Scientology; sect, religion or belief?

The question arose whether I wanted to write something about my experiences with Scientology and my view on it. “Is it a cult or a religion in your opinion?” Was the question. In general, belief and religion is already a sensitive topic, but when it comes to Scientology this only seems to further sharpen the issue. My approach is therefore to be as open as possible about it and to tell about my personal experiences. I therefore hope not to give the impression that I am going to tell an objective, scientific story here. I just tell you what I have experienced and what conclusions I have drawn from it. If people have questions after the time, I will try to answer them as well as possible.

Scientology goals according to religion itself

First, it is important to clarify some concepts. Otherwise, we can easily get caught up in discussions where we use the same word while assigning very different meanings to that word. Perhaps we should do that for the word god worldwide. If we then understand what exactly everyone means by it, half of the conflicts and arguments about it could be resolved just like that.

Good definitions.
Let's start with religion. What does the Wikipedia say about this?
below religion (from Latin religio, see Etymology below) is usually understood to be one of the many forms of meaning, or the search for meaningful connections, usually centered on a higher power, supreme being or god. In a broader sense, the word "religion" denotes a more general form of spirituality, feelings, thoughts related to the meaning of life.

And what does the Wikipedia say about cults?
The word sect is in its original sense a religious movement that, often through schism, has split off from a larger religious movement or organization. The second meaning is that of a new religious movement, often founded by a charismatic leader with a new teaching or revelation. A sect is a group of people who, mainly out of a desire for purity and with the absolutization of a partial truth, breaks the solidarity with the larger whole of the group, and who no longer experience this break as sorrow.

Finally, it is also important to clarify what faith is, as some people mistakenly see this as synonymous with religion. This is what Wikipedia says about faith.
To believe is the psychological state of someone who is willing, under certain conditions, to accept a certain statement (proposition) as true. Belief in the religious context is a form of belief and trust in God or gods, a higher truth or reality (for example, Nirvana), an institution that embodies a particular belief, or a system of precepts.

Before proceeding first, it may be helpful to briefly describe my personal experiences with Scientology so that people are well aware of how (limited) my knowledge of the subject actually is.

In 2001 while traveling through Australia I joined a Church of Scientology in Sydney. I read their basic book Dianetics and the theory found that survival is the basis of all life interesting. I also found their views on how we have different kinds of minds and how these minds have the function of calculating the best survival for us to be a very practical idea. However, as is the case on a trip, you get many impressions, when I returned to the Netherlands I did not do anything with Scientology at first.
I started studying Biology at the University of Groningen and came across a very mechanical and materialistic world view. I got the impression that from biology we are actually nothing more than 4 Lego blocks from which our DNA is built and I somehow felt very uncomfortable about that. I remembered Scientology, which I thought it had quite biological principles, but left room for a soul, and so I decided to visit the Church of Scientology in Amsterdam.
I was pleasantly surprised by the exceptionally friendly people I met in the church. I found out that Scientology has two branches, as it were. First a knowledge side about how people can improve their own survival in many areas of life by learning about it. And also a therapy side to discharge the reactive mind so that it no longer has to make irrational decisions for you. Since the therapy side required a lot of time, money and presence, I have never explored this strongly. In contrast, I immersed myself all the more and learned a lot from their basic ideas about improving self-survival and wider dynamics. In addition, I have also read almost all the books on their theory about the purpose and operation of the mind and listened to several series of lectures about this.

At one point I was so fascinated by them that, if they all knew it so well, I would like to see what their most important organization in Europe looked like. To have a look here you have to join the Sea Org and I understood that if I wanted to take a closer look this was the next step. My whole idea behind this was never to become an active member there, but mainly to observe how things actually work there and whether or not I liked it. Incidentally, this is not quite the right motivation according to Scientology, but I was just as concerned about it as from friends and family who said I should perhaps not do it given the stories they had read here and there on the internet about the organization. Stubborn as I was and in search of my own truth on the subject I got on a plane to Copenhagen and started with the basic course (EPF = Estate Project Force) for the Sea Org in Denmark.
In the two weeks that I was here, we were put to work and study hard. Everyone got a good meal and enough sleep. I was pleasantly surprised with the international climate that prevailed, people from all over Europe working together to achieve their common goals. Still, I thought it was enough after two weeks. The enthusiasm and work ethic that these people display, and to a certain extent also the like-mindedness about religion, I did not consider an environment in which I saw myself become happy in the long term. I then also stopped and returned to the Netherlands. I have to admit this took some resolution on my part but this went fine. As long as I clearly stated what I did and did not want and why this was respected. I therefore said goodbye there in a good way and after that I went to church regularly to learn more about books and lectures. Even today, I still come to church every now and then to check out an event and to see how their social betterment program is doing worldwide. A number of these programs such as spreading human rights and a moral code based on common sense I also link to through from my own website www.humanrights.org

This as a bird's eye view of my personal experience with Scientology. It may also be helpful to mention that I have never been interested only in Scientology. In addition to Scientology, the Bible, the Tao, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and many other religious, spiritual, scientific and popular books & lectures, I have viewed and listened to in my quest for the essence of myself, and the meaning of “Life, The universe and Everyting ”. For example, I am currently busy with Byron Katie and taking a meditation course at the local Buddhist center in my hometown in Oslo. I would certainly not define myself exclusively as a Scientologist but rather as someone on a quest for useful truths. I would like to remind myself of the words of the Dalai Lama: "The ultimate authority must always rest with the individual's own reason and critical analysis."

