Nightline Examines The Church Of Scientology

Daniel Gonzales

October 24th, 2009

I recently wrote a two part comparison piece for BTB examining how Scientology and exgay programs both sell false hope for life change.  It was a narrowly focused post and there was a great deal about Scientology I wasn’t able to get into.

Scientology watchblog XenuTV brought my attention to Nightline which ran a very comprehensive two day series about Scientology last week looking at:

  • Physical abuse by the head of Scientology, David “Slappy” Miscavige.
  • The “Rehabilitation Project Force” a slave labor camp Scientologists who “misbehave” are subjected to if they wish to remain in the church.
  • “Disconnecting” from family members who leave the church and the stories of former high ranking Scientologists.
  • How Scientology attracts and uses Hollywood stars including Tom Cruise’s anti-psychiatric batshittery and accusations pressure from Scientology affected treatment of Jett Travolta’s kawasaki syndrome autism.
  • Scientology’s sham treatments such as the “e-meter” and a dangerous drug detox program called the “purification rundown.”
  • Confidential high level church teachings about galactic emperor Xenu which cause Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis to walk out of the interview.

For all the video from Nightline’s series on Scientology head over to XenuTV.

Polvo

October 24th, 2009

Martin Bashir, already hated by millions for destroying Michael Jackson’s life, doesn’t even TRY to act like an impartial journalist anymore. His condescending tone throughout the piece, from its opening sentence, “Some call it a manipulative cult…” makes this clear. This is a “hit piece” from start to finish. To whoever reads this, take note: all you have to do now to attack someone or something you don’t like is get THREE PEOPLE to agree on the same lie, and then blog about it until bottom-feeders like Bashir report on your gossip as if it’s fact.

Dan

October 24th, 2009

I agree with Polvo! As someone who has done the Purification rundown for three months about 4-5 hours a day in a (air-circulated) sauna and has been taking 5000mg of Niacin (Vitamin B3 without Niacimide) during that process, I can personally attest that it is a wonderful process that cleans you out. Sweat lodges have been used for generations among many people and they really do work. You end the program when YOU decide that it is time to end it. It does nobody any good to keep you there if you are no longer detoxifying.

I love this blog but these attacks on Scientology are simply unwarranted and do not belong in a gay news and commentary blog. As for David Miscavidge, maybe it’s true, there is no way we can know, but that has nothing to do with whether Scientology has any merits to it or not. And as to Xenu and all that, I find that a lot more interesting than believing in a talking snake. I’m waiting for the the series of Box Turtle bulletin article ridiculing ALL FORMS of Christianity.

Dan Gonzales

October 24th, 2009

Scientology is a bigger and more expensive sham than exgay programs and whereas exgay programs at least have some poorly done studies trying to back them up, Scientology’s “tech” has ZERO studies backing it up, which Tommy Davis admits in the Nightline special. That level of scam very much has a place on this blog and I will continue to post as such.

Dan Gonzales

October 24th, 2009

From Jeff Jacobsen’s essay “The Hubbard is Bare:”

I am similarly cautious about Hubbard’s experiments, especially since there seems to be no record of how they were done, what exactly the results were, what kind of control group was used, whether the experiments were double blind, how many subjects there were in each experiment, and other pertinent data. I have asked ranking scientologists for this data, and have fervently searched for it myself, and have yet to see it. This brings up the question about whether Hubbard can call his original research science.

Generally speaking, it is my contention that Hubbard did no credible research of his own. Instead he distilled ideas from books he had read, the few college courses he took, his own experiences, and his very fertile and disturbed mind, and came up with a mish-mash of bizarre theories which he wrote down in scientific-sounding phrases and words.

Priya Lynn

October 25th, 2009

Dan said “And as to Xenu and all that, I find that a lot more interesting than believing in a talking snake.”.

More interesting maybe, more rational or realistic, definitely not.

Priya Lynn

October 25th, 2009

I’ll add that after reading what I’ve read about scientology here, it certainly is one of the sleaziest and most damaging religions, if not the very worst.

Dan

October 25th, 2009

I guess you guys can’t fault the homophobes either! After all they get their information from their “main stream” media and they believe every word of it, just as you do here!

Dan

October 25th, 2009

As for the Scientology tech… I have not heard these Ex-Scientology people say that the tech has no merit and that it does not work. I only heard complaints (that maybe valid, who knows) about the higher-up management and the way they conduct themselves.

Daniel Gonzales

October 25th, 2009

LOL Oh no it’s a giant conspiracy involving the entire mainstream media and former Scientologists across the country conspiring against the church! No doubt the evil psychs are in on it too somehow! LOL

Priya Lynn

October 25th, 2009

And Dan, the homophobes don’t get their information from the mainstream media, they get it from right wing religious groups like Focus on the “family”, Narth, Exodus, and Paul Cameron.

Dan

October 25th, 2009

No, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s simply what tabloid-media does. And unfortunately most of our media has become more and more tabloid-like rather than true journalistic research.

