~The Internet-vs-Scientology~ The War on Scientology

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by darth_nemisis, Jan 24, 2008.

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  1. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    No, malkie, it has been thoroughly challenged. You simply reject out of hand anything that contradicts your preselected position. We've already shown that your argument is riddled with logical fallacies.

    Kimball Kinnison
  2. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    No, no, he's right; it's never been challenged.

    Also, there are no American tanks in Baghdad.
  3. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    No, all you've done is provided significant evidence of the wrong-doings of Scientology. I don't discount that, but at the same time it doesn't do anything to counter my arguement.
  4. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    While at the same time comparing and contrasting those wrong-doings with those of other religions, and showing where Scientology does worse. And that's the part you're ignoring.

    We haven't even gotten into Hinduism here. What have they done that's so horrible? What has Judaism done in the last five millenia that might not have been fictional?
  5. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    [image=http://www.stitthappens.com/images/random/shipment-of-fail.jpg]

    You really do epic fail, don't you?

    We have been through this, and we came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church did this a long time ago.

    Did you get a mindwipe or something?
  6. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    I'm not ignoring that you claim they are worse - I'm just pointing out that 'worse' is purely subjective. You could argue that the Catholic Church is 'worse' because it has done things on a bigger scale than Scientology. I personally wouldn't, but my central point remains intact.

    We haven't even gotten into Hinduism here. What have they done that's so horrible? What has Judaism done in the last five millenia that might not have been fictional?

    You are completely missing my point. While *I* might have a personal issue with religion in general, that isn't the point I'm raising here. All I'm saying is that there is nothing you can say about Scientology which doesn't apply to other religions, hence Scientology does not differentiate itself from other religions.

    If Hinduism and Judaism have never been responsible for an unsavory act then great for them!

    edit

    LV - I point out that you are unable to form a counter arguement, to which you reply doing exactly the same thing again. Childish gifs make you look like a fool with no substance or belief in their stance.
  7. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    It's hard to make a counter-argument against someone who trolls and lies.
  8. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    Isn't calling someone a troll and a liar regarding as flaming in these parts? Particularly when its completely untrue.
    If your debating tactics have reduced to this, then you clearly have no response to the point I'm making. I'm happy to move on now.
  9. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I think one element to the discussion that has been left behind is the issue of whether you can reasonably hold a religion or a religious organisation accountable for the misdeeds of its followers.

    Take the Catholic Church for example - there have been countless allegations of paedophilia and sexual abuse against clergy within the Catholic Church over the decades which have subsequently turned into scandal because the Catholic Church in some countries has protected these priests or simply relocated them to another parish where they have re-offended. This information is in the public domain and you don't have to go too far to find it.

    I would argue that the sexual abuse of a child is probably the most despicable and inhuman act - does this make the Catholic Church and its teachings despicable and inhuman?

    The answer is "no" because these priests have offended in their capacity as human beings and not in the name of the Catholic Church or in accordance with the Church's doctrines and teachings. I know this because the Catholic Church's doctrines and teachings are not particularly secret and the Bible is pretty much available anywhere (go the Gideons).

    The same can be said for Judaism and what has happened in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Many atrocities have been carried out by Muslims and Jews and Christians (see Sabra and Chatila for example)but are these misdeeds instigated by religious imperatives? The answer is "no".

    My concern with this ongoing crusade against the Church of Scientology is that the opponents of Scientology in this thread appear to be taking the mideeds of a number of Scientologists and using that as evidence or proof that these people were necessarily acting in accordance with Church doctrine and teaching and that such behaviour represents the Church. In this thread, there has been a lot of posturing and the posting of documents and videos full of innuendo and dramatic music but no hard evidence concerning what Scientology actually teaches and what behaviour it sanctions positively or negatively. I know this is probably difficult because the Church of Scientology is very secretive about this information for commercial reasons.

    Nevertheless, posting quotes from Hubbard which may or may not be taken out of context or posting links to disgruntled ex Scientologists means very little. It proves nothing and is not objective evidence. The bible is objective evidence because I can take it away and read it and then form the conclusion that the Bible does not in fact teach men to sexually abuse little boys.

    The only misconduct I am satisfied actually took place is the Operation Freakout affair which again on the face of it was carried out by some naughty Scientologists. There are plenty of naughty Christians, Jews and Muslims too - the courts and prisons of the world are packed full of them but I do not judge Christinity, Judaism or Islam by the acts of its followers. Nor should you.



