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Scientology pwns the BBC
May 13, 2007 9:12 AM   Subscribe

This man is an on-duty BBC reporter, doing his best to make a Scientologist admit to brainwashing. The video was ended up on YouTube after being sent around by the Scientologists, so the BBC try to retaliate. Here's the reporter's explanation.
posted by cillit bang (151 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks for that, cb! I'm programming my sky+ now!

Monday, 8.30 BBC1: watch freaks on telly...
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:21 AM on May 13, 2007


As somebody who hates the soothing male voice of bbc world news just about as much as you're average scientologist (L7), i'm going to have to go with: I'm a British subject, not an American citizen. (Arguing with the same Tommy, Tommy Davis.)
posted by phaedon at 9:22 AM on May 13, 2007


that's a pretty weak retaliation ... actually, sweeney looks like an idiot in that one, too
posted by pyramid termite at 9:22 AM on May 13, 2007


I despite Scientology with all my heart.

Perhaps it's that it destroyed two people I know. Perhaps it's that they are such dreadful liars: if you ask them if they're a religion they'll say they definitely are not, if you then ask them why they demand tax-free status from the government they will simply cease to talk to you.

Perhaps because they are so financially greedy. More recently was this little scam.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:22 AM on May 13, 2007


um, not that the fake poster benefited the $cientologists financially -- I just hate getting my tax dollars used for things like that.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:24 AM on May 13, 2007


Scientology is not a religion. It is a mafia.
posted by Malor at 9:24 AM on May 13, 2007 [6 favorites]


If I had to spend several weeks surrounded by Scientologists, I'd probably be pretty angry too.
But maybe not that angry.
posted by Aloysius Bear at 9:27 AM on May 13, 2007


That shouty Mcshoutsalot little thing was really weird. I'm surprised...

The holocaust certainly gets people's dander up, and he's no exception.
posted by chuckdarwin at 9:30 AM on May 13, 2007


I didn't realize the BBC had a Bill O'Reilly, too.
posted by cribcage at 9:36 AM on May 13, 2007


Yep, Scientology can make ya batty. I have a few friends who are in it who seem to be okay. The odd part is that although we have a "no Scientology conversations" rule, the few times I've brought up Xenu they looked at me like I was nuts. So while I find it hard to believe, apparently it's true that until you get to OT III, they don't tell you a thing about the alien overlord. I find it so hard to fathom that I would know more about Scientology than people who call themselves Scientologists, but it seems to be true.

I have another friend who spent both of her children's college funds on becoming "clear" and is now not with the church. She made it to the highest Thetan level possible, but then decided she wanted to leave the church. She decided to go to a therapist, and the church then went through a campaign to brand her as crazy. Her only son and most of her previous friends (all Scientologists) have since disconnected her. She confirmed my understanding of Xenu, although very reluctantly. She's a bit of a sad creature now, really. She really wasted a lot of her life with them. Scientology definitely makes and breaks people.

I once read one of their handbooks that basically featured a Ten Commandments of sorts. High up on the list was to never denounce Scientology & that you should fight anyone who denounces Scientology by any means possible, to destroy them. There were a lot of other commandments on the list too. The thing that struck me strange was the whole "thou shalt not commit murder" thing was never mentioned. Not that I think Scientologists murder anyone, but in a list of many things that they wanted to make it clear that they're opposed to it, well it felt conspicuously absent to me when it maybe should've been near the top of the list of things they were mentioning. Well, in my mind.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:37 AM on May 13, 2007 [5 favorites]


It's weird that even though he is screaming at the top of his lungs, he doesn't seem that emotional. It's a British thing, I guess.
posted by found missing at 9:45 AM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Operation Freakout" (from miss lynnster's post) was even freakier than I thought.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:45 AM on May 13, 2007


btw, this was via BBC News 24, where they seem to be going the Network route of milking it for viewers.
posted by cillit bang at 9:52 AM on May 13, 2007


miss lynnster: one of the tenets of Scientology that's revealed late in the process is that non-Scientologists are not human, and not entitled to the moral protections that humans get. It is perfectly ok to lie to, cheat, steal from, or even kill a non-Scientologist.
posted by Malor at 9:52 AM on May 13, 2007 [6 favorites]


Yeah he was pretty upset. That's totally out of context though, so we don't know why he was so angry. We still don't after watching the video from the BBC, but it's clear the scientologist guy was angry.

If you ask them if they're a religion they'll say they definitely are not, if you then ask them why they demand tax-free status from the government they will simply cease to talk to you.

Well, in this video they seemed pretty straightforward about it: the scientologist said: "for you to denigrate my faith like that".

Anyway, just a note on the two reactions, the "angry scientologist" seemed very weird. He was saying "right now, I'm right here and I'm angry" but he said it a firm but totally controlled voice. It was really weird. Tom Cruise acted the same way when squirted in the face water in London. It's very strange, IMO.

Sweeney's reaction is a lot more normal.
posted by delmoi at 9:52 AM on May 13, 2007


Funny, the last thing I read before opening MeFi was that BBC article. I had decided that the guy probably already "lost" the exchange, making his whole special a wash, and wasn't going to actually watch.

As a rule, I don't think it would be useful to argue subjective labels like "religion" and "cult" with an organization that has spent years and years and millions of dollars fighting an entire country's ban on that basis. It's like Sweeney thought he was going to trap the guy into admitting to the word. Gotcha! journalism is more successful when you work at the fringes, the way O'Reilly does, and chip away at some nonessential part of the argument. For instance, in Wes Clark's recent appearance, he tried to get Clark to cop to various things George Soros has said or done, framed O'Reilly's way, that Clark didn't really know much about. Clark managed to work his way out of it by denying O'Reilly a substantive response and forcing the conversation back to his talking points, but it wasn't easy. So Sweeney has something to learn from Billo yet.
posted by dhartung at 9:53 AM on May 13, 2007


Man, somebody is seriously enturbulated.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:56 AM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Here's Paulette Cooper's diary of her harassment during Operation Freakout.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:58 AM on May 13, 2007


...one of the tenets of Scientology that's revealed late in the process is that non-Scientologists are not human, and not entitled to the moral protections that humans get. It is perfectly ok to lie to, cheat, steal from, or even kill a non-Scientologist.

I had no idea that Hubbard was familiar with Maimonides.
posted by Brian B. at 9:59 AM on May 13, 2007


Rank these actions by their level of moral bankruptcy:

a) Reporter yelling at a guy

b) Killing someone who tries to leave your cult.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:59 AM on May 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


While I knew that Malor, while intellectually I got that... until I saw it in writing in a book in my hands, I guess I just didn't fathom it. That really drove it home to me.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:01 AM on May 13, 2007


While making our BBC Panorama film "Scientology and Me" I have been shouted at, spied on, had my hotel invaded at midnight, denounced as a "bigot" by star Scientologists, brain-washed - that is how it felt to me - in a mock up of a Nazi-style torture chamber and chased round the streets of Los Angeles by sinister strangers.

Back in Britain strangers have called on my neighbours, my mother-in-law's house and someone spied on my wedding and fled the moment he was challenged.


