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Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the gloves-are-off dept.

Censorship 426

eldavojohn writes "It's a lengthy read, but Lawrence Wright at The New Yorker has released a 26 page expose on Scientology. In a world where such innocuous sounding words as 'squirrels,' 'security-checked,' 'disconnection,' 'contra-survival,' 'suppressive persons,' 'clear' and 'open season' carry very serious and heavy baggage, director Paul Haggis has exited after thirty four years of membership and massive funding. Now he speaks at length of Scientology's controversies. From how celebrities were recruited with a 10% commission by a worker at Beverly Hills Playhouse to the current investigation by the FBI of physical abuse and human trafficking, Wright draws surrounding histories and accounts of the Church including Anonymous' crusade. The length of this article reflects the unusually large number of individuals (12 cases of physical abuse) cited as testimony of Scientology Leader David Miscavige's inurement and physical violence. The case remains open as the FBI collects data and testimony — especially in relation to Sea Org. Most disturbing are the disappearances of people that the New Yorker piece enumerates. The piece concludes with the author's interaction with the Church that results in several conflicting foundational statements from its stance on homosexuality (Haggis' original reason for publicly leaving it) to almost all details of L. Ron Hubbard's naval service and discharge. The article ends with Haggis' quote: 'I was in a cult for thirty-four years. Everyone else could see it. I don't know why I couldn't.' You can find summaries of the lengthy article and its suspected results along with corresponding reports listing politicians involved with the Church. Copyrighted work, leaked government documents, PS3 encryption keys and everything else has been posted on Slashdot but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence."

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Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203066)

It didn't even mention the Fair Game [wikipedia.org] practice, Operation Snow White [wikipedia.org] , Operation Freakout [wikipedia.org] , or the numerous other nasty bits [wikipedia.org] from the history of this organization.

Of course, that probably won't stop Scientologists from calling the author a child molester and sending private detectives out to his house to harass him and try to dig up dirt on him. They don't seem to do measured responses very well.

Of course, anyone who believes such attempts to discredit Haggis and Wright probably also believes that Julian Assange is a rapist.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (5, Informative)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203088)

Of course, that probably won't stop Scientologists from calling the author a child molester and sending private detectives out to his house to harass him and try to dig up dirt on him. They don't seem to do measured responses very well.

They have 35 years worth of audits, they don't have to hire PIs to keep their own people quiet.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203116)

That would only work on the dupes.

The higher-ups have no illusions and would never reveal anything.

Even this rat deserting the sinking ship is spinning. He was a victim, not a grifter.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203192)

That would only work on the dupes.

The higher-ups have no illusions and would never reveal anything.

That's why they get the dirt on you while you're still a newbie.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203316)

When was L. Ron a newbie? Muscarage? The Pope?

Grifters spot each other early and never have to tell each other that they are scamming.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203510)

Victim, my ass. Scientology is completely evil, but Haggis is either a moron or almost as bad as the other scientologists.

The publicly available book Dianetics (and any newb scientologist would certainly read it) calls homosexuality disgusting, but it took him 34 years to figure out they had a problem with homosexuality? Even if newer editions have taken that out (I don't know if they do or not), they certainly did not 34 years ago. I call bullshit on Haggis.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203602)

To be clear: He is spinning that he is a victim.

Also to be clear: Almost all religions have a problem with accepting homosexuality. That is not why Scientology is a scam.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203796)

Way to miss the point. I never claimed that is why Scientology is a scam.

He joined the cult knowing their view of homosexuality. His feigning ignorance on the issue is bullshit.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203870)

To be clear: He is spinning that he is a victim.

Please disregard my sibling post. I was the one who was missing the point. Sorry.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0, Offtopic)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203422)

It doesn't behoove you to link Haggis and Assange.

There are public records of mailing crypto mailing lists where you can see Assange act like an asshat. His former colleauge from Wikileaks wrote a book saying that Assange is an asshat and theatened to kill him at one point. And Sweden doesn't just make up fake warrants just because we ask.

