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Old 01-17-2008, 08:45 PM   #46
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Originally posted by Irvine511




do the articles talk about Scientologist teenagers who kill themselves because they're taught that Xenu hates who they are?
Scientology is well know for its efforts to cure people of teh gay.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:47 PM   #47
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Scientology is well know for its efforts to cure people of teh gay.


kids, though? do the have ex-gay camps?

(i do know why Scientology has such an appeal for, say, John Travolta, but does it have the same apparatus for dealing with these teenaged undesirables after they're caught making out with someone of the same gender at church camp?)
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:47 PM   #48
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Really, read the articles posted.



really


would you like to see the pile of canceled checks I found

when my Uncle passed away??

they were for tens of thousands, also

and he had put a reverse mortgage on his house

so he could get right with Jesus
by writing these checks to a mainstream religion

they came around for his service, also

wanted to see if they were in the will
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:47 PM   #49
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I don't find Scientologists' beliefs any crazier than Christianity's Virgin Mary.

I agree with deep 100%.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:48 PM   #50
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true enough.

i mean, *somebody* paid for that gorgeous St. Peter's in Rome.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:49 PM   #51
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl
I don't find Scientologists' beliefs any crazier than Christianity's Virgin Mary.

I agree with deep 100%.
Really? a virgin birth is on par with "DC10s, only with jet engines"?
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:50 PM   #52
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i think many of the questions in here have less to do with the defense of Sociology, and more to do with the relative arbitrariness of what is and what is not a cult. i'm sure in the 1st century Christianity was considered a cult. it is now not a cult, though we could argue that certain denominations, certain beliefs, certain practices, surely have cultish behaviors.

i think what things like Scientology do is call into question all of our assumptions about religions, and it's interesting to see those who self-define by their religions getting both nervous and a bit nasty.

i think Scientology is kind of bonkers. but so is Southern Baptism. one might rely on a more coherent, tradition-based theology, but in practice, i fail to see how Scientology's coercive techniques are any worse than the psychic abuse very credible churches inflict on some of their most vulnerable members.

heck, we have a presidential candidate who sounds every bit as crazy as Tom Cruise when he talks about the godly subservience of women or how allowing two men to get married is the same thing as allowing a man to marry a dog.
Irvine, I completely respect your ability to thoughtfully see an issue from many points of view.

You're right, "cult" is kind of a fuzzy term. Who's to say one belief system is a cult, and another is not?

Definition.com, based on Random House Unabridged Dictionary, has this definition:

cult:
1. a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult.
3. the object of such devotion.
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.
7. the members of such a religion or sect.
8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.


Scientology fits the usage of 6-8.

Nathan1977's definition, which said cults are "coercive in nature, abusive in practice, controlling in the extreme, and mentally, emotionally, and spiritually crippling" cites many other charactersistics of a cult. I added "secretive" to the mix.

Scientology fits that list, too.

Yes, in its infancy, Christianity would've fit much of No. 6 to the people of the day. However, it quickly came to be seen as a faith centered around truth and rooted in history. It's still seen as that today. It, along with Judaism and Islam come from the same historical root. Scientology is based on aliens and was started by a science fiction writer.

And yes, there are certain other faiths, even Christian denominations or churches that have some of the charactersistics Nathan1977 mentioned, however, none of those characteristics are Biblical, so the term cult, or "cultish," should just be given to that entity on its own, not the faith as a whole. I personally, know of "Christian" churches that are cultish. My in-laws attend one. It's a bit secretive, it's select, it's emotionally, mentally and spiritually crippling, and controlling, etc. They're definitely out there, but again, it's not Biblical.

You mentioned people getting "nervous" and "nasty" when it comes to cults. I hope I don't come across as "nasty," and wouldn't say I'm nervous. I do enjoy the discussion though and think it's important.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #53
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no, i don't think you are being nasty. you aren't ever nasty. but we've had past threads where others do get a little snippy, and that's what i was referencing.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #54
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Really? a virgin birth is on par with "DC10s, only with jet engines"?
A virgin birth is total hysterical nonsense imo but I don't care who believes in it or why.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:54 PM   #55
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A virgin birth is total hysterical nonsense imo but I don't care who believes in it or why.
If God were to become a human any other explaination wouldn't fit.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #56
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no, i don't think you are being nasty. you aren't ever nasty. but we've had past threads where others do get a little snippy, and that's what i was referencing.
Gotcha
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:56 PM   #57
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Originally posted by joyfulgirl


A virgin birth is total hysterical nonsense imo but I don't care who believes in it or why.
I think it's hysterical as well.

But at least there's some mysticism involved in it. Some wonder.

DC10's with jet engines? And eternal force fields?

It sounds like a bad science fiction novel. Oh wait...
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:58 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




kids, though? do the have ex-gay camps?

(i do know why Scientology has such an appeal for, say, John Travolta, but does it have the same apparatus for dealing with these teenaged undesirables after they're caught making out with someone of the same gender at church camp?)
I'm not really sure why you're sounding so confrontational re: the similarities and differences between Scientology and Christianity practices. I don't agree with the fundamentalist way of dealing with it either - I'm agnostic.

As for Scientology, if I recall the reading I've done over the years, it's "cured" by intensive "therapy" sessions. Physically and mentally harmful.


Deep, you made it sound as though The poor Scientologists wait patiently in their storefronts for people to come in for their personality testing. I pulled up one example of a zillion.

Financially bilking one widow is the least of their sins, and, I agree, one that they share in common with many other unscrupulous religions. If you want to engage in informed discussion, I'd look over the articles. If not, I guess there's not much more to say.
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:58 PM   #59
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It sounds like a bad science fiction novel. Oh wait...


but we all know it's just allegory, right? i mean, come on, a whale swallowing a man? talking snakes? a genocidal deity who drowns people he doesn't like in a flood?
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Old 01-17-2008, 08:58 PM   #60
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It sounds like a bad science fiction novel. Oh wait...

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