~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. Darth Geist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Left without incident, eh? That's honestly the first I've heard of that ever happening. Of course, it could be that the Melbourne branch just doesn't have the clout to apply the same pressure U.S. and Canadian branches do. Intriguing.

    Of course not everyone who's encountered a cult leaves "maimed for life." I know people who've left a couple of different cults successfully. David Macavige's own niece is an ex-member now (though her exit doesn't look to be quite so painless). Cults keep track of who they can reel in and who they'd be wasting their time on (because they're too stubborn, not interested, or otherwise unsuitable for what the cult wants), and your friend may have fallen into the latter category. Be glad he didn't end up like Steven Fishman, or, worse, Lisa McPherson.

    Out of curiosity, did he ever happen to mention whether he reached clear, or how much he paid? How involved was he?

    I wouldn't ask you to trust me, some guy you don't know on the Internet, over a good friend. Nothing of the kind. But your friend's experiences could help put the puzzle together, if he'd allow you to share them.
  2. VanillaPaste Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Then change "everyone who leaves etc. etc." to "most everyone who leaves etc. etc., and by the way there are many documented cases of ruined lives to prove this."

    The point is not that there exists the potential for Scientology to do good, but that it has committed among the most grievous harms of any corporation in this country in the past couple decades, and continues to do so. It is understandable of you to defend your friend, but we are not out to get your friend nor are we out to get any other particular person involved in the group, but using your friend as the end-all example of the good of Scientology is the same as Fox 11 using one Anon who we didn't agree with as the end-all example of all Anon.
  3. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    You're misrepresenting what I wrote in my post. I'm not using my friend as an "end-all example of the good of Scientology". As I said, I have no brief for the Church of Scientology. My point was simply that there are people out there who have had a positive Scientology experience. There are also millions of practising Scientologists out there and I don't accept that even a majority of them are only there because of manipulation or duress. They are there because they want to be there and somehow find value and meaning in it all. I don't know how - my reading of Dianetics is that it is all quasi-psycological babble. But hey, whatever works for you. I find most aspects of Christianity equally as ridiculous.

  4. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    This right here is why I have tried to be clear that I do not have a problem with Scientology's beliefs or doctrines. I believe that everyone is entitled to believe as they wish.

    My problems with Scientology are entirely based on the illegal and unethical actions that have been committed by the Church.

    Kimball Kinnison
  5. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    Indeed, that is why I hold no grudges against a group like Free Zone.
  6. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
  7. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    QFT. Tommy Davis scares me and not just for the fact that hes trying to cop the Tom Crazy look.
  8. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    A friend of mine thought he was a clone of Tom Cruise! :p
  9. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    LOL! I though he actually was Tom Cruise until they said his name. :p
  10. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    [image=http://www.bbc.co.uk/home/images/main_promo/bbc1/sweeney_r_1.jpg]

    This guy looks like a movie villain.
  11. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    I think you guys are being a little hysterical. What is your issue with this guy's response? All I see is a guy who is pissed off at his religion/faith being referred to as a "sinister cult" by some pompous British BBC journo doing a "current affairs" story.

    I'm sure you would all feel the same way if your religion/faith was referred to as a "sinister cult" repeatedly on global television. If I had faith and allegiance to some religion, I know I'd be pissed.
  12. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    No, I wouldn't. And it has been called a sinister cult on National TV before. Even by posters in this forum (not on national tv).
  13. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    What religion are you Vivec?

    I have to admit I have a problem dealing with real cults because I've been told my religion is one so many times I tend to err on the side of caution.

    I really don't care what crazy stuff they believe, or do. If they want to not practice proven psychology or whatever, I don't have a huge problem with that, even if I think it might do more harm than good. Psychology sets itself up as a pseudo religion half the time anyways.

    The real difference is the way it treats people who express dissent and choose to leave. Ex-Mormons just moan because we say they aren't going to heaven unless they repent, and then complain about Utah liquor laws thereafter. In the real world outside of church I don't think anybody really cares if somebody is an ex-Mormon or not. Sure there a few idiots out there who might, but I think this thread has thoroughly proved no group, religious or anti-religious, has a monopoly on morons.

    At work today we were talking at lunch about Scientologists. The general consensus was that they don't deserve special tax breaks. They have one of their centers downtown, and the hackers were picketing it. I have to give them credit, it is now something we are all talking about.
  14. dizfactor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 5
    [face_thinking] I see... and so where do the mind control rays come in? [face_hypnotized]

    [image=http://rightvoices.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/tinfoil-hat.jpg]
  15. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Catholic, and its been called a cult!

    Though I am partial to Liberal Christianity.
  16. PRENNTACULAR VIP

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2005
    star 6
    I'm pretty sure every organized Religion ever has been called a cult, and I don't really think it's that big of a deal. It's never really bothered me.
  17. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Exactly. I don't know what Tommy Davis has up his ass, but having your religion called a cult isn't the worst thing in the world.
  18. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Perhaps the word "sinister" is the offensive word?

    Look, if you approached a fundamentalist Muslim, an Ultra Orthodox Jew, a Mason or a Jehova's Witness in the context if a televised interview and constantly referred to their faith and their religion as a "sinister cult" then I suggest you would get a response that would make the one given by the guy in that video clip extremely tame, polite, well mannered and rational by comparison.
  19. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    That doesn't make the response appropriate.
  20. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    What was inappropriate about it? He stated quite clearly that the interviewer's constant references to "sinister cult" were pissing him off, he stated his views on the protection of religious freedom under the Constitution and then he stormed off in a huff. He didn't spit, strike out, swear or threaten violence or death. He ended the interview when he felt he was losing control of his emotions. In fact, he is obviously media trained as he did precisely what media spokespeople are trained to do in those types of "interview" situations, that is, disengage.

