Blog Tal — 12 July 2012

 

John Travolta undergoing "Auditing"

The ugly public divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes has relit the flames of controversy about the Church of Scientology. It was rumored for years that Cruise’s earlier marriage to Nicole Kidman was also wrecked by his obsession with Scientology.  Of course, this is nothing new with that bizarre movement.  For decades the organization founded by Science Fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911–1986), has encountered severe criticism and opposition from ex-members, mental health professionals, cult watchers, and the media.  As far back as the 1950s, Hubbard’s strange mental health theories were condemned by the mainstreams of the psychiatric and psychological communities.  For that reason, among others, Hubbard and his successors have waged a never ending war to discredit any mental health system other than their own.

But with this latest crisis in the life of its most famous member and recent defections of some the church’s highest ranking officers, one has to wonder if we are witnessing the final chapter in the Scientology saga. The church depends heavily on the sales of its strange counseling services (called “auditing”) and Hubbard’s hundreds of books to maintain its solvency.  It is also dependent on its cadre of well-known celebrity members who have been indulged with many privileges not available to the average member at its Celebrity Centre resort in Hollywood.  Those faithful Hollywood adherents include John Travolta (whose is also facing a major crisis in his personal life), Kelly Preston (Travolta’s wife), Kirstie Alley,  Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, Greta Van Susteren,  Jenna Elfman, Anne Archer, and many others. Most of these show business stars probably have never experienced, or are even aware of, any of the abuses foisted on the rank and file staff of the Church of Scientology and its affiliated groups.

The continued bad press Scientology has received recently along with accusations of abuse by a growing number of ex-members and staff members may hail the final days of one of the worst cults ever conceived.  We can only pray it is so.

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Tal Davis

(2) Readers Comments

  1. It has been extraordinary watching the church of scientology unravel. I began watching in 2008 when my family came under vicious and prolongd attack for no reason at all. then we discovered that we had ‘upset’ a scientologist and the current church of Scientology dogma is very strict about taking revenge (‘fair gaming’) against anyone who has upset a scientologist. They believe they are delivering ‘karma’.

    I want Christians to start talking about the creepiness of scientology’s cross logo. Any criticism is met with the response ‘the cross is one of the most ancient religious symbols known to man’. I want to provide readers with some facts.

    The cross as any ancient symbol has EQUAL LENGTH ARMS, symbolising balance. All crosses except the scientology cross with one bar longer than the rest are some form of Christian cross.

    The scientology cross is based on the so-called Latin cross. If you go into many Catholic or high Anglican churches you will find the ‘scientology’ cross on at least one altar as it is a form of the Latin cross which evokes the resurrection of Jesus Christ – the cross in glory. I understand that Hubbard got the idea from a cross he found near an abandoned Jesuit mission in I think Arizona.

    So the scientology cross is not ‘like’ a Christian cross it ‘is’ a Christian cross. If the Christians were as fussy about copyright as the Church of Scientology is then they would have ample evidence going back hundreds of years that scientology pinched the actual form of their cross from Christianity.

    That is not to say that a helpful and even logical spin could be put on any interpretation of a pirate copy of the Christian symbol. That is why symbols are so powerful.

    But it does make me uncomfortable when scientology volunteer ministers go into Catholic countries like Haiti (80% of the population) wearing their logo in a highly visible way. It would perhaps be more honest to have a caveat printed adjacent to it saying that scientology does not have any affiliation with the Christian church.

    • Jane:

      Some researchers have theorized that Hubbard borrowed the design for his Scientology cross from the Rosy Cross design that was used by noted occultist Aleister Crowley. Hubbard was influenced by Crowley indirectly through his association with one of Crowley’s followers in California named Jack Parsons.