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    Tom Cruise & Church of Science Fiction, Singularity, the Bible, and Other Things

    The Ballyfermot Post: The church of science-fiction
    March 07, 2008

    The church of science-fiction

    There has been much controversy surrounding the religion of Scientology. Many have dismissed it, calling it nothing more than a money-making cult. Lauren Halligan investigates the faith whose founder was widely rumoured to have said “The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion."

    We all had a hearty chuckle at the expense of Tom Cruise a few weeks ago… yet again. A promotional tape of him talking at length about Scientology and how it changed his life was leaked online and within hours nerds all around the globe we’re blogging about the actor’s perplexing behaviour.
    “It’s like, we're here to help. If you're a Scientologist, you see life, things, the way they are, in all its glory, in all of its perplexity, and the more you know as a Scientologist, the more you become overwhelmed by it,” he ranted, like a man possessed.
    The press has gone to town on Cruise’s erratic behaviour, but not much has been said about the “new religious movement” that has more or less dominated his life for over a decade. Scientology was founded by science-fiction author L Ron Hubbard in 1952, after he published a book about Dianetics, a form of self-help (this is still the set of ideas and beliefs that Scientologists still follow).
    Their core belief is that everybody has what are known as “engrams” ingrained on their psyche-basically scars left by any traumatic events that they have experienced. They also believe that all mental and emotional conditions are caused by engrams. The engrams appear on what Hubbard called the “reactive mind”, which according to him is com­­­­pletely separate to the “analytical mind”. Still with me? Good.
    In developing Scientology, Hubbard decided that our souls or “thetans” were reincarnated beings and therefore carried over engrams from many former lives. To ascend to the topmost levels of Scientology you must eliminate all engrams and become “clear”.
    What’s all this about a giant lizard? Ok, so if your “crazy” alarm hasn’t already begun to sound, this may do it. Hubbard believed that 75million years ago, a giant lizard-like alien named Xenu (pronounced zen-ooh) ruled the galaxy.
    Due to overpopulation, Xenu decided to ship millions of humans off to Earth. He then dropped them into volcanoes around the world and blew them up. After doing this, their souls (or Thetans) tried to escape, but mean old Xenu had them boxed up and brought to cinemas.
    It was here that the Thetans were shown movies that implanted a “false reality” in their minds. Ideas of all major world religions, such as Christianity, Judaism and Islam were shown to the Thetans in order to confuse them. After all this they begun to attach themselves to the left over humans and to this day continue to sully us with their
    presence.
    Many negative stories have been emerging regarding Scientology over the years. One of the most prominent cases is the “disconnection”. If a person is believed to fraternizing with suppressive individuals (that would be people who disagree with Scientology), they are encouraged to limit, if not eliminate contact with them.
    If the Scientologist is ill, unlucky or just plain moody, the suppressive individual is responsible and therefore need to be excluded from the Scientologist’s life. This applies to their parents, spouse, kids, friends and families.
    There are two ways that this disconnection works – firstly, as described, disconnection of asuppressive individual from a Scientologist and secondly the disconnection of an individual that is perceived as detrimental to Scientology itself (this could be a former member). There are countless stories regarding this practice; the hurt, broken families and hearts it has caused.
    One of the most talked-about and potentially most dangerous aspects of Scientology is its relationship with psychiatry and other medical professions. According to Hubbard, “Psychiatry is not a science and has no proven methods to justify the billions of dollars of government funds that are poured into it”.
    Tom Cruise has also gone on record as saying that psychiatry should be outlawed as it is harmful to people.
    Scientology’s avocation that they “do not need medicine” had gotten them into hot water from time to time though. Most famously, and tragically, was the case of Lisa McPherson. Lisa died aged 36 in 1995, after being discharged from hospital into the care of her church.
    She had suffered a psychotic breakdown after a minor car accident and was in the process of being psychologically evaluated when members of the Scientology Church arrived and discharged her, claiming that she did not believe in medical science. Lisa was dead on arrival when she was rushed to hospital weeks later, and was found to be malnourished, underweight, dehydrated and covered in bruises.
    Lisa’s family sued the church for wrongful death, as she was in their care at the time of her death. The case continued until the coroner, Dr Joan Wood, suddenly and unexpectedly changed her verdict of death to “accidental”. Lisa’s family still have to live with the possibility that her death could have been prevented if she had been left in hospital.
    Founder, L Ron Hubbard, on the ‘aims of Scientology’...
    A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights, are the aims of Scientology.
    First announced to an enturbulated world in 1950, these aims are well within the grasp of our technology.
    Nonpolitical in nature, Scientology welcomes any individual of any creed, race or nation.
    We seek no revolution. We seek only evolution to higher states of being for the individual and for society. We are achieving our aims.
    After endless millennia of ignorance about himself, his mind and the universe, a breakthrough has been made for man.
    Other efforts man has made have been surpassed. The combined truths of fifty thousand years of thinking men, distilled and amplified by new discoveries about man, have made for this success.
    We welcome you to Scientology. We only expect of you your help in achieving our aims and helping others. We expect you to be helped.
    Scientology is the most vital movement on Earth today.
    In a turbulent world, the job is not easy. But then, if it were, we wouldn't have to be doing it.
    We respect man and believe he is worthy of help. We respect you and believe you, too, can help.
    Scientology does not owe its help. We have done nothing to cause us to propitiate. Had we done so, we would not now be bright enough to do what we are doing.
    Man suspects all offers of help. He has often been betrayed, his confidence shattered. Too frequently he has given his trust and been betrayed. We may err, for we build a world with broken straws. But we will never betray your faith in us so long as you are one of us.
    The sun never sets on Scientology. And may a new day dawn for you, for those you love and for man.
    Our aims are simple, if great. And we will succeed, and are succeeding at each new revolution of the Earth.
    Your help is acceptable to us.
    Our help is yours.
    - L Ron Hubbard


