Scientology… again

I was out and about in Edinburgh today and I got a text telling me there was a big Scientology thing going on in the city centre, so I made my way down there and saw a massive yellow tent with, to my surprise, “Scientology Volunteer Ministers” written on a very professional looking sign with the big crucifix-style symbol they use. There were lots of people there in yellow teeshirts who were obviously these volunteer ministers, so I went over, looked interested and asked what it was all about. A girl about my age (I don’t know why these organisations try hooking me in with people my own age. So far it’s been the CU, the Bahais, Destiny Church, the Christadelphians, and the Scientologists. It doesn’t work! Usually) came and said “well we’re the scientology volunteer ministers, and we have this technology to help you improve your life!”

“Wow, that sounds amazing, what kind of technology is this?”

“Technology to help you every day.”

“Ok, are we talking metaphorical technology?”

“No.”

“Right, so… what does it use, electric shocks or something?”

“Oh, well, no, it’s not like tools or anything like that.”

“Well, technology isn’t really the right word then, is it? Maybe ‘advice’ would be better?”

“It is technology because you apply it to your life.”

“… ok. Why don’t you give me an example?”

“Well what do you want to improve in your life?”

“[struggling to think of something] What if I wanted to improve my grades?”

*vacuous smile, doesn’t reply*

[me] “But scientology’s a cult, isn’t it?”

“What’s a cult?”

“Like a sect that takes over your life and brainwashes you.”

“And how do they brainwash?”

“I don’t know”

“Right well we wash our brains on a Tuesday night. Have a nice day.” – walks away.

It’s so hypocritical that they pretend to want to help when you look like you don’t know who they are, but the second you show any sign of independent thought, they cut off communication. They’re also deliberately preying on traumatised people; their slogan was “no matter how bad it gets, something can be done.” So all they’re doing is targetting non-skeptical, emotionally vulnerable people. Why else would they do that, unless what they’re peddling wouldn’t make sense to an independently thinking person? (We accused the Student Alpha Course of doing the same thing with their slogan “Is This It?”, because that appeals to people who might have a lot of problems in their life and think it’s not that good. Incidentally my response to that question would be to draw attention to all the amazing things in the world like other cultures, all the literature, amazing technology, not to mention the beauties of the natural world, science, human emotion, and that’s only scratching the surface because we don’t even know anything about the majority of things in the universe. Isn’t this enough?). I know to them I look like the closed-minded one, but as with most things, until they can show me a bit of evidence I don’t really have a lot of time. It all looked very professional and expensive though, especially the identical Mercedes Benz minibuses they had across the street. I wanted to ask them where they get their money from but I forgot. Next time I’ll make a point of it.

I was generally quite surprised that they explicitly used the word ‘Scientology’, though. Usually they hide behind a less-well known phrase like ‘Dianetics’ or ‘Personality Test’ or something. Perhaps this reflects a more outgoing trend emerging within Scientology. I hope not.

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9 Responses to Scientology… again

  1. Stuart Ritchie says:

    ‘We wash our brains on a Tuesday night’

    ICE BURN!

  2. grammarking says:

    I was pretty impressed with that myself but I wonder if it was something she came up with on the spot or she heard someone else say it. Either way, I was taken aback for a second.

    I’ve also just got the weirdest comment about RonBots and Anti-God Cults… it was obviously a copy and paste job so I deleted it.

  3. Lodge says:

    So, you were condescending and rude to these people and tried to nitpick arguments about their beliefs, and you wonder why they lost interest in communicating with you?

  4. Jay says:

    If you want help with your grades, get and study the book “Basic Study Manual from Amazon.. It will help with your study.

    If you walk up to any Scientologist and accuse him or her of belonging to a cult, you’re likely to get a cold shoulder, as it’s kind of rude, don’t you think?

    Scientologists are trained in the Emotional Tone Scale — you’ve got to figure someone asking if you’re a cultist is basically covertly (or overtly) hostile. Why waste time with someone like that when there are plenty of people out there who really do want and need help.