The fact that several ex-scientologists make any claims do not mean to me more than a whole bunch of people who tell me that they have conversations with jesus. It’s all heresay which has nothing to do with the truth.

As for psychiatry, I’m definitely with Scientology on this one! If I grew up in this country I would have been on Ritalin as a child, no doubt in my mind! Look around you, see how many of you are on some kind of psych meds even though there is nothing wrong with you! The whole “chemical imbalance” is bullsh*t that makes these drug companies rich. I’ve had my share of panic attacks back in my 20s and I handled them by changing my life, exercising, choosing what foods I consume, etc. Most people just want a pill to make it all better and psychiatry is eager to “help”

Dan

October 25th, 2009

Priya,

To me, Box Turtle Bulletin is main-stream, just as CNN. To a right wing nut, it may be World Net Daily and Fox News.

You really shouldn’t fault people for not thinking for themselves and defining their points of view based on those “respectable” news sources. Right?

It is amazing to me that as we become more and more part of the mainstream, we lose our critical thinking.

Daniel Gonzales

October 25th, 2009

So as a former ex-gay myself, is my testimony speaking out against what I experienced first hand nothing more than “heresay [sic] which has nothing to do with the truth?” LOL

And here I thought you said this website did such a good job covering the exgay movement…

Dan

October 25th, 2009

Daniel,

One of the tenets of Scientology that appealed to me was the notion that truth is what you know to be true to you. Sciengtology does not require you to believe anything, only observe and experience and discover for yourself.

As for your testimony, I tend to believe you based on my other knowledge and personal experiences with religionists. However, I don’t necessarily accept everything you say about the ex-gay movement just because we agree on other things and it comes from you. I reserve the right to keep an open mind. And by that I mean that I still consider it a possibility that some people do become ex-gay. I have no way to know for sure and I refuse to take leaps of faith of any kind.

I would also like to respond to your earlier comment regarding a “conspiracy.” You phrased that comment in a way that reminded me of how Hillary Clinton was treated after her famous “vast right-wing conspiracy” comment several years ago. Conspiracy theories are associated with crazy lunatics, but the truth is that conspiracies are all around us. Every Washington lobbyist is conspiring to use his/her edge to promote an agenda, whether it is hiding the effects of cigarettes on peoples health, or whether people will be forced to forced to use health insurance companies, or whether certain companies will have preferential tax treatments at the expense of others. These are all conspiracies and the Psychiatrist/Drug companies are no different! They will pay money, bribe and do whatever else benefits their bottom line. And guess what, we’re conspiring to get our agenda though as well!

Priya Lynn

October 25th, 2009

Dan said “The fact that several ex-scientologists make any claims do not mean to me more than a whole bunch of people who tell me that they have conversations with jesus. It’s all heresay which has nothing to do with the truth.”.

Wow. To a rational person (and that apparently isn’t you) there’s no comparing the two. Anyone claiming to have had a conversation with Jesus is clearly deluded or lying and they can be dismissed out of hand – its quite simply impossible. The claims by an ex-scientologist on the other hand can’t be automatically dismissed as impossible.

Dan said “To me, Box Turtle Bulletin is main-stream, just as CNN. To a right wing nut, it may be World Net Daily and Fox News. You really shouldn’t fault people for not thinking for themselves and defining their points of view based on those “respectable” news sources. Right?”

If we’re going to have a rational conversation (which I doubt your ability to do) we need to define what we consider a respectable news source. I find it hard to believe you sincerely consider World Net Daily one, I most certainly don’t, nor do I consider Fox news one, although they’d certainly be several steps up from World Net Daily. As to blaiming people for not thinking for themselves, yes I do, to a degree.

I don’t consider Box Turtle Bulletin to be a mainstream media source either although I think they’re generally not the type to mislead from what I’ve seen. They’ve given me no reason to doubt what they’ve posted about scientology, and the information I’ve seen from Ron Hubbard and the organization itself, as well as such obvious nutcases as Tom Cruise tends to confirm what I’ve read here.

As to you, when you come here and make bizarre statements like “And as to Xenu and all that, I find that a lot more interesting than believing in a talking snake.” as well as ones such as I quoted at the start of this post, you have given me plenty of reason to doubt your defense of this fraud called Scientology.

Priya Lynn

October 25th, 2009

Dan said “One of the tenets of Scientology that appealed to me was the notion that truth is what you know to be true to you.”.

This says a lot about you and none of it good. Experience has taught me, and I would think the majority of people that the truth is frequently something other than what you believe. Your statement suggests a person should fail to recognize their own imperfections and incompleteness of their knowledge about reality. Once again, anyone to whom this scientology tenet appeals is automatically someone I would not trust to have a reasonably accurate perception of reality.

Dan

October 25th, 2009

Wow, Priya, your last comment took me back to my elementary school teacher in my orthodox jewish school. She was so frustrated with me for not following her version of biblical truth that it eventually got so bad that my parents were called to school and at least one kid’s parents forbid him from associating with me as I was either “a bad child or being influenced by someone.”