Heck, Amnesty International ripped Assange for putting innocent civilians in harms way when he refused to redact names, and causing civilian volunteers to suffer death threats. He didn't apologize. He said if they wanted names protected, he wanted $200,000. If Assange were innocent, then it wouldn't hurt him to show up in Sweden and dispute the charges rather than run from multiple warrants. His lawyer says showing up in Sweden will get him sent to Gitmo, but Sweden would never do that in a million years.

In drawing a comparison that any attempt to discreit Haggis would be on par with Assange, you are in turn suggesting it might be valid.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203514)

Uh huh. You know who ELSE might say that about Assange? HITLER^H^H^H^H^H^H SCIENTOLOGISTS.

Of course, I'm not saying anything, but why haven't you PROVEN you don't have a Thetan detector, or whatever it is you people call it, hmmmmm?

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (3, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203560)

Being an asshat does not make a person a rapist.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203722)

if your an asshole to others, then your going to be an asshole to the women you sleep with.

Sweden has very very liberal rape laws. All she has to say is not without a condom, and if you enter her without one, you can go to jail.

You don't have to like their laws or think they are fair, but if your ever in sweden you have to obey them.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203758)

Yes - and Hitler owned a dog, so therefore anyone who owns a dog is Hitler. Thanks for pointing that out for me.

I am an asshole (at times), yet have seemed to avoid raping someone my entire life somehow. Looks like your "theory" that all assholes are rapists is not accurate, huh?

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203850)

You just pointed out why being a whistleblower makes you a rapist, not why being an asshat makes you one.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203730)

Being an asshat does not make a person a rapist.

Does being an asshat make someone a Scientologist? Or does being a Scientologist make someone an asshat?

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203782)

Have you read over his charges?

This is rape by Swedish definitions. There are two different women who consented to have sex with him, but in the course both demanded he wear a condom, and he refused. He also didn't disclose to either that he was having multiple sex partners at the time.

So he didn't violent force his way on a woman by US standards, but put women at risk of STDs by refusing to wear a condom while having multiple sex partners. By those standards, and with the testimony of these two women, he would be found guilty. That is why he is ducking Sweden and won't show up for his warrants.

And frankly those charges are in line with him being an asshat.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

JordanL (886154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203630)

If that is how you conclude that it is reasonable Assange is guilty of rape, I hope you never get Jury Duty. And if you do, I hope your recuse yourself for being incapable of being impartial.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203684)

True but the OP suggests that you have to be insane or hopelessly gullible to even consider that Assange might really be guilty so what you said applies to him even more.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203794)

No, two women have stated that they demanded he wear a condom and he refused. By Swedish law, that is called rape.

And basically he knows that if he stands trial in Sweden and the two women testify, then he will be found guilty.

Re:Actually, the New Yorker article was quite tame (2)

zaivala (887815) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203502)

My guess would be that Haggis himself didn't have the information on those things. It was a good read, and I read it all the way to the end.

Innocuous (3, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203138)

In a world where such innocuous sounding words as 'squirrels,' 'security-checked,' 'disconnection,' 'contra-survival,' 'suppressive persons,' 'clear' and 'open season' carry very serious and heavy baggage...

'Security-checked', 'contra-survival', and 'suppressive persons' are innocuous sounding words? One of us doesn't know the meaning of that word.

Innocuous Compared to Their Internal Function (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203374)

Well, you're free to disagree with me but here are my initial reactions to these words prior to reading the article and what they mean to a scientologist:

'Security-checked'

To me: Checked for security. Maybe used to say you checked out a building for how safe and secure it is or even referring to the process everyone goes through when they fly or enter a sports arena.
To a scientologist: when someone "blows" (or flees the church) they recover them ("blow drill") sometimes physically against the persons will and subject them to an E-meter test which the article says is a powerful form of thought control.

'contra-survival'

To me: Contrary to survival. Doesn't sound like you're committing suicide but maybe smoking or drinking? Making bad choices that jeopardize your health? Hell, driving while texting on a cell phone could be called 'contra-survival.'
To a scientologist: when someone explodes violently, often hitting someone or throwing things at them that is contra-survival. The article mentions that this often traces back to prior lives where the person was a violent or disturbed individual.

