Do you recall the Panorama reporter John Sweeney who had a yelling match on camera with some folks from that truly evil cult, Scientology? Well guess what, there is an update on it all on tomorrow nights Panorama. [Tues 28th Sept, BBC 1 at 9pm]
Just to put this in context, here is a bit of background. Scientology has been described as a cult that financially defrauds and abuses its members, charging exorbitant fees for its spiritual services. Here are some references that prove this:
- Melton, J. Gordon (2000). The Church of Scientology. Salt Lake City: Signature Press. ISBN 1-56085-139-2 …. see pages 59-60
- Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin (2003). “Scientology: Religion or racket?”. Marburg Journal of Religion 8 (1): 1–11. http://www.uni-marburg.de/fb03/ivk/mjr/pdfs/2003/articles/breit2003.pdf.
- Marney, Holly (2007-05-20). “Cult or cure?”. Opinion. Scotsman. http://news.scotsman.com/opinion.cfm?id=782292007. Retrieved 2009-01-04. “Labelled a cult by its critics, defended as a bona fide religion by devotees […]”
Mallia, Joseph (1998-03-01). “Powerful church targets fortunes, souls of recruits”. Inside the Church of Scientology. Boston Herald. http://www.apologeticsindex.org/s04a01.html. “It is just such tactics that cause critics to call the church – founded in 1953 – a cult and a money-grabbing machine that separates thousands of ordinary church members like Covarrubias from their free will and their money.”
Huus, Kari (2005-07-05). “Scientology courts the stars”. MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8333804/print/1/displaymode/1098/. Retrieved 2009-01-04. “[…] Scientology, recognized by the federal government as a religious organization but denounced by critics as a cult that extracts tens of thousands of dollars from its followers.”
So what’s with all the references? Well, the Church of Scientology has consistently used litigation against all critics, and its aggressiveness in pursuing its foes has been condemned as harassment, so I need to give solid published facts when dealing with these gobshits. Remember, a month or two ago some councilor from wales tweeted a brief comment about them being stupid and found himself the subject of a formal complaint. But beyond the aggression, what they teach is complete bollocks. For example, they believe that souls (“thetans”) reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth.
- Sappell, Joel; Welkos, Robert W. (1990-06-24). “Defining the Theology”. Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-scientologysidea062490,0,7631220,full.story. Retrieved 2008-10-26.
Former members say that some of Hubbard’s writings on this remote extraterrestrial past, included in confidential Upper Levels, are not revealed to practitioners until they have paid thousands of dollars to the Church of Scientology
- Ortega, Tony (2008-06-30). “Scientology’s Crushing Defeat”. Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/content/printVersion/487758. Retrieved 2009-01-04. “Former members say that today the typical Scientologist must spend several years and about $100,000 in auditing before they find out on OT III that they are filled with alien souls that must be removed by further, even more expensive auditing.”
- Kennedy, Dominic (2007-06-23). “‘Church’ that yearns for respectability”. The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article1975105.ece. Retrieved 2009-01-04. “Scientology is probably unique in that it keeps its sacred texts secret until, typically, devotees have paid enough money to learn what they say.”
Another controversial belief held by Scientologists is that the practice of psychiatry is destructive and abusive and must be abolished.
- Kent, Stephen A “Scientology – Is this a Religion?” (1999). Retrieved 24 November 2008.
However, if you wish to see a well-researched firsthand account about the fraud and deceit, then tune into Panorama tomorrow. Back in 2007 the church accused John Sweeney of bias and it attempted to stop the documentary from being broadcast, that campaign was backed by Scientology A-lister John Travolta, but it went on air anyway. Still, they did their best to kill it all … as described by the journalist John Sweeney …