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Pro and Con in the Scientology issue

Critical aspects of Scientology


2. Critical aspects of Scientology

1. Context - The main reason I left Scientology is because I became aware of the existence of the cultic illusion. What I call cultic illusion is the belief created by a manipulative context rather than by the intrinsic value of the content. Constant repetition, the use of authority, the exploitation of fear and guilt - these are part of what I would call a manipulative context.

This does not mean - that the manipulation is a conscious one. Rather, it is part of a larger cultic illusion of which the leader himself is a victim of. This is important in that it runs counter to the anti-cult model of an evil leader exploiting an innocent victim - the cult mind-control concept that is the basis of the anti-cult belief system.



2. Exclusivity - Scientology claims to detain the sole and exclusive Truth, against which everything else is ignorance. I have, philosophically, rejected this notion. Truth cannot be the exclusive property of any system. This way of thinking is the source of the cultic mindset itself, that justifies a "means justify the end" attitude, and is the source of countless religious wars and atrocities.

This does not mean - that the cultic mindset is something reserved to cults only. It can very well be part of "mainstream religion" as well. The artificial difference anticultists desperately and unsuccessfully try to make between a "cult" and a "mainstream religion" in their attempt to draw discriminative legislation has no existence per se. While "cults" can be used to designate fanatical minorities, they certainly don't have a prerogative on the cultic mindset.



3. Wind - The whole basis of Scientology's internal credibility is this: does the tech work or not. What I have found out is that while the tech does have many interesting aspects, it simply does not live up to Scientology's absolute claims. The spiritual results obtained, while very uplifting, are necessarily temporary and a whole network of false justification is built around it to explain why the results aren't stable.

This does not mean - that the whole of Scientology tech is a load of worthless crap, or that some Scientologists cannot built a coherent and honest life around Scientology precepts. Some of the results obtained, at a psychological level, as opposed to the spiritual level, are even remarkable and is the main reasons why members stick with Scientology despite fierce opposition. What I challenge, however, is the spiritual validity of these results, together with the cultic package in which they are being wrapped.



4. Cultic - Naturally, in a context where you are part of the "only true group" of this planet, set against everybody else, and a context in which critical thought is discouraged, you may feel justified to resort to means you would reject otherwise. This leads to the many cultic behavior the CoS is being rightly criticized for. What one needs to realize is that the context is about as important as the content, and the means as important as the end. In the spiritual field, one cannot reach good end through wrong means.

This does not mean - that the CoS will go as far as killing opponents or their pets. These kind of accusations, together with others unsubstantiated accusations like the use of subliminal messages or putting LSD on toothbrushes, are themselves a reflection of a cultic mindset - not on the part of of Scientologists but on the part of so-called critics who do not hesitate to use cheap emotional tricks to further their cause. Anticultists have also mirrored in their own way most of what they blame against the cults and in some case gone much further. Today I consider them more dangerous in terms of immediate civil rights issues than the CoS itself.



5. Doctrine - This point is really of interest only for those involved on a spiritual path. It consists of Scientology concepts that are at odd or contradictory to what I believe otherwise on spiritual issues. The main part consists of the position Scientology sets itself: as the sole issue to escape the "dwindling spiral", which comes in opposition with the otherwise positively oriented Divine evolution scheme in which I have come to believe. The lack of long term results as per 3 above, and the cultic aspects as per 1 and 4 above have comforted me in my opinion on this issue.

This does not mean - that Scientology is necessarily a scam devoid of valuable content, that it is necessarily wrong or of satanic origin, as some critics contend. While many questions could be raised as to the soundness and ultimate purpose of Scientology teaching, an original content doesn't make it automatically wrong and many concepts and results could be viewed as eventually similar to those of other spiritual paths, only that they are arrived at by a different way. At this level, it's mostly a personal choice, but put together with other non-spiritual or even anti-spiritual aspects of  Scientology, I have personally chosen to stir away from the movement.


Positive aspects of Scientology Critical aspects of Scientology
Critical aspects of the Anti-Cult Movement Positive aspects of the Anti-Cult Movement



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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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