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Thread: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

  1. #28
    Olympic Champ therick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    The best part is that I got that L Ron quote from the link that Tom provided us.

  2. #29
    Olympic Champ kr1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by therick View Post
    If they want to study & learn then they pay for the service just like you would at a university

    That's where it differs from other religions. If I want to join a theology study group headed by my priest or another theological scholar at my church, I am welcome to do so free of charge. I can even book regular appointments with my priest for one on one bible/theology education. Again, it's free. At no point am I required to pay anything for more knowlege of my religion.

    L. Ron Hubbard once wrote, “The first principle of my own philosophy is that wisdom is meant for anyone who wishes to reach for it. It is the servant of commoner and king alike and should never be regarded with awe.”

    And yet, the religion that he himself founded is charging it's believers for the very wisdom he said is meant for anyone who wishes to "reach for it." Not, he who has the ability to pay for it, but he who simply wishes to have it.

    As a Catholic, I am welcome to all of the church's wisdom at no charge at all. If I choose to give a tithe, then I am welcome, but at no point would I ever be denied access to knowledge and wisdom based on my ability to pay a fee.

    Rick all the books in Scientology are available in public libraries. That's "pretty free". Just like in Catholicism.

    However who paid for all those buildings the Catholic church has? Someone had to pay for someone to build them. Someone has to pay for the heating & electric & the water. Someone has to pay for the food the clergy eat. Those things ARE NOT FREE in this world at this time right? And people BUY Bibles right? That's the church scripture right? It is exactly the same in Scientology.

    Also there are Dianetics counseling groups all over the world where people get together & "audit" (the term used in Dianetics that refers to counseling) each other FOR FREE. I am one of those people delivering free services just like that.

    They are many free services any person can come off the street and do @ any church around the world.

    As a matter of fact NOW you can study courses ONLINE for FREE.

    http://www.volunteerministers.org/#/...stionaire-main

    There are people who think that money is BAD so they try to make it sound so horrible that Scientology asks for donations (tithes) for some services. I am just not having it. It's really a bunch of crap.

    The real truth is that religions all over the world ask for & receive donations to build churches & train their clergy, (do you think attending Bible College is free?). Scientology is no different in that regard.


    One of the major sources of the misinformation about Scientology:

    In Germany Catholicism & Protestantism ARE STATE RELIGIONS. This means that the churches receive money from the government. That's right TAX PAYERS money goes to these 2 religions to support them. But guess what? No other religion in Germany receives money from the government. BUT any religion that comes to Germany & threatens the control those 2 religions have eventually get attacked. All of them are labeled as "Sekte" (Sects) & people are warned that they are money grabbing mind control groups, even Buddhism & Islam.

    Many of the attacks on Scientology come from Germany which is the birth place of psychiatry & the pharmaceutical industry. Scientology has also stepped on the toes of the Pharmaceutical industry & revealed many crimes of psychiatrists. By government statistics most psychiatrists list themselves as members of the Lutheran Church as well, (ironic as most psychiatrists say they do not believe in God). Germany has seen a decline in it's Christian Church membership so this threatens their State provided revenue. Many people are finding different paths there. Scientology as been used as a scapegoat in Germany as some other group to blame for this decline.

    Combined with the psychiatric & pharmaceutical interests these attacks have escalated over the years to the point where Scientologists have been denied employment, political party membership, government services, bank loans etc all because of their religious beliefs. Much of the propaganda spread about Scientologists has been similar to the propaganda the Nazis used to dehumanize the people of Judaism to the remaining German population. This is the basic tool used by any hate group to get the human population to turn on itself. This is the actual truth of the situation.

    If one is really going to discuss the legitimacy of a particular group then one has to examine the source of the data that one is using as a measuring stick. Some people on this thread continually use hate groups as their source instead using other independent sources or even citing that groups own material. Those are the things that determine whether one can have a coherent discussion/argument or not.
    Last edited by kr1963; 11-25-2009 at 04:11 PM.

  3. #30

    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    Ok, kr1963,

    I will try to give my honest opinion of why I am skeptical of Scientology without trying to be sarcastic, mean-spirited or offensive. I will make a full disclaimer that I have a sarcastic (snide, biting, etc.) sense of humor and that is the main reason I come onto this site but I will lay that aside right now.

    First of all, I will fully admit to being an atheist and I don't say that because I think it's a badge of honor or because I'm trying to disparage those who believe in a god. I am just saying it as a starting point of understanding where I'm coming from. I was raised a Lutheran from birth and I even flirted with the idea in college of becoming a "born-again Christian" but I never actually did it. I have, however, continued to try to understand the role of religion in a modern society.

    My personal opinion is that while I am not a religious person, I am thankful that there are religious people in the world because I think religion gives some people hope and something to aspire to to. If that's what some people need to give their lives a purpose or a sense of direction, who am I to try to take that away from them just because I don't share their belief system?

