Nice Jewish Girl turns to Scientology. We ask the questions...


By Livingstons World
November 5, 2010
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The topic of last week's Livingston's World on Jnet radio caused a lot of consternation. Many believe that Scientology is sinister, and that it is filled with (as one listener put it) 'nutters' and should be avoided at all costs. So why do so many, including Jews, join their ranks?

Sharon Cohen is a nice Jewish girl from Manchester. She came from a traditional Jewish home where shabbos was celebrated with candle lights and kiddush on a Friday. But she was shy and this was exacerbated by a stutter. She found it hard to communicate with her peers, and had no-one to turn to for guidance.

At the tender age of 17 she stumbled upon the Scientology Centre. Their communication course caught her eye. Could this be the answer she wondered. She went in and was enveloped with acceptance. She did her course and a few more courses and thirty years later her stutter is gone, no sign of shyness and is happily married to Scottish Scientologist Graeme Wilson. Together the couple spend every day of their life working at and practising Scientology.

Sharon came into Jnet Radio studio with her husband Graeme this week to talk about her life, her choices and reconciling her Jewish Culture with Scientology. After all she still uses words like schlep and takes hubby home for Friday night dinner with her family.

'Did you convert to Scientology' I ask. 'No' says Sharon 'there is no conversion process'. You do the courses and learn tools that to be the best you can be. Its non-denominational. Anyone can be a Scientologist.'

Scientology is just a series of courses I venture. Graeme insists it's a religion. They have a church and they pray in it. But who do they pray too? 'Whatever works for you' he said and then goes on to quote Rabbi Hillel 'Judaism is about loving your neighbour as you would yourself... the rest is narrative' Scientology is based on Love Thy Neighbour'.

The bad press they get is unrelenting. But Graeme is unphased. 'The bad press is based on misconceptions. It won't stop us doing our charitable work around the world. We run drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, run aid and education programs in the slums of India and we provide humanitarian aid in disaster zones. It is for anyone and everyone and these programs are funded by Scientology.'

That's very nice, but what about ordinary people. Don't they get fleeced? 'On an individual level some courses are free but most are paid for.'

Fair enough, after all Jewish education in cheder and schools has to be paid for and should you continue to learn you would have to pay for that too. What other ways do they get funding?

'We have many donors who wish to contribute to our various programs and much funding comes by this way.'

But if you become a Scientologist don't you have to give the organisation lots of money? 'It is not compulsory' says Graeme 'but obviously donations are welcome'.

What about allegations that their founder L Ron Hubbard put forward the belief that humanity came from aliens. 'L Ron Hubbard used to write science fiction in his early years. He was a successful writer and he used the proceeds to do research and studies for Scientology. In all my years as a Scientologist no-one has ever told me that alien story. Perhaps this misconception was taken from one of his science fiction books?'

Is L Ron Hubbard regarded in the same way as Jesus or Mohammed. 'No, L Ron Hubbard was an ordinary man with a vision, that's all'.

Are there many Jewish Scientologists 'Yes, many' says Sharon. 'There is also a thriving centre in Tel Aviv'.

How did Sharon's parents feel about this 'I was at the scientology centre one day and a rabbi came by to have a chat with me. That was my mum's doing. The thing is I was so happy that there was no point in her trying to stop me. They accept that this is my path and Graeme and I enjoy shabbos meals with them'.

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COMMENTS

Livingstons World

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 17:08

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THIS IS A RESPONSE I RECEIVED BY EMAIL

I am Jewish. I was a Scientologist years ago. The president of the cult office (which they called the church) was Jewish. The chief salesman (whom they called the registrar) was Jewish. There was no question that the office had a disproportionate number of Jews. In reflection, I believe that Jews are on the fringe of religion in our society. To go from one religious fringe to another is easier than going from the main religion to the fringe. A smaller factor may have been that the Jews there seemed to have an interest in science. Scientology pretended to connect the soul to the scientific world. Hubbard, the cult leader, claimed to be a nuclear scientist and an engineer. He lied about that and many other things but I for one was more ready to listen to a man who claimed that he was a scientist than a rabbi.

