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Religion


Claim: Scientology is a scam that masquerades as a religion

Arguments:

Scientology has nothing to do with religion, claim critics. It is a commercial enterprise, a criminal organization, and a devious scam whose sole aim is money and power. Scientology, they say, uses the religious label to gain tax exemptions and find shelter for their criminal activities under the umbrella of "Religious Freedom".

Truth:

The "Church" and "Religion" angle is actually somewhat embarrassing for many Scientologists who prefer to view what they do as a practical philosophy. It seems quite clear to me that at least part of the reasons for the movement to present itself as a religious organization is of a legal nature, and I think that many members are aware of that.

While I still view Scientology as a religion, as per the reasons below, I do not agree with the fact that the huge chunk of money they are making escapes taxation. The solution would of course be to tax every religious organizations like any commercial organization. I personally do not see good reasons for religious organizations to be tax-exempt in the first place.

Fallacies:

The main reason why critics' accusations don't hold water is that Scientology *does* have spiritual tenets as part of his philosophy and that members at various levels *do* believe in them. Scientologists actively belief, as part of their core belief in Scientology, that they are spiritual beings, distinct from their "meat body", and that their own brand of psychological therapy have a direct incident in their spiritual evolution and future. In my view, this alone qualifies the movement to benefit of the religion label, and many courts and scholars around the world have also decided likewise.

I am personally convinced that the CoS leaders believe in their own tenets just as much, if not more, as the rank and file members. I don't support, therefore, the argument that there is a conscious scam being run by evil exploiters against unsuspecting and innocent victims. If anything, both leaders and members share in the same illusion.

Two reasons why anticultists like to dismiss Scientology as a genuine religious movement are:

1) they do not want to be seen as attacking a genuine religious movement.

2) they need to justify the mind-control paradigm that makes a simplistic duality between the evil exploiter on the one hand, and the unsuspecting and innocent victim on the other. A religious movement where everyone, from top to bottom, sincerely believes in what they do runs counter to this paradigm.

Conclusion:

Scientology is no less a religious movement than any other belief system centered upon spiritual tenets. It doesn't mean, for that, that it is beyond criticism, and while I don't believe it is a deliberate scam, I do think that it is way over-priced as a therapy, and that money should not enter the picture at all when it comes to spirituality. While I do respect Scientologists' choice and their genuine efforts to improve themselves and society, the unreasonable toil Scientology put on its members, money-wise and cultic-wise, is way to high for what is worth. In my opinion. In this sense, even though critics go themselves way over the top, it is not completely unwarranted to say that Scientology is a scam. That is can also be considered as a religion is not a contradiction under this light.



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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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