'suppressive persons'

To me: Anyone who suppresses you. Probably a jerk or bully. Maybe an evil tyrant?
To a scientologist: anyone in your life that says anything negative about scientology. It's always only someone you have a personal relationship with. The church determines who this is and oftentimes you must cut off contact with them completely or you will never be clear. The article lists tons of stories of families and lifelong friends being separated because of this. I'm sure Haggis is probably an SP now. If I ever meet a scientologist, I plan to announce immediately that I am an SP.

To me these words seemed harmless and tame until you realize what these labels function as inside the church. It's so arcane and ridiculous. I can't believe people don't recognize the easily abused power system here that has very direct and serious consequences in your life. The article was a real eye opener as to how that crazy O.T. III shit is gobbled up by people because by that point they've maybe signed a billion year contract and have easily spent $400k on course work and auditing so they have a huge investment and desire to keep the lie going in their mind.

Operation Clambake (5, Informative)

TheGreatAvatar (49772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203204)

The obligatory link when discussing $cientology:

http://www.clambake.org/ [clambake.org]

Re:Operation Clambake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203634)

His words are wise, his face is beard.

Best snag a copy of that now (1)

lee n. field (750817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203216)

Best to print off that New Yorker piece now, before the CoS sics their lawyers on them.

Re:Best snag a copy of that now (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203310)

before the CoS sics their lawyers on them

I would love to see them do that because, you know, the more they try to hide it, the more Anonymous and others will do to scatter it all around the globe.

Human Trafficking (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203220)

For those still unaware, "human trafficking" is basically a euphemism for slavery. See River of Innocents [amazon.com] for a good primer. In the US alone, tens of thousands of kids are at high risk for being enslaved every year.

Re:Human Trafficking (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203270)

> For those still unaware, "human trafficking" is basically a euphemism for slavery. See River of Innocents [amazon.com] for a good primer. In the US alone, tens of thousands of kids are at high risk for being enslaved every year.

Victor Malarek's The Natashas is also good.

I've always heard Scientology engaged in some disreputable tactics, but seriously, this is a new low.

Excuse me, my Kitchen is on fire.

Re:Human Trafficking (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203450)

New? Its been part of their practice for decades, since the beginning.

Re:Human Trafficking (1)

jd (1658) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203680)

Which is why, when the FBI announces they rescued two or three or maybe a dozen in a raid, I'm not terribly impressed. I seriously doubt a police force would brag about a 0.01% to 0.1% rate of solving cases. It's better than nothing, but this is a yearly at-risk figure, so the cumulative total of slavery in the US is going to be insanely high - probably on-par with the total number of people in prison. (Assuming one slave owner or other active participant per slave, plus one full-time councilor to help a former slave through rehabilitation, it doesn't take long to figure out what would happen if there was a serious effort to purge the US of such degeneracy. Like a malignant tumour that has metastased, cutting it out cleanly may have become too difficult.)

This is a DMCA-free comment (4, Informative)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203224)

I've personally known someone who was, for a decade along with his wife, a scientologist. He now has no qualms about calling them cultists and thieves and is glad to be out of there, though he deeply regrets the years he wasted there. I'm pretty sure that the drones of the church of happiology will be pretty pissed off at me for this, but hey, since this article is purely an opinion, there's no law they can pull to force this comment off slashdot.

Re:This is a DMCA-free comment (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203742)

All they have to do is threaten with big words. Most places will not risk having to prove a challenge was bogus.

Really? (2)

gazbo (517111) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203250)

...but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence.

I could have sworn that several years back some comments were removed because they contained a threat to the US president?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203390)

They would have simply moved the threats to Idle, but the board didn't exist at the time.

Well to give credit (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203274)

Copyrighted work, leaked government documents, PS3 encryption keys and everything else has been posted on Slashdot but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence

One of the groups behind each of those bits of information will kill you for doing it. I'll let you guess which one.

Re:Well to give credit (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203304)

Look, I'm sure if Sony thought they could get away with it they wouldn't hesitate. That rootkit fiasco was pretty telling.

