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Cogs can think.

I'm a mere, tiny, insignificant cog in a whole clockwork of stupidity.
The little cog that wanted to break free, I am.


Before I start this blog post, let me state for the record that I'm agnostic; meaning that I nor believe in a god, nor *not* believe in a god. Take note that I'm referring to the philosophical meaning of the word agnostic, as today most English people will think it means atheistic. Which it doesn't. The term was first used by Thomas Huxly, for those of you who want to know. More triviality: it comes from the Greek a gnoosis (alfa gamma; nu; omega; sigma; iota; sigma), which literally means 'without knowledge'. Agnostics believe that some truths, especially theological ones, are inherently unknownable.


Why do people piss on Tom Cruise and his Scientology so much? I really don't get that. They ridicule him, laugh at him, and what not. I really don't get that.

Why is he promoting Scientology any different from Bush saying "And God bless America"? Why is it different from my Queen being 'Queen by the grace of God'? Why is it different from an actor in his acceptance speech saying "I'd like to thank God"?

You know, Scientology is just as legitimate as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism or whatever. They are all in essence, sects and cults. There is no more legitimate proof for the existance of God as there is for the existance of the Cosmic Goat. However, there's neither any more legitimate proof for the non-existance of God as there is for the non-existance of the Cosmic Goat. It's a complicated matter; but what I'm trying to say is, is that Christianity is not somehow magically more 'real' or 'true' because it's written in a book somewhere (a book of which the new testament was written 300 years after the accounts happened).

I also saw that Eugenia was complaining about Scientology a few weeks ago. She speaks about the fact that Katie Holmes first had to convert to Scientology before she could marry Tom Cruise. That's not odd. Until not too long ago, say until the 70s/80s, it was highly uncommon for a Protestant to marry a Catholic, let alone a Catholic marrying a Muslim. Even to this day, people in my country still complain if someone from our Protestant Royal Family marries a Catholic. So, the fact that Katie first had to become a Scientologist is not something out-of-the-ordinary nor is it strictly related to Scientology.

I'm not trying to diss anyone, I'm just trying to put things in perspective. A cult is a cult, whether it has 3 billion followers or only 1. The word of God says "Fiat lux", the book of the Cosmic Goat says "Beeeeh".
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2:47 PM, by Anonymous Anonymous

Just for the sake of precision, the Canon has been formuled 300 years after Christ's preaching, very likely the Gospels have been written in the first century.

However this doesn't certify anything about the exactness of their contents.    

3:59 PM, by Blogger Chris

Scientology was founded by L.Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer. Know why he founded Scientology? To make money. He was quoted to affect of "The best way to make money is to found a religion".    

4:28 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

And why do you think the Catholic church was established? Do you think it was a vision of Jesus to have a multinational, money-making, oppressing warmachine?

I don't think so.

How do you think that the Catholic church became so rich? In the exact same way as Scientology or any other cult: by asking money from its members.

Again, not trying to offend anyone, just putting things in perspective. *Any* religion is a cult. No matter how old or big it is.    

4:38 PM, by Blogger Chris

Bo, the Roman Catholic church was founded on the command of Jesus but it only took a few centuries to became corrupt.    

5:06 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

That's what the church tells you, indeed. There is no way of telling that it was Jesus who said: "Let there be a church, an institution that spreads my teachings".

Personally, I think that Jesus did exist, however, he was not a son of God or anything. He was a man who tried to teach people to accept our neighbours, and, simply put, 'make love, not war'.

As far as I'm concerned, if you believe in God, then he's under every stone. Not just the blessed ones.    

6:31 PM, by Blogger Chris

Yes, that kind of stuff has to be taken on faith, you either believe it, or don't. I can believe the things Jesus said but I don't extend that charity to creationism.    

6:57 PM, by Anonymous Eugenia

I do have a problem with scientology. It's a cult (and a very dangerous one), it was created by a scifi writer not a philosopher, it bears nothing of a well-meaned religion. It's a money-making corporation that hides itself behind the law of religion protection.

I am sure that Christianity was seen by the Romans the same way in the beginning too, but at least Christianity has really helped some nations. In the Greek case, without the Orthodox Church pushing the population to keep their Greek language, religion and culture for 400 years after the fall of Byzantine, all Greeks would have been Turks right now.

I am not a big fan of Churches either (and I have made that clear in my blog posts), but I KNOW there are some good people among in there (priests or otherwise). I can't say the same for Scientology's 'priests'. It's a 40-year old cult that has not proven itself and instead has been marked as dangerous by LEGAL people, not just from people who have managed to escape their claws. Call me again to discuss their status in 2,000 years from now.

