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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/12/10

True Believers

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Message Grant Lawrence
-- Raised as Scientologists, Christie King Collbran and her husband, Chris, were recruited as teenagers to work for the elite corps of staff members who keep the Church of Scientology running, known as the Sea Organization, or Sea Org.

They signed a contract for a billion years -- in keeping with the church's belief that Scientologists are immortal. They worked seven days a week, often on little sleep, for sporadic paychecks of $50 a week, at most.....Source: New York Times

Former defectors of the church of Scientology claim that the organization hides abuse. There are numerous reports of people being taken advantage of and abused by Scientology.

  • The most widely publicized death of one of the organization's members involved the 1995 death of 36-year-old Lisa McPherson, while in the care of scientologists at the Scientology-owned Fort Harrison Hotel, in Clearwater, Florida. Despite McPherson's having experienced symptoms usually associated with mental illness (such as removing all of her clothes at the scene of a minor traffic accident), the Church intervened to prevent McPherson from receiving psychiatric treatment, and to return her to the custody of the Church of Scientology.
  • Noah Lottick was an American student of Russian studies who committed suicide on May 11, 1990 by jumping from a 10th-floor hotel window, clutching his only remaining money in his hands.[45] After his death, a controversy arose revolving around his parents' concern over his membership in the Church of Scientology..... Source: Wikipedia

There have also been noteworthy criminal accusations and prosecutions against it.

....Eleven church staff, including Mary Sue Hubbard and other highly placed officials, pleaded guilty or were convicted in federal court based on evidence seized in the raids, and received sentences from two to six years (some suspended).

Other noteworthy incidents involving criminal accusations and prosecutions against the Church of Scientology include:

  • In 1978, L. Ron Hubbard was convicted in absentia by French authorities of engaging in fraud, fined 35,000 French Francs and sentenced to four years in prison.[24] The head of the French Church of Scientology was convicted at the same trial and given a suspended one-year prison sentence.[25]
  • The FBI raid on the Church's headquarters revealed documentation that detailed Scientology actions against various critics of the organization. Among these documents was a plan to frame Gabe Cazares, the mayor of the city of Clearwater, Florida, with a staged hit-and-run accident; plans to discredit the skeptical organization CSICOP by spreading rumors that it was a front for the CIA; and a project called "Operation Freakout," aimed at ruining the life of author Paulette Cooper, author of an early book critical of the movement, The Scandal of Scientology.[26]
  • In 1988 the government of Spain arrested Scientology president Heber Jentzsch and ten other members of the organization on various charges, including "illicit association," coercion, fraud, and labor law violations.[27] Jentzsch jumped bail, leaving Spain and returning to the United States after Scientology paid a bail bond of approximately $1 million, and he has not returned to the country since. Scientology fought the charges in court for fourteen years, until the case was finally dismissed in 2002.[28]
  • In 2009, a Paris court found the French Church of Scientology guilty of organized fraud and imposed a fine of nearly $900,000.[40] The prosecution had asked for the Church to be banned, but a recent change in legislation made this impossible.[40] The case had been brought by two ex-members who said they had been pressured into spending large amounts of money on Scientology courses and other services.[40] Commenting on the verdict, the plaintiffs' attorney said, "It's the first time in France that the entity of the Church of Scientology is condemned for fraud as an organized gang."Source: Wikipedia
Clearly something is wrong with Scientology.

But there is something deeper here than the possibility of many people getting abused by a cult religion, as sad as that is.

People get abused by cults precisely because they refuse to use their own minds--plain and simple. Now this is not to excuse the abusive behavior of the leaders of the so called churches.

But there is a sort of twisted symbiotic relationship between the true believer and the fraudulent religious leaders. The true believers get the security of believing that they are somehow better, special, selected, saved, and/or chosen. The charlatan leaders get the pleasure of using, abusing, and ripping off their true believers.

The true believers of every age are used and abused and often made to do terrible things to their fellow human beings by their swindlers.

Today we also find true believers everywhere in society. It is because we have so many of them that the leaders of society are able to do such wicked and nasty things and get away with it.

In general, people love not to have to think. They also love to be misled and to put their energy into hating scapegoats. For their abdication of reason, the mass of true believers get ripped off and abused. They are easily made to do dirty deeds 'dirt cheap.' The true believers, in return for their silliness, get the security that comes with being ignoramuses. But people pay a heavy price for that false security.

We see today trillions being swindled from the people, wars being waged for empire and the expansion of an inhumane economic globalization, eco-system collapse, the corporate and financial takeover of every aspect of society, and the transformation of citizens into mindless consumers and credit serfs. All of this abuse by our so called leaders and elite is occurring because the true believers have advocated their responsibility to think and to use their reason.

We can clearly see, if we look, how true believers are being taken advantage of by fundamentalism, new age nonsense, charismatic religious and spiritual leaders. Some ask themselves how can these true believers believe such foolishness.

But when we look at society and examine how the mass of true believers are being abused and taken advantage of by the governing powers of the financial, corporate, and government complex (also called "The Military Industrial Complex") we don't see the same nonsense at work. But we should.

Clearly, if we look, we can see that the people are herded by words of patriotism, nationalism, exceptionalism, freedom, security and protection into a goosestepping mentality that allows for nearly half of every tax dollar to go into the killing machine we call 'defense'.

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