Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Research on Scientology

I got a comment from Simon, who said:

Hi there,

I did some research about the sites you link to (scientologymyths.info, religiousfreedomwatch.org, youthforhumanrights.org, appliedscholastics.org, drugfreeworld.org), and they all seem to be run by the church of scientology. What's up with that, doesn't independent organisations ever say anything nice about your religion?

Hey Simon,

I am surprised at your comment because if you'd actually visited those sites and read even a few pages on each you would see quite clearly that they are not "run" by the Church of Scientology and, other than Scientology Myths, those sites don't promote Scientology. And Scientology Myths doesn't really "promote" Scientology, it just answers questions.

So here are some facts for you:

Scientology Myths and the associated Scientology Myths Blog are not run by the Church of Scientology. Scientology Myths attempts to answer questions and correct misinformation about the Church and the religion itself and it tackles some of the more controversial questions.

Religious Freedom Watch is run by the Scientology Parishioners League which is not part of the Church. That site says nothing much about Scientology. It is not there to promote Scientology. It provides data about various things to do with religious freedom: a list of anti-religious extremists with data on their backgrounds and their anti-religious and racist pronouncements, data on reliable sources of information about various religions and more.

Youth For Human Rights was founded by a Scientologist but is open to anyone who has an interest in human rights, and in fact most of the members of YHR are not Scientologists. The YHR web site does not promote Scientology. I did a Google search of the site and what I saw was that it mentions the Church of Scientology in news articles where the Church was involved in co-sponsoring events or representatives of the Church spoke at Human Rights events. However, it also mentions members of other religions who spoke at events and it mentions other organizations that co-sponsored events, so there is no special emphasis on Scientology. The Church does sponsor this program but the program does not promote the Church.

Applied Scholastics has many Scientologists working for it but it also has non-Scientologists. It is not run by the Church and if you read the FAQ section of its web site you will see an explanation of the relationship between Applied Scholastics and the Church of Scientology. If you do a Google search of the Applied Scholastics site you will find only one reference to Scientology and that is in the FAQ article I linked to.

The Foundation for a Drug Free World says in its mission statement that it was established to meet the demands for the "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life" campaign that was started by Scientologists over 20 years ago. It is mainly a volunteer organization and many Scientologists volunteer for it. It is not run by the Church and the site does not promote Scientology. A Google search reveals that the only references to Scientology are in the mission statement and places that statement is repeated on the site. The "Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life" campaign is sponsored by the Church.

Your research is also very incomplete if you can make the comment: "doesn't independent organisations ever say anything nice about your religion?" Clearly you have not tried very hard to find sites that talk about Scientology, Scientologists and the work we do in the community.

So here are a just few links I found in a few minutes of searching:

Here is a video of people who were helped by Scientology Volunteer Ministers. They have lots of nice things to say: Volunteer Ministers Helping Others.

Here is a video of various human rights activists, government officials and others saying what they think of the work the Church does in the field of human rights: In Support of Human Rights
Here is a video of human rights activists, government officials and others saying what they think of the Church's Freedom Magazine, which does investigative reporting and exposes abuses and injustices: Freedom Magazine: A Voice for Human Rights.

Here is a video of anti-drug activists, government officials, law enforcement officials and others saying what they think of the Church's anti-drug initiative: In Support of a Drug-Free World.

The Truth About Scientology - I don't know whose site this is. It does contain a booklet from the Church, but it is on a free hosting service, plus it has very basic formatting and layout, so it probably isn't a Church site. The site is all about the many religious recognitions for Scientology around the world. This is courts and governments recognizing the Church as a religious and public benefit organization, i.e., they are saying something nice about my religion.

Here is an article on Scientology from the Foundation for Religious Freedom. Last I heard (a couple of years ago) the web master was a Buddhist.

Here is an article by Saurabh Bhattacharya on Scientology, on the Life Positive web site.

Here are numerous scholarly treatise on Scientology. Yes this is a Church of Scientology site but the treatise are by bona fide religious scholars from Universities all over the world.

Here is another scholarly article, Scientology: A Comparison with Religions of The East and West. I'm not sure but I think this is also a Church site, but the professor who wrote the article is from the University of Stockholm.

The Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance have a lot to say about Scientology

The Center for Studies on New Religions has a lot to say about Scientology. They have several papers in the long list of documents given here

So, Simon, I hope that answers your question.


Terryeo said...

I would welcome any comment you wished to make on this article because I wrote the article.

kenfriend7 said...

Here are 24 articles by religious scholars on Scientology, and eight articles on related subjects, in as many places as I could find them. I don't know if you have all these already, but I thought you might find this collection helpful.

