I'm Feeling Activist Today.

Postby T Campbell on Mon Mar 25, 2002 9:29 am

I like to think I'm a pretty levelheaded, evenhanded guy. It takes a lot to get me upset. So I hope you'll consider the following WORTH getting upset over.

This is a bit of stretch from the board's usual themes of science fiction and fandom. A bit of one, but not much of one... because as far as I'm concerned, it deals with the most perverse monster science fiction has ever produced.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... oogle_dc_2

For those who don't speak Linkese, the Church of Scientology came very, very close to destroying Google's objectivity. And it is taking daily actions to hobble any potential critics.

As a proponent of all things fannish, I can't help but feel a tiny bit responsible for this atrocity, committed on our separation of church and state by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

There are a number of money-sucking, soul-abusing cults in the United States and the world. None, however, are as skilled as scientology at censoring their criticism. This is what makes them dangerous.

It is difficult to be sure what all the facts on Scientology ARE, in fact, because reporters with credentials who try to report on them often find themselves hounded off the story or out of a job. This leaves the field to well-meaning amateurs. The reportage at Xenu.net, which is the best we have, leaves a lot to be desired.

What is certain, though, is that many have accused Scientology of brainwashing them, taking their money, and leaving them empty, and the "church's" response has been hush-hush tactics that would make Agent Jones blush.

This kind of thing almost makes me want to dig SEARCH out of mothballs.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: T Campbell on 2002-03-25 09:30 ]</font>
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Postby Wish on Mon Mar 25, 2002 10:07 am

I am constantly hearing rumbling about the Church of Scientology. Does anyone else on the board know something about this topic? I hear rumors of amature doctors performing major sugery on members, brainwashing, all that kind of stuff.

One of the things I've heard more than once is that the entire Church of Scientology was nothing more than a bar bet between L. Ron Hubbard and another science fiction writer about who could create a lasting religion out of pure bull hockey.

Anyone heard anything about this?

In regard to the censorship... is there someone we can write to? Something we can do?

-Wish
By the power of Heekilabunakitimah!
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Postby Bevan on Mon Mar 25, 2002 10:25 am

Yeah, I think the story was that Frank Hubert and L. Ron Hubbard were fishing, and Hubert made a bet on who would create the greatest religion.

Hubert made Dune, and Hubbard took the bet a little more literally and made Scientology. I'm unsure about the truth of the story, though.

Frankly, though religions are one of my big passions, Scientology is one of the few religions that I have NO interest in or respect for.
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Postby Nullset on Mon Mar 25, 2002 11:03 am

I can't even think of how to propperly address this. The whole thing devolves down to a DMCA issue, which the courts consistantly uphold, despite its inheirent wrongs. It denies the right to link to any information that is copyrighted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. I guess that holds true for journalists, news agencies, and web indexes as well, even if the latter really isn't actively doing the linking.

-------------------------------------

Spent some time thinking. There's no way I can imagine to bypass this as long as DMCA stands. The only possibilities turn web indexes into active agents of the thought police. Ugly and expensive. They'd be forced to close up shop in a matter of weeks.

--------------------------------------

As of right now, web indexes are illegal in the United States. Lovely. You may want to dust of SEARCH, T. It might be Exhibit A in the next DMCA trial.

Oh! Wait! They'd never _look_ at it! This is the country that thinks the comics industry is _evil_. And Hollywood is sweetness and light...

------------------------------------------

I think I'm going to take the rest of the day and cry.

