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

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  •  I was born and raised Catholic. (15+ / 0-)

    Participation in catholicism is voluntary.  Donating money is voluntary.  There is no church policy stating that those who do not can not continue.  The Catholic church makes bibles available for free to anyone who wants one.  Anyone can read catholic teachings without fear of lawsuits.  ANyone can say what they want about Catholicism without being labelled as enemies who must, according to an actual church policy, be destroyed by any means necessary.  Anyone can criticise the Catholic church without concern.

    In fact, as someone born and rasied catholic, I can believe more or less what I like.  I don't believe the bible is fact and I certainly don't agree with the CHurch's "official" positions regarding women priests, celibate priests, abortion, birth control, etc, etc, etc.  Guess what, I can walk up to any priests and say as much and they will nod and maybe share their own opinions.  No attempt to destroy me or my family.  No attempt to hire PIs to stalk me.  No getting peopel to show up at my work to make false, defamatory claims against me and get me fired.

    Anyone can walk in off the street, enter a catholic church and participate/learn as much as they want whenever they want.  No lies, sales pitches or secrets.

    Sorry, but to argue that all religions are the same as Scientology is just intellectual dishonesty and false logic.

    •  Exactly. Your points are excellent. (7+ / 0-)

      Scientology is a world apart.

      "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

      by rubyr on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:51:25 AM PST

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    •  Amen. (9+ / 0-)

      It's actually kind of funny to see some of the comments here trying to equate scientology with real religions.  Obviously the point of many such comments is to grind an ax about religion; the scientology discussion is just a pretext.

      •  Yeah, it seems possible that that is exactly (6+ / 0-)

        what is transpiring. It results in a sideways defense of Scientology and that is tragic. The actions of Scientology need to be exposed and intelligently discussed without distractions.

        "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

        by rubyr on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 12:13:40 PM PST

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        •  It's so easy sometimes! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brit, fuzzyguy, ZenTrainer

          As mentioned above, what we have here is a classic "my god is better than your god" scenario.

          It's okay to attack someone else's stupid religion, but when they attack yours, oh then that's a bit of a problem.

          No one is saying Scientology isn't a problem. But look at modern American law, look at the gay rights struggle, look at how women are under attack.

          This is Christian fueled crap. Pretending it's not isn't going to make it go away.

          •  Christian fueled crap. (4+ / 0-)
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            rubyr, timewarp, Alexandre, Timaeus

            I agree it is Christian fueled.  The difference is that Christians are free and able to disagree - even vocally, loudly and publicly - without fear of vicious personal attacks from the Church and being excommunicated and losing your family and friends.  Further, Scientology often controls the bank accounts of many members and if you leave and are vocal about the problems of the Church (or even that it doesn't work as advertised) then the Church will keep all your money.  Speaking against the church is a risk not just of shattered families and a destroyed life, but being kicked out,homeless and penniless.

            This is literally Scientology Church policy.  Official policy!  Not just the work of a few bad apples.  KSW as Mr. Cruise famously said...keeping scientology working.  Meanwhile, anyone in Christianity is free to disagree and there are many who do.  Only the most extreme right-wing Christains, I would bet, use religion as an excuse to justify their own ignorance and hatred.

            So no, there is no comparison even using your example of the dangers of extremist right wing Christians.

            •  Rosencrantz, that hair isn't going to exist if you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              split it finer.

              Yes, Christians are a larger group, and there are subdivisions within the parent religion.

              But if you join a group of your own free will, you own their rep.

              And when someone meets the most basic of requirements for the Christian religion: accepting that Jesus Christ exists, he is lord and savior, and is the son of the Christian God.

              That's Christianity.

              I get that you don't like what some of your fellow Christians do, and I agree with you on that, but they are your people and are a part of your group.

              And you don't get to decide to kick them out. You don't get to decide that they don't believe Jesus is their lord and savior, because they do.

              And for whatever horrible thing they are doing at the time, I'm sure they believe that either A) Jesus wants them to do it, or B) He'll forgive them.

              Apparently he does that a lot.

              For everything.

              •  You completely miss the point. (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wee Mama, tommymet, bevenro, Alexandre, Timaeus

                The point is one can be a member of a religion and still believe/say what they want.  One can NOT be part of scientology and have that same freedom.  Hence the difference.  I can agree or disagree without fear of reprisal...scientologists can not.    And it's not the work of a few crazies, we are talking about official policies here.  If the pope passes an official church doctrine saying people must bash gays and molest children, then maybe you would have a point.  But that isn't the case.  Again, unlike scientology where NOTHING can be done that goes against official church policy.  EVER.  You do so and you are either punished by the church or kicked out and declared an enemy.

                How is that splitting hairs in any way shape or form?  

                The rest of what you say is meaningless for a number of reasons.  Just because some people claim to be Christian and absolutely believe Jesus wants them to do something is irrelevant.  You may as well be saying all muslims are terrorists because a few crazy extremists speak for everyone.

              •  so because I'm Jewish I support the stoning of (3+ / 0-)


                I support settlement building in Israel?

                You have a very monolithic view of religion which is wholly inaccurate...(sure, it's true for some, but not most)

          •  I don't see how Scientology is a religion, based (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rubyr, Timaeus

            on its content. It's a form of psychology that uses technology and has a very odd back story. But it doesn't talk about God, it doesn't make transcendent claims or any of the things that are usually considered part of religions. It is more like Buddhism, which many of its practitioners consider a philosophy and a practice rather than a religion for similar reasons.

