Scientology: The Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know
Imagine waking up tomorrow learning your religion was banished from your country. Would you push your faith underground and cover it in secrecy? Would you fight for it risking your life in the name of your beliefs, or would you flee from your home to a place where you could practice your religion freely? Some of America’s most rich and famous are members of a religion going through this exact scenario right now: Scientology. And the wars for their religious freedoms are being fought in court.
Currently, the Church of Scientology is engaged in a lawsuit in Brussels, Belgium, where it houses its European headquarters. It is facing charges of extortion, fraud, running a criminal organization, violating privacy laws, and practicing illegal medicine, following an 18-year investigation. If the trial results in a conviction, Belgium is seeking to kick out the religion from its country. This would be an extreme action taken on behalf of the Belgian government. With as much financial wealth and power as the Church of Scientology has, it is probable that the Church would survive this banishment, and could legally do so in that country by simply continuing to operate under a different name.
Though most people have heard of scientology, many seem to care less about how it works. I asked a few dozen students and faculty around campus about it. The majority of people who could offer any information could only name a certain “couch-jumping” actor (Tom Cruise) as being a member. Some offered me quotes from a South Park episode making fun of their beliefs. Not one person that I asked knew that there is a Church of Scientology a mere 15 minute walk from our main campus, located on 1315 Race St. It’s one of 11,000 churches worldwide.
In an effort to obtain information directly from the source, I reached out to that Church specifically. I called identifying myself as a writer for The Vanguard and the woman that answered immediately hung up on me.
Not ready to throw in the towel, I waited an hour and called back.
I was placed on hold for a moment, and then another woman separate from the original came on the line and referred me to the official website for more information. I informed her that I had already researched the website and wanted to be sure I had obtained a good grasp on the practices. Again, she referred me to the website saying it is “too vast to explain on the phone.”
Feeling rushed off of the call, I asked her if there was a large following of Scientology in Philadelphia. She stated that it is “quite large” and that she had two gentlemen waiting for a lesson as we spoke, so she had to go.
When I asked her what her name was she replied, “we don’t give out any parishioner information here and I’m a volunteer.”
She then hung up on me.
I was unable to obtain any comment in regards to the mission statement of Scientology, its practices, or any of the legal issues, past or current.
So what is the deal with Scientology? Is it a misunderstood faith or is it an enterprise raptured in illegalities? While you won’t find much transparency on its official website at scientology.org, you will see some basic tenets of this religion; such as, man is an immortal spiritual being. Your experience extends beyond a single lifetime and your capabilities, even those not yet realized, are unlimited. Man is basically good and must depend on himself, his fellows and his attainment of the brotherhood with the universe in order to “survive.”
You can also find with a quick Google search a plethora of alleged illegal actions taken by church members, including; in Spain, convictions for fraud, illicit association, coercion, and violating labor laws. In Canada, convictions of breaching the public trust. In France, multiple convictions for fraud and embezzlement. In the United States, convictions of wiretapping, espionage and document theft from the Federal Government.
The Church of Scientology has also lost its tax-exempt status in various countries all over the world, as it is becoming seen as a for-profit enterprise. Its members need to pay for lessons and learning materials in order to advance through the various levels in the teachings. As a member moves up through the levels they begin to learn some of the closely guarded secrets of the universe. For example, the story of Xenu, who brought his people to Earth in a spaceship 75 billion years ago, set them around volcanoes and then killed them with hydrogen bombs. The spirits of his people are said to be inside of us causing us spiritual harm.
Throughout their time in the Church of Scientology, they can easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to move up in the teachings. With this process taking decades, and with massive financial investment, by the time someone learns of stories that seem absurd to the rest of us, they’re already completely invested.
The religion has also been likened to a cult, with allegations of brainwashing, using over-working and sleep deprivation, and disconnecting members from their families. The organization also requires members to sign a billion-year contract, and encourages members to police themselves by submitting “knowledge reports” tattling about other member’s behavior and activity, to which the accused member needs to respond to such accusations in regular audits that are held with church officials.
16 thoughts on “Scientology: The Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know”
This is not a church, it is a cult. They are not a religion, they are a money hungry organization. If you ever meet one of these people and/or see one of their buildings, then run in the opposite direction.
There are not 11,000 Scientology churches world wide. This is a ridiculous claim. I could go to their site and count them. You should yourself. I believe they say “churches, missions and organizations” when they claim their huge numbers. Unless an organization is two members meeting on a street corner, they don’t have 11,000 including those either. Their membership, which they exaggerate to the point of absurdity, is probably between 25,000 and 40,000 world wide.
Scientology is horribly misunderstood– but only by the people engaged in it. Most everyone else who thinks about it at all sees it as a shady way to take away people’s money. In a sentence Scientology is a scheme concocted by a science fiction writer which offers people enhanced then eventually god-like powers through a series of ever more expensive courses and therapies.
Actions should not be described as allegedly illegal when they have gone through the court system. By that point we can assume that they actually are illegal.
Lron was a writer of penny a word pulp stories from 1940 to 1950 or so. I except his ‘BattleField Earth’ and ‘Mission Earth’ stories. Those were written in the early to mid 1980’s and he died shortly after that.
Lron wrote cowboy stuff, detective stuff and rip roaring adventure stuff. All of it was 3rd rate and at a penny a word, he was overpaid. Go to any book store and read the intro to Dianetics, his ‘seminal’ work. If you can get through that, you are primed to join his cult of North Korean mind control. I think of Dianetics as being the first scam I can find that uses the precepts of the Nigerian Email scam.