 

 

Anonymous demonstration against the Church of Scientology

With the definitions used in hand and my own history with Scientology, I come to the following conclusions for myself. Scientology contains a certain amount of knowledge within which statements are made about the nature of the self, the nature of the universe and to some degree about god. In that sense, Scientology is therefore a new religion. I myself would not choose the word cult because Scientology does not want to close itself off from society at all, but rather wants to improve it very consciously from their vision of a better survival. I think their social improvement programs are in the field human rights, a non religious code based on common sense, a study method, a education program on the dangers of drugs, help with it drug addiction, information about the dangers of psychiatric medication, the volunteer ministers and help with it rehabilitate criminals all are good examples of this. This is unseen whether these programs help and whether people agree with their point of view or not. It shows a clear will to interact with the wider society and so I don't think cult is a good definition in that sense. Also, my experience is that little faith is required in Scientology. In that sense it is very similar to Buddhism, it includes a number of insights about yourself and the universe and it is up to people themselves to see what they want to do with it. In my view, Scientology can best be described as a new religion with all the good and bad sides that religions generally have.

These are my personal experiences and personal conclusions. I would especially advise people to investigate themselves and use their own common sense and thus arrive at their own truth. It is almost paradoxical that I have encountered a group of people in Scientology who accepted almost blindly everything that Hubbard said, while in the lectures of Hubbard himself I read the opposite. (According to him you have to investigate things yourself and if something is true for you, it is true for you and if something is not true for you it is not true for you. If you take something on authority without experiencing the self loss your integrity, according to him.) In addition, Scientology has a group of critics who do roughly the exact opposite, namely, by definition see everything Scientology does or says as bad. In my view, both groups are a bit lost and do too little research themselves. Die-hard Scientologists would, as far as I'm concerned, read the stories of the critics read on and see if they can use this to improve their organization from within. In addition, the critics would agree basic book read through Scientology and step into a church to chat with a Scientologist. This is how they may learn the most from each other and I think that should always be the most important goal. Discuss openly with each other, listen to each other's points of view and all parties can learn from it.

So much for my vision, if there are any questions, please let me know.

Finally, a number of websites:
Official Dutch Scientology website: http://www.scientology.nl/
Dutch wikipedia article about Scientology: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology
Youtube channel of (as far as I know) the best organized group of Scientology critics: http://www.youtube.com/user/xenutv1

47 thoughts on “Scientology; sekte, religie of geloof?”

  1. I have plenty of questions, but I will limit myself.
    What is known about the various policies used within the organization, such as Disconnection, Fair Game (even though it was once withdrawn for publicity reasons, the practice continues to this day), the financial undressing of people to still do the next course because you so badly need it, buying millions of costing properties worldwide instead of spending that money for what it has been collected, namely “to clear the planet”.
    Are you aware that Hubbard also invented the RPF, the penal colonies for the elite, the Sea Org, to get these people back in line? Because contrary to what you claim, it was, and is Hubbard's way or no way.
    Finally this.
    Scientology has produced a monstrous organization. With lies and deceit people collect money, sell wind, and, as someone pointed out, the Golden Gate Bridge if necessary. Millions of members are claimed, studies indicate that there are around a quarter of a million worldwide. It can all be found. Indeed, your piece is certainly not scientific. Just as little as Dianetics.
    "What works in scientology is not unique to scientology, what is unique to scientology does not work."
    Hubbard has also misled you with fine words but empty talk.

    1. Peter, could you (I prefer not to vousvoy, hopefully you have no problem with that) explain your last statement? Douwe clearly writes from his own perspective and is therefore clearly objective. I would like to believe the above statements, but I would like to see a (reliable) source so that I can draw my own conclusions.

      1. Niek,

        How can you write something blatantly from your own perspective and at the same time be clearly objective?

        This question to you is purely related to faith, religion or sects. Not on practicing science, because then the answer is quite obvious to me.

        1. Haha objective / subjective. I always get the two mixed up! I'm really going to hang that over my bed or something ...

    2. @Peter let me be very clear for a second. I personally did not find the Sea Org appealing to me, especially because of the high groupthink content where everyone has to think the same and I therefore left it. I fully agree with you that many abuses arise from that organization. However, I was able to take a very brief look internally and therefore perhaps understand a little why they act how they act. From that point of view, I try to answer your questions.

