely here, more as a label and not an official job description, happily including good journalists who dig up stories, meticulous book authors who sample testimonies, etc. - In other words, what has to be encouraged is analysis by psychology, psychiatry, and sociology. Political science, economics and criminology may chime in.
Religious scholars, on the other hand, are ... religious scholars. There's the history of religion, theology, including the histories and belief systems of cults, which can be documented and sorted and labeled, and then there's all sorts of philosophical pipe dreams. One can spend their whole life comparing the rant of one philosopher/guru/wannabe-therapist to the rant of another, whether the supernatural is involved in their rants or not.
Will the "religious scholars" with their utopic-humanistic pipe dreams and unworldly idealistic rants please take their paws off the Chult of Scientology and go fuck themselves, because obviously that's what they miss most in their lifes. (I'm totally serious about all parts of that sentence.)




(Red emphasis mine.) Here you have it. "MUST-AVOID-THE-CONCLUSION. MUST-AVOID-IT!!! MUST-NOT-MAKE-ANY-JUDGEMENT!" A mind that is desperately trying to avoid the issue, which results in nonsensical gobbledegook, almost (?) confusion technique applied on himself. Idiot. :no:




Yeah, but he seems to think that's because of shere unfairness and bigotism, some sort of mindless habit, and NOT because what is likely the MAIN reason for that "bias": the public is watching the enormous amount of abuses and atrocities PER CULTIST, IN AVERAGE, and gets grossed out hopelessly. The true explanation is likely that the "new religions", the "cults", had less time than the old religions to learn to shove aside the most crazy, brutal, inhumane aspects of their "scriptures", instead of taking them literally and implementing them ruthlessly, just like the radical movements within the "old" religions seek to do. Scientology, ISIS, "evangelistic" churches, mormonism - all these are radical movements, and they're all CULTS. (And esoterics and some others, from NLP-fanatics to militant vegans, are "cultish" in my book, for what's it worth, because they show some cult-like behavior and thought schemes, but typically they're not members of a controlling organization.) We can still assume that the craziness of the official "scriptures" of old and new belief systems lies within the same order of magnitude of craziness, but really the main factor whether the result is "RELIGION" or "CULT" seems to be how they're APPLIED, and it COULD be that the main factor here is TIME. In other words, all religions might have started out as cults.


I know that for many, the article of this student of religion may come around as thoughtful and contemplative, as open-minded and fair, and within that, as overall agreeable, but I say he's just going in circles, focusing on meaningless pipe dreams that ALL evolve around the Central Meme That Must Be Vindicated, - "SPIRITUALITY IS GOOOOOD".
There are arguments and issues, perspectives, well within their field, that these "thoughtful", "contemplative", "fair", "open-minded" (appearing) religious scholars NEVER will approach, that really are taboo for them, and that is ONLY because of their own religiosity. Their own belief systems are installing thought-stopping mechanisms and wicked priorities in their minds. In other words, their own religiosity is what makes them BAD SCIENTISTS. LOUSY SCIENTISTS, SLOPPY SCIENTISTS, PHOBIC-PLAGUED SCIENTISTS, SCIENTISTS HAUNTED BY NEEDS OF AVOIDANCE AND INHIBITED BY MENTAL BLOCKADES.
In other words, INEPT Scientists.

:moon:




LOL. How about, ANTI-FAITH engagement? How about, religious people daring to face atheists? How (the fuck!) about, religious people gaining some greater literacy particularly on psychology and neuroscience? How about, communication of religious people with non-religious people instead of dwelling mainly in comparative theology and, overall, relying on their thought-stopping formulas and rushing into one evasive rambling after another? Ofcourse, ANTI-religious engagement, engagement of religious people in listening to atheists, that doesn't even seem to be worth mentioning as an option, for a RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR OF RELIGIONS.
Mark my words, the argumentation and research of these religious scholars is flawed, and condemned to stay flawed, unless they drop their faith, completely.

EXACTLY!!! Thanks for expressing what I think about this guy and his article as well.

Like I said earlier....PhD in Theology is about as worthless as it gets. I have more respect for the guys who clean out Portable Toilets everyday than I do for theologians. At least the Porta Potty cleaners perform a valuable service to humanity.

