From: Bob Minton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: LMT Literati Contest Entry - by Tim Walker
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2000 22:15:49 -0500
Organization: Lisa McPherson Trust, 33 N. Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755 Tel: (727) 467-9335
Copyright © 2000 by Tim Walker
Scientology has been and continues to be a tremendous success -- not as a religion, but as an extremely successful scam. L. Ron Hubbard got away with inventing a religion and from it received more money than the average person would ever see. Hubbard had fame, world travels, and a legion of devoted followers. Since Hubbardís death, a select few have become the benefactors of Scientology and Dianetics. Not the 8 million Scientology claims to have, but the select few responsible for extending
the complex web L. Ron Hubbard started to weave. Would L. Ron Hubbard have included others if he could have done it on his own? Obviously, to render a globally targeted scheme, one must enlist others who can be trusted with sensitive materials. In this regard, the leaders of Scientology have become their own prisoners, not free to enjoy wealth or material goods as honest successful people could, but fearfully always defending themselves.
The current leaders of Scientology have been trying to further the realm of their religion, but only for the monetary gain that ensues. They know the religious aspects and self-help concepts do not work. Yet, the true aim of Scientology (making money) does work. Scientology was created to make money. Scientology makes money. Unfortunately however,
Scientology makes money through human suffering, human oppression, slavery, intimidation, and mind control. I feel this is a crucial time for the leaders of Scientology. One cannot help but think as the leaders get older there will be defectors who will shed light on the inner workings of Scientology, the Religious Technology Center, and the other corporations that play their respective roles within the scope of the Scientology religion.
Having spent the last year "studying" Scientology, obviously not as an adherent, but as someone looking at it from a critical point of view, I realize that Scientology is still basically a mystery to me more than before I knew anything at all about it. It is a simple picture, yet a complex puzzle when trying to dissect exactly how people are manipulated into making the Scientology scam continue. That might be an important factor in understanding how Scientology can continue to bring people into the religion, and keep people in the religion. Although many people have left Scientology, and countless others have been deterred from joining, there are still those who are undoubtedly firmly entrenched in the beliefs and teachings devised from the mind of one L.
Ron Hubbard. On the surface, Scientology can seem like a viable alternative to traditional religious beliefs. But in fact, one need not look much deeper into Scientology to find the beginnings of a complex maze, in my opinion, designed to confuse a person into believing and continuing to believe that they have found the answer to the deep questions of the universe.
Control is by far the most important factor for the leaders of Scientology. If they can control a person, or are in control of situations, things will work in their favor, things will run smoothly, things will go right. But the broader the scheme and the more people that are involved, the harder control is to maintain. That is why, in my opinion, Scientology will never be accepted as a mainstream religion. There would be too many people scrutinizing Scientology if it operated "in the light" as opposed to the various front groups it must rely upon to try to gain its new members.
Money controls the world. Scientology can and does control certain individuals and situations with money. No more is it evident than in Clearwater, Florida, where Scientology has bought its presence through purchased properties, hired attorneys and off-duty police officers.
Without a doubt, there are Scientology critics that would totally forget about Scientology if given enough money. Although I have no positive proof, I believe the Church of Scientology has manipulated government officials, law enforcement and countless others via money. Otherwise, how can one explain an organization such as Scientology gaining such a stronghold in communities when they are not selling a viable product and there is more liability than benefit.
Scientology has developed, through mostly necessity, a well thought out plan to keep their members and develop new ones. I believe this is mainly done through the younger members, but not limited to any particular age group. Obviously, the most dependant persons are people who canít make money and provide for themselvesÖchildren. By controlling Scientology memberís children at ages they are most vulnerable, they can basically guarantee instilling any ideas or mindsets they may deem helpful in assuring those children grow up to be willing Scientologists. This might be a more damaging form of child abuse than physical abuse. A physically abused child knows that he or she is being abused. A physically abused child also will try to stay away from the abusive source. A physically abused child might also run from the abuse. And in extreme cases, a physically abused child might actually fight back from the abuse. However, a child that is subjected to mind control, especially of a covert nature, could possibly never discover the truth about what is really controlling their life. By the time these children are old enough to get jobs, they willingly contribute to the Church of Scientology and the process continues.