During those long ago days, my responses were often driven by emotion and I would make my point by looking at the ceiling, cursing god and then say something to the effect “see, I’m going to hell anyways, who cares!” That was apparently a very bad thing to do in Israel.

Your treatment of me (and to some degree Daniel’s as well) with comments such as “(and that apparently isn’t you)” and “(which I doubt your ability to do)”, only solidifies that my comments are touching a nerve.

Unlike my childhood reactions, I will only respond with intelligent commentary, to which you are sure to eventually ignore or make some other excuse as to why further communication is no longer desired.

As to the content of your responses, I don’t dismiss what these ex-scientologists say at all! I too, have a problem with Scientology on many levels and am therefore not an active participant. Their claim could definately be truthful, but that has nothing to do with whether Scientology has any merit or not. Box Turtle Bulletin’s moto is “News, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric.” I am pointing out that Scientology has not taken a stand against us and it is therefore unwise to make an enemy out of that organization regardless of your disagreements that do not involve the above. You can’t play favorites and give a pass to an organization that asks its followers to believe in childish (and evil) fairy-tales yet ridicule an organization that has done much less harm simply because they are already the “unpopular kid” and therefore an easy target. Last I checked, the “pro gay” christian organizations still maintain the book of Leviticus as part of their “holy” scriptures. Where’s the outrage??

Priya Lynn

October 25th, 2009

Dan said “I will only respond with intelligent commentary”.

LOL, like: “And as to Xenu and all that, I find that a lot more interesting than believing in a talking snake.” and “The fact that several ex-scientologists make any claims do not mean to me more than a whole bunch of people who tell me that they have conversations with jesus” and “One of the tenets of Scientology that appealed to me was the notion that truth is what you know to be true to you.”.

Don’t get me wrong Dan, all religions are frauds, just from what I’ve seen Scientology is one of, if not the worst of the bunch.

As to Scientology not taking a stand against gays, that’s not true.

To quote L. Ron Hubbard, in Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health

“The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism [sic], sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically.”

Hubbard rated gays as “1.1″ on the tone scale (between “fear” and “anger”).

So… what did Hubbard think should be done about gays and others at 1.1 or below on the tone scale?

“Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality, and the destruction of ethics…No social order which desires to survive dates overlook its stratum 1.1’s. No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst.”

This is the second time I’ve pointed this out to you, so I wish you wouldn’t persist in the lie that Scientology hasn’t taken a stand against gays.

Dan

October 25th, 2009

Priya,

Maybe you just misunderstood me…

yes, I do find the story of Xenu and all of that more interesting than a talking snake. By that I do not mean to say that I do believe in such things. As a matter of fact, I’ve only heard about those things from anti-Scientology sources. Scientology is not about beliefs. In my opinion, it is not even a church, but that’s a different discussion.

As for those quotes, I’m not happy about them. I believe they are from a book called Science of Survival (by L Ron Hubbard). We’re talking about the 1940’s I believe and besides L. Ron Hubbard was only a man entitled to his own opinions as flawed as they are.

Scientology is not about worshiping L. Ron Hubbard that way Christians worship Jesus. And that brings me to the comment of “truth is what is true to you” which I’m surprised you find so offensive. It is fundamentalist christians that hold to absolute truth and oppose the slippery slope of relativism. Yes, we as a society and as individuals take way too much to be the truth. We believe that materialistic wealth will make us happy, we believe the version of history that we were taught in school, we believe the falsehoods that our parents taught us from their own biased life experience. Scientology encourages a person to question all of that! That is a good thing!

And by way, gays in the 1940’s being somewhere between “fear” and “anger” Why not? It was a horrible time to be gay. Are people who are constantly stuck in that mental place (including self-hatred) are more likely to become liabilities to themselves and others? Maybe.

You also need to keep in mind that to “institutionalize” someone in Scientology speak does not mean mental hospital as Psychiatric treatment. Scientology even goes one step further by saying that you should only make people experience what they’re ready to experience. It should not be forced.

Like many things, context is important. Hubbard’s writing mention that the most effective way to “clear” a person is to put a bullet in his head, that people should need a license to have children, and more. These are not to be taken literally, they’re are a way of making a point.

Matt

October 25th, 2009

Dan,

Two comments:

1. I find it extremely hard to believe that you could maintain the views you have and also be a scientologist in good standing. You have spoken before about your “interpretation” of the religion. However, unlike Judaism and Christianity (and more like Islam), there is no reform/conservative/orthodox breakout in Hubbardworld. There is yes or no. You talk about all the shades of grey and yet we hear nothing–from any source–that the church permits any divergence from its orthodoxy.

2. Drugging kids and psychiatry are not necessarily synonymous. Psychiatry does recognize there are such things as bio-chemical imbalances. I have seen it first hand in people I know. However, the prevalence of drugged kids is more to blame on parents and schools wanting a quickie solution to kids who aren’t “perfect little angels.” The drug companies push the drugs to get them hooked early and often (I guess Joe Camel is unavailable as a mascot, but I am sure they use similar tactics in parenting magazines).

