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November 18, 2005 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Penthouse Interview with L. Ron Hubbard Jr Chilling interview with the son of Scientology's founder.
posted by konolia (109 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
wow...

i mean....



that is super nasty.
posted by wakko at 1:45 PM on November 18, 2005


This thread is worthless without pictures.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 1:51 PM on November 18, 2005


This is a 22 year old article.
posted by benjonson at 1:56 PM on November 18, 2005


::This is a 22 year old article.

Yet timely as today's headlines!
posted by cowmix at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2005


This thread is worthless without pictures.

It was a 1983 Penthouse, I would imagine any pictures are going to look like topless chick with fried bleached bangs pulled back by her sweatband strangling a member of Kool and the Gang with a leg lock.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2005


Heres another inverview from 1983
posted by puke & cry at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2005 [1 favorite]


Anyone see southpark last night?

I heard L-Ron hated teh geys because his son was one.
posted by delmoi at 2:00 PM on November 18, 2005


It's old, but interesting, and I've never read this before. It's pretty amazing how truly freaky L Ron sr. was. Jim Jones had nothing on him.
posted by Eekacat at 2:02 PM on November 18, 2005


As a sideline, my eyes nearly flew out of my head when I saw "Penthouse Interview... posted by Konolia." heh.
posted by COBRA! at 2:02 PM on November 18, 2005


This guy has some serious father-son issues.
posted by dazed_one at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2005


"It was a 1983 Penthouse, I would imagine any pictures are going to look like topless chick with fried bleached bangs pulled back by her sweatband strangling a member of Kool and the Gang with a leg lock."

Ooh, baby! I was 19 in 1983. That look is, like, burned into my nervous system. Go, Rollergirl!
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:08 PM on November 18, 2005


It may be old, benjohnson, but its still pretty amazing stuff. I knew they were dirty but this is beyond dirty.

The Scientology responses are laughable though, if there was anything funny about how they abuse their power and silence critics.
posted by fenriq at 2:11 PM on November 18, 2005


Oh yeah, to anyone saying they're being harassed by the Scientologists, just let them come into your house and put a tap on your phone and they'll find out who's REALLY harassing you since its not them, nosirreebob.

Creepy fucks.
posted by fenriq at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2005


The rumor that Hubbard started the religion as a bet with Heinlein (or Clarke, or Asimov, or all three) has always rung true with me. If I recall correctly, the terms of the bet involved running a religion like a business, selling faith (which isn't all that different from other religions).

Every now and again, the local Scientology office sets up a big tent in downtown Chicago, and offers free "massages" and auditing. I have to walk past it to get to work. Running things are two bright-eyed robots wearing Scientology t-shirts and headset walkie-talkies, and carrying clipboards who try to coax you into the tent. Sort of puts the EEEP in creepy.
posted by weirdoactor at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2005



Make sure y'all check out the rest of the Rick Ross Institute site. I do a lot of research about cults and NRMs for my fiction, and I find that website invaluable. It's mad inclusive. The've even got articles about pre-paid legal, which makes me laugh heartily.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2005


The cover of the magazine can be found here.
posted by HSWilson at 2:14 PM on November 18, 2005


I heard L-Ron hated teh geys because his son was one.


According to rumor, that would be Quentin Hubbard.
posted by padraigin at 2:15 PM on November 18, 2005


Oooh, that part about going to court to prove his father's death reminded me of that second Diceman novel. Hmmmmm.

Anyone for a clam bake?
posted by tzelig at 2:15 PM on November 18, 2005


Text says Penthouse would be launching an investigation into Junior's accusations, and would publish what they uncovered (or not) in a future issue. Did they?
posted by availablelight at 2:28 PM on November 18, 2005


His son wrote a book (probably in the article which I can't access ATM). You can see a bit in another dated article. There were several Scientology books in the old Loompanics 1991/1992 catalog.

Eekakat: Was that a throwaway comparison to Jim Jones or did you know today is the anniversay of the Jonestown suicide/murder?
posted by infowar at 2:28 PM on November 18, 2005


Scientology is a criminal enterprise which extracts money from the poor and naïve through bare-faced lies and threatening coercion; and it's also really silly. konolia's religion is just really silly, and so is a vast improvement.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:28 PM on November 18, 2005


Oh nice cheap shot PG. Classy.
posted by xmutex at 2:32 PM on November 18, 2005


This guy has some serious father-son issues.

