Would you have anything on Scientology?
To put it bluntly, Scientology is a cult, and one designed to fleece the flock at that.
Watchman Fellowship (www.watchman.org) has a lot of excellent information on Scientology, but let me give you an overview of the problems with this self-proclaimed “church” from Watchman Fellowship’s profile on Scientology (http://www.watchman.org/profile/sientpro.htm):
Problems with the Founder
Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard after a career as a science fiction writer in the 1930s. His book Dianetics came out in 1950 and the religion of Scientology was established by 1953. Scientology publications have made grandiose claims about Hubbard such as earning a degree in nuclear physics and a doctorate, becoming a WWII hero who miraculously cured himself of nearly fatal combat wounds, and discovering the secret to curing various diseases–all of which have been shown to be false.
From the Watchman web page cited above:
Biographers have also uncovered Hubbard’s involvement with the occult, which probably influenced his writings. Hubbard claimed to have had a near-death experience where he learned everything that ever puzzled the mind of man. The notorious Satanist, Aleister Crowley, was Hubbard’s mentor and he lived with Crowley protege John Parsons, engaging in sex magic at their black magic mansion hospice (Los Angeles Times, 24 June 1990, p. A1). Despite the inconsistencies in his history, Hubbard would become one of the wealthiest and most well known leaders of a religious movement in only a few years. As of 1986 over eight million copies of his book Dianetics had been sold (Ibid., p. 299). Scientology’s methodology and beliefs have led them into a long history of criminal and civil actions and convictions. Both the U.S. Federal and Canadian courts have found top Scientology officials, and the church, guilty of charges such as burglarizing, wiretapping, and conspiracy against government agencies (Time, 6 May 1991, p. 50).
Problems with Doctrine
Note the science-fiction terms that Hubbard coined to explain his new “religion.” Mankind, at his core, is a Thetan. The Thetan is that part of each individual which is immortal and which has become contaminated or debased by the influences of MEST (matter, energy, space, time). These contaminating influences have created engrams. Engrams are mental recordings of past moments of pain and unconsciousness that need to be cleared out so people can return to their original immortal, god-like, powerful state.
Scientology provides expensive “spiritual counseling” in the form of Auditing, where the engrams are cleared out of peoples minds through the use of an E-meter (like a lie detector). How many auditing sessions it takes to reach the goal of Clear depends, frankly, on how much money one has, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Of course, no one successfully reaches this higher state of being because that would put an end to the flow of money.
Scientology claims to be compatible with all other religions. It doesn’t have to be practiced in place of any other faith system. It attempts to combine eastern religions and biblical wisdom with western philosophies. Scientology claims not to contradict other religions, but this is not true. Hubbard attacked Christianity as an ‘implant’ and said Christ was fiction. (A Piece of Blue Sky, p. 383).
Scientology has had a rocky history with the U.S. government’s financial institutions. Tax difficulties, fraud, and embezzlement have been constant sources for friction between the government and the leadership of the “church.”
In addition to some of the obvious problems with Scientology, there are many apparent dangers. Despite calling itself a church (obviously for the tax benefits), it seems to be disinterested in the concept of God while preoccupied with the doctrine of Man. Since men are inherently good in this worldview, the Christian view of sin is treated with contempt. Men do not need salvation through Jesus Christ; they only need to be cleared of their painful memories through the expensive Auditing process.
Watchman Fellowship recommends these resources (most of which are now available on the Web; links are provided):
1) Scientology: Cult of the Stars. Various articles on Scientology written by Watchman Fellowship staff and previously published in the Expositor. Includes information on lawsuits filed against Watchman by Scientology, various doctrinal papers and Scientology President’s claim to be a practicing Mormon. 23 pages.
2) A Piece of Blue Sky, Jon Atack. This book was written by a former Scientologist who is one of the premiere experts on the subject. It traces the history and sordid details of the organization. Interesting quote from the book: “It was 1950, in the early, heady days of Dianetics, soon after L. Ron Hubbard opened the doors of his first organization to the clamoring crowd. Up until then, Hubbard was known only to readers of pulp fiction, but now he had an instant best-seller with a book that promised to solve every problem of the human mind, and the cash was pouring in. Hubbard found it easy to create schemes to part his new following from their money. One of the first tasks was to arrange “grades” of membership, offering supposedly greater rewards, at increasingly higher prices. Over thirty years later. an associate wryly remembered Hubbard turning to him and confiding, no doubt with a smile, “Let’s sell these people a piece of blue sky.” 428 pages, Hardback.
3) L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman? Brent Corydon. Written by a former high ranking member with the help of L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. (the founder’s son), this book exposes the “corruption and mind-control” of Scientology. 402 pages.
4) Understanding Scientology, Margery Wakefield and Bob Penny. Ex-Scientologists, now Christian, give detailed understanding of the inner workings, beliefs and front organizations of Scientology. 167 pages.
Hope this helps.
Kris Samons and Sue Bohlin