Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet News Your Rights Online

Scientology's Credibility Questioned Over Video Channel 450

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the scientology-and-shady-almost-synonyms-these-days dept.
stonyandcher writes to share that the Church of Scientology has come under fire for some items on their recently launched video channel. Most notably, claims have been leveled that dignitaries in one of their videos were faked and at least one of the people featured in the video is claiming their statements were taken out of context.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientology's Credibility Questioned Over Video Channel

Comments Filter:
  • by Naughty Bob (1004174) * on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:43PM (#22896676)

    Scientology's Credibility...
    (Splutter!) That got me.... Also questioned this week-

    Bears' woodland sanitary habits
    Pope's Nazi youth
    Apple enthusiasts' devotion....
    • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:52PM (#22896798) Homepage Journal
      Scientology's senior leadership replied saying: "Bears use outhouses just like all the other woodland creatures"
      "The Pope was on vacation to Bermuda during the youth in question"
      "And whats with those Apple enthusiasts, damn, like seriously, there more devoted than Xenu!"
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by SharpFang (651121)
        What Xenu? You're not supposed to know that!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by asterix404 (1240192)
        How can a religion have credibility when the entire faith is surrounded around a bad sci-fi writer from the late 1800's? Doesn't the very idea that souls came from aliens that were dumped into a volcano and sent to the neo-people of about 10,000 bc which created all of humanity. Whats not to love?
        • Re:Credibility??? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Gat0r30y (957941) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:49PM (#22897776) Homepage Journal

          How can a religion have credibility
          Good point!
          • Re:Credibility??? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by EdIII (1114411) * on Friday March 28, 2008 @04:55PM (#22898794)
            Perhaps the flamebait is a little too hasty for the parent. Perhaps.

            I think the word credible may be misunderstood and certaintly not used correctly by the original poster. This is why it offends people.

            "Credible" refers to the capacity, or worthiness, for a person to believe in something. To say that a religion, any religion, lacks credibility is to say that no one could believe in it. For those that do believe in a particular religion, this would be hurtful and deemed offensive by its members. Hence, the flamebait, or even a troll moderation.

            I think what the quote should of said was that religion has no basis in logic, or material evidence. The original poster, and the parent may have been trying to state that a religion, any religion, exists devoid of any factual evidence, logical proof, quantifiable and repeatable results. IMHO, the very word religion describes the situation the poster may have been trying to relate to us.

            Belief, per its definition, can be used to describe an acceptance of the truth, or conviction in the truth, with or without a foundation of "cold hard facts". Belief is neutral, or has no position either way.

            Now "Faith" on the other hand is not neutral, it is not ambiguous. Faith is usually accepted to be the belief in something in the absence of material evidence or logical proof.

            I am a "scientist". The scientific method, logic, reason, etc. are all very important to me. I have a strong belief that our world should be run on factual evidence and that reason and logic should guide our decisions.

            However, to believe in something that (as of yet) has no evidence, or proof, is equally important. It provides us with inspiration and strength. My Faith is very important to me as well, and I think it is an important part of us all. To mock someone else's ability to have faith, or the fact that they have it, is to mock your own. IMO, that is what is offensive by the original poster, and the parent.

            I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt though that may not have been what they meant, as I initially read it a little bit differently before remembering the true definition and usage of the word "credible".
        • by Mister Whirly (964219) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:49PM (#22897788) Homepage
          Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 - January 24, 1986)
          Not sure about you, but I am pretty impressed that this guy was writing bad sci-fi years before he was born...
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (March 13, 1911 - January 24, 1986) Not sure about you, but I am pretty impressed that this guy was writing bad sci-fi years before he was born...

            Actually, on a more serious note, I remember Harlan Ellison explaining on the NPR radio show "Beyond 2000" how Elron wrote so prolifically. He said that Elron got so tired of having to take the paper out of the typewriter that he would buy a roll of butcher's paper, set it up behind the typewriter, put it into the roller, and then type a

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by pla (258480)
        "And whats with those Apple enthusiasts, damn, like seriously, there more devoted than Xenu!"

