Scientology

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 53
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    I wonder how recruitment is doing these days?



    I know they fought tooth and nail from anyone spilling the beans about the whole space alien thing. I think the idea was that by the time you had given them hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of your life you and you finally got the inside scoop, you would be reluctant, or possibly incapable, of leaping to your feet and shouting "Evil space vampires! Oh shit! I'm a complete fucking idiot!" And making a beeline for the door.



    But now that the secrecy is blown, I would think a lot of people would want to know all about the goofy sci-fi stuff right off the bat.



    Personally, I would like to see the Mormons and the Scientologists duke it out in the "patently ridiculous 'religions' that opportunistic nut-jobs made up recently" bowl.



    Not that I'm not charmed by the various unlikely happenings of antiquity, it's just the relative proximity of the origins of those two groups grant us fascinating insight into the mechanisms of a certain kind of myth making.



    The real wild card appears to be the force of personality of the progenitor (in that, I guess, nothing has changed for thousands of years). I mean, there must be a steady flow of "inspired" people peddling their revelations, and I would have to assume that at least some of them are more plausible/compelling than either Scientology or Mormonism, yet these two made the leap into a mass belief system.



    Is it that Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard are just real persuasive dudes? Because you wouldn't think the story they had to tell was going to get them anywhere.
  • Reply 22 of 53
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Is it that Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard are just real persuasive dudes? Because you wouldn't think the story they had to tell was going to get them anywhere.



    See John Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven for an utterly heretical treatment of the history of (violence in) the (fanatical wing of the) Mormon church. One of the things he discusses is Joe Smith's charisma (he was arrested for being a con artist in NY) and places it in the context of the proliferation of religious revelations/cults/new religions. Krakauer seems to think that it was purely by sheer force of personality that he got so many converts.
  • Reply 23 of 53
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    See John Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven for an utterly heretical treatment of the history of (violence in) the (fanatical wing of the) Mormon church. One of the things he discusses is Joe Smith's charisma (he was arrested for being a con artist in NY) and places it in the context of the proliferation of religious revelations/cults/new religions. Krakauer seems to think that it was purely by sheer force of personality that he got so many converts.



    Now that sounds very interesting. I'll have to give it a read.
  • Reply 24 of 53
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Now that sounds very interesting. I'll have to give it a read.



    It's a good read. I misspelled his name. Here's his official site: click
  • Reply 25 of 53
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    It's a good read. I misspelled his name. Here's his official site: click



    Huh. Fundamentalist Mormons.



    I guess it never occurred to me that Mormons could have achieved sufficient modernization to generate a fundamentalist wing. I wonder if Scientology will ever have some sort of reformist/fundamentalist schism. That would be entertaining.



    I would like to suggest that the phrase on the web page blurb that describes the book as "a bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith." be adopted as our slogan here at AO. While I'm waiting for that idea to be adopted by popular acclaim, I'll get the ball rolling by taking it for my sig.
  • Reply 26 of 53
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:

    I guess it never occurred to me that Mormons could have achieved sufficient modernization to generate a fundamentalist wing.



    Fundie mormons are 2% of the mormon population, and they are the ones who have multiple wives (non-fundie mormons gave up on bigamy in the 1800s in order to avoid being slaughtered by US troops). They usually live in towns that are 100% fundie (and the towns are in Mexico, Southern Utah (near grand canyon), and British Columbia).



    The main victoms of the fundies are the daughters, who are married off to neighbors at age 13. I was in favor of bigamy (as a general principal, as a libertarian I think that people should be as free as possible) until I read the book - I didn't realise the whole dynamic about young girl children and bigamy.
  • Reply 27 of 53
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by e1618978

    Fundie mormons are 2% of the mormon population, and they are the ones who have multiple wives (non-fundie mormons gave up on bigamy in the 1800s in order to avoid being slaughtered by US troops). They usually live in towns that are 100% fundie (and the towns are in Mexico, Southern Utah (near grand canyon), and British Columbia).



