Well I am pretty sure that the average person would put it in the Cult category. At least one country, Germany has gone so far as to ban it! Most religions are based on sacred and very ancient texts, the one exception to that would be the toothpaste smile Mormons, who are still swarming all over Utah with their various harems of wives looking for those Gold tablets that Joseph Smith found, and then inadvertently could not remember where he had put them!

If you think the Mormon story is off the wall, then try the Scientology one. This one is straight out of the world of Sci-Fi, oops it was created by a Sci-Fi writer, L. Ron Hubbard. His 1950 book Dianetics seems to be the jumping off point into the world of Oz, oops I meant Scientology.

While most of the worlds main steam religions have a few aspects that they are less than happy about, The Roman Catholic inquisition being one of them. And more latterly the issue with Priests and alter boys, they have however weathered the storm, and are moving forward.

The Church of Scientology on the other hand remains immersed in controversy. Since the mid 90’s the Scientologists have been waging an online war. The world online seems to have taken more notice of this cult than the traditional media. While seeing Tom Cruise jump about like a demented monkey on the Oprah show certainly was entertaining, it put the Church Of Scientology in an awkward position. The average Joe asking the inevitable question, ‘How messed up do you have to be to join?”

I have nothing against most religions, my theory is live and let live, if you kneel in a mat facing Safeway five times a day, I don’t care. If you fiddle with beads and mumble for 10 minutes, i still don’t care.

What I do care about though are cults, cults tend to be harmful not just to the members, but to loved ones. The Church of Scientology has a very checkered past, and indeed checkered present. Germany for example has declared them an illegal organization.

To date the Church of Scientology has managed to quash or at least contain its detractors through a combination of intimidation and litigation. They are maybe the most litigious group on the planet, they make the RIAA look like babes in arms.

Their latest detractors have obviously given a great deal of thought to previous attempts to stem this cult. The direction they have taken is one that is beginning to frustrate the Church. They are aptly named ‘Anonymous‘, and are waging an all out war online. From YouTube to message boards, they are sowing seeds of distention, and having a good deal of success. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Simon Barrett


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