        ...They then apologized for the pneumonia we would all shortly die of due to his indiscretion in mentioning an OT-III idea to those unprepared to hear about the awesome truth of X*N*.

        Quick, everyone grab your e-meters, you may still have time to save yourselves! And if not, better luck next planet - And avoid the volcanos!
    • Tell me about it (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Weaselmancer (533834) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:56PM (#22896852)

      I'd be more surprised if the site launched and everyone found out it was entirely on the up-and-up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Himring (646324)
      Most notably, claims have been leveled...."

      What's the best build/spec for a claim? Is that frost or fire?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Chris Burke (6130)
        What's the best build/spec for a claim? Is that frost or fire?

        I personally prefer a Flame build, you puss-oozing brain damaged sad excuse for an inebriated baboon!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by JohnnyGTO (102952)
      A bear and a rabbit meet up in the woods. Bear turns to rabbit and asks "Do you have a problem with poop sticking to your fur?" "Why no." answers the rabbit. Where in the bear promptly wipes his ass with the rabbit!
  • by FatSean (18753) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:43PM (#22896678) Homepage Journal
    Religious groups are well known for twisting the words of non-members to support the wacky claims. Some nut-case Christer fundies produced a movie that twisted the words of several well known Atheists.

    What do you expect from groups that require that members first suspend disbelief and accept claims of 'eternal life'?
    • by headkase (533448) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:47PM (#22896736)
      Calling Scientology a "religious group" stretches it in my books: they are a scam that hides behind being a cult which promotes itself as a religion.
      • by Idiomatick (976696) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:55PM (#22896848)
        Uh "they are a scam ... which promotes itself as a religion." What's your definition of a religion?
        • by headkase (533448) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:01PM (#22896938)
          Something the person at the top when looking into themselves honestly believes.
          • by wattrlz (1162603) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:10PM (#22897070)
            The whole point of a religion is that whatever's at the top isn't a person.
          • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:52PM (#22897820) Journal

            Something the person at the top when looking into themselves honestly believes.


            Why should that be important. Hell, the Anglican Church had an Archbishop of Canterbury who doubted the divinity of Christ. Does that mean the entire Episcopalian movement no longer qualifies as a religion?

            The chief difference seems to be that a successful religion is a sect or cult that manages to get near-universal acceptance as a religion within the societies that it exists. Scientology is seen by most of society as a crazy-ass money-hungry cult with a pack of swirly-eyed true believers who pay their money and believe any and all nonsense that Hubbard and his heirs shove down their throats.

            Mormons were in the same boat for decades. They were seen as sexually deviant heretics. Fortunately for them, in those days a cult could basically seize control of a large, unpopulated area and grow relatively undisturbed for decades, and by the time the greater society finally met them head on again, they're numbers were sufficient that they had to be dealt with as a religion.
          • by h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) on Friday March 28, 2008 @06:26PM (#22900116) Homepage

            David Miscavige, the current head of the cult of Scientology, was raised in the Scientology environment. Whereas in the past the people at the top of the organization, like L. Ron Hubbard, knew it was all bullshit, the current leaders may actually be true believers.

            I suppose that one could say this is Hubbard's greatest accomplishment. He's managed to create an organization and keep it around long enough that there's no one left who knows the organization's true origins. In addition, these people are likely to be much more fanatical in their devotion since, to them, it's not about scamming people out of their money, it's about saving the World.

        • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:05PM (#22896994)
          A scam that's been running for a few centuries at least. Anything less (i.e. some of the people still knowing the religion's founder) is just a cult.
        • by b96miata (620163) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:29PM (#22897368)
          A religion generally starts off as one, does not have mandatory financial contributions (no matter how strongly they may *suggest* them) and was not founded by a guy who was previously on record as saying he should found a religion because that's where the money is. They also don't sue people who dare leave the fold.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by zakezuke (229119)

          Uh "they are a scam ... which promotes itself as a religion." What's your definition of a religion?
          A religion is a large popular cult.
          A cult is a small unpopular religion.

          A scam is wrapping pseudo-science under the cloak of religion when convenient, and calling it secular when it isn't.

