firebyrd: (Angry)
Recently, Scientology has been coming up several different places where I hang out on the internet. I'm particularly disgusted by the discussion on Feminist Mormon Housewives. So many people think that because it claims to be a religion that it's a good thing, and we should be nice and respect it and not make fun of Tom Cruise for being crazy, etc, etc. Some are even comparing them having to pay for classes to tithing, as if they're somehow equivalent.

Let's see...tithing is entirely voluntary and if you say you're paying a full tithe, the LDS church accepts that. You can be a member in good standing without paying tithing. You can be ordained to the priesthood if a man, hold leadership positions, take the sacrament. You just can't attend the temple. In fact, if you've previously been a full tithe payer and no longer are, your temple blessings are still intact, you just can't go again until you correct the situation. Scientology, on the other hand, requires that you take classes that you have to pay for to advance in the religion. They bilk millions of dollars from the poor brainwashed saps.

Let's make another comparison. What happens to critics of the LDS church? Well, uh, nothing, really. Maybe a press release if there's something big and untrue published. What happens to critics of Scientology? They get stalked, harassed, and accosted everywhere they go (see the BBC Panorama program at Google or YouTube. I had more luck watching it on parts through YouTube). They get their background dug into, their name smeared in the area they live, and sometimes even huge documents put up about their lives online.

How about what happens when you join the different churches? There have certainly been people out there who have disowned family members who have joined the LDS church. Note that this is not the convert doing anyway, it is the family. The LDS church would rather the families stay in contact and together, both because we're strong believers in family, and hey, why wouldn't we hope that someday the rest of the family might join? Scientology, on the other hand, often has their members cut off all contact with family who are not Scientologists. The BBC program had an interview with a woman who had received a letter from her daughter to cut off all contact and which noted that any attempts by her mother to try to contact her would be considered harassment.

Even if allegations such as the death of Lisa McPherson are completely unfounded, so much of the without-a-doubt, documented behavior of representatives of Scientology are so downright creepy and bizarre that I see no reason why I should have to be nice-nice and respectful and whatever. There are reasons why, in Britain, you're allowed to list your religion as Jedi on census reports, but the Church of Scientology is /not/ recognized as a religion. It is a cult started by L. Ron Hubbard as a money-making scheme. Why is this so hard to understand? It's only been around a few decades, it's extremely well documented.

As Eric joked last night, if Joseph Smith started the LDS church as a money-making scheme, he sure failed miserably.

October 2012

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