Maybe he should have run for President...
posted by any major dude at 2:33 PM on November 18, 2005


Interesting, I didn't realize His Holiness Hubbard had spawned. Poor kid, but glad to see he speaks out about the sins of his father.

Speaking of which check out this Salon.com review of Diantetics (if you don't mind obnoxious interstitial ads). It points out how Dianetics has a recurring theme of physical domestic violence, recurring narrative pieces about a son abused and rejected by his mother and alcoholic father... the reviewer speculates this is Hubbard exposing parts of his own biography.

Dianetics is also preoccupied with the body and mind being invaded and controlled by external forces, and the quest to control one's own mind, and distrust of psychiatry... it seems to be written by someone suffering from paranoid schizophrenia... yet another insight into Hubbard.
posted by StarForce5 at 2:33 PM on November 18, 2005


Russell Miller's Bare-Faced Messiah has been out of print for a while, but you can read the whole thing online.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:35 PM on November 18, 2005


Scientology and Scientologists mucky-mucks really are almost unimaginably bad. You might not trust Penthouse and the interview with the son, but remember that big Time cover story a few years back? It described things as out there as anything else that has been alleged about the Scientology church.

I'll tell you what, though. Even though I'm an atheist (or perhaps because I'm an atheist?), and even though I think the Scientology church is literally criminal, I'm more comfortable with the US erring on the side of Constitutionally-mandated religious tolerance than I am with the European countries that have illegalized it (and the Mormon Church, too). Because, in the end, I don't see a qualitative distinction between these religious folks and those other religious folks. The Scientology church may be more brazenly and/or actively criminal than the established religious institutions are, but there's not a huge qualitative gulf. I mean, if the Scientologists stopped doing any of the things that are actually illegal and just taught people really, really nutty things, I'd still find them appalling but no more objectionable than some other religions.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:37 PM on November 18, 2005


Because, in the end, I don't see a qualitative distinction between these religious folks and those other religious folks.

If you go into a church and ask them what their core beliefs are, they will tell you "Jesus died for your sins, God is love, etc. etc". Do the same in a church of Scientology and they will lie to you. 99% of the time they will deny that the OT documents and suchlike even exist. On a very basic level, this is fraud, and very different to the way the major religions behave.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:41 PM on November 18, 2005


I gotta say, the atrocious spelling in that article is really distracting.
posted by RockCorpse at 2:46 PM on November 18, 2005


It's in keeping with Hubbard himself - he was never quite sure if the galactic overlord was Xenu or Xemu...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:47 PM on November 18, 2005


his father, in an attempt to get his son in tune with his black-magic worship, laced the young hubbard's bubble gum with phenobarbital. Drugs were an important part of Ron Jr.'s growing up, as his father believed that they were the best way to get closer to Satan --the Antichrist of black magic.

L. Ron was a total turd, but you all realize that this article is 80's alarmist crap, right?
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:50 PM on November 18, 2005


The Time magazine cover story to which EB refers -- The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power (May. 06, 1991 -- requires subscription)
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on November 18, 2005


Pretty_Generic, actually, no Scientology doesn't want poor people since they ain't go no money but I'm glad you took the time to read the link.
posted by fenriq at 2:51 PM on November 18, 2005


Reproduction of T'he Thriving Cult of Greed and Power' available here.
posted by ericb at 2:51 PM on November 18, 2005


If you're interested in this, you should check out the new South Park episode where Stan gets recruited into Scientology. It was just on last week... it's the most hilarious SP I've seen in a long time! They certainly don't pull any punches, and the show ends with Stan (and the SP producers) challenging the Scientologists to sue him. I wonder if we'll see any legal wrangling soon, or if the Scientologists are smart enough to figure out that it's just a cartoon...
posted by purple_frogs at 2:52 PM on November 18, 2005


On a very basic level, this is fraud, and very different to the way the major religions behave.

Meaning, I suppose; that the major religions believe their own lies?
posted by weirdoactor at 2:53 PM on November 18, 2005


fenriq, I'm talking from personal experience - the policy has changed somewhat since 1983. They're getting desperate.

