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Technician

Church of Scientology Convicted of Fraud in France

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Now only if we can have follow-up cases around the world...

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That the French Parliament couldn´t agree on banning that damned SECT, is a real shame however.

From the article:
"Belgium, Germany and other European countries have been criticized by the U.S. State Department for labeling Scientology as a cult or sect and enacting laws to restrict its operations."

LOL...or hmm...why don´t the US state dept rate ScientoLoLorgy as a sect? Are they that powerful in the USA??

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Scientology is no more or less stupid and fraudulent than any other religion. It just has a novel sci-fi theme and is relatively young. It has also resulted in far fewer deaths than, for instance, Christianity. Ban all or ban none. Personally, I like the quickening slide into irrelevance, no bans necessary.

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I could agree with you jute, but i´m not going to just for the hell of it! ;)

Would anybody but scientology miss scientology if they went back to wherever they came from?! Meh, i agree they neednt be banned, but damned if i´d ever regard them as anything other than a pyramid-scheme sect!

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jute said:
Scientology is no more or less stupid and fraudulent than any other religion.

I don't agree, from what I've read. I haven't seen many established religions trying to get into the secret services to manipulate their own image from there, use "cult" practices to assimilate members or aggressively harass critics.

When saying "hey Christianity killed more people" you're referring to various branches of it in 2000 years and to tons of people who are long dead. Germany exterminated 11 million people in the early '40s, does that make it condemnable now?

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What Christianity did back then and what Scientology does now are not all that different. The difference is that that was then and this is now...as a society, this kind of bullshit should be in the past where it belongs, not taking place in the modern age.

The US State Department only criticizes other countries' accusations and actions because the USA was founded on a concept of freedom of religion. Remember, the USA is quick to point the disapproval finger at anyone who holds alternative views to its own.

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DooMikE said:

Are they that powerful in the USA??

I sure as hell hope I know up here in edmonton we only have one church for them to go to and it's a old run down building in downtown

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What I don't understand is how Scientology is considered a religion in the US. It's obviously a criminal enterprise. It scams its own members. This is different from things like Christianity. Sure, lots of its denominations are evil, and all of them are patently wrong, but many of them sincerely believe they're doing the right thing and they try hard to do so. Scientology can't even come close to that level.

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At least scientology is a parasite that mostly feeds on wealthy celebrities who don't deserve their disproportionate piles of money either. So one less mansion for tom cruise and one more mansion for scientology. Its probably not much that would have been fairly dispersed to the rest of society either way.
I bow down to agent pubeit.

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DooMikE said:

Are they that powerful in the USA??

Congress shall make no law respecting an 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 grievances.

The First Amendment has allowed all manner of loony-tune sects to operate in the United States. As for the State Department's criticism of various European governments for taking a stand against Scientology - that's in line with US foreign policy.

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gggmork said:

At least scientology is a parasite that mostly feeds on wealthy celebrities

No.

They're the most visible because they're celebrities, but they're really not the bulk of scientology's victims. And, given they're celebrities, they're treated much better than the poor schmucks nobody cares about that fall in the scientologists' clutches.

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A game that glorifies war and has you playing a Nazi-killer with a Jewish-sounding name and the Bush administration thinks it's anti-Semitic? Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.

The problem with America and Scientology is the Americans were even willing to grant it status as a religion. It should have been called out for what it was right away and L. Ron should have been shot out back by a man in black. The bonus is we would never have had to put up with that horrible movie, Battlefield Earth!

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Gez said:

No.

They're the most visible because they're celebrities, but they're really not the bulk of scientology's victims. And, given they're celebrities, they're treated much better than the poor schmucks nobody cares about that fall in the scientologists' clutches.


This is very true.

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Good ol' L. Ron was quite the character. Ever read about his days in the Ordo Templi Orientis (the religious movement taken over by Aleister Crowley)? Hooooo boy.

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Battlefield Earth sucked. Oh for the love of science, it sucked so bad.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

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Can't the scientologists just start thier own country and practice thier insanity over there? They could take over North Korea, the people already there probably wouldn't notice the difference.

"Belgium, Germany and other European countries have been criticized by the U.S. State Department for labeling Scientology as a cult or sect and enacting laws to restrict its operations."


I notice pointed exclusion of 'another' Western European state from that list. For once i wish somebody would just say "you know what? FUCK your sincrely held beleifs"

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Nomad said:

Battlefield Earth sucked. Oh for the love of science, it sucked so bad.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.


The book was fun. Figured the movie would be. John Travolta needs his head checked.

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deathbringer said:

I notice pointed exclusion of 'another' Western European state from that list. For once i wish somebody would just say "you know what? FUCK your sincrely held beleifs"

Which one?
Belgium, France, Germany are already addressed by the article. Other European countries where Scientology is not given officially the status of a religion include Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Switzerland and United Kingdom. Several other countries, including Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Austria, have conferred it the status of a religion or religious organisation.

