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jaketheripper's avatar

Why does scientology keep its beliefs secret?

Asked by jaketheripper (2773points) August 25th, 2009

and why is there so much mystery surrounding the whole religion?
It seems like they’re asking for a bad rep with the way they act about everything.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

PerryDolia's avatar

Because it is a cult. As a cult, they are secretive because their beliefs would not stand the light of day.

CMaz's avatar

Without promoting scientology or putting down religion in general..
I would have to say any religion can come off as a cult when an opposing view is introduced.

That opposing view seeing a mystery and concluding its bogus because it does not make sense to them.

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

so you give them money….

noelasun's avatar

Less to defend??

markyy's avatar

Because it’s just a different form of a pyramid scheme. You have levels of knowledge that you can acquire. Each level comes with a price tag. Can’t afford it? Recruit some new members (who will also want to achieve a higher level of knowledge about what they are supposed to believe in), and so on, and so on. No money to make if people can get the information for free.

I wonder when the first South Park link will show up in this thread ;)

ragingloli's avatar

because their xenu story is so ludicrous that no non-brainwashed new or prospective member would believe it. It would be contra their recruiting efforts.

Sarcasm's avatar

They have to get you addicted to their semi-bullshit, easy-to-believe stories before they tell you about the 747s and H-bombs and Galactic Lord Xenu.
Because really, if you heard a guy preaching this would you believe him? (Starting at 0:22)

As well, The Church has to find a way to make lots of money.

markyy's avatar

I wonder how well Christianity would have done if every chapter of the bible was available for only 2000$ extra or 2 new recruits. Unless you are Tom Cruise being a scientologist basically means you don’t know yet what you believe in (they will say you can’t handle it yet, or as I see it, they aren’t done squeezing you dry yet).

eponymoushipster's avatar

Because Tom Cruise is a very private guy.

noodle_poodle's avatar

because if they aired them in public everyone would laugh at them

Judi's avatar

Every level costs more money. You can get in for a $10.00 class (at least it was $10.00 30 years ago) and as you advance you pay more and more.
I had a friend who had t refrain from getting “excited” as an atractive woman disrobed for him. I guess it’s about comtroling your universe, and then there’s the aliens.

kevbo's avatar

Not advocating for Scientology by any means, but it isn’t all that unusual for a sect to maintain secrecy like they do. For example, various schools of Kung Fu keep/kept their knowledge and technique obscured by tiered secrecy to prevent outsiders from learning their secrets and to prevent initiates from employing techniques they were not ready to master. Often, though, the advanced techniques were hidden in the lower level moves/practices/routines, much like “wax on, wax off” hid karate moves in “The Karate Kid.”

cbloom8's avatar

Because they feel that their knowledge is very valuable and since few people believe their beliefs, they feel like they are very valuable and that they should be withheld only for those who believe in what they believe. (This is what they would say.)

It’s really just to say, hey, we have those big life answers, but you need to pay us before you can have them.

dpworkin's avatar

Because it is a complex scheme to transfer wealth from the acolytes to the owners. Who would give them money if that weren’t a secret?

Mozart's avatar

Because it’s an evil cult.

Anonymous is legion!!!!

RandomMrdan's avatar

you guys should check out scientology’s new commercial. Kinda strange..

I despise this religion by the way…not sure how anyone could follow a relgion whose founder was a science fiction novel writer L Ron Hubbard

Anyone who follows a religion created by a man who wrote science fiction novels deserves to have their money taken from them. Such idiots.

One time I spoke out against scientology on an open forum, and within an hour I had two scientologist message me on my facebook (the forum/group was on facebook). Very creeeeeepy.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@kevbo insert Tom Cruise “wax off” joke here

notabridesmaid's avatar

Wow. I had no idea that it cost money to join or take classes. I just assumed that it was something more like what @kevbo was saying that they felt like it was sacred knowledge that one has to earn or something. But how can you expect people to join something if you don’t tell them what the beliefs are? I don’t get this.

wundayatta's avatar

If you keep it secret, it helps make people more loyal. It helps you prevent them from access to outside sources of information. You focus on trying to find out what the secret is to the exclusion of other sources of knowledge. You gradually buy into the system more and more. It helps to inoculate you from the influence of others. In other words, it is part of the brainwashing mechanism.