Anyway, if you're earning a reasonable amount of money, and you spend the vast majority of it on bullshit pulp sci-fi, are you still rich?
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:54 PM on November 18, 2005


weirdoactor - my point was that the major religions are not secretive about what their holy books contain, and allow people the opportunity to make up their own minds about them without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to obtain them. That's a qualitative difference.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:57 PM on November 18, 2005


If we're linking to the canonical Scientology exposé books, another great one is A Piece of Blue Sky by Jon Atack. Click through for the full text.
posted by killdevil at 2:59 PM on November 18, 2005


whoa, what a flashback! i remember reading this article in the original Penthouse issue (ah, the good ol' days).

in retrospect, i wish i had asked Junior's little brother, Arthur, about it!

no, i'm not a scientologist, or even a squirrel (ex-scientologist), but i knew some folks in fine art circles (ex-wife's business at the time) who were friends with Arthur Hubbard, who happens to be a very talented oil painter.

he even came to see my band play once--this was before i knew who he was--still, a very nice guy, if a bit preoccupied with H.R. Geiger's psychiatrist.
posted by retronic at 3:00 PM on November 18, 2005


P_G, Just rich in spirit which is nowhere near as much fun as being rich in spirits, then you can invite your friends over and get stinking drunk.

And I know they're after anyone with a pulse these days. Poor people can still write letters to ones that have escaped (I know this one from first hand experience of living with an escapee). I was being peckish but have since eaten some lunch and realize that I was being a dink.

Scientology just gets my goat and my dander all in a flurry. Paying for salvation is so much filthier than praying for salvation though I'm not doing that either.
posted by fenriq at 3:02 PM on November 18, 2005


Here's OT3; some pages are inexplicably removed.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:02 PM on November 18, 2005


L. Ron was a total turd, but you all realize that this article is 80's alarmist crap, right?

I assume you're unaware of Hubbards involvement with the OTO and Jack Parsons. Jon Atack writes a bit about that too.
posted by Snyder at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2005


Konolia's linked article takes me back, too -- but to the more recent past, when I was a pretty avid lurker on alt.religion.scientology. I was there when all of the legal shenenigans and Web site takedowns were happening.
posted by killdevil at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2005


I was being peckish

That's a keeper
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2005


Mayor Curley:

Actually, L Ron Hubbard's involvement with Crowley and Satanism is pretty well document, see this book
posted by empath at 3:08 PM on November 18, 2005


Because, in the end, I don't see a qualitative distinction between these religious folks and those other religious folks.

Back in the early 90s, the province of Ontario -- like, the gummint like -- had an epic battle with the local arm of the cult church; highlights included the Toronto cops raiding the church's HQ on Yonge Street and pulling out a metric shitload of documents including paper that proved the church had infiltrated the AG's office, the RCMP and the FBI with an eye to protecting its criminal enterprise; later, the church so libelled the prosecuting Crown Attorney -- a not-so-quiet whisper campaign stating the man was a pedophile -- the QC was awarded the largest libel judgement in Canadian history.

Is it as bad as the church-run residential schools?

No, probably not.
posted by docgonzo at 3:32 PM on November 18, 2005


That episode of South Park was indeed hilarious, especially the part where they explained what scientologists actually believe: "Like DC-8's, except with rocket engines" If you haven't seen it, you definetly should.


posted by bering at 3:38 PM on November 18, 2005


Another vote for the recent SP. The only funny one so far this season that I've seen.
posted by bardic at 3:53 PM on November 18, 2005


The best part of that South Park was the credits at the end, where everything was done by John Smith or Jane Smith. I wonder how many people actually got the joke.
posted by biscotti at 3:54 PM on November 18, 2005


What I didn't notice until the second time I saw that South Park episode (yeah, it's worth seeing twice) is that after the final scene where Stan is daring the Scientologists to sue him, the credits roll...and all the names are either "John Smith" or "Jane Smith". Nice touch.
On a more serious note, it would be nice to see a congressional inquiry of some kind into these people. Separation of church and state does not mean religious (or in this case, "religious") organizations get to operate outside the law (I'm looking at you, Catholic church...).
posted by uosuaq at 3:56 PM on November 18, 2005


Heh...I should type faster, I guess...
posted by uosuaq at 3:56 PM on November 18, 2005


Tom ... come out of the closet!
posted by ericb at 4:06 PM on November 18, 2005


That PBS interview link is hilarious, and awesome:

VAUGHN YOUNG: He's even--he's even beat his own son who suffers from Downs' syndrome--

HOST: How do you know that?