      I have read many of the things you mention over the Internet and I certainly think the Church of Scientology uses many of the policies you mention. The Sea Org is very clear, the survival of the organization is number 1, not the individuals who make it up. Nor do they feel the need to be liked at all. Their goal is very simple. Protect, preserve and disseminate Scientology. Their policy is primarily aimed at best pursuing those goals in their view. That is why they attack opponents of the Church harshly and often with long legal battles. Very annoying but still better in my opinion than physical violence as other religions such as Islam do with apostates or fierce critics. I don't think there is any Scientology critic who needs to fear for his life. Unfortunately, this does not apply to all other religions. Furthermore, disconnection is a bad policy, but unfortunately not at all unique to Scientology. I know plenty of gay youths who are rejected by their families from an Islamic or Christian background. In addition, it is always the family members themselves, certainly under pressure, but those people themselves make the decision not to talk to their family members anymore, which is ultimately not something that is prohibited by law. It is a right not to communicate with anyone.

      What I myself have always found a point of the victims that I do not understand is that they pretend they were not there themselves. You hear many stories from people who are unhappy in the Sea Org, the RPF or who give a lot of money when they apparently don't have it at all. Just don't forget that those people always agree to that, they may not be aware of it, but they do. You can just say no when people ask you for donations and you can just walk out of the Sea Org when you're fed up. At least I have always been able to do both things very well. And given the number of ex sea org members and angry members, there are more who can do that too. In addition, there are also many people who work just as hard and also donate a lot and who are still happy members. In short, the complaints are certainly well-founded, but it is often because people have not indicated their own boundaries in time. Don't forget that the Sea Org is really the religious elite. Those people literally live for religion and the organization sees and uses those people that way. The goal is always set to 1. Perhaps it can be compared to the boys who enter the army of the Vatican.

      What I have been asking myself for a long time with this sort of thing is, the policies they implement do or do not ultimately contribute to the survival of Scientology. I personally think some of their policies are very stupid and unproductive. But if they still choose to use them then that's their business. People can leave the sea org and sue the organization, and I think that has happened a lot. That seems logical to me and the right way if you want to get a story .. What is especially very sad, I think, is the group of people who were born in the Sea Org. Those people have never chosen it themselves and this has brought and causes many problems. Certainly because the disconnect is therefore much harder because you have few friends and family outside the church. I think that is why the Sea Org has changed its policy quite a while ago and they said that due to the many nasty experiences it had brought, it was no longer okay to have children in the Sea Org from that moment on. So now, people who become pregnant must leave the Sea Org. This policy also has enough disadvantages, but well, it shows that they do try to solve real disadvantages.
      In addition, the policy signed by the Sea Org is only 1 method. I think there are now a lot of former members who still believe the theory but disapprove of the method of the church and therefore set up their own method of governance. This is the Freezone. In itself it is also very natural that you get revolutions within the church board and the members. I find it all interesting how it develops precisely because I don't have to choose sides.

      What only surprises me at times is that the Church of Scientology is being dealt with very harshly by the media and public opinion. I'll be the last to say that's wrong. If you make mistakes and harm people, it is best to do so in the open. That is only a good thing because then an organization, however bulky and unwieldy it may be, may be able to adapt it.

      However, I see abuses in almost every religious organization. Many of those abuses are in my opinion at least as bad or worse, but I hear less people about that. A few examples are, for example, the total lack of rights of gays and women in Islam. The active violence and death threats from opponents of Islam, look how long Wilders has been walking around with his bodyguards. The widespread sexual abuse in the Christian churches, and the long systematic denial and sweep of it. The Pope who says that you should not use condoms, etc. These are things that I think are objectively more harmful precisely because these beliefs are larger. This does not mean that you should brush away one wrong against the wrong of other religions, but can you explain to me why Scientology is publicly held much harder for this than those big churches? For example, why has Anonymous never addressed the abuses of Islam or Christianity? Why is the FBI not investigating the Catholic Church and Islam for human rights violations. There we also know that they have occurred systematically and are probably still occurring. Is that because scientology is new and therefore relatively easy to criticize? Or is it because people think that other churches are already too big and therefore think it is of no use after all? I am genuinely curious about that.

      I would like to hear if these answers help you and if you have more questions I will try to answer them too.

  2. Douwe,

    Do you know who I am and what my relationship is with visionair.nl? I think you are a very good writer but ...

    Shall I pass my opinion on to Germen and that he can pass it on to you?

    1. Hi Barry, I really only know you as Barry from the forum and I have no idea. Furthermore, I don't think a personal opinion of you about me is very relevant here and if you want to say that, you can send it to myself, you can also send it via germen if you want. However, if you have any questions that itch for you, please let me know because then I may be able to answer them and clarify things for you?

