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Old 01-07-2009, 11:20 PM   #46
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would this be an appropriate juncture to make a witty "shrimp on the barbie" remark?
you lot should all just shut up now.


and we don't have shrimp here. well, we do, but they're too small to be caught commerically. we only eat prawns. and they're different to shrimp.



but everyone back to shutting up now, thanks.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:40 PM   #47
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My mother was 71 when she had her brain injury last year, but a completely healthy and vibrant 71-year-old who still taught college and adult-ed classes, walked up to several miles a day, was an accomplished sculptress and had a full and happy existence living on her own. Then this stupid freak accident happens, and all at once (and permanently) she's mentally and emotionally like a toddler. I'm her guardian now, and have more or less reconciled myself to the fact that the person I knew for 37 years is effectively dead and there's no point in looking for her anymore, but sometimes when she doesn't seem to recognize me and care that I'm there, or yells inarticulately and thrashes her fists at me for some perceived minor offense I can't even figure out, the whole situation feels so cruel and surreal; she never feared physical suffering, but I know she'd never have wanted to live like this. If she doesn't live to be very old it will be a blessing, but she remains physically very healthy, so she might well. Ironically, Depakote is one of the drugs I had it out with the psychiatrist assigned to her case over (still not exactly sure why she was on it, but lots of elderly people are; I think basically 'to reduce agitation'); they've taken her off it now, and she is more alert and, ironically, less grumpy as well.

That's a sad story about the Travolta boy; his condition sounds vaguely like that of a young man one of my brothers was sort of a nanny to for awhile--he also had chronic (though I think mostly minor) seizures, and apparently as a result of years of them, was really no longer mentally competent and needed a 'minder' with him everywhere he went. I don't really understand what if anything the connection of Kawasaki syndrome to it is supposed to be, that has nothing to do with seizures so far as I know, but it sounds like a heartbreakingly sad story.

I'm sorry to hear this Yolland. It must be heartbreaking for you, but perhaps in the future some reserach or developments might happen, that could be of benefit for your mother? Never lose hope!

I feel very sad for the Travoltas. I think loosing a child is the worst thing a parent would have to go through, and even if they had armed themselves against it maybe happening, the actuality of it would be excruciating. I don't give a shit about Scientology, its exactly the same as any other religion to me, and i don't think it played a part in this tragedy.
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Old 01-10-2009, 12:59 AM   #48
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I agree with the basic premise of this thread and the ideas expressed in the article in the OP.

To me the questions re: Scientology would be less about it's weirdness and more about it's long term viability as a religion--is it likely going to be around in one or two millenia or will it have long since faded away. An interesting question is what kinds of religions go the distance--what is it that gives them their staying power often in the face of persecution? You've got religions like Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, that essentialy started out with one person and then grew into these worldwide faiths. You can attribute some of that spread to the militaristic zeal of some it's adherents, but in the case of Christianity, the faith had to survive some 300 years plus before it's zealots would have even had a chance to start dominating anyone.

There are legitimate questions about Scientology's authenticity as a relgion but those shouldn't be based on it's "weirdness" quotient. After all, I'm pretty sure Christianity sounded very weird to the average Roman back when the faith was in it's infancy.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:52 AM   #49
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Scientologists aren't any weirder than you are...

Hmm...they must be pretty damned weird then!
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:12 AM   #50
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but weird is so much more interesting

I can't say I know much about Scientology, but I remember reading somewhere ages ago that Hubbard stole alot of his ideas from Aleister Crowley. I was reading this just now

Jeff Jacobsen - Hubbard and Aleister Crowley

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Old 01-12-2009, 10:06 AM   #51
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Hey, I've long thought all religious types are whacked!
I always think religion is something people need when they have very little in their lifes and too much time on their hands. Aethesist here and proud of it. Lets hope the aliens land soon and blow all religions out of the water!
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:38 AM   #52
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I always think religion is something people need when they have very little in their lifes and too much time on their hands.
Maybe you ought to think a little more then.

You're welcome to critique religion and religious people all you want, but you ought to come up with something better than that.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:41 PM   #53
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In previous threads, when myself and others have spoken out against Scientology, identifying it as being much more dangerous and insidious than just a benign but sorta crazy religious choice, others have argued that all religions have features that Scientology do, and implied that Scientology-naysayers are bigots who are picking on the religion and their followers.

I think the difference between Scientology and other religions is that most other religions have good intentions, and while there are some damaging aspects, these mostly come from fringe groups or individuals, not from the mainstream leadership or teachings of these religions. With Scientology, the craziness and dangerous aspects are institutional, and come from the leadership of the church, and this becomes more and more apparent the further up the hierarchy you rise, according to reports from former members.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:49 PM   #54
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I think the difference between Scientology and other religions is that most other religions have good intentions, and while there are some damaging aspects, these mostly come from fringe groups or individuals, not from the mainstream leadership or teachings of these religions.
I really don't think that can be taken as a given.

The idea that real religion is peaceful and tolerant and any of the many exceptions aren't real religion is unjustifiable; religion is then by definition good, I don't think that is a fair assessment.