RON DeWOLF: Huh?!
posted by billysumday at 4:26 PM on November 18, 2005


Nice catch infowar, I should have made it more obvious. I was 14 then and it left an indelible mark on my brain.
posted by Eekacat at 5:01 PM on November 18, 2005


Eekacat: It happened on my 11th birthday, soI knowwhat you mean. :)
posted by infowar at 5:08 PM on November 18, 2005


Additional info about Scientology.

Read on, it's good.
posted by snsranch at 5:16 PM on November 18, 2005


Eekacat mentions Jim Jones...today is the anniversaryof that horrific event -- 1989 -- in which close to one thousand people died. Suicide, murder....an amazing story.

Power does not corrupt everyone, but it did Jim Jones (and L. Ron) absolutely, to the detriment of thousands of lives.

Jim Jones got his start not by being a sci-fi con man, but by preaching integration in a racist town in Indiana, moving to a progressive and very large church in the Bay Area, lauded by many.

But Power, Sex and Drugs led to disaster. Hey, don't wanna sound like a tabloid, but it happened, has happened, and will happen again. The scale of a thousand bloated bodies rotting in the tropical sun just happened to be more incredibly repulsive than, say, a few nicely dressed white nuts in Nikes disappointed in the non-appearence of the Halle-Boppe UFO last decade.
posted by kozad at 5:47 PM on November 18, 2005


great links.
posted by phaedon at 6:05 PM on November 18, 2005


Was just reading Bare-faced Messiah which has this info and lots more about his black magic days in California. Good reading.

Also, my next door neighbor worked at the State Department when the Jim Jones thing went down and was the person responsible for calling and writing to all the families that their sons and daughters were killed drinking kool-aid in a mass cult suicide/homicide.
posted by destro at 6:05 PM on November 18, 2005


Uh, Jonestown was 1978. Finger must have been off a notch. ;)
posted by Eekacat at 6:19 PM on November 18, 2005



posted by prettyboyfloyd at 6:22 PM on November 18, 2005


Best part of the article:

Because of the seriousness of Mr. DeWolf's charges and because his father has affected the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people, Penthouse will be launching an independent investigation of these charges. The results will be published in a forthcoming issue.

It's no wonder that Penthouse racked up so many Pulitzers with this kind of diligent, shoe-leather reporting.
posted by whir at 6:28 PM on November 18, 2005


COME OUT OF THE CLOSET, TOM!
posted by fungible at 6:50 PM on November 18, 2005


They left out the part where the volcanos got hit with nuclear weapons by Xenu(Xemu), otherwise the episode of SP was awesome. They beat the hell out of the closet joke though.
posted by Talanvor at 7:39 PM on November 18, 2005


I don't really get the whole anti-Scientology thing -- if you want to believe in aliens, you have the right to. Hubbard was a scam artist? I'm not sure he's been the only scam artist evar to create a religion. a tv preacher who asks for cash terrorizing his audience with apocalyptic sermons and wooing them with fake healing is OK and the alien-lovers should go to jail? I don't see why. Hubbard's literary style is appalling? yeah. but -- and here I ask our Mormon readers' forgiveness -- when it comes to language the Book of Mormon is not exactly Ecclesiastes, either.

Scientologists break the law? prosecute them, just like Catholics or Hindus or Elvis-worshiper deserve to be prosecuted. but targeting Scientology just because it's a scam? lame. if the issue is, they practice medicine without a licence, well, maybe. but what about Christian exorcisms?

I vote for equal rights. freedom of religion and all that stuff.
posted by matteo at 7:52 PM on November 18, 2005


Matteo, ask the people of Clearwater how they feel about it.

Besides, last time I checked, scams are illegal in and of themselves. Frankly I want to know why they aren't being investigated and thrown in the pokey already.