I don't know; I'd be pretty much ready to burst at the seams as well if I were being intimidated like this. Scientology seems to be pretty well-known for its ability to "surround, intimidate, and silence" any dissenting voice that might try to reveal its true nature.
posted by vanadium at 10:06 AM on May 13, 2007


A quick transcript of what Sweeney is screaming. I couldn't make out what his first few words are.

No listen to me. You were not there at the beginning of the interview. You were not there. You did not hear or record all the interview. Do you understand? Do you understand? You are closing the second half of the interview, not the first half. You cannot assert what you're saying.
posted by Rictic at 10:08 AM on May 13, 2007


Well, in this video they seemed pretty straightforward about it: the scientologist said: "for you to denigrate my faith like that".

And that differs from an argument with a hard-core Republican in what way?
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:09 AM on May 13, 2007


The whole problem with Scientology isn't their "theology", such as it is, but their behavior towards dissenters. That's what scares people, their paranoia, secrecy, hostility and harassment.
posted by delmoi at 10:12 AM on May 13, 2007


Mitt Romney's favorite novel is Battlefield Earth, and his favorite book is the Bible. There is some interesting code being transmitted there.
posted by Brian B. at 10:13 AM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting.
posted by vanadium at 10:14 AM on May 13, 2007


I have a great deal of respect for people who are willing to brave the intimidation and invasion in their private lives by Scientology.
posted by jouke at 10:17 AM on May 13, 2007


scientology is on record that critics are "fair game" who must be destroyed. i'm going on record that if sinister strangers start following me all over town, i'll lure them to somewhere where i have the upper hand and slaughter them.
posted by bruce at 10:19 AM on May 13, 2007


"You are closing the second half of the interview, not the first half."

I think he said "quoting" rather than "closing". But I could be wrong...
posted by Auz at 10:21 AM on May 13, 2007


Sweeney may be yelling, but he's not yelling anything incendiary or rude.

The comments over on Youtube are surely coming from Scientologists: I'll say losing it! Might be something we need to know about this guy. No doubt he is NOT unbiased - hardly a quality I would want to see in an reporter.
posted by maggiemaggie at 10:29 AM on May 13, 2007


Anyone talks that way about any other religion and some people here would be all over them for being antireligious. But its always open season on the CoS.

Apparently is OK for Islam to enslave half of the population in the nations it dominates, and its OK for the Roman Catholic Church to make people's lives a living hell. They're big enough and they've been around long enough to get classified as "real religions" and apparently its awful and hateful to dare to say anything against the real religions.

Newsflash: From the outside all the god scams look exactly like Scientology. The next time you get all huffy because some atheist isn't kowtowing to your massive religious superiority, remember the way you feel about Scientology. That's the way I feel about all of your little religions.

Do I sound bitter? You bet. I get jumped for quite accurately describing all the priests/witch doctors/ministers/whatevers as con men. Ooh, the nasty evil atheist dared to tell the truth about the *REAL*RELIGIONS* so he's obviously hate filled and must be dismissed and then ignored. But when people say much nastier things about the CoS its all ok.

Religion is religion is religion. Its all the same. Its all a scam, and I'm furious that the same people who bitch at me for daring to criticize religion as a category are here, yet again bashing Scientology.

You brave people have the courage to write nasty things about a small and powerless religion that's pretty much universally hated, how courageous, how daring, how edgy, how fucking pathetic. Wake me up when you're brave enough to criticize a major, respected, religion with the same language.

Either religion is above criticism, and its right that I get yelled at for criticising it, or it is acceptable to criticise religion. You can't have it both ways. You wanna bash the CoS? Fine, but I expect you to have my back when I bash any and all other religions.
posted by sotonohito at 10:32 AM on May 13, 2007 [12 favorites]


wake me up when you're brave enough to criticize a major, respected religion with the same language.

mohammed was a child molester.
jesus and the twelve apostles sound very gay in the text.

i am a pagan. one of the nice things about paganism is that the overwhelming majority of us don't give a flying fuck what you think of our beliefs. snark at will.
posted by bruce at 10:37 AM on May 13, 2007


Newsflash: From the outside all the god scams look exactly like Scientology.

No, they really don't. Religions don't do things like break into IRS offices to modify their own tax records.
posted by Malor at 10:40 AM on May 13, 2007


if christianity were run like scientology, you'd have to pay $1000 to read the book of genesis. exodus would set you back $1500. nobody would make it past the next three, which are the most boring books in the bible.
posted by bruce at 10:48 AM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]




She made it to the highest Thetan level possible, but then decided she wanted to leave the church. She decided to go to a therapist

Well there's the second problem. Scientology is vehemently opposed to psychology/psychiatry beyond all reason.

Perhaps it's like the Bush administration's hatred of science. Each trying to discredit what tends to shine light in places they want kept dark.
posted by dreamsign at 10:50 AM on May 13, 2007


CoS's beliefs may be about as ridiculous as any other given religion, but their practices are another thing altogether.

At least, I don't know of any other modern manipulative mystery cults of their size. Unless there is evidence I've overlooked of major organized religions with a policy like "fair game," or "disconnecting" from friends and loved ones?
posted by Rictic at 10:51 AM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


They're big enough and they've been around long enough to get classified as "real religions" and apparently its awful and hateful to dare to say anything against the real religions.

Huh? I, at least, think they're all pretty scamnacious, and I never feel like mine is particularly a minority voice here on MetaFilter. It's one of the primary reasons I like the place, actually.
posted by adamgreenfield at 10:57 AM on May 13, 2007


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi3IK-6tiQA

Dr Phil sound board VS scientologist telephone operator

"I want you to live your life like a gay woman"
posted by nihlton at 10:58 AM on May 13, 2007


You brave people have the courage to write nasty things about a small and powerless religion that's pretty much universally hated

uh.

You don't know much about Scientology if you think they don't have some amount of power.
posted by wires at 10:59 AM on May 13, 2007


you are making xenu mad. he might return in his Douglas DC-8 space-craft and get you.
posted by Flood at 11:00 AM on May 13, 2007


"Fine, but I expect you to have my back when I bash any and all other religions."

I agree. I feel like here on mefi, its pretty open season to talk about the tangled mess that is christianity, but you can't really talk about the cluster fuck of violence and oppression that we call Islam.
posted by nihlton at 11:01 AM on May 13, 2007


Scientology is vehemently opposed to psychology/psychiatry beyond all reason.

The irony here is that, for all their hatred of psychiatry and psychology, the "Church" of Scientology seems to have mastered quite well many of its darkest and morally-reprehensible aspects.
posted by vanadium at 11:03 AM on May 13, 2007


Religions don't do things like break into IRS offices to modify their own tax records.

Sure they do. They just don't have to be as obvious about it since most of the dirtiest stuff like the Spanish Inquisition and raping the Indians for all of thier gold went down a long time ago. Now major religions are in the clear, free to lie, bribe and coerce as they please without anyone batting an eye.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:07 AM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


if christianity were run like scientology, you'd have to pay $1000 to read the book of genesis. exodus would set you back $1500. nobody would make it past the next three, which are the most boring books in the bible.