      • by Neon Aardvark (967388) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:14PM (#22897128) Homepage
        Religions are just successful cults, and money/power drives all cults.
      • A phrase that gets passed around [theregister.co.uk]: Calling Scientology a 'religion' really is an awful lot like calling Dunkin' Donuts a 'restaurant'
      • When I was down protesting on the 10th of February, I realized something disturbing. I had always thought of Scientology as something of a cult that suckers dumb people into believing that they are sick, and need to pay money to get better.

        To some extent it is that, but there is a much creepier aspect. From what I have seen, Scientology seems to be more of a social club for wealthy people who are interested in learning how to use aggressive psychological attacks such as hypnotism.

        I started reading Dianetics, and it really does seem like a manual for using psychological attacks. A thetan is like a soul, but also like an influence. Non scientologists are infected with alien thetans, and once you are "clear" of them, you can become an "operating thetan". Then you can begin infecting the minds of others. Before it had always confused me that non scientologists have to rid themselves of thetans, but scientologists refer to eachother as thetans.

        It was pretty sickening to realize that so many scientologists know exactly what it is all about. They develop new psychological attacks. Then they train their followers. The followers then use those attacks to manipulate those around them so they can become more successful in their careers, and increase the size of the church. This money is then reinvested in developing new psychological attack methods.

        Someone please correct me if any part of this is inaccurate.
      • Religion is any meme that claims that it is a religion.

        What we have to question is whether we should afford this particular meme the legal status of a religion. Society accords a special status to religious memes such as tax breaks, admission of its leaders into political debate and various other accommodations.

        By popular acclaim Scientology is not a meme that we would like to accept as a religion. Its behaviour is agressive and antisocial at complete variance with the majority of other religions.

        All memes have systems to protect themselves and to destroy other memes, medieval Christianity burned people who didn't follow the party line exactly, radical Islam still expects to convert the world using violence. However all sophisticated modern religions have adapted to the modern world in which diplomacy, brand promotion and the programing of children protect the meme and ensure its propagation quite nicely thank you very much.

        One of the most unpleasant things about Scientology is that its main protective mechanism is to destroy anyone who leaves the "church". By definition this includes anyone who is skeptical or has no interest in religion at all, it is not powerful enough to attack other religions but it is very clear that should it ever become powerful enough it would seek to destroy members of other religions.

        Basically it is a meme that behaves in a disgusting anti social manner and anyone who notes that this is the case is a target for members of the "church" to destroy. I have not noted this as a tactic of the Catholic church over the outing of its slow reaction to the complaints that some of its priests were molesting children, it did not in general try to destroy the complainants.

        You can argue whether the "church" of Scientology is damaging its members, in the long run it will die out in a Darwinian fashion if it is harming them. It is notable that the success of many mainstream religions is because the community supports members of the church and the expense of kneeling on stone floors chanting nonsense has generally been outweighed by the lucrative support of fellow church goers - the meme is sucessful. This may change as we attempt to end discrimination or corruption in society through the rule of law, but it has certainly been a factor in the survival of mainstream religions in the past.

        If Scientology does things that break the law then citizens should rightly be outraged. We should also be entitled to be moraly outraged if it uses uncivilised tactics to attack outsiders. The legal question of whether or not it is a religion is arbitary nonsense but we all have a right to decide whether it is moraly right or not to give it that legal status. In general you make your mind up about that based on what you know about them.

        What I know about them is that most of the internet thinks that they are a scam and the only news stories I ever see about them are about how they gag people from learning more about them and about what legal cases they are fighting to try and destroy former members with. From what I know it sounds to me like they don't deserve the legal status of being a religion.

        However its all a moot point as I believe that people are leaving it in droves and that its only a matter of time before it goes belly up anyway. I suspect that it is this tendency which the opportunist 'anonymous' group have spotted and seen as an opportunity to exercise their prankster skills over.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:59PM (#22896896)

      Religious groups are well known for twisting the words of non-members to support the wacky claims. Some nut-case Christer fundies produced a movie that twisted the words of several well known Atheists.