Personally, I feel that scientology fits all of the definitions I have heard for cults, including its strong-arming of adherents, aggressive proselytizing, parting believers with their money in order to “rise” in the church, etc. It’s a business and may feel like–to those with a stake in it not being a sham–a religion. To anyone with a rational brain and free will, it’s a cult.

Matt

October 25th, 2009

P.S. I enjoy “editing” the Gideon bibles in my hotel rooms to remove the idiocy from Leviticus.

A book I highly recommend to everone is “God is Not Great” by the curmudgeonly Christopher Hitchens.

----

October 25th, 2009

Whatever you think about Scientology, at least they are not the ones working to take away the rights of a minority. Evangelical Christianity is much worse than any other religious group in America because they are VERY powerful and numerous; they also infiltrate in politics more often than any other cult.

Dan

October 25th, 2009

Matt,

I have no idea what happens at the high up levels of Scientology, but I can tell you without a doubt that on the level that I engaged in, there is definitely no desire to turn people into automatons. Everybody is free to have and express their own opinion.

To not be “in good standing” would mean being declared an SP (Suppressive Person). I truly doubt that my views/actions are in any way egregious to warrant that. Maybe if I came back they would see me as PTS (Potential Trouble Source), but everybody goes PTS at one point or another as life goes on. If anything, with this audience it may even look as if I’m promoting Scientology!

Psychiatry, as an industry (not neccessarily the individual psychiatrist), is no different (and possibly worse) than any other industry that seeks to put profit above all. If psychiatry was to survive on treating the ones that truly have chemical imbalances they would have no business model. They need to make everybody believe that they’re needed. I’ll go as far as saying that they want us to believe that it is a religion with DSM IV as the bible. Psychiatry was not there for us 50 years ago; they were too busy locking people up in institutions, performing lobotomies and other depraved practices.

At the end of the day, I have no idea whether Scientology has all the answers as they claim. But what I do know is that I’ve known many wonderful people in that organization that spent many many hours with me helping me through some very hard times during my early 20s. My partner was always invited and overall I still have a sense of gratitude towards those people and that organization.

Oh, and as for the Gideon bibles, I’ve done the same!!!

Richard W. Fitch

October 25th, 2009

Since the topic of Lev. 18:22 repeatedly comes up in many of these discussions, it seems appropriate to refer those interested in a broader understanding of the Holiness Code to read the following article:
Homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22
Translations and interpretations of same-sex behavior in Leviticus 18:22
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibh5.htm
Our anti-gay detractors could not care less, but at least we can be enlightened by scholars in the field. You may still be tempted to ‘modify’ the Gideon bibles nonetheless.

toujoursdan

October 26th, 2009


—-
October 25th, 2009 | LINK

Whatever you think about Scientology, at least they are not the ones working to take away the rights of a minority.

Not true, sadly.

John

October 26th, 2009

The person defending Scientology in this thread casually notes that Scientology declares people “Suppressive Persons” or “Potential Trouble Sources.” Those terms clearly indicate that Scientology isn’t about free communication and serious challenges of established beliefs/rules. Only a rather repressive organization would develop these terms for some of it’s members/ex-members. Also, the existence of these specific terms would also indicate that Scientology has a very specific response to those they consider SP’s and PTS’s. Dan is doing more to reinforce suspicions about Scientology than dispelling them.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan said “Scientology is not about beliefs.”

Without beliefs scientology is nothing, beliefs are central to scientology. I doubt the majority of scientologists would agree with you.

Dan said “As for those quotes, I’m not happy about them. I believe they are from a book called Science of Survival (by L Ron Hubbard).”

No, they’re from Dianetics as I clearly stated when I quoted Hubbard.

Dan said “We’re talking about the 1940’s I believe and besides L. Ron Hubbard was only a man entitled to his own opinions as flawed as they are.”.

The man created the religion! If you dismiss Hubbard in this way, you dismiss his entire religion. You have no rational basis for accepting his religion and yet rejecting his teachings about gays.

Dan said “Scientology is not about worshiping L. Ron Hubbard that way Christians worship Jesus.”.

Maybe not in quite the same way, but when you accept his bizarre and impossible religious teachings you’ve accepted him as an authority of the highest order. You can’t accept such astounding ideas and then claim he was wrong about gays.

Dan said “Yes, we as a society and as individuals take way too much to be the truth. We believe that materialistic wealth will make us happy, we believe the version of history that we were taught in school, we believe the falsehoods that our parents taught us from their own biased life experience.”.

That’s mighty arrogant and presumptuous of you to claim to speak for everyone. That does not characterize me or anyone I know.

Dan said “Scientology encourages a person to question all of that!”.

Not when it teaches you that “truth is what you know to be true to you.” – that’s just encouraging you to blindly accept your beliefs and to never question your assumptions. Further, as with all religions one of the major problems with scientology is that they discourage you from questioning the beliefs they give you. They are happy to have you question beliefs that tie you to people other than scientoligists, but question their beliefs and they might label you a “suppressive person” or a “potential trouble source” and send you off to a labour camp (after they’ve bled you dry of all your money).