Ever heard of a tithe? RC churches can be quite aggressive about it.
posted by srboisvert at 11:08 AM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Malor That's because they don't need to. The big religions got a "get out of taxes free" card because, oooh, they're religions.

And, for the record, what I mostly hear people doing is saying LOLXENU and making fun of Tom Cruise. Scroll up in this thread, for example, and you'll notice, that surprise, its pretty much all LOLXENU stuff. Until, that is, someone like me complains about the LOLXENU stuff, then you start trotting out all the CoS horror stories.

BFD. In Saudi Arabia its estimated that 400 people are exected every year simply for being homosexual. The ex-Hitler Youth Pope just said it was perfectly peachy keen fine and dandy to excommunicate politicians who vote to end the subjucating of women. Thousands of homosexuals are physically assaulted in the USA every year by Christians. George W. Bush is so batshit insane that he thinks his god told him to invade Iraq. And you've got your panties in a bunch because there's rumors that the CoS considers non-CoS sub-human? Fuck do I care? Are they setting policy? Are CoS votes such a huge bloc that an entire party sells out to their fringe crazies? No? Then why should I care?

You're boggling at small time, almost meaningless, examples of religious thuggery and letting the huge evil being done by the big established religions slide without comment.

Let me repeat, for the hard of thinking: All religion is a scam. All religion is equally fake. It is seriously annoying when people who wouldn't dream of bashing a big religion start beating up on a little underdog religion.

wires hilariously writes: You don't know much about Scientology if you think they don't have some amount of power.

Lessee, how many CoS members are elected to office at the state or federal level? That'd be zero, right? How many CoS members are on the fucking Supreme Court writing their religious dogma into decisions? That'd be zero, right? How many politicians have *ever* courted the CoS vote? That'd be zero, right?

Yup, I'm quaking in my boots at the unstoppable juggernaut that is the CoS, man with their total and complete lack of control and influence in the government its a wonder we're allowed to boldly make LOLXENU comments on MetaFilter.

What power does the CoS have? A few actors that are roundly mocked? Yup, scary stuff. Much worse than the Roman Catholic Church or Islam.
posted by sotonohito at 11:09 AM on May 13, 2007 [5 favorites]


From phaedon's link about the CoS infiltration of the US Government....

FBI raids on Scientology properties in 1977 not only turned up documentation of the group's illegal activities against the United States government, but also illegal activities against other perceived enemies of Scientology, such as "Operation Freakout", a conspiracy to frame author Paulette Cooper on false bomb-threat charges, and conspiracies to frame Gabe Cazares, mayor of Clearwater, Florida, on false hit-and-run charges.

This isn't a religion. It's a mafia. I don't care if you bash religion or not, that's not my thing, but this isn't a religion.
posted by Malor at 11:11 AM on May 13, 2007


Either religion is above criticism, and its right that I get yelled at for criticising it

The latter does not follow from the former. If religion were above criticism, you wouldn't be allowed to criticize religion. But you are allowed to criticize religion. And others are allowed to disagree with you. If you can't handle that disagreement, don't participate. It's not anyone else's job to defend your statements, or even to pay attention to them.
posted by scottreynen at 11:11 AM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


sotonohito, an example: Scientology critic back in jail.
posted by Malor at 11:12 AM on May 13, 2007


LOLXENU.

Priceless. Indeed, I get quite a lot of LOLXENU from the CoS.
posted by adamgreenfield at 11:12 AM on May 13, 2007


Lessee, how many CoS members are elected to office at the state or federal level? That'd be zero, right? How many CoS members are on the fucking Supreme Court writing their religious dogma into decisions? That'd be zero, right? How many politicians have *ever* courted the CoS vote? That'd be zero, right?

Say what?
posted by vanadium at 11:13 AM on May 13, 2007


Newsflash: From the outside all the god scams look exactly like Scientology.

While it may be comforting to hold a belief system that renders all belief systems identical, it does show a lack of discrimination.

And I say that as an atheist.
posted by argybarg at 11:20 AM on May 13, 2007


8====D
posted by phaedon at 11:23 AM on May 13, 2007


sotonohito, Commending your opinion on calling a spade a spade, whatever the name of the bs.

It's an interesting quandary though, wanting to be tolerant, warmly human about others' differences, which may include their cultures and historic belief systems. It seems sane, wise, mature and loving to be tolerant of the limitless differences between one person and another. It also seems wise, mature and authentic to be truthful about bs, especially when that bs, including religion or belief system, is hurting others. And particularly if that bs is hurting others while trying to convince others it is an Ultimate Truth or a Path to Freedom of one sort or another.

I've experienced people unwilling to hear the bs about numerous Tibetan Buddhist teachers, including the Dalai Lama's cover-up of decades of sexual conning of Western women -and some men too- by Tibetan lamas and taking 'disciples' money to maintain their multi-million dollar cult empires of luxury and corruption.

one of the tenets of Scientology that's revealed late in the process is that non-Scientologists are not human

wow, That's telling and pretty much the strategy of all cults, like Scientology, and the behavior of malignant narcissists, to dehumanize others who disagree or are not abject, compliant devotees.

When I outed the cultic abuse of another cult leader I also received death threats.

The Operation Freakout link at Wikipedia is scary. It's a classic tale of an abuse support network scapegoating somebody who criticised/outed their abuses.

The business of Scientology.

At the time of Operation Freakout in 1971 a Member of Parliament, named Sir John Foster, spent some years confronting the disturbing behavior of the Scientologists in Britain.

As far as I can understand, the beginning of the Scientologists' public hatred of doctors of psychology is documented in the Foster Report, because the Scientologists were not permitted to pretend to be psychologists in England in 1966. "Whether he will initiate an Inquiry into the scope and practice in this country of so-called Scientology, and the practice of psychology for fee or reward by persons who have no medical or psychological qualifications".

It's a pity John Sweeney had a rage attack in dealing with a cult devotee. No doubt the Scientologists are looking for any kind of publicity to try and counteract the ridicule heaped on one of their own celeb devotees, Tom Cruise, when he jumped up and down like a crazed chimpanzee in front of millions.
posted by nickyskye at 11:27 AM on May 13, 2007 [7 favorites]


but you can't really talk about the cluster fuck of violence and oppression that we call Islam

anti-Islam stuff ties into PNAC/Neocon/AIPAC astroturfing dimension that I really don't care to read. cf. the former user here who was busy posting this kind of stuff weekly under another account.

It's a difficult subject; to me your quoted above is self-evident, but talking about The Other's issues is, IMV, counter-productive and at any rate not the 'best of the web' since it should be in fact be common knowledge, and finding a story that actually gets to the meat of the issue is damned difficult.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:33 AM on May 13, 2007


lack of discrimination among a group = bigotry.
discrimination between groups = chauvinism/racism/sexism/nationalism

Cult, Sect, Religion == mixing them is a Category Error.

Scientology is a cult, while the JWs and LDS peeps are a sect within the Christian Religion.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:38 AM on May 13, 2007


I guess this isn't the place to talk about the video, eh? IMO, the reporter reacted pretty appropriately given the environment.