Nullset out.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Nullset on 2002-03-25 11:04 ]</font>
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Postby J. on Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:09 pm

I stumbled across Operation Clambake (http://www.xenu.net) a year ago, when I harbored a faint distrust of Scientology and wanted to learn more about it. After examing the information the site offers, I've become a hardcore anti-Scientologist. The "Church" of Scientology is a horrible scam perpetuated for the sole purpose of expanding its base of worshippers and fleecing them for all they're worth. It is a sickening perversion of everything a true faith stands for. Frankly, it terrifies me that something like the CO$ could prosper. Unfortunately, their lawyers and skilled and ruthless.
Educate yourself about Scientology as soon as you can - Clambake is an excellent resource, but there are many others on the 'net (despite fervent assaults by the CO$ legal department). Don't be ignorant about this - it is very, very serious.
"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."
-- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
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Postby Czhorat on Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:10 pm

Nothing all THAT new here. Organizations have tried to beat copyright laws into shields against parody, satire, and critisism in general for as long as there've been copyright laws. Does anyone here remember Starbuck's lawsuit against Kieran Dwyer?

In any event, the page has been restored, so no real harm was done. In the long run, the Scientoligists are just making themselves look like they're afraid of critisism. That kind of defensiveness will, in many people's minds, add credibility to Scientology's detractors.

Oh, and Bevan... the guy who wrote Dune is Frank Herbert.
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Postby SteveB on Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:39 pm

The writer the bar bet was supposed to be with was actually Robert A. Heinlein, at least according to most sources. "Stranger in a Strange Land" eventually grew out of this. But even though "Stranger" came before "Dune," and did take Heinlein longer to write than anything up to that point, it's still far too late to have likely been born at the same time as "Dianetics." The story is almost certainly false.

However, Sam Moskowitz, one of the First Fandom folks, and one of the first historians of early fandom, told many, many people that Hubbard said at an early fan gathering that "if you really want to make a million dollars, the thing to do is start a religion," or words to that effect. This is quoted many places, giving differing locations and years. As far as I know, Moskowitz never put it in any of his written histories -- possibly fearful of Scientology retalition. As he's dead now, it's hard to establish the factual basis for this claim, but many people have quoted him as quoting Hubbard saying this.

One indisputable link between science fiction and Scientology: early versions of what eventually became "Dianetics" were serialized -- not as fiction, but as scientific essays -- in Astounding, the great Golden Age magazine edited by John W. Campbell. Campbell was also an early convert, buying into Hubbard's theories from the beginning, thereby essentially being a Scientologist before there was such a thing as Scientology.

Steve Bolhafner
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Postby J. on Mon Mar 25, 2002 12:44 pm

Here's the supposed quote:
http://www.xenu.net/roland-intro.html

No idea when it was originally made, but it's at least in print form.
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Postby SteveB on Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:04 pm

I got caught up in the Hubbard quote story and forgot my other point:

While it's true many powerful organizations have misused copyright law to silence critics, how many RELIGIONS have done so by claiming that their SCRIPTURES are protected?

They don't want anyone to know what it is they teach and believe. Unless you pay them to find out.

That doesn't sound like a religion to me.
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Postby Blondlot on Mon Mar 25, 2002 1:20 pm

"We know who you are and what you're trying to do."

http://home.snafu.de/tilman/prolinks/#cos_dudes

Poor page design but tons upon tons of info awaits you about specific scientologists and the assorted practices of their cult, if you're interested.

*thanking Ford he isn't nearly important enough, nor has engaged in enough sordid behavior, to be chased down and ruined by these, uh, individuals*

Ex animo,
matt de maat

Hubbard quote of the day-
"The problem with China is that there are too many chinks."

classy, Ron.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Blondlot on 2002-03-25 13:28 ]</font>
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Postby Hysteria on Mon Mar 25, 2002 2:36 pm

On 2002-03-25 13:04, SteveB wrote:
I got caught up in the Hubbard quote story and forgot my other point:

While it's true many powerful organizations have misused copyright law to silence critics, how many RELIGIONS have done so by claiming that their SCRIPTURES are protected?

They don't want anyone to know what it is they teach and believe. Unless you pay them to find out.

That doesn't sound like a religion to me.


This is true, but in the major religions' defense, you can get a copy of the Torah, Koran, or the Old and New Testament in any Barnes and Noble store. Heck, you can even get them on the internet! Yes, there are Bible Studies, and I presume there are the equivalent in Islam and Judaism, but those require time. The time I spend in a Bible study is about 1 hour a week, and it costs whatever I'm willing to pay for a lunch.

