From Vancouver Anonymous Protest Planning & Information Wiki - Vanonymous
Adapted from Wikipedia:
The Church of Scientology (CoS) is the largest organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of Scientology. Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices initially created by American science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard. The CoS is a hierarchical organization founded by Hubbard. Hubbard developed Scientology teachings in 1952 as a successor to his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. Scientology organizations independent of the Church of Scientology are referred to as Free Zone organizations.
Scientology and the organizations that promote it have remained highly controversial since their inception. Journalists, courts and the governing bodies of several countries have stated that the Church of Scientology is a cult and an unscrupulous commercial enterprise that harasses its critics and abuses the trust of its members.
A Brief Introduction to Scientology
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (L. Ron Hubbard), author of Dianetics and founder of the Church of Scientology (CoS), has been quoted for saying — among many other things — the following:
- “Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." — Reader’s Digest reprint, May 1980, p.1
A science fiction writer throughout the 1940s, L Ron Hubbard sought to find other means to create for himself a fortune, other then the “penny per word" writing he was currently doing. With some collaboration from various sources, Dianetics - a form of psychotherapy - was created. Ironically, this was first published in an article written by Hubbard in a magazine known as Astounding Science Fiction. Soon after Hubbard was to open the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in America and release the book, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
As a successor to Dianetics, Hubbard bought forward the concept of Scientology. Hubbard later pushed Scientology as an “applied religious philosophy" and the basis for a new religion. The practice and promotion of the Scientology belief system is organized via the Church of Scientology, the first church of which was founded in 1953. Despite the death of its founder in 1986, the organization continues to survive and now has a successor, David Miscavige. The organization continues to thrive, and most notably has a firm foothold in the Hollywood circles with many well known celebrities not just joining the organization but also actively pushing their ethics onto the media, work colleagues and even their wives.
The CoS has been repeatedly in and out of the public eye & media spotlight. From the near borderline claims from L Ron Hubbard as to what Dianetics and Scientology is capable of helping people with (curing Leukemia for example) to tax fraud & murder investigations.
Most notorious, and perhaps most publically known, is the organization's tendency to silence its critics through harassment and a policy of “don’t ever defend, always attack". This concept, along with its Fair Game policy is quickly gaining notoriety through different mediums, most notably of course, the Internet.
How Scientology Differs From Other Religions
Scientology treats its doctrine as a corporate asset, rather than as the property of a community
Faith and spirituality are open-source. The core doctrines of any respectable faith can be acquired from the community of practice at either no charge, or at very near the cost of publication. While supplemental literature and the like is often sold by members of that community in a profitable fashion, the core doctrines and texts are made as available as possible. Scientology does not treat its core doctrines in such a fashion; it sues and issues take-down notices to those that openly share it’s central belief system.
Scientology actively conceals doctrine and beliefs
Many of the core beliefs of Scientology are not available until after progressing within the organization, investing capital, and otherwise changing one’s life. Which places an unfair and unwarranted pressure on the membership - those who do not choose to believe the doctrine after it is revealed will unravel the life that they have invested in the organization. This is not true of healthy communities of faith; while you may not know everything “going in”, the concealment is not active; if you ask, you will be told
Scientology isolates members
Scientologists are isolated from society informationally (they are not to read certain books and websites; a net-nanny software is often used to further this isolation), linguistically (scientology is loaded with words altered from common use, making communication difficult), socially (through 'disconnection', the practice of breaking relations with anyone in their lives that criticizes Scientology itself), and sometimes physically (through varied means including closed camps and the “sea org”)
- Video Reference: Jenna Miscavige, the niece of David Miscavige, discusses isolation and disconnection.
Scientology indoctrinates members
At each and every level of scientology, a member is promised specific benefits. In order to obtain those benefits, however, the member must take part in regular activities, express themself in specific ways, and must be able to pass what amounts to a cheap lie detector test while showing that they are doing so. There’s no option to stand up during the hymns and mumble “rhubarb, rhubarb” in order to fit in; if you can’t twist your mind into imagining ridiculous and contradictory situations (breaking down your viewpoint of what is and is not real), without showing tension on the E-meter, you cannot progress.
Scientology exploits the faith of members for profit
Above and beyond charging for knowledge of doctrine, Scientology also charges ridiculously high prices for simple electronics (the e-meter), offers actual commissions for introducing new converts (leading to many cries of “pyramid scheme!”), and charges for the basic and most common practice of the faith - the action of auditing. These charges are not negotiable; they are “fixed donations” which are required. You try telling a Muslim that he needs a special $500 compass to point the direction he should face for prayer, or proposing to the Catholic Church that they should install “holy water dispensers” at the door, at a dollar a shot. See how far you get.
