I watched the BBC panorama documentary on Scientology, called “Scientology and Me” on youtube. I find the reposting of the work on youtube of dubious legality, but here are the links to three parts: 1, 2, 3. Use them while you can. Although, the sound on the second part wasn’t in sync for me, alas.
I don’t have much respect for John Sweeney. The report itself was rubbish. A brief summary is: find a few families that were broken apart, supposedly because of Scientology, talk to the critics, ambush believers with OT 3 texts about volcanoes, atomic weapons and Xenu, antagonize leaders with name calling, point out the out of mainstream beliefs and call it a report. Penn and Teller’s show “Bullshit” is a textbook for such tactics.
What was remarkable was how aggressively Scientology goes after its critics. I honestly don’t think Sweeney would have reported that the man who made the critical video of Scientology had a background in pornography if the Scientologists didn’t bring it up. Although, you could rest assured that if he found out such facts about a church leader or Hubbard, Sweeney would not hesitate to bring it up as often as Xenu, or calling their religion a “cult.”
I think the reason for the aggressiveness is merely survival. The religion can’t survive if believers don’t take it seriously. So, the response of church is to protect itself. If it doesn’t, then it would have fallen by the wayside long ago.
I don’t know much about Scientology, nor am I interested. I’m an atheist, so I find all religion silly to a certain extent, that is until it becomes deadly. I really can’t argue with the success scientologists have. Some practicing scientologists are famous actors and actresses who are more successful than I currently am, have made more money than I can I realistically hope to make, and seemingly leading healthy lives. Even the couple that gave 1 million dollars to the church had 1 million dollars to give! Scientology must be doing something right in their culture.
Scientology might be bad, but it has a long way to go to even come close to the absurdity of Christianity. As far as I know, Scientology hasn’t had a crusade, an inquisition or a witch burning yet. So, wake me up when Scientology has murdered 1/1000th the amount of people Islam, Judaism or Christianity has. Given those totals go higher ever year, I doubt Scientology will ever come close.
So, to John Sweeney who profoundly stated, “Scientology… the religion that doesn’t like to be called a cult,” I would like to offer a counter-statement “John Sweeney… a man that doesn’t like to be called a journalistic hack.” Did you see what I did there John? It isn’t so hard is it, maybe I could do your job? To all religious critics of scientology, Xenu sounds just as implausible to me as rib-woman, zombie Jesus and your invisible sky wizard. Check your own superstitions before you start mocking others.