Perhaps some of you saw the Panorama TV programme on BBC 2 on 28th September 2010. It was the second one by the same researcher, who presented the first one in 2007.
In 2007 he was abused systematically by the leaders of Scientology, and this was confirmed by its former head of external affairs, who also confirmed what Scientology was really like.
As the presenter moved to different locations, he was followed by car, and by cameramen with video cameras. This occurs all the time, especially when critics or ex-members are found. At other times he was photographed from rooms above floor level or from the pavement. At some points Scientology drones actually drove up, got out of their vehicle, and walked up to the presenter as he was talking to someone, pushing their professional-quality video cameras almost into their faces! It was amazing intrusion into privacy and was definite harassment. One vehicle even followed them to a man’s home and onto his driveway. The idea is to intimidate and cause fear or anxiety… a nasty bunch of bully-boys (All this is public knowledge).
There were also evidences of members or leaders spouting the most foul of language, with utter hatred. Scientology is known as the ‘religion of the stars’, who are just as mesmerized by the company (it is not a true religion but a commercial enterprise) as anyone else locked into its structure.
The programme showed how ordinary members were literally imprisoned in Scientology by its continuous brainwashing and invoking of fear they would lose their eternal place of safety “in this life and all those that follow”! Though this might sound religious, it is not. It is just yet another form of totalitarianship, in which families are divided and former members shunned and treated abysmally, driven to distraction.
What can we say about this cult (formally called a cult by a British judge, who also said it brainwashed its members)? Really, there is little we can say. Yes, we could research it a great deal, but it would be a waste of our time. As Christians we have a duty to warn people about false religions and Christian errors. Warnings about politicians and others only come about if we perceive them to be a threat to Christians.
But, we have no real brief to examine non-religions in this way, because they do not claim falsely to be Christian and have no real connection to Christians, who they could never persuade. And Scientology is definitely not a religion. It might have been in the mind of its founder L Ron Hubbard, who taught that aliens were involved (how foolish are some people to listen to such nonsense). But, from what I can see, Scientology is merely a hyped psychological super-plan. It is a type of self-betterment idea pushed to very effective boundaries, so that the ‘church’ can control its members.
Frankly, when I worked in a mental hospital I used some of the techniques now used by Scientology, such as discovering the ‘buttons’ to press so that I could control patients (I only did this if they were violent or anti-social). I also developed a way of fragmenting their thoughts, again so that I could manipulate their thinking. I stopped doing these things when I realised they were far too intrusive and gave me a power I should not have.
I am telling you this because Scientology has a huge exhibition that spits venom at psychiatry, because of its use of control. This amused me greatly, because psychiatry is only another form of psychology, and Scientology uses psychology in truck-loads. It is so obvious! It is okay to use their brand of manipulation, but not for psychiatry to use it.
I see shades of Roman Catholic confession in what Scientology does, and I also see the same control used, where people admit to everything secret about their lives, thus being given a sense of loyalty to those who record what they say to keep it secret! This is manipulation. What folly. Anyone who probes you to gain your secrets has vital control over you. I believe that this sense is behind the ‘trust’ shown by adherents towards Scientology, though it may not be verbalised.
The reason we cannot put much effort into researching Scientology is simply because it is not a true religion at all, but only a psychological manipulation group. If people wish to hand over their lives to a group that wants their money and obedience, it is up to them. I will only say that there are far better ways to have psychological peace… and any peace offered by such intrusive methods will never be final or fully successful. Only God can give such a lasting peace.
But, you might object, Scientology calls itself a ‘church’. Yes, but so do many others, including homosexual ‘churches’ who cannot possibly be churches in the Biblical sense. We should understand that ‘church’ does not just apply to those who are Christians. The word can be used to apply to people gathered for any purpose… and Scientology gathers for ‘any purpose’. That we believe their purpose is not legitimate is beside the point.
We can say that Scientology is NOT a religion and is NOT Christian. For this reason we cannot spend valuable time researching it much. As Christ said to the first apostles He called – let the dead take care of the dead! That is, unsaved people are followers of the devil, who is their spiritual ‘father’. Let them follow these dead and useless techniques. Our aim is to strengthen and look after those who are alive – Christians. We feel very sorry for people who get caught in Scientology, but that is the limit of our involvement.
Is it a ‘cult’? We usually use the word ‘cult’ in association with false Christian groups, such as Roman Catholic, Mormon, etc., but can it apply to Scientology? It cannot be called a religious cult, because it is not a religion. However, it can be called a ‘Personality Cult’, much as Nazism is a personality cult, or following a political leader, or even a pop star, because it manipulates people’s minds through mass media, propaganda and brainwashing.
There is a continual activity of making the cult appear to be good and kind, and this involves warning members not to read or listen to adverse comments, or to remain in contact with past members. It is, in much of its work, a reinforcer of the personality of its founder and its current leaders. So yes, it is a cult of sorts. But its main purpose is to ‘get under the skin’ of members using psychological techniques, so that they can be controlled. Many religions, such as Moonies, use this method, but Scientology is not a religion and must be regarded as an intrusive manipulation machine. Why does Scientology do it? We are told they are very rich. Enough said. Anyone who wishes to pour their hard-earned money down a drain are free to do so.
© 29 September 2010