    Now, I am skeptical of all organized religions because of their tendencies to ask for money from their followers and you compare Scientology to other religions and make the claim that they are no different in that regards.Here is what I have a problem with:

    While some of the major religions today are heavily involved in soliciting money from their followers, I do think the origins of their religions were pure in simply wanting to help people cope with demands of a difficult life that they couldn't make sense of because of the various challenges that they faced. Take Christianity; I don't think Jesus was actually trying to get rich as was he trying to help people lead better lives.

    However, I see that there are many religions ( I won't name them for 2 reasons - 1) I'm not religious scholar and 2) I don't want to offend people of those religions) today that have tried to piggy-back on the idea that if older religions can continue to thrive, they ought to be able to capitalize and build a similar model. That is where I see Scientology.

    You may truly be trying to help people. You may be truly sincere in thinking that Scientology is no different than other sects of Christianity. However, I don't think the origins of Scientology have the same pure origins of Christianity and that is what I have a problem with. Whatever good intentions Scientologists may have are counterbalanced by the fact that Scientology (and other religions) appear to have been contrived of witnessing Christianity and trying to emulate it without the same pure origins of wanting to help people simply for the sake of helping people.

    I'm not trying to mock you. I'm not trying to disparage you.

    I am only trying to give an explanation of why I'm not going to be convinced about Scientology and why I am skeptical about it.
    Your ignorance is painful to witness.....

  4. #31

    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    B&R makes a good point. While I think the beliefs of scientology are untrue, I don't doubt that some scientologists are sincere. It's rarely an either-or with religion. Some Christian leaders are undoubtedly in it for the money. Others (my grandfather, for example) give up large amounts of money in order to spread the word because they believe it is the right thing to to do.

    The perception of this non-expert is that the Church of Scientology always seems to find itself in legal trouble, spends more time bashing psychiatry than teaching about morality and interaction with God, and charges a lot of money... all these suggest that scientology has a higher ratio of exploiters to true believers than many other belief systems.

    PS I am not an atheist k31983

  5. #32
    Olympic Champ therick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    Kr1963 - are there parts of scientology, e.g. texts, information, sacred rights, etc. that the church requires payment for in order to attain/obtain them? I ask this because there is no information about it on any scientology website that I can find, but these fees seem to be what has brought on the fraud lawsuits. So, I'm asking, do these fees exist? Do members have to pay something to gain more access to certain parts of church teachings? Did you have to pay a fee in order to be able to audit others?

    However who paid for all those buildings the Catholic church has?

    Those were made from donations. That's a completely different concept from a "fee". Catholics are free to give as much or as little as they wish. If I give the church a million dollars and you give them nothing, we both have the exact same access to church teachings. Was there a time in the Catholic church when money bought access to the Pope, or office within the church? Yes. However, the church (leg by Pope Paul III) saw the error of it's ways and initiated the Council of Trent in 1545 to correct these issues.

  6. #33
    Olympic Champ kr1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by therick View Post
    Kr1963 - are there parts of scientology, e.g. texts, information, sacred rights, etc. that the church requires payment for in order to attain/obtain them? I ask this because there is no information about it on any scientology website that I can find, but these fees seem to be what has brought on the fraud lawsuits. So, I'm asking, do these fees exist? Do members have to pay something to gain more access to certain parts of church teachings? Did you have to pay a fee in order to be able to audit others?

    However who paid for all those buildings the Catholic church has?

    Those were made from donations. That's a completely different concept from a "fee". Catholics are free to give as much or as little as they wish. If I give the church a million dollars and you give them nothing, we both have the exact same access to church teachings. Was there a time in the Catholic church when money bought access to the Pope, or office within the church? Yes. However, the church (leg by Pope Paul III) saw the error of it's ways and initiated the Council of Trent in 1545 to correct these issues.
    What if you want to become apart of the Clergy? Someone has to pay for the training @ the seminary.

    If you are a Christian outside of the Christian Church then you go to Bible college. That costs money.

    The training I took to become a basic certified counselor cost me $60 including the books. I finished in a few days. I have friends who spent more to achieve the equivalent of a Master's or Phd. Just depends how far you want to go. Ask any psychologist, their certified training cost them money.

    Scientology asks for DONATIONS for their counseling services as well. All of the donations for pastoral counseling are tax deductible. I get it that you disagree with that but that is YOUR standard not mine.

    If you asked the people who have paid for services & had their lives improve they would tell you that the money they paid WASN'T enough. Why would they say that? Because the result they received was PRICELESS, (no MasterCard jokes pls!)

    The counseling people pay for pays for the many people who are on staff, (apart of the clergy if you will) the electricity the heat etc. Buildings need maintenance & people need to be compensated for their time. It is just a fact of life on this planet at this time. You need money to operate. There is NO FREE LUNCH.

    Though maybe by your ideas Scientology is not a religion, the IRS gave it full religious recognition AND many scholars agree as well:

    http://www.scientologytoday.org/expe...frigerio01.pdf


    There has been a void in our modern life that the other major religions have not been able to fulfill. I grant Christian's theirs but it did not fulfill me. I found some of my questions being answered in Buddhism when I lived in Tibet & Nepal, but not all. Scientology answered all of my questions & then some. It's done the same for many others as have other spiritual movements in history.

