I live in Clearwater, FL and Scientology owns half the Clearwater downtown. Well you know me, I can’t just NOT talk to them no matter how ridiculous their religion is. I watched a few documentaries about them and how they treat their employees. Basically is totalitarianism. They are a cult, at least to me they are. If I was to revoke religious right from a religious group for being an illegitimate religion it would be them. Let’s get into some of the trouble I got myself into.
The first time I went to talk to them, I’ve noticed they are all closed in. The employees that is. I guarantee you, I just don’t have proof for that guarantee, that they tell all their employee not to talk to strangers – “OK little Johny, don’t talk to strangers and don’t listen to their common sense”. Literally, I would stand there and intentionally say “Hi” to passing Scientologists and majority of them would not even budge, even if I come up and invade their personal space. Are they like robots? I can understand a teenager not acknowledging because they are busy with taking selfies or looking for the next viral video but these are fully mature people we are talking about. In their defense, from watching some documentaries, they are just scared that they are being watched. Sounds similar to a few movies I watched about secret societies. The main character would get involved with a secret society in some way and then discovers their evil plot to destroy the world and eventually is being watched anywhere he goes. They must be waiting for someone to walk in and rescue them from the evil Doctor X. Hopefully, Christianity can be that salvation for them.
I was able to talk to a few common folk that pay for all the nice buildings they have. The few members that I ran into could not explain their own religion. I am convinced that most people are there not for religious enlightenment but to get some psychotherapy. I asked the members how they benefited from Scientology and their response dealt with behavioral issues such as lack or focus in life, anger issues, lack of self-control and so on. The few employees that did acknowledge me pointing me to the information center. So you see, they are forbidden to talk about their faith.
I went to the information center a couple of times and talked to a few people there. What can I say, not much enlightenment from them. None was really expected. It all ended with “You just have to read the book to understand it”. They could not grasp the existence of underlining concepts or frameworks that dictate all religions hence one does not need to read their books if the person understands the framework of Scientology. For instance, before you read about Hinduism you don’t need to read Hindu ancient books to talk about how they perceive their God and the issues that come with it. So, where does Scientology fall in a religious framework? Scientology falls under religious pluralism, more in depth, they fall under unsophisticated religious pluralism. What does that mean? Here what that means: they grabbed all different religions and tried to confuse them together, you heard me right “confuse them”. For instance, they grabbed monotheism and mixed it with reincarnation. Reincarnation deals with pantheism (God is all), it was developed from that philosophical thought. Reincarnation has nothing to do, it is not even necessary and one would not come to any such conclusion when thinking about Monotheism. It’s a wild idea without a shred of evidence or rational. I am not even going into the idea why it does not work within Pantheism. To make a point they confused ideas. This is just one of them, they have more conflicts that I am not going to talk about in this article. Ron Hubbard was not trained in philosophy or religion hence why Scientology is so confusing. He confused the ideas without realizing that he was so far off base that every competent religion leader disagrees with him. This for you is Unsophisticated Religious Pluralism – people are misinformed about religions yet they try to confuse them together to sound smart. It’s a shame that people follow his confusing ideas, I feel like saying this, “Don’t be a Hubbard and go get some real education”.
When I am on the streets and talking to other unsophisticated religious pluralists, they do not have an issue with me clarifying religious views to them or presenting religious framework. Many of them appreciate that I have done that for them. They recognize that they were not trained in religion and are happy to talk to me about it. Most have questions and love to hear my answers. That does not mean they are going to turn to Christianity but at least religious confusion was removed and they were enlightened about the subject. Now, Scientologists have a reputation and a religion to protect. As soon as I challenge them a wall goes up. After they run out of options they point me to their books. Let’s clarify this, their books do not talk about the issues I or any other religious leader raise. A religious stronghold is over them and we need to pray and tell them the truth to set them free. I was able to convince the young men that God created everything but that’s because I did not tell him that it is contrary to his view of reincarnation. As soon as I tell them they are contradicting their other views, a wall goes up.
Here are a number of tactics they use to defend themselves. The primary defense tactic is “We all believe different things”. What do they mean by this statement?, God may be true to me as Christian but for an atheist, there is no God and yet somehow both of these statements are true in their opinion. It does not take me long to break that argument down. I appeal to the absolute knowledge in this world, such as mathematics, time, space and the basic logic, “if” “then” statements. It seems to me a lot of people make this mistake. Somehow people think that they have the right to twist the truth when it comes down to religion and philosophy yet in every other sphere of life it’s not acceptable. If you would work for any engineering or medical field you would be kicked out for making those type of claims. If someone would come up to me and in all seriousness state the following statement: “To you gravity is real and that’s your truth but in my view gravity does not exist”. I don’t think I would be working with that person for very long. Another tactic they like to use is to try to equate themselves to my intelligence instead of recognizing their faults or lack of intelligence. Here is the statement they make “We already talked about this, we are just going in circles about the subject”. In reality, it was me telling them why they were wrong and them going to the next point and me telling them why they are wrong again until they go back to the initial point hence they presume we are talking in circles. Reminds me of used car dealer. I can understand talking in circles when there is a legitimate response or an issue one would raise in response to my reasoning. Unfortunately, it was nothing like that, it was me telling them why they are wrong on each point. So much for going in circles tactic. This is my take on Scientology for now. Maybe I will have more breakthrough with them in the future days to come. But it was definitely an interesting experience and I hope I peaked their curiosity to seek the truth that is outside of Scientology, the truth that is richer and deeper in thought and not a soup of plagiarism and confusion.