Much of what you have been told is misleading. Between the ages 17 and 47 Sharon Cohen grew up. No adult has the same problems they had at age 17. She may have lost the stutter and shyness anyway. Or her stutter and shyness may not have been as bad at age 17 as she indicates. Also, Scientology claims that they will not only get rid of a studder, but will give a person superhuman power over matter, energy, space, time, life and thought. I have yet to see a demonstration of this. You might ask her for a demonstration, yourself.
Scientology pretends to be non-denominational. Plainly it is not. For one it believes in reincarnation. Jews don't believe in reincarnation. There are articles on the internet comparing it to other religions. Research it yourself if you like.

Scientology is not based on love thy neighbour. It might be based on love thy self. It is centred around the invasion of Teegeeack which we today call Earth. This happened 75 million years ago. The Marcab Fleet was led by Intergalactic Overlord Xenu. This event is what caused Sharon Cohen's stutter and shyness and the rest of humanity's problems. This information is dispensed on the OT3 course. It is a very expensive course with a great many expensive prerequisites. It is not uncommon to spend $300,000 to $500,000 on courses. Jason Beghe, a film and television actor who has left the fold, spent over a million. The free courses are used as opportunities for them to sell the other courses. The free courses get people in the door. They create mystery.

The bad press is usually based on good understanding. Sharon and Graeme are the ones who are spreading the misconceptions.

Scientology does little charity. When I was a member they did none and even believed that charity was a bad thing. I could go on. I actually wrote an essay on this but I don't want to turn this into a rant primarily about their version of charity. It seems that their charity, such as it is, gives Scientology something to crow about and makes them seem like a real religion. Still, if they are doing real charity, let it continue.

Everything in the world has a money component. Synagogues need money. Scientology needs money. There is a huge difference in degree. Synagogues don't employ salesmen. Synagogues don't pressure you to max out your credit card or get your inheritance from your parents before they die. And synagogues will let you in on the high holidays if you are broke.

If Sharon and Graeme told you about Xenu you would think they were nuts. Scientology used to tell people like me that if they even heard the name of the intergalactic overlord they would die of pneumonia within two days. Now they have another version of that lie because the story of Xenu is well known and nobody has pneumonia. Either Sharon and Graeme are lying which after thirty years in the cult is most likely, or they are simply ignorant. I actually don't mind the story of Xenu any more than I mind the story of the burning bush or Jesus' coming back to life. They all make equal sense to me, that is, no sense at all. It is Scientology's secrecy about it that offends me.

They believe that L.Ron Hubbard is an ordinary man except for a few things like he did not die 25 years ago but dropped his body to go off to other planets and spread Scientology. During his lifetime he visited Venus, the Van Allen Belt and heaven. But I agree, he is not seen as a God or as someone who talked to God.

One of the centres in Israel just burned down. I don't know if the Tel Aviv Centre was the one. Arson is suspected.

I guarantee, her parents were scared shitless. Sharon very likely told them that if they did not "grant her beingness as a Scientologist" she would never communicate with them again. I didn't tell my parents that, but a phone was put in my hand and I was told to tell a friend exactly that. They call this the policy of disconnection.

Don't publish my name or email. I've had enough trouble with them already.


DLeigh-Ellis

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 18:40

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'Many believe that Scientology is sinister, and that it is filled with (as one listener put it) 'nutters' and should be avoided at all costs. So why do so many, including Jews, join their ranks?'

-Insecurity?

-Needing to feel part of something?

-Taking science fiction way too seriously?

-Coercion...

Who knows.... After all, why does anybody choose to join any religion.....

The only question I have is whether I should bother to read Battlefield Earth, it's been sitting on my bookshelf for a year or so already - the last book of that size I read was Ulysses, and that is not an experience I want to repeat.


Avraham Reiss

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 19:35

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Who am I to express an opinion after Dleigh-Ellis has fully explained the matter?

However:

[quote]
For one it believes in reincarnation. Jews don't believe in reincarnation
[unquote]

I'm not uttering a single syllable in favour of scientology, but the above quote - Jews don't believe in reincarnation - is totally untrue.

There is much written about reincarnation, mostly in in books on Jewish mysticism, including the Zohar itself.

There is also intellectual justification for reincarnation - man's soul is offered another chance to redeem itself of its former sins. Thus full justice can sometimes be exacted over a period of several lifetimes.


