I wasn't going to touch Scientology again for a while because I don't like to run themes into the ground but some of the comments that appeared on YouTube prompted me to follow up with a story I'd been considering sharing for a while. There were two main types of comments that prompted me to revisit the topic.
The first were comments from Scientologists. Some identified themselves as such and said they weren't so bad. More often, they claimed to not be Scientologists but proclaimed to support the "Church" of Scientology (CoS) in the name of fighting bigotry. These idiots were so laughably obvious I have no idea why they insisted on the charade. I guess they were going with the "sucker born every minute" line of thinking and they assume if they repeat blatant falsehoods often enough at least someone will believe them.
The second type of comments that troubled me were from atheists spouting the "all religions are the same" line. While that's a seductive line of thinking, particularly to unsophisticated thinkers, it simply isn't true. It's a lot of fun to say "They have crazy beliefs about other-worldly powers that defy logic? Sound like every religion to me," or "Their sole reason for existence is to control the minds and lives of their followers and take as much of their money as possible? Isn't that what Christianity has been doing for over 1,000 years?" The thing is, CoS is different.
From the first contact you have with them, the primary goal of CoS is to manipulate you. They want to find out what's important to you, how you think, what you want in life. And they won't hesitate to lie to you to bring you into their sphere of influence. The difference between CoS trying to get your money and, say, the Catholic Church (of whose methods I have intimate knowledge) trying to get your money is pretty straightforward.
Catholics try to guilt you into giving them your money voluntarily. CoS try to force you to pay for your enlightenment. Catholics are more than willing to give out their version of enlightenment free of charge. In fact, like most Christians, they'll gleefully push their beliefs and teaching on anyone who doesn't run fast enough. CoS absolutely will not share their teachings with anyone who does not pay for them. They have repeatedly sued people who have distributed their teachings freely on the grounds that their copyright is being infringed.
You know, like money making corporations do.
You can argue, sometimes convincingly, that all religions push inherently dangerous beliefs and try to manipulate people. But CoS is different in that they are pushing a deliberately fabricated set of teachings for the sole purpose of making money. They use all the cult tricks to attain their ends. They are dangerous.
In this video, I tell the story of how I took the CoS "free personality test". Turns out I didn't have one. LOL! I kid, I kid. What I did learn from taking this test is that the test itself is dangerous. It is designed to find out where you are vulnerable. It is designed to find your psychological weaknesses. And these people will not hesitate to exploit anything they find. They will lie and tell you that Scientology addresses you core concerns directly. This is a lie because this is what they say to everybody. And it can't possibly be true for everybody.
This test is the simplest level of contact you can have with CoS. It is the first thing they do with people. And it is dangerous. It is not a harmless bit of fun that might show you a little about yourself. It is the doorway to letting some really ruthless people take control of your life. They don't care what damage they do to you. All they want to do is widen their sphere of influence. Don't make the mistake of thinking they're the same as any other religion. That is a lie that they want you to believe.
The biggest danger to CoS is former members breaking free and letting the truth of their inner workings be known. Their greatest hope is to gain more and more converts before the truth about them is known widely enough.