As for Christianity, it's a good religion in terms of philosophy and teachings, but yes, all Churches are corrupt at some levels. But when it comes to Scientology, I don't believe that its teachings are good. I mean, come on, have you actually read the stuff they are teaching and believe in about aliens and stuff? Only the weak minds could believe things like that.

And take that from someone who *has* seen a UFO (1990, Greece).

I am not a sceptic when it comes to aliens, but I am not gonna go to the lengths scientologists go about them or how to "clean up your soul". You know, you have to pay big bucks to "clean up your soul" with them (it's one of the goals as a follower). And if you don't have the money to pay them you work for them for years in order to pay them back. If they indeed possesed such a strength to clean up souls, I tell you right now, it should have been *free for all* and live on donations (the Greek church also lives in donations, payment is not required for any service -- even if most people pay as a thanks on baptisms, marriages etc). That would have been a measurement of a TRUE religion. That's the very difference between a cult and a religion: money, money, brain washing and oh, money.

Some Christian churches also have the money/brain-washing problem (like the 'International Church of Christ' for example, which I witnessed first hand in 1998), but at least the laws that govern the Catholic or Orthodox churches or the main Muslim or Budhist organizations are not bad (however, YES, there are corrupt people in there too, corrupt people are to be found on every organization). Problem with scientology is that it's corrupt by nature (it has destroyed many lives & families, and they won't let you free to leave them after you have joined them), I find nothing attractive on their organization or the way they work OR the funny stuff they teach.

I honestly believe that people who fall for cults, are idiots. If people who fall over heels for ANY religion are 50% idiots, people who fall for cults are 100% idiots.

Disclaimer: All the above are my personal opinions.    

7:16 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

My point of view is different. Christianity is a cult, just like Scientology. A cult is an organization in which you have a group of followers folowing a leader (or leaders) and try to organize their life in the way those/that leader(s) deem nescesary. In that sense, Christianity is no different than Scientology. The fact that the latter does it for money changes nothing.

You say that their ideas on aliens are weird and should not be believed; but how much more weird are they than a woman giving birth to someone without having sex? And that son is a son of a god? And, that son dies and then resurrects from the dead? Or from the old testament, seas that part? Columns of fire ascending from the heavens? Compared to that, I find aliens visiting this planet far easier to believe.

The point I'm trying to make is the fact that a cult is a cult, no matter the goal they have (money or a better world or both or whatever). The story that goes with it (sons of Gods, prophets, columns of fire, aliens visiting us, etc) is completely irrelevant. That's why I used the Cosmic Goat: if I say that there's a Goat Who created us all in His benevolence, and that we should all follow His Goatness in wearing goattees, then I'm as much right as someone saying that Jesus ressurected from the dead and that we should all drink wine and assume it's his blood, and eat the Hostie (don't know what it's called in English) and assume it's his body. There is now way in hell that you can either prove, nor disprove, those words. And because of *that*, it's not fair to say that someone who believes in the Scientology stuff is weak or wrong.    

7:31 PM, by Anonymous Eugenia

Look, I never said that I personally believe in ANY of the super-natural things Christianity teaches. I haven't been in a church for more than a year now either.

However, if the goal of an organization is a better world or money, makes all the difference in the world. When the goal is to better yourself and the society around you, that is a good goal. I will be super-tolerant towards such a religion. But when the main goal of that organization is money, sorry, but they don't deserve the word "religion". They deserve the word "cult" instead (even if it's just semantics).

Also, judges have an opinion on Scientology too, after having study cases of people mistreated. They deem it "dangerous, full of lies and deceit" (their words, not mine).

You are asking me to see Scientology with the same eye that I see any other religion, but I can't. They, themselves, don't let me do that.

As for Christianity, have they done bad things? Of course they have. The crusades for example. Or the witchcraft burning. Stupidity governs all religions and all oganizations because at times, they are governed by the wrong people. However, the ROOT GOAL of the big Christian churches never changed, no matter who was in charge, so yes, i do see these churches in a better light and hope than I see "modern" religions like Scientology.

I WILL be accepting scientology as a religion if they change their ways and behave themselves. Currently, they are way too mysterious, closed, dangerous, funny even, in a sad way.

BTW, watch that Simpsons episode too where the whole family (except Marge) was brainwashed. It was a direct stub at scientologists, and a really funny episode too. Even the christian priest of Springfield fell for them. ;-)    

7:38 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

Of course I get where you're coming from, but I look at this in a very clinical way: when viewed from afar, Scientology and Christianity (just using Christianity because it's close to home, no offence to anyone) are exactly the same: they are organizations that want to achieve goal X with means Y and Z, as said by leader Q. In that sense, every religion and cult is the same. The fact that Christianity is older and has gained a more broad "market accetance" doesn't give it more legitimacy for me.    