DLeigh-Ellis

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 19:40

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I agree Avi, (apart from the unnecessarily bitchy beginning) ...

But a belief in reincarnation is pretty far from the full scope of the scientologist outlook on the world.

For instance how do you feel about the the Scientologist assertions that the Holocaust was orchestrated by psychologists?


Avraham Reiss

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 19:51

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I don't know a single thing about Scientology, so I can't offer an opinion about it.

Regarding who orchestrated the Holocaust - does it really matter? I lay the blame on the German people; singling out a specific group within that people tends to "absolve" all others. It took too many people to murder 6,000,000 Jews. The entire nation is implicated - and damned.

But let's not forget the 2,000 years of 'preparation' by the Christian Church: chiefly, but not exclusively, the Catholic Church. Without whom Hitler would have been laughed ot of his first beer-hall.


Avraham Reiss

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 19:58

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Here's one link comparing Scientology with Judaism (Google have 262,000 hits):

http://www.ezlink.com/~perry/CoS/Theology/judaism.htm

Where in that link it says:
"While Scientology officially denies it, L. Ron Hubbard is venerated to near-deity status. Even though Hubbard is dead, every Org has an office for him, just in case he returns. There is a picture of him in every Scientology Org."

- I couldn't help thinking of Chabad, some of who claim their Rebbe is still alive!

But I don't think we should waste more time on this subject.


DLeigh-Ellis

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 21:52

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I only referenced the Holocaust because there is a specific belief propogated by some Scientologists that is was an experiment by psychologists. Coincidentally, Scientology also bans its members from having any contact with psychology or psychiatry, (possibly because psychologists may highlight to the individual the manipulative nature of the church.)

Thus labelling psychologists as guilty of such a horrific crime seems to me a way of ensuring that the church members never involve themselves with a group of people who would be incredibly able at pointing out the flaws inherent in the manner that the Church of Scientology exerts such control over so many of its members.

I was interested to know your opinion because to me this appears nothing more than Holocaust revisionism, a highly dangerous form of thought.

The recent BBC documentary by John Sweeney, 'scientology and me,' specifically referenced these attitudes within the Church, it might still be on bbc iplayer although i'm not sure if you can use that site outside the UK. It was absolutely fascinating viewing tho, so take a look if you have a mo.


Avraham Reiss

Sat, 11/06/2010 - 22:43

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You made a very shrewd point, I'd leave it there.


Reformer

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 15:45

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When Scientology applied for religious status in the USA this was part of a court statement: "..as a practical matter Scientologists are expected to and do become fully devoted to Scientology to the exclusion of other faiths", Exemption of CST Under Section 501(c)(3) As a Church on October 1, 1993. (CST is Scientology's parent corporation.)

What more do we have to know?

The notion that Scientology is not in opposition to other faiths is told to outsiders because most people have faiths. To say that Scientology is incompatible would stop people from joining and paying money to take courses and therapies. Over time, and step by step they find that it is incompatible, and often antagonistic to other religions. Some research on Scientology and Judaism can be found here: http://www.spiritrestoration.org/Church/Denominations/Scientology_Part_2...

The information found there is not nit picking. At one point in his writing (and I could find it on the internet and so could you, and we could also find the reference for the book or lecture) he refers to the world's foremost Satanist Aleister Crowley, proudly, as his good friend. He spent a lot of time with Jack Parsons, the American Satanist. His son, (L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. aka Ron DeWolf) in a long interview in Penthouse magazine, says that "I believed in Satanism. There was no other religion in the house!" and goes on to say that Satanism is the core of Scientology.

I know this sounds unbelievably weird. But Scientology is unbelievably weird. I was part of it in my late teens. This stuff about how it doesn't align well with Judaism is trivia compared to what really goes on there.


myrklix

Mon, 11/08/2010 - 23:05

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Thank you for this article. Unfortunately the questions asked were not the difficult ones that expose the real Scientology. As a former Scientologist it is obvious to me that Sharon and Graeme are responding with half-truths if not outright deception.

