The Cult Of Scientology Essay

2843 words - 11 pages

"We are not a turn-the-other-cheek religion." With that statement on national television, Scientology cult spokesperson Liesa Goodman reiterated to America what had been patently obvious to cult watchers since the 1950s. Though polished and refined, Ms Goodman is nonetheless a hardcore Scientologist-a modern day version of the reported 6 million members of this nefarious cult, who have been forged by a Satanic theology tempering for 50 years in the kiln of founder L. Ron Hubbard's blasphemy and heresy. I intend to show you that Scientology is indeed a cult by every definition of the word. I will walk you through some of the warped and twisted beliefs and practices of this money-making scam cum religion, finishing with a few thoughts about how Christianity, especially the Sword of the Spirit, is the obvious antidote for Scientology in a vulnerable world.Since I am claiming that Scientology is a cult, perhaps a brief examination of some definitions would be appropriate. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary lists five meanings for the word "cult:"1. Formal religious veneration.2. A system of religious beliefs and ritual; also: its body of adherents;3. A religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents;4. A system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator;5. Great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book).The Random House Unabridged Dictionary adds, "A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader." Theologically "cult" is a liturgical term from the Latin, colere, "To devote care to a person or thing, to venerate, to worship." "Cult" is also the root of the work "culture," which the Random House Unabridged Dictionary defines as, "The cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations…" Dr. Michael Langone and Louis J. West, noted counter-cult authors, define "cult" as:"…a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community."There are, however, two challenges with which we must deal in any application of the word "cult:" First, cults are sometimes...

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