    Last edited by Wesley; 03-13-2008 at 04:59 PM.
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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Did you hear Tom built an underground bunker? I seem to remember something about that, but then I woke up from my dream, I must have imagined it all.


    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin 1775

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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Maybe if we could just get rid of some of those engrams by unleashing our thetans, we could win some more games for Xenu.


    CFH HMagic bball season next year.
    Let my Fred's Four Horsemen ride: Georges, Hogue, Nader, and McKay.

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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Only marginally more crazy than Mormons (a guy digs up a book in his back yard and then translates it by staring into a hat) and many factions of Christianity (and Islam), if you look at it from an objective point of view.

    Religion in general requires great leaps of faith, regardless of what you believe in. It just depends, largely, on the culture surrounding you as to what is "crazy" and what can be considered "normal".



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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Maybe we should get Mulder and Scully on this. Maybe they can explain where these "whacko" ideas came from...





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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    Only marginally more crazy than Mormons (a guy digs up a book in his back yard and then translates it by staring into a hat) and many factions of Christianity (and Islam), if you look at it from an objective point of view.

    Religion in general requires great leaps of faith, regardless of what you believe in. It just depends, largely, on the culture surrounding you as to what is "crazy" and what can be considered "normal".

    "Great leaps of faith?" Just curious, what particular faith are you pointing to...or is all religion lumped in?

    It seems some religions hold serve better than others.



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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    I wonder if "disconnection" also considers that Scientologists work hardest at targeting the wealthy, in order to "disconnect" them from their funds?

    Scientologists also have a pretty well-documented history of threats, intimidation and making pesky people "disappear".


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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by larrysarmy View Post
    "Great leaps of faith?" Just curious, what particular faith are you pointing to...or is all religion lumped in?

    It seems some religions hold serve better than others.
    I think the only religion that really "holds serve" is atheism. After all, it's the only one that doesn't rely on fallible accounts of ancient history or no proof whatsoever. Of course there are people to which atheism is a religion in and of itself, that so firmly believe that there can be no God that they are offended by the mere concept of their being one. This requires faith as well, in that they have faith in something that hasn't been, and will never be, proven to not be true (since you can't prove a negative).

    I'm not saying religion is bad or whatnot, just that every one requires faith in things that cannot be proven. Attempts are always made to tie religion back to fact, but they are generally putting a square peg in a round hole and trying to whittle enough of the peg away, and make the hole a little bit more square so that they fit. Examples are rampant throughout history. Evolution is a great example. There are factions of Christianity now that are saying "ok, evolution happened, but God was responsible for it, so that's still cool".

    In effect, every religion is a "theory" about what we are all about, and not a single one of them has enough proof to make them "right".



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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by jumbopackage View Post
    I think the only religion that really "holds serve" is atheism. After all, it's the only one that doesn't rely on fallible accounts of ancient history or no proof whatsoever. Of course there are people to which atheism is a religion in and of itself, that so firmly believe that there can be no God that they are offended by the mere concept of their being one. This requires faith as well, in that they have faith in something that hasn't been, and will never be, proven to not be true (since you can't prove a negative).