Judi's avatar

I can’t link it right now, but all you have to do is google Vince Sham wow guy and Scientology and you will see what they do to those who defy them. I wonder if they orchestrated his recent arrest?

markyy's avatar

The entire religion was made up by a fantasy writer (like @RandomMrdan said), it’s not like there isn’t a story there to suck you in. There is a lot you can find about the beliefs of scientology on the internet. Let’s just say you pay for a better understanding and a little more context/background story.

I agree with @daloon you want your cult to be brainwashed, and it also serves as a great superargument. If someone disagrees you can just tell them they don’t have access to the correct information.

wundayatta's avatar

@markyy L Ron Hubbard was technically categorized by the publishing industry as a science fiction writer, not a fantasy writer. This ignores the fact that since every book about the future is about things that have not yet and may never happen. This makes them fantasies, as well.

markyy's avatar

@daloon, You’re right.. I knew that, don’t know why I said fantasy. Although there is some truth in that as well :P It all started in his imagination.

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t know why everybody, including the IRS, keeps referring to Scientology as a religion when it’s really just a self-help scam to get all of its members’ money. If you’re really interested in seeing how the “Church” operates check out A Piece Of Blue Sky.

dynamicduo's avatar

Because L Ron Hubbard was very obvious in his desires to make money by means of setting up a “religion”, and no one would pay money for something that was widely available. Scientology has more in common with a cult than a religion, including disassociating yourself from negative people who don’t like what you are doing, taking all of your money, and brainwashing techniques. It also plays the sympathetic shoulder routine but is way more obvious in its collection of blackmail material by means of the e-meter routine (in which you need to confess to all of your negative deeds to purge the thetons, or whatever). You have to spend thousands of dollars to get the “truth” about Scientology in the form of one of the worst science fiction stories I’ve ever heard, the Xenu story. Only L Ron Hubbard has been able to make people pay twenty thousand times the cover price for his story! He’s a sneaky bastard for sure.

markyy's avatar

@AstroChuck Because they refer to themselves as a religion. But you’re right, that is no excuse.

Ps. I’m too invested in this topic, I’m dropping out before they show up on my doorstep :P

SundayKittens's avatar

I’ve researched it so I could have reasons behind my intense dislike for them. It’s only a “religion” for the tax exemption. As a self-help sorta thing it doesn’t offend me as much, but the whole greed and power business makes me want to burn my copy of “Risky Business”.

Judi's avatar

When I was in college I talked to them once. They said they were a religon because the scientific community rejected them.
Yeah right.

PupnTaco's avatar

Because they’re batshit crazy?

AstroChuck's avatar

We can stop this thread now. @PupnTaco nailed it.

DrBill's avatar

Shame, pure and simple

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am with @ragingloli and @PupnTaco
...because their ideas are ridiculous
(and no I don’t discriminate just against theirs…I think so of all religions)

benjaminlevi's avatar

@RandomMrdan That commercial has a good strategy,; “maybe if we name enough things people will hear something they like”

bagelface's avatar

Supposedly if you hear that stuff before you’re ready, you could really freak out. It’s what they say.

dpworkin's avatar

Because it is a money-printing fraud run by a sociopath.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bagelface yeah you’d really freak out that you were about to pay so much money for such crap

Aster's avatar

Secrets reminds me of the Mormons. Trying their darndest to be mainstream but the temple ceremonies were kept secret until the internet exposed them The internet has exposed their investments like the new multi-BILLION dollar mall-and there’s a huge website where people tell why they left the church and how they were rejected or stalked by the church after they left. Includes the church’s abuse of missionaries. They blow the whistle so to speak. super nice members though

bagelface's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Word.

I heard they are under investigation for slave labor. About time.

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