Re:Well to give credit (4, Interesting)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203306)

Copyrighted work, leaked government documents, PS3 encryption keys and everything else has been posted on Slashdot but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence

One of the groups behind each of those bits of information will kill you for doing it. I'll let you guess which one.

But the whole story is about Scientology, and it even talks about Scientologists killing people, so what's to guess?

Re:Well to give credit (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203446)

Are you telling me you actually read the article?

Re:Well to give credit (2)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203552)

Those with low UID are more likely to do that from time to time.

Re:Well to give credit (2)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203638)

What are you talking about whippersnapper! not reading the article is a time honored tradition. You would know that if you had registered your account 6 hours earlier like I did.

Re:Well to give credit (2)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203624)

No, we who have four digit IDs do not need to read the article, we already know what it will say. I was really just messing with OverloardQ, who obviously wanted everyone to guess "Teh ebil Gubermint!" Some people can't resist an opportunity to express their hatred of democracy and collective action.

Re:Well to give credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203318)

I'm guessing Scientology.

Re:Well to give credit (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203528)

One of the groups behind each of those bits of information will kill you for doing it. I'll let you guess which one.

Sony?

Re:Well to give credit (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203572)

Only on slashdot and other tech blogs can something so trivial as the PS3's DRM be considered as bad as what happened to Lisa McPherson, or any other number of deaths, morbidities or other horror stories to come out of the COS.

Hell, once I saw someone say that we should riot in the street Egyptian style because of what Sony's doing. Here's a bit of perspective. Egyptians rioted on the streets because they couldn't eat. Not because they can't play Xbill and Nethack on their consoles.

Re:Well to give credit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203662)

Copyrighted work, leaked government documents, PS3 encryption keys and everything else has been posted on Slashdot but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence

One of the groups behind each of those bits of information will kill you for doing it. I'll let you guess which one.

This is Slashdot, remember. Half the people here wholeheartedly believe the U.S. government would cheerfully murder you stepping out of line to the extent of wearing a non-government-approved color of shirt in private, and the other half are dead certain this has already happened and anyone who's ever said anything bad online about the ruling political party in the past has been "replaced" by government shills (yet somehow the government is too incompetent to run anything). Add in the belief that they are the sole defenders of "freedom", for some anomalous definition of same (which somehow coincidentally always lines up with their own personal beliefs at the time), and you've picked up any outliers who slipped through the cracks.

You know what else is a cult? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203298)

Space Nuttery. And I equally don't understand how people can adhere to this Church of insanity.

Re:You know what else is a cult? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203522)

And I equally don't understand how people can adhere to this Church of insanity.

Because the world sucks ass many other unsavory things.

People look for something to make sense of it, to figure out why bad things happen to good people, and why evil often lives comfortably in fine homes full of Bugattis and supermodels.

So, many latch on to belief systems that claim to put a filter over the random, horrific bullshit of the universe, and reveal The Truth behind it.

Demons. Thetans. Imps. Sprites. Bogeymen. Aliens. Jinxes. Genetic predispositions. Whatever.

Re:You know what else is a cult? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203584)

You are a kook. How many times do you have to drag space nutters into unrelated articles?

Re:You know what else is a cult? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203764)

ah, but it's well-worn wisdom that if it walks like a kook and it squawks like a kook, it must be a shill

So it comes to question, who would benefit by convincing science-minded forum-board members that space exploration is a waste of time?
obviously mr space nutter is a alien real-estate agent sub-parceling teh moon.
my reasoning is incontrovertible.

Hrmm... (5, Interesting)

SniperJoe (1984152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203330)

When did freedom of religion become freedom from rule of law? As an incredibly disenfranchised Catholic, I am disgusted by some of the things that my church has done and failed to do. Where are the criminal charges related to the many abuses that people (especially children) have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church? I ask the same question about Scientology. I am not trying to troll, I'm just trying to understand.

Re:Hrmm... (3, Insightful)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203372)

I think part of the difference is that much of the things that happened with the church were the work of individuals. However, the church entity did try to conceal the abuses.