    The 1st amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievance." You may disagree but you have to grant people THEIR RIGHTS.

    This country was created to help escape the persecutions going on in Europe. History is full of lessons of those who are different. Rome was poly-theistic cultural & Jesus changed that. Then Science was considered heresy under the Catholic Church. Communism wants to dash spiritual ideas to the rocks. And in there is the story of the struggle of HUMAN RIGHTS.

    The opponents of Scientology would have you believe all nature of lies so as to rob it's members of THEIR RIGHTS. Their goal is to dehumanize it's members & "de-spiritualize" it's body as a group.

    You may think that by offering this question up in a thread people can discuss the validity of something or not, but in this case there is a point where it is not so much the validity but crosses over into trying to deny someone their rights. I am sure some of the people reading this thread would understand that.

  7. #34
    Olympic Champ kr1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by arm-spin View Post
    B&R makes a good point. While I think the beliefs of scientology are untrue, I don't doubt that some scientologists are sincere. It's rarely an either-or with religion. Some Christian leaders are undoubtedly in it for the money. Others (my grandfather, for example) give up large amounts of money in order to spread the word because they believe it is the right thing to to do.

    The perception of this non-expert is that the Church of Scientology always seems to find itself in legal trouble, spends more time bashing psychiatry than teaching about morality and interaction with God, and charges a lot of money... all these suggest that scientology has a higher ratio of exploiters to true believers than many other belief systems.

    PS I am not an atheist k31983
    I could see how someone who watched the media & was not a Scientologist might say some of the things that you said.

    But you have to look at the facts that

    1) The media LOVE controversy;

    2) A major portion of the media's revenue dollars comes from the pharmaceutical industry so the media will attack those who might step on pharmaceutical toes;

    3) "always seems to find itself in legal trouble" The actual lawsuits a tiny percentage of people who actually have had incredible benefits from using Scientology in their lives. Scientologists often say to the media, "Why are you not reporting upon the incredible gains we all have had?"

    4) "spends more time bashing psychiatry" The number of lawsuits hitting the pharmaceutical industry is increasing by the week. You do not hear about the lives damaged by psychiatrists & drugs in the media. I have plenty of reporting on that if you want to read about it. If you read them you might realize that that industry IS hurting people & that something should be done about it;

    5) "all these suggest that scientology has a higher ratio of exploiters to true believers than many other belief systems" No one is claiming that we are a perfect group by any means but I can tell you that when there are unethical people in Scientology, their membership eventually gets canceled, (there is late night TV pitchman who was tossed out because it was found he was unethical in his business practices among other things).

    Just remember that most of your info is coming from the media. Content is dictated by the Boardroom not the producers or editors. And if you have to ask yourself, if it was really that bad, then why are so many people in this group?

    Either we are all idiots or maybe there is something going on that the media is not reporting upon.

  8. #35

    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    If you are a Christian outside of the Christian Church then you go to Bible college. That costs money.

    I may not understand scientology, but I'm not sure you understand the Christian church. The vast majority of Christians don't take any kind of formal training.

    Thank your for the lengthy reply to my previous post, I don't particularly agree with your answers but I think I understand your point of view.

    BTW how do scientologists see God? What do scientologists use as moral guidelines? Those are (IMO) the questions that most religions seek to answer. How would a scientologist answer them?

  9. #36
    Olympic Champ kr1963's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Scientology a legitimate religion?

    Quote Originally Posted by arm-spin View Post
    If you are a Christian outside of the Christian Church then you go to Bible college. That costs money.

    I may not understand scientology, but I'm not sure you understand the Christian church. The vast majority of Christians don't take any kind of formal training.

    Thank your for the lengthy reply to my previous post, I don't particularly agree with your answers but I think I understand your point of view.

    BTW how do scientologists see God? What do scientologists use as moral guidelines? Those are (IMO) the questions that most religions seek to answer. How would a scientologist answer them?
    I was baptized Episcopalian, (basically Catholicism for the English) & studied the Bible in Hebrew & Greek while living in Europe. I understand it very well.

    Catholicism in Europe is much different then most Christian practices in the States. Anyone who went to Catholic school will tell you this. People study their Bible a bit more. I also notice having lived a lot in the deep south that evangelical Christians study their Bible vigorously as well.

    But I understand your point.

    BTW how do scientologists see God?

    I would say you would get a different answer for every person you asked. In Scientology that is a relationship for the person to discover for themselves & not to have dictated to one as a part of some ideology or dogma.

    What do scientologists use as moral guidelines?

    Besides common sense there are extensive courses in ethics, justice & morals. There is a book called Introduction to Scientology Ethics. That's a start.

    Those are (IMO) the questions that most religions seek to answer. How would a scientologist answer them?

    Those are basic philosophical questions. In Scientology a common theme is for a person to conduct themselves in a manner of doing the "the greatest good for the greatest number." This means you try to consider how to do things so that everyone benefits.

    Hope that answers your questions.

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