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:46:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I recommend that with some dread, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Wee Mama

              because Buddhism is, of course, a very deep and very venerable true religion.  I would be reluctant to compare it to the criminal hoax of scientology.

              But I definitely agree with this:

              I don't see how Scientology is a religion, based (1+ / 0-)

              on its content. It's a form of psychology that uses technology and has a very odd back story. But it doesn't talk about God, it doesn't make transcendent claims or any of the things that are usually considered part of religions.

              There is a museum in Washington, gosh, I can't remember where, that has a lot of oriental treasures. There's a last room that is very large, partially a garden, filled with very ancient Buddhist statues and artifacts.  The room just absolutely rings with spirit, with divinity, with the supernatural.  It's what I sometimes call a "loud silence."  It shakes the soul, at least if one is sensitive to the mystic as I am.  Poor me that I can't remember the name of that incredible place.

              I'm a Christian. Never going to change. But I also have found a lot of comfort and inspiration and intellectual challenge in Buddhism.  One of my best friends from college converted from a Protestant denomination to Buddhism, and I was Best Man at his wedding.  I respect them.

              •  I have a deep respect for most forms of Buddhism (1+ / 0-)
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                and yes, it is a spiritual practice of great antiquity and much wisdom. In its roots though it began as a middle way out of theologies. It is only in some of the later, derivative forms such as Tibetan Buddhism and Pure Land Buddhism that something approaching divine beings play an important role. The Buddha precisely declined any divinity for himself. This is a decent discussion of whether it is appropriate to call it a religion.

                Zen practice is common enough among Episcopalians that some jokingly call themselves Buddapalians; they borrow the practices of Buddhism but keep their own theology.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:29:15 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  It's called the Freer Gallery of Art, part of the (0+ / 0-)

                Smithsonian.  Worth seeing!!!

          •  I disagree. My fear and loathing regarding (4+ / 0-)

            Scientology have zero to do with any other religion. Period. I just think that if we could stay on topic on the GOS, we would all learn more. Thus, for people who believe as you do, I think you should go off and write a diary comparing Scientology and the Christian religions and leave the discussion of Scientology as a discussion about Scientology.

            "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

            by rubyr on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:04:14 PM PST

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          •  There are millions of Christians who don't (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            support the doctrines you've outlined.  You can choose.

    •  Defending the Catholic Church? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      So they are less litigious.

      Their history of oppression and violence is unmatched.

      I mean, nowadays they mostly stick to molesting children and attacking women, and less random butchering of other humans who disagree. But that's still terrible and awful.

      If you want to have an actual debate, that's fine.

      But you're going to have to learn some history before you make accusations of "intellectual dishonesty" and "false logic." Try the closest mirror for those two attributes.

      •  I stand by my comments. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        First off, it is intellectually dishonest to use problems of religion from hundreds of years ago to excuse problems of Scientology today.  May as well try to excuse modern slavery because it was normal practice long ago.   Sorry, but that logic does not fly.

        Second, you didn't seem to read anything I've said if all you came away with is "so they're less litigious".  You want to talk about child molestation which is absolutely fair, but despite Church action trying to cover it up...there is no Church policy that says priests can and should molest children.  There is no official Church doctrine saying that such actions should be covered up or that anyone who disagrees and speaks out against child molestation should be excommunicated from the Church and declared an enemy and "fair game" for other parisioners to destroy by any means necessary.

        I'm not even sure what you refer to when it comes to attacking women and "less random butchering of other humans who disagree".  Maybe you could clarify this point for me.

        Scientology's ills aren't just random acts.  They aren't just the actions of a few overzealous extremists.  They are official church policy.  It is how members MUST behave if they hope to continue in the "religion", keep their family/friends, and avoid being labelled an "SP" to be destroyed themselves.

        So I stand by my comments.  If you honestly believe the modern Catholic Church, or any mainstream religion, is the same as Scientology, you either know little to nothing about Scientology or you are being intellectually dishonest for some unknown reason.

        But I am totally open to debate this which is why I give detailed examples supporting my position.

      •  HR for out-of-line and ill-informed attack. (0+ / 0-)

        and you have the audacity to ask for an 'actual debate'.

        You also have a lot to learn about religion.

      •  scratch that, I wont hide it. (0+ / 0-)

        But awful comment anyway.

      •  Catholic charities, Catholic world relief (0+ / 0-)

        provide a ready source of funds and hands to address the problems of poverty, disaster throughout the world. Big bucks, big impact.  See, this Jesus guy said "love one another". LRH, not so much.  Are there ANY Scientology charities?

    •  One exception I'd raise (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brit, mahakali overdrive, ZenTrainer

      I don't see anything particularly voluntary about the participation when children are raised in it. We're indoctrinated before we have the skills to evaluate the religion.

      As for destroying people's lives, there are a few catholic politicians (Democrats) who might differ somewhat about the church's meddling in their lives.

      “Now, I can imagine the shocking headlines you’ll print tomorrow morning: 'More guns,' you’ll claim, 'are the NRA’s answer to everything!'" -- Wayne LaPierre

      by tytalus on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:17:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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