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View Diary: Scientology: A Religion, but a Threat to Mental Health? (291 comments)

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  •  Well, I've set out my case why.... (17+ / 0-)

    ....many of the bizarre and secretive elements of Scientology are copied from other religions.

    I also think from my reading of Hubbard that he did believe his own delusions in the end

    However, unlike most other religions, Scientology seems to have very little ethics of kindness to the less fortunate, and as my liberal anglican mother said of my dad's beliefs it seemed to be "a theology of control and power"

    The Fall of the House of Murdoch -with Eric Lewis and all the latest Leveson evidence out now!

    by Brit on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:23:26 AM PST

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    •  You credit it as one religion among others. (10+ / 0-)

      I reject the notion that it is a religion. It's a hoax and a criminal conspiracy.

      Of course Hubbard borrowed elements of real religions. That's necessary for the hoax; and the elements you discussed are necessary for control.

      You think Hubbard really did believe that Xenu stuff?  Wow.  I just don't think that's plausible.

      •  To some of us who have observed (5+ / 0-)

        numerous religions and their followers in action, its claim to be a religion seems legitimate.  But that's really where the legitimacy on their part ends.  

        I had a boyfriend who was in a "cult" - and a front row seat for the happenings in religious experimentation in San Francisco in the 70s and 80s - and I thought long and hard about the differences between my Methodist Grandmother and my Rajneeshi boyfriend in their endeavors of "faith" and community - and came to the conclusion that there really weren't a whole lot of differences between them except that one was practicing a "faith" or spiritualism or whatever one might call it that was less universally accepted than the other.

        My experiences have led me to basically be fairly wary of any and all organized religion.  I am sympathetic to the need for spiritual fulfillment and community that people enjoy when they engage in organized religions, but not terribly comfortable with what I perceive to be dominated by varying degrees of requirements for engaging in group-think.

        Also, your claim that Scientology is a criminal conspiracy could easily be leveled against the Catholic Church several times during its long history and most recently on the front of the cover ups to protect a wide network of child molesting priests at the expense of the children they preyed upon.

        Martin Luther was so distraught with the Catholic church's selling heavenly salvation that he started the Protestant Revolution. He thought that was a scam, big time.

        Anyway, the point I make with just a tiny number of examples among thousands of years of historical examples of religion as a force of manipulation is that your distinction citing criminal conspiracy doesn't really make Scientology "not a religion".

        •  The difference between cult and religion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen

          is time and adherents. They start as apostates and cultists and over time fade away or gain adherents and money and become religion.

          •  Personally, I think cults are defined by (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brit, SeekCa

            the degree they cut people off from the rest of the world and large and small religions do that.  So, in the end, I'm left with a broad view of what is religion that would include those who might worship peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and think that someone named "Welches" is their god.

    •  "A theology of control and power" (5+ / 0-)
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      Brit, Munchkn, DianeNYS, Wee Mama, cotterperson

      which is a classic definition of any cult.

      "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

      by blueoregon on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:50:44 AM PST

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    •  I think the right analogy is faith healers (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, Brit, DianeNYS, Wee Mama

      The Scientologists imitate other religions in order to obtain the money of the dupes. Contrariwise, many pastors / priests really believe what they preach and see the practices of the church as beneficial to the flock.

      Another difference is that no Christian has ever sued to keep the Bible from being available on the Internet. Yes, new translations are copyrighted, and especially versions with footnotes / illustrations / maps copyright those - but it has been centuries since Christians tried to keep the masses from having access to the Bible.

      Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

      by blue aardvark on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:56:21 AM PST

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