  3. Douwe, we've talked about this a little bit, and then you ignored me, but I was still worried about how deep you got into this. Fortunately, you are doing pretty well. I like that you wrote this article, which I now want to respond to.
    To “definition” you can add that scientology is not about special revelations in which a supreme being makes himself known, but about a religious leader, a teacher who points out to his followers the benefit they can have if they follow the same path to enlightenment. which he himself has gone too.
    Solidarity with the big picture is broken by taking opposition to the rest of society. And then it still belongs to a sect.
    Nor is it a political party.
    The founders have studied how we (you) have different kinds of minds and how they can make these minds functional for the best survival… They have studied how they can improve their own survival. And how people can be influenced in their decisions.
    They have made a “therapy” for that.
    There is a symbol for “auditing”; a triangle with “affinity”, “reality” and “communication”. In this way they also have a grip on those three areas. Communication is the most important. When people have an affinity, when they agree on the nature of objective phenomena, then communication can take place quickly. So they are mutually dependent on each other and when one goes down, the other goes ……
    (from scholieren.com.)
    Taking something from someone else is not recommended. The seeking, the erring, the isolated… is their target audience. A psychology course could also have been something for you. Parents and others look with sorrow at the behavior of their child / friend and notice that he is slipping away, derailing ... also. That you have to experience something yourself is almost an invitation.
    For your feelings (affinity) and your world view / view of man (reality) you now become dependent on them, and become more or less dependent. Their improvement programs refer to the triangle:
    - affinity: human rights, help with drug addiction, volunteers ministers, rehabilitation of criminals.
    - reality: non-religious code based on common sense, study method, educational programs about the dangers of drugs, dangers of psychiatric medication, insights about yourself and the universe.
    - communication: by conveying certain messages such as the message to interact with society. (positive interpretation ..)

    But if they say you shouldn't take anything from someone else, would they take something from YOU? Discussing openly with each other, listening to each other's points of view and learning from each other will yield nothing.
    You may, you said, be accountable.
    I also notice a decreased confidence and a sense of intimidation during this writing.
    How did that happen?

      1. I have seen the play and I think a fairly long explanation on film by Paul Haggis and he is very clear why he stopped doing it. Namely, partly because of the fact that a Scientology church made a donation against gay marriage and the mother church did not publicly distance itself from this. There are also interviews from Jason Beghe available which are very comprehensive and clear.

        The fact that the FBI investigates human rights violations is interesting, but I don't have the ethics of the FBI particularly high either. They may also be able to do an internal audit. :-) While they are at it, they also have some other American government services screened because with Guantanamo and the current wars they are still involved in, the American government also violates almost half of all human rights. And just take a joke at the Vatican City and other religions, I think such an investigation would not be wrong for every religion. There are even humps of underage monks in the Buddhist monasteries.

    1. Hi Julie, thank you for your clear explanation.

      You say “Solidarity with the big picture is broken by taking opposition to the rest of society. And then it still belongs to a sect. ”

      I don't feel like they rebel against the rest of society. Why do you have the feeling that they do that and then with names also where they do that more strongly than other religions?

      I also hope that it is clear that I myself am not a big fan of the organization. That is also the reason that I have chosen not to follow that path. Even when it comes to theory, I'm not all a fan. Some things I found very meaningful and useful, others, such as their very expensive therapy side, I find extremely dubious. In addition, I have also spoken with people who were high in the OT regions and I honestly could not discover anything special or enlightened about them. So I decided quite quickly that that is not for me and that it did not seem to have any survival value for me.
      However, there were other ideas and on those points I am also happy that Scientology exists.

      The same goes a bit for the organizations they have set up. I think their website and videos about human rights are very beautiful and also useful. And I also find their way to happiness practical and beautifully put together. So I'm happy with that. I personally don't really benefit from other things like getting their people off drugs, so I don't really care.

      So I am very businesslike and opportunistic, so to speak. I just notice that I always get uncomfortable when I talk to people who think everything about Scientology is good, but also when people think everything about Scientology is bad. For example, I would very much like to have a discussion about the ARC triangle that you also mention. If that theory is useful in other people's eyes, can they do something with it.

      I hope this gives you a little more insight into how I am about it?

      1. Douwe, thank you. I think they rebel against the mainstream world. Furthermore, I have no affinity with Scientology, communicating about it makes no sense to me, and that is the reality.

        I am curious about your article about Norway.

        1. Do you only have arguments for that opinion? I am now saying that I do not think Scientology is a cult because in my opinion they do not oppose the mainstream world. I put forward their social improvement programs as an argument.
          Apparently you think differently about this and I am curious how you come to that conclusion. It is then necessary that you present arguments that support your opinion and in my view they should show that Scientology is also significantly more disconnected from society than the major religions.

        2. Hi Germen,

          The Sea Org, which Douwe writes about above, does indeed meet all the characteristics of a cult. The outer shell of Scientology, as in the Netherlands, can be better described by the term 'coercive group', or compelling group.

          Douwe,

          I would like to ask you the following questions:
          - Taking everything into account, would you recommend anyone to join the Church of Scientology?
          - There is an important reason why critics like myself are so strongly against 'das System Scientology' (this is the title of a German government report). We believe that the 'Tech' is deliberately designed to (in addition to any positive aspects) undermine, or brainwash, people's critical thinking abilities. How do you view this view?

