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Scientologists Allegedly Deceived Fox Viewers In Wake of Tragedy to Gain Recruits

By greenrd in MLP
Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:17:41 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Did the CoS cynically prey on people who feared their friends and families were dead? Did they use fraudulent recruitment tactics? Judge for yourself. The first part of the article is mixed - but read the whole article!

NMHA spokesman Mark Helmke said at least one television outlet, Fox News, publicized a toll-free number for the church last week as one to call for people seeking mental health counseling. A Fox official in New York confirmed the number was on the screen for about two hours.


Much more detail is in xenu.net's alt.religion.scientology Week In Review.

Xenu.net has much more information on the "Church of Scientology", which it claims is not a religion at all but a manipulative, dangerous cult.

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Scientologists Allegedly Deceived Fox Viewers In Wake of Tragedy to Gain Recruits | 17 comments (16 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Better link, and petition (3.90 / 11) (#1)
by greenrd on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 12:13:16 AM EST

Oops, should have looked at the xenu.net homepage more carefully. *slaps wrist* Here is a better report from xenu.net - the "week in review" thing I linked to is a link a massive collection of newsgroup posts and articles, so not so readable.

You can sign a petition to have the DoJ investigate the Church of Scientology here - although some of the claims on the petition are a bit outlandish. That's not to say they're not true...


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes

CoS not the only ones (3.66 / 9) (#2)
by mami on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 12:48:01 AM EST

I had two times last week people from churches (I am always amazed who and how can claim in the U.S. to be a church or religion) who wanted to recruit me to become their members, clearly preying on presumed fear because of the WTC atrocities, eager to help me to understand what I need to do to go into heaven ....

Oh well ..



Reminds me of a visit I had. (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by Anymoose on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 01:46:20 AM EST

Back when the Chinese government plowed down students with tanks, I was visited by a young lady. She was going door-to-door for her church, offering a little booklet to those who didn't slam the door in her face (she was cute, so I chatted - I know... pathetic male crap, but I was younger). Her basic premise was that her church was offering comfort and compassion to those disturbed by the image of tanks crushing college students. Her opening line was something to the effect of "don't feel discouraged because you can't help them, come prey with us and God will make things all better". It was most likely worded alot better than that, but that was the gist of it.

So after preaching to her for about 20 minutes in my doorway that the better answer wasn't sitting around waiting for God to fix all our ills, but to get off our butts and fix what we can ourselves. She hadn't thought through her "mission" that night well enough to even have considered this. I smiled quietly as she walked back to her car - not continuing her door-to-door routine - obviously pondering the sense my comments made.

I like to believe I made at least a slight difference in her life. Thus "saving" someone from the ignorance of organized religions, if even for a moment. I don't fault folks for their beliefs, I do fault organized religions that have done far more harm to humanity than good - for the sake of control and power.


I AM, Therefore I THINK
[ Parent ]

Wait for daddy to sort it out (none / 0) (#15)
by greenrd on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 01:04:46 PM EST

So after preaching to her for about 20 minutes in my doorway that the better answer wasn't sitting around waiting for God to fix all our ills, but to get off our butts and fix what we can ourselves

A philosophy that even religious people should agree to, if they're clear-headed. :)


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Don't just do something... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by SteveA on Wed Dec 26, 2001 at 06:09:15 AM EST

So after preaching to her for about 20 minutes in my doorway that the better answer wasn't sitting around waiting for God to fix all our ills, but to get off our butts and fix what we can ourselves.

That reminds me of a Quaker poster I saw once:

Don't just do something; sit there!


[ Parent ]
There's a difference? (3.33 / 18) (#4)
by NotZen on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:57:18 AM EST

not a religion at all but a manipulative, dangerous cult.

There's a difference?

lol (1.33 / 6) (#5)
by dzeroo on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 08:35:56 AM EST

exactly


== chicks are for fags ==


[ Parent ]
Such an original witticism (4.60 / 5) (#11)
by afeldspar on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:13:53 PM EST

I really don't know why people who want to prove themselves more intelligent than all the DUMM ST00P1D PEPUL who have religious beliefs turn will always, always trot out this weary little chestnut every time they hear the word "cult". For people who think their non-belief marks them as smarter and not so easily led and better sifters of the evidence, you'd think that they wouldn't want to show themselves as so a) thoroughly unoriginal and b) ignorant of what the term "cult" actually means.

The defining characteristic of a cult are not its religious beliefs -- since many cults have none -- but rather the techniques that are used to indoctrinate members and hold them firmly in their position in the power hierarchy. When a cult is founded around some set of religious, political or (pseudo-)scientific beliefs, access to or authority to interpret those beliefs is almost always used as a control method.

Thus, not only are there plenty of non-religious cults out there (if you know the early history of psychoanalysis, think of Freud's relationship with his followers/colleagues) but clearly, also many religions that do not fit the cult mold in the least, such as Buddhism, which teaches that one can never reach true enlightenment while clinging to any earthly (and therefore false) attempt to describe or communicate enlightenment.


