Stop vilifying Scientology

Church of Scientology, MelbourneIn this guest post, Vicki Dunstan of The Church of Scientology takes issue with an article it believes puts the church in the same category as alcohol, cigarettes and gambling advertising.

I read Robin Hicks’ article “Selling the bad stuff”, which questioned whether ad agencies should choose morals over money in the clients they work with, in shocked disbelief.

Mr Hicks offers the spectacularly disingenuous caveat: “We’re not suggesting the Church of Scientology is an evil client”.

Yes you are.

The whole tone of the article is one of prejudice and vilification. It drips with sanctimonious bigotry.

Look, I understand what Hicks is discussing here: where do agencies draw the line in terms of whom and what products they will promote?

It’s an interesting and important debate for any industry to have.

But why choose Scientology as a benchmark?

We are a new religion. Yes, we attract some unwanted attention – often driven by ignorance and fear of the unknown.

We don’t sell a product that is addictive, destroys health or causes cancer. Quite the opposite.

Many thousands of Australians have found Scientology equips them with the tools to negotiate their way through life and live happy and fulfilling lives.

Scientologists donate hours of their time educating young people of the dangers of illicit drugs, standing on street corners in the rain; attending music festivals in blistering heat, handing out booklets that warn of the perils of drugs like cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy.

They go to disaster spots to offer assistance to those affected by tsunamis, earthquakes, bushfires, tropical cyclones and floods. Often it is mundane, dirty, hard work. Sometimes all they have to offer is a friendly ear or a shoulder to cry on.

Newly arrived families from war-torn parts of Africa receive English literacy lessons delivered voluntarily by Scientologists.

The Church of Scientology funds Youth for Human Rights, a group of volunteers – many non-Scientologists, who promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Teaching students that people can’t discriminate against them because of their religion, race or sexuality.

Scientologists have uncovered the worst excesses of psychiatric abuse. The horror that was Chelmsford Hospital’s deep sleep therapy was uncovered by Scientologists who campaigned to bring these criminal psychiatrists to justice.

Yet despite all this wonderful, selfless work, Hicks lumps Scientology in with tobacco, alcohol and gambling and asks advertisers would they “merrily pimp the devil for a buck?”

Michael Abdul says he wouldn’t work for the Church of Scientology because he is a Christian. Does his bigotry exclude other non-Christian religions? Does he follow the Christian tenet “Do unto others as one would have others do unto you”?

An unidentified female PR executive won’t work with the Church of Scientology because she is Jewish. Yet I know Scientologists who are also Jewish. And I would have thought someone of her background would recall what bigotry and ignorance has done to her own people.

Our founder L Ron Hubbard was a life-long promoter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in 1948 in a direct response to the atrocities of the Second World War. The Church continues his work today. Perhaps the female PR executive should rethink her attitudes.

Hicks writes “having morals can be good for hiring the ‘right’ sort of people”. So does that mean anyone who works for Scientology is immoral? How so?

Morality is of course highly subjective. For example, how would readers describe someone who hears allegations of illegal behaviour, but instead of reporting them to the authorities or meeting the accused to hear their version of events, they choose to hide behind parliamentary privilege and repeat the unproven and uninvestigated claims so as to publicly slur the name of the accused?

And what would readers think when – after all the allegations are finally reported to the authorities and no one past or present is found to have broken any law or regulation – the man who hid in his cowards’ castle says nothing to correct the record? Doesn’t apologise. Lets his stinging slurs stand in the public arena, while he remains comfortably immune from civil court action because of his privileged position.

That’s what Senator Nick Xenophon did to the many Scientologists here, not to mention abroad.

Smeared them and walked away.

That’s what I’d call immoral. That’s what I would call “bad stuff”.

If ad agencies avoid controversial clients – perhaps that’s a reflection of their lack of faith in their own ability to get their message across.

But don’t label us what we are not. Scientologists are people of good will, simply trying to make the world a better place.

