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Old 01-21-2008, 06:26 AM   #181
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Originally posted by Irvine511
and all of this pointing out of the differences, and the differences somehow being more important than the commonalities, makes the skeptic think, "yes, they really are all exactly alike, especially when they talk about how different they *really* are from one another."

i never understood the point of arguing about religion, or at least it's individual merits. the whole, "Jesus *was* the son of God!" "no he wasn't!" "yes he was!" it always seemed pointless. i remember being shocked when i heard that there were people out there who hated Jews, that there was such a thing as anti-Semitism. even then, my young mind though, "geez, it's just religion, it's all kind of pretend anyway, why would you hate someone over that?"
Yeah, sometimes I wonder why we get so worked up over it myself. Of course for me it's not because it's all "kind of pretend", but because--at least for me--it's so very real. It seems a little nuts when God's followers get all worked up about defending a God who is as big as we believe him to be.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:04 AM   #182
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when i say, "kind of pretend," it's less about it being fake, per se, and more about it being something that you have to use your imagination to participate in.
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:51 AM   #183
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Tom Cruise's 9/11 clean-up

Tom Cruise has branded the Environmental Protection Agency liars for saying the air was clean after 9/11, in his Scientology promotional video.

(BANG) -

Tom Cruise has branded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) liars for saying the air was clean after 9/11.

The 'Mission Impossible' star has revealed how, as a Scientologist, he recognised there was a problem and provided rescue workers in the aftermath of the New York terrorist attack with detoxification therapy based upon the works of Scientologist founder L. Ron Hubbard.

In a new clip from his leaked Scientology promotional video, Tom said: "The EPA came out and said the air was clean. Of course, as a Scientologist you go, that's a lie. Outright lie. Liar. Fine.

"Finally you say, dammit, just go there and do it. Put it there, let's go, here's the money, let's go. Let's just get one person treated. I can't sleep another night.

"We have tools that we can apply to ourselves and apply to others. You're going to get improvements. Period."

The 45-year-old star claims Scientologists "are the authorities" and need no permission to take action.

He said: "A Scientologist is somebody who can look at the world and really see it for what it is. And not just see it but be able to go 'pow' and actually do something about it. And be somebody who is not asking permission to do that. Why ask permission? We are the authorities."

Tom, wife Katie Holmes and daughter Suri have been spending a lot of time in New York this week with actor Jerry Seinfeld and his wife Jessica.

In December, Jerry revealed: "I did some Scientology courses about 30 years ago. I didn't do very much. I don't know that much, I just did a little but I liked it."

But a representative for the 'Bee Movie' star said: "He is not studying Scientology in any way at this time. He did attend a course 30 years ago that he found interesting but he is Jewish and not changing his religion or faith in any direction.

"Jerry and Tom Cruise both have homes in Telluride, Colorado, which is their connection."

(C) BANG Media International
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:56 AM   #184
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Originally posted by maycocksean
It seems a little nuts when God's followers get all worked up about defending a God who is as big as we believe him to be.
Yeah, it does. Especially when some people are absolutely sure they and they alone know what He wants and means.
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Old 01-21-2008, 04:41 PM   #185
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There are a number of things that set Scientology apart from other belief systems that I would find cause for concern.

1. Keeping beliefs secret from many church members until they reach certain elite levels.
I was hoping someone would bring that up. Thank you.
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:16 PM   #186
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John Travolta is coming to the aid of friend – and fellow Scientologist – Tom Cruise following last week's leaked video.

The much-discussed clip, still making the rounds on the Web, shows the Mission: Impossible megastar praising the Church of Scientology and saying that followers have "the ability to create new and better realities." (His rep says the footage was filmed for a private church event in 2004.)

Travolta, 53, claims the intense media scrutiny has gone too far. "[Tom] has – we all have – the right to practice how we feel," he told PEOPLE Saturday at Australia.com's G'Day L.A. gala celebrating Australia Week 2008. "It finally becomes unfair."
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:37 PM   #187
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/0...r_n_82715.html

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Old 01-23-2008, 03:30 PM   #188
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gold, jerry... gold!
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:31 PM   #189
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The maniacal laughing was awesome.
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Old 01-23-2008, 03:43 PM   #190
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^ That was my favourite part too!
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:47 PM   #191
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I read this in Page Six

February 6, 2008 -- SCIENTOLOGISTS are at war with a member of their own family - the outspoken niece of the church's powerful leader, David Miscavige.

Jenna Hill Miscavige, 24, the daughter of David's older brother Ron, recently came out in support of Andrew Morton's "Tom Cruise: An Unauthorized Biography," and slammed the star for "supporting a religion that tears apart families, both in the media and monetarily." Since then, Jenna claims she's been subjected to harassment.