    And Texas, now. Warren Jeffs (president and prophet of the FLDS chuch) picked up camp and moved to the boonies of Texas, which, I think, deserves his sorry ass.
  • Reply 28 of 53
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    And Texas, now. Warren Jeffs (president and prophet of the FLDS chuch) picked up camp and moved to the boonies of Texas, which, I think, deserves his sorry ass.



    Absolutely. Texas has been exporting its particular brand of vicious madness for a while now, maybe it's time we started sending our scary neighbors down Texas way.
  • Reply 29 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    Absolutely. Texas has been exporting its particular brand of vicious madness for a while now, maybe it's time we started sending our scary neighbors down Texas way.



    no thanks, we have a enough loonies to contend with. hell, the churches are full of them. just ask benny hinn, he's been taking advantage of them for years.
  • Reply 30 of 53
    macchinemacchine Posts: 295member
    WoWa !!!





    You GUYS wana join MY religion ???









    Its called MACchine !!!









    We have a COOOOL song, its called "WELCOME TO MACchine !!!"



    NOW SEND ME MAJOR BUCKs !!!!!!



  • Reply 31 of 53
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,074member
    Quote:

    We have a COOOOL song, its called "WELCOME TO MACchine !!!"



    Already taken, by Pink Floyd:



    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

    Where have you been?

    It's alright we know where you've been.

    You've been in the pipeline, filling in time,

    Provided with toys and 'Scouting for Boys'.

    You bought a guitar to punish your ma,

    And you didn't like school, and now you

    know you're nobody's fool,

    So welcome to the machine.



    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.

    What did you dream?

    It's alright we told you what to dream.

    You dreamed of a big star,

    He played a mean guitar,

    He always ate in the Steak Bar.

    He loved to drive in his Jaguar.

    So welcome to the Machine.
  • Reply 32 of 53
    macchinemacchine Posts: 295member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by e1618978

    Already taken, by Pink Floyd:



    Welcome my son, welcome to the MACchine.

    Where have you been?

    It's alright we know where you've been.

    You've been in the pipeline, filling in time,

    Provided with toys and 'Scouting for Boys'.

    You bought a guitar to punish your ma,

    And you didn't like school, and now you

    know you're nobody's fool,

    So welcome to the MACchine.



    Welcome my son, welcome to the MACchine.

    What did you dream?

    It's alright we told you what to dream.

    You dreamed of a big star,

    He played a mean guitar,

    He always ate in the Steak Bar.

    He loved to drive in his Jaguar.

    So welcome to the MACchine.






    Thanks I was looking for that...
  • Reply 33 of 53
    trick falltrick fall Posts: 1,271member
    I live near a couple of big Scientologist buildings and they are always in the subways giving out free "stress tests". I never pass up an opportunity to either yell out cult as I walk by or ask people taking the stress test if they are aware it is a cult.
  • Reply 34 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bergz

    buddhism?



    --B






    Well, there are some rather strange sects of Buddhism. I believe it's the Japanese Pure Land Buddhists that believe that if we all say the name of Amida (?, correct if I'm wrong anybody) Buddha enough times that he will return and make a new pure land for us to live in.



    Buddhism is very open-ended. While the majority of Buddhists are atheists, the teachings of the Buddha do not entirely rule out a theology, if you need one. Things like that.
  • Reply 35 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox

    I would like to suggest that the phrase on the web page blurb that describes the book as "a bone-chilling narrative of messianic delusion, savage violence, polygamy, and unyielding faith." be adopted as our slogan here at AO. While I'm waiting for that idea to be adopted by popular acclaim, I'll get the ball rolling by taking it for my sig.





    That's funny. Kudos.





    As to Mormons, I think they have several reasons for gaining so much popularity as a cult, beyond your average cult tactics.



    Going to a frontier territory and populating it via polygamy helped a lot.



    Even today, they still have tend to have lots of children.



    The vast majority of their converts are relatives.