          Thanks in advance for your answer!
          dave

        3. @Dave

          - I myself never became a member of the Scientology Church because I personally never saw the added value of it. What other people do or do not do they have to decide for themselves, but I think my own behavior clearly shows my own opinion. :)

          - Regarding undermining critical thinking in tech, I think I have to disagree with you completely. What I have experienced myself is that Scientology has very interesting theories about the mind and survival. For me, this has led to a better understanding of how my own systems work and I have become more free and start to think more openly about things.
          In addition to that, Scientology also has their own systems of whether something is good or bad based on the 8 dynamics of survival where it becomes very clear that an act can never really be absolute good or bad. You can look at actions to what extent they all have a positive and / or negative effect on survival on which motives. What this does is completely undermine the whole concept of (ultimate) good and evil. It makes everything relative and more measurable. That's a very stupid thing to do if you really want to keep control over people. If you want to keep control, you emphasize that there is only good or evil and use that as reward mechanisms. Heaven and hell so to speak. :-)
          Finally, Hubbard repeatedly states in theory that people should investigate things for themselves because simply accepting an idea because someone they trust says it is stupid and does not lead to understanding.
          That the organization is focused on a kind of unity where critical thinking is not necessarily of paramount importance, I can possibly agree better, but that the theory does that I completely disagree with you. I think Scientology itself lives up to their claim, to make the able more able.
          Could you perhaps give me examples of pieces of theory that you think undermine critical thinking, because then I may be able to give a more specific opinion on them.

          Then I also have a question back to you, I myself have the idea that Christianity and Islam and other brothers & sisters in the same Abrahamic branch of religion actively fight the critical thinking ability of their members. After all, you have to believe hard in certain pieces of dogma and everything will be fine. Eve eats from the apple of knowledge and god thunders her out of paradise. (Message you will not know yourself. ??) There is also a lot of fear used to keep people down. You were born with sin and so by definition you will go to hell unless you believe very hard in Jesus and god. What I find even more harmful out there is that you have to believe in something outside yourself, with which they imply somewhere that you as a human being are of little value, you are only a servant of it.

          Scientology and also Buddhism are just the opposite in my experience. They say more, we have found this theory, read it and see if you can find pieces in it with which you can explain life better and you may come to the point of sharing our insights with us that you yourself are an active part of shares the big picture and such a kind of divinity with the rest of the universe. If you look at serious studies of religions, almost all of them come to the conclusion that Scientology is much closer to Buddhism than to Christianity in terms of ideas and manner of practicing religion. That is why I also came to the conclusion in my original article that little faith in Scientology is required.

          So my question to you, how do you view this and do you not have the idea that it is precisely Abrahamic major religions that work with enormously criticism-suppressing and fear-inducing mechanisms? And possibly a follow-up question how do you see this in relation to Scientology?

        4. Hello Douwe,

          Thank you for your answer. With regard to mind control techniques - the main reason you were not bothered by this is that you never actually joined the Church of Scientology. In contrast to 'real' members, you could therefore simply indicate your boundaries.

          Perhaps it is good to look at the subject on the basis of other sects. A useful introductory newspaper article is this one about the Order of the Transformants: http://nos.nl/artikel/76856-inval-bij-orde-der-transformanten.html

          Nova aired about them a few months earlier:
          http://www.novatv.nl/page/detail/uitzendingen/6189

          Another good broadcast about cults is about the Miracle of Love: http://www.sbs6.nl/web/show/id=117418/langid=43/media=263974/page=1. This one is self-explanatory.

          In these broadcasts various classic mind control techniques emerge. When you join the Church of Scientology, you will be drawn into the cult in a similar way.

          Just compare:
          - Use of doublespeak to create an image of an evil outside world: 'Matrix' in Order of Transformants versus' Degraded beings', 'Suppressive persons',' Raw meat 'and (the most beautiful, the nickname for journalists)' Merchants of Chaos in Scientology.
          - All three sects have propaganda about free will and choice that disguises enormous peer pressure.
          Ensuring that members rebel against critical family is accomplished in Scientology with the PTS / SP theory ("Potential Trouble Source" / "Suppressive Person").
          Cultivating guilt works in Scientology with 'overts and withholds'.
          - Long séances (see especially the Miracle of Love) are analogous to TRs in Scientology (TR0 = staring into each other's eyes for hours, TR4 = walking up and down a room for hours).

          It is therefore not without reason that the introductory period in Scientology is referred to by experienced members as 'Indoc', an abbreviation of Indoctrination.

          Incidentally, indoctrination occurs to a greater or lesser extent in all religions. You should try to convince a strict Christian that the earth is older than 6,000 years. No chance.

          However, it is mainly about opinions. In a cult you are given a new reality that causes you to display destructive behavior. Scientology mainly concerns huge donations (if you Google on 'IAS impact 123' you will find lists of people who have donated $ 50,000 to many millions, including dozens of Dutch people).