P.S. Eldritch I urge you to post your above post to the Houston Chronicle comments section for this moronic theologian's article. I think it's exactly what he needs to read. Certainly others need to read it who don't come here.
 
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AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
Well, here is my comment. Not sure if it will be published but I tried.

Sympathizing with Scientology
Posted on March 19, 2015 | By kenchitwood

"You are trying hard to be fair and there is nothing wrong with that. Most critics of Scientology are not critics of scientologists. On the contrary, I think most critics grieve for those still in and only wish them well. Scientology policy mandates any disagreement spoken publicly to be a serious high crime with severe consequences against the speaker and those he is connected with. Many ties to friends and loved ones have been and continue to be severed by church policy because a person wanted to be able to talk about their disagreements.

I used to be one of those scientologists out on the street, selling books, luring people into the church. For many years I was a member. I really believed Scientology was the cure for mankind. I started out in my early 20's, young, impressionable, seeking truth and a place in the world to do something of value. I was pure bait, as are other well intentioned people who have become members. And when Hubbard wrote in his policy called Keeping Scientology Working, that only he held the answers and that we were not to question him on how he obtained them or risk eternity, I went along with it, too. I came to find that to question or disagree meant dire consequences.

And so I absorbed his version of truth, lead others to it, believed it even in the face of facts that proved otherwise. And whenever anyone disagreed with my involvement, I followed the policies to sever ties, even to loved ones who were really only concerned about me.

It took many years of enduring things I never ever thought I would put up with before I finally woke up and realized what a trap I had been in. What a trap I had lead others to. It has taken years to unravel the harmful automatic thought processes and traumatic experiences that segregated me from the world and kept me glued to being a scientologist. It's an ongoing process which I am not alone in having to go through to get out of the mindset.

Scientology is a dangerous cult. At the onset, it does not appear that way. Whatever little help it did provide cannot be matched with the excessive subtle, ongoing mental manipulation that makes a one a prisoner of it's beliefs. I would like to see your review after you see the HBO documentary Going Clear - Scientology and the Prison of Belief. Perhaps you will then understand how smart people, good people, get sucked into that prison and why it's so hard to get out."
 

eldritch cuckoo

brainslugged reptilian
Re: just another rant against "religious scholars"

EXACTLY!!! Thanks for expressing what I think about this guy and his article as well.

Like I said earlier....PhD in Theology is about as worthless as it gets. I have more respect for the guys who clean out Portable Toilets everyday than I do for theologians. At least the Porta Potty cleaners perform a valuable service to humanity.

P.S. Eldritch I urge you to post your above post to the Houston Chronicle comments section for this moronic theologian's article. I think it's exactly what he needs to read. Certainly others need to read it who don't come here.

The problem I have with this, is, as Sindy observed correctly, the risk of anti-Co$-activists (including Indies, e.g. people who condemn Co$ but not all Hubbard wrote/implemented) being considered as, or associated with, radical atheists. This I AM as well, but this is very unpopular especially with the Christianity-infected USA, and why should anti-Co$-activists, and exes, be despised for something they (in sum) even aren't at all? Frankly, nuking Co$ is much more important for me than undermining Christianity, and I TRY not to mix it up, it but happens sometimes, I can't help it, these "religious scholars" make me "angry, very angry". :coolwink: :p I'm so excited about the media attention Co$ now gets, but I can't hold back my opinion about "religious scholars" who act dumb and naively and blindfolded and keep supporting the "religious cloaking" of Co$. I dare make such postings here because there is such a diversity of opinions of people who know Co$ well so that anybody superficially checking even just the rest of the same thread page will get that my radical anti-religion stance and functional Ahrimanism (and whatever else) doesn't reflect the mindset of the typical or average anti-Co$ person, indie, ex, anon, never-in. It is the diversity of ESMB, along with the shere number of valuable postings that appear here daily, that seduces me to do this from time to time. Co$ needs all the media attention it can get, and, in the comments sections of small articles, I'd prefer as little distraction towards notorious issues as possible. (Other examples for typical derails that use to pop up just everywhere, would be moonbats/wingnuts vendettas or racism controversities, or conspiracy theories.) What remains is the fact that most anti-Scientologists aren't AS anti-religion as I am, and that I want to avoid them being wrongfully associated with being radical atheists, this would make the pious Americans somewhat afraid to support these agendas, tendentially. For all I care, this is about PR and public relations, not about my personal preferences or what I consider a badge of honor and what NOT. :coolwink:

