Finally, for those who wonder why activists like me are critical of Scientology: it's not their beliefs, it's their clear and often illegal abuses. There are a number of suspicious deaths linked to Scientology. Scientology holds people against their will - based on official policy, not rogue acts. Scientology officials physically assault members. Scientology destroys families. Scientology was behind the the single largest infiltration of the United States government in history; L. Ron Hubbard's wife spent years in jail for her part, and again, Neil's father, David Gaiman, participated. Scientology's front group, CCHR, works to impede psychiatry (Scientology teaches that psychiatry and psychology are evil), including lobbying against mental health parity bills. Scientology keeps files on friends and family members of Scientologists. When Scientology does these things, the organization and its policies deserve criticism. I don't care what Scientologists believe; I do care when they break the law or hurt people.
Scientology charges a flat rate, not a percentage. This excludes poor people.
XMLicious, your examples (pilgrimages, reading in Latin, excluding women from priesthood, etc.) all seem to be arguments about how religions suck, but not about how Scientology is a religion.
No, that's not true, that's more of the false equivalence.
Frequently involves… voluntary expenditure with the scriptural instruction not to do it if you can't afford it. A "pay what you can" soup kitchen is fundamentally different from McDonalds.
Again, I don't think people are saying that the difference is that "poor people are exploited", but that "teachings are not available to those who cannot pay".
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