Scientology is in the press again…

Having lived in Clearwater, Florida (the world headquarters of Scientology) for the formative parts of my life I have a thing or two to say about Scientology. Let me start by saying that I am not a Scientologist nor am I interested in ever becoming one. It is as much a cult as Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, People’s Temple and, if you consider a cult as something where a group of people venerate the same thing, just about any religion. The difference between a cult, as we negatively think about the word, and an accepted religion stems from society’s acceptance of the group’s general practices.

Scientology for all intents and purposes is considered in the US (and other nations but not Great Britain) as equal, in the eyes of the law, to any other tax free religious institution. This status has allowed the Church of Scientology to make large purchases of land and businesses and not have to pay their proper dues to Uncle Sam. I would even go so far as to say that Scientology is one large pyramid scheme with the people at the top having all the desired information to reach enlightenment and instead of openly sharing it, they profit off the people at the bottom who so desperately want to know it. It is a complete and utter power pyramid.

Although other religions have systems of tithing like Catholics who are supposed to pay X% of their salary to the church, Scientology requires complete control of your assets. Managing money is for Operating Thetans I suppose.

I remember going to Albertsons and finding Scientologists on every aisle. They, like nuns, stick out due to their formal outfits and uniforms…especially since the group only seems to shop at 2:00 in the morning. Their outfits are very similar to navy uniforms, which is probably because Mr. L Ron Hubbard was a former naval officer. They are not an openly friendly group of people and rarely returned my smile. They spoke to each other in hushed tones and were usually purchasing food items that seemed to be for a party of some sort or a large group of people.

Notice her uniform in the picture from the Hollywood Celebrity Center.

Scientologists usually stick to the downtown area of Clearwater and are not overly open about their practices. I have walked into one of the downtown stationers before and been given the once over by the owners who went automatically on the defensive when I asked if the establishment was owned by the Church of Scientology. I can’t blame them for being defensive but seriously, if it’s so great, why not hang it on your shoulder…shouldn’t everyone be able to see it is as great as you think and join? I mean, Mother Theresa probably wouldn’t have given me the evil eye if I asked her who owned the convent. Ahhh, but L. Ron thought of this, because to Scientologists we are all outsiders who have not reached enlightenment and are therefore not able to understand its benefits without paying for a cure from our current maladies.

Scientology preys on alcoholics, child abusers, drug addicts and the mentally ill. It’s a great formula for success and monetary gain because many of the above are at the end of their rope and are willing to do anything to see a change in their life. For their life’s fortune, Scientology can cure these individuals of their vices – without medication. Although Scientologists are against psychiatry, their auditing processes seem to be very closely linked to psychological therapy.

Fort Harrison HotelMany of the Scientologists live in compounds across Clearwater surrounded by barbed wire and guarded booths. Others live fairly normal lives in society. I went to high school with Scientologists who were regular teenagers and who never attempted to convert me in any way. That said, there is now a centralized school teaching Scientology. The Clearwater Academy International located in Clearwater and New York will likely now be the schooling center for a majority of those Scientologists in those two cities and who fly in to stay at their multi-million dollar facility.

I would say that you usually do not encounter Scientology in Clearwater unless you are out looking for it. The only exception to this would be downtown Clearwater where Scientology is evident on every street corner. On your way over to the beach on a Friday afternoon, you will likely encounter large groups of Scientologists (20 or more) crossing the streets to their next classes.

Well, those are my connections on this one. Here’s what other people are saying:

Cnn news special. I have heard from people who also claim that they have been asked by the Church to assist in training a militia in the South-Western part of the US. Notice the space station type setting. Scientology is like an overextended sci-fi convention.

Link to article between Penthouse and L. Ron Hubbard Jr. I guess there really is good reading in the articles they print.

Link to article regarding Scientology in the classroom from the St. Petersburg Times.

Clearwater City Meeting – School award debate

A who’s who of Clearwater Scientology. The Scientologist have their fingers in the pot everywhere. From the famous Clearwater Jazz Holiday to the Boys and Girls club, their representatives have their fingers in the pot of many affairs in Clearwater.

Keith Henson in jail for picketing the Church of Scientology in California.