Vicki Dunstan is head of Public Affairs at Church of Scientology Australia

Comments


  1. Groucho
    27 Feb 13
    11:52 am

  2. I hope Scientology is grateful for the liberal definition of religion

  3. Anonymous
    27 Feb 13
    12:02 pm

  4. Totally agree. Scientologists are no more loopy than any other religion.

    If Cathlocism were invented today, you’d think they were a bunch of crackpots (oh wait, they are). It’s only because they’ve been established for so long that they’re accepted.

    Can’t see how a religion that worships a man who came back from the dead & asks them to donate money (or demons will get you!) is any less crazy/evil/manipulative than Scientology with it’s aliens & spaceships & Tom Cruise.

    It’s only because Scientology is new that they’re an obvious/soft target.

  5. This made me cringe
    27 Feb 13
    12:02 pm

  6. “It drips with sanctimonious bigotry” I thought his article was really tame.. This chick is going to get hammered.

  7. Butters
    27 Feb 13
    1:36 pm

  8. “Scientologists donate hours of their time…attending music festivals in blistering heat.”
    Riiiiiiiight….

  9. LOL
    27 Feb 13
    1:50 pm

  10. As soon as she started defending a religion I metaphorically threw her argument into the bin… that’s where all religion belongs.

    Christopher Hitchens says it best “Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody—not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms—had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge.”

    And this quote can include “new” religions.

  11. Justan Aussie
    27 Feb 13
    2:01 pm

  12. I wonder if Vicki’s “thetan” told her to write this. What level are you Vicki and how many thousands of dollars did you pay them to get there. Scientologists are nothing more than a bunch of “Trekkies” following a science fiction book written by Hubbard.
    He should have worked for an agency, what a creative mind he had.

  13. Dude
    27 Feb 13
    2:02 pm

  14. Lol, Scientology.

  15. P
    27 Feb 13
    2:13 pm

  16. You misread Nick’s article – he used the example of Scientology to question whether accepting a client with a bad reputation (which you appear to agree the Church of Scientology has), damages the company/advertiser’s reputation.
    He then asked, on a separate note, whether accepting clients whose work is immporal (cigarettes, etc, and not Scientology) damages the company’s reputation.

  17. Recruitment Pro
    27 Feb 13
    2:14 pm

  18. Of course the Church of Scientology donates endless hours to helping the vulnerable. It’s called recruitment.

  19. Popcorn
    27 Feb 13
    2:16 pm

  20. I’ve got so much to do this afternoon… hitting refresh every 2 minutes to watch this get ripped apart is really going to slow me down. Couldn’t we earmark Friday arvo as the designated time for troll bait?

  21. Anonymous
    27 Feb 13
    2:16 pm

  22. It’s worrying that Scientology has been stereotyped so negatively, and the stereotype is excepted so easily.

    I know very little about the religion, and I expect that when challenged most opposers of Scientology also know very little about the religion other than what’s been gleaned from the media. And yet they still pass judgement.

    Personally, until I have spent time in a Church of Scientology, a Church, a Synagog, a Mosque, a temple or any other place of worship, read their holy books and practiced their belief system, I will refrain from judgement.

    And when I do feel informed enough to make judgement on a religion, I will keep it to myself, because it is my personal belief system.

    It’s is a right of an agency to refuse to represent any brand, but for religion, let it be that you do not believe in imparting a religion upon others, not that a religion is “wrong”.

  23. MR T
    27 Feb 13
    2:19 pm

  24. *Sits back and butters up the popcorn*

  25. Encyclic!
    27 Feb 13
    2:21 pm

  26. Given the nature of the “religion” in question, I’d have written my article such that it dripped with humble bigotry instead.

  27. wtf
    27 Feb 13
    2:31 pm

  28. dear mumbrella, this is either

    a) really sad because you are only running this BS to stir up your readers and get solid “engagement” off the back of a group of people that ruin actual peoples lives

    b) your suggesting any moron in a cult (yep Vicki, your either a moron or you know what your doing and your just evil) is deserving of a platform to whinge on this site? In which case could you please at least find some doomsday cults with a more folksy and entertaining load of crap.