At the comment sections of pages that bring articles about Co$, due to their very random clientele and general lack of moderation, all this amounts to...:
1) Food for angry atheists who keep spouting that line, "ohh, whocares how crazy the Xenu story is, stupid UFO cult is just as stupid as Christian scripture, HEY WTF ALL PEOPLE PLEASE LOOK HOW STUPID CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE IS, AAARGH I'M SO FED UP WITH THAT CRAP!!!". This is a diversion that I don't seek to bring up. Any such derails, OSA or not, should be met with citing the abuses and atrocities, the evil behavior of Co$. I suppose these comments come from people who are totally fed up with certain aspects of (especially) the USA and using, just like radical winguts and moonbats and btw. conspiracy theorists, every opportunity to advertise their agenda, practically trolling sites. (Have a look at the comments at a random Youtube page, if that counts). They're just not getting how damaging, because distracting, that kind of comment is for the fight against Co$ in particular. As of now, I don't know how else to suppress :biggrin: that than by avoiding the whole "is-it-a-cult-or-religion" argument (et al) and meanwhile don't feel like defending "real" churches, therefore I prefer to stick with "whocares, look what evil things Co$ does". I have to confess I've pretty much given up trying to argue with them, they're either young or dumb or both, an "ACK" is really all you'll get before they rant on, like they haven't read the reply at all, which probably is the case, as hasty and ill considered BUT excited and angry as they appear.
2) It is also food for OSAbots who make readily use of that kind of diversion, and also try to incite it, but one can guess that nowadays they're pretty seldom because there's so much coverage. OSA uses that kind of diversion as a tool, but it is certainly overwhelmed by now (including the "public" Scientologists coerced to do such stuff), so this isn't about OSA. If in doubt, check up the posting history of a commenter, if available.
3) The consequence, aside from the diversion from talking about CO$ and NOT religion in general, would be the very correct accusation that the writer of THIS comment is a radical and obnoxious bitch, with which I wouldn't have much of a problem if it wouldn't automatically cast that much of an ungood aura at other people criticizing Co$. That effect is all the more stronger when there aren't many comments at one page - and posting histories are difficult, if not impossible, to look up.


I can't hinder others to cross-post or link stuff :biggrin: (except maybe by threatening to kill their puppies? :p ) but then please include the emoticons in some way. Poe's law, you know. :) (And the short quotes between my text should be included as well.)
 

Lone Star

Crusader
I can't read all of your last post Eldritch because it's a wall of text with no paragragh breaks. It's just too hard on my eyes.

But I scanned enough to get the gist of the post. It's fine that you don't want to comment on the Houston Chronicle site. It wouldn't have changed the snooty theologian's mind anyway.

Humanity will have destructive cults until the day it becomes extinct. We haven't seen the end of them. More will rise, but in a different manner due to the internet. And some or many scholars will continue to be their apologists.
 
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MrNobody

Who needs merits?
Re: just another rant against "religious scholars"

The problem I have with this, is, as Sindy observed correctly, the risk of anti-Co$-activists (including Indies, e.g. people who condemn Co$ but not all Hubbard wrote/implemented) being considered as, or associated with, radical atheists. This I AM as well, but this is very unpopular especially with the Christianity-infected USA, and why should anti-Co$-activists, and exes, be despised for something they (in sum) even aren't at all? Frankly, nuking Co$ is much more important for me than undermining Christianity, and I TRY not to mix it up, it but happens sometimes, I can't help it, these "religious scholars" make me "angry, very angry". :coolwink: :p I'm so excited about the media attention Co$ now gets, but I can't hold back my opinion about "religious scholars" who act dumb and naively and blindfolded and keep supporting the "religious cloaking" of Co$. I dare make such postings here because there is such a diversity of opinions of people who know Co$ well so that anybody superficially checking even just the rest of the same thread page will get that my radical anti-religion stance and functional Ahrimanism (and whatever else) doesn't reflect the mindset of the typical or average anti-Co$ person, indie, ex, anon, never-in. It is the diversity of ESMB, along with the shere number of valuable postings that appear here daily, that seduces me to do this from time to time. Co$ needs all the media attention it can get, and, in the comments sections of small articles, I'd prefer as little distraction towards notorious issues as possible. (Other examples for typical derails that use to pop up just everywhere, would be moonbats/wingnuts vendettas or racism controversities, or conspiracy theories.) What remains is the fact that most anti-Scientologists aren't AS anti-religion as I am, and that I want to avoid them being wrongfully associated with being radical atheists, this would make the pious Americans somewhat afraid to support these agendas, tendentially. For all I care, this is about PR and public relations, not about my personal preferences or what I consider a badge of honor and what NOT. :coolwink:

