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Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology 426

Posted by Soulskill
from the gloves-are-off dept.
eldavojohn writes "It's a lengthy read, but Lawrence Wright at The New Yorker has released a 26 page expose on Scientology. In a world where such innocuous sounding words as 'squirrels,' 'security-checked,' 'disconnection,' 'contra-survival,' 'suppressive persons,' 'clear' and 'open season' carry very serious and heavy baggage, director Paul Haggis has exited after thirty four years of membership and massive funding. Now he speaks at length of Scientology's controversies. From how celebrities were recruited with a 10% commission by a worker at Beverly Hills Playhouse to the current investigation by the FBI of physical abuse and human trafficking, Wright draws surrounding histories and accounts of the Church including Anonymous' crusade. The length of this article reflects the unusually large number of individuals (12 cases of physical abuse) cited as testimony of Scientology Leader David Miscavige's inurement and physical violence. The case remains open as the FBI collects data and testimony — especially in relation to Sea Org. Most disturbing are the disappearances of people that the New Yorker piece enumerates. The piece concludes with the author's interaction with the Church that results in several conflicting foundational statements from its stance on homosexuality (Haggis' original reason for publicly leaving it) to almost all details of L. Ron Hubbard's naval service and discharge. The article ends with Haggis' quote: 'I was in a cult for thirty-four years. Everyone else could see it. I don't know why I couldn't.' You can find summaries of the lengthy article and its suspected results along with corresponding reports listing politicians involved with the Church. Copyrighted work, leaked government documents, PS3 encryption keys and everything else has been posted on Slashdot but only the Church of Scientology has forced comments out of existence."
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Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology

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  • Innocuous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:10PM (#35203138) Journal

    In a world where such innocuous sounding words as 'squirrels,' 'security-checked,' 'disconnection,' 'contra-survival,' 'suppressive persons,' 'clear' and 'open season' carry very serious and heavy baggage...

    'Security-checked', 'contra-survival', and 'suppressive persons' are innocuous sounding words? One of us doesn't know the meaning of that word.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:14PM (#35203192)

    That would only work on the dupes.

    The higher-ups have no illusions and would never reveal anything.

    That's why they get the dirt on you while you're still a newbie.

  • Re:Hrmm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TrancePhreak (576593) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:35PM (#35203372)
    I think part of the difference is that much of the things that happened with the church were the work of individuals. However, the church entity did try to conceal the abuses.

    Contrast that with the CoS who has organized the abuses at the hands of several members.

    I could be wrong about the churches. Any thoughts?
  • by Bemopolis (698691) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:35PM (#35203376)
    Reading that list of charges and tactics, I may finally be ready to accept Scientology as a member of the fraternity of religions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:37PM (#35203394)

    Trying to defeat a religion's organization and beliefs by using logic has been tried many, many times before and never stops people from being convinced they are right. If you think this will have any impact whatsoever, I think you need to open your eyes.

    You'll have forgotten about this in a week.

  • by Coraon (1080675) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:39PM (#35203436)
    Any christian church, any fits that description. So do some flavors of Judaism and Islam. Ironically most flavors of modern paganism don't. Yet are still called such by these groups...
  • by slshwtw (1903272) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:44PM (#35203480)
    Here is the definition of a cult according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
    1. 1: formal religious veneration : worship
    2. 2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
    3. 3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
    4. 4: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
      • 5a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad
      • 5b: the object of such devotion
      • 5c: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion

    Note that all of the above could easily apply to first-century Christianity; indeed it is difficult to think of *any* definition for a cult that wouldn't (and yes I'm well aware there is an abundance of /. users who don't particularly care for Christianity, or any other religion). Here is the definition of a cult as people really use it: "A religion I don't like" I don't personally have any warm fuzzies about scientology, but to label it "a cult" doesn't describe anything substantive about the organisation except your opinion of it.

  • Re:WRONG (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:45PM (#35203496) Homepage
    Have you read your sig yet?
  • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Monday February 14, 2011 @05:51PM (#35203560) Homepage
    Being an asshat does not make a person a rapist.
  • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Monday February 14, 2011 @06:08PM (#35203768)

    Trying to defeat a religion's organization and beliefs by using logic has been tried many, many times before and never stops people from being convinced they are right. If you think this will have any impact whatsoever, I think you need to open your eyes.

    As they guy said, you can't logic someone out of something they didn't logic themselves into! On the other hand, this isn't about scientology being a religion, its about it being a criminal organisation.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Monday February 14, 2011 @07:41PM (#35204678)

    By those standards, and with the testimony of these two women, he would be found guilty.

    You mean, all one has to do is allege that one asked one's partner to wear a condom and that they refused to convict someone of rape?

    As I see it, whether or not he refused to wear a condom is utterly irrelevant.

    If she asked him to wear a condom, he refused, and she said... oh ok fine... then its not rape.

    If she asked him to wear a condom, and he said no, and she said, "oh, ok, then we are done here" and he says "come on", and she says "oh ok fine" then its not rape.

    If she asks, he says no condoms, she says no sex, and then he forces her to anyway then its rape.

    He also didn't disclose to either that he was having multiple sex partners at the time.

    So is adultery a felony crime in sweden too?

  • Re:Hrmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday February 14, 2011 @10:57PM (#35205872) Journal

    My personal take on the differences is this:

    With Catholic child abuse scandal, your average Catholic believer does not condone it in any way, shape or form - it's entirely contrary to what they believe in. Many of them do refuse to believe that things like that happened, but when they finally realize that this is all true, they are disgusted. In other words, this is a case of Church hierarchy deviating from the very things they teach.

    With Scientology, concepts such as "squirrels" and "suppressive persons" are taught to the rank-and-file, and their persecution is the doctrine of the church, fully supported by all its members (because those who don't are kicked out). Thus, the entire Church, as a single entity, stands behind all this - which makes the whole thing evil, and not just some people (or even all leaders).

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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