    I think the religion is fairly nutty, but I don't really have anything against it. One of my best friends is Mormon (although he seems to have some doubts), they're, in general, very nice, family-oriented people, they have an awesome choir (seriously, the MTC is one of the best in the world), and, ironically, were amongst the first groups to bring the practice of smoking marijuana to the United States.



    Plus, in disaster situations and/or the apocalypse, they stockpile enough non-perishable food to support themselves and a few neighbors for a month.



    Sure, they had some terrible practices in their early history, but every group has a few skeletons in the closet. I mean, shit, slavery was still going on in this country less than one hundred and fifty years ago.
  • Reply 36 of 53
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Tom Cruise, the high school drop out, is spreading his knowledge to the masses.
  • Reply 37 of 53
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    Tom Cruise, the high school drop out, is spreading his knowledge to the masses.



    Isn't amazing how two people, a talk show host and an actor, both highly paid for their supposed abilities to communicate and express, can talk so much and accomplish so little in the way of meaningful communication?
  • Reply 38 of 53
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shetline

    Isn't amazing how two people, a talk show host and an actor, both highly paid for their supposed abilities to communicate and express, can talk so much and accomplish so little in the way of meaningful communication?



    I love it:

    Quote:

    TOM CRUISE: No, you see. Here's the problem. You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do.



    But my favorite passage is :
    Quote:

    MATT LAUER: You're-- you're-- it's very impressive to listen to you. Because clearly, you've done the homework. And-- and you know the subject.



    Matt Lauer is just blown away by Cruise's intellect.



    The context behind this is that Scientology pitches itself as an "applied religion," a competitor to psychiatry, with its own kinds of psychotherapy and self-help. When Cruise criticizes psychiatry, he's following the long-standing Scientology line that came from L. Ron's rejection by them.



    And it's not like most of what Cruise is saying is all that far out - many people think psychiatric meds are over-prescribed, including many in the field itself. You don't need to follow some absurd religion to be concerned about that.
  • Reply 39 of 53
    Quote:

    And it's not like most of what Cruise is saying is all that far out - many people think psychiatric meds are over-prescribed, including many in the field itself. You don't need to follow some absurd religion to be concerned about that. [/B]



    I think what is detestable is that scientology both dismisses psychiatry in it's totality WHILE prescribing a bunch of horse shit as an alternative.



    To suggest that all psychiatric drugs are bad for you is offensive. For those of us who have loved ones that are schizophrenic who don't take their meds because their illness actually causes them to distrust psychiatrists, scientology actually rises to the level of being pure evil.



    It's no different from those who would prescribe an exorcism instead of treatment.

    -------------

    With regards to the other theme of the thread, I do find it fascinating that we can bash scientology all we want, but for some equally nutso religion we must pay due respect else risk a lock.



    I'd like to think it is for some reason other than the false credibility lent by numbers (years or believers). I agree with the basic philosophy that people should be respected as individuals trying to find their way, no matter how whacky their beliefs may seem. And ridicule rarely inspires people to re-examine their beliefs. On the other hand, pointing out the insanity of certain beliefs can immunize the un-inducted.
  • Reply 40 of 53
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Slate has a helpful synopsis of the psychiatry versus dianetics brouhaha.



    At face value, the concepts of analytic and reactive mind (simple and Freudian really) are just as legit statting points as any other concept of the human mind. It's just that, rather than letting this kind of stuff be tested, evolve and change over time into something hopefully more rigorous and consistent -- what both psychology and psychiatry have done -- Diantetics by way of scientology cut itself off from real discourse and locked itself into this simplistic view of the world and people, not to mention getting a bit kooky with the whole aliens in volcanos thing. By taking a hardline stance, it loses the opportunity to be a devil's advocate to psychiatry which is open to both physical and psychological treatment for people, and has a wide range of viewpoints and therapies. Scientologists seem to characterize psychiatrists as dope pushers, but it's just too much of a characature to take seriously, which is too bad because there is some merit to the sentiment that chemical therpay is over-used/abused by medical professionals.
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