Dan said “Scientology even goes one step further by saying that you should only make people experience what they’re ready to experience. It should not be forced.”.

You contradicted yourself in the same sentence. “you should only make people experience” IS forcing them. When a religion tells its adherents that if you don’t go along with us we’ll reject you, we’ll encourage all church members, including your family and friends to shun you, we’ll force you to choose between a labour camp and remaining a member and place onerous debts on you if you leave, it most certainly is doing its best to force you to go along with its usurious desires.

Dan said “Like many things, context is important. Hubbard’s writing mention that the most effective way to “clear” a person is to put a bullet in his head, that people should need a license to have children, and more. These are not to be taken literally, they’re are a way of making a point.”.

I’ve often thought having children should require training and a license and I’m sure many scientologists would disagree with you and say Hubbard’s teachings on gays are most definitely meant to be taken literally. You have the same problem with this “not to be taken literally” claim that the christians do – on what rational basis do you decide what is meant to be taken literally and not only what is an allegory, but what is the “true” meaning of the allegory? There are 30,000 sects of christianity and they have many, many disagreements on what is to be taken literally and what is not. Youtube had a person call the church of scientology’s hotline/helpline and ask them about that anti-gay quote of Hubbard – they affirmed that it meant what it said – gays are mentally ill and perverts. What makes you the authority on saying this is not to be taken literally, and not the official representative of the church?

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

—- said “Whatever you think about Scientology, at least they are not the ones working to take away the rights of a minority.”.

Wrong. They supported Proposition 8 in California.

Chris McCoy

October 26th, 2009

Dan said:

I have no idea what happens at the high up levels of Scientology, but I can tell you without a doubt that on the level that I engaged in, there is definitely no desire to turn people into automatons. Everybody is free to have and express their own opinion.

This is most likely because you did not obtain the OT level (OT3) at which the more salacious bits of Scientology “tech” are revealed to adherents.

Dan said:

At the end of the day, I have no idea whether Scientology has all the answers as they claim. But what I do know is that I’ve known many wonderful people in that organization that spent many many hours with me helping me through some very hard times during my early 20s. My partner was always invited and overall I still have a sense of gratitude towards those people and that organization.

This is how Scientology wins people over. They start with simple, effective programs, such as narc-anon, or the “Free Personality Test” which hook unsuspecting people into the system.

Any sales person knows the biggest step to any sale is getting your foot in the door.

After you experience some personal success, and develop a trusting relationship with the members, you are more likely to have a positive attitude about further information they then provide.

Dan said:

Scientology is not about worshiping L. Ron Hubbard that way Christians worship Jesus. And that brings me to the comment of “truth is what is true to you” which I’m surprised you find so offensive. It is fundamentalist christians that hold to absolute truth and oppose the slippery slope of relativism

Scientology opposes any and all unofficial interpretations of the literal word of Hubbard. They do not want people to know about the Free Zone.

What other religion holds a copyright on its writings, and aggressively pursues people in courts of law who violate said copyrights by revealing “secrets” that other people have to pay over 100k USD to learn.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

John said “Those terms clearly indicate that Scientology isn’t about free communication and serious challenges of established beliefs/rules. Only a rather repressive organization would develop these terms for some of it’s members/ex-members”

John, a question for you… Have you not ever cut off people out of your life that were destructive to you physically or emotionally? I know I have!

Why can’t an organization do the same thing? We all know of christian and jewish ex-communications. This is no different.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Priya said “Without beliefs scientology is nothing, beliefs are central to scientology. I doubt the majority of scientologists would agree with you.”

That is so not true…

Priya said “No, they’re from Dianetics as I clearly stated when I quoted Hubbard.”

That’s fine, I had it in my head that they were from Science of Survival. No big deal.

Dan said “The man created the religion! If you dismiss Hubbard in this way, you dismiss his entire religion. You have no rational basis for accepting his religion and yet rejecting his teachings about gays.”

I’m not interested in the “religion” The science of it is not to be dismissed as I know it is very effective.

Dan said “You can’t accept such astounding ideas and then claim he was wrong about gays.”

Actually I can! There is nobody I ever agree with 100%. I never did and never will!

Dan said “That’s mighty arrogant and presumptuous of you to claim to speak for everyone. That does not characterize me or anyone I know.”

Priya, that is such an unfair comment as you know I don’t mean that we are all the same. By “us” I meant generally as a society. We ALL have some misconceptions about life that we are working through. If you have it all figured out then good for you!

Priya said “…that’s just encouraging you to blindly accept your beliefs and to never question your assumptions.”

Not at all, it is amazing that you can take a half-dozen words I used and tell me with such authority what they mean. What you’re saying is the exact opposite!

Priya said “…and send you off to a labour camp (after they’ve bled you dry of all your money)… (more stuff about labour camps, etc.)”