Anyone who compares Scientology to, say, Islam clearly hasn't done their homework. (Let me tell you, there's no OTIII for Presbyterians!)
posted by muddgirl at 11:39 AM on May 13, 2007


oops 'sects' not sect; speaking of which, I need some. Good Day!
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:40 AM on May 13, 2007


Malor I'm not trying to claim that the CoS is a nice group. I'm simply saying that objectively they're small fry, and its incredibly frusturating that people get into such a tizzy about their minor little evil and are willing to ignore or condone the massive evil done by established religions.

Its bad that one guy is in jail because the CoS used a law written by non-CoS members to its advantage. Its, IMO, vastly worse that 5 Supreme Court justices wrote Roman Catholic dogma into US law.

So, back in the 1970's the CoS tried screwing with the US government. You'll notice that the people who did so were caught, found guilty, and put in prison. More than can be said for the Catholic fanatics who have currently infiltrated our high court. So, on the one side we've got some nasty stuff that was found and corrected thirty years ago, and on the other side we've got active religious loons in important government positions today, and you chose to freak out at the stuff that happened 30 years ago. WTF?

Right now Islamic loons are beating women, killing women, and raping women. This isn't happeing thirty years ago, its happeing right this very second. But you think its more important to rant about the CoS.

I don't get it, and it pisses me off.
posted by sotonohito at 11:43 AM on May 13, 2007


I think you've made your point several times now, but the point of this thread, from the perspective of pretty much anyone but you, is an incident about CoS, not what you think people should be criticizing. You're entitled to your opinion, but it is a derail, and how many times are you going to say it?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:48 AM on May 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


There's one major difference between Scientology and mainstream religions: the Abrahamic leaders clearly believe what they preach, but I'm not aware of any Scientologist bigwigs showing the slightest degree of piety.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 11:49 AM on May 13, 2007


But you think its more important to rant about the CoS.

I don't get it, and it pisses me off.


Let me explain it to you: word count and importance have no correlation on the internet. Feel better now?
posted by scottreynen at 11:50 AM on May 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Sotonohito: It's not a religion. Don't use that term for Scientology. It is a mafia.

And there's always one more evil in the world, there's always one more thing that's "oh so terribly important". This is a real evil, causing true grief, and it needs to be exposed as the deception and fraud that it is. It needs to be fought independently of all the other evils.

Saying that it's "less evil", and that we should be up in arms about the way a religion is practiced in other countries is incredibly fucking stupid. This is OUR society, and this is where we need to be focused. Wailing about how other societies are fucked up is great and all, but unlike every other country in the world, this one actually is our responsibiility to fix.

You go right ahead and rant about stuff we can't do anything about. This is something we CAN do something about.
posted by Malor at 12:09 PM on May 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


George_Spiggott What can I say, I dislike the thread. If the percentage of LOLXENU theads, when compared to the LOL [Insert religion here] threads, was equal to the percentage each religion had in the population, I wouldn't care.

Malor Ah yes, the final bit. I was waiting for someone to start in on that line. But I'm done. You can get back to your two minutes hate now, I won't bother you anymore.
posted by sotonohito at 12:12 PM on May 13, 2007


I'm down with sotonohito - I saw the clip last night on the BBC News website and thought about posting it here. Then I researched it a bit and realized that it's not interesting at all, and to post it wouldn't be much different from decrying McDonalds as the sole source of globalization ills - it's just easy target sensationalism. At best the importance of the clip is the loss of professionalism by the BBC reporter, that's all.
posted by forallmankind at 12:14 PM on May 13, 2007


Right now Islamic loons are beating women, killing women, and raping women. This isn't happeing thirty years ago, its happeing right this very second. But you think its more important to rant about the CoS.

Posting in a Metafilter thread means I think something's important? Who knew?
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:20 PM on May 13, 2007


Sorry, but just precisely wtf does Maimonides have to do with this thread? The implication in your comment is that Jewish law in some way permits Jews to lie to, cheat, steal from or even kill non-Jews. That is an old antisemitic libel with no basis in fact. It is astonishing to see it repeated here.
posted by motty at 12:20 PM on May 13, 2007


You've got a point sotonohito. But that's just how it works around here.
posted by jouke at 12:21 PM on May 13, 2007


One religion calling another one "silly". The irony.
posted by bobbyelliott at 12:21 PM on May 13, 2007


What can I say, I dislike the thread.

Best, then, to slip out and head to another party. Just as in life.
posted by argybarg at 12:43 PM on May 13, 2007


sotonohito, you obviously need remedial classes in critical thinking.

Let me repeat, for the hard of thinking: All religion is a scam. All religion is equally fake.

Do you realize how idiotic your statements sound? Your confident assertion shows an astonishing ignorance of the history of human culture. Just a few thoughts:

-- The major world religions cannot be deemed "scams." They were generated organically from a sincere belief in the nature of reality and the existence of a higher being, and have hundreds of years of history in which these faiths were productively integrated into the lives of their followers and have contributed to a great many landmarks of art, literature, and culture. Scientology, by contrast, is an enterprise created by a twentieth century science fiction novelist, that is almost universally agreed to drain people's bank accounts, separate them from their families, harass them and even kill them in some instances. You really think you can put major world religions and scientology on the same footing? If you really think this, you're a fool.

-- To say that people like Jesus, St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, were all just participants in a "scam" that's on the same level of Scientology is the sort of comment I would expect to hear uttered among a bunch of nineteen year old college students, sitting around on ratty sofas, smoking pot and listening to Pink Floyd.

-- For you to say "all" of [any aspect of human culture] is "equally" [any quality] is to utter a basically meaningless statement.

-- I'd encourage you to go get some education, put aside your adolescent arrogance for a while, and then weigh in on these topics when you have something intelligent to say.
posted by jayder at 12:45 PM on May 13, 2007 [13 favorites]


one of the tenets of Scientology that's revealed late in the process is that non-Scientologists are not human

That's because by demonizing somebody (all non-scientologist) one create an -enemy cause- of all that is felt as bad , similarly the nazis depicted jews as cause of almost everthing bad. By dehumanizing the enemy it becomes easier NOT to feel them as humans and therefore even -less- like human, making them an easier target to attack on.

The big religions got a "get out of taxes free" card because, oooh, they're religions.

Similarly in Rome, Italy we have the Vatican ,owning a very significant portion of the city real estate. Apparently these are registered in balance sheet at HISTORICAL COSTS ...accountants know what I mean. Also from a taxation point of view, when paying yearly income taxes one can direct 0,008 of the taxed income to a recognized benefit association, including "of course" the church of Rome. Apparently _few_ decided to direct this money to the Church, but nonetheless they received such (relatively) great amounts of money one starts smelling something a lot more rotten then a statistical anomaly.

Right now Islamic loons are beating women, killing women, and raping women.

Don't tell me ! But don't brand them Islamic loons, rather islamic criminals, like christian criminals, scientology criminals and whatnot. All they have in common is : human and criminal.

And all politicians of any color will ever care about is their VOTE , but that vote comes with an high price they DON'T PAY , we do. We do when religious biased policies are enacted substracting resourcers or redirecting them to favor -primarily- one group or compromising a few or all others. Faith based initiatives, stem cell research and what have you.

