Scientology – my main problem

August 2, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve written or even thought about Scientology, but just today I read a post over on My Scientology Blog, which was actually the response to some questions asked by a reader. One line really jumped out at me when I read it and it was the following:

The tools we have in Scientology don’t require belief in order to work.

My main problem with Scientology has always been that it categorizes itself as a religion and yet claims that you do not need to believe anything to be a part of it. So, how can it be a religion when we get the definition of religion from any dictionary it always contains the aspect of belief.

Religion:

1. beliefs and worship: people’s beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature, and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe and human life

2. system: an institutionalized or personal system of beliefs and practices relating to the divine

3. personal beliefs or values: a set of strongly-held beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by

From Encarta Dictionary.

If Scientology was openly a Self-Help system, a set of products for bettering yourself, or even agreed that it’s comparable to Psychology and Psychiatry I wouldn’t have any qualm with it. The rub comes with it claiming it’s a religion, by this definition Science is a religion and so pharmaceutical companies are religious entities.

I just have to sort out a set of questions I can pose to a Scientology that will make them contradict themselves.


Scientology, Tommy Davis and the Confederation (Xenu)

March 16, 2009

This interview with Tommy Davis one of Scientologies most aggressive higher ups is going to create quite a stir. It clearly shows Tommy Davis admitting the Xenu story of Scientology as true and that the reason so many people have been stopped from publishing it is because they don’t want other people to display their core beliefs, and perhaps screw them. In a ‘what is true for you is true for you’ belief system, if you try and publish something or change it you’re ostracized or perhaps worse.

What’s more, with this interview we clearly see Tommy Davis defending his belief by going on the offensive and saying that the interviewer is:

“What you’re doing right now and what it is you’re saying to me is an intent to ridicule religious beliefs. That’s really what we’re talking about. And you’re just forwarding an agenda of hate.”

I don’t think anyone is actually trying to ridicule any religious belief with this interview, what is happening, and what Scientology needs to understand about this is that people want to understand Scientology. They want, on the face of it, it all to be spelled out, so that we can either accept you, or leave you be. If we can’t do that then we’ll always be curious, and end up being what most Scientologists I’ve come across who I’ve spoken to about this called ‘Bigots’.

I’ve come into contact (over the internet) with a fair few Scientologists who are well spoken, kind, generous, aren’t advocates and won’t shun you if you happen to disagree with their belief. I’m happy to say I’ll like Scientologists, so long as they can give me the fair and square, x and y of what their religion is, without any of the “ok, you don’t agree, what’s true for you is true for you” or “you’re just a religious bigot, stop your hate crimes”.

What I really see coming from this interview is an interesting openness in future about what Scientology is and where it’s going. Hopefully some good can come from this from all sides of the Tetrahedron.


Comment – Pez

March 3, 2009

I’ve been meaning to reply to this comment by Pez (www.scientologytoday.org) for quite some time now as I still have some stuff to say on it and Scientology still interests me quite a bit. Pez’s comments are in Italics and mine are in standard type.

Picking apart what you perceive as contradictions in the religious beliefs of the Scientology system is as pointless as doing the same thing to Christianity, which is also filled with apparent contradictions.

I totally agree with this however, I feel that there is a lot of point in doing this, I’m currently looking to buy my own flat and I’m not going to jump in to a deal before I know about it, likewise, I’m not going to jump in and say something is founded and solid unless I truely feel it is. I pick apart Christianity and any other religion I happen to become interested in and I see lots of contradictions in Christianity and other belief systems. I in fact just finished reading a book which really shed light on some of the contradictions and ambiguity of Jewdaism and Christianity and where it can lead (Biblically posts 1, 2).

Although Scientology’s core tenets do indeed speak of us all being immortal spiritual beings, it is still possible to call yourself a Scientologist by believing in OTHER portions of its doctrine while still not going along with the entire Thetan concept. Many Christians pick and choose parts of the Bible they like, but ignore others. Unlike other religions, Scientology has a built-in allowance for this, and says “what is true is what is true for YOU.”

It appears that what you’re saying is that anyone can call themselves a Scientologist if they have heard about Scientology, there not being any definitive meaning to being a Scientologist. A Christian may pick and choose parts of the bible, but at the end of it they believe in Jesus,  God and the Holy Ghost. From what you say it seems like Scientology has none of these attributes if I do not have to believe anything that is written in the core of Scientology to be a Scientologist. It brings up a very clear question though, what does one have to resign themselves to to become clear? Clear is a state where one is free of what Hubbard called Engrams, which are unwanted experiences (Clear).

If you are genuinely serious about understanding Scientology better, I urge you to read the book “A New Slant On Life” which can be found for free in many libraries (although the Anonymous vandals at marcab.org are calling for people to steal them from libraries) or very cheap on eBay. I think it provides the best introduction to Scientology besides watching the videos on the main Scientology website.

