So Scientology is clearly a cult..?

Okay, so the "Church" of Scientology is clearly a cult. If you hear any of the stories from people who have escaped it, (and from the details, "escaped" definitely seems like the way you leave), and I'm confused as to how it's allowed to be? Also, how exactly is it a church? Can you just call anything a church, as long as it has members and you believe things? It's accepted as a church and has tax-exempt charity status in many countries (not Ireland yet, and I certainly hope it doesn't, how can it be considered a charity when they suck money from people's pockets for themselves anyway?)

I understand how they get around rules, because they're clever about the things they do, and technically members *can* leave whenever they want and all that, except of course they'd cut you off from your family inside the church, you'd have no job and no skills if you'd been there years, etc. But what about the way they interrogate members, how it's all manipulation and control? How can't ex-members sue for psychological torment and stuff? Because it's not provable? Also, how have there not been people undercover to film the truth and show the world? Do members have to sign legal papers as they move up levels, and could actually get jail time for telling church secrets? I just don't get it! I know in the US and maybe other places, there are communes and things where iffy stuff goes on, but Scientology is spread everywhere and they messed with huge companies and the government and everything, how do they get away with it?

Basically I just love talking about how bat-**** insane the whole thing is, and I want to hear more crazy stories and the opinions of people out there, and people who have a genuine religion while this bunch of psychos calls themselves a church, I think that would annoy me if I were religious. So, let's have a big discussion about how crazy and insane it is :D

Update:

To Corey, yes, I do remember that, and while I see your point, it isn't the same. It is the influence of the church on the people that has stopped the legalisation of abortion here. Not the church directly. And there are plenty of non-religious, and non-Catholics who are also against abortion. The church didn't step in and stop it, it's the law here. Clearly there hasn't been enough pressure to change the law. But this is not the same as the scientologists, they hide their beliefs until people get drawn in by the good stuff and brainwashed into the rest. The Catholic church (lord almighty why I am I defending the goddamn catholic church, fml) is very open about its opinions. People join because they agree with its teachings. This isn't the same as what I was saying.

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  • 7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    The Church of Scientology is not-for-profit as confirmed by a 4-year audit by the IRS. No funds go to any individual, only social benefit programs. The person that said to create a religion to make money (what idiot didn't look beyond the requirement to be not-for-profit, anyway, before making that something L Ron Hubbard said?). The person who said that is George Orwell, in a Letter to Jack Common, which you'll find in his book "An Age Like This 1920-1940" It's on page 303. Google books even has a full copy on-line so you can see for yourself and maybe think twice about buying into the myths.

    An Age Like This, 1920-1940 by George Orwell.

    http://tinyurl.com/al65lee

  • Clive
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    I really can't add much to this, except to throw in the UK legal view. It used to be, under a law of 1601, that in the UK only an organisation that has public worship of one god counted as a religion and was therefore entitled to tax-exempt status as a charity. When the only known religions in the country were Christians and Jews, that was all fine and dandy. Scientology applied to be a charity, and the charity tribunal refused as it clearly doesn't qualify as a religion on that basis - basically, because it doesn't have worship services open to the public.

    Then the government decided to reform charity law and produce a modern definition of what should be a charity. Should religion and schools be automatically charitable? And Hinduism has more than one god but we clearly recognise it is a religion. Ditto Buddhism, which doesn't have a god at all. The Charity Commission had been tacitly ignoring the law for many years to allow non-monotheistic religions to be charities too. The Charities Bill was all very well but it ended up with Parliament debating the philosophical question of how do you define a religion. I remember the debate in the House of Lords, in which one Lord pointed out that there is no way of doing it without including Satanism as a legitimate religion. The Charities Act 2006 which resulted therefore doesn't define religion at all and basically just added "it must be for the public benefit" to the existing definition of what is charitable. The big fright about that was caused mostly to private schools - how are they "for the public benefit" when they charge high fees?

    But as the new law removes the requirement to have public worship to be a religion, a couple of scientologists have now won the right for a scientology wedding to be legal. Uh-oh, I can see it coming, sooner or later the "Church of Scientology" is going to get tax-exempt status just because it says it's a religion, regardless of the fact that as HC SVNT DRACONES says, it's not so much a religion as a pyramid selling scheme. Which is what L Ron Hubbard always admitted it is - a pseudo-religion to make money because there will always be gullible people who fall for it.

  • Fabio
    Lv 5
    7 years ago

    You live in a fantasy world if you believe that a "cult that does bad things to people" is allowed to operate in any country at all (especially United States). Do you even know how hard it is to obtain a religious status?? Well, I'll tell you.. it's really hard !! These stories that you hear about Scientology being this and that, are the same stories that you can find about any other group on the planet. It simply goes like this: some guy doesn't like the group, he wants to suppress the group, so he writes a book full of "everybody knows", "according to the story of a guy", "maybe", "some day"... and he write this book saying how everything about this group is bad is bad is bad... is bad is bad is bad.

    Now, lucky enough.. intelligent people would come to the realization that this guy simply has an agenda !! He is making generalized statements about hundred thousands of people !! They would realize that very fast, and they would go look by themselves.

    The real story is the one contained in the books of the religion.. and you would know that if you dared to look by yourself instead of hearing stories from other people.

    The aims of Scientology is a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights. People who oppose Scientology are opposing these goals all at once, knowingly or unknowingly.

  • Corey
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Did you have a question?

    "Can you just call anything a church, as long as it has members and you believe things?"

    Yes. It's not like being around for a long time makes other religions have more merit.

    "and people who have a genuine religion..."

    Being a cult doesn't make something not a genuine religion.

    "Scientology is spread everywhere and they messed with huge companies and the government and everything, how do they get away with it?"

    I'm guessing you're from Ireland from your reference to it. Remember that time the Catholic church killed Savita Halappanavar because their influence over Ireland kept her from getting medical care?

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  • 7 years ago

    Yes it is a cult, a scam, and a religion. It's a real religion for the same reason any religion is "real", they say it is.

    In most countries they don't get around the rules so much as they follow them.

  • 7 years ago

    Ex-Scientologists: http://www.forum.exscn.net/

    Operation Clambake: http://www.xenu.net/

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Scientology is just as provable as any other religion.

    I find that fact just totally awesome.

    Don’t you?

    Scientology… when Mormon isn’t quite dumb enough.

    ~

  • 7 years ago

    Well...it was a book.but L Ron Hubbard realized that making himself a God was much more profitible

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    It's actually less a cult and more a pyramid scheme.

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