(After a speedy trial and conviction, natch.)
posted by konolia at 7:56 PM on November 18, 2005


This is not news. And scientology is *not* a religion.
posted by whozyerdaddy at 8:02 PM on November 18, 2005


Once, for a karaoke contest, I sang "Ride Captain Ride" and dressed up like SeaOrg-era L. Ron Hubbard. It wasn't that much of a stretch: I've got the mutton chops, Costello glasses, and double chin thing down. It was just a matter of a captain's hat, and navy blue maitime blazer. God, I wish I was kidding.

konolia, I think this was a great post. Scientology is a nightmare, a blight. I live in L.A., and am constantly subjected to the horrors of the Celebrity Centers on the way to my two favorite hang-outs: the Bourgeois Pig on Franklin (across the street), and El Cid in Silver Lake (you pass L. Ron Hubbard Way as you go down Sunset). Though of course my hatred of Scientology isn't merely an aesthetic one. But those massive, ugly goddamn buildings certainly don't help endear them to me.
posted by ford and the prefects at 8:13 PM on November 18, 2005


I don't really get the whole anti-Scientology thing

I find that bizarre. Even the slimiest TV preacher is quite upfront about the religious doctrine he supposedly requires money to help spread; Scientology keeps that doctrine secret until after a person has paid huge amounts to them. Surely you can see that there's a difference there, that fishing-for-the-gullible has changed into straightforward fraud (without even mentioning the fair game policy).
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:14 PM on November 18, 2005


To emphasise, when people first join Scientology, most of them don't know that it involves ridiculous alien space opera. It's a gradual water-torture process that gets them into a state of mind ("clear") where they're ready to learn about it. That is not the same as sleazy TV evangelism.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:17 PM on November 18, 2005


So, did Junior ever get any of his Dad's money?
posted by Coventry at 8:51 PM on November 18, 2005


I don't really get the whole anti-Scientology thing

Did you even read the article??? If you join and leave they will blackmail, harass, and slander you to either come back or never say a word of what happened ever again.

They may toe the line of legality, but does that not mean it's not fucked up and deserving of criticism?

And from the article, it sounds like they do plenty of illegal things, but because they have such a stranglehold on the press and power over people that they can get away with murder.
posted by destro at 8:53 PM on November 18, 2005


If you're interested in this, you should check out the new South Park episode where Stan gets recruited into Scientology. It was just on last week... it's the most hilarious SP I've seen in a long time! They certainly don't pull any punches, and the show ends with Stan (and the SP producers) challenging the Scientologists to sue him. I wonder if we'll see any legal wrangling soon, or if the Scientologists are smart enough to figure out that it's just a cartoon...

I wonder how that went over with Issac "Chef" Hayes?
posted by stenseng at 9:13 PM on November 18, 2005


I strongly get the impression that Chef has been phased out. It's probably Hayes's decision, and that's probably why they've delayed doing a Scientology episode until now.

The Simpsons did one despite Nancy Cartwright's presence, but it was... um... subtler.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:19 PM on November 18, 2005


And from the article, it sounds like they do plenty of illegal things, but because they have such a stranglehold on the press and power over people that they can get away with murder.

These scientologists, are they republicans?
posted by IronLizard at 9:46 PM on November 18, 2005


This NYT article (not an NYT link--no login required) about how the Scientologists basically bullied the IRS into granting them tax-exempt status has stuck with me since I read it in 1997. Messed up stuff.
posted by lovecrafty at 10:07 PM on November 18, 2005


Amen, whozyerdaddy.
posted by nonmerci at 10:32 PM on November 18, 2005


I wonder how that went over with Issac "Chef" Hayes?

I was going to ask this myself. If in fact Chef's been phased out of the show, and if his phasing out was sort of necessary for it to be okay to be so critical of Scientology, what would that say about Scientology's moral code? That it's permissable to serenade school children about the many merits of one's frosted chocolate balls but not to poke fun at the enormous logical loopholes in the church's doctrine?

Actually, that'd be a kind of funhouse-mirror version of Catholicism, wouldn't it?

Yup - probably going to Hell for that line. At least as far as most of my great aunts are concerned.

posted by gompa at 10:34 PM on November 18, 2005


I'm pretty sure the Pope doesn't sue those who write exposes on Catholicism, gompa, but otherwise, TOTALLY THE SAME!

anti-Catholic snark makes me touchy, and I'm not even a Catholic!
posted by nonmerci at 11:17 PM on November 18, 2005


I had no idea Nancy Cartwright was a moron Scientologist.