    If you act like a wiseass, you’ll get treated that way. IMHO.

    Best,

    Jay

  5. grammarking says:

    I didn’t accuse anyone of anything, I asked a question, it was obvious from the tone (which of course I can’t portray over the Intarweb). I was expecting an explanation why it wasn’t a cult. I was asking for their side of the story. It seems they just didn’t want me asking that question, preferring people who’ll listen to them blindly.

    At the end of the day if they hold a position that they can’t defend against criticism, why do they hold that position? I (and many religious people I know do the same, for that matter) regularly hold my own beliefs up to scrutiny and modify them accordingly. Seemingly the scientologists don’t want that aspect of belief.

  6. grammarking says:

    Lodge, I can see you’ve never been here before. I regularly ‘nitpick’ (or, as I and the rest of the world call it, ‘ask questions’) about every belief system I encounter, including my own. It’s part of the humanist position. And please, don’t link me to self help books, I decide for myself what fills the ‘moral vacuum of an increasingly materialistic society’. Even that book is pretty obviously a money-making thing rather than the miracle it claims to be.

  7. Yep, Scientology’s “Vulture Ministers” fraud. Check out http://www.cosvm.org/ for copies of emails that the Scientology criminals were sending out among their customers and fellow ring leaders detailing their plots and efforts to deliberately disrupt relief efforts in the aftermath of the September 11’th attacks against New York.

    XenuBarb of the ARSCC infiltrated the crime syndicate’s mailing lists and started posting the emails received to the a.r.s newsgroup which are now on the web site http://www.cosvm.org/ When the crime bosses discovered copies of their supposedly “secret” emails in a.r.s, the insane criminals started sending emails to other mailing lists informing their fellow criminals that the sending of emails was going to have to stop because their lists had been infiltrated.

    Amusingly the secondary mailing lists were also infiltrated and those emails got posted to a.r.s and to the web site, causing the violently insane Scientology criminals to stop using email to plan their crimes of treason against America.

    Check out what these “Vulture Ministers” were doing. Police, fire fighters, medical rescue workers, American Red Cross et al. were constantly having to assist in rounding up these insane criminals and “escorting” them back behind police lines, taking time away from the work that rescue workers had to do.

    The criminals were constaqntly trying to get their photographs taken by the mainstream media in an effort to try to pretend that the crime syndicate was there trying to help rather than trying to assist the Islamic terrorists by diverting relief efforts.

    Check out their emails. It’s a wonder that the crimme syndicate wasn’t raided once again and its crime bosses put in prison for these latest acts of treason against America.

  8. Stuart Ritchie says:

    Basic Study Manual, eh? Please show me the (scientific) evidence that this manual ‘will’ help anyone, anywhere. I’d be very interested. Anecodtes about how your wee nephew Jimmy was getting straight Grade As after 2 weeks of reading Hubbard’s doggerel will not do.

    And I just love it how you have to be so socially inept to become a Scientologist that you actually have to be trained to recognise other people’s emotions!

    Scientologists should know by now that their organisation has been accused of being a cult (it has been so since it first started decades ago). If it really isn’t a cult, their street workers, who are engaging with the public, should be able to quickly provide arguments/evidence that it’s really a nice religion or whatever. Because really, if you walk away from (or attempt to stifle) criticism in the way Scientology does, it rather suggests a certain level of guilt…

  9. grammarking says:

    Thanks Stuart, I thought that last point had been made adequately in the post itself but apparently not.

    It looks suspiciously like another copy and paste job, but I’ve let the last comment (comment 7) through to address some of the points made and show that I’m not just anti-scientology or anti-religious for the sake of it, there is a fair logic and reason behind it. I do not agree with labelling scientologists as criminals; even if some of them, or even the organisation itself, has been found guilty of a crime (and afaia the jury is still out on that one), it still doesn’t justify labelling each and every member a criminal.

    In addition, accusing them of committing treason against America and aiding Islamic terrorists reeks of conspiracy theorism. I’m not really into that myself.

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