    I'm not saying religion is bad or whatnot, just that every one requires faith in things that cannot be proven. Attempts are always made to tie religion back to fact, but they are generally putting a square peg in a round hole and trying to whittle enough of the peg away, and make the hole a little bit more square so that they fit. Examples are rampant throughout history. Evolution is a great example. There are factions of Christianity now that are saying "ok, evolution happened, but God was responsible for it, so that's still cool".

    In effect, every religion is a "theory" about what we are all about, and not a single one of them has enough proof to make them "right".
    Well....I guess I would disagree in the standpoint of Atheism holding serve in terms of your most verifiable account/view on history. Atheistic Evolution would hold firm to the creation account of the "Big Bang" or Nothing...became something....it then blew up (big bang) and then became an organized everything. We then evolved from there - another topic all together. I guess I would find that very hard to believe....that nothing, became everything.

    Granted....as a theist....my view of creation and ID would also seem "out there". In that...Something...created everything...out of nothing.

    But I personally would believe it takes a great deal more "faith" to believe in the Big Bang out of nothingness theory. So we all have faith in some sort of view we hold dear....even atheism. Question is...who's right?

    Better question...Can there be ONE right answer? If there is ONE right answer...does that make the others wrong?



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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    I honestly don't see why people criticize him so much for this in a country where we are suppose to have religous freedom. I kinda feel sad for the guy.



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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by larrysarmy View Post
    Better question...Can there be ONE right answer? If there is ONE right answer...does that make the others wrong?
    Yes, and yes.


    Seneca Wallace.

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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by larrysarmy View Post
    Well....I guess I would disagree in the standpoint of Atheism holding serve in terms of your most verifiable account/view on history. Atheistic Evolution would hold firm to the creation account of the "Big Bang" or Nothing...became something....it then blew up (big bang) and then became an organized everything. We then evolved from there - another topic all together. I guess I would find that very hard to believe....that nothing, became everything.

    Granted....as a theist....my view of creation and ID would also seem "out there". In that...Something...created everything...out of nothing.

    But I personally would believe it takes a great deal more "faith" to believe in the Big Bang out of nothingness theory. So we all have faith in some sort of view we hold dear....even atheism. Question is...who's right?

    Better question...Can there be ONE right answer? If there is ONE right answer...does that make the others wrong?
    Atheistic evolution doesn't say that's how it HAD to happen, it just says that's how we think it happened based on the evidence we have. It basically says there are things we don't know, and here's our best guess, untainted by theistic explanation. It's certainly possible that there is a theistic explanation for things, but lack of explanation for something does not imply a theistic solution. Look at the history of mankind and look at all the things attributable to God that are simply natural phenomena. Atheism, without being a religion, just says that I don't know, and while we look for answers, I'm OK without knowing. Atheistic science doesn't have to be hostile towards religion, nor does religion have to be hostile towards atheistic science. They tend to be, however, because people on both sides of the fence have very closely held beliefs and those beliefs are challenged by one another.

    There are plenty of theories floating around about how or if the Big Bang happened. There is simply no definitive answer. There may be more than one Big Bang. It may be a cycle of Big Bangs. Nobody really knows. Evidence currently matches up with the theory of a Big Bang happening, and evolution taking place. It doesn't really coincide with some theistic being creating everything in 7 days and that's that. It also doesn't support the existence of a dark lord Xenu, or reincarnation, or a sun god, or the moon being made of cheese or any of the other thousands of religious beliefs out there.

    At the end of the day, from an objective, non-theistic view of things, Scientoligists are no more or less crazy to believe what they believe than Christians. We've been raised in a society that accepts Christianity as a "normal" religion, in particular Protestant Christianity (though Catholicism in the last 100 years has become equally accepted). Had we grown up in a society where Scientology was accepted, we would likely find Christianity or Islam or Mormons, or any of the "Bible-derived" religions equally as strange as we find Scientology today.



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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Religion and politics board?


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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclone711 View Post
    I honestly don't see why people criticize him so much for this in a country where we are suppose to have religous freedom. I kinda feel sad for the guy.
    Scientology is dangerous, there's plenty of documentation of their actions out there, starvation, murder, scare tactics etc., it's very much a cult.


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    Re: Tom Cruise and the Church of Science Fiction

    Quote Originally Posted by cmoneyr View Post
    Scientology is dangerous, there's plenty of documentation of their actions out there, starvation, murder, scare tactics etc., it's very much a cult.
    I don't know what you mean, Tom Cruise seems like a completely normal person


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