I am saddened to learn that Jason Lee is, as well. :(
posted by Mikey-San at 1:14 AM on November 19, 2005


Oops. "Moron" was supposed to be styled with a line through it, indicating clever sarcastic wit. Now it just looks redundant.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:16 AM on November 19, 2005


Suppose LRH took a look at catholicism and said "hey, I can do that!" What then?
posted by telstar at 2:37 AM on November 19, 2005


Beck is a Scientologist. Pretty vacant.
posted by bephillips at 4:42 AM on November 19, 2005


ask the people of Clearwater how they feel about it.


look, almost every day I walk by my local Scientology center. as of now, nobody pointed a gun to my head and forced me to enter the damn place. I'll tell you all about it in MetaTalk when that happens, though.

it's like blaming the owner of a casino because Uncle Richard lost all his savings in Vegas, or blaming the hooker because you got herpes. it's about personal responsibility. everybody and their dog have heard about Scientology shenagigans now. do you want to become a Tithon or whatever the hell they're called? do you want to meet the aliens or at the very least Mimi Rogers? cry me a river, then.

and don't worry, when your rich Christian aunt is about to die, the minister will visit quite a few times to make sure she remembered the Church in her will. that must be L. Ron Hubbard's fault, too.


scams are illegal in and of themselves.


Christian faith healers are scammers, too, konolia. do you want them in jail, too? what about exorcists?


Scientology keeps that doctrine secret until after a person has paid huge amounts to them.

it's irrelevant. maybe Scientology has figured out a more appealing (to some, of course) fiction. men walking on water and flying up to heaven (because we all know Heaven is in the sky and if you dig deep enough you'll meet Mr Satan, right?) aren't less zany as the Hubbard books. but, as I said, other religions' sacred texts are infintely better written than Scientology's. that I admit.

Did you even read the article???


regretfully, yes.

because they have such a stranglehold on the press and power over people that they can get away with murder.

the vast Scientology conspiracy? do they also poison wells?
posted by matteo at 6:49 AM on November 19, 2005


Because, in the end, I don't see a qualitative distinction between these religious folks and those other religious folks.

Oh, really? Let's go to the tape, Al...

Penthouse: A poor man can't be a Scientologist?

Hubbard: No, oh no.

posted by alumshubby at 7:12 AM on November 19, 2005


Because, in the end, I don't see a qualitative distinction between these religious folks and those other religious folks.

Oh, really? Let's go to the tape, Al...

Penthouse: A poor man can't be a Scientologist?

Hubbard: No, oh no.

posted by alumshubby at 7:16 AM on November 19, 2005


everybody and their dog have heard about Scientology shenagigans now.

For a lot of people, that knowledge extends to "Wow, it's that Cruise and Travolta thing, and I think maybe Madonna too; that might be fun like astrology and tarot cards. You want me to take a personality test like the ones I do every morning in shitty magazines, sure! Yeah, I'll watch a film with you, sounds like fun!"

If everybody knew about OT3, they wouldn't be so furious about me handing it out to people outside the church.

it's irrelevant.

Um, whatever dude.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:27 AM on November 19, 2005


Agreed with the "Scientology is not a religion" comment. whozyerdaddy, you pegged that one perfectly.

I lived in Clearwater from mid-99 until April of last year. (I'm in St Pete now, about 15 miles south, same county but getting away from Scientology Central. If it wasn't for the fact that hubby's job is in Pinellas County also, we'd move a lot further away.)

konolia, people have tried prosecuting them. Damn shame someone had to die first though. They're guilty as hell. Problem is that the Scientologists own most of the Clearwater city government and likely a chunk of the Pinellas County govt as well. :-p

Fenriq, they -are- going after the poor people now. Come visit Clearwater, watch how many poor people use the county bus system to go to Scientology Central. The so-called church always has the minvans and lots of nicely dressed young people (for the most part - ironic how they copied the Mormon missionary look almost exactly..) waiting literally across the street from the main bus terminal in downtown Clearwater... they will pick up fellow members and give them a ride directly to the church, can't risk them being contaminated by more of those pesky little aliens, ya know. Not that it matters, their big mucking huge buildings are a short walk from the bus terminal. As far as not "forcing" you to come in.. heck, no, they have open houses every weekend, come tour their "historic" building.. oh, and while you're there, get a little brainwashing. First hit's free.
posted by keptwench at 7:30 AM on November 19, 2005


anti-Catholic snark makes me touchy, and I'm not even a Catholic!

Well, I am - at least by birth, social environment and schooling - and one of the things that I like about Catholics is that in the main they're not too terribly oversensitive and humourless about their faith.

My aforementioned great aunts, for example, would've known I was kind of taking the piss.