Contrast that with the CoS who has organized the abuses at the hands of several members.

I could be wrong about the churches. Any thoughts?

Re:Hrmm... (1, Informative)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203672)

You might want to look into that claim 'However, the church entity did try to conceal the abuses.' because they've got a smoking gun in Ireland.

The cover-up of the chester priests was started and run from Rome. If their was an activist god like many Christians choose to believe she would smite many of their asses. She has done much worse for less (their claims).

Re:Hrmm... (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203898)

You might want to look into that claim 'However, the church entity did try to conceal the abuses.' because they've got a smoking gun in Ireland.

The cover-up of the chester priests was started and run from Rome. If their was an activist god like many Christians choose to believe she would smite many of their asses. She has done much worse for less (their claims).

First, I'll chuckle politely with your claim that "many Christians choose to believe she would smite many of their asses." If you're going to criticize people, don't spin it with your beliefs - it weakens your own argument. The vast majority of Christians believe in a male diety, quite possibly due to the line "Our Father, which art in Heaven" (KJV).

Second, and more importantly, actually read the comment you reply to, rather than going off on a rabid attack. Quoting you, which you quoted the GPP, emphasis mine: 'However, the church entity did try to conceal the abuses.' . And then you: because they've got a smoking gun in Ireland. Those two statements seem to agree, which, combined with your opening phrase, "You might want to look into that claim," implies you disagree, even though both of your stated opinions don't.

Welcome to MindHead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203332)

Welcome to MindHead...
WELCOME to MINDHEAD!

Repeat after me:

There are no aliens!

Well, except for the blonde, maybe, she mates with almost anyone in power! On a grander scale...

SUCK IT, Anonymous! (2)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203334)

what Anon can't, Paul Haggis delivers

Re:SUCK IT, Anonymous! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203394)

Trying to defeat a religion's organization and beliefs by using logic has been tried many, many times before and never stops people from being convinced they are right. If you think this will have any impact whatsoever, I think you need to open your eyes.

You'll have forgotten about this in a week.

Re:SUCK IT, Anonymous! (5, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203768)

Trying to defeat a religion's organization and beliefs by using logic has been tried many, many times before and never stops people from being convinced they are right. If you think this will have any impact whatsoever, I think you need to open your eyes.

As they guy said, you can't logic someone out of something they didn't logic themselves into! On the other hand, this isn't about scientology being a religion, its about it being a criminal organisation.

WRONG (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203336)

Slashdot has deleted other posts due to DMCA (Microsoft also comes to mind).

Re:WRONG (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203354)

also, slashdot used purged comments when archiving and with javascript injections.

Re:WRONG (5, Insightful)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203496)

Have you read your sig yet?

Re:WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203594)

Read yours?
--
[witty sig]

How to spot a cult? (1)

hilldog (656513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203360)

Does it want your money? Does it want your mind? Does it want to govern your life? It's a cult. Of course /. 'ers will list about a hundred other things that fit that bill ;-)

Re:How to spot a cult? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203404)

Re:How to spot a cult? (2, Insightful)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203436)

Any christian church, any fits that description. So do some flavors of Judaism and Islam. Ironically most flavors of modern paganism don't. Yet are still called such by these groups...

Re:How to spot a cult? (3, Informative)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203836)

"Any christian church, any fits that description. So do some flavors of Judaism and Islam."

They want to control your mind, but they're quite modest with money. You can learn everything about these religions, without getting in debt. And there are no restricted scriptures, everything is accesible to newbs as well. That's a huge difference.

Re:How to spot a cult? (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203476)

Does it want your money?
Does it want your mind?
Does it want to govern your life?
It's a cult.

Of course /. 'ers will list about a hundred other things that fit that bill ;-)

My ex comes to mind.

Re:How to spot a cult? (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203604)

Does it want your money? Does it want your mind? Does it want to govern your life? It's a cult. Of course /. 'ers will list about a hundred other things that fit that bill ;-)

That may be a little bit overly broad, since just about any organization with dues and a code of ethics would fit your definition. So, yes, I'd agree that /.ers will be able to list hundreds, if not thousands of things.