  10. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Here's a question, then: How many testimonies, or pieces of evidence from the CoS, are enough?

    Did you see the clip on the last page, the court testimony with the tape? Did you see the memos authored by Hubbard himself? What kind of hard evidence are you looking for? These memos can be viewed in their entirety, not "out of context," and the Fishman deposition was given back when he was perfectly happy to have gone to prison for his Scientology-related crimes; he wasn't "disgruntled" at all. No "dramatic music" there, either; it's a court deposition.

    The information is there in spades, if you take the time to look through it.

    And I'm saying there is, and I've listed those things many times, and your responses have ranged from vague to nonexistent. "Some other religion, somewhere, might or might not have done something like this, at some time" is not much of a point to make. And I see you at least entertaining the idea that not "all religions are equally bad."

    Those naughty Scientologists included Jane Kember, the CoS' third highest-ranking official. She ran the Guardian's Office (now called the Office of Special Affairs), which is and was the CoS' combination PR department, legal department, and covert ops agency. (Yes, the CoS has its own personal covert ops agency.) Here's a source from the court case.

    Incidentally, the Guardian's Office orchestrated not only Operation Freakout, but also Operation Snow White, the CoS' plan to use as many as 5,000 agents to infiltrate, wiretap, and steal from the U.S. government in order to purge unfavorable records and obtain materials for blackmail. 136 government agencies were infiltrated and stolen from, and it remains to this day the largest government infiltration in U.S. history.

    That operation involved not only Kember, but Hubbard's own wife Mary Sue. This is the first page of her indictment, on charges including: Conspiracy, Theft of Government Property, Aiding and Abetting, Obstruction of Justice, False Testimony Before a Grand Jury, and Burglary. She was convicted and sent to jail. Hubbard himself was named, or code-named, in several of the documents seized by the FBI, but he managed to avoid indictment. He spent the last several years of his life as a fugitive from justice, and died in hiding at a ranch in San Luis Obispo.

    The aftermath led to another court case against the CoS in Canada. Here's an excerpt from one of the court's documents:

    If you'd like more information, please ask.
  11. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    sorry but no, I've provided example, after example supported with evidence.
  12. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I'm not really interested in these testimonies as they prove nothing. They are just sworn statements to be used as evidence in court. A deposition is simply a sworn testimony and nothing more. They can be completely fabricated. There is no cross examination and they may or may not be used. This deposition was taken presumably in the course of court proceedings ( the nature of the proceedings is not discussed) and was taken after the witness left the Church of Scientology.

    This is not "hard evidence".

    What you offer up are little pieces in a puzzle which mean very little. The tape that was played was very funny but you have to respect that an organisation may have opinions that you disagree with. In that tape, the booming and dramatic voice basically just says that the public education system is a disaster, full of violence and security guards, and is not the same as it was for an older genetation. It goes on to say that Scientology offers an alternative.

    I have taken the time to look through your material and what you are offering up are little peices which you are trying to turn into a whole puzzle.

    I think Scientology is controversial and there is obviously a huge oppositional movement spearheaded by ex Scientologists. In that context, you have to be very careful about evaluating material offered up as "evidence".

    I accept that certain Scientologists were guilty of the charges brought against them in the operations referred to above but please clarify your position on whether the misdeeds of certain Scientologists can necessarily be attributed back to the Church of Scientology and if so on what basis having regard to the fact that I don;t believe you can do so for all of the wrongs committed by Christians, Jews and Muslims.

  13. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    No you haven't.
  14. malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 7
    "He's behind you!"
  15. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    The tape itself is hard evidence, in that it documents the CoS' irrational hatred of (and paranoid fear of) psychologists. You heard the part where the tape screams about how psychologists run all public schools and universities. That's a consistent claim of theirs. Something bad happened in history? Psychologists did it! They even claim that the Anonymous protestors are on the "psychs'" payroll. (Why? Because Hubbard had a vendetta against psychology after they told him he was crazy.)

    And the court cases, including the verdicts for many serious crimes, are extremely well-documented, as you can see.

    The difference is that, unlike Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, the CoS has a very centralized, very strict, and very organized leadership, with the founder (and now the founder's successor) at the very top. The founder himself, in his own words, advocated the relentless pursuit of wealth and the utter destruction of the CoS' enemies. Then the founder's #3, and his own wife, as well as most likely the founder himself, plotted a huge, unprecedented covert op against the government; yes, that goes straight back to the CoS.

