Category Archives: religion

The scary side of Scientology

Try as they might, threatening people, revealing confidential information and harrassing anyone who dares to question their motives is hardly going to endear people to the Scientologists, the cult that masquerades as a religion.

Here is a report from Private Eye:

Former Church of Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder spilled the beans in John Sweeney’s BBC film this week. After half a century inside the church, Rinder now says that it is a cult.

But some public figures in Britain are still happy to give it the benefit of the doubt. “I don’t think Scientologists get a fair deal,” Jonathan Ross wrote in his autobiography. When Tom Cruise repaid the favour by appearing on Ross’s show, the sycophantic host gave him a very fair deal indeed by not asking about Scientology at all.

Another admirer is the coalition’s new minister for climate change, Charles Hendry, a Tory MP whose seat borders the 59-acre Scientology estate in East Grinstead. In 2004 Hendry attended the premiere of Tom Cruise’s film Collateral. “I thought Tom was absolutely amazing,” he gushed. When the star chatted to Hendry’s stepdaughter on the MP’s mobile phone, Hendry said: “Clare thought it was the coolest thing ever.” A year later, in July 2005, Hendry told the House of Commons: “Although Scientology may be very controversial… undoubtedly as human beings they do a great deal of good… certainly as an organisation it’s gone through serious hoops in terms of making sure it has the right to broadcast on TV, satisfying the broadcasting commission that it isn’t a cult.”

The “broadcasting commission” is a reference to the Independent Television Commission, which has since been succeeded by Ofcom. Neither body was in a position to say whether the church was or was not a cult, and neither did. But Judge Latey in the high court in 1984 called it exactly that: “a cult… corrupt, sinister and dangerous… out to capture people and… brainwash them.”

In Britain, the church operates as the Church of Scientology Religious Educational College Inc, a not-for-profit organisation which filed an income of £12,958,196 in 2008. Despite its wealth, and the Charity Commission’s ruling that the church isn’t a charity for religious purposes, the City of London Corporation grants 80 percent rates relief for its “London Org” (ie HQ) on Queen Victoria Street, thus saving it a total of £1,306,363 in rates since the centre opened in 2006. Westminster city council gives 80 percent rate relief on its “London Celebrity Centre” in Leinster Gardens, saving it £165,303 over the past decade. Birmingham city council gives 80 percent rates relief on the Scientology property at Winston Churchill House, as does Sunderland council at the new £5m “Org” on Fawcett Street. Whether the church enjoys rates relief on the most famous Scientology property in Britain, its “stress test centre” on Tottenham Court Road, is a secret: Camden council refuses to answer questions on the subject.

A few brave local authorities haven’t yet been brainwashed. Manchester city council charges the full commercial rate on the £5m “Org” in Deansgate, as does Mid-Sussex district council for the estate at Saint Hill Manor near East Grinstead. With a government minister on the Scientologists’ side, however, can it be long before the dissenting councils cave in to Tom Cruise’s creepy church?


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Religious poppycock aka creationism

It’s time people called time on the poppycock that is creationism.

We mock our ancestors who believed the world was flat, that the earth was the centre of the universe, that sinners would be sent to eternal damnation. And yet, in a world where science has opened many doors and explained many things, there are millions who defy logic and take in every word of the bible as if it was the contemporary report of the previous day in parliament rather than something based on folklore and tales passed down – and embellished – through generations.

Science proves things. Religion is based on quite the opposite. If people chose to believe in it, good for them. But when they chose to force others to listen to outright twaddle and then have teachers, individuals with great responsibility and influence, to present the twaddle as possible fact, then we have a problem.

The earth is 4.5 billion years or so old. Not a few thousand. Dinosaurs roamed for 300 million of those years and not for a few hundred alongside our ancestors. What creationists believe is as real as Humpty Dumpty or Aesops Fables. In their place all are fine but not when people start pretending they are real.


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Mock them into oblivion

Anonymous internet users who have previously crashed Church of Scientology websites have named February 10 as a worldwide day of protest in a bid to “destroy” the controversial religion. More from the Sydney Morning Herald.

