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Diane Richardson (moderate critic) and Claire Swazey (Scientologist) debunk the common allegation that Scientology is a fraud because of medical promises made.


One of the most vehement claims of Scientology critics towards the movement is that it practices medicine without a license, and that Scientology beliefs endanger the life of its members. Such accusation are unfounded, but because of the emotional power this kind of arguments has for the public at large and because of the haziness of such a subject itself, critics are sometimes successful at giving the impression that Scientology is dangerous. That Scientology kills!

Every unfortunate death of of a person who happens to be a Scientologist is a golden opportunity for critics to profess their hatred for Scientology the world over. They will relentlessly proclaim to every possible media that the real cause of death is... Scientology!

Scientology, however, does not practice medicine without a license, because when it claims to be able to cure ailments, it refers to the power of spiritual healing, and does not prevent in the least the person from consulting a physician. Quite on the contrary this is even a requirement in some cases.

Not only are critics' accusation that Scientology prevents people from consulting doctors false, their accusation that it also prevents people from taking medical drugs is false as well. Scientology is not in the least against medical drugs. Scientology is against psychotropic drugs, an entirely different matter.

Scientology is indeed vehemently opposed to psychiatry, and claims that with its own techniques, psychiatry is unnecessary. This may of course be controversial, but again does not constitute medical fraud. Indeed, we are here in the realm of psychology, not medicine. Scientology is simply saying that, rather than take anti-depressants, that only numbs people's mind and bury the problems causing the depression in the first place, it is much better to bring to light these cause through its own brand of technology of the mind, and be rid of them for ever. That critics disagree with this approach does not make it medical fraud. As for real psychiatric cases, Scientology does in no way prevent their psychiatric treatment, since the Church of Scientology does not even accept them as customers.

The two posts below, and the and the comment at the end of this page develop and substantiate these concepts further.

Update: Jan 2009. Scientology critics are once more frantically jumping around, trying to convince the world that if John Travolta and Kelly Preston had admitted that their son was autistic and therefore allowed him to take the necessary psychotropic drugs , he would still be alive. This is once again nonsense.

There are no medication for autism, and there is no cure for it, nor can you die from it. Seizure may be an issue, but autism does not equal to seizure. Two different matters. And Travolta and Preston DID acknowledge Jett had a history of seizure (though what they did about it I don't know). This is the most important point..

Therefore the myth going around at the moment that had Travolta acknowledged his son autism, he would not be dead, is just that: a myth. A monstrous myth, and many people fall for it.

See the more specific arguments I develop in my blog entry on this topic.

Diane Richardson

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: : Scientology's Bring Back To Life Assist

referen@bway.net (Diane Richardson)

 

Message-ID: <3aacc4fa.2544240@news1.bway.net>

On Mon, 12 Mar 2001 01:23:54 GMT, "M. C. DiPietra"  <mdipietra@earthlink.net> wrote:

[snip]

>Nowhere do I see, where those claims are being made, disclaimers about it being a matter of faith; instead I see a lot of pseudoscience, trotted out as decor to make scientology appear scientific.

The disclaimer is quite clear in the contract people must sign before
taking scientology courses and/or auditing.

Here's the disclaimer appearing at the front of "Clear Body, Clear Mind," the Purification Rundown book:

"This book is part of the works of L. Ron Hubbard, who developed Scientology applied religious philosophy. It is presented to the reader as a record of observations and research into the nature of the human mind and spirit, and not as a statement of claims made by the author. The benefits and goals of Scientology can be attained only by the dedicated efforts of the reader.

"The Purification program cannot be construed as a recommendation of medical treatment or medication and it is not professed as a physical handling for bodies nor is any claim made to that effect. There are no medical recommendations or claims for the Purification program or for any of the vitamin or mineral regimens described in this book.

"No individual should undertake the Purification program or any of its regimens without first consulting and obtaining the informed approval of a licensed medical practitioner. The author makes no warranties or representation as to the effectiveness of the Purification program."

If people can read such an obvious admission that what follows is bunk and still believe they're undertaking a "medical cure," they deserve what they get. Sorry, I know that sounds harsh, but just how far do you think society should go to protect people from their own stupidity?

If you want to outlaw this sort of thing, you're also going to have to outlaw fundamentalist Christian faith healing services along with Roman Catholic novenas to St. Jude. If you see that as a valid role of government -- protecting people from their own superstitious beliefs -- be my guest. Just don't expect a majority of U.S. citizens to agree with you, including most medical professionals.

>Saying it is an applied religious philosophy instead of a self-help system and calling it a "fixed donation" instead of a "price" does not make scientology, whether it "works" or not, a religion.

Of course not. What makes it a religion (at least under U.S. law) is its claim to address spiritual matters.

Diane Richardson
referen@bway.net

 

Claire Swazey

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: Scientology's Bring Back To Life Assist

 

"Fluffygirl" <cswazey@home.com>

Sun, 11 Mar 2001 20:13:12

Message-ID: <3aac4c73.0@news2.lightlink.com>

"M. C. DiPietra" <mdipietra@earthlink.net> wrote in message news:B6D18F4C.31A17%mdipietra@earthlink.net...

> Selling someone a system or procedure and telling them it can be used to raise the dead, cure arthritis, and make you able to throw away your glasses forever,

That is against Scn policy to do that.You are overlooking this.

