Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Harmony of Religion

I just got the new album by Epica (Epica: Design Your Universe).

So what? You say, what has that got to do with Scientology? Let me explain:

When I first listened to this album I was wondering if these guys were Scientologists. The lyrics I could hear and some of the song titles sounded very Scientological to me.

For example: From the song "Unleashed":
"I'll exist again
No more lost endeavors
Nothing to contend
When I'm free"
So I hunted down the lyrics and read them. (Great lyrics by the way). Once I found the lyrics, I discovered why I thought they sounded Scientological: they are from Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, so no wonder they speak to a Scientologist. (In case you didn't know, the Buddhist and Hindu religions are ancestors of Scientology.)

Anyway, the album is great. The genre is gothic metal (that's metal with a classical vibe, this album includes orchestra and operatic chorus). I highly recommend it.

I like complex, fast and loud music and this is certainly that. But it is tempered with quiet pieces such as "Tides of Time" and "White Waters", but even when the album is loud it never drowns out the music or the vocals. And, the lead vocalist, Simone Simons, has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard, the album is worth it just to hear her sing.

Anyway, it just showed me how much people of different religions can end up in harmony.

I'll leave you with this from the song "Design Your Universe":
"Don't forget you're able to
Design your own universe"


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Great Article From Australia

When disaster strikes, Scientology Volunteer Ministers are on the scene and helping as quickly as possible, but they don't stop there. Months after a disaster, you will still find them working with the survivors, helping them recover from the trauma of what happened. Here is one such story:

Australian Scientology Volunteer Uses Dianetics to Help Samoan Hero Recover from the Ravages of Disaster

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Links about Anonymous

I just found a bunch of links to data on Anonymous and their attacks on the Epilepsy Foundation, the Australian Prime Minister and more.

Attack on Scientology Website Sends New Jersey Man to Jail on Felony Charges


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas comes to Hollywood

Winter Wonderland on Hollywood Blvd has become a Hollywood Christmas tradition and this year the 60ft Douglas fir that is the centerpiece for all the fun was actually planted in 1983, the year that Winter Wonderland began.

For the full story click here:

60ft Christmas Tree Arrives at L. Ron Hubbard's Winter Wonderland for the 26th Consecutive Year

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jail for Anonymous Member

A not so anonymous member of the Internet hate group that calls itself Anonymous was sentenced to a year in jail for his part in attacks on Church of Scientology web sites in Jan 2008. You can read more here: Attack on Scientology Website Sends New Jersey Man to Jail on Felony Charges.

The article includes the following data about who else Anonymous has attacked:
Anonymous is an underground hate group that, in addition to the cyber attack, targeted Churches of Scientology and members with death threats, bomb threats and fake anthrax mail. In addition to Scientology Churches and the Prime Minister of Australia , Anonymous has also targeted The Epilepsy Foundation, hip-hop music websites and others.
Anonymous is a nasty bunch of people, but they are being caught and justice is occurring.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Scientology and Drugs - Attitudes and Rules

Eric asked: I know Scientology opposes the drugging of society, but I am unclear as to precisely what extent it stands in opposition to drug consumption, i.e. absolute opposition vs. nuanced opposition.

What, if anything, does Scientology have to say, for example, about "moderate" caffeine and/or alcohol consumption? Are Scientologists discouraged from drinking beer and caffeinated soda?

Hey Eric,

Great question.

The Church does its utmost to not interfere in people's lives. So there are no rules about what you can and can't do regarding drugs - other than the usual laws of the land.

It has been found that certain drugs affect Scientology Auditing, so there are rules about how long you have to wait after (for example) drinking a beer or taking a painkiller before you can get auditing.

The church policy about physical illness is that you should go to a competent practitioner in that field: e.g., an MD, a chiropractor, a nutritionist, etc. At that point it's up to the practitioner.

As to attitudes of Scientologists to drugs, there are some survey results here: Use Of Drugs/Alcohol.

The following data on attitudes to drugs is from my own experience and observations.

Illegal drugs: They are illegal, so we don't touch them.

Legal drugs that have been proven to be safe: if you need a drug because of a medical situation and it has been prescribed by a competent practitioner then you should take it. Ditto for over-the-counter stuff.

Scientologists are individuals. Most that I know are very careful about drugs and we have workable alternatives to them. For example, I'd say a Scientologist was less likely to take a painkiller for the pain from an injury than your average Joe, because we have alternative, very workable methods of handling pain (See Scientology Assists). But if you need a medical drug and it's the usual thing to take then you take it.