Yesterday in Rome we had a big demo organized by the Catholic Church and their poltical friends , in favour of The Family. Clearly the Church wanted this do be a PRO manifestation , not an AGAINST gay..they left the job of polarizing against homosexuals and DICO act (law allowing marriage for homosexuals) as if it was an ATTACK against The Family. This is transparent strategy for any politician and amateur spindoctor , but not for many people , expecially for simple and ignorant people that were offered the candy promise of "MORE" for the families... (yes..more of nothing is still nothing, but MORE)

The strategy is OLD , but still works well. Yet it is shows its limits when people start BACKING and understanding that an homosexual attitude or choice when NOT IMPOSED (I am referring to fringe aggressive homosexuals, showing more hate then tolerance) to other people is NOT a problem as they don't suffer from their activities and choices ; more important is the realization that some group is being singled out as if they were attacking and destroying or inciting violence and hatred.

So we had another demo in Piazza Navona , supporting ANY family and the idea of LOVE between people who love each other regardless of their being recognized as "brand signature" couples. It was a much smaller demo, but not less spontanoues then the big "pro family" one. Unsurprisingly Berlusconi dediced to go where he tought he could have collected more votes, who cares if they are from gays or from the church.

Again the attempt is that of -dividing- people rather then suggesting and maintaing tolerance for tolerance and intolerance for hatred and some scientologist surely appear to love hating a lot.
posted by elpapacito at 12:49 PM on May 13, 2007


I would guess that the reason Sweeney reacted like that was that he felt he was being subjected to some kind of hypnotic-style suggestion, which to him was as threatening as being bellowed at, perhaps more so, because he might have felt himself in danger of temporarily losing his reasoning faculties. Perhaps the Scientologists were using suggestion techniques similar to stage hypnotists, (which is why they would have been talking in a calm manner, and reacted calmly to his outburst) and Sweeney felt he was being put under, so to speak, so he shouted in order to break the hypnotic effect?
posted by mokey at 12:52 PM on May 13, 2007


motty, there is evidence. Spin it as you wish.
posted by Brian B. at 1:14 PM on May 13, 2007


you obviously need remedial classes in critical thinking.

Do you realize how idiotic your statements sound?

Your confident assertion shows an astonishing ignorance of the history of human culture.

If you really think this, you're a fool.

I'd encourage you to go get some education, put aside your adolescent arrogance for a while, and then weigh in on these topics when you have something intelligent to say.


Now those are the sort of comments I would expect to hear uttered among a bunch of nineteen year old college students, sitting around on ratty sofas, smoking pot and listening to Pink Floyd.
posted by forallmankind at 1:25 PM on May 13, 2007


One the bright side, are there any of those comments that wouldn't make a great MeFi tagline?
posted by found missing at 1:28 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


One?
posted by found missing at 1:29 PM on May 13, 2007


*stupid brain*
posted by found missing at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2007


It's pretty weird to argue that Scientology is not a religion - it is by any standard you care to name. Followers, a closed belief system, special doctrine, holy writings, beliefs based on a lot of unprovables, many of which are flatly contradicted by science. So a twentieth-century novelist came up with it and they pulled some hoaxes when Hubbard "ascended" or whatever they did when he stopped breathing. One might as well say that Christianity was started by some first-century novelists, who can hardly keep their tracts straight. And the body was clearly stolen from the cave.

I'm afraid I'm in with the "religions are just cults who have so many followers that it becomes politically inadvisable to refer to them as 'cults.'" crowd.

Just take a gander at the ones that get some grief and you'll see what I mean.

Scientology - fairly small, takes an awful lot of flak. Making fun of Scientology is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Church of the Latter-Day Saints - geneology obsession, special underwear, but a somewhat larger group and therefore you might never know when one of them may be around.

Islam - Bigger group, but what's with all of their weird food obsessions and funny clothes? Still, there's an awful lot of them. We'd better respect their diversity.

And on up the line.

Meanwhile, I'm still living in a state that has blue laws. Having to watch some store clerk explain to a Jew that they can't buy wine on a Sunday morning because the Sabbath (the Christian one, not the Jewish one) has been written into law is fairly entertaining. And let's not forget the places where atheists can't hold certain public offices.

Please, let me know when some Scientology doctrine gets written into law.
posted by adipocere at 1:30 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


(in case it's not immediately transparent, brian b.'s link above in support of his earlier skeetchy statement is to the protocols of the elders of zion. holy creepy shit.)
posted by ~ at 1:36 PM on May 13, 2007


But its always open season on the CoS.

It's always open season on stupidity.
posted by three blind mice at 1:37 PM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Do you realize how idiotic your statements sound?
posted by russmail at 1:38 PM on May 13, 2007


You can get back to your two minutes hate now

Using such sensationalist rhetoric is a classic Scientology tactic, how ironic.

sotonohito, you've a knack for reliably arriving early to MeFi threads about Scientology and using this tired but-what-about-other-religions argument. Are you a Scientologist?
posted by normy at 1:39 PM on May 13, 2007


(in case it's not immediately transparent, brian b.'s link above in support of his earlier skeetchy statement is to the protocols of the elders of zion. holy creepy shit.)

It's a link to Israel Shahak's book, actually.
posted by Brian B. at 1:44 PM on May 13, 2007


Abrahamic leaders clearly believe what they preach

Yeah, specially when it comes to gold chains, rings and expensive cars. These days the only way to tell a Catholic bishop and a hip hop star is because one of them is bound to be black.
posted by micayetoca at 1:47 PM on May 13, 2007


"During filming, Sweeney confronted Travolta at a London film premiere, shouting from the crowd: "Are you a member of a brainwashing cult?"

The star complained to George Entwistle, the BBC's head of TV current affairs, and deputy director-general Mark Byford.

He wrote: "There was a man screaming insults and accusations about my religion from the crowd.
"
posted by nickyskye at 2:00 PM on May 13, 2007


How embarassing for me. It's several links above the ones to the "protocols".
posted by ~ at 2:19 PM on May 13, 2007


How embarassing for me. It's several links above the ones to the "protocols".

Embarrassing for you indeed. It's a comparative archive on Jews and Judaism with mostly Jewish authors. Please don't hurt them or destroy their books.
posted by Brian B. at 2:26 PM on May 13, 2007


normey wrote: sotonohito, you've a knack for reliably arriving early to MeFi threads about Scientology and using this tired but-what-about-other-religions argument. Are you a Scientologist?

Nope. The objections I listed earlier where perfectly honest I assure you.

Religiously I'm a hard atheist materialist, I have no association with any religion and consider them all to be equally false.
posted by sotonohito at 2:41 PM on May 13, 2007


It's a comparative archive of antisemitism, liberally diluted with Jewish anti-Zionist texts, Brian B., no matter where the authors may be from ethnically. That's why they list the Protocols of the Elders of Zion without mentioning the word 'forgery'.

Meanwhile, among other places, here's a page explaining how the texts that Shahak (and other antisemites) have used to spread lies about the Jews are actually interpreted within normative Judaism. Clue - that 'Thou Shalt Not Murder' bit in the Ten Commandments still applies after all. Shahak is, as he so often was, just plain wrong.

