The Scientology Comparative Theology Page


The Lisa McPherson Memorial Page, Jeff Jacobsen, 1999.
"On December 5, 1995, Lisa McPherson was dead on arrival at a hospital north of Clearwater Florida. ... [she was] put on the Introspection Rundown that Scientology uses to handle those who have had a psychotic break.

Enlightenment ... for a Price

Make Money, Make More Money..., LA Times, 1990.
"Behind the religious trappings, the Church of Scientology is run like a lean, no-nonsense business in which potential members are called "prospects," "raw meat" and "bodies in the shop."

Social Control

Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), Stephen Kent, 1997.
"As an international institution requiring total compliance from its confined participants, Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) is unique among contemporary ideological organizations operating in the Western world. While other organizations (such as The Family/The Children of God) have operated analogous programs (see Kent and Hall, 1997), the RPF has existed for over 20 years. Established in January, 1974, the RPF is a program of hard physical labour, forced confessions, and intense ideological study."
Affidavit: Isolation, Jesse Prince, 1999.
"I have seen with my own eyes how a person is driven to the point of having a "psychotic break" and the subsequent brutality of treatment the person then receives as a result of the handlers following strict Scientology methods."
Missing in Happy Valley (video), Lisa McPherson Trust.
Peter Reichelt and Ina Brockmann explore the RPF.
Affidavit: Scientology Practices, Jesse Prince, 1999.
"From time to time, based on orders that I received from David Miscavige, I would order others to engage in illegal activities against perceived enemies of Scientology. These activities included, but were not limited to, wire-tapping and document destruction."
Is Scientology breaking the law?, Kristi Wachter, 1999.
"Two Scientology programs call for false imprisonment - the Introspection Rundown, applied to Scientologists deemed to have had a psychotic break, and the RPF, Scientology's labor camps."
Scientology Protecting a Child Molester, Jeff Lee.
Legal documents, State of Florida v. Donald Anthony Strawn, 1995.

Veneration of "Ron"

Ron The "War Hero",
Chris Owen, 1999.

" In the years since Hubbard's death in January 1986, [independent researchers ] have used US Navy records (retrieved through the Freedom of Information Act) to assemble a much less flattering picture of Lt. L. Ron Hubbard - according to them, he was no war hero but an incompetent malingerer who played up his illnesses in order to con the authorities into granting him a more generous pension."

Scientology Practice

[This page was inspired by a Scientology attorney in the Lisa McPherson criminal lawsuit who claimed that abuse of a disabled adult and false imprisonment, if it occurs during Scientology "services", is a protected religious practice. The state attorney was not impressed (p 37) - religious beliefs are protected, but religious practice is not. So, what are Scientology's religious practices?

Hubbard, a penny-a-word writer, created millions upon millions of words directing the affairs of Scientology and Scientologists. Hubbard's communications come in the form of Hubbard Communications Office Bulletins (HCOBs), Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letters (HCO PLs), articles for Scientology magazines, "research" journals, speeches, and internal letters to "Church" directors. There is so much material that Hubbard had to write a doctrine on "Senior Source", directing which material could supercede others in case of conflict.

Hubbard's missives direct the life of Scientologists much like the Bible directs the life of Christians. Hubbard's writings speak volumes for the ethical values of both Hubbard, and by extension Scientology. These ethical values are reflected in the many lawsuits and criminal investigations into Scientology.

Publicly, Scientology claims auditing to be their primary practice. Hubbard also wrote services for Marraige and Baptism, though critics claim these are a sham - mere window dressing for the appearance of religiosity. However, only a relatively minor amount of Hubbard's millions of words deal with auditing, while Marraige and Baptism are limited to only a few pages. Since the public Scientology practices are relatively easy to find and are already detailed in numerous other scholarly reports, this report will deal with the hidden practices of Scientology.

This work was inspired by a Scientology lawyer's rebuttal of motion in the Lisa McPherson criminal case, which claimed that abuse of a disabled adult and unlicensed medical practice is a religious practice of Scientology, which is protected by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (The prosecutor's rebuttal is an excellent treatise on religious beliefs vs practice).

(Unlicensed) Medical Practice

As explained in Dianetics Doctrine, Dianetics and Scientology are built on pseudo-science. One of the outcomes of the subjective reality ("what is true is what is true for you") is a compounding of this psuedo-science with sometimes dangerous results. Hubbard claimed that auditing could cure psycho-somatic illnesses, including cancer, schizophrenia, diabetes, other physical ailments.

The most recent example of criminal medical malpractice can be seen on The Lisa McPherson Memorial Page, which details the tragic death of a young woman at Flag as a result of Hubbard's "100% Standard Tech".

Make Money, Make Money, Make Others Make Money

Since Scientology is a business-cum-religion, one of the biggest areas of criticism is their emphasis on obtaining money. A letter from a Scientology "Reverend" , as reported in The Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper, touches on another area of criticism - Scientology's penchant for harrassing, legally or otherwise, anyone whom they perceive as an "enemy". These two fundamental doctrines have served to alienate Scientology from both individuals and governments over the years.

The Greatest Good for ... Scientology

The unethical and criminal behavior of the "Church" of Scientology, driven by Hubbard's policies, bulletins, and lectures, continues to be uncovered on a.r.s. and documented on countless web sites. Marina Chong's A.R.S. Web Page Summary classifies and indexes the thousands of pages in the critical web.

Veneration of L. Ron Hubbard

While Scientology emphatically states that it does not worship L. Ron Hubbard, it has gone to great lengths to place a positive "spin" on their founder's achievements. A bust or picture of L. Ron Hubbard can be found in most Scientology organizations, and shouts of "Hip! Hip! Hooray!" to the Founder (who has been dead since 1984) still occur. Each major organization also has an office for Hubbard, sometimes with a pack of Kool cigarettes on the desk, waiting for his return.

In many cases, Hubbard's inflated claims have been debunked. For example, Chris Owens' Ron The "War Hero" looks at the official record, which shows a far less valiant man than Scientology touts. Similarly, Hubbard's college transcript casts doubt on Hubbard's claim to be a nuclear physicist or civil engineer. Russell Miller's Bare Faced Messiah shows Hubbard's years in New York's Explorer Club to be largely a sham. The one thing that Hubbard indisputably did well was to weave a story - and in this case, Hubbard wove a story of his life partially based on truth, but embellished to the point of fiction.

Non-confidential "Confessional"

Scientology claims that auditing is similar to Catholic confession. While both practices involve telling ones deepest secrets to someone else, what Scientology does with the information is particularly egregious. Ex-Scientologists (Dennis Erlich in particular) have had their "confessional material" (preclear folders) culled for damaging information to be used for blackmail purposes in case of defection. Mary Sue Hubbard (Worldwide Guardian) is believed to have started this practice in the 1970s. In Erlich's case, a Scientology poster (perhaps an OSA agent) admitted to this practice. In stark contrast, the Roman Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law, canons 983, 984, and 1388, absolutely prohibits any sort of betrayal of information revealed in the confessional, or any use of that information to the detriment of the the person confessing. Direct violation of the confessional seal has a penalty of automatic and immediate excommunication, which cannot be lifted by anything short of a papal pardon.

Next: Scientology and Other Religions in General