Rarely is anything free in Scientology. One is expected to progress up through various levels of training and counseling and these cost significantly. The pressure to purchase, "make donations", these courses, counseling ("auditing"), and related required books is unrelenting where one might cornered in a room until forking over the cash or credit card. And you will be pressured to buy, buy, buy until your bank account is empty and your credit cards are at their limits. Hyperbole? Hardly -- I'm presenting this from first-hand experience. And there are countless others with similar experiences. Just do a search on the internet.

Then there is the pressure to join "staff" at the organisation and be paid next to nothing for possibly 80 hours or more per week. At the "upper" organisations (in the US, "Saint Hill" East Grinstead, Copenhagen and else where) as a staff member, if you get out of line, there are forced work camps where someone could be detained for years. True, one could leave at any time but the indoctrination takes away your self-determination. And if you should leave you will be chased down far and wide.

Don't believe this? Either search the web for "Scientology and RPF" -- Rehabilitation Project Force is the forced labor work details. Or, search for other horror stories on abuse, forced abortions, etc. Could hundreds, even thousands of postings on the web all be lying? One could also go to www.xenu.net, www.exscn.net, and just go from there.

You have been warned...

Finally, on a lighter note, to the commenter inquiring about Hubbard's fictional work "Battlefield Earth", I did read that book and enjoyed it quite a bit.


Dion Berlowitz

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 16:56

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-1 points

Yes, I've noticed over the years that many Scientologists are indeed Jewish, including many in leadership positions. Also, I'm aware of rumors that L Ron Hubbard himself may have had a Jewish background - but there is no evidence for this. Does anyone know what his childhood religion was- in other words, the faith of his parents?

Anyway, Hubbard once said: "There are Scientologists of many faiths and creeds. To be a Scientologist or to be interested in or use Scientology, it is not necessary to quit a church or faith. On the contrary, one should remain with and assist those of his demonination."

This is exactly what Scientologists are currently doing. They are working with the African American community in the USA -both with Christian congregations as well as the Nation of Islam and secular groups - on various joint projects dealing with literacy, substance abuse, and self-improvement in general.

Is this a bad thing?

Is this a bad thing?


Jon_i_Cohen

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 17:10

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Lafayette Ron Hubbard was born on March 13, 1911, in Tilden, Nebraska to Ledora May Waterbury and Harry Ross Hubbard. They later had a family ranch in Kalispell, Montana.
Not much evidence of a Jewish connection with those names and those Sates.


myrklix

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 20:05

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1 point

I would counter the view of Dion Berlowitz. On a superficial level Scientology does state that its members can maintain their original faith; that there is no conflict. In actual practise this is far from the case. Based on personal experience I was subliminally given the message that my Jewish observation was secondary to anything I was doing in Scientology. Search the web and you will find countless others who will state the same.

Yes, the external message is that Scientology wants to collaborate with other faiths. However, the underlying motivation is SOLELY to proselytize and gain more members and thus more money for Scientology. Again, there are hundreds of posts on the web documenting this. Many people have been bankrupted by Scientology and then dropped like a stone unless they could be used (and abused) as a staff member to further its nefarious goals.

In your favorite search engine try the search terms "Scientology abuse". The results will keep you busy reading for weeks.


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 20:36

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Hey myrklix, really interesting reading.. cheers. and lol, maybe I will read Battlefield Earth at some point, got the new Iain Banks Culture tome to wade through first.. so it might be a while...

The documentary I referred to earlier made special mention of the 'higher ups' in the church obsession with recording everything, usually on film, that they can possibly record, both of their members and their detractors.....

I have also heard speculation that this maybe linked to the popularity of Scientology amongst the 'celebrity'/ Hollywood circuit, the implication being that personal confessions of individuals have been recorded which may be embarassing if revealed. I have seen no proof of this in effect but I was wondering how far within the bounds of possibility you would think blackmail, whether spoken of or simply implied is characteristic of the methods of the Church.

I am also very interested in the new wave of Scientologists that aim to distance themself from the authority of the church, concentrating instead on the professed ethics and teachings... It must take tremendous courage to do so considering the policy of 'disconnection.'


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 21:17

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I meant to ask but I forgot... myrklix, what do you think L Ron's best bit of fiction is?


Anthony Posner

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 21:21

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DLE,

this sounds like one of your seminars at York Poly.