    Please note the difference between Scientology, rank-and-file Scientologists, and the massively corrupt organization that rules it all with an iron fist. Your friend most likely genuinely benefitted from his time there -- because they put their most beneficial courses first, and cheapest, in order to hook new recruits (or, as the CoS calls them, "fresh meat") and get them to keep paying when they suddenly ratchet up the price by a factor of 20. Hey, small price to pay for such great treatment, right? You've benefitted so much so far -- now imagine 20 times that! Can't pay it? Get your parents involved; you can help them just like we helped you! Max out your credit card! We'll even show you how to apply for more credit cards! Hey, we're talking about saving the world, here! Small price to pay, right?

    Here is an excellent, detailed story of a man's 16-year journey from curious drifter to happy Scientology initiate to devoted follower to corrupted, bankrupt jerk to the man he became after he left. Here's how it ends:

  16. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah I agree that the tape evidences opinions that are irrational. But that is just our opinion. Many people also consider the concepts of an after life and transubstantiation irrational ( I know I do) and they are central to Catholic doctrine. There's nothing wrong with holding certain beliefs about psychologists - I am personally extremely skeptical about psychology and psychiatry in relation to the treatment of children and disorders such as ADD, ADHD, ODD and Bipolar.

    I am glad that you made the point about drawing a distinction between what you call the 'rank and file' and the organized leadership. Perhaps this really what I am getting at. In Australia it appears that we have the benefit of distance and so the Church of Scientology organisation appears to be composed of 'rank and file' as there are no major scandals or court cases.

    I'm more interested in the teachings and doctrine of the Church of Scientology in terms of assessing whether those teachings are socially or emotionally deleterious rather than the activities of the leadership of the organisation who may or may not be acting in accordance with the dictates of their faith.

    I can point to Bishops and Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church who have acted in an unconscionable manner in relation to claims and evidence of sexual abuse yet I do not hold the Roman Catholic Church as a whole or Catholics or other clergy responsible for those actions - this appears to me to be where you are going with your objection to Scientology.

  17. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    No one here holds anything against the people who believe in Scientology.

    Example:
  18. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I understand that but when you use language like "illegal and unethical actions that have been committed by the Church" I have to wonder if that is actually the case. The "Church" is a pretty wide spectrum and it goes back to my intial question of whether it is fair to attribute the actions of a few to "the Church" as a whole.

    It doesn't seem to be the case in Australia.
  19. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    I understand what you're saying, but when the plot involves the Church's top brass and thousands of its followers, acting on the principles -- if not the direct order -- of the founder, I think it's fair to say the Church did it. :p

    This isn't some loose, amorphous entity where no one's accountable for the whole. The CoS is run like a military, where superior officers have absolute authority over their subordinates and where changing even one word of "source" -- Hubbard's text -- is the second-worst crime you can commit. (The worst of all, they say, is speaking out against the church; do that, and you're Fair Game. Granted, they don't call it Fair Game anymore, but their practices of harassment and intimidation haven't changed.)

    And as for opinions about psychology: Saying, "I think psychologists are way too quick to diagnose kids with ADHD" is an opinion. Saying "German psychologists founded every public school in the world for the purposes of cramming pills down everyone's throat" is not an opinion; it's a factually incorrect statement. (You can find more Church views on psychology in the CoS' museum exhibit, "Psychology: Industry of Death.")
  20. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    I know what you're saying, and I agree. But this is just like when someone says: "Iraq invaded Kuwait." Obviously not every single person participated in the invasion; just the government and the military. I think that the same thing can be applied to using the word "Church" in this context. It only means the higher echelons.
  21. Kimball_Kinnison Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Considering that you are quoting me there, I should probably jump in to explain where I draw the line.

    I consider an action performed by an organization when it is made by an official representative of the organization in accordance with the policy and recognized actions of that organization.

    For example, I don't consider a priest who molests a child to be an action performed by the Church unless the Church itself has a policy of molesting children. The priest may be an official representative, but that doesn't mean that his actions are sanctioned by the Church.

    At the same time, if something is done by a member of the Church who is not an official representative, then there is no official connection to the Church itself, regardless of whether it is in accordance with the Church's official policy.

    Kimball Kinnison
  22. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah I agree with that. It's like the allegations made by David Yallop in his book "In God's Name" in which he convincingly argues that Pope John Paul I was actually murdered by elements of the Vatican Bank, the Roman Curia and the Italian banking mafioso. If the allegations are true, then something is very rotten in the Vatican. However, such behaviour should not impugn the Roman Catholic Church as a whole, its teachings and its institutions.

