Skeptic Magazine makes case for decline and fall of Scientology

The current issue of Skeptic Magazine features a cover article titled, “The Decline and (Probable) Fall of the Scientology Empire!”

Tony Ortega, at the Village Voice, says

It isn’t easy dealing with the steamer trunks of baggage that come with explaining new developments in Scientology. Which is why I’m all the more impressed with the job Jim Lippard pulls off while he deals with all of the complex backstory in an upcoming issue of Skeptic magazine, and which editor Michael Shermer gave me an advance look at.

Keying off the publication of two books about Scientology published last year — Janet Reitman’s Inside Scientology and Hugh Urban’s The Church of Scientology — Lippard puts together a robust yet concise history of the church, and along the way makes the case that L. Ron Hubbard’s creation is in serious trouble.

For readers of this blog, especially those who have also read the Reitman and Urban books, Lippard’s richly packed look at Scientology’s history and controversies will likely be familiar material. But for those who have wanted a compact overview of where Scientology has been and where it is going, this is a handy guide.

Those who keeps tabs on the destructive cult are aware that Ortega knows a thing or two about the Church of Scientology. He has been on the cult’s case for a long time now — with such interesting features as The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, stories about Scientology’s hate- and harassment activities, as well as a look at quackery-central, the UFO cult’s new ‘super power building.’

Regarding the Skeptic magazine article he says

One of the best features of this Skeptic piece is the sidebar Lippard breaks out titled “A Few Scientology Policies Associated With Claims of Abuse.” It’s not long, but Jim has collected key original L. Ron Hubbard policies that still govern the church and produce some of its worst excesses. One of the most telling is Hubbard’s classic concept of using the courts as a weapon: “The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway…will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.”

For longtime Scientology watchers, these are familiar words. But it’s nice to have so many of them collected in one spot.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday January 26, 2012.
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