    It’s most likely the first one though, seriously mumbo, not cool. You can call it whatever BS you want, but your just leading on morons (sorry vicki, but you are a moron) to get click throughs and comments (like this one, hahaha).

  29. Meg
    27 Feb 13
    2:36 pm

  30. I think it’s right to question the appropriateness of using advertising to sell religious beliefs. My belief: spirituality is a private matter and religions of any kind should not be pushed as a commodity, whether by doorknocking, billboards or any other means, including ‘free english lessons’ to vulnerable new migrants.

  31. Bwallace
    27 Feb 13
    2:37 pm

  32. From the author of ‘BATTLEFIELD EARTH’ comes a RELIGION.

    Fuck. off. scientology.

  33. Nic Halley
    27 Feb 13
    2:39 pm

  34. you’re a cult

  35. Serena
    27 Feb 13
    2:48 pm

  36. Yes, religion is a strange thing and organised religion is quite strange. We know that stories get distorted in retelling over the centuries so it’s possible to hold that while the stories are unbelievable nevertheless they contain valuable echoes of truth. New religions haven’t had time to gain that patina of interpretation because the original concepts are out there in print. Scientology sits alongside Avatar for rationality.

  37. Doug
    27 Feb 13
    2:59 pm

  38. Pfff! religion! that is not a religion. It was a way to get past Tax laws in the USA and here after they made people pay money to “be a better person” through training sessions.. It is a belief that psychiatry is bad… That we started from Aliens. and that everyone is equal, unless you are famous, and then you are more equal than the rest.

  39. JK
    27 Feb 13
    3:06 pm

  40. Of course your helping less fortunate people, because they make great recruits. Scientology is doing exactly what Christianity has been doing for thousands of year.

    That’s it…. I’m jumping out of Media and forming a cult!

  41. Dan
    27 Feb 13
    3:13 pm

  42. Eh, the tone of this response is exactly why Scientology has the reputation it does.

  43. TH
    27 Feb 13
    3:31 pm

  44. Dear Vicki,

    Thank you for your enlightening article. Now I have two reasons to feel sorry for Scientologists:

    1/ because you believe some seriously weird stuff
    2/ because you are poor misunderstood victims of fear-based vilification

    Of course, the reason I believe the first might simply be that your PR person is doing such a terrible job of overcoming some popular misconceptions about your kooky cult.

    Maybe instead of spinning the wonderful acts of your members, you should start by explaining the whole Xenu thing. Because no one will take any of you seriously until you do.

  45. Adam
    27 Feb 13
    3:42 pm

  46. No Vicki, I would definitely label the “Church” of Scientology as evil.

  47. anon_coward
    27 Feb 13
    4:05 pm

  48. Careful all, chances are the good folks at the CofS will try to sue anyone who makes a critical statement about them here!

  49. LORD XENU
    27 Feb 13
    4:05 pm

  50. your operating thetan level has reached new heights, my child.

    let me take you to the mothership.

  51. CB
    27 Feb 13
    4:54 pm

  52. Jewish Scientologists?? Seriously??!

    This whole piece made me chuckle, this being a highlight!

  53. AdGrunt
    27 Feb 13
    5:09 pm

  54. Vicki,

    Just so we’re all absolutely clear – what does your “church” stand for that makes it a religion?
    Belief in the Declaration of Human Rights is lovely, but seems to be avoiding the point of Scientology as I can support Human Rights easily being a Scientologist.

    If I want to buy into Scientology, what belief(s) am I buying into?

    Cheers.