You are so sure of yourself… and your non-biased/journalistic source of information is??

Priya said “I’m sure many scientologists would disagree with you and … What makes you the authority on saying this is not to be taken literally, and not the official representative of the church?”

You’re right, many will disagree with me. Many will agree with me as well! Even though you have no first hand experience you’re telling me that there is only one way for scientologists and think and be. I’m not claiming to be the authority, you are!

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Priya said “Wrong. They supported Proposition 8 in California.”

Taking out the one organization in San Diego (that is free to make it’s own decision), which other orgs have made such support?

From everything I experienced Scientology shys away from involvement in the media created culture war.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan said “Have you not ever cut off people out of your life that were destructive to you physically or emotionally? I know I have! Why can’t an organization do the same thing? We all know of christian and jewish ex-communications. This is no different.”.

There’s a big difference between individuals ending a relationship for personal reasons and an organization dictating to all its members that they must shun a former member or face expulsion themselves. I am not awayre of anhy christian or Jewish churchs that require current members to shun excommunicated members or face expulsion themselves. Scientology takes the choice away from its members and dictates to them who they may associate with. This is the antithesis of making personal relationship choices.

Dan said “I’m not interested in the “religion” The science of it is not to be dismissed as I know it is very effective.”.

There is no science behind any of it. No studies, no tests, nothing of the sort – its all religion.

I said “You can’t accept such astounding ideas and then claim he was wrong about gays.”

Dan said “Actually I can!”.

Not rationally you can’t. If you accept him as an authority on the craziness of scientology you have no rational basis for rejecting his views on gays.

Dan said “Priya, that is such an unfair comment as you know I don’t mean that we are all the same. By “us” I meant generally as a society.”.

I don’t find any of your characterizations about “society in general” being convinced material goods lead to happiness, or blindly accepting what it is taught” to be true.

I said “”truth is what you know to be true to you” – that’s just encouraging you to blindly accept your beliefs and to never question your assumptions.”

Dan said “Not at all, it is amazing that you can take a half-dozen words I used and tell me with such authority what they mean. What you’re saying is the exact opposite!”.

That’s what your statment means. If the words you chose don’t say what you meant then its time for you to select some different words to describe what you mean. Why don’t you tell me what your favourite scientology teaching means to you.

I said “…and send you off to a labour camp (after they’ve bled you dry of all your money)… (more stuff about labour camps, etc.)”

Dan said “You are so sure of yourself… and your non-biased/journalistic source of information is??”.

The articles posted by Dan Gonzales here and the links posted by commenters on his thread expanding on the subject.

I said “I’m sure many scientologists would disagree with you and … What makes you the authority on saying this is not to be taken literally, and not the official representative of the church?”

Dan said “You’re right, many will disagree with me. Many will agree with me as well!”

I see no evidence of that, other than you I’ve never seen any scientologist express anything other than agreement with the anti-gay statements of Hubbard.

Dan Said “Even though you have no first hand experience you’re telling me that there is only one way for scientologists and think and be. I’m not claiming to be the authority, you are!”.

I’m not claiming to be an authority, I’m quoting the anti-gay rants of the founder of your religion and noting that an official spokesperson recently re-affirmed that the organization still agrees with Hubbard’s statements. It is you who’s claiming the church’s officila position and the founder itself are wrong. You didn’t answer the question, once again, on what basis do you claim to be an authority over and above the founder himself and one of the church’s current official representatives?

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan said “Taking out the one organization in San Diego (that is free to make it’s own decision), which other orgs have made such support?”.

Silence is consent Dan, the official representatives of the Church refused to condemn their actions thus they implicitely supported those actions.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

I can’t do this during work hours very much, but here’s my response:

priya said “There’s a big difference between individuals ending a relationship for personal reasons and an organization dictating to all its members that they must shun a former member or face expulsion themselves.”

You’re changing the subject. yes, an organization can and should(!) ex-communicate those who are destructive to it, just as we do as indiduals.
Now you’re bringing up the false premise that Scientology forces people to shun others. That too is not true! people choose to disconnect if they find relations with another person not in line with their world view. It is a personal choice, not one being forced on anyone.

Priya said “There is no science behind any of it. No studies, no tests, nothing of the sort – its all religion.”

One of my problems with Christians is that they want me to first believe and then jesus will reveal himself to me. The logical approach of course would be the other way around. The great thing about scientology’s “non-science” is that it works and all you have to do is just go in and experience it right away. It is that simple.

I said “You can’t accept such astounding ideas and then claim he was wrong about gays.”

Priya said “Not rationally you can’t. If you accept him as an authority on the craziness of scientology you have no rational basis for rejecting his views on gays.”

I don’t know what his views on gays were! there are so many writings by him and bulletins that replace other writings and other bulletins that deal with sexuality and sexual behavior and I can tell you from all I read that Hubbard was not obsessed with what people do in bed. He was a human being, that’s all.

