"The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology" a review
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08-02-2013, 10:16 AM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2013 12:33 PM by LadyJane.)
"The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology" a review
Quote:Back in the day, the story goes, four science fiction writers - Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert and L Ron Hubbard - were hanging out late at night in 1940 in LA, drinking and putting the world to rights. They made a bet, who could dream up the best religion? Asimov explained in a TV interview in the 1980s that it was more of a dare than a true bet, and the goal was not a religion proper but ‘who can make the best religious story.’ The results were ‘Nightfall’ by Asimov, ‘Dune’ by Herbert, ‘Job’ by Heinlein and ‘Dianetics’ by Hubbard. If the first version of the story is true, Hubbard won the bet. They say L Ron also said: ‘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.’

Sweeney, John (2013-01-07). The Church of Fear: Inside
The Weird World of Scientology (Kindle Locations 1056-1062). Silvertail
Books. Kindle Edition.

The Church of Fear by John Sweeney Wrote:It is as if there is in the United States an eleventh commandment: "Thou shalt not criticize another man's religion." The danger is that in America they are so afraid of religious un-freedom that they fear to discriminate between a religion and a confidence trick.

I have been fascinated by cults for years, I used to spend hours on Wikipedia, reading all of the articles that they had on various cults, learning about the human rights abuses they were guilty of, but that they hadn't been punished for.

Scientology is one of the worst offenders.

I bought this book because I had seen the BBC Panorama documentaries that John Sweeney had done on Scientology (links to the documentaries can be found in the Resource Library). I was not disappointed, the book contains much more detail than the documentaries go into, many more interviews, and also a deconstruction of Scientology using Robert Lifton's book: "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China", going through the signs of brainwashing, and showing that Scientology is guilty of all of them.

Even knowing about some of the crazy things that Scientology does to 'protect' itself, reading this book made it all that much clearer. There are countless examples of people who have either left the church and are critical of it, or just critics in general, where the church will go to great lengths to besmirch them. Disagree with Scientology and are vocal about it? Well then, you are clearly a sexual pervert, a liar, criminally insane, a drug user etc. Scientology has it's own form of confession, called 'Auditing' you hold onto some cans attached to a galvanometer, that is claimed to be able to discern your thoughts. You are then asked a series of probing questions, your answers are recorded. Either in writing, or through recordings done by hidden cameras. The church claims it would never divulge the confidential information gathered during auditing sessions, but they have repeatedly broken this promise by using dirt, gathered under the premise of helping people, to tarnish the character of former members who have become outspoken critics.

Quote:‘all cults have a charismatic leader, who himself or herself increasingly becomes the object of worship, and in many cases, the dispenser of immortality. Spiritual ideas of a general kind give way to this deification of the leader.’ Secondly, in cults there is some kind of ‘thought reform’, popularly known as brainwashing. Thirdly, ‘there is a pattern of manipulation and exploitation from above, by leaders and ruling coteries, and idealism from below, on the part of supplicants and recruits.’

Sweeney, John (2013-01-07). The Church of Fear: Inside The Weird World of Scientology (Kindle Locations 393-397). Silvertail Books. Kindle Edition.

There are numerous reports that David Miscavige, the head of Scientology, is a violent man, who often strikes people who have displeased him. Nobody says anything at the time, but some of those who have come out of Scientology have disturbing accounts of violent behaviour from the top.

One of the most interesting things about this book, at least in my mind, is that two of Scientology's top people have left the organization. One still believes in Scientology, but not in the leadership of it as it is now. The other has just stepped down from his former position of power. One of those men is interviewed in this book, and hew discusses how at the time the documentaries were being made, he had lied extensively to John Sweeney, and that he now regrets doing so. He gives details about Scientology's creepy stalking of the BBC Panorama team, how they had followed them around the country, spying on them and reporting everything back to David Miscavige.

Quote:The critics say the next time Tom Cruise or John Travolta or Kirstie Alley pop up on the sofas of Jonathan Ross or Jeremy Clarkson or Oprah Winfrey they should ask three questions: ‘Why can disconnecting grannies from grandsons be good?’ 'Who is Lord Xenu?’ ‘What kind of Church hires private eyes?’ The answer is, of course, a Church of Fear.

Sweeney, John (2013-01-07). The Church of Fear: Inside The Weird World of Scientology (Kindle Locations 4668-4674). Silvertail Books. Kindle Edition.

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08-02-2013, 10:38 AM
RE: "The Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology" a review
Yup, they are definitely the church of fear, more-so than any other major religious cult.

The auditing you mentioned, the machine they use is called an e-meter. It is basically a lie detector. They strap it on and when they sense you are nervous or not telling the truth they pressure you into confession. It is an interrogation and not even a legal one, not the kind the police use in the little rooms at the detective office. They aren't bound by law.

My dad has been free from scientology for over 35 years and has moved across the (big) country. He has owned different homes and still a couple months ago mom received a scientology pamphlet in the mail addressed to him. They never. stop. haunting.
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