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

despicable (3.57 / 7) (#6)
by more fool you on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 09:41:25 AM EST

it's unfortunate that such a ridiculous cult exists and is so popular - these scumbags must prey on people when they are weakened, because nobody in their right mind could possibly take their tripe and the insane ramblings of a plagiarist (Ron L Hubbard) seriously

religion is business, and business is good
- The Almighty, Jesus loves you, but I don't.



eh (2.44 / 9) (#7)
by boxed on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 12:04:18 PM EST

So it's ok for "regular" churches to pray on people but not for the CoS because some people don't like it? Remember that Judaism and Christianity have been persecuted too, just like the Scientologists. (For the record I don't like CoS either, but these double standards I dislike more.)

hmmm (2.00 / 4) (#8)
by DGolden on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:21:15 PM EST

<p>Personally, I don't think it's okay for the "regular" churches to do it either. I'd much rather see people around the world grow up, recognise the absurdity of their various imaginary friends, and just say no to religion.
</p><p>
Organised religions are usually used by those with a thirst for power to control the ignorant and gullible masses, anyway, so I'd say people would be better off taught about religions only in history classes, and taught critical thinking and communication skills for real life.
</p><p>
Religions are socially accepted delusional behaviour.
</p>
Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]
hmmm (2.50 / 4) (#9)
by DGolden on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:26:43 PM EST

Personally, I don't think it's okay for the "regular" churches to do it either. I'd much rather see people around the world grow up, recognise the absurdity of their various imaginary friends, and just say no to religion.

Organised religions are usually used by those with a thirst for power to control the ignorant and gullible masses, anyway, so I'd say people would be better off taught about religions only in history classes, and taught critical thinking and communication skills for real life.

Religions are socially accepted delusional behaviour. Why is it unacceptable for little Jimmy, aged 4, to have his own invisible friend, but many people seem to think it's O.K. for millions of people to have one, provided they think it's the same one as everyone else's ???


Don't eat yellow snow
[ Parent ]
The difference (4.25 / 4) (#10)
by ToastyKen on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 02:32:31 PM EST

I' m not a fan of other religions going after people in times of grief, either, but in this case, the COS was being deceptive about it and actively interfering with secular help. That's why this is more despicable.

[ Parent ]
Oh, they can "pray" all they like... (3.00 / 1) (#12)
by nurglich on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 10:33:21 PM EST

That's what churches do. Its the preying on people that really gets me.

A nitpicky post that's clever! Aren't I cool? Guys? Aww, forget it...

------------------------------------------
"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

[ Parent ]

Let me just rant a little.... (2.00 / 4) (#14)
by yvraine on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 10:45:37 AM EST

(Oh, great, another let's-bash-the-Scientologists story.)

Did you realize that some Scientologists believe in what they're doing? That they got their phone number put on the air because they want to help?

They believe they're doing good in the world.

Just like the US believes it's doing good in the world.

But the CoS gets bashed by those who think it's evil.

Just like the US gets bashed by those who think it's evil.

The CoS has lawyers for its self-defense. The US has warplanes. The use of both is seen, by others, as proof of how evil $DEFENDER really is.

Just an off-the-cuff comparison. Sorry if I'm not making sense, but I have very little patience for any sort of anti-religious crap anymore.



When the shoe fits (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by afeldspar on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 10:28:15 PM EST

( Oh, great, another let's-bash-the-Scientologists story.)
Did you realize that some Scientologists believe in what they're doing? That they got their phone number put on the air because they want to help?
They believe they're doing good in the world.

Then why did they not identify themselves truthfully?

They did not identify themselves as the Church of Scientology. They called themselves "National Mental Health Assistance". Was this intended to create confusion with the National Mental Health Association? Consider that Scientology's own statement refers to the National Mental Health Association as "NMHA".

Yes, I fully realize that many Scientologists believe in what they're doing. I also realize that the same may be said of the terrorists who committed the attack in the first place; those hijackers believed enough in what they were doing to steer those planes to their own deaths.

Merely believing you are doing good in the world doesn't make it one bit more good.

In the case of the Scientologists, their beliefs teach that Scientology is the only thing that can save the world. Scientologists have it stressed to them that promoting Scientology is therefore good, no matter what means must be used. By the same token, anyone or anything that opposes Scientology is evil, and must be destroyed by any means necessary.

This is why Scientology planned multiple bomb threats against Arab consulates in April of 1976. The true target of these threats was journalist Paulette Cooper, whom they had framed previously for bomb threats in 1972. Their follow-up harassment campaign was called Operation Freakout and included in the plan was to have Cooper framed for threats against the President, against Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and against Arab consulates, going so far as to stage elaborate phony encounters for the purpose of getting paper with Cooper's fingerprints on it and having Cooper impersonated in a public laundromat, assassinating her character by feigning insanity and making bomb threats. The stated goal of Operation Freakout? "To get PC incarcerated in a mental institution or jail" -- "PC" being of course Cooper.

So yeah, I do believe that Scientologists think they're doing good for the world. I just don't believe that it is necessarily what's good for the world, or for the people in vulnerable conditions that they're seeking out. What do you think?


-- For those concerned about the "virality" of the GPL, a suggestion: Write Your Own Damn Code.
[ Parent ]

Scientologists Allegedly Deceived Fox Viewers In Wake of Tragedy to Gain Recruits | 17 comments (16 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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