The bigoted fundamentalist is just as equally justified as the most progressive believer, in some cases more so because they are willing to accept the nastier precepts of the faith.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:05 PM   #55
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I really don't think that can be taken as a given.

The idea that real religion is peaceful and tolerant and any of the many exceptions aren't real religion is unjustifiable; religion is then by definition good, I don't think that is a fair assessment.

The bigoted fundamentalist is just as equally justified as the most progressive believer, in some cases more so because they are willing to accept the nastier precepts of the faith.
I'm talking in *very* general terms about mainstream religion.

A bigoted fundamentalist might be as justified and entitled to his beliefs, but not if it goes as far as acting on them and causing actual harm to others. And just because he accepts "nastier" beliefs does not necessarily make him a more devout or dedicated (honest, perhaps? I'm not articulating this well) follower, thereby worthy of more respect.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:12 PM   #56
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Just because she accepts "progressive" beliefs does not necessarily make her a more devout or dedicated (honest, perhaps?....

It can play both ways, and religions ride on a public attitude that they are inherently good.

Look at the respect bestowed on any religious leader, they are given entitlement to make ethical pronouncements on issues which they may not understand (reproductive technology for instance) and people listen.

It is a status quo which I feel is worth questioning, because it has real world implications.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:24 PM   #57
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Just because she accepts "progressive" beliefs does not necessarily make her a more devout or dedicated (honest, perhaps?....

It can play both ways, and religions ride on a public attitude that they are inherently good.

Look at the respect bestowed on any religious leader, they are given entitlement to make ethical pronouncements on issues which they may not understand (reproductive technology for instance) and people listen.

It is a status quo which I feel is worth questioning, because it has real world implications.
Yes, I completely agree with all of this. I'm agnostic. I think some shouting me down in old Scientology threads by coming back with "but Christianity isn't all that, either!" perhaps didn't realize that.

By calling out Scientology for what it is doesn't mean that I'm defending other religions, necessarily. I think Scientology deserves to be examined and debated on its own merits, or lack thereof, rather. I just find that, because it's shrouded in mystery, by design of the leadership, and with the celebrity PR job they've been doing, that people don't realize the dangers (real physical, emotional, social, and monetary dangers) that lurk behind the church. Many just think it's another off-the-wall but innocuous, feel-good sort of thing.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:04 AM   #58
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By calling out Scientology for what it is doesn't mean that I'm defending other religions, necessarily. I think Scientology deserves to be examined and debated on its own merits, or lack thereof, rather.

i do hear you.

i just feel that Scientologists -- and Mormons, for that matter -- are often singled out by evangelicals for ridicule and mockery and as "proof" that their religion is true, when there's very little difference between, say, the glib fervor of Tom Cruise (who Chelsea Lately is making fun of right now as i type this) and the fervor of, say, the Purpose-Driven Life crowd.

to those of us who are agnostic, it all looks cultish.
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Old 01-15-2009, 12:41 AM   #59
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i do hear you.

i just feel that Scientologists -- and Mormons, for that matter -- are often singled out by evangelicals for ridicule and mockery and as "proof" that their religion is true, when there's very little difference between, say, the glib fervor of Tom Cruise (who Chelsea Lately is making fun of right now as i type this) and the fervor of, say, the Purpose-Driven Life crowd.

to those of us who are agnostic, it all looks cultish.
If it were only a matter of degree of fervor, I'd have no problem with it at all. Or at least no more problem with it than I have with any mainstream religion, which I have to admit is very little. For the most part, as long as they don't interfere with my life in any way, I'm very capable of tuning them out. I am bothered by the human rights practices of some, though, as I think most of us in FYM are. Thankfully, as you note in your sig, the world is spinning forward, in that regard.

I guess it's the deceptive practices of Scientology I have a problem with, the portrayal of themselves as something they're not.
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Old 01-15-2009, 04:07 AM   #60
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In previous threads, when myself and others have spoken out against Scientology, identifying it as being much more dangerous and insidious than just a benign but sorta crazy religious choice, others have argued that all religions have features that Scientology do, and implied that Scientology-naysayers are bigots who are picking on the religion and their followers.

I think the difference between Scientology and other religions is that most other religions have good intentions, and while there are some damaging aspects, these mostly come from fringe groups or individuals, not from the mainstream leadership or teachings of these religions. With Scientology, the craziness and dangerous aspects are institutional, and come from the leadership of the church, and this becomes more and more apparent the further up the hierarchy you rise, according to reports from former members.
Good point. I think this is the real arena of debate regarding Scientology--not it's "weirdness quotient" which is neither here nor there, but issues such as the ones you raise.

I don't think the secretiveness in Scientology or it's requirement that the members pay to grow in the faith have any parallels in mainstream religion. (And no, tithing is not a good parallel. Some church leaders might try to "guilt" you into paying tithe, but that's not the same as having it built into the faith as precondition of gaining knowledge and experience in the faith).

I've heard that some disgruntled ex-members of my church have suggested that they weren't told the "whole truth" about one of the founders of our church who many believe was a prophet, but I think those individual experiences don't reflect an organized church effort and policy to hide certain elements of our beliefs from the "uninitiated."
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