    You are making too much of it. Stick to the horror stories told by ex- Scientologists and the family members of Hubbard, you are on stronger ground there and the arguments are more compelling. Making a big deal of that video makes you come across as nitpicky.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    Back to the initial topic, personally I don't think any label of scientology justifies the attempts to try to shut down scientology's websites and other tactics like that.
  22. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I am going to have to say that the journalist in that clip was not calling $cientology a cult because of its religion, but based on their actions. I can't say I disagree.

    Those tactics were idiotic. Funny, but idiotic. They only worked for a few days, and were illegal, which could have tarnished the reputation of Anonymous and made it hard for a lot of people to take them serious. They have said that they have stopped officially doing that, because they do not wish to do anything that is illegal. Anonymous only wishes to "systematically dismantle" $cientology through peaceful/lawful ways. And I have heard critics of $cientology say that they would rather have the website up so people can see how ridiculous it is.

    And again, Anonymous and it's supporters do not have a problem with what Scientologists believe, they only have a problem with the Co$ itself. We do not care at all what they believe in, let them believe what they want. But we do not want the Co$ limiting free speech, hurting/killing others, ruining peoples lives, scamming thousands into paying thousands upon thousands of dollars and alienating family members from each other; it's wrong. If they want to believe in what Co$ teaches them for thousands of dollars, they should join Free Zone and learn everything for free.
  23. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I agree on some points and disagree on others.

    I agree that it is important to oppose Scientology (or anyone else) infringing the free speech rights of others, and other criminal actions should be blocked at every opportunity.

    However, it's really none of my business if someone chooses to donate money to their church. Personally, I try to live the biblical law of tithing, donating 10% of my income to my church. I make a good bit over $50,000 per year, and for the past few years I have donated well over $5,000 each year to my church. I have friends of many different religions and denominations who similarly donate a fair portion of their incomes to their churches. Should all of our churches be criticized for that as well?

    The donations paid to a church by its members are really no one else's concerns. Yes, if the church in question is taking the money as a fee for a service, they should face legal penalties if they do not provide that service (a staple of contract law), but just because people pay "thousands upon thousands of dollars" to a church does not make it a bad thing, nor does it make it any of your business.

    Similarly, it's really none of your business if a church alienates family members from one another. There are so many things that alienate family members from one another. The only ones that really involve you are the ones in your family, and the ones that involve breaking the law. Can it be harmful? Of course. Does that give you the right to step in? Not at all.

    Kimball Kinnison

    EDIT: Basically, the way I see it is that a church is free to discipline its members, but the limit of what it can do in that respect is to eject them from the Church (excommunicate them). Similarly, a person has the right to leave a church at any time, for any reason. A church can't force people to pay them money, nor does it have the right to imprison someone or perform any sort of violence against them. A church has absolutely no rights or authority over those who are not members of that church.
  24. darth_nemisis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2004
    star 6
    I do see where you're coming from. But where I have a a problem with the CoS taking money is it's well over 5,000 dollars a year. And it's not "donations". Like I said in a previous post: " I came across a document that outlined the costs of Scientology courses. It detailed the costs for attaining the state of "Clear", taking the OT courses, obtaining the "Key to Life", and the cost to a lifetime membership to become a member of International Association of Scientology (IAS). I added up the cost, and it came to a total of about $500,000. Just going through OTIII level costs approximately $150,000. For through OTVIII is about $270,000 which is ridiculous! A lot of this money goes to the high ranking members! And they do not even have to pay taxes on it! It's wrong, no other way to but it. And the best part about it is that all they learn in these courses are practically what we've been saying about thetans and Xenu and all this."

    To me, that's ridiculous. That's a lot of money. Like you said, you make just over 50,000 a year. If you were in the CoS, it'd take you about 10 years to come up with that type of money, without spending any money on anything else. Also, I can't believe I left this out of the post, but the tax exempt status of the Co$; they do not have to pay taxes on the money that they receive. And they have been known to break federal laws as well as the tax exempt laws in the past. Here are some laws that they have broken and how they did:

    And alienating people from their families could be none of our business. Though, is it any business of others to stop KFC from the way they get its chicken? (A bad example, and I apologize) Even though it may be brutal and wrong, let them do it the way they want. Though, people still protest about it. And I don't see why we can't.
  25. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Like I said,
    If they are violating the law, then the appropriate way to handle that is to report them to the proper authorities, giving any evidence that you have to them for the investigation.

    If they are charging for a service, then they have a legal obligation to provide that service.

    All I am saying there is that I don't have a problem with them charging whatever they want for people to either join or advance within the religion. It is their organization, and their right to run it as they wish within the limits of the law. It isn't illegal for them to charge their members money for those teachings.

    As I said before, my problem with Scientology lies with both their illegal actions (including the avoidance of tax laws) and their unethical behavior (such as their legal harassment of critics). They aren't infringing anyone's rights by charging for teachings. The do infringe people's rights when they try to sue them into oblivion or when they violate society's laws.

    Kimball Kinnison
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