      Impressive. Two posts into the thread and someone's already trying to turn it into a debate over all religions. I'm not accusing you of being a Scilon - merely pointing out that it's a tactic the Scilons try to cultivate, because it turns the entire discussion into a debate about theology, effectively distracting everyone from the main issue.

      Were this a thread about religion, for instance, it'd be fine, but the Co$ debate isn't about theology.

      Organizations that use barratry ("The purpose of a lawsuit is not to win, but to harass") and violence (consider the similarities between the mysterious fates of Judge Swearinger's dog in 1998, and the fate of an outed anonymous protester's cat earlier this week) as a matter of policy are not religions.

  • Since when (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:45PM (#22896692) Homepage Journal
    did Scientology have credibility?

    Besides among the easily duped?
  • by rrohbeck (944847) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:45PM (#22896698)
    Do they have any cool vids of Xenu and the starships? Volcanoes? That could rival the Sci-Fi Channel.
  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:48PM (#22896744) Journal
    Prior to that screwup, they were a vast reservoir of credibility.
  • by jockeys (753885) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:48PM (#22896752) Journal
    Anyone else smell the desperation?
  • by Michael Hunt (585391) on Friday March 28, 2008 @02:55PM (#22896838) Homepage
    ...CoS has already been busted (albeit not overly publicly) for releasing a video compilation of death threats, hate mail, etc, which had said death threats in higher res than their supposed 'original' posting on youtube. Suss as....

    (can't be screwed finding cites right now, worked for 26 hours straight, and now i'm plain out of it... little help?)
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:10PM (#22897066)
    Seriously, if there is *anyone* here criticizing Scientology, but believing the quaran or the bible, you are hypocrites.

    Scientology is no more ridiculous than christianity, islam, or judaism. OK, spaceships that look like DC3s, OK, that's weird, but no more so than virgin births, 5000 year old flat earth, talking snakes, noah's ark, or killing your first born.
    • by AioKits (1235070) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:19PM (#22897216)
      I am certain this has been stated many times, but here I go anyways, cause I'm new and want karma... For me it is not necessarily what they believe. You could believe that the waffle I toasted this morning is the 'Supreme Being' and bathe in maple syrup (thanks Canada!) as part of your religious rituals and I could care less... What gets my goat is that you must pay to pray, so to speak. If I wanted to learn about the beliefs of Christianity, Islam, Wicca, or even Voodoo, there are books out there and for the most part, a 'holy person' you can throw questions at. They won't ask for cash if you want to advance your knowledge of their belief system. Scientology requires that for you to become a more true believer, you pay, and through the friggen nose (I think the CoS has more to do with this than their individual adherents). I could be wrong, who knows.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mlwmohawk (801821)
        What gets my goat is that you must pay to pray, so to speak.

        Scientology is just a little more direct than the catholic church, but the motives are the same.

        They won't ask for cash if you want to advance your knowledge of their belief system.

        I think that is the best part of their belief system, it restricts the followers to a select group of quantifiable gullible.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AioKits (1235070)
          Scientology is just a little more direct than the catholic church, but the motives are the same.
          Indulgences and penances (which I assume you're referring to) is asking forgiveness for screwing up. You're not paying the church for permission to read the next book in the Bible.
          I think that is the best part of their belief system, it restricts the followers to a select group of quantifiable gullible.
          I'm fairly certain that as long as you have money, you're qualified. While those who make more cash than
    • by Joe the Lesser (533425) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:19PM (#22897220) Homepage Journal
      I don't give a fuck if you believe in Xenu or Jesus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster, but the Church Scientology lies to and steals from it's 'believers', and does horrible psychological damages to people and their familes. No mainstream religion is remotely as corrupt and sadistic.

      Please read for a start:

      http://www.exscientologykids.com/ [exscientologykids.com]
    • by eclectic4 (665330) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:39PM (#22897568)
      True:

      When Dionysus turned water into wine, we understand that as a myth.

      When Romulus is described as the Son of God, born of a virgin, we understand that as a myth.

      When Vespatian's spittle healed a blind man, we understand that as a myth.