  55. Xenu
    27 Feb 13
    5:14 pm

  56. How many Scientologists does it take to change a lightbulb?

    Two, one to change the lightbulb and one to tell Tom Cruise it cost $50,000

  57. MattP
    27 Feb 13
    5:33 pm

  58. A note to all those who see an article which mentions a religion and see it as a chance to go totally off topic and launch into an anti-religion rant:

    Just because religion is meaningless to you does not mean it is not incredible, fulfilling and adds a whole new dimension to others lives.

    Lack of respect for the beliefs of others is more a reflection on you than those who you attempt to mock.

  59. TH
    27 Feb 13
    5:56 pm

  60. Actually MattP, my lack of respect for the religious beliefs of others is a reflection of my ability to apply reason and logic, my ability to understand science, and a common sense realisation that the fairy stories they told my in primary school probably aren’t true.

    People in all professions, advertising and media included, should be wary of people incapable of thinking their way out of religion.

  61. pugwash
    27 Feb 13
    6:17 pm

  62. Hi Vicki,

    since Scientology is so open now would you mind answering a couple of questions…

    1. Does Scientology have a navy? Why?

    2. Is the origin of humans as written by L.Ron Hubbard and portrayed in the movie Battlefield Earth what you believe in?

    Anything less than a direct answer i think would confirm in most people’s minds a cult mindset.

  63. pugwash
    27 Feb 13
    6:19 pm

  64. btw MattP

    you might believe you’re an intelligent person, that doesn’t mean I have to respect you if I don’t believe it.

  65. Pictch Doctor
    27 Feb 13
    6:19 pm

  66. @MattP if you insert ‘heroin’, ‘rugby league’, ‘cheese’, just as a few examples, where you have put ‘religion’ you will see just how incredibly stupid that sentence really is.

  67. Technojames
    27 Feb 13
    6:20 pm

  68. So it seems the premise of the original article was correct, and appears to have been answered.

    Yes, it appears that the type of company/industry being promoted features heavily in a person’s decision to work in/for that company/industry.

    That explains why The Church of Scientology was forced to recruit Vicki Dunstan as their Head of Public Affairs.

    Any experienced and capable PR person would not have responded in this manner. It simply feeds the perception that The Church of Scientology is a defensive organisation. This breeds distrust in the wider community and effectively reinforces public belief that it has something to hide.

    Further, it creates an opportunity for critics to openly voice their opinions in a near unmoderated environment.

    This is PR 101 Vicki and you failed.

  69. Philsta
    27 Feb 13
    6:38 pm

  70. Christ this is too much, anyone got a spare Prozac?

  71. Mike
    27 Feb 13
    7:28 pm

  72. “yes but all religions are loopy”

    well, maybe, but the difference between Scientology and other religions is transparency. You want to learn about a religion and what it believes in? Well that is pretty easy to do. Want to learn about Scientology and its beliefs and practices? Not so easy.

    Here is a challenge to the author of this piece: Vicky, who/what is Xenu and what is its role in Scientology?

    If you answer that question, I will accept you are not part of a cult.

  73. Shabbadu
    27 Feb 13
    10:56 pm

  74. I was born a snake handler and I’ll die a snake handler.

  75. LB
    27 Feb 13
    11:30 pm

  76. be great to know what it is about scientology that endears smart and successful people to it? i don’t get it.

  77. Craig
    27 Feb 13
    11:36 pm

  78. I think Vicki’s daughter made the point clearly enough: Scientology president’s daughter slams ‘toxic’ church (ABC Lateline 2010) – http://www.abc.net.au/lateline.....903129.htm.

    That’s without touching on who those ‘volunteers’ are and the $10 a week they were paid by the church of Scientology: Church of Scientology ‘has to conform to labour laws’ (The Age 2011) – http://www.theage.com.au/natio.....z2M6PKDt2S

    Sure it could be seen as wrong to single out Scientology as a ‘evil client’. However Scientology doesn’t do itself many favours by treating people poorly.