    The problem with Scientology is that it is so obviously just a commercial venture, just like any other "self help" philosophy that turns a buck by selling books and DVDS. Scientology of course turns more than a buck and has been given a religious slant to acheive favourable tax treatment and to widen its popularity/appeal. In my view, any organisation that promotes itself as a "religion" but is in nature a commercial enterprise is inherently conflicted and it is inevitable that it will attract the sort of people that act despicably. Greed is like that.

    I've read a little bit of Dianetics and think if it lost its "religious" element and just acknowledged that it was a "self help" philosophy then it would attract a different breed of people to the organisation as I think it is a viable philosophy. I don't agree with all of it, but I can tell you from first hand experience that it certainly had a positive effect on my friend. He came out of it a much happier person. That's not to say that any form of counselling would have had the same effect as it most probably would have but I have to give Scientology the benefit of the doubt.
  23. Vortigern99 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 5
    I copied and pasted the following from http://www.exscientologykids.com/seaorg.html -- a site "designed, owned, and operated by three young women who grew up in Scientology, and later left the Church." The site provides a wealth of factual information about the CoS, including personal testimony from ex-members. The following description of the Sea Org -- described elsewhere as a "paramilitary organization" which runs the day-to-day and financial affairs of the CoS -- should suffice to answer any calls for "damning evidence" of malfeasance by the Church.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Sea Org / Cadet Org
    So what is the Sea Org, exactly? Are all Scientologists in the Sea Org? Why are so many critics opposed to it? What do Sea Org members do? How do they live? What was the Cadet Org? This page explains.

    What is the Sea Org?

    The Sea Org, short for "The Sea Organization", is Scientology's parish (for lack of a better word). Not all Scientologists are in the Sea Org, but the most dedicated ones usually are. The current leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, is also in command of the Sea Org.

    The Sea Org's organizational structure is an odd mixture of military and corporate management styles, with staff members living in army-like conditions, receiving boot-camp type punishments for misdeeds, and holding militaristic titles within the organization.

    When a Scientologist joins the Sea Org, he signs a contract agreeing to serve for 1 billion years (no typo - 1,000,000,000 years). Because Scientologists believe in re-incarnation, the Sea Org member is expected to return and serve again in his or her next life.

    For more information on the history of the Sea Org, check out the Wikipedia page.

    What do Sea Org members do?

    Sea Org members handle most aspects and functions of the CoS. Sea Org members do everything from cleaning the churches to fundraising, from delivering auditing services to investigating critics, from cooking to executive management.

    Sea Org members live together, work together, eat together, and are not allowed to marry outside of the organization.

    Who joins the Sea Org?

    The huge majority of Sea Org members are the children of Scientologists, or else they are long-time Scientologists who have been in the church for years and years.

    This is because not everyone is qualified for the Sea Org. If you have ever taken LSD, or undergone psychiatric treatment of any kind, you are automatically disqualified from joining. However, the children of Scientologists are perfect bait for Sea Org recruiters. Scientology kids almost never do drugs, they have never seen a psychiatrist, they already understand the Scientology lifestyle, they're eager to get out on their own in the world, they have no property, no career, and few possessions to worry about, and they are young enough to be susceptible to guilt-trips, group pressure, and grandiose promises.

    What's the difference between Sea Org and 'staff'?

    Scientologists refer to 'staff' as people who are not in the Sea Org but still work for Scientology. There are certain positions that only a Sea Org member can hold, but there are other jobs that may be held by staff.

    Sometimes people join staff because although they want to help Scientology, they have families to support and can't do it on Sea Org pay. Also, Sea Org members are not allowed to be married to someone who is not in the Sea Org, so sometimes people join staff because their spouse does not want to join the SO. Or, they are disqualified from joining the Sea Org because of drug run-ins during their youth, and joining staff is as close as they can get.

    Staff members are paid very little, and often have to keep another job to make ends meet. They live outside of the org, in their own homes, and the church does not provide food and amenities.

    How many Sea Org members are there in the world?

    We don't have access to those records, but we'd say probably 10,000-20,000.

    What's wrong with the Sea Org, and w
  24. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Arg! Scrollies bad! Linkies good!

    Go back to the SW boards if you're going to post like that!;)
  25. LostOnHoth Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    No it does not suffice because it may all be a load of rot for all we know. You should be cautious about accepting stories told by ex members of an organisation at face value. They may well have an axe to grind and are willing to commit slander & libel in the course of retribution.
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