Also, just to be pedantic about it, the modifier "funhouse-mirror" is itself an admission that the two faiths are not "TOTALLY THE SAME" in any sense.
posted by gompa at 7:49 AM on November 19, 2005


Fenriq, they -are- going after the poor people now.

They've always gone after poor people. An organization like Scientology has always needed a great deal of upkeep.

If you can't afford to help pay for that, you can always trade your labour for free auditing by joining the Sea Org.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:20 AM on November 19, 2005


in the main they're not too terribly oversensitive and humourless about their faith

Try asking your local priest about the the extent to which practices like scourging are still practiced in the various Holy Orders.

I suspect you won't get a whole lot of jokes and laughs in response to your question.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:27 AM on November 19, 2005


Scientology:

1 - irresponsibly uses various psychological techniques to reveal emotionally needy or wobbly people from those who would be susceptible to joining a newer religion;

2 - misrepresents its activities (very precisely) to outsiders or new recruits as conventional religious services (hymn-singing, dog-collared ministers, etc.) - both to satisfy its responsibilities under tax-exemption law, and to provide specious reassurance to new entrants who don't want anything too radical;

3 - chooses to recruit and try to keep those people who are rich, or who have access to a line of credit comparable to what many have at the start of their financial life;

4 - misrepresents a simple electrical circuit as an invention of wisdom and a window into the exact emotional state of the user;

5 - engages in crude, unregulated and damaging psychological operations on its members, ostensibly to exorcise a person's negative experiences, but with the knowledge that this does not happen, and deliberately to cause immediate trauma to a member so that they will turn to their new religion for explanation and support;

6 - existed historically for the purpose of making money for its founder, and exists today to make money for the luxurious lives of its cynical top brass.

How anyone in this thread, hell, on *metafilter*, could dismiss this as just a bunch of harmless kooks who *shouldn't* be locked up is beyond me.
posted by paperpete at 9:32 AM on November 19, 2005


Oh, by the way, I just want to take this chance to tell everybody I'm God on Earth. Really! And the good part is that to be properly processed you don't have to pray, believe anything, read any books, tell anybody any secrets or anything like that, all you do is SEND ME MONEY. That's right, for a one-time donation of just $19.95 all the secrets and powers of the Universe will be yours!

Offer not valid where prohibited by law. Not tax-deductible. No guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose. Coupon not to be doubled.
posted by davy at 9:37 AM on November 19, 2005


*sends money, blames davy*
posted by matteo at 10:10 AM on November 19, 2005


fenriq: Pretty_Generic, actually, no Scientology doesn't want poor people since they ain't go no money but I'm glad you took the time to read the link.

Remember the story Tracy told you about her scientologist roommate? The girl's parents were lower middle class at best, and the reason why she was married off to a 50 year old higher up in the org, at the age of 16, was to "pay" for their auditing. She was made to leave high school & sent off to Florida to do menial labour in their HQ there, and from all accounts remains in that situation to this day.
posted by zarah at 10:15 AM on November 19, 2005


I liked this part -

"...the British were ripe for Scientology. The British school system fosters lesbianism and homosexuality, because from the time you're born until you're in your twenties, all you see is the same sex..."

So that's why I keep trying to fuck my wife in the ass.
posted by longbaugh at 11:05 AM on November 19, 2005


Sigh.

MATTEO. Read it.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:24 AM on November 19, 2005


*buys book, blames fivefreshfish*
posted by matteo at 11:29 AM on November 19, 2005


The ultimate truth is that Scientology is actually a front for Xenu, who is planning to return on a random Tuesday in 2012, just around tea time. He can't make it sooner because he is tied up in an intergalactic legal battle.

on preview: I've just been IMed instructing me that I am required to perform an EOC.
posted by effwerd at 11:41 AM on November 19, 2005


I just watched a torrent of the Southpark episode that reveals the deepest Scientologist secrets.

Holy Moly.

The cult is going to have fits. Fits beyond fits.

I highly recommend both viewing it and spreading it. I think after you watch it you will agree with me that the episode creators support its being shared.

They are explicitly targeting Scientology for "outing". The cult is truly exactly as they say: a global scam. When they reveal the highest-level secrets of Scientology, it is the real thing: I know with absolute confidence that it is wholly accurate.

