October 27, 2009

Scientology, the fraud.

In France.

34 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

What else is new? It has been a fraud from day one.

Hubbard was quoted years ago about it. Something to the effect that creating a "religion" was the best way to make money.

traditionalguy said...

So can we move on now to debunking the easily made up religion of GlobalWarmingology? They both capture the minds of otherwise intelligent people who are then told to send all their money to the Church. So why are we are calmly watching the Demonrats in Congress and the White House establish that State Religion Fraud and fall in with the pretense that the Evil CO2 Monster is about to get us.

Ann Althouse said...

"So can we move on now to debunking the easily made up religion of GlobalWarmingology?"

Hey, that's the next post! (Written while you were writing that.)

Pogo said...

All of you are going straight to hell for heresies against the One True Faith, AGW. Praise be Gaia.

AllenS said...

Scientologists use their religious status to avoid paying taxes. Every audit, book, tape, or whatever you purchase from them is a tax write off.

Take away that status and tax revenue will go up.

raf said...

Scientology is the best reason to advocate for removing the tax exemtion for religious institutions. Remove it and Scientology will go bankrupt paying property taxes in Clearwater FL.

William said...

I know very little about scientology. Its followers seem more eccentric than pernicious. The beliefs are fantastical, but that's generally true of all religions except the one true faith. Scientology seems to take financial advantage of its followers, but again that's true of all religions except the one true faith.....People impose all kinds of theories on the random nothingness of their lives. I don't know if any of these theories make them any happier, but, one thing is for certain: Take away their ability to dramatize the significance of their lives, and they will be miserable.

Fred4Pres said...

Scientology should not be tax exempt. But perhaps the French could spend some time battling Islamic extremism in their country? Just a suggestion.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But perhaps the French could spend some time battling Islamic extremism in their country? Just a suggestion.

Indeed. When scientologists start self detonating in marketplaces and flying planes into buildings then I'll be concerned about them.

traditionalguy said...

While we are losing our illusions today, can we also move onto debunking "Winning in the Afghanistan Mountain valleys"? Please read the WaPo article on Mathew Hoh's resignation highlighted at Drudge and think for yourselves.

Scrutineer said...

traditionalguy - So can we move on now to debunking the easily made up religion of GlobalWarmingology?

Gaiantology.

traditionalguy said...

Scrutineer... Gaiantology links to L.Ron Hubbard's religion since the illegitimate spiritual power behind both religions seems to be from the same sources that predate Judeo-Christianity. They are back.

Freeman Hunt said...

Scientology is not just another religion.

Under Scientology you pay hundreds of thousands of dollars (You must pay, or work for them, there is no sliding scale.) to be hooked up to a rudimentary lie detector and interrogated repeatedly for hours and hours. Each level of enlightenment, or whatever they call it, costs more to complete than the last.

Meanwhile, during these interrogation sessions, the interrogator writes up all of the information from the session. There is a file for every member. Knowing there is a file on you filled with private information makes it a bit intimidating leave.

(1) Required prices for enlightenment.
(2) Lie detectors.
(3) Multiple (dozens and dozens, hundreds?) of repeated interrogation sessions.
(4) Files filled with personal information from such sessions.
(5) Threats to use such information against those who speak out against Scientology.
(6) "Minders" assigned to celebrities to shield them from encountering any unapproved information about Scientology.

These are not marks of just another religion.

Bruce Hayden said...

About time. In the early 1990s, they were able in this country to use and abuse our legal system to shut down critics. They would routinely sue their critics for copyright infringement, then use ex parte writs of search and seizure (civil equivalent of search warrants) to seize the computers of those critics, then search the hard drives for links to other critics. All marginally illegal and unethical, but not bad enough that they ever got effectively sanctioned for it.

I think maybe the low point was when they were able to seize the assets of the Cult Awareness Network, including their 800 number, and started hyping Scientology to anyone who called up freaked out about some cult or another (including, of course, Scientology).

So, no, I don't like the cult, and wish the French the best of luck here.

Joe M. said...

Amen.

traditionalguy said...

Freeman Hunt...The excitement that hooks people into Scientology is the same as all cults. They convice you that you are one of the few that "Know the Truth" and that you are therefore superior and entitled to rule over the unenlightened of the world. That works the same in Marxism, John Birchism, Antisemitism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mohammedism, and in Mormans. Many of them are smart folks that fall for this pitch. The extra that scientology adds is a lawlessness that excuses any crime. With that addition you are dealing with really dangerous folks.

chuck b. said...