Scientologists, though, apparently feel that when you're ready to be told the truth (that your soul was originally an alien being exiled to earth by a galactic overlord), you need to pay about $8000 for this revelation.

By now, I think the difference should be rather noticable...

Chris
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Postby Manticoraus on Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:07 pm

Uhm forgive me.

But I am moved to utter confusion.

Outside of claiming Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Battlefield Earth

What is Scientology? Is this like the transhumanist movement or something. Is it out in california. How are they "dangerous."

I mean lets admit it people have said off key comments about the Taliban and those stuck with them here and other posters have rushed to corrected.

Why's everyone falling in line to say "They are the bad guys" :I
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Postby SteveB on Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:32 pm

Well, as someone who respects Freedom of Speech I would think just the chilling story T posted to start this whole thing would have given you some clue. They tried -- and temporarily succeeded! -- to make the most useful and popular search engine, theoretically an index of everything available on the World Wide Web, hide the existence of material that cricitized them, material that exists on computer servers in another country.

Even if they had up until this point been the very model of what a religion and/or not-for-profit organization should be, this would have to give me pause.

But it's not like this is the first time they have done something like this.

Are all the allegations by members who have "fallen away" about mind-control and thuggery true? Who knows? There are enough ex-Scientologists with horror stories to make one at least wonder about such things.

And this much is certain: they do not tolerate dissent or criticism. They have used lawsuits to bankrupt critics. The most egregious case was the Cult Awareness Network. Scientology sued them, bankrupted them -- and then bought their name at the asset sale! The Cult Awareness Network, which used to crusade against cults of all kinds, including Scientology, is now a "mediation" service that warns against "bigotry" on its front page.

So if your son or daughter is a member of a Cult, and you go here looking for help, because a friend or relative did so several years ago with great success, you're likely to find instead entreaties to accept the situation.

Even if you believe that advice is good, there is something very troubling about this outcome.

Scientology also preaches against traditional psychology and psychiatry and has set up a foundation that constantly publishes books and articles blasting these practices -- books and articles that do not appear to come from Scientology, and have no connection with them apparent to anyone who does not know the background of the foundation and the Scientology position on the issue.

They hide everything they can about themselves, even the very doctrines of their "faith" (except of course they claim it's not a "faith" but provable scientific truth; except it's a secret, so you can't test it unless you're one of them). They try to destroy anyone who criticizes them. Frankly, I don't care if they mistreat their members or not. The first two make them a dangerous cult, as far as I'm concerned.

Steve Bolhafner

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SteveB on 2002-03-25 15:35 ]</font>
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Postby Maccabee on Mon Mar 25, 2002 3:42 pm

"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."

L. Ron Hubbard, as quoted in Science Fictionisms (compiled by William Rotsler), page 99. No date for quote given in this source.

Everything by Hubbard I've read makes me mistrust and dislike the man. Also, both Heinlein and Asimov had less than complimentary things to say about Scientology. It takes a lot to get those two to agree, and when it happens I'm inclined to trust them unless presented with compelling evidence to the contrary.

Maccabee,
who doesn't trust self-proclaimed prophets

Except Karl Marx, of course.

Or was that Groucho Marx I trusted?
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Postby Manticoraus on Mon Mar 25, 2002 4:01 pm

(is reading Operation Clambake)

Uhm this is a joke this sounds like KAApplegates the Sharing front for the Yeerks only like minus the alien invasion...so far

Okay more like it as I read.

I know real-life brainwashing involves little actualy cerebral soap and Clockwork Orange Chair Complete With Eyedrops

This sounds like Sinhead O'Connor and her the Pope murderred my parents and controls the worlds best kiddie porn ring.

No offense but I hear this stuff about any religion practiced that isn't out of Asia and not known for being headed by guys wearing turbans. This sounds irrational and more like hearsay.

Again are you guys serious.