Re:How to spot a cult? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203654)

Hey! The implant in my head that I got at the Apple store says I should be indignant!

Re:How to spot a cult ..err...goverment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203780)

Same properties.

Opium of the masses... (1)

TheOldFart (578597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203362)

I always thought that mixing fruits and nuts together to be a bit iffy...

Re:Opium of the masses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203610)

You've never tried trail mix?

Welcome to the club (4, Insightful)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203376)

Reading that list of charges and tactics, I may finally be ready to accept Scientology as a member of the fraternity of religions.

Re:Welcome to the club (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203590)

You're dumb. Give me one instance when a Church (place denomination here) sued someone for libel or made their former members vanish. Typical atheist moron...
Next!

Now go get your Bill Mahr Kool Aid, drone!

Re:Welcome to the club (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203884)

If we assume that vanish is a euphemism for killed horribly a majority of Islam currently fits the latter description. Certain pockets of Christianity have as well for very brief periods of time.

Re:Welcome to the club (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203858)

There are other religions that have a problem with people who leave it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy#Countries [wikipedia.org] The Christian churches have been and would be the same when and where they can get away with it.

The problem is that in the US, today, only the Church of Scientology seems to be getting away with this kind of abuse of its former members just for leaving the church, so it is appropriate to expose and criticize it.

Scientology is a cult (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203378)

It's too bad Slashdot made the (difficult) decision to remove that comment, but at least they went down with guns blazing and provided lots of links to places the content could still be found.

It's always been a mystery to me how an organization that is so clearly a cult managed to get status in the United States as a legitimate religion. I'm willing to argue 'til the cows come home that all religions are cults, but there's another degree of crazy the Branch Davidians, the Peoples' Temple, the Scientologists and others of that ilk have managed to achieve.

A pox on the lot of 'em.

Re:Scientology is a cult (1, Flamebait)

glwtta (532858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203490)

It's always been a mystery to me how an organization that is so clearly a cult managed to get status in the United States as a legitimate religion.

Can you provide a workable definition of both 'cult' and 'legitimate religion' that allows to differentiate between the two?

Hell, to a lot of people the Branch Davidians are a perfectly legitimate church that was unlawfully attacked, and its members murdered, by the US government. Once we accept that "legitimate religions" get a pass on pretty much anything, it become quite hard to figure out where to draw the line (legally, at least).

Re:Scientology is a cult (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203600)

The most dangerous idea known to man is "The end justifies any means." All cults tend to believe this is true. Most "legitimate religions" tend to frown on using unethical means to achieve their end. For example, the organization Lifespring used to tell adherents that it was okay to lie to people to get them to attend the recruitment events -- that makes them a cult.

Re:Scientology is a cult (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203616)

I think I pretty much covered that in the "level of crazy" sentence. My personal belief is close to what you said...that there's not much to choose between organized groups of people who get together periodically to engage in the exercise of self-delusion.

Re:Scientology is a cult (4, Interesting)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203704)

It's always been a mystery to me how an organization that is so clearly a cult managed to get status in the United States as a legitimate religion.

I've always wondered how people can use the phrase "legitimate religion" with a straight face.

Too Bad... (5, Funny)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203458)

You know, it's too bad that the average, God fearing, America loving, violence glorifying redneck didn't care enough about nuance to pay attention to the Church of Scientology. It would be fun to see the Church of Scientology try to play one of its smear campaigns/depowering operations against a group like the Westboro Baptist church. The ensuing holy war would be a thing of song and poem. Hell, they could probably make an MMO out of it.

Re:Too Bad... (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203582)

Throw in the Muslims for added entertainment. Just be sure to stand back after lighting that match.

Re:Too Bad... (1)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203728)

DIgiShaman, are you claiming that ALL Muslims are akin to Westboro Baptist Church and Scientologists?

Re:Too Bad... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203746)

That'll be the expansion pack: Holy Wars: Songs of the Jihad.