I fervently hope for the end of Scientology. A friend of mine got in to it during a bad time in her life and I think it's seriously warped her since then. She works for one of their many front organizations--a private school (wholly unaccredited) named the Delphi Academy and has her kids enrolled there. The whole thing makes me sick. And sad and angry...

blake said...

Time to be politically incorrect again, I guess.

Hubbard was quoted years ago about it. Something to the effect that creating a "religion" was the best way to make money.

Actually that was George Orwell. Fun fact, though: Every Scientologist I've ever asked about it has replied, "Yeah, that sounds like LRH." (Two of my kids went to school run by Scientologists pre-homeschooling.)

Scientologists use their religious status to avoid paying taxes. Every audit, book, tape, or whatever you purchase from them is a tax write off.

Not so. If any church sells you stuff, you pay sales tax on the stuff, and you don't get a write-off. I think there's an exception if you pay $5,000 for a $50 book, you can write off the $4,950, but I don't see how that's different than buying a $50 book and making a $4,950 donation. (This is true if you donate and are awarded with something of material value as well.)

Scientologists get audited a lot. Heh.

I'm very disturbed by the calls for removal of tax exemption. Yes, let's give the government the direct power to destroy any religion they feel like.

blake said...

Bruce,

Actually, I subscribed to the Cult Awareness Network newsletter before Scientology took it over.

I haven't seen it since but when I read it, it was basically copies of stories clipped from various newspapers. Even as a young teen, I recognized that this was not exactly quality reportage.

What never fails to amaze me about conservatives attacking "cults" is that they will in one breath savage the news media for biased, sloppy, inaccurate, and factually wrong articles--and then turn right around and uses these very sources as evidence.

The New York Times, people.

Or, as here, they'll talk about limiting powers of government on the one hand, but then decide it should have power over the most intimate spiritual matters.

The French government, people.

blake said...

Freem,

You must pay, or work for them

Only if you want the services in the first place, right? From them, in particular. You can go pick up Dianetics from the library and do it yourself. (Now on DVD! Which I suppose says something about literacy.)

there is no sliding scale

Again, an interesting complaint from a conservative.

I don't really have time to address all the other stuff, which is a shame, because I think it's interesting.

Guaranteed, though, the same tactics used against conservatives are in play.

If the case is overturned, you won't see a story in the Times about it. Unless it's a "they got away with it again!" type thing used to demonstrate the awesome power of the cult (which hardly has any members, and they're all idiot/brainwashed drones anyway).

Same tactics. Same people. I should trust their reportage why, exactly?

daubiere said...

shorter blake: im a scientologist!!!

so blake, whats xenu really like?

blake said...

Shorter daubiere: Anyone who defends Jews must be a Jew.

blake said...

Interesting thing about Xenu, though: Anti-Scientologists claim both that the story about Xenu is "what Scientologists believe" and also that "it's only available at higher secret levels that few ever reach."

Anyone else see a contradiction there?

chuck b. said...

Ftr, it's an AP story, not New York Times. If you don't like the NYT, you can read about it in the WSJ or Fox News, if those outfits are more to your liking. (Although it's the same AP story in the latter.)

raf said...

I doubt that eliminating the religious tax exemption would result in the govt shutting down religions. Putting the religions in opposition to excessive taxation might be a bit of a check on govt.

wv: slytord. Gotta be a joke in there somewhere.

blake said...

raf--

I suppose that's possible. I was just thinking "the power to tax is the power to destroy".

Freeman Hunt said...

You can go pick up Dianetics from the library and do it yourself

No, you can't. The central practice of the "religion" is being audited (read: interrogated). That is how you progress in levels. There is no substitute for it.

You can't even get access to higher level materials except by being certified at those levels through auditing.

And complaining of there being no sliding scale is not strange for a conservative. We're talking about a religion, not the state. I can be conservative and think that any religion where you pay a fee for enlightenment is a sham. I know of no major religion that requires this. But I know of a heck of a lot of cults that operate that way.

yashu said...

I'm not sure if anyone else has mentioned this here, but Paul Haggis (Oscar-winning director of Crash) is now an apostate-- left the Church after 35 years-- and wrote quite the letter of denunciation, check it out here.

I didn't know they publicly sponsored Prop 8-- interesting; only the Mormon Church got the abuse. But it's the creepy "disconnect" policy (ugh) that, among other things, truly marks them out as a cult. And their use of intimate information extracted through "confessional" for what amounts to intimidation/ blackmail (don't criticize us or else)... how sinister is that. (How many powerful people in Hollywood must be under their thumb!)