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 21:24

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Ant, you were not even interested in this discussion until you saw I had commented...

I have never seen somebody so proud to be so lonely.


Anthony Posner

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 21:31

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" I meant to ask but I forgot... myrklix, what do you think L Ron's best bit of fiction is?"

Prof Posner, what do you think Henry James' "best bit of fiction is"??


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 21:32

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so so proud ....


Reformer

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:29

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Most think that Hubbard's best piece of fiction was "Fear". Some call it a classic but it is also a pulp novel and a product of its time. I, myself, have not read it.

I think Dianetics the Modern Science of Mental Health is his best work of fiction. History of Man is his funniest.

Many Scientologists want mankind to improve. Many of them are idealistic. Those ideals are perverted by Scientology. If they can do good works with a needy group and are able to get them to take courses (for money) or turn them into "staff members" (80 hour week for well under minimum wage) it can make the Scientologist feel very worthwhile. Unfortunately, their literacy, substance abuse, and general self improvement programs don't work as well as programs available outside the cult. They do work well at recruiting people for Scientology.

I am amazed that the Nation of Islam are getting involved in Scientology. They wouldn't if they went to youtube and heard this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EJIAP07X4U . It is in Hubbard's own voice. The statement is not unique either. He wrote many vicious things about minorities.

When Scientologists are "audited", which is what they call their confessional therapy, the auditor takes notes. This is true for celebrity and non-celebrity alike. The auditor is sworn to not reveal the information but others have access to the files and are not sworn to secrecy. Many speculate that Travolta is held, at least in part, through that. The spokesman for the cult, Tommy Davis, is on tape saying that the confessional files will be used to embarrass a former member. The tape can be found at xenutv.com with a little bit of searching once you get there.

Time Magazine, in 1991, reported that cult leader, David Miscavige, joked openly of John Travolta's allegedly promiscuous homosexuality which I can only assume was gleaned from the auditing files.

I don't know what the official policy is, but usually, if someone walks away from Scientology, and doesn't make waves, Scientology won't attack them. I have seen this many times.

Disconnection is the Scientology policy of separating a person from the influence of "suppressives" and "potential trouble sources" meaning people like me, or more practically someone's parents, who will feed the new Scientologist information about how bad Scientology is. Usually parents stop talking to their children about Scientology, fearing that if they continue with their complaints, they will never see their child again.


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:39

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Disconnection is a terrible policy. I cannot begin to imagine the distress such actions have inflicted on so many families around the world. A few years back I briefly met somebody who had been subjected to the policy, the sense of loss and isolation he had felt in the following years had driven him to a terribly dark place from which he had only just managed to pass through at the time I met him.

Thanks for the links, I will look into what you have suggested, although it may take a little time.

Cheers for the recommended reading. Somebody else had mentioned 'fear' to me a little while ago and I had completely forgotton about it, but I will attempt to get hold of a copy. (I like a bit of pulp from time to time.)

Thanks for responding, Reformer.

Out of interest, (and feel free not to respond if you do not feel inclined to,) what is it that would cause the Church to describe you as a potential trouble source... Would it simply be down to being willing to comment on blogs such as these?


myrklix

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:40

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DLE,

The only "fiction" I ever read by Hubbard was "Battlefield Earth" so I can't comment on any other of his works.

I hope readers, after going through the comments here, go through the trouble of researching Scientology before giving any thought to getting involved. IMHO, those a part of the cult are so sheltered or indoctrinated that they could never be objective. And if they were objective they would immediately be kicked out and "disconnected". Another search: "Scientology disconnection" for some truly heartbreaking stories.


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:51

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I agree, the social-engineering is as such precisely to prevent people from being objective... The scary thing is that it seems to work so well... This may be oversimplyfying but I can't help putting it down to the basic human psychology of needing to feel part of something bigger, perhaps this is why they abhor psychology so vehemantly.

And don't worry, I'm not thinking of getting involved... I just like a bit of science-fiction and the period when L Ron was writing is one of the sci-fi golden ages imho. Just a shame he decided to take it way too far really.


Yoni1

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:55

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Yes, but was he part of that goden age? I doubt it. I found his writing gave me indigestion. Give me Phil Dick and Ursula LG and the early Frank Herbert any day.