At the comment sections of pages that bring articles about Co$, due to their very random clientele and general lack of moderation, all this amounts to...:
1) Food for angry atheists who keep spouting that line, "ohh, whocares how crazy the Xenu story is, stupid UFO cult is just as stupid as Christian scripture, HEY WTF ALL PEOPLE PLEASE LOOK HOW STUPID CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURE IS, AAARGH I'M SO FED UP WITH THAT CRAP!!!". This is a diversion that I don't seek to bring up. Any such derails, OSA or not, should be met with citing the abuses and atrocities, the evil behavior of Co$. I suppose these comments come from people who are totally fed up with certain aspects of (especially) the USA and using, just like radical winguts and moonbats and btw. conspiracy theorists, every opportunity to advertise their agenda, practically trolling sites. (Have a look at the comments at a random Youtube page, if that counts). They're just not getting how damaging, because distracting, that kind of comment is for the fight against Co$ in particular. As of now, I don't know how else to suppress :biggrin: that than by avoiding the whole "is-it-a-cult-or-religion" argument (et al) and meanwhile don't feel like defending "real" churches, therefore I prefer to stick with "whocares, look what evil things Co$ does". I have to confess I've pretty much given up trying to argue with them, they're either young or dumb or both, an "ACK" is really all you'll get before they rant on, like they haven't read the reply at all, which probably is the case, as hasty and ill considered BUT excited and angry as they appear.
2) It is also food for OSAbots who make readily use of that kind of diversion, and also try to incite it, but one can guess that nowadays they're pretty seldom because there's so much coverage. OSA uses that kind of diversion as a tool, but it is certainly overwhelmed by now (including the "public" Scientologists coerced to do such stuff), so this isn't about OSA. If in doubt, check up the posting history of a commenter, if available.
3) The consequence, aside from the diversion from talking about CO$ and NOT religion in general, would be the very correct accusation that the writer of THIS comment is a radical and obnoxious bitch, with which I wouldn't have much of a problem if it wouldn't automatically cast that much of an ungood aura at other people criticizing Co$. That effect is all the more stronger when there aren't many comments at one page - and posting histories are difficult, if not impossible, to look up.


I can't hinder others to cross-post or link stuff :biggrin: (except maybe by threatening to kill their puppies? :p ) but then please include the emoticons in some way. Poe's law, you know. :) (And the short quotes between my text should be included as well.)

OK, instead of writing a reply of "comparable magnitude", I just post this video. Enjoy! :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6ijdDtOLLo
 

Smurf

Gold Meritorious SP
I wrote to this writer today (and got a reply) and think he's a good guy. I would love it if more people shared their views, respectfully in the comment section of this article. :) I don't think he should be attacked. He's just trying to sort it all out as far as I can tell, not trying to shill for the cult.[/B]

Ken Chitwood is not a deliberate shill for the cult, but he needs to do more research into the criminality & harmful abuses taking place by DM & others in Scientology Inc, however, when there are abuses taking place causing harm to others, claiming to be a "forward thinking theologian" doesn't justify absence of knowledge of the facts.

Maybe.. you can be a mentor to him, Sindy? :)

Ken & his wife Elizabeth are generational Apostolic Lutherans.

http://www.readthespirit.com/faith-goes-pop/who-is-ken-chitwood

http://www.kenchitwood.com

https://twitter.com/kchitwood

https://www.facebook.com/kenneth.chitwood

https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.chitwood

Their church in Katy, Texas: https://www.facebook.com/MemorialLutheranChurchKaty
 
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