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

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  •  The "cult not a religion" thing (2+ / 0-)
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    Brit, worldlotus

    Is a rather doomed argument from the start because it requires being unrealistically NICE about religions and whitewashing their pasts.  Every bad thing a cult does is a thing some religion has done too at some point.  The only really special thing about a cult is that it collects together all these practices into one religion instead of them being scattered out widely among several.  That makes the attempts to define the line between cult and religion a very messy minefield.  Every individual property you pick will be something they can point to a religion and say "they do that too".  When the only defining difference between religions and cults is how the evil practices that all religions do sporadically are all collected together into and concentrated one religion at once in a cult, it's much harder to list them as properties unique to a cult.  Individually they re not unique to cults.  What's unique is merely how densely packed together they are into the same system in a cult.

    The problem with going after scientology is that the people who want to do it also have the goal of not wanting to use any arguments that would also work on a real religion.  That's going to be nearly impossible.  

    Am I defending Scientology?  No.  I'm chastising religion.

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