Priya said “That’s what your statment means. If the words you chose don’t say what you meant then its time for you to select some different words to describe what you mean.”

Come down, relax, and don’t put words in my mouth.

I said “You are so sure of yourself… and your non-biased/journalistic source of information is??”.

Priya said “The articles posted by Dan Gonzales here and the links posted by commenters on his thread expanding on the subject.”

That’s what I thought!

I said “You’re right, many will disagree with me. Many will agree with me as well!”

Priya said “I see no evidence of that, other than you I’ve never seen any scientologist express anything other than agreement with the anti-gay statements of Hubbard.”

Scientologists avoid the media and avoid debates with those who are not truly interested in an exchange but have other agendas such as yourself. Can you point me to scientologists that publicly promote anti-gay views?

Priya Said “…on what basis do you claim to be an authority over and above the founder himself and one of the church’s current official representatives?”

I never claimed to be an authority. And as i said, you are the one talking with such zeal even though you never checked it for yourself.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

I already commented about the “Silence is consent” in the other thread.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan said “You’re changing the subject. yes, an organization can and should(!) ex-communicate those who are destructive to it, just as we do as indiduals.”.

You’re mistaken, I never changed the subject. My initial comment was “When a religion tells its adherents that if you don’t go along with us we’ll reject you, we’ll encourage all church members, including your family and friends to shun you” was not a change in subject from my subsequent comment “There’s a big difference between individuals ending a relationship for personal reasons and an organization dictating to all its members that they must shun a former member or face expulsion themselves.”. I can’t imagine why you’d make that false claim or think you can score any points with it.

Dan said “Now you’re bringing up the false premise that Scientology forces people to shun others. That too is not true! people choose to disconnect if they find relations with another person not in line with their world view. It is a personal choice, not one being forced on anyone.”.

False. It is forced on people, it is a policy of the church of scientology:

http://www.scientologydisconnection.com/

Dan said “The great thing about scientology’s “non-science” is that it works and all you have to do is just go in and experience it right away. It is that simple.”.

There is no evidence that it works, no studies have been done and many former scientologists who testify that its been destructive and a failure. Your unsupported claims that it works won’t make it true.

Dan said “I don’t know what his views on gays were!”.

Please stop lying. I’ve presented to you twice quotes from Hubbard in Dianetics where he makes clear that gays are perverts, mentally ill and should be removed from society. Its slapping you in the face, stop denying reality.

Dan said “Come down, relax, and don’t put words in my mouth.”.

I didn’t put words in your mouth, you said “One of the tenets of Scientology that appealed to me was the notion that truth is what you know to be true to you.”. What that says is to blindly accept your beliefs and never question them, to believe that what you think is the same as reality. If that’s not what you meant to say, once again, tell us what you intended to say by that statement, or quit whining about its implications.

Dan said “Can you point me to scientologists that publicly promote anti-gay views?”

I’ve pointed you to the anti-gay quotes of scientologies founders on three occaisions. You’ve subsequently lied and tried to claim “I don’t know what his views on gays were!”. I tried to find a youtube clip of a gay person calling the scientology organization and asking specifically about the anti-gay quote from Hubbard. The church representative affirmed that this is the official position of the church. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to find the link to that since.

Dan said “I never claimed to be an authority. And as i said, you are the one talking with such zeal even though you never checked it for yourself.”.

You’ve declared against what the founder and its offical representative said that the church is not anti-gay – that is a claim to authority of profound arrogance. I myself make no claims to authority, I merely quote what the creator of the religion himself said.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Priya,

If I was an anti-gay bigot, I could do what you’re doing which is take comments out of context, like what they’ve done with Kevin jennings. I could then refer to massresistence, ex-gay organizations and use these people, websites and references as authorities on the matter.

It’s a waste of time!

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan, its pretty tough to claim a statment that says gays are perverts, mentally ill, and should be removed from society is taken out of context. Why don’t you try and give us some context that shows that’s not anti-gay? I don’t think you can do it.

John

October 26th, 2009

Dan,

Excommunication is a fairly big deal in most religions, and I guess that is what you mean by those declared “Supressive Persons.” However, you were very casual in your acknowledgement that “everyone” becomes a “Potential Trouble Source” at some point or another.

I would submit to you that a religious group where everyone is looked at as a “Potential Trouble Source” at some point or another is a very repressive organization. Talk about watching your fellow congregants. This sounds like East Germany during the Cold War.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Priya, I already addressed the actual quotes you provided. You’re asking me to put down in a few sentences years of experience and various bulletins that I’ve read (some that came to replace prior ones) and you’re right I cannot do that.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

John,

I hear what you’re saying. Ex-communication is a big deal in Scientology as well. It takes quite a bit to actually declare someone a Suppressive Person.

I can see how you would interpret “Potential Trouble Source” as a big deal. In reality, it is not, it is almost something that is joked about. If you suddenly have to deal with a boss that makes your life difficult, you become PTS. If you lost a big chunk of money in the stock market and you’re having a hard time shaking it off, you become PTS. If an old lover contacts you and your mind gets stuck on him, you become PTS. This is not a scarlet letter and you’re not any lesser for having certain things going on in your life, but there is a “handling” for it which is not bad at all and is completely voluntary.

