It's pretty sad when murderers have better ethics than most "spiritual" folks:
"I killed. I deserve to be killed."
"He preserved a church and created a people, but that success damaged and even destroyed some lives."
The other reason that Anderson deserves recognition as an honorary scholar of new religious movements is that his curiosity about new religions has brought him into conflict with a culture that still approaches the religious other through an un-nuanced “us vs. them” mentality. Most religion scholars who deal heavily with new religious movements have been branded as “cult apologists” at some point in their careers. At stake in this accusation is an assumption that “whoever is not for us is against us,” and that anyone who is not actively attempting to debunk and discredit minority religions has decided to defend them unconditionally.
I have written for here and elsewhere that for some commentators, ridiculing Scientology seems to have become a kind of hobby. There are, of course, plenty of reasons not to like the Church of Scientology. Not the least of these are the serious allegations that have been leveled against the Church by former members, especially the children of Scientologists who were raised in Scientology schools or pressured to serve in the Church’s elite order, Sea Org.
But as disturbing as these stories are, I am more interested in the motivations of groups like Anonymous, who organized angry protests in front of Scientology buildings, and journalists like Tony Ortega, who in two years produced 465 articles attacking the Church of Scientology.
In a world threatened by the possibility of nuclear conflict in the Middle East, global warming, and growing economic injustice, why direct so much energy toward a religion that is culturally and politically irrelevant outside of Hollywood? What is the sense of satisfaction some people find in crusading against Scientology? Popular animosity toward Scientology is interesting because it seems to point toward much larger patterns in how Americans respond to minority religions.
and once more with feeling..."ARRGH"ReplyDelete
I can't believe people are such stupid, miserable, selfish bastards as to not want their children vaccinated -- I guess they have not seen the horrors of whooping cough, polio, measles.
My father had polio as a child (fortunately a mild case; there were many who were not so lucky), my mother nearly died from scarlet fever, and my grandfather -- diphtheria (it was only the quick thinking of his father that saved him). Thus I could say that "pre-existence" me (according to the Mormons) narrowly dodged the bullet 3 times. Vaccines are a wonderful things; fabulous examples of the good things we can do (my mom would routinely ask the doctors if there was some way her grandchildren could possibly get the small pox vac...she remembers a time when horrible disease killed a lot of small children...).
Yeah, I'm a murderous old bitch whose pretty sure where she's going...but I think I'm going to have a lot of company. If there is any justice, I will have a lot of company...and I'll laugh and laugh bitterly. Rotten stupid bastards...
That anti-anti-Scientology rant is a bit funny. I've seen a huge Scientology presence overseas. They are very active outside the US, and are not irrelevant outside of Hollywood.ReplyDelete
I've even stumbled into one of their "evils of psychotherapy" rallies in the middle of Copenhagen. My Danish is terrible, but just seeing a couple of signs, I could tell it was an anti-psychotherapy rally. And, knowing that the only idiots that would have an anti-psychotherapy rally are Scientologists, I figured it out pretty quick.