Here is an example: a friend of mine had a burst appendix. It was pretty severe and she needed a major operation to handle the peritonitis caused by it (she still has a 6 inch scar from this operation). After the operation she was put on Vicodin for the post-op pain - a powerful and potentially addictive painkiller. As soon as I could, I gave her a course of Scientology Assists and next day she didn't need the Vicodin anymore, she was able to go down to aspirin. After some more assists she didn't need any drugs at all.

Legal drugs that have been proven to be dangerous and to cause harm but are still on the market because the drug manufacturer makes billions from them: We are opposed to these. We don't take them. Examples of this sort of drug: Psychiatric Drug Side Effects Search Engine.

Other miscellaneous drugs such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, etc.: Some drugs can get in the way of Scientology Auditing. For example, you can't get auditing within 24 hours of drinking alcohol because it has been found that it will interfere with your spiritual progress. Same goes for some other drugs such as aspirin. So there is no restriction on you having a beer, just that you can't get auditing for 24 hours afterwards.

I've never seen anything regarding most other "minor" drugs such as caffeine or tobacco, it's personal choice.

My own personal preference is to stay away from any kind of drug as much as possible. If I have a physical problem then I'll first try something natural, if it doesn't work then I'll try something stronger, but I'll try to apply the Scientology principle of gradients. E.g., If I had a nasty systemic virus such as Chronic EBV, then maybe I'd start with dioxychlor, if it didn't handle it I'd move on to something stronger and more medical like doxycycline and if that didn't work then acyclovir (BTW: that's an actual example I know of). Of course, all this would be done under the guidance of a competent practitioner, the Church would not be involved in this sort of medical treatment in any way.

I hope that answers your question.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Church of Scientology Washington D.C.

The new Church building in DC was opened last weekend and here is a short video of the ribbon cutting taken be one of the people there:

Monday, November 02, 2009

Recent Allegations

A couple of unreliable yet noisy media outlets have recently publicised allegations made by a former Scientologist against the leader of our religion, David Miscavige.

If you read these allegations and are wondering about their accuracy then you should read this: Mark "Marty" Rathbun.

If you wonder about the reliability of ex-members and what they have to say about their former religion (and this doesn't just apply to Scientology - witness the havoc caused by ex-members of Opus Dei and how Dan Brown used their outrageous allegations in his book, "The Da Vinci Code") then you should read what sociologists have to say about these "apostates":

- The Reliability of Apostate Testimony About New Religious Movements
- Apostates and New Religious Movements

A telling paragraph from the second article:
Neither the objective sociological researcher nor the court of law can readily regard the apostate as a creditable or reliable source of evidence. He must always be seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous religious commitment and affiliations, the suspicion must arise that he acts from a personal motivation to vindicate himself and to regain his self-esteem, by showing himself to have been first a victim but subsequently to have become a redeemed crusader. As various instances have indicated, he is likely to be suggestible and ready to enlarge or embellish his grievances to satisfy that species of journalist whose interest is more in sensational copy than in a objective statement of the truth.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Another (anonymous) one bites the dust

Although I feel sorry for a guy who is most likely a pawn in the criminal hand of Anonymous, he still broke the law and now has to face the consequences:

Federal Crime Charges against Anonymous

Anonymous member indicted by US State Attorney

On Wednesday, October 28, 2009, a federal Grand Jury in Los Angeles indicted Brian Thomas Mettenbrink, a member of the cyber hate group Anonymous, for his part in the January 2008 attempted destruction of Scientology websites owned by the Church of Scientology.

Mettenbrink, 20, is charged with conspiracy and “transmission of a code, information, program, or command to a protected computer.” The indictment states that he obtained a computer program from an Anonymous website and executed a “DDOS” attack from his dormitory at Iowa State University against Church computers in Los Angeles. A DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack occurs where a large amount of malicious Internet traffic is directed at a website or a set of websites, with the intent to overwhelm and shut down the websites.

Mettenbrink is the second member of Anonymous to face criminal charges relating to this attack. In May 2009, Dmitriy Guzner, then 18, pleaded guilty to computer hacking charges for his role in the attack on Church computers. He is currently awaiting sentencing.

Scientology is a worldwide religious movement with more than 8,000 Churches, Missions and groups in 165 countries. The Church and its members dedicate their time and resources to numerous humanitarian programs that Scientology has become known for around the world, including combating drug abuse, immorality, illiteracy and human rights violations.