"CULT" is just hate speech (3, Insightful)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203480)

Here is the definition of a cult according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
  1. 1: formal religious veneration : worship
  2. 2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
  3. 3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
  4. 4: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
    • 5a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
    • 5b: the object of such devotion
    • 5c: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

Note that all of the above could easily apply to first-century Christianity; indeed it is difficult to think of *any* definition for a cult that wouldn't (and yes I'm well aware there is an abundance of /. users who don't particularly care for Christianity, or any other religion). Here is the definition of a cult as people really use it: "A religion I don't like" I don't personally have any warm fuzzies about scientology, but to label it "a cult" doesn't describe anything substantive about the organisation except your opinion of it.

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (1, Troll)

slshwtw (1903272) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203500)

OK, obviously my first time using HTML list tags in slashdot. When I previewed the submission there was no auto-numbering, hence the repetition above. I guess I should have known better than to think the preview would actually render accurately.

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203674)

I think most people that distinguish between cults and religions actually use "cult" to mean a worship group that seems to have a negative impact on the members lives.

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203756)

I happened to be taking a course called "Sociology of Religion" at the time the Jonestown mass suicide/murder occurred. The professor of that course gave a pretty good working definition of cult vs. established religion. Basically, a cult gains a majority of it's adherents through conversion, while an established religion gains most of its followers through childbirth and parenting in a family of followers.

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (1)

zhilla2 (1586095) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203838)

To call scientology a cult is OK, if you consider (as I do) all major religions "supercults". And yes, IMHO no difference except for size and date of founding.

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203852)

Scientology isn't a religion.

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203872)

Actually, people use 'cult' to refer to a religion that, in addition to #3 above, uses unlawful/immoral/unethical/violent means of supressing dissent. Yes, Christianity was very much a cult at its start. It has grown up (arguable point). Scientology has not, as is very apparent to anyone who pays the slightest bit of attention.

There are two additional definitions you didn't list
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

Its almost as if the meaning of a word changes over time. I'm pretty sure this is the first time that's happened. Yep...

"The views expressed here are mine and do not reflect the official opinion of my employer or the organization through which the Internet was accessed."

Re:"CULT" is just hate speech (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35203878)

Yes and no. There is such a thing as a dangerous cult, and there's also such a thing as a totally harmless new and/or tiny religious group. Many researchers have done work on how to tell the difference, and created tools like this questionnaire [neopagan.net] to tell the difference (Disclaimer: The author of that questionnaire, the late Isaac Bonewits, was a close friend of many people I'm acquainted with). And yes, the official Church of Scientology rates very badly in nearly all of those measurements.

Scientology is a good thing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203492)

It distracts people from other dangerous things like the government and religion like Christianity.

Caldera per seat licensing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203518)

Why did Scientologist force a comment about Caldera per seat licensing off of slashdot?

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=274&sid=01&tid=88

Giggle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203538)

Simultaneously, the planted charges erupted. Atomic blasts ballooned from the craters of Loa, Vesuvius, Shasta, Washington, Fujiyama, Etna, and many, many others. Arching higher and higher, up and outwards, towering clouds mushroomed, shot through with flashes of flame, waste and fission. Great winds raced tumultuously across the face of Earth, spreading tales of destruction...

Attention all Scientologists! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203566)

For sale:

Ocean front Condo in Oklahoma.

12 Story Building

400 units

Built in 2002 and being forclosed on! Only $4,200!
Please call 555-555-5555 for more info!

DCMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203576)

"Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious...It is corrupt sinister and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard... It is sinister because it indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestionly and to those who criticize it or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people and to indoctrinate and brainwash them so they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living, and relationships with others."
--Justice Latey, ruling in the High Court of London

Once and for all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203612)

Scientology is NOT a church. Never was, never will be. It's a twisted parody and abomination.
Outside the US it is hardly recognised by anyone else. It's not even a cult. It's a greedy cooperation disguised as whatever it takes to get a new victim. A company that sells lies and extorts it's customers.

action needed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35203786)

Joking aside there is a desperate need for action to quell and dramatically weaken the hold of Scientology on the world it is right up there with the Muslims and needs to be taught a lesson

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