        5. Hi Dave, I'll just talk about the techniques you mention. I don't know if you can add that entirely to the knowledge or not, but it is part of it, although it is often closer to the church because you will often follow the training there. If that is the case, you are dealing with organization not necessarily with content. However, I will explain a number of techniques that you mention in more detail.

          The terms you mention have never been used to me to create an evil world.
          Suppressive people are not bad, Scientology just says there are roughly two strategies for looking at fellow humans. One way is that you see your fellow humans as friends, so if your friends are doing well, you are doing well. So a healthy person will try to advance himself and his environment. You also have people who feel threatened by their environment, those people feel that they have to keep people around them under control because they think that those people will otherwise threaten their survival. The whole term SP is therefore a technique to indicate how people stand in life. On http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH11.HTM more explanation about this.

          Then the term Merchant of Chaos, which has never been used with me to create a hostile world. They just say that certain professions benefit from selling a fearful society. These could be politicians who evoke an (imaginary) enemy image in order to create fear among the people in order to protect people against this "fear" with tough words. In their work, journalists are also people who especially portray all murders, rapes and disasters as extensively as possible. That's not bad, but that's their job. It is therefore wise to know that there are professional groups that earn money or gain power by creating an (imaginary) dangerous society. More information about this can be found at: http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH12.HTM

          Overts and withholds is a technique similar to Catholic confession. It is mainly to relieve people themselves of any feelings of guilt towards other people if they would. These can also be put on paper for yourself and then burned. http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH9.HTM for more information on this.

          Finally, the TRs, this is a training technique for preparing people for auditing. The purpose of this is that you are much stronger in your own shoes when you start communicating. Which may be necessary in auditing because people can get very violent reactions because they go through all kinds of painful events from the past. I've done the TRs myself and it makes you much more aware and skilled rather than blunting you. On http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH5.HTM you can find more about this here.

          If I were you I would read very carefully the information I sent you and you can see where the concepts you use come from and what their goals are for making people more skilled.

          I know all these concepts and have also done almost all these techniques for myself. It has not been my experience at all that it makes you think less for yourself, but rather more. You learn about how to interpret the environment and how yourself react to certain things. It makes you brighter and more capable in my experience, rather than more docile.

          To go all the way back to the beginning piece. There are many religious organizations where bad things happen to people. However, I think you have to show very clearly that Scientology would separate itself from the world more than other religions to call it a sect. I seriously still don't see that. I see that Scientology is actively trying to make contact with the world. That is why I call it a religion with all its positive and negative sides.

          Because why not, for example, protest against how Islam threatens its ex-members with death, or against the Catholic priests who have swept large-scale abuse under the rug for years, often with enormous pressure on the community to keep it inside?
          Again, I am not saying that you can write one person's bad actions against someone else's, but it is important to be consistent. If you can explain to me where Scientology is significantly different from Islam and Christianity with all their abuses besides being new then I would love to hear that. Until then, I think we should stick to the conclusion that Scientology is a new religion where abuses also occur ...

        6. well scientology has not changed. it is crazy for words that the members of the scientology organization are not allowed to research the history of the organization on the internet. If people now protest in the organization, they will be labeled a terrorist, with all the consequences that entails? certainly replace the Ethics booklet, but never forget that 'a scorpio remains a scorpion'.

        7. ehhh Douwe,
          not been a member of Scientology? you have followed courses I suppose? from the 1st course you do / did there you are a member, whether you want to or not.
          and my question to you is, what do you unconsciously / consciously owe to scientology? but as you well know the org is happy with any attention be it positive / negative. Free Advertisement!

        8. Well if the definition is if you have ever read a book and taken a beginner's course then I would be a member but that would mean that you can never be a member either. By my definition you are a member if you pay your membership fee to the IAS (international association of scientologist) and I never did so I don't think you are officially a member. I certainly do not identify myself as a member of the Church of Scientology. And also have a broad interest in religions and philosophies outside the doctrine of Scientology.

          I am consciously not guilty of Scientology from my own feelings. I am unconsciously unaware of it, so it is difficult to say anything about it. I've read a lot of their theory and found some very useful and useful things among them. Just like I do them http://www.humanrights.com organization is very useful. I also found some theory less useful or not useful. I have some experience with the organization but soon found out that it is not for me. In this piece I have mainly tried to illustrate those experiences and with those experiences I was asked whether I think Scientology is trying to be a sect or a religion. I have also clearly indicated my very limited own experience with the organization, so if there are people who can tell more about it from their own experience and think that my judgment is incorrect, then I am certainly open to that.

      2. “And I also find their way to happiness practical and beautifully put together. "
        Could you give me a link or a brief explanation of what 'their way' entails?

    2. C. van Hoorn

      Scientologists do have an open dialogue with you and they are not too old to learn. Combining with another (esoteric) religion is no objection to them. IF YOU DO NOT THINK COMPLICATED. Because if so, then you have yourself. Actually, it's not about Scientology but about you.

  4. This may be an interesting discussion that broadens the scope.
    It concerns a discussion between Tony Blair and Christopher Hitchens with the question:
    Is Religion A Force For Good In The World?

