Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Scientology: Inside the Cult

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Speaking of Mormonism and other cults .. erm, religions .. I thought I’d give you a peek at Scientology. In this television report, hidden cameras go inside the London Scientology Organization to expose their inner workings. It seems that even the Mormons could learn a few mind-control techniques from the Scientologists.


I find it really depressing to think that one Scientology survivor exchanged one form of mind control for another: after he escaped Scientology, he then became a Christian.

Comments

  1. #1 Tracy Hall Jr
    March 7, 2010

    Dear GrrlScientist,

    I would like to send you an excellent treatise that illustrates how science and religion can coexist in peace, and even with synergy, within the same great mind. Please send me your mailing address, and I’ll have Amazon.com ship it to you directly: “Faith of a Scientist,” by the late eminent chemist – and faithful Latter-day Saint — Henry Eyring.
    Hthalljr’gmail’com

  2. #2 Russell
    March 7, 2010

    Tracy, let’s take it as a given that “science and religion can coexist in peace, and even with synergy, within the same great mind.” What do you think that then shows?

  3. #3 MikeMa
    March 7, 2010

    The need to belong is strong in many people. So strong that it makes jumping from one cult to another almost inevitable.

  4. #4 Phillip IV
    March 7, 2010

    It seems that even the Mormons could learn a few mind-control techniques from the Scientologists.

    Hard to beat the Scientologists at that. I think the main difference between Scientology and other cults is that Scientology, by all appearances, was conceived as a cult from the very beginning – the ‘typical’ cult grows out of a religious scam working better than anticipated, and that growth is thus often rather erratic. Plus, Scientology is a relatively new cult, so they don’t yet suffer from a church leadership actually believing in their teachings.

    Still, they seem to have a pretty high attrition rate by now, as high or even higher than the Mormon Church. It’s the Internet – cults work best when they can effectively control communications and information flow for their followers, and the Net makes that more and more difficult.

  5. #5 FekketCantenel
    March 7, 2010

    “I find it really depressing to think that one Scientology survivor exchanged one form of mind control for another: after he escaped Scientology, he then because a Christian.”

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone go, in one sentence, from somewhat intelligent and reasonable (other than the references to Mormonism as a ‘cult’) to immature and trolling.

  6. #6 Karen Friesecke
    March 7, 2010

    For someone that prays no to God, all I have to say is “stupid is as stupid does” Starting your own religion is nice work if you can get it!

    Pretty great video, too bad that they didn’t touch on the celebrity recruitment that goes on in the US

  7. #7 Piper Jackson
    March 7, 2010

    Moral relativism goes only so far before it becomes foolishness. There is no comparison between an ancient religion such as Christianity that has been reformed over 2000 years and a 50 year old cult created by a science fiction writer who said “the way to make a million is to create a religion.”

    Notably, the COS offers to make you a god in your lifetime, at great financial expense. In contrast, Christianity and Islam, for example, ask for you to live a virtuous life to receive rewards in the after-life.

    Among many other things, it’s the promise of super powers in this lifetime in exchange for money that helps to separate a cult from a religion. This is simply permutations of old frauds. “You are possessed by demons, give me your money and you will be cured. You can also have super powers if you give me even more money.”

    Also indicative of the cult aspect is the secreting of the allegedly sacred texts until payment for them on progressively higher levels.

    Assuming you wanted to play a bait and switch from self help group to whacked out outer-space cult, that’s exactly how you would do it. How many churches charge $400,000 for the bible? This is not a tithe. This is demanded for the actual scripture and to obtain alleged enlightenment of the higher levels (and greater super powers of course).

  8. #8 Phillip IV
    March 7, 2010

    There is no comparison between an ancient religion such as Christianity that has been reformed over 2000 years and a 50 year old cult

    Just wait 1950 years and you won’t be able to tell any difference.

  9. #9 DDolan
    March 7, 2010

    I think that you should stick with the birds, unless you like offending a large number of your readers.

  10. #10 Not the crazy one
    March 7, 2010

    @ DDolan
    Lolwut?

  11. #11 THE RONBOT HUNTER
    March 7, 2010

    The majority of people have this accepted fact in common.

    That #cientology is dying and won’t take over the world.

    And won’t fulfill their desires to kill family values.

    But we ex-scientologists won’t give up, until each RONBOT IS saved or dead.

    SCIENTOLOGY KILLS EVEN ITS OWN PEOPLE.

    THE RONBOT HUNTER
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  12. #12 Russell
    March 7, 2010

    “Look, look, they charge beforehand, rather than teaching their followers to tithe! What more proof could you want that their teaching is false?” When the religious go to argue how their own religion is so much better than that other fellow’s, it becomes impossible to parody them. And also useless to point out how silly their arguments are.

    Sigh.

  13. #13 Mary McConnell
    March 7, 2010

    Great video but your opinions on the other unrelated religions was really was tacky.

    Becoming a christian is not like becoming a scientologist or a mormon. A christian by esssential definition is just someone who believes in Jesus Christ as the messiah expressed in the old testament. There are Catholic Christians and then there are Protestant Christians, the latter being the composite name for anyone who is not a Catholic christian. In that category you have hundreds of different denominations, named and unnamed, and each is a choice. A christian is not required to go to church or following any particular rules of a church unless they decide to and they have the freedom to come and go as they personally see fit. A Mormon is a specialized group who believe in much of the bible but also idolize and follow the teachings of the creator of the group, Smith.

    A scientologist by defination at this time, is one who is a member of that organization and must follow the cult rules and teachings. There are many people quiting Scientology recently but some are still calling themselves scientologists or independents. These people still practicing but without the church sanctioning. Many wil do this as they learn the truth on the internet while they are trying to learn to think for themselves uninfluenced by years of indoctrination.

    The defectors leaving Scientology who still embrace it’s tenents may well grow into another group but at this time, there is a garden variety of ex members and there is no agreement on what an independent scientologist really is. In my book, one is or isn’t a scientologist, preferably the latter. lol. But recovery takes time.

    To bad you didn’t just post this excellent expose video with minimal opinion instead of diverting the topic onto subjects that have noting to do with this dangerous cult. I think the commenter who said ‘maybe you should just stick with the birds’ may have a point because of this. Yes, anyone in a cult like organization can learn from this video. Not just the Mormons you mentioned.

  14. #14 megan
    March 7, 2010

    Scientology=modern whack cult. Mormonism=older whack cult, major world religions=ancient whack cults. All based on unverified faith and someone else promise of telling the truth, “for sure and for twue”.

    Telling the blogger to not comment their opinions on topics as their right as blog owner….Doth protest too much. Make your own blog.

  15. #15 John
    March 7, 2010

    So what evidence of Mind Control do you have for Mormons?

    I’d like to know. I am one. Please tell me since you’re clearly an expert and scientifically minded, and presumably a rigorous and analytical thinker.

  16. #16 Russell
    March 7, 2010

    I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry.

  17. #17 peter
    March 7, 2010

    Yeah, what are you talking about GrrlScientist Scientology is crazy, Mormonism is slightly less so, and worshipping the zombie son of carpenter born 2000 years ago is perfectly rational.

    When judging how crazy or rational a belief is the primary factors to be considered are 1) how many other people believe it 2) how long people have believed it. Those are the only two factors.

    Note, however, that you need both factors. The “how many other people believe” factor doesn’t work on it’s own. Hence, global warming isn’t real even though some surveys say most people believe it, because they’re only believed it since Al Gore’s movie.

    That’s enough waxing epistemological… I’m sure you get the point…