7:44 PM, by Anonymous Eugenia

>they are organizations that want to achieve goal X
> with means Y and Z, as said by leader Q.

And so it's Microsoft or FSF or Apple. But I don't think of them as religions either. ;)    

7:50 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

Since when does Bill Gates tell me how to treat my neighbours? :P.    

1:05 AM, by Anonymous Eugenia

> Since when does Bill Gates
> tell me how to treat my neighbours?

And why do you think that scientologists give you any such information either? Let me explain.

You said, that YOU consider religion ANY "organizations that want to achieve goal X with means Y and Z, as said by leader Q."

I say that this is incomplete and very generic, because communism would be a religion too in that case. What you wrote is only a part of what a religion is, it's not the whole deal. The rest of the deal, is exactly what you said *afterwards*: "tell me how to treat my neighbours".

Thing is, scientology's FIRST goal is NOT to create a better community or a bettet person (which for me it's what DEFINES a religion), even if they provide such methods to their followers in return for money. On their own account, scientlogists are in the game to make money, and Hubbard was blatant about that fact, he didn't hide it.

If Scientologists were in the business of creating a better world they would NOT *sell* copies of their holly book and SUE anyone who posts parts of it (ask Slashdot how they almost got sued a few years ago because a reader posted a paragraph of their book online)! It should have been their primary goal to let anyone know about how to use that 'holly' book to better him/herself. And they should have done so FOR FREE. Instead, they sue the ass off of anyone who quotes it, sitting *copyright law*.

The reason why people are following them is because Scientology PROMISES to fix their personal problems. For example, Tom Cruise thinks that he is not dyslexic anymore and John Travolta thinks that he is not gay anymore, after they followed their teachings. On the other hand, Christie Allie (also a scientologist) is as fat as ever, I guess Scientology doesn't have the answer on how to lose weight? Regardless of their successes or failures to fix people's problems, the thing is, in order to get 'help', you have to pay BIG SUMS OF MONEY. This is why the normal people who fall into their trap, have to WORK for them, for many years, to pay them back. And when they are done, it is too late to return to the normal world by that time. They have been consumed by the cult.

Religion should be about love, about freedom, about understanding, about tolerance. I suggest you read online some people who tried to escape scientology and what happened to them.

So, no, Scientologists don't deserve the word religion. They only fulfill half of what a religion is (the same half that any corporation or political movement with a visionary leader could fulfill too). That's why, most people think of them as a cult. And I do too.

I am biased against them, yes. But they have given me many good reasons to be and they don't deserve my tolerance. And it's not just them, but other cults too, cults that seem to be very popular in USA for some reason. In Europe we don't have such a huge problem with para-religions or cults in general. Maybe it's the climate. :P    

1:09 AM, by Anonymous Eugenia

Food for thought:


3:32 AM, by Blogger Tom

That was a fun read.    

4:58 AM, by Anonymous Eugenia

My last comment to the subject, which is a Greek judge's verdict on Scientology (called 'KEFE' in Greece), as I am Greek myself. The Greek judge not even gave the right to Scientology to be called a 'religion', but she completely dissolated their business in Greece.

"Judge Contantia Angelaki orders the dissolution of KEFE Athens and orders it to pay all legal fees in 1998. In a 23-page court ruling, she rules that KEFE is a profit-making commercial enterprise, fraudulently registered as a non-profit public-interest organization. and that its practices pose social and health risks. KEPHE appeals, and the center is allowed to reopen pending appeal.

The verdict characterizes KEPHE as "... an organization with totalitarian structures and trends, which essentially despises man, acts freely "in phenomenon" in order to attract members, who are then subjected (with all the above mentioned processes and theories) into a brain wash, aiming at the creation of directable way of thinking and minimizing objections (basic positions of the Scientology founder's theories), so that we are standing in front of beings with no personal will, who have lost the capacity of making decisions as products of their free will, since they have passed through the propaganda filters of Scientology and the suitable processing, become susceptible to the "truths" it applies, without having motives to examine and evaluate".

January 1999
KEFE is ordered by the Court of Appeals to shut down and liquidate. In its judgment, the court describes KEFE as "an organization with totalitarian structures and trends, which despises man, aims at power and money, teaches the survival of the powerful and ruthless, applies dangerous methods without preventing the possibility of suicide of its members, brainwashing them and corroding its opponents' reputation."

1:57 PM, by Blogger Thom Holwerda

Still, to me, Christianity and Scientology are both cults, it are however their goals in which they differ.

Eugenia, you look at this with in your mind the goals and means, whereas I strip that out and look at the bare structure that remains.

I think, in the end, we're both right, depending on if you take the content into account, or only the structure.

Interesting discussion, in any case!    

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