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

Dan said “I already addressed the actual quotes you provided.”

No, you didn’t. Saying “they were taken out of context” and not explaining how addressing them isn’t addressing them.

Dan said “You’re asking me to put down in a few sentences years of experience and various bulletins that I’ve read (some that came to replace prior ones) and you’re right I cannot do that.”.

I never asked you to do anything of the sort. Your years of experience and various bulletins have nothing to do with what Hubbard said about gays in Dianetics. If there was any truth to those quotes being taken out of context it would take you no more than a few paragraphs to quote the surrounding text from Hubbard that puts them in context. You fail to do that because there is no context in which “gays are perverts, mentally ill, and should be removed from society” is not ant-gay.

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

That should say “Saying “they were taken out of context” and not explaining how isn’t addressing them.”

Dan

October 27th, 2009

Priya,

Your quote “gays are perverts, mentally ill, and should be removed from society” simply does not exist! What does exist are the initial quotes you provided from the Dianetics book which I did address. and no, those statements without the rest and all that is in between DO NOT translate to your simplistic quote above.

What you failed to answer is where is your outrage for all the “pro gay” christian groups that still maintain the book of Leviticus on their books? Are you going berserk everytime those groups are mentioned?

Timothy Kincaid

October 27th, 2009

This is turning away from the topic of the thread and is becoming a series of ever-more-personal grenades tossed between a couple of commenters.

That is not the purpose of this site.

If either of you have anything as yet unsaid about Nighttime’s expose, please share it. Otherwise, I think it is time for the angry argument over who said what about whom to cease.

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

Dan said “Your quote “gays are perverts, mentally ill, and should be removed from society” simply does not exist!”

Another lie on your part Dan, that’s an accurate paraphrase of what Hubbard did say and you dishonestly continue to deny:

“The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism [sic], sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically.”

Hubbard rated gays as “1.1″ on the tone scale (between “fear” and “anger”).

So… what did Hubbard think should be done about gays and others at 1.1 or below on the tone scale?

“Such people should be taken from the society as rapidly as possible and uniformly institutionalized; for here is the level of the contagion of immorality, and the destruction of ethics…No social order which desires to survive dates overlook its stratum 1.1’s. No social order will survive which does not remove these people from its midst.”

Dan said “What you failed to answer is where is your outrage for all the “pro gay” christian groups that still maintain the book of Leviticus on their books? Are you going berserk everytime those groups are mentioned?”.

Its not my policy to “go berserk”. I have however frequently criticized Christianity and often had my posts removed on the topic with no acknowledgement that that’s been done. I’ll grant you that Box Turtle Bulletin has been much more tolerant of criticism against scientology than they have of criticism against christianity.

Dan

October 27th, 2009

Priya said “I’ll grant you that Box Turtle Bulletin has been much more tolerant of criticism against scientology than they have of criticism against christianity.”

I’ll end my participation in this thread with this one point of agreement.

Richard W. Fitch

October 27th, 2009

Do we now have an end to the obfuscations of Dan? It was interesting to note in world news today that the French have decided the Scientology cult is not exactly lily white.

Timothy Kincaid

October 28th, 2009

I’ll grant you that Box Turtle Bulletin has been much more tolerant of criticism against scientology than they have of criticism against christianity.

That may be a valid criticism.

However, it is primarily due to a lack of comprehensive knowledge and understanding about Scientology on the part of the authors.

I know when Christianity as a whole is being falsely portrayed or when broad assumptions are being applied to all Christians or when criticisms cease to be of actual doctrine and are instead criticisms of imagined beliefs and doctrines that are not actually a part of the faith. I don’t know when such lines are crossed with Scientology, so I’ve been much more lenient with the conversation.

Also, I was on vacation for most of the debate.

XenuLovesU

October 28th, 2009

Dan,

I find it both hilarious (and disturbing) that you defend Scientology while describing your willful ignorance about what happens with “higher-up” management in Scientology.

That smacks of, “I’m just a good Catholic — it’s not my responsibility to respond when my church is shuffling around pedophile priests to avoid bad PR.”

You’re clearly aware of PTS/SP doctrine. Are you going to be so, um, “glib” if you are given an SP declare and cut-off from friends and family?

Your organization is doing some seriously bad sh*t. Disconnecting families. Lying to the public about it. Defrauding adherents (read the news in France lately?). Being sued for labor and civil rights violations. Being accused of physical abuse at the highest levels.

And your reaction is what? To ho-hum at this and say, “it works and helps people?” Yeah. Nice job there.

What’s true for you, right? The greatest good across the greatest number of dynamics? Go right ahead and hang onto these philosophical cop-outs. The ends justify the means.

As long as you feel like you’re getting something out of the deal — there’s no reason for you to address any of these issues, eh? Sounds like someone is out-exchange to me.

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