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/is-religion-a-force-for-good-in-the-world/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TopDocumentaryFilms+%28Top+Documentary+Films+-+Watch+Free+Documentaries+Online%29

    Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned showdown between an atheist and a religious convert? The possibilities for awkward silences, blasphemy and overturned tables are endless, plus one of them used to be England's prime minister.
    On one side you had novelist and author Christopher Hitchens, a loudly, proudly self-avowed cancer-stricken writer whose brush with death has done nothing to disavow his long-held convictions that God is Not Great, as he titled his recent book.
    On the other was former British PM Tony Blair, a recent Roman Catholic convert who became the latest straw man to go up against the erudite Hitchens in a debate about the existence of a divine being. The pair squared off on Friday at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto for a philosophical debate on the moral merits of religion.
    The surprises? Mr. Hitchens, who lives in Washington, DC has had a Christmas tree as long as he's been a father and observes Passover. He discovered his family's Jewish roots late in life; his wife, Carol Blue, is also Jewish.
    And Mr. Blair's father, Leo, a retired law professor, is a militant atheist. The long-time politician also revealed in his recently released memoir, A Journey: My Political Life, that he has always been more interested in religion than politics.
    For Mr. Blair, who converted to Catholicism after leaving office in 2007, religion plays the most central of roles, both personally and in his worldview.

  5. Douwe,

    Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned showdown between an atheist and a religious convert?

    A showdown between a believer and a believer ??

    Atheists are people who generally do not realize that they are also religious, they are sure that god does not exist when there is no evidence that god does not exist, so they just believe. As far as I am concerned, a discussion between an Atheist and a believer or converted believer cannot be taken seriously anyway.

    1. Haha, I once heard an atheist say, if not believing in a god is also faith, then not collecting stamps is also a hobby. :-)

      The discussion is more about whether religions and their presence in the world can be seen as a positive thing or not. Not so much about whether or not there is a certain definition of god.

      1. Douwe,

        lolll..ja I have come across that statement before in the countless discussions about faith. It's just a simple fact, whether you believe in something or don't believe in something, it remains faith. (and I have already pissed off many atheists with my definition of atheism, mainly because they fell away from their faith ... lolll) Anyway, let me not start over with this :)

    1. To be able to show respect for each other you have to have an agnostic way of thinking, otherwise sooner or later things will go wrong between the different ways of thinking.

      I have followed countless discussions between believers and atheists, and countless discussions between dissenters in politics.

      The "not knowing for sure" is something that is widely abused in every religion, sect and other group.

  6. The solution to many problems often (always?) Lies in formulating clear definitions. Good to see that you start by giving definitions, so the discussion moves to what by means by which term.

    1. Indeed. But unfortunately 2 responses the word respect was mentioned earlier, and that is unfortunately a meaningless container term. And will be abused in the rest of the discussion if I don't intervene here;)

      From now on only:
      I do not rule out that you are right
      The truth probably lies in the middle
      The truth does not have to lie in the middle, but discussion is an intelligent use of time
      Above all, let's avoid confrontation
      Let's not insult each other
      Let's not beat each other's brains
      .i am in awe for love
      I'm in awe for fear
      I'm in awe of fascination
      I am in awe out of dependence
      etc. pick out what is most useful.

      Not to mention that its widespread use in the 90's came from gangster rap videos, which in turn have it from mafia movies. And in that sense it badly refers to territorial drift in the ghetto.

      1. @ vincent,

        Out of respect for people, I have described an extensive commentary on another article, certainly not ruling out that I am right. The truth lies exactly in the middle between the 2 anecdotes in that commentary, but that does not have to be the case because under the anecdotes there is also a piece of comment from me. Discussion is certainly an intelligent use of time ... except ... when the facts are already so clearly on the table that they no longer need to be discussed. uhmmm…, I found your comments very meaningful and quite valuable.

        http://www.visionair.nl/politiek-en-maatschappij/nederland/weg-met-de-godsdienstvrijheid/comment-page-1/#comment-142

        1. Ah, so there is still something meaningful coming out of me.
          I have a habit of collecting certain statements. At times, some statements suddenly show up as a viral video and somehow everyone thinks they know what they mean.

          Can you still remember that in the first term of Balkenende the word respect was suddenly used inappropriately. It had a positive charge in the post-Fortuyn era. It appealed to the elderly because it was actually a pretty old-fashioned word. And, thanks to the hip-hop culture, it was already widely used by the youth. Who is against respect?

          Can you also remember that 'being yourself' became big with the first Big Brother broadcast. The 'being yourself' is still used, but it no longer controls the daily topics of conversation.

          One more: energy! It is still in full effect. It is really used for everything. Physically, energy is quite precisely defined. But as it is now often used, it is often a metaphor for someone's appearance or someone's state of mind or the atmosphere in a room / company. And then you also have the new-age types,…. fill in. In any case, it is a very Asian kind of worldview.

          I'm afraid I'm going to be quite off-topic, but I couldn't resist because I get itchy from shady language.

