Dec 9 2011
Cults in Culture: Scientology – A Fictional Route to Happiness (Part 4 - Excerpts)
“Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion,” L. Ron Hubbard famously told a group of science fiction writers meeting in Newark, N.J., in 1949.
It’s one area where Hubbard’s claims can be proven – the man himself has gained fortune and notoriety for founding the belief system of Scientology.
Much controversy surrounds Scientology because of its secretive practices and founder L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction author. Many call it a cult of celebrities due to its prominent members, including: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Lisa Marie Presley. The spokesman of the organization, Tommy Davis, has a celebrity mother – actress Anne Archer, who rose to fame with “Fatal Attraction.”
But Christian theologians say Scientology itself is a “fatal attraction.”
“Scientology is often viewed as the most sinister of new religions because of its aggressive attacks on critics, its manipulation of members to buy Scientology products and its incredible demand on full-time workers,” said James Beverley, professor of Christian Thought and Ethics at Tyndale University. “There are regular reports of violence in the top circles of the movement, particularly at its base in Hemet, Calif., east of Los Angeles.”
“Many researchers and former members who have chronicled the origin, development, beliefs and practices of Scientology, view it more as a totalitarian, abusive, business cult, wrapping itself in the cloak of religion for reasons of opportunism and expediency,” Craig Branch wrote in The Watchman Expositor, in an article titled, “Hubbard’s Religion.”
The organization claims to be compatible with Christianity and other religions because it says it is a scientific process. Tom Cruise, in his now famous encounter with NBC “Today” anchor Matt Lauer, said, “Scientology is something that you don’t understand – it’s like, you could be a Christian and still be a Scientologist."
“While Scientology claims to be compatible with the Gospel, it is a different worldview,” Beverley affirmed.
Hubbard states in Volunteer Minister’s Handbook, "Man is basically good but he could not attain expression of this until now. Nobody but the individual could die for his own sins – to arrange things otherwise was to keep man in chains.”
Scientology teaches reincarnation by which a person can progress by working his way through the various levels of "Clear," and Operating Thetan 1-8, can have power and authority over the MEST (matter, energy, space, and time) universe, explained [Craig Branch, director of the Apologetics Resource Center.] This of course mandates the paying of a lot of money for Scientology courses and submission to the organization’s authority.
(Gabrielle Devenish, "Cults in Culture: Scientology – A Fictional Route to Happiness, Christian Post, 11/20/11).