  79. Shawn
    28 Feb 13
    12:08 am

  80. Let’s compare L Ron Hubbard vs. Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    http://www.xenu-directory.net/.....-udhr.html

    Here’s a sample

    Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

    L. Ron Hubbard, “Dept of Govt Affairs”, HCO Policy Letter of 15 August 1960:

    If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any organization, always find or manufacture enough threat against them to cause them to sue for peace.

  81. Transparency
    28 Feb 13
    4:10 am

  82. Vicki

    The article says you are head of public affairs at the church of scientology. But your linkedin profile says you are in fact “President at Church of Scientology Australia.” Surely this is an important detail to include when assessing the level of impartiality in the article???

  83. MattP
    28 Feb 13
    9:18 am

  84. TH and others . . .

    True science and true religion are the same thing and both can withstand the rigors of any intelligent analysis, questions, and application of reason and logic.

    The facts remain science alone cannot answer every question. True intelligence is the correct application of science and religion in harmony which leaves no room for any unanswered questions and therefore no doubt.

  85. Jacqui
    28 Feb 13
    10:15 am

  86. Ha ha ha @Shabbadu

    Religious holiday – It’s the Feast of Maximum Occupancy!

  87. Unex Skcus
    28 Feb 13
    11:57 am

  88. @MattP, you seem ignorant about Co$. Do yourself a favour, visit:

    http://tonyortega.org

    Oh, and read some of the articles. Then you’ll understand the anti-Co$ sentiments expressed in these comments, and why they’ve been made.

  89. Agnostic
    28 Feb 13
    12:13 pm

  90. Modern atheism is becoming a lot like other main stream religions, full of smug, self righteous people who think they have all the answers. Atheism has it’s own high priests (Christopher Hitchens) and religious tracts (God Is Not Great), unquestioningly devoured by many despite the fact that they are full of flawed logic and leaps of imagination that would make L Ron Hubbard proud.

    Seriously, I don’t mind if you’re an atheist, a Christian or a Scientologist. Just keep it to yourself.

  91. AdGrunt
    28 Feb 13
    12:27 pm

  92. Yes, Agnostic.
    All those door-knocking atheists, with their silly rituals, songs and costumes, positively ramming logic and reason down people’s throats.

  93. Billy C
    28 Feb 13
    12:50 pm

  94. I am currently shopping for a religion. Scientology seems like it’s a lot more expensive than all the other religions. Is there a joining discount? Abrahamic religions seem to just require the purchase of one book (sometimes 2 volumes) but it seems Scientology requires many books and cds and all of them are still in copyright.

  95. JC
    28 Feb 13
    1:28 pm

  96. I’m with Doug, the premise is whack – it’s not a religion at all according to the German government..

  97. L Ron
    28 Feb 13
    2:38 pm

  98. Scientology is just for a bit of a laugh. Take it easy.

    I’m now going to audit you all. Especially that Abdul guy.

    The Ron.

    x

  99. Galactic Master Xenu
    28 Feb 13
    2:46 pm

  100. A compelling argument. +1 Theten level for you Viki!

  101. Mr Scientology
    28 Feb 13
    2:49 pm

  102. Michael Abdul upsets me greatly. It’s not like we are the illuminati or anything sinister. Cut Ology (what we sometimes call it) some slack.

  103. Anonymous
    28 Feb 13
    3:26 pm

  104. What a silly ill informed woman

  105. Coop
    28 Feb 13
    4:41 pm

  106. You amuse me Vicki Dunstan. They would have set fire to you in the middle ages.

  107. Circling sharks
    28 Feb 13
    7:49 pm

  108. The Church of Scientology. The name itself is almost a contradiction in terms. Who knew people wouldn’t take it seriously? What are the odds Vicki? As for religion, I’ll repost part of what was posted above because it pretty much sums up the matter:

    “Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge.”

    Sorry but repeatable proof (ergo fact) trumps personal belief any day of the week, and twice on Sundays, ironically.

  109. Really?
    28 Feb 13
    8:48 pm

  110. This entire article is a joke, seriously guys try and put some thought into your articles.

    Not to mention that you bring someone into this article with no proof or even a comment from that person.