"The church has contacted several of my friends, telling them that I am smearing the church and I am going to be declared a suppressive person and asking my friends if they would disconnect from me and, in at least one case, insisting that they do," Jenna, who lives in San Diego, tells investigative journalist Philip Recchia.

"At least eight friends have removed themselves from my MySpace page," she said, and blames the church for it.

Jenna let loose on Scientology last month when she posted an open letter to a senior sect official, which was later posted on the Web, praising the Morton book and slamming the church. Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responded to her: "I am absolutely shocked at how vehemently you insist upon not only denying the truths that have been stated about the church in that biography, but then take it a step further and tell outright lies."

Pouw did not respond to our call for further comment by press time yesterday.

But Jenna is not backing down. Her mother and father left Scientology in 2000, but she stayed in until 2005, during which time she says she was kept in a boarding school, only allowed to see her parents once a year and subjected to a bizarre daily regimen.

"If you flunked your uniform inspection, sometimes if you were late . . . you would be dumped with a five-gallon bucket of ice water," she tells Recchia, a former Post reporter.

"We were also required to write down all transgressions . . . similar to a sin in the Catholic religion. After writing them all down, we would receive a meter check on the Electropsychometer to make sure we weren't hiding anything, and you would have to keep writing until you came up clean. This is from the age of 5 until I was 12."

Here is her open letter

Dear Karin [Pouw, spokesperson for official Scientology] ,

I could not resist the opportunity to write you this letter having read your official rebuttal regarding the Tom Cruise biography. I have been involved in the Church of Scientology since birth. David Miscavige as you well know is my father’s brother, making him my uncle. In fact you and I actually know each other although not very well.

I cannot comment on your responses regarding the personal life of Tom Cruise because I know nothing about this, but I am absolutely shocked at how vehemently you insist upon not only denying the truths that have been stated about the Church in that biography, but then take it a step further and tell outright lies.

You go so far as to state:

7. Does Scientology encourage their members not to speak to their family if they don’t support the religion?

This allegation is not only false, it is the opposite of what the Church believes and practices. -Karin Pouw

As you well know, my parents officially left the Church when I was 16 in 2000. I, having been separated from them at the age of 12 and thoroughly engulfed in the beliefs of the Church since birth decided not to go with them.

Not only was I not allowed to speak to them, I was not allowed to answer a phone for well over a year, in case it was them calling me.

To give exact specifics, this “law” was enforced ruthlessly by one Tracye Danilovoch - the local representative for the Religious Technology Center - who intercepted all letters from my parents (and my friends). She would then pass them on to Marc Rathbun (the then 2nd in command of the Church) and Mike Rinder - who happens to be the former head of YOUR office - “The Office of Special Affairs” (you can thank me later for not elaborating on this one). Only after they had seen the letters and decided it was ok for me to see them would I receive some of them while sitting in a board room while they watched me read them and asked me to comment on them.

I was allowed to visit my parents from the age of 16-22, once a year for a maximum of 3-4 days, but that was only after they (my parents) threatened legal action if the Church got in the way of this and even then only after I underwent a “Security Check Confessional” before I saw them and immediately after I came back. A security check is interrogation (usually about if I intend on leaving the Church, or finding out if my parents have said anything bad about the Church, etc.) while being attached to an electrophsychometer which is similar to a lie detector. This happened every single time I saw then (which was never more than 3 or 4 days a year).

For a more recent example of families being destroyed, My Aunt Jennifer Pantermeuhl has recently contacted my parents and let them know that she can no longer speak to them or be in contact with them because they speak to and live near, my other Aunt Sarah Mortland.

Sarah is my mom’s and Jennifer’s sister. This is because Sarah is not in favor with the Church. Jennifer also contacted my brother Sterling as well as the rest of the family for the same reason most of whom had to lie to her and said they weren’t talking to Sarah for fear of getting found out about.

Another good example would be when my other brother, Justin, was in Florida a few years ago and was on his way to visit our Aunt Denise Gentile (our father’s sister and David Miscavige’s twin) with his girlfriend. Denise abruptly canceled while they were on their way over because the Church would not approve - because he was an ex-member. Not to mention the fact that Kirsten Caetano (a member of the Church’s Office of Special Affairs - the very same organization you belong to) was contacting Justin several times when he was in Florida working, telling him that he needed to leave the state because he is an ex-member and his presence at the “mecca of Scientology” was disturbing to the church. Kristen has admitted to my face that she did this when I confronted her and even went so far as to admit that she lied to my brother after denying the incident. This is the least of what Kirsten Caetano has done!