BBC report and reporter losing in on XenuTV and John Travolta lobbying BBC to kill the documentary.

Against the Church of Scientology? Then you should await your fate as being posted on the religious freedom watch page.

Hello to anyone reading this. I wanted to post my thoughts somewhere unobtrusive out there but still able to be viewed if anyone wished to glimpse at a day in my life at this moment. Thank you for reading if you choose to. Today I spent the majority of the day sleeping (an off day of my usual frantic job hunting). I had just finished a successful interview yesterday and I have one tomorrow. So, a way to make myself feel better about my situation is to remind myself that there are others out there much worse off right now.

So I found myself watching CNN/NBC and discussing the gas crisis to family and friends. Then I hopped on my opiate (the Internet) and began wading through the crap that is out there. I found some gems of course. And here they are for your viewing pleasure or distaste. Note: unless stated I do not fully condemn nor condone any of the sites listed. Some are just there as a glimpse into the craziness that this earth is filled with. A look into the face of counter culture.

redcross.org || of course you all have been to this site
godhatesfags.com || Thanks God for Katrina link…this whole site gives me the shivers. A simple Whois lookup (http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/) or a glance at the title shows that this site is truly owned and operated by some rouge Topeka, Kansas Baptist Church spouting hatred. Be warned.
Washington Post: Katrina || The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) is pretty cutting edge when it comes to new media news reporting.
sptimes.com || My old standby. Number one newspaper i visit
LA Times Article || NBC, Viacom is having their own telethon tonight without Fox, ABC or CBS who are doing a combined one on Friday. Yeeesh, can’t we all just get along.

I also visited the BBC, CNN and NBC sites but the above were my most interesting finds. The things that get me are the comments and mentality of some “they had it coming” people out there. And so I wrote the following comment at my time killing portal i-am-bored.com.

Survival of the fittest is an animal instinct and it should stay at an animal level. Survival of our history, cultures, brothers and sisters is what makes us human and humane. It defines us. It distinguishes us from the rest of God’s creatures. Learning from our mistakes is what makes us intelligent beings. But most importantly our love and compassion are what we need to survive.

And so losing any piece of ourselves as humans is devastating in any fashion. It should always pull at the heart of any intelligent, compassionate being. It cannot be forgotten lest we make the same mistakes. What happened in Lousiana, Alabama and Mississippi tears a piece of me just like the Tsunami, 9/11, Rhwanda, Chiapas, Hiroshima, the Holocaust, the Plague, Slavery, the Inquisition and many others do. Loving and caring for one another is not an option it is an obligation we take as the highest life form on this earth. Use it wisely and we will all be here for many years but resort to animal instincts and we will surely destroy one another.

May God keep you all always in the palm of his hand. (9/1/2006)

911 Loose Change 2nd Edition with extra footage
(Google Video, 1h 21min)

A few days after 9/11, I remember sitting in my PR Campaigns class talking with other students about what may have actually happened and what the media was spinning. Two students called me UnAmerican for questioning my government’s sincerity and another friend later called me a conspiracy theorist claiming that no small (or especially large) group of individuals could pull off a well orchestrated conspiracy without getting caught or thwarted. That may be true…but I’m still waiting for a plausible explanation of what really happened.

To those class members and any else out there who may not agree with my views…Call me a conspiracy theorist, call me irreverent, call me what you want but don’t ever f*cking call me unpatriotic or unAmerican for questioning my government and its motives. I work for my government now and there are obviously arrogrant pricks among the crowd eager to make a name and a buck for themselves…I wouldn’t put anything past these jackals just like I wouldn’t put anything past those even higher up.

I question because I am patriotic. I seek answers by piecing together the non-obvious, non-official reports and news items. History has warned me that official body counts and experts will lie if the lie is deemed a “necessary evil” by individuals and groups more powerful than they are. And who has more power right now than our very own G.W. Bush. The man has blatently stated that he is above the law….how did I let this happen?!

It was unAmerican of me not to vote but I couldn’t support a flawed system. I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I have to take what I get even though it isn’t perfect. I’m still not in harmony with our flawed voting system but I will at least try this time. I know that the next election is still two years away… but I’m just lubing up.

In the meantime, I have a thesis to finish and miles more research to complete.