It has been a standard practice for some centuries for antisemites to take quotes out of context from the Talmud and elsewhere in order to make the Jews look bad, but it is strange to see someone attempting to do so here on MeFi. So what other ethnic groups do you hate enough to spread lies about, Brian B.? I'm sure we'd all love to hear more of your racist ideas and visit your racist web resources.
posted by motty at 3:00 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Looks like they're stepping up the attempt to discredit the BBC.
posted by vanadium at 3:07 PM on May 13, 2007


Motty, your link is just proof of the controversy you tried to deny and excludes all the other points by Shahak, especially as they are quoted in full from Maimonides on the other link. The racialism is yours to deny.
posted by Brian B. at 3:08 PM on May 13, 2007


Do you have serious reading comprehension problems, Brian B.? Otherwise I cannot make sense of your comment.
posted by motty at 3:09 PM on May 13, 2007


Motty, that would make you the one with reading comprehension problems.
posted by Brian B. at 3:10 PM on May 13, 2007


Metafilter: The sort of comments I would expect to hear uttered among a bunch of nineteen year old college students, sitting around on ratty sofas, smoking pot and listening to Pink Floyd.
posted by rockabilly_pete at 3:17 PM on May 13, 2007


Brian B., the religion of Judaism outlaws murder. Full stop. It's right there in the Ten Commandments and there is no getting round it. You have been trying to suggest that Jewish religious texts exist which contradict that, but in fact no such texts exists, as the link I posted demonstrates in the case of the misquotes from Shahak linked to by you earlier. Either you are deliberately trolling me right now or you do not know what 'reading comprehension' problems actually are. Meanwhile, I am curious. Why do you hate Jews so much?
posted by motty at 3:26 PM on May 13, 2007


Do I sound bitter? You bet. I get jumped for quite accurately describing all the priests/witch doctors/ministers/whatevers as con men. Ooh, the nasty evil atheist dared to tell the truth about the *REAL*RELIGIONS* so he's obviously hate filled and must be dismissed and then ignored. But when people say much nastier things about the CoS its all ok.

What? I've probably read the majority of the atheist threads on Metafilter and I don't recall much of a pattern of posters "getting jumped" for expressing anti-religious sentiments. Of course, on the other hand, if you were this patronizing and confrontational in previous threads, then I can see why you might get a, erm, negative reaction.

Brian B., I've flagged your comment as noise, seeing as we don't have a flag for "Stormfront Dumbfuckery".
posted by jokeefe at 3:31 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Religious institutions should be taxed in the US, same as everyone else. There, I fixed the country for you.
posted by Eideteker at 3:32 PM on May 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Brian B.: Embarrassing for you indeed. It's a comparative archive on Jews and Judaism with mostly Jewish authors. Please don't hurt them or destroy their books.

Okay, seriously, did you even look at the links page for that site? Stormfront, David Duke, various Holocaust deniers...

Somehow, I'm guessing your next rhetorical move here will be something about how the site's perspective is irrelevant and we're all being intellectually dishonest by bringing it up. I hope to be proven wrong.
posted by a louis wain cat at 3:33 PM on May 13, 2007


Oh, wait, there's the one for "offensive content". Done.

You can't link to a site that lists the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a factual resource and expect to be taken as anything but an antisemite. Come on.
posted by jokeefe at 3:33 PM on May 13, 2007


Motty, full stop. I don't like racism or bigotry in any form and I won't apologize for yours or anyone else's, even in orthodox snippets. Address the points in the link, before you insist that they don't really exist. Apparently, it is lawful to kill a gentile under some circumstances. Quote: If a Jew has coitus with a Gentile woman, whether she be a child of three or an adult, whether married or unmarried, and even if he is a minor aged only nine years and one day—because he had willful coitus with her, she must be killed, as is the case with a beast, because through her a Jew got into trouble. (Maimonides).
posted by Brian B. at 3:37 PM on May 13, 2007


I don't think Brian B. is an atheist as much as he is an anti-theist. And if you're an antitheist, doesn't that automatically make you an antisemite? I mean to say, it looks like he's not espousing antisemitism so much as trying to illustrate that many religious leaders of all faiths are charlatans, liars, and doubletalkers. But in doing so, he linked to an antisemitic site, which is never a savory thing.
posted by Eideteker at 3:38 PM on May 13, 2007


Somehow, I'm guessing your next rhetorical move here will be something about how the site's perspective is irrelevant and we're all being intellectually dishonest by bringing it up. I hope to be proven wrong.

You are dismissing Shahak because of someone's archive that you aren't sure of?
posted by Brian B. at 3:40 PM on May 13, 2007


Some of us, Eideteker, see being Jewish as an ethnic thing far more than a religious thing. So, no, anti-theism != antisemitism in any way shape or form. HTH.
posted by motty at 3:47 PM on May 13, 2007


"Some of us, Eideteker, see being Jewish as an ethnic thing far more than a religious thing."

See, that's the problem with Jews... (NOT ANTISEMETICIST)
posted by Eideteker at 3:49 PM on May 13, 2007


You are dismissing Shahak because of someone's archive that you aren't sure of?

Address the point, Brian: What do you know of the Protocoals of the Elders of Zion, and what do you make of a site that references the Protocols as factual?

I don't like racism or bigotry in any form

*laughs* No, you just don't know how to recognize it when it bites you in the ass.
posted by mediareport at 3:49 PM on May 13, 2007


I was presuming the comment about Maimonides was a joke. It wasn't?

(Eyes go-bag and Canadian border.)
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:49 PM on May 13, 2007


mediareport, they don't reference it as factual, see the disclaimer on the main page. I can't tell if you are lying or just misinformed.
posted by Brian B. at 3:53 PM on May 13, 2007


I hate to get embroiled in this derailment, but as a former Orthodox Jew who studied such things, it's absolutely unequivocal that Maimonides, at least in interpreting the letter of law with regard to murder, puts gentiles in a different category than Jews.

Mishneh Torah, laws of killing and saving lives, chapter 2, paragraph 10:

"Whether one murders a Jew or a gentile slave [of a Jew], the murderer receives the death penalty...A Jew who kills a "resident alien" [a category for gentiles who take up residence in the land of Israel and follow the laws to some extent] does not receive the death penalty by the court, for it is written "when a man shall strike his fellow," [and a resident alien is not considered a Jew's 'fellow']. [Based on this], it's not even necessary to say that one does not receive the death penalty for murdering a gentile."

Now, one can be apolegetic and say that yes, Maimonides clearly believed in a duality between Jew and non-Jew, probably based on Talmudic statements to the same effect, but modern Jews no longer believe such things. And that would probably be true for the vast majority of Jews living today. But, are Orthodox kids still being taught that gentiles, in one sense or another, inhuman? Sure. That doesn't mean they'll go out and kill a goy for the fun of it (one hopes), but having that distinction ever-present in one's mind does tend to make one a little less sensitive to the plight of the non-Jew, however that gets manifested in one's actions.