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 22:59

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I don't if he was part of the golden age, that's why I want to read some...

But I agree totally, Ursula Le Guin and PKD are masters of the genre!


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 23:09

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*missed a word... meant to say - I don't know if he was part of the golden age...

Clifford Simak is another personal fave, although he's not to all tastes.


myrklix

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 23:37

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... and Isaac Asimov & The Foundation Trilogy


DLeigh-Ellis

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 23:50

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Love the Asimov... And there is a little bit of Yiddish in Foundation from time to time which was unexpected and amusing....

Iain Banks for me is possibly the number one science-fiction writer of the moment... Except for his tendency to throw something really disturbing in when you are least expecting it... keeps the reader on their toes tho!


Yoni1

Tue, 11/09/2010 - 23:53

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Simak definitely, yes. But there have been many others.

Foundation isn't science fiction: it's a swords-and-sandals soap.


DLeigh-Ellis

Wed, 11/10/2010 - 00:01

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I like your take on it... I've only read the first one but given that there are at least five others I think you may be right...

If you can your hands on it, it's pretty hard to find although I think a new print may have just come out in the US, there is a fantastic collection of Jewish science-fiction put together by Jack Dann with a hilarious little intro by Asimov. It's called Wandering Stars and I thoroughly recommend it.


Yoni1

Wed, 11/10/2010 - 00:05

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Thanks, Ellis. Kind of you to say so, and thanks for the recommendation. I have a little man in LA who finds such stuff for me ... actually mostly vintage vinyls, but he may be able to recommend another little man who does treeware.


Reformer

Wed, 11/10/2010 - 13:01

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It just struck me that there are a lot of Jewish science-fiction fans and science-fiction writers. Many of the early followers of Scientology were from the SF fandom. Some were familiar with Hubbard. Some, like Astounding editor John W. Campbell, were so open minded they were ready to believe anything that seemed to have a scientific justification. Dianetics, can you believe it, was first published in a science-fiction magazine.

This next part is for DLeigh-Ellis--

The cult would not consider me a Potential Trouble Source. They would more likely call me a Suppressive Person. This is why:

Hubbard has said that about 2% of mankind are suppressives. These are people who are locked in past traumas and as a result don't want other people to become better. Since Scientology is the only hope for mankind, they really hate Scientology. They make up nasty things about Scientology or look at it in the worst possible way. They would call me a suppressive. Suppressives are "fair game" and by policy "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." Scientology says that have withdrawn the policy. Critics (like me) say they have stopped using the phrase "fair game" because it is bad public relations but the policy of "fair game" remains. I, myself, have heard the phrase used to threaten a protester and ex-member. I have seen the vicious tricks and lies aimed at destroying a person. I have read about the lawsuits.

Connected to the suppressives (or SP's) are another 18% of the population, the Potential Trouble Sources (or PTS's). These people, though not wicked like the SP, believe what he or she says. This makes them act like SP's though they can be educated to not act in that matter. Furthermore, if the leadership of the SP is removed, the PTS's will usually stop their anti-social or anti-scientology actions.

To quote Judge Breckenridge of the Los Angeles Supreme Court, "The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and this bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, L.Ron Hubbard."


DLeigh-Ellis

Thu, 11/11/2010 - 23:32

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V interesting Reformer, it had not occured to me on reading your last post that I responded to that 'potential trouble source,' is a codified term in itself. I assumed it was how you were describing their interpretation of individuals whom they disagree with. I think it is very revealing that the Church has so many specific terms for the varios levels of whom would possibly be described by holders of other faiths as heretics. It is fascinating that the COS has gone into such detail regarding the various levels of 'heresy.'

I also find it fascinating that Hubbard took the time to state exactly how many (in terms of percentages) of humanity would oppose the teachings of the COS. The effective fraction of 1 in 5 of the populating being perceived as potential heretics/PTS's/SP's give the Church enormous license to simply declare an individual as one of these erroneous groups and thereby have 'legitimate' reason to disconnect them. The tactic of declaring individuals as 'Suppressives,' reminds of the methods employed by groups from all over the political spectrum - declaring others as fascists/leftists/communists/fundamentalists or whatever... simply to avoid having to engage and consider their opinions.... I guess that the supporting idea, that makes the concept popular to the leaders of the Church is that as the SP's can never be truly eradicated their will always be PTS's whom can be excised from the COS, effectively making an example of them to ensure continued support from members of the COS who are less bold. It is an enemy that can never be eradicated, and so can be used to stoke up feelings of fear and victimisation within those loyal to the Church.

