Monday, March 08, 2010

The Truth About Scientology...Again

Simple logic makes it difficult for many of us to believe in religions that are under 200 years old. And yet, Mormon founder con-artist Joseph Smith bamboozled enough people in 1826 to believe in a religion brought to him by an angel named Moroni, that today Mormons are still finding plenty of new converts. Whether the angel took those gold plates back to a realm far-far away named Moron, is not known. And nutcase Escriva de Balaguer of Spain started the Roman Catholic cult Opus Dei in 1928. It had strange practices including daily mortification with a whip and the requirement that devotees turn over all their worldly goods and assets to the cult. By the 1990’s word was leaking out about intimidation, forced labor, and Opus Dei members being kept prisoner. Nevermind, Pope John Paul II had Balaguer canonized in 2002. In 1954, Sci-Fi writer, L. Ron Hubbard cynically started a cult called Scientology which he later admitted was a hoax. And although exposes are routinely mounted regarding this religion, the warnings seemingly are never heeded. Hubbard was so crafty that he said he had in fact started Scientology to bilk the gullible, but then, to his amazement, all of his writings turned out to be the truth. In 1982, L. Ron’s son, L. Ron Hubbard, Jr., was interviewed on “20/20” telling horror stories about Scientology and his admitted role in its heinous practices. And in June of 1983, “Penthouse” magazine printed a 9000-word interview with Hubbard, Jr. about the inner workings of Scientology and its Nazi-like shenanigans. But either no one was listening, or, as detractors have alleged, people were scared to speak out lest they be punished or killed. In any case, Scientology is still alive and well. Yesterday, the New York Times printed a 2600-word article, “Defectors Say Church of Scientology Hides Abuse”. People who have left Scientology (and it ain’t easy) are now able to access Internet sites that cater to Scientology defectors who are disillusioned and broke. They are all talking to each other and publicly spilling the beans. So let's hope people are finally listening and that Scientology’s methods of intimidation and scare tactics no longer work. May I say that I absolutely believe every word ever printed about the evils of Scientology. I also believe that Scientology’s prime propagandists John Travolta and Tom Cruise are so frightened of what the church’s enforcers will put in print about them--all of which would be true because taped confessions are part of Scientology’s “auditing” methods and they are archived just in case of defection—and they are toeing the party line until death them do part. Scientology morphed from being a laughably on-the-cheap do-it-yourself psychotherapy system in 1954, into having mega-buck centers and opulent so-called churches around the world. I remember seeing pictures of the original e-meters that looked like nothing more complicated than two cans on a string. After years of living on a boat, being on the run, fleeing from tax audits, fraud claims, being addicted to drugs, sex and his own self-aggrandizement, L. Ron Hubbard died on a ranch in California in 1986. David Miscavige, who now controls Scientology, said of L. Ron Hubbard in 1987 that Hubbard had deliberately discarded his body to conduct his research in spirit form and was now living on a planet a galaxy away. L. Ron, Jr., who used the pseudonym Ron DeWolf for years because he was scared of what Scientology might do to him, made a big bucks settlement with Scientology in 1986 in order to pay his medical bills. He signed papers prepared by Scientology, retracted things he’d said previously and agreed to comment no further. He died in 1991. Yesterday's NYT article about Scientology is very good. The “Penthouse” article which can still be accessed on the Internet—“Penthouse Interview With L. Ron Hubbard, Jr.”-- is an eye-popper. Miscavige and everyone who has anything to lose by negative Scientology PR, say all the negative stories are a pack of lies. They say the folks who have defected and have lost years of their lives and all of their money are liars. Film director Paul Haggis who was in Scientology for years says he has now come to believe that what the defectors say is the truth. If Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) ever pulls her earnings out of Scientology, the whole house of cards may tumble down. Maybe she, Tom Cruise and John Travolta at long last will have the guts to defect.

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