I shall certainly try and find a copy of ‘A New Slant On Life’ and blog about my experience of it here. I have watched many videos on the Scientology website and I’m sad to say it seems like it’s coming across more as self-help than any serious religion for peoples wellbeing.

What makes Scientology a religion, why isn’t it just a self help program? I think is one of the main reasons I have such a hard time understanding Scientology. You do not have to believe in any kind of spirit, no god(s), in fact, you do not have to believe in anything to be a Scientologist. Finally, if ‘what is true is what is true for you’ then why are people rejected from the society for ‘squirrelling’ and believing slight differences in the writings ( see FreeZoners )?

I’ve had to remove commenting because of the large amount of spam this post has been getting.


Comment – Jay

September 10, 2008

This is a comment by a Scientologist to directly answer my questions and I’m very thankful for that, it’s not very often you get this kind of response and because of that I feel it right to go through it very closely. Italics will denote what Jay has written, and my response and comments will be in regular type.

Before I begin I would like to say a quick thank you to Jay for taking the time to respond.

Read the rest of this entry »


Comment – Chuck

September 9, 2008

I am unsure how best to reply to comments but I have recently had two quite long comments on my postQ&A to Scientology Poster and I want to reply to them so that others can get to the comment and then read my reply. Here you’ll find a link to Chuck’s comment followed by a response.

The comments and response follow the more tag (I hope this bit works).

Read the rest of this entry »


Q&A to Scientology poster

September 8, 2008

The question was posed to http://myscientology.blogspot.com back in July of this year.

Question:
I have a bit of a problem with a contradiction that is displayed here in your post.

Scientology says: “Man is an immortal, spiritual being”

yet Scientology also says: “In Scientology no one is asked to accept anything as belief or on faith. That which is true for you is what you have observed to be true.”

This to me seems like a clear contradiction, seeing as the former is a belief and the latter states that you need no belief and that anything that is true is observable.

The latter part of that makes me also think that if you are also stating that things that are true are observable then you have scientific evidence of the spirit and immortality.

Can you please explain this in more depth as I am trying to approach Scientology from an unbiased viewpoint.

Answer:
In Scientology a person is not expected to believe anything.

I was an atheist when I first came across Scientology. I didn’t just blindly believe the idea that I was a spiritual being, but I got so many gains from my first course that I was willing to “suspend my disbelief” until I could check it out and get some personal reality on the spiritual being thing, which I eventually did.

So from my own personal experiences in Scientology (when undergoing the spiritual counseling) I have observed that I am an immortal spiritual being.

If the idea that one is an immortal, spiritual being is just too much for a person to take and he/she isn’t willing to wait until they get some personal reality on it, then Scientology probably isn’t for them.

My view on the answer:
This is the question that I posted a while ago on MyScientologyBlog’s post titled ‘So what do we believe?’ (http://myscientology.blogspot.com/2008/07/so-what-do-we-believe.html), the question was quite specific and detailed in its asking yet the answer I got was a ‘this is my life’ response. ‘This is how it happened for me, maybe it can happen for you too, but if it doesn’t then maybe Scientology just isn’t for you’.This to me, is a very unhelpful answer as the Scientology Doctrines say that they believe in a ‘spirit’ but that apparently Scientologists are ‘not expected to believe in anything’. If I can’t cope with their belief, which remember isn’t actually a belief, then Scientology ‘probably isn’t for [them] you’.

It begs the question, can I be a Scientologists without believing in a spirit, and if I can’t, then surely Scientology requires that you believe in something and thus is has some fundamental ideals? It seems blatantly obvious that there is a contradiction here, am I alone in thinking this I don’t know, but I’d like a clearer answer from a Scientologist, not just a shrugged off ‘If you can’t cope with it then you don’t have to believe in Scientology’ because that just highlights the contradiction and the closed minded nature of Scientologists (if truely they are closed minded which I leave for another post on Squirrelling).


Scientology and Multiple Lives

September 8, 2008

Influenced by http://myscientology.blogspot.com/2008/09/what-do-scientologists-believe-part-1.html

There are a couple of things I find hard to grasp in Scientology and one of these is the concept of the ‘many lives’. Unlike most believes in multiple lives Scientologists believe that they’re not all past lives, that you can live many of these lives simultaniously. Also, and I prattle on about this a lot, is the concept that Scientology is about what you observe and that you shouldn’t believe anything without seeing it. (Aside from the fact that Past life Regression is very dangerous and false memories can easily be suggested and imagination encouraged) The Scientologists should be able to see into the future for their lives that happen in the future and some should be able to see verifiable times at the present in other places in the world who are also their lives.

I’d be more than fine with Scientologists if it wasn’t for the self righteous nature. They all seem to be advocates for what appear to be weird and wacky ideas to everybody else, and when it comes to trying to understand what they believe and having a debate on some of the matters. Instead of coming up with a fair debate for all topics they shun and outcast the questioner. It seems very counter productive for a ‘religion’ that wants to recruit members and pertains to having the truth that can help all peoples.