    I’m sure they only became a church for the tax breaks anyway…

    Poor form Mumbrella, religion of any kind has no place here. It just divides people.

  111. Luke
    1 Mar 13
    11:09 am

  112. Yeah – stop vilifying Scientology. It does a perfectly good job of vilifying itself.

    Google ‘the hole scientology’. Google ‘operation freakout’ and ‘operation snow white’. Read this: http://laist.com/2008/03/23/church_of_scien.php Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDXBNijXAEM

    Did you know the wife of the church’s current leader has been missing and not seen in public for years since she hired staff members without his permission?

    And all of this stuff is public knowledge. So any agency or staff member given the job of turning Scientology’s image around must literally have the hardest job in the world and should probably jump on Seek.

  113. Saru
    1 Mar 13
    11:28 am

  114. JC hasn’t done their research on Germany. There is more than one “level” of religion in that country. They have state religions – which received taxes from their members which the government collects and gives to the Church. Scientology is not under that category. Lutherans and Catholics collect taxes from members. The rest of religion in Germany doesn’t fit into that category – Buddhists, Hindus, different Christian denominations. Scientology in Germany is a religion – there are over 30 court decisions that recognise the religiosity of Scientology as well as scholars. why did we have to take our position to court? Well some of the old guard in Germany have had trouble moving out of the mentality that led this country into the worst human rights abuse our world has seen. Old habits die hard, but that old guard is dying out. Let’s face it – they scholars are the people who are qualified to know. It is not the government’s job to decide what is or is not a religion. Heaven help us if we come down to that!

  115. TH
    1 Mar 13
    1:36 pm

  116. MattP: Science can’t answer every question because our knowledge is incomplete. Religion on the other hand is complete: complete nonsense. YOu can’t fill in the gaps in scientific knowledge with “God did it”. You fill them in with more science.

  117. Nanny State
    1 Mar 13
    2:40 pm

  118. There was a not bad meme on this very topic not long ago…..something along the lines of…..

    Religion is like a penis. It’s fine to have one, and fine to be proud of it…..but:

    Don’t get it out in front of children.
    Don’t push it onto other people.
    Don’t think with it.
    Don’t make laws with it.

    Sounds about right to me.

  119. at Nanny state
    1 Mar 13
    3:42 pm

  120. your such a hypocrite…… when it suits you, its a nanny state, but when you don’t agree, then you tell us…. DONT, DONT, and DONT…… typical!!!!

  121. Shawn
    1 Mar 13
    4:33 pm

  122. “Well some of the old guard in Germany have had trouble moving out of the mentality that led this country into the worst human rights abuse our world has seen.”

    You’ve got it all wrong. These ‘old guard’ as you call them are sensitive to the totalitarian potential of organizations like Scientology. A very good case could be made that Nazism is a religion – I don’t think Germany would grant religious status to a new Nazi party regardless of their religious pretensions.

  123. Chris Grealy
    1 Mar 13
    7:23 pm

  124. So the “church’s” PR hack doesn’t believe the “church” is evil. Big surprise.

  125. Check the vid in the link
    1 Mar 13
    10:11 pm

  126. I have nothing constructive to add to this conversation, other than fart humour. (You need sound.)

  127. Jabba
    1 Mar 13
    10:15 pm

  128. In the last Australian census approximately 2000 Scientologist’s were recorded in the census. More Jedi’s were counted than Scientologist’s though. So there!

  129. Lolling
    2 Mar 13
    12:20 pm

  130. Vicki where are you?
    you’ve been asked some very basic questions that may stem the vitriol. I am sure I’m not alone in wanting to hear your response.

    I have a question too. “Newly arrived families from war-torn parts of Africa receive English literacy lessons delivered voluntarily by Scientologists”.
    And what are the stats on how many of these vulnerable benefactors become Scientologists themselves? If the answer is many then it’s not a kind voluntary gesture …. It’s purely recruitment.