You cite this quote from L.Ron Hubbard about what the Church believes with regards to families…. . yes we know what the Church claims to “believe” and has written in its policies! - BUT do they practice that? Absolutely not!

I can name at least 5 friends off the top of my head who’s family members are not allowed to speak to them without being themselves ousted from the Church and prevented from communicating with other members of their family and even their children still involved in the Church lest THEY too be ousted! They cant speak to their children because they have left the Church on their own determinism. This is a widespread practice and if you dare deny it I have a list of all of there names together-these people’s families are crying every day because they can’t speak to their children who did nothing but leave the Church of their own free will.

If I am in fact wrong and you want to prove me as such, then allow me and my family to be in contact with our family members that are still part of the Church such as my Grandpa, Ron Miscavige, and his wife, Becky. Allow the same of my friends. And don’t even start with the, “it’s their choice all along story…” -nobody is going to buy that, there are way too many destroyed families for that to be true.

I am tempted to take up many of the other accusations you categorically deny in your novel, but for the purpose of keeping this letter readable and focused on the most important part (family) I will resist.

I will suggest however that maybe you should spend the manpower and time of drafting your masterpiece rebuttal - why don’t you take the high road for once and put that time towards repairing the families you have destroyed, starting with the family of David Miscavige himself - hell, if Scientology can’t keep his family together - then why on earth should anyone believe the Church helps bring families together!

Best,

Jenna Miscavige Hill
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:04 PM   #192
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Oh, but they're not a cult, they're merely a misunderstood religion!



There are tons of reports out there, far more damning than this, too.

Thanks for posting, Mrs S
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:12 AM   #193
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Great post, MrsSpringsteen. Jenna is a powerful voice.

And yes, they Scientology still creeps me out.
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Old 02-07-2008, 10:52 PM   #194
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What gets me is they call themselves a "religion" and use the term "church". I don't get it, never will, don't even want to try. I have friends whose family was ripped apart due to my friends' parents having joined the cult that is Scientology. I hear the word Scientology and my hairs on ym neck stand on end!
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:36 AM   #195
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An internet group calling themselves Anonymous arranged for a series of worldwide protests to take place outside Scientology buildings (I'm loathe to call them churches) at many locations yesterday. After seeing a report last night on a Toronto television news broadcast, I looked it up online today.

Quote:
Wikinews international report: "Anonymous" holds anti-Scientology protests worldwide

The Internet group Anonymous today held protests critical of the Church of Scientology. The protests marked what would have been the 49th birthday of Lisa McPherson, who is claimed to be a victim of the Church of Scientology's practices. Lisa died in 1995 during a running of what Scientologists refer to as an Introspection Rundown, a procedure intended to help Church members deal with a psychotic or deeply traumatic event.

Protests were planned throughout the day in 14 countries and over 50 different cities. The estimation of total protesters world wide for Feb. 10, 2008 is 9,250 people.
http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews...ests_worldwide


You can read about Lisa's story here.



Here's the report of the Toronto protest, take from The Toronto Star:

Quote:
Anons plan `polite' church protest

Demonstrations - sparked by viral spread of Tom Cruise promo video - planned in 14 countries
Feb 10, 2008 04:30 AM
Murray Whyte
Staff Reporter

They are anonymous. They are legion. And they are either an elaborate, viral Internet prank played by bored adolescents on a painfully easy target – the much-maligned, star-studded Church of Scientology – or the amalgamation of a vast network of resourceful cyber-activists intent on wobbling the organization permanently.

Either way, about 150 of them are expected to turn up on Yonge St. today – most of them masked, in the interest of remaining, well, anonymous – to hand out flyers and generally make life uncomfortable at the church's Toronto property (in their online forums at enturbulation.org, Anons urge one another to practise polite protestation. As one poster put it, "Bring your warm clothes, your signs, your fliers (sic), your food and water. Do not bring your weapons, your inappropriate language, your bad temper or your stupid rowdy troublemaking ass.")

This being the Internet, the protest – or raid, as they prefer to call it – is just one of a vast mobilization effort of Anons. A network of peaceful demonstrations against the church has been planned in 14 countries and dozens of churches.

The religious group countered in a statement late yesterday that "'Anonymous' is perpetrating religious hate crimes against Churches of Scientology and individual Scientologists for no reason other than religious bigotry." It added: "'Anonymous' claims of altruistic purposes are no different than those heard from any terrorist or hate group."

Organized online and completely nonhierarchical, the amalgamation of Anonymous is the direct result of a very public gaffe by the very private organization. Last month, an internal promotional video was leaked to the Internet. In it, a wild-eyed Tom Cruise – the organization's marquee adherent among Hollywood brethren like John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson – lionized the church as the saviour of a society.