If it's anti-semitic to say such things, than sue me. With a Jewish lawyer.
posted by greatgefilte at 3:55 PM on May 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


We're now a topic on metatalk.
posted by Brian B. at 3:59 PM on May 13, 2007


Yeah, greatgefilte, really helpful. Really really helpful. Thanks. Fabulous. Meanwhile, ok, fine, Maimonides, in his mediaeval legalistic text might well say that the penalty is different depending on who has been murdered, but please, I am agog, direct me to the bit where he or any other sage says it's ok to murder non-Jews, that there is no penalty there and that Lo Tirtzach (aka Thou Shalt Not Kill from the Decalogue) somehow does not apply in such a case. Because that is Shahak and Brian Bigot's argument, and that precisely the lie that I have a problem with here.
posted by motty at 4:19 PM on May 13, 2007


motty, if you read the second paragraph under 'Genocide and Murder' in the Shahak text, he says the same thing that the Rambam says -- "When the victim is a Gentile, the position is quite different. A Jew who murders a Gentile is guilty only of a sin against the laws of Heaven, not punishable by a court."

i.e. the penalty is different, not that it's permitted, hence the word 'guilty.' Which is, I think, what Gil Student was saying in the rebuttal page that you linked to.
posted by greatgefilte at 4:31 PM on May 13, 2007


Brian B.: You are dismissing Shahak because of someone's archive that you aren't sure of?

Well, I called that one.

On Shahak, I think he was someone who rebelled against his culture and upbringing with a vengeance, and though that isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think he took it to an excessive degree, one that led him in an intellectually dishonest direction. In general, I think that if a sizable portion of your audience is made up of genocidal lunatics who want to see the group you came from exterminated, you're probably doing something wrong. I'd say similar about Irshad Manji and other ex-Muslim darlings of the LGF set, actually.

Now then, about that site- you say you hate racism and bigotry, which raises the question of why you would have so little problem with linking to a site that hosts the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and links to Stormfront, and also the question of why you would then refuse to acknowledge there was anything problematic about it at all when called on it. I just hope this particular brand of dickishness is of the "I am arguing on the Internet and therefore must never back down or admit I was wrong in any sense" variety, as opposed to the "You know, David Duke makes some good points" variety.
posted by a louis wain cat at 4:36 PM on May 13, 2007


mediareport, they don't reference it as factual, see the disclaimer on the main page.

Riiight. That one's not as good as the disclaimer on the links page, though:

Holocaust Revisionism

Holocaust Revisionism is a curious discipline. I haven't made any final conclusions one way or another about Holocaust revisionist claims, but I think they are worth considering. Look into it yourself and see what you think.


Just stop, Brian. There are ways to say what you're trying to say (greatgefilte comes close), but you fucked up bigtime when you linked approvingly to a bunch of Jew-haters who try to be cute as they pretend they're not Jew-haters.
posted by mediareport at 4:37 PM on May 13, 2007


Newsflash: From the outside all the god scams look exactly like Scientology.

No, not all God scams classify their religious texts as trade secrets. You can find a bible in any cheap hotel room, for goodness sakes.
posted by Thoth at 4:49 PM on May 13, 2007


*hugs Brian B.*
posted by forallmankind at 4:52 PM on May 13, 2007


Holocaust Revisionism is a curious discipline. I haven't made any final conclusions one way or another about Holocaust revisionist claims, but I think they are worth considering. Look into it yourself and see what you think.

Mediareport, I did not write the above quote as you allude. I now see your effort as one to smear me by any means possible. I note that you are referring to Shahak and scores of other Jews as Jew haters.
posted by Brian B. at 5:14 PM on May 13, 2007


This is a perfect case of "Battle not with monsters lest ye become a monster". Still: Many who have challenged Scientology have lost a lot more than their composure.

Sweeney's story of being badgered and spied on sounds very much like what happened to a number of critics and former Scientologists when Scientology tried to shut down the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup in 1995.

The tactic of using a damaging disclosure -- in this case, the video of Sweeney losing his cool -- is a traditional Scientology tactic. In the course of Dianetic auditing, people make intimate confessions. The church keeps these on file in case they are needed to discourage someone who has left the organization from speaking out -- or discredit them, should threats fail to keep them silent.

I don't begrudge Scientologists their right to charge whatever the market will bear for their brand of salvation. But they ought not have a monopoly on the representation of their beliefs, practices and history. Kudos to Sweeney and the BBC for having the courage to approach this subject critically.
posted by shunpiker at 5:20 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


nice brian b, geocities.
posted by Kifer85 at 5:58 PM on May 13, 2007


"I don't think Brian B. is an atheist as much as he is an anti-theist. And if you're an antitheist, doesn't that automatically make you an antisemite?"

No. I've known several antitheists who were raised in Judaism by Jewish parents who later became atheists and antitheists: they themselves would mock the religion of Judaism but if you made a remark a remark against the Jewish people they'd become very angry. Then too, if you tell Noam Chomsky about how true the Protocols are and that the Jews had a Shoah coming I doubt he'd be very pleased either.

By your point too an antitheist would have to hate the vast majority of Americans who accord some special regious place to some guy named Jesus, which I don't; moreover I'd have to hate most of my family, including my mother, sister and nieces, because of their religion.

You might call this refusal to engage in blanket prejudice "logically inconsistent" if you want to prove you're an idiot'c asshle, but failing that I see no need for you to bother.
posted by davy at 6:00 PM on May 13, 2007


No, not all God scams classify their religious texts as trade secrets. You can find a bible in any cheap hotel room, for goodness sakes.

But MOST religions at one time or another have declared Apostate people who were merely interested in revealing unpopular historical facts about a given faith. For example how the Mormon church goes after credible historians and intellectuals no holds barred. The Mormons and the Catholics have been pretty ruthless in excommunicating people who were simply attempting to make internally known facts public. What's THAT say?

Belief in a deity or holding spiritual beliefs is not the same as "religion."

But I think it IS fairly easy to point out "scams" in most major religions at one point in their history or another (not to mention just the inherent flaw in the logic behind most organized religion in general - a separate argument entirely). While Scientology is merely so flagrant and egregious in their open contempt for anybody who dare question them they are by no means unique in how they "manipulate", deal with dissent, or make wealth.
posted by tkchrist at 6:04 PM on May 13, 2007


Mitt Romney's favorite novel is Battlefield Earth, and his favorite book is the Bible. There is some interesting code being transmitted there.

Worth repeating.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on May 13, 2007


CoS's beliefs may be about as ridiculous as any other given religion, but their practices are another thing altogether.

Also worth repeating.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:11 PM on May 13, 2007


Mediareport, I did not write the above quote as you allude.

Er, yeah, that's why I called it "the disclaimer on the links page."

I now see your effort as one to smear me by any means possible.

Please, I made no attempt to smear you, I'm just pointing out you don't seem to have recognized a racist site when it bites you in the ass. You're the one who linked approvingly to one of their disclaimers; I just pointed to another, equally unbelievable, one.

I note that you are referring to Shahak and scores of other Jews as Jew haters.

No. I'm referring to the folks who put that site together as Jew-haters. And you? You're just being foolish.
posted by mediareport at 7:13 PM on May 13, 2007



it is, in fact, rather easy to distinguish between destructive cults and other religions, new or old.

destructive cults cut people off from family, friends and from anyone else with opposing (even moderately and respectfully differing) views.

they use periods of intensive indoctrination-- usually including humiliation, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, complete isolation from the outside world, repetitive tasks (often hard labor that is really boring), "love bombing" (ie, making the new person the center of attention, sometimes including sexual attention), and other methods like intensive psychological attacks and long periods of meditation or listening to speakers without breaks that produce disorientation and obedience.