There was a time in the early 90s when the frontier-wilderness of Usenet and the "information wants to be free" meme and the secrets of Scientology collided. All sorts of material that Scientology had previously been quite successful in preventing becoming public knowledge was suddenly available. The resulting conflicts were very exciting, with consequences that spanned Usenet and even had some amount of real-life international political fallout (the USA made impolite remarks about Norway's(?) having too open a legal system and too much right to free speech!). It was a helluva show for some time, and I made sure to learn all I could.

Southpark has revealed the Very Big Secret that costs one helluva lot of money to learn. They have done the cult equivalent of selling the USA's missile command controls to the Chinese. For those who are in the know -- who have been Scientologists, participated in the Usenet outing of Scientology, who have associated with Scientologists in Hollywood or IT -- this is an amazing event. The Southpark crew really put their ass on the line, as did Comedy Central.

Comedy Central has big, big balls.

Anyway, I strongly recommend you grab the video and share it. If you find yourself wanting to learn more, there's a ton of information on the web, and the book A Piece of Blue Sky is an excellent, if horrifying, read.

Help put this scum cult out of existence.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:18 PM on November 19, 2005


They deserve it.
posted by jenovus at 3:32 PM on November 19, 2005


Wow, fff, now you made me feel bad for deleting it from my Tivo after I watched it. I didn't think it was too big a deal, since you can read most of that stuff on the internet anyway, and I thought it was pretty common knowledge. But with the influence they have... I guess Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Beck will never work for Viacom again.
posted by fungible at 4:48 PM on November 19, 2005


Free Katie!
posted by konolia at 4:57 PM on November 19, 2005


A person could probably make a bit of coin popularizing a "Free Katie" meme. TShirts, bumper stickers, etc. Web logos. Start a real fake mass movement, see if you get interviewed by TDS. Etc.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:09 PM on November 19, 2005


matteo, I just got off the Mary Baker Eddy Golden Phone and God says you're going to Hell. The kicker is He likes you and all, but feels Heaven would be torturous for you. Without anything to complain about, without something else that should be fixed and could be better, you might cease to exist. I don't know about everyone else, but I got tired of the too-cool-for-everyone-in-this-backwater-burg act by the eigth grade.
posted by yerfatma at 5:34 PM on November 19, 2005


A person could probably make a bit of coin popularizing a "Free Katie" meme

The Original Free Katie Store

Free Katie From the Clutches of the Mad Scientologist Tom Cruise!
posted by ericb at 5:49 PM on November 19, 2005


Black magic is the inner core of Scientology -- and it is probably the only part of Scientology that really works.

This was my favorite part of the article.

Scientologsts are kooks, but not all kooks are scientologists.
posted by moonbiter at 8:46 AM on November 20, 2005


If Scientology didn't exist then theists would have to invent it to make them feel good about the history and practices of their own religions.

Seriously, Scientology is crap, but the way its used as a springboard for the religious to make some sort of non-existant distinction between it and mainstream religion is ridiculous. This is a pretty sensationalist article (to be fair L Ron was a wacky guy) and I see very little skepticism about its claims which include feeding downers to a child and a non-backed up claim of Satan worship. Satanism is not Scientology. Then there's the usual "it was a bet" urban legend.

This all stinks of the same anti-satanist pro-christian crap from the 80s which included suing musicians for somehow causing kids to commit suicide, the destruction of many families of "recovered memories" of satanic abuse which never happeneded, etc.

Viva the status quo I guess and keep villifying Scientology so no one looks too deeply in the backyard of the local established religious groups.
posted by skallas at 12:39 PM on November 20, 2005


Also, in reply to the European comment. The two countries I know of that have made Scientology "illegal" in some form are Greece and Germany, both countries whose secular government is greatly influenced by the Christian church. Especially in Greece where nothing gets done without the blessing of the Orthodox church. So to see the European legislation as something social progressive is, I think, a bit presumptuious. If the same standards were applied to the US catholic church, then they would be shutdown under conspiracy to molest children and protect molestors.

Not that I'm defending Scientology here, in fact I have a friend who who was treated very badly by the CoS, but the level of villifying is getting ridiculous to the point where the real criticisms (secrecy, the money, the harassment) are being overshadowed by the sensational crap (satan worship) thus leaving people less informed and as I stated above this is most likely happening because theists are so quick to attack an up and coming religion. Or whatever Scientology ultimately will become. What's the quote from the bible about judging others and making sure to judge oneself first?
posted by skallas at 12:50 PM on November 20, 2005


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