"Scientology, An Analysis and Comparison of its Religious Systems and Doctrines"
Bryan R. Wilson, Ph.D. Oxford University

"Scientology, The Marks of a Religion"
Frank K. Flinn, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in Religious Studies,
Washington University Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

"Scientology, Its Cosmology, Anthropology, System of Ethics & Methodologies"
Régis Dericquebourg, Professor, Sociology of Religion
University of Lille III, Lille, France
Also under the title, "Scientology"

"Scientology, An Analysis and Review of a New Religion"
M. Darrol Bryant, Ph. D., Professor of Religion and Culture
Renison College, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Also under the title, "Scientology: A New Religion"
Also under the title, "The Religious Nature of Scientology"

"Scientology And Contemporary Definitions of Religion in the Social Sciences"
Alejandro Frigerio, Ph. D., Associate Professor of Sociology
Catholic University of Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina

"Scientology, A True Religion"
Urbano Alonso Galan, Doctor in Philosophy and Licenciate in Theology
Gregorian University and Saint Bonaventure Pontifical Facutly, Rome

"Scientology, The Relationship Between Scientology and Other Religions"
Fumio Sawada, Eighth Holder of the Secrets of Yu-itsu Shinto

"Scientology, Social Science and the Definition of Religion"
James A. Beckford, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Warwick, England

"Scientology: A Comparison with Religions of the East and West"
Per-Arne Berglie, Professor, History of Religion
University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden

"Is Scientology a Religion?"
Alan W. Black, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia

"Scientology: Its True Nature"
Harri Heino, Professor of Theology
University of Tempere, Helsinki, Finland

"Is Scientology a Religion?"
A Report of Research by Dean M. Kelley, Counselor on Religious Liberty
National Counsel of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

"Religious Philosophy, Religion and Church"
G.C. Oosthuizen, Th.D., Professor (Retired), Dept. of Science of Religion
University of Durban-Westville, Natal, South Africa

"The Religious Nature of Scientology"
Geoffrey Parrinder, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
Comparative Study of Religions, University of London, England

"Scientology Its Historical­Morphological Frame"
Dario Sabbatucci, Professor of History of Religions
University of Rome, Rome, Italy

"Scientology A Way of Spiritual Self­Indentification"
Michael A. Sivertsev, Ph.D., Chairman for New Religions
Board of Cooperation with Religious Organisations, Office of the Russian President

"Scientology and Religion"
Christiaan Vonck, Ph. D.,
Faculty for Comparative Study Of Religions, Antwerp, Belgium

"The Church of Scientology"
Juha Pentikainen, Ph.D., Marja Pentikainen, MSC
Helsinki, Finland

"Is Scientology a Religion?
Gary D. Bouma, Ph.D., Dept. of Anthropology and Sociology
Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

"Scientology- A Religion in South Africa
David Chidester, Professor of Comparative Religion
University of Cape Town, South Africa

"Scientology - A New Religion"
Samuel S. Hill, Ph.D., Professor of Religion
County of Watauga, North Carolina, U.S.A.

"Scientology and the New Age"
Dr. Josef Wolf
Professor at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic

"Scientology A New Religion"
Herbert Richardson, Ph.D., Professor of Religious Studies
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

"A Short Study of the Scientology Religion"
J. Gordon Melton, Methodist Minister, Ph.D. in the History and Literature of Religions

"A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community: The Sea Organization"
by J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D. in the History and Literature of Religions

"The Church of Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force"
A Study by Juha Pentikäinen (Chair of the Department of the Study of Religions, University of Helsinki, Finland), Jurgen F.K. Redhardt, and Michael York (Bath Spa University College)

"Religious Toleration and Religious Diversity"
Bryan Wilson, Ph.D., Oxford University, United Kingdom

"Social Change and New Religious Movements"
Bryan Ronald Wilson, Ph.D., University of Oxford, England

"Religious Liberty in Europe"
Prof. Massimo Introvigne
Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Turin, Italia

"L. Ron Hubbard & Scientology, Annotated Bibliographical Survey of Primary & Secondary Literature"
Marco Frenschkowski, University of Mainz, Germany

"The Reliability of Apostate Testimony about New Religious Movements"
Lonnie D. Kliever, Dr. Phil., Professor of Religious Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.

"Apostates and New Religious Movements"
Bryan Ronald Wilson, Ph.D., University of Oxford, England

John said...

It just struck me that not ONE, not ONE person who produces or contributes to a Scientology hate site or who calls himself or herself an "ex-scientologist," has ever actually STUDIED Scientology.

They just skimmed over the materials.

The ONLY way to find out about Scientology is to study it. I have been involved in education for 37 years and I would categorically state that Scientology is the ONLY subject that teaches you how to study.

Yours sincerely,

John Davis

Grahame said...

Hey John,

I'd say they either didn't understand it or they never actually studied it.

I'm restudying "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" for the seventh or eighth time and I am still finding more in it. Just think what the level of understanding is of the person who read a couple of chapters once - very, very low.

It's funny how I, who have been a Scientologist for over 30 years, am very aware of the real problems that concern the Church, yet I've never seen one of them mentioned on a hate site or in the questions I get from "critics". Their questions always surprise me because they are usually about stuff that has nothing to do with Scientology. Yet they are convinced it is true.

I guess it goes back to something one of the most evil men who ever lived said: "Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth". Which is exactly what the hate sites do.

Grahame said...

Hey Terryeo,

That's not bad. I've seen some very inaccurate articles on other wikis so this one is a step in the right direction.

Thanks for doing that.