Avoid the dangers of Scientology

When I started reading about the Church of Scientology about a year ago, a wealth of negative press and discussion became evident as I sleuthed the Internet.

But the incriminating evidence I found did not keep me from wanting to find out more. Scientology’s strength is in offering a promise of help, hope and community to those in a rough spot in their life.

I’m here to tell you to never for any reason or by any means get involved with the Church of Scientology or any of its many branches and programs. This includes the Dianetics mission set up in Baton Rouge.

If it doesn’t bother you that Scientology is set up in our own backyard, it should. Beyond the wealth of ridicule the church receives because of its upper-level science fiction stories made widely public by “South Park,” the church uses underhanded and strong-arm tactics to rope members into service and require members to sign statements refusing medical treatment.

The dated personality test given to prospective church members is constructed in a way to force answers to follow a pattern. Beyond the fact that most of those desperate enough to turn to Scientology will exhibit a pattern of hopelessness and depression, the results of your personality test will inevitably show that you lack communication and emotion-handling skills because of the senselessness of the queries. The hard sell is then made to the prospective member. Scientology, of course, is the only way to get yourself out of this low point.

Questions on the test include “Do you sometimes whistle just for the fun of it?” and “Do you often read through railway time tables for merely the pleasure?”

One entry-level aspect of Scientology currently getting attention in the press is the Purification Rundown, known to Scientologists as the “purif.”

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that judges in New Mexico are sending an increasing number of convicted drug abusers to the Scientology program “Second Chance,” a series of unorthodox “treatments” including the purif and their perfected method of roping in new members.

According to ex-members, church documents and workbooks reproduced online at the leading Web site critical of the church, Operation Clambake, the purif is a “combination of exercise, vitamins, nutrition and sauna use.” The treatment is based on the half-century old notion that narcotics and other illicit substances are stored indefinitely in human fat cells.

Consumer Alert: Scientology Quackery

“Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill… (Scientology is) the world’s largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.”
– Justice Anderson, Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia, quoted atWhat judges have to say about Scientology

This is treated by effectively overdosing on niacin, a water-soluble B vitamin usually used in small doses to increase energy metabolism. But in doses as high as those required here, it causes a visible skin burn.

Members on the treatment are told the niacin burn is radiation escaping from their fat cells. Later on in their Scientology career, they learn this is from past lives when a soul attached to their body was subjected to a hydrogen bomb attack after being dropped into one of Earth’s early volcanoes.

By the way, undergoing the intensive sauna hours, often for more than six hours a day, and being directed on how to overdose on niacin will cost you $2,560.

Critics of the church also accuse employees of “love bombing,” defined as “the deliberate show of affection of friendship by an individual or a group of people toward another individual.” When employees of the church want to rope in a member and keep them, they employ practices such as this.

Besides, members are the source of money, and keeping the money flowing is one of the top-most goals of Scientology, possibly second only to squandering attempts to make true information about the church public.

According to a reproduced official document on Operation Clambake‘s Web site, church founder L. Ron Hubbard’s 1972 policy letter sent to members of the church’s communications office, his only directive was “MAKE MONEY, MAKE MORE MONEY, MAKE OTHER PEOPLE PRODUCE SO AS TO MAKE MORE MONEY.” The capitalization was his.

With the money the church accrues from members, the church takes on an ambitious expansion program. New missions employ and bring in church members from other areas and set extremely high requirements for gaining new members and making money.

Scientology’s Dark Side

Among other unethical behavior, hate- and harassment activities are part and parcel of Scientology. Hatred is codified, promoted and encouraged in the cult‘s own scriptures, written by founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientology’s unethical behavior: learn about the cult’s ‘Fair Game‘ policy

More of Scientology’s unethical behavior: the cult’s ‘dead agenting‘ policy

Less-than-savory tactics for keeping members in and away from critics of the church, including “disconnecting” from one’s family, are policy according to official church documents.

Scientology has used our First Amendment’s ban of laws that would affect the free practice of religion to shield themselves from lawsuits and anything less than preferential treatment. As a strident advocate for the First Amendment and a social libertarian, it takes a lot for me to oppose Scientology just being left to its own devices to fizzle out in the free market. Unfortunately, the free market is weakened by tactics like those used by Scientology, which trick and capture members.

In another policy letter sent to church employees, Hubbard said, “Somebody someday will say, ‘This is illegal.’ By then be sure the orgs [Scientology churches] say what is legal or not.”

According to WorldNetDaily, Germany declared Scientology a business this past week, not a religion, notably requiring them to close on Sundays. Other countries like the United Kingdom, Russia and Belgium do not consider the church a religion and even go so far as to label it a cult.

Until the United States takes measures to limit the power of this dangerous organization, the best we can do is inform ourselves and friends about the very real dangers of dealing with church members and employees.

Conventional therapy and counseling is readily available for little or no cost in Baton Rouge. And they won’t rob you of thousands of dollars or attempt to dope you up on niacin.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Monday January 29, 2007.
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