Geoff Matthews said...

So Paul Haggis is willing to tolerate an organization that tells you to stop talking to your parents (or in-laws, whatever), but opposing same-sex marriage is too much?

Revenant said...

Interesting thing about Xenu, though: Anti-Scientologists claim both that the story about Xenu is "what Scientologists believe" and also that "it's only available at higher secret levels that few ever reach."

Anyone else see a contradiction there?

Well naturally there's a contradiction, since you're phrasing it in a deliberately contradictory way.

Scientology is a mystery cult. As in most mystery cults, access to the innermost secrets is available only to the most loyal and persistent members.

The accurate statement would be "Xenu is a core belief of Scientology, but most Scientologists aren't familiar with the idea because they haven't paid the Church enough money yet".

chuck b. said...

How embarrassing to get interested in Scientology, pay a bunch of money to access its inner-most secrets, and then find out the secret is *Xenu*. I would be mortified.

kentuckyliz said...

The "seal of the confessional" is absolute and beyond subpoena--safer than talking to a doctor, lawyer, psychologist, or counselor.

So, honest legal question here: if the point of these laws is to protect the confessing person, do they also protect them against the person they're confessing to?

If so, how can Scientologists threaten to expose what they revealed in an auditing session?

That would breach a solemn religious trust...so what would be the consequences?

Just wondering. I'm Catholic and I know a priest would rather die than reveal something he heard in the confessional. If they expose something heard in the confessional, they lose their priesthood. The confessional is the last safe place on earth to ease a troubled mind, and I say that as a licensed counselor.

Damian DeWitt said...

Glad to see you posting on this Ann. A few points:

- Scientology "tech" is uniform and unalterable according to LRH dictates and belief. It is rigidly enforced by David Miscavige, who is an obsessive micro-manager. What is fraud in Paris is fraud wherever the Church of Scientology practices.

- It is probable that Miscavige perjured himself to the IRS on two key issues: his control and where the money goes. Remember, CoS lost its religious tax-exemption in 1967 and waged a 25-year war it won by filing 3500 lawsuits which wore down the IRS and exhausted its litigation budget.

Scientology celebrity lawyers Great Van Susteren of Fox News and her Tobacco Wars trial-attorney husband John Coale helped design the legal strategy for the war. Coale is an adviser to Sarah Palin and set up SarahPAC for her.

For details on these issues see the affidavit of Lawrence Brennan and read his blog http://larrybren.blogspot.com/

Brennan was a high-ranking executive who designed the "corporate sort-out" intended to hide Miscavige's control and church funds from the IRS.

He also designed and executed a vast program of religious cloaking to deceive the IRS. Ministers, services, and all the trappings of an authentic religion were created and adopted.

Miscavige is not legally the head of CoS. He is Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center which polices use of Scientology's copyrights and trademarks that are licensed to Church of Scientology International. He can destroy CSI with the stroke of a pen.

He is required by the 1993 IRS tax agreement to have no control over CSI and other Scientology entities, including its numerous front groups.

We know from the accounts of defecting executives that he controls all of them through signed resignations he keeps in his safe, and exercises absolute control over thousands of decisions in all these organizations.

We are indeed fortunate to have Eugene Volokh and Jonathan Turley writing frequently on Scientology-related issues, and I hope we will hear more from you, Ann.


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LarryBren said...

I spent quite a few years of my life helping develop a religious cloaking for organized scientology and helping to create a corporate structure that ended up allowing David Miscavige to control secretly all of organized scientology. While he controls it from the "Religious Technology Center" now, he initially controlled it secretly while hiding in a for-profit corporation called "Author Services".

It was never intended by those of us who worked out the structure that Miscavige could take it over, abuse hundreds of staff and public scientologists and then run organized scientology more for his personal profit.

Yet that is what he did while often committing perjury about his controls, his actions and the like.

An affidavit I have made about this can be found at:

http://evil.scientology.googlepages.com/crs.pdf

Many details about the false religious cloaking, beating of staff by Miscavige and other abuses and lies Miscavige has made in courts and to the IRS can be found on this blog:

http://larrybren.blogspot.com/

I was one of the initial authors of the very first "What is Scientology" book which was published in 1978 to forward the religious cloaking in response to the FBI raids in 1977 and am so named as a contributor in the book.

I appreciate your covering this subject Ann and hope that as the truth gets out, the abuses and fraud can be stopped.

All the Best,
Larry Brennan