Thank's for continuing to respond, out of interest, are you American or British (or from somewhere else.) Despite the Church's worldwide status, I sometimes fall into the trap of assuming that most Scientologists are American, a stupid prejudice of my own for which I apologise but I think it's because most news that filters through about the COS tends to emerge from the American Church.


Reformer

Fri, 11/12/2010 - 16:37

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Hubbard claimed that he did research. I have reason to believe that he did some, but very little. Mostly he pulled "facts" out the air. Sometimes he forgot what he had written or said, so his facts change. The percentages I quote for suppressives and potential trouble source people vary in his pronouncements but those two numbers, 2% and 18% are the numbers I see most frequently.

I think that quantifying paranoia, in terms of suppressives and potential trouble source people, do more to change a Scientologist's world view than all the therapies and courses he or she may take. And just because they are paranoid doesn't mean that people aren't out to get them. Governments are out to get them too. It is just that the people who are attacking Scientology aren't evil, we are just knowledgeable.

Now that you mention it, there certainly are parallels in name calling by various political groups. I wasn't alive during the Communist hunts of the 1950's but it strikes me that the SP/PTS situation would have been like the Reds/Fellow Travellers situation of that time.

I am a Canadian. The cult has some religious status in Canada but it is not considered a church and it doesn't get the tax breaks of a church. It is considered a parareligion and is listed right below Satanism on the official list of parareligions (the list is alphabetical, I admit). The cult has recently claimed 100,000 Scientologists in Canada and soon after claimed 200,000. These numbers, obviously, were pulled out of the air to make their presence seem imposing. On our last census only 1525 people called themselves Scientologists. It is probably less by now.

As with aids and crack, America seems to get the social problems first. By the time the social problems come around to Canada we have read about them and armed with knowledge, they are easier to avoid.


Dion Berlowitz

Mon, 11/15/2010 - 20:32

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0 points

This is a very cool website! I just don't agree that everything that Scientology does in terms of good works (mitzvahs) is simply to gain members. That could be part of it, but there is a real desire to help. As far as the fiction goes, at least some of it holds up very well (example: the Mission Earth series) - I should know as a former English teacher! I would compare this with Walden Two by B F Skinner - another great science fiction novel written by someone better known for his work in other fields (whether we agree with Skinner or not is besides the point). In case anyone is wondering, I consider myself to be a Scientologist, but am currently more or less inactive. I'm not a spokesperson for the group!


ScriptMan

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 12:46

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0 points

Hogwash. Whose statement was that in the court records? Not the Church's. There are rabbis, Bhuddist priests, Catholic priests, Baptist priests who also take Scientology courses and counseling. There is no conflict and the Church has no problem with this. Satanish? More hogwash. I've been a Scientologist since 1972 and have never once seen or heard about any references to Satanism in the Church. As to L. Ron Hubbard Jr., he recanted all the lies he printed about Scientology. That's a matter of record.


mattpryor

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 12:55

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0 points

ScriptMan: Welcome to the JC and thank you for sharing your opinions with us.


ScriptMan

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 12:57

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-1 points

I'm Jewish, and a Scientologist. The two do not conflict with one another. Since you're reading this forum thread, I'm assuming that you are a reasonably intelligent person who can think for themselves, and that you have at least a modicum of intellectual curiosity.

We Jews have a long tradition of dispassionate discussion among ourselves concerning matters of some import to ourselves or the society at large. This is part of the rational, intellectual process that separates us from the animal kingdom. (However, as we descend to lower forms of primates, we find the religious bigot, positioned somewhere between the chimpanzee and the orangutan.)

Therefore, I have some advice for anyone reading all these comments:

Instead of taking second hand information about Scientology or third hand, or whatever, find out for yourself, if you're curious about this religion. Read a couple of books by Mr. Hubbard and make up your own mind, instead of letting others make up your mind for you.