Scientology creates a false internal image of charitable action
Hearing Tom Cruise say that when a Scientologist sees a car accident, “you’re the only one that can really help”, is merely the tip of the iceberg. Scientologists are trained to respond to disasters and crises by using them as centers for recruitment. They are further trained to honestly believe that this IS a way of helping, which means that opposition on this point paints the person in opposition as ignorant in the mind of the Scientologist. This differs from other communities of faith significantly - while you might need to listen to a sermon to get your soup at a fundamentalist soup kitchen, at least the soup is real.
Scientology aggressively suppresses criticism
Even in the general press, Scientology is described as “Famously litigious”. Anyone that takes the time to look further will discover numerous examples of “fair game”, an express policy of actively seeking to not only silence critics, but ruin their lives. L.Ron Hubbard described legal practices as a useful way of bludgeoning critics into silence. Amending doctrine within Scientology is considered “squirreling” - a major offense. In short, the organization is hostile to criticism of any sort, for any reason at all, to a degree that is not considered acceptable in any other community of faith.
- Reference: A list of scanned Cease-and-Desist letters issued by the Church of Scientology
- Video Reference: David Miscavige “clearing things up” on Nightline, in 1992
Scientology actively and covertly lobbies and pressures for gain
The CCHR lobbies to disrupt psychological practice on behalf of Scientology; Narconon preaches drug rehabilitation on their behalf; WISE promotes their version of business management. Scientology won a tax-exempt status that is better than that of other faiths by harassing the IRS in court for over ten years. The overall organization of Scientology works under so many names and towards so many purposes, and so many of them plainly for gain, that exposure to it often causes the reaction of “This is too strange. It’s like a B-movie conspiracy brought into reality”. And in many ways, this is one of their significant defenses - it’s just so very mind-boggling, and the reporting so tinfoil-hat sounding, that it seems unbelievable. Yet it remains true.
- Video Reference: David Miscavige, addressing their 2007 summit regarding “efforts to stop psychiatry.”
- Video Reference: A CCHR anti-psychiatry ad, themed around “school shootings.”
Scientology actively promotes incorrect and dangerous medical and psychological practices
Scientology teaches that by reaching sufficient levels within their practice, and by “making your own reality”, a member can overcome illness by will alone. It teaches that mental instabilities caused by chemical imbalance, and illness, should generally be treated with vitamins and auditing rather than medication - including, in several cases, schizophrenia and cancer. People die as a result of following these teachings - and, as icing on the cake, remember that last point; Scientology lobbies to ruin the reputations and practices of those that would prescribe such medications and offer clinically tested and peer-reviewed treatments.
Scientology commonly abuses the private and personal trust of members
The practice of “auditing” can be likened to the confessional or the psychiatric couch in so far as it is a place where members share personal experiences, often intensely private and painful ones, in order to alleviate problems (granted, methodology of “how the relief comes” are radically different). However, unlike psychiatry and the confessional, the controls on this information are neither strict nor scrupulous. For a priest to break the seal of the confessional is a shocking and horrible thing from a Catholic viewpoint. For a psychiatrist to blather about patients by name, is worthy of a lawsuit. No such controls exist on the Scientology practice; “peeking” at the file of someone below you is fairly common.
What Scientologists actually believe
If you're here, you've probably already seen the South Park segment on Xenu. The leader of the church, David Miscavige, has said on record that Xenu is just a minor detail of Scientology's upper levels. The sad part is that he's right.
There is way too much wackiness to sum up but briefly, Scientologists believe that everything that bothers them is caused by brainwashed "thetans" (immortal thought-beings) that inhabit their bodies. They de-program these thetans by "auditing" them with a half-assed lie detector called an e-meter. Thetans can have memories that extend into past lives, future lives, current lives, animals, plants, inanimate objects, intangibles, etc. The ultimate theological goal of the Church of Scientology is to audit the universe out of existence so that thetans can create a new and better one (i.e. Tom Cruise's "improved conditions"). This goal apparently requires a lot of money: $360,000 if you have the discount plan and don't screw up along the way.
Steve Fishman's deposition covers the whole nutty theology in 7 half-hour segments. It was the Fishman case that first revealed the content of Scientology's upper levels to the public. He's much better now. See our page on the Secret Teachings of Scientology for a summary of this.
Because Scientologists believe that they have this huge task before them, they aren't about to let non-Scientologist ideas of right and wrong get in their way. What the good Anon should see is a chilling YTMND established just for this. http://theunfunnytruth.ytmnd.com/ That's an example of their tactics and the fucked up shit we are dealing with. That is not a funny YTMND, that is a factual one.