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Of course, the sect tries to break the judgement (in the Cour de cassation).
The sect might have been dissolved, but a few weeks before, an small article in a very big law precisely deleted the possibility of dissolution for associations convicted of crookery. What a surprise.

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Aliotroph? said:
A game that glorifies war and has you playing a Nazi-killer with a Jewish-sounding name and the Bush administration thinks it's anti-Semitic?

Check this out:

According to Goodricke-Clarke the speculation of Nazi occultism originated from "post-war fascination with Nazism"; The "horrid fascination" of Nazism upon the Western mind emerges from the "uncanny interlude in modern history" that it presents to an observer a few decades later. The idolization of Hitler in Nazi Germany, its short lived and brutal dominion on the European continent and Nazism's irrational and gruesome Antisemitism set it apart from other periods of modern history. "Outside a purely secular frame of reference, Nazism was felt to be the embodiment of evil in a modern twentieth-century regime, a monstrous pagan relapse in the Christian community of Europe."

I can thus see legislators eying fiction treating Nazism as supernatural as a contribution to that idealization or fascination in culture.

Gez said:
And, given they're celebrities, they're treated much better than the poor schmucks nobody cares about that fall in the scientologists' clutches.

Their focus on celebrities is another face of their manipulative nature, as celebrities are essentially experts at creating an image or false personalities. It also shows the kind of culture the cult represents. It's a Hollywood religion, propaganda machine and all.

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Celebrities are probably the minority in body count, but maybe the majority of money flowing to scientology comes from celebrities (I don't know for sure) just because they tend to be stupid and wealthy. The former because 1) their pampered isolated environments give them a weak grip on reality 2) actors/resses have a career based on constant imagining which makes them more susceptible to crazy ideas appaprently... in that bbc scientology documentary, whatever main sci-head guy seriously appeared to have the delusion that he was in a movie (he paced around with dark glasses and just generally had the look of 'i'm an agent from the movie men in black and know alien secrets and epic government coverups and am big time important 4 realz guyz'

And like everything scientology does, focusing on celebrities (giving them special recognition, etc) is a likely tactic to maximize profits because their social impact (magazines/news/etc) is high, thus maximizing potential recruits to scientology (you can see alex jones using this same tactic; search for 'charlie sheen alex jones' in youtube). And masses probably give undeserved authority to celebrities just because they're famous. Its kind of like exploiting brand recognition; they try to weave their scientology virus into other things that are famous to increase its replication. Just like genetic viruses mutate, this tactic probably mutated and was successful/fit at replicating.

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gggmork said:
And masses probably give undeserved authority to celebrities just because they're famous.

That's what essentially interests the church; that appeal. You say it's undeserved, but they dedicate their time and efforts to building such an image. I'm not sure how many of the artists are used and how many are users, or to what degree, but either way they should prove functional. Others may be more naive, but I don't think people like Tom Cruise are victims of Scientology.

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I pretty much meant authority as a bad reason to believe in something (like the idea that 'importance'/fame of tom cruise or the pope has any weight on the truth of what they say), as opposed to evidence/observations/theories/facts.
Sorry another dawkins link:
http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/dawkins2.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

Not sure if your first 'they' pronoun referred to celebrities or scientology. But I think our bizarre economic system gives a lot of celebrities insane wealth relative to their 'value' (like they have maybe hundreds or thousands times more money than someone working at taco bell probably).. but then again its just supply and demand and something like a movie is very viral so can be sold in huge quantities.

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I was referring to celebrities there, though you could say by extension that the church does the same, by no coincidence trying to reach celebrities.

but then again its just supply and demand and something like a movie is very viral so can be sold in huge quantities.

People say "it's just entertainment" but there's more to entrainment than "being entertainment." At the same time, it's full of ideals, social values and normative morality. The obscene thing about Scientology is that uses that to create a religion. It's the entertainment religion. Religions tend to do it in general, to a certain degree, generating convenient stories or imagery and passing their morality through that, but this one was made to pervasively fit our newer forms of technology and mass media. It more or less conforms to the standards of watching and making TV.

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gggmork said:

Sorry another dawkins link:

I think people need to get out of the habit of apologizing for referring to Richard Dawkins. One may or may not agree with some of his political views, but as far as his stature as a scientist, and as far as his writings on logic and knowledge and belief go, he is pretty much beyond reproach. That was a very good article.

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Quasar said:
and as far as his writings on logic and knowledge and belief go, he is pretty much beyond reproach.

I wouldn't say I agree. Dawkins is pretty two-dimensional when he talks about culture. When referring to science, I've little problem with empiricism. Culture, however, is different. Things that may be bad science can be legit forms of social expression, as they are this or that form of expression for a certain people or situation. They are more in the sphere of politics than science. Instead of simply rejecting these and going into denial mode in relation to them, they can be analyzed as things people do to manage their lives and relations. Trying to debunk them as "bad science" fails to address what they are claiming culturally. Otherwise they can be challenged in specific ways and contexts when they interfere with the practice of science.

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