That would, in my mind, be the reasonable thing to do. Or... go ahead and believe whatever anyone tells you about anything. After all, you wholeheartedly believe everything you read in the papers too, right? Just like you believe everything the U.S. Government tells you, right? Yeah...sure.


mattpryor

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 13:30

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0 points

Sorry, were you talking to me? I was just saying hello as I noticed you just joined the JC.

(So did "Dion Berlowitz" interestingly enough)


Reformer

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 18:18

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0 points

For the Scientologists to think about:

In the updated revision of L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, Bent Corydon comments:

“ In the case of L. Ron Hubbard Jr.'s 1986 "legal settlement" with Scientology, he had accumulated sizable hospital bills due to recent emergency surgery. This left him weakened and heavily in debt. Concerned about the welfare of his family he finally agreed to a "settlement". This included his signing various prepared documents. I don't believe for a moment that Ron Jr. ever considered these prepared statements to be accurate representations of his thoughts and beliefs. The man was under duress."

Yup, come up against a letigeous cult that spends tens of millions a year on legal fees, and you can even get the cult leaders son to recant. He did continue to talk about Scientology in the most negative terms, shortly before his death at the Clearwater hearings, which can easily be found on youtube.

Critics don't need L.Ron Hubbard Jr., though, to make their case. There is plenty of other information available. What Scientologists need to make their case, though, is just ONE operating thetan phenomenon. Just one, will be enough to prove Scientology does what it says it can do. There still hasn't been one, even with all those OT8's buzzing around. You have shown a few thabut they look like magicians tricks (some have actually been done by magicians). But one undeniable OT phenomenon will turn everyone at this website into Scientologists. You won't have to make up weak defences for your cult's actions and no one will pay the least bit of attention to suppressives like me anymore. If your an OT, as-is me. If you are not, get an OT to as-is me. I await your actions.

More later.


Reformer

Tue, 11/16/2010 - 19:28

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1 point

“See for yourself,” is a last ditch slogan used by Scientologists in a public forum when they can’t stand up to logic. This is what it means to me—

Don’t believe the judges, governments, commissions, journalists, former members, families of members, members of the family of L.Ron Hubbard or former executives. They are all cranks who are either ill informed or don’t want people to improve. Believe us. Come on down. Write a personality test (formally called the Oxford Capacity Analysis Test though it has nothing to do with Oxford University or the Oxford Dictionary). It will likey imbue the testee with the maximum amount of worry and concern before he or she is pressed to buy Scientology books, courses and therapies. Then we will introduce you to a registrar, who will seem much like a commissioned salesman, trained on, among other things, Big League Sales Closing Techniques by Les Dane (I am not kidding). At the very least, we will get your address and send you frequent mailings, which probably won’t stop even long after you leave your current address. And if you like telemarketers ours may be calling you even 37 years after you last walk out of our doors.


Marc Abian

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 19:04

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0 points

All one needs is google to find numerous articles in top newspapers and magazines such as TIME, the LA Times, The St Petersburg Times, Rolling Stone, Maxim, the NY Times, even the TV Guide exposing Scientology as a criminal corporation exploiting its members and fraudulently taking tens of millions from government grants. One such article even won a Pulitzer prize.


Marc Abian

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 19:08

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0 points

See how the Scientology corporation treats a prominent member of Mexico's Jewish community:

http://anonimosmexico.socialgo.com/members/profile/70

His wife gave away his life savings without his permission and they refuse to give any of it back. He now has to sue them.


Marc Abian

Sun, 11/21/2010 - 19:37

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0 points

Scriptman claims there are rabbis who study Scientology. Would he substantiate his claim by naming two rabbis who are actively studying Scientology. He cannot.

Scientology's oft repeated motto is "what is true for you is true." So Scriptman thinks that if he only believes that there are rabbis studying scientology, that is enough to make it true.

One of Scientology's thought-stopping methods is to say that anyone who criticizes Scientology is hiding crimes. So Scriptman (or any client of the scientology company) can never acknowledge any criticism of scientology, otherwise he himself would be accused of being a criminal by scientology, and subject to ever-increasing forms of punishment by them, such as having to make large donations, being prevented from taking the courses he wants, having to volunteer large amounts of his time to do menial labor.

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