Scientology front groups
There are many independently-chartered organizations and groups which are staffed by Scientologists, and pay license fees for the use of Scientology technology and trademarks under the control of Scientology management. In some cases, these organizations do not publicize their affiliation with Scientology. These are in reality front groups and centres for recruitment for the Church of Scientology.
- See our page on Scientology front groups for more details.
The Secret Life of L. Ron Hubbard
Channel 4, of the UK, produced a biography about L. Ron Hubbard.
Google video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3020827931130963516
How Scientologists fight
$cientology is well known for pulling out all the stops when attacking those who criticize it, using defamation, character assassination, harassment, threats, and physical violence. These are just a few of the methods they use in retribution against so-called "SPs":
$cientology is rich; really rich. They have greater resources than some countries, due to having stolen every last penny from thousands of rank and file members. They also sell books, courses and auditing sessions all at outrageous prices. Many of these things are not claimed as profitable sales in required countries such as Canada. The rich celebrities in their ranks get a free ride because they're seen as free publicity which draws in more interest into the cult. Celebrities in Scientology will experience a very different Scientology than the average person as they are exposed to the public on a regular basis unlike the average Scientologist. They attack all their critics and targets with threats, lawsuits, private investigators, harassment, physical violence, and even death.
According to L. Ron Hubbard, enemies of Scientology are considered "Fair Game"—meaning that they "may be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." They declare some targets, usually ex-Scios, "Fair Game", meaning all Scientologists are on a giant manhunt to find and kill them, regardless of the laws of any nation. Basically, a big "Fuck you" to every international Partyvan, and get down with the international paintball game that ends with your life.
Originally written in October 1967, Hubbard later sent out memos ending the practice of declaring enemies "Fair Game", citing that it would bring "bad PR"; Scientology's management currently denies that "Fair Game" policy is in use in any way. However, in Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California, Scientology asserted that "Fair Game" was a "core practice of Scientology", and therefore protected as "religious expression".
They're very well-trained in the art of intimidation, coercion and manipulation. Even fresh recruits are trained continuously to break unwritten social rules. Most normal humans who are adjusted to a polite, relatively sane society are going to have a very tough time going up against these predators. That is why we are perfect for this.
Harassment (and one solution)
"Years ago in the 70's - don't know if they still do this, after attending a meeting at their Boston center at the request of an acquaintance, I decided this phoney group was not for me and decided to never go back. Turns out they wanted my money, my brain and my soul. Representatives called me several times a day, every day for months, disturbing family meals and my siblings, who were doing their homework, projects or watching TV. The evil Scientologists called at all hours, too. I thought I would go nuts with all their calls, until I devised a plan to stop them. I went inside the Boston center, screaming at the top of my lungs and warning all their visitors to leave immediately and not to give out personal information. I warned their visitors that they were frauds and couldn't help them with anything. I demanded they refund the 'donation' they asked for and got at my initial visit. They refused, so I threatened to stand outside their building everyday with signs and that I would warn off all visitors until they refunded my money and stopped calling me. The Scientologist trying to stop my screaming finally reached into his own pocket and gave me my money back. He was shaken to his core. They never called me again. I can be very loud. Good luck with your fight."
How to fight Scientology
Join us in our global fight against the Church of Scientology:
Knowledge is power. Arm yourself.
Learn about the abuses of $cientology and talk about it with family and friends:
- Scientology Crimes in Canada (Crimes committed in Canada by the Church of Scientology)
- http://www.xenu.net - Operation Clambake - Undressing The Church Of Scientology Since 1996
- http://enturbulation.org/ - A Source of Information on Dianetics and the Scientology Organization
- http://xenutv.com/ - Wise Beard Man. His Words Are Wise. His Face Is Beard.
- http://www.lermanet.com/ - Exposing The Church
- http://YouFoundtheCard.com/ - Basic information and criticism of Scientology
Spread the word.
- Post or distribute our flyer and other literature. Create your own flyer!
- OPERATION: You Found The Card (Excellent recruitment idea already being used by many cities)
- Join our protests!
- Anonymous Lobby Against Scientology campaign: (ALAS) Campaign to have Co$'s tax-exempt status revoked in the US.
Wikipedia has a series of good basic articles about Scientology:
- Scientology, it's beliefs and practices
- The Church of Scientology organization
- Scientology controversies
- Scientology as a business
- A Background on Scientology and their history with the Internet
- CoS vs The Internet
- CoS Fair Game Policy
- Operation Snow White
- Operation Freakout
- Lisa McPherson
- The CoS Party Van