      When Apollonius of Tyana raised a girl from death, we understand that as a myth.

      etc... etc... etc... Jesus was just a guy that had Pagan mythological stories thrown on his name decades after his death to start a religion. Nothing more.
    • Seriously, if there is *anyone* here criticizing Scientology, but believing the quaran or the bible, you are hypocrites.

      You make it sound as though I have a problem with their beliefs. But I've got to tell you, I don't give a flying DC3 what they believe. I could care less.
       
      Yes, I consider myself religious, but (unless he tells me that he wants to sit down and have an intelligent discussion about it) what the next guy chooses to believe is up to him, and whether it's deism, humanism, theism, or FSMism, that's fine by me. I have a problem when he (and yes, this includes members of my own religion) uses coercion or threats or violence or elitism etc. to force his views... and hence my beef with Scientology.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by gnarlyhotep (872433)

      Scientology is no more ridiculous ... killing your first born.


      Pretty sure my parents didn't consider that too terribly rediculous at several points during my youth...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Opportunist (166417)
      I'd say the main difference is that those stories didn't already sound outlandish and insane when they were written. Some guy walking over water and turning water into wine, not to mention being resurrected after death, that ain't so unbelievable to someone living about 2 millenia ago.

      Some alien planes locking an alien god into a mountain, told somewhere in the middle of the 20th century? Well, I didn't live back then, but I'd say the majority of halfway sane people would consider such a story a wee bit dum
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlwmohawk (801821)
        'd say the main difference is that those stories didn't already sound outlandish and insane when they were written. Some guy walking over water and turning water into wine, not to mention being resurrected after death, that ain't so unbelievable to someone living about 2 millenia ago.

        I would disagree with you 100%. In fact, those things are *more* believable today, and can in many ways be explained. Back then it was miraculous.
        Some alien planes locking an alien god into a mountain, told somewhere in the mid
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417)
          What I meant is that people back then would believe such stories. There wasn't science advanced enough to tell you straight ahead that the whole deal is prime time BS, that there couldn't be a garden of Eden, or that two people isn't enough genetic material to create viable offspring for generations to come. Today, such a story would (ok, should) be dismissed as impossible either.

          The difference is that Scientology came into existance when there was already plenty of science available to tell you the whole d
  • Well I never (Score:4, Informative)

    by MrNemesis (587188) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:10PM (#22897074) Homepage Journal
    Scientology shows questionable credibility? Get right out of town!

    For an organisation that thinks we're all possessed by dead aliens using the ramblings of a drug addled hack who freely admitted he was in it for the money as the gospel, you can colour me shocked that they might have a somewhat warped view of the rest of the universe.
  • by spungo (729241) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:17PM (#22897170)
    Be warned. I have recorded all your names. Thou art but Thetans on the sleeve of humanity. Praise Xenu... and retain decent counsel.
  • by jskline (301574) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:17PM (#22897174) Homepage
    I think it rather self-evident that this church will burn baby burn. They're not needing any help at all from the rest of us. They're doing quite well on their own! Just sit back, grab some marshmellows and get ready to roast!!
  • by scubamage (727538) on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:19PM (#22897232)
    We are the volcano Co$. You will pay for the crimes you have committed, just like your little thetan buddies. You think the first volcano was bad? Just wait. You are child killers and criminals who hide behind your little tax shelter. People are learning about Operation Snow White. People are learning about the claims that L Ron made - things like, "The easiest way to make a million dollars is to start a religion." People are learning about the women and children you have denied even basic medical care and left to be eaten by cockroaches. You will pay.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2008 @03:55PM (#22897874)
    In case anybody is interested, Radar Magazine has a long article [radaronline.com] about scientology and the anonymous protests.

    Cult Friction: After an embarrassing string of high-profile defection and leaked videos, Scientology is under attack from a faceless cabal of online activists. Has America's most controversial religion finally met its match?
  • by JumperCable (673155) on Friday March 28, 2008 @05:31PM (#22899372)
    Includes screenshots & research. http://forums.enturbulation.org/showthread.php?t=5085&page=4 [enturbulation.org]

To understand a program you must become both the machine and the program.

Working...