Why I Picket Scientology
This is why I'm picketing Scientology:
Scientology locks people up.
Under its "Introspection Rundown," Scientology incarcerates those deemed to have had a "psychotic break" or those who are a major "potential trouble source." In accordance with Scientology policy, those guarding these prisoners may not speak to them at any time. Lisa McPherson died after being held against her will for 17 days. Others who have been held against their will in this way include Marianne Coenan, Gitte Mogensen, Cat Morrow, Heidi Degro, and David Voorhies. The Introspection Rundown remains current Scientology policy.
Under its "RPF," or "Rehabilitation Projects Force," Scientology incarcerates those deemed to have "ethics" problems &emdash; often those who disagree with Scientology policy, or who can't produce enough. Scientologists have been taken from their homes in the middle of the night, chained to pipes, and kept under armed guard. Former Scientologists estimate that approximately 100 people, including children, are currently being held at Scientology's compound in the California desert.
Scientology holds people against their will for other reasons, or no reason, as well. Dorothy Geary and Michael Pattinson were held against their will so Scientology could attempt to extort more money from them.
Scientology denies others freedom of religion.
Scientology refuses to tolerate splinter groups or individuals who wish to practice Scientology outside the corporate hierarchy. Scientology operatives have infiltrated independent groups, such as the California Association of Dianetic Auditors, in an attempt to take over their board of directors and subvert the organization.
Scientology lies to new recruits, telling them that Scientology is compatible with other belief systems. However, advanced Scientology teachings state that "There was no Christ" and that Christianity and Heaven were implants given to us by space aliens. Some upper-level Scientologists have been coerced into undergoing expensive "false data stripping" to rid them of their previous beliefs.
Scientology's ethics, beliefs, and practices are also at odds with many other belief systems. Scientology has training routines that teach adherents to lie. Scientology espouses a belief in reincarnation. Scientology teaches that abortion is wrong, yet coerces pregnant female Sea Org members to have abortions. Scientology teaches that an enemy of Scientology "may be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed." Scientology teaches that, in certain circumstances, a Scientologist is required to "deliver an effective blow against an enemy of the group."
People are dying under suspicious circumstances.
In addition to the well-publicized death of Lisa McPherson while she was in Scientology's custody, a number of other suspicious deaths have surfaced. Scientologists have committed suicide after being pressured heavily to sign up for services they could not afford. Scientologists have died after discontinuing the use of prescribed medicine at Scientology's behest. Scientology has a history of lying about these suspicious deaths and of attacking those who try to find out what really happened.
Scientology defrauds the public.
Scientology claims that it is scientific and based on solid scientific evidence. Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health is replete with references to "scientific fact" and "clinical tests." In fact, no such evidence exists. The few scientific studies that have been done tend to disprove the theories of Dianetics and Scientology.
Scientology routinely lies about Scientology practices, Scientology's founder, and nearly every aspect of Scientology's history.
Scientology is dangerous to the public health.
Scientology's Purification Rundown is advertised as a way to rid the body of accumulated drug residue and environmental toxins and to overcome the effects of radiation poisoning. Independent medical practitioners and government researchers have found that the Purification Rundown has no sound basis in medical or scientific research; that its theories are fundamentally flawed; that there is no evidence that it has ever cured anyone of drug addiction; and that it may be physically dangerous: it prescribes megadoses of niacin, which could cause liver damage, and requires spending several hours a day in a sauna, which can cause heat exhaustion and be highly dangerous for diabetics.
Scientology practices medicine without a license. Scientology teaches that most illnesses are psychosomatic and can be cured with Scientology's "auditing" technique. Advanced Scientologists are taught to handle physical conditions by communicating with the souls of dead space aliens who infest the body, causing illness. Several ex-Scientologists have charged that their chronic or terminal illnesses could have been helped if they not been discouraged from seeking competent medical help.
Scientology attacks mental health professionals and proven treatments. Scientology blames psychiatrists for all of humankind's problems and accuses psychiatrists of deliberately harming patients. Scientology's disinformation campaigns against Prozac and Ritalin caused serious harm to the manufacturers of those drugs and caused many who might have benefitted from them to reject them. Scientology and its front group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, aim to eradicate psychiatry completely. Scientology offers no help whatsoever to the mentally ill; those with a history of psychiatric treatment are barred from participating in Scientology processing.
Scientology attacks free speech.
Scientology uses the courts to try to silence its critics. After losing a number of prominent libel cases (in particular, the Time Magazine case, filed after Time's scathing 1991 article, "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power"), Scientology has backed off on libel claims, but still uses copyright law and trade secret law to try to silence critics.
Scientology imposes gag orders in settlement cases. Many of Scientology's critics &emdash; especially those who had suffered at the hands of Scientology and subsequently filed lawsuits against Scientology &emdash; received settlements from Scientology, especially near the time when Scientology pressured the IRS into granting tax-exempt status. These gag orders prevent many people from telling their stories. As a result, we are unaware of many of the abuses individuals have suffered.
Scientology ruthlessly attacks its critics. In decades past, Scientology successfully framed one critic for sending bomb threats, and attempted to frame the mayor of Clearwater in a staged hit-and-run accident. While Scientology does less of this sort of thing lately, critics still report attacks on their pets, finding their brake lines cut, and interference with their jobs. Scientology's favorite tactic lately is to distribute fliers in critics' neighborhoods, accusing critics of religious bigotry and any other crime for which they can find or manufacture any evidence. Scientology representatives also track down critics' home addresses and picket in front of their homes.
Scientology hurts people.
Scientology's disconnection policy tears families apart. Scientology's policy of shunning dissidents &emdash; in which they are "declared Suppressive Persons" &emdash; can cause individuals to lose all contact with family, friends, co-workers &emdash; everyone they know &emdash; overnight. Scientology's personnel policies deprive staff members and Sea Org members of much-needed time with their families. Scientology's overwhelming emphasis on production and statistics destroys the tendency toward compassion, forgiveness, and individual worth.
Scientology is breaking the law.
Many of the transgressions listed above are not only unethical &emdash; they're also illegal. False imprisonment, extortion, fraud, and practicing medicine without a license are all against the law. Many of the tactics used to intimidate and harass critics and ex-Scientologists are also illegal.
Scientology does all this with our tax money. After the Supreme Court refused to grant Scientology's request for tax-exempt status, Scientology went after the IRS itself. In an unprecedented secret agreement (since leaked to the public), the IRS granted Scientology tax-exempt status. Scientology itself does not pay taxes on the massive "required donations" demanded for Scientology services, and Scientologists can write them off on their taxes. Thus, we subsidize Scientology's illegal activities.
In addition, Scientology seeks public funds through its front groups, such as Narcanon, Criminon, and the World Literacy Foundation.
Scientology's behavior is illegal, unethical, and destructive.
That's why I'm protesting Scientology.
This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.