Okay I must fully admit I can't tell the difference between say a beginning religion and a cult (though I guess the still drinking milk when you should be eating meat is one measure to use but that comes from the bible so probably not the wisest) I mean how's this L Ron hubbard different from Martin Luther Or martin luther King Jr.
I guess the proof is in the pudding but I am questioning some of these claims they sound extreme...and farfetched. I mean blaming your poverty on overdonation to a church you willingly joined...sounds...odd. I know people can be swindled and manipulated in the name of charity. But again compare this to say the Red Cross 9-11 thing. What puts the COS in the realm of nearpulp fiction evil
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Postby Blondlot on Mon Mar 25, 2002 4:33 pm

I'm too lazy to write the small set of books that would be needed to fully describe the nasty core of Scientology and the silly outer shell, so instead I'm directing any interested parties to LMT's media archive. They have a LOT of stuff there to watch in horror. You'll be a "suppressive" by the end of the night!

http://www.lisatrust.net/Media/lmtvideos.htm

Look around the different sections. Feel the psychotic megalomania.

And this should seal the deal
http://www.ronthemusicmaker.org/listen.htm

Ex animo,
matt de maat

Hubbard quote for tomorrow,
"May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologists. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."*

*Ron sets down the terms of his "Fair Game" policy, concerning how to deal with enemies of Scientology. Supposedly the cult doesn't endorse this policy anymore, but the Foster report reveals that they just don't endorse it publicly, since it's "bad PR" to tell people you'll possibly go as far as murdering them if they don't agree with you.



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Blondlot on 2002-03-25 21:00 ]</font>
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Postby KingLeon on Mon Mar 25, 2002 5:10 pm

Blasting Scientology... Ah.
This Roman Catholic is taking a nice whiff of the barabacue and finds it smells just right.
Frankly, while I understand little of copyright law, the 9-11 thing is still horrible enough to hate 'em...

Wait... they really discredit psychology? Wow... They must want everyone to go back a hundred years in understanding others... Oh, right. Heh.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: KingLeon on 2002-03-25 17:17 ]</font>
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Postby My name is Kenny on Mon Mar 25, 2002 7:38 pm

This has nothing really to do with the subject, but I thought I'd say it anyway.

Actor John Travolta has demanded eight new Armani T-shirts a day to appear in his new movie - because he refuses to wear the same one twice. Travolta objects to washing clothes for religious reasons, so he had it written into his contract for new film Basic that he be supplied with the $350 black tops. Travolta is a devoted member of The Church Of Scientology, which frowns on the chemicals used in dry cleaning. But movie bosses, desperate to sign Travolta up as leading man for the film about army basic training, had little choice but agree to the $2,800-a-day demand. According to Britain's The Sun newspaper, a source close to the production says, "John wasn't happy wearing just any old shirts - he wanted to look right. He likes the designer Armani shirts and said he wanted to wear those. But the producers were amazed when he said he wanted eight a day." The source adds, "They don't come cheap and it adds up to quite a large sum per week. But John told them he wanted it included in his contract before he accepted the part in the movie." Travolta stars alongside fellow Pulp Fiction actor Samuel L. Jackson in the movie, shooting of which starts later this year.
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Postby T Campbell on Mon Mar 25, 2002 8:00 pm

Wish, I didn't mean to imply that the barbarians were at the gate. Yeah, what the Scientologists did this week was pretty scary to me before it was stopped-- but it WAS STOPPED. Things ARE being done, but the most important thing to do is spread awareness.

Manticoraus, as I said, the reportage on Scientology leaves a lot to be desired. (It doesn't help that a lot of the people writing about it let their passions get in the way of strict accuracy.) But the censorship is real. And the people who have come out of the cult and hurled accusations at them are real. The censorship alone would be suspicious; censorship mixed with the accusations is, I think, damning.
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Postby Wish on Mon Mar 25, 2002 8:08 pm

On 2002-03-25 20:00, T Campbell wrote:
Wish, I didn't mean to imply that the barbarians were at the gate.


Awww.. and I'd just baked a Truncheon Loaf. Now what am I going to do for kicks? :grin:

-Wish
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