People join Scientology for many reasons, but in Scientology terms, the ‘registrar’ has to find the ‘ruin’ of the prospective mark. It is all based on snake oil salesmanship and the end result is an empty wallet and someone who programs themselves into the worship of Lron and his wit and wisdom.
See the bottom of the main page at xenu dot net for a wonderful gif of Lron.
The figures for Scientology have always been exaggerated. I suspect that most figures are based on sales of L Ron Hubbard’s book “Dianetics” which is about 20 million copies.
Looking also at the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses, their numbers within the U.S. are interesting. For example, in 1990, they numbered 1.38 million. 11 years later they decreased by 50, 000 to 1.33 million. Then they increased by 600,000 7 years later to 1.9 million. Really? How? The way they count their numbers is quite dubious. They number all those who go out on door-to-door, even if those who go door-to-door are not baptized. Interestingly, in 2010, after the huge increase of 600,000 3 years earlier, they dropped by a massive 800,000 to 1.114 million.
P.S. – you’ll notice that Scientology isn’t ranked as one of the Largest US Churches.
The “wars…fought in court” have absolutely nothing to do with religious freedom. People are free to believe whatever they want, no matter how ridiculous it seems to someone else. What they are not free to do, even in the name of religion, is commit fraud, tear apart families, bankrupt adherents, create slaves and commit acts of terror against critics.
We watched them turn Clearwater, Fl from a vibrant downtown to an erie, morbid lanscape. I wish they would all just F*** off – they are such lame people who are so self absorbed and cannot see what they do the areas they occupy.
Now they are trying it in Tampa – but Ybor city is not quite as hospitable for those lunatics
Can you imagine a Catholic or main churches being allowed to do anything this organization is doing. I note there are individual churches and pastors who cause heartache to those who trust them.
But I can’t imagine being harassed or worse for leaving the church. Nor would I expect personal information being hanging over my head to keep me in line.
Nor would I expect to be total I could not talk to friends and family members who have left or never been a part of my chosen church. How sad that Tom Cruise has chosen being ‘god’ over his daughter. His ex wife did the right thing by getting away.7V8v
If you are writing any kind of story you will get no cooperation from them, because any member of the press is considered an “enemy” as dictated by their Founder. Members are isolated and forbidden to read ANY critical information. I know, I was immersed in this “high demand group” for over 20 years. To me, it’s ironic to use the concept of religious “freedom” in the same sentence as Scientology, because members have no freedom. Every inch of their lives is controlled and dictated by the group. This includes who you associate with, how you choose to spend your time, even who your family are. But most of all because once immersed in it, you are not allowed to leave. They will say you can leave, however, that’s deceptive, because if you do choose to leave, you are blackmailed and coerced in this way: any family members including parents, children, siblings will be ordered to disconnect from you forever. If you work for a Scientologist you will be let go. All communication and support from your community will be withdrawn. You are labelled an enemy for simply leaving, and if you speak a word about your experience, you will be called a “bitter defrocked apostate”. I quietly, slowly distanced myself from them for 15 years. They followed, stalked and harassed me in those 15 years. When I finally made it clear to them that I was out, they declared me an evil person and coerced over a dozen family members to disconnect from me. So please do not use the words “freedom” and Scientology in the same sentence, unless you are talking about how I can achieve “freedom FROM Scientology”. I will never be free of this group as long as they are holding my family hostage, or as long as I must remain “gagged” from speaking out or telling my story. I do not think religious freedom equals the freedom to commit crimes, destroy families and ruin lives.
They are actually one of the smallest “religions.” In the UK, there are far more people who claim to be Jedi Knights than scientologists.
And it is not a lawsuit in Belgium, it’s a criminal prosecution. Not the first time, as you found out.
And they hate reporters.
Nice to see you back on the internet, Keith.
There has been a lot of bad press regarding Scientology recently and Scientologists are therefore very reluctant to speak to media sources as they feel they are being persecuted and shed in an unfavourable light.
There are many websites explaining what Scientology actually is and does. I have no affiliation with any of these sites but I do frequent them and they certainly are informative.
Can you imagine any main church behaving like this organization?
People come and go. Some do not follow God’s guidelines may be told they can no longer be in leadership.
Most of the parts of the teachings are free. Though and offering is taken, but that
Is between you and God.
Obviously, there are exceptions. Basically, faith is free.B
Are you sure Belgium has the legal right & legal mechanism actually to “ban” $cientolgy? When France convicted $ci of fraud and organised racketeering and upheld that criminal conviction on appeal a year ago, they carefully clarified that the French Government had no legal right & mechanism to actually “ban” $ci. Is Belgium in a different position?
Scientology has some superb stuff in it, to enhance human abilities. It worked for me to improve myself, and get rid of mental clutter. However, I had problems with the suspicious admin of the church, and they pronounced me “SP” and unwelcome after I asked for some of my money back when I bought something and they decided to spend the money on something else. And another problem is the leader, Daviod Miscavige, a real power-hungry nutball.
Scientology has some superb stuff in it, to enhance human abilities. It worked for me to improve myself, and get rid of mental clutter. However, I had problems with the suspicious admin of the church, and they pronounced me “SP” and unwelcome after I asked for some of my money back when I bought something and they decided to spend the money on something else. And another problem is the leader, David Miscavige, a real power-hungry nutball.