While Scientology has faults – many of them – the actions of some of those who oppose it are beyond the pale. Last week the FBI was asked to investigate after envelopes of white powder were sent to 19 Scientology churches in the Los Angeles area. The best way of dealing with such organisations is to ridicule them. Terrorism can never be the solution.

That the bored and the good of Hollywood are drawn in to Scientology only serves to highlight how daft it all is. When Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) donates $10m, Kirstie Alley £5m and John Travolta $1 m – tax exempt as somehow the IRS registers Scientology as a church – then does anyone need a reason not to join?

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Exploding the Scientology myth

Scientology is in the headlines at the moment because of the antics of Tom Cruise, whose zealotish spoutings on the cult – let’s not pretend it’s a religion – have hit the web and provoked a storm of criticism. The Scientologists, renowned for attacking anything which portrays them in a bad light, used their considerable influence to get the video clip removed for YouTube (you can see Cruise’s sickeningly sincere droning by clicking here).

If you are in any doubt that this is not a religion, then consider this. The whole cult is based on some totally insane “facts”. How about this for a start.

75 million years ago, there was an alien galactic ruler named Xenu who was in charge of 76 planets in our sector of the galaxy, including planet Earth, whose name at that time was Teegeeack …. To finish the story, the Loyal Officers of the Marcab Confederation finally discovered how evil Xenu was and overthrew him. He is now locked away in a mountain on one of the planets and kept in by a force-field powered by an eternal battery. Several of Xenu’s relatives can often be found on the internet newsgroup called alt.religion.scientology or ARS for short battling Scientology daily.

Many Scientologists who have left from the highest levels of Scientology have told us that they have sat in a room at Scientology’s Sandcastle building in Clearwater, Florida for 5-7 hours per day for up to 10 years, holding two asparagus cans together, attached to a primitive lie detector, talking all day to these dead space aliens. And guess what? You’ll never ever finish talking to dead space aliens until you leave Scientology.

As with all cults, this one is dangerous. Finally it seems the backlash has started


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The nutty Scientologists

Tom Cruise is too squeaky clean for his own good and his Scientology sticks in the craw. But he is benefiting from having friends in high places.

Andrew Morton’s unauthorised biography of Cruise will not be published in many countries outside the USA because of the claims it makes regarding Cruise, his offspring and his crackpot religious beliefs. But whereas in the past it was governments who acted as state censors, now it the unaccountable figures who run so many aspects of our life.

In Australia, Rupert Murdoch has in effect barred the book from being handled by his all-encompassing empire. Why? Son Lachlan is a best mate of James Packer … who is best mates with Cruise and a fellow Scientologist! In the UK people are intimidated and even Amazon won’t ship the book, so afraid are they.

The web is supposed to have broken down such barriers. For the moment, the increasing danger of Google, friends to the Chinese government, as is Murdoch, have not barred it. Let’s get Morton’s book online so we can all read it.

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In the name of God

Burning people at the stake for their religious beliefsWhile the vast majority of those who practice religion do so for all the right reasons, gaining and giving a tremendous amount, sadly it attracts a small element of fanatics who use and abuse it and its institutions for their own gains.

From the crusades to the inquisition to suicide bombers, zealots commit the most appalling atrocities in the name of their god. This week the catholic establishment rails against a film that dares to express criticism of the church and nutters in Sudan go ballistic because someone innocently named a children’s bear Muhammad. Isn’t the whole point of religion forgiveness, turning the other cheek etc.

Idiots that get so angry about such relative trivialities fuel hate and wars, as they have throughout history. If a religion is so unsure of itself that it has to resort to threats, violence and draconian punishment to keep followers in line and intimidate non believers, then perhaps it’s not all its cracked up to be.

With regards to Sudan, Islamic scholars say that there is nothing in the scriptures to say that calling a teddy bear Muhammad is illegal. There’s nothing there either to say that blowing people up is a good thing either. But the zealots aren’t really bothered with such detail. By hiding behind religion they gain more power than they would every get in any other way. From the pope down, the zealots are a pretty divisive bunch.

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