It appeared on several news sitesand YouTube, but its widespread distribution was brief. The organization's lawyers threatened legal action based on copyright violation.

But one site, Gawker.com, the satirical entertainment industry blog run by Nick Denton, refused, claiming it was newsworthy. The video can still be seen there and has been millions of times: nearly 2.8 million as of yesterday, a new record for the site.

The video, in which Cruise, rhapsodic about Scientology's potential to heal the world – "We are the authorities on getting people off drugs, we are the authorities on the mind, we can rehabilitate criminals," he says in the video; "We can bring peace and unite cultures" – has spurred renewed interest in the organization, which has been described by its critics as an oppressive cult.

The most visible product of Cruise's suddenly public proclamations, though, appears to be a backlash against an intensely secretive organization that has been accused of harassment of its critics and members who choose to leave it. And the most tangible manifestation of that backlash is Anonymous.

"It basically came down to a tipping point," said one of the organizers of today's Toronto protest. "There was a random suggestion after the video came out – `We should do something about this.' And it snowballed into this international effort."

Mark Bunker, an Emmy-winning television journalist in Los Angeles who has been critical of the church's affairs for almost 10 years, sees the Anonymous effort as a natural culmination. "It's been building for 15 years," said Bunker, who runs a personal Scientology watchdog site, Xenutv.com. "Now, we have an army of people."

Bunker's words are harsh, but he's experienced retribution first hand. Shortly after he began covering the organization, a pair of Scientologists showed up to picket his house with signs: "Beware: Your neighbour Mark Bunker is not all the he seems," they read. "Your neighbour Mark Bunker is a religious bigot."


Bunker became a paternal figure for the legions of Anons when, on seeing their first video on YouTube, promising mayhem, he posted a video response, counselling them to remain civil. The exhortation was taken to heart – "Do not bring ... your stupid, rowdy, troublemaking ass" – and Bunker is now hailed by the Anons as "Wise Beard Man."

Though it elicits a chuckle from Bunker, among others, there is little to laugh at regarding episodes in the church's near 60-year history. Scientology is based on Dianetics, a self-help book written in 1950 by the science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, the church's founder.

In the 1970s, the organization went to extremes, infiltrating government offices in Canada, the United States and Britain. They called the effort "Operation Snow White." In 1977, the FBI raided church offices and found evidence enough to convict nine members of conspiracy to steal government documents, notably from the Internal Revenue Service, and obstruction of justice. Among the conspirators charged in 1979 was Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue.

In the years that followed, the organization would eventually gain non-profit status in the United States in 1993 but it would also surrender some of its closest secrets – namely, the disclosure of its vast asset base, which, according to the IRS, totalled $400 million in 1993.


It would also see its central religious myth made common knowledge: Hubbard conceived the notion that an evil alien ruler named Xenu murdered millions of beings from various planets on Earth 75 million years ago. Their souls, or "body thetans," as Hubbard called them, attach themselves to humans, weighing their spirit down. Scientology purports to help people get "clear" of both the ancient alien spirits that weigh them down, and those who oppose the practice of erasing negative episodes and experiences, gauged by an instrument they call an "e-meter."

The disclosure did little to dispel the notion that the church was little more than what its critics had called it: a cult.

Nonetheless, it was able to maintain and expand its legion of celebrity adherents – Hubbard identified the significance of celebrity sheen early on, calling them in an internal memo in the 1950s as "quarry" and "game" – and with an estimated annual revenue stream of $300 million, largely from membership, counselling fees and the sales of Hubbard's books and videos, the church is a financial force. It is a large property owner in Canada and the U.S., most notably acquiring and restoring historic buildings on Hollywood Boulevard.

But with the Cruise video still circulating and the Anonymous movement galvanizing anti-church sentiment, the organization finds itself cast in the uncomfortable position of public scrutiny as new interest opens old wounds and suspicions as to its mission.

And the previously air-tight organization continues to leak. In an internal church video also available at Gawker, David Miscavige, a high-ranking church executive, refers to the organization's "campaign to break the dark spell cast across Earth by psychiatry," one of Scientology's principal missions.

As a slick computer animation plays on a large screen behind him – government buildings penetrated by eruptions of flame – he boasts that the church's efforts to "obliterate" the practice has "booby-trapped the whole psychiatric ecosystem." As he says this, the audience erupts in cheers.

Some Anons have admitted that the appeal of the effort is partially shock humour. "But a fair number of people are taking it seriously," says the Toronto Anon.
http://www.thestar.com/article/302118


How anyone can defend that they're anything but a cult, and a dangerous one at that, is beyond me.
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