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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Who's Wackier, Christians or Scientologists?

A friend and I were discussing Tom Cruise when we both commented that Scientology is pretty loony. "Not really more so," I remarked, knowing that my friend is nominally Christian, "than believing there is an invisible Jewish guy floating around." She laughed and nodded in agreement. Now, I was born into a Christian family, and I well know what it means to be a Christian; yet, I find it no more "reality" and no less loopy than any other wacky religious system, including Scientology.

Scientologists have tended to be highly litigious, and they certainly have an oddly inordinate amount of money and power. Having copyedited the book Sex and Rockets, which among other things delves significantly into the life of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, I have to say that I've read some very strange things about the man that should make anyone involved in his religion/cult pause for a moment. I haven't studied the seminal Scientology manual, Dianetics, as I have found the entire movement somewhat offputting. I have wondered what is the allure that so many of the rich and famous adhere to it? Is there something we mere mortals are not seeing? Perhaps we're missing the boat - after all, some of the biggest names and very rich people are involved in Scientology. Maybe they're doing something right and believing in the right god and religion! Where do we sign up?!

But the point of this essay is not really to figure out why Scientology is so frighteningly popular with powerful people but to make note that, as weird as it is, it isn't truly more outrageous, bizarre, loony or wacky than believing there is a giant, invisible, immortal and all-powerful Jewish man floating about all over the place.

This point is also illustrated by the following story: Years ago, a delightfully kooky friend of mine and I were discussing his fervent interest and belief in aliens, UFOs and other realms. His mother was so concerned about his interest that she thought he should receive medical treatment, as did other family members.

"They're Christian," he said, "so they don't believe in any of this stuff."

"Well," I replied, "it seems much more sane to think there are UFOs flying around the sky than to believe there's a Jewish guy floating out there. After all, UFOs belong in the sky, while an invisible Jewish guy doesn't."

My friend laughed heartily and felt much better. He's still plenty wacky, but who isn't?


BillJV said...

From what I understand, the only reason really rich and famous people are in the cult is because Scientology works very, very hard to court them. They are not treated like the common convert. They are given all kinds of special treatment, including limo services, free stays at their resort "celebrity houses" and other perks. Then, when things get tough for the celeb (and they always seem to at some point in their career) they have them, because of the celeb treatment they have become addicted to.

From what I have read this is how they operate, and eventually they back the celeb into a corner, even threatening to destroy their career if they ever want to leave.

Fancy tricks, same old cult mentality.

William said...

I view Christ as a Prosopopoeia, however L. Ron Hubbard and scientology's financial elite propaganda machine is much more secretive if not more sinister than the modern day body of Christ. Their propaganda brochure titled "The Way to Happiness" is the epitome of capitalist greed that is driving this country. For an in depth look at my view about Scientology, read the article posted at:

Lebatron said...

That's awsome.

Check out my blog. I've just recently published an article on Scientology, which is both entertaining and factual. I think you'll find it a good read. Don't forget to leave a comment if you want.

Dr. W. Sumner Davis said...

Anyone stupid enought to follow a sci-fi writer with somewhat dubious personal history who claims that the earth is a penal co,ony for alien spirts and has as it';s followers the empty heads of people like Tom Cruise, deserves to be fleeced of their money. I just feel bad for people like Katie Holmes. Seems drank the kool aid. I would end by making a quote:

"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
-L. Ron Hubbard

Acharya S said...

Insults aside, your assertion is incorrect. The Arabic word for followers of Islam has been transliterated both as Muslims and MOSLEMS for centuries. In fact, MOSLEMS was the preferred transliteration until the past few decades.

There are no less than 5,800 references to the word MOSLEMS in books listed in Google Books.

Yes, illiteracy does seem to be a problem that leads to needless ad homs.