    Looking forward to your reply…..

  131. Luke
    4 Mar 13
    1:25 am

  132. Lolling : as a scientologist of many years… with the questions you trollers have… if we bothered to give an ounce of our time answering each one… we would have no time….

  133. Nic
    4 Mar 13
    10:13 am

  134. lets move past their whacky disarming rhetoric –

    Group with links to the Church of Scientology is targeting Australian kindergartens

    http://www.smh.com.au/national.....z2MWNwmyS1

  135. Lolling
    4 Mar 13
    12:50 pm

  136. Luke, I was not trolling.

    Vicki herself in this article says:
    “We are a new religion. Yes, we attract some unwanted attention – often driven by ignorance and fear of the unknown.”

    I am merely asking that the ignorance and unknown be cleared up a little. There are some very humorous comedians on here with some well written rants, and some very scathing attacks you don’t respond to them.

    So it seems that those comments are ignored but when asked some specific questions which might help clear things up, your response that “we won’t respond” just continues the stigma around the CoS. Vicki writes an article but then doesn’t get involved with the commentary and response. Leaves us no other option but to presume.

  137. John Ham
    4 Mar 13
    5:22 pm

  138. I’m not here to judge scientology
    but I’m intrigued that according to the article: “Scientologists donate hours of their time educating young people of the dangers of standing on street corners in the rain and attending music festivals…”
    I’ve stood on lots of street corners and I’m fine.

  139. Harry
    6 Mar 13
    11:04 am

  140. Years ago I was given a book that examined Mr Hubbard and the rise of Scientology. It is called Bald Faced Messiah and a most disturbing read. Out of print now and expensive second hand but well worth reading. It is yet another addition to the American cultural phenomenon of creating new religions. Fortunately Australia has a very healthy tradition of scepticism.

  141. rohan
    6 Mar 13
    6:37 pm

  142. This doesn’t read like something Vicki would have written herself (although for legal reasons I am happy to concede that she wrote it all.) You’ve got to remember she has been in this organisation for a very long time. And for most of that time she wasn’t meant to be exposed to the media. So it’s kind of natural for her to not understand how most people will take things. This is a real marketing challenge for Scientology now. How do you win over a technology you wished didn’t exist like the ‘net? To many this piece will sound American and seem to over-reach in places some will suspect Vicki wouldn’t. Nick X (former boss) was right. They can whinge all they want, but the information-sharing internet has killed their business model. There is no mystery. We see the guy behind the curtain and the game is over. As for other religions, that’s a chat for another day.

  143. Mr.Ogson
    7 Mar 13
    1:54 pm

  144. I’ve been watching CoS for several years now and have spent many hours studying their past actions and history. What has become clear to me is that their PR machinery is very adept at crying ‘victim’, yet the multitude of their victims are painted as ‘ A few bitter apostates with axes to grind.’ (and I am surprised that the line wasn’t used in this bit of spin). The ‘unwanted attention’? Its the result of the truth spilling out of the ever-widening cracks in the ‘churchs’ thin veneer, from the hundreds, if not thousands, of real victims who have endured so much from this ‘religion’. It is all well documented with more coming to light each day, and it is not pretty. I will continue to educate my community about preditory cults, and CoS is a perfect model of what the world does not need, in my honest opinion.

  145. The Awful Truth
    10 Mar 13
    8:11 pm

  146. Love a smoke and a beer right now…

  147. Michael Combley
    11 Mar 13
    4:01 pm

  148. Tax them!

  149. Jeremy
    28 Mar 13
    2:45 pm

  150. I’m frightened that our government is not doing more to protect those poor refugees from those crazy Scientologists when they first come to our country.

    More needs to be done to stop this from happening in the future.

  151. Incredulous
    28 Mar 13
    2:56 pm

  152. Hey 66 Luke
    You guys measure time in ounces?? That’s amazing!