But children by nature are also the most inquisitive, which could work against any plan to control them. Tell a child what not to do and their curiosity will take over. Rebellion is also a trait that is natural in most children. These two factors, curiosity and rebellion, can lead a person to situations they would not likely encounter otherwise. From these situations a person often can come across adversity, and from certain adversity can become a better, more complete person. This, I believe is slight hope for young people within Scientology, that they may someday accidentally fall into the truth.
Scientology works to limit the freedom of its members by various means.
Other religions are dependent upon their members to thrive, for without their contributions and offerings, there would be little means to pay for expenses, but Scientology goes way beyond asking for contributions.
Everything within Scientology costs money. Everything, including classes, auditing sessions, books, tapes, and clothes. Even the Scientology "bible," Dianetics has to be bought. Classes cannot be taken without the corresponding books, tapes or videos. Scientology parishioners are simply not free to partake of the Scientology religion without paying. Another way that Scientology can limit oneís freedom is by letting parishioners accumulate a debt to pay to for their courses and expenses. By having a debt and working in church facilities to pay off the debt, a member cannot leave without having the Church of Scientology demand payment of the debt, an obvious restriction of freedom.
Responsibility can be a broad term when applied to Scientology.
Scientology is responsible for the deaths of many of its parishioners.
Is L. Ron Hubbard ultimately responsible for all the damage done by Scientology? When, if ever, can Hubbard be released from responsibility for the current regime of Scientology leaders? Because Hubbard invented
Scientology, did he ever envision the turmoil and controversy Scientology has caused? Where does the chain of responsibility end in Scientology? Is a Scientologist, who is basically under control, responsible for their actions if they are ordered to do so by their superiors?
Are victims of Scientology responsible for their own troubles? Should a person know to stay clear of a dangerous situation? What does Scientology actually do in the first moments of interaction with potential recruits that makes or breaks the chance of them joining the Scientology organization? It is obvious that people are looking for salvation, a sense of purpose, or spirituality. But what does Scientology offer that makes people fall willingly into this scam?
Maybe a better question would be, what does Scientology do to make a person believe they have found the ultimate answer to lifeís most difficult questions? It is my belief that people should be aware enough to avoid a scam, however, Scientology should be held fully responsible for any and all damage they have caused to any individuals.
Control, Freedom & Responsibility:
These three areas are definitely complimentary to each other when discussed as a part of Scientology. To limit a personís freedom is in essence controlling them. When you control a person, you are in essence responsible for their well being or safety. For example, Lisa McPherson was controlled by Scientology, her freedom was limited and her safety jeopardized. She died being cared for by Scientologists that were responsible for her well being. As a result of her death, the Lisa McPherson saga has had a controlling effect on the Church of Scientology, therefore limiting the freedom of the leaders of Scientology. With the death of Lisa McPherson, and by spending their resources on harassing critics, filing and fighting lawsuits instead of concentrating on gaining new members and furthering or legitimizing their religion, the heads of Scientology are responsible for their own current dilemma. A vicious cycle indeed.
Where does it end?
The Internet is probably the greatest tool in informing people about Scientology. There are still more homes without Internet access than homes that are connected to the World Wide Web. These are the people that Scientology can target without concern of them doing research and finding Scientologyís dark side. These are also the people who should be forewarned about cults such as Scientology. A microcosm of the Scientology religion can be viewed on-line at the Scientology web sites. Like the religion itself, the web pages are basically a maze of not much substance but mostly smoke and mirrors. Conversely, the criticsí sites are a wealth of information you would never receive visiting only the Scientology web pages. Scientology despises the truth, yet the truth can stand on its own. The truth, by definition, will always prevail over falsehoods.
This writing is not an introduction to Scientology, nor does it include many Scientology terms or phrases. For I try not to give much credit to L. Ron Hubbard's technology. This is written as I see Scientology. I never joined Scientology, although I was briefly targeted at one of their booths selling Dianetics. I quickly was able to see Scientology for what it is, an empty promise. I do not see how others join, but they still do.