Friday, February 22, 2013

And people think Catholics are weird

Whatever else you read today, go and read Austin Ruse's post, The Prisons of Scientology.  Here's an excerpt:
According to one account, Scientology teaches, “that we are all trapped in this universe; that we used to be ‘free’ and powerful but we have gone down a ‘dwindling spiral’ of degradation, life after life, eventually, after trillions of years, becoming powerless and mired in suffering; that L. Ron Hubbard developed the only road out of this trap back to ‘real freedom’ and power; that the Church of Scientology is the only valid source of this technology; and that we will only get this one chance to make it out.”

We became trapped because 75 million years ago, “a tyrannical overlord named Xenu ruled the [Galactic] Confederacy.”  Xenu had been chosen by a Praetorian Guard called the Loyal Officers, who turned on him: “Xenu and a few evil conspirators – mainly psychiatrists – fed false information to the population to draw them into centers where Xenu’s troops could destroy them.” 

These beings – called Thetans – were killed and packed into space planes resembling DC-8’s and sent to Teegeeack, now called Earth, where they were placed in volcanoes and blown up with hydrogen bombs. Being immortal, the Thetans “became trapped in an electronic ribbon and placed in front of a ‘three-D, super colossal motion picture’ for thirty-six days, during which time they were subjected to images called R6 implants.” 

These Body Thetans are in all of us and the goal is to get “clear” of them and become Operating Thetans by walking along the “Bridge to Total Freedom,” which Scientology alone possesses. And the only way to get “clear” is through Scientology “technology” that costs hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars to access. But this is the only way to salvation. 

I was surprised by the data that 25% of Scientologists are former Catholics. I can't really imagine why anyone would go from the Catholic faith to Scientology. But then again, I can't imagine taking up a religion that requires a belief in space aliens sent here on space planes to be blown up in volcanoes and then shown a movie...


bearing said...

"I was surprised by the data that 25% of Scientologists are former Catholics."

Why would you be surprised?

Hardly anyone is raised a Scientologist, so they're almost all "converts" -- i.e., "former" something-elses.

And about a quarter of the U.S. population identifies as Catholic.

So "about a quarter" is the expected proportion of Scientologists who would be former Catholics.

Red Cardigan said...

I dunno, bearing; it just seems like such a leap from Catholic teaching to "I'll be fine once I get rid of these clingy space aliens..."


vera said...

I've heard that about half of Witnesses are former Catholics... and with a chip on their shoulder...

eulogos said...

The thing is that they never were really Catholics.

freddy said...

I don't know that it's particularly helpful to point and laugh at the odd beliefs of Scientologists (fun, yes; helpful, probably not).

The question I think we must ask is "Why are so many people so afraid of freedom that they willingly enter slavery?"

The Catholic Church's message of true freedom is terrifying to many.

Red Cardigan said...

Freddy, only helpful in that you used to have to reach a certain rather high level in Scientology to find all of that out (at which point you would have invested thousands of dollars and countless hours with the church). The Internet has changed all that in theory; in practice, though, how many people still don't have any idea that Scientology is not some kind of modernist synthesis between science and theology, but is instead a literal belief that we're inhabited by the remnants of dead space aliens who cause all of our problems?

freddy said...

I'm sorry if I sounded contentious.

I never said that it wasn't useful to *know* what it is that Scientology professes. I'm just not sure that it's particularly helpful to point out to people (whether Scientologists or Jehovah's Witnesses or whatever) that we find their professions laughable.

In other words, if I had a friend who was contemplating leaving Catholicism for Scientology, I'd be more inclined to discuss with her where she thought Catholicism had failed her, and what she found attractive about Scientology.

I'd say it was a good bet that most people who join Scientology do so not because their twisted science fiction fantasy (can't really call it a theology, can we?) makes blinding sense, but because they find themselves surrounded by calm, enthusiastic, confident people and are given a sense of purpose while being relieved of the necessity of thinking.