They don't just want some money-- they want all your money, and all your worldly possessions. They don't just want some of your time-- they want all of your time, 24/7.

they have "the secret"-- and everyone else is wrong. and 'the ends justify the means' -- so that outsiders may be deceived, hurt and yes, even killed to further their goals.

Mainstream religions may have silly beliefs and individual elements here and there that appear similar to those of destructive cults (ie, tithing) but they don't have the unified picture that makes up a destructive cult. there are, of course, cults based on many mainstream religions-- but without the core elements listed above, they do not qualify as destructive cults.

When all those phenomena are seen together, an organization which is powerful and dangerous can result: see Jonestown, Waco, the Japanese Aum cult, etc. There is a true and genuine difference and it is absurd to deny it.

Just as everyone can find one or two symptoms in the DSM definitions for things like depression that almost everyone has, that doesn't mean everyone is depressed because they don't have enough of them simultaneously to actually qualify for the diagnosis.

if something quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck, shakes its feathers like a duck, looks like a duck and acts like a duck, it's highly likely that it is not a swan.
posted by Maias at 7:20 PM on May 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


Are they setting policy? Are CoS votes such a huge bloc that an entire party sells out to their fringe crazies? No? Then why should I care?

You shouldn't, okay? If it will get you to STfU, then please, please, don't care.

But the crap you're pulling right now? That's all about caring.

You basically propose an all-or-nothing argument: if Christianity isn't shouted down as much as Scientology, then we shouldn't be shouting down Scientology at all.

I suggest you quit caring quite so much that we frag the Christians just as vehemently. In a country with a huge freak-on for religion, it's gonna take baby steps. Open criticism of Scientology now creates opportunity for open criticism of Christianity, Islam, etcetera later.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:27 PM on May 13, 2007


Open criticism of Scientology now creates opportunity for open criticism of Christianity, Islam, etcetera later

*chokes*
posted by forallmankind at 7:38 PM on May 13, 2007


Hey, you gotta admit it is a far different proposition to disagree with/criticize Christianity in, say, Chattanooga than it is in Seattle, and even moreso when comparing the USA to Canada.

Hell, there are parts of the USA where one is an outcast if one isn't attending a church, and where you don't dare declare your atheism if you wish to keep your job.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:48 PM on May 13, 2007


To quote tkchrist: "But MOST religions at one time or another have declared Apostate people who were merely interested in revealing unpopular historical facts about a given faith."

Here's one.
posted by davy at 8:46 PM on May 13, 2007


It's all about the sects here.
posted by atchafalaya at 8:51 PM on May 13, 2007


Thomas Paine was another. Ran right into the buzzsaw known as the Second Great Awakening.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:57 PM on May 13, 2007


Y'know, that the Catholic Church did bad things in the past does not give excuse for new cults to do equally bad things.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM on May 13, 2007


Unsolicited advice for Brian B.
posted by davy at 9:16 PM on May 13, 2007


Explanation of Scientology-- South Park Style.
posted by nickyskye at 9:34 PM on May 13, 2007


Great, another LOLSCIENTOLOGISTS thread. Don't you people ever get sick of this?
posted by Tom Cruise at 9:41 PM on May 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Don't you people ever get sick of this?"

No. Don't you have another celebrity's sofa to jump on?

(JFTR, I don't believe you're really THE Tom Cruise anyway.)
posted by davy at 12:24 AM on May 14, 2007


posted by Tom Cruise

Someone start the countdown to LEGAL ACTION!
posted by Eideteker at 12:29 AM on May 14, 2007


posted by Tom Cruise

Well, if Bruce Willis can post on aintitcoolnews...
posted by MrMustard at 2:35 AM on May 14, 2007


nickyskye - Big Ups to Matt and Trey, as always, for explaining things properly.

People have some sort of evolutionary imperative that requires them to explain things; doubt and uncertainty are too difficult to live with, so they invent all sorts of RIDICULOUS-SOUNDING stories that explain the things we haven't figured out yet.

(see my Ask MeFi question about deja vu)

Scientology just happens to be based on a set of the most ridiculous-sounding stories ever told. The fact that people use these laughable concepts as an excuse to break the law is just sad.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:39 AM on May 14, 2007


This is a transcript from another BBC programme where they talk to the Panorama producer about the whole business.

They showed the clip too it seems. It sounds like this will rather backfire on Scientology, as it's going to get a lot of people watching the Panorama programme now. And I'm also quite amused that their counter video has been shown by the corporation they're trying to be critical of.
posted by edd at 3:25 AM on May 14, 2007


I really hope this does backfire on the the CoS. I'm backing Aunty to win.
posted by jiroczech at 4:16 AM on May 14, 2007


Scroll up in this thread, for example, and you'll notice, that surprise, its pretty much all LOLXENU stuff.

I scrolled up in the thread from this comment, and it was pretty much all about people damaged by Scientology, comments about personal experiences with Scientologists, and other relevant conversation. If there was some LOLXENU/Tom Cruise bashing stuff, it was a really small amount of noise (I certainly didn't notice it.)
posted by davejay at 9:19 AM on May 14, 2007


If there was some LOLXENU/Tom Cruise bashing stuff, it was a really small amount of noise (I certainly didn't notice it.)

Davejay, davejay...you don't even --- you're glib. You don't know the history of this thread. I do!
posted by lumensimus at 10:12 AM on May 14, 2007


So, did anyone see the programme? What did you think?

I was taken aback by how much it had become a programme *about* the cat-and-mouse game involved in making the programme, as opposed to a general exposé about the CoS.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:09 PM on May 14, 2007


The CoS's "counter-documentary" (warning: Scientology-owned site).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:23 PM on May 14, 2007


FYI, the full programme is now available as a low quality Real stream at bbc.co.uk/panorama. It will probably be available on your favourite Torrenttube in a few hours. (The one found now at mininova/demonoid is not today's programme, contrary to what the description says - look at the upload time.)
posted by lodev at 2:34 PM on May 14, 2007


did anyone see the program and agree with me it's absolute trash ?

it's not informative in any way, i just see two guys (John and Tommy) harassing eachother, so my guess is Tommy won, i remain uninformed and 30 minutes will be wasted forever.

the only thing i will remember is that creepy folks like Tommy are best avoided.
posted by Substrata at 2:29 AM on May 15, 2007


Substrata: agreed, I was quite disappointed. It did succeed however in bringing the point across that it's hard to investigate the Co$ since their lawyers are very keen on sending letters after you interview one of their members, and that they are generally a creepy, spying, harassing bunch of nitwits.
posted by lodev at 7:19 AM on May 15, 2007


Direct video link BBC panorama referenced above (wmv)
posted by acro at 11:47 AM on May 15, 2007


(I recommend a torrent if you want to watch -- the sound on this stream is like mud.)
posted by acro at 11:50 AM on May 15, 2007


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