>and not being able to duplicate alleged results in a clinical setting seems to smell a lot like medical fraud,

Of course it does. That's why it's against our religion.

> although IANAL.

> Nowhere do I see, where those claims are being made, disclaimers about it being a matter of faith; instead I see a lot of pseudoscience, trotted out as decor to make scientology appear scientific.

Please be advised that it is against Scn policy and Scn tech- therefore it's against the Scn religion- to tell people that they can get cured by taking these courses. I'm not saying it's never happened, I'm saying that when it has, it's been directly contra to the dictates of those claimants own religion.

You are overlooking that, whether deliberately or not, I don't know. I know it would make it far more convenient for you to believe that this is part and parcel of the Scn religion, but it is not. What happened to Raul Lopez was, for example, against the Scn religion.

These are promises "reges" have NO business making and not just by the non-Scientologist ideas,either. They flat-out aren't supposed to be doing that.

And it is *not* snake oil to believe that the spirit affects the body and vice versa and that what occurs in auditing *may* affect that person physically. It *is* snake oil AND AGAINST SCN POLICY to guarantee that it would affect the person physically and how and when and where because that cannot be guaranteed and also it's against Scn policy to suggest or order the person to not receive real medical care. I have had , over the course of my life, medicines and two surgeries administered to me as a Scientologist and I've had Scn staff tell me to get various symptoms checked out at a doctor's. I've seen a Scientology staffer order a "pc" to get his teeth fixed at a dentist's and not to come back for any more auditing sessions until they were. I know this happened, because it was my pc that this happened to.

Much has been written about times where that did NOT happen, such as with Raul Lopez and such as with Tory's medications, too and I am not questioning the fact that those things occurred.I also don't advocate or condone them. These things were contra to Scientology policy. And they were wrong for other reasons besides that, obviously.

I submit to you that you do not really know the Scn religion. You judge by abuses. It is well and good that you look at such abuses that took place but it is NOT well and good that you decide from your frame of reference as a not fully informed non Scientologist that these are actually part and parcel of the Scn religion.

We are free to minister to the spirit in hopes that the body will be affected but only after medical treatment was obtained or if there's nothing else medical science can do except things of an experimental nature. That is not the same as the picture you paint.

There is NOTHING wrong with trying to prevent someone from dying by talking to them in the form of a "bring back to life assist" when medical options have been sought, granted and exhausted or when such are unavailable and for anyone to think that there was something wrong with that would indicate a fixed idea of Brobdingnagian proportions.

C

 


Note:

R.Hill asks me to post the following on this page as a form of “rebutal” to the two posts I webbed:

In Scientology scriptures, the following statement can be found:

"The first science to determine the basic cause of disease. The first science to contain exact technology to routinely alleviate physical illnesses with completely predictable success." [Source: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Secrets/Media/Ybor/flyer-2005-aug.html]

There are many fraudulent claims in there: Scientology is *not* science, and Scientology *cannot* be used to determine the basic cause of disease. Moreover, L. Ron Hubbard was *not* a "nuclear physicist" as stated in Scientology scripture.

The problem with this statement is that it does not rebut any arguments made in the two posts above because what Diane and Claire are saying is precisely that, although LRH did make claims of medical benefit, the claims alone do not constitute medical fraud from a legal point of view, because the results promised are mainly achieved through spiritual therapy, not through medical practice; because disclaimers to that effect are found at prominent steps along the Scientology bridge; and that it is against Scientology policy to actually sell people Scientology or Dianetic procedures with the promise they will be cured of whatever ailment, or to suggest or order the person to not receive real medical care.

Quoting a text in which claims of medical benefits are being made to refute posts saying that medical claims alone do not constitute medical fraud, is of course irrelevant.

However, the reason I posted R.Hill's rebuttal on this page in spite of it being irrelevant is because it shows something very interesting. It shows why critics' allegations of "medical fraud" and other "crimes" are increasingly dismissed by legal and academic authorities, the most recent example at the time of writing being Germany dropping its pursuit of a ban on Scientology because it could not find sufficient evidence to back critics' wild claims on why Scientology should be declared unconstitutional.

Indeed, what is illustrated by R.Hill's statement are two of several mistakes critics make: 1) they take statements out of context and 2) they substitute their own interpretation to the ones the group intended.

It is easy to see in this example that the claims being made in Scientology's literature are being taken out of context. Diane's and Claire's posts above restitute the practical context of such statements.

As for the substitution of meaning, let's take the example of the "science" claim.

It is true that auditing is not really a science in the absolute sense of the term, because it does not go through the formal procedure to be considered as such (peer reviews, replication of results in a controlled environment, etc). However, what Scientologist mean when they say "science", is that its procedures follow an exact method (two ways communication with the help of an e-meter, going down the engram track to the basic basic or until floating needle, review of the PC files by a supervisor, etc…). This is what they call “science”, something they oppose to mere beliefs as found in other religions.

Now you may say that the way such leaflets are worded is deceptive. That may be a valid point, but it simply is not enough to accuse Scientology of medical fraud, and this is what the present page is all about.

Check R.Hill's own web page, entitled: "Scientology: Practicing medicine without a license", and compare it with the arguments found on the present page, then make up your mind as to whether Scientology practice medicine without a license or not.



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Disclaimer :

This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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