  7. Scientology; sect, religion or belief?
    It is a commercial institution, so the thoughts behind it don't matter much !!
    And since when does a person need another person to look into himself ... close your eyes and take a very deep breath do this at least 8X ... the ninth breath allows you to slowly rise along your spine, you then make contact with your chakras or your light body… concentrate on your third eye and a new world will open up to you, no church or institute like Scientology can compete with that.

    1. @StarSeed
      And later @Dave too
      I fully agree with you that you can come to knowledge yourself, but that is for everyone to find out for themselves and not really the subject of the piece.

      Furthermore, I disagree that Scientology is a commercial institution. And for the following reasons. If only interested in money, why would they distribute free human rights educational packs like they do on: http://www.humanrights.com/educators/welcome.html

      And why do they distribute information booklets worldwide about the dangers of various drugs. And they also send people free DVD and information packages such as on: http://www.drugfreeworld.org/#/freeinfo/truth-about-drugs-information

      Why do they distribute Way to Happiness booklets for free and also give away packages such as on: http://www.thewaytohappiness.org/freeinfo.html

      And now I understand that the real cynics will say that that is purely for PR has nothing to do with their basic goal of a better survival for the world. But then I would like to ask those cynics why Scientology has been turning against one of the richest and most powerful industries, psychopharmacy for decades. Check out their documentaries on: http://www.cchr.org/
      This is an industry that in the Netherlands alone already spends 1.3 billion euros on marketing medication for the Netherlands. See also the documentaries from TROS Radar about this:
      —-
      Much of the pharmaceutical industry makes a lot of money through marketing. This is nothing short of covert scams. In addition, it causes overburdening of GPs and an unnecessarily high health insurance premium in the Netherlands. TROS Radar published some very good documentaries about these harmful practices:
      Hype Illnesses: http://www.trosradar.nl/index.php?id=uitzending&itemUid=1411
      Diptych pharmaceutical industry
      Part 1: http://www.trosradar.nl/index.php?id=uitzending&itemUid=1237
      part 2: http://www.trosradar.nl/index.php?id=uitzending&itemUid=1239
      —–
      Believe me if you want to get rich then you will invest like Beatrix, rich people and banks in shares of such companies. You are not going to antagonize those giants with a lot of power against yourself.

      I often hear that about scientology and money and apparently money is a sensitive subject in people. I myself have said before that I have always been able to say no within the organization when asked if I did not want to make donations or do certain courses. Even if you want to train for auditing, you can do this with someone else and then you do not have to finance the auditing because you do it together. So there are also much cheaper routes that take more time from yourself if you would like to. In addition, they have a lot of information for free on websites and you can even do online courses with them http://www.volunteerministers.org/solutions.html

      Dave previously stated that because people give large sums to Scientology, this is apparently the fault of Scientology and that it is immoral to give money to a church that does things that people who give money believe in. Personally, I'd rather people spend their money on these kinds of social improvement programs than on Shell and Novartis shares, which I don't necessarily think will help the world move forward. But that's my personal opinion.

      In addition, every religion needs money to realize its goals, especially if you live in a society like ours where religion should be separate from the state and in theory also from tax money. (CDA with special education is an exception to this, but perhaps we will make the separation between church and state once again in the Netherlands) I do not know if you have ever seen the Vatican City or Mecca or other religious buildings? I think the members have also worked very deeply for that. So asking money from your community to run buildings and your programs is normal.

      In addition, there are certainly people who felt that they had paid too much for Scientology and have been told this later. Sometimes those people have also won and received money back through the judicial devices that are intended to resolve such conflicts. However, I also know quite a few Scientologists who invest quite a lot of their own money in the Church with their right mind and do so with pleasure because in their eyes it does useful business. That I have a different opinion myself is something else, but I get a bit tired that it is always given the impression that because other people give money to an organization that they do not understand or find scary, it must then apparently be the case that all of which other people are mentally unwell and so they will be forced to buy expensive courses and give a lot of money.
      From my own experience that is not the case with Scientology. I know people like myself who can say no, I know people who give to very specific things and not others and I know people who contribute to almost everything. These are always personal choices that I think we should respect. In such cases things only go wrong if the organization asks members for money and people do not indicate their own limits on time and therefore donate money when they actually do not want to. Anyway, Scientology is not unique in that even. Indulge someone for sale? :-)

        1. @ Julie
          I don't quite understand what you mean by this. Can you elaborate on your comment? And explain what you specifically respond to?

        2. Okay, I totally agree with you. I believe that unfortunately in many schools there is now a very flourishing trade in each other's ADHD medication.

  8. For the enthusiasts, an interview with an auditor of the Church of Scientology from Amsterdam. He gives fairly clear answers to the questions of the employee of religions in the Netherlands. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba5sDxb17ts&feature=player_embedded#at=187

    And also an interview with three young people from the Church of Scientology. Also in an interview of religions in the Netherlands.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NY6ZXn-01o&feature=related

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